DT 29524 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29524

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29524

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

The Kiwis have to attend a family matter at short notice – I hope they will be back next week.

Jay was a little tricky in places this week, but the puzzle was very enjoyable.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Part of the EU said to be after joint effort (5-6)
ELBOW GREASE: what sounds like a part of the EU is preceded by a joint in the body

9a    Recoil as room began spinning (9)
BOOMERANG: an anagram (spinning) of ROOM BEGAN

10a    Sailors must have source of iodine for these bones (5)
TARSI: some sailors are followed by the initial letter (source) of I[odine] – the fact that I is the chemical symbol for iodine is not utilised in the wordplay

11a    School inspectors needing university for female getting expelled (6)
OUSTED: start with the organisation that inspects schools in the UK and replace the F(emale) with U(niversity)

12a    Announcements from shopping centre taken in by unhappy son (5,3)
SMALL ADS: a shopping centre is inside (taken in by) an adjective meaning unhappy and S(on) – not as I first thought by an anagram (unhappy) of SON!

13a    Not having so much to do may be an example (6)
LESSON: split as (4,2) this could be not having so much to do but it is a “definition by example” of example

15a    Picture crack and go (8)
SNAPSHOT: a charade of a crack or break and a go or attempt

18a    Bush may see refusal mostly after backing newspaper (8)
GARDENIA: most of a refusal follows the reversal (backing) of a colloquial word for a newspaper

19a    Angrily condemn the Tour de France? (3,3)
LET RIP: split as (2,4) this could be the French for “the” and a tour

21a    Hated action taken about evaluation (8)
DETESTED: an action around an evaluation

23a    Bob, say, making hospital radio broadcast (6)
HAIRDO: H(ospital) followed by an anagram (broadcast) of RADIO

26a    Flyer, keen to finish early holds line (5)
EAGLE: most of an adjective meaning keen around L(ine)

27a    Working with Italian in a fury to get this mineral (9)
ARAGONITE: follow the instructions and put a two-letter word meaning working and IT(alian) inside the A from the clue and a fury to get this mineral

28a    Fruit offered by waspish couple on the radio (7,4)
PRICKLY PEAR: an adjective meaning waspish followed by what sounds like (on the radio) a couple


1d    Involve team regularly with grill in America (7)
EMBROIL: the even letters of tEaM followed by the US cookery term for to grill

2d    Disappointments resulting in fisticuffs? (5)
BLOWS: two definitions

3d    Wretched internet with nothing in, for example on energy (9)
WOEBEGONE: a three-letter word for the internet around o (nothing) followed by the Latin abbreviation of “for example”, ON from the clue and E(nergy)

4d    Ring around which sheep wander (4)
ROAM: a male sheep around the ring-shaped letter

5d    High German, but without British rationale (8)
ARGUMENT: an anagram (high) of GERMAN with [b]UT without the B(ritish)

6d    Applaud as former sale item turned up (5)
EXTOL: A word meaning a former partner followed by the reversal (turned up) of a sale item in an auction

7d    One of the Krays perhaps fixed something to wear (7)
TWINSET: one of two siblings born at the same time (one of the Krays perhaps) followed by a word meaning fixed

8d    Rest may be about to interrupt swimmer (8)
BREATHER: a word meaning about inside a person who takes to the water (swimmer must be a definition by example)

14d    Plan new target in case of supply (8)
STRATEGY: an anagram (new) of TARGET inside the outer letters (case) of S[uppl]Y

16d    Paired off, sacking one politician getting greedy (9)
PREDATORY: an anagram (off) of PA[I]RED without the I (one) followed by a Conservative politician

17d    Learned people could be a bit politer at introductions (8)
LITERATI: hidden (could be a bit) inside the clue

18d    His finish is a stroke of luck (7)
GODSEND: the required capitalisation of His is cleverly concealed – follow the Almighty with the ‘S and a finish

20d    Inventor needing individual in support (7)
PIONEER: an individual inside a support for a bridge

22d    Head of this involved in leak that’s expensive (5)
STEEP: the initial letter (head) of T[his] inside a verb meaning to leak

24d    Rear level for the audience (5)
RAISE: this verb meaning to rear a family sounds like one meaning to level a building to the ground

25d    Book token (4)
MARK: two definitions, the first being a book of the bible

Sorry it’s a bit late – I’m somewhat out of practice!

The Quick Crossword pun: runt+who+cede=run to seed

110 comments on “DT 29524

  1. I have to admit defeat on the mineral at 27a. I came up with several permutations from the checkers but nothing that looked “real” Other than that, it was a well clued puzzle as is usual with Jay. Favourite is 18d. Thanks to all.

  2. Slow start and not much help from checkers but got there in the end without recourse to the electrons. 3*/3*

  3. 3*/4.5*. This was a lovely puzzle with two quite different levels of difficulty for me. The LHS went in very quickly, on course for a 1* finish, then the RHS proved to be a real head-scratcher, 5* level, giving me overall a 3* rating.

    I spent a long time unnecessarily trying to parse “see red” for 19a which fitted the definition and the two checkers I had in place before the penny finally dropped. I was also held up by 27a which was a mineral I hadn’t come across before.

    Doesn’t 10a work just as well by omitting “source of”?

    My podium choices today are: 19a, 23a & 16d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to BD, particularly for stepping in at such short notice.

      1. I don’t either – that’s why I stay up and do the crossword at midnight as soon as it’s available when I’m doing the hints the following day. I think DT does that too.

        1. I’m a night owl too so the Cryptic usually accompanies a late breakfast (joy of retirement!).

    1. BD,
      My difficulties were with the West (but kicked myself when I got the key, 1a, so obvious).
      I am sure some psychologist could get a PhD out of studying why different minds react differently to the clues.

      1. There are certainly some people on here who should donate their brains for medical science. For the avoidance of doubt I do not exclude myself

    2. Haha! I also bunged “see red” for 19a for a while, but it didn’t have anything to do with the clue. “See yellow” maybe but……it did interfere with 20d for a long while.

  4. This was a fairly straightforwatd puzzle on the whole, with a few real teasers. I failed miserably with 3d and ended up bunging in the word ‘wherefore’ which fit the space, although had no idea why. It was as enjoyable as usual with a Jay puzzle (**/****). I really liked 1a, 27a and 28a. Thanks to BD for stepping in at short notice with review and for the explanation for 3d. Thanks also to Jay.

  5. Usual Jay quality though perhaps not quite reaching last week’s standard. Mr G required a on a couple of occasions – to refresh my memory on exactly where the 10a bones were & to confirm my answer to 27a, which I’d never heard of & is the sort of thing I’d never have got before I started using this site. Must say I don’t think of 16d in terms of avarice but am sure it’ll be correct. 18d was my pick of the clues today with a mention for 3d as it’s such a wonderfully descriptive word.
    Thanks to Jay & to BD for stepping in & hoping the 2K’s family matter is good news.

  6. Another Wednesday, another sparkling and thoroughly enjoyable little masterpiece from Jay. I found it a tad more difficult than his standard puzzles but that merely upped the enjoyment. I will plagiarise RD’s top three of 19a, 23a and 16d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to BD.

  7. Typical excellent Jay puzzle to brighten up a dreich & miserable day up here. All going smoothly then as always one quarter (the NW again) took me to nearly 3* time. I just can’t understand why.
    When the penny dropped 1a was my COTD,
    Thanks to Jay for the fun and “supersub” BD for the review.
    13C here today with the snow forecast tomorrow so hope I can cope with the “new Thursday Backpage Toughie” otherwise a grumpy day beckons I fear.

  8. Very enjoyable. 25d last one in. I seem to struggle more with the four letter clues than the longer ones. 19a favourite. Ta to all.

    1. Two word definition 4 letter words are the bane of my life (& others I think), although I think 25d has fearured recently similarly clued.

    2. 25d my last one too. I agree about four letter clues especially when there are numerous words which could fit one of the words.

  9. I thought this was anothe first rate puzzle from Jay with last two or three requiring a bit of extra thought.
    My biggest problem was parsing 8d, took me ages to see it!
    I particularly liked 13 and 19a (reminded me of Dada’s “So what” in yesterday’s Toughie) along with the lurker at 17d but could have opted for several others.
    Many thanks to Jay and to BD for stepping up to the plate!

  10. So many ticks on my paper – par for the course with Mr Wednesday. I did try to fit an anagram of ‘son’ into 12a, so you weren’t alone, BD! The mineral took a concerted effort to prise out (never heard of it) but most of the remainder just involved a little lateral thinking.
    Packed podium hosts 1,19&28a plus 3,7&18d.

    Many thanks to Jay and to BD for the overtime. I do hope that our 2Ks are OK – short notice family matters are rarely good news.

  11. Jay definitely a little more tricky than usual but no less enjoyable, completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/4.5*.
    A small groan when the penny dropped on 19a.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, 21a, and 8d – and the winner is 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and BD.

    1. I agree with MP, Senf. I hope you groom your horse well. Do you feed him or her oats if you want more energy?

  12. In a normal year we would have had lots of blogger juggling to cover holidays. I think this is the first time this year that somebody has had to deputise. Such is the dedication of Big Dave’s blogging team. I do hope all is well for the 2ks. Today’s puzzle took far longer than the Toughie which now starts my solving day. (Toughie, Sodoffku, Codeword, Quickie, Cryptic). This was because Saint Sharon kept on conversing with me about the flora and fauna of our local habitat. Bless her. I wanted to put Berberis into 18 across. I plant I know well from the time I had a scrap and we both ended up rolling around in a patch of berberis bushes. Not the best of places to be brawling. Overall a very sound offering from Jay. 3 down made me smile so thanks to Jay and thanks to Big Dave. The Toughie is a fun solve. Have a go and make use of the hints if you need to

    1. Don’t put Berberis in your new garden – I have two (Darwinii and Thunbergii) and they’re both a pain in the neck for different reasons, one literal and the other related to its boringness. The ratio of annual labour:enjoyment is 10:1.
      How about Fatsia Japonica? Fast growing, needing little maintenance and a blast to look at. Suits any soil and our climate.
      Fun, fun, fun!

    2. I had a beautiful berberis bush in my English garden. Anyone who is into flower arranging usually has at least one, as they provide wonderful foliage.

      1. We used to have one that formed a low hedge along the fairly narrow walkway to our front door. My daughters used to refer to it as the ‘itchy bush’.

    3. Pardon me for saying but there is some ambiguity about your comment. Surely you and Saint Sharon were not having a brawl in the bushes?

      1. It was not Saint Sharon. It was on one of the days I went to the poor school. I remember the place, outside the science block, the time, mid afternoon, the weather, very sunny, the blood the scratches, the torn clothes, refusing to go to the housemasters office or accept a detention but I cannot remember for the life of me who I was fighting or why we were fighting.

  13. I didn’t notice how long this one took me, it seemed about **/*** time. It may have been much longer, the combined effects of codeine, paracetamol and ibruprofen could have affected my judgement. Those who don’t suffer from acute back pain are very lucky.

    I didn’t know the mineral, but it was fairly clear from the wordplay. My COTD has to be 18d, very clever I thought.

    Many thanks to Jay and BD.

    1. I did for years then saw a chiropractor. Sorted that out. Wished I’d gone earlier. Can recommend.

    2. Lived with arthritis of the spine since I was 19. I sympathise.
      At least with me, all my discs have now fused so I can’t slip one!
      Problem is you can get a break in a disc & the doctors missed it, so I went round for 3 months with a broken back.

  14. I thought this a bit trickier than the ‘usual’ Jay but definitely the usual amount of enjoyment.

    The element in 27a was very helpfully clued – I wonder if we’ll ever need to remember it again

    Thanks to Jay and the one and only BD

  15. Excellent puzzle today, top quality cluing and a ***/**** for me.
    Liked the surface of 23a and last in 19a brought on that d’oh moment and was my favourite for its originality.
    New mineral for me too, needed most of the checking letters,
    Not sure about the ‘ His’ part of 18d-maybe I’m missing something?

    1. I believe that it is a convention that any personal pronoun referencing God is capitalised. “It was His creation”.

  16. A trickier Jay this week, but an absolute joy from 1a to 25d. 12a was my last one in as, like BD and Jane, I endeavoured (for way too long) to find an anagram. I missed the lurker, of course.

    Regarding 25d: when I was about six or seven years old, I was awarded a book token at my prep school for some good work or other, and I was asked to bring the book I purchased into school so it good be presented to me on prize giving day. I bought Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by Jules Verne. When it came to the prize giving, the headmistress said, rather acidly, about me, “Oh! Isn’t he stuck up?” I have never forgotten this. Curious how words from nearly sixty years ago still make me shudder. *tootles off to therapy session*

    Sending positive thoughts to Daisy.

    Thanks to the superb Jay and the equally ace Big D.

    1. That story brings to mind my headmistress’ comment when she was hauling me over the coals for some minor infraction in science class, “you are not here to enjoy yourself,Greta.” Bizarre I thought then aged about 12/13 and still do. I did actually enjoy most of my classes but the idea that they should make you miserable is very strange! However, she was a total battle axe and it was one of the G.PD.S.T. Schools so anything less than meek obedience was a hanging offence.

        1. Girls public day school trust. I think they’ve dropped the public part now but they still exist.

            1. Our daughter attended Shrewsbury High School, which is a GDST. To be honest, there was no nastiness from any of the teachers.

      1. I never enjoyed Chemistry or Physics. And Biology was so boring as we spent a whole term on the life cycle of the amoeba…

      2. I had similar experiences at a GPDST (now GDST) school. Things have changed so much – to the extent that posts on my school’s Instagram page are all about girls having fun!

    2. Honestly, some teachers are just vile.
      I can understand secondary teachers getting ground down by (also) vile teenagers, but humiliating a 7yr old is beyond forgiveness.

  17. Very much harder than last week so I needed the helpful hints of Big Dave to help me finish so thanks to him and also to Jay.

  18. My struggles continue as I found today’s Jay not as easy as others. I have struggled for the last few days and I hope my solving abilities have not deserted me! I don’t like using help if I can avoid it.

    Still, it was enjoyable and I really liked 12a and 28a. Many thanks to Jay and to Big Dave for standing in at short notice, I do hope the 2Kiwis sort their problems out.

    What was the Quickie pun? I can’t make sense of it.

        1. I was just about to reply to Terence to ask him not to be nasty to you – just because you had a struggle with the crossword today really doesn’t mean that you’ve ‘run to seed’! :unsure:

            1. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

              I think my problem with solving at the moment is the fact I have a lot of post graduate work to do. It’s to a tight deadline and I think my mind is more on that than cryptics.
              It still annoys me, though.

    1. Steve
      I couldn’t agree more. I too thought this was hard and have thought the same about several of the recent puzzles. Thank goodness, and BD, for the hints which help to to finish it and also educate me.

  19. A really good Wednesday crossword as you can only expect from this setter.
    Never disappointed.
    Only had to check the mineral in 27a.
    Favourite 18d.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD.
    Hope everything is well with our 2 kiwis.

  20. Trickier than yesterdays puzzle but enjoyable for all that. Must admit I don’t remember coming across High as an anagram indicator before, cant see the connection. Struggled a little with 18d (thought this was weak), 5d and 24d.
    Thx to all

  21. I agree that it was a little tricky in places and I can tolerate a mineral I’ve never heard of (but it sounds as though it should be featured in Game of Thrones or The Hobbit).
    I absolutely agree that 16d is a far cry from “greedy”, which to means wanting more than you need., whereas the answer is more of a natural drive, albeit with an unfortunate moral dimension in the case of humans.

    But in general, it was really enjoyable. I liked the school inspectors and the hospital radio for their neat surfaces, the people who should be “politer” and, most of all, the image of Ronnie or Reggie wearing the said item(S). :lol:

    Thanks a lot to Jay and BD.

  22. I thought that this was at the tougher end of Jay’s arsenal for me but nonetheless enjoyable and brilliant. The mineral was my LOI and it took a bit of piecing together, but I did finally get it. Needless to say, completely new to me. The Tour de France clue was my COTD, but many others strongly vied for podium places, especially 16d, 23a, 8d, and 1a. Hope things are well with the Kiwis, and thanks to BD for stepping in. And, as Jane is wont to say, devotions to Jay for such wonderment (mine, of course). *** / *****

    1. My devotions are reserved for Mr T but Jay definitely has my greatest admiration – what a star performer.
      By the way – you might like to put ‘The Riviera Set’ on your reading list, quite fascinating for those of us ‘of a certain age’. First couple of chapters read a little like a list of names but it’s worth persevering.

        1. Most of my recent reads have come from recommendations made by Robert, Merusa and CS. My reading habits have never been so diverse! A few of the recent ‘favourites’ have been ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, ‘The Giver of Stars’ and ‘Pillars of the Earth’ – something of a tome but flows really well.
          Happy reading!

      1. Thanks for the recommendation, Jane. Right now, I’m on page 1,009 (of 1,487) of Robt Galbraith’s mind-bending new book, Troubled Blood. The Riviera Jetsetters will have to wait a while.

    2. Robert – I did wonder how you would get on with the 11a School Inspectors and the 7d Krays, but you seem to have fared OK.

      1. We had the school inspectors before, however, I failed to remember them again! One day I’ll remember.

        1. Once you’ve been on the receiving end of an Ofsted inspector, you never forget, believe me!

      2. I knew who the Krays were, thanks to my omnivorous reading of mysteries and such. On the OFSTED matter, I took a shot and then googled to be sure what the acronym stood for.

  23. I finished a Jay crossword… the bubbles are on ice!
    First half went in straightforwardly, the rest with a lot more time & thinking. (And coffee).
    A very enjoyable puzzle that was for me challenging & rewarding.
    Many thanks to Jay for this cracker & BD for review & direction.

  24. 4/4. I thought this was pretty tough but very rewarding. My favourites were 19a and 3d. I got 27a from the wordplay but had to look it up. 19a also made me smile. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  25. Pretty tricky today I needed lots of hints to get me through, I managed not to reveal most of the answers. Been chaos for a couplke of days new Aga being installed. At least mess is being kept to a minimum.
    Thanks to BD for excellent hints and to Jay

  26. I thought this was quite a bit trickier than usual for Jay – I nearly always have a battle with my last few answers on Wednesdays but today it was definitely a battle with far more than a few.
    Most of my problems were in the bottom right corner with a few others splattered around.
    I can’t believe that I spent ages thinking, “Bob’ who?” I’ve seen that kind of clue so many times. Dim!
    Needless to say I’ve never heard of the mineral and missed the lurker.
    I spent too long trying to think of a particular inventor for 20d which was silly.
    Lots and lots of good clues including 1 and 11a and 7d. My favourite is either 19 or 28a.
    Thanks to Jay and to BD, specially for standing in at short notice.

      1. William Painter – he invented the crown cork, that thing we need to remove to open a bottle of beer.

  27. Yes a nice offering as is usual on Wednesday 😃 ***/*** Favourites were 28a & 19a 🤗 My only reservation was with 25d book fine but mark for token! 😳 Thanks to Big Dave and to Jay

    1. Also. Token. a member of a minority group included in an otherwise homogeneous set of people in order to give the appearance of diversity. That’ll be me then

  28. Thought I was going to crack this one until I got a third done, and ground to a halt. Big Dave’s hints helped get me going again. But anything with elements or minerals is always going to do me in. See earlier comment about my lack of interest in my science classes. Best wishes to the 2Kiwis on their urgent trip. Thanks to Jay, and Big Dave.

    1. Not impossible as many here have commented. I can’t remember hearing of aragonite but it is possible to derive it from the clue.

      This puzzle took a bit of prising open, but as usual for Wednesday a very good offering.

      Thanks Jay and BD

    2. Surely one of the elements of solving crosswords is to use the wordplay to derive a word that you haven’t come across before. Of course you have to look it up to check but you have solved the clue IMHO.
      As in this case a relatively straightforward wordplay gave a pretty obscure word.
      It is cause for complaint when the setter uses complex wordplay to derive the obscure word.
      If aragonite comes up tomorrow, I’ll be OK next week possibly, next month no chance.

  29. Morning all from Wellington.
    What was originally going to a relatively minor procedure for 12yr old grandson Sam morphed into being significant urinary tract surgery so things have been rather chaotic here. The operation was all completed last evening and Sam is now recovering well but will still be in hospital for several days yet.
    Thanks so much BD for stepping in at short notice.
    We hope to be back home and back to normal in time for next Wednesday’s puzzle.

    1. Thanks for getting in touch, 2Ks – you must have been so worried about young Sam. Hope that he’s well on the road to recovery and have no doubt that your ‘grandparently’ love and help will speed things along.

    2. Colin and Carol,
      Really glad to have heard from you. What a worry for all of you – poor Sam, and the two of you and your daughter.
      I hope all goes well from now on and that you’re back home soon.
      xx from me.

    3. Wishing a speedy recovery to Sam and perhaps a nightcap and a good night’s sleep for all the worried relatives.

  30. I did not know the mineral but the clue was not impossible to solve. I built it up from the wordplay and the checkers and Googled to check it was correct. 18d was a good clue and , as BD says, cleverly disguised by having the word for the Almighty at the beginning. I had too many favourites so shall single out 3d and 1 and 28a. Thanks for the fun Jay and thanks BD. Always worth reading the hints after the solve. I got 23a without spotting the anagram having thought of the right sort of bob.

  31. My usual Wednesday problem ……sailed through the Toughie and stymied by this.
    I don’t know 27a. Any link to Lord of the Rings?

  32. Decidedly tricky Jay but so enjoyable as usual. He is, indeed, a master at his craft.
    I had to get a hint or two in the SE, and I needed BD to unravel several after a bung in. I didn’t get the mineral, I had to click on that to get the answer. I also had no idea who the Krays are, I solved that with e-help and guessed.
    Two really stood out for me, 1a and 28a, smile worthy.
    Thank you Jay for the fun and BD for stepping in with the hints, much needed today.

  33. Again today I didn’t need to be sent to the Naughty Corner in order to enjoy some cake. SW corner last to submit. Failed to fully parse simple 19a but once clocked made it Fav. 27a mineral new one on me. I was reminded of a visit to branch of well-known chain and where I asked where to find a 7d but the young assistant didn’t know to what I was referring – obviously antediluvian! Thank you Jay for fun and BD who it is so nice to have in the weekday hinting seat.

  34. Nice crossword, quite tough.
    On a point of order the Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing, but we all knew what the setter was getting at…
    Thanks Jay and Big Dave.

  35. Perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t and perfectly enjoyable until it wasn’t, the same points coincided exactly. 27a and a few synonyms stretched to breaking point rather spoiled it for me. No particular favourite. Thanks to Jay and BD.

  36. I always find Jay puzzles very tough! I just don’t seem to be on his wavelength…..but all fair and square and got there in the end….

  37. Early start to this and a late finish due to interruptions today. 2.5*/***. Found it tricky in parts and used more hints than I liked today. End of day finish and I am done with the grey matter.
    Clues I liked were 1a, 11a, 19a, 23a & 7d. Winner 1a with 7d/9a runners up

    Thanks to Jay and BD for hints

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