DT 29697 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29697

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29697

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
  A beautiful fine clear winter day here. The sort of conditions exactly suited to a brisk beach walk or similar activity.

No particular stumbling blocks to trip us up in this one although we did need a confirmatory check on the wordplay for 25a.  A pleasure to solve.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Reprimand bishop interrupting leading attack (7)
UPBRAID : A two letter word meaning leading, then the chess abbreviation for bishop is followed by an attack or incursion.

9a     Set off from assignation outside school (8)
DETONATE : UK’s best known posh school is contained by a usually romantic assignation.

10a     One female in two score, getting brace (7)
FORTIFY : The Roman numeral one and F(emale) are inside the number for two score.

11a     Monster keeps clear, seeing this girl (8)
BRUNETTE : Clear, as used in financial statements is inside a monster or savage person.

12a     Person, say, with area retail outlet in Spain (6)
BODEGA : A slang word for a person, then the two letters which are an abbreviation of the Latin phrase for ‘say’ and A(rea).

13a     Storm club involved with Tudors (10)
CLOUDBURST : An anagram (involved) of CLUB and TUDORS.

15a     Crazy rough plan has leader of rebels taken out (4)
DAFT : Remove the first letter of rebels from a rough plan or tentative proposal.

16a     New lad is keeping nothing in except something for the windsurfer (9)
SAILBOARD : An anagram (new) of LAD IS surrounds a word meaning except or exclude which in turn contains the letter that looks like zero.

21a     House doctor’s taken advantage of (4)
USED : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

22a     This should keep viewers in touch (3,7)
EYE CONTACT : A cryptic definition. The viewers here are not TV watchers but organs of sight.

24a     Contents of hints aimed early enough (2,4)
IN TIME : The inside letters (contents) of two words in the clue.

25a     After brown bread, nothing is a lost cause (4,4)
DEAD DUCK :  What a cockney might mean when he says ‘brown bread’, and then nothing as a cricket score.

27a     Sort of light fitting that’s seen on end of rifle? (7)
BAYONET : The thing added to a rifle when it is used for close quarters combat is attached in a similar way to this type of light bulb.

28a     Soldiers legally bound to be trustworthy (8)
RELIABLE : Engineering soldiers, and a word meaning legally bound or responsible.

29a     One on the fiddle from prison is tense (7)
CELLIST : A room used to hold prisoners, then ‘is’ from the clue and T(ense).


2d     Offer support with constable oddly off (8)
PROPOSAL : A four letter support and the four even-numbered letters from constable.

3d     Withdraws, having sent up first course, including last of these (8)
RETREATS : One of the names for the course that precedes the main one is reversed and contains the last letter of ‘these’.

4d     Doing nothing about father is a crime (10)
INFRACTION : The usually religious use abbreviation for father is inside another word for doing nothing.

5d     Person who succeeds in broadcasting tune (4)
HEIR : A homophone (in broadcasting) of a tune or melody.

6d     Leisure pursuit for the most part involving no associate (6)
HOBNOB : Insert ‘no’ from the clue inside a leisure pursuit or pastime with the last letter removed.

7d     Leggings good for women in restaurant staff? (7)
GAITERS : Start with a word for people serving in a restaurant and swap its W(omen) for G(ood).

8d     Shame men toyed with hidden souvenir (7)
MEMENTO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

11d     BBC look at different individual offering a shine (9)
BOOTBLACK : An anagram (different) of BBC LOOK AT.

14d     Take out of service cocktail of iced tea attracting tax (10)
DEACTIVATE : An anagram (cocktail of) of ICED TEA contains a common form of taxation.

17d     Part of USA that’s excited but slow to support Democrat (4,4)
DUST BOWL : Start with D(emocrat) and then an anagram (excited) of BUT SLOW.

18d     Main line in disarray? It’s flowing (8)
SEAMLESS : The body of water referred to as ‘the main’, and then a word for disarray includes L(ine).

19d     Offers made by pub workers without impediment (7)
TENDERS : Remove a three letter word for an impediment or hindrance from a general word for pub workers.

20d     Sells one stocked by roofer given a lift (7)
RETAILS : A roofer who uses a particular type of natural material is reversed and contains the Roman numeral one.

23d     Top Gear could be rather passé (3-3)
OLD-HAT : Top gear here means headwear.

26d     Pass trainer’s first young player (4)
COLT : A mountain pass and then the first letter of trainer.

Lots of ticks once again so we’ll leave the choice of favourite to you.

Quickie pun    yore    +    soak   +   hind    =    you’re so kind

87 comments on “DT 29697

  1. I thought this a pleasant solve with steady clueing except for 1a, 5d and 18d which I thought tricky and just pushed me into ** time. 18d was my COTD and thanks to the 2Kiwis for their work which I shall now peruse and of course the setter.

  2. Another excellent puzzle from the Wednesday production line, that was a steady rather than rapid solve for me with some nice PDMs.
    I thought 12a slightly weak and the slang in 25a may atract some criticism from the purists (was ok by me) but the rest was top notch. Really liked several including 10&29a plus 6,17&20d but top spot goes to the brilliant 18d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the entertainment.

  3. Another Wednesday winner with a couple in the bottom right holding out stubbornly. Thanks to the setter and to my Kiwi colleagues. Off delivering goodies to my sister and daughter before lunch in the UK City of Culture and a look at the installations in The Old Cathedral and Broadgate.

    1. Looking forward to BBC4 programme at 9pm on the building of the cathedral.
      City of culture – who’d ‘ave thunk it. Mind you if Hull can do it why not Cov.

      1. Coventry’s bid was overseen by the main man who won the bidding process for Hull. We were so far ahead of the other candidates in every respect.

  4. One of those crosswords in which being born within the sound of Bow Bells is an advantage . Apart from that, I found it difficult to get into the puzzle and only slowly speeded up so it was a slow slog and not a lot of fun, although the clues were mostly fair and well-constructed (3*/3*). I’m not sure why an 11a has to be female as there are males with the same characteristic. None of the clues was outstanding but 13a was quite good. Thanks to the 2K’s and the compiler.

    1. That’s an interesting one CC, if ette is a feminine suffix presumably the male would be a Brune? Someone will know.

      1. Isn’t brunette the French female form of brunet, the diminutive of brun (brown-haired)?

        1. Curiously, both male and female are described as blonde– or should it be blond for a man and blonde for a female?

          1. It is blond. I think in the English usage so few people describe a man in this way that the masculine version is perhaps forgotten.

            1. It is astonishing that anyone would use the word brunette to describe a man. For that matter I have never heard a man described as brunet (the correct version). And no the pronunciation is not the same.

  5. Was going really well until I got stuck in the SW corner (not knowing the Cockney rhyming slang in 25A, but eventually and after much head scratching figured it out from the letters I had in place). Contenders for COTD would be 16A or 29A (not least as I used to be one in my teenage years). I shall now 10A myself with a cup of tea, before the inevitable afternoon 13A given the typically Scottish weather here today.

  6. Having been spectacularly wrong last week I’ll risk a few bob that this is Jay. Very enjoyable though I made hard work of it in a pedestrian solve (second day running I’ve completed the Toughie much quicker) as my PDMs were slow to materialise. Agree with Stephen’s choices but would add 1&11a plus 18d to them. No problem with 25a from me in what I thought was a super crossword.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2 Ks

    1. Meant to say – enjoyed listening to Colin Murray’s interview with Susie Dent on 5 Live last night. I wonder if she’s any good at cryptic crosswords.

  7. 2*/4*. I incline to agree with Huntsman that this is a Jay production, but, whoever it was, it was a lot of fun.

    My favourite was 18d with 1a & 13a joining it on the podium.

    Many thanks to Jay (?) and to the 2Ks.

  8. I got there in the end, but it took two visits. 15a held out to the last, and I really don’t know why. I had the clue properly parsed at the first reading.

    I do like the word at 1a. Is it ever used verbally or only in writing?

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

    1. I’m so glad you found 15a a hard solve. I knew exactly what the clue wanted but had to comb through the thesaurus to find the rough plan. I feel pretty stupid, don’t you?

  9. This one took me quite some time and I eventually had to look up 27a in the electronic gizmo……but enjoyable nevertheless.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    Overcast here, so like Andy Bannister I await the rain….not usually a 13a here on the East Coast, but rain almost guaranteed as I have a hairdresser appointment this afternoon.

    1. We have had 2/3 hours rain this morning Ora. Brightening up a little now.
      Got absolutely eaten alive by midges last night – serves me right for thinking it was too dry / windy for the little b******s.

      1. That’s the one thing (or the million things) that put me off the land of my fathers! The little b———love me.

        1. The rain is still holding off here…but then I haven’t had my hair done yet….

      2. Celebrated my 70th birthday in the Highlands, I could not believe the amount of midges there were. I thought Florida was bad …

  10. A very enjoyable mid-week challenge perhaps a little trickier than usual, and, I have to say, no assistance from starting with the Downs in either direction. ***/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 25a, and 23d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. I understand that Saturday is designated as World Gin Day fortunately I started ‘practising’ last night.

  11. West side went in fine but East I found trickier. As usual on a Wednesday once the penny dropped there seemed no reason why I didn’t see it earlier. Got there in the end with 18d my LOI.
    18d a candidate for COTD but 6d takes the biscuit 🤔
    It ia a wonder that 11d has survived the woke brigade. The story about the Hartlepools monkey yesterday shows just how silly things are getting. I used to collect sports club ties & one of my favourites was from a Hartlepools rugby club with little red monkeys hanging from the stripes
    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s.
    What was a wet miserable morning is brightening up promisingly.

    1. Now the Queen is a victim. It really is turning into mad, crazy world. Don’t even get me started on banning cricketers for “misdemeanours” in their youth! :negative:

      1. My goodness, it’s enough to put up your blood pressure… and just heard that it was an American student who took down HM picture. Send him home.

        1. I agree, send him home with his tail between his legs. Don’t mess with our Queen. That makes me so mad.

            1. Me too. Over and over again I am reminded of the Emperor wearing no clothes. We need a little boy like the one in that tale to come out with it.

  12. I did hesitate a little to ascribe this one to Jay but it was enjoyable whoever set it!
    Plenty of good clues but nothing that really stood out as being head and shoulders above the rest.

    Thanks to our setter and to the 2Ks for the review. A little cooler here today for which I am extremely grateful – think I’d like to live in a country where it’s always either spring or autumn!

  13. I have one to get (18d) so I’m not going to look at the hints or comments yet because I want an unaided finish. Jay at his best, I thought with many good clues. I dredged the answer to 12a from the depths of my memory of former crosswords. I particularly liked 10a and 23d but my favourite and COTD is 24a.

    Many thanks to Jay. I will carry on pondering 18d. I have all the checkers so it should be a matter of time. Thanks also to the 2Kiwis for the hints, which I will look at later.

      1. I have just solved it, Huntsman and what a good clue It is. So I finished unaided. :grin:

        It was nearly my COTD.

  14. A good midweek challenge, which I found incrementally more testing than the last couple of days … which I guess is as it should be! Reasonably swift progress until held up by a few clues in the NE & NW, pushing me almost to 3* time. Enjoyed the cluing (anagrams happily relatively few, in the ratio of 1:6) and plenty of ticks, with 24a, 6d & 19d pipped to the post by the wonderfully deceptive 18d, my LOI.


    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    1. I don’t like to ask about progress M as you have not given an update. But I know someone will so it might as well be me.

      1. Thank you for asking – I didn’t want to witter on about the dog in case for fear of sounding like a rcerod. However crossing fingers, and the kind wishes and thoughts of others, appear in combination to be as successful a form of treatment as visits to the vets, and considerably less expensive.

        We’ve enjoyed a reasonably positive day or so and the daft sod is in good spirits, with a surprising degree of movement even if he can’t lift his paws properly when walking. If we’re not careful he even breaks into a jog, and has managed to wag his tail a little prior to heading out for a short walk. The change in just a few days has been quite remarkable and gives us some small grounds for hope that with the recovery thus far of some considerable spinal column function, his incontinence might also improve. A huge hope, however small the grounds.

        We’re due to receive a pup (ESS) late next month and the plan had been (as has always been our practice) for him to learn much from his two older and wiser ‘uncles’ over the next 12-18 months. So, house training is going to be interesting if he chooses to learn from the wrong uncle!


        1. MG
          Glad the improvement continues. Will take it that no news is good news from now on.
          If we didn’t have two we always got an addition when the dog got to 7 or so. Biggles is now 6 but we don’t feel at nearly 80 we should take on a pup so doubt if Bella will be replaced.

          1. My cousin in Pittsburgh, who is 88 felt the same, when her dog and Siamese cat died last year. Then there was a rescue dog that no-one wanted, a German Shepherd, which is a favourite breed, followed by a Seal point Siamese, belonging to an old lady, who was going into a nursing home , which didn’t take pets and it was going to be put down. Now my cousin has a rescued dog and cat!. You never know LROK, an animal in need might havecyour name on it.

            1. I’m friends with the leader of a fabulous rescue operation, I have a deal with her that if I lose Sadie, she will find me a rescue, which she will take back when I go. I appointed a godmother for Sadie when I first had her, so she’ll be safe.

          2. I’ll post the occasional update when there is news, good or bad, and hugely appreciate your kind words, LROK. We usually have 3 spaniels on the go at any time, but lost one too soon last year (cancer), and this one was a couple of years older than we had thought when we re-homed him, so have ended up with two the same age. It’s going to be interesting to see how the two grumpy old sods get on with the pup … and that goes for the two humans in this house too!

            Sympathies to you on your dilemma about another dog. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. We’ll be keeping an eye out for a rescue terrier once lockdown is quite over and life gets back to normal: we think rescue centres will be full and desperately looking for new adopters, but so many seem to insist their rescues must go to new homes without any other dogs, which seems daft – why exclude so much experience and the “pack support” of other dogs?

  15. This is the first Wednesday crossword I’ve had no trouble solving for a few weeks. Usually I find the Toughie easier on these days. Has the compiler changed? Both puzzles were mostly level pegging in difficulty today.

  16. I think this is quite a stylish Jay production. No serious difficulties – just one or two clues scattered across the grid that required a bit of extra thought like 18d which is also my favourite for its construction. 11a kept me guessing for a while even with all the checkers. **/**** Thanks to all.

  17. SE corner a problem for which I needed hints. Bit of a slog with no enjoyable moments.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter.

  18. I thought this was just brilliant and had the witty and enticing redolence of a Jay masterpiece. So much to admire, from 1a to 18d (no anagram there!), with 6d fleshing out the podium. Like the Kiwis, I did confirm that my suspicion was correct in 25a (and meanwhile enjoyed another learning session in Cockney rhyming slang). Thanks to today’s setter, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Jay, and to the Kiwis. ** / *****

    What a terrific Toughie too!

    1. Fully agree but I reckon Puck’s quirky offering in the Graun even more fun. Well worth a look.

      1. Got the Thackeray clue early on then struggled. Mightily. Brain not functioning well today. DNF. But thank you for the Puck-alert!

  19. Some tricky clues and a little more difficult for me than usual , plenty to like and nothing obscure so going for a ***/****.
    Favourite was 27a for originality and liked the surface of 25a-1a wasn’t in my Chambers but well clued so fine -thanks to setter for the fun and 2 K’s for the pics.

  20. As often happens I agree with most of the previous writers but I got quite cross with 18d as I was desperately looking for an anagram. I liked 13a (I’m reading the latest Hilary Mantel) and 4d got a star as did 17d. 15a LOI for some reason and I was glad of George’s input regarding the end of the rifle. Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

    1. Oh good, not just me. I tried to make an anagram out of main line for ages.

    2. Is there a post-Cromwell Trilogy from Mantel, DG? Or are you reading TMATL?

  21. Somewhat late on parade so pretty much everything that needs to be said has already been said. A thoroughly enjoyable if somewhat speedy romp through crosswordland this afternoon, with the excellent 18d coming out on top. It felt like a Jay production, so thanks to him and apologies to whomsoever actually compiled it, and to the 2Ks.

  22. Not sure if this was a Jay or not, but enjoying it nevertheless. Having difficulty with a few old outs, but I am going to resist looking at the hints until lunchtime. Luckily I remembered the Cockney meaning of brown bread. Thanks to Jay (?) and 2Kiwis.

    I really must stop having a quick peak at the DT last thing at night, when I can see the next morning’s issue. Lately there is often something that ticks me off in this world gone mad and doesn’t help me get a good night’s sleep.

  23. Another great puzzle today with just a few head scratchers. Agree with everyone that the world has gone completely beserk. Having a go at the Queen is outrageous – she is much admired by the heads of all the Commonwealth countries. Thank goodness I’ve never ‘tweeted’ in my life – it appears tweets come back to bite you! Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Off to watch the tennis, too hot to go out.

  24. Hurrah.
    20d in yesterday’s finally came to me.
    How could I have been so dim?
    Today’s very elegantly clued, a smooth ride to completion.
    So, **/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  25. Bit of a slow slog for me today, maybe more distracted by work than usual. However, I got there in the end. To prove that my mind wasn’t quite on it, my LOIs were 5d & 8d, just couldn’t see the obvious! No particular favourite.
    Thanks to all

  26. Concentration interrupted this a.m. by Arts Society lecture on Chagall and this p.m. Nadal/Schwartzman from Roland Garros. However enjoyed cruciverbally dipping in and out but do have to admit to seeking a nudge or two which led me to 20d as my Fav. Thank you Jay (?) and 2Kiwis.

    1. I’m so cross, my TV server dropped my tennis channels, when I called to reinstate them, they want $40 more a month. Alas, that’s beyond my budget. I’ll have to start calling around to see what other server I can find.

      1. Can you get ATP Tennis TV which I think is something like $14.99 month? I have a UK subscription.

  27. Having loads of difficulty with this puzzle. Very slow going and not getting a flow happening. ****/** for me today and still have four to solve in NW. Maybe it’s just me today but not a good solving day.
    Needing far too many hints today.
    Favourites today 9a, 22a, 27a & 23d with 9a winner
    Doesn’t seem like a Jay today, but I said that last week and was wrong.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  28. Didn’t do at all well with this one. I’m blaming the heat ! Maybe the arts Society lecture on the fan museum didn’t help either as I was distracted too.

  29. I struggled, felt like a bit of a slog just wasn’t on the wavelength, but did manage to complete eventually without hints. 9 and 11 were my last ones in, both look easy in retrospect. I didnt like 27, couldn’t see why it was cryptic. Found 25 easy but it made me laugh so CoTD for me.

  30. Morning all.
    First task this morning was repairing the mixed metaphor we had put in the preamble. Observant readers might notice that fishhooks have now become stumbling blocks.
    From the comments it appears some solvers did find both fishhooks and stumbling blocks. A good thing we are all different.
    Our fine clear yesterday led into a cool crisp night. Guess there will be a white frost out there when it gets light enough to see.

  31. A mixture of gimmes and very hard for me. I solved 25a on first read through but had no idea of the why, so waited until I got checkers. Thanks 2Kiwis for the enlightenment, never thought of rhyming slang. I had the wrong first letter at 7d, fortunately it made no difference. I had no idea why 18d was what it was, I needed the hints to unravel that. As Kath would say, oh dear!
    My fave was 6d, I love the word.
    Thanks Jay for the fun, and the 2Kiwis for several explanations.

  32. Good evening everyone.
    A very enjoyable mid week puzzle that kept me entertained & thinking.
    3*:4* Favs 22ac &18d
    Many thanks to Jay & 2KWs for directions!
    Both family, health & events have taken there toll, hence I have been unable to post as as regularly as I did or as often. Sometimes not finishing a puzzle until 3or4 days after publication.
    Do stay safe& well. Please believe me it’s not all over yet… the fat lady has not even begun her warm up yet. Best wishes OBJ

  33. I’m in the “bit of a slog” camp this evening. I do wish people would stop referring to rhyming slang as cockney, it’s English rhyming slang. It’s used all over the country including in my neck of the woods, 100 miles from Bow Bells! Favourite was indeed 25a which I got straightaway being conversant in said slang and cricket. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  34. Glad everyone else enjoyed this. Got less than half the clues and lost interest.


  35. Completed before bedtime, but by then too tired to comment. Thank you Kiwis for the hints, and to Jay — my favourite was either 24a’s contents of hints, or 5d’s person who succeeds.

    I didn’t know 26d’s pass, and managed to mess up 19d by removing the wrong part of the pub workers — ‘barters’ also works for ‘offers’.

  36. 3*/3*…
    liked 6D “Leisure pursuit for the most part involving no associate (6)”

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