DT 29853 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29853

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29853

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

So much for the approaching summer that we have been talking about. The last several days have been very wet with temperatures several degrees lower than we expect at this time of the year. Just hope that it doesn’t stick around to upset people’s Christmas holiday plans.

As Logman is the setter for today’s Toughie we can be pretty sure that this one is not by Jay so feel free to play ‘Guess the setter’.

We enjoyed the solve.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


6a     Noted literati possibly all set to go? (6-7)
TOILET-TRAINED : An anagram (possibly) of NOTED LITERATI.

8a    Sign Schäfer uses confused mutual (6)
UMLAUT : An anagram (confused) of MUTUAL.

9a     Blooming apple drink said to be no favourite (8)
OUTSIDER : A three letter word meaning blooming or open, then a homophone of a fermented apple drink.

10a     Prepare to shoot for goal (3)
AIM : A double definition.

11a     On stage in temporary role? (6)
ACTING : Another double definition.

12a     Where to take off and dry sports kit (8)
AIRSTRIP : Dry as the final stage of drying clothes, then another word for sports clothing.

14a     Touchy-feely part before news article? (7)
ANTENNA : A prefix meaning ‘before’, then the repeated abbreviation for new and the indefinite article.

16a     Gigantic mummy, creature of the night (7)
MAMMOTH : A dialectal familiar term for mother and then a night-flying insect.

20a     Judge initially joining outside court’s meeting place (8)
JUNCTION : the first letter of judge, then a word meaning joining contains the two letter abbreviation for court.

23a     Cloud over boat moored in shelter (6)
DARKEN : A boat we associate with Noah is inside a shelter where an animal might be found.

24a     Female on farm uses pitcher mostly (3)
EWE : Remove the last letter from a pitcher or water jug.

25a     Remote is broken — it’s annoying (8)
TIRESOME : An anagram (broken) of REMOTE IS.

26a     Right to replace 50 among soldiers in sector (6)
REGION : Start with a group of Roman soldiers and replace the Roman numeral 50 with R(ight).

27a     Endlessly daring language rattled protective figure (8,5)
GUARDIAN ANGEL : An anagram (rattled) of DARIN(g) LANGUAGE with the last letter of daring removed.


1d     Boxer Muhammad’s breaking excellent clinch (8)
FINALISE : The other name of boxer Muhammad with his ‘S, is inside excellent or very acceptable.

2d     Figure given by Defense Department (8)
PENTAGON : This Defense Department is on the other side of the Atlantic.

3d     Turk, outrageous female removing top (7)
OTTOMAN : The three letter text-speak ‘outrageous’ and then a female person without her first letter.

4d     Lay into cricketer (6)
BATTER : A double definition. Lay into or assault violently.

5d     Silent when moving? Join commandos, perhaps (6)
ENLIST : An anagram (when moving) of SILENT.

6d     Taking forever, having seconds at dinner? (4-9)
TIME-CONSUMING : What seconds (or even minutes) are a measure of and the activity one is performing when at dinner.

7d     When shot, do they lie down? That’s confirmed (4-2-3-4)
DYED-IN-THE-WOOL : An anagram (when shot) of DO THEY LIE DOWN.

13d     Tot in poor area beginning to lose out (3)
SUM : Start with a poor urban area and remove the first letter of lose from within it.

15d     Egg container overturned (3)
NIT : The reversal of a container that might hold baked beans.

17d     Tree feller an elected council member (8)
ALDERMAN : A tree related to the birches and then a feller or chap.

18d     Tense silence during increased security (8)
MORTGAGE : A four letter word meaning increased contains T(ense) and silence by blocking the mouth.

19d     Bone in neck ape fractured (7)
KNEECAP : An anagram (fractured) of NECK APE.

21d     Greek sailors dropping with effect of sun’s rays (6)
CRETAN : Remove W(ith) from a group of sailors and then the effect the sun’s rays have on the skin.

22d     Princess is getting on plane at last (6)
ISOLDE : String together ‘IS’ from the clue, then a word meaning ‘getting on’ and the last letter of plane.

Quickie pun    banned    +    lieder    =    band leader

73 comments on “DT 29853

  1. With just four answers completed after my first pass, I was thinking of declaring an early DNF, but with the wind howling outside, I decided to press on. I didn’t even succumb to the temptation of electrons for the anagrams and ended up sprinting over the finish line in *** time. My only real hold up was that I had managed to get 15d the wrong way around, so the SW was the last to fall.

    I assumed the spelling of Defense in 2d was an American indication.

    Many thanks to the setter and the @ Ks.

  2. A bit of a head scratcher but certainly a very high quality puzzle.
    8a&22d new to me but obtainable from the checkers and wordplay, and although the answer was obvious at 14a I struggled to justify what appeared to be an extra N but I understand it now.
    My page is absolutely littered with ticks, 9,20&23a plus 1,7,18&21d, the latter two fighting for first place.
    Many thanks to the setter (I would have said Jay were his alter ego not in the middle pages) and the 2Ks for the entertainment on a stunning South Devon morning.

  3. An enjoyable solve although I didn’t find it as difficult as our previous two commenters

    I’ve an idea about the setter but will wait and see if they arrive to claim ownership. Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

  4. A gem of a puzzle this morning with some terrific and concise clueing, foremost among which was 18d. 7d was also a well-structured anagram.

    Thanks to our Wednesday setter and the 2Ks.

  5. Not an easy puzzle this and top end ***/*** for me. Took me a while to spot that 7d was an anagram and that unlocked the east with the north west holding out longest due to my lack of German although my GK just allowed 8a to fall. 9a was my COTD in this tortuous affair. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and the setter.

  6. Very confusing. The iPad edition has a completely different 6a clue, making me think I had come to the wrong place! ” in France you and Latvian showered (6-7)” which I make to be French for “you and” around abbreviation for Latvian, followed by synonym of precipitated.

    1. 6a: “In France you” is first three letters, the next 4 letters are an (obscure?) term for “Latvian” – very nice, but it was the version explained by 2Kiwis that I solved and put at top of podium!

    2. You’re right Graham but the parsing is the French for you, a four letter Latvian then a synonym of showered. Yours is near but it doesn’t work.

      1. Same experience for me on 6a, as I solve on the iPad. The clue from the paper version is far superior, IMO.
        I really enjoyed the puzzle. Many thanks to our mystery setter and the Two Kiwis.

      2. My iPad version had the same clue as the kiwis and I understood it in the same way as you. There’s hope for me yet.

  7. Thanks 2Kiwis and setter, I thought this was fabulous. 6a and 6d favourites but really excellent throughout. I’m not yet familiar enough with Telegraph setters to guess the identity, but did notice all clues were 8 words or less (no mean feat given the quality of the surfaces) – is there anything to be read into that?

  8. Thought the grid was very unfriendly, at least that is my excuse for a **** time.
    Fairly clued though giving an enjoyable and satisfying solve just took a tad too long.
    17d my COTD.
    Thank you setter & the 2K’s.

  9. A curate’s egg on a non-Jay Wednesday – ***/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, and 2d – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  10. As we hadn’t seen the list of this week’s Toughie setters, I didn’t know who had set today’s so I blissfully assumed that this back-pager had been set by Jay. After a considerable amount of time I was still staring at a virtually empty grid and turned to the Toughie page in the paper to find that Jay’s alter ego was on parade there, meaning it was unlikely that he had compiled the back-pager too.

    Eventually I managed to get on the right wavelength and everything began to fall into place and, although I enjoyed it a lot, it was very definitely a Toughie standard puzzle. My rating is 5*/4*.

    Many thanks to the mystery setter – a bit more gentle next time please – and to the 2Ks.

  11. In retrospect this took me longer than I think it should have done, with the last 7 or so in the W taking as long as the other 21. I could not entirely parse my answer for 14a and kicked myself on seeing the 2Ks’ review: two x new … of course … good red herring. With an extremely (over?) generous dollop of anagrams (fully 1 in 4 clues) and some lovely tight and concise cluing, this was an enjoyable brain-teaser of a puzzle.

    I had ticks afterwards for 10a, 16a, 23a, 17d, 18d and 22d, and my COTD goes to 21d – lovely smooth surface and a broad smile on writing-in the answer.

    3* / 3*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    1. My experience too, although once 6d’s penny dropped the western front slowly yielded.
      LOI 1d
      An enjoyable stretch today

  12. What a super week so far for the backpager, with each day slightly topping the one before for me, and each one a corker in its own right. I doubted that this was Jay early on because the grid didn’t seem Jayish, especially with all the long answers (does that make sense?), but that didn’t detract from the total pleasure throughout. Highlights for me: 22d (my favourite princess in my favourite opera), 18d, 11a, 16a, 21d. Thanks to the Kiwis and today’s setter. 2* / 4.5*

    Joyously finished the Logman Toughie last night–all on my own!

  13. A very pleasing Wednesday puzzle, a bit more difficult than the average mid week offering (which is fine by me). Good clues, a toughish challenge and a very enjoyable/satisfying tussle. I have ticked a few and will pick 21d as my favourite. 3.5*, 4.5* – very nearly 4*, 4.5*.

    *This took at least twice as long to solve than an average Monday puzzle (say), which for me is a good thing – twice as much puzzling, head-scratching and enjoyment. And more of a sense of achievement when completed, too.

  14. Solved this around breakfast time and don’t recall it feeling overly difficult – maybe I was just on the setter’s wavelength.
    Liked the four long ‘uns and think my favourite was 9a.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review. Sorry to hear that your weather has deteriorated but at least I don’t feel quite so bad about sitting here in the gloom with the wind and rain continuing from Storm Barra!

  15. I found this tricky but great fun to work through.

    Last night we drove to Soho to my London club as H was attending a wreath making workshop (her masterpiece is shown here). It was our first visit of the year; London was very quiet, and for the first time in living memory we were able to park in Soho Square.

    Thanks to the setter and of course, the 2Ks.

    1. Here’s the stairwell with a Christmas tree. I thought it had all been done rather splendidly.

    2. Oh Terence, happy memories of Soho Square. My father had an office in Soho and always parked there. Mummy would take us up on a Saturday morning shopping in Regent Street then Daddy would take us to lunch at Sheekeys or Veraswamy. Later on my first job was at British Picture Association in the corner of the square. Those were the days. Congratulations to Mrs T on her wreath!

      1. I lived at 21 Buckingham Street when I lived in London, not far from Soho, just a hop, skip and a jump!

      2. Oh Daisy Girl just seen your comment about Sheekeys. I visited the restaurant for the first time in the mid-1980’s and Sir John Mills was there with his wife and daughter, Hayley. An
        enjoyable meal and memorable occasion.

  16. I solved the Toughie first this morning and what a delight it was. I solved this slightly later and bingo, also a great joy. Double Bubble Wednesday. Excellent clueing all round. Thanks to today’s setter and thanks to the 2Ks for the review

  17. Abso-bloomin-lutely brilliant. What a cracker of a puzzle on a sunny but freezing Cambridge day. 6a made me laugh out loud when the penny dropped but there are so many stars the whole thing was twinkling. Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis for explaining the plural of news in 14a, I could not justify the two n’s. 8a made me remember Frau Schumann who made us learn endless mnemonics and for some reason Aus, bei, mit, nacht, zeit, von, zu, gegenuber comes to mind. Any German scholars out there remember what was special about them? Good Lord, that was a hundred years ago and it is right there but I still have not mastered my mobile phone number!

    1. I can’t remember my mobile either or anyone’s home number as they are all in the phone’s memory.

  18. A much easier puzzle today for me today than I find most Wednesdays. Jay or not…hmmm.
    Found this a 2*/4* today. Managed to get the four long perimeter clues quickly that really helped with some of the other clues connected.
    Candidates for favourites include 8a, 12a,1d, 2d & 18d with 8a winner.
    Many made me smile like 6a, 9a, 14a,16a, 2d & 22d
    A good puzzle today.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  19. Quickly on wavelength with this one working from the bottom up. Not realising Jay was on Toughie duty I assumed it was his after the letter sub clue at 26a but had second thoughts as the solve progressed. All over in 1.5* time & it would have been quicker had there not been a bit of head scratching working out where to slot the 3 (well 2 really) remaining letters of the 8a anagram not being familiar with the word. I thought it a super puzzle. 9a & 22d were my joint picks.
    Thanks to the setter & the 2Ks
    Ps so glad we managed to get away from the horrid sounding UK weather to the apparently unseasonably warm Orlando sunshine. We were beginning to stress about the revised requirement to get a lateral flow test prior to boarding upon return but have managed to book a slot & get a PCR one once back. Once you factor in health insurance & 3 tests it certainly adds a few shekels to the cost of escape but well worth it. Costing a fortune in golf balls mind….

  20. For the second time that I remember, my brain and finger became disconnected when answering 7d, and I had a death in the fleece. 🤔😡😂 One good thing about the app version, is that you’re told the answer is incorrect.

    BTW, I don’t know what it’s like where you all live, but local to me the banks are not refilling the ATMs fast enough. I’ve been to five different ones today, and they all said “Insufficient funds”! 🤣

  21. A sparkling offering this morning. No idea who the setter might be but thanks very much. ***/**** Lots of anagrams which weren’t the easiest to tease out and the rest were well constructed. By that I mean it’s possible to work out the why and wherefore with no hmms. Favourite 8a. Thanks to all.

  22. At first read through only managed one but it all came together quite nicely in the end. The cottage company who rented us this cottage in Aldeburgh for the week left us a goodie bag. There was some Pump Street chocolate which was delicious and we saw it was produced at Orford not far away so we decided to drive there and buy some more. Well we did buy a couple of packets at 6 pounds for 70 grams – wow expensive but heaven because it is slightly salty and I don’t have a sweet tooth. What a treat. Now to try the Toughie. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

  23. Come back Jay, all is forgiven. Definitely a DNF for me today. Got a handful on my own, and then succumbed to the picture clues. Would never have arrived at most of the answers. Way off wavelength/pay grade. Only have limited sitting down time due to pinched nerve, so need to give up on this one. Well done 2Kiwis and all who solved.

  24. Laboured start but made it in the end with NW holding out longest. A bit heavy on the anagram side. Misread 23a but nevertheless solved it as a bung-in as was the case stupidly with 21d. Favs 6a, 6d and 22d. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Ks

  25. Hells bells that was tough to parse today. Finished despite the awful clue with Latvians but needed the excellent hints to parse
    3d, 6d, 20a, 27a, 22d, 21d and 18d.On the plus side I did like 12a, 16a and 26a. Not helped by the tricky grid.
    Too quirky for my liking and low on the enjoyment scale.
    Thx for the hints

  26. Brilliant crossword but so 6d 😳 ****/***** So many clever and amusing clues 15d had me confused but I admit I obviously was one 😬 Favourites 6a, 23a and 22d 😃 I loved the way we directed to the US of A in 2d how in 8a the answer was staring us in the face. Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to the Setter

  27. Morning all.
    I was hoping that by the time I got out of bed there would have been a comment from the setter admitting ownership. Looks like that hasn’t happened yet so no option but to make a guess although not a very confident one. Suspect it is NY Doorknob, but could be wrong. Not that it matters as we thought it a thoroughly enjoyable solving and blogging experience.

  28. A very good puzzle, thank you setter. The parsing of 14a took some doing – thanks to 2Ks for explaining the news bit!

  29. Blimey, that was hard, needing copious e-help, even going in for a hint at 18d to get me going again in the SE. Thank goodness for anagrams, natch I used e-help to solve a couple when lost. I have to admit to huge enjoyment, so many aha moments. I wonder who the setter is? We’ve had 8a before, and I found some in the north downs quite friendly, the Turk in particular. I always forget the council member, it reminds me of A.A.Milne’s cow, “the dairymaid she curtsied and went and told the Alderney” …and so on.
    To whomsoever set this, very clever and lots o’ laughs, hard work to solve but the rewards were great. Thank you 2Kiwis for unravelling so much for me.

  30. Managed to guess 6a in the ‘now able to use’
    version. Having seen the comments, I recall Lett being in Solzhenitsyn’s Day in the life of Ivan D, but didn’t realise then what it meant. It was about 50 years ago!

  31. I required hints today to explain my bung ins. Quite tricky in parts but enjoyable where I could parse the clues and I’m not sure I regard fine as a synonym of excellent. My favourite was 8a. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  32. Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. What a smashing puzzle! Took me a while, but was worth persevering. Was hoping to start with the four long clues, but couldn’t solve them at first. So managed to get a foothold with the three letter clues, and went on from there. I liked 1a and 2d, but my favourite was 14a. LOI was 1d. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  33. Oh what fun. Got there eventually. I was a bit mithered with the tablet version of 6a. I needed my Kiwi whanau”s help today. Cheers.

  34. Very late on parade because of meeting friends for lunch at the Hanley Swan in, of all places, Hanley Swan near Malvern.. A post lockdown get together that we all appreciated. Good food, good wine and ale together with good company. I’ll look at the crossword tomorrow but thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis in advance.

    1. Pity you did not want to do the crossword while you were in Hanley Swan. I’ve heard there’s a man living near the pub who knows a bit about cryptic crosswords and blogging.

  35. Well that was tough. I managed to finish but with an awful lot of reverse solving of bung-ins.
    Satisfying to finish, though.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  36. Good evening fellow friends. I’m a novice in this game so managed to access NE and SE of the puzzle. Couldn’t get any traction with the west. Will check answers now and probably kick myself but such is the learning curve.

  37. Well I found this harder than the toughie and as Ora says a lot of reverse engineering required. I thought 6a bit odd but not my last in by a country mile and I’ve never liked the cricket term in 4d. Favourite was 2d as I thought the s in defence was an adequate American indicator. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  38. I am in the that was ok until all of a sudden it wasn’t camp today. Some synonyms just wouldn’t come today but tomorrow is another day.
    I had the Noted literati for 6a and that was my favourite today, I am not sure it would have been solved or put on the podium if I had to remember obscure Latvians.
    Thanks to the 2Ks and setter I will take the toughie up to the bath.

  39. Late on parade as well here in Brisbane. It’s a beautiful summer’s day here so we’ll get the best part of a days play in. Thunderstorms are forecast from 1500 but it will be luck of the draw if they pass over the Gabba. To the grid…excellent offering and a puzzle of two halves. I raced through the east but ran into the speed bumps in the west. Thanks to the Bangalore King to bounce ideas off. 6a was my COTD. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks got the extras. Standing by for the Thursday Maestro in a few hours🦇

  40. Even later on parade! Wow that was tough. Eventually squeezed out all but the Greek island. Thanks for the hint Kiwis.
    6a came in as I recalled it from my favourite Cole Porter song.
    Lithuanian and Letts do it. Let’s do it…..

  41. I’m even later than Albert as only started at bedtime. It has all been said really. It was excellent once I had a foothold. Of the long clues 6d was the last to succumb. Couldn’t bring the first word to mind. Last one in was 1d although I knew the boxer. I have put rings round 10 favourites so I’ll just give one – 2d. Very clever particularly with the clue in the spelling. I wish you had revealed yourself Setter although I did not recognise the style. Thanks 2Ks. Just needed the hint to understand 14a after I got it. It was just the double n that got me. I solve on paper so the German word was much easier than the Latvian. I was only held up as the sign on the paper did not stand out. Great.

  42. Really enjoyable, I hastily put vampire in 16A, for reasons I cannot now fathom, so it took me a while…
    Many thanks to the setter for giving the little grey cells a workout.

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