DT 29580 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29580 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29580 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a very snowy Warrington.


I think we have quite a challenging puzzle today. Not helped by entering completely the wrong answer to the first across answer, which held me up for quite a time.

Let us know what you thought and remember to play nicely. You know the rules about posting answers. It’s a prize puzzle. Don’t be sent 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.

Across

7a Handle in one’s hand? (9)
I entered SIGNATURE here and fairly quickly realised it wasn’t. A cryptic way of showing your name by your hand.

10a Means business! (6)
I am unashamed to say I worked this from the checking letters and found a word that means each of the words in the definition.

11a People grasping Old Testament symbols (8)
Inside the name for the people of a country goes the abbreviation for one half of the Bible which gives you a word for symbols.

12a Painter consumes gallon in attractive bar (6)
Inside the name of a famous artist called Edouard goes the abbreviation for gallon to give something that has attractive properties.

14a Crafty Kate Minola departs (6)
Kate Minola has a special name in Shakespeare. Add the abbreviation for departs to it, to get your answer.

19a Everyone outside potty over handsome youth (6)
The two-letter name for a chamber pot goes inside something meaning everyone and is followed by the abbreviation for over

24a New yarns composed: pens productive here? (8)
An anagram of NEW YARNS gives you somewhere you can see pens. And cobs.

26a Coat to take to the cleaners (6)
A double definition.

27a Parry, holding short sword in both hands? (5)
Inside the symbol for the names of both your hands goes a word for a fencing sword, minus the last letter. Another fencing clue soon!

28a At sixes and sevens, turn to her for direction (4,5)
An anagram (indicated by ‘at sixes and sevens’) of TURN TO HER gives the name for a specific direction.

Down

1d Breather, then energy needed in fencing move (5)
Something that helps you breathe plus the abbreviation for energy.

3d Cheat catching fish for children’s writer? (6)
A type of large flat fish goes inside a word that means the same as the answer at 26 across.

5d Gambler now attending Gamblers Anonymous? (6)
Double definition where the second is cryptic. The name for a gambler (on the gee-gees) is what the gambler could be said to be if he/she joined Gamblers Anonymous!

9d Secret police given seconds to make arrest (6)
The name for the secret police of E Germany plus an abbreviation for seconds gives a medical term for an arrest.

13d Support band not totally sincere — songs lacking content (5)
The name for a (bodily) support is a word meaning sincere or honest, minus its last letter. Add the first and last letter of SONGS (lacking content)

15d Plot that failed? Good: prisoner taken in below (9)
The name of a famous plot in history. After the abbreviation for good goes a word meaning below with an abbreviation for a wartime prisoner inside.

18d Composer with part that’s upset Mister Solo? (8)
Nothing to do with the Man from UNCLE, but a man who is solo. The name of a famous composer (clue below) and the word for a part in a play reversed.

22d File assembled about iron tower’s designer (6)
An anagram (assembled) of FILE around the chemical symbol for iron.

23d Author in second chapter exaggerated (5)
After abbreviations for second and chapter (a one-letter one) goes a three letter abbreviation for exaggerated. This gives you a famous author and a homophone of his nationality.

25d See attempt to get out at the Oval? (4)
Double definition. The name of an English See (think religion or look in the Mine!) plus a way of bowling someone out in cricket.

All done? Still struggling? Let us know your thoughts, but respect the site rules.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s music comprises two rather lovely pieces.

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: hiss+panics=Hispanics


99 comments on “DT 29580 (Hints)
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  1. All finished in **/*** time, with no great problems. I had to assume some GK, 14a for example, and I had never heard of the verb at 25d. I thought 10a was a little stretched but the COTD had to be 7a which was my last in.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  2. This was a stiff challenge, like wading through treacle (5*/3.5*) but absorbing and sort of enjoyable at times. I liked the construction of 15d and found24a quite amusing, whilst 25d was a little gem. I didnt get thw why of 17a but my husband has now enlightened me. Thanks to Tilsit for the review, I hear the snow is coming our way. Thanks to the compiler too.

  3. This was one of those puzzles where 90% went straight in, but the last few took equally as long to complete. 7a was my final entry, and was a favourite along with 14a and 18d. All in all a very pleasant diversion from the twin perils of winter and Covid.

    Many thanks setter and Tilsit.

  4. It took a little while to ‘break into’ this one and then it was a clue here and a clue there until very enjoyable completion at a gallop (just) – 2.5*/4*.
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 26a, 13d, and 18d – and the winner is 26a.
    As last week’s SPP was by Cephas, I am going to be adventurous and suggest that this was by Donnybrook.
    So, thanks to him, if I am correct, and Tilsit.
    If I am not correct, thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. Me too with 10a Tilsit, correctly assumed the 14a lass was Shakespearean though had to check but don’t get the cryptic bit of 5d at all. Other than that no real problems in a slightly pedestrian solve in 3.5* time but at least it was a finish after yesterday’s abject failures in Paul’s Graun cryptic & Elgar’s Toughie. Quite enjoyed it & agree it was a tad trickier than the norm with (apologies to DG) 25d my favourite though I also liked 3d chiefly because I wasted time running through my limited knowledge of authors in that genre.
    Lovely bright sunny day here in Harpenden so off for a good walk this afternoon with today’s albums: Unfinished Revolution ((Christy Moore) & Untouched Takeaways (Nick Lowe) to listen to.
    With thanks to the setter & to Tilsit

        1. Ah get it now. No wonder I couldn’t see it as I had the incorrect vowel as the 5th letter despite pondering as to which one to plump for.

  6. This one put up a bit of a fight. ***/*** 7a was my last one in and today’s favourite. 3d is misleading and clever. I spent too long thinking about children’s authors. If Leicester University gets its way, nobody will know 14a. Good entertainment all round. Thanks to all.

  7. This was great fun, even though I didn’t know the action at the Oval in 25d (the first word in that clue had tricked me in the past but not today!), and I just rolled through this one. Top clues: 10a, 3d, and 14a (“Why, there’s a wench! Come on and kiss me, Kate”). Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. 1.5* / 4*

    RIP, Henry Aaron. Our great baseball superstar died yesterday, aged 86. He broke Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record, but–much more than that–he was a grand gentleman who endured, with grace, the worst of white supremacism.

      1. I spent a year lecturing at the U of Nottingham, learned a lot about ‘your’ football teams, esp. their ‘colours’. But the clue sort of solved itself.

      2. I just googled the answer and Birmingham, a whole slew came up together so went for it. Still don’t know what part of Birmingham.

  8. Wow, this was a struggle and still can’t see why I have got 17a but it can’t be anything else. I’ve got another couple of iffy ones but they aren’t hinted unfortunately but am not complaining, that’s someone elses department! Thanks to all. My shoulder quite sore from my jab yesterday – anyone else had this problem?

    1. A few friends and neighbours have felt a bit off colour and one person I know of apparently took to his bed because he felt really light headed (as if he was really drunk, he said).

    2. We both had sore and achy shoulders for a couple of days, hurt to raise your arm above your head, but I get that with the flu jab anyway.

  9. Another excellent Saturday. Not sure whether its all the bad news out there that makes solving the 2021 Saturdays more enjoyable. Googled Kate Minola and was surprised that the name was from Shakespeare, sounded more recent. I had to wait for Tilsit’s post as was stuck on two, 8a and 6d. When they were not ones where hints were provided I went back and promptly got 6d although I cannot remember the command from cadets at school. 8a still eludes me and so hoping the obvious comes to mind soon. Favourites 12a, 15d and 18d. Thanks Setter and Tilsit.

  10. I’m another who spent time thinking of authors where 3d was concerned and 17a was a guess based on the checkers but no other problems encountered.
    7a was probably my favourite with 16a a close second.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the Saturday Club – nice choice of music this morning.

  11. Finished but didn’t get overmuch fun from this SPP.
    Like Tilsit had wrong answer for 10a which messed me up for the NW corner taking me into 3* time. Had to look up 14a
    When twigged 1a was quite clever & would have been my COTD but for the misdirection in 3d
    Lovely sunny day up here but the snow & ice don’t make me feel enthusiastic for this afternoon’s dog walk.
    Thanks to setter for the test & Tilsit for the hints.

  12. Kate Minola does sound like a modern name. doesn’t it? One pictures a young gal with long blond hair, wistfully singing a Beatles cover for the John Lewis Christmas TV commercial.
    A bit of a struggle with this one, but some slices of toast, and Steely Dan, helped me conquer it.

    Lola continues to do well. I am looking forward to the vet’s view next week in relation to her reluctance to venture anywhere beyond this room. Maybe I am pampering her too much? Possibly, the antibiotics and steroids are making her a little dopey. However – overall – pleasing progress.

    Today’s soundtrack (suggested by Huntsman) : Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz with Steely Dan <-fascinating

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit (please keep the snow 'up there'!).

    1. Not sure whether you spotted it, Terence, but our setter yesterday included a special clue for Lola in his comment when he popped in. What star status she has!

  13. I found this one quite difficult but much more enjoyable than yesterday’s.
    I thought the clues were fair , but I did have to Google the football team and, to my shame, Kate Minola.
    The one which made me smile most was 5d.

    Thanks to Tilsit and to the setter.

    Beautiful day here in Dundee. Very cold but very sunny and no snow.

    1. I’ve just been for my daily walk but had to wait for a very hard ground frost to melt as it was a bit slippery. Otherwise it’s blue skies and a crisp, cold day here in Oxfordshire.

      1. Snowing in Oxford now, very pretty! I’d like to say a huge thank you to you all – I’ve stalked Big Dave for years but not had the courage to post before. I’ve done yesterday’s and now the challenge is to go and get today’s paper.

  14. Great puzzle with many fine clues but it took time to unravel them. 1across my favourite among too many to mention.

    Thanks again to Tilsit for his review ; hope you are well and keeping safe.

    Thanks also to the setter for a most enjoyable if challenging puzzle.

  15. 2*/4*. This was a lot of fun with 7a, 26a, 3d & 5d making it onto my podium.

    I must be missing something because it seems to me that half the words in 18a are unnecessary. I’ll have to try to remember to check the review when it comes out.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, particularly for the wonderful music choice. I have very eclectic musical tastes but if I was forced to choose just one person ever to have written music, it would be the composer in 18d.

    1. Are you a pen and paper solver? In which case you might have the same answer as me, which I discovered was incorrect when I tried to submit.

      1. Yes, I am definitely a pen and paper solver.

        My answer is defined by “poet” and is a homophone (“called out”) of a synonym for “not allowed”, which makes the rest of the clue a great deal of surface padding.

        1. I have a single letter for not allowed, inside a pub.
          A 4 letter poet.
          With only two words which seem superfluous.
          However my answer is not correct!
          Might we end up meeting on the naughty step?

        2. I’ve got it now. Thank you RD as I never would have without your comment.
          I did not know the full meaning of the word that is the answer.

        3. The homophone of the poet is specifically not allowed in a pub – it could be done without, but the surface would be less good?

          1. Thanks Richard, that was all I could think of too, but I rejected it as surface padding and assumed I must be missing something obvious.

            I believe the guideline is that words should be avoided in the clue which do not form part of the wordplay. In this case it seems to me that, although I agree “to enter pub” makes sense of the surface, it is not needed for the wordplay, and “Celtic” is needed neither for the wordplay nor the surface.

            1. If you look up the poet in the BRB, Celtic is most definitely a relevant part of the definition of that word

              As far as surface readings of the whole clue go, surely it makes one think of a landlord dealing with a Celtic poet who won’t stop declaiming verse, and brings a smile to one’s face (which we all need at the moment)

              1. Thank you, CS. I agree with you about the surface reading of the clue, and I interpret your reply as agreeing with me that much of the clue is surface padding.

                The most famous 18a is most definitely not Celtic, and the BRB lists both the more general definition and the Celtic one. Hence to me the surface appears to make equal sense either without or with “Celtic”.

                1. I agree with CS. Although the synonym for not allowed is used in other situations “You’re ******!” makes me think instantly of a pub. I have still not written the answer for 5d having thought of a usual gambler but not being able to parse, and being more confused when someone mentioned an alternative 5th letter. Must start Sunday’s before I go for my jab!

                2. It is 51 weeks since I was last in a pub, so I tested out both the original clue and your version on the nearest thing I’ve got to a man in the pub. He thinks the clue makes more sense that the one you’d prefer with the supposed padding removed

                  1. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this, CS. I never said that the padded version doesn’t make sense (apart from the Celtic bit). There wouldn’t be any point in padding if it didn’t improve the reading.

                    You and your pub expert obviously think padding is OK. I think it is preferable to avoid it. If a clue needs padding to make sense, it is probably better to consider rewriting it. That’s just my opinion.

    2. I thought the pub reference was a “sounds like” clue. But maybe that was too simplistic? I got stuck with gaping gaps at 2d and 3d as well as 7a and 10a, so it was like a desert in that area. got the last three letters of 2d right at the start, then used the trusty old machinery and got the first bit. The rest fell in after that. My favourite was 18d, followed by 7a – when I got it!

  16. I found this a tricky little number, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I have lots of ticks so can’t name a favourite. It was uplifting to hear a rendition of Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. It was played at my church wedding whilst I was signing the register. Thank you setter and Tilsit.

    1. As a chorister of over 40 years, I hate to think how many times I have sung that at a wedding. A thousand possibly? It’s on page 202. Normally only the first verse is sung, but on one occasion we had a visiting organist. At the end of the first verse, the choir shut their books and began to sit down – the organist started the second verse. That caused a slight kerfuffle!

  17. Bit of a curates egg for me. A mixture of quite straightforward clues and 1a which for me proved a clue too far and the hint was no help at all (sorry but it isn’t really a hint). I liked 12a, 4d and 25d. Apart from the nice cricket clues it was all a little arty-farty or my taste.
    ***/**
    Thx to all

    1. DG et al will probably say too sporty Brian. Just about enough of each to raise eyebrows in both camps I guess.

        1. Is that today’s Kate or our Kath DG? Veritable Kaths would have be domiciled in Britain’s first University city surely.

          1. I would not dream of casting aspersions on Our Kate I was referring to the Bard’s Kate. And don’t try to wind me up on the ‘first’ University, we all know that date wise Oxford is the earliest University. Round these parts we say that Oxford is a city with a University whereas Cambridge is a University with a city. Pax.

            1. Both are part of our unique heritage DG.
              Daighter spent 3 years at Oxford so my preferences lie elsewhere to yours.
              Would comment on today’s Kate except it is SPP day ( or, truthfully, if I had even heard of her before today).
              Keep trundling with the knee, slowly will get you there, good luck.
              Just heard from a big golfing friend from whom I didn’t get a Christmas card. Turns out he has spent the last 8 months at his “place” in SW Fance so he could have the hip operation he couldn’t get in Wales. Operation done 8 weeks ago &, like you, hopefully on the way to recovery.

  18. Well I confidently submitted, only to find I had 18a wrong! I’ve just read all your comments but nobody else seems to have had this problem so I’ll just have to think some more!

  19. Phew, I didn’t think I was going to make it but persistence paid off in the end. SW was the most troublesome. 25d see was OK but needed MrG to get out. Took a while to tumble to 7a. Initially bunged in wrong band for 13d as I used the usual crossword support. Joint Favs 26a and 5d. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

  20. The last time I saw 14a was en Avignon in French, Spanish and Italian with music from a guy named Adil Kaced. The best version I ever saw.
    Love that little word in 16a.
    Took a while to decide which hand would start 27a until I looked at Parry in the dictionary.
    25d brought some nice memories of meetings with a jolly crowd of bloggers.
    Favourite 15d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the hints.

  21. A funny one this. Had a slow start then quickly filled in the bottom half. Except 25d and 28a even though the solutions were more or less obvious. I could not get Ely out of my head and I’d forgotten about a ****y. Had to look up sixes and sevens but then did not connect it with an anagram indicator. Had to look up means in 10a and I suppose it does vaguely mean the answer. I too had forgotten our Kate, more importantly how is the last letter derived from the last word. I often struggle with first letters of words where there’s no obvious connection to cricket or SI units or the Nato alphabet etc. ***/***

  22. Thankyou Tilsit.I was up many a blind alley until you shone your light.l have not struggled so much for quite some time.It is as well that time is not an issue during lockdown .Thanks also to the setter.

  23. Well, this is an odd day. There are times when I feel I am speaking a different language to the setter, but, oddly, I worked my way through this fairly quickly and finished it on my own. No, I tell a lie, I didn’t get 1d right. I had a word in there that fitted the checkers but not the clue, and then, suddenly the right one came to me.

    My answer to Kate Minola was a guess. I never realised she had a surname! Always disliked that play, as it happens, so I probably didn’t pay a lot of attention.

    We have odd weather, too. Here in Cheshire we had continuous rain for nearly two days and nights, then yesterday was wall to wall sunshine and today we have hourly snow showers and the odd sunny period. Roll on summer.

  24. At 13D I thought that the first three letters were a support garment. Then the band was obvious to me. That held me up on the intersecting answers.

    I found it challenging but many good clues.

  25. Yes this was a challenge and the first time for many years that I have not finished a Saturday Xword! I am completely baffled by 25d, which I dare say will make the lads smile. I know the See but do not see a reversal signal and I thought the whole point of cricket was to stay in, not try to get out. I give up. But I did get the Fencey clue so I am not a completely bad sport.
    Glad to hear Lola progresses. Yes, Manders – I did have a sore arm and felt off colour for a couple of days. Sixes and Sevens is to do with the highly prized order of preference in the Lord Mayor’s Show and goes back to the middle ages and the argument between two of the Guilds (Skinners and Merchant Taylors I think). It was resolved in the 1400’s by taking it in turns to ride 6th or 7th. We had a flurry of snow lasting five minutes about an hour ago, glad we took our walk this morning. By jiminy. I have just had a thought, going further afield than just north of Cambridge – is that a crickety term? I’m off to look it up. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. The news is just so bloomin’ depressing thanks goodness for crosswords and gin.

        1. thanks RD. Dad was a played in member of the MCC and when I was small he spent hours in the garden bowling at a single stump. My job was to retrieve the balls and throw them back so I developed an amazing throw which I still have. When I was about 8 he took me to a test match at Lords and he said you will never forget the first ball of the first over on the opening day of your first test match. Well, we got stuck in traffic and we missed it!

  26. For the second day running I thought the crossword was tough.
    Just for once I did manage the ‘sporty’ ones – assuming they’re 27a and 1d (both fencing?) and 17a ‘footy’ of some kind was a guess and look up and 25d.
    The one that I can’t get at all is 6d – I’m pretty sure that I haven’t got any wrong letters, that the definition is a military command and that it’s an anagram – and I still can’t do it.
    I always think 10a is a very odd word – it seems to mean so many different things.
    My favourite was either 3 or 18d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    Really cold in Oxford – it was sunny earlier but now looks as if it could do anything.

    1. Kath, 6d took me a while too. I find I have to write clues like this horizontally which helps a lot. Think Dad’s Army and Captain Mannering! Hope that doesn’t lead to the naughty step.

      1. Thanks – husband’s got it – I never would have done – it doesn’t sound ‘fierce’ enough to be a military command to me! I can’t see why you should get you sent to the naughty step for that – well, I hope it doesn’t.

  27. I am in the mostly straightforward, but a couple that held me up an inordinately long time, camp.
    I couldn’t see the author in 23d mainly because I did see a rude word to start 26a and couldn’t get the image out of my mind. I do see rather a lot of cricket in the answers as well as some clues – enough to call a ghost theme perhaps?
    Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and setter for the test today.
    I enjoyed the music today.

  28. Definitely a tricky puzzle in spots, but some nice clueing. 2.5*/****
    Needed some hints to get a couple of the trickier clues … like the base of the word in 9d
    Clues for COTD candidates include12a, 14a, 18a, 2d & 15d with favourite being 15d with 18a being a close second

    Thanks to setter and tilsit for the hints

  29. Well I thought this was tricky and then after looking at one or two hints I couldn’t see why I thought it was hard. I did enjoy this but do agree that there were wasted words in 18a. I prefer clues like 10a. Struggled with18d because I’m a musician and could think of a whole bunch of composers! Thanks to Tilsit for the hints. I’d’ve struggled without them today. Have a good weekend all

  30. Very tricky for me today. So often I could see the answer but not the why, e.g. 10a. I got stuck finally in the SW corner, missed about four, looked at the hint for 19a which got me going again.
    Even though this was tough, I found it enjoyable. It’s hard to choose a fave, I liked lots – maybe our Kate, one of my first in.
    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for his hints and tips. I always enjoy your music, Tilsit, many thanks for today’s.

  31. Found this quite tricky, just 4 on first read through, then was reaching for the Thesaurus shortly thereafter. Needed electrons to get 7a….

    1. Still struggling with that one and it seems to be everyone’s favourite! My last one too! Can anyone help even just a little bit???

        1. Got it, Thank you!! Stalled for a bit and then it came good. Now I can settle down and enjoy the rest of my evening …phew!

  32. I enjoyed this even if I was held up in the NE and needed a hint for “Kate Malona” ( I am not a fan obscure GK in clues) to sort it out. Took me some time to prove 5dn. Lots of misdirection … 28ac, 3dn standing out but 7ac was the COTD!

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  33. Found this quite doable, a Saturday surprise. Needed help with 14a and 17a, but at least I knew enough to get 1d. Really liked 3d, after I realized I was mistakenly looking for a children’s author. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  34. Well who knew that Kate had a surname? I found this quite tricky and needed lots of electronic help to complete it which wasn’t very satisfying, but I did think the vast majority of the clues were extremely clever, so no hard feelings! ****/****

    1. Inside Back Page (37) of the main section.
      I could send the PDF from the puzzles site if I knew your email but I imagine one of the head honchos who know the emails will do that soon.

    2. Hope you found it. Same place as usual when it is not on the back page. As Captain Mainwaring would say “You foolish boy”.

  35. Pleasurable puzzle compared to the previous two days ,3d had me pondering thinking of authors and 12 a and 18a were enjoyable ,pleased to see my side mentioned in 17a although considered this a statement of fact rather than a clue based on the season thus far ,thanks to setter

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