DT 29927 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29927 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29927 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

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Good morning from a parky, spring morning in Warrington.

We have a friendly enjoyable puzzle, probably by Cephas, which has a couple of pitfalls but nothing too stressful.

I’m in a bit of a rush today. Full explanations to follow in the full blog next weekend.

Usual rules apply, so play nicely. I have equipped Crypticsue with an extra -charged cattle prod for offenders!

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    About time skilled knights sat here? (5,5)
A word meaning about or approximate, plus an abbreviation for time, followed by something meaning skilled.

6    Where men might eat jam (4)
Double definition of a place where (army) men and women eat, and another word for a jam or pickle, but not in the food sense.

9    Adapted bowl building less wide vessel (6,4)
An anagram of adapted bowl, minus the abbreviation for wide in cricket.

12    Writer from south-east in bed? On the contrary (6)
The abbreviation for south east inside a word for a baby’s bed gives a word for a writer? No, the setter tells us, exactly the opposite. So….

15    Small walk after school to get anorak at the station? (12)
After a word meaning to school or teach, goes S for small and a word meaning to walk round aimlessly.

21    Grease sophisticated? Crude in the main (3,5)
A word for grease and one for sophisticated give something found on the surface of the sea.

27    Teenager upset with the French perfume (10)
A word meaning upset followed by an article in French and the generic name for perfume.


1    Meal starts to really excel with endless Italian food (6)
First letters of really and excel with the name for a type of Italian food, minus its last letter.

2    Lower milk containers? (6)
What a lower is in the cryptic world, an animal that lows, and where you can find their milk.

4    Some flipping yob’s appropriate court punishment (4)
Hidden and reversed.

5    Heard lies about heading to party — this is what we expect from the PM (10)
An anagram of heard lies plus the first letter of party. Think the definition could be read in several ways, given the present incumbent.

7    I came up with price right away for waste (8)
Reverse I CAME and add a word for a price but remove the first letter R.

8    Smack builders in this workplace? (8)
Think what a smack is in the non-violent sense.

11    Jumbo might show these low spirits crossing path (6,6)
Think Jumbo as an aircraft.

14    This could be found in explosive exchange critic had in leaving hospital (6,4)
An anagram of CRITIC HAD IN, minus the abbreviation for hospital.

17    Skier perhaps did this second demonstration, upset after all collapsed (8)
An unusual word. After second, goes an anagram of ALL followed by the reversal of a short version of demonstration.

23    Blubber from sea mammal, we’re told (4)
A word meaning to blubber sounds like a sea-creature (that also has blubber!)

Did you sail along smoothly, or hit choppy water? Do let us know.

I’ll 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: TAY + CUR + FENCE = TAKE OFFENCE

Music today is one of the grandest pieces, played by one of the maestri of the instrument. Relax and just wallow.



71 comments on “DT 29927 (Hints)

  1. We are being spoiled at the moment with a series of great puzzles and today’s is no exception. Not straightforward by any means but doable with some head scratching and lateral thought. However, I’m not sure about 9a, which I have two answers for. Both fit the checkers but I cannot see how either fits in with the clue. I had two contenders for COTD – 2d and 8d and I have given the award to 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Tilsit for the hints.

    Beautiful sunny day in The Marches but with a chilly breeze so the garden beckons.

    Wordle in 5.

  2. I do enjoy a Cephas puzzle and this one is a cracker, with a good mix of straightforward clues and a few head scratchers (3*/5*).. i liked 7d and 8d BUT COTD was 17d. Thanks to Tilsit fot the hints a nd to Cephas for another fun-filled crossword.

  3. 2*/3.5*. Light and good fun with 1a, 20d & 23d my podium choices.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

      1. On reflection, I think you are right, Jane, and I’ll add 11d as a late entry on my podium.

  4. Lots to like and think about today, 15a brought back loads of pleasant memories of underlining peaks in my Allens combined, in my youth but 13a and 16d ran it close for podium places. I thought I had an unparsed ell in 3d but just justified it.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter. Early finish today allows more time for the MPP

  5. A few headscratchers for me held me up a bit and pushed me into *** time but I thoroughly enjoyed this prize puzzle. I chuckled at the memory of heroines of pulp Victorian novels falling ill with a brain fever or developing those ‘low spirits’ of 11d, which was my LOI and COTD. I rather liked 1a and 17d too, just a cut above the others. Thanks to Tilsit and Cephas, if it is he. *** / ***

  6. Fairly straightforward but very entertaining today. A brisk problem free solve though the required context of smack needed confirmation once the answer had been bunged in. Finished in the SE & 20d was perhaps my favourite
    Thanks to the setter (Cephas) & Tilsit
    Wordle – scraped it in 6

    1. I, too, had to look up smack in the dictionary but long after finishing the puzzle, I wanted to be sure to maintain my “no help” solve.

  7. First run through yielded one answer and I got a sinking feeling but deeper thought(and a certain amount of guesswork!) gradually yielded all the answers. There remains some that still remain unexplained – 3d and 10a as well as not seeing what ‘low spirits’ has to do with the answer to 11d. Best clue for me by a long chalk was 21a, very clever.
    Not the easiest puzzle by any means but enjoyable for all that.
    Thx to all

  8. I too had a few headscratchers…and am still struggling to parse my answer to 16d…..unless I am ‘up the wrang dreel’ as we say in these parts.

    An enjoyable start to Saturday for me with the MPP for this afternoon…and it is sunny !

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  9. 11d was also my final entry and became my favourite once I had fully parsed it. This was yet another hugely enjoyable puzzle to enhance a beautiful Shropshire morning, with just the right amount of difficulty to keep it interesting throughout.

    My thanks to, presumably, Cephas, and to Tilsit.

  10. I was expecting a Cephas but decided it wasn’t him, and he has confirmed it at Comment 10, as the puzzle was not a pangram.

    Not the best SPP for me; perhaps I should have gone for the single malt and Tunnock’s tea cakes instead of the mothers’ ruin – ***/**.

    No outstanding candidates for favourite, but I did like 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  11. Hello all! I I’m a long-time lurker, first time commenter. Amazed to say I finished without needing any of your brilliant hints for once (very much a rarity!). Wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for this wonderful group of fellow puzzlers, without whom I’d normally struggle to finish. Keep up the great work Tilsit and everyone involved.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Now you’ve delurked, we hope you’ll come back and comment on a regular basis

  12. I have a full grid, but several are yet to be parsed. I’ll keep on plugging away. Lots to like, though. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter.

  13. I had no problems with this, other than a physical one having broken my arm. All went in nicely and it is well worth persisting with the parsing. Took me a while to work out which words were the anagram fodder for 9a. Once I did, so far as I can see, there is only one possible answer. Favourites 27a and 19d. Thank you Mr Mrs or Miss Setter and Tilsit

    1. Oh dear, was it the arm you write with? Whichever, it is going to be such a handicap 🤭 poor you.

      1. Thanks Daisy. No it’s my left but no idea how much you need it until you are without it.

        1. I empathise, WW having broken my left wrist at the end of January. It’s the fact that you can’t use both hands together that reallly makes it awkward and I do write left handed. I hope ot is not too painful and heals quickly. I have an appointment on the 17th March for tie removal of the heavy cast and an x ray to see if the metal plate has done the trick . Fingers crossed’….but only on the right hand.

  14. Plain sailing today although a slight pause required to parse 8d. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s setter.

  15. I flew through this with only the NE giving any pause for thought. Good fun though.
    Top two for me were 18a and 7d, the former because I love them and the latter because it was my last one in.
    Thanks setter and Tilsit.

  16. Most enjoyable, and done all alone as George is off to Hertford Rugby Club for lunch and the match. Hurrah. No cooking tonight. Just as well as I cannot eat anything now until Monday. I shall be a sylph. Glad to read this morning that someone is collecting up all the abandoned cats and dogs in the Ukraine. 12 & 15 & 22a and 2d were lovely clues. Many thanks to Setter and Tilsit for the diversion on a very cold, damp, miserable day.

    1. I have been watching the rescue of the Ukraine pets, Daisy, what a valiant effort by everyone.
      Good luck to you tomorrow, we’re all wishing you well.

      1. Addenbrookes have just this minute phoned to say they want me there 3 hours earlier so the second dose of charmingly titled Moviprep will have to be taken in the middle of the night. Such fun. Thanks for the good wishes!!!

        1. I remember Moviprep Daisy. Thinking of England is a good way to cope with the procedure. You’re always positive so I’m sure it will be fine.
          Happily finished today with few problems, Thankyou all.

  17. A relatively straightforward Saturday puzzle for this week. NE was last are completed and took me to 2.5* time vs the 2* I was heading for with 3.5* for fun.
    Favourites were 21a, 22a, 2d, 3d & 11d with 11d winner by a nose over 22a.
    2d, 23d & 20d made me chuckle.
    4d made me “prowl” my brain as I knew it had showed up before. When the PDM happened, I knew immediately why it is not in the BRB.

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  18. Another lovely puzzle today – 25a last one in for some reason. The rest went pretty smoothly but I too can’t see the low spirits in 11d. Horrid weather here so have lit the fire early as friends dropping in for a cuppa soon. Thanks to the mystery setter and Tilsit for his hard work. The Village Hall was open today for items for Ukraine – 3 lorry loads collected in 4 hours, very heartening.

  19. Most enjoyable puzzle today, and agree they have all been very good recently. My favourite was 27A

  20. Solved either side of my morning exercise. Pleasant and pretty straightforward, if somewhat lacking in LOL moments.
    Nothing really stood out for me.
    Thank you to setter and Tilsit for the hints. Minus 10 “feels like” temperature for the late night dog walk last night. At least the wind had dropped this morning so a balmy -2 first thing then sunny all morning.

  21. No real hold ups for us this afternoon, all done and parsed in fairly short order. Favourite was 8d, our last in. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  22. I was very relieved to find a friendly and doable puzzle waiting for me this morning, having struggled mightily with yesterday’s. Perhaps it was the second epidural that affected my thinking? I did have a different answer for 9a though, until I saw the picture hint. Everything fell into place, albeit some holding out a bit longer than others. Big thanks to the setter (Chalicea?), and to Tilsit. Here’s hoping for something similar tomorrow. Off to Wordle now.

    1. BL – do hope your second epidural is a success – I’ve been there and done that!

      1. Thank you, yes here’s hoping. As you know, the result sometimes takes a few days to make itself known.

  23. I was dead on wavelength, solved in no time, unaided and enjoyed all the way. A banner day for me. We’ve had 4d before, I think it’s a Brit thing. I loved it all, but I think 11d is fave for the vision it brings up. Thanks to an exchange with Jane and LROK yesterday or the day before I was reminded what anorak was at 15a.
    Thanks to our setter, she’s a star. Thanks for the hints and tips, Tilsit, I did have to look up “parky”, new to me. Wordle in 4.

            1. Retired and ran a posh Michelin starred gastropub in Bray for a while but I think his children run it now, he is long retired.

  24. Very enjoyable and satisfying to solve.
    Amongst the many novel constructions, 17d takes first place.
    A new meaning for me of a word in 11d.
    I think it featured in Victorian melodramas, my last in after much thinking.
    So, ****/*****
    Many thanks Chalicea and Tilsit.

  25. Not a walk in the park but fun with which to do battle nevertheless. NE corner last on board. Leading role for 20d is rather sweeping. No real Favs. Thank you Mysteron and Tilsit. Look forward to listening to the Saint-Saëns later this evening – TVM for that.

  26. A straightforward and enjoyable puzzle, but I do have a problem with 16d. From the checkers the answer has to be what it is, and the first 2 letters come straight from the clue, as do the last 4. But a literal reading of the clue would surely put the 3rd and 4th letters the other way round. Help!

    Thank you all for teaching me how to do cryptic puzzles over the last few years.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Jim. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

      You need to split the very from the large.

    2. I should say Jim I was thinking along the same lines as you until I realised that o*****e didn’t come into it!

  27. PressReader is down (hacked, they say) and I can’t get a physical copy, so no crossword for me today unless someone can help me out?

  28. COTD is 18a, just because they are the most wonderful breed in the world, even if another regular contributor to the blog probably doesn’t agree. ☺️

    Perhaps just as well I’ve not worked out how to load a pic of my Archie as my avatar on here, or I might end up on the naughty step on prize crossword day…

  29. Hey, all. Thank you for the puzzles, blogs, and comments.

    How did people decide which relative to go for at 22a in the quick crossword? So far as I can tell there are two that fit, differing only in a non-crossing letter. I tried the who happens to be staying with us this weekend, and got lucky according to the puzzles website.

    1. I never thought of that, it seems I got lucky too. Nice article about Ilkley in the Saturday section. I imagine house prices will rocket!

      1. Thanks, hadn’t seen it.

        Most of our generation already seem to be blow-ins; house prices going even higher are only going to make it harder for any first-time buyers who grew up in the town to stay here.

  30. Completed without help except for one googled synonym and two googled answers. 13a I should have worked out, but 11d I would not have got so had to google it.

    Otherwise a very nice, enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to setter.

  31. Oh dear! I still can’t finish NE corner. Well done to all of you you found it relatively easy. Welcome to the new bloggers, enjoy the “family” group of bloggers.
    Much better at wordle. I got I in 2 tries & 2 more in 3 this week.

  32. Re 5d the hint for this clue with its snide comment about Boris is uncalled for.

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