DT 29126 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29126 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29126 (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    Corrupt time-traveller’s machine detained in station (10)
The machine used by a famous time traveller inside (detained by) a station or headquarters – seems funny now, but there was a time when this machine would not have looked out of place!

9a    Caught on boundary? I had got in, showing excess of this? (10)
C(aught), ON from the clue and a boundary including (got in) the shortened version of “I had”

12a, 13a & 15a    Across Person above the law commercialised prison income irregularly (6,3,5,12)
One of those anagrams (irregularly) where you need to find the answer and then check if all the letters can be found in COMMERCIALISED PRISON INCOME

18a    Right-wingers which heretics upset (12)
A word meaning which followed by an anagram (upset) of HERETICS

22a    Author occupying position of source (6)
A two-letter word meaning occupying followed by the position of the source (of water, perhaps) – I’m not sure which of several authors with this surname was intended by the setter – Nancie perhaps?

25a    People may chat about these motor sport changes (10)
The definition is more where people may once have chatted – the two-letter motor sport is followed by a verb meaning changes

27a    Buy teapots manufactured in place for tourists? (6,4)
An anagram (manufactured) of BUY TEAPOTS


1d    Odd characters in britches pose showing muscle (6)
The odd letters of two words in the clue

3d    Something simple to have with tea? (1,5,2,4)
How many back-page puzzles could be described!

5d    Another mistake for fielder? (6,4)
Not the first mistake!

7d    Oscar holds firm views (8)
The letter represented by Oscar in the NATO Phonetic alphabet followed by a verb meaning holds

8d    Nerd cut short attempt to secure order in maths subject (8)
Most of a four-letter nerd and an attempt around a two-letter order that can be awarded for eminence in any field

14d    Essential term in grammar (10)
Two definitions – the second being a grammatical term denoting a mood of verbs used in giving orders, making requests, etc.

16d    Pig-headed, being brought into this world under revolutionary conditions (8)
A four-letter verb meaning being brought into this world preceded by (under) the reversal (revolutionary) of some conditions

19d    Left-winger to outdo as MP (6)
A left-winger followed by a verb meaning to outdo gives a Military Policeman (not a Member of Parliament this time!)

23d    People getting top-class choice of food (4)
Some (male) people followed by the letter that represents top-class

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: Thai+gush+ark=tiger shark

110 comments on “DT 29126 (Hints)

  1. Most enjoyable. Thank you setter whoever and wherever you are. Took me a long time to get the 13a part of the long one. My fault as I had failed to spot it was two words! 9 21 and 25a are favourites. I thought it was an interesting mix of gimmes and the more convoluted. Not sure what people will think of 22a – but OK I felt.

  2. All went fairly well until I got to the last corner of this puzzle. However the SE haf me so baffled thait ended up being **** for difficulty and *** for enjoyment. I found 25 across completely impenetrable so thanks to BD for the hint. I had no real favourite hint but thanks to the setter. The long anagram was quite entertaining.

    1. I was lucky with 25a as I thought of the motor sport straightaway which then made it easy after I got 23d.

  3. Having now read BDs hint for 22a I think this clue will provoke some interest. For me there is one very famous author of this name. When googling to check the spelling I was surprised to see how many there are, and some solvers may be more familiar than me with the others!

  4. Similar to Chrisx , enjoyed with 25A last in which became my COTD just ahead of many other excellent clues .

    Thanks to everyone .

  5. 19d was my last one in; the MP reference completely eluded me for a while!

    Thanks to setter and to BD.

  6. Thanks BD…22a was a bung in, never heard of the said lady, was surprised when submit said “yes”.
    25a held me up even though the first two letters came to me straight way, a very obscure definition.
    All in all very enjoyable and a welcome puzzle after yesterday’s.
    Thanks Mr.Ron

    1. Submit said yes? I don’t have that facility on my iPad version – have to wait until next Saturday to see if I was correct, as regular readers will note! Even then I sometimes receive a zero score, a feature which continues to annoy and baffle me, and others.

      1. I use the DT website. I’m embarrassed to say I sometimes use the ‘submit’ to check various answers before I have filled the grid. Ahem!
        So much prefer the new layout!

        1. I download the DT to my Samsung tablet. It used not to let me submit the crossword if I had made any mistakes, but now I can submit with any old tosh (and often have).
          I know it’s sort of cheating but I wish it would go back to letting me know that I had blundered somewhere.

  7. The SE corner was my only hold-up in this entertaining puzzle. I really enjoyed the multi-clue anagram. Very clever, but favourite was 25a when I finally solved it.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter for the challenge and to BD.

  8. Super crossword a little spoilt by 18a as part anagrams are my bete noir although i can see it was a clever clue. Thought 25a was perhaps reaching a little and 11d very complex wordplay. However i did really like 8d and 19d.
    In answer to the query raised by Kath et al last week (sorry couldn’t reply on the day as abroad) regarding my use of ‘clue’. What I meant was that solving the clue meant having find the part that is usually underlined in the hints and ignoring the word play.
    Thx to all

      1. Perhaps but what I trying to say in my clumsy manner is that with many puzzles with often wordy clues, it is often easier to solve if you find the part of the clue that directly refers to the answer. 16d today is a classic example, the ‘clue’ is pig headed, the rest of the wordplay is designed to help (or sometimes hinder) the solver in getting the answer. On occasion I find the wordplay too difficult to understand but I can solve the clue by finding the plain text part.

        1. Right – here I go.
          I understand what you’re saying but, and it is quite a big but, CS is right (of course) when she says that the word you need is “definition”. That’s the bit that is underlined in the hints.
          To use your example – 16d today – there are umpteen synonyms for pig- headed, which as you say is the word you’re hunting for but without the wordplay, ie the rest of the clue, you could just have bunged in any of them and they would have been wrong.
          I do sometimes wonder if you’re taking the ****!

          1. I find the underlining of the definition probably the biggest help in the hints, as I I have often homed in on the wrong word…

        2. B. Yes, of course the others are correct – the part you refer to the “clue” or “plain text part” is simply the “definition”, which is always underlined in th Hs&Ts. Decades ago, the definition was often called the “straight part” (meaning non-cryptic) and double-definitions were called “double-straights”. But I do understand what you’re getting at. Because I’ve always been very interested in semantics, I solve many clues (maybe 40% or 50%) straight from the definition and use the wordplay merely as a quick confirmation. I’m sure this applies many other solvers, also. That’s why I dislike inordinately obvious/transparent definitions – because sometimes they make very clever word play totally redundant.

  9. 1.5*/3*. Only 25a, which was my last one in, held me up today. All good fun with 18a my favourite and I do like 3d with my tea.
    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  10. A very enjoyable puzzle with some interesting working out required. 11D and 25A were my favourites of the day.

    Many thanks to everyone involved.

    Still on the back page!

  11. Had a bit of trouble with 12 13 15a as the app version enumerates the clues in a wierd way. I had to get a pencil and paper to scramble the letters before I saw the answer. A clever clue none the less. The author and the MP eluded the longest and the hint helped. Thanks to BD and setter.
    Local(ish-Wetherby) police station has a 1a box but research says it is a replica and not the real thing.

  12. I thought of a different female author for 22a but, having seen BD’s hint, I checked and found that the lady I’d chosen didn’t spell her name that way!
    Stupidly struggled with 21a until the checkers went in and, like others, it was 25a that held out until the end.

    Favourite was 18a.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

      1. A pity about the spelling as Mabel Lucie would have at least been a known author. My source says Nancie is a singer. Wrong?

        1. Tried to amend this as MLA was mainly an illustrator. Is there really anyone with this surname we have ever heard of?

          1. There was a member of staff with that surname in my uni department, who once managed to lose some students’ essays. They were returned by a member of the public who’d found it on a nearby moor.

            (Hope that doesn’t break the rules for being an “alternative clue”.)

        2. I am a bit slow but now having second thoughts about the author. Is it possible that this clue could be a mistake/error. Perhaps our esteemed crossword editor would be good enough to let us know. Although I do not send in it is a prize crossword after all.

          1. Google shows 2 or 3 authors with that spelling of the surname, so the forename is not really relevant. The person I assumed it was is actually a pianist! (WA).

            1. This debate has become boring, so please postpone your further thoughts until the full review is published on Friday.

              For what it’s worth, I think that the use of General Knowledge is a sign of weakness on the part of the setter, with the exception of themed puzzles like Micawber’s annual review of the previous year. But to compound this by using words like “author”, “river” etc. as the definition, where there are so many possibilities, is unfair on the solver.

              As far as 22a is concerned, unless the setter owns up we will never know who was the intended author. I suspect that the most likely candidate is someone whose name shares the same first three characters and this is a total screw-up.

              I’m sure crypticsue will be delighted to host any further discussion later in the week.

              1. I will – just don’t ask me which author I think it is as I’m as confused as the rest of you.

  13. Probably the most gentle SPP for some time completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 3d, and 5d – and the winner is 5d.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  14. Super crossword which took me a ** time except for 25a, which I knew must be the right answer as nothing else fitted. Took the dog for a walk and on the third mile the penny dropped! Shared it with my non- cryptic wife, who as usual wasn’t impressed, but I was! Thanks to the compiler for a gentle stretch. ***/****.
    Ps I don’t like my avatar – am not an angry person. Is it easy to change it for something more benign?

    1. As far as is it easy to change your avatar goes I think it depends on how ‘techie’ you are.
      I’m a complete technotwit – my sister-in-law is a bit better than I am so we did it together ages ago – it took a long time so good luck.

      1. I’ve been meaning to change mine since dayone, but it never seems to make it to the top of my to do list ☹️

  15. 12,13 and 15 A must be one of the finest anagrams I have come across in many a year. Really enjoyable, although did a double take over 1a. Not the kind of word associated with crosswords!! And… Of course… Its back in its rightful place on the back page.
    Many thanks to all. Sorry, Big D, didn’t need any gentle prodding!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I’ll whisper this very quietly but the crossword has now appeared on the back page every day for over two weeks!

  16. I think the 41°C heat yesterday has fried my brain a bit as this seemed pretty tricky to me. Still, we got there in the end.

    Not sure I’ve ever come across a 26 letter anagram before.

    A very elegant crossword with some great clues but 25a stood out for me. If I were blogging you can guess what picture you’d get! ***/**** from us.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    P.S. Forecast for today is a relatively cool 37°C, :phew:

  17. I didn’t think that I was ever going to get started on this one – hardly any answers on the first read through of the across clues but the downs went a bit better.
    I always forget the 10a spies and the less common use of the 19d MP.
    11d caused a spot of bother as I had a few spare letters wafting around in the middle for a while – I’m not risking being any more specific than that!
    Clues that stood out particularly for me today include 1 and 21a and 2d. My favourite was either 25a or 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Rubbish weather but I’d rather have this than the heat in Spain where pommers and pommette are. :phew:

    1. As another person who cringes at the sight of a cricket clue, my first answer was 5d! A miracle, maybe some of it is rubbing off.

    2. Yep, we only got 4 of the acrosses on first pass but the downs came to the rescue with 9.

      Jezza’s a couple of hours drive from us in Valencia. I think it got up to 43°C yesterday according to the Spanish TV.

      1. Yes – we touched 43°C yesterday in our village of L’Eliana. We’ve dropped to 35° today. My poor fridge is making all sorts of strange noises trying to keep my beer and wine chilled!

  18. This needed lots of thought, stretched the leetle grey cells. I needed the hints to get me going again in the SE.
    Liked the anagram at 12a; had the first and fourth word, so worked out second and third from what was left.
    My fave was 21a, and 16d was pretty pretty slick as well.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for helping me past my mental block.

  19. I thought this was an outstanding crossword today. One of the best for sometime. Too many good clues to list.
    Thanks to everyone involved.

  20. Still not got 25a!!! Even with all the letters!
    Hello everyone … see I do still do the crosswords😉

      1. Hi Sue managed it eventually with a big Duh!
        All ok thanks still struggling after my fall last year but still managing to play with Carmarthen Ukuleles regularly 👍🏻🔆🎶 now got blog on my phone may be around a little more 👍🏻

    1. Hello stranger from me too! How nice to see you and to know that you’re still doing these wretched things that are so addictive.
      I bet you see some changes in the blog – I wonder how many commenters (or should that be an ‘O’ at the end – I never know!) you still recognise – probably not all that many.
      Anyway, a big :smile: to you.

      1. Hi Kath nice to see you’ve stuck around, 👍🏻
        Quite a few faithfuls I recognise and lots of new ‘faces’ too … hugs to you too x

    2. Nice to know that you are still doing the crossword.

      “Perservation” is still not in any of my dictionaries.

        1. Numberals was my new word a long time ago. The spellchecker on my PC recognises perservate because I’ve used it so many times

    3. Hi Mary – how nice to see your comment. I hope it means that we’re going to be seeing a bit more of you from now on because we do miss your cheerful contributions to the blog.

          1. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like posting so much as I used to. Not really thought about it but maybe the banter level has dropped off somewhat.

      1. Hi Gaza, wow it seems ages doesn’t it! It was thanks mainly to you, Dave and Gnomey that I stuck to it and njoyed it so much, lots going on in my life at mo not all good but now I have blog on my phone hopefully I will be around more 👍🏻🤷🏼‍♂️

    4. Hey, welcome back. How’s y’all doin? Good to see you and don’t stay away so long this time.

        1. I often think of the time someone told us off for comparing the weather in Kent and South Wales on a crossword blog, which should apparently only be used for crossword related discussions . I wonder what happened to him?

          1. ooh yes, now who was that???? Looking through the comments these days, they are mostly crossword related, but we didn’t half go off on a few tangents to say the least, weather forecasts and gardening being but a few … good laughs too

            1. Not forgetting all the drinks and cakes for the naughty corner, it was quite an incentive to be sent there, even risking Daves wrath for!!! :-)

  21. Still not got 25a!!! Even with all the letters!
    Hello everyone … see I do still do the crosswords😉got it now … duh 🙄

  22. Thank you…. 22 across was a complete mystery to me. I got the rest without resorting to the blog. Enjoyable and left me feeling my brain does in fact still work.

    1. That was my initial mistake (and possibly Jane’s) – her surname is spelt differently to the answer and she was mainly an illustrator!

  23. Well, I certainly did better today than yesterday, but I definitely needed the hint for 22a as the only person I could think of with that name played the piano.
    (If I get sent to the naughty corner for that, Tilsit should have to go there too.)

    Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  24. I thought of Winifred but of course she was not an author. In the early 50s I saw her play in a circus ring full of lions. I didn’t like my avatar either but it was too complicated to change and get go what does it matter! Thanks to all for an enjoyable crossword.

  25. All went swimmingly til the SE corner which took more effort. Thought 22a a bit stretched. Favorite 16d.

  26. Some wonderful clues today including breathtaking anagrams. Like so many above found four clues in the SE corner needed some hints but a most enjoyable puzzle. Would have found 22a much easier if it had been a pianist rather than an author but then you would have had to be a teen-ager in the 60s to have remembered wondering who the hell bought her records. Favourite is 18a.

  27. Another hesitant start but managed to get there in the end with minimum help. I see I am not alone in having found the SE the trickiest territory. Thank you setter and BD.

  28. And another one, with 25a the last one in-thanks BD! before that 19d -wrong MP…l agree that a 26 letter anagram is the best yet and the setter is to be congratulated. l enjoyed many clues e.g. 8d which had to be but the wordplay was tricky!
    22a took some time as no word existed in my word book with the second and last letters, so it had to be a name!
    Most enjoyable!

  29. Most enjoyable xw, at the easier end for a Saturday I thought. I went for Margaret for 22a😜

  30. Thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints. I found this very difficult and needed help for 9 clues. Wouldn’t have thought of any of them. Was 4*/3* for me.

  31. That was fun, and I only needed a few hints, with far more answers than is usual for me going in on the first pass — thank you, setter and Big Dave (there’s a couple I would never have got without the hints).

    26a is my favourite, for originality.

  32. I was hosting a leaving parting for a family member yesterday so didn’t have time for the crossword, hence filled it in over breakfast this morning. We can’t mention finishing times, but my starting time was 22 hours and six minutes!! My husband hadn’t told me that he printed my copy off yesterday, and low and behold, I just completed the crossword on my iPad. I was timed from when the copy was printed off !! Despite this being a quick and easy crossword, and lots of fun, my recorded time is the longest ever. My husband has been poking fun at me over this, but I blame him. Thanks setter and BD. The hard copy of the crossword is still on my son’s desk, and I daren’t go into his room to retrieve.

      1. Hi WW, nice to hear from you. Re 22a – I knew that the author a lot of us were thinking about had more letters in the surname, but the answer to the clue had to be what it was. I didn’t google anything. I just sent the crossword in electronically and it came up with 100% correct. There seems to be several authors requiring 6 letters, so not sure which one was on the setters mind. Not that it matters as we got an answer from the word play. Maybe we’ll find out on Friday.

        1. Probably not … your blogger couldn’t decide which one it might be so remained non-commital

          1. Have we no way of contacting this elusive compiler? Perhaps he/she is lying low reluctant to admit they spelt MLA wrongly too!

            1. My final thought on this is either that we all missing something very obvious or that there is an error somewhere with the clue. There are two famous female authors (one who died in January) who would be well known to many people and easily checked on Google for those who are not sure. Both have the same first two letters and one has the two same last letters. In each case the “four letter word” is a feature of the countryside but not, so far as I know, a “source”. I don’t like mysteries that I can’t solve so hope that somehow we find out!

              1. WW. There’s nothing to “miss” with 22a and no error. There are several authors with that surname (i.e. the only surname that the word play confirms) and the forename isn’t relevant. The 4 letter word is a feature of the countryside and is very definitely and obviously a “source”.

                1. Hmmm, there’s probably at least one author somewhere with pretty much any surname. Maybe all clues could have “Writer” as their definition?

                  More seriously, for names of people (or other proper nouns), is there any limits as to what is acceptable in answers? The equivalent of being in the BRB for ‘normal’ words (“improper nouns”?). Thanks.

                  1. Yes, all clues could have “writer” as their definition. For example, 14a in last Friday’s puzzle has the famous, double-barrelled, author Fred Self-Abasement. :-)

  33. I called a halt last night with two entries to go. It was that last glass of wine that did the damage…
    Anyway finished it off this morning in no time which is so often the case with me. Obviously the working part of my brain must dwell on things whilst I’m asleep… maybe.
    25a was favourite.
    Thanks to the setter for an excellent challenge, and to BD for the hints.

  34. Much as I generally enjoy my daily crossword fix I did not like 25a. It really spoiled it for me. Should one clue upset one so much ? Put against that I must put all those clues that have given a smile of satisfaction.
    Thanks to all involved.

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