DT 29998 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29998

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29998
Hints and tips by Miffypops
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good Morning from the bottom of the Barrel. Deep Threat is on holiday in France so we’ve generously given him a full break from blogging. Today we have a fine puzzle from one of my favourite setters. It could any one of the three who alternate the Friday slot. They each display their own identifiable traits. There are twenty-nine examples of today’s setter’s rather unique style on show today. Can you tell who it is?

Today’s solving tip is at the bottom of the blog after the quickie pun

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a Whip dismissed by party (5)
OUTDO: Dismissed as in cricket followed by a two-letter party. Setters seem to have these parties as often as our leading politicians. I do hope they managed to obey the rules during lockdowns

10a Conclude letter on Scrabble board will be unproductive (9)
INFERTILE: Begin with a verb meaning to deduce or conclude (something) from evidence and reasoning. Add the name given to a square piece of plastic displaying a letter and value in the game of scrabble

11a Wild time getting half-cut in Swiss capital (7)
FRANTIC: Cut away one half of the word time and insert what you have left into the capital or currency of Switzerland

12a Lexicographer, internet celebrity releasing article for magazine finally (7)

WEBSTER: Split 3,4 this celebrity of the internet needs the letter A changing to the letter at the end of the word magazine. Your answer is a geezer (first name Noah) well worth looking up. One of the first to recognise American English as a language of its own and to celebrate the fact by purposefully rewriting the rules of spelling for Americans. A deliberately thought out act for which he deserves full credit

13a Cleric, head of chapter soon (5)
CANON: The head or first letter of the word cleric is followed by a word meaning soon or shortly

14a City journalist, essentially stingy, rejected hot food (9)
EDINBURGH: I bunged this one in from the checking letters I had. It couldn’t be anything else. Your answer consists of a four part charade part of which is reversed. Begin with crosswordlands favourite journalist . Add the central letters of the word stingy. Now for the clever bit. The abbreviation for hot together with a slang term for food need to be reversed and added to what you have already.

16a Bird damaged rear fencing pole (9,6)

PEREGRINE FALCON: An anagram (damaged) of REAR FENCING POLE. Hands up if you solved this without writing it out

19a Get into debt surrounded by latest fancy kitchen items (3,6)
TEA TOWELS: An anagram (fancy) of latest surrounds a word meaning to be in debt.  What are the most common owls in England?   Teat Owls of course

21a Group embraces, quietly departing (5)
CLASS: A word meaning embraces, cheek to cheek or bosom to bosom perhaps needs the musical notation for quietly removing

23a Releases yob that keeps drug stash regularly hidden (4,3)

LETS OUT: A yob or thug contains the common name of a drug made popular by the rave culture of the 1980s and the alternate letters of the word stash

25a Code-breaker,  person of exceptional ability (7)
CRACKER: A double definition both rather obvious. The setter could have used a safe breaker, a firework, a paper cylinder pulled at Christmas, an attractive person or more importantly a thin dry biscuit, typically eaten with cheese. It must be time for a snack now

27a Shop introduces additional area for pottery (9)
STONEWARE: A shop of any kind or size contains an adjective meaning additional or in addition to plus the abbreviation for area

28a Image created from brass rubbing? (5)

GENIE: The brass rubbing here is as done by Aladdin. The answer is what Aladdin summoned by such rubbing of brass.

A True Story
Yesterday I was out with Big Dave and Dutch when we discovered a magic lamp and freed a genie. The Genie of course had three wishes to offer, one for each of us. I wished to be back in St Mawes with Nurse Ninepence on the terrace at the Hotel Tresanton with a beer and a Pimms and POOF, there I was. Dutch asked to go to a Greek Island to sip fine wine on the beach and POOF, there he was. Big Dave wished for us to both be home by this morning ready to blog the days puzzles and POOF, here we are


1d Bring up fine record in sport (4)
GOLF: Begin with the abbreviation of fine. Add a record such as the one kept by a ship’s captain. Reverse or bring up what you have

2d Race  injury (6)
STRAIN: A double definition. If not obvious wait for checking letters. They will help

3d Gone with mentor to travel around country (10)
MONTENEGRO: Anagram (to travel around) of GONE and MENTOR

4d Go round  part of theatre (6)
CIRCLE: A double definition. The second being the seats above the stalls in a theatre

5d Colour that is away from cue ball (3-5)
OFF WHITE: A creamy colour can be found by using a synonym of the words away from and the term given to the cue ball in snooker. So called because of its colour

6d Somewhat unbearable horse (4)

ARAB: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word somewhat

7d Memorable broadcast expressed disapproval of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger (8)
HISTORIC: Two homophones as indicated by the word broadcast will lead to your answer. A homophone of shows disapproval as you might towards a pantomime villain plus a homophone based upon the first name of Ian Flemings character Goldfinger. Give me Chitty Chitty Bang Bang any time

8d Geordie Mark discovered gadgets giving close shaves (4,6)
NEAR THINGS: Begin with the compass bearing for the area in which you will find Geordies. Add the inner letters of the word Mark. Add some gadgets or objects

13d International limits designed to protect American economic system (10)
CAPITALISM: Begin with a sporting individual who has represented his country and is known by the headgear awarded for doing so. Add an anagram (designed) of LIMITS which surrounds the abbreviation for America

15d Chef Raymond overcoming skin complaint to provide dessert (10)
BLANCMANGE: We need the surname of a chef called Raymond. I’ll bet there are lots of chefs called Ray or Raymond in pubs up and down the country. They are mostly all up their own arses. All they do is warm stuff up and they act like they are something special. (Except Jean Luc-Cheval. He is rather special) This geezer has been on the telly warming stuff up and has written books about warming stuff up. Jeff is the best name for a chef. Jeff the chef. That’ll do nicely thank you. Your warmer-uperrer is followed by a skin disease of mammals caused by parasitic mites and occasionally communicable to humans. It is characterised by severe itching, hair loss, and the formation of scabs and lesions. I hope the chef hasn’t caught this from being so close to it. Thanks to the setter for something to eat. My mum made this for us and served it with jelly and a slice of bread and butter. Nurse Ninepence will often have it for a sweet when we are out. Jeff the chef has ponced it up and it now has the fancy name Panacotta.

17d Backlash from Establishment after Conservative’s demotion (8)
REACTION: A word meaning the establishment of something as God did with the world needs the abbreviation for Conservative pushing lower down the order of its letters

18d He possibly is angriest when drunk (5,3)
INERT GAS: Anagram (when drunk) of ANGRIEST He here is not a personal pronoun it is a chemical symbol. Nice misdirection Mr Setter

20d Religious belief almost undermining star, oddly (6)
SACRED: Begin with the odd numbered letters of the word star. Add a religious belief minus its last letter

22d Question worker sceptically (6)
ASKANT: A verb meaning to question is followed by a social insect

24d Sign of females losing weight (4)
OMEN: A collective group of females minus the abbreviation for weight

26d Reportedly true length of film (4)
REEL: A homophone (reportedly) of a length of film as kept on a spool

Quickie Pun   Warren  +  Piece  =  War and Peace

Crossword solving the MP way

Clues generally have two components. Definition and wordplay.
Definitions usually appear at the beginning or end of the clue.
It is ok to solve from definition alone but if you do then try to work out and understand the wordplay. Reverse parsing is fine


57 comments on “DT 29998

  1. On first read through I thought this was going to be quite tough but I ended up breezing through it.
    Very enjoyable, top clues for me 10,11&18a plus 22d.
    Many thanks to the setter, going for Silvanus, and MP for a fun puzzle and blog.

  2. A superb crossword, for me by some margin quite the most enjoyable of the 9 DT puzzles so far, and a proper Friday challenge. Felt initially it was going to be much tougher than it turned out to be. My LOI was 11a, which I had struggled fully to parse and resorted to a bung-in, but all others understood and appreciated. Surfaces as smooth as silk, and I concur with Stephen L as to the authorship. If I’m wrong I do hope the actual setter isn’t offended!

    Hon Mentions all over the place – 12, 14, 19 and 28a; 13, 15 and 17d; however for me COTD has to be shared between the laugh-out-loud genius of 7d and 18d.

    2.5* / 5*

    Chapeau and many thanks to the Setter, and thank you also, MP.

  3. Enjoyed this a lot but thanks to Miff for parsing some of them for me – eg the pottery one, got it but couldn’t see it. Seems to be a habit of mine at the moment. Just bought a beautiful yellow rose, by the time I got it home every single petal had fallen off so I shall plant some stalks. I’m rubbish at ‘Guess the Setter’ but thanks to he/she and MP.

    1. I had to check the meanings of additional at 27 across. I knew the setter would be right but I needed a prompt for the hint. If I’ve learnt one thing from this blog it is to never question the setter and by association the puzzles editor. They will be right. Of course genuine errors occur but rarely with grammar. The setter is most definitely a he Manders

  4. When it came to serving up a dessert like 15d, a friend of my mother’s always added a few currants for realism!

  5. I’ll go all in it’s a Silvanus production. Super puzzle & fully agree with MG that it’s the best of the week & by a margin for me. Too many to choose from to pick a favourite – 10,12&27a plus 7,8&13d big ticks.
    Thanks to Silvanus, if indeed it’s his, & to Miff.
    Ps Making hard work of proXimal’s Toughie.

  6. Took a while to get started today and a bit of a scattergun approach took place!
    Excellent cluing all round, favourite was the SE quadrant in general-particularly 22d..
    Special mention for the14a charade which brought on the D’oh moment.Going for a ***/****
    Thanks to our mystery setter and CS for the pics-top draw quickie pun too.

  7. After a slow start, after a few checkers went in, I really enjoyed this puzzle. There were two lovely geographical clues, 3d a d14a, the former being a rather fine anagram.7d and 28a made me laugh, when the penny finally dropped. Many thanks to MP for the hints and to the compiler for an entertaining crossword.

  8. 👆 I did indeed put the bird in without writing it out and I hope our Canadian correspondent did too. 25a was a 25a of a clue but plenty to like. This Geordie also liked 8d.
    Up early to secure tickets for Bruce Springsteen in Dublin. now sorted so time to tackle the toughie.
    Thanks to MP and I hope DT is having a good time

    1. I can just imagine Mama Bee boogieing on down in the mosh pit SLB. The Great Pretender has played The Ricoh (three syllables) twice now. Both times I gave my hospitality tickets away to those more in need than me. He is likely to be there again next year but it is now called The Coventry Building Society Arena (thirteen syllables) I hope Bruce doesn’t get confused

      1. I was going to hang on until the UK dates were announced. But I will probably try and get UK tickets too.

    2. If you mean me of the Canadian correspondents, yes I did. Anagram material identified on first read through and solved with the aid of the checker from the first letter of 17d.

      We have a ‘famous’ nest atop a hotel in downtown Winnipeg. There is supposed to be a webcam but it doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. So, here is a photo, presumably from a year or two ago.

      1. I meant to include Canadians in the plural but a slip of the stylus omitted the terminal s. I am sure our other Canadian who goes by the second part will have written that in without even checking too.

        1. Based on correspondence yesterday, the Ontario correspondent is probably still without power.

  9. I am very much in the Silvanus camp if we are playing Spot the Setter, as all the clues bear the hallmark of smooth surfaces and clever clueing. 18d is pure genius and my favourite by a distance.

    My thanks to the aforementioned and super sub MP.

  10. Not the easiest of Friday puzzles this week. 3*/2.5*
    Parsing hard to fathom on some, so when blog is posted I will look at the clues I can’t make out.

    Favourites include 10a, 25a, 8d, 18d & 26d with winner 25a

    Thanks to setter and MP

  11. Nothing to do with the Crossword per se … but I really enjoyed the explanation for 15 down … warmer uppers or Microwave operators … serving Brake Brothers (wholesale catering supplier) “specials” up and down the country … a joy!

    1. Your namesake in The Archers might take exception to being described as a “warmer upper” or “Microwave operator”!

  12. Wonders will never cease – I finished a Friday cryptic unaided and I think that is the first time ever. I fully expected a trouncing after the first run through revealed only three answers. However, I persevered and it all began to come together slowly. Huge sense of satisfaction when I put in my last one – 27a. I loved the lateral thought that was required for some clues such as 10a where a letter was not needed but what the letter is on. My COTD because of the terrific PDM it gave me was 18d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun, Thank you, MP for the hints, which I will now read together with the comments.

  13. Re crossword solving the MP way do we think the majority solve from the wordplay or rather identity the likely definition, think of an answer & then try to parse ? I suspect with the more accomplished solvers it’s via the wordplay – for me it’s more often than not the latter which is why my first thought at 19a without the benefit of the 18d (forgot to give that one a big tick) checker was cosies until realising it had nowt to do with the wordplay.

    1. It’s whatever I see first Huntsman. Sometimes it’s neither wordplay or definition but simply checkers. A filled grid is a filled grid howsoever one gets there

  14. I loved this little jewel (another Silvester masterwork?) and the best of the backpagers of the week for me, and there certainly have been some fine ones. Thought the SE was, of a piece, the most engaging part of the solve, with 22d & 28a locked in a tie for top honours, followed by 18d, 25a and 27a on a crowded podium. Delightful all the way. Thanks to MP, whose review I’ll read now, and today’s terrific compiler. 2.5* / 5*

    1. Did I actually say ‘Silvester’ instead of Silvanus?! And no one caught it but me? Apologies to Silvanus.

      1. I did see it Robert but as, far as typing errors arw concerned, I’m in no position tocomment, people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

      2. We all knew what you meant Robert. I assumed it was a predictive text error. The calling out of spelling errors or grammatical errors has largely disappeared on social media platforms. It tended towards nastiness. Nowadays peoples views are valued even if they dont no spellings or apostrophes. It’s a kinder place because of it

  15. This smacks of an old-fashioned Giovanni in that it has a religious clue, plenty of anagrams and every clue has within everything needed to solve without having to make a leap of faith. Only thing missing is the Giovanni weird word.
    Whatever, I managed to get on to the wavelength early and things progressed nicely. Best clue for me by a long chalk was 18d, nice to see a bit of science as a change from 18/19thC literature/artists. Plenty to enjoy today.
    Thx to all

  16. It seems I must beg to differ with the majority so far as I did find this a bit of a trek with several clues which – probably due to my being slow in the uptake – needed parsing e.g. 14a, 23a, 7d and 18d. I was reminded of meals with my grandmother by 15d which I found only just a bit more bearable than junket – yuck to both and I don’t think JB’s mother’s addition of currants would have made much difference! My Fav was the little 24d. Thank you to setter and MP.

    1. Sorry just realised it was JB’s mother’s friend with the currants not his mother.

  17. I needed some electronic help with this plus MP’s help to parse a few but nevertheless enjoyed it.
    Laughed out loud at 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  18. Best of the week I thought. A slow start but once 13d and 16a fell the checkers enabled a speedier finish. I thought 18d was the standout clue with it’s very clever deception.
    I can never tell who a setter might be, but many thanks to this setter – Silvanus? – if that’s who it turns out be.
    …and a special thanks to you too Miffypops for your usual high standard of entertaining reviewing. I’m still giggling over the Swedish Chef’s skirmish with the spaghetti!

  19. You’re all getting too good at playing “Spot the Setter”! Many thanks to MP for his Hints and Tips (who can fail to laugh at the Swedish Chef with the spaghetti) and to everyone for their kind and generous comments.

    As Deep Threat is currently “en vacances”, I thought it might be an apposite time to share with you one of my very favourite pieces of film music, I think it’s very evocative of simpler, carefree past holidays, I hope you’ll like it. Cineastes like Huntsman and Robert C might already be aware of it.

    I know that Chris Lancaster and his team will serve up something special on Monday to mark the impending milestone, so please don’t miss it! Have a good weekend.

    1. Thank you for popping in Silvanus. I was just reading the comments prior to writing what a great puzzle you gave us. A really brilliant Friday treat.

    2. Many thanks, Silvanus, for popping in and for providing us with a brilliant puzzle to end the week! With great clues from start to finish and super-smooth surfaces all the way, my rating is 2.5*/5*. Superb!

    3. Thank you, Silvanus, for the ‘J&J’ clip–yes, I do know the music and the movie quite well. In 1962, at 23 years of age, I was just beginning my doctoral work on Victorian Studies and becoming aware of another world of movies than the one I grew up with; ‘Jules et Jim’ was the first Truffaut I can remember seeing. I’m not sure how carefree those days were, but given the world we inhabit today, they certainly do seem so. And thank you also for another great puzzle!

    4. Thank you for a fantastic puzzle, silvanus – a cruciverbal joy from start to finish with brilliance flashing at 7d and 18d. :good:

    5. Just returned home after an outing with a friend to the restaurant at Bangor cricket club. Those full length windows seem to me to be frighteningly close to the pitch!
      Relieved to note that others have voted for multiple favourites in this little gem from Mr Smooth – gives me free rein to do likewise. My list contains 9,10,14,16 &28a plus 5,15&18d.
      Many thanks to Silvanus for a most enjoyable and satisfying puzzle.

    6. Great puzzle, as ever, Silvanus. Many thanks.
      We have peregrine falcons nesting on the top of the old Shredded Wheat factory silos here in Welwyn Garden City.
      Fantastic birds….unless you are a pigeon, of course!

  20. 3/4. Took a little while to get going but well worth the effort. My favourite was 18d by a long way. 14a made me smile as a good example of a Lego clue. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  21. An excellent Friday puzzle, I’d also say the best one of the week. Good concise clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 18d. 3.5*/4.5*

  22. Got about ten on my first reading but slowly filled in the rest because of the high standard of clueing which enables one to solve by reading carefully and thinking carefully. I didn’t get the full quality of 18d until reading MP’s blog. It is my clue of the day..

    Thanks to MP for his expertise and to Silvanus for a 25a of a puzzle.

  23. Super crossword. Right up my street. Hard to pick a COTD amongst so so many 25a’s but I’ll go with the splendid 18d. Thanks to Silvanus and MP.

  24. This was a steady ***/*** with some clever clues from Silvanus including the majestic 18d which I thought top class. Thanks MP for the hints, the setter for his skill and most importantly fellow blogger GJR who has taken the effort to send my Spanish hotel all of this weeks puzzles which otherwise I would have missed. I am hopeful of direct contact via BD to show my appreciation.

    1. Thanks NAS, really no further appreciation required. I know how frustrating it can be to not have access to the crossword on holiday, and it really has been the simplest task each day.
      I think you said you were leaving Saturday so I will send a final one tomorrow.

      1. Cheers GJR

        You are a gent

        We are leaving at 0800 so don’t worry about tomorrow

        Maybe we shall meet at a BD event one day and I can buy you a large one

  25. Top class puzzle today Sylvanus, you spoil us. Lots to love all round but douze points to 18d. Thanks too to MP

  26. Excellent crossword, completed this morning before a round of golf in beautiful sunshine. I played to handicap which always makes for a good day.
    Favourite was 18d, like Brian I like a bit of science in a clue. 28a worthy of a mention for the smile it brought when the penny dropped.
    Thanks to Silvanus and MP for the ever amusing hints.

  27. Superb crossword, completed this morning before venturing out into the welcome sunshine for some weeding and trimming. Found this rather easier than most Friday back-pagers.
    Thanks Silvanus for a well clued puzzle and MP for a witty blog (as usual)

  28. Just back from glorious Cornwall where the internet was very patchy. I was delighted that the long 16a anagram jumped out at me and proved very useful. Too many lovely clues to pick favourites – many thanks to Sylvanus and MP.

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