DT 29784 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29784 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29784 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Tilsit

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Good morning from Warrington, where it’s a dull overcast day. Thanks to Gazza for holding the fort last week.

It’s a fairly brief intro, as I have something unexpected to sort out, so off we go.

We have an agreeable puzzle which may have an odd headscratcher lurking within. If you like cryptic definitions and anagrams, you’ll be at home here. You will find a pangram within the grid, which usually means we have Cephas on duty. Thanks to him for the challenge.

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 Relative with a universal set of books (4)
The name of one of your relatives is found by taking A, plus the symbol for universal and, as usual, ‘set of books’ refers to a specific set; one of two in a certain book.

8a Gardening trough designed for catchment area (9-6)
An anagram of GARDENING TROUGH will lead you to a phrase. The answer is shown in the Big Red Book with that definition, although without the hyphen, it has another meaning.

10a Choice food‘s fragility (8)
Double definition

11a Aspic ordered with pepper (8)
An anagram of ASPIC, plus the Latin word for with gives you a type of pepper.

17a Calls back for the second time? (2-6)
An all-in-one cryptic definition.

19a It’s for those who need fresh air in the main (8)
Another all-in-one cryptic definition for something that was invented by Jacques Cousteau, whose ‘Wonderful World’ used to be on BBC2 every Sunday evening around 7:30pm.

22a One gets rich as if by magic (9,6)
A cryptic definition of someone who makes money easily or a cryptic definition of JK Rowling!

25a Kind of light, to a great extent (4)
A double definition, a type of flare is also a word that means to a great extent.


1d Article on farm animal biting motorists, silky beast (6,3)
A type of animal with particular fur, is found by taking the two-letter indefinite article, adding the name of a farm animal and inserting (biting) an abbreviation for an organisation that represents motorists.

3d Jumper over the moon? (6,3)
Think of an animal that in rhyme went into space, and what particular type of that animal it could be defined by the first word.

5d Glider daughter’s dispatched deviating around star! (5)
Remove the abbreviation for daughter from GLIDER and rearrange what’s left to give the star in the bottom right of the illustration.

6d Loafer that’s not suitable for express train? (9)
The name for an idler is a cryptic way of saying part of a train that is not fast.

7d Relative of 1 Down finally stumped (4,3)
The name for another type of the same animal as One Down, but it has a noticeable feature cryptically defined by the last two words.

17d Expecting to start late exercising power (7)
A word meaning expecting doesn’t have its first letter (starts late).

18d Played ace OK, nibbling at biscuit (7)
An anagram of ACE OK which goes around (nibbling) AT. It’ll give you something that is different wherever you go in the UK and can be ‘sweet’ or savoury.

20d Partly harmful, certainly that’s sore (5)
Hidden answer.

Were you like 3 down, or were you in need of 19 across? I don’t think too many will be troubled by today’s challenge. Thanks again to today’s setter (surely Cephas?). I’ll see you next week.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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The Quick Crossword pun: state+assemble=status symbol

80 comments on “DT 29784 (Hints)

  1. */*** a steady puzzle with some good anagrams, old favourites and clever wordplay including 1d which is my COTD. I had a slight pause with 6a until I remembered the “going to” direction. With thanks to Tilsit and the setter.

  2. Just enough challenge to get one’s teeth into and have fun at the same time whilst solving in a somewhat haphazard way. Never heard of 1d and couldn’t parse 4d. Several goodies including 19a, 2d and 7d. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit.

      1. I only bunged in without parsing but the penny has just dropped. Think a special kind of “piece” plus 60’s youth “taken over”. Naughty corner for me?

  3. A bit tougher than the last few Saturday’s. ***/*** I think that’s just me though because I stared at 21a for a while before the blindingly obvious answer occurred to me! Favourite 22a. Thanks to all.

  4. I found this one a bit tricky and couldnt get a single clue in the top half of the puzzle, butgradually a few in the bottom half fell into place. Once I had a few checkers in, my old friends guesswork and reverse engineering helped me to finish tbe puzzle quite quickly but not with as much enjoyment as usual (2*/2*). Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to the compiler.

  5. Straightforward which is just as well given a night out on the tiles in Bray. I did need to check the parsing of 25a. 2d was my COTD.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  6. A pleasant and relatively speedy solve this morning, with just enough pauses in the process to make it more interesting. 1d proved to be a particular favourite, along with 22a.

    My thanks to our Saturday setter and to Tilsit. As an aside, I looked at the Toughie blog from yesterday and saw the compiler had a late entry describing his hidden message, which was very cunning. Worth a look.

    1. Hi, YS. I must try to find that message in the Toughie you cited. Didn’t know the compiler had posted a comment. Thanks for the heads-up. It was the only Toughie this week that I failed to finish on my own. It gave Elgar a run for his money, I thought.

  7. All going swimmingly, clattering through like a thoroughbred particularly enjoyed 19a. Then screeching halt at 12d. All checkers in place no sign of inspiration. Ok, admit defeat resort to electrons, no words exist! Ok check checkers, several times. Anyway, who knew I have been spelling 11a incorrectly my entire life. Transpose letters 4 and 5 and the answer smacks me in the face like a week old haddock. Apart from that whole lot of fun.

    1. I always want to spell it the wrong way round too but thought to check the spelling before putting it in which is just as well because it would have made a total nonsense of 12d as you say.

          1. I think you should set more as I can tune into yours easier than some other compilers! Thanks for the fun

  8. A mixed bag for me as not a fan of the 3a and 21a clues although readily solved. I especially liked 2d as I was at the roulette wheel trying to think of another way of saying “no more bets”. The other clue where I was on another wavelength was 19a. I was stuck on the nautical theme and no wind. This might have led me up the garden path if I only had the checker for 20d as then I would really have been stuck in the “d’s”. I really like clues which have these misdirection’s and so thanks setter.

  9. 1.5*/4*. This was a light but very enjoyable pangram. I’ve got an inkling who the setter might be but I’m not confident enough to come out with it.

    2d was my favourite with 22a runner-up.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  10. Quite a straightforward solve but have to say that it was far from being in my top ten of Saturday puzzles. Of the clues I did enjoy, 3d came out on top.

    Thanks to our setter and to Tilsit for the hints.

    1. I agree, although there were a few clues that didn’t really work for me 3d being one along with 22 . No real stand out COTD, but 2d made me smile.
      Thanks to the setter .

  11. I had a couple of bung ins, which I cannot relate the clue to. Needless to say, these were not hinted so I will have to await the review. At long last, I have remembered the tennis player at 23a and that has taken some time to bed into the grey matter. I did notice the pangram, which is something I often miss. I loved 3d but my COTD is 11a.

    Many thanks to the setter and thanks, also, to Tilsit.

  12. I found this one quite a head scratcher, but got there in the end and even managed to parse everything.
    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

    Beautiful warm sunny day today…..but I’m stuck inside with the apples……and for variety helping Mr Meringue find his new glasses……deep joy.

  13. An enjoyable mid-challenge SPP – **/3.5*.

    Unusually for me, I decided that it was a pangram around 80% complete.

    Like Angellov, I have never heard of 1d; however, it couldn’t be anything else but I did check just to make sure. With solving it and 7d quite early on, I thought there might be a theme developing.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 12d, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.

    With the pangram, my 10 cents is on Cephas as the setter, so thanks to him, or whoever if I am wrong, and Tilsit.

  14. Tough to get started on this pangram but it gradually came together. My fav was 22a but must admit I do not understand the clueing on 6a.
    Became more enjoyable as I began to get in the setters wavelength but not the easiest by any means.
    Thx to all

    1. Re 6a, if you think of do it like this, but swop this for a two letter word you will probably see the rest. Oh dear hope I’m not for the naughty step🥴.

      1. Some get on the naughty stair for saying “think like” others don’t so you may be lucky.(or unlucky if you like humble pie).
        I’m one that does so I simply avoid trying to help

      2. Thx for trying to help but I am obviously far too stupid to understand clues of this level.
        Still at least it reminds me of the super holidays we have had in this great state where we should have been this summer but for the dreaded…….!

        1. Brian I don’t think once you are up to the DT – as you clearly are – it’s about intelligence. Sometimes it’s just knowledge, practice – but mainly luck! The more you do the better you get I think.

          1. Thanks for your kind words. It is frustrating when you have an answer and just cannot work out the wordplay. I’ll just have to wait for the full explanation.

  15. I didn’t notice the pangram, of course (I never see lurkers either). An enjoyable crossword – getting the two long ‘uns really got me under way.

    Forgive me – I’m going to paste in my reply to Daisy (and Merusa) from yesterday, as she/they may not have seen it:
    “Hello Daisy – Thank you very much for asking about Lola. She is fine – now on half a steroid daily, and that seems to be the right level for her. Over the last month she has brought in gifts of baby mice at least once each week, so her hunting skills are as finely honed as ever.
    She is a lovely little cat and a joy to have in our lives.
    All the best to you, and George.”

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

    1. Hard to believe that she doesn’t actually ‘belong’ to you, Terrence. Seems to me that the cosseted young lady has made her own choice – clever cat!

    2. I did see it Terence – at about 3am last night! Madness. I don’t know that we have seen little Lola in her entirety- what a handsome lass! The last week we have had a timid little ginger puss in the garden, not seen her/him before. It came into the house one day but scooted out when I spoke to it. It would be lovely to develop a rapport with a neighbouring cat as you have done!

    3. A lovely girl, so pretty, lovely that she’s doing so well. I’m down to one ginger puss, Amalia, after a max of seven I miss seeing a cat curled up in all corners of the house.

  16. Mildly surprised that others found this one so straightforward. I’m with Ora & Chriscross in finding it rather tricky & particularly so t’up north though it was no breeze for me down south either. A bit whacked after 3 days out golfing & lack of sleep is the excuse I’m sticking to for being particularly slow to cotton on to the setter’s wavelength. Never heard of 1d, pangram alert got me the relative at 7d & 5d was also new to me. Additionally my lack of Latin rendered 3 letters of 11a a mystery & like Angellov I can’t parse 4d (well the first 4 letters of it). Still enjoyed it however. 2d was the standout clue for me with 19&22a plus 1&6d my other ticks.
    Thanks to the setter & to Tilsit.
    Ps 2 Toughies to catch up on & see Chalicea is on NTSPP duty so that’s this afternoon sorted in between dozing off.

  17. Thought I had this all sorted and that it might be by our friend mr x less, then I read the hints and found it was a pangram. After checking my answers I found I had the wrong fur in 7d. Struggled to parse 4d until just now, although I had the answer in. Altogether an enjoyable puzzle with some nice clueing, particularly 14d for its neatness and simplicity. Thanks to all.

    1. To correct my last entry, I now discover I still had 7d wrong, a re read of the hint and the penny finally dropped, doh !!

  18. Bottom half took a little longer than the top for this fairly straightforward SPP, but over in ** time.
    Go for 7d as my COTD: always feel sorry for them, and it directed me to the pangram.
    Thanks to setter for the enjoyment (***) and Tilsit for the hints.

  19. A glorious autumn day here in south Cambridgeshire and with the air show on at Duxford IWM I’m hoping to see the dozen or so spitfires they have promised flying overhead. It will take me straight back to Banstead in the 40s. A very nice pangram to which I was alerted by the J and Q of course. I still do not understand 6a but hope I am right, I will see what George says when he comes back fro rugby at Hertford, if he can stay awake. Thanks to Setter and Hinter, enjoy the weather whilst you can. Oh ! I think I have just seen 6a ‘going to Maine’. Yes. Sneaky.

      1. Well there now! We actually lived in Cheam Village but my mother’s eldest sister lived in Banstead and as we often seemed to lose all our windows through bomb blast, or Auntie Dolly would go up to London to help Grandma Daisy in her business, my mother would move into Banstead and look after my four boy cousins, my brother and me. Uncle was the village policeman and highly respected. When we were there I would go to the village Dame School. Were you there when the doodlebug hit Banstead?

        1. We moved from Banstead to Kingswood before the end of the war and in fact a doodlebug hit the house next door causing a fire/death as they had gas lighting. We just lost windows, doors, etc. but suffered no injuries. I went to St. Christopher’s School in Kingswood (alas no longer the village it was in those days – horribly gentrified and suburban!).

          1. I was in an underground shelter ON MY OWN after the August Bank Holiday when the bomb hit Banstead. I was trapped underground in the dark for four hours before they dug me out! Mother and cousins, at breakfast, were saved by hearing the whoosh and getting under the sturdy dining table. My uncle was on duty of course. Later that day we trekked through Banstead High Street and queued up at a British Restaurant to get some food, my teenage boy cousins were racing round picking up bones as the churchyard was damaged. Happy days.

            1. 😣 My goodness what an experience for a little girl. We had been evacuated to family in Hampshire for months but returned home just a couple of days before the bomb hit. My mother had been heard to say “It will take more than Hitler to get me out of my home again” – how wrong she was, we went back to Hampshire!

  20. I seem to have bounced around this pangram last night, moving all over the place, trying to anchor somewhere until the three animals came to my rescue. I don’t usually work the ‘downs’ first but that’s what got me going and I lumbered into a *** finish without having to resort to hints or electrons. Though the puzzle lacked an enlivening spark for me, I did find it satisfying to come up with the answers to 8 and 11a, both of which are new to me. (Where have I been? You may well ask.) I think I’ll select 1,3,& 5d as my winners since they saved my hash for me. Thanks to Tilsit and Cephas. *** / ***

  21. Really enjoyed this today and spotted the pangram very quickly which helped. Lovely day here in Norfolk and going to a birthday pyjama party tonight – and the age of the very spritely birthday girl – 83!. It is about a ten minute walk from us through the village, can’t take the car as nowhere to park, so we and our next door neighbours will probably look ridiculous. Anyway thanks to the setter and Tilsit. I might post a photo of us in in our PJs tomorrow.

    1. I wouldn’t worry too much, Manders – a lot of the clothing these days looks like night attire anyway! Have fun.

    2. Don’t worry about the PJs, I’ve read that the parents at the school gate are wearing them these days 😊.

      1. I watched a chap in plaid pyjamas park his car in our market square, get out and go to the cash point at the bank, at 10 am, when iit was quite busy. He had a fleece over the top but was wearing his slippers.

    3. Manders, we were just having a G’nT with our neighbours and I said I was desperate to see the sea. On a mad impulse we decided to go to Wells next week – have you a suggestion for lunch? It is years since we have been there. We are quite fishy.

  22. A relatively straightforward puzzle for today. SW was last area in. 2.5*/****
    Favourites today 23a, 3d, 5d, 12d & 16d with winner 16d but 3 a close second.
    Thought 17d was a clever clue as was 1d

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  23. I started slowly but hit the wavelength early on and I was away! I got 3a and 3d right off and that alerted me to the pangram, a great help. I loved it all, nothing obscure, the light in 25a hasn’t made an appearance for a while. I have two top of the pops today, 1d and 7d, because of who they are.
    Thanks setter (Cephas?), perfick puzzle, was that David Jason in Darling Buds of May? Thanks also Tilsit for the hints and pics. I’m off to get my exercise before the monsoon hits this afternoon.

  24. 2/3. A lot of bunging in and then reverse engineering the clues. Enjoyable enough though and helped by anagrams and a pangram. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit. At last I have now recovered 8000 in deposits for holidays which got hit by Covid. It’s only taken 18 months and the help of an excellent legal team. Needless to say there are some companies I won’t touch with a barge pole in future.

    1. Good for you … this a nice chunk of change to get back from companies that are so willing to take your money and then think they can keep it and try to leave you, as Sheldon from The Big Theory would say, “…what you would be if you were attached to another object by an inclined plane wrapped helically around an axis … “!!

  25. Made some silly mistakes, including misspelling 11a, and having the wrong answer for 19a at first. I thought it worked well, until it didn’t. I’m still in the dark as to the reasoning in 4d. 17a is one of those awkward words that never looks right written down. But at least I finished, albeit with some hints, so quite enjoyed. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  26. Thanks, all. My favourite at the time of solving was 2d, but it may now be 4d once I finally worked out the wordplay on that one.

    I didn’t understand 6a, so was planning on checking Friday’s full review for that (it’s always good to have something to look forward to) but I see DaveG explained it to Brian above.

    I struggled a bit with this, and used a few hints: I’m terrible with anagrams, and a few of the cryptic definitions didn’t jump out at me, so this was far from my finest performance at crossword-solving.

  27. We were on pangram alert but then forgot about it so it didn’t help in the end but stumbled over the line anyway. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  28. Sorry I’m a bit new to this but what is this pangram everyone refers to. Otherwise managed to mostly finish puzzle .which I don’t always do …… that is after correcting my spelling of 11a which meant I could solve 12d.

          1. True. But only if you say it correctly! And I’ve obviously been saying it wrong all these years!

  29. Thank you Cephas. Also Tilsit but finished without the hints. Some four letter clues easy – top and bottom left whereas top and bottom right more perplexing. Some great clues 3a and too many to mention in the downs. I hope to be seeing some 7d soon.

  30. A sense of relief to have finished this eventually; and I’m now released to get on with other weekend chores. My misspelling of 11a didn’t help of course but it seems I’m in good company. Afraid these weren’t my sort of clues (and that’s not just sour grapes). But despite the puzzle it’s good to be part of a friendly community like this one on the blog!

  31. I don’t like answers in a crossword which have the same ending, or am I being catty, also 17a irks, I’d like to see it in a sentence……

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