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DT 29521 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29521 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Lockdown Central in Warrington. I have just managed to upgrade the software on my iMac to the new Big Sur operating system, with surprisingly little trouble. Accordingly, I can bring you today’s blog.

I think the comments from the past few weeks will apply again. A few people will enjoy it, but most will feel negative about it. A shame. It is a very classy puzzle but is probably more suited to a Tuesday or Wednesday Toughie and probably set by our newish kid on the block. Lots of clever definitions to admire, but this took me quite some time to get onto the right wavelength. Maybe while we are locked up or down the esteemed Editor feels we need a stiffer challenge than the usual Saturday puzzle.

Two more puzzles for you! If you are missing our former Sunday setter, he’s on duty in today’s Guardian. You’ll find the puzzle here:

Today’s Indy puzzle is by Morph who sets Toughies as Micawber and can always be relied upon for some mischievous fun. That puzzle is here:
You need to watch an advert and then there’s a print option on the screen.

The usual rules. The hints are designed to help you give you a start or a nudge to finish. Please don’t ask for extra help, it will not be forthcoming and may earn you a trip to the naughty step.

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 Greek character recalled problem about British diamond (7)
A letter of the Greek alphabet, then a word for a (Maths) problem reversed going round B for British.

5a Martians at last on flying saucer? It’s deliberate (7)
The last letter of Martians goes on the end of something saucer-shaped that flies through the air in a sporting context. The definition can be found if you pronounced the final word correctly!

12a Coppers on spot reported revolution (3,6)
After a homophone for to spot something goes a word for the coinage in your pocket.

13a Denied agent involved in a plot (9)
Inside A and a word for a garden plot goes an anagram of AGENT.

17a Conscientious consumer for example stops goods vehicle (5)
The abbreviation of ‘for example’ gois inside a commercial vehicle to give someone who eats with a conscience.

20a Boat from Oxford University set off (9)
A type of ‘boat with stabilisers’ is found by taking the abbreviation for the Uni and adding something that means to set off.

26a Drunk on a charge in Alaskan port … (9)
The name of a place in Alaska is an anagram of ON A CHARGE. The three dots indicate a run-on to the next clue which you should treat exactly the same.

28a Lead and quietly withdraw (7)
The abbreviation for quietly in msic and a word meaning to withdraw.


1d Actor, ‘with it’, could make something cheesy (7)
A type of Italian cheese is an anagram of ACTOR and IT. One of those answers that seems to be appearing in more and more puzzles.

3d Popular movement to exclude fwightful person? (9)
A word meaning to exclude plus a word for a person who can be aggressive or bad tempered, but bear in mind the way one of the words appears here. This lady specialised in them!

5d Champ among boxers perhaps in ruthless competition (3-3-3)
Inside two examples of what boxers are goes a word for which champ be an obscure-ish definition.

7d Classy bar near a poor town locale (5,4)
The abbreviation for classy (as defined by one of the Mitford sisters) plus an anagram of BAR NEAR A.

15d Communications device to signal unwittingly (9)
A double definition and a third if you know what you’re reading.

16d Stew has turkey in creole cooking (9)
The word for a numpty inside an anagram of CREOLE.

17d Bad lover pens heartless gag for online contributor (7)
Inside in anagram of lover goes the outside letters of gag to give someone who would possibly do a video version of this.

19d Intense old partner leaves home? Maiden brought in (7)
Inside the name for a former partner and a home for leaves goes M for maiden.

22d Run, step up and go over again (5)
After the abbreviation for a run goes something meaning step reversed.

24d In the beginning, Adam mentioned temptation as moderate (5)
The ‘beginning’ letter of Adam and a homophone (mentioned) of a word for a temptation

Thanks to our setter for a puzzle that grew on me as I tackled it. See you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s music is something simple and pleasing. 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.  BD

The Quick Crossword pun: Lassie+chewed=lassitude

157 comments on “DT 29521 (Hints)

  1. Standard fare for a Saturday, in my opinion. I’m not sure that I have used the word at 13a recently, (OK, if ever), and I certainly didn’t know the word at 27a, but both were obtainable from the word play. All over in **/*** time.

    The full parsing of 19d took some time. It has been a long while since I last stabbed my paper with my pen. Definitely my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit

    (On a side note, is 26a in the Quickie a very unusual word, or have I made a mistake elsewhere?)

    1. I would agree with Greta that 26a is not unusual. I was surprised at 24d which provides one of the checkers.

      1. With my Geography teacher hat on I can vouch for the fact that this word is well-known and not unusual.

      2. That’s it Senf, my 24d was wrong. If you put in a more common ‘pinnacle’ A???, you could put MNEMIC in 26a which is related to memory. Personal history?


        1. I also put apex initially but as I have the online version was able to discover that wasn’t what the setter wanted. I used to love Roadrunner as a kid. Meep meep!

  2. I was left wondering whether the answer to 8d gives us a clue as to today’s setter? Or perhaps not. Some quite dreadful clues or the answers to them in my opinion are, for example 3d, but also some really great fun. Having criticised it, I really think that my COTD has to be 3d, with 5d, 17a as close contenders. 17d is one for the memory bank having not knowingly come across the word before. This one has kept me quiet for longer than many Saturday prize puzzles have, so it can’t be all bad ;-) Thanks to both setter and Tilsit.

    1. “Today’s music is something simple and pleasing. Enjoy!”
      Nods in complete agreement – a really lovely tune and one that I’ve never heard previously – thanks Tilsit :-)

      1. Hmmm “Simple and pleasing”, the score sits on my piano and is my lock down project. About third of the way through and maybe I will be there by Christmas, I can just hear my school report “he must try harder”. .

        1. :-) :-) Keep going Andrew – I only wish that I could play any instrument – even a drum if I could get something coherent from it, lol.

      2. Yes, love that piece. Alan Titchmarsh played it on the radio this very morning. Evocative.

  3. I found this puzzle a bit of a slog and not particularly enjoyable (3*/2*). Reverse engineering by gurssing the answers and then trying to see how they fit the clues gave me a start but I couldn’t parse 3d and 24d without the hints, so many thanks to Tilsit. 13a was quite a good clue. Thanks to the compiler but it really wasn’t my cup of tea

  4. I got there in the end but had a bit of trouble with some very unhelpful checkers. (4d 24d) I learned a bit about German wine. Picking the wrong initial letter for 17d made 17a harder than it should have been. I had a bit of a moment with 3d too and still can’t decide if I love it or hate it. Thanks to Tilsit and setter
    The music went very well with the Joan Baez cover of Brothers in Arms that I was listening to

    Sometimes it posts just a link and others a thumbnail vid I don’t know why?

  5. 2.5*/2*. A bit of a mixed bag for me with my last few in on the RHS taking me above my 2* time. 3d was “fwightful” and 16d involved an American word. On the other hand, 18a was excellent and I loved “leaves home” in 19d. Despite consuming a lot of wine over my lifetime, 27a was a new word for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. I think the word in 27a was more common in the 17th and 18th Century. Not a lot of people use it now.

  6. I found this a very fair tussle for a Saturday with just the right amount of difficulty to make it reasonably challenging. 3d is either awful or brilliant and I am undecided which. My favourite clue was 5a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

  7. I’m pretty sure I have the right answer to 3D but I don’t understand it,CC,even with Tilsit’s hint! Not sure what to make of today’s offering. I’ve learned 2 new words today so I suppose that’s a bonus. As Malcolm R says, 13a is not generally part of my vocabulary either. The answers are all workable. ***/** Not my favourite flavour today but I’d give the top spot to 18a because it’s like that advert, “it does what it says on the tin.” Thanks to all.

    1. Tilsit mentions the strange way the clue has been written. If you have the right answer for 3d you can work out the parsing from there. If I say any more I’ll end up in the naughty corner i bet there’s no cake.

      1. There is cake – a very splendid ginger and toffee creation from Tesco, sent as part of an online delivery birthday meal arranged by our daughter-in-law in Northern Ireland. Far too delicious to share – sorry (not really!)

        I could defrost a lemon cake that is intended to come out of the freezer on Wednesday for Mr CS’s birthday but ….

        1. I could donate some freshly made Greek-style lamb meatballs if something savoury is preferred in there ;-)

  8. And I thought yesterdays was difficult! This is so far above my ability that I cannot even see it.
    I have managed two Toughies this week and neither were as difficult as this horror.
    Thx for the hints though I can’t make head nor tail of some of them.

    1. Brian
      I only managed 1.5 of those two yet managed today’s, aren’t these things strange?
      Yesterday (-*) for enjoyment. At least you seem to have enjoyed today’s harder one slightly more (*).

  9. Once again I appear to be at odds with the concensus. I really enjoyed this after a mixed week and completed in the first pass. Several clues brought a smile when the penny dropped particularly 12a? Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  10. A curate’s egg that required a bit of head scratching for completion at a fast canter – 2.5*/2.5*.
    A bit of a Hmm on 4d my LOI, but I suppose the ‘?’ is at the end of the clue for good reason.
    Plenty of candidates for favourite among the good parts – 9a, 18a, 3d, 5d, and 7d – and the winner is 9a.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

      1. Yes it is – a juvenile; as I recall, that was in late September or early October. I found the location of a nest and on one visit in the Spring I got a couple of ‘warning’ keep away swoops from one of the parents. But, I never actually saw the nest.

  11. Struggled through and although I am not absolutely sure every is correct I think so. It all fits anyway! A top end *** for me nudging ****.
    Not sure if I enjoyed it or not so will award *** as it is quite clever in parts. Had to dig deep in the memory banks for 13a. Raining heavily in Noss Mayo. Only one week to go here then on the move to our new seaside house in Plymouth which faces the South Western approaches so we are expecting it to be a blustery winter…..

  12. This was quite tricky with some great clues, especially 8d. I still have’t got 24d, can’t think of a word for temptation with those letters. Don’t understand how I got 3d, can”t see the fwightful person! Horrible day here and hoping our logs will be delivered this afternoon so we can lightup the woodburner. Thanks to all.

      1. Comment redacted – please do not enhance the hint given.

        There is the clue in the picture if you remember the show.

          1. Don’t tell Tilsit but I saw your reply before it was redacted! I had the right answer tho’ but didn’t recognise the picture. I assume it was off TV but we didn’t have a set till I was about 10.

              1. Unfortunately, I am old enough to remember the show. I can’t say the title because I would end up eating cake. You are quite correct, Greta – it is Sid James and Peggy Mount.

              2. I can’t tell you the name of the show without being sent to the Naughty Step, but Sid James’ character was called George.

              3. Peggy Mount! I remember her, she was fab. When I first went to live in UK, I went to see Romeo & Juliet with a “rising young star” Judi Dench and Peggy Mount was the nurse!

  13. What a wild ride this one was, different in the extreme, I’d say, but great fun. I thought I’d be at it forever, but pennies began dropping fast, and I finished in ** time. I have no idea who that couple are in the illustration for 3d, but I had no trouble with the answer. Highlights: 12a, 13a, 17d, 19d. Thanks to Tilsit and to today’s maverick setter. ** / ****

    Blue Georgia on my mind!

  14. Polished this one off fairly qwickly … which gave me time to tackle the Guardian Prize Puzzle by Brendan (aka Virgilius).

    Enjoyed both of them. Thanks.

  15. Not sure what to make of this one. I laughed at the well-connected criminals and the ‘leaves home’ in 19d but was somewhat ambivalent about much of the puzzle. Perhaps 8d is indeed a clue as to the compiler, that would make sense as I’m not a great fan of his Toughie compilations.

    My thanks to him anyway for the Saturday diversion and thanks to Tilsit for the hints and this morning’s beautiful piece of music. It was interesting to read about the place that inspired it.

    Off topic enquiry – I’ve been hoping against hope for a vaccine to appear which might combat this wretched virus but now that it seems a likely prospect I’ve been surprised by the number of people I’ve spoken to who are dead set against receiving it. Any opinions to offer?

    1. I think if people don’t want the vaccine that is their affair. But if they then contract the dreaded lurgy they shouldn’t be allowed any virus-linked state benefits. I am certainly keen to have it!

    2. I have heard that a lot of people would like Boris or his medical advisors to take it first. but then again I recall that politician (Gummer – or similar) who tried to persuade us that BSE beef was safe to eat by force-feeding a burger to one of his children.
      On the whole, I think the benefits of taking a probably safe but unproven virus outweigh the risks. I will be taking it when offered but will have to wait in line behind my elderly Mama.

      1. I believe it was Mr John Gummer, but he was quite correct, it was safe. Did you know that fewer people died from nvCJD than farmers who committed suicide when their herds were killed?

        1. It was vCJD that made the Chief Dental Officer in 2007 declare that all files used in root canal treatment should be single use. These files are not cheap and the NHS does not pay well for root canal treatment so a great many dentists starting taking teeth out rather than trying to save them with root canal treatment. It was thought that vCJD could be transmitted via files but there is no real evidence for it.

          1. I cannot commend highly enough the book “Scared To Death” by Christopher Booker and Richard North. It explains the mistakes behind many of our recent health scares. A truly fascinating read.

              1. It was an interesting article in the Telegraph about Public Health England’s refusal to prepare for a Coronavirus outbreak because the disease would never spread as far as the UK from Asia. What a mistake to make.

            1. Thank you, Malcolm, I’ve managed to find it for sale online. Hopefully, it will help me to decide.

      2. Trouble is how do you know you are not in the 10% of people that the vaccine doesn’t work for?

        1. When you get the virus having been vaccinated I guess.
          It probably won’t be the only effective vaccine that is put on the market ultimately.

    3. Yes – I have an opinion to offer. We were watching the news one night this week (always a mistake) and someone we knew when she was a medical student and then a junior doctor was talking about the vaccine. She is now a very high up something or other to do with the safety of medicines etc (can’t remember what it’s called) and said that it is safe. I’d trust her with my life (and, what is probably more important those of my Lambs too) – she’s one of the most sensible and lovely people I’ve ever been lucky enough to know.

    4. They are probably the same people who don’t get the flu jab. They prefer the fingers crossed method. If this is a way to make get back to something like normalcy, I’m all for it. Don’t think you should be allowed to board a plane or ship without proof of vaccination. We have to get business back to normal and everyone back to work.

    5. I am not sympathetic to anti-vaxxers.
      It’s not just a question of personal choice, like consenting or not to treatment, or even adopting or not adopting healthful behaviours. These decisions will impact the NHS to an extent, by incurring more treatment cost, but will be balanced out by those whose demise is hastened by their behaviour.
      But as far as immunisation programmes are concerned; if insufficient people are vaccinated, then the prevalence of the organism in the population remains higher than it should. The number of children killed by measles in the last few years is an international disgrace. The number of elderly people (and, yes, those of non-white ethnicity) who have died and may continue to die from COVID-19 is a tragedy, unless you believe in judicial culling. If BD feels that is too extreme, I expect he’ll make that clear.

      I believe the current vaccine to be safe and fully expect the others to be too. As far as efficacy is concerned, the only proper reason for delaying vaccination, in my opinion, is to see, as a result of further research, whether there are particular vaccines which work better for particular categories of people.

      I have worked in the NHS for 46 years, but millions of people around the world have little or no access to decent healthcare. I know everyone on here realises that, so I’ll get off the soapbox.
      I have always said to my children that, if they don’t use their vote, they are spitting on the graves of people who fought to get it for them. I feel pretty much the same about health.


    6. Only if a respected scientist like Fauci says it’s kosher, and then only a month or two after its debut. If Der Gropenführer touts it: Never.

  16. Some really good clues in this one – but some fairly forced ones too, especially in the SW corner. 9a and especially 3d were definite chuckle inducers. On the other hand, 23a (bleed? That’s a tad abstruse) and 24d were clunky, as was the “turkey” part of 16d. However, still enjoyable.

  17. Am I the only one who struggled with 4d? I get the ships bit but the middle three letters don’t seem to belong. Help please before I submit the completed puzzle into the black hole!
    I enjoyed this – just about the right degree of difficulty for me and a few smiles.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The three middle letters are one of many words that can be used for someone found in ships

      1. I’m glad someone else asked this and thanks for the hint. The rest had gone surprisingly smoothly, and 4d was my last one. I had literally written out all the dozens of possibilities (yes, I know there’s an app for that) and got no further.

    2. No you weren’t John. It was my last in & was reduced to mentally going through the alphabet for the second letter which wasn’t a particularly swift process.

        1. To quote CS: “ The three middle letters are one of many words that can be used for someone found in ships “ in a ship.

          1. To anyone who still can’t get 4d read CS’s hint again. The three letters in the middle of the usual two meaning a steam ship are a slangy term for a sailor – the definition is features meaning is seen in a major role in a film.
            No – I won’t go to the naughty corner – the wood burner is going – husband is making fish curry and then we’re going to watch the dancing – I don’t care who calls us ‘plebs’

  18. Oh my goodness – this was rather a savage affair. I feel like I have been in the ring for twelve rounds with Tyson Fury. I need to lie down for a while to recuperate.

    Think of me in your prayers for I am informed we are to go out for a ‘lovely walk’ up a hill, after luncheon. I hope I return.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  19. Sorry but I could not finish this one. I found it a bit of a slog and not very enjoyable. This is, of course, down to me. The fact I’ve been up most of the night with a painful toe probably hasn’t helped either. Of the ones I did manage (about 75%) I did like 5d.

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

      1. Not gout thankfully, Chriscross. I have suffered from it in the past and it is most unpleasant. “The disease of kings and the king of diseases” is a very apt description.

        1. Amen. I have amended my diet to try to offset having it again and have an emergency supply of colchicine in case I do.

        2. Both my grandfather and my mother suffered from it.
          In the 1950s, there was a sort of reverse “cordon sanitaire” around his foot, on its stool, that grandchildren breached at their peril. I think a big stick was employed.

  20. Struggled through this completed at a hobble ***, with NE corner last to fall. Probably top end of SPP difficulty
    Now understand 3d thanks to hints, 13a new word. Had vaguely heard of the German wine but checked with Mr G
    Lots to like, 12a produced a “doh” moment but 5d my COTD. ****
    Thanks to Mr Ron & Tilsit for hints.
    In the Masters think Bryson should carry a dictionary – “If I can’t find my ball is it lost?” ( admitted his ball was plugged 5 only yards off the fairway).
    Back to painting the outside walls while the weather holds

    1. That question & the reply was hilarious. He may squeeze in on the mark if the cut falls at level par (10 over for him of course) & I don’t feel in the least bit guilty about enjoying his frequent excursions into the pines.

    2. To be fair, I think ‘lost’ was a statement that he would have to reload as his 3 minutes was up.
      Though Bryson is a complete cock on the course as he keeps a running commentary going for 18 holes and drives the other players nuts.

  21. Enjoyable and largely straightforward although I did need to check the wine. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  22. Just nicely testing. South outran the top half. Corny as it may be I have to admit to liking 3d once I realised it didn’t contain a typo. The turkey in 16d is a new one on me as is 17d. IMHO 19d too clever by half. Thank you to Mysteron and to Tilsit particularly for the calming Maxwell Davies piano music – perfect for these stressful times.

  23. Jolly difficult and I absolutely loved it – it’s taken me ages but it’s pouring with rain and so what if it’s taken me ages – it’s kept me happily occupied when I wouldn’t otherwise have known what to do.
    I’ve never heard of the 27a wine and 1a took a long time to see ‘why’, as did the second word of 12a.
    I tried to justify the wrong answer for 10a for a long time too.
    Having never heard of 17d almost put the obvious, but wrong, one in there as well.
    Far too many good clues to pick out any particular ones but maybe 9a and 3d.
    Thank you very much to today’s setter for such a good crossword and thanks too to Tilsit for the hints.

  24. Hi all – long time user, first time commenter here. I appreciate this blog very much – it is my first port of call if I am struggling with the back-pager. It also seems to be a very friendly arena!
    I really enjoyed today’s offering – especially 3d. I’ve never seen that particular wordplay before. **/**** from me.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the review.

        1. Dom G
          Groucho Mark’s once said “Who would want to be the member of a club that would have me as a member”.
          I find it is the exact opposite with this site. Where else can you tap into the views and experience of the experts who blog / review / hint?
          The other thing remember ” BD44 is not just for Saturdays” the same friends meet and comment very day of the week! The setters often visit too.

  25. Overall I enjoyed doing this puzzle…..but it did take a while and I had to give in and use the electronic gizmo for 18a and 8d .
    I too put the wrong first letter in at 17d…..but realised that it would not parse.
    Doesn’t 27a appear in Shakespeare somewhere? Hamlet I think

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints, the music (apparently one of the most requested at funerals in Orkney now)
    And for the links to the other puzzles.
    Another gey dreich day up here. No rain, but nae drouth, so no point in putting the washing out. It’s crosswords for me.

  26. I had an email from Daisygirl this morning so here’s a quick update.
    She didn’t say that she was out of hospital and home again but as she was about to do the dressing on her husband’s head I’m reading between the lines and saying that she is. She has an infection and is on heavy duty antibiotics and analgesics which apparently taste awful and no gin allowed – I’m quoting here. She also says that she’s finding it hard to concentrate and keeps dozing off – I’m guessing that’s the analgesics which she shouldn’t be on for too long, hopefully.
    She says hello to everyone.
    If I hear any more I’ll let you all know.

      1. Yes, I for one certainly miss her cheery, quirky posts and of course wish her the speediest of recoveries

    1. Glad you managed to catch up with her, Kath. The ‘infection’ doesn’t sound good but no doubt she’ll give us full chapter and verse when she’s up to joining us again!
      Good idea of yours to set up this ‘keep in touch’ link – thank you for making the effort.

    2. I’m glad to hear all that too, Kath. Thanks for contacting her.
      I think what has happened sounded inevitable from what she was saying about her symptoms, so relieved that she’s hopefully on the mend, and getting the right follow up and treatment.
      My guess is that she’s got a couple of years worth of sleep debt, despite her chirpiness, so dozing off ain’t such a bad thing!
      All good wishes to her.
      Shame about the no-alcohol tho’…………

    3. 💐 Thanks Kath for making contact with DG on our behalf. Good to know she is hopefully on the road to recovery from what is such a very unfortunate aftermath of the surgery. Best wishes to DG for a complete recuperation and a return to the Big Dave fold. 💐

      1. Well, quite – I agree but why on earth isn’t someone going in to do that and to check on DG? I despair.

  27. Overall a fun solve albeit with a couple of caveats (Champ and Bleed) but I really enjoyed the easy ones for excellent surfaces,18a, 20a and 25a. I found the hardest ones were the 5 letter ones with 17a and 4d the last two in. Held up with 17d as I juggled two heartless words following a B for Bad. I am not great at parsing as missed the “leaves” in 19d, thanks Tilsit and a setter who I would be happy to see again in the DT.

  28. Witty, challenging, fun – I thought the synonym in 5a was a bit stretched but the answer was obvious enough once the penny dropped on the wordplay….

  29. Enjoyed this very much although it took a long time because of the Autumn Nations Cup. England 26-0 against Georgia.

    Some difficulty with a few clues but it was a very interesting puzzle and 3d, 9a, and 16a were good but my favourite is 28a for its wonderful simplicity.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the satanic or ophidian setter.

  30. Oh my goodness, I feel exhausted after trying to unravel this puzzle, and still have 8 left undone, including 3d. That is probably some new fanged word I’ve never heard of, so I am giving up before I fall asleep. Too hard for me to be enjoyable. Fingers crossed Dada is truly benevolent tomorrow. Thanks to setter and to the admirable Tilsit for providing the very necessary hints.

  31. Thanks to the “newish kid on the block” for the puzzle.

    Tilsit, thanks for the hints and tips … but are you sure that we cannot ask for extra help?

    Having read this blog for many years, there have been many occurrences on Prize Puzzle Day of people asking for and receiving a few gentle nudges to solve a particular clue.

  32. Firstly, thanks to Tilsit – more hints than usual, it seemed to me. However there were a few clues that looked impossible, then jumped out at you! I too was nearly fooled by 17d as one I’d never heard of. 13a -a word that’s on everyone’s lips, I’m sure…Thanks also to the setter. For once I really enjoyed it!

  33. Pretty challenging today in my book but got there in the end though short of parsing a couple correctly. The plonk at 27a was new to me, see from the comments that I wasn’t the only one to initially have the wrong first letter in for 17d & 3d induced a deep groan. Very fairly clued throughout & particularly liked 5d plus 9&20a. Back now to yesterday’s Toughie.
    Thanks to Tilsit & to the setter.

  34. After reading Tilsits first comment I thought oh-oh,,, but I found this crossword a steady solve with a bit of thought, albeit lateral in a few instances.
    Favs 20ac & 15d( a fav definitely!)
    Grateful thanks to Tilsit for review & direction & to our Saturday setter.

  35. This was a really good puzzle which went in fairly quickly until I got stuck in the NE corner. My favourites were 1a and 19d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  36. Learned a few new words and expressions in 12a, 27a and 17d.
    My last two were the same mentioned throughout the blog in 4 and 24d.
    Lots of ticks on my copy.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the club.

    1. We already have a commenter called Jane so it would be helpful if you could add something to your name to avoid any confusion

  37. Found this puzzle not as bad as I was led to believe it may be by the intro remarks. Took a while to get going, but then, as in yesterdays puzzle started in the NE and went clockwise more or less. Rate this 1.5*/*****
    Last clue in, though, was a new word for me in the form of 17d … it was what it had to be as it was only thing that fit. The other new word was 27a. Learn something new everyday.
    Clues of note were 1a, 12a, 3d, 8d & 15d with winner 3d and 15d runner up

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for hints

  38. I started out thinking, oh Gawd, not another Saturday stinker, but I got on wavelength and really enjoyed it. I’d never heard of 17d so I used the other one, consequently my 17a was a bung in that had no relation to anything.
    Lots of laughs along the way. My 3d was a bung in, thanks Tilsit for explaining it, I laughed and groaned, but I think it qualifies for a fave. No problems elsewhere, got it all bar 4d.
    Thanks Saturday setter for the fun and Tilsit for the enlightenment … fwightful, indeed!

  39. Thanks for the welcome Crypticsue. I inadvertently put my full name in my post ( no. 18) so you thought I was new, which I’m not – sorry!
    Cracking good set of comments, as usual. Thanks to all contributors.

  40. Not my cup of Earl Grey, this one. Struggled to the end and didn’t particularly enjoy it. Didn’t get round to yesterday’s Silvanus puzzle until this afternoon….what a different kettle of fish, really good and lots of fun. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and tips.

  41. A good puzzle overall, but I am really struggling with 10a. I can only see one word the first the checkers, but it seems to bear no relation to the clue. Ah well. I can wait til next Monday to see the error of my ways. Really enjoyed 3d, and 19d when the parsing clicked!

    1. Hello Whybird … i didn’t really understand “i can only see one word the first the checkers”. If you can elaborate perhaps I can find a way to help you.

  42. I found this quite a slog but got there in the end. Perhaps the rugby affected my concentration. But on the whole I think it was cunningly fairly clued. Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the music.

  43. Thanks to Serpent? And to Tilsit for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one, but it took a while to get on the right wavelength. Completed without the hints, but needed the blog to get the correct answer to 4d. At least it wasn’t the vlog! What a horrible word that is in the answer to 17d. Favourite was 19d for the construct of “leaves home”, brilliant. Was 3*/3* for me.

    1. Many thanks Heno for giving me an answer I was desperately looking for and enabling me to finish at last. I’d better not say more or I might put you on the naughty step! Thanks to setter and to Tilsit for very helpful hints.

  44. Filled in the first dozen or so and then stopped to ask myself why I was wasting precious weekend time on such a dreadful offering. Common sense prevailed and it hit the back of the bin fairly hard. Still at least the Rugby is back to provide some proper entertainment!!

  45. Fairly straightforward until the NE Corner which held me up for a while.
    Like others many good clues, and few that made me raise an eyebrow or two.
    I enjoyed such diverse opinions of the crossword in the blog.
    Thanks all.

    1. Thanks for the Graun prize tip Hoofs – agree it was a corker. Masters looks a done deal if DJ doesn’t blow up & that looks unlikely.

      1. Agreed H but they have said that time & again over the years. It is the beauty of the layout (& the fascination of the event) that being played over the same course that you know somone can get out of the traps early & put the pressure on for things to happen. Just as Johnson did to Rahm. I wonder how many times Rahm hits a shot like that on 8. It would have disgusted you at your handicap – straightforward fairway wood off a perfectly manicured fairway. Then to hit a tree trunk slap in the middle meant that hit was at least 4ft off line after 20 yards.
        Hoofs, looks like your fiver on Westwood is a small contribution to the bookies next Bentley. My grandfather, who was a bookies’ runner before betting shops were legal (& a tic-tac man) warned me off betting “remember you never see a poor bookie “

  46. A classy, challenging puzzle. All done (eventually) without hints – but with a ton of electronic help (which went only so far in this crossword).
    More like this, please.

  47. Enjoyed this fairly tough challenge. The only one I had to check was 27a as I had never heard this word before.

  48. Did about 3/4rs before needed help.
    My initial answer to 17d messed up 17a before I realised there was such a person🤦‍♂️

  49. Started it this afternoon and worked solidly til finishing with 24D at 9.30pm. Definitely different style and harder than normal Saturday affairs. Some great clues and lots of lightbulb moments esp 3D. I thought 25A, although simple, was SO neat and clever. 16D had me raising my eyebrows.
    Overall a proper challenge and a satisfying way to spend a few hours.

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