DT 29392 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29392

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29392

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re back to our usual two person blogging team this week.

Having a spell of grey wintry weather at present. Perfect for hunkering down in front of the fire and working on crosswords.

We thought Jay was being quite gentle on us this week.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Complicated matters should include a good plan (9)
STRATAGEM : An anagram (complicated) of MATTERS that includes ‘A’ from the clue and G(ood).

6a    King James, for example, showing bitterness about start of battle (5)
BIBLE : The first letter of battle is inside bitterness or even melancholy.

9a     One may be under fire, seeing price put on gallon (5)
GRATE : The abbreviation for gallon and then price or cost.

10a     Violent players may be plastered (9)
ROUGHCAST : Violent or unruly and then players in a theatre.

11a     Accuse them if prepared to accept consequences (4,3,5)
FACE THE MUSIC : An anagram (prepared) of ACCUSE THEM IF.

14a     Feel a stickler will keep flexible (7)
ELASTIC : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

16a     Show son must be trapped in a racket (7)
ALADDIN : A son or young male is inside ‘A’ from the clue and a loud noise.

17a     Idiot seeing service losing millions (3)
ASS : Remove M(illions) from a church service.

18a     Imprisoned right person with secret information (7)
INSIDER : An informal word meaning in a gaol plus R(ight).

20a     Amount that can be carried by hospital is noxious (7)
HARMFUL : Put the abbreviation for hospital in front of an amount that can be carried using the upper limbs.

22a     Miserable place for dancing — last one awful (12)
DISCONSOLATE : A five letter place for dancing popular in the 1970’s and then an anagram (awful) of LAST ONE.

26a     Clot‘s actual ego damaged (9)
COAGULATE : An anagram (damaged) of ACTUAL EGO.

27a     Mostly dead — and popular — language (5)
LATIN : Remove the last letter from dead or no longer living and then the two letter popular.

28a     Flower linking destiny with America (5)
LOTUS : Destiny or fate and then the United States.

29a     A bold pose transformed this dance (4,5)
PASO DOBLE : An anagram (transformed) of A BOLD POSE.


1d     Green fuel must go up, suppressing energy (4)
SAGE : The reversal of a type of fuel on top of E(nergy).

2d     Fancy going topless for paper (4)
REAM : Remove the first letter from a synonym for fancy or illusion.

3d     History article approved for broadcast (3,4)
THE PAST : Definite article and then a homophone of a word meaning approved.

4d     Stuff found in Grieg or Gershwin? (5)
GORGE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5d     Terrible hum — so what recommendation from the dentist? (9)
MOUTHWASH : An anagram (terrible) of HUM SO WHAT.

6d     Region once seeing prejudice mostly about old border (7)
BOHEMIA : Another word for prejudice, minus its last letter, surrounds O(ld) and the border on a piece fabric.

7d     Annoyed part of orchestra served up very loud song (7,3)
BRASSED OFF : The part of an orchestra containing trumpet, trombone etc, and then the reversal of the musical notation for very loud and a poetic song.

8d     Gin client mixed before end of day, trying to seduce (10)
ENTICINGLY : An anagram (mixed) of GIN CLIENT plus the last letter of day.

12d     Occasional sort of table? (10)
PERIODICAL :  The sort of table referred to is the one containing the elements.

13d     Beginning to doubt? (5,5)
FALSE START : A cryptic definition of a beginning that is probably not ‘true’.

15d     Cheat and pack instrument (4-5)
CARD-SHARP : The items found in a pack used for many games and then the instrument associated with Guiness.

19d     Sea anchors may be terribly dangerous without 25, oddly (7)
DROGUES : An anagram (terribly) of D(an)GEROUS once the first and third letters letters of 25d have been removed.

21d     Sold in need of a spruced up bathroom? (7)
RETILED : Remove ‘A’ from the clue from a word meaning sold, possibly in a High Street shop.

23d     City shelter on drugs, outwardly (5)
LEEDS : Shelter or in a wind-protected place and then the outside letters of ‘drugs’.

24d     Crack in captain’s table (4)
STAB : A lurker, hiding in the clue.   Crack here is a guess or estimate.

25d     Girl needing a new name missing in the morning (4)
ANNE : String together ‘A’ from the clue, N(ew) and what is left of ‘name’ once the two letters meaning in the morning are removed.

Quickie pun    bray    +    key    +    toff    =    break it off

90 comments on “DT 29392

  1. The SE corner caused a problem but the rest fell into place with minimal amount of head scratching but quite a number of light bulb moments. Favourites today were 21a and 21d.

    I liked the Quickie pun today.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and The 2 Kiwis for the hints.

      1. You’ve changed your alias

        There seems to be an increasing, and totally unnecessary in my opinion, trend where the only comment people make has nothing to do with the crossword itself, but just a criticism of some poor commenter who has muddled up his acrosses and his downs. The worst offender is permanently in moderation so his comments are vetted before let loose on the blog.

  2. I think the setters, or editor, are being kind to us this week. I had this all complete in */** time. 2d was my last in, and I really don’t know why. One or two others took a few moments of thinking to fully parse, 6d and 21d for example.

    I loved the 4-5 and 5-4 split of 15d, and so it is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  3. Nearly a R&W, 1* difficulty but 4* enjoyment. Superb: 1a, 27a, 3, 6, 19, 25d. Slight moan about 12d? Last 2 letters? Will see what 2Ks have to say. Thanks all.

  4. Very friendly Jay today but as enjoyable as ever

    Thanks to him and the 2Ks from a very hot and humid East Kent

  5. A benevolent Jay today. I couldn’t work out where the “song” came into 7d so thanks for that explanation. I took 12d to be the periodic table, obviously, plus a periodical is a magazine published at intervals. Not sure if that’s the real answer or not. I had to check google to make sure I hadn’t invented a new word for sea anchor in 19d. It’s not something I’ve ever come across. 21d was clever but my favourite is 15d. Thanks to all.

  6. 2*/3*. This was at the easier end of Jay’s spectrum and mostly enjoyable – but what a howler in 12d which is not acceptable even with the question mark!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. RD – I think if you read ‘sort of’ as ‘not exactly but kind of’ as opposed to the definite ‘sort of table’ it works whimsically

    2. We have just changed the hint for 12d a little which we think now makes a better fit.

    3. Of course it’s not a howler.

      Jay is fully aware of what he’s done.

      ‘Occasional table’ is a howler.

      He is asking you to let him off with ‘sort of’ and the question mark.

      I am letting him off; you are not which is absolutely fine.

      Howler implies mistake.

      No, no, no, no, no.

  7. Jay in very benevolent mood today, but he has a thoroughly brilliant way of maintaining a high level of enjoyment and fun throughout. 7 and 21d take my top spot. I, too, raised an eyebrow at the last two letters of 12d but can just about make a solid case for them. That aside, a terrific puzzle.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

  8. Quite agree that this one was Jay at his gentlest. The only difficulty was was in accessing it. The latest bug in the DT iPad edition was a refusal to download due to no internet connection (which was not the case) necessitating deleting the app & reinstalling where I must say I found the different font in the crossword quite stark. Anyway plain sailing & all over in ** time with my COTD a toss up between 19d, my last in & a new word to me, and 5d which raised a smile. Back to yesterday’s Dada Toughie where I’m still 11 shy of completion & very likely bound for the hints before too long although may chance a walk before the forecast weather arrives.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

    1. Huntsman. The inability to download the paper happens each morning for me. I just keep tapping the download button until it starts. I don’t have to reload the app (yet).

      1. Same for me – usually a hard reset works but not this morning. It’s extremely irritating.

        1. I’ve found the downloading much better and the puzzle font is nice. A gentle amble today. Thank you for the review.

      1. That makes me feel a little less inadequate – if it beat you I’ve no chance…….

  9. A kind, gentle, but still masterly Jay. His puzzles are a total delight for me, and today’s is no e3xception. Special winners: 19d / 25d, 22a, 29a. Unusual to see the ‘al’ ending on 12d for ‘table’, at least for me. Thanks to both Kiwis and to Jay, whose constancy never fails me. ** / ****

    1. Ah, I see from earlier comments which I just read that I’m not alone in worrying about 12d. Jay might just have slipped a cog for once in his career? Maybe he’ll step in and defend himself. By the way, I should have mentioned that 19d, which we call ‘drags’, is new to me.

      1. I have never in my whole science teaching career heard it called anything but periodic.
        Pushing poetic licence a bit far?

  10. For some reason I didn’t feel on Jay’s wavelength today but perseverance paid dividends with a few nice penny drop moments, particularly in the SW.
    Seemed a bit anagram heavy but they were all good as were the lurkers. Like others had a doubt about 12d and not sure about 13d either, doesn’t quite work for me. Did like the amusing 20a plus 3d, 5d (for the surface) and 21d.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for the entertainment

  11. I have a slight quibble with 8d. Does “enticingly” really mean trying to seduce; I would have thought it meant “in a manner trying to seduce”. “Enticing” would be the word for trying to seduce.

  12. Going for a **/*** today.
    Agree with RD re 12d,should have read ‘ occasional sort of magazine’-not the periodic table!
    Anyway as Young Salopian says -a benevolent Jay with an uncomplicated puzzle ,fun to solve.
    Thanks to 2K’s for the blog pics.
    Liked the surface of 22a and 6a amused when the penny dropped.

  13. I agree with Greta above that Jay was undemanding today due to a large extent to a profusion of anagrams and I also wondered how periodic became periodical. Clue to 8d doesn’t really describe the adverb solution. Thank you Jay and the 2 Kiwis (sorry to hear you have two cases of Covid 19 in NZ today).

    1. I saw that today too – don’t worry, Jacinda will sort it, she’s a very capable girl!

  14. Thought it was on the gentle side today as all are saying on here but very enjoyable. It always makes me smile when a word for a dance venue that has not been used regularly for 40 years turns up in a clue! A 1970’s term that has proved to be a Setter’s delight😁
    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  15. A pretty straightforward puzzle but very enjoyable puzzle (**/****). As always, with Jay, there were lots of good clues. I particularly liked 16a, 20a, 13d and 19d. The latter was a new use of a word, which I had previously associated with a type of parachute used to slow movement, like the ones which deploy from the rear of vehicles attempting the land speed record or on space vehicles negotiating re-entry. Thanks to the two Kiwis for the review and to Jay.

  16. 19d was a new one for me, but fell into place with the other clues. As others have said, it seemed straightforward for a Wednesday but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to all for this **/*** puzzle.

  17. Jay in very benevolent mood today but no less enjoyable for that. Like others, I was somewhat bemused by the ending of 12d and also that of 8d.
    My favourite concerned the violent players getting plastered – made me smile.

    Thanks to Jay and to both our Ks for the review. Such a shame that we don’t hear from 29a these days, I always enjoyed their contributions to the blog.

      1. If I remember correctly, Merusa, they actually finished up buying two (his and hers?) and their antics were hilarious. They did once bring them to a birthday bash – but only for a relatively short visit!

  18. I seem to have found this a little more tricky than most who have commented already and completed it at an enjoyable gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    Three consecutive Hmms on 8d, 12d, and 13d.
    Candidates for favourite – 3d, 6d, and 21d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  19. Not much action with the multi-coloured pen today. All but eight on the 1st pass and the rest dropped straight in on my next run through. Very short and sweet. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  20. Useful practice, 19d new word for me, self-constructed.
    So, ** difficulty
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for the review.

  21. The usual Wednesday wit and wonder from Jay. The usual clear explanations and illustrations from the 2Ks. So thanks to those aforementioned. Like these puzzles and I enjoy the little foibles our setters have. No complaints from me.

      1. It sure is Merusa. Coventry has the two finest cathedrals in England. Our third one isn’t bad either.

          1. Not my pub. Our first cathedral. St Mary’s Priory and Cathedral. From way back.

          1. I think it’s The Green Man. I may be wrong though. Whether or not it is near Coventry I do not know.

  22. Another great puzzle from Jay more or less straight through but for some reason 1d eluded me for some time, why I don’t know.
    Lots of good clues and a couple of doh moments.
    Thanks to the 2Ks for great hints and to Jay for treating us gently.

  23. I was bowling along nicely until it came to the SW corner where I came unstuck.

    As things nautical make up yet another gap in my knowledge along with things sporting I had to look up sea anchor.
    After that , I managed to get the rest.

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to Jay.

    Stay safe everyone and best wishes to those ailing.

  24. A red letter day for me! I started and just worked through steadily until the end with huge enjoyment. Like Jane, I enjoyed the idea of the plastered players! Many thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis whose hints I enjoyed but didn’t need for once. I won’t rest on my laurels, though – I remember last week which was going very well until I hit the buffers on Friday!

  25. Cannot add more than (more) thanks to everybody involved and shouldn’t the word ‘paper’ be underlined in the 2d hint rather than ‘fancy’?

  26. As so often with me, it took me an age to see the lurkers. I failed on two clues – 19d was new to me (even though I had four letters of seven already in place. Duh!) and I rushed in with ‘grace’ under fire, even though of course it didn’t really parse.
    Rain is on the horizon but for the moment Lola The Cat, having consumed a hearty breakfast, is in her favourite spot, dozing amongst the wallflowers.
    Thanks and tidings of cheer to Jay and the Two Kiwis.

    1. Aha. We have a name. Her name was Lola, she was a mouser….. I wonder why she spends so much time in your garden?

      1. Hello Daisy,
        The story of Lola the cat:
        She is much loved by my neighbours, and they are thoroughly smashing people. However, they brought a dog into their home and consequently cat and dog fought like cat and dog. Lola started spending more and more time in my garden, until one day she decided to pack her bags and move in entirely, very quickly deciding she must have the run of the house. She is absolutely adorable; quiet, serene, and loving. She looks rather like Elizabeth I. I love her to bits and can’t imagine life without her.

        1. I am really stretching my imagination to picture Elizabeth I as a cat, unless it is a ruff! We have a female cat Thompson landed on us in Tragic Circumstances (too complicated to go into in this blog) by my younger grandson when he went to university. She is HUGE and at least 20 and scratches my furniture. She has to have very expensive diet food sent in every month from Germany which she eats and then regurgitates. I wish she would move next door. But my husband is an old softie and I am an animal lover so Cats Rule OK.

      1. I did far better than I expected. I managed about 75% before seeking assistance.
        Therefore I take my metaphorical (or should it be figurative) hat off to you Steve.

    1. Haven’t looked at it yet but we’ll done you.
      I’m still smarting from Dada spelling tic-tac with Ks in yesterday’s. Over 30 years in the game & never seen in spelt that way – a devious manipulation of the odds…

    2. I’d have given it a go but we went out to buy soap and ended up with a settee for our new house so spent the day collecting, delivering and installing said settee into the upstairs music room. (Saint Sharon excelled in getting this up the stairs with me) I hope she is as useful when we take the baby grand. Plus point we got back to the pub at the same time as an old mate turned up so we had a few beers in the garden. Smoked Haddock, Cod and Prawns for dinner. Bring it on. Sorry Musaeus. Maybe next time.

      1. You went out to buy soap and came back with a settee!
        You are one dangerous shopper! 🤣

    3. Thanks all but just to make it clear I did need Mr. G for half a dozen. Still, I got 80% unaided and, believe me, that feels good for a “Rookie Toughie Solver”.

  27. Very enjoyable puzzle today. It fell into place at a good rate and with a sense of accomplishment, but leaving me wondering what to do during tea breaks for the rest of the day. After today’s 19d and Monday’s 16d I think I need to brush up on my seafaring vocabulary. I am finally learning that when all else fails we need to check for lurkers. Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and The 2 Kiwis for the hints.

  28. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I don’t know how Jay does it, but every single puzzle is so good and enjoyable, today’s was no exception. I liked 20a & 15d, but my favourite was 12a, great to see some science based clues. Last in was 19d. Was 2*/4* for me.

  29. As usual with Jay steady unpectacular progress. SE corner held me up.
    Agree with comments re 12d but an excuse to be reminded of Tom Lehrer should not be missed:

    Thanks to Jay for keeping my mind of the miserable weather & 2 Kiwis for the review.

  30. Alexa told me it was going to rain at 1 pm in Cambridge and she was 45 minutes late. We managed to get this done before we had to make a dash into the conservatory, a very nice puzzle (I am happy to be seduced with a gin ) apart from 12d which merited a hmmm and raised eyebrow. Thanks to the 2K’s and the setter. Blast, it is now raining so hard it is battering everything down.

  31. Jay’s puzzles are always enjoyable and today’s was no exception. However, I do agree with the comments re the table of elements and the grammar in 8d. I’m not letting that distract me. Six ags and one partial plus some clever lurkers helped open up the grid. Numerous COTD candidates, I’ll give to 15d. Thanks J and Ks x 2🦇

  32. A nice straightforward enjoyable puzzle **/**** Favourites 16a & 21d 😃 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  33. Thank you to gentle Jay, this was right up my street. And thank you to the 2Kiwis for 19d, a new word for me, and I couldn’t even get it from the picture. A tie for favourite, 10a and 20a. The SW corner was the last to go in, and my problem with 12d was not the last two letters, but that I tried for too long going through every type of table we had ever owned in my head, duh. We never went to 22a as we were busying raising our daughters in the 70s, so that did not spring to mind. Very enjoyable today.

  34. There was a lot here for me to like, inparticular 6,7,8 down, I scratched my head at 13 down but COTD for me was 12 down, and I venture of to Toughie land.

  35. Jay hits the spot again.
    I did falter a little in the SW. I decided to go with 12d using the “?” and “sort of” as periodic (ish/al) and wasted a lot of time removing even then odd letters of 25d from sea anchors then removing the same from dangerous. I don’t know if it was deliberate but nice that both sea anchors and dangerous could have bo the a*n* and *n*e removed from them. It gave me 4 sets of fodder from which to find the obscure nautical term.
    13d LOI another where the question mark caused me to doubt my answer. 20a favourite today as it brought to mind the Tony Hancock sketch… “I don’t mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint? Why that’s very nearly an armful.”
    Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s
    Toughie is looking good too 14d fave so far but by the time I finish, I will probably be in bed.

  36. This was the quickest cryptic solve I’ve ever done — and with no help. So I’m very pleased today. It’s only since Lockdown that I’ve been doing it daily as it used to be a Saturday only event. Last one in today was 21d and I enjoyed the cleverness of 6a. I’ve learned a lot from you guys on my daily check in for hints and solutions. So thank you. And to the 2 Kiwis and Jay.

    1. I think I can speak for all of ‘us guys’ in thanking you for your thanks. It certainly keeps me going. Always nice to hear the success stories.

  37. True to form, fave setter with a super but benign puzzle again. I had to use e-help word search for 19d, never heard of it.
    Loved 15d, so that’s fave, but 10a amused. There was so much good stuff, hugely enjoyable solve.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the fun hints and tips.

  38. Just my cup of tea! Bowled along until ending up with a lot of blanks in the SW, but got there eventually. Just the right amount of head-scratching needed. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Now for a cup of tea …

  39. As usual by this time it’s all been said so I’ll just blather on briefly.
    It’s been another of those days which has felt quite busy but I don’t have any idea why.
    Intermittent torrential rain, and what one of my nephews ‘called thunder and frightening’.
    I’d forgotten the anchor and made a mess of 22a – wrong letters for the anagram.
    A lovely crossword and lots of good clues including 6 and 20a and 7d. My favourite was 15d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.
    My sister lives alone in Sheffield so she can ‘pick a household’ to be part of – wonderful – she’s now here with us for a few days – it’s been longer than either of us can remember without seeing each other in almost 70 years. :yahoo:

  40. 14a was my last one in. I couldn’t get to grips with it at all until I eventually realised that it was a lurker. Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  41. A relatively painless and enjoyable puzzle today. No real hang ups other than a few in the far south of the puzzle, that took some coaxing to come out. Last in was 19d, a previously unknown word to me as I see it was for BusyLizzie too. Another word to add to my library.
    Lot of clues to like here including 11a, 20a, 12d & 13d with 13d the winner.

    Thanks to Jay for the kind puzzle today and the 2K’s for the hints

  42. Morning all.
    Overnight cogitation on 12d and we have altered the hint a little so that the reference to the table of elements is descriptive wordplay rather than a second definition. Hope that makes more sense now.
    Looks like general agreement that Jay has let us off lightly this week.
    Our grey conditions of yesterday have now turned to persistent rain. Oh well, it is mid-winter.

  43. */***. Enjoyable while it lasted. The puzzle was helped with half a dozen anagrams and a couple of well written lurkers. I didn’t have any gripes about the clues either. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I agree this was gentle. Done in one sitting, or lying down, in the middle of the night. I like anagrams but seemed rather a lot, but no-one has complained. I don’t think we’ve heard from Brian so I missed him being disgruntled about 6a which I thought was a great clue. I did not know 19d although may have been somewhere in the back of my memory. However, this is not an obscure word which is difficult to find. If you have the checkers there are only three letters to sort and only one order into which they can reasonably go. I did not have trouble in the SW. Last one in was 10. I had the first part but game players came to me before Thespians. Other favourites 11 18 and 20a although my first thought for 11a was take the blame which obviously did not fit the anagram, and 13 and 15d. Thank you Jay and to 2Ks especially for trying to explain 12d.

  44. Just what was needed after a day of DIY! A pleasant stretch of the brain cells while the aching bones relaxed! Anyone remember Face the Music quiz show? They wouldn’t be brave enough to show something like that these days!
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  45. 10a really? 21d well it couldn’t be that could it? 21d never! Those along with a couple of hmm moments rather spoiled what was otherwise a really nice puzzle. Congratulations to everyone who found it all straightforward, I’ll leave it there. Thanks to all concerned.

  46. Two little mistakes held me up.
    The first was to write Disconsolant in 22a and the other to bung in Catalogue in 26a.
    Should be a bit more careful with my anagrams.
    Soon corrected and finished in a jiffy.
    Nice to see Paso Doble. Hope they are well.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis.

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