DT 29628 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29628 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29628 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Another Saturday when you have not slept for over 24 hours.  Tilsit has another commitment today, happily not involving hospitals, so I am standing, or should it be sitting, in again.

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 – well, it might be the ‘Floughie Lady’ but I could easily be wrong.

Candidates for favourite – 5a, 10a, 16a, 27a, 7d and 24d.

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:


1a Introduces fast way to travel round about (7)
A (2,4) term for a fast way to travel containing (round) the single letter used for about.

5a Less like lamb from this supplier? (7)
A sort of double definition(?) – while thinking of (a) lamb when it is being applied to a person find an antonym and make it comparative.

10a Hold-up man in downbeat LA suburb (5)
A lurker (in) found in the conclusion of the clue.

12a Wildlife rights protecting old English river (3,4)
Two of the single letter for right containing (protecting) all of the single letters for old and English and the equal thirty-second longest river in the UK.

17a Fighter back on horse yet losing every second? (5)
Reverse (back) ON HORSE YET from the clue then delete every second letter.

21a Character seen with drink: John Lennon for one! (7)
A three letter synonym, stretched as far as I am concerned, of character and a type of (fortified wine) drink – which used to be called Speke, not the drink, the answer.

22a Driver awaiting chance to pass? (7)
A driver with a Provisional Driving Licence – are they still called that?

27a Defiant expression from drunk in this place (2,5)
A three letter synonym for (a) drunk and a single word for in this place.

28a Weird people having time for miscellaneous article (7)
Two three letter synonyms – the first for weird and the second for people followed by (having) the single letter for time.


1d Sloth and one near it disturbed (7)
The Roman numeral for one and an anagram (disturbed) of NEAR IT.

3d Italian lake draws in British musicians (5)
A four letter lake in Italy contains (draws in) the single letter for British.

5d Liberal dons tolerate American state (7)
The single letter for Liberal, when applied to a politician, contained by (dons) a synonym of tolerate followed by the two letter abbreviated form of a term for American.

7d Torment tedious type outside electronic plant (9)
A four letter term for torment and a single word for a tedious type (of person) containing (outside) the single letter for electronic – for a plant some might know as The Christmas Rose.

14d Check others taking exercise inside (9)
A synonym of others containing (taking . . . inside) a synonym of exercise.

17d Lots following letter dictated: those in hot water? (3,4)
An informal(?) synonym of lots – as in, for example, ‘**** of money’ – placed after (following) a three letter term which is a homophone (dictated) of a single letter.

18d Medical speciality doubled European understanding (7)
A three letter abbreviation of a medical speciality, or hospital department, repeated (doubled) and the single letter for European.

20d Flow alternatively seen in Midlands river (7)
A two letter synonym of alternatively inserted into (seen in) a river in the Midlands which is the third longest in the UK.

24d Trap quickly springs up — end of mouse! (5)
A synonym of quickly reversed (springs up) and the last letter (end of) mousE.


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

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.

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The Quick Crossword pun: MAY + DIN + CHINA = MADE IN CHINA

61 comments on “DT 29628 (Hints)

  1. Delightful crossword, all done in good time before I went to get my jab, so 1a seemed appropriate */****.
    Learnt a new word/plant at 7d (LOI) and the correct spelling of 9a.
    Lots to like, my favourites were 17d, 19d and 22a.
    Thanks to the setter for a great start to the weekend, and Senf for the hints (though not needed today)

    1. Though as I go back over the hints I realise that I missed the subtlety of 5a, very clever, moves up to my COTD

  2. You don’t realise how much time you spend on a Saturday morning reading all the parts of the only paper you buy all week until delivery to East Kent (and possibly other places) has been delayed. Luckily for me, I have a Puzzle subscription so was able to print off and solve this enjoyable Saturday puzzle – my guess as to the setter differs from that of Senf ;)

    1. The Tesco across the road from me had no Telegraphs this morning (Maidstone), but the Asian emporium just up the road had plenty. I suppose they might have a different supply chain. Usually when Tesco run out it means something important has happened and people want to read intelligent commentary, but I can’t find anything that important in it today. The colour cartoon is good though. That should put the cat amongst the Shetland ponies.

    2. I think I may have commented previously about how bad my setter detector system is so I will not be surprised if I am not correct.

      1. Re the ‘wildlife’ clue, completely unconnected but it reminded me that I was watching a programme a couple of nights ago (in the UK) on snakes- I didn’t realise that you had, not thousands, but thousands and thousands and thousands of garter snakes in Manitoba. The programme showed them livening up after ‘’brumation’. Fortunately, said the presenter, most are not particularly venomous.

  3. */****
    Such a relief after the struggle with yesterday’s toughie.
    21a my favourite
    Thanks all

    1. Just wavelength. Yesterday’s which I actually did early this morning was just up my street.

  4. All flowed nicely until I ended up in the NE. 5a seemed obvious but I could think of less like lamb for ever and would not come up with this word. Therefore it was a non cryptic bung in. 12a and 5d were longest to untangle after I got 6 and 7d both good clues. Other favourites 1 11 and 28a and 4 17 and 19d. Good challenge but for me not half as enjoyable yesterday which was a corker! Thanks Setter and thanks for stepping in Senf.

  5. 2*/4*. A fun puzzle to start the weekend even though 13a is not a citadel. It is a hill where a citadel is located.

    Sorry to hear about Tilsit’s further medical issues. Good wishes to him and thanks again to Senf for working overtime. Many thanks too to the setter.

    21a was my favourite.

    1. Not medical for Tilsit today RD – as I wrote in my introduction “happily not involving hospitals.”

        1. With your increasingly frequent visits to Specsavers, your eyesight must be deteriorating rapidly :wink:

  6. A refreshingly different set of clues, I thought, and it did take me a short while to find the right wavelength. However, things soon fell into place an it turned out to be an enjoyable experience (2*/4*). There was some great misdirection and I liked 18a and 21a but my COTD was 6a.Thanks to Senf for doing another double shift with the hints and thanks to the compiler.

      1. Thank you WW. It was 6d that I liked. I jot down a few notes of favourite clues because I finish the puzzle earlier in the day and can’t read my own writing but I always really enjoy geographical clues.

        1. Thought so. I liked that too. I solve in the paper so write over the numbers and have to guess them, not always accurately!

  7. What a tricky puzzle. The top half was just about ok but the bottom fought every inch of the way. Finished with help but very little enjoyment. I thought 17d, 12d, 19d and 5a were awful clues with latter being the worst.
    All in all definitely not one of my favourite puzzles.
    Thx for the hints to explain the worst clues.

    1. Having finished the Saturday Prize Crossword at one sitting for the second week on the trot I feel able to comment !
      My favourites were 5a, 10, 16.
      If this continues I will have to find some further entertainment for Saturday, and quite often Sunday too .
      Looking forward to the Rugby, if it is as good as last weekend I will be surprised.

  8. **/*** for me, only spoilt by my struggle to parse 5a in a more than tenuous way, and the non-cryptic-unless-i’m-missing-something 22a. Really liked 5d and 12a, which were last in and so become favourites. Thanks to Mr Ron and Senf – Hope you get some sleep soon.

    1. Re: 22a I must admit I only added the solution very lightly. It seemed rather too obvious and not cryptic. I toyed with the idea of being one of those where I had to change a letter.

  9. Another enjoyable puzzle on a sunny morning. I agree with Send about 5a. Also like 10a, 21a, and 28a, but favourite today is 18d.

    Many thanks to Senf and the setter for a good start to the weekend.

  10. Fairly straightforward SPP for me with no really obtuse GK. Not as amusing as some but entertaining. ** / ***.
    5a had to be what it was but needed Senf’s hints to understand why.
    Runner-up though to 21a for COTD.
    Thanks to setter and to Senf for presumably the first leg of a double.

  11. (God bless Brian!)
    A taxing but enjoyable crossword – last one in was 16a, and then when I finally ‘got’ it, I had a Homer style “D’oh!” moment.

    All ok here. H trying to do too much too soon after her op. Lola continues to eat for England – she is moving about more freely and used her scratching post this morning, which must be an indicator that her paws aren’t troubling her.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Chopin – Complete Sonatas (not appreciated by Lola – she went out of the room to snooze in the hallway).

    Thanks to the setter and Senf (Sleepless In Winnipeg)

    1. Ask H if she would like to have the op again. When she answers no, you can tell her to do as she has been told then. Rest and let time do it’s job

  12. Most enjoyable. The NE held out a while but that’s because it contains the cleverest and wiliest of all the clues, for me anyway. Didn’t care much for 5a but really liked my trio of podium stars: 12a, 5d, 7d. Also liked 18d and 27a.
    Thanks to Senf and today’s setter. 2.5* / 4*

  13. A very enjoyable Saturday with plenty of great clues. Initially thought this was going to be really difficult and then worked through without any need to check words.spelling etc. Once I twigged to the answer the parsing was straightforward although 5a (answer came to mind immediately) took a couple of moments to understand. Favourite was 19d as LOI (held up by 22a) and I have been there!
    Cheers Setter and Senf

  14. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle today. There were loads of great clues such as 11a, 16a and 17d. My COTD is 5a because it took me ages to make sense of it. A great PDM when it finally dawned. I also liked 6d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf for stepping in for Tilsit. Sp pleased to hear it is not health related.

    Been stacking logs this morning and now my back hurts. I probably should not have done it considering I have two fractured thoracic vertebrae! :sad:

  15. Enjoyable last in being 18d which I thought was rather clever. Thanks for the review and to the Setter of course. Looking forward to cricket later. Chilly in East Hertfordshire.

  16. Enjoyed this a lot. Off to a speedy start & thought it was going to be a finish in just over * time but 17a&d plus 7d & 10a were sufficient head scratchers to double it. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout & with the bonus of another plant to add to my vocabulary until I forget it. Chalicea’s NTSPP can wait until after this afternoon’s walk over Verulam golf course ( famous for Samuel Ryder being a past captain)
    Thanks to the setter & to SSSS (Saturday super sub Senf)

  17. I put a North American city in 19D instead of an Italian one which held up the SE corner. Apart from that an enjoyable Saturday exercise.
    Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  18. I liked this. It fell into place nicely quarter by quarter.

    Thanks to Senf and today’s setter.

  19. Painless way to kick off the weekend and thus leaving the p.m. free for a R.U. feast but sadly with no meaningful involvement for England. CymRU vs. Gaul however should hopefully be an engaging game. North of puzzle came in ahead of the South. Several contenders for Fav with16a just squeaking through. Thank you Mysteron and Senf.

  20. Lovely puzzle today. Just right for me.
    Particularly liked 10a and 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  21. Late in today as No.1 daughter arrived for an unexpected visit this morning – so nice to see a ‘real’ person!
    No particular problems to report with this one although I really didn’t care for the connotations of 5a. Favourite was 27a just because it made me laugh.

    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for doing overtime yet again to bring us the Saturday Club. BD must be extremely grateful for having a willing substitute on stand-by!

  22. How could today be so different from yesterday when it was positively balmy here? Freezing again. A very good workout with just enough head scratching to give a sense of achievement and several which immediately sprang to mind. 16a was my FOI and 12a the last. Of course I wrote an insect in at 21a which caused a bit of a hiccup, very clever. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  23. Thank you Senf for stepping into Tilsits shoes. 1a was my last in. Should the hint be (2,4) rather than (2,3), or have I got something wrong? I could only get the answer by putting (2,4) around the single letter for “about”. Many thanks to you and to the setter. My favourite clue was 21a. I barked up the wrong tree completely thinking of JL’s group.

    1. You are absolutely correct about my ‘enumeration’ hint in 1a – now corrected. Thank you.

  24. I needed Senf’s explanations to understand my answers to half a dozen clues on this one. Many thanks Senf. Took me a while to thrash it out so a ***/** for me. I think just one of those where this setter’s wavelength wasn’t one I could easily get into. I didn’t really have a COTD but quite liked 12a. It’s strange how some puzzles are tricky but enjoyable and others tricky and less so. I have the greatest admiration for anyone who can set a puzzle such as this and so thanks to the setter for doing so, but I guess we can’t enjoy all of them the same amount all of the time.

  25. Back in the swing of things after eye problems (cataracts) so now all sorted. I found this a bit difficult after a layoff but struggled on. Thanks for the hints Senf.
    Also thanks to setter

    1. Didn’t you find the daylight so bright and the colours so colourful after the surgery!

  26. Definitely a trickier puzzle today with some curious clueing technique in this one. Really had to struggle with some of the parsing, although most of it made sense eventually. Maybe an offering from the new setter that has recently joined the line-up(?)
    In the end ***/**** for me. Favourites for me were 1a, 16a, 21a, 22a & 18d with winner 21a (and that took a while to crack!) with 18d runner up
    Got a chuckle out of 17d and liked the misdirection of 22a.
    Never heard of 7d so a new word for me.

    Thanks to setter and Senf for doing double duty.
    3 Six Nation games to watch today … !!

  27. Thanks for the hints Senf, needed 6 to finish, so low on the enjoyment scale today. Couldn’t get on wavelength with the setter. A handful had obvious answers, but I couldn’t justify them from the clues. And then a few were just perfect. Wavelength problem I assume. Oh well, fingers crossed Dada is feeling benevolent tomorrow.

  28. I found this one tricky and had some unsolved. Fave was 27a.
    Thanks to whomsoever set this and to Senf for unravelling some for me.

  29. Thanks to the setter and Senf for the hints. A cracking puzzle, that I couldn’t crack. Got stuck in the NE corner. Needed the hints for 5’s and 10a&7d. Wouldn’t have thought of any of them. Favourite of the ones I could solve was 12a, but outright favourite was 5a.
    Was 4* /4* for me.

  30. Very enjoyable and, for me anyway, about medium on the difficulty level.
    12a went horribly wrong because I put the letter for the physics symbol instead of the electronic thingie in 7d – seriously dim but soon sorted.
    I dithered about putting 22a in for quite a long time and it took a while to see why my first idea for 5a was right.
    I’ve seen a similar clue to 21a before – it fooled me then, and again today – what is it they say about people who make the same mistake twice?!! :roll:
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular so thanks to the setter and to Senf.
    Still feels chilly in Oxford even though the temperature tells me that it isn’t.

  31. Hmmm. I found this a bit of a curate’s egg. The East went in fairly swiftly but the West was still almost entirely blank. My not being able to get 5a didn’t help – I had to resort to Senf’s hint and didn’t think it was a very satisfactory answer. Quite a bit of GK needed today, most of which I knew fortunately. Still it gave my brain cells a bit of a workout. Thanks to Senf and the setter ***/***

  32. I enjoyed this mostly, but got stuck in quite a few places!
    Senf’s excellent (often quite cryptic in themselves) hints helped me to a satisfying completion and entry into the competition…one day I might be lucky!! 😜
    Thanks to the setter for a tricky challenge, and to Senf for standing in and providing the much needed hints.

  33. I think I’m with Brian on this one….didn’t enjoy it one bit! Only half done and really not that bothered about finishing it off. Fortunately I’ve still got the Chalicea toughie from earlier in the week. Thanks to Sent, look forward to Dada tomorrow.

  34. Quite difficult, needed some electronic help to finish it, but very enjoyable. So many brilliant clues its impossible to choose a favourite. Many thanks to setter for yet another great puzzle, and to Senf for “standing in” again

  35. Well I got there in the end! Barely had chance to look at the puzzle until later today and had a few head scratching moments. Just checked some of the hints for a few I didn’t put in because I couldn’t fully parse them which confirmed 5a and then 5d became obvious.

    Many thanks to the setter and Senf, thank you also for standing in for Tilsit.

  36. Thanks Senf and all. Twas I who set.

    I would have popped in on Saturday to say hi, but Mr Jabba-Dabbadoo called right after beloved Saints had actually won a game. No side-effects at all, either from Saints winning or the vaccine, but sat down for a cuppa and a crumpet just in case.

    Well, sun’s out, time to go cycling. See you all soon I hope.

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