DT 29024 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29024 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29024 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Passing in van, sharing time with politician (10)
A seven-letter type of van and a politician “share” the letter T(ime)

6a    Likelihood one in ounces could be seen as this? (4)
To locate the word ONE inside the word OUNCES you need to take these letters

12a    Apparently forces to be located in Middle Eastern area swamps (7)
I’m not sure about this one, but it looks like a cryptic definition meaning forces to be located in a specific area of the Middle East – the definition is a lot easier to understand

13a    Did sketch in which party facing both ways governed (7)
Start with a two-letter party or function, repeat it in reverse (facing both ways) and add a verb meaning governed (if you can remember when governments used to do that!)

18a    Copying letter from Greece will limit delay occurring (12)
A letter in the Greek alphabet goes around a three-letter delay and is followed by a verb meaning occurring

21a    Bans unfashionable boys in blue Sierra (7)
A three-letter word meaning unfashionable followed by a three-letter word meaning the boys in blue and the letter represented by Sierra in the NATO Phonetic alphabet

24a    Tar perhaps filling in this clearing (9)
One of the two-letter abbreviations for a tar or sailor followed by what you are doing by filling in this crossword

27a    Later family member finds insect beside sink (10)
An insect is preceded by a verb meaning to sink or go down


1d    Drawn, having temperature, looking rough with no resistance (6)
a synonym of drawn, as in pulled, is derived from T(emperature) followed by an adjective meaning looking rough without (no) the leading R(esistance)

4d    Person responsible for notes in tango decided to interrupt final section (9)
Here the notes are bank notes, so don’t waste time, as I did, with musical notes – the letter represented in the NATO Phonetic alphabet by Tango is followed by a word meaning decided or certain inside the final section of something

7d    Log jam six feet under part of canal (8)
What you are if you are “six feet under” followed by a part of canal

8d    In haste, parking to enter in scruffy style (8)
P(arking) inside (to enter) an adverb meaning in a scruffy style

9d    A condiment more ‘runny’ — good word! (14)
An anagram (runny) of A CONDIMENT MORE

15d    Boy used up scented stuff around girl, getting half-cut and sentimental (9)
The reversal of a three-letter boy is followed by some powdery scented stuff around half of the word GI[rl}

17d    Blessed drips from the ministry (8)
A cryptic definition of a religious ceremony

22d    Drop that’s put under the microscope (5)
Two definitions – the first being to drop as in to decrease

The Crossword Club is now open.

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: leave+appals+treat=Liverpool Street

77 comments on “DT 29024 (Hints)

  1. 4*/1.5*. This verbose puzzle was not to my taste with a mixture of tortuous charades (hard), a sprinkling of very long anagrams (simple), and a couple of old chestnuts (dull). I solved 6a & 12a from the definitions and checkers but gave up on trying to unravel the wordplay so I was pleased that BD included these two in his hints even though he appears as mystified as me about 12a.

    I did like 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. Well, if you found this hard, what chance did those of us with tiny brains have! I thought that I was losing my ability to solve anything, so knowing you found this difficult really restored my confidence.

  2. This was quite a struggle and merits **** in difficulty for me. With a wide variety of clues and some long anagrams, it was very absorbing and quite enjoyable (****), although I couldn’t parse two of the clues. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints. Favourites were 1a and 9d.

  3. Took concentration and two cups of coffee to get to the end of this but the ‘penny drop’ moments were quite delightful and I had such fun along the way.

    Almost impossible to play favourites – 6&24a plus 17d probably came out on top with the latter definitely taking gold for surface read (with apologies to Prolixic!).

    Many thanks to our setter for a great Saturday puzzle and to BD for the club.

  4. I woke up at a ridiculous time this morning, so had this finished long before breakfast time. I managed to complete it on my tablet for the first time, ( I didn’t want to wake anyone up switching the main computer on ), but I wasn’t keen on all the scrolling up and down I had to do. I’ll be back to the paper version tomorrow. I also can’t remember the clues I filled in, and can’t see them. I think that 17d was possibly my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to BD

  5. Of an expected level for a prize crossword . Completed in a reasonable time but had some parsing issues . Looking forward to reading blog & comments but not a lot of enjoyment for me today as a few clues seemed a little clumsy.The anagrams helped the progress through and my favourite is 13A as it raised a smile .
    Outdoor bowling season now open and the sun is shining .
    Thanks to everyone .

  6. Not my favourite, and I have no idea, even after reading the hint, why 12a is right.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron

  7. Steady solve hardest in the NW. I too am in the bunged in camp for 12a and liked 24a the most as I solved the puzzle. 17d LOI.

  8. The Saturday setter(s) are certainly maintaining the high level of trickiness; the stallion had slowed down to a canter before this one was finished.

    The long anagrams were a great help but I still had the same bung-ins that others did.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, and 26a – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. Don’t you just love a crossword when all, or most, of the clues have smooth surfaces!

    Sadly, this was not in that category.

    Overall, not that enjoyable last night, (although I did like the method of construction in 1a) and it doesn’t look any better this morning.

    Thanks to setter in any event and to BD. I will try to remember to look at the review of this to see if someone has the best explanation for 12a.

    1. ‘Someone’ who solved the crossword while being driven down the M1 has, after sorting out laundry etc, come here to see whether it was ‘just her’. I’m delighted to find that I am not alone in finding this harder than usual, even for this ‘wordy’ setter, the ‘one whose clues fill up every available space provided for them in the newspaper’..

      I’ll give some thought to explaining 12a but there are two comments waiting for ‘moderation’ which I’m leaving for BD to edit as they are erring on providing too much information, but they have kindly given me some food for thought as to how to explain 12d when I type the review.

      1. 12a: I’ve sussed this now (I think), but isn’t ther something “back to front” about what should be inside what? Can I say that without rebuke?

  10. I don’t mind prize puzzles being tricky one bit, but I do like a bit of sparkle – unfortunately this, like RD & Hoofit, I found rather mundane.

    However, setting a puzzle at all is not easy (never mind adding fizz) so thanks to setter and BD.

  11. Not at all keen on this. I agree with Rabbit Dave wholeheartedly. Mostly I guessed the answers and then spent a tortuous few minutes trying to parse them. Still it’s filled in a bit of time! Thanks to BD and the setter

  12. Sadly I must join the ranks of those who found this rather long-winded and unenjoyable, yet I echo the final sentence at #11 of LBR.

  13. Oh – I seem to be out of step with most of you again.
    I thought it was difficult and it’s taken me a very long time but I really enjoyed it.
    I don’t get 12a either – well, I’ve got the answer which I think has to be right but I don’t ‘get’ why – I’ve never before heard BD say that he doesn’t really ‘get’ it!
    18a was one of those where I knew the right word but it just wouldn’t pop into my head for ages.
    Good fun with enjoyable clues including 13, 21 and 26a and 15 and 17d. My favourite, I think, was 7d – made me laugh.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    Off to the garden to carry on the eternal battle with brambles. :sad:

    1. Thank goodness you popped in, Kath – it was getting lonely in the ‘like’ camp on my own!

      1. Never mind – it’s probably a better place to be than the naughty corner, even if you were on your own there for a while.

  14. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I really struggled with this from start to finish, didn’t enjoy it one bit. If I’ve got 17d correct, it seems that the tense is wrong? 12a doesn’t seem to work. Needed the hints for 1,18,24a and 1&4d. Favourite was 21a. Was 4*/1* for me.

  15. I thought this was a mixed bag. Some good clues (liked 7d, 10a, 13a, 18a, 19d and 27a) but, as others have mentioned, there were some clunky surfaces (eg 1d and 26a) and a few bung-ins where I really couldn’t make sense of the parsing.

    Despite this progress was steady until the last 2 clues in the SW corner which took as long as the rest of the puzzle. LoI = 17d when the penny finally dropped.

    CoTD = 2d because I was born in Whitehaven General 😁

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for unravelling the parsing especially on 6a.

  16. Considering that most of you experienced types on here found this puzzle hard, I’m feeling quite pleased with myself for *almost* finishing it. I keep returning here to see if anyone has anything to say about 23a and 19d which are eluding me. 1a made me laugh and, like many others, 12a has me perplexed. Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

    1. 19d the definition is “Country”.

      “In conversation” indicates a homophone of a ”person wasting no time”

      1. Thank you for your help! Much appreciated. What hadn’t helped is that I spelled 27a wrongly.

    2. 23a – the definition is ‘in the main’ or generally.
      The ‘group of motorists’ is a two letter abbreviation for nice mechanics who come along and help you when your car conks out and between those two letters (keeping) you need the abbreviation for S[mall]. Then you want a synonym for lead or govern.
      Hope that helps and good luck.
      Don’t worry about 12a – it seems to have foxed everyone!

      1. Thank you for this. I was trying to get a nautical connection for “in the main” – failing, obviously. Your help is appreciated!

  17. I quite enjoyed this one. A bit of a struggle is always welcome. Liked several including loi 19d. Needed some hints to finish which were gratefully noted.
    Haven’t posted for a while so this may bounce. Didn’t like the are you a robot test it took me about 6 tries to get in.

  18. If the “********” means makes larger, or forces to be larger, then the answer to 12a means forces to be in the named area, doesn’t it? :-)

  19. 12a – could it be this? Think about a military person becoming attached to another unit – he ‘******’. Now send same guy or gal to an area in the Middle East. What does he or she do? Sorry if that’s daft, or if I end up on the naughty step for my first post.

      1. Thanks for the welcome. Re 12a, I don’t envy Crypticsue having to find the words for this hint.

  20. Really quite a struggle today. Finally finished except 6a. I have the second and last letters so the answer is fairly obvious but completely fail to see why the two middle letters refer to ONE as per the hints. Helped a friend at a car boot this morning in Aylsham. Absolutely FREEZING and hailing so packed up early. Drove back to N Norfolk coast through downpour but no rain here at all and we so need it. Thanks to all.

    1. Hi Manders – re 6a; all I can say without going to cake corner is that it isn’t the middle letters, look again.

      1. It was staring me in the face! Sometimes, well often actually, I feel a right prat. Thanks for steering me in the right direction LR.

  21. I thought 1a and 6a were both v clever….otherwise quite a struggle without being v rewarding…

  22. ****/***. Tough but quite enjoyable. Thank goodness for the anagrams to get me started but some of this required bung ins (12a). I’m glad I’m not the only one who still can’t explain this. 18a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. Having spent some time on google the 12a clue has some guidance on answerbank – but even then this looks to be a very contrived clue. I trust this doesn’t put me on the naughty step.

  23. So unbelievably hard I couldn’t even start it.
    Total waste of printers ink for me.

    1. Just so you can say you solved one clue Brian, there’s a very very old friend of the crossword solver in 25a

  24. Looking at 12a again, is it just (apparently) a very bad homophone?? In…Xxxx???

    1. I think its like the word encircles, which describes forcing something into a circle. Replace circle with a geographical area not unrelated to a 20th century war. Please redact this if you will. I just cant bear the noise of the head scratching

  25. I have to reassess whether the DT crossword sub is really worth it, at this rate I only enjoy the first three days of the week. I might revisit the Times, I used to enjoy those and only stopped as I decided not to give Murdoch one more penny of my hard-earned money.

    I’ll probably regret this post once I calm down and think about missing this fun blog.

    1. I’m with you Merusa. Several years ago I switched from The Times for the same reason but I sometimes think about returning. I also toyed with the New York Times crossword while living in NYC for a while but did find it a bit of a struggle getting on their wavelength. Some DT crosswords and indeed the general newspaper content becomes less and less appealing.

      1. So I’m not alone. One of the things I do miss is the Times Jumbo cryptic, I’d gnaw at that all week. I’m simmering down, I just think it was disappointment at missing a crossword solve that I’d been looking forward to. Thanks.

        1. Of course the DT sub is worth it . . . . its the best crossword puzzle IMHO. Crossword puzzles are strange beasts. Agreed that what’s simple to some are impossible for others, but speaking personally, The Times has been a puzzle which I’ve aspired to solving on a daily basis, but have failed to finish more often than not. The Guardian I enjoy doing online on the odd dark winter evening when I’m bored after I’ve put the cryptic and occasionally the Toughie to bed. As for the Telegraph . . . this has been my newspaper and first choice cryptic crossword puzzle for close on 50 years. In that time I think I’ve come to recognise most of the regular setter’s styles and the new setters styles that appear from time to time aren’t that hard to latch onto. Perhaps its just me, but I reckon the Telegraph cryptics are, and I hate to use the word ‘easiest’, but certainly the most straightforward puzzles of all the “quality” papers to solve. Even today’s prize puzzle with a little thought was nowhere even close to Brian’s estimation of it. A bit more thought was needed, but it really wasn’t that difficult to solve. Looking forward to what Dada has in store for us tomorrow – hopefully some more mental fun. Change my newspaper? Not on your life!

  26. Well I’m obviously in the minority as I quite enjoyed this one! A couple of bung ins certainly, and a few nebulous attempts at parsing but it all eventually came together. 1a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  27. Well this one seemed to run me round the houses more than I wanted, bit of an uphill struggle!
    4*/2*, not one of my favourite Saturday head scratchers !
    However, thank you to setter & BD for review & needed hints.

  28. Somewhat humdrum ☹️. North came through reasonably smoothly but then help was needed in the SW. Bunged in 6a; 12a decidedly convoluted; 4d, 17d and 19d all grated and yet another appearance of 25a. Let’s hope tomorrow’s challenge will be more inspiring. Thank you setter and BD.

  29. I can’t say that I broke any records in completing this one. I felt it was more stodgy than difficult, but in fairness to the setter it did give me more to ponder over than some have recently. 1 across made me chuckle as did 7 down. 12 across struck me as pretty straightforward when considered in a fairly 3 down manner. All in all I was happy to solve fairly quickly and glad to get it over and done with. Thanks to setter and BD.

  30. Well I seem to have a foot in each camp. I started off really quickly and then slowed down but struggled through in the end. I’m with the majority on 12a and 17d could conceivably have been one of two answers with the m being replaced by an e, I plumped for the right one in the end because it sort of fitted the clue better. No particular favourite (perhaps that’s telling) and thanks to BD and setter.

  31. Completed the puzzle this morning and have had a busy day since so only just getting to read the hints and comments. Don’t remember being overwhelmed by it, but also don’t remember it being as bad as others have mentioned. Last one in was 17d and I liked the penny drop moment.

    In common with most, I couldn’t parse 12a.

    Wasn’t even remotely impressed with the ridiculous quickie pun.

    Many thanks setter and BD

  32. Crikey…I needed all the hints today and am still stuck on 20d if anyone can give a clue? Surely 17d is a noun when it should be a verb?

    1. 20d ‘head over heels’ in a down clue often indicates a reversal.
      17d ‘drips’ can be a noun as well as a verb.

      1. Thank you Gazza, yes…I guessed the reversal bit, but still completely lost with the clue

  33. I enjoyed this! I needed several of the hints here, but that’s usual for me, so it didn’t seem noticeably tougher than typical. Thanks to Big Dave for making it possible for me to solve, and some commenters above for assisting with final parses.

    For 10a I could only think of a different 70s rock style (with the same number of letters) until getting the crossers.

    There were more clues than usual that I particularly liked. Controversially, that included 12a! Also 26a, 5d, and 16d — with 6a being my favourite.

  34. Late on parade but not because I found it overly difficult. I didn’t enjoy this but nor did I put it into Dada territory.
    I was surprised at the comments somewhat but RD perhaps put his finger on it. If you don’t get a foothold & the clues are not to your liking perhaps you mentally switch off & decide you have better things to do (go shopping to Tesco, or the washing up).
    On a general note though I do think Saturday’s are more difficult now than six months or a year ago.
    Thanks to setter & BD for hints. As far as 12a is concerned might it be that it refers to a 10 letter synonym which could be said to force someone into an action. Thats my threepennyworth!

  35. Late as usual but depressed because I haven’t finished yet and no hint or comments on 3d! Can’t find a word to fit! Despite hints not happy about 18 and 21a. I will hope that help comes soon…..!

    1. 3d I spill mystical liquid in a shallow way (14)
      Perhaps the reason there is no hint or comment is that it’s a reasonably straightforward anagram (liquid) of I SPILL MYSTICAL!

    1. Welcome to the blog Manu
      Please save this kind of discussion until the full review is published on Friday. I can only emphasise that all answers we use are verified by the online website, so alternatives, whether right or wrong, are not acceptable to Telegraph Puzzles.

  36. Completed ! Had the wrong word for 18a so compromised 3 &17d. Blame my decoder for not having all words ending in ‘ing’
    Thanks to BD for the hints and hope next week’s will be easier!

  37. Got stuck with 3 unfinished clues.. Thanks to the hints managed to cross the tape.. Many thanks to all and glad to be put out of my misery.

  38. Glad I wasn’t the only one to find it quite tough.
    Never understood 12a either.
    Liked the construction in 18a but not it’s surface.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the club

  39. I thought this one was very good, well worthy of the title Prize. The clues were generally fine, it was a fairly tough challenge (as cryptics should be), needed a fair amount of head-scratching/lateral thinking and was a very enjoyable solve. 12a: this was straightforward enough to get from the definition and checkers, but I still can’t really reconcile the parsing (I’ll have to wait till Friday morning for that). 3.5* / 4.5*

  40. A great challenge. On par with the Daily Mail’s Hardest Crossword Ever.
    As usual, you have to conjure up many answers, in order to understand the clue.
    More, please.

  41. Regarding 12a, isn’t the answer simply a contrived or made up word to describe being placed in the middle east area in question, of a form similar to words like *******, **********, etc ?

    1. Now you know how difficult it is to explain this without including part of the answer in your hint!

      I have decided that any clue that is this difficult to justify is, by definition, a poor clue. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it doesn’t work.

  42. Pleasing that some other commentators found this one difficult !
    liked 14A (tremendous macaroni-lots to be used).

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