DT 29841 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29841

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29841

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A couple of hours before we started working on this we had a big firewood delivery. We made a tentative start on it but most of the moving and stacking in readiness for next winter is still in the ‘Urgent jobs to get done’ file.

Another good fun Wednesday puzzle to distract and amuse us.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Fresh title adopted by infernal poet and dabbler (10)
DILETTANTE : The poet who wrote The Divine Comedy includes an anagram (fresh) of TITLE.

6a     Friends from the east? Precisely (4)
SLAP : The answer read from right to left gives friends. (We had to think hard to get this definition.)

10a     Trail behind Her Majesty getting a drink (5)
LAGER : A word meaning trail behind and then Her Majesty’s regnal cypher.

11a     Beefy sending son to back for accoutrements (9)
TRAPPINGS : A word meaning beefy, often applied to a husky youth, has its first letter moved all the way to the end.

12a     A fool to be attached to northern city (7)
ANTWERP : ‘A’ from the clue, N(orthern) then a fool or nitwit.

13a     Expression of weariness coming from house on hill, mostly (5-2)
HEIGH-HO : A hill described by its elevation loses its last letter and then the two letter abbreviation for house.

14a     Taking collagen daily may reveal an ulterior motive! (6,6)
HIDDEN AGENDA : A variation on a lurker clue. The first word of the answer tells us what has happened in the clue to the second word.

18a     More and more home care must be arranged individually (12)
INCREASINGLY : The two letter ‘home’, then an anagram (must be arranged) of CARE, then a word meaning individually or one by one.

21a     Institutes needing no area for meals (7)
LUNCHES : Remove A(rea) from institutes or starts up.

23a     Particle absorbed by some or other science (7)
ANATOMY : A three letter word meaning some or other surrounds a basic physics particle.

24a     What might measure article on the fourth dimension? (9)
TIMEPIECE : A cryptic definition. There are three spatial dimensions and then the one that this device can measure.

25a     Form of insect giving single male a turn (5)
IMAGO : String together the Roman numeral one, M(ale, ‘A’ from the clue and then a turn or opportunity.

26a     Reportedly pushed under water pipe (4)
DUCT : A homophone of a word meaning pushed under water.

27a     A good child on endless trail that’s seen in cave (10)
STALAGMITE : Remove the last letter from trail or follow as a hunter, then ‘A’ from the clue, G(ood) and a small child.


1d     Money offering a right to support party lines? (6)
DOLLAR : The two letter party or function, next the repeated abbreviation for line, then ‘A’ from the clue and R(ight).

2d     Left one opening to tie up (6)
LIGATE : L(eft), then Roman numeral one and an opening to a field or garden.

3d     Such votes unusually hit new helpers welcoming Independent (5-4,5)
THREE-LINE WHIPS : An anagram (unusually) of HIT NEW HELPERS contains I(ndependent). (Something new that we learnt today).

4d     A variable list on poems down under (9)
ANTIPODES : ‘A’ from the clue, then a variable or indefinite number, a three letter list or lean, and finally types of poems.

5d     Rubbish remains after tower evacuated (5)
TRASH : The first and last letters of tower and remains left after a fire.

7d     Hang on desperately in case of lad writing (8)
LONGHAND : The first and last letters of lad contain an anagram (desperately) of HANG ON.

8d     Mate should keep a short chronicle of vicar’s work (8)
PASTORAL : The mate we met in 6a contains ‘A’ from the clue and a chronicle or tale without its last letter.

9d     Jump on Conservative, inclined to get seasonal work at home (6-8)
SPRING-CLEANING : Jump or leap, then C(onservative) and then inclined or listing.

15d     Apple is beyond compare (9)
NONPAREIL : A French word meaning beyond compare.

16d     Given accommodation and invoiced to include rent regularly (8)
BILLETED : Invoiced or sent an account includes the second and fourth letters of rent.

17d     Number employed by European comedian likely to bring in a profit (8)
ECONOMIC : Start with E(uropean), then a comedian contains the two letter abbreviation for number.

19d     National may be like this country in Africa (6)
SOMALI : A two letter word meaning ‘like this’ and a West African country.

20d     My new job includes year five English (2,4)
BY JOVE : An anagram (new) of JOB includes Y(ear) and then Roman numeral five and E(nglish).

22d     Got a whiff of fish (5)
SMELT : A double definition.

Our favourite today is 4d but we also appreciated the originality of 14a.

Quickie pun    forest    +    heart    =    for a start

117 comments on “DT 29841

  1. This was right up my street at */**** with some excellent clues including the deft 14a and 19d and my favourite being 20d which was very neat. The very small amount of GK in 25a was barely needed but fell my way anyway as I think I have seen it recently. With thanks to the setter and our antipodean friends.

  2. By some margin the best back pager this week, I thought it was a corker.
    Took me a while to see a couple of the parsings though the solutions were clear.
    In a very strong field I’ve chosen to highlight 6a for the unusual definition plus the anagram at 3d along with the very amusing 20d. Favourite however was the clever 14a.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

    I have my booster this afternoon, grateful for it but a bit peeved we are not allowed the option of our brilliant Astra Zeneca vaccine.

    1. Stephen it is reported in our newspaper today that the combination of the AZ initial two jabs followed by the Pfizer booster may give the most enduring protection, so if you are getting that one it may not be a bad thing.

      1. Thanks Nas, we must be doing something right here as our hospitalisation rates are a lot lower than many of our neighboring countries.

  3. I read 14a and enjoyed it even before I solved it, what a neat clue! Needed the 2K’s help to understand 8a and 15d (hadn’t heard of the apple) and spent a long time fathoming 27a, 4d and 19d but got there in the end. Thanks Jay, one of your best imo, C and C.

  4. As soon as I solved 1a, I found myself quickly on our JayDay’s wavelength and on a roll. A rare kind of sense of ‘simpatico’, with 14a,19d, &1a taking the top honours, but after 14a, just about any pairing of clues would suffice. I did have to double-check some parliamentary business to be sure that my dim recollection of 3d was right. A stunningly superb gift from our Wednesday maestro, so thanks to him and to the Kiwis for their review. ** / *****

    1. It was -1.1C (30F) in subtropical Charleston at 0600 just a bit ago. Brrr. Thanksgiving tomorrow and I’m just thankful to be here, chilly or not.

      1. We were about 58F this morning and I was not at all amused. I didn’t sign up for this cold weather, I want my hot and humid Florida summer back, toot sweet!

        1. Yes, high of 73F today. I know you don’t like it Merusa, but I am pleased to be able to put on a long sleeved top for a change, and shoes rather than flip flops. Mind you I would like it to be warm enough to tempt me to have a swim.

  5. 14a was quite brilliant and richly deserved my top spot this morning. Overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining puzzle that was up there with the very best. It certainly felt like a Jay, so I shall thank him (whilst apologising to the actual compiler if not him), and thanks, too, to the 2Ks.

    The Toughie is worth a stab if you have the time. It is a Django so may split opinions.

  6. An enjoyable Wednesday crossword. I got on a lot better with this than some Wednesday offerings. However, I did have a senior moment when I couldn’t remember what the fourth dimension was which slowed the finish of the SW corner. All in all an enjoyable crossword.
    I now have to change into my m/cycle gear for my Wednesday ride which I suspect may be a bit chilly; it’s 7C here at the moment. 13a however I still enjoy it!

  7. Also in the 14a camp for COTD. 2*/4* The apple and insect form were new words for me and the parliamentary term I needed to check out as well. Another thoroughly enjoyable Wednesday solve. Cheers Jay? and Kiwis

  8. Just reading the review, I parsed 24a as an article (piece) on the fourth dimension (time) with “what might measure” as the definition? I was originally thinking along the lines of an & lit.

  9. A completly different ‘feel’ today, lots of definitions were the result of leaving out or arranging a single letter, which is no mean feat,
    Cracking puzzle all round,favourite was 1a, 15d was a close second for the surface-one for the memory banks, honerable mention for 14a, another brilliant clue.
    Going for a ***/**** as per 2K,s-thanks for the pics.

  10. Superb puzzle. Jay (I think) at the top of his game. Unfortunately 7d & 13a eluded me until I lost patience & revealed the checker. No excuse for missing the anagrind at 7d but have never seen 13a with that spelling (3,2 surely the more common). Like our reviewers I had to think hard about the 6a definition but having thunk & thunk am none the wiser. Another vote for the cracker at 14a as pick of a very fine crop with 3&20d joint runners up.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

    1. Hi H: Noel Coward’s ‘If Love Were All’…’The most I have is just a talent to amuse / 13a! / If love were all’. That’s how I knew that spelling.

      1. Isn’t it hey ho in those lyrics though ? Can only think of Snow White’s chums going off to work for this spelling.

        1. That’s impressive “lyric knowledge”, H! But do you know the link between 15d and Clifford T Ward (see Terence at #21 below). Is that related to lyrics?

        2. I did a bit of a search for the lyrics as Coward wrote them and apparently you are right: he seems to have written ‘hey ho’. In the sung & printed versions, Bobby Short spells his ‘heigh ho’; Judy Garland (in Live from Carnegie Hall) sings it as ‘[High] ho’ (leading me to think the spelling would be ‘heigh’).

          1. As regular contributors will have noticed I use 13a fairly frequently but with the 3/2 spelling which is the original spelling preceding the other by 100 years or so. Both are correct but prefer mine.

      1. Ooh that’s a wee bit tenuous but fair enough I suppose – pleased to say all of mine did yesterday albeit only about 200 yds. Ta.

      2. Aha, that makes sense, but Huntsman is right, not just a “wee bit”, it’s massively tenuous!

  11. A thoroughly enjoyable brain-teaser. South came to me first. Beefy synonym for 11a didn’t occur to me so it was a bung-in as was 6a precisely. Haven’t come across 25a before. Surely 8d is an adjectival description of vicar’s work rather than a stand-alone noun. TVM Jay(?) and the 2Kiwis (enjoy your fireside cosiness).

    1. 8d If you think there’s a grammatical discrepancy between the definition and the answer it’s always worth checking to see what the blogger has underlined as the definition. In this case 2Ks have underlined the last 3 words which are, indeed, an adjectival desription.

  12. Definitely a start with the Downs day for me but the usual enjoyment throughout

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  13. In some respects I can repeat my opening comment from last Wednesday – ‘A very enjoyable mid-week puzzle but Jay seems to be becoming ‘influenced’ by his Logman alter ego’ – 3.5*/4*.

    Standout favourite – 14a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  14. Dithered for a while over 6a and the apple variety was something of a guess but it all ‘came good in the end’. Thought our setter had upped the ante somewhat today but it was very enjoyable.
    Liked 13a & 20d but I’ll join others and award the gold to 14a.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – pleased to learn that I’m not alone in having an ‘urgent jobs to get done’ file!

      1. Can I recommend a ‘too hard’ file………often things sort themselves out in there all on their own. No good for stacking wood, I grant you, but I have found it useful.

  15. I started with the toughie today and would recommend it – fairly floughie for a Weds. Just started this one and so far so good, Thanks to JAYKK I will return as and when the difficulties arise.

  16. Sorry but I found this one full of ghastly clues such as 6a and 13a. Still don’t see the connection between 15d and an Apple.
    Needed the hints to explain 18a, 17d and especially 14a which I still can’t fathom.
    For me an unpleasant crossword saved from oblivion only by 24a. Not difficult if you ignore the crazy wordplay and just go for the definition.
    Def not my favourite!
    Thx for the hints

    1. Brian, just google 15dn!

      Excellent crossword. 11ac was a favourite for me but, yes, 14ac is brilliant. Brian you might look at 2Ks hint about a “lurker” and try again.

      Thanks to Jay and 2Ks

    2. B, 15d. The answer is a French word (commonly used in English, it’s listed in the BRB) meaning “beyond compare” and also the name of a type of russet apple. I read the clue as a DD.

      1. I was was more familiar with Sans Pareil (means the same thing) a locomotive rival to Stephenson’s Rocket in the Rainhill trials.

  17. An excellent Wednesday puzzle! Very good clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ll have to pick 14a as my favourite. 3*, 4*.

    *I was rather hoping for some interesting comments revealing what devices individuals use to remember the difference between 27a and its overhead counterpart.

    1. There is a tites/tights mnemonic that I find particularly unhelpful as, like my investments, they can go down as well as up.

    2. Interesting. I have heard the tights (tites) come down and mites go up one. My geography teacher at secondary school taught us: Stalactites hold on tight and stalagmites push up with all their might.

    3. The one I always hang onto is “tights hang down but mites grow up”. Enjoyed today’s puzzle v much.

    4. I’ve gone for intentionally not remembering them, as a point of principle. Once, looking round a cave with both, I suddenly realized it didn’t matter in the slightest: they’re pretty much always mentioned together — so you can say “Look at those stalagmites and stalactites!” without knowing which is which — and in my experience the only time it’s necessary to distinguish them is when somebody asks how to remember which way round they are, which makes bothering to do so somewhat circular.

      If my children ask, I’m just going to say they can use either word for either. Hopefully within a generation or so people will be freed from having to devote brain cells from memorizing this pointless distinction!

  18. Really enjoyed this one but thought a few of the clues a little iffy, particularly 6A & 13A.

    Redeemed by the excellent 14A.

    Many thanks to the setter and 2K.

  19. Great crossword (sorry Brian!).
    I did become a bit stuck and needed the Two Ks to help with 11a and 25a to get me back on track.
    I have always enjoyed the answer to 15d. Huntsman and others may have noticed the connection to Clifford T Ward.

    We had a lovely evening at Stamford Bridge as ‘my’ Chelsea walloped the mighty Juventus 4-0, and how joyous to return to a warm house, thanks to Andy from British Gas… but is our boiler nightmare over for the winter? It is like the dullest soap opera ever written.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Terry Reid – Terry Reid

    Thanks to Jay and The Two Ks.

    1. I remember Clifford T Ward from way back, the early 70s I’d guess. But had forgotten all about him till you just mentioned him. Can’t think of the connection to 15d, maybe a song lyric? You going to reveal to us?

      1. Jose – Clifford T Ward song ‘Wherewithal’
        “I wish I had the wherewithal
        To attract your attention.
        Wish I had the wherewithal
        To attract your attention.
        You are so nonpareil
        You introduce a new elation in my life”

        1. Thank you, T (and RD, above). Crikey, with you two and Huntsman at #12, we’ve got some real song lyric experts on here! OK, try this – and no Googling/cheating! Which song opens with:

          Wheel gull spin and glide
          You’ve got no place to hide
          ’cause you don’t need one

          1. Very late replying. I’m no expert really but do know this one because it’s on 4 Way Street (great version of Southern Man),one of my favourite live albums – The Lee Shore.
            With Hey ho it’s on the sleeve of a Claire Teal (great singer) cover of the song.

  20. I go with the crowd for 14a as COTD, brought a chuckle. Disappointed to have to bung in 19d and rely on 2 Kiwis for the parse. There were a couple of answers I would not like to have to spell IRL but dropped in nicely with the checkers, 1a & 15d
    Thank you setter for the smiles

  21. Jay in not so benevolent mood so I struggled as usual. 9 All came good in the end with 15d my LOI.
    Enjoyable satisfying test, *** time **** enjoyment.
    Like many others 14a my COTD for its novel construction.
    Though our overseas solvers may well be unfamiliar with 3d.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks.

      1. Yes, LrOK, I failed on that, but I did know it from school. I hang my head in shame, I should have remembered it, or at least spotted the anagram, that may have nudged my memory.

  22. Really enjoyed today’s offering though I thought when I started and hardly made an impression on the across clues that it was going to be very difficult but the downs were brilliant 😃 **/**** Favourites 1a,20a and 20d 👍 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  23. A DNF here as I haven’t heard 15a used in English. Otherwise **/***.

    14a gets my vote for COTD – now that it has been explained!

    Had my booster today, no side effects so far.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  24. I’m almost in the Brian camp today. It was a**/***
    However, I’ve never heard of the apple. I didn’t parse14a, and why put “taking” as the first word.
    2d was a new word. 6a makes no sense. 13a first synonym is odd in my book. Is”n” a variable in 4d, I always thought they were X, Y, and z. 19d was clever. Grump over. Fairly easy but flawed.

  25. So far this week, we’ve been expected to know the Latin name of a hymn, a tourist attraction in Canada, the Latin name of a flower and an uncommon species of apple! Even if they were “fairly clued”, it inevitably requires too much guesswork to be enjoyable. And don’t get me started on obscure definitions…

  26. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. ***/**** I’ll buck the trend and nominate 12a as my favourite. I’ve driven through the place on numerous occasions en route to Enschede where most of my Dutch relations live and the name always made me smile. Thanks to all.

  27. Brilliant all round. If there was one not up to that very high mark I would say 8d but that is a minor criticism. I did not know the spoke but the word was easy to get from the checkers. I just looked up if it also is an apple. Couldn’t remember the first word of 3d. Solved by writing the letters down and seeing what I had left. I agree with the majority on 14a but also loved a lot more including one of my favourite cities 12a which used yet another fool. Assisi did not fit!

  28. A great crossword but I did struggle somewhat. Never heard of the apple and I thought 21a had something to do with “unches” in crosswords. I agree that 14a was a superb clue but my personal choice for COTD is 1a.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    Went to my favourite town this morning – Whitby. Bought some mussels back and we are having them this evening. Hudson got thoroughly soaked in the sea.

      1. I don’t know why but a wet dog always smells to me like chocolate pudding. The mussels are safely stored in the fridge ready for the chef to cook a la mariniere (accents not working on iPad).

    1. Hi Steve! I took my mother to Whitby during the Long Vac (at Nottingham U) in 1972, and we had the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. Lovely place.

  29. A very enjoyable crossword for me today. The definition of 6a puzzled me for a while, but I,saw it eventually.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

    Glorious day here…..bright sunny and sharp just like the best November days should be.

  30. What a struggle. I’ve just finished but didn’t enjoy this one at all. Still, it filled in time whilst travelling. Thank you setter and 2ks.

  31. Not a particularly easy solve today. Jay is changing it seems. 3.5*/***
    Clues to like include 12a, 13a, 14a & 24a with winner 14a
    A couple of hmm’s for me in several clues. Just didn’t quite gel to me.

    Thanks to the 3 birds

  32. Morning all.
    Pleased to see that most people appreciated 14a as much as we did.
    Breakfast time soon for us and then back to the firewood stacking. One of the things that makes the job urgent is that we can’t get the car out of the garage until the wood is moved and there’s an eye clinic appointment tomorrow.

    1. Nothing like a bit of pressure to make us get a move on, 2Ks! Hope the clinic appointment goes smoothly.

  33. Thoroughly enjoyed this and also will give 14a COTD, mainly because although I had the correct answer I couldn’t see why. I am being driven mad by someone repeatedly calling from 01202 numbers and trying to flog stuff. I keep blocking the number but they change the last two digits so I hope they run out of numbers eventually. Put it on answerphone and they rang off. Anyway thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

  34. Many thanks to the 2Kiwis for a super review, and to all for your comments. Delighted that most of you enjoyed it, and to those who didn’t enjoy it – sorry that it’s impossible to please all of the people all of the time!

    1. “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

      I wonder if Brian has finally solved 14a?

      Thanks, Jay, for a great puzzle!

      1. Half of the people can be part right all of the time
        Some of the people can be all right part of the time
        But all of the people can’t be all right all of the time
        I think Abraham Lincoln said that
        “I’ll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours”
        I said that
        Nobel Prize For Literature winner 2016

        1. I suppose I could look it up, but from the context I’m presuming that’s the year a certain singer-songwriter won the prize?

    2. Many thanks to you, Jay, for popping in and for having provided us with such splendid entertainment. Please keep them coming!

    1. Graham, as the 2Ks have written in their review this is a lurker with a difference. Normally the answer to a lurker is hidden in the clue, which will also contain some sort of indicator that you are looking for a lurker (e.g. “includes”).

      In 14a today, Jay has taken this idea one step further and included a lurker indicator (“hidden”) in the answer as well as in the clue (“may reveal”).

      Hope this makes sense!

  35. I guess I’ll have to put my dunces cap on and sit in the corner, only managed 13 clues today, I won’t bore you with which ones they were. Ah well tomorrow’s another day. Thanks to all.

  36. Oops last comment vanished into the electronic ether. To summarise;
    That was a bit harder than the toughie but with help from 2K’s I got there in the end.
    14a we have seen a similar semi lurker before but still a satisfactory clunk when the penny dropped.
    Like the 2K’s 6a took a good coat of looking at before the definition came to mind.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  37. It’s no secret I’m a Jay fan and he didn’t disappoint today. I missed 3d, I’ll just gloss over that. My Dad always did the Telegraph cryptic at lunch and he’d help me understand it. One day he had a clue that he didn’t know the answer but I did, it was 25a. I was so pleased that I’d helped him, I think that’s where my interest in cryptics began. Schoolgirl know-it-all. Clue 14a is so clever I have to choose that as fave, it’s brilliant, but 25a is getting an honourable mention.
    Thank you Jay, so clever, and 2Kiwis, as usual the NZ snapshots much appreciated.

  38. Happily I did surprisingly well for a Wednesday. Not a fan of 6a, which I put straight in but couldn’t see how it could fit, and strange way of spelling 13a. However, thought 14a was a splendid clue. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis.

  39. Late clocking in as today is the last day for the sprouts. I agree it was a lovely puzzle 14 and 16a favourites. Thanks to setter and kiwis. I shall never make smother sprout. Eat ten, yes.

  40. Re 27a: my high school French teacher taught us that “les stalagMites Montent, les stalagTites Tombent.”

  41. Last Wednesday I struggled, the previous one I didn’t, today i didn’t. Already commented on 13a, 6a iffy, not heard of the apple in 15d and 8d just about passes muster. Apart from that excellent. Favourite I’ll go with 4d thanks to Jay and 2 K’s.

  42. I started this after last night’s Gary Delaney gig, which was handy because he used the wordplay of 12a in a punchline. (“I met Victoria Beckham in a city in Belgium.” “Antwerp?” “No, he was playing football.”) Gary ended with a warning not to repeat his jokes in work, claiming somebody lost their job for doing so. Then on the way out I happened to bump into my boss, so I pointed out he could hardly claim he found the humour inappropriate.

    I suppose I’d better comment on the crossword as well, but it doesn’t add much to have yet another commenter with 14a and 20d as their favourites and who hadn’t heard of the apple. Apparently it has a bunch of other names, but I don’t recognize any of those either. And ‘poire’ is a stupid name for an apple.

    Thank you Jay for the enjoyment. Lots of clues where I filled in the answer from the crossing letters (sometimes electronically) then only worked out the wordplay retrospectively, but that’s the level I’m at and I found it fun. And thank you 2Kiwis for confirming 6a and a couple of others.

    In 1a, ‘ll’ can simply be the abbreviation for ‘lines’; it doesn’t have to be the repeated abbreviation for ‘line’.

    25a is the name of a wonderful album by the singer-songwriter Beccy Owen. But I’ve already used a link above for the apple names, so I’ll stick that in another comment.

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