DT 29906 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29906

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29906

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

During the last week a moisture laden weather system from the tropics has taken a leisurely cruise across the length and breadth of New Zealand giving most of us a thorough mid-summer drenching. It has now moved away so we are back to clear blue skies and warm temperatures again.

We found that we spent longer on the SE sector than all the rest of the puzzle and this took us into three star time. Some great Wednesday clues once again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Careless friends from the east needing career (8)
SLAPDASH : The reversal (from the east) of a word for friends and then career or move swiftly.

5a     Answer thought to be happily occupied (6)
AMUSED : A(nswer) and then thought or contemplated.

9a     Pass law delayed by members holding one (9)
LEGISLATE : Lower members on a human body contain Roman numeral one and then delayed or not on time.

11a     Conscious of a revolutionary green European (5)
AWARE : ‘A’ from the clue, the reversal of green or inexperienced and then E(uropean).

12a     Husband interrupting walk and train of thought (6)
THREAD : Walk or step contains H(usband.

13a     Identify problem of floundering dog in sea (8)
DIAGNOSE : An anagram (floundering) of DOG IN SEA.

15a     Part of car transport cost after European articles (13)
UNDERCARRIAGE : The European articles are a French indefinite one and a German definite one. These are followed by the charge made for transportation.

18a     Dexterity shown by the French in view of worker (7,2,4)
SLEIGHT OF HAND : A synonym for view or vision contains the French definite article, then ‘OF’ from the clue and a manual worker.

22a     Conservative with baskets of food and drink (8)
CHAMPERS : The single letter abbreviation for Conservative and baskets of food you might take on a picnic.

23a     Vessel returning to dock in low country (6)
MONACO : Low, or the sound a cow makes, surrounds the reversal of a vessel that might be used for watering pot plants.

26a     ‘Bubbles’ mostly must be Turner (5)
LATHE : Remove the last letter from bubbles that you might create when showering or shaving.

27a     Express regret in public for lapse (9)
OVERSIGHT : The non-verbal sound one might make when expressing regret is surrounded by a word meaning public or in the open.

28a     Person who believes he must replace women in dance (6)
THEIST : Start with the dance popularised by Chubby Checker and replace the W(oman) with ‘HE’ from the clue.

29a     Rehearsal of Spooner’s card game at an end (5,3)
DUMMY RUN : The card game consists of compiling sequences and ‘at an end’ is a homophone for finished or completed. Now do what the Reverend Spooner would do.


1d     Separates and suddenly shows an interest, holding power line (6,2)
SPLITS UP : A 4,2 phrase meaning suddenly shows an interest contains P(ower) and L(ine).

2d     Skinless sausages may produce such emotion (5)
ANGER : Remove the first and last letters from an informal word for sausages.

3d     Lose heart as pride is shattered? (7)
DESPAIR : An anagram (is shattered) of AS PRIDE.

4d     Mock poor actor after onset of stress (4)
SHAM : The first letter of stress and then a bad actor.

6d     Pain — managed amazingly without New Zealand! (7)
MYALGIA : An anagram (managed) of AMA(z)I(n)GLY with our homeland removed.

7d     Propose a fresh area for such a programme (4,5)
SOAP OPERA : An anagram (fresh) of PROPOSE A, plus A(rea).

8d     Dredge unfinished part of swimming pool (6)
DEEPEN : Remove the last letter from the 4,3 phrase for the part of a swimming pool where you might consider diving.

10d     Move to Dubai, say, covering golf? (8)
EMIGRATE : The type of nation of which Dubai is an example contains G(olf).

14d     Know, oddly, about wild angora jumper (8)
KANGAROO : The first and third letters of know surround an anagram (wild) of ANGORA.

16d     Take apart and amend list for distribution (9)
DISMANTLE : An anagram (for distribution) of AMEND LIST.

17d     City school having to cover D-day (8)
EDMONTON : The UK’s most famous public school surrounds ‘D’ from the clue and the three letter abbreviation for the first day of the working week.

19d     Leading lady has kiss for Mike, say (7)
EXPRESS : Start with the leading lady of a large realm. Then replace its M(ike) with the letter used for kiss.

20d     The wreckage of many buried in brief notoriety (7)
FLOTSAM : A synonym for notoriety or celebrity loses its last letter and contains many or aa indefinite large number.

21d     Church group attached to old cat (6)
OCELOT : Start with O(ld), then the Anglican Church and a group or collection.

24d     Fireguards put up to protect carpenter’s tool (5)
AUGER : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

25d     Live with a socially acceptable boyfriend (4)
BEAU : A two letter synonym for live, then ‘A’ from the clue and the letter for socially acceptable.

We are not going to pick a favourite this week.  Too many great clues to choose from.

Quickie pun    boil    +    hirsute    =    boiler suit


105 comments on “DT 29906

  1. I seemed to click right from the off in this most enjoyable puzzle with 5,12,28 &29a plus 8&17d highlights but my top spot goes to the excellent 19d.
    Many thanks to the setter, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t Jay, and the 2Ks.

  2. I’m not sure what’s going on with me this week as this was another */*** for me with only slight delay on 19d. I thought 26a and 17d both very good and favour the former for COTD. Thanks to the 2Kiwis from a similarly blue skied Devon (just entering the Exe estuary and it’s glorious) and our setter.

  3. Such good surfaces. I too struggled with the vessel and the country and the carpenter’s tool of which I hadn’t heard. Thank you, Jay and the two K’s.

  4. A mainly straightforward puzzle with a few stings in the tail (3*/4*). I liked. I liked 17d and the 29a Spoonerism.

  5. Last one in 23 across. Couldn’t get Tobago out of my mind even though I knew it wasn’t right. Otherwise fairly straightforward, even the dreaded Spooner clue. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I feel a bout of Wordle Whinging is on its way

    1. With you on two, Tobago was stuck in my head for ages, and the Wordle whinge, my Jamaican Wordlers and I have already had a discussion.

  6. 2.5*/4*. I was on course for 1* finish but held up in the SE, but I did enjoy this a lot.

    Shouldn’t there be some sort of indicator in 6d that the letters to be removed from the anagram fodder do not appear in the right order?

    With plenty of excellent clues to choose from, my podium selection is 23a, 26a & 19d.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    P.S. I don’t normally comment about Wordle but it made me apoplectic today … 👎👎👎

    1. I got Wordle in 3 but only because I remembered in time where it originated from. I suppose we must get used to it.

      1. I agree with JB. I to got it in 3 despite the spelling. Thanks to those of you who sent helpful replies to my possible faux pas yesterday. If you need more games google word master & you can play as many 5 letter games as you want but beware of getting addicted. Also watch Lingo on itv at 3pm weekdays. I wonder if NYT has bought that as well.That’s enough of that!! Not as good at today’s crossword needed too many hints but what I could do was enjoyable. Thanks to the Kiwis & setter.

        1. I like Lingo too but not keen on the presenter and less keen on some of the contestants. It is the only quiz I know where the contestants feel the need to hug and kiss at every opportunity. Puts me off my cucumber sandwiches.

    2. A similar outcry happened with Wordle a few weeks ago so I was ready for it this time. I suppose now it’s been bought by the NYT we should expect to see more of this sort of thing!

        1. I agree with you. I had not started it when the American spelling was used before but knew it had happened so was alert to it. If one had three of the letters in the right place one did not need to be Einstein to work it out.

      1. There are a lot more 5 letter words in the US. Just about every 6 letter British word is minus its U, but easy for me to say after living here for 40 years.

    3. You didn’t know that Wordle uses American spelling? Possibly unwise since the population of the USA is 333 million, but there are around 1.5 billion English speakers worldwide. But then the guy did only create it so he and his girlfriend could enjoy playing it.

    4. I did wonder whether you were a Wordle sleeper RD. The man had to chose between his girlfriend or we Brits.

    5. American puzzle with American spelling? What’s the gripe? Surely the time to whinge is if it had been Brit spelling?

      1. I agree, Merusa. But it is one of the many reasons I’ve opted not to Wordle. Isn’t it remarkable what a difference a U makes in matters of civility?!

        1. I find enough here to whinge about, e.g., the lack of differentiation between a verb and noun, practice/practise and so on, that I refuse to get aerated about a missing “u” in a silly game that’s just there for a little fun. Once in PanAm in reservations, I was ositting next to a gal who was arguing with a passenger about a rule of his ticket, when in exasperation I heard her say, “Sir, it’s our airplane and we get to make the rules.” It’s Josh Wardle’s puzzle, he gets to make the rules.

  7. Completed in the waiting room at Addenbrookes whilst they looked at George’s head. It all fell into place so quickly but then I came to a grinding halt on 19d. I needed you hint Kiwus, for which many thanks and also to the setter for the satisfaction. Wordle in3 yesterday have not looked at today’s
    We are now off to Loch Fyne in Cambridge for a fishy lunch – eat your heart out Manders!

    1. Dead jealous DG! We have a Loch Fyne in Norwich although we have never been, I suppose too many fishy places close by.

      1. I did not spot a Loch Fyne when visiting Norwich at the weekend. We did have an excellent meal at a French restaurant – L’Hexagone.

    2. I thought I’d done 19d as I confidently submitted my solution, but apparently not! I’ve come to read the comments but won’t look at the hint until I’ve given it some more thought!

      1. I read the clue the other way around and ended with empress. But then I’m in Canada.

      1. No, husband – we have 2 daughters. In the last 3 years George has had four huge operations in the top of his head to remove squamous tumours. His head is not a pretty sight, nor his thighs where the grafts come from. But he is endlessly cheerful, busy busy on this and that charity or Rotary and the plastic surgery department of Addenbrookes is fantastic! They all love him!

    3. Oh dear, I thought you meant George’s head “all fell into place so quickly” when I first started to read your comment…

  8. All was going well but, like the 2Ks I spent as much time in Kent as I did with the rest of the puzzle. I always seem to go completely blank when faced with the work of the Reverend Spooner and such was the case here.

    I am so furious with Kurt Zouma, and the wishy-washy approach of West Ham. Cats are the most wonderful creatures in the world and we are lucky to share our lives with them. I can’t watch the video as I know it would distress me deeply.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Cure – Lovecats

    Thanks to the setter, and the duo of Ks bathing in their sunshine.

        1. I’m glad I didn’t see thatvideo and disappointed in a.member of a team I suppoorted . What an idiot.

      1. I am not sure overpaid footballers are known for their compassion. Sorry to generalise footballers but there you go. A lot of them say “like” a lot and are immature I think. Call me unwoke if you like.

    1. T. Let’s hope the video evidence is enough for the RSPCA/police to get this idiot prosecuted and banned from keeping annimals/pets.

      1. Jose
        I hope so too. Trouble is all they will do is fine him the equivalent of an hour’s “work”
        I haven’t seen the video & have no intention of doing so. Some footballers are oiks and the number on their shirt exceeds their IQ.

    2. And did I hear right that he got a slap on the wrist, and was allowed to keep the cat? Unbelievable.

      1. That is not correct. So far as his fine goes this is from the football club. It remains to be seen whether he is prosecuted.

  9. Really enjoyed todays puzzle, a star up on Mondays and Tuesdays difficulty, a **/**** for me.
    Agree with Celia on the quality of the surfacing, favourite was 26a with the eluding of the Millais painting and Mr T-top draw.
    Like MP re 23a ,which with all the checking letters looked like Tobago until the penny dropped, last in was 24d and the D’oh moment when I spotted it!
    Thanks to the 2K’s pics,wish I could shuffle like 18a

  10. Stumped by 23a which was very stupid of me. I’m never quite sure about clues like 17d. The city could be anywhere. In this case it must please our Canadian friends
    COTD is 18a

    1. Yes I got it immediately; I wondered how it came up in a British crossword. Bu then I’m in Canada.

  11. I didn’t recognise this puzzle as being one of Jay’s, as it seemed far easier than his normally do, although I may well be wrong. A lovely set of clues from which the answers seemed to flow right from the off. No favourites, but very enjoyable. I would concur with Rabbit Dave’s sentiment regarding today’s Wordle – although I “got it” in five again, I was absolutely incensed with its spelling – I’ll say no more for fear of giving too much of a hint :-(

  12. Quickly on wavelength for the fastest solve of the week in 1.5* time though must admit to the dreaded incorrect message at conclusion. Immediately knew it was either a fat fingered typo or a failure to read the clue properly & miss Jay’s trademark letter sub – a quick scan through & twas the latter (not for the first time) at 19d. I really must resolve to properly parse as I go rather than at the end. As ever loads to like – 15,23,28&29a plus 17&19d the standouts for me.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks
    Wordle in 3 today & grateful to previous word of warning from someone re curve balls (Jose I think)

  13. Definitely the SE corner that proved the most unyielding although the penny also took a while to drop where 8d was concerned.
    Very much appreciated the cleverness of 17&19d but the biggest laugh came from the ‘church group’ in 21d.

    Thanks to Jay for another excellent puzzle and to our 2Ks for the review.

  14. What an absolute delight, Jay at his very best – **/*****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 5a, 9a, 23a, 8d, 10d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  15. A lovely friendly crossword – I thought 28a was a clever clue – thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  16. Loved it, many thanks to setter & 2Kiwis. Like others, struggled a little in the SE. Favourite 8d, though top-notch throughout.

  17. Really enjoyed this today although it was the NE that held out the longest. Overcast and misling here in Norfolk so am envious of those blue skies. Wordle in 4 today and a big whinge from me! The guy is British so has learnt some bad habits. After someone on this site mentioned its similarity to Lingo I watched it yesterday – even the colours are the same. Oh well. Anyway thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

    1. The creator is British (from Wales) but is a long-time resident of Brooklyn. I guess he used American spelling to please his American girlfriend. I read that Wordle has been adapted to incorporate at least 91 languages, including American English, Welsh, Esperanto and Klingon. But apparently not Anglo-English!

    2. Why “bad” habits? I’m sure he didn’t imagine that his little bit of fun would spread throughout the world like wildfire. Suppose he had designed it with Brit spelling, imagine the first solvers trying to solve it? Wordle is American, I prefer Brit spelling as that is what I grew up with, however, I have decided, freely with no coercion, that I would like to join the Wordle club, I must accept it as it is and adjust to the puzzle, not expect the puzzle to adjust to me. I think that would be arrogant of me.

      1. Well said Merusa. Why on earth the different spellings bother anybody I do not know. Or why there is such ignorance of the reason why we have different spellings

        1. Agree. I have learnt to spell lots of words differently. When commenting on here I try to always use the British spellings and fight with the IPad as it keeps correcting them to American spelling. But if I was writing something for Americans I would use their spelling. When we first crossed the pond, I noticed that while we knew a lot of the differences, truck = lorry, holiday = vacation, etc. most locals didn’t. On my first shopping day in a supermarket, I asked if it was alright to put something in the trolley and met with vacant stares. Lesson one, remember to call it a cart in future.

  18. Excellent puzzle today with elegant clues giving good surface reading and enough of a challenge to be fun. Just my level of crossword, no darkened rooms or cold damp towels required.
    Thx to all involved.

  19. An excellent puzzle and very enjoyable to boot. About three quarters went in with little or no problems but the last quarter proved to be more of a challenge. The grey cells were stretched but eventually came up with the answers, although I will admit to needing the hints for a couple. Plenty of amusement to be had and many clues viewing for the podium. I have selected 28a and 17d with the latter being my COTD. I managed to get the Spoonerism clue, which I was pleased about. Such clues send me into a cold sweat!

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

    Wordle in 4.

    1. Jay? I would never have guessed him as I usually struggle. But I am not up to the level of guessing setters yet. Just answers. Occasionally.

    2. Steve
      At the risk of being lynched, my son introduced me to nerdlegame.com – it’s a Wordle theme but with numbers. Have you tried it?

      1. I have, LBROK but me and numbers just don’t get on. 😳 Daft really because I do sudoku.

  20. I thought that this was brilliant. As Senf says, Jay at his very best. Got the Spooner clue quite quickly for a change and thought the entire SE one big corker, but my COTD goes to 19d, with 8d, 28a, & 1a atop the podium (the last two in a draw). Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. ** / *****

    Very much enjoyed the Toughie even though I fell afoul of 9d, which was brand-new to me.

    1. Much later…it was 7d, not 9d, in the Toughie that threw me, and now, as I look at images of the jammed bridge separating Canada and the US (at Windsor / Detroit), I can’t help thinking that 7d may be operative even in matters of far-right insurrection and dementia. Canadian truckers have been joined at the hip by American truckers, and an international scene of absolute horror and thuggishness is the result.

  21. Trotted along nicely until I got to the South. I knew what 28a had to be but couldn’t see the dance, and Spooner meat be again.
    19d needed a hint too or I would have made the same mistake as Huntsman. 20d and 21d share the top step for me.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  22. A typical Wednesday puzzle for me that had many head scratching moments and a few PDM’s as well.
    My rating today 3*/3*
    Seems like a Jay puzzle, but I am no expert.
    Clues to like include 1a, 22a, 23a, 2d, 8d & 17d with my winners 29a & 17d

    Thanks to Jay(?) and the 2Kiwis

  23. Enjoyable early morning puzzle, I thought, a gentle introduction to the day with my pen barely leaving the page other than for the low country vessel. Good variety of clues and my COTD to the wonderful Spoonerism … probably because I spotted the wretched thing very swiftly and then laughed!

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the Setter and to the 2Ks

  24. Agree with the kiwis ***/**** as I too struggled with the SE corner. I had spent a week in the Canadian city and all too obvious once solved and parsed.
    Great fun with a host of well crafted clues. Cheers Jay? and Kiwis.

  25. A nice Wed puzzle of about average difficulty. Good clues and an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few but no stand-out favourite today. 2.5*/3.5*.

  26. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks. Terence I thought today’s track was most apposite. I’m still cruising this week so feeling increasingly wary about Thursday and Friday. Though I did stumble on 19d, one of 2 neat little internal substitutions I suspect are trademark Jay. **/****

  27. Enjoyed this puzzle – a fair Wednesday workout that took its time to fall into place..some clever clueing indeed!
    Thanks to J & Ks 👍

  28. 3/4. Sailed through this until the SE quadrant knocked me off my perch. I spent a long time trying to wrestle this to the ground. In all very enjoyable. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  29. Unlike some of you who had trouble in the SE, it was the NE that caught me out. I don’t know why but it held up my solving time. Some favourites 15 18 23 28 and 29a and 8 10 19 and 20d. Of those the top spot goes to 28a. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I was grateful for some of the parsing

    1. Glad you enjoyed your w/e in Norwich – don’t know the restaurant you visited. If you go again there is a Turkish restaurant called Haggle which is the most authentic outside Turkey. We travelled all over Turkey during the 80’s before it became popular. Delicious cuisine.

      1. Thank you! We also went to the Belgian Bar/restaurant called the Monk’s something (Just forgot the name). We had delicious tartiflette there.

  30. Morning all.
    Looks like we weren’t the only ones to struggle a bit in the SE. It took us ages before the ‘When all else fails….’ rule kicked in for 24d and the two geography clues had us head-scratching too.
    When we did our Wordle yesterday we commented to each other that it might ruffle a feather or two here. Rest assured that the next one won’t repeat the ‘crime’. They seem to be coordinated with different time zones so that new ones always appear at midnight local time.

  31. Late coming to this as drove back from London via Worcester. Worth the wait though as it was great entertainment, with the outstanding 19d taking my top spot. It felt like a Jay so thanks to him and the 2Ks. All has been said about Wordle today so I shall just say it took me 4 attempts.

  32. Setter here – many thanks to the 2Kiwis as always for excellent analysis and to all for the eagerly read comments!

    1. I think I am getting on your wavelength Jay. Used to struggle. For heaven’s sake keep doing what you are doing! Thanks for your intellect.

  33. 6d got me slightly as I didn’t really find the surface all that meaningful. I don’t suppose they all have to sound utterly convincing. As to its subtractive anagram, I suppose as NZ could theoretically appear at any point in an anagram that includes the answer, and then be removed, (e.g. NZ??????? or ???NZ????) we are on solid ground.

  34. Another perfect Jay! I loved it all, sailing briskly through it until I got to the SE. I dread Spoonerisms but did get it at the end. I worried and teased at 23a until I was able to shake Tobago out of my mind, at last I tumbled to “low” and got it. I thought 28a rather clever, but I really don’t have a fave, too much choice here.
    Thanks Jay for bundles of fun, and 2Kiwis once more for your snapshot! Wordle in 3 today.

  35. A lovely crossword ***/**** 😃 So many brilliant clues perhaps 26 & 28a and 8 and 17d just by a short head 😳 Thanks to the 2xKs and to Jay

  36. Excellent mix of clues.
    Top spot jointly to 27a and 17d. Brilliant.
    Pondering too long over the Spoonerism clue popped me into ** time.
    Many thanks, indeed, Jay and thanks to the 2Kiwis.

  37. A very enjoyable puzzle, and was getting quite excited at first as the boxes started filling up. But it went downhill in the SE. When my brain sees with word Spooner is just shuts down. But I did know the carpenters tool, being married for 55 years to husband who enjoys woodworking. Please everyone don’t mention the wordle result, for those of us who do it later in the day, thanks. Thanks to setter (Jay?), and to 2Kiwis.

      1. Sorry wrote that before saw your response. I think she was the first of the three to “die” and that took place in the snug at the Rover’s Return.

  38. Either I’m finally getting on Jay’s wavelength or this was was at the easier end of his spectrum, I’m hoping it’s the former as nothing held me up for very long. Favourite was 23a, I was nowhere near Tobago at any time. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

  39. I’m definitely slower in the uptake at the end of the day but I enjoyed this accompaniment to solo dinner. Lots of likes including 23a, 8d, 20d and 21d. 23a is a crafty surface as once again the low didn’t ring a bell. Thank you Jay (especially for looking in on us from down under) and thanks also to 2Kiwis.

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