DT 29308 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29308

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29308

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Something is decidedly fishy about Jay’s puzzle today but it still has all the usual cleverness and fun.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Master the last of skills needed with fish (7)
SKIPPER : The final letter of skills and then a smoked herring.

5a     Tears seen across unavailable overpriced items (3-4)
RIP-0FFS : A word for tears or pulls apart includes unavailable or no longer on the menu.

9a     Wheeler-dealer finding hotel in one of the Channel Islands (5)
SHARK : The smallest of the Channel Islands includes H(otel).

10a     Dish only seen after fruit? (5,4)
LEMON SOLE : A sharp citrus fruit and then a synonym for only.

11a     Hating classification accorded to senior management (10)
EXECRATING : A four letter abbreviation for a senior manager and then classification or assessment.

12a     Join fool in audition (4)
KNIT : A homophone of a fool or stupid person.

14a     Manage finances and tie the knot? (4,4,4)
MAKE ENDS MEET : A double definition. The second one has nothing to do with matrimony, but rather, a piece of string.

18a     A hovel at best, after renovation must be of superior status (5,3,4)
ABOVE THE SALT : An anagram (after renovation) of A HOVEL AT BEST.

21a     Idiot with no time left for an attractive girl (4)
DOLL : Replace T(ime) with L(eft) in another word for a stupid person.

22a     Almost fail to see, and wave stick for bad behaviour (10)
MISCONDUCT : Remove the last letter from a word meaning ‘fail to see’, and then wave a stick in the manner of Rattle.

25a     Don’t worry about men driven mad! (5,4)
NEVER MIND : An anagram (mad) of MEN DRIVEN.

26a     Model talking about letter from abroad (5)
DELTA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

27a     Cantankerous agent drinking wine sent back (7)
STROPPY : An agent like James Bond contains the reversal of a fortified wine.

28a     Method of learning about group award (7)
ROSETTE : A method of learning by repetition surrounds another word for group.


1d     Window frames the girl in elite forces (6)
SASHES : A female personal pronoun is inside elite military forces.

2d     Pictures one married a long time (6)
IMAGES : A Roman numeral one and then M(arried) plus ‘a long time’.

3d     Something red-hot with coffee turned up giving nothing away (5-5)
POKER-FACED : A rod for stirring a fire and then the reversal of ‘kick-less’ coffee.

4d     Some consider elite got going again (5)
RELIT : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5d     Such creatures at home may be protected by short workers (9)
RUMINANTS : The usual crossword ‘at home’ is surrounded by a short spirit drink and worker insects.

6d     Whales should cross northern water (4)
POND : A group of whales contains N(orthern).

7d     Struggle for words seeing line adopted by developer (8)
FLOUNDER : A developer of an enterprise contains L(ine).

8d     Watch people welcoming policeman full of energy (8)
SPECTATE : This is a Russian doll construction. The outer layer being people or nation, then a police constable contains the physics symbol for energy.

13d     Walks by sea — and sleep as shattered (10)
ESPLANADES : An anagram (shattered) of AND SLEEP AS.

15d     Northern Ireland business centre supporting the new race (9)
ETHNICITY : Start with an anagram (new) of THE, then the abbreviation for Northern Ireland, and the often used name for London’s business centre.

16d     On board ship, a diner ordered game (8)
SARDINES : The abbreviation for steamship surrounds an anagram (ordered) of A DINER.

17d     Impress archery enthusiast (4,4)
BOWL OVER : Split the answer 3,5 to appreciate the word play here.

19d     Hairstyle that’s caught on a line perhaps (6)
MULLET : Another of Jay’s themed answers. (What the BRB describes as ‘short at the front, long at the back, and ridiculous all round’).

20d     Set out to hold fliers for attack (6)
STRAFE : An anagram (out) of SET surrounds military fliers.

23d     Daughter is into wild rice drink (5)
CIDER : An anagram (wild) of RICE contains the abbreviation for daughter.

24d     Cut yield (4)
CROP : A double definition. The first definition is a verb and the second a noun.

14a is our favourite today. It stretched our solving time just into three star territory.

Quickie pun    buoy    +    sang     +    hurls    =    boys and girls

46 comments on “DT 29308

  1. This went off like a two-year old in a toy shop, but soon got bogged down. In the end it took me **** time, but that did include doing the Quickie and having breakfast.

    The SW and SE corners held out until the very end, mostly because I had included ‘sea’ in the fodder for 13d.

    I can’t help but thinking that some of our non UK based solvers might have difficulty with a few today, but I will probably be proved otherwise.

    I’m giving COTD to 17d, just because the setter avoided the obvious cricketing possibilities.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  2. I also noticed the abundance of fish today, well you couldn’t miss it I suppose.

    Thoroughly enjoyable. No particular favourite, but there was also nothing to criticise.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  3. Fishy indeed. I found this quite straightforward apart from 14 a, where I was taken in by the misdirection and had to use electronic help. It was just 2* almost into 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment. In the end 14a was my favourite clue. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay.

  4. We are given a rather cushy (or should that be fishy?!) assignment today but it was none the less enjoyable for that. NE held out longest. Use of abbreviations as in 11a seems to be de rigueur with crosswords these days. Have not come across the name for fishy hairstyle in 19d. My Fav was 17d but unlike MalcolmR the cricketing possibility had not occurred to me. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  5. Another Wednesday cracker from Jay that oozed class and fun in equal quantities. So many excellent clues, I just stuck a pin in and came out with 17d, one of my final entries.

    Thanks to all three birds.

  6. Reading about the origins of ‘above the salt’ proved interesting today (one for Susie Dent on Countdown maybe). I also liked 11a. Thanks to all.

      1. Nowt to carp about here. Tricky little piscine puzzler with some super clues. The 18a term was new to me but the anagram was obvious. Pick of the bunch for me was 14a, my last in, which had me flummoxed for quite some time. 22a & 20d also proved problematic and completion was therefore in excess of *** time.
        After yesterday’s comments a conscious effort was made to fully parse each clue & here bow lover had me scratching my head. Thanks to all.
        Might return to yesterday’s Dada Toughie to see if a new day yields any advance on my 6 answers………

  7. Wednesday’s are special aren’t they ….. both witty & challenging in equal parts!

  8. I was back to my usual Wednesday pattern of starting quite slowly, getting a foothold and finishing with a fair wind. Found it slightly trickier than usual but no less enjoyable. Amongst others I liked 25 and 27a plus 3 and 17d
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works.

  9. 17d gets my cotd. I spent ages trying to do stuff with William Tell. I had a few laugh out loud moments with this one. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks. Now on to the budget.

  10. Wafted though this delightful puzzle and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Had to think twice over 14a and then 18a got me scratching my head, long time since I have heard that phrase.

    For me **/*****

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks

  11. 3.5*/4.5*. This was as excellent as ever on a Wednesday, even though I usually only have fish on Fridays. The NE proved more difficult that the other three corners and took my time to just over my 3* level.

    I did have just a slight hmm about the definition for 5d, which seemed a bit vague. 18a was a new expression for me, and fighting it out for first place were 14a & 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. I thought this was a slightly trickier Jay than normal. I had not heard of 18a or 11a.
    Lots of fish, thanks all.

  13. Very enjoyable today. Lots of fish. I’d never heard of the expression in 18a but it had to be. Favourite 11a. It’s not a word that is used commonly. At least, not by me!

  14. An excellent puzzle today and I managed to solve it all without help at all. Mind you, I did misspell 11a to start with and this held me up for a while. I liked 22a and 17d but my COTD is 14a.

    I believe the answer to 18a is from the Roman era when those who were wealthy would sit above the salt at the dining table, Salt was very expensive and those that sat below it were not entitled to have any. I say Roman but it might be medieval.

    Grateful thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2K’s for the hints. Thanks, also, to all three for the fish.

  15. Managed to make quite heavy weather of this one – would have helped if I’d spotted the theme earlier in the solve.
    Excellent stuff as always from our Wednesday man and the stick-waver made me laugh. Top three here were 11&14a plus 17d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the fishy review!

  16. Most enjoyable, but not quite finished. A lot of help from the FlyingFox. Thanks.

  17. Excellent puzzle where started slowly but got much quicker when l realised there was a lot of fish about.Loved both 10a and 17d neither of which l would have got only a short time ago.Thankyou to all.

  18. As a lover of Steel Eye Span and an ex angler I thought today’s puzzle was excellent.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis

  19. I have not finished yet but having a real chuckle at many of the clues, 17d made me laugh out loud. Plus all the fishy ones.

    Read some twaddle by Janet Street Porter today, she was commenting on Canada. If I remember right she’s the one with the teeth and loud voice? It’s been a long time but I think I have the right memory of the face. Anyway, she was saying how boring Canada is and dreary and only has 6 weeks of summer. I don’t know where she went but we have a lot more than 6 weeks of summer, and though I understand the west coast can be very rainy I doubt it is more than the UK and anyway there is a certain beauty in rainy weather too. I am an immigrant so Canada is my chosen country and having lived here for more than two decades I can say that this country is not at all as she describes. She also comments that Canadians are boring and too ‘nice’ and has no humour. Clearly the lady doesn’t get passive aggressive sarcasm (we do that quite well LOL) and as for humour…… films, TV shows (even silent ones “Just For Laughs” for instance) and comedy festivals. She went on about the food and lack of coffee shops, though I do have to admit that poutine still does not appeal to me. She did mention she was in a bad relationship at the time and hated her mother-in-law so perhaps the gloom she perceived was more within than without.

    Anyway enough of all that, I hope everyone is well and not too worried by all the shenanigans going on, hubby has headed into town for a few hours so I will strip him down to tighty whiteys when he gets home and power wash him standing in the driveway.

  20. Great puzzle as always. Thanks for all the fish Jay and an even bigger thank you for the cider to wash it down with. Thanks to the 2Ks for the blog

  21. For the second day in a row, I flubbed the most obvious clues (in the NE corner), and I failed my favourite setter. Excellent puzzle again from Jay, with canny misdirection and coy manoeuvres. Top clues: 17d COTD), 15d, 19d. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and Jay. ****/****

  22. Not easy for me. I started well but soon began to flounder. Definitely needed the hints this morning to shed a ray of light but I’m not going to carp about it. If I had to pike a favourite it would be 17d because it avoided the cricket allusion (although that’s not my sole reason). Liked the theme today.

  23. Definitely a ****/*** for me. 22a and 17d my favourites. Thanks to the 2 KS and to Jay who I am beginning to see the light with.

  24. I also found this a trickyish Jay Wednesday.
    I have heard of 18a (probably in a crossword) but so long ago that I’d forgotten it.
    14a took longer than it should have done and so did 8d, and quite a few others too – not concentrating.
    No particular favourite – just lots of good clues so thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

  25. I thought 22a was very clever and is certainly my COTD in a demanding but rewarding puzzle…

  26. I found this a slightly trickier Jay but still outstanding. Getting the piscine theme early on helped with a couple, also the 18a saying was a Dad favourite so it went straight in.
    As is usual, can’t choose a fave with Jay, I liked so many.
    Thanks Jay, you’re my fave, and thanks to the 2Kiwis for the review, great fun.

  27. Morning all.
    Looks like the fish meal was very much to everyone’s taste. We ignored all the other picture opportunities to concentrate on them for this one.
    Fun to blog as well as solve.

  28. An absorbing cracker from Jay tonight, very enjoyable tester!
    So many good clues… so no favourites
    Many thanks to Jay & 2KWS for review

  29. A very fishy crossword and some Cider.

    Pity the compiler couldn’t include the gag from I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

    …. so while Samantha nips out to enjoy a portion of local winkles in cider… (during the Fishermen’s Book Club round) Plymouth 07 Jun 1999

  30. 14a was last to yield as I was sure that the middle word was one’s.
    Took me all afternoon.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis.

    1. Even worse for me as I could not be unhooked from the fact that the last word was belt as in tighten one’s belt.

  31. It took me a while, but I got there alone and unaided…and I parsed all the clues, so hurrah for me !
    Top half took a lot longer than the bottom half.

    Enjoyably fishy puzzle, thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

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