DT 29116 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29116

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29116

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***


Hello, everyone, and welcome.  I found this a solid puzzle where the parsing of a couple of the clues required some concentration.  It was good fun.  If our setter is reading the blog today, please consider commenting below.  And if you’re a reader who has never posted, how about making today the day when you delurk and tell us how you found the puzzle?  We all love to meet new commenters, hear their history, and read their thoughts about the puzzle and the blog.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and definitions are underlined.  Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers.  In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background.  Clicking on a picture might enlarge it or display a bonus illustration.  Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Nation  state (7)
GEORGIA:  A nation in SW Asia is also a state in the SE of the USA

5a    Gear revolutionary with new galley (7)
KITCHEN:  Stick together gear or equipment, the usual revolutionary, and the abbreviation for new

9a    Score first of tries and win one mark in rugby (6-3)
TWENTY-TWO:  The number that is one score is followed by the first letters of Tries Win One.  The answer is one of the markings on a rugby pitch

10a   Thus live recording's beginning to get serious (5)
SOBER:  Concatenate a synonym of thus, live or exist, and the first letter of (…’s beginning) Recording

11a   Punishment of North American arrested by coppers (7)
PENANCE:  The abbreviation for North American inserted in (arrested by) some coppers that are coins

12a   Children's film absolutely not for child (7)
BAMBINO:  A Disney film intended for children (which is also, according to Collins, an acronym for born-again middle-aged biker) with a short word for “absolutely not”

13a   Irritable about one day giving evidence (9)
TESTIMONY:  A synonym of irritable containing (about) the fusion of the Roman one and an abbreviation for the day of the week before this blog is published

16a   Attached to stern of boat, feeble tug (5)
TWEAK:  The last letter of (stern of) boaT has a synonym of feeble attached to it

17a   Hold cold fish (5)
CLING:  Follow the abbreviation for cold with a fish of the cod family

18a   Old coins, items in the distance? (9)
FARTHINGS:  Split (3,6) these old coins could be describing distant objects

21a   Fruit  bats (7)
BANANAS:  A straightforward double definition

22a   Assault  gear (7)
CLOBBER:  Another double definition.  Gear here means clothing

25a   More unlikely to come up, looking back -- that's about right (5)
RARER:  The reversal (looking back) of raise or come up, containing (about) the single letter for right

26a   Teaching a cutie, don distracted (9)
EDUCATION:  An anagram (distracted) of A CUTIE DON

27a   Absolutely great in play (7)
TOTALLY:  Great or high inserted in a verb synonym of play

28a   Tear faked after the histrionics (7)
THEATRE:  An anagram (faked) of TEAR comes after THE from the clue



1d    Rot -- as may cooking ingredients? (2,2,3)
GO TO POT:  Taken literally, this informal expression for rot or ruin could describe what happens to ingredients in a recipe

2d    Old vessel ripped apart by wave finally, a lot of water (5)
OCEAN:  The abbreviation for old with a metal container containing (ripped apart by) the last letter of wavE (wave finally)

3d    Hit it off, not say vertically (3,2)
GET ON:  The reversal (vertically, in a down clue) of the combination of NOT from the clue and the abbreviation for “for example” or say

4d    Red coat, hideous style (3,4)
ART DECO:  An anagram (hideous) of RED COAT

5d    Introduction to baron, king graciously admits, not so smooth? (7)
KNOBBLY:  The chess abbreviation for king with a word meaning graciously or unselfishly that contains (admits) the first letter of (introduction to) Baron

6d    Pilot fit for game (4,5)
TEST MATCH:  An five day game of cricket is found by joining synonyms of pilot and fit

7d    Female embracing woman who's marrying a Scottish islander (9)
HEBRIDEAN:  A female bird containing (embracing) both a woman on her wedding day and A from the clue

8d    County fair ultimately hosted by nobody? (7)
NORFOLK:  The last letter (…ultimately) of faiR inserted in (hosted by) a (2,4) phrase that means nobody

14d   Switch present in web-designing tool? (9)
SPINNERET:  An anagram (switch) of PRESENT IN.  Read about the answer here 

15d   Line and range wrong, mainly (2,7)
IN GENERAL:  An anagram (… wrong) of LINE RANGE

17d   Persian perhaps accommodating naked form of entertainment (7)
CABARET:  The best animal, of which a Persian is an example (perhaps), containing (accommodating) naked or exposed

18d   Where salmon might be farmed, is he feeding tiddler? (7)
FISHERY:  IS HE from the clue inserted in (feeding) a young salmon

19d   Tell on aristocrat (7)
RECOUNT:  The usual short word for on or concerning followed by the European equivalent of an earl

20d   Gilbert & Sullivan initially aren't terribly funny (7)
STRANGE:  An anagram (terribly) of the first letters (initially) of Gilbert Sullivan and all of AREN’T 

23d   Speak a little for a tenner (5)
ORATE:  The answer is hiding as part of (a little …) the remainder of the clue

24d   Saving one pound, still made up (5)
BUILT:  Still or yet containing (saving) both the Roman one and the single letter for pound


Thanks to today’s setter for a fun solve.  Top clues for me were 4d, 17d, and 20d  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  POOR + CRAIC + LINK = PORK CRACKLING

81 comments on “DT 29116

  1. Was I the only one who thought that 1d might be an anagram of the first three words? The penny only dropped once I’d got 1a. I then went on to miss the anagram in 14d! A very enjoyable solve nonetheless. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty

    1. No you weren’t alone Florence, my first thought too was for an anagram/cooking of 1d.

    2. Yes, that was my first thought as well, until I realized the number of letters in the potential fodder didn’t match the answer length.

      1. Oh no, that makes me feel even worse. I didn’t even bother to add up how many letters were required. Seven not eight!

        1. Sorry, Florence, I didn’t mean to do that. The clue certainly screamed anagram. Solving under the time pressure of having to create a blog has taught me to look out for letter counts when considering the possibility of an anagram.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly with our blogger’s comments at the top of the page. A very comfortable and enjoyable solve this morning. 9a and 4d are fighting it out for my top spot. A special mention for the cartoon at 26a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K.

  3. I do love Tuesday blogs – the format for the hints is SO much easier to read on a laptop.
    I agree with Mr K that this was a fun solve and I even coped with 9a once I’d realised that it was a reference to what we’d have called the ‘twenty-five yard line’ in the halcyon days of ‘real’ money, weights and measures!

    Plenty of contenders for the top spot but 18a raised the biggest smile here.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another of his excellent reviews and more of those great illustrations – your hard work is much appreciated.

  4. Finished much more quickly than yesterday
    Favourite 12a. I had the first five letters of testify for 13a before I realised It didn’t fit. Fortunately it wasn’t necessary to change any of them!

  5. Another good example of what appears to have become a very typical Tuesday puzzle, very enjoyably completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 5d, and 7d – and the winner is 5d which gave me a big smile.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K, especially for the 26a illustration.

    P.S. A good Tuesday Toughie from Silvanus is quite solvable (although BD might consider that it deserves the F-word).

  6. Agree with Florence. I spent ages trying to work out an anagram in 1d that wasn’t there! This has to be my COTD – quite a clever diversionary tactic by the setter. The other clue that had me scratching my head was 9a possibly because I don’t know much about rugby.

    Thank you to all concerned.

  7. I do like the new look of the Blog, especially since you reduced the amount of white space. Thanks.

  8. Not bad but did need the hints in places. I agree much better than yesterdays which defeated me completely.
    Thx to all

  9. An enjoyable puzzle, in which there were a few that were bunged in and then required thought for parsing them. Glad it wasn’t just me, Mr K and I agreed with your rating too. Thanks to Mr K and Jane for dispelling my confusion about the markings on a rugby pitch (I’ve a tendency to think in old units). It was clear from the wordplay but I did bung in 9a. Thanks to the setter. My favourite was 13a.

  10. Another entertaining puzzle, again SE corner seems to be my Nemesis. Favourite clue 18a. Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  11. I enjoyed that, and got much further by myself than is typical. Thank you to the setter and Mr K — I love the baby-feeding pic for 21a!

    My general knowledge didn’t include 9a, but even with the explanation there appears to be a unit missing: the thing being described by the clue sounds like it needs more than just the words in the answer (certainly it has on the handy diagram Mr K thoughtfully provided, anyway).

    Clues like 12a seem a little disappointing to me: most of the wordplay is simply a diminutive term for the answer; it isn’t a co-incidence that the letters are the same (and as such, nor really that “children’s” is in the wordplay for a definition of “child”).

    I’m also among those who to make an anagram for 1d (before realizing there was a letter too many).

    Lots of clues that made me smile, including 7d, 8d, and 18a, with 19d being my favourite.

    1. S, 12a. I’m not sure what you are getting at with the comment? The parsing is: Children’s film (BAMBI) + absolutely not (NO) = BAMBINO (child). It’s not difficult to solve, admittedly, but a reasonable cryptic clue nonetheless.

      1. Hi, Jose. The name ‘Bambi’, as chosen for the little deer in the book/film, is a variant of ‘bambina’/‘bambino’. If it’d come from, say, the German word for a deer-like creature (and I’m never surprised to encounter a new deer-like creature in these crosswords!) which happened to use the same letters, I’d’ve preferred it.

        I find clues with the structure ‘a word formed from a shortening of the same word, plus a couple of extra letters’ less fun than other types of clues. Personal preference — others don’t like some clues that I love, and plenty of other people like 12a today!

    2. Hi, Smylers. The line on the rugby pitch is often referred to in commentary as just the answer because “a scrum on the 22” is less of a mouthful than “a scrum on the 22 metre line”

      1. I didn’t know about that usage of BAMBI until I looked up bambino to see if it was listed as a foreign word. Solving crosswords so often leads to interesting new knowledge.

  12. A comfortable Tuesday, LOI was 24d, I have no idea why! Awful day in London today, so the Toughie awaits.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr.K, though I am confused why there is a picture of a lady’s posterior as part of the hint for 17a (though I am far from upset)!!

    1. HIYD, 17a. If you look carefully at the picture there is a subtle, curved contour revealed by the effects of “static cling”.

        1. On a computer you can often hover over the pics for a caption that explains why I chose the pic. Not sure if it’s possible to see the hover tags on a tablet or phone though. Does anybody know?

          1. Some you can, some you can’t
            I just tried them.
            Two turn into a different picture.
            You can’t really hover on an iPad but on the old site if you touched it the answer came up.
            No help needed today, but thanks to both.

          2. The alt tag doesn’t appear to do anything on an Android – even if the image is missing no ‘alternative text’ is displayed.

            I don’t think they can since it’s not possible to hover, nor turn off ‘display images’ in web pages, which was originally the purpose of the tag; to help with slow connections by providing a text description in place of the image.

            1. Good points – thanks, LbR. I suppose I could add a Caption button above the picture that revealed the caption when pressed. Until the most recent survey I had not appreciated that the majority of readers are using a tablet or a phone to view the blog, so I should make an effort to cater to them.

              1. I thought there may have been some complaints about that photo! Some people are very sensitive. Just to say I always use Ipad or IPhone and site is now great. Only problem with the IPhone is that it doesn’t not retain my name and details whereas the Ipad does!

  13. First read of the across clues was not productive but , once on the wavelength, finished at a steady speed of knots .

    This was an very good example of a cryptic crossword which would baffle those people who are amazed when the answer is explained . The same people are often flummoxed by algebra as well . I base my observation mainly on my wife’s mixed reaction when I try to explain what I think is a clever clue .

    My COTD 21A just ahead of 18A .

    Thanks Mr K and well done to the mysterious one .

    1. Interesting observation about algebra, KFB. I tend to view the word play in many clues as a sort of equation, because in many cases the answer is the result of applying a series of well-defined operations. But then I’m trained as a mathematician (among other things). I wonder if that’s a common way of looking at clue construction?

      1. If I had to rely on equations and/or algebra when solving cryptics I’d never get off the starting blocks!
        It’s all about words and the manipulation of them for me.

  14. A mild Tuesday puzzle with well-written, mostly concise, clues giving an enjoyable/entertaining solve. I’ve ticked a few and my fav is 18d – not hard to parse but a well-thought-out clue. 2* / 3*

  15. Enjoyed this crossword. Only clue that threw me was 14d. I knew it was an anagram but had to get all the letters before I could work out what it was. Confess never heard of a spinneret before.

    1. Welcome from me too, AH, and thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle.

      I had the answer to 14d lodged somewhere in my brain, but I had to look up the meaning because that had been long forgotten.

      1. I had thought of the spider connection and had heard of a spinneret but thought it was a musical instrument!

  16. A good one from today’s nameless setter. Have to admit to several bung-ins viz. 5d, 9a (still inclined to think in old money) and 18d. Thank you to our unnamed setter for this brill (to coin a contemporary word) puzzle and also to MrK for, as always, being on hand with his pertinent hints.

  17. A pleasant, enjoyable puzzle, completed at a decent speed (for me, at any rate) until I came to the NE corner. Needed help there, but shouldn’t have done – thank you, Mr K. I don’t understand why the clue to 12a didn’t need an indicator that the answer is a foreign word.
    Revisiting the completed puzzle to choose my favourite has had me smiling again at 18a, so that wins my COTD.
    Thanks again to Mr K for hints, and to the mystery setter.

    1. I was also surprised by the apparent omission of a foreign word indicator in 12a, but the BRB doesn’t list it as such.

      1. If we listed all the foreign words which are in every day usage, such as bambino, we’d run out of space.

  18. Several LOL moments while perusing Mr K’s blog photos. Several inward smiles during the solve. I liked this puzzle which is a good example of how clues need not be hard to be enjoyable. **/****
    Thankee Mr K and setter.

  19. What a day! I set off early in order to travel quite a distance in order to play cricket. With the rain pouring down at home, I contacted the opposition skipper who said their groundsman expected us to be able to play in spite of the awful weather forecast. In the event we sat around doing nothing for ages before a thunderstorm forced the decision to cancel the match which IMHO should have been taken some hours previously. Moan over …

    This back-pager (which I thought was light but good fun) and today’s Toughie however added some sunshine to my day. 4d & 17d are my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Mr K.

  20. This was very tricky for me, I struggled mightily in the NW corner. Admittedly, that’s because I had the wrong answer in 1a, I’m not going to tell what I had, pure rubbish.
    I spent far too long looking for a slang word for a “tenner”, missed the lurker completely.
    I liked 18a, but 7d deserves a mention.
    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and to Mr. K for helping me complete the NW corner.

  21. 3/3. Enjoyable puzzle although it didn’t just fall into place for me. A few d’oh moments and well worth persevering. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  22. I must have been completely on wavelength this morning as I completed this in one of my fastest ever times. I did not know the rugby term (of course) but the clue was clear and fair and I didn’t know the web builder word but with the checkers in place it was fairly obvious.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K – I loved the baby pic!

  23. I thought that this was a top-flight puzzle with very smooth surfaces throughout. Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the beautifully illustrated review.
    It was difficult to choose podium selections from such a lot of candidates but I’ll plump for 11a, 6d and 18d.

  24. I’m early today, but I had some time on a train journey back from London. Good stuff today. No outstanding favourites. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. Must feed the dogs as the poor little mites haven’t seen me all day.

  25. Another great puzzle today, that is two days in a row I have completed the puzzles without even glancing at the hints & review.
    I may fall into the trap that I know what I’m doing ‘
    2*/3.5* , good surfaces & well clued, thoroughly enjoyable.
    Many thanks to setter & MrK for review.

    1. Careful! Just when you think you have cracked it, the next puzzle comes along and bites you on the arse.

      1. Absolutely.
        A few weeks ago I was thinking of trying another newspaper as I felt that I was completing them too quickly.
        Boom! Days of struggling with few in on first pass and help needed to complete.

      2. Indeed. We should get another Chris Lancaster puzzle in the next few Tuesdays. I usually end up rating his puzzles 4* for difficulty (and enjoyment).

  26. Bottom half flew of the stylus but I had to think a bit more for the north. 7d was my fave if only for the penny drop when I couldn’t make Harrisman work.
    Thanks to Mr K for hints and pics and setter who has really got Tuesdays just right for me.
    I would swear down blind that 141 in 5d is my granddad!

    1. Hi, John. We know that the Tuesday puzzles are produced by a team of setters, not a single compiler. Chris Lancaster, X-Type, and Navy have all commented here on a Tuesday to claim puzzles as their own. So there are at least four Tuesday setters, although I suspect the number may be higher than that.

      I do wish that today’s setter would delurk so we can thank them in person, as it were.

      1. Well I will thank CL as he has claimed a few Tuesdays and is responsible for editing/choosing the rest. Many moons ago (38 yrs and counting) when I first tried to do Dad’s puzzles, Tuesday always seemed to stretch me the most. I never really got the hang of them until Big Dave came on the scene. A few more moons of lurking before I plucked up the courage to comment here and thank all the bloggers setters and commenters that make this place what it is.

        1. I’m told that RayT was a regular Tuesday setter for several years before he moved to Thursday, so that might explain your less recent experiences with Tuesday puzzles.

  27. I started this crossword in the physical media and struggled. I returned home and reverted to the trusty Pad and sailed through it. Hmm. I’m not impressed with myself!
    I liked 1a and 22a; the latter is my favourite.
    Thank you setter for a nice challenge, and thanks to MrK for the review and the lovely cartoon!

  28. Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle to solve. No major problems along the way.
    Thanks Mr Ron and Mr K.

  29. First day back from another great trip home to old blighty, was relieved to find a very pleasant and doable puzzle (we were there for sizzling Thursday last week). Thanks very much to setter and Mr. K. Got off to a quick start, stalled briefly, and then it all fell into place. COTD was 18a, very funny. A relief to be able to complete today, as I was pathetic at doing those I printed up to take with us.

    1. Welcome back! Just in time for our first depression, but hopefully it’ll only bring heavy rain.

    1. Try thinking of it as hold on to like a life raft.
      Cold as in what’s on the cold water tap followed by a very crossword sort of fish starting with L

    2. Hi, Ricardo. Whenever you see “fish” in a clue, it’s a good idea to consider whether it could be clueing LING, EEL, or RAY. Those three come up a lot, especially LING because that letter combination often occurs at the end of answers.

      1. I think Ricardo’s point is that he could not take his eyes off the photo

  30. No problems with your excellent illustrations. I can get the alternatives or the larger version on my I-pad. Today loved the alternative cabaret and shivered at the enlarged spinneret.

  31. Forgive this late comment – don’t have time to get to grips until late evening into early morning. Somewhat pedantically, I had assumed that the mark in 9a was the call a player behind the 22 line is able to make after cleanly catching the ball before being tackled, rather than the line on the pitch. Sorry…

    1. Never too late to comment, Lulubelle. That’s an interesting point. I just went with the definition that’s given in Chambers: A line on a rugby pitch twenty-two metres from the goal-line

  32. 2*/5*…..
    liked 26A “teaching a cutie, don distracted”……..also the cartoon in the hint thereto !

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