DT 29284 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29284

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29284

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

With the dreadful weather most of you have been having lately we would feel a bit guilty about mentioning the beautiful warm summer days that we are enjoying here. So we won’t. We’ll get straight on with today’s Jay puzzle instead. We found him quite tricky again this week.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     On a trip with press, it transformed cult leaders (4,7)
HIGH PRIESTS : A word applied to somebody on a chemically induced trip and then an anagram (transformed) of PRESS IT.

9a     Walrus, perhaps has to hurt crossing over (9)
MOUSTACHE : Start with a 4,4 phrase that could mean ‘has to hurt’ then insert O(ver) into the first of these words and join it all together.

10a     Type of sultanate on the east of Qatar (5)
ROMAN : A middle-eastern nation (sultanate) follows the last letter of Qatar. (A penny drop moment when we understood the ‘type’ we were looking for).

11a     Vote in case of reasonable performance (6)
RETURN : The first and last letters (case) of reasonable and then a performance or act.

12a     Watering hole of a bloodsucker seen outside Delhi regularly (8)
ALEHOUSE : ‘A’ from the clue and a wingless parasitic insect surrounds the second and fourth letters of Delhi.

13a     Most important to net river and lake fish (6)
MARLIN : The abbreviations for river and lake are inside most important or principal.

15a     America developing muscle and losing Democrat (5,3)
UNCLE SAM : An anagram (developing) of MUSCLE AN(d) once the D has been removed.

18a     1950s youth from current book featuring in play (5,3)
TEDDY BOY : A swirling river current and B(ook) are inside a verb for play or trifle.

19a     Eliminates English jokes in speech (6)
EGESTS : The single letter abbreviation for English and a homophone of a word for jokes or quips.

21a     Uranium in reactor upset union official (8)
EUROCRAT : An anagram (upset) of REACTOR contains the chemical symbol for uranium.

23a     Work in regressive places for bung (4,2)
STOP UP : The two letter artistic work is inside the reversal of places or sets down.

26a     Upset, a steward will admit discrimination (5)
TASTE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

27a     Unexpected contender may be mysterious, and worrying her so (4,5)
DARK HORSE : Mysterious or arcane and then an anagram (worrying) of HER SO.

28a     Firearm found after lesson is an antique (6,5)
PERIOD PIECE : A lesson or time spent in class and another word for a firearm.


1d     Boring hospital doctor beset by signs of indecision (7)
HUMDRUM : Start with the abbreviation for hospital then a two letter sign of indecision, follow this with the usual title for a doctor and a repeat of the sign of indecision.

2d     Noise made by little one after end of feeding (5)
GRUNT : The last letter of feeding and the smallest one of a litter.

3d     In a pretty poor sort of suit for father? (9)
PATERNITY : An anagram (poor) of IN A PRETTY.

4d     Measure edge (4)
INCH : A double definition. Edge here means move slowly.

5d     Squeal about fine increasing (8)
SWELLING : A word for fine or in good health is inside squeal or betray a confidence.

6d     This girl owns up about artist (5)
SARAH : The reversal (up) of owns or possesses contains a Royal Academician.

7d      Menu as set must include starter of bass or ray (7)
SUNBEAM : An anagram (set) of MENU AS contains the first letter of bass.

8d     Urges simple reforms covering university — and succeeded (8)
IMPULSES : An anagram (reforms) of SIMPLE contains both U(niversity) and S(ucceeded).

14d     Aid workers, looking embarrassed and annoyed (3,5)
RED CROSS : The colour associated with embarrassment and then annoyed or irate.

16d     Sets fire to joint as warning for sailors (9)
LIGHTSHIP : A word for sets fire to and then a joint at the top of one’s leg.

17d     Less enthusiastic about a new riddle (8)
COLANDER : ‘A’ from the clue and N(ew) are inside less enthusiastic or more aloof.

18d     Latent heat remaining should conceal drama (7)
THEATRE : Another lurker hiding in the clue.

20d     Best resume novel, picking up quietly (7)
SUPREME : An anagram (novel) of RESUME includes the music symbol for quietly.

22d     The chap wearing flat hat is vulgar (5)
CHEAP : A flat cap contains a singular male personal pronoun.

24d     Sample initially put into sterile bag (5)
PURSE : Sterile or uncontaminated contains the first letter of sample.

25d     Spirit of writer transformed internally (4)
BRIO : Transpose the two central letters from a brand of commonly used writing implement.

We couldn’t decide for favourite between 8a for its interesting wordplay or 10a for its devious definition.

Quickie pun    thumb    +    oust    +    rap    =    The Mousetrap

54 comments on “DT 29284

  1. Very enjoyable and took me a little longer than normal.

    I got myself tied up in knots on my last one in (6d) going all round the houses til the penny dropped. Obvious once I got it!

    Didn’t know that term for 9a but got it from the checkers and wordplay.

    Many thanks to the 2Ks and Jay

  2. A little bit difficullt to get into today’s Jay puzzle but there were some superb clues. It took me just into 3* time to complete it and I gave it 4* for enjoyment. My favourite clues were 9a and 18a. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to Jay for another great puzzle.

  3. I thought this was quite a walk in the park, until I came to finish it off!. I got 19a from the wordplay and checkers, but have to admit I didn’t know the word, and my on-line search shows that very few dictionaries do, beside the BRB.

    11a had me hanging on for longer than it should, I was convinced the ‘vote’ was in the ‘case of reasonable’, and even when I saw my mistake, it took me a while.

    All over in ** time in the end, many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  4. Right on my wavelength for some reason and so a **/**** for me.
    Last in was 19a, which was a new word confirmed by my old Collins.
    Liked the surfaces of 17d and 3d.
    Thanks to 2K’s for the picks.
    Excellent quickie pun to boot.

  5. Another Wednesday, another minor masterpiece from Jay. My last two in became my favourites, 8d and 10a. Great stuff.

    Thanks to all three birds.

  6. Very tricky with quite a lot of head scratching for completion at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, and 18d – and the winner is 10a – like the 2Ks a real penny drop moment on the type of type.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  7. 2.5*/5*. Brilliant!

    I so much want to have lots of favourites but I daren’t risk it as I’m sure Kath will be watching, so I’ll settle for a crowded podium comprising 1a, 10a, 3d, 8d & 17d.

    19a was a new word for me, but it couldn’t have been anything else.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    P.S. I was utterly flummoxed by the Quickie pun as I had wrong but plausible answers for 4a & 4d.

    1. RD, As a matter of interest … what were your plausible answers? Did they fit in with the checking letters?

  8. Slow start but once underway I enjoyed gradually coming to terms with this entertaining challenge. South completed before anything entered in the North. Failed to parse 18a. Fav was 17d once I had realised it didn’t concern a conundrum. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  9. Blimey, that was hard, **** for difficulty, but I got there in the end unaided.
    Superb clueing, and so satisfying.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis for the nicely illustrated review.

  10. I found this very enjoyable, and whilst challenging it came together quite nicely for me. Favourite clue was 9a closely followed by 12a. **/****. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  11. Fell into both the traps already mentioned and it certainly took a while for 19a to fall but everything finally came together.
    Another little masterpiece from Mr Wednesday and I awarded podium places to 10a plus 1&17d.

    Thanks to Jay for his consistent brilliance and to our 2Ks for the review – very glad you didn’t mention the weather, Caira’s legacy is proving to be rather costly here.

  12. A very enjoyable, if somewhat difficult (for me), puzzle today. I took ages to get into it and it was slow progress once I had cracked the first clue (2d). Still, I enjoyed the lightbulb moments that accompanied 12a, 27a and 16d but my COTD is 10a, which I thought was rather neat.

    Grateful thanks to the setter, whom I understand to be Jay. Many thanks also to the two Kiwis for the hints.

  13. A usual Wednesday nightmare. ******** for difficulty and only * for the few clues I managed on my own. Some clues very clever when explained but disheartening when trying in vain to work them out. Thanks t o the 2Ks and I will try to learn from today’s disaster to get s little further in solving Jay’s puzzles.

  14. I enjoyed this, despite it being very much a *** level for me. I hadn’t heard of 19a before and I’m not sure when I’d use it. Probably my COTD.

  15. Yes, I agree – a lovely satisfying puzzle done fairly quickly. Thanks for explaining 10a, I did a bung in because it had to be so, but as a type it makes sense. You mention our foul weather but here in Cambridge today, whilst it is very windy, we have brilliant sunshine. Roll on spring.

  16. Took ages and two sittings because. Could not get on the right wavelength today. Never heard of 19a either. Favourite 27a.

  17. Definitely a ‘start with the Downs’ day as solving those clues flowed very nicely and enabled me to sort out the Acrosses – a 3*/4* from me. My favourite clue was 1d

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  18. The most satisfying Jay puzzle I’ve ever worked, I think, in my five years of lurking and my monthlong presence among you all. 18a and 17d were my last two in, and I could cite both of them as co-favourites except that so many others deserve the honours! Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis and Jay. (Summerlike weather here in the Carolinas; sorry to hear about Ciara’s damage.) ***/*****

  19. I tried to do all sorts of things with a leech for 12a, and I was completely thrown (yet again) by the riddle in 17d. I found this puzzle tough but very enjoyable. Nearly home after a few wonderful days in Northumberland. We had a real mix of sunshine, rainstorm, snow then back to sun again this morning.

    1. The second definition for riddle in the BRB provides the definition of the answer. Not one I’d come across before either so I’m marking it down as a learning experience.

      1. This was the second time I’d come across riddle. I’d just forgotten to commit the synonym to memory. There is still no guarantee I’ll commit it to memory. I’ll be searching for it next time no doubt.

  20. Agree with the club members that this was a bit harder than the norm – but enjoyable as a 4/4*
    Thanks to all.

  21. Having just played golf very poorly on a lovely course in Joburg in splendid weather it was an absolute pleasure to tackle this corker. So many clues to choose from but pick of the bunch for me was 1d closely followed by 9 & 12a.
    19a was a new word to me but obvious from the wordplay.
    Completed in 3.5 * time having unaccountably spent .5 * time trying to figure out the first part of 28a which was my last in.
    Thanks to all.

  22. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Brilliant puzzle, struggled at the top which was completed last. Just needed the hints to confirm 19a, which I’d not heard of. Favourite was 10a for the hard to find definition. Was 3*/5* for me.

  23. Morning all.
    Almost daylight here and another fine day in prospect. A bad weather system is predicted to reach the country in a few days but could well miss us again.
    Jay has certainly raised the difficulty bar with the last couple of puzzles which seems to suit most people, including us.

  24. Another lovely Jay Day, but tricky, tricky, tricky! Loved it all, though did need lots of e-help.
    Last in was 19a, I knew the “ingest” word, should have figured that out.
    How can a girl choose a fave with that selection? I’ll choose 18a, I still have my Dad’s teddy, about 120 years old now.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for all the fun.

  25. A tale of two halves…
    The bottom a write in, the top may as well have been written in Chinese.
    1-0 to Jay, no doubt…
    Thanks all

    1. How strange you should say that, HYD. I completed the top half really quickly, then left the puzzle in order to walk the dog. I finished the remainder over a sandwich at lunchtime and ended up thinking that this simply HAD to be the easiest Jay puzzle for quite a while. All good fun and very enjoyable, which is more than I can say for the ‘Samuel’ Toughie, which beat me all ends up. Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.

  26. Definitely a down today, first only got 18a before I started on the downs. Second, because after filling in several answers, I needed too many of the 2Kiwis hints to get any satisfaction. Never come across 19a before. And I was stuck with 21a being related to trade unions or someone who conducts weddings… Clearly above my pay grade today. Thanks to Jay for challenging the old brain cells, and to 2Kiwis for the hints.

    Hope you are all now recovering from Storm Ciara, quite nasty by all accounts.

  27. A veritable walk in the park compared to last Wednesday’s effort (for me anyway). I thought this was the best crossword all week. I only got a few clues on first reading but once I got on the right wavelength they flew in, with a few palm on forehead moments along the way admittedly. Favourite amongst many 12a and I’ll be visiting one in an hour or so. Many many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  28. So annoyed I could not get 19a without the hint (thanks 2Ks). Stupid of me as I guessed the first letter. I should have guessed the rest was a sounds-like. Rest went in slowly but surely with SE being last to fall. Last three in before the aforementioned were 27 and 28a and 25d. Favourites 1, 12, 27 and 28a and 17d. Thanks Jay

  29. Yet again a day late – I will catch up soon but real life keeps taking over.
    I did this one (Wednesday 12th) today (Thursday 13th).
    I thought it was a really tricky one and it took me ages.
    I loved the Quickie pun – Jay is the master of those.
    Everything else has already been said so I’ll leave it at that but thanks to Jay and the K’s.

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