DT 29981 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29981 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29981 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello, it’s me again.  Tilsit has been called in to work at short notice.

Today, after a run of three, or was it four, Cephas pangrams, I am reasonably certain that we have a Floughie Lady production, but, for me, not quite as floughie as she can be.

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

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 26a, 2d, 7d, and 22d.

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 15 will be another by proXimal.

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 Look: a little vegetable in spring! (10)
A from the clue followed by a little vegetable inserted into (in) a synonym of spring (as a step).

9a Supply with power? (6)
A single word for to supply power (to an individual perhaps).

12a Enthusiastic about piebald horse failing to start (4)
A five letter synonym for a piebald horse with the first letter removed (failing to start).

14a Try daughter with garment not right for Nike? (7)
Nothing to do with sports footwear – a synonym of try, the single letter for Daughter, and (with) a type of woman’s garment with the single letter for Right removed.

20a Reportedly ring for cover? (4)
A homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of ring (of a bell).

24a Gather, taking walk around South London area (8))
A term for taking a gentle walk containing all of the single letter for South and the two letter term used for the London area (and beyond?).

26a Most clamorous one interrupting most prying (8)
The Roman numeral for one inserted into (interrupting) a superlative term equivalent to most prying.

28a Famous rebel acted badly (10)
An anagram (badly) of REBEL ACTED.


1d Charging account supported by United States in heart of Belgium (8)
An abbreviation for (financial) account followed (supported) by the abbreviation for United States, IN from the clue, and the middle letter (heart) of BelGium.

4d Publicise something; inform about overturned chopped tree (9)
A synonym of inform containing (about) TREe from the clue with the last letter removed (chopped) and then reversed (overturned).

6d Gymnastics expert almost satisfied and calm (8)
A two letter abbreviation for gymnastics (as a school lesson?), a term for an expert, and a synonym of satisfied with the last letter removed (almost).

7d Your aim: correct this! (8)
A term for the hoped for result, perhaps, of completing the puzzle (this).

15d Person running business peeled waterproof off (8)
An anagram (off) of wATERPROOf with the first and last letters removed (peeled).

16d Calamity as schoolma’am sacrifices millions for diamonds (8)
A synonym of schoolma’am with its single letter for Millions replaced (sacrifices . . . for) the single letter for Diamonds (in a pack of cards).

22d Dreamy sailor roused to ecstasy (6)
The two letter term for sailor (which I am not sure the RN uses any more) and a single word for roused to ecstasy.

Something whimsical today which I am sure is the result of some very creative editing and dubbing:

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

The Quick Crossword pun:


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.

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 a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

38 comments on “DT 29981 (Hints)

  1. What a delight this puzzle was. Just the right mixture of the straightforward and the convoluted. The only clue I didn’t like overmuch was 5d, which seemed to me to be just general knowledge but I suppose there is an element of the cryptic to it. I tried to use the wrong horror writer for a while, which held me up. Nevertheless, plenty of favourites all over the grid but my COTD is 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun challenge and to Senf for the hints and standing in. I’m no setter spotter but I agree it may well me Chalicea.

  2. Usual very tricky Saturday but it did eventually yield to pressure of thought and several cups of coffee. Totally missed the clever anagram in 16d and cannot unpick my answer to 6a. Can’t help feeling the synonym for dreamy is a bit stretched in 22d.
    Satisfying to finish but a bit too tricky to be comfortable.
    Thx to all

    1. If it is Chalicea I can’t help feeling she has done better ones. Normally my favourite setter.

  3. This left the stable calm and steady. A bit to think about 6a 7d. 6a seemed aimed at bloggers who announce their hints by a 6a. 7d aimed at solvers who seek these.
    Thanks to Senf and setter more thumb twiddling now while we wait for Mama 🐝’s booster.

  4. I didn’t peg this a Chalicea production & certainly not ‘floughie’ for me – well at least not in the NE. I was mistakenly fixated on the wrong expert for 6d & that penny only dropped once I had the checker in from 9a. I’m inclined to agree with Brian that 22d wasn’t the first definition synonym to spring to mind but don’t know what clever anagram he thinks he’s missed at 16d. Top 2 for me – 1a&7d.
    Thanks to Chalicea & to Senf for stepping in again
    Wordle in 3

  5. Very pleasant but over too soon. Still, a welcome relief after taking half a millennium to solve Friday’s backpager. But joys come in various packages–yesterday’s, today’s: so different but both enjoyable. I agree that 7d was cute and clever but it was my first one in, so I’ll opt instead for these winners: 6d, 14a, and 12a (since it’s Kentucky Derby day and my old 1972 Ford coupe’ was named after that old piebald). My last one in was that ‘dreamy sailor’. Thanks to the indefatigable Senf and the Lovely Lady, if indeed it is she. 1.5* / 3.5*

  6. Thanks Stand-in Senf for your well-illustrated commentary. This gentle, neat affair had a Chalicean flavour. I disappointed myself not knowing the meaning of the piebald synonym until it turned up in Waffle recently but at least that short/medium term section of my memory worked. There was a hiatus due to my stubbornness in insisting that the close country must be enclave but otherwise no alarms. Many thanks to the setter.

  7. Don’t think Chalicea would have been the first name I’d have thought of for authorship of this one but I suppose a few of the clues do have her touch.
    No particular favourite but a nice Saturday solve and far more accessible than Radler’s NTSPP!

    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for agreeing to slot in at short notice again – it’s greatly appreciated.

  8. A very good puzzle which needed a lot of thought but it was very doable with no clues beyond my limited capabilities for parsing. 2d my stand out favourite with honourable mentions for 25a and 26a. Thanks to Senf for confirming my efforts at parsing and many thanks to the setter for such a splendid puzzle.

    Senf, I think your musical offering today should have been “You Send Me” by the great Sam Cooke.

    By the way did anyone see “One Night in Miami” with interesting performances by the actors playing Sam Cooke, Malcolm X, Jim Brown, and Muhammad Ali. The only problem was the sound quality which I overcame by buying a copy of the original play and watching it a second time.

  9. A pleasant accessible solve after yesterday’s wrestling match. Thanks to the compiler whomsoever it might be and to Senf particularly for the North Korean musical entertainment – loved it!

  10. A pretty straightforward puzzle for Saturday this week, but definitely some grey matter required to suss out some of the clues. 2.5*/4*
    Favourites include 14a, 18a, 23a, 26a & 5d with no clear winner today

    Thanks to setter and Senf

  11. Yes, very enjoyable with good, fair and workable clues. I was slightly put off by thinking of the wrong answer for 9a which was causing problems with 7d but soon rectified this. I really liked 4&13d. Many thanks to Mr saving our bacon Senf and Setter and thanks also to yesterdays duo, I enjoyed that late last night as well.

  12. With no painters peering in windows today I solved most of this from the comfort of my bed. When I first read through it I could only manage about half a dozen but some, like 5a, didn’t seem to belong in a cryptic crossword so I waited before putting it in. All in all very enjoyable so thanks to Senf for stepping in and the setter.

  13. To say we struggled in the NE would be an understatement. It took as long as the rest of the puzzle. Favourite was 24a. Thanks to thre setter and Senf.

  14. If this indeed a Chalicea, I agree with Senf that it was a tad more difficult than normal. NW and SE corners went in first, with the other two corners putting up more of a fight. Liked the clever 12a. As I was usually day dreaming or staring out the window during physics I’m amazed that I got 5d. Not sure about 22d and dreamy. Thanks to Chalicea and to Senf, especially for stepping into the breach again.

    1. Forgot to say how much we loved and enjoyed the musical clip. The children, particularly the little girl in red, are just adorable. So funny.

      1. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve watched for some time. A slew of bemedalled stuffed shirts and beautifully angelic children together singing a happy song seems such an odd combination!

  15. I never really had a problem with any of this, except the SW, I had a wrong answer at 25a and I needed help for that. I don’t think this is Chalicea, I find her answers are easy to parse and several of these were a a bit esoteric. It doesn’t really matter, it was loads of fun if a little more difficult than usual for Saturday. Fave was 18a.
    Thank you setter for the fun, to Senf for pitching in once more to help us out here. Wordle in 3.

  16. Can I be the only one who confidently entered a wrong answer for 20a. I was so convinced and thought it was clever, so took me a while to change it. I had another word for ring although my ring was on a phone. The cover was unusual but valid I thought. I found it a real slog. It did not feel like a Chalicea to me.
    Thanks Setter and Senf.

  17. I admit to making quite a pigs ear of some of this one – specially the bottom left corner which I eventually rubbed out and then started out again.
    The least said about 13d is the better – I’m not saying anything . . .
    I liked 12 and 25a.
    Thanks to whoever sent the crossword and thanks to Senf for the hints.

  18. I enjoyed today’s puzzle very much, though I did find it quite tricky in places. All the better for that.

    Thanks to Senf and to the setter.

    Commiserations to Tilsit …..it’s rotten being called in to work when you are expecting a Saturday off.

    Had a lovely morning today visiting Branklyn Gardens which are quite close by. The rhododendrons and azaleas are just magnificent at the moment. Tea room does good scones too…what more could a person want ?

    1. Long time since I visited Branklyn ( as a Fifer, not far away) can’t remember a tea room.

  19. Have to say – this was the easiest Sat crossword for some time…………..

  20. I didn’t find it easy at all. I was very grateful for the hints, good of you to step in again. I’m watching United get badly beaten which hasn’t cheered me up at all. However tomorrow is another day. Thankyou both setter and hinter.

  21. Didn’t really gain any satisfaction from solving this puzzle which contains too many clues I feel are rather far-fetched clues. NE presented the biggest problem. Thank you Chalicea and our regular locum Senf.

  22. It would seem I am my own in not enjoying this today. A dnf for several clues where the Internet came to the rescue.

    Thanks to all.

  23. It was indeed one of mine – apologies for the slightly incresed difficulty. There is usually a little editorial tweaking when my clues are thought to be too obvious. Iti s great of Senf to step in for Tilsit. I always appreciate the blogs. We are at a brother’s house on the coast near Athens. I wish I could share with you the warmth and all the beautiful spring flowers – the red Bougainvillea is spectacular.

    1. Well, blow me down with a feather! It was you! I enjoyed it a lot but missed the enjoyment I get when I join the intelligentsia in writing down the answers with confidence!

  24. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. and a final wordplay answer to 16d means that I have a letter in every square. Thanks to Senf for the clues, but I still had to google some answers. Difficult, but worth persevering with.

    I checked the spelling of Senf today because Synthetic Dave has some difficulty including the f !

  25. Hi,
    Have an answer for 22d but cannot see how related to “roused to ecstasy”?
    Could you help please?

    1. Hi, Duggyson – it’s difficult to do so without ending up on the naughty step (it’s a prize puzzle) but I think Senf’s hint is good and should get you there. :good:

    2. Assuming that your answer is correct, think about the four letter word at the end from a metaphorical, rather than a literal, perspective.

  26. Like West Ham playing at Newcastle, I too suffered in the NE.
    Came away with an honourable draw, however.

Comments are closed.