DT 29150 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29150 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29150 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

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Today there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that, as well as a new MPP, we have a superb NTSPP to celebrate the 500th puzzle in the series – this puzzle has been put together by Prolixic with the help of 27 other setters, many of whom have been published in the National press.  The bad news, well I’ll leave you to work that one out!

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    Man wishing each woolly could be cleaner (7,7)
An anagram (woolly) of MAN WISHING EACH

10a    It’s a far-reaching message, on paper (7)
A cryptic definition of a type of letter, usually written on very thin paper

12a    Smoothly made as a one-piece? (10)
This could mean an item made without joins

14a    Contract requiring three partly to supply occasional items (6)
The odd letters (supply occasional items) of two words in the clue

17a    Overcome being pretentious (8)
Two definitions

21a    Following spell inside, had a bite with daughter over (10)
A spell inside (4,2) followed by a verb meaning had a bite of food and D(aughter)

24a    Eats having been swimming? (7)
A cryptic (?) definition of food that lives in salty water

26a    Images backing US city article — second is making things greener (14)
Some images taken with a camera followed by the reversal (backing) of a US city, the definite article, S(econd) and IS from the clue


1d    Animal that might give act? (7)
Split this animal as (4,3) and the answer could be ACT

2d    Bust flogged to get funds (8,3,4)
Cryptically this could mean beaten with a belt to get some money

5d    Dreadful, getting tooled up to support the French uprising (8)
A verb meaning getting tooled up preceded by (to support) the reversal (uprising in a down clue) of the feminine version of the French definite article

6d    Fifteen pantomime figures (10)
Two definitions – a Rugby Union team (of fifteen players) based in London and some pantomime figures


13d    Last instruction from ENT nurse? (5,2,3)
What the ENT nurse might ask someone to do with their tongue

17d    Rat afloat, first one pursuing craft (6)
An anagram (afloat) of RAT followed by the letters that resemble the shortened version of first

20d    Troop‘s physical restraint right out the window (6)
Start with a physical restraint (3,4) and drop (out the window) the R(ight)

23d    Web links the compiler with mum (4)
The first-person objective pronoun (the compiler) followed by an exhortation to keep mum or quiet

The Crossword Club is now open.

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: diner+rig=Diana Rigg

62 comments on “DT 29150 (Hints)

  1. Life is too short for puzzles of this difficulty.
    No point in using the hints as i cannot start this one at all.
    One for the experts to enjoy.

      1. It was hard work for sure. I just assumed that my struggle with it was down to my brain being dulled by an afternoon’s session on over strength beers down at our local Camra beer festival (didn’t begin solving until this evening) I did finish though, aided by a couple of hints and some electronic aids, but fun was sadly lacking. I rarely complain about a puzzle, but I can’t say that I cared much for this one. Sorry setter. Thanks for your hints BD. :-)

  2. Toughest for some time based on my time of completion. Last in 14A with 6D favourite .

    Yet to read the hints and comments but expect some criticism.

    Relieved to finish as it was a struggle .

    Thanks to everyone .

  3. 4*/1*. It took me a long while to get into this and I’m sorry to say it did not float my boat. I am sure a lot of effort will have been put into producing this so I hope others will have enjoyed it more than me. MPP and NTSPP here I come.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. I didn’t enjoy this much except for one or two beauties (6d and 25 a made me smile, albeit only a little).
      All in all a pretty poor morning, with the discovery that I achieved yet another zero score for last Saturday’s 28 clue submission. Surely one of them must have been correct, even with my lousy solving and typing skills!
      Regards to Big Dave and all from a sunny Tallinn harbour, aboard Nautica.

  4. Another quite tricky puzzle (*** for difficulty). This one didn’t rely so much on lots of ‘lego’ pieces as Thursday’s so I enjoyed it more. It had some good long anagrams. I appreciated 4d, 21a and 1a, although the latter was a bung-in until I’d read the hints (thanks BD). I found it difficult get started too, Brian but it was one of those that built quickly, once I was on the setter’s wave-length. Thanks to the setter.

  5. Struggled to get inside setter’s mind and when I began to I found it all too clever by half. No fun. Came near to throwing in my hand but eventually completed with a real sense of relief. Certainly no Fav but numerous quibbles. Thank you Mysteron (I think!) and BD. Even the Quickie was questionable. 👎.

  6. Quite tough in places with some head scratching moments and some answers that were parsed afterwards. Last one in was 24a which I bunged in to see if it was accepted when I pressed submit, as it was. But a bit of a weird clue IMHO.

    Favourite is probably one of 6d, 7d, 25a and 26a. Overall, ***/** for me.

    Thanks to setter and BD.

  7. Definitely a curate’s egg for me. It took some time to ‘get going’ and then, almost without realising it, it was finished but not much fun was had during the solving – **/**.
    I did like 12a and 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. No particular feelings either way about this one. I did quite like 12a plus 2&6d but I suspect this is far from being a first outing for any of them.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  9. The blank grid looked great with so many white cells. Nice to have a change with the clues, even though my Saturday morning chores suffered from the time spent failing to solve. Thank you BD for your hints, it was these that gave the satisfaction to this puzzle.

  10. On first go around only managed one four letter answer. Managed a few more with much head scratching but really needed the hints today to get me going. Many thanks Big Dave. Finally finished but took far too long and didn’t feel any sense of satisfaction whatsoever.
    Thank you very much to the setter as I really appreciate your hard work.

  11. Very similar experience here. Like Wahoo 24a was my last and seemed a little
    unfair. I may be at risk of the naughty step but I believe there may be some peach cobbler there so here goes. 25a is not specifically to be found at the greengrocers but is just a variety of something. but maybe I am being a bit grumpy because the rest was a bit of a struggle too. Thanks to BD for shedding light on more than several. I too shall have a go at MPP and NTSPP.

    1. Not cobbler but I do have loads of ripe peaches for eating, others for jam and chutney (plus cupboards full of jars of the same) – I’ve been let off peach processing today but am now on ‘do something with all those tomatoes’ duty. don’t you just love that time of year when everything is ripe and needs dealing with all at the same time :(

      1. Sounds nice, I have cupboards full of Green Tom Chutney and Mint/Sage crab apple jelly. We should have a Big Dave Harvest Festival!

  12. Definitely a ****/* today as most are saying. Only managed one clue without the hints but huge thanks to Big Dave for the hints which helped me get enough clues solved to give me the framework to finish. If Mr K is looking in I know it should only be a ***/* by my criteria but to have solved only one clue to start with and using all the hints it went outside even what I thought were pretty exclusive rules.

  13. i must be on a different wavelength as i quite enjoyed this puzzle and found yesterdays Toughie,which was eulogised here,a chore. Oh well, vive la difference!

  14. 14:00 completed without recourse to Big Dave (we only use Chambers Thesaurus). Yes it was a bit of a struggle but nowhere near as bad as last week. Having finished, it is easy to say it was most enjoyable!!

    1. You have used various aliases – this one now works as well.

      I’ll assume that 14:00 is the time you finished and not the time it took!

  15. Thought this one was enjoyable, although had to rely quite heavily on the hints. COTD was 6d – very clever. Last one in was 15a. Took ages for rhe penny to drop. Thanks to Big Dave for excellent hints and Setter(s)

  16. The main difficulty with this was getting in tune with the setter. Got there in the end though. Have been a bit busy recently, but have to say how much I liked the ‘Abba’ clue earlier in the week. Enjoy the rest of the weekend all.

  17. It took me a while but I liked it.

    I like 1d as it reminds me of melania when I’ve done three cheeseburgers in bed while on the phone to Boris. He makes me spit my chips out sometimes he’s almost as clever as me.

    Also liked 6d due to my fascination with a noble game where they don’t take the knee ever. Period. Shame we Scots aren’t much good at it

    As you were


  18. I have mixed feelings about today’s puzzle. It was heavy going in places but I did complete eventually.
    I’m probably missing something, but I don’t understand the hint for 1d.
    Thanks to all.

      1. Thank you from me too. Not the only clue I don’t understand. Glad to see I’m not alone. Even with BD’s hints (for which I’m sooo grateful) I’m still struggling.

  19. Several retunes later whilst delivering children hither & thither,,,, it’s complete. Not really acquainted with this setter, not so much difficult as a bit more awkward. Took far too long to get going.
    Thanks to setter & BD for review

  20. Slow start as yesterday, perhaps I’m coming down with something! I need an excuse.
    Took 3 “walk aways” and returns.
    Completed eventually but don’t understand 1d even with the hint.
    Thanks to the setter and BD

  21. I’m obviously in a minority because although it took a while to complete I really enjoyed it. 6d when the penny dropped was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  22. Well, I’m in that minority too. I think I only had about 5 across clues at the first pass, but then half the down clues slotted in.
    It was certainly a **** day, and I did need the hint for 20d.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

    C’mon Ingerland!

  23. I really enjoyed this. It was a good three Pinter but some novel clueing but nonetheless enjoyable for a non pressured Saturday. Didn’t need hints but wanted to thank Setter(s)

  24. Well, that was the strangest puzzle! It took the longest while to get on paper, I solved about five and came to a halt. I went to the hints to get started again, then got stuck again, and so on. I did finish, I think I got them right, with copious help from Mr. Google, but don’t know why I bothered, that isn’t a fun way to solve a puzzle.
    Thanks to our setter, doesn’t seem to be a regular, and to BD for his hints, wouldn’t have finished without them.

  25. A slow start, then BD came to the rescue and an erratic finish to complete the puzzle.
    Unfortunately I also needed the magical word completer to fill in the blanks ( I’m sure there’s a phrase for this).
    Still a completed puzzle is a completed puzzle.
    If I get the Amazon voucher do I have to share it with BD?
    Thanks to BD and the setter

  26. It took me ages to get anywhere with this one. I eventually managed to fill in the north-east half but I really struggled with the south-west. So I took Mr K’s advice and consulted some aids and BD’s hints a lot sooner than I usually would and have now finished it quite early in the day for me. Can’t say I enjoyed it all that much, although I did like 26a. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  27. I enjoyed this and thought there were some very intriguing clues. I got all but one letter of 14a but saw where I had gone wrong when I looked at the hints so thank you for that. I think the Saturday crossword has got a bit more difficult lately but then it is a prize crossword!
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  28. Thank goodness for Yellowwolf’s comment. Up to then I thought I was weird or had accidentally tackled anoth puzzle. Like Brian I looked it and thought it would be unsolvable. Unlike Brian I persisted and quickly found some I could do. With several long ones in most of the others rapidly followed. Did not need the hints but have looked at them to check. 1d was obvious but did not quite get the parsing (do now). Liked 11a easy with the checkers, 12a short club and very effective. 26a great clue and unlike some I thought 24a very good too. Commendable down clues are 2 7 17 and 20. Last one in 14a. What a shame Brian that you did not attempt and dismissed out of hand. Looking at the hints would help you to solve different styles of puzzle. Thank you very much Setter.

  29. Hmmmm…..that was hard and not really that enjoyable. I think I’d rather have been watching England play cricket….second thoughts, maybe the crossword wasn’t so bad! Thanks for the tips BD, couldn’t have done it without you.

  30. Quite a struggle which certainly floated my boat.
    Very satisfying to complete this ***** for difficulty puzzle unaided except for the odd spelling check,
    and, although got the word, needed the explanation for 6d.
    Many thanks, indeed, to the setter and to BD for the review.

  31. Strangely, I didn’t find this one particularly tough, just on the wavelength I guess. I did only fill in five answers at the first pass, and then put aside until lunch time. With the help of 3 of the picture hints, I was able to get back up and running, and found it quite enjoyable, 20d being last hold out. Thought 11a, 25a and 19a were clever clues. As I usually struggle when all else are reporting “gentle”, this was quite a turn up for the books today. Found it much easier than yesterday. Thanks to setter and Big Dave.

  32. Struggled through this one with the help of Big Dave.
    Not very enjoyable for me.

    Thanks to the setter and of course to BD

  33. Agree with my obverse colleague Ora (the second part of a very famous Glasgow joke). Not very enjoyable, but filled in some time on a surprisingly rainy Saturday. Thanks to both setter and blogger.

  34. At first glance, along with other commentators, I struggled. However, getting 1a straight away did help. It came as a relief to finish it with minimal enjoyment. Thanks to BD for some very useful hints. No particular favourites.

  35. Settled down this morning with my coffee and, with a bit of electronic help, finished pretty quickly. I liked 1d, got 6d but not being a footie fan needed BD to tell me why and thought 24a was a bit of a cop out.
    I enjoyed the NTSPP last week so I’ll print it off and give it a go. Sounds like a challenge?

  36. Difficult indeed. Could not work out 17 down, 20 down and 25 across. Managed to finish today with the help of BD. Thank you very much

  37. Due to difficult family matters, I didn’t get to this until late last night so I thought that it was my state of mind that was the problem. Glad to see it wasn’t just me. I finished it without any assistance but it was a grind, so I’ll just say many thanks to the setter and BD

  38. I too did this puzzle in the late evening. It all fell into place before lights out, without too many hold ups (although Mrs O chipped in with a couple of contributions when I was being a bit slow), so I was quite surprised to read some of the comments about difficulty or lack of enjoyment this morning.
    Some of the surfaces, e.g. 26a, were a bit clunky but overall I’d rate it 3*/2* and offer my thanks to the setter and to BD.

  39. Held up for time with brother staying, but still haven’t finished yet despite BD’s kind hints.
    Just couldn’t get going at all!
    Will have a go tomorrow -maybe I might get 1d…..

  40. Finished it today, Monday morning,by sudden inspiration!
    Thanks BD!
    Hope next week’s is less torturous….

  41. For me this was a puzzle of two contrasting halves, separated obliquely by the NW – SE diagonal. The NE triangle went in without much resistance but the SW triangle mostly proved to be much more tricky and took about 3 times as long to solve. The clues were good, it was a decent challenge and I certainly enjoyed it. Favs of a good collection: 15a, 21a. 4* / 4*

  42. My partner and I enjoy the tussle with the crosswords in the Telegraph and are in awe of most of the people commenting. However we found this one not too tough only needing hints to parse our answers at the end. The first run through left 7 which we polished off over coffee. Loved 6d.

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