DT 29900 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29900

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29900

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Our spell of great summer weather continues but all the students in the community are having to forget about holiday activities and get settled back into academic routines. Four of our six grandchildren are moving on to new stages. The youngest starts Intermediate school, the next one moves on to Secondary school while the two older granddaughters (the cherry pickers) start University shortly. Big changes for all of them.

Once again we note that Logman has set today’s Toughie so this one is almost certainly not from Jay. We have made a guess at who the setter might be but have put it in a sealed envelope until tomorrow morning.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


6a     Soldier by airplane ordered to carry hot gear (13)
PARAPHERNALIA : An airborne soldier, and an anagram (ordered) of AIRPLANE which includes H(ot).

8a     Screen in restaurant close to home (6)
GRILLE : A restaurant which cooks food in a particular way and then the final letter of home.

9a     Snake bit, causing famous row (4,4)
BOAT RACE : A constricting snake and a very small amount.

10a     Afternoon meal Athena regularly provides (3)
TEA : The second, fourth and sixth letters of Athena.

11a     Twins for example overturned car (6)
GEMINI : The reversal of the abbreviation meaning for example and the small classic car of the 1960’s.

12a     Broken tie with adult brings freedom (8)
LATITUDE : An anagram (broken) of TIE and ADULT.

14a     Poem unknown about Yankee ship’s epic journey (7)
ODYSSEY : A three letter poem and a mathematical unknown surround Y(ankee) and steamship.

16a     Pleasantly mild Liberal embraced by setter? (7)
CLEMENT : The setter used when making concrete contains L(iberal).

20a     Food, large amount, seen in Biden’s birthplace (8)
SCRANTON : An informal word for food generally and a large amount or heavy weight.

23a     Mobile phone ringing love: have this in despair? (2,4)
NO HOPE : An anagram (mobile) of PHONE contains tennis score love.

24a     Rob shilling from complacent chump (3)
MUG : Start with a word meaning complacent and remove S(hilling).

25a     Flood defence breached by god with hammer (8)
PLETHORA : The Norse god with hammer is inside a defence in a court of law.

26a     Xmas booze g-g-gone astray! (6)
EGGNOG : An anagram (astray) of G-G-GONE.

27a     Clever stuff investing energy and time in geology? (6,7)
ROCKET SCIENCE : A 4,7 phrase that could describe geology contains E(nergy) and T(ime).


1d     Umbrellas, British, and hand-made cigarettes? (8)
BROLLIES : The abbreviation for British and then a slang word for hand-made cigarettes.

2d     Old man climbing with little desire (8)
APPETITE : The reversal (climbing) of a familiar word for a father and a word borrowed from French for little.

3d     Before dance catch game (7)
NETBALL : Catch or enmesh and a formal dance.

4d     Baby in cooler temperature (6)
INFANT : ‘IN’ from the clue, then a cooler that works by circulating air and T(emperature).

5d     Bordeaux and Irish county twinned initially (6)
CLARET : An Irish mid-western county and then the first letter of twinned.

6d     Not the architectural style associated with Pisa’s tower? (13)
PERPENDICULAR : An all-in-one clue. Pisa’s tower could not be described this way.

7d     Drunken pair connected more than usually liable to mishap (8-5)
ACCIDENT-PRONE : An anagram (drunken) of PAIR CONNECTED.

13d     Diamonds and cool stuff (3)
ICE : A double definition.

15d     To spill beans not good, evil (3)
SIN : Remove G(ood) from a slang word meaning confess.

17d     Underwear has one inside leering, unfortunately (8)
LINGERIE : An anagram (unfortunately) of LEERING contains Roman numeral one.

18d     Stacks concealing a pig in wood (8)
MAHOGANY : Stacks or a large number contains ‘A’ from the clue and a pig.

19d     Wholesale brawling man sees (2,5)
EN MASSE : An anagram (brawling) of MAN SEES.

21d     Knock at sharp nail (6)
ATTACK : ‘AT’ from the clue and a small sharp nail.

22d     Absorbent cloth covering right garden tool (6)
TROWEL : An absorbent cloth used after showering contains R(ight).

Quickie pun    torque    +    Turkey    =     talk turkey

90 comments on “DT 29900

  1. Very enjoyable indeed, this puzzle threw up some lovely words, 6,16&25 foremost amongst them.
    I was helped by the four long ones going in quickly, giving plenty of checkers.
    Also liked 11&24a but my favourite was the clever 9a. Great stuff.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

  2. Definitely didn’t “feel” like a Jay but enjoyable nevertheless. I learned some things at 9 and 16a and 6d. Thank yous to the K’s and Mr or Ms Compiler.

  3. Absolutely sailed through this beautifully clued puzzle until 20a – my GK doesn’t stretch that far.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis

  4. Straightforward and enjoyable. I did need to confirm my construction for 20a. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  5. An exceptionally solver-friendly crossword for a Wednesday and an enjoyable one too

    Thanks to the setter (I have a person in mind so I’ll wait to see if they turn up) and to the 2Ks

  6. 2*/4*. Definitely not a Jay compilation but quirky and great fun, with 9a my favourite.

    My only reservation was 20a which used an obscure word (to me) to clue a piece of obscure and not very interesting (to me) GK.

    Many thanks to the setter (NYD?) and to the 2Ks.

        1. Speak for the West Midlands only MP. I have vaguely heard the word when travelling about but do not remember anyone in my neck of the woods using it.

          1. I’d never heard of it, but knew Biden’s birthplace, so I looked it up and it’s in my dictionary! As Jane says, every day is a school day.

    1. Despite not being a northerner the word was familiar, but an equivalent slang down here in Cornwall for someone’s (some working person’s) lunch appears to be “crib”. It is not something I’ve come across elsewhere, although on looking it up in the BRB I see it is used in Australia and New Zealand for a “light meal”.

      1. A friend in Cornwall likes to show us what he is having for his crib. It seems to be a mid morning snack but I don’t know if is solely that. The nearest I know of in the (former) mining communities of the East Midlands is snap which was taken to work in the snap tin.

  7. Like SL at #1, the long clues went in straight away giving a strong foothold on the rest of the grid, which went in smoothly, even 20a. Hard to look beyond the excellent 9a for a favourite, but I did like 6d.

    Many thanks to our setter and the 2Ks. The Toughie today shouldn’t cause too many headaches.

    Wordle in 3.

  8. I didn’t find this one as straightforward as some, but I did solve it alone and unaided and understood the parsings. I also enjoyed it very much.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

  9. Hurrah!
    Three consecutive * times.
    Loved this one
    Especially 6a and 6d
    Many thanks to the setter for this confidence builder and thanks to the 2Kiwis.

  10. Reckon Donny not a bad call for this very pleasant puzzle. Liked all of the 4 peripheral long ‘uns with 27a the best of them. I was familiar with the term for food otherwise doubt I’d have remembered the Pennsylvanian city. 9a gets my vote as pick of the bunch with 14&25a on the podium.
    Thanks to the setter & the 2Ks
    Ps Wordle in 6 today despite having the last 4 letters correct at the 3rd attempt – reckon there are only 4 possible consonants & needless to say kept picking the wrong one….

    1. Huntsman, there is a ploy available to you, if you don’t know it, to solve your Wordle dilemma. List the four possible letters and find a 5 lettered word with them in, or at least 3 of them. Use this as your next guess and the correct answer will be obvious.

      1. I’m probably being thick Malcolm but don’t understand. If you’re looking for a 5 letter word that you know ends in a specific 4 letters & there are 4 possible answers surely the only strategy is pin the tail on the donkey & take a punt on which you think is the most probable.

        1. Say you’ve got BRAIN with the last 4 right, then DIGIT will tell you if it’s DRAIN, GRAIN or TRAIN so you’ll definitely get it in two steps. (Though I’d probably just gamble on one of them and hope to get it first time!)

          1. Fez is right. A week or so ago, I had FIGHT as being the last four correct, now the answer could have been BIGHT LIGHT MIGHT NIGHT RIGHT SIGHT. So as the next go, try BRANS and this, hopefully, will lead you to the right answer.

              1. I got Wordle in 5 today so am on a roll of 25 but I haven’t a clue what they are talking about above. I also had the last 4 letters by 3rd go despite not having any in the first go. If I follow their logic, Malcolm would have still had the choice of 2 left. My 4th attempt was wrong but the 5th was right and I still had one go left. Does any of this make sense? I thought not!

                1. You would only have the choice of two left if you were unlucky. 4 out of 6 times the BRANS would guarantee you the answer. Otherwise, yes, you have a 50/50 guess. But the alternative is to guess the letters one at a time, starting with odds of 6/1.

                2. I got it in three. I don’t understand the instructions above but I shall try when I next do a Wordle. I agree it is very annoying when several words would fit. I did it in three today very quickly. First time I got third letter correct. Tried again with completely different letters including a different vowel. No change. Worked out likely two vowels in the middle and entered the first word I thought of which fitted. Realise there are three possibly four first letters which would have fitted.

            1. Managed to convince myself that monetise was a good word for 2d… I’m very good at self delusion in crosswords.
              Soon realised the error of my ways and completed this delightful puzzle.
              Thanks to setter and 2ks and you for the wordle advice. I mainly get it in 4

  11. All over in ** time after a slow start. I too had 20a as my last in. I don’t even know where Boris was born, nevermind Biden.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.

    1. Boris was born in New York City to British parents so had dual nationality but he has renounced his US citizenship.

      1. So did I. I remember thinking if he hadn’t renounced it he could actually run for US President 😊.

  12. Close to my fastest ever solve, most enjoyable while it lasted, all straightforward with readily ascertainable anagrams and a good variety of clue types, all very fairly clued. I think this would be an excellent puzzle for those new-ish to cryptics – alternatively I had the fortune to tune-in to the setter’s wavelength at first glance. 25a my COTD with numerous other potential contenders.

    0.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  13. No problems beyond 20a for which I did have to consult Mr G. The food item did put me in mind of a particular setter but it does seem to be the case that NYD steps in when Jay is involved with Toughie duties so previous commenters could well be right.
    Think I’ll give today’s honours to 6a.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks – those grandchildren are certainly growing up!

    1. And me for 20a, Jane. An obscure bit of GK. I had to look in G after ‘Croydon’ didn’t fit.

  14. This wasn’t too taxing but rather bland. Never heard of 1d cigarettes but bunged in. Favs 9a and 27a. Guess our transatlantic bloggers will have stolen a march on us with 20a but in any case the food word therein is a new one on me. Thank you Robyn and 2Kiwis.

  15. I will ‘borrow’ CS’s assessment of exceptionally solver-friendly for a Wednesday – */****.

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 5d, and 6d – and the winner is 6d.

    I have two possible setters in mind, so thanks to one of them or whomsoever it is and to the 2 Kiwis.

  16. An enjoyable puzzle with quite a number of smiles raised. Apart from 20a where I had no idea that the first part was food and neither did I know Biden’s birthplace. 8a, 9a and 22d were among my favourites with my COTD being 16a – it had me going through dogs and pronouns for setters of cryptic puzzles before the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    Wordle in 5 but at least my run is intact.

  17. Far more difficult than the rating I thought. Almost a ****, mind you the grid didn’t help.
    Isn’t it bad enough that we have to know the bible inside out that now we have to know the birthplace of US presidents. Really?
    Had to look up the odd word in 20a. All in all not the most pleasant puzzle as far as I was concerned.
    However, I did like 6d but that was about it.
    Thx for the hints

  18. Something completely different today with the clueing, no idea who the setter is but enjoyed the puzzle very much.
    Needed the checking letters in 20a, a new town for me.
    Liked the’long clues’ going for a */****, favourite was 25a- lovely word.
    Thanks to the 2k’s for the pics

  19. Thank you to clever setter for this marvellous puzzle and to 2K for a super blog.

    I have a VERY long list of winners for today’s podium, almost as long as the clue list in fact, though 23a and 25a for some reason made me LOL the most. I am sure this means my personality is deeply flawed. A great puzzle with lashings of fun and some very nifty cluing.

  20. Like others getting the long clues straightaway gave the framework for a steady solve that was not too taxing.
    Much to like but couldn’t pick out anything outstanding.
    Thanks to person Ron for the fun and the 2K’s for the review.
    Biggles’s favourite restaurant is the dog-friendly Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh so no problem for me with 20a. It seemed to be on the news every day in the US election too.

  21. Yes, I more or less agree either everyone (except dear Brian) that this was pleasure all the way. George produced 20a and I wouldn’t believe him, such a horrid word but when it slotted in I had to apologise. He also unsurprisingly with his background got 9a. I really liked the clever anagram at 7d. Merusa, for the first time yesterday I saw your lovely word Bloviating used in print when Tim Stanly used it to describe the SNP MP Blackford. I had thought it was a Merusa Special ! Many thanks to mystery setter and Two Kiwis. Interesting date today 02.02.2022. Off to DD2 to make marmalade this afternoon, having been told the reason I cannot get a jam setting temperature is because my hob has a safety feature!!!

    1. Yes, my fave word – don’t they call that onomatopoeia? Maybe not quite. Another lovely word in the puzzle today, 25a.

      1. I think that onomatopoeia might work here, Merusa. Depends on the blowhard speaking, doesn’t it?

        1. I tried to work out the last numerically palindromic date but gave up as it made my head hurt. Do you know ?

          1. There are many, I think, Huntsman but few with the same numbers I would have thought.

            1. What about with the full year? It’s the sort of University Challenge starter for 10 that some brainy bod buzzes in at 5 seconds with the right answer.

  22. Found this puzzle quite the tough tussle, especially the west side. 3*/3* for me with a couple that took an age to suss out, thus pushing me to 3* time.
    Favourites were the four perimeter clues but specifically I liked 9a, 25a, 26a & 1d with 9a a clear winner.
    Great clue there.

    Thanks to setter and 2 Kiwis

  23. My fastest finish ever, in a most enjoyable Wednesday grid that I quickly realised was not one of Jay’s. (Those easily solved three-letter clues were my first hint.) I used to drive through 20a, en route to my academic post at SUNY-Cortland, after visiting my parents here in Charleston. So I did know the city long before I knew that our president was born there. I agree with those of you who chose 9a as the COTD; I also liked the long ones and 25a. Delightful puzzle. Donny maybe? Thanks to the Kiwis (you must be very proud of those grandchildren!) and today’s setter. 1* / 4*

    The quickie took me almost as long as the backpager; I even had to do some Googling. Most engaging Toughie, as well.

  24. Extremely enjoyable mid-week solve. As noted by others some of the words with Greek roots always seem to roll off the tongue very pleasantly. Seem to recall at the time of the election results Biden was on a rostrum thanking people in is hometown.

    Hard to pick a COTD but did enjoy 6a, 9a 25a.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks! vert

  25. Nice enough but didn’t last too long. Hard to pick out a favourite – 9a at a pinch, maybe.
    Toughie is quite gentle, if anyone’s interested.

  26. Enjoyable for me too. I did not hang about with 20a. I just googled Biden’s birthplace. 6a took a while and was not as friendly to me as the other long clues. Due to stupidity I was left with 2d. For no apparent reason I was looking for 4,4. I thought it must be a name I had never heard of. Before resorting to the hint I read the clue again and realised I was looking for one word which was then obvious. 6 9 25 26 27a and 1 6 and 15d my favourites. Thanks setter and thanks 2Ks particularly for the parsing of 25a

    1. I too toyed with some sort of Gamp for 1d, until checkers and a rethink brought the right Bumbershoot to mind.

  27. It’s all been said very eloquently. I can’t remember when last we had such consensus on a puzzle, except for one commenter. Of all things I DNF with one, 8a, darn it, I needed the hint. I also needed to check the spelling of 6a and 14a, just to be sure. I’m finding it hard to choose a fave, what a choice! Maybe 25a ‘cos I like it, but 6d was pretty good.
    Thank you setter, loads of fun, and thanks to the 2Kiwis, I so look forward to your snapshots of the family.
    Wordle in 4.

  28. Doorknob’s turn once more, as two or three of you guessed. I’m glad most of you found it on the easy side and enjoyable. For those who struggled, whose comments I also appreciate by the way, thanks indeed for having a go. Perhaps in two ways :D

    For the record I am absolutely no Goddist, but churches are so handy for a bit of compilerly refuge, I find.


  29. Nothing bland about it, loved in fact. A jumping up and down day, having completed without a single hint or help, so a lot of satisfaction here. Biden’s birth place was easy for me of course as it is often mentioned in the press (he’s not very popular there right now). Twin COTD today, 9a and 15a. Don’t know who the setter is, but thank you very much and would like to see more like this. Makes up for those days when I decide I must really be thick. Thanks also to 2Kiwis, always a pleasure to read the updates from NZ. Happy to report our very cold snap has passed, and we have the doors and windows open again today. Perfect.

  30. 3/3,5. Completed this relatively quickly apart from a more prolonged tussle with the SW quadrant. My favourites were 9,6,27&21a and 6d. 9a was the winner by a short head over 25a. Thanks to the setter for a really good puzzle and the 2Ks for the review.

  31. 20a was a bit of a bung in on the assumption of the President’s birthplace – later proved correct by Mr Google. The rest was pretty straightforward. Would Pisa’s tower be 6d if it wasn’t leaning?
    The Irish reference in 5d would have nudged me towards NYD but he has already outed himself. 2d was my favourite today.
    Thanks to NYD and 2K’s

  32. Morning all.
    Thanks for the puzzle NY Doorknob and thanks for dropping in to claim it. It saves us the embarrassment of having to open our sealed envelope and confess that our guess was completely wrong.
    We too needed Google to confirm 20a but had heard the dialect word for food so were on the right track.
    Found the 13 letter anagram in the Quickie a challenge with nothing but checkers to assist us.

      1. Our guess was a bit of a wild card. We thought that Django might have been trying his hand at setting a ‘back pager’.

    1. According to ‘Chambers Concise Scots Dictionary the word Scran originated in Scotland in the 19th century, and referred to either just food, or scraps of food gained by begging. It is frequently used by Edinburgh school children to mean “what can be scrounged”. As in “what do want? I’m on the scran for some money to go out”.
      Dined at the https://scranandscallie.com/ when Mama Bee and I went to see the Royal Yacht in Lieth. Very nice it was too.

  33. Late on parade after driving home to our house with the new roof from our short trip to Lancashire. I’ve had to re-visit todays Toughie and today’s cryptic puzzles to see what I remembered of them from first thing this morning. I don’t think that we have had an easier Donnybrook puzzle than this. Nice one for newer solvers I suppose. I’m a great fan of food in a puzzle so enjoyed the scran. Thanks to Donnybrook for the puzzle and the 2Ks for the review. I envy your granddaughters their forthcoming adventures.

  34. I, too, did not mess about finding Biden’s birthplace but just Googled it,Surely this is a weekend GK clue not a cryptic?

  35. I like easy crosswords so I very much liked this one 😃 **/*** although I did not, owing to my lack of geographical knowledge, find the Quickie very easy 😬 Favourites 9a and 3 & 4d Thanks to the 2xKs and to the unknown Compiler 🤔

  36. I was enjoying today’s puzzle until I hit the SW corner. I could not get 20a and despite checking the hints I had never heard of the food expression or knew Biden’s birthplace. Many thanks to Donnybrook and the Pommers.

  37. Super Jay puzzle, nicely challenging with lots of great clues.
    I could not spell 6a for the life of me.
    Neatly clues as ever, by Jay.
    Thanks both.

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