DT 29976 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29976

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29976

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja and a happy holiday to one and all.

Maybe it’s just me but I thought our Monday Maestro had turned up the wick a touch this week.  Very enjoyable with the usual elegant cluing and a couple of fifteen letter anagrams to please those who like that sort of thing.

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.


8a           Pray the Pope has a go in broadcast (4,7,4)
HOPE AGAINST HOPE:  Anagram (broadcast) of THE POPE HAS A GO IN.

9a           Boxer from California (3)
ALI:  A lurker hiding in (from) the last word of the clue.  It’s a shame that the boxer in question is actually from Kentucky but we can’t have everything!

10a         In all seriousness, Jet’s leader sounds good in good American role (6,5)
JOKING APARTListen very carefully, I will say this only once . . .  Start with a J (Jet’s leader). After that you need two letters meaning sounds good or alright. Then you need the IN from the clue and a G(ood).  That’s the first word of the answer sorted out. The second is A(merican) followed by another word for a role in a play or film.

11a         Cake ingredient from Prague, peeled, brought back by son (5)
SUGAR:  Take the first and last letters off PRAGUE (peeled) and reverse what’s left (brought back) and place in by an S(on).

12a         Rare thing at golf club, right, during a defeat? (9)
ALBATROSS:  The word for a score of three under par on a hole.  It’s another word for a club and an R(ight)  placed inside (during) the A from the clue and a word meaning defeat.  Hands up those who thought this was just a rare thing and that the Golf was going to be a G in the answer.


15a         Pithy saying in abridged OT book (7)
PROVERB:  A book of the Old Testament without its last letter (abridged).

17a         Former French region — a French article about it when in Revolution? (7)
ALSATIA:  This is the old name for the area more commonly known as Alsace.  Take the IT from the clue and another word for when and reverse them (in revolution).  Around that (about) you need to put the A from the clue and a French definite article.

19a         Projectile, large, is located in sea (9)
BALLISTIC:  L(arge) and the IS from the clue  inserted into (located in) the sea that lies between Sweden and Poland.

20a         Spy, a well-bred chap (5)
AGENT:  The A from the clue and a word for a well-bred chap or toff.

21a         Fitting  finger (11)
APPROPRIATE:  Double definition.

24a         File doesn’t include river snake (3)
ASP:  Another word for a file without its R (doesn’t include R(iver)).

25a         Astounding rhyme represented part of Lent (9,6)


1d           Savoury pancake: season, then toss (6,4)
SPRING ROLL:  A season of the year followed by a word for to toss, some dice perhaps.

2d           Pot may cause crowd to quarrel (6)
JAMJAR: A crowd followed by a word that can mean to quarrel.  I thought this was two words but what do I know!

3d           Talk at length after knave produces hare (4,6)
JACK RABBIT:  Another word for a knave in a pack of cards followed by a word meaning to talk at length.

4d           Clerical dignitary removing hat immediately (4)
ANON:  A clerical dignitary without his first letter (removing hat).

5d           Book about extremely nonconformist island, legendary one (8)
ATLANTIS: A book of maps placed around (about) an NT (extremely NonconformisT) and an I(sland).  I suppose a purist would say that island is doing double duty here but I don’t mind at all.

6d           Piece of furniture, up to now unfinished (4)
SOFA:  A phrase meaning up to now but without its last letter (unfinished).

7d           Former prime minister’s  collection of butterflies? (6)
HEATHS: A former PM from the early 1970’s with the S added becomes the plural of a type of butterfly.

8d           Advance warning given by senior teachers in revolt (5-2)
HEADS UP:  Some senior teachers followed by a word meaning in revolt or rising.

13d         Dessert made by French chef, male with short temper (10)
BLANCMANGE:  The surname of a French chef called Raymond followed by M(ale) and a word for temper or ire without its last letter (short).

14d         Likely to happen in short dance that’s exotic (2,3,5)
ON THE CARDS:  Anagram (exotic) of SHORT DANCE.

16d         Record poems describing one’s events (8)
EPISODES: A type of record, not LP but the other one, and some poems placed around (describing) IS (one’s).

18d         Stiff examination? (7)
AUTOPSY:  Cryptic definition of the examination of a stiff to find its cause of death.

19d         Composer has supporters surrounding him, but not I (6)
BRAHMS: Take the I out of the word HIM (but not I) and around what’s left (surrounding) place some supporters of a lady’s chest.

20d         Approach a meeting place (6)
AVENUE: A from the clue and a meeting place give the approach to a country house.

22d         Way of parking at hotel (4)
PATH:  P(arking), the AT from the clue and an H(otel) give a type of way or road.

23d         Runs over to assist attack (4)
RAID:  R(uns) placed before (over in a down clue) a word meaning to assist.

My three for the podium today are 7d, 12a and the amusing 18d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        PRY     +     FIR     +     TIES     =     PRIVATIZE

Bottom line:     MILL     +     WAR     +     KEY     =     MILWAUKEE

84 comments on “DT 29976

  1. 2*/4*. A typical light, fun Monday production with 8a, 13d and 18d my podium choices.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  2. A gentle stroll through Campbell’s world of quaint metaphors and idioms, very enjoyable.
    I thought the anagram at 8a very good but my favourite was 12a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers

  3. Just marred for me by 17a., my one failure I feel a tailless dog might have been better as a clue. I might even have solved it!
    My COTD is 18d

    1. I’m with JB, 17a was my one failure too. I’m glad to see that 25a has been given its proper title.

      Thanks to all.

      1. It’s been given its “proper title” but underlined incorrectly in the hints Pommers!

      2. I agree with both of you. I did think of alsace but couldn’t fit it in!

  4. Good Monday fare from Campbell, a little more challenging than usual possibly. An enjoyable start to the week, with Hon Mentions to 1a (good combined surface and solution) 13d and 5d, with COTD to the laugh-out-loud 18d. Campbell’s bonus online-only puzzle (706) was an equally enjoyable and a little swifter solve – can recommend it to those who have access.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  5. Enjoyable run through, I thought no real problems until 17a, my LOI. I had all the fodder and checkers and went through a tedious random word generation process in my head until I lit upon the, what turned out to be the blindingly obvious, answer! Thanks to setter and pommers for the hinting.

  6. 17a was my last one and I still cannot see where the S comes from. Would be OK if the second “French” was “Spanish”

    1. You need the IT from the clue and AS meaning when . Reverse them to get SATI and around that put the A from the clue and LA as the French article.

  7. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Although, 17a did get a slightly raised eyebrow.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 1d, and 19d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  8. Another nice Campbell puzzle. I have a sneaking feeling the answer to 18D should really be CHESTNUT, but it was a very pleasant glide through the clues today. */***.

  9. The first three words of the Quickie also produces something else…..2 words……………

  10. I found this a fairly gentle introduction to the crosswording week, with the long clues building a solid platform for a comfortable solve. 18d has to be my favourite for the LOL moment it created.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  11. Lovely crossword. I share the twinge about 17a though I do understand the parsing of it.

    Hooray – Lola only stuck her nose in my face once during the night so I enjoyed a much better sleep. It was very much needed after the angst of watching Chelsea lose at Everton in the most dismal fashion. If only my father hadn’t encouraged my addiction to football and Chelsea… I could be pursuing kite flying or knitting; both must be more rewarding than following Chelsea for sixty plus years.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

    1. You should worry. I ‘maintain an interest’ in Fulham, the first team I ever went to watch longer ago than I care to remember but I was still in short trousers, and Norwich City, I lived close by for 9 years of my service to HM, and they have been ‘trading places’ for the last several seasons.

      And, I did go to The Bridge once.

    2. Terence, perhaps you should explain to newer users of this site who Lola is and why she puts her nose in your face at night! Lola sounds as if she could be a floozy!

    3. Terence,
      Try being an Oldham Athletic supporter (my “other” team). Last week they became the first of the original Premier league teams to fall out of the league structure.

    4. Have followed Huddersfield Town for 70 years. Our two years of Premiership Football was a disaster and we are now in the automatic play off places. A seventh place position would have been fine but the prospect of going up fills me with dread. It’s the stuff of nightmares.

        1. Bijou
          Man U – I first went to Old Trafford in 1949 so was a lifelong fan. That is until the present pathetic lot showed just how many of today’s “superstars” have no pride in what any club means to its supporters. Hopefully tonight the faithful will show the “players” just how they feel by leaving before their lap of (dis)honour.

          1. Couldn’t agree more. I don’t know how they have the nerve to even think of a lap of honour. Things can only get better ?!

          2. The other week, I got talking to an old lady (85-ish, I’d guess) at a bus stop in a Derbyshire village. We somehow started discussing football and she told me she was born/raised in south Manchester and was a life-long City fan (like me). We chatted about City’s previous “golden era” from 1966 – 1970. She went on to relate that when aged about 20 she went out with Duncan Edwards (before he was in United’s first team) and after a few weeks, she dumped him. She was working as a typist/secretary and was earning a lot more money than him, and got fed up with paying for everything on their dates!

            1. Jose
              She must have liked younger men because DE was in the United first team when he was 16 and by the time he tragically died at 21 he had played over 150 first team games for United and had 18 England caps! I could bore for Britain on DE.
              Unusually in the 50s I supported both City & United, probably City more than United as I was a goalkeeper and City had Bert Trautmann and he was something to watch (Don Revie Roy Paul, Dave Eling et al weren’t bad either!).

              1. That is generally the tale she told, but it may be my assumption that he wasn’t yet in the first team because she was earning more than him (he obviously must have been). Maybe she was 19 and he 18, something like that. I just missed the Trautmann era; the first City goalie I saw was Harry Dowd in 65/66.Remember him?

                1. Jose,
                  Yes vaguely but it was Trautmann that I “idolised”. He followed the great Frank Swifft and the war was too close for many to accept an ex POW. Only surpassed by Lev Yashin, Gordon Banks and possibly Dino Zoff in my view. Sadly the modern ball has changed the way goalies play.

    5. 5 Premier League wins, 8 FA Cup wins, 2 Champions League wins etc etc. Sounds fairly rewarding to me!

  12. Lovely Monday fare from our setter both here and in the weekly on-liner. Goodness knows how he keeps up this standard week after week but it’s very much appreciated.
    Top three for me were 8&12a along with 13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – especially for the Fleetwood Mac and the pic of the genuine 20a!

  13. A most enjoyable puzzle apart from the same reservations with regard to 17a as others. When I saw the crenelated patterns in lines 1 and 15, I was on the alert fro a Nina but it was not to be. My two favourites are both down clues – 18 and 19 with 19d taking COTD because of its cheekiness!.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and pommers for the hints together with the best incarnation of Fleetwood Mac.

    Suffering from an extremely slow internet connection today so no idea if this will even post.

  14. 17a also my loi. However, enjoyed this a lot with several outstanding clues. Thanks to the setter and Pommers

  15. Plenty to enjoy in this puzzle. A fair few ticks but 18d was my favourite with 12a a close runner up.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  16. Pretty standard Campbell fare for me. Steady smooth solve with only 17a causing any problem.
    COTD 18d but 12a close second.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers. Please what was the video for 5d that my “uploader” would not allow in “your country”?

    1. Yes, I wouldn’t mind knowing as well. The Shadows playing “Atlantis” mayhap?

        1. I’ve read Donovan’s autobiography ‘The Hurdy-Gurdy Man’ He invented everything

  17. Very steady solve, and a new type of butterfly in 7D. 18D is my top pick. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  18. Well, I got the right title but wrong artist. :smile:

    Sorry – that was meant for pommers above.

    1. I’d forgotten the Shadows Atlantis. I prefer it to the Donovan track.

        1. Not at all. If I’d remembered it the Shadows is what I’d have used in the first place.

  19. Typical enjoyable Monday fare, my only hold up and last one in was 7d, twigged the ex pm but couldn’t see the connection to butterflies, I see I’m the only one to have trouble with it. 18d made me smile so that’s my favourite. Thanks to all.

  20. Late today, having read Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark into the wee hours and then fallen into the restful arms of Morpheus. Slept well with happy memories of two Campbell delights. The regular backpager gets a slight nod over the bonus one, I think, with 12a, 10a, and 19d topping my list; however, I am very much a 19d-ian: he’s one of my great passions. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ***

  21. Good puzzle with 18d a clear favourite. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell for their good work.

  22. Nice Monday puzzle light enough to allow plenty of time for the snooker, but still enough to get the grey matter working. I toyed with Algeria as the former French territory but not for long. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. Next frame on ttfn.

  23. Definitely a puzzle of two halves. The top was elegant and well written. The bottom was anything but.
    Needed the hints to complete the …… bottom bit. I have no idea what constitutes Lent, just another damn religious clue.
    Not my fav by a long chalk.
    ****/*(***/*** for the top alone).
    Thx for the hints.

  24. I enjoyed this, with no real problems apart from 17a so thanks to Pommers for the hints. Proud of myself for getting the golfy-3a pure guess from the checkers, I had to look it up. Also enjoyed yesterdays offerings but could not comment as, guess what, we took the train from Cambridge to Brighton – about two hours £20 return. Brilliant. Crossworded on the train. I haven’t been to Brighton for some years. Living in Cheam Village we were close to the Brighton Road and Daddy would drive us down, lunch at English’s, walk the dog along the beach, lovely. We couldn’t get into English’s as we had not booked but had a delicious fishy meal in Darcy’s and explored the jewellery quarter with next month’s wedding anniversary in mind (my mind). Had a bit too much to drink at lunch and had a dragon tattoo put up my leg which I may regret. I really felt I had been on holiday! Thanks to setters and hinters both.

    1. DG are you serious about the tattoo!! When my company had a conference in Dubai I had a henna tattoo all over one arm. Husband was absolutely furious not realising it would only last a couple of weeks. Didn’t know you could get a train from Cambridge to Brighton – did you have to change in London? Wish we’d done it when we lived there.

        1. Haha😝
          No, no changing trains and very few stops along the way. Lovely views of London as you go over the river. Spot the Wren churches amongst the skyscrapers! I remember when the high rise building was St Paul’s! Misses KingsCross and goes straight to st Pancras. I recommend it!

  25. Slow but steady progress until last in 17a.
    Could not resist the urge of wanting to insert a C and an E.
    But experimentation eventually brought the correct answer confirmed by parsing it.
    Memo to self – learn the synonyms of as.
    Many thanks, Campbell and pommers.

  26. Definitely a trickier Campbell puzzle then the usual Monday norm. 2.5*/4*
    Clues for the podium include 25a, 3d, 18d & 19d with 18d the winner.

    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    Wordle and Canuckle in 3 today … just good luck there.

  27. I always enjoy the two Monday puzzles from Campbell … almost reminiscent of Rufus?

    Thanks to him and also to Pommers.

  28. Just completed Cryptic 706 and rate 1.5*/4* … easier then the back pager today, I thought.
    Favourites include 11a, 21a, 3d, 5d & 23d with winner 5d … made me smile.
    Off for another wet walk with grandchild and dog.

    Thanks to Campbell for this one

  29. As with others 17a defeated me. Even if I had heard of this name for the region (only heard it named Alsace before), I doubt I would have worked this out.

    Never heard of the butterfly before either.

    Otherwise an enjoyable crossword.

    Thanks to all.

  30. Lovely Campbell offering even if a little trickier. I bunged 17a in without a thought, didn’t pause to parse, likewise 25a so missed that it was an anagram. Lots and lots to like here, 18d amused, if a little macabre, but fave was 19d.
    Thanks Campbell for a great treat and lots of fun, and pommers for un ravelling a few.

  31. Brilliant Crossword but quite a lot more difficult (in parts) than the usual Monday fare 🤔 ***/**** Favourites 1, 5, & 7d 😃 Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell👍

  32. 2/4. Good Monday fun held up by 10a when I quickly bunged in aside for the second word. Once I spotted my error normal service resumed. My favourites were 7&18d with the latter winning by a length. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  33. Can someone explain why my Monday May 2, 2022 crossword is number 706 and not this one above ?????

    1. Yes, on Mondays we have the pleasure of two Campbell cryptics, one is a prize. The one above is the regular backpager, that one 706 is the brawta.

  34. Struggled to get on wavelength & can’t recall a Monday puzzle taking so long to complete which serves me right for commenting yesterday that I’d finished in Campbell time – this took twice as long as Dada. 17a an educated guess & I’m going to need the review to explain what Ted has to do with butterflies. 18d my favourite even if it is an old chestnut.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  35. Thoroughly enjoyed this today. Managed most but needed a bit of help for which I thank you. 18d made me smile. Having been to quite a few, they aren’t as much fun as you might think !
    Thanks to all

  36. I got stuck on a handful, but as is often the way, when I sat back down after finishing some chores, the answers sprang to mind. With the exception of 17a, despite having visited the region and learnt a lot about their history from a very knowledgeable guide. I didn’t know the butterfly either, so that was a bung in. Very enjoyable and a good start to the week. Thanks to Campbell and Senf. Saving the 706 for the next time I feel utterly thick.

  37. I didn’t enjoy this much, a bit of a Curates egg for me. Like others I wasn’t keen on 17a, I too thought that 2d was two words, as a lifelong countryman I’ve never heard of a hare being called a 3d, 7d obscure or what? While I’m at it I’d never heard of the French chef either. I think I’ll leave it there. Thanks to Campbell anyway and Pommers.

  38. Coming late to this one. Had 20d in then scratched my head over pommer’s hint – no “h” in the meeting place I added to the “a” to get an approach.

Comments are closed.