DT 29796 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29796 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29796 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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I’ve had another SOS message from Tilsit this morning so you can blame me if you think the following hints are not up to scratch although I don’t think most solvers will need much in the way of help today.

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.

Across Clues

1a County suit under discussion (5)
The short name of an English county sounds like one of the four card suits.

13a Sign there’s tooth decay, first one pulled (5)
Remove the first letter (first one pulled) from a word for tooth decay.

17a Do as I do facing queen: that’s child’s play! (6-2-6)
Start with a phrase meaning ‘do as I do’ (6,2,4) and add our Queen’s regnal cipher.

24a Faint, not very fit (4)
Drop the abbreviation for ‘very’ from an adjective meaning faint or indistinct.

30a Underwear of poor quality (5)
Double definition, the second an informal term for rubbish which in recent years has become a well-used, though not universally liked, anagram indicator.

Down Clues

1d Excellent thing, tea or coffee perhaps? (3,5)
To quote Chambers this is ‘any person, thing or performance that is outstandingly remarkable, excellent, vigorous or attractive’. It could be how you’d describe recently brewed tea or coffee.

3d Witness jumpers being lifted (4)
These jumpers are garments.

7d Break down in tears initially: see, I’m upset (7)
The initial letters of In Tears followed by an anagram (upset) of SEE I’M.

21d Stage before drive shows cricketing skill (3,4)
Stick together a word for a stage or section of a journey or sports event and a drive or short trip for pleasure.

26d Stair hamsters perhaps will climb (4)
Reverse what hamsters can be examples of.

The Crossword Club is now open.

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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: LICKED + TENSE + STEIN = LICHTENSTEIN


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62 comments on “DT 29796 (Hints)
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  1. Nothing terribly difficult or obscure in this enjoyable Saturday puzzle. 13a caught my eye as a potential favourite, but that slot was taken by 9d. A speedy solve, but good fun on a cheerless morning.

    My thanks to our setter and Gazza.

  2. 1*/2.5*. I found this very light and pleasant with no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping in again so ably.

  3. Not too challenging for a Saturday prizer. I agree with Young Salop – 9d was satisfying to write in.

    Off now to Stamford Bridge – weather most unhelpful.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Neil Young – Harvest

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  4. I found this to be lots of fun, witty and amusing. My only brief holdup was the cricketing term, but I quickly worked it out. Favourites: 9d, 23a, 1d. Thanks to Gazza for the hints and to today’s setter. **/***

  5. A good puzzle that for me was ruined by 6d, 23a and 15d. This grid with the tricky spacing is not easy at the best of times but these three were very difficult clues which if course were not hinted!
    A real shame because the rest was well clued. My favs were 24a and 21d.
    A real pity, a spoilt puzzle.
    **/*** ignoring the above and *****/* with them.

    1. I’m really struggling to see what’s wrong with 23a, a fine clue, or 6&15d for that matter, both perfectly acceptable Brian?

  6. Nowt wrong with it but I did feel today’s puzzle rather paled in comparison to those that have preceded it this week. A quick solve though 13a caused a bit of a head scratch as I’d forgotten the term for tooth decay & it took a couple of mental trawls through the zodiac to get the right one.
    Thanks to the setter & Gazza for stepping in once more.

  7. I thought this was a corker 👌. Just needed Gazza’s hint to explain 24a which now makes complete sense, so thank you for hinting that one and thank you too to the compiler.

  8. I agree with Huntsman, definitely not the sixth in a row but no ‘winning streak’ lasts for ever. Although, I was considering reserving judgement, I seem to have found that it was a little more challenging than most who have commented so far – 2.5*/2*.

    No standout favourites, but 16d did raise a smile.

    Thanks to the setter and our new super-sub.

  9. Found this to be something of an oddity and can’t say that I’ve ever come across the use of 5d before today.
    I dread to think what Merusa will have to say about 30a!
    Nothing stood out for favouritism although 9d almost deserved a tick.

    Thanks to our setter and to Gazza for yet more stand-in duties.

  10. I cannot say I breezed through this one . Needed the hint for 3d and electronic help for 23a…..feel a bit stupid about 23a now….

    Thanks to Gazza and to the setter.

    Miserable looking day here, but not actually raining yet.

  11. This puzzle suffered a bit by comparison with the superb offerings from Monday to Friday this week. Howver it was quite enjoyable (2*/3.5*)and the inly problem I had was with 22a, where the answer seemed obvious but the wordplay was confusing and I couldn’t parse my answer. The best clue for me was 17a followed by21 d, which surprised me as I don’t usually find that type of clue easy. Thanks to Gazza for the hints and to the compiler.

  12. Quite gentle. **/** I’ve never come across 5d. Perhaps someone can explain the meaning in general usage later next week. I thought 1d was a bit abstract – perhaps the beverages are in the clue to misdirect but the whole thing doesn’t work for me. 21d favourite. Thanks to all.

  13. Thank goodness the synapses in the grey matter are functioning again because I rattled through this until stopped by a couple. I’m not sure if I have the answers to 23a and 15d correct but on the whole an enjoyable solve. The solve was helped along by getting the long ones early on, which gave no end of checkers to work with. Of the long ones, I had not heard of 5d but it had to be that given the clue.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Gazza for stepping in for Tilsit, whom I hope has just been called into work and not any other sort of SOS.

  14. Nice, easy puzzle. My last ones in were 24a (nice word, the checking letters gave it away and then the penny dropped) and 4a (where the wordplay was easy enough, but the definition bit sounded a bit too much like a tradesman being economical with the actualité!)

  15. Perhaps I am getting too choosy in my old age but this didn’t float my boat. Liked surfaces of the little 12a and 15d (sorry Brian!). Thank you Mysteron and Gazza for standing in once more.

  16. I think previous commenters have been a little unkind to this, I thought it a witty and clever puzzle, albeit on the gentle side.
    Runaway winner for me was 16d through I did like 23a and 9d too.
    2/3.5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his role as Saturday sub.

  17. Enjoyed this, but all over too quickly!
    16D was my COTD that raised a chuckle – even Mrs H enjoyed it 😜
    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable romp, and to Gazza for stepping in at short notice👍
    Cheers!

  18. Right on my wavelength today – a most enjoyable puzzle with great clues to brighten up a rainy day in the Peaks. My standout favourite is 17a – memories of my primary school playground many moons ago!
    With thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  19. Pretty straightforward despite not having heard of the tooth decay in 13a or 5d they just had to be what they were. Favourite was 16d. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  20. This went in quite quickly. Hadn’t heard of the expression at 5d but easily gettable. Have lit the wood burner for the first time as its freezing. Slow roasting excess tomatoes and red peppers to make soup and the smell is heavenly – yum yum. Thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping in. Glad Tilsit is OK.

    1. Yes, Manders, Tomato Soup is on my list of things to do as we have had a lot of outdoor ones ripening within the space of a few weeks. Thanks for reminding me!

      1. I love soup making as you know exactly whats in it. I’ve got a large free range chicken roasting in the oven now which will do several meals and lots of different soups!

  21. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering, with just 3 clues holding me up at the
    end. Probably the bubbly we had last night to celebrate our 55th anniversary. How time flies. COTD definitely 16d, LOL. Big thanks to setter and Gazza.

        1. My goodness, thanks to everyone and for the best wishes. Didn’t know about the Emerald, I will have to let Peter know ☺️.

  22. What a relief , this puzzle proves my mental decline isn’t terminal, after yesterday’s failed attempt 😁. Had a bit of a hiccup with 24a, kept thinking fit, healthy or athletic until the penny dropped. And do we really have to get with the kids in the nauseous 30a. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle, thanks to all.

    Good grief I’m turning into a grumpy old man(30a)

  23. Good to have the occasional confidence builder.
    Satisfying to complete.
    Completed in ** and a bit time.
    The bit because I pondered for too long, perhaps, over 13a and 14a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gaza.

  24. Found this one a little more troublesome than normal for a Saturday. Ended up as 2.5*/*** for me. Last four in were 13a, 23a, 15d & 16d … found those short words very troublesome to suss out. On the other hand favourites were 1a, 10a, 11a, 2d & 9d with winner 9d for construction of clue and 10a the runner up.
    Off now to have another 22d of 1d

    Thanks to setter and Gazza for filling in for Tilsit today.

  25. Pretty straightforward. Last one in was 22a. Agree 5d was odd having never come across it before.
    Congratulations to Busy Lizzie and her spouse of 55 years.

  26. Like yesterday, I found some to be pretty straightforward, and then the rest devilish tricky. Of all things, I struggled over 3d and it was my last in, It’s not hard and I think we’ve had it a few times. I got 5d, even solving the anagram unaided, but I have no idea what it means. Hard to pick a fave, I quite liked 9d, but 23a was pretty clever too. Glad to know my brain has not completely dried up.
    Thank you kind setter for the fun Your stepping in for Tilsit at the last minute was much appreciated Gazza, thanks for the hints.

  27. 1a is not a homophone as far as I am concerned though maybe I am mispronouncing the county.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  28. Great gun – I didn’t know 5d but it had to be and I am still unsure of 15d. I really do not like 30a – what a horrid word but I am an old Fuddy Duddy. What a nasty wet day – we have a lovely log fire to cheer us up. Thanks to the setter and to Gaza.

  29. 5d was new to me too, though the second word seemed obvious and the top one fell into place round the checkers….otherwise, straightforward but fun…

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