DT 29251 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29251 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29251 (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    Medici cleverly collaring winter eavesdropper (6)
Hidden (collaring) inside the clue – there should be an indication that the definition, something that could hang from the eaves in winter, is somewhat cryptic

9a    South American number welcomed by wine lover (8)
The abbreviations for South American and Number inside (welcomed by) a type of wine

11a    Caledonian author and his novel (8)
An author followed by an anagram (novel) of HIS

12a    Crib from heartless executive (6)
Start with a seven-letter word for an executive and drop (heartless) its middle letter

15a    Lapse from close-catcher (4)
Two definitions – the second being a fielder in cricket

19a    Loud noise having caught monkey eating duck (8)
C(aught) followed by a type of monkey around (eating) O (zero / duck)

20a    Building easily assembled before cracking? (6)
A word meaning before followed by an adjective meaning cracking or fantastic

23a    Provoked priest given as example (8)
An Old Testament priest followed by a verb meaning given as an example

24a    Thrilled about ten-cent deposit (8)
… what do the Americans call a ten-cent coin?

25a    Over time, quits competitions (6)
A word meaning quits or square around T(ime)


2d    One cleaning firm needs a litre in fuel (8)
Someone who cleans another’s house is followed by a two-letter firm, the A from the clue and L(itre)

3d    Applaud catch that’s rubbish? (8)
A four-letter verb meaning to applaud followed by a verb meaning to catch

5d    Amply cover own retreat? (7,4,4)
A phrase meaning “to accumulate wealth while working for others” could mean to cover your own “retreat”

8d    Rant after worker demands safety feature (8)
A verb meaning to rant follows a worker

15d    Drink journalists keep down (8)
A three-letter verb meaning to drink followed by a collective word for journalists

16d    Owing recognition absolutely, but empty inside (8)
An interjection meaning absolutely around B[u]T without its internal letter (empty)

17d    Error message that triggers alarm? (4,4)
An error or blunder followed by a type of message

19d    Stuff about Northern Ireland by posh nutcase (7)
A verb meaning to stuff goes around the abbreviation for Northern Ireland and the letter used to indicate posh or upper-class – once again the definition is somewhat cryptic, by which I mean it is unlikely to be found in any dictionary

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!

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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: muster+peace=masterpiece

55 comments on “DT 29251 (Hints)

  1. Not too taxing this morning, although it took me a bit longer than yesterday’s.

    I really liked 11a, but really disliked 19a. That is spelled wrongly as far as I’m concerned.

    I needed BD’s explanation for my answer to 16d, obvious now so I don’t know why I couldn’t see it.

    Very many thanks to all.

    PS: for the first time for ages, I didn’t have to fill in my name details today – I’m really chuffed. Almost feels like I belong!

    1. Like you, Margaret, I wasn’t taxed by today’s puzzle but I am curious as to why you think that 19a is an incorrect spelling because, to my mind, the alternative is the US spelling.

        1. Not laziness Senf. A deliberate plan by Noah Webster to define American English as a language in its own right. An investigoogle of Noah Webster makes for interesting reading as does Samuel Johnson. No laziness whatsoever.

      1. I should have looked it up in the BRB before making my remark, Aljernon, because my version of the spelling has a completely different meaning, so I withdraw my objection with apologies to the setter. I certainly do not prefer the US spelling of any words in a UK crossword so perish that thought.

  2. Enjoyed this one . It was a steady solve with a few smiles along the way eg 20A . Hard to pick out a favourite so will sit on the fence .
    Annoyingly , doing the crossword on the iPad still causes unnecessary movement and submissions still have to made by screenshots and emails .

  3. No real problems in this 2*/3.5*. Liked 1A, 2D and several others. I had not seen 19A but with 5 out of 8 checkers it was easy to find the word. Thanks to BD

  4. Great puzzle. Thanks setter and BD. I’ll look at the hints a bit later when I have done a NY clear out. Margaret I’m still having to fill in details on phone but not IPad!

    1. I only solve on the iPad Wanda, the phone’s a bit too fiddly for me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my details stay there, but it’s a small problem when you look around the world I suppose.

  5. I loved the definition for 1a and 9a was my final entry, so most likely my candidate for favourite. 19d also deserves an honourable mention. Overall this was comfortably straightforward and a pleasure to solve.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  6. I enjoyed that pleasant walk in the park with just one prompt needed to parse the clever 16d which now joins the Favs (15a and 24a) I had already selected. Perhaps one has to be of a certain age to know 20a or is the term still used these days I wonder? Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  7. As others have said, it was pretty straightforward, completed in *** time. My sticking point was 19a, too, which just doesn’t seem right, somehow.

    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  8. Nice, steady away puzzle, always a good start when the first across clue gets filled in with a knowing smile. Has to be COTD in my book. Like others, 19a raised an eyebrow, although checking the spelling did ensure it was correct.
    Thanks for the hints, BD, not needed today though. Still head-scratching over 19d last week, still not a word I have heard associated with the answer/clue. No “new word-of-the-week” for me to learn in this enjoyable puzzle.

  9. At first, I found it difficult to get a start but soon got onto the setter’s wavelength and ended up rating it **/***. 19a was my favourite clue not only because it was clever but also because I learned a new word. Thanks to BD and the setter

  10. Started on a smile with 1a and finished on one with 19d – nice gentle ride between the two.
    Podium places went to 1&9a plus 19d.

    Thanks to our setter for an enjoyable start to the weekend and to BD for the club.

  11. Favourites 1 and 20a, and 5, 6, 17 and 19d. 1a straight in and what a cracker it is. My Auntie Ada lived in a 20a, and nice it was too. Like Ada it outlived its life expectancy. I left the middle word of 5d empty until I got one of the checkers as the two possibilities always confound. 6d took a while although obvious really. I was left with three to do after the first attempt. When I looked again 17d flashed out at me and became a favourite. 19a was for me, in common with others, the most problematic. Can’t fault it on reflection but would have helped had I known the monkey. Even now the word looks odd. Perhaps I have always assumed it to be spelt differently. I doubt there will be many detractors but then there are always exceptions. Just noticed there are a number of double unches but they passed me by.

  12. A bit of a head scratcher not helped by the fact that, at midnight UK time, the puzzle web site showed the enumeration for 5d as (7,5,4) – hmm, 16 letters in a 15 x 15 puzzle! The error was corrected by 2:00 am UK time.
    In spite of that, 5d has to be the favourite – a 15 letter non-anagram with a four word clue, which is probably an oldie but goodie, has to win every time.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. I was taught in a 20a back in the 60’s. They were supposed to last one year but were still in use thirty years later.

    A very enjoyable puzzle today with a number of wonderful “light bulb” moments being evident such as 12a. I also liked 24a and 6d but there are no real favourites.

    Christmas decorations coming down today – pine needles all over the place!

    Grateful thanks to the setter and to Big Dave for the hints.

  14. I thought this was going to be a gentle stroll in the park but 5d held me up for quite a while and is therefore my COTD. It doesn’t help when you get a notion of an answer that is a synonym for the clue though not fitting the wordplay. In the end I laboured after a fast start to completion in a shade over ***time and learnt a new species of monkey in the process.

  15. A restless night meant I started this on the puzzles site and woke up with mouse in hand. 5d was half done and I appear to have nodded off as the enumeration was (7,5,4). I woke refreshed and it had been corrected and the rest tripped off in no time. South a bit harder than the North with a couple of synonyms that were a stretch and too many priests to choose from but got there in the end.
    Seems that Senf and I were awake at the same time but for different reasons.

      1. I did get to him in the end, just the list of priests in general and specifically is getting larger.

  16. 19a my last one in also and I had to look up the animal and I thought at first 5d was to do with protecting xxxx rear. But apart from that an easy ride today and the sun is shining! Thanks for the puzzle and the blog.

  17. A pleasant distraction today, gained access via the downs & all nicely fell into place.
    Favs 5d 5ac.
    Thanks to setter & BD for review

  18. A very enjoyable puzzle today with electronic help only needed for two clues. Many good clues of which my favourites are 24a and 16d. Thanks to BD and the setter for a good start to the weekend along with the sunshine and blue skies.

  19. Very enjoyable puzzle, nothing particularly outstanding, just a good crossword.
    Thx to all

  20. One of the better Saturday puzzles today. I never find them easy, and never will given all the years I have been doing them, but this one was quite enjoyable. Thanks to setter and Big Dave. I had several solutions for 5d and none worked, so did need the hint for that one. I wasn’t thinking along those lines. Need to make some ice cream now, and then get on with painting the bookcases.

  21. A nice normal Saturday crossword – not too easy and not too difficult.
    Quite a few anagrams which is probably why I didn’t find it too tricky.
    I was a bit dim about 16d for a while – had the answer but couldn’t quite see why – got there eventually.
    I liked 1 and 20a and 3d (reminds me of my Dad, along with ‘poppycock’ and ‘gobbledygook’ and several others). My favourite was 11a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  22. I really enjoyed this. I was swanning along nicely until I got to the SW, I needed e-help for 16d to nudge me along again, but I got there in the end.
    I also needed BD’s “mine of information” for 15a, and learned a new monkey.
    I liked lots, 11a and 9a both stood out, but I liked 5d and 19d too.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for his hints and tips.

  23. For the first time in ages, having completed two puzzles in succession without assistance, I was comparing yesterday and today. I have often fretted at the number of letters common to the A and D that are vowels, making it more difficult. Well yesterday there were 32 vowels to 28 consonants, while today it is 20 vowels to 34 consonants. Today was much easier – was that why? Thanks to all concerned!

  24. 1.5*/2.5*. A light and pleasant puzzle which I welcomed having been out all day and with the NTSPP and MPP in the queue.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD.

  25. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, completed West Side first, minor electronic help with 23a even though knew **** Lots of smiles along the way.

  26. Very enjoyable, too tired for any more comments after 120 minutes of refereeing…
    Thanks all….

  27. Fairly straight forward for a Saturday. Getting 5d early helped open up the grid. My faves: 1a and 19d. Thanks BD and setter🦇

  28. All completed except 12a. Just doesn’t click , may have got something else wrong. Quite new to this. Any hints please

    1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Redacted- see the instructions in red regarding alternative clues – when you say ‘think of…’ that’s definitely an alternative clue

  29. After being out all day doing what I do, having a few beers, getting home and feeding the dogs, having a meal and making a start on the crossword, I was so tired I had to have a sleep. I woke up, watched MOTD and finished the crossword at silly o’clock in the morning. Is it just me but I’m still struggling to justify the parsing of 25a. Thanks to all involved.

  30. I am not keen on the provision of additional assistance on a clue for which a hint has been provided, please refer the requester to the hint.

  31. Late as usual. Looked for hints on 5a but nothing there from BD! Got the idea but couldn’t parse it, until the penny dropped, and I got the message. There were also quite a few of similar ilk- one word with two halves,of alternatives.
    Very enjoyable puzzle, favourite was 9a which is a good example of not assuming two adjoining words in a clue are related!
    Thanks to BD and the setter.

  32. So chuffed – I’m a newbie to cryptic crosswords and this is the first one I’ve ever finished! Couldn’t have done it without all the fab hints… thank you BD!

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