DT 29727 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29727

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29727

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Another beautiful crisp white frost here today. As it is school and varsity holiday time most of our family are away at the South Island ski fields. They are having similar weather down there giving glorious conditions for fun on the slopes. Everything is much less crowded these days as there is not the usual influx of overseas skiers.

Although this puzzle felt to have some tricky places we did complete it within our 2 star time with plenty to keep us smiling along the way.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.


1a     Leaving party? (9)
DEFECTION : The surface reading suggests a farewell celebration but we actually need a political departure here.

6a     A few heard leading review (3,2)
SUM UP : A homophone (heard) of a word meaning ‘a few’ and then a two letter word meaning leading or ahead.

9a     Sound of Queen once with low backing? (5)
VROOM : The Queen once was the one who had the longest reign before ER surpassed her, and the low to be reversed is a bovine sound.

10a     Car paint essentially must be in new emulsion (9)
LIMOUSINE : An anagram (new) of EMULSION contains the central letter of paint.

11a     Stroppy pros, to be sure, may be retrained (12)
OBSTREPEROUS : An anagram (may be trained) of PROS TO BE SURE.

14a     Suspend setter for such an expression? (7)
HANGDOG : Another word for suspend plus a canine setter.

16a     Fancy a blonde, mate? (3,4)
OLD BEAN : An anagram (fancy) of A BLONDE.

17a     Layer seen in ozone hole reversed (3)
HEN : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

18a     Identify personal problem offering hopeful treatment (7)
PLACEBO : Identify or twig where something fits in and then a personal hygiene problem.

20a     Horse always found around hospital department (7)
EVENTER : Crosswordland’s favourite hospital department is inside a synonym for always.

22a     Lost all interest with the onset of rows between stars (12)
INTERSTELLAR : An anagram (lost) of ALL INTEREST is followed by the first letter of rows.

26a     Part of leg that may be off in steak (5,4)
THIGH BONE : A 1-4 type of steak surrounds ‘off’ or smelling of putrefaction.

27a     Lord once kept in privilege illegally rejected (5)
LIEGE : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

28a     Utter prerogative (5)
RIGHT : A double definition. Utter here is a synonym for absolute.

29a     So indeed, desperately holding Victor, fell sharply (9)
NOSEDIVED : An anagram (desperately) of SO INDEED contains V(ictor).


1d     Singer needing most of seat? (4)
DIVA : Remove the last letter from a couch without back or sides (seat).

2d     Beat current that’s good for women (4)
FLOG : Start with a current that could be the movement of a river and swap its W(omen) for G(ood).

3d     Accountant, politician and graduate teacher may find rest here (4-3)
CAMP-BED : The abbreviations for chartered accountant and Member of Parliament and then a teaching qualification.

4d     Stretch of water requiring popular permit (5)
INLET : The two letter popular and permit or allow.

5d     Principal uniform worn by fighting men born on base (6,3)
NUMBER ONE : An anagram (fighting) of MEN BORN contains U(niform) and finally, the mathematical symbol for a base.

6d     Used — and ate — nuts lightly fried (7)
SAUTEED : An anagram (nuts) of USED and ATE.

7d     Partner accepting no site free for place to live (10)
MAISONETTE : A partner, or even close pal, surrounds an anagram (free) of NO SITE.

8d     Nice case of rivalry generating casual remark (10)
PLEASANTRY : A synonym for nice (it’s not the French city this time) and the first and last letters (case) of rivalry.

12d     Criminal type who might hold up a store (10)
SHOPLIFTER : The answer sounds like this person can physically elevate a store.

13d     Revealing close call supporting United? (10)
UNEARTHING : The abbreviation for United and then a 4,5 phrase for close call.

15d    Guest gutted about landlord with private place that’s empty (5,4)
GHOST TOWN : The first and last letters ‘gutted’ of guest contain a landlord or publican, and then private or personal

19d     Not a sound will be heard out of this! (7)
EARSHOT : The range or distance within which a sound is audible.

21d     Contacted regulars of team and suffered (7)
EMAILED : The second and fourth letters of team and then suffered or was unwell.

23d     City shelter dropouts left empty (5)
LEEDS : Shelter, often used in a nautical sense, and then the first and last letters (left empty) of dropouts.

24d     Somewhat undervalued fuel (4)
DERV : A lurker hiding in the clue (this was new to us and is a word derived from an acronym).

25d     Drink made from bananas, full of energy (4)
MEAD : A word for bananas or crazy contains E(nergy).

The NW corner put up the biggest fight so we’ll pick our favourite from there. Let’s say 9a.

Quickie pun    accede    +    hence    =    accidents

59 comments on “DT 29727

  1. No doubting the quality of this one….top notch, perfect for regular and occasional solvers alike.
    In a very strong field my podium sitters are 14&18a plus19d.
    Many thanks to the setter, pretty sure its a Jay production, and the 2Ks.

    Excellent article by Calvin Robinson in today’s paper.

    1. Yes – isn’t that a good piece. I also recommend Allison Pearson and Why I am going on a red list holiday – very amusingly and acerbically written.

  2. Mainly straightforward but I got stuck on 1a and 21d pushing me into ** time. Not sure why really. COTD was 14a where I was trying to get “me” into it. I also kept trying to think of another word for wake in 1a. Thanks to the setter and our antipodean friends.

    1. I got stuck on 1a – a great misdirection. I was so sure it was a double definition but couldn’t figure out the party.

      1. Me too with 1a and also 2d. Got there in the end but I didn’t know why.

  3. I enjoyed this puzzle and felt that it had a nice mix of different types of clues, some of them quite difficult to parse (2*/4*). 12d was amusingly cryptic and the anagram at 16a was delciously sly but my COTD was 13d which kept me guessing for a while. Many thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler

  4. RHS went quite quickly but I thought I was going to have big trouble on the left until 12d yielded and the extra checkers made the other answers appear in a flurry. 1a held out until almost the very end – I needed that to get 2d – and even then nearly didn’t finish the instructions. Good one.

  5. A steady solve in **/*** time. The NW held me up for a while as I had convinced myself that 1a was another word for a wake.

    COTD has to be 19d.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  6. This was huge fun and there were lots of contenders for COTD — I loved 9A and 16A, whilst 22A was very cleverly constructed. I also struggled with 1A as I got led down the garden path with the wrong type of party, but eventually I had enough checkers in place that I could figure it out.

  7. Lovely puzzle as usual for a Wednesday. Thanks to Jay if it was he. Thanks to the 2Ks especially for the reasoning behind 5 down which eluded me. Your mushrooms look delicious. I’d have them with Stilton cheese and a nice crust of bread.

  8. Most enjoyable, with a quicker RHS and slower NW – pushed into 2* time by 1a, the solving of which gained it a place on my podium, and enabled my LOI, 2d.

    Top quality and concise clueing, good surface reads and a great variety of clue types (even if too many anagrams). I don’t usually find afterwards that I’ve ticked anagrams, but a couple on my podium today – 1a, 11a,16a, 26a, and 23d, with 19d my COTD.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to the 2Ks.

  9. Great puzzle. Never mind the difficulty feel the quality I say.
    Actually took well into ** time because of NW corner. Always fall into the trap of a word with “i” as the 3rd last letter is going to end in “ing”. Like others also looking for a synonym of “wake”.
    The number of nominations for COTD contenders already shows the quality of the grid. Mine is the simple 2d with 14a a close second.
    T.hanks to Jay (if itisn’t then he has a doppelganger) and the 2Ks.
    Your news made me think.
    Do your school years run the same as ours (ie year end is late June or early July w long holiday in July / August)?

    1. Our school and varsity years follow the calendar year. This is divided into four terms. This break is at the end of term 2, half-way through the year.

  10. More good fun in a cruciverbally entertaining week so far. East came in ahead of West. 1a perhaps a little dubious. My Fav 16a. Had to say the Quickie pun words out loud several times before the penny dropped and I realised the “h” had to be dropped! Thanks Jay (?) and 2Ks (keep warm!).

  11. Just a few in the NW corner held me up and pushed out the solving time, otherwise pleasantly and entertainingly plain sailing. 26a was my top clue. It sure felt like a Jay production, so thanks to him, apologies if not, and thanks too, to the 2Ks.

  12. Great fun although I did not get 2d because I just could not see it. Having looked at the hints it now makes sense. I too liked 16a – a cleverly disguised anagram. My COTD is 14a with 8d running a close second.

    Many thanks to Jay (if it is he) for the amusement and to the 2 Kiwis for the hints. Thank you for putting me right on 2d.

    For the first word of the Quickie pun I put “comply” so needed up with “compliance”. Ho hum!

  13. I am inclined to agree with Stephen L that this delightful mid-week puzzle is a Jay production – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 20a, 26a, and 3d – and the winner is 26a.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and the 2Kiwis.

  14. My rating is 1.5*/4* for a light delight today. With quite a number of clues jostling to get on the podium, 5d, 8d, 12d & 13d finally made the cut.

    Many thanks to presumably Jay and to the 2Ks.

  15. Thought it was going to be tougher than it turned out. It was in fact very enjoyable apart from 2d which I thought a very poor clue.
    My fav was 1a with MiD for 3d.
    Thx to all

  16. Slight slow down in the NW corner but a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  17. Started at 25d. Complete all but the NW in 1* time. Eventually completed 1d, 2d and 1a.
    Needed the hints to parse 1a and 2d. In 1d I’m not happy with Diva as a singer as anyone can be a Diva. Perhaps putting the ? after Singer may have been better. Very enjoyable and amusing. Thanks to all.
    PS. Had to take my hanging basket down from the front of the house, as I could not keep up with the supply of water needed. It’s pleasantly warm here in Gloucester but not that warm.

    1. Diva (noun)….a celebrated female (opera) singer….. Collins Online Dictionary.

  18. Top quality again from Mr Wednesday. Thought 13d was nicely contrived and I do like the sound of the word at 11a, aimed it more than once at No.2 daughter in days gone by!
    Podium places handed out to 16a plus 12&15d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review.

  19. The NW held me up forever, it seemed, but I got there in the end and thoroughly enjoyed this masterpiece by…it certainly seems like Jay. So nice to see Dame Kiri te Kanawa in today’s illustrations; I saw her in recital back in the 90s in a most memorable concert. So many outstanding clues to pick from, but 13d, 19d, 1a, and 9a get my highest bids. Many thanks to the Kiwis and to today’s setter. *** / ****

    Missing four in today’s tough Toughie….

    1. You have done better than I have in the Toughie Bob. I’ll probably re-visit it later but it is now beer o clock so it will have to be later on

    2. We found a Kiwi for the 20a picture too Robert. That is our Sir Mark Todd on the horse.

  20. Three nice solves in a row 😃 ***/**** but what will tomorrow bring 🤔 Favourites 9 & 18a and 5d 🤗 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  21. I’ve already had a beer for you, Robert, so I’m late on parade. I have been wrong before and will be again but I think this is a Jay production which kept me amused for a little while earlier today. Well constructed clues. **/**** 16a is an old English term so I’m not sure how well that translates across the pond and elsewhere. Difficult to pick a favourite but I’d elect 19d. Thanks to all.

    1. Thanks, Greta. We have the very same expression for 16a, and I’m sure it conveys the same meaning.

  22. Another goodie, just don’t know how these compilers do it week after week but many thanks to all of them for keeping me on my toes. This little corner of East Anglia still under heavy cloud and miserable. Thanks to Jay? and the 2 Kiwis.

    1. It was glorious sunshine in the Vale of White Horse this afternoon (just as I had finished drawing up my plan for an Ark). A walk, some lawn mowing and a tidying up of the borders was the order of the day.

  23. Another nice puzzle to tackle today … week is good so far. **/**** for today. Clues for favourites 9a, 16a, 17a, 18a & 15d with winner 9a. New word for me in 24d
    17a made me smile

    Thanks to Jay(?) and 2K’s

  24. Another treasure today, but then, it’s from the master setter Jay. I didn’t complete 1a and 2d, but as most others were stuck on that, I don’t feel stupid. I needed help to “get” 5d, but was able to unravel the rest all on my own. So much to enjoy, how on earth can I choose a fave out of that lot? I like the sound of 11a, as did Jane, and 13d amused.
    Thank you Jay, you’re a star, and to the 2Kiwis for helping me to cross the finish line.

    1. P.S. How does the illustrated 10a steer around corners? Or does it only go on straight motorways?

  25. Happy to join the love-fest (Bertie’s term for a chorus of appreciation). Pretty certain it’s a Jay production & it was a trouble free solve in just under **time very early this morning before a lovely day out playing at the charming Ashley Guise & Woburn Sands course in a Seniors Open invitation in gorgeous weather. Plenty of big ticks for me from which 18&26a make the podium with 19d on top. Hoped that we might have had a clip of the Specials 80s anthem for 15d inspired by their view of the impact Thatcherite policies had on towns like Coventry.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.
    Ps the Serpent Toughie will have to wait until after a snooze – an early start, sunshine & beer takes its toll.

  26. I do always struggle on Jay days, and today wasn’t helped by the fact that I had solved all the clues with picture hints before I opened the blog. So I had to break my own rule of confining myself to only those hints. There were also several clues where I had the answer but as they confident they were correct, so was reluctant to fill them in, being a pen user. My own worst enemy clearly. COTD was definitely 12d. One of these days I will get on Jay’s wavelength, but I do enjoy them and will continue to learn from him in the meantime. Thanks also to 2Kiwis.

    On a separate note, it was reported today in Miami that an overwhelmingly large proportion of those currently being hospitalized with Covid are non vaccinated younger people, those in their 20s and 30s. My 16 year old grandson received both jabs a month or so ago, so I can only assume they are not vaccinating by choice.

  27. Morning all.
    A change of weather overnight and it is overcast and windy so no frost.
    Looks like we weren’t the only ones to have struggled a bit in the NW corner.
    You can all look forward to a different Wednesday blogger next week as we are going to be away for a few days.

  28. Seems a general consensus on this one. Lots of fun. Glad to see I’m not the only one who struggled with 1a and 2d. Like others I was looking for a Wake. On a similar theme I thought of a party who leaves assets in a Will. I thought of two words with all of the checkers apart from the F which weren’t quite right. I tried double definitions and that didn’t work either. Got there eventually with the aid of the BRB. I then got 2d but didn’t parse. I thought the F belonged to woman (female) and log didn’t fit current. Completely forgot the substitution of letters. I must remember. Favourites 9 16 14 22 and 26a and 13 15 and 19d. Thanks Jay (hope it’s you as I got setter wrong yesterday and the 2Ks.

  29. Like others, very much enjoyed this one – 2d last in and favourite, but only by a whisker as so many clever clues….

  30. I’m in the “I would have posted an hour ago if it wasn’t for 1a” camp this evening. In the words of Sherlock Holmes “When you’ve eliminated the impossible whatever is left, however improbable, has to be the answer”. What an awful clue. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s. As far as the toughie goes I think I got 2 clues before I gave up, I’m not sure I can be bothered now.

  31. Very late today as I have just done the crossword – in a nice hot bath. Really great puzzle today, I loved every bit of it especially 22 and 26a
    and 13 and 16d (although I do think we have had the latter before). Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for explaining 2d, I put it in but did not know why, and to the
    setter (Jay?) for the super challenge. Today I went with three women friends to The Ivy in Cambridge for lunch, hence not doing the crossword until
    this evening. We went in posh frocks and heels for the first time in 18 months. We were the oldest there by a country mile and most of the men were in
    shorts and trainers and the girls in torn jeans and skimpy tops. What the hell, no one is going to read this as it is late but it did rather feel as though we
    were in a very expensive, over decorated McDonalds although the food and service were excellent By special request, as it is not often on our menu,
    I cooked sausages and mashed potatoes and baked beans for one this evening – is that not being a devoted wife?
    How does a Welshman eat cheese? Caerphilly.

    1. I read it Daisy! I would have been tee’d off if I’d gone all tarted up and the others were in yard work wear!

    2. Well, here I am, DG, reading your always interesting comment; it’s only 5.52 pm over here. Glad you had your dressed-up outing at The Ivy. I’ll bet that you and your three lady friends brought some class to the dining experience. Loved your Welsh pun.

  32. That was tough going. (****/****). In the end I had to resort to 2K hints for 1a and 1d. Very enjoyable though. Thanks to setter and 2Ks.

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