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DT 29915 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29915 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

It’s me again.  Britain runs of rail (is/was a tag line for rail operations) – but only if Tilsit is in a call centre helping passengers after a major storm has caused chaos.

Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing but the important parts are here for what I am reasonably certain is a Floughie Lady production.

Candidates for favourite – 10a, 24a, and 7d.

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 4 will be another by Robyn – so it looks like we might have a ‘tag team’ for the new prize puzzles.

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 Somewhat evident if you recognise what a thing is (8)
We start with a lurker (somewhat) found in three words in the clue.

5a Singular units of measure for beams (6)
The single letter for singular and the units of measure travelled by cars in the UK and the USA but not in Canada.

9a Precise brief conjecture whenever in charge (8)
The shortened form (brief) of a synonym of conjecture, a two letter synonym of whenever, and the abbreviated form of in charge.

16a Achievement of one who inherits disregarding gold (7)
A single term for one who inherits (a position or title?) with the letters for (heraldic) gold removed (disregarding).

24a Cure small donkey (5)
The single letter for small and a slang term for a donkey.

25a Advancing copyright in designs produces these responses (9)
Find a synonym for designs and then move (advancing) the abbreviation for copyright (several places to the right).

27a Labels balance sheet including Durban’s currency (6)
The abbreviation for balance sheet (BRB verified) containing (including) the currency of the country that Durban is a city in.

30a Most recently arrived surprisingly gutsy one (8))
An anagram (surprisingly) of GUTSY ONE.


1d Press is and isn’t organised (6))
An anagram (organised) of IS and ISN’T.

4d Little folks‘ charity bazaar is gathering energy (7)
A single word for charity bazaar and IS from the clue containing (gathering) the single letter for energy.

7d Auditor of catalogue before intermittently lean years (8)
Not a homophone – a synonym of catalogue placed before some alternate letters (intermittently) from lean years.

8d Uncertainty of opinion about US policies primarily (8)
A synonym of opinion containing (about) all of US from the clue and the first letter (primarily) of Policies.

15d Give up on French and translate (9)
The French for ON and a synonym of translate.

18d Lacking knowledge, I storm angrily about disorderly NGO (8)
I from the clue and a single word for storm angrily containing a rearrangement (disorderly) of NGO – there is no way that I can call that an anagram.

21d Shock cleaner? (7)
A cleaner for one’s shock (called barnet by some).

26d Unsure about husband’s old character (5)
Potentially an oldie but goodie – a synonym of unsure containing the single letter for husband.

The caption and the description (if you select the Watch on YouTube option) say it all:

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.

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69 comments on “DT 29915 (Hints)

  1. Thank you setter and blogger. I hadn’t heard of the donkey, but otherwise found this surprisingly straightforward: I kept expecting to get stuck at any moment, and never did.

    My favourite was 26d’s old character.

  2. Thanks to Senf and setter, I suspected Moutarde may be blogging today as once again you beat me to the puzzles site leaderboard by a few seconds, my horses were (almost) as untroubled as yours. Interesting pic for 5a. It looks like someone was stuck near the Woodhall service station. although I think the M1 has been upgraded to so-called Smart Motorway status now.
    Quickie pun took a while as I had PELTing rain. (on screen and out of the window)
    Thanks again

    1. You shouldn’t read anything into what time Moutarde appears in the ‘Leaderboard’ on the Puzzles Web Site; it is nothing to do with whether his alter ego is blogging or not. He is a creature of habit and likes to tackle the ‘back pagers’ as soon as they are published electronically (6:00pm ‘the day before’ in his time zone) with a favourite libation at hand and while watching, probably more listening to, the early evening TV news programme.

      1. Ahh, I see. you may wonder what I was doing still puzzling after midnight my time, but occasionally I have a quick glance at the morrow’s puzzles before slipping into the Land of Nod. Last night I crossed the finish line on the puzzle before dozing off. My libation to help with the nodding off was a nice 10yr old Port Charlotte – one for the peat fanatics.
        Pelting rain turned to big fluffy white stuff.

  3. I too was pretty certain it’s a Chalicea production & when I got to 24a was ready to go all in. She is prone to bunging in at least one curve ball in an otherwise very straightforward puzzle & like Smylers the donkey was a new one on me. As usual nicely clued & enjoyable albeit quickly over & done with. Top 2 for me 9&25a.
    Thanks to Chalicea & to Senf for subbing again. Hoping CS has had her power restored.
    Wordle in 4

    1. There was a version of the Mini car in the 60s that used the name for the donkey, it was very fashionable and extremely uncomfortable esp in the rain!

        1. There’s a lot of Mini **** and Meharis in my part of the world. The cars to have when going down to the beach.

  4. I found this puzzle relaxing and enjoyable, especially after my marathon slog yesterday (2*/4*). It was another crossword from Chalicea?, which showd that a puzzle doesn’t need to have a whole set of tortuously difficult clues to be a lot of fun. Thanks to the setter and to Aenf for doing double duty on the hints again. Hoepe everyone is safe after yesterday’s wild weather. Apart from a wall tile which came off and smashed, we had little damage but a sculpture of a life sized WW2 plane at an industrial estate on the old Grove Airfield came down amd was seriously damaged not far away

  5. Enjoyable but got held up parsing 25a…..I’m not sure I would describe that as advancing. Thanks to Senf and today’s setter.

    1. Re 25a I’m curious as to why not. I always assumed, maybe wrongly, that advance in terms of wordplay instruction was move east in an across clue & north in a down.

      1. The clue certainly supports your thinking. My interpretaion was the opposite and that advance suggested bringing towards the front.

  6. A Saturday that is both solvable without a headache and enjoyable.
    We probably have had 26d before but I don’t remember, I have enough trouble with English without having to deal with Norse.
    Still cannot parse my answer to 25a even with the hint, can’t see where to move the copyright symbol and leave the synonym.
    Apart from that, some clever clues of which my fav was 6d.
    Thx to all

    1. If you’ve got an answer for 25a, just run Senf’s hint backwards: you should have at least one copyright-symbol letter in it; try that letter at various other positions in the word instead (to the left of where you have it), and one of them should be the synonym for ‘designs’ that you could have started with in order to advance the letter to where it is in the solution.

      (I’m hoping I don’t get the naughty step for that; I think all I’ve done is rephrase Senf’s hint, without adding any additional information.)

  7. The sweet aroma of a Chalicea puzzle wafted over me early on last night as I happily and enjoyably glided through the grid, though I did have to pause to double-check that little monkey (which rang a distant bell somehow). 25a is my COTD. But when I arrived at that (shudder!) old character at 26d, I relived the agonies of translating Beowulf from the OE into something close to modern English…and Professor Ben Carol saying something mystical about that 26d (it always seemed the key word in most of his OE lectures) over and over again. 60 years ago, and I haven’t gotten over it yet. Many thanks to ever-durable Senf and Chalicea for a mostly fun time. 1* / 4*

  8. Enjoyed sauntering through this but without parsing 25a and 26d. No really outstanding Fav(s) however did like 19a, 21a and 15d. Thank you Chalicea (?) and Senf (can imagine Tilsit is providing vital service). Hope everyone was safe from Eunice.

  9. Terrific crossword – I particularly enjoyed being reminded of that small vehicle illustrated by Senf; they were the very definition of ‘cool’ in the UK in the 1960s.

    Being an eejit, I only realised this week that I have access to all crosswords going back to the early 2000s, so if I have given myself a bonus crossword each day by going back and printing out the relevant cryptic from this day in 2002. With astonishing foresight the setter, from twenty years ago, conjured up this clue for 12a:
    “If you annoyingly put trump here, how I may swear”

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Sir John Tavener – The Lamb

    Thank you to the setter, and the ever-reliable super sub – Senf

  10. Not difficult but enjoyable so wouldn’t argue with the Chalicea assumption.
    Top three for me were 1a plus 1&2d.
    Thanks to the setter whoever they may be and to Senf. Maybe we should give the “substitute” moniker to Tilsit!

  11. All done and dusted in short order but it provided some light relief from the miserable weather that has followed in the wake of Storm Eunice.
    I did manage to justify 25a to myself although it’s easy to see why it could cause confusion. Rather too many husbands towards the end of the ‘down’ clues, surely one of which could have accommodated an alternative ‘h’?
    No particular favourite but thank you to Chalicea(?) for the puzzle and to Senf for stepping up yet again as Tilsit sorts out the UK rail system!

  12. Breezed through this one until I didn’t. Did NW, NE and SW in double quick time. Came to a halt with the last few in the SE. Did not delay me enormously but almost doubled my solving time. Still well within 2*. I thought it was great and agree that Chalicea may be responsible. Such clever clues, but easily solvable. This made them no less enjoyable unless you want to spend a wet Saturday on the cryptic. Getting 21d was my key in to the last section and what a Doh! moment it was. I’m sure it is an oldie but certainly a goody. I then got 30a and 26dI entered somewhat reluctantly. Favourites 24a and 1, 7, 20 and 21d. Thank you to Chalicea and our Man in Winnipeg.

  13. A very enjoyable puzzle today. No moans or queries from me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    Beautiful day here today. Blue skies and sunshine but very cold. We seem to have escaped all the recent weather thankfully.

  14. A fairly mild SPP with nice clues giving an enjoyable solve. Fav: 25a – no idea why anyone should have a problem with the parsing? It’s a great clue. 2*/3.5*

    * The Daily Mail has today launched 3 new games on its puzzles site – one of them called Guessword, which is exactly the same as Wordle but with a couple of extra features. You get a highlighted “starter” letter which is definitely in the answer but not necessarily in the right spot. And you don’t have to enter letters in sequence from left to right, you can input them randomly. In other words, it’s easier! Too easy, I suspect, for serious crossword fans. I’ll be giving it a miss myself.

  15. 25a was my last one in and my favourite once I had parsed it. The SE corner held me up for a while which pushed out my solving time a tad, but otherwise all good clean fun. The sun has finally put in an appearance after what was a distinctly soggy Saturday morning here in Shropshire.

    My thanks to Chalicea, it it was indeed she, and to the hard-working Senf.

  16. I am delighted to find that, for the first time for ages, I have finished the crossword, completely unaded … well, except for a couple of synonyms looked up. So thank you to setter. It is very satisfying that I can!
    I shall now read the hints to check if I’ve slipped up anywhere.


    1. Not so good for me I’m afraid but I’ve had a long lay off. Only managed 3/4 of it and it took forever! Yet looking at the interesting piccy above I get the idea [redacted – you have included information that relates to the answer and it is a prize puzzle.]

      1. Because I have been criticised for including illustrations in hints for prize puzzles that ‘give the answer to a clue away,’ I now try to select illustrations that only relate, perhaps cryptically, to part of the answer. That is the case with the illustration to 24a today.

  17. Found this Saturday puzzle a pleasant romp through with little to hold me up. Took a bit to get going, then things nicely fell into place. NE last area completed with 21a last in. No hints used.
    Rate this 2*/4* today.
    Candidates for favourites include 5a, 24a, 2d & 17d with 5a winner. Well hidden lurker in 1a and 14a, 28a, 6d & 21d all made me smile. Lots of words in this one that have shown up many times before, but this did not detract from the solve in any way.

    Thanks to Chalicea and Senf

  18. I have a couple of times today tried to post a brief comment to Terence but wonder why it doesn’t appear – it ‘s certainly not questionable and this message seems OK.

        1. Good to hear – I would make a comment but in these ‘enlightened’ days it would not be PC or whatever the modern term is.

  19. This was mostly fun with a couple of lengthy pauses for thought so thanks setter, and to stand in Senf. COD 21d for it’s brevity, this shock often catches me unawares. LOI 2d as I just didn’t like ‘results’ as the definition/synonym.

  20. I didn’t understand the parsing of 25a or 26d. But with help from the blog sorted it out. Not very clever really esp the ancient German runic. However I did learn what “advancing” means which is a bonus.
    Otherwise almost too easy.
    Regards to all

  21. No real hold ups or difficulties for us. Favourite was 25a. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  22. Very pleasant accompaniment to my lunch with occasional heavy gusts of rain slashing against the windows. All went in smoothly and
    I have to say thanks to Senf for untangling 25a because, although I put it in, I could not see the Why. I guess we got away lightly yesterday
    although the trees down in our road did trap a man walking his dog. Man had to be taken to hospital but dog was restored to his home unhurt.
    A miserable day today and I don’t feel like doing anything! We had a family word for this – mongy.
    Thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter.

  23. Indeed ’tis I, Chalicea, and I appreciate Gazza’s review and his stepping in for Tilsit. That’s an interesting discussion about the use of ‘advancing’. I think that the convention is for it to mean that a letter moves on in the clue and we use ‘dropping’, say, in a down clue and something like ‘coming to the front’ if we need it to be nearer the start of the clue but I can understand the ambiguity.
    We rented one of those little vehicles of Gazza’s illustration in Barbados many years ago – uncomfortable indeed.
    I’m really happy to give pleasure to solvers and feel for those of you suffering from Eunice. Here, on the edge of the Alps, we had a howling gale but no damage and today skies are a glorious blue.

    1. Thank you for a puzzle that was enjoyable to solve and hint and for the honour of mis-identifying me as the Great Gazza!

    2. We also rented one of those vehicles in Barbados, went out to dinner in a storm, and when we arrived at the restaurant one half of me was wet, the other bone dry.

    3. Thanks, Chalicea, for the pleasure of solving another of your enjoyable puzzles and for joining us.

  24. An enjoyable and satisfying puzzle today, with just a few hold outs at the end, including the donkey term. Any puzzle that doesn’t make me feel thick is a great one as far as I am concerned. Thanks to Chalicea and to Senf for filling in for Tilsit again. I am sure Tilsit is off dealing with the post storms railway problems. Accustomed as we are over here to obeying and hunkering down when a hurricane approaches, it was surprising to see people out driving and walking in such dire weather in southern England. Hope those without power soon get it restored. Thanks to Chalicea and Senf.

  25. Agree, such a treasure for a Saturday morning, I loved it all. My fave hands down is 24a, uncomfortable yes but what a load of fun. I didn’t “get” 25a, still not sure that I do, whoever does the review (CS?), pray please spell it out in words of one syllable so that I can understand it. Isn’t it nice to solve a puzzle and your brain is still intact.
    Thank you Chalicea for the fun and Senf for the hints and tip. I flamed out in Wordle with a huge whoosh, had 4 correct letters for 4 tries and still failed, going down in flames!

  26. What a great puzzle today – a real penny drop moment when I got 1a very near the end. Thanks for the explanation for 25a – I had the answer and now see the advancing bit of it. Other than that it was pretty plain sailing so thanks to Chalicea and Senf. Wow Eunice was pretty scary – I had to go out in the middle of it and take the cover off the garden furniture as the whole lot was about to fly over to next door. All the heavy pots that weighted the cover down on the ground were blown over so there is a terrible mess. I nearly flew off surrounded by the cover – a bit like batman. Like Merusa, I had 4 correct letters in Wordle but only managed at the last attempt.

  27. I had to share this, a poem Godson dedicated to his uncle who died two days ago. They are a family of sailors, but this uncle and his wife spent a few years sailing the world, mainly in the Pacific and East. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    “I am standing upon the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze,
    and starts for the blue ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength,
    and I stand and watch her until she hangs like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sea and sky come down to meet and mingle with each other.
    Then someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!”
    Gone where? Gone from my sight—that is all.
    She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side,
    and just as able to bear her load of living freight
    to the place of her destination.
    Her diminished size is in me and not in her.

    And just at that moment
    when someone at my side says: “There! She’s gone!”
    there are other eyes that are watching for her coming;
    and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
    “There she comes!”

    And that is—”dying.””

    1. Lovely extended metaphor. Steady as she goes. As John Donne reminds us, each man’s death diminishes us. Thanks, Merusa.

  28. Sadly I have had no time at all for crosswords today, but just popped in with a fine tribute to Senf:

  29. Really pleased to have a Chalicea puzzle today; always brightens up my day. Helped to ease the pain of a large tree felled across my lawn in the storm. Was looking out of the window and all was well, put the kettle on and there it was – gone. It had several clematis growing through it which were just budding out. No-one physically hurt or property damage, just a sad tangled mess which was well over 45 years old.

    Thanks to to all.

    PS Quordle is the new variation – 4 grids and whatever letters you put in appear in all four at the same time! Need to get all 4 words in 9 tries. Blame my daughter for finding it …

  30. Very mild indeed. I like a Stilton myself, but then what are Toughies for? */*** for me.

  31. Another lovely Saturday puzzle. Very enjoyable for me, I thought 25a was superb but didn’t really understand 21d and it was my last one in. I knew the donkey but had to drag it out from kicking and screaming .
    Thank you setter .

  32. Brilliant puzzle, thanks Chalicea! As ever, enjoyed it all. Thanks to Senf for standing in.
    I wonder what Dada will serve up tomorrow!?

  33. The fact that the crossword was split in four different corners was very welcome today as I had quite a busy day.
    4 little interruptions made it possible for me to have a smooth solve.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to Senf.

  34. Big and appreciative turnout today – must be because it was a bit easier. Loved 25a but took a while to see 25d. Thank you C.

  35. Just finished this over afternoon tea. 25a appears in my comment as well. I was initially confused by the advancing of copyright as I imagined both letters would advance together. Having realised they go separately I bunged in an answer which fitted, but not sure what part designs played in it, so hope when the answer come out there is an explanation. Other than that, an entertaining solve. Thank you Chalicea and Senf.

      1. Of course! Thank you Senf. Unfortunately it hasn’t helped with parsing the rest of the clue even with your hint, so I’ll wait for the answers to be explained.

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