DT 29613 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29613

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29613

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our warm, dry, late-summer days continue. Autumn cannot be too far away for us but no sign of it yet apart from the godwits adopting their rust-coloured mating plumage in preparation for their migratory flight to Alaska.

Another Wednesday, another Jay puzzle to enjoy.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Hard top that could make vehicle fast (8)
CARAPACE : A motor vehicle and a five letter word meaning fast or going at a good rate.

5a     Marched in a line, crossing motorway, and shot (6)
FILMED : Marched in a line or formed a queue contains M(otorway).

9a     Disposal must cover one barrel for water (8)
SALIVATE : The Roman numeral one and a barrel or large container are inside disposal by offering for purchase.

10a     Cuts back on seconds and extras (6)
SPARES : The abbreviation for seconds and cuts back or makes economies.

12a     Uncooked tuna — a rule that’s broken (2,7)
AU NATUREL : An anagram (that’s broken) of TUNA A RULE.

13a     Widow nervously entertaining holder of title (5)
OWNER : A lurker hiding in the clue.

14a     Follow when husband leaves, for instance (4)
CASE : Remove H(usband) from follow or pursue.

16a     Support European partner (7)
ESPOUSE : E(uropean) and a marital partner.

19a     Broadcaster’s connected with American medicinal preparation (7)
LINCTUS : A ‘sounds like’ (broadcaster’s) of a word meaning connected and then the two letters signifying American.

21a     Not quite satisfied, having eaten nothing disgusting (4)
FOUL : Remove the last letter (not quite) from satisfied or replete and into this add the letter signifying nothing.

24a     Letter should give order date for return (5)
OMEGA : An Order of Merit and the reversal of a verb meaning date or get older.

25a     Ballet position of sailor in lively square beginning to evolve (9)
ARABESQUE : An anagram (lively) of SQUARE contains the two letters for an able-bodied seaman and finally, the first letter of evolve.

27a     Crude description of our world? (6)
EARTHY : An adjective that could mean relating to our planet.

28a     Manage development of voiceprint without IP (8)
CONTRIVE : An anagram (development of) VO(i)CE(p)RINT once the I and P have been removed.

29a     Saying nothing as is head of psychology, for example (6)
SILENT : How one would describe the first letter of psychology when explaining its pronunciation.

30a    Most amusing list set out by Germany (8)
DROLLEST : The IVR code for Germany, then a list that could be of students in a classroom and an anagram (out) of SET.


1d     Careless sixty per cent of victims (6)
CASUAL : Start with a ten letter word for those affected by a disaster and remove the last four letters.

2d     Weaken fast, held down by soldiers (6)
RELENT : Engineering soldiers and then the fast that precedes Easter.

3d     Turn to bigwig after being set up (5)
PIVOT : ‘To’ from the clue and a very important person are all reversed (being set up).

4d     Group pressure finally comes after erotic dancing (7)
COTERIE : An anagram (dancing) of EROTIC, and then the final letter of pressure.

6d    I am quick, posh and unrehearsed (9)
IMPROMPTU : I am written as 1’1, then quick or on time and the single letter signifying posh.

7d     Sweet provided by charmer in guesthouse? (8)
MERINGUE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

8d     Justifies low exam grades and answers (8)
DESERVES : Two consecutive letters that are low exam grades and then answers as a verb.

11d     This is the answer! (4)
CLUE : What eleven down, in this puzzle, is an example of. (We found it hard to write a hint for this one).

15d     A star dancing with Prince in Asia will find material (9)
ASTRAKHAN : An anagram (dancing) of A STAR and an Asian prince that we tend to associated with Pakistan.

17d     Mistakes of line taken by post-war generation (8)
BLOOMERS : A word, often preceded by ‘baby’, that describes the post-war generation contains L(ine).

18d     Seeing some burglar get nicked on the way up is essential (8)
INTEGRAL : A reversed lurker, hiding in the clue.

20d     Humiliation? Mostly pretence (4)
SHAM : Remove the last letter (mostly) from a synonym for humiliation.

21d     Prefer to accommodate Liberal character (7)
FLAVOUR : Prefer or opt for contains L(iberal).

22d     One of five, in the borders of Europe, like a horse (6)
EQUINE : The first and last letters of Europe surround one of a set of five.

23d     Fed up with European Commission? Time to change allegiance (6)
DEFECT : The reversal of the word fed, then E(uropean C(ommission) plus T(ime).

26d     Speak highly of former tax cut (5)
EXTOL : The prefix meaning former, and a tax that you might pay to use a road, without its last letter.

The excruciating Quickie pun takes our top podium spot today. It just sneaks ahead of 19a.

Quickie pun    half    +    writers    =    arthritis

71 comments on “DT 29613

  1. All over in ** time, and I would have enjoyed it if it wasn’t for the silly bits of GK at 15d and 25a. 30a was my last in and therefore my contender for COTD.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  2. Very enjoyable although NW corner held me up a bit. 11d was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  3. I thought this was excellent, Jay at his most cunning and brilliant best.
    I’m sure the 1a hard top has come up quite recently and 4d appeared on Monday, which helped in the NW. 15d & 25a were new to me but easily derivable from the checkers and wordplay.
    I particularly liked the lurker at 7d, 16a as it’s just a lovely word and the very clever and subtle 3d but top spot goes to the amusing 6d.
    Many thanks to the the 3 birds for the entertainment, and yes the pun is excruciating!

  4. Very enjoyable and just about within my capacity.I laughed out loud when the penny dropped at 17d and that allowed completion of that corner.

  5. I am with the 2Kiwis on **/****. A pleasant offering on the easier side for this setter. Thanks to all. My only head scratcher was 15d which I had never heard of. I rang mother and asked her if she had ever heard of a material called that and she said it used to be quite popular so fair enough. A surfeit of nicely cryptic clues today I thought.

    1. My grandmother was very proud of an 15d coat – I believe it was made from the curly fur of baby lambs – perish the thought.

      1. Remember badgering my mother & eventually wearing her down to be allowed to get a hippy style Afghan coat – the must wear apparel for music festivals. It was so pleased with it until I eventually realised I looked ridiculous in it. As I remember it lined the dog’s basket before eventually getting binned.

      2. There were fake astrakhan coats for ladies in the 60s which I remember from my Saturday job. Very dressy.

  6. Another fine Jay puzzle, which was moderately straightforward and highly enjoyable (2*/4*). 25a and 19d both kept me guessing for a short time and are joint COTD. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay.

  7. Mr Wednesday does it again – excellent crossword and a truly awful Quickie pun!
    16a & 11d were the last to fall here and my favourite was 23d, joined on the podium by 5&27a plus 17d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review. Spring is now well on its way here complete with birdsong and flourishing plants – sorry, 2Ks, but it is our turn now!

  8. Solved with a smile all the way as is usual on a Wednesday. I particularly liked Jays use in 17 down of a newer meaning of an old word first brought to my attention after its use in the New Zealand Parliament by youngster Chloe Swarbrick in response to a heckler. Type OK Boomer into YouTube if you want to hear her, or click on the link below. Ta to all

    1. Thank you for the link — in which we also learn that a major USA broadcaster is apparently unable to distinguish UK and NZ accents, labelling the clip as being from the UK parliament.

      Do we really sound that similar to people who aren’t from either?

  9. Another Wednesday, another terrific masterclass in how to set an enjoyable and accessible puzzle from Jay. 23d was my favourite of many, with the reverse lurker at 18d also worth a mention.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and the 2Ks.

  10. I really enjoyed doing this puzzle, had a couple of senior moments.
    I took a while to realize that 30A was not an anagram and 8D had me going.
    Time for some vinyl John Barleycorn I think.

  11. My struggles with Jay return. I found this very tough. Took me **** time. Nothing wrong with the cluing just me being half brain-dead when it comes to Jay, not helped by a silly mistake with 12a.
    In the end a satisfying and enjoyable solve with some excellent lurkers of which 7d my COTD.
    Perhaps it is a post-war generation thing but I (eventually) recalled 15d.
    Thanks to Jay for the tussle and the 2Ks for the review.

  12. All seemed to have enjoyed this puzzle from Jay and I agree, diverse cluing and nothing obscure,
    Last in was14a which took a while-the short clues are often the hardest!
    Liked 17d as I think I was one.
    The synonym for water was not in my Chambers -added for future use.
    Favourite was 30a, remember my old aunt with a coat made from15d,lovely word sounded like a princes car!

  13. Another gem from Jay. LOI was 14a but my three on the podium were 1a, 25a and 15d as they were all words that would not have come to mind but for the well signposted surfaces. Cheers 2kiwis and Jay

  14. Jay was not as straightforward for me today as he seems to have been for others. Took me rather a long time to complete it but the struggle took some of the enjoyment away. Still it was a great puzzle as they all are from Jay. I did not like 28a because it didn’t seem very cryptic to me but others were most enjoyable. 19a, the reverse lurker in 18d and 21d are worthy of mention in my book but my COTD is the neat four worder 11d. Probably an old chestnut but I did like the simplicity.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

  15. As enjoyable as ever but, for me, Jay a lot more tricky than usual. In fact, I found this more tricky than the Hudson Toughie. 3.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 29a, 6d, and 23d – and the winner is 6d.
    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  16. 2*/5*. Yet another in a seemingly never-ending line of superb Wednesday puzzles. One of Jay’s many skills is his ability to clue unusual words and GK simply, which is in evidence today.

    My longest hold-up was that it took me a while to think of a sentence to justify “answer” being synonymous with “serve”.

    My podium choices are 19a, 29a & 23d and the groanworthy Quickie pun deserves a special mention.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  17. I’m in the trickier than usual camp after another laboured solve in 3.5* time. 4 in the SW held me up for the bulk of that time largely due to a brain freeze in being unable for some time to come up with anything other than shah for Asian royalty & struggling with the post war generation. Once those pennies dropped 19&29a immediately followed. Top quality Wednesday fare as per usual with a couple of clever lurkers & with 6d just pipping 19a for pick of the bunch for me. Today’s albums: Live at the Narrows (Eilen Jewell) & Lonesome Jubilee (John Mellencamp)
    Thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks

  18. I, too, am joining the ‘trickier than usual’ club, but a delightful crossword from the Wiz Of Weds.
    A rhetorical question – why do I never see the lurkers before I have solved the clue from the definition? Bah!

    Bless little Lola – she is ok, but next Monday’s appointment cannot come soon enough as her paws are not improving despite the latest batch of antibiotics.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: J.S. Bach – Brandenburg Concertos

    Thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks (I do enjoy the little snippets of life from NZ each week).

    1. Poor Lola. I wonder if it’s a fungal infection. We will all await next Monday.
      I’m with you as far as J. S.Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos are concerned. I play them as often as I can. Unfortunately, Mrs. C. is not a fan of classical music so the background to my solving is Boom Radio, which is rapidly becoming our station to play during the day. It started about two weeks ago to cater for the boomer generation that BBC Radio 2 abandoned.

      1. It will be interesting to see if Boom succeeds, Diddy David and all. I’ve always held Graham Dene and little Nicky Horne in affection since the early days of Capital Radio. I wish them well but I think it’s a brave move at a time when more and more boomers are turning to streaming services rather than to radio. They face a lot of competition from similar stations (United DJs, De-Lux, Nation Radio and more mainstream stations such as Smooth, and Magic etc). Good luck to ’em all!

      2. We have been tuning in to Boom Radio, and are rather enjoying it. Certainly the stuff you can sing along with and smile.

    2. I’m inclined to the view that saying you’re not a fan of classical music is like saying you’re not a fan of art or literature. Your wife is a Philistine, as are most people these days, sadly.

  19. 1*/4* for me. The only minor hold-up for me was when I put aquavita in 9a. Can’t think why! Mouth-watering clue.
    Thanks to setter and blogger

  20. The toughest-ever Jay for me, I think, as I just couldn’t break the ice in the SW corner for the longest time, and so I was pushed into **** time. Still, another brilliant masterpiece by my favourite compiler. 19 & 14a were my last two in (and why is it I’ve never heard of 19a? is it only a UK medication?). So much to like, though, especially 6a, 7a, 15d, and 29a. Many thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. **** / ****

    Finished the Hudson Toughie in less time than Jay took today.

    1. 19a is a soothing cough syrup, often with herbal extracts and fruit flavour. It can also contain a soporific, in case the cough keeps you awake. Hope that helps, Robert.

      1. The linctus I recall was a concoction that when left separated out into a clear liquid with a raspberry coloured liquid on top. This was shaken vigorously & poured onto the spoon. It certainly contained a soporfic!

        1. Rather like Gripe Water that wa given to babies for colic. It had a very high alcohol content so they forgot the pain and went to sleep.

          1. My mum always swore by giving colicky babies a small dose of advocaat – worked a treat with my girls!

            1. The Victorians used to give babies opium which probably explains a lot about the Victorians.

    2. Glad I wasn’t alone with the difficulty Robert, but we are in a significant minority.

      1. Yes, so I see. Perhaps our friend Huntsman might join us? I should have mentioned earlier that I first put ‘bloopers’ for 17d since the right answer is not at all familiar on these shores ovah yunh (that’s localese for ‘over here’). PS: I see that H just did– ‘tres amigos’!

  21. A very entertaining offering from Jay. **/**** 25a is one of the few ballet positions I know. They seem to crop up quite a bit now. 15d was my last one in and, I thought, a well constructed clue. I always thought the answer was a type of fur but may well be wrong. Favourite 6d. Thanks to all.

  22. Initially I struggled with this one but gradually got going. I thought it was harder than usual for Jay but lots of good clues. I liked 19a and 29 a especially. I can’t believe I missed the lurker at 8 d. I should keep Miffipops’s maxim in mind. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  23. Unlike some others, I struggled with the NE corner. I had the wrong sort of “shot” in my head for 5a, and couldn’t parse 7d until the last minute because I missed the simple fact that it was lurker. I often bake the answer to 7d, so it should have been an obvious choice for a sweet, but it wasn’t. Maybe I have overtaxed myself today, by starting the couch to 5k regime, with running 2k. I’m too impatient to take it in stages. Thanks to the NZ 2ks and the setter. My bluetits spent yesterday putting feathers into their nest, and today, taking them all out again.

  24. This was a slower solve than we expect on a Wednesday but none the less satisfying. I really liked 3d and 6d and like Beaver tried to get an anagram out of 30a. My book of words gave the definition of 9a as to cause an animal etc to produce saliva as by the administration of mercury!! now why the hell would you want to do that? It struck me as very odd. The quickie pun was beyond awful. Many thanks to Jay and the two Kiwis.

    1. DG, I’ve just read that they are trying to reorganise the Henley Regatta for the 10th-15th August. Possibly at Henley or Dorney Lake. If so, I will definitely be going.

  25. I struggled with NE – just couldn’t get the grey matter working properly. Once the answers did click I couldn’t understand why I struggled. Just one of those days!!
    Still not sure I understand the ‘answers’ part of 8d. Not quite a synonym for me.

  26. I agree with Stephen L. that this was a cunning puzzle from Jay. Definitely not easy for me. But very enjoyable as I had to work hard to finish after a very slow start. 4d fell right in as I’ve seen it more than a few times recently. I really need to remember the name for the shell on a turtle. At least I knew the 25a ballet term. Thanks to Jay for another enjoyable puzzle and to 2Kiwis.
    Despite our Governor’s claims, our daughter’s 86 year old mother in law is only just getting her first jab today. Too many old and vulnerable still waiting to get their first shots here in Florida.

  27. Very enjoyable puzzle today though it took me quite some time to solve. Last one in was 14a.
    Glad to see that I made an appearance at 7d.
    Favourite clue definitely 29a.

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to Jay.

  28. A fairly solid crossword that held me up in the NW … simply couldn’t see 1ac.

    But all fair asusual with Jay.

    I liked 29 ac and 30ac for the misdirection.

    So thanks to Jay and 2Ks for a bit of a nudge.

  29. Another enjoyable Wednesday puzzle ***/**** 😃 Favourites 1 & 21d. Big thanks to Jay & the 2xKs 🤗 So pleased to hear that the “barwits” are stoking up for their marathon, I just hope we are at liberty to observe their passing through 🤞

  30. An enjoyable if somewhat trickier Wednesday offering ***/****. Going with 6d as fav today
    Thx to the setter and the 2K’s

  31. Strange puzzle for me. NW was really tricky for me and took as long to complete as the rest of the puzzle did. ***/**** for me today because of the time delay in the NW. Have to give a “hmm” to the answer in 9a and I did not remember the word in 1a, although I have come across it. 19a is another word not in common use today. As far as 15d goes, I remember that being associated with a type of hat!
    Clue favourites today include 25a, 29a, 6d, 11d & 17d with my winner being 11d! Very clever.

    Thanks to Jay and the the 2k’s

  32. Morning all.
    Quite surprised to find that some people found this one trickier than usual. We must have just got lucky with some of of our trains of thought as it all flowed smoothly.
    Still chuckling over the groan-worthy Quickie pun too.

  33. I’m not sure if this was trickier than usual for a Wednesday but I never find Jay easy anyway – always enjoyable though.
    I missed both the lurkers – I thought I’d recovered from my “lurker blindness” but obviously not.
    My favourite was either 25a or 15d – or it might have been the quickie pun.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

    1. Kath,
      Which of 13a, 7d & 18d do you not even realise was a lurker you missed?

  34. I was dead on Jay wavelength in the South, all went smoothly. A very different story in the north, that took me twice as long, I had four unsolved in the NE when I had to quit. I knew 25a, remembered the movie starring that dishy Gregory Peck!
    I don’t know how to choose a fave, so many choices. I rather liked 17d, 29a was also clever.
    Thank you Jay, I still love you, and many thanks to 2Kiwis for the push over the finish line.

  35. I made heavy work of this crossword and afterwardsI thought why, I blame on the coffee or lack thereof, thank you to The 2 Kiwis

  36. On my own in not enjoying this much.

    Annoyingly I had thought of the answer for 9a but dismissed it.

    Never heard of 15d. Sounds a bit ridiculous to be a real word somehow.

    Gave up and looked up the answers for 4 clues.

  37. Like some of the others it was the NE corner which held me up. But still a ** difficulty for me with a solid **** for enjoyment. Marked 1a and 16a as worthy of mention but 1d is my favourite today.

    My thanks to the 2Ks and Jay.

  38. Just looked at the Quickie – sorry but the pun is just plain awful & doesn’t work in any accent.

    1. The Quickie pun is so awful it is brilliant, Huntsman. I loved it. The more a pun is groan worthy the better.

  39. Took me longer than usual, though very enjoyable. Completely missed that 7d was a lurker until I came to the hints to see how it was parsed. Loved 23d, my favourite, and loudest LOL, for its super and relevant surface reading. Thanks Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  40. Found this cleverly tricky and good learning fodder. Needed a couple of hints to finish and, like so many, only found the lurkers after I had biffed the definition. Many thanks to 2Kiwis and setter. ****/***

  41. Another great puzzle from Jay. He and Ray T are definitely the ones I find both easiest and most enjoyable. I managed to finish this without any help apart from looking up ‘victims’ in a thesaurus as no other words would come to mind. I’d heard of all three of arabesque (surely most people know that word?), astrakhan and carapace fortunately. The NW corner held out the longest but once I’d worked out 1d it all slotted into place. **/****

  42. This felt like it was going to be a struggle then fell out nicely. 14a put up the biggest fight even with the two checkers in. 29a was my favourite. 8d was the only one I scribbled a big ‘D’ against. Having followed this brilliant blog for years, any answers I have not been able to satisfactorily parse I annotate with a large D then, when the crossword is complete, I check the Big Dave hints to find out why my answer is (hopefully) right.

  43. Didn’t get round to this until early this morning so completed it between six & seven with a cuppa. **/*** for me.

  44. 2*/4*…
    liked 23D ” Fed up with European Commission? Time to change allegiance (6)”…nothing political of course.

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