DT 30057 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30057

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30057

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone from a sunny South Devon, where amazingly it managed to stay out during my sea swim!

For those of you amongst us who don’t like “wordy” clues we have another puzzle from the “King of Concise” Ray T which was as ever a lot of fun.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a        Flash from dress seen on street (6)
STROBE:  The abbreviation for STreet and a long dress or gown

4a        Pressure sweetheart in careless propositions (8)
PREMISES:  Start with the abbreviation for Pressure, then insert this setter’s swEeetheart into a synonym of careless

9a        Bans cheers with drinks, we hear (6)
TABOOS:  An informal word for cheers or thanks and a homophone (we hear) of an informal word for alcohol.

10a      Stuff one on ancient beef (8)
PASTRAMI:  A synonym of stuff as a verb plus the letter that looks like the number one follow (on) a synonym of ancient

11a      Applicable experience again taking a time (8)

RELATIVE:  A verb meaning experience again or go through once more goes around (taking) A from the clue and the abbreviation for Time

13a      First lady’s accepting fine and summons (6)
EVOKES:  The biblical first lady (don’t forget the possessive S) “accepts” an informal way of saying fine

15a      Needful and penniless? Bad, I fancy (13)
INDISPENSABLE:  Anagram (fancy) of the preceding three words.

18a      Etonian forced to change Union (13)
CONFEDERATION:  Anagram (to change) of the preceding two words.

22a      Quiet shame follows United getting arrogant (6)
UPPITY:  The abbreviation for United, the musical instruction to play quietly and a synonym of shame or bad luck. Hadn’t heard this for years!

24a      Stand outside work before power shutdown (8)
STOPPAGE: A stand or a platform goes around (outside) abbreviations for work and power

26a      Second key cut revealed key, perhaps (8)
SKELETON: Start with the abbreviation for Second. Add the word KEy without its final letter. Finally add a phrasal verb (3-2) that could mean revealed. Good clue and probably my favourite today.


27a      Fish in spot catching current (6)
PLAICE: A synonym of a spot or location “catches” the abbreviation for electrical current giving a delicious flat fish.

28a      Some flood is, as termed, washout (8)
DISASTER: Hidden in the clue (some)

29a      America embraces wise traditions (6)

USAGES:  The usual 2-letter abbreviation for The United States goes around a synonym of wise


1d        Brooded with rage seeing caricature (6)

SATIRE:  Brooded as a hen might and a synonym of rage or anger.

2d        Terribly ill on beer provoking uprising (9)
REBELLION: Anagram (terribly) of the following three words.

3d        Sailed around lake being stuffed (7)
BLOATED: Insert the abbreviation for Lake into an unusual word for sailed, taking a noun and using it as a verb in the past tense.

5d        Record by Queen overturned hype (4)

READ: Start with the regnal cipher of the queen and reverse it. Add the abbreviation for some hype or publicity.

6d        Goes round revolting sex attractions (7)

MOTIVES: Place a synonym of goes or turns around the reversal (revolting) of a dated synonym of sex

7d        Limp through small deficiency (5)
SLACK:  The abbreviation for Small and a synonym of deficiency or dearth.

8d        Single woman almost strict covering legs (8)
SPINSTER: A synonym of strict loses its last letter and is placed around an informal word for legs, usually applied to women. Here’s someone with a very nice pair.

12d      Bigger volume found on plant (6)
VASTER:  The abbreviation for Volume is followed one of crosswordland’s favourite flowers

14d      Snooze after eating dad’s food (6)
REPAST: A synonym of snooze or relax goes around (after eating) an informal word for one’s father.

16d      Party possibly getting on. It’s binding! (9)
BANDAGING:  A synonym of a party, maybe in the sense of a gang is followed by a verb meaning “getting on” in the sense of number of years.

17d      Loathsome defendant admitting murder finally (8)
ACCURSED: Insert the final letter of murdeR into a word which follows “the” to describe the defendant in a court case

19d      Bristles supporting oddly easy judges (7)
ESTEEMS: The bristles here have nothing to do with the stubble on one’s cheek. It’s a verb and it follows (supporting in a down clue) the odd letters of EaSy

20d      Spikes demon drink with soda, principally (7)
IMPALES:  A 3-letter demon, an alcoholic drink beloved of one of my fellow bloggers and the initial letter of Soda.

21d      Rising start of social outcast sickens (6)
REPELS: A reversal (rising) of the initial letter of Social and a former diseased outcast.

23d      Looks for   ladies? (5)
PEERS: Double definition, one a verb, the other possibly some titled ladies.

25d      Be obnoxiously repetitious? Extremely, initially (4)
BORE:  A first letters clue giving a nice extended definition.

Quickie Pun. Cough + Hiccup = Coffee Cup

93 comments on “DT 30057

  1. I found this a little trickier than our hinter at ***/*** as although the anagrams helped I thought the SE hard to get through. That sector did reveal my COTD though in 26a which I thought ingenious.

    Thanks to RayT and SL for his hints

  2. Not too taxing but satisfying, smiles along the way eg 3d.
    NW took longest.
    Some real gems eg 22 and 26a.
    The former certainly COTD.
    So, 2*/4*.
    Many thanks Ray T and StephenL.

    1. Apologies for a naive question. Having worked out ‘Read’ from the clue I can’t fathom how it relates to record.

  3. A nice start to my day. A RayT special and a Silvanus Toughie. Both high quality puzzles suitably set to a reasonably Thursday difficulty. As is usual for a RayT the anagrams and the acrostic gave a head start providing useful checkers. The top right corner looked a hit forlorn and empty when the other three quarters were filled but they fell rapidly once the beef went in.
    Fish, beef and ale? Mr T you spoil me. Thanks for the puzzle and thanks to StephenL for the blog

  4. Another thought-provoking puzzle from Ray T. It was a masterpiece of precisely worded clues, subtle misdirection and unusual synonyms. Thanks to him for a good test and a brain-burning intellectual work-out. There werw so many clever clues, it was hard to choose favourites. 15a was a very good anagram clue, while 4a, and 12d were great Lego clues. My COTD was13a, which, knowing the compiler’s fascination for HM the Queen was a great piece of misdirection. No GK clues to vary the pace but that is a minor niggle. Thanks to SL for the hints too.

  5. Some difficult parsing today and as Chriscross says subtle misdirection and unusual synonyms indeed,
    Last in was 19d, I refered to my Chambers and the synonym for bristles was absent although bristle was in for teem!
    I made a note accprdingly for future use.
    Thought 23d was a bit iffy but I suppose the ? allowed the definition.
    Cracking puzzle and a ***/****

  6. Reasonably straightforward although in common with MP NE hung fire a bit for me and I needed prompt for 21d. 9a cheers becoming hackneyed. 19d was bung-in. No outstanding Fav in a fun collection of clues. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  7. Not too taxing. A couple of answers I was a bit unhappy with. For instance I always thought 23d were men only and the 6d motives were reasons not attractions. No doubt the BRB will prove me wrong!
    My COTD has to be 22a. Such a lovely word for such an unattractive attitude.

    1. You’ve never heard of Jane Kerr, the 16th Lady Herries of Terregles, aka Marchioness of Lothian?

    2. I thought they were men to and ladies were peeresses. I suppose a peer group can be male or female.

      1. From Wiki:

        Category: Hereditary women peers.
        Hereditary women peers[1] who inherited their titles in their own right. The term women peer refers to only women who hold a title in their own right while the term peeress refers to both suo jure female titleholders as well as female titleholders by marriage.

  8. Ray T at his miserly best with another fine puzzle off his prodigious production line. I thought 26a was quite brilliant and easily became my top clue, with perhaps an honourable mention for the excellent Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Mr T and SL.

  9. Fantastic Fursday! What more could one ask for – Ray T on the back page (I presume it was in the correct location) complemented by Silvanus in the Toughie slot. 2.5*/4.5* for this one.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 27a, and 3d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to Mr T and StephenL.

  10. Wow! A birthday banner AND my two favourite setters in attendance to celebrate, CL couldn’t have given me a better present – although I’m sure he’s blissfully unaware of it!
    As is invariably the case with Mr T, I’m struggling to isolate just one favourite but the Quickie pun made me laugh out loud so I will send the gold medal in that direction.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and thanks to Stephen for the review – pleased to hear that you enjoyed a sunny swim this morning.

    1. Many thanks to all of you for the good wishes. It’s been an excellent day thus far and I still have a fish and chips supper with No.1 daughter to look forward to this evening. Only sadness is that my grandchildren live too far away to have joined me today but I have a ‘rain check’ to look forward to later in the year.

  11. A pleasantly straightforward and enjoyable puzzle from the master of brevity. Delayed only by a couple of clues in the NE, with COTD ultimately going to 4a for its smooth combination of clue & answer, and the temptation it provides to carelessly biff an answer with the wrong vowel if one doesn’t parse it thoroughly. Hon Mentions to 26a and 25d.

    2* / 3*

    Thank you to RayT and to StephenL

  12. Decidedly tricky for me, with 4a and 6d holding out on me until the last.
    Excellent crossword; knowledge of the Hanseatic League not required, which is always to be welcomed.

    Thanks to Ray T, and cheery Stephen L.
    Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

  13. I found this too much of a struggle to be enjoyable with the curate’s egg coming to mind. I am not sure where “record” comes into 5d with the answer, to my way of thinking, being nothing to do with recording something. Neither do I consider the answer to 6d has anything to do with attraction. Also, I spent far too much time trying to fit “ALT” into 26a because my brain has recently registered that particular key.

    So, no fun for me but I appreciate others will love it. We are all different and long may it be so.

    Many thanks, Ray T but I was not on your wavelength today – my fault not yours. Thank you, StephenL for making sense of it for me.

    1. Hi Steve
      For 5d see my answer to Shabbo @5
      I think the synonym for 6d can be justified in the sense of inducement….but I agree it’s far from obvious.

      1. Thank you, SL. I see what you mean but it still doesn’t quite work for me. Mind you, I suppose if I took the time to check the BRB it would give these definitions.

      1. Hmm – an ECG can read the electrical activity without recording it. It needs paper to do that. :smile:

        1. But surely the fact that the ECG has read the electrical activity implies that it has given a record of same?

            1. If you read the book, remember it and can reapeat it verbatim, like a machine, then yes you’ve recorded it – in your memory.

              1. I can’t repeat a book verbatim after I have read it, Jose. I know I have read it but is the memory of it that persists a true record.

                1. I think we’re straying from the actual point, but I’ll have another go at answering your specific question without involving humans with photographic memories. Nowadays, the are electronic gadgets that can read/scan written text, record it, then convert it into audio if required. So, that’s a machine that can read/record (verbatim) a book (even if it may only be a short one).

  14. How can you rate this at ** for difficulty, it is a Ray T at his most impenetrable! It is a least a **** for me. So far in two hours I have managed to solve 4 clues! Off now to see if the hints help.

    1. That’s it I give up. Having seen the ridiculous answers to 1d and 9a both of which are utterly wrong I refuse to waste any more time on this thing.
      Thx for the hints.

        1. He never does. I could take issue with a number of clues but not these. 1d is fine. 9d also although some could take issue with the pronunciation of the drink.

      1. A tend to agree Brian. There’s little pleasure in finding the answer from the clue only to find the so called synonym is the result of some warped thinking. I wish setters would resist trying to prove how clever THEY are.

        1. I certainly don’t think that setters are trying to show how clever they are. They can compile cryptic crossword and I can’t so I’m happy.

        2. THEY are just providing cryptic clues … if you cannot solve THEM … stop moaning!

        3. I don’t think they are trying to prove how clever they are, but some do definitely make the clues rather unhelpful. 4a being a classic example.

            1. I’ve been doing these since 1969 so I think I understand the definition of a cryptic crossword.

      2. What on Earth is wrong with 9a?
        One of RayT’s easier and straightforward clues today, I thought

  15. All of the usual Ray T charms, with his usual penchant for pushing a synonym to the BRB’s edge (not that it held me up any today: this was a swift and enjoyable solve). Three particular standouts loom large: 4a, 26a, & 22a, a triumvirate of laureates. Thanks to SL and to Ray T. ** / ****

    Terrific Silvanus Toughie pushing me to the edge….

  16. Like several others today I found this rather tougher than the ** rating, though not too difficult. I struggled to understand 5d though the answer is plain from the wordplay (all clear now).
    Thanks to RayT for the workout and SL for the review

  17. Didn’t like a number of these clues – 5d , 19d and 25d don’t parse properly for me at all . Backpager is as a result becoming more difficult than Toughie , which can’t be right .

  18. As usual RayT pushing the limit on some synonyms, and obscure(to me anyway) clues. I enjoy the challenge anyway ,and with a few hints got there in the end. Thanks to all.

  19. Thanks to Ray T for quite a difficult crossword – I thought anyway – and to StephenL for the hints for the bits I couldn’t sort out. Oh dear!

  20. This was at the very difficult end of the Ray T spectrum and I needed hints to finish. I think ** is very underscored. Perhaps we should resort to seeded crosswords for our partipants a la the Commonwealth swimming heats .
    Thanks to Stephen L for the hints

  21. Your Mine of Useful Info is a goldmine. I’m new to cryptics. Your passion, guidance and insight are greatly appreciated.

    1. Welcome, Dee. Ask anything you want and the great and good on this blog will be sure help. Good luck. :good:

  22. A very satisfying solve today of this RayT puzzle. Lots of very clever clues and a few PDM’s along the way.
    2*/4* for me today

    Favourites were many but 18a, 26a, 27a, 2d & 16d top my list with 26a the winner.
    Just wish we could get 27a here as I used to love that when I lived in the UK. So good.

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL for the hints

  23. I’m away for a few days and it’s not easy for me to comment but I had to pop in to wish Jane a very Happy Birthday and to say that both this back-pager and Silvanus’ Toughie were absolutely magnificent.

  24. Evening all. My usual thanks to StephenL for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. I couldn’t have had a better birthday present than yourself and Silvanus appearing on the same day.
      You’ll note that a couple of your synonyms have caused some debate today but I don’t doubt for a moment that you checked them out very carefully!

      1. You are welcome, and a Happy Birthday to you. Yes, of course I checked the synonyms in several dictionaries, as did our editor. I think that some people expect synonyms to be interchangeable in every circumstance. If you take the example of the synonyms ‘best’ and ‘worst’, this is clearly not the case!


  25. This was about as much fun as doing homework after school. 4a clue was unnecessarily difficult, and 5d and 19d were very stretched synonyms, while all topped off by a very odd 23d. I didn’t have much faith in a ** difficulty rating as that just isn’t typical of a Ray T challenge. At least I quickly solved the long anagrams which gave me something of a foothold. Happy for those of you who can finish these quickly and unaided. Never mind, tomorrow is another day. Thanks to Ray T for making me try, and to StephenL.

    1. In response to your comment and Dave G’s, synonyms can’t be stretched. The expression is ‘rarely used’ but a synonym it is.

      As you can see with Ray T’s comment above.

      The reputations of compilers and editors hang on it.

      It baffles me why people use the term ‘stretched’ it really does. Compilers check these synonyms a zillion times. It’s insulting them.

      1. I believe I said pushing the limit on synonyms, I think some are more obvious than others, and some don’t come readily to mind. It never occurs to me that the setter is incorrect.

        1. You’re clutching, DG

          The definition of ‘pushing the limit’ is the following:

          1.Trying to do a little more than what’s allowed

          Closely followed by the inevitable….

          2. Stretched

      2. The bloggers, who are way more clever than me, often say a synonym is stretched. Not sure why you find that so upsetting. I am not alone in thinking read = record is stretching.

        1. But it’s not stretching as it’s a recognised synonym, albeit, rarely used.

          I assume you saw Ray T’s comment above about this? It’s his diplomatic way of saying that it is a synonym.

          A word is either a synonym or it’s not. It can’t be stretched, ie in between.

          Compilers are fully aware of the use of a synonym.

          When I joined this blog, loads of people said ‘stretched’. But, I’m pleased to say that fewer and fewer are saying it because of compilers’ comments.

          I reckon there are about five left.

    2. I’ve never heard of an “ unnecessarily difficult” clue before.

      Could you, please, explain?

  26. 5d wasa bung in because it had to be that answer. Thanks for the explanation at #5 StephenL.

    Definitely thought it harder than ** in general, but for a Ray T it probably was a ** by his levels of difficuty.

    Finished unaided which is a rather pleasing result for a Ray T.

    Thanks to all.

  27. Happy birthday to Jane, how auspicious to share your day with the publication of the new Bradford Crossword Solver’s Dictionary that has just arrived.

    Time to see if it is any help with today’s crossword, which I have just started.

    Thanks to RayT and SL whose hints will be needed I am sure.

  28. Generally enjoyable but 6 down makes no sense to me, 23d seems decidedly odd and 5d is a toal mystery. Apart from that …..

  29. I expect to find the crossword harder than the blogger and today was no exception! I struggled on and got there in the end. I feel that the criticisms were unwarranted. Accept that you weren’t good enough on this occasion and learn from it. My only gripes have been 3, 4 or 5 words that almost no-one has heard of and are unfairly clued, there was none of this today. Favourite was 26a. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  30. Completed early this morning at a gallop & without any head scratching so a little surprised to read the comments & see such a variety of opinion & Brian on that fence again. A perfectly pleasant & enjoyable puzzle though not one from his top locker in my view.
    Thanks to Ray & Stephen & belated birthday wishes to Jane – hoping you had a wonderful day.
    Ps I read / recorded my gas & electric meters this morning as I continue to resist repeated entreaties to install a smart meter.

    1. I think the cat may be out of the bag on that one!

      I have to say I look at the puzzle rather than the setter.

      I do like RayT but others do excel as well.

    2. I keep resisting the idea of a smart meter as well but I do sometimes wonder whether I’m doing it just out of spite for the idea of ‘Big Brother’ watching me. What are your reasons, Huntsman?

  31. A difficult puzzle for me….but then it is a Ray T.
    Like a lot of people, 5d foxed me as did 6d……still struggling to see motives as attractions.
    I rather liked 23d…..I heard years ago that the loos in the House of Lords are labelled “Peers”, “Lady Peers” and “Peeresses”…..but this may be apocryphal or out of date now or both.
    Thanks to RayT and to SL.

  32. Well, this was a bit of a bummer! Finally got there but can’t get an answer for 5D and 6d so presumably made a mistake. I’ll check answers and start Saturdays at some stage – usually easier

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