DT 29924 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29924

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29924

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We have a brother and sister-in-law staying with us for a few days. Great to spend time with them, playing Mexican Train Dominoes, tiring them out on our regular daily walks and even sharing the odd crossword or two.
Cataract operation report: All went well and the result is that the limited vision in that glaucoma affected eye is now crystal clear. A good outcome.

As today’s Toughie is by Logman we can be pretty certain that this one is not by Jay.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Shot from right in cracking cup-tie (7)
PICTURE : An anagram (cracking) of CUP-TIE contains R(ight).

5a    Greek character nicked old Spanish coin (7)
PISTOLE : A Greek character that can also be used as a mathematical symbol and then nicked or took illegally.

9a     Anxious, I’m one receiving medical care (9)
IMPATIENT : ‘IM’ from the clue, then someone receiving medical care.

10a     Support US soldier in ebbing sea (5)
AEGIS : The word ‘sea’ is reversed and holds a US soldier.

11a     Roman palace in more recent article (7)
LATERAN : A word meaning more recent is followed by one version of the indefinite article.

12a     Restructuring the loan makes you solvent (7)
ETHANOL : An anagram (restructuring) of THE LOAN.

13a     The solver is leaving this card in leisure centre (5,4)
YOUTH CLUB : The personal pronoun that the setter would use for the solver, then what is left of the word ‘this’ once ‘is’ is removed and a member of one of the card suits.

16a     Boxer starts to train young lad (5)
TYSON : The first letters from train and young, and then another word for lad.

17a     Almost axe Irish singing group (5)
CHOIR : Remove the last letter from cut with an axe, then IR(ish).

18a     Festival to enjoy with artist in sweet bar? (5,4)
MARDI GRAS : The brand name of a sweet bar contains a hippie version of ‘enjoy’ and a Royal academician.

21a     Lover no longer needing money set out (7)
EXPOUND : The short name for a former lover, then English monetary unit.

22a     Scene rewritten keeps one line still (7)
SILENCE : An anagram (rewritten) of SCENE contains Roman numeral one and L(ine).

25a     Woman‘s soiree regularly involving us (5)
SUSIE : The first, third and fifth letters of soiree surround “US’ from the clue.

26a     Rat popular with staff in castle (9)
INFORMANT : The two letter popular and then castle or redoubt contains staff as a verb.

27a     An Italian poet is rather slow (7)
ANDANTE : ‘AN’ from the clue, and a famous 13-14th century Italian poet.

28a     Hide the mad king outside! (7)
LEATHER : The Shakespearean mad king surrounds ‘THE’ from the clue.


1d     Settle around Skye? Here’s another Scots location (7)
PAISLEY : Settle as you would a bill surrounds what Skye geographically could be.

2d     Very good in bed? Suffer the consequences! (3,2)
COP IT : The two letter word for very good is inside a small bed.

3d     Complete Charlie must leave sailing ship (5)
UTTER : The letter represented by Charlie is removed from the start of a type of sailing ship.

4d     Immortal eastern bird on a lake (7)
ETERNAL : E(astern) then a sea bird, ‘A’ from the clue, and L(ake).

5d     Stir with black parsley perhaps (7)
POTHERB : An old-fashioned word for stir or fuss with B(lack).

6d     Italian serving small soft crackers at eight (9)
SPAGHETTI : S(mall), then the musical letter for soft and an anagram (crackers) of AT EIGHT.

7d     Runner, old, unexpectedly regains lead in race (9)
ORGANISER : O(ld), an anagram (unexpectedly) of REGAINS and the first letter of race.

8d     Refusal to receive student is picked up in letter (7)
EPSILON : Working in reverse order we have a four letter slang refusal containing the student driver letter and ‘IS’ from the clue.

14d     A French work put forward not challenged (9)
UNOPPOSED : The French indefinite article, an artistic work and then put forward or asked (a question).

15d     Powerful explosive with nuclear particles? (9)
HERCULEAN : The abbreviation for High explosive and then an anagram (particles?) of NUCLEAR.

17d     More tea houses where Sloane Square is located (7)
CHELSEA : A word meaning more or other is inside one of the words, from the Chinese, for tea.

18d     An expert in safe delivery? (7)
MIDWIFE : A cryptic definition of a skilled assistant in childbirth.

19d     Calm end to summer with flutes playing (7)
RESTFUL : The last letter of summer and then an anagram (playing) of FLUTES.

20d     Lieutenant in complete retreat (7)
SHELTER : Complete or total contains the two letter abbreviation for lieutenant.

23d     Six-footer to be left with Bible in AA (5)
LARVA : L(eft), then AA from the clue contains the two letters used to describe the King James Bible.

24d     Excellent opener from Huddersfield Town (5)
NEATH : An informal word meaning excellent and then the first letter of Huddersfield.

Quickie pun    closer    +    tanned    =    close at hand


62 comments on “DT 29924

  1. Wonderful news about the eye Colin

    A crossword that seemed trickier than it ended up being – I’d be interested to know who set it as it didn’t quite seem like the work of the usual non-Jay-day setter. My favourite was 1d

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

  2. Super puzzle.
    5&11a new words for me but both sympathetically clued.
    In a very strong field I’ve awarded gongs to 1,2,8&15d but top spot has to go to 7d, clue of the week contender. Great stuff.
    Thanks to the setter (please claim it!) and the bloggers with twenty-twenty vision.

  3. Loved this. Super surface readings at almost every clue and lots of gentle misdirection. Favourite is 12a for these things and its simplicity. I agree with CS that it looked as if it was going to be harder than it turned out to be. **/****, many thanks to setter and 2K’s.

  4. Thank you setter and blogger.

    I think the illustration for 8d might be for a different Greek letter though?

    1. Summing up under stress, definitely not the Greek letter which is the answer.

      But, incorrectly shown in the results of a Google search for images of the answer.

      1. I’m confused, it’s also the letter shown in BD’s mine of the Greek alphabet.

        1. Merusa – if you look at Comment 30, including the time stamp, the2Kiwis did a bit of editing a few minutes before your comment.

  5. Particularly liked the charades today, favourites were 8a 13a and 18a ,excellemt cluing throughout.
    Took a while to parse last in 7d until the penny dropped. 11a was a new castle for me,apparently they are shared names of buildings in Rome.
    Going for a ***/****,thanks to setter and 2K’s for te pics.

  6. Truly great puzzle.
    Made rather heavy weather of it, though, especially the NW corner.
    Got there eventually unaided apart from inadvertently spotting 8d when checking spelling.
    Too many excellent clues to single out one.
    18d made me smile.
    As did 17d
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  7. A couple of very obscure words, though no Ottoman Empire people. On the other hand, 1d and 17d made me smile.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Giacomo Puccini – ‘O mio babbino caro’ (Dame Kiri Te Kanawa)

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks (great news about the successful cataract operation!).

    1. I liked the song she sang that went something like
      There’s a good tradition of love and hate staying by the fireside
      And though the rain may fall your father’s calling you
      You still feel safe inside…

      1. … originally by the wonderful Tanita Tikaram on her superb debut ‘Ancient Heart’ album.

    2. When I saw Dame Kiri in concert back in the 90s, she sang ‘O mio babbino’ as an encore and brought the house down, of course. Thanks for the chillbumps, Terence.

  8. Good Wednesday fare, and to echo CS, it looked as though it was going to be trickier than it turned out to be. Clockwise from NE with 3d my LOI. Dragged 5a and 11a from depths of memory, but the stir element of 5d was new to me – though being so fairly clued, with the checkers it could not have been much else.

    Thought the enjoy synonym in 18a rather quaint. Hon Mentions to 13a, 15d, and 24d; COTD 26a for the chuckle factor.

    2 / 3

    Many thank to the setter and to the 2Ks

  9. 2*/3.5*. This was light and fun, and I learnt two new words: the answer to 5a and the synonym for “stir” in 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  10. I seem to have found this trickier than most, but thoroughly enjoyable throughout. Too many super clues to pick a favourite. Many thanks to setter & 2Kiwis.

  11. While I thought throughout the solve that it lacked the effervescent Jay-spark, it certainly had enough good stuff going for it to make it enjoyable in its own right. The various geographical references were clued easily enough for this Charlestonian to solve, and I particularly liked 1d. Also in the running for top honours were 7d, 6d, 13a, & 18a (on this Ash Wednesday). (I still cringe, however, when I see the name 16a.) Thanks to the Kiwis (glad to hear the good news from Colin) and to today’s setter. ** / ***

    1. The Logman (aka Jay) Toughie today is terrific and accessible, and I finished it all by myself, loving every minute of it, especially 5 & 10a.

  12. Thanks to the 2Ks for sorting the parsing of 18 across for me. I’m sure I’ve seen it before clued similarly but maybe not. Thanks also to today’s setter for an enjoyable workout. I’m disappointed to find that Peseota isn’t a Spanish coin and am laughing at the Susie Bear song we used to sing at my rugby club. Three new words today the best of which appeared at 5 down. 10 across made me think of this of which I shall never tire

    The Song of Wandering Aengus
    I went out to the hazel wood,
    Because a fire was in my head,
    And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
    And hooked a berry to a thread;
    And when white moths were on the wing,
    And moth-like stars were flickering out,
    I dropped the berry in a stream
    And caught a little silver trout.

    When I had laid it on the floor
    I went to blow the fire a-flame,
    But something rustled on the floor,
    And someone called me by my name:
    It had become a glimmering girl
    With apple blossom in her hair
    Who called me by my name and ran
    And faded through the brightening air.

    Though I am old with wandering
    Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
    I will find out where she has gone,
    And kiss her lips and take her hands;
    And walk among long dappled grass,
    And pluck till time and times are done,
    The silver apples of the moon,
    The golden apples of the sun.

    1. Just a magnificent poem, especially that last stanza. No one else could have written it. Thanks, MP.

  13. Good fun. 23d gets my vote although the definition appears truncated in the hints. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  14. A very enjoyable non-Jay Wednesday puzzle by ?? – **/****.

    Like RD two new, but not quite the same two, words – the 5d ‘stir’ and 11a.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 1d, 8d, and 14d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  15. Not my favourite puzzle of the week but I probably just missed our regular date with Jay.
    I checked the coin and the palace although both were fairly clued and I did rather like 1d.

    Thanks to the setter and to our 2Ks – so pleased to hear that Colin’s eye operation was a success.

  16. Woke up very late this morning & not sure my brain got up with me. Feared I was going to have to admit defeat with an alarming number unsolved & the NW sparsely populated but the pennies dropped slowly for a Toughie time completion with all eventually parsed. Can’t decide whether I thought it a cracker or not to my taste. Either way it was pretty tricky with both 5&11a unfamiliar & requiring confirmation. 1d was my clear favourite with ticks for 13&18a plus 6&7d.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks – glad to hear Colin’s procedure a success.
    Wordle in 6 with a first time use of the tactical ploy at go 5.

  17. For me one of the most difficult to fully parse for a very long time. Apart from the weird words such as 5a and 11a I failed to parse 7d, 8d, 6d, 5d, 24d and 23d! Don’t see why the “you” is in 12a as the answer is simply an example of the last word in the clue and has no possessive meaning. Although fully completed it for me remains a deeply unsatisfactory crossword and would not be one I would like to remember in any way. Would be very happy not to see this setter again.
    Thx for the hints
    PS Wordle in 2!

    1. Fair point with 12a Brian, I think it’s primarily there to misdirect you into thinking of solvent as an adjective.

    2. Snap! I Wordled in 2 as well Brian. Maybe it reflects your view of today’s puzzle!

  18. I’m not a fan of historical obscurities but at least my solving time was not too long so that was a bonus.
    A larva is not a six footer eg, tadpole and caterpillar. The word Neat is not in my lexicon.
    Overall **/*

    1. As Jonners pointed out there are two more words to be added to the definition!
      Thanks to setter for an enjoyable puzzle and the 2K”s for the explanations, I needed a couple of them.

      1. I don’t understand. If the clue is truncated in the hints it’s also truncated in the online and paper edition.

  19. Bit of a world tour today, wasn’t it? We had Greece, Spain, America, Rome, Ireland, Italy, Skye, Scotland, France, London, and finished up in Huddersfield. Quite a trip!

  20. This was a big of a struggle and the bottom RH corner resisted for a while and I was finally glad of the Two Kiwis hints for 23 & 24d. There were several brilliant clues – I liked 1,5,10a and 7 & 15d, very clever the latter clue. 6d was a new approach to an old favourite. Many thanks to the Kiwis (told you the cataract op would be fine) and the setter.

  21. Found this to be a bit of a slog, with little enjoyment. Not helped by 5a, 11a, 5d and 23d. Don’t understand why 23d = six footer? Rest was a steady solve, but just not my cup of tea. Glad to hear that the cataract surgery went well with a good vision outcome.

    1. BL, 23d. As Jane pointed out, the underlined definition should be “Six-footer to be”. As in, when it’s developed it will become a creature with 6 feet.

  22. Really excellent puzzle, **/***** for me. Wonderful surfaces throughout, and on the easy side.

    To all concerned, I think that in 23d the ‘six-footer’ is not the definition, but ‘six-footer to be’. Really clever, especially as it is so deviously disguised. That made it my favourite of the day, among many others, including the excellent ‘solvent’ joke, so I’m a very well-satisfied customer.

    A large thank you to the setter, and to 2K for a lovely blog.

  23. This wwas arefresingly different puzzle, right on my wavelength and highly enjoyable (2.5*/5*). The pick of the clues for me were 15d 6d 18a and 24d
    Thanks to the compiler. Id like to see more like this and thamks to the Kiwis for the hints
    Goodnrws about the eye Colin

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable with just the right amount of head scratching so thanks to all involved. Wordle in 3.

  25. Afternoon. Many thanks for all the comments, and KK for a super bit of bloggery.

    I think you’ve pinged the lot now, with several people (jonners, jaydubs, jane & jeanne to name a few) pointing out and nailing the definition for 23d.

    For my good friend Brian, whose opinions are to me always very welcome indeed, the ‘makes you’ part of that clue is really a formula that’s been around for years, and something that compilers can fall back on if they need a way out, or even a nice surface. My finance joke was more than helped by it, for sure. I suppose it could be described as a convention. You don’t see it much, but it is out there, and available.

    Cheers all,

    1. Thank you Door Knob, I enjoyed it on a miserable wet Wednesday!
      I might even have 6d for supper to warm us up.

  26. Got speedily into my stride beginning with easy ride in the NW. 5d stir new to me and I wasn’t sure about 13a but guess it’s OK. My pick of the clever surfaces would be 12a, 18a and 23d. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Kiwis.

  27. I was all ready to wade in with 23d not having six feet until your more esteemed contributors pointed out the importance of the words “to be” in the clue.

    In my years of varying struggles with solving the puzzle I’ve always reminded myself that there there are never any wasted words in the clue

    Despite the sceptical start, now elevated to my COTD

  28. Took until the SW corner to get going. Than progressed steadily but slowly clockwise with SE corner last to fall. A few new (or seen before but forgotten) words. All fairly clued and as others have said an enjoyable and satisfying solve ,
    15d my COTD and wishing the Ukranians every success in theirs.
    Thanks to setter and the 2Ks. Glad the op has proved successful

  29. A little tricky today for this puzzle. 3*/4* for me.
    Favourites include 5a, 10a, 1d & 18d with 1d winner
    11a unknown word for me.
    Liked the two greek clue references too.

    Thanks to NYD and 2K’s

  30. Morning all.
    Have now replaced the incorrect Greek letter with the right one and added the extra two words to the definition for 23d. Apologies and thanks to those who pointed them out to us.
    Thanks also to NYD for the puzzle which once again we failed to pick as one of yours.

  31. Really enjoyable solve.
    Finished with the cryptic def in 18d once all the checkers were in place.
    Loved the runner in 7d and the very smooth 12a.
    Thanks to NYdoorknob and to 2kiwis for the review.
    Very happy to hear that the op went well.

  32. Finished it but no joy. Don’t like lots of obscure words
    Tomorrow is another day…oh no it’s Thursday, my worst day. Still who knows?
    Thank you

  33. Thanks to Donnybrook and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, one or two answers, I hadn’t heard of, 11a and the first 6 letters of 5d. Needed the hints to parse 13&18a and 5d. Favourite was 15d, LOI was 5a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  34. Enjoyable solve other than 5d which has a word not used for 300 years as part of another word that is obscure to those who aren’t avid chefs or gardeners.

    Thanks to all.

  35. I thought I was going to struggle with this but once I’d got a few answers it progressed nicely, albeit at my own pedestrian pace. I managed to parse everything except 23d which was a bung in. Favourite was 7d. Thanks to Donnybrook and 2K’s.

  36. I am one of the strugglers today, Not a problem with NYD or the hints. It was just a frustrating day for me.
    18d pleased Mama Bee as a former SRN SCM. 14d for me.
    Thanks to NYD and the Kiwis and best wishes for Colin’s eyesight. I hope Mama Bee’s impending cataract op goes as well.

  37. I finally got there after two sittings, funny how things seem easier in the morning! I thought this was really tough but excellent with 13a as my favourite. Thank you setter and 2Ks

  38. 3*/4*…
    liked 2D ” Very good in bed? Suffer the consequences! (3,2) “

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