DT 29769 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29769

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29769

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A single brave daffodil is peeping out from its pot near our backdoor and we’re expecting the kowhai trees to match it with their own brilliant yellow display very shortly. Another clear crisp day here but it’s been cool and windy for most of the week so far.

Another quite tricky and enjoyable Wednesday puzzle.


Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Impotence of father visiting Cuzco perhaps (10)
INCAPACITY : A description of Cuzco that refers to its founding culture contains a familiar word for father.

6a     Stag party undressed by first of hens (4)
HART : The first letter of hens and the three central letters (undressed) of party.

10a     Feature of a hawk leaving Marxist alone (5)
TALON : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

11a     Medic performing easy work off the record (9)
MOONLIGHT : A medical officer, then a two letter word meaning performing and a synonym for easy.

12a     Exploit delay in case of finance body (8)
FUSELAGE : The first and last letters of finance contain another word for exploit and delay or go slowly.

13a     No through road that’s shut (5)
CLOSE : A double definition.

15a     Stumbles across church army feature! (7)
TRICEPS : Stumbles or catches one’s foot contains the Anglican Church. (A tricky definition here. This ‘army’ is not military.)

17a     Be quiet because occupied by the French (7)
SILENCE : Because or ‘for this reason’ contains a French definite article.

19a     Writer’s block, and poet is upset (7)
NOTEPAD : An anagram (is upset) of AND POET.

21a     Busy, and furious dismissing Republican for good (7)
ENGAGED : Start with furious or very angry and replace its R(epublican) with G(ood).

22a     Bill has no time for problem (5)
POSER : Remove the T(ime) from a bill used for advertising.

24a     Wrong maps included in quote for temporary accommodation (8)
CAMPSITE : A synonym for quote contains an anagram (wrong) of MAPS.

27a     Think, love, before American gets heavy (9)
PONDEROUS : Think or mull over, the tennis score love and then the United States.

28a     Recover strength for meeting in common cause (5)
RALLY : A double definition.

29a     Irritated, with tons stolen from shop (4)
SORE : Remove T(ons) from another word for a shop.

30a     One’s belt is loose, that’s apparent (10)
OSTENSIBLE : An anagram (loose) of ONE’S BELT IS.


1d     Scrap answer after seeing nothing in it (4)
IOTA : Inside ‘It’ from the clue put the letter signifying nothing and finally A(nswer).

2d     Artist is too cruel, represented with no end of hope (9)
COLOURIST : An anagram (represented) of IS TOO CRU(e)L with the last letter of ‘hope’ removed.

3d     Cash from article failing to appear in atonement? (5)
PENCE : Start with another word for atonement and remove the two letter indefinite article from within it.

4d     Fights fixed cost to cover business degree (7)
COMBATS : An anagram (fixed) of COST contains a university business qualification.

5d     Shifting worst, keeping the Spanish tools (7)
TROWELS : An anagram (shifting) of WORST contains the Spanish definite article.

7d     Bother found in a good half of ground (5)
AGGRO : ‘A’ from the cue, then G(ood) plus the first three letters of ground.

8d     Action during championships must get evidence of ownership (5,5)
TITLE DEEDS : Championships or the honours awarded to winners contain action, or something done.

9d     Non-striker may be bowling initially — need support (8)
BLACKLEG : The first letter of bowling, then a need or shortage and a support that you might stand on.

14d     Bear tweets, finding sources of water! (10)
STANDPIPES: Bear or put up with and then tweets or shrill sounds.

16d Retired hotel employee, one with business abroad (8)
EXPORTER : A two letter prefix for retired and then a hotel employee who fetches and carries.

18d     Venue suffering glitch in centre (9)
NIGHTCLUB : An anagram (suffering) of GLITCH is enclosed by a three letter word for a centre.

20d     Opportunities to employ court professionals (7)
DOCTORS : Opportunities or openings contain the two letter abbreviation for court.

21d     Line dismissed by travelling salesmen as a group (2,5)
EN MASSE : An anagram (travelling) of SA(l)ESMEN loses its L(ine).

23d     Instrument carried by fliers on a raid (5)
SONAR : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

25d     Rides a white horse? (5)
SURFS : A cryptic definition for what somebody involved in a particular aquatic activity does.

26d     Promo they upset intermittently (4)
HYPE : Alternate letters from two words in the clue.

Our favourite today is 15a.’

Quickie pun    burly    +    nurse    =    Berliners


81 comments on “DT 29769

  1. A lot to like in this ***/**** offering. It took a while for the army reference to make sense in 11a. I thought that and 18d were very good but 1a just got my COTD. Thanks to our antipodean friends and the setter

  2. 2*/4.5*. I missed out on my crosswords yesterday, but this one has more than made up for it – light and great fun.

    My podium choices are 1a, 18d, 20d & 25d.

    Many thanks presumably to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  3. I thought this was outstanding, virtually every clue would have been worthy of a place on the podium, but I’ve narrowed the contenders down to 1&15a plus 1,3,&21d. My favourite (as one who lives by and loves the sea) however was 25d.
    Many thanks to the setter (felt like Jay today) and the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

    1. Please enlighten me where the army (military or otherwise) comes into 15a. I’ve got the trips round the abbreviation for Church of England but army?

      1. There’s no military Greta, think of a part of the body where your triceps are located (note the exclamation mark too.)

            1. Thanks for that Stephen. Like Greta, I was still totally mystified about the relevance of army in the clue!

  4. I found this really difficult to get into but it seemed to fall into place after a while, although a lot of the answers were guesswork, confirmed by reverse engineering the parsing . I dont find that way of filling in the grid that enjoyable but I did like 1a (***/**). Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler for the challenge.

  5. Thought we might be made to pay for yesterdays great puzzle. This was tough! Did like 14d but thought 15a a horrible clue.
    Too tricky to be really enjoyable, a lot of the clues I was filling in letters because they looked right and then seeing if the clue fitted in any way. Not how I like to solve a crossword unless desperate!
    Not my favourite.
    Thx for the hints

  6. I needed to Google cuzco. Once had checkers I guessed 25D…not my scene but needed to confirm with thesaurus. 19A needs a hyphen.

    Enjoyable run through. Yesterday was gentle…this was more cryptic….any that make me sound like Homer Simpson many times are always fun.

    Cotd 15A

  7. Excellent cluing today, brilliant wordplay throughout and as Stephen says, outstanding.
    Favourite was 1a , so original.
    Right on my wavelength and a **/***** for me.
    Thanks to our setter and 2K’S for the pics.

  8. I’m not normally too keen on puzzles where 25% of the clues are anagrams but I thought that this one was superb.
    I particularly liked 1a, 15a and 20d.
    Many thanks to Jay and 2Ks.

  9. 15a came to me simply because we had a similar construction a while ago – ‘sticky’ if memory serves – but I spent quite a while on 12a where I had the components but couldn’t quite fit them together, pronunciation problem!
    Top two for me were 1&25d with several others in contention.

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

  10. Tricky in places today. ***/*** I was mislead by 2d into thinking the answer must be an anagram of an artist. Took me a while to work out where we were really going with that one. I was similarly baffled by 25d, my last one in. Favourite by a country mile 1a. Thanks to all.

  11. What a fantastic puzzle; one of the best for a long time and an object lesson for anyone starting out to follow the clueing. 15A was very clever but my favourite has to be the brilliant 1A!! 3*/5* for me. Many thanks to setter; very enjoyable.

  12. What a fun puzzle. The north held out longer than the south. Spent ages trying to find the name of an artist to fit 2d. I had my anagram circle and even resorted to asking the other half who wasn’t much help, not surprising really when the light finally dawned. We seem to have been under a chilly blanket of cloud for weeks now so no tomatoes ripening. Anyway thanks to the setter and 2 Ks.

    1. I, too, spent what seemed hours trying to find an artist at 2d, eventually waiting until I had the checkers!

  13. I thought this was excellent. My last one in was 25d; it took a while to fathom the correct white horse!

    Many thanks to Jay and to the 2Ks.

  14. 1a was my absolute favourite once the coin hit the floor. Very clever. Overall this was another excellent Wednesday offering with a terrific clue mix and some lovely humour. Great fun.

    My thanks to Jay, or apologies to him and the real setter, and thanks, too, to the 2 Ks.

  15. Happy to reinvest all of yesterday’s winnings that this is a Jay production & thought it a cracker. Can’t say I found it particularly easy & like Chriscross was slow to get going. Last in was 20d & heaven knows why but the synonym for opportunities took nearly as long as the rest of the puzzle. I hadn’t heard of Cuzco but twigged the wordplay from the definition synonym so I’ll nominate that one as my pick of the bunch. Ticks also for 6,12&15a plus 1,2,9,20&25d so enough for 3 podia.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  16. I’m having a good week. Three unaided solves for the back pager and one unaided solve for a Toughie. It won’t last!

    Today’s puzzle was wonderful fun with plenty to like. Those worthy of mention, for me anyway, are 11a, 21a and 20d. However, my COTD is 1a. I did not know of Cuzco but the answer told me where it was.

    Many thanks to Jay for the fun and to the 2K’s for the hints.

    I’m afraid the Quickie pun did not work for me.

                1. Finished now, without hints but with electronic help
                  Enjoyed it more than this one. Thanks for the nudge

  17. Top notch for me. So much to admire, just enough difficulty and a number that brought a smile.
    12a & 15a stood out but not as much as 1a, my COTD. Probably most had to Google Cuzco but I guess that was what the stter intended.
    Thanks to setter and the 2Ks for the review and weather news. Weather here is sunny with very acceptable temperatures. Glass remains on “Set Fair”.

  18. Reasonably straightforward and swift (clockwise starting in NE), fairly clued, some lovely red herrings and plenty of chuckles: all adds up to considerable enjoyment.

    COTD the outstanding 15a, but HMs to 1a, 6a, 9d, 18d and 23d.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter, and to the 2Ks for their review.

  19. A strange puzzle today, had to put in the answers and then work out the why for too many. Had difficulty with 1a trying to fit in Perú., also had to look at the hint for 3d😩 which then enabled the NW to be finished. Failed on 25d, never heard of it in that sense ,and as for 15a are we now reduced to baby language. Thanks to all

  20. Agree with 2Kiwis assessment in deeming this tricky but enjoyable. IMHO 15a too clever by half. Several crafty clues but no particular Fav. Thank you Mysteron and 2Kiwis.

  21. What a surprise. A Wednesday puzzle solved without hints or reveals ; that’s three this week which must be something of a record for me. It was a most enjoyable puzzle with some superb clueing. Favourite today is 25d by a country mile. The connection to the answer took a time including a check on the Goldfrapp number before the checker made it obvious. Short, simple, and clever clue which are the best.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and Jay for such a wonderful treat.

  22. Further to various comments on here regarding the DT Puzzles Newsletter and the monthly prize clue-writing competition, I can now report the following.

    On Sunday CL emailed me to apologise for the delay in featuring my winning clue in a DT back-pager and issuing the £25.00 book token prize. Yesterday, I received (by email) my prize – for my clue which won in the February 2020 competition! Better late than never, as they say. But, to be fair, I do believe that the “lockdown” is responsible for all the disruption.

    So, I decided to treat myself to a copy of The Chambers Thesaurus – only to find that Amazon, the biggest bookseller in the World?, don’t accept online book tokens. Can you believe that!

  23. Just a load of brilliant clues! Kiwis, I did not need you but a comfort to know you were there. 12,15 and 24a were great and 21d a wonderful anagram. Thankyou Jay – and thanks to yesterday’s setter also. I did the Xword in the car on the way up to visit DD1 in the care home. All this time cut off from the family has done so much harm, in the 4 hours we were there I don’t think she said anything that made any sense and she is surrounded by 80 -100 year olds who wander about clutching blankets or teddies and stare vacantly bless them. It is so bad for her, no facilities for young dementia patients. Sorry, I shouldn’t ‘go on’ but I am talking into space and if I talk to my friends in the village I find cannot bear their look of sympathy. At least she is safe. Sorry,so sorry, I shall regret writing this.

    1. Your friends doubtless have no other way of showing that they care, DG, nothing they can do or say will assuage your sense of impotency where DD1 is concerned. As you say, at least she is safe, try to take comfort in that.

    2. 💐DG, it’s good that you feel able to share some of your concern with your BD blog friends whose thoughts I am sure will always be with you and wishing you the best in your very difficult situation. Keep strong 💐.

    3. Please feel free to sound off, Daisy. We do care and have nothing but love for you, it’s a hard burden you bear.

      1. All one can do in that sort of situation is keep plodding on with back bent and head down, into the winds of misfortune, one day at a time. Be sure, however that your presence is a comfort and support to your DD, Daisy. The care system is messy and inadequate and making your presence felt is always good too. Keep strong and unload whenever you feel the need.

        1. Just because I don’t normally comment on these situations doesn’t mean I don’t care. I do.

  24. Late on parade today; Morpheus allowed me some extra time to make up for the hour or so I was wide awake around 3am.

    Based on the ‘quality’ of the Pun I conclude that this is a Jay – for me, Jay is not the best ‘punner’ in the setting team. An overall steady solve which only needed some occasional reference to the Small Red Book. 2.5*4/*

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 17a, 9d, 14d, and 16d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I have found that a very occasional small, cream sherry helps with the 2am/3am wide awake problem, helps me get back to the land of nod.

  25. Rattled through this, but great fun nonetheless. For some reason I did the toughie first today, so I’d better go and find a Times to while away this evening.
    Thanks to 2Ks and the setter

  26. Ironic that on the day that Allison Pearson indicates that she likes to see the television listings, the telegraph forget to publish them.
    No joy for me in this crossword. Just a slog.
    Thanks to 2Ks whose help I needed and jay.
    Never mind, I’m still glowing from yesterday’s toughie triumph

  27. Very pleasant and light .
    Those white horses didn’t spring to mind right away.
    Army is a bit barmy but at least it is different.
    Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

  28. What a brilliant crossword with so many clever and amusing clues 🤗 **/**** Favourites (difficult to choose) but 1a, 15a, 22a & 8d are the most amusing 😃 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay a lovely start to the Autumn. Let us hope it warms up a little 🌞

  29. I have to echo Chriscross’s sentiments, plus like DaveG I spent time trying to make Peru fit into 1a. Also never seen horse and surf connection before. One of the last to go in was 15a, having not twigged the army clue. A slow start, but enjoyed overall. Thanks to setter (was it Jay?) and to 2Kiwis for needed hints. What I wouldn’t give for a “clear, crisp day” right now.

  30. Like most of you, I thought this a most excellent puzzle with some great clues which needed some teasing out. Top marks for 15a and my runner-up is 25d because it was my last one in and I had to give it a good stare before the penny dropped.

  31. A very good crossword that had me puzzled for a while until eventually I solved 26dn and then it seemed to flow until the LOI 25dn … a wavelength thingy I suppose.

    Thanks to Jay (?) and 2Ks

  32. Very tricky, brilliant puzzle with lots of lateral thinking involve – just what I like…..many great clues, but 1a was my favourite….

  33. Found this a very hard puzzle to crack and very slow going today. ****/**** for me today.
    Favourites include 11a, 15a & 7d with 15a winner … and last in too.
    Had to use quite a few hints today … likely as brain foggy from a wonderful doozy of a cold caught from grandson.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and 2K’s

  34. I’m biased, I know, but what a super Jay day! I loved it all. Only problem was 4d, a bung in which I got wrong. I am well familiar with Cuzco, an incredible work done by a people long before mathematics! How did they do it?
    So much to like here, hard pressed to find a fave; 15a is giggle worthy, “army” indeed, but I think 1a gets the rosette.
    Thanks Jay, you’re a star, and thanks go to the 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.

  35. Lovely puzzle today. Tricky in places and I did need the 2Kiwis help to parse the army one.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis

  36. Morning all.
    Looks like an almost 100% thumbs up on this one once again. Here’s hoping the setter pops in soon to take a bow.

    1. Many thanks for your review, glad to confirm that today’s (yesterday for you) was indeed mine. And thanks to all for the comments, always appreciated!

  37. Absolutely brilliant clueing.
    A sheer joy to complete.
    15a made me chuckle or, perhaps, chortle.
    So, ****/*****.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  38. Right side very quickly completed. Took a lot longer for the left half and nw in particular. 12a my last one in, spent ages building up combinations of parts trying to make exploit instead of body. Tried to fit demur in as delay! 1a favourite, luckily recently read about Cuzco in one of the Sunday travel supplements. Thought it a brilliant clue.
    Another thoroughly enjoyable unaided finish. Thanks to all.

  39. No comment from Robert today. With all that horrible weather along the Eastern seaboard of the US, I hope he’s all right.

  40. Personally I found this hard work, sorry Jay, obviously nothing to do with the late start and the bottle of 14% red wine I consumed before starting it. I’m going for favourite as 10a, had anybody seen the Eagles tribute band Talon? Absolutely brilliant. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

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