DT 30055 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30055

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30055

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone.  I feel that the right adjective to describe today’s puzzle is “solid”. It might bring a little less sparkle than some Tuesday puzzles, but it still offers a very worthwhile return on the investment of your solving time. 

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    The best soft bed -- this is suitable for singles (6,6)
RECORD PLAYER:  Assemble the current best of something, the musical abbreviation for soft, and a bed or band


9a    Writer holding broken arm hospital department fixed (9)
PERMANENT:  A writing instrument containing (holding) an anagram (broken) of ARM is followed by a usual abbreviated hospital department 

10a   Place enthralling Roman, ultimately? (5)
ARENA:  The wordplay is a synonym of place containing (enthralling) the last letter (… ultimately) of ROMAN. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

11a   Son and I journey inside an Asian city (6)
SAIGON:  The genealogical abbreviation for son is followed by AN from the clue containing both I from the clue and journey or travel 

12a   Initially indicating bananas to a trim ape? (8)
IMITATOR:  The first letter of (initially) of INDICATING is followed by an anagram (bananas) of TO A TRIM 

13a   Former lover with old sign of nerves? That's unusual (6)
EXOTIC:  Link together a usual former lover, the abbreviation for old, and a sign of nerves   

15a   Sadly tie knots at a constant rate (8)
STEADILY:  An anagram (knots) of SADLY TIE 

18a   Squirms right after women's laughs? Not at first (8)
WRIGGLES:  Glue together the abbreviation for women’s, the single letter for right, and all but the first letter (not at first) of some silly laughs 

19a   Approached 50 small animals (6)
CAMELS:  Fuse together a synonym of approached, the Roman fifty, and the clothing abbreviation for small 

21a   Footwear next to yard not to be trusted (8)
SLIPPERY:  One item of indoor footwear with the single letter for yard 

23a   Moderate  fit of rage (6)
TEMPER:  A straightforward double definition 

26a   Crease new fabric (5)
LINEN:  A crease on one’s face, for example, with the single letter for new 

27a   Set up employment structure (9)
FRAMEWORK:  Set up or build with another word for employment 

28a   Departs before inspector is unravelling accounts (12)
DESCRIPTIONS:  The single letter for departs with an anagram (unravelling) of INSPECTOR IS 



1d    Sally swimming to piers (7)
RIPOSTE:  An anagram (swimming) of TO PIERS 

2d    Cable cut American soldier's dog (5)
CORGI:  All but the last letter (cut) of an electrical cable is followed by a usual American soldier 

3d    Sarnie with no spread? Good thinking (9)
REASONING:  An anagram (spread) of SARNIE NO with the single letter for good 

4d    Expression of relief from hardly any by the sound of it (4)
PHEW:  A homophone (by the sound of it) of a word meaning “hardly any” 

5d    Tries picking up volunteers with invites (8)
ATTEMPTS:  The reversal (picking up, in a down clue) of some usual volunteer soldiers is followed by invites or entices 

6d    Precise  demand (5)
EXACT:  Another straightforward double definition 

7d    Mount most suitable horse, perhaps (8)
BESTRIDE:  “Most suitable” with what horse could define by example (perhaps

8d    Pretty, magical creature captivates student (6)
FAIRLY:  A magical creature contains (captivates) the single letter indicating a student or learner driver 

14d   Heads containing sanctimonious thoughts (8)
OPINIONS:  An informal synonym of heads containing a usual informal adjective meaning sanctimonious 

16d   A labyrinth intended to bring out adult's surprise (9)
AMAZEMENT:  Concatenate A from the clue, a labyrinth, and a word meaning intended minus the single letter for adult (bringing out adult) 

17d   Almost frighten one Conservative? Wicked! (8)
TERRIFIC:  Join together all but the last letter (almost) of seriously frighten, the Roman one, and the single letter for Conservative 

18d   Sensibly is supporting wife really regularly (6)
WISELY:  IS comes after the genealogical abbreviation for wife, and that’s all followed by alternate letters of (regularly) of REALLY 

20d   Shots from England cricketer securing runs (7)
STROKES:  An English all-rounder containing (securing) the cricket abbreviation for runs 

22d   Church is after pound coins (5)
PENCE:  The abbreviation for the Church of England comes after a pound or enclosure 

24d   Go topless in European river for picture (5)
PHOTO:  A go or attempt minus its first letter (topless, in a down clue) is inserted in a usual Italian river 

25d   Moira Stuart's turning up wearing long garment (4)
SARI:  The reversal of the first two words in the clue hides the answer (… turning up wearing, in a down clue) 


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite thing today was the Quickie pun. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  EON + BOW + THUMB = IAN BOTHAM

89 comments on “DT 30055

  1. Good fun, very enjoyable and a good warm up for the highly doable Toughie, (though I do think the volunteers in 5d should be consigned to the bin)
    My only slight hold up was in concluding that 10a must be an &lit.
    I liked several, 1a plus 3 (though I dislike the word sarnie) 20&22d to name but a few, with an admiring nod to the pun.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. Living over here, I would love to see a bacon sarnie on a menu, won’t happen though.

  2. It is really satisfying to be on the same wavelength as the setter and shoot through in record time for me.
    My thanks to the setter and Mr K for his great pictures

  3. The NE help me up most here in this **/*** Tuesday offering although I’m not sure why and there were some satisfying solves in that area. I also liked the anagram in 3a which took a little time to unpick but my favourite was 1a. Thanks Mr K and as you say this was a steady Eddie Tuesday. Thanks to the setter.

  4. Great kitty count Mr K. I concur with solid **/***. This took me 1 egg and 1 coffee with no googles, so a good day.

    Ross Noble defined 21a as ‘having some or all of the properties of a slipper ‘ and I’ve got the giggles again.

    1. Hi, GD. A few compilers have also noticed that 21a opportunity, leading to clues like:
      Untrustworthy, like a mule? (8)
      Difficult to get hold of, like a mule? (8)
      Not providing firm foothold — like moccasin? (8)
      Awkward to walk on, like a light shoe? (8)

  5. The hint at 15a needs amending. The anagram (knots) is of sadly tie. It was also my first thought that I was looking for an anagram (sadly) of tie knots.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. Me too with 15a – made me smile when I realised Mr K had fallen into the same trap. Mind you, I did learn about the ‘stinktoe’ which sounds somewhat revolting!

    2. I went straight for ‘knots’ as the 15a indicator as it was used in another puzzle very recently and was, surprisingly, still in my memory.

      Perhaps we will see it quite often from now on.

  6. Got the pun, knew the big man! But missed the precise reference to the cricketer in my bung-in at 20d. (Can’t win ’em all.) On balance, gentle, good fun today, with 7d my COTD, followed by 18a & 1a fleshing out the podium. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter. ** / ***

    Excellent and doable Moeraki Toughie today.

  7. Light and enjoyable while it lasted, with steady progress thoughout and little to cause hold-ups. Some great surfaces and constructions, with sufficient red herrings to give food for thought. MIDs to 20d, 1a, 10a, 19a & 27a, with COTD to 7d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter, and also of course to Mr K.

  8. Only a lightweight thinking-cap required for both today’s backpage exercises. I had read knots as the indicator in 15a as per spread in 3d. Smile-worthy Fav was 7d. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

    1. I also read knots as the 15a indicator when solving but I zoned out during the hint-writing phase.

        1. Yes, but if it does the job, your less generous hint is better because it gives less away.

      1. I understand the answer but I’ve never heard the synonym for head, nor can I find a derivation other than “***** head” an american military term for new recruits apparently. Any other suggestions please?

          1. Thank you. I’ve actually contributed befor, but in my dotage could not remember the name/email I used!

        1. Onion as a slang term for the head comes up here from time to time.

          That usage is not found in the Oxford or Collins dictionaries, but Chambers Dictionary (the authority for Telegraph crosswords) has:

          onion /unˈyən/
          1. A pungent edible bulb of the lily family
          2. The plant yielding it (Allium cepa)
          3. Applied also to some related species
          4. In World War I, a flaming rocket used against aircraft
          5. The head (slang)

    1. The sanctimonious equivalent is 2 letters – does that help? (I see MrK got there a minute ahead of me!).

  9. Faster solve than Monday’s.
    Enjoyable, though, throughout.
    Only pause for deeper thought, 15a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the cat lover.

  10. Something of a Tuesday breeze although I did initially go the wrong way with 15a and 19a gave me pause for thought.
    1a made me smile but no stand-out favourite today.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and the felines – hope that yours are thriving?

      1. Delicious. Needed that after a it of a grind yesterday. Last one in 7d….so blooming obvious now.

  11. Whoever the setter is, as Typically Tuedayish as ever – 2*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 27a, and 17d – and the winner is 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. Just out of curiosity due to your comment on the Dada puzzle from Sunday, I pulled up the 18 Nov 2018 puzzle and tried it for fun. I also accessed your hints from that day too.
      I agree it was much more like a Toughie and took me well into 3* time but it was a fun puzzle … enjoyment 4*
      Thanks for making the comment on it.

      1. There were thoughts at the time that Brian Greer’s departure from the Sunday spot was quite sudden and a Dada Toughie was quickly selected for November 18th.

  12. As our blogger said in his preamble, a solid and worthwhile puzzle to kickstart the day. I, too, fell into the 15a misdirection trap, and my top clue was 20d with a nod to the Quickie pun.

    My thanks to both Misters involved.

  13. I sailed through this one in record time without undue turbulence or assistance.
    It seems that I can be on exactly the same wavelength as the setter every so often, and that does wonders for the flagging self-confidence.
    Onwards and upwards…

      1. Thanks for the welcome.
        I do lurk around here quite a lot, impressed by the helpful comments from you all.
        I tend to favour wordplay over anagrams because I’m ‘wired’ that way. I can usually spot the anagrams, but often need online tools to untangle them.
        For the record, my favourite setters are the midweekers, Jay and Ray ‘Sweetheart’ T.

        1. Welcome from me too Annie. I love anagrams so together we would be able to solve rapidly 😊.

    1. Welcome from me as well, Annie. Now you have “de-lurked” please comment again. :good:

  14. Very enjoyable and quite a canter through with seven left – came back to it an hour later and all just slotted in so thanks to the setter and Mr K for the lovely kitty pictures. Prince Charles came to a concert in our church in our little village on Tuesday. It was meant to be top, top secret but with sniffer dogs everywhere and more police cars than we see in a decade it wasn’t hard to fathom especially when the bollards read ‘Royalty’! My next door neighbours run the book shop in the church and all 4000-5000 books had to be individually ‘sniffed’.

    1. Quite a big church for small village but Cley was part of the Hanceatic League eons ago

      1. See the programme of Music in Country Churches charity with which Prince Charles has been associated for many years.

        1. Thanks Angelov for answering MP’s question. Steve if you google Cley church you can learn all about it but I can’t see any reference to it being a Wool Church although certainly wool was a very important trading item. The church is pretty huge inside and has some very rude ‘cherubs’. There are many fine musicians in the village that do mini concerts on Thursday afternoons followed by tea and cake, all free. I took the photo in front of the most contraversial home in the village built about 3 years ago by a London theatre empressario. Locally its known as the Cley Clap Clinic and looks like a huge down market Travel Lodge. 87 planning rules were broken and he’s been ordered to tear it down but money talks doesn’t it.

          1. Decades ago, we had a Scout Camp at Thornham. We were told that the church there was a ‘Wool Church.’ During the camp we attended a Sunday Evensong and apparently saved the ‘locals’ from a boring sermon because the vicar thought it was ‘not right’ (no idea in what way) for young people!

  15. A most satisfying solve that was finished while awaiting the podiatrist. For some reason I did struggle at first until coffee oiled the neurone then it became a steady run. 14d was a bung in and I still cannot see the parsing despite the hint. I had two contenders for my COTD, 27a and 7d, with the winner being 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints and lovely pusskits. I especially liked the leg waving one.

      1. Thank you Mr. K. No wonder I didn’t understand it. I had no idea that word meant head. :scratch:

  16. 1.5*/3*. I like Mr K’s description of this as a solid puzzle. It made for a light but pleasant diversion.

    Based on Cephas’ recent comment that Anthony Plumb has a penchant for this specific grid, it seems likely that the latter is today’s setter. Many thanks to him and to Mr K for the splendidly illustrated review.

    1. I was amused by Cephas’ observation. I wonder it’s a bit like Steve Jobs always wearing the same jeans/turtleneck/sneakers so he could direct his brainpower at more important questions than what to wear. Perhaps not agonising about the grid leaves more energy for clueing.

  17. I needed the hints to,check my parsing for 6 of the clues, as I could only partially fathom the rationale. Unlike some others, I didn’t find it easy to get on the setter’s wave-length. It was a pleasant enough crossword, with 20d being the best of the clues for me. I don’t really like the synonym for wicked in 17d, although I am aware that it is widely used among my grandchildren’s generation. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and the cat pictures and to the setter.

  18. Solid challenge which fell within my wavelength, except for the parsing of 14d, still don’t get it despite the hints above and DNF for choosing the wrong letters for the anagram at 12a.
    Cheers to Mr K and the setter

    1. 14d…..look for some tear inducing vegetables (often clued as heads)
      Place them around a two letter word (maybe short for pious) and very popular with setters.

  19. Enjoyable crossword. Similar to yesterday (for me) the number of ‘chuck-em-ins’ helped give checking letters for the trickier clues. Good fun to solve.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    Beatles on Tuesday:

    1. Instead of the Beatles, you should have had a pic of Lola to compete with this Kitty Tuesday!

      1. He could of course combine the two and show a pic of a contented Lola on his lap accompanied by a rendition of ‘Please, please me’.

  20. Slightly slower than yesterday and had to think hard for 7d. Managed without hints. 11a was a bing in but we have had something similar recently. Also took me longer than it should for the 1d anagram. Favourites 1 18 and 27a and 7 and 8d. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  21. Nothing to frighten the horses today but very enjoyable for all that. I detect a bird theme today but not quite sure when Ben Stokes fits in but then I’m unclear as to why any of the current England batters fit in the team!
    I have a request. Does anyone have a recipe for a pudding made with greengages mine of which are now ripe?
    Thx to all

    1. You’ll find lots of recipes on line – crumble, pie, and/or the best jam ever

      1. I know the request was for one for greengage pud but talking about jam is that you can’t beat Tayberry jam

      2. TikTok recipes are a joy. All you need to
        know in not very long. No wasting time.

    2. My greengages are ready too – it’s a race between me and the wasps. We believe that the Melbourn Gage is the parent of all greengage trees, and there is nothing as sweet as a really ripe one. The green bullets you buy in the shops do not compare. The little railway station was put in especially to take the produce of all the greengage orchards to Covent Garden.

  22. We had heavy rain this morning and the paperboy managed to soak the side of the paper where the crossword was. However I enjoyed it despite finding it difficult to fill in the grid. My favourite of many was 7d, my last one in. Thankyou all especially for the kitty in the boot.

  23. Thanks for hints Mr K, must admit to getting a little stuck on top r/h corner! Bit rusty these days !!!

  24. I have no comments re the crossword, but I couldn’t let this Kitty blog pass without saying how much I loved them all. You’ve made up for the Kitty-less days and I can’t choose a fave. You’ve brightened my day, thanks!

  25. Really simple but funny – 4d made us laugh. The only one that foxed us was 19a so I needed Mr. K’s hints. Thank you also for the feline photo fest and thanks to Mr. Setter.

  26. Started late today and a steady solve.
    Brilliant pics from Mr K, especially 1a-now I know how the records get scratched!
    Agree with a **/***, favourite was 23a, liked the surface of 18a.
    Just finished Moreraki’s Toughie and coincidentally his 12a is the same definition as this puzzles 11a and in the same location too.

  27. A relatively tame puzzle today. 2.5*/3.5*

    Favourites include 1a, 18a, 21a, 4d & 22d with winner 1a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  28. How nice to see you, Mary – you should call in more often!
    I’m going to break my own rule and have two favourites – the first is 4d because it made me laugh.
    The second is 1a for the picture illustration – many years ago when our Lambs were little our elder shouted to call me “Mum, come quick – she’s riding Dad’s record player”! And our younger, who was always up to no good, she was!
    Enough – sorry for hijacking -thanks to the setter for the crossword and to Mr K for the hints and pics.

  29. Took considerably longer than yesterday, very slow start but then the floodgates opened, very enjoyable. ***/****
    Thanks to all.

  30. Lovely gentle puzzle & a thoroughly entertaining review.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

  31. I enjoyed today’s offering which was a steady solve. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K. Lovely Kitty photos.

  32. I was slow to start and not very hopeful, but it all came together at the second sitting. Well, with the exception of 14d as I too had never heard that to mean head. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable crossword, and to Mr K for the pictures.

  33. Last in was NE corner for no particular reason as everything was pretty straightforward, just as well as I’m of to play darts now. Favourite was 20d, I do like cricket clues. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

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