DT 29912 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29912

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29912

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Last week we spoke about a moist tropical weather system that drenched much of New Zealand. This proved to be just a pipe-opener as it was followed a few days after our last blog by an even bigger and windier tropical system that was the remnants of Cyclone Dovi. There was flooding and wind damage in several parts of the country but we were lucky again and got off lightly. We’re back to more normal summer conditions now.

We found this quite a tricky puzzle and spent a lot of time on a couple of clues in the NW sector.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Reject public transport resistance in current sort of climate (11)
SUBTROPICAL : The reversal of a public transport vehicle. Next, a word meaning current or relating to present circumstances contains R(esistance).

9a     Figure pain mostly comes after coded broadcast (9)
DODECAGON : An anagram (broadcast) of CODED is followed by a synonym for pain without its last letter. The ‘pain’ word is classically linked with ‘ecstasy’.

10a     Work hard replacing female with new allowance (5)
GRANT : Start with a word meaning work hard and replace its F(emale) with N(ew).

11a     Fold of cold fat — not good (6)
CREASE : C(old) and then fat that could possibly be used for lubrication loses its G(ood).

12a & 26 Across     Teach those upset by reduction and focus on action (3,2,3,5)
CUT TO THE CHASE : A three letter word for a reduction is followed by an anagram (upset) of TEACH THOSE.

13a     Withdraw material, then make public (6)
REPAIR : A corded or ribbed material and then make public or broadcast.

15a     Got dried off, ready for bed? (3-5)
DOG-TIRED : An anagram (off) of GOT DRIED.

18a     Offsets evil business taking precedence (6,2)
TRADES IN : Business or commerce comes before (taking precedence) evil or wrong-doing.

19a     Eschewing New York, Tennyson composed such lines (6)
SONNET : An anagram (composed) of TEN(ny)SON once NY has been removed.

21a     Vision of cardinal welcoming positive response (8)
EYESIGHT : A cardinal number contains a positive or affirmative response.

23a     Butcher’s fine cuts hit us badly (6)
SHUFTI : An anagram (badly) of HIT US contains F(ine).

26a     See 12 Across

27a     Copy of dossier about dodgy claims missing line (9)
FACSIMILE : A dossier or record of details contains an anagram (dodgy) of C(l)AIMS with L(ine) removed.

28a     Reprimand journalist after broadcaster shot up (11)
SKYROCKETED : A Pay TV broadcaster, then a reprimand or dressing down and the two letter senior journalist.


1d     Transport used by teacher importing endless coffee? (7)
SIDECAR : The term of address that used to be used for a male teacher contains coffee with all the good stuff removed and without its last letter.

2d     Move resulting from golf in Cornish resort (5)
BUDGE : A resort on the North East coast of Cornwall contains G(olf).

3d     Take a break — the setter’s going back (9)
RECESSIVE : Take a break as a parliament or court might do, then a short way that the compiler might say ‘I own’.

4d & 17 Down     Bacon may sell well? That’s unlikely (4,5,3)
PIGS MIGHT FLY : The animals from which bacon is produced and a 5,3 phrase that could mean ‘may sell well’.

5d     Entertainer caught working with one on panel (8)
CONJUROR : C(aught) then a two letter word meaning working and a person on a panel in a court of law.

6d     Lawful impediment protecting US soldier (5)
LEGIT : An impediment in law or of a tennis serve surrounds the initials for a US soldier.

7d     Idiot priest’s unfinished notice (7)
FATHEAD : The usual address for a parish priest without its last letter and then a publicity notice.

8d     Inmate found outside a prison — that’s incontestable (4-4)
CAST-IRON : An informal word for an inmate encloses ‘A’ from the clue and a slang word for prison.

14d     Scheme to accommodate a church minister’s first appointee (8)
PLACEMAN : A synonym for scheme contains ‘A’ from the clue, the Anglican Church and the first letter of minister.

16d     Excessively stupid, grabbing power tool for clearing gaps (9)
TOOTHPICK : A 3,5 phrase meaning excessively stupid contains P(ower).

17d     See 4 Down

18d     Claret blended with last of the syrup (7)
TREACLE : An anagram (blended) of CLARET and the final letter of ‘the’.

20d     This oddly covers a loan for the final part (4,3)
TAIL END : The first and third letters of ‘this’ surround ‘A’ from the clue and then another word for loan as a verb.

22d     Thoughts from assistants finding answer further down (5)
IDEAS : Start with a word for assistants and move the initial A(nswer) down three places.

24d     Fine cotton that’s used to start a fire (5)
FLINT : F(ine) and then cotton that’s in a fluffy state rather than as a thread.

25d     Repeat part of speech (off-the-record) (4)
ECHO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

Quickie pun    boat    +    eyes    =    bow ties

98 comments on “DT 29912

  1. 3*/4.5*. Nicely challenging and great fun, with 4/17d, 14d & 16d my top three.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  2. Another in a long line of top class Wednesday puzzles.
    I’d not heard of the figure or the appointee but both were easily attainable from the wordplay and checkers.
    I liked 12/26a as it’s such a useful and elegant phrase and the very sneaky 23a the best in a strong field. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter (I’d be surprised if it wasn’t Jay) and the 2Ks.

  3. An interesting puzzle with some well- misdirexted clues. The SW held me up for a while (3*/5*) but I got there in the end. The 12a/ 24a ombo And 18a were particularly good. Thanks to the Kiwis and to the setter.

      1. Merusa, i’m sort of
        Aambidextrous . I usually write with my left hand but, having fractured my left wrist, I am filling in the puzzle grids and typing with my right hand. I have to do this quite slowly and carefully, which has been beneficial. It’s an ill wind that blows nobodyany good!

  4. The pic at 18d reminded me of some that I had in torremolinos last week with some fried aubergine, mmm! Thankyou Jay for including some unusual words this week and Mr and Mrs Kiwi.

  5. Enjoyable puzzle; slow start, but then rattled through. Haven’t seen 14d for a long while.
    I noticed that the quickie today is a pangram. Is this unusual, or me just not paying attention?!
    Thanks setter and 2Ks

  6. Not quite as good as last week perhaps but still another cracker from Jay. Spotted the letter sub clue this time but a slowish solve with a few head scratchers on the parsing front. 2d brought back happy memories of 36 holes in glorious weather at Bude & North Cornwall links – not the county’s finest but a lovely course. Tops for me the craftily misleading surface read at 23a & also particularly liked 4/17d & 16d though there were plenty of ticks elsewhere. I see he also bunged in a Quickie pangram for the 2nd week running.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks whose review I shall now read.
    Wordle in 4 though wasn’t 100% what it meant.

  7. Not only a pangram quickie today but also a masterpiece of a cryptic from our Wednesday maestro. Tricky and full of guile, but not a dud in the grid. 16d, 4/17d, 12/26a, & 9a top a very strong number of other contenders. I’ve never heard of that particular kind of political appointee, but the clueing was quite fair, and the main reason I got 23a is that I’ve learned a lot from doing these cryptics. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay for another corker. 2.5* / 4.5*

    Micawber in the Toughie!? That’s all I need to finish.

  8. Slow but steady progress — this took me longer than usual, but I didn’t get completely stuck at any point. Thank you to the setter.

    I made life trickier for myself by putting in “could” as the middle word of 4d/17d, which is a variant of the phrase that is encountered and fits the clue just as well — but rather causes issues for the two crossing words. I didn’t know 6d’s impediment. OED labels it as “now archaic”; thank you to the Kiwis for explaining.

    Interesting that ‘fine’ for ‘F’ is used twice … but both times are describing the same letter, at the intersection of 23a and 24d. Does it still count as repetition if it’s only used for a single letter?!

    I do like clues like 9a and 14d where I just follow instructions with no idea where they are going but somehow a word pops out at the end. My favourite was the “excessively stupid” 16d, which made me laugh.

      1. Haven’t looked at a passport in a while, but I think Her Britannic Majesty used to say that it afforded holders travel without let or hindrance ….and I do not think I am so so old as to be be classified as archaic….

        1. Exactly what sprang to my mind too Ora.
          How’s the weather down there? Just having a couple of inches of snow & looks like more.

          1. Spot on — the very next words in the OED after “now archaic” are “most common in phrase let or hindrance”. I hadn’t heard that phrase either, but then I don’t have a passport.

            Though if ‘let’ means ‘hindrance’, that’s effectively ‘hindrance or hindrance’, making it one of those legal doublets — ah, yes; it’s included in Wikipedia’ list.

      2. When playing squash and your opponent is in the way of you getting to the ball, you call ‘let’, as he hindered you, and replay the point. Won’t be taking that sport up again, I’ll stick to golf!

      3. Yep, the OED link above has it as the second part of the same definition. And of course I’d heard the tennis meaning, but I’d thought of it as the mechanism by which a serve is replayed, rather than the slight obstruction that leads to needing it to be replayed.

        I mean, a full obstruction doesn’t get replayed; that’s just a fault. It hadn’t occurred to me that the word for what happens when the ball isn’t completely obstructed would be a word for obstruction.

  9. Another lovely selection of clues from Mr Wednesday. Most of the head-scratching here came courtesy of 3&14d and the ‘butcher’ nicely misdirected me for a while.
    Favourite was the 4/17d porker.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review. High winds forecast here for the next couple of days, no doubt there’ll be fallen trees blocking the roads again…….

  10. Thinking Tennyson might have written Nonets held me up in the South East until I simply did as I was told at 20 down and all fell nicely into place. Ta to Jay and to the 2Ks. We’ve been very wet in South Leicestershire as well

    1. I tried nonets too, but obviously wrong. Thanks to Jay and the 2k, a very enjoyable puzzle. One small point, I think the seaside picture is of Clovelly which is in Devon.

      1. It is indeed Clovelly. I recognise the Red Lion where I have supped a few pints. It’s a nice picture though

  11. While I was solving, I started to think that this was not a Jay production but, towards the end, I decided that it was possibly with some ‘influence’ from his Toughie alter ego Logman – ***/****.

    I don’t think that I have come across 14d before.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 28a, and the 4d/17d combo – and the winner is the combo.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  12. First run through got two!
    Then, randomly, managed to solve four more.
    Then steady, unaided progress to completion.
    Some absolutely brilliant clueing, eg 1a and 1d.
    Enjoyable throughout, so ***plus/*****
    Many thanks, indeed Jay (?) and thanks the 2Kiwis.

  13. I enjoyed this immensely but spent far too long trying to find a power tool to fit into 16d so that was my last in. Thought 23a was great as well – the last letter finally gave it away. Jumping up and down chasing muntjac out of the garden – the one with the horns today stood its ground for so long I thought I might have to leg it myself. Will arm myself with a broom in future. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Wordle in 5 – just. See they are going all woke and taking out saucy words such as wench! Saucy is probably out as well.

    1. Oh no – don’t push your luck with a muntjac – you need more than a broom – they’re vicious! :negative:

  14. A minor gripe. Is it just me or is anyone else mildly irritated by the way the DT enumerates clues spread across multiple boxes? We had 2 here today – 12/26a & 4/17d. All other puzzle sites I use (Big Dave, Graun & Indy) enumerate the clue in full (3,2,3,5 & 4,5,3) at the first bit so you don’t have to scan the grid to see what’s needed & if solving online automatically highlight the squares.

    1. I am confused – on my printed sheet, from the Puzzles web site, I have, for the first combo, 12 & 26 Across Teach . . . action (3,2,3,5). Isn’t that enumeration ‘at the first bit’?

      1. I’ve just checked & of course you are right. For some unknown reason the puzzle as displayed in the digital paper, that a number of us use, doesn’t. Perhaps CL would address if he reads the comments.

  15. A nice Wednesday puzzle, a middling challenge with good clues providing an enjoyable solve. Fav: 14d – guessed the answer from the fine word-play and checkers and then confirmed online. 3*/4*.

  16. Challenging, but in a delightful way. I didn’t understand the parsing of 19a and 25d and then felt a complete eejit when I saw the light shone by the 2Ks.

    Here’s Lola ‘helping’ me this morning. It’s one reason why some crosswords take longer than others to finish.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Love it Terence. Our late Basil was very prone to sitting on anything we were trying to read. Cats very cleverly know how to ensure getting your attention.

    2. Dear Lola, perfect help for crosswords! I found some ginger kittens a few years ago, at about a year of age Maisie decided the grass was greener next door and his lived there for some time. Yesterday I thought I was seeing double when I had two ginger cats in my house. Maisie has now taken over the front of the house and Amalia rules the back. It’s so nice to have Maisie back, she’s really very sweet, even though she wants to walk all over my computer keyboard.

  17. I must be going through a bad patch at present because I needed far too many hints to finish this. I can’t remember when I last finished a puzzle unaided but hey ho!

    What I managed of today’s offering from Jay was enjoyable and my COTD is 1a. It fell immediately and I thought the puzzle would be straightforward but I only got one other after the first run through.

    Many thanks to Jay for the beating and to the 2 Ks for the much needed hints.

    Still wet, windy, muddy with turnips and sheep in the marches.

    Wordle in 4.

  18. I tried nonets too, but obviously wrong. Thanks to Jay and the 2k, a very enjoyable puzzle. One small point, I think the seaside picture is of Clovelly which is in Devon.

  19. At the limit of my ability today: NW corner problematic. 23a was a new word for me. I struggled with the ending of 3d for some reason.
    But the crossword served as a much needed antidote to the weather outside and 19a made me laugh out loud.

  20. Another highly entertaining puzzle that gave me far less of a problem than did today’s Wordle (which I failed) Super clues, with 1d, 4, & 12a among my favourites. Thanks to setter and 2 Ks.

  21. I called in today to see if the setter was Jay. It seems to me that he has ‘upped his game’ recently. Very good, and at about the limit of my ability also. Thanks to all.

  22. My brain hurts. Really having a hard time getting on wavelength. Putting aside for later. Here are some more pictures of our stork visitors yesterday morning:

  23. Cracking puzzle, tremendous fun – so very witty and clever. Could pick so many for special mention but will restrict to 9a and 16d with COTD to 5d.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

  24. Found this very difficult today and agree with Senf was more like Logman showed up today and Jay took the day off.
    4*/2* for me today.
    Never heard of 14d nor 23a. Some very hard clues to parse today took some of the enjoyment out.
    Clues I liked were 12a, 21a, 5d & 16d

    Thanks to Logman today and the 2K’s

  25. 2 different words again for the UK Wordle vs the US version. The UK one is what the US was yesterday. Very curious.
    Done in 3

  26. Having completed this I can’t really work why I found it tricky or why I really disliked it.
    Not one for me I’m afraid. Too many half finished clues and I have no idea what a 14d is, I suspect some religious office or another.
    Thx for the hints. Ah well Monday and Tuesday were good.

    1. You are wrong. The church is in the middle of the clue. I did not know that appointee so, when I worked out the answer, which was possible, I looked it up.

  27. Morning all.
    Have just removed the picture for 2d. We got the answer from checkers and wordplay as we did not know the place and then trusted Google Images for the illustration. Obviously not such a good idea. Apologies.
    Our last two in were 3d and 13a both of which took considerable head scratching.

    1. I liked the illustration. It reminded me of several holidays with friends and family at various stages of my life. Crab sandwiches and pints of bitter in the sunshine. The road down is so steep it’s best to take the Land Rover taxi back to the top. The only motor powered vehicle you will see in Clovelly. Codester Samuel Morse lived there once

    2. Absolutely no need to apologise! Why on earth should you in NZ know a small town in Cornwall, furthermore, it was very pretty.

    3. Apology totally not needed. Like we could recognize somewhere in New Zealand? And it’s a lovely picture anyway, I wish I could get there these days.

  28. Very late coming to this as in Worcester all day but as always a Jay puzzle is always worth the wait. Some lovely, elegant clueing, and great wordplay. 16d will do for my favourite this evening.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  29. 4/4. Great fun if a little taxing. Like others 14d was a new word for me although easily got from the wordplay. This was my favourite closely followed by 23a which is such a pleasant word. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  30. Found it difficult and failed at 3d and 13a…but I see that these were the 2Kiwis last ones in so do not feel so bad.

    I must point out, that in my neck of the woods, treacle and syrup are completely different.
    Treacle is black (and goes into home made gingerbread which is a cake best eaten thickly buttered, not biscuity), syrup is golden.
    Glad I got that out there.
    Miserable weather here but the wind is not too bad……yet.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis.

      1. Correct although, where I come from, Tate & Lyle’s golden syrup was always known as treacle.

    1. Treacle and syrup do often cause confusion. Here’s a good description from Wiki:

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Treacle (/ˈtriːkəl/)[1] is any uncrystallised syrup made during the refining of sugar.[2][3] The most common forms of treacle are golden syrup, a pale variety, and a darker variety known as black treacle. Black treacle, or molasses, has a distinctively strong, slightly bitter flavour, and a richer colour than golden syrup.[4] Golden syrup treacle is a common sweetener and condiment in British cuisine, found in such dishes as treacle tart and treacle sponge pudding.

      Apparently, there is a product called “golden syrup treacle” – as if it wasn’t confusing enough already!

      1. So by that definition, treacle is a type of syrup, and therefore the clue is perfectly 6d!

        I’d also normally think of golden syrup … but the fact that it has the modifier “golden” implies that other colours of syrup are also available, and that “syrup” on its own isn’t necessarily golden.

        1. For our family gathering last Saturday, we had to make our lunch choices in advance. A good proportion of the twenty of us chose treacle sponge pudding before we decided what to have as a main course!

          1. According to the Wiki article just above, a sweetener called “golden syrup treacle” is used in treacle sponge pudding. Maybe as an secondary ingredient? All very confusing …

            1. Golden syrup is used in the pudding but I’ve known it as treacle sponge pudding all my life

  31. I found this very tricky but hugely enjoyable. I needed to use a lot of e-help, never heard of 9a or 14d, learnt something new. I failed at 8d, so DNF, but so much to enjoy. I solved 1a right off and thought it was a good omen, not so! Loved 4/17d, but 23a gets my hands down fave; a word very much in use when I lived in UK in the 60s. Another one that amused was 7d.
    Thanks Jay for all the fun, and 2Kiwis for unravelling so much for me. Wordle in 4 today.

  32. For some reason I found this a bit of a slog with a few iffy clues including 1d, 3d, 14d and 20d. My Fav was 23a particularly so as I like the word. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis.

  33. Found this a bit tricky 🤔 Did not know 14d ***/*** Favourites are 9a, 2d & 5d, Thanks to the 2x Ks and to the compiler

  34. As others have remarked tough for a Wednesday Jay. Doable with some head scratching. A fun solve that gave me satisfaction to complete.
    26a my COTD.
    Thanks to Jay & the two Ks.
    Will we win a medal? Even if we get 4 in the curling it will be the most expensive pieces of gold ever.

  35. Last ones in were 18a and 3 and 19d. I am not sure why I hesitated on 13a. My mother used to talk about that material but there are different ways to spell it which didn’t help.favourites were 4/17d plus 8 and 16d. Thanks Jay and 2Ks. Glad of being able to confirming that my parsing was OK. 23 interesting. I knew the word but not the spelling.

  36. Those of us of a certain age can remember that a threepenny piece was a 9a. So no problem for me, as was neither 23a – a common expression in the 1950s. Loved the puzzle. **/****

    1. Yes, we were given a threepenny piece each per day to spend at the sweet shop. Oh those lemon sherberts, pear drops and other delights.

  37. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very good puzzle as usual from Jay, I always look forward to Wednesdays. Hadn’t heard of 14d, but got it from the wordplay. LOI was 13a. Favourite was 23a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  38. I seem to be in the same rut as Steve C I had to resort to the hints sooner than usual but I did like the crossword. 27a and the 12/26a combo pleased today.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s

  39. I failed to solve several clues which the hints didn’t help with. Enjoyed the rest of the crossword so a shame to have failed.

    I don’t think I will ever understand clues like 18a.

    14d is a new word I doubt I will ever see again.

    Thanks to all.

  40. I sympathise with you re 18a because I would argue that offset doesn’t in fact mean that but rather something like make up for.

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