DT 29604 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29604 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29604 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

No, you have not slept for over 24 hours.  In the wee small hours (UK time) of this morning, Tilsit was taken to hospital with ‘leg problems’ and so, after responding to an emergency e-mail, I am substituting for him, and best wishes to him for a speedy recovery.

So, a very good Saturday morning from Winnipeg.  Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing but the important parts are here and I am not even going to hazard a guess at who the setter might be.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 20a, 3d, 17d, and 19d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

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

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

Some hints follow:

Across

1a City, foremost in commerce, one holding record (7)
The first (foremost) letter of Commerce, and ONE from the clue containing (holding) a three letter record (of events?).

5a Shaker to accompany piano? Nonsense (7)
A shaker (used by a baby) is to follow (accompany) the single letter for piano giving a noun associated with a verb we have seen a couple of times recently – yes, I know that the answer can also be a verb but the definition is a noun.

11a Discussed more peaceful destiny (5)
A homophone (discussed) of a single word for more peaceful.

12a Irish curse adopted by the poor (5-4)
The two letters often used for Irish and a (mild) four letter expletive (curse) used to express vexation (so says the BRB) all inserted into (adopted by) THE from the clue.

16a Seconds served with fish and flower head (5)
The single letter for seconds (of time) and (served with) a large (freshwater) fish.

17a Police finally leave small wood (5)
The slang term for Police and the last letter (finally) of leave.

20a Race around 500 trees without thinking (9)
A type of race (that is a preliminary to the final races of an event) containing (around) all of the Roman numeral for 500 and the plural of a type of conifer (trees).

26a Girl almost taken in by trivial prediction (9)
The honorific title given to a girl with the last letter removed (almost) inserted into (taken in by) a synonym of trivial.

28a Lancashire town immediately north? (7)
A five letter term, more usually preceded by a three letter word, for immediately and the single letter for North.

Down

1d Insect in game with long hops? (7)
A double definition(?) – the first is illustrated.

3d Shock where vehicle is caught in strong wind (9)
A type of (delivery) vehicle and IS from the clue all contained by (in) a strong wind (Force 8 on the Beaufort Scale).

5d Slip in some London lane? (9)
A thoroughfare in London, formally known as Middlesex Street, with an informal name based on its famous market.

7d Conductor contains oscillating current (9)
An anagram (oscillating) of CONTAINS and the single letter symbol for (electrical) current.

8d Great old plane maybe carrying millions (7)
The two letters frequently used to indicate old (or former) and what plane can be a type of (in nature) containing the single letter for milliions.

14d What falls easily to one as northerner? (9)
There is an expression that something may fall into one’s ***, combine that three letter word with a six letter word that might be something ‘falling’ to Earth or onto another celestial body.

16d Patience tried endlessly as oil wasted (9)
An anagram (wasted) of TRIEd with the last letter removed (endlessly) and AS OIL.

19d Nobleman over there with but little time elapsed (5,2)
The nobleman that is the third ‘rank’ in the UK Peerage and the three letter poetic term for over there – either with or but, probably but, in the clue seems to be surplus to requirements.

24d Criticise characters on the rise in state government (3,2)
We finish with a reverse lurker (characters on the rise) found in the last two words of the clue.

The Crossword Club is now Open, and I will ‘see’ you again tomorrow.


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The Quick Crossword pun: LEAVER + SALOON = LEAVE US ALONE


113 comments on “DT 29604 (Hints)
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  1. 1.5*/3*. This made a light and pleasant start to the weekend.

    I’m not too keen on 14d but everything else was shipshape with 17d & 19d my top two. Senf, for 19d I took “with but little time elapsed” as the definition.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf for working overtime this weekend. Best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery.

    1. 14d got a big Hmm from me, as LROK suggests below, it could be a double definition but it doesn’t make it any better in my book.

      On 19d – I am not noted for my English scholarship, not a lot of that needed when writing technical reports (just the facts), however, I considered using ‘with but little time elapsed’ in place of the answer in a sentence would be somewhat clumsy. ‘With little time elapsed’ in place of the answer I can accept.

      1. I thought 14d was a bit weak too. It was one of the clues that I had to check in your hints, Senf, to make sure I had parsed it correctly.

      2. It’s not concise and certainly of no use in technical reports, Senf, but I thought it had a rather poetic feel to it. :unsure:

  2. It took me a while to get this one started, with just 5 acrosses completed in my first pass. It gained momentum though, and finished in *** time, apart from 7d. Classical musicians who died before I was born are not my forte.

    Many thanks to the setter and Senf for the quick work. Get well soon Tilsit.

    My grandad used to say that he had “leg problems” – they wouldn’t walk past pubs.

  3. Like Malcolm I thought this was going to be a stiff exercise but it failed to live up to its early promise of difficulty. Still enjoyable though, with 26a my final entry and favourite. 7d is also worth a mention for its surface reading.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Senf. I hope Tilsit is soon on the mend.

  4. (My brain is still reeling after completing today’s Quick Crossword! It wasn’t ‘quick’ for me.)

    Cryptic – lovely crossword, tricky but solved by getting several of the little ‘uns to get me going.

    Today’s soundtrack: Harold Budd – The Pavilion Of Dreams (not as restful as I anticipated)

    Thanks to the setter and Senf; with best wishes to Tilsit.

    Come on, Chelsea!

  5. Pretty straightforward puzzle today, not keen on 14d like RD all done in 1.5* time, with 3d my COTD and podiums to 1a and 5d.
    4* for enjoyment.
    Best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery and thanks to Senf and the setter.

  6. Tough as usual for a Prize puzzle. Would take issue with 5a, doesn’t mean what the clue has as the definition according to the BRB but solvable by the wordplay. Never heard of 7d, had to Google the answer. Did like 20a.
    Bit too difficult to be really enjoyable but pleasant enough.
    Thx to all.
    ****/**
    Thx to those who answered my question yesterday re the origin of Tin for money, all good answers and food for thought.

  7. With thanks to Senf for stepping in at short notice I also found this to be a ** time puzzle. My slip up was the northern town which I got wrong and was held up a tad working out the flower. When I got that it all became obvious!

    A solid *** fun rating.

  8. I also found this to be a ** time puzzle. My slip up was the northern town which I got wrong and was held up a tad working out the flower. When I got that it all became obvious!
    A solid *** fun rating.
    Thanks to Senf for stepping in at short notice.

  9. I quite enjoyed this puzzle, which had sufficient challenge to keep me on my toes. I manage to finish it in 2* time but there were 3 that I couldn’t parse and I guess that it’s one of those compilers, whose clues I find tricky and everyone else finds straightforward. I quite enjoyed the puzzle (3.5*)and there were some clever clues, the best being 20a, 26a, 28a and 16d. Many thanks to Senf for stepping in to do the hints and good wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recover. Many thanks to the compiler too.

  10. Get well soon Tilsit.
    Thanks to Senf for stepping in and producing the usual hints.
    Stuttered a bit with this for no reason but got there in the end in just under *** time. Found it just about right for an SPP but can see how some will think it on the easy side.
    Senf: could not 14d be parsed as a double definition? The first five words being one & the last the other?
    I think it quite clever when viewed like that, my COTD.

    Thanks to setter and Senf: see you tomorrow ( if BD can afford you doing a “doubler”).

  11. A few tricky moments in the north east but relatively straightforward. 7d was an unknown quantity to me but it’s workable from the clue and confirmation from mr.g. Haven’t been to 5d in donkeys years. Does it still exist? **/*** Favourite goes to 3d. Best wishes to Tilsit for a quick recovery. Thanks Senf. I agree with RD on the but in 19d.

    1. 5d still exists, Greta and you may still pick up a Jack the Ripper tour with a ‘ripperologist ‘ but Covid has caused temporary closures. I haven’t been there in years either but it was somewhere I enjoyed visiting as a youngster.

      1. 5d was established by the Huguenots over 400 years ago. I remember going there with my parents as a child and was fascinated by it. When I was a student in London, I would go there often.

        1. It was required for colonials to live in London for a few years as a right of passage and 5d was a must-see stop. I loved it.

  12. Thought I might have to make a dispirited comment here on first looking at the clues but with further careful reading managed a *** finish with only * for enjoyment. Nothing falls easily for a northerner unless you are the Duke of Cumberland or some other gentry so it’s fortunate not to have a minus pleasure score.

    Honourable mentions for 7 and 8d. No favourite today because I am still fuming about 14d.

    Best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery and discharge. Many thanks to Senf and thanks to our possible Southron setter.

  13. Enjoyable solve for me though needed help in the NE corner so had electronic parsing of the conductor anagram, who I then recognised. That opened up the rest and all solved. I don’t like to be critical of setters, who am I to judge, but in the quick crossword am I alone on disliking 13 letter, or more sometimes, multi word anagrams. I like an anagram but without a hook to work with as in a cryptic it feels unfair. Essentially requiring the solver to get the checkers first rather than have the long clues help with the rest. Moan over.

    1. No, you are not alone in disliking long usually multi word anagrams in the Quickie. I don’t mind admitting that I usually and immediately turn to an on-line anagram solver for them but even it could not ‘unscramble’ 17a (Idol was svelte (anag.) (3,5,5)) for me.

      1. Thanks Senf, I consider myself to be in good company, then. I eventually worked out 17a but only when a checking A relieved me of my obsession with it beginning with all.

    2. Thanks to Donnybrook and Senf and sending all the best to Tilsit. Keeping everything crossed for you. I actually did this earlier today but got distracted and only just read the blog and comments. I thought 14d was a great clue. Hope the dissenters agree too having read Donnybrook’s explanation. Only wondered whether “as” was necessary. My last three in were 12 and 16a and 8d. Got 8d first of the three, got 12a without fully parsing and the flower head came along last partly because I had a four letter salt water fish, loved by crossword setters, in my head. Took longer to catch the real one in a lake and then found it gave me another fish. Two for the price of one. I would welcome more of these on Saturdays. Very little to frighten Senf’s horses or even the Chief Complainer. I couldn’t give chapter and verse on 7d but with some checkers in place the name sprang to mind. Hard to imagine that the name is unfamiliar.

  14. After the highs of yesterday’s first unaided Friday Toughie finish to the lows of the utter horlicks I made of the SE in this one – the golfing equivalent for me of knocking it around in the mid 70s then failing to break 100. Failed to spot an obvious anagram indicator in an unhinted clue, struggled with both 16a&d & couldn’t see beyond the wrong synonym for trivial at 26a. Determined not to use the hints but in the end resorted to revealing the 16d/26a letter checker & immediately rattled the 4 off with an almighty groan. I thought this was a fine prize puzzle, nicely clued throughout with plenty of podium contenders but I’ll plump for 25,26&28a.
    Positively balmy out there so looking forward to this afternoon’s walk. Today’s albums: Ashgrove (Dave Alvin) & Automatic For The People (REM)
    Thanks to setter, to Senf for stepping in at short notice & wishing Tilsit a swift recovery.

  15. Thought this one had a slightly ‘different’ feel about it – I do hope the setter drops in to take a bow.
    Most enjoyable solve with my leader board showing 9,12&25a as medal recipients.

    Sorry to hear that Tilsit is back in hospital but many thanks to Senf for putting in overtime at the Saturday Club and thanks also to our compiler for the puzzle.

  16. I found this one a bit tricky and I did resort to the hints on a couple of occasions but got there in the end. Not sure I understood 23a but will await the review. My COTD is 9a followed very closely by 26a.

    Thank you to Senf for stepping in at the last minute and very best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery.

    Everyone seems to listen to albums while solving. I don’t but I am giving Boom Radio UK a try. It began last Sunday and is aimed at the audience the BBC abandoned. It is a commercial station though but I turn adverts down. “Diddy” David Hamilton is on at the moment playing “Love Me Do” by The Beatles. “Sloop John B” now by The Beach Boys. So far, the station doesn’t seem to repeat the same records over and over like other commercial stations do.

    Stay safe all.

    1. Here in South Florida we like to tune into BBC Radio Berkshire during breakfast, giving us lots of nostalgic moments. We are also now using Boom Radio UK another great source for us. Tony Blackburn remains our out and out favourite and we were so glad when he got back on the air. We used to have a great classical radio station here, but that disappeared years ago.

      1. Classic FM is ok but somewhat patronising, Scala Radio is not bad and plays some quite modern classical music. We listen to Tony Blackburn’s Sounds of the Sixties on BBC Radio 2, which is about the only thing worth listening to on the station apart from Johnnie Walker and Paul O’Grady.

        Radio Caroline is still going as Caroline Flashback and has the added advantage of having no adverts.

  17. 5a, 12a and 5d were last to yield as I had the wrong lane in the latter. More suitable for Jack the Ripper.
    Soon corrected and found myself with a grid full of the right answers.
    Favourite 26a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.
    All the best to Tilsit.

  18. Cracking Saturday puzzle, a good for sitting in the conservatory watching the rain. Favourites 5d and 26a although many other great clues. Really a classic Saturday. Thanks to SENF for stepping into the breech and to the setter.
    I hope Tilsit recovers soon and its nothing serious.

  19. Mysterious compiler here.

    Sorry to hear about Dave having to go in again. My best wishes to that stalwart crosswording campaigner. Thanks also to Senf for doing the honours, and to all making contributions to the thread.

    14d: no disrespect to northerners here! The idea is that, if something were to L***D in your L*P, it would have fallen easily to you (thus cryptically it is a L*P L****R). Then ‘as’ is the link word, plus definition.

    19d is a two-part charade, with the definition part being ‘with but little time elapsed’, which seemed to me at the time of writing to be grammatically precise.

    With regard to the quick, I always try to have two anagrams, one among the acrosses, one among the downs. I should imagine where the entries are longish, as they can be in some of our grids, where they are anagrams they might slow the pace of solving a bit, so noted.

    Many thanks to all.

    1. Thanks for dropping in Mr B. It is always good to have a sprinkling of clues that result in discussions based on varying opinions.

      Fortunately, I had already solved the puzzle when Dave T’s cri de coeur arrived in my inbox last night.

    2. Thank you for popping in and also for a puzzle that I really enjoyed. Unlike CS, I hadn’t guessed that it was one of yours although with the benefit of hindsight I perhaps should have been able to guess.

  20. First, best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery, and hope he is home again soon. And thanks to Senf for stepping in at short notice. I thought this was going to be tough, but everything gradually came together. I had no problem with 14d or 19d, must be on wavelength. Last in was 26a, which I would have thought was the method of arriving at a 26a, rather than the result itself. Lots of great clues in this one today, and much enjoyed.

  21. Thank you to all, I giggled out loud at 11a.
    Sending warm fuzzy thoughts and cyber-hugs to Tilsit, get well soon.

  22. We didn’t find this too difficult but very enjoyable. Parsed 14d as described above. Favourite was 1d. Many thanks to the setter and for popping in and to Senf. We hope Tilsit gets well soon.

  23. Great to see the setter popping in to help us struggling solvers to try and understand their cryptic art.👍
    Thanks indeed for the challenge – I was only slightly stumped at the end by the parsing of 8D and 12A…had the answers but needed Senf’s hints to understand why!
    Hope Tilsit gets better and is home soon.
    Cheers to all 😁

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable crossword, ***/**** for us. Difficult in parts, but always parsable when the penny finally dropped. 1a one of our last in, unforgiveable really as it’s where we met over 32 years ago ….. 🥰
    Thanks to setter and Senf, and best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery. 🙂🙂

    1. It’s very Dada though.
      In fact he gave the exact same clue in the Guardian 28355.
      The DT went even further in toughie 2592 with a four letter synonym for obsessive that we don’t usually see in this respectable newspaper.

      1. I’m curious as you how you access this info so readily – am confidently discounting that it’s because your memory matches your solving prowess

        1. In fact, I did remember that clue from Paul as the similarity was striking and knew it wasn’t that long ago. Just had to look through my pile of printed crosswords.
          For the toughie, I wanted to say something about the synonym of obsessive on the blog and forgot but remembered Dutch was on duty that day and it was only 2 weeks ago which is still within my reach.

    2. How else would you put it other than use the word itself?
      My daughter said the same thing about the Irish curse (12a). Having looked it up I agree!

  25. Very late today, and sorry to hear that Tilsit is in hospital. My best wishes to him, and thanks to Senf for stepping in so suddenly. I thought the bottom half of today’s SPP was about as good as it gets, and 25a made me LOL. I especially liked 12a, my COTD. Thanks to NY Doorknob for a most enjoyable puzzle and for joining us. ** / ****

  26. I have just posted by mistake on last week’s Cryptic page just to say that I, like Tilsit, have been admitted to hospital supposedly with a vascular problem which has turned out to be spinal. Sadly pain precludes my concentrating on the Cryptic. I miss you all but hope to “see” you soon. Best get well wishes to 💐Tilsit 💐.

    1. Hope they sort it out soon Angellov and hopefully we’ll both be back on our feet, together with Tilsit (I’m lame at the moment with tendonitis in my Achilles tendon).

  27. ** difficulty and **** for fun – thank you “NY Doorknob” and Senf all best wishes to bloggers in hospitals wherever you are; hope you can be released with full health restored soon

  28. A challenging puzzle requiring some head scratching. All went well until the NE corner when I came to a grinding halt. As I had done most of the puzzle on Friday night (on West Coast of BC), I left the balance until Saturday morning. Using a couple of the hints Senf sprinkled in, I was then able to get to end. Overall a fun puzzle 2.5*/****
    Favourite clues include 5a, 13a, 20a, 28a 14d & 19d

    Thanks to setter and Senf
    Hope Tilsit gets better soon

  29. I don’t do the Saturday puzzles until Sunday morning which is why I never comment on Saturdays
    Always read the blog though, so thanks to setter for popping in and best wishes to Tilsit and Angellov
    In fact, best wishes to all the bloggers and contributors; stay safe and keep well everybody
    Unfortunate that I don’t read your hints, Tilsit/Senf, but appreciate the effort anyway

  30. Best wishes to Tilsit and to Angellov…get well soon, please.

    Not my best effort today, but lots to enjoy.

    Thanks to Senf and to NY Doorknob

  31. I did guess that this was likely to have been set by Donnybrook – based simply on the fact that I really enjoyed it and also found it jolly difficult.
    Only about four answers in after reading the across clues but then got going a bit.
    I think everything else has already been said so I’ll leave it at that.
    Thanks very much to NY Doorknob for the crossword and to Senf for standing in.
    All good wishes to all the ailing hospitalised for speedy recoveries.

  32. Tricky but rewarding….14d was a stretch for me but on balance thought it was clever and fair…lovely afternoon in Oxfordshire – planted some garlic and cleaned the greenhouse….

  33. I thought this was first class, just the right amount of difficulty and enjoyment. That was interesting about 5d, Senf, love learning something new. I even knew the Lancashire town, I have no idea why, must have appeared in a book or TV programme.
    I have no fave, too much choice here.
    Thanks for the fun Donnybrook, and for your hints and tips Senf. Get well soon Tilsit, such rotten luck.

  34. Aha so NY Doorknob is Donnybrook – of course! Doh. We have been without internet all day and as I have been reading through all the comments
    it has been going on and off. I don’t know what is going on. But it was a lovely day today and had a nice walk around Fowlmere a village we only
    know from driving through it and the decent pubs they used to have, so interesting to explore the little side roads and a nice couple working in their
    front garden recognised us and we came away with three roots of Forsythia which I do not have in my garden.
    Anyway, the puzzle. Really good degree of head scratching and laugh out loud clues -25a was a gem of course and 26a and 5d brought back memorie.
    Sorry to hear so many are falling by the wayside, get well soon all of you especially Tilsit whom we need, thanks to Senf for stepping in and Donnybrook
    for the workout.

  35. Just to reinforce the validity of setters regularly using castle = rook in clues, I can report that Jon Culshaw has just been asked the following question on Celebrity Mastermind:

    “In chess, which piece is also known as a castle?”

    And his answer: “Knight”. :-)

    1. Well Rachel answering beetroot for a cream coloured vegetable and Ayers Rock for a famous Sydney landmark shows that the nerves kick in! She’s not a stupid person just human under stress. All so easy sitting in an armchair at home.

  36. Annoyingly for me I got stuck on my final three and resorted to electrons to find the answer which then seemed obvious. Enough slightly tricky clues to give a sense to satisfaction on completing though. **/****

  37. I enjoyed this one more than many recent ‘prize’ ones. 14d and 25a both brought a smile! The only negative about today’s is the news that, for the umpteenth time, poor Mr Tilsit is having health problems. Surely he has suffered far too much and deserves some better times and I wish him plenty. Thank you also to the setter though I admit to being less enamoured of your ‘quick’ version! Oh, and thank you also to young Senf for stepping in!

      1. I decided that it was safer to say young as I know no better and you do so much galloping. I could have said clever but that covers so many people in the World of Big Dave including all the bloggers. It seems rude to just say Senf.

  38. A late effort for me today, and needed Senf for 12a. Loved the wit of 14d. Best wishes to Tilsit and Angelov, huge thanks to Senf, and nice to hear from our setter. Good wishes to all.

  39. Sorry to learn about BD and stalwart Tilsit and for Senf for stepping in. (Hope no one asks me. …!)
    Enjoyed today despite it taking time to get into the rhythm of the setter. Was pleased to see a classical trend on 7d once I had the last and 3rd to last letter it jumped out, and the piano reference in 5a.
    I also liked the geography test on 1a and 28 across. 20a was interesting I had the wrong trees for a while…
    Very enjoyable.

  40. I’m at odds with most solvers, two stars seems the average. I found this very naughty, but managed it after a lengthy struggle. To be fair, I enjoy the challenge of such a puzzle and am pleased to spend much time battling, it helps to pass these interminable days.
    Thanks to all,
    ****/***.

  41. Thanks to the setter and Senf for the hints. My best wishes and a speedy recovery to Tilsit and Angelov. Great puzzle today, lots of good clues. I needed help on 16d & 25a, I knew how both clues worked, but just couldn’t get them. Favourite was 25a, which made me laugh. Was 3* /4* for me.

    1. Don’t suppose anyone will read this so long after the event, but why is it a game with long hops? I’m surprised no-one else has queried it but I follow the game and have played it, but I can’t make the connection with hops. Surely “insect in game” would have been sufficient a clue? All the other things people queried I was fine with so odd that this hasn’t been mentioned.

      1. Many thanks Polly, I’m not normally “stumped” by cricketing terms, but I have never come across that one, was trying to tie it up with maybe Long Leg or the bounding run of bowlers!

  42. A late finish as always! Enjoyed this puzzle a lot better than last week’s; thought 14d was rather good actually. 8d the last one in – struggled to parse for a long time but then I’d never heard of that type of “plane” before.

    Thanks to Senf and the setter. Best wishes to Tilsit.

  43. Hope this is a permitted comment by now!

    [Redacted – please come back and repeat your comment when the review appears on Friday morning at 9 am (which is the closing date for entries to the Prize Puzzle Competition]

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