DT 29820 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29820 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29820 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Tilsit is busy at work once again so you’re stuck with me for today’s hints. I thought that this puzzle was much more what I think a prize puzzle should be like than recent Saturday puzzles and therefore is more enjoyable. Whereas for recent puzzles I had a struggle to find enough clues to hint, this week it was trickier to decide which ones to leave out.

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

8a Eradicate native Australian solicitor (4,3)
The short form of a native Australian creature and a solicitor (i.e. someone soliciting business).

11a A county going after prize turned over huge sum of money (9)
A (from the clue) and the short name of a county north of London follow the reversal of a prize or jewel.

17a Retreat harder on sons failing to clinch victory (4,2,4,5)
An anagram (failing) of HARDER ON SONS contains a synonym of victory.

24a Wife in love, remarkably I say (5)
Insert the genealogical abbreviation for wife into an anagram (remarkably) of LOVE.

28a On supermarket shelf just around the corner (2,5)
Double definition, the second meaning ‘just around the corner’ or ‘about to happen’.

Down Clues

1d Evidence cake’s been swiped? Good Lord! (6)
This mild exclamation of surprise could be what’s left after a cake’s been nicked.

3d Threatening, in order to achieve command (10)
A preposition (3) meaning ‘in order to achieve’ is followed by another word for a command or request.

15d Student of behaviour got hostile when misbehaving! (10)
This student of animal or human behaviour (not a word I was familiar with) is an anagram (when misbehaving) of GOT HOSTILE.

16d Petty official patient man throws out (9)
Join together an Old Testament man known for his patience and an anagram (out) of THROWS.

25d Oil perhaps observed from below in defective bulldozer (4)
Hidden in reverse (from below, in a down clue).

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: LEAF + MEAL + OWN = LEAVE ME ALONE


82 comments on “DT 29820 (Hints)

  1. 1.5*/3.5*. I thought this was a light and enjoyable SPP with only 15d needing some teasing out as it was a new word for me.

    8a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping into the breach on a Saturday once again.

    1. I only realised that my stretched “student of behaviour” parsing was incorrect when I got 14a. I too had never come across the word.

    2. Got me too, and I thought I’d been so clever to solve the anagram, only to find I’m not such a clever clogs after all. Rats.

  2. Agree with Gazza, much more fun than latterly, especially last week’s offering where I am still smarting about the Batty clue. In my book if it is not in Wisden it is not cricket. Never did find out who was responsible for last week? If I am the only one today caught out by going for the more obvious anagram for 15d then I am an Ozzie! COTD 1d but many great clues including the well worded 24a. Cheers Gazza and compiler.

    1. You’re not alone re 15d; the alternative anagram was my first thought (which I could not parse), but luckily I only wrote in the obvious last 5 letters of the answer until I had 14a.

      Thanks to the setter, and to Gazza.

  3. Oh dear, a large amount of words with no discernible connection. Way out of my league I’m afraid. It would be easier to knit fog.

    1. Oh thank you Brian. I was just feeling the same…and the clue for 17a doesn’t seem to match the answer at all. Not at all my favourite. I like a crossword that gives a girl/man a chance!

    2. I agree.
      Managed a couple only even with Gazza’s hints.
      Will be interesting to know the compiler. Will have to wait for the explanations on Friday

  4. Thanks Gazza! I was so convinced there was a letter missing from the answer in 7d that I checked in here, hoping to see you puzzled too. As you’re not, I now think I’m missing something, so back to parsing and head scratching!

    1. Oh, I just got it. I was trying to force in the wrong goddesses. As you were. (sidles off sheepishly)

  5. Finished in quick time today (for me). 14a was my favourite, once I had 22d. 17a was last in despite having all of the checkers. 24a had me confused for a while as I thought it was a hidden word (I hope it’s ok to say it isn’t).

  6. Plenty to like about this one. Fun whilst it lasted. 25a was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and Gazza.

  7. I have to report a DNF I’m afraid. I managed to get the anagram at 15d wrong which threw out 14a and 17a.

    Other than that, very enjoyable. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  8. Pleasingly tricky for a Saturday morning with some excellent clues. I initially put another word in 15d that nearly got me in all sorts of trouble with the across clues but all came right in the end. 7d was my top clue, with 5d my final entry.

    Thanks setter and super sub Gazza.

  9. My reaction seems to be the complete opposire to Gazza’s. Whilst I enjoyed the two geographical clues14a and 17a, I found many of rhe clues rather heavy handed, as if the compiler was trying awfully hard to demonstrate how difficult he could make the SPP. I’m not of the opinion that this is the way to go. The SPP attracts lots of occasional readers and cruciverbalists and such a challenging but less enjoyable puzzle might well put people off trying cryptic crosswords. My rating would be 3.5* for difficulty and 1.5* for enjoyment. Thanks to Gazza for the hints and to the compiler for his efforts.

    1. Thank you, I often think this of stretched clues. Did the setter really have to make it so hard, when the same answer could be found without prolonged head scratching.

      1. I agree with you Chriscross. Saturday puzzles were my way in to cryptics. I would not have continued if they had all been as difficult as this one.

  10. I did need the hints for one but, in the main, this was a most enjoyable puzzle with just the right amount of pondering needed. I got the wrong word in 15d and that threw me off the trail for quite a while. I could not see the parsing for 21a assuming I have it correct. The reference to windy also was lost on me at 26a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Gazza for stepping in and giving us the hints.

    I liked the Quickie pun.

    Lovely sunny day in the Welsh Marches so I’m stacking logs.

  11. A problem free 1.5* time solve notable for not reading county as country for a change. As Jonners says fun whilst it lasted. Can’t say I was familiar with the butterfly, the behavioural student or the three ladies at 7d but the answers were clear. 6d was a neat clue & probably my pick ahead of 16d.
    Thanks to the setter & Gazza.

  12. The bottom half filled in rapidly but the top took longer. 17a took me forever even realising it was an anagram. Will nominate 11a as my COTD. My arm from my booster is agony and in the end opted to just bung a frozen meal in the oven last night. Bit better today.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gaza for filling in.

  13. Solved at a bit of a plod, and not a lot of sparkle, although it took less time than it felt like – 2.5*/2.5*.

    As for others, 15d a new word for me but with the type of clue, the likely ending, and several checkers it was relatively easy to arrive at a plausible answer ready for BRB confirmation.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 19a, 4d, and 6d – and the winner is 19a.

    Thanks to the setter and our super-sub blogger.

  14. A bit trickier in places than the Saturday offerings of late. ***/*** 17a was my last one in and still took a while with all the checkers. The goddesses were misleading in 7d. Favourite 22d. Thanks to all.

  15. I have to agree with Senf over this one, something of a plod and no sparkles along the way. Having said that, perhaps I wasn’t in the best frame of mind having discovered who set this week’s NTSPP!
    17a held out ’til the bitter end but no other problems arose.

    Thanks to our setter and to our lovely stand-in hinter whose cartoons gave me something to smile about. Bet I forget those wretched clocks tonight!

  16. Waded my way through this one. Oddly, 17a was my last one. I just couldn’t get it until I got it…

    We were promised devilish weather for today so we decided not to go for one of our weekend walks and instead watch the England v Australia cricket match this afternoon, whilst simultaneously seeking an ‘unofficial’ feed for Chelsea at Newcastle. I am looking out, not at the heavy rain and gales that were forecast, but a benign, sun-dappled autumn afternoon, while barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, and touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue.
    In other words, like John Keats, never trust the BBC weather forecast.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Paul McCartney – All The Best!

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza The Super-Sub.

    1. Oh Terence, thank you for again quoting ‘To Autumn’! One of the great odes by the master odist. It promises to be that kind of sparkling day here in the Carolina Lowcountry, even though there are no swallows.

  17. I found that tougher than most recent SPP’s but I may have pickled a few too many brain cells at John (Elgar) Henderson’s booze-up last night.
    There were quite a few rookie corner ex-pats there and I had a chat with Leonidis/Wire and Snape/Eccles, Kitty was there too and lots of others. Names and faces blurred into a mix of Taylor’s Landlord and Theakstons Black Sheep. They are probably at it again as I type but Mama Bee and a hangover preclude my attendance.
    Thanks to setter and Gazza for helping me over the line. Considering my delicate condition 4d amused me the most.

    1. Didn’t know the Theakston / Black Sheep history – just been reading about it. Landlord (or better still Boltmaker) & Old Peculiar on draught are 2 of my absolute top tipples & well worth the price of a sore head.

    2. Nice to hear from you. Glad you and Mama OK. The booze up sounds great. I hope we get to resume Big Dave’s birthday bashes.

  18. Is it just me or are anagram indicators getting rather – for the sake of politeness – stretched?

    1. On reflection, I suppose that if you give the clue a long, hard look, it doesn’t really matter how stretched the indicator is.

  19. Like Gazza, I thought this was a terrific upgrade in the Saturday puzzles, even though I was pushed well into *** to finish, which I did all by my happy self. My list of winners is long, so I’ll just cut to the chase: 19a gets the Gold, mainly because I spent my first-ever night in France at a lovely auberge just beside the Vienne; all of the rest jockey for awards: 1d, 7d, 24a, 26a, and 16d (new to me but what a wonderful word). I had no problem with 15d, which I knew because my best friend was one. Thanks to Gazza for again taking charge and to today’s setter. 3.5* / 4.5*

    Atlanta over Houston last night, 2:0. Go Bravos!

    1. I agree, 19a a lovely part of France. I’ve done many French trips just driving around aimlessly and stopping at will. I miss my PanAm days, I certainly made good use of their airplanes!

  20. Very enjoyable, the best Saturday offering for a while I thought. Light and whimsical with just enough “bite” for the more experienced solvers.
    Amongst a host of candidates 24a and 16d were my joint favourites with 11a making up the numbers.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for a fun puzzle and review.

  21. An OK puzzle. Not much joy. Needed a few hints. Found the quick crossword weird!
    Thanks to setter and Gazza.

  22. Started ok on this puzzle but found the SE the stumbling block area. 2.5*/**** overall for me.
    Favourites include 17a, 27a, 4d, 6d & 22d with my winner being 22d followed by 27a.
    15d was new word for me as well

    Thanks to setter and Gazza

  23. My second quickest one this week.
    Certainly helped by the checking letters given by the longer clue answers.
    So, * and a half/****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    1. 17a had me stumped. Never heard this expression before. 15d also confused me but got there eventually. 25d made me smile. All in all, a nice puzzle.

  24. A very enjoyable, not too taxing offering today.
    I thought 17a was a bit awkward but there were lots of clues I liked. 8 and 26a made me smile and 14 misdirected me in to thinking about “two little ducks” .
    Thanks to the setter and all on here .

  25. Tackled this ‘all by my own’ today as George was at Hertford Rugby Club again. I had a nice smoked salmon lunch and a
    glass of wine and was just left puzzling over 14a , LOI, when a neighbour whom I had seen at the regular Saturday Coffee Stop
    in our Hall, telephoned to say as George was out and her husband playing golf, she was coming across the road to keep me
    company. Three hours later, having put the village and the world to rights, I picked up the paper and bingo! 14a was as plain as
    the nose on my face. Lovely Crossword, many thanks to Tilsit for stepping in and to the setter for, especially, 6d, 8a 21a and
    a dozen other deliciously misleading clues. I don’t know how you do it! Spring forward, Fall back.

  26. A hard but enjoyable solve ruined by 17a.

    Amazed so many people have heard of it.

    Thanks to all.

    1. I agree. It normally starts with a word that rhymes with full if that’s not naughty corner.Took me ages to solve.
      For some reason I found it all a bit of a struggle. ***/*

      1. How right you are Albert – that’s probably why the solution didn’t readily occur to many of us.

  27. I feel pretty chuffed at having completed, only just. I was stuck with 17a, even with all the checkers I was totally lost and about to cede when I went back for some e-help, bingo, it came to me. I’m with Jane and Senf, a bit of a plod and I’m not sure why. I’ve never heard of 16d but easy enough to work out, the patient man can only be one person, then a quick check in my dictionary. My fave is 22d, being totally misled by “boy in blue”, pretty clever that.
    Thanks to our setter, hugely grateful to Gazza for unravelling a lot of this.

  28. Managed 17 across… but only because it couldn’t be anything else !

    5 Down ?? still have no idea – HELP !

  29. Seems I enjoyed this one more than most. It was quite hard but felt a bit more creative and clever than some of the Sat ones imo. Fun.

  30. I thought 17a was a stretch as an answer, likewise 24a, and 15d was completely new to me. Perhaps it is the shock of the cold front we are enjoying today. It’s a chilly 78F as I sit and write this on the patio, even had to put on a cardigan. We are such hot house plants here in South Florida. Finished off as usual with a good attempt at Kate Mepham’s excellent GK puzzle. A great source of learning new definitions of words. Thanks to setter and Gazza for sitting in for Tilsit.

  31. A plod for me too…and I needed no fewer than 4 of Gazza’s excellent hints.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  32. Can’t really remember exactly what I thought of this exercise as I completed it earlyish this morning before spending a large part of the rest of the day hooked on a series of enthralling tennis matches involving some budding stars from the ATP tournament in Vienna – look forward to more of the same with the finals tomorrow. I do however recall tut-tutting a bit over a couple of clues and finding the southern half was the most manageable. Thank you Mysteron and Gazza for once more coming to the rescue.

  33. Finished this with e-help for 2 clues. Had not heard of 15d. A lot of very clever clues causing much head scratching, but very enjoyable which was an encouragement to go for the finish.Will now enjoy reading the hints, for which many thanks to stand-in Gazza. Thanks also to setter for the enjoyment even though it took rather a long time to finish.

  34. I am a day late so few will read it. I thought I had lost my crossword brain during a week in one of Miffypop’s favourite places. Back now and this was brilliant. I totally disagree with the moaners. Yes I fell into the 15d trap as I’d not heard of the word. Did not get 17a so had a rethink. After that I also got 14a and I’d finished without help. List of favourites too long to mention. Setter please may we have more.

    1. Well said, WW. When at last we have a decent Saturday Prize Puzzle it’s disappointing to read so many negative comments.

      1. No complaints from this quarter although I do admit to resorting to the hints & tips. As WW says: “More Please Setter”. Thanks Gazza.

  35. Am I alone in thinking that 14a would be better as “For example, 22 kettle *doesn’t* have one”?

    1. You’ve used a new alias so your comment went into moderation. All the aliases you’ve used will work from now on.
      You need to split 14a into “For example, 22” and “kettle has one”.

  36. Like many, this took a lot of head-scratching but well rewarded, ***, when the answer came through. Cracking 17a slowed me down to **** time. Favorite was 11a. Thanks to setter and Gazza, especially the amusing cartoons.

  37. I must have a different brain to the “experts”! Got most of the hinted clues on my own, but the easy ones not hinted at needed looking up elsewhere despite the presence of check letters🤔

    1. I find this almost always to be the case – the 2 or 3 I either can’t get or can’t parse are the very ones that are missed out of the hints, and this week was no exception. That is why I have come on today to read the full review. This is so universally true that I think it must be done deliberately because it is a prize crossword.

  38. Back from surgical teaching in Malawi and catching up with pile of crosswords. This one was fine but sill struggling with 29814 – spend a bit longer before I look for help!!

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