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DT 29909 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29909 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

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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 has medical and dental matters to attend to 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 for what, as it is a pangram, I suspect is a Cephas production.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 23a, and 16d.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a number of the more difficult clues have been selected and hints provided for them.  Thinking of weekend prize crosswords – CL tells us on the DT Puzzles Website that Sunday Toughie Number 3 will be another by proXimal!

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 The only place to pack, as a precaution? (4,2,4)
A double definition, I think – the first is the only place to pack when one might only have one piece of luggage.

8a I landed amongst new army – the army! (8)
I from the clue and the past tense of a verb meaning to land inserted into (amongst) an anagram (new) of ARMY.

9a Stop said form of payment (6)
A homophone (said) of a synonym of stop.

18a Relatively favourable tip once dubious (7)
An anagram (dubious) of TIP ONCE.

23a Second prophet with a snack (6)
The single letter for Second (of time), an OT prophet, and (with) A from the clue.

24a Dish from southern United Kingdom and two from Rome embracing Asian beast (8)
Lego time – the single letter that can represent Southern, the abbreviated form of United Kingdom, and the Roman numeral for two (two from Rome) containing an Asian beast (animal).

26a Honour a pass received by apprentice falling short (8)
A from the clue and a three letter (mountain) pass contained (received) by a synonym of apprentice with the last letter removed (falling short).

28a It’s a shocking thing to be screened (6,4)
A genre of something that is screened (as in shown to an audience).


1d Those taking part should be prepared for this rally (8)
‘Buried’ in the clue is the motto of a youth organization, and members (those taking part) of that organization (used to?) attend a type of rally.

2d Welcome Sarah, leading North American (6)
A three letter diminutive form of Sarah placed before (leading) a North American (indigenous person).

4d Magazine with chapter on painting band (9)
The single letter for Chapter placed on a three letter term for painting and a synonym of band – Hmm!.

6d Short view over a city in outline of plot (8)
A synonym of view with its last letter deleted (short) placed before (over) A from the clue and a well known (carnival) city.

16d One separated from men about to enter dodgy club on base (8)
The two letters for (army) men and a single letter for about inserted into (to enter) a term for a dodgy (night) club followed by (on) the letter used to represent base (of one form of logarithms).

17d Hen and rat running wild round extreme characters in pilgrimage centre (8)
An anagram (running wild) HEN and RAT containing (round) the extreme characters of the alphabet.

22d Expedition in South Africa, some distance inland initially (6)
The two letter abbreviated form of South Africa, a three letter term for some distance, and the first letter (initially) of Inland.

Amazing Grace without bagpipes and, oh, it’s a Canadian ensemble:

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

The Quick Crossword pun:


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68 comments on “DT 29909 (Hints)

  1. I thought this was a bit trickier than usual and it required a couple of look ups to confirm my constructions. The pangram alert was on quite early. 1d was my favourite. Thanks to Senf and today’s setter.

  2. 2.5*/4*. I wasn’t sure about this pangram at first but I warmed to it as I worked though it. There were a couple of dodgy surfaces, notably 24a, and, if I am parsing it correctly, I thought 3d was a bit “same-sidey”. Those apart, this was an enjoyable challenge overall with 1d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the seemingly indefatigable super-sub Senf.

    1. I love people adding y to the end of expressions to save a couple of words, inverted commas or not.

      A friend does it all the time.

      And what makes me laugh is that, like you, he’s erudite.

      When I asked him why he does that it all the time, he said….I’m being lazy but I love saying these made-up words.

      It reminds me of the legend that is Stanley Unwin and his gobbledygook.

      Deep joy

      Washing machino, fronty loado.

        1. ‘Were both on the same side’ isn’t asking too much.

          But stick with same-sidey.

          It’s much more fun.

        2. Thinking about it…..‘were on the’ is probably easier and quicker to type than adding a y, inverted commas and inserting a hyphen.

          But we love same-sidey. So, don’t let me stop you.

  3. Needed the excellent hints to finish this tricky little devil. Not come across that spelling for 20a, 2d is a new NA tribe for me, I thought 24a was a record by Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen and surely 4d goes in a magazine not a magazine per se.
    However all that aside I enjoyed this puzzle even with its heavy reliance on religious themes and with that old favourite 9a being my COTD.
    Thanks to all

      1. That’s true, but there is another type of magazine/answer that would work. Since it’s Saturday, I can’t elaborate.

    1. ‘Heavy reliance on religious themes’, Brian? I count exactly one reference, and that is certainly not a theme.

      1. I agree! I counted two Robert but certainly not a theme. For neither did one have to be religious or studied theology – just general knowledge. Probably all familiar to most of us since childhood, unlike foreign food which has become an acquired taste and a crossword regular. I’m not very well up on North American tribes either but all questions fair and answers achievable.

        1. I thought that one of those two you cite was much more historical and geographical than religious, which is why I settled on the one (to me) very obvious one. Thanks for your amendment to my comment, WW. As a teacher of literature, I was always geared to the concept of ‘theme’, and there certainly is no theme in Cephas’s grid today.

  4. Thank you Senf for explaining the 4th and 5th letters of 16d – couldn’t see it. I felt this was a strangely unsatisfying puzzle, perhaps too many wordy clues for my liking. Nevertheless, thanks to Setter and Senf. 1* difficulty, 1* pleasure.

    1. I concur as I found this pangram to have too many very ordinary clues, e.g. 25a and 28a. The candidate for my least favourite crossword for the year. There is no pleasing everyone!

  5. Seemed a lot trickier than usual for a Saturday, but all came together in a satisfying solve. Fave for me, 18a. Thanks to setter and Senf.

  6. I found this one about right for me….some quick to solve, others needing a bit more thought. Had to check up on 18a as
    although it had to be what it was, it was a new word for me.
    Particularly liked 1d for the penny drop moment.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Hope Tilsit feels better soon….he has had a bit of a time of it lately.

    1. Also found this one, rather like Baby Bear’s porridge, just about right. A reasonably quick solve, downside being no more excuse to put off some garden-pottering on a bright, but very breezy, day……..No particular favourites, but liked 15d and 21d. Thanks to all concerned.

    2. I think most of us probably are more used to the slightly longer noun rather than the adjective.

  7. Very, very tricky. Needed Senf’s help to get me rebooted (20a and 21d). A bit of a head spinner.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Mull Historical Society – Watching Xanadu

    Thanks to the setter and sleepy Senf.

  8. I’d agree with Fez that this one was a fair bit trickier than the usual SPP fare. Last in was 24a which I’d never heard of but the wordplay was clear & Chaldea also needed a bit of investigation. Always like a pangram but can’t say this was one of my favourite puzzles. Am afraid I don’t really understand the parsing of 1d even after reading the hint & thought the clues at 25,27&28a nowt to write home about. On the plus side 16d narrowly pipped 18a as my pick of the clues & also liked 5&6d.
    Thanks to the setter & Senf
    Wordle in 3

    1. It’s a pity you don’t quite get 1d as it’s a brilliant clue. The hint should have helped you especially with the photo. Look up the answer in the BRB if you have one and Senf has generously hinted that there is a motto buried in the clue.

  9. I appreciate the setter’s skill in putting this together but it was so not my cup of tea, had a very dated feel to it. Others may enjoy it and that’s fine but not one for me I’m afraid.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf, on whose blog I’ll no doubt be posting a more positive comment tomorrow.

  10. I was on pangram alert very early today, but it was almost the end before they all dropped in, finding two in my last two in (24a and 22d) I also spent quite a while with the writer of the second gospel before the right answer came to me.
    Thanks to Senf and presumably Cephas.
    Thanks to Terence for the MHS too – I have probably said before the Family Bee are descended from the Isle of Mull

  11. I charged through this before coming to a grinding halt with just four to complete, with 2 and 21d being my final entries. I can understand why this puzzle has polarised opinion, but I will come out strongly on the side of those who appreciated it for its guile and awkwardness, as well as the small matter of compiling a pangram.

    My thanks to Cephas, if it is he who deserves the thanks, and to the hard-working Senf.

  12. Indeed, as others have observed, perhaps not the snappiest of puzzles on this occasion, whilst the compiler (if it be he) is of the finest quality, usually turning out an excellent product. I’ll refrain from comment on the clues at this point, as to do so properly would necessitate an unwanted appearance on the naughty step, I am sure :-(

    As puzzles go, still a top-rate item, my thanks to setter and Senf, and and warmest wishes to Tilsit for a quick return to health.

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering. It had just the right amount of straightforward clues and head scratchers to peruse over the morning coffee. I always like it when the first across clue goes in straight away – it raises the anticipation that the rest will do likewise. It never does, of course, but the frame of mind has been set and the puzzle is approached with more confidence than usual. I attended the world 1d as a child so that went in easily. I was grateful to my school history teacher for informing us all about Chaldea. Far too many clues to pick favourites but I would single out 24a as my COTD if pushed.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and entertainment. Thanks, also to Senf for standing in and providing the hints.

    Horrible rainy day in the Marches so nothing to do but the crossword and Wordle, which I got in 3.

        1. I reloaded the web page for Wordle to check my answers and noticed it is now the NY Times website (who bought Wordle) so, no doubt, we will soon be asked to pay.

            1. I did reply to your question the other day, LROK but, yes, I have tried it. I don’t get on with numbers as well as I do with letters but having said that, I do tackle Sudoko.

              1. I’m the other ways round Steve but morning “routine” starts with Wordle, then Nerdle then the backpager.

          1. The Daily Mail are soon to launch a new digital puzzle. Looking at the illustration in the advert, it looks exactly the same as Wordle. It’s called GUESSWORD. Hardly the most original name, but there you go.

      1. 4 for me too for Wordle. Complete failed for the first time yesterday. Had I gone for the first word I decided upon yesterday I would have had four of the five letters.

    1. I am afraid I am going off Wordle for various reasons including transatlantic spellings (will doubtless continue to be the case now that it is owned by the NYT) and, as per today, a supposed word that doesn’t stand alone.

      1. The words have already been picked by Mr Wardle so I don’t think it will get worse. I was surprised by the similar use of letters two days running.

  14. Just my personal view, but I thought this was the best Saturday puzzle in quite a while – both entertaining and amusing. Lots of favourite clues, but I’ll only mention 1,8 & 23 across, plus 2, 5 & 17down. Thanks to setter and Senf, plus best wishes to Tilsit.
    Wordle just by the skin of my teeth today, still; a win’s a win.

  15. Not my favourite puzzle of recent days but we can’t love them all and it’s unlikely to be down to any fault on the part of the setter.
    The short measure and the apology for a dance appealed the most here.

    Thanks to our setter and to our reliable Senf – what would we do without you!

  16. A really mixed bag of comments today! We seemed to sail through it quite well and picked up straight away on the pangram. George led me up a blind alley being far too scientific with 25a and like a fool I believed his confident tone! However, soon corrected with a bit of sticky label. What would we do without you Senf leaping into the breech? Many thanks to you and the clever setter. Have a good weekend everyone. I am for a siesta.

    1. Yes, DG, I don’t know what we would do without Senf, like Henry V, valiantly leaping once again, “unto the breach, my friends”!

  17. Just finished this in time before heading for South Devon. I think we are in for a wet ride
    My only query was 2d but a search revealed my guess really was a North American
    COTD is 1d

    1. Thanks, Cephas, for a puzzle that touched my funny bone in places and sent me back down a pleasurable memory lane at the same time. How did you know, eh?

  18. Before commenting, I always listen through previous posts and, again as always, I am cheered by the fact that I’m not the only one who found it daunting. For me it would have beem impossible without the hints, on which I have leant very heavily indeed. thank you hint-provider.

    I still havent completed 2d and10a, but think I’ll just put anything in!

  19. I seem to have enjoyed this SPP considerably more than many of my colleagues here, perhaps because of certain memories evoked by several of the clues. Allusions to Chaldea and 17d sent me back to some formative years and an especially memorable trip to a shrine. I also chuckled at 1a, laughed at (having personally enjoyed the pleasures of) 24a ‘in situ’, as it were, and was immediately reminded of having just watched Nightmare Alley (a soul-sapping noir if ever there was one) last night! Cheers and thanks to Senf for stepping in again and to Cephas for the psychic touch. ** / ****

    1. Re my indirect reference to 28a, I must add that the Oscar-nominated Nightmare Alley (the new remake by Guillermo del Toro) is certainly worth watching for the cinematography alone. That it is ‘shocking’ is only a personal reflection of what it did to my own soul.

  20. Ideal SPP for me. Some humour, nothing to seriously ruffle feathers no obscure GK.
    COTD was 5d for reminding me of courting days many many years ago.
    Thank you Cephas and Senf also sorry that Tilsit’s troubles continue. Best wishes for a return to health.
    Nippy but sunny & dry weather meant there were 90 in our Parkrun this morning.
    Better performance from the Reds after last week’s debacle. At least we are still in the game at half time.

  21. Found this puzzle challenging today. 3*/3* for me.
    Favourites 1a, 9a, 25a, 27a & 21d

    Thanks to Cephas and Senf for hints

  22. After 1a went in barely after the print out hit the table, I thought I was on a roll with this one, and expecting a lot of comments saying this was too gentle – until I got to the SE corner. Was also held up in the SW by 23a and 24a, having never eaten either of those. I held off putting in 14a as the clue started with “avoidance” and not “avoiding”, so tense seems off? COTD undoubtedly 16d, very smile worthy. Thanks very much to Cephas for an excellent puzzle and to Senf for stepping in at short notice for Tilsit.

  23. Thanks very much Cephas and to Senf for stepping in. I did manage without the hints but had to look a couple of things up. I did not notice the pangram of course which could have helped me. I did notice there were a couple (? Five) of double unches which slow me down. I made a couple of silly mistakes which I had to correct. I put in a different synonym for 6d without properly parsing and made a spelling error with 26a. Only actual hold up was the SE. I felt this was a satisfying solve with 1d being the out and out favourite pursued by 5 14 and 16d.

  24. Top half went in easily but really got stuck in the bottom half especially SE. Took us ages to sort it out!

  25. Thanks to Cephas and to Senf for the hints. I really enjoyed this solve, just needed the hints to parse 8a,1d,2d never heard of the tribe, 16d. Favourite was 15d which I thought was very original. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  26. I whizzed through the top half this morning and then really got delayed later in the day just needing a couple of letters in 17d, LOI. I can’t elaborate more without risking the ‘naughty step’. A good week and as always, many enjoyable comments to read and entertain.

    Many thanks to Cephas and Senf for stepping-in on behalf of Tilsit (get well soon).

  27. Found this on the tricky side. Held up for ages with my last one 27a as I had the wrong last letter for both 15d and 16d. Thanks to Cephas and Senf – get well soon Tilsit. Wordle in 3 today – my winning run continues, for the moment! A yum yum seafood platter beckons tomorrow – eat you hearts out.

  28. Just me but I found this quite tricky in places and not overly enjoyable. It was only the possibility of a pangram that encouraged me to keep going to the end. Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  29. Afraid I rarely look out for a pangram and I found much of this rather slight. Wonder if a 13d is necessarily a personality, whether in these PC days a 16d is necessarily separated from a man and do 5d dances still exist. Thank you Cephas and Senf.

    Wonder whether 5a dances still exist?! Surely in these PC days a 16d is not necessarily separated from a man.

      1. There was an interesting note by one of the paper’s editors earlier in the week. I think it had been used in the letters column. Some bright spark had suggested that the last letter ( as in this answer) was for the female and should be dismissed for the male. Apparently technically correct as one would expect but nowadays the longer version is used for both sexes when writing in English.

    1. The definition is not ‘one separated from men’, it’s ‘one separated’. The ‘men’ refers to the 4th and 5th letters.

  30. The NW corner took a while to get into.
    Noticed it might be a pangram when solving 17d….after dismissing the extreme characters in PilgrimagE to be part of the fodder that is.
    Funny to see 13d appearing again. On French TV, the first ones were always ladies and they were called Speakerines.
    Don’t know who babu is in 7d but I like his name.
    Thanks to Cephas and to Senf.

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