DT 30029 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30029 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30029 Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Tilsit)

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Greetings from Warrington, a big thank you to Senf for holding the fort for the last few weeks. It’s been a bit crazy in work and I have also had a few other things to attend to.

Firstly, some news about BD. I spoke to Pam (Mrs BD) last night and he’s still in hospital in Hereford and is likely to be for a while yet, although there is a plan to move him to a local cottage hospital in due course.

Unfortunately, the wing he is on has very little in the way of Wi-Fi broadband or a mobile signal, so he is largely unreachable. He’s making some progress and although his knee problem has eased, he has another issue with an ankle.

Both Dave and Pam have asked me to thank you all for your kind thoughts and words, and he is occasionally able to see the blog and get on.

The site will carry on as we have done for the past few weeks, and we will try to keep up with the flow of NTSPP and Rookie Corner puzzles. I’ll put up a post later today about that. There’s an NTSPP going up from Radler later.

If the bloggers can let me know if they are unable to cover their slots that would be appreciated as well.

Now, to today’s teaser and once again, it appears to have all the paw prints of a Cephas puzzle, the pangram, and some witty concise clues. However, I did find it a little trickier than the last few, but that may just be me feeling a bit tired and drained. Took me a little while to burrow into the puzzle.

As usual, please play nicely and don’t go posting answers or adding further hints. A full blog will be posted in due course. Do let us know what you thought and be constructive if it wasn’t your cup of tea.

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    Avoids occasionally being seen in terribly poor condition (7)
The alternate letters of the first word inside an anagram of POOR.

9    Caught having stashed silver in desert hollow (8)
After an abbreviation for caught, the chemical symbol for silver goes inside a word meaning to desert.

11    Pair inside hollow cog (8)
A word for a type of cog, such as those that carry a film in a projector, is found by putting a short word for two of something, inside another word for a hollow receptacle.

16    I left mutinous regular outside for one underground? (9)
I, plus the abbreviation for left, are surrounded by an anagram of regular to give you a word for someone who works ‘underground’, i.e. covertly. Nice clue.

21    Collie fetched content willingly (4)
I don’t normally clue four-letter words but this is a rather unusual archaic word. As most setters do in these types of puzzles, it’s clued easily, so easily it’s hidden in front of you!

22    So excited getting last part of cow perhaps first as starter (6,4)
If you were to describe the rear end of a (male) cow, you could say it’s this, and then add so and a word meaning excited. You’d get this ‘starter’, though probably not nowadays in many restaurants!

24    Ruffian got upset about age (6)
A word to describe a lowlife person is an anagram of GOT around the name for an age or epoch.

29    Left on board Edward, excessively wealthy and pampered (7)
This didn’t feel quite right to me. I am reading it as the abbreviation for left within a word for a vessel, ‘i.e. on board’ followed by the diminutive form of Edward. I have seen it before, but it feels a bit stretchy for me.


2    Moving free, not it is said, from this? (4,4)
An anagram (moving) of FREE, plus a homophone of not, gives a two-word description of something that may prevent you from being free.

4    Not food for those at the Round Table? (6,4)
A cryptic definition of a hearty meal.

6    Well-known female on a tailless rodent (6)
After the abbreviation for female goes a and the name of a rodent, minus its last letter.

7    Said mean things about rear part (7)
A word for having said snide things is found by taking a word for a rear and a part of something.

11    Star that’s first-rate first of all appearing after 30 days (9)
The name for a type of star is found by taking a word meaning first class, add the first letter of all and wrap the whole thing around a month that has just 30 days.

17    Nothing in beer a clergyman brought up that’s used as moisturising agent (4,4)
The abbreviation for nothing inside a type of beer, followed by a and the title given to a vicar, reversed, gives you the name of a plant used in producing many moisturisers.

23    Printer coloured fluid black (3-3)
The name for a type of printer is found by taking the name of a coloured fluid and the shade of black associated with a mineral associated with Whitby.

26    You were heard getting vessel (4)
A homophone for ‘you were’ gives a type of vessel.

Well, how did you find it? A stroll in the park or dodging the showers? Do let us know.

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The Quick Crossword pun: HAT + MOSS + FEAR = ATMOSPHERE

Some music for today. This is the new British superstar tenor and how he treats a standard. Quite breath-taking, and I dare say, as good as the large Italian gentleman associated with it!


35 comments on “DT 30029 (Hints)

  1. I don’t remember seeing that way of spelling 16a, but it is in the book.
    And I agree that 29a is a long stretch…
    But good fun overall.
    Thanks tilsit and the setter!

  2. This was a fairly light and pleasant solve. My rating is 2*/3* for what seems to have become our regular Saturday pangram.

    Many thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit, and best wishes to BD for his continuing recovery.

    PS. Tilsit, the Quickie Pun is not hidden.

  3. Dear me that was very tough and on the whole poorly clued (20d &9a). The only clues I thought were ok were 10a, 11a and 28a.
    All in all not a particularly pleasant puzzle, for me a pangram best assigned to the bin.
    Thx for the cryptic hints.

  4. Quite tough for me today. Had to resort to the electronic gizmo for my last one in…..then kicked myself.
    Thanks to tilsit, nice to see you back, and to the setter.
    Regards to BD. Really hope he can get better soon or at least better enough to get him somewhere where he can get a signal.

  5. Thispuzzle was a curate’s egg for me with lots of very clever clues and penny-drop moments but a fair number of clues that weren’t very cryptic and,with sparse word-play, were more difficult than usual to fathom. There were also some synonyms that I had not come across before. I thought 25a, 11a, 27a and 17d were great clues . Thanks to Tilsit and welcome back a d thanks to Cephas for a rather mentally stimulating puzzle. Good wishes to BD; it’s true when they say that a visit to the hospital invariably results in an additional health issue to the one you went in for. Hope the knee a d ankle improve quickly.

    1. Very true. You have an accident and take a test. They find something wrong with you. Just when you’ve got your head round that one you take a different test and they find something else. The original accident pales into insignificance.

  6. Our run of Saturday pangrams continues, surely our setter will run out of possibilities at some stage!
    Tops for me this morning were 1&25a with a thumbs down for 29a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit for both the hints and the update on BD – poor man must be feeling incredibly frustrated.

  7. Good Saturday fun and entertainment from the eighth pangram in a row (that’s how long it is since the Floughie Lady was our Saturday setter) except for a Hmm and a raised eyebrow for 29a. I wonder if Cephas will surprise us and give us a non-pangram one of these fine Saturdays. **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 10a, 6d, and 23d – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Tilsit and continuing best wishes to our dear leader.

  8. I, too, was in the camp that found this a little tougher than usual from our regular Saturday setter, with some of the clues taking a while to crack. That said it was fun to do, even the previously disliked 29a, with my favourite being 1a.

    Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit. If BD reads this, all the best for a full, if somewhat slow, recovery.

  9. Nice to have you back Tilsit & of course continued best wishes to BD for as swift a recovery/recuperation as possible.
    I’d agree that this one was maybe a tad more challenging than the 7 successive Saturday pangrams to precede it. Maybe a bit of a danger of pangram fatigue & perhaps Cephas should chuck in a curve 🏈 by including the alerting letters (J,K,Q,X &Z) & omitting some others – my first 2 in today were 4d &10a & I’d have happily put my chips on red even though black hadn’t come up in the last 7. I wasn’t overly keen on either 20d or 29a but those aside I thought this very enjoyable puzzle had a good number & variety of excellent clues – 1,10,11,16,22,27&28a plus 2,4,7&11d all hit the spot for me.
    Thanks to T&C

  10. No problems here, but, although it’s in every dictionary, I don’t agree with the spelling of 24a. Its origin is different to those normally suggested.
    A good puzzle though, and thanks to Tilsit and Cephas

    1. Hi JIS.

      I’m curious to know what alternative spelling and origin you have for 24a, assuming you are referring to this one?

      I’ve had a look around and can only find the one Cephas used.

      I appreciate one has to choose one’s words wisely on Saturdays but I can probably join the dots if you give it a go.

      1. BRB, Revised 13th Edition, Page 680, top of RH column for spelling but no help on alternative origin.

  11. I certainly found this considerably tougher than previous SPP pangrams, and it took two sittings to finish, but finish I did, quite happily, with that odd use of 29a (is it a cultural-slangy thing?) and my LOI, the very obvious 10a (facepalm!). A very likeable puzzle, I thought, with 7d (my COTD), 11a, 22a, & 9a winning top honours. Thanks to Tilsit (and welcome back!) and Cephas. **** / ****

    Our first tropical storm this season, Colin, formed overnight just off our coast–lots of rain but not much wind, thank goodness.

    1. Thanks, Tilsit, for Freddie De Tommaso, maybe not quite Luciano, but I do like his huskier version of ‘N.D’, and his smile at the end, along with his upraised arms, really sealed the deal. Quite stunning.

  12. Great fun and smiles, eg 22a.
    Steady progress slowed by 9 and 10a
    Popped me into 3* time.
    Many thanks Cephas and Tilsit.

  13. Was galloping along until the NE corner put the brakes on. I checked the pangram and only finding one letter still missing helped me get the break I needed. Thanks to Tilsit and Cephas and continuing good wishes to BD.

  14. Much more difficult than previous Saturday puzzles.

    My thanks to Tilsit ; good to see you here again. Best wishes to BD for a full recovery ; even if it takes time we all hope you will make an appearance soon.

  15. My COVID brain probably made this tougher for me than normal but got there in the end! 🤪
    Thanks to Tilsit for the hints – needed a couple to completely parse the answer I had (9A – the verb not the noun…doh!)
    Thanks to Cephas for the challenge.

  16. 2/3. Another pangram with a couple of stretched clues. No standout clues for me. Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit.

  17. Another nice Saturday pangram from Cephas that was on par with the others he has produced recently.
    2.5*/4.5* today.
    New word for me in 24a
    Favourites today include 9a, 10a,11a, 4d & 17d with winner 17d

    Thanks to Cephas and Tilsit and good wishes to BD again this week.

  18. Not as much fun as most Saturdays, a bit disappointing. Did finish but only with help. Not sure 5d is the same as cheer, and 21a was off the wall. But thanks to the setter for making me think, and to Tilsit. Sorry to hear that Big Dave is still in the hospital and hope he is on the mend.

  19. It’s a single central letter that I think is wrong. The answer sounds the same, but the first three letters have a different meaning. I’ll wait til the proper blog’s published so we don’t get into trouble!

  20. Has anyone in the history of humanity ever used the past participle at 7d? I doubt it. Thanks Tilsit, I needed your help at the end with this enjoyable puzzle.

  21. That was hard work indeed. I got there in the end but only thanks to Tilsit (1a, 9a and 29a).

  22. Sort of enjoyed this until I got to some of the bottom few clues.

    27 and 28a are new words to me with no way of solving, despite having the checkers, if you have not heard of these terms.

    21a is also a new word to me which is no surprise as it is classed as archaic.

    I wasn’t desperately keen on 18 and 20d, which I could only solve when I had the answers for 27 and 28a.

    Thanks to all.

  23. I enjoyed gradually working my way through today’s enigma particularly after throwing in the towel yesterday. I have in fact been wondering whether perhaps CL was beginning to slightly up the difficulty level for our daily exercise. NE corner most challenging. I came up with various wrong comic verse terms for 28a but failed to help myself by overlooking the bank. Don’t remember previously coming across 21a. 9a hollow amused but not so sure about hollow in 11a. Thank you Cephas and welcome back to the hinting Tilsit. BIg Dave, do hope the Cottage Hospital will take good care of you so that your progress is maintained and that you will be back to the fold asap 🌈.

    1. Tilsit I was disappointed to find no music in your hints but have only just come across the Freddie de Tommaso version of Nessun Dorma – what a lovely voice. Thank you.

  24. Sadly struggled with 28a – suspect I’ve made a mistake with 20d as I can’t see it ☹️

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