DT 29362 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29362

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29362

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

As from tomorrow morning we take the next step away from full lockdown. Schools will be operating again from Monday and people will be able to be out and about and even travel within the country. However ‘social distancing’ will still be the order of the day and any gathering has to be fewer than 10 people. More normal shopping and access to hairdressers are the things that most people are looking forward to.

Meanwhile, life goes on and we are pleased to report that our special guest, the New Zealand Dabchick, is still with us and happily feeding and preening in his pond.

This Wednesday puzzle is towards the trickier end of the spectrum for us and well up to standard of course.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Pretence included in realm of reformed criminal (10)
MALEFACTOR : An anagram (reformed) of REALM OF contains a pretence or performance.

6a     Poems soldiers occasionally used (4)
ODES : Alternate even letters from a word in the clue.

10a     Willow may be pinker if pollarded (5)
OSIER : Find a word relating to a flower that means pinker and pollard it by removing the first letter.

11a     Aristocratic children’s doctor must dismiss aide from the east (9)
PATRICIAN : Start with the full technical name for a children’s doctor and remove from within it the reversal (from the east) of the word ‘aide’.

12a     Slow and enjoyable breakfast dish, not cold (8)
FUNEREAL : A three letter word for enjoyable and then remove the abbreviation for cold from a breakfast dish derived from grain.

13a     Committed member of the monarchy changing sides initially (5)
LOYAL : A general word for a member of the monarchy has its first letter changed from one hand to the other.

15a     First in a long time for prejudiced people (7)
AGEISTS : ‘First’ expressed as a Roman numeral and two letters is inside a word for a long time.

17a     Overprotects new girl who’s pictured with son (7)
NANNIES : The abbreviation for new, then the eponymous orphan in a musical plus S(on).

19a     Outing Democrat — one in new party (3,4)
DAY TRIP : D(emocrat) and then an anagram (new) of PARTY contains the Roman numeral one.

21a     Sickness of sheep that is seen after fight (7)
SCRAPIE : A fight or brawl and then the two letters that are the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘that is’.

22a     Machine that’s British in origin? (5)
ROBOT : A word for origin or source encloses B(ritish).

24a     Drink available after first of Cheltenham handicaps? (8)
CHAMPERS : The first letter of Cheltenham and then handicaps or impedes.

27a     Subscription needed by such a hunter? (9)
AUTOGRAPH :  This hunter is usually armed with a small book and a pen.

28a     Try being hugged by a European bear (5)
ABIDE : ‘A’ from the clue and E(uropean) surround try, attempt, or even offer at an auction.

29a    Sharpen garden tool around November (4)
HONE : A garden tool used for weeding includes N(ovember).

30a     Scruffy graduate teacher teased about student (10)
BEDRAGGLED : The qualification likely to be attained by a graduate teacher and a synonym for teased or guyed includes the letter for a student driver.


1d     Low day for humour (4)
MOOD : The noise made by cattle and then the abbreviation for day.

2d     Of course, supporting the French I must be relaxed (9)
LEISURELY : Of course, or indubitably, follows the French definite article and ‘I’ from the clue.

3d     Comedy act discovered during meal (5)
FARCE : Discover ‘act’ by removing its outer letters, then put this inside a meal or food in general.

4d     Prices will vary, including old items from the office (7)
COPIERS : An anagram (will vary) of PRICES includes O(ld).

5d     Bunting festooned in door to landing (7)
ORTOLAN : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Daughter’s first greasy napkin (5)
DOILY : The initial letter of Daughter and then a different adjective meaning greasy.

8d     Good girls will support star in shades (10)
SUNGLASSES : The star that is nearest to us, the abbreviation for ‘good’ and then another word for girls.

9d     Bag for rubbish wine on ship (3-5)
BIN-LINER : Wine defined by where it is stored, and then a passenger ship.

14d     Bareheaded queen on run? Nonsense! (10)
BALDERDASH : Bareheaded or hairless, then Her Majesty’s regnal cipher and run quickly.

16d     Long-term plan targets unusual year (8)
STRATEGY : An anagram (unusual) of TARGETS plus Y(ear).

18d     Objective setter’s role — I fail regularly (9)
IMPARTIAL : String together the two letters used by a setter referring to himself, a role in a play, and then alternate letters from ‘I fail’.

20d     Rugby players on mature sort of deal (7)
PACKAGE : The collective term for rugby forwards and then mature or grow old.

21d     The girl adopted by mainly clever and dazzling type (7)
SMASHER : Remove the last letter from a synonym for clever and put within this a personal female pronoun.

23d     Prohibition is about to stick (5)
BATON : ‘To’ from the clue is inside a prohibition or veto.

25d     Crash of pain felt crossing river (5)
PRANG : A pain felt or a twinge contains R(iver).

26d     Tried to lose a crowd (4)
HERD : Remove ‘A’ from the clue from tried as a judge may have done.

The ones that made our tick list this week were 12a, 14d, 18d and 21d.

Quickie pun    eye    +    felt    +    hour    =    Eiffel Tower

85 comments on “DT 29362

  1. There is an error in the iPad version on this one, on completion you are informed that the grid has been completed incorrectly, because the third letter of 6a is ( incorrectly) flagged as incorrect. Hope this helps! 🙂

    1. I had a similar problem this morning and Chris Lancaster has weaved his magic being the scenes. It should now submit correctly.

    2. If you use the View Solution option on the iPad Edition you gets odds as the answer, which makes no sense. CL’s magic has yet to reach Shropshire.

      1. Wish I’d had the confidence in my answers to do likewise straight away – went through each answer in turn as usually when that happens I’ve an input error.

      2. My Kindle version still gives the answer as odds! In case anyone else has the same problem of only seeing one clue at a time. Load the newspaper in landscape form, click on the puzzle and then turn the machine to portrait and voila, you can see the whole thing.

        1. I don’t know about the Kindle version, but on the iPad once the puzzle is marked as “correct” it accepts no changes, so my stays as ODDS.

    3. There was no magic weaved for me just now. I knew my answer was correct, but when the iPad informed me that something was incorrect I checked what it was and saw it didn’t like the letter e. So I then began to go through the alphabet to see what letter it would accept and I am now stuck with ‘odds’!

  2. This was pretty challenging but very enjoyable (****/****) and I really appreciated the brain work-out after all this tome in lockdown. I particularly liked 1a and 12a, although the penny took a long time to drop with the latter. Thanks to the Kiwis and to our setter. Keep safe and well everyone.

  3. Good fun, thanks to setter and bloggers. So many synonyms for ‘of course’ fitted the empty grid, it was hard to accept the definition for 2d could be anything else! 🤣 Still don’t really understand parsing for 21d: what synonym for ‘clever’ is relevant here?

    1. Aargh, have reread blog, had wrong personal pronoun, understand 21d now …. thanks! 😆

      1. I also had “her” and not “she”, so couldn’t parse it. Otherwise very good ***/***.

  4. A slow start, a short break and then a dash to complete. This was another gem of a Wednesday offering, with so many well-crafted clues it is difficult to pick a favourite. I will go for 12a with 14d as my runner-up.

    Thanks to Jay for the slightly trickier than usual challenge, and the 2Ks.

  5. 2.5*/4.5*. I am pretty much in agreement with YS @4 except that 14d was my favourite with 12a in second place.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  6. For me this was definitely a step up in difficulty from the average Wednesday but no less enjoyable.
    I’m not sure if wine can be defined by its place of storage re 9d?…and I think the word ‘will’ is unnecessary in 4d. Lot’s to enjoy though, I liked 12a plus 16 and 18d in particular.
    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks for their excellent works.

    1. Ps…I don’t understand the role of ‘available’ in 24a unless it’s part of the definition?

      1. With a Hmm and the ‘?’ at the end of the clue, I took it to be part of the definition.

    2. I took it that “defined” was used in the sense of describing a limit or boundary.

  7. Lovely typical Jay puzzle to cheer up a gloomy and windy morning.

    Thanks to him and the 2Ks

  8. Took the appearance of a few checkers before 1a became apparent and I did have to check on the sheep sickness but everything else slotted in smoothly enough.
    14d has to be my favourite- lovely word – with the enjoyable breakfast hard on its heels.

    Thanks to Jay for the Wednesday fun and to our 2Ks for the review – a visit by the hairdresser is definitely top of my wish list!

  9. More challenging today and none the worse for that. Lots of very good clues. I’m not sure I fully understand the reasoning behind 28a. I couldn’t come up with anything else but I don’t see where bear comes into it. A European bid as in try yes but what’s the relevance of bear? 26d bemused me for a while although the answer is obvious enough! Favourite has to be 14d. Thanks to the setter. Presumably Jay but it’s always a mystery to me.

  10. Another great puzzle so thanks to all. Nothing too tricky except my machine insisted on odds in 6a. Still a horrid cold wind here in N Norfolk and had the heating on yesterday and its the middle of May for goodness sake! Stay safe everyone and stay alert, whatever that is meant to mean.

  11. Great to have Jay to look forward to on a Wednesday. After a couple of distinctly so so offerings this week I thought this was in a different league altogether. Not overly taxing but nevertheless full of clever clues among which 12a was the head & shoulders winner in my view.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks for the review.

  12. Reasonably enjoyable. Although two words threw me and needed the hints. 21d is so old fashioned I’d forgotten it and why is the answer to 27a a subscription. Thanks both

    1. I wondered that regarding 27a. I suppose if you sign such a book you are “subscribing” to it?

      1. Scription is old fashioned word for handwriting I think the connection is there

        1. And “sub” means beneath so a subscription is “beneath the handwriting”. Neat.

          1. Thanks for your response. Sorry to be a misery. But it still makes no sense to my mind.

            1. In the BRB, The Chambers Dictionary, one of the definitions for subscription is signature. A signature and an autograph are the same thing in our understanding.
              Hope this helps.

  13. I agree that this was a slightly harder Jay than of late but most enjoyable. It was a very slow start for me but the fog soon began to lift. I did not know the bunting of 5d so a new word learned. 12a was quite neat but my COTD is 14d with 10a as runner up. It took me a while to realise the answer to 28a also meant “bear”.

    Many thanks to Jay for a most enjoyable challenge. Thanks, also, to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    Enjoy the slight easing of lockdown, everyone. Nothing has changed for me, however. I am in the severely at risk group so have to continue in isolation. Stay safe and well. :good:

    1. As a mere mortal there were three or four words in this that I had never heard of. After much effort I was glad that I gave up with just a few to go as I d have been there forever…… I am one of those players who never looks for help but attempts from scratch…

      1. You’ve changed your alias which sent your comment into moderation. All three of your aliases should work from now on.

  14. Like others got “incorrect solution” when it wasn’t.
    Very enjoyable and a good test for me with a number of clever clues. 14d & 12a candidates for COTD winner is 14a for me – a good “old fashioned” put down.
    Like Jane needed all checkers for LOI 1a .
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

    1. I think that 14d isn’t necessarily a ‘put down’ – it depends very much on who says it and how it’s said. My Dad used to say it quite often to me and my sister, along with other little gems such as ‘poppycock’ – he would never have knowingly put either of us down.

  15. No help from starting on the Downs in either direction in this most enjoyable, bit of head scratcher completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 14d, 20d, and 26d – and the winner is 14d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. Tricky little devil this one, needed several cracks at it and hints. All in all a struggle. Just couldn’t get on Jays wavelength, usually I find Jays puzzles to be tough but solvable.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  17. Excellent puzzle. Needed some thought to complete. Nice one, Jay.
    Toughie is not too tough today.

  18. I see my Black Lab has set today’s Toughie. He refuses to give me any clues!

  19. I’m relieved to see that some others found this on the tricky side. I managed to complete the whole of the right hand side before grounding to a halt this morning. I’ve just managed to finish it at a second attempt after lunch. Things got a bit easier once I’d managed to put in 14d, which wasn’t a difficult clue. Should have got that on first parsing. Many thanks to the 2Ks and to Jay. My bird box camera reveals that my bluetit chicks are thriving. They now have lots of feathers and today have opened their eyes. They are a real joy to watch and very entertaining during this enforced lockdown.

  20. Certainly a step up from Monday and Tuesday’s but a good challenge. I thought some of the clues were at the Toughie end. My COTDs, 11 and 27a. Thanks to the setter and as always the 2Ks for the extras🦇

  21. I like Spook’s description – very apt, it was indeed a tricky little devil and I had to uncover 12a
    as it completely flummoxed me, My husband was fixated on kippers as that is his idea of heaven and ‘he never gets them at home’ Favourite was 14d and I was proud of myself for remembering the sheep disease – I am not a country girl. 24a made me sad thinking of Henley which amongst so many other lovely summer events is cancelled, spoiling our very long record of attendance. Ironically, all the badges arrived a couple of days before everything was cancelled – will they be collectors items I wonder?

    1. We’ll be missing Henley too. A great shame. It’s always on round about my birthday, so I’m really disappointed. It was always a great opportunity to meet up with old friends, even if we supported different schools and colleges.

      1. The wonderful thing about Henley is that it never changes. Yes, the loos get better and the club houses updated but basically it stays the same. Timeless and truly British!

    2. I just miss being able to see my Elder Lamb, her partner and our little grandson.

      1. I hope you are able to Zoom or FaceTime them. Not the same as a cuddle though. Let’s hope for better times soon.

  22. As Huntsman says, this Jay puzzle is in a league of its own, with so many witty clues that it’s hard to pick just a few. I did think that this was a bit tougher than the usual brilliant fare, but the ones that stood out for me are 11a (my COTD), 26d, and 19a. Took me a bit longer than the Toughie, as Jay was really in his element. Thanks to the Kiwis and the master of them all, Jay. *** / ****

  23. Struggled a bit in the SE. Took a while to remember the Bachelor in Education in 30a.
    The bird in 5d used to be such a delicacy until it was banned. Used to be called the king of game and top chefs are still fighting to get them back on the menu. Will they ever learn?
    Favourite 14d also.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 kiwis for the review.

    1. Did it not have to be eaten with one’s head covered by a napkin ?
      And did a French statesman eat one as his last meal when he was very unwell ?
      Or have I made this all up in a lockdown induced flight of fancy ?

      1. Hi Ora,
        I think president Mitterrand was very keen on the birds.
        I don’t know about the napkin ritual though.

        1. Oh yes, the bit about the napkin is true and I understood they were eaten alive which was why they were banned. Is that really true? Disgusting.

          1. I don’t think they were eaten alive. They were kept in the dark for about a day (or blindfolded) then they were drowned in Armagnac and roasted. They were eaten whole and the napkin was so the bones could be spat out without offending fellow diners. There are a couple of videos on Youtube but I didn’t think they would go down very well here.

            Thank goodness the terrible practice has stopped.

          2. I saw this on an episode of Billions (do you get that over there?). Didn’t understand why they had napkins on their heads or what they were eating, but I did think it was unnecessarily disgusting. Must have been these poor birds.

    2. I had to go on utube and check what everyone one was talking about. Awful. Enough to make me vegetarian.

  24. Completed alone and unaided but needed help to parse a couple. So a well done day for me.
    Enjoyed it though I did find it difficult.

    Thank you to Jay and the 2 Kiwis…..enjoy your freedom from lockdown.

    Stay safe/stay alert wherever you are.

  25. For a change it was the toughie first today, two excellent puzzles and an amusing quickie pun to boot!
    A**/**** for me as no hold ups-and no obscurities .
    Liked 11a ,1a and 14a which clue was appreciated by others.
    Remembered the bunting which the barberous French treat as a delicacy!
    Thanks all.

  26. Tougher than recently, but can’t complain as we have had a good run. Falling asleep over this one, due to weekly dawn trip to supermarket, followed by a walk around our neighborhood, as we have an unusually refreshing breeze here today. About half finished, but quite enjoyable so hope to finish later.

  27. Superb puzzle.Did not know 5d and found 21d difficult as l was convinced the shortened synonym was sharp and took a while to convince myself that l was wrong.How good it must feel to be coming out of lockdown as in N.Z.Thanks to all.

  28. Quite tricky today but very enjoyable 😃 ***/*** Favourites 8 & 9d 👍 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay 🤗 Nice Picture for 5d I did not know until today they were a delicacy until quite recent times, caught force fed and drowned in Armagnac. I knew about Ambelpoulias which was popular in Cyprus and I believe was all small songbirds especially the Blackcap pickled and sold in jars. The things you learn from a crossword blog 😳

  29. Agree with the majority, much tougher than normal, but very enjoyable. The breakfast was my last one in and took ages.

    I am also at ‘odds’ with the poems.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  30. Now being Ortolan Aware, I rather wish I wasn’t. Gourmets may differ!
    Well, each to his own I suppose.

  31. I found this HARD! I needed 2Ks’ help with a few today. But there we are, some days the answers hurtle in like an Ortolan on the wing; other days it is as if I have scrapie.
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  32. Late start due to the petrol station being closed for a tanker delivery this morning. Had to wait for my bike ride to get a copy but thereafter things fell into place fairly easily. 12a and 24a got the biggest smiles, but cleverly clued throughout. **/****. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  33. Very tricky for a Jay but he’s still my fave. North went it quite well but I was stuck in the South, I had to visit to get a hint to get going again.
    Fave was 14d, lovely word, but 1a and 11a we’re worthy of honourable mention.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and the 2Kiwis for the review and pics.

  34. Morning all.
    27a was the one that gave us problems when writing the blog. We had solved it readily enough (although we did check in BRB that subscription, signature and autograph were all synonyms) but then had several attempts at deconstructing and writing a hint for the clue.
    Not surprised that others also found this tougher than normal as it was at the top of 3 star time for us.
    Right. Now for our first day of relative freedom.

  35. Oh dear – yet again I’m completely out of step with everyone else.
    For lots of recent crosswords the rest of you have had no trouble and I’ve battled – today I didn’t have any trouble at all.
    I think that just goes to show that so many things affect how one finds a crossword – I’ll shut up now.
    I was lucky in that I did know the sheep disease – I’m a country “girl”, having grown up a couple of miles from where BD lives.
    I also knew the 5d bird.
    Re 24a – there is no such drink as “ripples”.
    30a reminded me of my Mum – she used to put the emphasis on the first syllable and thought it sounded more descriptive!
    So many good clues to choose from but I’m going to go for 17a (the middle five letters remind me of our Collie) 30a (reminds me of my Mum) and 14d (reminds me of my Dad).
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  36. Different Strokes for Different Folks. I am in the slightly easier than normal for Jay camp this week. 27a and 28a made me think a bit and I did wonder about 23d for a while. I had “is” in the fodder with the prohibition when I got the right 2 letter word I wondered if the clue needed the is at all.
    I remembered the poor songbird from reading Marcel Pagnol who wrote La Gloire de mon père and Le château de ma mère. I rather think that the childhood home he described is not too far from Jean Luc.
    As well as the Armagnac I believe they were saturated in butter or maybe I am confusing them with Foie Gras. Both practices I am pleased to see fade into obscurity.
    7d brought back memories of Grandma Bee who put them under anything that remained still long enough for her to pounce.
    14d was nice too and like Kath, I thought of Poppycock too. I am led to believe that it comes from the Dutch for soft poop!

    Thanks to the other 3 birds who although they may be soaked in Armagnac or other spirits of their choice, they shall not be eaten under a napkin.
    I am in step with Kath now that’s an accolade I can live with!:)

  37. Did manage to get back to this after a bout of gardening to wake me up. We have these lovely pink powder puff trees that grow like Topsy and needed to prune back before hurricane season starts. Didn’t know the bird, the sheep disease or the willow. And didn’t we just have 24a this weekend? Other than that, not too hard. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  38. Quite tricky but very enjoyable puzzle that took quite a while to complete. Only needed help with a couple, which is very good for me. I’d never heard of 5d and 21a. Still pleased with myself. Favourite 14d
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis

  39. Tackled this after an 11 hour day reading legal agreements – may just be tiredness but this didn’t seem to have the same sparkle about it as the usual wednesday setter – got there over a couple of hard earned beers though!! Nite and thanks all

  40. Where else can you get:
    Debates on the difficulty of puzzles
    The merits of clues
    Information about bluetit chicks
    The (absent) joys of Henley
    Descriptions & criticism of (to most) disgusting eating habits
    Plus sundry other bits of information,
    All in the same place all for free
    Thanks to BD without whom none of this would be possible. (Plus reviewers and contributors all)

  41. Better late than never – this was an enjoyable accompaniment to breakfast but then, thanks mainly to a busy zooming day, didn’t get around to posting a comment. Only real hold-up was in the NW. Didn’t fully parse 30a bung-in and for 1a was muddled by thinking of both reformed and criminal as anagram indicator. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis (envy you your partial release from lockdown).

  42. 3*/4*….
    liked 8D ” good girls will support star in shades (10) “

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