DT 29467 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29467 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29467 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington where the R rate is rising and probably by this time next Saturday we’ll be locked down, along with most of the North.

Brief blog today as I have been summoned to work and recalled by furlough (yes, even though I am being made redundant in a few weeks!). I have also had a sad week with the loss of my brother-in-law, who quite simply was one of the most gentle, calm and unflappable people I ever met. R I P John Cannon.

One of my tasks next week is to write and deliver the eulogy at the funeral but in the new era of these things, we have but 20 minutes for the ceremony at he crematorium and I have three or four minutes only to deliver the speech.

I found this a fairly straightforward puzzle, probably by our original Saturday setter, and to be honest not a lot held me up. And, of course, it’s a pangram!

Let us know what you thought, and remember to play nicely, or the Naughty Step beckons….

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 Rabbit by pan said to be a fabulous monster (10)
We start with a monster made famous by someone whose home in Daresbury I shall pass en route to work in Preston Brook.

6a Level area’s reported weakness (4)
A word for a level area of ground sounds like a weakness in something.

9a Main board meeting of the day? (6)
A very cryptic way of saying a gathering where people eat.

18a Old soldier chopped up tree in transit? (7)
An anagram (chopped up) of TREE goes inside a vehicle that Transit is a type.

24a Like finest, outstanding, incombustible material (8)
Add together a short word meaning like, goes before something meaning finest and then the abbreviation for outstanding.

25a In alternator, questionable force (6)
Hidden answer.

26a Group that’s missing led old flier (8)
The name of a rock band loses its first word.

28a A metal ring damaged part of harness (10)
An anagram (damaged) of A METAL RING.

Down

1d Fast mover over snow? One going over water (3-5)
A name for something that travels fast takes someone who moves over snow.

4d Fuel store for festival (9)
A type of fuel plus a word meaning to store is the name of a festival where the group indicated at 26 most famously did NOT play.

5d Mostly eager to welcome greed, cooking dish (8)
Three-quarters of a word meaning eager has inside an anagram of GREED to give one of my favourite dishes.

6d Make delicate adjustments to superior melody (4-4)
A word meaning superior and a word for a melody.

13d Turned out too late? (9)
A cryptic description for when you may not get dressed in time.

15d Sacrifice male accountant placed on vault (8)
A short word meaning a man, plus the abbreviation for a chartered accountant and the name for a vault.

16d Gosh, one in quest fabricated incommunicable quality (8)
A word meaning ‘Gosh!’ takes an anagram (fabricated) of QUEST with the abbreviation for one inside.

21d You and I will have a poncho, not half, only an arm (6)
A word for you and I, plus A and 50% of the word PONCHO.

22d Cut short brilliant woman (6)
A woman’s Christian name is a word meaning brilliant or star-like, minus its last letter.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Please let us know what you thought.

Today’s music is something that will be played next Thursday afternoon as we remember one of the nice guys. I’ll be back next weekend.


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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: purr+chess+tacks=purchase tax


92 comments on “DT 29467 (Hints)
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  1. Genius, Sheepdog, definitely Genius.

    I found it a steady solve, but have to say I was [redacted] by 6a, or should I say flattened?

    COTD, 18a. I don’t know why, it just tickled me.

    Many thanks to the setter and tilsit.

    1. I thought this was one of the easiest Saturday puzzles that I can remember for a while. **/*** I did have to check the meaning of 15d. 26d is my favourite. Remember them well. Thanks to all.

  2. 2*/2*. Nothing here either to frighten or to excite the horses. 6a doesn’t make it clear which part is the definition and which is the homophone but at least each part contains a different number of letters.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. I pondered on this one for a while too RD but not sure there’s anything wrong with the clue. Surely the last word is the definition & the first bit the homophone.

      1. Yes I agree, Huntsman, but the clue in isolation is ambiguous because as written either part could be the definition or the homophone.

        1. I see. That’s why I never critique in Rookie Corner other than to say I liked it – don’t know what I’m talking about although have just finished reading Chris Lancaster’s book which has been very instructive.

      1. Welcome to the blog, Lucille.
        It certainly does. The ‘homophone’ doesn’t work at all for at least half of native English speakers round the world. Most setters seem to come from south-east England where they’ve forgotten how to pronounce the letter R, which means that they can’t distinguish between pawn shop and porn shop.

  3. A thoroughly entertaining stroll in the park with lots of smiles. Would never have got 1a without getting 1d first and so my COTD. Followed closely by my last two in 26a and 22d. Great surfaces and no stretched synonyms unlike yesterday’s toughie!

  4. Well, I didn’t find it the easiest crossword ever.
    Had to use the hints for 15d and 26a…..and 6a is definitely not a homophone where I come from.

    Thanks to tilsit and sorry for your loss.
    Thanks also to the setter.

    1. I agree as I got a bit stuck in the end on 6a and 15d even though I had all the wordplay. Didn’t know the word [15d]
      Did not like 9a at all. However it was a bung in. I still can’t see why.
      If you don’t see the homophone in 6a I fear you may have put in the wrong word.

  5. A reasonably challenging puzzle, particularly in the SE corner. I enjoyed unravelling the clues (**/****) and particularly liked 26a, 15d and 16d. There were lots of other good clues. Thanks to Tilsit for the review (I did need help parsing a couple of the clues) and thanks to the compiler. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law Tilsit. I lost my brother-in-law last year and was unable to get to his funeral as I was in hospital having an operation to mend my fractured femur with a metal plate. I feel such sympathy with people who are not able to say goodbye to their loved ones properly during the Covid crisis. I’m sure you’ll do a good job with the eulogy.

  6. Happy Saturday all! I’m still at the crosswording stage where I’m thrilled to be able to finish, but even so, I found today I wanted to be just a little more tormented… Now I have no reason to avoid raking up those leaves.

  7. Lots to enjoy here in this very pleasant offing, which I, for once, immediately espied as a pangram (I seldom do). I rather breezed through it but thought that several clues were nicely original, with some amusing surfaces. “‘Twas brillig” to be greeted by 1a last night when I opened the puzzle (“O frabjous day!”), and I very much liked 26a (my COTD), 15d, and 16d. Thanks to Tilsit for his review and to today’s setter. 2* / 3.5*

      1. If you listen to nothing else of theirs then listen to ‘Stairway to Heaven’. Naughty corner here I come because, surely, everyone know that. On long journeys to France when our Lambs were little (ish) it was one of the things that they loved and so did we.

  8. T’internet dropped out for a moment there. RD has covered my thoughts on 6a. The rest trotted off my fingers in 1 brew time.
    Nice pangram which made 26a an obvious answer that needed reverse parsing.
    Sorry for your loss Tilsit and thanks for the music
    Thanks to setter for a pleasant solve

  9. Very enjoyable with some excellent clues in 1a and 26a (wrote and performed the finest piece of music ever written in Stairway) and a new word in 15d (had to use the BRB to confirm my answer).
    Thx to all
    ***/*****

  10. Perfectly pleasant though pretty straightforward. Thought I was getting better at twigging a potential pangram early but this one passed me by. For some reason 2d & 8a caused a brief hold up despite neither being difficult. 6a was last in & was reduced to mentally working through the alphabet but soon happened on the appropriate homophone. The wordplay delivered 15d but had to confirm it with Mr G. Liked 4d & 26a as they appeal to my musical tastes.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit

  11. That didn’t tax the grey matter too much but was fun while it lasted. 6a was only hiccup and I ended by bunging in a wrong unparsed solution but thanks to RD all is now clear and indeed should have been obvious to me. 15d new addition to my vocabulary. 23a was grin-worthy. Fav was 7d. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit to whom sincere condolences on loss of your brother-in-law – the Murray Perahia rendition of Mozart’s Piano Concerto is beautifully soothing.

  12. Nice and easy puzzle to start the weekend. And I learnt two new words. So life is good. Sad to hear of your brother in law’s passing.

  13. I didn’t, of course, spot the pangram despite thinking it might be one when the z went in. A most enjoyable puzzle and all has been said about 6a. I wasn’t too sure about 9a either but it could be nothing else. 15d was a new word for me so I must place it in the memory bank where it will gradually disappear. I was reminded by 5d that we haven’t had that delicacy for a while so I must fit it into the menu somewhere. MY COTD is 23a because it raised a huge grin.

    Many thanks to the setter. Thanks also to you, Tilsit and I am sorry to hear about your brother-in-law.

  14. Were not sure we’d got 9a and 13 d right until we checked Tilsit’s comments, but otherwise zoomed through, rare for us. */***, thanks to setter and Tilsit. That music will be wonderful for the funeral, Tilsit. Treasure every moment, however brief: being in a different country meant we could not attend Gray’s mum’s funeral when she died in May. He must have been a lovely bloke to get such a tribute from his brother-in-law.

  15. Not quite so easy for me and I had never heard of 15d but I figured it out. Like Steve I didn’t notice the pangram, but then I usually miss lurkers too so my powers of observation are rather poor! Really enjoyed the puzzle, nevertheless.
    The Premier League is back; I had hopes to be able to go and see my beloved Chelsea before too long, but that looks like a long shot now.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit – so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother-in-law.

  16. Didn’t even notice the pangram, I was too busy tut-tutting over some of the surface reads! 15d was new to me and my top two were probably 23&24.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints – hope all goes as well as possible on Thursday. The only time I was due to give a eulogy was at my dear old Dad’s funeral and I simply couldn’t do it, hope he’s forgiven me.

      1. The definitions were underlined, but when I used the “clear formatting” option to ensure the font size was uniform throughout the post they disappeared and I forgot to add them back in.

          1. I think the ‘most fun thing’ about doing the hints and finding the pics and putting them in etc etc, and being about to publish it is when the whole ******* thing disappears, specially when you know it’s getting a bit late.
            The second ‘most fun thing’ is thinking you’ll be really smart and, for the first time ever, set the automatic timer for it to publish and trusting it and then coming back from seeing a friend and nothing, absolutely nothing! All gone! :cry: But then I’m not very techie. And it was a very long time ago.
            Oh dear, oh dear, – never again have I trusted the automatic thingy.

  17. Somewhat better than last week’s SPP, completed at a gallop and, of course, I did not notice the pangram – **/***.
    I did need Small Red Book help for 15d; now I have to decide if it is worth trying to remember it just in case it is used again.
    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 6d, and 19d – and the winner is 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit with commiserations for your loss.

        1. I defer to the man who clearly knows his Chinese leaders as well as his Mustard!
          I have just sent an email to Chambers as to why when you click on a word in their Word finder it takes you to a google definition rather than their own.

  18. I agree with everything, I think, that has been said. A nice straightforward workout with just enough to give you pause for thought. My stumbling block was 6a. I did spot the pangram and I thought 26a was very clever. Lovely to see the sun and be in the garden, we have to make the most of it. I hope all goes well at the funeral, it must be very difficult for you all in these strange times. Thanks to Mysteron and Tilsit.

  19. Enjoyable solve with two new words for me but too busy solving to even think about a pangram. Someone remarked about 26a composing and performing the finest piece of music ever and others have the impression of their admiration. Why do mature people still insist on listening to what are in essence nursery tunes and rhymes for those who are unable to develop musical taste?

  20. Having read the comments we might need to rethink 6a! Otherwise a very pleasant solve and we recognised the pangram so we must be improving! Sad to read of your loss,Tilsit.

  21. I agree with earlier comments re 6a. That aside, this was a pleasant stroll in the park with 26a my favourite clue. I spotted a pangram early on in the Quickie and assumed there would be one here too. It certainly helps the solving process.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter, and thanks and condolences to Tilsit. Time listening to any of Mozart’s piano concertos is rarely wasted.

  22. Easier end of the Saturday spectrum for me with no problems I thought except 15d a new word. Spotted the pangram early which helped with solving my missing letter clue. Then trying to understand RD’s post re 6a I realised I had completely misunderstood the clue.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit. My commiserations, hope things pick up for you.

  23. **/****. Very gentle puzzle to start the weekend. Completed in the smoky air on our front porch accompanied by a gin and tonic with diet blood orange. No particular favourites; learned a new word; and thought about a pangram from early on but then forgot to go back and check. Thanks to our setter and Tilsit.

  24. Definitely an easier puzzle this Saturday to play with. **/**** with lots of great clues and a new word I learnt today in the form of 15d. Clues for favourites include 1a, 12a, 23a, 26a, 16d, & 17d with winner 26a for straightforward simplicity with the clue.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for hints

  25. I agree, very friendly puzzle today. I like when all you have to do is follow directions and you learn a new word, which is what happened at 15d. The only help I needed with this one was the dictionary to look up the meaning to be sure.
    I sussed the pangram early on and it helped enormously, 26a in particular.
    I had to use a 28a on my little mare, she used to throw her head all over the place – it’s my fave. So much to like, I dream about 5d, wish we could get it here.
    Thanks to Cephas for the fun. So sorry for your loss Tilsit, your choice of music is perfect.

  26. So near and yet so far … it was almost all my own work, almost unheard of for a Saturday puzzle, but then 15d did me in, and had to look at the hint, so another new word learnt. Of course if I had the right sort of vault in my little brain it would have helped. Thought 1a and 18a were great clues, and quite pleased with myself that I even got a band related one, being musically challenged. Sorry about your brother in law Tilsit. And hope you don’t have to suffer another lockdown. Thanks for helping me get 15d Tilsit and kudos to the setter for making me feel brainy for a while.

  27. A really enjoyable crossword, thanks to Cephas (did you know that Cephas comes up as cephalopods on predictive text on an iPad?!). 26a made me chuckle and being a fan in my younger years, that’ll be my clue of the day. Thanks to Tilsit for the blog and sorry to hear your news.

  28. A bit disappointing for me to see that so many people found this an easy solve. Even the appearance of my home town as a clue took some time for the penny to drop! Obviously not as in tune today as I have been in recent weeks. Lots of good clues though, when I finally got there with Tilsit’s help. Thank you.

  29. Very late to the party as all the family assembled today before the latest restrictions come into force on Monday. How long before we’ll be able to get together again?
    Fortunately, an enjoyable crossword provided a relaxing end to a busy day, so many thanks to Cephas.
    Many thanks,too, to Tilsit for the hints. I’d never have worked out 15d without them. So sorry to hear of your loss which is bad enough at any time but the present situation makes it so much worse.

  30. A bit late now but just thought I’d pop in to say hello.
    15d was a new word to me and I really think it was a new one, rather than just something I’d forgotten.
    Everything has already been said but thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to Tilsit for the hints.

  31. A number have commented on two new words so I will join you…sorry Tilsit to hear of your loss, and wonder how you do all this work, with all your own work problems!
    Thanks for your hints -not too many needed this time! Liked 24a which slipped in after a few letters.
    I’m watching the Last Night of the Proms recorded, and wonder at Nicola Bernadetti playing the Lark Ascending without looking at the music… However I hope next year it will be back to normal! I

  32. I too thought my brain had suddenly woken up. .did this one very quickly-although I’d never heard of 15 down
    Sorry to hear of your sad loss..

  33. Sorry to hear Dave. Been there with brother and sister – eulogies aren’t easy. Nice easy Xword today, even I completed without help. I can get back to previous weeks now!

  34. I’m not a regular at this so was pleased to manage it all, with the exception of 6a. I don’t see a homophone here. I see two words with identical spelling. Even then, I hadn’t thought the word means weakness unless perhaps referring to that bit of missing acceleration in a car. Can anyone offer any explanation of the clue and why it’s got ‘reported’ in it?

    1. Welcome to the blog Ant

      The word “reported” indicates a homophone of a five-letter “level area” which gives a four-letter “weakness”. Some of the debate on this clue concerns the fact that it is not clear as to whether “reported” applies to the “level area” or to the “weakness”. If you need further explanation then ask again on Friday in the full review.

      1. Many thanks. As someone else has suggested, I had the wrong word – doh! My partner has a West Country accent where the ‘* [redacted BD]’s are very clearly pronounced so I get the comments some people have made. First time I’ve completed the crossword in one go so pretty pleased with myself. Thanks for your wonderful blog which has taught me loads.

        Anthony

  35. Firstly, sorry for your loss, and I hope the eulogy goes well. Being a funeral director, I do know that I while it is possible to sum up a person in 3-4 minutes, it’s often unsatisfyingly brief and you may find it beneficial to write something longer and publish it along with the order of service for people to read after.

    Well this is a very late post because I’ve only just finished, but despite the late hour, I’m feeling very pleased with myself that I got 28/30 with no assistance whatsoever, and the last 2 with help from your clues here.

    Not sure why the old flier and the brilliant woman caused me so much trouble, but frankly I’m happy enough with what I did get!

    18d was one of those words where I worked out the answer, then had to pull up the dictionary to be sure it was actually a word, so has to be a favourite simply for helping expand my vocabulary, and 12a was assisted by having the last night of the proms on while finishing this off tonight, so serendipitous.

  36. Thank you Cephas and Tilsit **/****. Very enjoyable for lots of reasons. Sorry you had another tough time on a personal level, Tilsit, but I know I’m far from being alone in wishing you a better time ahead.

    1. Some of us might but as this is a prize puzzle, we can’t say so until Friday when the closing date is passed and the review is published

  37. 6a is definitely NOT a homophone. I had flat (which is I suppose what the setter wanted) and took it to mean a flat tire. Apart from that one terrible clue it was a breeze. Easiest Saturday for ages.

      1. I had yet another word with a different last letter which I figured could mean to tire (weakness) and a level paving stone, but couldn’t account for the homophone indicator so knew it couldn’t be right. My last in too and not a great clue in my very humble opinion; a bit loose

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