DT 30051 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30051

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30051

Hints and tips by Miffypops

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

Rating as suggested by NAS – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good day. Solvers wasting the worlds resources of graphite and ink will waste less today with only a measly twenty-six clues to solve. Rather easy for a Thursday methinks. A Mrs Trellis of North Wales commented on my last blog, Toughie 2889 asking me to keep my opinions to myself and stick to the crossword. Tough tit Mrs Trellis. That is unlikely to happen but thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

Digital subscribers – Have a look at the bottom of the page. It may save you a lot of money


5ac.  Herb said to go with fish or fruit (7)

RHUBARB:  Begin with a homophone based upon a beautifully coloured garden herb. Add a beautifully coloured fish. The name of  fish can be preceded by the following wonderful words. Clown, Arulius, Cherry, Checker, Curmuca, Denison, Chubbyhead, Gold, Beardless, Five banded, Greenstripe, Maharaja, Redside, Two spot, Rosy, Spanner, Swamp, Ticto, Odessa, Red Crystal, Tinfoil, Tiger, Sawbwa, Filament, Green, Albino, Drape fin, Silver, Red cheek, Java, Hampale, Snakeskin, Rhombo and African banded. Golly bongs. Who knew?

7ac.  A number rendered by very good instrument (5)

PIANO:   Begin with a two-letter word meaning very good (one to remember as it is popular with setters). Add the letter A from the clue. Add the abbreviation for number. Now tickle the ivories.

9ac.  Independent Ireland –only some wanted or all?

ENTIRE: Your answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words only some wanted

10ac.  In high spirits and delighted about end of failure, very (8)

ELEVATED:  A synonym of the word delighted sits around the last letter of the word failure and the abbreviation for very

11ac. Blister has to be treated? They may offer alternative medicine (10)

HERBALISTS: An easily solved anagram (to be treated) of BLISTER HAS

13ac.  At university, arsenic is found — a poisonous substance (4)

UPAS:   Begin with an old fashioned term meaning at university. Add the chemical symbol for arsenic

14ac.  Church maybe offers new hope for us facing new year (5,2.6)

HOUSE OF PRAYER:  Two anagrams are required here. The first HOPE FOR US being indicated by the word new. The second YEAR is also indicated by the word new

16ac.  One may be in sea passage, heading off (4)

ISLE:  Remove the first letter from a passage. The passage from the answer above perhaps

17ac.  Jocularity of learner in class of lowly types (10)

PLEASANTRY:  The usual abbreviation for a learner sits inside an archaic word once used to describe smallholders and agricultural labourers of low social status (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries).

19ac.  Still mostly very thirsty, having eaten a seafood dish (8]

CALAMARI:  Insert the letter A from the clue into a word meaning still or placid. Add a word meaning very thirsty or very dry minus its last letter

20ac.  Greatly enjoy eating silver salad component (6)

LOVAGE:   Insert the chemical symbol for Silver into a word meaning to greatly enjoy or feel deep affection for. Has anybody ever seen or eaten this stuff. I haven’t. This is what it looks like

22ac.  Our home has a fireside location not hot to begin with (5)

EARTH:   The name given to the fireside in our homes needs its first letter removing to leave the name of all of our homes

23ac.  See us trembling with tiger, becoming more courageous (7)

GUTSIER:   An anagram (trembling) of TIGER and US. A mightily wonderful word


1d.  Name of early space traveller getting You are it!’ regularly (4)

YURI:  The alternate  letters of three consecutive words in the clue will give you your answer

2d.  Bones in minced food upset everyone eating initially (8)

PATELLAE:  Begin with a disgusting rich, savoury paste made from finely minced or mashed ingredients, typically seasoned meat or fish. Add the reverse of a word meaning everyone. Add the first letter of the word eating. Hands up if you put a plural answer in here

3d.  Drugs in bits of footwear (6)

UPPERS:  A double definition. The parts of a boot or shoe above the sole and stimulating drugs

4d.  South American soldier with weapon (always article to be carried) (10)

PARAGUAYAN:   Begin with a highly trained tough soldier who jumps out of aeroplanes. Add a firearm and an archaic way of saying always. Insert the letter A somewhere in your last five letters (article to be carried)

 5d.  Get up about noon to wash (5)

RINSE:   A word meaning to get up from bed or a chair surrounds the abbreviation for noon

6d.   Bringing up with provision of internal liquid feast (13)

BREASTFEEDING:  A synonym of bringing up a family contains an anagram (liquid) of FEAST. What to underline as a definition? Over to you

8d.  Start song outside (4-3)

OPEN AIR:  Synonyms of the first two words in the clue will lead to a synonym of the third

12d. Blare ‘adieu’ when this French poet goes off? (10)

BAUDELAIRE:   An unconventional anagram where the fodder does not immediately precede or immediately follow the anagram indicator. An unconventional definition which does not sit at the beginning or the end of the clue. The definition is French Poet. The anagram indicator is ‘goes off’ The anagram fodder is BLATE ADIEU. Although the answer should jumpoutatcha It’s rather pointless to try and spell this correctly by writing it out or trying to mentally solve. The correct spelling can be found with a simple Google search of French poets

L’albatros by Charles XXXXXXXXXX

14d.  Army taking time to get one desiring release (7)

HOSTAGE:  A synonym of the word Army is followed by a long period of time in what might qualify as the easiest clue of the year

15d.  Determined English union, unsuccessful one rising (8)

RESOLUTE:  The abbreviation for English, the abbreviation for Trade Union and one who has not won can all be reversed to provide your answer

17d.  Very good, like fruit crop each year? Not entirely (6)

PEACHY:   The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the words not entirely

18d.  In communications I understand a man (5)

ROGER:   The man’s name used at the end of radio communication to indicate the understanding of what has just been said. Over and out

21d.  One in vehicle looking in the mirror a lot? (4)

VAIN:  Place the letter that looks like the number one inside a commercial light goods vehicle

Quickie Pun  Parr + Tickler = Particular

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94 comments on “DT 30051

  1. I think M has the rating bang on. 13a was a new word for me to achievable and I enjoyed the lurker misdirection in 18d my COTD. 6d was also excellent. An enjoyable workout. Thanks to M and the setter.

    1. MP never gives a rating NAS, he just leaves it as per template but I’m sure if you offer one (you already have) he will attribute it to you.

      1. Ah – sorry – I thought he had authored the ***/*** with which I concur. Thanks for clarifying SL👍

    2. Dont get 5 across..rhubarb is a vegetable..not a fruit..what am i missing..thanks..Doug

        1. Rhubarb
          the thick reddish or green leaf stalks of a cultivated plant of the dock family, which are eaten as a fruit after cooking.

          a freshwater fish with barbels around the mouth, popular in aquaria

          Trust the setters and their editor. They are rarely wrong

          1. Just because it’s eaten as a fruit don’t mean it is one! But a bit of sugar on a fried Barb, now your talking…

  2. Perhaps not the most contemporary of puzzles, with a couple of dated references but I enjoyed filling in the grid, I guess that’s the main thing.
    I noticed that the solutions to 9&11a appeared more or less in clues elsewhere, in fact the solution of one lurker was (more or less) used to clue the other!
    I thought 14a clever and very smooth, 5a&4d had some nice misdirection, but my favourite was the excellent 19a.
    Many thanks to the setter (The Don?) and MP for the fun.

    1. Forgive me for asking you again SL but when you use the term ‘dated’, I wasn’t sure if it was meant as an observation or a negative.

      Looking at your ‘‘I guess that’s the main thing’’ comment, it looks like it’s the latter.

      Two things:

      1. What are the dated references you are referring to?

      2. Why is a contemporary crossword to you more attractive than a dated one?

      Apologies once more but I don’t know what ‘dated’ means even though you told me before.

      1. I must confess to being as baffled as Gordong about the use of the term ‘dated’ to d3scribe a crossword. I’d be interested to learn what SL’s definition of a ‘contemporary’ clue would be?

      2. To answer your question Gordon, I don’t use the term “dated” as a positive! So, despite these I enjoyed the puzzle
        Up….at university
        Peasantry….class of lowly types
        Ay…ever (archaic)

        To answer your second point and Chris, contemporary references are clues that relate to the modern world, to current events and people, not French poets born over 200 years ago. I think that if we want to encourage younger solvers, and thus keep the art alive, we won’t do it with the above. Having said that I recognize that we’re all different, that’s just my take on things.

        1. Thanks for that.

          I didn’t know that ‘Up’ isn’t used anymore. A new one on me.

          Peasantry is still out there around the world, albeit, on a smaller scale,

          I assume that all archaic answers are a no-no for you?

          If that’s the case, it seems that your parameters are quite narrow which is obviously your prerogative. *

          The French poet in question is the country’s most famous. I can’t see that would put off a youngster. Are you saying that a current French poet, none of which are revered as much, would encourage them more?

          I am guessing that Byron, The Brontës and Keats and the like would be okay? If so, then it’s not a case of ‘dated’ but ‘how famous’. This drifts into the ‘obscure knowledge’ debate which I completely understand though I love learning obscure things.

          It doesn’t seem right to say to a compiler…. ‘From now on, you must only use famous people from the last, what, 50 years?’

          I think the younger generation may feel a tad patronised.

          * I’ve always wanted to spell it perogative which makes absolutely no sense. It’s just easier to pronounce.

          1. I agree. Give me a French poet any day in preference to a rock “star”. In this case we had an obvious anagram and helpful checking letters. What I do find embarrassing is when one of our number criticises the use of an “obscure” writer, artist etc. Before I used the word obscure I would Google said person to avoid looking stupid.

            1. I love using words like obscure (Elvis Presley) to describe real people in my blogs. Also long forgotten and little known (The Beatles). It generates comments and discussion. Such comment and discussion along with the personal touches brought to the comments are what lift this blog way above other crossword blogs

                1. When the film ‘Yesterday’ came out my mate informed me that “today I bought tickets to see yesterday tomorrow”

        2. Well said Stephen. I have been trying to get my 12 year old daughter into cryptic crossword solving and your points above are bang-on IMHO.

          1. I would hope always to have a mixture of dated and modern.
            And the unlikely.
            Stretches me more.

            1. Even though I can’t always dredge up the answers, I agree that we need a mixture of new and old clues. I have learnt a lot from crosswords and if I knew all the answers at the drop of a hat, it wouldn’t be much fun.

          2. Thanks, Stephen. I see your point about atteacting younger solvers. We all have very different interests, strengths and weaknesses, so my own feeling is that breadth and variety in the type of clues is the key to retaining the interest of as many people as possible in Cryptic Crosswords. I enjoy the challenge of flipping from an item of Japanese clothing to a Latinvpoet, from a lurker to a cryptic definition. It’s great for developing mental flexibilty, whether young or old. I may occasionally find synonyms that I don’t know or literary terms I’ve never heard of but it’s all part of a Cryptic Crossword and as you said, we allsee thi gs frombour own individual viewpoint.

            1. I agree with attracting young people to cruciverbalism but I would like to see my friends getting involved. Of all the people I know, not one does cryptic crosswords.

              1. Further to my comment above, you can see I was in a cryptic crossword wilderness until I found Big Dave. :good:

              2. Most people I know don’t even know what a cryptic is, and just assume that I spend my time on GK puzzles. I have tried to get my kids and grandkids interested, but no luck. But both daughters and granddaughter are now doing Wordle, so perhaps there is hope yet.

        3. Young people devoted to the modern ways of being intelligent thought is the last criterion to have any effect on their actions or choices. So little hope of attracting many of those. To get them interested any prizes would have to be of items from the current most trendy companies. Exercising their choices by buying or winning such items is their definition of political freedom.

  3. The last in, 19a and 4d, put me into 4* time.
    I had a silly mental block with the latter until it popped up in the grey matter.
    And, likewise, 19a which I now award COTD.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP

  4. A disappointing DNF for me. The 15d penny simply refused to drop. Didn’t need to read Miff’s hint or the pic caption – as soon as I saw the toddler it was enough. Not sure I’d have pluralised 2d correctly without the aid of the wordplay & 13a was also unfamiliar but otherwise plain sailing. An enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to the setter & to MP.

  5. I think this was a 2 for difficulty and 3 for enjoyment. ( No time for a second coffee).

  6. I loved this and sailed through it in bed with my cuppa. However I immediately put in spikes for 3d (which I think is a much better answer) but then couldn’t solve the NE corner until I discovered my mistake. So thanks to the setter and MP. I’ve just looked at the comment at Toughie 2889 – I suspect Mrs Trellis is a man to have made such a comment, anyway I’m glad you are going to take no notice of it! Let’s face it there’s a war on, a drought on, a cost of living surge not to mention we are still in the middle of a pandemic so I love a bit of light relief which you bring to your blogging.

    1. Can someone identify this bird on the fat block, sorry you will have to blow it up? Thanks

          1. We were quite excited when they appeared in our garden earlier this year as we hadn’t had any for about 5 or so years.

  7. Enjoyable Thursday puzzle and concur with MP- thanks for the pics
    Assumed MP,s coloured herb in 5a was a homophone but could not find it-help!
    Favourite was 4d followed by 19a and liked the surface of 22a.

      1. Although, it’s not… Rhubarb is actually a vegetable! As a committed pedant, I found this quite annoying, so with a harrumph at 1ac, it was tough going from there on in… found today v hard. As ever, thanks for the blog/hints/explanations.

        1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comments (in 2010 !!). Both aliases will work from now on.

      1. Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit….wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad!

    1. I agree and that’s what helm me up for quite some time but it soon became evident that it was the only word that fitted.

        1. Those people who warm things up in kitchens don’t ever make a vegetable crumble. They make all sorts of fruit crumbles though including Rhubarb Crumble. Therefore rhubarb must be a fruit

  8. I found this puzzle a little slow to start, but it soon flowed quite swiftly. Most unusually I can’t say I enjoyed it very much at all, and accordingly do very much hope it was not one of the Don’s! I thought many of the surfaces were awkward/stilited, and felt that as a whole the puzzle lacked the customary wit and sparkle of any of the regular setters. 13a new to me, but fairly clued & straightforward. COTD to 1a with MID to 12d.

    2* / 1*

    Thanks to the setter (sorry, it just wasn’t one for me) and to MP for the review.

  9. I thought this was as straightforward as straightforward gets in a backpager, with nothing particularly difficult or obscure to hold up the solving process. As MP often says, if you just follow the instructions you will get the answers. Some of the clues were a little clunky, I found, but still simple to solve. 14a was my favourite this morning.

    Many thanks to our setter and to MP for a very comprehensive blog.

    1. Reckon you’ll think the same about Beam’s Toughie then. He must have got his envelopes mixed up if I’ve managed to smash my fastest solve time (one by the floughie lady) by a wide margin.

  10. Completed this one , but it took me a while . Not many penny drop moments, more ‘I think that fits’.

    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

  11. Held myself up by too readily considering someone from Uruguay for 4d. As 7a had to be what it is, then my foolishness became apparent.

    Lovely crossword – I enjoyed it. No Roman togas, although 13a sailed close to the wind.

    Thanks to the setter and The Miff. Best wishes to Mrs Trellis; and a big Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

  12. I find this compiler’s clues somewhat impenetrable and, although I finished it unaided. Once I had a few checkers in, I followed my usual strategy of guessing the solutions and reverse engineering the parsing but it was not as enjoyable as usual. I had to use MP’s hints for 5 of the clues in the end so many thanks to him. I did enjoy 14a, 17a an 6d, the latter being my COTD.

  13. **/** for me I’m afraid (I’ve just realised by the way that it’s difficulty first, followed by enjoyment, much to my shame). I did however enjoy the way 12 Down abuses, if that’s the right wortd, the anagrammists’ convention. Solid puzzle, anyway.

  14. I can’t say I enjoyed this much. I just could not get my head around it and struggled from start to finish. I had never heard of the poison and thought I had the initials of a trade union. I also did not know that the first two letters of 7a meant “very good”. Fortunately, the French poet jumped out at me so I had a few checkers from that to work with but it did not help with the seafood.

    Many thanks to the setter but I just could not do your offering justice. Thank you, Miffypops for writing the hints and making sense of it for me.

  15. Tricky today and with a couple of caveats very enjoyable. Needed the hints to explain the answers to 13a, the salad ingredient neither of which I had heard of and the explanation for 6d.
    Thx to all

  16. I enjoyed this and found it fairly tough. Didn’t spot the lurker in 17d and am baffled about what seems to me to be an unclued T in 15d. Can anyone help with this, am I being obtuse? Thanks to Giovanni (if it be he) and MP.

        1. You are not alone. For far too long I was thinking marriage for union, rather than trade. Metaphorical head banging when the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter and for the hints and comments.

    1. I’ve added the Trade to the Union in the hints. Thanks for pointing that out

  17. Enjoyable puzzle for which I needed electronic help for just three. I would give it only ** for enjoyment as it was rather a dull slog.

  18. Sorry MP but 2d’s plural was natural to me as a retired medic. I’d never have thought to end it with …as!

  19. Quite baffled in places, didn’t know the salad ingredient, nor the French poet. Didn’t help that I thought the definition in 5a was herb. Oh dear. But just happy to have access after yesterday’s backwards and forwards with the DT. Off to the flying field now with Peter so he can hopefully get one of his large RC models off the ground. It’s been a long hiatus because of moving/decorating/COVID etc. so fingers crossed. Will have another stab at this while I watch and try to ignore the heat. Thanks to setter and to Miffypops. I’m amazed at the hubris of Mrs Trellis, and do have to say your comment brought some laughter to our breakfast table.

  20. Going against the grain of various naysayers above, I really enjoyed this nicely absorbing puzzle last night, which fell into place quickly for me (though not quite as quickly or as completely satisfyingly as Beam’s Toughie). 14a, 4d, & 12d seem a cut above for me, and I must salute and agree with Gordong273 (see #2 above) for his enlightening comments about the parameters of ‘usage’ (in matters of timeliness, etc.). If Baudelaire isn’t a great poet still read and cherished by millions of people–as is Shakespeare, for example–then I am King Tut. Thanks to MP for his being Miffypops and to today’s setter. ** / ****

  21. Thought I had already commented but it seems not so here goes again. This took a bit of eking out particularly in NE but all’s well that ends well. 13a poison new one on me and I think of 19a as the fish itself rather than a dish. 6d was my comical Fav. No one seems to have had a stab at naming the setter and I have no idea but thanks to whomsoever it might be snd also to MP.

  22. A relatively tame puzzle today with a couple of unknown words in 13a & 20a as well as the French poet, but with a little Google help all was made clear.
    2.5*/3* today

    Favourites include 9a, 17a, 5d & 6d (with a huge THUD as the penny dropped) with winner 6d

    Thanks to setter and MP
    (oh … and the quickie pun just does not work for me … not if you enunciate your words properly)

  23. It’s thanks to Miffypops and his encouraging remarks,that I have persevered with cryptic crosswords! Now I absolutely love them,and even almost finished the Beam today.,so tough tit to Mrs Trellis!

  24. I quite enjoyed this quirky crossword, I hope someone comes on to the blog to claim it 🤔 ***/*** Favourites 10a and 4d 😃 There are days when the comments on the blog are almost as amusing as the puzzle 😬 Thanks to MP and to the Compiler

  25. A dnf due to never having heard of the poet in 12d and 2d being beyond me.

    New words for me in 13a and 20a required Google to confirm.

    I didn’t help myself by putting spikes for 3d. Once it was apparent I had got it wrong couldn’t get spikes out of my head.

    Thanks to all.

  26. Without going into huge detail I didn’t have much time today, or even for the last few days either.
    Everything is a bit tricky at the moment – good luck to everyone and keep going – I will too but things could be sporadically for a while.
    I had to comment as I couldn’t possibly let Mrs Trellis get away with saying things like that – perhaps she should spent her time sticking to growing things wherever she feels like it.
    In the meantime thanks to the setter, whoever he or she may be and to MP for the very much needed the hints.

  27. Ok folks, how is 7ac Very good =pi?
    I solved it but the only way i can think of pi being very good is if it goes with an e!

    1. You’ve shortened your alias so this one needed moderation. Both versions of your alias will work from now on.

      1. Thanks Gazza, I don’t comment very often, hence I couldn’t remember my alias.

        1. Thanks Gazza, I did eventually find a link to it being short for pious.
          Didn’t Jesus tell a parable of pious people passing an injured person by and a very good person a Samaritan helping him?
          Nevertheless I will remember the link to pi, even though in my pedantic mind someone who is pious is not also very good.

  28. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. A very difficult puzzle that I couldn’t do to save my life. Needed 6 hints to finish.

  29. I thought this was harder than the Beam toughie but perhaps my mind wasn’t on it having had one of my dogs put to sleep earlier. He was becoming increasingly more aggressive, starting off towards other dogs then grown ups then on Sunday towards two 6 year old girls. I couldn’t let this continue. I suggested to the vet it was like he had a brain tumour, she said that was entirely possible. He was not 7 years old, either way I think I made the right decision. Thanks to the setter and MP.

  30. Just taken this to bed for a nightcap, all over far too quickly. Disappointed with 1a, didn’t put it in until I had all the checkers. Last in 4d, favourites 1d and 19a. **/***

  31. Great puzzle. It amazes me that some days most people are agreed but on other days…I thought it was good clueing. Most fell in straightaway. I recalled the poet when I had all the fodder. I did not know the poison but at university followed by arsenic – what else could it be. Only hold up was the South American. There are a lot to go through and I wanted to give Panamanian a Y. Thanks setter et al.

  32. 3*/3*….
    liked 2D “Bones in minced food upset everyone eating initially (8)”

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