DT 29845 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29845

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29845

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where storm Arwen has passed us by, although it has been a bit breezy for the last couple of days but bright and sunny. We did have an apocalyptic downpour one night last week but I don’t think that was to do with the storm.

I have to give today’s puzzle only one star for difficulty because I got all but one of the across clues on first pass (it was 24a which eluded me) and then all of the downs.  They don’t have to be hard to be enjoyable and I enjoyed this one while it lasted.  I hope you found it the same.

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.


5a           Working with ordinary couple of females intermittently (2-3-3)
ON AND OFF:  A two letter word for working or operating, a word meaning with, O(rdinary) and two F(emales).  Split that lot (2,3,3) and you’ll get the answer.

8a           Slowly describing a type of shed (4-2)
LEAN TO:  The musical term for slowly placed around (describing) the A from the clue.

10a         A Parisian’s help not declared (6)
UNSAID:  The French indefinite article, don’t forget the ‘s, and a word for help or assistance.

11a         Got up to deliver decorated dish as a prize, maybe (8)
ROSEBOWL:  A word meaning got up, out of bed perhaps, and to deliver in a cricket match.  We had this answer with a different clue in my blog of four weeks ago.

12a         Ate bun doubtfully during golf club spread (6,6)
PEANUT BUTTER:  Anagram (doubtfully) of ATE BUN inside (during) the golf club you use to stick the little rascal into the hole.

15a         Exploited American Democrat following first of elections (4)
USED:  Two letters for American followed by an E (first of Elections) and after it (following) you need a D(emocrat).

17a         Appraise organ aloft (3,2)
EYE UP:  An organ of sight followed by a word meaning aloft or high.

18a         Eagle inhabiting Alderney (4)
ERNE:  This eagle is hiding in (inhabiting) the last word of the clue.

19a         Fully briefed, as one chosen by casting director may be? (2,3,7)
IN THE PICTURE:  A phrase meaning fully briefed or aware of what’s happening also describes what you would be if chosen by the casting director to play a part in a film.

22a         Support very large gangster’s suggestion (8)
PROPOSAL:  A support followed by two letters for very large clothing and finally crosswordland’s favourite gangster.

24a         Sounds produced by this cat round a queen (6)
LARYNX:  A breed of cat around the A from the clue and R(egina).  The Iberian version of these cats are still found in the wild in parts of Spain.

25a         A grand finale associated with ace programme (6)
AGENDA:  A from the clue followed by G(rand), a word for finale or finish and finally an A(ce).

26a         Manage, at a later time, to set off in pursuit (3,5)
RUN AFTER:  A word for manage, a business perhaps, and then a word for at a later time.


1d           Batting streak, reportedly to no avail (2,4)
IN VAIN:  A word to describe someone who is batting, as in at the crease, and a word which sounds like (reportedly) a streak, of ore perhaps,

2d           Setter barking after spy leaves Tube station (4,6)
BOND STREET:  Anagram (barking) of SETTER after Ian Fleming’s spy.

3d           Luxurious hotel’s withdrawn credit (4)
PLUS:  A word for luxurious without its final H (Hotel’s withdrawn).

4d           Crowd supported Egypt’s leader in rally (8)
JAMBOREE:  A word for crowd followed by a word meaning supported or carried and an E (Egypt’s leader).  I’d never have got this without the checkers in place!

6d           Folly of new and old bridge partners seen playing (8)
NONSENSE:  N(ew) followed by O(ld) and two bridge partners, not east and west, and then an anagram (playing) of SEEN.

7d           Large sum of money bank employee gives palm reader? (7-6)
FORTUNE TELLER:  A word for a large amount of money and another word for a bank cashier gives you what a palm reader is an example of.

9d           After tango, enjoy Blackpool, say (4)
TOWN:  T(ango) followed by a word meaning to enjoy as in possess.  An allusion to the famous ballroom perhaps.


13d         What superstar expects ringing about one after lead? (3,7)
TOP BILLING:  Start with the letter that looks like number one and place it after the chemical symbol for lead. Around this (about) put a word for ringing, as a bell might be ringing, and split the result (3,7).

14d         Access for transport (8)
ENTRANCE:  Double definition.

16d         Fat got from ducks, originally — excellent (8)
DRIPPING:  A D (Ducks originally) followed by an old fashioned term for excellent, yarns perhaps.

20d         List of charges, the result of squabble about artist turning up (6)
TARIFF:  A minor squabble around (about) a reversal (turning up in a down clue) of the usual artist.

21d         Go slowly in tug (4)
DRAG: Another double definition.

23d         Problem with head of shire horse (4)
SNAG:  An S (head of Shire) followed by a slang term for a horse.

Favourite has to be 24a as it’s the one I missed but there’s several candidates for podium places. I think I’ll go for  23d and 9d.

Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:          DEAN     +     OTIS     =     D-NOTICE

Bottom line:     LORE     +     LAUD     =     LAW LORD

Third pun at 15 and 17 across:     CAULKS     +     CRUISE     =     CORKSCREWS

87 comments on “DT 29845

  1. 1.5*/4*. A typically light, fun Monday puzzle to start the week.

    4d was my last one in and pushed me up from 1* to 1.5* for difficulty. It made a last-minute appearance on my podium alongside 8a, 24a & 13d.

    Many thanks as ever to Campbell and to pommers.

  2. A pleasant enough */*** write in start to the week with only a brief pause at 4d. Nothing to frighten our equine friends. With thanks to pommers and the setter.

  3. Very enjoyable indeed on a beautiful South Devon morning.
    I liked several, including 12&24a along with 9,13&16d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  4. The crossword I completed early this morning on the digital version of my newspaper subscription was completely different from this. First time I’ve done crossword on line for ages but forced to due to the weather! I will see if the page has been corrected.

    1. Wanda, you may have completed the ‘prize crossword’ which is published online on Mondays alongside the ‘normal’ one.

  5. Right at my level so hugely enjoyable, as usual on a Monday. 12a was my favourite.

    Off out now to anniversary luncheon with H. How that woman puts up with me is an ongoing mystery.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Paul Weller – An Orchestrated Songbook

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Snap, Terence. It’s Mrs RD’s and my anniversary today too, although we had our celebratory meal yesterday at our favourite local restaurant which doesn’t open on Mondays.

      I hope you and your wife enjoy your meal.

      1. Congratulations to the four of you. Avoiding an Americanism – Hope you have an great day.

        1. Which is more appropriate for you, DG? George Medal or George Cross? :wink:

          P.S. Mrs RD and I won’t be catching you up any time soon. We are still in single figures (just) – second time around.

    2. I thought this album was not out until 10th December (originally 3rd December), how can I listen to it???
      PS Saw Weller on Friday, brilliant 2 hour set.

    3. Did you catch the excellent BBC 4 documentary on Friday about Alan Hull? I’ve been reacquainting myself with Lindisfarne since. Happy anniversary (and to RD too). Trust you all had a lovely day.

    1. Clearly as I’m a novice with the on line “paper” I clicked on the wrong one. As does not appear in the paper version I was not aware there was another crossword with the same number. You live and learn!

      1. It’s not the quickie. It is some other prize puzzle which doesn’t appear in the printed paper, but only on line on Mondays.

        1. Apologies in any case WW ‘cos the naughty step doesn’t apply on non-prize day. The puzzle you show including 15a “caulks” is the Quick Crossword in today’s dead tree version.

    2. “Miss Otis regrets she’s unable to dine” … our lifts here are all made by Otis, sets me off singing every time I get in one. I can’t hit a tune, causes many raised eyebrows.

  6. A typically top quality Monday offering from our triple punner this morning. Swift to solve it may have been, apart from a couple of sticky down clues, but enjoyable it most certainly was. 4d took the most thought, so that became my favourite (thank heavens for the checkers).

    Many thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Agree about 4d. Fortunately for me by the time I got to it I’d got all the checkers in place so it wasn’t too tricky.

  7. Another enjoyably crafty puzzle from our Monday master. I especially liked 24a (my COTD), 13d, 12a, and 4a. I needed this after my abysmal performance on yesterday’s Dada, so thanks to Campbell for helping me recover, and to pommers for his hints, which I always enjoy but which I didn’t need today. ** / ****

  8. Not knowing what a D-notice is, I interpreted the upper quick pun as “Do you know this tramp” and thought it was marvellous! Cryptic fine, no problems, but not easy. Thanks, Pommers and Campbell.

  9. **/****
    Enjoyed this although I had to scratch my head a couple of times. 2d was one as I couldn’t work out where the “leaves” came from, then I twigged. 24a I read as “this cat” as opposed to “sounds produced by this”
    Thanks all.

  10. A gentle breeze to ease us into the cruciverbal week. 13d remained unparsed due to my working on wrong kind of lead. Many fun clues of which my Fav was 24a with 7d and 14d taking the other podium places. Always forget to look out for three Quickie puns but liked all of them today. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  11. I do like Monday in crosswordland. There’s the Graun Quiptic & Campbell to ease you into the new week & both of them were pleasant quick solves to bolster any dented confidence following weekend battles with sterner examination papers. 8,12,19&24a we’re all ticks in my book but favourite was 4d.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers
    Ps Am I right in thinking the bonus prize cryptic is also a Campbell production? It certainly was a fair bit more challenging than the back pager with some GK required. I wonder if CL could be persuaded to include it in the digital package (& paper presumably)

    1. Re your PS – yes Campbell is ‘responsible’ for the weekly On-Line Prize Cryptic, and its companion GK and Quick. It is my understanding that they are provided for the enjoyment of those who ‘shell out’ for the subscription to the Puzzles Web Site.

      1. I see. That’s now included in our digital pack so no extra shelling out required. Now that the Toughie is included in the digital paper I only use it to get Monday’s bonus cryptic & of course to access the letter reveal option when stuck on the Toughie.

        1. Yes no shelling out any more, isn’t that lovely? We used to have to pay for the privilege of being able to print the crosswords.

          1. MP, re jeans – refreshingly attitudes are changing & not before time. When I went to discuss membership at a local club with the manager he came in jeans “deliberately, to show the sort of club we are”.

            1. The RAF Club in Piccadilly, London decided to allow jeans (not ripped ones) and several older members had apoplectic fits! Not me, though but I much prefer not to wear them when Mrs. C. and I visit.

  12. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: */****

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 19a, 22a – and the winner is 22a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  13. Thought I was getting better at the DT Cryptic – did it in xxxxxxxxxx [Redacted – Comment Etiquette Item 6 says not to include solving times – we all have different solving ability.] – I then looked at this site and see it’s only rated as a one * !
    I did enjoy it though.

    1. The * ratings are very subjective, and solver dependent, and should not be taken as a ‘rigid’ assessment.

  14. The SW corner held me up for a bit but, after yesterday’s Dada which so far I’ve been unable to finish, this puzzle cheered me up.
    COTD is 24a

  15. Wow my quickest solve yet but no less enjoyable for that. It was a case of slap in the answers and worry about the parsing later. Last in was 4d. No real favourites they were all good. Thanks to all.

  16. Nice opener to the week. Typical Campbell fare. Didn’t struggle with 4d, which reminded me of happy days under canvas with cubs & scouts (and much more drought days helping run them).
    Nothing contentious nor stretched over in just under ** time &*** / **** enjoyment.
    COTD was 24a, followed by 4d.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Memo to self, always check the spellchecker: should have been “fraught” not drought.

  17. Very enjoyable. Swift solve but no less fun. Only hesitated over two which were 1 and 3d. I did not parse 3d so thanks for that Pommers. I was completely barking up the wrong tree. 4d was easy with the checkers. That was one of my favourites together with 12 19 and 24a and 7d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. I also couldn’t parse 3d, I couldn’t get it at all but bunged it in as it didn’t affect any other clues.

  18. Very gentle but enjoyable. */*** 24a, my last one in brought to mind Terence’s Lola. This has to be my favourite today. Thanks to all.

  19. Spent most of the morning on a Skype call to my granddaughter who, at 17 months, is far more articulate than her brother was at this age. Theo talked a lot but most of what he said could only be interpreted by his Mum!
    Enjoyed this light Monday offering, always a pleasure to get a puzzle that’s just fun.
    Top marks here went to 8&24a plus 16d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

    1. Kids eh, you spend the first 18 months worrying they won’t talk and the next 18 years wishing they’d shut up.🤪

      1. Only the next 18 years, Dave? My girls are now well into their 40’s and there are still times when I wish they’d keep their opinions to themselves!

  20. Like Jane, my stars went to 8 and 24a and 16d – but they were all good. I was dozy as far as 3D was concerned so it was my last one in. Many thanks to setter and Pommers. We have not had the storm or winds and rain but by jiminy it is cold, icy cold. As my father used to say ‘It’s not conducive’ and if you queried not conducive to doing what, he would reply’ not conducive to doing anything’.

  21. As straightforward as they come but no less enjoyable for that. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  22. Jolly good! Thanks setter and hint writer- I needed you for a few. 11d and 19a I had checkers for and had worked out where the clue was heading but still couldn’t quite get to the answers; slow brain today, must be the cold. I found 14d rather clever because even with the answer in I still had to scratch my head for a moment to work out the “transport” synonym. Favourite though was 4d just because it’s a lovely word.

  23. Thank you to Campbell and Pommers. I particularly liked the middle-row quickie pun and all the clues that Pommers highlighted in blue. Though I suspect I’m also highlighted in blue at the moment: we woke up this morning to discover our boiler didn’t want to turn on.

    At least our TV’s back. It turned out to be the transmitter, not our aerial, so that wasn’t something we had to arrange fixing.

    Right now I’m wondering why Absolute Radio 90s has just played Little Green Bag by the George Baker Selection (I enjoyed it; but what’s it doing on a 90s station?), and also why the YouTube video embedding thingy works below but didn’t when I tried to link to Imago last week.

  24. A nice puzzle to start the (non) work-week after the last 3 days of head bangers, for me at least. 2*/4*
    Some nice clues with a half dozen head scratchers too.
    Favourites include 17a, 19a, 24a, 2d & 23d with winner 17a with 24a a close runner up
    2d & 23a made me smile.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for hints

  25. So nice to having a crossword that didn’t give me a headache. Much enjoyed, and able to solve before heading off to physical therapy so she can pummel my pinched nerve. Last in was 4d as I was working with the wrong definition. Did need the hint for the cat as I’d never heard of that one. Otherwise a joy to solve. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  26. I am sure that that will have pleased many, myself included. Like others, 4d was my last in after an extensive synonym search. It is still perfectly acceptable to me to have a harder back pager towards the end of the week especially when we get such a consistently fun start to the puzzling week, like this one.
    I will have to pick 16d for the Proustian memory of bread dipped in the hot fat of a Sunday Roast. Just thinking about it makes my arteries fur up, but tastebuds override that.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Ah, bread spread with beef dripping eaten in front of a roaring coal fire when I was a child – heaven!

  27. I see that members of the blog are continuing to do well in the Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter clue writing competition. Congratulations to the many mentioned in this week’s dispatches

    1. I agree. A fine effort by many – I think the recent increase in submissions was caused by Miffypops putting a link to the last puzzles newsletter in the blog. so I will do the same this week.


      My own effort for LOLLIPOP didn’t make it off the cutting room floor but was along the lines of including an IP address in LOLLOP but I couldn’t quite make it work. I will try harder to clue this week’s just for fun BITTER – I bet Miffypops has insight on that one from the inside of his Barrel ;)

      1. As Saint Sharon will tell you. Nothing is my fault. Nothing happens because of me. I wasn’t even there. But thanks for thinking of me.

  28. Must be me, I thought this was a tricky little devil with some very dubious synonyms. Couple of clever clues esp 14d but on the whole not my favourite. Took me well into *** time.
    Thx for the hints

  29. A bit late on parade because of travelling back from Yorkshire so only just finished it. What a great start to the week from Campbell who also gave three great Quickie puns with the middle one ticking all the boxes for me. I see some had problems with 4d but it was one of the first to fall for me. My COTD is 24a.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and pommers for the hints.

    1. Funny how we all think so differently, 4d was one of my first in, as soon as I saw “rally”, even though I needed pommers to understand supported.

  30. Thanks to Campbell for giving me a flying start to the week. Most accessible and enjoyable. 1.5*/****

  31. Lovely start to the week😃 **/**** Favourites were many but 11, 12 & 22a take the podium places 🤗 Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell 👍

  32. Now, that’s more like it, loads of fun. It’s hard to choose a fave, but I thought 24a was pretty clever and it’s a cat, well most of it, so that’s my pick.
    Thanks Campbell, I’ve now got some time to get in the pool and the sun is shining, even though a bit chilly. I always enjoy your reviews pommers, a lovely day all round.

  33. Thank you Merusa. I try to be of service but I wasn’t really very pleased with myself today. Perhaps an excess of the vino collapso last night and watching the snooker until rather late was the cause of a bit of a flat review methinks.

    A bit chilly here by Spanish standards but at least the wind has dropped.

    1. I remarked yesterday that we haven’t heard from tantalus or ExpatChris for a long tim. I’m sure you remember them, do you know anything?

      1. No idea where they’ve gone. The commenters on here seem to come and go. When I first came on the site about 10 years ago there were loads of people here who have since departed. Even some of their replacements have departed.

  34. Re 4 d
    Have you noticed if you do other crosswords that unusual words occur often round about the same time. One assumes same setter in other papers?

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