DT 29045 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29045

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29045

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Wednesdays do seem to come around quickly. All of a sudden it is time to sit down and have the pleasure of solving and blogging another Jay puzzle. We found this one quite tricky with some less familiar words to deal with. There was also a little problem with the enumeration for 11d in the on-line version, that has now been fixed.  It took us well into 3 star for difficulty time to get it all sorted.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     High-handed European politician, Conservative, chasing a lot of perks? (10)
PEREMPTORY : In the order they appear in the answer, we start with the first three letters of (a lot of) perks, next, the abbreviations for European and a Member of Parliament and finally,
the familiar name for Conservative Party.

6a     Request sees enjoyment cut by half (4)
PLEA : Start with an eight letter synonym for enjoyment and chop off the last four letters.

9a      Reading music? (7)
RECITAL : An ‘out-loud’ reading or a musical performance.

10a     Bouncer needing time to replace new carpet (7)
DOORMAT : Another name for a nightclub bouncer has his last letter N(ew) replaced with T(ime).

12a     Condensed tune that’s piped (10,3)
COMPRESSED AIR : Condensed or squashed together and then a tune or song.
14a     Deplore charge applied to administrator (8)
EXECRATE : A four letter shortened title for a corporate administrator and then a charge or cost.

15a     Volunteer force surrounding middle-eastern country’s capital (6)
TIRANA : A middle-eastern country with the capital Tehran is inside the abbreviation for a volunteer military force.

17a     Disreputable line that hurts Spain (6)
LOUCHE : The abbreviation for line, then the exclamation that says “That hurts!” plus the IVR code for Spain.

19a     Wants may be shifting whilst accepting income support (4,4)
WISH LIST : An anagram (shifting) of WHILST contains the abbreviation for income support.

21a     Public announcements of iron-free meals at last? (5,8)
PRESS RELEASES : Iron is a verb meaning to de-crease, then free or unshackle plus the last letter of meals.

24a     Confirms as attending internationals (7)
ATTESTS : A two letter word for attending and then international sporting fixtures.

25a     Gulp, seeing small hippos do this (7)
SWALLOW : The abbreviation for small and then what Flanders and Swann tell us hippos do in glorious mud.

26a     Bird brought back by golden retriever (4)
ERNE : A reverse lurker.

27a     A bit of drama curtailed, 7 perhaps being the dominating power (10)
ASCENDANCE : ‘A’ from the clue, and part of a play that is smaller than an act without its last letter, and finally, what the answer to 7d is an example of.


1d     Standard finish to Rolls-Royce trim (4)
PARE : The standard as in a golf score and the last letter of Rolls-Royce.

2d     What Greens will do about revolution? (7)
RECYCLE : About or with reference to, and a revolution or turning.

3d     Changes to some hampers needing adjustment (13)
METAMORPHOSES : An anagram (needing adjustment) to TO SOME HAMPERS.

4d     Bear‘s new role in gallery (8)
TOLERATE : An anagram (new) of ROLE is inside one of London’s major galleries.

5d     Gets up with a change of heart, and travels (5)
RIDES : Start with a word meaning gets up and substitute a different middle letter.

7d     Youth grabbing a doctor with a number of Brazilian revellers (7)
LAMBADA : ‘A’ and a medical doctor’s qualification are inside a youth or young man and finally ‘A’ from the clue.

8d     Lingering impression of a fat setter in bits (10)
AFTERTASTE : An anagram (in bits) of A FAT SETTER.

11d     Note things must change with short time for romance (9,5) (3-5,5)
ONE-NIGHT STAND : An anagram (must change) of NOTE THINGS followed by a synonym for ‘with’.

13d     Wrapping instrument with top of handle in glass (10)
CELLOPHANE : An instrument like an overgrown violin and then the first letter of handle is inside a sheet of glass.

16d     Suckers seen working for landlord (8)
LICENSEE : Nasty little parasitic suckers plus an anagram (working) of SEEN.

18d     Left after dinner, uniform tidy (7)
UNEATEN : The abbreviation for uniform and then tidy as a verb.

20d     Abuse mostly coming with popular hormone (7)
INSULIN : A synonym for abuse or deride loses its last letter and then the two letter popular.

22d     Relaxes when in view on the way up (5)
EASES : A two letter word for ‘when’ is inside the reversal of view or observe.

23d     Short message, rather quaint (4)
TWEE : Remove the last letter from a short message on one of the popular social media forums.

Once we had the enumeration sorted out we settled on 11d as our favourite.

Quickie pun    core    +    toff    +    flaw    =    court of law

69 comments on “DT 29045

  1. An enjoyable Jay puzzle to cheer a miserable grey morning. Some of the answers needed a little more teasing out than many of late have. 26a became my favourite, largely because I picked the wrong one of the two birds hidden in the clue and that held me back somewhat. I did like 19a, 25a & 27a, plus learning a couple of fresh words along the way in 1a & 17a. Thanks to Jay and 2 Ks.

    1. The bird sent me up the garden path completely and cost 30 minutes head-scratching, once sorted it all fell into place.

  2. 2*/3.5*. I found this very enjoyable as usual on a Wednesday despite being very straightforward for the most part. I thought I was going to finish in around my 1* time but got held up in the SW.

    My eye caught on 23d, immediately twigged the answer, and entered that first. Then, on a whim, I decided to solve the other three four letter answers in each corner. All of these went in straightaway except that sadly I had put in the wrong “rekrul” TERN as my answer for 26a, which contributed to my delays in that corner. 17a was my last one in.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  3. A terrific puzzle once again from Jay. Excellence comes as standard on a Wednesday and today was no exception. So many fine clues but my favourite was 17a.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and the 2Ks.

  4. I’d agree with tricky – even starting with the Downs didn’t really work – but I ended up in a usual time for a Jay once I’d sorted out the bird problem in 26a

    Thanks to all the birds concerned (apart from the sneaky one in 26a)

    The Petitjean Toughie is a thing of great joy – do give it a go, not least because surely there can’t be many more treats left in his bequest to the nation

    1. I had a look at the Toughie and could not get one answer, I recall that this setter’s clues are something of a mystery!

  5. As usual,this Jay puzzle was really enjoyable (****) and sufficiently challenging to be ** for difficulty. A liked 1a, 10a and 3d (a lovely anagram. Thank you to the Kiwis, as I needed help parsing 21a, although I had bunged it in anyway and thanks to Jay for a lovely Wednesday puzzle.

  6. Many thanks to Jay for another fine puzzle, and to the 2Kiwis fot the write-up.

    No problem with 26a – I did not notice the other bird.

  7. Excellent puzzle as usual from the excellent Jay. Not too simple, but a nice mild challenge. I made up the answer for 17a and was pleased to be able to confirm it was a real word! My joint favourites were 13d and 21a.

  8. Really enjoyed this puzzle, taxing but not impossible, nicely clued.

    Got the wrong bird like many others, Doh!

    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  9. Agree with 2 K’s ***/**** as the solve was tricky and the entertainment was excellent.
    Last in was 26a so the right bird was obvious-reminded me of two public houses 50 yards apart in Rochdale run by two brothers who fell out , the pubs both had the same name-the bird in hand- one was known locally as the top bird and the other the bottom bird !
    Anyway my favourite was 13d,not seen the word for ages.

  10. I found this very taxing and though an excellent puzzle I didn’t enjoy it as much as I usually do on Wednesday. I too was in the wrong bird camp which held me up in the SW, which was difficult enough without adding to it.
    I liked 1a for its surface and the concise and clever 1 and 23d but my runaway favourite was 21a.
    Is there anything really romantic about an 11d by the way ?
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for their excellent review.

  11. The usual Wednesday excellence from Jay. However, starting with up the downs didn’t work very well but I sill managed to finish at a fast gallop – **/****.

    I managed not to see the ‘wrong’ bird in 26a.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 27a, 2d, and 23d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. This was a tricky little beggar. Definitely well into *** time for solving.
    Needed a bit of electronic help with the more obscure clues such as 1a and 7d (which I don’t understand even with the hint, I thought the Lambada was a dance, where do the revellers come in?).
    Thx to all

    1. 1a, is a lego clue, the explanation is all there in the hint. 7d the Lamdada was known as the forbidden dance in the 1920’s,and the idea of “dirty dancing” came from it. Hence revellers.

      1. Thx I get 1a, it was just a bit tricky to parse. I see where you are going with the Lambada but it is still just the dance so to make the jump to revellers is a bit of a stretch too far for me.

        1. The dance is popular with revellers at Brazilian carnivals so I guess that’s what it’s about, Brian.

  13. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one from start to finish. What an absolute delight to solve. All the clues were so well crafted. I got held up in the SW corner, with 13&18d and 17&21a, but I persevered and got there in the end. 10a made me smile and 12a laugh out loud. The latter being my favourite. Was 3*/5* for me.

  14. Interested in the more experienced solvers’ views on 26a (I also got the wrong bird)… is this considered a valid and acceptable means of misdirection? Or is it viewed as a touch unfair?

    I certainly found it to be the latter but I recognise I’m a relative cruciverbal novice.

    Notwithstanding that I always enjoy Wednesday’s puzzle and blog so many thanks to the 3 birds.

    1. Probably a way of reminding us to really look carefully at all the clue. I wonder whether Jay noticed he’d got two birds hidden for the solver to work out which one was required, especially if they don’t have any checking letters

    2. Like you, BJS, I think 26a falls into the “touch unfair” category.

      I wouldn’t mind betting that Jay did not realise that there were two possible answers here.

      Picking the wrong bird delayed me quite a while on 13d and 18d.

    3. I agree, I’d say it’s a slight oversight – there should only be one possible correct answer. For instance Eagle brought back by golden retriever (4) would fix it.

      Similar to Swinger‘s pronounced walk (4) is a tad unfair because the answer could be GAIT or GATE

      Just my opinion, far be it from me to be correcting our Wednesday maestro.

    4. Although it turns out to have happened by accident, we think that the clue for 26a is not ‘unfair’ at all. It is a different matter when a valid alternative answer fits in with both the clue and the checking letters. Here there is only one possible answer that fits the checkers. We like to think of it as clever, albeit unintentional, misdirection. Well done Jay.

      1. According to all reference resources I can find (including Prolixic’s excellent guide) a clue should be unambiguous and solvable in its own right. The correct answer should not require the checkers. As has been shown, if you solve that clue first it seems a little unfair because you’ve found a perfectly valid answer to the clue and there will rightly be grumbles.

        I know it’s a bugbear of mine, but it’s the same reason I dislike cross-referenced clues.

  15. Super crossword, I just found the two reversed birds a bit of a ‘grrrr’ moment.
    Thanks Jay and 2xK’s

  16. The wrong bird passed me by so that was no problem for once. Slow start then picked up speed as I progressed. I liked 1d; I was looking for more with Rolls Royce of course. But 13d was my top clue.
    Thanks to Jay for another excellent puzzle, and to the 2K’s for the review.

  17. Nice crossword but a few local difficulties 😬 ***/**** Favourites 25a, 2 & 16d Thanks to Jay and to the 2 x Ks on a very wet (though much needed) day 🌧

  18. I hadn’t heard of 1A but got it anyway. Thought it was a rarely used, possibly old word.

    Shortly after I had a 5 minute drive. I turned on the radio and heard a Just William story being read: “William looked at (someone) in a 1A manner” said the reader.


    oh and 11 down made me laugh.

    Thank you to all

  19. I love Jay’s puzzles, even in his trickiest mood.
    I had the wrong bird and didn’t even see the second one, this made 13d and 18d impossible to solve.
    It took all the way to 17a to get a toehold, so that’s my fave as the first in, but there was a lot to like. I have to make special mention of 12a, really giggle worthy.
    Many, many thanks to Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for their review.

  20. Good afternoon all – setter here with apologies for the superflewous bird in 26, which I failed to notice on test solving! Many thanks for comments, which are always read appreciated and noted for possible improvements in future

    1. A pleasure to be able to thank you in ‘cyber-person’ Jay.

      Superflewous gave me a laugh as well, so thanks again.

    2. Being unable to solve 13d, I revisited all the checkers, and when I got to 26a I still didn’t see it! Very understandable that you missed it.

    3. We always love to hear from our setters. Thanks so much for popping in and particular thanks for a great puzzle not only today but every Wednesday.
      Congratulations too on devising a lurker that you didn’t realise was there :wink:
      One bird surplus to requirements is not a problem,

    4. Thanks for popping in and clarifying 26a. And thanks for the consistently excellent Wednesday puzzles – always a pleasure to solve.

  21. This was a tricky puzzle. I, too, got the wrong bird. But Jay is entirely forgiven as there were so many excellent clues, especially the laugh-out-loud 17a.
    Many thanks to Jay and 2Ks – great picture for 10a!

    1. Oh – I’ve suddenly stopped being Debbiedob, which I’ve been for months, and come out under my full name….it’s not very important but I don’t understand why it’s happened.

        1. Aww, thanks Dave. I could very easily call myself Big Deb but you wouldn’t want anyone to think we were related 😉

      1. So, if they have a girl later she’ll be called Veronica? I’m in such shock, imagine Prince Archie. As a friend told me, we’ll get used to it – maybe.

  22. The usual excellence from our Wednesday maestro although I did have to check on 15a – lack of the required GK on my part.
    Fortunately I didn’t fall for the wrong bird in 26a as the first checker was already in place. Can’t recall the last time I saw a clue for 13d – that one raised a smile here.
    Favourite was probably 12a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for another first rate blog.

  23. Super Wednesday puzzle, where two thirds of clues flew in (like our two birds!) and the remainder went in one by one.
    Jay magic, thank you… 2KW grateful for direction when needed.

  24. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis for this tricky puzzle. Above my pay grade, and still too many boxes waiting to be unpacked, so no time to ponder just yet. But enjoyed what I could fill in.

  25. Good fun was had today with North more straightforward than the lower half. Know 7d as a Brazilian dance but failed to parse the presence of number in the clue and also missed significance of ‘7’ in 27a. 26a went straight in so didn’t notice the other bird possibility. Fav was 13d. Thank you to Jay and also to our other two regular birds.

  26. Morning all.
    Quite a surprise this morning when we looked at comments and said, “What second bird?”. When we were solving we put the answer to 26a in place before we had any checking letters and did not look further once we had found one reversed lurking bird. Luckily for us it was the right one.

  27. I’d put this one at a tad trickier than yesterdays fluffy toughie .Such as the bird at 26a .So 18 d took an age .
    I like 12a the best .
    Thanks to all concerned .

  28. Yes, quite a challenging crossword which required a bit of time and thought. Well done the compiler.

  29. Very late checking in but will do so just to thank Jay for the apology – very gracious. I got (or thought I did) 26a very early on. Then of course had a struggle at the end with the remaining answers in SW. It did not occur to me to look for an alternative bird having found a valid one who is a regular in Crosswordland. It only occcurred to me to look when I decided that the only likely answer for 18a was uneaten. I think on balance that in general compilers and editors would not wittingly do this. It is true that with the checkers there is only one answer – but with the wrong answer before getting the checkers it goes beyond a normal misdirection. Favourites 10 17 19 and 25a and 2 and 13d. I was puzzled by lambada but now understand it if number is referring to the music (number). Thanks all – Birds and Bees.

  30. 4*/2*..but I did like 26A (bird brought back by golden retriever)..never spotted the duplicate bird.

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