DT 29234 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29234 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29234 (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    Blocked motorway going west — pretty normal (10)
The reversal (going west) of a major motorway is followed by an adjective meaning pretty normal

9a    State I had removed plants (5)
Drop (removed) the shortened version of I had from a US state

12a    English female with high fever facing fuss about cold fizz (13)
E(nglish) and F(emale) followed by an anagram (high) of FEVER and a fuss or tantrum around C(old)

15a    Diamonds, maybe gold, for lover (6)
What may, in a pack of cards, be diamonds followed by the heraldic term for gold

19a    ‘Time‘ ultimately granted uniform allowance (8)
The final letter (ultimately) of [grante]D and the letter represented by Uniform in the NATO Phonetic alphabet followed by an allowance

21a    Terribly full, dines with chap that’s dissolute (4-9)
An anagram (terribly) of FULL DINES followed by a chap

25a    Provide joke online? (5)
A joke is preceded by the letter that can indicate online, as when added to mail or book

27a    Dressed like priest, one might attract interest (10)
Split as (2,8) this could mean dressed like a priest


1d    Bar opponent reportedly supplying dope (4)
Sounds like (reportedly) a bar or pub followed by an opponent – this dope is data not dolt!

3d    Doctor heads first for part of the Midlands (13)
A cunningly-observed anagram (doctor) of HEADS FIRST FOR

7d    Somewhere to put bric-a-brac and other things (7)
A cryptic definition of an item of furniture that could well be used to store bric-a-brac and other things

8d    I fared badly wearing medal attending church? (3-7)
An anagram (badly) of I FARED inside (wearing) a colloquial word for a medal

13d    In capitals, he could be a diplomat (10)
A cryptic definition of of a diplomat usually found in the capital city of a foreign country

16d    Sweet centre (5-3)
Two definitions


20d    Get in the way? I’m not regularly impolite (7)
I from the clue followed by the odd (regularly) letters of N[o]T and an adjective meaning impolite

23d    Polish might be seen with this issue? (4)
Polish might be seen with this in the phrase “**** and polish”

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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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: farmer+seas=pharmacies

74 comments on “DT 29234 (Hints)

  1. A fun-run this morning which was just nicely testing. SE was last quadrant to fall not helped by issue synonym (?) in 23d. Don’t like 1d which IMHO is too clever by half. 25a and 26a joint Favs. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  2. Fairly straightforward and quick to complete, this very enjoyable **/****. Some of the anagrams were quite cunning and my favourite ‘lego’clue was12a. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  3. Some nice clues, a 2*\4* for me. Liked 1A, 8D, 23D. Hmm’d a bit about 13D as it seemed a bit too much like a general knowledge clue, but it was generally a pleasing solve.
    Off to Roots Hall to see my Southend United team head towards the Guinness Book of Records, having won just one out of 20 games this season. Rotherham are the lucky team this week who will go home with valuable away points.

    Thanks to all for the puzzle and hints

  4. Fairly enjoyable. 27a crops up periodically. I liked 20d. Gratitude to Setter and for the review.

  5. Just to prove these puzzles are a wavelength thing, I struggled to get on it this morning. Once I had tuned in, I could not for the life of me work out why I had struggled at all. There was nothing difficult or obscure, so it must have been me. My last one in and favourite was 7d.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  6. Bit like the Curate’s Egg for me.

    First one in was 10a and last one was 13d which I did have to rely on the hints for and TBH can still not fully grasp.

    Some lovely clueing, enjoyed the short answers in the likes of 6a and 23d. Some rather obscure solutions such as 4d.

    Thanks to setter and BD for the hints.

    1. Pretty good puzzle which I polished of this morning.
      2 frustrations:
      1D was a new meaning for me
      4D had to use a word matcher for that but still don’t understand how the answer is derived from the clue (and I’ve never heard that word before)
      Also still don’t quite fully get derivation of 12A

  7. Less stressful than last Saturday but, then, I wasn’t solving before doing the hints. However, I should imagine that BD’s blood pressure was not under threat today. Completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 6a and 20d – and the winner is 6a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. Initially I struggled with the first across clues, so I started at the bottom with the down clues, and made my way up the page. Once I’d got the down clues answered, I’d got lots of checking letters, and so the across clues all slotted in. My favourite clues were 25a and 27a. Thank you setter and thanks too BD for the Saturday Club. Time to climb into the loft and get the Christmas decorations down.

  9. Lovely crossword – thanks to all
    Am I the only one who now cannot submit the completed crossword from the Telegraph app on my iPad Pro? I used to be able to – when the grid was complete a ‘submit your crossword’ box went live, I clicked on it and the box came up where you enter your email address, I clicked on ‘submit’ and the message changed to ‘ thank you – winners will be contacted by email.
    Now, all the stages happen except when I send my email address nothing happens. I have deleted and reinstalled the Telegraph app and still have the problem.

    1. You are not the only one, it has been like this for quite a while. We were promised that it was being fixed, but still not happening.
      I was puzzled by 13d, but maybe was not seeing the obvious. I took a bit longer than usual but enjoyed the challenge. Thanks to setter and BD.

    2. You are not alone. I have asked the DT team to fix this, plus the instability of the puzzle site and they replied “we are aware” and are working on it!

      1. Your lucky to have had response. Two months ago I contacted them and received an e mail saying they were very busy and would get in touch when they can. Still nothing and still unable to submit prize crosswords. There is an e mail address you can submit screen shots of a completed puzzle to for entry but I don’t know it. If anyone does maybe they could share it with us.
        That said I’ve been submitting these things for more decades than I can remember and have never got anywhere!
        Enjoyed today’s puzzle favourite must be 7d only because a nice smug feeling that I remembered what it was!!!!!!

        1. The email address for submission of the weekend’s Prize Cryptic Crosswords is:


          Put “DT n,nnn” (for Saturday’s puzzle) and “ST nnnn” (for Sunday’s puzzle – note there is no comma in that number) in the Subject field.

          Add your name and address in the body of the email.

          Maybe BD could make a “sticky” of this for the duration.

          I find the Telegraph app team to be slower than many others to respond, and slow too to fix systemic problems.

          It is a growing challenge to support multiple versions of the app that will run correctly under all versions of the OS. Testing can be even more of a challenge, albeit some problems (such as the submission one) should have been “bleedin’ obvious”. If any reader has no problems submitting via the app, perhaps they could advise the app team of the iOS version they are running.

          I have noticed that the app often slows down at some random (by time and puzzle) when completing the puzzles and has to be reloaded. This seemed to start coincident with iOS 13.2. I will install iPadOS 13.3 this weekend and see whether that makes things worse, changes nothing noticeably, or improves matters [deliberate order, there 😎].

          A minor irritation occurs when, from time to time, the order of the puzzles is shuffled, and there was a recent occasion when they published two copies of the Cryptic. Errors that should not occur – don’t they just insert the “code” into the same “frame”?

          1. That’s great, thanks very much. I do agree it may be difficult but this has gone on for ages and should have been sorted by now. Whilst I’m still in grumpy mode – I don’t see why we can’t have the toughie on line, it also seems the editors of the DT don’t think we deserve a proper weather map either!!!!
            Moan over……

  10. I was a bit slow off the mark with the spilt tea this morning and pondered a while over the parsing of 13d otherwise a straight run.
    Liked the probable chestnut at 27a and the issue in 23d.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.
    Now to see what Prolixic has in store for us!

  11. An early Christmas present for someone still at novice stage.Just challenging enough to be worthwhile but eminently doable,and with some real humour.Thankyou to the setter and I only can hope that Stoke can keep Christmas spirit gong this p.M.

  12. Enjoyed this puzzle, lots of anagrams to get you going and some clever clues. Just one thing, without going on the naughty step could someone please explain 26a. I know my answer is correct as the electronic solver confirms it but i cannot understand the clue at all!
    Thx to all

    1. Roman fighting carriage minus a cuppa!
      Enjoyed this a lot and just about my level of exam. So ****/**.

  13. Thanks for comments so far; just popping in to own up to having been today’s compiler. Early seasons greetings to all!

    1. Thanks Chris – let me know if you’re going West over the period, we’ll be just up the road as usual and I’d be more than happy to buy you a pint at the First and Last

  14. Steady run & pleasant Saturday fair finished with post lunch coffee. But I did enjoy it!
    2*/4* thanks to setter & BD for review.

  15. Well, no wonder I enjoyed it, I like Mr. Lancaster’s offerings. I was hors de combat yesterday and couldn’t concentrate enough to do the Giovanni, so savoring this one. What isn’t there to like about this?
    I liked 6a for the brevity, but there was much more to like. I thought 13d was clever. I’m going to opt out of choosing a fave, too much choice and I don’t want Kath to get cross.
    Thanks to Mr. Lancaster for the fun and BD for the hints and tips.

          1. Thanks MP, I got that bit, so does the answer = Issue? I don’t see what issue is doing in the clue?

      1. As I have served in the Army I have practised this operation!
        Last one in was 4d as I had put in 1a incorrectly …So couldn’t make a word!
        Enjoyed the puzzle after staring at it for a while until it clicked…Some excellent anagrams esp 3 and 11d. So thanks to Setter and BD. So glad we have a ‘ result’ in the Election!

  16. I enjoyed this one and set off at a cracking rate but then slowed down with the last few.
    I’m quite a good ‘speller’ usually but the letters wobbled a bit at the end of 12a. :roll:
    Missed the significance of capitalising ‘he’ in 13a – thanks, Gazza.
    I think my 4d has to be right but don’t quite ‘get’ why.
    16 and 23d were my last two answers and they took ages.
    I particularly liked 6 and 26a and 7 and 13d.
    With thanks to our crossword editor for the crossword and for calling in and to BD.
    Now I’m spoilt for choice – I didn’t do the crosswords on Thursday or yesterday so still have them and now there’s the NTSPP too.

    1. Just looked at it all again – ignore what I said about not understanding my 4d answer – dim, totally dim. :roll:

  17. Never got 7d as I had not heard of it, and 6a eluded me.
    I don’t understand 26a or 23d.
    Thanks all.

    1. Re 23d , [alternative clue removed – as BD used to say if you start with ‘think’ you are definitely in disobeying the red instructions territory].
      26a I just bunged it in from the definition.
      6a sometimes old familiars just elude me too .
      I’d heard of 7d but it took a while as it’s rarely mentioned nowadays.

      1. Thanks, I got 26a eventually. It was a bung in, as was 23d which is still incomprehensible to me. No excuse for 6a…

      2. I don’t really know either but I suspect it’s something you do after you clean your teeth so that it ‘issues’ from your mouth along with the toothpaste. No – I’m NOT going to the naughty corner – it’s cold, I’m sitting by the fire and going to have supper and watch the finals of the dancing, so there!

          1. HIYD. You were right when you asked at #18, above: “so does the answer = Issue?”. It’s as simple as that.

  18. A very pleasant relief compared to last week.
    Thanks to all concerned.
    I suppose 16d is my favourite.

  19. Really loved this one. Finished all bar the last three 1d, 4d, 23d by lunchtime. Managed to come back to them in the last half hour and worked out the solutions without help- very satisfying to now see my line of thought was on the same track as the hints. Thanks to all.

  20. Hey, all. I enjoyed this (thank you, Chris Lancaster), and only needed a couple of hints (thank you, Big Dave), which is good for me.

    1d is probably my favourite (even though I somehow thought of a different bar, but it still works). I also particularly liked 6a, 9a, 2d, 4d, and 18d — and loved 13d once Gazza had explained it!

  21. Big thank you to Mr Lancaster, what a lovely Saturday puzzle. Very satisfying to solve with no outside help. There were a few I couldn’t quite solve, but a couple of hours in the garden planting (what else, busy lizzies😊 aka impatiens) with my head down worked wonders. Came back in and all the empty boxes filled themselves. Had 3 favourites (sorry Kath), 15a, 25a and 27a. Lovely jubbly, as a dear friend of ours likes to say.

  22. An enjoyable solve which didn’t take too long. 1d held me up until the stack of pennies dropped… how stupid can I be? It’s also my favourite.
    Thanks to CL, and to BD for the hints.

  23. Most slipped in very nicely and I was on the wavelength. Was on target for record time until 9a and 1d then took as long as all the others. Missed the significance of the capitals in 13d. I was thinking of Capital cities. Having picked it up from the comment that now has to be a favourite along with 25 26 and 27a. Thank you Mr Lancaster and BD.

  24. Gosh. Never thought I’d say a puzzle was straightforward but it was! Usually I’ve begun after ‘Strictly’ and gone to bed with quite a bit to complete on Sunday, but not this time. Thanks for pointing out the capitals in 13d which I’d otherwise have missed.

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