DT 29921 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29921 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29921 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

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Good morning from a chilly and sunny Warrington.

Thanks to my co-conspirators who covered for me at short notice over the past couple of weeks.

Here we go with today’s hints from a pleasant and friendly puzzle by our lovely lady setter, Chalicea. Lots of accessible clues that amuse and won’t cause a great deal of head scratching, as long as you read each clue carefully and follow what you are being asked to tackle to get the answer.

The usual request to play nicely and follow the guidelines by not giving inappropriate hints. The naughty step beckons and it hasn’t had it’s dose of Cardinal polish, so it’s not pleasant to sit upon.

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.


1    One following another win I have (10)
Another word for a victory, plus a short way of saying I have.

8    Curious as purist finds a higher level (8)
An anagram (curious) of AS PURIST.

9    Study after tabloid backed plot (6)
A word for a study goes after the slang name for a trashy newspaper reversed (backed).

14    Fugitive on exposed jeep skirting smoky air (7)
A little complicated, so here you are. A short word that means on or about, then the inside letters of the word JEEP (i.e. without its covers). Inside this goes a short word for smoky air.

18    Finally driving unfinished road in close country (7)
The name for a familiar country (to some of us!). The last letter of driving plus the name for a road, minus its last letter (unfinished) all go inside a word for a close.

20    Wimp died; what’s on their gravestone? (4)
Another word for a weedy person. After the abbreviation for died, goes an abbreviation you find on many gravestones.

24    Coming onto the stage, fill with delight (8)
Two definitions, that’s all!

25    Gathering around essentially historical group of trees (6)
The trendy short name for a gathering of pop fans goes round the middle bit of the word HISTORICAL.

26    With great effort lifts about one ton — most weighty (8)
A word for lifting something heavy goes around the symbol for one. Add the abbreviation for ton after this.

28    Clearly record pocketing money in front of telly, oddly (10)
Inside the word for a record goes a slang word for money (think metal!) and add the odd letters of TELLY.


1    Troubled courts holding record for one creating figures (8)
An anagram (TROUBLED) of COURTS with an abbreviation for a record inside.

2    Initially coax United States to overcome mismanaged trade (6)
First letters.

4    Support for paramedics? (9)
A cryptic definition!

5    Number in rowing team on Severn occasionally (8)
A word for a rowing team plus the alternate letters of SEVERN.

7    Taking sides, asked the French to note essential framework (8)
Take the sides from the word ASKED, add a French article, plus TO and an abbreviation for note. I quite like the definition.

13    Ed sent up style of writing with negative effect for subordinate (9)
Reverse Ed and add a word for writing style plus something you put into an object if you are criticising it.

19    Latterly, Romeo going for daughter in a proper fashion (8)
Take a word meaning latterly and swap an R for a D to get your answer.

22    Still holding second piece put in (6)
A scientific word describing somewhere still with the abbreviation for second within.

All shiny and bright? Or just a little tarnished? Let us know your thoughts and as usual, please play nicely.


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: WAR + TERSE + KEY = WATER SKI

Music today sees us go back to one of my favourite contemporary composers and performers. Sunday afternoons at 3pm (or on the catch up for the following 7 days) on Scala Radio (https://planetradio.co.uk/scala-radio/) is a programme hosted by Alexis Ffrench and for two hours you can wallow in beautiful piano and relaxing music. Here’s another of his to unwind to.


ARVE Error: Invalid URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMsGSksk7o0 in url


74 comments on “DT 29921 (Hints)

  1. Slight hold up caused by a mix up between Romeo and daughter. Otherwise a straightforward solve. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter.

  2. 1.5*/2.5*. Nothing much here to frighten or to excite the horses, but I did think 5d was a bit weak.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  3. A mainly straightforward puzzle, which I thoroughly emjoyed, especially as Friday’s was a bit of a slog (2*/5*). I thought 7d was very clever, once I had twigged how to parse it and 19d together with 28a had me puzzled for a while
    . Thanks to Chalicea for apuzzle, which was a lot of fun and to Tilsit tjanks for the hints.

  4. Hi, I don’t usually pop in to see how you are doing at such an early stage but thought I’d respond to Rabbit Dave. I know setting is my job and solving, yours but have a go at creating a clue for that word – one that has a definition and wordplay. Numbers are always tough and we try to avoid them but grids sometimes constrain things. Of course you mustn’t publish your clue here as a particularly nasty naughty step has been threatened.

    1. Now there’s a challenge that regular responders to the DT’s just for fun clue writing contest need to take up – surely Steve, Stephen, Jane & others will rise to the occasion.

        1. No. As the setter (Chalicea) says just above, this is a Prize puzzle and alternative clues are not permitted here. I assume we can post our clues when the full review of this puzzle is published?

    2. Didn’t find 5d weak at all. And it is always nice to find a few easier clues to help you get a foothold. No fun at all when a setter makes every clue a complete mystery.

  5. Other than a lurker that took longer than it ought to have to spot this one pretty well went straight in. Picks for me in the downs at 6,17&19. Pleasant as ever but over a bit too quickly.
    Thanks to Chalicea & Tilsit – nice to have you back.

  6. A much gentler Saturday than of late but excellent for all that. I did like 5d but my fav is 18a.
    Some really clever clues esp 24a which was a double clue but pronounced differently.
    Thx to all
    Off now to watch Spurs get beaten (again!) and hoping for a decent game against Wales.

  7. Charming, witty, and pleasant, as is our lovely lady setter, I’ll just bet. I laughed and cringed at the same time with 20a, and generally enjoyed the whole outing last night, especially 19, 6, and 17d. It was just over much too soon. Thanks to Tilsit (good to see you back) and Chalicea. 1.5*/3.5*

    A sad goodbye to the first Hot Lips Houlihan, Sally Kellerman. RIP.

      1. …and I was just reminded, by the NYT obit, that she was in four of Altman’s films–MASH, Brewster McCloud, The Player, & Pret-a-Porter.

        1. I’m trying to think (and failing) where she popped up in The Player. I’ve rewatched a couple of Altman films recently (Gosforth Park & McCabe&Mrs Miller) & the wonderful Short Cuts is next on my list.

  8. Whoosh!
    In minus * time.
    Completely at one with the very generous setter.
    Certainly a good educative puzzle.
    Many a smile eg 20a and 28a
    Many thanks Chalicea and Tilsit.

  9. Completed unaided – hooray! A lovely puzzle (I do like this setter), with, as Brian says, some really clever clues.

    Ever since we had the dreaded Covid, we’ve felt distinctly heavy-limbed and achey, but today we have decided to tear away our pandemic related shackles and go for a lovely walk. May the sun continue to shine (please).

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: Fischer-Z – Remember Russia

    Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit

  10. I did this in the early hours, as a bit of a cough prevented me from lying down too long ( I hope it isn’t covid but as I still have a sense of smell and taste, I doubt I do). If my reading of the puzzles site leaderboard is correct Senf sailed through this with his usual tipple at hand but Robert appears to have revealed a few.( like I did)
    Nice to see Chalicea popping in to defend her clue for which I didn’t see a problem – I did wonder for a while if the fact that there are actually that number of crew in a two-boat race was relevant but I was overcomplicating things and Tilsit’s hint is clear.
    I took the longest in the SE with 19 and 22d taking the longest to parse and that money synonym still last to mind in 29a.
    Thanks to Tilsit and Chalicea. Who is the curt celt named sue?

      1. Oh nothing just me reading too much into the early leaderboard when I am having a sleepless night.

      1. I am enjoying my gin-soaked raisins but they are soaked in nothing as flash as Bombay Sapphire. Nor are they Golden raisins -more of a dusty brown colour that escaped last years Christmas cake.

        1. Glad to hear you have joined Merusa in following my arthritis cure! Keep going and we’ll compare notes. Golden raisins available at Holland &
          Barrett (and other retailers). And I agree, the Bombay elixir too good for soaking fruit.

          1. Mine are just about finished! I’m not sure the arthritis is any better but I’ve enjoyed the raisins! I admit that Bombay Sapphire is a little extravagant but it’s the gin I like, if you can afford to fly first class and you don’t, your heirs will!

  11. A really enjoyable puzzle that gave me a great start to the day.

    Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  12. Like Terence, I always get on well with Chalicea and this was no exception, a couple of smiles and quiet penny-drops after a bright and breezy dog walk. Thanks Tilsit and Chalicea.

  13. Light and benign on a bright and sunny morning.

    1 / 2.5

    Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit (who I felt was even more generous with the number of hints given than was Chalicea in the setting of the clues in the first place!)

  14. A light and bright start to the day both weather and crossword-wise.
    21d was probably my favourite.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the puzzle and to Tilsit for the hints.

  15. Perhaps the global gloom is still having an effect on me but this didn’t ‘feel’ like a Chalicea puzzle especially with the double unches; if you will pardon the expression, I didn’t realise that she was into them in such a big way – **/***.

    No standout favourites, but I did like 7d and 17d.

    Thanks to the Floughie Lady and to Tilsit.

  16. Myst be quickest ever solve. Mostly enjoyable but could not parse the group of trees. Also got in a muddle with 19d. Thanks Chalicea and Tilsit. Favourites 20 a and 1 and 17d. Off to Nottingham Castle (which isn’t a castle) now.

        1. I recall that article. I have been in almost all of the listed pubs with the exception of Stow on the Wold, and my recollection of a pub crawl in St Ives is patchy at best. The Bingley Arms is quite local to me and I have been there quite a lot but the “Trip” is probably the next most frequented.

        2. Thanks, MP! My last pint there was in the Spring of 1972, almost 50 years ago now. Glad to see it’s still there.

      1. With the ancient pub game of swinging the ring onto the horn. How many times I have tried that! My junior grandson is now in post-grad digs on Castlegate, lovely spot for him.

      2. You have your answer below from MP. Yes it is. I tried to get a photo of it from the Castle but it was not a very good view. Externally it is still the same and not much changed inside I think but was part of the estate of a local brewery taken over by Greene King. I’ll give you a picture of The Castle.

    1. I live in West Bridgford. Must take the grandchildren to the castle. Used to eat my lunch in the grounds when I was working on Maid Marian Way. It was free to go in then.

      1. Good for grandchildren. If they are 12 or under there is a very good new playground, and some other stuff for children. It is a pity it is no longer free to go into the grounds for lunch!

  17. Fabulous puzzle so I was not surprised to see Tilsit credit the lovely Chalicea. Finished unaided after having a “put it down pick it up” morning. I had to walk away thrice before it finally succumbed. For once, I have no COTD because I found them all just right with penny drop moments galore and a slapping of the forehead more than once.

    Thank you, Chalicea for the fun. Many thanks also to Tilsit for the hints.

    Sunny and chilly but great gardening weather in The Marches. Spent the morning setting up a new weather station after the old one died and clearing dead vegetation.

    A Wordle fail today.

  18. This was a great puzzle today – only problem I have is 3d – I have an answer but I don’t think it can be right as only half of it makes sense, so back to the drawing board. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit. Wordle in 3, good guesswork after poor start.

    1. When you went back to the metaphorical drawing board what did you use to remove the metaphorical answer?

    2. In 4 for me. After yesterday’s use of only 3 letters in the solution I was quietly confident I’d get it in 2 after having only 1 letter (3rd correctly positioned) with my usual starter

  19. Light and enjoyable though I did notice there seemed to be a lot of clues involving essential/occasional/extreme etc letters.
    I liked 18a particularly given my gravatar and thought 19d was clever but my favourite was 20a.
    Many thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  20. Agreed. A delightful puzzle with no real headaches, just a few head scratches. When I got 18a I quite expected to see a counterpart today of all days. George glued to the Rugby with his little friends so I am off out into the sunshine for some retail therapy. Thanks to Tilsit and Chalicea, enjoy the weekend.
    Wordle in 4

  21. The sun is shining beautifully and that was an enjoyable solve but sadly all’s not “right with the world” at present. NE slower to yield than rest of puzzle. Fav was 17d. Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit particularly for the Story of You – will make a point of checking out Alexis Ffrench.

  22. With a couple of these I resorted to speaking the clue aloud with different inflections which I will do more often when stuck. Thank you, Chalicea, for this and your other offering today and to Tilsit for explaining 2d (re which I now feel a bit of a pillock).

  23. A nice trouble free Saturday puzzle to deal with today. Nothing too obtuse to deal with. 2.5*/4* my rating.
    Clues for favourites include 8a, 18a, 27a, 3d & 7d with winner 7d, an old favourite.
    20a caused a good laugh and also thought the unusual ‘lurker’ in 3d was clever too.
    Lots to like here and was good fun.
    Off to watch the first of the 2 Six Nation Games on today.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  24. Third try
    Just a light bright fun puzzle to start the weekend
    Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit.
    Thankful for the mild bright and only breezy weather as I spent much of the morning as “coneman” on the Alness Park Run, on a causeway 1/4 mile out in the Cromarty Firth. Youngest “runner” was a 3 year-old.
    Now that we’ve kicked Russia out of the Eurovision Song contest they will really know we mean business.

  25. Late to the party leaving a comment, however I completed this by eight o’clock this morning without any help from books, electronically or Dad 😀

    It doesn’t happen often 😂

    I read the blog for the Saturday puzzle every week and the review, thanks to all who give their time to provide hints and run the site, I could not get where I have without you

  26. Straightforward and enjoyable is Chalicea’s trademark and this was a fine example. Favourite was 7d amongst a host of others. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  27. This took me longer than it should have done as I completed it during the first half of the Scotland v France match. This setter’s puzzles are always a delight and this was no exception. The excellent lurker at 15d was my last entry, and 5d was my favourite this afternoon.

    Thanks to Chalicea for the fun, and to Tilsit.

  28. If it’s Chalicea, it’s got to be good. I needed Tilsit’s hint to get the “why” of 25a, but the rest was just plain fun. Fave was 20a, groan worthy.
    Thanks Chalicea for the entertainment and Tilsit for the hints and tips. Wordle in 5.

  29. Like last week, or it might have been the week before, I really liked this one because I could do it! A few squares here and there stillempty, but I haven’t looked at hints and will do so only if necessary tomorrow afternoonn. Thank you setter.

  30. Another lovely puzzle from the lady herself. Really enjoyed solving this, although three clues did put up a fight at the end. Off to tackle the Kate Mepham GK now. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

    Here’s my garden right now (well patio actually).

  31. A very enjoyable puzzle today.
    Took me a while, but enjoyed every moment.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to Tilsit.

    Been slogging away all day trying to make some headway in emptying an attic……exhausted now, the attic still looks full and I have a room full of stuff that used to be in there that I have to make decisions about. Suspect that I will end up with an empty attic but a house full of stuff. Sigh…..

  32. 2/4. Enjoyable SPP with a good mix of clues – some obvious and some requiring much more thought. No complaints from me. Thanks to Chalicea and Tilsit.

  33. First post after staring doing nearly every DT crossword since the first 2020 lockdown. One thing i have never understood was how people could work out who the setter is. But i did it today – not sure how or that i will ever do it again. But i have to say it was a very nice puzzle today.
    And thanks to all your contributers who i have read these past 2 years.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Some of the setters have been in the same ‘spot’ for years. With others, it is possible to recognise their style and make an educated guess. There is a (slightly out of date) list of setters under one of the FAQ sections above

      Now you’ve delurked, we hope you’ll come back and comment again in the future

  34. Very late start but I finished the puzzle unaided. Great crossword. 15D held me up – I had to laugh when the light finally shone through.

  35. I absolutely love this puzzle – the clueing was very difficult and some occasions but the solution was clear. A really nice way for ordinary people like me to start the day! Thank you Chalicea and Tilsit

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