DT 29964 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29964

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29964

Hints and tips by Pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where spring seems to have sprung at last!  We’re due more rain on Wednesday but the temperature is forecast to top 20°C every day this week.

Thankfully, today’s crossie seems to be back to the Monday norm, not too hard and with elegant clueing. I really enjoyed it and hope you all did too.  There’s only two complete anagrams and three clues involving an anagram so I know some of you will be a bit unhappy

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Speaks about a son and daughter’s carefree youth (54)
SALAD DAYS:  A word meaning speaks placed around (about) the A from the clue, another word for son and a D)aughter).  I’ve never really understood where this phrase comes from  When I was a youth I wasn’t all that keen on salads!

6a           Stage favourites returned (4)
STEP:  The usual teacher’s favourites backwards (returned).

10a         At work, bought bar of gold? (5)
INGOT:  A word for at work or at home followed by a word for bought or obtained.

11a         Replace marvellous watch set with diamonds (9)
SUPERSEDE:  Take a word meaning marvellous  and a word meaning watch or look at and insert (set with) a D(iamonds).  I always want to spell this word with a C in the middle.

12a         Large fortune? There’s no hope of that! (3,6)
FAT CHANCE: A word for large or overweight and a word for fortune as in luck.

14a         A pleasantly appealing accent (5)
ACUTE:  The A from the clue and a word for pleasantly appealing give an accent used in French.

15a         Win ‘EV’ appearing in April (tricky) (7)
PREVAIL:  Start with an anagram (tricky) of APRIL and insert (appearing in) the EV from the clue.

16a         Late extra expected (7)
OVERDUE: A word for extra or remainder followed by a word for expected.

18a         Top shop gutted close to the centre (7)
SPINNER:  Remove the centre letters (gutted) from shop to leave the SP and follow with a word meaning close to the centre.  I thought “close to the” would be an E which rather threw me for a moment!

20a         Question a ruler abroad causing controversy (7)
QUARREL: Q(uestion) followed by an anagram (abroad) of A RULER.

21a         Try leader of team, in essence (5)
HEART:  A word for try, in a court of law perhaps, and then a T (leader of Team).

23a         Balding, with obsession mostly about cap (4,2,3)
THIN ON TOP:  A slang term for an obsession without its last letter (mostly) and then a word for about and finally a word meaning to cap or to better.

25a         Old friend gets draw (9)
STALEMATE:  A draw in a game of chess is a word for old or gone off and a friend.

26a         In which one will find this mountain range? (5)
ATLAS:  Cryptic definition of a book where you would find mountain ranges depicted among other geographical features.

28a         Big occasion, not finished yet (4)
EVEN:  A big occasion without its last letter (not finished) leaves a word which can mean yet.

29a         Forced to wear set in sports car, perhaps (3-6)
TWO SEATER:  Anagram (forced) of TO WEAR SET.


1d           Strong second row (5)
STIFF:  S(econd) followed by a row or altercation.

2d           Record in online diary, not book (3)
LOG: Remove the B (not Book) from an online diary.

3d           Wife and powerful businessman disposing of old farm building (5,4)
DUTCH BARN:  Slang term for wife followed by a powerful businessman with the O removed (disposing of Old).

4d           Son entering stadium with large magazine (7)
ARSENAL:  Take another word for a stadium and insert (entering) an S(on) and follow with L(arge).

5d           Drink, more bubbly, for boss (7)
SUPREMO:  A word for to drink followed by an anagram (bubbly) of MORE.

7d           & 13 Down Verger — traumatic death he suffers — a case for Miss Marple (3,6,2,3,8)
THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE:  Anagram (suffers) of VERGER TRAUMATIC DEATH HE.  Here’s the theme tune of my favourite Miss Marple . . .

8d           Gradually, bishop, for one, imposed on me, a student (9)
PIECEMEAL:  What a bishop on a chess board is an example of (for one) followed by the ME from the clue, the A from the clue and finally an L for student.

9d           Piece of music filed away by librarian (4)
ARIA:  A lurker hiding (filed away by) in the last word.

13d         See 7 Down

15d         Quickly sat with those working under pressure (9)
POSTHASTE:  Anagram (working) of SAT with THOSE all placed after (under in a down clue) a P(ower).

17d         Last of those (Labour) to make a speech in complex (9)
ELABORATE:  An E (last of thosE) followed by an abbreviation of the Labour Party and then the usual word for to make a speech.

19d         Take back tense former US president from the south (7)
RETRACT:  T(ense) and then the 39th US president all reversed (from the south in a down clue).

20d         I agree to leave ahead of English, therefore (5,2)
QUITE SO:  A word meaning to leave or resign followed by E(nglish) and then a word meaning therefore or thus.

22d         Row in match on river (4)
TIER:  A football match perhaps, especially one in a cup competition, followed by R(iver).

24d         Baffling question for model (5)
POSER:  This baffling question could also be a cryptic reference to a model or someone who sits for an artist.

27d         Permit carried by couple touring (3)
LET: A lurker hiding in (carried by) the last two words.

There’s a lot of good stuff here but my podium is 12a, 1d and 9d with 9d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:          BARBER     +     QUEUED     +     STAKE     =     BAR-B-CUED STEAK

Bottom line:     SIGHED     +     RHODES     =     SIDE ROADS

84 comments on “DT 29964

  1. 3*/3.5*. Campbell continues in slightly trickier vein. This was good fun with 7d/13d my favourite – a brilliant anagram with a perfect surface.

    I did find the two clues each with a single word in parentheses a bit clunky.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers, with a special thank you to BD for all his efforts to sort out whatever it was that went wrong with the site yesterday. A day without a visit to the BD blog is hard to bear. :sad:

    1. Yesterday’s problem was unusual in that everything except the main site was still working (crypticcrosswords.net, email, cPanel, WHM etc,). It was resolved by the hosting company rebooting the Apache server.

  2. A most enjoyable puzzle with some great clues. The SW corner held out for quite a while until I worked out 15d and the long Agatha. No real favourites today. I just enjoyed the pleasure of it.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers and there is a third word in the top Quickie pun – 9a.

  3. I thought this was a super Campbell puzzle, many thanks to him for an excellent start to Easter Monday with along with a cup of tea.
    I like the phrase at 20d but thought the surface read a little strange so my favourite was either 11a or 15d amongst many fine clues
    Thanks to Pommers too, we have a shared instinct to spell 11a with a “c” in the middle!

  4. Ah – lovely! Right at my level. Lots to enjoy about this crossword, and the Quickie was also fun to complete.

    No doubt whatsoever about the best Miss Marple. I believe the current ‘in’ phrase when discussing such issues is to say “This matter is closed.” :wink:

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. I believe that Agatha Christie once said that Joan Hickson’s portrayal of Miss Marple was exactly as she imagined her to be

      1. There is always such a lovely warmth in characters played by the mighty Dame Margaret. I am forced to disagree with the otherwise unimpeachable Miss Christie.

  5. A terrific Monday morning puzzle, just right for a sunny Bank Holiday. Like RD, I thought the 7d/13d combo was as good as it gets, and fully deserves to be clues of the day.

    Thanks to Campbell for the fun, and to pommers.

    1. I see I went into moderation. In getting rid of the accursed plus sign that appeared yesterday after the site crashed, I failed to put a space between Young and Salopian. Apologies to whomsoever is in the moderator’s chair.

  6. Super duper puzzle today. Managed to dredge up the Miss Marple clue from somewhere – TV maybe, who knows but I think it is the other actress rather than the one in the picture. COTD 19d. Thanks to the setter and Pommers. Wordle in 2!

  7. I found Campbell at the easier end of his spectrum today. The back-pager was marginally trickier than the bonus online puzzle but each took 1.5* time to complete & with little head scratching involved. Nicely clued, as always, & a lovely way to kick off the new week. 7/13d my pick of the clues also – would have been even better had it indeed been the verger & not Colonel P who copped it. 12a&15d also on the podium.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Wordle in 3

  8. Lovely start to a Bank Holiday Monday. No real delays. I think 22d was my last in. Familiar with the row in crossword land but took me a bit longer to parse. Errors were self inflicted. Got the Agatha straightaway but stupidly forgot to put the first word in. Couldn’t understand why I had three empty spaces. That made a mess of my grid as I altered it. Also careless with 11a and spelt it wrongly. Favourites 12 and 25a and 3 and 20d. Thinking of Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple it was apt that I am sitting where Murder Ahoy was filmed in 1964. Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

    1. Messed up grids were the norm for me before Nurse Ninepence bought the iPads. It’s all crystal clear now and any errors are easily put right.

  9. An enjoyable and swift romp, Campbell v much on form I felt. Didn’t worry about working out the nuts & bolts of the Miss Marple clue, knowing it would soon become evident – and the 3, 6, and 3 of the clue provided instant checkers for some across clues. Wanted 5d to be shampoo but was not to be. Ah well. Will just have to open a bottle instead. to wash down the first part of 1a. Special mentions to 26a and 19d.

    1* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell, and to Pommers.

  10. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: and, as pommers said in his introduction, back to the Monday norm – 1.5*/4.5*

    I don’t normally consider anagrams for favourites but today the 7d/13d combo takes first prize by a country mile!

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  11. 11a is understandably the most commonly misspelt word going as it looks so wrong.

    It comes from the Latin ‘to sit above’ (someone in office)

    The first five letters is ‘above’ and the four are the first four letters of ‘to sit’

    The other four in the top five are:


    Thanks to Campbell for another splendid crossword.

    1. Fortunately spelling mistakes are tolerated much more these days. We can thank the widespread use of social media for that. The ridiculously critical spelling police were well and truly put in their place when they called out spelling errors made by those less able to grasp the complex subtleties therein. Text speak is making its own rules on spelling and punctuation and the change is all for the better as I see it
      “The only languages which do not change are dead ones.”
      ― David Crystal

      1. And wchih is a vrey good raseon wehn cntsortuincg agarnmas not to put the frist and lsat ltetres of the awnesr in tehir rgiht palces in the angaram fodedr!

      2. I no longer get too aerated about spelling errors, but I do when I see there/their/they’re used interchangeably.

        1. Agreed, but my other gripe is when people say they “should of” instead of “should have”. This is nothing to do with text messages but just poor education. they spell the same way the pronounce.

          1. Here, they no longer differentiate between noun and verb, e.g. practice/practise if they’re pronounced the same, but they do with device/devise, and so on.

      3. Totally agree that spelling is important. It paves the way for reading and the understanding of the world around us. How can a child learn to read if there is no grounding in spelling words correctly?

        I mark post graduate essays and dissertations and take great note of the spelling used by delegates. Poor spelling always drops a point or two. When there is really bad spelling in an essay, the meaning is lost.

        Having said that, I do agree with Miffypops that language should evolve. However, not at the expense of understanding.

        I’ll shut up now! 🤣🤣

  12. I bet I am not the only one who bunged the C in 11a.
    The Agatha Christie clue was made more difficult on the app by the Telegraph’s curious habit of putting all the clue but only half of the enumeration in linked clues but …
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell. Time for coffee methinks.

    1. You need to buy the paper, Sloop. The whole enumeration for the answer is included after the clue for 7d, and 13d simply says “See 7 Down“.

  13. Great fun for a Monday. Last one in 8d strangely, just couldn’t see it for ages then the penny dropped. Thanks to all involved today and for the excellent site.

  14. I agree with JohnBs comment about the enumeration of linked clues. I’d prefer the whole enumeration with the clue at 7 down and ‘See 7 down’. with no enumeration at 13 down. Otherwise a suitably Mondayish puzzle which was over all too soon. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle I’ll put the salad at 1 across with the Quickie Pun steak for dinner tomorrow night. It’s Greek grub at the pub today
    Thanks to Pommers for the review. Enjoy the sunshine while you can

    1. Which is how it’s enumerated in the DT Puzzles App. Surely CL has registered the comments by now & doesn’t feel inclined to change it.

      1. I get the Telegraph in many ways, the digital app has the split enumeration problem, and an incomplete set of puzzles (wot no Sunday Toughie!). The puzzles site has a few more puzzles but is still missing many that get in the print version. Differing log ins and ways to pay (as A7 Simon says in the rookie-WorldPay is uneccessarily complicated) I have mentioned this several times in the Telegraph Contributors site (Yet another log in) but I suspect that Mr Lancaster has his own bosses who call the shots on some of these gripes. Meanwhile Big Dave is doing great to keep us all amused here.

        1. Just done the 704 extra cryptic and you can add the lack of autosave as another inexplicable difference between the digital app and the puzzles site. 704 though was a cracking puzzle and I hope Campbell isn’t burning all his matches doing this, the bonus cryptic and quickies.

  15. Great fun whilst it lasted. Another vote for 7&13d, I’m a big fan of the Queen of crime.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  16. Lovely weather here for the Bank Holiday and a lovely puzzle from our Monday man to accompany it.
    The wordplay stopped me falling into the spelling trap at 11a although I may not be so fortunate next time it makes an appearance.
    Top three here were 1&12a plus 3d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

  17. I loved 1a as it reminded me of the marvellous Julian Slade musical of 1954. As for the salad it is because the speaker was “ green in judgement” .

  18. Very enjoyable puzzle today…back to how Mondays should be.

    Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell.

    Off for a few days in the Cotswolds later today…via Edinburgh and Yorkshire as we don’t like driving for a long time nowadays .

    1. Oooh luck you. We tend to do stopovers before and after holidays. Usually in place’s we’ve not been to previously. Buckfastleigh on our way to Cornwall this year

      1. Here’s a ridiculous bit of trivia, MP:

        Buckfastleigh is the longest one-worded UK place name that contains no repeated letters.

        1. It is also the home of the South Devon Railway where, today, they had a Day out with Thomas ( the tank engine). All good fun!

  19. Enjoyable start to the week, spot on- thanks to our setter and Pommers for the pics
    Favourite was 26d when I twigged the double definition, liked the simplicity of 25a.
    Going for a **/****

  20. A pleasant and not too taxing start to the cruciverbal week. I agree with RD re inappropriate use of parentheses particularly in 17d. 6a and 22d seem to appear regularly these days. Forced in 29a is a new meaning for me. 18 a was a bung-in as I wrongly interpreted close. Joint Favs 18a and 5d. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

  21. I thought this slightly tricky for Monday. Slow start but steady progress thereafter. Favs 14A and 26A.

  22. The North filled itself in pretty much with an early coffee. I slowed up in the South after a couple of hours messing around with boats but can see no reason why given the fair clues, including a couple of chestnuts.
    Many thanks Campbell & Pommers

  23. It’s a Campbell Monday again to start the non-work week. 2.5*/4* today.
    Nothing too difficult in this one, with a nice clue at 7d/13d that was first in.
    Favourites include 1a, 18a, 25a 1d & 20d, with 25a being my winner.
    1a is a term not heard often these days.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers … and to BD (belatedly) for getting the site back up and running on Sunday.

  24. I dread Campbell puzzles even more than Ray Ts. Just cannot get on his wavelength at all. Managed about 1/4 if todays then gave up. Way out of my ability range.
    Thx for the hints

  25. Fairly straightforward but very pleasant offering from the Monday maestro.
    As usual for CMpbell nothing esoteric or controversial, 7d gets COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    “Salad Days” is from Shakespeare pommers. Anthony & Cleopatra “Those were my salad days when I was green in judgement.” (according to “Red Herrings & White Elephants” not my knowledge of the Bard!)

  26. So glad to see the site is back up; I nearly went through early withdrawal stages yesterday and earlier today. The Christie novel / play was the first one of hers I ever saw on stage, up in the Smokey Mountains of NC at a little playhouse next to Carl Sandberg’s summer home, so 7/13d is my favourite today, with 1a [ Cleopatra’s ‘My 1a, when I was green in judgment’], 20d, and 12a also top stuff. The best Monday backpager in some time, I thought. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ****

    1. Sorry, I hadn’t read LROK’s post. Interestting that we spell ;judg(e)ment’ differently. American vs British spellings.

      1. No we don’t Robert- it was just an uncorrected typo, sorry. Especially wrt post 11.

        1. Ah, but my mea culpa elsewhere: I misspelled Carl Sandburg (confused spelling with Ryne Sandberg, the great Cubbie HOF 2nd baseman).

    2. Judgement derives from the French jugemere. Us English found it difficult to get our tongue around the pronunciation so we slipped in a d.

      So, purists use judgement though judgment is of course perfectly acceptable through constant misuse.

  27. It’s Monday and it’s Campbell, and I am one happy bunny! What a joy, loved every minute of this, so sad when it was finished. All done and dusted without any help, apart from checking 11a to be sure. Am I gushing? I just loved it, fave was 7d/13d combo, I’ve read everything by her and watched every TV Miss Marple. After such a struggle last week, my self-confidence has been restored, I’m so glad that no one has commented that this was a beginner’s puzzle.
    Thanks Campbell, that was so much fun, and pommers for his hints and pics. Wordle in 5.

  28. Another good Monday puzzle with 23 and 25a my favourites although the reference to A&C is always welcome.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  29. Just completed the prize cryptic 704.
    On par with the back pager again this week.
    A fun solve with favourites 1a, 5a, 14a, 7d & 16d

    Thanks again to Campbell

    Wordle in 3 and Canuckle in 4

  30. This entertained me in the back of the car whilst DD2 drove us up to Redditch to visit DD1 and take her out to lunch. So glad of the diversion. Dread on the drive up and despair on the return journey. I remember seeing 1a when it was first shown in the theatre under the arches, cannot remember what it was called. Delicious. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword many thanks to Campbell & Pommers and I’m afraid I’m one of those old fogies who think correct spelling is important! Sorry!

    1. I can only try to imagine the drive in both directions up to visit your DD1 – you must be feeling awful – poor you. At least you have your other daughter for support with you. :rose:

    2. Yes indeed DG 1a brought back happy memories of “I’m looking for a Piano” etc. in Julian Slade’s 1a at the Vaudeville followed few years later by “Free as Air” (not so good).

    3. I agree re spelling, but I think we’re supporting a lost cause.
      I’m always so sorry for you, how distressing it must be to see DD1 in such distress. I know you have support from this community.

  31. 2/4. Nice start to the week. My stand out favourite was the anagram at 7&13d. Best one I’ve seen this year and so elegantly clued. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  32. After last Monday I wasn’t sure what to expect today’s crossword – thankfully normal service seems to have been returned. I am please!!
    I didn’t have any hope of trying to untangle the Miss Marple anagram – so I didn’t try but it really was just the little word that mattered.
    No real trouble so thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints.

    1. 14a reminded me of Morse and your good self. I seem to recall Morse chastising some constable reciting a french characters name over the radio to HQ.
      That is Echo Acute

      1. “It’s ‘if I were, Lewis, not if I was’. Will you ever learn? “

        Sorry, just a Morse quote that struck a chord.

  33. Really enjoyed this one. Only got about half done over breakfast, but at lunchtime I had my thinking head on and everything fell into place. Isn’t it marvelous how the brain goes on solving when you are doing other things? Thanks to Campbell for a great start to the week, and to Pommers.

  34. Oh! The comments look fascinating as I flicked past them, I’ll go back and read them in detail later. I made harder work of this than I should have but I got there. One of the problems of a late start I suppose. Favourite was 11a, being an ex draughtsman I never have trouble spelling. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

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