DT 29873 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29873 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29873 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

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Greetings from Warrington and a very happy new year to you all from me and my lovely sidekick, Dexter, who has his own way of wishing you well!

Let’s start the year in the company of our lovely lady Chalicea who welcomes us into 2022 with a reasonably friendly challenge today.

Because this is a prize puzzle, we are back to selecting clues for hints again. There are some pretty smart anagrams on duty today, so they should give you a good foothold.

If you are stuck for something else to tackle, take a look at today’s Guardian puzzle by the wonderful Brian Greer. Once again, a pretty amazing grid construction. It’s available here and you can win a prize with it! https://crosswords-static.guim.co.uk/gdn.cryptic.20220101.pdf. It’s a decent day for puzzles with a pretty good Independent puzzle as well.

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.

Off we go with today’s hints..


1    Technocrat ordered military garment (6,4)/span>
We start with one of the nice anagrams I mentioned earlier.

8    Unusually heartless, collecting proof of debts in a horrible manner (8)
Inside a word meaning unusually, minus its central letter, goes an abbreviation representing items that show debts.

10    Press cold youth resistant to change (8)
Something that means to press, plus the abbreviation for cold and a word for a youth. This word could also refer to an old battleship or similar.

12    Oscar accepted by that woman in Oxford? (4)
Inside a female pronoun goes a letter from the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. This reveals something that an Oxford is a type of.

18    Examine and analyse ordinary copyright in newspapers (7)
Inside a generic name for newspapers abbreviation for ordinary and copyright.

23    Thoroughgoing street half cut off regularly in city (6)
Take half of Street and replace the rest with the alternate letters of IN CITY.

24    Important deal announced for part of propulsion system (8)
Something that may help propel you is a word meaning important and a homophone of a word for a deal in retail business.

28    Resort to guessing for this hint (10)
An anagram (resort) of TO GUESSING.


1    Sadly dowdiest having multiple aspects (3-5)
Another anagram of DOWDIEST.

3    Grasp chickens? (6)
A word meaning grasp and a group of chickens (or their babies).

5    Stable and occasionally strong anaesthetic (8)
The alternate letters of STRONG and the name for an early anaesthetic.

6    Loving upright type getting endless credit (8)
The name for a style of font or typeface and a sland word for credit, minus its last letter.

7    Chooses for office fellows replacing Conservative constituents (8)
Take a word meaning chooses for office and swap something meaning fellows for the abbreviation for a Tory.

17    Dogs receiving large decisive blows (8)
Inside the name for breeds of dogs goes an abbreviation for large.

21    Bags holding northern nibbles (6)
Inside a word meaning bags goes a short way of saying northern.

22    Speak hesitantly ahead of answer I repeatedly state (6)
The name of a US state is found by taking an unusual word meaning to hesitate, plus an abbreviation for answer, and two I’s.

Was it a first footing through the puzzle or did you stumble around? I hope the former.

Thanks to Chalicea for the entertaining workout to start the year. I’m off to start my annual challenge of tackling the Listener Crossword each week through the year and see if I can get past the end of February (I ignore the mathematical ones!). The first one of the year is usually friendly and I note it’s by a favourite setter. Wish me luck!

Some music to start the year and let’s have something that won’t trouble the hangover. A beautiful version of a lovely song. See you next week!


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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!

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.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: WHO + DENE + KNEE = HOUDINI


82 comments on “DT 29873 (Hints)

  1. A satisfying start to the year although one or two gave me pause but fear of the naughty step prevents my explaining more. Plenty to like such as 24a and 7d and the surface of 1a. No real favourites today because I found nearly all of it satisfying but, if pushed, I would nominate 10a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thanks also to Tilsit for the hints.

    What a warm New Year it is. Never mind – Happy New Year to everyone involved in this wonderful blog.

    1. I’m usually on the same wavelength as you, but today it was 24a and 7d that held out until the end,

      1. It’s strange isn’t it, BL how we can all look upon the same clues in different ways. Today, I solved 24a and 7d with no problem but you struggled. On another day, knowing mindsets and cryptic crosswords, you would have solved them and I would not.

        Don’t you just love cryptic crosswords? 😎

    1. Reminds me of the Keith Prowse advertisements for theatre tickets ‘You want the best seats in the house, we’ve got them!’

          1. My Gingembre is going to apply for Jamaican citizenship this year. She never had so many dreadlocks and it’s impossible to undo them.

            1. Can she sing like Bob Marley? Seriously, can you shave her? She might get dermatitis without getting rid of the dreads.

          2. My earlier contribution stayed in the comment box for some reason. And can’t delete the attachment.
            Stayed up last night to watch Big Ben and the fireworks on BBC iPlayer.
            Nice singing from the Globe: ABBA galore and a lovely Scottish song of which auld lang syne are the only words I know.
            Great start of the year with Chalicea.
            Thanks for the fun and to Tilsit for the hints.

            1. Mrs. C and I used to have a long haired cat who was prone to wandering. Naturally, her fur became matted so we would take her to the vet to be sorted out.

              The Vet’s invoice always amused us “To de-mat cat……. £5”

            2. Reassuring in a way to know you had the same problem with commenting J-L C but I had no attachment to delete.

              1. In line with your suggestion J-L C hereunder is that which I tried to post several times this morning:
                “Just managed to finish this gentle and pleasing send-off to the cruciverbal year before enjoying the annual delight of the New Year’s Day concert from Vienna. SW most challenging corner but now can’t really think why. Wonder if 20a is in fact a stroke. No particular Favs. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit (love the King’s Singers’ Songbird ). Best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year to BD and CL and their associates and bloggers and thank you all for so much daily fun.”

  2. Happy New Year to all on here. I found this a nice gentle start to the new year with just half a dozen or so puzzlers that needed a bit of deep thinking. Not sure why but 24 and 26 across gave me problems but they fell in place with a little help.

      1. Read Tilsit’s hint again. I can’t explain it any better without being sent to the naughty step.

  3. A Happy New Year to BD, his trusty band of reviewers, CL & his setters and all who visit this superb site & make it what it is. May 2022 be a year to remember for all the right reasons.

    A solid Saturday puzzle probably at the easier end of the spectrum. Light on humour and “Doh” moments for me.

    No real favourites, pleasant without giving lots of fun fun.

    Thank you Chalicea for the puzzle(s) and Tilsit for the hints.

  4. Two or three answers that I didn’t easily equate with the definitions given but a fairly straightforward solve.
    Favourite was the simple 3d which made me smile.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit for the Saturday hints – good wishes to both for the New Year.

  5. Very enjoyable, with a little thinking required in the South, just right to start off the new year with I suspect some delicate heads around.
    On the first podium of the new year are 24&26a plus 5d, with 25a running them close.
    Thanks to the Chalicea, Tilsit and happiness to all in 2022.

  6. Very much a game of two halves for me. The top was excellent but the bottom half was really tricky. Would take against the answer to 27a meaning plain, not quite right. Best clue for me was 10a.
    Overall a lot easier than the average Saturday crossword. DT probably allowing for all the thick heads this morning!
    Thx to all.

  7. A gentle start to 2022, I didn’t even notice the double unches – CL must have known there was a Prolixic MPP coming up! **/***

    No standout favourite but I did like 19d.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  8. Happy New Year to all. Let’s hope it’s a good one.

    This was a very light start to the year with my only delay being the need to check that my answer to 17d can mean “decisive blows”.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit.

  9. A fairly gentle SPP with nice clues providing an enjoyable solve. No stand-out favourite today. 2.5*, 3.5*.

    *My walk this morning was all the way around Fernilee reservoir. Windy but warm. Nothing special to report. It was a normal day…

    **Anybody spot the deliberate song lyric I included?

    1. I was thinking Supertramp – Just a Normal Day, but a quick listen proved me wrong. some investigoogling later I think I have it now but will leave it for others to find. I bet Miffs would know but he doesn’t often visit on a weekend.

      1. No I don’t due to always ending up on the naughty step without trying. Who knows what you will find in the bookcase in the pub in the next village

      1. It was a normal day was the lyric I worked on Angelov and I found it in a track by Miffs favourite artist.

  10. A good start to the year. I managed to solve the first clue I looked at, 1a, which is hopefully a good omen.
    I am not sure about 27a either. I liked 19d and 24a once the penny dropped…it was my last one.
    Happy new year and thanks for the hints and comments over the last year.

  11. Well, that was probably easier than I made it. I leapt in and put a down answer in an across space. half a bottle of Tippex later I guess I need to take some 17d for my thick head. 10a is my favourite too.
    I hope that 2022 finds you all well. Adding The Graun and Indy to the MPP and NTSPP gives me plenty to work at this afternoon.
    Thanks to Chalicea, Tilsit and Dexter (right-hand puss rather than a 27a sidekick).

  12. A nice, easy start to the New Year – as I finish off the white wine and Christmas chocolates after lunch………….
    Happy New Year to all!

  13. A very Happy New Year to all from the Carolina coast, where we’ve had the air-conditioner running on high volume for eight straight days, with temperatures in the 80s, which is what’s predicted again for New Year’s Day. Simply too much, agreed. But not too much of Chalicea, whose puzzles delight and gratify me. I happily went down the numbers, 1a to 28a, in this lovely beginning to what I hope is a much better year for all of us. I particularly liked 24 & 25a, but it was all good. Thanks to Tilsit for another great review and to Chalicea for her smart & genial gentleness. ** / ****

    RIP Betty White who, at 99++, has left us much too soon.

    1. AC has been back on for a couple of days here too, but looks to be going back into the 70s soon. Daughter called to say it does feel right sweating when you are taking down the Christmas decorations 😊.

      1. We’re under a Tornado watch here in Tennessee – temperatures in low 70s with the prospect of an ice storm tomorrow night….

            1. Thanks. We live on the Cumberland Plateau which occasionally lends a hand in breaking up severe weather – hoping today it’ll come to the rescue… Weather patterns a lot different to South London where I’m originally from.

              As far as the puzzle is concerned, my head is slightly addled from last night’s festivities thus it took me longer than it should have done. Thoroughly enjoyable though, so thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

              Happy New Year to all.

        1. Stay safe, JonP. All we have to contend with in the UK is the warmest New Year on record.

  14. Thought this was going to be a dwlightfully approachable puzzle but, like Brian, came unstuck in the SW. I have to record my first DNF for ages, as there were a few clues I couldnt get (5*/2* Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and to Chalicea for the stiffest crossword challenge I have had in months. Happy New Year wveryone.

  15. As usual from Chalicea a very enjoyable puzzle. Solved alone and unaided after a stumble or two, so did not need Tilsit’s excellent hints.
    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    Happy New Year to all the reviewers and contributors and of course to Big Dave who makes all this possible.

    Let us all hope that 2022 is better than the last 2 grim years.

  16. I thought this was an easy start to the New Year though like others the bottom RH corner caused a little problem. I particularly liked 28a, 7 and 21d. What, I wonder does this year hold? I guess it doesn’t do to dwell on it too much just take it as it comes. The crossword and this group have been pivotal in getting through the last two years, thanks and best wishes to everyone (especially Kath) for a healthy New Year. Salutations to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  17. The crossword brain appears to be functioning once more now that I’m back down south. Slept like a log after the 7hr drive yesterday so a very late rise after then staying up & watching the Hootenanny until 1.30am (Gregory Porter superb). Started with yesterday’s Zandio cracker as a main then this one for a light dessert. No particular favourites but other than 27a, which like Brian I didn’t care for, it was nicely clued throughout & with a couple of trickier ones chucked in for good measure.
    Thanks to Chalicea & Tilsit & wishing all who contribute to this excellent site a very happy 2022.

  18. The NW corner went straight in, so I thought that it was going to be a slam dunk. I had to tease a few answers out which slowed me down a bit. Not that that matters. I had thought that I’d go for a nice long walk this afternoon, but I’ve been put off by the rain ….not helped by a son sending me a pic from another part of the world of him and his wife coming out of the sea. Yes, I am jealous. Happy New Year everyone. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit.

  19. Great puzzle to start the new year – 24a held me up for ages but otherwise OK. I’ve managed it before, but can someone remind me how to insert a photo? I took a picture on my phone and emailed it to myself, saved it and then tried to upload it but that hasn’t worked. Thanks for any help. Happy New Year everyone.

    1. When you post look below the text box and you’ll see “Attachment”. Click on “Choose File” then select the picture you want. When you post your comment the picture should be attached to it. Hope that makes sense, Manders.

    2. Scroll down after your comment to Attachments and Choose File. Click on the latter and you then have a choice. If you have the photo saved on your phone click on photos, find the one you want and tick it. Hey presto!

      1. Thanks Steve and Wanda. I’m sure I used the first method before but it didn’t work yesterday. I just wanted to put a picture of my amazing flowers. I’ll try direct from my phone.

          1. Well it’s worked thank you, but now totally out of context! Photo not that brilliant either.

          2. Lovely flowers Manders – I do hope one of the cats here today doesn’t come and knock them off that perch.

            1. They are amazing as they looked completely dead when they arrived 21.12.21. Apparently they had been frozen! Who knew!

  20. A typically enjoyable and solver-friendly puzzle from Chalicea to start the new year. 10a was the best from a fine selection of clues ahead of 6d.

    Thanks very much to Chalicea for the fun and to Tilsit. May I wish all who contribute to or view this site a healthy and happy new year.

  21. Shrimp, I can’t find your post but, you are right, it should be club not stroke which of course mucks up the surface.

  22. Just the right amount of difficulty to make this interesting, can’t say I’ve heard of 17d used in that way before but it makes sense.Thanks to all.

  23. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit. No hints needed but some held out on me particularly in the SW. Favourites 10a and 4 7 and 16d. I had not thought of that meaning of 17d but the BRB has the exact definition. 27a is not immediately obvious but I have no problems with it. Happy New Year to all, especially to Kath and others who have not been in the best of health, or have had accidents in the last wretched year.

  24. Happy New Year to all.
    Found a couple of tricky clues in this first puzzle of 2022, but overall 2.5*/*** for me.
    Liked 12a, 24a, 5d & 19d with winner 19d, even though a frequent visitor to recent puzzles.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit

  25. Happy New to everyone
    Perhaps my late night/early morning did the trick… or was this one Eleanore than usual?
    Either way I’m not trying the same trick next Friday
    Stay safe

  26. A gentle start to the new year. **/*** No real favourite. Happy New Year and thanks to all.

  27. I sailed through the north and stalled in the south. In the end I used some e-help for word search in the SE, but eventually completed it and wondered why I was held up. Wotta lotta fun to start the year, Chalicea is a star, my fave setter. I can’t choose a fave, too much good stuff.
    Thank you Chalicea for all the fun and to Tilsit for helping me parse some of them, and correct my 24a.
    I wish us all a Happy New Year, I was asleep by 10:00 o’clock last night so I start the year fit and well!

  28. A satisfying start to 2022, with just the SW putting up a fight, plus 7d where I had the wrong answer. 24a was LI. But lots to enjoy. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    Here’s the result of a small potted poinsettia I stuck in the garden last January:

    1. Well done! Six months red and six months green! I have a street light over my garden at the back so I don’t have the required 8 hours dark at night.

  29. I was trotting along nicely but encountered a couple of obstacles which delayed my journey. Last one in 24a. Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    I would just like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year and may 2022 be a much better year, especially for Kath and many others, who may have been beset with illness and loss. A day at a time and that also means taking time for sitting with the crossword.

  30. I could be wrong but I see a bottom line quickie pun…Sinai Star. The Egyptian VC if you will.

  31. A Happy New Year to all you warm and friendly solvers and special thanks to Tilsit for a year of the Saturday Crossword Club. I had the privilege of starting the new year with this gentle one and, of course, appreciated even Brian’s approval! We’ve spent half of the week (near Geneva) sheltering from torrential rain and half the week ski-ing with my small grandchildren who have set off, this morning on the return journey to Silicon Valley – queued for three hours for the plane in a queue of about 1,500 travellers – four rows deep, half the length of the airport (and boarded with five minutes to spare) so we are lucky to be able to avoid travelling and sit at home writing or solving crosswords – more to come, I promise. I really hope all goes well in 2022 for you, especially, Kath. A dawn photo from the terrace is attached.

    1. Many thanks, Chalicea for popping in. Your puzzle was most enjoyable and, although I have said it before, you are my favourite compiler whether back pager or Toughie. To me, you seem to keep those who are new to cryptic crosswords in mind when you put together a puzzle and that is appreciated by the likes of me.

      A very Happy New Year to you and thank you for all your work.

  32. Sleeping on it worked – just finished! Happy NewYear to you all. This blog is special and I love following your diverse comments – cheers me up – thanks.

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