DT 29774 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29774

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29774

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to our discussion of another satisfying and enjoyable Tuesday crossword puzzle. Two Tuesdays ago X-Type said in a comment that "you'll see me more regularly from now on".  After solving this puzzle I suspect that regularly means fortnightly. Writing that reminded me that fortnight is one of a few non-slang British English words that baffle most Americans, perhaps because it's so difficult to guess its meaning.  Wikipedia, noting that the word is rarely used in North America, also warns readers that it is not to be confused with Fortnite, whose rise now makes comprehension over here even more difficult.

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 and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Second bath and balder, regularly dropping lots of little hairs (7)
STUBBLE:  Link together the single letter for second, a synonym of bath, and alternate letters (regularly dropping) of BALDER 

5a    Harry pours me big shot (7)
SUPREMO:  An anagram (harry, as in disturb) of POURS ME 

9a    Redgrave perhaps initially receives Oscar with sign of hesitation (5)
ROWER:  Assemble the first letter (initially) of RECEIVES, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Oscar, the abbreviation for with, and a spoken sound of hesitation. The definition is by example (perhaps) and refers to a sportsman, not an actor as is sneakily implied by the surface reading 

10a   Dark-coloured rook that is swallowing cold grains (5,4)
BROWN RICE:  Chain together dark-coloured, perhaps from the sun, the chess abbreviation for rook, and the Latin abbreviation for "that is" containing (swallowing) the single letter for cold 

11a   Downhearted university teacher conceals especially brief depression (10)
DESPONDENT:  An informal word for a university teacher contains (conceals) an abbreviation (briefly) for especially, and that’s all followed by a depression in a sheet of metal, for example 

12a   Took advantage of American cheese, removing half (4)
USED:  An abbreviation for American is followed by half (removing half) of a Dutch cheese 

14a   Disorderly drunk sups root beer (12)
OBSTREPEROUS:  An anagram (drunk) of SUPS ROOT BEER 

18a   Ready to fly, female cuckoo gleefully did -- one's taken off (5-7)
FULLY-FLEDGED:  The abbreviation for female with an anagram (cuckoo, as in crazy) of GLEEFULLY DID minus the Roman one (one's taken off

21a   Continues holding back group of soldiers (4)
UNIT:  The first word of the clue is hiding (holding) the reversal (back) of the answer 

22a   Disobey -- stress gran out (10)
TRANSGRESS:  An anagram (out) of STRESS GRAN 

25a   I travel round northern France topless, showing foolishness (9)
IGNORANCE:  Cement together I from the clue, a short synonym for travel containing (round) the single letter for northern, and FRANCE minus its first letter (topless

This dessert exhibits gooseberry foolishness

26a   Racket one found in trunk? (5)
NOISE:  The Roman one is inserted in (found in) what an elephant's trunk defines by example (?

27a   Raise the Spanish tax between second and fifth of September (7)
ELEVATE:  Follow "the" in Spanish with an abbreviation for a particular tax sandwiched between the second and fifth letters of SEPTEMBER 

28a   Some harass us, pending arrest (7)
SUSPEND:  The answer is hidden as some of the remaining words in the clue 



1d    Mud's picked up on eastern walk (6)
STRIDE:  The reversal (picked up, in a down clue) of mud or filth along with its 'S, followed by the single letter for eastern 

2d    Silly upper-class name? Ernie, perhaps (6)
UNWISE:  Cement together the single letter for upper-class, the abbreviation for name, and what Ernie the comedian defines by example (perhaps

3d    Town's restricting minor street traders (6,4)
BARROW BOYS:  Evidently Cheshire, Suffolk, Shropshire, Rutland, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, and Somerset all have a town with the required name.  That word and its 'S are containing (restricting) a minor child.  I do not know how many fans of The Decemberists might be lurking out there, but here goes anyway.  This musical illustration of the answer must also surely be the only song in existence whose lyrics include the occasional Toughie answer tamaracks  

4d    Fix hem with no top on the sack (5)
EMBED:  HEM minus its first letter (with no top) followed by what "the sack" can refer to informally 

5d    Simply teach daughter to support golf club cost (5-4)
SPOON-FEED:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter comes after (to support, in a down clue) both an old-fashioned golf club and a cost or rate 

6d    Stake  boat (4)
PUNT:  Double definition. Stake in a gambling sense 

7d    Release English girl with one leg (8)
EMISSION:  Concatenate the single letter for English, a synonym of girl, the Roman one, and another work for the leg side of a cricket pitch 

8d    Extra ecstasy after party's creating this? (8)
OVERDOSE:  The wordplay instructs us to start with a word meaning extra or surplus, then attach a usual party with its 'S from the clue, and follow that with the single letter for the drug ecstasy.  The entire clue can serve as the definition 

13d   Source of power for high-fliers? (3,7)
JET ENGINES:  A cryptic definition of what powers those literally flying high above the Earth 

15d   Mixing treacle with no patience (9)
TOLERANCE:  An anagram (mixing) of TREACLE NO 

16d   Gushing brook almost capsized four friends in the middle (8)
EFFUSIVE:  All but the last letter (almost) or brook or bear is reversed (capsized, in a down clue) and followed by the Roman four and the letter found in the middle of FRIENDS 

17d   Lines in top-notch article on church association (8)
ALLIANCE:  Two copies of the single letter for line are inserted in an abbreviation meaning "top-notch", and that's all followed by a grammatical article and the abbreviation for the Church of England 

19d   Democrat with base and evil scheme (6)
DEVICE:  Join together the single letter for Democrat, the letter representing the base of the natural logarithms, and a noun synonym of evil 

20d   Climb a post, enthralling Charlie (6)
ASCEND:  Follow A from the clue with another word for post (a letter) containing (enthralling) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Charlie 

23d   European following new editor's demands (5)
NEEDS:  The single letter for European is following the abbreviation for new, and that's all followed by the abbreviation for editor 

24d   Fish eater tucked into mirror carp (4)
ORCA:  The answer is hidden inside (tucked into) the remainder of the clue 


Thanks to today’s setter. I found a lot to like here. Highlights for me included 11a, 22a, 25a, 2d, and 8d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  PRY + SIN + DECKS = PRICE INDEX

69 comments on “DT 29774

  1. This was one of those that was a really slow starter, only about six of the across clues went in on the first pass. But it soon sped up and I crossed the finish line at a gallop, in **/*** time. Last in was 5d, so that will get my vote for COTD.

    I couldn’t fully parse 16d, I got the “four friends” but not the rest. ::edit:: Ah, now I see, thanks Mr K, I assumed the four friends were “US IV’. Never mind.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  2. A fair bit of Lego in this puzzle I thought, although some of the wordplay was excellent. 8d stood out for me as my top clue, with 5a my final entry. A stunningly beautiful day here in Shropshire.

    My thanks to our mystery setter and to Mr K for his usual comprehensive review.

  3. I can’t be quite as 16d as Mr K with this one though it was enjoyable enough, even with a couple of dated references.
    I thought the anagrams were particularly good particularly 5a and it sits on my podium along with 16 (which took a while to parse)&17d, the wordplay of which uses a phrase I often use in my thank you’s. Top spot though goes to 8d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the fun in the September sun.

  4. Have I missed something? I know this site has had problems but why are we now inflicted with those perishing cookies? What is worse is, although I’ve waded through the so called privacy notice, I can not find anyway to block them. I really don’t see us tolerating this blatant invasion of our privacy!

        1. Annoying, but it just means your browser has cleared its cache so you have to confirm you trust the site again
          It’s absurd – has anyone on the planet ever visited a website to find some information and not clicked on ‘Accept’?
          Most of us don’t even know or care what cookies are or what they do so it’s totally pointless

          1. Where there is an option to refuse all or some cookies, I always click the (various) refuse box(es). On those occasions where I use google (either .co.uk or .com) as my search engine I always select the “off” options.

            My various browsers are all set to whatever level of maximum privacy with which I can get away without the pages I visit breaking completely. I employ a range of anti-tracker and anti-advert add-ons in my main browser (Firefox) and turn-off all pop-ups.

            The lack of advertising I experience is very reassuring. Some sites, eg Daily Mail, won’t let you block adverts, so I never use such sites.

            Where possible the browsers I use are set to clear the browsing history, cookies, cache and all tabs every time the browser is closed … and I do close the browser every time I finish doing something (as I will when I leave this site shortly).

            I use made-up names (Mustafa is, unsurprisingly, not my real name), made-up dates of birth, and disposable email addresses – the Firefox “Blur” add-on, which creates addresses in the format ******@opayq.com, is invaluable for this purpose, and it also tells me that 7 trackers are currently being blocked as I use this site.

            1. “Mustafa”
              I am sure there must be readily available articles on the steps we should all take to minimise the pervasive nature of the Internet.
              We wouldn’t allow someone to sit in on our private conversations yet effectively every time we click things like “accept all” we do precisely that.
              Your post shows just how seriously we should take these matters yet few of us (including me I am ashamed to say) do.

            2. Agree Kieth (or is it Jenny?), I use similar tools but I do click on ads on this site as it generates revenue for BD (running this place is not free, you know)
              If I visit a site and it tries to tell me what to do, I’ll simply go elsewhere
              I remember a radio presenter once gave out his bank account number on air to prove how well protected he was
              His bank account was emptied within 24hrs

    1. I’m reading this on my IPhone and just have an advert for Golfers over 60. That is no hardship for me and at worst a minor irritation compared to the pleasure of using this site. What does annoy me (not on this site) are all the adverts I get for funeral plans, retirement villages, and Will writers.

  5. 16d was baffling. The answer had to be what it is but I couldn’t see why. Thanks for that. I did like 5d but my favourite is 1a. **/*** Thanks to all.

  6. Enjoyable solve for me. All going quite smoothly until I got into a muddle by having the wrong sort of sack at the “end” of 4d leading to 10a appearing to begin with an E causing me to invent a new grain called ebony ****. And struggling to come up with a boat p_y_ to replace my perfectly correct 6d. As ever back to first principles got me back on track. Thanks to the setter and MrK

    1. Hi moderator, not sure how this happened but lost my alias. I don’t post anywhere with my actual name.

    2. Exactly my error as well, Taking 5. So, finding something dark beginning with an E foxed me completely until the penny dropped.

  7. Well if this one is, as our reviewer suspects, by X-Type & it’s a fortnightly gig then it’s most welcome. I thought it a fine puzzle & with a fair bit more bite to it than most Tuesday offerings of late. Like Malcolm 16d was my only parsing blip but in my case I couldn’t figure out where the final letter came into it. Plenty of excellent clues to choose from. As a golf nut top spot was bound to be 5d with ticks also for the surface reads at 9&18a alongside 3,4,8&16d.
    Today’s Toughie seems more challenging to me than recent Tuesdays also.
    Thanks to X-Type & Mr K – enjoyed the music clip & am checking them out.
    Ps Congratulations to the girls on a stupendous achievement retaining the Solheim Cup. I fear the boys may struggle to match them in a couple of weeks

    1. Agree re Solheim Cup achievement H. Pity it was spoiled for me by the Sky “coverage”. I think the Vitality dog got as much air time as the actual coverage of golf shots. Too many interviews all answering the same banal questions, too many adverts,too many errors in commentary. After yet another muttered “Not again!” She-who-must-be-obeyed commented “I don’t know why you bother watching it!”
      Certainly many of the outfits allowed students of the game to study the role of the gluteous maximus muscles in the golf swing.

  8. Enjoyable solve for me. All going quite smoothly until I got into a muddle by having the wrong sort of sack at the “end” of 4d leading to 10a appearing to begin with an E causing me to invent a new grain called ebony ****. And struggling to come up with a boat p_y_ to replace my perfectly correct 6d. As ever back to first principles got me back on track. Thanks to the setter and MrK

  9. 1.5*/4*. The second light and very enjoyable puzzle for this week so far, with 25a & 8d fighting it out for my top spot.

    Many thanks to the setter (I think X-Type is a good call) and to Mr K.

  10. I enjoyed this and picked up the pace after a slow start. Brief head scratch required to parse 16d. I thought 8d was a fantastic clue.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Mr K

  11. I have not read the comments yet so if I duplicate my apologies. The lower half went in easier than the top but fair clueing led me to the finish line for an unaided finish. 14a is a fabulous word, almost onomatopoeic in that it can be blurted out in a satisfying manner. Many good clues but my COTD is 10a closely followed by 18a and 8d.

    All in all, a most enjoyable solve.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Mr. K. for the tips and kitty cats.

  12. I found the clues in this puzzle rather ‘fussy’ and over-complicated and fared better after i’d decided to figure out the punch line and ignore the wordplay, then look at the checkers to figure out the answer. It was a bit of a slog and somewhat less than enjoyable (***/**) but it filled in the grid. There were some good anagrams and 5d was entertaining. Thanks to Mr K for explaining those clues that I couldn’t parse and thanks to the compiler for his efforts.

  13. Just started doing the DT cryptic again a couple of weeks ago. This is the first one I’ve finished so feeling very pleased with myself.

      1. Well done Robbie. It’s a good feeling, when you start to complete puzzles. Look forward to hearing from you again.

      2. Thanks, I don’t think it will happen very often but I guess that what makes completing it feel so satisfying.

      1. Hello Robbie – you will never regret finding this site, it is fantastic. Not only do you hone your puzzling skills, you meet lovely people who care. We are actually a huge community from all over the world – I was amazed, just as well its the same old codgers that comment, 25000 would take up a lot of room! Hope to see you again.

  14. I needed a bit of Google/GK help with the NW (names and such that this provincial American simply doesn’t know), and so I rather slogged a bit through this one…rusty after my rustication, I guess. But I did finish, hurray! It’s nice to be back among blogging friends. My week away reminded me how much I’ve grown accustomed to your presences and kindnesses. Top clue for me was 5d. Thanks to Mr K (what? no kitties?) and today’s setter. **** / ***

    Very tough Toughie for me today, too. By the way, I just realised that the new novel I raved over yesterday, Damon Galgut’s The Promise, is also among the Booker longlisted ones this year.

  15. With only one checker in place, I initially opted for the wrong colour of grain (the one they used on MasterChef last week!) but that made the 6d boat rather unlikely and didn’t help with the simple teaching either!
    An enjoyable little tussle but no particular favourite to mention.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – loved the sign for 15d.

    1. I was another who went against the grain in 10a until the boat put be back on track.
      I also took for ever to see 19d. I blame the heat. I’m going for a lie down!

  16. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty for the review and hints. Quite a good puzzle. Couldn’t get started at the top, so completed the bottom half first. Didn’t like 10a. LOI was 1d. Favourite was 9a, which I had the most trouble with.

  17. Continuing the Tuesday trend of very enjoyable but not over-demanding puzzles – 1.5*/4.5* – which gave me plenty of time to work on the Serpent Toughie before my brain went into ‘sleep mode’.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 3d and 5d – and the winner is 5d with an HM for the Pun.

    Thanks to X-Type, if it is indeed he starting his more regular ‘appearances’, and to Mr K.

  18. A pleasing */*** with most going straight in. I thought the anagram in 5a nicely hidden with the relatively unusual indicator. Took me a little while to rid myself of actor references in 9a before the coinage dropped. Thanks to Mr K and our setter.

  19. This puzzle pushed me to my outer levels. I enjoyed completing it, with 19d the last one in.

    I shampooed all the carpets yesterday with the heaviest machine in history. I then slept for twelve hours. Increasingly I do these tasks and then reflect that I should have paid some young person to do it (the shampooing, not the sleeping).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Fairport Convention – What We Did on Our Holidays.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr. K.

  20. Bucking the trend this was tough for me finding my concentration kept wandering. I even dozed off at one stage! In the end took me into **** time.
    It was fairly clued, but I was fixed too long on trying to justify “actor” for 9a and “market” plus something for 3d.
    Go for 5d as COTD but I would think the word for the golf club is only used in crosswords nowadays.
    Thank you to setter and Mr K for the review.

  21. A game of two halves with the southern half falling into place with less trouble than the north. Lots of clever clueing for me an very enjoyable.
    One small point could 19d not also, if not more appropriately be spelt with an ‘s’?

    Thanks to Mr K and the setter

    1. Probably not, because the last four letters are a synonym of evil which would not be spelt with an ‘S’.

    2. The S would make a better definition synonym in my view but would fit with the wordplay – evil synonym.

      1. Both fit with the word play. The s spelling is a verb and the c a noun like practise and practice. I do agree that I first thought of the verb rather than the noun but evil persuaded me otherwise.

  22. Really enjoyed this cracking puzzle. Witty, great range of clues, nothing untoward or too obscure, all of them very fair.

    HMs to 2d, 5a, and 16d, with (unusually for me as it’s an anagram) 18a my COTD.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Setter & Mr K

  23. A very nice puzzle 😃 ***/*** Favourites 25a & 6d Thanks to Mr K and to X-Type 👍 I thought the Quicky phrase was worth a podium place 🤗

  24. Very enjoyable but a lot trickier than yesterdays puzzle. The bottom half was the trickiest without a doubt.
    Thx to all

  25. Good fun, the bottom went in far quicker than the top and for the record I never click on Accept all cookies. Lovely day here but spent 1.5 hours on the phone as the cash machine didn’t give me my 100 quid but debited my account anyway.. Still not sorted Grrr. David has had to take a covid test as he is coughing badly. Keep fingers crossed all OK. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the pics.

  26. Lingering for too long over 10a because my initial 4d was wrong, pushed me into **** time.
    Very satisfying mental workout
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  27. I couldn’t get Vanessa out of my head for 9a. I tried to remove half of Monterey for12a, as it was the only American cheese I could remember, until I realised that I only needed half of a cheese which was not American. Otherwise, an enjoyable solve. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty

  28. Nothing special but a pleasant enough challenge through which to work which was perfect for me on a day taken up with entertaining/wining/dining family. No real Fav(s) but also no clues about which to whinge. Thank you XType (?) and MrK.

  29. Not too difficult today, but have to admit most of my answers went in without understanding why. Had to look at the hints for the parsing. So clearly not on the setter’s wavelength. Of course I was fixated on Lynn or Vanessa in 9a. Thanks to X-type and Mr K.

  30. Very enjoyable puzzle for me today. Was held up on 8d….I’m no good on all-in-one type clues as I keep searching for a definition….but I bunged it in and found out the parsing later from Mr K.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  31. Slow start today with one thing and another. A tricky sort of puzzle in parts. Rank this 3*/4*
    Clues for favourites 18a, 27a, 3d, 7d & 16d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  32. Finished unaided in record time for me, even for a Tuesday, after finding yesterday’s much harder. Wavelength thing again. About fortnight, agree it is a most peculiar word. Unlike 14a which is a lovely word, not an onomatopoeia ,but just really sounds right, so has to be my favourite. Very much agree with the comments about enjoying the blog , sometimes it’s a bit like following a serial on the radio. Hoping that Kath is getting better, wondering how Lola is doing and of course all news from Daisygirl et al. So thanks again to all , compiliers, bloggers & commenters.

  33. Very late to the blog today but had to drop in to say I agree with many commentators that the solving was fairly straightforward but the parsing took some working out, particularly on the Lego clues. Just my sort of puzzle!

    14a is one of my favourite words ever since I was called it by a prefect at school. When I cheekily responded by saying I had no idea what he was talking about he presented me with a dictionary and told me me to look it up. I read out that it meant noisy, turbulent. Whereupon I was instructed to write a hundred lines “I am noisy and turbulent” – never forgotten it’s meaning since!

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K

  34. Very enjoyable puzzle for me! I was on the right wavelength it seems as things just dropped into place without too much trouble. I got 16d but needed your helpful hints to parse it. I didn’t get 5d despite guessing the cost element and having a few checkers so I blame the golf terminology for putting me off! However, I gave myself a smug point for remembering the cricketing term at 7d for “leg” which I know thanks to crosswording and definitely not thanks to sports fandom; we’ve seen this so many times I wonder if it’s now a candidate for The Usual Suspects page? Fav clue 8d. Thanks all!

  35. 2*/4*…
    liked 18A “Ready to fly, female cuckoo gleefully did — one’s taken off (5-7)” …. amongst others.

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