DT 29530 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29530

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29530

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re back home again just in time to tackle this week’s Jay puzzle. Not sure whether it was just us but we certainly took quite a lot longer than usual to get this one sorted. Well into our three stars for difficulty time and even considered a possible fourth one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Disastrous time — smoker may have this rejected (6)
TRAGIC : The abbreviation for time and the reversal of something a smoker may have, possibly from Cuba.

5a     Uninspired by prisoner becoming full of remorse (8)
CONTRITE : A three letter slang term for a prisoner, then uninspiring or commonplace.

9a     Business people must hold back alarm (13)
CONSTERNATION : The two letter abbreviation for a business or company, and then people or race contains the back of a ship.

10a     Left an angry European game (8)
LACROSSE : L(eft) then a 1,5 phrase that is the equivalent of ‘an angry’, and finally E(uropean).

11a     Female just after a fling (6)
AFFAIR : ‘A’ from the clue, F(emale) plus just or equable.

12a     Spear mostly used with a creature from Africa (6)
IMPALA : Remove the last letter from a synonym for spear when used as a verb, then ‘A’ from the clue.

14a     Curses seeing bottle’s no answer on board ship (8)
SCOURGES : Remove A(nswer) from a word meaning bottle or bravery and put this inside the two letters signifying a steamship.

16a     Lies from women needing jumpers (8)
WHOPPERS : W(omen), then another word for jumpers such as frogs or kangaroos.

19a     Period that is needed to cover church silver (3,3)
ICE AGE : The two letters that are an abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘that is’ contain the Anglican Church and the chemical symbol for silver.

21a     This may be taken as commitment (6)
PLUNGE : A cryptic definition for a metaphorical commitment.

23a     Cleaner with a dress, oddly, will be game (8)
CHARADES : A cleaner or ‘lady wot does’, ‘A’ from the clue and the first, third and fifth letters of ‘dress’.

25a     Series of events caused by a car on thin ice crashing (5,8)
CHAIN REACTION : An anagram (crashing) of A CAR ON THIN ICE.

26a     Bitterness seen since shame engulfs Her Majesty (8)
ASPERITY : A two letter synonym for since, then another word for shame, (as in ‘what a shame’) contains Her Majesty’s regnal cypher.

27a     Submits returns (6)
YIELDS : A double definition. The returns might be financial.


2d     Ruse dismissing American demand for salvage (7)
RECLAIM : Remove the abbreviation meaning American from the word ‘ruse’ and then demand as an entitlement.

3d     Playing on errors may reveal a hopeless case (5)
GONER : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

4d     Picture of small headland found south of Newcastle, say (9)
CITYSCAPE : What Newcastle is an example of, then S(mall) and a headland or promontory.

5d     Nurses perhaps must cover five such chairs (7)
CARVERS : The Roman numeral five is inside nurses described by their relationship to patients.

6d     Animal discovered in many a lake (5)
NYALA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Stress check on behalf of discontented comrade (9)
REINFORCE : A check that might be used to control a horse, then a word meaning ‘on behalf of’ and the two outside letters (discontented) of comrade.

8d     Move into net savings scheme (7)
TONTINE : An anagram (move) of INTO NET.

13d     Program needing time to include objective for attachment (9)
APPENDAGE : A three letter computer program, then an objective or goal and finally a period of time.

15d     Rule exercised by limited company? (9)
OLIGARCHY : A cryptic definition of a regime controlled by a select few.

17d     New vehicles with no source of vacuum coils (7)
HELICES : An anagram (new) of (v)EHICLES without the first letter of vacuum.

18d     Stealth needed by some losing heart before battle in France (7)
SECRECY : The first and last letters of ‘some’ (losing heart) and then a famous battle that took place in 1346.

20d     Discovered area described by fabulous legend (7)
GLEANED : An anagram (fabulous) of LEGEND contains A(rea).

22d     Weariness regularly seen in audit (5)
ENNUI : Every second letter found in the last three word of the clue.

24d     A newly-wed has no right to stand (5)
ABIDE : ‘A’ from the clue and a newly-wed once R(ight) has been removed.

So many ticks we won’t even try and pick a favourite today.

Quickie pun    hitch    +    effete    =    itchy feet

93 comments on “DT 29530

  1. I had to resort to a few electrons to finally dispatch this puzzle. It was 14a & 15d that were the culprits; neither being words I use often. I only knew 8d because Mr Burns enters into one in an episode of The Simpsons!

    Other than that, it was a deal more challenging than the last two days, and I had it completed in ***/**** time.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

    1. Me too with the Montgomery Burns Tontine. Also from a film called The Wrong Box made in 1966 and directed by Bryan Forbes

    2. There was also a TV play some time ago with Warren Clarke and Neil Pearson in it amongst others called The Mystery of Men I think , which had a tontine as its plot.

    3. I got 8d ‘cos I have a couple of books here by Costain (can’t remember his first name) with that title.

  2. 2.5*/4.5*. The usual Wednesday superlatives are applicable again today. Parts of this were moderately challenging but it was, of course, great fun.

    There were two words which I haven’t come across for a long time in 26a & 8d, but I managed to dredge them up from somewhere in the inner reaches of my memory.

    All the clues were excellent, and I had no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  3. This was a nicely thought-provoking puzzle, which was quite demanding in terms of GK required and because there was some great misdirection (2.5*/4*). I liked 19a, short and sweet but effective, 9a, a wily piece of misdirection and 15d, superbly cryptic. Thanks to Jay and to the Kiwis.

  4. I was pleased to see that our esteemed bloggers thought this quite tough, as I thought it was the most difficult Wednesday for some time. I needed electronic help to confirm the savings scheme, the battle and the coils in various “down” clues plus the bitterness in 26a.
    Very difficult to pick a podium but I particularly liked 11,16& 21a
    Many thanks to the 3 birds.

  5. Another snorter of a crossword, I needed a bit of electronic help and a considerable amount of;put it down, walk dogs, coffee and pipe before it surrendered. I liked 10 and 16a, actually first ones in.
    Thanks to 2Ks and Jay

  6. At first glance I thought this was going to be a bit of a beast that I would dislike mainly due to 8d. It is tricky enough trying to solve anagrams without the word in question being obscure, certainly not a word I knew anyway.
    As it turned out it did come to together quite well but for some reason I didn’t really derive much enjoyment. The clues were not to my taste on the whole. I didn’t dislike it per se but just a bit of 22d ensued (nice to see this old favourite back again).
    Thx to all

  7. Whew, Jay at his toughest and most erudite, and most playfully himself–not only in the Cryptic but also in the demanding, pangrammed Quickie. I thought this was just plain brilliant, and as I became stretched into *** time, I wondered if indeed he had finally defeated me. I quite luckily remembered the savings scheme from another puzzle some time ago, and I pored long and hard over 21a before taking the big step; it was my LOI, but my podium stars are 14a, 26a, 17d (with many runners-up). Thanks to the Kiwis (hope all is well now with your grandson) and Jay. 3* / 5*

      1. If you make 8 down Layer and 13 across tar it becomes a pangram. Without the letter Y it is a pangra

    1. Wot about our Cabinet then? All experts in their field with nary a rap sheet among them! Be still my heart.

  8. Difficult today. 8d features in the film The Wrong Box which has been on sky lately. No particular favourite. Ta to all.

    1. I remembered the film, The Wrong Box, which greatly enjoyed, when it was first screened. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore at their best!

  9. Once again I made a crossword puzzle more difficult than I need have done, having written a N instead of M in 2d, leading me to enter ANGORA at 12a. Once 13d became impossible to solve, I needed to go back over a few answers to find my error – D’oh!! Electronic help needed for 17d & 8d (I know the hotel of the same name in Ironbridge, but not the meaning of the word). Otherwise this was quite an easy puzzle to unravel with some excellent clueing. Too many super clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

  10. I did have to check on the plural of 17d and also on the savings scheme so this took rather longer than usual.
    My top three for amusement were 16,21&25a.

    Thanks to Jay for another great puzzle and to our 2Ks for the review – good to see you back in the chair, trust all is now well with the family.

  11. So much tougher than a normal Wednesday offering but still completable from the wordplay or the checking letters. Thanks to the 2Ks, rather they than I. Thanks to Mr Mutch as ever. Thanks also to the fish stall and the bread stall on Market Bosworth and the secret supplier of raw milk. God it’s lovely stuff

    1. When growing up we lived up a winding country lane, and we got all our milk from the local farmer, whose cows looked over our garden hedge. Non pasteurized etc. Delicious, and we never came to harm. However said farmer did get a tad upset when our lovable mongrel decided his new sport was to chase his chickens. As we couldn’t cure him, we had to find him a new home safely away from meeting the farmer’s shotgun.

    2. I remember these times. Edwina Curry banning non pasteurised milk products.
      Impossible to get my Vacherin du Mont D’or.

  12. I was all over the shop on this one: I filled in incorrectly Pledge in 21 ac and Bride in 24 down so I got well into 3* time before I got cross checkers to realise my errors.

    I didn’t recognise the first three letters of 13d as a programme but I am over 60 so claim technophobia on that one.

    Having said that I really enjoyed it and can only blame myself for messing it up initially. A good 4* for enjoyment.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis for their hard work.

  13. Definitely on the trickier side today. ***/**** I’m pleased to see that it wasn’t just me. We have a street named 8d in my town although without Mr. G’s confirmation, I would never have guessed the meaning. Strangely, 16a held me up the longest and it’s so obvious really. I did remember the French battle although I don’t know who was involved. More than likely, the English! Plus ca change. Thanks for the picture of 6d. I never knew it looked like that. Had to work at this one but as enjoyable as ever. Favourite 14a. Thanks to all.

  14. Enjoyable and most went in without too much of a struggle although I did need to check the definition of 8d. Favourite was 21a. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  15. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought this on the tough side. I did need to resort to Mr. G on quite a number. There used to be a pub near us called 8d but, like Shropshirebloke, I didn’t know the meaning. I’m afraid I found this too difficult to enjoy despite managing to finish. Hey ho – all grist to the mill.

    Thanks to Jay for the challenge and the 2Kiwis for the much needed hints.

    1. Never thought I would ever say this but I got further with the Toughie today than I did with the back pager.

  16. After the Monday & Tuesday hillocks this was a real Munro & in my view a **** difficulty rating would have been justified. Superbly clued as usual & right up there with his best. Mr G needed to confirm 8d & the 17d plural & there were quite a few where it probably took longer than it ought to have for the penny to drop after a good deal of 9a. Too many worthy contenders to sort out a podium though 18d raised a smile as it reminded me of a great line in darts commentary from the marvellous Sid Waddell – we haven’t seen arrows like this since the battle of….
    Not sure today’s Toughie is much harder than this, if at all, & it’s thankfully easier than yesterday’s struggle which Brian declared was gentle.
    Thanks as ever to Jay & the 2Ks

  17. Well that was weird. I completed what I thought was the backpager, found it awkward in places, came on to check the parsings only to find I had done the Toughie by mistake on the iPad Edition. A senior moment from a Young Salopian. I will do the Jay now. How embarrassing…….

  18. Excellent puzzle today with top draw clues throughout, No obscurities or iffy definitions.
    Agree with 2K’s on a ***/****-and thanks as usual for the pics.
    Apart from initially inserting pledge into 21a, a steady solve throughout,, ending with the NW corner for a change-2d was my favourite but could have been lots of others, Jay is a master compiler ,making it all look easy,which of course it is not.

  19. One of those days when everything seemed to slot into place……so for me a easier than normal Jay…unlike my esteemed colleagues who have posted this far. Had to check that 3 solutions were actually real words 26a, 6 & 8d . 26a my favourite as solved the clue as intended and hey presto there was an answer. 1.5*/**** which probably reflects my smugness …but it’s Thursday tomorrow and we all know what that can mean, so my euphoria will be short lived.

  20. Definitely Jay a little trickier than usual but as excellent as ever and I did not need to use any of the white space on my printed sheet, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 21a, and 18d – and the winner is 21a.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  21. Thought the quickie was trickier -convinced it was a Pangram …but no Y unless Ive misspelt something?
    Also struggled to get the pun

  22. A really good workout today, the north flew in, then came south, reading 13d and trying to parse it with checkers in 15d doh! last two in 21a and 26a, couldn’t get pledge out of my head COTD for me 9a, 7d and 16a on the podium ***/****
    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

      1. I did too, early on. Also had Grendel (from Beowulf) for the legend in 20d–but that was a non-starter too.

  23. Although difficult, this crossword was very enjoyable.
    Re 14a I cannot find scourge= curse or curse =scourge in my BRB. Needed the Kiwis help for that one.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

    1. Tried to edit this but failed…can see the scourge/curse association now….noun not verb doh!

  24. As Brian remarked, asperity is the word for what was induced by this puzzle. Got there in my version of ** time but can only give it * for enjoyment.

    My thanks to the 2Ks and to Jay for reminding me of asperity and bringing it out in me.

  25. Obviously it’s one of those wavelength conundrums, but for some reason I found this easier than usual for Jay. A delight from beginning to end. I got 8d quickly, as I remember the wonderful Joan Hickson as Miss Marple solving a case involving one of these, with all the beneficiaries being knocked off one by one. LOI was 17d as it took me a while to figure out the plural of the DNA double thingy. Many thanks to one and all.

  26. ****/**. Quite tough for a Wednesday. 8d I knew from an Agatha Christie story although that’s the only time I’ve come across that word. 15d needed electronic help. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  27. That made me stop. That made me stare. That made me lose my underwear. As we used to say in the playground. I got completely stuck in the top LH corner as I had stupidly put landscape but eventually worked it out. Oh memories of playing lacrosse. Viscous game. I felt sure I had a very old book from my parents called The Tontine, along with Kristin Lavrans Datta and Tatterdemalion and all the old Harrison Ainsworth books which I had to read because during and after the war there was a great scarcity of books. I seem to remember that the last man standing got the money at the end which seemed to me to be a certain recipe for murder. How I loved those old books! Thanks to J and KK.

    1. Agree about the hockey. After I saw a fellow team mate get her shin totally smashed by a hockey ball, I sensibly leapt out of the way whenever one came my way. I was never popular with the hockey mistress after that.

      1. My absent-minded games teacher put me in goal my first time out on the hockey field……but forgot to give me any shin-pads. Determinedly (or my team would have scragged me in the showers) I stopped as many shots as possible with stick or shins. When askedif I would like to try out for the school team, I replied in the negative. She explained that it was a great honour to be on the school team but have up, when I showed her my black and blue legs.

        1. I have a dent in the front of my shin which still exists after 55years – courtesy, not of a hockey ball but the stick of another player. Wot a foul girl!

        2. Chriscross – care to divulge the meaning of scragged (in the showers)? It sounds like a combination of a number of dubious practices, resulting in the nether region of a lamb’s neck after butchering.

          1. It could be removing your towel from the peg, whilst you were in the shower so that you had to do a walk of shame into the changing room, a bar of soap placed thoughtfully onto the slippery floor outside your shower, or heaven forfend, the broken soap dish. If they were really miffed, they’d gang up and push you in first, when the water was cold, then hide your school uniform and pinch your towel. It stopped when the games mistress came to investigate, after she’d put all the games kit away.

            1. Our showers were a nightmare. Not individual ones at all, just a u shape tunnel that we had to file through one behind the other, in the buff. And this was a brand new school. We all dreaded and hated it. The planners had no concept of modesty.

  28. I was determined not to be beaten by the Wednesday master. I had an initial plunge, stroked Lola for a considerable time (stop it – she’s a cat, new readers) and then returned; next came luncheon (a packet of low fat crisps), and once more I threw myself into this affair.
    What a quest it was! Thank goodness for Mr Burns and The Simpsons for 8d.
    I am now throwing my metaphorical hat into the air on completion of what, at times, seemed like a hopeless case.
    A metaphorical hat is a fedora with a feather adorning it.

    Thanks to Jay for this brain scrambler and the mighty 2Ks.

    1. Terence, I refuse to believe that your luncheon consists of a packet of crisps, no matter how low the fat or salt content. It just isn’t you.

      1. You’re right, Daisy – it was a stop-gap, intermediate luncheon, to fill in the gap before the real thing.

  29. It is always said by my fellow bloggers by the time I enter my post,,, superb, testing, witty & a downright pleasure . I agree!
    As a favourite I choose 19ac , I just thought it was brilliant,,, odd I know but there you are.
    Grateful thanks to Jay for the workout & 2KWs for review & direction

  30. I never find Jay easy, but surprisingly I didn’t find this any harder than usual. I was able to tease out most of the answers, but needed hints for 17d (never paid attention in science at school), and 14d which didn’t leap to mind, and of course I had never heard of 8d. I got 6d just because a remembered a good tip from Miffypops – if you can’t understand the clue, look for a lurker. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis. Enjoying a cool spell here, allowing us to have the AC off and doors and windows open. Lovely.

  31. Phew! I found this tricky ****/****😳 Had 7d & 14a (my last ones in wrong) 😬 Plenty of clever clues, obviously two too clever 😟 My Favourites 10 & 16a and 18d 😃 Horrible murky wet day here in the East but the crossword made it brighter (slightly) Thanks to Jay and to the 2x Ks for explaining things!

  32. I would agree that this was Jay at the tougher end of his setting spectrum, but it was none the worse for it. Elegantly clued as always, with humour and wit never far away. It was a joy to solve it. No particular favourite as they were all excellent.

    Many thanks to Jay for the fun and to the Kiwis.

  33. Fell in the Pledge trap also.
    Remembered the savings scheme also from another crossword.
    17d is one of my favourite word in French. What sounds better? A propeller plane or un avion à hélice?
    My last in were 14a/15d and the latter becomes my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  34. I succumbed to electronic help with three clues to go. Thought it was very tricky today, but enjoyable. Nice to learn 3 new words at 5d, 8d and 26a.
    Thanks to Jay for the challenge and the 2 Kiwis for the review

  35. I agree with anyone who says that this was much trickier than is usual for a Wednesday – maybe Jay thinks that we’ve all got too much time on our hands and need occupying – if he does then I think he’s right.
    Really difficult and really enjoyable too and has taken me ages.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of 8d – obviously missed the Agatha Christie – and if I’ve heard of 26a I’ve forgotten it.
    I needed alternate letters in before 15d had to be what it was.
    1 and 14a took for ever and, along with others who played it, absolutely hated the 10a game – vicious or what?
    I’d forgotten about the quickie pun but I couldn’t get that either.
    As the K’s so rightly said there are so many good clues – I’m not even going to try to pick any particular ones out.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s – hope all is OK in Wellington now and that Sam is better.
    Really cold in Oxford – off to light the wood burner.

  36. I’m always a Jay fan and today is no exception, I’m definitely on his wavelength. No strange words today, my problem was “pledge” at 21a. Last in was 15d and only solved it as I had the checkers. I only needed e-help for 4d, I hit a roadblock there.
    Like our hosts, I’m loathe to pick a fave with these prime choices, but must give an honourable mention to 16a.
    Thank you Jay for so much fun, and also thanks to the 2Kiwis for unravelling a couple.

  37. Learned a few words today: 14 and 26a; 8, 15 and 17d and found this quite a tussle. Thank yous to setter and bloggers.

  38. This took me well into 4*/2* today. Definitely a more challenging Jay puzzle this week. I needed more hints than I like to use for solving satisfaction. New word in 8d for me
    Clues of note include 1a, 15a, 13d & 24d with favourite being 15a

    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  39. That was very tricky, but very enjoyable. I had to get the husband and three letter hints involved to finish. I have learned 3 new words and, thanks to the quickie, how to pronounce effete!

  40. Morning all.
    So it wasn’t just us who found this tougher than usual. We were not as fresh as we usually are when we sit down to solve on a Wednesday as we had arrived home from Wellington literally minutes before starting the process. We got held up in the SE largely because we had BRIDE for 24d until we couldn’t make the checkers fit and looked at the parsing again.
    12 year old grandson Sam is now well on the way to recovery after his kidney operation a week ago. It ended up being longer and more complicated than everyone had anticipated and really ‘knocked the stuffing’ out of him. Hoping he will be well enough to get back to school next week and we can all settle back into our regular patterns. It’s been a trying time for us all.

    1. Cheers to you both, and best wishes to young Sam from the warm shores of S Carolina, USA, on the eve of our Thanksgiving.

    2. Somehow it doesn’t seem fair for a young chap to suffer like that, poor lad. Here’s hoping all solved and no more problems from here on.

  41. Quite tricky but I enjoyed that! It invoked neither ennui nor asperity and I even learnt a new word…never heard of 8d before.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Glad your grandson is on the mend.

  42. I’ve just done Monday’s bonus cryptic 631. It was a lot of fun, thoroughly recommend if anyone is bored.

  43. Well it didn’t take long for my prediction yesterday to come true, for those who post early it was along the lines we’re going to suffer later in the week for having a gentle start. In the interests of fairness I did imbibe two pints of Timothy Taylor’s Landlord during a lockdown zoom meeting before embarking this particular venture and the level of the wine bottle has dropped considerably during the process. It may have had some influence on my cognitive skills. Any road up, favourite was 21a. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  44. I guess the 2Ks are thinking about lunch now, me breakfast. I thought this was fairly straight forward for a Jay puzzle. I see that many of us went for pledge instead of plunge for 21a which of course caused problems with 13a. Being and anagram, it could not be anything but…hence 21a had to be wrong. Thanks Jay for the challenge and the 2K for the extras.
    Can the Kiwis square it up with Argentina this weekend?🤔🦇

  45. Most went in smoothly. However I took the pledge rather than the plunge. Favourites 11 and 16a and 7d. I wanted to put hierarchy in 15d. Could not get 14a which I thought was an awkward clue for an awkward word. Thanks Jay and 2Ks

    1. Glad someone else wanted to put hierarchy in 15d. I got the right answer with electronic help, and also used this for one or two other clues, but was delighted to finish the puzzle although most seemed to think it was quite difficult. I didn’t use the 2 Kiwis hints , but thanks for all their efforts, which I have now read, especially in view of their family problems. Thanks to setter for taxing my brain power.

  46. I was introduced to 8d when reading the 4.50 from Paddington. Oddly enough it was an answer to a cross word clue that Miss Marple solved.

Comments are closed.