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DT 29437 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29437 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from the tropical land of Warrington.

Here we go with another Saturday morning challenge, and this is quite a challenge. This certainly took a little longer than usual and requires a little more knowledge than many of the recent puzzles.

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 Talk loudly about ship that’s vulgarly ostentatious (6)
Something meaning talk loudly (or the noise made by an animal) goes around the abbreviation for a ship.

10a Woman caught West Indian batsman (5)
A woman’s name is revealed by taking the abbreviation for caught and adding the surname of one of the most famous West Indian cricketers.

12a Like simple creatures I exist in unconscious state on reflection (7)
Inside the reverse of an unconscious state goes I and a short word meaning to exist.

13a Reel engaging tip of dancer’s foot (7)
Around the last letter of dancer goes a word meaning to reel or stagger.

14a Harry Hole author — thin, extremely patronising (6-4-4)
Don’t go bothering looking for Jo Nesbo! An anagram (Harry) of HOLE AUTHOR THIN will give you a phrase meaning extremely patronising.

17a Cat fish biting a cheeky young chap (14)
A synonym for something that is known as a ‘cat’ and the name of a fish often eaten, goes around (biting) a three-letter word for which ‘a’ can be often be used (think ‘miles a gallon’, for example).

23a A new cricket ball’s right to the front for sport (7)
After ‘A’, take a nickname for a cricket ball (based on its normal colour) and move one of the R’s in the word to the front of it. This gives the name of another sport.

26a Key jargon for gourmet food (8)
The name of the key in the top left of your keyboard, plus a word meaning jargon will give you a foreign food that is definitely an acquired taste.

27a System taking of vassal a due fraction in return (6)
The name for a type of system of living from the middle ages is hidden backwards within the clue.


1d Support expert going round hospital in pain (8)
Something meaning to support is added to one referring to an expert and then all go around the abbreviation for hospital.

2d Returning greeting by Scottish runner, a religious leader (9)
In Crosswordland, remember that runner can refer to something non-athletic that ‘runs’ and here that is the case. So here, we have a greeting, the name of a ‘runner’ from Scotland and A, all reversed, to give you the name of a Middle Eastern ruler.

3d That woman gets minced lamb in butcher’s stall (7)
Time to reach for the Big Red Book. The name for a butcher’s stall s found by taking a word meaning ‘that woman’ and putting it around an anagram (minced) of LAMB.

5d Broadcast transmits Hardy novel (8,6)
The name of a famous novel written in 1759 is revealed by rearranging the letters (broadcast) of TRANSMITS HARDY.

8d Soldiers packing guns — they’re dangerous (6)
A slang word for guns goes around an abbreviation for basic soldiers. This leads you to an American nickname for some vicious creatures.

9d Book two football teams following dismissal (5,6-3)
After the word for a way of getting out in cricket, goes the number of players in two soccer teams. This gives the name of a famous book which is not normally written in full.  [As at 7:30 am the online version was showing the enumeration, incorrectly, as (5,10)]

16d Reportedly favour marine creature — or another? (4,4)
Two homophones for something meaning favour goes before the name of a marine creature.

18d Leading politician has popular group in support (7)
Inside a type of support structure (found at the seaside) gives the name of an American band (think Losing My Religion); this gives the description of a top politician.

22d Early American map followed by sleuth (5)
The name for a type of (street) map and an abbreviation for a private eye gives the name for early Americans.

That’s all for today.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Our music today is something rather special. On a Sunday afternoon, there’s a programme on Scala Radio at 3pm by the pianist and composer Alexis Ffrench who plays some of the most beautiful classical music. Here’s the great man playing one of his compositions.


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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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: pry+Mini+stir=Prime Minister

96 comments on “DT 29437 (Hints)

  1. After quite a while the Saturday Prize puzzle is worthy of the name. A fair challenge with some trickier bits and required a second infusion of caffeine. 3d didn’t require a trip to BRB here as we have a very well known street of that ilk in York. As such it gets my COTD but it could equally have been any from a large longlist 5d 9d 17a 15 and 16d.
    Many thanks to Tilsit and setter. I have read 9d recently but I am overdue a reread of 5d.

    1. I had no trouble with 3d, firstly because of the reason you mention and secondly for another which I’ll reveal in my review on Friday

    2. I googled a particular street in York just to check on the connection with 3d. One of my sons was at university in York, so I’ve been down the street a few times. It was interesting to find where the name originally came from.

  2. A very tricky Saturday Prize puzzle and it was indeed very puzzling in parts. There are still two clues which I cannot parse and two more that I could only parse with Tilsit’s help. I would rate it 2 5* for difficulty but much of that was spent trying to get a start. Once I had a few checkers in things fell into place increasingly quickly. As for enjoyment, it was good brain exercise but too much of a struggle with elastic synonyms and General Knowledge to be good fun. So 2. 5* would be my rating. I haven’t a favourite clue. Thanks to Tilsit for the excellent clues and to the compiler.

      1. In many cases, yes!
        I counted at least 7 answers related to the pun.
        Maybe there are more…….

  3. Wow, that was hard. We still don’t understand the soi-disants homophones in 16 d but cannot, we know, enquire as to what we are missing. Lots of cricket references, fortunately one of us is a fan. Favourite clue 9 d, so much simpler than it appeared. Felt like a huge achievement getting to the end of this one, many thanks to setter and Tilsit.

    1. If you say the first five letters of 16d, pause; say the second three letters, you favour the marine creature.

      (Surely this will not earn me a sanction to the step of ignominy?)

      1. How long does the pause have to be Terence?
        Still don’t get it & pretty sure my answer is correct

      2. It earns a vote of thanks from me. It had to be that so I bunged it in but the why of it baffled me.

  4. A stimulating, quasi-literary challenge that was just up my alley, though it took me quite a while to get there. I have really strange memories of an old 18th Century Lit professor going into hysterics over a blank page in 5d, but my better memories relate to classroom hysterics while teaching 9d. A good bit of esoterica at play here but nothing too demanding. Surprised myself by remembering 10a. Favourites: 9d, 19d, 26a, 2d, 3d–all crowded onto the dais. Thanks to Tilsit, whose hints I’ll read now, and today’s classy setter. 3* / 4.5*

    1. You didn’t study in York did you? I had a lecturer also excited by the blank page 😂 No idea about anything cricket related so found this hard today!

      1. No, I studied at Florida State University in Tallahassee, working on my PhD back in the 60s. Professor James Preu was the lecturer. Maybe he and your York lecturer fired blanks at one another! I’ve been to York, though, and loved it…speaking, by the way, of 3d today.

  5. Very, very, tricky. I really couldn’t get going with this and there are a few where I simply can’t parse them at all. I suppose we all have days like this.

    This morning, Lola has a tiny scratch on her ear. I suspect she has been involved in an overnight disagreement with her nemesis – a Siamese cat who lives nearby. He/she is a rather a stealthy creature, who sometimes appears in the garden and conducts a staring contest with Lola. The scratch doesn’t seem to be bothering her at all and she has eaten her breakfast with her regular gusto, so all should be ok.
    Now for the cricket, and later, Chelsea will attempt to do the impossible and overturn a 0-3 deficit.

    1. Bearing in mind Lola’s masterly communique issued recently, I am immensely heartened by the impressive standard of feline education in this country which does not seem to have been affected by the recent school closures. I am referring, of course, to the latest purrfectly produced resignation letter submitted by Palmerston, Mouser in Chief to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. One can only hope that this venerable Civil Servant will find an ivy clad wall under which to while away the days thinking of past triumphs and an indulgent patron like you who will be putty in his paws.

    2. I’m in the same boat. More like Toughie material. Not going to stare at it any more.

  6. Phew. It took me an age to properly get into this one. Very enjoyable. Held up by being convinced that xxxxxxxxxxx Favourite 13a

    1. Convinced you may have been, but if you read the red instructions, you will see that you can’t say so until Friday

  7. 2d – Any else recalled *************** ?
    Enjoyable challenge today
    Thanks Tilsit and to the Setter , well done .

  8. Stretched synonyms (first part of 17a exceeds the elastic limit for me) , cricket terms, book titles GK, American abbreviations, a puzzle for the Toughie brigade not the likes of me. I did complete with 3 needing electronic help. After the last 3 days this was more like a chore and gave me little pleasure.
    Whether this level is what a Saturday puzzle should be will divide opinion I think.
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the hints. Never thought I’d say it but, after this I look forward to Dada. I may regret saynig that tomorrow!

  9. Quite a headscratcher which wasn’t a lot of fun; it didn’t help that the web site enumeration, at midnight UK time, for 9d was incorrect being shown as (5,10), impossible for a 14 letter answer – completed at a fast canter – 3.5*/2.5*.
    I am reasonably certain it is the first time I have heard the chiefly US slang (to quote the BRB) term for guns in 8d.
    No standout favourites but I did like 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed the battle today, especially 17a, which we had recently, and 26a. I still can’t get 8d unless it is a slang word. If it is this word can’t find the gun or the soldiers so I guess it will have to be a bung in! Anyway thanks to all.

    1. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      [ Redacted – Please read the instructions in red before commenting]

  11. Dear me that was very hard indeed. The crossword editor must be looking for a quiet checking period. I thought 8d a dreadful clue needing two slang terms to solve, very sloppy indeed. Not sure you could describe the pop group as popular rather than ancient. Thought I did like 22d.
    Thx for the hints

  12. 8d was a bung in from the checking letters. I then had to check synonyms for “guns”. In fact, I had to check a few things today to finish, which I managed before the partial review went up. I haven’t read 5d. I don’t know if anyone else has. 14a was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. Apparently Schopenhauer judged it one of the 4 greatest novels ever written. I am trying to get it on my e-reader as it has intrigued me now. It’s an ill wind thhat blows nobody any good!

      1. Thanks, Chriscross, for the Schopenhauer reference. Naturally, I had to check that out, and I see that Goethe, Rousseau, and Cervantes wrote the other three novels. Pretty good company, and I concur on Don Quixote.

    2. I wouldn’t bother Florence. It did nothing for me & gave up a little over halfway through, though I suspect Robert May disapprove of me dismissing it’s literary merit.

      1. I am full of intrigue too now and may have to see if there is a kindle version. I’ve just finished reading a neighbour’s first novel and I’ve nothing else to read at the moment.

      2. Not really, Huntsman: no disapproval from me. Some so-called literary ‘greats’ can be overrated, even though Schopenhauer is a force to reckon with.

  13. I was OK with most of the GK although the cricket ball was something of a ‘guess and check’ and, like Florence, I haven’t actually read 5d.
    Thought the setter could perhaps have improved on the surface read of 27a!
    Top two here were 24a & 16d.

    Thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit for the Saturday hints – the piece from Alexis Ffrench was very much appreciated.

  14. Took a lot longer than usual. I struggle with US slang but 8d was fair. The one I thought was hardest was first part of 26a.
    I liked 17a and 22a.

  15. Just given up with seven clues having defeated me. As for the rest they were a struggle from beginning to end. I did not enjoy this at all but acknowledge that is down to me and not the setter. I haven’t been beaten by a puzzle for a long time so this is quite a wake up call reminding me that there is still lots to learn.

    Thank you to the setter for a challenge I was not up to. Many thanks, Tilsit for the much needed hints.

  16. This was quite a struggle to get started although to be fair I was watching cricket/snooker at the same time so it wasn’t getting the undivided attention the level of difficulty warranted. I enjoyed it though needed Tilsit’s explanation to clarify 23a wordplay & Mr G to confirm 3d meaning. Assume I have the correct answer to 16d but still can’t make the homophones work despite reading Terence’s advice to R&G. Pick of the clues for me were 2,9 & 22d.
    Many thanks to the setter & to Tilsit.
    Ps a promising start by England though still a stern task ahead I fear.

  17. I rather enjoyed it. There were a lot of somewhat esoteric terms and proper names, but I was OK at the top and “ seeing” the answer from the 2nd and 3rd words of 5a, without resorting to a pen helped with a lot of answers. That never happens to me……I’ve heard of it, but never read it.

    I had the print out of the mistake at 9a, but it didn’t make any difference, once I had the first word and knew it was a book.

    The SW corner took longest, as I was committed for ages in 24d to there being FL in there somewhere.
    I never did use the A synonym in 17a, as I just assumed the first half was the thing describing the first word. So thanks to Tilsit for setting that straight.
    Finally, finally, finally have understood how the homophones work in 16d…….that took a long time.

    Thanks to our setter and our generous blogger.

  18. 19d – Is that English Noble Title official or just an assumption (in US) ?

    1. Re 19d – the little chap in question does not have the title so this clue is incorrect, surely?

  19. A really testing and challenging puzzle this morning which was both thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding to complete. 22d was my favourite of many, with 2d a worthy contender.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and Tilsit.

  20. Still puzzling over homophone in 16d. Sure I have the correct answer (which the picture seems to confirm) but cannot reconcile xxxxxxxxxxxx with favouring (hope that isn’t too explicit).

    1. There is a word meaning favour which definitely sounds like the first five letters of the solution when said out loud, the rest being a homophone for a sea creature

  21. Very difficult. *****/ * probably having a “thick day”. Took ages and I didn’t find the answers very easy to understand having got there. I liked 10a and 14a but no favourite. Just not my wavelength, apart from the cricket clues. Thanks to all. I did wonder what Brian would say about it!

    1. Frankly, I think it is a bit much to expect grey matter to work when it is being slow cooked in this heat.

  22. Well, it is reassuring to me that many seem to have found this one difficult.
    I had to resort to electronic help for the SW corner and definitely needed Tilsit’s help with some parsings.
    Had to consult Mr Meringue about 10a and 23a too.

    I’m in the still bemused camp re 16d. I can only see one homophone. 2 creatures, though. Aware this may send me to the naughty step, but I don’t care. Lovely day up here, pleasantly warm and I have tiffin.

    Thanks to the devilish setter and to Tilsit.

  23. I so enjoyed this. It took me quite some time to finish and has delayed my lunch and gardening! I thought it was rather difficult and there were plenty of good clues, for example 12, 13 and 26a and 8, 9 and 19d. My favourite clue is 16d. Quite a few answers had to be checked out in the dictionary. Thanks to the compiler (who seems fond of cricketing references I thought but I didn’t mind that) and to Tilsit for the hints and the lovely music.

  24. A Saturday puzzle which was just the right level for me, on the first passing I only had one entry but slowly things came together, my podium winners were 10 across and 3 down, thank you to the setter and Tilsit

  25. I loved this, possibly because I managed to fill in all the squares unaided, though parsing some of them took time – 23a, 26a and 16d required a lot of working out. Favourites were 3d, 6d, and 19d.
    I think that the explanation for 16d is to look at pronunciation. (I hope that this doesn’t break any rules and that, if I have, the naughty step is in the shade!)
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for confirming a couple of answers.

  26. Good grief, only 3 answers penned in, and my brain hurts. Way above my pay grade today. Think I’ll go and continue painting the bathroom instead.

  27. Very hard. But finished. Lots of mistakes on the way which sorted themselves out. Needed the hints for “A” in 17, the cricket ball, the terrible homophone. Have heard of 5d but never read, 8d guns was just awful. Always forget keyboard “keys”. Thought 3d was just “stalls”, didn’t have the “ic” ending for 12a until I got 9d, which was once my favourite book. Oh, the last one 2d was dire. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, so thanks all.

  28. Oh dear – really tough for the second day running – it’s too hot to go up the garden to check the marble count.
    A pretty good selection from the list of “things a Kath can’t do” – never mind.
    I enjoyed this but it’s taken a very long time.
    2d had to be what it was but untangling it was another matter, as was 15d and I’m still not sure about it.
    The 26a ‘key’ is something I always forget and every time I forget it I swear I never will again – then I do!
    I really liked 12 and 17a and 6 and 22d. My favourite was 3d – I thought it had an ‘S’ at the end – there’s one in Worcester too.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    Far too hot to even think about doing anything useful – NTSPP now.

  29. By nature I’m an optimist but I’m very sorry I spent £ 2.80 this Saturday. I usually manage to finish with help from B.D. and Tilsit and some weeks are harder than others, but I have derived no pleasure from this one at all.

    And it’s far too hot to take the dog for a good long walk – for both of us – (Sugar the Lurcher and me !!!).

    1. Mr CS and I thought today’s Matt cartoon was worth the ‘admission fee’ all on its own.

  30. Wow – A real spread of opinions today from excellent to too hard via just right and a bit tough, too tough and a waste of £2.80 What a varied bunch we are. I for one thought it was a bit tough but fair and I enjoyed it. expect we will be back for more tomorrow where Dada can test us all again.
    Don’t you just love this place and the variety of opinions. Diff’rent Strokes for Diff’rent folks. see you all again tomorrow.

    1. After today, John I do hope Mr. Halpern will be kind tomorrow. I don’t think I could stand another gruelling slog 🤔

      1. t is hard to tell with the range of opinions here but I will eat my Sunday 1a if Senf doesn’t declare today’s Dada benign. I have rattled through it before the breakfast darjeeling has had time to brew. just a couple of pesky four letter clues to check the parsing thereof.

  31. Phew, that was hard work! Needed some hints, so thanks Tilsit. I’ve not especially enjoyed the last two crosswords, so looking forward to Dada tomorrow.

  32. Tough going today but enjoyable. Liked the book ones. Last one in 8d in spite of the excellent hint. Penny finally dropped – matter of pronounciation really. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  33. A pretty tough puzzle for Saturday this week. I would rate this ****/**. Lots of head scratching and electronic searching. When I printed the online puzzle 9d was listed as 5,10 and that was impossible (as noted by Senf too) and then at some point it was corrected online. Also, the 8d American slang (??) Hmm.
    And I can’t figure the parsing for 22d at all. 6d and 16d were other clues for weird parsing. Couple of good clues I liked were 17a, 24a, 3d & 20d
    Not a lot of fun though for a Saturday puzzle for me.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  34. Well, well, well, here comes tiny brain who finished and quite liked it! Amazing.
    I didn’t know the gun in 8d was slang, we’ve had it quite often.
    I did remember the batsman at 10a, but I just ignored the rest of the crickety clues; who knew the cricket ball?
    The long ones in the middle were hugely helpful and went in first. I agree 5d was forgettable but read it so many centuries ago I can hardly remember it.
    I did need my thesaurus more than usual and a little bit of e-help was required. I found the unravelling of some to be tricky, unlike Jay, where you usually know if you’ve got it right. To be fair, the map at 22d confused me until I remembered I’ve got one here, must throw it out, fat lot of good it would be, being from 1960.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for his unravelling of many.

  35. A bit of a grim slog today.

    With the help of my very clever cruciverbalist mother, we managed to complete.

    I dare not go in to detail on what made it a slog, but may comment next Thursday.

    ****/* for me/us today.

  36. Many thanks to Tilsit as I needed all the hints to get through this one. Didn’t enjoy it but that may be due to the heat scrambling my brain. There were some very good clues in hindsight so thanks to the setter too. Onwards and upwards and tomorrow’s another day and all that.

  37. A day late again. Holy smoke that was hard. Must have been almost Toughie level.
    Much I can’t parse, I just hope there are hints.

  38. Puzzled and puzzled over 16d then tried pronouncing s as in sing.

    Never heard of this name for a cricket ball in 23a but there you go.

    Also 8d……this is not really in common parlance over here is it ? Nor is the jargon for guns.

    Quite a mind gym today.

  39. Morning all, first time poster here. This was much trickier than usual in places, requiring a fair bit of sector specific GK (cricket & literature, at least), which seemed it might be a tad unfair on some? Took two sessions to complete, with the E half being by far the trickier.

    Knew 3d, but because of the works of Terry Pratchett, rather than any familiarity with York. Got 17a while entirely oblivious to the stretched synonym for “a”, took me AGES (long after I got the answer) to see the first homophone in 16d… xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [redacted]. Really hated 8d – just too oblique in my book. It didn’t help that although I was fine with the slangy guns, I’d not seen those particular soldiers used before (it was a relief to confirm parsing with the Usual Suspects).

    Personal fave was 9d. Thanks to Tilsit & the setter.

  40. Didn’t fare at all well with this; was ok on the cricket (as were England in the end) but not so hot on the literary references and defeated by quite a few including 8d. My Cotd was 2d but also enjoyed that Del Boy made an appearance

    1. I’ll concede that he is the ‘young’ of a prince but hopefully that’s as far as it will ever go. Can’t help but think that his Dad has made some unfortunate choices over the past few years.

  41. Well I managed …eventually… to get all the clues except for 8d !
    It would appear loads of others have struggled too ! I still haven’t managed it , but I’ll plod on.

  42. Late (or last) as usual, commitments with family staying, luckily my daughter was able to help out,but like so many was bambousled for ages with only 3 in…
    However we managed with the bits of help from Tilsit and readers. I had two others pencilled in for 22d, both from the US but the answer was clever. I am still not sure of the whole answer for 16d after reading comments above, most of whom have now moved to the Sunday puzzles ( no time for me to do those..) Some clues excellent others dodgy but great to finish

  43. This was a two bath crossword – I try and complete the crossword in one bath session (I have one of those upside down pens). Does mean I will always be one of the last to comment as I don’t start doing the crossword until around 20:00 each evening…
    Enjoyed this challenge although I am in agreement with those who weren’t keen on 8d. Been doing the Telegraph crossword since 1977.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      There are many people who don’t finish the crossword on the Saturday, some of them don’t even start it until days, weeks or even months later, but their comments will still be read if they comment on either the Hints post or the review post

      I’ve been doing the DT crossword since 1969!

  44. I filled in 10a early on (wrongly as it turned out) which held up the NW corner until yesterday (What’s the rule about discussing when you think you’ve found an ambiguity?).
    Glad to see Steve from Liverpool is like me – someone who chooses their moment to do the crossword! I always thought I was alone in cherishing the challenge!

        1. 10a threw me as I’d put Gayle (Woman caught West Indian batsman) as in woman (Gail) caught (heard) WI batsman (my answer Gayle). Then managed to correct in time to send it in. Then forgot to. Oh not a good week! Stumped for days – and it’s just not cricket when you forget is it? ****/**

  45. Well, I usually post about a month late but quickly realised I wouldn’t progress without your clue to a couple of the literary ones ie 5d. Never heard of it! Rest of it wasn’t too bad after that. Thank you Dave

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