DT 30005 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30005 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30005 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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Tilsit has once again been called in to assist railway passengers so I’ve stepped in to provide some hints for what I thought was quite a tricky pangram of a Prize Puzzle, mainly because some of the clues took a bit of ‘ah, that’s how it works!’

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.


1a    Act more quickly with two pieces of meat (4-4)
Two pieces of meat combine to make an expression meaning to hurry up

9a    Overhead signs? (6)
A cryptic definition of some imaginary signs in the heavens (overhead)

17a    Give advance warning to companion at the front (10)
The expression meaning to give advance warning is fairly well-known but I had to think about the parsing – a constant or inseparable companion goes after an adjective meaning at the front

19d    A French friend in front of a board is disagreeable (11)
The French indefinite article and an informal friend go in front of A (from the clue) and a board

23a    Eagle I left in the water (6)
The genus of the eagle is obtained by putting I (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Left into water

25a    Submission having broken knee in dining room (8)
An anagram (broken) of KNEE Inserted into a dining room


2d    Head covering gangster (4)
A head covering or a slang term for a gangster

5d    Picture book theory that’s used in magazines (15)
A picture, a book similar to a diary and a suffix used to indicate a system or theory

8d    Plant weapon base (9)
A weapon and a base or foundation of something

12d    Not about coming from Winchester possibly with toothpaste and artificial milk? (9)
The solution is in the plural because it refers to both a function of toothpaste and/or some artificial milk for coffee or tea – an anagram (possibly) of WINcHESTER without the Latin abbreviation for about

20d    Wrecked state of bear not bothered to start with (4)
A name for a bear, especially in children’s stores without the first letter of Bothered (not …. to start with)

21d    Positive quality luxurious for the most part (4)
Almost all (for the most part) of a synonym for luxurious

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The Quick Crossword pun: PORE + SHUN + CONTROL = PORTION CONTROL

65 comments on “DT 30005 (Hints)

  1. I found this to be the proverbial egg today. Plenty of brain teasers but the puzzle was slightly marred by a couple for which parsing eluded me. Two of the latter are 17a and 12d assuming I have the correct answers but I can’t see them being anything else. My COTD is the long 5d.

    It’s a pangram so I’m going for Cephas as the setter but I am probably wrong.

    Many thanks to the setter (if not Cephas) for the challenge and to CS for stepping in and for the hints.

    1. The dolmas are now in the cooking stage 1 – 2 hours! Seems a very long time and hope they don’t unravel.

        1. Well Steve, here is the finished result, not very appetising but I’ll squeeze lemon juice over them and garnish with lemon slices tomorrow. The vine leaves underneath look nice though!

          1. They look just as they should look, Manders – delicious. My mouth is now watering. :grin:

      1. I’ve never heard of dolmas but have just googled them and they look/sound very appetising!

  2. I found this quite tricky today and am grateful for the explanations of the parsing of 12D and 17A. My favourite clue was 9A. Thank you setter and CS. Happy Saturday everyone.

  3. Definitely at the trickier end of the Saturday setting spectrum, with a couple in the NW the last to fall and 9a my final entry. 17a was my top clue this morning. I tend to agree that the pangram points to Cephas, so thanks to him and to CS for supersubbing the blogger’s chair.

  4. Knowing that this was likely to be a pangram helped find a couple of clues. I learned a bit about marshals and covered walks, but a crossword without a learning moment could be a bit 19a.
    Thanks to cryptic sue and presumably Cephas.
    Sympathy for the hard working Tilsit.
    Time to gird my loins for another toughie tomorrow, my blog may be a bit brief as I have to attend an online speed awareness course tomorrow morning😳🛣️

  5. I started off quickly but then slowed down a little as it became clear this was not a read and write after all. I did like 17a once the penny (and checkers) dropped. Pangram alert flashed on but then I forgot about it.

    Thanks to CS and today’s setter.

  6. Very tricky but a brilliant crossword that had all the hallmarks of a Giovanni – weird word (16a, new to me) and clues that are very accurate containing everything the solver needs without leaps of faith. I found it great fun.
    Thx to all

      1. Even if you haven’t heard of the covered walk, the clue is very clear – an abbreviated way, the cricket abbreviation for over and A (from the clue)

        1. Thanks CS, in fact I had just googled to see if it was a word and, bingo, it was!

          1. And, definitely worth trying to remember as today is not the first time that it has appeared.

              1. Hmm, I don’t think the word figured in the division of Gaul into three parts in Julius Caesar Book 1!

                1. Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est….. I seem to remember (probably wrongly)
                  Labour, Liberal and Conservative…ah, the old ones are the best 😂🤔

        2. I got it, I got it! I knew it, I’m so excited I’m shaking. On top of that I wordled in 3 – maybe I’m not done yet!!

            1. It’s nice to hear from you Merusa. That scool Latin sticks doesn’t it?

  7. An enjoyable but not too challenging Saturday pangram, the fourth in a row, must mean Cephas is our setter today – **/****.

    I did an incorrect write-in for 5d, fortunately 22a quickly ‘pointed out’ the error. And, I even managed to drag 16a from the dark recesses of my memory – we haven’t seen that sneaky four letter word for a while.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 11a, 5d, and 8d – and the winner is 11a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  8. Great *** puzzle with 12d as last one in – very tricky! Thank you setter and also cryptic sue for explaining the Winchester partial anagram

  9. Agree with the tricky assessment, all the more satisfying to finish. Had never heard of the marshal in 4d and 16a was a new word for me. Last to fall was 8d, as even with the checkers it didn’t jump out at me. Was on pangram alert after a few clues in the NW, which then helped with 5d.
    Thanks to the setter and CS

  10. I missed the pangram but managed to finish the puzzle in reasonable time without it I thought it largely straightforward and not as hard as yesterday’s puzzle, apart from a few head-scratchers. The best clues for me were 11a, 12d,8d24a and COTD 5d. Many tha ks to CS for standing in for Tilsit withe hints. Thanks to the compiler (cephas?) For a really enjoyabbe Saturday Prize Puzzle.

  11. Nice to have a slightly more challenging Saturday puzzle than is usually the case, and a well-set pangram to boot. A somewhat dated feel and a couple of odd clue constructions rather took the edge off, but otherwise an enjoyable brain-teaser. Podium places to 11a, 19a, and 20d.

    2.5* / 2.5*

    Thank you to the compiler and of course to CS, too.

  12. Oh my goodness that was tricky and a half. Just as I generally miss lurkers, I also don’t notice pangrams until they are pushed against my nose, so it wasn’t until CS highlighted it that I became aware that we were in the middle of one of the latter.
    Good crossword, no Japanese aprons, but plenty of brain tweaking required.

    Thanks to the setter and Cryptic Sue.

  13. Think I must have made the same mistake as Senf where 5d was concerned and then proceeded to make a pig’s ear of several others before reaching the saving grace of 22a. My print-out is not a pretty sight!
    Top two, when I eventually sorted out the blunders, were 9&11a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS for stepping into Tilsit’s shoes.

  14. No structure to my solve today but managed somewhat haphazardly to fill it all in. I see I wasn’t alone in needing guidance on 17a companion synonym(?) and missed 12d parsing. Overall I enjoyed the steeplechase. Thank you Cephas and CS for once again covering for Tilsit.

  15. 2*/3.5* for an enjoyable pangram today with 17a my favourite.

    I can’t see anything at all cryptic about 11a so perhaps I am missing something, and “right” in 6d looks like surface padding to me although it does make for a much better read. The answer to 6d (but not the “mad chap” bit) made me think of the overworked Tilsit.

    Many thanks to the setter (Cephas?) and to CS for stepping into the breach.

  16. Got everything quite nicely until that blasted ‘plant’ at 8d, which held me up until I finally caved in and went electronic for a letter (the 5th one), which sealed the deal. Rats. Still, a very fine pangram, which I of course did not notice; had I done so, it still wouldn’t have made a difference in 8d. [I blame my absence of mind on the ‘unicornstartup’ (no numeration given) answer in today’s L A Times puzzle, which I managed to solve, quite by bung-in, but my mind was mush after that.] 14a is my big winner today, followed by 12d. Thanks to CS and Cephas. **** / ***

    1. I had forgotten it was a plant too. I only encounter it in its processed stage.

  17. Wow I enjoyed that! On early pangram alert which helped. Many thanks CS for explaining 12d, I kept thinking it must be but couldn’t justify it. I don’t really know how I have kept awake to do this as our jubilee celebrations have been so full on. We showed the Trooping of the Colour on Thursday with coffee, cakes and prosecco , fete in our twin village yesterday and last night served a hot meal to 60 people, dancing (yes, me dancing and even dragged George onto the floor) to a professional musician/ entertainer followed by all the clearing and washing up, bed at 2am and back this morning for Coffee Stop. Am reading at the Church Service this afternoon but shall not be staying for the picnic! Enough is enough at my age! Many thanks to CS and the setter. Happy rest of weekend !

  18. Well as this is another Saturday pangram, I am guessing Cephas for four in row. However, what the heck do I know.
    Found this a pleasant puzzle with a couple or three head scratching moments. 2.5*/4* today.
    Favourites include 1a, 14a, 25a, 6d & 12d with winner 6a.
    1a caused me to smile. 16a was a new word for me as was 23a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS for hints

  19. Another well liked puzzle for the usual reason plus the clueing was straightforward which enabled the not so subtle me to work them out. I thought 17a was a great clue reminding me of one of the riddles so beloved of primary school children.

    Many thanks to CS for confirming my parsing and to our setter for an excellent puzzle.

  20. Tricky for me today. Even with CS’s hint I still needed electtonic help for 8d.
    Enjoyable nevertheless. And I did spot the pangram this time.

    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

    Poor Tilsit. I hope he gets a break soon.

  21. Have I done something to make the site forget my name and email address ?
    Although I tick the box asking to be saved, it doesn’t now.

    Can I fix this ? (Easily, I am not techie in any way.)

    1. If I click on the email from BD to access the site it sometimes forgets me, but if I come in via the bookmark it remembers me.

      1. Thanks SJB . I think it forgets me either way, but I’ll check that and see.

    2. It happens to me periodically for some reason but then seems to sort itself out quite soon. Make sure “Save my name, email and website in this browser for the next time I comment” is ticked.

  22. As mentioned above 16a LOI and managed just before CS’s helpful hint. Tricky but enjoyable little puzzle but thankfully no Japanese aprons today – I’ve already forgotten that word. Thanks to the setter and to CS for standing in for Tilsit

  23. We found this hard but fair. Not heard of the 4d Marshall before but we have now. Favourite was was 23a. Thanks to Cephas and CS.

  24. Off to a quick start then shuddered to a halt with 5 to go.
    Manfully struggled, leaving 12d.
    Got it but the “why” escaped me.
    The “not” in the clue seems unnecessary to me.
    So, ****/****
    Many thanks to Cephas and CS.

      1. I think H is suggesting that there are 2 deletion/removal indicators and that “not” might be surplus to requirements. I can see where he’s coming from (the other one), but am undecided. Hope I’ve not said anything worthy of Naughty Step referral.

        1. Many thanks CS for kindly explaining.
          But, yes, Jose, exactly
          I considered the “not” surplus to requirements.

          1. Yes, I’ve looked at that clue a few times and there seems to be a sort of double-negative going on. If that’s the case, the “about” ain’t going anywhere. But, maybe we’ve missed something …

  25. I needed Internet help to solve this.

    In a moment of stupidity, I managed to spell 22a incorrectly, which made 17d impossible. This in turn stopped me having a chance with 17a which is a term I thought had another meaning.

    As for 8d, not a chance of me getting this even with all the checkers.

    Other than my self induced struggle, enjoyed the rest of the crossword.

    Thanks to all.

  26. My first foray into this left me puzzled with only a few parsed. However a walk in a very windy east Cornwall blew the cobwebs away and suddenly things became clearer. I got 5 down wrong until I parsed 22 across then realised it was a pangram. 9 & 11 across were favourites. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  27. I started off at a gentle trot, and was hoping it was a Chalicea. But then it all began to fall apart and I started needing too many hints. 16a stumped me as I’d never heard of the word. And I had a hard time with 25a as I was looking for a noun. But not to worry, I pushed off and played with Wordle, Canuckle and the Spelling Bee. Thanks to Cephas, just a bit above my pay grade today, and to CrypticSue for stepping into the breach. We had Tropical Cyclone One come through last night with a deluge of rain that kept me awake for a good part of the night so perhaps I’m just tired,

  28. Well that certainly had a wee bit more bite to it than recent Cephas puzzles. Having said that it flew in pretty quickly until 23a&20d & then lastly 12d, which was the real head scratch (not helps the surface I reckon). Unusually I totally missed the pangram until the end which had I been more on the ball would have helped with one of the 3 road bumps. The parsing of 17a gave me pause for thought also & pleased to see the correct pennies dropped. No particular favourites but thought it very well clued throughout & very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Cephas for the puzzle & for popping in & to CS for subbing.

  29. Thanks to CS for standing in at very short notice. We seem to have COVID running through our team once more (odd, as everyone works from home around the country!).

    Certainly a bit tougher than the last couple of weeks, but all the hall marks of a Cephas puzzle there.

    Thanks to our setter and once again to our lovely lady.

  30. Really enjoyed this with my breakfast coffee. 12d was a bung in . COTD was 23a because it made me feel intelligent.
    Now to, once more, register my name and email address. At least the gremlin this time is a different one!

  31. Slowed up by making at mistake with17a but once I sorted that it went smoothly. Very enjoyable

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