DT 29144 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29144 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29144 (Hints)
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings.  it’s that time of the month again.  This time, I’m sitting in the Stretford Bridge Club, getting ready for our Committee Meeting at 10am.  At this time of the year most bridge clubs start courses of lessons and we are no exception.  If you’re in the Manchester area and would like to play this splendid game, contact me and I’ll let you have details.  If you’ve always wanted to learn to play, contact your local club, chances are they will be starting a course soon.

Now to the matter in hand.  This rather looks like the handiwork of our regular Mysteron and it’s a very enjoyable puzzle with some rather amusing and clever clues.  There are a couple of unusual words on duty today, and I have tried to hint those for you.  Not over-keen on the grid, as there’s only one way into each section from the long answers.  However it was fun to do and I’m sure you’ll raise a few smiles too.  It’s also a pangram, which was verified by my last answer in.

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           Boxer about to get into company making cloth (6)
The name by which a famous boxer is known and the abbreviation for about go inside the abbreviation for company.  This will lead you to a type of cloth.

9a           A rook entering beast’s part of windpipe (6)
A, plus the chess abbreviation for rook go inside the name of a wild cat to give a part of the throat.

11a         Money, endless variety (6)
A word not very often used for coinage is the name for a variety (particularly of animal), minus its last letter.

14a         Sailor has answer, forgiveness (10)
The standard abbreviation for a sailor, plus a word meaning answer gives you one meaning forgiveness.

18a         Heartened by strength in conclusion (10)
Inside a word for conclusion goes a word meaning strength to lead you to something meaning heartened by something.

24a         Temporary solution from fleet facing difficulty (5,3)
A phrase meaning a temporary solution is found by taking  a word meaning fleet (as an adjective) and something that refers to a spot of bother.

25a         Stop returning cask, it contains heated water (3,3)
An old exclamation meaning ‘Stop!’ takes the name of a wine cask reversed to give somewhere with a whole lot of water.

27a         Overfast? (6)
                A cryptic way of saying what you do if you fast too much.


1d           Huge diminution in fuel (8)
A word that means diminution (go on, look it up!) goes inside a type of fuel to giv something referring to being very large.

2d           Liberality of Scottish capital mentioned (8)
Probably my favourite clue today for its outrageousness.    I spent a while fretting this was a poor homophone of a place in Scotland.  Then I realised that if you say the word correctly, it tells you what can be found at the start of Scottish!

5d           Not conforming, not like some Greek churchgoers (10)
A word meaning not conforming is how you may not describe members of a certain Greek church.

7d           The compiler’s about to stay in the same place (6)
An old Latin word meaning ‘in the same place’ is found by taking how a crossword compiler refers to themselves wrapped around something meaning to stay.

13d         Pay for whisky producer’s stoppage? (10)
Something meaning a stoppage is revealed by taking a word meaning to pay for something added before where whisky is produced.

16d           A US soldier thanks Ben, troublemaker (8)
A, plus an abbreviation for an American military man takes that word for thanks, plus an English word for what a Ben is north of the border.  This gives you a word for someone who causes trouble.

19d         Boat made from part of tree, reportedly (6)
 The name for a type of boat is a homophone for a part of a tree.

20d         A group of twelve houses? (6)
This answer ensures you complete the pangram.  What is it that comprises twelve houses, including a maiden, a scorpion and a bull?  It’s a cryptic definition of the word required.

21d         One adding fuel to the flames in city right at the end (6)
The name for someone who adds fuel is the name of a city, whose soccer team are known as the Potters, plus the abbreviation for right.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: micron+easier=Micronesia

80 comments on “DT 29144 (Hints)

  1. Slow start in the north but the south paved the way .

    My favourite 2D last in 11A .

    Agree with Mr T’s thoughts and thanks to our Setter .

  2. A terrific pangram to kick start the day. 2d was my clear favourite from many worthy contenders. Not too difficult, but great fun and cleverly clued.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  3. Like Tilsit, I thought this was amusing and clever. My last one in, 26a, took far too long for the penny to drop and now I’m wondering why on earth that was.

    I’m quite chuffed with myself for noticing that it was a pangram quite early on as I hardly ever pick up on that even after completing the grid.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    PS: HJ if you’re around, I’m back to a full house last Saturday. Let’s see what tomorrow brings

    1. I am around, Margaret, and still frustrated as I achieved another zero last Saturday and pretty sure I got some right! The Telegraph powers that be are a bit like the Civil Service – they will probably never tell us what is really going on.

  4. A good start to the day. My Latin was a bit rusty for 7 down and found 2 down easy but for the wrong reason!
    I’ve been submitting these crosswords for several years now, does anyone know anybody who has ever won a prize?

      1. I won once but it was a long time ago. BD – you must tire of reading Margaret and my moaning about random zero scores but it would be nice to know what causes this and whether it means we are ineligible even for inclusion in the draw, let alone whether we might ever win!
        Keep up the good work – it’s a great site.

    1. A friend in my village won a couple of years ago! I loved this puzzle but Mr Manders had to get the boat in 19d for me. Maybe I would have got there in the end if I had realised it was a pangram. I do this on my Kindle. Does anyone know how to get rid of the intensely annoying Ad Choices, they drive me mad and its the same ads over and over again?

      Thanks to all for this lovely puzzle.

      1. I loved 19d too but it came to mind from a cartoon I saw years ago. I think it was a farside one which makes it hard to find online and I am having difficulty describing it without ending on the naughty step but here goes.
        A woman was watching a tv quiz with her dog when the following question was asked;-
        By what name is a three masted ship with a fore and aft rigged mizzenmast better known?
        She shoted at the telly
        “Who could possibly know that!
        While the dog “woofed” loudly once.
        The look on her face when she realised the dog knew the answer was a joy to behold.

    2. We measured the win probability last year, and found that the odds of a blog reader winning a prize for the Saturday puzzle were 1 in 840.

      1. I’m surprised the odds are as short as that. After a fruitless return over more years than I care to admit to I gave up submitting entries sometime ago. ☹️.

        1. Those odds mean you’d have to send in a correct entry every Saturday for 11 years to have even a 50% chance of winning. It needs 22 years of doing that to make the win probability 75%, and 48 years to get it to 95%.

    3. I have but rarely send it in. I still use the pen. One acquaintance of mine has won multiple times. He actually got the 1st prize when it was a Mont Blanc pen. Numbers entering are never revealed. I wonder whether numbers vary according to difficulty and whether they have gone up or down over the years

    4. I’ve been submitting these crosswords for nigh on twenty years then I won twice in July last year!

        1. There are six ways to win twice in a four week month, so using the odds above the probability of that happening is 6 x 1/840 x 1/840 = 0.0000085.
          The probability of not winning twice in a month is then (1-0.0000085), from which it follows that the probability of not winning twice in a month every month for 20 years is (1-0.00000850^(20 x 12) = 0.99796. Hence the probability of winning twice a month at least once in twenty years is 1-0.99796 = 0.002 or 1 in 500. Since there are a lot more than 500 people entering every week, it’s not unlikely that one of them has won twice in a month.

      1. My wife and I entered about 110 times over a 2 – 3 year period (one one entry per week) and won 2 pens in that time so we’ve stopped entering now to give others a chance. From the figures quoted I’d say we were lucky but it shows it is worth persisting.

  5. Pleasant enough but nothing to write home about. South marginally more straightforward than the North. 25a was unparsed by me. Rusty classical languages vocabulary let me down in 7d which was my last to fall. Fav definitely 2d but 23a also amused. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit (in my dotage am regretting having spurned bridge in my salad days).

  6. 2.5*/3*. This was an entertaining pangram with a surfeit of Xs. 2d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

  7. Lots of great clues today 2d10a13d inseperable IMO
    NW last quadrant to fall but got the pangram done before that. The endless money was LOI and dredged up from depths of memory.
    Thanks tilsit may you be dealt no Yarboroughs today.
    Thanks to setter too.

  8. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle (****) completed in ** time. I agree with Tilsit that there were lots of clever clues to choose from but my favourites were 2d, 7d and 20d.. thank you to the setter and to Tilsit for the review. i was delighted that I recognised the Pangram but there were a good number of X’s, which made me recount and look for a doubler!

  9. Well Tilsit it has take me so long to complete this I have not had time to practice my bridge bidding! 2 new words I had to resort to the dictionary , but the best has to be 2 down, that is once the penny dropped, admittedly by a nudge from husband giving me the reasoning! My thanks to the setter who has managed to delay the start of a pile of ironing! At least I quickly realised it was a pangram.

  10. An enjoyable pangram that didn’t cause any problems here beyond feeling the need to check my answer to 11a in the BRB.
    2d a clear winner for me – made me smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

  11. Fairly gentle but enjoyable. **/***. No stand out favourite but the penny drop moment on parsing 2d made me laugh and groan at the same time!

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    For those facing Hurricane Dorian, my thoughts are with you. Stay safe, as I am sure you will be.

    1. We’re in the clear now but still waiting to hear from BusyLizzie, she’s just a jog north of Miami. Thanks.

      1. Waiting for the next advisory. Looks like we are right on the edge of the cone, so hopefully a little more eastward jog, and we will be in the clear, at least from the worst of the winds. Phew…

  12. On the whole a very nice puzzle (?pangram) just marred by the use of an archaic and generally unknown word in 7d (needed Google to confirm this). If a setter is going to use obscure words, the least they should do is properly clue it. Apart from xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, the wordplay is awful. Sorry rant over!
    Shame because that def cost the setter a star from me.
    Thx to all

    1. Not sure the answer is archaic Brian. A quick Google will tell you how commonly it is is used in certain circumstances.

      1. I have seen this word before but most commonly used as a 4 letter abbreviation. Never noticed the full stop that indicates an abbrev. until today.

    2. I’ve edited out your wrong assumption about the wordplay – Have another look at the clue and you, hopefully, will see that it was quite a helpful clue for the word many of us know, in full or abbreviated

    3. The word is often shortened and used in footnoting in reference books to refer the reader back to the same place🤙

  13. Quite gentle compared to some recent SPPs, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    I even managed to see that it was a pangram!
    Favourite – a toss-up between 1d and 15d – and the winner is 1d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  14. ***/***. Quite a challenge but very fairly clued. A couple of new words for me that needed a bit of googling to check. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  15. Don’t often pop in on a Saturday blog – just wanted to say that I thought 2d was quite brilliant :smile:

    Thanks to our Mysteron for the pangram puzzle (which helped to complete 7d) and Tilsit for his review. Never quite got the hang of bridge.

  16. Nice crossword today! Once I got going it all fell into place quite smoothly with 2d being the pick of the clues.
    Thanks to the setter, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  17. Foiled by 3d which I eventually got by electronic means.
    Did not notice the pangram, but then I often don’t.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  18. A great puzzle and, like others, 2d was my favourite. I actually got it before realising the true significance of the clue. The light bulb moment of realisation was one to cherish.

    For some reason, 6d eluded me, which is strange because it is straightforward. Just goes to show it does not pay to think too hard. Trying to follow the Hint for 6d also threw me as it is actually the hint for 16d!

    Many thanks to all concerned.

  19. 2d favourite, 11a the obscure one for me. **/*** overall. Raining in Warks, so got to do crossword instead of gardening! Yay.

  20. Another pleasant solve which gave me a few chuckles along the way. My favourites were three down clues, 2, 5 and 20. Thanks to the setter 😜 and Tilsit🦇

    1. I was going to say thanks to the 6d (and Tilsit) but would that be a breach of BD’s Saturday rules?🤔😜

  21. Spotted the pangram early on, but its help was not required today Enjoyable and gentle puzzle. Like many of you, 2d was my favourite clue, with 7d and 22a worth a mention.

  22. As usual, I missed the pangram but finished the puzzle readily enough with just an electronic confirmation of my answer for 11A needed. I really liked 27A but the wonderful 2D is top of my list. Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  23. Quite gentle for a Saturday prize puzzle but very enjoyable.
    I’m with everyone else in admiration of the brilliant 2d. but 20d deserves a mention too.

  24. Rushed through to come to a halt at 7d . Writers don’t seem to use that term anymore.very pleasant puzzle. COTD 2d. Thanks setter and Tilsit

  25. A very enjoyable & thoughtful puzzle that reduced me from warp speed to a crawl for the last few in …. continues a line of really good Saturday crosswords.
    2d, 7d &22ac favourites.
    Grateful thanks to Tilsit for review & MrRon for a rewarding puzzle.

  26. Bunged in 2d and have now, hours later, worked it out. Well I didn’t work it out, I looked at the hints and found myself saying it over and over and suddenly that doh moment! So thanks.

  27. I enjoyed this one a lot – not difficult for a Saturday and nice short clues.
    If I’d ever seen 11a before I’d forgotten it.
    I really don’t think I’ve ever met the first bit of 25a being used to mean ‘stop’ so that caused a bit of trouble.
    Clues of note today, for me anyway, include 23 and 24a and 8d. I think my favourite has to be 2d.
    Thanks to whoever set the crossword today and to Tilsit.
    Just trying to make up my mind whether to do, or try to do, the NTSPP now or save it up for tomorrow – the question is, “How much will-power do I have?” :unsure:

  28. What a load of fun! We’ve also just been told that we’re no longer in the cone of possibility for Dorian, so I’m feeling particularly happy all round. Now I have to worry about the Bahamians, especially Marsh Harbour.
    I was doing so well with the puzzle, not needing any help, until I got to 11a where I broke my ducks. I’ve never heard of that, but now I know.
    Fave has got to be 2d, but 3d deserves honourable mention for smoothness.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for help for 11a.

    1. Oh yes, we flew in a little 8 seater plane there once, quite nerve wracking. It was a grass runway with a wooden shed at the end saying “Marsh Harbour International Airport”…

  29. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle with a few to make you think. Last in was 11a, I had a bit of a guess, so thanks to Tilsit for confirming. Favourite was 2d, a great homophone. Was 2*/4* for me.

  30. Much easier than last weeks which was my first back for over a year, so I was chuffed that I didn’t need the clues except for 11a & 7d which I had to check the latin for as I hadn’t heard of it before. 2d was favourite, but I parsed it before getting it if you know what I mean. 3d made sense, but I couldn’t see where the extra letter came from. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the help with 7d & 11a.

  31. Judging by the number of comments, it was obvious that today’s was easier than a few lately!
    My last one in was 20d and took a while (!) to run through my little book having only the 2-4-6 letters… TIlsit’s hint didn’t help unfortunately. Thanks for trying though! Really enjoyed it and like most I agree that 2d was excellent. Thanks to Mr. Ron.

  32. A first look through and I thought this might be tricky but once I got going in the NW, it fell into place. I picked up on the pan gram quite quickly, which helped the cause. Like many, enjoyed 2d. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  33. Must have been on the setter’s wavelength today. A **/** for me. Three clues needed electronic help the rest went in quite easily which means the enjoyment was severely limited. I like the struggle of working out the correct parsing most enjoyable and then the lightbulb moment is very satisfying.

  34. Coming to the crossword late in the day due to hospital visiting I was pleased it was a beauty. I spotted that it
    was a pangram – I never knew about those until Big Dave came into my life. 2d was my favourite clue and for
    some reason 3d was the last in. Hazarded a guess at 11a as that was unknown to me. Many thanks to Tilsit and

  35. Thanks to Merusa and Daisygirl for making us feel better about not knowing 11a. Being in the throes of an international house purchase, we felt the answer to 22a should have been law, but as this is a cryptic crossword … 🤣😢 Last in, unbelievably, 4a, we felt a right pair of nincompoops.

  36. Had to work hard to finish this one. Not helped by the fact that 11a, 22a, 7d and 18d were all missing from my GK. Something learned, so not a waste of a day 😊. Thanks to setter and Tilsit. Looks like the hurricane will just miss us, so thankful, but it’s going to be bad news for some people to be sure.

  37. Really enjoyable puzzle, a nice way to end the day. Laughing and shaking my head at the silliness, or cleverness, of 2d (I can’t decide which). I take issue with the anatomical premise upon which 9a is based, but I’m saying no more as I don’t want to sit on the naughty step at this time of night.
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  38. Please can anyone give me a hint for 3d? I’ve got a word that fits that’s a sort of anagram but I can’t really make sense of it, so it’s probably wrong. Just had to check a couple of words in the BRB but apart from that managed OK and even spotted that it was a pangram fairly early on. Like others I loved 2d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Can’t afford to eat any more cake on the naughty step but as the answer I have is sort of an anagram and maybe the same as yours I suggest you look up the answer you have in the BRB and see if you can make sense of the fodder you have left over.

    2. This may be said about a strange client
      Concatenate the single letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, A from the clue, and an anagram (strange) of CLIENT

      1. Or could it not be the abbreviation “xx”? I do not know whether I am overthinking this but I thought the use of the word “may” had a particular purpose. Can’t say more I think.

        1. In that case the A would be padding, which is frowned upon. The “may” in the definition is indicating that the answer may be said or it may be delivered another way.

    3. Thanks very much. I think I must have been right – can’t think of anything else that fits. I had looked it up in the BRB but it didn’t really help (it is a very old one) however, having now looked it up on line it seems to make sense. I daren’t voice my reservation for fear of the naughty step! Will hope for confirmation/elucidation from CS on Friday.

  39. Late again, so it’s probably safe to have my little rant about all the pangram remarks. I can’t see what earthly difference it makes to completion of the puzzle as it can only be confirmed when you have finished.
    Rant over,back to the puzzle which I really enjoyed, finished in ***** time except for 7d.
    Thanks to all.

    1. It makes a difference because pangrams are much more common than puzzles which use all but one of the letters in the alphabet. So when you get down to a few answers that are proving difficult and the letters used so far leave the puzzle one character short of a pangram, it’s worth considering whether the missing letter might be included in those holdout answers.

  40. Words with Z , Q, X for example are less common. Therefore if you are stuck on one or two e.g 20d 4a and try putting the missing letter it helps. Helps me anyway.

  41. Last as ever. I never look at this blog until I’ve finished. Seem to be getting slower not faster 😒. 7d was fine but still can’t reason 2d

  42. 2*/4*….
    liked 2D “liberality of Scottish capital mentioned (8)”…..

    have been on holiday, doing Telegraph cryptic X word book no 9, so….
    rather belated thanks to Tilsit for blogging puzzle 26053, 07/10/2009…for which..
    2*/4*…. liked 4D “miracle taxman OK to fiddle! (11,4)”

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