DT 29401 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29401 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29401 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Morning all from a damp Warrington. Bit of a rush job as I am helping run a Brain of Football quiz at 11:30.

I thought today’s puzzle was enjoyable but had a few tricky spots. My best advice if you are asking for help with something I haven’t hinted at, is to think a little outside the box with the definition.

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 Practical and realistic — so grounded? (4-2-5)
A way of saying someone is practical, yet realistic is cryptically described as someone who may be on the ground or soil.

10a Monster wants patriarch and prophet beheaded (9)
The name for a famous Biblical monster is revealed by taking the name of a Jewish patriarch and adding the name of a prophet who was the son of David, minus its first letter.

11a Influential France international missed in cup-tie … (7)
The name for the second-last match in a competition, minus the abbreviation for French and International gives an adjective meaning influential.

14a See animal go on rampage in bush (8)
The name for a beautiful bush is found by making an anagram (on rampage) of ANIMAL GO.

19a Man’s one from Paisley (4)
A hidden answer.

21a Her plans unexpectedly change (8)
An anagram (unexpectedly) of HER PLANS gives a slang word for loose change.

25a Protection in flying saucer orbiting moon ultimately (9)
A word meaning protection is revealed by taking in and adding an anagram (flying) of saucer and putting it around the last letter of MOON.

27a Make difference Canute couldn’t? (4,3,4)
An expression that means to make a difference is what King Canute couldn’t do, according to legend.


2d Round container Crusoe finally dropped in sea (5)
After a letter symbolising round, goes the name for a container with the last letter of the castaway dropped inside. This gives the name for a body of water.

3d Excellent surgeon in northeast shows innocence (7)
A way of saying excellent and the name for a surgeon (not a human one!) both inside the abbreviation for North East gives you something meaning innocence.

6d Swineherd always seen in celebration? (8)
A way of saying someone who looks after pigs takes a short way of saying always and this gives an annual celebration north of the border.

7d Brave daughter having lost certain female relatives? (9)
A word meaning brave is found by taking the abbreviation for daughter and adding a way of describing if her mother didn’t have any sisters.

12d Not to be approached — like exhausted kangaroo? (3,2,6)
Something not to be approached is a way of describing a knackered kangaroo who can’t do what it does best.

16d See sprain affected winger (9)
The name for a class of birds is an anagram (affected) of SEE SPRAIN.

22d Classic film festival admits 50, approximately (2,3)
The name for a famous film about a European hero is found by taking the name of a religious festival and inserting the Roman numeral for 50 and an abbreviation meaning approximate.

24d Audible drop in level (4)
A homophone for a type of liquid drop is something meaning level.

Today’s music is an unusual twist on a famous tune.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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: suss+pence+shun=suspension

99 comments on “DT 29401 (Hints)

  1. My knowledge of creatures and birds has been improved today……..but will I remember them for next time. I liked 24 d , 11a took a lot of thought ,but now for a walk in the rain. I found this crossword so much more on my wave length than yesterday. Thank you to Tilsit and the setter.

  2. Tricky in places but good fun throughout. A fair tussle for a Prize Crossword. Particular favourites included 10a, 12d and 21a.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and Tilsit. My iPad Edition showed it as a Prize Puzzle but gave me an error message when I attempted to submit it.

        1. You do both realise you are not entering the Prize competition but the Amazon competition. You have to enter the DT competition separately.

    1. Same here. “Britain’s Best Quality Newspaper”…….Nothing sparkling crossword-wise but thank you for the review and to the Setter.

      1. I retract the above as my crossword entry now accepted on-line. Interestingly, a runner-up pen and notebook are currently up for bids on eBay!

  3. Either I was inspired or this was an easier offering for a Saturday because I didn’t have any problems whatsoever with today’s puzzle. As Gazza and I are lifelong Liverpool supporters, you can perhaps excuse us for being slightly euphoric but not to the extent of those crowding the city’s pier head last night…

  4. A decently straightforward puzzle completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    The only hint of a hold-up was trying to turn the 16d anagram material into a particular bird rather than a class of birds. I bet Jane didn’t have that problem.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 27a, and 12d – and the winner is 12d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. Delightful Prize puzzle, with some amusing puns and metaphors. Finished at a Senfian gallop with much pleasure. Winners: 12d, 10, 11, and 20a. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter today. * / ****
    (I’m afraid Bryan won’t enjoy 10a as much as I did.)

    216 new cases in Charleston County yesterday–a new record. VP of the US says things have never been under better control. 20a him!

    1. RC
      Nor 12d if he goes there (nor will you either).
      Notice Florida’s numbers were nearly 10K yesterday. Telegraph pai ts slightly different picture says Pence is worried about precipitous rise & is to visit Az, Tx & Fl. Must be very worrying for all like you & Merusa. Stay as safe as you can.

    2. 8933 I believe was the number of new cases yesterday. I see a doctor on Fox yesterday advocating reopening of schools. He opined that the 2-3% anticipated morbidity rate would be acceptable to the American people for their children to get an education! Someone do the math, that’s how many children dying in the name of education?

      1. I think I read that we went over the 9,000 mark yesterday. Makes you wonder about the claims that the virus disappears in the summer and will come back in the winter. It’s pretty hot here in Florida, Arizona and Texas, and as all three states have rising numbers it kind of makes you question that theory. Apart from our weekly grocery shop, quite safe with only about 3 other shoppers at 7am in the morning, we will continue to stay home and stay safe for a while yet.

      2. Not children. People in general. ie he’s saying people are prepared to sacrifice their parents lives (or hopefully other people’s parents’ lives) for the sake of their kids’ education. 2-3% of children would never be acceptable.

  6. All over a bit too quickly, but not complaining because there so many clever and amusing clues. 25a, 8d and 12d stand out for me. Never heard of 21a as a slang word, but must be right because it’s the only one that fits. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  7. Some clues straightforward and some quite tricky. No idea who today’s setter might be. It will take a while to get the music to 8d out of my head! I liked 12d but my favourite is 21a. Thanks to all.

    1. Greta – the key thing with 8d is, are you thinking xxxxxxxxxxx

      If not, you is definitely an intellectual…….

      1. The xxxxxxxxxxxx

        I’d not heard of 16d or (in the context here) 21a but this was an enjoyable affair with a mix of shoe-ins and posers.

  8. Except for 21a which I had never heard of fairly straightforward, particularly the longer clues which gave a good foothold.
    COTD was 12d for the smile. Some bloggers will not be so amused now they have become re-aquainted with it, or whatever it is called these days.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for hints. Mention of football quiz reminds me of Lesley Welsh on the radio many years ago
    The Prize is back on the App. One less thing topic to concern some.

  9. I agree with Richard. Straightforward and enjoyable. It took a while to parse 9a but the answer was clear eventually. 21a maybe a bit obscure for some but remembered it. 4d favourite today.
    Thanks to tilsit and setter.
    DT 29,399 I asked when the next prime numbered puzzle was out and here it is. 29399 and 29401 are two of those relatively rare but still infinite pairs of primes.

    1. Mmm, I’ll just have to take your word JB re the numbers. I was going to ask about infinite pairs of primes but thought it wouldn’t be appropriate here. I shall google it instead but feel I’ll be non the wiser afterwards!

  10. Pretty straightforward & enjoyable. Comfortably completed bar 10a in **time though Mr G was required to confirm my answers to both 16d & 20a where the answers were pretty obvious but I wasn’t familiar with either. Back to 10a & was drawing a blank until it dawned on me that I’d reversed the 2nd & 3rd vowels in 3d so it was no wonder – muppet….
    I’d select a podium of 4d, 12&21a with the latter my winner as it reminds me of a mate who when at the bar getting his round in would always ask if anyone had any.
    Thanks to the setter & the ever busy Tilsit

    1. During the Second World War every child including my brother had a piece of 21a – what on earth happened to it all. (Hope that does not put me on the naughty step?)

  11. You are all very lucky to have a crossword this morning. No cryptic puzzle on my iPad today.

    1. Try scrolling further across – I initially thought the same – it’s after the sudoku

      1. H.
        Me the same on Android. Seems the first test for Prize puzzlers on the App is “find it”

      2. Thanks. It wasn’t in the first setup, but tried as you suggested, and bingo!

  12. A most enjoyable and entertaining grid. COTD for me were 7D ( with help from my friend the FlyingFox) , 21A and 13D. A great way to start Saturday. Thank you.

  13. A really enjoyable puzzle with a few tricky clues( more in the north than the south). I gave it 2* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment, with particular plaudits for 6d,12d and 17d. There were some witty clues here to make me smile. That is sonething we need in these trying times. I feel for Robert Clark and Merusa as it must be very frightening with a few ostriches in charge of the government sticking their heads in the sand and their rear ends up at the rest of the world. Keep safe and well everyone. Thanks to Tilsit and to the setter.

    1. Thanks, it is very frightening and we need all the sympathy we can get. People are so stooooopid, then they don’t understand why we are where we are.

      1. Rest assured Merusa there are also some very stupid people here as well – to whit Bournemouth beach and the tons of rubbish left behind. What lies between their ears? It certainly is not a brain.

        1. We definitely have some stupid people here, or just selfish anyway. We did venture out to do a mall walk earlier this week. But lots weren’t wearing a mask, and lots weren’t observing the instructions to walk on the right, to avoid passing face to face. And though it is has since become mandatory to wear masks in public here in Palm Beach County, we won’t be going there again any time soon. Too risky,

          1. They ordered masks here as well yesterday, I don’t know if that’s only for Miami or all Dade, with fines for not wearing. It’s going to be interesting to see who wears them and if they can levy the fines.

        2. As far as the beach gatherings and demonstrations are concerned, Daisygirl, we should know in about two to three weeks time. That is the incubation period.

          I am staying shielded.

    2. Thank you, chriscross, for your concern. Deeply appreciated. It’s now about 2230 over there so I imagine that our late news today will reach you tomorrow, but CNN just reported over 45,000 cases in the US so far today, an all-time high (actually: low) in this dreadfully frightening matter.

  14. After a gruelling week of difficult puzzles and a mini heatwave, I won’t say this was a walk in the park but it did make for a very pleasant experience. Probably being a lot cooler helped the brain cells.

  15. 1.5*/3*. I agree with the comment straightforward but enjoyable with 12d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. That one could never have been my favourite RD [redacted – you’ll have to come back and tell the story again when Gnomey’s review is published on Friday morning]

        1. Yes… send him down…

          Welsh rhubarb muffins today from Clive the Wales’ garden here in Marblehead – hope he doesn’t notice the theft.

          Mr & Mrs T

          1. Victoria sponge with home-made four berry jam. And its all mine (well half of it is for Mr CS, but you know what I mean)

          1. I understand just a one stroke penalty + distance will be applied by the Committee (could have been worse you could have been tied to a white stake)

  16. Looks as though this is shaping up to be a ‘just me’ day – this one fought me almost every step of the way although Senf was right in his prediction that I’d get 16d without any trouble!
    I did have to check on both the10a prophet and the 22d festival to ensure that my parsing was accurate and I wasn’t keen on the construction of the second part of 17d but persistence eventually paid off.
    Favourite was definitely 12d – best laugh of the puzzle.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

    1. I solved 22d because “it had to be” but still … forget it, I’ve just tumbled to it! Thick or what!

    2. I still don’t understand the second part of 17d.

      Any help will be most welcome.

      Thanks in anticipation.

      1. stanXYZ: a synonym for ‘moved’ (as in ‘moved there’) with ‘lake’ enclosed?

  17. A most enjoyable prize puzzle with just the right amount of head scratching and lightbulb moments. LROK’s comments on 12a make me wonder if I have got it right, though. I cannot fit his comments in with the answer I have but I guess I will have to await the review.

    I liked 11a and the diversion in 25a – I spent ages trying to juggle with spaceships – but my COTD is 6d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and Tilsit for the hints. I hope you are fully recovered.

    Stay safe everyone.

  18. Since my first post at midday and in the interests of fairness, the app has now allowed me to submit my crossword into the Prize draw.

  19. Real Curates Egg, the good parts were very good and the bad parts awful. However, although it says it is a prize crossword, the link from iPads does not work but gives an error message. I despair of the DTs IT department.
    Thx for the hints

      1. Managed to submit the puzzle on my iPad without the app messing up the answers this time. V belated progress!

        1. I reiterate what I said above. I don’t think you are entering the actual prize competition when you submit electronically, you have to take a screen shot and email it.

          1. WHY? Won’t they ever get this right!

            Enjoyed this and just hard enough for a good stretch. ***/****

  20. A very enjoyable grid with many well crafted clues. 16d was something new I’ve learned today notwithstanding I reckon I’ve seen every David Attenborough program. Thanks to Bangalore King for the hint. Candidates for COTD, 17, 21 and 26 in the A’s and 7 and 12 in the D’s. I agree that 12d is a worthy winner. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit🦇

  21. Fof me puzzles are for both humour and challenge.This was great on the humour but slightly lacking in the challenge.Loved the long phrases when solving them but found they gave rather too many checkers to really challenge on the other answers.Perhaps l am getting over picky or more likely l am rudely reminded of my horror at having to read Thomas Hobbes treatise at 10 a.Overall what a great week of brain wracking we have had.Thanks to all.

  22. Nothing to write home about but a smooth run through beginning with 1a which went straight in. 21a slang is a new one on me and surely construction in 4d is a bit imprecise. Failed to clock Quickie pun thanks to having wrong word for 7a. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

  23. Some flew in almost before I had lifted the pencil; others were a significant challenge (16d was new to me, for example) but enormous fun to complete. 12d made me smile. As I am a curmudgeon, a smile form me is like the London Palladium rocking with laughter for normal people.
    A significant change in the weather as the zephyr of recent days was replaced by tornado-like gusts. I nearly had to nail the pages down.
    I considered sheltering with Lola amongst the wallflowers but thought better of it. I am told we are going out for an exhilarating walk to ‘blow the cobwebs away’. Please think of me as I endure this hellish experience.

  24. Easy mostly. However did not know the patriarch or the profit, the lethal gazer, the change or the spelling of 3D. So a bit irritating. Oh or winger in 17d so doubly irritating.

  25. Some interesting clues, ***/***. Thank you to the setter and Tilsit.
    BTW Tilsit, 3 year old, had a facile win in the 12.15 at Newcastle today – worth following!

  26. I have only got one more to do -. 4 down. I don’t understand why the ones I can’t do are nearly always the ones that are not mentioned in the helpful clues. Have I got a really weird brain, because the ones you don’t mention are meant to be the easier ones? Thanks for your really enjoyable website.

    1. Think about ‘you once’. Look at what you have already and see where a possible synonym could go. A word should emerge … That’s what we did anyway! 🙂

  27. I got of to a flying start then ground to a halt, enjoyed 1 across and I could not get the first word in 27 across for a while which held me up on 17 down, 13 across and down raised a smile.


  28. Totally unusual for me, completed in good order. No hints needed for once. I can sit here congratulate myself and enjoy a glass of wine. Very nice sitting indoors watching the weather.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  29. **/****. Very enjoyable puzzle. Last quadrant in was the NE. 7d was my favourite clue just pipping 25a. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  30. A fun Saturday breakfast time solve for this puzzle. 1.5*/***** Lots of fun clues again for today with candidates for favourites being 1a, 9a 12a, 20a, 3d & 12d … but 12d has to be the winner today with 9a a runner up
    Couple of new learnings today including the 20a word and the story behind 27a. SE was last area to finish with 18d last in

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for a good start to the day.

  31. Wotta lotta fun that was! Donnybrook at his friendliest? Just a guess, I’m hopeless at spotting setters.
    Didn’t know 21a but it was an anagram and I had every other letter, ergo, just a matter of slotting them in.
    I didn’t need e-help at all except for 7d, now why couldn’t I get that?
    I loved it all but I think that 12d is hard to beat.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit for his hints and tips. I’m glad you seem to be over the plague now.

  32. Found this a mixture of pretty straightforward and a few inordinately tricky due to obscure ( to me anyway) words 10a, 15a, 16d, 17d.
    Never understand why DT crosswords assume a detailed knowledge of bible – not very multicultural?

  33. I haven’t really got anything much to add to what’s been already said.
    A couple where the answers had to be what they were but it took a while to sort out why – 9 and 11a and 22d.
    My favourite by a very long way was 12d because it made me laugh.
    With thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    I’m going to try to make myself save the NTSPP to do tomorrow – it might work and it might not! :unsure:

  34. It’s very helpful but we’re still stuck on 17 down and 24 down any further advice on those? We’re in the states so are either of these British thing?

    1. 17d the definition is linguist. A four-letter abbreviation for an old type of further education college, plus a synonym for moved into which is inserted the abbreviation for lake

      24d Audible is an indication that you are looking for a homophone, this time a ‘level; sounds like a particular sort of drop

    2. Indeed, the 17d clue points toward a word not used in the USA – the closest translation being a “community college”. 24d has no British thread…

  35. The crossword is usually a midday affair but today we have been out to lunch with friends in the next village. The first time we have been out since the middle of March. It was wet and windy but we sat in the garden under an awning and had a delightful time. How we have missed our friends. George is now sleeping it off so the solving was a solo achievement and great fun. It has been an excellent week in crossword country so thanks to all involved. I am with difficulty restraining myself from commenting on the expectations of some folk that clues should only be based on things they are familiar with. I know sweet fanny Adams about sport but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’ll shut up, shall I?

  36. Thank you to the setter and to Tilsit for an enjoyable puzzle today. I learnt a couple of new words, 15a and 16d. Plus never heard 21a as slang for loose change. Perhaps it came into being after we sailed across the pond. Favourite was 12a, closely followed by 1a. I agree with Terrence in that some answers flew right in, and others took more thought. Certainly easier than yesterday.

  37. I realised that 14a was an anagram, and so worked out the required bush. Is that what I filled in? No. I put in a similar sounding East Asian country. No idea why I did that. It took me ages to work out the NE corner. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  38. Just to buck the trend, I found this difficult.
    I don’t think I ever managed to engage my crossword brain for some reason. Too busy sorting out other stuff and a very early start this morning, even for me.
    Thanks Tilsit and Mr.Ron.

  39. For once I needed only two hints-thanks Tilsit!
    The rest were gained by answers jumping out once you had a few letters. My 1985 pocket decoder is also key. I would like to see the DT
    put a more friendly advert for working out anagrams etc on the right side! Well done the setter for a good challenge.

    1. You’ve changed your long-standing alias so this required moderation. Both aliases will now work.

  40. Firstly I also found this very enjoyable, just as many others have commented; yes, a bit straightforward; however, a couple I figured without difficulty but had not heard of; and after the last few I enjoyed the gallop through this weekend without support other than a dictionary. Lovely jubbly. Thanks setter and happy week ahead to all.

  41. A first for me. How many times can you lean against the sink unit and stare out into the back garden whilst the kettle boils, mulling over a potential answer. Follow that by leaning over the front gate, staring at my new car registration plate, seeking divine intervention. Stand in front of my grandfather clock and wonder why it hasn’t chimed all day (needs winding up!).
    Finally, during a bathroom visit at 03.32, the answer to 8D came to me.
    Needed confirmation of 16D too, but that didn’t hold me up for the inordinate amount of time 8D did. A few ossicilations short of a standing wave, I fear!
    Thanks to all involved

    1. I can’t make up my mind whether you are the Big Pete who has commented before but with a different email address, or a new Big Pete. If the latter, then you’ll have to change your alias to avoid confusion

  42. Does anyone know whether the Chambers Dictionary App has word origins in it? It’s £9.99 so I need to get it right – I’d like it also not to have any anagram finders as I see that as a definite ’no-no’ – would others agree? Or is that where we’re headed? Thanks. Liam

    1. No idea. I prefer Chamber’s Dictionary, the big one – paper version. Known on here as the BRB. “Big Red Book”. It is expensive to buy the latest edition new but I would recommend looking for a second hand one on Amazon, or from a Charity bookshop or a remainder shop.

  43. Got off to a fast pace on Saturday but stalled on bottom right corner. All came together when I finally realised answer to 27a – not sure why it took so long. Just get a mental block sometimes!

  44. Can anyone tell me when and where the Telegraph posts the answers to the weekend prize puzzles on the app? They used to appear on the next weekend, but don’t seem to at the moment. Many thanks.

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      I’ve no idea about the app but you can find the solutions to the Saturday puzzles here every Friday at 9 am and the Sunday ones ten days after publication (or eleven if Gnomey and I get confused about which day of the week it is). Not only do we give the answers but we explain the wordplay too!

  45. Some learning for me but great clues led me to the trusted dictionary for a check. Favourite clue was 13d which gave me a few tunes to hum while I struggled to get it – nevertheless I did and finally 23d. Thanks to the compiler for a very reasonable workout!

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