DT 29586 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29586 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29586 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from Warrington, where it’s chilly and damp.

We have an interesting puzzle where some sound and clever clues appear, but I can’t help feeling one or two are too clever for their own good, with some definitions/indications that may be more at home in a barred puzzle. Enjoyable, but I think one or two of our gang may encounter a few brick walls if they don’t have a Big Red Book to help them.

Today we would normally be meeting in the Bridge House celebrating another year of the blog, however obviously we are not able to. The Boss will be organising one as soon as is possible but in the meantime, we are planning a virtual celebration via Zoom on Saturday 27th February Saturday 27th March and we hope you’ll come and join us. We will post entry details on the day, and we hope you’ll be able to share coffee and cake, or maybe something stronger. Hopefully some of the setters will also join us and we’ll have breakout rooms where you can chat and enjoy the company. It’ll be nice to put faces to keyboards, so let us know here and on the birthday blog whether you’re up for joining us.

Enjoy the puzzle, remember the usual rules, play nicely.

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 The car of your dreams? (7)
A cryptic definition of part of a train.

5a Approachable female appears in a moral tale (7)
Inside A and the name for a story with a moral goes the abbreviation for female.

9a Parking arranged at a price for each person (3,6)
Abbreviation for parking, plus an anagram of AT A PRICE gives a Latin phrase

11a Strained decimal point (7)
How you would cryptically describe something decimal, plus a compass point in short.

13a Guy Busby-Brown making this cocktail? (9)
A word meaning a guy, what a busby is, and a shade of brown, all put together make a cocktail.

17a Seconds brought in Waller perhaps doesn’t eat (5)
Inside the first name of Mr Jazzman Waller goes the abbreviation for seconds.

18a Corporation accepting revised date after some delay (9)
One of the more obscure meanings of corporation has an anagram (revised) of DATE.

25a Social need at regular intervals to get sloshed (5)
Alternate letters (shown by at regular intervals) of SOCIAL NEED will lead you to the answers.

26a SPECTRE to supply such documents as Bond may see? (3,6)
Probably my favourite clue today; an anagram (supply) of SPECTRE TO gives an appropriate phrase.

28a Renowned as impotent? (7)
A word meaning renowned can be split into two parts which is an expression meaning impotent.


1d Thus PM defends his specious argument (7)
After a word meaning thus goes PM and inside (defends) goes HIS to give your solution.

3d Creature devouring rook and crustacean (5)
Inside a word that is an alternative definition of creature in the BRB goes the chess abbreviation for a rook.

4d Clobber river people invading small island (7)
This is quite complicated. The word for an item of clobber is found by taking the abbreviation for river, plus a word for a small island in the middle of one and a word for people inside that.

5d Adult with young man dressed at last in rubber? (7)
After the abbreviation for adult goes the name for a young man; add the last letter of dressed and IN and you’ll a person who was famed for rubbing.

6d The last word in unchanging time and space (9)
Inside a word meaning unchanging plus the abbreviation for time, goes the last word in the Bible or a prayer. This gives a bible word for a space.

14d Architect horrible about large country home (9)
The name for a famous architect plus something meaning horrible goes around the abbreviation for large, to give a city associated with a style of music.

18d Maybe second-rate celebrity in bubble? (7)
The most famous celebrities are known in some papers as this, so the second rate ones would be …..

24d Pulse in broth that needs stir (5)
An anagram (that needs stir) of BROTH is a word meaning to pulse.

Thanks to our mystery setter. Maybe they’ll pop in and say hello later. How did you do? Let us know.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today is by one of the most popular composers of recent times. Marmite to some. But this just lovely.

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: sow+pop+error=soap opera

119 comments on “DT 29586 (Hints)

  1. Far from plain-sailing but enjoyable. NW last to come on board. Couple of Favs – 13a and 18a. A few rather broad clues e.g. creature in 3d and celebrity in 18d. Thanks Mysteron (Cephas?) and Tilsit. You do pick some lovely music for us Tilsit and today is just that.

    1. I agree about the music, Angellov, always a treat. I’m not familiar with this composer, I’ll have to learn more.

    2. I was amazed to see that the music clip was barred in Italy! Little do they know about VPNs😎 … and yes lovely music.

        1. Hi Kath

          VPN is not barred in Italy. It was the clip that was barred by the provider.

          But a simpler example than the clip that I couldn’t see is the BBC (iPlayer). When the BBC see that your IP address is in another country they block you for so-called copyright reasons. A VPN is a way of resolving this. It is called a Virtual Private Network and it provides you with an anonymous IP address in any country you wish. So using my VPN supplier I can connect to the UK (obtain a UK IP address) and subsequently watch BBC (although I have to say it’s very rare I have the need or the will!), ITV etc.

          Using a VPN is also a very secure way of browsing the internet.

        2. Virtual Private Networks are used to protect a private network, such as a company network, when accessing public websites. They encrypt internet traffic and mask a user’s IP address (a 4 part number which identifies a specific computer). Their use can block unwanted sites and improve privacy.

          I’ve no idea about Italy. I thought they were only banned by repressive regimes such as China and Russia where only their governments are permitted to use them.

          1. RD, I don’t think you’ve read my reply. It is not Italy that bans, it is the original stream supplier. E.g. BBC. Perhaps we crossed over here on posts.

      1. Thanks to you and to RD – think this sounds like something that it’s best not to clutter my brain with!!

  2. All completed in *** time. 1d was a new word for me, I think, but it was clear from the wordplay. 20d is one of those words that I can never spell correctly at the first attempt, and certainly didn’t do so today.

    COTD has to be 5d. I know it’s January, but this was a little stretched.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

        1. Not ‘just’ an anagram but simple enough to work out if you just do what the clue, and Tilsit, tells you to do.

            1. No – first two letters of answer are a synonym of the first word of the clue. The remaining letters are given to you in the clue. I had not heard of the answer but was the easiest clue of all. It wasn’t aimed at those with a classical education (from which I was banned in Lower V) but aimed at anyone who can read.

    1. I struggled with 5d and could not justify an eraser, but then the penny dropped and I thought it was very clever!

    2. Hi Malcolm.

      Just remember that the three tricky letters are in alphabetical order: g t z

  3. I really enjoyed this very clever puzzle (2*/4.5*). There were so many great clues that it’s hard to pick favourites. I liked the misdirection in 1a, whilst 13a and 6d were great lego type clues and 20d a great anagram but my clue of the day is, surprisingly, a sporty one, 19d, which was funny. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler. Havin had my vaccination yesterday, my other half went in for his today. It was so efficient, with lots of volunteer guides manning our local Health Centre an half a dozen advisors, each with a vaccination person next to them. I feel sorry for those in the EU and privileged to have the service we have here.

  4. A mostly steady solve but I was badly held up in the North West corner. Mercifully, you’ve actually explained a couple of the clues that I didn’t really understand and wasn’t, therefore, 100% sure of my answer. ***/** I liked 21a and, now that I see where the “rubber” comes in, 5d. Favourite is 13a. Thanks to all.

  5. ***/*** for me: I had the wrong first word in for 19d being a word meaning succeeded but that was wrong, although I don’t quite understand why it is what it is! That held me up with 18 ac for a while. Some clever clues though. Raining in Plymouth so a TV afternoon for a change.

  6. Very very tricky today and I needed to think very carefully to fully parse some of the clues. There were highs and lows, the former being 13a and without doubt the lowest was 5d, a perfectly dreadful clue.
    Too hard to be really enjoyable but I can respect the setters efforts.
    Thx for the hints although not needed today

  7. I loved this and sailed through in good time, but with sufficient breathing spaces to enjoy the great clueing. I agree that the NW was the trickiest quadrant and that 5d was the clear favourite. Great fun.

    Many thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  8. One of those puzzles where 2/3s went in fairly quickly and then the rest took ages. Enjoyable though.
    Thanks Tilsit for the hints which cleared up some of the parsing (5d in particular). Some others will have to wait for the full review later in the week.
    Thanks to setter, an interesting tussle.

  9. Tilsit sums this crossword up very aptly. His hints helped clarify some questions I had about my answers particularly the “Corporation” synonym. There were several others with obscure synonyms, notably 27a, and 3 and 4 down. 5 Down was new to me but the answer was fairly clearly signposted. After not knowing Kate last week I was tricked into believing there was a Guy Busby-Brown! In my defense my grandmother’s maiden name was Busby. Not as enjoyable as recent Saturdays, Thanks Tilsit for the enlightenment and Setter for the challenge.

  10. After a somewhat strange pairing of the Thursday and Friday back pagers, this, for me, was a welcome relief and was reasonably straightforward and very enjoyable, completed at a fast gallop – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 28a, 1d, and 5d – and the winner is 28a.
    My very inaccurate setter detection system would have me agreeing with Angellov that the setter is Cephas, so (mistaken?) thanks to him and Tilsit.

    1. I’ve been meaning to ask this – if a fast gallop = **, what speed is your horse having to go at for a * crossword?

  11. Grateful thanks to the setter for filling an otherwise cold wet and dreary morning.Even more thanks to Tilsit for helping me sort out N.W.where l had put the wrong type of rail carHappy birthday to this site a place of sanity in an odd World.

  12. Witty, warm-spirited, and delightful. So much to like, especially 13a / 14d (co-CsOTD), 5d, 6d, 1d. Had no trouble with the crickety clue for a change; it was 1a and 2d that held me up the longest and pushed me into *** time. One of the best SPPs in a long time, I think. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. *** / ****

    Cold (sub-zero, 28F) in Charleston this morning.

  13. Greetings from the south coast where we Brookes sit and enjoy our late breakfast over the Saturday DT. Just dropping in to add our thoughts. We view the site regularly but never contribute! However we have been enjoying the Saturday puzzles even more over the last few months, so a good time to pipe up.

    We liked the extra pause some clues gave us in this really excellent puzzle, clever and amusing throughout. We particularly liked the RUBBER and SPECTRE clues (what a clever anagram device), but there was much to enjoy. Long may these intriguing weekend contests continue.

    Thanks to Messrs ‘Tilsit’ and the setter.

  14. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with plenty of head scratching around the North West quadrant. I can’t seem to fathom why 2d is what I think it is. Look forward to cracking that particular nut. Thanks to tilsit and the mystery setter.

  15. Well it took a very long time but think I succeeded. Needed to check with Tilsit about the reasoning of my answers. I also googled Guy Busby Brown to no avail! A splendid way to use a wet , dull, Saturday morning. Many thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  16. 2*/5*. What a brilliant puzzle, the best Saturday Prize Crossword I can recall with plenty of smiles, lots of penny drop moments, and some wonderfully disguised definitions.

    I started badly with the wrong bird in 2d (one which is my arch enemy) as my second answer in which fitted both the wordplay and the one checking letter I had from 9a. I can’t say more without being sent to the naughty step and I expect that all of yesterday’s birthday cake has been eaten. My only other slight hold up was needing to check the creature in 3d in my BRB.

    Picking a favourite from such a good selection is not easy but I’ll give special mentions to 13a, 21a & 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter (could it be Donnybrook?) and to Tilsit.

    1. Although Mr CS and I really like this cake (and this one is a particularly fine example of the recipe), even the two of us couldn’t eat the whole thing in just two days!

    2. I think I had the same bird as you. It took me ages to accept that I was wrong. 1a eluded me for a long time even after I’d realised it though.
      I managed all except 5 clues in the NW quite quickly and painlessly, but the satisfaction when I finally got those 5 was immense.
      And I managed to parse them all except for 4d, part of which is a new word for me but one I suspect is very useful in crossword-land.
      Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for brightening a wet and windy Saturday morning.

    3. I had to look up the creature in 3d. What on earth is a “countable noun”? I’m sure you’ll know, but explanation in tiny brain, one-word answers, please!

      1. Merusa, a countable noun refers to something which can be counted, e.g. people, animals, objects, crosswords, etc. Uncountable nouns refer to things which can’t be counted, such as “love”, “money”, “music”, “news”.

  17. The first pass filled in the SW corner but little else. An injection of coffee helped the NW and SE to come to mind but the NE remained stubbornly blank. I am going to agree with Brian that 5d was a bit of a shocker, A nice anagram at 20d triggered pangram thoughts but soon dismissed. I had a Proustian moment on behalf of an old friend with 7d but it is his story to tell 🍒🍆
    I hope to be around for the Zoom but too early to tell
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter

    1. Hi John,
      Did you catch Mary Beard’s programme on Thursday evening? It concerned how language develops and included an interview with Douglas Stuart.

        1. Yes it is I am downloading it as we speak – the intro looks interesting – Evelyn Glennie and Ian Hislop too and all about words – sounds like a cruciverbalists delight.

  18. Great puzzle in every respect.
    Completed in *** time.
    5d was a brilliant and inspired clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  19. Really enjoyed this today after finding the last couple of days to be very hard work. About half went in quite quickly but spent an age finishing off while minding (crowd control) the children who were watching Saturday morning cartoons. Liked 26a but my favourite clue was one across which I thought was very neat. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  20. A mistake I often make is that in writing down the solution I sometimes add one of the letters that is already in the grid and don’t notice. This caused a severe hold up in the NE corner entirely of my own making, so all possible words were unsuitable.

    Thanks to Tilsit for his hints which helped me out in the NE corner and to the setter

  21. Very enjoyable with lots of ‘penny drop’ moments – just what a prize puzzle should be like IMO.
    My ticks went to 21a (in spite of the grisly surface), 14d and 19d but my favourite (and clue of the month for me) is 5d.
    Thanks to Donnybrook (?) and to Tilsit for the hints.

  22. Gentle (right wavelength perhaps, judging by some other comments) but thoroughly enjoyable with some great surfaces and a sense of humour. Podium places to 1d, 5d and 6d. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

    Happy the U.K. was free to do its own thing on the vaccines.

    1. I have to agree Wahoo this was by far the easiest crossword of the week for me, completed in 1* time. As you say a wavelength thing. Thanks all round.

  23. Fully agree with RC&RD as I thought this a corker. Breezed through the south but found a bit more bite in the north & like JB it was the NE that was the real culprit. Last in was 5d & must admit to staring at my correct answer for a couple of minutes trying to figure out what the hell it had to do with the definition until the penny dropped for a finish in just under 2.5* time. Picks for me were 1,11 & 13a though there were any number of worthy contenders. Hosing it down out there so it looks like a day of crosswords, watching sport & listening to music – today’s albums: Chill Out (John Lee Hooker) & The Captain & Me (Doobie Brothers)
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit – very much enjoyed the piano piece.

  24. Took an inordinate length of time to get 1a which scuppered the NW corner for a while but the remainder of the puzzle yielded relatively easily despite the occasional need to think outside the box.
    Top three for me were 13&18a plus 6d.

    Thanks to our setter (Donnybrook?) and to Tilsit for the Saturday club – Einaudi is probably my favourite composer of piano music but nobody else plays his pieces in quite the same way as he does. I was lucky enough to see him in concert some years ago and it was a magical evening.

    1. Me too.

      1ac suddenly dawned on me when I decided that I could not parse Sunbeam (Talbot)! Where the answer came from I have no idea. Once that was solved the rest of the N W went in smoothly. Thought 5dn a real penny-dropper and I liked 13ac.

      It was a bit of a slog but nothing wrong with the crossword – just my feet and body suffering from two hard days in the groves.

      Thanks to Tilsit for explaining the “creature” in 3dn although I have yet to look it up in BRB! Thanks to the setter also.

  25. I think 4d down does not need the 1,just the small island does the trick. Also not an item of clothing, but clothing in general.

    1. I read Tilsit’s hint as saying that the small island is in the middle of a (one) river

      1. Whilst fearing the naughty step, and loathe to disagree with you (because I can’t ever remember you being wrong), I don’t see how that works. I have a 1 letter river, then a 3 letter small island around a 3 letter people. I can’t see how that puts the island in the middle of a river.

          1. Ah, that makes sense now. My 1998 Chambers does not reference the ‘in the middle of a river’ bit. Tilsit’s explanation works perfectly for that definition although on the basis of ‘Chambers is recommended’, it might have been better to leave out ‘in the middle of one’. That way the hint would have worked for both dictionaries. Don’t get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the effort that all of the bloggers put in, and it would be impossible to check every dictionary every time, but I do like to get to the bottom of these things.
            Whilst I am taking part in the pedant’s revolt, I stand by the other part of my comment that the answer describes clothing in general and not a singular item thereof. You can have an item of xxxxxxx, but you can’t have a xxxxxxx, unless I am mistaken.

          2. I was brought up in Chiswick so the 3 letter small island made sense to me.Thanks to all involved for a most enjoyable puzzle. The puzzles and blog help to keep me sane in these crazy times.l

            1. There is another word for a small island in rhe river that sounds similar but has 4 letters and begins with a different vowel. Some of you might be more familiar with this version. The similarity in sound put me onto solving the clue.

            2. I have usually – and that’s not often! – seen the word for small island (in the middle of a river) spelled differently, with 4 letters.

  26. No galloping or sailing for me with this one, but hugely enjoyable to complete (eventually) with a late breakfast of toast and orange juice.

    Surrey is under a flood warning and the rain keeps a-comin’. So I looked at the forecast for tomorrow – a warning of ice! It’s like the Plague of Egypt round here, without the frogs (to date).

    Today’s soundtrack: Bruckner – Symphony No. 7 (delicious; experienced it at the Proms in 2013 and it was one of my favourite live concerts of all time).

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Bruckner’s 7th is one of the wonders of the symphonic world, Terence. Huge and all-encompassing.

    2. I heard Bruckner 7 at the Proms many years ago, performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. They played to a full house and the Albert Hall is a splendid place for such a grand symphony. A wonderful evening.

  27. Funnily enough the NE corner was my hold up – I got 5d OK but took ages for the penny drop moment, what a great clue. After reading other comments, am now wondering if I have the right answer for 2d – I have got a bird, the usual bird, but it doesn’t really make sense – who or what is Ruth? Time will tell. Anyway, I enjoyed this especially 18d and 28a. Thanks to all.

  28. What a foul day it is here in Oxford – heavy rain, sleet and a few bits of blobby snow all seem to be taking it in turns, and cold 2C.
    Thank goodness for a crossword with some humour – I really enjoyed this one.
    I think 1a is either something you see instantly or one that takes for ever – I was lucky!
    I was also lucky with 13a as it’s probably about the only cocktail that I’ve heard of.
    14d was my last answer.
    Smug now as I not only got but also understood the 19d ‘crickety’ one.
    The clues that made me laugh were 21a (but yuk), 5 and 19d – any one could qualify for my favourite.
    Thanks to Donnybrook (?) and to Tilsit.
    Now then – it’s either the NTSPP or the Beam Toughie from Thursday which I still haven’t looked at – really have to try to keep one of them for tomorrow so that I don’t go loopy.

  29. What a lovely puzzle on a very wet day in Cambridge! Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. I struggled to parse 5d because I could not justify the rubber but then the penny dropped and it became a clue of the day together with 13a (very amusing) and the clever 21a. But lots of other smart clueing making it a pleasure to complete. In my lovely paper i,e real crossword there is an advertisement for a very nice rail journey down to Rome (there’s a wonderful shoe shop next to the Trevi fountain) and on down the Amalfi coast. How tempting, I have not done a specifically train holiday although we have travelled by train in Russia, Turkey and India all of which were experiences not to be forgotten. How tempting to make a booking, but I cannot really believe that we shall be thinking of holidays at all this year, sadly. I would very much like to join the Zoom in February, it should be fun. . It is George’s birthday tomorrow and also my brother’s birthday and a close friend – we are back to the 23 people in a room and 50% chance etc etc. DD2 is bringing over a special dinner for her father so it is a treat for me also – no cooking. Enjoy the weekend everyone.

  30. Lockdowns have a lot to answer for! One year ago I would look at a cryptic crossword and say to myself who the hell does these? Why put yourself through all the pain? One year on and leaving London (where I work) to work from home here in Belfast, my lovely neighbour drops this cryptic crossword through my letterbox every Saturday morning. I am obsessed! I am such an amateur and need the hints but such pleasure and fulfilment when I get one on my own! Thank you Tilsit and the setters for introducing me to a whole new world!

        1. Welcome from me too – please keep commenting. If there’s something that you don’t ‘get’ you only need to ask and someone will reply, usually within a few minutes. Everyone is really friendly here! :smile:

  31. Phew. After a few crossword nightmares this week I’m finally back in track with this one. I thought I wouldn’t be able to finish unaided as I got stuck in the NW corner but once 11a finally dawned on me I got the rest in (although not being able to fully parse 2, 3 or 4 down without the hints.) Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  32. Funny old thing the [my? ]brain! Really struggled on yesterday’s puzzle but completed today’s with no trouble.

  33. Sorry Tilsit, I can’t agree with you. Really enjoyed this puzzle today, some proper ‘cryptic’ clues. Not necessarily that difficult to solve but you could follow exactly how they were put together-13 across for example.

  34. Brilliant!!
    Solved in record time after the last two days of complete struggle and needing much assistance from the hints! Must have had a better sleep but seemed to be on the absolute right wavelength with today’s setter! Lots of great clues but 28A made me laugh (or LOL as the kids might say!) :-)

  35. Quite enjoyed today’s crossword **/****. I thought 6d, 20d & 28a were good clues with 28a getting my vote today.
    Thx to the setter and Tilsit

  36. This really took some unravelling, but fun along the way. 13a and 5d were joint standout favourites. Thank you setter and Tilsit. We have had rather a nice surprise this afternoon. A bluetit has ventured into our bird box. Where has the year gone? No, don’t tell me.

    1. We already have a mating pair of robins and a pair of blackbirds. I don’t put up nestboxes on the fences as we have a problem with grey squirrels, which predate the young and the eggs in birds’ nests. Ive just completed my hour of the RSPB annual birdwatch and am off to enter the results online. Anyone can participate and it passes an hour on a rotten wet Saturday.

      1. Rats, I forgot about the bird watch hour. I was going to take part. We’ve had robins nesting in the past. They declined a very nice bird box on a tree in our front garden, and opted for my hanging basket next to the front door. The bluetit box is on a tree in our back garden, but the box has a metal plate on the front to deter other pests. My off the cuff bird recognition for today would be several robins, bluetits, magpies, crows, kites, a woodpecker and a lonely hen pheasant.

  37. Greetings from a grey, cold but, at the moment, dry, Cheshire.
    All good until I hit the NW which took ages. But I managed without any hints although I had to check the small island was a word after I had decided I had finished (it doesn’t count as successful otherwise).
    My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks, as ever for the enjoyment and for the hints helping me to understand, and confirm, that my educated guesses were correct.

  38. That was a definite workout, but did come with some hard thinking. The NE and SW corners went in first. 1d was a new word for me, and although I bunged 5d in, I still don’t get the parsing. Had a good chuckle at 13a, with 17a close behind. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

    1. I wonder if we can join the zoom meeting in Miami? It should be fun, I’d have to get someone to set me up. Wotcher think?

      1. The 2Ks are planning to join in from NZ so I’m sure you can both ‘be there’ as well. The Zoom link should work for everyone.

  39. Earlier than usual finish for me today but an entertaining challenge with some fun wordplay. Like BL above I got the NE and SW first, with the NW last in. Misled by 19D for a while – wrong measure of success! 13A was my favourite today.

  40. Plain sailing but loved it. 28a and 5d both made me smile. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  41. A tricky puzzle in some areas for this Saturday offering, but with a little lateral thinking and head scratching the answers eventually came to the surface. 2.5*/**** with the NE last area to fall.
    Several groans/chuckles with clues like 1a, 12a, 28a & 19d
    Favourites today include 1a, 12a, 18a, 7d, 15d & 18d with winners being 12a & 7d

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for hints

  42. I agree with Tilsit about this puzzle….a bit too clever for my taste.
    However, I got to the end alone and unaided so hurrah!

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    PS how can I be non-plussed again?

    1. in the comment box you will see your name and email address,
      replace the plus from your name and make sure the save my name and email box is ticked and you should be good to go the next time.

  43. This was challenging but fun. I stared at 1a for ages before the penny dropped and 5d was another d’oh moment so they get the podium places. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  44. This was a gem, I loved it, nothing obscure and perfect amount of brainwork required. I needed Tilsit’s hints to unravel a few, e.g. 5d, very funny. I wasn’t fooled by the “corporation” at 18a, I’ve been had once too many times there.
    I can’t choose a fave, though 13a was fun, I also like 1d, one of those words you long to throw into the conversation but never get the opportunity.
    Thanks t our setter, you’re a star, and to Tilsit for the hints and tips.

  45. I don’t ‘do’ ‘hmm’ but ‘hmm’ – maybe not a Donnybrook then as he (assuming that he’s a he and not a she) usually calls in.
    Who knows? I certainly don’t!

    1. Donnybrook is definitely a ‘he’ Kath although he does/did have a penchant for keeping his hair long!

  46. Could someone please explain what a barred crossword is?

    I found this a quicker solve than some Saturdays though a few were not fully parseable and I was helped with a couple by having read the blog explanations for some recent toughies, eg the meaning here of corporation.

    1. A barred crossword is one like the Enigmatic Variations one blogged here.
      It usually has NO black squares and requires the solver to fill every space with a letter. the bars are there to separate the inevitable clashes where one word runs into another.
      Tricky little blighters, they often have a preamble which affects how and what is inserted or highlighted in the grid but very satisfying if you work out all the answers.

      1. Thank you Mr Bee. I only look at the DT puzzles that are part of the digital version and only some days. I will just take Mr Tilsit’s word about some of these clues then as he is much wiser than me.

  47. Thank you for the help on explaining some of my answers. Still not sure why 19d is what it is. On 18a, I thought of my grandad who died well over 20 years ago. He would say gentlemen of a certain shape had a right bowindow. Sadly it didn’t fit the clue!

  48. An exciting day in all the gloom of lockdown – I finished this crossword in record time (almost) completely unaided. I only had to seek what the “eraser” was in 5d (am I on the naughty step?). Thanks to Tilsit for that help and for all the hard work in providing the hints. Thanks also to setter for a very interesting brain exercise.

  49. I have just given up in despair. I like a challenge but this has really ruined my weekend. Thought the crossword was supposed to be enjoyable but this is certainly not. I liked the 50 50 though. Stretches the mind but is achievable!

    1. You’ve changed your alias which sent you into moderation. Also there was a typo in your email address.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The answer to your question can be found under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) tab at the top of the page. Chambers Dictionary is known as the BRB because it is a Big Red Book!

  50. Hi Tilsit
    I am keen to attend the Zoom meeting on 27/2. I look forward to receiving joining details in due course.

  51. Saved this for today. First glance was not promising but once a few landed the rest of the bottom half flew in; top right then but couldn’t get 11a and had to parse 4d with 2d a puzzle but all in all a nice way to spend an hour so plus listening to DS’ last album before Mr Knobfler went solo and what a superlative discography he has 🎸

  52. Painful! 90% ok but had to resort to electronic help for last couple as new words to me. No wonder I failed O level English!!

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