DT 29649 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29649

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29649

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Autumn weather! We put this blog together accompanied by thunder and lightning with torrential rain and then, by the time we were adding the finishing touches, we were back to blue skies with white fluffy clouds once again.

Good stuff as ever from Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Electronic device filling nurse with fear? (4,6)
CARD READER : A five letter word for fear or foreboding is surrounded by a nurse or tender.

6a     Reject, lacking new incentive (4)
SPUR : Remove the abbreviation for new from the end of a word meaning reject.

10a     Mature writer on the teaching of religion (5)
RIPEN : The two letters for the teaching of religion in schools, and then an instrument to write with.

11a     Adopt a defensive stance as traditionalist away (6,3)
SQUARE OFF : Traditionalist or not trendy person, and then away or not here.

12a     Accommodating type from the Loire in trouble (8)
HOTELIER : An anagram (in trouble) of THE LOIRE.

13a     Type of diet perhaps in forefront (5)
VEGAN : The two letters meaning perhaps or for example are enclosed by the forefront, possibly of an army.

15a     Securely wrap son before walk like this (7)
SWADDLE : Walk like a duck is preceded by S(on).

17a     My radar must be off this beam (7)
YARDARM : An anagram (must be off) of MY RADAR.

19a     Two features of cricket go too far (7)
OVERRUN : A series of six deliveries and a scoring unit are the two cricket features.

21a     Rest may be depressed by tall tale (3-4)
LIE-DOWN : A tall tale or porky and then a word meaning depressed.

22a     A bit of bacon, as always possessing such sound quality (5)
NASAL : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

24a     Resolve mainly intact, yet must be broken (8)
TENACITY : An anagram (must be broken) of INTAC(t) YET once the last letter of intact has been removed.

27a     Quick-tempered — bails out, catching cold, consumed by anger (9)
IRASCIBLE : Quite a Russian doll here. On the outside we have a three letter word for anger which contains an anagram (out) of BAILS, which itself contains C(old).

28a     Attacks answer found in run-down area making a comeback (5)
MAULS : The reversal of a run-down urban area contains A(nswer).

29a     Willing to see golf celebrity losing first (4)
GAME : The phonetic alphabet ‘golf’ and a word for a celebrity without its first letter.

30a     Be quiet about temperature after exercise, seeing contagion (10)
PESTILENCE : Start with the two letter physical exercise, then a seven letter instruction to be quiet contains T(emperature).


1d     Short cut on course of healing (4)
CURE : The first two letters of the word cut and ‘on’ or relating to.

2d     Copy of will must support oddly free criminal (9)
REPROBATE : An approved copy of a will follows alternate letters (oddly) from the word free.

3d     Reach end of session consumed by fury (5)
RANGE : A synonym for fury contains the last letter of session.

4d     Sign of a posh zip (7)
AUSPICE : ‘A’ from the clue, the single letter signifying posh, then zip that could be used in a culinary sense.

5d     English raise a doubt about right for royal attendant (7)
EQUERRY : E(nglish), then raise a doubt or bring into question contains R(ight).

7d     Pointed projection could be mistaken with Portugal replacing leader (5)
PRONG : Start with a word meaning mistaken or in error and replace its first letter with the IVR code for Portugal.

8d     Polish engineers penalise workers on time (10)
REFINEMENT : String together army engineers, penalise monetarily, male workers, and T(ime).

9d     Cross as partygoers seen in outskirts of Tonbridge (8)
TRAVERSE : The first and last letters of Tonbridge enclose partygoers having a good time.

14d     Article with sample of opinions about tango? Staggering! (10)
ASTOUNDING : The indefinite article and then a term for a sample of opinions contains tango from the phonetic alphabet.

16d     Abandoned deceit, cunningly taking in both sides separately (8)
DERELICT : An anagram (cunningly) of DECEIT contains the letters used to refer to each hand.

18d     A session performance is a change of direction (5-4)
ABOUT-TURN : ‘A’ from the clue, a session possibly of an illness and then a performance or act.

20d     VIP without somewhere to eat? (7)
NOTABLE : Split the answer 2,5 to understand this VIP’s problem.

21d     Soft sanction includes lifting of Merkel’s refusal (7)
LENIENT : Sanction or allow contains the reversal of a refusal in Angela Merkel’s home language.

23d     Mob on move did crawl across river? (5)
SWARM : Did crawl as a way of progressing through water contains R(iver).

25d     Part of problem accommodating beast from the east? (5)
CAMEL : An all in one clue which contains the answer as a reverse lurker.

26d     Land in water (4)
ISLE : A cryptic definition that could describe any of the components of the country in which we live.

We had our usual trouble trying to select a single favourite so will leave that up to you.

Quickie pun    fare    +    retail    =    fairy tale

65 comments on “DT 29649

  1. Well, that was one of the most straightforward puzzles I have seen for a long while. Just a couple of clues held me up, pushing me into a */** time.

    The acrosses were a tad slow to start, but gathered pace, and the downs all fell in except one. The filling in of the few blanks left took me longer than it should, mainly because I was insisting on trying to squeeze ASTONISH… into 14d, but 1a and 1d were the last pair in.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. Looked tough at first glance but then became a steady solve from the bottom up, ending in the NW. Challenging but enjoyable.
    I liked 23d but favourite has to be 9d as it mentions my birth town.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis

  3. About as gentle as Jay gets (no need for a 21a in a darkened room after solving this) but no compromise on quality.
    Podium contenders are 1a plus 2,4 (lovely word) and 25d.
    Many thanks to the 3 birds.
    Django Toughie is great fun as usual too.

    1. I parsed 29a as G plus a synonym of celebrity minus it’s first letter not ‘a’ celebrity but both work equally well I guess.

  4. The usual quality puzzle from Jay and the usual quality review from 2Ks – thanks to all three.

    I’m currently waiting for a new pair of glasses and I initially read the second word of 27a as ‘balls’ – it seemed rather rude.

    My ticks went to 1a, 14d and 25d.

    1. I sympathize as I’m well overdue for an eye test and change of lenses. We are waiting for our second vaccinations, later this week before we set up appointments but my arms just aren’t long enough, when reading.

  5. A very straightforward puzzle (1.5*/4*) but no less enjoyable for that. I rather liked the lurker at 25d, which is my clue of the day and11a m, which made me laugh. Thanks to the storm-tossed Kiwis and to the compiler. I wondered if Jay might be having another rest day today.

  6. What a relief after struggling with yesterday’s Times cryptic. Has anyone here heard of “Nahuatl”?
    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  7. This took a little while to get going as the clues were in my opinion unusually convoluted for a Jay puzzle. Needed the Kiwis help in parsing 25a (I kept trying to drop the first letter from a golf celebrity but iger and oods did not fit!). Otherwise all the answers were relatively straightforward. Cheers to Jay and 2k’s.

  8. Like many others, the first pass revealed little, but once I prised open a few clues the rest fell quite quickly. Excellent puzzle.

    Thanks Jay and 2Ks

  9. 2*/4.5*. I found this fairly straightforward and great fun. My only slight reservation was that 26d seemed very weak as I saw what I assume is meant to be the “cryptic” definition immediately before the alternative “normal” definition.

    Not for the first time, my podium is identical to Gazza’s: 1a, 14d & 25d.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  10. Typical Wwdesday for me. Took time to get on wavelength then steady progress around the grid finishing in NW corner.
    Thought 26d clue more suited to the Quickie.
    ** / ***.
    Lots of good clues but none stood out for me.
    Thanks to setter and the 2Ks.

  11. Is this a Jay puzzle? A benign offering from somebody which was very enjoyable, if short lived. */**** I liked 4d which I thought an unusual definition. Favourite 1a. Thanks to all.

  12. Wednesday :good: Jay :good:

    Quite a good start by going Up the Downs which settled down to a typically enjoyable steady solve – **/****.

    26d did raise a bit of a Hmm.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 30a, 5d, and 9d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  13. A very pleasant puzzle. I actually managed to complete it unaided. Almost the first time ever!! The ageing grey cells suddenly came to life. Maybe the nasty fall I had on Friday jiggled them up. I particularly liked 27a. Not a word used often nowadays I think. Thanks to all concerned.

  14. When I had solved only three clues on the first pass I thought this was going to be a stinker. However, it gradually opened up and the clues fell in steady, albeit slow, order. Plenty to like and my favourites for positions on the podium are 1a, the fabulous lurker at 25d (what a good clue with great surface) and 2d, which takes the top spot for me.

    Many thanks to Jay for a good workout and thanks, also, to the 2 Kiwis for the hints.

    I’m back to marking post grad essays again but they shouldn’t interfere with my cruciverbalist activities. However, if I do happen to miss a day or so that will be the reason. :good:

    1. Like Steve, it took me a while to get going, then pleasurable and straightforward. Mike.

  15. An enjoyable romp (unusually for a Jay) but slightly delayed with hiccup in NW mainly due to failure to identify nurse. No Fav. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  16. I think the side-effects from my second jab must now have finally resolved themselves as I just breezed through this benign JayDay delight. Most enjoyable, with podium winners 5d, 4d, and 27a. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. ** / ****.

    Also finished the Toughie, with a little electronic assist. Having a good day over here in springtime Charleston.

  17. 2d. Why can ‘evenly” only mean the even numbered letters, but “oddly” can mean either odd or even numbered letters?

    1. My understanding is that oddly can mean on-and-off, off-and-on, or occasionally rather than the numerical placement of the letters in the fodder

      1. That’s not a bad stab but I can’t find anything in a reference book where oddly means ‘on and off’ or ‘off and on’.

        I have only looked in two books and my guess is you have found it. Do you mind telling which book or perhaps give me an example?

        I’d love someone to put this one to bed for me as it’s been niggling for a while.

        1. Odd can mean ‘not part of a set’ – Chambers, the set here being even or odd numerical pairing
          ‘occasional; leftover or additional’ – Collins ‘He usually drinks bitter and the odd whisky’ doesn’t necessarily mean he has a whisky first, then a bitter, then a whisky…
          Incidentally, the word derives from Norse ‘Oddi’ meaning the third number, and also the point of a spear or sword – Words and Where they Came From, Edward Allhusen

          1. I can see how odd can mean occasional but can’t see how oddly can mean occasionally which of course it logically should do. But, I’m struggling.

            Maybe I’m being slow out of the traps.

            Love the Norse origin, btw.

  18. I made life rather difficult for myself by hastily plonking ‘square leg’ in for 11a, and not realising my error until I was left with an impossible north-east.

    Chelsea continue to struggle to score goals but we managed to breeze our way into the Champions League semi-finals last night. Watching Thiago Silva play football is like admiring a Rolls-Royce ticking over. Mr Silva has the astonishing capacity to be in exactly the right place at the right time, and then with the casual air of the truly gifted, see off any approaching problem, apparently with all the time in the world.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Diana Ross And The Supremes Join The Temptations (1968)

    Thanks to the Wiz of Weds and the 2Ks.

      1. Hi Jane – Lola still has no desire to move further than a few yards in any given direction, indoors. The vet said that she feels it is a reaction to the steroids and that as (we hope) the dose is reduced, she will return to her normal self. She said that cats, particularly, can undergo significant side effects from steroids and can change, temporarily, their personalities.

        Lola is due to go back for a further review, next week. It will great if she ventures outdoors, but I should stress she is perfectly happy, if chubbier, living in her reduced world. She is purring away, next to me, as I type this!

        1. If she’s obviously happy then that’s by far the best outcome you could have hoped for – doesn’t seem long ago that you were facing the prospect of losing her.
          Believe me, I know all about the side effects of steroids – haven’t got many clothes I can still get into despite the hours I spend furiously pedalling on the exercise bike!

        2. I wish I was like Lola – I’m neither perfectly happy, nor chubbier living in my reduced world. Just for the record I’m not purring either! But then, again, I wouldn’t want to be on steroids.
          I’m joking – glad that Lola is doing so well.

  19. A varied puzzle I thought. Some great clues from Jay with 1a being my COTD but I wasn’t sure what was cryptic about 26d and thanks to the 2K’s for hints allowing me to fully understand my reply to 1d. All done in * time (just) and an award of *** for a pleasurable exercise.

  20. I wasn’t 100% convinced that Jay set this one although the Quickie pun would suggest otherwise.
    Took the help of a few checkers before the required electronic device materialised but no other problems to report.
    No stand-out favourite today although I thought 25a was rather clever.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and to our 2Ks for the review.

  21. Firstly I thought yesterday’s puzzle was a beauty, I was at the cardiologist during the day and a zoom committee meeting in the evening so did it during a sleepless night. That’s why crosswords are so wonderful! We sailed through today’s although first read through didn’t yield much. Then for some idiotic reason I put in ‘armyard’ which did not help. And spent quite a long time trying to think of a four letter golfer. Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis. Had my hair done this morning – hurrah!

  22. We were warned a few weeks ago were we not that we shouldn’t assume that Wednesday always equals a Jayday. If this wasn’t him it was someone doing a particularly good impression, as the quality and enjoyment were as high as ever.

    My thanks to Jay if it was indeed you, and to the 2Ks.

  23. My wavelength tuner let me down completely in the NE corner so needed the 2Ks hints to finish. Thanks to the setter as well.

    Had my second jab yesterday so feel a little safer though I have to say my enjoyment of lockdown has confirmed my anti-social attitudes have not changed at all in the last 50 years. It was the sight of so many people about that reminded me how I dislike being among people. Not just when one is expected to be sociable when in a group but among people generally.

    1. So agree with you Corky – after several weeks of having the village back to ourselves, we are faced again with a deluge of people visiting the North Norfolk coast. I wouldn’t mind so much if they kept their distance but they don’t!

  24. Super puzzle, most enjoyable, not a quibble in sight or mind. If it’s not Jay, well, this setter is a very acceptable mimic. No clue disappointed, and favourites included 1a, 11a, 21d, 25d (for the smile and the smooth surface). 2*/4*

    Many thanks to Jay & to the 2Ks.


  25. Once again I appear to be right on Jay’s wavelength and cantered through this at first pass!!
    Great clueing as ever, keep ‘em coming! 👍

  26. At first glance thought this was decidedly tricky but once I got into it, it all fell into place very nicely. Thanks to all – second jab on Friday and haircut in 3 weeks, what could be better?

  27. Yesterday it was the bottom half that caused me problems, today it was the top half. Most revealed themselves with some careful pondering, but definitely a head scratcher for me. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  28. 2/4. Pleasant for a mid-week puzzle requiring little resort to electronic help (for once). Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  29. After a very slow start everything got going better the further I got into the crossword.
    Not being terribly electronic I ran away from 1a for quite a long time but with alternate letters in it couldn’t really have been much else, and even I’ve heard of it.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard of the 11a expression and the synonym for ‘zip’ in 4d wasn’t immediately obvious to me.
    I spent too long trying to justify duplicate for 2d which probably wouldn’t have helped much.
    No particular favourite today – just lots of good clues so thanks to Jay and the K’s.

  30. A typical Jay puzzle for Wednesday with some crafty/tricky clues and a couple of easy bung ins.
    **/**** my rating for todays offering. Favourites for me include1a, 11a, 4d, 8d & 26d with winner 8d.
    15a & 20d made me smile.
    Nice while it lasted and off to enjoy another warm sunny day on the West Coast of BC

    Thanks to the 3 birds

  31. I found this quite tricky but in the end solvable 😳 ***/*** Favourite pair 1a & 16d 😃 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  32. Lovely crossword. A third unaided solve this week…4th if you count Sunday….I fear this run will be broken tomorrow.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  33. Didn’t quite understand how the “walk like this” in 15a referred to a duck so hesitated before writing in my answer.
    The Zip in 4d was also new to me.
    8d made me laugh.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  34. Late to the pass today after interruptions from 2nd BT engineer (landline still down from Easter Saturday) and the joy of looking forward to the drive being dug-up. Separate crew so another delay with no-one to complain to! Then calls from medics and secretaries vying for first place to get my other half sorted asap. But home doctor not available for a telephone appt for a week! There I’ve had my little whinge!

    It took me a while to get going and after numerous interruptions got there in the end. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis and the setter (Jay?).

      1. Jane I have just logged in again and seen your comment. Would you believe it we are just about to watch the recording! Have just watched the recording of Masterchef. Let me know later what you think?

  35. Morning all.
    More rain here overnight and it sounds like more falling as we type this. Still about an hour before daybreak and we can see what is in store for us. At least the thunder storms have moved on.
    We’re pretty sure that it is Jay in the setter’s chair as normal.

  36. I enjoyed this although for a bit stuck in the NE by putting the wrong answer in 2d (I thought it meant copy) and 1d (which I corrected with the hint). 23d made me groan when I finally realised why it said did crawl instead of crawled. Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay **/****

  37. Nice, comfortable solve today, as beautifully clued as usual.
    A few to check the parsing on.
    Many thanks, both.

  38. Late to this. Nice & gentle & beautifully clued as per (26d a bit weak mind). Pick of the bunch for me 4&25d plus 27a. Now on to the Toughie.
    Thanks all

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