DT 29739 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29739

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29739

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We went a whole week without either of us doing a single cryptic crossword. Withdrawal symptoms were definitely showing so it is good to get back into the regular routine. An extra bonus is that there is a supply of unsolved puzzles from last week that we can draw upon in desperate circumstances.
An enjoyable puzzle once again to get us back into harness.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.


1a     Supports career employed by Building Society (6)
BRACES : The two letter abbreviation for Building Society surrounds career or move quickly.

5a     Delights confronting credit controller in aircraft (8)
JOYSTICK : A synonym for delights and an informal word for credit.

9a     Her day on guard is weird — crude but effective (5-3-5)
ROUGH-AND-READY : An anagram (is weird) of HER DAY ON GUARD.

10a     Something afoot due to policy reversal in the USA? (4-4)
FLIP-FLOP : A double definition. (The first meaning is called a Jandal where we come from.)

11a     Slim women — not in twelves, possibly! (6)
SVELTE : An anagram (possibly) of T(w)ELVES once the W(omen) has been removed.

12a     Native maybe held by boys, terrified (6)
OYSTER : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

14a     With regard to cover the French must get a wake-up call (8)
REVEILLE : The two letters meaning with regard to, then a cover that a bride might have over her face and the French definite article.

16a     Son involved in sadly real pay freeze (8)
PARALYSE : An anagram (sadly) of REAL PAY contains S(on).

19a     Work out price of a pound of ribs (6)
COSTAL : Work out price as a tradesman might do for a project, plus ‘A’ from the clue and pound sterling.

21a     Office item required from Times editor lacking content (6)
ERASER : Long times or ages and then the first and last letters of editor.

23a     Speed of star with no heart (8)
CELERITY : Start with a star of possibly stage and screen and remove the central letter.

25a     Expert attacks — before running incentive scheme (6-7)
PROFIT-SHARING : A three letter expert, then attacks or seizures, followed by running or moving quickly in the manner of a leporine animal.

26a     Judged to be oddly steady after crowds losing head (8)
ASSESSED : Start with a synonym for crowds or large groups and remove the first letter. Follow this with the first, third and fifth letters of steady.

27a     An offence in, say, relaxing (6)
EASING : A (1,3) equivalent phrase for an offence is enclosed by the two letters indicating say or for example.


2d     Recover after game in the countryside (7)
RURALLY : The two letters for New Zealand’s national game plus recover or recuperate.

3d     Fool‘s mate? Pressure (5)
CHUMP : A mate or close friend and then P(ressure).

4d     Work or call shy academic (9)
SCHOLARLY : An anagram (work) of OR CALL SHY.

5d     Bush minor loses love for exercise (7)
JUNIPER : Start with a word for minor or not senior and replace its tennis score love with two letter physical exercise.

6d     Tall tales of fish rising on poles (5)
YARNS : A flatfish related to a shark is reversed and followed by the two geographic poles.

7d     Fumed during links for Hamlet and Othello, perhaps (9)
TRAGEDIES : A four letter word for links or connections surrounds fumed or got angry.

8d     Stone wrapped in Lycra — broken quartz? (7)
CRYSTAL : An anagram (broken) of LYCRA contains ST(one).

13d     Press on at faulty switch (9)
TRANSPOSE : An anagram (faulty) of PRESS ON AT.

15d     Blow hot and cold as sick during leave (9)
VACILLATE : A three letter word for sick or unwell is inside leave or stop occupying.

17d     A support thus erected is suitable (7)
APROPOS : ‘A’ from the clue and a type of support is followed by the reversal of a synonym for thus.

18d     Former Conservative gets employed and forgiven (7)
EXCUSED : The two letter prefix for former, then C(onservative) and a word meaning employed.

20d     Argentina — upset without a right means of defence (7)
ANTIGEN : An anagram (upset) of (ar)GENTINA once ‘A’ from the clue and R(ight) have been removed.

22d     Rider’s requirement of rules for audition (5)
REINS : A homophone (for audition) for what a monarch does.

24d     Manages to take in island remains (5)
RUINS : Manages or operates contains the single letter abbreviation for island.

We couldn’t separate one out as a favourite today, so will leave this up to you.

Quickie pun    dare    +    reek    +    how    =    dairy cow

86 comments on “DT 29739

  1. A delight from start to finish, I’ve little doubt that this is a Jay production.
    Top clues, in a very strong field, for me are 10&23a plus 5&15d with 25a just shading them to take the gold medal as it made me smile.
    Many thanks to Jay and welcome back to the 2Ks.

  2. An interesting set of clues, which made me think a d required a bit of reverse engineering (2*/4*). 5d was quite ckever but COTD for me was the well-constructed 25a. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and glad you enjoyed your crossword-free break . Thanks to the setter also for an enjoyable puzzle.

  3. The plethora of anagrams allowed me to complete this just in ** time although I did get held up in the SE and had to guess from the word play three new ones for me in 19a, 23a and 20d but thank you the 2Kiwis I see I guessed correctly. I thought enjoyable as a *** and my COTD was 25a. Thanks to the setter.

  4. I agree with the ** rating. A steady solve but only one clue unparsed, 12a. Where’s the native?

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

    1. Native oyster. A delicacy. The Native Oyster (also known as the ‘European’ Oyster or the ‘Flat’ Oyster) has been fished from UK waters since Roman times.

      In the UK, the Native Oyster was over-fished between 1900 and 1965, and combined with other environmental factors, resulted in critically low stocks of the UK Native Oyster. Today, the UK Native Oyster has benefited from responsible and sustainable practices carried out by UK oyster farms and fisheries.

      The Native Oyster is almost always wild and takes 48 to 60 months to develop to market size, dependant on specific site location and conditions. For example, tides and currents, water salinity and nutrients, weather and seasons. In the UK, the Native Oyster is graded into four sizes: Grade 4 (smallest), Grade 3, Grade 2, Grade 1 (largest).

      The Native Oyster is rounded in shape, with smooth and brittle shells that include a shallow cupped bottom shell and a flat top shell. The oyster meat is unique in flavour with a succession of complex notes; often with distinctive notes such as woody and nutty, or mixed lettuce.

      The seasonal Native Oyster is available for sale from 1 September to 30 April (months that contain the letter ‘r’) each year. By UK law, the Native Oyster cannot be harvested for sale outside of this period, which allows stocks to recover and remain sustainable for the future

    2. I think there are different species and one is called the Native 12a to distinguish it from the Rock 12a.

  5. Hugely enjoyable whilst it lasted. My favourites were 3d, 5d and 7d. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  6. 2*/4.5*. Lovely jubbly. A delight from start to finish with 25a my favourite.

    Many thanks to I assume Jay and to welcome back to the 2Ks.

    P.S. I can recommend Silvanus’ excellent Toughie today.

  7. Just as I thought I was going to achieve my personal best time in finishing, I was thrown a curveball. Well done setter. I was completely thrown by the capital “T” in 21a. It took ages for the penny to drop. Thank you setter and the 2ks.

  8. I’d hesitate to attribute this one to Jay but I’m definitely leaning that way because of the construction of the clues. 25a being a prime example and my favourite. **/**** Thanks to all.

  9. This could be a vintage day for puzzles, with a Silvanus to look forward to later for today’s Toughie. This excellent crossword certainly felt like a Jay from the first clue to the last, with the terrific 25a coming out on top of the pile.

    My thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2Ks.

  10. An enjoyable gallop of a R&W through what I thought was an unusually gentle Wednesday puzzle – with 25% of the clues (too many!) being straightforward anagrams the scope for other clue types was sadly diminished.

    Plenty of clues had ticks afterwards, so Hon. Mentions to 1a, 19a, 25a, 27a (appeals to the puritan in me), 5d, 7d and 17d, while COTD goes to 23a.

    Could not see the relevance of “in the USA” in 10a: it’s been standard usage re changing one’s mind / policies in the UK for as long as I can remember. Is it now indicated differently in the BRB (not in mine)?

    1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Setter and to the 2Ks

      1. Thank you, CS – I’m going to have to update my BRB. Next stop, the big S American river ….

  11. I only get the DT on Wednesdays (Jayday in my book) and I will be astonished if this is not a Jay puzzle. I am often a tad lazy at fully parsing my answers but with Jay you usually need to get to the answer by accurately breaking down the clue first. An abundance of great clues but especially 5a, 5d and 10a. Did not know either word for 19a or 23a but Jay is as ever an excellent constructor of the clues made the task reasonably straightforward. Thanks 2k’s for parsing 27a which was the only one where I failed to spot the cleverly disguised “say”.

  12. I, too, wonder if this is Jay because I usually find the Wednesday backpager very difficult. I enjoyed this and was most impressed with the anagram at 9a.
    My COTD in the lovely 3d.
    Welcome back to the 2K’s and I hope BD has better news for us today.

  13. Pretty sure it’s Jay & a gentle one for him but hugely enjoyable. Not quite MG’s R&W but all done & dusted pretty quickly. My ticks were exactly the same as those of SL & agree 25a is the pick of the bunch. Reckon there must have been an added ingredient in last night’s Bishops Finger as I think for the first time ever I’ve managed to finish the Cryptic, Quickie & Toughie in under ******time so am rather chuffed – feels a bit like breaking 80 when you’re used to hacking it round in umpteen over par.
    Thanks to Jay & a welcome back to the 2Ks

  14. So nice to see Mr Wednesday back in his rightful place and with another enjoyable puzzle to welcome our 2Ks back home.
    Plenty of good things on offer here and I think the clever 25a gets the vote from me.

    Thanks to Jay and to the travellers.
    PS I’d certainly recommend folk to try the Silvanus Toughie, he’s on excellent form again.

  15. A lovely puzzle today. Just right for me. Solved alone and unaided but needed the 2 Kiwis help to parse 25a.
    Particularly liked 5a , 5d and 11a.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  16. A very enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.
    My medals were awarded to 5a, 25a and 5d.

    So sorry to hear that Mrs BD is poorly. Best wishes for her swift and full recovery.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. I hope she recovers soon, please let us know how she’s doing, BD.

  17. Very enjoyable – teetering on the edge of my capabilities but I got there with the aid of toast, and orange juice with no bits in it.

    Two lovely days here. On Monday, H and I had a relaxing late lunch and lazy afternoon at Wotton House in the Surrey Hills; then yesterday my sister and niece came to visit so another lunch and lazy afternoon – this time at the Runnymede Hotel on the Thames. Hedonism!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Strawbs – Hero And Heroine

    Thanks to Jay (?) and the Two Ks.

  18. An enjoyable outing today rather making up for what I thought was a rather poor start the week.
    Would perhaps take issue with 20d, this answer is the protein which stimulates the immunological response giving rise to the antibodies which amongst other cells confers the protection.
    Thx to all

  19. A joy from Jay. South was warmer than the North. Clever misdirection in 5d led me to waste time on George HW and W! 21a new one on me. Fav was14a. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  20. A good start from ‘going up the downs’ so I am with those identifying it as a Jay – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 5d, and 15d – and the winner, for its contribution to every bottle of gin ever made, is 5d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  21. I wasn’t sure if it was Jay back on His Day until 5d, and then 25a iced it for him, along with 5a and 21a. That type of native was new to me but there it was, nicely lurking for me. So nice to have the Kiwis back, so thanks to them and to Jay for the excellence. ** / ****

    Finished the classic Silvanus Toughie…with a bit of an electronic jog.

    I noticed that the new Booker longlist includes two novels I’ve mentioned here on the blog–one I loved (The Sweetness of Water) and one I shrugged (Second Place). I do strongly recommend the Nathan Harris debut novel but don’t know what to make of the Rachel Cusk.

      1. Given the number of times you’ve commented, you’d think you’d be able to type your email address correctly, but no :roll:

          1. Your story has arrived, MP, and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the gift.

  22. A most enjoyable puzzle with just the right amount of pondering with the grey matter needed. However, after the first pass I only had one, 9a, so I didn’t get off to a very good start. Some of my answers I had to check with the BRB but I managed to get across the finish line without assistance. Plenty of great clues, such as 14a but my COTD is 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter, fairly sure it’s Jay, for a great workout. Thanks also to the 2Kiwis.

  23. Enjoyable while it lasted. I’ve ticked half-a-dozen, but will mention 11a. 2.5*, 3.5*

  24. Enjoyable puzzle with 11a my favourite today. I first came across the word in print in a Times article in the early 70s about Judy Vernon the sprinter. And she certainly was svelte.

  25. I very much enjoy this blog, so thank you 2 Kiwis, and the others.
    I only knew ‘à propos’ as 2 words, but here it is one. Am I old-fashioned, or has it changed?

  26. Must be distracted by the olympics. I was watching the dressage and thought “ something afoot?”
    Clip clop.😂
    Lovely puzzle. No help needed but thanks to Jay and 2 kiwis

  27. A very good smooth puzzle but I simply could not get 23a so a big thank you to the 2Ks and of course Jay. PS thank you also to all who gave me such good advice for my dreaded plantar fasciitis and will try all your remedies but fear only time will have to heal (sorry for pun) this one

  28. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the always super analysis, and to all for your ever welcome comments.

    1. May I add my thanks and congratulations for compiling such a terrific puzzle.

    2. My thanks too.
      I wish it didn’t take so long for me to find your wavelength!

  29. Many thanks Jay for an interesting puzzle. Managed it all unaided in the end. 5d was my favourite.

  30. Quickly, perhaps too quickly, completed with one wrong answer 10a and one wrongly parsed 1a. I thought a bra had to come into it somehow! Favourites are 16 22 and 25a
    and 5 and 7d. I was initially directed along the Presidential route for the bush! Thanks Jay and 2Ks and hoping for good news from Hanley Swan.

  31. Very enjoyable today with some clever clues – no particular favourites. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  32. Wotta fun Jay? I wonder if we’re back in the Wednesday routine. As is my wont, I have lots of pencilled checking letters all over my paper trying to solve without help, and I did quite well. However, I’m quite cross with myself, I could not get 21a and resorted to e-help for that. It has to be one of the easiest clues and I couldn’t get it, thick or what.
    Fave was an either/or, loved 3d for the word, but I also liked 5d and I think it just edges 3d out. Maybe the association with gin, as pointed out by Senf.
    Thank you bunches Jay, and welcome back Kiwis, thank you for the unravelling.

    1. 21a would probably occur more readily to you Merusa than to us on this side of the pond where it usually has another name which in turn has a completely different meaning in the US!

      1. Yes, indeed! Can you believe I couldn’t get it? I’m seriously worried about senility now.

        1. Certainly not senility merely a “senior moment” possibly – join the clan! 🙂

  33. 2/4. A very enjoyable puzzle with a couple of well disguised answers. The lurker in 12a was something I remember from a Gryff Rhys Jones programme where his challenge was to eat a native. He found one but alas it was out of season for eating. I also liked 17d and 25a. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  34. Late post due to power cutsOlympics and internet problems
    Nearly always find it difficult to get into a Jay offering & today no different. *** time but very enjoyable brain workout.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.

  35. 20d.Isn’t an Antigen the physiological opposite of a means of defence, I. E an Antibody?

    1. Welcome to the blog. It’s a bit like that ballet dancer I saw on Blackpool Beach Rudolph Nearenough. It’s Nureyev actually. Well that’s nearenough isn’t it

      1. 🤣!

        However, Philip is right an antigen is not the defence, it’s the attacker.

  36. Morning all.
    Thanks Jay for another great puzzle. We also thought that it was one of yours but are not prepared to commit ourselves these days.
    Luckily we had encountered the Native in 12a in a previous crossword or might have had some head-scratching over that one.

  37. I flew in the RAF for 20 years and no-one, absolutely no-one, ever used the term ‘joystick’. This was in the sixties and seventies, perhaps a term from an earlier age !

  38. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle. Gentle enough start to allow beginners like me to access and some great clues which took me a bit longer to get. Pleased with myself as I managed without looking at any of the hints and that very rarely happens.

    1. You’ve used a new alias since your previous comments so this went into moderation. All three aliases that you’ve used will work from now on.

  39. Did this in a hit and miss fashion today due to many things interrupting the day. 2.5*/*** New word for me in 23a, last in of course.
    Favourites today 9a, 11a, 5d, 7d & 18d with winner 5d

    Thanks to the 3 birds for puzzle and hintss

  40. Only 3 never heard of’s but with all the checkers just had to be what they were. 12a, thanks MP, 19a and 23a, anyway I’ve heard of them now. Apart from that it was plain sailing, unusually for me with a Jay puzzle. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  41. I still don’t get the audition part of 22d, how is it a homophone indicator, perhaps someone could enlighten me, if it’s not too late.

      1. Thanks NAS I did get that part, I think I see where I went wrong, I was thinking of of audition from the point of view of the person auditioning rather than the person hearing it. If that makes any sense. That’s why I couldn’t see audition as a homophone indicator.

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