DT 29772 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29772 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29772 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

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

Today, we have a pleasant puzzle, which is by our lady in residence. A nice straightforward solve that should tick all the boxes.

I’m off to the British Quizzing Championships where I shall be proctoring the Great and the Good in an effort to see who is the best quizzer in Britain.

Let us know what you thought of today’s teaser, 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:


1a Unusually deep loving evolving (10)
We start today with an anagram (unusually) of DEEP LOVING.

9a Sofa, not posh, with more space to sit? (6)
Take a word for a type of (outdoor) sofa and remove the abbreviation for posh first coined by Nancy Mitford, I believe.

11a Leading estate, this could make the papers! (6)
A cryptic definition – There’s an expression for the press being this estate.

14a Round capital city, cold and extremely tense atmosphere (7)
Around the name of a S American capital goes the abbreviation for cold and the first and last letters (extremely) of tense.

23a Fruit‘s extremely arresting dull surface (6)
A word meaning extremely has inside a word for a dull surface – this word can be spelt three ways, and this is a less common way.

24a Wind up backing deficit hidden by disreputable resort? (8)
Inside a word for a disreputable place goes a word for a deficit, reversed.

25a Get basic new bra with no restraints, it’s more comfortable (6)
Remove the first and last letters of the first four words (unrestrained).

28a Wholesale whiskey I had before English meal (10)
A word sum. After the abbreviation in a certain phonetic alphabet to which the drink refers, goes a shorter way of saying I had. Add the abbreviation for English and the name for a meal.


1d A nervous response after Scotch perhaps could be striking (8)
After a quantity that has come to mean a small measure of Scotch goes A and something that is an involuntary nervous response.

2d Ballot victor due to get time for wife (6)
After another phonetic alphabet letter goes a word meaning due, but with the abbreviation for Time replacing that for Wife

5d Beginning to drive in VW is hard for one in tank? (8)
Inside a model of VW goes the first letter of drive plus IS and the abbreviation for hard.

13d Affirm boast about unfinished government order (9)
Inside something meaning to boast about something goes the word for a government order, minus its last letter.

16d Publication that may include explosive material (8)
Two definitions that mean the same thing.

17d Quarrel after motor crashed this time yesterday? (8)
After an anagram of MOTOR goes a word for a quarrel.

22d Cover emerging from hassle eventually (6)
A hidden answer.

Thank you to Chalicea for today’s challenge. Did you reach for the stars, or crash and burn? Let us know what you think. Hope to see you next Saturday.

The Crossword Club is now open.

Time for something from the talented Kanneh-Mason family. This time from elder sibling Sheku, who certainly brings the best out of the cello.

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: pour+cue+pine=porcupine

62 comments on “DT 29772 (Hints)

  1. Goodness, I’m the first to comment.
    Very nice early morning brain exercise, thank you to the setter.
    I was just a bit unsure of the meaning behind 11a, so thank you Tilset.

  2. A rather more benign prize puzzle than some of late but the SE corner offered some resistance. Could someone please explain the ref to wife in 2d, got me beat and I don’t understand the hint.
    An enjoyable offering.
    Thx to all

    1. the hint for 2d is missing the last part of the sentence – I’ve added something that should help you

      1. Thank you madame!

        Trying to coordinate the most amazing brains into taking part in a quiz is like herding cats!

  3. Great anagram at 1a to get things started followed immediately by 6a and 8a. Then nothing for ages! Nevertheless, it gradually revealed itself for a satisfying solve. It took me ages to get 23a despite having all the checkers because I was trying to fit in AG (extremely arresting). The NE held out longest with 11a being the culprit here. I must try and remember the estate. Lots of ticks such as 8a and 6d but my COTD is 25a because it gave me a great PDM.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Tilsit for the hints.

  4. Last in 11a, took me into *** time for the penny to drop.
    Very satisfying mental workout, completed unaided.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit,

  5. My rating is 2*/3.5* for an undemanding but pleasant SPP. I suspected a pangram might be possible after getting the Q and Z quite early in proceedings but in the end it was a small number of letters short.

    25a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  6. A fairly straightforward puzzle with a few brain-teasers in each corner, which took me into 2.5* time. There was some great misdirection and some enjoyable anagrams. I liked 18a and 24a, where the pieces of the answer took a while to gel but COTD was the well misdirected cryptic definition, 11a. A most enjoyable puzzle so 4* from me. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler (Chalicea?).

  7. 11a was my final entry too, and became my favourite alongside 25a. There was nothing too taxing here, but as always with this setter, it was extremely entertaining and a pleasure to complete.

    My thanks to a Chalicea and Tilsit.

  8. Great puzzle – needed some thought but eminently ‘gettable’. 25a was my last one in, and then I really looked at the clue and saw it.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: listening to the commentary as England’s bowlers get tonked all around The Oval by Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    1. We had “tonk” in a puzzle the other day and I’d never heard of it. Thanks Terence, now I know how to use it!

  9. For me, three quarters was reasonably straightforward but the NE gave me some pause for thought – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 28a, and 1d – and the winner is 24a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    Hmm, a Prolixic MPP with a very simple riddle, that probably means a real stinker for the puzzle!

  10. Another vote for 25a as the pick of the bunch with 5d & 18a making up the podium spots. Found the west a bit of a write in but more of a challenge in the east in what was a typically entertaining puzzle. All over in just over ** time with no parsing issues though I can’t say I’ve ever associated the synonym used at 13d with boasting & was rather surprised to see it listed as such when I checked after completion.
    Thanks both to Chalicea & Tilsit

  11. No sweat today but just enough challenge. North surrendered ahead of the South. Not used to 23a dull surface in that way. My lack of patience meant I failed to fathom 24a or to parse 25a and 13d boast didn’t occur to me. No particular Fav. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit. (Always enjoy Sheku Kanneh Mason cello performances even if he isn’t quite a Jacqueline du Pré. Recently read mother Kadiatu K M’s book about her talented family “House of Music”. I think Isata is in fact the eldest sibling).

    1. They are an amazing family even the two young ones. We are very proud of them in Nottingham.

  12. A steady solve today, only problem being 11a. I had considered the correct answer but could not justify the “leading “, perhaps one of you bright souls could explain it ,after all that position is hardly leading. Thanks to all

    1. DG. With reference to the hint by the reviewer, the answer is the “leading” word in the implied expression. Hope that doesn’t contravene the SP rules.

        1. I know I’ve got the right answer but still I still don’t get it! Something to do with going …….and multiplying?

  13. Loved this puzzle. 25a and 11a my last ones in. 25a had to be what it was and I now see why. I also see something round and yellow in the sky! Goodness me, its the sun. The Beeb has lost the plot again, what a total load of drivel they have churned out with the new look Question of Sport, simply ghastly so won’t watch again. Bring back Sue and the boys I say. Anyway, thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    1. Hear hear re Question of Sport – ‘fings ain’t wot they used to be’ and it will be much missed.

      1. There is an article in The Guardian about the ‘horlicks’ that the Beeb have made of QoS. Much was made of the fact that the quizmaster is a self-styled comedian with no connection to sports. The Beeb have a long history of revamping goocd programmes in the wrong way. If it aint broke don’t fix it!.

          1. We also agreed we would boycott it as it couldn’t possibly be as good as the well tried and tested format.

      2. Angelov
        You clearly don’t possess a modern sense of humour.:
        When you see or hear something crass and totally banal you recognise it as a joke and laugh appropriately.

        1. LOK If a Q of S has been revamped to appeal to a modern sense of humour I evidently am lacking in that and I don’t regret that! They can keep it!

  14. As is often the way for me with this setter, I did query a couple of definitions along the way but there’s no point in checking – she’s invariably correct!
    Favourite here was 18a.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit for the hints and the enjoyable cello piece.

  15. 25a gets my vote as the pick of the bunch of several excellent clues. My last one in when I spotted the misdirection and the penny dropped.
    All very enjoyable, no obscurities, and pleasantly solvable.
    Thanks to all.

  16. Quite an easy one for a prize crossword … enjoyable nonetheless.

    Thanks Chalicea & Tilsit.

    Back to the MPP.

    ps. The hint for 1a has the solution as the anagram indicator.

  17. Enjoyable SPP that I found a tad more difficult than average. I liked the construction of 23a but it was spoiled a little by the very unusual spelling of the dull surface so my podium is 24&27a plus 5d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit for the fun.

  18. I thought this was brilliant and really liked 17 and 21 d – I don’t remember seeing these two words clued thus. Completed all by my own George having gone to the first Rugby lunch and game at Hertford RC. I have an afternoon to myself, do I sew, garden, dust or have a nap? Many thanks to Chalucea and Tilsit, busy organising those genii!

  19. Super SPP, gave great start to the weekend, thank you Chalicea.
    A steady solve and a great mixture of straightforward, amusing and testing clues.
    Go for 13d as COTD.
    Thank Tilsit for the illustrations and explanations.

  20. A pleasant Saturday puzzle for me. 2.5*/**** with some nice clueing.
    Favourites today 18a, 5d, & 17d with winner 5d

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  21. My fave setter, I think Chalicea is a star. I did need the hints to parse 24a, couldn’t get that. The NE was the last to fall, 9a the last, but 11a didn’t give as much headache. Loved 18a and 5d, but so much more to enjoy.
    Thank you Chalicea, I do love you, and gratefulness to Tilsit for unravelling some.

  22. 11a was not our last in, very clever, so our COTD. A really enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  23. Great puzzle and I seemed to be on the right wavelength to whizz through with no hold-ups. I had just given up on yesterday’s Toughie so maybe my brain was still fully stretched. Hard to pick a favourite clue as I liked all of them but I’ll plump
    for 18a as it’s a lovely word. Many thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit.

  24. All went in smoothly most on first attempt. Others were a little shy to come out eg 18 24 and 9a. The one I resorted to assistance for was 11a. I don’t usually give up but could not see me getting it in a month of Saturdays. I hope I remember it. Favourites 18a and 2 3 and 5d. Had to get that as I have one, not the answer! Thanks Chalicea and Tilsit. How did the quiz go? Who won?

  25. There were parts that caused total mental block & other parts fell in,,,
    11ac last one in, this really hung out to the bitter end so 3.5*/3.5*
    Thanks to setter & Tilsit for review.

  26. Thank you all. It is great that you are enjoying it. My own favourite was 25ac. It’s really pleasing when a clue allows that device with a satisfactory surface reading. Many thanks to Tilsit. I’ve just been watching Angus Walker’s Saturday Zoom quiz session where some of those participants are those amazingly quick-thinking quizzers. Hope you managed to keep order.

  27. 2/3. Enjoyable puzzle with no stand out favourites – perhaps 26a at a push. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  28. My goodness, I do love a Chalicea puzzle, and today’s did not disappoint. There were a handful of holdouts over breakfast, but my brain had figured them out by lunchtime. Although it was one of my last in, COTD goes to 18a, and of course because I love gardens and gardening. I do hope Kath is well enough to get out and work in her garden now. Luckily I was familiar with 11a, and also thr Mitford term in 9a. Big thank you to Chalicea and to Tilsit for the hints.

  29. After yesterday’s failure, pleased to finish unaided, bit of a struggle in the NE.
    Not helped by my incorrect spelling of 18a! Favourite 17d, not a difficult clue but nicely worded. 25a is the second ‘no restraints’ clue recently. Is there a name for this type of clue?
    Thanks again to all.

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