DT 29592 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29592 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29592 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington on a gloomy morning chilly morning. I gather we are in for some miserable weather over the weekend, so it’s probably a get out early and then stay home day (like most of the days at the moment!).

No news of vaccine on the horizon for me yet and an infected leg means I shall spend another day in the home office. It’s the first Saturday of the month, so it’s running the Quizzing GP all day for me and if I remember, I shall post a few questions from it later to tease you.

Today we have an enjoyable puzzle that needs a little thought for a few of the clues, but it fits nicely in the slot.

Remember the Saturday Club rules and play nicely. I have two special treats at the end of the hints. Enjoy and absorb one, split your sides at the other. As usual, if the answer is a direct anagram, I probably won’t hint it – look for a word or two that may indicate movement, directly e.g. broken, or less directly, like cunningly.

Last week I mentioned a Zoom gathering to ‘replace’ the annual bridge House gathering at the end of the month. I stupidly hadn’t fully checked my diary and realised I am due to direct a bridge tournament. We will hold it on the last Saturday in March, so you have plenty of time to prepare! Apologies!

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.  Thank you to our setter for an enjoyable solve this morning!

Some hints follow.


1a Designs strong boxes to carry drug (7)
Inside a word for packages made of stronger materials goes the street abbreviation for a drug.

5a Clear around sides of lightweight screening structure (7)
A synonym for the word ‘clear’, think nylons, goes around the first and last (sides) of LIGHTWEIGHT to give a structure that ‘screens’ or protects you.

10a People used to pulling strings? (7)
A cryptic definition for people who pull strings as part of their hobby.

11a Authorisations of dad’s frolics? (9)
A short word for father’s is followed by a word for frolics.

17a Precedents of good person about to be admitted by Guys? (4,5)
A two word for precedents. The abbreviations for a good person and about (in the Latin form of the word) go inside Guys, which in this sense is a verb and you may need to look up!.  A look in the BRB or Mrs Bradford (the nickname for the indispensable Bradford’s Crossword Dictionary) will reveal the word in the clue.  Often people ask about the BRB or Mrs Bradford.  This is my essential solving kit!


19a Overstrains joints? (5)
A cryptic definition. A mediaeval tortuous way to strain your joints.

23a Researcher, say, one going into trail of evidence, is right at last (9)
Inside a word for a trail of evidence goes the Roman numeral for one, followed by IS and the last letter of RIGHT.

26a Beasts harshly censure fashionable adult in review (7)
If you harshly censure someone, followed by the short word for fashionable and abbreviation of an adult. Reverse the lot, and you get your answer.

28a Roughly three billion yen — about that amount (7)
An anagram of three plus abbreviations for billion and yen gives a legalese phrase.


1d Devalue revolutionary article and writer (7)
The ‘first’ name of a famous revolutionary (or name by which he’s known) plus A and a word for something that writes.

3d Vagrant male caught by snare (5)
A word for a snare has the abbreviation for male inside.

7d End up in stitches here? (7)
A cryptic definition that has two interpretations; a clever clue. Somewhere where the final action could be you are stitched, or somewhere where often you have laughed yourself silly.

8d Once again arranges holiday locations (7)
Two definitions. If you arrange something again you could be said to do this, or the name for holiday destinations, invariably near the sea.

14d Cycling, climb a little hill in endless series of steps (9)
This uses a device more usually seen in the more advanced cryptics, like Toughies or barred puzzles (a clue to our setter, perhaps?). ‘Cycling’ in a clue doesn’t always mean modes of transport; it can refer to taking a word and moving the last letter to the first place or the first letter to the last. So here cycling climb could be (but isn’t) ASCEND becoming DASCEN or SCENDA would be ‘cycling back’. It’s something not often seen in a back-pager.  Here you need a word for climb and ‘cycle’ it, then add A and a word for a (small) hill. That will give you your answer.

18d Having an untidy outline, steep initially, and full of rocks (7)
A word meaning tatty is found by taking the first letter (initially) of STEEP and then adding a word meaning full of rocks or the name of the island where Father Ted lived.

20d Around capital, cold and extremely tense atmosphere (7)
Around the name of a S American capital goes the abbreviation for cold, plus the first and last letters of tense.

21d To meet requirements, announce hedging possibly fits (7)
This was a trickly little blighter to work out. Around (hedging) an anagram of FITS goes a word meaning announce.

24d Racket made by single piercing hooter (5)
The numeral for one goes inside (piercing) a word for your hooter.

What did you think? Float your boat, or sank like a stone? Let us know.

The Crossword Club is now open.

For your music today, try this haunting reworking, most memorably used in the Handmaid’s Tale:

And finally, try this for local democracy. The meeting of the local council in Handforth near Wilmslow became rather chaotic. It’s gone viral!  [,,,, and made Jackie Weaver an overnight superstar!  BD]

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: diver+city=diversity

105 comments on “DT 29592 (Hints)

  1. Avery straightforward prize puzzle today but nonetheless enjoyable enough (1*/3*). The trickiest part and the part with the best clues was in the south. Both 2d and 20d had aome good misdirection and were joint COTD’s. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and I’ve already tKen your advice and been out for an early walk in dense fog! Thanks to the compiler also.

  2. Actually managed to get and understand most clues today. Thanks for your help in understanding 14d and 19a.

    1. I had the same experience as you today Louise though I needed Tilsit to explain 17a for me as well. What shall I now do until next Saturday then?

  3. Enjoyable canter, (1*/3*), refreshing after completing an old tortuous toughie that took us a lot longer than the blog suggested. Taken slightly aback by 15a, not heard the word used and would have thought the general word would have suited both sexes…. Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

    1. Welcome from me too!

      When you are setting, sometimes you need alternatives to get that grid fill.

      I did wonder whether the female form of the word ended -rix as some female alternatives do.

  4. I’ve never been to a council meeting but they look like a good laugh! As CC says, a straightforward solve today. It took me a few moments to work out what sort of string pullers we were looking for. **/*** Favourite 21d. Thanks to all.

    1. I went through my thesaurus list of the other string pullers twice before I twigged that I was on the wrong track.

  5. Pretty straightforward fare this morning with just one or two tricky ones to lengthen the solving time. 21d was the trickiest for me, my final entry and favourite. The cricket is done and dusted for the day, now for an afternoon of rugby.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to the as yet unvaccinated one.

  6. That was a fun exercise with South particularly SW slightly more challenging than the North. I’m obviously being thick but even with Tilsit’s hint I don’t get the parsing of 17a. My Fav was 2d when the clever bum steer with Times dawned on me. We have had a lovely sunny morning in West Sussex but gather the Beast from the Baltic may put paid to that in due course. Thanks Tilsit for your hints and the musical interlude (afraid PG not one of my favourites). The PC meeting in Handforth has been amusing me when thinking of my days as a PC. Thanks Mysteron for the enjoyable solve.

    1. The hint for 17 across is missing its last line Angelove. Are surrounded by a synonym of guys or rags or makes fun of. (or something like that) A cut and paste error perhaps

      1. Thanks MP, that explains it but in fact not sure I think of guys in that context – back to the rugby!

      1. Thanks! I came here to see about that definition. Lifted straight from BRB! I usually use Merriam as I don’t have Chambers online and that’s the definition know.
        Thanks for the hints (and the setter for the fun!)
        Bon weekend!

      2. Hmm, the online version doesn’t have it, but only has a two word, and a three word definition. But the physical does?

      1. That’s what I thought Sue. I’ve just looked at it and thought some solvers would not know that the guys are not men or ropes on tents. Indeed I did not know this verb until I was more familiar with crosswords. Please redact if I’ve said too much

      2. The old fogey has, and illustrated something as well.

        Although I did post the answer for a moment, but that has been removed! Off to beat myself with a copy of Our Esteemed Editor’s book.

    1. Setters often are free with capital letters. Enough said. Are there chocolate eclairs near the naughty chair today?

  7. A surmountable challenge in the SW corner as Angellove remarked but otherwise a downhill freewheel for the rest. 2 and 18 down deserve honourable mentions but my favourite today is 17down.

    Thanks to Tilsit for his review and to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

    Stay safe stay cool everyone.

    1. A walk in the fog with the temperature just below zero kept me nice and cool this morning, Corky. With the Beast from the East arriving soon, it looks like temperatures of -3 or -4 C over the mext few days.

      1. Only drizzle here in North Yorkshire so will probably get a walk in before England play Scotland.

  8. The first half went in rapidly, the next quarter somewhat slower and the final quarter took an age. Awful day here in Norfolk, absolutely pouring so no walk today. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  9. I loved today’s offering. Enough to make me think but not so hard as to make rush to the hints. Thanks to all the usual suspects. Have a good weekend all 🙂🙂❄❄

  10. Lovely crossword. No galloping here – finished at a gentle walking pace.

    H had her jab yesterday; so far, no side effects. The location was signposted by a madman but, once inside the building, apparently all was efficient and well-organised. Lola – no change; waiting for an update from the vet on Monday.
    A brilliant weekend of sport. Test cricket (England doing worryingly well); loads of Premiership football; Superbowl on Sunday to finish it all off. What more could anyone want? Don’t answer!

    Today’s soundtrack: Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.

    Thanks to the setter, and the busiest person in Crossword Land, Tilsit.

  11. Like others sailed through this until the SW corner caused some head scratching especially 18d my LOI. Thought the last 6 letters somewhat stretched the synonym.
    Otherwise a solid puzzle with nothing outstanding nor smile inducing so no COTD for me.
    I thought 19a qualified as a double definition.
    Thanks to Mysteron & Tilsit for the review which explained my 18d bung-in.
    Also for the council meeting video. We had exactly the came thing on our PC when I lived in Cardiff. It ended up with Chairman trying to dismiss the Clerk, accusations of sexual discrimination, misogyny., doctored minutes by the Charman etc . Also the two factions old guard, who pass the Charman’s office round v the younger “progressives” who can’t break the ring.
    Ken Bates before he went to make a fortune at Chelsea was Chairman of Oldham Athletic. I asked the man who stood down for him what he was like. “He believes in a committee of two with one absent” was his reply.

    1. I spent just under 30 years on our PC and DC and never had that excitement. Got a nice silver dish when I retired though.

    2. With the football reference you remind me of the late Brian Clough. “I wouldn’t say I’m the best manager but I’m in the top one” and “if the chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well”

      1. I liked Brian Clough’s comment after losing and being asked whether his team were better on paper, ” yes we are the better side on paper, but unfortunately we play on grass, not paper”.

  12. Straightforward enough, but a few dragged the solving time out for me . Off for some beer now and settle in for some rugby.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit

    1. Funny thing that. George had to get a couple of bottles of beer lined up. Helps the viewing I am told.

      1. Doesn’t alter the result unfortunately. Really poor performance from England, but fair enough to the Scots who stuck it out.

        1. The poor performance could have been because the Scots (I am proud to be one, but not for independance) actually outplayed them. We are a nation with limited resources but from time to time we send the old enemy home with a bloody nose🥃🥃🥃

        2. The poor performance could have been because the Scots (I am proud to be one, but not for independance) actually outplayed them. We are a nation with limited resources but from time to time we send the old enemy home with a bloody nose🥃🥃🥃

          It has given the 6-Nations an interesting start and no nation should expect a walkover.

          1. The English don’t accept they are beaten by the Celts they feel England lost to the Celtic fringe. It’s always they played poorly not that the other team’s game plan stopped them playing well !
            Scotland stuck “up” not “out” I would have said. Bet the Princess Royal had a grin from ear to ear.

            1. I’m English but absolutely no rugby fan so was completely neutral. I thoroughly enjoyed the game, the best team won. Well done Scotland. Though I know that one thing that irritates Scots even more is being congratulated by an Englishman, it sounds patronising, but I can assure you it isn’t.

              1. Sorry Hoofs sweeping generalisations are never justified. There some English who are generous losers too. Not many of them tend to be Rugby Union fans though.
                All will be forgotten when they (possibly) take Italy to the cleaners next week.
                Four goals for the lions, things are looking up!

          2. They did outplay them. But England weren’t coordinated.
            Roll on our next meeting!

  13. I made heavy weather of this……probably because of constant interruptions …at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
    Eventually got it all sorted out and explained mostly to my satisfaction. Not happy with the definition of 18d and didn’t like 19a. The clue seemed incomplete somehow. Did like 14a and 21d though.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  14. The setters of the SPPs appear to have developed a consistency of just about the right level of difficulty and definitely the right level of enjoyment, perhaps our esteemed editor has given them appropriate guidance. This was no exception – **/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 26a, 1d, and 2d – and the winner is 2d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  15. **/****. Enjoyable Saturday puzzle with a few pauses along the way. I think there are times I over complicate things e.g. 12a which I got straight away but then started looking for a more complex answer. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

      1. Both can have something to do with joints. I decided my first choice was wrong as it is not cryptic and just a synonym of the clue. This is my least liked clue of the day.

    1. Harold-
      I don’t think so if you treat it as a double definition. Hopefully I haven’t said too much for an SPP.

      1. Yes, it depends whether you regard the clue as a DD or a CD. I agree with LabradorsruleOK that it is probably the answer got from the former that is intended (and that is the answer given by Tilsit), but I think the other possibility could satisfy the CD.

  16. A few that I wasn’t too keen on, despite what the BRB may say – 15&28a plus 23d. I suppose it depends on the usage with which one is familiar.
    Favourite has to be 6d as a nod to the Handforth council meeting!

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

  17. Oh dear, what a troublesome puzzle for Saturday. Started off so well and was heading for a 1.5* finish but the SE corner was really troublesome and I ended up almost 2.5* for time. Overall I’d have to rank it 2.5*/****. There were some great clues including 10a, 11a, 17a, 8d & 20d with winner 11a and 17a runner up. Fun puzzle until the SE for me.
    Oh well …

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  18. Pretty straightforward for a Saturday puzzle but still enjoyable. LOI 28a. It had to be that, it is in BRB, as was remarked. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  19. Pleasant enough albeit a little underwhelming for a Prize puzzle & completed in bang on 2.5* time. Last in was the string puller which delayed the finish quite a bit. 15a was also new to me & even after checking it was indeed a word somehow didn’t quite look right. Thought the downs had it today with 2,17,18 & 20 the picks for me. No walk even though the weather in Harpenden not at all bad. My ear infection is making me feel pretty grotty & somewhat dizzy so shall watch the golf & cricket instead, tackle Chalicea’s NTSPP & listen to today’s albums: Jason Isbell & 400 Unit (eponymous) & Just As I Am (Bill Withers)
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit

    1. Most comforting thing in the world for earache is a salt pillow. Get/make a bag from some soft fabric (flannelette best but old pyjamas just as good) about 6-8″ long x 5-6″ wide. Fill it with ordinary table/cooking salt and sew up the gap. Heat it on the boiler/radiator or in microwave – gently don’t overheat it. Hold it to the ear or go to sleep on it. I had mastoid in both ears as a child and the salt bag was wonderful. I made one for my daughter when she had an abscess in her ear and have since made them for friends and neighbours with earache. It is very soothing and relieves the pain. If you lived round the corner I would drop one in!

  20. Pleasant Saturday romp, just enough to not scare horses or solvers.
    Favs 23ac & 6 d.
    Many thanks to setter & Tilsit for review

  21. I agree that the SW corner was the last to go in and I am still wondering about 17a, not comfortable with it and have entered it in pencil in case I change my mind! Had a good walk in the sunshine round our twin village which I usually only see from the car. Very interesting what you see on foot. I dare say we are getting a name as that couple disguised as old folks who are casing all the local likely targets! As soon as we got home it started to rain so we are grounded now until bedtime. Thanks to Tilsit for unravelling and thanks to the setter for entertaining us.

      1. OMG I couldn’t sleep if I knew one of those was on the loose in my house. Although mice (I hope) have obviously broken into the tub of birds fastballs I keep in the garage.

          1. Yes, we had a whole box of coconut treats with fatball ingredients inside that were nibbled by wood mice in my garage last year. I caught 11 of them in humane traps baited with drinking chocolate powder and re-homed them up on the Ridgeway

      2. I’m sure that fella (or lassie) had a role in Jurassic Park. I’d have decamped to the nearest hotel if it was loose in my house.

        1. My young lady who helps me, loves reptiles! Snakes, lizards, iguanas, and so on, very useful when a cat brings a guest in.

      3. Oh my. What can I say! I suppose the fact that you picked him up means he is not poisonous
        but I bet he can bite. Best of luck, I thought Gi-normouse Cambridge spiders were bad enough…..

        1. Me pick him up? Are you quite mad? No chance, Eliz caught it. She was flat on the floor with her head under the chest of drawers.

  22. Nothing to frighten the horses although mine set off at a gallop and nearly unseated me just before the finishing post. I normally solve haphazardly making use of checkers picked up on the way. However, this time I worked methodically clockwise starting in the NW. I left only one 28a whilst completing the circuit, which was my last to enter. Unlike some I had no trouble in the SW. I’m not happy with my answer to 19a although if Tilsit says it’s right it must be. Favourites 11 and 17a and 4 6 and 21d. Thank you setter and Tilsit.

  23. Only moderately enjoyable for me, I’m afraid. In my mind, I was able to justify almost all the vowels in the 2nd spot for19a, my LOI, though I finally settled for what (according to the online checker) was the right one. 23d seems quite stretched, as does 28a. And we benighted Americans would add an ‘L’ to 18d. But I did like 2d, 20d, and 14d. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. ** / ***

  24. Not much trouble today apart from being foxed by the false capitalisation in 17a.
    My last answer was the people pulling the strings.
    I think my favourite was probably 11a and runner-up 23a (for our Elder Lamb).
    Quiet here today – I suppose everyone is watching football/rugby/cricket/golf etc – I don’t imagine it’ll come as a surprise to anyone to hear that I’ll give them all a miss and head off to the NTSPP!
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.

  25. I took a quick glance at this first thing and thought it was going to be a bit tricky, so because Dutch’s preamble hinted at a Nina in the Elgar toughie I battled my way through that. I hope Elgar gets over the ailment soon.
    After all that head-scratching this seemed a lot easier. A couple of clues tripped me up though 19a being one.
    13a was another. I had the right construction (a G inside) but the wrong synonym of naked I ended up with a more forceful jog and no way of solving 1d. Got there in the end with Tilsit’s help and thanks to him and setter too.

  26. Another fun day in crossword land. Made steady progress through this puzzle, with just a couple of head scratchers. 23a was last in, simply because I couldn’t think of a word for a trail of evidence for the longest time. Wasn’t comfortable with 15a, not a word I would ever use. Just got our confirmations for second jabs on Thursday, a relief. But it will be even better when our younger, working folk can get theirs and the world can fully get on the road to recovery.

    1. The nasty side of me does giggle at the thought of all the oldies going abroad, while the young ‘uns are stuck here. Their punishment for assuming it wouldn’t affect them and carried on life as normal when they should have followed guidelines.

      Presumably, the next Saga brochure will feature the Greek islands exclusively!

      1. The young ‘uns put their lives on hold to save the lives of the oldies. You should be extremely thankful to them. My daughter and her friends sacrificed her GCSEs for the lives of others.

  27. I am SO pleased that someone else uses Mrs Bradford ! I always felt using this wonderful book was cheating but I am relatively new to the cryptic crossword and this helps me so much ! Thank you for making me feel so much better !!

    1. Welcome Jules!

      I would say that Mrs B is a more essential Bible for newer solvers as it gives you the synonyms you need and of course under Guy comes ……

      I’ve just checked and the next edition is due on 7 October!

      Note made in diary.

    2. Jules – our house is called The Carlings. When we bought the house it was just no.23 but when we were doing up
      the front garden we found a very old board with the name on. We discovered some years later that it was the family
      name of the woman who built the house. I like it!

      1. I managed to complete this after dipping in and out between dealing with the dogs and chores. Think I have clued 17a and 19 a correctly. Just the right kind of enjoyment / challenge. Many thanks to the setter and Tilset.
        I do so love to read the banter on this blog (it’s the only one I do!). Such a wealth of experience and entertaining mix of people and views. Long may it continue!

  28. Now please don’t get alarmed, but my honourary grandchildren in Maryland (13 years) have decided they must zoom me up for the meeting and are going to teach me how to use zoom. I just hope I don’t crash the whole system. I have no idea how this thing works so I feel it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve.
    Crossword: I found it quite tricky, the answers seemed, by and large, not to be too difficult, the problem was unravelling them. For instance, 23d was so obvious, but I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t make it mean criticism.
    Thank you setter, and huge thanks to Tilsit for unravelling so much.

    1. Think of what sort of a retort a criticism can be … how is it delivered … as in tone of voice???
      Hope that helps.

  29. I thought this was going to be tricky but it all fell into place quite quickly and once I’d solved each clue it seemed obvious, apart from 19a which I thought wasn’t that good. Other than that, a fun solve. **/****

  30. I think it is time to come in with warm thanks to Tilsit, Big Dave and the regulars for such a positive response to my very first back-pager. It is purely by chance that the NTSPP is one of mine too (and tomorrow’s 50-50 but not the coming Tuesday Toughie – that is by another setter). I’m taking note of the comments, especialy Tilsit’s about cycling clues not being appropriate for the back-pager but more ‘Toughie fodder’. (I think that hint has been removed as it gave too much away.) Sorry if the south-west corner was a bit of a struggle for some and apologies to anyone for whom ‘Chaliceasy’ is a bit easy but I am giving a warm hug (from a respectable social distance) to all those who said it was ‘enjoyable’. That’s my aim as a setter.

    1. Thanks for popping in. I liked it, I did have some difficulty “parsing” some, but that’s why we have Tilsit. Come back any time. I have a tiny brain and can’t handle the heavy duty stuff.

    2. Thank you for the puzzle and for popping in. I thought that is was just right for a SPP. The cycling hint is still there (14d) and although I can find them tricky, I found this one a straightforward solve. For me the NW corner was hardest because I made a boo boo with 13a.
      Thanks again

      1. Thank you for an enjoyable puzzle with just about the right amount of challenge, Chalicea.

    3. Thank you for doing us the honours of a visit Chalicea.
      Certainly your judgement on the level of head scratching we non-Toughie grade solvers can tolerate was pretty spot on.

  31. Some clues needed a bit of thinking about, SE was easier once I stopped trying to put misspelt aphids in 26a😲

  32. I’m in two minds about sending this email but I’m going to send it anyway .I love the cryptic crosswords but am only recently having a serious attempt. I do what I can then study the hints and try to understand the parsing. I really enjoy all the comments but
    when I actually manage to complete one I am so deflated when someone says how boringly easy it was . Just a little word of encouragement please

      1. Believe me, Lyndylou, it is distressing for the setter too when someone says the crossword was solved as their coffee cooled, or something like that (two of us have set this weekend’s Listener too and some of the earlier comments were a bit like that) but we learn that a full range of crosswords is needed so that there are some for all solvers and we learn not to be too dispirited by those rather thoughtless and somewhat insensitive comments so do keep on solving and please keep on commenting.

        1. Puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, even within the newspaper daily puzzles – each newspaper has its own ranking. When I am teaching new solvers to get to grips with cryptics, the Telegraph puzzle is the one I recommend to solvers to cut their teeth on. If they want to move on to something tougher I then recommend Guardian or Independent and Telegraph Toughie then the Times which is generally the hardest of the dailies (Yesterday’s Times Prize puzzle was an absolute beast!!). You can then move onto the barred puzzles which have more obscure words and slightly tougher ways of getting to the solution. You then hit the advanced barred cryptics like the Enigmatic Variations, Inquisitor, and the granddaddy of them all, The Listener. I have yet to meet anyone who’s tackled a Listener or EV successfully without having spent a fair bit of time on the basics.

          Chalicea is an expert setter who knows where to pitch her puzzles so that more people can tackle and enjoy them and she is perfect at this. Some of us are very pleased to see her puzzles in this slot as they fit the brief. When I set, I like to have as many people be able to tackle my work. There are some setters (most Friday Toughie setters for example) who delight in producing something maybe 100 or so solvers will tackle. Neither is wrong. It really is ‘you pays your money….’ in Crosswordland.

          I’m off to tackle today’s Azed Crossword which is the annual Printer’s Devilry puzzle and for that, you don’t actually solve the clues. You have a sentence with a word hidden in it. That word is removed, the sentence is then joined together and your job is to find the missing word. There are no definitions as such although the sentences make sense when the word is restored.

          https://uploads.guim.co.uk/2021/02/06/AZ_2539_(07th_Feb).pdf if you want a look!

          This is a prize puzzle and the only definition is the one that is for you to work out from the answers in the grid and you can then have a go at writing a clue. Now that’s fun!!

    1. Please don’t be dispirited, Lindylou. There are a wide range of solving abilities as you would expect. If you see people comments in those terms, it makes it a bit easier.

    2. Yes, there are some who have no manners and spout out about boring and too easy, but you’ll find that someone strikes right back in spades. Just ignore it, the rest of us are the nicer ones! I’ve been doing these for more years than I care to think and I’m still glad of a friendly puzzle. Look forward to see you joining us.

    3. Hi Lyndylou. I’ve been regularly trying to solve the DT cryptic crossword for about 15 years now. Before my dad died the crossword was our main topic of discussion (I’m in New York and he was in Wymondham, Norfolk) and helped us keep in touch every week, so I’ll always be thankful for that. I only started managing to finish it about 5 years ago and it still gives me great satisfaction when I complete the grid even though it’s usually a day or two later. Keep it up! 🙂

  33. I found my brain today, helped by starting early in the day, rather than my usual 8 o’clock at night.
    All done and all parsed.
    A very enjoyable PP, one of those where you just had to follow the instructions.
    Thanks both.

  34. Several great clues: 1a, 13a, 23a, and my COTD, 24d. A quick solve for me today (makes a change) which I finished while watching The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. What a terrific, but long, film that is. Thanks to Tilsit and setter.

  35. Really enjoyed this one for a change. Completed at steady but flow pace on Sunday. Found SE corner tricky and 19a last in. I always try and do them with no electronic help which was successful today in a reasonable time for me. Thank you chalicea – you can come again hopefully!

    1. A link will be published on the day, and full details given. There will be a dedicated post set up at the end of this month.

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