DT 30019 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30019

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30019

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Tuesday.  Our setter this week appears to have politics and hospital grumbles on their mind. I do hope that’s not the result of any unhappy real event. It’s all presented with smooth surfaces, disguised definitions, and quite a few smiles along the way that made for an enjoyable solve.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and sometimes a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Pictures typically don’t illustrate answers. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    New gear after work, girls? Aida may look better with these on (5,7)
OPERA GLASSES:  After a usual musical work comes an anagram (new) of GEAR and a synonym of girls 

9a    Carpet is fixed with small drills (9)
PRACTISES:  An anagram (fixed) of CARPET IS with the clothing abbreviation for small

10a   Skirt hem easily hides thread (5)
THEME:  The letter combination formed by the first three words hides the answer 

11a   Anger after hospital department's full (6)
ENTIRE:  Anger or annoyance comes after a usual abbreviated hospital department

12a   Most jolly times involved embracing sin (8)
MERRIEST:  An anagram (involved) of TIMES containing (embracing) sin or misbehave

13a   Smells, on reflection, concealing a flavour (6)
SEASON:  The reversal (on reflection) of a synonym of smells containing (concealing) A from the clue 

15a   Meet doctor she blames leaving hospital (8)
ASSEMBLE:  An anagram (doctor) of SHE BLAMES minus the single letter for hospital (leaving hospital) 

18a   Is it wrong and sly to remove all leaders vigorously? (8)
STRONGLY:  Remove all the leading letters from IS IT WRONG and SLY 

19a   Son was concerned, getting frightened (6)
SCARED:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with “was concerned” 

21a   Get reduced  settlement (8)
CONTRACT:  A fairly straightforward double definition

23a   Delight from learner after parking with no trouble (6)
PLEASE:  Link together the map abbreviation for parking, the letter indicating a learner driver, and a word meaning “no trouble” 

26a   Spy regularly wants to gather information (5)
AGENT:  Alternate letters (regularly) of WANTS containing (to gather) an informal word for information 

27a   Responses concerning suits (9)
REACTIONS:  A short word meaning about or concerning is followed by some legal suits 

28a   Focused on coin in case next to diamonds (12)
CONCENTRATED:  ON from the clue and a small coin are placed together in a synonym of case, and that’s all followed by the playing card abbreviation for diamonds 



1d    Petty officer upset with media abuse (7)
OPPRESS:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of the abbreviation for petty officer is followed by another word for the media 

2d    Pretend to follow former lover's demand (5)
EXACT:  A synonym of pretend follows a usual former lover 

3d    PM almost nobody supports later (9)
AFTERNOON:  All but the last letter of another word for nobody comes after (supports, in a down clue) later or following

4d    Avoid John's broadcast (4)
LOSE:  A homophone (broadcast) of the plural of an informal synonym of john 

5d    South American writers beginning to experience apprehension (8)
SUSPENSE:  Concatenate the single letter for south, an abbreviation for American, some writing instruments, and the beginning letter of EXPERIENCE 

6d    In regret, neighbour turned up record (5)
ENTER:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (inturned up, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 

7d    Bear in mind politician is under fire? Not half! (8)
REMEMBER:  A politician follows (is under, in a down clue) half (… not half) of FIRE from the clue 

8d    Plant that can sting  bug (6)
NETTLE:  A double definition. Bug as in annoy or irritate 

14d   Organised golf with my boss south of Scottish island (8)
ARRANGED:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf and the abbreviation for the setter’s boss are both placed after (south of, in a down clue) a Scottish island 

16d   Renovated castle, keeping area or moving staircase? (9)
ESCALATOR:  An anagram (renovated) of CASTLE containing (keeping) the single letter for area is followed by OR from the clue 

17d   Exciting Republican in charge after vote (8)
ELECTRIC:  The single letter for Republican and the abbreviation for “in charge” are placed after a synonym of vote 

18d   Remarkably, Conservative initially isn't attending latest party (6)
SOCIAL:  Remarkably or very is followed by the single letter for Conservative and the initial letters of the next three words in the clue 

20d   Urged to change top getting dolled up (7)
DRESSED:  Urged or pushed minus its first letter (to change top

22d   Relationship from a little time in Brazilian city (5)
RATIO:  A from the clue and the physics symbol for time are inserted together in a Brazilian city 

24d   In the centre, teenagers fight roughly (5)
ABOUT:  The centre letter of TEENAGERS with a synonym of fight 

25d   Variety of bread, however one looks at it (4)
NAAN:  We want a variety of bread that’s a palindrome, because it’s the same however one looks at it 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was either 26a or 3d. I also thought the quickie pun was excellent. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WRY + TAN + HOVEL = WRITE A NOVEL

32 comments on “DT 30019

  1. Whoosh, it just flowed in.
    Of one mind with the setter.
    Not even a hesitant last in.
    So, */****
    Many thanks to the setter for this confidence builder and to Mr. K.

  2. 1.5*/3.5*. Light and good fun with 26a my favourite.

    I wasn’t sure at first about the synonym needed for “smells” in 13a but on reflection it probably works when referring to wine.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  3. No problems at all with this little crowd pleaser. Good, concise clueing and some gentle humour made this a gentle but enjoyable puzzle to solve. 3d was my favourite due to it’s topicality.

    Thanks to both Misters involved this sunny morning.

  4. A straightforward but solid */*** with good directions throughout. My favourite was 27d but all were pretty good. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  5. I suspect this was my speediest finish in my entire history of cryptic crossword completion. Good fun all round; Ottoman rulers and Japanese apron count = zero.

    Thanks to everyone who wished ‘the youngster’ well yesterday. It was an interview and audition for entry to a Masters degree in music. She feels it went well and we should know the outcome in the next week or so.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K
    Beatles on Tuesday (always prompted by Mr K and his link to Sgt Pepper)

    1. Fingers crossed for the youngster, Terence. I had my fingers crossed for her. We have acquired a visiting cat, a tabby with a white bib, which tentatively stuck its nose in through the patio doors and then hopped up to have look around but beat a hasty retreat, when my husband looked at him (Mr CC was a bit grumpy as he hasn’t been well of late). Hope Lola is well.

  6. Typically Tuesdayish – **/****.

    A smile for 22d, but I submitted a three word clue for the latest Newsletter competition.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 8d, 14d, and 24d – and the winner is 13a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  7. All good fun and a very satisfying solve although, with apologies to our setter, my vote for favourite goes to Mr K’s illustrations. I’m sure we’ve seen another poster from that particular county’s veterinary surgery previously – wonder who thinks them up?

    Many thanks to our setter (Mr Ed showing us how we could have arrived at an entry for the clue comp? ) and to Mr K for the accompanying review.

  8. First one I’ve completed entirely on my own for a little while, wouldn’t say I whooshed through but it was fairly speedy, and as Terence said no strange foreign words, or anything dragged from the dark recesses of some dictionary. Very enjoyable, I’m just waiting for someone to complain it was too easy. Thanks to all.

  9. Just me then. Generally this flowed smoothly but having slowly but triumphantly parsed 18d to finish, the machine told me beetle would not do at 8d and my brain seized. Many thanks kitty man and the setter.

    I saw ( but failed to photograph) a BC vet clinic sign in 2019: If the earth were flat, cats would have pushed everything off it by now.

  10. I got held up with beetle at 8d, which was annoying. The rest was straightforward and enjoyable. I did like 18a, my competition entry is nothing like 22d and the misdirection in 3d had me going through so many Prime Ministers, I became dizzy.

    Many thanks to the setter. Thanks, also, Mr. K. for the hints and glorious pusskits.

  11. I just love Tuesdays. Best day of the week, (unless Chalicea is around)
    No clever tricks or complicated clues.
    Thank you

  12. A straightforward, puzzle, enjoyable ,in the whole, ao3art feom a very few (thankfully) tedious political references. Favourites were 1a, 9a and 18a. Many thanks to the compiler and to Mr K for a particularly well-illustrated blog — love the cats.

  13. This for me was an example of a crossword at the easier end of the spectrum but which was nonetheless enjoyable and satisfying to do. Thank you setter.

  14. Trouble signing in again and I’ve lost MrK’s instructions.
    A gentle puzzle.with no real favourite.
    Spent too long on the Toughie. I’ll need half a dozen hints to take me over the line,

  15. I had to resort to the hint for 4d which is frustrating as I had the rest. I thought ‘broadcast’ was something to do with being on air or strewn around. Collins says that ‘John’ used in this way is an Americanism….having lived there, I should have seen it.

  16. Very pleasant and lots of fun, with 3d, 18a, and, considering my lifelong passion for the form, 1a (besides, it was the first fully staged grand version of the art I ever saw, Washington, DC, 1959, and I was hooked for life: it was none other than Aida, and there were camels and elephants there too). Thanks to Mr K for the glittering feline display today and thanks to the setter. ** / ***

    Very much enjoyed the Toughie too.

  17. 2/4. This was a very pleasant solve with few if any hold ups. Favourites were 1&18a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K. I see the UK is heading for a difficult summer of strikes. Bring back Thatcher.

  18. This was a lovely puzzle completed in good time. The muntjac have unfortunately discovered my courgettes and bitten off all three that were just about ready so more barricade material needed. Never mind, sea food platter tonight. Thanks to the setter and Mr K with his kitty pics. I loved the comment at 9. above – so true.

  19. A nice pleasant Tuesday solve. 2*/4* for me.
    Favourites include 13a, 3d, 8d 14d & 24d with winner 14d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  20. Honestly I found this puzzle beautifully straightforward apart from 18a and therefore 18d 😳 talk about “partygate” so ***/**** 😃 Favourites were 26 & 27a and of course, once the penny dropped, 18a 😬 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler

  21. Only one problem with 1a, for me Aida is also a fabric designed for needlework. I can’t be the only one who thought first of “needles” rather than “glasses”?

  22. The usual excellent standard for a Tuesday with 13a being the best of a high class field, also my last in. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K. I hope BD is progressing well.

  23. A very pleasant Tuesday puzzle, happily almost finished without a hint. I needed to verify my answer for 4d as I didn’t think John was used that way in England. At least it wasn’t when we left back in the dark ages. Lots of lovely clues, and enjoyed the I Spy picture at 26a. Thanks to very kind setter, and to Mr K.

  24. Nice gentle puzzle that fell very swiftly. 14d brought back pleasant memories of playing golf on the island at Shiskine (a 12 hole links course) & Lamlash with it’s arduous incline up the first.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

  25. Another very easy, if well-presented puzzle for this customer. */** for me, though Id have to admit that I’m in ‘chewy’ mood. Perhaps I should watch a Star Wars film :D

  26. Straight through with this one. Favourites 1a and 3d. Thanks Setter and Mr K. I just checked I was right with 4d afterwards. I thought of the toilet straightaway as we have had it recently. I don’t however immediately think of lose as a synonym for avoid.

  27. Lovely puzzle solved early yesterday, but work got in the way of commenting. Thanks to setter and Mr K for a very well set out blog and collection of pussies.

  28. 2*/4*….
    liked 22D “Relationship from a little time in Brazilian city (5)”

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