DT 29700 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29700 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29700 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Another Saturday when you have not slept for over 24 hours.  Last Saturday, Tilsit told us he was moving house this week and, as part of that, he has not yet been able to get ‘reconnected,’ so I am standing, or should it be sitting, in again.

So, a very Happy World Gin Day and a good Saturday morning from Winnipeg where the puzzle was solved and the blog was prepared with an appropriate cocktail.  Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing but the important parts are here and I am not even going to hazard a guess at who the setter might be since I am invariably wrong.

Candidates for favourite – 19a, 10d, and 19d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

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 Something carried responsibly by exercise nut (5)
Something ‘carried’ if one is owning up to doing something (admitting responsibility for) placed after (by) a two letter type of exercise (in school).

4a Best spinner, neither winner nor loser? (3-6)
A toy that spins and a term that could indicate not a winner or a loser as the result of, say, a football match.

12a Bowler possibly ending in ambulance can’t stand (4)
A type of bowler, as illustrated, and the last letter (ending in) of ambulancE.

14a So immersed in river yesterday (4)
A lurker (immersed in) found in two words in the clue.

17a Tool smearing oil on grinders (9,4)
An anagram (smearing) of OIL ON GRINDERS.


22a Glass wind instrument (5)
A double definition – the second should be clear from the illustration.

27a Dropping place (7)
A double definition, I think – the first could perhaps refer to the sun at the end of the day – I consider that the clue deserves a ‘?’.

29a Like a drip, small and dry — that’s not right (5)
The Northern synonym for small and DrY from the clue with the R removed (that’s not right).


1d Those taps turned quickly (9)
An anagram (turned) of THOSE TAPS.

5d Surprisingly, my ant aspiring to be large insect (7,6)
An anagram (surprisingly) of MY ANT ASPIRING.

7d Peripheral characters in weepie, serious film (7)
The first and last letters (peripheral characters in) of WeepiE and a synonym of serious (perhaps when considering a facial expression).

10d Asleep immediately, switched off? (3,4,1,5)
A double definition(?) – the first refers to falling asleep quickly or immediately.

18d Mutant gene slimy on the surface (9)
An anagram (mutant) of GENE SLIMY.

19d Initial word a friend mentioned firstly (7)
A from the clue, a type of friend (the BRB says intimate companion), and the initial letter (firstly) of Mentioned.

24d Some stuff in Norway, northern European (4)
Another lurker (some) found in three words in the clue – an inhabitant of the country illustrated in dark green.


25d Keep smiling, though ostensibly weary initially (4)
The first letters (initially) of four words in the clue.

This musical selection might help with one of the Down clues:

The Crossword Club is now Open, and I will ‘see’ you again tomorrow.

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85 comments on “DT 29700 (Hints)

    1. Please don’t take a pop at Norfolk in future posts, it is a fantastic county and Normal for Norfolk means exactly that. Thank you.

  1. A less taxing prize crossword for a change but very enjoyable for all that. My last in was 7d which I found difficult but having solved it I can’t really see why! 4a was clever and I got got the wrong 3 letter word in 10d to start with.
    Thx to all

  2. My fastest unaided solve ever!
    Enjoyable but over too quickly.
    Thanks to Senf for tips.
    Thanks to the compiler.

  3. Glad everything working today – site and I also got the email. Thanks very much. I shall look at the crossword later as my husband is in Cornwall and I am in charge of watering and waiting for the grocery delivery which is currently late for the first time.

  4. To use a golfing analogy that was a bit of a pitch & putt. Pleasant enough to knock a ball round but with no hazards in play & all over a bit too quickly to be really satisfactory for a SPP. I thought 4a&19d were the pick of the bunch. Thankfully I’ve still yesterday’s Toughie to look at & expect the NTSPP will provide a sterner test.
    Thanks to the setter & to Senf for doing double duties.

  5. Thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints. A very straightforward puzzle, that was still enjoyable. Interesting to see 17a appearing again, but clued well. No real favourites. Was 1* / 2* for me.

  6. 0.5*/3*. Very light but nevertheless enjoyable fare for a Saturday.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  7. Completed this with very few pauses for more thought.
    Enjoyable, nevertheless.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  8. Very straightforward for an SPP.
    Expected the “easy-peasy”comments that have already appeared.
    For me it was a fairly-clued crossword,within my capability, and thankfully I am well enough to be able to complete it. The sun is shining, thank you Mr Ed for giving me more time to enjoy it..
    Thank you setter and Senf for coming off the subs bench.
    “Mothet’s Ruin Day” doesn’t sound half as good does it?. Some might think perhaps they should have made it next Sunday!

    1. Perhaps the setter made the puzzle a bit easier today so that we can get stuck into the gin! We, of course, shall restrain ourselves until 6. But a glass of red is going down quite well with lunch.

      1. I will be sampling a 2018 Clos La Coutale Malbec when I start on the Dada at 6:00pm (my time).

    2. I thought the “easy-peasy” comments were discouraged? They irritate me no end. How much more tasteful is RD’s “very light but nevertheless enjoyable” comment, that could never offend anyone.

      1. My “Easy Peasy” would be completing a cryptic in three hours rather than five. Levels of “Easy Peasy” for others might be completing in 30 minutes rather than an hour. I don’t think the term is discouraging.

        What is discouraging to us mere mortals is “Too easy.”

        That is constructive criticism, Bertie. 😃

  9. Light, as others have said but quite good fun (1.5*/4*) ai enjoyed the long anagrams at 17a and 5d and 4a and 10d were great Cryptic Definitons. Thanks to Senf for doing a double shift with the hints and to the compiler. Regards to Kath too and I hope the recovery is going well.

  10. Quite straightforward although I did get stuck on 19d for some reason. No real favourites just an enjoyable solve all round.

    Thanks to the setter and Senf for standing in for Tilsit.

    I think there is a third word to add to the Quickie pun, Senf.

    1. And, in the clear light of my Saturday morning, I can see that you are correct and the pun has been corrected.

      I suppose that I might have overdone it with my World Gin Day cocktail when I was solving but, as has been commented many times before, there is no italicisation of the ‘pun clues’ in the on-line version of the puzzle so it always has to be a WAG for those of us who use said version.

  11. Quite an easy ride this morning although I wasn’t overly keen on either 27 or 29a. That particular tool at 17a is having a good run for its money at the moment!
    Nothing stood out for favouritism.

    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for hosting the Saturday club again – no doubt the extra wages will come in handy for replenishing the gin stock!

  12. Enjoyable crossword; my favourite of the week. I always say that when I finish a crossword unaided!

    The Euro 2020 football tournament has kicked off, finally. I simply love the Euro and World Cup tournaments. Wall-to-wall football and always gives H and me a bit of a jolt when we see someone familiar for playing for Leicester (say) in the colours of their country. Other than England, of course, we tend to support whichever country has the most Chelsea players in their team. It gets a bit tricky if Scotland (Billy Gilmour) is playing Croatia (Mateo Kovačić ), but what a joy it all is!

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: John Tavener – Choral Ikons

    Thanks to the setter and Senf – and ongoing best wishes to The Lovely Kath

    1. We are all different, Terence – I was pretty cheesed off that last night BBC1 was football and BBC2 was cricket! Yuk.

        1. When I was a little girl I played with two neighbouring lads mr age John Morley and John Foster. They loved cricket but I was always the fielder, never got to hold the bat or ball. The other game we played was sort of cowboys and Indians and it involved me being tied to a drainpipe whilst they fought. I was left there one day when they went off home to lunch.

          1. I well remember the cowboys and Indians stunt being pulled on me by the boys from next door when I was small (maybe four years old). Having been detailed to take me with them to play in the park at the end of the avenue they would leave me ‘in charge of the den’ whilst they went off to fight. Eventually I would get bored with sitting alone in the designated thicket and find my own way home. It was only years later that I realised they were simply dumping me whilst they went off to play elsewhere!

  13. All over to quickly but enjoyable all the same. Glad the blog is back to normal, began to get withdrawal symptoms! Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  14. On this rainy Friday evening I found this a very, VERY gentle Saturday offering today. */**** (maybe even 0.5* for difficulty). I literally galloped through this one and had six clues that held me up at the end and took a little more work.
    Clues for favourites 4a, 11a, 19a, 10d & 19d with 10d my winner.

    Thanks to setter and Senf

  15. Like previous comments, found this easy going but still plenty of fun. Biffed ‘Smoothing’ for 17a before realizing my mistake in not checking the anagram properly. LOI was 14a – not a hardy holdout – it was just the last one to seek my attention. Many thanks to Senf and setter for a fun time today. 1.5*/****

  16. Certainly no stress today but piece of cake lacked anything to select as Fav. NE corner last to tumble. Unaware of 5d so looked it up – ugh what a ghastly looking creature. Thank you Mysteron and Senf.

  17. This was almost too easy to be enjoyable. I certainly could not determine a favourite clue from the grid which was completed in double quick time.

    My thanks to our Saturday setter and to Senf.

  18. Pretty easy today but still fun. Does the scoring on the Telegraph site get hacked? It’s showing the fastest solve at 2 mins 39 seconds. If I had all the answers listed in front of me I think it would still take longer just to type them all in.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Someone at the DT has the answers in front of them and types them into the online grid to test that all is working correctly.

    2. That was slow … last Friday’s Elgar Toughie was solved entered by the typist in 1 minute 49 seconds.

  19. Only comment today is that feeling quite content with the world, or I should say the garden, I find the musical offering is the unredeemable drivel from Lennon which captured and still captures those who are determined to forget the history of the human race and bathe in pacifist soft porn.

      1. Really that is a pathetic lame excuse. We have come to expect more of you Senf. :smile:
        However to your credit you did comment on and review clues in today’s puzzle

      2. Blimey, have manners taken flight and flown off into the ether? Don’t worry, Senf, I liked it and I’m sure others did too!i

        1. Has it become ‘bad manners’ to express a dissenting viewpoint or a counter-argument? I despair.

          1. I think wires have got a bit crossed in this particular thread, Bertie – LROK was just poking fun, hence his use of the relevant emoticon. However, to answer your question on a more general level, dissension and counter-argument are always welcome on the blog but the majority of us feel that it should always be phrased politely.

            1. Agreed. I also think we have to remember that comments made on line can be easily misinterpreted whereas they would just be seen as debate face to face.

            2. Thank you, Jane, for saying what I was trying to say and getting it all haywire. Your phrasing was streets ahead of mine.

        2. M
          I believe Senf would have known I had my tongue firmly in my cheek hence the emoticon.
          My deafness means music, especially there cordeld type is lost on me so I don’t play the musical choices very often.

          PS Had a nice card from the vets. re Bella along with a little packet of seeds.

          1. And some fell on stony ground! Worry not, LROK, I was with you and so, I would suspect, was Senf.

          2. I certainly hope you didn’t think I was referring to you? Far from it, I was referring to the previous commenter who criticized Senf’s choice of music in the first place, I think it was Corky. I knew your comment was tongue in cheek!

    1. Well that caused a bit of a brouhaha but without the wars and other dreadful happenings we can forget if we try like man’s inhumanity to man from the smallest hmm to whatever you want it to be.

  20. Yes, we found it easy also. Just as well as our pocket rocket gardener has been here all morning prepping us for Open Gardens. We are exhausted. And it is all going to have to be done again before the 4th. Beginning to think it’s not such a good idea to have the village come in and criticise our horticultural skills! Many thanks to the setter for making us all feel clever and to Senf for clarifying the one 27a which was our LOI. Greetings to Kath and everyone with worries and woes.

  21. Pretty steady solve with no hold ups until the last two in the SW. I had another backward God in mind for 21a but he didn’t parse. I went about it a different way and a synonym for sensitive sprang to mind before I resorted to the dictionary. Oddly for me I only circled two favourites which were 4a and 10d. This may be due to solving speed. Thanks Setted and to Senf for doing overtime.

  22. Light but fun from us too. Not much else to say. Favourite was 19d. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  23. I’m with Terence on this as best puzzle of the week, as it always is whenever I can finish unaided. To those who found it too easy, take comfort from the fact that lurking newbies will have found it very encouraging. I am always amused at the American pronunciation of 17a. It’s right up there with Wimbledon and Cornwall as being words said differently over here. Big thank you to the setter, and to Senf for stepping in today. Hope the move has gone well for Tilsit.

    1. Yes, 17a had me doing double takes when I first came to live here, still gives me a snicker when I hear it.

    2. Wish this wasn’t a prize puzzle, I’m longing to hear how it’s pronounced across the pond!

      1. Our friends across the pond pronounce it with xxxxxxxxxx … not sure why. But why not?

  24. **/****. Very enjoyable solve with 4a getting my podium place. Thanks to the setter and Senf for the hints.

  25. I always find these gifts enjoyable, such a good feeling to solve without any help. Correction, with only help for one, 19d, but that was so clever.
    I liked 19a and will choose that for fave.
    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for stepping in to sub for Tilsit. I, too, wonder how our Kath is doing, I do miss her.

  26. For the first time in ages, I completed this totally unaided 👍🏻😀, I didn’t need the hints, didn’t resort to electronic help or use a thesaurus but I had been warned that it was very easy.

    Thank you to Senf for the hints and to the setter too.

  27. Finished this before a round of golf mid-morning, not surprised to come on here and see the enjoyable but gentle assessments. I thought the surface reads were very good, no particular favourite.
    Thanks to all

  28. Wow, that was my quickest Saturday solve evs! Helped, of course by the ‘anagram monster’ Mrs H, who was able to solve 5 of them (including 3 of the more longer complex ones) immediately just by me reading them out to her….incredible!!
    Anyway, always good to complete (electronically) unaided (Mrs H is faster with anagrams anyway!!) – I shall clearly be expecting yet another pen in the post! 😜
    My daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandkids have been having a marvellous holiday in Cornwall this week…my 2 year old grandson Isaac, thoroughly agrees with Joe Biden that it’s a wonderful place that he doesn’t want to leave….and how exciting to see all the police men & ladies, warships, convoys of big vehicles and flashing lights etc…just brilliant when you’re 2!! 🤣
    Thanks Senf for another great blog ‘n hints and, of course, to our setter for an entertaining, if not too troubling, Saturday challenge.

  29. Well I enjoyed that as I did it without help but I went back and read the hints which I enjoyed . Many thanks to Senf and setter on a really pleasantly sunny evening in Guildford. Obviously I’m celebrating world gin day too, so cheers to all!

  30. Enjoyed that! COTD probably 4A and the last one in was 21A — which for some reason gave me lots of trouble until finally the penny dropped. (Ironic as I’m a bit 21A after my Covid shot yesterday).

    BTW on the question about the double definition in 27A — think of “I dropped the brick on the floor” = “I s**” the brick on the floor. Slightly elastic definition but it works.

  31. Delightful solve today – thank you to the setter, and Senf for the hints! Lovely sunny morning here today – a pleasant change from all the rain we’ve had lately. Inevitably, it’s due to rain again this afternoon. 🤔

      1. Christchurch, New Zealand, LrOK, but I rather wish it was North Yorkshire at the moment. I spent four months there in 2016 – June to September – and I miss it very much. 🙃

  32. Morning everyone

    Thanks to Senf for covering yesterday. The house move has largely gone OK, although trips back to the old place to remove bits and pieces are on the agenda for today. Broadband is all up and running and I now have my assistants Dexter the Cat and Lexie the Dog here to help with things going forward.

    See you all next Saturday!

  33. Not able to look at this one until today, and not surprised at the comments in most of the posts following Senf’s kind review. Extremely straightfoward, pausing only to mull the ambiguous 27a, which mulling took it to 1* time. Thanks to the anon setter, but while no clues stood out for me, and this puzzle will not live long in the memory, it had the important merit of passing occupying some time that needed to be occupied.


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