DT 29204 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29204 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29204 (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    History behind stadium (10)
A word meaning behind is followed by what a stadium is sometimes called

9a    Curse what firefighters do (2,2,6)
This curse des what it says on the can!

13a    Bats in the Belfry? (4,5)
A dreadful cryptic definition of the implements, which to my jnowledge are never referred to as bats, used at the Belfry, a course in Warwickshire that has hosted the Ryder Cup on four occasions

16a    Marked place to use drugs (3-3)
This fold at the corner of a page in a book, to mark one’s place, when split (2,4), could mean to use drugs

20a    Beetle perhaps quickly goes into shell (8)
Follow the type of vehicle of which the Beetle is an example (perhaps) with a word meaning quickly

23a    PM second to none endlessly holding ring (9)
This PM is an abbreviation for part of the day – a word meaning second or following goes in front of NON[e] without its final letter (endlessly) but around the ring-shaped letter

26a    Waterway used by crews, not odd characters in oilskins (4)
This waterway ,used frequently by one of the crews in the Boat Race, is found by dropping the odd letters from the last word in the clue

29a    Rich European students getting turned out? (4-6)
E(uropean) and two of the letters which represent a student inside (getting … out) a verb meaning turned


1d    Animated rabbit is annoying (4)
The first name of an animated “bunny” also means “is annoying”

2d    Provide small child to fill in as baseball player (7)
Having “guessed” the wrong baseball player, I failed to parse this until I gt the right one! – just put the abbreviation (small) for CH(ild) inside a verb meaning to provide food

3d    Heartless loud-mouthed directors to be ignored (2,2,3,5)
Start with a five-letter colloquial word for loud mouthed, drop its middle letter (heartless) and add a phrase meaning directors

7d    Liberal academic exercise (7)
An abbreviation for an academic is followed by a verb meaning to exercise

11d    A mortal chess blunder? (8,4)
An anagram (blunder) of A MORTAL CHESS gives a very basic way to win a game of chess – I once won this way when playing a chess match against a girls’ school, and was accused of being “ungallant”!

17d    Somewhat rusty member of parliament? (5,3)
… don’t forget that a parliament is a collective noun for a species of “wise” birds

22d    Religious leader — the old cartoon character (6)
I loved the thought of this religious leader sharing the first four letters of this cartoon character, only an old word for “the” separating them!

25d    Metal van (4)
Two definitions – a metallic element and a word meaning the van or front

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: weal+metre+gain=We’ll Meet Again

68 comments on “DT 29204 (Hints)

    1. 13a is a great clue? Now take your tongue out of your cheek – it’s dreadful! I totally agree with Dave’s comment and I’d argue that 16a isn’t much better.

        1. “You cannot be serious!” cried McEnroe as he smashed his tennis bat into the Wimbledon turf…

      1. Might not be a great clue, but lots of people call them bats as slang, like calling golf courses ‘tracks’. Might be annoying, but commonly used.

  1. This was not at all straightforward (*****/***). Some of the clues were very cunning. I particularly liked 17d. However, there were some over-stretched synonyms and one clue in which I was dubious about the spelling of the answer. Unfortunately, my own ignorance about various sports and pastimes made this puzzle even more difficult. When it is that much of a slog, there is less enjoyment. Thanks to the setter and BD.

    1. I was dubious about that one too but a quick look up proved it to be a valid variant spelling.

  2. Superb entertainment on a miserably cold and wet November morning. Lots to enjoy today. Some top clues, with 20 & 29 across and 21 & 22 down among my personal favourites, but 17 down gets my vote for COTD. Thanks to setter and TSSC.

  3. Re 13a I once worked as a marshal on a course where the pro had been heard to call the tools of his trade as “bats” but he was Scottish!!

  4. Wow, a difficult one today – almost like a Toughie. Some clever clues 20A, 23A, 1A and more. I too was hmming about 13A.
    A lot of fun, but quite a struggle as got stuck on 16A, this being my final clue.
    Thanks to all

  5. Not a lot of enjoyment to be had today, not helped by the dreadful 13a and some, for me, obscure words that needed the BRB for verification – ***/*.
    The only bright spot was 17d; 22d might have joined it but it has an air of familiarity.
    On BD’s comment on 11a – I think a well known saying could be modified to read ‘all’s fair in love and chess’!
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  6. I got most of this without help, but had to use some electrons to get 11d (never heard of it) and 16a. I needed the hints to parse 29a but quite liked 17d – and 13a.

    Thanks to all.

  7. Three things I needed to check on this morning – the chess move (sorry, RD!), the person with flexible opinions and the unfamiliar name for the plant that my younger daughter always referred to as ‘the itcher bush’.
    9a made me laugh, although it’s doubtless a chestnut, as did 13a – apologies to the purists. Podium places went to 17,19 & 22d.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  8. Wet cold in North Cornwall, pleasant puzzle with only a few brain teasers. Favourite clues 17d and 13a both seem to have scored heavily as favourites. Thanks to all.

  9. It might be a regional thing, but the answer to 13a is often heard ‘around’ these parts as a synonym.
    I found this a long slog but for a Saturday, it was par for the course, with a high enjoyment factor.

  10. I found it very hard to get on the right wavelength for this puzzle and it put up a lot of resistance. Persistence paid off though and a workmanlike solve eventually filled the grid. I wasn’t familiar with the expression at 8d in the sense of the definition, but it was perfectly solvable from the wordplay, nor did I know the plant or the chess term but the same observation applies.
    16a was my last one in and when the penny dropped the usual sense of achievement was slightly marred by a feeling of it having been a bit too much like hard work rather than fun.
    4*/2* for me today.
    Thanks to the setter for their effort and the challenge,and to BD for this site in general which I enjoy reading every day even if I don’t comment often.

  11. 12a had me stumped for ages and such a little word. But the rest was a steady solve. My cousin taught me to play chess years ago and in the very first game I reckon I was winning and then he did something called ‘castling’ which I didn’t know about. I flounced off in a huff and never played again. Pity as I love mind games and am trying to find someone to teach me bridge, except it seems to be addictive. Thanks to all for today’s puzzle.

      1. 12a is a double definition – there’s a word which means both a church festival and also something of little importance

            1. Sorry, I had come up with ****. You have made me see the correct answer. Thanks for your help

      2. I’m not sure how to help you without ending up on the naughty step! I think it will suddenly come to you.

  12. I enjoyed today’s offering. I like it when clues parse so neatly. I’ve used 13a just to annoy my friends who enjoy a game. Have a good w/e all 🙂

  13. Today’s offering beat me. I could not solve16a but I am not sure my answer to 7d is correct. I had to do one or two bung ins, which I am not at all sure about so for a second week I have not submitted.

    I was rubbish at the 13a game but I never used bats!

    Loved 22d and today’s pun was satisfying.

    Grateful thanks to all concerned.

  14. 2.5*/2*. Unremarkable puzzle where a few clues took a bit of teasing out. I knew neither the 8d expression nor the 15a name for the plant.

    22d was my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

  15. 16a was also my undoing and slowed me up far too much. Mrs YS came back from wherever she’d been, looked over my shoulder and got it straight away. I should perhaps have been a little more gracious in defeat and shown more thanks and less frustration. That aside, this was an okay puzzle with some fun moments, especially my favourite 22d.

    Thanks setter and BD.

  16. Delightful puzzle. Thanks to Messers Dave & Ron.

    On 26a I feel the need for a bit of pendantry – even a yank knows this!

    This waterway is not used by a crew at the boat race but is used when they practice, and for their moniker. There is a lot of debate about where this waterway ends but there are some clues if you venture onto the water in Henley (or the Angel on the Bridge).

    Mr & Mrs T

    1. I didn’t say the Boat Race was on the waterway, merely that it was used by one of the crews to point out that it wasn’t used by the other crew. I once watched the Boat Race from the back of the stand at Craven Cottage – it was more interesting than the football! A group of us used to go to Fulham every fortnight to cheer for their opponents – that way we were on the winning side more often than not.

      1. Indeed… you are correct, apologies for my error and to Fulham supporters the world over.

        Any lemon drizzle cake for me today CS?

        Mr T

    2. If you really want some pedantry Mr T, I’d point out that the hint does not say “at” the Boat Race.

  17. I found this harder than most Saturdays, and needed quite a bit of electronic help. As is often the case, the clues for which hints were provided were mainly the ones I could do! I’m struggling to understand 8d and looking forward to an explanation in due course.
    I was surprised that one of the words was spelled correctly – I had always thought it was a common misspelling – but now I learn that it’s an acceptable alternative. Fair nuff.
    Thank you to BD for help with parsing, for the cartoon accompanying 22d that reminded me of my father (who was a sailor, not a religious leader!) and to the setter for the brain workout.

        1. Always good to make sense but however often Mr T repeats his request, I’m not making a lemon drizzle cake today :)

  18. I finished it but needed all of BD’s help today. Also I got one very wrong and that threw me for good amount of time until I began to see that I was pretty sure my other guesses were looking right so went back and had another look. I did enjoy it though. I love the clever ones and the funny ones, and all of them really.
    I also enjoy the Telegraph crosswords because it always teaches me something and/or reminds me of British ways of saying things that we don’t hear here. Hear Hear!
    I know, corny Carolyn, very silly.

  19. Excellent entertainment on such a cold and miserable day which also marks my birthday,6d and interlinked10a were last in and really did make me smile.

  20. Way beyond my solving capabilities. As is usual, once I start using too much electronic help, I get bored and visit the hints. Just as well I did, I would never in a zillion years have associated Belfry with the name of something. Of the ones I did solve, 12a was my fave with 29a closely following, 22d amused!
    Thanks to our setter and to BD for his much needed hints.

    1. No drizzle cake today, and I’m certainly not going to annoy BD, so the only help I can offer (16a) is – how might you describe a tatty book?
      Hope that doesn’t help too much

          1. Needed my non crossword doer husband to get the last two clues. I may never live this down….

            1. That’s funny! Mine too has done this from time to time.

  21. This was a lot of hard work and not much fun. Thanks to Big Dave for some very necessary hints.

  22. I have the answer to 21d but cannot quite parse it. Can anyone help? There are two letters I cannot account for.

  23. I’m with the stretched synonyms/unnecessarily obscure camp today. Never heard of 15a, 8d or 11d, I’m always happy to learn but dear me. If I had to choose a favourite it would be 9a.

  24. I am afraid I didn’t enjoy that at all and had to seek considerable assistance to complete the task in hand. Somehow several clues seemed just too clever by half. North put up more resistance than the South. 9a and 22d were sort of Favs. Perhaps it was today’s grotty, wet weather that got to me. Anyway thank you setter and BD. And so to bed hoping for more amusement tomorrow.

  25. 13A great clue. This is a CRYPTIC CROSSWORD!!!! Yes made me think a bit then a bit more and more. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Making the brain work. Made me want to post a comment a year after posting the last one.

  26. I agree with the general drift that it had some strange obscure answers which took some parsing. I couldn’t have managed without a few BD hints but as often the really difficult ones had no hints!
    It was left until today to let things rest, when l completed it!
    Some good anagrams though..
    Thanks BD.

  27. I enjoyed this in spite of an overdose of fiddly little 4LWs, absolute favourite 9a! Thanks setter & BD

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