DT 29984 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29984

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29984

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

The weather gods are still smiling on us and the wonderful autumn conditions continue. A bit of southerly air has sneaked in though in the last few days dropping the temperature enough to have us lighting the fire in the evenings.

We found this quite a challenging puzzle to get sorted and it took us into 4* time but some of that was trying to understand 12a as it appeared when we printed our copy.   A late PS: We note that the word IN has been changed to ON on the puzzles site.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Grasped the principle of putting curtains up? (3,3,4,2,2)
GOT THE HANG OF IT : An all in one clue with the primary definition being ‘grasped the principle’.

9a     Settler‘s living with her at last (7)
INCOMER : The remuneration described as ‘a living’ and the final letter of her.

10a     Tool providing musical touch (4,3)
CAT’S PAW : A famous Lloyd Webber musical and a touch from the eponymous animal. (This tool is a person used to serve the, often nefarious, purposes of another).

11a     Make a silly mistake ignoring fine mess (3)
GOO : Remove F(ine) from a silly mistake.

12a     Rumoured defect attached to new drug in entry level (6,5)
GROUND FLOOR : A homophone (rumoured) of a synonym for a defect follows an anagram (new) of DRUG ON. (We believe there is a mistake in the clue as written when we solved).

14a     Abandoned objective hurt feelings (6)
OFFEND : Abandoned or not here and then objective or goal.

15a     The girl’s in second service, dazzling people (8)
SMASHERS : The possessive pronoun for ‘the girl’s’ is enclosed by S(econd) and a church service.

17a     Browbeaten after changing the decor? (8)
HECTORED : An anagram (after changing) of THE DECOR.

19a     Bishop goes in for starter of spicy soup (6)
BISQUE : The chess abbreviation for bishop replaces the first letter in spicy or erotically stimulating.

22a     Hate seeing criminal doesn’t eat it (11)
DETESTATION : An anagram (criminal) of DOESN’T EAT IT.

23a     Anger as sacked without protection (3)
IRE : Remove the first and last letters from sacked or dismissed.

24a     Primate will have trouble after resistance in Indian state (7)
GORILLA : An Indian state which was once a Portuguese colony contains R(esistance) and a word for trouble.

26a     Country shoot arranged by the French (7)
LESOTHO : French definite article and an anagram (arranged) of SHOOT.

27a     Alfred was known to be this good at singular times, and novel (3,5,6)
THE GREAT GATSBY : The title often given to King Alfred, then G(ood); ‘At’ from the clue; S(ingular) and mathematical ‘times’.


1d     Becoming degenerate and attending races (5,2,3,4)
GOING TO THE DOGS : A double definition. These races have canine participants.

2d     Censure check (4,3)
TICK OFF : A double definition. To check here means to give a positive sign to items on a list.

3d     No use? Go home upset, being of a similar type (11)
HOMOGENEOUS : An anagram (upset) of NO USE GO HOME.

4d     Indicator in support of hard school (6)
HARROW : An indicator that might be on a direction sign follows H(ard).

5d     Handle short cut holding chap up (8)
NICKNAME : Cut or notched with the last letter removed (short) surrounds the reversal (up) of an adult male.

6d     Dismissed heavy defeat with leader gone (3)
OUT : Remove the first letter from a heavy defeat.

7d     Independent test after end of term must be better (7)
IMPROVE : The abbreviation for independent, then the last letter of term is followed by test in an empirical way.

8d     Down, as my career ruined the Oscars, perhaps (6,8)
AWARDS CEREMONY : An anagram (ruined) of DOWN AS MY CAREER.

13d     Trendy dresser seeing first article under way (11)
FASHIONISTA : A way or mode and then ‘first’ written as Roman numeral one and ‘st’, and finally the indefinite article.

16d     Different standard adopted by parliamentary constituency on energy (8)
SEPARATE : The standard that could be the expected score in golf is enclosed by a word for a parliamentary constituency and finally E(nergy).

18d     Lively chat about a bishop’s complaint (7)
CATARRH : An anagram (lively) of CHAT contains ‘A’ from the clue and the two letter abbreviation for the formal address for a bishop.

20d     Peaceful American gets release from duties (7)
QUIETUS : A synonym for peaceful and then the two letters for American.

21d     There’s no end of brown in intense colour (6)
VIOLET : Remove the last letter of brown from intense or tempestuous.

25d     Raised objective ignoring a record (3)
LOG : The reversal of an objective or target loses ‘A’ from the clue.

Quickie pun    reverse    +    heaven    =    River Severn

100 comments on “DT 29984

  1. First of all, living where I do, I loved the Quickie pun. :smile:

    The crossword was a bit of a challenge but quite doable. I have the answers to all clues but the parsing of one or two eludes me. 19a and 16d are two such clues. I do not see why “goes in” in 19a and “parliamentary constituency” in 16d are included. No doubt someone will enlighten me. I did solve the long ones early on so they gave a number of entries into others. The spelling of 3d caused me a bit of a headache because, although I knew it to be correct, I couldn’t get it to fit the checkers.

    Difficult to choose a favourite but I will go with 24a for the simple reason I love Indian food.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the fun challenge. Huge thanks to the 2Ks for the hints.

    (Thanks also to the 2Ks for explaining my problems with the parsing of 19a and 16d. :good: )

    1. Parliamentary constituency is “seat” and the 2Ks have explained the other Steve.

      1. I did edit my post after I had seen the 2 Ks hints but many thanks to you both for coming to my aid. :good:

    2. Steve – 19a – you’re exchanging letters, so one “goes in” for another; 16d – you’ve got a generic term for a parliamentary constituency.

      Edit – typing while you were posting, sorry to duplicate your post, SL

    3. I knew my 3d was right, but I had no hope of spelling it, I just looked it up instead of agonising. It seems to break all the rules, not that I know a lot about rules anyway

  2. A sparkler. Not a doubtful clue among ’em. Thanks Setter, will now read 2Ks. 1*/5*

  3. Whilst I didn’t find this as tricky as the 2K’s at **/*** I too didn’t understand my answer to 12a but their explanation makes sense. Some nicely disguised anagrams which helped. I thought the violent=intense a bit weak in 21d but just about ok. My favourite was 19a. Thanks to whoever set this one and of course the 2K’s.

  4. Very enjoyable whilst it lasted, 1a and 1d got me off to a quick start. I couldn’t make sense of 12a and will go with the mistake theory unless greater wisdom emerges. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

    1. The 12a mistake has now been corrected on the puzzles site and the clue now reads ‘drug on’ rather than ‘drug in’.

    2. I found this a tad easier than did the setters but on reading their comments realise that although I got 12a, I hadn’t fully parsed it. Favourite for me was 10a but the whole puzzle was a delight.

  5. Very enjoyable. I got the four long perimeter clues almost immediately, which was a big help with the rest of the puzzle, which I found nicely challenging for a back pager.
    I’m not sure why the question mark is present in 17a (unless it’s to throw us off the scent of the fodder?) and the homophone at 12a is a bit of a stretch but it didn’t prevent me from seeing the solution so no complaints. Couldn’t parse it though, now I know why!
    Top clues for me,19a (the bishop was very popular today) plus 2,5, and as someone who loves clothes, 13d.
    Many thanks to the setter, felt like Jay, and the 2Ks.

  6. An absolutely delightful gem of a puzzle, which I was fortunate to find very straightforward. One of the best backpagers for a little while. Great wit and amusement throughout, largely smooth surface readings. The printing error in 12a prevented my full parsing of what could only have been the right answer, and I had difficulty in justifying 5d’s E until I changed the tense of “cut”.

    Ticks everywhere. Hon Mentions to 9a, 24a, 27a, 1d, 13d, 16d and 18d, with COTD to 19a – the construction of which makes me want to rhyme the answer with the bay to the west of France!

    1* / 4.5*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter, and to the 2Ks

  7. Certainly a different ‘feel’ with todays puzzle, no idea who the setter is but really enjoyed the solve once I got into it.
    Favourite was 27a, liked19a, quite a lot these days of the ‘swapping letter’clue.
    Going for a ***/****

  8. Jay having a great time with us and me having a great time with him. Loved this puzzle. The long perimeter solutions gave a quick & proper framework for all of the others that soon followed suit, with the great American novel at 27a my COTD [though I did not call it TGAN], followed by Hamlet’s very different use of 20d, and (although not my homophone) 12a. Thanks to the Kiwis and to Jay. ** / *****

    Stuck on two in today’s Toughie….and just finished reading Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility, which I’d love to discuss with anyone who has read it.

    1. I was also stuck on two in the Toughie – wonder if yours are the same? Perseverance paid off, done now.

    2. On your recommendation I read the Slow Horses books. I’m on the last one now, eagerly awaiting the new one. They’re very addictive.
      Sea of Tranquility sounds like a candidate for my next read ! But it will take me some time before I can comment

      1. Happy to hear from you, Bijou. My copy of Bad Actors (#8) is en route to me now and is expected by 16 May. I can’t wait. Wonderfully addictive. Any comments re Sea of Tranquility are welcome at any time! It’s a genre all by itself, a rare voyage for me into speculative fiction, not the same thing as sci-fi at all.

        1. Not long to go then ! I recently watched the tv adaptation of the first book with Gary Oldman, lots of laugh out loud moments !

  9. 3*/4.5*. This provided a very satisfying challenge apart from 12a which took me a while to parse until I realised there was a typo in the clue. I also got a bit held up in the NE corner by initially writing in “fret saw” for 10a. 20d was a new word for me but one which was readily derivable from the clue.

    From a very fine selection, 27a gets my vote as favourite.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    Off now to play my first game of cricket for the season. Inevitably rain is forecast …

  10. Not a duff clue in sight. A winner all of the way. Thanks to the 2Ks for explaining 15 across. Thanks to the setter for the very enjoyable puzzle

  11. Shame about the in rather than on error at 12a but no problem with the homophone part of it. A pleasant solve that just edged into ** time & with a few learning points. Vaguely knew 10a is a type of knot but hadn’t a clue what type of tool it was, reckon if put on the spot as to how to spell 3d every likelihood I’d have missed out the 2nd E (18d no gimme either) & hadn’t come across 20d before. 19a my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks
    Wordle in 4.

  12. Thought I was going to be on easy street when the long perimeter clues fell quite nicely but our setter had a few tricks up his sleeve, mainly on the spelling front, which took a while to work out satisfactorily.
    Several clever clues worthy of mention but it was 1a that made me laugh so my vote for favourite goes to that one.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review – I’m guessing that you now have a fair number of our feathered friends taking refuge from the hunters?

  13. Jay back to his Wednesday best with this very entertaining and enjoyable puzzle. As someone said earlier, not a duff clue to be seen, so it is tough to find a clear winner, but I will go with the excellent 27a. Like my fellow Salopian Steve C, I must give a special mention to the Quickie Pun.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and to our 2Ks.

  14. I enjoyed this puzzle very much.
    Needed the Kiwis help to parse 13d and was reassured that they also found an error in12a.

    Thanks to the setter…..just my cup of tea .
    And to the 2 Kiwis.

    The runner up ball point pen and notepad arrived for me yesterday morning..which was a treat! Interesting to see my address in print as “Agnus”. We do have a lot of sheep round about here I suppose…..

        1. I’ll add my congrats, and ask out of interest whether you submitted online or by post? I’ve occasionally wondered whether they have a preference for one form of entry of the other.

    1. Well done, Ora! I have given up sending in prize puzzles. Maybe I should start again?

    2. I don’t understand your comment about ‘angus’ Ora – should it be Angus? Very excited if that is the case. ( incidentally, I have won first prize twice, Brian, over a period of some 30 years!)

        1. Oh I’m so embarrassed. I’m a churchgoer and did Latin for 6 years how thick of me! I was so excited thinking I’d found an Angus!

    3. I well remember when our esteemed editor agreed to supply me with one of the ‘limited edition’ Telegraph fountain pens to present to BD on the 10th anniversary of the blog. For a few precious hours I had it in my possession and was SO tempted to use it!

  15. Apart from the typo, I found this ‘just right for a Wednesday backpager’

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

    1. Thanks for the polite request. They are covered here ok, could you please try clearing cache at your end. That may be the problem.

    2. I think it has been established that ‘uncovered answers’ is not a blog problem.

      Answers covered up on my HP Laptop, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Tablet, and Samsung Phone – all using applicable versions of MS Edge.

    3. This was addressed a few days ago, Mike. It seems it has something to do with the browser you are using. The answers are covered up on my MacBook Air and iPad using Safari.

    4. Interesting that JB yesterday had the cryptic solutions covered and the Toughie solutions visible, presumably on the same browser :scratch:

      1. Yes, same browser.
        Today both Toughie and Cryptic are uncovered. It’s strange that I didn’t have this when the problem was first mooted.

  16. I started by thinking that this was not a Jay production but that thought changed by completion. Very enjoyable, with the four long ‘uns solved early on and helping with the rest.

    Interesting that the 12a ‘in/on’ problem diverted attention away from the oft criticised homophone.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 19a, and 1d – and the winner is 19a.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis, this is also a Cat’s Paw:

        1. Probably smaller than a Crowbar. Wikipedia, the unimpeachable(?) source, where this photo came from states 8 inches in length.

        2. Too small to be a jemmy or crowbar. A cat’s paw is used mainly for digging/pulling out smallish nails that have been driven in flush or below the surface of the timber. Pincers used to have a similar small claw on one end of the handles (with a ball on the end of the other). They were called ball and claw pincers.

          1. *And, if you’re not careful, I’ll describe what type of tool an “old woman’s tooth” is!

  17. Although it had its moments esp the unknown word (at least to me) in 20d i didn’t find it that difficult. Thought the synonym in 21d was weak and didn’t understand the word play in 12a and 9a. All in all a bit of a Curates Egg for me but enjoyable for all that.
    Thx to all

  18. An enjoyable puzzle; getting the four ‘outsiders’ early on was an enormous help, of course. The tool was new to me, but it had to be what it was…

    Thanks to Jay (?) and The TwoKays

  19. Good to finish a puzzle without needing the hints except to check on parsing. Doubt it is by Jay as I finished it.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter.

  20. Anyone else having problems getting the crossword in the on-line version ?

    1. Which online version, the newspaper app or the Telegraph Puzzles site. Either way I’d suggest deleting the app and reloading it.

  21. Not convinced this is a Jay puzzle, but what do I know.
    Found it pleasant and fairly straightforward other than the two words …16a that I have never heard of and 17a that is certainly not in my everyday lexicon. 2*/4* today for me.
    Favourites include the two at 1a/1d as well as 12a, 4d, 20d & 21d with 1d the top favourite.

    Thanks to setter (Jay?) and the 2K’s

  22. After a DNF on Monday ,and struggling with yesterdays ,I found this the easiest of the week so far. I’d give it a **/*** rating, I’m not saying I parsed them all, but they’re all in and correct. Getting 1across and down was a good start, it’s normally the 3 and 4 letter clues I struggle with. Thanks to all.

  23. Like others, getting the 4 long ones early helped a lot and I found this very enjoyable. I can’t believe it, the painters turned up at 7.10 and left at 7.15 because it was spitting with rain and then the scaffolders turned up to take down the scaffolding but forgot to bring a ladder with them so they left as well! Anyway, thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  24. This was far from being a walk in the park. I have had several stabs at it during the day and what a relief it has finally succumbed. I’m late commenting so haven’t yet read the large number of Comments but will look at them later on. Thank you Jay(?) and the 2 Kiwis.

  25. Unless I’ve missed it don’t believe we’ve had a post from Chriscross for quite some time. Hope all ok.

    1. Yes – I was just thinking the same about Chriscross earlier today – she’s not very far from us here.

      1. Nice of you to be thinking of me. I’m fi e 4hank you. With my rleft wrist out of plaster, I have been quite busy what with physio exercises four times a day, the roof having to be fe-felted the battens replaced and the tiles removed and rhen re-hung! There is also much to be done in the garden, after months of reluctantly neglecting it. The house needs apring cleaning too. There have been many hospital appointments too, not only flollow up of the fracture but a bone density scan, and several appointments at the Oxford Stroke Care Centre, where I agreed to take part in a study. To add to it, the Stroke Centre did a MRI of my neck, to look at the arteries, which revealed a lump on my thyroid so there were more ultrasounds. Life gets complicated doesn’t it? I continue to read your comments with interest and do the backpage Cryptic every day
        Today’s was rather tricky but it was satisying to finish. I loved the long anagrams and the one for an African country. Glad to see you are all keeping well, especially Kath. I’ll try toget back to a comment soon. Thank goodness for my son and his family coming to my assistance
        I feel blessed.

        1. Glad to see you back, Chriscross, but sorry for all of your troubles. You seem. however, to be quite the good soldier. My poor house, a two-year+ victim of the pandemic, needs a total overhaul (we even have a room called the Pandemic Room), so I can sympathise with you. Keep on being strong!

  26. I thought this was tricky – specially for a Wednesday.
    I didn’t know 20d -then it started to ring a bell – I think I’ve met it in a book and I now remember it – it was a bit creepy which isn’t my chosen style of reading!
    I liked all the four long answers round the outside, particularly 1a and 1d.
    Thanks to Jay (assuming he was the setter and I think he was) and thanks to the K’s

    1. Hi Kath. In his ‘To be or not to be’ soliloquy, Hamlet ponders, ‘When he might his quietus make / With a bare bodkin?’

      1. To be, or not to be; that is the bare bodkin
        That makes calamity of so long life;
        For who would fardels bear, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane,
        But that the fear of something after death
        Murders the innocent sleep,
        Great nature’s second course,
        And makes us rather sling the arrows of outrageous fortune
        Than fly to others that we know not of.
        There’s the respect must give us pause:
        Wake Duncan with thy knocking! I would thou couldst;
        For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
        The oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
        The law’s delay, and the quietus which his pangs might take,
        In the dead waste and middle of the night, when churchyards yawn
        In customary suits of solemn black,
        But that the undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveler returns,
        Breathes forth contagion on the world,
        And thus the native hue of resolution, like the poor cat i’ the adage,
        Is sicklied o’er with care,
        And all the clouds that lowered o’er our housetops,
        With this regard their currents turn awry,
        And lose the name of action.
        ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.
        But soft you, the fair Ophelia:
        Ope not thy ponderous and marble jaws,
        But get thee to a nunnery- go!

  27. Did anyone else have all the answers visible rather than under a cover & only visible when tapped. Rather spoilt the hints. Thanks to the Kiwis. I had a NZ s-i-l so it’s good to hear from you

  28. I found this tricky but very, very enjoyable. DNF, two unsolved in the SE, 19a and 20d. I saw the four long’ us and set about solving them first, which I did very quickly and had a good base. There was so much to entertain, hard to choose a fave, maybe 1a,
    Thanks to Jay, and to the 2Kiwis, though I did get scared with the **** On printing.

  29. Morning all.
    Apologies for missing the other possible ‘tools’ in 10a. They do not appear to be in our BRB so we went with the only definition we could find there. Should have kept looking.
    We seem to have found this one trickier than most commenters are reporting. Suspect that sweating over 12a had something to do with that.

  30. Very enjoyable from my perspective. But a DNF impossible to solve 15a. Look at 2k hints, no further forward…reveal answer. Penny drops. If the buffoon ( that would be me) who had put in 5d could put the right letters in the right square how much simpler life would be. So thanks to setter and 2K, I’m off to give myself a good talking to.

  31. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle and seemed to favour the NW after getting the outside clues. I have to confess the need to check my spelling of 3d. Too many clues to like so will thank Jay (?) and the 2 Kiwis.

    Good to hear from Kath.

  32. I enjoyed this very much and, like others, liked the four long clues which fell in place quickly and provided a good framework for the others. 21d last one in. When DD1 was young she was reading 27a and asked me what a drawn was. I said there was no such thing as ‘a’ drawn. A picture was drawn or a raffle ticket. Quite an argument ensued but eventually she said the man in TGG was wearing a Trilby drawn over his forehead! Many thanks to the three birds. An Almshouse meeting this afternoon has left me with second lot of minutes to type up this week. When can I retire?

  33. Lovely puzzle this morning topped off with sound hinting and nice to have 12a sorted. I wasn’t going to lose any sleep over it but but still.
    Thanks 2Kiwis and our setter.
    And Michael Burns for that cat’s paw.

  34. A perfectly pitched puzzle, although I do confess a few answers eluded me and needed the hints to finish. Got off to a great start with the long answers going straight in, 1a, 1d, 8d and 22a. Sadly, 27a was one I didn’t solve unaided. All I could remember was that he burnt the cakes. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  35. Getting 1a straightaway set me off on an enjoyable journey to completion.
    Just nudged 2* for difficulty.
    12a and 27a vied for top spot.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  36. Afraid answers are not covered today in both my Android devices using Chrome and my desktop using Firefox. However if I switch to Microsoft Edge on the desktop then the answers are covered

    I note that you are using Edge on all of your devices.

  37. Having been a country mile off the pace all week I breezed through this. Having said that, I guessed 12a was a typo, I had to check 22a, 13d and 20d were real words and needed the hint to parse 19a so not completely straightforward. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  38. The long clues were really helpful to get started. There were a few tricky clues but enjoyable mostly. I picked the wrong saw for 10a which didn’t help ! Thankyou for the hinters and the clever setter.

  39. My iPhone sometimes doesn’t render the “Answer” button and displays all the answers. Has anyone else had this issue and is there a fix?

    1. Welcome to the blog

      This ‘problem’ has been happening over the last few weeks to some people and not others. It doesn’t seem to matter which browser you use. Someone has suggested that ‘clearing the cache’ might work.

  40. 4*/3*….
    liked 19A “Bishop goes in for starter of spicy soup (6)”

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