DT 29512 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29512

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29512

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

On our walk this morning we noticed the riot of colour from all the wild flowers in bloom amongst the sand dunes, the families of ducklings feeding in the ponds, the hopeful anglers beside their rods at the river mouth and the flocks of wading birds feeding on the estuary. All welcome distractions from the stress-inducing things happening in so many parts of the world at present. It is so reassuring that most of the natural world just carries on doing what it does.

And Jay can be relied upon to entertain and amuse us too. 
We finished this one near the top end of our 2* time but there are a couple of tricky spots in here too.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Disinclined to talk of note found in new centre (8)
RETICENT : An anagram (new) of CENTRE contains one of the notes of the sol-fa scale.

5a     Planned coup may see place needed before school (6)
PUTSCH : Place or position as a verb and the three letter abbreviation for school.

9a     Trouble comes with record after new digital enhancer (4,4)
NAIL FILE : Start with N(ew), then a word for trouble and a written record that could be kept in a folder.

10a     Creature having protection mostly by agreement in Germany (6)
JAGUAR : The German word for ‘yes’ and a synonym for protection without its last letter.

12a     Term applied to book on love fixation (9)
OBSESSION : A term or period of engagement follows the tennis score love and B(ook).

13a     Bar in Spain — go there! (5)
INGOT : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

14a     Shame — mine must come before the start of yours (4)
PITY : Mine is not the pronoun, but a possible source of coal. Then the first letter of ‘yours’.

16a     Stretch point to include folk lacking cover (7)
PROLONG : The sharp point of a fork or antler includes the two central letters of ‘folk’.

19a     Looking more drained about a very unnecessary fuss (7)
PALAVER : ‘A’ from the clue and V(ery) are inside more drained or more wan.

21a     Son may be entertained by popular presenter (4)
HOST : Popular, or the very latest fashion contains S(on).

24a     Mark‘s wrong about cheers (5)
STAIN : A wrong or misdemeanour surrounds a two letter ‘cheers’.

25a     Speaker‘s name inserted in design of home page (9)
MEGAPHONE : An anagram (design of) HOME PAGE contains N(ame).

27a     Concentrate as it’s in cover on the way back (6)
DISTIL : ‘It’s’ from the clue is inside a cover or cap. All of this is reversed.

28a     Mass resistance must include development of weapon to create force required (8)
MANPOWER : The physics symbols for mass and resistance surround an anagram (development of) of WEAPON.

29a     Calling for speed (6)
CAREER : A double definition. The calling is a vocation or occupation.

30a     Lovely day over in land such as this (8)
ADORABLE : Land used for growing crops contains D(ay) and O(ver).


1d     Managed rumoured amount that’s needed for release (6)
RANSOM : Managed or organized and a homophone for an amount.

2d     Lost shirt? Time and drink will fix that (6)
THIRST : An anagram (lost) of SHIRT plus T(ime).

3d     Strikes policeman carrying these (5)
CUFFS : The short slang word for restraining devices carried by police.

4d     Revoke in full for a change? Yes (7)
NULLIFY : An anagram (for a change) of IN FULL and then Y(es).

6d     All agreed seeing a Parisian hate eating duck (9)
UNANIMOUS : The French indefinite article and a word from Latin meaning hate contains the cricket score duck.

7d     Operator protecting source of tropical fish (8)
STURGEON : A medical operator contains T(ropical).

8d     Legacy of retreat losing millions (8)
HERITAGE : Remove the abbreviation for millions from a retreat like the one in St Petersburg which is now a museum.

11d     Legs must be raised in nick (4)
SNIP : The reversal of legs or supports.

15d     Imaginative and popular outlet given without limits (9)
INVENTIVE : String together the two letter popular, an outlet or aperture, and the central three letters of ‘given’.

17d     Occasional lengthy story about one’s party turned up (8)
EPISODIC : A lengthy, often heroic, story contains ‘one’s’ written as the Roman numeral with the ‘S, and the reversal of a two letter party.

18d     Conservative relies on Her Majesty for something that purifies (8)
CLEANSER : The single letter abbreviation for Conservative, then relies on or uses as a support and Her Majesty’s regnal cypher.

20d     Sheep pen’s initial means of access? (4)
RAMP : A male sheep and the first letter of pen.

21d     A couple of grand in tough environment must be drawn (7)
HAGGARD : A synonym for tough surrounds ‘A’ from the clue and the repeated abbreviation for grand.

22d     Bread on internet? That will be a trap (6)
COBWEB : A type of bread loaf is followed by a general word for the internet.

23d     So-called pilot finding echo in feed? (6)
GEORGE : Feed in a gluttonous way contains the letter indicated by ‘echo’ in radio communications.

26d     Copy in case of poor composition (5)
PAPER : The first and last letters of ‘poor’ enclose copy or emulate.

We had the usual Wednesday problem of trying to pick our favourite and eventually opted for 12a.

Quickie pun    knows    +    toot    +    hale    =    nose to tail

76 comments on “DT 29512

  1. A proper ‘start with the Downs’ Jay crossword with the usual great enjoyment throughout

    5a is found in two of today’s crosswords – are our setters planning something??

    Thanks to him and the 2Ks

  2. After a full **** time, I was still one short today. The NW held me up for the most part, but it was 23d in the SE that was my downfall.

    Rattling a few electrons didn’t help immediately, but after a slower second pass, the penny dropped. At the time of solving I marked 13a as worthy of a special mention, but I’m not too sure why, now!

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  3. I would agree with the kiwis’ assessment of today’s “Jay”. The lurker at 13a was well disguised. I spent a bit of time trying to fit el into the answer before I spotted it. 24a had to be but I needed the hints to explain it. Cheers for ta is not part of my vocabulary! Nor ta for that matter. 22d is a lovely clue out of many. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll nominate 19a because it’s such a descriptive word. Thanks to all.

  4. This was tricky enough to extend my solve into 3* time, most of it spent on a handful of clues in the SE and NW. It was enjoyable (4*) as Jay usually is. 23d was my last one in and also my favourite clue, but 6d was also very clever. Many thanks to the Kiwis, it sounds really springlike where you are, while we had the first real frost of winter last night and have a sparkling clear, crisp day now. Many thanks to Jay for another entertaining puzzle.

  5. Lovely crossword which I solved alone and unaided and understood the clues….so, a hurrah day for me.
    Nice start to the day.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  6. Excellent Jay puzzle which I’d rate a point more difficult and a half a point more entertaining than our esteemed bloggers.
    As usual on Wednesday my page is littered with ticks but I’ll opt for 5a&19a as joint favourites as they’re both great words and in their own ways quite topical.
    Many thanks to the three birds for the entertainment.

  7. Loved the quickie pun — it took me a few goes saying it out loud (switching between trying 2 or 3 words), but eventually I managed to hear what I was saying and let out a satisfied groan.

    Thank you in advance to Jay and the Kiwis (it was nice to put faces to your names on the Dada video call last week) for today’s puzzle and hints. I haven’t started it yet, having still been frantically blacking out and colouring in EV squares for this morning’s deadline.

    1. I’ve been leaving words for you, Smylers…….

      Today’s word is scunner.
      Since I ate a pound of strawberries I’ve taken a scunner to them.

      1. Thank you! I shall endeavour to remember that.

        The EV whose deadline has just past had ‘In Ayr rush’, for a word I’ve only known as a verb used for processing cereal crops.

        1. I’m afraid I could not get anywhere with that EV…..or a fair few others and cannot remember what the word they wanted was.
          The Scots words they use are often unfamiliar to me too.

          But I will continue to give you some words when I see you ….now there’s a threat!

            1. I may be wrong but I think it has to do with Scottish words – I am waiting to be shot down in flames here!
              I also found out yesterday that the Gaelic for Scotland is Alba. Who knew?

  8. 2d has to be my favourite as it was the last one in and it is so obvious! I enjoy being deceived by Jay. Even tho the anagram was clearly signaled. It just took me ages to twig. Always enjoy Wednesdays. Thanks Jay and 2K’s

  9. Apart from one clue, I completed all of this excellent puzzle in less than my 2* time, but, even after a prolonged struggle, for the first time for many, many years failed to finish a Wednesday back-pager having been defeated by 23d.

    With plenty of good options for a favourite I think I’ll go along with Stephen L and settle for 5a & 19a jointly.

    Many thanks to Jay for his never-ending excellence, and to the 2Ks for such a delightfully illustrated review and for putting me out of my misery with 23d.

    1. I came to this late, but I, too, was defeated for the first time in many years by 23d.

      1. 23d was my last one – stupid – not only is it a ‘pilot’, of sorts, but it’s our three year old grandson’s name.

    2. I loved this puzzlement! Just the right amount of difficult. However, I must be very dumb. I still don’t understand the meaning for 23d. :(
      Nice to know others had a similar problem, although I seem to be the only one still perplexed.

  10. Agree with the 2 K’s **/**** for this excellent puzzle, nicely diverse cluing throughout.
    Remembered 5a which is a lovely word-sounds Russian!
    Favourite was 9a for the surface closely followed by 23d and liked the 17d charade.
    Last night at the bar for a while, roll on Christmas if it happens that is.

  11. No help from starting with the Downs in either direction for me this week. The trickiest, but still very enjoyable, Jay for quite a while, completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 17d, and 18d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  12. Found this toughish but managed to complete without hints.
    Having convinced myself that 13d was “ingenious” & it was just me that couldn’t parse it the SW corner held out well into *** time. Managed to sort it out & things fell into place.
    LOI was 23d. I thought it clever & it gets my COTD.
    Very enjoyable solve and review so thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.
    Given the form of my football team & what is unfolding across the pond perhaps “”United” .doesn’t mean what I thought!

  13. Looks as though it’s just me who has to admit to not knowing 5a but the fact that I didn’t messed up the NE for a while. The 23d pilot also took more time to find than he should have done.
    My favourite was 22d with a mention for the delightfully descriptive 19a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – enjoy your springtime, ours seems like a distant memory given everything that’s transpired since then.

      1. Being the Nan of one didn’t help me at all – my last answer in – my Elder Lamb would be appalled!

    1. Hi Chris & Sue,
      Yes, I know the chap well – just happened that he’d handed over the controls and gone off duty when I was looking for him!

  14. I found today’s offering from Jay on the tough side but it was enjoyable, nevertheless. It took me quite a while to get it finished but there were many delights along the way. There are too many good clues to be able to pick out a COTD but 10a would get a vote and so would 18d. Many thanks to Jay for the tussle and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    The Quickie pun was clever.

    1. I hope I’m not mistaken but I think a few days ago when I was late popping in you mentioned the difficulty without glasses between cataract operations. What some people do is take the lens out on the good eye leaving your original prescription in the other. The alternative is a cheap pair of reading glasses.

      1. Thanks Wanda. I have ordered a cheap pair of prescription reading glasses. The pair I am using at the moment are “off the peg” from Boots and they are not quite right. I have to get quite close to the screen in order to be able to read text.

  15. I found this quite difficult. The right hand side went in easily but the left too s long time and I needed the hints from the excellent 2Kiwis so thank you. 12a and 19a weren’t favourites today in an enjoyable but difficult solve. Many thanks to Jay for a good morning workout.

  16. Thoroughly enjoyable – 23d last in as I didn’t understand the reference, but resolved it through realising the last three letters led to the answer.

    I stayed up for much of the night following the US election – at the time I write this it looks like it may end up being settled in the courts. Such peculiar times in which we live!

    Thanks to Jay and the two Ks.

    1. I went to bed early, the stress was far too much for me. That idiot is pontificating again about how he has won the election and the court should stop the counting. I cannot, cannot, cannot stand another four more years of that … grrr!

  17. Jay provided an enjoyable divertissement from the Covid grind. Only real hiccups were in the NW plus I drew a blank on 23d. Not sure about folk “synonym” used in 16a. Runaway Fav was 9a once I had abandoned computer associated thoughts. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Where is the folk synonym in 16a. The answer is a synonym for stretch. The point is prong including folk without the two outer letters.

      1. I realise that and perhaps I didn’t express myself very well but I wasn’t referring to the whole 16a solution but was questioning presumed synonym for folk in “folk lacking cover”.

  18. Found this fairly easy and well clued. Gave up on 23d though as I’d never heard of this, and you can only look it up after you have the answer.

  19. OK once you got started which wasn’t easy but I found it at least *** for difficulty. Some of the clues were even more difficult such as and 30a both of which I needed explaining. 30a was one of those intensely irritating clues that require you to guess at letters without any explanation.
    Not my favourite but an OK puzzle.
    Thx for the hints

  20. Thank you Jay and the two kiwis ( I can now picture you after Chris Lancaster interview). For a Jay puzzle I did very well( in my opinion!) but needed help from the kiwis in the sw corner. I loved 2d after gin and rum circled the brain as the usual helpers! Then the penny dropped.

  21. Mostly went in well but for a few. I finally got 2d unaided and could not understand why it took so long. I resorted to the hint in 10a as I don’t know German. I perhaps should have persisted. I also gave up on 23d. I usually go away, come back, and the answer jumps out but on this occasion I saw no prospect of a solution. Favourites 28 and 30a and 1 and 7d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks.

  22. Another nice Wednesday from J and KK – many thanks! I just got hung up over 29a as I stupidly had an ‘es’ ending to 17d and not ‘ic’ so I had 29a beginning with S. Did it over lunch which today was not george’s usual salad but last nights supper leftovers heated up. We have been inundated with food – such lovely offerings from friends in the village and last night was Mary Berry’s pasta bake. Oh boy. Delumptious. I shall definitely give that a go. 28 nasty little staples dug out of my knee today, nurse said did I want to take them home!!! I looked horrified but she said most people do. No accounting for folk, which leads me to say we have not yet had any reaction from our friends across the pond. I guess they are in shock. What a palaver, you would never believe it in a book.

    1. Perhaps you need a staple diet to aid your recovery, Daisy? :wink:

      P.S. Is that George the “so-called pilot”?

      1. I was presented with a plastic tube containing my gallstone after surgery. What a nasty idea!

    2. Hi DG I think the silence is because we can’t quite believe what’s going on- and trying to brace ourselves for what will come after the election as the divisiveness remains. Meanwhile we enjoy and take comfort in our “across the fence” chats with neighbours on sunny days like today. I just ordered The Giver of Stars to keep me distracted – thanks for the recommendation. The museum in Halifax Canada had a great exhibit on English brides landing there- ( and some returning home!)many from East Anglia.
      Speedy recovery and all the best.

  23. Disappointingly tricky today, I just can’t seem to get on Jay’s wavelength today. Probably because I am having trouble concentrating, too much else going on over here right now. Needing too many of 2Kiwis hints. Will put aside and perhaps I will do better later. But shouldn’t complain as I’ve really enjoyed past two days.

  24. The usual Wednesday excellence from Jay for which many thanks. My thanks also to our 2 Kiwis.

  25. Morning all.
    A bit surprised that so many people were unfamiliar with ‘George’. It was not one that we were expecting to be a stumbling block.
    By one of those strange coincidences that crop up, we heard the word for ‘hate’ that Jay used in 6d being used by someone commenting on the US elections. That seems to happen amazingly frequently.

    1. Yes, I was surprised that few knew about George. However, I was in the RAF and heard him mentioned on many an occasion. We all know different things based on our experiences.

  26. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout.
    So, ***/*****.
    Last in 23d, came to me in a flash after pondering for too long, if that makes sense.
    Many thanks, Jay and the 2Kiwis for the review.

  27. I’m usually on wavelength with Jay but I found this pretty tricky today. Like BusyLizzie I’m sure it’s the stress we’ve been under, and it’s not over yet. What is wrong with these people?
    I missed 23d too, why? I know the autopilot, what is the matter with my brain.
    I think my fave is 19a, what a lovely word, but I also like the creature at 10a.
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for unravelling of a couple.
    Please, peeps, keep your fingers crossed for us with Hurricane Eta barrelling towards us. When oh when is 2020 going to be over!

    1. Can’t wait for this week to be over. Not wanting to wish ETA on someone else, but can we all please huff and puff and blow it away?

  28. At first glance I thought this was pretty tricky but it slowly all went in OK. In fact some lovely clues so thanks to all. Had lunch today in the marquee of the Wiveton Bell in the next village. Having not been out for so long it was heaven, Brancaster mussels and then a rack of ribs, delicious. Back to lockdown tomorrow. Stay safe everyone. Glad your staples are out Daisy.

  29. Last round of golf for me today in the sunshine before lockdown. Beautiful views over 2 bays and an estuary. At least I’ll have some memories. When Trump was elected 4 years ago I recall that BD censured criticism of him as being political. Now it is seems to be open season for Trump bashing here.
    Crossword fairly straightforward but never heard of the so-called pilot.
    Thank you setter and 2Ks.

  30. It’s all been said – I’m tired and we’re about to have supper.
    Just popped in to say that I thought Jay was about J’ish difficulty today and also that I think his Quickie Puns are always the best of the week.
    Never heard of 5a but easy enough to guess and look up.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s enjoying their Spring – having been there with them (not in Spring) we can picture it all and very lovely it is too.

  31. Very late to this after a last golfing hurrah in Essex in super weather. Most went in easily but for some reason struggled with the second word to 9a – I had the L checker & convinced myself it must end therefore in LP & only solved when I twigged the obvious (though not to me) 3d. Like others 23d was the last in & whilst I’d never heard the term I cottoned on to the wordplay but took a while to come up with the 5 letter synonym for feed. Great crossword & up with Jay’s top drawer. Amongst a host of likes 5,10&28a together with 2,17&22d stood out for me.
    Thanks to all.
    Ps after last night’s restless slumber I’m hoping for a good kip & pleasant dreams of a Biden triumph & a peaceful reaction to it.

  32. Did’nt finish this until this morning. A true struggle and I just wasn’t on Jay’s wavelength at all .
    Didn’t know 23d – so last in and 5a is a Toughie word and surely has no place in the back pager?!

    **** for time and ** for enjoyment as I hate being made to look dumb just when i think I’ve got the hang of these wretched puzzles. Respect to Jay for bring so many of us back down to earth when we get ahead of ourselves. Wow, did I need the 2Ks hints today ( Thursday) to finish the job – thank you both

  33. Really enjoyed this puzzle although had trouble finding the time to complete it. 2d and 23d needed help from the 2Kiwis. We spent Sunday morning bird watching in Central Park – the trees are gorgeous and the weather incredibly balmy for November. There was a palpable sense of relief and happiness in the air. And 18 species to boot. Thanks to both birds for setting and hinting.

  34. If so many bloggers could not solve 23d I can t really see what makes it a good clue. Particularly given that the non regular crossword ears would have struggles even more.

    Never heard of 5a either but perhaps I should have.

    Spoilt an otherwise very enjoyable crossword.

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