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DT 29975 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29975 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello, it’s me again.  Sadly, Tilsit is off attending to a family bereavement.

Today, we have a pangram which would suggest a continuing ‘run’ for Cephas but I am only prepared to put half a crown of my five bob on it being one of his.  There is a repetition radar ‘blip’ for an anagram indicator!

Some of the usual features of the Saturday Crossword Club might be missing, but the important parts are here.

Candidates for favourite – 13a, 21a, 4d, and 19d.

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 14 will be another by Robyn.

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 Confirm Valerie has one assignation (8)
An abbreviated form of Valerie is followed by (has) the Roman numeral for one and a synonym of assignation.

10a Heroine‘s false statement in project (6)
A three letter false statement inserted into (in) a three letter synonym of project (it all depends on the pronunciation).

11a Go long way with artist first in medley (7)
A three letter term for long way and (with) the two letter abbreviation for an artist placed before (first) GO from the clue.

13a Health-giver? (11)
The person, somewhat akin to an MC, who occasionally invites us to be upstanding.

21a One who used to play Shylock, say (7)
A term (perhaps hyphenated) for someone who used to tread the boards (used to play).

24a Fight to include part of best rug gleaming (8)
A lurker (to include part of) three words in the clue.

26a Sportsman regarded as favourite (4-4)
A sportsman who has represented, say, a university and a synonym of regarded.


1d Prove to be true provided there’s light outside (6)
The two letter synonym for provided contained by (there’s . . . outside) a type of (signal) light.

4d Dry man, does he count all the holes, except the nineteenth, of course? (11)</br />
When written as (3,8) this could indicate someone who might count part of the holes on a particular type of course.

6d Tanks having water and fresh air (7)
A synonym of water and an anagram, if one can have an anagram of three letters, (fresh) of AIR.

12d Spray gun (5,6)
A toy gun with liquid ammunition.

14d Put into liquidation? (8)
A term describing the condition of something that has been put into a liquid.

18d Fit and size fancy furrier occasionally missed (7)
An anagram (fancy) of SIZE followed by what remains after some letters have been deleted (occasionally missed) from FURRIER.

20d Threaten to come to a devilish conclusion (6)
A being that could be considered as devilish and a synonym of conclusion – Hmm, perhaps the definition should be longer, but it seems that an adjective is generating a noun for the first part of the answer.

Something to get you dancing round your kitchens:

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

The Quick Crossword pun:


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79 comments on “DT 29975 (Hints)

  1. Reckon Cephas a good call for this one. Nowt to overly tax the grey cells so hopefully this will cheer Brian up after his Friday rant. Very enjoyable & with some lovely clues solved in just over ** time. Ticks for me – 13,21&22a along with 4,6& best of all 7d.
    Thanks to the setter & Senf for stepping in. Condolences to Tilsit.

    1. Just venting my frustration at my inability to unpick the really tricky puzzles. This is about as tricky as I personally would like.

      1. I’m feeling that way with my golf game Brian. Just played 2 super golf courses over the last couple of days & they proved too stern an examination paper for me.

        1. H,
          In my view truly high class golf courses should be a test that you take on as a sort-of bucket list. You get pleasure from what you are playing, but you will rarely find your score massages your ego at the end of the round.
          The course here is on so many bucket lists that, even at £200+ per round, it is booked solid all summer.

    2. I was with Brian all the way yesterday. I was too disgusted even to post, in fact, I came that close to giving up crosswords altogether after the last few days.

          1. It’s Sunday 11:20 and having almost thrown it away yesterday, I am plodding through with the help of the hints that I can understand! for which my thanks.

            I have googled a couple of answers, and I don’t have that BRB often mentioned, but I suppose the answer to 20d is in it. In any case, I’d never ever have got that one.

            I don’t do the weekday ones, but I sometimes do the Tuesday one and happily look at the answers on a Wednesday to help with anything tricky.

  2. A lot of fun whilst it lasted. I was aware a pangram was probably unfolding but assistance wasn’t required. I liked 26a. Thanks to Senf and today’s setter.

  3. Thanks Senf – I failed to spot the pangram or the repeated anagram indicator. For 20d I agree definition should be longer (first four words, I’d say) but I think the wordplay is OK with those last three words from the clue providing a whimsical description (rather than cluing the two bits separately). Anyway, lots of fun, favourites 26a and 14d. Thanks too to setter.

    1. Looking at 20d again (after a not very good night’s sleep), perhaps it is a not very good &lit with a ‘?’ missing from the end.

      Perhaps someone more expert than me can give us a better explanation.

  4. 2*/3*. A light, fun Saturday pangram. I raised on eyebrow for 20d as also indicated by Senf, but having just read Fez’s interpretation, I think it is actually OK. Eyebrow duly lowered!

    I initially entered plausible but wrong answers for 12d (where I had a much bigger gun) & 14d (where I took “put” to be in the present tense), but the checkers soon showed me the error of my ways.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf. My condolences to Tilsit.

  5. My grateful thanks to the setter for providing a puzzle that I had a chance of solving after the last three days wastelands for me.
    If I had to demonstrate an example of cryptic clues to a newbie to crosswords it would be 13a.
    An excellent pangram that needed work but had elegant and accurate clues.
    Thanks to all

  6. I guess this has to be from Cephas but, like Senf, I wasn’t totally convinced.
    Top three for me were 13,21&26a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for manning the fort and giving us a rousing dance tune!

  7. Witty and full of fun, this SPP, and I left the grid chuckling to myself. With 7d, 4d, & 21a taking the top prizes in this delightful pangram, I felt I was in the hands of a true master wordsmith and stand-up pro. 13a gets the special Clarkie for cheering me up even more after the previous three had already done so (you’re probably wondering how Shylock cheers me up). 3d was my LOI and even that one sent a nicely trebled frisson through me. Wonderful stuff. Thanks to Senf and today’s charming setter. ** / *****

      1. Well, that too. Seven sojourns there. But mainly, it was the cleverness of the clue itself, followed by my personal memories of The Merchant of Venice, as one of the Bard’s darker comedies, and my wrestling with its brands of humour as a pedagogue who often failed in doing just that.

  8. Not a Toughie. There’s something to raise a glass to at the end of a week of horror. 13 and 22a together with 7d are my clues of the day in a puzzle that wasn’t a write in but offered to those of us in the foothills of crossword silting a puzzle of pleasure.

    Thank you Senf for your hints and to the setter much praise for your puzzle.

    1. ‘offered to those of us in the foothills of crossword sitting a puzzle of pleasure’

      A delicious turn of phrase, El Corkio!

      1. Should have been “the foothills of crossword solving”. Thanks for the positive comment Terence.

    2. Thank you Corky, and for your support yesterday. I too love your foothills comment.

  9. Battled through this unaided except fo one synonym. But could not fully parse 25a. My answer is what goes in an engine and is not a train. It might describe a train I suppose.

    1. Bob, I can remember when this mode of transport first started running and it was known by everyone just as “The ______”.

    2. Many, many years ago, while trainspotting (trainspotting, how weird is that!) we used to say, [redacted – it’s a Prize Puzzle – refer to the instructions in RED at the bottom of the hints].

  10. I enjoyed this.
    Regarding some of yesterdays comments about the previous three days of offerings. I agree that they were far harder than usual, but I have no issues with that. I started to get stuck into these crosswords at the start of lockdown and they have kept me going through some tough times socially and medically. I regard it as a mission to complete each one unaided no matter how long it takes (I finally completed yesterday’s this morning). If they were always of a predictable and relatively doable level, most of the joy/challenge would be gone for me.
    26a my favourite today.

    1. Totally agree.
      This week has been a number of superb challenges.
      Keep up the good work, DT, and thanks.

      1. Hrothgar, sorry but your comment is pretty selfish in my view. -It appears that some, who regularly like to advertise how easy they find the backpager feel they should have two Toughie-standard puzzles whilst the intellectual journeymen like me have nothing.
        Like ChrisO the backpager has given me pleasure and seen me through tough times, in my case though for over 50 years.
        Yes I try to finish every day (and usually do) but spending two or three sessions to finish as I did on Wednesday and Friday is not really a pleasure. Many many years ago I reached my level of incompetence and should Wednesday’s difficulty level be the norm, which you seem to imply it should, I, and many others like me I suspect, would simply give up.

        1. Having done these since 1969 I floundered along until I found this wonderful blog, which has improved my solving capabilities greatly. But I do think I too have reached my “level of incompetence”. On rare occasions, on benevolent days, I might do half a Toughie, but I accept that I will never reach the upper levels of solving ability.

          1. In my bid to manage my loss of brain cells, I have long since established my limitations:

            Back pagers always, well almost always.

            Tuesday Toughie – probably.

            Wednesday Toughie – possibly.

            Thursday and Friday Toughies – never!

            1. I spent the best part of an hour on the Toughie yesterday & got a dozen & it wasn’t even Elgar. Think I’ll adopt your strategy Senf.

        2. Thank you for that. My complaint was that yesterday was the third of impossible Xwords for me, once in a while is a bit different. I swore off Xwords yesterday, I’m only back because I had a good night’s sleep and I’m in a good mood today! If we have another stretch like that, I’m gone forever.

        3. Reply to LabradorsruleOK.
          Please exclude me from the some.
          I simply find that after years of practice, I get better and better.
          I have yet to reach a ceiling, as it were.
          My worry is this back pager will, in view of some of these comments, get easier.

          1. You are lucky H to still be on the up side of the learning curve. Keep going to your 10,000 hours (if you have read “Bounce” by Matthew Syed) Now I am finding it has at best plateaued
            As I said I have been doing the backpager for 50+ years and find that the level of difficulty has always become harder from early week to late week. I wouldn’t want it to change either up or down (allowing an inevitable tolerance up or down).

            1. Thanks.
              I may be nearing my plateau as I fight shy of/ tend not often to try the Toughie.

        1. Yesterday certainly saw a can of worms being opened! I’m just happy to see that some clever person has created a diversion for me every day.

  11. Sometimes I have a quick look at our daily puzzle and think, “Oh no! Oh my goodness, I’m not going to get any!”
    Then, as was the case today, I solve one… then another… and slowly build upon my start. I find these puzzles rather satisfying to crack.

    A bright day in Surrey. We had planned a lovely walk in the bluebell woods but have postponed it due to our immersion in influenza. However, we’re alive; there’s a sofa to loll upon, and football on the television. I am Pollyanna.

    Thanks to the splendid setter, and the equally laudable Senf.

  12. Terence captured my thoughts nicely, a slow start building in satisfaction to a nice crescendo.
    Sympathy for Tilsit, and thanks to Send and setter.
    Time for another coffee and a loll in front of the snooker.

    1. Last round of the Women’s Six Nations, including the ‘Le Crunch’ Grand Slam decider, for me.

    2. All fingers crossed for an unexpected Mark Williams victory – he was awesome last night.

  13. Good fun in just nudging 3* time.
    26a brilliant.
    Last in which took an age until a resounding dropped penny, 25a
    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  14. Excellent puzzle; very enjoyable. Particular favourites were 13A, 21A and the brilliant 7D. **/***** for me Thanks to setter.

  15. The SW corner held out the longest. In fact, it held out so long that, if I were to use the star rating, it pushed me into ****. Not to worry, I gat there in the end and what a satisfying solve it was. I agree with Brian that 13a is a great clue to demonstrate what a cryptic clue should be. I also liked 21a but my COTD is 7d, which raised a huge smile when the penny dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter, whom others think might be Cephas but I couldn’t possibly comment. Many thanks to Senf for the hints and for stepping in.

    Lovely day in The Marches. I have planted the beans, onion sets, lettuce and sweet peas. Now preparing the bed for the dahlias.

    Have a great Bank Holiday, everyone.

  16. Such a pleasure to solve, with lots of smiles along the way. 7D is my absolute favorite, but shout-outs also go to 21A, 26A, and 20D.

    The only setter I ever recognize is Ray T, and that’s because of the 1-word Quickie answers. So to whomever compiled today’s offering, thanks! Thanks also to Senf for the blog and for stepping into the breach.

  17. I too had a slow start, but then it was like a veil had lifted and they all dropped into place. Very enjoyable and nice to complete one in good time for once. 13a raised a smile when I finally twigged it, and that started the rush to the finish line. Thanks to all.

  18. Very enjoyable and stylishly clued throughout, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t Cephas
    To me, no easier (but no more difficult) than the last couple of days so to those who were able to solve this I see no reason whatsoever for not being able to solve those too.
    12&26a plus 7d were my winners.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  19. A nice gentle Saturday puzzle for this week in my opinion. Rate this 2*/4*
    Favourites include 1a, 24a, 25a, 4d & 7d with co-winners 7d & 25a with 7d with the edge … very clever.
    The lurker was well hidden too, (at least from me), in 24a
    A very enjoyable solve and no idea whom the setter may be … but as there is no X in this one but the other 25 letters are there I am opting for proXimal.

    Anyway, thanks to proXimal and Senf
    Condolences to Tilsit

      1. Whoops, just realised I’ve made the same mistake with the second letter of 21a, I confidently bunged it in without really studying the clue. This is one time if I had thought it was a pangram it would of helped.

      2. oops! … I made the same mistake in 21a second letter as Dave G.
        Thanks Senf

  20. Golly. Or Gollybongs as MP would say. For a moment I thought I had 21a wrong. On a first read through I got three but when I realised it might be a pangram it helped, certainly with 10a. Lots to like. Lovely sunshine today after yesterday’s misery, hope everyone has a nice weekend. Thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter.

  21. High quality and fun puzzle. We did spot the potential pangram and then promptly forgot it. Favourite was 7d with a host of other contenders. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  22. Wow, initially thought this was going to be another terror but pressed on regardless and voilà there you go (as they say). Not sure about 25a or 3d (“music” quite imprecise). Outstanding Fav 4d but joined by 6d when penny finally dropped.
    Thank you Mysteron and Senf.

  23. A nice steady solve today, with a couple of wrong answers going in early on to mess me up. COTD for me is 13a, a perfect cryptic clue. Thank you to the setter for a satisfying challenge today, and to Senf for helping get me back on track.
    Sympathies to Tilsit for his family bereavement.

  24. Very late for me to comment but this was a delightfully straightforward and fun puzzle to solve, full of some clever yet uncomplicated constructions. I particularly enjoyed 13a, my final entry.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter for the challenge, and to Senf. My sympathies to Tilsit.

  25. I was on wavelength from the word go! I loved it all after yesterday’s when I only solved two answers. This is definitely more my style, only problem was that I spelt 18d incorrectly, which I always do anyway and revisited it when I got stuck on 22a. I managed to read the instructions on the box and looked it up, and that was my last word. So much to like here, 13a, 7d and 12d just to name a few.
    Thank you Cephas for restoring my faith in myself, I reached bottom yesterday. And Senf for his stepping in so ably to cover for Tilsit. My sympathies to Tilsit. Wordle in 3, so a banner day for me.

  26. Only three in on first pass so thought the nightmare week was continuing.
    Came to look at the comments but not the hints.
    Went back to the crossword and finished it without help.
    I guess the previous days caused a mental block.
    Thanks to setter and Senf

  27. Enjoyable solve with some good clues. Favorite 18d. Don’t understand the beef about 20d.

  28. Well, that was a good un. A few gimmes, but most made me work a bit without my head exploding. 10 a was fave for me.

  29. Finished very quickly yesterday morning ending with a concert in memory of an old teacher, which was splendid. Only clue tat caused me to scratch my head was 1d. Answer seemed obvious but I don’t know where the light comes from. Perhaps I’m wrong. Favourites 1 13 and 25a and 7d. I couldn’t find anything wrong with 20d. Thanks Cephas and Senf.

  30. Where could the letter X be in this puzzle? I didn’t find it, although guessed early it was a pangram.

  31. Taavetti – the X is no problem but WHERE is the Z?? Which word have I got wromg?

  32. Sorry, I must be very dense but I am still hunting the missing Z. When are the answers to this puzzle published, this is giving me a nervous breakdown.

    1. It’s definitely there in 18d – perhaps you need to revisit your answer?

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