DT 29598 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29598 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29598 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a sunny but bitterly cold Warrington.

An interesting puzzle, which has the feel of being by our original Saturday setter. The usual pangram is on display and fairly short concise clues provide a reasonably accessible challenge with one or two of the entries with a potential to hold you up for a while.

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 Discharge from the army? (7)
A cryptic definition for what the army may discharge in the course of its duties.

9a Ancient city zoo compound in east-north-east continental area (8)
A business term for a financial area across the channel. Take the name for an ancient city of Mesopotamia (the one it usually is when you are asked for an old city!) plus an anagram (compound) of ZOO and place it inside the compass direction.

13a Poor maid helping will get approval (10)
An anagram (poor) of MAID plus a word for a helping.

15a Bird leaves lake (4)
Some leaves that you drink plus the abbreviation for lake.

16a Naturally it covers every one of us (9)
A medical name for what is on the outside of every person on this planet.

21a Net gain? (4)
A cryptic definition for what someone who may use a net in their job obtains.

22a Order at all times to seize for military use (10)
A word for an order, plus a poetic word meaning ‘at all times’.

27a Frightful villa by small houses (7)
A hidden word, indicated by houses.

29a Desmond Little’s fate (7)
A short name for Desmond, plus a word for small.


2d In run, be a tenth on a winning streak? (8)
Hidden answer.

4d Delight following priest’s manifestation of divine will (10)
After a short name for a (C of E) priest goes a word for delight.

5d Second student leaving port has a dance (4)
Take the name of a UK seaport, remove the second occurrence of the abbreviation for a student. Add an A to what’s left and you have a dance!

6d Joseph’s with Hugh reportedly taking a book (6)
The abbreviation for Joseph’s (think Boris’ brother) plus a homophone for Hugh and add A.

8d Estate needs me to move (7)
A word for an estate (you may need our friends Mrs Bradford or the BRB) is an anagram of NEEDS ME.

18d As a vehicle for verse (8)
A type of verse that has only four lines. A Latin word that means ‘as’, often in legal documents goes before the name for a vehicle.

19d Race son going to van (7)
The abbreviation for son, plus the name for a type of van.

20d Show affection in a roundabout way? (7)
Two definitions.

26d Money? There’s some in nanotechnology (4)
A hidden answer.

Thanks to our setter for today’s challenge. Let us know what you thought. Remember to play nicely, or the naughty step beckons.

See you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Your music today is something whimsical from the band, duo. Enjoy!

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: bray+cough=break off

88 comments on “DT 29598 (Hints)

  1. Good challenge, I liked it a lot came to an undignified halt at 15a so thanks for the hint. I am now off to bang my head against the wall for not getting leaves.

  2. This was good quality but a bit patchy for me – the NW straightforward but the NE not. 17d was guessed only by a process of elimination and I hadn’t heard of that phrase before. COTD for the nicely cryptic 16a. Overall ***/***. Thanks to tilsit and the setter.

  3. I thought this was all going to be over quickly, as I filled in the top half of the grid but it became more challenging to the south, which is all to the good. The clues were well-constructed and I very much enjoyed the puzzle ( 2*/4*). There was some good misdirection and I particularly liked 12a and 14d. 9a was fascinating geographical clue and 17d a good anagram. Altogether a fine, well-balanced puzzle, so thanks to our compiler. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints.

  4. Found this quite tricky, but very enjoyable.
    Story of my solving this week…failing to see clearly indicated hidden words.
    Thanks to Tilsit for hints, and to the setter.

  5. Quite a steady solve for today’s pangram. I did have a little bit of head scratching in the SE because I didn’t know the phrase at 17d nor the first part of 18d, but both fitted the checkers.

    All complete in *** time, and 19d gets my vote for COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  6. Straighforward solve although the Pangram helped me with 18d which was my last one in. Loved 15a. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  7. Quite a battle for me. Needed extra toast.

    No awful side effects from yesterday’s vaccine. I do feel rather sleepy but as H would surely say, “How would anyone notice the difference?”
    It is grim that the people working in that hall are doing so with dongles for internet access and with no heating (because it trips the fuses). It is taken as read that the vaccine business is being administered in a hurry, but surely we could do better than this for people (potentially) saving our lives?

    Lola is ‘ok’. We are all waiting for the test results for feline viral rhinotracheitis.

    Today’s soundtrack: Steely Dan – Countdown To Ecstasy.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit in wintry Warrington.

    1. It seems to vary a lot, Terence. Our Health Centre had a marquee set up in the grounds. My husband, who is classed as extremely vulnerable, went to a Saturday session, where he parked close to the entrance, they each went in individually to a heated marquee with computers, advisors and medics. They sat him down because he can’t stand for long and it was as speedy as possible. I went to the same marquee, where there were 3 queues, each 6 feet apart, wirh 6 feet separators marked. The maximum number queuing was 4 and there were 6 computer stations, advisors and medics. They were going at a rate of in and out in 7 minutes. The only shocking thing was that one numbskull was hurling abuse at the people who had volunteered to act as guides in the car park, standing in the cold and rain!

      1. Re your “The only shocking thing was that one numbskull was hurling abuse at the people who had volunteered to act as guides in the car park, standing in the cold and rain!”. Some people seem to have no self control. Absolutely disgusted with this behaviour, should have been told to come back later when they have learnt how to behave. Grrrr.
        OMG I’m ranting now.

    2. It seems a lot of people have the fatigue side effect. I certainly did, I had to prop eyes open with toothpicks! I had no headache, no pain, no nausea, I believe I got off lightly.
      Lots of love to you, Lola.

  8. I found this quite tricky this morning, especially the south east corner. I did notice early on that it was likely to be a pangram which helped with 18d. I don’t really understand 17d but I can’t make anything else out of it to fit the checkers. It took me far to long to spot the obvious in 27a but 29a is amusing. ***/*** Favourite 19d. Thanks to all.

  9. This was ***/**** for us, testing but very enjoyable. 1a and 29a last two in, both d’oh moments when we got them. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, especially for the wonderful music.
    Very envious of your jabs, at current progress we are due to get ours in May 2024. Just as well we enjoy each other’s company ….

  10. Even with the pangram, which I missed as usual, this was a bit of a stinker for me particularly in the S and especially in the SW – 3.5*/2.5*.
    However, it was good to see 7d I don’t think we have seen it for a while.
    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 25a, 4d, and the aforementioned 7d – and the winner is 4d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  11. Another excellently constructed crossword. My last one in was 12a and I resorted to here for a hint for there not to be one! As usual I went back and it came to me straight away as fell into the trap of the last word distracting me from the answer. 5d and 22d were the other two to hold me up but the answers were glaringly obvious once solved. For once did not need to do an unnecessary google for 29a. Cheers Tilsit and setter. 2.5*/4.5*.

  12. Very enjoyable.l get the anagram at 17 d but do not recognise the phrase to mean hunger.Good to live and learn.Thanks to all.

  13. Not a good puzzle for me. Started badly then just got worse.
    So, not a lot of enjoyment here.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

      1. BRB editors are most welcome to check the glossaries in falconry/austringy books. 50 years ago I knew when my Sparrowhawk was ***** *** so was delighted to see it as an instantly solvable anagram

  14. A delightful SPP with a new term for me in 17d but easily solvable from the clue; its origins are quite interesting, as I’ve discovered since finishing the puzzle. 15a was my first one in: an aha moment–almost a deja vu experience. I particularly liked 12a, 6d, 18d, and 24a, my COTD (for its LOL moment and its choppy surface-read). I really enjoyed this charmer. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s compiler. ** / ****

  15. Had what I thought was a much better answer for 21a but 17d put paid to that despite it being a phrase I hadn’t come across previously. As usual, I didn’t notice the pangram which might have helped with 18d.
    Think my favourite was 11a with 25a coming up on the rails.

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

  16. I didn’t notice the pangram either. Hadn’t heard of 8d or 17d but fairly easy to solve. Held up for ages by little 5d which was last one in, could not see the port for the trees! I always have to write my down clues horizontally if they are tricky and my anagrams in circles. At last have managed to get the car out to fetch our own paper but such grateful thanks to Linda from Salthouse for home delivery this week. I get the digital version on this Kindle but Mr M loses patience as he swipes in all the wrong places! Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  17. A real stinker and I am minus three solutions in the SW corner. It’s the mixture of parsable and solvable clues with a minority of the opposite that makes a stinker for me.

    Grateful thanks to Tilsit for his review and thanks to the setter.

  18. I thought this was pitched about right for a Prize Puzzle. Some straightforward clues, with a smattering of harder ones thrown into the mix to make it more interesting, and ultimately more rewarding to solve. Even the tougher ones were fairly clued and gettable through the solid wordplay. No particular favourites as the whole grid was a delight to complete.

    Many thanks to our setter and Tilsit. I hope England put up a better display against Italy this afternoon. It shouldn’t be difficult as they were terrible last week.

  19. Very enjoyable. Liked 15a for it’s simplicity yet crypticity (is that even a word?). Smiled at 29a. **/**** for me, thanks to all.

  20. On early pangram alert which certainly helped but still found this tricky & edged into **** time as a result. 5d along with 15&27a were the head scratchers & accounted for over 50% of the solving time & for that reason, if nothing else, they’re my podium picks. Thankfully they were anagrams as I wasn’t familiar with 17d & only vaguely recalled 8d so Mr G required to check both. Enjoyed this one & thought it very nicely clued throughout. Sun shining in Harpenden so a nice bracing walk this afternoon is in order after Friday’s confinement having thought better of braving the Baltic wind yesterday. Today’s album: Queen of the Minor Key (Eilen Jewell)
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit
    Ps nice to see Gazza back on NTSPP duty.

    1. Nice bracing walk? Good luck. We’re not a million miles away from you and went for a walk this morning, in the sunshine, and it was Perishing. Definitely whisky mac on return weather.

      1. You’re not wrong DG. Out for just over 3hrs & reckon I’ll need another 3 for my face to thaw out as there was certainly some wind chill.

  21. Not read the hints or the comments yet .
    This proved a slow journey for me as I limped through the clues then got stuck in the SW corner due to putting another “ better “ answer for 21a so making 17d unfathomable . The correct answer for 17a was originally realised but , in ignorance , dismissed as the meaning was not known .
    24a made me smile so is my favourite .
    Very pleased to finish but frustrated by the above 2 clues .
    Thanks Tilsit and , of course , to the Setter for leading me astray .
    For those who do not get a Valentine card tomorrow , Tuesday is Pancake Day !

    1. If I get a VD card tomorrow I shall cross out my name, insert hers, and give her back her litter, envelope ‘n all

        1. She knows me well enough by now :smile:
          Don’t worry, she will be pampered and made to feel special but then she always is, just not by exchanging litter

      1. Don’t tell George, but I have been giving him the same two birthday cards (both bought at Henley, views of the river) in rotation for the last twenty or so years. He never notices, always says lovely picture, it goes on the desk then I squirrel it away for next year. Works like a dream.

          1. you must know us, we have only missed one Regatta since 1955! And mostly there for three days, Wonderful food, by the way.

            1. Then you may have seen a composite crew from Oxford which I was in lose to St Paul’s School Concorde in 1976. Or maybe not! The upside of getting knocked out of the Ladies Plate (nothing to do with transgender aspirations) early on was that it left us two days of merriment in the Stewards Enclosure which as I recall somewhat dimly were enjoyed to the full.

  22. Way behind with everything today but I enjoyed this pangram when I eventually got around to it. 17d was a new expression for and I wasn’t overkeen on the two CDs: 1a & 20d. Apart from that there were a lot of good clues with 25a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  23. The back page of our paper has a very slight crease right down through the middle of all the down clues which added an unexpected challenge. I always start a crossword going through the across clues so that didn’t affect anything to begin with.
    I got going at a cracking pace and thought it was going to be a doddle but I found the bottom half far more difficult.
    As usual I missed a lurker – just one of them (27) – and also missed the pangram, again, as usual.
    Like others I’ve never heard of 17d but with five of the eight letters already in from other answers it couldn’t really have been much else.
    All good fun – I particularly liked 24, 25 and 29a and my favourite was 16a.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Tilsit.
    Still really really really cold in Oxford but a Gazza NTSPP will cheer things up.

  24. Is 5d an anagram of 21a? Just checking before I submit it.
    Enjoyed this and quite a stretch. ****/****

      1. Not problematic for me but a couple made me scratch my head for a while. Not heard of 17d.
        Thanks all

  25. This took me a long time but was very enjoyable. I spotted the pangram which certainly helped with the vehicle for verse and 17d had to be what it was although I had never come across the phrase. And now, by the magic of Big Dave, I learn that it is a Falconry term. I have always wanted to do one of those ‘experiences with Falcons’ afternoons having seen them at country fairs and so on.. At six this evening we are having a Zoom drinks party with some friends so something to dress up for and look forward to and though we seldom have dessert, after dinner there will be a good old fashioned rice pudding with nutmeg on top – real comfort food. What else can we do to cheer ourselves up, once we have done the crossword? Thanks to Tilsit and the setter and stay warm and well everyone

    1. Can thoroughly recommend Fen Falconry near Wisbech. We had a whole day there including lunch and it was fantastic. About 8 people per session. I found a voucher code so we went as 2 for the price of 1 – really excellent and so knowledgeable. If you decide to go, let me know and I will look up how I got the voucher.

    2. I’ll tell you what else you can do once you’ve done the back page SPP and had your Zoom party, DG. You can have a go at Gazza’s NTSPP – tomorrow maybe? Good luck with the Zoom – I hate it quite a lot! :negative:

  26. Well it’s good to be responding on day one, as the last couple of weeks Saturday puzzles have been tricky.
    I started in the top left, thinking that this is going well, and spoke too soon. Thanks to Tilsit for his help-needed! How does he do it..?
    Some new words 17d and 18d but I was pleased to get 16a, as one rarely uses the word when a four letter one is available -no not that one!!!
    Thank God that where I live we have been cold but not snowed in. Thanks also to the setter.

  27. Common courtesy prevents me from giving my true opinion of this horror, Bizarre phrases and obscure words a good puzzle do not make.
    Thx for the hints

  28. Only one answer in at first pass. Needed hints to get a little further. Will put aside for now. Having slept all morning yesterday, then all afternoon, and all night I thought I would be back to normal today, but clearly not. Apparently the chills, sweats, nausea and headache, combined with fatigue are quite common after the second dose. Just still tired today. Better than getting Covid itself I am sure. Good excuse to not exercise or do the ironing today 😊.

  29. We are in the “difficult but doable” camp this afternoon. Spotted the pangram rather too late also had to Google a couple of answers to check their validity. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  30. Found this Saturday puzzle a bit of a slog to get through … ***/*** for me. Solved bottom to top with NE last to fall. Several new words for me as in 7d, 8d and 18d that required electronic checking to be sure.
    Certainly obscure words not used in my day to day conversations!
    COTD for me include 16a, 24a, 5d & 19d with winner 16a!

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  31. Had to tease out quite a few answers in this challenging crossword.
    Took 21a to be a double definition which didn’t really work.
    Noticed the pangram a bit too late as all the key letters were already checked and finished with the SW.
    17d was also new to me.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.
    Happy belated birthday to Sister Andree in Toulon who just recovered from Covid to celebrate her 117th.

    1. Sister Andree is celebrating her 117th birthday! My word, that is a huge milestone, happy birthday Sister Andree and many more!

  32. I found this tough but did like the answers once I had tortuously squeezed them out. I got stuck in the NW and needed the hint for 1a to get going again. I found myself hitting a blank when I should have known the answer, for instance, in 10a, the “former pupil” must be one of the first things you learn doing these puzzles, yet I missed it completely until I got the second letter. The unusual 8d appeared not that long ago, luckily I remembered it.
    There was a lot to like, how can a girl choose a fave: 11a, 25a, 4d, 6d? Too many choices.
    Thanks to our setter, she’s done well, and very grateful to Tilsit for his help.

  33. Bit of a mixed bag today ***/***. Completed bottom to top. Stand outs for me 4d, 7d, 17d with 12a getting my vote today
    Thx to the setter and Tilsit

  34. Top notch puzzle today. I thought it was going to be a stinker as I only managed about three of the across clues but then the down ones enabled me to start filling in the gaps. I ground to a halt with five clues to go but my husband got two of them so I was then able to finish. 9a (one of the ones my husband got) gets my CoTD. **/*****

  35. I had 17d but had never heard the term so went to Google. Apparently first used in 1530 AD. Quite possibly the last time it was used until today… 😉

    18d showed up my lack of knowledge of Latin and verse. One of those words that took some digging to find – I had to Google verse with 4 lines to find it. Is this another word not used by normal people for centuries…?

    8d was one of my last ones in, but 15a gave the most satisfaction to solve.

    Probably one of the longest times I have spent on the Saturday prize crossword.


    1. If babanawarp had my addiction to historical novels (s)he would know that these words had been used since 1530 – and not in connection with falconry. |I have quite often found that said addiction has enabled me to know answers that other commenters say they have never heard of.

      Thanks to Cephas for a crossword that was hard work but very enjoyable – I completed it unaided with the exception of e-help for one word (which was so obvious when I saw the answer). Thanks also to Tilsit for all the hard work on the hints,which I am very pleased to say that I did not need.

  36. I’ve been attempting the Prize Crossword for months and this is the first I’ve completed without help. Persistence pays off. Thank you to all concerned.

  37. Thanks to Cephas for an entertaining, challenging prize puzzle. I was pretty ‘chuffed’ to finish it…eventually…and press ‘submit’, without needing to resort to Tilsit’s excellent hints!
    Cephas, I raise a decent glass of red to you…and a wee bit to myself for the completion.
    Cheers indeed!

    1. Welcome to the blog

      7d the definition is select group and you need to put a bed on the name of a well-known lake

  38. Late on parade as ever; picking the thing up on the following day to round up the stragglers is the norm for me. I noted the potential pangram yesterday afternoon and forgot it this morning otherwise I would probably have got 18d without Tilsit’s valuable assistance, also needed for 20d. Otherwise a good mix of the straightforward and the somewhat obscure. Mrs JfS helped with 21a, and 17d which she has read in books. My CoTD probably 24a.

  39. Belated comment having read with interest the diverse comments above. Thanks to Cephas one of my favourite setters. It is clearly a wave length thing. I got three quarters in straightaway starting with 1a. I left 5d for later which I then got. I was left with some in the bottom half. I eventually got 27a from the checkers before spotting (late again) the lurkers. I began to think I had some wrong, when I could not get others but got there in the end. I did have to look up synonyms and idioms for 17d which I had never heard of, so my least favourite. I am pleased to say I got 8d from my background. The second half of that word is used in connection with another word, but it took me some years to find out how it was spelt. Can’t say more except I thought it was a four letter word. Favourites 11 and 16a and 8 18 and 23d.

  40. I complete every day, (with varying over-excesses of time; however while got 5D I still can’t understand the reason for the use of ‘Second’. Every reply would be appreciated. PS Does Big Dave reader live in or near Evington, Leicester?

    1. Welcome to the blog Mike

      “Second” indicates that the second student should be removed, not both. The way the clue is constructed it could just as easily been “first student” that was to be removed.

      In future please leave comments on the post for the appropriate puzzle – I’ve moved this one.

      I don’t understand the last sentence of your comment.

      1. I’m guessing spell check – ‘either’ for ‘reader’ (somehow!)
        Mike – just click on ‘Big Dave’!

  41. I found this very tough, much harder than the usual Saturday fayre and didn’t really enjoy it I have to say. I appreciate it was cleverly composed though. Probably just a bit above my competence level haha – must keep at it! 🙂

  42. Came back to this one having failed to complete earlier in week. Wish I hadn’t! Made a mistake with 11a which threw me sadly – cashless seemed to make sense and didn’t see anagram in 8d forcing peasant. Never mind, there’s always next week.

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