DT 29485 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29485 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29485 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a locked-down Warrington, but in the brave new world some of us are sitting in work keeping the rail network ticking over. Now in the last four weeks before redundancy, there are fewer members of staff as people find other jobs, so we are busier. Apologies for the late posting today.

To be honest, today’s puzzle is quite a challenge and where last week I was suggesting solving the longer answers, it’s the reverse today as they are generally the harder clues in the grid, so concentrate on the five-letter answers to give you a foothold and see how you go from there.

I’ve posted hints but please remember the terms of reference of this blog and DO NOT ASK FOR ANSWERS TO CLUES NOT HINTED AT. It’s a prize puzzle and unlike the Monday to Friday answers are not given. If you do, you could incur the wrath of the mods, and be sent to the naughty crocodile pit. The step is already full.

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    He got a different purpose for lodge (9)
An anagram (different) of HE GOT A, plus a word meaning purpose

8a    Shop uncovered concise memo transforming food technology (4,9)
Uncover sHOp and follow with an anagram (transforming) of CONCISE MEMO 

13a    First woman to enter the French bank (5)
Tha name of the first woman inside the French definite article to give an earthwork associated with a river bank.

18a    Start to watch playing this game (5)
The first letter of WATCH, plus an anagram of THIS.

20a    Susan turned back with heavyweight to find station (6)
Reverse the short form of SUSAN and add a weight to give somewhere to travel from.

28a    Rock having even weight (9)
A word meaning to make something even and a different weight from before.


2d    Stop and state temperature (5)
A word meaning to state and the abbreviation for temperature.

5d    Review problem at university (3,2)
A word for a (mathematical) problem and the expression for someone at university (Go check our knowledge store if you’re really stuck)

6d    From objectors remarkably, his sympathy is actually discouraging (4,9)
An anagram of FROM OBJECTORS gives you a phrase for someone who specialises in faux sympathy.

7d    Prostrate after mishap and likely to get hurt (8-5)
A word for a mishap followed by one meaning prostrate will define someone like me!

9d    Coldness following stiffness (9)
The abbreviation for following plus a word meaning stiffness

13d    In this case there are no capitals (5)
how the first letter of this hint’s written….

22d    Troublesome Naomi embraces learner, one in the fuel industry (6)
An anagram (troublesome) of NAOMI goes around the abbreviation for learner.

23d    Part of Mercedes, Cortina or another car (6)
Hidden answer

26d    Something wrong about Italian protest (3-2)
A word for something very wrong goes around the abbreviation for Italian.

Thanks to our mystery setter (my hunch is the new kid on the block, who’s been here for a few months now) for today and remember to play nicely.

Have something a bit different for our Saturday musical offering……


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.





122 comments on “DT 29485 (Hints)

  1. I really enjoyed this rather challenging prize puzzle. (***/****). For once I realised it was a pangram and it actually helped with the clues. There were so many clever clues it’s impossible to pick a favourite but 1a had great misdirection and 10d was outstanding. Im sure Brian will disagree but I thought 6d was great too. Many thanks to Tilsit for finding time to do the hints and congratulations to the compiler on a clever and entertaining crossword.

      1. When you say ‘you don’t get it’, if you mean you can’t parse it, try looking up your solution in the dictionary

        1. We’ve just binned someone ‘new’ who clearly doesn’t bother reading the instructions.

          His post is not even in the naughty crocodile pit, it’s in the naughty acid bath.

        1. If you knew the circumstances in which our blogger was solving and preparing the review and the fact that his “editor/blog poster” was doing three things at once, then correcting a couple of errors is the least of our problems – hope everything is OK now

            1. And thanks for me also. To solve the puzzle, write the hints, add the pictures etc. and post it all before or after going to work sound Herculean to me …

              1. And as well as thanks to tilsit a shout out to Crypticsue whose work in sorting out the posts is earily reminiscent of Hercules’s work in clearing the Augean Stables

  2. What an unusual grid, but what an outstanding puzzle. I worked all of the central 5-letter words first and then rambled around the grid as one penny fell, quite quickly, one after another. For the second time this week, a rare thing for me: an anagrammed answer is my golden COTD, 6d (Brian will loved this one!), followed by 10d and 1a. My LOI was 17a, tricky little devil. Thanks to Tilsit, who keeps it all together, amazingly, and to our pangram master-setter, whoever he is today. 2* / 4.5*

  3. A bit of a mixture today. Some straightforward clues but others that needed a fair bit of working out. 6d being a good example but also my favourite today. ***/**** No idea who the setter is but this was a pleasant Saturday morning diversion from all the rain. Thanks to all.

  4. A puzzle of two parts. Three quarters, or so, completed without too much difficulty then the last quarter, which included 17a, 28a, and 6d, slowed me right down for completion at a gallop – 2.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 21a, and 9d – and the winner is 9d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. A pleasantly testing Prize Puzzle for a miserably wet and gloomy Saturday morning. Unusually I have selected two anagrams as my favourite clues, 8a and 6d. Like RC at #3, the awkward 17a was my final entry.

    Many thanks to our Saturday Mysteron for the challenge and to Tilsit.

  6. Unless I’m mistaken today was an x-less pangram which certainly helped me with a couple of head scratchers in the east. 28a was new to me & I also was unfamiliar with 6d but both easily gettable from the wordplay. Like Robert I started in the centre & worked outwards. No real favourites but enjoyed it nevertheless.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit for the review.

      1. Thanks CS – was pondering my answer to one of the clues & now realise it was wrong which kind of answers Robert’s question.

      1. Thanks for risking chastisement Robert. Just tackling yesterday’s Osmosis & can’t believe how long it’s taken me to get the actor despite having his first name – think I’m losing the plot.

  7. 1.5*/4*. I enjoyed this a lot. I managed to drop onto the right wavelength straightaway and my only hold up was with 17a which yielded after I had twigged it was a pangram.

    My podium comprises 1a, 6d & 10d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  8. I don’t quite know what to say about this puzzle. At first, I found it hard to get into, then I started making some progress, but came to a dead stop in the last furlong. I felt that some of the clues (12a in particular) were weak, but others (10d) were brilliant.

I didn’t know the plant at 11a or the phrase at 6d and the parsing of 17a was beyond me – because I had the wrong answer. Once I had spotted the pangram, it all came out in the wash.

    I finished in **** time, and the aforementioned 10d was COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. I agree with your comment about 12a. It was the only one I had not written in as although there is an obvious word that fits the checkers, it is not a great clue. I kept trying other words that fit but cannot see anything better. Since it is a competition crossword I might only get Second …..

  9. More difficult than the usual Saturday Puzzle and a ***/**** for me,
    Excellent diverse cluing all round, favourites are 6d and7d,
    Solution e- mailed can’t wait for my token!( the old pens were better)
    Excellent quickie too, again more difficult than usual with a cracking pun-thanks all.

  10. You might want to have another look at the hint for 1a or risk the crocodile pit……..

    Found this tricky and had to resort to electronic help.
    Missed the pangram too, so jot my finest hour.
    But at least I have the comfort that others found it tricky too.

    Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the setter.

  11. I agree, the longer clues were trickier today. after several passes I was left with a few in the NW corner. 1a and 9d 2d and 11a
    I realised we were looking at a possible pangram but I was only missing 1 letter which helped 3d
    14d was a bit of a stretch to parse but I think I see it now.
    Thanks to tilsit for the hints and pics and to setter too
    I am off to set up for a virtual coffee tasting the funnest part of which so far has been reconstituting my de-hydrated water.

        1. Well I thought I was a real coffee snob, but I would draw the line at that. We always met for coffee after church on a Sunday, in the
          Good Old Days, and the worthy ladies in the kitchen would buy a HUGE tin of catering instant coffee which lasted for two years at least
          and didn’t taste of anything. Then when they made the coffee, they would get a spoonful and gently tap the spoon until it was dead level.
          I refused to drink it and would often opt for hot water, which in the end I have come to enjoy and appreciate! But I still love my proper coffee
          and the ritual of making it. Hope you found something you really liked!

          1. Of the samples we just tasted I liked 2 of them one was a costa rican coffee and the other was ethiopian
            There was one that I really hated tasted of burnt rubber and that hot metal thing when your brakes fail turns out that that one was a Robusta bean that goes into most instant coffee! but is quite drinkable with cream and sugar if that’s your thing.
            I will drink instant (at work where it is free) A good French Press is better and I do like my espresso machine but most important is just to drink what you enjoy without getting on a high horse

          2. We spent 2 weeks travelling round Ethiopia about 20 years ago, absolutely fascinating. We had coffee made in a mud hut from scratch, toasting and then grinding the beans, the best cup of coffee ever. Mr Manders still gets Ethiopian Long Beans which he grinds up for his breakfast coffee. Extraordinary country with amazing sights. Google Lalibela, Gondor, Axum, Blue Nile Falls, Debre Berhan Selassie, Bahar Dar and if anyone gets to go, be there for Timkat!

            1. That firms up my choice of favourite I will get a discount on the Ethiopian Aricha mixed species coffee from Idido / Yrgrcheffe was the fruitiest with a hint of lavender. I tried another Ethiopian too – a Refisa which was a bit more acidic and grapefruity It was a natural processed coffee which means the coffee cherry ferments a bit before the fruit pulp is washed off which gives the coffe that little bit more citric fruitiness.

    1. I too struggled to parse 14 down until I realised [redacted] led me right up the garden path.

      1. You’ve truncated your alias

        Please remember not to give too much information about the parsing of clues in a Prize Puzzle

  12. Must have been on wavelength today as able to solve without help and,for me,quite quickly.Super humour and clues.I hope l have been able to sign in correctly and apologise for previous lack of competence.My I T skills are only marginally better than my cryptic solving.The Quick puzzle today was also excellent.Thanks to all.

    1. You need to make sure your alias is correct as having two wrong letters in the middle means you keep going into moderation and having to be rescued

  13. A great puzzle although there is one clue I have not managed. Thank you to setter and Tilsit for hints.

    That’s it from me. We are without electricity and I am havI got to access the internet via the hotspot on my mobile phone. Both it, this iPad and my laptop will all soon loose their power. The heating is off so it could be an early night for us.

    Stay safe all.

  14. Well I was going ok then ground to a halt. Ok admit defeat and go to the hints. As ever the ones I want aren’t hinted. Ho hum. But hang on apparently a pangram. Armed with this info the rest fell into place. Thanks to the setter, the multi-tasking hinter and this fine community.

  15. I have a sense that overall the Cryptics are getting a bit more challenging but that’s fine by me and I enjoyed today’s exercise even if the pangram didn’t dawn on me hence I needed help to parse 3d and likewise 14d. Several ingenious clues but no particular Fav. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit – Victor Borge always good for a laugh – thanks for that too.

  16. Loved the Victor Borge clip … a comedian who knew how to play all the right notes in the right order!

    Thanks for that, Tilsit!

    1. So did I and yes he did. I used to find it so tantalizing listening to him, always hoping for some uninterrupted playing that seldom came. A very funny man. What a good choice by Tilsit.

  17. The few that I was struggling with all came out in the wash once I realised it was a pangram too.
    Slightly disappointed the hint for 13A didn’t include a Led Zeppelin reference – now there’s a tune! :D

    1. My favourite track on the album – far better than Stairway to Heaven. Robert Plant was chatting to JH last night on Later if you missed it

  18. On the tricky side again but helped when I realised it was a pangram. Had entirely the wrong entry for 17a until I realised this. For some reason 21a held me up which is perfectly obvious now. No particular favourites. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  19. Quite a challenge today but very enjoyable, it took some time to get a toehold on the longer clues but once they were sorted the rest followed. Although slowly. After a wet walk to Boscastle settled down and finished. Favourite 1a and 20a.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter

  20. Bit of a curate’s egg for me today, with both clever and slightly far-fetched clues nestling side by side. Spotted the pangram early doors, which helped. Learnt a new expression (6d), which was fun. Still not entirely happy with my answers to 11a and 3d. Re the latter, maybe it’s a “usual suspect” use of “on the radio” that I haven’t come across before?

    1. Check your answer to 11a in a very big dictionary. It’s not in my BRB but it is in the on-line Collins.

  21. I had a slight issue with 21a which I always take to mean ‘received and understood’ rather than an expression of agreement and also wondered about 14d – wouldn’t it be better if the clue started with ‘being jealous’ as the ‘ly’ ending doesn’t seem to fit with the answer.
    An enjoyable pangram with no stand out favourite.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints and the opportunity to watch Victor Borge again. Now there’s a man who really makes me laugh!

  22. There are certain letters which, when you see them, begin to whisper Pangram. This was one of those occasions. It does help! Most enjoyable solve. I have largely resisted baking cakes since lockdown (unwanted calories) but this morning prompted by Nadiyah Cooks and a la recherche du temps perdu I made madeleines. Oh boy, what delight. If you were here Setter and Tilsit I would make you a presentation! Do have an imaginary one on me with your coffee. The rain has stopped for a while – smile.

    1. Crikey, Proust and madeleines – how posh (don’t even know what a madeleine is)
      I’ve got steak and ale pie and an apple with an eyebrow-exercising cheddar for afters :smile:

      1. Delicious. Oh, how we looked forward to Monty Python in those days, it was SO radical. And all the boys did so well
        I still love watching Michael Palin.

    2. Next time your certain letters begin to whisper ‘pangram’ please could you get them to do it a bit more loudly – I didn’t hear them.

  23. Delayed today because Chelsea’s game kicked off at 12:30 (Oh! Thanks for asking – we won 4-0).
    As mentioned by others, an interesting puzzle where some zoomed in, and then others needed quite some head scratching. However good fun and a welcome diversion from truly horrid weather outside.

    Thanks to Miss Terri Setter and Tilsit.

    1. You only sing when you are winning. Try supporting my other team Oldham Athletic

      1. Or Coventry – watched the first 10 mins on Sky last night & when they went 1-0 down decided I was bad luck so turned off, Tuned back in at half time to see they were level & then watched them promptly concede another 2.
        Oh to follow a decent team.

        1. Sad for me as a Northern lad, to see the number of teams that would have been in the old Div. 3 North that now populate the lower half of Division 4, sorry 2.
          Fingers crossed that Oldham survive the year but with a seemingly “eccentric” owner & the numpties at the FA who decided he was a fit person I can’t see it.

  24. Once I managed to even make a start I thought this was brilliant – pretty tricky.
    As always I missed the pangram – could have helped quite a lot – at least it would have convinced me that husbands suggestion for 12a was right.
    I also missed a couple of anagram indicators. Dim.
    I’ve only just caught on to why 14d is right.
    I’m not quite sure where to start with picking out particular clues to mention – perhaps 18 and 27a and 3 and 9d. I think my favourite was 7d.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.
    Donkey’s years ago (my sister and I were youngish teenagers) we went with our Mum and Dad to see Victor Borge – it must have been either in Worcester or Malvern – Jane (sister) and I weren’t terribly keen on the idea, being the ages we were, but by the time we came out of the theatre we were absolutely aching from laughing so much – he was amazing.

    1. PS – I didn’t notice while I was actually doing the crossword but there are lots of double-unchecked letters today.

  25. This was a great puzzle today….anything that avoids cricket (about which, I know nothing!) is always a winner with me. Super clues and good variety. Liking this compiler.
    Thanks to all the usual suspects 🙂🙂

  26. Steady application did it.

    The Germans are streaming over the border into Tirol on unification day but we can’t go there without a PCR test. So much for Schengen and international law.

  27. Found this more challenging than the last few Saturday puzzles. 2.5*/**** my rating. Was into 1.5* for completion, as I finished most of it relatively easily but the last 8 or so 5-6 letter answers scattered randomly about the grid held me up.
    COTD include 11a, 19a, 24a, 27a & 3d with winner 3d and 27a close second.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  28. I came to this rather late in the day and found it fairly challenging. All Tilsit’s hints (for which many thanks anyway) were for the clues that I had already solved. Got there in the end but a bit of a slog.
    Many thanks to Setter and all contributors to this blog.

  29. A tough two-sitting solve for me. 3/4 were slow but steady, then spent ages up the wrong path for 1a. Once I saw that the rest came together quickly.
    Was on “pangram alert” early on then forgot. Mind as misty as the weather.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for the hints.
    What with Covid lockdowns & answer crackdowns and no lemon drizzle cake will our lives ever be normal again?

    1. I’ll send you a couple of virtual Madeleines, they have lemon in them. This weather just compounds one’s misery!

      1. Thanks DG
        Mrs LROK will consult my calorie intake to see if I can afford to eat one.
        Still the calories will be virtual too so that will be OK.

        1. I think Madeleines traditionally can be filled with a little dab of jam but one of my fovourite fillings was a little bit of nutella – however I have banned myself from nutella as they apparently contain a lot of palm oil, the production of which causes a lot of de-forestation, I suppose I can imagine a virtual madeleine with any filling

  30. After complaining about yesterdays puzzle it would be churlish not to say how much I enjoyed this one. Well constructed clues so thanks to the setter and for the hints.

      1. That’s why you should never bet on certainties Kath & especially Brian. He does throw the occasional curve ball.

      2. Me too. However I just knew he would do this! I have come to the conclusion that he is not for real. Too many inconsistencies and why did he not complain about 6d

  31. My brain works in mysterious ways! I only solved six clues yesterday, I was so lost I threw in the towel and then today I found it very friendly and solved in a trice. Noticing the pangram early on was a huge help.
    I’m not sure I’ve got the right answer for 11a. Fave was 6d, followed by 9d, but so many could have qualified.
    Thank you to our setter, I hope she comes back soon, and to Tilsit for the hints and tips and VB.

  32. Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints. I found this very difficult, but still good fun. The blog helped by mentioning that it was a pangram. Was 3* /3* for me. No particular favourites.

  33. Thanks Tilsit for the review and particularly for the Ooh Betty moment at 7D!

    Special thanks to CS for everything!

    I found this pretty straightforward apart from one long (E) and 2 shorts (in the NE)

    1. So nice of you to pop in, Cephas. I bet you chuckled over Tilsit’s hunch about you being the ‘new kid on the block’!

    2. Thanks for looking in.
      Where do we give you 5* on Tripadvisor?
      Super enjoyment.

    3. Many thanks, Cephas. Once I sussed it was a pangram, I put in my final answer. Great puzzle.

  34. I was working yesterday until late, so have not looked at yesterday’s yet.
    I found today’s fresh and challenging.
    Agree that 12A seemed very weak which is why I put it in late.
    I too missed the Pan

  35. Excellent puzzle, thoroughly enjoyed, with 21a being my COTD as it made me laugh out loud. Thanks to setter and especially to Tilsit for the Victor Borge clip. What a voice from the past, hilarious chap and great pianist too.

  36. Our electricity is back on! I will read the blog tomorrow but just too tired to comment more now.

    What a day! Awoke this morning to find the main power circuit was off. I checked the fuse box and, sure enough, the main trip switch was down but when I tried to reset it it immediately tripped again. The lighting circuit was working so I knew it wasn’t a power cut. We rang the local handyman but he wasn’t home. His wife said she would get him to call us when he returned. In the meantime, we had no heating, no hot water, no radio and the AGA died. It became colder and colder. I envisaged a huge bill to get it all sorted out. Then, about mid afternoon, our guy rang and said he would be round in a few minutes. He duly arrived and sorted it all in about a minute. Apparently, our immersion heater had blown and tripped the main switch. He told me what to do if it happened again.

    All for £10.

    That is village life for you! 👍👍

    1. Odd, in my experience of around two dozen homes (not all my own) the immersion heater is usually on its own fuse/CB.

      A tip: switch off all sockets with plugs in them (or unplug the connected device) and all spur-connected appliances and reset the main CB. It it trips, then most likely there’s a wiring fault. If it stays on, then turn on each spur-connected appliance followed by each socket/plug until the CB trips.

      1. Thanks, Atilla for the tips. I did do that and the immersion heater is on it’s own CB. It is now permanently down until I can get it replaced.

  37. Found the crossword a bit of a stinker although we did about half – we enjoyed the musical contribution at the end so much we spent the rest of the evening watching Victor Borge!

  38. I am sure I have 11a right but if another commentator is right “not heard of the plant” I am wrong. Thanks Cephas – unlike some others I like 12a. It is unusual but came to me straightaway. Favourites 27a and 6 and 7d. Thanks Tilsit and Cryptic Sue. Managed without hints but needed the reassurance. I normally react badly to double unches but had not even noticed them until Kath pointed them out.

    1. That worried me too, Wanda… until MalcolmR recommended above that I look up my putative answer in a “really big” dictionary (with Collins online mentioned as appropriate). This I duly did and was reassured to see abstruse meaning #6 there. I still wasn’t too fond of that clue though, nor 3d.

  39. Despite an early start, for me, I struggled but managed to do all but 12a,17a and 10d l managed to do them this morning then had to go out. I’ve been driving round the fields through a foot or more of water as the river has burst it’s banks. I was lucky to get through. Favourite was 10d when the penny finally dropped. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  40. Very late on, and fed up with the rain, and only just managed my bike ride…
    Will someone tell me exactly what is meant by a pangram in Xword terms-dictionaries don’t help!
    I managed thanks to the hints and Tilsit and a bit of research but not easy despite the interesting answers.

    Favourite was 7d and most dodgy was17a as there were a few alternatives all of which could be ‘correct’.
    Thanks to the setter of course.

    1. I think strictly speaking a pangram is a phrase that uses all 26 letters of the alphabet ;
      “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” being an example
      but in crossword terms it means a grid that contains all the alphabet at least once
      some setters are known for near pangrams that omit one letter – an X-less pangram for instance
      Others do multiple pangrams where each letter makes the appearance at least 2 3 or4 times
      There may be quintuple pangrams out there but I havent met one.
      I do recall that we had a MPP here, by Phibs that was a quadruple pangram – one in each quadrant. that was a gem, I think it is here

      MPP – 074

        1. Thanks John, just got back to check for a reply,although I did get the answer later by googling it!
          I had a look at your sample Xword but I spend too much time on puzzles as it is, especially Sudokus!
          Thanks again.

  41. I don’t think my Cockney is up to handling 14d. Any subtle hints appreciated 😥

    1. Welcome to the blog

      My review of this puzzle will be published in the morning so you can see the explanations for those three clues then. I will say I found it trickier than ‘normal for a Saturday’

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