DT 30017 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30017 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30017 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club

Hosted by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Hello, it’s me again.  Tilsit is keeping the trains running once again or sorting out problems because of the strikes.

For the last five Saturdays we have had Cephas pangrams, so I was expecting a Floughie Lady production today but we have another pangram, detected very early on for me, so I must conclude that it is the sixth Cephas puzzle in a row.

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

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 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 21 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 Trade something sticky in queue (7,3)
A synonym of trade (perhaps relating to illegal substances) and something sticky (that comes in a jar).

6a Pet dog not mother’s (4)
You might want to check the dictionary for meanings of the definition – Remove (not) a short form of mother’s from the breed of the illustrated dog.

9a Subtle difference pest is leaving (6)
A synonym of pest which contains IS until you remove it (leaving) to find the answer.

10a Having received a gift? (8)
How one might describe an individual who has received a gift (of an ability).

18a What July is to June? (7)
A term ‘borrowed’ from Latin that the BRB indicates as (old commerce) which indicates the relative position of July to June (in the calendar).

24a Beat repeated injury to neck (8)
Two different synonyms of beat (both related to punishment).

25a Strange-sounding sale (6)
A homophone (-sounding) of a synonym of strange.

28a Against short cut with most disappointing conclusion (10)
A not immediately obvious, at least not to me, three part charade – A four letter term for against, a synonym of cut with the last letter removed (short), and (with) an abbreviated form of a synonym of most.


1d Got over anaesthetic at the same time (8)
GOT from the clue reversed (over) and an early type of anaesthetic.

3d Ready in the use of words, let fun out (6)</br />
An anagram (out) of LET FUN.

5d Belligerent person a stingy type in the main? (3-2-3)</br >
This requires one of the variations of pronunciation of the fourth word in the clue – A double definition, see the illustration for the second.

7d Handyman, agent, not Romeo, joining corporation (8)
A synonym of agent with its letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet removed (not) followed by (joining) an abbreviated form of an informal synonym for one’s corporation.

13d One could wind up eating this (9)
A food that from its name originated in Italy.

16d Found at the beginning of the book, it keeps the working population down (8)
An animal which is usually/very often the first complete word at the beginning of a book of words which enjoys a diet of six legged workers.

19d Conventional writer removes broadcast (8)
A two part homophone – the first part is, perhaps a stretch depending on how one pronounces the answer, of a synonym of writer and the second part is of a synonym of removes (as in cutting off).

22d Confusion with former prime minister on edge (6)
The surname of the UK’s second female prime minister followed by (on) a synonym of edge (on a garment?).

One of Canada’s finest with the title track from a 2002 album:

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

The Quick Crossword pun:


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57 comments on “DT 30017 (Hints)
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  1. 18a made me consider another setter for a while but the presence of two examples of his trademark letter, instead of none or four, made me revert to Senf’s Cephas prediction. 16d made me laugh and gets my COTD. East easier than the west, and a second cup of Kenyan Wangiri plus the pangram helped me over the line in the SW.
    Thanks to Senf and Cephas.

  2. It looled like the usual enjoyable Cephas Saturday crossword, complete with pangram to me to. I got 16d, my last one in, completely wrong so thanks to Senf for the hints. I wouldn’t have though of that teferemce to the working population . My COTD was 7d, with 9a, 24a and21d as runners-up. I couldnt make up my mind about; brilliant or just a miss, depending on one’s accent, I suppose..thanks again for the hints to hard-working Senf and to Cephas, consistently producing pangram crosswords of qualitu, Saturday after Saturday.

  3. Well I found this very tricky. 6a has to be what it is but nowhere can I find a reference to pet. Last in 16d and now having read the hints understand the second half. Realising it was a pangram helped me find the ?, better not name it. Wedding Anniversary today so out to lunch which will be nice. Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  4. 16d was my top pick this morning once the penny dropped and I could see the cleverness of the clue. I found the whole grid a little trickier than normal, but as I am stuck in due to the weather I don’t mind. All in all a most rewarding solve.

    Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  5. An excellent workout today with 16d being my pick. Such a great word and animal, to boot.

    I always enjoy this sort of grid with four smallies for the price of one. Twice, I said to myself ‘Hmm, I’ll comeback to that corner later, hopefully with a fresh pair of eyes.’

    Re 18a, I’m sure I’m in the oh so minuscule minority but I do love a bit of Latin.

    The homophone for 19d is of course perfectly okay. But, I expect the usual suspects to pop in saying ‘Grrr, I pronounce it differently’ which is, naturally, the case with varying accents.

  6. I wonder whether our Saturday setter will ever exhaust his supply of pangrams!
    He doesn’t always marry definitions with good surface reads but I thought 26a achieved this today – although there were other more amusing entries.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Senf for expertly manning the fort again.

  7. Tough but doable and I did need electronic help with a couple. Not that that marred the enjoyment. I did think of a pangram early on but then forgot all about it so I can’t really claim to have spotted it. I’m with everyone else in giving 16d my COTD. I also quite liked 2d.

    Many thanks to Cephas for the fun – are all your puzzles pangrams? Thank you to Senf for stepping in again and commiserations to Tilsit for having to deal with trains at present.

  8. Tough vocab today and that made it hard. I also wonder if working population has been changed by an editor because while it’s a short journey from the usual term to working population it felt too far removed from the diet to me. Made it to the end with a sigh of relief.

  9. What an absolute stinker! Two sessions and I am only a little over halfway even with the hints some of which (18a) are more cryptic than the clue!
    Anyone completing this unaided deserves the prize.
    Def not my favourite crossword.
    Zero fun.

    1. Well Brian what can I say. I could have written a four word hint for 18a which would have been a complete ‘give away’ which, to my mind, defeats the object of the exercise for a prize puzzle.

      So, with some lateral thought and picking up on the ‘borrowed’ from Latin and (old commerce) in the hint, imagine yourself on June 18th 1922 or, perhaps, 1822 and you are writing to a customer about, for example, a delivery that will be made in July and you will probably use the 18a answer in your letter.

      1. I thought your original hint was perfectly reasonable, especially for a Prize puzzle. But I don’t think you need to go back to 1822 or 1922 – I was still using this Latin/”old commerce” term, and its two stablemates, in business letters as recently as 2001! Mind you, it was at the insistence of the directors of a very old-fashioned family business I was working for.

    2. Therefore, it was so excruciatingly difficult that, according to your comment times, you solved the last (nearly) half of it in just 8 minutes! Or less, because that doesn’t include a couple of minutes to write your second message. How does that work?

    3. Brian, just wondering … is “Nasty” better or worse than “Ghastly”.

      Not to mention “Awful”. You seem to have many descriptions for crosswords that you find difficult.

        1. He’s certainly entitled to his opinions but not to denigrate the setters who are simply doing their best to provide us all with a huge amount of challenging entertainment.

          1. Your comment went into moderation as you included an extra ‘H’ in your alias which I have taken the liberty of deleting.

  10. Contrary to Bryan I really enjoyed a smooth run through devoid of any serious hold-ups. There were clever clues aplenty but 1a, 5d, 13d and 21d particularly appealed to me. Thanks to Cephas (had to be in view of 6d and 28a) and also to Senf.

    1. Have just got around to tackling the Quickie and have to say it was a struggle. I personally could not have completed without outside reference sources and am impressed if others did!

  11. Tricky one today. 15d is a new word to me. Got 28a without knowing why the second half of it was correct. 18a reminded me of times 40 plus years ago when solicitors insisted, in their letters, in using Latin terms to denote the month in question. 17d is my COTD simply because it evokes that same era!

  12. Lovely. And I even remember the shorthand symbols for 18a and it’s companions. Those were the days. I was on pangram alert early on – just think, a few years ago pangrams did not belong in my life and now they loom large in my legend. Favourites were 2, 7 & 16d. The weather today is about as different from yesterday as it could possibly be. Lovely neighbours from up the Gin Path have gone to a birthday garden party – the hosts must be spitting nails at the change in temperature. Many thanks to Messrs Cephas & Senf – now they really do sound like a dodgy concern.

  13. 16d tops them all for me in this enjoyable pangram, which for once I noticed early on. That delightful clue wins the Clarkie as well as the COTD medal for making me LOL as my LOI. Rather liked 7d and 15d too. Thanks to 2d, Dover Beach has been running through my mind all morning and gives new meaning to the land where I live, ‘Where ignorant armies clash by night’. Alas. Thanks to the indefatigable Senf and Cephas. ** / ****

  14. Great puzzle and I concur with many above about 16d. For those of us who can remember some of the Python team in late 60s and early 70s radio comedy there was a sketch about a death at the zoo. In the course of the investigation it was asked if the killer could have been [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints].

    Thanks to Senf and Cephas.

  15. I don’t normally get to solve these Saturday puzzles till the evening or even Sunday morning, too late to make a meaningful comment. But today is different. I found this a very good puzzle with fine clues providing a decent challenge and much enjoyment. Fav: 28a, which took a fair while to suss out. 3*/4*.

  16. I found the East side harder than the West. I question if 12a is a mark and I don’t think 18a is cryptic. Difficult to ask about 6a without landing on the naughty step. Suffice it to say I thought the clue [redacted – it’s a prize puzzle – read the instructions in RED below the hints].

  17. 3/2. I found this easier than yesterdays puzzle but quite bland in enjoyment terms. I guessed we were in for a pangram very early on which helped in a few cases. My favourite was 2d Re 18a this was much less used than its opposite during my English classes. Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  18. I thought this was quite tricky and quirky, needed a couple of sittings and some guesswork to get across the line. All the more satisfying to complete therefore. The hints were required to fully understand 28a and 16d, so thanks to Senf for that.
    My favourite was 13d, probably an oldie but new to me and made me smile.
    Thanks to Cephas for the challenge and Senf for stepping up again

  19. Most of the problems were in the parsing department. Solving involved guessing the answer then trying to work out why on earth it was right. Failed to spot the pangram. Favourite was 19d. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  20. Is this really a Cephas puzzle? Disappointing as I can usually solve his mostly unaided, but I would need too many hints to finish today’s, diluting the enjoyment level. At 10 solved at first pass, I think I just move on to Kate Mepham’s GK before the day gets away from me. Thanks to Cephas (?) and to Senf. And I am sure many will appreciate Tilsit’s efforts to keep as many trains running as possible.

    1. Well, it’s an SPP; it does not have the ‘touch’ of the Floughie Lady; it’s a pangram – so, as I said in my preamble. I must conclude that it is by Cephas and that is where my five bob is going.

      As usual, I would expect him to ‘pop in’ later and claim ownership.

      1. I am sure you are right. I am useless as identifying setters, unless it is Chalicea, and then only because I can almost always get on wavelength. And I am often surprised that I find the SPP easier than weekday offerings, just not today.

  21. Found this much tougher than yesterday’s offering. I thought the glueing for 16 d too vague. A description of the type of book (as used in the hints thank you Senf) would have made it much more enjoyable and allowed for an aha for the solver rather than a cor blimey!
    Let’s hope Dada is in generous mood tomorrow.
    Thanks to all

  22. Not that keen on either crossword today to be honest. A bit tedious I thought and needed a couple of hints because I could not be bothered to persist. I’ll go and try the i one now which is set by 12 year olds so plenty of woke and text speak.
    Thanks to Cephas and Senf.

  23. Found this puzzle easier than I thought it was going to be this week.
    Overall rate this as 1.5*/4*
    Lots of great clues including 1a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 16d & 22d with winner 16d
    27a is a word I haven’t used for a long time and I associate it with Scotland.
    Remember my uncle used to have one on his property at Shannaburn House way back in the mid 1960’s
    Long time ago now.

    Thanks to Cephas and Senf for double duty again this weekend.
    Hope BD is recovering ok

      1. Thank you for ‘popping in’ and for another entertaining pangram.

        As Abraham Lincoln said, plagiarising poet John Lydgate, ‘You can please some of the people all of the time, . . .

      2. Oh that is so nice. We really DO appreciate your efforts, anf I am so sorry I didn’t include my thanks in my comment.

  24. Thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, with a few quite tricky clues. Needed the hints to parse 19d. Had never heard of 18a, but the checkers led me there. Favourite and last in was 16d. Was 3*/4* for me.

  25. I failed miserably with 18d. Having the double inch didn’t help. Perhaps if I had known what it eats I would have fared better. Patience was needed to complete this of which at least one of our number has none. Favourites 1 8 and 24a and 2, 6 and 22d. Thanks Cephas and Senf.

    1. I presume that you mean 16d. Interestingly, until I read your comment I didn’t realise that there were double unches in the puzzle!

  26. An enjoyable exercise before bed last night. Much as I enjoy them, I am wondering about the lack of variety recently. Does the paper need to find some new compilers to provide a mix?

  27. A very user friendly puzzle helped by being on early pangram alert. Other than thinking 18a not particularly cryptic & still failing to twig the truncated synonym of most plain sailing & a brisk solve. Very enjoyable & another vote for 16d as top of the pops.
    Thanks Cephas & Senf
    Ps Talk about variable weather – yesterday a cold shower needed on the return from the golf course today it was a warm bath. Plenty of punters inappropriately attired & shivering like it was mid winter….

  28. A very enjoyable puzzle. Took a bit of doing but that’s perfectly fine by me.

    Thanks to Cephas and to Senf.

    Poor tilsit. I wonder if he will ever escape his daily grind to help us again. Not for a few weeks I suspect.

    Weather here very pleasant today. Sunny, warm with a bit of wind. A good drying day as my Gran used to say.

  29. Enjoyable while it lasted, for a little while appearing as though it were going to be rather more brain mangling than it ended up being — a long day, a couple of gins and a decent red not helping! The double unches threatened to derail, but the clues were fair and no arcane knowledge required.

    1* / 3*

    Thank you to Cephas and Senf

  30. Hello. I’m new to this group but not really new to the Telegraph Prize Crossword. I attempt it every Saturday and read the comments too which I mostly enjoy. (Not the mean ones.) I found this puzzle do-able (is that a word). I needed help with the north east corner but managed the rest unaided. I am still at a loss to work out the answer to 6 across and look forward to reading the answers.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Donna.
      Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

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