DT 29559 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29559

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29559

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A calm before the storm here as we are expecting lots of family to be arriving soon. They will be with us for a few days over New Year before heading off in various directions. As our borders are effectively closed to overseas tourists at present, locals are being urged to take up the slack. Our family are responding to this call. It has been unseasonably cool up to now but a beautiful fine sunny day today so maybe real Kiwi summer weather is starting to kick in.

This week Jay has given us a seasonally themed puzzle, a 12 across theme it is too, as well as a truly groan-worthy Quickie pun.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


7a     Studies should encompass one case of cook becoming author (7)
DICKENS : Studies that are rooms surround the Roman numeral one and the first and last letters (case) of ‘cook’.

8a     See 13 Across

10a     Unknown location that sees an amount of sport, reportedly (9)
SOMEWHERE : A four letter word for an indefinite amount and then a homophone of a verb meaning ‘sport’ relating to clothing.

11a     Special attention needed to hold hot drink (5)
LATTE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

12a     Suggestion from good crowd? (5)
GHOST : G(ood), then a crowd such as that referenced by Wordsworth in “Daffodils”.

13a & 8 Across     Manchester’s strip redesigned for 12? (9,7)
CHRISTMAS PRESENT : An anagram (redesigned) of MANCHESTER’S STRIP.

15a     Stay around, with son after the French food (7)
EDIBLES : The reversal of an old-fashioned word for stay around or wait, then the French definite article and S(on).

17a     Doctor sees new right for worker in theatre (7)
DRESSER : The two letter abbreviation for doctor, an anagram (new) of SEES plus R(ight).

18a     Russian aircraft helping mass movement (9)
MIGRATION : A Russian fighter aircraft and then a helping or allocation.

20a     Staff ran campaign to keep old currency (5)
FRANC : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

21a     One double parking in New York needs to be quick (5)
NIPPY : Inside the abbreviation for New York we have the Roman numeral one and the duplication of the letter used on parking signs.

23a     Jerry perhaps welcomes return of Tom with hot feature (9)
MOUSTACHE : The cartoon animal Jerry surrounds the reversal of the cartoon animal Tom and H(ot).

24a     Experience open-top bus in colour (7)
SUSTAIN : Bus with its first letter removed (open-top) is inside colour or apply a darkening agent.

25a     Bring in different set, getting serious (7)
EARNEST : Bring in as an income, plus an anagram (different) of SET.


1d     Talking idly of low energy after school (10)
SCHMOOZING : The three letter abbreviation for school, then the low made by a bovine creature and a colloquial word for energy.

2d     Shed tears over heart of city flyer (6)
PEEWIT : The reversal (over) of ‘shed tears’ and the central two letters of ‘city’.

3d     Concentrates, seeing German town’s protecting church (8)
ESSENCES : A German city in the Ruhr with its ‘S, encloses the Anglican Church.

4d     Come out — father’s climbing tree! (6)
APPEAR : The reversal of a familiar word for father and a tree where perhaps a partridge might be found at this time of the year.

5d     Almost consider covering lesson, having lost social standing (8)
DECLASSE : Remove the last letter (in this case an M) from a synonym for consider and this surrounds a lesson or period of instruction.

6d     Answer found in favourite fuel (4)
PEAT : Favourite (either animal or other) contains A(nswer).

7d     Rows caused by fixing resident’s game (13)
DISAGREEMENTS : An anagram (caused by fixing) of RESIDENT’S GAME.

9d     Trustees reach out, finding valuable hidden store (8,5)

14d     Note — editor accepts second game is not given fair opposition (10)
MISMATCHED : Start with one of the notes of the sol fah scale, then S(econd), next a game or sporting fixture, and finally ED(itor).

16d     Time a proposal might generate a jumpy listener? (4,4)
LEAP YEAR : The whole clue gives the definition. To get the wordplay for a jumpy listener split the answer 5,3.

17d     Short shift should include merry tune for such a set (8)
DENTURES : Remove the last letter from a shift as an item of clothing and inside this place an anagram (merry) of TUNE.

19d     Resistant setter’s married a Parisienne! (6)
IMMUNE : How Jay can refer to himself using a personal pronoun and a shortened form of the verb to be, then M(arried) and the female version of the French indefinite article.

20d     13 yet to pass 12? (6)
FUTURE : Part of the seasonal theme.

22d     13 over 12? (4)
PAST : Also part of the seasonal theme.

We enjoyed the theme in today’s puzzle, but as 17d was our last one to solve we will nominate that for favourite.

Quickie pun    ask    +    worm    +    heel    =    a square meal

114 comments on “DT 29559

  1. I will admit defeat. All completed in ** time, except for 5d. I do feel somewhat irked when a compiler feels they have to use a word as rare as that.

    Still, compliments of the season to Jay and the 2 Ks for the hints.

    1. 5D my last one in too Malcom, needed all the checkers and a “go though the alphabet” process.

  2. Excellent Wednesday puzzle which was finished like a sprinter in the Nunthorpe Stakes : at least for me. Perhaps I am thinking of a stayers race at a village point to point. Loved the Scrooge references and clues. 23a makes the podium as does 20a. My thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    1. The picture for 17a made me reflect on the awful BBC Black Narcissus. If the director had paid as much attention to giving us a decent story as the dresser and cinematographer had to their roles we wouldn’t have had a reminder of the comment about Waiting for Godot. Only this time nothing happened three times.

      1. It was certainly a very disappointing adaptation of the book. Like you, I kept waiting for ‘something’ to happen and I’m sure the cast had far more to give.

        1. I agree, Jane. I’m a great fan of Rumer Godden’s books and this adaptation didn’t do Black Narcissus justice. The old film with Deborah Kerr was much better and had real atmosphere

      2. Agree completely Corky – nothing happened THREE times! Such a let down. Peeves me no end I have to start paying the licence fee again for such rubbish.

    2. Happy memories of the Nunthorpe Corky. Had one of my biggest ever wagers on Habibti, a John Dunlop filly, in the early 80s in the race.

  3. Another fine Jay puzzle, (2*/4*) with a few challenges inthe SW. I really liked the Christmas combo of 12a, 13a, 8a, 20d and 22d. I wasn’t so keen on 1d , although it was very clever and gettable. Thanks and Happy New Year to Jay and the Kiwis and to all blog readers.

  4. A nicely challenging themed puzzle that I enjoyed immensely, apart from 5d, which I didn’t think the best clue.
    Clues that particularly stood out for me were 23a plus 2,16&17d but could have mentioned several others.
    Many thanks and a Happy NewYear to the three birds.

  5. Very clever five linked clues over which I pondered longer than I would have liked.
    A good mental workout.
    So **/**** for me.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwus.

  6. JayDay with a lovely, seasonally-themed puzzle. How great is that? I just glided through the grid with a sense of contentment and satisfaction, especially with such crafty clues as 5d, 1d, and 20a. Always a pleasure, the Kiwis and Jay together again. Happy New Year to all three of you. ** / ****

    Erasmus: In Praise of Folly–how ironic is that now? What a shame.

  7. The first of several good crosswords I’ve solved this morning before going out for a lovely walk in the sunny crisp day.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. However do you do it Sue? Up, breakfast, presumably bed made and washing up done, several crosswords completed, out for a walk and back by 11.30! You exhaust me.

      1. Subservience and obedience to your menfolk will leave the mind uncluttered and lead to domestic bliss Daisygirl

  8. As it really is Wednesday today, it must be Jay. I thought the Dickens theme worked very well. 23a made me laugh. 1d took a bit of working out but it’s clued in a straightforward way as is the norm with Jay. I think he went a bit off the rails with 5d. Like others, it was my last one in and a bit of a guess because I missed the m at the end of Dee and so had no idea why this was the answer. All becomes clear. I wasn’t too sure about the “where” part of 10a relating to sport either. Thanks for the hints. ***/*** Favourite 17d. Thanks to all.

  9. Had to check the defintion of 5d but otherwise plain sailing today. 23a was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  10. I am one of the lurkers BD mentions above and break cover to offer him and everyone associated with this site my very best wishes for 2021. I find the site helpful, interesting and entertaining and long may it continue. Taciturn by nature, when it comes to the discussions, I find I can add nothing useful. With regard to my own efforts, I celebrate my few successes in private and share my many failures only with my shrink. She says I should try not to get too down.

    1. I think it should be our new year resolution to dispel your taciturn nature and make you as barmy as the rest of us.

    2. Gatien

      I wouldn’t worry about not posting anything useful. It’s not unusual here.

      I note your shrink has a sense of humour

    3. Welcome from me too.
      I agree with the rest of them, Gatien.
      I almost never have anything useful to add but it’s never stopped me.

      1. Not so, Kath! You say a lot that is relevant and pertinent to the day to day solving of the DT cryptic.

        (Was that ok? If so, please send the cash in a plain envelope).

  11. Good fun from Jay with a theme even I could recognise completed at a fast gallop – **/*****.
    5d did give a little pause for thought although having the checkers helped and then a BRB check to confirm where seeing the acute accents helped it to make sense.
    Candidates for favourite – 1d, 14d, and 17d – and the winner is 1d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiiwis, especially for the answer to the Quickie Pun – I could not get that to ‘work.’

        1. I’m from Coventry & schooled in Wolverhampton – just done my best Noddy Holder & see your point just about

    1. I had to say the Quickie pun a few times out loud, then I loved it — my favourite ‘answer’ of the day!

      Thank you to setter and bloggers.

  12. After yesterday’s rather gentle stroll Jay certainly set us a stiffer walk today though by no means the hike he occasionally demands. Working from top to bottom I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I got the 13/8 anagram immediately but didn’t twig the 12a bit despite 7a having been first in. The penny didn’t drop until 20&22d which were my last 2 in. Unusually for me with more obscure words I did know 5d & didn’t think the wordplay was poor. Both 11&20a were filled in before the lurkers were clocked so no change there. Good fun to solve & enjoyable as always, with the downs at 1,2 &17 my picks of the bunch.
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks
    Ps as Corky brought it up I wonder what the consensus is on about the only original drama shown over Christmas on any channel. As a huge fan of Powell & Pressburger the original is one of my all time favourite films so was looking forward to it. Thought it reasonably competent but with nothing new to say.

    1. I was disappointed as I remember being so impressed with the simmering passion of the original film.

      1. All your comments are going into moderation because you have an N rather than M as the last letter of your email address.

        1. Deborah Kerr was brilliant in The Innocents in 1961, another film I saw by entering through an exit. Only later saw the terrific From Here to Eternity with her in quite a different role.

        2. I am happy to say I am too young to have been enthralled by Deborah Kerr. (When was the last time I could say “I am too young”? Can’t remember – I must be getting old).

          As far as actors are concerned, I go for those who disappear into the character so much you forget who the actor is. To me Michael Caine is always Michael Caine in whatever role he is playing. However, the likes of Judy Dench, Laurence Olivier and Stephanie Cole become the character they are portraying.

  13. Took a while to convince myself that this was a Jay production but I certainly enjoyed the seasonal theme. My own interpretation of 24a & 1d would be somewhat at odds with that of our setter although I don’t doubt that he can justify them quite satisfactorily.
    18a amused and took my vote today.

    Thanks to Jay and also to our 2Ks – best wishes to all three of you for a much happier 2021. By the way, 2Ks, watched an interesting programme about penguins last night – don’t think I realised that they are believed to have evolved in Australia and New Zealand.

  14. This was most enjoyable and backed by a terrific Quickie and, as the 2Ks remarked, groan worthy pun. (The second word in the hint does not show on my laptop when “click here” is clicked).

    I agree with others that 5d was rather a stretch and I placed a large question mark by it. I loved the 13a and 8a combination and the 13a theme to the whole puzzle. My COTD is 16d because it made me smile. 18a came a close second.

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Kiwis.

  15. 3*/3*. Like Jane, I wasn’t totally convinced at first that this was a Jay puzzle. It took me a while to get into and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I usually do on a Wednesday. That said, a less enjoyable Jay puzzle is still very good indeed!

    I’ve never heard of 5d and don’t expect it to be a word I will ever use. However it was clearly clued.

    23a was my favourite with 18a in second place.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  16. A typical Wednesday slice of excellence from Jay with no delays in completion. I’m not sure why there are negative comments about 5d; I suppose it is one of those words you either know or don’t. 18a was my top clue, followed by the Dickens selection.

    Many thanks to the three birds and a Happy New Year to you too.

  17. 1d my favourite and last in. Not a walk in the park like yesterday but very enjoyable so thanks to all. Still can’t get over how dreadful Black Narcissus was last night.

  18. Many thanks to all the Setters, Solvers and those who have contributed Comments during what has been a ghastly year for so many people. 2021 has got to be better but at least we will also have the DT Cryptic to keep us challenged and amused.
    A very Happy New Year to all concerned. Thank you.

  19. Completed with no help or hints from anywhere!
    My last one in was 1d. I was pleased with myself for working out the 8a, 12a, 20d and 22d series as I often fail with these and become Scrooge-like about the compiler for having so many clues reliant on a couple.
    I too am somewhat of a lurker but wish to offer thanks for the help this blog has offered me in solving more clues than I deserve during my first year of retirement.

  20. Before the year is out, I too must send thanks to BD and all involved with this splendid blog which I have plundered for longer than I like to admit. I am always learning and usually check the answers and comments the early morning after. Totally enjoyable. I have never commented before as Kath usually says everything for me!
    Love today’s puzzle.
    Very best wishes to all for a better 2021

    1. Welcome! Now you have de-lurked, Sukay please come back and comment. All the more the merrier and we all learn many things from this blog and not all about cryptics although that is the prime reason, of course.

  21. Rather heavy-going but made it however not much fun to be had en route. SE last quadrant to fall probably due to my being slow in the uptake with 20d and 22d. Enjoyed fathoming 1d which I’m sure I have never written before. Thank you Jay (?) and 2Kiwis.

  22. An enjoyable crossword (1d and 5d last in) completed in unusual circumstances.

    Two patients to report on. I dropped H off at a local hospital for minor surgery at 6.45 this morning; so after a snooze, today’s excellent offering from Jay was very welcome both as the usual Wednesday exquisiteness, and also as a marvellous distraction. I’m waiting for the call to let me know I may go and bring H home.
    Then we have little Lola – the vet said it is a nasal infection and administered an injection of antibiotics. However, Lola seems worse today and I am unsure whether this is a reaction to the antibiotics and they need a day or so to ‘kick in’ or if she has actually deteriorated. The vet may have to be consulted again.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I hope H is ok, Terence. Sorry to hear Lola is worse but antibiotics do take a day or so to get a grip.

      1. Thanks Steve – the hospital called a minute ago – all went well and I am to collect H at 3.30 this afternoon. I’m reassured about the antibiotics with regard to Lola. It’s hard to see her struggle!

        1. It is difficult when pets are unwell. Hopefully, as the antibiotic was delivered by injection, it may not take too long to start working. Mind you, if she deteriorates further do call the vets for advice.
          I’m pleased to hear H is getting home.

    2. Hope all goes OK with 2 large dogs I have found that anti bios do take up to 48 hrs.
      However some treats work well.

    3. My best wishes for your two patients, Terence. It’s hard to watch Lola suffer, you can’t just pat her and tell her it’ll be fine like you can with H!

    4. My goodness, you do have your hands full right now. Hopefully H is now home safe and sound and Lola is responding to the antibiotics.

  23. Great fun today – loved the theme and finished it in ** time. Had not heard of 5d so had to look in up.
    Thanks to Jay, K and K

  24. Thanks to the two Kiwis and Jay for all your entertainment through the year. I liked the Dickensian theme but was not so keen on 1 down. I don’t know why 5d raised eyebrows I would have thought it was fairly well known. We went for a short walk before lunch (Crypticsue – I switched the iron off and went out mid-pile to catch the sun) and boy, was it 21a. I am glad that H is coming out of hospital quickly, not a place to linger at the moment and hope little Lola responds to the treatment. I assume you will be making supper tonight, Terence?

  25. Hard work but managed to finish without recourse to the hints from 2Kiwis. Thanks to the setter 👍 **/***

  26. Thanks to all three birds for the past year’s Wednesday delights. I’m less keen on crossword puzzles that have mated with Sudokus and tend to pass over clues that refer to other clues until the end. Otherwise all fine and dandy. Black Narcissus didn’t make enough of having Rowan Atkinson playing Sister Blanche and when did Diana Rigg discard the leathers and stop fighting?

    1. When she became Mrs Pomfret in All Creatures Great and Small recently. wonder who they will replace her with? Now that version is far better than the original.

      1. I wouldn’t say it was better than the original. It’s just as good and enjoyable in its own way.

    2. How on earth did Rowan Atkinson get the role of Maigret? Anyone with any knowledge of the Simenon books must find it a travesty. It was interesting that Simenon’s son remarked that Atkinson smoked the pipe very well. Rather like an art critic saying how good the picture’s frame is.

  27. Another trickier offering from Jay, I thought today, even with the underlying theme to help the thought process. 2.5*/****
    Needed some hint help today as I just hit a couple of brain blocks until the hints made the penny drop.
    Some clever clues and favourites but my winners were 20d & 22d with 16a close runner up.

    Thanks to Jay & the 2K’s
    Happy New Year to all.

  28. Another great puzzle from Jay, although I failed on 10a and 17 d. Thanks to the 2Ks for hints.
    We seem to be getting a lot of incomers at the moment, we are doing quite well in North Cornwall. One of my locals has had tom close due to abuse from the great unwashed. Sorry rant over.
    I wish everybody a Happy New Year, keep blogging. It is really heartwarming to hear everyone out there.
    Thanks again to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. I read about that local. Some people just don’t have common decency. There is no need to yell at a landlord because he has chosen to close his pub. They are the reason he did it.

        1. Given that your gaff is now a private house you share with Sharon, are you sure that still applies ;)

  29. Very enjoyable crossword today.
    Had to consult the electronic gizmo for 1d and 5d, neither of which are in my usual vocabulary, but otherwise a very pleasant solve.

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to Jay.

    Very cold up here with snow forecast for tonight. Not funny when your boiler is on the blink and no hope of a replacement for another week at least…….good job we have plenty of booze in.

  30. I enjoyed the Christmas crossword 😃 had to rate it ***/*** as I had trouble with1 and 3down 😳 Favourites 23a & 17d. Thanks as always to the 2x Ks and to Jay 🤗 As they bounce into Summer we are shuffling into deep mid Winter 🥶

  31. Like Jane and RD not only did I think that this didn’t feel like a Jay production but by the end I’d managed to convince myself that it definitely wasn’t – totally wrong, for the umpteenth time today. :sad:
    Having the attention span of a gnat I’m not keep on crosswords where I have to keep hopping around all over the place – I’m more of a gnat then a flea.
    After all that moaning I did really enjoy this one, specially now I’ve finally finished it and can appreciate it properly.
    Boob number one was assuming that the ‘Manchester’ bit of 13/8a meant it was going to be ‘footbally’ so I left it alone for a long time.
    I really only cottoned on to the theme right at the last minute.
    Like DG I’m surprised that 5d caused so many problems for so many people.
    I think I’ve gone on for long enough now – I liked all the related clues but my favourite was either 1 or 16d.
    Thanks to Jay and to the 2K’s.

  32. Busy day and have just completed the Christmas Cracker from Jay, liked the seasonal theme for a change.
    Really enjoyed the solve and a ***/**** for me
    Thanks to the 2 K’s for the pics’
    1and 5d were new to me , needed the checking letters to complete with certainty.
    Favourite was 23a for the surface-you get the feeling that Jay is playing cat and mouse with us!

  33. ***/****. This was quite tricky for me but very enjoyable. My favourite was 1d closely followed by 5d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. Happy new year to you all and hopefully a healthy and peaceful 2021.

  34. I found the toughie today easier than this crossword because it didn’t contain obscure rarely used words (5d).

    I had worked out what 5d was but dismissed it as not being a real word. 🙄

    I also needed the hint for 17d, but for that I blame my lack of brainpower.

    1d gave the most satisfaction in solving.

  35. I also doubted Jay at the start, but I think it probably is one of his offerings.
    Once I rumbled the theme, it became much easier, and what a lot of smiles! The anagrams were all jump outatcha ones. I had heard of 5d and found nothing wrong with it. I did need e-help for 17d – oh, that “set”!
    Fave? I think maybe 23a, but 1d is such a lovely word, maybe that.
    Thank you Jay, you’re still a star, and thanks to our 2Kiwis for another snapshot of your lovely EnZed.

  36. Needed some help to finish today. Like several others, 5d was my last in. It took me a while to figure out 10a. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis. Here in Palm Beach County all those 65 became eligible for Covid vaccinations as of 2pm yesterday, and we were told to call the PBC hotline. Yesterday I could not get further than the answering message, and today it just says “Call Failed”. Apparently they were surprised to get so many calls. There are 300,000 of us in that age group here. We are asked to be patient. Not one of my virtues.

    1. They were surprised to get so many calls? There are billions of worried humans in the world! They’re going to get gazillions of calls!

  37. Beautiful 7 mile walk this morning on the Thames estuary followed by a grapple with Enigmatist in the Guardian then Jay. I even managed to fit in putting up of some shelves in the garage.
    Happy days, especially now we have another vaccine in the frame.
    I couldn’t be arsed to work out 5d, so a DNF for me, but a very enjoyable crossword.
    Thanks all.

  38. Slightly unusual but fun and doable. The linked clues turned out to be a doddle. 14d 25a and 20d were I thought my last three in. I missed the musical note in the first of those and not sure why I was slow on 25a. With 20d I remembered the past and the present but forgot the future. However, I got there without aids or hints. Just in time I realised I had left 5d. Anything ending s*e is a bit unusual and would take a bit of alphabet sifting. Pleased to say I got it and nothing wrong with the word or the definition. Spot on in fact. Took a bit longer due to the lack of accents and the fact that it is a down clue. I wrote it out horizontally and remembered that accents don’t appear in crosswords. Favourites 12 and 23a and 1 2 6 and 19d. Thank you Jay for a year of intricacies and 2Ks for never failing hints which are worth reading whether needed or not (and indeed often reveal some parsing missed).

  39. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, once I realised what the theme was about, I was away. However, I ground to a halt with 2 left, and needed the hints for 5d, which I have never heard of, and 17d which I wouldn’t have got in a month of Sundays. I liked 15a, but my favourite was 17a because it was so smooth. Was 2* / 4* for me.

  40. Got this one done but not sure it was that easy. 5d and 11a were the last to go in. Missed the lurker for ages and I just love those clues too…. Pleased with myself for getting Migration so fast – husband used to work in defence so that was easy. Thanks for the explanation of 1d – I got it but wasn’t sure why!

  41. Ugh. Not on the wavelength at all today. I couldn’t get 12a (I would never have thought ghost was a synonym for suggestion) and without that I couldn’t get the rest of the themed clues until I’d resorted to the hints. I had to look at the hints for several more (and indeed had to look up some of the answers) so altogether not a satisfying puzzle for me. ****/**

  42. This is my one difficulty with this wonderful site – here I am, a night owl, on the west coast of Canada where I have done my crosswords but need a couple of explanations but the talented people here are all asleep! By the time I am up and about and ready to read the new pages, you will have reached the end of your day and, though there will be lots of information, opinions and comments, I am too late to the party. Oh well, a happy and safe 2021 and beyond to everyone in the crossword world and I will be back to read it all later …

    1. It’s never too late to join this party Cypher. Somebody will see what you write however long afterwards. Two of our hinty people are from Canada.

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