DT 29568 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29568 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29562 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a chilly but bright Warrington.

We have a fairly challenging puzzle with some quite tricky definitions to untangle. Very enjoyable and contains a good amount of humour with some clever clues, topped by 5 across. I’ll be interested to see what you made of it.

For me, the top half went in reasonably well, although I needed the Big Red Book to confirm one or two. The bottom right-hand corner proved much trickier.

In order to help, unless the answer is the first or last in each section, any answer that is a full anagram will not be hinted at. Look for words that indicate movement in the clue.

Please play nicely, we’re not allowed to give direct answers on the thread. The naughty step is still very cold and we are still serving left over sprouts and Christmas cake.

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 Band of stars showing class in Sinatra number (5,3)
Inside a song made famous by F Sinatra goes a word meaning class or kind.

5a Mamma Mia finally shown in French port (6)
A word meaning Mamma (look it up in the BRB, look it up online very, very carefully!) Inside the name of a port in Brittany goes A (MIA, finally).

13a Where animal comes across university pair? (8)
The 2-letter name for an animal and something it may cross.

20a Bath water in which Virginia rotated leg (4)
Reverse the abbreviation for the state and add the name for the leg side in cricket (look in The Mine for help).

25a Character set to move a table outside pub (8)
Outside the abbreviation for a pub on a map goes an anagram of A TABLE

29a Refusal abroad to accept a European emperor (8)
The French word that means a negative has A and another European nationality inside it.

31a Boozer — he turned into a swine! (8)
Inside A and a word meaning a cad or swine goes the reverse of HE.


1d Complaint from youth in spring month (6)
Inside a month of the year goes a word for a youth.

2d Desire Liberal associated with marital consent (6)
An abbreviation for Liberalis followed by the two words that give consent at a wedding.

8d Aroused? By implication no! (6,2)
This a phrase meaning aroused, but if the phrase were a clue, it might give the answer NO.

14d Cobblers fitting sole in alcove (7)
Inside a word meaning an alcove or section in an workshop, for example, goes something meaning sole.

17d One wandering sailor in van with dog barking (8)
The abbreviation for sailor goes inside an anagram (barking of VAN + DOG).

22d Detective leaving North American land once? (6)
The abbreviation for a British detective is removed from someone from where our Sunday blogger lives. This gives a biblical land.

23d Short old French person grabbing tea cake (6)
The name from a French person from Roman times minus its last letter has TEA inside.

27d Monied Manhattan street with everything? (4)
The abbreviation for with plus something meaning everything.

How did you find it? A socially distanced stroll in the park or needing a booster jab to tackle it? Do let us know. See you next Saturday!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today is something to encourage reflection.

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: par+tee+peace=party piece

84 comments on “DT 29568 (Hints)

  1. I’d be interested to know who set this crossword as there are clues that made me think of three different setters, although I did decide that it was a bit too straightforward for a fourth one that came to mind

    1. I , as usual can’t guess who set it. It was quite a tricky puzzle, with unusually good misdirection and some unusual definitions, particularly 5a, 12a and 14d. However, as Tilsit says, it’s all in the Big Red Book. I liked 22d, 25a and 31a and enjoyed the challenge (3*/3.5*). Thanks to Tilsit for reassurance that I hadn’t lost the plot with 5a. Thanks to the compiler too.

  2. 2*/4*. Apart from 22d, which was my last one in needing some electronic assistance, this was a light but enjoyable diversion for a cold morning. 5a involved a new meaning of Mamma for me too.

    My podium comprises 8d, 22d & 27d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  3. I didn’t find that too taxing. The SW corner caused the most problems 17d 25a and 22d specifically. My wandering sailors, pubs and North Americans took a bit of winkling out. But a pleasant solve nevertheless.
    Further to yesterdays conversations about 15 letter lurkers, I wonder if anyone knows a 15 letter reverse lurker?
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter

  4. I , as usual can’t guess who set it. It was quite a tricky puzzle, with unusually good misdirection and some unusual definitions, particularly 5a, 12a and 14d. However, as Tilsit says, it’s all in the Big Red Book. I liked 25a and 31a and enjoyed the challenge (3*/3.5*). Thanks to Tilsit for reassurance that I hadn’t lost the plot with 5a. Thanks to the compiler too.

  5. This was pretty straightforward. **/*** No idea about the setter. A slight North American flavour creeping into one or two answers but nothing obscure. Favourite 22d. Thanks to all.

  6. Thanks setter, thanks Tilsit. 5a gave me a laugh. Needed to come here because of several gaps in the SW and SE corners. And that dratted 14d – I was misdirected by the ‘cobblers’ to look for the wrong sort of sole!

  7. Not good at guessing setters so can’t help CS however this was very much much to my liking. Tilsit, in spite of my being fortunate enough to have had my booster jab this was far from being a socially distanced stroll in the park for me. SE toughest corner for me too. So many nicely challenging clues so can’t select an overall Fav. Thank you setter and Tilsit.

  8. I, too, got a definite whiff of North America. Completed in *** time which, for a Saturday, and without help, has put a smile on my face.

    Many thanks to those who sent me best wishes yesterday, I ended up having a crown removed, a root removed and a temporary bridge fitted. The dentist very kindly used an extra barrel of anaesthetic.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

      1. I dread the thought of dental problems during lockdown. Far, far worse than not being able to go to the hairdresser!

  9. After yesterday’s horror I found this a doddle until I finally parsed 22d correctly. Capitol Hill brouhaha had me thinking about a particular North America but when the Kg of pennies finally dropped that too went in for me to rate the puzzle **/****.

    Thank you to Tilsit, Happy New Year sir, and glad you are well. Thanks to the setter for raising my spirits which a particularly bad outbreak of chilblains had dampened by making both walking and sleeping incredibly difficult.

  10. I had three Eureka! moments in this (for me) tough SPP: 5a, 14d, and 22d. And I may as well call them my triumvirate of winners in this really sharp, amusing, and challenging jewel of a cryptic. I laughed at 1a and chuckled at 2d–was off to a fun start, or so I thought; my mood changed considerably the deeper I got. I had no idea who or what 6d alluded to, but the clue’s terms saved me. I think 22d must be the COTD. Many thanks to Tilsit, whose hints I’ll read now, and to today’s wily setter. 3.5* / 4.5*

    1. My friend in Wales just emailed me that she hears Mexico is raising the money to finish the wall!

  11. I will join John Bee (not too taxing) and Greta (pretty straightforward) for my thoughts on today’s puzzle, completed at a gallop **/****.
    No problems with 5a – I must have come across it before and the checkers left no doubt as to what the answer had to be,
    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 25a, 29a, 11d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  12. It had its tricky moments. I also had to consult BRB for 5a but was certain it would be there because of what we are.

    Maybe I have been watching too much of the two Ronnies recently, but 1, 5, 8??? Too much for me.

  13. We have been spoilt this week as we can add this puzzle to all the other excellent ones we have been able to enjoy. Some cracking clues, of which 31a was my personal favourite. Not overly taxing, but great fun.

    Many thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  14. Having completed this puzzle my personal opinion is that is was one of the most horrible for a long time. Apart from 29a there were no clues that had much merit at all as far as I was concerned. Very difficult and little fun.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Having confidently predicted a similar reaction to yesterday’s & lost heavily I doubled down today & losses all recovered.

    2. I wouldn’t go quite that far Brian but it certainly wasn’t my cup of Darjeeling, this one! Not quite up to yesterday’s Proximal for me. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  15. An enjoyable SPP in which I did need to check on 5a and tried to make the wrong first letter work for 27d – silly girl!
    Top three here were 1a along with 8&27d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the Saturday club.

  16. Well, at the end of this cross wording week the only one to beat me was proXimal’s offering on Friday. Today’s prize was most enjoyable with some terrific misdirections such as 14d, which had me looking at all things to do with shoes and the making of them. I have to like 9a for various reasons but my COTD is 29a.

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

  17. Some clever and amusing clues which took me some time to solve. I think Brian is missing his golf. Thank you Tilsit and setter.

  18. Found this tough but fair. All doable if you could work out what it said on the tin. Just about spot-on for an SPP I thought (not that I ever submit the thing).
    22d needed electronic help to see but is my COTD. With 9a my answer of the day of course.
    Thank you to setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  19. Just started to read the Telegraph after completing the crossword and one of the first news items was about the return of Bath Olivers. There is some sanity in the World, after all! :good:

    1. I don’t get the weekend papers so many thanks for that little gem, Steve. I must set about pestering Mr Waitrose!

      1. “Crackers” on your side of the Pond. Far and away the best accompaniment to cheese.

          1. No, not really – much nicer. My eldest nephew is called Oliver so saying, “just off to Bath Oliver” took on a whole new meaning in our family.

  20. Very enjoyable and quite different from the usual Saturday offering.

    The misdirection in several clues needed a lot of careful grey cell exercise, and the SW corner remained stubborn to the last, with the diminutive 27d being my LOI. I enjoyed 5a and to start with thought “can’t be, not in a Telegraph Crossword surely” but a careful check online proved it right!

    As others have said a distinct transatlantic feel to some of the clues.

    Well done Tilsit for finding a subtle way to phrase the hints for a prize puzzle and to the setter for brightening up an otherwise dull, cold and snowy day in lockdown here in Scotland!

  21. I found this the trickiest of the week. Solved in fits & starts but eventually completed in just over *** time albeit I then realised I’d put the wrong first letter on 27d. I’d also initially had the wrong footwear at 15a for a while which had held things up. Unbelievably with all checkers in I still struggled to see 26a despite having been invited to their course being very high up on my golfing highlights. Last 2 in were 25a & 22d where it always takes a while to remember the boozer abbreviation & finally 22d which I failed to parse correctly. Thought this one top drawer throughout. Today’s podium 5a plus 2&8d.
    Thanks to the setter & as ever to Tilsit.
    Ps. Beautiful sunny crisp weather for the permissible stroll listening to today’s Gs – Green River (Creedence) & Gods& Monsters (I Am Kloot)

      1. It was Terence. On one of the holes on the back 9 the caddy announced that I’d just hit the fairway of Ben Hogan’s favourite hole (albeit about 60 yds behind my companions). We played the back 9 first & as you left the 18th you could get a lift up to the first. The locker rooms were amazing with photos of all the greats playing the course in the day.

        1. Have you played golf at Soto Grande in southern Spain? Not that I play golf, but my brother lives very close to the course
          and I have been to the very smart club.

          1. I haven’t Daisy but know people who have & it is indeed very smart – on the wish list

  22. I enjoyed this one – challenging but very doable…

    Lola came back from the vet as high as a kite from the anaesthesia, and slept all night without moving from one spot (behind the sofa). She has eaten a little warmed up food just now and has submitted the following plan for the rest of her day: sleep (successful) with intermittent attempts to remove her plastic, protective, collar (unsuccessful). The blood tests were all good; the biopsy results won’t be known for a day or two.
    She is very woozy, but very much still with us.
    Thanks as always for kind thoughts and wishes.

    Today’s soundtrack: silence, so that Lola was not disturbed.

    Thanks to the setter for a cheery crossword, and to Tilsit oop in Warrington.

    1. Great news about Lola, Terence. I hope the biopsy results are as good as those of the blood test.

        1. the news about Lola sounds reassuring, fingers crossed. I also think those big plastic collars are awful but our
          next-door neighbours in The Bunker (a HUGE modern house with a glass staircase and gallery) have just had their
          new puppy spayed and she was yesterday wearing what looked like a soft fabric circle with a wire round the edge – a bit like
          a floppy sunhat, much more user friendly. However, I am sure it will only be for a few days and you are on hand to soothe and
          comfort her!

          1. Will have Lola and yourself in my thoughts, Terence. Hope the test results are reassuring.

    2. Good new Terence.
      Always think it so sad to see any pet in a “lampshade”, if that is what Lola has. Also when they misjudged the width & bang into things goes through me.
      An inflatable sort-of doughnut that fits round the neck was recommended to us & we have found it does the job as well as the lampshade. They are available for cats

    3. So pleased that she’s back with you, Terence. Have to say that I hate those plastic collars with a vengeance – don’t think I’ve ever managed to leave one in place on a pet for as long as had been ordained.

    4. WHEN Lola recovers Terence I reckon the good wishes & the power of positive thinking from this little (global) community will be as much a contributory factor as any veterinary assistance……

    5. Please add me to the list of those well-wishers for Lola’s complete recovery, Terence. I may not have responded to all of your news about her, but I have been quite concerned. She has become one of us.

    6. A bit late in the day but a combination of all the best bits of what everyone else has said, Terence! All the very best wishes to you and to Lola – the official blog cat.

  23. I thought I was going to finish this in one star time but a, few especially in the SW held me up. Quite a lot to like, 31a 25a 2d. I can’t say I disliked any clue. Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  24. This seemed tricky at first pass but then I found my stride. Very enjoyable even though one or two clues were slightly taxing.
    Isn’t it funny how our opinions all differ? I love the blog for this. Thanks Tilsit and the setter. 🙂

  25. I found this quite difficult but manageable – just. 20ac was my last one in. I missed the cricket connection. Shame on me. Thank you setter and Tilsit. I have the heating on full blast, but just can’t seem to get warm today.

  26. Very often the Saturday prize crossword is perversely easier than the rest of the week – but this one really made
    us work for our booktoken/pen/pack of cards. 5a was the last in because I could not quite believe it, lots of very
    clever clues – I really enjoyed the challenge. I like the idea of a crumpet processor! Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.
    After my adventures with the Giant Mutant Wasp yesterday I was very cautious getting into bed last night and took a
    long time getting off to sleep. However, all his friends and relatives did not seem to be around, the night passed uneventfully
    and the swellings are going down. Phew. Meanwhile, George has been called for a vaccine – either in Stevenage 20 miles away,
    central London or Epsom. We know they are doing them in Cambridge! Perleese.

    1. Are you sure it wasn’t a bee Daisy? You said he was furry? Glad to know your swellings are abating.

      1. It could be a bee but the sting would have been left behind and DG would have found it. Some wasps have a furry thorax, I believe.

        1. Apparently bumble bees don’t leave their sting behind. I read somewhere just recently that only the honey bee leaves its sting.

          1. Both honey bees and bumblebees have barbed stings which they leave behind, then they die because it tears their backsides out
            That is why a wasp will often sting several times (no barb) but never bees
            Anaphylactic shock sufferer! :smile:

  27. I set off at a cracking pace and then came to a grinding halt. The SW corner held out for ages and I’m still not sure whether my answer to 27d is correct but can’t think it can be anything else. Lots to like though so thanks to all. Take care everyone – one of my friends has just been diagnosed having not been anywhere since March. She caught it from someone she knew who came to her door to tell her something and they kept 6 feet apart at all times so it is very contagious.

  28. Completed at a gallop. Much easier than yesterday’s Toughie, so don’t understand Brian’s beef.

  29. Another high quality puzzle and although late on parade after a bracing walk round Rame Head I thought I was going to polish this off in ** time but hit a brick wall with 25a. It took quite a while for the penny to drop so ended up a ***/*** job for me. I did complete without aid so that’s good for me on a Saturday. Thanks for your hints though Tilsit as I can see I did get it correct so I’ll sleep tonight.

  30. All going well at my usual slow, stuttering pace until I got to 5d and 22d.
    I went down the Nutwood city limit track until I realised that Tina lived in Nutbush. Then I thought I would Google ‘Nutwood’ hoping it would give me a hint but not the answer (that is just about within my (Boris approved) 2nd tier of not-cheating rules). Of course I was wrong and the answer was right there…grrrr! 22d got me and I needed the hint. I need to read the bible more.
    Thanks for the hints and the enjoyable puzzles this week.

  31. Definitely a tougher offering for this Saturday puzzle, but nonetheless very enjoyable. Took some perseverance and a couple of hints to get there though. SW last area in, with 14d last in, and I was convinced from the get go it had nothing to do with shoemakers. … just couldn’t think of correct synonym for the other meaning of ‘cobblers’ until all the cross checking words were in place. Rate as 2.5*/***** with lots of very clever and chuckle worthy clues (like 12a & 14d)
    COTD candidates include 5a (very clever), 12a, 13a, 31a, 14d & 22d with winner(s) being 5a & 12a

    Great puzzle … thanks to setter and Tilsit

  32. I loved today’s crossword once I actually managed to start which took a long time.
    25a was my last answer – just couldn’t find the right number of letters for an anagram – always forget that pub.
    Lots of humour which always makes a big difference to how much I enjoy a crossword.
    My favourite was 14d but 6d wasn’t far behind it – lots of other good clues too including 5, 13 and 20a and 19d.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to Tilsit.
    Still really cold in Oxford – just about to light wood burner which I’d have done much earlier but getting a bit low on wood.
    Going to try really hard to save the NTSPP for tomorrow.

  33. Hello everyone. I am the guilty party. Thanks to Tilsit, and to all who have commented.

    Stay safe. Stay warm too. I’ve only just thawed out after coming back from a bike ride. Is it really icycling?


    1. Thanks for popping in, Donnybrook. It was a great puzzle and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    2. Thanks for doing us the honour and thanks for lovely SPP to start the New Year. If only the world was in tune.
      Like the icycling but surely Zwift? (Not that I have lne)

    3. Definitely not the “guilty party”, donnybrook, more the star of the show.
      I loved your crossword – it made me laugh and has brightened an otherwise gloomy cold day in Oxford – thank you.

  34. I thought I was going to be beaten two days in a row, but I slowly started to find the wavelength and it became very doable. Some were bunged in because of the checkers, e.g., 25a, I knew table had to fit in but have no idea where the pub comes in.
    Last in was 14d, I needed the hint, then the thesaurus, and, yup, it’s in there. C’mon chaps, seriously? That’s cobblers.
    Fave has to be 9a, Sadie would never forgive me. There were lots to enjoy, 1a, 29a, 17d lovely word, and more.
    Thanks to our setter, wonder who? Thanks Tilsit for your hints and pics, needed today. I always like your choice of music.
    I see it’s Donnybrook, I like his puzzles!

  35. Well it was certainly tricky, but not impossibly so. Most of the hard work was of my own making, falling into the 14s cobblers and shoes thinking like some others. Had a chuckle at 15a when that finally dawned on me, but COTD 9a without a doubt, just because he was the best of all pets. And then Donnybrook put our cat in 6d, amazing. I too forgot all 21a, and was chasing after someone rather than something. Thanks to Donnybrook for the exercise and Tilsit for the clues.

  36. My husband made start with 3 or 4 clues which helps. Bottom right hand corner last to go in. Some apparently tricky ones made us groan when we suddenly got them. Favourites 13 A and 19 D

  37. Whats Nutwood??
    Can honestly say I had not the faintest idea about most of this.
    Thanks all

    1. Virtually every clue i can’t do is not hinted 10a, 15a, 21a, 26a, 30a, 6d, 14d, 17d, 22d.
      Apart from those, this was a stroll.
      A record failure for me.

  38. Unusual for me to get in on day one!
    A mixed bag and unusual also for me to get going from the top to half way down before needing help! It’s strange that going back to a part answer that the word jumps out at you eg 17d. I agree that a number of clues had a distinct US emphasis.. Thanks to Tilsit for his hints as usual. Favourite was 3D.
    Happy 2021 all & keep Covid free

  39. Stumped by two 25a and 22d. I had thought of the land in the latter and guessed tge detective but just could not fit together. Also got incorrect first letter for 27d. Not sure if I have 20a right so will check the hint. Not my finest effort. Thanks setter and Tilsit.

  40. Not too bad for a change. Made a mistake with 22d which slowed me up at end – very clever. I went for lawman initially. Only got 4d to do and hopefully fog will clear

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