DT 29245 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29245 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29245 (Hints)
The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by crypticsue

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Apologies for the delay in providing some hints..

.. but I’m last minute stand in again, so I’ve only had time to provide a few hints.   There are a lot of anagrams in today’s crossword which should help you get started, even allowing for the double-unches all over the grid.   If you need more help, just shout and I’ll do my best to assist

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 Surly, moderated after being unwell (3-8)
A synonym for moderated goes after a word meaning unwell

14a Rest period midway through sentence? (4-4)
Add a word describing where you’d be if you were midway, possibly in the middle of a prison sentence

17a Key London line? (7)
This word meaning key or important is the same as a London Underground line

27a Sign of nerves, establishing a connection? (11)
Split your solution 4,7 and you’ll spot a sign of nerves



2d Moderate in support of student contract (5)
A verb meaning to moderate supports (well it is a down clue) the usual abbreviation for student

7d Fast food shop feeding trendy belle on a regular basis (9)
Fast in the sense of unable to be erased or blotted out – the usual two-letter ‘trendy’ is fed by a food shop and the result followed with the regular letters of belle

17d Crustacean caught by skate and another aquatic creature (8)
The abbreviation for caught, another name for the skate, followed by another aquatic creature

24d Downfall of bear losing its head (4)
Remove the ‘head’ from an old name for a bear, particularly in children’s stories

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: newer+rival=new arrival

54 comments on “DT 29245 (Hints)

  1. A most enjoyable prize puzzle today. The left side fell into place well but the right held out for quite a time. I will admit to electronic help for one or two clues, though. No real favourites although I did like 26a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Cryptic Sue for the hints and for stepping in at what seems to be the last minute. Well done! :good:

    Weather fair in Shropshire today.

  2. A relatively straightforward solve for me, with the SE corner being the last to fall. All over in **/*** time. The ‘Late Vehicle’ in 21a always brings a wry smile to my face, and is therefore my COTD.

    23a takes me back. Ouch.

    Many thanks to the setter and Cryptic Sue for the late substitution.

  3. By recent Saturday standards, I found this quite gentle to the point that I did not notice the double unches – completed at a gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 27a, and 7d – and the winner is 7d for the definition hiding in plain sight.
    Thanks to the setter and CS.

  4. Well done and thanks to cryptic sue for stepping into the breach at the last minute. This was relatively straightforward and enjoyable. I liked the tongue in cheek quality in 20a and 19a. Lots of good anagrams too. Thanks to the setter too.

  5. Very enjoyable indeed. Just finished without any assistance. Having seen the hints I am reassured of the approach I took. Thanks to the setter and Cryptic Sue. Loved 23a and 26a.

  6. 2*/3*. This was light but enjoyable. I would have finished in my 1* time except that my original answer for 14a fitted the definition and wordplay perfectly but my second word was wrong and yielded impossible letters for 7d & 8d. ☹

    23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Mr Ron and to BD.

    1. I am many things to many people (just back from five days of being ‘Granny’) but BD I am not!!

      1. Sorry CS, and thank you. I copied and pasted my comment which I had written before the review was posted.

  7. A very comfortable and enjoyable solve for a bright morning. It may be a chestnut, but I had 18d as my favourite clue ahead of 21a. Like MalcolmR above, the SE corner was the last part of the grid to yield.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to CS for stepping in.

  8. This all flowed quite easily from 1a downwards – wavelength or maybe the anagrams and a few gimmies – until a pause for thought on 27a which fell when 19d went in ( note to self to remember that pile). Lots of smiles throughout so no stand out favourite, but at a push I’ll go for 18d for the surface, which sounds like a Cabinet meeting. Thanks to setter for the variety of clues and occasional misdirection and to CS and a belated Happy Christmas to all.

  9. Nice and gentle for a prize puzzle a 1.5*\3.5* for me. Good to see the once banned 26A in use, had not heard this word for decades. Also liked 4D and 7D. It’s a miracle how you all get these hints out each day with incredible efficiency, so many thanks Cryptic Sue, for performing so well again under such duress.

  10. Easy peasy was our comment here in Cambridge but still have to read the review! Slightly worried by the parsing of 6d but the diminutive of street is acceptable so hey ho. Happy midmas to all, a nice hiatus before New Year.

  11. A very enjoyable puzzle which was a ***/*** for me. 23a and 17d my favourites today. Thanks to the setter and also to cryptic sue.

  12. Quick start, little stall, accelerated and then journey done. Enjoyable whilst watching Test Match. Thanks to all.

  13. Was anyone else surprised at the inclusion of the 4d answer? Is it not a pretty much offensive term these days?

      1. There are lots of words in Chambers that the crossword editor would not allow in puzzles – I was a bit surprised that this one was allowed.

  14. That was a veritable piece of Christmas cake but nonetheless enjoyable for that however I can do without abbreviations and colloquialisms such as 26a which seem to be popular these days. 7d is clever but surely there is no real indicator for the solution word. Anagram lovers (such as Kath?) will have been pleased. Simple Favs 10a and 14a. Thank you Mysteron and CS who was able to Quickie15a.

  15. I agree with Rabbit Dave: light but enjoyable. I was a little concerned about the political correctness of the solution to 4d but maybe that is a product of the age. Thanks otherwise to the setter and to CS for standing in at short notice. Have a happy New Year everyone.

  16. A very easy puzzle (for me) finished in double quick time without help from the blog.
    The electronic version won’t let me submit. Keeps crashing out. Possibly due my ancient Android.

    1. It’s not your ancient Android, but a fault in the app since last update. They’ve been working on it since October. Only way to enter is by submitting a screenshot by email.

  17. Quite a jolly romp today with smiles aplenty along the way.
    23a made me laugh out loud so takes the honours here.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for holding the fort. I should think that the designated blogger is still nursing a sore head after decrypting that Elgar monster!

  18. Enjoyable and not too taxing even for me.Many amusing answers and very good hints which I am pleased that I could read for pleasure father than enlightenment..Thankyou for help throughout the past year.

  19. I managed to turn this into a difficult solve by putting in the wrong word for the second part of 8a, 14a, and 19d. Thanks to setter and Cryptic Sue for the hints, which I needed to get back on track. Quite enjoyed despite my own silliness.

  20. A very enjoyable Saturday offering, however, like RD (glad I’m in such exalted company) I had the wrong second word at 14a, it didn’t ‘alf hold me up in the NE. When a little electronic help told me “no such word” for 8d, I revisited that corner and found the right answer. I think my original word was better, at least I think so!
    My fave was 23a without doubt; I’m a young girl again being threatened by my Mum!
    Thank you setter, I really enjoyed that, and thanks to crypticsue for stepping in at the last minute.

  21. I agree with everyone else that this was fairly straightforward.
    Lots of anagrams which, as Angelov has pointed out, I like, although I didn’t notice them, or the double unches as I was doing the crossword.
    27a was my last answer and I didn’t get that until I got 19d.
    I liked 10 and the 19/20a combination and 19d – I know it is but I wouldn’t have thought of the first three letters of 19d as a seed. My favourite was 23a.
    Thanks to the setter and to CS who must be worn out after the Irish Christmas visit.
    I don’t know whether 4d is OK these days or not but it’s a pretty good description of our place at the moment.

  22. There’s far too much emphasis on PC these days. I have had two aunts who have both lived in the 4D, and in telling people, it was a word that left no ambiguity. Way too much pussy-footing around these days. COTD 27A for sure, only just ahead of 21A. I judge the crossword on a time factor, and felt at xxxxxcc it wasn’t challenging enough. Still, maybe something light for those still suffering from the Nativital Insanity effects.

      1. Oops, apologies a plenty. Only discovered the site recently, being a technophobe. Alternatively then, it was a relatively straight-forward grid to fill in (or to quote my boss who is stuck in 1990’s management babble-speak, ” an easy matrix to populate”. Still head scratching over how 19d actually fits in with the clue though.

        Thanks for the steer in site convention.

        1. Split your solution to 19d 3, 4. Then look up the four letter word in the dictionary and see if that helps

          1. Nope! I have a huge Collins dictionary-Thesaurus and of the twelve definitions, not one refers to the clue. Up North, we have a 4-letter word ending in –ck, an abbreviation for Richard, or a 5-letter word, stook, but not come across this definition at all. Still, even in my 60’s, I shall continue to live and learn!! Thanks for the help anyway. Saturday is the only day I take the Telegraph (too busy during the week), so I shall eagerly anticipate learning a new word on the 4th then. Happy New Year to all.

  23. All done, no problems with this, except I cannot parse 8d, can anyone bring light to where all is dark?
    Thanks all.

    1. try looking up the last four letters of your solution in the dictionary and see if that sheds light on the ‘small facecloth’

        1. I can’t tell you now because it would be giving too much away about the solution to 8d, but if you come back when the review is published on Friday, I’ll tell you about my Dad and his usual question about a specific material

  24. Enjoyable morning back with a weekend crossword after all the family found their way home and peace once again descended upon us. (Humbug) maybe? Look forward to new year adults not here but grandchildren are AND we are dog sitting too!! Much easier to deal with. Enjoyed the Saturday solve fav has to be 10a. Looking forward to tomorrow morning’s offering.

  25. I’m new to crosswords, I can see it was easy for everyone else, but i am pleased to be left with just 6 – my personal record ! across. 19, 21, 25, 26. Down. 18, 19. I have never got this far ! Thank you for 7d and 27a.

  26. Enjoyed this. Thank you setter and well done CS. All went in apart from 7d and did not notice the double inches until then. Woke up this morning and thought logically and got it straightaway. Was not thinking of fast in that sense. I think my 8d is right. I have a cotton material which is not a small facecloth but sounds as if it could be. I think my 26 a is right and clever clueing. What I have is a continental word for very covering the usual abbreviation for wife.

  27. Sorry a day late in posting but was out by the time the blog was up yesterday no doubt for very valid reasons. Super puzzle today for me, just the right amount of difficulty with some clever clues and lots of lovely anagrams.
    Thx to all

  28. There was a bit of a competion in our house yesterday with my daughter and son in law working on photocopies. Pleased to say that we completed without too much trouble, which makes a change for me! Luckily I didn ‘t need the hints this time, but well done Sue for stepping in! There were some excellent anagrams, some well disguised, and some of those which obeyed the rule “never assume that two adjacent words are connected” Most enjoyable and thanks to setter.

  29. An enjoyable puzzle – wasn’t aware of the second part of 19d – not sure of that is regional word or common knowledge but not come across the term before. 16d I started out trying to make the anagram fit the opposite to the actual answer – it is close :D, 26a was a DOH! moment.

    Thanks to CS and setter


  30. As usual, one of the last to post. Started today and put 75% answers as quickly as I could write them down then stalled. Last to go was 7d – went for a brisk 10km walk, came back back and saw it immediately. Good discipline to look at clues from a different perspective. Personally I think it’s nice to have a straightforward one from time to time – prose is never a good thing. Thank you for all last years help and look forward to improving this year.

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