DT 29425 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29425 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29425 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning everyone from Warrington!

Thanks to the boss for helping out last week. I’m still feeling a bit drained but have lots to do as I’m representing my colleagues in our redundancy negotiations as well as lots of other challenging things.

As some of you know, I have also been running a virtual bridge club as my own club is closed and given the age and health issues of most of our members, it is unlikely to re-open in the foreseeable future. However, we have almost 200 people now playing; some of my fellow members have taught our member to cope with online playing, some of whom have never used a computer in their lives!

Tonight, we have one of our regular charity events (this month in aid of MS) and these are open to all players. You’re welcome to join us if you wish and I may be able to sort out a partner for you if you don’t have one. We start at 7:30pm and if you can email me at tilsit@btinternet.com, I’ll send you the log in details. You’ll need to have played on the BBO Bridgebase platform and have a username.

Bridge plug over, and back to the puzzle. An enjoyable challenge with quite a few references to the NATO phonetic alphabet (take a look in The Mine if need be) dotted around.

Thanks to our setter, play nicely and stay off the naughty step!

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.


7a Sit with Queen on carthorse (9)
The name for a type of horse is found by taking a word meaning sit, adding the abbreviation for Her Majesty and the word ON.

8a Sierra exactly right for carnivore (5)
After what Sierra stands for, goes an expression (2,1,1) that means exactly right.

11a Kill many among rodents going back in time (8)
The name for some rodents goes backwards inside a word for a specific period of time.

14a Servant — need you back! (6)
An old name for a servant is found by a word for a need and add to this an old word for you, but backwards.

24a A way to enter hotel and club in Aspen? (8)
Inside the abbreviation for hard and a type of golf club goes A and the abbreviation for a thoroughfare. This gives you a description of what aspen is.

28a Witness protects a suspect (9)
An anagram (suspect) of PROTECTS A gives a type of witness.


1d Pottery expert invests pound (5)
A type of pottery is revealed by taking a word for expert and inserting an abbreviation for pound.

2d Do call (8)
Probably the toughest clue today. Two definitions for the same word, one slightly more obscure than the other. A do (as in party) may be one of these.

6d Domineering person in fight getting cut (6-3)
The name for a domineering person (one of my favourites is pictured!) is revealed by taking a word for a fight and adding a word meaning to cut.

15d Dance series, repeated twice, never popular (3-3-3)
The answer’s probably fairly obvious but to get there you need a word for a series of events, repeat it twice and remove each occurrence of a word for popular.

18d RADA graduate loathes piano frames (8)
Today’s hidden answer.

20d Short pronouncement welcomed by second doctor (6)
A word for a pronouncement minus its last letter goes inside a word for a second in time.

25d Chump scheduled to seize power (4)
Be careful entering this answer! It may not be the obvious one!  Something meaning scheduled has P (for power) inside.

Thanks to our setter, probably our newest Saturday Mysteron, and I’ll see you next week.

Today’s music is one of my all-time favourites. Wallow and enjoy.

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: sank+cherry=sanctuary

92 comments on “DT 29425 (Hints)

  1. Without a doubt one of the toughest Saturday puzzles as far as I am concerned. Even when I got the answer the wordplay was completely lost to me. It will take minds infinitely greater than mine to sort this one out.
    Thx for the hints

  2. Nothing too taxing today. It’s difficult to comment without giving the game away! Favourite 11a. Thanks to all.

  3. Perhaps I have been spoilt by yesterday’s excellent puzzle, but this was a slog and not a particularly enjoyable one. Me just having a bad day.
    The grid did not help with very few starting letters.
    Never heard of 1a.
    England’s batting as fragile as a ming vase.
    Thanks all.

  4. I’m more on the side of Brian than Greta with today’s Prize Puzzle – I did enjoy it a lot but it took me longer than usual for a Saturday.

    I don’t know about online bridge but after my first experience of supermarket mask wearing, I think I’m going to be joining the online supermarket shoppers – glasses steamed up the whole time and ‘shutting the door after the horse is long down the road’ ruined my weekly chance to talk to someone other than Mr CS.

    1. I saw on the news last night, the idea that has been developed to assist lip-readers whilst we have to wear face masks. A piece of clear plastic had been inserted into the area of the mask that covers the mouth. Couldn’t help but think that’s going to steam up in a very short space of time.

    2. Yes, I agree with you on both points, Sue. Cleaning my lenses in washing-up liquid hasn’t helped and it was suggested to me this morning that wearing my glasses further down my nose might help. Not if you wear Varifocals…

    3. I agree about wearing masks – hate it and if it’s so important to wear them why didn’t we have to eighteen weeks ago? I worry that we’ll be wearing them for ever now. :sad:

    4. We’ve been wearing masks at the supermarket over here since March (they have been mandatory), and while we are very happy to remove them once we get back in the car, haven’t found them to be much a problem. Yes some masks do make my glasses fog up, which is annoying. But as we split the shopping, each doing one side of the store, we are in and out and back in the car within 30 minutes. Try different masks, some are much better than others.

    5. I’m afraid I’ve become totally addicted to online grocery shopping. I share my favours between Mr Tesco and Mr Asda. Mr Sainsbury has only recently let me register, as having done all my shopping in store there for many years they would take me on as a “new” customer. I have already booked a slot for my arrival in Cornwall. Only snag is I do miss my two German men friends Herr Aldi and Herr Lidl and I seem to be spending twice as much as I did pre-pandemic. Tonight’s treat is a wine delivery from Sainsbury!

  5. A real mixture of clues meant that I got off to a quick start with the straightforward ones and was left with half a dozen wily ones to puzzle over. The latter ended up being favourites 7a, 8a, 24a, 2d and 5d. There were lots of other great clues and the whole puzzle was highly enjoyable (2*/4*). Many thanks to Tilsit. I have been a Trade Union representative myself and know how time-consuming and draining it can be but your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks to the compiler also.

  6. 2*/2.5*. Nothing here to frighten or to excite the horses, but the cluing was notably brief.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  7. Interesting Prize puzzle, a bit oblique in places but quite a doddle in others. Moderately enjoyable, I thought. Favourites: 24a, 7a, 6d, and 19a. LOI was 2d. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. ** / ***

  8. Probably not my favourite of recent Saturday puzzles but it didn’t cause too many problems.
    The sloshed son made me laugh so takes top honours today.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the review and most enjoyable musical accompaniment.

  9. I hoped I would enjoy this more as I progressed, but I’m afraid I didn’t. Just when I thought I was getting on Mysteron’s wavelength it seemed to go off at a tangent again with some odd clues. Mind you it did look a little better when re-reading the completed puzzle. Overall about 2*/2* for me. Thanks to all.

    CS have you tried a mask with a respirator? They help, a little, with the steaming up.

  10. Not straightforward but very enjoyable. Needed Tilsit for parsing 8 and 24a, both excellent clues. Thanks to both.

  11. The oft used Phrase “Curate’s Egg” comes to mind. A pleasant straightforward solve in the south getting harder in the north. Glad to 8a hinted as I had numerous possibilities for those checkers and couldn’t pick between them. Similar unhelpful checkers in the NW held out until the end. Thanks to tilsit for the hints and setter for the exercise.9d 11a amused the most.
    Cream or jam first anyone?

  12. I’ve heard of 1a and got it fairly easily. Didn’t do very well elsewhere. Thanks for tips – too few for me.

  13. Reasonably straightforward but there were a few Hmms with the biggest one reserved for the Quickie Pun, it didn’t really ‘work’ for me, completed at a gallop – **/***.
    My endearing memory of 7a is the Mare and Foal class at the Royal Norfolk Show in the late 80s/early 90s.
    Candidates for favourite – 7a. 6d, and 18d – and the winner is the aforesaid 7a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  14. Not my cup of tea today. With the “difficult & not satisfying” camp probably spoilt by the excellence of the last few days. 8a held me up & needed the hint to confirm. Had to get Mr Wiki to confirm 1a
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit, glad you are feeling better.
    Like CC was involved with our management Union. In the unfortunate times you find yourself in they can have a use. I certainly found meetings about redundancies extremely stressful. When it involves yourself it must be 10 times worse.

      1. Like others I found this mixed bag. I made slow but steady progress but pulled up in the NW corner. Couldn’t get going but Tilsit’s hint for 7a, which was new to me, opened it up and all done. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the needed hints.

  15. I’m with everyone who found this one of the toughest prize puzzles for a long time. I had never heard of 1a and needed Mr G for that one. I tried to parse the answer but totally missed the first part. I did like 8a but I have no real favourites because it was too hard a slog for me.

    Many thanks to the setter. Thanks, also, Tilsit for the hints and pleased to hear you are on the mend.

  16. 1d had me stumped for ages because I got the parsing but took ‘buff’ to be the expert. Lovely when the penny drops, innit?

  17. Nothing to write home about today. North marginally more friendly than the South. 7a a new one on me. Three unpretentious clues raised chuckles viz 8a, 12a and 16a. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit (particularly for the André Trumpet Concerto – lovely).

  18. Mildly surprised that this one hasn’t had a better reception. The brevity of the clues made me think it wasn’t that far removed from a Ray T. Either way the north caused problems. 2d & 7a were the last to fall. My ability to get the five letter synonym for sit in the latter was seriously compromised by having the wrong answer in 1d. Once I’d twigged that it all became clear though 7a still required confirmation from Mr G as new to me. All in all I thought nicely clued – a few gimmies but some tricky downhillers also.
    Thanks to the setter & the ever busy Tilsit.
    Ps hope I wasn’t the only one who spent time trying to figure out what steak had to do with the price of fish in 8a.

    1. I agree, I also am surprised that it was not very popular. I thought there were some beautifully simple and concise clues 13d and 5d for instance and several really easy ones like 19a and 17d. The only clue I really struggled with was 16a and still don’t know if I have it right. I did know 7a and think it is a lovely word and I am sure HM would be up for the challenges. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

      1. I agree that this had some great simple and concise clues. I really enjoyed this one, whilst yesterday’s puzzle was an unremitting slog for me and only stubborn doggedness helped me finish it. I suppose that’s the beauty of cryptic crosswords. Those that eulogised about yesterday’s rather wordy puzzle were not so keen on today’s, which we liked. It’s horses for courses.

  19. No you are not re 8a.
    Thought of you yesterday, taking Biggles to beach near Dornoch airfield there was an executive 6 seater ‘plane, obviously brought a 4 ball up to play the course. Airfield is right next to practice area, about 600 yards from clubhouse. All you need is a plane or can afford the hire.

    1. Never played there but have had an invitation to do so from someone who’s a country member. Rated in the top 5 in some lists & hear it’s superb

      1. Huntsman,
        Difficult to say why in some ways. It is just fashioned out of a fabulous area of sand dunes with fairways & tees. Part of its mystique lies in being so far off the beaten track I guess. Worth the trip especially if you play Brora & Nairn & take in a couple of distillery tours. Unless you have a plane it’s week away though.
        Just thought the plane gave a whole different meaning to ” fancy 18 holes today?”, “Yes where?”, “Oh Royal Dornoch, we’ll take the Pilatus” (£2 million second hand).
        Different world for some.

        1. I used to work for a guy who had a week’s holiday every year at Macrihanish Golf Club on the Kintyre Peninsular. Now that is a remote place!

          1. The one & only time I played Macrihanish (also Machrie) was while staying on Arran. It was a typical four seasons in a day weather with the last couple of holes into the teeth of a gale. Anyway the four in front us, all with caddies, had the plane waiting as I think they were trying to play a course in England, Scotland, Wales & maybe Ireland in a day for charity. They went round in no time – all instructed to let them through

            1. SonLrOK was a golf scholar at Stirling & one of the team was a Macrihanish member. He said it was a super natural links & very exposed to Westerlies. See they have not long opened the Dunes course there so 36 holes now.
              Wish I could still enjoy a round ( “play golf” would be stretching things). Dornoch is one of those courses where Biggles could join me. Just treat all the balls with Schmacko scent & would never lose one.

              1. I am not a golfy person but my boss’ comments about Macrihanish persuaded me to include it on a cycling holiday. The road down to Campbeltown is the road that Paul Macartney was referring to in “The Long and Winding Road” and the road up the other side past Macca’s farm and Macrihanish was beautiful and flew by as the wind was SW and blew us all the way to Gigha and Tarbet.

  20. Unlike Greta I found today’s quite testing. Looking at 11a, I got the answer but found it difficult to parse. The definition should be “Kill many among” with the rest of the clue as the fodder. However, the answer means xxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. You’ve used your proper name instead of your alias (which I found amusing given that you are making a pedantic comment ;) )

      1. That I understand. My point is a different one, which may be difficult to see since it has been redacted.

  21. Managed much better than yesterday. Only needed a couple of hints to confirm my initial thoughts. 2*/4* for me.

    Thanks to Mysteron and Tilsit

  22. This was a pleasant change from a few of last weeks partial stinkers. I loved the picture for 6d She was the epitomy of 6 & 3 d. All in all a good saturday puzzle.
    Thanks Tilsit and setter.

  23. I agree that this was a bit of a strange mixture of answers that had to be what they were (17a, 19a & 21a) and some that required more general knowledge than I possess (7a & 24a) which meant that I had to Google to confirm. Probably I just wasn’t quite on the right wavelength today. Many thanks to the setter for increasing my equine vocabulary and to Tilsit – I’m pleased that you’re well enough, not just to play bridge but to organise it! I’m sure that a lot of people are very grateful for your hard work.

    1. Agree totally with Essar re his comments on Tilsit -how does he do it? And agree with him on the puzzle- some real oddities (to me) eg l completed 15d but was it correct ? 19a 20d didn’t get it at all. 2d answer 1 OK answer 2 ???

      Certainly those like Greta who found it simple -prepare for stand in for Tilsit BD and Sue!!

  24. A little tricky, but was solved without recourse to e help – I had to look 1a up in the BRB. 8a last in – I saw a pair of said carnivores playing in the road / verge whilst out cycling last weekend.

  25. This was a steady solve for me, 7 across was new to me my favourites were 11 & 12 across and some of the clues i parsed afterward and some I had to read a couple of times before entering,but as always enjoyable.

    Thank you to Tilsit and the Setter

  26. ***/***. A bit of a challenge in parts. My favourite was 9d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit – you may want to change the hint to 24a which should say the abbreviation for hotel.

  27. Like some others had not heard of 1 a but to solve exactly as l later found Tilsit hinted.After that l really enjoyed a puzzle that l found a challenge but we’ll clued .I have an answer for 27 a but am not sure that it is the right one of 2 possibles.Thanks to all.

    1. Typo in your alias sent you into moderation

      I can only think of one possible solution to 27a – have another read of the clue and see if that helps you decide which one of your possibles could be the right one

  28. I was slow to get going and thought I was in for trouble but then most of it sorted itself out without too many problems.
    8a was my last one and 2d wasn’t far ahead of it.
    I loved 7a – they’re so beautiful, and so big too.
    I also liked 12a and my favourite was 14a although I’m never sure that ‘need’ is the same as the word used in the answer.
    Thanks to whoever set this – very enjoyable – and to Tilsit for the hints.
    It seems to be be monsoon season in Oxford – off to the NTSPP.

    1. All I could think of was Clydesdales, so needed Tilsit’s hint to set me straight.

  29. A tough one, but worth the effort. 8a last one in, but got there with the excellent hint. Liked7a very clever. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  30. Enjoyable and something of a poser. I was livid with myself when 5d FINALLY fell into place!

  31. Had trouble with 24a especially as the answer I wanted was in 26a!

    Good luck to Tilsit. He is in a horrible place. I hope life improves soon,

  32. I’m in the tricky camp and needed lots of e-help, but I did like it, unlike yesterday where I was slogging in molasses.
    Fave is 7a, they’re so beautiful with a lovely gait! I think 12a needs honourable mention for its giggle-worthiness.
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and Tilsit for his help solving.

  33. 7a and 2d held me up for a disproportionate amount of time but otherwise no real problem. Came to this late in the day as decorating took precedence plus listening to the Test Match.

    The sloshed sons was my favourite out of the quite tricky selection of clues on offer.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and Tilsit.

  34. Enjoyable and a nice distraction before a few chores today. Thanks to those to be thanked. 😉

  35. Definitely a tougher puzzle than has been the norm for that last few Saturday offerings. Bottom half toughest part for me and required lots of searching electronically for hints to the clues. ****/*** my rating for today.
    Favourites 7a, 6d, 9d & 24a with 7a the winner.
    Found some of the parsing hard to fathom for the second time this week. A few hmm’s as well.
    Examples would include 19a, 21a, 26a amongst others.
    Or maybe I’m just being really dim today.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  36. Could you please explain 19a. Have the answer but not the reason.
    Also in your explanation of 24a did you mean to put hard rather than hotel?

    1. 24a – hard and hotel have the same indication. My mistake.

      19a Something meaning ‘to have’ and most of the word meaning ‘mine’

  37. Not a fan today. Got really stuck on at least 6 clues. Some I googled but I still didn’t understand the answer to 8a. Too difficult for me. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints.

    1. Lizzie, phonetic Sierra and ‘exactly right’ split 2,1,1.
      Pint of Doombar delivered to the naughty step, please. Sod this cake lark!!

      1. Thank you. I couldn’t get beyond a mountain range. My pea brain gets an idea and then it’s hard to shake.

      2. Doom bar? It’s a bit thin and very bland. A gallon of Marstons Pedigree Bitter or Draught Bass would be my choice

  38. I found that much easier than yesterday! An enjoyable solve. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  39. 8a last one in for me too …… hardly close to the top of the carnivore list! I thought it was a real stretch
    … although, as always, ‘justifiable’ …..but it did not spoil what I thought was an excellent and (eventually) accessible puzzle.

  40. The barley has been harvested so Hudson has space to run around. It won’t last, though. Barley fields are replanted quite quickly with winter crops. What Hudson and I want are the wheat fields in the background to be harvested. These will lie fallow for three months or more giving ample space for traipsing around. Unfortunately, this will not happen for another four or five weeks.

    Well, LBROK and I said we would give our dogs a mention! 🤣


    1. He can’t wait to start running around. Watch out for stubble and barley seeds stuck in his paws. Niece’s dog gets them all the time and vigilance is needed to get them out before they cause problems.

  41. Enjoyed this. 8a stood out for me – very clever – have not seen it before. Perhaps others have?

  42. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. I feel like I’m losing my touch, couldn’t do Thursday’s, Friday’s and this one. Needed 4 hints to finish. Some clues I found really easy, but some impossible. 26a must be the oldest old chestnut ever. No particular favourites. Was 4*/2* for me.

  43. Very little inserted to start. None of the cart horses I know fitted 7a so I looked them up and found it straightaway. Lovely word and clue. I found the grid quite friendly as when I had inserted random answers I found the checkers assisted me enormously especially. I had the penultimate letter from the gimme 18a and the rest was a write-in. I had trouble with some of the parsing and was left with 24a and 25d. Did not fall into the trap with 25d but needed hint for the former. Thanks setter and Tilsit

  44. I’m struggling to finish before brother arrives for lunch. Praying he doesn’t comment how easy the puzzle was. Tempted to hide the paper and say ” wasn’t it just”. Pressure!

  45. Tres difficile!
    Needed Google for 7a
    BD you have a mistake in your hint for 24a

  46. What a splendid crossword. Top class clues. Even as I write this, I have finally deduced the meaning of ‘have’ in 19a.
    More like this every Saturday, please.

  47. I have enjoyed this weekend’s crossword, and am left, as last week with I clue I cannot crack ! 7a did take a bit of effort! And 23d had me stumped too.
    Could anyone help with 26a please? I have every other letter, but the only word I can fit…doesn’t seem to make sense!

    1. 26a Posh leaving desirable London area (6)
      Remove the letter that means posh from an adjective meaning desirable.

  48. A seven letter synonym of desirable has a “posh” vowel removed to give an area of London.
    Snap Gazza – Comments that pass in the afternoon..

  49. Thank you Gazza and John Bee, …got it! It was the answer I had but, I hadn’t heard of that area. All complete now, I can get on with other things.

  50. Really challenging but so satisfying too! It was one of those where you kick yourself when you get it, repeatedly, luckily not literally or I’d not be walking well. I needed a dictionary so many times too. Good that I’ve figured how the star ratings work as I couldn’t see this on the blogsite. As above *****/***. Thank you setter and all!

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