DT 29021 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29021

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29021

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We have now adjusted our clocks so our time for printing out and solving the puzzles is now 11am. It stays like this now until next spring when the godwits come back to our estuary.

Good stuff once again from Jay. We pondered about whether to go with our gut feeling or the clock in setting the difficulty rating and decided to go with the clock. 

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Dress down for a runner, perhaps (6)
CARPET : The runner you need is a long narrow item of floor covering.

5a     Reserve example written works here (8)
BOOKCASE : Reserve or ‘have put aside for you’, and then an example or test piece.

9a     With no end of hope, actress ran daft new movement in design (4,3,6)
ARTS AND CRAFTS : An anagram (new) of ACTR(e)SS RAN DAFT after the last letter of hope has been removed.

10a     Artist on dole organized party in city of riches (2,6)
EL DORADO : In the order they appear in the answer we have an anagram (organised) of DOLE, the letters for a Royal Academician and then a party or social function.

11a     This will carry goalkeeper across line (6)
SALVER : A goalkeeper described by his function in the team, includes the abbreviation for line.

12a     Throwing in a couple of days at home before golf (6)
ADDING : String together ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for ‘day’ twice, the two letter ‘at home’ and golf in the phonetic alphabet.

14a     Soldier at sea must welcome a time to soak (8)
MARINATE : A sea-going soldier includes ‘A’ from the clue and T(ime).

16a     Fancies strikers covering Maradona at the back (8)
CHIMERAS : Strikers or clocks that make informative noises include the last letter of Maradona.

19a     Large Ford touring America’s capital (6)
LUSAKA : The abbreviation for large and a model of Ford surround the three letter abbreviation for America.

21a     Fighting the German keeper (6)
WARDER : Mass fighting and then one of the variants of the German definite article.

23a     Burrowing creatures? Reportedly only tigers perhaps (8)
MEERKATS : Two homophones involved here. The first for only or bare and the second for what tigers are examples of. (Bet we weren’t the only ones to try using moles here.)

25a     Stormy exchange and stormy night calms nag (8,5)
SLANGING MATCH : An anagram (stormy) of NIGHT CALMS NAG.

26a     Asian and old international swamped by money from letting property (8)
ORIENTAL : Start with the abbreviation for old and then the abbreviation for international is inside money paid to a landlord.

27a     Stink about second one putting on an act (6)
POSING : The abbreviation for second and Roman numeral one are inside an unpleasant odour.


2d     Helped a very upwardly mobile cook (7)
AVAILED : ‘A’ from the clue and V(ery) precede the reversal of the first name of a famous cooking “goddess”.

3d     Evenly plant fir on terrace (5)
PATIO : Alternate letters from three words in the clue.

4d     Air Force gal lost in pitch battle (9)
TRAFALGAR : The three letters for the Air Force and an anagram (lost) of GAL are inside black sticky pitch.

5d     Sound of explosion outside destroyed red chamber (7)
BEDROOM : A noise attributed to an explosion surrounds an anagram (destroyed) of RED.

6d     Fiends turn up with only half of spares (5)
OGRES : A turn or opportunity to play is reversed and followed by the second half of the word ‘spares’.

7d     Hit the golf course — wearing these? (4,5)
CUFF LINKS : Hit, usually around the head with an open hand, and then a golf course traditionally built on sand dunes.

8d     Dodgy South American exercise court (7)
SUSPECT : A charade of: the compass point South, two letter American, a physical exercise and the abbreviation for court.

13d     Urgent broadcast of item about TV and press (9)
IMMEDIATE : An anagram (broadcast) of item surrounds a collective word for TV and the press.

15d     The sort of plan that might afford a respite? (6,3)
RELIEF MAP : The respite here is a diminution of concern and the plan is topographical.

17d      Rougher-sounding area in bay perhaps north of reef (7)
HOARSER : Bay is an example of an animal. This includes the abbreviation for area and, finally, the first letter of reef.

18d     Highly original if missing from the last-but-one round (7)
SEMINAL : Remove the word ‘if’ from inside a word for the penultimate round in a sporting contest.

20d     Cooks here know about desire (7)
KITCHEN : A word of Scottish origin meaning know contains desire or hanker for.

22d     Conservative may be fair, changing sides initially (5)
RIGHT : A word meaning fair in colour has its first letter changed from one hand to the other.

24d     Risk it — especially boxing these birds (5)
KITES : And, once again, we end with a lurker hiding in the clue.

We enjoyed the clues that looked like they were going to be football-based but weren’t.

Quickie pun    Mersey    +    beau    +    coo    =    merci beaucoup


73 comments on “DT 29021

  1. This puzzle was rather mure challenging than those we have had on the back page recently and merited a *** for difficulty for me abd a **** for enjoyment. Some of the clues were superbly misdirectional and I was stuck for ages ob my last two clues, 16a and 17d. They turned out to be my favourites. Thanks to the Kiwis and tbe setter.

    1. I had exactly the same experience! 17 down and 16 across furrowed my brow for too long…. but/and it was a v enjoyable crossword

  2. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

    I think you’re downplaying today’s offering. Plenty of head-scratching and I didn’t get close to completing. May have had something to do with the wedding anniversary drinks last night in Honkers…

    17d the favourite of what I managed to complete…

  3. I only scored two of the across clue son my first pass but got nine of the downs clues which gave lots of checkers and eased the pain. Lots of good clues. The two long anagrams revealed themselves after a few checkers were in. I liked 4d and 7d and our favourite fancies at 16ac which were my last one in and required a change to the first letter of 17d. Silly me! Thanks to Jay for the puzzle. Thanks to the 2Ks for the review.

  4. Found this one quite tough. It is one of those where it is often easier to answer the clue than understand it – 19a & 22d being examples.
    Learnt a new meaning for 16a, i always thought these were a mixture of species often seen in mythology.
    Thx for the vital hints.

  5. Definitely up a notch today all round and a ***/**** for me.
    Well crafted clues as usual from Jay and a real treat.
    Not often do we see 16a as the definition-like the sound of the word.
    Nicely mislead by 17d so my favourite.
    Thanks to 2 K as ever for the amusing pics.

  6. Lovely puzzle today, lots of good clues. Thanks for explaining last three letters of 19a. Had the correct answer but not the reason. Visited the city by accident sort of in 1969. 6 girls in a combi camper Cape Town to Rhodesia via Botswana and back via Mozambique. Decided quicker to go from Vic Falls to Kariba Dam through Zambia rather than going long way round. Didn’t realise there was a war on so dodgy to say the least! Appropriately for today’s hinters, accelerator cable broke in Zambia and by chance had just picked up two Kiwi lads hitchhiking who came to the aid of the damsels in distress so spent extra days in the capital waiting for repairs. Belated thanks to them and the 2 Kiwis today.

    1. Blimey – the things that we did when we were young in the late 1960’s – must have given our poor parents several litters of kittens!

    2. Lovely story! Yes, Kath, the things we did, but I never managed anything quite so adventurous. What a memory, Manders.

      1. Fortunately the Aged Ps were totally unaware of anything. Remember you had to book an international telephone call and postcards took 6 weeks! Extraordinary these days. The following year I hitched all over Oz with one of the girls. We always went to police stations and asked to sleep in the cells (the cheek of it but we were on about 1 dollar a day)!. In Victoria it was against the law to hitch so we were ‘run outof town’ – lovely young copper and put up by his Mum that night. Fab memories. Despite new technology, we had a fantastic world to explore. I only went to Cape Town for 6 weeks to see a relative and stayed for 9 years! Happy days.

  7. Great stuff as usual from Jay this Wednesday morning. Some terrific clues, of which 18d was my favourite of many. I thought this was pleasantly challenging and hugely enjoyable.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  8. The usual good fun from Jay with my only pauses coming from trying to parse 17d with an incorrect first letter and, like the 2Ks, expecting moles to play a part in 23a.

    Top three for me, in no particular order, were 23a plus 4&15d. The Quickie pun earned an extra smile.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – at least you can relax about hour changes for a while now!

  9. Yes tough but gettable with bottom part easier and opening the door to the top in my experience .
    Last in 19A with the parsing in retrospect . My favourite the clever 18D .
    Thanks to the birds yet again .

  10. That was really tricky in my view, and I was struggling until I got some checkers in. Very enjoyable. Favourites were 25a and 23a (I have two statues of these guarding my downstairs loo), last one in was 15d which I’d have never got without help from 2Ks (for which, thanks). Thanks also to Jay for taxing my brain this morning.

  11. I agree with those who found it tricky, even some oldies but goodies didn’t help to do better than solving at a fast canter – ***/***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 17d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. Jay caused me less hassle than usual today. SE held me up for a while mainly due to misspelling the comparethemarket animal. Bunged in 19a and, like Manders, relied on 2Kiwis for parsing of last 2 letters – I began by trying to work around US and Also Known As! 7d was definitely Fav but was hotly pursued by 18d. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

    1. Thanks Senf for pointing out its the last two letters! I came away thinking there was a Ford called an AKA not realising that the first A was part of USA! Sometimes I worry about myself.

  13. 3d. As it’s the odd letters of the three words that are required, surely “evenly” doesn’t fit the clue???

    1. I would imagine that ‘even’ = even numbered, but ‘evenly’ can mean at regular intervals – does that work?

      1. I think that’s more misleading than a clue should be. But, then, I suppose it’s a matter of opinion?

  14. 2*/4.5*. What a joy! This all fell into place smoothly apart from 16a, my last one in, for which I needed electronic assistance.

    15d was my favourite with 23a, 4d & 18d battling it our for podium positions.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  15. A nice testing puzzle, lots of great clues just right for a sunny day here.
    Thanks to 2Ks and setter

  16. I’m surprised no one mentioned that 23 a was “simples”, or is that just my childish mind🤔

  17. A great crossword but jolly difficult – I thought this was Jay at his trickiest, particularly the top half.
    The ‘footbally-that-weren’t’ clues threw me into a bit of a panic.
    I spent too long trying to justify ‘macerate’ for 14a and spelt (spelled?) the burrowing creatures with a ‘C’ which was silly and not helpful.
    It took me ages to do the long 9a anagram, couldn’t do 1a until the last minute and didn’t realise for ages that 4d was a specific battle.
    Generally ‘oh dear’ and ‘dim’, I think.
    Too many good clues to pick any particular ones but, just for the sake of it – 23 and 25a and 2, 7 and 15d. My favourite is one of that lot but not sure which . . .
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

    1. When you leave comments like this Kath I wonder how on earth you manage to blog on a Thursday. You do make me smile

    2. Both spelt and spelled are correct Kath. My foible is ie/ei and ize/ise, so I generally jig a sentence around to avoid having to use them.

      1. Not necessarily over the same letters, LBRoy, but I do try to avoid mention of the likes of ‘practice’ and ‘practise’ along with several others!

        1. Funny you should mention that example.

          In a recent puzzle I had to clue ‘practice’ – a test solver kindly notified me that I had clued ‘practice’ and defined ‘practise’. D’oh!

            1. Ever since you first mentioned that, I have a slip of paper inserted into my BRB to remind me!

              1. You are normally such a good pupil, Jane, but I think if you check your slip of paper, my ADVICE was to ADVISE you to think of Advice/Advise to remember to use the C for a noun and the S for a verb for Practice/Practise, Licence/License, etc.

                1. Very good RD, I shall never fall foul of that one again! Thanks

                  Gotta love this place.

                2. It was indeed and I’ve just checked the slip of paper. Rather mean of you to try to confuse me again when I thought I’d got it worked out………..

                  Don’t have a problem when it comes to ‘advice’ and ‘advise’ – perhaps because they’re pronounced so differently?

                  1. It’s because they’re pronounced so differently that you know which is which so it’s a very easy way to remember which is the verb and which is the noun. That’s the only way I ever know.

                3. RD
                  And when an adjective? I have seen both used at golf clubs, most often “practice area” but not infrequently “practise” too.

                  1. Now you’re just trying to confuse me – has to be ‘practise’ surely?
                    RD – HELP, PLEASE!

                    1. Surely it could be either? The noun is the name of the place, the adjective describes what is done there, and the verb is the act?
                      I shall be pronouncing the two practice and practize forever now!

                      This is fast becoming another grey-gate :wink:

                    2. I’d say “practice area”. You can have an “advice centre” not an “advise centre” and a “licence plate” not “license plate”.

                4. One thing I’ve never got used to in the US, they don’t differentiate between practice/practise, yet they do with advice/advise. ‘Cos it’s pronounced differently they say. I had so many problems when doing transcribing, I could never remember whether they used the “c” or “s” version.

                    1. I was going to say I think it is the “s” word, but when I typed it, practise, spellcheck told me that it was wrong – so there it is, “a doctor practices medicine in his practice.” Seems odd, doesn’t it, likewise licence and license.

  18. 9a one of first in so, unlike others, the top half went in relatively easily. Things ground to a halt in the South though as it proved less straightforward. Electronic help needed for 16a.
    Evcellent and enjoyable.
    Like others 16d COTD.
    Thanks to Jay & 2K’s for the entertainment.

  19. For 21a I used Den as the German definite article – it still made a sensible answer! All those different words for ‘the ‘ were very confusing at school. Surely the goddess was Nigella?

    1. I think Nigella was a man’s idea of a goddess – Delia was the one who actually helped out ladies with our culinary problems!

      1. I certainly tried to fit and justify an anagram of Nigella. First name that sprang to mind

  20. ***/****. This started very slowly but gradually got on the right wavelength. Couldn’t explain my bung in at 19a (so thanks to the 2Ks) and I didn’t realise 16a can mean fancies – I associated it solely with a mythological beast. My favourites were 7&18d and my only slight gripe was 11a which was a stretch for me. Thanks to Jay for an excellent workout.

  21. Isn’t Jay the most brilliant setter! Loved it all.
    I only used electronic help for 25a, I needed help to get a nudge forward in the SW corner and that was so obviously an anagram. I also had to google the Ford, never heard of it.
    I don’t think I can choose a fave; I loved 16a, 4d, 7d, and so much more.
    Huge thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.

    1. Thought you would struggle with “Ka” it is so small it would br a radio control car with you. It would nearly fit under the bonnet of a Ram pick-up!

      1. I saw the pics when I googled it. My perfect car was my last one, Suzuki SX4, perfect for me. Alas, I sold Sweetpea as my eyes got so bad and I had to stop driving, but I miss her dreadfully. Ah, the days when you could hop in and go get something, now I have to rely on Uber. Rats.

  22. Excellent puzzle. A;ll went in quite slowly but steadily. Just the way I like it. Thanks Jay. favourites were 1a, 16a, 23a and 7d.

  23. Checking in late as usual 😬 Normal excellent fare from Jay but needed hints for 11, 16a & 17d 😳 Hence ***/*** Favourites 7d 🏌️‍♂️and 2d (Come on the Canaries) 😜 Thanks to the 2x Ks for their much needed assistance and of course to the Maestro that is Jay 🤗
    Pers obs Kath had 5 favourites today, it only seems like yesterday when she would chivvy us if we declared more than 2 😏

    1. Kath said she was not sure which of five clues to pick as favourite. I will not let the mighty Kath be knocked off her pedestal

      1. Yesterday Kath said I had a brain. After such a compliment I’ll forgive her anything

  24. I was slow to get going but once under way everything started to fall into place. Except that is for the incorrect initial letter for 17d which rather screwed up 16a for a while. Sigh….
    I’ll nominate 25a as my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the realigned Kiwis for their review.

  25. I found this a tricky little number. Certainly more than ** star difficulty for me. I couldn’t get “soaking” in the bath out of my head for 14d, and hadn’t really thought of soaking food. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s

  26. Morning all.
    Looks like we could have gone with our gut feeling for the difficulty stars with this one and given it three. During the process of putting the blog together we changed our minds three times on that.
    Having just read all the comments on practice/practise feel confident that we will never ever be confused again. (That is until next time.)
    It must be just about time for bluebells in the woods for all you nature lovers, or has that happened already?

    1. No, still fading daffodils and perky tulips. Nice word perky! No bluebells in my garden yet nor, sadly, frogspawn in the pond.

  27. Found this to be definitely at least *** difficulty today. And like Brian, I found it easier to fill in the word and then figure out the cryptic definition afterwards in quite a few instances. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for helping me pause in the back breaking packing saga…

  28. A good puzzle that felt a little tricky while solving, perhaps edging towards a high ** for difficulty.

  29. Top half flew in but I ground to a halt as I fought my way through the bottom aspect of the grid. For me it was a less benevolent Jay but still a cracker of a puzzle, hence 3*/4.5*
    All clues are worthy of mention but the two long clues did stand out.
    Many thanks to Jay & the 2KW for review & hints.

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