DT 29948 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29948

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29948

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Today we take one small step towards winter. Or put another way, we print out the puzzle and start solving at noon instead of 1pm. Next weekend we move our clocks back so we are then in our ‘winter solving mode’ of 11am. Yes it does get complicated.

We note that today’s Toughie is by Logman (aka Jay) so it is another opportunity to try and guess the setter for this one.

We encountered a few stumbling blocks along the way which extended our solving time a little.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


6a     Extraordinary pattern designed with a ruler (13)
PRETERNATURAL : An anagram (designed) of PATTERN and A RULER.

8a     Dig a grave Mike must occupy (6)
ADMIRE : ‘A’ from the clue, then grave or serious contains M(ike).

9a     Reverend in eastern capital around always (8)
EVERMORE : Working from right to left we have E(astern), then the capital of Italy contains REV(erend).

10a     Old woman cold in raincoat (3)
MAC : The two letter old woman and then C(old).

11a     Delight as property initially let (6)
PLEASE : The first letter of property, then let or rent out.

12a     Open late — that’s for making quick buck! (8)
ANTELOPE : An anagram (that’s for making) of OPEN LATE.

14a     Helps plucky players missing their intro? (7)
ASSISTS : Players of large string instruments without the initial letter.

16a     Greek breaking link displays annoyance (7)
CHAGRIN : A link or connection contains the two letter abbreviation for Greek.

20a     Embarrassed soldier capturing GI gets star (3,5)
RED GIANT : The colour of embarrassment and a soldier insect surround GI from the clue.

23a     Victim tense in Mary Rose at the front (6)
MARTYR : Mary from the clue contains T(ense) and then the first letter of Rose.

24a     Beer: Guinness served shortly? (3)
ALE : Forget the Irish tipple. Think of Obi-Wan Kenobi and remove a last letter.

25a     With river coming in, the setter’s shelter is inadequate (8)
IMPOTENT : The two letter way the compiler would say ‘the setter is’, then the Italian ‘crossword’ river and a temporary fabric shelter.

26a     Permissive character? (6)
LETTER : A sort of double definition. One of them being both words and the second just the second word.

27a     Gizmo needs electron motor reset (6,7)
REMOTE CONTROL : An anagram (reset) of ELECTRON MOTOR.


1d     One Tibetan animal in rite cooked as food (8)
TERIYAKI : Roman numeral one and a Tibetan grazing animal are inside an anagram (cooked) of RITE.

2d     Building workers dividing opinion (8)
TENEMENT : An opinion or belief contains male workers.

3d     Born among wolves perhaps raised round bone (7)
KNEECAP : A group of wolves is reversed and contains a word from French for ‘born’.

4d     Barking setter shows the way (6)
STREET : An anagram (barking) of SETTER.

5d     Most important border in China (6)
PRIMAL : A china or close friend contains border or edge.

6d     Confuses group stopping for each riverboat (6,7)
PADDLE STEAMER : Confuses or muddles and a possibly sports group are surrounded by a word meaning ‘for each’.

7d     Lovers rapidly besmirched cabinet minister (4,5,4)
LORD PRIVY SEAL : An anagram (besmirched) of LOVERS RAPIDLY.

13d     Extremely long time inside after assault (3)
ERA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

15d     Runner outside unable to finish (3)
SKI : Remove the last letter from outside or external covering.

17d     House with male, 12, in mother country (8)
HOMELAND : The two letter abbreviation for house, then M(ale), and an example of the answer to 12a.

18d     Road system turning to north in grubby outskirts? (8)
GYRATORY : An adjective meaning turning is reversed (to the north) inside the first and last letters of ‘grubby’.

19d     Science needing a balanced approach? (7)
STATICS : A cryptic definition of a physical science.

21d     Head from frozen residence, heavens overcast (6)
GLOOMY : Remove the first letter from an arctic residence, and then ‘heavens’ or ‘goodness gracious!’

22d     Moles found in American facilities (6)
AGENTS : The single letter abbreviation for American and then facilities or conveniences.

Quickie pun    wicker    +    missed    =    Wykehamist

82 comments on “DT 29948

  1. Largely straightforward although it took me all the checkers to untangle the anagram in 6a. My favourite was 14a.

    Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  2. I thought this was great fun, craftily clued throughout. I was left with a couple at the end, each with an embarrassing amount of checkers that took a little while to see in an otherwise swift solve.
    Several appealed including 14,23&24a(where I think “perhaps” would have been appropriate, though I note the question mark) plus 3&21d but I think the linked 12a,17d just take the honours.
    Many thanks to the setter (Mr Ed?) and the 2Ks for the top notch entertainment.

  3. This was a very rapid solve this morning, yet the clueing was in the main of a high calibre. The anagram at 7d was excellent, but my COTD was 14a with a nod to 8a for the name check.

    Thanks to our Wednesday setter and the 2Ks.

  4. 2*/3.5*. Another light but enjoyable puzzle from, I suspect, NYD.

    My first thought for 22d was “plants” but, as that can mean manufacturing facilities on both sides of the pond, it would make “American” surplus to requirements. The penny finally dropped when I was working my way through the SW corner.

    My podium choice is 8a, 14a, 23a & 1d.

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

  5. I enjoyed the long anagrams in this puzzle, 6a and 7d and the.food.anagram 1d. There were some awfully clever.clues.here. with good misdirection but i did struggle with the SWcorner a d fi nished the crossword bybunging ina few , which were fortunately correct.A good brain workout (5*/3.5*) but time-consuming. Thaanks to the compiler (NYD?) And to the Kiwis for the hints.

  6. Agree with SL,it was great fun with a variety of clues.
    Lots of excellent charades,favourites were 23a,22d and 3d,going for a **/****.
    Thanks to 2k,s for the pics

  7. Perfect Wednesday morning crossword. My particular favourite was 24a

    Thanks to the setter (I too wondered about NYD) and to the 2Ks

  8. I don’t think I really enjoyed this much even though I did finish – still don’t really ‘get’ 6d nor a couple of others. Anyway that’s the way it goes so thanks to the 2 Kiwis for the explanations and to the setter. Wordle in 5 despite having all but the middle letter correct the whole way through. Managed to get Quordle in 6 yesterday, a record for me. After googling deterents for muntjac I have now hung bars of soap all round the garden, interesting to see if it works. I shall have a very frothy garden when it rains.

  9. Gradually worked my way through the mostly clever and perhaps slightly humourless clues without any serious holdups. 9a became Fav once I realised always was the indicator. When will I learn to recognise China as in 5d? 24a was bung-in as I failed to think of the actor. Not sure about 15d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  10. I thought that was a tad easier than yesterday but still had to check the branch of science in 19d.
    I did like the misdirection in 24a as my first response was Guinness is a porter Not an ***
    It looks like Patrick Stewart in the 10a pic. Was he “Waiting for Godot”?
    and 18d has to be Hangar Lane of that ilk. I have been stuck there too often. A less salubrious but just as difficult to navigate junction as the Arc de Triomphe.
    I had a pause to parse 2d while I decided whether my workers were building up or down.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2K’s
    Miffs should be happy with some Japanese food to go with yesterday’s chopsticks and a little 24a to wash it down with.

      1. I did like the teriyaki which arrived perfectly halfway through. It’ll be a risotto with strips of beef in teriyaki for tea tonight

    1. SJB, 24a. Yes, as you imply, the clue isn’t directly suggesting that Guinness is a beer or an ***. But even if it was (and I’m certainly no expert about this topic), Guinness seems to be officially described as “Dry stout (beer)” or “Dark beer porter”.

    2. Ever used the Magic Roundabout in Swindon John? They replaced a 5 entry roundabout with 5 mini roundabouts at each entry road.
      I lived there when it was introduced & soon worked out that you could beat the jams by using the system to go what would have been anticlockwise round the old roundabout. This meant I had priority over the queue going into town. Cut my journey time by 10 minutes.
      I don’t know the experiment was ever repeated though.

      1. No I haven’t used that in Swindon. I seem to recall a similar idea in Milton Keynes but I doubt I would have the confidence to beat the system as you describe. I have just had a nightmare trip around Leeds as the A64 was blocked on my way in and traffic around Cross Green and Halton threw me into roads that I haven’t driven down for 40 years. On the plus side, I did find a nice coffee house near the Royal Armouries.

        1. The Swindon one was a Road Research Laboraory experiment in about 1970. They had a white double deck bus parked on spare ground for about 3 months as I recall.

      2. Hemel Hempstead had similar – the Kodak roundabout as Kodak premises spanned the road into the High Street.

  11. This one fell my way with the anagrams solved quickly and so a **/**** and my favourite clue was 6d where the answer came first before I realised why. Thanks to the 2K’s and the setter.

  12. Lots to enjoy this morning. I got held up by 19d, 23a and, frustratingly, 3d. Got there in the end, a few seconds short of seeking Mrs GD’s help. Thanks Ks for Hangar Lane and to the setter.

  13. Well of course, whenever the majority say what a breeze a crossword is to solve, I find the opposite. I really battled with this one and fell back on TooKays’ hints for a couple. I did enjoy the long anagrams. Bonus – no exotic Japanese clothing.

    During last week’s mini heatwave, the thermostat was turned downwards. There has been a rapid return to winter settings this week. Cold and overcast in Surrey; but we are alive and able to enjoy our orange juice (no bits) and toast, so I’m not complaining.

    Thanks to the setter and The TooKays.

  14. My heart always sinks when I see this grid, it is so unfriendly and today was no different. I did not derive much enjoyment from this puzzle, far too quirky for my taste with very clumsy clues and hidden anagrams. No favourites, it was just a slog finishing this one.
    Thx for the hints.

  15. Well, I obviously found this a bit more challenging than those who have posted so far, but I kept plugging away until I got there finally, with 18d my LOI (a rather rare ‘system’ over here, I think). I particularly liked 23, 24, & 9a, as well as 3d, and had to confirm that such a cabinet minister did in fact exist at 7d. On the whole, a rather strange assortment of clues, and clearly not the lapidary artwork of our JayDay master, but that’s all right: I found him in the Toughie last night. Thanks to the Kiwis and to our compiler today. *** / ****

    For those who like ‘generational’ novels–the classic old kind, through the decades–I can recommend Anne Tyler’s engrossing new novel, French Braid. She’s one of my all-time loves.

    1. Thank you for your comment yesterday Rober. You were right about Ecclesiastes. From ch.12 and Henry James probably got his title from there. It is a wonderful chapter, full of beauty and gnomic utterance which i have on my mobile with Shelley, Keats, Eliot, and Larkin. Will have to add some Yeats and Lowell next.

      1. Thanks for the recommendation, Robert. I love generational novels. Hugh Walpole’s Herries family chronicles, set in the English Lake District enthralled me as a 17 year old and I still enjoy novels of this type.

      2. An impressive array of poets, Corky. Would that be Amy or James Russell Lowell–or someone else entirely?

  16. A bit of a head scratcher and more challenging than usual for a mid-week back pager but just as enjoyable – ***/****.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 16a and 1d – and the winner is 16a.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis – I share your pain on the effect of Springing Forward and Falling Back on personal cruciverbalism.

  17. Very much enjoyed this one & reckon Donny for the setter a pretty good call. Trickiest of the week thus far for me which edged me to 2.5* time. Last in was 19d & like SJB had to confirm it. 24a was my favourite for no other reason than he is one of my favourite actors of all time & I was fortunate enough to meet him & his wife, Merula, once & they were both delightful.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks
    Wordle in 4

  18. I didn’t find this as straightforward as others and had to resort to the hints for a couple. I did like 24a for its simplicity but agree that Guinness is not an ale. That particular drink reminds me of the time Mrs. C. and I were in our early days. We were in The Ship Inn at Ely and I was having a Guinness. Mrs. C. asked if she could try it, took one sip and let out the loudest burb that stopped all conversation around us. She has not had it since. My COTD is 18d for the simple reason it contains an instrument I used during my career.

    Many thanks to the setter for the struggle and to the 2Kiwis for making sense of some of it for me.

    Wordle in 4.

  19. Very enjoyable crossword, rapid and straightforward, albeit that 25a gave me pause and a furrowed brow, with 18d new to me and my last one in, though it could not have been much else. Hon mention to 12a (for the smile), with COTD to the excellent 24a.

    1* / 2.5*

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

  20. An excellent Wednesday offering! Good clues providing a decent challenge and much enjoyment. I particularly liked 20a, 24a and 21d. 3*/4*.

  21. Most books on how to do crosswords begin with the anagram and give lists of marker words and how to spot split ones. The anagrams today were of a very high standard and provided checkers for some of the more difficult clues.

    A question : why when the first thing we learn when starting solving crosswords and in most cases spotting them do our weekend hinters insist on telling us where they are. This is a waste which I am sure has been mentioned before but to no avail.

    A request : could our weekend hinters please desist from the practice of hinting the anagrams please. It will at least prevent the air going blue around the chair I am sitting in and might result in some hints for those clues not yet solved.

    Thank you. Rant over.

    1. But, what about ‘partial’ anagrams, which Dada seems to like so much, such as 24a in ST3153 – solve an anagram and add fish, but, it wasn’t ‘guess a fish’ to raise the ire of one of our company, a verbal synonym was required. Didn’t that deserve the hint it got?

  22. Well, a slow start segued into a steady solve once I had a few solutions in. A couple of new words for me, too, in18D and 6A. 14A tickled my fancy. Thanks to the 2Ks and todays setter.

  23. A checkers to the rescue puzzle for me. Like most of them. Thanks to the setter today for an enjoyable solve. Thanks to the 2Ks for their excellent blog with lovely illustrations. Wordle in a very lucky two this morning to SS’s five but strangely we have two entirely different answers. How does that work?

    1. I took 4 for today’s Wordle due to needing 3 different attempts at 4th letter. Interesting to know SS came through with different solution.

      1. Mines a noun. Sharon’s is a verb. They’ve always been the same up until today.

        1. Has one of you still got the powerlanguage.co.uk page open since before the NYT take-over?

          NYT have mostly kept the original answers list, but not quite. (I got it in 3. Irritatingly I considered it for my second guess, but thought the 4th letter wouldn’t be helpful if it turned out to be wrong, and went for 🟩🟩🟩⬜🟩 instead.)

    2. Us the same MP. Bizarrely the words are different on this one & my old stand-by tabler. Also bizarrely I got the verb & Mrs LrOK the noun!
      I blame the NYT buy-out.

      1. I didn’t believe this because I had a noun but when I checked it had become a verb. 🤔

        1. Would I lie to you Steve?
          I thought it was because I did mine before I retired last night – getting the verb. Mrs LrOK this morning got the noun. Firing up my “reserve” tablet at lunchtime I got the verb again.

              1. Saint Sharon and I have two completely different answers that share no letters. I’d put photos but that would spoil things for those who haven’t attempted it yet. As for Steve Cowling inferring that I might occasionally be economical with the truth …..

  24. I would agree with those summoning Donnybrook to the court, whose Toughie puzzle yesterday was for me an exemplar. I enjoyed this one as well, a markedly easier puzzle even than yesterday’s, with some excellent clues as usual. I hope it is him, or I shall very shortly be looking stupid!

    The Guinness clue I found unproblematic: the first word is the definition, everything else the wordplay. Interestingly, of the four three-letter clues, only one was a hidden, which I applaud.

    1. I agree with you, Jeanne, that 24a is absolutely fine on the basis of definition + wordplay.

      I think the issue for the purists is that, although the surface read is fine as it stands, it would have been even better if Guinness happened to be an ale – which it is isn’t because it contains hops.

  25. Found this a good puzzle on par with Monday and Tuesday. The only word that was new to me was 6a, but was sussed out easily enough.
    Overall **/**** for me.
    Favourites include 16a, 2d, 3d, 6d & 22d with winner 3d.
    10a made me laugh.
    Lots of fun whilst it lasted.

    Thanks to the 3 birds

  26. Finished but no joy.
    Thanks to setter and hunter
    Surely not Zandio. I love his puzzles.

  27. Afternoon all and thanks 2K et al for delicious blog and comments.

    I like Guinness. Maybe soon we’ll all have the opportunity to drink one together. And Alec too, what a geezer. Tinker Tailor anyone?


    1. Thanks for joining us, NYD, and for the challenging puzzle. Alec at his peak in TTSS.

  28. Sorry, but the phrase “from the sublime to the ridiculous” comes to mind. After yesterday’s truly enjoyable puzzle, I found this one very hard going, Most of the answers I got were despite the clues, 6d being a prime example. Just not my cup of tea today. Looks like a double Toughie day. ☹️. Can’t win them all I suppose.

  29. About average Wednesday standard I thought. Plenty to like & nothing to get excited about.
    12a gets my COTD, just for the Doh moment when the light came on.
    Thank you NYDK and the 2Ks.
    “Feels like” temperature of -8C this morning. 16C down from 4 days ago! Lovely & sunny now though.

  30. Defeated by two today, 12a, which I convinced myself had “ after” in it, missed the anagram indicator completely, and 1d. The rest was a bit of a struggle as well, but a good mental workout. Thanks to all.

  31. Completed unaided.
    But after a struggle, especially in the SW.
    On reflection, wondered why.
    So, ***/****
    Many thanks to the setter for the struggle and to the 2Kiwis for the nicely illustrated review.

  32. Morning all.
    We just knew that 24a would wind some people up. We thought it was very clever of NYD to lead us down that blind alley. It also took us a little time to twig the wordplay for 15d. The answer was pretty obvious from the checkers and we probably would have just bunged it in if we did not have the blog to write.
    Thanks for the fun Donny.

  33. I was obviously not on wavelength, my first pass only gave me two answers, not enough to get going. I shamelessly used e-help with the long anagrams and that opened the door. I solved 6d in a trice, riverboat was very helpful. I DNF with 18d, I would never have got that. With “dig”, “China” and “barking”, there seemed a lot of slang, but I’ve been doing these puzzles long enough to know they’re now accepted. When I started to get his gist, I found it friendlier but I still needed e-help for too many. I like 24a for the memories of a fine old actor.
    Thank you NY Doorknob and the 2Kiwis for explaining many answers. Wordle in 5 today.

  34. Am I the only one to be influenced by the appearance of the grid? This one with its big black corners looks like a death notice! So I did feel negative about the whole thing but did grudgingly finish in quite good time. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis for parsing 3d. **/**

  35. I’m in Nice and it’s raining hard.
    I just couldn’t finish this crossword – whether it was the K’burg 1664 or the Chardonnay I don’t know, so I had to sneak into Big D’s idiots guide to finish it !

  36. For some reason I usually grind to a halt on the back page Wednesday crossword and sail through the Toughie. Quite the opposite today. Different setters from usual?

    1. The Wednesday backpager is usually set by Jay except when, like today, his alter ego Logman is the Toughie setter

      Today’s backpager was set by Donnybrook

      1. That accounts for it. I always fail to understand Jay’s Wednesday’s puzzles and if Logman is his alter ego that explains the difficulty with the Toughie. Thanks.

  37. I am in the ‘enjoyed it’ camp although I did struggle. Perhaps because I did it in stages throughout the day. Particularly liked 12& 18a and 1,3&4d. Thanks to the setter and the Two Kiwis. Today I had to deliver a competition entry to WI HQ in Girton so George and I incorporated delivering it with his visit to the cardiologist in Addenbrookes and lunch in the middle. In Girton we were entranced by the new decorative fence depicting the Girton Goose. Who knew that Girton was the centre of the quill industry? Big stuff until the late 1800’s. Hard to photograph because of the church in the background but delightful.

  38. My biggest problem was with 6a which I’d never heard of but, having decided it was an anagram and began with pre and ended with natural didn’t leave too many options. The rest were straightforward or I made harder work of them than I should have. I’m blaming the cabernet sauvignon. COTD was 6d. Thanks to Donnybrook and 2 K’s.

  39. Thanks to NYD and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with a few to make you think. Had never heard of 19d, but guessed it from the checkers, it was my LOI. Favourite was 12a&17d linked clues. Great fun, was 3* /4* for me.

  40. Phew, found this hard going with a couple of rarely seen words. One hmm for me. I would have thought that in 21d the indication is to use the first letter of the residence, not to ignore it! Perhaps the experts can explain why that’s not so?
    Thanks to kiwis for their help.

    1. I am way from an expert but here are my two penn’orths. The wordplay is “Head from” which allows you to take the I off the igloo and add it to the synonym of heavens as an exclamation expressing surprise, MY oh my, good heavens etc. GLOO-MY
      I suppose that “from” in this context is a subtraction indicator rather than an instruction to use the initial letter. I am sure setters can use it both ways but in this case, only one way gets us to the answer.

    2. Whilst both the 2Ks and SJB have explained the parsing of this clue correctly I would be quite happy for the words ‘head from frozen residence’ to clue the letter I. Perhaps more suitable for a toughie than a back pager though. Having solved this clue from the checking letters I missed its subtlety so thanks for your query last night which I see was answered within a few minutes of your asking.

  41. 3*/5*….
    liked 12A “Open late — that’s for making quick buck! (8)”
    & the linked 17D “House with male, 12, in mother country (8)”

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