DT 29518 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29518

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29518

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Every year The New Zealand Forest and Bird runs a Bird of the Year poll. Here is the link. https://www.birdoftheyear.org.nz  Yesterday we cast our vote for the NZ Dabchick or Weweia. It is the bird that appeared on a pond near us during lockdown earlier in the year and was a highlight of our regular walks at that time. Don’t imagine it is going to win as most people have never heard of it but it is very special to us and just might get a flurry of overseas votes. If it does not win, it promises to fade back into obscurity without any fuss, which is very reassuring.
 This one took us longer to solve than most Wednesday puzzles so have raised the difficulty rating by one star.  

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Poor lad, avoiding death, with no energy for such a fight (5,3,7)
DAVID AND GOLIATH : An anagram (poor) of LAD AVOIDING D(e)ATH once E(nergy) has been removed.

9a     Mainly rich source of oil found in suitable fruit (7)
APRICOT : A three letter word meaning suitable contains rich with its last letter removed plus the first letter of oil.

10a     Outrage of boy sent back after hospital examination (7)
SCANDAL : A hospital examination by a sophisticated machine and the reversal of a synonym for boy.

11a     Fighter could see criminal argue about stream (9)
GUERRILLA : A stream or very small brook is inside an anagram (criminal) of ARGUE.

12a     Petition to cross river and mountain (4)
BERG : Petition or plead contains R(iver).

13a     Recording label must store number that’s secret (6)
TAPING : An identifying label contains the secret number that you might use with your debit card.

15a     Get rid of black — it’s no different (8)
JETTISON : Another word for black named after a type of lignite and an anagram (different) of IT’S NO.

18a     Father gets covered in beer by Yankee in fit of anger (8)
APOPLEXY : A familiar name for a father is inside a three letter beer synonym, then the letter used in arithmetic for ‘by’ and finally Y(ankee).

19a     Endless avarice seen with church state (6)
GREECE : Remove the last letter from a synonym for avarice, then the Anglican Church.

22a     Outstanding women featuring in dictionary (4)
OWED : The three letters identifying a major dictionary (not BRB) contains W(omen).

23a     Clans without protection — depressing experience for laird, perhaps (9)
LANDOWNER : The three inside letters of clans, and then an informal word for a depressing experience.

26a     King wearing new undies must be covered (7)
INSURED : An anagram (new) of UNDIES contains the letter which is an abbreviation for the Latin word for king.

27a     Labour may accept quorum regularly generating confusion (7)
TURMOIL : Labour or hard work contains the 2nd, 4th and 6th letters of quorum.

28a     Looking in awe at El Cid at prayer? (4-11)
HERO-WORSHIPPING : What El Cid could be an example of, and then at prayer or venerating.


1d & 17 Down Bar to current beer supply? (7,8)
DRAUGHT EXCLUDER : Perhaps best described as a bar to an air current, or a bar to a bulk beer supply. (We found this one harder to hint than to solve).

2d     Border crossed by driver, generally (5)
VERGE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

3d     Violent Nordic tale mostly of religious teaching (9)
DOCTRINAL : An anagram (violent) of NORDIC TAL(e) without the final letter of ‘tale’.

4d     Cause irritation and agree with name for son (6)
NETTLE : Start with a word meaning agree or come to an arrangement and replace the S(on) with N(ame).

5d     Work with sister, holding identical fine material (8)
GOSSAMER : Work or be in operation, and then a two letter abbreviation for sister surrounds a synonym for identical.

6d     Lot of responsibility (4)
LOAD : A double definition.

7d     Person with letters to his name? (9)
ADDRESSEE : A cryptic definition of somebody receiving mail.

8d     Element of information suppressed by crown? (7)
HALOGEN : A crown that might be seen on a saint, then information or dope.

14d     Press for changes to include old teacher at university (9)
PROFESSOR : An anagram (changes) of PRESS FOR contains O(ld).

16d     Sort of plane or tub designed for power (9)
TURBOPROP : An anagram (designed) of OR TUB, followed by a prefix meaning for and P(ower).

17d     See 1 Down

18d     Get rid of nasty boils in a hospital (7)
ABOLISH : “A’ from the clue and H(ospital) surround an anagram (nasty) of BOILS.

20d     US marshal once having to carry silencer (7)
EARPLUG : The surname of the US marshall associated with Tombstone and the OK Corral, plus a word meaning to carry.

21d     Poles must have urge to squeal (6)
SNITCH : The two geographic poles and then an urge or irritation.

24d     Girl upsetting one chap about nothing (5)
NAOMI : In reverse order we have the Roman numeral one, and another word for a chap surrounding the letter that looks like zero.

25d     Boast the monarchy must be incomplete (4)
CROW : Remove the last letter from a word that describes the monarchy in general.

Quickie pun    pink    +    who    +    shun    =    pincushion

108 comments on “DT 29518

  1. An amusing puzzle today with some tricky clueing, agree with the 2K’s on a ***/****.
    liked the surfaces of 28a , 1a and 20d, took a while to parse 1d which was a tad clumsy but different.
    15a was in a recent Telegraph puzzle.
    Hard to pick a favourite ,going for 8d, succinctly clued.
    Thanks to 2K’s for the pics-how tall was Goliath!

    1. 15 across was in yesterday’s Toughie. I solved it easily. It is similarly clued today but it took ages for me to see it and it was one of my last ones in. How does that work?

    2. I found this not too difficult today and easier than some that are given **. Enjoyable too with entertaining clues and solves. Had to check the spelling for 11a and discovered it has two possibilities. I have always used the other one. Made me think how funny it is that you can get very old and sometimes discover that you have been spelling a word wrongly all your life!

  2. Two brilliant crosswords on the bounce, yesterday’s Donnybrook Toughie (where 15a appeared) and this gem from Jay.
    My only slight problem was parsing 4d but it eventually dawned on me. Difficult to choose a podium but I’ve gone for the
    1&17 combo with 18a taking top spot, such a great word.
    Many thanks to the 3 birds for the top notch entertainment.

  3. At first glance, this Jay looked quite tricky. It all fell into place steadily. ***/**** Thanks to the hints, I’ve now discovered what the X is doing in 18a. There are some brilliant clues here. 20d made me smile. A pleasure as always on a Wednesday. Favourite is 11a with an honourable mention to 1a and 1d and 17d. Thanks to all.

  4. 2*/4.5*. Excellent stuff again from Jay – not too difficult but great fun.

    Although it’s a very clever idea, I’m not quite sure that 1d/17d works.

    Four on my podium today: 18a, 28a, 7d & 20d with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  5. One of those difficult to start crosswords that later becomes very enjoyable.

    I always enjoy reading the introduction to the blog on a Wednesday. You (2ks) paint a very pretty picture of NZ.

    When all this nonsense is over I WILL visit your country. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it…..my friends tell me it will suit my pace of life rather well.

    Many thanks to you both

    1. Take it from someone who has spent a fair bit of time there banksie, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a very special place.

  6. I found this one difficult to get into as well. The top half was harder than the bottom and I made good headway in the SE, after which things speeded up. The 1a anagram and the cryptic 1/17d combination were COTDs for me but I found 4d difficult to parse. So thanks to the Kiwis for help with that and to the incomparable Jay (2*/5*).

  7. Excellence as always from our Wednesday setter.
    The 1/17 combo made me laugh and gets my vote today with 18a&20d very close behind.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks. Very hard to choose between the birds in your poll – my years of helping to warden a Tern colony lead me towards the delightful Fairy Tern but I also have something of a soft spot for the Black Robin. No doubt you were relieved that you had an easy decision to make this year. By the way – rather liked the advertised shoes!

    1. There are news reports of 1,500 votes for the Little-spotted Kiwi bird having been declared fraudulent in the Bird of the Year poll. So it’s not just in the USA that there are problems with voting!

  8. Another work of art from Jay, and a joy to work. Even though I’d never heard of the 1d/17d contraption, the checking letters were most accommodating (and Mr G then confirmed my answers). My podium is also full today: 18a, 5d, 8d, & 11a. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. *** / ****

    Veterans Day over here today, and a parade will pass right in front of my rain-soaked house.

    1. Your pretty lucky, UK shutdown means “No Parades” so by common consent our group gathered at social distance and the silence was specially deep!!I

  9. My struggles with Jay returned.
    For no reason this was a crawl, taking me well into *** time. Virtually every answer came with “why couldn’t I see that earlier?”.
    4d neat but the Doh moment when I justified the x in 18a makes it my COTD

    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks for the entertainment and explanations.
    Better not upset the female contingent with my vote for the NZ bird of the year.

  10. Just what I needed after the announcement by the Province that tomorrow we start a Covid Circuit Breaker for up to four weeks. let’s hope that it works because results from other measures have, being very PC, been very disappointing. Back to the very enjoyable puzzle completed at a gallop – 2*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 1d/17d, 7d, and 20d – and the winner is the excellent 1d/17d combo.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  11. Another excellent Jay puzzle – thank you. I prefer not to dot around picking off the low hanging fruit, but that is what I had to do today. Once that was done the rest went in fairly smoothly. I must write out guerrilla 100 times, maybe then I will learn. I rather liked the 1d/17d combination. 20d amused me the most.

  12. I found today’s puzzle hard work throughout. I have no idea why but there you are. I enjoyed the tussle very much and had to resort to asking Saint Sharon for help. Why oh why did 15 across elude me until the end when I solved it so quickly yesterday? Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay.

  13. I found today’s puzzle hard work throughout. I have no idea why but there you are. I enjoyed the tussle very much and had to resort to asking Saint Sharon for help. Why oh why did 15 across elude me until the end when I solved it so quickly yesterday? Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay.

  14. Another really good crossword, very enjoyable, completed in 1* time and 4* for enjoyment, lots of good clues with 1d/17d, 15a and my COTD 23a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  15. Definitely harder than usual, but still a delight to solve in ***/**** time. 28a was one of the last in for me, I always thought El Cid was a difficult mountain ascent. Apart from that I got all the parsing in the end.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  16. I thought this was going to be extra tricky but was significantly helped by getting 1a (the v) and 28a (H*R*). How difficult crosswords would be without checkers. Needed the Kiwis to parse 4 and 5 down. Overall an enjoyable Jay but not a vintage one. Cheers to the Kiwis for the NZ Bird vote site. Walking through native bush with my favourite, a fantail. It appears very friendly as it follows you but the reason it flits so closely to you is that your walk through the bush disturbs his grub, the insects!

  17. I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much and did not find it as difficult as some appear to have.
    Needed help with the parsing of 4d .

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and to the setter.

  18. I did pretty well on this one, using the Chamber’s Crossword Dictionary, and some help from the hints on this blog. I always get a buzz when I manage to solve a clue.

  19. I too found this trickier than many a previous Wednesday but the usual splendid level of enjoyment

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – Mr CS and I watched a very busy sparrowhawk this morning

  20. That was weird. I started at the bottom of the downs and got to the top with only one in. I then started from the top of the acrosses and more or less filled it in as I went.
    Didn’t need the hints but thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis. Now for the toughie. That should fill the rest of the day nicely.

  21. Excellent offering today I thought. Elegant clueing that asks a few questions. My last in was 1a, took ages to see the anagram!
    So many good clues difficult to choose a favourite but if I must it would be 18a, it made me smile which is always a good sign.
    Thx to all esp the setter.

  22. Another wonderful offering from the Wednesday Wizard. I will admit to struggling with a couple but that’s all part of the enjoyment. Lots to like and too many good clues to be able to pick a favourite but I will mention18a and 20d. If I had to choose a COTD, the 1 and 17 down combination just edges ahead.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  23. For me one right out of the top drawer from Jay today. 18d was my first in on the first pass but it was a fairly brisk solve from then on. A whole host of cracking clues kicking off with 1a & 1/17d but it’s a coin toss between 7&20d for my pick. Other than missing X = by in 18a all parsed correctly too so nearly full marks today.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks.
    Ps couple of questions for the films buffs out there. Which actor played Wyatt Earp in 2 films 20 yrs apart (68&88) & the only actor to have played both Earp & Holliday.

        1. What about Henry Fonda or Victor Mature. Both in My Darling Clementine which was Churchill’s favourite film I believe.

            1. Yes! Of course! Silly me.
              The Gunfighter with a very young Gregory Peck was on the other day, great film.

            2. I didn’t know that. Mrs. C and I won tickets to see Tombstone and I thought Val Kilmer was excellent. I have tried to do the coin trick through the fingers ever since.

  24. I found this one ok, and filled it in on the way to…. and from the farm shop to pick up my turkey for Christmas. No, I wasn’t driving. I spent ages on 22a. Goodness knows why it took me so long to get a four letter word. Favourites were 7d, 15a and 18a. Thanks to Jay and the 2ks.

      1. That’ll be a bit difficult now he is in the freezer. 😂.It’s an organic free-range so should be fine. I wanted to avoid the Christmas panic.

  25. Like yesterday I found this one straight forward, rattled through it in about xxxxxxxxxxxx. Rates high on the enjoyment scale for me.
    I got 4d but needed this page to tell me why, same for 18a and the ‘by’. COTD for me was 1/17d.
    The pedant in me didn’t like 8d as it’s a type of element rather than an element itself, but I’ll let that slide :)

  26. It has pretty much all been said, so I will just nominate 18a as my favourite clue and thank our feathered friends for a wonderful puzzle and a comprehensive blog.

  27. Well for the most part this all went well. Although I got 1/17dn in the end I cannot figure out where “beer supply” comes into it (i get the “draught” bit). I have googled “beer excluder” in the hope of finding some kind of brewing related device, but to no avail. As so many of you highlighted this as an outstanding clue no doubt you will enlighten me.

    Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

    1. I’m with you on 1/17d, Stone Waller. I think it’s almost a great clue but actually a near miss.

      As the 2Ks have indicated, the answer can be either “a bar to current” or “a bar to beer supply”, but I don’t think it quite works by combining the two elements.

      I’d be very happy if someone can come up with a better suggestion.

      1. I thought the key to the clue was the question mark. Doesn’t that suggest that the 2nd half of the clue isn’t exactly as it seems?

        1. Hi Banksie. Yes I did note the “?” and realise its implications. But given my comment below, I think it takes a great leap of imagination to transpose the first word of the clue to somewhere in the middle. After all there is no such thing as the “answer” unless it is prohibition or a bouncer on the door … even then a great leap.

          Is this a known type of clue construction?

      2. Perhaps the intention was ‘current beer’ (beer on tap as opposed to bottled) as being draught
        That leaves the definition as simply Bar

    2. Ok, so from the hint I can see the “bar to beer supply”. But I can never remember seeing a clue construction such as this.

      1. The fact that I hadn’t seen anything like it before made it good fun for me. I think it’s acceptable. A draught beer excluder is a bar to the supply of beer and a draught excluder strip on the door or at the base of it is a bar to a current of air. The latter is certainly true in my house where the front door faces the south-westerly gales.

          1. Clues that hint at a break in the beer supply chain are not welcome in the barrel abode. I broke out in shivers at the thought. Saint Sharon tried to calm me down but it took a trip to O’Neils Brewery to buy beer to put my mind at rest.

          2. Well I care actually. If this type of clue is so straight-forward to just about everybody commenting here then I would like to know exactly what it is I am missing (with a smile)!

            1. I care too SW. You’re not missing anything – the clue kind of suggests the answer with a pun on draught, but doesn’t really nail it
              I agree with RD’s view that it is a nearly great clue, but not quite there

  28. Very good indeed – almost the last one in was 1,17d which despite having nearly all the letters I just couldn’t see….until the penny dropped. Lots of variety too. Thanks Jay and 2 Kiwis whose intros I always enjoy.

  29. Really enjoyed that today, and managed to complete unaided in what I’d consider 2* time, helped by getting the long ones in fairly quickly.
    Particularly liked 1&17D. The first word went in immediately, but had to wait a bit for the penny to drop for the crucial second word!

  30. Thank you, Jay. A nice, solid puzzle, which revealed itself gradually: every time I thought I might be stuck, there was just one more word I could get. I think my favourite was 13a (‘Recording label’).

    Apologies to 2Kiwis for not needing your hints today; I’m sure normal service will be resumed soon, so thank you for producing them.

    I see the setter Micawber has a different suggestion for bird of the year.

  31. Very tricky. Took me an eternity to get going, but after I (eventually) filled in about a third, the rest were not so difficult thanks to the checking letters in place. Very testing but hugely enjoyable, as always on a Wednesday.

    I went for a routine blood test at lunchtime-ish. Bloke got on my nerves a bit as he must have asked me if I was alright about ten times in a five minute appointment. I’m sure he meant well but I began to think, “Do I look unwell? Does he think I’m going to faint?” Yet he was the one pouring with perspiration and swigging from a bottle of Ribena. The room was boiling hot, and he had an electric fan blasting away.
    I felt fine until he started this “Are you ok?” lark and so I was glad to get out of his little blood draining room.

    Thanks to Jay and the Two Ks.

    1. Agree that would be annoying. I’ve got used to them taking my temperature at every medical office. And answering No to the usual list of Covid questions. But I was in a waiting room a few weeks back when some poor chap owned up to having just got back from China 2 weeks before. As I inched away, they refused to see him told him he had to go away and quarantine, despite his protests that the Chinese had rigorously tested him daily while there, and again before leaving. Better safe than sorry I guess.

    2. Agree with you, Terrence. I have problems with my feet and the first question I am asked by everyone I see is “are you diabetic?”

      I feel like saying, “You have my notes, have you read them?”

  32. Great puzzle from Jay, thank you sir. 1a, 1d, and 20d my favourites but could have chosen others if I had looked again. Thank you to the 2 Kiwis who I think were hinting we should vote in the bird survey. Or not as the case might be.

  33. The usual lovely Wednesday crossword – I seem to say that every week.
    Feeling a bit cross with myself as I was fooled by three things that always catch me out – every time they do I swear that next time I’ll remember them, and then I don’t – oh dear!
    Those three are the ‘number’ in 13a, the ‘times’ in 18a and the meaning of ‘covered’ in 26a which comes up so often that anyone could be forgiven for thinking I might remember it by now.
    I got confused by the first word of the clue (down) in 1&17d – haven’t expressed that very well – normally they don’t do that when both the clues are for ‘down’ clues. Never mind – doesn’t matter.
    I missed the anagram indicator in 14d which was just plain dim.
    I liked 18 and 23a and 5 and 21d. I think my favourite was 20d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.
    I might dare to have a peep at the Toughie.

    1. Me too on “Down”, Kath — even though I knew what it was doing there, my brain still kept trying to parse it as “Down Bar …”.

  34. I must be on same wave length as Jay, straight through without stopping. Thursday’s is another matter we will see. Have you seen Telegraph letters re Thursday’s cryptic.

  35. It has been said already but I will join the chorus in praise of Jay’s continuing excellence. Lots of great clues today adnI will share honours between 18a and 20d. Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s for the explanations. Armed with the knowledge that 15a appears in yesterdays toughie I will resume with that before tackling today’s toughie.

  36. Top notch puzzle. Very elegant clues with enough misdirection to keep me on my toes. My favourite was 7d closely followed by 1&17d&4d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  37. *** for difficulty with very good clues throughout. 7d as my favourite; thank you to Jay and the Kiwis

  38. Morning all.
    Nice to see that we weren’t the only ones to have second thoughts on the spelling of 11a and reassuring to see that BRB accepts both options although only one fits in the grid. We avoided picking a favourite again as we find it so hard to choose with Wednesday puzzles.

  39. After a first read, I had a few answers scattered all over the place.
    A harder than usual Jay for me too.
    Wasn’t keen on 1/17d.
    Favourite 18a.
    Thanks to our Wednesday setter and to 2kiwis who seem to wake up earlier than usual.

    1. Still commenting about 5.30 am NZ time Jean-Luc but in the last month or so UK clocks (not sure about French ones) went back one hour and ours went forward one hour.

  40. A comfortable solve for me today, no holdups.
    Looking forward to four days of the Masters starting tomorrow (Mrs. Hoofit isn’t though, threatening to hide the Sky handset – grounds for divorce if there ever was one). Westwood at 27/1 to finish top 5 looks a good way of wasting £5.
    Thanks to Jay, and 2xK’s looking forward to reading the blog.

    1. I never watch The Masters. The course looks too damn neat and tidy for me. Dyed water in the ponds. Fake grass leading down to the water. Every camera position micro-managed for maximum wow factor viewing. It’s about as genuine as Katie Price’s boobs and even less appealing.

        1. The Masters is the probably the only event I would want to see live Tickets are almost only available through the “legal ticket touts”.
          Talking of fakes. This story was in “USA Today” some years ago:
          A man arrested with 6 forged Masters admittance badges was tried & found guilty in Augusta. Under “three strikes & out” he was sentenced to 25 years (yes 25) with no parole.

    2. I’m with Mrs Hoofit. I thank my lucky stars that my husband isn’t into sports. Both son in laws are, so daughters will sympathize with her.

  41. I found this a bit tricky for a Jay, but I’m lucky to be on his wavelength. I couldn’t solve 17d, even though I had the checking letters. I had 1d and was sure it was some kind of beer. Regardless, I think I did quite well.
    I bunged in 13a because it had to be, but I couldn’t unravel it, so thanks 2Kiwis.
    My fave was 1a, managed to suss out the anagram, but I also liked 28a.
    Mucho thanks Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for unravelling a couple. Sunshine today on and off, hooray!

  42. I was slow off the ground with this one, but just got held up at the end by a few. 11a made me think of the excellent Angela Rippon who always pronounced that word so perfectly. Stupidly I couldn’t recall another name for black for 15a and also that term for a mountain in 12a. 1d was pretty obvious to me, but I had forgotten the name for the long sausage thingy we used to put by the door in England. No such thing as a cold draft here in South Florida. Even cold water from the tap is lukewarm.
    Hooray, package of red Oxos just arrived from England. Can’t get them here. I can get chicken, lamb and vegetables ones though.

      1. No. Regular supermarkets don’t carry them and Amazon stopped offering during Mad Cow Disease…

    1. Here in New York I can’t get my hands on vegetable oxo cubes. Major problem with a pescatarian in the family. Any recommendations where to find them?
      I enjoyed the puzzle and completed it without major headaches. 5d last to go in and needed help from the good lady Maths Teacher. Thanks all!

  43. Loved this. A bit of a slow start but rapidly picked up the pace. 20d was my favourite. Thanks all.

  44. Definitely a ***/*** for today. Lots of convoluted clues. NE last in with 6d last clue solved.
    Clues of note 11a, 18a, 1/17d, 7d & 21d with 1d/17d winner & 7d runner up

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

Comments are closed.