DT 29994 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29994

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29994

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather is a lot better than it’s been in Ottawa.  I’m here again this week because Falcon is without electricity after a massive storm, with 130km/hr winds, hit the province of Ontario and knocked out the power to hundreds of thousands of people, including him.

There seems to be a bit of a literary theme to today’s puzzle.  We have two famous novels, an actress, a pair of comedy actors and a dramatist.  It’s not too difficult but certainly not at the easy end of the spectrum.

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.


1a           Sow hit hard on the head must become dizzy? (14)
SCATTERBRAINED:  A word for sow, as in sow seeds, followed by a word meaning hit hard on the head.

9a           Opposed to increases in a tax initially (7)
AGAINST: Take the A from the clue and a T (Tax initially) and insert (in) a word meaning increases.

10a         The old man having issues over leisure activity (7)
PASTIME:  The usual two letters for your old man or father followed by a word meaning issue, but it’s backwards (over).

11a         Spoil  attractive person (4)
DISH:  Double definition:

12a         Charge, briefly, involves money invested on top of everything else (2,3,2,3)
TO CAP IT ALL:  A charge, to cross a bridge perhaps, without its last letter (briefly) has inserted (involves) a word for money invested.  Then it’s split (2,3,2,3) to get a phrase meaning on top of everything else.

14a         Record crowd causes congestion (3,3)
LOG JAM:  A word meaning record followed by a word meaning to crowd or clog.

15a         Examine outside of every in dividual wooden box (3,5)
TEA CHEST:  A word meaning to examine or try is placed outside a word meaning every.

17a         Unusually tart, I constantly scold revolutionary dramatist (8)
RATTIGAN:  Anagram (unusually) of TART I followed by a reversal (revolutionary) of a word meaning to constantly scold.

18a         Rope in mate, the roofer (6)
TETHER:  A lurker hiding in (in) the last three words.

21a         Cleaner having nap before noon exercises (5,5)
DAILY DOZEN:  The first word is a term for a cleaning lady and the second is a nap followed by an N(oon).

22a         Exclude group’s first report (4)
BANG:  The report of a gun perhaps.  It’s a word for exclude followed by a G (Group’s first).

24a         Tests: exams including endless study (7)
ORDEALS:  Take a word for a spoken exam and insert (including) a study without its last letter (endless).

25a         Democrat in drubbing, almost tearful (7)
MAUDLIN:  A term for a drubbing has a D(emocrat) inserted and loses its last letter (almost).

26a         Comedy duo in landau Harry led out (6,3,5)


1d           Disgraceful event in examination — boy shown up (7)
SCANDAL:  A word for an examination or a quick look followed by a word for a young boy but he’s backwards (shown up in a down clue).

2d           In area I don’t know, I got an idea abroad for a novel (1,7,2,5)
A PASSAGE TO INDIA:  Start with A for area and follow with a word meaning I don’t know, as used on Mastermind, and after that lot you’ll need an anagram (abroad) of I GOT AN IDEA.

3d           Quality of sound coming from piston engine (4)
TONE:  A lurker hiding in (coming from) the last two words.

4d           Budget speech lacking oomph, at the start (6)
RATION:  The usual speech with the O missing (lacking Oomph at the start).

5d           Shown again looking embarrassed about fuel, energy … (8)
REPEATED:  Start with a type of fuel which I think isn’t used much nowadays and an E(nergy) and around them (about) put the usual word for looking embarrassed.

6d           After visiting the theatre one may be  laughing uncontrollably (2,8)
IN STITCHES: What you may be after visiting an operating theatre is also a phrase meaning laughing uncontrollably.

7d           Actress, as Doolittle, affected by that role (9,6)
ELIZABETH TAYLOR:  You need the first name of the Doolittle character in My Fair Lady and follow with an anagram  (affected) of BY THAT ROLE.

8d           Unknown character close to stage, very much a fanatic (6)
ZEALOT: One of the algebraic unknowns followed by E (close to stagE) and then a phrase (1,3) meaning very much.

13d         Italian in navy reread fine novel (6,4)
VANITY FAIR:  Insert IT (Italian) into an anagram (reread) of NAVY to get the first word. The second word is one meaning fine or OK.

16d         Charlie having turn on large merry-go-round (8)
CAROUSEL:  C(harlie) followed by a word meaning to turn on and then an L(arge).

17d         Right editor, best for tabloid? (3-3)
RED TOP:  R(ight) followed by the usual editor and then a word for best gives a slang term for a tabloid newspaper.

19d         Period of British rule concerning Cyprus — see information inside (7)
REGENCY: Start with the usual two letters for concerning and the IVE code for Cyprus.  Into that insert a word for information (see . . . inside).

20d         Morse changing name and address (6)
SERMON:  This is an address usually heard in a church service.  It’s an anagram (changing) of MORSE followed by an N(ame).

23d         Needing to be done quickly in plant (4)
RUSH:  This water plant is also a word meaning to do quickly.

There’s a lot of good stuff in this puzzle but my top three are the ones in blue, with 6d on the top step of the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:     SEAR     +     SUCCOUR     =     SEERSUCKER

Bottom line:     PROPHET     +     EARS     =     PROFITEERS


77 comments on “DT 29994

  1. Very enjoyable, though (more an observation than a criticism) had a somewhat dated feel to it.
    Hard to look beyond the excellent 1a as favourite.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers

    1. Funny you should say that, I thought blimey I’m nearly 70 and I don’t remember L & H in their heyday although of course I know of them. Pretty much the same fo ET, ( not that one! 😂) don’t know 17a either but that could be my ignorance and it couldn’t be anything else.

      1. Dad took me to London when I was about 12 to see a double whammy of L & H films. He laughed all the way through and I thought it was completely unfunny and still do.

        1. They showed old L&H movies at Saturday Morning Pictures when I was a nipper (( I’m 75).

          1. My father, who is 80, saw Laurel and Hardy live in Cardiff in 1952 on their UK tour. He used to have their autographs, but it appears my grandmother threw it out during a house move.

  2. Maybe a bit trickier than usual but a very enjoyable puzzle The literary clues worked in my favour but might not appeal to everyone. I liked 1a, 12aand 7d but 11a puzzled me until I looked up the meaning of the answer in an online dictionary and discovered it was a North American synonym for one of the words in the clue. Thanks to the compiler and to Pommersfor the hints

    1. Yes, 11a was my last in. The BRB has that meaning, if you look hard enough.

      Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

      1. I bought a new copy of the BRB last year but since my stroke, I find it difficult to read fine print without a big magnifyong glass, which hangs round my neck. I use it for embroidery, sewing etc so can’t always find it. Screens allow me to enlarge the font in online referwnce books.

        1. I get most of my books from the library, and although I can read small print with my glasses, I’ve discovered that reading large print books is so much more enjoyable, and restful for the eyes. When they don’t offer a large print version, I get it an ebook from Apple instead, which I can enlarge/change the font as desired.

        2. The android app versions of Chambers Dictionary and Thesaurus are better than the Windows based version. And you can change the font size too.

  3. Good fun, a gentle start to the week as one expects from a Campbell puzzle. No mastery of the arcane required, everything fairly clued, and a couple of great partial anagrams. Plenty of ticks everywhere – Hon Mentions to 1, 17, & 18a, 2, 4 and 16d, with COTD to 25a.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  4. Bit tougher than usual for a Monday. Hadn’t heard of the dramatist or the synonym in 11a. 1a gets my vote. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  5. I agree that this was a tad tougher than the usual Monday fare. 25a my cotd because it brought to mind a Chancellor of the Exchequer from my youth and he qualifies as a democrat.

  6. Pleasantly straightforward with just enough of a few more thoughtful clues to keep the interest going. 1a and 6d were my co-favourites from what was a most enjoyable challenge.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers for standing in for the weather-blasted Falcon.

  7. Both this and the OLPP were a little more challenging than usual but no less enjoyable – ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 12a, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

      1. Hi Kath, Senf is referring to the on-line prize puzzle which is published on a Monday and comes from the pen of our regular back-page Monday setter, Campbell.

        1. Hi thanks, Jane,
          I’d probably thought if I’d tried a bit harder! I have been doing them every week but just hadn’t connected to the right letters. :oops:

  8. 2.5*/4*. I agree this was more challenging than our usual Monday fare, but I enjoyed it a lot.

    I thought that the similarity of “crowd” in 14a and the answer made this clue rather easy.

    My top three were 1a, 25a & 6d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  9. Sound start to the week ,a touch more difficult for the usual monday, well clued throughout favourate was 7d, took a while to parse and I liked 21a and the 19d charade, nothing obscure to spoil things.
    Thamks pommers for the pics, especially7d , in my opinion she looked her very best in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.
    Also Campbell for the fun

  10. Help! I’m in Estepona in Spain this week at the Elba Thalasso Spa hotel and we spent a fruitless hour trying to find a DT this morning as I only do the hard copy and can’t cope with online stuff. Has anybody out there been here and know any shop which might sell our beloved newspaper as I am already suffering withdrawal symptoms 😳

          1. That’s so kind of you GJR.

            Just out for a sundowner with the boss and will check on our return and advise👍👍

            1. I’m sure the hotel would be able to tell you where to get one and even get it for you if you ask nicely – they probably get the local papers for guests.

            2. Sadly not Manders. It is a 5 star pad but newspapers seem not to be their bag. They directed me to a garage which sold no newspapers at all! Hopefully I can find the e mail kindly sent

            1. I’m making this my mission of the day, nothing worse than being on holiday and not able to access the crossword.
              Sent to new address, fingers crossed.

              1. Good for you, GJR. We now all know who to turn to if on holiday and crosswordless! :good:

              2. You had better tell us all you have sent it each day otherwise we will all start winging them off!

              3. Success GJR! Thanks so much. I’ll send a picture the boss has just taken of me in reception holding the puzzle next week when I surface from Spanish WiFi.

                I am here until Sat morning so if you were able to repeat your sterling efforts I shall somehow ensure next week that you get a decent bottle of whatever you fancy.

                Thanks all

  11. Right up my literary alley though not as quickly accessible as it should have been. (I first had a different response to 12a that still seems to work for me.) I’m torn between choosing 2d and 7d as my favourite–one of the greatest novels of all time vs. one of the greatest and most humane artists of all time (in two clues that do justice to both), so I’ll settle for a draw. I can still see that splendid quintet of actors–Lancaster, Niven, Hayworth, Kerr, and Hiller–separately seated in a dining room of a movie based on a classic by 17a, one of my all-time favourite dramas. What a lovely puzzle for my stroll down memory lane. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ***/*****

  12. Another enjoyable offering from our fine Monday man, just the way to start the non-working week.
    Podium places handed out to 1a along with 6,8&16d.

    Thanks to Campbell for both of today’s offerings and to pommers for stepping in to man the fort and bringing us the review and the delightful voice of Ms. Rush. Hope Falcon gets his power restored quickly, it’s quite frightening how much we’ve come to rely on our various services.

  13. There is no click here button on the digital hints. The answer appears at once. Can anything be done as my enjoyment is completely spoiled! Thanks!

    1. If you use the Firefox browser, click on the padlock in the address field and disable protection temporarily. This will hide the answers and put the button back.

    2. The issue is likely caused by security settings on your web browser. In technical terms it is blocking mixed content. It looks like recent browser updates for some readers have made protection against mixed content default behaviour.

      John above gives a temporary fix for Firefox. Similarly reducing security settings on other browsers may restore the buttons. Using incognito or private mode, or accessing the site through https instead of http, may also lead to visible answers. So if answers are visible check that your browser isn’t doing either of those.

      If all that technical stuff doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. We are testing a fix at this end and I hope the issue will soon be gone regardless of how browsers are configured.

      1. I also use an extension in Firefox called ‘imageblock’ which adds an icon to the navigation toolbar that toggles images on and off. This is useful if you don’t want to see the image clues.

      2. Thank you all very much for taking the trouble to reply. I do hope it can be fixed as I don’t understand any of it ! Sorry!

        1. Nor do I understand but we are lucky to have our WordPress Wizard on board and even luckier that he is willing to give up his valuable time to help. Thanks to Mr Kitty

  14. Bit too much general knowledge for my liking, but at least nothing too obscure, and all doable via the wordplay and checkers.
    Wasn’t aware of the synonym in 11a and hadn’t heard of the phrase in 21a before.
    Favourites were 1a and 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and pommers

  15. Pretty straightforward today. I do love penny-drop moments – makes me feel a bit daft for being on the wrong track!

    Last week I posted a query about Cain’s Jawbone. It was quite late in the day, so I don’t think anyone saw it. It is a ‘book’ from 1934 by a crossword compiler. I wondered if anyone had come across it, or even tried to solve it?

    1. I’ve read about this puzzle but that’s as far as I’d go. It sounds too long winded and complicated for me

    2. Hello Patsy. For the benefit of readers who are curious about Cain’s Jawbone, that crossword compiler was Torquemada, the pseudonym of Edward Powys Mathers (http://www.crossword.org.uk/mathers.htm). He was a pioneer in the field of cryptic crosswords and a creator of fiendishly difficult puzzles. The puzzle story Cain’s Jawbone appeared in his 1934 collection The Torquemada Puzzle Book. Since that book is long out of print and sells used for crazy prices when a copy occasionally surfaces, few of us have encountered it. It looks like there was a crowdsourced project recently concluded (https://unbound.com/books/cains-jawbone-boxed/) that reprinted a limited number of copies of just Cain’s Jawbone.

      How did you hear about it?

      1. At a new independent bookshop locally. Apparently it used to be sold as separate cards so you could rearrange the pages. The copy I saw was a new paperback – not expensive, but you would need to chop it up in order to rearrange! The bookseller said that very few people have ever solved it. Have you tried it?

  16. The most frustrating thing about this puzzle was that I just could not fathom 12a. It was my LOI and I tried everything from walking away and marking an essay to trying to speak to our daughter in Melbourne but these helped not a jot. I resorted to the hints and kicked myself once I realised the answer but it prevented an unaided finish. If it were not for the fact I had to use the hints it would have been my COTD. As it is, I will give the prize to 1a.

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  17. This simply wasn’t my cup of tea but doubtless it will have appealed to others. Not keen on so many multi-word solutions or the bookish rather than truly cryptic ethos. 25a politician was certainly a democrat with a small ‘d’ but surely rather more a true blue. 6d a bit obtuse. Failed to completely parse 7d although first name had to be. 23d surface doesn’t quite wash. 12a was Fav when finally parsed although it delayed me for sometime whilst I worked with wrong second word. Thank you Campbell (surprised if it’s you) and pommers.

    1. I think your interpretation of 25a, while very good, is incorrect.
      The letter d [democrat] is inserted into a synonym for drubbing minus [almost] its last letter.

      1. I think Angelou was just following up on my comment re: the politician where I noted that the answer just served to remind me of him, not that it was in any way directly associated with the clue.

        1. There are many ways to skin a — (omitted out of deference to MrK!). I do however have to admit I chose to “almost” use the (tearful) politician! Perhaps we are of a similar vintage

  18. Sun cream yesterday, waterproofs today in The Garden Of England so not much gardening on the cards. Straightforward puzzle today, good solid clues with plenty of variety to start the week at a canter. Thanks to our setter and pommers for the hints (not required today). All answers uncovered again!

    1. BD, have just followed your comment re home page, will refrain from discussion on uncovered answers in future.

  19. Not the normal Monday standard as far as I’m concerned, needed the hints for 24a and 20d. But then I am a bit 1a. Thanks to all.

  20. A different sort of Monday puzzle this week, I thought. 3*/3* today.
    Favourites include 1a, 17a, 21a, 1d & 6d with winner 21a

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  21. Often find Campbell rather Thursday or Friday ish.
    But not today.
    Steady progress until last in, 21a.
    First prize 12a.
    So, just 2* and **** enjoyment.
    Many thanks, Campbell and pommers

  22. I agree that today’s crossword was a bit trickier than usual.
    I didn’t get 11a or the second word of 21a which was really just being dim.
    I particularly liked the four long answers – 1 and 26a and 2 and 7d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. I don’t think you’re being dim Kath. Or we both are. I had no problems with the dramatist or b&w entertainers but 11a & 21a were both unfamiliar to me.

  23. I rather enjoyed this one today. Just the right level of difficulty for me, and I had seen the movie, knew actress, read the book and watched old black and white clips of the comedy pair with my grandmother. I guess being old has some benefits. COTD definitely to 6d, certainly had me laughing. Still hot indoors, but thankfully air conditioning guy has managed to get the new part and will install later today. So my sympathies go to Falcon and hope he has power again soon. Thanks to the setter for a great start to the week, and to Pommers.

  24. I found this pretty straightforward today unlike last Thursday and Friday. Did my volunteer printing job this morning and was given a new recruit to train in the art of photocopying! We gossiped so much we rather lost count as you do 1500 copies of each page in 100 page batches so I hope the afternoon person doesn’t find a mess. Still waiting for the promised rain. Thanks to the setter for the fun and Pommers for standing in for poor Falcon.

  25. A tad trickier than his bonus online puzzle but both pretty straightforward & as enjoyable as ever. No problems with the literary content. 2d possibly my favourite EMF novel & the film adaptation of it a fitting conclusion to David Lean’s marvellous body of work. Can’t say I’d ever come across the synonym for spoil but otherwise pleasingly free of any head scratching.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers

    1. Late returning to the blog this evening…EMF’s masterpiece, 2d, with its epic sweep, certainly is among the great ones, but Howards End remains my personal favourite. However, I love them all.

  26. Just completed the bonus Monday cryptic 709. Seemed a tad trickier than normal, like the back pager was today.
    Lots of head scratching and bung-ins hoping it would lead to other clue completions.
    A couple of PDM’s today too.
    Favourites include 3a, 13a, 14a, 1d & 15d.
    5d was a real head scratcher too that required Google to get me there.

    Thanks to Campbell

  27. I’ve given up on this. Just too much of an effort.
    Instead I have gone onto my second hand book website and ordered the first Mick Herron. Someone here recommended the author so I’m off to try something new!

  28. Nice start to the week **/*** Favourites 1 & 15a 😃 Thanks to Pommers and Campbell and a felicitations to Falcon 😬

  29. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle many thanks to Campbell (?).Lots of lovely clues. Thanks also to the Pommers. Commiserations to Falcon and I do hope that you recover power asap.

  30. I agree with earlier comments, maybe a tad tougher than recent Mondays. But still fun. 11a caused a bit of a pause as the first definition seemed weird to me but as usual a check of BRB found it.
    Thanks to pommers and setter and I hope Falcon gets his power back soon.

  31. I’m new on here and a bit of a rookie but got nearly all of this one so building confidence. Newly retired so a bit more time to get better.
    As others have alluded I too can remember the silent films at Saturday morning pictures; used to cost 6d back in the 60’s.

  32. I’ve said this for the last few Mondays, and I make no apology for repeating myself, that Monday seems to be the new Friday. Never heard of 11a being spoil or the obscure author in 27a or the exercises in 21a and 12a belongs in a toughie. I’ll leave it there. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  33. I am probably the exception that confirms the rule but found it easier than last week and the week before.
    The expression in 21a was new to me.
    The rest was known.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review.

  34. I must be1a because I certainly needed help for this. Needed help too with the parsing of several answers. A lot of very good clues with 6d at the top. I am very decrepit and use a very decrepit Windows 9 which has now decided to show the answers, unfortunately. Thanks to Campbell for a very interesting puzzle and to Pommers for standing in.

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