DT 29993 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 29993 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29993 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Greetings from Warrington, a sort of meh day where the weather’s feeling as out of sorts as the rest of us.

I think I’d use that to describe today’s puzzle as well, which I’m guessing is by our long-standing Saturday setter. Didn’t really set me on fire today. Maybe a stressful week at work and a mini hiatus sorting out my forthcoming German trip hasn’t lifted my mood. I normally book accommodation through Airbnb, but a major website revamp and the renters not responding to requests has left me grumpy, and in the end, I found a very nice flat in Jena through booking.com instead. Now I am being bombarded by Airbnb with ‘why haven’t you looked at these properties (including one costing £1300 a day!)’ emails.

Anyway, thanks to our setter today. I’ll see you next week.

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    Rate at which storm arrives? (9,5)
Think of something associated with a thunderstorm and a word meaning rate to give a phrase for doing something very quickly.

9    Prepare to fire at ducks or another bird (8)
What you can do to a trigger to get it ready, add AT and two numerical symbols for ducks.

13    Thirsty, swallow single drink (3,7)
A word meaning thirsty, parched, add an alternative bird from the swallow family and a numeral abbreviation for one.

15    Continue to look after a bird (4,2,2)
More feathered friends. If you had a type of small bird you would do this (4,1,3), adjust the spacing and you get the phrase needed.

16    One walker or another failing to start (6)
A word for a walker (in the countryside) loses its first letter and becomes another.

26    Uncovered gravlax stirred to provide grub (5)
Uncovering here means remove the first and last letters and then rearrange the rest.

28    What to do with glove in cold weather to retain skill (4,4,4,2)
Not keen on the phrase clues where one of the words is in doubt until you get an intersecting answer. What you literally do to keep warm wearing gloves, is an expression meaning to do what you do at a lower level to retain that skill.


2    Drop round (7)
Here you are literally looking for a drop that is round.

4    Get together during ninth period? (8)
A way of saying in the 9th semester.

5    Dark blue (6)
A word meaning dark as in dusky or blue as in mood.

6    Journey’s formidable, stopping heartless plunder (10)
A word meaning to plunder minus its middle letter has something meaning formidable inside.

8    A certain solver will not use it (5,6)
Something you wouldn’t use if you were sure of your grid entry.

14    Light bothered playmates, including female (6,4)
An anagram (bothered) of PLAYMATES with the abbreviation for Female inside.

21    Supposed to have place in plant (7)
A word meaning to place goes inside something found on riverbanks.

22    Direct control (6)
Something meaning to direct and to control.

25    Beast turned up with mother (4)
Reverse up and add an abbreviation for mother.

Thanks to Cephas (probably) for today’s challenge. I’ll be back 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: REE + PER + CUSH + SHONE = REPERCUSSION

This week we lost one of our finest contemporary musicians in Vangelis. Here’s one of my favourite pieces by him, not the obvious one, but a very underrated piece from the film The 1492. Just a lovely build-up and a superb climax. RIP.



50 comments on “DT 29993 (Hints)

  1. I’m no setter spotter but could this be the lovely Chalicea? It certainly felt like one of hers to me but I am more than likely way off track. A most enjoyable pangram to get the weekend off to a good start with plenty of grins and dropping pennies. I liked firing at the ducks and looking after another bird. I am slightly perplexed as to which “certain solver” would not use 8d but I have a vague idea. My absolute favourite and COTD is 4d.

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

      1. Well, I was certain of the feeling, Manders not that it was the Floughie Lady. :grin:

    1. I thought it was Chalicea too but she’s doing the NTSP or whatever its called today

  2. My rating is 2*/3* for a light enjoyable pangram to start the weekend.

    I am not keen on 2d, which might be either a weak cryptic definition or a “same-sidey” double definition. I also think that 22d is a “same-sidey” double definition. The dog in 3d was new to me.

    4d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to presumably Cephas and to Tilsit.

  3. I enjoyed this a lot only held up for ages by 24a. When Steve above mentioned it was a pangram I couldn’t remember seeing an x so had a good look again and realised I had clumsily transposed the last two letters of 8d. 4d also my COTD but lots to like. Got one painter back today but at least he can’t be at the window of both loos at the same time. Thanks to the setter and Tilsit and I hope you cheer up soon.

  4. Very good puzzle but there were a couple that had me foxed. Never come across 8d in the sense of the clue, thought it was just the name of the substance. Needed the hints to solve 2d and I have no idea what the 9th Semester I refers to.
    My favs were 1a and esp 23a.
    Thx to all

    1. Think [redacted]

      Big Dave always used to say that if you started your helpful comment with the word ‘think’, you were definitely on your way to giving more information than is permitted on a Saturday

  5. This felt like a Floughie Lady production and even the appearance of the 26th letter of the alphabet early on did not get me thinking of pangram and our other frequent Saturday setter. However, with the prompt from RD, I confirmed the pangram and so Cephas is the most likely answer. **/****

    Favourite, a toss-up between 15a and 17d – and the winner is 15a which created the bigger smile.

    Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  6. An absolute delight for me after yesterday’s dismal showing. I too thought of Chalicea because of the witty & amusing clues throughout, but since Tilsit thinks otherwise, I’ll pass on to the clues themselves, with 4d, 9a & 23a atop the podium but 15a winning the Clarkie for making me laugh out loud. Much more than ‘meh’ for me. Thanks to Tilsit and today’s compiler. ** / ****

  7. The wrong personal pronoun in 28 across had me foxed until finally it had to be wrong because of 22 down

  8. Had this not been a pangram, I’d certainly have accredited it to Chalicea – not to worry, it was a light start to the weekend whoever penned it.
    I think Manders probably has the right idea where 8d is concerned – does make it more cryptic – although it could equally apply to any solver who doesn’t use a print-out of the puzzle.
    I’ll go with the flow and name 4d as favourite.

    Thanks to Cephas, presumably, and to Tilsit for the hints.

  9. 4d was my last one in today and reverse parsed after I found a place for the missing letter for a pangram. As Tilsit mentioned 28a kept me guessing until checkers confirmed which word I needed. 8d was one for the pen and paper solvers but had to be.
    Thanks to Tilsit and setter whomever he or she may be.

  10. Chalicea as compiler crossed my mind too. It was an enjoyable puzzle, almost relaxing after yesterday’s tussle. I liked 4d and 6d, although it took a time for the penny to drop with borh. 8d , if I’m right, is a term I haven’t heard in some time, which threw ne for a minute. Thanks to Tilsit and the compiler.

  11. Phew, how nice to have an enjoyable walk in the park after yesterday’s unproductive route-march. Fav was 9a with 15a and 28a vying as runners-up. Thought it would have been too simplistic but was tempted for a while by university for 5d. Many thanks to Cephas (?) and Tilsit.

  12. Really enjoyed this. Top three for me were 1&13a plus 6d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to the Cephas, I presume and Tilsit

  13. Nice and gentle. I also kept my powder dry on the second word in 28a. The canal was new to me. Thanks to today’s setter and Tilsit.

  14. Thanks to Tilsit for confirming my answers.
    Enjoyable crossword today. Easier in the South. Had the wrong first word for 1a. As I was working upwards I finally got to 5d which corrected things. Favourites 6d, 23a, 11d. All in all a jolly good solve.

  15. Enjoyable start to the weekend, with the NE being last to fall, and a check of the canal required.
    Not too sure about the structure of 24a, I assume the definition is the whole clue to make it work?
    Favourites were the simplicity of 13a and the clever 4d.
    Thanks to all

  16. Thanks to a couple of hints from Tilsit I managed to finish this. 15a held me up until I saw Tilsit’s hint to break it up differently but I wil l not follow that advice in case I might be thought non-binary.

    Many thanks to Tilsit and to our setter whoever they may turn out to be.

  17. Lots to like in this Saturday puzzle done in two parts with a nights rest in-between.
    Thought of a pangram with 4d and confirmed it with several other clues that revealed another uncommon letter.
    Favourites today 13a, 15a, 27a, 28a & 25d with 15a the winner.

    Thanks to setter that seems to be Cephas and Tilsit for the hints

  18. Not I – Chalicea – and the pangram makes me think it’s Cephas. Indeed mine is the NTSPP puzzle today. Thanks for all those kind comments anyway and to Cephas and Tilsit.

    1. In which case, huge thanks to Cephas. :smile:

      I am halfway through the NTSS, Chalicea and enjoying it greatly. :good:

  19. Overjoyed to have a puzzle I almost finished unaided, especially after the tough Thursday and stinker Friday. Just 4d and 21d held me up and had to go in for the hints. Nearly put the wrong bird at 9a but thankfully realized my mistake before I put pen to paper. Not using a pencil, it took a while before the penny dropped on 8d. Two many excellent clues to pick a favourite. Thanks to setter and Tilsit.

  20. Certainly floughie enough for our regular Saturday setter with a friendly mix of clues. 11d raised a smile and I agree with other bloggers that 4d is COTD
    I do agree with Rabbit Dave though about the same-sidedness of 2d and 22d
    Thanks to our compiler for the entertainment

  21. Completed unaided but marred by not grasping the why of 8d until later I read its hint.
    Silly me.
    Neatly clued and a smile along the way eg 9a.
    Loved 6d.
    So, just 2* time and 4* for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Tilsit.

  22. Thanks again to Tilsit, this time for his excellent music choice, much better than the one I chose yesterday. I will have to see if I can find that film somewhere as I don’t recall seeing it on release.

    1. Actually, SJB, I like Albedo 0.39. I remember driving through the Mountains of Wales one night under a starlit sky with it on the cassette player. It was mesmerising.

      1. Very much of its era 1970’s post moonlandings etc. That and Hergest Ridge were similar era and mood and I bet Hergest Ridge is not too far away from you.

        1. Hergest Ridge is about 50 miles away. I didn’t think it was one of Oldfield’s best. I much preferred Ommadawn.

  23. Just four clues remaining unfinished, otherwise all unaided. Really enjoyed it. I’ve now looked at the hints. but will try and complete tomorrow morning.
    Thank you, Tilsit and setter.

  24. Thanks Cephas for an enjoyable puzzle…..much appreciated after the last two days! Apparently it’s World Whisky Day today, so maybe a wee dram to celebrate! Thanks to Tilsit for the hints and tips.

  25. Not sure about the rest of the world but for me every day is a wee dram day. I’m guided by my late husband’s well-known cardiologist who told him whisky in moderation should be on prescription for heart patients! 🥃♥️.

  26. Am on puzzle catch up. This was a delightful contrast to yesterday’s brain mangler, which I solved (slowly) beforehand. Pegged it early on as a likely Cephas pangram (handy at 4d). Last in the first word at 8d, which assuming I have it correct, I would have expected to be of 6 letters & ending with a consonant. Very enjoyable. Thanks Cephas & Tilsit

  27. Finished this just now, a very doable puzzle, right on my wavelength for a change. 6d last one in, stared at it for ages until I twigged it. I think the hint for 9a should refer to the hammer instead of the trigger. Thanks to all

  28. Upon reflection I realise that referring to hammer instead of trigger might be confusing and would not get the message across.

  29. Why lazy setters insist on changing the possessive pronoun in well known phrases is v irritating. How often do you hear 28a said in that way!!!!! Must be a phrase the Queen uses I suppose 😏

  30. Only started this week and extremely pleased that finished it with help of my better half. On first glance, it looked as formidable as 6d but what a pleasure it was to do. Favourites abound but must mention 4d & 15a. A big thank you to compiler.

Comments are closed.