DT 29781 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29781

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29781

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Winter has decided to come back to visit us for a couple of days. We have actually lit our fire again as we write this.

We completed this one within our two star time but did consider giving it a three as there were a few tricky clues in the mix.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Republican in seemingly unpopulated county? (7)
NORFOLK : A 2,4 phrase that could mean unpopulated contains R(epublican).

5a     Rich sort of cake popular — great for starter (7)
ROLLING : A type of cake that probably includes a layer of jam is followed by the two letter word for popular and the first letter of great.

9a     Gave in and proposed (9)
SUBMITTED : A double definition. Proposed or put forward.

10a     Boss carries doubly large instrument (5)
CELLO : The acronym for a top executive in a corporation contains L(arge) twice.

11a    Able regularly to visit church and pray (7)
BESEECH : The second and fourth letters of able, then a word meaning visit or call upon and the cartographer’s abbreviation for church.

12a     Bouncy castle collapsed, engulfing one (7)
ELASTIC : An anagram (collapsed) of CASTLE contains Roman numeral one.

13a     Many barrels among this smuggler’s contraband? (3-6)
GUN-RUNNER : An all-in-one clue with the definition being ‘this smuggler’. These barrels are not the sort containing spirits.

16a     Union member seen in Almeida Hotel (5)
IDAHO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

17a     Old woman after plague offers opinion (5)
DOGMA : A two letter familiar word for a mother follows plague or pester.

18a     English daisy for example: good seasonal item (6,3)
EASTER EGG : E(nglish), then a flower in the daisy family, the two letters meaning for example, and G(ood).

21a     Tangled belt trapping him in sewer’s cover (7)
THIMBLE : Him from the clue is enclosed by an anagram (tangled) of BELT.

22a     Speaker’s expression, crude perhaps, brings disorder (7)
TURMOIL : A homophone (speaker’s) of a synonym for an expression, then a substance often referred to as crude.

25a     Expert from A-section? (5)
ADEPT : ‘A’ from the clue, plus an abbreviation for another word for a section.

26a    Got any bananas to add to bread and butter? (5,4)
NANNY GOAT : A type of Indian bread is followed by an anagram (bananas) of GOT ANY.

27a     Unrefined person sure to succeed (7)
NATURAL : A double definition.

28a     Firm showing interest (7)
CONCERN : A double definition. This firm is a business enterprise.


1d     Cooked beans go in food container (7)
NOSEBAG : An anagram (cooked) of BEANS GO.

2d     Taxi provider, needing lift, first to solve puzzle (5)
REBUS : A taxi provider summoned from your smartphone is reversed and followed by the first letter of solve.

3d     Girl in green (5)
OLIVE : A double definition.

4d     King on Hampshire river where trout prepared? (7)
KITCHEN : The chess abbreviation for king is followed by a Hampshire river that we needed Google to confirm for us.

5d     Reportedly studied beloved animal (3,4)
RED DEER : Homophones for words meaning studied at university and beloved.

6d     Cut a liver out — it’s financially rewarding (9)
LUCRATIVE : An anagram (out) of CUT A LIVER.

7d     Nervous Shakespeare wife missing some banter? (3-2-4)
ILL-AT-EASE : The shortened version of Shakespeare’s first name without the W(ife), then a 1,5 phrase for some banter.

8d     Try to catch rook that hurt amusing brother (7)
GROUCHO : A two letter word for a try or attempt contains the chess abbreviation for rook and a four letter word for ‘that hurt’.

14d     Leg in cast — chap being careless (9)
NEGLIGENT : An anagram (cast) of LEG IN and a chap or man.

15d     Ran about in frenzy circling Lima’s capital (4,5)
ULAN BATOR : An anagram (in frenzy) of RAN ABOUT contains the letter that is signified by Lima in the phonetic alphabet.

17d     Alien concealed in exhaust? Leave car (7)
DETRAIN : Our usual two letter movie alien is inside exhaust or empty.

18d     Relentless outside losing vote (7)
ETERNAL : Start with a word meaning outside and remove from within it the letter used when casting a vote.

19d     Like controversial verses thus written about a function (7)
SATANIC : The Latin word for thus contains ‘A’ from the clue and a mathematical function. These controversial verses allude to a work by Salman Rushdie.

20d     Setter for example served up old language (7)
GELATIN : The two letters meaning for example are reversed (served up) and then the ‘old language’ referred to in the previous hint.

23d     Material in drawer Conservative ignored (5)
RAYON : The drawer is a waxy stick used for colouring. Remove C(onservative) from this.

24d     Damaged layer — Australia has one (5)
OZONE : The two letter slang term for Australia and then ‘one’ from the clue.

Lots of ticks on our page once again but we’ll give top marks to 8d.

Quickie pun    wee    +    job    +    hoard    =    ouija board

105 comments on “DT 29781

  1. At last, I managed an unaided finish, and in just ** time. The top half went flying in, but the bottom took a little longer.

    17d is a horrible Americanism, and I’m not sure about the synonym for ‘opinion’ in 17a, but 18d gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

          1. It has been around for a very long time – Mr CS has a set of Lloyd’s Encyclopaedic Dictionary from 1895 and it is in there!

            1. There’s a lot of words that the Pilgrim Fathers took with them that they still use and we don’t.

  2. Cracking puzzle, a little tricky in places but very fairly clued throughout. Wouldn’t be prepared to bet the house that it was the work of Jay though.
    In a very strong field, top three for me are 22a plus 8&20d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  3. A deeply unpleasant puzzle with so many weird complicated clues. Thx for the hints to understand my answers to 5a, 13a, 18a,26a,2d,8d and 19d. The clue that for me was the nadir was 22a.
    Another completed because I wasn’t going to be beaten but with very little pleasure.
    Thx for the excellent hints
    Not one for me

    1. I don’t agree with you that it was deeply unpleasant, but I can agree that 22a didn’t work for me at all.

      1. Indeed. Or, come to that, why 22a plumbs a depth or doesn’t work? It seemed very straightforward to me and fairly clued.

        1. Absolutely. “Deeply unpleasant” – a ridiculous accusation! 22a is perfectly OK and relatively easy to parse.

          1. Like each and every one of us, Brian is entitled to his opinion. It would be tedious if all of us said the same sort of thing every day. Maybe this puzzle, like Marmite, was a love it or loathecit experience.

      1. Presumably ‘turm’ is supposed to sound like ‘term’ which for me it certainly does not…..but I am Scottish, so many homophones do not work for me.

  4. What a superb, extremely entertaining crossword, absolutely packed with clever and witty clues. My thanks to the compiler, whoever he/she may be. On that subject, why are the compilers not identified, as they are with the Toughies? I have my favourites there (eg Hudson), and least favourites (I’d rather not say). Not important, but it would be nice to know.

    1. Tradition. RichardTheWelshman. It is how it always has been. Alan Scott (Campbell) sets the Monday puzzles. The Tuesday puzzles are set by several different setters. Wednesday is usually a Jay Day. Jeremy Mutch. Thursdays alternate between Giovanni aka Don Manley and RayT aka Ray Terrell. Fridays ProXimal or Zandio, occasionally Silvanus

      1. Ok. Thanks for the information. Can’t see the reasoning compared with the Toughie, but so be it.

        1. The above is normally the case but Jay has told us at comment 17 that it is not one of his today but the Logman Toughie is. RayT hopefully tomorrow though. That is a treat

  5. I found this one really quite difficult, particularly in the SE corner and a great deal of guesswork and reverse engineering took place before I completed it in 3* time. I’m glad that I stuck it out and finished it, which gave me some satisfaction and a sigh of relief but there was very little enjoyment involved apart from 13d, which was quite a good clue. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler for his efforts.

  6. A top notch ***/***** for me. The first reading didn’t go well and I think the first 10 or so I looked at had my heart sinking. Strangely the answers came in corners – NE first, then SW then NW and finally SE where I have 4 COTD’s in 22a, 26a and 19 and 24d. I think 22a just gets it for me. Thanks to our NZ friends and the setter.

  7. A difficult one for me. Like Brian I needed help to parse a few, notably 22a.
    Had to resort to the electronic gizmo for 25a then felt foolish (not for the first time).

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

    Tomato relish to be made today. Girding myself up.

  8. It was a question of my hanging in there today because overall I found this quite a challenge. NW was last to yield. 20d had to be but I in fact spell it with an E at the end and 26a took a while as I spell the bread with two A’s. Fav was 13a once I realised we were not talking about a booze bootlegger! Thank you Jay or whomever the setter might be and also the 2Kiwis.

  9. I didn’t find it at all difficult and I enjoyed the solve very much.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

  10. A very enjoyable holiday solve. The Toughie was fun too. Thanks to all for the puzzle, the review, the comments and the fun. Time to find The Seafood Shack in Falmouth for a crab based lunch

    1. Oh one of our favourites. We were told the last time we were there that the dining scene had gone very upmarket as Falmouth had one of the best internet receptions in Britain and many IT companies were relocating there. Have you heard anything to support that suggestion?

  11. Absolutely brilliant–has to be Jay! The entire SE corner is a wondrous display of wit and cleverness, but so is the rest of the grid. I loved it. Podium winners: 26a, 27a, 8d, with a huge cast of runners-up; 22a, 19d, 24d…I could go on. Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. ** / *****

    Lovely Toughie today. Finished all by myself…hip. hip, hooray!

    N.B. Two novels on the booker shortlist of 6 are among the three I’ve earlier raved about: Great Circle and The Promise. The Sweetness of Water didn’t make the cut, alas. i wish that all three could win.

  12. Lovely puzzle, tremendous fun, light, straightforward and very fairly clued throughout, I thought. Nothing to cause the equines any concern and no esoteric “general” knowledge required. Delayed a little with my LOI while working out the synonym in 25a.

    Typical, you can wait ages for a bus to appear (let alone a miserable drink-obsessed Scottish policeman), then two reverse up to you in successive days!

    Ticks all over the place so will confine HMs to 16a, 4d, 8d and 20d, and COTD to 19d.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter for the enjoyment and to the 2Ks for the review.

  13. I filled this in NW, SE, NE and finally SW. I think 17d is a ghastly word too. I was amazed that it took me so long to recognise my own county in 1a and then only when I got 4d to give me the K. Very enjoyable so thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Enjoy your lunch MP, I love our Cromer crabs up here.

    1. How do you know that they are Cromer Crabs. They may be caught in that area but they might be Scottish or Welsh crabs on holiday. I too like the sweeter Cromer Crabs. But any crab will do

      1. They are definitely not on holiday crabs – no knotted hankies on their shells and they carry little signs that say Normal for Norfolk. They do get a bit fed up with small persons dangling bacon on strings from the pier and yanking them up into a bucket to be tossed back at the end of the day.

        1. The feeling amongst locals here is that the crabs congregate below the pier to get a free meal and it doesn’t overly bother them to sit in a bucket for a few hours afterwards. No way to confirm that but there does seem to be a proliferation of crabs in that exact location!

  14. A bit of a head scratcher with no help from starting with the Downs in either direction so, dollars to doughnuts, this was not a Jay production – ***/***.

    No stand out favourite but, as a former resident of said county, 1a did raise a smile.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  15. Found this quite difficult but managed unaided.
    Some very involved and brilliant clueing eg 22a
    Would never say 17d, though!
    So ****/*****
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. Can’t take the credit for this fine offering! (Although I could accept responsibility for my Logman Toughie today…..)

    1. I had my suspicions (as per my comment #2) it wasn’t you sir, got the pleasure of your Toughie to come later today.

    2. Well I guessed wrong again. It was good enough to be you, I thought. Loved you as Logman, though.

  17. (Dear ol’ Brian!)

    I enjoyed this one very much and solved it unaided – though I spent forever trying to figure out an anagram for 24d (damaged); and the Kent/East Sussex area was tricky to unravel.

    Thanks to the setter and the Two Kiwis.

    Here is our view from last night, shortly before the final whistle. A winning start in our defence of the Champions League.

  18. Well, I seem to be bucking the trend because I didn’t get on with this at all. Too many clues defeated me. I could not for the life of me see how 19d related to the answer until I saw the 2Kiwis’ hint. Even then I thought it a heck of a stretch and I would not have solved it in a month of Sundays. Mind you, unlike some, 22a worked fine for me unlike 1a where I read “county” as “country”. I should go to Specsavers!

    Sorry, Jay ( if indeed it is your handiwork) but I found this a bit of a slog but, Hey Ho!

    Many thanks to the 2Kiwis for the much needed hints.

    1. I bunged in 19d and needed the 2Kiwis to know the why! I think that’s when I twigged it wasn’t Jay.

    2. Glad I’m not the only one Steve. I consistently read county as country & this afternoon no exception.At least today I’ve the excuse of having been up with the lark playing golf on a strenuous walking course followed by 3 pints of Wherry which the person serving announced was a Cornish bitter so she wasn’t much cop on counties either.

      1. Oh dear. I am not familiar with Wherry but looked it up and noted that Woodforde’s have reopened the Lord Nelson in Burnham Thorpe. I used to play table tennis in the village hall there. I’ll be paying a visit on my next trip to the UK and trying the Wherry. Speaking of which, does anyone know where or how I get Tetley’s bitter in cans? I can only at best get Boddingtons over here in NYC and missing my favourite brews.

  19. Put me down as another who doesn’t like 17d and I wasn’t keen on 17a or 3d either. Plenty to enjoy elsewhere and the ones that made me smile were 1&9a so they share the honours today.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review – unlike you, we’re having a late burst of summer here.

  20. Right up my street today, cracking puzzle not difficult but very entertaining and agree on 2K’s **/****,
    well clued throughout, favourite was 19d ,not heard much lately of Mr Rusdie-excuse spelling, the Latin for thus was in a recent Telegraph Toughie which helped the parsing, liked24d.
    Thanks to the 2K’S pics and our setter.

  21. Superb fun but challenging solve that took some sorting out, especially the SE corner. Took *** time & was **** fun and satisfaction.8
    Knew 19d was right but needed the review for the explanation.
    Fooled into trying to start 20d with “god” from “setter for example served up” before the penny dropped. It was runner up to 22a for COTD.
    Thank you to setter and 2Ks for usual comprehensive review.
    Noted article in this morning’s paper about Maori becoming your official language. Auckland & Wellington were pretty convoluted in Maori. Do you have dual signs for anything at the minute (some place names up here in the Highlands are & nearly all are in Wales)?

      1. DG
        Did you see Melbourn was in the intro film for yesterday’s “Escape to the Country”?

        1. No! I missed that, I shall have to do a Catch Up. Thank you. Just drinking my G ‘n T. Whilst waiting for vegetables to cook. Best time if the day.

        2. Managed to catch up this evening. Some nice shots of our thatched cottages including Sheepshead Row. Thus called because the drivers of the coaches going to Cambridge on the London Road would see all the ladies in their mob caps looking out of their doors to see the coach pass and looking like a row of sheep heads. It was said you could hear the sound of the coach rumbling along from Royston long before it got into Melbourn. The yellowy house used to be a butcher’s shop.

    1. Hi L.B.R.OK,
      Te reo Maori was recognized as an official language in Aotearoa/New Zealand as long ago as 1987. Many places already have Maori names. There are special Maori language immersion schools now and Maori words and phrases are used frequently in all of our media. This week is Maori Language week so that lots of people are making a special effort to expand their vocabulary and to speak Maori more fluently.
      Nga mihi,

      1. As I read it the article was about Maori taking over from English as your language of government etc.
        From what you say Maori seems in a slightly less developed,but similar position to Welsh & Gaelic in the UK, particularly the former.
        In Wales the vast majority aren’t familiar with Welsh with some funny situations. In a well-publicised incident a local government employee was asked to produce a dual language sign saying “Restricted parking Council employees only” had no idea of the Welsh so emailed asking an officer who did. He got a reply in Welsh that he faithfully reproduced. Unfortunately the email had said “On annual leave will reply on return”!

  22. I solved this early today before heading off round the M25 to play cricket. Fortunately my Satnav advised me divert due to the XR protests but even so the journey was horrendous.

    I thought I would take the opportunity to post this during the lunch interval.

    This was 2.5*/3.5* for me. In terms of difficulty the top half went in very quickly but the bottom half put up quite a fight. Whatever its provenance 17d is a horrible word. I was surprised to see “for example” = e.g. crop up twice.

    1a was my favourite.

    I was convinced this was not set by Jay (now confirmed, I see) and wondered if it might be one from NY Doorknob?

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

      1. It’s disgraceful that the police don’t move these wretched people – one of them will get run over soon as the general public are absolutely fed up with this behaviour.

        1. Apparently there has been an accident on the M25 and a woman had to be airlifted to hospital. The police have not openly said it was caused by the demo but they have not ruled it out.

          Don’t these idiots realise that all they are doing is mobilising public opinion against them? There are better ways to protest.

          That’s it! No more politics!

        2. Great letter in our favourite paper I thought the other day

          “Why unglue them?”

          Nuff said in my view

          Elf an’ safety I suppose

          And why have they always got rich parents and are called Tarquin?


      2. Where are the Tianeman Square protesters? The Chinese Branch of XR has probably been consigned underground mining coal for their power stations.
        XR needs to face facts: China now emits more greenhouse gases than the rest of the developed world combined and has tripled its emissions in the last 20 years.
        The reality is that even if we went back to being cavemen and did without having fires the reduction would be less than the increase that China plans between now and 2025
        It is amazing to me that China is classed as a “developing nation” and still being allowed to increase emissions year on year!
        These arguments are not political but statements of fact. Even if XR “succeeds” it is doomed to failure. A case of futile protests by the “enlightened” determined to bring to our attention a very concerning situation many of us know more about than they do.

        1. Amen! Well said, LROK. I had to google XR as had not heard of it. We are not much better than the Chinese, just an election away.

  23. I was late to this today but my brain was clearly on the correct wavelength as I fairly flew through it. Very entertaining, though, and pleasantly clued. 1a was my first one in and nothing better came along during the solve so that remained my favourite clue. Great fun.

    Thanks setter and the 2 Ks. I see I have a Logman Toughie to look forward to after cutting the lawns.

  24. Late to lunch today as an old friend from my years as a textile artist turned up and we couldn’t stop chattering. A lovely crossword sparkling with wit. I marked so many stars – 13,21,22a and 1,4,20 and 24d the biggest. I thought of Manders for 1a and wondered what our friend with the colourful wardrobe would say about being used to illustrate the awful 17d! Glad to see Brian has not lost his edge. Many thanks to the setter and the two Kiwis.

  25. I’ve just done the quickie – my mother and her sisters had a Ouija-board In the 1920’s and used to frighten themselves silly, so she told me.

  26. The east side fell into place first off for me. Once the penny dropped with a mighty clang for 1 across the rest of the west side soon followed. COI for me was 24d – clever and simple but not blindingly obvious. Great puzzle – thanks to all.

  27. Hello. Guess what.

    Thanks for all the good vibes, I’m glad it’s gone down well with most of you. Many thanks to 2K … and Jay!

    Sorry Brian.

    1. Thanks for the visit (and puzzle) NYDK top class for this customer. Where do we leave our Trustpilot rating?

    2. Very high praise from me earlier, NYDK, as I thought for sure that this brilliant puzzle was the work of our usual JayDay setter. I should know better by now. Anyway, thanks for popping in and many thanks for a terrific tussle. Best of the week so far.

  28. This got better and better with 8d 20d and 24d as super clues(but not 12a as collapsed surely is not a great pointer for an anagram?). Thank you setter and 2Ks

  29. Found this a little trickier then 2K’s indicated ***/*** for me. Some good clues and head scratching too.
    Favourites today are 1a, 21a, 6d, 7d & 20d with winner 1a as a former resident there and my county of birth.
    21a & 20d made me smile.
    15d was unknown to me but with the crosschecks it had to be what it was.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  30. Super crossword though can’t say I found it particularly plain sailing. Other than both 17a&d I thought all the clues high quality & thoroughly enjoyed it despite heavy eyelids. I’d struggle to pin down a favourite but reckon 1,18&26a along with 1,8,19&20d would be up there for close consideration.
    Many thanks to NYDK & 2Ks.
    Ps Has anyone else been gripped by The North Water drama (BBC IPlayer) ? I was drawn to it having read a DT review which said it made Moby Dick look like Captain Pugwash & it wasn’t wrong.

  31. I didn’t find this easy but very doable and hugely enjoyable. I do love your puzzles, NYDK. I am very familiar with 15d, when I was with PanAm, I booked hunters there at astronomical sums of money to shoot ibex with very exotic horns that curved elegantly. Why people get their jollies shooting animals is beyond my comprehension. Rant over.
    I liked 1a, 13a, oh heck, too much good stuff here to choose a fave, loved it all.
    Thank you NY Doorknob, wotta treat, and review much appreciated 2Kiwis, needed a couple unravelled.

  32. Morning all.
    We were not surprised this morning to see who the setter was. What did surprise us though was to discover the identity of Logman.
    Thank you both for dropping in and for two great puzzles.

  33. Had to resort to the hints for the last three, fairly tough for me but got there. Never heard of 15d.

    I mentioned yesterday my problems with my puzzles subscription. When I got back this afternoon (after a pleasant Green London Way walk, google it) I found an email from the Telegraph in my inbox. They had reset my password and after setting a new one for the main site I now have normal access to the puzzles one. Until next year I expect…

  34. Not a fan today, mainly because of 22a and 18d. But also puzzled about cake in 5a. Assume the intended cake is a swissroll, not a roll as in the answer. Guess I am missing something here. But did have two contenders for COTD, 1a and 20d. Was slow to get 2d, simply because we never use them. Well, we did use on two occasions and both times we were underwhelmed with the dirty cars and questionable driving. Mind you, our yellow cabs aren’t much better. Nothing beats a good London cabbie. Thanks to setter ans 2Kiwis.

  35. Unless I’ve missed it nothing from Corky for some time. Hopefully he is on one of his breaks & all is OK.

  36. Why does Brian think 22a the nadir? 19d is my COTD but 22a quickly follows it into 2nd place. Completed this unaided although there were quite a few very tricky clues and the

    Why does Brian think 22a the nadir? 19d is my COTD but 22a follows it in quick succession. Completed this unaided although there were quite a lot of very tricky clues and the SE held me up for quite a long time before the finish. A brain teaser but very enjoyable, so thanks to NYDK and also to the 2K’s for the hints even though I did not need them.

    se held me up for a long toime

  37. Finally got there after 24 hours of taking up and putting down the crossword. Appreciated the clever clues after the drudgery of solving them! ****/***

  38. Have skimmed the comments, but seems nobody else had ‘genital’ for 20d which I thought was an excellent answer, but caused me problems finishing the SE corner!

    1. That would have been a great answer. The setter will have to save that one for another day. I hope the 2K’s don’t provide a picture clue for that one. :-)

  39. I was resoundingly defeated by that puzzle. Had to throw in the towel with the bottom half only half complete. Brain must be fogged from too many long drives to “colleges” (universities), taking my son to see what’s on offer. It’s exhausting. COTD was 12a with lots of other candidates – 21a, 26a, 8d, 20d, 23d. Thanks to setter and to the 2Ks.

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