DT 29421 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29421

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29421

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  Another Tuesday brings another Tuesday puzzle.  Not much more to be said really, so let's get on with the hinty part of the blog. 

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



1a    Stir one's pot with a piece of cutlery (8)
TEASPOON:  An anagram (stir) of ONE'S POT A 

5a    Energy in deer's legs (6)
STAGES:  Insert the physics symbol for energy in some male deer

9a    Place for dieter with weight going up and down? (9)
GYMNASIUM:  A cryptic definition of a place where weights might be lifted 

11a   Coward might have written this answer after drink (5)
DRAMA:  The single letter for answer comes after a small drink of alcohol.  The Coward is Noël 

12a   Bird was first to be named (6)
TITLED:  Follow a small songbird with a word meaning "was first" 

13a   Daft king in doorway? Not on a regular basis (8)
IGNORANT:  Alternate letters (on a regular basis) of the remainder of the clue 

15a   Argue no cement that's mixed can provide support (13)
ENCOURAGEMENT:  An anagram (… that's mixed) of ARGUE NO CEMENT 

18a   Workers in this stable damaged business (13)
ESTABLISHMENT:  Some generic workers inserted in an anagram (damaged) of THIS STABLE 

22a   While a student, hard to enter firm (8)
ALTHOUGH:  Link together A from the clue, the single letter indicating a learner or student driver, and a synonym of firm containing the pencil abbreviation for hard (hard to enter

23a   One following boss round workplace (6)
STUDIO:  The Roman one comes after a boss or knob, and that's all followed by the round letter 

26a   Abandon  bushy area (5)
SCRUB:  Double definition, the first an informal verb, the second a noun 

27a   Sign of the cold winter in Paris with rat outside (9)
SHIVERING:  The French word for winter has rat or grass wrapped around it (with rat outside

28a   In cupboard is he stacking plates? (6)
DISHES:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

29a   Guys count in their heads (8)
MENTALLY:  Some guys or workers are followed by count or keep score 



1d    Turn over and fetch the woman at the same time (8)
TOGETHER:  Concatenate the financial abbreviation for turn over, fetch or obtain, and a pronoun for "the woman" 

2d    Allow a doctor turning up on strike to leave hospital (5)
ADMIT:  Put together A from the clue, the reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of a usual abbreviated doctor, and a synonym of strike with the map abbreviation for hospital deleted (strike to leave [behind] hospital) 

3d    Even out a uniform following crooked pleat (7)
PLATEAU:  A from the clue and the letter in the NATO phonetic alphabet represented by uniform are both following an anagram (crooked) of PLEAT 

4d    Leave out some breakfast -- I'm officially rising (4)
OMIT:  The answer is hidden as some of the reversal of (rising, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue 

6d    Little European swimmer in pond? (7)
TADPOLE:  A little or a dash is followed by a native of a particular European country 

7d    Agree aunt breaks promise (9)
GUARANTEE:  An anagram (… breaks) of AGREE AUNT 

8d    Begins pastries after son (6)
STARTS:  Some pastries or little pies come after the genealogical abbreviation for son 

10d   Alluring witchcraft concealing trap (8)
MAGNETIC:  A synonym of witchcraft containing (concealing) a trap for fish 

14d   Pop group starts to get extra stroppy after cold vegetables (8)
CABBAGES:  Sweden's most famous pop group and the initial letters of (starts to) Get Extra Stroppy all come after the single letter for cold 

16d   Disturb rare, cute and small animals (9)
CREATURES:  An anagram (disturb) of RARE CUTE is followed by the clothing abbreviation for small 

17d   US -- it wrongly will remove leaders with force (8)
STRONGLY:  The first three words of the clue lose their initial letters (… will remove leaders

19d   Trader's first currency problems (7)
TROUBLE:  Trader's first letter is followed by the Russian currency unit

20d   Most warm -- and most cool? (7)
HOTTEST:  Double definition.  Most cool as in most fashionable 

21d   Left by part of church, daughter fell from the faith (6)
LAPSED:  Glue together the single letter for left, a part of a church, and the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

24d   Training doctor badly (5)
DRILL:  Cement together another usual doctor and badly or not well 

25d   Delightful new diamonds (4)
NICE:  The abbreviation for new with an informal word for diamonds 


Thanks to today’s setter.  I thought that 23a, 29a, and 24d were 25d.  Which clues did you like best?


The Quick Crossword pun:  CUR + TAN + COOLS = CURTAIN CALLS

81 comments on “DT 29421

  1. A brief and undemanding divertissement which was fun while it lasted as was the Quickie. No particular Favs. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  2. I found this to be very fresh and entertaining puzzle with a couple of nice misdirections.
    A whole host of podium candidates including 22 &27a (isn’t French useful for setters) plus 10&14d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the entertainment.

  3. I can only echo Angellov. */*** No real difficulty anywhere. Favourite 27a. A clever clue. Thanks to all.

  4. I’ll second Angelov’s comment. No problems other than trying to remember the French for winter despite Conte d’hiver being one of my favourite films by the great director, Eric Rohmer. Particularly enjoyed the clues in the SW.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

    1. Huntsman: My favourite Rohmer is ‘Ma nuit chez Maud’, but I don’t remember ‘Conte d’hiver’.

      Finished The Go-Between over the weekend and loved it all over again; I’d forgot how the narrator becomes the title figure all over again at the very end!

      1. Think I’ve seen 4 of 6 Moral Tales & agree it’s a great film. The Four Seasons films are much later in his career & well worth catching.

  5. Like Angellov, I found this pleasant puzzle which was over and done with rather quickly. (1.5*/3*). There were some good anagrams but no outstanding favourite clues. Thank you to Mr K andthe setter.

  6. Just to carry on in the same vain as Banksie, no 19d with this one. I liked the misdirection of coward in 11a, and enjoyed entangling 27a. I was sure that I had to have “ice” in there somewhere, and the french for “in”. Fortunately I could remember enough of my “O” level French to get there in the end. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. I am one very happy lady today after a visit to the hairdresser this morning.

  7. Thought yesterday’s was as easy as they come but apparently not! Enjoyable nevertheless and I rather liked the guys doing sums in their heads.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review, the armful of felines and the little critters.

  8. No problems for the second day running – I might even be brave enough to look at the Toughie.
    I couldn’t get 9a until I had alternate letters in and was beginning to think it was a town that I’d never heard of.
    I liked 22 and 26a and my favourite was 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.
    I can’t think of anything else to say which makes a change!

  9. Another example of a Monday puzzle on a Tuesday – completed at fast gallop – **/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 29a, 6d, and 21d – and the winner is 29a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  10. Not quite as straightforward as yesterday but not far off. Again should give most the pleasure & satisfaction of solving unaided with the bonus of “two days on the run”
    Liked the misdirection in 11a though it is probably an old chestnut.
    Nothing really outstanding but nothing controversial either.
    Remembered winter in French by word association with 27a so that was a gimme.
    Thanks to setter & Mr K.

  11. Nothing to frighten us here, another not to taxing puzzle, I am sure that lurking in the week to come will be a stinker. Glorious day here in NC cliff walks today around Boscastle.
    Thanks to Mr K and setter.

  12. I’ve just said this so apologies if it comes up again but is there a minor gremlin causing a spot of bother here today?

      1. I am waiting for the Toughie post. I finished it but felt it had a very North American slant. I’m waiting to see if I was right.

            1. Bit of a howler in that 10a though – doubt it would go down too well in Long Island!

      2. I do hope that it’s not one of us! If I’m the only one who’s had trouble getting on to the blog then it’s probably my computer playing silly *******. My inclination when it’s misbehaving is to hit it with a hammer but husband is always less keen on that idea.
        Thanks for the Toughie recommendation – later – gardening now.

    1. Gremlin

      A small imaginary creature blamed for mechanical failures,” oral use in R.A.F. aviators’ slang from Malta, the Middle East and India is said to date to 1923. First printed use perhaps in poem in journal “Aeroplane” April 10, 1929; certainly in use by 1941, and popularized in World War II and picked up by Americans (for example “New York Times” Magazine April 11, 1943). Of unknown origin. OED says “probably formed by analogy with GOBLIN.” Speculations in Barnhart are a possible dialectal survival of Old English gremman “to anger, vex” + the -lin of goblin; or Irish gruaimin “bad-tempered little fellow.” Surfer slang for “young surfer, beach trouble-maker” is from 1961 (short form gremmie by 1962).

      Who knew?

      1. Well, there’s a thing! I certainly didn’t know any of that – all I meant was that there was a spanner in the works of the blog!

        1. Now you know why, Kath. It’s a beach trouble maker! 🏄‍♀️
          Now, who on this blog goes surfing?

  13. Unlike others, I did find this a somewhat awkward solve. Not the fault of the puzzle, of course. I simply had a brain that refused to engage. Despite this, it was enjoyable as it gradually revealed itself. I remembered the French for winter so 27a went in relatively easy. My COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

    I’m afraid the Quickie pun didn’t quite work for me.

    1. Isn’t that the whole idea of a pun? It’s not completely matured until it’s fully groan.

  14. Unlike Steve above, I found this very straightforward and probably solved it in a record time. It would have been even faster if I hadn’t confused the French for ‘yesterday’ with ‘winter’. (Sorry Mr Knott).

    The Quickie also fell easily, I hope the Toughie gives me more of a workout today.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  15. I remember my last winter in Paris (rather, my last winter visit): it was New Year’s Eve, ca. 1997, and Le Monde’s headlines read “Siberie’!” The temperature had fallen to 2 or 3 degrees above O (Centigrade, as we say) the night before; it snowed; and we had a snowball fight (my British and Swedish friends and I) along the Boulevard St.-Germain. What joy my ageing foursome had! I have no choice but to award 27a in today’s lovely puzzle the Gold Medal. Indeed, the SE corner wins all of the prizes today, with 17d and 29a rounding out the podium stars. (It promises to be 97 F in dear old Charleston today; Google tells me that’s 36.1111 C.) Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. 2*/3*

    1. Thank you, Robert, I’ve just spent a while reminiscing about the last times I saw Paris – wonderful city for a long weekend.
      Happy for you to leave your weather reports in Fahrenheit, makes far more sense to me – as do feet and inches when it comes to measurements!

    2. Ah Paris. I had become very blasé over the years as I went to Paris so often, mostly for business. But now that it’s not really a sensible option for the time being I’d like nothing better than to be walking along the Boulevard St Germain and stopping for an aperitif at the Cafe de Flore. The warm gust of air with a very particular aroma as you descended into the metro is such an evocative memory.

      But back to today’s puzzle… I didn’t find as easy as yesterday unlike most but I finished unaided but needed Mr K’s assistance to parse 23a. Many thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

      1. Hi Sandra,
        Good to ‘see’ you again and yes, Café de Flore brings back memories.
        I’m part way through The Greengage Summer. Don’t think the book is at all what I was expecting but I’m quite enjoying it. Will report back when I’ve finished reading.

  16. 1*, 4* for me today. Really enjoyed it 1d, 14d and 10d are favourites. COTD to 29a.

  17. All too brief l am afraid but good while it lasted.Perhaps slightly too many anagrams although some did need to be made.Thanks to all.

  18. Started slowly, gained speed, then my knowledge of French seasons let me down and I called on Mr K for a hint.
    The sun shines brightly on the world; Lola sleeps on the table next to the crossword; Chelsea are in the Cup Final, and England squared the Test series.
    I believe I prefer sport behind closed doors. No contorted faces of hate from the front row as players trot over to take corners in football and no ‘amusing’ choir chanting ‘Barmy Army’ all day at the cricket.
    Thanks to mystery setter and Mr K.

    1. Like Lola’s latest publicity shot, Terence, what a contented little lady she appears to be.
      I’m not a football fan but this ‘closed doors’ policy certainly seems to have its advantages – no vandalism on public transport, brawling in the streets, racial abuse being hurled at players etc. However, I suppose the need to generate income will prove to be a powerful catalyst for a return to the status quo as soon as possible – rather like the lifting of lockdown in general.

      1. Jane – I believe in the Premier League the vast majority of income is from television rights both here and around the world (they pay billions) – but the clubs in lower divisions would agree with you in full as almost all of the income is locally generated through gate receipts, catering, sponsorship and so on. It has been a real breath of fresh air to swerve the negative side of football – the racism and general hatred from (I hope) a minority of attendees.
        You’re right – Lola has a life on par with royalty!

      2. However Jane according to today’s DT the football supporters in Leeds managed to leave a fair amount of what looks like mainly plastic rubbish on the ground. Who ARE these people?

        1. They are the kind of people who know their “yooman rites”. In other words, morons.

  19. I agree, pretty straightforward. Possibly the calm before the storm ?
    1.5/4 stars. Thanks to setter and MrK.

  20. Nice crossword but I found it harder than the majority 😃 ***/*** Favourites 12a & 19d Thanks to Mr K and to the Setter 🤗

  21. Very pleasant solve, and quite straightforward, other than 6d about which I had a mental block. So favourite has to be 6d, and thanks to the setter and Mr K. (Our new cat arrives tomorrow from the vet, left in a carrier bag in a lane with her 4 kittens. But she’s gorgeous!)

    1. Hope that homes have been found for the kittens as well, Smardonian? One of our cats, Willow, had also been dumped with her kittens but the local branch of the Cats Protection League, with whom my younger daughter worked as a volunteer, held onto her until the kittens were weaned and had been offered homes.

    2. Welcome from me as well, Smardonian.

      I cannot understand how anybody could feel OK about abandoning a cat like that. I’m sure that she will be very glad that you came along. Please give us an update next Tuesday.

    3. S. & J
      It is amazing up here in the Highlands kittens are not easy to come by. Kittens, even from “moggies” I guess the PC term is crossbreeds. Or in dog terms a Siaggy,or a Burnx bring about £80, so the guy in the picture had at least £750 worth (apologies to cat lovers if they pedigrees)..
      It means that people don’t abandon cats with kittens up here I guess.

      1. Actually, LROK, it’s the same down here in the Welsh Marches. We want a kitten and I have asked our vet to keep an eye out for us. I looked online for one and you are correct. A tabby kitten was about £80 but a pedigree Siamese was an astronomical price.

    4. How lovely – what colour is she and what will you call her? Presumably she still has her kittens with her.
      Oh, and by the way welcome to the blog from me too although I think you’ve commented before – maybe I’m wrong – I often am!

  22. For me this was a steady solve 9 & 27 across on the across appealed to me, whilst 3, 14 & 17 were the downs that caught my eye, my COTD was 13 across. Thank you to the setter and MrK

  23. Second day in a row where the answers were almost immediately accessible.
    It can’t last, surely, so I anticipate a hard landing tomorrow! Many thanks to the setter for a confidence boost and to Mr. K for hints that were unnecessary but, as ever, a pleasure to read.
    I agree with your choice of favourites.

  24. I agree with those here before this was almost as straightforward as yesterday but still fun to solve. 9a and 17d seemed a bit weird. (a a whole lot more than up and down with weights happens there and for a while I thought it was a sneaky de capitalisation of Dieter that lead me to believe it mar start German. 17d was a bit on a plate with not much to look for but the rest was a pleasant fight. I made a Yorkshire mess of 26a as well being as I thought of the Stray in Harrogate until 19d put me right. Thanks to Mr K and setter.
    I am doing ok at the toughie but disaster has struck and I have cracked my laptop screen. I am having to type this via an old monitor but replacement is on its way.

      1. That’ll teach me to leave a pencil in the laptop when I close the screen. sitting here in a pile of bits and old monitors, but I have found the right replacement screen, and it looks a simple fix, and £45 later I should be up and running by Friday.

      1. No left a pencil by the spacebar and put my printout on the keyboard. When I shut the screen I forgot about the pencil under the paper and the ominous crack that followed sounded louder than it probably was. shouldn’t be too expensive as long as it works. It has been trickier to watch the youtube video on how to remove the old screen when I am watching via the broken laptop plugged into a very old monitor. I now have a removed screen and a box of little screws but the elusive serial no. is now with Amazon who have promised “one day delivery by … Friday????

  25. A gentle degree of challenge today. Thanks to setter. Favourites 11a and 17d. Totally missed the parsing of 13a, so thanks Mr K. Not sure that daft is quite accurate as a definition, though. Misled me into thinking of Geo III for a while – perhaps a purposeful misdirection? Last one in 22a – needed the checking letters.

  26. I didn’t find this to be a walk in the park but it was enjoyable.
    I never did get 9a, should have, but I needed the hint. It was my last in.
    I did like 11a and wasn’t fooled at all! I think fave is 6d, but the subpic at 16d was fave overall.
    Thanks to setter and to Mr. K for his needed hint. Pool and exercise time!

  27. So pleased to complete this one in my fastest time ever. 27a was my favourite. After yesterday and today — two satisfying days, am now anticipating struggles later in the week.

  28. Well the week’s off to a good start, with two very nice puzzles I was able to complete with just my trusty Thesaurus and dictionary for help. Oh and Lulu the cat keeping me company.
    Thanks to the setter and MrK

  29. Oh happy day! Finished over breakfast without a single hint or google, a rare occurrence for me. So big thanks to the setter for providing such an enjoyable puzzle. Last in was 27a was I could not recall the French word for winter, but with all the other letters in, it just had to be. Would have commented earlier, but wanted to sneak out in the gardening and do some tree pruning while Mr BL is at the dentist. He would have insisted on doing it, which would not have been a good idea with his bad shoulder.

  30. 1/3. Late on parade today but not because of the time required to solve this pleasant puzzle. No standout favourites but enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  31. Struggled a little at the start and did require a few hints today. SE last area completed with 24d last in. 2 1/2*/*** today. Several nice clues such as 9a, 29a, 1d, 20d & 21d. Overall favourite 29a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  32. My latest start this year even by my own tawdry standards but I was trying to fill up a leaky duck pond until early evening, not by hand obviously but with a small pump. Several more attempts will be required in the coming days, it’s a fairly big pond, so I may be this late or later if the crosswords are harder. Fairly straightforward but enjoyable. Favourite was 17d, my last in. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  33. Managed the Toughie today for a change, but could not get the wavelength for this one.

  34. I have been waiting for today since I started doing these every day when we went in to lockdown! Still furloughed but today was my 1st unaided completed puzzle. Hooray. It has taken me best part of 4 months but I got there. 13a last to fall.

    1. Congratulations Stupee. Great achievement. I hope you have many more successes

  35. Like John Bee there was no doubt I needed German in 9a. Convinced dieter was a German man without a capital letter rather than someone who eschews the good things in life and sweats a lot. Favourites 1 and 22a and 6 and 21d. Did not take long although a proportion of the clues not very inspiring. Thank Setter and Mr K

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