DT 29117 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29117

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29117

Hints and tips by Stuart Nash

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Thanks to Miffypops and the 2Kiwis for swapping days.  This enabled me to attend the funeral of my best mate Pete, who passed away earlier this month just a week short of his 74th birthday.  I had to leave at 6:00 am in order to get to the crematorium in time, and made it just in time for the 9:30 am service.  BD

When solving this I smiled at several of the images suggested formed by consecutive answers. 1ac and 5ac for example. 9 and 11 ac. 22 and 23ac. 16 an 19d. 14and 10d. As usual Jay has come up trumps with a superb puzzle which I thought was a tad harder than those of the previous two days.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Drink in one with players low in spirits (8)
DOWNCAST: Why does this word containing the letter W appear so often in these puzzles? Split 4,4 we have a word meaning to guzzle or quaff a drink in one gulp followed by a list of players acting in a performance

5a    Appearing in court, try to get result (6)
UPSHOT: Split 2,4 we have a word meaning to be before a court and a word meaning a go or attempt at something

9a    A deterrent against murder? (9)
SCARECROW: The collective name for a certain type of bird is a murder. This is what deters their appearance in fields, allotments and gardens.

11a    Prestige source of dates in African market rejected (5)
KUDOS: The reverse of a Middle Eastern market has the initial letter of the word dates inserted

12a    Uses leading authorities with no power (6)
EXERTS: Those who are very knowledgeable in a certain field need to have the abbreviation for power removed

13a    Drink of rancid butter originally put in front of everybody (8)
HIGHBALL: A word meaning rancid (especially concerning food) is followed by the initial letter of the word butter and then by a common term for everybody

15a    Getting informal agreement (13)
UNDERSTANDING: A double definition the first often being used to describe the realisation an answer in a Jay puzzle is what it is

18a    Must Queen be shielding boy that’s part of body? (8,5)
SHOULDER BLADE: The first word here is a synonym of the word must followed by our Queen’s regal cipher. The second consists of the word be from the clue which contains a word meaning a boy

22a    Obscure English Tories upset with Commons at first (8)
ESOTERIC: The abbreviation for English is followed by an anagram (upset) of TORIES plus the first letter of Commons

23a    Wait on guests, taking in language (6)
TONGUE: The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue indicated by the words taking in

26a    Signal that stops progress in company statement of beliefs (5)
CREDO: The traffic light signal that stops traffic sits nicely inside the abbreviation for company

27a    What bees need in Spain is fruit (9)
NECTARINE: Do as the clue asks. The substance bees need is followed by the word IN from the clue. The IVR code for Spain is appended at the end.

28a    Most recent time after evening shifts (6)
LATEST: The term used by shift workers for the evening shifts is followed by the abbreviation for time

29a    Under pressure, sending sweets back (8)
STRESSED: The sweets here are one’s afters or puddings at mealtimes. Reverse them.


1d    Served party in Northern Ireland entertaining international cast (6,2)
DISHED UP: A political party form Northern Ireland contains the abbreviation for International and a word meaning cast as in the way a snake casts its skin

2d    This might describe a good time for one in school (5)
WHALE: The one in school here is a marine based mammal. He or she is having an extremely good time

3d    City street full of jollity? Quite the opposite (7)
CHESTER: The abbreviation for street sits inside a word meaning jollity

4d    Hitches a ride, revealing dress (4)
SARI: The word revealing suggests that the answer lies hidden within the words of the clue. Which it does

6d    Asian leaves stuff for the audience and most of singers (3,4)
PAK CHOI: A homophone of stuff or cram (as we do with suitcases) is followed by a group of singers minus their last letter

7d    Flower garden designed to be covered in loose hay (9)
HYDRANGEA: The answer consists of two anagrams. The first (designed) of GARDEN sits inside the second (loose) of HAY

8d    Lets off about American conflict (6)
TUSSLE: An anagram (off) of LETS sits around the abbreviation used to denote American

10d    Complains about almost nothing and snickers (8)
WHINNIES: The plural of a word meaning feeble or petulant complaints (delivered in an irritating high pitched voiced) contains a three-letter word meaning nothing minus its last letter

14d    Stop one working for stud (8)
STALLION: To stop as an engine might do suddenly is followed by the letter that looks like the number one and a word meaning working

16d    Bent receiver set on reforms (9)
DISHONEST: The receiver for satellite communication is followed by an anagram (reforms) of SET ON

17d    Always restricted by right objective for cleric (8)
REVEREND: A word meaning always sits inside the abbreviation for right and an objective or aim

19d    ‘Cats‘ to close unexpectedly (7)
OCELOTS: Anagram (unexpectedly) of TO CLOSE

20d    Copyright must be protected by extensive European material (7)
BROCADE: The abbreviation for copyright is surrounded by a word meaning wide ranging. The abbreviation for European concludes the matter

21d    Maine — small American state and drink from Mexico (6)
MESCAL: What I presume is the recognised abbreviation for the state of Maine is followed by the abbreviation for small and an abbreviation of a second American state (championed by The Beach Boys)

24d    Holds onto bags in the States (5)
GRIPS: A double definition

25d    Tax whisky, ignoring church (4)
SCOT: The generic term for whisky needs to have the abbreviation for church removed

Quickie Pun: hiss+trio+nicks=histrionics. The histrionic hyperbole quote from An Inspector Calls by J B Priestly has always been a favourite of mine.


43 comments on “DT 29117

  1. The usual Wednesday treat – 9a was marked as a favourite as I solved the clue and nothing else turned up to knock it off the top spot

    Thanks to Jay for the entertainment, the NZ politician for the blog and RIP Pete

  2. What a thoroughly brilliant puzzle to cheer up a miserable Wednesday morning. Jay has really set the bar high this week with some excellent clues, none better in my opinion than 9a and 6d.

    Many thanks for a superb crossword to Jay and to SN for the blog.

  3. Thanks SN (sorry for your loss) and Jay.

    A 3 for me today.

    9a I solved without knowing why. Murder polis, as we say in Glasgow! Now I know.

  4. Appreciation grew with slow then steady progress .

    Although similar to a recent example , my COTD is 9A with 21D last in and a new word for me .

    Thanks , yet again, Jay and , of course , M .

    I wonder if Moggy would approve of my entry ?

    1. You should try 21d if you are feeling brave. Lethal stuff especially with a worm in it!

  5. I really enjoyed this crossword from Jay, as usual (**/****). There were so many good clues that it was difficult to pick one favourite. I liked 9a ( really chuckle-worthy), 18a, 3d and 21d. Thank you Jay and thank you Stuart, for the hints. Glad you made it to say goodbye to an old friend. I am going to a ‘celebration of life’ of a very dear friend this weekend, so I can empathise.

  6. Many thanks to Jay for a thoroughly excellent puzzle. My only delay was thinking of putting sourball for 13a, but fortunately did not write it in.

    Favourite clue, 9a.

  7. As is usually the case for me with Jay there was a slow start to this but things gradually picked up. I can’t really imagine many students referring to a 2d of a time. D’oh to bird group in 9a. Enjoyed fathoming 18a and 3d. There we go again with 29a. Stupidly needed help with 1d before completing. Thanks Jay and MP and sympathy to BD.

  8. Great puzzle which I found harder than some. 9a favourite, as for many others; 3*/4* for me. Thanks to setter.

  9. Much enjoyed even though it took a bit of time.
    Many thanks to Jay and SN – you might like to check spelling in 28a hint – certainly brought a smile to this ex shift worker’s face

    1. I’ve edited it – not what you want to read when eating your lunchtime sandwich!

  10. Well, I seem to be in the minority today, I found this one quite straightforward and completed without external help in */** time.

    I was a little disappointed to find half of the answer to 1a in the clue for 1d. The outstanding COTD was definitely 9a.

    Many thanks to Jay and SN.

  11. An enjoyable puzzle. I didn’t notice the links between certain clues until it was pointed out. For the first time in my life, I fully understand the meaning behind ‘getting off scot-free’. Thanks to all, and yes, RIP Pete.

  12. A great puzzle today and most enjoyable. For once, I managed to get about 90% unaided. I struggled with 18a mainly because I insisted on trying to use Q for queen instead of the usual ER. Favourite was 9a.

    Thank you to all concerned

  13. I could kick myself. It took ages to get 9a. Definitely favourite of the day. We don’t have a problem with crows, only red kites. Many thanks to Jay and to Miffypops.

  14. I went into moderation for some reason, with a different avatar which wasn’t mine. Not sure what’s going on. 9a was favourite. Thanks Jay and Miffypops.

  15. Good wednesday stuff I quite liked 9a good to see some of the old words returning. Thanks to Stuart for great hints, luckily only needed a couple.
    Thanks also to setter.
    Weather here in North Cornwall pretty blowy but fresh.

  16. I found this trickier than Jay’s usual puzzles, but, as is the norm with him, just do what he says!
    First holdup, I know 6d as bok Choy, soon corrected when I got 5a.
    Second, I thought 21d was a dish made from cactus, didn’t know it was a drink.
    Lots and lots to like, I think 9a takes the top prize, but I also liked 18a and 10d, hard to choose.
    Thanks to Jay and to Stuart for the fun review. There’s an artist on the IOW with the same name.
    My sympathies BD, it’s hard losing a best buddy.

    1. P.S. MP, I loved the NZ recruitment clip, I’ve never laffed so hard! Thanks for that, started my day just right!

  17. I found today’s puzzle harder than yesterday’s Toughie and Sunday’s Dada combined. Jay has very much turned into my nemesis, please dont anyone tell me that I am ‘reading’ the clues!! Perhaps there were too many words that were simply unknown to me. The Mexican drink, the cat, the material to name but three.
    Thanks MP for the much needed hints and Jay for the puzzle.

  18. This was OK but not greatly enjoyed by me. I am constantly surprised at what I know and sit smugly when others say they dont know this or that Today was my comeuppance. I vaguely recall the tax but only after reading one of the comments above. I’ve never heard of the collection of birds and I’m sure 10d equals snickers but it’s a new one on me. **/***

  19. I couldn’t get going until I reached the very bottom of the grid. From there it was upwards and onwards to a completion where I was wondering why I couldn’t get started. Ho hum.
    Actually a smashing puzzle from Jay and not to be different 9a takes the plaudits.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the man of many disguises for the review.

  20. Definitely tougher than yesterday’s, or perhaps I did lose a few brain cells over the Atlantic. Didn’t enjoy as much as I usually do with ones from Jay, and needed too many hints, thanks Stuart. Not heard of 6d or 21d, and never heard anywhere here in South Florida use 24d for bags. But helped me delay starting on the mountain of post vacation ironing. So all is good.

    1. Never had bok choy? I think it might be spelt like that here, can’t remember. In any case, pak choi or bok choy, look for the “baby” ones, they’re my fave veg. Sauté in a little butter, yum.

  21. It was quite a change to solve a Wednesday puzzle without mentally composing hints for each answer during the process. As usual it was a carefully crafted quality puzzle from Jay and we agree that 9a was the pick of the bunch.
    Thanks for keeping a slightly NZ flavour to the blog MP, we actually don’t remember ever seeing that clip before and enjoyed it.
    Thanks Jay and MP.

  22. I may be in the minority but found this slow going, filling clues in randomly on the grid. I slowly managed to pull it together, deciphering what the actual clues were. As I solved it appreciation grew.
    3*/3* favs 9a & 16d
    Many thanks to Jay & MP

  23. Good stuff. Stuart’s Hint needed for 12a so thanks for that. Did not notice the linked words – clever. Did not know about the 25d tax either – humbling things crosswords.
    Thanks all. ***/****

  24. Super puzzle today. Agree with all 9a COTD. Thanks to all.
    I’m hoping that the quickie pun is a deliberate prediction for the start of the Ashes tomorrow and that the returning triumvirate of boo boys nick off!

  25. Made harder work of this than necessary after my own late shift but got there in the end. Thank you to Miffypops and Jay. Very sorry to hear about your friend, Miffypops.

  26. Can’t find any suggestion of whinnies as a synonym for snickers, though plenty for nickers.

  27. Apologies for weighing in late but BD’s blog was not up by the time I went to bed. However, I’m off to a good start on 29118. Yesterday’s was a very enjoyable solve. My favourites, 6d and 16d. 5a could have been problematic if you went for bok choi. Thanks to Jay and Stuart. 🦇

  28. Am I dreaming or there’s a Like button at the end of the review?
    Be the first to like this is written underneath. Pressed it of course. Always like MP’s review.
    Helped me get 23a and 24d. Stuck on these two for ages.
    Liked the school and the murder.
    Thanks to Jay for the workout and to MP again for the review.
    My sympathy to BD.

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