DT 29479 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29479 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29479 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club
Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Morning everyone!

Thanks to BD for stepping in last week. Afraid as I am working today, it’s going to be a brief blog.

A very agreeable challenge today which contained one or two little stings in the tail. The four long answers should give a foothold into the puzzle and help you on your way.

If you complete it, there are a couple of fine puzzles around today. The Guardian is by the talented Picaroon and the FT is by our Sunday setter. Enjoy them!



See you next week!

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.


8a Throw for all the players (4)
Two definitions to start today. A word meaning to throw and all the actors in a drama, for example.

10a Mature and complex schedule (6)
A word meaning to mature and an anagram (complex) of AND.

12a Written work about border plant (8)
A type of plant is revealed by taking the name for a type of writing and putting it around something meaning a border.

13a Not natural to be a whisky hater? (7,3,5)
An expression meaning not natural is a cryptic way of saying that you are not in favour of whisky, here described as a Scottish nickname for what it’s made of.

17a Engaging question from one lacking confidence? (7)
A way of describing someone who is engaging can be split up into a three-word question that someone who isn’t confident may ask of themselves.

20a Dean intends to be awkward in last romantic occasion (2,10,3)
An annual romantic event is revealed by taking a word meaning a dean and rearranging the letters of INTENDS and placing both inside a word meaning to last.

23a Platforms elevated with two-way struts? (8)
A cryptic description of places where a short walk up and down attracts public attention.

26a Hot stone cracked around lake (6)
A slang meaning of hot is an anagram of STONE placed around L for lake.

28a Lose balance — beer knocked over! (4)
Take the name of a (Czech) beer and reverse it.


1d Really warm support Conservative lost (6)
Something meaning very warm is found by taking a word for support and removing the abbreviation for Conservative.

3d One can’t know why the votes aren’t counted! (6,2,7)
An expression meaning one can’t know something is a cryptic way of the election count has been cancelled; probably because the counters are on strike!

5d Irregular bet incriminates leading politician (7,8)
An anagram of BET INCRIMINATES gives the name of someone at the top table of government.

7d Price of round and capacious cups? (4)
Nudge, nudge, wink, wink time! The name for a type of price in gambling is found by taking a round letter and adding the sizes associated with very large bras!

21d As and When You Like by Shakespeare? (2,4)
Clever clue. An expression meaning as and when is revealed by taking a word meaning nearby and the (short) Christian name of the Bard.

22d Fuss about an American soldier moving very slowly (6)
A word meaning fuss goes around A plus the abbreviation for an American soldier.

24d Singer in laryngeal torment (4)
A hidden answer.

That’s all for today. Hope you managed to crack today’s enjoyable challenge.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Please let us know what you thought.

Music today is something of a favourite and is something that is guaranteed to relax me after stressful day. Enjoy!

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: peek+inn+ease=Pekinese

99 comments on “DT 29479 (Hints)

  1. Not the easiest but very enjoyable. Best clue for me was 7d (reminiscent of a Ray T clue).
    20a took some parsing so thanks for the invaluable hints.

  2. I found this rather difficult and time- consuming, with occasional satisfying moments of revelation(5*/3*). I think Tilsit is right about the long clues giving access to the rest but it took me a long time to fathom what 3d was all about. Once the penny dropped, however, 3d, together with 13a were the best clues. There were 4 clues that I bunged in and couldn’t parse and I used electronic help with one other. Thanks to Tilsit for the explanations to my bung-ins and to the setter for the most challenging Saturday puzzle for a while

  3. An excellent puzzle. Unhappily for me, 3d and 20a were among my last in, so less of a foothold than Tilsit suggests above. Favorite 19d. 3*/4* rating imho.

  4. What a terrific puzzle! It just didn’t last long enough, but I enjoyed it very much while it did, especially my LOI 23a, 21d, 17a, & 3d. All of the long answers were great fun too. Thanks to Tilsit (enjoyed the Shostakovich) for the hints and to today’s setter. 2* / 4*

  5. Another very enjoyable solve with no help needed.The long answers provided both a good base and a quiet chuckle.Thanks to all.

  6. As Tilsit says mostly straightforward but one or two (7d and 20a) took some working out. ***/*** Favourite 5d. Thanks to all.

  7. For once I am in agreement with Brian. 7d amused and 20a was easier to solve than parse. I did like the 3 letter clues too. and I enjoyed the schoolyard humour of 7d and 16d as well.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter – loved the music too

  8. Lots of fun and no real problems today but a couple (3d and 23a) delayed completion. Among several the most amusing clues for me were 13a, 3d, 7d, 16d, 19d and 21d. Many thanks Mysteron and Tilsit. Love the Shostakovich Tilsit – thanks

  9. Obviously, getting the long clues is needed to flow through today’s fine puzzle . Unfortunately, 3D was my nemesis mainly due to the first word being figured as 6 . Once realised it became my second favourite behind the outrageous 7D .
    Thanks again to Tilsit and , of course , the Setter .

  10. A number of teasers for me in this, which unfortunately included a couple of the long ones so I didn’t get Tilsit’s ‘foothold’.
    Several that made me smile and my choice of top three is 23a plus 3&21d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the review and the waltz.
    Aside from the puzzles mentioned by our reviewer, do pop into the Independent where our Friday Toughie blogger, Dutch, has a puzzle today. Don’t panic, it isn’t like one from Elgar!

  11. Couldn’t parse 7d at all (spot on observation Brian – very Ray T) nor 20a fully in what was a largely straightforward puzzle with a couple of head scratchers. 3d was my pick of the clues narrowly edging out 13a in a very pleasant prize puzzle completed in marginally over 2.5*
    Thanks to the setter & Tilsit.

  12. A quite testing and ultimately rewarding puzzle to solve, with some excellent clues. 7d sticks out for the “oo-er missus” moment, but my favourite was 3d with 19d my final entry. An honourable mention, too, to the excellent lurker at 24d. Great stuff.

    Thanks very much to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  13. Mostly straightforward for me, except for 17a where I needed the hint. Needed Tilsit’s help to parse 20a too, though it has to be what it is.
    Very enjoyable start to the weekend.

    Thanks to Tilsit and to the setter.

  14. Previous comment lost in the ether so another go
    Found this a bit of a trudge especially after yesterday.
    My own fault as I was convinced the last word in 3d was not what it was & was stuck on the checkers.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for hints.
    Thought of criticising 7d for requiring obscure GK! 🤔

  15. For me, possibly the gentlest SPP for quite a well with the 4 15-letterers providing the key although it took me a while to parse 20a, completed at a gallop – **/****.
    7d got a Hmm.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 13a, and 16d – and the winner is 13a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  16. I am stuck on 3 clues so I’ve put the paper down for a while. I will go back to them later. As for the rest of the puzzle, it was a cracker. Like Brian, I had quite a laugh at 7d and I also liked 17a. Getting the long clues helped with checkers. When I saw the crenelated grid I suspected we might be in for a nina but nothing appeared.

    Many thanks to the setter – I will sort out the NW corner after a break. Many thanks to Tilsit for taking the time to give us excellent hints.

    1. Sorry – I’m trying to post a picture of a magnificent bird that landed on the bird feeder this morning but I can’t seem to do it.I think It’s some kind of Falcon but I wanted the bird loving members to identify it.

        1. Thanks, LBR but I’m afraid I can’t get that to work. HTML always confused me. Many thanks for trying to help. I think it might be a Peregrine but I’m no expert.

            1. My last comment went awry – did you see the shape of the ends of the wings?
              Falcons, sparrowhawks etc tend to taper to a point whereas kestrels, kites and buzzards etc tend to have more flat ended wings

                    1. It sounds like a female sparrowhawk, Steve. I get a loymt of them swooping in on my feeders. They then sit on the finial atop the feeder pole and dismember their prey.

            2. We had a Sparrowhawk in the warehouse earlier this year. I had a small teddy bear keyring (souvenir of the tour de France – so I suppose it was a small version o the lion the winners get) I tied it to a string and swung it about as a lure to entice the creature to the back door.

        1. Thanks, Jane. I have decided it is a Sparrow hawk. I got slightly excited that it might have been a Peregrine but there you go!

          1. A couple of years ago a sparrowhawk missed the bird feeder and ended up on the floor of my kitchen having flown through the right hand glass door which was open. We stared at each other for what seemed ages and then I picked up a T towel and wafted it like a matador. He then flew out but a couple of days later did exactly the same thing but instead flew round the kitchen and straight out again. Actually it was rather wonderful.

            1. They are magnificent looking creatures, as the photograph, which I tried to post, shows. It is staring straight at me with beautiful yellow eyes.

              1. Just spotted your latest post, Steve – Peregrines have dark brown eyes with a yellow ring so I think your visitor must be a Sparrowhawk.

          2. Peregrines are birds of cliff tops and wide open spaces, who hunt their prey on the wing. Keep an eye on your feeder as Sparrowhawks do like to return to places where there are easy pickings to be had. You may need to leave your feeder empty for a while as I had to do last year – alternatively move it to a different part of the garden that has no convenient trees and hedges for the hawk to lurk in!

            1. Apparently the roof of a ‘high rise’ hotel in the centre of Winnipeg must count as a cliff top. Peregrines have been nesting there for several years. There used to be a ‘Falcon Cam’ – if it’s still there and in use next Spring, and I remember, I will post the link.

              1. Yes, I think ‘high rise’ buildings are good substitutes – we’ve got several regularly used nests on cathedrals in the UK and the RSPB et al have cameras on more than one of them.

  17. Hmm. Not sure if I could have been doing the same puzzle as Senf. I did enjoy this a lot but I found it quite a challenge taking me over my 3* time. My rating is 3.5*/4*.

    My favourite was 3d and 7d raised a big smile.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    P.S. I second Jane’s recommendation to have a go at Dutch’s puzzle in the Independent. Good fun from him.

    1. Unusually, I solved this without alcohol assistance (on my Friday evening). Perhaps I should try that more often. No, that might spoil the fun.

    2. I third that recommendation to Dutch’s puzzle – Not quite ready to head over to fifteensquared as they just blurt the answers out when I want to get a few more by myself

  18. At the risk of being called precious, the more I think about it, the less comfortable I am about helpful hints for a prize crossword. Doesn’t seem to be quite fair to those who are tackling it unaided.

    1. I don’t think anyone would get much satisfaction from using the hints to complete a puzzle then send it in and claim ‘I solved it’
      Most folk just want to solve the puzzle and probably not bothered about a DT pad or whatever the prize is
      Don’t get me wrong, I do see your point but I don’t think it’s a big deal – it’s up to the solver whether they use aids of any description

    2. I think that would be a valid point if the prize was valuable or cash and the DT get THOUSANDS of entries so chances of winning are slim. I won a pack of bridge cards 40 years ago and a notepad and pen three years ago!

    3. I do my best to solve the prize puzzle without aid and I often manage it. However, If I do, I rarely send it in these days – the prize is no longer worth it.

      K. Wall, I respect your opinion and you must follow your conscience. However, crosswords are supposed to be for enjoyment and if I have to use hints to finish a prize puzzle then so be it.

  19. We started fast with clues scattered all over the grid, then toiled away to finish. 23 a last one in. For us, the ideal ‘difficult’ crossword, in that it took a long time to do but every clue solved was a satisfying achievement because it all made sense. ****/****, thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  20. Very enjoyable puzzle which was solved with minimal difficulty except for the capacious cups. That sort of knowledge I am not in possession of as I always find a seat well away from the lingerie section in case I’m asked if I’m a pervert. And no, I’ve never bought my wife of nearly 50 years anything in that department of a store.

    Thanks to Tilsit again for his Saturday blog and to the setter for such an excellent puzzle.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Tilsit has provided a hint for 23a. 4d simply requires an abbreviation for clairvoyance inserted into a ceremony to get a synonym for delay

  21. I fully agree with R &G. An enjoyable but doable challenge. I wasted far too much time trying to make an anagram out of the first four words of 20a, but finally bunged in what it had to be, so many thanks to Tilsit for the explanation and to the setter.

  22. A very pleasant accompaniment to sweet corn from a neighbour’s allotment and tomato soup from my garden on another bitter day. Brought the lemon tree into the conservatory- first sign of winter and the devil has flown over the blackberries so they are finished and green tomato chutney looks as if it is on the agenda. Some very nice clues although I wasted some time on a complete anagram for 20a. Thank you Tilsit and mysteron. I think it’s definitely a light the fire day – enjoy the weekend folks.

    1. Interesting comment about the devil so I googled it. It seems the last day for picking said fruit is 29 September. In my garden they are still far from ripe but I think I will ‘take a chance’ and pick them when they are. Ghastly weather still in East Anglia Daisygirl and another two days to go of it I fear. Trees down all over the place. Stay safe.

      1. Yes I have just heard on radio 4 news that a little girl was killed in school by a falling tree. How tragic. How fragile life is.

        1. That is awful! A beautiful life here one second and gone in the next. Life is, indeed, fragile, Daisygirl.

    2. The devil hasn’t touched the blackberries in Shropshire as yet. I suspect, however, he will soon arrive.

  23. Enjoyable puzzle. Some clever clues. 3d threw me for ages and was the last one in.
    Yesterday we were primed to see some old friends, outside, at a hotel by the Thames. This would have been my first social engagement, face to face, beyond the immediate family, since March. Very poor weather and growing concern by all of us about increasing cases in our area led us to postpone/cancel. Partly saddened at not seeing old friends; partly relieved because we didn’t take a (minor) risk. I cannot see life returning to anything like normal until there is a vaccine and/or a cure.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Brace yourself Terence – a vaccine or cure will not solve the problem
      Bacteria and germs are the building blocks of all life and will adapt, mutate and ultimately win in any event
      The idea that we can make the world a sterile environment is a nonsense; herd immunity or failure is what will happen whatever we do
      It has been going on for 4600 million years (Precambrian period) on this planet, and will not change any time soon

      1. Sadly, LBR that is correct. The professor at the QE Liver Unit rang me when shielding was eased. He told me to stay isolated. I said I would do so until a vaccine was developed. He told me not to count on a vaccine as Covid will mutate.

        1. Maybe not, Terrence. Yes, bacteria and viruses mutate but so do humans. The human body is a wonderful machine and adapts well to the environment it is in. The problem is, bacteria etc reproduce every 20 minutes so their evolution is very rapid. However, what bacteria and viruses don’t have is sentience. Humans can see a problem, assess it and work together to find a solution. It is this that gives humanity the edge over microorganisms. We don’t evolve as rapidly as they do but we are, by far, more clever.

    2. What does Lola think about the DT article yesterday saying cats fare better on one meal a day in the manner of wild animals? I put it to Thompson who let me know in no uncertain manner that she thought very little of the idea. In fact she became even more vocal at the appropriate time – which is just as we have our first gin and tonic. Nobody puts Thompson in the corner.

      1. I don’t think our Rupert would have agreed. He was very vocal whenever he considered it his meal time.

      2. Lola does have one meal a day (first thing in the morning) but usually she saves some in her bowl for a later snack.
        She seems to prefer this arrangement as it leaves her plenty of time for her favourite hobby – snoozing.

    3. Der Gropenführer has assured us that there will be a vaccine approved by him before the election, that is if anyone is brave enough to take it. I, for one, would be too concerned that it would just be disinfectant.

      1. It will be sodium hypochlorite and he will give it, most graciously, by intravenous administration to those who oppose him. Then he will declare to the nation, his tidal wave of a toupee to the fore, that those who opposed him were struck down by the Lord. Hallelujah, Brothers and Sisters!
        I’m not sure who is worse. The Dodo or Putin in Moscow.

  24. Slow but steady today. However still missing the first word of 3d, I guess it will come to me at some stage. Intrigued by comment 9 above re the first word being 6 letters, can’t see the connection. Also comment 19 above, I do the prize puzzles purely for the pleasure of doing them – too much trouble to take a screenshot and email it in for a book token. Thanks to all, great stuff.

    1. Oh, I have a long standing competition with another member of our congregation so I feel I have to enter. At least now I don’t have to pay for postage – I must have bought a pack of cards over and over again in stamps across the years!

      1. Re 9, think of contractions we use in every day speech such as he’s for he is. Any cake in the naughty corner?

  25. Very enjoyable puzzle which diverted us from the fact that Germany, Belgium and Holland declared the Tirol a Corona red spot and closed the border – even though they all have worse figures. So much for Schengen and our trip to the UK.

  26. Definitely a bit of a head scratcher in some of the clues this morning. SE was last to go in with 18d last in. ***/*** for me today.
    Some good clues for favourites include 9a, 13a, 4d, 7d & 21d with 7d being the winner and the one with a PDM and a subsequent groan! Runner up 13a

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for a few of the needed hints for those stingers mentioned in the pre-amble

  27. A rather pleasant Sunday puzzle today. I too was stuck for ages on the first word of 3d. Loved the picture at 12a as we can’t grow them here, but do occasionally see them on sale as a short lived potted plant. After a morning spent outside digging up and moving the myriad of stones surrounding one of our trees, it was a relief to come indoors and finish the puzzle. Tree guy is removing 3 medium size trees for us next week, but they want the stones removed first. Two done, one to go. Hope our backs hold out. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. Nice puzzle, that I found quite straightforward. No real holdups. Last in was 23a. Favourite was 3d. Was 2*/3* for me.

  29. 3*/4*…
    liked 24D “singer in laryngeal torment (4)”
    completed successfuly, but a few I shall have to wait for the full blog to understand the parsing.

  30. Thanks Tilsit for the link to the FT puzzle … a most enjoyable solve … a nice Dada (aka Mudd in the FT) puzzle. Not too quirky either!

  31. Not easy but got there eventually. I must go to bed to prepare myself for tomorrow as I’m out for lunch with 5 women! 1 aunt, 2 sisters, 1 niece and the woman who would be really upset if she heard me say I don’t have a girlfriend. All right she’s my girlfriend, but don’t tell her I told you. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  32. It’s well into Sunday with me, as I had several ‘outside’ jobs to do on Sat. Did finish it but needed Tilsit’s help! Thanks for that.
    It didn’t help writing in 26a answer in 25a space…
    I was very slow to get 20a – anything to do with age?
    Last one in was 1d which came in on Sunday with a ‘doh’ moment.
    Hope everyone’s well and keep puzzling.

  33. Coming in very late after enjoying reading the above comments. Just one grizzle, surely the flowers shown in 12a are wrong? Shouldn’t it be the yellow wild one?

  34. For 20a, I realised that we were looking for a synonym for Dean but, in the end, I assumed that there was a misprint for the word ‘Dene’. On trawling some fairly obscure regions of the web I discovered that both spellings are acceptable. Otherwise a fairly straightforward and enjoyable puzzle.

    1. In Chambers Dictionary, there are two meanings for DEAN – you need the second one and then you need a poetic synonym for that definition – and that’s all I’m saying until my review appears on Friday morning

    1. Welcome to the blog

      This is a prize puzzle so hints aren’t provided for every clue. However my review of this crossword appeared on the blog on Friday morning so you can check it there

  35. Well, finally got there! Haven’t checked answers yet and worried I may have got 7d wrong with all the above discussion. Didn’t like 3D as it’s not really a 6 letter word. Now I can start today’s!

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