DT 29862 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29862 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29862 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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Tilsit has been called into work again today as apparently chaos reigns as 30% of trains have been cancelled! I suppose that’s one way of preventing people spreading the Omicron variant!

A pangram with lots of anagrams – this is surely the work of Cephas!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

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.


4a    Air dozen composed in very dry area (4,4)
The first of several anagrams – this one of the first two words in the clue, as indicated by ‘composed’

8a    Bishop takes turn to include current film (1-5)
The chess abbreviation for Bishop and a turn into which is inserted the symbol for electrical current

12a     Like Don is extravagantly chivalrous (8)
Like the character in the Cervantes romance novel who gave his name to an adjective meaning extravagantly chivalrous

19a    There is love in this for Pansy (8)
The solution goes with words three and four in the clue to give us another name for the pansy flower – the capital P being there to mislead the solver!

26a    Poet‘s game reportedly working (8)
A homophone (reportedly) of a game and a simple way of saying working


1d    Large volume of transport (7)
A large book or a more formal name for a type of transport

6d    Bishop in animal park finds fox (5)
The abbreviation for bishop inserted into an animal park produces a South American fox

18d    Having a second drink in pub in an accustomed way (2,5)
A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for second followed by one’s habitual drink in a pub

20d    A Parisian in theatre box finding room (6)
The French indefinite article inserted into an originally French word for a box in a theatre or opera house

22d    Groom occasionally cries entering enclosure (5)
The occasional letters of cRiEs ‘entering’ an enclosure

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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: CHEW + CHOOSE = CHOO-CHOOS

76 comments on “DT 29862 (Hints)

  1. I made heavy weather of this one, probably unnecessarily although 19a was definitely not a write-in – ****/****

    I concur with CS – SPP pangram = Cephas.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 23a, and 17d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  2. Got a bit held up on 19a, a bung in which required looking up. I was straight on pangram alert after my first one in but forgot to make use of the fact which could have helped me with my last two in in the NW. 7d was my favourite.

    Thanks to today’s setter and CS.

  3. A steady solve today until I got to 19a, I am pleased to see a hint as I thought it a trickly little devil. Pangram was complete by then so I couldn’t use any unique letters. I hadn’t heard them referred to in that manner and I learned a lot about playwrights ancient and modern, as well as flora and fauna before I stumbled on the answer.
    Thanks to Cephas (if he) and CS.
    Leaves me time to revisit Elgar from yesterday – Very tricky but I suspect just a warm-up for his double toughie on Christmas Day

    1. I struggled badly with 19a too. I also thought it was a pangram and eventually spelt the poet correctly.

  4. Well I am completely flummoxed by this. I still haven’t got 18d so I read the hints and I have obviously got 19a wrong but my answer fits and it doesn’t mean a flower. I have a completely different meaning of the word, not rude I hasten to add, but I googled the word and back came the answer I was expecting. Until I work this out I fear I won’t solve 18d. Hey ho. Thanks to the setter and CS.

    1. 19a is one of those clues where it is easy to underline the wrong bit – the solution forms the third part of another name for a pansy flower

    2. 18d is hinted too and it gives you the crossing letter if that helps without getting me sent to the naughty step.

        1. 2 hours later and only one word fits but that seems to bear no relation to any part of the clue. I give up.

          1. As the clue (and hint) suggest if you add words 3 and 4 to the answer you have and look up what is produced you should find an alternative name for the flower in question. Like Huntsman, before solving 18d, I did find the G&S opera and blow me down his name is also derived from the same bloody flower!

            1. As Miffypops would say ‘golly bongs’! I have it now. I would have thought googling pansy would have brought up the answer, but no, so thanks for the help.

            2. I googled everything in this clue and couldn’t get it. I, too, got the G&S reference but decided against it. I would have thought that google would have given us the answer?

  5. Well this certainly wasn’t another gentle Chalicea puzzle. I thought it the toughest SPP we’ve had for quite some time & I can’t really claim an unaided finish. I know nowt about pansies so 19a needed help from Mr G to produce that answer. I can’t say I was familiar with the foxy 6d but the answer was obvious & then immediately on pangram alert which came in very handy at 12a. It wasn’t my favourite puzzle of the week but I thought there were some excellent clues in it – 10,12,23&26a plus 2&7d my ticks.
    Thanks to Cephas & CS for stepping in.

  6. 2.5*/3.5*. I enjoyed this pangram and learnt a couple of new things along the way as I didn’t know the Pansy in 19a nor the fox in 6d.

    I can’t fully parse 2d. My last one in was 5d and it raised a smile when the penny finally dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter (Cephas?) and to CS for taking over at the last minute..

  7. I did know both the fox and the pansy but could I bring either of them to mind when I needed them – no, it took checkers to stir the old grey matter into action.
    Much gnashing of teeth over the film that wasn’t………..

    Thanks to Cephas (?) and to CS for stepping up yet again to bring us the hints.

    1. Could the fox and his flashing blade be considered a Rake? (see yesterday extensive comments passim)

  8. This was a tricky littlebighter and as usual I failedto spot the pangram. 19a foxed me for a while n til a dimly remembered three word ohrase popped into my mind, allowing me to finish in 4* time.It was quite challenging but more easy to work out than yesterday’s walk in the fog, so 3* for enjoyment. Thanks to the compiler and to CS for stepping into the breach to do the hints.

  9. Like many others, I was stymied by 19a at first until a bit of googling led me to Oberon and Titania in AMND and then, of course, I remembered that little beguiling blossom. Not exactly an unaided finish but I’ll take it, gladly. Nice to see the great Victorian poet among us again, and one of my favourite words at 12a, my COTD. I also liked 10 & 11a. I have no idea what 4d is all about, and if we have that sort of thing over here, that’s news to me, so more or less a bung-in for me. Thanks to CS for stepping in again and to Cephas. ** / ***

    1. 4d was something of a mystery to me as well, simply figured out what it had to be from the checkers and then looked it up. Still not any the wiser now……….

    2. Apparently and if it helps, which I suspect it won’t, in the UK, 4d ‘existed’ from 1983 until 2015.

      1. I gather in 2015 4d became Public Sector ***** Appointments Ltd. – no wonder I and others were unaware of it.

  10. The right hand side is ok but the left by and large is way out of my league. No idea at all about the film and 2d has an odd letter in from 12a which has confused me even further and with no hint I am totally lost.
    Even after two sittings I can’t finish this one, it has me well and truly beat.
    Thx for the hints

  11. 5d was the only one to hold me up and push out my solving time, although the whole grid felt a touch harder than a regular Saturday. That said, it was a most enjoyable solve with 10a my favourite.

    Thanks to Cephas and CS.

  12. A nice Saturday puzzle. As I solved my second clue, I was on the look out for a pangram, that took a while to reveal itself … but it did. The NW was the last area to fall and finally surrendered 3 of the key letters involved in this pangram. Rate this puzzle 2.5*/5* today.
    Lots of clues to pick for the podium today, including 21a, 26a, 4d, 6d & 18d with winner 6d … (with an 18d coming up as I did this on Friday night!)
    Several made me smile including 21a, 26a, 3d & 18d
    Good fun for this Saturday puzzle.

    Thanks to setter and CS

  13. I have an Angel! I had to twist her arm -and she is 56 but the children won’t notice when she’s standing on a plinth with wings on. (Wings on her, not on the plinth). I enjoyed this, stars by 21,23a and 7,15 & 17d and I spotted the pangram early on which helped with 2d and 12a. Many thanks to the setter and to Sue for helping out. Best wishes to Kath – have we heard from her this week? We had the ccombined churches carol singers and band to Coffee Stop this morning – here is a small clip to put you kn the Christmas mood!


    1. While I believe that everyone should have their own angel, I seem to have missed the fact that you needed one. Do tell.

      1. Every year we do a living crib in church on Christmas Eve. We have a real baby, Innkeeper (George), shepherds and a real donkey Noah who belongs to the church (I own one leg of it). Grandparents bring children to get them out of the way for an hour – they are super hyper. We could have 4-500 bodies in church. The donkey parades round inside the church twice (big highlight 3 years ago when it did a poo first time round and I had to pick it up barehanded before they walked round again and through it) and then there is a live tableau under the bell tower. Fabulous start to Christmas. This year it has to be outside, rain is forecast and I fear it will be a disaaaster Dahling. Plus last year’s angel now considers herself too old at 14 to do the job. Hence my headache.

        1. How I wish I could attend that service, Daisy, it sounds so delightful. Be sure to send pictures after the fact.

  14. Well beaten by this, I was glad to see others found it on the difficult side, well done to all who managed to complete this. Thanks to all. I

    1. Thanks for popping in, Cephas. I guess some of the difficulty was down to one man’s GK being another man’s unknown territory!
      Best of wishes for the festive season and many thanks for all the puzzles you’ve brought us.

    2. I actually found the puzzle quite a delight ultimately, Cephas, since you sent me into the comfortable embrace of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with 19a, and any chance for a return to the arms of The Bard gratifies me. The only thing I didn’t really know, 4d, is a result of its nonexistence over here across the Pond. I’m getting used to such things popping up, after all, in a British puzzle. Thanks for joining us.

    3. Thank you for all your puzzles and for those to come. Finding two different words, both derived from pansies that fitted (all bar the 18d checker) taught me more about British playwrights, operettas and flora than I expected.
      Merry Christmas

    1. Welcome to the blog

      I’ve provided a hint for 6d

      In 5d ‘suitably’ is a cryptic reference to the second part of the (originally US slang) expression meaning to a great extent

  15. Well, I have owned garden centres for 40 years and sold millions of pansies and I’ve never heard them referred to by this name.

    1. As Robert Clark says 19a is a wild one mentioned by Shakespeare under another name so possibly they wouldn’t necessarily feature in your garden centres?

  16. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout and satisfying to complete unaided but 19a was a lucky quess.
    Pondering for too long on 1d and 4d put me into, just, *** time.
    Many thanks, indeed, Cephas and crypticsue.

  17. I feel better now that I’ve seen other others found 19a a bit of a headscratcher. 7 d made me smile.

  18. Finally got over the line on fourth visit. Almost out of my league with NW corner and 5d taking me into **** time.
    Too difficult to be really enjoyable but it was satisfying to finish.
    Thank you Cephas and CS for the hints.
    Fairly miserable damp not over-warm day (which would translate as “cold” South of the border).

  19. I too failed at 19a as I could only remember the other other name , if that makes sense.
    Otherwise, and I cannot believe I am saying this, I don’t think I found the rest of it as difficult as most people seem to have. An enjoyable puzzle for me.

    Thanks to Cephas and to crypticsue.

    Poor Tilsit , slaving away again….I hope he gets some time off soon.

  20. I found this hard but a very satisfying solve. I got stuck in the NW and needed help from CS to get going again. I don’t know why I knew 4d but it was a great help. Sussing the pangram early on was a huge bonus. I bunged in 19a, which I got with e-help. So much to like, how can a girl choose a fave?
    Thanks Cephas for the fun, and, of course, to CS for your help getting across the finish line.

  21. I’m nearing defeat on this. No answers for 10a, 4d (have an answer but no idea why), 5d and the oft mentioned 19a. Can anyone help?

    1. 10A is a charade of left, a letter that looks like one and an anagram of bitter.
      4D is the name of a now defunct UK government body. The first word is a synonym of check.
      5D means to a great extent. One of the words is a suit.
      19A is part of an alternative name for the flower, pansy. As others have commented this alternative name is used in A Midsommer Nights Dream.

    2. Please remember that this is a Prize Puzzle so we can only give limited hints about the clues, several of the ones mentioned in your request have been discussed at length in the comments and should have provided some assistance with your queries. Scientist’s reply gives away too much really but it is probably too late to redact it.

      BD’s blog is the only crossword blog where hints are given for Prize Puzzles on their day of publication. We wouldn’t want to reach a point where too much help is given and the DT requests that we delay any blog about the prize puzzles to after the closing date for entries.

  22. I enjoyed this one mostly, but 19a had me stumped. There is, as far as I know, only one other name for a pansy and it’s not the answer, nor part of it. Thought 24a and 11d were rather stretched. The fox was another hold up. Determined to finish, I googled a couple of fox lists and this one didn’t show up in either. Hopefully Dada will be benevolent tomorrow. Thanks to Cephas and CrypticSue.

  23. Not my tasse de thé! I did realise quite early on it must be a pangram but somehow that didn’t really help me. NE was slowest corner. 12a wasn’t fully parsed by me but I did subsequently find it referred to as the impractical pursuit of idealistic goals. In any case, it became my Fav. Not sure where ‘suitably’ comes into 5d and not keen on 18d. Thank you Cephas and particularly CS for being our stand-in hinter again.

  24. Thanks to Cephas and to CrypticSue for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky. Needed the hints for 12&19a. I had no idea of the latter until I Googled Oberon and Titania, had never heard of it. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  25. Let me start by saying how very much I appreciate this site and all the hard work that goes into providing the multiple daily hints for us lesser mortals. I found some of today’s crossword very frustrating. I don’t think it will be a great surprise based on the comments above that I did not find 19a easy. I wasn’t helped by the hint provided here though. If you know the answer then you can look at the clue and think how clever it is. If you know the answer then you can look at the hint and think how clever it is. If you don’t know the answer then neither clue nor hint, for me, help you get to something that seems to make no sense. There are a few other answers which I wrote in because they had to be but which I cannot fully parse. I, personally, find that very frustrating. I’ve never heard of 4d and I don’t know why I would have done. Fortunately there were enough letters to work it out but the clue was incidental. I got there in the end but with little satisfaction. Even the fact that it was a pangram didn’t help because the tricksy letters came out early on. I suppose I’m just grumpy as we are ‘enjoying’ yet another rainy day when they had forecast snow.

  26. Life too short to finish this.
    No idea what an alternative name for a pansy is.
    Thanks both.

  27. Well if every Puzzle was too easy what would be the point?
    I absolutely loved this one , had to resort to help for 5 and 19 . Even with Pansies and Violas being my favourite bedding plants I was still wide if the mark . Too many favourites to choose a winner .
    Thank you to Cephas and Crypticsue and all the contributors , a Happy and Healthy Christmas to you all.

  28. Lovely puzzle and I always enjoy the opportunity to learn something new during the solving process – as per 19a. For once I spotted that this was a pangram! Many thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  29. I was at a wedding yesterday so only got to this late last night and again this morning.

    This was extremely hard work for me. I resorted to a crossword solution site for 19a. As Cypher says above, the clue and hint only help those who have heard of an extremely obscure flower.

    I also needed hints and/or help given above for 5d and 12a.

    I had the answer but could not parse 2d without the help given above.

    Thanks to all.

  30. As it’s Monday morning, I expect posters here will have moved on two days! I still havn’t finished – 5d. 19a and a couple of others still unsolved, and I’m going to google them today. Definitely counts as a toughie for me.

    1. I highly recommend returning to read the full review and explanations when posted later this week. This is another wonderful regular feature of this site which really helps those of us who need some explanations. Even if you find the answers elsewhere you will still need to understand why to help with solving future crosswords. So much time and effort goes into providing these resources here just for us!

      1. TThank you for the suggestion. I haven’t tried that before, but I will this week.

        I have printed off Tuesday’s but shall also print the answers tomorrow, so I use the mid-week ones as training exercises!

  31. Well, nice to see usual followers of this site struggling for a change. Managed to complete everything at my usual slow pace and actually got 19a as it was the only word that fitted as last word in – didn’t understand why until I read the blog. Role on next week

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