DT 29562 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29562 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29562 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a chilly and slightly snowy Tier 4 in Warrington.

For those not aware, we very sadly lost one of our regular Saturday setters last weekend, with the passing of Richard Palmer who was our original ‘Mysteron’ setter. Richard set a great number of the Saturday puzzles in recent years and his puzzles were always enjoyable and laced with humour and were always accessible. Prior to being part of the Telegraph team, both on a Saturday and as Messinae in the Toughie, Richard was a regular in the Independent as Merlin and in the Times. He also set barred puzzles in the broadsheets. His contribution to crossword history is immense and we will miss him terribly.

R I P Richard.

Now to today, well it was a challenge and I guess it will divide the house. I found it quite enjoyable and wondered if there was an original plan for all the entries I n the outer grid squares were all meant to start or end with vowels (including Y) but it couldn’t fully work out.

The usual request to play nicely please and not post direct answers to clues not hinted at. You’ll get exposure sitting on the naughty step.

As usual, thanks to today’s setter and I’ll be back next Saturday.

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.


6a Process imposed around rocks (5,8)
Which klutz tried to make an anagram from the first two words of the clue (that has 14 letters)? Yes indeedy, me! Glad I’m not alone. An anagram of IMPOSED AROUND gives a Latin phrase that describes a process or way of working.

9a Disorganised start to school fair around noon (8)
After S * the start to school) goes a word meaning fair or attractive that goes around N (for noon).

11a Threaten naughty child with death (6)
The name for a naughty child plus one meaning death or finish,

12a Big ship linked to eastern charity (8)
After something meaning big goes an abbreviation for a ship and then E for eastern.

16a Tactless remark about Irish beast (7)
The word for an error or tactless remark goes around the abbreviation for Ireland.

20a Fellow sailor Johnson wants his tea stirred round (8)
Around the abbreviation for the role played by B Johnson goes an anagram (stirred round) of HIS TEA.

26a Get to the point! (6)
Two definitions – to get to someone and something with a point?

27a When batter’s needed, before fast spell? (6,7)
A cryptic definition. When batter is used the day before you should stop eating, for religious reasons.




1d Follower died here, nursed by social worker (8)
Around D (died) and HERE goes that name for something that frequently appears under ‘social worker’ in the various crossword dictionaries. You’re looking for the name for an insect.

2d Man’s man perhaps is on spacecraft (8)
The name for a man from the Isle of Man, you need to take IS and add a type of spaceship.

3d Judas for one bitter about situation? (7)
Something Judas was in the new testament is a word for something that bitter could be around a word meaning situation as in the expression ‘situation vacant’. I had TRAITOR with I around TART (bitter) reversed. It wasn’t.

5d Something added is a letter dictated (6)
If you say the indefinite article and a letter of the alphabet, you get something meaning an addition (to a document, etc.).

6d Steamship and two ducks involved with Mr Toad’s transformation? (13)
An anagram (involved) of STEAMSHIP, OO (two ducks) and MR. gives a scientific word for change.

7d Elf is so ridiculously unwise, given voice in archipelago (5,2,6)
Mix up the letters of ELF IS SO and then add a homophone (given voice) of a word meaning unwise. This gives the name of a famous British archipelago (I have never thought of it as an archipelago).

13d Swimmer in short dress (3)
A type of fish is a word for clothes, minus its last letter.

19d Hermione’s daughter partied wildly (7)
The daughter of Hermione from a Shakespeare play is an anagram of PARTIED.

22d Fourth session of play with England’s opener having an effect? (6)
Write down the name for the fourth part of play plus E (the opening letter of England).

Thanks again to our setter and leave us a message to let us know how you felt.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s music is often played around this year in Vienna. I managed to find one that doesn’t feature the simpering face of Andre Rieu, who appears to have hijacked this stuff. As you might guess, I am not a fan of his. See you next week.

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: cygnet+wrings=signet rings

99 comments on “DT 29562 (Hints)

  1. 2*/4.5*. I thought this was excellent – I’d go so far as to say the best prize puzzle of the year so far. :wink: But it will take some beating.

    My podium comprises 16a, 24a (very unusual for me to pick a 3-letter answer) and 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter (please pop in and lay claim to this very enjoyable offering!) and to Tilsit.

    1. Of course Brian may argue it is also the worst, although I doubt it for this above-average offering 😷

      1. Actually I really enjoyed it although it was very tough and took some getting into. What I didn’t like was the grid, very unfriendly. I found it a bit of a homophone-fest which are not my favourite clues, they always strike me as what setters do when they cant think of a clever clue. Having said that the long clues especially were really good. I especially like 6a and 6d.
        Thx to all

  2. A delightful Late Christmas Cracker. This is my type of Cryptic where the solutions were not always immediately apparent but when the penny dropped the parsing was nearly always straightforward. There was hardly a clue which I did not enjoy solving making it a difficult choice for COTD. My last one in was 5d and it brought to an end my first 2021 Cryptic. I do hope 2021 crosswords are as good as this one. Huge thanks to the setter and Tilsit (For once I did not need any hints).

  3. This was rather a mixed bag. The SE went in so smoothly that I was lulled into a false sense of security. I had so much trouble with the NE that I almost gave up with 2 clues to go. There were some excellent clues (6d, 21d and 27a) and 5 bung-ins that I couldnt parse so thanks to Tilsit for help there. However, I did get much satisfaction out of finishing this puzzle, although it was quite challenging (3*/3.5/4*). It certainly made me think! Thanks to the compiler and to Tilsit.

  4. Proper snowing here in Yorkshire- in waves – I look out of the window and occasionally small wispy flakes are gently falling ( like those on the blog ) and then a few mins later great fluffy clumps settle on the bird feeder.
    Getting the long perimeter clues helped a lot but some of the pesky three-letter clues remain unparsed. I am reasonably sure I have heard of 13d before and haven’t looked it up to be sure. 24a also is unparsed as the last three words don’t compute. 14a and 22d were nice PDM and the perimeter clues share the podium today.
    Thanks to Tilsit, I appreciate the avoidance of Mr Rieu and I am sure I will miss Mr Palmer’s crosswords even if I never knew that he was the setter. It would be nice if this was a swansong but I imagine it was a bit too soon.
    Whoever the setter I thank them too for a fine puzzle.

      1. I came here today precisely because I didn’t understand why my answer to 24A was correct. Seeing that tilsit didn’t see any need to give a hint, I slowly realised that it might be a lot easier than I had imagined, and then there was a loud CLANG as the penny finally droppped :-)

        We’re all dolts together, brother!

        1. I had a similar experience with 21D. I couldn’t parse my answer, came to look at the hint, saw there wasn’t one and went back to try again. I’m left wondering how did I not get it initially?

  5. Progress impeded by failure to spot 2 anagram indicators, but once sorted a steady solve followed.
    An enjoyable challenge, thanks to Tilsit for hints which clarified some parsing.
    Thanks to setter.

  6. I pretty much agree with RD at #1. An excellent Saturday puzzle, not too hard but beautifully clued throughout and very rewarding to solve. For me, there is only one winner for COTD; 27a.

    Many thanks setter and to Tilsit.

  7. Progress was slow but enjoyable today. There were a number of clever clues such as 8a and 16a. I also liked 5d and 21d but my COTD is 27a because I fell for the misdirection totally.

    Grateful thanks to the setter and also to Tilsit for the hints.

    Sorry to hear about Richard Palmer. I may well have tackled some of his puzzles but, of course, would not have known. Condolences to his family.

  8. Fun, enjoyable, doable with only the NE corner holding out to 2.5* time.
    27a my COTD. Brought back memories of constructing floats for Uni Rag Day.
    Probably a little easy for those who think the prize puzzle should reward those of a higher pay grade but if every SPP is like this one I will be more than happy.
    Thank you to setter & Tilsit , for whom I sincerely hope that 2021 is a better year than the one just gone.
    Let’s hope this year when Matt Hancock announces a “game changer” it will be for the better.

  9. I really enjoyed this one. **/**** The north west corner was tricky but with some cracking clues, it’s doable. 27a gets my top spot today. Thanks to all.

  10. I agree with Rabbit Dave above, best crossword this year. We’re off to a good start. Numerous COTD candidates but I’m giving it to 27a. Thanks Tilsit and the setter🦇

  11. Needed help today for 6a but able to solve unaided after that.A very enjoyable way to let a snowstorm pass over.Thanks to setter and for the help.

  12. Sent off for my book tokens!
    Excellent fare and a **/**** for me,
    Favourite was 27a.
    Initially looking for a hidden goddess lurker in 8a but found a king instead!
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the pics.

        1. Must admit I wondered about Beaver’s comment. There is no lurker unless it is a very obscure king.

  13. This was fun and nicely uncomplicated for grey matter fogged by festive season excesses. NE came home last. 6a and 27a my joint Favs. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

    1. Thanks for coming out of the closet Donnybrook/Paul Bringloe and many thanks for a really enjoyable puzzle.

  14. Good start to the year. I too was fixated on traitor at 3d. I liked the cricket reference in 27a – a very neat clue.

    Thanks to setter & Tilsit.

  15. Having dwelt badly in the stalls & needed a restart yesterday I careered down the track today on one of Senf’s steeds until blowing up with the finishing line in sight. Couldn’t make my mind up whether the definition was at the front or back of 4d & only justified my correct answer to 5d once I’d eventually figured out 9a. All completed & parsed in a little under ** time & fully agree with RD that this was a cracker to kick off a new year of Prize puzzles. Lately I’ve more often than not preferred the NTSPPs but it’ll have to go some to top this one. Lots of great clues to choose from (don’t think there was a poor one) but the cricket misdirection at 27a was COTD for me.
    Many thanks to the setter & to Tilsit.

      1. Yes I have when using JotNot pro to scan. I solve it by going to ‘open in’ and selecting gmail. .

  16. I really enjoyed this and the lower half went in fast. Struggled a bit with the NE but all done before Ontario bedtime. I think 15 d is brilliant, definitely COTD. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit and Happy New Year to everyone.

    1. I didn’t look upon 15d as being brilliant, Kath but, on looking at it again, I agree with you.

        1. Such is the price of fame Kath, there are look-alikes & near look-alikes everywhere.
          Kate will soon be opening supermarkets on the strength of it 😷

          To SC a visit to Specsavers is recommended

          1. Funny you should say that, LROK. The optician has just sent me a reminder that my eye test is due!

            1. I’m forgetting my manners! Sincere apologies to Kate and Kath for getting their names mixed up.

              1. I wish I had the solving abilities of Kath , despite being very aged I am still on a learning curve.

  17. Loved this. fell nicely between the don’t-need-to-think level and the impossible (for me) level, so took me into 3* time and 4* for enjoyment. Didn’t comment yesterday, so Happy New Year everyone. Thanks to all for today’s puzzle and comments and to everyone for this blog, which I read every day.

  18. An extremely satisfying Saturday Prize.
    Enjoyed it from beginning to end with that little 24a providing a loud clang when the tea tray fell.
    Favourite is the simple but efficient 15d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the club.

  19. A brilliant puzzle, every one a winner. Of course, I loved the anagrams and they got me off to a good start.
    9a was the last one in. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter. Sympathy to Richard Palmer’s family, it is never a good
    time to lose a family member but right now under the circumstances extremely hard.
    It is very cold here in Cambridge, took my poor little legs for a nice long walk before lunch and reckon I can take a nap
    now. Although I have started Jojo Moyes ‘The Horse Dancer’ and it is very hard to put down so I may just curl up and read.
    Hope Terence’s patients are recovering well.

    1. I read that they were closing the market in Cambridge, how bonkers is that! Safer to shop outside rather than M & S or Sainsburys nearby. I used to love the market, lots of individual characters and great stalls, hope is hasn’t changed.

  20. With RD listing 24a & Kate 15d, it can’t be often TWO very different 3 letter word clues have found favour with contributors.

  21. Happy New Year everyone. I also liked this challenge and found it enjoyable in all regards. Strangely, 24a also foxed me briefly until the penny fell. No stand-out favourite clue just an overall pleasant journey. Thanks to all. 👌

  22. I think I’d much rather have the snow than the muggy heat which we (at least I) suffered through yesterday–New Year’s Day in the 80s (F) in Charleston, an all-time high. The A/C is currently running on high power. What a wacky world, but at least today’s puzzle was in keeping with the high standards and normal expectations of a SPP. I agree with those of you who have singled out the three-letter clues, especially 15d and 24a, for special honours, and I thought the four perimeter clues were all quite wonderful. (I’ve actually been out to the IOS where there were flowers in bloom everywhere.) Thanks to Tilsit, who I hope is well and will enjoy a healthy New Year, and to today’s setter. ** / ****

    1. In the 80s, you poor thing Robert.

      Just off down the beach with Biggles. There is something not quite right about walking on frozen sand. Biggles would not appreciate your high temperatures and is one of the few in GB who would sympathise with your “plight”

    2. Same down here Robert. AC had to spring back into action. Going to be 84F today. Weather man warning of a chilly high of 69F on Monday! They just love to hype the forecasts.

    3. Oh, puhleese! That’s just perfect, I’m loving it and dreading the cold snap come Monday. I’m a hot-house flower and die in the cold.

  23. Like almost everyone else I thought this was a good crossword and enjoyed it very much.
    It felt as if it was exactly the right level of difficulty – not impossible but it’s kept me happy for some time.
    I’m another one who spent a while trying to justify ‘traitor’ for 3d but couldn’t so gave up on that idea.
    I admit to being fooled by the ‘crickety’ implication in 27a – maybe I just take one look at the kind of clue that could be and decide to leave it for a while.
    9a and 5d were my last answers.
    I liked all four of the long answers round the outside and 11, 16 and 24a.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    Off to have a go at either the NTSPP or the MPP – really cold in Oxford – I don’t quite trust it not to snow.

  24. Wonderful puzzle today, so thank you. 27a my COTD – great clue. Tiddly little 24a last in – just couldn’t see it.

  25. Happy New Year all. Loved this but was slow to start…too much r and r over Christmas as all music events cancelled. Thanks to all the usual suspects. Fingers crossed for a better year for all 🙂

  26. A great Saturday puzzle that was very enjoyable.
    I found when the long clues were solved the grid fell nicely into place.
    Many thanks to setter for a great weekend puzzle & to Tilsit for review.

  27. Great puzzle today, I thought. Initial run through was not promising but slowly and steadily it gave up its treats and all fair. Misdirection in 27a made it my COTD and 9a my LOI. Great Saturday entertainment.

  28. Late appearance today due to caring for patients… Great crossword; really enjoyed the twists and turns.

    H – much improved, and in less pain, thankfully. She has taken no painkillers yet today, which is a good sign. It’s hard for her to be inactive as she is a very bubbly person, but she is managing to stay on the sofa watching tv and reading. Luckily, she loves football so plenty to keep her occupied today.
    Little Lola – a slight improvement. More interested in the world around her and she sat on my lap and purred for thirty minutes earlier. Neighbour called the vet and she (the vet) said that the antibiotics take a few days to ‘kick in’. She also suggested a few changes to Lola’s diet which I will undertake.

    Much love to those asking about us and wishing us well. I appreciate it so much.

    Today’s soundtrack: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Do you stream music Terence or is this vinyl (or God forbid CD) ?
      Pleased to hear patients are progressing, albeit at varying rates. Keep cooking & caring…..

      1. Streaming, Huntsman – via Spotify. I have a huge number of vinyl albums and CDs (haven’t bought any for over ten years though) but I love the convenience of Spotify.

    2. Thanks for the update. I’m sure they’re both in very capable hands. Can’t wait to hear they’re both fine.

    3. Sounds as though both H & L are gradually pulling through, thank goodness for that, Terence. Take good care of those ladies of yours!

    4. Sounds as though your girls are rallying, Terrence. I hope they both continue to improve. Happy New Year to you all.

    5. Possibly too late in the day for everyone to see this – but… thanks so much for the lovely replies x

  29. I was another one who found my foothold in the SE corner, and thought I was off and running. Struggled after that, having put in the wrong goddess for 8a, and 23a was a bit before my time. Would have helped if I had written in 6d correctly. Thanks to setter for the challenge and to Tilsit for keeping me going.

  30. A lovely prize puzzle to start the year. I thought I’d ground to a halt quite early and had
    to look up the first word of 27a (I’d worked out the second word) as I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was called. After that it fell into place although The NE corner held out the longest. Almost every clue was solved with a smile and despite the mind blank on 27a it gets my clue of the day, with 6d, 7d and 24a all contenders. **/*****

  31. First things first: RIP Richard Palmer, a brilliant compiler whose wordsmithery will be much missed. Not sure I ever met him face to face, more’s the pity.

    Thanks to Tilsit and to all who have commented on the puzzle, the which I must admit to having authored. (Is that grammar okay? Some of us seem to have been pulled into a conversation about the subjunctive on FB, and I think it’s getting through to me.) Also thanks to whoever said this is ‘the best puzzle of the year so far’: tres drole!

    I am glad the three-letter clues went down all right. The temptation, or tendency, is to hide them all, and I tried very hard not to this time.

    Cheers all, and a Happy New Year to you.


    1. Happy New Year and thanks for the enjoyment today. I look forward to more of the same please (note to Ed). I think the grammar in your hint is OK, if not to everyone’s taste. Merriam-Webster on-line has a very interesting history of Author as a verb.

    2. Thank you for popping in. I’m famous for a tiny brain but was right on wavelength here, loved it, right up my straße.

        1. ‘Cos I struggle so with puzzles that others think are a walk in the park! But I love them anyway.

    3. Ta for popping in Donny – more of that always welcome in my book. No pushover but not a grind either – a fun solve just right for the weekend morning

    4. Thanks, Donny, for an excellent puzzle to get the Saturday Prize specials going. I really enjoyed it. Happy New Year to you.

    5. Many thanks, Donnybrook for a terrific puzzle. As for the subjunctive, it was drilled into me by my English teacher. “It is ‘If I were’ Cowling! The subjunctive is about describing what might have been had you taken a different course of action”.

      Of course, now everyone uses “If I was”.

      It still grates on me. 🤣

      1. I don’t and neither would I ever say, “I was sat” – I’d say, “I was sitting” unless someone had physically put me there.

  32. Very enjoyable puzzle. Thank you setter. Thank you Tilsit – managed without the hints and even managed to parse but always read and enjoy the hints as I do the other comments. No dissenters today so far. On first glance I thought it was going to be a stinker. Then I got one or two somewhere near the bottom but my break through was 7d which gave me 6a. 27a was straight in – I never thought of cricket. 6d took a bit longer but with the long answers in everything else slotted into place. Favourites 6 12 20 27a and 5 7 and 22d. Let’s have more like this please.

  33. This puzzle a bit of a mixed bag with some straightforward answers that are clear and others that are a stretch due to questionable clueing and some needing a good head scratching due to the convolution of the clue. Don’t like the use of the first word as the answer to 9a … not the same definition. Would rate this ***/***
    On the bright side COTD candidates 20a, 23a, 3d, 6d & 7d with winner 7d.
    3d made me chuckle and really liked the 6d clueing. Thought 27a was going to be the cricket clue not 6d!

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for hints

  34. Just the right level of trickiness to keep it interesting.
    I took me an age to see 10a.
    19d was a guess.
    I liked 6d, 12a ,14a and a few others.
    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  35. This was perfect for me, had no problems, except for 14a. I’d transposed a couple of letters in 6d, as one does, but a quick recheck solved that. I also couldn’t get 5d and resorted to word search e-help. I immediately thought of the “fast spell” and was not sidelined by cricket at all.
    All in all, great puzzle, would love some more. My fave is 19d, I had a cat by that name once, in her memory.
    Thank you Donnybrook, you’re a star, and to Tilsit for his hints and pics. Hope you keep fit and well in 2021. Simpering is the perfect description of Rieu, his face is always screwed into contortions. Some people must love him.

  36. Late on parade today but very much enjoyed this one over breakfast – for which, read ‘two cups of coffee’.
    Top three places went to 16a plus 15&21d.

    Thanks to Donnybrook and to Tilsit – wishing you both a happier 2021.

  37. This is not what i pay for. It’s too cryptic too obtuse. I will not renew off this is the future standard. It’s supposed to be doable for mere mortals.

    1. Blimey! I’m the weakest link on this blog and I solved it! I can’t imagine someone thinking it’s too cryptic, it is a cryptic puzzle.

    2. It was eminently doable, John. It was neither too cryptic nor too obtuse.

      Or are you Brian in disguise? 😎

    3. My renewal came up this morning. Went through and received a notification for £ 0.00 to be validated.
      Looks like I am not paying for this.

  38. Late today as playing a round this morning! Enjoyed this one, although had to look up who someone’s daughter was…but finished in good time for me (usually a bit of a struggle on Saturdays!) Thanks again to the setter and Tilsit for the hints!

  39. I have chipped away at this on and off through the day, and hate to be defeated, but I was. I just couldn’t get 5d, so needed the review. I’m not sure if I’d have got the answer otherwise. I found this a real challenge, but that’s the way to learn and to grow. I don’t mind more of these. Thank you setter and Tilsit

  40. I have to say that I did not find this easy and was pleased to have some hints. I still haven’t parsed 8a despite assuming the answer!
    However the big square of 13 letters were very clever and fell in eventually. I was happy to see Tilsit’s picture for 16a -thanks!
    Much regret for the passing of Richard Palmer…

  41. I could not get the logic of this setter. I had to refer to Big Dave for the hints which opened up a few squares and enabled me to complete. Far too clever for a Saturday one which attracts extra readers who are not regular crossword solvers. Sorry to hear of the death of Richard.

  42. 3*/4*…..
    liked 6D “steamship and two ducks involved with Mr Toad’s transformation? (13)”

  43. Re 5d. Spoke brother I’ve got the answer but don’t understand. “just say it”. What? “Just say the answer!” Still don’t get it. “JUST SAY THE ANSWER” What are you on about. Oh get lost.

  44. Very enjoyable and not obtuse in my opinion. Mrs Stan saw many of the answers straightaway and I was able to parse them pretty easily. 5d stumped me for a long time and was my LOI. All the long answers were absolute crackers (late Christmas ones?). Sorry to hear of the passing of Richard Palmer. Thanks very much to Donny for puzzle and to Tilsit for the hints. A great way to start my 2021.

  45. A good and very fair puzzle with a satisfying number of a-ha moments. Only quibble is with the 3-word answers which I didn’t like.
    Every good wish for 2021 to the marvellously varied and companionable members of this blog: you’re great company.

  46. I’ve just come back to crosswords after a break and really enjoyed the challenge of this one.

  47. Came back this unfinished. Sadly still unfinished. First time for a while. Let’s hope they get easier as year progresses.

Comments are closed.