DT 29646 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29646 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29646 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Welcome to another chilly Saturday in Crosswordland – I’ve two thoughts on who set this Prize Puzzle so I’ll be interested to see if one of them turns up to claim responsibility. I’m a last minute stand-in for the hard-working Tilsit and have to have lunch quite promptly today as Mr CS has his second jab this afternoon. This means that I’ve not been able to add illustrations to these quickly bashed out hints (which may please some more than others).

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. If you need help with any other clues, just ask

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    Wet bear hid nuts for food (5,5)
A nice friendly anagram (nuts) to start us off

9a   Name European plant in allotment (10)
The abbreviation for European and a verb meaning to plant, inserted into an allotment

23a    See pin has damaged letter (9)
This Biblical letter is an anagram (damaged) of SEE PIN HAS

24a    Flatter fizzy drinks for the audience (4)
A homophone (for the audience) of some fizzy drinks

29a    Oppose token performance (10)
Synonyms for a token and a performance


1d    Part of speech that’s hummed out loud (4)
This part of speech is a homophone (out loud) of a verb meaning to spin with a humming noise

5d    Number initially applauded on stage (6)
The initial letter of applauded and a verb meaning to stage

14d     Fortune-hunter in favour of area seizing power
A way of saying in favour of and an area ‘seizing’ the abbreviation for power

17d    Stirring part of service (8)
A cryptic definition with a deceptive surface reading – you need to think of a particular type of service

25d    Hurry, hide! (4)
A double definition – one a verb, the other a noun

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.

The Quick Crossword pun: tailors+whiffed=Taylor Swift


87 comments on “DT 29646 (Hints)

  1. Up at 7am, I saw that the weather forecast was for a bright and sunny day until mid-afternoon. I stripped the beds, gathered all the white towels and shirts and put the machine on for a 3-hour whites wash. By 10:00 it was snowing.

    To the crossword, pretty standard fare for a Saturday, I felt. Completed in ***/**** time, 23a was my last in. The church lector in me would argue that it isn’t a letter, but unless the naughty step has chocolate- and calorie-free snacks, I won’t say more.

    I did like 13a, a very neat clue. Now, If only I could complete the Quickie . . .

    Many thanks to the setter and CS.

    PS, CS, some of your across clues have d suffixes.

    1. For some reason, the blog template shows all the clue numbers, both across and down as, eg, 13d. So when you aren’t in as much hurry as I was, you do remember to change the Across ones.

        1. I agree, 3 hours! I do a towel wash, a bedlinen wash, and a general wash. They all take 57 minutes! Life’s too short to separate the colours. I’m impressed Malcolm, David wouldn’t even know how to turn the machine on.

          1. For good whites, they need 3 hours. A set of bed linen, towels and a dozen shirts all on the line at the same time does look quite impressive. All the rest go on a general mixed programme that’s about 90 minutes.

            1. Agree, whites needed to be washed separately, in hottest water to sanitizing sheets and towels etc. I follow with a load of non whites in not so hot, and then a delicates load. But over here in sunny south Florida we are not allowed to hang the washing outside. I used to have a very kind neighbour in England who would take my dry washing in when it looked like rain, and leave it on my covered back porch.

              1. I didn’t know that about hanging washing outside here! I used to all the time, I love the smell of laundry dried on the line. I no longer do washing, thank goodness!

            2. Come to think of it, I don’t think we have anything that is white – everything is quite colourful!

            3. Well, all our bedlinen is white – like Mr. Ford and his motors, there is only one colour for bedlinen. But a Bosch 57 minute cycle and a good
              blow on the line and I would defy anyone to have whiter whites. I!!! Underwear and shirts have 15 mins. But hey ho, each to his own – you say
              Potartoes and I say Potaytoes, as long as we are all happy with our washing who cares. I happen to like ironing, so everything goes under a hot
              iron which hopefully kills all those bugs not hit by the washing detergent (non-bio of course).
              Incidentally, like my mother before me, in the summer tea towels and face flannels are spread out on the lawn to dry in the sun, that is how Irish linen
              was bleached historically and why we have Laundress Green in Cambridge. All the bedders , sheet washers from the colleges, laid the washing on
              the grass. I shall crawl back into my shell now.

    2. I used to speak in washing cycles rather than cups of tea for solving times. Your white program is perfect for an Elgar toughie.

  2. An enjoyable Saturday puzzle, with some absorbing clues and unusual synonyms, cloaked by clever misdirection. I found myself needing the Thesaurus nore than I normally would (3*/4 5*). Iiked 8d,11d and, dare I say it, 23a, which Brian won’t like. However 15a was my COTD. Many thanks to CS for stepping into the breach with the hints andcto the compiler.

  3. 2*/4*. What’s not to like? Nice brief cluing, smooth surfaces, and good fun. 5d was my last one in because, after I had worked out the answer from the definition and checking letters, it took me a while to twig the synonym needed for “stage”.

    The ingenious 4d was probably my favourite, but 3d was a clever anagram, and 5d deserves a mention for being the hardest nut to crack.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for taking the reins at the last minute.

  4. Only hold up was at 20ac.. was it to do with Pottery (Mrs SW is a potter) or the dreaded Harry Potter (haven’t read it and certainly haven’t seen it)? No help from Mrs SW so concentrated on the latter and eventually prised out a solution from the remainder of the clue. Google confirmed and with croosers in place the rest followed.

    Thanks to setter and CS

  5. I found this slightly harder than usual for a Saturday but it was all the more enjoyable for it. I suspect it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it very entertaining. 23a and 11d were my co-favourites, with 24a somewhat bizarrely my final entry.

    Many thanks to our setter for the fun, and to CS for stepping in to do the hints.

  6. I got stuck on 17d so thank you Cryptic Sue for the hint it is a very clever clue (and 1d too!). (PS for the competitions, like some people last week, I prefer no pictures)

  7. The West Side was a good story for me but the East Side was a struggle with 6a & 10a holding out the longest . My standout clue is 17d .
    A fine prize crossword providing a worthy challenge .
    My wife and I joined the second jab club on Thursday with no reactions yet so , hopefully , we can spread our wings shortly .
    Thanks to the Setter and well done Sue .

  8. Found this tough for a Saturday which took me to **** time. Then a little fed up I resorted to e help for my LOI 11d. Clever and gets my COTD.
    Didn’t enjoy overmuch but am a bit brain dead after watching late night golf . Some synonyms took too much head scratching. Think it could well divide opinion a little.
    Thanks to setter and CS for providing hints BD and the team do us proud again.
    Mrs LrOK and I have second jabs this afternoon.

  9. A great puzzle with high quality clues. It took a while for the penny to drop on 23a and my other hold up was on 20a which I think I have got right but I am not sure why! I assume it is some literary reference. Thanks to crypticsue for standing in and the setter for being so ingenious. A rating of ***/**** pour moi.

  10. I found this a bit of a slog and I was beaten by three of the four letter clues. I bunged in a couple of answers but I cannot parse them or link them in any way to the clues. The ones I am unsure about are 6a, 24a and 1d, Even with two checkers in each I cannot make sense of them. Despite struggling with these, there were some good clues and I particularly liked 4d and 8d. My COTD is 29a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the challenge and to the rushed Crypticsue whose efforts are greatly appreciated.

    1. I could offer to swap you your 3 4-letter answers for my 1 (26a), which I think I have but don’t understand last bit.
      Having said that, we can’t, because of the naughty step, so we’ll just have to wait……

      1. I’ve used electrons on my three elusive four letter clues, Bluebird. I got one right and two wrong! I’ve been trying to think of a way to give you a hint with regard to 26a but the naughty step looms over everything I think of. :grin:

        1. Ah, I’ve just got it! I was looking for the wrong solution – the bit they underline……. ssh!

    2. Steve, I noticed your comment yesterday about Boscombe Down….were you stationed there? My Father was in the Met Office in at Boscombe Down in the 60s. Very exciting to see all sorts of jets when I was growing up!

  11. A very pleasant, just about right, SPP – **/****.
    Favourite – a toss-up between 4d and 8d – and the winner is 8d.
    Thanks to the setter, I have one idea of who it might be, and to CS.

  12. I found this tricky and need a couple of sittings to crack, but ultimately satisfying.
    Mostly got held up in the NW, needed the penny to drop on 1d to give me 9a and the final checkers for 4d and 5d (my LOI).
    I thought 4d and 17d were the stand out clues.
    Thanks to the setter and CS

  13. I found this one tough going. I’m not quite sure why 6a is what it is. Seems a weak synonym to me but possibly I’m on the wrong track altogether. Likewise, 4d is a mystery to me. It was a bung in that proved to be correct but I can’t compute all those names into the answer. 24a took a while and It’s a definite hmm, really? to me. 27a is a clever clue and my favourite today. ***/** Thanks to all.

  14. Briefly held up by 24a and 11d, but enjoyed the solve. Freezing wind in West Sussex today, so I’ll find something to do indoors!
    Thanks to CS and the setter

  15. I enjoyed most of it. Not a fast solve but a steady one, with a good variety of types of clue.
    Too many runners up to list, but my favourite was 4d – I always forget that indicator till I’m forced into it.
    Thanks to CrypticSue and to the setter.

    Have booked 2nd jab for next Sat (only 10 weeks gap). Our area is one of the speediest in the UK. I could have had yesterday but I decided to go for a morning appt this time in case of reactions…….

  16. Well that is odd because we sailed through this in record time! Strange how sometimes things just click. 5d was last one in and there were so many delicious clues, 27a, 8d and many more. Thanks to CS for stepping in and to the setter. Cold and very wet here in Cambridge I wish I could be a dormouse.

  17. Like Rory at Augusta I was all over the place with this one & completion time took me well into Toughie territory but there was at least a sense of satisfaction in getting there in the end. The south was one giant Amen Corner. My biblical ignorance meant all checkers were required for 23a & the penny took an eternity to drop for 17d. Having never read or seen any of 20a that one took a while too & finally there was 24a where once the correct definition meaning dawned on me it still necessitated mentally trawling through the alphabet & the answer certainly wasn’t a synonym I’d readily think of.
    Enjoyed it a lot. The downs had it for me with this one – 4,5,8,11&17 all stood out.
    Thanks to the setter & to CS for stepping in.

  18. Three quarters were a nice challenge but SE did need a bit of prompting. I agree with MalcolmR 23a is not a letter but they are the recipients of one. Am not a Potter fan hence 20a didn’t occur to me and IMHO 17d is not really part of the service. Thank you Mysteron and CS (didn’t miss the illustrations).

  19. Well for me this was the toughest puzzle of the week and certainly the toughest Saturday one for a while. *****/**
    Clues I liked include 1a, 15a, 4d, 8d & 11d. Some really convoluted clues but winner 8d with some . Lots of bung ins as they fit but still cannot figure out all the parsing. SE was the toughest part

    Thanks to setter and CS for hints

  20. Harder than most Saturdays. Did anyone else think there could have been two legitimate answers to 25D? [redacted]

    1. It is quite difficult to edit comments while using a phone in a car park so if people could obey the instructions in red this would be much appreciated

      The answer to your question is probably no but why not come back and discuss the matter when BD’s review of this crossword is published on Friday morning

    2. I hadn’t thought of two possible answers until I read your comment but now I think I agree with you. I also think that we’d better do as CS has asked us to do and read the review when it comes out on Friday – far too wet and miserable to go and sit on the doorstep of the naughty corner! :sad:

      1. Glad someone agrees with me. Hope you entered the right one. Back to the naughty step; rightly deserved!

  21. Slowly but surely worked my way through this one. I quite enjoyed unravelling all the clues. 4d was my favourite clue once I’d realised what to with it. Thank you setter and Cryptic Sue.

  22. I’m in the ‘bit of a slog’ camp today but no doubt the blame lies with me rather than our setter. I just found it rather difficult to agree some of the synonyms and definitions, wavelength issues I suppose!
    I did rather like 9a & 8d so those get my votes today.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for stepping up to the mark at short notice.

  23. Those pesky 4 letter ones held me up for ages, 1d last one in. Enjoyed the tussle though. Have been given a Mini as a courtesy car for a couple of days – how do you open the windows!? Like riding in a tin can, a very small tin can.

      1. Where is the crash hat HJ?
        Publican (retired), coffin maker, crossword reviewer, motoring agony aunt & Hell’s Angel in mufti. Is there no limit to the man’s talent?

  24. Enjoyed this puzzle and was on target for ***time, but the four letter clues held me up, still haven’t got 6a, despite electric help and many revisits.
    Thanks to setter and CS for her hints.

  25. For me, the 6a clue did not make at all clear whether the answer required was a synonym for annoy or place. Both are possible – I took a stab that it was the latter.

  26. As Rabbit Dave, 5d was my last one in and it took ages although the synonym for stage is widely used in France.
    Had the last two letters wrong in 11d for a while.
    Thanks to the setter and to CS for the hints.

  27. Finding this a bit of a slog today, so glad I still have yesterday’s to do. By the time we got back from Friday morning errands, and read all the tributes to Prince Philip we had no crossword time left. What a great man.

  28. Definitely a slogging day, and I regret I didn’t really enjoy this much, although I am usually fairly easy to please. Too many obscure synonyms and a couple of semi-cryptic clues which generated groans to my long-suffering better half.
    I would be grateful for expansion of the two possible solutions to 25d ( see comment 20) as mine described a type of skin and a verb meaning to rush along. What was the other one, Graham?

  29. I thought this was difficult and the general style felt a bit unfamiliar – no idea who the setter might be.
    I ended up being completely stuck with my last two – 20 and 23a – lack of general knowledge, again – no biblical GK at all and none of that ‘Potter’ either – CS’s hint sorted me out with 23a and then started to look at ‘Potter’ in a different way.
    Having finished now and re-reading all the clues again I thought there were some good ones, including 13 and 27a and 1 and 11d. My favourite was 4d – getting wise to that construction now, and about time too!
    Thank you to the setter for the crossword and to CS for standing in at short notice.
    What a thoroughly miserable day – absolutely pouring with rain and 4C in Oxford.

  30. I found this mostly a pleasant solve except for the SE, that was a total roadblock. I needed to go in for some hints, then e-help once I had some more checkers. My churched and chapelled schooling helped with 23a and the anagram. I was encouraged when 1a jumped out at me but, alas, I needed far too much e-help. I thought 4d was clever, but fave has to be 17d even though it took forever to get it.
    Thank you setter for the enjoyment. You’re a star CrypticSue, thank you. I hope Tilsit is well.

  31. I enjoyed this a lot despite getting totally stuck in the SE corner and having to resort to electrons. Once I’d worked out who the potter was it all began to fall into place. I let out an audible groan for the brilliant 17d. Thanks to CS and the mystery setter. ***/****

  32. Any guesses as to who the setter could be are noticeable by their absence – anyone?
    Still raining and still cold at 3.4C. :sad: Who said anything about Spring?

    1. Hate to brag Kath but it’s been lovely in Lancashire and we’ve been working in the garden all afternoon! Hope it cheers up for you tomorrow.

  33. A bit of a slog but an ok crossword. Thanks to Cryptic Sue for standing in at short notice and to the setter.

  34. Having unexpectedly raced through yesterday’s puzzle, I found this one far more tricky and, more significantly, much less enjoyable. I resorted to some ehelp to get it done and will now move on to more appealing pastimes. Clearly, others will have had differing views! Thank you for the clues …

    1. I agree with Cypher. Having with difficulty achieved ten answers I resorted to e-help and still have not found the answer to 20a. Nothing to cheer me up after the sad news we have had of the death of Philip. Many thanks to CS for all her efforts.

  35. An enjoyable crossword slightly spoiled by 23a and 17d.

    I presume 23a is obscure even for people knowledgeable in that subject.

    For 17d I was thinking of a military method of stirring troops. When this was obviously incorrect I resorted to Google. Quite what the answer has to do with service is a mystery to me.

    1. You just have to think more laterally and what type of service it could be (something quintessentially British).

  36. It appears that Souffriere has blown her top again. Please spare a thought for the folk of St. Vincent (and the animals).

  37. 24a – maybe its too obvious (?), but I have no idea
    HELP ! (a little)

    Not many hints today – so as someone who always uses them, I actually enjoyed it more than usual

    1. It’s difficult to provide a more helpful hint than the one CS has given. Just think of which common fizzy drinks can be bought.

    2. In the ‘olden day’s, a ‘few’ hints meant just the number I provided – things have certainly changed these days, today’s Sunday ‘few’ helps with a lot more than half the clues

  38. My best wishes to all of those of you who have (or have had) second jabs today. Mine was last Monday, and I’m still rather sluggish and only somewhat able to think cryptically. (Mine was by Pfizer, however, and I don’t think that vaccine is available in the UK.) I did manage today’s excellent if tough puzzle fairly well except for 11a, and I needed an electronic assist (two letters) to solve it and finish the puzzle. Thanks to CS for stepping in suddenly and to today’s setter. **** / ****

    Finished A Farewell to Arms earlier in the week and am now re-reading For Whom the Bell Tolls–and thus ends my Hemingway quasi-retrospective.

    1. We’ve had both jabs – Pfizer. We’ve got Pfizer and AZ. Moderna just being started in Wales

  39. I tackle the Saturday cryptic without help, just using my brain, going back to it 3 or 4 times during the day. On Sunday I turn to Big Dave and a thesaurus to help me complete it. It’s my way.

      1. Hello Big Dave

        Three years ago, I decided to start doing the DT Saturday Cryptic (and Quick but recently have since dropped the Quick). Being registered blind, I have Dolphin SuperNova software and the Tech chap I know set it all up so I can print off the cryptic on one-and-about-a-fifth of A4 Sheets, put them on my CCTV, magnify and read the clues (peripherallyword by word. To begin with I needed a lot of help which, on he R&E forum I was given by several posters who like most of the ones whose comments I have read today (for the very first time!) can finish in an hour or two. Some of them take me until Wednesday! But then I have no ambition to go in for prizes.

        Discovered your Blog about a year later and have referred to it more in the last year.

        I have occasionally completed the cryptic, with no help by 6:30 p.m. on the Saturday. :) In this one 6 across I could not do and had to ask for help. I still haven’t quite finished it.

        1. Welcome to the blog

          How wonderful that there is technology to help you solve crosswords

          1. Thank you for response. However, although the printer and the CCTV enable me to see the words, they don’t actually do the solving of clues!! :)

            I read that book ‘Pretty girl in pink rose’ and have gradually learnt to think about the words in the clues differently, i.e. separately.

  40. Well, normal service was resumed with this offering. Having solved the last 3 or 4 Saturday puzzles with no hold ups in record time this Saturday ran in to Sunday morning. COTD 15a.
    Thanks to all.

  41. I just could not get my head around today’s puzzle. 6a, 4d in particular – was it an unusual setter?

    Thanks CS for the clues


  42. Thanks to everyone who commented, and apologies to anybody who found this a bit of a slog. I will own up to being the compiler of this puzzle …

    1. You were at the top of my short list of two (the other being the NY Door Knob) but in the end I decided it was more ‘you’ than ‘him’

    2. Left this one for a while as was unable to finish it. Finally got there!! SE was really tricky and sadly got 25d wrong with BEAT which it did ☹️

  43. Whew! What a slog. Never a good sign when I don’t see any on the first pass. It was a real grind even when I got moving and it took ages for the NE to yield. Gratified that I wasn’t the only one to feel this way: thanks for the fellow-feeling.

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