DT 29736 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29736 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29736 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

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Greetings from the tropics of Warrington! Thanks to Senf for covering last Saturday when I was asked to work at short notice.

Today, we have a pleasant puzzle, which is by our old friend Cephas unless one of his colleagues is being mischievous. Nice concise clues and the usual pangram are very much on view today.

Let us know what you thought of it, but please remember the rules about posting answers on the blog, and not posting solving times.

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:


4a Unwanted delivery of boat, man reported (4,4)
The name for a Chinese boat, plus a homophone for a man.

9a See Liz in turmoil about rating, it’s fairly large (8)
An anagram of SEE LIZ goes around the abbreviation for a rating in the Royal Navy.

12a Train heard in nursery (4-4)
How you might hear a train described in a nursery of very young children.

13a Make public form in Excel (8)
If you revealed private information about someone, you would possibly do this, plus the word for a form in a school.

16a Dandy follows celebrity to begin journey (5,3)
After a word for an A-Lister goes an old word for a dandy or gentleman. Split the two words slightly differently to see the answer.

19a Letters exchanged before couple finally move (8)
An anagram of the word LETTERS, plus the final letter of COUPLE

21a Nonsense coming from motorist having stopped short and left (6)
A word for a motorist, minus its last letter (stopped short), plus the abbreviation for left.

25a Plate of meat we hear Ian cooked (6)
Probably the trickiest word to find today. You need a word for a plate in science, especially in geology. A homophone of a meat you may eat for lunch on Sunday, plus an anagram of Ian.

26a Unrivalled lady about 50 (8)
The name for a lady (or should that be Lady?) who sits in the House of Lords, around the abbreviation for 50 in Roman numerals.


1d Tense, suffering from a hangover in the morning? (7)
A cryptic way of saying you are awake, and still sozzled the next day

3d Endlessly intertwine garland (6)
A word meaning to intertwine loses its last letter.

4d Only kind pals who are not emotionally involved (4,4,7)
A word meaning only; one meaning kind, and one meaning pals gives you an expression that describes people who know each other but have no emotional attachment. It’s also the name of a famous BBC comedy series that was very popular back in the day.

5d Tarzan, he is out of place in pilgrimage centre (8)
An anagram (out of place) of a famous place associated with religion.

14d Schoolmate not about could become abhorrent (9)
If you remove the abbreviation for about (the one that’s derived from the Latin version of the word!) and rearrange the letters you’ll get a word meaning abhorrent or despicable….

15d Free policeman, powerless in pit (8)
…and if you do the same here, removing the abbreviation for power from policeman and rearranging the remainder, you’ll get a word for a pit.

17d Run up river as punishment (7)
A word meaning to run, reversed (it’s a Down clue, so ‘up’ is acceptable to indicate this). Add to this the name of a river in N Yorkshire.

22d Caller does not have the item for part of helmet (5)
A word for a caller needs to lose something that refers to an item gives a part of a helmet in a suit of armour.

Was that just the ticket, or did the wheels fall off the bus? Let us know your thoughts.

Thanks to our setter today for the enjoyment and I’ll see you next weekend!

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today comes from the Olympic Opening Ceremony, which I found beautifully staged and in tone with the times. This was played as the thousands of paper doves were dropped into the stadium.

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: lass+vague+Gauss=Las Vegas

86 comments on “DT 29736 (Hints)

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this once I got going after a slow start. Plenty of good clues to entertain such as 1a, 4a and 4d. However, my COTD is 1d because it raised a huge smile. First prize puzzle finished unaided for a long time.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thanks, also, to Tilsit For the hints.

    1. Has the hangover kicked in if you’re still elephants ? Not in my experience from distant memory anyway.

  2. 2*/4*. This pangram was light and great fun. No particular favourite – it was all good.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  3. I always find Cephas’ puzzles witty and entertaining. This one was.pretty straightforward but just as enjoyable as usual (1.5*/4*). Joint clues of the day were the amusing 1d and 4a with a mention for 20d, which was a wily clue. Thanks to the compiler (Cephas?) And to Tilsit for the hints. The heatwave has ended here and it feels oppressive and ripe for a thunderstorm.

    1. Thunder early here in South Kent and a heavy downpour which has cleared the air nicely. Back to being sunny and a bit overcast.

  4. Just enough about this fun puzzle to make it interesting. Spotted the potential pangram early on though I can’t say it particularly helped me.
    My ticks go to 4,12,&26a plus 4d with 15d, my last one in getting top spot for the misdirection.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the fun

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle, but was stumped by 15d as I was trying to find a word meaning free!

  6. I noticed it was a pangram which is unusual for me although of no real help solving the puzzle. 25a isn’t a word you come across every day but it’s gettable from the clue. I didn’t know it had a geological meaning, I knew it from the Spanish word. Favourite today 4a. **/*** Thanks to all.

  7. No serious hassle today but for some reason NW was slow to fall. Needed parsing help with 13a, 14d and 15d bung-ins but the latter two then became joint Favs. Thank you Mysteron (Cephas?) and Tilsit.

  8. Agree with the foregoing re difficulty, although I did take longer than the level of difficulty warranted for no apparent reason. Spotted pangram early but had all 26 letters before the hiccups so no help.
    Solid fair cluing lots to like but nothing really stood out for me. However 15d brought back memories of yesteryear so gets my COTD.
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the hints.Nice & warm up here but the haar has yet to lift which it has done by now on previous days.

  9. All straightforward and for once the pangram came to my aid on the last one in. 1d was my favourite.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  10. A pleasant & gentle stroll where you were immediately on pangram alert after the first few across clues. Thought 14d & 23a were neat clues but my favourite was 12a, a term I still use for me preferred mode of long distance travel (pre pandemic anyway) in the UK. Thank heavens for cooler temperatures & the benefit of a good night’s sleep though hope they don’t stay open for too long….
    Thanks to Cephas & Tilsit.
    Ps I found the Quickie far trickier than the Cryptic today & not helped by an error in the digital version declaring my completion incorrect – the 5d anagram of lease requiring a D & not an L as the 5th letter to satisfy it.

    1. Thanks, H, for the help on the Quickie 5d. Confounding, isn’t it? I thought I was losing my marbles.

    2. I alerted Chris Lancaster via the FB page. It’s not the first time that’s happened.

      1. There are only 4 letters in the Quickie 5d do you mean 6d? No problem in the dead tree version

  11. Just the ticket, Tilsit! And it helped my wicked headache too (too much late-night reading of very small print). I really enjoyed and needed this little elixir, especially the amusing 1d, the clever 20d, the cute 12a, and the sly15d, my LOI. Thanks to Tilsit and to Cephas for the panacea-du-jour. ** / ****

  12. Wonders will never cease! I started thinking pangram with less than a quarter of the puzzle complete! But, I did have the K, Q, and Z at that stage.

    A very pleasantly enjoyable, or very enjoyably pleasant SPP – 1.5*/4*.

    Favourite has to be the 15 letter non-anagram 4d.

    Thanks to Cephas, if it is indeed he, or his mischievous colleague if not, and to Tilsit.

    P.S. As there have been comments that there is now a Sunday Pun I will see if I can identify it in tomorrow’s un-italicised On-Line Quickie and include it in the blog.

  13. Didn’t notice the pangram – as usual – but I did enjoy the solve. That particular train must be popular with setters at the moment – second time I’ve seen it recently. I’ll go with the flow and nominate 1d & 4a as joint favourites.

    Thanks to our setter (Cephas?) and to Tilsit for the Saturday hints.

  14. Fell a couple short and needed Tilsit’s help for them – especially 25a. Really enjoyable crossword with several amusing clues.

    On their sixth visit, British Gas fixed the boiler yesterday (one doesn’t realise how much we take hot water for granted until we are without it). The boiler has only been in place for about five years, yet the British Gas fellow referred to it as ‘getting quite old’. I begin to wonder whether some essential household items are deliberately made to give up the ghost after a short life span so that we are forced to buy and buy again.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: The Isley Brothers – 3+3

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit (especially for 25a!)

    1. I’m pretty sure that washing machines/tumble dryers are made with built-in obsolescence, Terence, so gasboilers being the same wouldn’t be a surprise.

      1. Well, our dishwasher cried: “Enough!” yesterday … after 15 years of service.

        Reviewing potential replacements that claimed 14 place settings.

        Well, to me that means, as a minimum: 14 service, salad and bread plates, 14 soup bowls and pudding dishes, 14 water glasses, 14 sherry glasses, 28 wine glasses, 14 liqueur/sweet wine glasses, 14 spirit tumblers, 42 forks, 28 knives, 14 soup and desert spoons, and 14 cups, saucers and tea-spoons.

        There is no way I’d get all that in a 14 setting dishwasher! 😉🤣

        1. Make sure you read a few reviews before you choose one, I replaced my 14 year old one 4 years ago and it leaves puddles of water on the cups. Apparently the drying cycle has been reduced to get an A efficiency rating.
          Good puzzle today, thanks to setter and Tilsit.

    2. Some years I had a boiler maintenance company as a client. The CEO told me you could generally get parts for boilers around 100 years old, and that many modern boilers (conventional, combi, etc) had interchangeable parts.

      A year or so later, we had a problem with our conventional boiler and BG (we had a maintenance contract) said we needed a new part but they were no longer available, so we’d have to replace the boiler. Now the “boiler-hole” as we called it was accessed off my study, so I quickly went online and found the part within a minute.

      This disgruntled the engineer and, somewhat amazingly, he found the part in his van.

      My daughter had a similar experience with BG. Both of us cancelled the contracts and went with independent companies.

      BG engineers are incentivised to sell new boilers, so seem quick to say a boiler cannot be repaired … when it can be easily and cheaply. And if you do fall for the scam, you get charged a lot more than it costs to buy a boiler from (say) Screwfix and get an independent plumber to install it.

      1. With my boiler BG found a sheet of asbestos in the cupboard and refused to touch it until the sheet was removed and the location was safety certificated. I sent them packing and got a competent repairer.

    3. Can never make my mind up which version of Summer Breeze I prefer. Whenever I play the Seals & Crofts original the Isley Brothers immediately follow.

    4. We were told by the company we get our oil from that the tank was old and about to split. They said we needed a new tank and it needed to be encased in concrete and quoted £3875. I asked how thy knew it was about to split. They said it was sun damage, which is odd because the tank is on a north facing wall, covered in vines and only gets the weak rising sun. I said I would think about it and let them know. When we next rang them to order oil they refused to deliver because they said the tank was dangerous. This was the middle of a cold winter and our pleadings fell on deaf ears. Anyway, I rang a local company that a neighbour recommended. They delivered the oil the next day and checked the tank. There was nothing wrong with it.
      Needless to say, we ditched the big corporation and have been with the local firm since.

    5. Have similar problem with 10 year-old fridge/freezer merely needing a flap-door for the freezer so ice-box is frosting up. Am told that because it’s more than six years old it is obsolete so no spare parts – ridiculous!

      1. Have you looked on e-Spares – we can still get parts for our relatively ancient cooker

        1. Yes indeed Sue I have used them in the past but this time no success. I also tried others online including someone who kept me waiting for ages saying they had ordered the part and then finally came back saying it was obsolete. Same story from a local fridge engineer. Guess a replacement is only option! ☹️

    6. British Gas engineers are said to receive a bonus whenever they sell a new item. That is why they are ready to condemn cookers, boilers and the like at the drop of a hat. We had three boilers condemned that we had bought in the 16 years we live in one house. After one outrageous visit by one of their engineers we told him it was the last time one of them would enter our house.

      We had a new boiler installed when we had a kitchen extension in our new house, replacing a 20 year old Worcester Bosch with another which has had no problems. We are lucky in that we have found a terrific plumber who is very competent and is available when the need is very necessary.

      Moral ; go local and avoid British Gas at all costs.

    7. The answer to many of life’s problems is finding an honest and reliable tradesperson. We thought we had one such plumber, as they provided good service to us at our old house, and to both daughters. We also had them install a new comfort height toilet in our en suite bathroom. So far so good. Six months later we had them out to replace the downstairs toilet. Absolute disaster. After two hours, and listening to many curses, tinkling of dropped washers (into the new toilet!) the plumber threw up his hands and said he couldn’t get the tank to go on without leaking. Then he left leaving the job unfinished…. Two days later they sent two more incompetents. It got worse, before they finally left doing such a bodge job their price dropped a lot. Peter took it to bits, corrected their mistakes and rerouted the feed pipe properly. Can only assume they lost their good employees during Covid. None of us will use them again. Had similar experience with a house painter (first time we have ever used one, due to high ceilings), who left runs, overpaint and missed areas. Again, we had to redo ourselves. Such a shame.

  15. This is about the Quick Crossword published today (Las Vegas).
    6d is an anagram of LEASE. I have EASE_. I’ve tried EASEL but the online version says it is wrong (I know the first four letters are correct). Obviously an error in the system but I’ve never know this to happen before.

    1. The error in the Quickie is discussed in Comment 10 above and, believe me, it has happened before.

  16. Oops, sorry. I should learn to read the other comments first. But I must say after having been an online subscriber for some years now, including when it was the old website design, I have never come across it.

  17. Shabbo’s NTSPP is well worth a look. Gentle but great clues & very enjoyable.

  18. Technical gentleman who have helped me before – please can you sort me out? I have been cut off from this site on my computer when I click for read more by a blank page headed Bad request. Your browser sent a request this server could not understand. The size of a request exceeds header field server limit. (Or words to that effect)
    This has happened before but if I ignored it and went back a day later it was all ok. I am writing from my iPhone but prefer to pop into the site from the computer as it is easier to read and I like typing on a keyboard. I know one of you clever gentlemen will know the answer! I have been blocked off for three days.
    Lovely puzzle, spotted the pangram, favourites 4a,1d,15d and 25a. I haven’t read the hints but will do so later as we are off to do a Cambridge Open Studio or two. Time was when I used to be exhibiting myself! Thanks to Tilsit and the setter. Enjoy the cooler weather!

      1. I use DuckDuckGo, which does not track your internet use and blocks trackers on web pages.

      2. Ray and Steve – I guess I am using google? I am in my BT email and just hit the read more button. I assume it goes through my email. I am horribly ignorant!

          1. This happens to me most days on my android phone, frequently, but not always, when I’m on the blog. My phone ‘blinks’ and everyone’s avatar disappears, I can read and scroll but not post and Google has stopped working altogether. If I reboot my phone everything works again.

        1. Maybe don’t go through your email. Launch a browser – any one, really. In the search bar type bigdave followed by the crossword number. That should take you to a link for you to click on and get aboard. Sorry if you know all this. Come back if you still have have a problem

  19. A pleasant, relatively easy solve. Spotted the anagram quite early which actually helped towards the end. My joint favourites were 25a and 1d

  20. A terrific pangram and testing enough to be a prize puzzle. I will go with the flow and choose 1d as my COTD. Thanks to Cephas for the fun and Tilsit.

    1. Good of you to find time to pop in, Cephas, always appreciated – as are your puzzles.

  21. Your entertaining puzzles are of consistently high quality, Cephas and they’re always good fun.

  22. Well I didn’t find it that easy ,but got there in the end. Just needed a bit of assistance with 3D, are twine and intertwine the same?. 9a my favourite as I like the sound of it. Thanks to all.

      1. Not sure, Jose. I would say that twine is used to entwine things. Twine the noun and entwine the verb. I think! 😵‍💫

  23. Went on pangram alert early and it helped no end. A really enjoyable crossword. Favourite was 14d. Many thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  24. Slow start but very enjoyable once I got going. I loved 12a, made grin ear to ear😁. Got a bit lost with 25a, thought it was more a layer.
    All in all a fun crossword.
    Thx to all

  25. Left side went in quickly, and right side gradually followed. A delightful Saturday puzzle from Cephas, always happy when it’s something I can mostly do unaided. Thanks to both Cephas and Tilsit. A crowd pleaser for sure.

  26. Found this puzzle somewhat on the tricky side today. ***/**** today. Got held up for a time in the NE and last area complete was the NW. The word for me in 25a was a struggle as it is not common in everyday use. Lots to like in clues like 4a, 12a, 16a, 21a & 4d with winners tied with 4d & 12a.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit for the hints

  27. 2/4. Enjoyable solve with a couple that held me up for a while. Spent too long trying to spot an anagram in 4d. Favourites were 4a and 15d. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit. Another day or even week with no rain in sight. We’ve even got extreme fire warnings in the lower mainland. My heart goes out to the many who will have to rebuild their homes.

  28. Went at a rattling pace til we met 24a. If we’d realized the pangram, we might have got there quicker. V obvious once the penny dropped. Good fun though.

  29. 24a was last one in for me too.
    A lovely little puzzle today , very enjoyable and all done in reasonable time.
    My COTD would have to be 4a.
    British Gas !!! Oh please don’t remind me, I could bore you all to death with my stories of their inefficiency and corruption . I truly cannot believe they are still in business.

  30. Back to doing crosswords after a couple of weeks of not doing them! I always enjoy Cephas’s puzzles and this was no exception. My rusty brain needs help in the NW corner but spotting the pangram for once helped me to finish. **/****

  31. This was a fun puzzle all the way through, I loved it. I only had help with 13a and 1d, I used word search and bunged them in, thanks for unravelling those Tilsit. Fave was 4d but 4a and 12a are running hot on the heels.
    Thanks Cephas for the fun and to Tilsit for his hints and tips.

  32. Thanks Cephas and Tilsit although no hints needed. Nearly came unstuck with 1d with wrong third letter. Did not parse but once you have an idea in your head it is hard to shake off. Just a query on 3d and 23a. I am used to this type of clue where you add to or take from a word but here the root or derivation is the same – just noun/verb. 4 24 and 26a and 4 18 and 20d are favourites.

  33. Needed e-help twice to complete this otherwise unaided. A very enjoyable puzzle full of clever, entertaining and amusing clues. Difficult to choose COTD but it has to be 12a. When I first saw this clue I thought this cannot be the answer, but of course it was. This is one of the most enjoyable puzzles I have ever done – 5* and many thanks to Cephas for providing such entertainment. I did not need the hints but thanks to Tilsit for all the work involved.

  34. Enjoyable crossword and sailed through most of it except for bottom right corner and totally stuck on 23A but only 1 word seemed to fit though no idea why it is the answer ! Fav clue 14d. Being somewhat dim but don’t really see why recognising a pangram is in any way helpful ?

    1. Hi Ernesto,
      You need to find a word meaning ‘reveal’ – perhaps in the media sensation sense – and then insert into it (towards the end!) the favourite crosswordland ancient city.
      Recognising that a pangram might be ‘on the cards’ – usually by spotting the inclusion of several of the lesser used letters – can be a help in that you may realise that one of them is missing from your mental tally. In the case of 23a, the one favoured by our setter proXimal is looking for a home in the grid!

      1. Thanks Jane. Ur very helpful ! I didn’t twig the city but now I know I managed to get the right answer anyway !

  35. Struggled to get started with this one but got there in the end. Some were very clever.

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