DT 29754 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29754 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29754 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by crypticsue

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Young Tilsit was called into work at silly-o’clock this morning, and so rather than wake up Senf, Gazza and I had a bit of an arm wrestle and, ever the gentleman, he insisted on ‘ladies first’ (well my email saying I’d do the blog was sent two minutes before his!)

This lovely sunny morning brings us an actual on-the-back-page backpager which has to be a good start. I think I’ve guessed the setter, so it will be interesting to see if the right person turns up to claim ownership of the crossword.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them. If, as is bound to be the case, I haven’t given hints for the clues for which you need help, try looking for anagrams, lurkers or ‘old friends’

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    Two Europeans finish (6,6)
Two European nationalities combine to give a finish found on furniture

8a    Aussie native infiltrating company, genteel English establishment? (3,4)
An informal term for an Australian native ‘infiltrating’ a set of people (company)

14a    Wood entirely in foil (9)
A type of wood and an adverb meaning entirely

24a    Ship’s captain, delicate flier? (7)
Double definition, one a lot more obvious than the other

26a    Wine coming together for traditional event (5,7)
 A type of wine and part of a verb meaning uniting closely (coming together)


1d    Standards to preserve on vessels (7)
 Some standards preserving ON (from the clue)

3d    Succeed with technology? You’re joking! (4,3,2)
 A two-word phrase meaning to succeed and some abbreviated technology

6d    Little golden item, royal (7)
I’ve included this clue as the first definition made me smile. The second one refers to a Muslim royal

7d    Those blending in with surroundings never leave exclusive groups (5,7)
An expression meaning to never leave and some exclusive groups

22d    Hurled from one side to the other, reportedly (5)
A homophone (reportedly) of a way of saying from one side to the other

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: DIRT + TEAS + EGRET = DIRTY SECRET

44 comments on “DT 29754 (Hints)

  1. CS, I think the answers have been printed by mistake in the 26a and 1d hints. A nicely misdirected crossword with a sting in the SW corner (2,5*/4*). My favourites were 26a,11a,14a and COTD 1a. Thanks to CS for the hints and to the compiler.

      1. Thank you for doing the hints at such short notice CS. It can’t havebeen easy to do all that quickly.

        1. I had quite a lot of notice compared to some of the times I’ve been the stand-in (or even the stand-in’s stand-in) helped by the fact that I’m still keeping my Covid shop early on Saturday morning routine. A surprising number of people (both staff and shoppers) without masks today which surprised me.

          1. We’ve been shopping early since the beginning of Covid, but we go on Thursdays. We aim to get there by 7:30am latest (they open at 7am). Hardly anyone there, and everyone masked. Anything after 8am and it’s busy, with lots unmasked younger people.

  2. Really enjoyed this today. I had completely the wrong answer to 7d (I thought I was sooo clever). Once I saw the error of my ways fell into place quite nicely. 21a last in, could see the bed but not the cat – good clue. Thanks to the setter and CS

  3. I loved this crossword from start to finish even though I had entered just one after the first pass. Then it gradually fell into place for an unaided finish. Plenty of clues to like such as 11a, 25a, 21a and 10d. However, my COTD is 14a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the hints, which I will now read.

  4. I agree with CS on it being a good start having a back page back-pager! It’s just tidier somehow without having to faff about folding pages!
    Galloped through leaving lots of time for the garden!
    Thanks setter and CS

  5. An entertaining exercise this morning. Not overly taxing, **/*** but no obscurities. I did like the sausage clue in 11a and the cat in 21a – both very inventive clues. Favourite is 1a. Thanks to all.

  6. Very enjoyable with some quirky but elegant clues. COTD for me def 1a, made me smile. Wasn’t too keen on 17d, bit clumsy.
    For me one of the best Saturday puzzles for a while, helps me put that thing on Thursday out of my mind.
    Thx to all

  7. Very pleasant Saturday puzzle although I do hate what I refer to as ‘made up’ words such as 17d.
    Joint favourites here in 14a & 7d.

    Thanks to our setter (think I’ve got a reasonable idea) and to CS for yet more extra duties.

  8. All over in ** time, except for 6d. I suspected we were looking for a ‘foreign’ word, but just could not see it. Of course, it has to be COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and CS.

  9. After the last couple of days, something sensible with one or two to think about, and one very recent repeat – just right for a SPP – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite 1a, 14a, and 1d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS for sitting in (at silly-o’clock this morning I would have been well and truly under the influence of last night’s tonic and gin).

  10. 14a seems to be the favourite so far today, and I concur. I also liked 7d and 3d. 6d was my LOI. Very pleasant SPP. Thanks to CS for stepping in at the last minute, and to the setter. ** / ***

    Republican anti-vaxxers are wreaking havoc over here as the Delta variant sets records in the ‘red’ states most critically. Madness!

    1. There was a whole item on the US anti-vaxxers on our news bulletins last Thursday. Madness doesn’t begin to describe it

      1. It’s bizarre, and I’m living in one of the worst states with a governor who spouts gibberish every time he opens his mouth.

  11. This took quite a bit of unravelling but all good fun. Not keen on abbreviations such as in 8a. 16a had to be but In spite of having lived in US for years know little about baseball so bunged in. After much deliberation 14a became Fav. Thanks Mysteron and CS (completely unimportant but your 8a hint is shown as 8d).

    1. For some strange reason, the template we use to create the blog post insists on putting a small d after the Across clue numbers, so you have to remember to change them all from a d to an a (and sometimes I miss one or two)

  12. The repeat was more noticeable to us as I didn’t have time to do yesterday’s so we did today, very strange. Only the parsing of 6d causing any real hold up. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  13. 2*/4* for a light enjoyable Saturday back-pager.

    I thought the wordplay for the second word in 26a and the answer were a bit “same-sidey”, and the definition in 18a earned a (very gentle) hmm. Those aside, this was great fun with 14a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

  14. I thought this was a very well balanced crossword and all fell into place without too much angst. I couldn’t believe 17d was an acceptable word so was my last one in. I liked 8,14 and 21a and 6d. Many thanks to CS and to the setter. Have a good weekend everyone.

  15. For me this suffered in comparison to yesterday’s cracker and I found it a tad lacking in sparkle though pleasant enough.
    Nothing really stood out for me other than 7d&10d (as we had it yesterday) so going for a….
    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio is a hard act to follow!) and to CS for standing in.

  16. This appeared very difficult on first viewing and when I had solved only half and seemingly at a full stop I came to the blog which only two clues I hadn’t solved and which could be solved electronically. At that point, against my better nature, I consulted baseball entries on the web and found the answer to one clue which started the completion.

    Honourable mentions to 1, 21, and 24a, and 7 and 8d.

    Thanks to crypticsue and the setter.

  17. This puzzle was a real conundrum at the beginning. I started this on Friday night in the worst area in the world today for air pollution due to the massive amount of wildfires in B.C. Absolutely awful this afternoon and rated a 10, (the highest rating), for the entire Lower Mainland.
    But I digress…
    Found this a slow start but eventually gathered some momentum then I took a break for a couple of hours when I hit a brick wall. Had some ‘refreshment’ and suddenly things fell into place.
    Clues for favourites include 1a, 8a, 16a, 1d & 3d with 3d winner but followed closely by 8a.
    14a, 21a, 25a had their PDM but also involved a chuckle too.
    Very pleasant puzzle to work through and all the better for not needing any hints.

    Thanks to setter and crypticsue

  18. The most straightforward puzzle of the week & I’m inclined to agree with Stephen that it suffered in comparison to a few of them. That said it was an enjoyable solve albeit over a little too quickly in 1.5* time. Another vote for 14a as pick of the crop

  19. 1a and 7d went straight in, helping me to get off to a good start. Some others took some working out, mostly my own fault, missing an anagram indicator or chasing the wrong definition. Still don’t understand 21a. Had to check spelling of 17d. But a bit of a relief after the last few days. 1a wins the COTD prize for me. Thanks to setter and CrypticSue.

  20. Took me a while to get i to this one but the downs eventually came to my rescue.
    Managed it unaided except for 6d for which I needed CS’s hint. Is it simply a double definition ? Or am I missing something? Or will I have to wait for the full review ?

    Hope Tilsit has been released from work by now.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS

  21. I enjoyed this a lot, not easy, but lots of fun. It took ages to get 17d, writing out the checkers and trying to fit the given letters into it, my paper is covered in scratchings. Some long ones, 1a, 7d and 10d, we’ve had before and went straight in, that helped a lot. I forgot the delicate flier in 24a, and I’m sure we’ve had that before too. Fave was 14a, seems it’s #1 choice today.
    Thanks to our setter for the fun, and to CS for standing in at such short notice, enjoy your sunny day! We’re waiting patiently for Fred to dump his inches of rain on us, thank goodness he no longer has any wind.

  22. I found today’s puzzle a real treat.
    Not the hardest but very enjoyable, COTD by far was 14 and last one in was 6 .
    Thanks to the setter .

  23. I seem to be the only one who found this difficult. Solved 9 clues on the first pass but after that needed a lot of e-help. COTD 7d (which I did solve myself!). A difficult end to a very difficult week – my poor brain is exhausted and is hoping for an easier time next week. Thanks to setter and stand-in crypticsue.

  24. Poor Tilsit. ….and to think it was not that long ago I was commiserating with him on being made redundant!
    Thankyou for stepping in. Please note I’ve made sure I’ve stuck to the rules after last week’s faux pas.

  25. I thought this crossword had some of the most beautifully crafted clues I’ve seen in a long time👏,a delight to complete, need I say more. Thanks to all.

  26. Coming late to this most enjoyable puzzle only a few hours ago. Delightfully composed, generally very smooth surfaces and a great selection of clue types. Plenty of amusement and chuckles, some very clever work indeed from the Setter. Sadly over all too soon, but an absolute pleasure nonetheless.

    HMs to 21a, 24a, 2d, 19d; COTD shared between 14a and 7d: both were quite wonderful.

    1.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the mystery Setter, and to CS.

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