DT 30031 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30031

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30031

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone. Today we have a well-crafted puzzle which demonstrates that a puzzle doesn’t need to be super hard to deliver a satisfying solve. By the end it felt like there were a lot of anagrams, but there are only six. I’ve heard recently that some readers have been unable to see blog images, but they do see blog videos. If that’s been the case for you, are the pics on this blog visible? Also, and somewhat related, it is safe to ignore browser warnings about the site being insecure. It’s not.

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 a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Shaking rug after Charlie's moving seat (7,5)
ROCKING CHAIR:  Shaking or swaying is followed by the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by charlie, and an informal synonym of rug comes after that 

9a    Knowing prisoners caught with debts (9)
CONSCIOUS:  Link together some usual prisoners, the cricket scoreboard abbreviation for caught, and some debts traditionally scribbled on a scrap of paper 

10a   Weapon European concealed in fight (5)
SPEAR:  The single letter for European inserted in (concealed in) fight like a boxer in training 

11a   The most appropriate time to leave ancient city (6)
THEBES:  Follow THE from the clue by a word meaning “most appropriate” with the physics symbol for time deleted (time to leave

12a   Police leader around always at the helm? (8)
STEERING:  The leader of The Police containing (around) a poetic form of always 

13a   Sexual desire surrounding tango with one musician (6)
LUTIST:  Some sexual desire containing (surrounding) both the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by tango and the Roman one 

15a   Rigid small bath delivered (8)
STUBBORN:  Combine the clothing abbreviation for small, another word for bath, and delivered in baby form

18a   Awful day to study with loud university student (8)
DREADFUL:  Concatenate the single letter for day, a synonym of study, the musical abbreviation for loud, the single letter for university, and the letter indicating a student or learner driver 

19a   Conservative failure getting nearer (6)
CLOSER:  The single letter for Conservative with a person who’s a failure 

21a   Sick people's calmness reported (8)
PATIENTS:  A homophone (reported) of calmness or a willingness to wait 

23a   Particular dock? (6)
DETAIL:  The answer split (2-4) could mean “dock” in a farming context

26a   Ascot's finale after flat race? (5)
EVENT:  The last letter (… ‘s finale) of ASCOT comes after flat or not bumpy 

27a   Slippery viper, I'm holding it: simple! (9)
PRIMITIVE:  An anagram (slippery) of VIPER I’M containing (holding) IT from the clue 

28a   Telling niece about brainpower (12)
INTELLIGENCE:  An anagram (about) of TELLING NIECE 



1d    Constant sex appeal in actual performance (7)
RECITAL:  A letter than can represent a mathematical constant and an informal word for sex appeal are inserted together in actual or concrete 

2d    Is able to remove odd bits from model boat (5)
CANOE:  A verb meaning “is able to” followed by the even letters of (remove odd bits from) MODEL 

3d    Rain only half stopped -- outside river swelled (9)
INCREASED:  Follow half of RAIN with a word meaning stopped containing (outside) the map abbreviation for river 

4d    Young lady swallows nothing cooler (4)
GAOL:  A young lady or girl, informally, contains (swallows) the letter representing nothing 

5d    Italian scoffed after the man's pause (8)
HESITATE:  Both the abbreviation for Italian and scoffed or devoured come after a pronoun meaning “the man’s” 

6d    Problem, children? (5)
ISSUE:  A straightforward double definition 

7d    Changing our spiel is fraught with danger (8)
PERILOUS:  An anagram (changing) of OUR SPIEL 

8d    Last unnecessarily long mythical creature (6)
DRAGON:  The answer split (4,2) could mean last unnecessarily long 

14d   The rate's high for popular buildings in the West End? (8)
THEATRES:  THE from the clue with an anagram (high, as in excited) of RATE’S 

16d   Be in veil, disguised? Good thinking (9)
BELIEVING:  An anagram (disguised) of BE IN VEIL with the single letter for good 

17d   Many crackers -- I pull them, but not hard (8)
MULTIPLE:  An anagram (crackers, as in crazy) of I PULL THEM minus the pencil abbreviation for hard (… but not hard) 

18d   Short swim for each bird (6)
DIPPER:  A short swim is followed by “for each” 

20d   Religious education story very easy, initially, to replace (7)
RELIEVE:  Cement together the abbreviation for religious education, a story that’s not true, the abbreviation for very, and the initial letter of EASY 

22d   Demolished school by the sound of it (5)
EATEN:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of a famous public school 

24d   In capital I encountered foreigner (5)
ALIEN:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

25d   Satisfy female poorly (4)
FILL:  The single letter for female with a synonym of poorly. I wonder if this clue begins (or ends) a trilogy with 13a and 1d


Thanks to today’s setter. Clues I particularly enjoyed included 12a, 13a, 18a, 19a, 2d, 16d, and 18d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  RUG + BEE + BAWLS = RUGBY BALLS

47 comments on “DT 30031

  1. Being honest, I found this enjoyable without perhaps hitting the heights of recent Tuesday puzzles, with very few “ahh that’s it” moments.
    I liked the “Police leader” in 12a and having had my morning 18d that one too along with 8d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for his usual imaginatively illustrated blog.

  2. Whoosh!
    As if the setter was whispering in my ear.
    Perfect sync.
    Tuesday is now Monday.
    Comeuppance, no doubt, tomorrow.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K., great illustrations.

  3. Good to have a puzzle doable in a reasonable time. So quick for me that I seem to be one of the first to comment! Many thanks to setter and Mr K, */****

  4. Very enjoyable while it lasted, a well-composed puzzle with a delightful Synchonicity of smooth surfaces and smiles. Hon Mentions to 15a, 23a, 2d, and 8d, with COTD by a length to 12a … for a brief moment I tried to fit House, Dick, even Peel into that one, and then the penny dropped.

    1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the Setter and of course to Mr K.

  5. 0.5*/3*. This was as light a Tuesday puzzle as I can remember, but good fun nevertheless.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  6. Very enjoyable but it didn’t last long enough to be considered typically Tuesdayish, more like a Rufus Monday puzzle of old – */****.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 23a, and 25d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  7. Agree with you Mr K. For me this was a first ” for difficulty for a very long time with lots of enjoyment added to by not needing any electronic help and only the parsing of 12a. Didn’t think of the group as they were popular when I was in the throes of a young and growing family who nevertheless watched Top of the Pops led by the eldest. Their song “I’ll be watching you” which seemed to morph into “Every breath you take” was an awful dominator stalker song from the moment I first heard it but our eldest daughter at just 11 was too young to interpret it and too young for an interpretation. Sting went on to be the most pretentious, pompous idiot on the pop scene, which role he continues to fulfill completely to this day.

    Rant over. A wonderful puzzle with 1a combined with its illustration as my clue of the day with 25d and its illustration a good second.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K whose blog is always satisfying unlike the bloke illustrated at 25d.

    1. Re: Sting as “the most pretentious…”
      1) Much of the music was great, which makes up for a lot (the solo stuff, not so much)
      2) Heard interview t’other day in which he humourously acknowledged his own vanity and pomposity, I rather warmed to him
      3) The drummer was far worse
      4) Bono

      1. Have to agree, some of the music they produced as a group is (still) outstanding. And as for pretentious, yep, while Bono still breathes no-one else comes close to donning that crown.

        Now, time for some Police greatest hits, I think …

  8. Straightforward and enjoyable.
    Favourites were 23a and 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  9. I enjoyed it all immensely, especially after my recent stumbles. 12a gets the winner’s nod, but 11a comes close, reminding me of all the days I spent with Oedipus and other ancient Greeks in the classroom. A charming puzzle, with thanks to Mr K (especially for the wonderful illustrations) and today’s setter, who reminds me of our lovely lady setter. 1.5* / 4*

  10. Super puzzle, thoroughly enjoyable. Must admit to needing the hint to untangle 22a, not sure Stuart Copeland would agree😀
    Best clue for me by miles was 23a but then I love a good pun.
    Thx to all esp the setter.

  11. Nothing troublesome here at all in this extremely straightforward yet most enjoyable and entertaining puzzle. 12 and 23a were particular favourites, as was 8d. Great stuff.

    My thanks to both Misters involved in today’s production.

    England sensational this morning at Edgbaston.

  12. All good fun if somewhat short-lived. Slight question mark over ‘rug’ in 1a – I thought it was only used to indicate a wig?
    Favourite was probably 18d with illustration of the day going to 1a along with the young lady leaving a lasting impression for Father’s Day!

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for another of his brilliantly illustrated reviews.

    1. After some recent hiccups today’s challenge thankfully served to reassure me that DT Cryptics are perhaps still within my grasp in spite of the ebbing grey matter. Anyway I did enjoy a smooth run through. South was toughest patch. Tried to use his In 5d. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  13. Agree 100% with Mr K a crossword does not have to be difficult to be enjoyable 😃 **/**** Favourites 11 & 12 across and 8 down 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler

  14. A lovely Tuesday teaser.

    Re 24d….check out the reverse of the first five letters of the following astronaut:

    Neil Armstrong

  15. Like most others I found this was a quick solve at */*** for me. I don’t recall seeing “high” as an anagram indicator as in 14d before but perfectly fair. My COTD was 23a. Thanks Mr K and the setter. This week is tons easier than last!

  16. I have recently taken up doing the puzzle again after a very long break (and no, I don’t know why I stopped!). It’s taken me some time to get back in the swing, but today for the first time I solved the whole thing in XXXXXXXXX without cheating once – and I don’t care that it was an easy one, still got satisfaction from it. Thanks to everyone who runs this site – it’s invaluable. And hope you get well soon Dave.

    Please do not put solving times. They are irrelevant. MIffypopps

    1. Hi PAH. Welcome back to the world of cryptic crossword puzzles. Sorry if my comment above seems a little harsh. As the blog evolved so did the etiquette. We don’t discuss solving times because many of the users of this website are relative novices and if they have just spent an hour solving a puzzle they can be discouraged by someone saying that they have solved the same puzzle in 5 minutes. Use star ratings similar to those used by the reviewer or similes such as “a two-pint puzzle”. I’m intrigued by what you consider to be cheating. A full grid is a full grid after all

      1. Thanks Miffypops, sorry for breaking the rules! I know it’s not cheating really – as you say, a full grid is a full grid. But I do have a temptation to resort to an anagram/puzzle solver rather too easily, so I try to do it without.

  17. Mr K – your illustration for 1a made me wince! I do hope the cat moved before it got caught. Only six anagrams? Seemed like more, I love them, the more the merrier for me. 15a made me laugh when I sussed out the bath and 23a and 8d were great but it was all good fun. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K. No photos from me today you will be pleased to see.

    1. Hi, DG. The 1a clip is from a Three Stooges film. I’m pretty sure it was carefully crafted to avoid damaging the possibly not real cat.

      We all enjoy the pics posted by you and other readers. Keep them coming.

  18. 1/4. Very enjoyable solve and perhaps the easiest Tuesday puzzle for a long time. Favourites were 12&23a. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the review.

  19. Just reading the clues and review: Weapon; rigid; sexual desire; slippery; holding; constant sex; not hard; swelled; inserted; young lady swallows; satisfy female!

    Crikey! Anybody got a bucket of cold water?

  20. A ver straightforward but, nonetheless, enjoyable puzzle. Just the sort of thing to encourage tentative newcomers to cryptic. There are plenty of challenging puzzles for the more experienced solvers so it’s good to have a few like this. 1a made me giggle and I liked 1d but COTD was 12a, with the red herring to misdirect us. Thanks to the compiler and to Mr K for the review (and the cats).

  21. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, with two many great clues to pick one out as best. My print out is littered with smiley faces. Would love more from this setter, to whom I send a big thank you. And thanks to Mr K.

  22. I’m with the majority on this one. Swift solve but good fun. 18 a and d and 21a were last three in. 15 and 23a and 8d were my favourites. I didn’t comment yesterday but enjoyed it too. There have been some recently which I found hard to get into. That’s setter and Mr K.

  23. I nice gentle puzzle for a pleasant, sunny Tuesday morning.
    1.5*/4* today.

    Candidates for favourite include 11a, 21a, 23a, 4d & 22d – with winner 23a with 11a a close contender for the top spot.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  24. First I’ve completed unaided for a while, even then it took me into *** time. I think 8d should be hinted as split 4/2 not 2/4, but I think we all got the message. And I do look at the hints to make sure all my answers are correct, which they normally ain’t 🥴. My dad used to say ain’t ain’t English ain’t ain’t. Thanks to all.

    1. Hi, DG. Thanks for pointing out the typo in 8d (perhaps I still had 23a on the brain). I’ve fixed it now.

  25. Embarrassed to admit I needed the hint for 1a. Once solved I was able to get 4d which I was also struggling with.

    Despite my brain fog, thoroughly enjoyed this.

    Thanks to all.

    1. Hi, bw. I suspect our setter hoped that 1a solvers would first attempt to make shaking function as an anagram indicator. I know I did.

  26. Just right for a Monday, oh! it’s Tuesday. 😁 Good fun though. As others favourite was a toss up between 23a and 8d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  27. Just back from Hampton Court Palace Garden Show – did the crossword on the train this morning in record time – can’t remember much about it now but a total solve unaided and really enjoyable- thanks to setter and Mr K. I enjoyed the Pimms and general bonhomie and really enjoyed the boat rides. Such a lot of lovely people at the show. So much friendlier than Chelsea.

  28. 2*/4*…..
    entertaining puzzle…liked the illustration to the hint for 1A-as Mr K says, probably not a real cat’s tail !

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