DT 29446 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29446

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29446

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’ve been having a brilliant spell of weather lately. A series of the heaviest frosts we have had this year followed by crisp, calm days under cloudless blue skies. Think it is about to change into a few days with some rain but we’re not complaining.

A quality Wednesday puzzle as ever from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Such muscles may be small in singers (7)
TENSORS : Singers such as Pavarotti include S(mall).

5a     Architect discovered here undressed (7)
FOUNDER : Discovered or located plus the two central letters (undressed) of ‘here’.

9a     A good area — and popular once more (5)
AGAIN : String together ‘A’ from the clue, then the abbreviations for ‘good’ and ‘area’ and the two letter word for popular.

10a     Draw companion who’s out of condition? (9)
STALEMATE : A word meaning out of condition or past its ‘best before’ date and a companion or partner.

11a     Bill firm millions, and the Law loses love for partner in crime (10)
ACCOMPLICE : The two letter abbreviations for bill or account and firm or company, then m(illions) and finally remove the tennis score love from the force known as ‘the Law’.

12a     Cry from women in party rejected (4)
BAWL : The three letter abbreviation for one of the major political parties in the UK (and NZ) is reversed around W(omen).

14a     Ancient — and value in it is dubious (12)
ANTEDILUVIAN : An anagram (is dubious) of AND VALUE IN IT.

18a     Observations about role creating divisions (12)
COMPARTMENTS : Observations, like those that will appear under this blog, contain a role played by an actor.

21a     Bound to be clocked, losing minutes (4)
TIED : Remove M(inutes) from the centre of a synonym for clocked.

22a     Speech about racket of admission to ministerial office (10)
ORDINATION : A racket or loud noise is contained by speech or address.

25a Traveller needing fresh air in tent (9)
ITINERANT : An anagram (fresh) of AIR IN TENT.

26a     Breakfast drink? (5)
TOAST : A cryptic definition of a celebratory drink that is part of a post-wedding function.

27a     Happy preparing nachos only, with son away (7)
HALCYON : An anagram (preparing) of NACHO(s on)LY once the word ‘son’ has been removed.

28a     Unusual sort may find angle on love with theologian (3,4)
ODD FISH : Start with the tennis score love, then the qualification a theologian may have, and ‘angle’ as a verb for a sporting pastime.

1d     One may go to pot, seeing most of side on reserve (6)
TEABAG : Remove the last letter from a sporting side and then reserve or save for later.

2d     Suggestion from sister outside a church (6)
NUANCE : A religious sister contains ‘A’ from the clue and then the two letters for the Anglican Church.

3d     Decorative — possibly late Norman (10)
ORNAMENTAL : An anagram (possibly) of LATE NORMAN.

4d     Fibre found in grass is allotropic (5)
SISAL : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5d     Country welcoming the man’s business concession (9)
FRANCHISE : A country just across the Channel contains a personal pronoun for ‘the man’s’.

6d     Exercises adopted by licentious escorts (4)
USES : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Striking play needing endless credit (8)
DRAMATIC : Play, such as Shakespeare wrote, and then a slang word for deferred payment loses its last letter.

8d     White lies circulating within gang (8)
RIESLING : A gang, or possibly criminal group, contains an anagram (circulating) of LIES.

13d     Took away bad cutters for adjustment (10)
SUBTRACTED : An anagram (for adjustment) of BAD CUTTERS.

15d     Consider charm (9)
ENTERTAIN : A double definition. The second could be amuse.

16d     Caledonian school accepting books it’s condemned! (8)
SCOTTISH : The three letter abbreviation for school contains religious books and an anagram (condemned) of ITS.

17d      Risk adopting American size of paper (8)
IMPERIAL : A synonym for risk as a verb contains A(merican).

19d     Female singer — one supporting large festival (6)
DIVALI : A female opera singer, then L(arge) and the Roman numeral one.

20d     Vacant sign seen on long grass (6)
SNITCH : The first and last letters (vacant) of SIGN, plus long or desire.

23d     Enthusiastic about inviting queen for opening bars (5)
INTRO : The single letter abbreviation for the Latin title for queen is contained by a word meaning ‘enthusiastic about’.

24d     Girls gathering there’s drink! (4)
BEVY : Two definitions. The girls gathering could equally be a gathering of quail.

10a is our favourite today.

Quickie pun    stray    +    toff    =    straight off

93 comments on “DT 29446

  1. This set off at a cracking pace, but as it progressed began to tire in the final furlong. The SE corner sapped all its energy and it ran out in */** time.

    Both 1a and 28a were new to me, and I don’t really know what 19a is, which was my last in. I think 10a was my COTD.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

    (With regards to the second half of the Quickie pun, is there a female equivalent I wonder?)

      1. Toffee? Quite right, Angellov. In days of yore when gentlefolk walked near the poor they had the idea that holding toffee under their noses would prevent their contracting disease. They also raised their noses. Hence, “toffee nosed” and “nose in the air”. Toffee nosed was shortened to toff.

  2. A bit of the ‘start with the Downs’ required today. Usual amount of enjoyment – I do like a ‘word’ so 14a is my favourite. Looking at the finished grid, wouldn’t 27a/28a be a wonderful name for a fictional character?

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. Yes to 27/28……
      They’d almost certainly, preceded by Sir, be an eccentric 2nd half of the quickie pun!

    2. Brilliant! That would be a great fictional name. There are quite a few in the down clues which would could appear in the same book. How about 7d and 19d, and also 8d and 20d?
      Also agree with your comment on 14a. Excellent word; I must try to include it in a conversation today.

  3. As good as the previous two puzzles were this week this was a definite step up in class with not only excellent clues but some great words too, such as 14, 25& 27a.
    My only problem was parsing 28a, my LOI.
    Favourite contenders galore but I’ve gone for 20d, closely followed by 16d along with 5&10a.
    Many thanks to the 3 birds for the entertainment.

  4. This was a thoroughly enjoyable Jay crossword, with the SW corner being the most challenging (**/****). I liked 17d, a new word for me ( or one I’d forgotten) and 16d with nice misdirection. The anagram at 14a was a corker too. Many thanks to the two Kiwis for the hints. It’s ironic that you are talking about frosts, whilst we are getting heatwaves and violent quasi-tropical thunderstorms. Just this week, we have had a tornado funnel at a village half a mile away and a 30 minute ‘monsoon’, which flooded our drive and part of the garage. Plagues of frogs may be next! Thank you to Jay for the usual high standard of clues.

  5. 2*/4.5*. Excellent as ever on a Wednesday!

    My podium comprises 10a, 27a & 20d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  6. A joy from start to finish. SW corner held out the most but succumbed after popmaster cleared the cylinders. Always love a Jay grid and thanks to 2k for the hints which I’m pleased to say I didn’t need today.

  7. As ever picking a single clue as a favourite is almost impossible in a Jay crossword but I will take the plunge and go for 20d. The rest of it was of the usual high quality and an absolute delight to complete.

    Thanks to our feathered friends.

  8. Jay at the top of his craft, with two old words that I have always delighted in, 14a and 27a, and so they are my co-COTDs, just because I’m an old softie for certain sounds and their suggestions, and what we all need right now is some 27a relief. Other special likes: 20d, 8d, 10a, and 5a (couldn’t et I M Pei out of my mind, for some reason). Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay for another masterpiece. 2* / 4.5*

    Wonderful Toughie today, except I missed the Yorkshire clue…shame on me!

    1. I’m so sick of hearing that bloviating idiot say that mail-in voting will make us the laughing stock of the world. We’ve been that for over three years now. Grr.

  9. This was nearly a walk in the park but was held back in the SE due to my slowness in sussing 20d which finally became joint Fav together with 8d. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis (sorry the virus is beginning to occur again – possibly due to the obtaining cold temperatures which it apparently likes).

  10. Steady solve today with no real hiccups. 20d my favourite. Crypticsue there is no 29a so can’t see your fictional character! Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis

    1. It is easy to make a mistake with the numbers especially if you have obliterated them with a pen. It is however fairly obvious that the fictional name is 27 and 28a. What else could it be?

  11. Snitch! Maybe because I have been busy today, I just missed it; otherwise easy and enjoyable.

  12. I have not been doing many Xwords while on holiday. However, this was a fairly quick and enjoyable solve this morning. I had to think carefully about where to enter my vowels in 14a. Last corner in was SE with the second word of 28a taking a while. All I could think of was Ball. 26a took a bit of teasing out too but for some reason 13d which should have been simple was my last in. I think it was because I could not get rusticated out of my head. Others like 5d and 11a were quickly solved “partner in crime” and “business concession” before even working out. Favourites were 11a and 1, 2, 7, 8 and 20d. Thank you Jay and 2Ks. Interested in your weather. Here in Fowey, Cornwall, yesterday was glorious and ideal for a long walk through rough terrain. In the night came wind and rain…. but here anything can change in the flash of an eye.

  13. Mr Wednesday does it again – a delightful puzzle to solve.
    Almost every clue deserves a podium place but I’ve narrowed it down to 10&27a plus 2,8&20d.

    Many thanks to Jay and also to our uncomplaining 2Ks – enjoy your clear, crisp days.

  14. Solved alone and unaided and understood all the answers. Hurrah for me!
    Haven’t had a hurrah or even a near hurrah for a few days now.

    Very enjoyable crossword, but then being able to solve it always boosts the enjoyment level.

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to Jay

    1. Hope things are improving with the infection in your eye Willieverlearn. Glad you enjoyed today’s puzzle.

  15. Super puzzle to wake up to this morning after the brain very nearly frazzled by the late last night tussle with Dada’s Toughie. 1a a new muscle to me but obvious from the wordplay & otherwise fairly straightforward. 10a probably COTD for me though there’s any number of worthy contenders. Hosing it down here in Harpenden so currently labouring with the Toughie as a means of putting off the joys of a pile of ironing & housework.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  16. I loved this. For me the right level of difficulty. I particularly liked 27a but needed hubby to suggest 1a as I’m not up on biology. Nothing too obscure.

    1. Everyone has commented on the loveliness and I can only concur. A beautifully constructed puzzle as we expect from Jay. I have had an exciting day- first trip to Cambridge since February. Stocked up with Clinique in an almost deserted JL , had a virtual fitting (interesting) in Rigby & Peller and bought 3 bras – that should support me until Christmas. Then lunch at the Rupert Brooke in Granchester – absolutely delicious. Scallops for a starter and I nearly licked the plate. Oh how I have missed dining out. Then back to this little gem. And, you notice, no crickety golfy or footbally clues. Happy bunny. 🐰 Thanks to Kiwis as well. Wasn’t there a shop in Bond Street called Halcyon Days? I seem to remember buying little enamelled boxes there as gifts.

      1. I hope you can stay controlled until Christmas! How exciting, I haven’t been out, except twice to the ophthalmologist, since this whole thing started!

      2. Yes Daisygirl, there was a shop called Halcyon Days. It was just off Bond St opposite Fenwicks. It was there for years and it wasn’t until today’s clue that I realised it wasn’t there anymore.

  17. A**/**** for me also for this excellent puzzle ,top draw cluing and no obscurities to boot.
    Liked 5a and 16d,last in was 28a -a difficult choice today, as can be seen from the bloggers favourites selection, which is a good indication of the quality of the puzzle.
    Thanks 2K and Jay.

  18. Jay as brilliant as ever, completed at a gallop – **/*****.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 18a, and 5d – and the winner is 18a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  19. I agree that it was marvellous and achievable, two attributes which don’t always correlate.
    My favourite was 14a, but at least 75% were fab.
    Thanks to all.

  20. Of course I missed the lurker at 6d and became entangled in the abbreviation for ‘physical exercises’. Then I became fixated with ‘ball’ as the second word for 28a and tried for too long to square ‘ball’ with ‘angle’.
    *insert huge sigh here*
    I do like the idea of Sir 27a/28a as a fictional character (perhaps played by Stephen Fry as a puffed up army general?)
    Thanks to the excellent Jay and the equally admirable 2Ks.

      1. Maybe her new outdoor shelter has been constructed and she’s reclining gracefully in there? Either that, or the contrary Miss is still favouring her patch of ivy!

  21. The usual excellent Wednesday offering. Not too difficult but entertaining. Many contenders for the podium but I think 20d just shaves it. Sir 27a 28a – what a great name for a character.

  22. I loved this and it is the first offering from Jay that I have finished unaided so feeling chuffed. As usual, our Wednesday puzzle is elegantly clued and gave head scratches and penny drops in equal measure. So many elegant clues it is difficult to pick a favourite but I will give top of the podium to 19d.

    Oh for the return of the 27a days!

    Many thanks to Jay for a wonderful exercise and to the 2Kiwis for the excellent hints.

  23. My Jay struggles continue. Due to my inability to see what seem blindingly obvious when I finally get there. I set off well but always hit a wall & finish up taking 3* time every Wednesday. Always had 2 vs in 24d so it was my LOI.
    14a my COTD as I like the word & it sort-of sums up how I feel some (Mrs LrOK would say most) days.
    Thanks to Jay for a superb crossword & 2Ks for the review.

  24. Lovely puzzle from Jay. ***/**** for me. For some reason I got held up by the south east corner today. 8d was the penny drop moment having tried and failed to make a word out of gang and lies. It took me a while to spot the lurker in 6d too. I did consult mr. G about the spelling of 19d. I’m more accustomed to spelling it with a w but I see that it can be either. Favourite 5d. Thanks to all.

  25. Lovely Wednesday Crossword but as often I am the odd man out ****/**** 😳 many favourites but perhaps 1 & 8 down 🤔 Thanks to Jay and the 2xKs 🤗 Glad to hear you are enjoying some nice seasonal weather, here we have gone from a heatwave to a proverbial washout 😢

  26. Comfortably solved whilst dashing to the oven to put things in and take things out. Re 27a/28a, it sounds as though it could be a character from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. 14a followed by 11a were my favourites. Thank you Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. My favourite quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is the description of the spaceship that was about to destroy Earth to make way for an intergalactic highway.

      “It hung in the air like a brick shouldn’t”.

            1. Douglas Adams – the sharpest, wittiest person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing
              It’s not sci-fi Jane, it’s intelligent comedy about life and other things that happen whilst you’re busy thinking about the meaning of it all
              Try reading one and if you don’t laugh out loud at least once I’ll buy you a Guinness with port in January (another thing nobody likes until they try it) That’s a promise

            2. There is some very intelligent Sci-Fi. Arthur C Clarke, for example, used the laws of physics to write wonderful tales such as “Rendezvous with Rama”. Like all genres of literature there is good and bad but I will read all if they appeal.

              I work with a colleague who thinks poetry is rubbish. I feel she’s missing out on a great deal of wonderful literature. When I discussed it with her she said “ There’s Keats who wrote an ode to a Grecian urn. Get over it for heck’s sake. It’s a bloody pot”!

  27. Lovely Wednesday crossword which distracted me from the driving rain outside! Sped through the top half but had to work much harder to tease out the southern half. When am I ever going to learn that ‘angle’ is not always a mathematical term?
    Favourites were 10a, 14a, 18a, 27d (always brings on nostalgia!), 8d, 16d and 20d.
    Many thanks to Jay, whose consistency I find amazing, and to the 2Ks for helping me out with 28a.

  28. Another one who struggled a bit in the SE corner, with 19d, 20d and 28a being the last to fall. I too could not get “odd ball” out of my mind for 28a.
    A fine Wednesday puzzle, as ever.

  29. Just the right level for me, odd ball for 28a didn’t help but 24d was easy, being an ex-pat Scouser.
    Ta to 2K’s and Ja

  30. A lovely Wednesday crossword as usual.
    The bottom left corner held me up for a while with 24d being my last answer.
    I think everything else has already been said but what a good crossword for such a beastly day!
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular except 27a so that’s my favourite – didn’t we have a setter called that? Maybe the NTSPP but quite a long time ago?
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.
    Now then – do I dare try the Toughie? :unsure:

  31. Credit where credit’s due – what a super puzzle. It gave me pleasure from start to finish. Well clued and great fun. Thanks to Jay, who’s rapidly become my current favourite setter and also to 2Ks for the blog.

  32. An enjoyable challenge from Jay, but I doubt I will ever find his puzzles a walk in the park. I started well, and teased some more about, but had to resort to looking at some hints to finish. 11a jumped off the page without having to work it out, and COTD was definitely 10a. Last in was nearly 17d as I had forgotten that, but 20d was the final holdout. I did quite enjoy my half hour in the MRI machine yesterday, covered in a toasty warm blanket, with Bocelli playing in the provided earphones, I could have fallen asleep I’d not for the intermittent rumbling of the machine. It was a horrible experience when I had one many years ago, but glad to report today’s technology is much improved.

  33. **/*****. Excellent yet again. I really look forward to these puzzles. I can start them at 4pm the previous day sat on our front porch in the glorious sunshine. Who’d know there’s a pandemic in full sway? Thanks to Jay for taking my mind to a much happier place and the 2Ks for the review.

  34. A good puzzle to get your teeth into, it was definately a game of two halves. The top half completed in good time the bottom half took some time. I was searching for anagrams where none existed, but overcame in the end. I often wonder if compilers plan it that way.
    Peace has now rerurned to the household, grandchildren and parents have returned home. Much surfing and walking the dogs got spoilt rotten with walkies.
    Now back to a quiet mornings gently struggling with crossword.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  35. This was an enjoyable solve, I started fairly well on the first pass then slowed down but it all came together, my likes were 27 across and 16 down (when it finally sank in), I have not heard the word in 14 across for years but 24 down puzzled me and still does. Thank you to Jay and the 2 Kiwis for all they do.

    Off to do battle with Giovanni

  36. I’m upside down. Completed the bottom half but there are still a few topside to unravel.
    I can recommend the Toughie today. It was more fun and, dare I say it?, easier than this.

  37. I wondered about ball in 28a too and it messed up the whole SE corner for ages. and 24d was my LOI too for similar reasons to LROK. I usually spell 14a wrong too but today checkers put my vowels in the right places. I wonder how long it will be before MP becomes Sir 27a 28a? I will plump for 18a from a long list of candidates for COTD.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s
    Let’s go have a look at the toughie…

  38. I thought this was tricky for Jay but still hugely enjoyable. Firstly, I misspelt 14a, when will I ever learn when you have an anagram, it’s a gift so use the letters provided, there’s only one “e” in 14a. Shot myself in the foot there. Then I fixated on “foolscap” for 17d but none of it fitted. I had 19d wrong, I didn’t know it could be spelt with a “v”, so I just spelt it with a “w” as couldn’t think of another festival.
    I love the word, so 14a is my fave, but 10a is also worthy of mention.
    Thank you Jay for the fun, and the 2Kiwis for helping me finish.

  39. Morning all.
    When we had finished the blog we realised we could have used 27a to describe the weather we mentioned in the preamble. It’s a beautiful word. We also are looking forward to the upcoming adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy starring Stephen Fry as Sir Halcyon Oddfish. It has to be a winner.

  40. I do not know how my offering came to be a reply to GMY 1965 but there it is. The mysteries of modern technology confounded by the wandering digit.

  41. Did not know the collective name for quail, so that defeated me. I always thought the festival was spelt with a ‘W’, but the answer was what it was from the wordplay.
    Super puzzle as usual, thanks all.

          1. Wish I could Steve these days my alcohol intake is controlled I’m afraid
            A friend boringly always said, “mine’s a half, the top half”.

  42. I do like Wednesdays! Very enjoyable as ever, although I failed to get a few (not knowing those 1a muscles and usually spelling the 24a drink with two “v”s).
    I spotted and solved the anagrams fairly swiftly which gave me a good start and I was delighted to get 14a, a favourite word that rarely has a chance to get slipped into everyday conversation!
    Thanks Jay and Kiwis.

  43. Lovely Wednesday puzzle as usual. Always so tightly clued with nothing superfluous and satisfying to solve. I did want to put a W in the festival as didn’t know the spelling with a V. Thank you to all.

  44. I’m making my second attempt to post tonight having, according to Big Dave, been classed as spam. This may be closer to the truth than I like to admit. I can’t remember what I wrote in my previous attempt but I found this pretty straightforward for a Jay puzzle. Lots of favourites. Many thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  45. Hello. Gazza told me on today’s Toughie blog that I had a namecheck so felt obliged to solve this, even at midnight. I too got stuck in the SE [19& 20d plus 28a were last in.] Fave clue 27a, natch.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.
    A propos The Hitchhikers Guide – to my mind his funniest bit starts “Hurry or you’ll be late…… [and LBR’s spot on about Douglas Adams]

  46. 3*/2*….
    liked 20D “vacant sign seen on long grass (6)”…
    came across a neat clue in the Telagraph xword book no 9 today;
    “16d Made from, for example, seedless grapes whisked up (but not scrambled) (8 )”…
    to find the Big Dave hint search “Big Dave 26064”

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