DT 29574 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29574 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29574 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from damp and chilly Warrington. An OU tutorial this morning on German dialects and linguistic style is my treat for this morning, so the blog is a bit brief.

It’s back to basics today with a very straightforward Saturday puzzle which should please most people, even Brian! Chockful of cryptic definitions, it’s fairly easy to guess who set it and hopefully he’ll visit us later and confirm it!

Remember the usual rules and play nicely. See you next week!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a Peak protection for optics? (8)
A cryptic definition indicated by the question mark and its brevity. Something to wear that has a peak and gives protection to optics.

5a Patient chap left books in collection of odds and ends (3,3)
The name of a character from the Bible famed for his patience, plus the abbreviation for left and then an abbreviation that applies 50% of the time when a setter uses the word ‘books’.

9a No ruin, we hear? That’s unwise (8)
If you didn’t have a ruin, you could be described as this!

12a Made plans having been called up (7)
A double definition.

13a Male midwife? (8-3)
Think of the main role of a midwife and give it a masculine spin.

22a State who in Paris inside is trembling (7)
The French word for ‘who’ goes insider something meaning to state.

25a Misled Gerry about this book? (6)
A hidden answer

26a Then look round — you might find it in the wood (8)
An anagram of THEN LOOK will give you something literally in the wood.


1d Employee, beginner starting late (6)
Take the name for a beginner and lose the first letter (starting late).

3d After short break, alight in country (7)
The abbreviated name for a break or rest, plus a word meaning to alight and you have somewhere overseas, just about.

4d Unwilling, Sidney stood up and bowed (11)
A short form of Sidney reversed (stood up) and a word meaning bowed or sloping.

7d Lengthy item removed over a considerable period (4-4)
A word meaning lengthy and an anagram (removed) of ITEM.

12d Where one could have caught train in Chester in chaos (11)
A double definition. Something meaning chaos is where you would have caught a train in Chester in Roman times! Clue of the day for me!

14d Avoidance of European clash we organised (8)
A slightly obscure word. The abbreviation for European, plus an anagram (ordered) of CLASH WE.

18d Question purchasing the French garment (7)
A word meaning to question something has a French definite article inserted.

20d Reportedly fix wall decoration (6)
The name for a wall decoration sounds like a word meaning to fix.

That’s all for today. Did it float your boat or were you all at sea? Leave a message and let us know!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s music is something to make you reflect,


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: inns+sighed=inside

111 comments on “DT 29574 (Hints)

  1. A simple, concise and enjoyable puzzle for a sunny Saturday here in Shropshire. 12d was an excellent clue and my favourite by some distance. The whole grid was a delight and proof that a crossword does not need to be overly complex to be enjoyable. Great fun.

    Many thanks to our setter and to Tilsit.

  2. I endorse what YS said. It was straightforward but great fun (*/****) and most enjoyable. The standout clue was 12d for me too. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler.

  3. Greetings from a rainy Southampton. Oh my word – first time finished a Saturday puzzle xxxxxxxx Must be a very easy one (or I’m finally getting the hang of this lark after all these years). Love reading this blog and all your comments every week when I’m searching for clues, help and reassurance. Thank you all.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      However long or short a time you take, we do ask that people don’t mention specific periods of time when commenting

  4. 2*/2.5*. Nothing in this pangram today either to excite or to frighten the horses. 13a & 12d were my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  5. Unless I’m mistaken there was a pangram both here & in the Quickie. Fairly straightforward but very enjoyable nonetheless & with some lovely clues. 2d plus 22&23a were the ones that stood out for me. Foul weather again today so it looks like another day indoors with the Masters snooker & Paul’s at first glance impenetrable looking Graun crossword to ward off the boredom. Today’s albums – Naturally (J.J.Cale) & The Nightfly (Donald Fagen)
    With thanks to the setter & to the ever busy Tilsit

    1. Just read the review & the cleverness of 12d was lost on me as didn’t know the fort. Agree it’s certainly COTD.

  6. Very straightforward, completed in * time. No ‘Ummms’ but one clue marked for COTD, 12a. This could be because the line to that place runs 10 yards from my front door. We have some beautiful neighbours.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  7. A very good example of a of a concisely clued crossword. */**** It brightened up what started as a snowy morning but quickly turned to rain. I don’t know who the setter is but I enjoyed it while it lasted. 12d has to be the best clue by some distance. Thanks to all.

  8. I agree with Tilsit and YS, easy and enjoyable. 12d was a great PDM. 14d and its cognates seem to be the word of the week in crosswords. most of my difficulties were in the SE and a mistake in 19d didn’t help 3 or 4 of my pangram triggers were all there so I didn’t spot the pangram until after the event.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  9. Overall an excellent puzzle but the top left was tough. Still don’t understand 1d, why does starting meaning losing the first letter? I thought 12d was a poor clue requiring specialist knowledge of ancient names.
    Thx for explaining 9a. Two excellent clues in 13a and 23a.
    Thx to all

    1. I also liked 23a despite the fact I put another appropriate 6 letter word in initially!
      I hadn’t heard of the specialist part of 12d either bit thought it was very gettable from the clue, and I like to learn new things!

    2. I would have thought that many cruciverbalists would have a good idea of what the Romans previously called our cities and, for that reason, I disagree that 12d’s a poor clue, Brian. Admittedly, I do have a decided advantage with that clue as I happen to be a Cestrian…

    3. Hi Brian.

      ‘Late’ means that it’s not with us anymore, e.g the late Eric Morecambe.

    4. 12d was a brilliant clue. I did not know the Roman name but so well-clued it was so simple to look up the first four letters if In doubt.

    5. I’m with you on the disappointing 12d. Funnily enough, the study of old Roman city names was missing from my education.

    6. Castra is latin for a military camp. In english we get suffixes Caster, Cester, Chester in our modern place names and will often have an older name in Roman Britain, eg Isca for Exeter.

  10. I thought this was brilliant. I managed it without any help, first for a long time! I thought 12 a was very clever and gave me an idea for a round of quiz clues. I spotted the pangram, in this and the quickie. Thanks to Tilsit for the blog and the setter

  11. My first one in 23a was promptly ruled out by my second, 14d! I note that Wiki has my first answer as a four letter word although includes both a five letter and six letter option. I also managed to try to solve 6d as a (3-4) which when I put my specs on, was a much more solvable (4-3)! After such a gloriously inept beginning I found this trickier than most it would seem. However this was the third brilliant Saturday for 2021 and as I had never heard of the Roman Fort, while a very admirable clue, my COTD had to be 13a. Some other lovely hidden gems including my last one in, 26a. A well disguised anagram. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit. If the setter is the same as the previous two weeks then he is rapidly becoming a favourite alongside Jay.

  12. As almost all have remarked 12d is the outstanding clue of the day but 9 and 10 across get an(?) honourable mention.

    Thanks to Herr Tilsit and the setter for a cheering Saturday puzzle.

  13. I was held up in the SW corner by putting in an alternative and equally correct answer to 23. Once that was sorted all was well. Thanks to the setter and to Tilset

  14. Unlike others, I found this a tussle and my head was scratched quite a bit. However, it was a most enjoyable tussle. I had the wrong word for 1a at first but soon saw the error of my ways when 1d went in. I also had a wrong answer in 22a so it’s no wonder I struggled. 20d was my LOI. Plenty of good clues such as 9a but, like others, my COTD is the outstanding 12d.

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

  15. Lovely puzzle on this snowy day. I initially was looking for an item of furniture as part of 12d. Great clue. Things are certainly moving on the vaccination front, get mine on Friday so all the 80s here must have got it. At last we seem to be doing something right. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

    1. Jolly good Manders. I’m hoping by the time we get the second jab I hope I shall have shed some of the anxiety!

  16. Most enjoyable. Highlights: *12d, 23a, 22a, 9a (my LOI). Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. ** / ****

    *On my first trip to the UK in 1969, I spent my first night in Rochester (at a pub / inn) and my next several in Chester (at a lovely B&B) and so ‘xxxx’ was really my first real taste of British hospitality and BIG breakfasts. Several years later, still in love with Chester, I took my mother there for several days. I would love to go back.

      1. We visited Chester, whilst on holiday, in 1978 and had the pleasure of walking the circuit of the Roman walls. The mediaeval town centre with its tiered shop fronts and galleries is also worth exploring. I’d like to revisit the city myself, Robert but there’s no chance of that with a Tier 4 lockdown in place. Cinnamon Pinwheel scones are in the naughty corner if you need them.

        1. I studied for my Masters at Chester Uni and the graduation ceremony was in the cathedral. It was wonderful walking around the city centre in cap and gown along with hundreds of other graduates. I would love to visit Chester again but it’s not possible at the moment and I only live about 20 miles away!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      2d The definition is the first word – the solution being made up of a charade of synonyms for the other three words

    2. 21a – there are two definitions here – the first is a verb to ‘manage carefully’ in a sparing kind of way and the second a noun – a male partner.

  17. I didn’t find this as straightforward as just about everyone above, with the honourable exception of Steve. Indeed, I popped in to get Tilsit’s help with a couple and then the checking letters allowed me to complete it without too much fuss.

    Not much change with Lola – I moved her to a different cushion under a radiator and she is happy about that. She is being very good when I ‘feed’ her the tablets. She isn’t enjoying the experience but is being sanguine about it. Nutrition continues to be an issue in that she keeps drinking the liquid around her food and leaving the substance of it – so I’ve ordered a little soup/smoothie blender thing and I will see if she will eat salmon or chicken purée (ugh!).

    Today’s soundtrack: The Beatles – Revolver

    Thanks to the setter, Tilsit, and everyone here.

    1. At least Lola is getting some nutrition from the liquid but I think you are right to try puree. Strange she will eat the liquid and not the solid. I take it her teeth are ok?

    2. You’re certainly going above and beyond, Terence, well done you. I did have the same thought as Steve C where her teeth are concerned, might be worth asking the vet to take a close look at them on Monday?
      Try thinking of the puree as ‘mousse’ – sounds so much better!

    3. Thanks Steve and Jane – her teeth ‘seem’ ok, but yes – good thinking – my neighbours will take her to the vet but I’ll certainly ask them to mention to check for any dental issues.

      1. Would Lola enjoy tinned tuna in spring water, which would give her more fluid? Its hard for a cat to separate the fish from the liquid if you mash it well.

      2. I’m glad she takes tablets OK. My tiny little female cat I had when we moved up here looked and sounded like a demented and ferocious lion with tablets. I asked the vet to give her a sedative for the longish drive up here as she hated the car and he gave me tablets so I said I would take her in and he could give them to her. A tut, tut and raised eyebrows ensued. He took her to a back room and I heard this terrible screeching and the vet yelling. 5 minutes later he brought her back and said ‘I see what you mean – I’ve given her a jab instead’! His arms were completely lacerated – she may have been tiny but my was she strong. I agree with other comments, it may be her teeth, but hang in there, she’s still quite young and cats do enjoy attention and you seem to be giving her lots of that.

    4. Oh good to hear you are getting a blender. It came to our rescue several times when Rupert refused to eat, but would lap up his “soups”.

    5. I’ve been following Lola’s story and am glad the biopsy was good news, but sorry to hear Lola is still not eating. Did the vet check her teeth and mouth, they probably did, but I just wondered. I have always had cats and in the past that has usually been the problem if they stop eating. She’s lucky to have you caring for her, fingers crossed she starts to improve soon.

    6. I had a little girl who had the same problem I think. I’d take her to the vet, she’d come home with a good appetite, then after two months or so she stopped eating again. This went on for a year, she so hated the carrier and the car trip, when the vet said he couldn’t cure her, I decided to put her out of her misery. I loved that little puss, I’m sorry I did it. Please persevere with Lola.

      1. It’s hard, Merusa but you did the right thing with your girl. As owners of pets it is our duty to take care of them but there comes a time when we know the final journey has to be taken.
        I and, I suspect, all on this blog pray Lola is not on that journey.

      1. Hear hear. . Most entertaining, thank goodness we have you clever setters to help us through these dreary days.

    1. I loved 23a and 12d particularly. Also 10a. Highly entertaining yet solvable (?soluble?)

  18. A bit of a head scratcher for me that I completed at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/2.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 22a, and 12d – and the winner by several lengths is 12d.
    Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  19. Pleasant way to start the weekend. 12d was definitely my favourite with 13a coming up on the rails at the Roodee!

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit for the Saturday Club.

  20. I agree Jane, that 13a was a beauty, too simple to be true. Have you read This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay – a very funny book about the subject. We sat down to lunch and the crossword as usual and had just started when the sun came bursting through, what more could we ask. Now just have to summon the energy to go out for a walk. Thanks to Tilsit and all the weekly
    Hinters and to the setters for keeping our brains working.

  21. Pretty straight forward for me. Except 14d 25a combination. I had the past tense for 24d which made 25a difficult and I still didn’t see the lurker until I read the hints. The SE also held me up a tad. Not overly impressed with 12d. I’m not sure that all of us know all the old roman designations for towns. Locally we have Aqua Sulis Corinium and Glevum. We are near the latter. COD 13A. Thanks to all on a sunny, now cloudy, day, with sun promised again later. Perhaps a soggy walk may be on the cards.

  22. I live near the town in question, so the Roman name is very familiar. 13A made me laugh. Thanks to Tilsit and Cephas!

    We bought the paper today, so I can join in. Has anyone else had problems with Worldpay, or is it just me? My subscription ran out yesterday and I had a very dubious looking email from Worldpay telling me my card had expired. Clicking on a link in an email is not to be recommended, in my view, but though I tried to get around it I eventually had to. I tried to change my card details but all I got was an endless circular tour from their link, to their homepage, which had nothing helpful on it, then FAQs and back again. I don’t know whether it’s them or me.
    I’ve asked the DT what to do next, but I’m not expecting a reply till some time next week, so in the meantime I’ll just enjoy reading the blog!

    1. I don’t think you should have clicked the link, Wic especially as you ended up in kind of repetitive loop. I would change your passwords just in case. Maybe others on this blog who are more computer savvy will give further advice.

    2. I’ve had the same problem recently with Worldpay . The email link takes you to the wrong page. Try googling “worldpay shopper login”.

    3. I tried to update my information about a month ago and gave up in frustration. What should be a simple task proved quite impossible. I did manage to update on the DT site itself however. I guess I’ll be hearing from Worldpay if my subscription doesn’t renew later this year.

      1. Mine expires on the 18th and I’m dreading it. I’m so incredibly stupid, my grocery delivery site has locked me out and I need dog food. Why does my password disappear after using it without a problem for nigh on two years? I hate spending hours on this nonsense, I’ve got a lot of fun-ner things to do.

          1. I’m so yellow-livered, I’ve made a date with my IT to come tomorrow to renew my subscription! I don’t want an encore of my being unable to access my DT site for another two months!

            1. Good luck with the IT expert. I do wish the DT was better at its IT and had a more user friendly payment system. In the depths of my memory this also happened a few years ago, I don’t know how I forgot it, but I was probably expunging the whole sorry episode from my memory. In the end I used a different email address and started a new account. I’ll try that again if I get no result from either the DT or Worldpay. I’ll let you know!

              As to passwaords, I write them down on random bits of paper and hide them in different places. This means I have to remember where I put the particular bit of paper. No system is perfect …

  23. Straightforward except for the difficulty (cstupidly ompounded by mis-spelling a wrong answer!) I gave myself in SW corner. Was on pangram alert early
    Join the majority in nominating 12d as COTD.
    Thanks to Cephas for brightening up a wet miserable day up here & Tilsit for hints.

  24. A nice gentle puzzle for a Saturday. No real hold ups today and filled top to bottom with the SW the last to succumb to complete the grid.
    COTD today include 9a, 13a, 22a 12d & 19d with winner 12d

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  25. Short but sweet fun today. No particular Favs however there were several goodies. When I finally parsed 12d I was reminded of a visit many years ago to Chester and a comfortable stay at the Grosvenor Hotel and wonder if it is still as civilised. Thank you Cephas and Tilsit.

    1. Haven’t been for a couple of years but the last time I visited it was still as civilised – and still as expensive!

      1. Having been a tenant of the Duke of Westminster in London for many years it’s good to know their same high standards continue to obtain at the Chester hotel.

    2. Mrs C and stayed at the Grosvenor with my fellow graduates and we all had a celebratory dinner. It is very civilised and the choice of breads was amazing.

  26. Thank you Cephas and Tilsit. No hints needed today but always worth a read. At first glance this morning I thought it was going to be difficult but then first one in was 13a. That together with 12d was favourite. 12d took longer due to not knowing the Roman was name but with letters 1 and 3 in situ it was a no-brainer. I am surprised Brian did not object to 5a with the biblical references. This was a pleasure to solve.

  27. Probably off to the naughty step, but I wish the answer to 13 across had been B???????/Boy!

  28. Generally enjoyable but unlike others not keen on 12d – got it once I had all the checkers but I don’t think the Roman name is general knowledge (certainly not for me) and therefor obscure….

  29. Apart from Steve and Terence I seem to be out of step with everyone today – I thought it was pretty tricky – glad I’m not completely on my own.
    12d had to be what it was from the checking letters and the definition but if I’ve met the first bit before then I’ve forgotten it.
    Looking at everything again now I can see that nothing was terribly complicated – just me being a bit dim.
    Lots of good clues including 13 and 21a and I think my favourite was either 23a or 4d.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.
    Might try the NTSPP but not holding out much hope of being able to do it having read the comments so far.

    1. Good luck. I retired gracefully after 8 answers & it was no stroll getting that far. May return later for further humiliation…..

      1. Well done – I’ve got 7 so far, including 16a but I’ve only done one of the * and, so far, none the wiser – surely it’s wine o’clock now – maybe that’ll help! :unsure:

    2. I’m so relieved to read that a few others are struggling. The Saturday crossword is usually quite easy for me but today I am struggling even with the clues above. I knew that I would be in trouble when I couldn’t finish the ‘quick’ crossword. Oh well, I’ll soldier on and get there in the end but today’s lacks enjoyment for me. Perhaps the knowledge that this is a pangram will help me finish. As for knowing the Roman name for Chester? Nope, never mentioned in all my formative years back in the old country. Even when I looked it up there was no spark of recognition.

  30. Enjoyable Saturday offering **/**** some nice clues. For me 12d & 14d stand out with 12d winning.
    Thx to Cephas and Tilsit

  31. ***/**. Unlike the majority I struggled with parts of this especially the NE. COTD however was 12d – best I’ve seen in ages. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  32. This was a mixed bag for me. Some excellent clues – I had a three way tie for COTD with 5a, 13a and 23a. But a few others prevented me from finishing unaided. But mostly very enjoyable, thank you Cephas and Tilsit.

  33. Lovely puzzle. Just right for me….some head-scratching but it all sorted out.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  34. Didn’t know the first part of 12d either but easily checked once I entered the right key words in the search engine as internet sent me over to Romania at first.
    26a was a new word for me.
    Thought 17d was a bit weak unless I missed something.
    No real favourite but enjoyed the solve nonetheless.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.

    1. How are you getting on with Paul in the Graun – not finished it but good fun once I’d finally figured out the capital malarkey

      1. Hi Huntsman,
        I’ve only got the birds in 27d to go. Very clever construction throughout. A real pleasure.

  35. Managed to complete this unaided apart from one clue my husband did for me. I’m not entirely sure about 20d as the word I’ve got doesn’t sound like any word I can think of meaning “fix”. Oh well – my entry’s in now so it’s too late if it’s wrong. It took me ages to see 26a before the d’oh moment hit me. In fact a lot of the clues were like that, which made the puzzle all the more fun. **/****

    1. Actually if I think about fixing in a darkroom maybe it does work (hope that’s not too naughty!)

  36. I’m in the not easy corner – first read through gave only a handful of clues, and then they each had to be drawn out. No idea what the first part of 13d was about, learnt something here today!

  37. I’m with you Kath, Steve and Terence! This wasn’t easy, got stuck in the SE and needed Tilsit’s help to get going again.
    My fave was 13a, but 12d was pretty clever, gotta give credit for that!
    Thanks Cephas for the fun and Tilsit for the help to finish.

  38. Enjoyed this a lot but the NW a s SE corners took far longer after a fairly quick start. Still don’t understand why my answer for 23d is incorrect but will have to wait for the review to find out, and agree with those who thought 12d was niche knowledge to someone who lives in the south!

  39. A pleasant romp on a day when we had to evacuate the kitchen as the worktop was being sanded and recoated. Dust everywhere now!

    Spotted the pangram and enjoyed many of he clues including 12d which was my pick. Went there by canal years ago and berthed overnight near the walls which we circumnavigated on foot.

    1. I sympathise about the dust, Jon but it cannot compare to sand. Back in the late 80’s we moved into an old house that needed some renovation. In the out buildings we found an old cast iron fireplace mantle and surround that was ideal for the dining room. Trouble was it was painted.
      Our builder installed it and we hired a sandblaster to remove the paint. The house had a cellar beneath the dining room and we did not realise the floor had gaps in it.

      When I went down to the cellar the next day it was as if I had stepped into the Sahara desert.

  40. I found the left hand side fairly straightforward but the right less so and thank Tilsit for the hints. Some of the anagrams were not obvious to me so l earned a slap on the wrist, 12d was a cracker and also 4d, but admire those of you who found the very, to me, tricky ones easy peasy. There were a number that would be termed ‘not in common parlance’ eg 14d & 15d that made it interesting! Thx too to the setter.

  41. Very late to comment as I only got round to this with my first cup of tea in bed this morning. Enjoyable puzzle, about the right level for a SPC, for me at least. 23a tickled me for some reason ( you know what they say about simple minds). Thanks to all.

  42. This is a post about Sunday’s Cryptic by Dada (No 3091) in the dead tree version. It has an added minor challenge in that there are no numbers in the grid.

  43. Very enjoyable although struggled a bit with NW corner. Good to finish it within 24 hours for a change. Should get good practice this week as I’ve been sent home from hospital with positive Covid test 🤧…….

    1. Sorry to hear that, Ptp. I wish you all the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

  44. I thought the same! Assuming I’ve correctly guessed what you are alluding to!
    Only started the Crossword today (Tuesday) as is usual for me, and unusually finished it in one sitting with no hints!

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