DT 29365 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29365

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29365
The Saturday Crossword Club

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment *

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Until the Telegraph resumes the award of prizes for the Saturday puzzles, this post, and tomorrow’s, will be just like the Monday to Friday posts, with hints for every clue and revealable answers.  BD


Sorry, but I didnt like this one at all.  I know that some solvers will think it’s a great puzzle because they can finish it, but, for me, anagrams that were obviously signalled and poor cryptic definitions don’t create much of a challenge.

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.

Some hints follow.

Across

1a Notice one in tirade incandescent (7)
RADIANT: a two-letter notice and I (one) inside a tirade

5a Long cushion giving help (7)
BOLSTER: two definitions

9a Overwhelming surprise for attractive blonde (9)
BOMBSHELL: two definitions

10a Provide student with place and grant (5)
ADMIT: two definitions

11a Almost axe Irish singing group (5)
CHOIR: most of a verb meaning to axe followed by IR(ish)

12a One has agents sorting out party mess (9)
SPYMASTER: an anagram (sorting out) of PARTY MESS

13a Name novel bar changed beyond words? (3-6)
NON-VERBAL: N(ame) followed by an anagram (changed) of NOVEL BAR

16a From here one may observe second-rate flat (5)
BLIMP: the letter that indicates second-rate followed by an adjective meaning flat like a deflated balloon

17a Some fellahin go to bar (5)
INGOT: hidden (some) inside the clue

18a Number puzzle that’s easy (2,7)
NO PROBLEM: the two-letter abbreviation for number followed by a puzzle

20a Latin poet breaking promise (9)
POTENTIAL: an anagram (breaking) of LATIN POET

23a Loves making love? (5)
DUCKS: two definitions – scores of zero and a term of endearment for a sweetheart

25a Round tin Popeye finally dropped in sea (5)
OCEAN: the round-shaped letter followed by a tin around (dropped in) the final letter of [Popey]E

26a Shelter for poor soul has me troubled (9)
ALMSHOUSE: an anagram (troubled) of SOUL HAS ME

27a Man on the lookout when old boy leaves (7)
SERVANT: an adjective meaning on the lookout without (leaves) the abbreviation for Old Boy

28a All this worker makes going on the horses? (7)
SADDLER: a sort of cryptic definition of someone who makes an item that is placed on a horse

Down

1d Polish trick to restrict current in ancient river (7)
RUBICON: a verb meaning to polish and a trick go around (restrict) the symbol for electric current

2d Nothing shown after silent film (5)
DUMBO: O (nothing) follows a word meaning silent

3d Taking it all in having gone round planet? (9)
ABSORBENT: an adjective meaning having gone or not here around the three-letter shape of a planet

4d Something of a shock — tension initially relieved (5)
TRESS: drop the initial letter (initially relieved) from a word meaning tension – this shock is a head of hair

5d Corporation to fail — botched entry from board? (5,4)
BELLY FLOP: a corporation or stomach followed by a verb meaning to fail

6d Fools seen within the French city (5)
LHASA: a three-letter verb meaning fools or deceives inside the feminine French definite article

7d Watch one’s opponent in this event? (4,5)
TIME TRIAL: a cryptic definition of an event raced against the clock

8d Reversed role with sailor as pest controller (3,4)
RAT TRAP: a role and a sailor, all reversed

14d Clothing range with buckles (9)
NIGHTWEAR: an anagram (buckles) of RANGE WITH

15d Hedonist tense after exam in German city (3,6)
BON VIVANT: put an oral exam inside a German city and add T(ense)

16d Keeping quiet, initiated in slaughter (9)
BLOODSHED: put an interjection meaning quiet inside (keeping) a verb meaning initiated

17d Wicked Zulu warriors going over house contents? (7)
IMPIOUS: a group of armed Zulu warriors is followed by the inner letters (contents) of [h]OUS[e]

19d Erasmus dressed as Rubber Man? (7)
MASSEUR: this anagram (dressed) of ERASMUS gives a man who rubs and kneads muscles

21d Trained assassin captured by American in Jamaica (5)
NINJA: hidden (captured by) inside the clue

22d Fruit held up by Burmese military (5)
LIMES: hidden (held … by) and reversed (up) inside the clue

24d Ruthless Conservative line taken without regret (5)
CRUEL: C(onservative) and L(ine) around (taken without) a verb meaning to regret

This week we have tracks from friends Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen, originally issued as both sides of a single.  Buddy passed away in 1999 but Jimmy is still with us.

 

The Crossword Club is now open!


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The Quick Crossword pun: height+reason=high treason


116 comments on “DT 29365
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  1. I’m really glad the blogger has found this a ** for difficulty. When I manage to start it I will give my opinion.

  2. I thought this was moderately enjoyable (**/***). It seemed to me unfamiliar in style. There were some good clues (5d and 19d) but others were lacking in complexity. Is it a new compiler? Thanks to BD for the hints and to the compiler. Stay safe and well everyone.

          1. Welcome to the blog

            The NTSPP is Not The Saturday Prize Puzzle – this week’s one was published at 12 noon yesterday and you can go there and download the puzzle and solve it, although be careful not to read my review before you’ve done so

    1. Nor did I. Sadly, I think I’m becoming a crossword grump. . . . . a cruciverbial Victor Meldrew in fact. I finished it, but with no satisfaction whatsoever.

  3. 1.5*/2.5*. For reasons I can’t understand with hindsight, I couldn’t get started at all in the NW corner. The other three quarters went in in double quick time, but then I still struggled to get going in the NW before it finally yielded.

    Fellahin seemed a very strange choice of word in 17a. It didn’t affect the solving of the clue, but it delayed me slightly as my curiosity made me look it up in the BRB.

    Many thanks to the setter and, I assume, to BD for the review.

  4. I found this much trickier than BD. Found it difficult to get on the setters wavelength and with some very iffy clues.
    Not my favourite Saturday puzzle.
    ***/**
    Thx for the much needed hints.

    1. Once again I’m in agreement with you Brian. I only answered some clues because I had enough letters from others. I feel quite disappointed today.

  5. Quite agree that this was pretty straightforward & not particularly memorable but to damn it as having cryptic definitions poorly defined & anagram indicators too obvious seems a tad harsh. Maybe that’s just because it took me 40% of my solving time to get my last in (3d) & thought I may finish one shy for the second day in a row.
    Agree with Chriscross that 5&19d were good clues & I’d add 17d to those 2 for my podium.
    Thanks to the setter & the reviewer.

  6. I think BD is being a bit harsh. I found it a nice trot, although not the best puzzle of the week. Some rather clunky clues, I thought, e.g. 28a and 16d. And 10a, which I was convinced was remit.

  7. I found it trickier than BD – given the way so many clues are crammed into every available space in the paper, I have a theory as to the setter

    Thanks to the setter – I quite liked 23a – and to BD

  8. A couple in the NE that caused me a bit of grief – 6d where I couldn’t think of ‘fools’ and, perhaps as a consequence, 10a which I thought was going to be more than a double definition.
    No particular favourite although 9&16a raised a smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to BD for the club – didn’t recognise either of your music choices this week, when were they published?

  9. For a Saturday, I found this fairly straightforward, completed in **/*** time. Some clever mis-directions, but no obscure words or GK that required electronic help.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  10. Like RD & Brian I found getting a toe-hold was a struggle but once tuned in it fell into place nicely. No real hold-ups nor obscure GK. Overall a bit of a curate’s egg. I wonder what Peter Purves made of it (electronic p189 today) – perhaps he”s a visitor.
    Thanks to setter & BD for the review. As a bit of a “plodder” what would be a reasonable challenge for you would just show up my inadequacies and leave me frustrated. “You can please some of the people etc”
    Thanks for the muic remember 1 but not 2.

  11. I should have completed this in a quicker time than I did as I was looking for complexities that were not there. That aside, it was reasonably straightforward with a smattering of fun clues, of which 16a was my favourite.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and BD.

  12. A curate’s egg which was not a lot of fun.
    I did like 11a, 28a, 1d, and 6d with 6d coming out on top.
    Thanks to the setter and BD.

  13. Fairly straighforward but for some reason I got 5a wrong leaving Omaha or Osaka for 6d, neither of which remotely parsed. Hailing from the East Midlands, I also struggle with the plural in 23a having grown up with “ay up me duck”. No real favourites today. Thanks to BD and the setter.

    1. I believe that duck is a corruption or phonetic pronunciation of the Norman word duc, hence my duke or me duck.

  14. I found this a tricky one. I could not get into it for ages. In fact, after a first pass, I had only one clue sorted. I thought the synonym for fools in 6d a bit of a stretch and I could not parse 1d whichever way I looked at it. Nor could I see where the buckle was in 14d until it dawned on me what “buckle” meant. Having said that, there were some good clues. I liked 23a and 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the hints.

    1. The synonym in 6d had (fooled) me too for a while, Steve. I think it is much better when used in the past tense.

        1. I think that Lassa is as good an answer as the one given except it doesn’t work with 10a. Ass can be plural as well as singular and so is arguably a better synonym for fools. I was held up because I hadn’t solved 10a when I wrote in my first answer!

  15. I am in the enjoy camp on the basis that lcould do it.However it did seem to have a different feel to it and some clues felt a bit stretched”Surely 17a is a lurker so fella in is perfectly valid.l could argue that the majority of 27a were,are women but overall just good to get some more learning done.Thannks to all.

    1. I took it that “Man” was a very specific kind of 27, I.e. a valet or an ADC.
      “My man will see to that”.
      So the gender distribution of 27s doesn’t come into it really….

    2. If it was Fella in go to bar… then the lurker wouldn’t span all the words in the fodder, or at least that is how I understood how these clues should work.

  16. This one wasn’t for me either, but I did like 5d in the Quick Crossword. I agree that the NTSPP is well worth doing! Thanks to setter and BD

  17. I’m obviously not alone but this was not my scene at all and hence I got no satisfaction from completing it. With the exception of 6d which is rather broad-based East went in before the West. IMHO 23a is a bit silly as is 16a. Stupidly failed to suss 11a. Fav was 5d. Thank you Mysteron and BD.

  18. I thought it was pretty standard Saturday fare getting through most of it quickly, but ground to a halt with 4 or 5 left. As is often the way, solved it after a break.
    I still don’t understand 10a though? Can someone explain?
    Thanks in advance – and to the reviewer/setter.

    1. Start off with ‘O’ (love) and follow it with a type of sect into which you need to insert ‘IS’ from the clue. Hope that makes sense.

        1. CA, as BD explained in his review, 10a is a double definition. The first of these definitions “provide student with place” is a term used when a student is awarded a place at a college or university. Hope this helps.

          1. Thanks all. Yes you had me questioning my own sanity there Jane. Now I realise that there was no cryptic element to it. I was over thinking it.

    2. 10a is just a ‘simple’ (except it was one of my last ones) double definition – to give a student a place at university and to own up to something.

      1. I had a totally different word for 10a which I considered correct but did not fit into 7d!
        Student is usually a ‘learner’ and place can be as Parking area in US..and end up with word for grant. Much better than the answer to fit the setter’s 7d…
        Apart from that I really enjoyed the quirky clues which took me a while to get into, however thanks to BD as usual and also the setter.

  19. This took me longer than usual to finish – mainly because I was overthinking the clues. Spent far too long trying to come up with an actual French city in 6d and when the penny dropped I wasn’t impressed with the clue. Has = fools works in the past tense but not really in the present. I stupidly didn’t even realise that 14d was an anagram. I came up with nightwear as a clothing range thinking the wear part was an extremely loose synonym for buckles. And worse still, it took me ages to realise the corporation in 5d was our old friend the tummy. This is about the third time the word has cropped up in as many weeks. Not the most enjoyable exercise. Thanks to all anyway. Favourite 16d.

    1. One thing Greta I have learnt from the Saturday X word is never assume two adjacent words are connected- eg French & city here! Mind you -they can be!

  20. Caesar implied here and explicit in the Quickie, which took almost as long as the Cryptic to solve. The NE corner held me up a while, since allusions to racing and the like always make me recall my ancient history (what I learned when I lived amongst all of you), with 7d and 10a my last ones in…almost spontaneously with 23a. No real standouts for me, though, like crypticsue, I liked all that love in 23a. And a hedonistic huzzah to 15d, one of my favourite words and something I’ve become in my secularised dotage. Thanks to BD and today’s setter (whose long anagram in the Quickie 5d deserves a gold medal). ** / ***

  21. Had the same trouble as Jane with 6d and 10a.
    Took a while to reconcile blooded with initiated in 16d.
    The exam in 15d was new to me, so was the plural in 23a.
    Erasmus made me laugh.
    Thanks to the Saturday setter and to BD for the club.

  22. Not my favourite of the week, but there we are – everyday can’t be a radiant one.
    Like Tilly I really enjoyed the fine word play of 5d in the Quick Crossword.
    Thanks to the setter and Big Dave, of course.

  23. A hurrah day for me.

    Sorry for all of you who didn’t enjoy it.
    Not everyone is as good as you……but when one is trying to improve , occasional crosswords like this are very cheering.

    So, cheers to the setter and thanks to Big Dave.

    1. Agree entirely with Ora. There must be plenty of challenging crosswords for the experts who are steeped in the arts of cryptics and have spent a lifetime doing the DT and others. For those of us trying to get going during lockdown it is a bit demoralising to hear that my minor successes are associated with unchallenging or simple crosswords. Fortunately the Big Dave blog gives us novices a way of learning more.

    1. Welcome, Russ. I too put Lassa first but didn’t enter it because “ass” didn’t fit the plural “fools”.

      Hope to see more comments from your good self. :good:

  24. It sounds as if I enjoyed it more (and found it more difficult) than BD did.
    I took a long time to get onto the right wave-length and didn’t really get going for ages.
    I agree with the person who found the style unfamiliar.
    I’m all for anything that makes me laugh, particularly at the moment, and some of these clues did.
    The ‘fools’ in 6d took for ever and, for some reason, so did 10a.
    I liked 10a and 1 and 19d. My favourite was either 5d (very painful!) or 23a.
    With thanks to the setter, whoever he or she may be, and to BD.
    Off to the garden – more weeding – NTSPP later.

    1. I bought myself yet another weeding tool yesterday, to tackle the gazillions of broad leaved blighters (I didn’t actually use the word blighters – it didn’t seem sufficient) in my lawn, before I do more scarifying.
      But it’s so dry again.
      At least it satisfies my Fitbit.

      1. I found this quite enjoyable, and I thought it was trickier than BD did, but those with tiny brains are not as clever as the brainier among us.
        The Zulu warriors featured in history lessons in school, one of the first solved. I found the NW quite friendly, last in was 23a.
        Thanks to our Saturday setter and to BD for the Saturday Club!

  25. Not as unpleasant as I thought it would be…. & in fact found it pleasant to complete.
    2.5*/3.5*
    The rhythm of the puzzle felt different than usual, particularly the DT prize crossword: so challenging in a different way.
    Many thanks to setter & BD for review

  26. I am with BD on this.many odd clues. Without spoiling 1d why is ‘ancient’ included? If that’s what is meant, then cannot be a river since that one’s size is only due to a bunch of guys committing a crime there? We would call its geographical size ‘a stream’. ‘Ancient’ is unnecessary since we have another river of that name today.
    I have no clue who is making up the clues these days – used to enjoy the weekends. There is no joy in solving a well worded clue. They have forgotten that art.

  27. Though I’m not particularly a fan of ‘off the wall Paul’ type puzzles I have to admit this one struck me as a tad unimaginative
    I don’t know – who’d want to be a crossword setter? I suppose you just pump ’em out knowing you won’t please everyone
    Thanks and respect to our setter today and to BD for the review

  28. 2/2.5. I thought BD’s review was a tad curt and critical – cabin fever? I’m sure the setter will have expended far more time putting this puzzle together. Thanks to all.

  29. This took two sittings for me today with 4 clues still to solve this afternoon and they probably took as long as the first sitting.

    It wasn’t my favourite ever crossword, but I didn’t dislike it as much as others. I thought 17a was really odd and, like others, I looked up fellahin even though the answer was there for the taking. Horrible clue, though.

    The two 16s, 17d and 23a were my problem and I worried away at them for ages. I have no idea where it came from, but 16a occurred to me and I looked it up and found it correct. That sorted 16d out which became immediately obvious.

    I would never have got 17d if I hadn’t given in and Googled Zulu warriors, so then to 23a which I really liked when the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter and BD.

  30. Not the greatest Saturday puzzle however it eas enough to keep me amused. Like others I liked 19d. There were as usual some head scratchers and some gimmies.
    Thanks to BD amd setter, hey ho for monday!

  31. Like a few here, I liked it a bit more than BD (well, it would be quite hard to like it less than he did).

    I did get a bit held up trying to squeeze the Corrs into 11a….. I was just blind to the obvious answer, considering I am a singer.

    I did like 23a. I spent my childhood listening to a lot of “ my duck” and “ me duck”. But I reckon the actual word in the answer was also used as an endearment, but maybe from further Darn Sarf….. near Bow Bells?

  32. I am in the “A bit dull” camp here but mainly coz I am a bit grumpy. I think I have been conned into buying a new dishwasher. I know the old one was 15 years old and owed us nothing but I am sure it could have been fixed. Tirade (1a) over
    I did like 1d and 5d was a reminder of sleepovers at Grandma Bee’s who used a bolster down the bed to stop nocturnal squabbling between me and my sister.
    16a caused a bit of grief here as although they can be used for observing from I thought they were more normally unmanned like barrage balloons.

    Thanks to BD and setter.

    1. The implication is that the balloon has a basket from which observations can be made, but they can also be used unmanned so that the tethering wire can bring down other aircraft. That is what confused me anyway.

      1. Yes, the illustration shows an anti aircraft balloon. Sadly I rember them well! For some reason we called ours Penelope.

    2. You can observe from a balloon. The rest of the clue leads you to the answer.

      My nearly 94 year old mother is not going to like this. I didn’t that much either. But others did so that sums it up.

      Thanks to setter and BD.

  33. Not what I consider usual Saturday fare with this puzzle. Some good clues, but some I felt were a real stretch. Never did get onto setters wavelength for this one.
    Favourite clues for me were 23a, 26a, 28a & 3d, and iffy clues include 16a, 6d & 16d amongst others.
    YMMV, but I tend to agree with BD on this one.
    **/* my rating for this one.

    Nevertheless, thanks to setter and BD.

      1. According to Mr G it is Your Mileage May Vary, which requires further translation to one person may have a different view to another.
        Or in French it could be abbreviated to CSG (chacun …)

      2. Your Mileage May Vary which is apparently a term meaning that your experience may differ from that of the person making the comment.

        Another new thing I didn’t know before you asked what it meant

        1. Sounds more like a term in the small print of a VW Passat’s fuel economy figures
          Oh well, each to their own

  34. Apart from 10a and 6d which held me up for ages I actually found it relatively straightforward. Interesting that crosswords seem to puzzle people in different ways, I have had far harder Saturday ones.

  35. As ever the Black Sheep but I found this a pleasant accompaniment to a beer and a smoke in the garden on an unhurried non working day. Thanks all.

  36. Didn’t find this terribly difficult for some reason, but it just lacked sparkle. A few stretched clues, and I would hate for my better half to call me 23a. There just weren’t any smile raising clues. It wasn’t the worst Saturday puzzle, and it kept me busy for a while, so thanks to setter and BD.

    1. I think that 23a is probably regional and I’ll quote my Dad and say that I don’t care what anyone calls me as long as it’s not early!

      1. Funny. I used not to mind that expression as it was always said with tongue in cheek and everyone assured me, it was not the case. Now, a widow of 11 years, I no longer have cause to care!

  37. My biggest problem was 15d. Curiously not the phrase which I’d heard of, but the exam which I hadn’t. I had to Google it. Any road up, in my best Leicester speak, I’m in the “I quite enjoyed this” camp. 23a was my favourite me duck. Many thanks to the setter and BD.

      1. Never in my born days days me duck. I was in such a low class at school they barely allowed us to take exams let alone vivas. My parents wanted me to have some sort of qualifications when I left school so they made me go to the comprehensive grammer. The classes went from A to M, I was in L.

  38. Having read all the reviews I have concluded you can’t please everyone. As a relative novice I enjoyed it . I struggled with 6d. I haven’t heard of that city but my son has. Favourite clues were 1d and 18d. Thanks to the compiler and BD.

  39. I haven’t commented before on the site as I don’t see myself as an ace crossword solver – just as someone who enjoys the daily mental workout. However I agree with many of the comments on Saturdays puzzle. I found it difficult to get my head round it not least because it seemed to me to lack that magic moment where suddenly the undeniably right answer comes to you. There were too many ‘well, I suppose it could be’ moments. But perhaps that’s just me. Thanks to Dave for all his work on the site.

  40. Things must be bad if I feel I have to comment on the last few Saturday crosswords. We’ve been doing them for over 20 years and the recent puzzles have been so disappointing. There is no sense of achievement on completion (with a bit of help in some cases) and no lightbulb “clever” clues.

  41. I think attempting this was a waste of time….. rather annoyed that the setter was being totally unreasonable, not impressed, it’s not clever. Usually we finish them with no help whatsoever, just normal exercise of little grey cells…….

  42. Well, I enjoyed it. Admittedly felt different from many of the Saturdays but got there in the end. As usual I do them in bits without any aids – spins out the pain. New to the ‘almost’ clues ie word a bit like. I’m a bit too much on the spectrum to get these but got there finally. Maybe critiques should do the Times XW which are are always harder?

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