DT 29257 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29257 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29257 (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.

Although I had previously accessed today’s Quick Crossword, by the time I selected the Cryptic the Telegraph Puzzles website had gone down.  More news later.

Since applying a recent upgrade to Firefox, my access to Telegraph Puzzles has become erratic.  Microsoft Edge to the rescue!  Here are some hints:


7a Mostly grumpy character in bar (8)
Most of an adjective meaning grumpy gives a musical note

12a Outwit in front of girlfriend? Things go off after that (4-6,4)
A four-letter verb meaning to outwit followed by a word meaning in front of and a girlfriend

15a Get topless to make an impression (4)
It’s not [g]et that is topless but a verb meaning to get!

17a Partner’s issue on leaving flight (5)
The male “issue” of one’s partner without (leaving) the ON from the clue

23a Fake the compiler’s advertisement (8)
The compiler is (1’1) followed by an advertisement

25a It arouses pity giving power to musketeer (6)
P(ower) followed by a musketeer

27a Harmony is found in rejection of what’s unacceptable (6)
Put the IS from the clue inside the reversal (rejection) of a word meaning not acceptable (3-1)

28a Group of horses leading lady for hack (8)
A group of horses followed by the regal cipher of the Queen (leading lady)


1d Girl in West Side Story fails to start song (4)
The “Juliet” character in West Side Story without her initial letter (fails to start)

2d Give evidence during trial (6)
A two-letter word meaning during followed by a trial

4d Gamble taking breather during exercise (6)
An four-letter organ used for breathing inside some exercise

6d A warm spell centrally then storms — he might say that (10)
An anagram (storms) of A WARM [sp]E[ll] (centrally) and THEN

8d Makes great effort to pick up name that’s surprising! (7)
A verb meaning makes a great effort around (to pick up) N(ame)

16d Watering device you once put in place to encourage plant growth (8)
Put a four-letter watering device around an old-fashioned word for you

18d Miss a captain (7)
… here “a” is as in “tuppence a bag”

21d Current navigator’s device needs to start (6)
Drop the initial letter (needs to start) from a device once used by navigators

26d Old soldiers warning (4)
O(ld) followed by some soldiers

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: pastor+knack=[Boris[ Pasternak

68 comments on “DT 29257 (Hints)

  1. A rather strange puzzle in which 60% of the clues were really straightforward and the rest were much trickier and took me into *** time for difficulty. I had never encountered the synonym in 28a before and gave a ‘hm’ to the synonyms in 4a and 21a. 17a and 16d were hard to parse. So enjoyment was down to**. Thanks to BD for the hints and to the setter.

  2. Once again, I really enjoyed this, which, if it hadn’t been for three clues in the top left, I would have finished in a much quicker time. Those three (7a, 2d and 8d) stretched out my enjoyment enormously. 8d was my last one in and I had to resort to pen and paper and trying out letters before the penny finally dropped. Great clue, so that’s my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

      1. Welcome to the blog

        As I just said to Manders, it isn’t blank – there’s a message from BD (in red writing) as to why he couldn’t provide any hints as early as he usually does

    1. But can you read what Big Dave said (in red writing) in the space where the hints should be?

  3. Thoroughly enjoyed this clever and thoughtful Saturday offering. So many top clues, it is hard to pick a favourite, but 7, 12 and 25a stand out for me.

    Thanks to our setter for the fun challenge, and to BD.

  4. Strangely unsatisfying, maybe the unfriendly grid and clues that for me were either quite difficult or quite easy. I even struggled with the two multiple word clues. So a 3*/1.5* for me. 2D just seemed a general knowledge question but I may have missed something. There were a couple of nice clues, 16D, 25A, but generally not a memorable puzzle. Thanks to all for hints and setting.

  5. Like Chriscross 28a was a new synonym to me and I must confess to losing patience and sneaking a look at the hints and was then annoyed that I’d failed to identify the group of horses synonym. Other than this a reasonably straightforward offering in which only 7a & 8d held me up for any length of time.
    Thanks to all

  6. A bit of a curate’s egg for me today but quite reasonable for a SPP completed at a gallop – 2*/2.5*.
    No stand out candidates for favourite but I did like 12a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. Very similar experience here. 7a and 8d caused the delay and spent ages looking up collective nouns. Nevertheless, it was a steady pleasurable solve to be followed by a dash of NTSPP.
    Thanks to BD and the Telegraph (Whose IT dept need to pull their socks up)

    1. I would venture to suggest that the Telegraph’s IT department’s socks are so low they can’t actually reach them.

  8. Found this a bit harder because there were no down hints. Enjoyable though. Had heard of 28a because I am related to journalists. Thanks to setter and BD.

  9. Big Dave,
    About whom we all rave,
    Shares wisdom and knowledge — he
    Isn’t thwarted by technology!

    I’m panicking a bit about tomorrow: anybody got a rhyme for ‘Senf’?

    1. The trouble was that when I pinged the site it appeared to be down, but when I used isitup.org it said it was up. It was a while before I realised the problem was with the, usually reliable, Firefox browser

    2. Senf,
      if your solving is enf
      Eebled, will help your imagination
      with missives from Winnipeg station.


      ( thoroughly enjoying your clerihews here)

      1. I love it! Splitting lines in the middle of words to contrive a rhyme is very much in the right spirit.

        That’s Senf sorted for today, then.

        Thank you to everybody else for your suggestions, too. PLR: that’s good, but the convention is that line 1 of a clerihew is just the subject’s name, nothing else (and the lines have awkwardly irregular lengths).

    3. How about

      Thank heavens for the glorious Mr Senf
      Who labours for us without pelf
      Cantering through crosswordland
      Always inspiring and never bland.

    4. S. Here’s a limerick I dedicated to Senf in DT 28354 (Hints), 18/2/17:

      Thank you Senf, and for that I’ll award you a limerick:

      Senf is his name, it’s his label
      He solves crosswords and is very able
      And when commenting on here
      It’s patently obviously clear
      He’s on horse not sat at a table.

  10. I enjoyed this although some clues beat me such as 28a and, like others, I had not heard of this synonym. Favourites are 12a and 5d.

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

  11. Not a barrow-load of laughs but I enjoyed the challenge. Knew group of horses in 28a but not freelancer solution. I would not take the 4d on its own to be gamble. Joint Favs today are 12a and 16d. Thank you Mysteron and BD. Once again the Quickie pun depends on pronunciation of 1a.

  12. A really mixed bag of clues today and for about three needed BD’s hints which then gave some bung-ins. Some good clues in today. Liked 11a for its truism.

  13. Cleverly constructed anagrams, a dollop of humour and a handful of answers we don’t see on a regular basis – that’s just right for me on a Saturday.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.

  14. A real curates egg with the good parts quite straightforward and the rest being so different as to be almost the work of 2 setters.
    Some excellent clues in 25a and 16d and some pretty dreadful ones in 17d and 8d. Still unable to fully parse 21a (no hints as always for the ones I find difficult, sorry just my normal paranoia showing).
    Difficult to rate but I’ll go for ***/***
    Thx to all

    1. There is no 21a Brian, and BD has given a hint for 21d so it’s difficult to know which one you can’t parse.

  15. Satisfying for someone who only gets to do this occasionally. Have joined the ranks of all who were educated by 28a but smiled several times during the rest.
    Hope this is not too much of a give-away: as a musician, found the answer to 27a irritatingly the opposite of the straight bit of the clue!

    1. Agreed re 27A – a clever clue but wrong meaning entirely.

      As a first time commenter but long time follower of BD and the other contributors I’d like to say thank you for the hints, and ensuing banter.

      As others have said, a mixed bag today; some straightforward and some almost impenetrable. I think 7A was my CoTD.

  16. A couple pushed me into 3* time but a pleasant Saturday diversion.
    3*/3.5* runaway fav was 12ac
    Must admit those clues that stumped me were fortunately covered by BDs hints & even then it took a while for the penny to drop,,, doh!
    Thanks to setter & BD for hints & guidance

  17. Harder than most Saturdays – solved top to bottom but beaten on 28a – hadn’t heard of the group or the journos! My first post in years – as I’ve switched to Times during the week – quick cryptic is ace – but a regular weekend lurker when inspiration runs short (as at 28a).

  18. I was stymied in the NE, drunk and gambled, thanks for the hint BD.
    Oh, that “hack” in 28a! I couldn’t unravel that one but was sure it was right.
    I loved it all, I think 12a was fave but 7a and 25a were close.
    Thanks BD for the hints and tips and our Saturday setter.

  19. Late posting today as I’ve just arrived in Oxford for a formal dinner and I can guarantee I won’t be a grumpy character in the bar afterwards. That reminds me, 7a was my favourite. 5d was in second place.

    Thanks to the setter for a pleasant puzzle and to BD for the review.

  20. I found this quite tricky and as usual resorted to BD’s helping hand -thanks! I am still left with 9a to fill in- is it a noun or a verb-person or past tense? On reflection there were some excellent clues eg 12a, and 19a includes the maxim never assume adjoining words are related! Thanks to setter, good effort!

      1. Just got back and seen your responses Fr Gr and Angellov and got it straight away, like a starting pistol…..so thanks a lot!

  21. Thanks to my faithful Scottish friend who photo’d me a copy of today’s puzzle from his own copy of the DT, I very much enjoyed today’s cryptic. Many thanks too to BD and the setter and again to all the generous ones among you all who offered words of assistance and commiseration to me on Thursday. I’m still, however, unable to access the online puzzles. (To Mr K: I almost made it using your website but then cyber-cypherdom intervened and tossed me out!) Re today’s: struggled a bit with 12ac (British hyphen use is different from ours, I think) and 28ac until the lovely and radiant ‘leading lady’, who has always awed me beyond words, just manifested herself. My first-ever rating: ***/****

    1. There’s another of us down here in Broward, I’m sure she’s techie than I am, maybe she can send it to you instead of reaching to Scotland! I’ll ask her.

      1. No, sorry, never sent the crossword to anyone, so don’t know how to. I am not at all techie Merusa, although I was an Executive Assistant for many years, I just had to pick up the phone and ask IT for help… You’’ll notice perhaps that I haven’t got around to changing my avatar yet 🥴

  22. Very enjoyable.
    Some gimmies and some that would not have been out of place in a Toughie, but satisfying to solve.
    I am the master of staring at clues for ages, going away, coming back and immediately finding the solution. 8d a great example, I stared at it for 20 minutes on the train from East Croydon to Streatham without success, just opened the crossword again and the answer jumped out at me.
    Thanks BD and our Saturday setter.

  23. I’m not really sure what I think of this one – suffering from ‘scrambled brain’!
    Drove back to Oxford from Sheffield today – back to more chaos and dust. :sad:
    Then did a few little ‘cleary-uppy’ bits and gave up and did the crossword, hence the ‘scrambled brain’!
    I thought there were a couple of ‘new takes’ on old crossword favourites such as 17a and 3d.
    I didn’t know the 25a musketeer (but husband did) and I didn’t know (or had forgotten) the 28a hack.
    I completely missed the 6d anagram so, although the answer was obvious, I needed the hint.
    Also needed the hint to explain 21d – don’t think I’d heard of the device.
    I liked 7 and 12a and 5 and 16d. My favourite was 8d.
    I think I quite enjoyed this with the benefit of hindsight but tired now and need supper.
    With thanks to the setter and to BD for all of it particularly explaining the ones I couldn’t cope with ‘all my own self’ today.

  24. Good fun and for once I found this easier than some others appear to have. My Mother would have put good in front of8d.After 90 minutes of utter sterility at Stoke City today I needed cheering up and this did that very well.Thanks to all.

  25. After breezing through most of it I came to grief on the last few. As usual Hoofit put my exact thoughts into words before I got here, so no more need be said on my part. Re 28a never heard of the group of horses or the hack so had Google both and hey ho two new words learnt in one clue. Favourite 13d. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  26. Late in today, as I was out fighting horrendous traffic to get to our annual orchid show, a nightmare. But found this one mostly on the friendly side, although I still don’t understand 17a, and 8d was odd. 28a I did get as I believe there is someone who works for newspapers who is called that. We use a different phrase for 12a over here, but I figured that one out eventually. Thanks to Big Dave who persevered once again to get us the hints, and to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  27. Enjoyable enough puzzle with enough ‘jump-outs/bung-ins/gimmies’ to get into it. However a few head scratchers too. A mate of mine was a 28a. I think he’d be a bit insulted by being referred to as a hack. Hack is a bit derogatory ‘down our way’. The wordplay works though. Faves: 7 and 12a and 5 (took a while for the penny to drop) and 6d. Thanks to the settler and, as always BD. Happy solving🦇

  28. Well I’m still stumped. Even with a fresh pair of eyes and reading all the hints I’ve still got 8 blanks. The easy ones were easy and the hard ones are hard!

  29. I had to leave this one with about six clues outstanding. Upon returning to it today all was resolved. The way the brain works….
    28a was my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter, and to BD for the hints.

  30. I’ve been without the internet for a few days, hence the late posting.

    I only struggled wih a couple.

    28a, which I gather was a new synonym for many.

    As for 18d, I had the answer without understanding the clue fully. The hint only confused me more. Maybe on Thursday I will be enlightened…

    12a was the most satifying to solve, hence my favourite.

    ***/*** for me.

  31. 3*/3*…..
    liked 12A ” outwit in front of girlfriend? Things go off after that (4-6,4) “

  32. Kept coming back to this one!! Annoyed at myself for not getting 7a without your suggestion then all made sense. Very frustrating. At least I can throw paper away now!

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