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DT 29997

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29997
Hints and Tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +
BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone from a cloudy but warm South Devon. A sea swim beckons.

I found today’s puzzle very much at the gentle end of our setter’s spectrum, with a generous dollop of anagrams giving plenty of checking letters plus the usual two lurkers and one acrostic clue

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a With facility, liar broadcast falsely (12)
ARTIFICIALLY: Anagram (broadcast) of the preceding two words.

8a One, for example, stops between? (7)
INTEGER: The short form of “for example” is inserted (stops) into a prefix meaning between, giving something of which one is an example.

9a Return from flat in French street (7)
REVENUE: Place a synonym of flat as an adjective into the French word for a street, giving a financial return.

11a Answering letter enclosing lock of hair (7)
RINGLET: Hidden in the clue as indicated by the word “enclosing”

12a Bond returning on waves showing excess (7)
SURFEIT: A 3-letter synonym of bond is reversed and appended to (returning on) some sea waves

13a Check material softly spread out (5)
PLAID: The letter that instructs a musician to play softly is followed by a synonym of spread out or placed


14a Appropriate prophet taking pilgrimage (9)
SEQUESTER: Appropriate here is a verb in the sense of seize. Place a prophet or wise man around a journey or pursuit

16a Islander was eaten, unfortunately eating one (9)
TAIWANESE: Anagram (unfortunately) of WAS EATEN incorporating (eating) the letter that represents one

19a Second tea? Perhaps a coffee? (5)
MOCHA: An abbreviation for a second or a short period of time is followed by an informal word for tea, giving a drink which is an object lesson in how to ruin good coffee

21a Billion pounds possibly for sponsors (7)
BACKERS: I presume this is the abbreviation for a billion plus an informal word for money which I haven’t heard for years

23a Evening Star’s first open when empty (7)
SUNDOWN: The initial letter of Star plus a verb meaning to open or free followed by the outside (empty) letters of WheN

24a Surrounded by water, it reaches land (7)
ERITREA: Hidden in the clue (surrounded by)

25a Bond without top produces excitement (7)
ELATION: Another appearance of “OO7”. Remove the first letter (without top) of a synonym of bond or connection

26a Principal and master hissed in assembly (12)
HEADMISTRESS: Anagram (in assembly) of the preceding two words


1d Insect queen maybe raised feeler (7)
ANTENNA: A (working) insect and the reversal (raised in a down clue) of a past queen.

2d Switched and dressed, taking large (7)
TOGGLED: An informal synonym of dressed or clothed goes around the abbreviation for Large

3d Woods welcoming cheers bearing anticipation (9)
FORETASTE: A wood or area of trees goes around (welcoming) and informal word for thanks or cheers. Add a bearing or compass point

4d Worries seeing sweetheart in saloons? (5)
CARES: The saloons here are the ones with wheels. Place them around this setter’s usual swEeetheart

5d Negative publicity jingle? (7)
ADVERSE: The usual abbreviation for publicity or advertisement and a part of a song or jingle. Here’s a rather good jingle, I love it.

6d Tolerant, granted, accepting noise occasionally (7)
LENIENT: A synonym of granted in the sense of gave or loaned goes around (accepting) the occasional letters of NoIsE

7d Dodgy builder’s tape is untrustworthy (12)
DISREPUTABLE: Anagram (dodgy) of the following two words

10d Changing gear, in tent, in fun (12)
ENTERTAINING: Anagram (changing) of the following four words

15d Most nauseated with simplest supporting Queen (9)
QUEASIEST: A straightforward synonym of simplest goes under (supporting in a down clue) the first two letters of QUeen

17d Queuing, say, outside cold bank (7)
INCLINE: A phrase (2-4) which could mean queuing goes around the abbreviation for Cold

18d Hail republic’s leader, socialist declared (7)
AVERRED: A charade of a formal verb meaning to hail or assert, the initial letter of Republic and a colour associated with a socialist

19d Order bloke on romantic meeting (7)
MANDATE: A bloke or adult male and a meeting with romance in mind, of which I’ve been on a few in my time.

20d Whines about playing sidekicks (7)
CRONIES: A synonym of whines or whimpers goes around (about) a 2-letter preposition that could meaning playing or operating.

22d Someone with almost mystical insight, initially (5)
SWAMI: The first letters (initially) of the preceding five words giving an Indian philosopher.

Quickie Pun  Eyed + Sum + Arch =  Ides of March

I think I’ll go with 14a as today’s winner as it’s a lovely word plus the pun. Many thanks to Ray T.


58 comments on “DT 29997

  1. 2.5*/4.5*. A splendid RayT puzzle today with a maximum of six words per clue. It would have earned 5* for enjoyment except for the American answer to 23a. The BRB with its growing tendency to ignore Americanisms doesn’t agree but Collins is on my side on this one.

    I felt spoilt for choice when trying to pick a favourite, but I’ll give special mentions to 14a, 21a, 26a, 7d, 17d & 20d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL, with a big Thursday shout out to Kath.

  2. A different offering today from our setter-a plethora of anagrams to make life easier!
    14a was a word not often seen but nicely clued. My favourites were 8a and15d for the wordplay 21a made me smile.
    Enjoyed the challange and a **/**** for me, liked thr quickie pun.
    Thanks to SL for the pics and our setter fpr a bright and breezy start to the day.

  3. What a sweet double treat today, Ray T and Hudson, both giving us little masterpieces of invention. Both puzzles went quickly and happily, with nary a dud in either grid. I’ll go along with Stephen with 14a as my COTD here, followed by 12a and 9a, but just about any trio would serve. Thanks to StephenL and Mr T. ** / ****

  4. Solved this & the Toughie at silly o’clock in the middle of the night having had a bit of an iffy reaction to yesterday’s spring booster (Moderna for the first time). I’d agree with Stephen that this was very much at the gentle end of his output – it must have been as I narrowly missed completion in under * time. Another vote for 14a as my pick of the bunch.
    Thanks to Stephen & Ray T

  5. A remarkably straightforward puzzle for Ray T Thursday but no less enjoyable for that. I liked the clever way 22a and 26a were put together and the misdirection in14a ( such a lovely word). Of course, I must mention the clue that co.prises teo of my favourite things, a geographical theme that’s also an anagram. Thanks to Ray T and to SL for the hints.

  6. Feeling rather chuffed having finished a Thursday cryptic, the benefits of retirement from doing sums and now using parts of brain long dormant. Satisfying clues for me- 16a, 24a, 2d, with favourite 19a. Very enjoyable and thanks to the setter for making Thursday a little more accessible!

  7. The lattice of border anagrams made this an easy solve at */*** with some nice clueing. I agree with SL re 21a provokes smile. Thanks to him and RayT in very benevolent mode.

  8. A good,solid, but generally unremarkable Thursday challenge. Thought the repetition of Bond odd without there being any evident theme; LOI 3d – wanted it to end ….esse and so was struggling to parse a plausible answer. Doh! COTD 14a, ably supported by 4d, 15d and 22d. Too early for a 23er so will have to settle for (yet) a(nother) latte.

    2.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  9. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle throughout.
    But a rather Ray T lite.
    So, 2* and 5*
    Which makes me worry, his next will not be so generous.
    Many thanks, RayT and Stephen L.

  10. A light delight from the setter to whom I am devoted – just right to put a smile on my face.
    Hardest task was selecting from the leader board but I’ll settle for 14a plus 5&17d.

    Many thanks, Mr T, thanks also to Stephen for the review and a big Hi to Kath for when she pops in.

  11. A perfect Thursday puzzle. Plenty to like. Enough anagrams to give a good start. This should be a confidence booster for newer setters who should strive to finish before referring to SLs excellent hints. I see The Daily Telegraph now has 740,000 digital subscribers. I bet us sweet young minded forward thinking digital subscribers outnumber the old buffers now

    1. I saw the pic and wanted to draw a kilroy with the text “Wot no more Enigmatic Variations?” However I understand that the EV has been given a reprieve again, at least in print.

  12. The picture for 17d looks absolutely horrific and I wouldn’t drive up that! Excellent puzzle although I had to read the hints to see how I got 24a – if in doubt look for a lurker DOH. I have just been prescribed some weird cream for my hands – the instructions tell me to apply the cream to the area concerned and then immediately wash my hands, a bit of a conundrum. Thanks to Stephen L and Ray T.

    1. I see the bridge is “The Eshima Ohashi Bridge” in Japan – the incline looks terrifying but apparently it’s something of an optical illusion (sorry!). Even so, from that side the incine is 6.1% and from the other end of the bridge, 5.1% – the total span is 1.7km.

  13. Mr T being very enjoyably kind and gentle – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 21a, 2d, and 20d – and the winner is 21a, like StephenL, I haven’t heard that term for pounds possibly, or money in general, for many years.

    Thanks to Ray T and StephenL, and a Thursday shout-out for Kath.

  14. Gentle or not, for me this was by far and away the best DT puzzle for some time. The wordplay made sense, there were no weird words and it didn’t require an in-depth knowledge of religion or 18th century poetry.
    My profound tanks to Mr T for an excellent crossword.
    Thx for the hints.

  15. This cannot have been Ray T as I finished it quite easily and didn’t need SL’s hints as I had managed to parse all the clues. If it is I will have to go and lie down. 14a is a lovely word which reminds that when Margaret Thatcher was trying to 14a the NUM’s funds three or four chaps were standing on the London bound platform on Doncaster Station. They were not together but each with a large suitcase had the necessary tickets for Paris, presumably going on holiday. But no, each case was stuffed with tens of thousands of pounds belonging to the miner’s funds. All made it safely to their destination and banked their holiday money.

    Thanks to SL and if indeed it was Ray T then anymore like this will suggest he is going soft on the party of beginners. But thanks anyway for a wonderful puzzle.

    1. First check for Ray T on a Thursday – are all the Quickie clues one word only, as they are today?

      Then look for HM, etc.

  16. What a wonderful puzzle. Full of head scratching, pennies dropping and light bulbs shining out brightly. The fact I managed to finish it unaided added to the enjoyment. Some good anagrams and lurkers helped the flow of solving. I can’t choose a COTD from such a good bunch.

    Many thanks to Ray T for the fun and thank you, StephenL for the hints. The terrifying bridge scared me so much I had to keep looking at the picture for 13a to calm down. :grin:

  17. Finally finished a Ray T puzzle unaided. Have also checked it’s not April 1st. 14a favourite. Ta to all.

  18. Nice steady solve, Ray T in benevolent mood, but still crafted very well.
    Thanks to setter and for (unneeded) hints.


  19. It took me as long to complete this one as yesterday’s, which has me worried given all of the comments above. Of course if I hadn’t convinced myself that the saloons in 4d weren’t serving alcohol I would have got there a lot sooner.

  20. What a complete joy this was — challenging but accessible. Thank you Mr T, my standout favourite was 26a :), I’m still laughing about it! And cheers to Stephen too.

  21. Not often we get to finish a crossword on the day it’s published, so usually too late to comment!
    Really enjoyed this and completed relatively quickly for us so 2.5*/4*. LOI 19d and several favourites but 14a and 7d stand out.
    Thanks to Stephen and setter.

  22. Ray T just about as benevolent as I’ve ever seen him.
    Even the long answers around the outside were all anagrams which gave us lots of letters to get going.
    I had a bit of trouble spelling 16a but not for very long.
    I liked 14a and also 21a – my Dad used the 21a money.
    Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL.

  23. Nice and straightforward so no COTD. This is more than I can say for the Toughie where the first read through has not resulted in one answer!
    Many thanks to the brilliant Mr K who has trounced the spoiler gremlin for me and, I hope, everyone else.

  24. Another splendid puzzle from Ray T. Great clues, a tad above average difficulty for a back pager and a very enjoyable solve. Fav: all of them. 3*/4.5*.

  25. Lovely gentle puzzle giving me a much needed confidence boost after yesterday’s disaster. Just needed to check the money in 21a as that was new to me.
    Thanks to RayT and Stephen

  26. A pleasure to complete, well nearly, I was stuck on 14a and 15d, I figured out the word for simplest but was then trying to fit ER in somewhere for the queen part, can’t say I’ve seen the two letters for queen used that way before. I sneaked a look at the hint, the penny dropped and 14a solved itself almost. RayT must be on the happy pills to give us a puzzle this gentle. Thanks to all.

  27. I have started to look forward to Ray T’s Thursday’s, plenty of clever clues and solvable 🤗 The only problem is choosing the favourites 🤔 ***/***** My choices are: (from quite a list) 8a, 26a and 18d.
    PS I have never thought of MP as “sweet, young minded and forward thinking” I used to imagine him in the other camp😳

  28. No problem in the West but a couple of holdups in the East however a session with the dentist seemed to clear my mind and voilà. Not sure about falsely for 1a. Kath, like you, I was au fait with a 21a pound thanks to frequent use of it by my Father in days of yore. 23a was a bung-in. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  29. Definitely a gentle RayT as I had no issues with this puzzle today. Often find RayT puzzles hard to do, but this was a nice surprise.
    1.5*/5* today for me.
    Podium contenders include 12a, 14a, 2d 15d & 17d with winner 15d
    Can’t say remember the term in 21a.
    Quickie pun just didn’t work for me at all

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  30. Having solved only one clue in 2 passes, I decided to look at the comments to see if it was particularly difficult. Went back to the puzzle fairly confused as to where all the anagrams were. Being 4 clue short. I decided to look at the hints. Penny dropped, I’d been doing the Toughie.
    Pleased to finish it but now need to do the crossword, hopefully straightforward.
    Third time I’ve done this recently as I only try the Toughie if it’s Chalicea.

    1. Well done for getting down to four with the Toughie. Just shows that you can do them

  31. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle and if it is by Ray T then I feel quite chuffed. Though I did read in the comments ‘if it is Ray T then at his most benign’! Certainly the anagrams provided a good frame. Lots of clues to like. Many thanks to Ray T and StephenL

    A quick hello to Kath. Good to see you regularly commenting again obviously making big strides back!

    1. Hilary. A quick question.
      On an episode of The Chase that we watched recently (they take a little time to get to NZ) there was a contestant called Hilary who gave cryptic crosswords as one of her interests. We just wondered if it was possibly you.

  32. Evening all. Thanks again to StephenL for the review and to all for your comments. Glad that most of you enjoyed it.


    1. Many thanks again sir for another fine puzzle that certainly seems to have found favour on here.

    2. Good evening, Mr T, thank you for popping in.
      Of course we enjoyed your puzzle!

  33. Late to the party but in buoyant mood after some sweet clueing and no muses. Needed a couple of hints but it’s me not you Mr T, fading brain. Many thanks SL.

  34. Oh dear, I think this covid has softened my brain. Really struggled with this today but when I see the hints it is all very fair.
    Here’s hoping the fatigue and brain fog lifts soon.

    Thanks to RayT and to Stephen L

  35. Late today, but fun when I got around to it. 13a amused as I solved as I half expected a clip of Steve Martin jiggling Rachel Ward’s “accoutrements” as they had got all out of whack, in the amusing film “Dead Men Don’t Wear 13a” Thanks to SL for the hints, Thanks to RayT for his brief but admirable cluing, Thanks too to Mr K for his sterling work on the spoilers and of course Best Thursday wishes to Kath.

  36. Splendid crossword from Mr. T. Like SL it’s a long while since I’ve heard the pound in 21a I must start using it again, I still use words like yonder. 23a is one of the few Americanisms I don’t have a problem with but I knew RD would. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  37. Can anybody recommend a good guide for a beginner trying to get to grips with cryptic crosswords for the first time. I love crosswords, but have never really known where to start with cryptics and would love to get some hints and tips.
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Lynda

      A couple of places to start are:
      – on this site run your cursor over the Home tab at the top of the page and then again on the Cryptic Crosswords tab which will appear, then click on Crossword Guide
      – Chris Lancaster, the Telegraph Puzzles Editor, has written an excellent book entitled “How to Solve a Cryptic Crossword” which is well worth buying.

      And keep visiting this site regularly!

      1. Well done, RD, for responding at this time of night as most bloggers have hit the sack by now meaning that this request may been missed.


        Lynda, this is a great community where everyone is welcome. The undertone is fab.

        The love of crosswords wins the day.

  38. Excellent fun as usual and the clue word count a maximum of SIX.
    Thanks RayT and SL.

  39. 3*/4*….
    liked 22D “Someone with almost mystical insight, initially (5)”

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