DT 29290 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29290

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29290

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

It has been a busy couple of days for us. We impulse bought a new computer and then went to Wellington to enlist family assistance to set it all up for us. Why are these things so stressful for people of our age? Think (or rather hope) that we are all ‘good to go’ now.

Sometimes Jay gives us animals but today it is food that he has served up in abundance.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Strike legislation rejected — left work (6)
WALLOP : Reversal of what is created by parliamentary legislation is followed by L(eft) and an artistic work.

5a     Pudding that can come before order? (5-3)
APPLE-PIE : The wordplay directs you to a familiar phrase for tidiness.

9a     End in French harbour after granny ate fish (6,7)
FINNAN HADDOCK : The French word for end and a harbour or mooring place enclose a 3,3 phrase that could mean granny ate.

10a     Dated and wrong to be going round alone (8)
OBSOLETE : A synonym for alone is enclosed by an anagram (wrong) of TO BE.

11a     University College may be accepted by reformed idle mathematician (6)
EUCLID : An anagram (reformed) of IDLE surrounds the abbreviation for University College.

12a     Case of dill imported by fruit vendor (6)
PEDLAR : A type of pip fruit contains the first and last letters (case) of dill.

14a     Imagine vines developing with time (8)
ENVISAGE : An anagram (developing) of VINES and then a long period of time.

16a     Marine ray will eat river fish (3,5)
SEA BREAM : A body of water referred to as marine and then a ray emanating from a light source contains (R(iver).

19a     Doll oddly found in fairground attraction is an enigma (6)
RIDDLE : A fairground attraction that takes passengers surrounds the first and third letters of doll.

21a     Works out and breaks down (6)
CRACKS : A double definition. ‘Works out’ here equals solves.

23a     Share a line, being sensible (8)
RATIONAL : A share or allocation, then ‘A’ from the clue and L(ine).

25a     Saves on accommodation for domestic workers (5-8)
HOUSE-HUSBANDS : Start with supply accommodation and then saves or looks after.

26a     Fancy times with last of people in Cheddar perhaps! (2,6)
BY GEORGE : A two letter word for times in a mathematical sense and then the last letter of people is inside what Cheddar (but not the dairy product) is an example of.

27a     Border ran directly across mission (6)
ERRAND : A lurker, hiding in the clue.


2d     A moral tale about female being friendly (7)
AFFABLE : ‘A’ from the clue, then F(emale) and a moral tale typified by Aesop.

3d     Language progress comes after cutting connection short (5)
LINGO : Remove the last letter from a connection that could be part of a chain, and then progress or move.

4d     Debts regularly seen to support scheme with regard to energy growth (5,4)
PLANE TREE : Start with a synonym for scheme, then the second and fourth letters of debts, the two letter ‘with regard to’ plus E(energy).

5d     Realise that is five in pain (7)
ACHIEVE : A nagging pain surrounds the two letters for a Latin phrase ‘that is’ and the Roman numeral five.

6d     Chaplain‘s flat rate, having no heart (5)
PADRE : An informal word for a flat or apartment and then the first and last letters (heartless) of rate.

7d     Former soldiers caught on wrong side driven out! (9)
EXORCISED : The two letter former, then lowest ranking soldiers, the cricket abbreviation for caught and an anagram (wrong) of SIDE.

8d     Suggestion of popular ruler protecting pound (7)
INKLING : A short word for popular and a monarch includes a pound that is money.

13d     Throws company function, finding a dish from the north (9)
LOBSCOUSE : Throws in a gentle upward curve, the abbreviation for company and then function or purpose.

15d     Finished without love, albeit strangely true (9)
VERITABLE : Remove the tennis score love from the start of a synonym for finished and then an anagram (strangely) of ALBEIT.

17d     Student trapped by crude chance (7)
EARTHLY : Crude or coarse contains the letter displayed by a student driver.

18d     Horse around what in Spain is a tent (7)
MARQUEE : A female horse surrounds the Spanish word for ‘what’ that we all learned from watching ‘Fawlty Towers’.

20d     Affair giving rise to trouble with one lad (7)
LIAISON : The reversal of trouble as a verb, then the Roman numeral one and a male offspring.

22d     Rumour of cut being steep (5)
SHEER : A homophone (rumour) of to cut, possibly the fleece of a sheep.

24d     Depressing experiences uncovered for title-holder (5)
OWNER : Remove the first and last letters from another word for depressing experiences.

Our favourite today is 26a.

Quickie pun    wart    +    tapa   +    larva    =     what a palaver

65 comments on “DT 29290

  1. 3*/4*. I was breezing through this with three quarters successfully completed when I came to a juddering halt in the SW corner. This was largely due to the very un-Jay-like obscurity in 13d and getting my head round the definition for 7d.

    With 13d, I eventually pieced together the charade, wrote the answer in the margin, shook my head thinking “that can’t be right”, and then looked it up in my BRB to be very surprised to find it there. I hope it tastes better than the name suggests!

    As usual on a Wednesday though, there was a lot to enjoy and 12a, 21a, 25a & 26a made it onto my podium, along with the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  2. Not looked at the puzzle yet but it’s good to know there is plenty of food to be had. I’m hungry after manhandling furniture to the new house. I’m on my way back to the pub and the puzzle now

  3. I was flying along, set to finish in */** time, when I hit two very large roadblocks in the SW. 17d is a bit obscure in my book, and 20a is outlandish. So that gets my laurel headgear for today.

    And having finished, I am feeling decidedly peckish.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  4. Finished this very early this morning, no problems encountered.
    I enjoyed 5a, an expression I have not heard for many a long while. I wonder where it came from?
    Thanks all.

    1. The phrase may originate from the French ‘nappes pliees’ = neatly folded
      although a quick investigoogle shows there is some doubt.

  5. For once I thought that the Quickie Pun surpassed even Jay’s clues in the cryptic. That said, there were the usual high-quality clues to be enjoyed. I had heard of the last part of 13d of course, but not the whole word. I’m not sure that lengthening it makes it any more palatable as a food.

    Thanks as always to the aforementioned for a fine puzzle, and to the 2 Ks.

  6. I had the same experience as you RD. I had 4 clues, which I couldn’t fathom in the SW and I left the crossword, whilst I did the sudoku and the polyword. As is often the case, when I returned to the crossword, the 4 missing clues fell into place. I suppose it would be **/*** for difficulty, although, having whipped through the orher clues, I didn’t take much longer than my usual time. It was definitely **** for enjoyment and I pbarticularly liked 9a, 25a and 26a. Thanks to the Kiwis. My sympathies with the computer, we had the same problem when we bought new mobile phones. Thank to Jay as always.

  7. juddering halt after completing two thirds.
    Eventually completed with just minor assistance for 9a, had not heard of this.
    Put me into *** and a half time for difficulty.
    Good mental work-out.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  8. Like others, a couple in the SW pushed the time out a bit. Overall about 2.5/3* for me with podium places, just for the laughs, to 9a, 25a and 26a. Thanks to Jay and 2K.

    I found today’s Toughie a lot more fun and actually easier than this, try it if you have not already done so.

  9. Excellent puzzle. I had to check that the word I had invented for 13d was for real–and it was!! Like some others the SW corner was the last to fall. 25a and 26a my favourites today.

  10. I loved this though I needed a touch of electronic help in the SW to complete it. I’d never heard of the dish from Liverpool expressed as two syllables but the clue virtually walked you to the solution.
    Favourite in a very strong field was the brilliant 26a
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works

  11. Enjoyable puzzle, though I found a couple of the word plays a bit obscure. I did put the answer to 13d in more or less straight away, one of the benefits of living in the NW, though when I was a kid in the 50s it was known as ‘Lobbies’ in our house and a local cafe has it advertised as such on a board outside, served with red cabbage, lovely.

  12. Another excellent puzzle from Jay which caused no problems here beyond a hesitation over 25a – not something that readily springs to mind! To those of you who haven’t tried 13d – I would suggest that you are better off not bothering. There must be better versions but the ones I’ve tasted consisted of inedible lumps of meat in a sea of thin stock in which floated the odd piece of carrot and potato – yuck!
    Quite a few on the podium today – 9a because if I was ever unwell as a youngster, my Mum would tempt me to eat with said fish poached in milk – it’s been known as ‘poorly fish’ in my family ever since. Joining it is 26a for the reminder of My Fair Lady and 21a for the surface read. Add to those the Quickie pun which was delightful.

    Many thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks – wish you hadn’t mentioned new computers, I’m heading in that direction!

    1. re 13d, I use Guinness and a beef marrow bone in mine which I find really enhances the cooking and of course the best shin of beef one can find! No doubt MP can give his recipe.

    2. Poorly fish is delicious, I wish I could get it here – or maybe I should say “readily”, I dare say I can find it by going to some exotic grocery mikes away!

  13. The clues to the charade don’t all work; a spanish snack is called tapas, with an S. Tapa is defined as
    “tapa [ˈtɑːpə] NOUN
    the bark of the paper mulberry tree.
    cloth made from tapa, used in the Pacific islands.”

    1. Dick, Chambers gives two meanings for “tapa”, the one you cite and the other is Spanish snack.

    2. Then you need to write to Chambers to point out that, in your opinion, tapa definition 2 is incorrect.

  14. Lovely friendly Jay – my favourite has to be the Quickie Pun – our commenter @13 might like to look in the BRB where the second word of the pun is defined as a light savoury snack (usually with an S), but presumably sometimes without. Perhaps Pommers might like to shed some light on this one.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  15. It’s Wednesday, Jay and the 2Ks on parade, the best day of the week (other than Dada and me on a Sunday) – completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    And, while I have never been served it, I did know 13d (partly from memories of a very old TV drama series set in a ‘posh’ hotel/restaurant in a Henley-on-Thames like location).
    Candidates for favourite – 25a, 6d, and the aforesaid 13d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. All solved comfortably within my 2* time; the only answer I needed to check was correct was 9a; having an allergy to fish I have never heard the first of the two words before.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  17. No problem in the East but due largely to 13d holding out the West particularly SW was a different kettle of fish. Too lazy to work out 4d so bunged it in parseless. I suppose 17d is OK standing on its own. 9a was fun to decipher and became Fav. Enjoyed this brainteaser. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis – Good luck with the new computer – thank goodness for the younger generations I regularly acknowledge.

  18. What a lovely puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you Jay, you are usually beyond my reach. 26 a did beat me so I still have not reached 100% on a Jay puzzle. Thank you to the 2 kiwis who are so lucky to have technically adept family close by.

  19. Utterly defeated by the SW corner! Never felt so provincial in my life. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for helping me out. And thanks to Jay for a humdinger. Never heard of 13d (thought it might be French but apparently not) and still don’t understand 17d for ‘chance’. Even though I’ve been to the Cheddar Gorge, the expression for 26d never occurred to me. I’m feeling my 81+ years today.
    Rain in Charleston, cold weather on the way. Maybe some 9a (if it were possible to find it here) would cheer me up! ****/****

      1. Thank you, Angellov! I get it now; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had an ******* chance, eh?

    1. Forecast to reach 85F today, but your cold is marching towards us – but “cold” to us is in the 70s!

  20. Found this tougher than is normal for a Jay puzzle. Some new words for me,9A got the second half but not the first, heard of 13D but not with the first three letters, and 26A I’ve heard as an expression of surprise, is it meant to equate to “fancy”, although I suppose if used as fancy that it could be the same. Still a very enjoyable brain teaser so thanks to all three birds.
    I hear the EU are demanding the Elgin marbles back, I think they’ve lost theirs 🤪.

  21. I think that might be my favourite Quickie pun ever — thanks, Jay!

    I’m among those who only knew the truncated form of the northern food.

    And of course thanks to the Kiwis. A different antipodean bird features in today’s Toughie — which I managed to do, so can’t be very tough. If you normally find the Toughie too hard, today’s might be worth a try.

    (If your subscription doesn’t include the Toughie, Gila has put it here.)

  22. Wednesday crosswords are always good but I thought this one was particularly good.
    I think Jay is the best ‘punnie person’.
    26a was my last answer and a couple of others in that corner weren’t much ahead of it.
    Like some others I’d never heard of 13d.
    Too many good clues to pick any in particular today but, if pushed, I’d go for 9 and 25a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s and good luck with the new techie stuff.

  23. Very enjoyable. Had not heard of the longer version of 13d but easy to work out. 4d also able to work out but do not understand why growth = the answer. Growth covers a multitude of things. Am I missing something? Also wondered at first why the answer to 24d was a synonym for title owner until I realised I was not looking for a world champion or an aristocrat but a legal title to property. Still have trouble with homophones (22d) in choosing the right one especially here where either would fit. I left 25a till last as could hardly believe it. Favourites 9 16 and 26a and 17d. Thanks Jay for another corker and 2Ks. I feel your pain over the computer.

    1. Yes exactly. If we were asked to think of synonyms for growth it would be a long time before we got to plane tree.

  24. Finished but with no great enjoyment. Too many unknown words/phrases such as 9a and 14d. 4d and 6d were just plain unpleasant and 9a was just awful. No favs today just a slog.
    Thx for the hints to explain 4d and 6d.

    1. Just finished reading through the comments and I am obviously totally out of step with everyone else. I thought this was a dreadful puzzle.

      1. I’d suggest that you usually are, Brian. Nothing to scare the horses in this puzzle. Solved at a canter after an hour or three spent looking round Fishbourne Roman Palace . . . . my, what a discovery! Well worth a visit. Nice one Jay and ta as usual to 2Ks.

      2. It would be interesting to see a crossword exclusively set by you as you are so often hypercritical about the regular setters’ products. You might then realise the task is not as easy as it might seem and begin to appreciate the efforts made on our behalf.

  25. A very enjoyable puzzle with the right hand side being completed in * time and the left half requiring rather longer. I also learnt two words today – the first one in 9a and the second in 13d. I received a BRB for Christmas and it’s proving very educational. 5d, 7d and 15d are my favourites because of the ingenuity required to create the clues and the pleasure I get in solving them.

  26. Re 13d, Lapskaus is a popular stew in Germany and is delicious.
    As an 80-year old, I am familiar with 9a.
    I agree with those who consider the Quickie Pun at least as good as the cryptic clues.

  27. Today was definitely a foodie puzzle but I wouldn’t want ‘scouse and 2 sorts of fish. At school what passed for custard was known as 1a – that being the sound it made when it hit the 5a!.
    17d took a bit of time for the penny to drop.
    I do like a bit of 9a ( poached in milk and flaked into rice and peas with slices of boiled egg is our version of poorly fish)
    It is the rhubarb festival this weekend so I will have to take Mama Bee to wakefield and see if we can get our hands on some forced rhubarb to make a change to apple pies.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s I am drooling now!

  28. All done in a reasonable time. I counted five fish one of which appeared twice. Very enjoyable. Thanks to the 2Ks. Your computer problems will soon disappear. Thanks to Jay.

  29. I normally struggle on Wednesday but made good and very enjoyable progress with this.A misspelling on 9a caused a delay on 4d and like many others had not heard of 13d but solved with the charade and pleased to confirm with your site.As ever Thankyou to all.

  30. I always enjoy a Jay offering and today is no exception.
    It was fun working out 9a, plus an enjoyable dish, wish I could get some.
    I had to use e-help for 13d, didn’t know it. They have a dish in Trinidad called “scouse”, presumably brought by early settlers.
    My fave by a long shot is 26a, “by George she’s got it!” Honourable mention to 25a for its smile worthiness.
    Thank you Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for the review.

  31. ***/****. Sailed through until slowed substantially by the SW corner. 17d was the culprit. The spelling of 12a caused a pause but it had to be right. 13d was a shoe in as I’d spent my teenage years in Liverpool (I’m an Evertonian and Mrs Vbc is a Liverpudlian and very smug this season). Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay for a really good challenge.

  32. Morning all.
    We got a bit lucky in that the clues with a distinct UK context like 9a 13d and 26a were all known to at least one of us, thanks to years of solving cryptics.
    Good fun as ever from Jay.

  33. I’d suggest that you usually are, Brian. Nothing to scare the horses in this puzzle. Solved at a canter after an hour or three spent looking round Fishbourne Roman Palace . . . . my, what a discovery! Well worth a visit. Nice one Jay and ta as usual to 2Ks.

  34. In Brian’s defense, I did struggle with this today, got off to a slow start, picked up again after a second coffee, and most fell into place. Had never heard of 13d. Is 9a the same as smoked haddock? Never see it here in the US, unless I travel to a British shop as Merusa says. Friends are always surprised when it’s one of the first things I ask for on trips home, when asked what I would like for dinner. Thanks to Jay and 2 Kiwis.

  35. I often struggle with Jay puzzles but not today….I even quite enjoyed it! Fortunately I’m married to a Liverpool Lass and so have heard of 13d! Like many, I thought the quickie pun was brilliant. Thanks to Jay and the two Ks.

  36. Like most stalled by the SW corner, but enjoyed the tussle. This was harder than the Toughie!!

  37. Within these puzzles nothing can surpass the pun… superb!
    Yes it’s that curse of the SW corner again, I just struggled to come to terms with the clue to answer in 17d. Otherwise a great crossword that was very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to Jay & 2KWS for review

  38. Getting a Jay half done is better than getting none done. Still well above my pay grade. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  39. 13d completely new to me, but otherwise a fairly gentle solve today! My favourite is 25a. Thanks to Jay, and 2Kiwis! 🙃
    Afterthought: Mary Martin, in “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”, mentions an abbrieviated version of 9a, to rhyme with “caddy”! 🤔

  40. It seems it’s just Brian and me that didn’t like this! I started this yesterday before having to go and play skittles, we lost 4 1/2 to 2 1/2, which may explain my grumpy mood. Most of the clues where fine but dear me some of them where just awful, 5a, 25a, 26a and 17d, I don’t mind difficult but I draw the line at tenuous. The toughie was much easier! Unlike some commentators 13d went straight in, it’s the reason Liverpudlians are called Scousers. So in full hmmph mode I’m not going to name a favourite so there.

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