DT 29440 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29440

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29440

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

New Zealand had been free of any Covid 19 in the community for 102 days. Then yesterday it was announced that four cases, all in one family, were discovered in people who had not had any obvious connection with potential infection sources. Immediately the Auckland area has been put into Lockdown Level 3 (all schools, shops and workplaces closed) while the rest of the country has returned to Level 2. Just hope that the source can be located quickly so that these measures can be lifted again.
 Meanwhile life goes on and we have another fine Wednesday puzzle to enjoy. It took us exactly the same time to sort out as last week’s puzzle so we have awarded it the same star ratings.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Hermit‘s expert article on living? (10)
CRUSTACEAN : Start with an informal word for a living that one earns, then an expert or adept and the two letter indefinite article.

6a     Source of Chardonnay — a very American drink (4)
CAVA : The first letter of Chardonnay, then ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviations for very and American.

10a     Picked up post and something for dinner (5)
STEAK : A homophone (picked up) for a post (often wooden) that could be part of a fence.

11a     Cooked most of tripe and onion, getting wine (5,4)
PINOT NOIR : An anagram (cooked) of the first four letters of TRIP(e) and ONION.

12a     Dry and press one, before short visit (8)
IRONICAL : String together press as one does to make clothing neat, then the Roman numeral one and a word meaning visit (or phone) without its last letter.

13a     Rejecting free article must be a low point (5)
NADIR : The reversal (rejecting) of free or eradicate and the two letter indefinite article.

15a     Be left in the air, struggling with no answer (7)
INHERIT : An anagram (struggling) of IN THE (a)IR once ‘A’ has been removed.

17a     Travels after poor exam grades for mocks (7)
DERIDES : Fourth and fifth level exam grades and then travels, perhaps by horse.

19a     Note intended to keep detective (7)
MEDIANT : The letters for a Detective Inspector are inside a synonym for intended.

21a     Crazy way out covered by rent (7)
HAYWIRE : A word meaning rent or lease surrounds an anagram (out) of WAY.

22a     Small Oval ground producing such an outburst (5)
SALVO : S(mall) plus an anagram (ground) of OVAL.

24a     Hand in notice, besieging editor for new plan (8)
REDESIGN : The abbreviation for editor is inside hand in notice or quit.

27a     By and large at sea? (2,3,4)
IN THE MAIN : A double definition.

28a     Daughter’s after dainty fabric (5)
TWEED : Dainty or ‘precious’ and then D(aughter).

29a     Peer who’s almost unprotected (4)
EARL : Remove the first and last letters (unprotected) from almost or just about.

30a     Privately friendly, hugging Queen and heir (10)
PERSONALLY : Her Majesty’s regnal cypher and her male heir are surrounded by an informal word for friendly.


1d     Expense of keeping son in bed (4)
COST : A bed, often for a baby, contains S(on).

2d     A plug may be so discovered (9)
UNEARTHED : An electrical plug with only two connecting points.

3d     Voucher for purchase of no real value (5)
TOKEN : A double definition.

4d     Whip accepting work with Young Conservatives is an imitator (7)
COPYCAT : A whip that may have nine tails surrounds an artistic work and the abbreviations for young and Conservatives.

5d     Worm found by queen once on hat (7)
ANNELID : The queen who came after William and Mary, and then a slang word for a hat.

7d     Enthusiastic about love, duck? (5)
AVOID : Enthusiastic or keen contains the tennis score love.

8d     Taken out of the picture? (10)
AIRBRUSHED : A cryptic definition of a way a picture can be altered.

9d     Cooking in gas, try fish (8)
STINGRAY : An anagram (cooking) of IN GAS TRY.

14d     Letter supporting Germany is lacking consideration (10)
DISMISSIVE : The IVR code for Germany, then ‘is’ from the clue and a letter or epistle.

16d     Argued about when on weed regularly (8)
REASONED : String together the two letter ‘about’, a synonym for ‘when’, then ‘on’ from the clue and the second and fourth letters of ‘weed’.

18d     Cheating before spring, and making good progress (5,4)
DOING WELL : Cheating or defrauding, and then a spring that is a source of water.

20d     Short term career making patio (7)
TERRACE : The first three letters (short) of ‘term’ and then career or rush.

21d     Sign off after concealed beatings (7)
HIDINGS : A synonym for concealed and an anagram (off) of SIGN.

23d     Time must be invested in genuine uprising in due course (5)
LATER : A word for genuine or true is inverted (uprising) and contains T(ime).

25d     Pants regularly found in wrong material (5)
SATIN : A wrong or indiscretion contains the second and fourth letters of ‘pants’.

26     Energy drink gets youth initially nervous (4)
EDGY : The first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

Lots of ticks once again but our gold medal goes to 1a.

Quickie pun    phase    +    swipes    =    face wipes

71 comments on “DT 29440

  1. 1.5*/4.5*. A light delight from our Wednesday maestro today with just the repeated use of “article” to clue “an” in both 1a and 13a preventing me from giving it 5* for enjoyment.

    With plenty of competition for podium places, 1a, 27a, 2d &14d made the cut with 1a in first place.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  2. ***/**** for Jay’s puzzle. 19a and 16d held me up at the end. I liked 14d and 1a but my favourite is 8d. I actually used the dictionary to check the meaning of 19a, CS please note!! I’m not familiar with the word so that’s another one for the memory bank (what’s left of it) Thanks to all.

  3. Another great puzzle today, thank you. Sorry to hear you have the worrying new cases in NZ, let’s hope they trace the source of the outbreak soon. We are out to lunch in an hour courtesy of the Chancellor despite having a certain amount of concern about this give-away. But it’s the first time we have eaten ‘out’ since March. Oh yes, 1a COTD.

  4. A Wednesday treat in the sun and a **/**** for me, took a while to parse 1a,then the penny dropped as the checking letters went in.
    Liked the surfaces of 15a and 14a..
    Well clued throughout and the toughie awaits.

  5. Another excellent and enjoyable crossword from Jay (**/****). One clue, 1a, stands out above the other for me, although 3d was pretty good too. Many thanks to the 2K s for the review and commiserations on a fresh outbreak of Covid 19. At least we have the prospect of a virus to contain it in the foreseeable future. Many thanks to Jay for his efforts too.

      1. The heat and lack of sleep has fried my remaining brain cells. Vaccine was what I had in mind.

  6. Stunningly good stuff as usual from our Wednesday impresario. 1a held me up longer than it should, as did the that corner; the rest of the puzzle rather solved itself, with elegant surfaces and witty reveals. Podium honours: 14d, 1a, 2d/8d (a tie). Hadn’t seen 19a anywhere in a long while. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. 2.5*/4.5*

    NZ with four cases; my county in S Carolina alone with 72 new cases yesterday (928 statewide).

    1. Wow! Isn’t that good news? Down here we’re in the thousands, I don’t even check any more.

    2. BTW, are you pleased with your soon-to-be VP? I’m very pleased, she’s so articulate and personable.

  7. Well two Ray T specials in one Jay puzzle, at least that’s how I parsed them, very strange!
    Othewise the usual Wednesday excellence with a plethora of podium contenders. Maybe go for 2d as the favourite
    Many thanks to the three birds for the entertainment

  8. RD’s description sums this one up perfectly. A light delight it certainly was with the only minor hold ups the need to confirm 5d & 19a, both of which were pretty obvious from the wordplay but I wasn’t familiar with either. Lots of good clues but 1a edges out 8d & 15a for top spot on the podium.
    Many thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks for the review.

  9. Everything we’ve come to expect on a Wednesday and enjoyable as ever.
    1a made me smile and my favourite was 15a for its surface read.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review – these sudden local lockdowns certainly make us realise just how far away we are from defeating this wretched virus.

  10. The first four across answers will give us all ideas for a very nice lunch! (half-price?).

      1. Oooh, I hadn’t spotted that connection! Although I did enjoy thinking about a cold glass of 6a and a warm glass of 11a. Mmmm. Is this kind of trick a Jay specialism? If so I shall try to remember for future Wednesday puzzles as 1a and 10a were virtually my last ones in.

  11. About the same as last Wednesday for me. Just silly little hold-ups with 13d LOI. When I get the answers I wonder what the problems were.
    COTD 1a with 14d close behind.
    19a was a new word to me.
    Thanks to Jay for the super puzzle & the 2Ks for the review

  12. Another Wednesday delight (I didn’t know the wriggly creature at 5d, but guessed correctly from the clue). Worms are such unattractive creatures but they do such a necessary job, a bit like politicians I suppose.
    I am thinking of returning to the supermarket today, simply to stand in the chilled goods aisle for a few hours. Maybe I’ll take a book… ‘Love in a Cold Climate’ perhaps.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – with hope that your NZ Covid outbreak can be contained.

    1. Worms like politicians?
      You mean you only know you’ve got them is when you see a piles of ****?

  13. Solved alone and unaided except for having to check on 19a…..music being another gap in my GK.

    But, I reckon as I solved it and understood it that doesn’t count and I can have a hurrah today.

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis…..please keep safe .

  14. A very pleasant mid-week challenge completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 8d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  15. A most enjoyable puzzle from Jay. I did come to a full stop with two left. I didn’t put the answer to 19a in straight away because, although it had to be right, I had never heard of the word. I couldn’t find it in the BRB, either but I probably wasn’t looking properly. I couldn’t get 1a for the life of me and had to resort to the hint. I then saw it immediately without “clicking here” and realised what a great clue it was. That is my COTD.

    Thank you, Jay and thank you, 2Kiwis for the puzzle and hints respectively.

    We had a fabulous light show last night with lightning flashing every few seconds all over the sky for about an hour. It was eerie because there was no thunder. Must have been sheet lightning but I have never seen anything like it in my life before. The whole sky “flickered” like a neon tube about to pack in.

      1. Thanks, Senf. I have found it does not do to “quickly” consult the BRB – easy to miss things.

    1. ‘The whole sky “flickered” like a neon tube about to pack in’. <- terrific description!

      1. The weather forecast for Oswestry stated today “Thunderstorms. They may be severe.”
        Wow, is THAT ever an understatement? Armageddon broke out earlier this evening with repeated lightning, loud thunderclaps and torrential rain. At its fiercest, it lasted about about an hour or more and there are still residual rumbles of thunder and lightning flashes. The rain got into the house and we have puddles everywhere.
        Hudson refused to go out for his evening toilet break and I can’t say I blame him.
        It hasn’t cleared the air, though. It’s still hot, humid and tropical.
        I apologise for this post not being crossword related but I just wanted to tell you all about the most severe thunderstorm I have ever seen. 🌩💥⛈⛈

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle. Only one point, where is the homophone indicator in 10a?
    Am I right in assuming that a tone in music is a synonym for a note?
    My fav was 5d. However, would be more than happy to raise a glass of either 6a or 9d.
    Thx to all

  17. I really enjoyed this one – plenty of inspiration for a lazy lunch after the first few clues – with 1a being my favourite starter.

  18. In spite of heat-induced lack of concentration managed eventually to sort this while sitting in the sunbaked garden keeping out of the way of my cleaning lady. East provided the smoother ride. Use of cook in both 11a and 9d a bit unimaginative. 1a and 15a needed parsing help. Thank you Jay and 2Ks.
    How sad that the virus has returned to NZ when you had done so well. The vaccine is obviously our only hope woorldwide but would that that doesn’t become a dangerous race to the finish with Mr. Putin already rushing to lead the pack ahead of adequate testing.

  19. Another great Jay crossword – my favourite was 1a

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    Apologies to residents of East Kent – we’ve just set up two lovely water butts so the chances of rain happening ever again are fairly remote :(

  20. Agree that this was another Wednesday delight from Jay. So many clever clues but favourites were 1a, 12a, 15a, 30a, 5d and 8d. 19a had to be but, like others, I didn’t know the word so had to read the hint to confirm that I was on the right track and also needed the hint for 8d. Grateful thanks to Jay for providing some relief from thinking about the heat and to the 2Ks. I was sorry to hear about the need for a further lockdown in Auckland both for all those involved there and a good friend who was due to fly out tomorrow to meet a very new grandchild.
    Thoughts at this moment are also with all those involved in what looks like a very serious incident at Stonehaven.

  21. Took some time to tease some of these well clued answers out but enjoyable. Second appearance of 9d in a week. I too have never heard of 19a but it was a bung in with the clueing, and do not possess what is commonly referred to as BRB?

    Thanks to the setter and the two Kiwis

    1. Yep, we saw some 9d at Sea Life a week ago, and they’ve already cropped up twice since then — stingy artists last time, I think.

  22. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. Another super puzzle from Jay. No real holdups, had to look in the dictionary to confirm 19a, and Googled to confirm 11a. Lots of humour, all very well clued. Favourite was 16d, so smooth. Was 2*/4* for me.

  23. As has been said, another lovely Jay puzzle which I did all by my own (well, with a small input from George who was concentrating on his open sandwich with mashed avocado and home grown tomatoes) Last night I got up about 2 and lay in a previously positioned lounger to watch the Perseid showers. Not very impressive, a bit like the scope of vision test at the optician. None of the lovely arcing streaks flying across the night sky which I have seen in past years. But the temperature was lovely and Thompson came out to join me. Small pleasures. The ironing this morning was certainly not a pleasure but it is done. I really liked the misdirection in 15a and am becoming quite fond of the big flat fish! Thanks to JK & K.

  24. As good as Wednesdays always are but no sleep and the heat made this seem a bit trickier than usual for a Jay – that’s my excuse today.
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular apart from 1a which was my favourite.
    Not going to go on at length as my sister is on her way from Sheffield to spend a few days here with us – I don’t envy her driving down in 34C in an ancient car with no air conditioning – I know we never used to have it but . . .
    With thanks to Jay and to the K’s – I thought of you both (and all other people in NZ, of course,) when I heard about the new cases of the beastly virus.

    1. Yes we never had air conditioning, but a reasonably hot summer day used to be a high of 21C, or 70F. Summer time used to mean never leaving the house without an umbrella and a cardigan, as it got cold when the sun went in. Not these scorching summers you keep getting now.

  25. 1d was straight in which gave me a “c”. Then I thought “ crab has to fit in here somewhere”. It took a few more checking letters before I grasped what was required. Apart from that, it was 27a plain sailing. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks. Stay safe.

  26. Slow to fall but enjoyable getting there. Never heard of a 22a and struggled to interpret 26d (duh) so thanks to KC and KC for sorting that. Thought the B-less pangram that is the quickie was quite hard going, but unsurprising as pretty much everything‘s hard going at the moment 😊

  27. Hurrah, solved without hints or too much trouble! Either I’m getting better and better at this or Jay is a kind setter. Glad I’m not alone in resorting to a dictionary to check 5d and 19a; feeling rather smug that no other help was required AND that I both spotted and remembered the “press” synonym in 12a (having been stumped by that before). Very enjoyable and so many possible COTDs but personally I like the word at 22a so that is the winner for me.
    Thanks setter and Kiwis.

  28. **/****. Another great mid-week puzzle. I had to google my answers to 19a and 5d to check my thinking. My favourites were 14&18d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  29. A very nice crossword from Jay, 27 across & 25 down were my favourites, with 30 across and 14 down honourable mentions. Thank you to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  30. Thank you Jay for an excellent puzzle and to the 2Ks … four cases in the entire country … we should be so lucky.

  31. Belated thanks to Jay for another excellent, absorbing puzzle. It was a marvellous example of a crossword that was fairly easy to solve but still highly enjoyable. 1a was the standout clue for me.

    Thanks too to the 2Ks.

    I would also like to thank Chris Lancaster and his team for finally adding the Toughie to the iPad Edition.

  32. Very enjoyable puzzle that seemed to go in steadily but the last three clues held me up & pushed me into 3* time.
    Many thanks to setter and 2KWS for review

  33. Typical Jay, delightful as ever. I needed to look up the first part of 1a, never heard of that to mean living. I think that clue is tops today, how clever is that!
    Lots of good stuff here, I loved it all. I agree with Daisygirl, I’m getting quite fond of the fish in 9d.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for the hints and tips. You have a super PM, “she tallawah!”

    1. Usually used in the phrase ‘to earn a crust’ You’d be ok here at the moment Medusa, very hot!

      1. Happens all the time with autocorrect! I knew who you meant! Thanks. And, yes, I would love it, typical Florida weather.

  34. I found this good entertainment and just right for another hot day. It took me a while to see the reasoning behind 13a (not sure why when I’d worked it out) and I got side-tracked by agog for 7d to begin with. Still all’s well that’s ends well. Favourite clue is 21a. As observed by others, 1 and 6a, followed by 10 and 11a, certainly appealed to my taste buds. However, as it’s the maid’s night off, my evening meal will not be so lavish! Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for their review.

  35. Morning all.
    Looks like we were not the only ones who needed to do a dictionary check on 19a but the generous cluing had led us straight to the correct answer.

  36. Another clever puzzle, and relieved that I wasn’t the only one who hadn’t heard of 19a. Always seems to be one word lately that prevents me from solving unaided. But I had also forgotten 5d and not being a drinker, didn’t know 6a either. Thought it might be coke or java, until I looked at the downs. Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis. Time to get back to the paint roller…

  37. Curse of the working classes late again. but I did enjoy this puzzle. Not too tricky but like others I had to check 19a but fairly clued. Also like others and the 2K’s 1a cotd for me.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.
    I have just been reading a book by Tim Moore (son of Charles Moore – erstwhile Telegraph editor)he is a very amusing travel writer and his latest is about travelling across Trump’s Americal in an old Tin Lizzie. It appears there are huge swathes of the U that couldn’t countenance voting for Hilary and it should not be taken as a given that the nightmare will be over when they return to the polls.

  38. Another late start and thus late completion and comments on this puzzle. 2.5*/***
    Had to check 5d via Google as was not 100% sure. Candidates for favourite include 21a, 30a, 2d & 18d … winner 2d

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  39. Many thanks to the 2k’s for the hints that I didn’t think I was going to need as I started at a cracking pace and then stalled, not helped by putting in two wrong answers! Also thanks to Jay for a lovely entertaining crossword. Just completed after three attempts! All windows open and two fans going in the bedroom and still hot, humid and airless here in Surrey. No sign of Perseid showers or thunderstorms. I enjoyed SC’s wonderful description of the lightning and what a shame it hasn’t cleared the air. Now to attempt some sleep, but judging from the amount of lights on in neighbouring houses I think it might be a struggle! Hope everyone else has better luck.

  40. I thought this was hard to get in to and harder to finish but mellow in the middle! Finished after a night out when too tired to comment. Favourites 12 21 and 30a and 2 and 4d. The unknown words were possible to work out from the wordplay and did not need hints or other aids to solve or parse or both. Thanks 2Ks – as I always check from the hints afterwards and enjoy all the comments. 4d took me quite a while because I could not think of the word which was obvious once I did. I would say that YC is an abbreviation for an organisation, the Young Conservatives rather than two separate words. For once, the capital letters are not misleading! I was one in my youth but perhaps they never existed in New Zealand. Sorry about the recent outbreak but hopefully contained within one family.

  41. I worked out a wine for once! I still hadn’t heard of 11a, but I did know the first word of it. And I seem to be one of the few commenters that knew 19a, but I didn’t realize at the time it was an obscure word.

    Unlike 12a, which I don’t see the point of: it’s already an adjective without its final -al.

    I struggled with this, using half a dozen hints — thank you, Kiwis. And best wishes for your lockdown having its desired effect. We’re included in the recent additional restrictions for parts of northern England, meaning the 7yo won’t get to see grandparents for their birthday next week, which they’ve been looking forward to for weeks.

    My favourite was the 2d plug. Thanks, Jay.

  42. I couldn’t make head nor tail of this yesterday evening staring at an almost blank grid, I eventually gave up. Whether it was the two pints of strong (7.3%) ale plus a bottle of red wine (14%) or the heat or a combination of both but I sat down this morning and completed it in one of my fastest ever times. How weird is that! Any road up, favourite was 1a. Many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

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