DT 29389 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29389 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29389 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington where I am still locked down after suffering a slight relapse this week. I am once again on the mend, but earlier in the week was left feeling slightly under the weather and with an irritating eye infection. However, all seems better now.

Today’s puzzle was quite a challenge, a little trickier than last week’s, but really good fun, nevertheless. The best advice I can offer is to read each clue carefully and identify the definition. There are some very smart definitions in there today. One or two took a little teasing out. My guess is that Donnybrook may be out to play today and big kudos to him for his efforts. He’s certainly becoming a favourite, along with Messinae on a Saturday.

Remember that as it’s a prize puzzle, the naughty step is back in play and I’m sure I saw someone wiring it up earlier, so please play very nicely.

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.


2a Energetic man on board one pumped up for event (6,6)
A word meaning energetic, plus a standard way of saying a piece in a certain board game.

10a Gifts bestowed in important letter read out? (8)
‘Read out’ is usually a sign of a homophone so you want one here for a word meaning important, and a letter of the alphabet.

11a I’m about to stay in the same place (6)
You are looking for a Latin phrase that means the phrase underlined. I’m goes around a word meaning to stay or reside.

13a Colossus inspiring current painter (6)
The name of a famous Italian artist is a word for a colossus in myth and this goes around the letter that is the symbol for current in physics.

17a Dad! Look at muscular mariner! (6)
This held me up longer than it should have done! The name of a famous sailor is a word meaning father and one meaning to look at.

18a Go for replanted forest where domestic growth high? (4,6)
An anagram (replanted) of GO FOR plus the name of the forest in the Shakespeare play As You Like It gives somewhere you may find flowers on high.

23a Unbalanced indeed and so this? (3-5)
Probably my favourite clue today along with 16 down. An anagram of INDEED and SO gives you something defined by the whole clue. Clever.

24a Energy fuelling crazed Orlando genius (8)
Someone from the same stable as 13 across is found by making an anagram (crazed) ORLANDO and inserting (fuelling) the symbol for energy.

26a Compilers from Connaught: their best friends? (5,7)
The name of some of man’s best friends that may be described as being crossword compilers from that place.


1d Savage to devour rook and chicken portion (6)
The name for a part of a chicken is a word for a savage with the symbol for a chess piece (the very same one in a previous clue) inserted.

2d European nudist drinking gallons — one to push the boat out? (9)
A cryptic description of a naked inhabitant from Eastern Europe with the abbreviation for gallons inserted.

4d What Tweeters do to have negative effect on originator? (4,4,2,5)
Two definitions, one cryptic and vague that lead to the same thing. Something that birds do and an expression that refers to when something bounces back on you.

5d Satellite first going between rings? (8)
A famous planetary moon (the second largest in the solar system) has the abbreviation for first going inside two ways of saying ring: one a verb and the other a symbol.

7d Loyal follower — bloke from Belgian city? (8)
An unusual word. One which could be described as a male from the city in Belgium (the third largest) is used to describe someone faithful.

14d Inflammation of a certain spot? That can’t be helped! (5,2,2)
If you had the inflammation of your tonsils it would be tonsillitis. If you had an inflammation of your veins it would be phlebitis. If you had an inflammation of that place opposite it would be this! Divide that cryptic expression up and you’ll see an expression meaning something can’t be held may be cryptically described as in this fashion.

15d Cherish and adore D. H. Lawrence, initially slammed (4,4)
It’s only as I’m writing this, I’ve just worked this clue out. A word meaning to cherish is an anagram (slammed) of ADORE plus DH and L (initially, Lawrence)!

16d Vicious gatekeeper who found employment in Barking? (8)
Another clever definition. The name of a mythological guardian to the Underworld who had four legs. And three heads.

22d Boat son consigns to scrapheap (5)
The name of a (Chinese) boat, plus the abbreviation for son.

Thank you to Donnybrook (if it was he) for a splendid puzzle and I’ll see you next week.

Today’s Music: As some of you know, I now spend much of my time listening to the excellent Scala Radio which has such fine broadcasters as Simon Mayo, Mark Kermode and Charles Nove, on whose breakfast show I have been known to contribute some of the brain teasers. They introduced me to this Danish trio that produce some mighty fine music. Enjoy!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Fans of Elgar will be pleased to note that he is out to play a couple of times today in the Guardian and Independent. He may also be in the FT, but as it’s been shunted behind a paywall, we may never know.

Here’s are the links:

Guardian: https://crosswords-static.guim.co.uk/gdn.cryptic.20200613.pdf

Independent: (You’ll need to watch an ad, then click Print)


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: add+jay+scent=adjacent

123 comments on “DT 29389 (Hints)
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  1. All over and done with in *** time. Nothing really frightened the horses, but 20d was my last in because I assumed the diocese was the usual three lettered one so much favoured by compilers.

    COTD has to be 26a, if only because I love the goofy things. They were not at the front of the queue when God was handing out the brains.

I didn’t really like 14d, a weak clue I thought.

    How many others tried to fit a nocturnal bird into the Quickie pun?

    Many thanks to the compiler and Tilsit for the hints.

    1. It’s uncanny Malcolm how often I read your comment & your last in/ problem clue is the same as mine. Unlike you I haven’t got it yet & fortunately it is not in the hints so can’t succumb to impatience.

      1. On second thoughts have deleted my initial comment for 20d for fear of naughty corner but suggest following first three words of clue.

    2. I love the goofy things too, but I think it’s because they’ve bred the brains out of them to get that narrow head.

  2. 2*/1*. I knew I was not going to like this as soon as I saw 2a. In fact, most of it turned out to be quite reasonable apart from two howlers (which I won’t elaborate on as it’s a prize puzzle) plus the rather odd 14d.

    Thanks to Tilsit. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell again. Get well soon.

  3. Found this quite taxing but not until the end did I see that, on my iPad at least, it isn’t a prize crossword and that I had completed it correctly. I managed to send off last week’s solution for the first time in living memory ( I am quite old!) and am awaiting my prize. ****/***
    Still marooned in Mallorca and praying that EasyJet don’t let us down again in two and a bit weeks‘ time, so we can come back into crossword quarantine. Happy days.

  4. Don’t be too worried Tilsit. It seems to be a feature of this virus that takes you one step forward and then two back. It took me longer than usual for a Saturday puzzle. Tricky in parts. 14d didn’t really work for me either. Favourite 18a. Some very clever clues. Thanks to all.

      1. No. Sadly not. He has underlying health issues that have not been improved by this virus. I’m into week 4 and still haven’t shaken entirely.

        1. Wishing you both well, Greta. At least your husband is in hospital, which has to be the best place until he is well enough to come home. Must be hard for you not being able to visit. Stay strong and keep us informed. Love to you and your husband.

  5. Glad to hear you are still improving tilsit. Today’s puzzle was a reasonably easy but still enjoyable puzzle. Thanks for explaining 5d I had a bit of trouble with the ending that your hint sorted. 1 and 2 d were first in and I thought we were in for a fair bit of innuendo but that was as far as “it” went. 4d was best long one today and 11a best short on, even though it is usually encountered in the abbreviated form.
    Thanks to tilsit and setter. my nose for setters is not up to picking this out.
    TTFN off to Malton for Macarons

  6. Very enjoyable even if my last in 10a was a real groaner. Best clues for me were 1a and 5d (nice to see a bit of science in amongst all the arty stuff).
    Thx to all
    Not a Prize puzzle on the electronic version, the answers can be revealed if one feels so inclined and it tells you at the end if you are correct.

  7. It may be a Prize puzzle but there is nothing on the iPad edition that tells me so, nor an invitation to submit it. No big deal, just another irritating glitch in the app I suspect.

    The crossword itself was straightforward enough, with no real difficulties. 23a was my favourite alongside 16d.

    Thanks to Donnybrook, if it is indeed he, and to Tilsit. Hope you soon shake off the last remnants of this wretched virus.

    1. I wrote to digitalservices@telegraph.co.uk and asked why the digItal version wasn’t a Prize Puzzle whilst the version I accessed via Pressreader (which reflects the print version ) was..
      Judging by the reply I suspect they don’t have a clue (no pun intended !)

        1. That’s not what the reply from the DT said.
          They said, in effect, we’ve scrubbed it altogether. I asked them to look at the print version of Saturday’s paper to confirm it’s listed as a Prize Puzzle but no reply so far.
          (I’d forgotten I’d once responded on this site before re my alias!)
          Rupert Briggs

  8. 2*/4* Loved this puzzle! Bottom half went in easily, top half a bit more of a challenge. Some amusing clues: 2a, 26a, 4d etc and some clever ones: 11a, 24a, 20d etc but a couple of excellent ones: 14d (what’s not to like about that?) and 10a for its pure cheek!

    Thanks very much to setter and to Tilsit – but doesn’t it make a mockery of the ‘no giving away answers’ rule when you include pictures that blatently do just that – at least three today where a solver wouldn’t even need to read the clue to find the answer. Just saying…

      1. Yes, I have read rule 9.1 that says ‘hovering over (an) image could reveal an answer’. This, and the example given, implies some subtlety. Today’s image for 5d is clearly that of a moon and despite that if the ‘alt’ tag read (for example) ‘Ganymede’ which would be displayed on hover, this is a hint and is why people visit this site. But the images accompanying 2a, 13a, 15a, 16d and to a lesser extent 26a are immediately identifiable and have no nuace at all.

        I appreciate the considerable effort put in by the bloggers, particularly Tilsit in his current state (get well soon), who have helped me to regain my cryptic ‘chops’ (deteriorated over the years). I know they work under pressure of time, but the suggestion that they use less blatant images is only made for the good of the site. Maybe some people like being given the answer but I know a few who don’t, at least not without choice.

        1. Agree with where you’re coming from. The beauty of this site (as opposed to fifteen squared) is that the brilliant bloggers (all) supply a hint rather than just simply explain the answer to you. Sure the hint often leads you by the nose to the answer (although often not in my case where Elgar Toughies are concerned as even the hint goes over my head) but at least it still requires some input.

        2. The answer is you do not look at the hints until you want help with the answer. The hint will usually give you the answer – picture or no picture.

          1. And this is where the “gimme” concept comes in. The reviewers make an expert judgement which clues can be solved by any half-competent solver. They conclude (rightly judged by today’s comments) if you need the help of a picture to get, say, 17a, you would have no chance with 20d without any hint. So it is not increasing the chances of a potential entrant too much.
            In fact over time quite experienced solvers ask for help on clues the reviewer hasn’t posted a hint for.
            If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

            1. My point is still that most solvers would prefer a ‘hint’ rather than being given the answer on a plate.

              1. That is a personal view. That the site is so popular suggests most enjoy the mix as it is. Not all pictures are “gimmies” either, I recall the “Fibonacci cat” posted by Mr K a couple of weeks back & some of the memes posted take more understanding than the clue!

                1. I agree with furtherxmess that the picture hints are very often instant answers. I frequently come to this site for a hint/confirmation of answers when I am stuck only halfway through the puzzle (and I am often stuck halfway through the puzzle) – and I hold my hand over the pictures as I navigate to a hint so that I don’t accidentally use the pictures that I cannot help but see. But that’s me and how I use the site – it’s because at my lower level of expertise, the written hints usually don’t solve the clue for me and require more thought on my part.
                  Thanks to Tilsit and the other reviews and everybody else who make this site so good.

  9. I found this puzzle about the usual Saturday solve and a **/*** for me, nothing obscure and I enjoyed it.
    14a was my last in and took a while to parse until the itis dawned on me!
    Liked 4d and 16d for its surface, xxxxxxxxxxx
    Thanks Tilsit for the blog-get well soon.
    Sent the solution off for my book token with trepidation!

  10. Took me a while longer than previous Saturday’s and I’m wondering whether that’s because the prizes are back or just that I enjoyed too many beers last night. 14d is strange and I can’t decide whether I like it or not. 4d was my favourite and I was appropriately misdirected for a while. Thanks all.

  11. A really enjoyable puzzle with just the right amount of challenge (2.5*/4*). There were a lot of good clues. The four that I loked best were 2a, 18a, 26a and 16d. Sorry to hear you had an eye infection, Tilsit, and glad it is on its way out now. Thanks for the hints and thanks to the setter.

  12. Another good example of what is becoming a ‘standard’ SPP – some head scratching but not too much to spoil the enjoyment, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    Candidates for favourite – 2a, 26a, and 5d – and the winner is 26a.
    Thanks to the setter and our recovering Tilsit.

  13. Found this much tougher than comments above & still shy of 20d. 4d & 18a were the other troublesome ones for me. With the former I considered Trump’s favourite means of policy announcement & then became convinced it was speaker related until the blindingly obvious finally dawned on me. Even with the initial checker for 18a that penny was reluctant to drop. Agree that 14d was a somewhat bizarre clue & intrigued as to the other 2 clues RD considers to be howlers. Overall I found it pretty enjoyable with 5d my favourite.
    Thanks to the setter & Tilsit for the review.
    Ps. Despair of the DT’s incompetence – as already stated the answers are available on the iPad but I’d also have liked confirmation that my entry last week was correct. Guess I’ll need to read BD review to confirm. Must say I kind of share the view of the comment at 8 re the naughty step.

  14. This was like the Curates egg good in parts, I struggled for some time with 16d and in the end went for hint to check my thoughts, correctly but it was a pure fluke on my part. Favourite clue 5d.
    Thanks for the hints Tilsit and get better soon, thanks to setter also.
    I found Scala music as well great selection.

  15. That was great and I particularly enjoyed calling upon a bit of GK during the solving process e.g. 5d and 16d. Genius in 24a clue seems a bit broad. Numerous clever clues from which 10a and 26a top my list. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit (hope you now stay well).

  16. Found this quite tough but pretty fair. As I couldn’t see 4d for ages it was 3* difficulty. Pleased to spot 20d without help & a couple more.
    4d is COTD for me.
    As Brian says not an SPP in the electronic Telegraph
    Dreich day here, with heavy mist & visibility less than 100 yards.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit. Hope the improvement continues to full recovery this time.

    1. Very similar in the North East of England. Really annoying as we should be Maine, New England!!! Holiday cancelled.

  17. Agree with the majority verdict .
    Yes , a mixed assortment of clues today , some better than others ranging from excellent to okish . The satellite was gettable but unknown to me . Will pick 1a as my COTD .
    Look after your self Tilsit and thanks to you and the Setter .
    Today’s Sudoku is recommended for a good brain workout .

  18. Thanks to the top team. However on the online paper edition it is not a prize puzzle and I have the answers so know whether right or wrong! So I presume there won’t be any prizes

    1. If the DT is daft enough to publish the answers to a prize puzzle on line they will presumably be daft enough to give the prizes too.
      “Fill your boots” as they say.

      1. I do play by the rules. I finish the crossword, email it in then I check the answers online. You’re right though, LROK, why give the answers online and accept email submissions. I could easily check my answers before submitting but that would not be cricket! :grin:

        1. What rule would you be breaking SC?
          One of MP’ s many pearls of wisdom:
          The first rule is “There are no rules.”
          The odds of winning are pretty long anyway.
          My online version it is not a prize version as ” Submit” is not offered.

          1. I suppose they’re my rules, LROK. I would not feel easy about checking my answers online before sending in the pic of my solution by email. Seems like cheating.

            Maybe it’s just me. :smile:

      2. Agree entirely. In the great scheme of things, not really important at the moment but it does demonstrate some rather clunky working practices at the paper. I’ve entered on-line albeit I’m content with my runners-up prize some ten years ago.

        Good puzzle this and some clever clues.

        Thanks to Setter and for the review of course.

  19. I agree that this was a little hard but full of enjoyment, nevertheless. There were some really good clues such as 1a, 10a and 26a. I have two favourites today and these are 14d and 20d which I thought were neat.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and also to you, Tilsit for the hints. I’m sorry to hear you had a relapse but pleased to hear you’re on the mend again. Keep fighting!

    Now to take the photo and email it. Don’t know why I bother – I have never won a prize.

  20. This was an excellent, challenging and amusing puzzle. In fact it’s been a great week from the setters. This one took a while to crack open up, but once open it was a sprint to the finish. Numerous candidates for COTD; 2, 10, 17, 21 and 26 in the As and 2, 16 and 20 in the Ds. Photo finish but 2d gets it for mine. Thanks to the setter and glad to hear you’re on the mend Tilsit🦇

  21. More difficult than the last few Saturday’s and l needed to look at the hint for 4 d xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Unlike many l thought it a super puzzle. Continue to improve Tilsit thanks for the blog and thanks also to the setter.

  22. I thought that was jolly difficult.
    Not sure I’d ever have got 20d if it hadn’t been for the prod from Angellov – thanks again.
    I knew exactly what I was looking for in 16d but couldn’t remember the blasted thing’s name.
    4d took ages – actually, lots of the others did too.
    Lots of good clues, some particularly good anagrams, and very enjoyable generally.
    I liked 2, 11 and 26a and 7, 14 and 16d. My favourite was either 17 or 21a.
    With thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  23. Something of a mixed bag for me today with a couple of howlers and others that achieved ‘hmm’ status.
    My top three included the two concerning canines and the ‘initially slammed’ author.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints and music – hope you make a full recovery this time.

        1. That is correct, but for some bizarre reason astronomers chose to name celestial bodies after mythological characters instead

          Anyway, who came up with the term ‘space’ – it’s not very imaginative is it? It’s not entirely accurate, either. That’s always niggled me
          Things exist in ‘space’, but they couldn’t really exist otherwise could they? And what would there be if space didn’t exist?
          Making myself dizzy again so I’ll stop there

  24. Oh my goodness, today’s puzzle was beyond me. Probably just one of those days when I simply couldn’t tune in. I managed just over 50% but then had to look to Tilsit for help. I did complete it but needed more tips than I have for weeks. I’m not complaining – it was a good puzzle.
    Knowing the challenges that many face I feel lucky to able to sit in the garden with the neighbours’ cat purring alongside me, and cheerfully have a bash at these (usually!) delicious puzzles.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  25. Completed with minimal electronic assistance, so very enjoyable. Enough of a challenge with some clever clueing. Favourites 18a, 26a, and 26d. And I do like astronomical clues, so 5d. Thanks to.setter and Tilsit, to whom best wishes.

  26. Lovely music today. Thanks, tilsit. I must try and listen to Scala more often, but Mama Bee has a crush on Xander Armstrong so it is usually Classic FM here.

  27. What a lovely crossword! I really enjoyed this one and my favorites are the same as Tilsit’s. Thanks to BD, the setter and of course Tilsit, so glad you are getting better even with the setback.

    This Covid19 thing is weird more ways than just health, which is bad enough. All three of my sons work in completely unrelated industries, and one is in another country, and they are all working 6 or 7 day weeks right now because they are so busy, as is one of my daughters-in-law and several of my friends. So lots of pressure but without the ability to unwind a bit because of social restrictions. Me and my better half are doing OK because we have a garden to work on and the weather here in Ontario has finally turned into a lovely summer, complete with thunderstorms but I love those too. We had the tree surgeons in to rescue/trim a couple of huge maples and my hubby decided to follow up by climbing 15 feet up a ladder with his chain saw. I did what I always do when he does this kind of thing, I took off my glasses so I couldn’t see him.

    BTW a trio of idiots on US tv, two are doctors, a plastic surgeon and heart doctor(?) and (Not a real doctor) Phil who are all TV type ‘stars’. They all felt that Covid19 will help ‘cull’ (their word) older people with underlying health issues. Gee thanks for that.

    Well sorry to have rambled. Keep getting better Tilsit, we need you.

  28. I enjoyed this puzzle very early this morning before a pleasant walk along the seashore in glorious sunshine (before the masses arrived to demonstrate what is NOT social distancing).

    It has taken me much more time looking for the “Howlers”.

    I am still looking.


  29. Thank you all for the nice messages. I’m busy proctoring the monthly Quiz Grand Prix all day today with 150 of the great and good of the Quiz World, including Chasers, Eggheads and suchlike all demonstrating why they are superstars of this hobby.

    Here are a few questions, answers later:

    1. Which famous British writer, who died in 2000, was one of the three inventors of the airmail glider, which played a significant role in WW2?

    2. The Perry Index is an index of which collection of stories that were written (some say collected) during the 6th century BCE by a slave and storyteller in Greece?

    3. The Chinese manufacturer Flying Pigeon is best known for the production of what?

    4. Which organisation founded in 1941 by Kurt Hahn and Lawrence Durning, that aims to help young people push their boundaries through outdoor activities and challenges? Its first school was in Aberdyfi in Wales and its name derives from a nautical expression that refers to the moment a ship leaves harbour?

    5. Which European capital was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755?

    6. Who famously received a diary as a 13th birthday present on June 12 1942?

    7. Debrecen is the second-largest city of which European country?

    8. From the Greek ekdusis meaning shedding, the word ecdysiast coined by HL Mencken is a fanct (and harder to pronounce) word for what specific type of performer?

    9. CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) decimates populations of which creature?

    10. The River Danube empties into which sea?

    11. Which winner of eight Wimbledon singles and doubles titles was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany, in 1959?

    12. Which country musician lends her name to a hand in poker consisting of a straight with nine as the high card?

    Answers later. Right now some of the great and good are wrestling with these very questions (and 228 more!) in 90 minutes!

    1. 10/12 with help from a certain person who thought the Danube was in Canada, but crikey, she knows her trivia
      Luckily, I’m fairly reliable on geography and Greek so between us, not bad
      Thanks Tilsit, good questions (apart from 3!)

  30. A very enjoyable crossword…nicely tricky with lots of amusing/clever answers.
    I wasn’t sure that the bird in the quickie is a garden bird (unless you have a very big garden!), a woodland bird maybe, a Corvid definitely but not a garden bird in my books!
    Thanks to Tilsit, glad you are on the mend and thanks to the setter

  31. Needed help with 4 answers, but enjoyed it nevertheless.
    Not too keen on the GK content, but each to their own.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, who I am glad to hear is recovering……but remember what I said about convalescence…..

    Unbelievably, I think I know some of the answers to the quiz questions…possibly 5 of them.
    I await agog for the answers.

  32. Very hard work but worth the effort. Strangely 23a and 4d were last ones in. Appreciate the illustrations – Thankyou

  33. No. I am absolutely flummoxed by 20d and wondering whether my 25a might be wrong. I won’t sleep a wink tonight!

      1. Do you know, I am in church every Sunday, read the lesson, member of the PCC etc etc but I am d——- if I can get this. I must be really dense! Grrrrrr

        1. I grew up being churched and chapelled twice a day and three times on Sunday, and I had to go to Mr. Google to look at a list of the Apostles, then I had my Road to Damascus moment. Blimey, I must be thick.

      2. Thanks Stan, but I must be missing something. I’ve looked at the names of the 12 apostles, and none of them beheaded, give me the answer, that fits my checkers. What is the definition in this clue please? Perhaps that might help me.

        1. the definition is diocese. You need a way of saying ‘old’ plus an apostle without the letter that ‘heads’ his name

          1. That was one of the trickiest clues I can remember, but, now, having got the answer and understood it, it’s so simple I feel such a fool!

  34. Very, very tricky, but I thought I did rather well for a tiny brain. North was friendlier than South which held me up, needing a lot of e-help and many hints for the SE and 15d. Like many others, I still haven’t got 20d.
    Fave, natch, was 26a, but I liked 16d as one of my first answers, and 4d for the misdirection.
    Even though I find Donnybrook a bit above my abilities, I do enjoy his puzzles. Thanks to Tilsit for his help, keep getting better.

  35. Certainly a greater challenge than the last couple of Saturday offerings, but not an impossible task. I found several of the clues in the SE required some researching and electronic hinting to get them to come through. 11a was interesting clue and found the answer could be resolved two ways. Can’t say more than that as don’t want to break rules in a prize puzzle. Last in was 20d.
    Favourites today were 17a, 21a, 26a & 4d with 16a the winner.

    Thanks to setter and a recovering Tilsit
    Stay safe with all the current relaxing of the lockdown procedures in many places in the world … tread lightly and go slow

  36. I kept plugging away, and almost got there, just 3 clues defeated me at the end, 10a, because the first part is not a word I equate with important. 3d as I was trying to make the wrong port work. And, last in, 20d. Despite the helpful hints, I was putting the disciples name at the front, instead of back. 2a held me up in the beginning, as they are not normally called by the second name over here, at least not when our grandchildren were small. Thanks to setter for keeping my old cogs whirring, and to Tilsit for the hints. Hope you have soon completely recovered from this nasty virus.

  37. Late today because of internet problems, and I haven’t looked at the hints yet, except to read
    Tilsit’s opening comments. Glad to hear that you’re on the rebound from a little setback, Tilsit.

    Finished the puzzle last night with no problems except to dither a bit over 19d and 20d, which was my last one in. Very much enjoyed what seemed a ‘new’ setter to me. Had no idea what 2a was but solved it because of the checking letters (and then, afterwards, trying to google the answer sent me to a cryptographic website; it took forever to realise that there was an alternate definition–the one that fit 2a). Am I the only one in Christendom who didn’t know what 2a was?

    Podium winners: 4d (great COTD for me), 16d, 14d–with 7d and 10a rounding out a top 5. Thanks to Tilsit, whose hints I’ll now read, and today’s setter. *** / ****

    742 new virus cases in S Carolina yesterday, a record for a one-day count, with this past week’s average about 550 / day. Sheer madness, people running around without masks, crowding together, with our Republican governor content to call them ‘stupid’! And the Do Do in DC completely oblivious to rising numbers in 22 states, as if the virus never existed.

  38. I was making steady progress through this until 20d which took me as long to solve as the rest of this excellent crossword. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit – sorry to hear of the blip this week but hope that you’re now on the road to recovery.

  39. Favourites today were 4D, 21A and 26A.
    A curates egg indeed but managed it in an hour this evening after a fantastic home made curry courtesy of Mrs Balbir Singhs special recipe.

  40. Thanks to Tilsit and setter, especially Tilsit whose help I needed from his hints. Special thanks for the clip from The Chase. How wonderful to laugh out loud first thing in the morning- I will be smiling all day now!

  41. I am afraid to say that this one defeated me. By defeated I mean I could not complete without resorting to Tilsit’s excellent hints. I do not turn to hints unless I have had several attempts spread over time. As we all know, a rest or even better a sleep, usually works. I could not get 4d which would have helped greatly. I really did not understand the clue. The others which defeated me are largely the same which foxed others apart from the fact that I got 5 and 16d. 17a was a favourite which I solved on the second attempt and other favourites we’re 21 and 26a and 2 3 and 20d. I am surprised the latter caused so many problems as there are not many to choose from, although it may been that solvers were not looking for the first two letters for old which are more usually represented by former in crosswords. Thank you Tilsit and much admiration to the setter for the masterful clues

  42. My only comment is for all crosswords – I like to have a little help with the untangling of the answers so am disappointed when an enormous hint is given in the form of a picture, photo or video, giving the game away completely. I really want to work out the answer for myself with maybe a little help, but those clues really make me feel I have cheated!

    1. Welcome to the blog, Imogen.
      I understand your comments but, I suspect, most of us only look at the hints once we are completely stumped. Speaking for myself, it is good to see how a clue is parsed by looking at the hint but I don’t look until I have scratched my head to distraction. I try to get the answer from the hint and rarely press “click here”. If a picture in the hints gives the answer it is not cheating it is learning the mechanicians of crossword solving. The more that is learned the less the hints are needed but there is no shame in using the hints when stuck.

  43. I got there in the end having started well but quickly came to a grinding halt and needed a little help from Tilsit to get going again, but had to look up the name of 16d. 4d was my favourite and it was one of those answers that suddenly hit me between the eyes. I didn’t understand the parsing of 10a even with the hint and just looked at the first two words as a straight clue. I’m not sure how the first part of it means important. 20d is somewhere I visit fairly frequently so with the odd letters already in place was fairly straightforward.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit and I hope you make a full recovery soon Tilsit.

    1. Helen, for 10a, if you read the answer out loud and think of it as two parts, the first part means important, or capital say, and the second a letter. Hope that makes sense.

  44. Very enjoyable. Some great clues. It took me quite a while to complete but I managed without hints on this occasion and it was well worth the persistence. Along with many others, my LOI was 20d. Does anyone know who the setter is? Donnybrook, as suggested by Tilsit in the preamble? I shall watch for future offerings if I find out.
    I hope you are soon feeling much better, Tilsit.

  45. I could not get into this and it took me a while to solve but it was an enjoyable while and when it was completed there were many penny dropping moments.

  46. Late as often, as I found it very difficult, and certainly needed Tilsit’s hints. Some people referred to 1a in comments above which worried me somewhat…Let’s hope that Tilsit makes a swift recovery.
    Any news of BD? -have I missed something…?
    Still stuck on 20d so must have made a mistake somewhere. I hope next week’s is less of a problem!

  47. Needed the blog to fully understand 14d. Quite witty.
    Liked the all in ones and the original definitions.
    Would have only scored about 3 points in your Quiz.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  48. Only just got round to this crossword tonight.

    Depsite the hints, I had to find the answers to 3 clues elsewhere. 11a is not a word that I have ever seen used. 20d required crypticsue to explain the answer I had. 14d is still an enigma even with the answer. The hint is the most confusing hint and it still doesn’t make sense to me.

    Lastly, which of the 2 possible answers to 19d is correct? Beats me…

  49. A pleasantly challenging one for me. As usual I needed a hint or two after the mid-week blues (thank you!) especially because of 26a which I had incorrectly put down as cross-****** thinking there must be some link between Connaught and compilers unbeknown to me that I’d have a eureka moment on later. I think using the spelling Connacht would have saved me from sifting through loads of hotel websites trying to convince myself I was right! Probably my favourite puzzle this year: COTD was 18a due to the theme running through the clue pointing to the answer; also I needed to guess part of the cryptic bit and confirm herein! Fabulous!

  50. Well, I found this one quite straightforward for a change. Interestingly 20d was my last – that’s the only thing I have in common with the stars above! I was slagging off setter a couple of weeks ago but this one was fine. Found an old Friday one to do now – they are always pigs and much more difficult than Saturdays – not due why??

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