DT 29039 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29039

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29039

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We have again lit the fire most nights this week, shorts have gone back into the wardrobe for a few months and flocks of ducks and Canada geese have been arriving on the estuary. These are all signs that May is with us an we’re well into autumn. The impending opening of the shooting season explains the ducks, geese and also the occasional black swan.

We found Jay a little less testing than many of his puzzles have been lately with his usual generous helping of fun.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Inclined to lose head, seeing money that’s earned outside prison (7)
PANICKY : An informal word for prison is inside a three letter word for money that’s earned.

5a     Mental state induced by bedroom shenanigans? (7)
BOREDOM : An anagram (shenanigans?) of BEDROOM.

9a     Flyer in East of Eden after storm (5)
RAVEN : Storm or rampage and then the final letter (East) of Eden.

10a     Peeved about one worker’s breakfast? (9)
CROISSANT : The Roman numeral one is inside peeved or annoyed and then a worker insect.

11a     Fresh carcass not inviolable (10)
SACROSANCT : An anagram (fresh) of CARCASS NOT.  (We did check this alternative spelling of carcase. )

12a     The majority of what’s on the dust jacket is obscure (4)
BLUR : Remove the last letter from a publisher’s commendatory description.

14a     Limitations applied to son in Virgin getting financial control (5,7)
PURSE STRINGS : Firstly a word for virgin or unsullied contains the abbreviation for son and then limitations or special conditions.

18a     Anxiety produced by arrest (12)
APPREHENSION : A double definition.

21a     Cut rate (4)
CLIP : Cut as a hairdresser might do and rate as in speed.

22a     Crests found on some game birds (10)
PARTRIDGES : A synonym for some or a portion, and then crests that can relate to hills or mountains.

25a     Flirt‘s heavy blow on broken hip (9)
PHILANDER : Start with an anagram (broken) of HIP and then an informal word for a heavy blow. (We needed to confirm the heavy blow in BRB.)

26a     Representation of one million years? (5)
IMAGE : The Roman numeral one, the abbreviation for million and then a period of years.

27a     Distinguished peer must accept cheers (7)
NOTABLE : A two letter toast is inside a general name for a peer.

28a     Far from aloof (7)
DISTANT : A double definition.


1d     Put into words seeing Romeo occupying stage (6)
PHRASE : A stage or cycle contains the letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet.

2d     Lack of grip shown by apprentice (6)
NOVICE : Split 2,4 the answer points to the lack of a gripping tool.

3d     Company time invested in developing unloved complex (10)
CONVOLUTED : The abbreviation for company and then an anagram (developing) of UNLOVED which contains the abbreviation for time.

4d     Plant that’s disgusting mostly with crab, oddly (5)
YUCCA : Remove the last letter from a exclamation of disgust and follow this with the first and third letters of crab.

5d     Shelves trial in reserves (9)
BOOKCASES : Reserves or makes arrangements in advance surrounds a court hearing.

6d     There’s time to accommodate the others (4)
REST : A lurker.

7d     Boring story about knight that shouldn’t be missed? (8)
DEADLINE : Boring or lifeless and then a story or falsehood includes the chess abbreviation for knight.

8d     Nap on this rug upsetting 6’s (8)
MATTRESS : Another name for a rug, and an anagram (upsetting) of the answer to 6d plus ‘S from the clue.

13d     Most pressing aspects of computer knowhow in monasteries (10)
PRIORITIES : Monasteries that are headed by a dignitary less senior than an abbot contain the two letters signifying computer knowhow.

15d     Asked about theologian, the French take flight (9)
SKEDADDLE : An anagram (about) of ASKED, the qualification a theologian might hold and then the French definite article.

16d     Lip needing pressure on a new kitchen item (8)
SAUCEPAN : String together lip or cheek, the abbreviation for pressure, ‘A’ from the clue, and N(ew).

17d     Work on Henman first — a cheerful type (8)
OPTIMIST : An artistic work, then the first name of Mr Henman the tennis player, and ‘first’ written as a number and two letters.

19d     Antiguan arachnid will ensnare such a creature (6)
IGUANA : Our second lurker of the day.

20d     Maintain there’s a lock on the way up (6)
ASSERT : ‘A’ from the clue and then the reversal of a lock of hair.

23d     Bound to cross river feeling exhausted (5)
TIRED : Bound with string or ribbon contains the abbreviation for river.

24d     Fix top of bedroom doorpost (4)
JAMB : A fix or impasse and then the first letter of bedroom.

Quickie pun    thud    +    ayes    +    caste    =    the die is cast

26 comments on “DT 29039

  1. I’d agree with the 2Ks views on this Jay crossword – lots of fun without needing to start with the Downs. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay

    The Hudson in the middle of the paper is recommended

  2. Not as demanding as the last two crosswords and , in my opinion , with less sparkle .

    No outstanding favourite today with 24D last in once 27A revealed the checking letter .

    Thanks Ks and J .

  3. Yes, it was slighy less sparkling than theusual Jay crossword and gets *** for enjoyment from me. After a slow start I managed to complete it in reasonable (**) time but had a fight with the NW corner and I don’t understand why really. Favourites were 8d and 13d. Thanks to the chilly Kiwis and to Jay

  4. Encouraging to have NW corner lead the way and then the rest of the N went in quite readily but South was a different kettle of fish. Got there in the end but overall it was a bit of a grind. Needed 2Kiwis’ help to parse 21a. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  5. This took me what seemed to be an age to get a foothold but once I’d managed it the rest fairly flew in and, (funnily enough!) as it did my enjoyment and appreciation of this fine puzzle grew. Admittedly I haven’t parsed it all so I’ll thank the 2Ks in advance for any help needed and for their review.
    I particularly liked 5a for its clever and amusing surface along with the subtle and clever 18a plus 1, 2 and 7d.

    Many thanks to Jay too.

  6. 3*/4* from me for another very high quality offering from Jay. The only thing I needed to check was the heavy blow in 25a.

    5a was my favourite with 14a & 19d alongside it on the podium.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  7. A typical Jay puzzle in that its often easier to solve the clue than understand it. 12a, 14a and 24d are all examples, clever wordplay but not easy to fully parse without the answer.
    Thx to all

  8. I really enjoyed todays puzzle and put down ***/**** on completion .Some tricky clues along the way.
    Liked the surface of 11a.
    Bunged in 12a as I did not know that the 5 letter word had anything to do with ‘dust jackets’-thanks 2 K’ s.
    No real favourites maybe 22a.

  9. Just like Hayley Carruthers in the London marathon, I too crossed this finish line on my knees. All completed in *** time, but not 7d. Just could not see it and had to resort to electronic help.

    Thanks to all.

    1. I couldn’t do 7d either, but what a lovely clue! Great puzzle thanks to all concerned.

    2. Suspect that it was the chess notation for knight that caused your problem with 7d. We have been caught out so often with that one that internal alarm bells ring as soon as we see the word knight in a clue. (But it is just as likely to be giving us ‘sir’.) :smile:

  10. I didn’t much care for the surface in 25a……… that’s not what I would call flirting!
    I just guessed the noun form of land…… perhaps it should have hesitated
    ( ..er….) ?

    I thought 11a and 12a were terrific, but 14a was held up while I tried to get “savings” as the second word, fruitlessly searching for an anagram of Virgin……..oh dear.

  11. The usual excellence from Jay. Always enjoyable, rarely mundane and regularly entertaining. I thought 5a was a worthy favourite and a perfect clue.

    Many thanks to Jay for a terrific puzzle and to our 2Ks or their review.

  12. I seem to be at odds with others here. Unlike Angelov I struggled to get a start in NW but the South yielded first. I pootled along for a bit but eventually even the North fell into place with just a glance at the hints.
    Thanks to all the birds.

    1. Sounds fairly similar to my experience. I left the northern half after filling in inly a few clues, then found that the southern half was easier to fill in. The NW was the last to fall.

  13. ***/****. I struggled to get started but once a few went in it finished in a reasonable time. Favourites were 10a&7d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I’m just getting my shorts out!

  14. Another Jay treat, very enjoyable. The NW gave me the most trouble. I don’t know why, but my last in was 13d, I had all the checkers yet I still needed electronic help for that. I also needed to refer to the dictionary for the “lander” in 25a.
    Fave is 15d, love the sound of it. I also thought 28a pretty slick.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for our Wednesday fun.

  15. I on the other hand found this a little trickier than normal on a Wednesday 😳 so ***/***. My favourites 1a & 13d 😃 Thanks as always to the 2 x Ks and to Jay 🤗

  16. Very enjoyable , particularly liked 1a , which describes me a lot of the time .
    Thanks to the two Kiwis and Jay .

  17. Very late in but enjoyed solving this one over breakfast.

    Think I’ll go along with Merusa and award the top spots to 15d & 28a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the blog.

  18. Southern half flew in, northern took a little longer.
    Typical Excellence from Jay, runaway favourites for me are 5ac & 15d.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  19. Morning all.
    We’d overlooked selecting a favourite when we put the blog together yesterday but agree that the answer to 15d is such a great sounding word that it deserves that honour.

  20. Finally got to sit down with crossword while OH watched Liverpool lose to Barca. No laughs or groans today (I’m talking about the puzzle, not the football) but pretty straightforward. I’d bunged in 6d, having missed a simple lurker. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks.

  21. This gave me all sorts of problems took me til late in the night, but determinedly I finished it. Double a two star for me, well pleased I could manage it. Thanks for hints and to setter.


  22. 3*/3*….
    found 5A (mental state induced by bedroom shenanigans?) amusing.

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