DT 29060 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29060 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29060 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings for sunny Warrington and a quick break for yours truly in revising for his OU end of course essay to bring you today’s Blog.

Unless I’m suffering from an overdose of Denglisch, I found this to be one of those puzzles where at first glance everything looks to be baffling, but suddeny a couple of answers drop in and the rest is plain sailing.  


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 Part of old ensemble having drink before tango (7)
The ensemble here refers to clothing, so it’s something you would have worn a great many years ago. A general name for a drink plus something from our old friend, the NATO Phonetic Alphabet.

5a With bar next to major road, carbon leads to tirade (7)
The name for a type of bar, plus the name of a major British road and the symbol for the chemical element gives a posh name for an outburst.

9a Way son shrinks gets experts recommending changes? (7,8)
This one caused me a headache and I needed a nudge. It’s a word meaning a way or method, plus the abbreviation for son and a word for shrinks (as in people).

I think I should have asked for a picture of BD during his working days!

16a Kind of shop good garden centre’s missing (7)
Take the abbreviation for good and add the name of a garden feature, minus its middle letter to get a type of shop.

22a Tray’s warped, being in wood? (5)
An anagram of tray gives a mythological creature that lives in forests.

26a Posed around in Lord’s about time food gets knocked back — 25 would call this home (5,10)
To get a head start on this clue, you’ll need to have solved 25 down, which you should do fairly easily, and you’ll then probably write the answer in. The location where the answer lives is found by taking a word for posed, place it around IN. Add to this another word for members of the Upper Chamber around the abbreviation for time. Finally add a slang word for food reversed and Voilà! Or should that be Там!

28a Expect witness to follow warning (7)
A word meaning to expect can be found by taking a warning shouted in sport and adding something that means witness.


1d After changing sides, tenor and soprano taking openings and refrains (7)
An anagram of sides, plus the opening letters for the two singers gives a word that means refrains in a non-musical sense.

2d Sneaky, as most female athletes are essentially? (15)
A word meaning sneaky is how you might cryptically describe female athletes.

7d They help people relax — also purr, conceivably, as a result (7,8)
This is one of those clues where you will need to think outside the box a bit. The definition is clear. If you viewed the answer as a clue, you could get ALSO PURR as an answer. Probably my favourite clue of the day, I think.

14d Took in ruins, admitting yen to see capital (5) The name of a city is found by taking the abbreviation for yen and placing it inside an anagram of TOOK.

18d Dead-end drama (7)
A kind of drama that results in fatalities.

25d Powerful man buried in crypt’s a Romanov (4)
The name for a powerful person is hidden inside the remainder of the clue and gives a nudge for the sort of person you are looking for.

That’s yer lot for today! Now play nicely and let’s hope there are no banishments to the naughty step.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

The Quick Crossword pun: know+Parr+king=no parking

71 comments on “DT 29060 (Hints)

  1. 4*/1*. I found this very tough and I won’t sat too much about it because it was really not to my taste at all with mostly verbose cluing, many clunky surfaces and some dodgy definitions.

    I hope others may have enjoyed it. Sorry to the setter and thanks to Tilsit.

    1. :oops: My excuse for my “sat” typo is that the T is next to the Y on the keyboard.

  2. This was definitely a **** for difficulty in my case but also for enjoyment, as I like a challenge. Some of the clues were rather long-winded and hard ti disentangle. I liked 3, 6 and 8 down. 26a was also good but I have Tilsit to thank for explaining how to parse the second word, although having got 25 d the answer was clear. Thank you to the setter for a good brain work-out.

  3. Ditto Rabbit Dave. Still dumbfounded by 2d. Struggled at first, very clunky for the most part IMHO.
    Thanks to Tilsit though and also setter.

  4. For me the hardest Saturday ever. I needed the hints and all the electronic help I could get. Some clever clues and some dreadful ones. These sort of puzzles are the ones that you do just to defeat the setter but with very little enjoyment, just a sense of not wanting to be beaten.
    Thx with all my heart for the hints.
    For me ******/*.

    1. Oh dear, he’s just gone into the garden with the eponymous Bentley and left me to it. This is not going well…

  5. There was some enjoyment to this, but for me, it was outweighed by what seemed to be a laborious slog.

    I tend to agree with what Rabbit Dave said above.

    Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit.

  6. I’m with RD and also Brian’s comment on completing the puzzle to ‘defeat’ the setter, not much fun at all.

    If I had been on blogging duty, I would have been grateful that, as it is a prize puzzle, I would only have had to solve half of the clues to be able to write the blog.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  7. For me this was very much a case of ‘close but no cigar’. Didn’t take me as long as others seem to have experienced but demanded huge leaps of faith and a fight through some clunky clues and surface reads.
    Shame because the setter obviously had some good ideas.

    Thanks to him/her anyway and to Tilsit for manning the fort.

  8. After only 4 in on the first pass I took Tilsits advice & with a bit of wave length adjustment found the clues gradually fell into place…reminds me of an FT setter but can’t remember which one.
    A curates egg, therefore 3.5*/2.5*.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for direction & sound advice.

  9. No fun, Just slightly irritating because of the tenuous nature of a lot of the clues.

  10. First run through not very productive but once 2D entered , my COTD , steady progress followed .
    Enjoyed the challenge and would categorise as a toughie .Not yet seen the comments though .
    Thanks to everyone and good luck to Newport County .

  11. Blimey, that was tough. I enjoyed the challenge but it certainly took me a long time to solve and I needed a wee bit of help from the thesaurus.

    Personally, I think this puzzle is too tricky for a Saturday Telegraph puzzle and really belongs in the Toughie slot as it took me around Friday Toughie time to solve. Completely off wavelength today.

    Thanks to Tilsit and setter 5*/3*

      1. Quite right. I was merely pointing out that it took (for me) Toughie time to solve. Maybe it doesn’t belong in any slot.

  12. I thought I’d take a wee break from stripping ceiling paper and find some light relief in today’s prize puzzle . . . . not so. Five clues solved so far. Ah well, bu66er it, it’s back up the step ladder for me for now and I’ll have another shot at it later.

  13. This was fairly brutal to complete and was not too much fun either. Some of the clues were excellent, like 2d, but others were awkward and needed leaps of faith to solve. All in all not a particularly pleasurable experience I’m afraid.

    Thanks are still due to our setter and to Tilsit.

  14. Very enjoyable demanding for my regular Saturday lunchtime xxxx. Can not fathom 10 across despite having both odd letters. Any hints guys.

    1. Clunky, yes I like that description… if this was a weather forecast it would read overcast with occasional glimpses of sun

  15. If the setter’s intent is to defeat the solver, then he won hands down with me. Only half a dozen solved, and too much to do to spend any more time on this. Sorry, but zero enjoyment level in this one.

  16. Seeing Big Dave’s comment above about Comment Etiquette I thought I ought to read it despite enjoying this wonderful blog for a while now. Near the end is an instruction not to show off! Well I am going to do the exact opposite.I am hopeless today.I still have 10a, 12a, 17a, 21a, 22a, 23a and 17d. 4 of them only have 4 letters for goodness sake.

    1. Well I am nearly there, not helped by putting in xxxxxxx for 18d. Stuck on 10a and hint at comment 15 above doesn’t help.I do have an answer but doesn’t seem very good. If I say ‘xxxxxxxx’ am i leaning in the right direction?

      1. The instructions do ask that people don’t put wrong answers in their comments, hence the first redaction. As for 10a, you are looking for a word that can mean both an opening and a particular time period – I worked through the alphabet before I realised which word I wanted

        1. Oops, so sorry. Guess I’ll start going through the alphabet too! Thanks. Jolly hard today.

  17. I reckon OBJack has it about right. This was tough, but mostly because it required a different way of thinking, rather than because the clues were fiendishly difficult. Anyway, have a good weekend all.

  18. I thought this was very dull. It was too convoluted and contrived with very stretched answers. Examples: 9a, 16a, 19a, 20d, 24d. So *****/*. Thanks for the hints.

  19. I found this more annoying than fun and seems I am not alone. Only about 3 clues I liked, many more I did not.

  20. Following on from yesterday’s ordeal this seemed even worse.

    Had to rely heavily on the hints so thanks to Tilsit but could have done with a few more of your words of wisdom to help out!

    Took me nearly an hour to complete even with digital help so for me *****/*

    Maybe tomorrow will bring a puzzle with more cheer…..

  21. That was the hardest Saturday crossword for a very long time. I stared blankly at it for a while without getting anywhere, but then very gradually ground it out to a conclusion. I liked 21a though.

  22. Blimey, three Toughies in a row! What gives? Trying to discourage the tiny brains like mine?
    I don’t think I’ve ever tried to solve a duller crossword. Off to do more fun things, like laundry.

    1. Sorry, broke my own rule: if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, but I can’t unsay it and it’s dead true.

  23. Well, I returned to this puzzle having completed phase one of my week of re-decorating, poured a lager, got my brain into gear and resumed where I’d left off solving earlier. Suddenly I’m wondering what all the fuss was about, because I’ve now finished the little perisher. It took only slightly longer to finish off than my lager did. 21 is my favourite, I think, followed by 10 across and 26 across. Thanks to both setter and Tilsit, who’s hints were largely for the clues I had very little problem with.

  24. I don’t know what to say about this that hasn’t already been said. A (very) mixed bag, with some of the most amateurish and clunky surfaces I’ve seen (9a,26a) and tenuous definitions (7d,21a,19a) alongside a few genuinely clever ones (11a,28a,5d). Whilst enjoyable in parts the negatives outweighed the positives, hence 4.5/1.5*
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for taking the time to do the review.

    1. The surface readings of 9a & 26a … I’m very surprised that the Crossword Editor let them through to the final edition… unedited.

  25. I didn’t really enjoy the challenge of this one. Too much head scratching, and reliance on electronic help. Thank you setter anyway, it’s not easy to please everyone. Thank you too Tilsit. I hope that next week, if not easier, at least will be more fun. I don’t mind crosswords that are difficult, if I finish them with a few smiles and penny drop moments.

  26. Still struggling with 9 and 21 across if anyone can help within the rules please. What a slog of a week or is it just me

    1. 9a Tilsit has already provided a hint.

      21a The definition is “… miss making mischief” … a homophone (we hear) of some animals.

  27. As most others have said, this was blooming hard for a Saturday crossword. I still have 12a to complete but don’t have a clue. Any hints please!

  28. Well, wasn’t that unexpectedly difficult? Satisfying to finish, but let’s just say I’m glad it wasn’t just me!

  29. The best thing about today was that after 10 minutes looking at this, I decided that spending any more time was utterly futile.
    A lot of effort goes into putting a crossword together, so it’s hard to be too critical, but that was a shocker.
    Thanks all.

  30. Well that was a real so-and-so for a Saturday Prize Crossword! I had to walk away from it on two occasions before I was able to complete it. However, complete it I did and although favourites were a bit thin on the ground I’ll go with1d just because the penny didn’t drop for a very long time.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  31. We have a brand new puppy in the house and I’m run ragged, so I wondered if it was just me. I’ve finally completed this crossword in about four separate sittings today and, if Rabbit Dave will forgive me for stealing, please see his comment for mine.

    Never mind, thanks to all.

  32. I’m run ragged too – totally worn out, stressed, generally grumpy and the first crossword I’ve done since Wednesday so I also thought it could be just me.
    I was so glad to find that it wasn’t just me but, unlike the rest of you, I ended up loving it.
    I did think it was difficult – the first read through of all the across clues yielded one answer and the downs weren’t much better.
    I agree that there were a few slightly peculiar clues, and lots where the definition was very well hidden.
    I also thought that some of them were a bit wordy.
    However some made me laugh which, for me, makes a crossword specially after the last few days – they were 21a and 18d and, my favourite, which was 8d.
    With thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for standing in.

  33. There was me, thinking that crossword clues were designed to help puzzlers find the solution.
    Today was a classic case of having to guess the answer – in order to understand the clue.

    1. I agree – it’s okay to have some of these – it’s quite often how I do ‘solve’ them.

      But too many puzzles contain answers that nobody has ever heard of – maybe the compiler couldn’t find anything else to fit?

      In my own opinion, all clues should be genuinely cryptic – but none of the answers!

  34. I’m with Tilsit – at first it ppeared quite impenetrable but after a pint and another look/way of looking it came together OK.

  35. yes, it was tough!

    In defence however of 9a – the clue (to me) works fine – 3 parts in the clue, and in order, gives the answer – A + B + C = D.

  36. Yes, a bit tougher than normal and it took some head-scratching to finish but I’m with Kath – I enjoyed the challenge.

    Admittedly there were one or two clues that I wasn’t thrilled with but also there were some I really liked so on balance, all square.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

    1. PS – Anyone else misread the second quickie pun clue and put in a different queen?

  37. Thank goodness… I thought it might be just me. Did not really enjoy this week’s for the reasons many of you have given above. Oh well – can’t please them all. Thanks for the clues, I needed some!


  38. So bizarre, you come back to it after some time away and everything falls into place… It was still hard though! Thanks for the clues.

  39. Really, really struggled with this. Couldn’t get into it without help. Even your hints didn’t help much. Thought it was me until I read the comments on here!

  40. I didn’t think this was a well constructed Crossword at all and once again the effort to close it down way exceeded any pleasure from doing so. Actually a little surprised it passed the Editors scrutiny

  41. Well I struggled like many -I put a comment out yesterday lunchtime but somehow it didn’t get posted. However I found that the ones I couldn’t complete were not hinted and therefore not completed, the first time in nearly six years!! It was a bit of a drudge as so many have also commented. Thx to Tilsit for trying!

  42. 4*/3*…..
    liked 7D (they help people relax — also purr, conceivably, as a result), also 21A (we hear some animals miss making mischief).

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