DT 29506 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29506

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29506

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Just when we were getting used to warmer weather along comes another cold Southerly snap to keep us on our toes. We even lit the fire again last night. Don’t expect this will last long and we’ll be back into shorts and lighter clothing again.
All the usual Wednesday solving fun.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     High courts must hold record for artist (8)
SCULPTOR : An anagram (high) of COURTS contains a 33rpm record.

5a     Mother’s back employed and happily occupied (6)
AMUSED : The reversal of a slang word for mother and a synonym for employed.

9a     Understood about belief accepting Conservative idol (6,3)
SACRED COW : A belief or doctrine contains C(onservative) and all of this is inside a word for understood or noticed.

11a     Burdens boys crossing over (5)
LOADS : The cricketers’ abbreviation for over is inside another word for boys.

12a     Afraid to ignore initial reprimand (6)
EARFUL : Remove the first letter from afraid or scared.

13a     Stiffens, seeing celebrity case finishing early (8)
STARCHES : A celebrity or leading character is followed by a case or box without its last letter.

15a     Hi-tec nation frequently needing courage (5,2,3,3)
STATE OF THE ART : String together a nation or country, then a three letter word for frequently and finally, courage or fortitude.

18a     Story’s beginning when at university and punctual about answer (4,4,1,4)
ONCE UPON A TIME : A 4,2 phrase that could mean when at university, then a 2,4 phrase meaning punctual contains A(nswer.)

22a     Cheers coming from country twice failing to finish (4-4)
CHIN-CHIN : The world’s most populous country loses its last letter and is repeated.

23a     Brewing of lager must entertain old in great numbers (6)
GALORE : An anagram (brewing) of LAGER contains O(ld).

26a     Article worn by the girl should be pale (5)
ASHEN : A female personal pronoun is surrounded by the two letter indefinite article.

27a     Finds ones way using satnav, e.g travelling across Italy (9)
NAVIGATES : An anagram (travelling) of SAT NAV EG includes the IVR code for Italy.

28a     Discontented single escort. Calm and dignified (6)
SEDATE : The first and last letters (discontented) of single plus escort or partner.

29a     Something comforting said in palace (8)
BALMORAL : Something comforting or soothing, and then said as opposed to written.


1d     Tension created by feeling about American pressure (8)
SUSPENSE : A feeling or sensation contains United States and P(ressure).

2d     Filthy lucre could be continuing source of evil (5)
ULCER : An anagram (filthy) of LUCRE.

3d     Introduction from priggish type including the Spanish (7)
PRELUDE : The word for ‘the’ in Spanish is within a word for a priggish person.

4d     Cry coming from contact lacking time (4)
OUCH : Remove T(ime) from a tactile contact.

6d     Set alarm on one with a disease that’s infectious (7)
MALARIA : An anagram (set) of ALARM is followed by the Roman numeral one and ‘A’ from the clue.

7d     Flying pigs hate taking time for food (9)
SPAGHETTI : An anagram (flying) of PIGS HATE includes T(ime).

8d     Besides, is the boxing to stop? (6)
DESIST : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

10d     Guardian women chat about setter, for example (8)
WATCHDOG : The abbreviation for women, an anagram (about) of CHAT and what a setter can be an example of.

14d     Outpouring from Hanoi, suffering after uprising (8)
EFFUSION : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

16d     Got rid of a nasty boil and cast off (9)
ABOLISHED : ‘A’ from the clue, an anagram (nasty) of BOIL and cast off or remove.

17d     Poetry mostly seen in true defeat (8)
REVERSAL : A word for poetry generally without its last letter is inside a synonym for true.

19d     Fruit firms needing head (7)
COCONUT : Repeat the abbreviation for a commercial firm and add an informal word for head.

20d     A bad French publication set up merger (7)
AMALGAM : ‘A’ from the clue, the French word for bad, and the reversal of the short name for a glossy publication.

21d     Son studies hard and disappears (6)
SCRAMS : S(on) and studies hard, usually at the last minute.

24d     External network device with no lead (5)
OUTER : Remove the first letter from the network device with lots of flashing lights that most of us have somewhere about the house.

25d     Eye partly caught by menu — veal! (4)
UVEA : And we finish with another lurker hiding in the clue.

Quickie pun    fore    +    Evans    +    ache    =    for heaven’s sake

81 comments on “DT 29506

  1. Once again Jay proves that ‘gentle’ and ‘brilliant’ are not mutually incompatible. A lovely Wednesday stroll, impossible to choose a podium though I thought the North West was particularly good, as were the lurkers.
    Many thanks to the 3 birds and a belated welcome back to Daisygirl.

    1. Lovely, lovely puzzle. Not too much brain ache and one I wanted to see through to the end. Feeling very pleased with myself for once as I don’t consider myself as a crossword aficionado (not just yet at least 😄)

  2. Having made a mistake, using the same letters as the correct answer, for 2d, I made heavy weather of this Jay puzzle and didn’t enjoy it as much as usual (3*/3.5*). There were some clever clues, however, and I liked the two long ones, 15a and 18a. Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.

    1. I made the same mistake and didn’t realise until the other quarters were complete. Once I had the correct word the rest followed easily. I thought it was quite good fun, thanks to the three birds.

      1. Put me down as another who biffed in the wrong answer for 2d. I was also convinced for far too long that 19d had to be costard, even if it didn’t parse!
        Other than that, it all went pretty smoothly and was as enjoyable as ever.
        Thanks to all three birds.

    2. Me too, but when I solved 9a I used e-help to get another word for the anagram. Reminder: Lateral thinking, don’t get fixated on one word.

  3. I echo Stephen L’s sentiments at #1. It is a Wednesday, so enough said. I stuck in a pin for a favourite and hit 18a.

    Thanks Jay for another superb puzzle and to the 2Ks.

      1. Carrot cake isn’t dull for me or for those in range. Carrots effect a rapid and violent expulsion when eaten, even if, as on one unfortunately memorable (i.e., for the wrong reason) dinner party where the starter contained carrots so finely minced as to be undetectable to the naked eye. Our host’s apology went on for the remainder of the evening. 😎

  4. Upon finishing, I thought that this very enjoyable Jay puzzle lacked some of the spark and pizzazz of his usual craftiness, but now that I look back over his handiwork, I think differently. Though the grid was gentle and easily accessible, the fluidity of wit and misdirection is as strong as ever, particularly with 15a, 10d, and the amusingly, deceptively simple 4d. Cheers to the Kiwis and a hearty salute once more to Jay. 1.5* / 4*

    Another great Toughie today!

  5. My rating is 2*/4.5* for the usual Wednesday excellence. My only slight hold up came from initially writing in “watchman” for 10d even though I thought it seemed a bit strange but I twigged the correct last three letters after I solved 18a.

    9a, 12a & 18a make up my podium today with a mention too for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  6. 18a got me started. The last one was 25d which I had never heard of but, once I got two of the letters, it couldn’t be much else. Any crossword I finish with no hints or internet searching gets lots of stars for me so 4*/3* (can the second number be lower than the first?…I assume it can).

      1. Right, thanks. I had thought it was difficulty (for me) followed by enjoyment. Is a short time to solve it given a high star rating or a low one? Sorry for the questions, I am new to this.

        1. You can use your time taken to solve the crossword as a mark of how difficult it is – 1* being easy, 3* being average, and 5* being difficult – this is very much a personal thing as some people’s 1* will be a lot faster than others

        2. Actually it might be difficulty. I never touch the star ratings. BD sets them on the days I am blogging

  7. Finishing a Jay Wednesday before the blog is published has to be an achievement. Relatively straightforward ( it must be i completed it) and the only clue I couldn’t parse was 9a – and I still can’t even on first reading of the hint. Last in was 12a , because I thought the answer ended in double LL !! **/***** for me and favourite clue was 15a because the clue needs you to provide 3 words to give a four word answer closely followed by the reverse lurker at 14d. thanks to the setter and the 2Ks as always. ( have started the toughie and filled in the top half and the bottom is completely blank – so it may be achievable- we will see)

    1. 9a…past tense of see around a belief with C for conservative inserted between its two letters.

  8. Got very confused with 6 d as having suffered badly a couple of times from this disease mistakenly thought infections were passed from person to person. I learn something new every day. Otherwise it was an enjoyable struggle. Thank you Jay and the two kiwis.

    1. A great many people seem to think that “infectious” means that a disease is passed from person to person by other than contact, wrongly distinguishing “infectious” from “contagious”.

  9. Delightful fun as usual with 15a, 18a and 21a my favourites. The checkers helped as made a slowish start. Missed the reverse lurker and so thanks for the blog, Kiwis and once again my favourite setter Jay.

  10. I have to agree with Robert Clark that this lacked some of the usual sparkle from our Wednesday Maestro. When I finished I was surprised at my completion time because it felt that it had taken longer, completed at a gallop – 2*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 18a, and 10d – and the winner is 9a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. 1a took me ages. I always forget that an artist can be about more than just paint and brush. **/**** The rest was straightforward enough with some good clues as in 9a and 4d. Favourite 29a. Thanks to all.

  12. Maybe not quite as sparkly as we’ve come to expect on a Wednesday but still well ahead of most of the field.
    I liked the two long across clues and also 9a&10d. Have to add a mention for the cringeworthy Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review – hope you can soon get back into the shorts!

  13. Easier end of the Jay spectrum for me but nevertheless entertaining and enjoyable.
    10d gets COTD, setter always produces handsome picture in the review.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2K’s.

  14. At the lemon squeezy end of the spectrum but very enjoyable all the same. Bit late to the game due to a walk around Burnham Beeches where the autumn colours are trully spectacular. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  15. What joy Jay brings on a Wednesday! I loved completing this – superb clues and all the evidence is there to solve, without needing a degree in Ancient Greek. He truly is the master.

    I ‘should’ be getting my car back today after eight days in which the garage had to battle with the warranty people to secure funding for the repair.
    In other news, Lola has decided the weather is far too autumnal for her liking and is sleeping on one of her (many) cushions. This particular one is much favoured as it is by a radiator. I can hear her purring from about fifteen feet away.

    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

    1. Good luck with the car, Terence, I’m not holding out much hope given your experiences to date!
      Queen Lola obviously continues to rule the roost – long may she reign.

  16. Another splendid crossword from the master.

    However, I have to say his clue for 27a surprised me as it’s not the most cryptic one he’s put together:

    ********* using Satellite Navigation

  17. Oh it’s so good to be back with the lunchtime workout. All went smoothly except that I was convinced that weighed as in cast off anchor was in 16d and got quite fearful, as a Telegraph reader, of what a Gaudrian woman might be. I cannot do the Toughie in the bath at the moment of course, but last night’s kept me amused for a sleepless hour or two. Golly, Mum, it don’ arf ‘urt.

  18. It was the NW corner that held me up after a relatively easy solve of the three corners ; relatively as it’s a puzzle by Jay. But light gradually dawned and it got finished in **. 18a and 21d my favourites today.

    Thanks as always to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  19. I found it every bit as sparkly as usual, unless I’m just confused by the lightening that’s going on in Oxford at the moment – batty weather to go along with everything else that’s batty at the moment.
    At the easier end of Jay’s range of difficulty – perhaps because there were quite a few anagrams.
    I was slightly put-off by 15a when I first read the clue as I was expecting the answer to be something very ‘techie’ that I wouldn’t know. Dim.
    That one was my only bit of dithering although for no good reason I was slow with the 23a anagram and, needless to say, missed the 14d reversed lurker for a very long time.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s too.

    1. Maybe it’s just me who’s feeling a little less than sparkly, Kath, this second all-Wales lockdown is proving to be enough to knock the stuffing out of anyone :sad:

    1. Malaria is not contagious, but it is classed as an infectious disease, in that you get it from another organism, in this case a mosquito.

  20. Thank you to Jay for a perfect puzzle today, pleasing a lot of fans who can’t always complete his tougher efforts. This one was right up my street, with 18a being my COTD. Those four words still conjure up a warm and fuzzy feeling from early childhood, when settling down to be told a story. And from reading to our two daughters. Can’t believe I got stuck on 21d as I couldn’t get swots out of my head. Thanks to 2Kiwis, and glad to hear that Daisy is back to solving. Red letter day here, off to the garden center to pick up new plants.

  21. Only managed 7 holes before the heavens opened & we called it a day as the lure of some nice crusty bread & soup was more attractive than persevering in the squelch though the sun came out again once back in the car & is still shining. A very gentle Jay today, not perhaps quite up there with his very best but a very enjoyable solve nonetheless – SL’s opening comment is well made. All over in ** time with no problems other than the brief hiccup (add me to the gang) of the wrong anagram at 2d. Particularly liked the 14d reverse lurker & 10d but my favourite was 22a which reminded me that I haven’t watched Withnail & I for some time & might do so tonight. Excellent Toughie too so we’ve been well catered for today.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

  22. I will echo others sentiments that this was an easier Jay than recently. 18a was one of those clues where the answer flies in straight away and the breakdown and parsing takes longer. I too struggled in NW 2d while not bunged in wrong wasn’t in at all as I couldn’t choose between various anagrams or even alternatives for lucre. Initial guess at 15a was First of the Few and their courage wasn’t in doubt until checkers put me on the right lines. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s
    Doing well at the Toughie too – I always do better at toughies when on my hollybobs – back to normal service next week I expect

  23. A friend has just sent the following question. What do the following 7 words have in common?

    1. Oh that is clever – I think I have worked out what is going on here but will keep it to myself for a while to avoid spoiling the fun

    2. Yes,very clever but I have to say I had to cheat in order to come up with the answer. Must tone up the old grey matter!

  24. Two sets of Double letters in each word?
    It is hard to define what makes Jay’s puzzles so classy, a mixture of simplicity and neatness and that extra something! Thanks to the Ks and my favourite has to be 19d

        1. The best I came up with was that if you remove the first letter they’re all palindromes.

          1. Lucky old you – I’m not sure I have a brain any more – still don’t get it and don’t really care – will have another quick look later, or maybe not.

  25. Didn’t get off to a flying start but overall enjoyed the ride. I too missed the 14d reverse lurker. Particularly liked two cushy jobs – 10d and 19d. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis. Quickie pun is fun.

  26. Very enjoyable – my favourite was 10 with Jay’s playful reference to setter as a dog – and there I was thinking of all the times I had seen setter before (so often referring to themselves) but this time to the more obvious – a type of dog! Thanks 2 Kiwis – agree your ratings especially the 4 stars for enjoyment.

  27. Late on parade today, trip to Truro for big shop. A really nice Jay puzzle so real gimmies, and some brain teasers. Nice to have the occasional crossword that doesn’t actually make your brain hurt. Dogs have decided that the front of the Aga is preferable to windy walkies.
    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and Jay.

  28. A relatively straightforward solve again today, bottom half first then top half, with NE last in.
    Candidates for favourites include 15a, 22a, 29a, 10d & 21d with winner 21d
    **/**** my rating

    Thanks to Jay & 2K’s

  29. **/****. Another cracking Wednesday. Very slow start but finished with pace. My favourites were the two long clues. I thought the second word in 27a was superfluous but it didn’t spoil the fun. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  30. Morning all.
    Most of the questions that came up for us while we were solving seem to have come up in comments. We checked the definition for 2d and what is in the clue is a verbatim quote from BRB. We Googled to check that we had the difference between an infectious disease and a contagious one correct. Started off trying to use MAN instead of DOG for the last part of 10d and tried to use COSTARD (which can be used to mean HEAD) as the answer for 19d. All quickly sorted though and an enjoyable part of the solving.

  31. Huge relief, thank you Jay for restoring my faith in myself after my abysmal efforts yesterday.
    I only needed a word search for 12a, last one in and don’t think I would have got that in aeons.
    First in was 18a, with 22a hot on its heels – 22a-Cinzano, remember the ad?
    I got 14d on reading the clue but was trying to make an anagram of Hanoi, eventually saw the reverse lurker.
    Can anyone guess my fave? Yes, go to the top of the class – 10d.
    Thank you to Jay for the fun, as ever, and to the 2Kiwis for unravelling a couple, e.g. 9a.

  32. The NW corner was the last to be completed, on a day when I was intent on solving in numerical order 😡. The rest yielded fairly easily, but I have no COTD today.

  33. My only quibble is the use of the word ‘scrams’ ‘ as a verb. I have never scrammed anywhere!

    1. I have scrammed – usually under instruction from an exasperated parent trying to get me out from underfoot
      Scram – I am trying to prepare tea
      Scram – get your nose out of that book and get some fresh air etc
      An alternative was Scram – go and play with the traffic on the A1
      That one was never repeated after the time that I was found in a den on the embankment of said A1

  34. I was completing a Jay in sub 2 time then hit a wall, with an error at 10d and a couple that took longer to parse than they should.
    Favs 15&18 across.
    Many thanks to Jay & 2KWs for review

  35. Excellence from Jay.
    I’m trying to convince myself that ‘high’ is a suitable anagrind, but who am I to argue with Jay.
    Hard to pick a favourite so I won’t.
    Brendan (aka Virgilius) has a superb crossword in the Graun today.
    Thanks all.

  36. As usual it’s all been said by the time I get here, mainly because there’s nothing controversial to say. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go for 12a. Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s. A but of guitar time needed now.

  37. Thank you, all — fun to read everybody’s comments. I did this just before bedtime then was too sleepy to post at the time, but it was such a wonderful puzzle I wanted to do so.

    I got stuck about ¾ of the way through, so thank you to the Kiwis for a few hints to get me going again. So many clues which would’ve been worthy of being favourite in most puzzles, but I’m going for 4d’s cry.

    And thank you to Huntsman and Huntsman’s friend for the word puzzle — ‘igniting’ a few brain cells there.

  38. I started last night in the NW and got nowhere. Reading the first few comments I am glad I was not alone in inserting the wrong word at 2d. I woke this morning and started NE and then found that I got round three quarters at Nicholas Parsons would have said “without hesitation or deviation”. So back to the NE when a second look gave me the correct answer. After that the remaining blank squares tumbled like a pack of playing cards in quick succession. Favourites 9 15 and 29a and 10 and 19d. Thanks Jay. Thanks 2Ks – I will now read hints to see if I missed anything and the rest of the comments which I always enjoy.

  39. A very enjoyable puzzle. I had to come back to it a couple of times for the last few answers… but my brain likes that.

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