DT 29991 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29991

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29991

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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

Good morning from The Roseland Peninsula where Nurse Ninepence and I are enjoying a holiday with my recently bereaved sister Susan. We will be enjoying a late lunch at Nare Hotel on their Quarterdeck if the sun stays out

All answers have been covered by the spoilers. If you can see the answers there isn’t anything I can do about it. The problem is being looked at but Big Dave tells me it is a complicated issue.

Probably not a Giovanni as he is on Toughie duty and not enough RayT isms for it to be one of his although we do have a low word count for the clues

I will be adding a little hint on solving at the end of my Thursday back page blogs for a while. They may or may not help your solving techniques but at least I tried

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Stuffed with duck, kipper cooked for snack (4,3)
PORK PIE: An anagram (cooked) of KIPPER includes the round letter that resembles the score in cricket known as a duck. It is very considerate of today’s setter to provide something to munch on so early in the solve. Hang on for a minute while I fetch a knife and some mustard

5a France goalie, beaten, leaves (7)
FOLIAGE: A single letter abbreviation for France is followed by an anagram (beaten) of GOALIE

9a Enormous insect covering a small distance (7)
MAMMOTH: A chiefly nocturnal flying insect surrounds the letter A from the clue and an abbreviation for a very short distance. A millimetre. That’s not very far at all when compared to something vast like a light year

10a Clear but not subtle (7)
OBVIOUS: A double definition. Need I say more?

11a Marcher to roam with mother breaking leg (9)
ORANGEMAN: This marcher marches in Protestant parades mostly in Northern Ireland but also in Glasgow. A verb meaning to roam plus a two-letter term of endearment for your mother sit inside another term for the leg side in cricket

12a Aubergine served for starters with chicken pasty? (5)
ASHEN: The initial letters of Aubergine and starters are followed by what a chicken can also be known as. The chicken pasty is a nice bit of misdirection from today’s setter

13a Lecherous god for example right to save time (5)
SATYR: A word meaning for example and the abbreviation for right surround the abbreviation for time

15a Hurdler say in line runs in stockings (9)
RACEHORSE: A word synonymous with a line or the peoples of a nation is followed by a word meaning stockings into which the cricketing abbreviation for runs has been inserted. That is three cricketing references within the first eight clues

17a Disorderly Irish sort often in pub (9)
IRREGULAR: The abbreviation for Irish is followed by an habitual frequenter of the same pub God bless his little cotton socks

19a Mogul governor in Washington wearing collar (5)
NAWAB: The regular abbreviation for Washington State sits inside a verb meaning to collar or arrest a villain

22a Teaching degree presented by setter perhaps (5)
DOGMA: A degree awarded to a Master of Arts sits after a setter. Not a setter of crossword puzzles. A setter with four legs and a waggy tail. A species seemingly owned by about ninety nine percent of the population

23a Rude song about hotel cat (9)
SHORTHAIR: Begin with a word meaning rude as in terse. Add a three-letter word meaning a song or melodious tune. Betwixt these two words insert the letter suggested by hotel in the phonetic alphabet. The answer is a type of cat. Quite the opposite of a Norwegian Forest Cat.

25a Fruit dessert to arrive without container (7)
COMPOTE: A word meaning to arrive sits around a container. The sort of container one might use to cook this fruit and syrup preserve which will go down nicely once I’ve finished the comestibles at one across. I do hope there is some beer later to wash it down

26a Fast runner no sporting sort we’re told (7)
CHEETAH: This fastest of land animals sounds like (we’re told) a very unsportsmanlike person

27a Following on is straightforward (7)
SINCERE: A word meaning following or between then and now is followed by a regular term for on

28a Rudeness almost put off consumer (3-4)
END USER: Anagram (put off) of RUDENESS minus its last letter as indicated by the word almost


1d Vain Englishman and American crossing river (7)
POMPOUS: A three part charade 1 A Brit as described by an Australian 2 A river in Italy 3 An American as described by the initial letters of his country

2d Sheep bit castle defenders here? (7)
RAMPART: A male sheep is followed by a piece or segment

3d Verifying which six must leave tip? (5)
PRONG: A word meaning demonstrating the truth or existence of something needs the Roman numerals for six removing

4d Unfinished Harper Lee novel about month passing (9)
EPHEMERAL: An anagram (novel) of HARPER LEE minus its last letter plus the abbreviation for month

5d Father now struggling to make headlines? (5)
FROWN: The abbreviation for father is followed by an anagram (struggling) of NOW

6d Through time, hard to stop gaunt monster (9)
LEVIATHAN: A four part charade. 1 A word meaning through or by way of. 2 The abbreviation for time. 3 The abbreviation for hard. 4 A word meaning gaunt or thin. Arrange as per the wording of the clue

7d Second drink from anonymous person? (7)
ANOTHER: A word meaning a second of anything really when split 1,1,5 refers to an unknown person. This is often used on team sheets when management are not sure who is available for selection. The second drink here might as well be a beer to wash down 1 and 25 across

8d Being in German city church (7)
ESSENCE: The second largest city of the Ruhr in Germany is followed by the abbreviation for the Church of England

14d Complex procedure to fix poor morale (9)
RIGMAROLE: A verb meaning to fix up equipment is followed by an anagram (poor) of MORALE

16d Concern about handle in case (9)
CARTOUCHE: A verb meaning to handle with the fingers sits inside another verb meaning to show concern or worry

17d Installs fashionable pipes (7)
INDUCTS: A two-letter word meaning trendy or popular is followed by some pipes. The pipes in an air conditioning system perhaps

18d Diet has military group shedding tons (7)
REGIMEN: A large body of soldiers needs to lose the abbreviation for tons

20d Anger consumes one beginning to sample spirits (7)
WRAITHS: A word meaning great anger surrounds the letter that looks like the number one. This is followed by the initial letter of the word sample

21d Townsperson‘s husband tucked into fast food (7)
BURGHER: The abbreviation for husband sits inside a type of fast food served all around the world

23d See GI shot in prolonged attack (5)
SIEGE: Anagram (shot) of SEE GI

24d Material from precious daughter (5)
TWEED: Begin with an adjective meaning excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty or sentimental and add the abbreviation for daughter

Quickie Pun Wooster + Sheer = Worcestershire

Crossword solving the MP way 

As you begin a cryptic crossword puzzle read each clue in turn. Across clues followed by the down clues.
Try not to dwell on individual clues. If a clue offers you nothing, move on.
Put in what you can and repeat the process until finished. Checking letters will help on subsequent reading through
Each clue will become more familiar each time you read it and may offer a way in on a later read


64 comments on “DT 29991

  1. I thought this a pretty tough ***/*** and found 11a, 19a and 16d particularly hard. My two favourites were 22a and 3d both relatively easy but enjoyable. Thanks to the setter for the challenge and Miffypops for the hints just about not needed. The Idle Rocks is great and a late lunch sounds top notch!

  2. Very enjoyable, almost Ray T like, and at the trickier end of the back pager spectrum with some well concealed definitions.
    I liked several including 5,11,17,22&27a plus 4&5d. Good stuff indeed.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for the fun, enjoy your lunch.

  3. Well I finished but several were bung ins, like 27a, I knew it was right but just couldn’t see it. The little 19a my COTD because I saw the collar at once. Chilly and overcast here and still waiting for rain. Thanks to the setter and MP for clarifying my answers.

    1. Overnight and this morning we’ve had the most rain we’ve had all year, only about a third of an inch but the garden seems happier already

  4. I found this very tough but it was a source of satisfaction to me to finish it. As a gymnasium is to the body so this was to the brain, excellent for toning and making it fit and more enjoyable in retrospect than it was at the time. The clues were mostly jolly clever, although my mind is not on the same wavelength as the compilers, to whom many thanks for the challenge. Thanks also to MP, as I needed the hints for about half a dozen clues, in which the parsing was not completely clear to me.

  5. Very clever but far too clever for me, I’m afraid.

    Thanks to the setter for the thrashing and huge thanks to Miffypops for making sense of it for me.

  6. Enjoyable crossword. 16d was new to me.
    Hats off to The Miff for his witty hints and commentary.

    I cannot dilly nor even dally as I am off out to luncheon with H and The Youngster.

    Thanks to the setter and The Miff.
    Big Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

  7. A nice level of difficulty for the Thursday slot, I feel. The cluing is super-tight throughout, with many very nice examples, so rather hard to settle on an outright winner. I very much like the two foodie clues, and the very well-made anagram at 4 down, but I’ll plump for the gorgeous 3 down as best in a classy show.

    Many thanks to MP (sound guidance in your PS, I’d say) and to the gifted Mysteron.

  8. A game of two halves. Raced through the LHS but found the RHS a bit tougher. Thanks to today’s setter and MP.

  9. I didn’t enjoy this very much at all, as I needed far too much outside help and would never have worked out 6d. Thanks, however, to Miffypops for his explanations and hints.

  10. This was tough but I got there unaided. I struggled for ages with parsing 4d as I was trying to work the anagram losing the last letter of HARPER LEE as opposed to the last letter of HARPER.

  11. Like Jonners West went in smoothly save for a a prompt or two but East was a different story however overall it was a fun challenge with which to do battle. Needed help with 12a, 17a, and 27a. 23a was a bung-in thanks to my paucity of knowledge re things feline. 5d my Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

  12. Enjoyed that, even though some of it was tricky. Same as Manders, I couldn’t see the reasoning behind my answer for 27a (my LOI), but thanks to MP’s review, I now see that’s because I was fixated on it being a double definition. ***/**** (thinking about it, possibly would have squeaked into ** time, if I hadn’t repeatedly had to move furniture to try to get the sun’s glare off the screen – not that I’m complaining about the sunshine!).

  13. Phew, this was hard going.
    Completed unaided, though, apart from checking the spelling of 6d which I can never remember.
    Its complex parsing followed, the wrong way round!
    Certainly clever clueing, eg 5d and 7d.
    So, 4*/5*.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  14. Certainly at the tougher end of back-pagers today but all fell into place at a canter until the SE corner, which took a while, though I couldn’t see why when I’d finished. Neat, short clues were very clever I thought. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review. Here on the North Downs the (welcome) rain has been replaced by a warm sunny day.

  15. For the first time ever, today the answers were all looking at me in bold capitals. I do hope Big Dave manages to solve this problem quickly.

  16. An excellant Thursday puzzle. Fine, concise clues providing a good challenfge and much enjoyment. Too many ticked to pick a favourite. 3.5*/4.5*.

    *23d. The answer is an anagram of SEE GI, and also the word SEE containing GI reversed. Quirky!

  17. An enjoyable, if tricky, crossword – although the clues were concise, I assumed it wasn’t RayT as there isn’t a single one of his usual suspects present, which suits me just fine

    Thanks to the setter and MP

  18. Finished in about *** time. Bit of thought required for some and needed the synonyms for a couple. Gradually it all came together with no particular problems, although I would query some of the definitions, e.g cartouche which I only think of as a label or plaque or something around a hieroglyphic.
    Not greatly enjoyable ***

  19. 5a reminded me of the French goalkeeper with a most inappropriate name … Dominique Dropsy!

  20. Very difficult – jolly glad that most seem to agree.
    When I first read the clues this morning I thought something had gone wrong – it was a year ago this week that my brain stopped working properly and I almost thought something had gone wrong again – :phew: . . . .
    I wonder who set this one – nothing feels at all familiar – not to me anyway.
    I’m going to keep going for as long as I’m still getting an occasional answer and then I’ll head off towards MP’s hints.
    Thanks to whoever did set this little piglet of a beastie and to MP for all the hints that I’m going to need today.

      1. Definitely one to take your time with, Kath and definitely a snorter of a piglet. Keep well, onwards and upwards.

  21. What a real ….. this is. Needs so much effort it becomes a real drudge. Very few clues that would be called favourite.
    Very much not one for me even having finished it but only with the excellent hints.
    Far too difficult for a back pager, AS HAS BEEN SAID SO MANY TIMES BEFORE – LEAVE THESE FOR THE TOUGHIE!

    1. Totally agree Brian. I suspect crosswords of this high standard thrill the experienced puzzlers but alienate the silent majority. Surely the whole point of the toughie is to cater to those seeking a stiff challenge and not have the back page at a very similar level?

  22. Enjoyable crossword relatively straight forward with a couple of tricky ones e.g. 16 and 20d 🤔 ***/*** Favourites 25a, 26a and 3d 😃 Thanks to MP and to the Compiler 🤗 Sun’s out Surf’s up 🌞🏄‍♂️here comes Summer😎

  23. Very satisfying to finish this tough puzzle last night. I wondered if the setter might be Mr T in disguise, but apparently not; anyway, the clues had that trademark briskness with his brand of trickery embedded. Lots to like but I think that 5d gets my nod for COTD with just about all of the others cited for honourable mention. Thanks to MP and today’s setter. 2* / 4*

    1. I found it difficult today but only had half an hour to try and solve it before going out. I’ve been having a second go but eventually realised success wasn’t going to happen. So thankyou for the much needed hints. I’ve finished Bad Actors Robert ! Don’t think it was as good as some of the previous ones, mainly because River was missing !
      Thankyou all.

      1. Hi, Bijou. I have about 75 pages to go in Bad Actors, and I’m afraid I agree with you so far–not only because of the absence of River (I kept hoping…) but also because the narrative is just not as brisk and captivating as in previous iterations. But right now, with Taverner on the roof, maybe things will pick up. Thanks for staying in touch.

        1. I agree that it lacks the sharpness of previous versions and less realistic sometimes. However I think you will enjoy the ending !

  24. Tougher than the toughie….certainly took longer.
    A slow slog but all fairly clued.
    Thanks to Setter….maybe toughie next….
    Thanks to MP who may be sleeping off lunch.

  25. Other than the two across the top of this puzzle I found it really hard going today. Toughest of the week so far. 3.5*/3* today.
    Many didn’t come easily and some of the parsing hard to decipher even though the bung-in answer was correct.
    Favourites include 1a, 26a, 1d, 5d & 17d with no clear winner.
    19a a new word for me.
    5d, 10a & 26a all made me smile.

    Thanks to setter and MP for the hints.

    Wordle in 3 and Canuckle in 4 today

  26. I knew after completing yesterday’s puzzle that it was likely we would pay the price today. I had to keep looking at the top to remind myself that I hadn’t printed today’s Toughie by mistake. Only 8 answers so far. 1a went straight in, but I would never eat one for a “snack”. Part of a lunch, say with salad and pickles, yes.I am so far off wavelength I pass on this one. Thanks anyway to the setter and to the very smart Miffypops.

  27. Good towards-the-end-of-the-week backpager, not a Toughie, but also definitely not a Fluffy. Very satisfying to complete, with the SE holding out the longest – because I went for Nabob (an online definition confimed Mughal governor) despite being unable to parse it, which meant I then spent ages trying to justify bhaktal or bhaktas for 20d (bhakti being in the BRB as devotion to a god, hence in my mind spirits…). Correcting to the right Mogual boss-man sorted the problem, but not before hitting 3* time.

    A generous dollop of anagrams, some cracking clues, a super puzzle. Hon Mentions to 1d, 11a, 23a and 27a, with COTD to 12a – great clue, immediately knew it couldn’t be an edible pasty because a proper pasty only has beef, swede, potato and onion … anything else and it’s just a pie!

    3* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and to MP.

  28. Was getting there slow and steady and enjoying the journey before coming to a grinding halt in the South East. Having reluctantly resorted to Miffypops excellent hints I was relieved to find the two villains of the piece, 16d and 23a, were words I’d never heard of. Somehow that made me feel better!

    Thanks to the compiler for some ingenious clueing -3d and 5d particularly – and to MP for the appetizing commentary!

  29. Oh my goodness! So disheartening to only find 4 answers after the first read through and be eluded by the wavelength. Just the time to make use of the hints!! Really not my favourite puzzle of the week (or even the month), so thank you Miffypops.

    On another topic – has anyone heard of, attempted or solved Cain’s Jawbone? Written in 1934 by a crossword compiler.

  30. Like Steve Cowling this baffled me almost completely. However with Miffypops excellent hints I managed to finish and am looking forward to more tips for solving.

    A big thank you to Miffypops and thank you kindly setter for reminding me how little progress I am making.

  31. I’m enjoying this one although finding it difficult. I have 3 left which I will try one more time before reading the hints.
    I like the idea of ‘hints on solving a cryptic’ , except I’m too impatient for this hint and if I get a few acrosses in a row which I can’t do I move to the downs to use the few crossing letters I do have! It seems to work for me even if it’s not the most efficient way to do it.

  32. It will be such a relief when Big Dave solves the spoiler problem. As it stands, one cannot make use of the hints because the answer is in plain sight and this was a puzzle when I needed all the help I could get!

  33. On a beautiful sunny evening in Lancashire, there are more enjoyable things to do than a crossword I can’t do! Just couldn’t get my head round this one. Thanks to Miffypops for giving up Cornish holiday time, I’ll take a peek at the answers later.

  34. Hello. I made this one a little more thorny, realising full well it would probably end up being selected for one of the later slots in the week. Thanks to MP and everyone (including those who had a bit of a struggle) who commented — it was never going to be a Monday contender, but I hope it was good for those of you who like your puzzles a little more chewy here and there.


    1. Thank you NYD for popping in. Thorny for me was s bit of an understatement but MP’s hints explained a very interesting puzzle.

    2. Thanks for popping in, NYD. Yes, you thoroughly thrashed me today but, as Corky says, it was good to see Miffypops’ hints to see how clever the clues were.

  35. The word ‘another’ had a more subtle meaning in Bath where I lived as a child. The local paper, the Bath Chronicle and Herald published each weekday and in the summer months it contained the teams for forthcoming midweek cricket matches. It was not uncommon for a team to contain 11 A.N.Other. This way employers would not be aware of employees about to pull a sickie.

  36. A dnf with 5 clues needing the answers. It has been a long day today and was not at my best to say the least.

    25a was new to me (not a dessert person at all) as was 16d.

    26 and 27a and 14d were above my pay grade.

    Unwinding with a nice glass of vino calapso.

    Thanks to all.

  37. For the second time today the SE has been my nemesis but I got there eventually and all fairly clued. Favourite was 1a with the best examples made in Melton Mowbray. Thanks to NYD and MP. Leicester still holding out for a draw at Chelsea.

  38. Glad to see that I’m not alone in finding this tough. A DNF with 13a eluding me, but happy to crack 19a, 23a and 6d which were all new words for me.
    Favourites were 5d and 7d.
    Thanks to NYD and MP

  39. Crikey. No time for puzzles today but thought I’d just do the back pager quickly (fat chance) before lights out. Like Jonners I found the west easier than the east except I plodded through the former & staggered through the latter. Thought 15&23a plus 6&16d clues that could comfortably have graced a Toughie. 4d my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter & Miff – will read the review later.

  40. I’m in the tougher than usual camp also.
    But I like a good challenge even late at night.
    Just past midnight here and time for bed.
    Thanks to NY Doorknobs and to MP for the review.

  41. Thank you to NYD for a very clever and entertaining crossword, which was definitely a head scratcher for me. Thank goodness for MP’s wonderful hints which really helped me to get started. Well actually, to be honest he helped me throughout! I remember going to the Roseland Peninsular and walking to StJust in Roseland church and the beautiful gardens that led down to the estuary. It was so picturesque and quiet.

    1. Many years ago Sharon and I went to St Just near Lands End for a holiday. Some body asked if we were going to St Just in Penwith or St Just in Roseland. I’d never heard of St Just in Roseland but I thought it was such a pretty name that I had to visit. I still think St Just in Roseland is the prettiest village name in England and that The Roseland Peninsula is the prettiest name for a large area. We went to the church. It is the prettiest churchyard I have ever visited for sure. Thank you for your kind words above.

  42. I was surprised by *** as I sailed through this one. Then again I often struggle when it’s only * so that’s fair.

  43. Wow not only comments about how hard/difficult/easy the answers are but the added bonus of a review on villages. Just for the record I once visited London and was astonished at the number of persons simply wandering around looking at things.

  44. Coincidentally we were on the RP Sunday 22nd in similar circumstances. We live on North Coast but a trip out with sister in law to visit the lovely St Just in Roseland church, amongst other things. Called to show her The Rosevine at Rosevine across from Portscatho which was previously owned by our daughter and son in law.

    1. We usually visit The Rosevine Hotel or The Hidden Hut but we didn’t this year. Nor did we eat at The Driftwood which is always a winner

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