DT 30053 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30053 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30053 Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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Tilsit is away in Germany and so I’m providing a few hints for what, given that it is a pangram, with lots of anagrams, must be the work of Cephas

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

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    End period at school in America (8)
A period at school, IN (from the clue) and the abbreviation for America

13a    Be aware of the facts as to how many runs have been made? (4,3,5)
This expression meaning to be aware of the facts could also apply to someone at a cricket match knowing how many runs have been made

16d    Fourth last antepenultimate contest (7-5)
A fourth of something and a synonym for last combine to give us the round before the semi-final in a knockout competition

21a    Encouraged old Rod, the eccentric (8)
The usual ‘old’ and an anagram (eccentric) of ROD THE

24a    Val literally a wrecker! (6)
If you split V A L you literally have a x xxx x x

26a    My French bird, it has four legs! (8)
The French word for my and a large bird


2d    Not at first, imagine unravelling riddle (6)
An anagram (unravelling) of iMAGINE once you have removed the first letter (not at first)

6d    Panellist on trial (5)
Someone who forms part of a panel at a trial

7d    Music of the highest rank? (9)
A type of music or belonging to the highest rank of citizens in Roman times

15d    Advice from youngster in uniform about African party (8)
A young girl in a uniform goes ‘about’ an abbreviated African political party

17d    Unattached monks’ liberty (7)
A synonym for unattached and a title given to certain members of monastic orders

22d    Musical work penned by Byron downloaded (5)
Hidden (penned by) in the last two words of the clue

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: WINCE + SURPRISE = WINS A PRIZE

73 comments on “DT 30053 (Hints)

  1. Apart from two in the SW corner that held me up for a short while, this was a typically enjoyable pangram from one of our regular Saturday setters. I thought the use of a word twice in 4d was a little clumsy, otherwise no adverse comments. 15d was a favourite, along with 23a, my final entry.

    Thanks to Cephas and super sub CS.

    1. Yes I put that word in but have had second thoughts. Can’t be right to have a clue word in the answer surely my partner has suggested an alternative which equally fits the crossing words.

  2. Another enjoyable Saturday PP from Cephas. Unlike YS I found the NE corner held out the longest until 6a fell. To my shame, I know little of Holland so the city took a while to decipher. My COTD is 23a.

    Many thanks to Cephas for the fun and CS for standing in for Tilsit, who I hope is on holiday in Germany and not sorting out trains.

  3. I found myself trying to make things more complicated than they were in today’s clues. Its probably the effect of completing some rather complex and difficult puzzles this past week. It turned out to be a rather enjoyable puzzle, with some subtle misdirection and deceptively simple clues. My pick of the clues would be 1a (with which I wasted time on a red herring), 1d, which was delightfully sneaky and 14d, my COTD. Thanks to CS for stepping in to produce the hints and toPangram maestro Cephas for apuzzle that was refreshing change after the crosswords the rest of rhe week.

  4. Much the same as SC – the NE corner was the last to fall but the very act of making a second brew gave me the thinking time to see the music and the coat. Crossword done and a full cup to savour.
    Thanks to CS and setter (as it is a pangram I think Cephas is a good bet)

  5. 2*/3*. A pleasant pangram spoilt slightly for me by 4d as mentioned by YS and the totally non-cryptic 6d.

    Many thanks to Cephas presumably, and to CS.

  6. Remarkably kind for a Cephas but very enjoyable for all that. Interestingly I thought the definition for 5d was not what the clue implied but something else. Must reread my Terry Pratchett in light of the 5d.
    Thx to all

  7. That was short lived enjoyment ‘shouting’ pangram at me after completing less than 25% – 1.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 26a, 13d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    I will convert the previously expressed comments on 4d into a Hmm.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  8. Light and enjoyable while it lasted, with plenty of smiles. COTD 24a.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Cephas and to CS

  9. Slightly surprised to see Mr Pangram on duty again, I thought after last week that we were due for a run of Chalicea puzzles.
    Were it not for the word repeat in 4d that would have been my favourite, as it is I don’t really have one.

    Thanks to Cephas for a pleasant Saturday puzzle and to CS for extra duties.

  10. Spent way too long on the second part of 13d and looking for a synonym at 4d. Other than that excellent. Thanks to CS for explaining 15d and to Cephas.

  11. That was an enjoyable snip which went in swimmingly apart from just a slight delay in the SE. No stand-out Fav(s). It seems to me that 7d is an adjectival solution to music (noun) in the clue and to be very picky 15d isn’t necessarily young. Thank you Cephas and the reliable stand-in CS.

    1. 7d. Doesn’t the ? deal with your unease?

      15d. “youngster in uniform” is an obvious defintion by example of the relevant word in the answer.

      1. I am guilty of splitting hairs a bit because I was thinking of the xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx which is open to those over 18.

  12. Yes, too bad about 4d, but the rest was good old Cephas up to his pangrams, about which I seem to have developed a blithe spirit of… unawareness? ignorance?…no, just blitheness. Anyway, the SW corner was my last to fall as I worked clockwise from 1a, so 23a is my COTD. Mostly just very good fun. Thanks to CS and Cephas. ** / ***

    1. A little hint. Write the letters of the alphabet somewhere and cross them off as you solve😎

  13. I thought I was 2 letters short of completing this, but reading other comments about 4D it looks like the second word is a gimme, which surprises me. Otherwise very enjoyable with my COTD being 24A. Thanks to setter and hinter.

  14. I didn’t notice the repetition in 4d so had an angst-free solve.
    COTD 13 or 16a. Some might gripe at the ‘ name a car marque ‘ but it was too cute to resist.

    Thanks to VS and Cephas.

  15. hank goodness this was more to my liking than Friday …. Sorry Zandio … We just don’t click.
    This was a pleasant solve on Friday night and early Saturday morning for the balance.

    Favourites include 1a, 11a, 23a, 26a, 20d & 22d

    This was much more a back pager puzzle as they should be IMHO. Leave Toughies where they belong.

    Thanks to Cephas and CS for the hints/blog

  16. Possibly my fastest ever solve but real good fun. Pangram alert sounded early on but didn’t really need the help that sometimes gives. Found myself wondering how I would have changed / reworded some of the clues that didn’t quite read smoothly, but that’s not a criticism. Hat’s off to Cephas and Cryptic Sue.

  17. Green Jersey for us… much more rapid “penny drops” and impactful ah ha moments (compared to yesterdays marathon).

    Thanks to the usual culprits – our synapses enjoyed the romp.

    Mr & Mrs T

  18. Back in good reception having been in Withypool on Exmoor for my sister in law’s funeral. A very pleasant puzzle, I thought, pangram spotted early on. I have to confess I did not spot the word in 4d, now it has been pointed out it niggles! But as ever, I am full of admiration so many thanks to both Setter and Hinter.

    1. Sorry to hear about your sister-inlaw, DG. Family crises are like London buses; nothing comes along for ages, then there are several coming one after the other. A goodexcuse for a stiff drink, I think.

  19. I don’t think 16a i a cryptic definition. The last two words are the definition, the first two wordplay.

    I agree with those who found this more straightforward than yesterday’s Zandio.

  20. Slightly spoiled by 4d where an easily thought of word could have substituted for the duplicate. Apart from that pretty straightforward. Favourite was 23d. Thanks to Cephas and CS. I did think of changing the avatar but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    1. Oops comment passed with DT and as usual I think he has got it righter than I

  21. What a difference a day makes. This was a real treat. Too many to choose a favourite but 13d made me smile. Thankyou all.

  22. Very gentle indeed but enjoyable nonetheless. Agree with Jane that 4d would have been a great clue but for the duplication.
    Thanks to Cephas & CS

  23. Just an aside for anyone who finds the prospect of a Sunday Toughie too daunting – our own Shabbo is appearing in tomorrow’s Indie, his puzzles are invariably enjoyable.

  24. 2/3. Pleasant pangram but spoiled slightly by 4d where words in clues shouldn’t, in my view, also turn up in answers. Otherwise fine. My favourite was 6a – so succinct. Thanks to Cephas and CS.

    1. 6d was the last for the penny to drop as I was sidetracked by a card game… I see that others have had their 4pennyworth about 4d so I’ll just withdraw my previous cross words and praise 6d, and the setter for an enjoyable puzzle.

  25. An engaging and polished introduction to cryptic crosswords.
    Polished off in .5* time.
    24a brilliant.
    26a one of two or three smiles.
    Many thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  26. Fine apart from 4d. I can think of a number of words that could have gone into the clue. 6 12 and 13a and 15 and 17d favourites. I’m not sure if I have 7d right. Thanks Cephas and CS.

  27. Enjoyable and not too tricky. Didn’t notice the problem with 4d,I thought it was rather a neat clue actually, so there! Thanks to the setter and CS. Just off to the Blakeney Players supper show – a mid summer panto. I loathe panto normally but when you know all the cast and we all shout out and take the mickey its a great evening out, can’t wait.

  28. I fairly flew through today’s production but paused on 4d. The second word couldn’t be, could it? Well yes actually, it was! Many thanks to Cephas and CS. A very damp and miserable day in the North-west. Hey-ho that’s the British summer for you especially up North!

  29. Thanks for your kind comments. Apologies for 4 down, my word was area, I should have spotted it had been changed.

    1. Thank you for popping in and also for the apology for an error which can hardly be blamed on you. I’m glad you mentioned ‘area’ as that was exactly the substitution I’d had in mind – I shall revel in smugness for the entire evening!

  30. 7d caused a dnf for me. Never heard of the roman rank.

    I had expected them to have amended 4d for the online version, but apparently not.

    Thanks to all.

  31. Shaming as I just didn’t notice the duplication in 4 d….just thought it was a brilliant answer.

  32. Well goodness me I’ve finished a cryptic on the day that it came out- can’t remember doing that for a while. Usually I have a go in the evening and then come back to it in the early hours when I’m not sleeping very well. Thanks to Cephas for the lovely crossword and thanks to CS for the extra clues. Still no rain here in Surrey- the grass is more white than yellow- all very worrying as it’s so close with high humidity. Keep looking at the weather forecast but rain seems to be evading this area. Just enjoyed watching Monty giving advice for drought planting- May have to rethink my planting next year.

    1. I too am inclined to do crossword puzzles, Wordle, Quordle etc. when I can’t sleep however I am told that is counterproductive as it stimulates the brain and increases wakefulness!

  33. It’s an unfamiliar feeling for me to complete a puzzle so quickly! Thanks. One thing though: for all the plaudits for 24A I really don’t ‘get’ the middle letters. Any alternative hints please?

    1. We are not allowed to give any extra hints on a prize crossword, but as 24a has a hint I will exhort you to split your answer according to the x’s that CS has given (x xxx x x) and say what you see.
      oops Jane beat me to the post button by a few seconds. my excuse is I am preparing the blog for tomorrow!

      1. No need to make excuses, JB, I just happened to spot the comment fractionally before you did!

      2. Thanks to you and Jane for your suggestions but that’s exactly how I interpreted CS’s original hint! I’m just ‘colour blind’ on this one I guess as I’ve said it aloud so many times that I’ve been getting funny looks from my wife. Never mind. Thanks so much for trying though.

  34. I made hard work of the bottom left corner, other than that very enjoyable.

  35. A pleasant romp, marred only by the appearance of a misplaced apostrophe in clue 17d. “Monk’s”, surely?

  36. A very quick and straightforward solve to end the week. I too was unhappy about 4d but was happy to see the setters response. Try as I might I cannot get my head around the parsing of 7d for highest rank! Thanks to all */***

    1. But if you look at comment 31, you’ll see that the error wasn’t made by the setter!

      1. I’m happy the setter didn’t make the error but If I were that person I’d be pretty dis-chuffed to say the least! As somebody who has enjoyed the crossword for nearly 35 years I’m deeply un-impressed some copy editor thought to second guess the setter!

  37. As most have mentioned four down threw me but overall i found it very simple so not as enjoyable as one would expect

  38. I’ve tried and tried but I still can’t understand my answer for 7d – even CS’s hint doesn’t help, neither does Google – perhaps I’ve got it wrong but I can’t see what else it can be. Other than that very enjoyable – I sailed past the mistake in 4d and just thought it was a brilliant clue. So thanks to Cephas for another excellent pangram and CS for help with parsing a couple.

    1. For 7d I suspect that CS meant to start her hint with “A type of music” rather than “A type of musical” (Apologies to her if I’ve got it wrong).

        1. Thanks, Gazza and CS. Yes, I did think she/you probably meant “music”, rather than “musical”. It’s the “of the highest rank?” bit that I don’t get. I’ve been Googling high-ranking Roman citizens and just can’t find anything that makes sense. I’m obviously missing something obvious and/or barking up completely the wrong tree. Roll on your full review next week, CS, which hopefully will explain all!

  39. Very straightforward compared to Wednesday’s. Not sure why weekend prize ones tend to be easier than the ones during the week?

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