DT 29742 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29742 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29742 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from an overcast Warrington with the potential of a whole lot more moisture.

For yours truly, an important day. After 17 months I am running my first quizzing event, and it’s the World Quiz Championship, the biggest event in the calendar. Normally we have up to 100 quizzers taking part in my event, with hundreds of others. Instead, we will have around 30 taking part in Warrington, but there are a number of other Face-to-Face (F2F) events and three huge events on Zoom, including the whole of the Australian events, as much of the country is currently locked down. Indeed, this morning the only F2F event in the country had to be cancelled and moved online. Good luck to everyone taking part!

Now, back to the world of black and white grids. We have a lovely, slightly challenging, puzzle that for me is one of the best recent Saturday puzzles. This appears to be the work of Chalicea, so thank you for her efforts. Lots of clues to make you smile and give you that challenge to think about, which is the mark of a good puzzle.

Let us know what you think, but please remember the site rules. It is a prize puzzle, so watch the additional help, please. Have a great weekend!

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 Shape epic jests, all exposed as most joyous (8)
Remove the first and last letters of three words (all exposed) to give you the answer.

5a Stable condition without English in command (6)
Something meaning a condition needs to lose the letter that represents England. Add the abbreviation for in command and you have your answer.

10a Hush-hush religious education in cult (6)
Inside a word for a religious cult goes the abbreviation for religious education.

15a Unpleasant person in bother over weird pet (7)
An anagram of pet has a word meaning to bother someone ‘over’ it, i.e. around the anagram.

20a Passion! She’s undressed with naked mate (4)
One to make you smile! If you follow the treatment of 1 across, it’s the same here. Two words need to lose their first and last letters (undressed, and naked).

21a Trimming fruit mostly during start of growth (7)
A word meaning trimming in gardening. Take a word for a type of dried fruit and lose the last letter. Add a short word that means during, plus the first letter (start) of growth.

25a Jailbird and French cop facing tense clash (8)
A short word for a prisoner goes just before a French slang word for a policeman and then add the abbreviation for tense.

29a Furnishes quality shop with lines finally lacking (8)
The name for an upmarket food shop has a word for poetic lines added, minus its last letter.

31a Changing sides, beggar becomes more hopeful (8)
You need a slang word for a cad or bounder and ‘swap sides’, i.e., replace the L (left) with R (right).


1d Better to accept European doctor (6)
The name for a doctor (usually associated with homeopathy, etc.) is found by taking a word meaning better (as in health).

2d Show off in heaven: one’s missed out! (6)
A word for heaven needs to lose I and S (one’s) to give a word meaning to show off.

4d Volte-face of moderates creating fuss (4)
The name for moderates in the Conservative Party is reversed (volte-face) to give something meaning fuss.

8d Reportedly see a Conservative without, say, class (8)
A letter that is a homophone for ‘see’, plus A and a word meaning politically conservative goes around (an old meaning of without) the abbreviation for ‘say’ or ‘for example’.

14d Environs of ancient region captivate (7)
Take the outer letters of ancient, and a add a word meaning a region, or piece of land.

18d Income from grannies at work? (8)
An anagram (at work) of GRANNIES. Which reminds me of this….

22d Bit of gear you might have a hand in (6)
A cryptic definition for part of something you wear that you might put your hand inside.

27d Tolerate ill-mannered type (4)
A double definition to finish.

How was it for you today? A walk in the park, or a battle with a blown-out umbrella in Storm Evert? Let us know your thoughts.

Thanks to Chalicea for a fun challenge and to dig our a favourite Python clip. See you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Music today comes from one of my favourite suites of music, Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite. Enjoy a waltz around your living room…

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: pet+yew+near=petunia

79 comments on “DT 29742 (Hints)

  1. Another difficult puzzle to flow Friday’s (4*/2*). I found this one even more baffling than yesterday’s and had to resort to a hint for one clue, with two more that were bung-ins, which I couldn’t parse. It wasn’t my cup of tea but 1a and 25a were the best of the clues. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler for his or her efforts.

  2. Quite a challenge. The two creatures of 11d and 15a took me from ** to long *** time. Particularly enjoyed 1a and 20a once I realised what you had to do. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

      1. I had solved that clue, but am grateful for the hints to confirm some other ideas😊

  3. 2.5*/3.5*. A pleasant Saturday puzzle that all came together quite smoothly apart from the four central clues taking a bit of teasing out for reasons which escape me with hindsight.

    The definition for 22d seems a bit iffy.

    25a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. The BRB does (sort of) confirm my original thought that 22d was a double definition, although I do see that it could just be a cryptic definition clue

      1. I thought it may be some sort of a slang word for shoplifting but can’t find any reference to it.

      2. I initially thought it was a DD too. The first one being a component in a gearbox. Can I say that on a Sat?

        1. This is the one that is puzzling me. Just cannot crack this one at the moment but I am primarily thinking of all the stuff from my old fridge freezer I’m going to have to sling!

          1. You’re on a winner if you can actually christen some of the stuff that’s lurking in the bottom, DG!

  4. I didn’t find anything here to scare the horses. All completed in **/*** time, albeit with two visits; but that seems to be the norm for me these days. Not one clue marked up for further attention either.

    Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  5. Another in a line of this weeks difficult puzzles. Finished but only with help and understanding about a quarter of the wordplay.
    No fun, just a slog that I only completed through blood-mindedness.
    Not my favourite week for crosswords.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I gave an incorrect comment to you yesterday, Brian. I have now corrected it.

  6. Those two central clues, 11d and 15a, which I pondered for quite a while, pushed me into **** time, but I finally finished, quite happily, with a deep sense of satisfaction. Favourites 1a, 11d, and 25a, with a number of runners-up. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints, which I’m chuffed I didn’t need, and to Chalicea for the strenuous but enjoyable workout.
    **** / ****

    We are under an Extreme Heat Alert in S Carolina’s Lowcountry (Charleston and coastal areas), where yesterday the THI Index hit (“It feels like”) 117 F. And there were over 2,000 new cases of Covid (the Delta variant) in S Carolina, contracted mainly by the anti-vaxxers. Well, who knew….!

    1. Same down here, hospitals full of anti-vaxxers, 97% last I heard. Not sure how we can convince those people to get with the program.

      1. When they get admitted to the hospital, that’s when they start to want the vaccine – too late buddy, shudda orta thought of that before.

      2. And I bet that your governor finds a way to deny it all, BL. When I wrote ‘mainly’ above, I should have written ‘overwhelmingly’–like 95%.

  7. 25a and the grannies were my top clues this morning. I thought this was a nicely compiled grid, with enough head-scratchers to keep it interesting and challenging. Great fun.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  8. I found this about par for the course in terms of difficulty for recent prize puzzles but enjoyed it much more than those of late & especially so if you like a bit of undressing, uncovering & exposure in your wordplay. Didn’t occur that it was a Chalicea production but not surprised as it was nicely clued throughout. I thought 1a&d were lovely starters, liked the critters at 11d&15a & learnt the French slang for the peelers. Pick of the bunch for me was 8d.
    Many thanks to Chalicea & Tilsit – hoping your quiz goes well.

    1. Just realised I had 11d wrong and revisited it on reading your comment! Thanks for that.

  9. Enjoyed this although needed to check my French cop in google. Now watching Sid and Nancy with the kids. Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  10. A handful of definitions/synonyms that didn’t sit comfortably with me but I don’t doubt that our setter checked them assiduously.
    Quite a straightforward solve once I’d reconciled myself to those and nothing that particularly stood out for favouritism.

    Thanks to Chalicea (?) and to Tilsit for the hints and music.

  11. I enjoyed this puzzle very much….I did need help for 4d …had forgotten about those moderates but otherwise everything fell into place with minimal headscratching.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit. Good luck with your quizzing later.

  12. That was a bit tough! It didn’t feel like Chalicea to me but my setter spotting skills are nil. I thought it was going to be fairly straightforward after I got 1a immediately followed by about nine others. However, I then ground to a halt and it ended up being one of those puzzles where there are too many answers that, to me, don’t quite fit the associated clue. It was an interesting tussle, nevertheless and my COTD is the aforementioned 1a with the grannies coming a close second.

    Many thanks to the setter for the puzzle. Thanks also to Tilsit for the hints and good luck with the quiz night.

    Anyone else put FIR for the second word in the Quickie pun?

  13. Well I’m really struggling with this one, still have at least a dozen to go. I will go and make some broad bean hummus (which is delish) as we were given 2 carrier bags of the beans. Popping all those beans may activate the little grey cells, otherwise I will look at the hints. Haven’t needed the hints for months now and really want to finish unaided. Will come back later. TTFN.

  14. Enjoyable but difficult puzzle with lots of delightful clues. 4d my favourite reminding me of the wonderful sackings by MT for no other reason than they disagreed with her. Honourable mentions also for 1, 25, and 31across, 11, and 22 down.

    Thanks to Tilsit for confirming my parsing and to Chalicea, for enjoyment when taking a break from painting. I must remember not to say I’ll do that job when it’s raining and I can’t get out in the garden.

  15. It’s peculiar. When the majority say they find a puzzle a total breeze, I struggle. When most remark on how tough a puzzle is, I zip through it. As is the case today. I really enjoyed this one as I completed it unaided; my favourite of the week by a distance.

    Sid and Nancy mentioned above (by Jonners)… I worked on that movie a lifetime ago. Thirty-five years in fact. It was quite the experience.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Canteloube – Chants d’Auvergne

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit

    1. I still have 3 to go Terence down from 12. I guess by your comment above you were fortified by your orange juice, without bits! I struggle on, all in bottom RHS.

      1. I struggle to understand his aversion to ‘bits’ Manders. To my mind they authenticate the oranginess of the juice. But the poor man is quite hung up on it – it looms large in his legend! One has to feel a certain sympathy for him (and for H).

        1. It takes all sorts Daisy. Peter will only drink the one with “high pulp”, lots of bits. I prefer it too, but as I am confined to the low acid version I have to have to make do with no bits at all.

          1. I’m all for the bits but my husband doesn’t shake the bottle so I have to eat the last bit! Texture is anathema to some people – not simply a preference.

    2. Terence, I love the Canteloube. I have Dame Kiri te Kanawa doing the Auvergne, on great form. Also love the Auvergne itself.

  16. One of the most peculiar SPPs I have ever solved. I can’t even say it was a curate’s egg because I could not really find any good parts – ****/*.

    Sorry Chalicea, it might just be me, I do normally enjoy your puzzles, and thanks to Tilsit.

  17. Another goody to end a week of slightly above average cruciverbal challenge. Only real hold-up for me was 15a where I had to seek help and wasn’t too impressed with clue for it. Fav was grinworthy 20a. Thank you Chalicea (?) and Tilsit – hope the Quiz Championship goes well.

  18. Good luck with the quiz Tilsit. We took part in a Rotary quiz on 2020 on Tuesday in teams of six. Our team included a couple of academics and a young Rotary Scholar. We came second – with 24/50 !!! I think the year passed in a blur for most of us. Many thanks to the setter and Tilsit for finding time to hint at us. I still cannot decide which of the possible answers is right for 22d but it I thought 1a was very cleverly constructed and liked the misdirection in 23a. Now back to the insulated bags of now unfrozen food!

  19. Hi all, now returned to VB after nearly 3 weeks back in Blighty seeing family (especially the grandkids ❤️) – great times despite the initial faff of testing/quarantine (even when double-jabbed) before being ‘released’. Anyway, all worth it in the end!
    Have clearly got ‘rusty’ with my DT crossword solving as found this pretty awkward and needed a hint to get re-started. Still not sure of my answer/parsing of 31A with all checking letters looking ok?
    Thanks to Tilsit for the blog ‘n hints and to our setter (Chalicea?) for the challenge. 👍

  20. Tough, for me, though it was an SPP. so fair I guess .
    Not to my taste, although normally I find Chalicea fun.
    Same as Robert 15a & 11d held out for too long for no real reason.
    Thank you to Chalicea and Tilsit for the hints.

  21. I always do the paper version and think there was a misprint in 19d. At risk of being put in the naughty corner may I say that it should read “danger” not “dangers”. It was indeed irritating! However I mostly enjoyed this, though I’m in agreement with those that found some definitions unconvincing.

  22. Enjoyable, reasonably light and straightforward, with clues being at most 8 letters in length lead it to containing 5 separate puzzles which, unlike on an occasion earlier this week, did not drive me to distraction, so thank you, Chalicea, if you are indeed the Setter!

    Admirable dearth of anagrams, lovely range of clue types on display. Hon. Mentions to 1a and 20a (two of a kind), 8d (to comment further might be regarded as being political, but Oi Did Larf at the surface read!) and 18a (rare that an anagram reaches my HMs); COTD to 25a (lovely surface read).

    1.5* / 4*

    Is there anything significant to the Nina? I spot three names and the description of a member of the Upper House.

    Many thanks to Chalicea / Setter for a great and proper Saturday Prize Puzzle, and to Tilsit for the review on such a busy day for them.

  23. Had a lot of fun solving this one, with only 15a providing s serious hold up. I got the answer early on, but couldn’t equate it with unpleasant. Thanks to setter (Chalicea?), and to Tilsit. Amazed that you could manage this today, with everything else you have going on. I could get a headache just thinking of all that on one day,

    1. I was also held back by “unpleasant”, my young lady would disagree with that, she loves them. Thank goodness, and there’s another huge one in here that went on promenade down the centre of the room while I was watching TV last night. I have no idea where it is right now.

  24. Many people complain that her puzzles are too easy, then when she provides a cracking hard one…
    Certainly, I didn’t pick up it was Chalicea and she’s the only one I ever spot!
    Needed a couple of hints and much head scratching for the 3 I had left but got there in the end.
    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit

  25. I agree with Senf, this was decidedly “peculiar”, I really doubt the authorship. There were some lovely clues, loved 8d, and enjoyed some of it, others totally flummoxed me. I have a bungin at 19d which I know is wrong, I’m going to research golf dangers later.
    Chalicea is my fave, so I’m going to thank our unknown setter, and much appreciation to Tilsit for his hints and tips.

  26. Found this a very strange puzzle. *****/*.
    Managed the west ok without hints, but the east was horrible … found the clues hard to work out the synonyms in some of them and the parsing in others. Worst puzzle of the week I am afraid to say. Seemed like it was a Chalicea puzzle in the west, but the rest … urgh!
    Sorry setter, just not my cup of tea. Still have three that just won’t show themselves.
    No favourites today at all.
    Hope for better tomorrow with Dada… quirky or not.

    Thanks anyway for the puzzle and Tilsit for shedding some light on this one.

  27. It is indeed mine (Chalicea) and I am quite surprised that some found it difficult as I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about mine being found ‘too easy’ and I certainly didn’t aim to make this one any tougher. Tuesday’s Toughie was mine and earned a ‘floughie’ label and today’s NTSPP is getting a lot more approval (by coincidence mine too). Maybe the slightly less helpful grid was an issue. Many thanks to Tilsit – I loved the grannies and the baby-snatchers.

    1. I’m so sorry I wasn’t on wavelength here and was disappointed. I’ve printed out your NTSPP for later. Please don’t get upset when others say yours are too easy!

    2. Thanks for a great puzzle, Chalicea. And thanks too for popping in. I never find your grids too easy at all; most of them are properly challenging and models of the form.

  28. I seldom (OK almost never) comment on these crosswords although I find the blog helpful and amusing/irritating in equal measure. This time I felt compelled to respond to Chalicea to say that I found some clues straightforward, some very testing and some entertaining. In other words, everything a crossword should be. I take my hat off to anyone who can create a crossword and even more so to someone who can amuse, challenge and entertain. I think you should award yourself a large glass of Vino Colapso and sit back and enjoy the plaudits and ignore the gripes.

    1. I hope mine was not interpreted as a gripe! I found it different and I said so, I wasn’t griping. I love you too much for that Chalicea!

  29. Whew what a good challenge Chalicea – got some of the answers eventually whilst not understanding why, and then Tilsit explains it so well. 6d as my COTD and 7DR as last in. Brilliant week for xwords so a big thanks also to the editor

  30. I have to admit to being one of the ones who didn’t enjoy this as much as usual. It seemed like the same style of clue was used too frequently and some of the surface reading was dubious in my humble opinion. I still admire those that are able to compile all these puzzles and keep them fresh. Thank you also to Tilsit, though he skipped the clues I was struggling with! All done now.

    Far better than that, we have just enjoyed our first rain shower since early June, yay! We could do with several days of gentle but persistent rain but the garden will take any moisture at the moment.

  31. Thank you Chalicea for the crossword, Tilsit for the hints (I needed a couple to get unstuck in the central area, where several I couldn’t get purchase crossed with each other), and everybody else for the comments: it was reassuring to read that I wasn’t the only one who found this trickier than expected!

    I think the trickiness was a few places where all the crossing letters were vowels, plus (in my case), not realizing that the 29a shop is particularly upmarket. One opened in Ilkley this year, so Spouse refers to it as the “new [29a shop]” — which always makes it sound like the trip to obtain flapjacks was to another country, rather than just round the corner.

    I didn’t know 25a’s French cop, so it was good to learn that. My favourite was 4d with those ‘moderates’. Cheers.

  32. Fairly difficult – I needed e-help and the hints to finish the last eight or nine clues. Some very interesting clues but 31a and 11d share COTD. Thanks to our lady setter for a good brain teaser and to Tilsit for the help.

  33. Glancing at one or two of the comments, I see that this was a difficult one for some. I found it not at all to my liking. I did complete the top half without aid, but several answers I had to check they were right before writing them in and even then could not work out the why.

    This morning I used Tilsit’s hints for the first time (! – thamk you, Tilsit.) and cheated on a few answers. Again for several answers could not work out the why.

    The bottom right-hand corner remains empty!! I’ll see what my subconscious can manage, and I hate to leave the Saturday cryptic unfinished, but I might just have to do so this time! *shakes head sadly*

    I’ll now go back and read all the comments.

  34. Wow, I found this the most difficult Saturday puzzle for quite some time.
    It has taken me some time to finish unaided.
    Last one in was 11 and that was a really disappointing DOH moment. I didn’t like 27 and there was no real COTWE either but I much enjoyed the challenge and thank you to the setter .

    1. Welcome to the blog

      The ‘dangers’ question has been discussed earlier in the comments on this post.

  35. Struggled with this over the week plus but came back to it and managed to complete it in the end without electronic help. Strange how the brain works better some days than others

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