DT 30045 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30045

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30045

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Good morning from a cloudy South Devon. Here it’s been a case of “heatwave, what heatwave”….just lovely Summer’s days.

Today we have a quintessential Ray T, concisely clued (with little wordplay to work with or be confused by….you pay your money and you take your choice) and witty puzzle which was great fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a        Cavorting pair later on common (11)
PROLETARIAN:  Anagram (cavorting) of the following three words

10a      Republic created by the ancient people (5)
YEMEN:  An ancient form of “the” and some male people.

11a      Chain’s not broken for support (9)
STANCHION:  Anagram (broken) of the preceding two words

12a      Shortest time confronting most irritating (9)

TITCHIEST:  The abbreviation for Time followed by the superlative form of an adjective meaning irritated in the sense of wanting to scratch

13a      Choice of prudish sweetheart (5)
PRIME:  A straightforward synonym of prudish followed by this setter’s swEeetheart

14a      Thin, about medium, obtaining treatment (6)
REMEDY:  A synonym of thin or wiry goes around the abbreviation for Medium

16a      Fish could be small kippers (8)
SNAPPERS;  The kippers here are not fish but people taking a short sleep. Append them to the abbreviation for Small. When I lived in New Zealand I regularly ate this fish fresh from the sea. If our Kiwi bloggers are looking in they can attest to how delicious it is.

18a      Forefather described by romance story (8)
ANCESTOR:  Hidden in the clue (described by).

20a      Female in entourage is handmaid (6)
GEISHA: Another (very clever) hidden word (in) giving a nice extended definition.

23a      Transport of vehicle by railway … (5)
CARRY:  Transport here is a verb. Place the abbreviation for RailwaY after a common vehicle which most of us have but can barely afford to add fuel to.

24a      … transported, opening door firstly (9)
ENTRANCED:  The setter has cleverly used the eclipses to throw you off the scent as the solution has nothing to do with vehicles. Start with an opening (the opposite of exit) and append the initial letter (firstly) of Door

26a      Former partner, common, keeping roughly free (9)

EXTRICATE:  The usual ( somewhat overworked) former partner followed by a synonym of common or hackneyed into which is inserted the abbreviation for CircA (roughly)

27a      Metropolitan old city with prohibition (5)
URBAN: One of crosswordland’s favourite old cities and a synonyn of prohibition or veto.

28a      Spot Enterprise warping, circling Sun’s source (11)
INTERSPERSE:  Anagram (warping) of ENTERPRISE goes around the initial letter (source) of Sun


2d        Brief Republican over revolting term (5)
REMIT:  Brief here is a noun. Add a reversal (revolting) of a synonym of a term in the sense of a period to the abbreviation for Republican

3d        Given a suspended sentence? (7)
LYNCHED:  The suspended here is hung…need I say more.

4d        Spoken of tea plant one tries (6)
TASTER: The letter that sounds like tea (spoken of) and a rather nice flower, giving someone who tries in the sense of samples.

5d        Very hot cooker element includes oven (8)
ROASTING: A very topical clue! An element on the hob of an electric cooker goes around (includes) a kiln.

6d        A large police mission finding drink (7)
ALCOPOP:  A from the clue, the abbreviation for Large, an informal word for police(man) and an abbreviation for OPeration or mission

7d        Treachery cost criminal, getting bird (13)
OYSTERCATCHER:  Anagram (criminal) of the preceding two words.

8d        Almost sensible bottling rows, showing cunning (8)

WILINESS: All but the last letter of a word meaning sensible or sage around some rows or tiers

9d        Getting nude isn’t grand, changing (13)
UNDERSTANDING:  Anagram (changing) of the preceding three words

15d      Club charge is steep (8)

MACERATE:  Steep here is a verb. A club (found in parliament perhaps) and a charge or fee.

17d      Second time around Queen soften (8)
MODERATE:  The abbreviation for a MOment and a synonym of time into which the queen’s regnal cipher is inserted.

19d      Dark dirty place, adult in spirit (7)
STYGIAN:  Start with a dirty place, one inhabited by pigs maybe, add an alcoholic spirit into which is placed the abbreviation for Adult

21d      Age certain to produce obliteration (7)
ERASURE:  A long period of time and a synonym of certain

22d      Force opening of security lock (6)
STRESS:  The opening letter of Security and a lock you find on someone’s head.


25d      Initially cut, usually by even squares (5)
CUBES:  We end with a typical Ray T  first letters clue (initially)

In a strong field 20a takes the honours for me today with 24a&3d making up the podium. Which ones did you like??

Today’s music is a song I was listening to the other day, it may please one of our contributers.

Quickie Pun  Horrors + Scope = Horoscope

67 comments on “DT 30045
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  1. Hooray! The Beatles!

    Fun crossword to solve whilst imbibing orange juice with no bits, and two slices of toast. Foolishly, I stayed up to watch Chelsea play Charlotte in a pre-season friendly. The 12:30am (UK time) kick off was delayed for an hour due to lightning in the North Carolina area. Today I am resembling a zombie.

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L and a big Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

  2. Excellent mix of easy and very difficult eg 27a and 3d for the former and 12a, perhaps, the latter.
    Thoroughly enjoyable, completed in a solid 3* time.
    Many thanks, Ray T and Stephen L, loved the 12 and 20a illustrations.

  3. A steady Thursday solve with diverse cluing throughout from Ray T and right up my street, agree with SL on a **/****.
    Top clue had to be 20a closely followed by 28a.
    Liked SL’s pics! -beatles next and the Quickie pun

  4. A typical Tay T puzzle and most enjoyable it was too. The NW held me up with a few synonym plys anagram clues which were hatd to puzzle out ( the synonyms rather than the anagrams are always the tricky bit with Ray T. I liked 7d, 9d and the pair that foxed for a while, 3d and 1a, the iatter being my COTD. Thanks to SL for the review and to Ray T consistently good as ever. It’s overcast a d distinctly cooler in the Vale of White Horse today, after a heavy downpour last evening. The garden looks refreshed and I dont have lots of watering to do for the first time in weeks

      1. I’ve just had a look Robert. Thank you. I don’t often have time to do the Toughie, so I would have missed it. It’s a nice clue and I have spent a bit of time reading about the answer, 57 years ago, in my first year at London university. We had a very eccentric lecturer for Social Anthropology, who smoked evil -smelling cigarettes during tutorials in a tiny room with closed windows, where we discussed this place!

  5. Ray T at his very best – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 16a, 8d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Mr T and to StephenL.

  6. 2*/4.5*. A typical, immensely enjoyable, RayT puzzle, which is always a good thing on a Thursday! Too tough to pick a favourite from such an excellent selection.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  7. The border of excellent anagrams provided useful cross checkers allowing a relatively easy (for RayT) solve and SL’s rating is bang on. My favourite clue was 20a although all were excellent. Thanks to the setter and SL.

  8. Another bit of mastery from Ray.

    Re 11a, there are 12 other ways to pronounce the -shn sound at the end of a word which highlights how nuts but fascinating the English language is. 11a is the only one with that ending.

    Anybody care to venture a guess?

    I need an example for each ending you give.

    One of them is debatable depending how you pronounce it. There could be a 14th but I’m not convinced.

        1. You can’t stop yourself, Cowlers!

          -tian is a goodie.

          The only words ending -cian are jobs other than Grecian.

          -sion is another one though the example you used doesn’t work as it’s not a shn sound. Tension is one.

    1. Love this -One of the reasons I read this blog is for the education about the English language.
      I hope you are going to share the answers later GordonG as I’m struggling to think of another example.

        1. A fine effort ChrisX

          Truncheon is the debatable one as some people pronounce the ch as ch.

          I have left off Asian as I pronounce it as A Je un (Je – I in French)

          Here we go, GJR…

            1. Nice one, Sloops.

              Talking of ough….

              There are nine ways to pronounce it:

              off (cough)
              er (thorough)
              uff (tough)
              oh (though)
              ow (plough)
              oo (through)
              ock (lough)
              up (hiccough*)
              or (thought)

              * Hiccup was the original spelling. However, the medical world changed it to hiccough, keeping the pronunciation, incorrectly thinking it was linked to a cough. Most people have reverted to the original spelling.

              Gotta luv the English language..

  9. Top notch puzzle today. Certainly not my finest solve as the pennies took an embarrassingly long time to drop. As always you look at the completed grid & wonder why that was the case as nothing obscure & impeccably clued throughout. I’m blaming post heatwave brain fog. Best of the clues in my view found in the downs – 3,6,7,8&19 my picks.
    Thanks to RT&SL

  10. Sufficient 8d from the setter today to tease the grey cells. And some scrumptious words: 11, 28a for example. Technically a DNF as I lazily had the wrong vowel in 4d and wanted StephenL to disentangle the parse with an esoteric tea plant. More fool me and back to school.
    Thanks Ray T and SL

  11. Great fun as ever from the Thursday maestro, easy to understand why Kath misses being in a position to review his puzzles.
    12a almost caught me out as I tried for quite a while to make it work with a different second letter – silly girl!
    Top of my tree was 20a with a nod to 4d – I’ve always associated that profession specifically with tea.

    My usual devotions and gratitude to Mr T and many thanks to Stephen for the review.

  12. Super puzzle, and I was held up for rather longer than I care to admit – and it turns out with little good reason – by my last two, 8d and 13a, taking me near to 3* time.

    Some cracking clues and great surface reads – 20a in particular; Hon Mentions also to 3d, 5d & 19d, with COTD to 15d – I’ve had a kilo of cherries 15d’ing for a month now in a litre of brandy with some sugar, and I’m looking forward to cold winter weather to justify drinking the result, while the cherries will make for many glorious desserts!

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to Ray T & to StephenL

  13. I think the victim in 3d is ‘hanged’, not ‘hung’ (pictures are hung, etc) but never mind: it was my COTD and one of the outstanding clues in the always taut, tight, neat, and tidy style of Mr T. 8d and 19d complete the podium, though there’s not a dud in the grid, really, and I thoroughly enjoyed last night’s solve, along with the splendid Toughie, which I highly recommend. Thanks to Stephen for the review and to Ray T for his usual excellence 2.5* / 4.5*

    1. You would have had Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit to illustrate 3 down if I had been providing the hints today

  14. A very enjoyable work out as always from Ray T. Thank you to him and SL.
    Going for the “pedant of the day award” my online BRB has the answer for 7d as two hyphenated words and in 25d is the three-dimensional answer acceptable for a “two-dimensional” clue? True nit-picking!

    1. Slightly surprisingly to me, Faraday, one of the definitions in the BRB for “cube” is “a solid square”. :unsure:

      1. Not convinced by “a solid square” whatever BRB says! But anyway, with that interpretation the “squares” seems to be doing double duty as both definition and fodder for the “initially”. I think the intention may have been more of an ‘all-in-one’ describing the construction of cubes from a series of square cuts – although I don’t really find that ‘definiiton’ terribly convincing either.

        As for the bird – BRB says hyphen, but I’ve never actually seen it written with one; I’ll take the RSPB version over BRB in this case

      2. That is a quite mind boggling definition which I struggle to comprehend – perhaps it’s the heat 😂

        1. Not sure about “square” in the singular, but a solid is a figure/body which has 3 dimensions so “solid [or 3-dimensional] square” is a good definition of a “cube”. However, I think Fez may be right with his all-in-one theory, above.

  15. Excellent puzzle, just my level and very well clued. A Ray T in a benign frame of mind, must be the heat🌞
    Thx to all

  16. A very enjoyable offering from RayT today. Lots to like all around the grid. Last one in was 20 across. If all else fails look for a lurker. Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and to SL for the blog

  17. Enjoyed today’s exercise with one minor quibble re 28a although do have to admit Chambers gives “dot” as a synonym so why not spot. Always amusing to see setters’ choice of anagram indicators e.g. 1a. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  18. A great Ray T but I was not in the mood having to travel hither and thither this morning so no concentration. I had to be content with a quick look over lunch because I’m out and about this afternoon as well. Because I was rushed, I struggled a bit. I didn’t think I was going to finish when I got to 23a before solving one. Fortunately, the downs came to my rescue and 19d became my COTD.

    Many thanks to Ray T and StephenL.

  19. A tricky little puzzle from Ray T today, I thought.
    Certainly getting the perimeter filled helped one get into the grid, but it took me a while to get 28a
    19d is word I did not know.

    Favourites include 16a, 20a, 28a, 3d & 7d with winner 3d

    Thanks to Ray T and StephenL

  20. Love a RayT production and this one did not disappoint. I made hard work of it, just couldn’t see the bird in 7d for ages, but got there in the end.
    19d was a new word for me, and was pleased to figure it out from the wordplay.
    My favourite was 3d, with 6d making me smile.
    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  21. Good quality teaser from the setter as usual today, a lot of variation in the clues as we have come to expect, provided much enjoyment.
    Thanks to Mr T and StephenL.
    Here in the hills of The North Downs, despite black skies overhead and rumbles of thunder in the distance, we still await the downpour necessary to bring gardens back to life.

  22. Managed all but two of a Ray T!? I missed the lurker but needed to uncover to get 8d. If there are more from Ray T at this level he will have to be my bête bleu marine not my bête noir. Favourite was 16a.

    My thanks to Ray T and to Stephen L.

  23. I gladly join the ranks of those who rate Ray T so highly, and this excellent puzzle is a terrific example of his skills. Concise, clever, witty………all there in spades.

    My thanks to Mr T and SL.

  24. I found this a tricky Ray T Thursday – I’m a bit of like a zombie today – couldn’t sleep at all last night even though it was much cooler yesterday – grump, grump, grump!
    I got the right idea with 3d but unfortunately the wrong answer (hanging) wasn’t helpful.
    The two long anagrams, 7 and 9d, were very useful which got me going nicely.
    My favourite was either 16a or 20a.
    Thanks to Ray T for the crossword and to StephenL for the hints.

    1. Nice to hear from you Kath. Not surprised tou couldn’t sleep. Monday night was the worst, here in Wantage. I wike up in apanic, feeling as if I was suffocating in a warm, dark blanket of air!

  25. 19D the pick for me too in this excellent Thursday offering. */***. Many thanks RayT and StephenL.

  26. What an excellent week so far for all us cruciverbalists. I had a couple of clues which were difficult to parse but upon checking the hints all became clear. Many thanks to RayT and StephenL

  27. Another fine Ray T production, thank you. I’ll go for 7d as my clue of the day, very smart birds. We live on the edge of Morecambe Bay and often see them. A treat in Spring is to hear them ‘peeping’ as they fly over the house.
    Thanks to Stephen for the hints and tips.

  28. Evening all. My thanks to StephenL for the review and to everybody else for your comments. All much appreciated.


    1. In some ways RayT I am grateful not to be blessed with your superior intellect – I suspect you have to source a higher level to find a challenge! Such consistency in your quality is remarkable.

  29. I started off slowly and gradually increased to a crawl, then a walk and then finished at a canter. How does that work? I agree with RC about 3d, game is hung. Runaway favourite was 19d. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  30. Close but no cigar,
    Missed the lurker in the fancy Japanese frock, and 8d needed the hint.
    Thanks to SL and RayT.
    Hopefully I will have a bit more time for cruciverbalism when the TDF finishes this weekend.

  31. Well I really enjoyed this too. I made a mistake with 6d putting alcohol in so that caused a few problems. I seem to have a problem with clues linked with ellipses- just can’t get them so thanks to SL for the great explanation. Still don’t get it 😳! Many thanks to Ray T as well. I’m feeling a bit of brain fog at the moment as others have commented – think it must be a result of the heat.

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