DT 29640 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29640 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29640 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

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A very brief blog today as I am in work.

A lovely puzzle, which is most likely by our new Madame on the Block. Some witty clues, and just about the right level of challenge to make you think.

Please follow the normal guidelines and hint but don’t direct answer.

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 Close entertaining lawsuit wrapped up (7)
A word meaning to close goes around a word for a lawsuit.

5a Commanded European to wear gold, diamonds and crimson? (7)
Around the abbreviation goes a French or heraldic word for gold, the abbreviation for diamonds in card games, and another word for crimson.

10a Outlaw eating commanding officer’s food (5)
A word meaning to outlaw, has the abbreviation for the military man inside.

12a Garden with lights on head? (9)
The name for a garden (and a type of gardening business!) is found by taking a word meaning lights (as in touch down) plus the name for a geographical head.

13a Company with million quid making chemicals (9)
The abbreviation for company plus how million quid could be alternatively written using an abbreviation for the number.

18a What superhero might have on the outside? (9)
Love this clue. Attire-wise what Superman and Batman could be known for…

20a Puts on coat perhaps and disappears crossing river (9)
Some of you will be up to this over the weekend no doubt. A word meaning disappears ‘crosses’ or goes around the abbreviation for river.

26a Refurbished library accepts computers etc with bad temper (9)
An anagram of (refurbished) LIBRARY plus an abbreviation for PC’s and computer stuff in general inside.


1d Feature of laciest pants? (7)
Here pants is your anagram indicator – so an anagram of LACIEST gives another feature of such attire.

2d Expenses of Greek island trips on vacation (5)
The three-letter name of a Greek island, plus the first and last letters of TRIPS ( i.e. the inside vacated).

3d Lacking wings, asked all vets for any small bones (9)
This is the reverse of the last clue. This time, remove the first and last letters of five words in the clue and add S for small.

7d Shape reportedly ruined view (9)
If you ruined a point of view, you have W______ A_____ (7,5) – this a homophone of that.

14d Worried actor taken in by fashion for fleet of cars (9)
An anagram (worried) of ACTOR goes inside a word for something done by fashion.

15d Mischievously and proudly dropping husband after first bit of nookie (9)
A word meaning proudly loses its first letter and is replaced by the first one of NOOKIE.

17d Cleric with kinship to regularly call again (7)
An abbreviation for a cleric plus alternate letters from KINSHIP TO.

22d Shoot southern puritan (5)
The abbreviation for Southern plus an old-time word for a pompous oaf just like….

24d Blade, black, changing hands (5)
The heraldic word for black needs to ‘swap hands’, i.e., swap left for right.

Thanks to Chalicea for a lovely pleasant puzzle and see you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open,

Music today, try this!

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: hare+ray+sing=hair-raising

108 comments on “DT 29640 (Hints)

  1. What a fabulous crossword! It is difficult to select a COTD and the classic misdirections in both 4d and 28a are great but 28a gets it by a whisker. A **/**** offering in my view. Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for taking a break to do the hints.

  2. Another good puzzle for this week although there were a couple I had to bung in. One such was 3d, in which I could not see what vets had to do with the answer. I thought 5a was quite compact and all that was needed was to do exactly what the clue said. However, my COTD was the slightly cheeky 15d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to Tilsit for the hints which I will now read.

    1. Steve,

      Thought very clever clue, as you strip the words in the phrase beginning ‘asked’ of their outside letters. Hope that is allowed and helps?

      1. Welcome to the blog Cotswold lad and many thanks. I now see why my bung in was correct. I would have seen it from Tilsit’s hint but I hadn’t read them when I posted.

        Hope to hear from you again. :good:

  3. Would have been read and write except I managed to write 17d into 19d. Soon unpicked by 23a.

    Gentle but enjoyable.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  4. Flew through this earlier, which leaves lots of time outside tidying up. Cold wind here though.
    1d clever and amusing.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter

  5. 15d gets my nod too for top clue from this very accessible but hugely entertaining puzzle. I would expect this to be very well received by the commentariat as there is nothing obscure or terribly difficult to upset anyone. Great fun.

    Thanks setter and Tilsit.

          1. Thanks for a lovely start to the day lady setter. Every bit as pleasant as the wall to wall blue sky and sunshine we are enjoying in the Highlands.
            Thank you also to Tilsit.

        1. Isn’t this a double negative and therefore means Brian did find something to criticise? 😊

          1. Or it could be read as “Not any Brian found nothing to criticise ….. (“our Brian” being their spokesman).

            1. Sorry that just confirms the double negative (sun fried brain probably) tried to edit but too late please ignore.

  6. In contrast to yesterday’s puzzle, this was straightforward, with enough challenge to be absorbing and thoroughly enjoyable ( 1*/4*). 28a was my COTD, followed closely by 16d (very clever but it took a moment for the penny to drop). 3d and 12a were pretty good too. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. Wrote mine before I read yours but seems we are ad idem on this one and yesterday’s

  7. Well this was a quick one! Opposite of yesterday which I have yet to finish. Last two in were 7d and 10a the latter because I stupidly couldn’t parse, and the former because I had the wrong answer for 16a. The others which needed more than one look were in the SE. Favourites 28a and 7 15 and 16d. Thanks Setter and Tilsit – I’ll now enjoy the hints and the other comments.

  8. After a pleasant day yesterday walking round Epping Forest I didn’t get round to ProXimal’s back page puzzle & made the mistake of beginning it at ten to midnight. Needless to say it wasn’t a quick solve & got into all sorts of knots with the weed & was suitably ruffled with with 10a. If that one was A Level maths this one, thankfully, was pre calculus & a brisk & straightforward solve & a thoroughly enjoyable one too. 15d just nicks it over the tricky wordplay in 3d for my pick of the clues.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit.

  9. A very enjoyable crossword which I managed in good time considering I am using the IPad with the web page. Even though I saved the solution that has now disappeared and can’t find a way to re-load. So I have nothing to reference. But I did enjoy unravelling 3dn and 28ac.

    I am still in hospital having had an op yesterday. All seems to be well and maybe the change of air is helping me overcome the iPad issues😎

    Thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

    1. Hope you’re making good progress, SW. This was quite good fun as SPP’s go and may have helped to cheer you up. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    2. Get well soon. Never a good time to be in hospital but now it is more stressful than usual.

      1. Well it’s Italy so I couldn’t be more surprised about the efficiency of Covid screening at this hospital anyway. The stressful part is the administration and actually getting inside. But considering I noticed my condition a few weeks before Christmas, but thought it was down to me foolishly unloading 50kg containers of oil, as it worsened I eventually went to doctor in January. Since then I have had several one on one with him, 2 interventions in hospital, 1 face-on surgeon consultation and an op. I think that is amazing for Italy!

        Thank you all for best wishes.

            1. Not my school meals. In a Sunday Times survey they scored 1/10. “Nightmare school food”. The cook was sacked on the Monday.

  10. One of the easier Saturdays that I can remember, in my opinion. It flowed steadily and the gaps were soon filled. All over in ** time. I didn’t even mark a single clue as an ‘um’.

    There did seem to be a clothing theme running through it.

    Many thanks to the compiler and Tilsit.

  11. After a slow start this quickly fell into place, some light relief after yesterday’s battle.
    Lots of great clues – my favourites were 9a for the surface read, 13a as it made me smile and 3d which I thought was very clever.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  12. Lovely crossword completed just in time before Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion.

    H has bounced back very well after her operation and we are back to walking our usual distances now. Lola is doing well and we are looking forward to the vet’s opinion next week.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Neil Young – Young Shakespeare (live at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut).

    Thanks to the excellent setter, and the busy Tilsit.

  13. After yesterday’s marathon, this was a welcome change. All done and dusted quickly but an enjoyable exercise all the same. */*** Favourite 3d. A neatly constructed clue. Thanks to all.

  14. 3d and 15d are my favourites in today’s enjoyably straightforward grid. Fastest finish for me yet for a SPP, but nonetheless engaging and fun to solve. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s compiler. * / ***

    Happy Easter, everyone.

    1. I am reading a book entitled ‘Lev’s Violin’ by Helena Attlee. It is an account of her investigation into the history of an old violin, which she hears, when the soloist steps forwards at a concert and prooduces a most beautiful sound. She is intrigued, when he tells her that it came from Russia but is said to have been made in Cremona. I can recommend it, Robert

  15. Superb puzzle today with lots of excellent clues esp 7d and my favourite 18a. A better end to the week than it started, lets hope that the DT is a little kinder to us next week when we can return to the Toughies being more difficult than the cryptics.
    This was fun to solve and very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

  16. Phew! What a relief after yesterday. All good fun. I really liked 3d, 15d and 28a, but I have several other ticks as well. Thank you setter and Tilsit.

  17. 24d was the only clue to really make me think, but after yesterday I’m grateful!
    Thoroughly enjoyed it though, so thanks to all involved

  18. A very enjoyable SPP ‘straightening out’ what has been a topsy-turvy puzzling week – **/****.
    I might even be persuaded to agree with Tilsit on the identity of the setter.
    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 18a, 20a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  19. Must have been relatively easy as finished (redacted) which must be a record for me. Loved 18a, made me laugh!

    1. We ask that people don’t mention solving times, however vaguely they do it, in order not to discourage those who take longer

  20. 2*/4.5*. It was a bit of a shame to see one of the answers appearing in a clue which crossed it, but, that apart, I thought this was an excellent puzzle – not too tricky and a lot of fun.

    My top two from a very good selection were 3d & 15d.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit.

  21. As she popped in @5, I’m assuming that Chalicea penned this enjoyable SPP so many thanks to her.
    My favourite for the smile it produced was 7d and that was closely followed by 15d.

    Thanks also to Tilsit for the Saturday Club. I couldn’t get the clip to play but no doubt I can catch up with it on YouTube.

  22. Lovely puzzle which I enjoyed very much. Lots of favourites, but I particularly liked 7d…at last a homophone that works for me!
    I think there is a bottom pun in the quick crossword.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit .

    Beautiful sunshine here in Dundee today if a little cool. I rather think ‘today’ is the operative word in that sentence.

        1. Oh Calamity!
          I made a mistake in fact with the last word across the bottom…..in my desperation to find a pun I thought it was ‘dull’ which sort of means lazy…..and gives a pun. Then I didn’t bother to solve the rest of the clues…..
          So it turns out that I am the dull and lazy one!

  23. I found this Saturday offering quite benevolent compared to a few recent ones. **/**** for today.
    Some nice clues for COTD candidates including 5a, 13a, 20a, 7d & 15d with winner 15d and runner up 13a. Got a good laugh out of both 7d and 20a

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

    1. They are in the same family – Leporidae. Mind you, they have very different lifestyles so I tend to agree with you.

        1. Not heard of jugged rabbit. Hare was ok the only time I tried it 50 odd years ago

          1. We have both in France.
            Civet de Lapin is a very popular dish but it is considered as a poor man’s alternative to the Civet de Lievre.

            1. Thanks for that. I’d try civet de lièvre again if you could find it on a menu somewhere. Only in France I expect

  24. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints. A super puzzle, plenty of wit and some really clever clues. I liked the fact that the word “hides” was in 11a. I thought 5a was original. I liked 18a, 1&3d, but my favourite was 13a, which conjured up visions of an industrial chemical works, nice wordplay. Was 2* /4* for me. Looking forward to more puzzles from this setter. Great fun.

  25. Great puzzle with some very good clues. 18 and 20a, 1and 15d, but 23a is my favourite today because of it startling simplicity and cleverness.

    Thanks to Tilsit and Chalicea for a wonderful Saturday lunchtime experience.

  26. Started hesitantly but then breezed through, only held up by 3d as I had the word but for the life of me had no reason why it should be so and so thanks Tilsit for enlightening me what now looks so obvious. Also was being more religious in my synonyms for the puritan, since it is Easter week. Cheers Setter for loads of excellent clues and fun.

  27. First impression was that this was going to be troublesome but pressed on regardless and all was well in the end. Wasn’t sure about 12a or 27a but bunged in nevertheless. 9a and 28a were joint straightforward Favs. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit especially for giving us the special John Williams performance.

  28. Brilliant crossword. All done and dusted over breakfast. Very much enjoyed after failing abysmally yesterday. Thought 3d was very clever. But too many great clues to pick a favourite. Big thank you to the lady setter. And to Tilsit for fitting this into his busy day. Can only hope Dada will be as kind tomorrow.

  29. I loved this – thank you, Chalicea, and Happy Easter weekend to you,
    I just know that I being super-dim but I can’t see why my 23a is right, assuming that it is.
    Far too many candidates for my one permitted favourite but I think I’ll go for 15d.
    Thanks again to Chalicea and to Tilsit (and to anyone for a shove for 23a)
    Bread about to come out of the oven and brownies about to go in then garden, maybe.

    1. 23a is a great clue, Kath. Assuming you have the correct answer – given the checkers, you should have – look again at your answer. At the risk of the naughty step, think more about “carefully remove”.

    2. My Thursday RayT reviewer might put
      To a word meaning to move carefully (into perhaps) add the first of loose to give a supporting framework used by an artist possibly

    3. Oh dear, oh dear – just how dim is it possible to be – actually don’t answer that! :roll:
      Thanks very much to both of you.

  30. I found this fairly straightforward after yesterday’s super puzzle. No real stand-outs for me last in being 14d. And a terrific win for the mighty West Brom. Chilly in East Hertfordshire.

  31. Looking at my answers again, I am pretty sure I have the right word for 16d, but I cannot see how it works.

    Anyone willing to risk the naughty step to help me out ?

    1. If you get something wrong and you are put right you xxxxx xxxxxxxxx. Not willing to give more as I have already risked the naughty step for Kath.

  32. This was very enjoyable compared to the slog of yesterday, just a couple of little hold ups but got there in the end so thanks to the setter and Tilsit. If anyone has got the time, could they spell out to someone quite dim, me, why the answer to 1a in yesterday’s Toughie was wooden and how it has a connection to 13. Although there were other comments about that clue, I still couldn’t fathom it. Its a bit depressing when you look at the hint, reveal the answer and are still baffled. Thanks to someone out there who can help.

    1. Go to the Toughie blog and look at the hints that were given to me by Dutch and Miffypops. That cleared it up for me. Hope this helps.

      1. Well, thanks for trying but I still don’t understand how it relates to the number 13! I’m obviously having a serious brain bypass.

        1. It relates to the answer to 13a. The answer to that clue was ‘stupid’, so 1a answer – wooden – is a synonym of stupid, according to chambers. Hope that helps. It took me ages to write it as it sounded like I was calling you stupid rather than the answer to 13a!

          1. Thanks everyone, feel a complete prat! Never occurred to me to look at clue 13. Time to open the bar I think.

  33. What a joy this crossword was. Smooth surface readings and smiles aplenty. All over too quickly, */****. Thanks everyone.

  34. What a delight after yesterday’s trial by fire. Difficult to choose a podium contender from a broad field but 15d made me smile. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  35. Now, THAT is what I call a crossword! You are a star Chalicea of the first order. I didn’t need any help except for 22d, living in America, shoot can only mean one thing.
    I really shouldn’t choose a fave, I’m tempted to say 3d, but what about 15d? Or 4d? Or 18a? See what I mean?
    Thanks Chalicea, I love you, and to Tilsit for his hints and tips.

  36. Thanks to Chalicea for this very enjoyable crossword.
    Loved the humour throughout.
    Favourite 15d also.
    Thanks to Tilsit for the hints.

  37. Really enjoyed today’s puzzle, CsOTD were 4,22 and 28.
    Regards and Happy Easter to everyone.

  38. Tilsit
    I’m Interested in that this blog is influenced by you being at work.
    Is this good news on both the health and work front? You mentioned redundancy?
    Sorry if I am being intrusive but you know how we bloggers care about these things. We always want the best for each other!

  39. A very fine crossword, thank you Chalicea! 15d made me smile the most, so that can be my clue of the day! Thanks to the hard working Tilsit but no hints needed today.

  40. 2*/5*…enjoyed this one…
    liked 18A “What superhero might have on the outside? (9)”..recalls cartoons of an ex PM.

  41. Excellent. Not difficult, but impeccably clued. I was very pleased that the crossword was straightforward as there was much to do on the allotment, but at lease the second early potatoes are in.
    Thanks setter and Tilsit for the hints.

  42. Your comments are a joy to read and have made my Easter really happy (especially Brian’s!) I confess that 15d was my own favourite clue too. Setting is so rewarding when there is such a generous response. Warm wishes for Easter to all of you.
    The editor insisted on adding the ‘rabbit’ to my quickie clue which was originally just ‘Run quickly’, on the grounds that my clue could lead to so many solutions and that word was essential for the quickie pun. I wondered who would comment.

  43. A bit late commenting on this as we took ages finishing yesterday’s which we didn’t start until late this afternoon. Thoroughly enjoyed it and favourite was 18a. Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  44. Loved it, actually finished on the Saturday which is rare for me. Got 3d but no idea why until I looked at the hint.
    By the way, I think that the hint for 12a includes part of the answer rather than the clue.
    Also, what do the **/*** type notations mean in some of the comments?
    Thanks for a great puzzle and the helpful hints.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The weekday blogs give star ratings for difficulty and enjoyment so commenters are saying how hard/fun they found the crossword

      1. Thank you crypticsue, I have been wondering about the *s for a while.

        Nice to see the 12a hint modified as well.

  45. Picked up today and completed in shorter time than usual – most unusual so must have been an easy one. Wasn’t sure about 3d until I read your clue. Not sure what to do now!

  46. Managed the prize crossword without too much headscratching. It was the Quick Crossword that caused me greater problems. Anybody else have the same problem? 🤔😡

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