DT 29847 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29847

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29847

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

This morning on our walk we encountered five families of Canada geese with all their goslings in tow. They must have been nesting somewhere up-river from us and decided to combine forces to have a joint picnic outing. Don’t recall having seen goslings here before.
Last week’s firewood is now all tidily stacked away ready for next winter.

All the usual Wednesday fun once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Sort of programme producing a comedy turn? (11)
DOCUMENTARY : An anagram (producing) of A COMEDY TURN.

9a     Look serious about good spring that produces life in pond (9)
FROGSPAWN : Look serious by furrowing one’s brow, contains G(ood) and a spring or well.

10a     Book detective showing bite for the most part (5)
MORSE : Remove the last letter from a bite or small portion.

11a     Drop off family item used at table (6)
NAPKIN : Drop off or go to sleep and then family or relations.

12a     Son in failing action on women’s panel (8)
WAINSCOT : Start with W(omen’s) and then an anagram (failing) of ACTION contains S(on).

13a     Photograph held back by police if lesions? (6)
SELFIE : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

15a     Spotted dress, oddly, and wept (8)
DESCRIED : The first, third and fifth letters of ‘dress’ and then wept or shed tears.

18a     Calling on Conservative behaving very humbly (8)
CRINGING : The single letter abbreviation for Conservative and then calling on the phone.

19a     Ditch or river full of fish? Quite the contrary (6)
TRENCH : A type of fresh water fish contains R(iver). ‘Quite the contrary’ tells us that it is the river inside the fish.

21a     Elderly Russian‘s bleat about President Kennedy initially (8)
BABUSHKA : The sound made by a sheep contains a US president (one of two to choose from) and the first letter of Kennedy.

23a     Agree to see hospital dept on a case of sinusitis (6)
ASSENT : ‘A’ from the clue and the first and last letters of sinusitis precede our usual hospital department.

26a     A way to incorporate business course (5)
ASCOT : The two letter abbreviation for company (business) is inside ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for street.

27a     Flyer parking free in great convertible (9)
PARTRIDGE : Start with the letter indicating parking, then an anagram (convertible) of GREAT contains free or eradicate.

28a     Hell — could be clear the girl’s promise crosses line (11)
NETHERWORLD : Clear in reference to financial return, then a female personal pronoun followed by a promise or pledge that contains L(ine).


1d     Fixes penalties underpinning limits of divergence (7)
DEFINES : The first and last letters of divergence and then monetary penalties.

2d     Condition experienced by just over half of casino workers? (5)
CROUP : The first five letters of an occupational title of people who work at casino tables.

3d     Doubt Mike is generous (9)
MISGIVING : The letter represented by Mike in radio communication, then ‘IS’ from the clue and a synonym for generous.

4d     Patriarch showing evident lack of surprise? (4)
NOAH : Split 2,2 we have a negation and an exclamation of surprise.

5d     Made tough new deal under queen (8)
ANNEALED : An early 18th century queen is followed by an anagram (new) of DEAL.

6d     State needing sycophants with no end of eagerness (5)
YEMEN : Sycophants or males very willing to agree lose the last letter of ‘eagerness’ from within their title.

7d     Made a fuss and responded, promoting head of chambers (7)
CREATED : Start with a word meaning responded and move its fourth letter (which is the first letter of chambers) to the beginning.

8d     Lie about Republican producing conflict (8)
FRICTION : A lie or untruth contains R(epublican).

14d     Relaxed youth should keep one stern (4,4)
LAID BACK : A young man contains Roman numeral one and then the part of a boat referred to as the stern.

16d     County’s team must see requirement for bottle? (9)
CORKSCREW : An Irish county with the ‘S and then a team, possibly of rowers.

17d     State of turmoil may see king wearing fancy panties (5-3)
SNAKE-PIT : An anagram (fancy) of PANTIES contains the chess notation for king.

18d     Leaves a couple of books impounded? (7)
CABBAGE : ‘A’ from the clue and the repeated abbreviation for book are inside a structure which might might impound.

20d     Match needs this from striker — an impetuous type! (7)
HOTHEAD : Don’t worry, it’s not a football clue. ‘Lucifers’ or ‘vestas’ are involved here.

22d     Attack head of secondary school (3,2)
SET ON : The first letter of secondary and then the world’s most famous toff school.

24d     Duck (down under it as cover) (5)
EIDER : When the word ‘down’ is added to the answer we find a bed cover.

25d     Couple caught out Bank of Scotland (4)
BRAE : A word for couple, often associated with game birds loses the cricket abbreviation for caught.

Our favourite today is 18d but we also liked the surface reading of 17d.

Quickie pun     core    +    tack    +    hold    =    caught a cold

89 comments on “DT 29847

  1. What a super puzzle. The clues were clever and precise and I had stars by no less than ten including 9a, 11a, 21a and 4d but the one that takes the top spot for me was 6d.

    Grateful thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the fun and to the 2Kiwis for the hints.

    The Quickie pun raised a smile especially as I have.

    1. Forgive my density – I have just rattled through the quickie but no matter how quickly I say the pun I can’t make sense of it Steve……

  2. I thought this felt tough from the off and it proved to be so at the ranking awarded by our antipodean friends. It was 18d that pushed me well into *** time and although I got the answer as it had 2 “b”’s in it and was the only word that fitted I needed the hints to fully understand it. Lots of good devious anagrams and my three favourite clues were 21a and 16d and 4d. 16d wins as COTD. A new word for me at 5d but solvable. With thanks to the setter.

  3. 2*/4*. Good fun as usual on a Wednesday with a nod to Kath in 10a.

    Unless I’m missing something the surface of 13a seems nonsensical.

    18d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to, presumably, Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. I’m no expert, but a nonsensical surface is my first hint that it is either an anagram or a lurker. If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t meant to.

      1. Well said, BL! That’s a more surreal justification for a clue than even I could come up with.

        I mean, these setters a have got better things to do than sit around all day trying to write perfect clues! :-)

    2. The sentence would make more sense if a word like “present” were added to the end…

  4. A little tricky but great fun.
    Yesterday I guessed the setter as NYDN and I’d be prepared to repeat that today.
    In a very strong field my ticks go to 4,6&7d with 21a (anyone else think Kate Bush?) just getting top spot. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  5. A terrific puzzle for a blustery Wednesday morning, full of excellent and concise clues. So difficult to pick a winner, but 17d just takes the honours.

    Thanks, I assume to Jay as he hasn’t set the Toughie today (also good fun and accessible), and to the 2Ks. Off to Birmingham shortly for a CBSO concert at Symphony Hall.

  6. Definitely a ‘start with the Downs’ day which makes me think it has to be Jay.

    Lots to enjoy so thank you to him and the 2Ks

  7. As enjoyable as ever for a Wednesday puzzle but I am not sure that this is a Jay, if it is then his Toughie alter ego seems to have set it with him – 3.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 21a, 26a, and 16d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and the 2Ks.

    P.S. It is not unusual for Canada Geese families to combine together, indeed some parents appear to abandon their responsibilities altogether. A typical brood is 5 to 7 goslings and there are 40 +/- goslings and 4 adults in line astern here so there are definitely some parents ‘missing.’
    (One of my own photos from a few years ago).

  8. Great entertainment. ***/**** Jay or not and I’m not sure. 12a held me up a bit as I was thinking more along the lines of panel as a committee rather than wall cladding. 4d made me smile and my favourite is 16d. I mentally ran through most English counties before that one dawned. Thanks to all.

  9. Agree with the oft honourably mentioned. Super puzzle. The NW went straight in & thought it was going to over very quickly but a couple of head scratchers on the LHS extended the solve into ** time. Ticks all over the shop but if pushed I’d pick 9&21a plus 17,18&20d as my picks from a fine assortment.
    Thanks to the setter (my dosh is on Jay) & to the 2Ks

  10. All the expected fun from Mr Wednesday producing plenty of front-runners although 4d made me laugh the most so gets my vote for today.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review – most impressed that you’ve dealt with the log pile!

  11. What a difference a day makes, this was eminently solvable and fun to boot. South yielded more readily than the North. IMHO 18d only just holds water. Two little Favs Are 4d and 22d. Liked the Quickie pun! Thank you to whomever the setter may be and also to the 2Ks.

    1. I swung from being puzzled by the otherwise obvious answer to 18d, to being impressed by its simplicity. Two books in a cage: a visual presentation which threw me, with my grammatical eyes instead searching for a match between the verb ‘cage’ and ‘impounded’. The question mark means the slightly stretched definition can be acceptable. I shall sleep easy in my bed tonight. Gosh, we solvers are such worriers, aren’t we?

        1. Where on earth do you find words like “eroteme”? Hopefully filed away, it’s bound to turn up in a crossword soon.

  12. What a terrific puzzle! I loved every morsel of it, beginning with 4,6,7d and including 21a (don’t know the Kate Bush connection, though) and 17d. 25d was my LOI. I thought it felt like Jay early on, though 13a made me wonder. Thanks to the Kiwis and to today’s wonderful setter. 2.5* / 5*

    Did anyone else think of Kath with 10a in mind? Hi, Kath!

  13. Enjoyable and good fun while it lasted. Pretty straightforward with generally smooth surfaces (except 13a) and plenty of humour.

    Picks of the day for me were 19a and 4d, with 18d and 28a the runners-up.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter (it feels Jay-ish) and to the 2Ks.

  14. Very enjoyable with lots of clever clues with my top two being 21a and 6d. What is wrong with 13a’s surface? (basically, I have never really understood what ‘surface’ means)

      1. If you said the clue out loud to somebody, would they have the foggiest idea what you were on about? The surface reading is the way the clue reads as a sensible sentence

        1. It should also be grammatically correct, which 13a is not. Having said that, I can’t think of a suitable alternative.

              1. Right – I see. I should have still kept to the reverse lurker theme. Yours does work better.

        2. If you approached a stranger in the street and said: “State of turmoil may see king wearing fancy panties”, they wouldn’t have a clue what you were on about and would probably, and justifiably, think you were off your rocker! :-)

          1. I find most people think I am off my rocker if I mention that I like doing cryptics 😊.

          2. Ha! Whereas if one said to the same stranger, “State of turmoil may see Prime Minister wearing fancy panties”, they would probably reply along the lines of “Nothing he could do would surprise me in the least!”

        3. I find my people think you are off your rocker if you say you like solving cryptics 😊.

        4. If I read the clues out loud to anybody, as I did on occasion to my late husband, very few people including him would have no idea what I was on about. However, he famously solved that ingenious anagram about West Ham United! Quite a lot of the surfaces make little sense to me half a century on. But thank you.

  15. A great Wednesday puzzle from Jay as always. The Quickie Pun raised a smile too. In Oswaldtwistle at the moment. Saint Sharon has promised to take me to see the Blackpool Illuminations if I behave myself in Ossie Mills. Thanks to everyone involved today.

      1. Oswaldtwistle Mills Home & Lifestyle Centre in Lancashire has something to amaze, charm and intrigue visitors of all ages. The former Weaving Mill has over 100 retailers all under one roof, 4 Restaurants, gardens, Fashion, Giftware, Food Court and much more.

        I guess Saint Sharon is doing some Christmas shopping

          1. We used to meet Sister Bee there for Christmas shopping, it is a sort of halfway house for her family and our side. there and Preston anyway. I haven’t been for a few years as Mama Bee isn’t up to a Mega shopping trip.

  16. Oh I enjoyed this one! I found I had very few ‘chuck ’em ins’ but each answer helped me towards the next. I had not heard of 5d but it had to be what it was from the clue.

    It is getting quite chilly outside now and as we walked around the woodland outside Shere on Monday, I was reminded of, ‘The woods are lovely dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.’ and I felt quite at peace with the world.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: (in honour of 21a) Kate Bush – Never For Ever.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks (good work with the firewood!)

    1. I’d only heard of 5d in the context of something like gravy annealing, when it goes cold and hardens, which I’d hardly call “tough”. I suppose you could stretch it a bit.

    2. ‘My little horse must think it queer / To stop without a farmhouse near / Between the woods and frozen lake / The darkest evening of the year.’

  17. Another that took me into overtime, relieved that 2K’s rated it tougher than average.
    Lots to like with my LOI, 21a, getting COTD.
    Like Robert 10a brought Kath to mind. Hope the 2Ks illustration brought a smile.
    Thanks to setter and the 2Ks for the review.

  18. This one was right up my street. Not too tricky but asks questions. Although I know it’s an old chestnut but I did love 4d.
    16d and 20d get a MiD from me. Needed the hints to fully explain 27a and learned a new word in 15a.Very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  19. Really enjoyed this well clued puzzle, especially the SW quadrant. favourate was 21a-thanks to Kate! liked the leaves in18d and the 9a charade
    Remembered 12a ,not seen it in crosswords for a while.
    Going for a ***/****

  20. Marvellous Jay (?) on top form today and I agree with Brian …4d is a cracker. 5d is new to me – thanks to 2Ks and hope your wood stacking is good enough to avoid collapse later on

  21. A very enjoyable puzzle today which I solved unaided.
    Was not familiar with 17d but it had to be what it was.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  22. Everyone has said it by now, super puzzle – even Brian liked it. So many stars I cannot possibly bore you with listing them all but I did think 21a was nicely misleading. Many thanks to Jay if it is he and to the two Kiwis. I have put the flour etc in the bread machine and am now going to have a nap. No sleep last night and a heavy day tomorrow. But, Glory Be – I’ve just had a phone call from cardiology in Addenbrookes offering me an appointment on Friday afternoon. Hurrah. I’ve got to juggle an appointment but not going to miss this having waited over a year! Love to the Morse lover.

  23. Great puzzle, Great blog, Thanks to all concerned. Now I have to be in 2 different places to get Mama Bee and Myself our Flu jabs. I am not sure why over 65’s have to have a different Flu jab but the hoops you have to go through are onerous.

  24. I’m a bit late today – have been watching the goal highlights from England Women v Latvia and, for some reason, it took longer than usual. This was a nice Wednesday puzzle with very pleasing clues giving an enjoyable solve. I have ticked a few but will mention 6d and 18d. 2.5*, 3.5*.

    *13a, the surface. As others have said, the surface does appear a little odd. You probably wouldn’t hear it said down at the Purist’s Arms, certainly not as an isolated one-off statement. But isn’t it quite easy to imagine/invent a very specific situation/context where someone might say that using everyday, informal language? I can, and if you can’t – your not imagining hard enough! With a clue like this (especially with the ? at the end) you simply have to trust the setter or at least afford them a tad of latitude – like the editor, the reviewers, most commenters/solvers (and me) apparently have done.

  25. Nice solvable crossword with lots of clever witty clues 🤗 Held up in the SW for a while and 28a was new to me🤔 ***/**** Favourites 3d, 6d and 16d Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay 👍

  26. Morning all.
    We did ponder about the surface reading of 13a. Some conjecture that it might have been a last minute editorial change to a more PC final word than was originally intended. However it did not detract from our enjoyment of the puzzle.

  27. Another tricky puzzle again for Wednesday that did not feel like a Jay to me, but I am no expert. 3.5*/*** for me today. Some quite obscure clues that caused some head scratching.
    Favourites today include 10a, 12a, 3d, 16d & 20d with winner 20d
    13a was a tricky lurker I thought.
    Lots to like, but many required mind stretching.

    Thanks to setter (not Jay?)and 2k’s

  28. Doubt this was a Jay, as I did very well today, but I could be wrong. 15a and 5d were new to me, and I hadn’t heard of the 19a fish. When I asked Peter about 5d, he said “Oh yes, when I was an apprentice at Ferranti I had to sometimes anneal stuff”, in a ‘how could you not know?’ voice. Strangely, in my previous life as an Exexutive Assistanf it was not something I ever did. COTD for me was 9a. Another very enjoyable puzzle, made even more gratifying by its difficulty rating. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis. I do so envy you your morning walks. And the thought of a log fire.

    1. Brenton the silver worker on “The Repair Shop” (A favourite TV prog of Mama Bee and I) is always annealing silver things before he hits them with his little hammer. Some metals go very brittle with age and annealing helps restore the bendability.

      1. John
        Anneal is in fact a contranym
        It can mean “toughen” for some materials or with steels or silver “soften” to get rid of the effects of work hardening to make further working easier as you said. Not often I need my metallurgy these days. (Not modern enough to be a Materials Scientist!)

        1. I’m glad you said that. I always thought it was more of a softening process but then my knowledge of all things metallurgical is less than zero.

  29. I love my Jay, though I agree, a little tricky getting a start, but there were enough that I solved to get the crossers going. I needed e-help for only one, 7d, thanks Kiwis for explaining that. I’m having a huge problem deciding on a fave, but I think 21a might be it, what a lovely word? 6d gets a mention for its smileability.
    Thank you Jay (?, I don’t doubt you but others do) for so much fun, and thanks to the Kiwis for more snapshots of your area, love them.

  30. 2/4. Another really good Wednesday puzzle. My favourite by a short head was 21a. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  31. Fairly straightforward but 15a a new word for me. Favourite was 21a as I just happened to know the meaning, unusual for me with foreign words. Thanks to the setter (Jay?) and 2K’s.

  32. Well I did a lot better than yesterday’s miserable effort, only needed the hints for 18 and 25 down. Can’t say I found the rest easy but it was enjoyable. I knew 5d from a 2 week blacksmiths course I did many years ago.Thanks to all.

  33. 18d was my last one in and least favourite. 21a could have been first in as quickly sprang to mind. However I was delayed by the spelling. I thought it was all round excellent. Congratulations to Jay and thanks to 2Ks. Hints not needed but always good to check

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