DT 29971 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29971

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29971

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Took me longer than usual to get into this nice puzzle, but it all fell into place eventually. I'm swamped at work, so there was not a lot of time today to search for pics. I hope normal service will be restored next week. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Like an impossible clue, accepting end of crossword is unable to be cracked (12)
INDISSOLUBLE:  An adjective that could describe an impossible clue is containing (accepting) the end letter of CROSSWORD and IS from the clue 

9a    Negotiated passage, putting bed back outside (9)
NAVIGATED:  A passage or entrance contained by (putting … outside) the reversal (back) of a bed lacking headboard or footboard

10a   Litre in wine store I needed for this: it usually goes with caviar (5)
BLINI:  The single letter for litre is inserted in a place for storing wine, and that's all followed by I from the clue 

11a   Some collaborated to make compound (6)
BORATE:  The answer is hidden inside the second word of the clue (some … to make

12a   Macerate bats to make Cornish treat? (5,3)
CREAM TEA:  An anagram (bats) of MACERATE 

13a   Logo of famous stadium, naked male (6)
EMBLEM:  A famous UK stadium minus its outer letters (naked) with the abbreviation for male 

15a   Stupid person picks pocket, getting credit (8)
DIPSTICK:  Steals by picking pockets is followed by an informal word for credit 

18a   What hot weather does to tomatoes and other items? (8)
SUNDRIES:  The answer split (3,5) is what hot weather does to tomatoes that are to be preserved 

19a   Criminal tears around hotel grounds (6)
EARTHS:  An anagram (criminal) of TEARS containing (around) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel 

21a   This fires deadly missiles -- that sucks! No, just the opposite! (8)
BLOWPIPE:  Firing this weapon requires the opposite of suck   

23a   Sweet creature, we hear (6)
MOUSSE:  A homophone (we hear) of a big creature with antlers

26a   Follow east, north, south, then head to Uruguay, east (5)
ENSUE:  Link together the single letters for east, for north, and for south, the first letter (head to) URUGUAY, and the single letter for east 

27a   Swindle official count, one might say, to get unanimity (9)
CONSENSUS:  Swindle or scam is followed by a homophone (one might say) of an official count 

28a   Destroy pirates (RIP)? No sweat! (12)
PERSPIRATION:  An anagram (destroy) of PIRATES RIP NO 



1d    Drunk, elbowing wife aside -- that's contemptible (7)
IGNOBLE:  An anagram (drunk) of ELBOWING minus the genealogical abbreviation for wife (wife aside

2d    Have last of cheeseboard on top of port (5)
DOVER:  The last letter of CHEESEBOARD is followed by a preposition meaning "on top of" 

3d    Glimpse fortune-teller and tourist (9)
SIGHTSEER:  Glimpse or spot with another word for fortune-teller 

4d    Grain used as ingredient of goat stew (4)
OATS:  The answer is hidden inside (used as an ingredient of) the remainder of the clue 

5d    Support below leg (8)
UNDERPIN:  Follow a synonym of below with an informal word for a leg 

6d    Braille transcribed without the French sign (5)
LIBRA:  An anagram (transcribed) of BRAILLE minus (without) "the" in French 

7d    Police officer very tough in this area (8)
DISTRICT:  The abbreviation for a type of police office followed by an adjective meaning very tough 

8d    Hello John: this is a robbery (6)
HIJACK:  Join informal forms of hello and of John 

14d   Might one be duelling, with strings attached? (8)
BANJOIST:  A cryptic definition of a type of musician. The clue alludes to this tune

16d   Appear so upset about old long-running series (4,5)
SOAP OPERA:  An anagram (upset) of APPEAR SO containing (about) the single letter for old 

17d   The last of these may be paid on spec, with time and sympathy, initially (8)
RESPECTS:  Concatenate a short word meaning on or concerning, SPEC from the clue, and the initial letters of TIME and SYMPATHY 

18d   Undersea craft permitted to be rented out again (6)
SUBLET:  A contraction of an undersea craft with permitted or allowed 

20d   Crushes other half's offspring (7)
STEPSON:  The answer split (4,3) could mean crushes with one's foot 

22d   The end of war, it's said, is such a small thing (5)
PIECE:  A homophone (it's said) of what comes after the end of a war 

24d   Sees us hiding, eating Japanese food (5)
SUSHI:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (eating) the answer 

25d   Soldier, perhaps, I will be against (4)
ANTI:  What soldier might define by example (perhaps) with I from the clue 


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solving experience. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  EXE + FOLEY + AIT = EXFOLIATE

56 comments on “DT 29971

  1. Very Tuesday, very enjoyable.
    1&20d take the honours for me.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the fun in the South Devon sun

  2. 1 and 20d take my top spot this morning, from a fair selection of largely very straightforward but nonetheless elegant clues. A terrific example of a puzzle that doesn’t have to be fiendishly complicated to be very enjoyable.

    My thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

  3. 3*/3.5*. I found this basically straightforward but a few clues elicited some head-scratching taking me up to my 3* time. Overall it was good fun with 20d my favourite.

    The definition for 19a requires the American meaning of “grounds” (on this occasion the BRB agrees!), and 14d didn’t work for me for a couple of reasons. According to the title of the track, it is the banjos that are dueling (sic) not the banjoists and, as it was written by an American, the UK spelling “duelling” is incorrect for the purposes of this clue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Hi RD.
      I didn’t think that 14d referred specifically to the song, rather the practice of two guitarists (or banjoists) taking turns soloing in what’s known as a guitar battle or duel, so for me the clue is fine

  4. 14d my clear favourite in this very pleasant puzzle. Enjoyed the Deliverance clip of Ronny Cox duelling in John Boorman’s masterful film – his finest in my view ahead of Hope & Glory and Point Blank. Ticks also for 18&21a plus 20d.
    Don’t know if it’s just me but the ‘floughie lady’ isn’t showing her usual Tuesday benevolence over in the Toughie.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K
    Wordle in 3

    1. I agree about the Toughie, but I finally got there. I think Hope & Glory gets a slight nod for me over Deliverance–but both are great films.

    2. Point Blank gets my vote. I like the story Boorman tells of a night on the town with Marvin and their partners. Marvin got so hammered he became “lively” and impossible, so with great trouble they finally tied him to the roof bars on the estate wagon they were using. They were stopped by the police who enquired about the body on the roof. On being told who it was the policeman smiled and waved them on.

        1. I haven’t seen Point Blank since it was released in the 60s, so I had to do some googling to remind myself all about it. Now I must try to see it again. Wonderful story, Corky. Sounds like the old Marvin to me.

  5. Really enjoyed this. A nice steady solve and, maintaining the consensus, 20d for my pick of the day.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with all YS’ comments above. This had just enough challenge combined with some fun. My only slight quibble might be re 14a – perhaps I wasn’t alone in being unable to parse duelling? I would highlight 3 Favs viz 18a, 17d and 20d (personally I do try not to do this to my other half’s offspring!). Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

    1. Thanks for putting your head above the parapet X-type and for having provided us with a fun run today. A sort of mea culpa re 14d duelling comment.

  7. Very satisfying to complete unaided.
    But in *** time as last in, 20d and 23a and 27a took, to my shame, some time to fathom.
    Special mention 20d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  8. Great fun today, with lots to like, especially 14d, 21a, 1d, 20d, and 1a. Chalicea’s Toughie today is the toughest of hers I’ve ever tackled, but I managed to finish it after two sittings. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

  9. Got off to a poor start with 1a – hardly a word that trips off the tongue, but at least I remembered the film clip at 14d from its last outing. My other stumbling block was the middle word of the Quickie pun – my apologies to the gentleman concerned.
    Top two here were 18a & 20d.

    Thanks to our setter (NYD?) and to the brilliant Mr K for all his hard work on our behalf despite the pressure at work.

    1. The middle word of the Quickie also had me scratching my head. I had to look it up as I’d never heard it called that before.
      2d and 9a were my last two in. Favourites probably 18a and 20d as well.

  10. Typically Tuesday in terms of difficulty but down on enjoyment – 2*/2.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. Terrific crossword. Me and my Staedtler Noris HB2 enjoyed it immensely.
    Although 12a was an easy solve, I enjoyed the Monty Python construction.

    Do you remember that ‘Sahara dust’ we had descend upon us in the UK a number of weeks ago? I’m still trying to get rid of it from the areas outside the house. Jetwash-a-go-go and I still keep finding more of it all over the place. I’m thinking of collecting it all and posting it back. Just deserts.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack (as The Celebrated Mr K’s appearances always makes me think of them) The Beatles – Revolution

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    1. I still have traces of desert dust in the interstices of my garden furniture. Pesky stuff. The trouble is, we have had no rain. Dry April.

    2. I never got to see The Beatles. I’ve seen George onstage with Bob Dylan a couple of times. Ringo with Eric Clapton in the crowd sat on the seats on the side at Wembley Arena and Paul McCartney at Live Aid and a couple of times on his own. NEC and NIA Birmingham. George Martin was in the crowd at the NIA spotted by my eagle eyed mate before McCartney introduced him to everyone

      1. Miff – I didn’t get to see The Beatles either. I think our youthful ages conspired against us there.
        I’ve seen Paul live a couple of times (Earls Court & O2) and found the latter, in particular, very moving. Our 29 year old ‘youngster’ is going to Glastonbury and says she ‘might’ go to see him if there isn’t anything more interesting on the other stages! Heresy.

        1. My brother wagged school to queue for Beatles tickets in Coventry 1963. The local paper showed photographs of the queues which fortunately cut off just in front of my brother. I was eight.

          1. I did get to see them at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester in 1963 with my elder sister, she was 14 and I was 11. Our dad took us but we went in on our own.

      2. My only claim to fame is that I live 400 yards from the rather curious metal implants on Plymouth Hoe where this wonderful group of young chaps once planted their bottoms in thus iconic picture.

  12. Great fun at **/**** with 20d being my favourite although there were lots of contenders. A very even puzzle I thought with some really enjoyable clueing. Thanks to the misters.

  13. Sorry but I am going to buck the trend because I didn’t get on with this at all. Despite setting off at a cracking pace, I came to a grinding halt and no amount of leaving and returning helped. Neither could I break into the Chalicea Toughie, which is unusual for me. So, sorry to rain on the parade but not my favourite. I think the visit to the podiatrist this morning threw me out of kilter.

    Many thanks to the setter – not your fault I could not get on with your puzzle. Thanks to Mr. K for the much needed hints.

    Wordle in 3 so that’s some consolation.

      1. I’ll say! I haven’t ground to a full stop like today for ages.

        She didn’t give me much 5d! :grin:

        1. I had the podiatrist this morning, optician this afternoon and dentist tomorrow. Full MOT. Miraculously I Wordled in 3 as well.

          1. I have dentist and physio tomorrow and had ECG today. Would love to have the podiatrist as I’m desperate but for some reason they saw fit to give me an appointment when I said I was away and refuse to give me another until the end of June. Last time I pay for a plan with them. Wordle in 3 for me too

          2. I agree. It is such hard work trying to stay fit and well. And that’s when you’re reasonably healthy in the first place.

    1. Wordle in 35 today but with my wife withdrawing her two machines I will have to try to finish it in less than 24. I have not completed one yet but have a run of I don’t know how many.

  14. Lots of fun while it lasted. Nice range of clues, some odd surfaces, and enough to exercise the OGCs. Laurels shared by 13a and 18a.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Setter and to MrK

  15. Ever so slightly grumpy as George mistook a pointed cabbage for a cos lettuce which made the salad hard work. But it gave me something to chew on whilst working on today’s puzzle. I got into a bit of a mess with putting ‘al’ at the end of 13a, being a naked male. I have limited experience of the genre. Also it is crickety, or maybe footbally which fills me with as much horror as orange juice with bits upsets Terence.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K – how DO cats get themselves in such predicaments?

    1. Ditto with al at the end of 13a. I was slow with 5d as I thought it must be a cricketing term. It isn’t. It is as Mr K says and means support or foundation.

  16. Well I struggled mainly in the NE but slowly unravelled when I got 1d. I just didn’t see the anagram. There were several others I could not parse even when the answer was obvious eg 9 and 13a and 14d. Favourites 18 and 27a and 3 5 and 20d. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  17. 2/4. So much better than yesterday’s challenge. 10,11,15 &18a we’re on the podium with the latter taking the gold. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  18. Not as easy as some would have you believe, but doable and enjoyable. I found the SW corner a bit tricky but saw the light before having to go for the hints! Also, thanks for explaining 14d, I got the answer from e-help, I had all the checkers but had no clue. Fave 20d.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun, and Mr. K for his hints and pics, loved the cats! Wordle in 5.

  19. Found this a puzzle of two parts. Bottom went in easily, but the top half was really tough and tricky. Overall 2.5*/2.5* today.
    Favourites include 13a, 21a, 23a & 18d with winner 13a.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    Wordle in 5 and Canuckle 3

  20. Enjoyable and doable. 15a my favourite reminding me of Benny the Dip. Thanks to Mr K as usual and to whoever is the setter of this fine puzzle.

    1. Hi, Corky. How are things? Love your Wordle comments since I have managed to forgo the pleasure. I have pre-ordered the new Herron, Bad Actors, which should arrive on 16 May. Can’t wait but will have to. Meanwhile, I’m re-reading some old Willa Cather novels, having recently discovered her wonderful novel The Professor’s House.

  21. Found this a bit of struggle. Finally resorted to e help for the impossible clue and got a little weary working through clues with teens of words.
    Thanks to Mr K for the hints needed to complete the SW.

  22. A mixed bag of comments, with generally favourable reviews, on the whole…I thought the comment about “duel(l)ing” was a bit of a quibble – since we are talking of a British crossword with British spelling (and the clue only said “might be one…”). My own favourite – if I’m permitted to have one – was 18Ac; as it appealed to my sense of pun…See y’all next month – Ed permitting!

    1. Thanks for claiming this super puzzle, always appreciated when the setter pops by.

    2. Thanks for a very pleasant challenge, X-Type, and for joining us. I chuckled when 18a dawned on me. Nice clue.

  23. Rather enjoyed this one in spite of being defeated by 1a (don’t care for this word), forgot the lovely word for 15a (not used over here), and bunged in sun dried at 18a, which didn’t work. 19a took a while, until I remembered that we called it an earth wire in England, but it is a ground wire here. All good fun. Even better, did Wordle in 2, but came back to earth with Canuckle in 4. Thanks to setter and Mr K. LOL at the car squeezing under the door. Proof of their pliable bones.

  24. No real problems with this super crossword, I did have to think a bit though. My last in was 1a which was a new word for me but I followed the instructions and came up with something that looked about right and looked it up. Lo and behold it was. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to X-Type and Mr. K.

  25. Enjoyed this one. Put a few in quite quickly and then finished a beat or two ahead of my husband, although we did have to give each other a couple of hints. Better than one we did last week, which took days! Wordle in 2 too, so a good day all round.

  26. I had the opposite experience to Mr K: I got into this puzzle very quickly, solving several on my first pass … then got stuck and failed to finish it.

    I have a few intersecting answers remaining at the right-middle. I managed to parse them correctly (and have verified that with the hints), but just can’t think of the correct synonyms or work out the anagrams for them — and don’t have enough crossing letters to bung in what fits.

    But I did enjoy the clues that I solved, so thank you to the setter for the puzzle. My favourite was 18a; I also marked 13a, 20d, and 17d. And thank you to Mr K for the hints, which at least confirmed I was thinking along the right lines.

  27. 3*/3*….
    liked 12A “Macerate bats to make Cornish treat? (5,3)” …. also the pic of the sweet in the hint to 23A.

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