DT 29745 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29745

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29745

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We seem to have been watching a lot of TV lately as we have got hooked on what has been happening with the Olympic Games. New Zealanders are feeling pleased with how well our competitors have been doing, particularly in rowing and kayaking.

Our daylight hours are getting noticably longer now but temperatures at present are still decidedly wintry.

Another enjoyable Wednesday puzzle.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you fared.


1a     Agreement resulting from investing millions in firm commitment (10)
COMPROMISE : A two letter firm or business, the abbreviation for millions and a commitment or pledge.

6a     Red Dwarf‘s leading actor? (4)
STAR : A double definition.

10a     United force American-English defender at the outset (5)
FUSED : F(orce), then the two letters indicating American, E(nglish), plus the first letter of defender.

11a     Journey made for a game of golf? (5,4)
ROUND TRIP : A cryptic definition. The first word is used for a game of golf and the second is a synonym for journey.

12a     Baffling call on feminine facilities (8)
FLOORING : Call on the telephone follows F(eminine) and facilities where one may spend a penny.

13a     Tree nearly everybody gets embarrassed about (5)
ALDER : Remove the last letter from a three letter word for everybody and follow this with the reversal of the colour associated with embarrassment.

15a     Understands and gets together (7)
GATHERS : A double definition.

17a     Gourmet pie cooked with salt (7)
EPICURE : An anagram (cooked) of PIE and then salt as a way to preserve food.

19a     Happy to find rental contract, occupying vacant pad (7)
PLEASED : The two outside letters of the word pad surround a rental contract.

21a     Genuine person who’s the obvious choice (7)
NATURAL : Another double definition.

22a     This girl may provide average answer! (5)
NORMA : Average or accepted standard plus A(nswer).

24a     Wit upsetting A-list fliers (8)
WAGTAILS : A wit or quipster plus an anagram (upsetting) of A-LIST.

27a     Warning sign from mostly tough heavy drinker (9)
HARBINGER : Remove the last letter from a synonym for tough and then someone who has bouts of heavy drinking.

28a     A bit of flower power — and others (5)
PETAL : P(ower) is followed by a 2,2 Latin phrase meaning ‘and others’.

29a     Second kind person given briefs? (4)
SILK : The abbreviation for second and a word for kind or type.

30a     A room with old academic is a battle (10)
ARMAGEDDON : String together ‘A’ from the clue, then the two letter abbreviation for room, a four letter synonym for old and an academic master.


1d     A source of food in church outlet (4)
CAFE : ‘A’ from the clue and the first letter of food are enclosed by the Anglican Church.

2d     This may be over the pecking order (9)
MISTLETOE : A cryptic definition of the seasonal foliage that demands an obligatory kiss.

3d     Show where Shakespeare’s lover has a change of heart (5)
RODEO : Change the central letter in the name of Shakespeare’s most famous male lover.

4d     Borders of world full of spirit (7)
MARGINS : The world that is the next one out in our solar system encloses an alcoholic spirit.

5d     Sticks up broken leg to avoid customs duty (7)
SMUGGLE : The reversal of a word meaning sticks or uses adhesive and then an anagram (broken) of LEG.

7d     Attempted promoting one, feeling exhausted (5)
TIRED : Start with a word meaning attempted and move the letter for the Roman numeral one up one space.

8d     They say bank has assimilated troubled red-top (10)
REPORTEDLY : An anagram (troubled) of RED-TOP is enclosed by bank or depend on.

9d     Perfectionist must see agreement is in Italian (8)
IDEALIST : The two letter abbreviation for Italian as a language contains agreement or contract plus ‘IS’ from the clue.

14d     Putting vessel inside oven like this is a bloomer (10)
AGAPANTHUS : Start with an iron stove with multiple ovens, then a cooking vessel and finally a word meaning ‘like this’.

16d     Still supporting European Commission over the moon (8)
ECSTATIC : The two letters for the European Commission are followed by still or not moving.

18d     A Parisian told it’s beside the point (9)
UNRELATED : The French indefinite article and then told or recounted.

20d     Please place a bet for a grand-looking old lady (7)
DOWAGER : Split the answer 2,5 to give a phrase that could mean ‘please place a bet’.

21d     Country fair e.g. intended to keep going north (7)
NIGERIA : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

23d     Rustic wall painting showing river for miles (5)
RURAL : Start with a wall painting and replace its M(iles) with R(iver).

25d     Fruit pile oddly eaten by primate (5)
APPLE : The first and third letters of pile are inside a primate that could possibly be a gibbon.

26d     Dish offered by side finishing early (4)
FLAN : Remove the last letter from a side or lateral aspect.

Our favourite today is 5d.

Quickie pun    razors    +    mile    =    raise a smile

84 comments on “DT 29745

  1. Firstly, and most importantly, a very Happy Birthday to Jane. :rose:

    2*/4.5*. Another splendid Wednesday back-pager and the Quickie Pun certainly did.

    Perhaps I have misunderstood 2d, but I don’t think it quite works. Telegraph Towers need to get their italic printing sorted out as I needed a magnifying glass to find the (essential!) apostrophe in 6a – it is attached to the f without any space. I did look to see if “Meana” might be a girl’s name before the penny dropped for 22a.

    My top three were 29a, 1d & 8d.

    Surely this was a Jay production? Many thanks to him and the 2Ks.

  2. A great crossword with the NW sticking out the longest. Lots of contenders for COTD including 4d, 5d and 28a. Being a retired the lawyer the latter gets it. I thought a bit tougher than did the 2 Kiwis at ***/****. Thanks to the very able setter

    1. Me too with 29a as well as 28. Not read further comments yet but thought these too may have caused difficulty to some.

  3. Another very enjoyable Wednesday offering.
    I’m not quite sure that 2d actually works but other than that no quibbles.
    As usual I liked plenty and my medals are shared by 24,27& 28a plus 8&20d.
    Many thanks to the setter and and the 2Ks for the fun in the sun.

  4. This was quite tricky but there were some excellent clues (2*/4*), although I didn’t think the cryptic definition at 11a worked all that well. I liked the lego style clues at 30a, 27a, 29a and 14d but the cryptic definition of 2d was my COTD. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to rhe setter for an enjoyable challenge.

  5. Happy Birthday to Jane!

    Great crossword – challenging in places but just at the upper reaches of my level, so solved unaided.

    Very late lunch at Runnymede yesterday. It was peculiar in that we had a rather terse waiter who told us we had arrived with three minutes to go before the menu changed to the evening one, and seemed somewhat put out by this. I said, “Are you ok? You seem rather tense…” Then after that he couldn’t do enough, fussing about and asking if we needed anything? More drinks? The pudding menu? It was a bit odd.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Jackson Browne – Late For The Sky

    Thanks to the setter and the two Ks

      1. Agreed. He always makes me want to listen to Christy Moore’s great song, Lisdoonvarna, because the lyrics run through those playing with the line: A 747 for Jackson Browne, they had to build a special runway just to get him down….

    1. You never know what is happening in the lives of other people – although a professional should be able to hide personal problems. Hope you enjoyed lunch! Fond memories of courting days around Runnymede!

    2. We have a very good friend who, whenever confronted with a “curt” waiter/shop assistant etc., always says “Are you happy in your work?”, in a friendly tone. It usually defuses the situation. I just wish I was brave enough to try it.

  6. Saw him a few years ago in Manchester.
    Good album choice Terence, contains two of my favourite JB songs, the brilliant Fountain of Sorrow and the prophetic Before the Deluge

    Oh and Happy Birthday Jane!

  7. A nice friendly crossword – perfect for the pre-Toughie warm up solve. No particular favourites, just all round good entertainment. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

    Having talked about going to Chartwell for literally decades, we actually made it there yesterday. If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend a trip. The house is lovely of interesting things and the gardens are wonderful

    [I was going to add a lovely photo but it didn’t work :( ]

    1. I visited there so long ago that. WSC was in residence! He made a brief appearance at a window and gave us his famous V for victory sign.
      That and the black swans are my only memories!

      1. Are you sure he wasn’t telling you to f off. Sorry Bertie I couldn’t resist it. 😁

  8. Happy Birthday, Jane. I hope you have a great day. :good:

    An enjoyable puzzle although I did not know the answer to 16d. Never heard of it but it was quite gettable from the word play. No real favourites – it was just a good solve. I did need the hints for a couple but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for an enjoyable puzzle. Also, many thanks to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

      1. No – 16d but I got the answer wrong so little wonder I had not heard of it! :eek:

        1. Just to clarify, I ended up with “eustatic”, which is the distance from the centre of the earth to the sea surface. I thought “sea” – “tides” – “moon”.

          I really must stop overthinking clues!

  9. A very Happy Birthday to Jane :rose: :rose:

    This has to be a Jay puzzle, or the setter is a very good impostor. A very good start by going up the Downs – 1.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 28a, 29a, 5d, and 8d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. For me, Hudson’s Toughie is very Floughie, so I am not sure that CS would need a ‘pre-Toughie warm-up solve.’

  10. What a terrific puzzle for a sunny morning. Loads to enjoy, with a good mix of clues and some clever misdirection. I particularly liked 8d, 28 and 29a. Great stuff.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks, and a very Happy Birthday to Jane. I hope he sun is shining on Anglesey.

  11. What a great pairing Jay and Django make. Two super puzzles to start the day with. Not a fag paper between them. No quibbles from me but then there never are. Happy Birthday to Jane and anyone else with a birthday today. Thanks to the 2Ks. I nearly sent you an illustration for 25 down but it was too late. Many thanks to Jay for the mental exercise.

    1. I agree about the Toughie. Very accessible and highly entertaining, but I think it was by Hudson.

      1. It is by Hudson and I have eleven to go. After Chalicea, Hudson is my second favourite Toughie setter although they both vie for favourite. However, I still think my first unaided Toughie solve will be one set by Chalicea.

        1. Only just picked up on your post from yesterday, SC. I do hope that the results from the biopsy are favourable – good news is worth waiting for even if it does mean spending six hours in suspended animation.

          1. Thanks, Jane. I go the week after next. I have to be at the QE in Birmingham for 7.30 in the morning!

            1. Hi Steve,
              Sorry to hear that you have to have a liver biopsy (didn’t spot your post yesterday). I’ll be surprised if it isn’t transjugular, which is what I had & was told is the more common way nowadays of carrying out the procedure. All done & dusted in short order with little discomfort. Hope, as I’m sure it will, all goes well anyway.
              Re the Toughie I had a mental bet that you’d announce a first unaided completion today. Just back in from golf & see you’ve not commented. Don’t let me down……

              1. Not finished the Toughie yet, Huntsman.

                All the biopsies I have had so far have been a needle directly into the liver through the side.

              2. Sorry, Huntsman, I have let you down. I became stuck with four on the Toughie. When I do finish a Toughie unaided, as I said before, it will either be Chalicea or Hudson. Mind you, Dada was quite benevolent yesterday.

      1. And so he is. So thank you Hudson for an enjoyable puzzle. As always. Sorry to anybody that I have confused. The green bracts on our sedum Autumn Joy are showing hints of pink on their way to turning bright red. Those first hints of pink indicate the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. It will be Christmas before you know it

        1. I don’t know about Christmas but our winter-flowering Viburnum that usually flowers in January and February is in full bloom :scratch:

  12. What a cracking puzzle! Nothing to alarm the equines, no obscure GK required, some great deception, a wonderful range of clue types (& I count only 4 anagrams in 32 clues, a perfect proportion IMV) and almost all could have found their way on to the podium.

    Final selection narrowed down to 11a, 27a, 2d and 4d, with COTD going to 3d.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter (it does feel like a Jay day) for a super challenge, and to the 2Ks for the review.

  13. Many thanks to BD for the birthday banner and to all those who have left me greetings – yes, YS, the sun is indeed shining on Anglesey today! Best present has been that after two years of waiting courtesy of Brexit and the pandemic, my replacement oven was delivered and fitted this morning :yahoo: It’s going to feel very odd for a few days not to have to rely on a little combi-oven/microwave to cook my dinner.
    Enjoyable puzzle from Mr Wednesday to celebrate and I’ve certainly had recourse to a few Quickie puns over the past few hours.
    Top three for me were 27&29a plus 1d with several others narrowly missing the cut.

    Thanks to Jay for the birthday treat and to our 2Ks for the review – looks as though both our nations are putting up a good show at the Olympics.

    1. Have a nice day, Jane. (and enjoy the new oven. I am just about getting used to the new fridge/freezer)

    2. Happy Birthday Jane! Have a lovely celebration and enjoy the sunshine and that oven! Happy crosswording too! With warmest best greetings and thoughts.

    3. Hi Jane – Dopey here only just realised
      Happy Birthday and best wishes from me too :rose:

  14. Just like yesterday only managed one to start with, but again all slowly fell into place and I really enjoyed it. SW corner held out the longest. Pondered over 14d until I realised I was looking at one! Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Do we know who the setter was yesterday?

  15. Anyone else foxed by thinking 1d was a lurker – ‘chou’ – making 10a impossible? Cafe and outlet not the most obvious synonyms for me.

    1. I did spend a small moment wondering about the French cabbage, but fortunately not for very long :)

    2. Not me on chou, but it take a while to convince myself that the answer and outlet were synonymous.

    3. I was convinced it was chow – thinking Ch for church and cow for source of food! No wonder I’m a low scorer.

  16. I must have missed Steve’s investigations but have been a bit distracted myself. Told yesterday I may have to have a pacemaker but they are as common as colds so no problems there 🤞but George is in Addenbrookes for second day of nuclear tests with a day’s rest yesterday. No food, no caffeine no alcohol! Oh the joys of getting older well one of them is finding the time to do these wonderful crosswords and today did not disappoint, although I came unstuck on 2d. I liked 14d and thought 28a was cute, 5d and 8d got a star as well. Only managed 3/4 of yesterday’s toughie – in the middle of the night with hot chocolate and digestive. It was hard! Happy birthday Jane, happy medical results to everyone and thanks to Two Kiwis and the setter.

    1. A pacemaker on someone who can do the splits, DG? I hope it goes well for you and George.

      My biopsy is nothing compared to what others are enduring.

    2. Daisy, I’ve had a pacemaker for about five years, don’t even remember I have it. I passed out and took a nasty fall when my heart stopped, believe me, the pacemaker is a lot better than the passing out! I have a thingy that looks a bit like a mobile that sits next to my bed, every night it sends signals from my heart to my cardiologists office, just so they can keep a check on the old ticker.

  17. Usual Wednesday delight. **/****. Favourite and last in 29a. Spent ages trying to think of a kind person to follow the initial S. Lovely misdirection. Thanks everyone.

  18. ***/****. Third star for difficulty because I struggled with the NW quadrant for reasons I can’t explain in retrospect and spelling 30a incorrectly took a while to unravel. My favourite was 14d – such a nice name. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  19. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the great blog, and to all for the eagerly read comments – always helpful to bear in mind when setting clues!

  20. Felicitations and Many Happy Returns Jane 💐. A pleasant solve almost without chestnuts. Orient beat the Occident to it. Agree with others that 2d doesn’t hold up and similarlly the abbreviation in 30a would seem to be somewhat scraping the barrel. Trio of Favs – 12a, 28a and 29a (sorry Kath for that however do hope you are continuing to make headway 🌈. Thank you Mysteron and the 2 Kiwis.

  21. What a lot of fun today. Only held up in the NW corner, with last in being 2d, which I just couldn’t see without the hint. Got my head firmly wrapped around succession planning charts, duh. However, it is my COTD. Suspect this was not a Jay as I usually struggle with his. But if it is, then knock me down with a feather. Perhaps I am finally getting on wavelength. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

    1. I missed Jay’s comment. So now that I see that this was indeed one of his, I am even more chuffed that I solved it.

  22. Hard to figure if this is a Jay puzzle, but to me it did not feel like it. But who am I to say?
    Anyway, a nice puzzle for Wednesday, (solved on another warm Tuesday evening here in the Lower Mainland of BC), with a rating of 2.5*/****
    Clues to like include 11a, 27a, 28a, 2d & 14d with winner 2d today.
    Clever misdirection in many of the clues I thought.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  23. Struggled with the unknown bloomer (14d) – it is always daunting when you realise that the only way to the answer is to painstakingly build it up from bits of the clue – but got there in the end. Thanks, Jay, for an interesting and enjoyable challenge. ***/****

  24. Was certain it was Jay & see that he’s popped in to confirm. Pretty straightforward & as usual elegantly clued though for me I didn’t think it one from his top drawer. 2d was my last in & think the clues just about works ok. No real favourites in what was a brisk solve before embarking on an 11a where my 82yr old buddy on his first game back after a medical procedure played magnificently & crowned his display holing out from 175yds on the last for an eagle & 5 stableford points.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks & hoping Jane is having a marvellous day.

  25. Another Jay Day, Hooray! I loved it all, though I did need e-help with 12a, my last in. Fave was 14d, just ‘cos I love it, sadly can’t grow it in Florida, with 2d running hot on its heels. Also, 29a deserves honourable mention, so much good stuff.
    Thank you Jay for the fun and, natch, the 2Kiwis for the NZ snapshots, always look forward to those.

      1. Actually, you can but it takes a lot of hard work, watering regularly, mulching and so on. It’s just too hot for them. They grow well in Jamaica in the mountains, 3 to 4 thousand feet up, they love it. Florida is 0 feet above sea level!

        1. There were loads of them growing wild in Buenos Aries when we were there. I always think of them in connection with NADFAS, now the Arts Society, and then realise I mean an acanthus. I’ll never be a botanist!

  26. Late to the game due to meetings. Very enjoyable and came together nicely although I did need to check my bloomers. Thanks to the setter & 2Ks and happy birthday to Jane.

  27. Morning all.
    Happy Birthday Jane. :rose:
    Thanks for popping in Jay and confirming that you are (as we suspected) the setter.
    Interesting to read the comments about 14d. Think we have mentioned before that they grow like weeds in NZ and in some places are actually listed as noxious weeds. When Kath visited us several years ago it was the time of year when they were in full bloom and we had lots of ‘interesting’ discussion about the blooming things. Fond and much cherished memories.

  28. It took me awhile to get going but really enjoyed today’s puzzle. I got 1d wrong and put chow so couldn’t get 10a. NI spent a long time on 2 down thinking of ranks etc. Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

    Nice day earlier but heavy showers and thunderstorm have spoilt the early evening.

    Happy birthday to Jane. I wonder whether you have had the change in weather over in Anglesey? Enjoy getting to grips with the new oven.

    Message for Daisygirl my husband Bill had a pacemaker fitted a couple of months ago. It was all very straightforward and he was only in the cardiac unit for half a day. Walked out with 2 lady nurses having a very enjoyable chat. I just provided the door to door taxi service!! Take good care.

  29. Happy birthday to Jane! Many happy returns!

    Lovely puzzle from Jay today. Finished it last night before I was forced to take to my bed with Mr Ritis. 27a my favourite, with many runners-up. Thanks to the Kiwis and to the masterful Jay. ** / ****

        1. You beat me to it MP. Mine has a posh name Ankylosing Spondylitis. Same result though

  30. Average enjoyable puzzle today which I solved alone and unaided.
    Last one in was 2d.
    Lots to like.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis

  31. Late again, trying to keep up with the Olympics whilst doing the back pager, don’t seem to mix.
    At least now with the arthritics, sorry athletics, there is not so much GB interest.
    I trundled through today except for 2d which didn’t work for me. Otherwise solid cluing without anything outstanding for me.
    Thank you Jay & the 2Ks.

  32. As usual I made harder work of this than I should have. Hey ho! Favourite was 30a or it could be 17a, either way thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

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