DT 29443 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29443 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29443 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from Warrington, where it’s still positively tropical.

Today’s puzzle was another one that I guess will divide the gang.

There are couple of really tough answers in here and you may need a picture or two to help you. I could probably have written a hint to every single clue, but you’ll have to make do with the ones, I have selected.

Running a bit late today, so we are a bit brief here.

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.

Across

1a Bats desire birds to leave lake (7)
A slang name for (cricket) bats is revealed by taking a word for desire and adding the name of some birds, minus l (for lake).

5a Leader, one from France entering race (7)
Take the name for a race of people and insert the French for one.

11a Certain result to invest Republican — and Democrat! (7)
A word for a result with R for Republican inserted – and then the abbreviation for the Dems afterwards.

12a Soldiers disembark round Floridian city (7)
The abbreviation for soldiers (the one in last week’s puzzle) plus a word meaning to disembark, followed by a round letter.

17a Enthusiast returning lives in capital (5)
The word for an enthusiast or fan is reversed and a short word for lives to give an African capital.

18a Revolting animals were so stubborn? (9)
A cryptic definition of how the animals in a certain book by George Orwell were ruled is a word (sometimes hyphenated 3-6) meaning stubborn. A search around the website may reveal that a similar version of this clue was used last year around this time in a prize puzzle!

21a One to smoke in bed — it takes brave person to intervene! (7)
The name for an item you smoke is the name for a brave person, inside a type of bed.

22a Child tucking into pork pies not the smallest, for example (7)
A grammatical term for which the phrase ‘not the smallest’ is an example can be found by putting the name for a child inside what ‘pork pies’ are to a Cockney.

27a Stadium accommodating second large team (7)
The name for a football team is found by taking the name for a stadium and inserting S (for second) and then placing L (for large) afterwards.

28a Creche in North Surrey moved (7)
After the abbreviation for North goes an anagram (moved) of Surrey.

Down

1d Stitch up with nurse in classy area (4,3)
A word meaning stitch is reversed (up, as it’s a Down clue) and add a word meaning to nurse someone. Join the two and split elsewhere to give the name for somewhere upmarket to live.

3d Playful animal despicable sort beheaded (5)
The name for some creatures known for being playful is the name for a bounder or cad without its initial letter (beheaded)

4d Pain accordingly doubled? (2-3-2)
A word for a pain in the backside, is something meaning accordingly together with another word meaning accordingly.

6d Able to resist crackers? (9)
Probably the toughest clue in the puzzle. If this puzzle cannot be cracked, it may well be this!

8d Discharge policeman found in south-western river (7)
Inside the name of a Devon river goes a nickname for a policeman, derived from Enid Blyton.

14d Agreement to involve government statisticians in count (9)
Inside the word for a count held every ten years goes the abbreviation for the Government organisation that looks after facts and figures.

15d Lead astray? (9)
A cryptic definition for not ruling properly.

17d Feline in tattered coat gives touching display (7)
A musical term that refers to a piece of music designed to demonstrate the performer’s touch is found by taking the name of a feline and putting it inside an anagram (tattered) of COAT. A bonus music clue.

20d Annihilate French from the besieged city (7)
The word in French for ‘From’ (plural!) takes the name of an ancient city involved in a siege to give you a word meaning annihilate.

24d Taken from Sanskrit it lends book name (5)
A hidden answer.

Sorry for the lateness!  Now play nicely, I’ve given you a couple of extra explanations as it’s a bit trickier.  See you next week

The Crossword Club is now open.

Have something nice and relaxing for a muggy and balmy day!


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: musky+tear=musketeer


133 comments on “DT 29443 (Hints)
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  1. I don’t wish to be rude – but what happened to the idea of Saturday’s hints appearing shortly after Sounds of the 60s (or ten o’clock in old money)

    1. Sheepdog, please remember the hints and reviews on this site are posted by willing volunteers to help us, the solvers. If they sometimes turn up later than expected I am sure there is a good reason for that, and we should all be grateful when they do do appear.

    2. It is my experience that when someone says “I do not wish to be ……….” they almost invariably are, or at best being unthinking. Reviewers do have other priorities from time to time I for one am grateful for the insight they willingly GIVE.

    3. I am only too grateful to the bloggers for taking the time to give hints to puzzles. It is they that make this site fulfil its remit – explaining clues in plain English. If I were to write the hints, you wouldn’t get them a little late, you would probable get them the following day if at all.

      1. A thoroughly enjoyable solve. I had 3 possible answers for one across almost convincing myself two of them could be correct, so thank you Tilsit to the rescue again. Tilsit you may be interested to know we have a different plan for outdoor bridge four. At home someone deals out 8 hands writes them on 4 pieces of paper and distributes them at random on arrival at the table. We each take our own pack of cards and sort each hand accordingly. Works well for four old ladies without handling each other’s cards. Thank you to the setter and Tilsit.

        1. As Secretary of a brick bridge club, I get lots of requests about reopening and one of the issues is that apparently the virus can live on card or paper for 72 hours, so you would lead lots of sets of hands and bidding boxes, with each set ‘quarantined’ for 72 hours before reuse. Most bridge tables are 60cm distance and as duplicate bridge means everyone plays the same hands, we’d need a machine to produce lots of the same hands and there would need to be the same 24 boards at each table.

          The English Bridge Union has issued guidelines on reopening, but to be honest, my colleagues on the Club Committee and I don’t feel we can countenance it until a proven vaccine is available to all. Some clubs are looking at opening-up again, where everyone uses tablets instead of playing card and players wear masks. Again you’d have to restrict movements throughout the club and bring in lots of regimes.

          I like your way of doing things for your group. If you look at the results on my club’s site http://www.bridgewebs.com/stretford, you can see and print off hands there and have the benefit of seeing how others wrestled with them! Feel free to use them!

    4. Do you think you could solve the puzzle, write these hints and add the pictures, all before the rest of us have discovered that we don’t know very much? I would take a long walk off a short pier before I would volunteer to join the brave band of hinters.

  2. Actually, you are being rude.

    I have been working on this for quite some time and as I have a few things to do today and had to check with a couple of colleagues about answers. I am running late and have apologised. Some of the clues in this puzzle are not obvious today. If you have problems, so do we amazingly.

    Perhaps you would like to do the hints instead.

    1. 🌹Your hints are always very gratefully received at whatever time and especially appreciated when recognising your other commitments and personal problems with Covid etc. Thank you. 🌹

    2. I was so relieved to see your name at the top of the blog. Having endured both ill health and redundancy, I think you are heroic in still hosting this for us. May I wish you all the best?

      1. Thanks, JB

        As some of my blog colleagues are aware, I have always filled my life up with things to do, sometimes too many! The redundancy has been a bit of a shock and has caused me to do some life laundry and think about the future.

        At the moment, as well as crossword stuff I am running a virtual bridge club and some online quiz league stuff. The bridge club has over 200 members playing five sessions a week, all of which I direct, and the online quiz league has two nights a week. Anyone who wants to come and play bridge is more than welcome, likewise if you fancy quizzing!

    3. OK sorry, it’s just that I finished the crossword but did not understand a couple of my answers and was anxious for an explanation. I was hoping to be vaguely comical rather than rude.

      1. I thought/hoped you were trying to be amusing Sheepdog. The written word does not allow for the inflection in the voice or the smiley twinkle in the eye

  3. This was pretty challenging but in a good way. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite still being unsure about 9d (***/*****). I liked 22a, 14d and 17d but there were a lot of other super clues so it was hard to choose. Thanks to Tilsit and well done with the hints; not an easy task today I should think. Thanks to the setter. I’d like to see more like this.

  4. Thanks for your hints Tilsit. I needed two including that for the hardest clue. Otherwise a very gentle Prize Crossword. Several enjoyable clues but no outstanding one/s. Thanks to the Saturday setter.

  5. A lot of this one was straightforward but Tilsit is quite right in saying there are some tricky ones that require thought. I wasn’t 100% certain about 1a but from Tilsit’s hint I was on the right track. Ditto 5a. 6d took a while for the penny to drop. I spent too long trying to come up with some kind of edible cracker or another word for crackers as in mad. ***/*** I liked 15d and 26a but my favourite is 27a. A clever clue. Thanks to all.

  6. 2*/3*. This provided a pleasant diversion on a dank and miserable Saturday morning.

    My joint favourites were 18a & 6d, the latter being my last one in.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    P.S. I see that this week’s NTSPP is from Gazza. That’s brought a smile to my face :smile:

  7. I found it quite easy to fill the grid, but had problems parsing a few, so thanks Tilsit for the hints, which cleared things up.
    I hate to think how many hours the reviewers and tipsters spend to bring content to the blog, but their efforts have greatly increased my skill and thus enjoyment.
    Big thanks to them all.

  8. I liked this puzzle unlike some on here I quite like a bit of GK and in this case you had to have the GK and then still have a bit of work to do. Favourite was 6d was…then wasn’t. Many thanks to Tilset and all hinters and to the setter.

  9. Loved this one. I like clues which have a “penny dropping moment”, and this puzzle had several for me. My favourite clues 1a, 6d and 14d. Whoever the setter is, more please

  10. Slow start but then a nice challenge ensued. NE last corner to give in. 6d amused when considering dunking biscuits in the US. 7d is also an amusing clue as is 8d. Thanks to Mysteron and to Tilsit again particularly for helping me fully parse 1a.

  11. Couldn’t make mind up about this one but having gone through all the clues again I thought it was fair & OK, if toughish, for a Saturday. Haven’t heard 1a used for quite a time & guess non -crickety solvers will have trouble. Doubt if the term has reached the US & Robert et al will be scratching their heads.
    LOI was 6d, very clever & gets my COTD, with 22a r/u

    Thank you to setter and Tilsit for the hints.

    1. I had the checkers so had an advantage, it pretty much shouted at me, then I remembered my Dad using that to describe it. I felt quite chuffed to have remembered that.

  12. Thanks Tilsit, you do a sound job. Whilst the options available for 1a are limited with the other letters in, and lead you to the answer, there’s no way I’d have worked out the full clue. Likewise with 11a it sort of fits together but very loose. I did like 22a very clever clue.

  13. Not quite sure what to make of this one other than it appears to be continuing the trend of recent Saturday puzzles being a bit of a headscratcher which wasn’t a lot of fun, completed at a fast canter – 3.5*/2.5*.
    No standout favourite but I did quite like 1d and 5d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

    1. A good challenge for me. Managed to complete, though had never heard the word in 22a, and sadly doubt I’ll remember the blighter !
      Thanks to Mr Ron and to Tilsit.

      ****/***.

  14. One of our regular commentators (can’t remember who) is fond of saying this was easy until it wasn’t & that was certainly the case for me. Plain sailing until I hit a brick wall with 3 outstanding in the NE – 5a, 6d & 8d. With the second coffee failing to provide the necessary mental stimulus I succumbed to impatience & Googled a list of SW rivers & immediately rattled all 3 off – irritating as I knew the river but wouldn’t have bet good money on where it was. Anyway I thought this a thoroughly enjoyable challenge & agree with our reviewer that 6d was the toughie & the pick of the clues for me along with 21&22a which I also liked.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit – your efforts (& those of all of the reviewers) are much appreciated by us all.
    Ps yesterday was as good as it gets for snooker fans with Ronnie’s superb final 3 frames & quite the most bizarre decider I’ve ever seen in the other semi. High hopes for a cracker of a final to keep me entertained while the rain pours down.

    1. Due to a rescheduling of programmes on BBC2 yesterday, I switched on in time to catch most of the Kyren Wilson match – so glad that I did, nerves of steel displayed by both players.

  15. I found this quite tough but very satisfying. It was almost 6d in places. Many thanks to Tilsit, your help was needed in parsing a couple. Thanks also to the setter. As an ipad subscriber I have tried a couple of the toughies this week, I didn’t finish any but will perservere. My ipad got rather hot so I decided to give it a rest.

  16. I enjoyed this crossword as the surfaces were concise and clean but often took a little unraveling. Especially the only one I was not certain on 1a as I had it as a verb and something Botham had a reputation for. Tilsit’s hint left me baffled. I stared at my answer and for the life of me could not figure out a desire or a bird without an L. Doh… the penny dropped and I remembered that in this country you might take a tree out onto the green! Thanks for enlightening me Tilsit.

  17. Another great puzzle today. Tricky in places but put the wrong word in for 15d so 21a and 27a proved impossible. Eventually worked out 21a so realised my mistake. Jealous Tilsit has tropcal weather – we STILL are living in a freezing sea fret. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, you do a terrific job for which I, for one, am extremely grateful. So often I get the correct answer but have to see the hints to fully understand but thanks to this site I am definitely improving!

    1. We have your weather today, Manders. It has moved down to Cambridge and is wet and cold. How can we have been sweltering
      and meltering earlier in the week? Fan full on all night. Now there is the prospect of weeks or months of being stuck indoors
      because frankly I am not happy at going out and mingling. By the way, hope you have turned your loo roll round.

      1. No .Daisygirl, loo roll with back to wall! Every morning my husband turns it round after his shower. 10 minutes later I go and have my shower and turn it back again! I too am not happy mingling although on Wednesday we went to lunch at the Wiveton Bell in the next village as they have erected a huge open sided marquee in the garden and I felt quite safe there. Food was excellent and thanks to the Chancellor we had 20 quid knocked the bill. I had to force myself to go but I think I’m getting a bit paranoid but I’m glad I did. Still yet to go into a shop and not intending to. Stay safe.

  18. 6, 8 and 17d sit atop my podium today. An accessible and nicely challenging crossword with just enough difficult clues to keep it interesting. A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding exercise.

    Thanks as ever to Tilsit for all his hard work, and to our Saturday setter.

  19. I found this enjoyable despite the peace being shattered all morning by chain saws felling a neighbour’s large conifer. I had never heard of 22a but it could be nothing else. The BRB confirmed it was correct. No real favourites but I quite liked 21a.

    Pity the cricket is off at the moment.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints and the wonderful Bach.

  20. I can’t help but wonder whether a different setter has joined the Saturday team at the Telegraph, certainly seems to have been a change of style in the past few puzzles.
    22a was new to me although very fairly clued, bet I don’t remember it for the future!
    No particular favourite but I did rather like 1&9a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the words and music.

    1. I’ve never seen 22a except in crosswords, can’t imagine using it in conversation. I think it’s pronounced with “tees” at the end but not sure.

  21. Bottom half easier than the top and 1a vexed me greatly. I had several answers that seemed to parse before I alighted on the correct one. I will avoid the naughty step and apologise in advance for completely forgetting to return to the review when the unmentionable becomes mentionable.
    I was expecting a bit of Bach to accompany 17d but was delighted to see it matched my fave version of that piece. ( I once “broke into” a church, after a long session in the pub. My accomplice was an Organ Builder who looked after the instrument and knew how to get in. We didn’t dare turn the electrics on so I pumped the organ manually while he played that very piece.)
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  22. We’ve had this setter before I think and I still don’t enjoy many of their clues. I did like 18a but now I know it has been seen before….

    If the setter and editor are reading this, I’ve said this before and I’ll have to say it again – I know people don’t solve working down the clues one by one, but I do and then I draft a blog going from clue to clue, it becomes obviously very quickly that the insertion clues abound yet again, and surely a careful look at the crossword would quickly show that we have five of them in a row in the Across clues. More clue variety please!

    1. Just read your comment with great interest. Are you able to say which are the consecutive 5 insertion clues across?
      I’ve tried to spot them but am probably wrong.

      1. If you look carefully, 13 of the clues require you to take a word and insert it into another one to get the solution. My solved grid is upstairs but there are several of that type of clue in a row towards the end of the acrosses

        1. Thanks – got the right ones but can’t say I noticed while solving but then as you correctly point out there aren’t many able to solve them in order.

    2. Sorry to bother you CS, but I am intrigued by your comment above. What exactly are insertion clues and what is wrong with them? I’ve looked at all my answers and cannot see a connection between them. Thanks. Manders

  23. Fairly straightforward but needed the hint for 15d and I’ve never heard of the word for 22a. Thank you for taking the time to post the hints – much appreciated.

  24. Thanks for the tips, in particular for explaining 1A. Often when I’m stuck the clue turns out to involve cricket or bridge. Today I was fixated on tiny mammals with wings instead of lumps of wood.

  25. I’m a bit late today because after I finished the puzzle, most enjoyably, last night, I promptly fell asleep and then overslept this morning, but here I am, folks! I rather sailed through this very nice cryptic until I found myself, like many of you, dealing with those crackers in 6d, my LOI. Once I twigged it, I couldn’t imagine what took so long. Podium winners: 6d, *22a, and 18a. *It is not unpleasant for a teacher of poetry to find himself in a not unenviable spot in the classroom. ** / ****

    Thanks to Tilsit, whose reviews I always look forward to, and to today’s setter.

  26. I found this tough going. I have played cricket at many levels and have never heard a bat referred to as 1a, made of yes but never as a description slang or otherwise. 22a was a new word to me but I did like 20d, 5a and 5d. This was def a three pipe problem as SH would have said.
    Thx to all
    ****/***

    1. Isn’t there a famous phrase/quotation about the sound of something on 1a?
      Hope this avoids the naughty corner………..

          1. Afraid only just got around to reading the comments and realise Rod Ash under Comment 30 was more subtle than yours truly!

      1. That refers to the wood a bat is made of, not the bat itself. Anyway that still does not explain the use of the plural. Whichever way you look at it, the clue is simply wrong.
        However, it is a great poem summing up our beautiful game so well. Village cricket is the essence of the game, not the over paid namby pamby version currently dragging on in ‘bad light’. I would like to see some of our so-called batters face the Big Bird without a helmet and armour.

  27. Thank you Tilsit ! After what was, for me, an absolute nightmare of a puzzle last week (despite your best endeavours) I am now happy to have paid for the paper version again this week ! Finished it !!!
    Peter B-T

  28. Challenging and ‘interesting’. As several have commented – some easier clues, some brain manglers.
    1a seems to me to be a very old term. One can imagine PG Wodehouse writing that ‘Psmith picked up his ?????? and strode out to the middle at Lords’.

    The new gazebo has arrived but is yet to be erected. The plan is to give us more cover as I love being outside in the rain and the cooler weather. It will also accommodate little Lola’s outdoor house and give her more shelter.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit. I know the comment about the lateness of hints was meant in a jokey way but this is a good opportunity for me to add to those thanking the blogging team. I appreciate their expertise and knowledge so much.

      1. Thank you so much, Rod, the first line has been going round in my mind since this morning but I couldn’t ‘join the dots’.

      2. Thank you for the poem, Rod. Very nice. I understood most of it since cricket is so ‘foreign’ to American shores.

  29. I enjoyed this and we did finish it without recourse to Tilsit’s hints, though of course I read them afterwards for fun.
    I DID know 22a, I think it is a lovely word even though I don’t think I have ever used it! I was AWOL yesterday as the two
    grandsons came for the day to sort out (haha) some of the gear they have left submerging our spare bedrooms now they
    no longer have a parental home. What a nightmare. How can I throw out their childhood toys? Anyway, a day packing everything
    methodically and two LARGE bags for the charity shop have cleared the way somewhat – now only the carport and the office to
    tackle next time. The crossword is always a wonderful diversion for me and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for the
    setting, the wonderful parsing and everyone’s comments which all brighten my day. It is like another family – but one without problems. (well, sort of !)

    1. Nice to hear that you still honestly believe that the juvenile detritus will one day be retrieved, Daisy. I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the belief that my collection of same will only get dealt with when I finally quit this mortal coil and the daughters will only be able to sell the house IF they clear it out first!

      1. You are so right. We had four piles, take away, send to charity shop, dustbin bag and Yes I want it, but not just yet.
        . To be fair, youngest is still at Uni and just has a room but even so……… It has taken them three years to get this far so we have to think positively
        that a start has been made!

  30. ***/***. Enjoyable solve and, for me at least, a doable prize puzzle in a reasonable time. Like many the NE was tricky but yielded eventually. My favourites were 9&22a and 17d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  31. Yes 6d did take a bit more thinking, pushed solve time up a notch.
    2.5*/3.5*
    Overall a very pleasant puzzle to occupy a time in an overcast Hampshire garden with a coffee.
    Grateful thanks to setter & to Tilsit, to whom I say happy to wait till supper for the guidance.
    Best wishes to all those who help in this blog, all stay well & safe.

  32. A very enjoyable Saturday crossword done while having my coffee, I partially agree with GMY1965 at 23 as I knew the word but not the Usage/meaning, to Brian at 27 as a cricket fan I have heard the word in it singular as in” Leather on 1 across” thank you to the setter and to Tilsit for the work they do, and now for more coffee

  33. Definitely did not find this gentle or easy, more of the teeth pulling variety. I won’t have many left it this trend continues 😊. I was slow to start but did persevere, and the pace picked up as I got more checkers in place. Didn’t know the 1a, nor 22a. But I had penned in 22a in the margin early on, and was surprised to see it confirmed by the hints. Big thanks to Tilsit for helping me finish, and to the setter for stretching my grey cells.

  34. I liked this one a lot although it was over too quickly. Maybe slogging through the toughies this week has sharpened mu brain…unlikely!
    On Friday in the toughie which I completed with loads of hints and reveals there were 7 words or phrase that I had never heard of.
    */***
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  35. I enjoy reading the comments of others almost as much as actually doing the crosswords! I usually only finish the Saturday Prize One as that is when husband plays golf and I can have this time to myself and not feel guilty!
    I had never heard of the word for 22a, that is partly what I love about crosswords, I am always learning, even at my age…..
    Thanks to EVERYONE for all the hints and interesting comments.

    1. Welcome, HD and nobody should ever feel guilty about doing a crossword! Mrs. C doesn’t understand what I see in them but we all know what the attraction is. Hope to hear more from you. 👍

  36. I thought that this was quite tough for a Saturday. I managed to get 22a but had to google it to check as I’d never heard of it before. Thank you setter, and thank you Tilsit. You are very much appreciated.

  37. During these difficult times I now meet up once a week on Saturday with my mother to do the crossword. Although she is 180 miles away, thanks to technology we can share the electronic version using Zoom and have a nice chat at the same time. Using our combined age of 147 we managed to finish without the hints today,, but there were a few head scratching moments and a new word to both of us in 22a. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints as it helped to confirm a few that we weren’t 100% sure of.

  38. I’d say tricky in places but not as much as yesterday’s.
    I got seriously held up with 5a and 6 and 7d – I think I’m still missing some subtlety with 7d. :unsure: dim, perhaps.
    I had heard of 22a and the answer jumped out at me from the clue but then I had to check with BRB about its meaning.
    I thought there were some really good clues today including 9 and 18a and 8 and several other down clues.
    I think my favourite was 4d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  39. PS – as most of you know I don’t ‘do’ (can’t do!) ‘crickety’ stuff but for all of you who can and do here’s something for you – probably most of you have heard it before but here goes anyway.

    How many Yorkshire men does it take to change a light bulb?
    It takes a hundred – one to change the bulb and the other ninety-nine to stand around and talk about how great Geoff Boycott was.

    Off to Gazza’s NTSPP now. :smile: what a treat I know it’ll be.

    1. Or Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, Fred Truman, Brian Close, take your pick That’s from a Lancastrian with gritted teeth.

    2. When Geoffrey Boycott came in to bat, I would go for a long walk. He spent ages getting “The Feel” of the field and the game.

  40. Solved with only a little help from Mr Meringue….and I could parse all the answers, but it was a struggle and did take me quite a while.
    Thanks to the setter and many thanks to Tilsit for his hints.
    I am so grateful to all of the reviewers who give their time up to help me out on this blog. I would never have got to solve anything ‘alone and unaided’ without your help. And it matters not a bit to me what time you post the blog. I know it will be posted and help will be arriving.
    So, thanks again ,Tilsit, and to everyone else who helps out.

  41. With regard to the crit above, in todays’ offering there are in fact 13 distinct clue types used: 6 charades; 3 charade with container; 2 charade with anagram; 2 charade with reversal; 2 charade with subtraction; 1 charade with cd; 3 cd; 2 full anagram; 1 container with anagram; 1 first-letter subtraction; 1 hidden; and sure: 8 containers.

    So first I’d argue that variety in the cluing can’t really be seen as a problem here despite remarks, and second that while there are indeed 8 (unadulterated) containers, that’s actually not a particularly high percentage. You will indeed have seen more than that in puzzles here and elsewhere, and not noticed. I’m not totally sure, but I’d imagine containers are the most-used clue type in puzzles, maybe hotly pursued by charades, but there are ways to make them more interesting, e.g. by adding in an anagram or a reversal.

    Sorry to butt in and rant, but one does like to fight one’s corner. And on that score, whilst you may have seen something like 18a before (such is life unfortunately) it certainly hasn’t been re-used by me. I keep databases for all my Telegraph work to prevent duplication and foster originality.

    1. Very good of you to pop in and ‘fight your corner’. May we have the pleasure of being able to put a name to you – ‘your compiler’ sounds dreadfully stuffy!

    2. Thank you, Today’s Compiler, for your justifications. I for one found this a most versatile puzzle–full of clever charades and anagrams and all of the other devices you’ve named. I do not find myself eviscerating a puzzle’s various forms of development if the surface-reads are smooth and succinct (only one clue today exceeded seven letters) and make a sensible statement, as yours all did today. Some crossword addicts, alas, can be very demanding and are often quite tactless in their criticism. Such is the nature of the beast.

    3. Thank you for a great puzzle. It was most enjoyable. As Manders says, ignore the gainsayers – some folk take life far too seriously. 🥱

    4. Compiler,
      Thank you for popping in and your analysis. You defence seems to have covered the criticisms well, it is not a “rant” for me.
      Also thank you for the puzzle, 6d I thought clue of the week.

    5. Thank you for the breakdown. I’m a 5d as far as the Saturday crossword is concerned and frequently my attempts are 18d. I rely very much on the hints for 6d clues and am grateful to the reviewers who volunteer their time so willingly. I now plan to go through your breakdown and work out which answers fit into which category. Thanks again.

  42. Very late on today, even by my standards! I found it went pretty quickly, until I got to the SW corner. I also only solved 6d from the checking letters and a little e-help. Despite having 17d, I needed copious e-help with that corner. I’ve lost count how many times 27a comes up. The south western river is a frequent visitor too, but the policeman needed googling.
    Thanks to our setter, that SW corner took as long as the rest, and to Tilsit for unravelling not a few! Keep well.

  43. Only possible because there are two of us: even then, very difficult, but fascinating and enjoyable. It was Rose who solved 22 a but then Gray had to explain what the word meant! We thoroughly enjoyed the music, thank you Tilsit, it’s a favourite, and also greatly appreciated the David Threadgold poem, which we read for the first time. It is always so interesting reading this blog, thanks all! 🤗

  44. Hmph. This puzzle simply made me grumpy and irritated with the setter. 5 * for difficulty, 1 * for cleverness. Far too many “shove a word in another” clues and some very abstruse and far-fetched clues too. Least favourite clues? 1A for starters,18A, 6D and 15D for sure (there’s thinking outside the box and then there’s thinking outside the warehouse) and 14D needed an acronym checker. Favourite was 21A out of a paltry bunch.

  45. Quite enjoying the north south divide with the weather…for once the north of England is dry and sunny!
    I found this crossword quite tricky and wasn’t quite convinced by some of the answers, so a bit of a slog but maybe I haven’t got my crossword head on! Thanks to Tilsit for the hints, which were helpful.

  46. Hi, I just commented, my comment seems to have gone in as a reply to Senf !
    I guess I’m not nimble-fingered enough for these highly sensitive i-phones !

  47. Excellent for me.
    I have already thanked the setter, so just remains to thank Tilsit and the rest of the good people who provide the hints.

  48. Thank you as ever for your hints. As I learn to solve these your site is my guide for tricky clues. Think I need to know more about cricket too.

  49. This was a very enjoyable crossword. Some great clues, and I found it quite a challenge. Many thanks for the hints, Tilsit. They are very helpful as always, and much appreciated. I needed them today to get me going again two or three times when I was stuck. Thanks very much to the setter and to Tilsit.

  50. I was able to do 22a because I remembered it from another crossword some time ago. I couldn’t remember what it meant but Mr. TH knew it and we asked BRB to confirm. 7d beat me completely so needed help from e-gizmo and the hint (thanks for that). Also needed hint for 1a, although mad about that game in my teens, never knew that word. Otherwise the poor old brain coped. Glad to see the setter holding his corner.

  51. Late as always-excuse is family visitors but had help with Daughter and son in law.Last in was 11a as we didn’t get it at all..As many others, 22a was an unknown and dictionary job. We liked 13a as we thought a Doctor was the answer being sought!
    Thanks as always to Tilsit for his devotion, and of course BD for his contribution.

  52. A one bath crossword completed earlier this evening. I struggled with 6d but had bunged in the correct answer as it was the only word I could think of that fitted the other answers. Thanks to Tilsit for providing the explanation.

  53. With 8 kids I sadly I only get to do the crossword after weekend when it’s a bit quieter and miss all the banter above. For a change I didn’t find this one too bad. 6d last in, also got 15d wrong to start with and admit I’d never heard of 22a. Thank you all.

  54. Firstly I totally agree with Terence and many others above and would like to thank Tilsit, all the bloggers and the compiler here because it’s an amazing job that they all do! The crossword and this site keeps me going for at least a few days per week as I dip in and out of short spells in those quiet moments that would otherwise take me ‘where the sun don’t shine’ I imagine. Secondly, a good one for me – 3*/4* and liked 22a because I got it quickly – usually this type leads me to the blog for help – but not this time! Very satisfying and less tough than the last two Saturdays.

  55. I really enjoyed this one! Probably just because I was able to finish it without help (I’m easily pleased). Have to confess to having a couple of ‘Oh, that’s how it works’ moments when I looked at the hints, where I’d got the right answer but not 100% sure why. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for all the support.

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