DT 29992 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29992

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29992

Hints and tips by Sloop John Bee

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from North Yorkshire. Deep Threat is having a well earned holiday, so Miffypops, Stephen L and myself will be rotating Friday blogging duties until he returns refreshed,
I have no real idea of gauging ratings so I will leave those alone for others to assess.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them. Better minds than mine are working on the uncovered spoilers that some people have been suffering from, please be patient it is apparently a complicated issue. in order to help in the meantime, I have put the spoilers below the hints, so if they are exposed on your browser careful scrolling won’t reveal them too soon.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Grandfather taking sides — that hurts, one complains (6)
Taking the sides of GrandfatheR an instruction to take the outer letters of, add an interjection expressing pain when hurt for a complainer.

oscar the grouch Memes & GIFs - Imgflip


4a Projected suffering after boozing in different places (8)
If you were suffering after boozing you may feel a bit like Oscar Split 4,4 and put the two words in different places and you are projected, rather like The Shambles in York. Never seen that quiet since the Harry Potter mob moved in.

The Shambles - Wikipedia

9a One should sit in bed to work, in the main (6)
A nice little “all in one” I think that is what is known as an “&lit”, in itself shorthand for “and literally so”. In order for this device to work, it should sit on the sea bed (in the main), when deployed correctly the flukes dig into the sea bed and secure the ship to which it is attached.


10a Cavil at Tube-rail returns showing invalidation (8)
A nice little lurker, and it is reversed too (returns in an across clue) hidden in the first four words of the clue.
Schoolboy humour compelled me to overemphasise the middle syllable in debates, which probably accounts for the fact that my motions (snigger) were rarely carried.


12a Queen perhaps given male gender? (8)
We are in the world of board games rather than palaces, a generic term for the pieces used to play the game misgenders the most active and powerful of them.

Lewis chess pieces

13a Father cycled — managed to get confused (6)
One’s Father or Dad “cycles” the first letter to the end, and adds a synonym of managed, to become muddle-headed or confused.


15a Remedies to host failing to accept Russian money (13)
Start with an anagram of to host, and insert the Russian currency unit (plural as we need another S) To expertly detect and remedy any problem mechanical or other.


18a Dragon’s den by the sea? (8,5)
Another all in one, The cheap B&B’s we used to visit in seaside resorts such as Scarborough or Blackpool were often run by very strict harridans who had many caveats about how and when one entered the establishment, ate meals or ran bathwater. They were often known as the Dragon and the answer we seek is another name for the B&B they run.


20a I say, Cadillac should be parked by American high-flier (6)
I from the clue and what a Cadillac is by example parked next to one of the usual Americans, A high flier who went too close to the Sun.


22a Rubbish set alight by crowd (8)
Set alight from a ship or plane perhaps, by to crowd an object to its capacity, a place where ones rubbish is disposed of. (Thanks RD)


24a Moaned, beginning to get annoyed about signs of doziness (8)
Start with the first letter (beginning) of Get, add a synonym of annoyed, containing the two letters cartoonists use to indicate doziness.


25a Book Sartre edited (6)
An anagram of the middle word. that leaves the first as the definition.

Think of Jack Lord in Hawaii 5 0  ” **** ’em Danno”


26a Implies knight is joking for the listeners (8)
A pair of homophones (for the listeners) that may cause some consternation, The title that a knight of the realm uses and some jokes or jests. I am not sure that it works for my ears but it’ll do.


27a Calculates 50 per cent of 13 — drink needed! (4,2)
The first 50% of the answer to 13a and a drink, is how we calculate the answer.




1d Gander caught in golf course (6)
G for golf, C for caught and a course , path or lane come together for a quick gander at something.


2d Possibly 50 musicians or 100 — that guy’s creative work is revolutionary (9)
I did like this, many moons ago When Mama Bee was introducing me to crosswords she had a list of common anagrams, CARTHORSE being one of them. Start with OR from the clue add the Roman numeral for 100 a contraction of he has, and a reversal (revolutionary) of a piece of creative work, create a group of musicians who may or may not be 50 in number (possibly)


3d This poser is after snappy conversation (9,6)
A poser follows (if you split the first word 5,4) a harsh conversation. You are doing this NOW! or at least checking on how your solve went.


5d Swerve stag maybe when do’s start is changed to five (4)
You don’t know the angst this clue caused me yesterday, but I basically failed to swap  the start of Do from a Stag or Deer and replace it with the Roman numeral for Five. I didn’t see the critter and failed to swerve. I would show the pics but I dont think even those with Muntjac problems would like them.


6d Drinks held up, bowed to both sides (5-10)
Several drinks when bought together and a burden borne on one’s back may make one bowed to both sides.


7d Prior to Quins trials, dropped now and then (5)
Alternate letters (dropped now and then) of qUiNs TrIaLs,


8d Something we say is elusive or remains? (4,4)
OR is a heraldic term for a precious metal, add what remains when we have crumbled away for a phrase that we say for something very elusive.


11d Decoration sported by a boater? (7)
A barely cryptic definition of the decoration around a boater.


14d Seven ingredients put in simmered — he added ginger? (7)
Another lurker. We want seven letters(ingredients) put in the next three words that satisfy the last word as the definition.


16d Funny things, boats, if a person stands on top (3-6)
Large passenger boats with the personal pronoun of one such as the Queen may use for short pithy jokes.


17d Concentrates while taking in game (8)
While is crosswordese for AS it takes in a popular card game and concentrates or shortens a piece of work.


19d Buzzer to get service in dump (3-3)
A thing that buzzes and the bonus you may give a waiter for not allowing the buzzer to alight on your soup perhaps.

Page 15) | Chris Beetles


21d A kiss in middle of night causes cancelling (5)
The clue gives us a lot of what we seek here, A from the clue, the letter that we use to represent a kiss, in from the clue, and the middle letter of niGht, cause the cancelling of one’s favourite show perhaps.


23d Hide in shower (4)
A Double def to finish, Hide as in the preserved skin of an animal and a rather fast shower of rain perhaps.


You may have noticed I stopped garnishing the blog with pictures as we are approaching the time I need to hit publish. Please feel free to add music and images as you like while I arrange to have my car repaired!

The Quick Crossword pun   PEAT + SIR + REAR  PIZZERIA

Today’s Music is in honour of the late great Vangelis.

80 comments on “DT 29992

  1. What a humdinger of a puzzle this turned out to be – a Friday ***/***** with some excellent clues including 9a, 12a and 3d the last getting the COTD accolade. On first pass I thought this looked impossible but as ever the cross checkers unlocked a consistently brilliant end to the week. Thanks to SJB for stepping in to cover MP and to whoever the setter is.

    1. You’ve said it all for me, looked impossible at first pass, but gathered pace to be quite friendly. A superb puzzle to end the week with a fine review by SJB……and the answers are covered, what’s not like!

  2. I struggled for an hour, thinking “blimey this is hard”, had just over half in and was looking at defeat by a back pager for the first time in ages….then realised I’d been doing the Elgar Toughie!
    After that this was an absolute joy from first to last. Standout favourite for me was the brilliant 18a.
    Thanks to the setter and John for the fun

    1. I also ticked 18a as excellent Stephen -then forgot to mention it! It did make me smile.

    2. You have said it all for me Stephen – brilliant. Internet connection is rubbish down here so this might never arrive. Thanks to the setter and SJB for keeping me amused whilst DD2 took the dogs on the beach

  3. For us, that made yesterday’s look like a breeze! The grid was slowly filled in, until just 22a and 19d were remaining, whereupon we stared at them seemingly endlessly as the clock ticked into 4* time. The struggle didn’t overly tarnish the enjoyment and appreciation of some clever clues.

  4. Welcome to back page blogging SLB. I thought “rather you than me” as I solved it, particularly with 8 down. Thanks for standing in and reviewing this puzzle and thank you Mr Setter for the puzzle particularly clueing 2 down as you did

    1. Thanks MP. I quite enjoyed the solve, finding it not too difficult. 2 and 3d were my favourites, 5d for personal reasons (If squeamish don’t zoom into the pic of my car) my least favourite. I got a bit too engrossed in some hints and ran out of time to decorate the blog and forgot to check the quickie pun but I hope it passes muster. Do the spoilers work?

      1. The spoilers do work John both on my phone and my iPad. The Quickie pun is ok too.

      2. I’ve looked at the car and the only thing wrong that I can see is the circle of stars. I’ve never had them on my cars

        1. The poor deer that hit me saw more than stars (briefly it didn’t suffer) and is still waiting for the Red Kites to come along and feed their young.

  5. Such puzzles as this extraordinary one, with a few specialised UK allusions (such as 18a, 19d, 22a, and a couple others, perhaps), do indeed shoot an arrow into my American Achilles Heel, as I was well and truly beaten by this puzzle. But I’m certainly not complaining and will be quick to add that this was not only the puzzle of the week for me but one that also offered the kind of lesson in humility that I can learn from. After two sittings and well into a second hour of attempted solving, I still had lots of white space on my grid, but I loved 4a, 21d, 13 & 27a, & 8d especially. Thanks to SJB and today’s brilliant setter. ***** / *****

    1. I did wonder Robert if 18a would translate over the pond. Believe me, from this side it’s great.

      1. Not a chance over here, Stephen; not even a prayer. See what I missed all those weeks I didn’t vacation at Skegness while lecturing at U of N’ham!

          1. The Yorkshire triumvirate of Scarbados Cas Vegas and Ponte Carlo featured in my youth. Oh and the Yorkshire Thai Beach at Phi Lee

  6. What a superb puzzle, a piece of backpage genius and a wonderful way to tee-up the day’s remaining puzzles (for me the Toughie & The Times) – properly challenging, as a Friday grid should be, impeccably fairly clued, with liberal applications of wit and amusement throughout. My only parsing difficulty was with 22a: as the setter doubtless fully intended, I struggled to see the right usage for “set”.

    Could pick almost every clue for an accolade, but will be a tad more discerning and give podium places to 1a (which set the tone beautifully), 9a, 18a, 20a, 24a, 26a, 2d and 16d, with COTD to the quite brilliant 8d – what a clever way to hide something in plain sight!

    3* / 5*

    Chapeau! to the setter, whoever you are, and thank you. Thanks also to SJB for the blog.

  7. My rating is 2*/4.5* for a fine Friday 3d to end the “working” week with the splendid 8d my favourite.

    SJB, regarding 22a I thought at first that “set” was surface padding, but on further reflection I think it’s simply a link word as an instruction to “set” (put) the synonym for “alight” by the synonym “by” the synonym for “fill”.

    I feel fairly confident in assigning this to Zandio, so many thanks to him, and also to SJB for the review.

  8. This was certainly quite a struggle.
    But enjoyable and satisfying to eventually complete.
    Last in 18a, 22a, 19d and, inexcusable, 14d.
    Top spot, jointly 13a and 24a
    So, 5*/5*.
    Many thanks to the setter and Sloop John Bee.

  9. Well I didn’t get on with this one at all. After finding I had solved four and a half (toast, and orange juice with no bits had long been consumed), I relied on John’s hints to get me going again. Then I shuffled onwards, but returned to the hints for the last couple. Nothing wrong with the crossword – just one of those days, I suppose.

    I know that when a regular here disappears, then (very kindly) several people ask if all is ok; so this is just to advise we are away now for a week and a bit and so it is unlikely I will pop up here until the end of the month (The Youngster will be taking great care of Lola).

    A timely moment to say a very sincere ‘thank you’ to everyone hereabouts for the daily get-together – BD, all of the superb hinters, and all contributors.

    Thanks to the setter, and SJB

  10. DNF. Put ribbons in 11d causing failure on 12a despite me seeing the board game connection. Thanks to todays setter and SJB.

    1. Likewise Jonners, I stuck in ribbons, realised it was wrong because of 12a, then couldn’t see the obvious for 11a until I read the hints

  11. Another Friday head scratcher for me, well for me Thursday evening, this week again. 2.5*/3* … enjoyment down a notch as the parsing on many of the clues was difficult or very tricky to fathom … with a few not parsed to my satisfaction.
    Clues for podium include 1a, 9a, 12a, 24a & 5d with winner 12a followed up by a word not heard or used for a long time in 24a.

    Thanks to setter and Sloop John Bee for the hints

  12. Phew! What happened! I feel as if I have been thrown into an industrial washer and then spun around on helicopter rotors to dry. That was hard! I needed a lot of help – thank you SJB – but I could see the brilliance of each clue with the possible exception of 11d. I loved the rather clever 2d and, once again, it made me wonder just how many ways there are to clue this particular group. Although I needed help with 18a it is my COTD because I knew many such “dragons”.

    Many thanks to the setter – I must try harder. Thank you, SJB for the hints – I don’t know how you manage it.

    Have a great holiday, Terrence.

    1. Swedes Carrots and Limes, I have no idea Steve. Perhaps a Neil Diamond such as yourself will tell us

          1. Yet again, my picture has not uploaded. How did you know it was Swedes Carrots and Limes?

            Oh, I see it now has appeared! How strange.

            1. because your picture did upload. maybe a clear browser and update will help but don’t lose your wordle status while you do.

  13. I started this after my porridge and black tea and finally reached the end of the road three clues short at 12.30, having left it and gone back to it several times. It was the toughest vackpager for ages. Thank you to SJB for the review, I’d never have got 18a in a million years without your explanation, though I might have got 9a and 17d, if I hadn’t run out of steam. Favourites were 20a, 4a and 24a. Thanks to the compiler for the thrashing.

  14. I found this incredibly difficult and only managed about half a dozen with my cuppa in bed. It came together very very slowly and once again I had to read the hints after I finished to see how I got there. Rather taken aback as I googled a synonym for Dragons Den and the answer came back ‘ladies sexy parts to be used when describing the parts of an angry lady’! Who knew?! Thanks to the setter and SLB

  15. Greetings from the Vienne region of France. Dodgy WiFi on the campsite means I haven’t done the crossword, but I wanted to post a public ‘thank you’ to MP, SL and SJB for taking on extra blogging duties to give me break.

    1. Yes – have a good one DT. I’m afraid I misread SJB knowing MP was down here on hols at the Idle Rocks I speed read incorrectly that it was he being covered whereas he is covering! Sorry MP. I’m off to Spain climbing for a week from tomorrow in El Chorro – famous for the setting of Von Ryan’s Express. Not sure if I’ll be able to access the DT for a week therefore.

      1. Enjoy the trip, and I hope you don’t get shot trying to run after the train.

  16. Greetings from the Algarve. Third time lucky for this week away!
    I found this quite tricky – perhaps the heat has fried my brain?
    A couple of gripes – an indirect anagram (?) in the first half of 13a and a dodgy homophone (aren’t they all?) at 26a, but an enjoyable puzzle if somewhat challenging.
    Thanks setter and SJB.

    1. Not an anagram; “cycle” is crosswordspeak for “move the first letter to the end” or vice versa. Hope this helps. And yes, all crossword homophones are dodgy!

      1. It can be more than one letter that gets cycled. We had a fish that was cycled into a hat in the toughie recently.
        A PIKE was cycled by two letters to become a KEPI but the principle is spot on.
        I agree about the homophone though. Addressing a Knight or senior officer as Su’ instead of SIR would not be appropriate.

  17. Good job that I’m working from home today as this needed my full attention and a couple of the hints to complete. Very tough but excellently crafted.
    Favourite whilst completing was 26a, as it made me smile. Having read the hints 8d goes to the top of the pile now I have understood fully the parsing.
    Thank you to the setter and SJB for the much needed hints

  18. A real head scratcher that required two sessions, with sleep in between, to solve. I also got some help from the comments so far but I did not have to resort to the hints – ****/**.

    Favourite of the long ‘uns – 6d, favourite of the rest – 9a.

    Like RD, I am going for this being a Zandio production, so thanks to him and well done to SJB.

    1. Thought this was mild toughie level rather than a backpager, even on Friday. 22a for example. But as ever it’s the dodgy cryptic definitions that cause me most trouble.

  19. A real fight. Just not on the right wavelength hence my comment above on the placing of answers in the hints.I really needed them,
    I did like Manders Dragons Den,

  20. Did not have a scooby with this one. Managed about five on my own so thank goodness for sJB’s review and this wonderful site. Would love to know who set it though?

  21. Toughest backpager in a long while for me. After 15 minutes in and only three answers I thought I was done for. Four hours later, including multiple breaks finally got there. This contained some ingenious clueing with the standouts for me being 18a, 10a and 9a my last one in.

  22. Hello this is my first time posting. Until today I had no problem with the answers being hidden. Today the are all exposed.

    1. Welcome to the blog.
      I hope that the placement of the answers helped, and that your enjoyment wasn’t too badly spoiled. We don’t think the problem is coming from here but hopefully some whizz kid will have an answer soon.

  23. Too hard for me with some quirky clueing. An enjoyable challenge nevertheless with 15a my favourite. Thanks to all.

  24. I once saw a cartoon showing a man knocking on the door of the George and Dragon pub. A severe looking woman is opening the door, and the man asks ‘sorry to bother you, but is George in?’

  25. Found this pretty tough but nowhere near as much fun as yesterday’s puzzle. I don’t find puzzles enjoyable when the compiler resorts to synonyms which whilst they maybe technically correct, one can’t conceive of a conversation in which one could interchange the terms to provide the same meaning. I include 17d and 6d in this.

    Oh well 1a over!

    Thanks to SJB for some needed hints

  26. Currently sitting in the great city of Bath visiting friends, and for a while I did just that: sat staring at an infilled grid. It gradually started to come together then came in a final rush, with the outstanding 18a my clear favourite. Difficult but fair, I thought.

    My thanks to our setter for a stiff challenge and to SJB.

    My run of 123 Wordles came to end today with a word I would not have thought of given the letters used.

  27. Second day running when I just can’t see a way in. Have solved a handful of clues but think I’ll give this one a miss. Thanks to SJB for the hints, I’ll maybe have a look later.

  28. Solved this bar 22a before driving to meet a friend for lunch in the Conwy valley. Nailed the pesky 22a on my return but can’t say that I liked it, but given the amount of ‘hmms’ written on my paper I guessed it had to be a Zandio compilation.
    Hopefully, some of the weekend puzzles will be more to my liking!

    Polite thanks to our setter and well done to JB for making reasonable sense of it.

  29. A great Friday puzzle! Fine clues providing a good challenge and plenty of enjoyment. Fav: 8d. 3.5*/4.5*.

  30. Finally gave up with nine clues solved. Did what MP suggested yesterday but to no avail. Have lived in Scarborough and Blackpool so never stayed in a Dragon’s Den but always enjoyed how they were portrayed on the seaside postcards. Donald McGill never portrayed them as dragons just unpleasant obese people. Dragons are much more interesting.

    Thanks to SJB for enlightenment but unlike Van Gogh, advice goes in one ear and out of the other. This setter joins Jay and Ray T in the corner of my mind with lose heart all you who enter here clearly marked in black letters on a door difficult to open.. But still, thank you setter

    1. You may have to read through more than once for the wordplay to stand out or make an impact

  31. I thought this was a fair challenge, but more difficult than of late. I’ve been trying to find some significance for the multiple double letters. I’ve counted double Z twice, D twice, G, S, L, R, T and E, but can’t see anything. Anyone got any ideas?
    Thanks to the setter, and SJB

  32. Managed to get 8 clues before calling it a day. The people who have solved this unaided have my utmost respect.

    Thanks to all.

  33. Hello, compiler here. Thanks for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss, Apologies for saying hello late in the day due to travelling. Have a good weekend.

    1. Thanks for popping in. I rather enjoyed this particularly the new to me 2d and the clever 3d.

  34. Great puzzle taking more time than usual. Really didn’t like service in 19 D. 18A entertaining.

  35. I didn’t begin to come to terms with this headsplitter so threw in the towel. Relieved I wasn’t the only one to struggle 🥵. Sort of thanks to Mysteron and SJB!

  36. Please can you cover the answers again. I have loved using this site but now the intrigue has gone as I can see the solution.

    1. Welcome Bridget
      We don’t think the problem with the spoilers showing comes from here, but more likely to be a problem with the browser at your end. Please bear with us as we are looking into this problem.

  37. Quite hard work but enjoyable nonetheless.
    I almost wrote in Crocodile Dundee in 3d with the checkers I had at the time.
    Made me laugh but, as usual, the Russians in 15a came to spoil it.
    Glad I finished though. Unlike the Elgar on the other side for which I needed a lot of help.
    Thanks to Zandio and to the Sloop for the review.
    Happy to read that DT and Even Deeper are roaming through France again.

  38. Toughest back pager in ages for me.
    Needed electronic help for several.

    Now on to Saturday.


  39. I’m catching up with my DT crosswords but though it’s about time I said something about the standard of clueing lately. For instance, Father cycled for ADD in 13A. Since when have anagrams of synonyms been accepted? Don’t get me started on the very iffy anagram indicators and amount of times originally, at first and the like make more appearances than seems necessary.

    Is it me or are setters running out of ideas?

    1. I am new to this blogging business but there is a bit of a chat about indirect anagrams and cycling clues up at comment 17.I don’t think this is an indirect anagram but rather a synonym that is cycled, but I take your point about ideas but as we approach 30,000 back pagers and nearly 3000 toughies I am sure that an ever-increasing number of clue types seem a bit repetitive. There will always be another puzzle to tease us tomorrow.

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