DT 29302 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29302

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29302

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Sunrise for us is now getting noticeably later and there is a slight nip in the air in the mornings. The godwits on the estuary are now starting to show rust coloured plumage, an indication that they will soon be leaving us for their long migration to their breeding grounds in Alaska. Autumn is just around the corner.

A fun puzzle from Jay as usual.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Possibly a lost chance with no small fish (10)
COELACANTH : Anagram (possibly) of A LO(s)T CHANCE once the abbreviation for small has been removed.

6a     Takes off, dismissing odd characters from, say, press (4)
APES : Use the even letters occurring in two words in the clue.

9a     Simple band from London line left at the end (7)
CIRCLET : The London line shown in yellow on the appropriate map plus the final letter of ‘left’.

10a     Faint moody expression about a case of shingles (4,3)
PASS OUT : ‘A’ from the clue and the first and last letters of shingles are inside a moody facial expression.

12a     Dismay of company people having to accept authoritarian (13)
CONSTERNATION : The abbreviation for company and a people or country surround a five letter word for authoritarian or severe.

14a     Plants whistle-blower to infiltrate works (8)
TREFOILS : Works or labours surrounds a football whistle-blower.

15a     Clever answer right for the French (6)
ADROIT : A(nswer) plus the French word for ‘right’.

17a     Numbers must be inclusive of irate people always on the move (6)
NOMADS : The three letter abbreviation for numbers contains irate or angry.

19a     Shenanigans — performing after international gets into medals (6-2)
GOINGS-ON : A slang word for medals contains I(nternational) and then ‘performing’.

21a     Inflation should hold this up (3-3,7)
HOT-AIR BALLOON : A cryptic definition.

24a     Name a second coin that’s emerging (7)
NASCENT : Abbreviations for name and second are separated by ‘A’ from the clue, and then a coin that is worth one hundredth of a dollar.

25a     Set of laws protecting a German painkiller (7)
CODEINE : The German indefinite article is inside a set of laws.

26a     Costs incurred and claimed by people once married? (4)
EXES : A double definition.

27a     Get boring after picture, seeing this in bed (10)
SNAPDRAGON : A quick camera picture and a 4,2 phrase for ‘get boring’ or be tedious.


1d     Prepare to fire mate (4)
COCK : A double definition. There is a firearm involved in the first meaning.

2d     Overhear a chemist admitting pain (7)
EARACHE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

3d     Old? No age limit set presently (3,2,4,4)
ALL IN GOOD TIME : An anagram (set) of OLD NO AGE LIMIT.

4d     Placed statue on empty lorry in a perceptive way (8)
ASTUTELY : An anagram (placed) of STATUE plus the first and last letters of lorry.

5d     Exercises in pitch tail off (5)
TAPER : Black sticky pitch contains physical exercises.

7d     Condition favouring six to such an extent (7)
PROVISO : A three letter word for favouring, the Roman numeral six and a short word meaning to such an extent.

8d     Excalibur perhaps was, and is not going to change (3,2,5)
SET IN STONE : The whereabouts of Excalibur in the Arthurian legends.

11d     Substitute goalie’s first class arrangement with bank (8,5)
STANDING ORDER : A 5,2 phrase for a substitute, the first letter of goalie, and then a biological class.

13d     Rock group gets none and he must be upset! (10)
STONEHENGE : An anagram (must be upset) of GETS NONE HE.

16d     Takes in top paper (8)
FOOLSCAP : Takes in or dupes, and then top or surpass.

18d     Artist diplomat is serious about? (7)
MATISSE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

20d     Confess — keeping family, and going down (7)
SINKING : An informal word for confess or spill the beans contains a three letter family.

22d     One may be dropped in race for staff (5)
BATON : A double definition. The race involved would be a relay.

23d     Understanding about European lament (4)
KEEN : The abbreviation for European is inside understanding or knowledge.

Three clues for the podium this week, 1a, 11d and 13d.   

Quickie pun    ghost    +    heady    =    go steady

68 comments on “DT 29302

  1. A really enjoyable puzzle (****) from Jay as usual. It was well -judged in that it was challenging without the clues being ridiculously convoluted or the synonyms overstretched. I finished this in my usual time so 2* for difficulty. There were some fine anagram clues in1a and 3d but 27a was my favourite. Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis. Pigeons and blackbirds are courting here and it is nesting time for
    our garden birds.

  2. As usual, a great puzzle from Jay, all over in ** time. I struggled with the NW, indeed, 1a and 1d were my last two in. For some reason I thought 1a had an E on the end, so I needed all the checkers. I have never heard of that expression for costs in 26a, having worked in big business all my life, they were always known as the full word.

    Spring seems to have sprung here too, I must put my camera out and see if my hedgehog has returned from his big sleep.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I have just read your comment after posting mine at 5 below. I agree with your thoughts about 26a which you have expressed much more succinctly than me!

        1. I did come across 26a whilst at work, but it was never used as an official term, only in a casual way between colleagues, e.g. ‘Have you done your **** yet?’

  3. That was a great puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed with NW taking longest to fall into line. Am I alone in pleading ignorance of 1a? Several excellent clues including lurkers but my Fav was 19a. Quickie pun is nicely enigmatic. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

    1. No, re 1a. I knew it was an anagram and have all the letters splattered all over my page. I eventually resorted to e-help – a strange word indeed.

      1. Don’t worry, Andrew, the naughty corner is only open for business at the weekends for the prize puzzles.

    2. I had never heard of it, although better half had and says my education was seriously lacking…. ☹️

  4. What a difference from yesterday when the Toughie was relatively easy and the back pager defeated me. Loved 13 d and 27a

  5. 2.5*/4.5*. What else could a Jay puzzle be but excellent?

    I took more time on 26a than the rest of clues put together. I put in the answer based on “people once married” then spent some time trying to work out how on earth “costs incurred and claimed” could mean “remove the pens from expenses“. I then looked up “ex” in my BRB which didn’t help, and if you Google “exes definition” it only refers to ex (plural exes) with no reference, even in Collins online, to expenses. Even though in thirty plus years of approving expenses at work I have never heard of exes being used in this context, my faith in Jay was such that I finally looked up “exes” in Chambers a couple of pages on from “ex” and found it there. Presumably it is a slang expression which only exists as a plural. :phew:

    11d was my favourite of an excellent bunch.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  6. I found 80% of this 1* for difficulty and the rest about 4*. I’d never heard of 1a or 14a but they were obtainable from the wordplay and checkers and I’d only heard of one of the double definitions in 1d and 26a but they had to be. 23d was a guess from the wordplay and that synonym is new to me. Other than that plain sailing! Top clues for me were 19a plus 11and 20d .
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works.

    1. You should try to remember 23d. As a ‘pesky’ four letter word, and synonym of lament, it has appeared many times in the past and will undoubtedly appear many times in the future.

        1. Most enjoyable. I needed that after a morning in Addenbrookes and being told my new knee is being deferred from 3rd to 16th April AND that is only is everything is not closed down ‘cos of coronavirus. Grrr. Top LH corner was last in when I had sorted my spelling and 13d favourite. I have seen expenses written as exps but not exes.

          1. Sorry to hear about your op postponement, Daisygirl, but if and when coronavirus strikes hard here, you’ll be relieved not to be amongst the number in hospital who may well lose their lives.

    2. As a member of the Trefoil Guild I got 14a straightaway. Should have been easy for any former Girl Guides

  7. Thanks to Jay for the most enjoyable and solver-friendly crossword and to the 2Ks for their review

  8. I found this more tricky than a typical Jay puzzle but still managed to complete it at a gallop – 3*/3.5*.
    The 1a fish and the 26a costs were new to me.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 21a, and 8d – and the winner is 8d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  9. Apart from 1a, which I have never heard of, the others went in without any significant delay.
    My favourite was the misdirection in 13d; I spent some time looking for another type of “Rock group”.

    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis.

    1. With the first couple of checkers in place, I definitely thought The Rolling Stones were going to enter the equation!

  10. Thank you Jay for teaching me a new word, 26a. Had three goes at spelling 1a until I got it right! Just crept into 2* time for difficulty, & 4* for pleasure. Really enjoyed 1a, 14a, 24a among others. Thanks also to 2K.

  11. What a breath of fresh air after two days of struggling. All went in without hints but I needed Mr. G. to help me with a couple. I liked 21a and 11d but my COTD is 27a. 26a was a bung in and, like others, I have not heard of this expression.

    Grateful thanks to Jay for an interesting challenge and to the 2K’s for the hints.

  12. Definitely on my wavelength today, 1a is a new one for me as was the pea group.

    26a were used as beer vouchers for me when cash was king!

    Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis

  13. 1a was the last to fall here and – despite having all the checkers in place and the spare letters written down – I eventually resorted to using an anagram solver. I hadn’t heard of the chap and to judge by Mr Google’s comments I’m not likely to make his acquaintance any time soon!
    Different choice on my podium – it was 12a & 16d that made the grade here.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – I wish those Godwits well on their journey to Alaska.

    1. Odd isn’t it Jane 1 across was my first in but i found some of this puzzle quite difficult ***/***. Thanks to all.

  14. This was a tricky little fellow. I found some very entertaining clues and some gimmes, it would also have made SW corner easier if I could spell 28d correctly, likewide 25a. Apart from that an enjoyable excursion into crossword land. I quite liked 16d and 15a.
    On a personal note thanks for all the kind comments, its good to be back.

    1. Take a kind comment from me today. I was too late yesterday although it’s never too late for kindness

    2. Thanks Miffypops everybody has rallied round in the village, from dog walking to shopping and beyond.
      I am lucky to have a huge circle of friends plus duaghter and grandchildren.

  15. Despite having all the checkers in place I must have tried just about every feasible combination of the missing 5 letters before eventually getting 1a correct. I’m afraid my knowledge of fish beginning with the letter c doesn’t extend beyond cod, carp & chub. Unlike others, in my business the monthly submission of expenses was always known as filling in your exes.
    I thought this a super crossword that was mostly straightforward interspersed with, for me, the occasional head scratcher – 13 & 16d + 27a (my favourite) being the culprits.
    Thanks to all.

  16. Surprisingly for me a ** for difficulty and a **** for enjoyment : in a Jay puzzle of all things!? Very pleased but I did need the 2Ks to parse the clue for the why of a few. So many thanks to the three of them. The two flowers at 14 and 27 across were my favourites.

  17. Apart from 1a, this was the most straightforward Jay I have ever solved. But weren’t his surfaces excellent today! Thank you to he and to the two Ks for reminding me of the beautiful image at 18d.

  18. Superb puzzle. Right up my street. 26ac is in common usage by those who are down and dirty with the kids. It goes with Perks for perquisites and reccs for requisites. Thanks to Jay for the workout and thanks to the 2 Ks for the review which I will read when the wall units are up. Thanks also to my late brother Paul for the fish at 1 across

        1. Never noticed him! What a lovely spot. My eyes are really getting dim, have an appointment with the ophthalmologist in a little over an hour’s time, not that I expect there’s a lot they can do.

  19. Sorry. I put my twopennoth as a reply to Stephen L which was wrong. The box just popped up. But I am all over the place……

  20. I knew what do with1a, but couldn’t for the life of me unscramble it. I had to use an anagram solver, then google what I was given. I thought that the definition in 2d was “overhear” until I realised I had the wrong definition…and the answer was a lurker anyway. The rest of it was straightforward and very enjoyable. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks. Still struggling to get our bird box camera to work, which is such a shame as the bluetits have started to investigate. I haven’t seen any of them carrying material into the box yet, so we might still have time to sort.

  21. Just writing in to say “congratulations” to my colleague and crossword advisor Jose, well-known on this blog, who scooped the well-deserved First Prize in February’s DT clue-writing competition. Well done!

  22. Coming to this later than usual I am sure earlier commenters have already showered Jay with the usual range of superlatives so I will merely add my thanks to him and the 2Ks.

  23. I found this to be a real ‘game of two halves’. The top was almost R&W but the bottom half asked a few questions that I needed the excellent hints to explain the wordplay. Most notable of these was 27a, my answer was correct but the wordplay was complex.
    All in all though an enjoyable and well written puzzle.
    Thx to all

  24. Jay Day and he’s outdone himself again, I loved it all and had no problems except for 1a where I needed help.
    I always forget 27a, I know them here as antirrhinums. I liked the clue as well. I find it hard to pick a fave, too much choice, maybe 8d or 3d?
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and the 2Kiwis for our weekly snapshot. I always look forward to that.

    1. I must be missing something altogether, Merusa. Where’s the weekly snapshot? And who’s Ethan? And what forest were you referring to? I’m referring to your chat with Miffypops earlier. Hope your appointment was a good one. Heavy rain up here, with tornado watches all around. Hope your weather is better. Jay just gets better and better, or maybe it’s the solver in me.

      1. Merusa is referring to my latest gravatar picture which I change regularly. The new one shows my two grandsons Ethan (On his bike) and Harrison (up in the tree) You can set your own gravatar easily by following the instructions in the FAQs at the top of the page. Number 22.

      2. The weekly snapshot is the preamble written by the 2Ks before their review of the puzzle. It may be about the weather, the local fauna and flora or family life. It brings a sense of belonging to Wednesdays blog.

        1. Thank you both, M’pops and Merusa,for enlightening me. I’m afraid I took ‘shapshots’ literally–do forgive me, I also enjoy the Kiwis’ reports on the flora and fauna of their NZ area. And I’m just learning (newbie at 82 that I am) about gravatars!

          My right eye ‘died’ about 15 years ago; my latest pressures, though, were both below 20 thanks to the Combigan drops I faithfully take daily. I had microsurgery by a wonderful doctor who implanted a bleb in my ‘good’ eye that has helped keep the pressure down. If all of this is just TMI, do pardon my desire to share glaucoma news with you.

      3. I like to follow M’pops grandchildren, most of the time aired on his gravatar, otherwise it’s M’pops bending his elbow.
        The 2Kiwis snapshots are the notes on the birds and the estuary happenings. Always interesting to get the doings on the opposite side of the world.
        The pressure in my right eye is up again, the left is fine. The right eye is pretty well shot anyway, so not going to lose any sleep over it, just change the drops.
        We’ve had perfect weather here, have guests from Jamaica tonight.

        1. Oops. I meant the above reply to be down here. I’m obviously not having the best kind of day! Thanks for the replies and hope you have a a wonderful evening with your Jamaica guests.

  25. Morning all.
    Looks like Jay has kept all his fans happy once again.
    We would like to endorse Andrew Palmer’s recommendation and link above relating to the fish in 1a. It is an amazing story of survival and a remarkable fish. It was something we knew but great to read about it again.

  26. Brilliant puzzle, thank you Jay and 2 Kiwis. I thought it was going to be tough at first pass. But then sat down with second coffee and everything fell into place. Well except for 1a, which even though it was an anagram, I could not reconcile. 27a held me up briefly, as I had forgotten that name, having called them “bunny rabbits” growing up. Loved 16d. High on the enjoyment level for this one.

    1. I, for one, had never heard of 1a and was totally baffled trying to put the anagram together, my only stumbling block. I resorted to e-help pretty sharpish!

  27. Completed on the train. Late on parade today. No serious difficulty. I knew trefoils to be plants of the clover or shamrock variety but it took me ages to works out the ref bit and toils. No idea why. Obvious really. Favourite 19 a – mainly because shenanigans is such a descriptive word.

  28. Super great puzzle by Jay. To my mind, he’s now the premier setter among a royal circle of courtiers. My only problem today is that I couldn’t remember all of the Underground lines and the Circle Line held me up a bit, up to a ** rating. Lots of brilliance here, too many gems to cite just one. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis. Heavy and dangerous weather here in Charleston, with tornado watches down around Savannah. Hope everyone is safe. ** /*****

  29. Satisfying puzzle which I managed to complete solo but then had to read the hints to understand the reasoning behind some of the answers.

  30. For once I’m not going to complain about a Jay crossword, hardly a stretched synonym in sight. I had heard of 1a but needed to check the spelling, I got 26a straight away with the exclamation “it can’t be that surely”. I didn’t realise it was a real word. 1a was favourite for the sheer difficulty of the anagram. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  31. Got on better with this than many of Jays. 13d and 27a both excellent, but let down by an iffy 1d, and a very iffy 26a. Still, trying to spell the fish was good fun on its own!

  32. Overall a nice midweek puzzle. 1a new to me that took a while to show itself. Liked 8d, 13d, 14a, (made me smile), as did 27a.
    23d was last to fall in place as SE was the stumbling area for me.
    Thanks to J & 2K

  33. A fabulous puzzle – lots of satisfying clues and I’m feeling smug as I knew the 1a fish and it’s amazing story. If you think it would be like finding a dinosaur somewhere it makes you realise how remarkable it is. Completed without help – yay!

  34. That took me twice as long as the toughie, but as a tanners worth of pennies finally dropped they were all quite obvious. Perhaps it’s because I’m 3 days into dry January (yes I know) and the little grey cells have got withdrawal symptoms.
    I recall the fish making the news when a live one was found (near S Africa I think), prior to that it was deemed to be a fossil species. Last in was the short version getting the company to pay for lunch.

  35. I’ve not heard 26a before – I put “owed”, which seemed to fit, but made 13d impossible! Otherwise, a wonderful solve – 13d and 12a favourites! Thanks to Jay, and 2Kiwis!

    1. Hi Robin,
      Wish you’d leave more than a basic comment sometimes – doesn’t leave us with much scope for a reply!

Comments are closed.