DT 29688 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29688 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29688 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from a cloudy and slightly overcast Warrington. Just the start to a Bank Holiday weekend.

Another very cosy solve in the tradition of recent Saturday puzzles with nothing terribly challenging but some nice fun clues that make you smile while solving. For those who are fond of wordsums, where A + B = C, there are a number of those on display today.

It would appear that today’s teaser is the work of a certain lady of this parish. A little bird also tells me that it is her birthday today, so everyone at the blog sends very happy wishes to Chalicea on this auspicious day.

Let us know what you thought, but remember the normal blog rules, otherwise no birthday cake for you and the Naughty Step has been freshly coated with Cardinal.

Thanks again to the lovely Chalicea and here’s to many more.

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:


1 More appealing modelled attires (7)
We start with an anagram (MODELLED) of ATTIRES

5 Drop police force by choice (7)
Something that means choice (as in a top job) is alongside the abbreviated name for a police force. When checking the first word in the Big Red Book, it was interesting to discover that it also referred to a sum of money, £100,000.

11 Echo of past of showy defence player (9)
How you might describe a showy member of a soccer defence.

15 Standard of behaviour head teacher announced (9)
The name for a code of behaviour sounds like the name of a head teacher, more often found in the USA, but like other words, creeping into this country..

17 Promise oddly glum American organised support (9)
A wordsum. The odd letters of glum + abbreviation for American + organised + a (sporting) support = Something meaning a promise.

22 Gala perhaps that’s big in New York? (5)
Something that Gala is, can also accompany the word big in the name of the city.

26 Swedish group half-heartedly perform songs; it’s mortifying! (7)
The name of a Swedish pop group (not Roxette!) minus half of its heart, plus something meaning to perform songs will give you a word that refers to mortifying.

28 Thing to put in order this evening (7)
An anagram of THING TO.


1 Pig out, finding this food (7)
A cryptic way of describing a food that the creature is used to hunt for.

2. Locate model worried about uniform (7)
A word meaning model and something meaning worried or niggled goes around the letter represented by uniform in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

7 Coward takes advantage of work (7)
Something meaning takes advantage of, plus a word for work.

8 Track round leading lady’s houses? (7)
A word meaning track goes around the abbreviation for our country’s leading lady.

16 Fashionable English stage worker lacking in refinement (9)
Another wordsum. Something meaning fashionable + abbreviation for English + a stage of a sporting event + a creature of which worker is a kind = lacking in refinement.

18 Think well of a very quiet ramble (7)
A, plus the musical abbreviation for very quiet and something that means to ramble.

21 Joy of ultimately untrained boat crew maintaining lead at first (7)
After the last letter of untrained goes the name of a boat crew which has inside (maintaining) the first letter of lead.

24 Exercise time, then shower? (5)
The abbreviation for time, followed by something meaning shower.

How did you find it? Did it float your boat, or were you all at sea? Let us know.

Thanks to the birthday girl for a very pleasant challenge. I’ll see you all next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Today’s music is by the son of a famous British composer whose music shaped much of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s – along with his partner Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway composed many hit records. Now Gavin Greenaway carries on the tradition, and this is rather fine.

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: hog+man+neigh=hogmanay

91 comments on “DT 29688 (Hints)

  1. Engaging exercise with some unusual clues but no outstanding Fav(s) and the sun is shining so all’s right with the world 🌞. My thanks to the birthday girl and Tilsit.

  2. For the first time ever I finished a crossword without help of any sort and in one sitting. Clues that allow you to follow and solve without obscurity or misleadings are inevitably more enjoyable to me than they are to some on this blog.

    13 and 22 across together with 16 down deserve honourable mentions. My thanks to Tilsit together with happy birthday wishes to Chalicea and thanks for providing my favourite type of puzzle.

    1. I missed your news, Corky! Well done! It’s a great feeling when you finish one unaided for the very first time.

      1. Thank you Steve. Yes it is a great feeling and I hope for some more in the not too distant future.

      2. My thanks are below as I seemed to have called Chriscross Steve as well. But thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  3. A light and gentle puzzle, with a few to challenge the solver, which was good fun (1*/4*). Thank you Chalicea and Many Happy Returns on your birthday. My favourite clues were 5a, 10a abd COTD 27a which was rather wily. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and a Happy Bank Holiday to all.

  4. For me, just what a SPP should be like with the only supporting source being my trusty Small Red Book and no need to use the white space on my printed sheet – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 17a, 22a, and 4d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks and Happy Birthday to Chalicea and thanks to Tilsit.

  5. Very straightforward and pleasing to solve. Thanks and happy birthday to Chalicea and thanks to Tilsit, too.

  6. 1*/4*. A light and very pleasant puzzle to start the weekend.

    Many thanks and Happy Birthday to Chalicea and thanks too to Tilsit.

  7. 1*/2.5* Gentle, light and straightforward, no obscurities and a welcome shortage of anagrams allowed for a greater variety of other clue types.

    COTD 16d with hon. mentions to 12a, 22a, 25a.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit.

  8. A nice and gentle start to the weekend – thanks to Chalicea and all good wishes for your birthday.
    Thanks also to Tilsit for the Saturday hints and the delightful piece of music.

    1. Jane, I was so pleased with the cream that I started putting it on my face a few days ago. I woke this morning with a severely swollen face covered in what looks like acne which I have never had before. I googled side effects and it is indeed one. It rather alarmingly said ‘seek medical attention immediately’. Great – Bank Holiday weekend and all that. Still if I just leave it alone I guess it will go away but I may have to wear a mask or something if I go out so I don’t frighten the horses!

      1. Must admit, I’ve only ever used it on scars but what a strange reaction you experienced – I certainly .wouldn’t have expected that.
        I do hope it subsides quickly.

  9. Finished unaided and found it thoroughly enjoyable but then it is by Chalicea who has become my favourite setter. Many good clues so difficult to nominate a single one for the podium but, if pushed, it would be 25a.

    Many thanks, Chalicea with hearty good wishes for your birthday. Thanks also, Tilsit for the hints.

    1. Steve, echo this. Finished this one without help so happy, though I didnt find it quite as easy as some others of this parish! It does seem to usually be the Chalicea ones that I can complete, so many thanks to the setter.

      1. I think Chalicea is the only setter to be on the same wavelength as all solvers. Her puzzles are challenging for some but very satisfying for all.

  10. A lovely puzzle completed without help or hints – rendered difficult by having an enormous cat on my lap throughout. Trying to reach up to pencil in the ‘northern’ answers was a particular challenge.

    Despite having a 9.97 rating on Checkatrade – the cat door blokes turned up yesterday without the tool necessary to free up the mechanism in the scullery door. They were out of a script by John Sullivan. “Oh – we left the spanner in Toddington.” They say they are coming back but I have since requested a quote from another local ‘top rated’ Checkatrade company. I would be more angsty about this if Lola showed much interest in going out. Currently she pops out for about twenty minutes in the morning and doesn’t venture forth again, even though the door is left open for her. The Great British Workman, eh?

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Top Hits Of 1972 (Spotify playlist)

    Thanks and happy birthday to Chalicea on her skis, and thanks to Tilsit.

    1. We have something over here called Home Advisor. When selling our last house, we had to fix 3 items to pass inspection. We selected more than a few of their recommended companies and were very disappointed. They either said they weren’t interested in small jobs, didn’t call back, didn’t show up or sounded quite inept. We eventually solved by researching independently and found the right people.

  11. Charming and enjoyable, rather like the setter (I like to think), whose gracious works have made her my favourite compiler. Goodness me, I liked them all but I’ll settle for 4d as my COTD. Many thanks to Tilsit and the happiest of birthdays to Chalicea. 1* / 4*

  12. My first crossword since Monday & what a pleasant & gentle reintroduction, courtesy of the birthday girl, it was. Can’t say I was familiar with 7d but the wordplay was obvious & must say I rather like the word & will use it at the first opportunity – probably on the golf course when my mate lays up before the water. Have been away for a lovely few days sampling some Yorkshire hospitality & trying unsuccessfully to play some decent golf with a poorly back at Headingly, Bradford, Ilkley (wonderfully scenic) & lastly Moortown, venue of the 1929 Ryder Cup & quite magnificent. 8 crosswords to catch up on & comments to read so that’ll keep me busy in the evenings if there’s nowt on the box.
    With thanks to Chalicea & Tilsit & trusting news on the Kath front is positive.

    1. Great to hear from you, Huntsman. Some of us were concerned that you hadn’t appeared for a while. So pleased it was for good reasons and that you had a good time. :good:

      1. Cheers Steve. Sorry ought to have said I’d be awol for a few days given recent ill tidings. Must say a change of scenery was great after a year of going nowhere.

        1. Yes, we went to friends today for coffee. The first time we have been out for 18 months. Great to get a change of scenery and have a chinwag.

      2. Yes, I was one of those who sounded the ‘Huntsman Alert”! So glad that you’ve been able to get away and do your thing.

        1. Hi Robert. I’ve just watched the penultimate episode of Mare of Easttown, which I seem to remember you really rated. Must say it’s the best new drama I’ve seen this year & KW has certainly acted her socks off. Big recommendation to any who it has passed by – Sky Atlantic.

          1. And tomorrow night over here, the final episode! Yes. I think it’s the best thing I’ve seen on the tube since the three very different productions of ‘True Detective’, the last one starring Mahershala Ali.

    2. Thank goodness you popped in, Huntsman, we can now cross you off the ‘people to worry about’ list!
      Pleased to hear that you’ve been enjoying yourself with the sticks and balls – not to mention the Yorkshire hospitality…………

      1. As I said before – a register for people to clock in once a week! Only joking.

    3. Glad all OK H. I had hoped you had gone on a bit of a golf trip H. Sorry the back hasn’t got into gear yet..
      Still as you say Moortown always worth a visit.
      Also up that way Lindrick and Hollinwell would have been well worth a visit on the way up & back.

      1. Nice to see two Nottinghamshire golf courses mentioned. I know of Hollinwell but not Lindrick, although my husband assures me it is in North Notts.

        1. Lindrick pronounces itself to be in South Yorkshire but with modern boundaries may be in Notts. It is one of the “posh” clubs that have an artisans club attached. Brilliant course that hosted a Ryder Cup in the 50’s.

      2. I’ve had the pleasure of Hollinwell (playing well which always helps your enjoyment) & it’s thoroughly deserving of it’s top 100 ranking. Moortown was eminently playable off both yellows & whites if fit…

        Super Hippogryph NTSPP well worth a look.

    4. Hello. Nice to hear that Ilkley is “wonderfully scenic”, Huntsman — do come back sometime when it isn’t bucketing down!

      And if you or anybody else here are ever in the area, I’d be delighted to meet you and show you round. (Or at least to spot you somewhere and let the other regulars know that you’re alive and well!)

      1. We were lucky to play it in lovely sunshine on Thursday Smylers & the golf was almost incidental – I’d have been happy just to stroll round it….

  13. A delightfully unchallenging yet very absorbing and entertaining puzzle for a Saturday. No obvious favourites but the whole grid was a delight to complete. My thanks and best wishes to Chalicea on her birthday, and to Tilsit.

  14. Finished but still cannot parse 3D or 17d. I’m sure my answers are right but cannot see why!
    Apart from that a pleasant crossword without too many problems. No favs as it was generally a bit tepid.
    Thx to all

    1. 3d – If you’ve got the flower you only need one letter.
      17d is a bit harder to explain without get into trouble. Think of another word for girls and put another letter in front which does not come from drinks.

      1. Thx I see 3D but I just cannot see what the answer to 17d has to do with drinks, surely it’s what they come in!

  15. Pretty straightforward for an SPP but I find Chalcea brews my cup of tea.
    Was surprised that the appearance of a brand name has not attracted any comment. Perhaps because it’s Saturday.
    Thanks to Chalicea, and many happy returns.
    As always thank you for the hints Tilsit.
    Notice a trip to Dornoch is the Subscriber prize. If you win I suggest you wait until next summer (it is only July & August up here) before you visit.

    1. That brand name has almost become an English word, hasn’t it? Like Hoover. That’s as far as I can go on a Saturday.

      1. Not really M.
        Some brands have made it into the BRB (like your favourite Marmite) but today’s hasn’t (athough it has in another context).

  16. A very enjoyable, gentle stroll today. */**** No particular favourite. I seem to recall 7d pops up in Shakespeare. Great word isn’t it, Huntsman. Happy birthday to our setter and thanks to all.

    1. Oh, Greta, good for you! I’d forgotten the scene in Richard III (Act 5, Scene 3). Four Stars for you.

  17. ShirleySurely a bit too easy for a prize puzzle but nevertheless very enjoyable.

    Thanks, Chalicea. Bon Anniversaire!

  18. Another morale-booster to follow on yesterday’s. I thought 22a a lovely clue but I still cannot parse 23d. And a hmm… for the synonym of ‘remote’ (27a). My last one in was 8d – I just could not see the reference to houses – until the penny dropped! **/****

    1. 8d was my last one in too. Nothing wrong with the synonym in 27 but makes more sense if you think of it together with another word.23a you need to get rid of a letter « not primarily ».

  19. Natch, I loved it, a puzzle I could actually do without e-help. Yes, Greta, I think 7d pops up in Shakespeare, gorgeous word – so is milquetoast. I find it impossible to find a fave, I so loved it all, maybe 7d ‘cos I love the word.
    Thanks Chalicea for all the fun and happy birthday to you, like some others, you’re now my fave setter, (sorry Jay, you’re now second). Thanks also to Tilsit for the hints and pics, also the music, you always have great choices.

  20. Found this puzzle a little more challenging as the clues (for me) did not always seem to lead to the answer in normal cryptic fashion … a little more obscure perhaps with some leaps of faith as answers bunged in. ***/*** for me today. Several good lego clues 17a & 16d of note. No real favourites today but I did like 5a, 22a, 25a, 1d & 5d
    As I said this puzzle felt different to me as the wavelength was different.

    Thanks to Chalicea (HB!!) and Tilsit

  21. Enjoyable romp. Thank you Chalices and Happy Birthday. Thanks to Tilsit for confirming my last one in 8d. I missed that leading lady. There were alot to like some because it took a while for the penny to drop eg 11a and 4d. Others 1and 21d for different reasons associated to the constructions. All doable without general knowledge. The trade name may not be familiar to everyone but obvious as it is a lurker.

  22. Very enjoyable today and completed in good time in lovely sunshine. Thanks to all.

  23. Nothing to frighten the horses here. My last one in was 27a which I always think of as pertaining to an enviable physical state rather than this meaning.

  24. Even the anagrams had smooth surface.
    A real joy to solve.
    A bit of chance was needed to understand 27a.
    Thanks and happy birthday to Chalicea.
    Thanks also to Tilsit for the Saturday club.

  25. Brilliant….another pen inbound I expect 😜
    Another puzzle throughly enjoyed and completed without too much head-scratching.
    Thanks to the birthday lady Chalicea and, of course, to Tilsit for today’s blog ‘n hints👍

  26. Happy Birthday Chalicea. It is also my husband’s birthday.
    Cracking puzzle. Loved it.
    Thanks to Tilsit and you.

  27. Oh dear, nothing more dispiriting than coming here having had a real tussle, only to find that everyone else found it easy. I got stuck in the NE with 3 interlinking clues and finally resorted to e-help for 7d.
    That said I did enjoy the challenge and learnt a new word at 10a.
    Favourite was 22a.
    Happy Birthday to Chalicea and thanks to Tilsit

  28. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Loved this puzzle, always happy when I can solve with little or no help. 27a was the only hold up, as it took ages to think of that meaning of remote. Smiley faces awarded to 8d and 16d. Thanks to Chalicea, and Tilsit, and of course Happy Birthday to Chalicea.

  29. Thank you all. I’m quite overwhelmed by all those birthday wishes (Happy birthday to Toni’s husband too!). I was planning to forget it and have a Covid day weeding the garden but Tilsit’s little bird has changed everything. As always, apologies to those who find mine that bit too easy and warm thanks for all the lovely comments. Many thanks to Tilsit for the splendid blog he always does.

  30. What can I do except agree with everyone that it was a delightful crossword with no major holdups, although I do not see where a branded tea comes into the picture, but we only drink Earl Grey these days so I’m bit out of date. 7d is a lovely, descriptive word seldom used of course. It has been a glorious day, really warm – just the way it should be. Happy Boobydoo to Chalicea and thanks to Tilsit although I did not need the hints today.

  31. Very enjoyable crossword today. 8D was a holdup for me but the penny eventually dropped with a clang.

    Thanks to Chalicea and many happy returns! Thanks too to Tilsit, though I did not need hus hints today.

    About half a mile inland from me, I expect it has been a beautifully sunny day…..unfortunately here we have haar again.
    Sigh. However, we are having the lovely long evenings now that I used to miss so much when we lived down south, so not all bad.

  32. A little late posting for us due to one of us spending most of the day toiling in the fields. Completed in two sittings either side of fish and chips. Straightforward but really enjoyable. Favourite, by a distance, was 25a. Many thanks to Chalicea, and happy birthday, and Tilsit.

  33. This is for LROK. The artist son of a friend is studying art at university. I commissioned him to paint Hudson.

    We love the result. It looks as if he is about to step out of the painting and ask to go for a walk.

    1. It may be for LROK, but I’m grabbing the chance to say how much I love it! What a lovely treasure.

          1. Send some photos and I will ask David. Just so you know, he charged me £200.
            Er, if this goes against the rules of the blog then please delete this post and anyone interested can email me through Big Dave,

    2. Merusa and Robert, we love it! David Smallman, the artist has captured Hudson’s character perfectly. I gave David a photograph and he came up with a fabulous portrait. Mrs. C and I are thrilled with it.

      Not too expensive either.

    3. Aaaah, fab. Gotta love a Lab. And black are the best. We currently have 3 in the house. That’s a Lot of Paws 😍

      1. Labs are beautiful, Boatlady. They enter the world half trained but spaniels leave the world half trained!

        Labs are also not as manic as spaniels.

  34. Finished this almost unaided and loved it! Hard to pick a winning clue as there were so many smiles. I thought 25a was very clever and I love the Swedish songmeisters so 26a also ticked my box (although I was wondering for a long time if the answer was shaming and was there a group called Ham-something?!). And what a wonderful word at 7d.
    Thanks and happy birthday!

  35. Late to the pass but just wanted to say a belated Happy Birthday to Chalicea and thank you for an enjoyable puzzle which I managed to finish earlier in the evening. Thanks also to Tilsit.

    Thinking of you Kath and Daisygirl and wishing you a full and speedy recovery and to any of our other fellow bloggers who have been having a difficult time of late. Summer is on its way and it’s so lovely to actually have some sunshine and warmth. Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone.

  36. Very many thanks to the birthday lady for a light and gentle puzzle which was a real pleasure to solve with many clues that were fun. No particular fav because I enjoyed them all, especially after two days of hard toil and one unfinished even with the aid of the hints. Am I starting a fresh run of completing unaided? I hope Tilsit enjoyed solving this as much as I did – thanks for the (unneeded) hints.
    For those who have a bank holiday weekend – enjoy!

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