DT 29977 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29977

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29977

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday. I thought today’s puzzle was standard Tuesday fare, with nothing too obscure or convoluted to disrupt the solve. 

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 or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Planted, is plant okay? (12)
SATISFACTORY:  Join together planted in a chair, IS from the clue, and a plant that makes stuff

9a    Coming back, changing direction again? (9)
RETURNING:  The answer, possibly hyphenated (2-7), could also mean changing direction again

10a   Asleep, Ian often holds Joanna (5)
PIANO:  The combination of the first three words of the clue hides (holds) the answer, which is here defined informally

11a   Large amount of people run in tiny underwear (6)
THRONG:  The cricket scoreboard abbreviation for run is inserted in a type of skimpy underwear 

12a   Staggering, drunk nun isn't good (8)
STUNNING:  An anagram (drunk) of NUN ISN’T followed by the single letter for good 

13a   His Excellency advanced and was first to be cured (6)
HEALED:  Put together the abbreviation for His Excellency, the single letter for advanced, and a word meaning “was first” 

15a   I envy cad's bad, perverted behaviour (8)
DEVIANCY:  An anagram (…‘s bad) of I ENVY CAD 

18a   Regularly ruins German fellow's food (8)
RISOTTOS:  Alternate letters (regularly) of RUINS followed by a German male name with his ‘S from the clue 

19a   Small exercises encapsulating the woman's discipline (6)
SPHERE:  The clothing abbreviation for small with some usual exercise containing (encapsulating) a pronoun for “the woman’s” 

21a   Bearing gifts for the audience (8)
PRESENCE:  A homophone (for the audience) of some gifts 

23a   Complete discretion after Northern Ireland's backtracking (6)
INTACT:  A synonym of discretion comes after the reversal (backtracking) of the abbreviation for Northern Ireland 

26a   Horse-riding competition just ahead of time (5)
EVENT:  A synonym of just placed before (ahead of) the physics symbol for time 

27a   Explain clue I cracked with girlfriend, perhaps (9)
ELUCIDATE:  An anagram (cracked) of CLUE I with what girlfriend could define by example (perhaps)

28a   Telling niece off for sharpness (12)



1d    Lengthen  sentence (7)
STRETCH:  Double definition, with the second being slang 

2d    Egyptian king or teacher (5)
TUTOR:  The informal contraction of an Egyptian king with OR from the clue 

3d    Demanding second appointment, finally call hospital department (9)
STRINGENT:  Concatenate the single letter for second, the final letter of APPOINTMENT, call on the phone, and a usual abbreviated hospital department 

4d    Writer's wrong conclusion removed (4)
AMIS:  A synonym of wrong minus its last letter (conclusion removed

5d    Old and grand wearing tie in concert (8)
TOGETHER:  The single letters for old and for grand inserted together in (wearing) a synonym of tie 

6d    Rent now almost rising somewhere in Yorkshire (5)
RIPON:  Rent or tear with all but the last letter (almost) of the reversal (rising, in a down clue) of NOW 

7d    Losing king, kept ace in original card game (8)
PATIENCE:  An anagram (original) of KEPT ACE IN minus the chess abbreviation for king (losing king) 

8d    Internet company ignoring last year's awkward delivery (6)
GOOGLY:  A well-known internet search engine minus its final letter (ignoring last) is followed by the single letter for year. The definition is crickety   

14d   Met socialist after a news broadcast (8)
ANSWERED:  An informal synonym of socialist comes after both A from the clue and an anagram (broadcast) of NEWS 

16d   Approaching naughty child then stopping (9)
IMPENDING:  A naughty child with stopping or finishing 

17d   Study Greek island for real (8)
CONCRETE:  A synonym of study is followed by the largest Greek island 

18d   Blow that is with queen's sword (6)
RAPIER:  Assemble a blow or hit, the Latin abbreviation for “that is”, and the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

20d   Fanatical former lover getting married in plane? (7)
EXTREME:  A usual formal lover with what plane defines by example (?) containing the genealogical abbreviation for married (married in plane?) 

22d   Scoffed each toffee every night? Only at first (5)
EATEN:  An abbreviation for each is followed by the initial letters (… only at first) of the next three words in the clue 

24d   American adult caught in trap once more (5)
AGAIN:  An abbreviation for American is followed by the single letter for adult inserted in (caught in) a type of trap 

25d   Ship's outside  northern port (4)
HULL:  The outer surface of a ship is also a port in the north of England 


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue today was 1a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  ART + HEN + SEOUL = HEART AND SOUL

57 comments on “DT 29977

  1. I can’t say I sailed through today’s offering but I did complete it sooner than the later I usually take. That is not to say it was easy, there were several posers where a little lateral thinking was required such as 1a and 20d. I struggled with the wrong plane and marriage in 20d for a while and that held me up slightly. Overall, an enjoyable solve with my COTD being 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thanks, also, to Mr. K. for the hints.

    Wordle in 3 and Waffle with 4 left.

  2. Today’s offering was 1a with no 15a. I sat in my runless 11a using my 18d 28a and 7d to 27a until all clues were 14d and the grid was 23a.
    I’m not totally comfortable with intransitive use of 27a, or the underwear. Sorry if either have been triggering.

  3. Straightforward stuff. Nothing too exciting. Thanks to today’s setter and Mr K.

  4. A straight forward puzzle clearly clued,quite a few old chestnuts thrown in but generally liked the concise surfaces eg 28a and 25d.
    2d made me smile, enjoyed the solve and agree with 2K,s **/***.
    Liked the pun-thanks setter.

  5. Mr K gets it right with **/*** an enjoyable Tuesday offering the best of which clues I thought were 1a and 6d. Nothing too taxing and evenly composed. Thanks to Mr K and our setter from a blue sky Plymouth.

  6. Good fun, pleasant puzzle–all except for the use of ‘amount’ in 11a, when ‘number’ or ‘numbers’ is preferable–one of my pet peeves. I’ll go along with Mr K and choose 1a as my favourite. Thanks to him and today’s setter. 2* / 2.5*

    1. Matt’s cartoon about the chap being thrown out of a shop for saying less rather the fewer was making the same point.

  7. Nothing troublesome here at all in what was a rapid and enjoyable solve with few hold ups. 27a and 8d were my co-favourites. The plane in 20d is becoming a fairly regular visitor in recent weeks.

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

  8. Fastest solve ever in what is, obviously for me, a brilliant puzzle. Not a complete write in but the checkers from the first sweep elucidated the remaining few. Liked 12d because it reminded me of Deborah Kerr who was terrific in Black Narcissus and stunning in many other films.

    Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

  9. I enjoyed today’s crossword ; completed before I’d finished my coffee! Something of a record for me. There is one thing that has puzzled me since I started doing the DT xword some years ago and that is one of the prefixes that represents the word “study”. DEN and READ I’m okay with but I can’t work out CON. Perhaps someone can enlighten me.

    1. I agree. It’s in the dictionary as the nth definition, to learn or study but never used outside our world in my experience.

    2. The ODE says “con” is archaic:
      con /kɒn/
      ▶ verb (cons, conning, conned) [with object] archaic study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing): the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.
      – origin Middle English cunne, conne, con, variants of can.

    3. I seem to remember that the boys in Billy Bunter were always conning things!

  10. No hold-ups beyond 1a which took a while to register – thank goodness for checkers!
    I’ll put that one on top of the pile with 27a close behind, lovely word.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review.

  11. Solid Tuesday fare, a pleasantly swift solve after a slow first minute or two; LOI was 4d, with a loud clang as the coin fell. Plenty of smiles and good, smooth, concise, clueing; I agree with Robert C about the jarring 11a – IMV one may have a large amount of sugar, but not of people! 20d might be a growing chestnut but it had an Hon Mention tick from me, as did 25d and 14a.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  12. 1*/3.5*. This was light and fun. Thankfully neither of the two definitions for 1d was a 1d. :wink:

    I agree with Robert @6 about the misuse of “amount” in 11a.

    My podium places go to 1a, 27a, 2d & 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  13. I thought this was at the easier end of a Tuesday puzzle with lots to like. Took me a while to remember the skimpy wear, jolly uncomfy I would think. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Toughie not too bad either although still got 5 left.

  14. Decent Tuesday crossword, solved while undertaking a nightmare on-line ‘journey’ to secure FA Cup Final tickets. Hooray! I succeeded but (for the widely known reasons) Chelsea’s admin is a shambles at the moment. Irrelevant I know, but good to get off my chest.

    Thanks to the setter, and The Celebrated Mr K.

  15. This and its companion Toughie did not keep me up late and even gave me some time to start reading Ken Follett’s latest ‘door stop’ Never before lights out – 1*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 11a, 21a, and 1d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. I just finished Never last week. Talk about thought provoking. Enjoy the read.

  16. Enjoyed very much. Probably quickest solve for me- a write in apart from 4d which needed a quick trawl through the alphabet. I could not be certain I was looking for an author. Ia and 1d my favourites. Probably more but I normally circle them while cogitating. Thanks Setter and Mr K

  17. Smooth, quick progress to last in, 4d.
    This took just a bit longer.
    Loved the Lego clue, 5d
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  18. As Una says, very 1a! Extremely quick solve for me, and rather a pleasant stroll. */ ***.

  19. Only one complaint – we only seem to have one cat (well, two in one picture) but very 1a as has already been said. 5d was my favourite with 2d a close second – is anyone going go complain about obscure Egyptian gods? I do so agree with Robert about incorrect usage generally, less and fewer is one of my soapboxes. Thanks to Setter and Hinter. PS I got the crickety one – yea!

  20. Like MG 4d the only head scratch (Kingsley & Martin taking far longer than they ought to have to register) in an otherwise speedy solve. No particular favourite but a nice puzzle nonetheless.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K
    Wordle in 4

    1. H
      Having had Canuckle, waffle, quordle, added to wordle I am trying to get my new game coded. You enter a 5 letter word, the program checks if it is in its dictionary. If it isn’t “not acceptable word” is displayed. If it is, all the squares go green & “Congratulations you’ve solved in ONE” pops up. I’ve called the game Doddle.

        1. I’ve already mentioned one that embraces pets – Canoodle! :-)

          See what I did there?

            1. How come you answered that in less than a minute? I thought that comments didn’t appear to others for 5 minutes, whilst vetting by the management takes place.

              Yes, that joke (if you can call it that) is a true cruciverbal one – I’ve purposely omitted the punctuation (embraces, pets). Most of my adult life I’ve had to explain my humour to people – and then they still don’t get it or think it’s funny. I’ll get me coat …

  21. Unlike RD I really didn’t find this particularly light nor much fun but made it however without persevering to parse 3d. East fell in line first. No Fav(s). Thanks to Messrs. K and Ron.

  22. A nice puzzle for Tuesday this week. 2*/4* for me.
    Favourites include 15a, 27a, 6d, 16d & 25d with winner 6d followed closely by 25d for the simplicity

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

    Wordle and Canuckle in 4

  23. Somewhat gentle even for a Tuesday. Very pleasant and uncontroversial with nothing really outstanding.
    Thanks to NYDK and Mr K. Even a dog lover like me misses the cats!
    Didn’t know “Our Nicola” had been beatified (picture with “halo” in this morning’s paper).🤔

  24. Light, breezy and enjoyable just about sums this up for me.
    Favourite was the amusing 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for a top blog.

  25. 2/4. Enjoyable puzzle which didn’t cause me any issues other than 4d which was my LOI. Favourite was 10a closely followed by 21a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  26. A good puzzle which I found very accessible at first then got stuck on both four letter words. Typical for me it seems. Enjoyed it though. Thankyou.

  27. Enjoyed this – took a while for the penny to drop for 1a, for this reason my COTD. A question: why are there always more across than down clues? Is it just a convention? Obviously, it can’t be a logical necessity as you could turn any grid through 90 degrees and swap the numbers…..

    1. Today’s cryptic puzzle (29977) has 14 across clues and 16 down clues?

      1. I’m sure that the answer to your conundrum is more difficult to solve?

    2. Sunday Toughie 14 had a 14a 16d split too but the crossword in the pic that Mr K put up there is a 16/16 split.

    3. Look at Sunday’s Dada – 16A/12D and then look at yesterday’s back pager – 12A/16D!

  28. I agree with above, a very 1a crossword indeed. Had a laugh when the undies became apparent. I believe the technical term for those showing above the waist band of trousers is a Whale Tail ! 🐋. 3d joins 1a and the whale tail on the podium.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  29. Nice crossword 😃 ***/*** liked 11a & 18a. I thought that an important part of the answer to 4d was the reference to Kingsley Amis a very famous English author as well as amiss with the final letter missing 🤔 Thanks as always to Mr K and to the Compiler

  30. A late start to today’s puzzle but fortunately the answers all slotted in easily. After entertaining late night and clearing up into the early morning I was grateful for nothing too taxing!
    Many thanks to the compiler and Mr K.

  31. Another fine puzzle, well within my comfort zone, something for us lesser mortals. Thanks to all.

  32. Light but fun. Favourite was 25 down. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  33. It’s a pity the setter hasn’t popped in unless I have missed his post, but I do think it’s the sign of a quality setter and puzzle where so many different clues are picked as favourites.

  34. An enjoyable puzzle today, with a good mix of easier and trickier clues. Had to give in and trade in my iPad this morning as mine was old and out of storage space. Perhaps the new one will make me a better solver! Thanks to setter and Mr K.

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