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DT 29957 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29957 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

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Good morning from sunny Warrington, on a special crossword day, and one for the fans of the gee-gees with the Aintree Grand National.

First things first, today we celebrate the 1500th crossword in the Daily Telegraph set by Peter Chamberlain. Congratulations to him on the milestone!

As usual, the crossword is a pangram, which will probably help you with one of the clues, to a phrase I had never heard before.

There is a mention from the Editor in today’s newspaper puzzle.

‘Congratulations to today’s compiler, Peter Chamberlain, on reaching the milestone of 1500 Telegraph Crosswords. Peter made his debut in 1986, and since then has been one of our regular Saturday compilers.’

In honour of today’s race, Miffypops is going to organise a sort of sweepstake. He will randomly allocate a horse to the first forty posters and the winning poster will receive a million pounds and a luxury mansion, er… the adoration of their fellow competitors. Good luck!

As usual play nicely and even though it’s nice weather, it’s a bit chilly to be consigned to the naughty step. Right, on with the motley and let’s go…

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    Brown medicine I swallowed (6)
The name for a pod that keeps you on the move with an I inside.

9    Charlie’s excited consuming a new cheese (10)
The name of my favourite cheese, delicious with Christmas cake, is found by rearranging CHARLIE’S and A + N (a new)

10    Joseph with some cans of beer for average man in USA (3,7)
A shortened form of the name, plus the name for half a dozen cans of beer gives you a name for an Average American. No doubt Rahmat will expand on this in his blog on the puzzle when it’s published.

14    Habit that’s extremely tense and exciting (4-6)
Something that is tense and exciting to watch may be this, and it’s also a habit that I have sadly manage to sustain throughout my life.

17    Plant unknown agent in front (7)
You are not looking for anything in the garden, but a word for an agent in, say, a report into causes of an event plus one of the two letters used to represent mathematical unknowns.

22    Be idle with the French gazetteer included (4)
Inside the word for ‘the’ in French goes the name of a famous gazetteer now redundant due to satnavs.

23    Rider’s request upset Scotsman (10)
An anagram (upset) of REQUEST, plus the archetypal name for a Scotsman.

26    Approaching a fifty majority (6)
A plus the Roman numeral for 50


2    Mediator flabbergasted with me: that’s excessive! (10)
An anagram of MEDIATOR and ME gives you the answer.

3    Endless worthless talent (4)
Take a two-word expression meaning talentless or the point of Katie Price and chop off the last letter, join the two words to get something meaning talent.

4    Princess, one in port (10)
Inside the name for a member of the Royal family who to me, has always seemed to fit the role, goes the numeral for one.

7    Greek character, after the due time, left individual collector initially concerned with this hobby (10)
A word meaning related to a particular hobby, is found by taking the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet, add a word meaning tardy and the first letter of three words.

15    Cooking thus, US barman used an acid salt (6,4)
A word meaning cooking, plus a short word meaning thus, add a nice definition for an American barman, i.e., someone called to the bar, and you get another name for good old bicarb.

16    Their charges are usually small (10)
Cryptic definition of someone who looks after tiny tots.

23    Outsider’s advantage (4)
Someone who was on the outside may have this advantage

24    Space to tie up (4)
A word meaning space is a word meaning to tie up a boat, reversed.

Thanks to Peter for today’s challenge and once again, congratulations on the milestone. I’ll see you next Saturday.

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: BLISS + STIRRING = BLISTERING

Here’s a piece of music that is joyous and uplifting to celebrate.

125 comments on “DT 29957 (Hints)

  1. As Tilsit mentioned above I will draw a horse from my hat (it is a very big hat) for each of the first forty commenters. Just for fun. Good Luck.

  2. The app or puzzles site hasn’t mentioned the anniversary but nevertheless I enjoyed this. The average American was not the one I expected but clear from the clue. 2d and 7d my favourites today. I woke early and rattled off this and the NTSPP and enjoyed both a lot.
    Thanks to Tilsit and Peter
    Any horse with my money on its back is doomed to trip over his horseshoes.

  3. Definitely the trickiest puzzle of the week not helped by using obscure slang in 10a (ghastly clue in IMHO). Best clue for me was 20a, clever.
    Not a puzzle that could be described as fun but satisfying to complete.
    Thx to all
    PS Easiest Wordle for a while, done in 2

  4. When I first looked at this I was completely stumped and could only fill in one small one at the bottom but very slowly it all came together and I was just left with 3d which Mr M has kindly solved for me. DOH! Had to look up 10a to see if it was a proper phrase. Noticed the pangram quite early which helped. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit. My horse will fall over too! MP are you going to tell us which horse we have drawn?

  5. With the five hour time difference, I was able to print this out yesterday evening so I can comment nice and early ( for me, anyway) for a change. I did know 10A. No surprise there, considering. 15D went in before I parsed it, and once parsed it became my favorite. Thanks to Tilsit and thanks and congratulations to Mr. Chamberlain.

  6. No problems for me except 3d, for which Tilsit’s hint made me lol. 🍻 Peter and here’s to your next 1500.

  7. Congratulations to Peter on his milestone achievement. When I started sharing the reviewing of Saturday Prize Puzzles with Gnomethang back in 2010, Peter was ‘the Saturday setter’.

    I found today’s pangram slightly trickier than I’d expected it to be. I’d agree with Tilsit’s thoughts on the Princess in 4d – I met her back in the early 70s when she came to open the London Motor Show – she made time to talk to nearly everyone she met

    Thanks to Peter for yet another crossword – you’d think as it was marking an anniversary, the DT could have put it on the backpage of the newspaper.

    1. I agree with Tilsit and CS re Princess xxxxxxxxx IMO she has been an outstandingly active member of the Royal Family following in the footsteps of her xxxxxxxxx I met her whilst manning a stand at an international exhibition in Tokyo in 1961. She was charming.

      1. I had in fact met her even before that in a lacrosse match when she and I were playing for our respective schools.

      2. The naughty step beckons I think, hope you have your snacks ready to take with you😂

    2. I so agree re 4d, a lady to her tippy toes. When I first went to live in London, I took a temp Christmas job in the toy department of Barker’s Store, and she would sometimes shop there. Wotta lovely lady.

  8. 2*/4*. This pangram was a splendid example of Cephas’ craft and many congratulations to him on his 1,500th Telegraph crossword.

    The clueing, apart from the wordy 7d, was admirably brief, and the puzzle was a joy to solve, with the clearly indicated Americanism in 10a the only thing I needed to look up. 11a, of course, made me think of Kath.

    With lots to choose from, 20a, 5d, 6d & 15d made up my podium choice.

    Many thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.

  9. I am not your average American in the sense of 10a, but I loved the clue and everything else in this brilliant SPP. I found it a bit more challenging than the usual Saturday fare but it was all the richer because of that, especially the various 4-letter clues, often my Achilles Heel but not today. I stared at 5d, my LOI, until the penny dropped, and I jubilantly finished this delightful grid. Congratulations to Mr. Chamberlain and many thanks for the pleasure. And the usual gratitude to Tilsit for his hints, which happily I didn’t need today. *** / ****

  10. Congratulations to Cephas on reaching a magnificent milestone!

    A very pleasant but nothing too out of the ordinary pangram; a couple of Hmms especially for the War and Peace 7d. I didn’t notice the double unches until I had completed it. **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 26a, 13d, and 15d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit.

  11. Congratulations Peter. I’m always in awe of compilers. Huge respect.

    Thank you for doing this, MP. Great fun.

  12. A slightly more awkward grid than usual with the double unches, and a welcome improvement in challenge level for a Saturday puzzle. Thank you and congratulations to the Setter on their achievement. Happy to see so relatively few anagrams, which allowed for greater variety of clue types when there were only 28 clues to start with! 10a a new expression to me but eminently gettable, while I’m more used to seeing 8d as two words. COTD 5d because it was so smooth and made me smile.

    2* / 2/5*

    Thank you to Peter Chamberlain and to Tilsit.

    (No horse please, MP – any drawn for me in past sweepstakes have invariably fallen and been put down, so please don’t chance a horse’s life on me!)

    1. Good on you, MG – not wanting to get involved in silly sweepstakes like this. Let’s hope no horse dies or gets hurt.

      1. Forgive me ranting, I know it’s only a harmless sweepstake but I love horses and hate the Grand National and anything associated with it.

        1. Having witnessed one being shot when I was taken as a child, I can’t work up any enthusiasm, either.

        2. I’m with you on this. Got very upset as a child watching this with my Dad (he and my grandmother loved horse racing) and have never watched it since. Just too cruel to the horses. But then I hate to see horses being whipped anyway.

  13. Has anyone else noticed that the clue for 14d “One with a hereditary title (4,4)” in the Quickie is the opposite of the answer?

  14. Back down to earth with an almighty thump. Was feeling very smug as I’m now within 1 answer of completing an Elgar Toughie for only the 2nd time but found this a real Toughie. Took me ages to finally twig 1a&3d leaving 18a which, though obvious, I just couldn’t see until the penny dropped. Never heard of 10a & yet to parse 14a. A very enjoyable puzzle where being on pangram alert early doors certainly helped. 8&16d my top 2 today.
    Thanks to Cephas for the puzzle & congratulations on a remarkable milestone. Thanks to Tilsit for the hints which I’m about to read.
    Wordle in 3.

  15. Slow start but a quick finish. By the time I spotted the pangram it was too late to assist. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit.

  16. That was by no means a walk in the park but I did enjoy the exercise. East outran the West which doubtless other runners will do to my GN selections! Don’t think I came across the grisly 10a expression during my time living in NY. Suppose last part of 18a could be trick. Trio of joint Favs are all Downs – 6, 20 and 24. Thank you Cephas for so much ongoing pleasure and Tilsit for all your hints including musical interludes e.g. today’s uplifting Glinka R & L overture.

  17. Maybe it’s my lucky day – Wordle in 2 ( just quordle and octordle to go) and a completed puzzle perhaps I might take a punt on the National or possibly the Masters. Know a bit about golf but nothing about racing, so a horse from Miffypops would surely help!

  18. Amazingly I nearly completed this today, not always the case on a Saturday. Typically it was a four letter word that was my downfall. What an outstanding achievement by Mr Chamberlain. Brilliant ! Thankyou both setter and Mr Miffy.

  19. A nice easy going pangram puzzle for Saturday this week … 2*/4* for me today.
    Was on the lookout for the pangram after solving 10a early in the puzzle.
    Clues for the podium today include 14a, 18a, 23a, 6d & 7d with winner 18a.
    I really liked the clue at 12a too … well constructed as that sort of clue should be!

    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  20. Having spent a lot of time in American and being immersed in, and loving, US culture… I still had never heard of the unusual average fellow.

    Rather chilly in Surrey. A day to stay in, watch football both on ‘normal’ channels and ‘unofficial’ ones, and, of course, the Grand National and The Masters.

    Thanks to Mr Chamberlain, The Miff, and Tilsit

    1. I’ve lived here in South Florida for 40 years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard 10a used..,

      1. I’ve only heard it in an advertisement, can’t remember what for, probably aftershave or something like that for boys!

  21. A DNF for me, I will probably have a few companions from the race today, just couldn’t concentrate. Never heard of 10a although it was one I’d bunged in, and 7d seems a strange word to me. I suppose we’ll have a 14a finish at the race, let’s just hope they are all safe. Thanks to all.

  22. As usual I didn’t notice either the double unches or the pangram – never mind.
    I guessed what was likely to be the first bit of 10a but managed, eventually got the last part of it.
    My favourite and obviously clue was 11a – you’d thinking it wouldn’t have taken too long.
    Other clues that I appreciated included 12 and 14a and 5d.
    Thanks and congratulations to Cephas for all the crosswords. Thanks too for Tilsit for the hints.

  23. I thought this was great and a puzzle befitting of such a significant milestone, so thanks and congratulations Cephas.
    I liked several including 11&20a plus 3,5 (I suspect a chestnut) and the excellent 15d.
    Thanks Tilsit too.

  24. Needed a couple of Tilsit’s hints to finish this one. I enjoyed having today’s bright sunshine illuminate my puzzle. Used to do a lot of 14a as a child; horrible habit! No amount of bitter varnish could make me stop, until one day I just gave it up…
    Thanks to setter (wow! What an achievement!) and Tilsit.

  25. Slowly fell into place. Still musing on 2d. It will ping into my brain eventually
    Thanks to setter and Tilsit

  26. Still dripping from most orifices, well, eyes and nose, and feeling very rough and sorry for myself. Apparently the dreaded Lurgi is rife in Cambridgeshire, but I must be on the mend because I managed to finish this excellent pangram and yesterday I could barely pick up the paper. I’d never heard of 10a but it must be so, and I agree with previous comments on 4a – a gracious lady. 1,500 puzzles is awesome – congratulations Peter C, and looking forward to many more teasers from your convoluted mind! Thanks to Tilsit for the hints, I thought your comment at 3d was hilarious! Poor girl can’t help it!

  27. A DNF for me today. Reassured others found it heavy going over the fences. Tripped up at 16 & 17, unable to draw inspiration even from Tilsit’s hints, no reflection on your skills Tilsit. I suppose a Kirsty MacColl YouTube clip would get me on the naughty step?

  28. As a daily lurker and lover of this Blog, I just wanted to say that Mr Chamberlain goes get a mention in the Scottish printed edition underneath the down clues. Thankyou to all the Setters and Bloggers,who’s help I really appreciate!

  29. Found this one quite difficult but satisfying.

    Thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  30. Thank for your kind comments. I can see nothing wrong with double unchecked letters provided at least half of the letters interlock. In this puzzle four of the 10 lettered words have six letters interlocking.

  31. Congratulations Cephas on your fine achievement. This was a fitting finale to your first 150!
    Quite tricky in places. I needed Google to confirm the average man and Tilsit to confirm parsing for 22a. It had to be what it was to complete the pan gram but annoyingly I couldn’t see it. Duh!
    Thanks to all and MP for a great idea. What fun!

  32. I found this trickier than the average Saturday offering but enjoyable nonetheless. I needed help with some of the parsing. Fave was 4d followed by 18a.
    When I worked at BEA, we had a flutter on the GN every year, I never won anything.
    Thanks Cephas for the fun and Tilsit for the unraveling. Wordle in 5.

  33. Diving in to get a horse, mostly. Enjoyed this in a pub beer garden, is there anything better. Congrats on 1500.

    1. Is that the nag or yourself ?
      Old ability still lurking in there somewhere….

      Thanks for organising- I’ve had a fiver on mine

      1. I don’t think that we will qualify for death duties but I’m happy to pay any taxes to contribute to the central treasury for the common good of all.
        Here have another horse

        1. Wait a minute, am I sharing Poker Party with Huntsman? We barely know each other.

          1. Had it won GD & we didn’t like the look of one another I’m sure the luxury villa would have been plenty big enough & 500K enough for my simple tastes.

  34. I finally managed to complete this after returning to it numerous times throughout the day. A big well done to the setter – I’m in awe of anyone that can put together one of these puzzles, let alone do it 1500 times – and a pangram to boot!

  35. Too hard for ne, I’m afraid! The hints have helped – for wicch my thanks to Tilset, but it will remain unfinished I thinkk. Never mind, I have managed quite a few answers unaided.

      1. Thanks for arranging the sweepstake MP. A nice thing to do.

        I see Acrostic posted their comment at the start of the race and you gave them their horse 20 minutes later, posting the result one minute after that.

        Watching the race, picking a horse and putting up two posts to the blog all at the same time!

        That must have been chaos but great fun.

  36. 1 st 28 Noble Yeats
    2nd 4 Any second now
    3rd 2 Delta work
    4th 13 Santini
    5th 11 Fiddlerontheroof

    1. What? No Mighty Thunder? No villa, no million? This has to have been the wildest and craziest Big Dave blogday ever. I loved it. Thanks, MP!

  37. Re 9a: growing up in the 1950’s in a village in the Vale of York, we were always given cheese with fruit cake. A wonderful taste combination. Post university and working “down south” no one had ever heard of this custom, I got many odd looks. Now retired and back in Gods Own Country. Not wishing to rerun the Wars of the Roses but … the only cheese to eat with fruit cake is … Wensleydale!

    1. In Jamaica we have Easter bun at Easter, it’s a lot like fruitcake, loaded with dried fruit. We always have cheddar with our Easter bun.

    2. You were lucky, sheer luxury, we used to dream of cheese and cake, nearest we got was when mam used to take us to village shop to look at it through the window.

  38. Gave up after only getting one clue in the time I normally have more than half of the crossword completed.

    I don’t even think I have a wavelength today, let alone the wrong one.

  39. I should also have thanked the setter and Tilsit. Enjoyed the puzzle today.

  40. We finished this earlier this evening and forgot to post. Tricky tricky tricky, got there though. Favourite was 12a or last in. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  41. Thanks for the superb sweepstakes MP. And to Poker Party whose dismal performance saved a potentially awkward villa-sharing situation.

  42. Thank you to the setter and all contributors . I had to laugh at myself yesterday. My wife and I flew to Pisa early on Saturday morning. Mr Smith relieved me of £3.50 for a DT and I set about the puzzle . I had one clue left as we landed , 1a . I just couldn’t fathom it until we were driving to the Tuscan farmhouse we had booked for a week and I kept seeing road signs for a famous town , then the penny dropped , or should I say the ‘n’ dropped .

  43. Oops, Tilsit. Your hint for 2D inadvertently gave us the answer! I think you meant anagram of MEDIATOR and me! Thanks!!

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