DT 29918 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29918

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29918

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A busy day here for us. Colin is having a cataract operation early tomorrow morning so all sorts of things such as mowing the lawns have to be fitted into our Wednesday schedule as well as the blog. Slowly getting ticks in the required boxes so guess we will get there.

All the usual Wednesday crossword fun too.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Hope changes nothing for City (7)
PHOENIX : An anagram (changes) of HOPE and an informal word for nothing.

9a     About two days fighting and following star (3,5)
RED DWARF : String together the two letter about or referring to, D(ay), D(ay), major fighting, and then F(ollowing).

10a     Occupy husband going in shortly (7)
INHABIT : A 2,1,3 phrase meaning shortly contains H(usband).

11a     Information I possess about Italian case (8)
GENITIVE : An informal word for information, then the abbreviation for Italian language and the short way of writing ‘I possess’.

12a     Sign from car parked next to empty garage (6)
GEMINI : The classic small car of the 1960’s comes after the first and last letters of garage.

13a     This’ll keep the water off coach crashing in river (6,4)
TRENCH COAT : A significant river of the English Midlands contains an anagram (crashing) of COACH.

15a     Pure water (4)
MERE : A double definition. The water here can be a lake.

16a     Girl coming out from Underground back in the arms of Italian poet (9)
DEBUTANTE : The pet name for the London Underground is reversed and contained by a famous 13/14th century Italian poet.

21a     A name attached to team for City (4)
XIAN : A football or cricket team expressed as Roman numerals, then ‘A’ from the clue and N(ame).

22a     Conditional outlook should this be open? (7,3)
WEATHER EYE : A cryptic definition for being alert to meteorological conditions.

24a     Part of 11 down that breaks new ground (6)
PLOUGH : A cryptic definition of a component of 11 down.

25a     Fast mover carrying west-bound bulk material (8)
GOSSAMER : Another word for bulk is reversed (west-bound) inside a fast enthusiastic person.

27a     Garments worn by kids occasionally after endless cycling? (7)
BIKINIS : Remove the last letter from a word for travelling on a bicycle and then the second and fourth letters from ‘kids’.

28a     Planned with no pressure by a student and doled out (8)
ALLOTTED : ‘A’ from the clue and the student driver letter precede planned or schemed with the initial P(ressure) removed.

29a     Hack working inside Libya intermittently must be hurting (2,5)
IN AGONY : A hack or broken-down horse and the two letter working are enclosed by the second and fourth letters of Libya.


2d     Felt need to see rampant greed suppressed by Attila, say (8)
HUNGERED : The tribal description of Attila and an anagram (rampant) of GREED.

3d     Tested, cut up and extracted (8)
EXAMINED : The reversal (up) of cut with a hatchet and then extracted by digging underground.

4d     One-off dress should be raised with one on board (10)
INIMITABLE : The reversal (raised) of a dress style from the 60’s then Roman numeral one and a board as a piece of furniture.

5d     Yield from planned economy given a lift (4)
CEDE : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

6d     Being overdrawn on course is slightly unusual (6)
ODDISH : The two letters indicating an overdraft on a bank statement and a food course.

7d     Caretaker‘s New Year’s Day rise (7)
JANITOR : New Year’s Day written as the short form of the month and a Roman numeral and then a rise or small hill.

8d     Influences results with change of leader (7)
AFFECTS : Start with a word meaning results and change the first letter. (Bet we weren’t the only ones who felt the need to check this).

11d     Stars offering fantastic support (5,4)
GREAT BEAR : Another word for fantastic and then support or carry the weight of.

14d     Do nothing initially about strangely poetic thought (10)
CONCEPTION : A three letter word for do or trick and the first letter of nothing enclose an anagram (strangely) of POETIC.

17d     Revealing lover once putting on airs (8)
EXPOSING : The prefix that could also mean a previous lover, then ostentatiously displaying.

18d     Go to Scotland, with cat a bundle of nerves (8)
GANGLION : The Scottish word meaning go and a large African cat.

19d     Personal objective must be a mistake (3,4)
OWN GOAL : Personal or belonging to the speaker and then objective or aim.

20d     A note covered by new clue for ‘tablet‘ (7)
CAPSULE : ‘A’ from the clue and note added at the end of a letter are surrounded by an anagram (new) of CLUE.

23d     Tries taking in top of tropical suit (6)
HEARTS : Tries in a law court contains the first letter of tropical.

26d     Regular revenues with no regrets (4)
EVEN : What is left of the word revenues once a synonym for regrets has been removed.

We enjoyed the clues with the mini theme of celestial bodies.

Quickie pun    pour    +    keep    +    eyes    =    porky pies

82 comments on “DT 29918

  1. A first rate ***/**** Wednesday puzzle which took a little while to get into. Stand out clues include 21a for which I had to dig deep and my COTD 20d which I thought well constructed. I hadn’t heard of the pure definition of 15a before although the answer was clear. Thanks to the 2K’s and the setter.

  2. An enjoyable puzzle. I started whilst sat in the car wash but had to finish when I got home which I make ***. Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter.

  3. Clever ‘themed’ puzzle today with excellent cluing throughout,right on my wavelenght and am going for a **/***** as the enjoyment factor was top draw.Best crossword for ages.
    Favourites was the ‘doublet’ of 11d and 24a
    Thanks to setter and the pics from the 2k,s

  4. A pleasant, quirokily clued puzzle with a bit of an old style feel (are there still girls who ‘come out’?). I certainly found this on a welcome relief after yesterday’s marathon, 3*/4*. The pick of the bunch for me were 1a and 12a but there wete anumber of others that were very good. Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for the hints. I wish you well with your catatact op Colin. I had advanced cataracts in my 50’s, when I still worked fulltime as a teacher at a comprehensive school. The op came as such a reliefafter striggling to read A level essays.

      1. They still have them in London. Queen Charlotte’s ball has continued . What ceased in 1958 was the presentation at Court.

        1. But to be a “Debutante” you had to be presented at Court by someone who had herself previously been presented. Queen Charlotte’s Ball is a different affair these days!

  5. Nominative, vocative, accusative, _________, dative, ablative is all I have to say today. Takes me back. Thanks as always to 2Ks

    1. Indeed. And don’t forget masculine, feminine – and neuter, especially. The woke that insist on dreadful words like ‘spokesperson’, do not realise that words like mankind, spokesman are the English version of neuter. Heigh-ho.

  6. Another enjoyable whiz-bang of a Wednesday gem, with 1a setting the happy pace for a few partial anagrams, some tricky inserts and reversals, and a lot of wit in general. I have ticks all over the grid, with 25a, 21a, 7d, & 11d/24a all jockeying for the top prizes, in no certain order. This certainly seems like Jay-master’s handiwork to me. Thanks to the Kiwis (and best wishes, Colin, for your cataract surgery) and to Jay, if it is indeed he. ** / ****

  7. 2*/4.5*. Quite light and great fun. My top selections are 1a, 11a, 7d & 11d.

    Many thanks presumably to Jay, and to the 2Ks. Hope all goes well with the cataract op, Colin.

  8. I’d be telling the Quickie pun if I said I found this easy – thought the Graun far easier & that’s rarely the case for me. Anyway great satisfaction in completing with all parsed. Not 100% convinced it’s a Jay production but that’s still where I’d put my ten bob. Thought it a really super puzzle with a host of big ticks & not a dud to be found. 1,10,13,16,25&29a along with 7,14&18d can fight it out for which of 3 podiums they occupy.
    Thanks to the setter & the 2Ks
    Wordle in 5.
    Quick glance at the Toughie & there’s a lot of words. Django ?

      1. It certainly is that, a Toughie which took everything I had in me (plus a bit more) to finish.

  9. A super puzzle which really tested the old grey matter. I liked so many of the clues, but if pushed to name a few, I’d go for 21a, 27a 29a & 2d, but it was all a most enjoyable solve. Thanks to setter and 2Ks. (No grass mowing here today – still waiting for the Severn to peak and praying for the poor beggars who live alongside it.
    Wordle in 4.

        1. Heh, heh. :-) I have to admit to one mow already this year. I like to keep it tidy-ish as it is the dog’s toilet and it’s much easier both to clean and see where she’s been.

  10. I had to work quite hard to finish this excellent puzzle.
    11a a new word that I managed to construct from the wordplay and my first thought for 22a was weather app!.
    Lots to like including 10,25&27a plus 20d but my favourite was the linked 11d&24a. Excellent pun too so maybe not Jay? Great stuff.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks and good luck to Colin.

    1. It is reassuring to know that even hinters like you aren’t infallible SL but I am surprised that you didn’t know that declension. Good weather inbound in Devon for us it is alleged.

  11. I found this themed crossword slightly more difficult than usual on a Wednesday. Enjoyable as ever

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks – good luck Colin with the relatively straightforward but extremely life-transforming (I’ve had both eyes done) operation

    1. Definitely life-transforming Colin. Be sure to have dark glasses on hand, you’ll not believe the brightness and the vivid colours when it’s done, it can be a bit overwhelming!

  12. A thoroughly enjoyable and pleasingly testing puzzle for a mercifully bright and dry Shropshire morning. There were several outstanding clues, of which 7d stood out for me as favourite.

    I am not convinced this was a Jay production, but many thanks anyway to whomsoever set this little gem, and to the 2Ks. Good luck to Colin for his op.

  13. Definitely more challenging than a typical Wednesday puzzle. If it is indeed a Jay production then, for me, there is plenty of Logman influence – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 16a, and 18d – and the winner is 18d.

    Thanks to Jay(?) and to the 2Kiwis – hope the op goes well and that Colin is a ‘good’ patient.

  14. Absolutey cracking puzzle, and proof once again that they don’t have to be overly testing to be right up there with the best. Some wonderful clues, anagrams kept to a minimum,super smooth surfaces – what a pleasure throughout.

    Hon Mentions to 1a, 10a, 16a, 27a, 18d and 20d; COTD for me was 26d, by a whisker.

    1.5 / 4.5

    Many thanks to the Setter and to the 2Ks – good luck tomorrow.

  15. I didn’t find this one as straightforward as the first two this week but it was enjoyable nevertheless. I was help up for ages in the NW because I, rather stupidly, had the O and E the wrong way round in 1a. It took me a while to get to that point because I could not get “nil” out of my mind for “nothing”. I liked 22a and 4d but my COTD is 7d, which I suspect is a chestnut.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to the 2K’s for the hints. I also add my good wishes for Colin’s op. I was amazed at the improvement in my sight after I had had mine done. I shouldn’t have been driving!

    Pleasant day in The Marches with sunny intervals but the wind is still making its presence felt even though it is now a stiff breeze.

    Wordle in 4.

  16. A delightful journey to the stars with our Wednesday maestro with just enough tricky bits to give pause for thought.
    Eventual choice of top clues here was 1a&11d but many others came into contention.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – hope everything goes smoothly tomorrow, Colin.

  17. Found that quite a hard work out but very satisfying.
    26d held me up for far too long – I tried all sorts of regular letter combinations to justify the ‘regrets’ before noticing the bleeding obvious 😁

  18. A very pleasant finish to the puzzling quintet. Wordle. Toughie. Codeword. Quickie. Cryptic. All done before a trip to the market, the dairy and Sutton Cheney Wharf for breakfast. Thanks to the setter for a fine entertainment and to the 2Ks for the lovely blog. All the best for your operation Colin. I’m sure you will be done and dusted in no time

  19. An OK puzzle but must admit 11a and the city were both unknowns to me.
    No favs but finished with only the bottom right holding me up.
    Thx to all

  20. Many people have an issue with the two words in 8d. I was told this one a few years ago that I always use:

    Just remember the word Raven…


    They can mean the opposite but it’s quite rare.

    1. I’ve never had a problem with those 2 words but I still nearly always spell yatch incorrectly. Or is it yaught? Got a nmemonic?

      1. I ACHe after I’ve been yACHting.

        I pretty much ache getting out of a chair these days though

      2. Of course, courtesy of you know who:

        Take your pick:

        1. Here’s an acrostic:


        2. The initials of the following three words are the ‘ach’ of yacht….

        a Caribbean holiday

        Do either work?

        Btw, the first letter of mnemonic ‘m’ (for memory) ironically isn’t pronounced.

        It derives from Mnemosyne, the Greek Goddess of Memory and the mother of the Nine Muses (Zeus stayed with her for nine consecutive nights – wey hey!)

        It’s where we get amnesia, loss of memory, ie the prefix ‘a’ means the opposite (typical/atypical)

        So, if you want to remember the spelling of mnemonic, knock off the a in amnesia and you’ve got yourself the first three letters ‘mne’.


        1. Thanks G273. No 1 will do fine, I’ll remember that. Funnily enough, I’ve never had a problem with “mnemonic” – I just spell it how it sounds and remember to bung the silent M on the front. Ceilidh is a funny word, but I’ve never had a problem with that either. Strange thing, the ol’ brain/memory …

  21. If this was a Jay puzzle all I can say is it was a Logman through and through and then some. Even though I tackled on Tuesday night without hints, I simply just could not gel with the clues provided.
    A DNF for me, as I managed the NW and bits of the SW and that is it. The ones I did managed to sus out were a bit of a stretch to get there.
    Out of my pay scale today.
    No clues that made favourites today I am afraid.
    No fun, no joy, no satisfaction.
    Just me I suppose.

    Thanks to setter for the effort and to the 2 Kiwis

  22. It wasn’t a fast solve today. I did it in quarters NE then NW then SE, The SW took a bit of thinking about as OWN ENDS appeared in my mind and couldn’t be ignored for some time. I thought the theme may be obscure cities for a while but many more star related clues soon took over.
    Thanks to Jay and 2K’s – best wishes to Colin too – Mama Bee has just been put forward for her cataracts to be done, good to hear that CS found it a breeze and I hope your experience is the same.

    1. My late mother-in-law had hers done in her early 90s – she was quite deaf so tended to speak quite loudly and remarked to me that she didn’t think the man doing the operation (who looked to me to be in his mid-40s!) looked old enough to be doing such an important operation. Once she’d had the op, she bounced back into the waiting room and informed all the ‘youngsters’ that she didn’t know what they were worrying about. The best moment for us, about which we still smile, was when she looked in the mirror with her new clear vision and wondered why no-one had told her she had got so old!

  23. Back to my Jay wavelength struggles. Only got into the puzzle in he SE corner then worked steadily round the grid. As usual I didn’t see why I had struggled as nothing cluing was fair with no esoteric clues or obscure GK.
    COTD was 7d.
    Thank you to Jay & the 2Ks.
    1a we used to visit annually to enjoy the climate in the Valley of the Sun. Don’t think at my age I’ll be back.

      1. Robert,
        Yes we liked Tucson the couple of times we stayed there but usually combined 10 days or so in North Phoenix / Scottsdale with 4 or 5 days in Canyonlands with at least a couple of days at the Grand Canyon.

  24. Many thanks to the 2 Kiwis for analysis and to all for your comments. Best wishes for the eye op tomorrow Colin!
    Nerdle (it’s Wordle with numbers!) in a lucky 4 today.

    1. Thank you for the work-over Jay.
      Glad to find another Nerdle follower. From time to time it keeps reminding me I need to remember BODMAS. Victory in 3 for me today.

    2. Many thanks for the puzzle, Jay and for popping in. Haven’t got to grips with Nerdle yet – Wordle once a day is enough. :smile:

    3. Another lovely workout Jay thanks so much. I’m not going to get involved in Nerdle, a working lifetime spent with figures was enough thankyou.

  25. Thanks to Jay and 2Ks. I concur with all comments about cataract operation. It is a breeze and quite fun. I know how CS’s m-in-l felt. It was my surgeon’s practice to have you back the next day for a ceremonial removing of the bandage. What a revelation it was to see all the pirates sitting in the waiting room when I came out. My next discovery was H and C on the bath taps.

  26. Not an easy ride today but finished nevertheless. 11a 18d and 24a were last in. I hesitated for long over 14d. I got the anagram bit but not the “do” which meant I had quite a few words which were possible synonyms. I liked the 11d 25a connected clues plus 13 and 16a. 4 7 and 19d were my other favourites. Thanks again.

  27. I took ages to get going with this one – in fact only 4 at first attempt but then slowly and surely it all fell into place and I really enjoyed it. Printing yesterday was absolutely horrendous but they are so short of volunteers don’t think I can let them down. Have also pulled something in my back lugging the paper about. Anyway thanks to Jay for a good work out and the 2 Kiwis. Good luck with your op. Wordle in either 3 or 4, can’t remember. Seafood platter tonight. I generally return the tray and cover for re-use but found I had left it on top of the microwave and it had completely melted!

  28. This was a workout but typical Jay fun. Alas, DNF with 7d but how I didn’t see that is a mystery, it’s probably the easiest clue. I liked the 11d/24a combo, took ages to find the 24a alternative meaning. All you have to do is follow Jay’s instructions, eg 9a, and you’ve got your answer. So many could have been fave.
    Thanks Jay, loved it all, and the 2Kiwis for the hints and tips. Good luck Colin, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
    Wordle today? Total flameout, crash and burn!

    1. I got Wordle in three. Apparently there has been outrage by SUN readers who say the word is made up. Takes all sorts!

        1. A couple of days ago they claimed that there was no such word as “tacit”. Today I had the last four letters but there were so many different first letters that could fit, I guessed and guessed wrong!

          1. It says it all. The complainants were readers of The Sun and Daily Mirror. If I thought a word was made up I would look in a dictionary or Google, if I didn’t possess one, before making a fool of myself

  29. Took some time to finish the SE as I wrote Exacting in 17d.
    24a and 18d were the last to fall.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.
    Best wishes to Colin for the op.

  30. Lovely Crossword puzzle 😃 Quite tricky in places ***/**** My favourites 16a & 21a and 23d 🤗 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to Jay and hope all goes well tomorrow Colin 😎 I knew that Latin “O” Level would come in handy one day for 11a 😬

  31. Another nice puzzle. 11a had me guessing for a while – the checkers saved me. Best wishes for tomorrow.

  32. I feel like I was doing a different crossword to everyone else. I found this harder than yesterday and lost interest after only getting 2 clues.

    1. You’re not the only one banawarp! More of a DNS (did not start) than a DNF! Fortunately I’ve got a stash of old crosswords in reserve. Probably just a wavelength thing. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis, I’ll be looking at the answers later. Good luck with the op Colin, both parents had cataract ops with great success.

  33. Morning all.
    Thanks for all the wishes for the op. The eye being treated also has glaucoma so my expectations are for some regaining of sight rather than a miracle but here’s hoping.
    Thanks for popping in again Jay. We were pretty sure it was one of yours but don’t like to commit ourselves these days.
    Must dash. It is about an hour’s drive to the hospital and we have to leave soon.

    1. That was terrific – one of my all-time favourites. So many fun clues including Favs 1a and 16a. Good to see a point being made about 8d which is so often confused which annoys me as much as journalists, etc. who say something is “different TO”. Pity 16a has become an anachronism. Big thanks Jay and 2Kiwis. Best wishes Colin for a successful outcome to your op which I had to both eyes (10 years apart) and they made such a difference.

      1. I in fact also have glaucoma in both eyes but so far 2 types of drops are keeping it under control.

    2. Oh dear, glaucoma not good. I’ve lost the sight of my right eye which I’ll never get back. It could be worse, at least I can still see to read the clues!

  34. I really enjoyed tussling with this one today. There were a few holdouts so I put aside while exercising, and most nicely presented themselves afterwards. 11a was LI, and I could have stared at that one all day and not had an answer without the hints. Didn’t know the Scottish for go either. 8d is one of those words that is so often misused, in the same way that insure and ensure are often misplaced. Thanks to Jay and to 2Kiwis. Good luck with the cataract surgery Colin. Peter had both eyes done several years ago, two weeks apart. He was totally amazed at the improvement in his vision afterwards, particularly colours. He found out his favourite orange jumper was in fact red 😊.

  35. Thanks to the setter and to the Two Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, my favourites were the linked clues, 11d & 24a. The last two, 10a & 3d took me a while because I’d misspelt 1a. Once corrected, the other two fell into place. Was 3* /4* for me.

  36. I have already said thanks to Jay, so further thanks to the Kiwis and best wishes to Colin. I have had both eyes done and having worn glasses all day every day since I was 16 I now only need them for driving and reading! Late getting to the crossword today, busy busy. Where do all you folk get the time? I really enjoyed 18d, very funny.

  37. That did not take too long. Home again now looking like a pirate and go back tomorrow for the big reveal.

  38. 3*/4*…
    liked 16A ” Girl coming out from Underground back in the arms of Italian poet (9) ” …. amongst others.

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