DT 29691 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29691

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29691

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
  We notice on today’s masthead that it is a special day for someone who is very dear to us.  Very best wishes Kath.  We’re all thinking of you and send you all our love.
  While we have been having pretty much a normal mix of winter weather this past week, other parts of our country, particularly the east of the South Island have had a really horrendous amount of rain. Widespread flooding and many bridges washed away throughout the region. Luckily no human casualties from it all but the damage is huge and it is going to take a long time to get it all cleaned up.
   We found this puzzle quite tricky again this week with a couple of answers where we needed to check some references.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Cleaner sort of transport for a bad speller? (10)
BROOMSTICK : A double definition. The bad speller here is not one who has trouble putting letters together.

6a     Barely enough, with no time for examination (4)
SCAN : A word meaning barely enough loses its last letter which is T(ime).

10a     Common words found in signal successfully reversed (5)
SLANG : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

11a     Respond with exaggeration on tucking into ham (9)
OVERREACT : The two letters meaning on or ‘with reference to’ are inside ‘ham’ as a thing a thespian might do.

12a     Open University student needing a time check after noon (7)
UNLATCH : In the order that they appear in the answer string together U(niversity), N(oon), the letter for a student driver, ‘a’ from the clue, T(ime) and Ch(eck). (Talk about Lego!)

13a     Carnivore only tiger heard? (7)
MEERKAT : Two homophones involved here. One for a synonym for ‘only’ and the second for the family of animals of which a tiger is the largest example.

14a     Prime Minister’s usual rank? (5-7)
MAJOR-GENERAL : A UK Prime Minister in the 1990’s and then a word meaning usual or regular.

18a     Zealous and sincere — how he altered in a riot (12)
WHOLEHEARTED : An anagram (in a riot) of HOW HE ALTERED.

21a     Intellectual, say, with permission to proceed, ignoring old article (7)
EGGHEAD : The two letters signifying say or for example, followed by a 2,5 phrase meaning permission to proceed from which we need to remove O(ld) and the indefinite article.

23a     Flyer may see cause of trouble crossing one place (7)
BIPLANE : An old-fashioned word meaning a cause of trouble contains the Roman numeral one and PL(ace).

24a     Wrought steel is an absolute requirement (9)
ESSENTIAL : An anagram (wrought) of STEEL IS AN.

25a     Contentious topic for children (5)
ISSUE : A double definition.

26a     Part of tribe quietly invading group (4)
SEPT : Another word for group, which incidentally has the longest entry of any word in BRB, contains the musical letter for quietly.

27a     Popular call intended, with no answer for provocation (10)
INCITEMENT : The two letter popular, then call, name or quote and a word meaning intended with A(nswer) removed.


1d     Soup that’s twice what for Manuel? (6)
BISQUE : The musical instruction for ‘twice’ and then how Manuel, who comes from Spain, would say “What?”

2d     Person who sees nothing left in people (6)
ORACLE : The letter that signifies nothing and then a people or nation contains L(eft).

3d     People failing to reach potential may possess mountains full of energy (5-4-5)
MIGHT-HAVE-BEENS : Another word that is interchangeable with ‘may’, then a word meaning possess or own and Scottish mountains with an extra E(nergy) included.

4d     Tasty and cooked so hot in volume (9)
TOOTHSOME : A volume or large book contains an anagram (cooked) of SO HOT.

5d     Beating this is the best (5)
CREAM : The answer, when beaten, could be added to your dessert.

7d     Nutty things to eat? (8)
CRACKERS : These things are often eaten with dips or cheese.

8d     A hundred up unlikely? Don’t mention it! (3,2,3)
NOT AT ALL : ‘A’ from the clue and a familiar word for hundred, either as a speed or cricket score, is reversed (up). Then unlikely, as a Baron Munchausen story perhaps.

9d     Iron-clad soldiers go in force and open market (4,10)
FREE ENTERPRISE : The first word is made up of engineering soldiers clad in the chemical symbol for iron, then words meaning ‘go in’, and ‘force using a lever’.

15d     Ladies’ blouse and dress worn by one supermarket (9)
GARIBALDI : The Roman numeral one is inside (worn by) another word for dress. This is followed by a four letter supermarket, which luckily one of us had recalled.

16d     Small people who cry will be footballers (8)
SWEEPERS : S(mall) and then people shedding tears.

17d     Confesses in court and pays (6,2)
COUGHS UP : A double definition. Confesses in court could be admits under duress.
                       A informal word for confesses and a two letter word for ‘in court’  (Thanks for putting us right Jay and Gazza)                 

19d     Girl‘s fabrication protecting fool (6)
LASSIE : An untruth surrounds an equine animal fool.

20d     Always protected by right to go back (6)
REVERT : A synonym for always is surrounded by the two letter abbreviation for right.

22d     Plan to dismiss son and consent reluctantly (5)
DEIGN : Remove S(on) from a plan or pattern.

We enjoyed both 1a and 1d and thought they set the tone for the puzzle.

Quickie pun    creak    +    heaters    =    cricketers

88 comments on “DT 29691

  1. Firstly I’d to wish Kath a very Happy Birthday and join the 2Ks in sending love and best wishes to her

    I didn’t find this as tricky as some Wednesday puzzles and I did know the ladies’ blouse which I suppose helped. An enjoyable solve but I’m definitely not going to play ‘guess the setter’ as I may well be wrong

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the person responsible for yesterday’s Toughie set this one too, it was almost as tricky, and like our esteemed bloggers I had to check a few. It was all well clued with some devious misdirection.
    1d my LOI and needed the hint to parse the first three letters.
    I’ve ticked 13a plus 3,8,13&15d for special mention but top spot goes to the brilliant 9d, clue of the week contender.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks and continued best wishes and happy birthday to Kath.

    Ps for music lovers 18a is a great song by the band Extreme from their excellent Pornograffiti album.

  3. Happy Birthday to Kath from me too.

    I found this one very tricky. I didn’t know the blouse, the musical twice or the part of tribe, and got the wrong fodder for the anagram at 18a. In the end it took me a full **** time.

    Many thanks to the compiler and the 2 Ks.

  4. Happy Birthday, Kath. I do hope you are well on the road to recovery. We all miss you.

    My rating for the puzzle was 2*/3*, and I have the feeling (probably wrong!) that this was not one of Jay’s.

    I can’t make much sense out of the surface for 3d and the use of the future tense in 16d seemed a little odd to me.

    26a was a new word for me and I didn’t know that specific meaning of 15d. 1d was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    1. Agree re the future tense in 16d, thought a different auxiliary verb (could or may) would work better.

  5. A great puzzle and most enjoyable especially as I finished unaided. Plenty to like with pennies dropping all over the place . I’ve put ticks by 12a, 1d and 8d. No COTD because too many good clues to chose from.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the entertainment and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    Very many happy returns to Kath and good wishes for a speedy recovery. :rose:

  6. What a joy this one is, but is it a Jay? Doesn’t matter, really, because I found it absolutely superb–even though I had to work hard (into *** time) at several clues to get there (the blouse, most notably; the flyer; the ranking) at the end. Top winners: 9d, 1a, 3d,13a, 2d (my LOI)–with many contenders. Thanks to the Kiwis and today’s setter. *** / *****

    Happy Birthday, Kath! Hope you are progressing nicely.

    1. I must add that there are food stores named 15d over here, coincidentally, and (for me) rather puzzlingly (do pardon the pun).

  7. Happy Birthday Kath. Hope you are making good progress and get well soon. This puzzle was tricky enough to be a Toughie a d took me a long time (3.5*/2*). I got some satisfaction out of finishing it unaided but not a lot of fun. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler (sorry far too clever for me!).

  8. I reckon Stephen’s hunch is a fair punt. I’d be confident it isn’t Jay. I thought it every bit as difficult as some recent Toughies but maybe that was just me struggling to get on wavelength. I knew Giuseppe lent his name to a biccy but not to a blouse so the penny for that one didn’t drop until I had the B checker. I thought 1a&d cracking starters but my favourite was 3d which was my last in & led me to seek out the Brando/Steiger scene in On The Waterfront.
    Thanks to the setter & to the 2Ks & of course all good wishes & birthday greetings to Kath.

    1. “I coulda been a contenduh, I could’ve been SOMEbody.” (Am I close?)

  9. I will join others in selecting 9d as the outstanding COTD. Overall I found this fairly undemanding but enormously satisfying to complete. It felt like a Jay, but we have all been wrong-footed recently.

    My thanks to the Wednesday setter and our 2Ks. And Kath, if you read this, continue to get better and have a very Happy Birthday.

  10. Very best wishes to Kath for a Happy Birthday and a speedy and full recovery, thoughts and prayers continue. :rose:

    For the second week in a row, I am voting for ‘not a Jay’. ***/***

    So, here’s a thought – is the ‘squashed fly biscuit’ named for the 15d blouse or vice versa? :wink:

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 2d, 3d, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

        1. Probably a pure coincidence, but he happened to die on this very day in 1882.

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATH. Get well soon.
    Today’s offering I found tough, taking two visits to finish in *** / **** time. East went in smoothly but West , especially the NW was slow.
    Very enjoyable and fairly clued with the blouse & musical twice needing confirmation from Mr Wiki.
    Enjoyed 1a but seemed to remember it was clued similarly quite recently. 9d my COTD.
    Thank you to setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  12. A most enjoyable mid-week puzzle, with a lovely range of clue types and the fewest anagrams I’ve seen in a grid for a long time, for which to the setter my 18a appreciation! Smooth surfaces, plenty of smiles and chuckles, and I was evidently on the right wavelength, for this went in at something of a canter. LOI 17d, COTD nominees include 12a, 8d, 9d and 17d, but 1a takes the 15d for me.


    Many thanks to Setter and to the 2Ks for the review.

  13. 💐Kath with warm Birthday greetings and wishing you an early return to good health – you are much missed. 💐
    Made a very laboured start but then enjoyed slowly pulling it together with the exception of the NW where I was hampered by 12a. Not being a soccer fan 16d was a bung-in. 1a was Fav with 21a running up. Thanks Mysteron and MrK.

  14. Most importantly I want to echo the comments expressed by our 2Ks about our lovely Kath. I do hope that she is continuing to recover and may be able to re-join us very soon.
    I would doubt that today’s puzzle came from Jay as only 1a/d seemed to possibly carry his stamp but it would be unusual for him to be absent for two weeks on the run so I could well be wrong. I did need to check on the 15d blouse along with the 26a part of tribe and I didn’t really see that it was necessary to include ‘in court’ in 17d. Top spot going to 9d.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for another excellent review.

    1. I agree about 17d. I got it early on but held back putting it in as i was overthinking the court. Enjoyed it today, hard enough to make me struggle, but all doable and second (back pager) finish in a row. Took me far too long to get 3d despite have the first word. 1a my clue of the day,22d my last one in. Many thanks to the setter for a great puzzle.

    2. Just popping in to say hello, and thanks to our 2 Kiwis for their analysis, and to all for your comments. One point re 17 Down – It’s written as wordplay plus definition – Coughs / confesses and up/in court = pays

      1. Terrific puzzle, Jay, thank you. You have been keeping us on our toes recently. So much so that we’re not sure whether or not it is you on a Wednesday. :grin:

        Many thanks for popping in.

        I did not have a problem with 17d.

      2. Thanks for popping in, Jay, and apologies for doubting both your ownership of this one and the wording of 17d. I’ll crawl back into my corner now…………

      3. Ta for popping in. Was pretty certain it wasn’t one of yours so guess that’s why I took the bets in my working life rather than placed them. Very enjoyable it was anyway.

      4. When I happily finished your puzzle last night, Jay, I said to myself, “Thank you, Jay, for the great puzzle,” but then I wavered in my thoughts, as did others. I should be more steadfast, I know.

        Wishy-Washy in Carolina

  15. Very hard going for me – I needed the thesaurus more than once. Perhaps some people like crosswords with a requirement for specialist knowledge (Garibaldi?).

    I went bonkers yesterday and bought about fifty plants for the garden; then spent three hours cursing that we don’t have any gardening help now as I planted the lot in one go. My poor knees.

    Daisy – Lola doesn’t have a collar or bell; our cats have never had collars for fear of them catching them on a branch or similar, with potentially awful consequences. Thus baby birds, shrews, mice and the rest need to keep on their toes

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Diana Ross – Touch Me In The Morning (but please use full PPE) album from 1973

    Thanks to the setter (can’t be Jay, surely?) and the two Ks

    Finally a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to The Lovely Kath with very best wishes for the speediest of recoveries

    1. The chances of your cat catching its collar on a ‘branch’ are virtually nil. Meanwhile you appear to be content for it to wreck havoc among the local fauna.
      Shame on you..

      1. Thank you for your sprinkle of shame, Michael! I shall wear it with much pride.

            1. You do : ) but without a space between them

              FAQ no 23 has a whole list of emoticons and how to do them

              1. Sue, I’ll try again but I’ve failed abysmally in the past. Remember? Techonoidiot!

                1. Easy, Merusa. As CS says there is a list in FAQ. Pick the one you want and put it between two colons such as :laugh:

                  “laugh” is not in the list – I just used it as illustration.

                    1. There must be a space before and after the colons – space :word: space – words include good, unsure, roll, rose, smile, grin, lol, cry, negative, sad, scratch, wacko, wink, whistle, phew, yawn, oops and look like this
                      :good: :unsure: :roll: :rose: :smile: :grin: :lol: :cry: :negative: :sad: :scratch: :wacko: :wink: :whistle: :phew: :yawn: :oops:

    2. We tried using one of the elasticated collars when we had Merlin. True to his name, he would venture off out into the garden and reappear later without the collar. We assume he did get caught by it on one of the trees, the elastic stretched, and off it popped. After replacing a couple of times, we gave up. As to the idea of a bell, while nice for the birds, I could only imagine having to walk around all day with a bell tolling around my neck. Enough to drive you mad. So please keep Lola free, she surely loves you for it. Ignore the naysayers.

  16. Happy Birthday to Kath – I hope the recuperation is going well.
    This puzzle didn’t feel like a Jay production to me but I wouldn’t stake too much money on that suggestion.
    I didn’t know the accumulation of dead flies could also be a blouse.
    My favourite clue was 1a.
    Many thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  17. I had trouble getting started on this and had to attack it from the SE corner.As I have posted elsewhere I found this harder than the Toughie.

  18. Pleasant solve in ** time. Wasn’t aware of the meaning for sept in 26a, but it couldn’t have been much else once the checkers were in. Thanks J and 2Ks and best wishes to Kath

  19. I didn’t manage a single one when I looked at it in bed this morning. But then very gradually it all fell into place – the SW corner last to be filled in. Happy Birthday Kath and thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    1. You looked at this? Does this mean the infection is subsiding? I do hope so. Ironically the Body Shop pushes Vit E products as it is so kind and good for facial imperfections! You were very unlucky.

  20. The Italian gentleman at 15d is well-enough known in his own right and also as a biscuit – now as a blouse! What other obscure features will crossword setters find to associate with his name?!
    26a was a new word for me but could not be anything else. This Xword is a happy combination of doable clues and gentle instruction. Thanks to Jay and the 2kiwis: ***/****

  21. Happy Birthday to Kath!

    This was a devilish puzzle today from my point of view. Did not feel like a Jay puzzle to me, but I could be way off base. Clues were quite tricky for the most part and I needed the 2K’s assistance more than is normal. ****/****
    Two new words for me in 26a for that definition as well as 15d
    Found lots of the clues required quite a bit of digging to get them to reveal the answers … like 21a, 4d, 9d just to list three that were of that ilk.
    Clues of note for me were 1a, 21a, 3d, 7d, 9d &17d with 17d winner

    Thanks to Jay (??) and 2K’s

  22. The blouse in 15D appeared as the winning score in the Saturday Scrabble competition about two weeks ago. I had seen that it fitted the Scrabble board but had to check that it was an acceptable word in the dictionary before I entered the comp. I didn’t win. 😐

    So 15D was easy for me!

  23. First, all the dogs and cats are still meowing and woofing blessings to you Kath. I hope you’re doing well, we miss you bushels.
    This was too esoteric for me, unusual with a Jay. Maybe ‘cos I relegated him to second fave setter after that jewel from Chalicea the other day.
    Fave of the ones solved is 9d. I thought 14a was worth a giggle.
    Thanks Jay, I’ll try better next time. Huge appreciation to the 2Kiwis for completing this for me.

    1. I found this straightforward solve apart from the blouse I didn’t know and 26ac which I had to verify as a word. **/****

  24. Enjoyable solve today ***/*** 😃 Did not know 26a 😳 ***/*** Favourites 1a & 15d. Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay & best wishes to Kath for a speedy recovery

  25. Very happy birthday Kath, I hope you have been able to see both your lambs today! I am wearing my new frock in your honour- well, to be honest I dressed up for lunch at the pub in the next village and whilst I was out George put First Sealord in at 24a which threw me when I came back to lounge in the garden with the crossword. It is odd how a wrong entry can blind you to any other answer. Fortunately he had heeded my constant suggestion to only use a pencil and I was eventually able to retire over it. I have not crowed over him. Well, not yet. He is fast asleep. Many thanks Jay for a head scratcher and to the two Ks for explaining 23a. G did put in the footbally one. Good point about the collar Terence but most do have an elastic insert and I eventually resorted to collars after an horrendous incident when one of my Somalis came through the cat flap with a complete nest of baby birds in it and I had to chase them round the kitchen! Traumatic. By a great feat of mismanagement (aptly gendered) the husbands of the ladies who lunched today have arranged their Lads Lunch for tomorrow. So we all have to cook for one tonight. Some hope.

  26. Happy birthday Kath and thank you Jay and 2Ks – tough one today with 21a as my favourite clue

  27. So, here we are again! Just like last week I completed the Toughie in a respectable time and have ground to a halt with this! It is very, as they say, discombobulating!
    My very best wishes to Manders, George and, of course Kath and any other of our online friends who are below par. Get well soon.

  28. Very enjoyable and it all fell into place although not particularly quickly. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  29. Morning all.
    So it was Jay after all.
    We’ve made the necessary adjustment to the hint for 17d.
    Still not yet daylight out there but certainly feels like a white crispy frost is going to greet us.

  30. Thanks everyone – it seems to be very slow at the moment – used to be so quick! Damn!
    Both the lambs have been here for today – lovely.
    Just thought about it we should tell you all – our younger and her fiancé are pregnant – due in middle September!!! It’s a long long tale . . .
    More soon,
    Kath xx

    1. Hurrah, welcome back Kath. Great to have you with us once more. So nice that the Lambs are always there for you and many congratulations to the youngest and her fiancé on the impending addition to the family. Blessings and love.

    2. So good to hear from you, Kath, and what wonderful news for your younger lamb. That gives you about 3 months to get yourself fully fit again!

    3. How lovely to see you here again, hopefully it won’t be long before you’re on here regularly and doing you Thursday RayT blog just like old times. All the best!

    4. Wonderful to hear from you, Kath! All of us and Ray T have missed you. However, don’t rush back. Just take a step at a time and know that we all love you. 🥰

    5. Happy Birthday Kath I hope you have had a glorious birthday and what lovely family news. May you continue to make a good and full recovery but pace yourself as you need to be in full feckle for September!

      1. Kath many apologies. I really don’t know how on earth ‘birthday’ became CV as asday ? I did edit and save but it hasn’t worked?!

    6. Welcome back Kath. Very encouraged to see your post – it sounds as though all your important bits are working, even if slow! Slowing down a bit is never a bad policy…… Great to hear about the new autumn arrival, as well.
      Take it easy on the wine o clock front and hope you’re not rattling with too many pills.

    7. A belated greeting from me too, dear Kath. How lovely to hear from you! Keep progressing slowly.
      Super news that your younger precious lamb and her fiancee are pregnant! Warmest congratulations!
      You’re very much in our thoughts. Bless you all. xxx

    8. So very happy to read your note, and congratulations on the expected grandchild. Keep getting better, we all miss you very much Kath.

  31. Could anyone please tell me what ‘BRB’ stands for. I can’t find it anywhere on the internet.

    1. Max, BRB is the Big Red Book, ie Chambers Dictionary. There is also a LRB, Little Red Book, which is the Chambers Crossword Dictionary – really a thesaurus. The convention seems to be that DT Crosswords are based on words form the BRB

  32. When I solved 1a while walking back to the breakfast table from the printer I thought I was off and running. But it was not to be. I had garibaldi from the start also, but couldn’t equate it with a blouse. Now of the clue had said something about biscuits it would all have been clear to me. Not much sports knowledge but pretty sure sweepers wasn’t a term back in the 70s. Definitely on the tough side today. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

    Happy, happy birthday Kath. We are all rooting for you to get better as soon as possible.

  33. Thanks to the 3 birds. A very nice puzzle, that was tricky in places, but luckily I was on the right wavelength, so got there in the end. I’d forgotten that 15d was a ladies blouse, no wonder I couldn’t parse it using the biscuit definition! I liked 12a and 4d, great examples of lego & partial anagram clues. My favourite was 13a. Was 3* / 4* for me. After a lovely trip to the Lake District, this was the perfect way to banish the return to the Smoke Blues.

  34. Happy Birthday Kath I hope you have had a glorious birthday and what lovely family news. May you continue to make a good and full recovery but pace yourself as you need to be in full feckle for September! Ah! It has worked!

  35. After struggling to solve 12 clues unaided, I hadn’t the energy left to carry on even with the help of the hints. It’s very rare that I just give up. Anyway many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks for all their hard work.
    A belated happy birthday to Kath.

  36. Completed this with difficulty this morning. Really just popped in to wish Kath a happy birthday for yesterday and wish her a speedy recovery. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  37. A late comment from me. I didn’t find this puzzle quite as tricky as I have some of Jay’s. I enjoyed it a great deal, rating it **** for entertainment. It’s almost impossible to select a fave but I have singled out 1a which I find delightful. I also much liked the homophone 13a. 16d and 26a are both new words to me.
    Many thanks to Jay for an excellent crossword and to the 2Kiwis for an excellent review to match.

    1. Lovely news about the baby Kath ! Sounds like you had a happy birthday with your lambs. Take great care of yourself.

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