DT 29398 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29398

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29398

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

On our regular walk this morning, as well as having a ‘chat’ with our special friend the NZ dabchick, we also had the rare privilege of seeing two distant mountains. One of these, Mt Ruapehu is inland in the central North Island and the other Mt Taranaki appears, from our vantage point, to emerge out of the sea as a perfect white cone. A beautiful clear day and the dawning sun shining on it showed it off at its best.

All the usual Wednesday fun with Jay’s puzzle once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Group line should be held in general (7)
CLUSTER : An American general famous for his last stand encloses L(ine).

9a     Proper nozzle for watering a flower (8)
PRIMROSE : Another word for proper and then the dispersing nozzle often found on a watering can.

10a     Lack of restraint shown by a group performing (7)
ABANDON : ‘A’ from the clue, a usually musical group and then a two letter word for performing.

11a     Beast from the east — and there without her to provide cover (8)
LAMINATE : The reversal (from the east) of a general word for a beast, and then what is left of the word ‘there’ once ‘her’ has been removed.

12a     A residential area may see problem rejected in advance (6)
SUBURB : A three letter advance payment surrounds the reversal of a problem or difficulty.

13a     Popular criminal dealers welcoming the Queen’s conclusions (10)
INFERENCES : The two letter word for popular, then dealers in stolen goods include Her Majesty’s regnal cipher.

15a     Started to lose heart — and head! (4)
BEAN : Remove the central letter from a synonym for started.

16a     Doctor able to speak and explain further (9)
ELABORATE : An anagram (doctor) of ABLE plus speak or make a speech.

21a     Sort of look and stagger back (4)
LEER : The reversal (back) of another word for stagger or sway.

22a     Current fixed terms must include answer after separation (4,6)
GULF STREAM : A synonym for a separation or division is followed by an anagram (fixed) of TERMS that includes A(nswer).

24a     Counsel notice moral shortcoming (6)
ADVICE : A notice or commercial promotion and then moral shortcoming or evil characteristic.

25a     Woody could be American, attached to foreign legion (8)
LIGNEOUS : An anagram (foreign) of LEGION plus the United States.

27a     Monk perhaps runs into trouble (7)
BROTHER : Trouble or inconvenience contains the cricket abbreviation for runs.

28a     Determination of town on Etna destroyed (8)
TENACITY : An anagram (destroyed) of ETNA and then a large town.

29a     Turn one’s attention to a day shift (7)
ADDRESS : ‘A’ from the clue, the abbreviation for day, and then a shift as a female garment.


2d     Strained party ends without regulars (8)
LABOURED : One of the UK’s (and also New Zealand’s) major political parties and then alternate letters from the word ‘ends’.

3d     Cheerful article penned by disturbed genius (8)
SANGUINE : An anagram (disturbed) of GENIUS contains one variant of the indefinite article.

4d     Cycle stocked by old worker is a rip-off (10)
EXORBITANT : Cycle in the way that the moon does to Earth is enclosed by a two letter prefix for old and a worker insect.

5d     Region seeing a listener finally getting promoted (4)
AREA : ‘A’ from the clue and the ‘listener’ attached to the side of your head has its final letter moved up two spaces.

6d     Universal anger about politician and judge (6)
UMPIRE : A member of parliament is inside U(niversal) and anger.

7d     The Queen perhaps may be working during month (7)
MONARCH : The third month of the year contains a two letter word for working.

8d     Always succeeded in case of rare defeat (7)
REVERSE : The first and last letters of rare surround another word for always and S(ucceeded).

11d     Felt differently concerning small amounts of surplus food (9)
LEFTOVERS : An anagram (differently) of FELT, then concerning or about and S(mall).

14d     A Democrat free to support province’s team (4,6)
REAL MADRID : A province or kingdom, then ‘A’ from the clue, D(emocrat) and a synonym for free.

17d     European role developed about tax that stops at different levels (8)
ELEVATOR : The abbreviation for European and then an anagram (developed) of ROLE includes the tax that is the equivalent of New Zealand’s GST.

18d     The race’s over for such professionals (8)
TEACHERS : An anagram (over) of THE RACES.

19d     Talent that’s good for British briskness (7)
AGILITY : Start with a word for talent, then replace its B(ritish) with G(ood).

20d     Catchy phrases describing a name in high gloss (7)
SLOGANS : An anagram (high) of GLOSS surrounds ‘A’ and N(ame).

23d     Small fish stink (6)
STENCH : S(mall) and a fresh water fish of the carp family.

26d     Capable of leading time — with oxygen! (2,2)
UP TO : A word meaning leading or ahead, then T(ime) and the chemical symbol for oxygen.

1a is our favourite this week. We had to mull over it for a while before the penny dropped.

Quickie pun    cell    +    fray    +    sing    =    self-raising

84 comments on “DT 29398

  1. Continuing the sequence this week, I found this to be another */**, with only one hiccup, 25a; a word I didn’t know but the fodder was all too obvious.

    9a gets my vote for COTD for its simplicity.

    My thanks to the Jay and the Two Kiwis.

  2. It’s Wednesday so the usual entertainment from the three birds, many thanks to them.

  3. I thought even by Jay’s standards that this was superb. I had most of it in in no time but the SW required a little more head scratching, where twigging the role of ‘foreign’ in 25a was the key for me to unlocking it. Virtually every clue was a podium contender but I’ll go for the super smooth 16a as favourite.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks for the entertainment

  4. 2.5*/4.5*. Not for the first time, I agree with Stephen L. This was superb and would have earned 5* except for the unindicated American answer to 17d. The SE was my last corner in and took my time above my 2* mark.

    My favourite could easily be any of the other 29 clues.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. A lovely puzzle. I got very hung up on 1a trying to find a synonym for in general that would meet all criteria. The moment I thought to consider actual generals the main man at the Alamo popped into my head immediately. 15a was a bung in – I couldn’t see what else it could be but don’t understand the “head” reference. As RD says, any of the clues could be podium contenders. I’d nominate 13a. Happy birthday to Daisy. You have a fine day for it. Thanks to all.

    1. Thank you so much for your good wishes! I’ve had a constant stream of visitors all socially distanced in the garden and lovely cards presents and flowers. A bottle of pink gin 😋 and some freshly baked scones and a pot of clotted cream how delicious is that. A couple of hours now before younger daughter arrives so time to look at the crossword!

      1. You look pretty sprightly for a 40yo to me – Many Happy Returns Daisygirl

        1. Haha. Double it and add some! I find it very hard to believe, apart from my knee I feel 20.

      2. Many Happy Returns DG – I’m sure Danny Kaye would join in the congratulations if he could!

        1. Happy birthday Daisy. The best present woould be a date for your knee operation.

        1. Thank you everyone for all the kind wishes. Who would have thought I would get greetings from so many far flung places! Strangely I have had one of the best birthdays ever – Sarah arrived with a complete afternoon tea a la Ritz which she had prepared, our neighbours joined us in the garden and three hours and four bottles of champagne later I am a very happy bunny. The toughie will have to go hang tonight. Lots of lovely presents but you are so right, the best present of all would be a call to have my knee done. I’ve also had to do the splits at the Special request of each caller – why is it so fascinating!!!

  6. How much greater can Jay get? I thought this was absolutely brilliant and it took a tad longer than the usual Jay does for me because1 and 15a held me up a bit until both pennies dropped t the same time, and I rushed to get in at 2.5* time. Yay, I made it! I agree with Stephen L that just about every clue deserves a place on the podium, but my medals go to 22, 25, and 15a. I googled the Kiwis’ two mountains, and they are absolutely stunning, so many thanks to them for the volcanic thrills and for the enjoyable dabchick-chit-chat review. And to the master: Huzzahs, Jay! 2.5* / 5*

    I wonder if statues relative to 1a will be the next to go. John C Calhoun, here in Charleston, is being dismantled right now, with live pictures on the telly even as we chat. As Miranda says in The Tempest, “O brave new world / That has such people in’t!”

  7. Another great puzzle form Jay (**/****) . Thanks again for keeping our spirits up in difficult times, only another 6 weeks to go for us shielders! We are being let out on my birthday, great choice. There were so may good clues that it’s hard to pick a favourite but I liked 11a and 12a. Of course 22a was most appealing to a retired Geography teacher. I particularly like the map Kiwis and thanks for your help as usual. I had an early morning walk at 6 a.m. today and the weather was halcyon.

  8. Super crossword as we have come to expect on a Wednesday.
    On my first read through I took a large gulp after reading the across clues, so the general advice of ‘start with the downs’ worked a treat.
    Only 25d caused a problem. It was obviously an anagram of ‘legion’ and ‘US’, with all the crossers in place, I tried every conceivable combination until I hit on the answer.
    Absolutely boiling in darkest Streatham today.
    Thanks for the hints just 19d to check, and Jay.

  9. One of the best for a while, thoroughly enjoyable and littered with good clues. Held up a while by 22a, I was sure the first half must be ‘live’ until I cracked 19d. Liked 1, 9, 11, 22 across and 4, 14 down with 25 across the winner – an excellent clue. Thanks to Jay and Kx2.

  10. More excellence from Mr Wednesday who never lets us down.
    It was the simple 12a that held me up as I was convinced that the ‘problem’ would be a sum. Fortunately, 4d came to my rescue.
    Favourite – umm, that’s tricky but 9&10a would be up there along with many others.

    Many thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review and report of their morning walk. Lovely clear views of our own mountains today as well but I should think anyone climbing Snowdon would be rather more than ‘glowing gently’!

    1. Jane
      As you will see from my post the Cairngorms still have enough show for us to see from 60 miles away!

  11. I have lots of ticks on my paper today. Too many to single out a favourite clue. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. 1a brought back fond memories of holidaying in the area of the battle of the Little Bighorn. We visited Yellowstone, then went on to Mount Rushmore, took in Crazy Horse, and landed up at the Cheyenne Rodeo Festival. Our two young sons had a whale of a time.

  12. It’s Wednesday so once again we get a treat.
    I stumbled at 16a where Elucidate worked well, but not well enough of course. Absolute joy from start to finish.
    I thought 25a was the most fun.
    Thank you Jay and the Kiwis

  13. My struggle with Jay continues for reasons I can’t fathom. The East I found straightforward but the West was really hard work. Puzzle was excellent & no stretched synonyms nor obscure GK (amazing that Real Madrid is so well known to non-soccer fans). Wonder why we have no “Royal” football clubs? Royal Scunthorpe has a certain ring
    After yesterday wonder if anyone put bungalow for 17d 😁
    Must be nice for those like CS in the equatorial SE. On a clear day like today I can see there is still snow on the Cairngorms!
    Thanks to Jay & the 2 K’s

    1. It is very ‘equatorial’ today – so much so that I’ve managed to get three loads of washing put out, dried in the very hot sun, ironed and put away before lunch!

        1. No more activities for me today – it is 30 degrees in the shade and that’s far too hot to be doing the weeding.

          1. Ask your husband to write you a list of jobs Sue, then you have a goal to aim for. Saint Sharon thrives on lists and I enjoy watching her beavering away

            1. It was too hot for picking tatberries and gooseberries but I’m sitting in the shade now drinking ice cold water. Bliss–a bit too early for real drink

              1. Just trying to be helpful Daisygirl. There is a daisy girl in the very interesting first obituary today. Well worth a read. Happy Birthday.

  14. Great puzzle, very enjoyable. 1a was my last in and I had got as far as listing all the possible first letters until the penny dropped. My favourite clues were 11a and 14d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  15. I have , like others I suspect , been lurking in the background recently as my intended comments were either repeats of my former ones and/or of ones already made on the day .

    However , as already mentioned , Jay has excelled today particularly as there were lots of white squares and no unusual words were found necessary to fill gaps .

    Lots of favourites.

    Thanks to the other birds , of course .

  16. Very enjoyable with a good start by going up the downs, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 13a, and 7d – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    P.S. Thinking of birds, and I will try to post a photo on Sunday, yesterday I saw a Blue Jay trying to persuade a Bald Eagle to leave the top of a tree that, presumably, the Blue Jay had a nest in.

  17. I found Jay to be more difficult than usual for me today. The NW corner fell quite quickly but I struggled with rest. I got there in the end with the help of a couple of hints and agree with others that it was a superb puzzle. There were too many good clues to select a favourite but, if pushed, I would nominate 1a and 4d.

    Many thanks to Jay for the puzzle and to the 2Ks for the hints.

  18. This was definately a pick up and put down crossword. For wednesdays it seems to work for me. Once again Jay brings us a superb crossword. Nothing not to like,
    Hopefully pubs will be open on July 4th, I will be outside my local, facemask on and champing at the bit.
    Thanks to the 2Ks superb hints and to Jay.

  19. Hear, hear to all of the above, not much to add except thanks to Jay for the entertainment and the Two Kiwis. Numerous COTD favourites, mine is 11a🦇

  20. Mainly serious stuff today but no less enjoyable for that. Stupidly struggled to equate talent rather than briskness with 19d – d’oh! Particularly liked 16a clue. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  21. Excellent, thanks Jay
    To say it’s a bit warm around Denbieghs Vineyard would be a slight understatement
    Think I’ll go fishing when it cools down a bit – I don’t actually try to catch fish, just enjoy sitting by the lakes on Milton Heath
    Thanks also to 2Ks – and belated congrats to Colin for the podium

    1. Thanks Roy.
      However my clue didn’t stand a chance up against your magnificent winning one.
      Heartiest congratulations.

  22. Challenging for me but that helps with my improvement. Superb puzzle by Jay.
    I have taken up Senf’s suggestion of pencilling in answers (in my case, with an eraser at my elbow) and I think this helps, perhaps even psychologically, as I worry less about making an error and knowing that an answer isn’t permanent forces me to reconsider if something ‘looks’ wrong.

    ‘And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.
    Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines’
    Well it shines too hot for Lola who has sought shade under the potting bench. Sadly, I am too big to join her under there so I shall seek solace from a Strawberry Mivvi, the only sensible luncheon item on a day like today.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  23. Great crossword – right up there with the best of Jay. Unlike SC the NW corner caused me the most problems & wonder if anyone else bunged in freedom for 10a. I had the O checker from 4d & thought the wordplay may reference one of my favourite bands but the M made no sense. Eventually sorted it but 2d to a finish in **** time. A host of podium contenders to pick from but I’ll plump for 3d plus 25&28a.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks for the review.

  24. For me a typical Jay, not impossible but just cannot get on his wavelength or enjoy his puzzles.
    Not sure exactly why, they just don’t gel with me. Needed a fair bit of electronic help to unpick the wordplay.
    Thx to all

  25. It is six hours since I solved this puzzle which I remember enjoying as usual. Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and the 2Ks for the blog. We are visiting Saint Sharon’s real mum in Oswaldtwistle. We cannot stop over anywhere so three more hours driving home.

  26. Just the right amount of challenge for what’s left of my brain cells, so thanks to Jay. Favourites were 1a, 11a, and 27a. Not so keen on 8d and 20d. Thanks to the 2Ks.

  27. Another brilliant crossword from Jay, though I couldn’t think of any Generals and had to resort to the hint so ably and concisely provided by the Kiwis. Many thanks to them all.
    I particularly enjoyed 13a, 22a and 3d.
    Being fortunate enough to live by the sea, I walked with a friend along the beach this morning thoroughly enjoying a cooling breeze which made the extreme heat more bearable. Apparently, it’s going to be even hotter tomorrow before it all goes bang on Friday!

  28. Very enjoyable as usual for a Wednesday, and thanks to all. My last clue in was 1a – so simple but so good.

  29. A very good puzzle with an entertaining spread of clues. It took me a while to work out the reasoning behind answers to 12a and 4d, and when I did I thought “well of course”! I’ll single out 1a and 19d, but my favourite was 22a: I spent ages trying to incorporate some electricity connection (which wasn’t there). Re 15a, the answer was used in a recent puzzle to mean head – a good one to remember. Thanks to the compiler and the 2 Kiwis for their review.

  30. I found this this challenging but as Terence said at 22 it helps with my improvement, i liked 1 & 29 across and 17 & 18 down raised a smile, my COTD was 25 across which was a new word to me but the clueing was spot on, thank you to Jay and the 2 Kiwis, to toughie land I venture.

    Stay safe everyone

  31. Very enjoyable but fortunately not too taxing, since I am recovering from 18 holes of golf in the hot sun. Thank you to the 2 Ks and the setter.

  32. WHY should it make a difference to do the downs first? There is no logic to that but after xxx years of starting at 1a I have begun to work downwards and it does seem to help. I got hung up on Lee as he is my go to general and am amazed that I knew the name of a football team. Junior daughter will be arriving soon with Stanley and Baxter, two hooligan Schnauzers, so I have to make sure elderly Thompson is not in the garden. Many thanks to J and K K and all contributors for the entertainment.

    1. Hi Daisygirl,
      No reason why it should make a difference but someone (CS?) suggested a while ago that Jay’s puzzles are often best tackled that way round. It does seem to hold true on many occasions although the man himself, when questioned at one of the birthday bashes, said that it’s not at all deliberate on his part.
      Enjoy your evening.

      1. That ‘while’ was over nine years ago. The lovely Jay and I had a long discussion about it way back when but concluded that we didn’t know why it worked, it just does

  33. Oh dear I seem to be the only one who had difficulty with 20d. Haven’t seen “high” as an anagram indicator before so it’s no wonder that I couldn’t fathom what Jay wanted me to do. That, coupled with the fact that the checkers were shouting “elegant” at me, and the heat, are my excuses. Anyway super duper puzzle as per. How does Jay manage it week after week? Thank you for the hints 🥝 🥝.

  34. More difficult than usual from Jay, but no less enjoyable and satisfying. We liked 9a for the surface and 14d for cleverness, once the 2 Ks had kindly explained the parsing! Thanks to all three birds.

  35. A fun puzzle today with barely a hiccough in sight. Only needed one hint today and believe it or not it was 15a that just wasn’t clicking … guess my 15a wasn’t either! Some great clues here with some for simplicity and some for construction. Favourites today were 10a, 13a, 7d, 11d & 17d and the winner today is 10a/7d tie.

    Thanks to J and the 2k’s for a fun solve

  36. Jay day today and I’m such a happy girl, his puzzles are so much fun. The east was solved in no time but I found the west a little trickier. I needed the hints to unravel 2d and 19d, in hindsight I can’t see why.
    I’m in the camp of not being able to pick a fave, maybe 9a because I love it.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis for the hints and tips. I’m off to google your mountains!

  37. I think I might have to go back to being a lurker – these days I never get round to commenting until it’s all been said – that might change at the weekend when our ‘co-lockdown inmates’ are heading back to their own flat in London after fourteen weeks here.
    My brain is so frizzled – 33C in Oxford – that’s today’s excuse for finding the crossword quite tricky – just as enjoyable as always but definitely tricky.
    I’d forgotten about the 1a general and all I could think of was the one that comes up quite often in crosswords.
    11 and 22a took ages as did lots of others – too many to mention really.
    I think my favourite was probably 22a but so many others could have been.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

    1. As we are 5 hours behind I am always at the tail end of the posts but put in my two half pennies anyway.

      1. I’m 5 hours behind also but that’s not a good excuse – I often end up finishing a puzzle days later. Great fun with this one – thanks, Jay! I got stuck with 1a and 2D not done and needed 2K assistance – thanks to them for the hints and the description of the mountains. Nothing like that visible from our NYC apartment, just the building opposite although it is quite pretty. Lots of interesting comments above – I also didn’t know that High could indicate an anagram.

  38. I am with Merusa on this one. the east was filled before I had anything in the west. the SW fell next. I knew an anagram was part of 28a but forgot to upgrade the town. The NW required a put-down and sometime before 2 3 4d fell in a rush. Leaving 1a as LOI.
    I had an L and an E so was working on Robert E Lee as the general as he is quite topical at the moment. (Not trying to start a debate about the merit or otherwise of Confederacy or its flag. He was just the first General who comes to mind cruciverbally.)
    I did enjoy deciphering 11a as I saw LAMIA in there and assumed she was the beast but couldn’t be sure she was oriental enough. (Isn’t she Greek?) I couldn’t parse the rest though so had another look before the reverse lurker and there the answer was without her.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s Weather here is “Scorchio”
    Kath you beat me to Robert E Lee and the weather. I for one will always lookout for your wise input as I am also struggling to get here early eenough during the week at least.

  39. ***/*****. Another splendid Jay puzzle. The east was fairly straightforward but the west took me well into 3* time. My favourites from a very strong field were 1&11a and 4d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I too googled your mountains. Beautiful! When I drive down highway 99 on a clear day I can see Mt Baker (Washington state) always clothed in snow and visible from over 80kms away.

  40. Don’t think I’m going to be able to fit this puzzle in; from reading everybody’s comments, sounds like I’m missing out on a treat.

    I do wish to express my appreciation both for the quickie pun and that that Booths had some bags of it on their shelves today, which was needed for the children and I to bake my spouse’s birthday cake, ready for Friday. Now I’m just hoping that the presents I ordered turn up in time …

    Happy Birthday to DaisyGirl, should you pop back and see this.

  41. Morning all.
    Have just heard in a random radio item that today NZ time (25th June) is the anniversary of the event mentioned in the hint for 1a that happened in 1876. Now there is a useful piece of information to store away for future use, but it was probably not in Jay’s mind when he wrote the clue.
    Still a couple of hours before sunrise but a colder blustery day in store for us. Certainly not “Scorchio” here.
    Jay looks to have kept all his fans happy once again.

  42. I did need a few of the 2Kiwis hints to complete, with 22a being my last in. I was fixated on the first word being gold or gilt. I can’t blame it on the heat either, as we are scorchio every day now, and will be until at least Thanksgiving. But being SF wimps we do keep that ac cranking. Enjoyed this one from Jay, although I can’t claim to solve them quickly. Thanks to him and the 2Kiwis for another day of fun in crossword land.

  43. Late in the day but I always get a warm fuzzy feeling doing Jay’s Wednesday puzzle. They always have such clarity in my mind. Lovely. Thanks to all.

  44. I often struggle with Jay but today I’m in the “I found this at the easier end of Jay’s crosswords” camp this evening. I’d like to think in getting better but I doubt it. I’m going for 1a as my favourite. It was my last in and in these overtly pc times a refreshingly non pc part to a clue. I can’t see then tearing his statue down any time soon as he came second in a two horse race. Any road up, enough of that sort of milarky. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  45. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Jay is ever the master of consistency, another super puzzle. I found the top half the most tricky. I liked 1a, could only think of Lee until the penny dropped. 4d was also good, but my favourite was 11a. Last in was 2d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  46. To sum up I agree with everything that has been said. SW was last in for me but I finished without hints. I did look up synonyms for 25a which solved that hold up. Oddly I was not looking for a person in 1a. My first thought was that the answer was another word for In general. Favourites 1 9 10 and 22a and 7 and 14d. Thanks Jay. Thanks 2Ks. I had not fully parsed 19d by swapping B for G. I convinced myself it was an all in one i.e. agile mind.

  47. I only got round to doing this puzzle this morning, and judging from the quick scan I gave the blog, there seems to be universal agreement that this was another Wednesday gem. Thoroughly enjoyable as always, with the grid being superbly clued.

    Belated thanks to all three birds.

  48. 3*/3*….
    liked 25A “Woody could be American, attached to foreign legion (8)”

  49. Good Jay for me too.
    Went better than I first thought as I had bits and bobs all over the place.
    Suddenly everything fell in.
    Thanks to Jay and our 2Kiwis for the review. Aren’t these mountains you mentioned rather scary sleeping volcanoes ?

    1. Yes, both the mountains are volcanoes but we don’t think of them as scary. Mt Ruapehu is a popular skiing venue.

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