DT 29311 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29311 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29311 (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    Less familiar way to meet worker in park (8)
A two-letter way or road followed by someone who works in a large park

6a    Jar for this berry? (4)
A verb meaning to jar gives a type of fruit when followed by the word berry

9a    Unusual question — not to one that sparkles? (6)
An anagram (unusual) of QUES[T]I[O]N without the letters of TO

15a    Dickens will accept article for Ruth’s husband (4)
The three-letter alias used by Charles Dickens around A (indefinite article)

17a    Boring bird? (10)
A cryptic definition of a bird that bores holes in trees

22a    Advantage facing high ground in Civil War battle (8)
An advantage followed by some high ground

23a    Flexible western dropout? (6)
W(estern) followed by a sixties dropout

25a    Coward’s work that could make one sniffy (3,5)
This Coward is playwright Noel Coward


2d    United drew (4)
Two definitions

4d    Refined chap, slippery type (7)
A posh chap followed by a slippery fish

6d    Princely payment? (7)
A cryptic definition of a payment to an author or composer

7d    Turn on or off, then reverse to find railway (10)
Concatenate two verbs – the first meaning to turn on or off and the other to reverse

12d    Type of betting established inequality (5,4)
A verb meaning established is followed by some inequality

17d    Witty fellow covering part of leg for cleaning (7)
What on earth does the surface reading mean? – concentrate on putting a three-letter witty fellow around (covering) part of the leg

18d    Course not to be taken by drivers (7)
A track that should only be used by pedestrians

21d    Another pew seating elder initially in part of church (4)
The initial letters of four words in the clue

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: feud+Forth+ought=food for thought

66 comments on “DT 29311 (Hints)

  1. By recent Saturday standards, this was very enjoyable, a pity that there were only 27 clues. Completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 15a, and 7d – and the winner is 15a.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  2. This was a bit difficult to get into, particularly in the NW corner. However, things fell into place and I finished it in just over 2* time. It was moderately enjoyable (***) but 6a and 23a were a bit groanworthy. 10a and 8d were good clues and 15a was very oblique. Thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

  3. A very pleasant and accessible puzzle this morning with no real hold-ups. I enjoyed 8d, which feels like a bit of a chestnut, but my favourite was the neat 9a. Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

    The news is becoming more depressing by the hour. It still feels as though we have further to go before things show signs of improvement. Stay safe everyone.

  4. Happily filling in answers at a great rate of knots, I was rapidly coming to the conclusion that I was having a inspired Saturday morning until I ran into the buffers with 15a. I should have recognised what the answer was straight away – but I didn’t – so I’m indebted to you for the hint, Dave.

    1. Like you I completed in double quick time with the exception of 15a. I had no idea who Ruth’s other half was & BD’s hint didn’t help as I also wasn’t aware of Charlie’s alias so it was Mr Google to the rescue.
      Other than that a very straightforward offering. Thanks to all.

  5. First in was 20d and prompted thoughts of a pangram which were forgotten about by the time of LOI 15a, a quick glance at OT and Dickens brought this to a conclusion.
    liked the 10a 16a combo and 22a recalled a misspent youth in The Sealed Knot.
    Time to go to the Malton Food Festival before coronovirus shuts the country down. I think Jean-Luc’s Macaron chef has moved here as they have a lovely patisserie.

  6. All done in ***/**** time, but there are a couple of hmms. 6a and 10a are the main culprits; and I don’t know the work at 25a.

    COTD is 17a for its sheer simplicity.

    I thought this was the work of ProXimal, until I found the X at 12d.

    Still, good fun for a Saturday, thanks to the setter and BD

  7. Not to my taste. Gave up in disgust when i read the hint for 6a, since when did the answer mean jar, not in my copy of the BRB.
    Very sloppy and far too difficult.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Verb: irritate, jar. It was the first I bunged in. A fairly simple puzzle, I thought.

      The submission problems with the iDevice app haven’t been corrected, so emailed in. Actually, having won THE pen, should I bother to submit them? I can shoot with both hands, but my writing with my left is less legible than that with my right.

  8. This seemed like a puzzle of four quarters to me. I started in the NE corner and worked clockwise round until I got to the NW. 3d was my last one in. Although short, the objection was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to BD. Now off to the hatchery for eggs.

  9. 2*/2*. For me, this pangram was the third lacklustre back-pager in a row. I had no particular favourite. Let’s hope the NTSPP can provide some sparkle.
    Thanks to the setter and to BD.

    1. Thank you Rabbit Dave – your one throwaway comment ‘this pangram…’ has allowed me to finish this puzzle! There is an irony though in your statement about ‘lacklustre’ -given 16a !!

      In the debate about 6a may I say I am pretty dud at cryptic crosswords but as I managed to get that in fairly early on – it can’t have been too ‘off the wall’ and as I finished (though only because of Rabbit Dave’s huge hint) well that must mean this was not a difficult puzzle!

  10. Solved this in a very haphazard way but it did all finally fall into place. 23a took a while to come to mind. Can’t now believe 9a was my last in – d’oh! Fav was 8d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  11. As is often the way, it was a couple of the pesky 4 letter answers that took the most time. 15a in particular seemed rather an oddity outside of a GK puzzle.
    No stand-out favourite although I smiled at the ‘boring bird’ – doubtless something of a chestnut.

    Thanks to the setter and to BD for the club.

  12. Not being a betting man, I struggled with 12d and 6a was perplexing. 15a was my last one in but once the penny dropped it became my COTD. Others of note are 9a, 23a and 7d.

    I’ve had a good week. All puzzles were solved with the minimum use of hints and electronic help and today’s was the best of the lot. I had to get help for just one clue. Not sure if it’s luck or that I might actually be getting better at long last. If the latter, it is all thanks to Big Dave’s blog and all the bloggers.

    Grateful thanks, as always, to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    Keep well, everyone.

  13. I found this relative easy **\*** apart from 16a where I have two possible answers which differ in the penultimate letter only.

      1. I got 15a on my first pass of the crossword. It’s the next one I have difficulty with – understanding the significance of 10. I look forward to the full solution in due course.

          1. Ah! Thank you. I now understand. I had started down the path of thinking xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. Aha! I noticed the pangram only after I had solved 17d; otherwise, if I’d been sharper earlier, I could rejoice over * time in this clever and challenging and enjoyable puzzle. Favourites this morning: 15ac, 19ac, and 25ac–with the gold going to (why not?) 15ac. Brought up in the old Southern Baptist tradition of Sword Drills in Sunday School (“Who is Ruth’s husband? Who is Naomi’s?”)–only a memory now in this old secularist’s Stone Age–how could I miss 15ac since I taught most of Dickens’s novels over the years? Thanks to BD and today’s setter. ** / **** (Note to my fellow Americans: Amazon is out of toilet paper, and so are all of the local stores. Sears, Roebuck is also defunct.)

    1. Why is pangram mentioned several times in comments. Do all the crosswords always contain all the letters of the alphabet?

      1. If you have a look at the FAQ section of the blog (there’s a tab at the top of the page) it will explain all about pangrams and other crossword-related questions. To answer your questions, pangrams are relatively rare.

        Also, when you next comment, can you put your name as Steve McCarthy as capital letters are considered to be ‘shouting’ on the internet.

  15. I did not know about pangram a until I joined the Big Dave fan club, now as soon as I see a J, Z and Q I start looking for the other seldom used letters. Today even the quickie was a pangram. Such fun. We have to find pleasure in small things at the moment. Thanks to all as usual.

  16. Anyone else have probs with the Edinburgh river in the Quickie?
    Not the one in your pun answer…………………….

    1. What problems did you have ?
      There really is only one river beside Edinburgh….unless you count the Water of Leith…..or have I misunderstood you ?

    2. Yeah, the river confused me, too. ‘Scottish river’ would’ve been a fair clue, but describing it as ‘Edinburgh’s river’ seems odd: the word ‘Edinburgh’ doesn’t even appear anywhere on the river’s Wikipedia page.

  17. Before attempting today’s puzzle, could someone tell me the answer to 4d in last Saturday’s cryptic crossword (29305). No solution has been published – at least not on my iPad !

  18. In view of other comments l am surprised to say that found this to be relatively easy and very enjoyable.completed in record time for me which is probably, an age for others.l thought the link between 10 and 16 a was good and was delighted to spot the adapted anagram at 9a. Thankyou to setter and to B.D. although for once l did not need his hints.

  19. The only problem for me today was actually accessing the DT online. When they eventually got their act together I didn’t find this too taxing.

    I didn’t remember the Dickens alias, but I did guess what the clue was looking for so I Googled it and that was my last one in.

    Many thanks to BD and the setter.

  20. After the last couple of days of less enjoyable struggles I found it pleasant and reassuring to complete this one with little head-scratching.

  21. A very pleasant “no sports Saturday “ back pager.
    Finished at a brisk pace with nothing to scare the dormice,
    2*/4* fav 14ac ( but then it would be wouldn’t it!)
    Thanks to setter & BD for blog & review

  22. Put in an answer to 18dn wxxxxxxxxxxxx so that held me up a little. A not too tricky solve although 7dn is new to me. Commenting for a change as I manged to do the crossword after lunch as I have time on me hands. We are on lock-down here in Puglia although we are hardly an affected area (and on the Gargano we are really remote). Can go out to town (and nowhere else) only for essentials. Must declare those essentials on a very dramatic form and carry the form with me. Stopped without it and one is in trouble – stopped with it and doing something different than declared and one is in deep trouble. It’s like being in a dystopian novel!

      1. The xxxxxxxxxxxxxwas clearly the elephant trap in 18d, which made 23a doubly difficult. When at last the penny dropped and I solved both I was quite disappointed that there was no reference xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  23. Very enjoyable puzzle today, thank you to the setter, and to BD for the hints. Only needed a couple today, but they were necessary. I had 6a right from the start, but it never had that feel right touch. Had to be that though. Didn’t know 17a was such a pretty bird, despite having one frequently knock on our front door in our first house here. I went to open the door several times before I began to recognise “his” knock. But the best of the recent Saturdays for sure.

  24. Completed alone and unaided and understood all the parsing, so a hurrah for me day!
    Took me ages, though……a tricky one.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Big Dave.

  25. Very enjoyable, a bit tricky though when I got to the SE corner.
    Last in was 21d, I always get caught by “initially”, when will I ever learn.
    I had to check the spelling of 19a, and I’ve never heard of 23a, I’ll take your word for it.
    Fave was 15a, altogether a fun puzzle.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for the hints and tips.

    1. Completely on all fours with you Merusa. 15a went straight in and one of my favourites. 23a was obvious yet I had never heard of this word meaning flexible. Also had great difficulty getting 19a and once I did getting the right ending and spelling it correctly even with the anagram fodder. In fact I still have to check if I spelt it correctly. Surprised so far that no-one else has had similar problems!

  26. We raced through this but our smugness was deflated by the last clue in, 12d. Like Steve we know nothing about betting and had to appeal to the BRB before we worked out the first word. Still, great fun, thanks to all! 🙂

  27. A very enjoyable puzzle and a pangram too. Had to guess at the last clue 15a but it had to have a ….. in it!
    Plenty of boring birds boring in Lancashire yesterday, so they must think Spring is on the way (please….I’m fed up with dark evenings and rain now!). Thanks to all.

    1. Enjoyable. Completed last night after a visitor left save for not being sure of the first word for 12a. 15a is a super clue. For those not familiar with Dickens or the Bible the pangram would help. True to form I did not spot the pangram! Other favourites 10a 25a (another great one) 9a and 4d. Thanks setter and BD for confirming parsing and for the photos. I got 7d although I did not actually recall that word for one of those.

  28. I’ve been an observer of this blog for some time but usually do the prize crossword over a few breakfasts. However, no sport, cracked it same day so I can comment before everyone else has moved on. To be honest it was the easiest for a few weeks – the only tricky one was 15a (both bits I didn’t know previously). Liked 14a. Not sure why 25a is Cowards work

  29. Bit up and down this week so it was comforting to gallop through the weekend puzzle.Only failing was having to check out 15a.Many thanks to all. Sometimes wonder if you have ever had a puzzle that stumped you ?

    1. Quite a lot of us ended up here because we had a puzzle that stumped us. Back in 2010, I’d looked at a Toughie clue for hours and hours, gave up and typed the whole thing into Google, found this site and completely transformed my crosswording life

    2. Like CS, and round about the same time, I had a clue that I just couldn’t do – not being very IT savvy I was driving husband mad so he hunted it down and found BD. I’ve been here ever since.
      Oh, and by the way, unlike CS the clue that I couldn’t do wasn’t in a Toughie it was just a bog standard back-pager!

  30. 25a is my favourite “Coward’s work” – I had forgotten 15a, and had to resort to Mr Google! Loved the rest, though – many thanks to the setter, and BD! 🙃

  31. I agree with the Boss, some straight forward clues, some required stepping out of the box and some lateral thought. Favourites, 25a, 3, 5 and 6d. Thanks BD and the Setter🦇

  32. Like a few people, I found this straightforward in the main (NOT meaning I was ‘All at sea’) Thanks to my old Latin teacher at RGS in North Yorkshire, as I applied logic to 19A. So that is something learned this week. Thanks to those selfish people who have cleared the shelves in all our supermarkets of the loo-roll. I can only comment that the Telegraph is a quality paper, should it ever get to the point of ‘Alternative recycling’!!
    Thanks BD for the hints, thankfully not required this week. Stay safe everybody, and as an Industrial chemist, I can advise that those sanitising hand-gels contain alcohol, so if you have a spare bottle of cheap spirits someone once bought you and is sitting in the back of the dresser, mix it with normal hand soap, it will do the job just as well.

  33. Having been an apprentice at Clarks many, many years ago, and being a Freemason, there were two clues in this one with which – just for once – I had no trouble at all.

    1. Using your full name sent you into moderation

      I’ve had to edit your comment as it is too much discussion for a prize puzzle – I have, however, checked in the dictionary, and the word used in 23a is listed as an alternative spelling. You can pop back on Friday when the review is published if you wish to discuss this further!

      1. Interestingly it wasn’t listed as an alternate spelling in my Chambers but It was in my Oxford Compact

  34. Completed yesterday and like some the NW was the last bit…9a I thought was an anagram -how wrong was I
    Thanks BD! Needed that Hint to finish. It took me a while to work out the anagram on 19a. Very enjoyable all round, far better than having to watch the news….Will we be alive next week I ask?..

  35. Woo-hoo! Completed it in one session on Tuesday, without any help or hints. So it must have been an easy one, right? Anyway, that being the case I will actually send it in…..

    I may be having more time for crosswords over the next couple of months, suddenly finding myself in a slightly ‘at-risk’ category, following a recent birthday… ;-)

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