DT 29894 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29894

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29894

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Carol is away on grandparent duties in Wellington so a solo Kiwi blogger this week.

We have both been away with family for a few days. We’ve been in the centre of the North Island on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. It is where everyone goes skiing in winter but at this time of the year it is an awe inspiring rocky wilderness. Our two sons were competing in a cross country endurance race called The Goat. Sheer madness….. but they enjoy it.

A bit hard to judge the comparative difficulty with just one solver today so feel free to disagree with my rating.
Good fun as ever though.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Ghastly parliamentary staff must hold a Biro, oddly (7)
MACABRE: ‘A’ from the clue and the first and third letters of Biro are inside the staff or rod carried on parliamentary ceremonial occasions.

9a     Local head of state losing power (8)
RESIDENT: Remove the P(ower) from the title of the leader in many republics.

10a     Close look at objective of insomniac (4-3)
SHUT-EYE: Close as you would a door and another word for look at.

11a     Ruling soundly following tense instruction (8)
TRAINING: T(ense) and a homophone of a word meaning ruling or being a monarch.

12a     Rejected elements of model art, say, like stars (6)
ASTRAL: A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

13a     Came across people with no leader finding support (10)
FOUNDATION: Came across or discovered and people or race without the initial letter.

15a     Expect to manage, needing hot rather than cold (4)
HOPE: To manage or be adequate has its tap temperature indicator letter changed to the other option.

16a     Memorable quotation on debut is questionable (5,4)
SOUND BITE: An anagram (questionable) of ON DEBUT IS.

21a     Long house originally used in service (4)
ACHE: A very good tennis serve encloses the first letter of house.

22a     Do lovers without protection attack? (10)
OVERCHARGE: Remove the first and last letter of lovers (without protection) and then an attack like that of The Light Brigade.

24a     Singular access for person on watch (6)
SENTRY: S(ingular) and access or way in.

25a     Advise against the euro? (8)
PROPOUND: If you are in the UK and are against the euro as currency you are ‘In favour of *****’

27a     My specialist market has no hard decorative moulding (7)
CORNICE: A three letter exclamation equivalent to MY and a specialist market with the H(ard) removed.

28a     Journey making half of capital laugh madly? (4,4)
LONG HAUL: The first half of the UK capital and an anagram (madly) of LAUGH.

29a     Refuse to hug model for body (7)
DENSITY: Model or pose is inside refuse or disavow.


2d     Notice the bloke’s working to support international attachment (8)
ADHESION: The two letter short form for a notice, then a way of writing ‘the bloke is’ using a pronoun, next, I(nternational) and the two letter working or in operation.

3d     Life-support vessels? (8)
ARTERIES : Cryptic definition for essential tubes we all have.

4d     Having a load of cash to underpin impressive hand (5,5)
ROYAL FLUSH: Impressive or regal and a slang word for having a load of cash.

5d     Fruit and veg plus starter of risotto (4)
PEAR: A vegetable found in a pod and the first letter of risotto.

6d     Quartz from Vatican church missing graduate? (6)
SILICA: Remove the letters for a Bachelor of Arts from a famous Vatican church.

7d     Shortfall if edict put into action (7)
DEFICIT: An anagram (put into action) of IF EDICT.

8d     Organising swindle, pinching silver (7)
STAGING: The chemical symbol for silver is inside a swindle or confidence trick.

11d     Spoke angrily as Times once almost died (9)
THUNDERED: Remove the last letter from an old nickname for The Times and add D(ied). (Something new I learned today.)

14d     Emphasises heirs moved out (6,4)
DRIVES HOME: An anagram (out) of HEIRS MOVED>

17d     Wants to drop initial salary (8)
EARNINGS: Remove the first letter from wants or deeply felt desires.

18d     What barber might offer that’ll save time? (5,3)
SHORT CUT: Something that’ll save time on a journey might also be what a barber offers.

19d     Gather poor policeman must go without an … (7)
COMPILE: An anagram (poor) of POLICEM(an) once ‘an’ has been ignored.

20d     … official electoral process to relate (7)
RECOUNT: Double definition. The electoral process is sometimes written 2-5.

23d     Reluctant to be seen in church dress (6)
CLOTHE: Reluctant or unwilling is surrounded by the Anglican church.

26d     Knowledge that’s mostly ineffective? (4)
NOUS: Remove the last letter from a 2,3 phrase meaning ineffective.

Quickie pun    brake +    seat    +    ears    =    Brexiteers

90 comments on “DT 29894

  1. I’m afeaid I found this very hard work and had to make greater use than usual of the thesaurus to find synonyms rhat fit the definition and rhe checkers, since the wordplay of some clues, particularly in the SW was unusually impenetrable (4*/1*). At least I did finish it, albeit with the help of a prompt for one clue, which gave satisfaction if not teal enjoymeent. Having read our Kiwi’s comments I suspect I am just not on this compiler’s wavelength but thanks to him for his efforts snd to the Kiwi for the hints.

  2. I thought this was superb, about medium difficulty but maximum enjoyment. No obscurities, any difficulty coming from misdirection and clever clueing only, so right up my street.
    Hard to pick highlights but 22&25a plus 11&26d all made me smile for one reason or another. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the three, oops two, birds for the top notch entertainment.

  3. Just right for midweek with a bit of headscratching required. Parsing of 11d escaped me. Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter.

  4. Even allowing for stopping to get a new pen halfway through, I thought this was tricky for a Wednesday

    Thanks to the setter and the solo blogger

  5. Another in a long line of excellent Wednesday puzzles, full of pleasantly testing clues and a few gimmes. 22 and 25a were my favourites, with a nod to 26d.

    Thanks to presumably Jay, and KC.

    Wordle in 3 today. 👍👍

  6. 1.5*/4.5*. I flew through this today having immediately fallen 100% onto Jay’s wavelength. Well, 99% to be more accurate as I failed to parse 11d and don’t think I ever would have done so in a month of Sundays, so thanks to Colin for the enlightenment.

    My top two were 25a & 26d.

    Many thanks to Jay and KC.

  7. A notch up in difficulty from the last 2 days but happily on wavelength with this one for a ** time solve with no parsing issues. I assume (trademark letter sub clue at 15a) it’s a Jay production. Fully agree with Stephen’s comment & would only add 27a to his 4 selections.
    Thanks to the setter & KC for the review.
    Ps Today’s listening – John Mellencamp’s rather fine new album Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

        1. Just Google “wordle”, then click on: “Wordle – a daily word game”, which should be at the top of the search page.

          1. I understand dear Mr. Jose
            That it might make you quite morose
            To see we pesky Wordle bores
            Boasting of our lowest scores.
            The craze will pass, or else, who knows
            You may be hooked too, Mr Jose!

              1. M. I have acknowledged her cleverness (watch out, Simon Armitage!), but maybe she’s tucked up in bed by now?

            1. Nice one, DG! I was wonderiong, has someone tipped you off that I posted some pertinent limericks (back in 2017) about other regulars on here – or maybe you remember them yourself? I have a go at Wordle nearly every day and it’s a little bit of fun, but I wouldn’t say I was hooked (yet). It (the Wordle chatter) doesn’t make me morose at all, just slightly irked maybe. I guess the novelty will fizzle out. Here’s one about Senf, who used to rate puzzle solving times using horse gait/speeds analogies:

              February 18, 2017 at 2:39 pm
              Thank you S, and for that I’ll award you a limerick:

              Senf is his name, it’s his label
              He solves crosswords and is very able
              And when commenting on here
              It’s patently obviously clear
              He’s on horse not sat at a table.

          1. Got today’s in 4 but why don’t they give you a starter letter? It is all too much guesswork rather than skill.

            1. M. 4’s very good for your first ever effort. If they did give you a starter letter it would make it too easy and your initial try would still be largely sheer guesswork. See – they’ve got me nattering on about Wordle now. Just what I was worried about!

              1. What happens if you have a word with two of the same letter like ‘never’, and you chose an E? If you get the e in the right column, what does it display?

                1. Good ?
                  Same thing occurred to me too. I’ve had 3 goes now – 2 5s & a 6.
                  Have you given up on the Graun ?

              2. I agree with you. I prefer it without a starting letter. On the TV quiz Lingo the contestants get a starter but they are timed. Today I got in four, My 10 year old grandson did it in three at his third attempt.

  8. Like Jonners I thought this puzzle just right for a Wednesday, right on my wavelength and agree with Kiwi Colin’s **/****’
    Liked 25a but have seen this clue before.
    Favoutite was 6d,excellent NE corner all round.
    Nice to see the old Times in print to provide the definition in 11d.

  9. I found this very tricky indeed, but enjoyable to solve (I needed help with two – 27a and 29a).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: XTC – Wrapped In Grey

    Thanks to the setter, and Colin.

  10. Enjoyably solved with the assistance of starting by going up the Downs and a wee dram on Burn’s Night – **/****

    Based on the groanworthy pun, I am reasonably certain that this is by Jay.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 22a, and 11d – and the winner is 11d – parsed almost instantly.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

    1. Think I was familiar with 11d because the Times racing tipster is so called – about the first bit of useful info he’s given me…

  11. I’m not known for gambling but I’d stake Saint Sharon on the hand at 4 down. Lots to like here as usual for a Wednesday. I had to alter the last letter of the answer to 11 down to suit 25 across. That’ll learn me not to bung in the first thing suggested by the clue. All sunny and bright here in Barrel. Just right for making a nesting box for Robins as requested by Saint Sharon. Thanks to Colin and Jeremy

    1. I wasn’t sure whether to put the R or the D especially as I thought 25a would be more likely to end in an R. However, I went the right way.

  12. A nice Wed puzzle which for me was just a tad above average difficulty for a back-pager. Mostly fine clues provided an enjoyable solve. Fav: 11d – I knew the relavent fact from solving cryptic crosswords in the past. 3*/4*.

  13. I have only done Quick crossword so far, and had to check pun because I thought it was a bit stretched on 1a. Surely the answer given to 1a is wrongly spelt?

    1. M. I’m intrigued now – what’s the clue for 1a? (I don’t get the Quick one relayed to me). Thanks.

      1. 1a is ‘Stop (vehicle) (5)’ – it looks like Kiwi Colin has put the ‘other’ break in the Pun material above.

  14. Oh dear! I found this almost impenetrable and not much fun. I had to use too many hints. Maybe it’s because my mind is concentrating on other things.

    Thanks to the setter and to KiwiColin.

    Wordle in 4 after zero on first guess.

    1. I agree, I simply do not understand the ** difficulty rating, it would not disgrace a Toughie.

  15. Good manners stops me from giving my opinion of this crossword. Suffice it to say I found it clumsy.
    Not for me.
    Thx for the hints

  16. I don’t think there was anything clumsy about today’s puzzle at all – slightly more head scratching needed with some clues perhaps, but nothing particularly difficult. My solving was during breaks from preparing and cooking one of Mary Berry’s Spanish chicken stew recipes and both were accomplished in acceptable time during the morning. Thanks to the setter and our flightless bird from the Southern hemisphere, an enjoyable solve on a sunny Shropshire morning.

  17. The SW was full of brilliance and held me up just a bit until I took that journey in 28a, at which point the other medallists joined the ranks; 25a, 22a, with 26d & 6d clamouring aboard. Delightfully tricky. Had forgotten the moniker for the Times but the clue was solid enough for an educated guess. Thanks to Colin of NZ and to Jay. 2.5* / 4.5*

  18. Well, we do seem to have a range of opinions today, don’t we?

    I found this tough to get going, just 6 of the acrosses on the first pass, but the downs were more forgiving, and let to a full resolution in **/*** time. The extra half was because I just couldn’t parse 26d – until the penny dropped. Doh!

    Thanks to Jay (?) and the K.

  19. I appear to be in the same boat as many of you in that the SW corner had me beat and I couldn’t parse 11d, lots of headscratching and a wavelength which escaped me, still where’s the fun if they were all R and R.
    Thanks to the solo Kiwi and the setter.

  20. Not on my wavelength at all today – still 3 to go which I will look at later. Just had kippers for lunch smoked at the local smokery – they were DISGUSTING, all the fault of my cooking, cannot get it right, grill, steam, poach – I ruin them. Anyway thanks to all. Wordle 4 for me.

    1. I can’t stand kippers – like the taste just too many bones. Give me an Arbroath smokie any day, preferably in Arbroath.

      1. I love kippers. Craster Kippers. I’ve only had one Arbroath Smokie in my life. From a fishmonger in St Andrews (or St Andrew’s) It was divine

        1. The best Smokies are served at The But “n” Ben restaurant in Auchmithie near Arbroath.

    2. Whitby kippers, Fortunes smoke house as featured on James Martin -best ever.
      Must take a trip to Whitby this weekend.

    3. I am not sure how it is possible get the cooking of a kipper wrong. I have had many Craster kippers and in September I bought a pair of Manx kippers home from the Isle of Man. I don’t find the cooking problematic but it’s hard to get rid of the smell.

  21. Quite surprised that so many seem to have found this one more difficult than the usual Wednesday offering but perhaps I was flying high having spent most of the morning on Skype to my favourite granddaughter. OK – she’s the only granddaughter I’ve got but she’s definitely my favourite!
    The old title for The Times always makes me smile and I thought 6d was quite a novel clue. My only real pause for thought came with 20d for some unaccountable reason.

    Thanks to Jay and to our solo Kiwi – no doubt the other one will be back to crack the whip soon enough!

  22. I thought this was fabulous throughout – pleasingly tricky in places but not overly difficult (perhaps it’s a wavelength thing?) Favourites 22a and 6d (as a few have arleady commented) and I also think 3d deserves special mention – a really good cryptic definition. Thanks to Jay(?) and 1Kiwi.

  23. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering. Surprisingly since I had all the checkers, I was held up by my last four, 16a, 29a, 6d and 20d. Cannot remember that ever happening before. Needed to google the Vatican church, missed the anagram in 16 a and held up by thinking Ford for the Model in 29a and gave up on the electoral process and got the “One Kiwi” to help me across the line. Thanks Colin and to the setter for the fun. I see Gates and Musk make another entry in the toughie, my COTD there and trumped the recent “elongate” clue.

  24. Had to check the old newspaper but otherwise it was plain sailing.
    20d was also the last to fall.
    25a is an old chestnut but always makes me smile.
    So does 14d which I always find a strange expression.
    Thanks to Jay and Colin for the review.

  25. Found this tricky today and due to time constraints today a DNF.
    4*/3* today for what I did get done.
    Couple of favourites 1a, 10a & 16a with 10a winner.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin

    May finish later in the day … much later

  26. Found this disappointingly trickier than yesterday’s Toughie. Not much fun, and clearly above my pay grade. Thanks to setter and KiWiColin.

  27. I did this in two halves, with Church Ladies Lunch at the British Queen in the middle. At first I thought it was going to be impenetrable but gradually fell into place and last one in, like Jane, was 20d. Some delicious clues there – many thanks to the setter and single Kiwi. Have you got to get your own supper?
    Wordle 5.

  28. Excellent puzzle which certainly tested the grey matter.
    Steady progress and then took an inordinately long time to get 20d.
    Pushed me into **** time.
    Many thanks to the setter and to KiwiColin.

  29. I have to comment today as I found this very enjoyable and eminently solvable. The SW made be think a bit more but made inroads without assistance much to my own satisfaction and appreciation of the clueing. I only have one query. The answer to 29a is the ratio of weight over volume based on 1cc of water at 4C.(probably) Not just the clue word in 29a.
    Too many good clues to list.

  30. Many thanks to Kiwi Colin for the super analysis, and to all for the comments. I seem to have generated a bit of a marmite puzzle! Not my intention, but it would be boring if they were all “read and write”. Wordle in 4 with a total blank at line 1!

    1. Well, at least my Wordle score was exactly the same as yours, Jay with the totally blank first line. :grin:

      Thank you for the puzzle, which totally beat me today, and for popping in. It is greatly appreciated when the setters pay a visit.

    2. I love Marmite and I loved this puzzle – exactly my wavelength. Many thanks to Jay and to Kiwi Colin.

    3. Your crosswords are anything but ‘read & write’ Jay.

      Nine times out of ten, they are a perfect balance though it’s good to see you using the taboo expression that I’m hopelessly campaigning to get out of room 101.

    4. Thank you, Jay, from Across the Pond for another dazzling puzzle. I look forward to your Wednesdays.

  31. Morning all.
    Apologies for the typo in the first word of the Quickie pun and thanks Gazza for correcting it. I had it right on my solving sheet but just mis-entered it. No one else to blame but me.
    I mentioned that I did not know the GK for 11d but have since discovered that Carol did know it, so would not have needed to consult Google if she were here.
    A real mixed bag of comments on how difficult people found this one. Strange things these Cryptic puzzles.

  32. A*** difficulty rating from me with 23d completely mystifying as I would not have spelt the reluctant synonym within 23d in that way. But I thought 25a was a brilliant clue. Thank you setter (not Jay?) and 1K

  33. I was breezing along until a couple (in the SW again) made life difficult 😟. ***/*** Strangely they ended up as two of my favourites which were 25, 28 and 29 across 😃 Thanks to Colin and to Jay

  34. The first brew gave me a broad stripe from top left to bottom right. I had to break off for a bit of light torture from the dentist and left the SW and NE for when novocaine wore off and more caffeine could be administered. 12a was my favourite today.
    Anyone want a CD of Barn by Neil Young and Crazy Horse?
    Amazon sent it twice and when I asked if they wanted the duplicate back they said Nah pay it forward.

    1. Forgot to add my thanks to Jay and the Kiwi flying solo today. (oops Kiwis are flightless) Thanks to Colin anyway.

  35. I’m with the not too hard brigade but it didn’t exactly flow out of my grey matter but slowly, slowly catchee monkey. Alternative reluctant spelling in 23d took a while to dawn. Favs 1a, old faithful 27a and 26d. Had quite forgotten justification for my 11d bung-in. TVM to both birds.

  36. I found this decidedly tricky, made worse by the fact that my WiFi was on the Fritz for most of this morning and I needed help. I struggled until I was connected again and could get a hint or two, I never did get 20d. Fave was 4d.
    Thanks Jay for the fun and Kiwi Colin for your help. Wordle in 4.

  37. Thanks onekiwi for the hints on 20a, where I ground to a halt after a steady cruise through the rest of the grid. Must be on Jay’s wavelength, so disappointed to run aground where no-one else did.

  38. Well I got there in the end through sheer determination! Like many others it was the SW corner that caused much deliberating. Thanks to Jay the setter for stepping-in to say hello and to Kiwi flying solo.

  39. Thanks Jay – fairly tough today but eminently solveable, although I did need a Kiwi hint or 2 to confirm the parsing – thank you!

  40. Not a sprint today but just about middle distance difficulty. I found it curious that the same device was used so often: a single letter needing to be added or deleted to solve around ten of the clues.
    Thanks to all

  41. Ah, the Closedown Kiwi! We lived in Wellington throughout 1986 and he was a regular part of our evenings. So cute!

    1. Welcome to the blog Kathy.
      I wondered whether anyone would recognise that pic.
      Maybe we should sing a duet of ‘Hine e hine’.

        1. So did I. What a shame those on the other side of the pond have probably retired for the night. Thank you, thank you John.

  42. A few that I found difficult but when finally solved them it was hard to see why. Like others needed the hint to parse 11d. Favourite was 20. Thanks to Jay and 1K.

  43. I felt bang on the wavelength and was very pleased with my progress without aids. I got 11d straightaway which helped. Wasn’t that also the name of an early water closet? In the top half I was left only with 6d but got it at the end when I was about to look up quartz. Like others I found the SW gave pause for thought but I got there. Favourites 1 10 25 and 27a and 18 and 20d. Thanks to J and 1K.

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