DT 29634 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29634 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29634 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from a bright and breezy Warrington. Firstly, a big thanks to Senf for covering last Saturday when I was unavoidably detained in work on the Census. It’s quietened down after last week’s non-stop barrage of phone calls.

Today we have a pleasant puzzle that could quite easily have been written by any of our regulars. No pangram, so that may rule one out. However, it was a nice challenge that took a little bit of thinking over the toast and coffee this morning. My best advice is to read some definitions and indicators in a different way, not everything is straightforward.

Thanks to our setter for today’s teaser and please remember the rules of how we operate. The naughty step has been spring cleaned with a fresh dollop of Cardinal on the edge. Don’t be the first to get it on your posterior!

One other final thing. I had planned to try and organise a Zoom gathering for today, but my hospital stay and return to work put paid to my plans. I will work on something for the late Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Keep an eye out for details.

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 Solving aid that’s peaked? (8-3)
We start with a cryptic definition. Something that you could put on to help you get through this that may have a peak. You see these on Bargain Hunt occasionally have a peak.

8a Charge retiring US soldier occupying Scottish island (7)
The abbreviation for an American soldier is reversed (retiring) and goes inside (occupying) the name of a Scottish isle,

10a Current description of water-skier, perhaps (8)
A word for a sea or river current could be a way to describe someone who’s water-skiing.

14a See eel fighting with chub — it could be Danish (4,6)
An anagram of SEE EEL and CHUB will give you something that Danish is an example of and I dislike intensely for tasting like soap.

16a Scruffy child, kid with a cake (10)
A word meaning to kid or con, plus A and a type of (bread) cake.

21a United improved, Solskjaer finally sacked (6)
A word meaning to have improved after a series of setbacks loses R (last letter of Solskjaer)

24a Controversial reason for action online? (7)
If you send mail online, it’s email, if you have a reason for doing something online, it could be this…

26a Press cast to drink beer, facing issue in rep (11)
An anagram (cast) of PRESS has a type of beer inside and then added a word for a human issue.


1d Rubbish tango: move like a duck! (7)
The letter associated with Tango in a certain alphabet, plus how a duck moves.

3d Blows to bring one round? (4,2,4)
A cryptic description of a method to bringing someone round

5d Coast road’s my special place (8)
A word meaning ‘My!’, plus the word for a special place gives a name for a coastal road where you could drive this vehicle.

6d Triple rum, hot inside, could be aphrodisiac (7)
An anagram (rum) of triple with H inside.

7d Chip glass that’s found on bed (11)
A type of chip used in gaming, plus a sheet of glass.

9d HQ never moving money about (5,6)
An anagram of NEVER, plus a piece of money and a short word meaning about.

15d Jeopardise hosting leader in Ark Royal (8)
A word meaning to jeopardise or endanger has the first letter (leader) of Ark to give a word meaning royal

19d Stay away from a black spot (7)
A plus the abbreviation for black and a spot or mark.

23d Exercise outside to compress muscles (4)
The abbreviation for exercise, plus the first and last letters of compress.

That’s your lot for today, thanks to our mysterious setter and see you next week.

Crossword Club is now open.

Music today comes from a piece of music I really can’t stand and turn the radio off whenever it comes on, but add a choir and it becomes strangely listenable. Some people adore it and describe it as the best piece of classical music ever, but for me…. Tell me your thoughts!

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: aisle+Beeb+Bach=I’ll be back

103 comments on “DT 29634 (Hints)

  1. A glorious morning here in the town recently described as “Where suburbia meets Utopia”, and where the fox made a reappearance in my garden last night.

    Nothing to frighten the mounts today, completed at a trot in ** time. 12d was my last in, as I was completely wrong in my first parsing. Upon more careful examination, the answer became clear. I can’t say more than that, not until I see what sort of cake, if any, is on the naughty step. Perhaps some of those from 16a?

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Watch out for the red Cardinal step polish, Malcolm, which Tilsit says has
      Just been freshly applied to the naughty step.

  2. Quite a tricky puzzle, with a few unusual synonyms, which took me into 2.5* time. It had some very clever clues and I particularly liked 7d, 9d and my COTD, 4d. 3.5* for enjoyment. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler.

  3. Damn, 4d put me into ** time.
    Yet it was, perhaps, one of the easier clues among many ingenious ones.
    Many thanks to the setter and to tilsit.

  4. 1.5*/3.5*. I didn’t have much need to put my 1a on today for this undemanding but very pleasant puzzle, and it was nice to see lots of white space surrounding the clues.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  5. */**** . A great pleasure to solve after my drubbing by Elgar last night (and this morning)! 3d and 5d my favourites
    Thanks setter and Tilsit

  6. Found this far more difficult than most of this weeks Toughies especially the right hand side. This seems very typical. Of most Saturday puzzles these days, been a while since we had one that wasn’t really tricky.
    Some clever clues but nothing easy.
    Thx for the hints

  7. What a classy, enjoyable puzzle. The short ones nearly took the cake, especially 4d, but 3d, 5d, and 21a also struck my fancy. Fast finish for me after struggling the past couple of days. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints, which I”ll read now, and to today’s setter. ** / ****

    Maggie O’Farrell’s great novel Hamnet just won the National Book Critics Circle prize, the only big one that consists of book reviewers and literary critics. It was my choice for Book of the Year, as some of you might recall.

  8. There were a few holes you could fall into and wrong alternatives that had to be swatted away, like 4d and the end of 24, but the clues themselves were very varied and quite a lot of fun.

    Thanks to the compiler and to Tilsit – I nearly forgot to complete the census, despite positioning it on my side table, in a basket where I keep my reading glasses and other commonly used items for at least a week! Sometimes items just get too familiar and you don’t see them anymore……I don’t understand why they haven’t included place, as well as country, of birth. This has been vital to me in my genealogical research. Perhaps family history research will be redundant in the 22nd century? A DNA database will show everything with one click – that’s no fun.

  9. I found this quite tricky to get into, and progress slow after that. *** time but enjoyable with a number of good clues.
    21a was my COTD. I just wish the improvement was consistent and hope that the second part isn’t prescient.
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit. Mum always did our step with a dolly stone which would be easier to clean off I guess.

    1. The red Cardinal polish used to be found on the front doorsteps of many Victorian and Edwardian houses. It was more like a lacquer than polish and had to left to dry or else it was red marks on your socks or, if you sat on the step, your trousers.

      1. Dolly stones did the same thing CC – as I remember they were like a cream “stone” about the size of a bar of soap. Rag & bone men gave them in exchange for old clothes.

    2. I remember that white thing that was thrown about on steps before the scrubbing brush was applied – what was it?
      But I only remember cardinal polish from tiles, which presumably weren’t glazed. This was all from my grandmothers house. I have no recollection of my mother doing any of that……..she was at work. Or perhaps we had no steps or tiles?

    3. I remember my Mum doing the same to our back step, LROK. The front step was always done with Cardinal polish.

      1. Steve
        You were posh then! Always retain a picture of Mum on her hands and knees with her turban on doing the step. Begs another question whatever happened to the turban?

            1. I remember my mum’s wraparound pinny, small floral print cotton with a bias tape edging and apron strings in a matching colour, plus the scarf made into a turban.

          1. Exactly! Turbans and pinnies. Not sure if we got our stone from the rag and bone man but they certainly made the rounds along with the greengrocer and his horse and cart.

        1. Turbans weren’t turbans. They were just a square headscarf, folded into a triangle and tied around the front with the ends tucked in. So, LBR, you can still make one up if you want to have a go…..

          1. I had pictured it BB exactly as described. I know you could still make one but you rarely if ever see them now but “back then” they were commonplace.

            1. I’ve tried them when painting walls and ceilings, but they’re just a pain and keep falling off. Luckily we now have stretchy bandannas, which also double up as extra Covid masks. Double masking is all the rage across the pond.

      2. Who remembers the Kleeneze door-to-door salesmen who, when bringing your mum her new tin of cardinal polish and any brushes she might need, gave their mall daughters a tiny tin of lavender polish?

        1. I remember the Kleeneze man but had forgotten the miniature tin of polish. I have a feeling I took one to school to polish my desk. My mum was big on the red Cardinal for the steps and also the red sloping tiles below the windows. Some women cheated and bought a type of red paint.

        2. Ah, yes I do remember the Kleeneze man and his suitcase full of goodies. We also used to have a French onion seller on his bike ladened with strings of onions.

          1. One of them appeared in Midhurst a couple of years ago. Trouble is you couldn’t get any sense out him after the Angel hotel chucked him out at 3

    4. They’re called donkey stones up here and they still sell them in the indoor market at Ashton under Lyne.

      1. That’s it! I remember my Mum calling them donkey stones. I now recall getting excited about a donkey coming to the house whenI first heard my mother mention it. I was about three years old.

    5. I just remember numerous children with muddy wellie boots, muddy dogs, without wellie boots, cats and the occasional chicken all in and out so there was far too much to really care about, or bother about, something as minor as a muddy doorstep. That’s how we grew up in the wilds of Worcestershire.

      1. That’s how we live now, Kath. Muddy wellies and a muddier dog. Our kitchen floor is made of red quarry tiles but they will never see Cardinal polish. No point! 🐾🐾

  10. A very pleasant and relatively simple puzzle for a Saturday morning. No particular favourite, but I enjoyed completing the grid.

    My thanks as always to our setter and to Tilsit.

  11. Oooh. You’ve given away the anagram for 9d. I hope there’s cake in the naughty corner!
    I really liked today’s offering: some r and w and some stretching of the little grey cells. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter today. Very enjoyable

  12. Like RD, no 1a required for this enjoyable but not too demanding SPP. If this were 24 hours later I would be describing the setter as benevolent – 1.5*/3.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – the aforesaid 1a, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 5d.
    Thanks to setter and to Tilsit.

    1. Senf: answer to your question of yesterday “No they can’t put any in fact.”
      As it says in this morning’s paper “Diolch i’r Alban”. Like last Saturday another great advert for the game. Amazing how the sendings-off, yellow cards and even the final result were so similar in both games.

      1. More of a musing than a question yesterday. A very good game. ‘Les Blancs’ seem to have been a little enigmatic in the tournament – their second try was the best of the game but the late yellow card was just stupid. What was the replacement scrum half doing in the maul in the first place and then he ignored Barnsey’s instruction to move away from his illegal position.

        Oh well, hopefully a decent Leinster-Munster Pro 14 Final later.

  13. Difficult to get going but once a few had been cracked it all fell into place. Too many good clues to pick a favourite but I will give a mention to 1d because it raised a smile.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  14. Enjoyed solving this but thought fairytale as an adjective was missing from 4d. Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  15. Pleasant solve for a Saturday morning with no real requirement for a 1a.
    Top two here were 1&16a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tisit for the Saturday Club. Can’t say that I thought the choir brought anything special to the music clip but as is obviously the case for you, it’s not one of my favourite pieces of music.

  16. Very enjoyable and steady solve. Took a while for the penny to drop on the passing of 25a. For 5d I have heard the word but didn’t know its meaning and 6d a new word for me, so some knowledge gained.
    Two COTD for me at 21a and 4d, with 3D making the podium.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit,

  17. Re the album clip you put up at the end, Tilsit. It’s not unpleasant; the added choral arrangement softens it – but also drags the violin down in the VW piece, which is presumably the opposite of what is intended? It’s the solitary nature of it that I enjoy. I don’t know what other people like about it? I agree that its ubiquity on things like Desert Island Discs is a bit of an irritant. People just want “uplifting” music (pun intended), don’t they?
    Thanks for the tip. I’ll go and see if it’s on my listening apps. I’m wondering what the Mahler piece is……

    1. I used to love that particular piece of music until listeners to Classic FM voted it their favourite piece. Classic FM then played it repeatedly and I got fed up of it.

      1. I’ve pretty much stopped listening to ClassicFM, especially on car journeys. Their playlist is just a way of filling in the spaces between adverts. I remember in 1967, when I used to make a note of how many times particular singles were played in a day across Radio 1, Luxembourg etc. But that’s when I was obsessed with certain artists and we had no way of repeating tracks, unless you owned the record.

        1. It works, Senf. I had to go through a few “Captcha” steps but I got there. I’m listening to it now – Mozart’s piano concerto No 11. It is good. :good:

          1. Good!
            I should also have said that you will have to put up with Winnipeg weather forecasts and Canadian news bulletins but they don’t spoil the enjoyment.

            1. That won’t be a problem. I have an app called Radio Garden. It shows the earth and every green dot is a radio station that can be tuned into. There are some quite remote stations out there. I’m listening to some rather soothing music from Japan at the moment. I suppose I could look for Classic 107 on it but I have bookmarked the station on Safari now.

    2. The Mahler is Ich bin der Welt from his Ruckert Lieder. I listened to the album a while back and thought it quite good. I don’t think anyone beats Iona Brown and the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields for Lark Ascending. I discovered Alice Coote’s Mahler Song Cycles recently and enjoyed them.

  18. I did manage to finish this – I think! I have 5 question marks but I am pretty sure they are all correct but not entirely sure why: 21,22 and 25a and 5 and 9d being the head scratchers. The reasoning will probably come to me later. I am a little flustered after finishing a pleasant and solitary run on the moors above Widecombe-on-the-Moor this morning, dodging the showers. Normally the village would be overrun with coaches and grockles but serenely quiet this Saturday. Lockdown does have a few upsides…..
    Thanks to our accomplished setter and Tilsit for the hints. A **/*** rating from me.

  19. Just back from a lovely walk in the gorgeous sunshine & feeling chipper (not chippy as per) as only 48hrs to go before I’m going to be able to ineptly hit a little white ball once again. Unlike some my 1a was required early this morning for a couple of clues although the remainder was pretty straightforward & I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle. 5d & 11a were my last 2 in. With the latter another iffy homophone/definition synonym got stuck in my mind & was difficult to dislodge & only once I’d figured that one out & with the additional checker in could I recall the coastal road despite being familiar with it from previous crosswords. 3&4d were my clear favourites here.
    With thanks to the setter & to Tilsit

  20. Enjoyable. A couple of head scratchers but no serious hold ups. Light relief after yesterday’s Toughie. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  21. Comfortable solve today, bizarrely held up by 11a. No excuse, just dim.
    A lovely sunny day here in Kent, apart from the North wind, which has been piped in especially from the Arctic Circle.
    Starting to do all those outside jobs I have been putting off all winter. I am about to commence that annual challenge of “start the lawnmower”, after six months lay-up.
    Thanks setter and Tilsit.

    1. About four years ago, I bought a petrol mower from B & Q for £89. I thought it wouldn’t last but every year it has started first time after being laid up over the winter. My next door neighbour has an all singing and dancing model that cost a small fortune and every year he has problems getting it started.

      I go for the KISS principle.

      1. My husband could not get his started today. After sometime wondering what to do next he had a bright idea and switched it on.

  22. First impression was that this was going to be a tussle however in the end it all came together nicely. I was a bit hesitant about one or two of my solutions but they turned out to be valid. 21a had to be but failed to fully parse it likewise 25a. 6d a new one on me so needed help from Seiko. Fav was 5d. Thanks Mysteron and Tilsit whose musical selections I usually like but today definitely not so.

  23. Great crossword – although I did, irritatingly, get held up by tiny 4d. I wandered away and then came back and read the clue properly and I got it. Phew.

    The weather forecast says ‘light cloud with a fresh breeze’ so we are heading out for a cheery walk. This almost guarantees steady rain showers.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Stephen Stills & Judy Collins – Everybody Knows.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  24. Lots of very lateral thinking, this was a delight and polished off without tears. Unlike yesterday’s toughie tackled at 3am when I couldn’t sleep and managed two answers. Tilsit’s comment about 14a reminded me of some 20 years ago watching whilst Jeremy cleaned his teeth. ‘Mummy makes me clean my teeth with soap. Me – don’t be silly Jeremy, she wouldn’t do that. You use toothpaste.’ Long argument and finally Jeremy said ‘yes G’ma, she DID make me clean my teeth with soap, when I said ————!’
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter. Enjoy the sun.

  25. There is no prize crossword today or tomorrow or until further notice so how can there be a naughty step. Discuss!

      1. Me too Toni. I do the dead tree version, which invites us to cut out the puzzle and post it as usual with 3 prizes of a £25 electronic book token.

        1. So sorry Chris. Goodness know what I was reading! The lockdown must be affecting my brain. At least I managed the crossword. Thanks, I enjoyed it. Thanks also to Tilsit.

    1. Definitely a prize puzzle but I don’t send it in anymore. After nearly 50 years of submitting the SPP I have never won a thing so I have given up.

      1. If you google telegraph prize crossword, it tells you they are suspended until further notice. It includes the GK crossword.
        I never submit it either. Perhaps CS will know

        1. Well I don’t usually enter the puzzles, can’t be bothered, but I just have electronically and it was accepted so I think your information might be rather old?

      2. Oh dear Steve, you have been unlucky. I have won twice over 50 years, pack of DT playing cards (I showed off like mad with those when hosting Bridge) and a very smart pen, pencil and notebook! At least submitting online it is not costing me an Arm and a leg each week.

        1. I’ve given up submitting them as well. The first thirty years yielded nothing. The last 20 or so doing the Times and the Telegraph I haven’t bothered.

          1. I submitted just once many many years ago and got the twin playing cards. Not tried my luck since..

  26. Well, I seem to be pretty much alone in finding this very tough going! Got there in the end with some electronic help, but found it difficult to tune in to the setter’s wavelength for som reason….

  27. Most of it went in without incident. Inexplicably 5d was last and I do know it. My excuse is that I was convinced the second letter would be something else. Favourites 1 8 and 24a and 9d. Not convinced about my answer for 25a but feel it must be right. I would have put 4d as a favourite as I think it is brilliant – if I’ve got it right that is. Thanks setter and Tilsit. I did the census but waited till the last minute in case I was tempting fate by completing it earlier.

    1. 4d was my COTD, WW. It held me up for quite a while but it was a really clever clue. If I read our atheist friend, Corky aright (see comment 15 above), he thinks the same as me

  28. Thank you to everyone who has commented so far; I’ll own up as the compiler of today’s puzzle.

    I can confirm that prize puzzles definitely aren’t suspended. We paused them on around this date last year, when the first lockdown started; however we reinstated them a few months later. I suspect the email and the page found online are dated March 2020, not 2021!

    1. Thanks for the visit CL.
      Enjoyed today that seems to have been the same for most.

      1. Thanks for an enjoyable puzzle, Chris and for dropping in. It’s great to have the fact that it is a prize puzzle confirmed.

    2. Thank you for an entertaining puzzle – I just hope that Dada is as benevolent tomorrow (well this evening for me).

    3. Many thanks for stopping off to claim ownership of this fun and rewarding puzzle.

    4. Thanks for popping in, CL, always nice when our compilers ‘own up’ to their creations!
      My 1a is somewhat reserved for the clue-writing comps in the Puzzles Newsletter these days – you certainly set us some challenges with those!

  29. 1a and 1d were today’s favourites. I had the wrong word in 20d for a while, but sorted fairly quickly. I prefer the English version of 14a. Thanks to Mr Lancaster and to Tilsit. I have very good stain remover for anyone on the naughty step.

  30. We’re in the “not too taxing” camp this afternoon, although we did have to check 5d as we’d only heard of the car and 6d as it was a new word for us, any road up we’ve heard of them now. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  31. Long slow solve but got there in the end. Last one in 10a which took ages until the penny dropped!

  32. What started out as a pretty straightforward puzzle and heading for 1.5* time, suddenly hit a brick wall the more I got into the bottom half and ended up as a 2.5*/**** with SE last area completed. Needed a couple of hints for that area.
    However there were so many great clues it is hard to come up with favourites, however I picked 16a, 22a, 1d, 3d & 7d with co favourites being 16a & 1d

    Thanks to setter and Tilset, especially for mentioning lateral thinking was a good thing to do with these clues.

  33. I was in the friendly camp. I was late starting today so I was grateful for that. I thought 6d meant something else, but I see the last two letters are different, learnt something new. I had the wrong ending for 24a so had a wrong guess in 23d.
    I’m going for no faves, too many candidates, but a sneaking admiration for 4d.
    Thank you CL for the loads of fun and Tilsit for his helpful hints. Put me in the musical enjoyment column, not fave but definitely enjoyed.

  34. Late getting to this today. Started off great, stalled in the middle, and then romped to the finish. Overall, enjoyable and not too tough like some Saturdays. 6d was new to me, and I could kick myself for forgetting what 13a “flower” often is in crossword land. Had three favourites, but give pole position to 7d as you don’t hear that word any more. Thanks to Chris Lancaster and Tilsit.

  35. Late again for various reasons which I won’t bore you all with..
    Started off very badly but once I got going I didn’t really have much trouble, for once.
    I think 16a could be my favourite or, there again, it could just be 5 or 9d – changed my mind, definitely 5d.
    Thanks to Chris Lancaster, for the crossword and for calling in, and to Tilsit.

  36. 2*/3*….shall have to wait for the full review to parse 25A…
    liked 16A ” Scruffy child, kid with a cake (10)”

  37. Still struggling with 13A which unfortunately is tipless on the site ! How can a 2 word clue be so troublesome ?? 15d probably my fav clue.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      13a is a double definition clue – have a look in the Usual Suspects (there’s a link at the top of the page) and see what a flower can mean – then see if you can get both words to have something in common

      Alternatively you can wait for BD’s review of this crossword which will appear tomorrow morning

      1. Thanks for that ! I was sure TEES had to be the answer but never thought of the alternative pronunciation. Silly me !!

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