DT 29610 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29610 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29610 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello all! Nice to be back and a big thank to Senf for covering last weekend for me.

I was released back into the community yesterday with orders to take things easy for a while, and this is what I plan to do. I’m a bit wobbly on my feet so I’m not planning to go anywhere other than around my sheltered accommodation block to get some circulation in my leg.

I was rather starved of the daily puzzles this week although as usual I did manage to sneak some old ones in my case while I was packing to go to hospital, along with Mrs Bradford’s book. I thought it too much to take the BRB in with me!

Anyway, to today’s challenge, and this was rather enjoyable, although 1 across held me up longer than it should have done, as did 1 down.

Do let us know what you think, and as usual, play nicely. Although the weather is rather lovely, there’s still a bit of a chill in the air, and the naughty step may give your bum a nasty shock. And there’s no cake today.

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 Rush head teacher limiting right for extended time off (6,5)
A word meaning to rush headlong into something takes an old name for a teacher with R (right) inside. This will give you a phrase that means an extended spell of leave from work.

7a Reportedly charge criminal gang finding dried-up food (7)
A homophone meaning to charge and the name of a foreign criminal gang.

11a What might be appropriate in the air? (6)
Probably my favourite clue today. Think of a salubrious meaning of the word appropriate and imagine it going on in the sky

13a Powerful type caught going after banker (4)
A shortened word for a person of power is revealed by taking a three latter name for a river in Devon plus the abbreviation for Caught.

14a Feature cool American animal (10)
The name for a feature of the body, a word meaning to cool something and an abbreviation for American.

24a Top political strategist (7)
Two words that may describe a child’s toy and the devious aides at the top in politics.

25a Suggestion about Queen’s houses (7)
A word for a suggestion, in terms of quantity, goes around the abbreviation for Her Maj.

26a Somehow trace online prejudice (11)
An anagram (somehow) of TRACE ONLINE.


1d Arrange 70 per cent of security (7)
Haven’t seen one of these clues for a while. Something that means arrange is the first 7 letters of ten-letter word for a financial security.

3d Mad dog’s companion in The Sun? (10)
I rather liked this clue. In a famous song, who has a passion for a spell outdoors at lunchtime? (Big hint at end of blog)

5d View certainly restricted by rowers (8)
The response that indicates certainty goes inside the name for a team of rowers.

6d Clever-clogs opener for Kent short of boundary? (4-3)
Nothing to do with cricket. The first letter of Kent goes alongside a cryptic two word way of saying there isn’t any boundary (to land).

9d Risk action when playing Monopoly? (4,1,6)
Something you can do three times each lap of a Monopoly board, unless you have to go back to Old Kent Road. Fascinating fact: Old Kent Road is the only property on a Monopoly board south of the Thames!

15d Trainee occasionally rents place to surf (8)
The name for a trainee (in an American hospital) plus the even letters of RENTS gives you somewhere to surf without a board.

17d Drink hot Italian stuff on the way up (7)
A word for hot or trendy, the abbreviation for Italian and a word meaning to stuff.

20d TT race rehearsal (3,3)
If you are TT you may be said to be this, and a word for a race/

23d River over in Belarus (4)
A hidden answer reversed.

Thanks to our setter for a jolly romp. Let us know what you think.

The Crossword Club is now open.

If you are still flummoxed by 3 down, this might give you a big nudge.

To finish we have something for a nice day:

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: raise+herb+laid=razor blade

91 comments on “DT 29610 (Hints)

  1. 2.5*/3.5*. I enjoyed this but I did find the difficulty level very variable with the NW corner proving particularly challenging. I’ve never heard of the phrase in 12d, but it couldn’t have been anything else given the anagram fodder and the checkers.

    14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. Good to have you back – take it easy and look after yourself!

  2. It was all going rather nicely until I got to the NW corner, which held me up so much that it went into 3.5* time. It was a good challenge and there were lots of good clues but there are none that can be singled out as outstanding, so it’s 3.5* for enjoyment too. Thanks to Tilsit and that they’ve let you out of hospital. Take it steady and I hope you’re fully recovered soon. Thank you to the compiler

  3. All done and dusted without any issues except an initial plural entry for 3d. 11a was my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

      1. You’re right, but both parts are plural. In the clue it’s a singular dog, so I thought singular …….. as well!
        I managed to sort out getting email alerts – did you?

      2. Yes it is. Our Jamaican Colonial Heritage Facebook page had the full words printed just ten days ago!

  4. I spent far too long over 1a and 1d. ***/*** Both penny dropping moments. An entertaining work out this morning. A nice piece of misdirection in 11a. Favourite goes to 14a. Thanks to all.

    1. First time poster but long time lurker! NW corner really held me up as I couldn’t get the first word of 1A. Once the OH had helped with that it all fell into place nicely. I liked the anag. 7D. Thanks all!

      1. Welcome, LibCav. Hope we hear from you again. It was the first word of 1a that held me up too.

  5. Steady progress. Lots to like 3d 18a 20a, stood out. 11a LOI, which as someone who has spent a chunk of their working life in aviation I really should have got it sooner. Thanks to setter and hinter, thankfully services not required today.

  6. Toughish but fairly clued. A stop-start solve that took me into *** time with *** entertainment too
    Like RD never heard of 12d, had 2nd word in 1a but took ages to see the first. Knew 7d was an anagram but needed several checkers to see it.
    Like Tilsit thought 11a best of a pretty good bunch, except for 23d which I thought weak
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the hints. Hope recovery goes well you are returned to good health soon.
    Lovely sunny day up here with positively spring-like feel. Bella even seeking shade from the sun!

  7. An enjoyable solve. I was unnecessarily held up by the first word of 1a which, in turn, held up 2d. Completed at a gallop – 2.5*/3*.
    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 3d, 9d, and 20d – and the winner is 3d.
    As to the setter, I may be/probably am completely wrong but do we now have a triumvirate of SPP setters? If we do and based on the ‘taking of ownership’ over the last three weeks – working backwards, Donnybrook (a.k.a. NY Doorknob), Cephas, and Chalicea – then Chalicea would be today’s setter. It certainly did have her ‘feel’ about it.
    So, thanks to Chalicea, if it is her, or to the setter otherwise and thanks to Tilsit, pleased to hear that you were not out of action for too long.

  8. Definitely a mixed bag difficulty-wise with that pesky NW corner proving to be the most troubling. I’ve seen 12d previously but not used in connection with young humans – glad my girls didn’t go in for that!
    Favourite was probably 14a.

    Thanks to our setter and to our returning Saturday Club host – pleased to hear that you’ve been ‘released’.

    1. Posted a comment this morning but your reply yesterday encouraged me to have a bash at Elgar & completed using only 1 letter reveal. Couldn’t properly parse a whole bunch of them but still felt like I’d just scaled Everest……

  9. The tough NW corner took ages to solve and I gave up finally on 7a, having never heard of the delicacy over here in Charleston. I enjoyed the struggle, though, and thought that 11a, 1d, and 7d were the outstanding clues. I remembered 12d from a previous cryptic, but it’s not a term that’s in vogue in my world. Thanks to Tilsit, who I hope is well on his way to a full recovery, and to today’s setter.

    I’m watching Captain Sir Tom Moore’s funeral right now. What a hero. RIP, Sir Tom.

      1. Robert: There is an American equivalent that you should be able to get in SC. Don’t buy the cheapest (per huntsman: it can taste and chew like old shoe leather), but splash out on the most expensive and it is a delight – especially after a long walk.

        Mrs T

    1. Thank you all for your culinary advice and caveats, but I think I’ll take a pass. I last tried eating Beef Jerky when I was still drinking beer in bars. Antediluvian days. Today’s 7a sounds too much like the above.

  10. I, too, was delayed into a *** time by the NW. 1a and 1d were my last two in. I have always thought that 12d had four legs.

    Isn’t having four Ks in the solution unusual? I thought so.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Exactly the same thought occurred to me in fact I wondered if they were trying to tell us something! Mr K’s birthday perhaps?

  11. Oh that tricky NW corner! I found all but that zone very good fun to solve; eventually I remembered the word for 7a without fully recalling its meaning.
    The last one in was 1d because it took me an age to understand the (clever) clue.

    All is ok here. Lola waiting for her appointment on 8th March. H still in recovery mode after her ‘procedure’; there is a complication due to her follow up ‘procedure’ being delayed due to the hospital theatres being redeployed for Covid cases. But she’s ok.

    Thanks to the setter. Excellent to see Tilsit back, of course.

    1. Your household is really having a difficult time, one step forward and three back. Here’s sending vibes for all your problems being solved soon and all restored to good health.

  12. May I put in a recommendation for the NTSPP by Silvanus. It’s great fun and not too tricky with the setter’s usual very smooth surfaces.

  13. An entertaining challenge and must agree with others that 1a and 1d were troublesome and only got there once I had sufficient checkers. Will have to wait for the full hints to understand the answer for 4d. Thanks Tilsit for the explanations for 7a (the Gang) and 6d. Cheers Setter

  14. Like others, I was held up by the NW corner especially 1a and 1d. I have not heard of 2d either so NW took far longer than usual. Loads of great clues such as 24a and 5d but my COTD is in agreement with others – 11a.

    Glad you are back, Tilsit and hope you make steady progress in your return to full health. Many thanks to the setter.

  15. Both this crossword and today’s NTSPP seem to have been perfectly pitched so that the solver can finish them off and get back to enjoying the beautiful sunny (if a little nippy round the edges) day. The first time this year we’ve heard skylarks on our morning walk too

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  16. Finished in 3.5* time with ** of that taken up with sorting out 5 in the NW. Thought this one of the best Saturday puzzles for some time with the clever 1d just edging out 11a for top spot & with 7a in the bronze medal spot. Last in was 13a where for some reason I always seem to struggle to bring that river to mind. Paul is the Graun prize & we’ve Silvanus in the NTSPP so not short of further top quality distraction. Today’s albums: Homemade Ice-Cream (Tony Joe White) & Hey Joe Opus Red Meat (Otis Taylor)
    With thanks to the setter & a big welcome back to Tilsit.

  17. Happy Saturday afternoon to everyone. Just popping in to own up to today’s puzzle. Thank you to those who have commented so far!

    1. Thanks for dropping in, Chris. It was a most enjoyable puzzle, thank you. :good:

      The Quickie pun was very neat, I thought.

    2. Yes thank you Chris.Two learning points for me this morning. How to parse a percentage clue, and from what is said a revolting foreign dish.

      1. Try some of the good stuff – we shared some with 20 people in one of the Appalachian Mountain Hut sleep overs – everybody asked for more!


    3. Nice of you to pop in CL, it’s always a pleasure to see you in the compiler’s chair even when you do cause some of us to trip over ourselves on a few clues!

  18. I liked 1a but that was about it. Still can’t see the word for hot in 17d.
    Very difficult, far too complex for my simple mind.
    Very little fun.
    Thx for the hints

      1. Can’t see how Tilsit’s hint (particularly the alternative suggested) doesn’t lead you to the hot bit BL.

  19. I agree with others about 1d and the first bit of 1a – my last answers.
    I’ve never heard of the 7a ‘criminal gang’ but have heard of the 12d’s.
    6d made me shut my eyes and run away for a while until I realised that it wasn’t ‘crickety’ and then I really liked it.
    Lots of good clues and I enjoyed this very much – the first day for quite a few that hasn’t made me doubt the marbles.
    The ones that stood out for me included 11a and 6d. I think my favourite might have been 14a.
    Thanks to whoever set the crossword (I’m not good enough at ‘setter spotting’ to make any guesses) and to Tilsit for the hints.
    Off to the garden now – nice and sunny even if it is, as CS says, pretty nippy round the edges. NTSPP later.

  20. Haven’t looked at the crossword yet. Good to see Tilsit back.

    A few weeks ago (if I recall correctly) there was talk of a Bigdave Birthday Zoom session scheduled for today. Did I imagine this? Would love to join if it’s happening.

      1. Aha – thanks.

        Will keep an eye out for further information about it. Hope it happens – will be good to put faces to names.

        1. If you go to the ‘thingy’ right up at the top that says ‘Features’ in there somewhere there’s something called ‘The Gallery’ and in there are photos of all the previous Birthday Bashes with people’s names.

          1. Thanks, Kath.

            Crossword was very enjoyable. 1a and 1d last ones in. Took ages to sort out the 70% bit. Agree with other people about the dried up food – shoelaces was a good description.

            Thanks to CL and Tilsit.

  21. Very challenging puzzle this morning but also enjoyable except for the NW corner three of which were the last ones in. Tilsit as usual hit the spot with two hints leaving me to find out that according to one poster the food is revolting.

    Hadn’t come across the clueing in 1d before but had the word and the hint provided the answer to what has to be my favourite today. Honourable mentions for 14a and 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for his continuing excellent blog. Hope your recovery is going well sir.

  22. ***/**** for us. We thought 1d very difficult, we needed all the checkers. We had never heard of 7a ( thank goodness, from the sound of it!) but remembered 12d from our youth. We needed Tilsit to explain 11a. Favourite clues 2d, 3d and 7d. Thanks to CL and to Tilsit, great to see you back. 😀

  23. I got excited about the K’s then a J and X so I started looking for a pangram. I wanted 1a to be coffee and had a plural for 3D but otherwise all the clues were fair and I didn’t need to refer to Tilsit, though I am pleased he is back in the real world. Take it easy for a while. Thanks to the setter, I liked 11a and 2d. I was delighted to almost finish yesterday’s toughie but the day before I got about three answers. It is strange how sometimes I just cannot crack the code , but that’s the fun. A glorious day here in Cambridge though with a decided nip out of the sun. Have a good weekend everyone.

    1. There is some delicious dried food on the naughty step – punishment indeed for your 1a alternate reference. Hope you enjoy it!

      Mr and Mrs T

  24. Like a lot of others the first word in 1a eluded me for ages! and took a while to get 1d. Completely disagree with the comments about 7a – I used to bring it home when I lived in Africa but it does depend a lot on the ‘source’. All the stuff here is just commercial rubbish and comes in little bags. The real McCoy is delicious and you need a sharp knife to slice it up. I gave some to a friend who asked me what time of year to plant it! Thanks to the setter and welcome back to Tilsit.

    1. Just a quick update to those who kindly commiserated about me finally clearing out my allotment shed. I’ve just walked down our lane and the new person has a commercial digger on it turning the whole thing over. A sensible thing to do but somehow I felt 18 year’s of toil had just been obliterated and I felt sad all over again.

        1. A wise way to live, MP but we do regret the passing of familiar things so I do sympathise with Manders.

  25. Like many others 1d and the first half of 1a last to fall. 11 my favourite
    Thanks to Mr L for the great puzzle, and to Tilsit

  26. Our esteemed editor’s effort today merits much praise. Like others I found it stop/go but of great quality. My bête noir was 11a where my mental mispronunciation of the obvious resulted in me being foiled I am afraid so I don’t feel able to rate the difficulty save that even without 11a I would have said *** with **** for the satisfaction rating. Thank you Tilsit and glad to see you are back in harness and on the mend.

  27. A terrific puzzle from our editor thank you Chris Lancaster and also to Tilsit on your welcome release! 12d was my favourite and 2d threw me for a while as I assumed another little grub to be the answer.

  28. The best part of today’s puzzle is that Tilsit is back 😊. Never heard of 7a, certainly not on our dinner menu tonight. Hadn’t heard of 12d either, but thought it was perhaps something in UK use now. There is a similar term over here, but a bit meaner. Thanks to Chris Lancaster and especially to Tilsit. Fingers crossed for a benevolent Sunday from Dada.

  29. Enjoyed this puzzle which had a few head scratching moments. 7d was such a good anagram, which I don’t normally choose as a podium contender. 12d is a blast from the past and 3D was my favourite although I prefer Leon Russell’s version to Noel Coward. Thanks to Chris L and Tilsit – good to see you back in the saddle. Despite all the fanfare I’m ashamed to say Canada’s approach to vaccinations is bordering on the inane. We might get treated by year end if we’re lucky. Stay safe.

  30. Always find it satisfying when I create a word hitherto unknown to me from the clue.
    As I did with 2d and 7a
    11a held me up until the penny dropped resoundingly!
    Very enjoyable puzzle.
    So, ****/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit, thanks for the Noel C.

  31. I am very glad to learn that I am in good company with my 1a 1d difficulties. I love the 2d answer. LOI was 13a.
    I thought I was going to be able to complete in 1* time but the NW took me into 3* at which time I revealed the top left start letter and it all fell into place. 4* for enjoyment though. Thank you all.

  32. Oh the last bit of this was tricky. I still don’t have an answer for 4d. Can anyone give me an allowable hint please?

    1. The definition is a ‘capital’ and it comprises of a reversal (raised) of an abbreviation for ‘British’ together with another one for a sailor.
      Hope that helps a bit!

  33. I got 1d before I worked out the 10 letter answer. it’s the sort of clue a Toughie setter likes.
    Thanks to CL for a perfectly competent puzzle. A little humour would have been nice!
    Glad to hear Tilsit is back on his feet even if they are a bit wobbly.

  34. I started at the top and it wasn’t until I got to 18a that I got one answer. South was very friendly and completed in good time, but, oh my, back up to the NW and I was stuck. A little diligence and e-help and NE was sorted, but I needed a hint from Tilsit to get back in the running. Having solved 3d early on was a great help. I’m ashamed that I forgot my fave jumper.
    Fave was 3d, but 11a and14a deserve mention. Hard as this was, it was great fun, I loved it all – bar 12d.
    Thanks CL for the fun and Tilsit for your help. I’m so glad you’re out of hospital and home again, home is where you heal.
    Oh, and thank you so much for the Yo Yo Ma and Perlman.

  35. Welcome back Tilsit.
    Today’s was fairly ok **/*** with the exception of a couple 2d and 7a, never heard of this grub however the penny dropped with the dried up jerky when my son reminded me he buys a brand of that name from Tesco.
    I’m going with 3 d today reminding me of the excellent Noel Coward.
    Thx to the setter and Tilsit.

  36. 2*/3*…..
    liked 3D ” Mad dog’s companion in The Sun? (10)”…remember laughing along with this many, many years ago.

  37. A bit late today – as a Scot I was too busy enjoying the rugby! 😜
    Great challenging puzzle with the NW corner holding me up at the end…but eventually the pennies all dropped into place.
    Good to have you back Tilsit and thanks for the blog ‘n hints.
    Excellent work Chris L! 👍

  38. Glad to see you are back Tilsit!

    Found this puzzle for the most part relatively easy to work out the answer from the clues but there were a couple that just wouldn’t get solved without the cheats. 1d & 2d come to mind and still can’t parse 2d. Didn’t get the gang in 7a and both my anagram solvers would not solve 7d, that I was convinced had the last three words being the letters. 19a was a little iffy too IMHO.
    Managed to tough it out manually, but was a struggle.
    Due to my own ineptness and lack of grey matter today, rate this ****/**. Just not as much fun when some of the clues are rather obtuse and even when you have the answer can’t understand what the setter was getting at.
    One of those days.

    However managed to watch both the 6N games today so that was a plus.
    Clues I liked include 10a, 7d, 3d & 9d with 3d the winner

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  39. Well I really enjoyed this- especially teasing out the answers over an age and I was surprised to see how long I’d taken but it was so enjoyable I hadn’t noticed. Thanks to the setter and it’s good to have Tilsit back. I always enjoy his extra clues and his musical choices which help to extend my limited knowledge. Hoping that you feel better soon.

  40. Thank you Tilsit for the hints. 1d foxed me for a long time. Eventually, however, the penny dropped. Clearly not my day today as it took ages to parse 4d! I am surprised that several contributors had not heard of 12d; it is a synonym for a 2 word phrase describing a very young person. If I am banished to the naughty corner for this comment I apologise. I am not a regular contributor but I do enjoy reading the comments from others.

  41. I can’t get in with CL’s puzzles for some reason and this was no exception. My husband did quite well but then I got totally stuck in the NW corner and needed electronic help. I’ll never be a fan of crosswords that have obscure words or phrases. ****/*

  42. I don’t understand the hint for 11a, there’s nothing salubrious about my answer. Criminal would be nearer the mark.

  43. Last one (11a) finally in! 1a took me an age; 1d likewise but quickly followed once I had the first letter. A tough but enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  44. Hi Dave can u help on 1 down 2 down 7 across and 10 across please ? Thanks mate

  45. Not my finest hour – or more! I knew 7dwas an anagram from the start but took ages to see it.yes, NW corner last in and 2d a new word for me.

  46. 11A, my last one in, took me ages, the hint didn’t help at all. The misdirection was so clever……..and I fell for it big time. I’ve been doing these puzzles for 40 years, you’d think I’d have learnt by now. The huge clunk of the penny dropping was oh so satisfying……. it’s why we do these things.

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