DT 29120 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29120 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29120 (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    Celebrity edges king out (4)
Start with a clumsy definition of four edges around a picture and drop (out) the Latin abbreviation for king

3a    Moderate OK about cheers meeting Left’s fibs (5,5)
A four-letter word meaning moderate and a three-letter word meaning OK around a word meaning cheers and L(eft)

10a    Desperately giving up the Boxing Day diet? (4,6)
A cryptic definition of a meal which is commonly eaten on the day after a Christmas dinner

13a    Firm for consumers with depression cutting alcohol (2,5)
A description of food cooked so as to be firm when eaten is derived by putting a depression inside (cutting) an alcoholic drink

18a    Keep on depressing remote journey to Calais, unconventionally? (7-4)
This could be an unconventional way to travel to Calais

21a    Bar has rum — boil, stirring, to infuse (7)
An anagram (rum) of HAS around (to infuse) an anagram (stirring) of BOIL – if you understand the surface reading of this then you have done better than me!

22a    Apparently 3 beg (7)
Concatenate synonyms of each of the two words in the answer to 3 Across

25a    Duo’s accompanist won’t enjoy playing this (10)
The part played by an unwanted third party in a relationship

26a    Took steps, seeing team’s leader standing beside bar (4)
The initial letter (leader) of T[eam] followed by a bar or pole


1d    Looking up recent file, cafeteria incorporates improved frontage (8)
Hidden (incorporates) and reversed (looking up) inside the clue

4d    Together making a wish (5)
The A from the clue followed by a wish

6d    Dramatic crash makes this half-cut junior give applause (11)
The first half of TH[is] fb an adjective meaning junior and some applause

7d    Fondness shown by Simba not on? (6)
The eponymous part played by Simba in a well-known film (4,4) without (not) the ON

12d    Killer in cult that is infiltrated by detectives (11)
This killer eradicates pests – the IN from the clue followed by a cult and the Latin abbreviation for “that is”, the latter going around (infiltrated by) our usual detectives

16d    Drawing competition — little craft used in encounter? (3-2-3)
A small vessel (craft) which could be used in a military encounter

19d    Disorderly scrap over touching pursuit (6)
A scrap of cloth followed by a children’s game in which one player chases the others in an attempt to touch one of them

22d    More slippery French here looking down on the Queen (5)
The French for “here” followed by the Queen’s regal cipher

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: knight+mayor=nightmare

52 comments on “DT 29120 (Hints)

  1. Enjoyable challenge and middle of the road for difficulty .

    Some good clues with 18A my COTD just ahead of several others .

    Thanks to all

  2. This was quite a tricky puzzle (*** for difficulty) and, like BD, I found 21a bit too convoluted. There were a few clues that were bunged in because I could parse enough of the clue to see what was needed and had some checkers. In other cases, I thought of a word that would fit and ‘reverse engineered’ the parsing. Thanks to BD for help with the ones that I couldn’t parse. Thanks to the setter for a good brain work-out. My favourites were 25a and 12d.

  3. Enjoyable while it lasted and not too taxing. I also dislike clues where the surface read makes no sense, but nevertheless I’m in awe of the minds of these setters.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the early blog, I suppose I should get on with Saturday now.

  4. You’ll be able to read my thoughts on this crossword on Friday so for now I’ll just say another big thank you to the DT for putting the crossword on the back of the paper again

      1. Oh how I agree with you and Sue. For some unearthly reason, I always fare better than when the crossword’s on the inside back page.

        1. When I get to the crossword I don’t read any further, so full back page adverts seem poor value for money to me.
          Back page is the rightful place for the crossword

          1. I don’t get any further than the crossword either. I couldn’t tell you what was being advertised. A esste of printing ink and space!

              1. Have you noticed that the advert next to the crossy is usually dark in colour but this time lots of white areas to scribble on! That makes a big difference!

  5. Enjoyable throughout, although still frowning at 8down. Very clever location of the fourth word in the clue for 18a misled me for a while, but once again, a full grid on a Saturday, finished with a smile. Favourite clue has to be 25a.

  6. Enjoyably challenging without undue effort. NW was last quadrant to succumb. Fav was 18a. Perhaps an exclamation mark might have been appropriate for 1d? Needed help on 8d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  7. I found this one difficult.

    Still struggling with 8d, so if anyone has an extra clue I would appreciate it.

    Many thanks to Big Dave and to the setter.

    1. I found the dictionary my friend with 8d once I realised that there aren’t that many words to fit those checking letters

  8. Thank you, crypticsue.
    I’ll have another look at the clue words and my possible solutions.

  9. A very nice puzzle which was quite tricky in places. Good clues which mostly needed some real cogitation, an above average challenge and very enjoyable. Slight problem with 8d but a quick look in the LRB soon resolved that. Fav: 21a: I know the surface doesn’t really makes sense (certainly to me) but I rather like these offbeat/unconventional clues – they do tend to be more puzzling/enigmatic. Plus 25a. 3* / 4*

  10. Made rather heavy weather of this one although, as is often the way, with the completed grid in front of me I can’t really understand why! Don’t think the strange surface reads helped – it will be interesting to see what CS has to say about those.

    Favourite was probably 25a.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  11. Tricky, with plenty of misdirection, some of which made me smile and some not so much.
    West fell in much more readily than East.
    I thought 1d was poor until reading BD’s hint after which the penny dropped and it became my COTD. My bad, in the common vernacular.
    Thanks to setter and BD.

  12. I agree with others that this was fairly difficult but rewarding and enjoyable to complete. An excellent rekrul at 1d but my favourite was 25d. 21a was clever and completes my top three.

    Thanks setter and BD.

  13. 2.5*/2*. OK puzzle but with several strange surfaces along the way. Surely 18a is an American term; I kept trying to get the UK expression to work but it doesn’t have enough letters. 10a & 25a were my joint favourites.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I was hopping about – maybe you were as well! I suppose we have become familiar with the term when it refers to the ‘net’ but I wouldn’t use it in the context shown here.

    2. I would tend to agree with you on 18a, but then, sadly, we would all be out of agreement with the BRB which does not indicate Americanism; but the term Jane is alluding to is also in the BRB.

      1. Collins says it is American. But it’s not the first time Collins and Chambers have disagreed.

  14. What seems to have become the norm for a Saturday puzzle completed at a fast canter 2.5*/3*.
    Seven candidates for favourite so not really possible to select a winner.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  15. Enjoyable today but I could only complete 2/3rds until BD showed me the way. Then it all fell into place. 21across undoable without BD’s help but I enjoyed 11across when the penny dropped
    Thanks BD

  16. I think this has to be the strangest puzzle I’ve ever solved. Please don’t take that to mean I didn’t like it, just off the wall. I did solve it, but I needed BD’s hints to unravel several answers, not least 21a, reminded me of a Russian doll.
    My fave was 25a, with 1d earning honourable mention by the time I’d managed to find it.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for helping me understand some answers.

  17. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, that I found very tricky indeed. Needed the hints for 1&3a and 1,8,12, electronic help for 8d, still not sure if the latter’s right. Favourite was 25a. Was 4*/4* for me.

  18. An enjoyable end to the solving week where I have to say we have had some stunning puzzles, which I thank our setters.
    This one did need a little wavelength change to get me to fill the grid.
    Only criticism & it is a picky one is 21ac, couldn’t figure it, so was a bung in!
    Many thanks to setter & BD for review

  19. If it had not been for BD I would not be typing this in. Some very odd clues, real head scratchers for me. Still not 100% with 8d but it fits with one of the words. With family staying I can’t spend too long on this activity. Thanks to setter and particularly BD!

  20. Good challenge for a prize crossword. Some of them rather difficult to unravel but very satisfying. Managed to solve all without aids. A short break brought a quick resolution. I was stuck on the first word of 16d and the second of 18a. Thankfully they yielded. I got the answer for 1a but parsed in retrospect. 25a was penultimate solve but great favourite once it surrendered. This helped me to get the last in – 19a. I do not think the touching pursuit is known by the same name everywhere. Certainly not the name we used as children. 8d was a head scratcher but soon in when I thought of call in a different way. I have seen the answer used on a form in conjunction with another word when one has to describe oneself. Thank you setter and BD for confirming the parsing

  21. 18a is not an expression I would use, so I needed the review on that one. A very mixed puzzle for me today. I liked 10a. Many thanks setter and BD.

  22. Bit of a mixed bag for me today, and needed quite a few of BD’s hints to get me back on track. 23a held out until the end as I was not familiar with that word. But mostly enjoyable.

  23. Enjoyable and quite tricky, got the last one, 8d, on the way back from the Den this afternoon. I did not understand the second definition, but in the dictionary.
    Thanks BD and Mr.Ron

  24. Well everything was fine until I found myself with just 8d to go in. Even with the bits of help above I’m none the wiser and so I have gone with a ‘bung-in’. Annoying to say the least!
    Ok, so probably no Amazon token for me this week. 3a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

    1. Hi there, I was in the dark about 8d like you, I followed CS’s advice and checked the BRB and all became clear.

        1. You’ve changed your email address

          What is the BRB is a Frequently Asked Question so you’ll find the answer in that section of the blog. As it is a muggy day, I’ll save you time and tell you that Chambers Dictionary is the BRB because it is a Big Red Book

  25. I struggled with this yesterday, even with Big Dave’s hints but it fell into place this morning. Thank you Big Dave, and the setter.

    22a was my favourite.

  26. I thought this was rather convoluted and rather difficult to parse. However, it is a Prize Crossword so one cannot expect anything too straightforward.
    Thought 7d clever but favourite is 10a.
    I liked BD’s strictures in red at the beginning. Behave yourself or else! Thank you for that.

  27. Enjoyed that. 8d took me a while, as did 23a for some reason – kept thinking of a different ending so discounted one of the letters too soon! Groaned at 1a – knew the answer but need the clue here to parse it. 13a favourite.

    Thanks BD and Setter.


  28. Monday 5th, 1330 finally finished without recourse to BD’s help, (except to check the reasoning behind some obscure solutions once we had solved the clues)

  29. It is Tuesday night 10.40 and I am still struggling with 20 down . I have 3 letters but still can’t fathom it. Any clues welcome.

  30. 4*/4*…………
    liked 20D ” something dug up and stored in depot at Oldham” …amongst others.

  31. Thanks for your help. I am a newbie and so very pleased to have completed the whole crossword. The hints were well balanced so thanks again. KP

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