DT 29676 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29676 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29676 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from a gloomy and moist Warrington!

An enjoyable puzzle, a little more challenging than the past few weeks. After solving the first two clues in the bottom right corner, it had me on the hunt for a pangram, and sure enough it was visible. This does have all the hallmarks of our traditional Saturday setter, Cephas. A few clues to make me smile and all in all, a nice way to pass time on a Saturday morning.

Let us know what you think. As usual, remember this is a prize puzzle so do not post answers on here. The naughty step is quite soggy today and you’ll end up with a wet bum!

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 Inappropriate of problem daughter to purchase magazine (3-5)
A phrase meaning inappropriate is revealed taking something meaning problem or troublesome, and an abbreviation for daughter with the name of a famous American magazine inside.

9a Blonde careless entering marsh (6)
Inside a word for a marsh (think E Anglia) and insert a word meaning careless.

11a Where foxes go to be practical (4-2-5)
A phrase meaning to be practical or basic, is the name for where a fox may go to be with his family.

14a Moon starer, possibly (10)
An old chestnut anagram that defines itself.

16a Enthusiasm shown by last letter oddly missing from bedsit (4)
The last letter of the alphabet, plus the word bedsit minus the odd letters.

17a Disorder, Georgia’s audible deception went away (7,3)
An illness is found by taking the possessive abbreviation for the state, and adding something that sounds like a deception or con took flight.

19a Device showing if someone’s been at the gin? (6,5)
I did wonder if there were two answers to this as there is an American device for measuring alcohol levels that could conceivably fit in. However, it’s not referred to in any of the major dictionaries. You’re looking for a device that could be cryptically used to described how you would visibly know if someone had been at the gin.

23a Fine-tune commercial exactly (6)
A short word for a commercial and something that means exactly or fair.

25a Back twisted once more? (8)
A way of saying twisted again can also mean something has come back.


2d Flower girl from the valley? (4)
The name for a flower that’s also a girl’s name and with the addition of the phrase can also be another flower.

4d Scotsman before long getting wind (7)
The way a Scottish person could say ‘man’, plus something meaning before long.

5d Surprisingly I’m seen deserving to be an angel (6,9)
An anagram (surprisingly) of I’M SEEN DESERVING gives a word for an angel.

6d Reported soldier’s bitterness (7)
A slang name for a basic non-commissioned soldier sounds like a word for bitterness.

8d Set off twice knowing it’s a spreader of disease (6,3)
Two anagrams of set, plus a (US) word meaning knowing or savvy.

12d Healer’s potatoes cooked and hot (9)
I liked this clue. An anagram of POTATOES plus the abbreviation for hot.

13d Otherwise working on said holy agency of public speaking (10)
A word for an alternative, plus a short way of saying working on, plus the homophone for a holy place (think Delphi!)

17d Pull up gentleman, accepting European is more courageous (7)
Something meaning to pull is reversed. Add to this a word for a gentleman with the abbreviation for European inside.

20d Open some beer (4)
A slang expression for a beer, as in ‘going for _ ___’ is something that means open.

21d Man perhaps erected Helsinki houses (4)
What Man is, can be found hidden backwards inside Helsinki.

Big thanks to our setter for an enjoyable challenge. Do let us know your thoughts. I’ll see you next week from somewhere different.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Our music today is something from one of the most talented performers around.

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: wreck+ignition=recognition

114 comments on “DT 29676 (Hints)

  1. Struggled for a while to parse 24a (just got it). Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks all.

    1. That’s exactly the one I still can’t get!!
      Is it the “s” word, or is it the “b” word? …. all help appreciated.

      1. I chose the B because having realised what a pangram is, I don’t think there is another B in it, is there??! I must have another look later to check

      2. If you think of the word used for the promotional description you often find printed on the cover or flyleaf of a book, and then shorten that word (“most of”), it will give you another word for smear.

  2. My physio has always told me that if you are going to work-out three times a week, it should be on consecutive rather than alternate days. Well, this is the second consecutive heavy work-out for me. I got to the finish again, but really struggled. I couldn’t parse 13d fully and my repetition radar alarm went off at 9a; I’m sure we had that earlier this week.

    All over in **** time, with thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. I’m in the same boat with 13d. I could parse enough to bung it in and Tilsit’s hint helped.

      1. Me too. Got the first & last part but not the working on bit. Close enough for me so bung in & move on.

  3. Pleasant enough. Highlight was spotting the pangram which helped with 23 & 24a. Like Jonners I struggled to parse 24a for a while before the penny dropped. No particular favourite today.
    Thanks to all

  4. 2*/4*. This made a pleasant and very enjoyable diversion for a miserable Saturday morning. The short and sweet 15a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  5. I struggled to get into this one but finally began to make a breakthrough in the bottom half and things got better up from there (2*/3.5*). It was definiteky toghr than the usual Cephas puzzle and, although I finished it, there were two clues that I couldn’t parse. For once I realised it was a pangram too. 17d puzzled me for a bit but, once the penny dropped it was a great clue. Joint clues of the day were the amusing 11a and 17a. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints. It’s pouring here in Oxfordshire too but at least I managed to plant my outdoor tomatoes in between downpours yesterday. Thanks to the compiler. It was a good challenge.

  6. There are often similar clues in the DT over a week or so. But 9a is same clue, same answer and same location as yesterday’s Toughie. Strange?

  7. This was short but very sweet. NW was last to yield. 6a bung-in was last to be parsed as I stupidly overlooked I would and I’m not sure I “get” 24a. Fav was 19a. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit (particularly for Nicola Benedetti’s soothing input).

  8. Defeated by 24a as I had the13d ending had a typo. I don’t think I would have solved it though as I have no idea why the answer is what it is.
    Nice puzzle though.
    Busy packing due to an imminent house move. Only moved 18 months ago, but moving to Kent has been a disaster.
    Shame that the crosswords done for today as the Guardian prize is usually a stratosphere above me.
    Thanks all.

      1. Thanks huntsman, I will break my rule and have a look. I have always found them strictly the domain of the ‘Toughiers’ as the puzzles seem to have to conform to the rule ‘tough = good, easy = bad’.

        1. Today’s certainly is (for me anyway) but last week’s beauty was great.

    1. Good luck with the move. It’s always a gamble, and mostly it pays off, except when it doesn’t. Having moved two years ago I vividly remember how much work and upheaval is involved, and I hope you find your shangrila this time.

    2. Why didn’t Kent come up to scratch? Too far from friends and family? I was a Surrey girl but we had relatives in Kent and it seemed pleasant.

      1. I was wondering that too as I grew up in Sussex. All the South East far too busy for my taste now.

        1. We moved to somewhere quite remote on the Grain peninsular. Unfortunately my wife’s MS got much, much worse and the house became a prison to her. Also my son’s girlfriend abandoned her son and left my son to bring up the boy on his own and he is not coping, I need to be there (he lives in Streatham) to help look after him. I’m just too far away.

            1. You have to do what you have to do to support your family, don’t you Hoofit. My husband has peripheral neuropathy and suffers from the after effects of 4 hospitalisations from encephalitis so I know it can be stressful. Make sure you have a support network. As for the son’s girlfriend, what a #@*^₩!

                1. It often runs in families but there is no-one in my husband’s family with it as far as we know. He’s had it for 20 years and the numbness has progressed all the way from his toes to the tops of his legs. He can just about walk with 2 sticks.

          1. As an ex South London person but resident in Kent for donkey’s years now, I’m glad it wasn’t the county that put you off. Really sorry to hear of your struggles. I sincerely hope life improves for you all.

          2. So sorry , my response seems to have morphed from here to 15 where it is totally out of place. I am on my second G and T.

          3. Hoofs, I am so sorry, as I know we all are, to hear of your troubles. I wish you well and hope all works out for the best in the end.

          4. Oh dear, you do have a lot on your plate. Hopefully this move will make life easier for all of you.

    3. 24a is exactly the one I can’t get too!! Could be on dodgy ground if you just bung it in – it seems to me that there’s two clear possibilities … but for the life of me I just can’t see which. Any help appreciated.

  9. Very enjoyable, just what a SPP should be in my opinion although others might say it was not challenging enough – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 17a, and 22a – and the winner is 17a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  10. This came together nicely with no real difficulty. **/*** I suspected a pangram early on but that didn’t really make much difference to the solving of the puzzle as a whole. I didn’t realise the second part of 8d was an American expression. I’m sure I’ve heard it used over here. Favourite 19a. Thanks to all.

  11. Straightforward and rather too much of a quickie for a Saturday Prize puzzle IMV. Some good clues and a welcome relative shortage of anagrams, but I felt the surfaces generally lacked polish. Clues in the Honourable Mentions Club include 16a, 4d (for the broad smile), 13d (for the technique) and 21d, but for me COTD was 19a.


    Many thanks to Setter and to Tilsit.


          1. There are several of them (geniuses) on this site. There may even be a few genii.

      1. Agree Lizzie. Go and do the Guardian prize if it’s too easy for you.

        1. Yesterday was evidently one of those fortuitous and for me relatively uncommon occasions when I immediately synchronised with the Setter’s wavelength. No genius gene, sadly …

  12. Like others 24a was my last to fall and qualifies as an unparsed bung-in. Otherwise this was a lovely puzzle to solve, with19a and the evergreen 14a my top clues. It really has been a vintage week for cryptics in the Telegraph.

    My thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  13. Quickly on wavelength & pangram alert which made for the swiftest solve of the week & no real difficulty other than not fully parsing 13d. Yet to look at yesterday’s Toughie so 9a rang no bells & was my pick of the clues with 10,17&19a my other big ticks. Miserable weather here in Harpenden but doubt whether I’d have been venturing anywhere anyway as I’ve awoken this morning with a post jab thumper of a headache that’s proving resistant to paracetamol – rather akin to a monumental hangover without having enjoyed acquiring it. Hey ho feet up, crosswords, golf at The Belfry& T’s mob in the cup final to help while away the day.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit

    1. I had a thumping headache too, H and, as you say, it doesn’t respond to pain-killers very well. Keeping well hydrated helped, the whacker plate on next-door’s patio construction site didn’t. Just chill out and watch the sport with the odd doze here and there.

    1. Thank you, Cephas for a great puzzle and for dropping in. You beat me on one question but it was most enjoyable.

  14. I was going along happily with this until I wasn’t. I ground to a halt with about six left to enter. I managed to get them all apart from 17a, which I just could not see. In the end I had to resort to electrons and that annoyed me because it means I didn’t finish unaided. I put the wrong second word in 7d and that held me up for quite a while. Still, there was much to like such as 10a, 19a and 4d but I have no COTD today.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Tilsit for the hints.

    Be prepared for cold weather because I put my tomato plants out yesterday! :smile:

    1. I eventually planted out my runner beans last week as they were getting so tall,
      but I suppose now I must put the outside tomatoes into their growbags. My
      camomile lawn has the appearance of very small, sick mustard & cress!

      1. How many do you plant per growbag DG? I’ve got masses more plantlets than I need. I planted some very ancient South African gem squash seed and 3 have come up, really exciting

        1. Well the growbag says three to a bag so being a law abiding citizen that’s what I do. I have another six in the greenhouse which are already in flower – time to start adding the Tomarite. George always says they are the most expensive tomatoes we ever eat the way I nurse them, but the taste IS pretty good!

      2. I plant tomatoes in large pots – one plant per pot. There is not enough compost in a grow bag and I find the plants wither after a few yields of fruit.

        1. Mine went out into our vegetabke plot yesterday. They had to go out as they were growing too tall for the south facing window embrasure in my kitchen!

          1. This is my first year without my allotment so I have bought extra thick grow bags. I shall have to try and barracade them in as we have 5 regular muntjac visitors which eat everything. I’ve just come in from chasing two round the garden – they are extremely pretty but so destructive. The squirrels keep digging up the garlic so I’ve put a grill over the top until they have bedded in. Wildlife – wonderful!

            1. Try chilli powder or flakes sprinkled on the soil in the garlic bed. Squirrels loathe it

            2. It’s amazing, you discover that you are not the only ones suffering almost unbelievable and seemingly insurmountable family problems! My sympathies to all of you. Puts my problems into perspective. We’re all in this together.

  15. I first settled for an American version of 19a (it’s all over Google and Bing, though as Tilsit indicates, perhaps not in British dictionaries) and then, once the online judge deemed that answer unacceptable, I yielded and entered the other answer. (That kind of thing doesn’t happen often, but it is rather unsettling, since checking letters are not affected either way.) Over all, an enjoyable SPP pangram, which I detected early on and probably helped me in the general solve. I think 17d is my COTD, but I also liked 17a and 13d, which was my LOI. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. ** / ****

  16. Lovely way to start Saturday which took my mind off the miserable weather and the wretched Herring Gulls who have decided to nest on my roof again………
    17a reminded me of the poor chap in Open All Hours and my favourite was 19a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit for the hints and the greatly appreciated choice of music.

  17. Mighty challenging for me. The toast, and orange juice without bits in it, had long since been consumed before I finished this one. Still not sure of the parsing of a couple. However, I really enjoyed solving it all.

    As Huntsman mentions above, my mob are in the F.A. Cup Final today taking on a tricky Leicester side. If the Chelsea mentality that beat Real Madrid a couple of weeks ago turns up, we will be ok. However, if the Chelsea of recent awful defeats to Arsenal and West Brom put in an appearance then we are in deep trouble. Come on Chelsea!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack – The Lost Words: Spell Songs

    Thanks to Miss Terri Setter and to Tilsit.

  18. Lovely start to the day thank you Cephas.
    Meandered through it and was on pangram alert early. Helped me in the end as I had the wrong word for 24a which left me one letter short.
    Go for 19a as my COTD.
    Thanks to Cephas & Tilsit for the hints.

  19. Another puzzle completed on a Friday night here on the west coast of Canada. Gentle puzzle for the most part with some trickier clues though and misdirection as well. **/**** for me tonight. Clues of note include 1a, 11a, 16a, 18a & 4d with winner tough to pick, so a tie between 19a & 4d which both elected a groan and chuckle when solved.
    Great fun for the sunny evening.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

    1. Same here though, after a night’s sleep, I am still not sure what the parsing is for 24a. Oh well, I need to continue with cutting the grass now (the lawnmower’s batteries usually run out around the same time as mine).

  20. Excellent puzzle with some very clever clues. My first one in was 11a and that remained my favourite although it was run very close by 9a, 14a, and 19a.

    Many thanks to Tilsit for his blog and to Cephas who has already popped in.

  21. Many thanks for a first class puzzle, Cephas – and to Tilsit for the parsing and
    photograph of the three little foxes (who didn’t have shoeses and didn’t have socksies).
    A really wet, grey day here in Cambridge and I am feeling blue. Nothing for it but to
    tackle something grim like sorting, tidying or throwing out that will at least bring a small
    glow of satisfaction and pass the time until 6 p.m!

          1. I could say that at six I depart for my pole dancing job but actually that is when the sun goes down over the yardarm. I have to confess that on difficult days we anticipate it – I don’t think I could have endured my knee and lockdown without a gin and tonic. Is that sad ?

                  1. Mrs. C and I are not far from Ynys Môn.
                    We will bring beer and crisps! 😋

              1. What sun? And what ‘break in the rain’ did someone plant tomatoes out in yesterday?

  22. Interesting debate online about whether the anagram at 14a is actually an anugram or an aptagram. The former applies when the two meanings are identical. The latter when the two meanings have a relevance to each other. Sandy Toksvig used the latter on an edition of QI for the 14a clue. Trying hard not to tip this comment into naughty step territory, but the fact that it is an anagram has already been said in the hints.
    I enjoyed the crossword today, missed the pangram (as usual), favourite the long anagram at 5d. Thanks to all.

    1. Thanks, Cryptor — I hadn’t heard either of those terms before.

      Obviously even old chestnuts are going to be new to some solvers for the first time. I hope those that hadn’t seen it before were impressed by it.

  23. Thoroughly enjoyed this Cephas – don’t listen to them, far from too easy, but a lot of fun!
    I got stuck in the NW, then the light bulb went off “pangram”! And all was well. I think my fave is 19a but far too much choice!
    Thank you Cephas for the fun and Tilsit for your help unravelling a couple.

  24. Well I tried but I think this one falls into the easier to knit fog category. Way out of my league.
    Thx for the hints

  25. Didn’t find this straight forward or easy, but it was doable, albeit with a lot of head scratching. All depends on whether or not you are on the right wavelength. I surprised myself by getting 6d and 10a right away. But thought 6a and 24a were awkwardly clued, IMHO. Personally, the more anagrams the merrier for me, always helpful in getting a foothold on tougher puzzles. Thanks to Cepheus and Tilsit. Off to watch East Enders now, but we are donkey’s years behind the UK showings.

      1. I agree, having the letters helps a lot, along with the checking letters. In the end, when you decide that you have no idea, a little electronic help gives a few more checkers for other clues.

    1. I used to see an indicator for an anagram and immediately go to the anagram solver. I have never got on with anagrams but recently I have resisted online help. Now I read a clue and know it’s an anagram so I wait for checkers. I think this is why I’m solving more cryptics unaided. Sometimes the anagram hits me right between the eyes but mostly they do not.

      I am beginning to rather like anagrams.

      1. Once in a blue moon I can figure out the anagram just be looking at it. But mostly what works for me is to write down the provided words, but jumbling them up. Otherwise I can’t see beyond the words in the clue.

      2. I always wait to use electronic help after all else fails. My paper is always covered in hen scratchings with all the jumbled letters.

      3. Interesting, Steve. I’m (still) terrible at them, so really struggle on puzzles where a few long anagrams are “the easy way in” — so have felt very much in a minority on this site. So it’s interesting both to hear from another regular who struggles with them, and that you’ve got better at them. Maybe there is hope for me one day?

  26. It took me ages to get onto the right wave-length and, as usual, I missed the pangram – dim!
    A very enjoyable crossword to cheer up yet another day of rain (and a hair cut that’s too short at the back – feel like a boy)! :sad:
    I liked 11 and 24a and 7d.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.

  27. This morning I answered one clue whilst reading them, but needed a hint from one of my helpers on another forum for 1A. Once started I managed quite well but still have ten answers incomplete. I’ll try again tomorrow.

    Now I’m going to google DT pangram and find out what it means and what it is all about.

    1. A pangram is where all letters of the alphabet are included in the grid.

      It can often point you to answers if letters haven’t been used.

  28. **/****. Finished this on a warm evening over a couple of gin and tonics. Very entertaining puzzle and for once I got 21d and the example of man – this has tripped me up in the past. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  29. Thank you Cephas and Tilsit. COTD 19a, but it was very enjoyable throughout.

  30. Another one finished but only after a couple of sessions and some electronic help!
    For the first time I suspected a pangram which helped towards the end as I hadn’t used a couple of the more obscure letters yet.
    Still needed Tilsit’s explanation to parse 13D and my own ‘Doh!’ moment was my last one in being 21D which I’d been staring at for ages 🤦🏼‍♂️
    Oh well…competition entered again…looking forward to another nice pen inbound! 😜
    Thanks to Cephas for the challenge and to Tilsit for the explanations.

  31. Very nice crossword today..too me a while but I managed it. Missed the pangram .
    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The definition in 24a is smear and you need most of a word which describes a book cover’s [description pf] contemts

  32. I was neither in the too easy or the too hard camp. I was in the just right camp. Thought of a pangram early on but promptly forgot. 16a took an age. Thought of another word with the same first letter and could not get it out of my head. 13d took some untangling but then helped with that and also 24a. Homophone does not quite work for me. I have just realised that I have got the the first letter of 24a wrong. Well I think I have! Favourites 9 11 17 19 and 23a. Thank you.

  33. Tilsit

    Thank you for your reply. That has already helped with one letter!

    Does the pangram sentence show in the crossword in order of the letters in it? If so, does it use only across clues, or across and down? Mind you, I doubt if I’d be able to make it out, butI’d like to give it a try!

    I suppose it helps if you have a mental list of the many pangrams available!

    1. The pangram doesn’t refer to a sentence, it is simply a term for a crossword which contains every letter of the alphabet

  34. A day late, but I finished this off this morning. 24A was my favourite of the clues I got by myself (not boasting — I picked it before reading everybody else’s comments above) and 8D my favourite of the ones I needed one of TIlsit’s splendid hints for. Thank you to him and Cephas, and indeed to anybody else still reading this.

    Spouse finally got first jab yesterday, and now is suffering the side-effects. Our family will be doing church online this morning, which means spouse can huddle with a blanket on the sofa. I’m now trying to pass that off as an intentional plan, and definitely not because I left booking seats in the physical church building too late …

  35. I often wonder why people who say that it’s too easy , bother doing the daily or the prize crossword. Surely they would be better off doing the Toughie, FT or Guardian (with the lights off ) crosswords 😜😜. And if it is too easy, why say it ?

    1. There’s as much pleasure to be obtained from a well-written ‘easy’ crossword as there is from a fiendish one. And, how do you know whether it is easy or difficult until you’ve solved it??

      1. I agree with that on both counts. Some of the Monday ones have delightful clues and the whole thing gives a great deal of pleasure. I knew a chap called Wilf Miron who was a Times finalist on occasions and I boggle at the speed when I thought in hours (or days) rather than minutes. I would say if I found something easy or hard, but don’t like someone who complains about a puzzle being too easy. It is even worse than the person who complains about them being too hard.

    2. Yes it kind of spoils the spirit of this blog – we all have mixed abilities and skills -some are good at cryptic crosswords, others at maths, music, art and languages, so accept your gift and do it gracefully and recognise that others may still enjoy the challenge of what you consider easy….

  36. Finished this in *** time unaided except that I knew this as a pangram by glancing through the comments before I started.This helped with 23 and 24a and 20d, but in spite of Crypticsue’s comment 36 I still can’t parse 24a. No doubt the penny will drop in due course. Thanks to Cephas for an excellent collection of clues, and to Tilsit for hints and pictures even though they were not needed.

  37. Very late to the party. I started doing this last night, gave up for some reason (needing to go to bed probably) thinking it was quite tricky and then finished it off this morning with no problems and no resorting to hints or electrons. I think I must just be more on Cephas’s wavelength than on other setters’. Thanks to everyone **/****

  38. 3*/4*…..
    liked the topical 8D “Set off twice knowing it’s a spreader of disease (6,3)”

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