DT 29048 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29048 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29048 (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    Rule out report of how lazy compiler acquired crossword? (8)
Sounds like the crossword was already set up – answers in which the first two letters are unchecked are usually avoided in crosswords as they are borderline unfair, especially when the wordplay is as cryptic as it is here

10a    More than one central part in clue to be solved (6)
An anagram (to be solved) of IN CLUE

11a    They’ll get pipes going in lake — with people having a row that should be lead-free (8)
These pipes are the kind in which tobacco is smoked! – L(ake) is followed by some people have a row or argument without their first or lead letter (that should be lead-free)

12a    Pack skimpy underwear as clothing for run (6)
An item of skimpy underwear around (as clothing for) R(un)

18a    High and low will be present, after really going in opposite directions (10)
A word meaning present or in attendance preceded by (after) a word meaning really inside opposite compass directions

23a    Disturbing someone in hospital, ringing in (8)
A member of the nursing staff in a hospital around (ringing) IN from the clue

25a    Loyalist beginning to pen criminal law (8)
A word meaning the beginning around (to pen) an anagram (criminal) of LAW

27a    Most unusual, Conservative’s interrupting converted actress (8)
C(onservative) inside (interrupting) an anagram (converted) of ACTRESS


2d    Standard jeans — slim gent seeking every other option (6)
Every second letter (seeking every other option) in JEANS SLIM GENT

4d    Detectives given instruction to arrest Republican in a state (10)
Some senior detectives followed by a verb meaning given instruction around (to arrest) R(epublican)

7d    … postpone or carry on? (4,4)
A verb meaning to carry followed by a word meaning on or above

8d    Sanctimonious, having a tendency to scoff about Right (8)
An adjective meaning having a tendency to scoff or eat around R(ight) – another answer in which the first two letters are unchecked

15d    Weak are more unco-operative (8)
Split as (4,4) this suggests being more uncooperative

16d    Left wing’s first half getting stuck into passing and tackle (4,4)
L(eft) and the first half of WI[ng] inside a word meaning passing or loss of life

20d    Make ‘Raking Fire’ part of surrealist RA festival (6)
Ignore the punctuation, the definition is to make raking fire and it’s hidden (part) inside the clue

21d    Hurry along or up in bike race (4)
The reversal of OR from the clue inside annual motorcycle race on the Isle of Man

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: knew+whirled+Dvořák=New World (Dvořák)

66 comments on “DT 29048 (Hints)

  1. Proud to finish before the hints but it took twice as long as my average time . A real toughie in my opinion .
    The 4 more or less separate quarters did not provide many checks and putting the wrong sex of deer in 26A also hindered .
    Lots of clues to admire but 1A my COTD .
    Thanks to everyone .

    1. 26A…. I got the wrong deer too. Took me ages to overcome it. Flipping Heck.

      1. Best Saturday for a long time. First pass saw just three entries, (and curses for the setter). But much head-scratching later, and the real quality of this puzzle came through. Very enjoyable. No reversion to BD, as originally feared! Many thanks nevertheless and gratified now that I was not alone in my opinion. Too many excellent clues to pick a favourite.

    2. p.s. not sure your verb for ‘hampered’ doesn’t qualify you for the naughty step.

  2. Just brilliant. I found this somewhat tougher than the Saturday average, perhaps in part due to the unhelpful grid, but with so many excellent clues I’m not going to grumble about that. Far too many clues ticked to identify a favourite. Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to BD for the blog.

    1. I know double (or more) unches are frowned upon, but I’ve been doing cryptic crosswords every day since1970 and until I started reading this blog a few years ago I never even noticed or considererd them. I do a puzzle every day (admittedly not the highest quality) that regulary has the first and last across clues (11-letter answers) with 2 single and 1 quintuplate unch, giving only 4 checkers each in total!

  3. Certainly tougher than the average Saturday puzzle with a handful of clues holding out for some time. When I was solving, I thought it could quite easily have strayed from the midweek Toughie file.

    Thanks to BD and setter 3.5*/4*

  4. This was very testing and took me into *** time to complete. There were a few bung-ins so many thanks to BD for the hints, which helped me to parse them. There were a few unfamiliar terms and some stretched synonyms but I enjoyed 1a, 4d and 8d. 3*** for enjoyment and thanks to the setter.

  5. Help! My brain hurts. This is so tough that i could only solve it using all sorts of electronic help. Please please DT save these horrors for the weekday Toughies. Having one this difficult on a Saturday is no fun at all for most of us. Even the hints are cryptic.

    1. Once again you are misrepresenting the blog. Hints for cryptic definitions are, by definition, cryptic. There are several hints for anagrams and there is a hidden answer that even you should be able to get.

      1. I think misrepresenting is a little strong. I appreciate that weekend hints can’t be as specific as weekday ones but even you must admit that on occasions the hints are even more cryptic than the clue. It can be frustrating when the puzzle is as difficult as this one. Keep up the good work.

  6. 5*/3*. Crikey, that was tough, much harder than yesterday’s Toughie I thought. There were quite a lot of iffy surfaces but there were also some very good clues. 1a was my favourite.

    Not only does 11a fall into the iffy surface category, I couldn’t parse it fully as I was transfixed with a different sort of row. However, the definition was nicely disguised.

    Strangely, the answer to 19d is not in my BRB as a noun with that meaning even though the adjectival form is there.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  7. In the newspaper version of 20d Raking Fire is in italics rather than punctuation marks which makes more sense of the surface reading

  8. This was a tad trickier than I was expecting this morning, but not unsurmountable.

    My last one in was 1a; I liked the clue, but it was spoilt by having a double unch (borderline unfair as BD has said above).

    Thanks to setter, and to BD.

  9. Terrific! Found East less taxing than the West. So many candidates for Fav but my short-list included 1a, 12a, 15d, 16d and, with BD’s help,11a (I was thinking around wrong lead). Thank you lots Mysteron and BD

  10. Something of a wake up call after recent Saturdays and a most enjoyable puzzle.
    Not overly keen on 7d but that was the only ‘umm’ for me.

    Podium places went to 1a plus 8&15d with many others hot on their heels.

    Many thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

    1. Am I the only one who thinks there are two possibilities for the second word of 7d. either of which parse?

      1. Pop back when the review is published on Friday and you can ask the question again and be sure of an answer that doesn’t send anyone to the Naughty Corner

      2. As well as fitting the definition (postpone) your alternative must satisfy three tests:

        1. it must fit with the wordplay (carry + on)
        2. it must fit the checking letters
        3. it must be in Chambers dictionary

        I suspect that it only satisfies test 2 or test 3, in which case it doesn’t count as a possibility.,

  11. I too rather waded through this one with the construction of 1a not being the most friendly start but it was, in the end, probably my favourite.
    Thanks to BD for explaining 16d to me which I struggled to parse and of course as his Pedant’s Guide points out the “race” in 21d is not a race – but we all probably assume that it is 😂

    1. If you’ve ever visited the event you’ll be in absolutely no doubt that it is a race!!!

    2. Those IOW events have always been called “races” and always will be and whether they are defined as such in the dictionaries is immaterial. It’s not necessarily what they ARE, but what they are CALLED (capitals used for accentuation, instead of italics) by the organisation officials. Also, to be in a “race” doesn’t mean you have to be competing simultaneously with other competitors – an individual can be in a race against time or against the clock. And if you’re stranded alone on a remote beach with high cliffs at the wrong time, you could be in a race against the tide.

  12. 1a my last one in on this extremely enjoyable, but very much tougher than normal Saturday puzzle. Didn’t like the synonym in 6d although I acknowledge that it’s in the BRB, to me the two words don’t mean the same thing.

    Many thanks to setter and BD

  13. Slow to start, but some very good stuff here. A slightly different kind of thinking was needed to crack it.1a was probably my favourite, when I eventually got it. Have a good weekend all.

  14. Tricky yes, but not as tricky as some recent Saturday puzzles just managed to complete it at a gallop – – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 18a and 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. In common with earlier remarks, this was certainly at the tough end of the setting spectrum and the hardest Saturday puzzle for some time. I found it a bit of a slog if I’m honest, and so failed to get the satisfaction and enjoyment I normally derive from crosswords. I’m sure it was very clever but it took me beyond the time I would normally expect to take to solve it and the fun factor was missing.

    Thanks anyway to our setter for the challenge and to BD for his hints.

    1. Couldn’t agree more with your summing up!! Did just finish it without any hints.

  16. I’ve never been a huge fan of easy prize crossword puzzles, but this was possibly the most difficult prize cryptic that I’ve attempted in quite a fair old while. Some of the clues really were ‘head scratchers’. Personally I enjoyed the fight, but I wouldn’t one as difficult as this too often. I disliked the grid, but not the clues. Thanks to today’s ‘bully’, lol and thanks to BD.

    1. I didn’t think it was particularly difficult, finishing in comfortable *** time, but I didn’t enjoy it either. Starting off 1a with a double unch is a Rookie error.

  17. Stuck for ages on 1a! Had a yummy bacon and stilton sarnie on the Carnser at Blakeney on the way home from Wells and bingo, saw the wood from the trees. Very clever clue. Pretty tricky over all but enjoyable. Thanks to all.

  18. I heartily agree with you on the double unch subject BD. As regards time taken to solve, I’d say that it probably took me about half as long again to what I’d call my ‘normal’ time for solving. It certainly made me think a bit harder. :-)

    1. Sorry for my ignorance, but what is a ‘double unch’? Sounds disgusting and is it catching? Only kidding, but do please enlighten me. Thanks

      1. Often asked – it is simply two unchecked white spaces. FAQs will probably explain it a little more eloquently than I have.

      2. Some clearer info – Two consecutive unchecked letters: they are an accepted part of crossword grids although too many of them in the same grid are regarded as an unfair, particularly if the associated wordplay is imprecise.

        1. Thanks for your rep!y. I did check the FAQ first but I couldn’t find anything. I’m sure I can slot the phrase into a conversation somewhere.

    1. First time in about 5 years I could not finish; gave up after putting wrong answer in 1a. Many answers a bit “iffy”

  19. Well that kept me out of trouble for an hour or two. For the second time this week we had a toughie masquerading as a back pager. Also the grid layout meant establishing any meaningful foothold was difficult.
    Still, I managed a good three quarters of it before resorting to the hints and enjoyed the challenge. Funnily enough (reading others’ comments) 1a was my first in and lulled me into a false sense of security. It sits on my podium along with 23 and 25a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  20. PAX! Yes, I’m shouting. The east went in more readily, that does not mean easily, just a comparison. I found I was using too much electronic help in the west and began to get bored, so I’ve surrendered.
    I see the majority enjoyed this and I’m glad, that’s called democracy.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for the hints and tips.

  21. Like lots on here I had to work hard to solve this crossword. I did enjoy the challenge however. Favourite clue was 1a and the double unch didn’t even occur to me!
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  22. Well I finished it! However to do that I found myself doing the two things I hate,,, that being using “bung ins” & hoping, the other resorting to electronic help.
    3.5*/2.5*,,, not my finest hour!
    Thanks to BD for review & hints, also to the setter.

  23. Reasonably difficult, made more so by a pretty user-unfriendly grid. There’s a good case to be made for working from a selection of standard grids with proper checking to stop this kind of thing.

  24. Grr 1st comment lost. Probably because I have been here too long and forgot about the re browser check.
    To paraphrase what I had. 24a 26a my faves today and although I admire the clue for 1a the double inch made my teeth grind. Needed plenty of hints hence the time spent here without refreshing. Thanks to BD and setter. A slightly easier time tomorrow is hoped for.

  25. Too too terribly difficult for this Granny yesterday! Tons of electronic help required to finish (thanks BD) thus not much satisfaction. Actually not much fun either. Thanks to Manders for requesting the double unch explanation, knowledge gain for me – there’s always a shining light! Enjoy the sunshine.

  26. So glad to find everybody else found it hard this weekend. I was really baffled at first but once I got into the swing of things I found it very enjoyable and a challenge. Started by conpleting the bottom half and even speeded up towards the end!

  27. This has to be the most challenging puzzle for some rime. Pleased to finish without help but took twice as long as it normally does. Last in were 16d and 11a. I particularly liked 2d – very clever. Thanks to all.

  28. Couldn’t finish yesterday as it was so tricky – glad to see I’m in the majority – back today to finish off although for the life of me I can’t parse 3d. NW corner caused most problems although I did get 1a quite early on. LOI was 9a, a real durr moment as I’d forgotten that word for headland.
    Thanks to setter for a serious brain workout, and to BD.

  29. Enjoyed it so much that I didn’t mind the double unches in the corners
    Loved the”someone in hospital” in 23a and the homophone in 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the Saturday club.

    1. I have been doing the DR prize crpssword for 10 years, but I have no idea what is an UNCH???????????

      1. Double UNCHecked letter that makes it harder to solve because solving crossing clues doesn’t help. See shropshiredave above.

        1. Thank you; I still do not understand! What is an “unchecked letter”? And “solving crossing clues” – what is that?

          How have I been managing to solve these crosswords for 10 years?

          1. An unchecked square is one that doesn’t intersect with another answer. Look at 1a in the grid, the first two letters do not intersect with a down answer so there is not another answer to give the solver the first or second letter which some see as a tad unfair, and certainly not the norm.

            The crossing clues, or rather answers, are the ones (acrosses and downs) that overlap each-other to form the grid.

            It’s only terminology, not required to solve the puzzle. Hope that helps Pete.

  30. Couldn’t have managed without the hints for a couple on the West side -some clues very obscure…late on the blog because meeting friends in Cheltenham. Last week in Devon.. I expect that once I get used to it the compiler will change!!
    Many thanks to BD and last week for Sue. There were a few clever anagrams that I enjoyed.

  31. I didn’t acquire this one till yesterday (Tues) afternoon, but thought it well worthy of a belated comment (even if hardly anybody will read it). It was certainly a sterner challenge than most Sat Prizes (quite tricky in places) with good clues giving an enjoyable solving experience. I have no problem at all with “bike race” in 21d or the double unches. Too many fine clues to pick a favourite. 3.5* / 4*

  32. 5*/4*…Thanks for the hints-could not have done this puzzle without them !
    Liked 8D (sanctimonious, having a tendency to scoff about Right).

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