DT 29201 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29201

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29201

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

The sand-dunes we walk through regularly are a riot of wild flowers at present. Most of them are non-native garden escapees of all types and colours with lupins by far the most dominant and with an all pervasive scent. The sandy beach is littered with a different kind of bloom, with millions of blue-bottle jellyfish washed up in drifts.

All the usual Jay fun in today’s crossword, that we found quite tricky in places and even considered giving it 4 stars for difficulty. A real cringe-worthy Quickie pun too.


1a     Fish eater ordered plaice with starter of nachos (7)
PELICAN : An anagram (ordered) of PLAICE, and then the first letter of nachos.

5a     Lorry with puncture blighted with no illumination (7)
FLATBED : A slang word for a puncture, and then the word blighted once ‘illumination’ has been removed from it.

9a     Shadow dance from Cuba runs into fourth place (5)
UMBRA : Start with a Cuban dance and relocate the cricket abbreviation for runs from the beginning to the fourth position in the word.

10a     Clergyman absorbed by home-improvement reference book (9)
DIRECTORY : A type of clergyman is inside the three letter activity of a home handyman.

11a     Pause before introduction to bible study, and eat (5,5)
BREAK BREAD : A pause or respite, then the first letter of bible and study as you might a university subject.

12a     University boss may find answer in study (4)
DEAN : This study is a room and includes A(nswer).

14a     Prep dishes? He transformed this dish (9,3)
SHEPHERDS PIE : An anagram (transformed) of PREP DISHES HE.

18a     Result of macaroni, if it cooks (12)
RAMIFICATION : An anagram (cooks) of MACARONI IF IT.

21a     Most of goo is thin (4)
SLIM : Another word for goo or gunk loses its last letter.

22a     Warning on vegetables that sends pulse racing (10)
PEASHOOTER : Small green vegetables and a warning, perhaps coming from a klaxon. (The pulse here is a legume).

25a     Silly mistake crossing broken ridge, what! (4,5)
GOOD GRIEF : An informal word for a silly mistake contains an anagram (broken) of RIDGE.

26a     Fateful day in which learner does nothing (5)
IDLES : A fateful day, especially for Julius Caesar, contains L(earner).

27a     Lad from Bangladesh confused affair (7)
SHEBANG : Remove the word lad from Bangladesh and make an anagram (confused) from what is left.

28a     Have doubts about cult grabbing American power (7)
SUSPECT : A cult or religious group contains the two letter American plus P(ower).


1d     Exactly the beginning of Sixties sounds (6)
PLUMBS : Exactly or perfectly aligned and then the first letter of Sixties. ‘Sounds’ here is a means of measuring depth.

2d     Clumsy oaf left book in taxi (6)
LUBBER : The abbreviation for left and then B(ook) is within the taxi service that tech-savvy people access with their smart phones.

3d     Rows with female in chat about feature of transmission (10)
CRANKSHAFT : Start with the word chat from the clue. Between the first and second letters insert rows or lines, and then before the last letter insert F(emale).

4d     In Aberdeen, a dirty bottom? (5)
NADIR : A lurker hiding in the clue.

5d     Company with time to employ a workforce is heaven (9)
FIRMAMENT : A four letter word for a company, then ‘A’ from the clue, a male workforce, and finally T(ime).

6d     Knowing parade must start late (4)
ARCH : A parade or demonstration loses its first letter.

7d     Vocally shows disapproval of increases in binges (5-3)
BOOZE-UPS : A homophone of the shouts made by a disapproving crowd, and then a short word for increases.

8d     Needy son upset leading ladies (8)
DOYENNES : An anagram (upset) of NEEDY SON.

13d     Political theories needing frightfully good lies about case of image (10)
IDEOLOGIES : An anagram (frightfully) of GOOD LIES contains the first and last letters of image.

15d     Choosing to accept debt regularly is the action of a striker (9)
PICKETING : The second and fourth letters of debt are inside choosing or making a selection.

16d     Warns of newspapers penning article on the borders of Greece (8)
PRESAGES : A general word for newspapers contains (pens) the indefinite article and the first and last letters of Greece.

17d     Being able to take everything in? (8)
OMNIVORE : A cryptic definition of a creature capable of eating a broad-ranging diet.

19d     Fight to oust second-class English PM (6)
ATTLEE : Remove the letter signifying second class from a fight that can be part of a war, and conclude with E(nglish).

20d     Arguments in favour of Italian down the hatch (6)
PROSIT : The arguments in favour that are the opposite of ‘cons’ and then the abbreviation for Italian.

23d     Strains to get one foot on board (5)
SIFTS : The Roman numeral one and the abbreviation for foot are inside the designation for a steamship.

24d     City in Algeria regularly ignored (4)
AGRA : Alternate letters of the country in the clue.

Our favourite this week is 3d.
Quickie pun      filler     +    suffer    =    philosopher


Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

63 comments on “DT 29201

  1. I quite enjoyed this puzzle (***/****) as I usually do on Wednesdays. So thank you to Jay. Thanks also to the Kiwis. My favourite was 22 a which was most amusing. The long anagrams were also good fun.

  2. For once, I would like to differ from the 2Ks’ rating. This one flew in for me, completed in */** time. It seem quite run-of-the-mill, other than 22d which was one of the last to go in and was easily my COTD.

    Perhaps I ought to go for a 9 mile walk before breakfast more often!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Another Wednesday, another gem from Jay. Perhaps a little harder than his usual offerings, it was nonetheless full of his trademark quality and humour. 5a and 19d fought it out for my top spot.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  4. Well it is Wednesday so it is bound to be friendly and enjoyable – I particular liked the ‘sends pulse rating’ definition in 22a and there are lots of other clues deserving special mention

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  5. For me, this was at the tougher end of Jay’s spectrum but still enjoyable. Have to admit to resorting to the hints for 2d and 9a, and successfully guessing 20d from the wordplay. Not sure about 6d, where the synonym to me doesn’t work, I associate it with primary or foremost but not “knowing”.
    I particularly liked 8d and 27a, not only because they were well clued but are great words!
    Podium places however go to 11a, 25a plus 7d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works.

  6. Going up the downs provided a good start to another very enjoyable Wednesday puzzle completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Favourite – 22a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Agreed, the transmission may be bolted directly to the crankshaft eg via the clutch or remotely connected eg via belts, other than that a pleasant challenge which got my gears running.

    2. Ian, hubby was adamant that 3d is most definitely not part of the transmission when I asked for his thoughts on this clue. So we smiled when we saw your comment. Having watched him take numerous engines apart I had little doubt he was right, but the answer fitted so in it went.

    3. I missed this discussion…see my comment at 35. However, thinking about it this morning the def is ‘transmission feature’ not ‘feature of transmission’ – so since the crankshaft transmits reciprocal motion from the pistons into rotational motion on the shaft, it most definitely is a transmission feature. We were, perhaps, outfoxed by Jay. Again.

      1. Me too. Having failed initially to see the light in the NW I tried for too long to make “stickshift” work at 3d.

  7. For some inexplicable reason, 3d hit me with only the first checker in place but the lorry caused a few problems although nothing like as many as the racing pulse!
    Another gem from our Wednesday setter with 22a taking the honours.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – just looked up our more familiar name for the jellyfish and found a clip of a foolish man deliberately stinging himself with same. ‘I told you it would hurt’ springs to mind!

  8. Usual hard work from Jay. Although solvable by definition much of his clue parsing is overly complex as in 9a. Also why is Arch knowing in 6d, there is nothing in the BRB that gives this definition? 1d was just bizarre.
    I find his puzzles a challenge but with little enjoyment. As always a bit of a slog.
    Thx for the hints

      1. arch2 /ärch/
        Chief, principal (now esp in compounds; see arch-)
        Waggish, mischievous
        Cunning, shrewd
        Finished, accomplished, pre-eminent, esp in evil (Bunyan)
        Nothing there about ‘knowing’

  9. This is just another example of how your brain works, started off at a gallop most of across clues flying in, then in southern half came to a complete stop, some of the down clues were difficult, but as is so often the cae you have a lightbulb moment and the answers start flying in.
    This is probably why some people find crosswords easy and some find them to be stinkers, it depends how your brain is wired, so I am reliably informed by my duaghter who had studied things like this for a Phd, needless to say I am none the wiser. Thank goodness we are all different.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  10. Really enjoyable as ever on a Wednesday. Many thanks, Jay. Plenty of smiles in solving this.
    Some great definitions, in particular 22a. Loved 17d and 19d.
    Interesting to see the taxi firm making only its second appearance in a crossword?

  11. An enjoyable 2*/4* with some nice clues 5A, 7D, 27A. Nice to see 22A, which I enjoyed many years ago and could be quite damaging if the frozen version were used. 20D was a new word for me (one of the benefits of a good puzzle). 3D was nice, so named (first 6 letters) when they were hand operated, and ran pumps, so they belong to both driver and transmission and both systems are inoperable without this wonderful Arabian invention (or perhaps invented even earlier). So both Ian and the setter are correct, in my opinion.
    Thanks to the 2K’s – even if you are exacting revenge down under through the T20 cricket 😳

  12. Once started everything fell into place, right up my street, a ‘fun’ crossword from Jay.
    Lots of amusing clues like 22a and 1a, and clever ones like 9a .
    The surfaces of the clues were top draw for me, going for a **/****.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s for the pics.

  13. Very much a game of two halves. Top half flew in (except 2d, a new word for me). Bottom half very sticky indeed, needed lots of 2K help (thank you). 22a made me laugh when I eventually got it. Thanks to Jay for brain workout.

  14. Thought 22a was a cracker. These fairly flew in by my standards…but at xxxxxxx who cares!

    1. From Comment Etiquette section on this site

      Don’t discuss solving times. Many of the users of this website are relative novices and if they have just spent an hour solving a puzzle they can be discouraged by someone saying that they have solved the same puzzle in 5 minutes. You can use star ratings similar to those used by the reviewer or similes such as “a two-pint puzzle”, but please avoid terms that belittle the puzzle such as “should have been in the Junior Telegraph”.

  15. Hmmm. Needed quite a few hints to get this one done. I put in the wrong word at 18a which threw me and I wanted the second word in 11a to be grace.and would never have got 1d. Pre BD I would probably abandoned ship, so thanks for enabling me to persevere!

  16. A very pleasant solve with 22ac, as with many others, being the last one in and smile inducing favourite. With thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – a lovely photo of the fish eater in 1ac with the unfortunate fish still clearly visible!

  17. 22a was the wittiest clue for some time, and was part of an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to all involved today.

  18. Week after week Jay produces top-quality puzzles (and 2Kiwis produce top-quality blogs). I thought that today’s 22a was a brilliant clue.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K.

    1. After completing this over breakfast, I went out for the day and I haven’t been able to comment until now.

      What Gazza has written echoes my thoughts precisely so I’ll just say “ditto” and add my rating 2.5*/4.5*.

  19. Jay gave me less of a headache than sometimes. North beat the South to the finishing post. 1d was a bung-in as that kind of sounds didn’t occur to me and likewise strains in 23d and 2d is new one on me. Lots of great clues with podium places going to 22a, 3a and 17d, probably in that order. TVM Jay and the 2Kiwis. Your description of the flora on the sand dunes sounds delightful particularly as for us in the UK it begins to feel decidedly wintry.

  20. Great coincidence spotted by this lurker… as I was filling in the answer to 1a this morning the song of the same name by the Maccabees started playing on the BBC 6 music early breakfast show…

  21. Did I ever tell you how much I enjoy Jay’s puzzles? He never disappoints, loads of fun.
    A tad trickier than usual, but hugely enjoyable. My last in was 17d, never thought of that, so clever. I needed word search to solve that one.
    I was reminded of Charlie Brown at 25a, and 22a was good for a giggle, but so many more were top choices.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for the usual snapshot of your world, sounds gorgeous.

  22. Didn’t do as well today, this being quite a bit tougher. I hadn’t heard of 9a )must have been out with tonsillitis when they covered that in school), and certainly never head of 2d meaning a clumsy oaf? A couple of others when I got the answer without really understanding why. But a nice challenge, thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis. If only I could go for a morning walk like theirs, sounds fantastic.

    1. We’re more familiar with 2d as those yellow/orange/brown large cricket-like things that eat up our gardens. I was able to work it out as I use that taxi, having had to stop driving, it’s the only way I can get around..

  23. Brilliant – I loved it all and could probably leave it at that, but, being me, I probably won’t!
    I ground to a total halt with almost the whole of the top left corner completely empty for ages.
    If I’d heard of the 5a lorry before I’d forgotten it.
    Like Merusa 25a reminded me of Charlie Brown and made me laugh.
    It’s going to be tricky to pick out any clues in particular but her goes anyway – 22, 25 and 27a and 2, 7 and 17d. My favourite is one of that lot.
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  24. Morning all.
    In comment #25 Merusa mentions ‘snapshots of your world’. The picture for 24d (taken through the ubiquitous northern India haze) is also a snapshot of our life, taken when we were there exactly two years ago.
    Looks like we found this one trickier than many commenters are reporting. Strange things these cryptic crosswords.

    1. My eyes are that bad I never noticed you in the pic! I have always regretted that I never made it to the Taj Mahal on my travels, but you can’t do it all!

    2. It is always nice to see pictures of our bloggers. It makes the feel so much more personal

  25. Love Wednesdays, very enjoyable puzzle, although as usual needed BD to help finish. I rarely manage to complete without some help, but still enjoy crosswords.
    Absolute fav 22a
    Thanks to all.

  26. Nice but tricky puzzle ***/*** 😃 Favourites were 21 & 22a 🤗 Thanks to Jay and the two Ks, it is really odd that our seasons are 180degrees opposed 😳 1d was my last one in! Thanks for explaining it to me, fortunately it was the only word that fitted 😬

  27. I think this was the most difficult crossword that I have very nearly solved without help.I needed your help at 25 and would never got 27 without you. Very many thanks to all.Really loved every minute of this.

  28. An absolute corker from Jay tonight, I enjoyed every single clue, even though it seemed harder than of late.
    Grateful thanks to Jay & to 2KWS for review.

  29. Thanks to J for another pleasant solve. A ‘?’ for 2d would have helped the penny to drop a bit earlier. Uber is not a taxi service by definition. Anyway, no sleep lost. My favourite, 22a; took me back to hi jinks at primary school🦇. Thanks also 2Ks.

  30. Lot harder than the last 2 days! In my world 3d is an engine feature, not a transmission feature….

  31. Lots of laughs today, but I had to resort to 2kiwis’ excellent hints for a couple in the south – but very enjoyable. As always, thanks to Jay and my fellow 2kiwis!

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