DT 29730 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29730 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29730 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Another Saturday when you have not slept for over 24 hours.  Yesterday evening, well afternoon my time, Tilsit asked me if I could cover for him today as work was ‘getting in the way’ for him, so here I am standing, or should it be sitting, in again.

Believe it or not, both the solving of the puzzle and the completion of the blog were completed in a ‘dry’ environment.  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.  It is a bit of an anagram fest so recognising them should be helpful.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 23a, 26a, and 8d.

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 Uncertain, decide about a time to commit (8)
We start with an anagram (uncertain) of DECIDE containing (about) both of A from the clue and the single letter for Time.

10a Game where ultimate risk taken by spinner? (7,8)
Perhaps an act of bravado rather than a game involving one or more people and a firearm.

12a Blade caused girl to fetch plaster? (7)
A ‘small’ injury, that may require a (sticking) plaster and a generic synonym of girl – guess a girl comes later.

18a Loudly sand wood (5)
A homophone (loudly) of the illustrated type of sand (which is actually in Manitoba).

25a Basket girl found in seaside attraction (7)
Guess a girl and insert her into (found in) a seaside attraction.

26a Theatre work possibly faced? (8,7)
One of the types of work done in the other type of theatre which may be completed (possibly) on a face.

28a Hunter parted, or set off (8)
An anagram to finish the Acrosses (set off) of PARTED, OR.


1d Show filth around middle of deck (6)
A synonym of filth containing (around) the middle letters of dECk.

4d Caught swimmer, one with a good ear? (5)
A homophone (caught) of the illustrated swimmer.

7d Bread mine, thanks! (5)
A three letter type of mine and the two letter informal synonym of thanks.

9d Real party island (8)
The abbreviated name of a (political) party and the largest Greek island.

16d Leader in power, citizen (9)
The single letter for Power and a synonym of citizen.

19d That man prepares book (7)
The pronoun that indicates that man and a synonym of prepares (a drink?).

22d Act of devotion, through catching fish (6)
A three letter synonym of through containing (catching) a type of fish – I still vividly remember being stung by one of these on South Padre Island in Texas several years ago.

25d Model puzzle (5)
We finish with a double definition the second is a puzzle that might be a bit of a head scratcher!

An extract from Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concherto d’Orange Juice from the 1996 film Brassed Off – the ‘real’ musicians were the Grimethorpe Colliery Band.

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

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.

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 a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: COOK + HOOK + LOCK = CUCKOO CLOCK

73 comments on “DT 29730 (Hints)

  1. For me a tad trickier than the last couple of Saturdays though still done & dusted in fairly short order. Liked the 2 long uns at 10&26a & thought the 2 homophones pretty good too. Top clues for me were the downs at 8&19. Both the bird shelter & the crow relative in the Quickie were unfamiliar to me & required verification.
    Thanks to the setter & Senf the Saturday super sub.

  2. I found this relatively straightforward. All over in ** time, and no clues marked for further investigation..

    I knew the bird shelter, but am still short of the crow in the Quickie.

    Thanks to the setter and Senf for sitting in.

    1. It’s one you don’t hear much about and, to be fair, I had no idea it was even a member of the crow family. Elgar yesterday, by the way, was horrendous! Got about 6.

      1. I’ve looked at it this morning Greta. I’ve got 14, two of which were golf related, though reckon I can only properly parse half a dozen of them. The only reason I know that they’re correct is by cheating & pressing the reveal mistakes button.
        Nothing but admiration for those able to tackle it. Horrendously difficult an understatement……

        1. I never understand it, Huntsman, why people contort their brains all in the name of pleasure. To each his own!

          1. The only good thing about it was that Elgar made a booboo and confused Polonius with Prospero.

    2. For the Quickie crow, it could be said to be a homophone of an onomatopoeic term ‘connected’ with steam engines.

  3. 1.5*/2.5*. Light and pleasant. Nothing much else to say as Senf has already made my one comment.

    Thanks to the setter and the super-sub.

  4. After a strenuous week with puzzles (my antique brain seems mushier than ever), I found today’s SPP a pleasant and gentle antidote to whatever’s been toxifying my mind. Quickly getting the two long across clues opened up the rest of this enjoyable grid for me, and I especially liked 8d and 19d. Thanks for the Rodrigo, Senf (I have great memories of spending a cool, rainy day at Aranjuez in August of 1969), and for the hints. Thanks also to today’s compiler.

    We in the US now seem (thanks to all the anti-vaxxers and the Republican Party) to find ourselves in a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated” as hospitalisations and deaths have begun to increase frighteningly. How did saving lives become so politicised?!

    1. It shouldn’t be. That said, I think the only reason that we’re allegedly coming out of all restrictions on Monday, is mainly because the hospitals are not inundated with covid cases. In fairness, the vaccination programme has played its part. It’ll be interesting to see how long our “freedom” lasts.

      1. I think we have a lot to be grateful for in the vaccination program but it works best when most people take it up and the state is organised enough to roll it out. Some of the scare stories about the vaccine are so bizarre it baffles me that people believe them.

        1. I know it is contentious but should those who have refused vaccination be allowed to take up valuable beds in ICU? Discuss!

        2. The weirdest reason is that the government are injecting us with little transmitters so they can monitor our every move.

          Almost as bad as the so called “ theory” that 5G caused Covid.

          1. And of course they can’t do that already via that gadget called a cell phone or mobile here, hmm. Scary what nonsense people can be persuaded to believe.

    2. I read in the DT this morning about (another) DT being asked to say a few words at a wedding and he launched into a tirade about world politics and unfair election results then asking Do you miss me yet? and then remembering to give best wishes to the happy couple! One day there will be a film about it.

      1. He’ll probably be starring in it, producing and directing it and the result will have no bearing on reality!

    3. It’s bizarre, Robert, I can hardly believe I’m living in a supposedly educated country. My GP’s office manager is an anti-vaxxer, I refuse to go there. I think I’ve been labelled a commie! Shades of the 1960s.

    4. Florida Covid cases, and the numbers are high, are reported to be overwhelmingly those who have not been vaccinated, especially those hospitalized. Those who have had both shots but still manage to catch it, are also reported to have slight symptoms, no more than the cold. And low vaccination take up States are rampant with Covid cases. So the vaccines have clearly done their job, it is just such a shame that so many are not on board.

  5. Solved the majority sat in the car without a pen, very straightforward. 12a was my favourite.

    Thanks to Senf and today’s setter.

    1. I’m not an expert Jonners but i think a pen is pretty much an acceptable aid to completion.

  6. I found the bottom half a lot easier than the top. Sorting out the anagrams in short order helped me get the rest of it without too much trouble **/*** I anticipate a few moans about the number of anagrams but not from me. I liked 8d and 9d but my favourite is 26a. Thanks to all.

  7. An enjoyable puzzle with plenty of anagrams, which I enjoy and a fair amount of challenge (2*/4*). I liked the cunningly structured 2d and 26a but the cryptic definition at 10a was my COTD. Best of all, it was good fun too. Thanks to Senf for the hints double shift and to the compiler.

  8. A little tricky but most enjoyable. I had the second word of 26a but the first word eluded me until all checkers were in. Once solved it became my COTD with 10a coming a close service. I have heard of the bird shelter usually in association with a particular bird.

    Many thanks to the setter for the enjoyment. Thanks also to Senf for the hints and for sitting in at the last minute. It is greatly appreciated.

    I thought the Quickie pun was excellent.

  9. Thanks to Senf for the hints,also many thanks for the pic of the seaside attraction that’s 10 minutes walk from my house!!!

  10. Rather tricky but fun and satisfying to complete. I didn’t know the bird’s shelter.

    I wonder what the percentage is of people who undergo 26a and, say, ten years later are happy with the outcome. Quite low is my unscientific guess.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: a seemingly endless stream of people coming to the front door wishing to chat about ‘their’ candidate in upcoming local elections. Thank goodness for the smart cameras enabling me to say ‘thanks but no thanks’ from the comfort of my chair.

    Thanks to the setter and Senf the substitute.

  11. Wrapped up quite smartly although have to admit to a couple of ‘well, I suppose so’ thoughts along the way.
    Top three places went to 10a plus 14&16d – doubtless an old chestnut but it still reads well.

    Thanks to our setter and to Senf – love your new moniker as suggested by Huntsman!
    Excellent music choice – my favourite ‘orange juice’ and a film I never tire of watching.

  12. This took a little longer than it should have as I was trying to over complicate some of the answers. 26a was a good example of this and it became my favourite once the coin hit the floor. Great fun for a sunny Saturday in Shropshire.

    Thanks to our setter and Senf.

      1. Welcome to the blog

        I see from your second comment you’ve sorted out the 13a problem.

        For future reference, BD prefers it if people ask their questions separately rather than in a reply to another comment

  13. I also tried to overcomplicate some of the answers. Bottom went in quicker than the top and a good sprinkling of anagrams helped. Last one in 5a as I was looking for a different sort of field. Beautiful day today. Thanks to the setter and Senf for standing in at such short notice.

  14. I am with Crisscross in liking anagrams so got off to a good start. I liked 17d and 2d and spent a long time thinking about oars at 12a. Why on earth does anyone in their right mind play 10a? It was my first one in. I also thought 9d was pretty neat. Had a 2 hour trustees meeting this morning to discuss the reopening of our lovely Community Hall. What happened to being retired and lazy? I’ve had 3 meetings this week, two of them requiring me to write up minutes. I am revolting now and going to have an old lady nap. Many thanks to setter and Hinter. Enjoy the sunshine and all best wishes and commiserations to our friends in the Low Countries.

    1. I agree Daisy, I can’t get my head around the devastation! Those poor people, losing everything! It’s so incredibly sad.

      1. To lose everything in a flood is mind boggling, has to be one of the worst of life experiences, and sadly so many dead and missing. We were in Koblenz in 2017, a lovely city, and now badly affected. Our guide at the time pointed out to us the high water mark of previous floods.

    2. Agree, DG. The pictures from the Continent are devastating. My heart goes out to them.

  15. I thought this had a liittle more about it than recent Saturdays and was quite enjoyable.
    A little anagram heavy but at least a couple quite were well disguised.
    My ticks go to 2,4&8d with 12a raising a smile, chestnut though it doubtlessly is.
    Many thanks to the senf and to Senf for the entertainment.

  16. What better on a hot summer afternoon than to gather produce from the garden, wouldn’t you agree Daisygirl?

    1. Um, how about sitting on a nicely shaded patio with an endless supply of Pimm’s while watching someone else gathering the produce? :smile:

    2. Oh boy! Potatoes AND peas. I have never grown peas, well, I did try once but I know my limitations.
      Runner beans, cucumbers/courgettes, swiss chard/spinach and tomatoes. Oh and the broad beans this
      year. I did try to grow potatoes once in a barrel but not hugely successful.. We also have fruit trees and
      soft fruit and even if I just get a dozen strawberries I have grown myself I m so chuffed and, even at my
      age, I think ‘Daddy would have been proud of me’ !!
      PS I like your mulching.

      1. I remember visiting my Gran in 1949 and my Dad digging new potatoes and going straight in the pot. I’d never tasted potatoes like it. Ours were always imported and probably months old.

        1. That is basically when I got to love new potatoes, Merusa. My grandfather digging them up and going straight into the pot. The ones above are already in the pot.

        2. I always ask for new potatoes when visiting friends and family in England. There is nothing quite like them here in South Florida. We have something called fingerlings, but they are nowhere near as tasty.

          1. Well, they haven’t the flavour these days. I heard it was because the EU banned seaweed as a fertiliser. Does anyone from Jersey know if this is true?

            1. Quite agree. M&S’s JRs are usually reliably tasty but they’ve been disappointing this season.

              1. I think they have been lacking flavour for a number of years. I have also heard JB’s theory but don’t know if it’s true.

      2. We have plenty of fruit trees including a Black Mulberry. We also have loads of raspberries from next door – they spread into our garden

        The mulching is the result of my new toy – a shredder.

        1. I think for the last 10 years or so Jersey Royal spuds are completely bland – I bought several lots this year from different places and I would have never known they were JR. My own favourite is Ratte but it is quite difficult to get hold of seed potatoes – they are plentiful in France. This year I have Charlotte in refuse sacks as I’ve given up the allotment – masses of greenery but I suspect rather small spuds – hey ho.

          1. It’s been a good year for soft fruit.We have 3 fan-trained Tayberry plants, which have been full of fruit and some enormous ripe gooseberries. The rhubarb sticks are almost a metre long. I shall have no room in the freezer soon.

              1. We have gooseberries all over the place. I didn’t plant them, they just appeared and very nice they are too.

  17. We found this tricky rather than difficult but straightforward enough, if that’s not a contradiction in terms. Good fun though. Favourite was 10a. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  18. I was dead on wavelength. It took me longer to get the first word of 26a, I could only think of a word that didn’t have enough letters – the “oh, of course” moment came with a thud. I couldn’t parse 12a, so thanks for that Senf; a bit far fetched methinks. Even the anagrams solved themselves. I loved it all, can’t choose a fave.
    Thank you to our Saturday setter and to Senf, particularly for stepping in at such short notice, dedication to duty!

    1. So pleased to hear that you’ve been ‘allowed’ to use your pool again, Merusa. Your recovery will doubtless come on in leaps and bounds.
      Tried to leave you a message yesterday but it must have got lost somewhere in the ether!

      1. Thanks Jane. You can’t believe how much stronger I feel after my aquatic workout, I just can’t do the same on dry land! Of course, today is monsoon rains – tomorrow is forecast to be fine.

  19. Managed to get this under my belt before high noon heat hit and al fresco lunch for friends had to be organised. N E was last corner to yield. Having “downsized” can’t compete with all you vegetable patch tenderers – herbs are my limit! 4d depends a bit on pronunciation. Fav was 26a. Thank you to whoever provided today’s fun and to Senf for once more deputising.

  20. I found this one much more of a struggle than I should have…..perhaps the hot weather is frying my brain.
    Anyway, I got through it eventually without help…..and could not understand why I had taken so long over it.

    Thanks to Senf and to the setter. Hope Tilsit manages to get a break from work .

  21. A very enjoyable solve today, particularly as I only got two answers at first pass and thought it was going to be a stinker. But then a few answers popped in, and the rest was very doable. I’ve never thought of 8d as being oily, so that held me up, plus thinking of the wrong type of birds shelter didn’t help. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  22. Late posting as I was finally able to travel today within the province to see my mum whom I have not seen for 2 years due to Covid.
    A relatively smooth solve on this Saturday puzzle once I managed to get it broken open. 2.5*/**** for me. Some fun clues today and favourites include 11a, 13a, 26a, 27a & 6d with winner 26a with 13a runner up.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

    1. It was actually our ‘Saturday super sub’ aka Senf in the chair today!

      Bet your mum was delighted to see you – I had to go almost the same amount of time before seeing No.2 daughter again and it seemed interminable. We did chat on Skype but it’s not quite the same is it?

  23. Very enjoyable. Did about two thirds yesterday before going to the theatre(not the one in the puzzle). Strangely came to bed and polished the rest off. One delay was 26a as my guess for the second word was connected with the other theatre. Once I had the right one the first word came easily. The other Long one at 10a was much quicker to find. Thanks setter and Senf. I did not see a comment from the two B’s today. One of them may have taken umbrage with 19d which I will make my favourite.

  24. Finished unaided **/****. All the clues were so good it’s unfair to select a fav. Thanks to setter and to Senf for good deed of the day.

  25. Enjoyable puzzle, lower half went in first, then North East corner. And then I ground to a halt. It doesn’t help that I don’t recognise the fish in the 4d homophone hint. 2d 4d and 11a totally stumping me. If 11a is a simple as a spring…….. , then why?

    1. You may already know this but homophonic words don’t have to have the same number of letters and if you have solved 1a and10a then you are well on the way.

      Your comment on ‘spring’ in 11a has baffled me completely.

  26. Not finished until this morning, due to a case of brain freeze and us having some guests yesterday, first time in 15 months.
    Very enjoyable with many COTD possibilities.
    I would nominate 7 and 25a.
    Too hot to do anything but watch the Golf all afternoon.

  27. Once a month I leave the Saturday puzzle until the Sunday morning to occupy my thoughts elsewhere while the machine harvests my platelets: an hour of enforced inactivity in air-conditioned comfort: bliss this weekend!

    Really enjoyed this puzzle, even if slightly heavy on the anagrams – otherwise a great range of clues, particularly enjoyed the surface read of the lurking 24d, and while other contenders included 6d, 12a and 26a, my COTD went to 19d.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter, and to Senf for the review.

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