DT 29757 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29757

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29757

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

After many months of our country being virtually Covid free the inevitable has now happened and a handful of community cases have been detected in Auckland. Swift action by the authorities has resulted in the whole country going into immediate lockdown for everything other than essential services. Fingers crossed that people follow the rules and the outbreak can be contained and isolated quickly.

Our weather has been pretty bleak lately with lots of rain and thunder storms off and on for the past few days.

At least we have our regular dose of excellent cryptic crosswords to cheer us up.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


7a     Fruit stolen: is it loaded for wide distribution? (9)
GRAPESHOT : The fruit used by oenologists then a slang word for stolen.

8a     Snatching grouper’s tail, ray or another fish (5)
BREAM : A ray or shaft of light includes the final letter of grouper.

10a     Animal in ancient times seen aboard ark? (6)
BOBCAT : The two letter time from before AD is inside what an ark is an example of.

11a     Ignorant period without Sun and Times? (4,4)
DARK AGES : An adjective meaning without sun or unlit and then measures of time.

12a     Brainless creature Obama replaced absorbs energy (6)
AMOEBA : An anagram (replaced) of OBAMA contains E(nergy).

14a     Fanatic from Zimbabwe’s outside often (6)
ZEALOT : The first and last letters of Zimbabwe and a 1,3 phrase meaning often.

16a     Relatives installing large oven (4)
KILN : A collective term for relatives contains L(arge).

17a     Nature god banking silver for heathen (5)
PAGAN : The chemical symbol for silver is inside the nature god often depicted playing his eponymous pipes.

18a     British quiet losing leader in wild region (4)
BUSH : The single letter abbreviation for British and a command to be quiet loses its first letter.

19a     Mania uncontrolled, student becomes beast (6)
ANIMAL : An anagram (uncontrolled) of MANIA plus the student driver letter.

21a     Lure and net damaged by rocks (6)
ENTICE : An anagram (damaged) of NET and another slang expression for diamonds (rocks).

24a     Range of mushrooms sent back with cap trimmed (8)
SPECTRUM : Reverse a type of edible mushrooms and then cap as a bridge player might do, without its last letter.

26a     Good old boy allowed to see Grail? (6)
GOBLET : The abbreviations for good and old boy with a synonym for allowed.

27a     Push away social outcast making comeback (5)
REPEL : A social outcast, originally because of a horrendous disease, gets reversed.

28a     Penny and I, with hesitation, going round town that’s radioactive (9)
PLUTONIUM : A large Bedfordshire town is enclosed by the abbreviation for penny, ‘I’ from the clue, and a two letter hesitation sound.


1d     Smarten up in grand accommodation (5)
GROOM : G(rand) and then another word for accommodation.

2d     Small step taken by male astronaut (8)
SPACEMAN : String together S(mall), a step or stride, and a male person.

3d     Insect collections retained in case of trouble (6)
TSETSE : The first and last letters of trouble surround collections or groups.

4d     Form attachment with 007? (4)
BOND : A double definition.

5d     Weapon a lawyer in America ships (6)
ARMADA : A general term for a weapon, then ‘A’ from the clue and the two letters for a US lawyer.

6d     Has foe manipulated good spy holed up here? (4,5)
SAFE HOUSE : An anagram (manipulated) of HAS FOE and a synonym for good, possibly used in the expression ‘what’s the good (or xxx) of that’.

9d     Black artist leading religious school forward (6)
BRAZEN : B(lack), then a Royal Academician and a Buddhist school coming from Japan.

13d    Corner Germanic invader (5)
ANGLE : A double definition. The Germanic invaders are often coupled with those coming from Saxony.

15d     Snatcher — from Leatherhead? (9)
KIDNAPPER : A fine leather, originally made from young goats, then a slang word for a head.

17d     Partly spoiled, not worth considering (6)
PALTRY : An anagram (spoiled) of PARTLY.

18d     Courage shown in the personal column? (8)
BACKBONE : The personal column is the one that runs from the atlas to the coccyx.

20d      Friend who cleans out the stables? (6)
MUCKER : A slang word for a friend is also the term used for a cleaner of stables. (This was new to us with this meaning.)

22d     Drunken son in mum’s hosiery? (6)
TIGHTS : A word meaning drunken plus S(on).

23d     Brother killed rook and flightless birds (5)
REMUS : The chess abbreviation for rook plus Australian flightless birds.

25d     Spot second article in French (4)
MOLE : A two letter abbreviation for a second or short period of time and then the French definite article.

Our favourite today is 18d.

Quickie pun     moats    +    heart    =    Mozart

90 comments on “DT 29757

  1. This was straightforward but very enjoyable. It gave me my PB for time taken to complete. With 10a I couldn’t get the wrong first three letters out of my mind. However, I refrained from entering it because it simply did not fit the clue. Then the penny dropped. As with yesterday’s back-pager there are so many good clues it’s hard to pick one out as champion.

    thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the enjoyment. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    Banksie, your tip worked perfectly and all letters went in first time on the iPad.. I’m back to the pen tomorrow, hopefully.

    Another unaided finish. I would have been three in a row if it hadn’t been for my stumbling over 2d yesterday.

  2. A satisfying and enjoyable **/*** which was going to be a * until I got held up in the SW by 15d and 24a where it took a while for the pennies to drop.10a was my COTD although once again that was a difficult choice. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and our setter. Great fun.

  3. I wouldn’t disagree with our blogger’s selection of 18d as a favourite. As always for a Wednesday, the standard of clueing was excellent, although this was certainly at the much easier end of the setting spectrum.

    My thanks to, I assume, Jay, and of course to the 2 Ks. An amazing difference in the approach to Covid in our two countries. We are happily opening up with around 25,000 ‘positive’ cases a day, while you get one or two and go into lockdown.

    1. Which, much as I should love to be in New Zealand at other times, makes me exceedingly glad to be in the UK and not over there! NZ too will need to vaccinate and learn to live with it, as the virus is now with us forever, globally.

  4. For me this mirrored yesterday’s, even the god in 17a making a second consecutive appearance, in that it was a light but quality puzzle. Only had to confirm the second definition of 13d.
    15&18d took today’s honours.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  5. A light and swift but very rewarding coffeebreak challenge. Nothing esoteric and equines unperturbed. Lovely range of clues, generally smooth and polished surfaces leading to contented chuckles as the answers fell into place. Tackled from the SE in a Z pattern, with 10a my LOI. Could not see the relevance of mum’s in 22a – it appears to contribute nothing but padding to the clue.

    Found that I’d ticked fully a third of the clues, so to be a little more selective my HMs were 7a, 8a, 11a, 9d, 15d and 23d, with COTD to 24a – great ‘story’ in the smooth surface.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter (it does feel Jay-ish) and to the 2Ks for the review.

      1. That’s what I thought. Otherwise is sounds as if the drinker son is wearing them

      1. “hosiery?” on it’s own is sufficient for a definition by example. Strictly speaking, “mums” isn’t required as “hosiery” items are available for both sexes. But, having said that, the clue is better, more complete and more humorous with it in.

  6. I feel cheated. I spend my hard earned £2.50 only to be told of the dreadful situation in Afghanistan, pension promises being broken, Madam Butterfly is being charged with racism, the national cricket team in disarray and a crossword that is run off in * time, Quickie included.

    Can I have a refund please?

    Thanks to all.

      1. And once you start paying the full whack after 3 months you can gift a buddy free subscription for as long as you subscribe & split the cost if so inclined.

        1. Aha just a moment. I had an offer a month ago as a printed version subscriber I could gift an electronic version to someone. I told my grandson who was quite excited at the thought of having a free on line DT. However when I applied for him I was told this was ONLY for existing online subscribers not paper ones. But the invitation did not specify that. There was no way of replying so I wrote to the editor – and did not receive a reply. I then had to tell grandson that he would not be getting the Telegraph after all!

          1. That’s rather naughty of them but I’m not surprised. When I got the offer I assumed there would be some catch (ie limited period only) but apparently not. It’s quite generous really & especially as the digital package now has the up to the minute news & new articles throughout the day. My buddy is chuffed to bits with the freebie

          2. That’s odd – I’m also a print subscriber, Daisygirl, and had that offer, which I’ve successfully given to my mother-in-law. There was some confusion about whether she could access the crossword, so I emailed them and did eventually get a reply (and further rather stretched-out backwards and forwards correspondence).

      2. Electronic versions aren’t really my thing. And it’s very difficult to do the crossword in the bath.

          1. My friend is presumably not alone in having written off her I-phone by dropping it in the loo!

    1. Malcom, you have excellent articles by Madeline Grant, Frank Luntz and especially Calvin Robinson, well worth the money alone, not to mention The Toughie…..though your comment did remind me of Meatloaf’s superbly titled “Life is a lemon and I want my money back”

  7. The north west corner held me up slightly, the cat in 10a in particular. **/**** I did like 28a and had a fleeting thought of Chernobyl which obviously didn’t fit with anything. Favourite 18d. Thanks to all.

  8. Nicely clued puzzle today with excellent word play, last in was 10a, nearly put ;tom’ in like Steve, then the penny dropped and am making it my favourite ,also liked 9d,15d 28a 11a.-spot on Quickie pun to boot
    Really enjoyed the solve and am going for a **/**** .
    Thanks to setter and 2K’S

  9. */*** for me today. If the setter is indeed Jay, does he compile for the Times as well? 24a appeared as 24a in yesterday’s Times cryptic, identical!
    Thanks all

  10. 2/4. A very enjoyable puzzle. 25a and 20d just pushed a number of other good clues off the podium. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  11. Reckon it’s a Jay production but wouldn’t go all in on it. Pretty straightforward for him but very enjoyable. The slang term for head at 15d was new to me in an otherwise brisk solve in 1.5* time. I’ll go for 7&11a along with 3,15&18d in a bunch finish fighting it out for medal spots.
    Thanks to Jay (probably) & 2Ks

  12. Sleek, crisp, and most enjoyable. If Jay, then a very gentle Jay for me. 10a was my favourite but there’s not a dud in the grid. Lovely puzzle, great stuff. Thanks to the Kiwis and today’s setter. * / *****.

    It has been raining heavily here on the Carolina coast for 36 hours, more or less, with tornadoes in the upstate. But the worst news is 139,000 new Covid cases in the USA yesterday.

    1. I have just finished Maggie Shipstead’s big novel Great Circle and can recommend it to anyone who’s particularly interested in aviation, but its values far exceed that subject. It is also one of the Booker longlisted works of fiction this year, along with The Sweetness of Water, which I also think very highly of.

  13. No help from starting with the Downs in either direction so I am inclined to think this is not by the ‘third bird’ but it was still good fun – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 26a, and 9d – and the winner is 26a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  14. An enjoyable r @ w which I feel may not have been by Jay. Just the same as today’s near pangram Toughie which is “J-less” – and enjoyable but not a r&w!

  15. Very enjoyable crossword. I particularly liked the construction of 28a.

    Last Saturday we were invited to hospitality at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea v Crystal Palace. We accepted and went because we received an avalanche of information by email – telling us that all attendees must provide proof of two Covid vaccines, or a negative test taken within the previous forty-eight hours. We tootled along with our NHS apps at the ready to show our Covid certificates.
    Nobody asked us for them at any point, and we just strolled in.
    Hardly a soul was wearing a mask despite the assurance via those emails that wearing them was mandatory everywhere except when eating and drinking. The stewards didn’t enforce the mask ‘rule’, nor did they engage at all.
    H advises me that we must take tests tomorrow (five day gap) to make sure we are ok, as we have a wedding to attend on Sunday.
    A peculiar business, for sure.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  16. Took a few minutes to get onto our setter’s wavelength but proceeded quite rapidly once I caught his drift. Several nice clues but I’d agree with our reviewers that 18d had the edge.

    Thanks to whoever set this one (doubt it was Jay) and thanks to our 2Ks for the well illustrated review. Sorry to hear that you’re back into lockdown but it does look as though this virus is something we’re going to have to learn to live with ad infinitum.

  17. Good puzzle with many clues jostling for first which today I award to 28a for the brilliance of its construction.

    Thanks and commiserations to the 2Ks and thanks and congratulations to the setter for such a fine puzzle.

  18. Not on my wavelength today I’m afraid and the hints provided a very necessary leg up today.

    Never heard of 7a but assume it is a form of load for a cartridge.

    Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the setter for the lesson.

    1. Square-rigged warships from Nelson’s day sometimes loaded their cannons with grapeshot. It destroyed the rigging of enemy ships, not to mention sailors..

  19. Very enjoyable – once I had got started it became a steady solve. Thanks to 2 Kiwis and setter – I thought Jay as well (Jay always let’s you in with a few gimmes and then……). Would be good to hear 2 Kiwis view of NZ Covid and particularly vaccination situation.

  20. Got to this much earlier than usual and even finished it relatively quickly, although I did need help from the 2 Kiwis to parse a few, notably 6d. Hadn’t come across the slang word for head at 15d (or had forgotten it). Very enjoyable – thanks to the non-Jay setter and the 2Ks. I will now be lost this evening, as that’s normally when I do the crossword, at the same time as watching (or not) the telly. PS I really must get myself a new avatar – mine is the worst ever!

    1. ‘You’d look neat from your napper to your feet’ – Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence

      1. I remember seeing Tommy Steele in Half a Sixpence. In London I think but I can’t be more precise.

        1. I remember ‘Any Old Iron’ as an old music hall song from the Edwardian era, which one of my many uncles used ti sing at famiky gatherings, in the days when w wryone had a party piece.

          1. Yes CC
            “Any Old Iron by Harry Champion very early 1900’s. It was one of the records we had with our gramophone (& the “Laughing Policeman” plus a couple of Gracie Fields as I recall)
            I remembered
            You look neat – talk about a treat
            You look a dapper from your knapper to your feet
            Dressed in style with a brand new tile (I always heard the as smile)
            Your father’s old green tie on”
            I wouldn’t give tuppence for your old watch chain
            Old iron, old iron

            1. There used to be a requests programme especially for children on ‘the Light Programme’ of BBC Radio o Saturday mornings. The Laughing Policeman was a regular along with other standards such as The Teddybears’ Picnic, The Runaway Train, The Woody Woodpecker Song (Danny Kaye) etc. Happy Memories for me as we’d all sing along.

              1. Was the programme Uncle Mac? I also remember The Ugly Duckling, Nelly the Elephant, How Much is that Doggy in the Window … I could go on … !

                  1. The programme was Children’s Favourites hosted by Uncle Mac and later by Ed Stewart

            2. I also remember that Peter Sellers had a hit with it – in the early sixties I believe.

              1. Albert
                I thought you got eaten by the lion, with your stick with the ‘orses ‘head ‘andle?

                1. Stanley Holloway, Albert and the Lion, LROK! The lion was called Wallace as I recall.

      2. I saw him in The Yeomen of the Guard, believe it or not, actually at the Tower of London. It was wonderful (although he was the only performer who needed a microphone!). I don’t know the song from Half a Sixpence, though.

    2. sign up for a free account with gravatar.com and then add as many email addresses and upload as many avatars as you wish. The chosen avatar will then appear on all WordPress blogs and several other sites like AnswerBank

      1. Thanks for that, Miffypops. Mr K did tell me what to do some time ago, but I never seem to get round to it. I really will try now, as my current avatar really puts me off commenting!

        1. You can easily change your avatar as well by logging back in to WordPress and having a little play

  21. 1.5*/4*. This was a light delight. Great fun as always on a Wednesday but it doesn’t feel like a Jay production to me.

    12a made me smile, and my podium comprises 11a, 15d & 20d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  22. Late today, after accompanying my husband to Oxford to have an MRI of his brain. They were running 50 minutes late and he joked that after all that they couldn’t find it. This was lighthearted and enjoyable (1.5*/4*) with some good clues. I liked 20d, a twem my father used to refer to a pal, the classical reference at 23d and the witty7a. COTD,however was the cryptic definition at 18d. Many thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and commiserations on the fresh lockdown. Thank you also to the compiler.

  23. Another lovely crossword – how I do love thee. Got off to a great start and the answers just flowed then I was caught up short by 10a and 20d until the light dawned. Favourites were 12 and 28a and 15d – but they all sparkled. Great quickie pun too. Many thanks to setter and the two K’s. We have sunshine!

  24. Well, I’m bucking the trend here as I certainly did not find it as straightforward as you all seem to have done.
    RHS all went in swimmingly but then quite a tussle with 7a, 10a, 24a and 20d. Maybe I am just having a dim day.
    Had trouble with some parsings too, notably 6d and 18d which had to be what they were.
    So, not my best day.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  25. Not sure this is a Jay puzzle today. Found it a little tricky in spots and rate it 2.5*/****
    Clues to like include 11a, 12a, 28a & 18d with winner 28a

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

    (I just read the blog and it not a Jay puzzle, I see, so I surmised correctly!)

  26. Most of it went in swimmingly but I got stuck in the NW. complete blank on 7a as I was convinced it ended in pistol. I resorted to the hint and once I got the fruit I was there. Still don’t understand the synonym for stolen however. I then got 1d once I had the R. I was looking for a posh house which reversed meant smarten up! 24a and 2 and 3d favourites. Thanks setter and 2ks

  27. All done and dusted, so doubt it is a Jay entry. 6d held me up for a while, had the answer but wasn’t 100% certain until I looked at the hint. 7d was my last in, although I know what it is. Rather enjoyed this crossword, that makes two days in a way. Splendid. Thanks to setter and to 2Kiwis. Sorry about your lockdown. Our own Florida Governor is the other end of 24a, banning schools from mask edicts, despite very high positive numbers in the State. School Boards have mostly decided to ignore the ban, for which said Governor will fine them. Can someone wake me up when this is all over?

  28. Another great puzzle today completed with not too many hiccups. There was a very interesting article in the paper a couple of days ago re New Zealand and Australia and their approach to Covid. The author (forget who it was) basically thought the NZ economy would take decades to recover if they keep locking down. We have to learn to live with it and get on with our lives. Thanks to the setter (?) and 2 Kiwis.

  29. 24a as last in and smooth clues throughout. Not sure whether 11a can be described as ignorant but it seemed to work! Thank you non-Jay setter and 2Ks

  30. Also in the “doubt it is Jay” camp (although the next post will probably be he claiming ownership).
    Straightforward, pleasurable offering with lots to like.
    As there aren’t enough scientific clues I’ll go for 28a as my COTD. It comes a long way into the list of Elements set to a G&S tune by Tom Lehrer but to me the wait is worth it

    Thank you to setter & the 2K’s
    Given the transmissability of the delta variant I wonder how long your policy of isolation is going to be keep it out in the long term.

      1. Sue,
        I did read the early posts then went off to Tesco with Mrs LROK. Did not then pay sufficient attention when I skipped through the posts -so guilty as charged, but hey no-ones perfect are they? (Well except BD, that begs the question can a Spurs fan be perfect?)

  31. Another nice crossword, a little trickier but very enjoyable 😃 ***/*** Favourites were 7a & 15d also 25d. Took ages over 10 across after entering a different cat and then trying to make sense of it 😳 Thanks to the 2 x Ks, the Setter, Jay for dropping in to disclaim it (I certainly thought it was him) and finally to LROK for the Tom Lehrer 🤗

  32. Morning all.
    Thanks for popping in Jay and confirming our thoughts that you were NOT the setter. Perhaps someone else will pop in soon to take a bow.
    Our weather looks to have improved overnight so we should be able to take a masked walk close to home today.

  33. A bit late, busy morning here, grocery delivery, friend stopping by and so on. Loved it all, however, didn’t finish! I made a mistake with 25d, this meant that I couldn’t solve 28a, no biggie. This was so enjoyable. I didn’t know the friend in 20d but knew the cleaner of stables, so just looked it up under Britspeak. Fave was 7a but 10a was hot on its heels.
    Thanks to our setter, come back soon. Sorry about your resurgence of COVID, 2Kiwis, that’s bad luck. I’m afraid we’re all going to have to learn to live with it. My friends who live in Brunei tell me they’ve had their first cases too.

  34. I can’t recall who on this blog recommended “The Hidden Norfolk” books but I am reading “One Lost Soul” now and was at chapter 29 before I knew it!

  35. All done and parsed (apart from the last three letters in 6d which I still don’t really see) in reasonable time, for me that is. NW last to go in and grudgingly I’m going to have to go for 15d as favourite, well it was rather clever. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s. I try and keep out of the Covid debate but the thing that concerns me about NZ’s policy is how do you open up to the rest of the world and when? A conundrum.

    1. The last three letters in 6d are USE which means GOOD as in “It’s no use/good crying over spilt milk”.

  36. Just back home after spending most of day at hospital for spinal stenosis epidurals so everything crossed for a successful outcome. Enjoyable puzzle which was a bit of a brainteaser hence delayed commenting. 10a unparsed so bunged in. Fav definitely 18d. 2 Kiwis, it’s such a pity you have had to resort to lockdown again but do hope all will soon be completely well again for NZ. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Kiwis.

  37. Hello. Guess what.

    Glad you liked it, especially those of you having to undergo spinal stenosis epidurals and the like. That doesn’t sound like fun, so I hope it went well for you.

    Many thanks to some Kiwis — I for one applaud your government’s crisis management, as I watch our own disastrous figures creeping up again — for the blog, and to all who commented. And to Jay, who always gets nominated when I set one.

    Back now to Episode 46 of The Killing, Series 47, and thank god for subtitles.


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