DT 29386 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29386

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29386

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A solo solve and blog this week.

We are now officially in alert level 1. This means that New Zealand is free of the Covid 19 virus and all normal activities can proceed without any restrictions at all. However, the borders remain closed and are likely to remain so and strictly monitored, for quite some time. In other words the ‘bubble’ that for lockdown was each separate household has morphed into the whole ‘team of five million’.

A fine Wednesday puzzle once again to enjoy.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     A bit like this leading Tory … (7)
SOUPCON: A two letter word for ‘like this’, another two letter word for leading or winning and the abbreviation for conservative.

5a     … demanding information during leave (7)
EXIGENT: An informal word for information is inside leave or depart, possibly ‘through the Gift Shop’.

9a     Extremist cults pray, having lost all protection (5)
ULTRA: Remove the outside letters from two consecutive words in the clue.

10a     One minute — case of doctor being in a hurry (9)
IMPATIENT: The Roman numeral one, (m)inute and the word for someone being treated by a doctor.

11a     Food offered by divorcing hotheads? (5,5)
BAKED BEANS: ‘Divorce’ the word hotheads by splitting it 3,5. Now find a synonym for hot or just out of the oven, and then a slang word for heads.

12a     Regularly play free instrument (4)
LYRE: Alternate letters from two words in the clue.

14a     Free advice lands a source of riches (8,4)
ALADDINS CAVE: An anagram (free) of ADVICE LANDS A.

18a     Party approaches must protect important fringes of society for ages (7,5)
DONKEYS YEARS: Start with a two letter word for a party or celebration. Next we need a word meaning approaches or gets close to and inside this we have                 important or pivotal and the first and last letters of society.

21a     A military force retreating at a distance (4)
AFAR: ‘A’ from the clue and the reversal of an airborne military force.

22a     Staggering time taken by a measurement of depth (10)
ASTOUNDING: ‘A’ from the clue and a way to measure depth using a weighted line contains (t)ime.

25a     Customers may see legal right in court with team cut by half (9)
CLIENTELE: The abbreviation for court surrounds a legal right and this is followed by the first half of a word that denotes the number of players in a cricket or football team.

26a     Actor surplus to requirements (5)
EXTRA: A double definition. The actor is certainly not in a starring role.

27a     Means of attack editor backed (7)
DENOTES: A 3,2 phrase meaning attack and the abbreviation for editor. All of this is reversed (backed).

28a     Represents performances that are cancelled? (4,3)
ACTS OUT: Synonyms for performances and cancelled.


1d     Players ultimately plump for Australian beer (6)
STUBBY: The final letter of players and a gentle descriptive term for overweight.

2d     At university, accept one may be quick on this (6)
UPTAKE: The two letter word for ‘at university’ and another word for accept.

3d     New headline seen in cold Republican light (10)
CHANDELIER: The letter seen on a cold tap and (R)epublican enclose an anagram (new) of HEADLINE.

4d     Part of church accepting one is innocent (5)
NAIVE: The main part of a church contains the Roman numeral one.

5d     Thoughtful after former partner is costing too much (9)
EXPENSIVE: The two letter former partner and thoughtful or meditative.

6d     Keen on dope, with time for France (4)
INTO: An informal word for inside knowledge has the IVR code for France changed to (t)ime.

7d    The average person from Spain — exceedingly male! (8)
EVERYMAN: The IVR code for Spain, a word meaning exceedingly and an adult male person.

8d     Section of quartet here dutifully tied to the spot (8)
TETHERED: A lurker hiding in the clue.

13d     A series on hospital department will be caustic (10)
ASTRINGENT: ‘A’ from the clue, a series of connected things or events and setters’ favourite hospital department.

15d     Stress aid designed for accidents (9)
DISASTERS: An anagram (designed) of STRESS AID.

16d     Made progress with cash up front on date (8)
ADVANCED: Cash up front or a down-payment followed by d(ate).

17d     A forced entry may be in vain, so planned (8)
INVASION: An anagram (so planned) of IN VAIN SO.

19d     Restaurant in pub is trouble (6)
BISTRO: A lurker hiding in the clue.

20d     Shocked seeing husband in range shot heartlessly (6)
AGHAST: A range used for heating and cooking contains h(usband) and then the two outside letters of shot.

23d     Ring exercises — oddly real drama (5)
OPERA: The ring-shaped letter, physical exercises and the first and third letters of real.

24d     One might bite in indignation (4)
GNAT: And another lurker hiding in the clue to finish.

Today’s picks are 1a because it held me up getting started and 18a for the fun of sorting out all the various bits and pieces.

Quickie pun    hell    +    ocean    =    hair lotion

81 comments on “DT 29386

  1. All done without help for the second day running, but it took ***/****. After the first pass through the across clues, I thought I was in trouble, but the downs came to my rescue.

    COTD has to be 18a for sheer audacity.

    I could not see the Quickie pun for the life of me. (Which should be singular, not plural)

    Thanks to the setter (Jay?) and the 2Ks.

        1. I thought it was that, too. Never in million years would I have thought it was what it purports to be.

    1. I too failed to suss the Quickie pun but surely hades can be singular or plural – noun and verb.

  2. I just scraped into double figures on first read through but then made steady progress to finish this excellent Jay offering in about average time for me, my only problem being the parsing of 11a.
    A particularly liked 1a (such a lovely word) and 1d plus 3&6d amongst many others.
    Many thanks to the two birds for their excellent works.

  3. I thought this was another superb crossword. Jay is the master of his craft.
    LOI was 14a, as I totally missed the anagram indicator. Another very clever clue.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  4. Lovely and lovely & friendly. I see that 12a has taken over from the ocarina as the crossword setters’ instrument of choice!

    Thanks to Jay and the solo K

  5. 1.5*/4*. Another delightful Wednesday puzzle which I found to be at the easier end of Jay’s difficulty range. 11a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Jay. Thanks too to Colin. How lovely for you to live in a country free of Covid-19. I wonder how long it will take us to get to the same position?

  6. A bit of trouble here. I had 11a but couldn’t see why. Thanks to 2K’s for explaining that. 18d needed a bit of a nudge too. 14a gets my favour today, and I too couldn’t see the pun.
    I thought Aussies drank tinnies but stubby is ok too I see, maybe it is regional. An investigoogle reveals that stubbies are glass and tinnies are … er Tin.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s
    Is Jean Luc’s place a 19d and is the reopening going well?

    1. I think the stubby’s are short squat bottles like they used for Ruddles County all those years ago when it was brewed by Ruddles Brewery in Rutland. Not the Ruddles Counterfeit stuff from Bury St Edmunds

      1. Incidentally, after your remarks yesterday Regarding your morning routine I am wondering if there is any higher rank available for St Sharon? She surely deserves it! Seraphim or something?

      2. That takes me back. Proper Ruddles County is a much-missed fave, along with Nottinghams Home Brewery and Original Tetley’s Bitter served through an autovat. That disappeared when they let the yeast die and Carlsberg took over and shut the brewery.

        1. I have an earworm re Tetley’s Brewery to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory;

          Land of Joshua Tetley
          Brewers of fine ales
          How can we extol thee
          We get Pi**ed by thee…

          I am sure there were many more verses but the memories have been pickled in beer

        2. On my way back from taking my car for service this morning I walked past the old Home Brewery Building. A few metres further along I passed The Vale a former Home Brewery Pub built as a hotel in 1932 and designed by Cecil Howitt a renowned local architect. It is now Grad II listed. He also designed the brewery (to replace the original) in about 1938 but progress was halted by the war and not finished until the 1950s. Home Brewery was taken over by Scottish and Newcastle. Such of the pubs that remain are in diverse ownership.

          1. I remember The Vale and the logo of a green Robin Hood figure. I even kept a glass tankard with the logo on but time has eroded the logo. Those were the days.
            Scottish and Newcastle took over John Smiths in my home town and several changes later it is now Heineken.
            Big companies these days are only buying the brand and brew the beer wherever they like, all history and tradition vanishes.

            1. The day of the small brewery is dawning. There is a very good local brewery in Oswestry called Stonehouse run by two Ozzie guys. They brew in a converted barn and deliver to local pubs and hotels. They have won awards and brew serious beer. I sincerely hope they all survive the virus.
              Forget the big boys. Seek out your local guys.

  7. A really enjoyable crossword (**/****) so thank you to Jay for taking my mind off the present crisis and however many weeks of shielding we have yet to endure. I loved the 1a/5a combination though it took a long time before the penny dropped. 14a was also really good. Thanks to the lone Kiwi for the hints. I couldn’t parse 6d although the answer was clear. Keep safe and well everyone.

  8. For me this was a downs first day, which enabled me to finish it in good time. A gem of a puzzle from the ever reliable Jay, straightforward but great fun, with 11a just about my favourite of many terrific and well-crafted clues.

    Thanks to both birds. New Zealand’s geographical isolation has certainly helped them enormously in their efforts to reduce the impact of the virus. I fear we in the UK will have to learn to live with an element of managed risk for many months to come.

  9. A tricky start for me in the NW corner-thanks KC for the parsing of 11a which eluded me, the remainder of the puzzle was a steady solve.
    Most enjoyable and a **/**** for me.
    Liked 14a and the surface of 5d.
    Vaguely remembered the beer in 1d- watched Guys and Dolls the other afternoon and Stubby Kaye maybe this helped !

  10. Needed some serious thought here and there. 1a held me up too. I remembered the Aussie term in 1d from comments made by Shane Warne during an England/Australia test match. Not sure how beer crept into that conversation but for those familiar with “Bumble” and co. anything is fair game. I couldn’t understand the baked beans at all. Even with the explanation, I’m still baffled by the second part. How does heads = beans? Favourite 14a. Lots of good clues. Thanks to all.

      1. I’ve just looked in my ancient Oxford dictionary and you’re correct. I’ve learned something new today!

  11. Solved alone and unaided, but could not parse one or two, so no hurrah today….but an enjoyable puzzle nevertheless.

    Thanks to Jay and the solitary Kiwi.

    I am very envious of your no-lockdown status. Goodness knows when we will get there…..sigh….

    Stay safe everyone and best wishes to all who are ailing.

  12. A bit tricky, but got there in the end except for 1d, having never heard of it. Favourite 20d, least favourites 6 and 7d.

  13. Loved this puzzle and finished in good time. Wasn’t sure how I got some of the answers till I read the hints. 11a cannot see where the divorcing comes in? Anyway thanks to all on this soggy, chilly summer’s day.

    1. Divorcing means that you have to split ‘hot’ from ‘heads’ and provide separate synonyms for each word.

  14. Yeah (definitely) a nice crossword 😬 **/**** Just using a new word learnt yesterday, the Quick Crossword is becoming more difficult than the Cryptic 😳 Favourites 14 & 18a Big thanks to Colin and Jay

  15. Another little gem from Jay and I did like the way he negotiated the ‘lift & separate’ element of 11a. 1d was a complete guess based on the checkers – fortunately they were helpful ones!
    Podium places going to 10,11&18a plus 5d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our solo Kiwi – smiled on learning that you also invariably have to make your way out via the gift shop! By the way – I’ve been watching repeats of ‘The world’s most scenic railway journeys’ and have just seen the episode on The Northern Explorer. I recall you talking about taking a most enjoyable train journey – was that the one?

    1. I think the 2K’s train journey was during a trip to Oz and was on The Ghan that runs from Adelaide to Darwin.

      1. You may well be right, I honestly don’t remember any of the details. Maybe they could consider the NZ one in the future!

        1. Senf is right Jane. It was The Ghan that we travelled on a couple of years ago and an amazing experience, We have done the trip on the Northener a few years ago which, although much shorter (just one day) and much less luxurious, was good fun. Quite nostalgic for us too as in our youths the over-night trains on this route was the main means of travel between Wellington and Auckland.

  16. Another cracker from the ever reliable Jay though perhaps not quite on a par with his last couple of weeks. Completed in just under 2.5* time but unable to parse 11a & needed Mr G to confirm the wordplay for 1d. As always some super clues of which 14a, my last in, was my pick due the crafty surface & like Hoofit I failed to twig the anagram indicator immediately. On the plus side it was good day for prompt lurker identification.
    Thanks to Jay & KC for the review – pleased to hear normality has returned somewhere.
    Ps off to the Graun cryptic to see if it’s any easier than Mon & Tues, which I found very tough. Didn’t bother with Elgar yesterday as way above my pay grade.

  17. I remembered the advice to start with the down clues and it certainly paid off. Like others I didn’t like 11a particularly but solving that one helped me to get 1d, which I’d never come across before. I’m now wondering how many words there are for Australian beer – lots if their reputation as beer drinkers is anything to go by. I too got the answer to 14a without seeing the anagram indicator, having done the downs first. My favourite clue is 18a. A very enjoyable puzzle and thanks to the compiler and KC.

  18. Always find Jay harder than popular opinion rates him, today no different. Just couldn’t see what 18a could be even though I had sorted out most of where I should go. Finally the penny dropped & it gets COTD from me
    Needed hint to parse 6d, my LOI but had bunged in the right answer.
    Jay back to *** difficulty but very enjoyable. Am always satisfied to see “all answers correct” on a Wednesday.
    Thanks Jay & KiwiColin.
    Pleased for you NZ got things so right. Who knows when we in Scotland wiill get “freedom” back.

  19. This puzzle could have been taken from a DT in the early 70s, with the possible exception of 1d and 14a (which wouldn’t have been allowed) and the inclusion of THREE ‘hidden’ clues. 4d was a chestnut even then and there was so much dust on some of the other clues, it was difficult to see the page – 21a, 28a, 19d, 24d etc. The Quickie had a pun that was so obscure it was incomprehensible and also contained dated references. Took longer to write this review than to solve the puzzle – maybe time to move on to the Toughie. Thanks to the setter for phoning it in and the reviewer who can’t have lost much sleep.

  20. An enjoyable puzzle today and finished unaided for the most part. I had three bung-ins – 11a, 27a and 1d – but they were correct. I did not know that the second word in 11a means head and I thought 18a was a bit convoluted. Even after checking the hint, it took me a while to sort it out.

    My COTD is 20d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the entertainment and to KC for the hints.

  21. Not one of my most-liked cruciverbal exercises but gritted my teeth and got it done. My observations are that I have never heard of 1d, 11a rather stretched, not sure I ‘get’ 6d and I stupidly failed to detect the range in 20d which is surely a chestnut. An interesting presumably coincidental repetition in 26a and Quickie 4d. Convoluted 18a was Fav. Thank you to the 2 birds. KiwiC, your Te Pirimia deserved to do “a little dance” in celebration of her management of NZ exit from the clutches of Covid-19 – only wish we in the UK were in the same position.

  22. A bit of a head scratcher although I did get a reasonable start from going up the downs. Completed at a gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    A bit of a Hmm on the Quickie Pun.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 21a, and 22a – and the winner is 21a.
    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  23. What a contrast to yesterdays great puzzle. I found this on the whole poor. I thought 6d and 11a dreadful clues although I did like 1d. Had to look up 5a to see what the answer meant.
    Not too difficult once you unpicked the convoluted word play.
    Not my favourite puzzle.
    Thx to all

  24. Never too sure how you all work out the identity of the setter – yes I have read the FAQ section – maybe not done enough continuous solving to work out style and nuances of each one?! Anyway probably as I was negotiating this while waiting for a very early online shopping delivery and at the same time focusing on if the Great Tits were fledging from one of their nests in the garden did not appreciate as much as I should some of the clever and complex clues. Had to check 1d as thought it was going to be a brand at first…thanks to 2Kiwis for explanatory notes and of course setter – whoever it is!

    1. It’s Wednesday, although it is difficult to know what day it is in the current situation.

      1. It’s easy, Wanda. Today is the day after yesterday and the day before tomorrow.

    2. Jay is the usual Wednesday setter SRS, as is Campbell on Monday. Ray T sets every other Thusday. Other days are guesses from the style/traits of the setter. For instance, ProXimal often sets pangrams minus the letter X.
      Hope that helps.

  25. I enjoyed this worthy offering from Jay. I thank the single K for his hints which were needed for the some of the parsing. I don’t think I would have been able to parse 11a however long I thought about it. I particularly like 1a and 25a as I like French words in general, and those which have migrated over the Channel. I got 1a straightaway much sooner than the parsing, 6d I was thinking of the wrong sort of dope. Other favourites 3 and 13d. All went in in 2** time, but had to leave off with three remaining to take my car for service. They were in the SW. Upon my return 18a jumped out at me (again without parsing) swiftly followed by 27a and by 17d which was last for no particular reason that I can see.

  26. Along with most other l found this to be a super challenge and giving great satisfaction upon completion.Putting the letters in was much easier than fully parsing at both 11 and 18a although l did get there after a long walk thinking WHY.I did not know the meaning of divorcing and am grateful for the explanation.Thanks to all

  27. Oh dear. I love my crosswords and am so grateful to the wonderful setters, but 11a really didn’t work for me. Baked for hot is stretching it a bit surely? I put it in but then had to turn to KiwiColin for the reasoning. Like Mr Cowling, I really laughed when the penny dropped in the range at 20d – It may be an oldie but still a rattling good clue. I did finish it all by my own (with a bit of help from George) which slightly restored my faith after being utterly defeated and demoralised by last night’s toughie. I think I got THREE answers! Any news on Greta’s husband?

      1. It was slightly tongue in cheek. You can call me Daisy, it is much nicer than my husband’s nick name for me – I think he has actually forgotten my real name!

        1. I am terrible at remembering names. It was such a problem when I took post grad tutorials because I couldn’t remember the names of the delegates. I used to apologise to the group and tell them I had been married for forty years to a wonderful lady but I simply could not remember her name. Tended to break the ice.

          My nickname for my wife is Smokie. Maybe that tells you were she’s from.

  28. I started this before lunch but got into such a pickle over the NW corner that I gave up. I started on the bottom half after lunch, and it all slotted into place quite quickly. I wish I’d started there first. I still needed the review for the explanation of 11a and for 6d. Thanks to Jay and to KiwiColin.

  29. Finished over lunch with help required for 1a, otherwise helped by the handful of gimme lurkers. Some cunning clueing but well on my wavelength today. Would propose 1d and 18a as COTD.
    The heavens have just opened so no gardening today so back to python tutorials, one of many lockdown activities
    Thanks to the setter and Solokiwi

  30. A very nice solve, alas I failed to check my online in put and had several letters in the wrong place, liked 5a and when I seen the parsing 18a, but 9a was my COTD, on to the toughie.


  31. Bravos and huzzahs once again to the crafty and wily Jay, who continues to ride the crest of his many talents. I just love his puzzles and wake up on Wednesdays looking forward to discovering what riches he has in store for us. I finished in 1.5* time and was sorry when the joyride was over. I especially liked 14a (what a superb clue: the surface read and then the anagrammatic depth, and then the memories of my childhood thrills as my mother read the Arabian Nights to me), as well as 1a and 11a. A charming puzzle, indeed. Thanks to the Kiwis (glad to hear that NZ is virus-free) and to Jay, Jay, Jay! 1.5* / ****

    1. Oh, I see it’s only KiwiColin today. Thank you, Colin. I always look forward to your news from Down Under. Had arthritis not defeated my wanderlust, your wonderful country would have been high in my travel plans. I made it all of the continents except Australia and New Zealand (don’t the two of you rather comprise another ‘continent’?).

  32. Challenging, but completed without Colin’s help so that must be a good thing.
    Less cheery is the chilly breeze, combined with the incessant drizzle that drove me indoors. The cat followed with great reluctance, but with much fortitude.
    Thanks to Jay and Colin.
    (Like many others I could not ‘get’ the quickie pun. I thought “Who is this ‘Sean’ we’re saying hello to?”)

  33. **/****. Another great Wednesday puzzle. Got held up for a while with 14a as Aladdin’s jumped out immediately so I followed this with lamp initially. Only later when the lurker in 8d appeared did I go back and work out the anagram in full. My favourite was 18a closely followed by 11a. Thanks to Jay and Colin.

  34. I thought this was at the gentler end of Jay’s range of difficulty and as enjoyable as his always are.
    My last answer was 14a – dim, seriously dim – I missed the anagram indicator and just couldn’t get it for ages.
    Unlike most of the rest of you I liked 11a and didn’t have trouble with the Quickie pun either – maybe I’m just having a good day – long may it last as I’ve been having trouble with crosswords recently and have to keep counting the marbles.
    I’d forgotten the Aussie beer and could only think of the Castelmaine XXXX advert :roll: so needed alternate letters in.
    For some reason I thought that 25a had two ‘L’ s at the end.
    Lots of good clues including 1 and 10a and 7 and 20d.
    Thanks to Jay and to Colin Kiwi.

  35. Pleasant entertainment to go with tea and biscuit – particularly enjoyed 14 and 18A
    Thanks to Colin for clarifying the beans.

  36. Morning all.
    I too struggled mightily with the quickie pun and even texted the missing Kiwi for help. Much of the time was spent trying to use three words as we don’t have the advantage that newspaper solvers have of italics being used for the clues involved. We often wonder why that difference persists. A huge penny-drop when I twigged the answer and then when putting it onto the blog from memory I added a couple of extra S’s that I had to get out of bed to remove when the first comments came in. All in the fun of doing a blog.
    Keep well everyone.

  37. Jay always provides a worthy tussle, and today was no exception. I do try to get as far as possible before I look at any hints, as his clues might be tough, but they are usually workable. I had no trouble with 11a. Firstly because it is one of the things my better half loves to eat (he’s very easy to please), and was familiar with both synonyms. Didn’t know the Australian beer, and 5d held me up. Thanks to Jay for the mental workout and to KiWiColin for the hints. Very envious of your freedom from all restrictions. Clearly your Jacinta got it right. I think we edging towards it in the US, with things slowly opening up, including malls, beaches etc. and schools should be back by the normal August start to the school year.

  38. Started late on this, I’m getting later and later every day. I’m always a fan of Jay, today was no different but I thought the NW was a tad tricky. I consulted the hints for 1a but not much help. I put “sobese” in 1d and spent far too much time looking up Aussie beers with that name. I never did solve 9a.
    The rest of the puzzle was pretty straightforward. My fave was 18a. I needed KiwiColin’s help to understand 11a,, but the answer was obvious.
    Thanks Jay for the fun and KiwiColin for help to get going again. Your Jacinda got it right, but then, she always seems to get it right.

  39. 2*/4*….
    liked 5D “thoughtful after former partner is costing too much (9)”

  40. We should be free from confinement very soon too. Things are looking up.
    Business very quiet though.
    Solved Jay’s before the Tuesday crossword and, being a smooth run, I had time to do the latter.
    Progressed steadily but had to go back to 1a and 1d which were the last to yield.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2 kiwis.

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