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DT 29072 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29072 (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    Backing provided by idiot, one with attitude (10)
A charade of an idiot, I (one) and an attitude

6a    One may deck in a ring or be decked in a ring (4)
Is this a bit too clever? – something that may deck / floor a boxer in a boxing ring or something that may display / be decked in a ring, such as an engagement ring

12a    Get rid of old lover with little witticism and say that’s over (7)
Our usual old lover is followed by a little witticism, such as that at the beginning of today’s Quick crossword, and the reversal (over) of the Latin abbreviation of say / for example

17a    Upset hot water (7)
Two closely related definitions – a verb meaning to upset and a liability to suffer punishment

21a    Can’t stand? That’s typical of tailing detectives (7)
An adjective meaning typical or similar follows (tailing) some senior detectives

22a    Get hot when biting into humbug (5)
A two-letter word meaning when inside (biting into) humbug or nonsense

28a    Writer going to church in some European capital (5)
A writing implement followed by the abbreviation for a church / religion – capital here means money

30a    Commander with map barking ‘Retreating, no sir!’ gets distinction (10)
An abbreviated Commanding Officer is followed by an anagram (barking / mad) of MAP and the reversal (retreating) of NO SIR


1d    Two degrees from south and north, group of four stars? (4)
Two university degrees, one reversed (from the south) and the other normal (from the north) give a well-known group of four singing stars

2d    Speed aboard steamer, cool long-distance vessel (9)
Speed or rate inside (aboard) a vessel driven by steam (steamer) and followed by a word meaning cool or following the latest trends in fashion

5d    Observe telecom men taunting bears (7)
You could spend a lot of time trying to resolve the wordplay here, or take Miffypops’ advice “when in doubt look for a lurker” (indicated here by bears)

8d    Neater flowing in the delta was imminent (10)
An anagram (flowing) of NEATER inside THE and the letter which is the equivalent of the Greek delta

11d    Popular party’s welcoming or not the place for outsiders? (7)
A two-letter word meaning popular, a two-letter party and the S from ‘S around OR from the clue

14d    Bits of text that often come in at the beginning (10)
These bits of text are often indented (come in) at the beginning

18d    More than one construction vehicle’s caught idling foully (9)
The trick here is knowing where the definition ends! – put a public service vehicle around (caught) an anagram (foully) of IDLING

23d    With different blood group, woman is surviving (5)
Start with a woman’s name and replace the O with a different blood group

26d    Distinguished partners crushing opponent twice (4)
A pair of bridge partners surround one of their opponents repeated (twice)

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: Khan+abyss+treat=Carnaby Street

65 comments on “DT 29072 (Hints)

  1. Appreciation grew with progress and 6A causing most trouble but will pick as favourite.

    Thanks to everyone .

  2. Finished but in **** time. Very very tricky and i needed a degree of electronic help. Many of the definitions in the wordplay seem to me to be either very week or very stretched. Def not my favourite puzzle, should have been saved for the Toughie IMHO.
    Thx for the hints for confirming some of my answers.

    1. Always surprises me how so many contributors equate difficulty with lack of enjoyment. I and many others find the opposite to be true.

      1. Welcome to the blog Findus

        There’s difficult and there’s difficult! With Elgar, Notabilis, Artix etc. you get a glow of satisfaction from finally solving some of the clues – with certain others all you want to do is kick something!

      2. It’s not difficulty that lessens the enjoyment. Spending time and working out the answers is enjoyable, but for some of us if we have to enlist help it makes it not so enjoyable. Not all my own work then you see.

      3. Well said, Findus. I always find the tricky/difficult ones more enjoyable. You’ll never get a 1* / 5* from me!

  3. Thanks for the blog to help with 6a – not sure I would have got it otherwise. Only 29a eludes me. Why is that the four letter clues often prove to be the stumbling block?

    1. In answer to your question, I think it’s because most of the simple clues have already been done many times.

      Don’t overthink this one, it’s a simple reversal (rolling about) of “dog’s maybe” where maybe indicates a definition by example.

  4. Echoing what Brian’s said already, I didn’t much care for this puzzle either – although, of course, I do appreciate the time and effort that the setter has put into it – and I’m grateful to Dave for the hint for 6a. As an aside, it’s been raining in South Cheshire throughout the morning and I didn’t expect there to be any play in Cardiff but there is and England are 118-0 off 18 overs.

  5. This was certainly at the tougher end of the setting spectrum, with 6a and 26d the last to fall. Some very clever clues, of which 23d and 18d were good examples. Great rekrul too. Nicely challenging for a wet Saturday morning.

    Thanks setter and BD.

    1. This was tricky and had some complex clues. Whilst I liked 1a, 12a, 30a and 8d, 6a seemed far too convoluted for my taste and was the last one in, in 3* time for difficulty. Thank you to the setter, it was quite enjoyable (3.5*). Thanks also for the excellent hints, I needed reassurance on a few today.

  6. A curate’s egg for me which, on completion, I felt should have been completed somewhat quicker than it was – 2.5*/3***.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 12a and 1d.

    thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. Today is our Village Fair in rural Suffolk. It has, of course, been raining solidly for hours, and blowing a hooley. While my husband braved the elements walking down to the Produce Tent to do his civic duty by judging this year’s cheese scones, I stayed in the warm and tackled the crossword. Although I’m grateful to have stayed cosy and dry, I must admit that I struggled greatly. 29a was LOI by a mile – I’m grateful to BD for clarification.
    I rather liked 2d and 30a, and there’s a smashing rekrul.
    Spent far too long trying to get my father into 13a.
    Thanks to the setter for a challenging workout, and to BD for the hints.

  8. Just the second definition of 6a that befuddled me and can’t say that I really think it works, although I see that KFB has nominated it as favourite so it obviously works well for some!

    Tops for me were 17a & 14d.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  9. I thought this was tricky but can’t really see why now that I’ve finished it – that seems to happen quite often.
    I would never have got 6a without the hint and I don’t think I’m very keen on it.
    29a took ages which is silly because I’ve seen similar clues umpteen times.
    I was also pretty slow with 23a – got tied up with blood groups and forgot about the one I needed.
    There were a few other minor hiccups along the way too but I’ll stop now or I’ll be here all day!
    I’m not sure which to pick as favourite today but it’s either 12a or 14d.
    With thanks to today’s setter and to BD.
    It’s stopped raining in Oxford but is quite chilly and very windy – NTSPP now I think.

      1. I didn’t realise that there were three words in the pun and thought that it was a tin of poor quality beer.

        1. Far better attempt than mine, Gazza. I got all three words and thought it was a ‘special’ drug!

            1. I’ve only just realised that the “pun” clues are italicised…….
              ………well, about a week ago.

  10. Not caring much for Saturday puzzles these days, seem to be one set of sketchy clues after another. Shame, they used to be my favourite. Thanks for the clues.

  11. If the weather where you are is the same as in East Kent (and even if it isn’t) I recommend solving today’s NTSPP

    1. I started it a while ago but am now feeling as if I really should do something useful today which, at the moment anyway, looks extremely unlikely. I’m going to make myself get going and use the NTSPP as the carrot!

      1. I’m going to do some baking for the freezer – and then reward myself with the Times Jumbo

        1. It brightened up here in the late morning, so I finished off planting up tubs and hanging baskets. Lots of fun and games with the wind and the hanging baskets though, not to mention plastic trays and labels whizzing round rhe garden.

  12. Funny how our appreciation of a crossword puzzle can vary. I thoroughly enjoyed this offering. I thought 1 down was a belter of a clue and was my personal favourite. 29 across had me beaten for ages until the penny dropped. Otherwise nothing even close to being a Toughie and in my view a very entertaining straightforward solve over breakfast on a most unpleasant and cold wet morning. Thanks to today’s setter and BD.

  13. I too got stuck on 6a and 29a. I thought of your suggestion but dismissed it as being too vague but then eventually had to acknowledge that it was probably the answer. And of course 29a
    a bit worried about the apostrophes but hey ho, an enjoyable workout in rainy Cambridge whilst having lunch with my husband on our 62nd wedding anniversary!

    1. Congratulations, we’re coming up on our 53rd, and hope we can also make it to our 62nd 😊

  14. 6a still defeating me.I can get the first half but that word doesn’t suit the second bit. Find 26da bit iffy. Never heard it mean distinguished before. Not a very enjoyable solve today.

  15. Found myself taking two statutory counts for extra coffee with this one, did this after lunch as I’m not on duty & weather is a bit too variable.
    Having finished it I did enjoy it, the Saturday puzzle does not have to be a read & write to get top marks.
    Favourites were 30ac & 21d.
    Many thanks to the setter & BD for review & assistance.
    As a note does anyone get the feeling some FT setters are on DT duty?

  16. It took me a while to get going with this one today. Once I got into the groove it was okay. I struggled for ages with 8d and I am still less than impressed with the answer to 6a. As far as I am concerned the answer fits with the first part of the clue but it is a bit far fetched for the second part. That one counts as my duffer of the day.

  17. I was up early to have a go at this and I echo the comments about it being a bit tricky but not as tricky as last Sat. I needed a bit of help from Mr Google with a couple. I didn’t have time to wait for the hints as were going out for lunch. I was obliged to try a wine from Domaine of the Bee. Very nice it was too. On looking at the puzzle again 21a was submitted wrong so that one wont get me in the prize draw n/m.
    30a and 18d get my award today.

  18. I enjoyed it, though I never got 6a, even with the hint. I had to reveal the first letter. I have a ready made excuse though, in that I didn’t know the second definition, and will consult the BRB later.
    I agree that Saturday’s seem a trifle bitty these days, lots of different setter’s maybe?
    This was nowhere near a Toughie as I could manage all bar 6a.
    Anyone who likes their dramas ‘gritty’ watch The Virtues on channel 4 catch up.
    Thanks BD for the hints and Mr.Ron for the not inconsiderable challenge.

    1. Well I can’t find any reference to 6a being related to an engagement ring so I will have to wait for Sue’s explanation on Thursday

  19. I have a final problem with 3 down, can anybody show me the way to understand it. Thanks.

    1. Hi there, the naughty step probably beckons…think the bit of a piece of fruit you throw away reversed…

          1. Ahh, I wondered what had happened there, I thought I was going mad. Thanks Sue.

    2. The definition is ‘drop off’ and it’s formed from a reversal (served up) of bits of fruit – bits which you may choose not to eat depending on the fruit!

  20. Well, I’m going to have to wait until the solution appears next week for 6a. Even with your hint BD, I have no idea of the second definition! Never mind.
    The rest of the puzzle was for me, a bit disjointed; however other than ‘that’ clue I did eventually finish.
    No real favourite for me.
    Thanks to Mr Ron, and to BD for the hints.

  21. ****/****. I did enjoy this in retrospect but more because I eventually finished and felt happy I’d got there in the end. There were some very stretched clues (e.g. 6a). However there were some elegant ones (1d&30a). Thanks to the setter and BD for the hints.

  22. Overall fairly straightforward, though 6a did cause a little difficulty. At this close it went in with a shrug and fingers crossed, and much to my surprise the Submit button didn’t throw any errors. Elsewhere I made heavy weather of 17ac by looking for an anagram that was never going to help, and kicked myself when I spotted the definition at 28ac. Enjoyable? Very much so…

  23. I agree with Brian (except it’s too easy for a toughie I think) . But some clues are tenuous to say the least. I really needed you today BD. Thanks for all the hints. I also agree that there is little consistency in Sat. Crosswords of late.

  24. Thank you to the setter and Big Dave for the hints. I got off to a slow start, and after a couple of coffees, everything fell into place, except for 29a and 26d. I’ve filled those in, but not confident my responses for those two are right.

  25. I find myself unusually agreeing with Brian. This is nothing to do with hard or easy but I just did not enjoy it. Often if I am stuck on a particular clue I just persist and often sleep on it with no recourse to hints or electronic help. With this one I just could not be bothered. Normally I ring far two many clues as favourites. Today I ringed only 23a. Why I did not get 29a I don’t know unless it was the apostrophes. I felt no satisfaction from the excercise but appreciate that some did.

  26. It seems that most had the same problems- the corner 4 word horrors that bear little relation to reality! It took me ages to get going often because I was looking for difficulty where none existed. However I was thankful for BD’s hints! Need only 26d and wish I was a Bridge player….

  27. Without wishing to appear ungracious I do have to say that I personally found this one long slog. I couldn’t begin to get on the setter’s wavelength and thought several clues were so awkwardly contrived that I came near to throwing in the towel but in fact stuck at it. I thank Mysteron for setting and BD for hinting.

  28. Finally got 29a this morning when thinking about the advice in this thread. The apostrophe in the clue threw me though.
    Thanks for all the tips.

  29. This weeks Saturday cryptic too hard for me if we could have the occasional easier one for beginners it would be more encouraging

    1. Welcome to the blog Peter

      It may have escaped your attention that this is a prize crossword! Try solving some of the weekday puzzles.

  30. An excellent Saturday Prize, and you can’t say that every week! Good clues, quite a stiff challenge and a pleasing solve. 3.5* / 4*

  31. I’ve found with the last few prize ones, some of the definitions a little thin. But thanks to BigDave I’m getting more into the thinking of the setter. How do I know who’s set it?

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