DT 29888 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29888

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29888

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our two cherry picking granddaughters start work early to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. As a consequence the first Wordle results appear on our family WhatsApp soon after 5am. Lots of others appear soon after. It looks like Wordle has taken over the entire English-speaking world. Certainly the ‘in’ thing in NZ at present.

We found this puzzle quite tricky in places with some rather complicated charades to sort out and then write hints for. Enjoyed it of course.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     The orator’s planned delivery may be affected by this (4,6)
SORE THROAT : An all-in-one clue. The included wordplay is an anagram (planned) of THE ORATORS.

6a     Part of church article intuition rejected (4)
APSE : The indefinite article, then the reversal of the three letters used for psychic knowledge.

9a     Fears spread about party hats (7)
FEDORAS : An anagram (spread) of FEARS contains the usual two letter party.

10a     Home study task oddly impresses (7)
INDENTS : The short word for ‘at home’, then study as a room and the first and third letters of task.

12a     Cold residue shows places where money is kept (4,9)
CASH REGISTERS : C(old), residue left by a fire, and then shows or records.

14a     Global warming will affect this — it is full of processed cheese (3,5)
ICE SHEET : ‘IT’ from the clue surrounds an anagram (processed) of CHEESE.

15a     What might come from mash being cold? (6)
BITTER : Mash here is something made in the production process of a company like Worthington’s.

17a     Cut out training with no sign of hesitation (6)
EXCISE : A word for training or physical activity has one of the two letter sounds made by someone hesitating removed.

19a     Rock the French after the Spanish one gets qualified (8)
ELIGIBLE : In the order they appear in the clue we have the Spanish definite article, Roman numeral one, the short form of the British Overseas Territory known as The Rock and finally the French definite article.

21a     Unwilling to bend, seeing a second fix on a London building succeeded (2,4,2,5)
AS HARD AS NAILS : Again, in the order they appear in the answer we have the second ‘A; from the clue, a tall London building, then the first ‘A’ from the clue, S(econd), ‘fix’ using a metal spike and finally S(ucceeded).

24a     Send back green oranges perhaps not one for fighting over ground (4,3)
TURF WAR : This wordplay is all reversed (send back). We have green or possibly uncooked and what oranges are an example of with the Roman numeral one removed.

25a     One without faith or time during a robbery (7)
ATHEIST : ‘A’ from the clue and a robbery or hold-up enclose T(ime).

26a     Not a quiet dish (4)
NOSH : A two letter word meaning ‘not a’ and then an instruction to be quiet.

27a     Parasite from death row condemned by Royal Marines (10)
THREADWORM : An anagram (condemned) of DEATH ROW and the initials for Royal Marines.


1d     Gentle, like this paper (4)
SOFT : A two letter word meaning ‘like this’ and then the pink paper.

2d     Criminal clear about detective getting origin of root (7)
RADICLE : An anagram (criminal) of CLEAR contains the abbreviation for a detective inspector.

3d     Puts pressure on staff underpinning rents thus adjusted (5,3,5)
TURNS THE SCREW : An anagram (adjusted) of RENTS THUS is followed by staff working on a ship perhaps.

4d     Forces on standby may get books (8)
RESERVES : A double definition. Books or holds for future use.

5d     A contact from Test and Trace taking off? (5)
APING : ‘A’ from the clue and the onomatopoeic word for a contact from Test and Trace.

7d     Strong chap depressed by witticism (7)
PUNGENT : A witticism like the first three across clues in the Quick Crossword and an 11d chap.

8d     Simple setter adjusted to such a lifestyle? (4,6)
EASY STREET : A synonym for simple and then an anagram (adjusted) of SETTER.

11d     Marked as famous (13)
DISTINGUISHED : A double definition.

13d     Animal‘s popular tamer panicked, trapped by cage (4,6)
PINE MARTEN : The two letter ‘popular’ and an anagram (panicked) of TAMER are contained by a cage or animal enclosure.

16d     Entrepreneurs Musk and Bill mostly stretch out (8)
ELONGATE : The forename of Musk and the surname of Bill with the last letter removed.

18d     Divisions from company on spirits with leader gone (7)
COHORTS : Co(mpany), and then spirits as served in a bar with the first letter removed.

20d     I’d love to support president’s code of chivalry (7)
BUSHIDO : Either the father or son presidents from around the turn of the century are followed by ‘I’D’ from the clue and the tennis score love.

22d     A run in a good hotel that hurt? (5)
AARGH : Two more ‘A’s’ from the clue then R(un), G(ood) and H(otel).

23d     Staunch supporters finally satisfied, given a lift (4)
STEM : The final letter of supporters, then the reversal of satisfied or was adequate.

The clever 1a is our favourite today.

Quickie pun    rein    +    heed    +    haze    =    rainy days

71 comments on “DT 29888

  1. 2*/5*. What an absolute delight!

    I didn’t know 20d but it was easily derived by following the instructions in the clue.

    Many thanks to all three birds.

    P.S. A special mention for the Quickie pun.

  2. I found this one to be quite a poser. I was entering answers knowing they were correct but not quite understanding the parsing. Lots of head scratching was going on but eventually, with e-help for two, I managed to finish. For some reason I found the whole thing both frustrating and satisfying. Plenty of clues to like and these included 24a and 3d. I liked the topical 5d but my COTD is the rather neat 16d.

    Great Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the challenge. Thanks also to the 2 Kiwis for the hints.

    Wordle in 3.

  3. All over in *** time, with the top half submitting much more quickly than the bottom. I vaguely remembered 20d, I think we have had it previously. Last in was 1d, because I was racking my brains as to why “SAFE” was the answer. Then I had a DOH moment.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2 Ks.

  4. Thank you, setter. Either I’ve suddenly got the hang of Jay puzzles, or this was somebody different.

    I can’t remember the last time I added so many clues to my ‘potential favourites’ list: I think 5d’s T&T notification just gets it, over 2d (which misled me for ages), the clever 1a and 24a, 16d’s nice spot, and 1d, 4d, and 22d.

    Thank you also, 2Kiwis, for explaining the ‘Worthington’s’ sense of 15a, which had eluded me. 20d is a new word to me; it seemed unlikely from the wordplay and crossing letters, but there it was in the dictionary.

    1. PS: In 18d I spent far too long with ‘ghosts’ as the spirits, wondering how ‘cohosts’ (which therefore matches the wordplay and, at that time, the crossing letters I had) could be bent to fit the definition. Ooops.

  5. Very enjoyable indeed with some nice misdirection sprinkled throughout the grid. A couple of new words for me but attainable from checkers and wordplay. Great stuff
    Top three for me 3,5&16d.
    Many thanks to all for the top notch entertainment.

  6. A lot of fun. Started very quickly before finding a couple that required a pause to work through the parsing (which might have been simpler if I could spell 13d). 15a gets my vote today. Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter.

  7. Smashing crossword – some chucker-inners and some that needed a little deeper brain activity. I agree with The Mighty 2Ks – 1a is the pick of the bunch.

    My eighth day of Covid (‘On the eighth day of Covid my true love gave to me… two paracetamol’) and I’m improving in leaps and, indeed, bounds. Aches, and brain fog diminished. It’s now at the level of a heavy cold. Hooray for the vaccinations!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Pergolesi – Stabat Mater (featuring the wonderful Cecilia Bertoli)

    Thanks to the setter (Jay?) and The Mighty Two Ks.

    1. Glad you’re feeling better Terence. Don’t forget the hot toddy nightcap, the only perk of feeling under the weather.

      1. My son says his friend suddenly woke on day 10 feeling fine. What was interesting was that his dog, who until then had kept a low profile, just as suddenly perked up and demanded “ walkies”. There must be something a dog can sense that we cannot. So only 2 more days to go. Good Luck!

    2. Glad to hear that you’re improving, Terence, and thanks for the Pergolesi. BBCW recently did a lovely retrospective on Ms Bartoli, whose Cenerentola was one of my retirement gifts from my English Department. They knew where my heart lay.

    3. Thanks for the Bartholdi, Terence. So glad you’re feeling better. Will this thing ever be over?

  8. Great fun.
    And satisfying to complete.
    Taking too long over 17a, last in, popped me just into ** time.
    Loved 21a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  9. Jay on top form this morning with some very inventive and enjoyable clues, foremost amongst which, for me, was 1a. Hugely entertaining.

    My thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    Wordle in 4 this morning. I can recommend the Toughie as a most accessible puzzle.

  10. A few chestnuts scattered across this grid but generally a refreshing solve from the South up. Disappointingly needed Mrs GD to see LOI 15a. She does this with cricket and football as well: feigns disinterest or disdain then turns out to have full working knowledge if pushed (or caught out). COD 1d for the sweetness of the penny-drop.

  11. A couple of new words for me but very gettable. Enjoyed this a lot – I was also thinking of ghosts in 18d! Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Wordle in 5 today.

    1. So was I re ghosts but happily got there without much hesitation. I did my first Wordle yesterday but got nowhere. I did my second one today and got it in 3. I took advice and found a word with different vowels – aegis, next word gave me all the letters bar one. It was fun.

  12. Cracking puzzle today,sharp cluing throughout., last in was 15a when the penny dropped.
    Favourite was 24a,could have had one of many, special mention for 16d ,very clever.
    Thanks to our setter and 2K’s for the pics-saw a pine martin in Cheshire wood last week, what a surprise.
    Going for a **/*** ****

    1. That would have been the wrong answer. It is a pine martEn. Tricky that as either fit but only one is right.

  13. What a great way to spend time on a train from Sherborne to Bristol … until 20d after which 22d was entirely appropriate. thank you Jay and 2Ks

  14. Very enjoyable, many thanks to the setter (and especially to the 2Kiwis for parsing 1d for me!)

  15. Great Wednesday fun, Jay without any assistance from his Toughie alter ego Logman – **/*****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 11d and 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. Thanks Jay(?) and 2Kiwis – a really fun puzzle, I thought quite tricky in places but satisfying and enjoyable throughout. Loads of (virtual) ticks – 1a and 1d my faves. Mr Musk seems to be very popular with setters!

  17. Not entirely certain this was a Jay production but certainly a quality puzzle & a step up in difficulty from the previous two days which took me to 2.5* time. I did recall 20d (probably from Kurosawa films) but 2d&27a both required confirmation. I’ll plump for 21a as my favourite. Anyone know the Toughie setter today ?
    Thanks to the setter & the 2Ks.

  18. A blast from start (1 across) to finish (24 across). Plenty of laughs along the way. I even managed to spell 13 down correctly. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

  19. Not one for me I’m afraid. Too many complex and clumsy clues such as 17a, 22d, 21a and 26a.
    Not the most difficult but definitely one for finding the definition and forgetting about the wordplay. It pales in contrast to yesterdays superb puzzle.
    No favs today.

  20. Lovely puzzle done in fits and starts around zoom interviews.
    27a gave me an itchy bottom, maybe the setter has just had to deal with an infection as kids go back to school.
    1a 13d and 5d get on my podium today.
    Thanks to the setter and the inestimable 2K’s, a bit of shopping next before a trip to the toughie.
    Wordle in 4 today A fluke after a bad start with only 1 hit in first 2 goes.

    1. Silly me put earthworm as did not count the letters. Quickly had a rethink when I solved 22d.

  21. Nicely clued puzzle. It was a bit of a surprise to find 20d is actually a word – not one I’ve encountered before. Favourite 5d. Thanks to all.

  22. More excellence from Mr Wednesday, he really does spoil us! Like others, I did use the wordplay to get 20d and then look it up but I suspect that we’ve met it previously. Not keen on 26a but that’s just personal preference.
    Favourite was probably 1a and I also liked the Quickie pun – would have treated you all to a Carpenters clip if I was sufficiently IT savvy.

    Thanks to Jay and to our NZ duo for the review. Your granddaughters wouldn’t have problems with high temperatures here but there wouldn’t be an abundance of cherries for them to pick either!

  23. A great puzzle with a tricky SW corner, qhich waswhere most of my fvourite clues were (2.5/5*). I liked 24a, 14a, 13d and 21a, with 13d being my COTD. Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for the hints.

  24. I am always disappointed if there is not enough left for another crack at lunchtime as I am reduced to surfing and inevitably buying stuff I do not really need. Today did not disappoint with for me a cracking puzzle, needing hints for only one, 20d, which I had guessed from the checkers but was one of three new words (to me) so another school day to boot.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  25. Very good puzzle, most enjoyable. I overthought 15a and went for Winter (actor in M*A*S*H), so my full grid turned out to be a DNF.

    Other than that thought it was swift and pretty straightforward, the cluing extremely fair, albeit with an overly generous serving of anagrams. Hon Mentions to 25a,18d and 20d, with my COTD being 16d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

      1. My first thought was winter as if fit in well with the checkers but I couldn’t make any sense of the wordplay so it had to be binned in favour of beer. Yay! Beer!

  26. Found this tougher than normal for Wednesday. 3.5*/3*
    SW last area in.
    Favourites include 1a, 14a, 15a, 21a & 3d with winner 14a

    Thanks to the 3 birds

      1. Me too. Only my second attempt. Yesterday I got nowhere. I was pretty quick too. Can’t wait to show my 10 year old grandson. He’ll love it,

  27. I’ve run out of superlatives for our Wednesday master–but I’d like to re-emphasise delightful and witty. Today, 1a, 21a, 22d seem a cut above the already top-notch rest. I’d have finished sooner had I not read ‘taNNer’ for ‘taMer’ in 13d, my LOI. A joy to work. Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. ** / *****

  28. Really enjoyed this. Fairly straightforward and made steady smooth progress with no real hold-ups.
    1a gets my COTD with 21a close second.
    13d not appreciated up here they’re too fond chickens & hens.
    Thank you to setter and the 2K’s.
    Wordle in 4 today.

    1. Wordle was featured on BBC Breakfast this morning so now everyone is going to be
      having a go at it! 4 for me too.

  29. 3/4. Another good puzzle with 1a my favourite. Some quite tricky parts and my last one in was 13d as it took quite a lot of unravelling . Haven’t seen 20d for a while either but eminently gettable from the clue. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  30. Not being an expert on plant embryos or Japanese samurai, I found a couple of these clues above my pay grade. Did pretty well on most of the rest, although I often got the answer and then verified the parsing. Agree with the 2Kiwis *** difficulty rating. Thanks fo Jay and 2Kiwis. Finally getting epidural cortisone shot in my back today and fingers crossed it works.

    1. BL I have found that Cortisone/Epidural Steroid Injections give great pain relief from my Spinal stenosis. I do hope that will be the case for you too. All good wishes.

  31. Not quite so successful today. I might have finished unaided if I had o levels in biology and Samurai! Thanks to the setter for a fair but challenging test.

  32. Morning all.
    Apologies for the late arrival of the Quickie Pun. Woke up in the middle of the night and remembered that we had not added it. A quick leap out of bed and a few minutes on the computer and back to slumber.
    Appears that we found this one trickier than most commenters so far. Must just be us.
    I hear rain falling on our roof at present. The first we have had for ages and it is predicted to have cleared again by noon.

  33. Perhaps I’ve missed it but I rather hoped to hear from our American friends how they’ve coped with the snow. My grandson in Toronto claims 14”

  34. Idioms are really my downfall.
    Today I tried to Turn The Steam in 3d.
    Favourite 24a.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2Kiwis for the review.

  35. Excellent. Not to tricky and lots of excellent clues.
    20d was a new word, but very gettable for the wordplay. I had a stab at BUSTINO, one of greatest flat mile and a quarter horses of the last 50 years. Then the penny dropped.
    Thanks both.

  36. This was quite a tussle but hung in there and made it in the end. Not being a beer drinker 15a unknown to me as was 20d. 26a a bit light. Overlooked the Rock in 19a. Thank you Jay (?) and 2 Kiwis with a special mention for Cecilia Bartoli’s Stabat Mater. Now for Wordle and Wheeldle.

  37. I found this to be two different puzzles, north very friendly and no trouble at all but south a battle all the way. I missed five and needed the 2Kiwis to help me out. Is 22d really a word? I’ll look it up. Fave was 3d, I also liked 1d.
    Thanks Jay for the fun, appreciated the help 2Kiwis, wouldn’t have finished without you.

  38. After an exhausting shopping trip I looked forward to settling down to today’s puzzle. On first pass I really didn’t think it was going to be my cup of tea but after partaking of the latter it revived the little grey cells and I found it quite enjoyable. Almost completed but couldn’t get 20d. Initially, was trying to fit Biden in, doh! Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  39. I too plumped for Winter at 15a instead of the real answer. The one clue that I thought a bit unfair. Ho hum! Otherwise lots of good fun. **/***

  40. Needed to look up 20d – a new word for me. Not a fan of 22d – a bit stretched for me. But finally finished.

  41. No real problems. 20d has featured on these pages before. 15a no problem for beer aficionados like MP and me in fact in Leicestershire we ‘mash’ tea as opposed to brew as it’s the same herbal infusion process which brewing isn’t. I’m sure someone will disagree with me. Any road up I’m going with that as favourite, Marston’s would have been a better example. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

    1. We mash tea in Nottinghamshire too. Many years ago a new boyfriend, following the introductions, was bemused when my mother said « I’ll go and mash ».

  42. Great Xword. No holdups except I had to correct my spelling errors en route. Radicle and eligible. I did manage to spell pine marten correctly. Got a worm that wriggles in the ground instead of up the bottom. Did not know 20d but easily gettable. Favourites 22 and 25a and top prize to 16d. Thanks J and 2Ks.

  43. 3*/2*….
    liked 1A ” The orator’s planned delivery may be affected by this (4,6) “

Comments are closed.