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DT 29850 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29850 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Another Saturday when you have not slept for over 24 hours.  Yesterday evening, well afternoon my time, Tilsit asked me if I could cover for him today as he was ‘feeling really under the weather,’ so here I am standing, or should it be sitting, in again.

Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing but the important parts are here and a little bird has told me that it is probably a Floughie Lady ‘production.’

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 20a, and 14d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.

Don’t forget to follow BD’s instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints!

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 Top team at a disadvantage, in total confusion (6-4)
Three pieces of Lego required – a two letter synonym of top, a synonym of team, and a single word equivalent to at a disadvantage.

9a Unfinished in short competition, allowed time finally (10)
Now it’s four pieces of Lego – IN from the clue, an abbreviated (short) form of competition, a synonym of allowed, and the last letter (finally) of timE.

15a Commons’ terseness conceals fiendish things (8)
A lurker (conceals) found in two words in the clue.

20a Muslim with Parisian is most genial (8)
A Muslim following one of the two main branches of Islam and (with) the French (Parisian) for is.

23a Male opponents involved in a welcome contract (9)
A term for male opponents (as in RD’s favourite board game?) contained by (involved in) the combination of A from the clue and a verbal synonym of welcome.

24a Curving branch of circling body of water (4)
The reversal (circling) of a (small, enclosed?) body of water.

27a Unusually impressive, allowing freedom of behaviour (10)
An anagram (unusually) of IMPRESSIVE.

29a Shows concerning gifts (10)
The two letter preposition equivalent to concerning and a synonym of gifts.


1d Raised money used at first for single item (4)
The reversal (raised) of all of a slang term for money and the initial (at first) letter of Used.

3d Gave proof of evil spirits, taunted principally and scolded (12)
A type of evil spirits, the first letter (principally) of Taunted, and a synonym of scolded (definition 2 of the word needed for the answer in the BRB).

5d Cautious about tea mostly over-diluted (6)
A synonym of cautious containing (about) TEa with the last letter deleted (mostly).

8d Incorporating art, working sappers produce replacement components (5,5)
An anagram (working) of SAPPERS containing (incorporating) ART from the clue.

14d Vehicles to drive with patience, it’s said (10)
The plural of a type of vehicle used for transporting (to drive with) a homophone (it’s said) of patience.

21d Endless memos stir dons’ agitation of mind (7)
Delete the first and last letters (endless) of three words in the clue.

25d Favourites slowly walk up (4)
A single word for slowly walk reversed (up) – I wasn’t sure why ‘slowly’ was in the clue, but ‘slowly walk’ is in the BRB entry for the word to be reversed, so heigh-ho.

An energetic performance from the James Last Orchestra, and some of the audience:

The Crossword Club is now Open, and I will ‘see’ you again tomorrow.

The Quick Crossword pun:


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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.

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.

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67 comments on “DT 29850 (Hints)

  1. 1*/3*. This was light and fun with 20a my favourite.

    I’m not sure what purpose “good” is serving in 28a.

    I was going to suggest Chalicea as the setter, but I see Senf has beaten me to it.

    Many thanks to both of them.

    1. If you look at the BRB (and let’s face it, Chalicea never includes a definition or part definition without ensuring it appears in the dictionary) you’ll see what ‘good’ is doing in 28a

      1. After I had posted my comment I decided to look it up in my BRB, and, as you say, of course it is there. The reason I didn’t do that initially is I couldn’t think of any example that even came close to suggesting that meaning. and I still can’t think of one. If anyone can suggest something (without risking the naughty step) I would be very grateful.

        1. Both the word I can’t say and very good can be used as forms of agreement – as in ‘if that’s the case…’

    2. I think your comments illustrate part of the issue facing the DT setter. Experienced solvers such as yourself find crosswords of this level very easy so prefer the more difficult one but those of us of a lesser ability find this level doable but often a challenge.
      Surely this is why we have the Toughie so you guys can challenge yourselves without the need to push backpagers into a much harder level. Just my thoughts.

      1. I tend to agree with you, Brian. The Toughie was introduced for the more experienced solvers amongst us but that does not mean that the Back Pager should be easy every day. We mere mortals need to be stretched.

      2. I agree Brian, I often wonder why we have a tough cryptic on the same day a Toughie is available. Happily today was not a tough cryptic.

  2. Apart from suggesting the setter (I have absolutely no idea how the rest of you do it) RD has written my whole comment for me, especially with regard to 28a.
    Many thanks to all and get well soon to Tilsit.

  3. Well this is the antidote after some we have had lately. I did not get round to posting yesterday. However, it was a bit of a teaser and I liked it and finished without assistance. This morning was a different matter. I won’t put in anything to put off newcomers but this must be one of the simplest prize puzzles ever. That does not detract from the fun or the art of the clues. Favourites 9a and 17d. Last in was 28a with 12a just shortly ahead of it. Only criticism is that 8d too easily solvable just from the last two words of the clue. Thank you setter and I shall now enjoy your hints Senf. Well done for stepping in. You are doing a lot of overtime!

  4. Very good puzzle I thought with some challenging clues but all made sense (unlike yesterday!) and my fav was 14d.
    Very enjoyable.
    Thx to all.

    1. Reminds me of that famous prayer, Grant unto our doctors and nurses skill, sympathy xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [redacted as it is too helpful with another clue!]

  5. Light and bright Saturday fare giving no cause for head-scratching.
    No particular favourite but both 13a & 14d made me smile.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Senf for stepping into the breach. Mr Last obviously encourages audience participation!

  6. I found this very gentle even for a Saturday. No particular favourites but I liked 1a as it put me in mind of a beautiful song by the late great Walter Becker, one half of Steely Dan of course.
    Thanks to setter and hinter.

  7. Enjoyed this, devotions to Chalicea, my favourite was 14d which was loi. Thanks for clarifying the incorporation of “slowly”, Senf, and for doing double duty here again.

  8. Totally enjoyable and much fun for me last night, especially after a very tricky Saturday NYT conundrum, which I did manage to conquer finally. Lucid and amusing surfaces, very fair clues, and smooth as silk. I think I’ll opt for 21d as my favourite…because as a former ‘don’, I know it to be true. 28a was my LOI. Thanks to Senf for a double-duty weekend and to Chalicea for the sheer pleasure. ** / ****

    1. I did start considering large items of furniture but I couldn’t make the first word ‘work’ and after I had said all three words together several times I decided it was what I have shown (hidden) above.

  9. A pleasant puzzle, fairly mild for a prize crossword but you’ll get no complaints from me about that.20a was the only one to cause me problems, had the wrong first letter ,which obviously didn’t fit in with the clue, so needed the hint to clear that up. Thanks to the setter and especially to Senf for stepping in at short notice, hope you are getting some well deserved rest now.

  10. I thought this was just about right for a sunny Saturday morning, with 20a and 21d fighting it out for the top spot. My thanks to Chalicea and the hard-working Senf. Your efforts are much appreciated. Get well soon Tilsit.

  11. Pleasant enough diversion but for me nothing to write home about. Bunged in 28a then subsequently read relevant Comments above which shed some light on it. Thank you Chalicea (?) and Senf – always miss your musical interludes Tilsit – hope you will soon feel be back to full strength.

  12. Fabulous and finished unaided so huge satisfaction in the Welsh Marches. Everyone is thanking Chalicea for the puzzle and Senf hints at it being here. I’m not so sure as she has produced the NTSPP. Mind you, what do I know?

    Loads to like in todays offering such as 24d and 16a but my COTD is 20a. I’m not sure 18a is descriptive of a dump but hey ho!

    Many thanks to Chalicea if it is her and also to Senf for standing in again. I hope Tilsit gets better soon.

    Sitting here nursing a hot lemon drink as this dratted cold refuses to let go of me.

        1. I enjoyed it of course, but had nothing new to add to add …

          I should have thanked the setter and you though, so I’ll that now!

    1. As indicated by Upsidedowncatfish, 18a is ‘looking for’ a verbal synonym not a nounal one.

  13. Light but enjoyable and after yesterday’s puzzle that came as welcome relief. */*** 20a favourite by a distance. Thanks to all.

      1. 23a Rahmat Ali is in full agreement with my interpretation. So, I was right!

        Wonder why my comment was redacted?

  14. As usual, everything has been said. A nice accompaniment to a quick lonely lunch as george is at Hertford Rugby Club. Just as well after the sxxxxy week I have had. Many thanks to Senf for standing in again ( what would we do without our hunters) and to the setter for a sunny solve.

      1. Oh Greta, just for starters we have a daughter with very early onset dementia
        and travelling up to visit her in Redditch (where she is near her
        elder son) is very traumatic. Then I think of that dear little boy who was
        tortured and killed by his father and stepmother and I think, well, at least my
        daughter had a very happy childhood. I am a churchgoer but the older I get
        the more I wonder about this world.

        1. Oh, Daisy, I read about that little boy and I was in tears. It’s something that wouldn’t surprise me here, (sorry America), but not in UK. I think we’re so inured to people being shot, but UK seems a gentler society. I’m so sorry about your daughter.

  15. Indeed ’tis I and I am really delighted that this one is giving pleasure (and that you have had a sunny Saturday morning – we have heavy rain and slush). So sorry you are unwell, Tilsit, – get well soon! Many thanks to Senf. I hadn’t realized the NTSPP was one of mine – but I’m afraid there’s a bit of an overdose of Chalicea; there’s an EV tomorrow which, I promise, is relatively easy – sort of ‘Floughie’ standard.

    1. Thank you for calling in to see us and brightening my day. A typical Chalicea puzzle was just what I needed.

    2. Hi, Chalicea – Thank you so much for the entertainment and for popping in to say hello.

    3. Thank you for joining us, Chalicea, and for another lovely puzzle. Over here in South Carolina, we’re having an early spring, even though it’s not even winter yet.

    4. Ahhh, you can hear my sighs of relief from there! Such a pleasure to have this puzzle to solve today, you’re my fave.

  16. A very gentle and pleasant Saturday puzzle to end the week. 1.5*/**** for me. Did this on Friday night, so no hints, but I was good to go without them. A satisfying solve.
    Candidates for favourite include 1a, 6a, 7d, 14d & 19d with winner 1a but could have been any of the 5 clues I listed.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Senf for blog and hints.

  17. 14d to me was not a homophone which is why I did not list it as a favourite. Good to have confirmation from Chalicea but she was clearly wearing a different hat when she composed last Saturdays. Chalk and cheese but enjoyable nevertheless.

    1. I was considering hinting 14d as an ‘indirect homophone’ as ‘patience’ in the clue does have to ‘converted’ into something that makes sense to be able to get to the answer. But, I am not sure if there is such a thing as an ‘indirect homophone’ or if it is allowed.

  18. A couple of headscratchers but mainly straightforward with lots to enjoy. *** / ****.
    For the penny-drop moment 14d gets my COTD.
    Thank you Chalicea and Senf, with best wishes to Tilsit for a speedy recovery.
    Just what I needed after standing in the rain for an hour then putting the lights on the tree.

  19. Very light today and finished in plenty of time to get to the GC for an 0852 start in the Monthly Stableford.
    No parsings needed help today.
    Many thanks both.

  20. Thanks Chalicea, for setting an entertaining and doable puzzle – such a relief after the hard pounding of the last couple of days. **/****

  21. Finally…four days have passed since Monday when I last completed a puzzle due to my lack of time, ability and amounts of DIY.
    I thought that many would find this on the easier end of the spectrum but it was a nice start to the day for me.
    I too liked 14d but 21d beats it, for me, for my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter and hinter.

  22. Late to the game having been to Radley to watch rugby. Very enjoyable whilst it lasted. Another vote for 20a. Thanks to Chalicea and Senf.

  23. a very enjoyable and easy solve, did not tax the little grey cells too much, the problem with the easier solves is that we finish them so quickly and then have nothing else to do. it would be nice if there was toughie on saturday so that we could have something else to do afterwards.
    thanks to the setter and to senf although we really didn’t need any hints or tips, merci encore

      1. hello senf
        thank you very much, i have found the two puzzles, i have downloaded one of each and will tackle them later on today, merci encore

  24. Natch, a Chalicea puzzle means enjoyment, I loved it. I thought the SW was tricky, I went in for the hint at 15a and that got me going again. It would have to be a lurker. Note to self, remember the rule, if all else fails … and so on. Fave was 14d but 20a deserves honourable mention.
    Thank you Chalicea, love you, and a gold star to Senf for stepping in again!

  25. That was a turn up for the books. Solved this completely unaided, which always perks me up as it doesn’t happen very often. Alright, I realise it was not as challenging as preferred by the clever folks, but so enjoyable for me. And I am sure encouraging for anyone just starting out. I can’t use that as my excuse having had so much fun from these crosswords for donkey’s years. I solved all but two (12a and 23a) over breakfast, and they fell into place on their own over lunch. Thanks to Chalicea and to Senf for stepping in for Tilsit.

  26. Commenting belatedly, having only managed to look at the puzzle this morning, to thank Chalicea for a delightful and amusing puzzle. An admirably low number of anagrams, some wonderfully smooth surfaces, nothing abstruse – what’s not to like?

    COTD the stand-out 21d.

    1* / 3.5*

  27. Last in as usual. Nice to do one start to finish unaided but not sure what to do with the rest of the week. Maybe I’ll look at the toughie but suspect that’s another level. Bit like playing squash in the wrong league – a non-starter!

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