DT 29231 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29231

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29231

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

It has been quite a week here in New Zealand. The weather pattern that we mentioned in last week’s blog caused significant infrastructure damage in the South Island with many slips and areas of flooding. Huge disruption for many people, especially tourists, with the only road down the West Coast not expected to re-open before Christmas. Fortunately, although a lot of inconvenience, no one was harmed.

And then we had the horrendous event on White Island. White Island is a small remote uninhabited island that is actually the peak and crater of an undersea volcano. It is a favourite tourist destination as it is a chance to get up close and personal with such an awe-inspiring force of nature. The explosion itself was not big in terms of what volcanoes can do but catastrophic for those people who just happened to be in close proximity to the crater at the time. Those who did manage to escape alive are all suffering to some extent from burns, some critical.

It has had a profound impact on us all. Our hearts go out to the families and friends all around the world of those who were killed, injured or affected by this tragedy.

Meanwhile the everyday world goes on and we have another Jay puzzle to explore.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Worry about badger killing (7)
CARNAGE : A three letter word for badger or hassle is enclosed by a synonym of worry.

9a     Add to company millions (sterling) (8)
COMPOUND : The abbreviation for company, then M(illions) and the monetary unit referred to as sterling.

10a     Most of monarchy exclude this means of leverage (7)
CROWBAR : The headgear used to represent the monarchy loses its last letter, plus a word meaning exclude or block.

11a     Huge deficit in fossil fuel (8)
COLOSSAL : A solid fossil fuel encloses another word for a deficit.

12a     Sleazy type finishing early was suitable (6)
SORDID : Remove the last letter from a type or kind (finishing early), then ‘was suitable’ or filled the bill.

13a     Laws covering alien figurines (10)
STATUETTES : The 1980’s movie alien is inside parliamentary laws.

15a     Performing plays regularly exclusively (4)
ONLY : A two letter word for performing plus the second and fourth letters of ‘plays’.

16a     Insignificant items spread around shopping precinct (5-4)
SMALL-TIME : A generally covered shopping precinct is inside an anagram (spread) of ITEMS.

21a     Son will keep one set (4)
LAID : The Roman numeral one is inside a young male.

22a     Destiny sees detective back in the south of France (10)
PROVIDENCE : A detective inspector is reversed in a region of southern France.

24a     Backlash from soldiers with wind (6)
RECOIL : Engineering soldiers and then wind or twist.

25a     Supported a general holding traitor back (8)
RENEGADE : A reversed lurker hiding in the clue.

27a     Passes on drinking French wine and looks for water (7)
DIVINES : The French word for wine is inside passes on or expires.

28a      Quantity of handouts distributed (8)
THOUSAND : An anagram (distributed) of HANDOUTS.

29a     A bit of bureaucracy — an ideal cause of death? (7)
CYANIDE : A lurker hiding in the clue.


2d     Iron brace fixed without carbon, like a hang-glider must be (8)
AIRBORNE : An anagram (fixed) of IRON BRA(c)E once the chemical symbol for carbon has been removed.

3d     No pile of dosh, say dished out in the current times (8)
NOWADAYS : ‘No’ from the clue, then a stack of banknotes and an anagram (dished out) of SAY.

4d     With £1000, pay for seats here (10)
GRANDSTAND : An informal word for a thousand pounds and then pay for or ‘foot the bill’.

5d     Jack goes in low — it’s magic (4)
MOJO : The noise a cow makes contains J(ack).

6d     Fight against work model (6)
OPPOSE : An artistic work and then model or posture.

7d     Beat United — last beaten during exercises (7)
PULSATE : The two letters for physical exercises surround U(nited) and an anagram (beaten) of LAST.

8d     Admire island lives protected by state benefit (7)
IDOLISE : The single letter abbreviation for island and then a two letter word meaning lives or exists is inside the state benefit paid to the unemployed.

11d     Take exception to question (9)
CHALLENGE : A double definition.

14d     Consensus about endlessly diverse supplier of education (10)
UNIVERSITY : Consensus or togetherness surrounds the word diverse once the first and last letters have been removed.

17d     Occasion when politicians try to make people cross? (8)
ELECTION : A cryptic definition of what will happen in the UK tomorrow.

18d     Share of profit split with north Germany (8)
DIVIDEND : A word meaning split or cleave, then N(orth) and the IVR code for Germany.

19d     Emotions generated by shorts? (7)
SPIRITS : These shorts can be drinks dispensed by a barman.

20d     Rambling and leaving sons unprotected (5,2)
GOING ON : Leaving or departing plus the inside letters (unprotected) of sons.

23d     Swallow, as a joke is heard (6)
INGEST : The answer sounds like a 2,4 phrase meaning as a joke.

26d     Put on goose at last — must be cooked! (4)
DONE : Put on or wear and then the last letter of goose.

17d gets our biggest tick today.

Quickie pun    sane    +    home    +    awe    =    say no more

55 comments on “DT 29231

  1. 2*/5*. Quite simply – wonderful.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks, and so sorry to hear about all the awesome forces of nature afflicting your lovely country at the moment.

    1. Well, well, well!
      You have a better memory than we have Smylers. Had totally forgotten that we had met that pun before.

      1. Ha! I can’t honestly claim to have remembered it. The more prosaic explanation is simply that I failed to work out the quickie pun, and it was before 11:00 when your blog article would provide the answer.

        So I tried a web search, without much expectation of finding anything, and the results were a single page: your article from 2½ years ago!

        Given so few people will remember them, it does make sense to re-use good puns, so we can enjoy them again.

        And thank you, Mr K, for the list — I thought you’d know!

  2. Yet another beauty from Jay, as usual. Yet another great blog from our 2 Kiwis who seem to have endured so much in recent years. Your illustration for 4d reminds me of a junior rugby club I used to visit where one of their players delivered furniture for a living and often bought three piece suites in time for Saturday matches and removed them afterwards.

  3. Another enjoyable (****)Jay puzzle. I awarded it ** for difficulty, apart from 12a , which I couldn’t fathom because I had it completely back to front. I kicked myself, when the penny dropped. My favourite clue was the topical 17d. Thanks to Jay and the two Kiwis. So sorry to hear of the disaster at White Island. It isn’t the first and it won’t be the last volcano to erupt unexpectedly but one must feel for the badly burned injured and the families of those who died or were hurt.

  4. Like our bloggers, I, too, had ticked 17d as the topical COTD. Jay’s consistency for fun puzzles is a feature of the solver’s week, and this gem of a crossword shows all his abilities to the fore.

    Thanks to all three birds. The only saving grace from the earthquake is that it happened away from areas of dense population. Small consolation to the relatives of those who lost their lives, but a small positive to take from the devastation.

  5. Another enjoyable offering from the Jay production line, I found it quite friendly but a pleasure from start to finish. I was wondering when parsing 8d if that term for a benefit is used in NZ?…it seems to have fallen out of use here.
    As usual on Wednesday ticks all over the place but in a strong field I’ll choose the excellent rekrul at 25a along with 7 and 23d for podium places.
    Incidentally for rock fans there’s a great song with the same title as 25a by American band Styx…well worth a listen.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks (sympathies to your countrymen too) for the entertainment.

  6. This for me wasn’t exactly plain-sailing but the bark was worse than the bite and I enjoyed the application called for (sorry about ending with preposition!). No outstanding Fav but plenty of excellent clues. Thank you Jay and also thanks to the 2Kiwis and sincere sympathies are extended to you and your compatriots for the recent catastrophe.

  7. As I have said before, any day when I complete it without aids, is a bonus day for me. This was a solid puzzle, which I worked my way through in **/*** time.

    COTD has to be 17d, with 4d a close second.

    Thanks to all.

  8. An enjoyable 2/4*. Some nice clues 3D, 4D. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s – sympathies on the disaster over in your homeland

  9. Thoughts and prayers with all those affected by the natural disasters in NZ.
    I found this Jay a lot trickier than usual, but just as enjoyable, with completion at a fast canter – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 22a, and 18d – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2ks.

  10. I’m really cross with myself. I couldn’t for the life of me work out 1a, and put the clue into a crossword solver. I bunged in the answer still not seeing where it came from. The rest of the crossword then just flowed. Looking at the review, I now understand 1a, but at the time, I couldn’t get the little furry animal out of my mind. Thank you Jay and the 2ks. 17d was my cod.

  11. How nice to have Jay to rely on for our mid-week solve. 12a held out on me until the bitter end but everything else slotted in relatively easily.
    No particular favourite today, just an all-round enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks. So pleased to know that you and yours are well, your country has faced some bad times recently.

  12. Actually finished without having to refer to the hints but thanks to the 3 birds.
    Amazing what you get from this blog – White Island I have been to – awesome but scary.
    Thanks for the update on the west coast road – will warn son and daughter-in-law who are about to start a tour of the South Island

  13. Relatively easy today. Took me ages to work out why 12a is what it is for some reason. Favourite 10a. Just picturing the queen with a crowbar in her hand made me smile.

  14. The usual Wednesday service from Jay and the 2Ks. Thank you to both

    Terrible news about the natural disasters and those caught up in them

  15. We once rented a house directly on the beach east of Whakatane for a couple of days. I think White Island would be just over the horizon, but I expect the ash and steam plume would be visible. I’ve walked around and climbed a few volcanic peaks and craters and the sulphurous steam outlets here and there on the hot rocks reminds you of the potential under your feet. The danger is exciting, but easy to underestimate.
    Wishing for recovery of those scalded and condolences to those bereaved.

  16. Another serving of the solving pleasure that we have come to expect on a Wednesday. Favourite clue probably 27a. Thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to the 2Ks for the nicely-illustrated blog.

  17. Yet another excellent puzzle-this has the makings if a vintage week.
    Going for a **/****, top draw cluing and nothing obscure .
    Hard to pick a favourite, liked 12a for misleading me and 13a for the surface.
    Amusing quickie pun too.
    Thanks to 2K’s for the parsing of 7d which eluded me.

  18. Super puzzle although another where it was often easier to solve the clue from the definition then to work out the wordplay. The only one that really foxed me was 15a, I just couldn’t see the wordplay but the answer was obvious so thx for hint.
    Thx to all

    1. With apologies but on behalf of the Apostrophe Pedants’ Association, unless you are a greengrocer either Wednesdays really are a pleasure or Wednesday’s puzzles really are a pleasure. :wink:

  19. **/*****. Another gem of a puzzle. We’re being spoilt this week. 25a was my favourite. Thanks to all.

  20. On first look I thought that this was going to be beyond me.HoweverI got gong and what a joy it turned out to be.There were so many witty and clever clues that I cannot choose between them.Thankyou to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for their sensitive yet amusing post. This one shows why I must keep on learning and why I am so glad I came across B.D.

  21. A very enjoyable puzzle. At first I was, well, puzzled but then oned penny dropped and the others followed. Not too fast, just a nice steady pace.

    My heart goes out to the people who died, the injured and their loved ones. Also everyone involved, the medical staff must be worked off their feet dealing with such terrible injuries and so many people in addition to their regular work.

  22. This was a delightful crossword that was a pleasure to solve. 13a was my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Ks for their review.

  23. Awful news from New Zealand. Mother Nature knows how to vex and surprise us all. Sympathies to all involved.

    Well it’s was quite a nice puzzle for my birthday, thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis for the hints. Did need 4 that were holdouts until the end, so didn’t do quite as well as I did with yesterday’s Donnybrook. COTD definitely 17d. Even though we are across the pond will be waiting with bated breath for the outcome tomorrow.

  24. Another Jay gem, though I thought a tad trickier than usual. Are there no limits to his wizitude?
    I got 20d wrong; didn’t understand it and just bunged in what fit with wot I got!
    Fave was 27a but 3d also pleased mightily.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for all the fun. I hope there is no second eruption and it goes back to sleep. At least we can’t blame it on climate change.

  25. Another nice crossword from Jay 😃 **/*** Favourites were 5d & 23d Thanks to the 2x Ks for their blog and up-dates and thanks to Jay

  26. Morning all.
    A beautiful fine day dawning here, so no adverse natural events to report. Thank goodness.

    1. Thank you both for your blog and my sympathy to those directly involved and my best wishes to the doctors, nurses, and others dealing with the aftermath.

      Not only is your PM a wonderful example to our so called politicians but whenever we hear from your country people they come over as genuinely caring and concerned about the welfare of all people. Please pass on the secret of how malice and vitriol van be replaced by genuine humanity.

      Oh, and can we borrow Jacinda Ardern for a few years?

      1. Not a chance! I put a hold on her as President of the United States some time ago – wait your turn, our need is greater.

          1. That would be an impossible undertaking as long as we have the likes of Der Gropenfuhrer sharing the planet with us.

  27. Bula from Fiji Folks 🏝Being GMT + 13 hours I’m tucked up in bed when this blog starts. So apologies for arriving late. The upshot is, like the Two Kiwis and other antipodeans, we get a head start on the DT XW.

    Very sad re White Island. It has to be remembered that volcanoes are dangerous things, especially as White Island is one of the world’s most active. I flew into Auckland recently and the visibility was significantly reduced, not by rain which is often the case😜, but by smoke from the Australian bush fires! To business…

    An enjoyable solve. It took me a while to find the reverse lurker in 25a. That’s my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.
    Will it be a RayT Thursday?🧐

  28. Fastest Jay I have ever managed to solve. Usually get stuck somewhere along the line.
    Thanks to him and to 2ks for the review.

  29. Not quite as much fun as yesterday but nevertheless very good Jay puzzle. Most of it went in without dithering but was left with three in the NE. Had a break and another look, before I resorted to aids, when they all fell into place. Favourite is 3d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks although no hints needed today.

  30. Nice crossword – but was nearly goosed by 26 down. Got the answer but only understood when I read your hint.

  31. The following is taken from a letter on the Letters to the Editor in today’s (Friday 13th) newspaper

    ‘I must take issue with the setter of Wednesday’s cryptic crossword 29,231. The clue for 17 Down was “Occasion when politicians try to make people cross? (8)” The answer that fits the grid is “election”, which is why my answer of “everyday” didn’t work.’

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