DT 29706 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29706 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29706 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from an overcast Warrington where the weather really doesn’t know what to do. Thanks to Senf for covering last Saturday while I was moving house. All is now settled and I am reunited with the terrible twosome, Dexter the cat, and Lexie the dog. Dexter is currently about three feet from me dozing on the other keyboard. So, this morning’s blog is courtesy of my laptop, so apologies in advance for any typos, as the screen is so small!

Today we have a challenging little puzzle with a couple of obscure-ish words to stretch the mental muscles. One of these is a cryptic definition clue, and will really make you think (don’t worry, there’s a hint!). Not sure who the setter is but I can narrow it down to one of two. I think we can rule out the Lady of the Manor!

If you happen to finish in good time and would like something lovely to continue your crossword solving, our former Sunday setter is on the loose in Guardian with an enjoyable romp, and here’s a link:


As usual, remember to play nicely and don’t reveal answers. The naughty step beckons for those who do and there’s no cake for you.

Thanks to our mystery setter today, who’ll hopefully come out and identify himself later on.

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 Distortion according to interpretation (10)
A short word meaning according to (the Latin word), plus something meaning an interpretation of a work.

6a Go, having emptied salt — salt! (4)
A word meaning a go or attempt. The outer letters of SALT (emptied), plus an abbreviation for a nautical one.

13a He might fall for actor (8)
Someone who enables a movie star to keep their good looks…

15a Losing water to make ice first, it’s a way of preservation (6-6)
A method to make ice, followed by how you lose water from something.

18a Butcher’s bill that’s used by couples? (5,7)
A cryptic way of describing what you might get from a butcher for a ham hock or a piece of pork, is something that can be paid by either of two people from the same source.

24a One leading 1000 very good warriors (4)
One of those words that appears in a few puzzles from time to time and then gets forgotten. The Roman numerals for 1 and 1000, plus a word meaning good, as in a religious sense, gives the name of some Zulu warriors.

25a Tiny foolish person stopped short, a Dickensian (6,4)
A word meaning tiny, plus a slang name for someone foolish that happens to also be a girl’s name, minus its last letter. When together this gives the name of a Dickensian character, about whom Oscar Wilde said that one would have to have a heart of stone to read the death of this person without dissolving into tears… of laughter”.

26a Lady’s incomplete pattern (4)
Be careful! You are looking for a girl’s name here, not for the definition, but for one that must lose its last letter to give you the answer, which is something that means a regular habitual pattern.

27a     Powerful teacher first is obstinate (10)
An adjective meaning powerful is preceded by a senior teacher


1d Get better vehicle (4-2)
Two definitions, to get better and a type of vehicle that is more popular in the US and hasn’t taken off as such over here.

2d Distant unfinished roadside building about to start (6)
A word for somewhere to stay near a main road, minus its last letter, preceded by a short word meaning about.

5d Too much of article included in open work (4-3-3)
A word for an article goes inside something meaning open or transparent. Add a short word for work and you get a phrase meaning too much of something..

7d To be one, this administrator must have two others (8)
To quote m’ learned friend from Canada, this probably deserves a ‘hmmm’.  It’s a name used in ancient Rome for one of a team of three Government administrators.

8d Teasing good for youth, presumably (8)
A word for teasing, or banter which when written as three separate words literally means not good for someone old. A slightly off-the-wall clue.

11d Breach in border intended to be announced (12)
IN from the clue, plus something meaning border, plus a homophone of a word meaning intended.

14d Yours truly playing clarinet in commercial (10)
Inside a short word for yours truly, goes an anagram of clarinet, to give a word relating to commercial in a business sense.

17d Instrumentalist going round station trapping serpent (3,5)
The name of a nasty serpent is the name for an instrumentalist (from north of the border) around the name of a TV channel.

20d Take out ad in support of peacekeepers (6)
If you had an advert for the international organisation of peace keeping forces, it may be said to be one of these…

23d No end of room for horses (4)
The name of a room found on a Cluedo board, minus its last letter is where you could find lots of horses.

How did you find it? As easy as pie, or tough as old boots? Let us know. I have included a couple of extra answers as I think it is a little harder than usual, but no less enjoyable.

Thanks to our mystery torturer and I hope to see you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today is from the amazing Max Richter – the video is pretty amazing as well….

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: mist+herr+rite=Mr Right

64 comments on “DT 29706 (Hints)

  1. 2*/3*. A pleasant pangram for a Saturday PP.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. I am not a happy bunny. In fact, I am hopping mad. I posted very briefly this morning as I needed to leave home at 11:30 to go to an away venue to play cricket. It turns out that the opposition cancelled yesterday evening and, instead of having the courtesy to contact our fixture secretary by phone, text or email, simply posted the fact on Facebook! My thoughts are unprintable …

      Back to the puzzle now I’ve got more time. 26a earned a hmm, and I’m not sure that “wordplay” trapping “definition” works as cryptic grammar. Fortunately I remembered 7d from school Latin.

      My podium comprises 1a, 10a & 13a.

      1. I shared your doubt about ‘trapping’ but the definition could possibly be ‘trapping serpent’ since said serpent apparently likes to ambush its prey.

  2. Not easy but unlike yesterdays ghastly offering the clues made sense. Thx for the explanation of 1a. My fav was def 7d, clever wordplay. Elegant but tricky.
    Thx to all

  3. I found this puzzle the most enjoyable of the week so far. Although most of the clues were straightforward, there were a few head-scratchers to provide enough of a challenge (1.5/4*) and the surface read was very user friendly with precise word-play. I liked 1a and 8a but my COTD was 7d. My only quibble is with the answer to 9a, not a term commonly used in the UK, methinks. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and I’m glad you are settled at last. Thanks also to the compiler.

    1. Perhaps the currency of 9a depends on how many summers one has seen. 😎

      1. “That sly **** ****** stare”!

        I think I’m risking the naughty step here and no cake is on offer!

        1. I’ll make you some almond shortbread Steve—-after I’ve recovered from mowing the lawns, scarifying the dead moss patches and sowing seed.

          1. Love almond shortbread so many thanks, Chris.
            Like you, I’m recovering from a stint in the garden. Not only that, when I took Hudson out for his walk I decided, for some strange reason, to bowl his ball overarm as in cricket. Used muscles that have been asleep for years and am now suffering.

    2. I didn’t think it was old fashioned although it is a long time since I’ve had one. My only problem was I put a different second word in quite confidently until it didn’t fit 3 and 4d.

  4. A curate’s egg for me but probably at the appropriate level for a SPP – 3.5*/2.5*.

    Yes, 7d did get a Hmm and was only solved with all the checkers in place and an ‘it must be’ followed by a BRB check.

    No standout favourite, but I did like 5d and 11d.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. Pleased to hear that you’re all settled in Tilsit. Thought this one a distinct improvement on last week’s SSP. Was on pangram alert from the word go as 15&18a were my first 2 in. The 2 head scratchers were 7&17d with both requiring dictionary confirmation. 7d, as I suspect may be the case with many, was my last in & it took a couple of mental trawls through the alphabet to twig what the 4th letter was likely to be. Not sure why our reviewer thinks it worthy of a Senfian hmmm – I rather liked it & if it gets the thumbs up from Brian there’s nowt wrong with it in my book. No real favourites but nicely clued throughout & an enjoyable solve.
    Thanks both to the setter & Tilsit

  6. I make this a pangram. Very enjoyable. Middle of the road for an SPP ** / ****
    Like the off-the-walll 8d for COTD.
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit.

  7. Not an early finish and when posted probably fifth or more but before midday. Interesting puzzle which I thought would be more difficult than it was when I got started. 9a is a tad old fashioned but then at 74 one hasn’t been given one of those looks for maybe half a century. Clue of the day has to be 8d with a honourable mention for 27a.

    Best comment on last night’s horror show was on the Beeb’s sport website. A chap had written in that earlier his children had asked to stay up to watch the match but were now asking to go to bed.

    Thank goodness I gave up supporting England in my youth when for some reason all teams I supported had to wear blue. So France for rugby and Italy for football. Glorious football for the most part with style, grace, and power.

    Thanks to Tilsit ; glad the move went well. Thanks to the setter for an entertainment better than England can provide.

    1. Er, I think you’re meant to support your home team, the tower beckons for you🤪

  8. Whizzed through this with some great clues but now ground to a halt with 7a and 17d remaining together with the two little ones in the SW. I’m going to have a break now and come back later. I ‘m not going to resort to the hints!

  9. Needed the “Rome” hint for 7d but otherwise a sound SPP for me.

    Thanks setter and Tilsit.

  10. I have one to get for an unaided finish so I’m not looking at the hints and comments yet. The one I need is 7d. Obviously I have all the checkers but it just will not reveal itself at the moment. I struggled with 10a until the fact the puzzle is a pangram came to my aid. Plenty of clues to like but I will single out 13a, 18a and, my COTD, 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle. My thanks to Tilsit for the hints, which I will look at once I finish the puzzle – hopefully!

    1. Life’s too short to sweat overlong on one clue so I gave in and looked at Tilsit’s hint. I would never have got it in a million years!

    2. I had the same problem with 10a, of course I had to go through the whole alphabet!

  11. All over in *** time, except for 7d. I knew what sort of word I was looking for, I just didn’t know it. I blame my failed O level in Latin.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Same here with 7d, Malcolm. I knew what I wanted but just couldn’t get it to make sense.

    2. I wasn’t in a stream deemed academic enough (labelled science streams) to tackle Latin!

      1. It was compulsory for all students to take it to O level. I absolutely hated it. Got a grade 8. Mr Moore, you were a b£$%^&d.

        1. We also had to do it up to O Level and I didn’t enjoyt it either but I have to say it has proved quite useful from time to time.

          1. Me too but had to take ‘O’Level for which I sent in a blank set books (Caesar’s Gallic Wars) paper and obviously failed but the little I had absorbed has come in useful over the years.

        2. Me? I liked Latin. We might have been at same school, but our b£$%^&d taught biology.

      2. Of all things, in lower IVth we had to choose between Latin and Geography, a no brainier for me.

        1. My father encouraged me to take Latin because he wanted me to read tombstones for him. I got as fas as hic jacet…..

  12. Quite a satisfying challenge for me, especially that NE corner, but when the Eureka! moment came, with 7d (my COTD), all of the others there quickly fell into place. 9a appears in triplet form in As You Like It (remember ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’?), and in my heyday (65 years ago), I did occasionally hear the beck and call. And I hesitate to quote Oscar Wilde on 25a but my students loved what he said. Podium stars today: 7d, 8d, & 13a. Very nice pangram. Many thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter. 3.5* / 4.5*

  13. I raced through this before coming to a shuddering halt with 1a and two down clues in the NW corner left to do. As is often the case, wandering off to do something else quickly solved the remaining clues. 7 and 8d proved to be my favourites.

    Many thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit.

  14. Think I’ll sit in the ‘curate’s egg’ corner with Senf on this one – some that I enjoyed and others that caused much raising of eyebrows – 26a for example.
    No particular favourite although 9a did make me smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the Saturday hints.

  15. I thought this one was very hard.
    I did get through to the end unaided but it was a struggle. Thank goodness for all that Latin at school…and all that Dickens.
    I cannot say that I found it enjoyable, more a slog. (A bit like the Latin and the Dickens.)

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    Overcast here today ,but looks like it might burn off later.

  16. Great. I did return to it for the last few. Got 26a unaided. Possible to get the synonym with just the first letter. I needed the BRB for 24a and 7d. I was OK with three out of the four letters of the former. Finally I had to look up the type of serpent having got the second word! So after a splendid run the last stretch was a bit of a slog. Favourites 1 and 18a and 5 and 8d. The latter is a good crossword word and this clue particularly good. Thank you setter and Tilsit and I hope you will be happy and settled in your new home.

  17. Solved over two early morning cups of tea before work, I thought it was an excellent anagram, if spoiled a tad by 7d, my beef with it being that’s it’s not particularly cryptic (or in general usage for that matter). Plenty of winners to compensate though including the clever 1a along woth12,13&18a plus the excellent 5&8d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilset for the fun.

  18. Needed to look up a couple of things to get this finished today. Hopefully they stay in the memory bank. Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  19. I didn’t even notice it was a pangram. I seldom do. At first sight this looked hard but it unfolded quite nicely. I couldn’t see the why of 2d so thanks for the hint Tilsit. O level Latin came in handy for 7d which was also compulsory at my school. ***/*** No real favourite. Thanks to all.

  20. Took me a while to realize this was likely a pangram. 2.5*/**** for me. Knowing it was likely a pangram helped me solve 22a. Yet another puzzle with 2 new words 24a & 7d, plus have not used in general discussion 8d either. Favourites today 6a, 9a, 5d, 17d & 20d with winner 18a

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  21. Unremarkable. I don’t like clues like 7d. They belong in a GK puzzle not a cryptic. Thanks to all.

    1. Agree on 7d, although I got it, it’s not in the spirit of a cryptic clue in my opinion, as there is no wordplay to provide an option to solve other than GK

  22. Had to put my thinking cap on today but thoroughly enjoyable. Took me ages to find the border in 11d. Sometimes one just canOt see the blindingly obvious. Glad your move went OK Tilsit, the keyboard doesn’t sound a particularly comfy place for a nap!

  23. I didn’t find this easy but it wasn’t very difficult either, until I got to the NE corner. I rather liked it, greatly helped by recognizing the pangram, and welcomed back two words that have been missing for some time – 24a and 8d. I needed e-help for 7d but I thought quite clever. Fave was 5d but many others could have been candidates.
    Thank you setter for fun and Tilsit for his hints and pics. You must be over the moon to be back with your best friends.

  24. Suitably challenging for a prize crossword. On Pangram watch early on with various ‘Z’s , Q’s and X’s popping up. My horse balked at 7d. Thanks for the hint! ***/***

  25. Pangram rarely comes into my reckoning but even without that knowledge I enjoyed the solve. My absolute Fav was 8d but also liked 18a and 5d. What’s the matter with me I can’t pass my 10a bung-in! Altogether a fun start to the day thank you Mysteron and Tilsit (wot no music?). Be happy i. Your new home 💐.

  26. It’s been a long day, having been on a round trip to Nottingham to retrieve a daughter from University. I’ll blame that for struggling with this puzzle. I managed to dig 7d out of the memory banks but got stuck in the SW and needed to revert to a thesaurus to get across the line. A good challenge though, and I’ll go for 8d as my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

  27. I realised it was a pangram before completion…first time I think!
    But…like several others, I have to put my hand up to not knowing the answer for 7D and needing Tilsit’s assistance to complete….does this make me ineligible for another prize pen 😭
    Otherwise, an enjoyable Saturday solve after a long week back at the office….oh how I miss the good old ‘working from home’ days when I could easily prioritise my DT crossword of a morning! 😜
    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit, of course, for some very fine bloggin ‘n hintin! (no g’s)
    Cheers! 👍

  28. I struggled with this as can be seen from the time of this post! 7d, 24a and 17d all added up to make this my slowest ever solve although final completion this Sunday morning was satisfying if my guess for 24a proves to be correct. With thanks to the setter for the challenge and tilsit the hints this was a *****/*** for me.

  29. You are not the last in NAS. As I’ve said before, cross wording is a lunchtime occupation for us and yesterday we went to lunch with friends and then played cards until about 8pm! I tackled the puzzle in the bath and finished it just now. Years of Latin comes in handy as has been said and the sight of a Q and a J alerted me to a pangram which helped me, bizarrely, with 10a. 17d my sticking point. Moving is very traumatic you must be glad it is done, thanks for the hints and also to the setter.

  30. 24a and 26a were my last in, this morning after chuntering on it while asleep. I had to check 24a in the dictionary as the wordplay got me the answer but I didn’t know it. 7d no problem thanks to a Grade 1 in Latin in 1971 (thanks Mr Allibone) in the days when 1 was top. I think it’s the other way round now. My cotd 16d

  31. As always, it is interesting to read all the comments. When I had a few of the letters of 7d I knew the answer, put it into google search for definition to check, but it added three more letters and did not refer to my word at all. I asked my crossword helper who gave me a link to a thesaurus where it was of course shown. I completed the grid unaided which is satisfying, especially as many of the clues needed a lot of thinking.

    Thanks to Tilsit for this page. I do not read his hints until I’ve finished – which usually takes me until Sunday – then they help to know the reasons why the answers are what they are.

  32. My first comment! Only started tackling the Sat cryptic after retirement from 40 yrs or so from teaching…….Latin! Sorry so many didn’t enjoy their lessons, I always tried to make it fun! Embarrassing to say 7d was second to last in. A bit trickier than most weeks. Per ardua ad astra!

  33. Came across this old one and wish I hadn’t! Real struggle and hate using anagram solver but had to in the end. Never heard of 24a

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