DT 29380 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29380

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29380

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

It’s well over a week now since NZ has recorded any new Covid cases so many people are agitating for the last remaining restrictions to be removed. It probably will happen in a week or so according to official sources. Borders will still remain closed and closely monitored for much longer than that though.

A bit late writing this today as have been doing chauffeur duties for brother-in-law Brian having a cataract operation. He is now back here with us, looking like a pirate.

Plenty to eat and drink in today’s fun puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Event that sees people on fire? (4,4)
SACK RACE : Fire or dismiss plus people or nation.

5a     Province of person elected in Ireland (6)
EMPIRE : The alternative name for Ireland contains the two letters for a Member of Parliament.  (Province and the answer are both used in a figurative sense here.)

9a     Nameless doctor noticing ring (9)
INCOGNITO : An anagram (doctor) of NOTICING and then the ring shaped letter.

11a     Saddle hybrid gelding must carry (5)
RIDGE: A lurker, hiding in the clue.

12a    In truth, bank will be occupied by a student (6)
REALLY : Bank or depend upon includes ‘A’ from the clue and the student driver letter.

13a     Philosophical character lying in grass (8)
RESIGNED : The grass is a tall one often found in swamps, and the character is one such as an ampersand.

15a     Dad‘s film as a pirate in trouble (13)
PATERFAMILIAS : An anagram (in trouble) of FILM AS A PIRATE.

18a    Thug with cash will be crude but effective (5-3-5)
ROUGH AND READY : A slang word for a thug and then one for cash are separated by a conjunction.

22a     Singular sort of English disease (8)
SHINGLES : The abbreviation for singular and then an anagram (sort of) of ENGLISH.

23a     Rubbish found in South American station (6)
STATUS : A three letter word for rubbish is preceded by the abbreviation for South and followed by the two letter abbreviation for American.

26a     Speak, and put a value on love (5)
ORATE : The tennis score love and then value or judge.

27a     Initially expecting a more serious person from Boston, say (9)
EASTERNER : The first letter of expecting, then ‘A’ from the clue and a word meaning more serious.

28a Number left in case of therapy … (6)
TWENTY : The first and last letters of therapy enclose left or departed.

29a     … uneasy — others not so much (8)
RESTLESS : A synonym for others and then a word meaning not so much.


1d     Revolutionary incentive after prison support for rider (8)
STIRRUPS : A slang word for prison and then the reversal of an incentive or goad.

2d     Drink firms on either side of America (5)
COCOA : The abbreviation for company is repeated and followed by the letter that is found at both ends of America.

3d     Such a customer may be right, and argue about protecting Left (7)
REGULAR : R(ight) and then an anagram (about) of ARGUE contains L(eft).

4d     Cold joint and a bit of fried potato (4)
CHIP : The letter seen on a cold tap and then the uppermost leg joint.

6d     Swallow one cocktail (7)
MARTINI : An avian swallow and the Roman numeral one.

7d     State one’s trapped in the subcontinent (9)
INDONESIA : The country often referred to as ‘the subcontinent’ contains ‘ONES’ lifted directly from the clue.

8d     Improves objectives to support half of them (6)
EMENDS : The final two letters of ‘them’ and then objectives or aims.

10d     Compliant, seeing nothing crooked about finish (8)
OBEDIENT : The letter signifying zero, and then crooked or dishonest contains finish or expire.

14d     Worry about frayed hems and material (8)
CASHMERE : An anagram (frayed) of HEMS is inside worry or be concerned.

16d     Close call at home — hates to lose cover (9)
TERMINATE : A verb meaning to call or name, then the two letter ‘at home’ and the three central letters of hates.

17d     Monstrosities seeing English rose upset after word of agreement (8)
EYESORES : Start with E(nglish), then a three letter word of agreement and finally an anagram (upset) of ROSE.

19d     A European chap importing universal balm (7)
UNGUENT : The French (European) indefinite article, then another word for a chap contains U(niversal).

20d     Withdraw from race, disheartened with deal (7)
RETREAT : The two outside letters of race and then another word for deal.

21d     Coaster in trouble without a convoy (6)
ESCORT : Remove ‘A’ from the clue from an anagram (in trouble) of CO(a)STER.

24d     Trace container for example, on the way up (5)
TINGE : A metal container and then the reversal of the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘for example’.

25d     One’s levy halved for land offshore (4)
ISLE : ‘One’s’ written as the Roman numeral with the ‘S, and then the first half of levy.

Quickie pun    eggs    +    arm    +    pull    =    example

82 comments on “DT 29380

  1. All over in **/*** time today, nothing to really impede the horses except 15a which I wasn’t ‘familiar’ with, but was soon worked out with all the checkers.

    I couldn’t quite see the parsing of 2d, the answer appearing to be ‘coaco’.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the explanations.

    1. I think the ‘either side’ is meant to confuse – what it means here is pick either one of the sides of AmericA

        1. Thanks Stephen get it now..either a hmmmm or very clever, depending on how you see it…

  2. Lovely surfaces, clever anagrams and a great clue mix made for a highly enjoyable challenge this morning. I particularly liked the excellent lurker at 11a with an honourable mention for 22a.

    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Ks.

  3. A very enjoyable puzzle which was over far too quickly(**/****). I liked 1 and 1d and the lovely anagram at 15a. So thanks to Jay. Thanks for the review to the 2 Kiwis. I liked your description of your friend with the cataract operation. I have been that pirate. Stay safe and well everyone. Any new on Tilsit?

  4. A lovely Jay crossword that I found very enjoyable and relatively straightforward.
    I didn’t know the balm at 19d but the checkers and precise wordplay led me to it, and I had a hunch that ‘swallow’ would be a bird in 6d, which helped with the cocktail, not my area of expertise.
    In a strong field I particularly liked 5&22a plus 3&17d.
    Many thanks to the three birds for the entertainment.

  5. No problem with this today. I found Sunday’s Dada and today’s crosswords much easier than Monday or Tuesday, which is odd as most considered the latter to be ‘entry level’ crosswords.
    Long suspected I have a weird thought process!!
    Thanks 2 K’s and Jay.

  6. This not feel like a Jay to me today. All went in smoothly without any of my usual silly mistakes. Would have been under 2* time had it not been for 15a. I guess this is one that would either go straight in or not at all. I confess I was reduced to looking up words commencing with the first five letters. When found, I had heard of it before. Interesting that the word is the same singular and plural. I would now put my time around 2.5*. I did not have an outstanding favourite but ringed all of the following: 1 18 22 27 29a and 1 7 17 and 19d. I shall be interested to see what others think. Thanks setter and 2Ks. I will now check all my parsing was right.

  7. This was a benevolent Jay offering and no less enjoyable for that. I took a while to work out the why in 16d and still didn’t understand the “call” bit. Favourite 29a. Thanks to all.

    1. That 16a held me up slightly as well. I thought the first 4 letter item worked better if you thought of it as a verb rather a noun.
      I would **** that a tricky clue……

  8. 2*/4*. All the usual fun from our Wednesday setter, although I was mildly surprised to see two halves on offer in both 8d and 25d (I’d prefer a pint!). In addition, although “deal with” can mean “treat”, I can’t quite make “deal” synonymous with “treat” in 20d.

    It’s never easy selecting a favourite on a Wednesday and, after some deliberation, 5a, 22a & 17d made it onto the podium.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  9. Easiest one for a long time….. so much so that I wavered in writing the answers in case it was a trap!

  10. Gentle although it took me a couple of minutes to parse the a to the end of 2d which then made me smile. Thanks all.

  11. For me Jay was today definitely in a more benevolent mood than usual and set a straightforward but fun puzzle. Lots of clever clues of which 18a, 6d and 19d topped my list. Thank you Jay and MrK.

    1. Apologies 2Kiwis I have just realised I should have thanked you and not MrK which I do now.

  12. Enjoyed that slightly trickier crossword than the 2 slightly easier ones this week. Worked out 15a from the anagram (but probably wouldn’t have got it if I hadn’t been playing Assassins Creed Odyssey throughout lockdown ! ).

    Never heard of 19d but again, worked it out.

    And I too had coaco in for ages and thought it just looked wrong, but I do get the explanation.

    With thanks to setter and 2Kiwis

  13. Good fun and pretty straightforward apart from 15a of which I wasn’t sure of the meaning. Thanks (I think!) for the encouragement to try the toughie when the back pager goes in okay. It’s certainly eating into the Netflix time which is probably no bad thing.

  14. A typical Wednesday offering from Jay very enjoyable solved at a gallop – **/****.
    However, 21d generated a Hmm and I do wonder how long he has been ‘saving up’ 15a for.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 28a, 29a, and 7d – and the winner is 29a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

      1. I was thinking of convoy as a noun, so I did not immediately get the verbal synonymous link between the answer and convoy.

  15. I thought I was going to solve this one unaided but I ground to a halt with about half a dozen causing problems. 28 was one of these, which was annoying as the parsing gives the answer easy enough. Trouble is, I couldn’t parse it mainly because I forgot what “case” meant. Nevertheless, this was a most enjoyable challenge. Particular favourites are 15a because I just like the word and 23a. My COTD is 18a.

    Many thanks to Jay for a great puzzle and also to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    I hope Greta and her husband are faring well. I send the same wishes to Tilsit.

  16. Fairly easy run this morning with only the justification of 2d and the first part of 16d giving pause for thought.
    The 4d cold joint made me smile and my favourite was 29a.

    Thanks to Jay for another excellent Wednesday outing and to our 2Ks for the nicely illustrated review. NZ looks to be heading back to normality – your lovely PM seems to have got it just right yet again.

  17. Classic Jay! Surfaces, clues, general playfulness–it all adds up to the master setter in his element. I was particularly taken with 22a, 15a, and 1a (my LOI). Many thanks to our NZ friends and hosts, and to Jay. ** / **** Hope Tilsit and Greta are improving.

  18. This was a good examplar of why l am loving learning how to do cryptic puzzles.Hard enough to make me think but eminently doable and with fine humour.l share some doubt as to whether it was a Jay but thank whoever set it and to 2 Ks.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I don’t do he quickie so someone else will have to answer your question

        1. Not very keen on anagrams in the quickie, especially for obscure words

          1. I groan at anagrams in the quickie. I mentally say “stuff that” but I always go back to them at the end

  19. Agree that this was a very nice puzzle with some elegant clues. I like anagrams and 15a jumped at me from long ago Latin lessons with Miss Hamer who gave us all Roman names. I never quite understand your system of scoring, are tha asterisks for difficult and length of time solving or the other way round? I never take any notice of them anyway because we all react differently. I just love ‘em all. Many thanks. I luurrved the quickie pun.

    1. Daisy, I admire your flexibility. If I tried such a move I fear that either my legs would separate from my torso, or, at best, I would be hospitalised for a minimum of a year.

      1. Haha. I am a bit of a freak for my age – . I put it down to years of yoga but it is my party piece. 🧘‍♀️

  20. Another gentle puzzle today but which took slightly longer than the previous two days. I’m another who needed the 2Ks to explain the positioning of the a in 2d – very clever.

    There was nothing I didn’t like so many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    Get well soon to everyone suffering and stay safe to everyone else.

  21. Not having the Latin I always get ie and eg mixed up – so I ended up with tinie for 24d. It did click later.

  22. Well for a long time I retired defeated, it completely baffled me. NW corner went in easily then it all wentpear shaped. I really struggled and needed lots of electronic help. Maybe its the change in the weather. Still as they say onwards to tomorrow and put tpday behind.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and to Jay for beating me into submission.

  23. I got there in the end thanks to the 2Kiwis,no real COTD but with the hints as always this was enjoyable, so to the toughie.

    Stay Safe Everyone TTFN

  24. A lovely puzzle today. I confess to falling into the coaco trap, when the penny dropped on 12a I verbalised out loud REALLY! in disgust at my feeble spelling skills.
    I dithered on the spelling of 19d as well but 26a showed me the way.
    I might have split the enumeration of 15a too but a brief check says that either is acceptable.
    14d was the last to fall today I knew there was an anagram of hems in there but took a while to find the right synonym.
    Still a puzzle sorted without resort to the hints counts as a good day that is three for three this week 😃
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis though the bit in the preamble about the brother in law seems to imply we are flying on one Kiwi.

  25. 2.5/4. A delightful puzzle with some excellent clues. 2d possibly my favourite as it misleads the solver. I also liked 21d and 22a. Thanks to Jay for a good challenge and the 2Ks for the review.

  26. I was so pleased to score a hat trick today – three successive days of solving without recourse to help. I apologise for the self-congratulation but this will probably never happen again! The success is largely down to this site and the lovely people giving their time to provide tips and explanations. I have tried to absorb as much of the help and information as I can retain, since I discovered Big Dave several years ago now.
    The first to go in was 6d as luckily it is also featured in the Country Life crossword this week! Last was 13a and I gave a little punch into the air as it went in.
    No paperweights required to hold the paper down today but the light showers had me sheltering, with next door’s cat, under the garden parasol like a budget version of Patrick Leigh Fermor scribbling away under his canopy in Kardamyli.

    Thanks to Jay (hugely enjoyable puzzle) and the Two Ks.

    1. Yaay! Well done, Terence! As I was completing it this morning I wondered if you would get your hat trick. :yahoo:

    2. Thank you very much, Huntsman; Steve; Hoofer; and Kath…
      Onwards and upwards, eh?

    3. Top banana Terence. I hope you manage on your own tomorrow but just in case Ulysses Everett McGill will provide a set of hints

  27. Enjoyable crossword that I found trickier than the two earlier in the week ***/*** 😃 Favourites 18a & 23a Did not like 16d very much 😟 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay 🤗

  28. Completed early this morning but late to the blog as only just back from a thoroughly enjoyable fourball better ball which went to the final putt holed by the good guys & winning 1up having squandered a 3 hole lead at the turn.
    A very benign Jay today & must say I’m struggling to recall 3 consecutive days of such straightforward back pagers. Delightfully clued as always with Jay so despite being over as quickly as Monday & Tuesday somehow it seemed far more satisfying – high end confectionery. 9,11&15a would be my podium picks from a number of contenders.
    With thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.

    1. My life. What on Earth is a four ball better ball ? It sounds like something at the drive through, not that I have ever used one. Still , whatever floats your boat and makes you happy….!

  29. It’s been kind of nagging at me that I could hear a character in a film using the 15a term but couldn’t place it. Just come to me – George Clooney as Ulysses Everett McGill in the wonderful Oh Brother Where Art Thou – “I’m the damn paterfamilias! You can’t marry him”

    1. Good for you, Huntsman! Great movie, and I do now remember Clooney’s line. Isn’t it funny how we remember some movies in terms of where we were while watching them? I was airborne, on a flight from London to NYC, when I first saw Oh, Brother! Sorry for the slight irrelevancy here but couldn’t resist it.

  30. Thank goodness for our Jay, after having a rotten start to my day – I’m out of bread, none in the freezer, and I had to have my egg with cheddar rice crisps instead of toast and marmite! Not a good start.
    Then, joy of joys, this absolute treat from Jay, needing no e-help at all, a rare occurrence, not even a spellcheck.
    I have no fave, too many choices, I loved it all. I’m so on his wavelength.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for their usual snapshot. I’m so envious of your Jacinda! Want to swap?
    I wish Tilsit would pop in to let us know how he’s doing. Thanks for your update Greta.

      1. Thank you all for the kind words and good wishes.

        I am still feeling decidedly grotty, although my cough has subsided. Still have a temperature, headache and fuzzy headedness and have no taste/smell. Tried eating a medium curry last night and just found it completely bland.

        But day on day, I feel a little brighter. Just going to keep isolating for a while longer. Once again, thanks for your thoughts.

        1. Thanks for letting us know.
          We all hope that Greta, Hubby, and yourself make a good recovery from this awful virus.

      2. Good to hear from you, Tilsit. Hope you will feel one hundred percent soon.

  31. Nearly always on Wednesdays I have about four or five answers that take as long as the rest of the crossword but not today.
    18a caused a bit of a hold-up as to begin with I had ‘short and sweet’ in my head and it just wouldn’t go away.
    Also I missed the anagram indicator in 9a for a while.
    Those were really the only minor hiccups.
    Far too many good clues to pick out any in particular so thanks to Jay and to the K’s.
    Chilly and damp in Oxford today – 15C which is 10C less than it was this time yesterday – I love it!!

  32. As the paper isn’t delivered until I have left for work I take a printout from the puzzle site and leave the dead tree for Mama Bee to have a go at. it is interesting to note (to me at least) that her first one was my last. (*a*h*e*e) When asked why that was obvious to her it turns out that many years of knitting made “wooly” clues easier.
    My first one was 11a as I immediately thought of A Wainwright who pointed out that many mountains have a saddleback but there is only one Blencathra.
    I assume the 11a in the pic is in NZ?

  33. Morning all.
    We just knew that we would not be the only ones who would spend time sorting out how the wordplay in 2d worked. A clever clue.
    Looks like a wet day coming up for us. We are well overdue for significant rain so won’t be complaining. Plenty of indoor things to keep us occupied.

  34. Great offering tonight, with a nice balance of clues.
    As is the case 90% of clues fly in then remaining 10% takes as long.
    Many thanks to Jay & 2KWS for review

  35. Finally caught up after being a few days behind yet again. I found this a very relaxing and satisfying solve and finished without help although I too needed assistance to parse 2D.
    I don’t get the opportunity to comment very often but always read the blog, albeit often a day or two later and I feel as if everyone here is part of a community and a chum. Therefore I too am concerned that there is no news from Tilsit. I do hope you are recovering and will make an appearance soon.
    Also I am another Gemini, birthday tomorrow, I wonder is there a higher than usual proportion of us who love a cryptic?
    Stay well all.

  36. Just popped in to say hello, not even looked at the crossword yet and I’m on my second bottle of wine, these zoom meetings!

  37. This was the sort of crossword that I could solve from top to bottom without any blank spaces.
    Quite unusual for me on a Wednesday.
    Reading the blog made me think about Micheal. He always used to end his comments with Onwards and Upwards.
    Hope he’s well.
    Thanks to Jay and to our 2 kiwis for the review.

  38. Late on parade today. I went to bed with five to go and I’ve just fished it this morning thanks to a clear head and a strong coffee.We were lulled into a false sense of security with Monday and Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s was a step up a division. Some of the definitions were well hidden, e.g. 16a. I was thinking ‘close call’, as in a near miss. It took a while to consider close as in near, or close as in shut. The penny dropped once I finally cracked 15a. That was my COTD, not a word that one hears everyday. Perhaps RayT in a few hours? Thanks to the setter for the challenge and as always the 2Ks🦇

  39. Thoroughly enjoyed that, even faster than yesterday, I cannot remember 3 consecutive days when I finished in ** time unaided. After 10 weeks in age related isolation I was pleased to find my little old brain is still working or is CL just being very kind to all us aged isolators! Thanks to all.

  40. I am one of the late finishers, have just done so, yet another Zoom meeting, and loved it today, as indeed I do most of Jay on a Wednesday. Real good fun, not too hard but nicely testing. Never heard of 19d and good to learn about 15a. COTD 22d made me laugh. Thanks all.

  41. Got it all done alone and unaided, but could not parse cocoa….so no hurrah today. (Well, yesterday.)

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  42. 3*/3*……
    liked 18A ” thug with cash will be crude but effective (5-3-5)”

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