DT 29305 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29305 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29305 (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    Milk producer gives us energy another way (8)
An anagram (another way) of US ENERGY

10a    Economise seconds before squeeze (6)
S(econds) followed by a verb meaning to squeeze

13a    Young head-turner? (5)
A truly dreadful cryptic definition of the young of a bird that can turn its head

19a    In which clip round the ear might be necessary? (7)
Another dreadful cryptic definition of an action which could involve clipping around the ear

24a    In Netherlands notice American tennis star (5)
Start with the IVR code for the Netherlands then insert a two-letter notice and A(merican)

27a    Freeholder in the old sultanate (6)
An old word for the followed by a sultanate

29a    Service charges for castle in the air? (6)
Sokit as (2,4) this could be a two-letter word meaning in the air and part of a castle

30a    Male, no dove, carrying a weapon (8)
A male cat and a person who advocates aggressiveness or confrontation, rather than the peace and conciliation advocated by a dove, around the A from the clue


1d    Not fine — initially grey then wet (6)
The initial letter of G[rey] followed by some wet weather

2d    Improve in hour after noon in Clapton? (6)
Put H(our) after guitarist Clapton’s first name then insert N(oon)

6d    Host on a march moving north (9)
An anagram (on a march moving) of ON A MARCH followed by N(orth)

I started to watch this film, but it was so awful that I turned it off after about ten minutes

7d    Route zero comes up through American state (4,4)
Put the reversal of a three-letter word meaning zero inside an American state

15d    Wobble being unwell during leave (9)
A word meaning unwell inside a verb meaning to leave or empty

18d    Turn, then punch, producing shower of blows? (8)
A verb meaning to turn followed by a punch gives something that shows the direction in which air is blowing

23d    Habit of socially inept person (6)
Ouch! – another of those cryptic definitions – this one concerns the type of attire allegedly worn by a trainspotter

26d    Chinese people coming into Georgia’s country (5)
The native Chinese people inside the abbreviation for the American state of Georgia

You have probably realised by now what I thought of this puzzle – the Crossword Club is now open for you to express yours.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

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: ghost+rate=go straight

65 comments on “DT 29305 (Hints)

  1. An absorbing crossword, which just took me into 3* time and was very enjoyable (4*). I particularly liked 30a and 18d. Many thanks to BD for the hints and to Mister Ron the setter.

  2. Despite the new app a new bug means that it is still not possible to submit the solution from an iPad. At least for me.

    The submission comes up with an error message – I guess this represents modest progress.

  3. An interesting puzzle that wasn’t that easy but with some clever clues the best of which for me was my last in 30a, got hung up on the first part of the clue. The iPad problems still persist with apparently no will at the DT to fix them although they are perfectly happy to take my money. I didn’t even get an error message when I tried to submit, just a sullen silence. The slow response time is still in evidence as well. All in all a poor show by the DT.
    Thx to all

  4. A thoroughly enjoyable and accessible puzzle, with several fine clues, including 30a and 18d. My favourite, though, was 1a. Re 6d, I did not last as BD in attempting to watch it. I have given up attempting to enter the competition, preferring instead to just enjoy the crossword.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  5. I hesitate to find fault but I think BD, that in your hint for 1a, you have been over generous with the suggested fodder.
    I was supposed to be leaving the solution today by FlyBe…..😩
    Thank you as always for your sterling efforts.

    1. A difficult choice – what next? The Gazza NTSPP or the Phibs MPP?

      And the answer (at a gentle canter) is both!

  6. Four mini-puzzles that proved to quite challenging, thankfully there was a sprinkling of oldies but goodies, completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 7d, 22d, and 23d – and the winner is 7d.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  7. That was exactly my cup of tea comprising fun plus just enough of a challenge. I do have to admit to receiving a couple of nudges in the NE corner. Like BD I didn’t like 13a and 21a is not necessarily stole and not sure about 1d. 20a was Fav although it probably wont please everyone! Thank you Mysteron and BD. Look forward to this evening’s RU and more tomorrow.

    1. Don’t see what the problem with 1d, seems fair to me esp if you split it 1 and 5. I did like 21a,v clever.

  8. I found this enjoyable with just the right amount of head scratching. Favourites are 25a and 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  9. I enjoyed this and don’t really understand BD’s obvious ‘reservations’, to put it politely.
    The ‘young head-turner’ took me a stupidly long time and was my last answer.
    I always forget the 6d host even though I’ve been ‘had’ by him before – several times.
    I’m not quite sure why 17d is a gift.
    I liked 19 and 29a and 18d. My favourite was 30a.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.
    Looking forward to the treat that I know the NTSPP will be but off to the garden first.

    1. Kath – my take on 17d was that it is a type of gift, which sort of works – so it generated a Hmm.

    2. I agree 17d is probably the weakest clue in the puzzle. It’s about the reaction to a gift and not the gift itself.

      1. I do not agree. It is a type of gift. A gift can be given for a particular reason and this describes such a gift

      2. Firstly: I’ve often given a gift as a “7 down”. “Here’s a bunch of flowers as a 7 down”

        Secondly: I can’t do 22d, even with all the checking letters. Any help out there?

        Thirdly: I have been driven to distraction by the unresponsive keyboard and delayed, staccato scrolling of the clues which seems to set in after a few minutes. On a number of occasions my iPad has narrowly missed being thrown across the room (Count to 10 Mark…….😡🤬😡..). However, I discovered out by accident today that this goes away if you take the keyboard off the screen……..for those similarly afflicted perhaps

  10. I thought this a mixture of fairly uninspiring clues – 3 and 4d were pretty basic – balanced by some entertaining answers, with 18d being my favourite for the clever misdirection. Now for the Triple Crown hopefully. With thanks to BD and the Mysteron.

  11. Completed at a gentle pace, the SE corner held me up but had a doh moment at 23d. Sometimes you just cannot see the obvious.
    Thanks to BD and setter.

  12. Chris Lancaster has indicated that they are still testing the solution to the iDevice submission problem and that they hope to have it sorted out by next weekend. In the meantime, continue with submitting a screenshot by email.

    1. Brian says nobody at the DT has any will to fix these problems. Who should I believe?

      1. It would be nice to think they are trying but like I always told my staff, communicate with the client. If there is a problem at least publish an apology or at the very least acknowledge that there is a problem.

        1. I agree. iPads cannot submit the solution and sometimes Sunday has all the answers. The screen wobble is truly annoying. Anyway, thanks to the setter and BD. A quirky puzzle IMHO but fun nevertheless.

  13. I agree, some of these clues were really awful but quite enjoyed it all the same. So thanks to all.

  14. Having read the posted comments I apologise for striking a contrary note. After a week of great offerings I found this largely underwhelming. Even for someone of my limited solving ability completion was at a Senf- like gallop with hardly a pause for thought. 30a was my pick of the clues & like Kath thought 19a was fine.
    Thanks to all.
    Ps re the DT’s tech issues – my edition was able to be downloaded on the iPad for the first time in 3 days. The previous days I was forced to delete the app & reinstall.

  15. Didn’t have the same reservations as BD obviously did, although I wasn’t particularly keen on 17d.
    Favourite was 29a because it made me laugh and I also liked 19a & 18d.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club.
    How nice to have a Gazza production to look forward to in the NTSPP slot!

  16. **/***. I needed to overwrite a couple of my initial answers but all eventually fell into place. 1a was my favourite. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  17. The Kindle HDX is also accepting entries for the £50 Amazon voucher today after not having done so for some time.

    Thanks to our setter & BD

  18. Having been “away” for a couple of days when my phone spontaneously rebooted itself and then wouldn’t accept my password and my internet connection going down at the same time meaning I couldn’t find a solution I’m now back. I’m in the “actually I rather enjoyed this” camp. Favourite was 1a for the sheer difficulty off the anagram. Thanks to the setter and BD.

  19. I wasn’t on wavelength today and this took 3 sittings for me. Normally when I really have to work at it I find it’s a puzzle I’ve loved, but not today.

    I didn’t like 17d at all and disliked the ‘no dove’ part of 30a. I don’t think the first four letters of 8d equate to the clue; can’t say more on a Saturday.

    Having solved 17d I confidently put the wrong answer into 19a which gave me a problem with 15 and 18d until I realised my error.

    On a more positive note I quite liked 1a and 4d.

    With thanks to BD for the club and apologies to the setter.

  20. A classic Saturday prize puzzle that took the average time to solve & gave the same entertainment value as normal.
    2.5*/4* nothing to scare the wildlife here.
    Thanks to Saturday setter & BD for review

  21. I got frustrated at times with this puzzle for all the reasons mentioned above, but on reflection think it was quite good fun and a bit different!

    LOI was 21a, oh so easy with hindsight when you realise what is lurking within. 18d got me going in completely the wrong direction with the wrong interpretation of shower of blows. As for 13a – I would probably be sent to the naughty step if I said what film BD’s picture reminded me of!

    Thanks to setter for an enjoyable Saturday puzzle and BD as ever for some very clever insights.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The setter hasn’t made an error – if you read BD’s hint you’ll see where the American fits in to the wordplay

  22. Having been a lurker on this excellent blog for some quite a while I felt now was the time to ‘come out’, especially in view of 1a, whose namesake location is mine. “You won’t believe this!” I said to Mrs. doguern. I (normally) only look at the blog after I have completed the puzzle, and then to check parsings and view others’ comments. I found this one to be just my level and really enjoyable. I have entered the competition for many years and have never won – annoying as a friend won three times! However, I did win £20 on my local paper’s cryptic today, so keep trying.

    1. Welcome to the blog – now you’ve de-lurked, I hope you’ll come back and comment more often

    2. I have won twice – in some 40 odd years! Firstly a pack of cards and more recently a very
      smart pen and notepad!

  23. I totally agree with Big Dave about this puzzle. I did not enjoy it at all.

    Thanks to Big Dave for the hints and sorry to the setter…..just not my cup of tea.

  24. There were a few that held me up, after a hint or two in the north east corner- thanks as always BD…. I recently bought a new Thesaurus, but still find that answers like 6d are not available! Also 10a and 8d. Regarding the discussion on 17d, I saw the answer as a noun, not a verb…?
    Glad to finish it with thanks to the setter, and now to watch the match on the recording, supporting England but living in Wales!,,,

  25. Well, I enjoyed it. I don’t think there was anything that really made me shout at the paper and I really liked 1a and 18d.
    13a was the last in, very sweet. Thanks to all.

  26. I feel a bit of a freak, with masochistic tendencies ‘cos I loved it. Just enough of a stretch, completed in reasonable time and, surely, ‘cryptic clues’ are what it should be all about, unless I’m missing something?
    Anyway I thought it was great. ***/****

  27. I’m with BD – not to my taste, I’m afraid. At least it was a diversion from the impending epidemic.

  28. I’ve been out all day, and just returned to tackle this puzzle before watching a recording of the rugby which I will then follow with the NTSPP (Gazza 👍) and MPP (Phibs 👍).

    I’m sorry to say this one didn’t float my boat with too many hmms, particularly 13a, 29a, 30a, & 17d. Now for the rugby …

    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

  29. Not my favourite but I see nothing wrong with cryptic clues in a cryptic puzzle. Particularly liked 19 21 25 and 27a and 4 and 23d. Thank you setter and BD

  30. The south went in pretty sharpish, then the NW and finally NE. Last in was the young head-turner.
    I needed the hints to understand 19d … oh, that type of “shower of blows!”
    My fave was 22d, good misdirection, but 29a and 19a both pleased.
    Thanks to setter and to BD for unravelling of a couple.

  31. Slow progress but got there in the end. Favorite 23d.

    Can only echo Brian’s comments re iiPad.

  32. Quite enjoyed the crossword, **/*** for me. My comment relates to the quickie pun where I included the next word – so Go straight indoors. Not sure if that’s even a thing, but do remember saying it to my kids several times over the years!

  33. Bottom half went in, but gave up on the top half. Strange puzzle and too much like hard work for a Saturday. Thanks for the hints BD. Hoping Dada is kind again tomorrow like last week.

  34. A stiff neck, headache and several trips to the shops meant that this was done in fits and starts. I never really 5a to the puzzle today but there were quite a few good clues amongst the weaker ones. I agree that 6d is a terrible film and am surprised BD gave it even 10 mins of his time. but thanks for the time he gives to us here as I needed his help to get the final few. Thanks to the setter too.
    I think a dab of oil of wintergreen on my stiff neck and a shot of a bargain 25 yr old malt I picked up at Aldi will make me feel better.

  35. Agree re inability to submit. Pretty lame effort from the UK’s supposedly quality newspaper. As for the puzzle some clunky clues in my opinion. Rant over.

  36. Sorry, we didn’t like this either, far too many anagrams and several solutions which even when worked out were curiously unsatisfying. Thanks to BD for the explanations which at least made it clear what the shower of blows was all about …

  37. I started off hating this, had to resort to electronic help, then ended up grudgingly admiring it. I often give 17d gifts and I loved the head-turner.

  38. That Will Ferrell film is one of the great comedy classics of our time🤣

    I started watching The Favourite and turned it off after 15 minutes; truly dreadful.☹️

    Most of this crossword was fine fare for a Saturday after watching the average Bluebirds stay in the play off fringe with a win👍 The worst Championship for many a season.

  39. A puzzle of two halves – the top half went in very smoothly, but the bottom half did not! Loads of favourites, though, including 1 and 21a, and 18d. Many thanks to BD, and the setter! 🙃

  40. Got stuck in the NE corner and needed the hint for the awful 13a to unstick me.
    Thanks to BD for his help.

  41. So few links between the quadrants meant I retired to bed last night (surprisingly tired after attending a 7-year-old’s Lego robots birthday party) with the NE corner bare.

    This morning, while listening to Australian cricketers slogging boundaries in the World Cup final, I reluctantly gave it another glance before resorting to the clues, and somehow most fell into place.

    Thank you to Big Dave, especially for the hint for 13a. (Oh, and 2d’s hint may need a tweak: it seems to’ve been infiltrated by 6d’s ‘north’.)

    I didn’t know the 11d star (and the checking letters really weren’t helpful there!), and I still don’t understand the wordplay bit of 14a.

    My favourites were 21a and the quickie pun. Cheers to the setter.

  42. Always nice to see. This week, no clues particularly raised a smile. It is the volume of comments bemoaning the use of modern technology as their inability to submit their entries. Hint; Pen, paper, photo-copied grid, make as many errors as you like, can always re-print.
    I thought it nice and balanced and quirky at the same time. Wince of the week 18d. Unlike most, I enjoyed 13a and 19a. Challenges are different week on week, so always fun!

  43. 3*/4*….
    liked 8d ” fool takes plunge short time later “…did’nt know they used Peckhamese in this puzzle.

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