DT 30061 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 30061

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30061

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the day after International Cat Day. Perhaps some of you took advantage of Google’s enhancement on Monday of all feline-related searches.  The YouTube video here provides an illustration of what Google did. Moving on to today’s crossword, if we believe the assertion that setter Anthony Plumb always uses the same grid for his puzzles here, then it looks likely that he created today’s fine puzzle. The precise grammar, smooth surfaces, and misdirection in his clues makes these puzzles a joy to hint. 

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    Chap's giggling -- this could make one corpse (12)
MANSLAUGHTER:  A chap or gent with his S from the clue is followed by some giggling or chuckling 

9a    Recalls politicians after the Queen retires (9)
REMEMBERS:  Some politicians come after the reversed (… retires) Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

10a   Wife poorly following second drink (5)
SWILL:  Putting the bits in order, join together the single letter for second, the genealogical abbreviation for wife, and poorly or sick 

11a   Dismayed, a spook has a change of heart (6)
AGHAST:  A from the clue is followed by a spook or spirit with its central letter changed to another (… has a change of heart

12a   Brazilian footballer's blocking bad shot, almost desperate (8)
HOPELESS:  The most famous Brazilian footballer with his S from the clue is inserted in (blocking) an anagram (bad) of all but the last letter (almost) of SHOT 

13a   One should make you better  fudge (6)
DOCTOR:  A double definition that’s straightforward once you realize where the break between the definitions is located 

15a   Most basic work misspelt (8)
SIMPLEST:  An anagram (work, as an imperative) of MISSPELT 

18a   Relaxing exercises with expert not quite complete (8)
PEACEFUL:  Link together some usual exercises, an expert, and all but the last letter (not quite) of a synonym of complete 

19a   Disturbances on the radio, still (6)
STATIC:  “On the radio” screams homophone clue, but it’s actually the important part of one of the two definitions forming this clue 

21a   Dainty from food shop Charlie consumed (8)
DELICATE:  Put together a shop selling expensive foreign food, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Charlie, and another word for consumed 

23a   Mischievous sprite could make you lose your sight, virtually (6)
GOBLIN:  All but the last letter (virtually) of a (2,5) phrase meaning “lose your sight” 

26a   Nobody attending initially -- director's lowest point (5)
NADIR:  The initial letters of NOBODY ATTENDING are followed by an abbreviation for director 

27a   One in coach, perhaps, sees prang round the bend (9)
PASSENGER:  An anagram (round the bend, as in crazy) of SEES PRANG 

28a   Tailor felt alarmed clothing one person in navy (5,7)
FLEET ADMIRAL:  An anagram (tailor, as an imperative) of FELT ALARMED containing (clothing) the Roman one 



1d    Fishy lady from Maine -- male's captivated by bust (7)
MERMAID:  The abbreviation for Maine is followed by a police bust containing the abbreviation for male (male’s captivated by …

2d    Some deny MP hugged beautiful woman (5)
NYMPH:  The answer is hidden as some of the remainder of the clue 

3d    Yellowish green colour under tip of such rock (9)
LIMESTONE:  Putting the bits in order, we stick together  yellowish green, the first letter of (tip of) SUCH, and colour or tint 

4d    Takes advantage of public transport (not second-class) (4)
USES:  Some road-going public transportation minus the letter signifying second class (… not second-class) 

5d    Famous ostrich with head in ideal ground (8)
HISTORIC:  An anagram (ground) of OSTRICH with the first letter of (head in) IDEAL 

6d    Guarantee Republican dismissed result (5)
ENSUE:  A synonym of guarantee minus the single letter for Republican (Republican dismissed

7d    Recline holding female then get hit -- this could keep one up in the main (8)
LIFEBELT:  Recline on a bed, perhaps, containing (holding) the single letter for female is followed by hit or clout 

8d    Private's not to win in court (6)
CLOSET:  “not to win” is inserted in the map abbreviation for court 

14d   Cleaner wary about boy (8)
CHARLADY:  Wary or careful containing (about) another word for boy 

16d   Lure me with top off? Crude! (9)
PETROLEUM:  An anagram (off) of LURE ME TOP 

17d   Many capsize entering Scottish island base (8)
MULTIPLE:  Capsize or upset is inserted in (entering) a mountainous Scottish island, and that’s all followed by the letter representing the base of the natural logarithms 

18d   One's scrupulous editor under pressure with a set of books (6)
PEDANT:  Cement together the physics symbol for pressure, the abbreviation for editor, A from the clue, and a set of religious books 

20d   Cold hospital department radiographer's opening with a large key (7)
CENTRAL:  Concatenate the single letter for cold, a usual abbreviated hospital department, the first letter (…’s opening) of RADIOGRAPHER, A from the clue, and the clothing abbreviation for large 

22d   Liberal or a Conservative's uplifting song of joy (5)
CAROL:  The reversal (uplifting, in a down clue) of the fusion of the single letter for Liberal, OR A from the clue, and the single letter for Conservative. Alternatively, I suppose that one might say that the first four words in the clue are hiding the reversal of (uplifting, as in carrying upwards) the answer, although I prefer the first interpretation   

24d   Drink stout right to the bottom (5)
LAGER:  In an adjective meaning stout or big move the single letter for right to the bottom

25d   Uprising in Africa is alienating continent (4)
ASIA:  The answer is hidden reversed in (uprising in) the remainder of the clue


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue was either 23a or 16d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WEE + JAB + HOARD = OUIJA BOARD

62 comments on “DT 30061

  1. Another Tuesday gem that proved to be a steady solve with plenty of smiles. I did like 19a both because of the surface and the fact my father was a radio engineer and was always using the word. I have never known 13a to mean fudge but I know better than to question it. After all, both setter and Mr. Lancaster know better than I. My COTD is 23a because I thought it was a smooth surface and raised a smile.

    Many thanks to the setter for a fun challenge. Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

    A beautiful day here in The Marches with temperatures set to rise so just a bit of pottering in the garden will suffice.

    RIP, Olivia Newton-John – a great and lovely lady.


  2. Avery appeoachable crossword with an absorbing mixture of clue types, including anagrams, some general knowledge, a superb lurker, great charades and cryptic definition, with wily misdirection. COTD was 1a a peearl of a cryptic clue, whilst 18a was a lovely anagram, 2d a clever lurker, 14d a good charade and12a a football clue that I actually got. Many thanks to the compiler, it was just what a cryptic crossword should be. Thanks to Mr K for the review too.

  3. A game of two halves for me today, shot through the top half like a rocket and thought this was all going to be easy, but got slowed down considerably by the bottom half.
    Thought that the answer to 16d didn’t really fit the description in the clue but it seemed an obvious solve anyway so wasn’t too bothered. Last in was 23a even though I had 3 letters in it, it just didn’t click!

  4. As above, a very good mix of clues.
    From the juicy 16d and the clever 23a and 1 and 17d.
    Especially 23a, made me smile.
    So, **/*****
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K.

  5. Agree with Chris that 1a was a peach of a clue & it set the tone for a lovely puzzle. All over a bit too quickly but very enjoyable while it lasted.
    Thanks to the setter (what pseudonym does Anthony Plumb use?) & Mr K – Oh Brother one of my favourites from the Coen brothers

    1. Apparently Mr Plumb does not use a pseudonym when setting for the DT, unless this information is not up to date, from https://bestforpuzzles.com/people/p.html

      Anthony Plumb, a primary school teacher working in Lincolnshire, sets crosswords for the Financial Times (as Flimsy) and for The Independent (as Nitsy). He also sets crosswords for the Church Times and thematic crosswords for the Independent magazine.

    2. Totally agree about Oh Brother my favourite of all the their greatly enjoyable if a little odd movies. Certainly for me the best George Clooney performance.

  6. Typically Tuesdayish, especially with the ‘familiar’ grid – 2*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 19a, and 14d – and the winner is the non-homophone 19a.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Mr K.

  7. Pleasant with nothing to frighten the horses with the possible exception of 1d which contains a horrible Americanism.
    I really enjoyed 1a and 13a, both clever and elegant clues.
    Agree with the rating
    Thx for the hints esp for explaining 1d.

  8. The liberal smattering of anagrams and lurkers made eased the way on this */***. As others have remarked 1a and 23a were excellent. Thanks to Mr K and the setter.

  9. Took a little while to sort out how 12a’s obvious answer parsed – fooled by the punctuation, silly girl.
    Top two for me were 1&23a.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and the felines – loved the illustration for 23a once I’d got it straight in my mind’s eye!

  10. 1*/4*. I’m back in crossword action again today after a few relaxing days away. I found this extremely light and extremely good, which was just as well as my first attempt this morning was the now Quarterly “Monthly Prize Puzzle” for which I have so far managed precisely four answers. Fortunately this back-pager has restored my confidence. I have huge respect for the three solvers who so far have reported a full MPP grid.

    1a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to presumably Anthony Plumb and to Mr K.

  11. Marvellous crossword – my favourite of recent weeks. Several clues raised a smile – particularly 1a.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    Beatles on Tuesday: Paul McCartney with the Loma Mar Quartet – Calico Skies

  12. Typical Tuesday fare, light and fun.
    LOI was 23a and that became a favourite alongside 1a.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  13. A good selection of clues today, a number of misdirections, but anagrams and lurkers kept it moving at a steady pace.
    Thanks to the setter and MrK for the review.

  14. An elegantly straightforward and most enjoyable puzzle this morning with a fine selection of clue types that kept me interested throughout. I loved 1a.

    Many thanks to AP and Mr K.

  15. Sitting here in the Cornish sun having enjoyed this puzzle. 15a and 16d last two in. Favourites 1a 23a and 18d. All parsed apart from 12a. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  16. An enjoyable solve from beginning to end. Top prize goes to 1a, followed by 23a. 10a was straight in. My husband and I had a discussion yesterday about a truck from our local farm that used to pick up the content of 10a after lunch at our primary school to feed to the pigs. Disgusting. Many thanks setter and Mr K

  17. I was a bit stumped by 28a as the answer is surely the wrong way round. It doesn’t read well.
    Like others I thought 1a was brilliant and 5d, such a clever anagram, is my COTD

    1. You are right. I’m surprised that there haven’t been more comments about it. It is a five * rank in the US Navy. The equivalent in the UK is Admiral of the fleet. Took me a while to get it but worked out from the available letters. I am familiar with Admiral, Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral.

  18. 2/3. Pleasant puzzle with some elegant clues. 1a was my favourite by a country mile. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  19. No major holdups to slow completion of this nicely testing enigma. NW slowest corner to acquiesce but that all sorted when giggleworthy 1a emerged. Fun Quickie pun. Thank you AP (if it be you) and MrK.

  20. A top quality puzzle and very enjoyable.
    Ticks all over the place with 1a and 9a probably vying for the top spot.
    Thank you very elegant setter and Mr K.

  21. Very late today, catching up on some sleep, buy I very much enjoyed this nice little gem last night. I think 23a is my favourite, but the whole grid is a masterpiece of its kind. Thanks to Mr K and our Tuesday setter. ** / ****

  22. Just my cup of tea today so thanks to all. Have just seen a stoat or a weasel in the garden, twice. About 9″ long and all brown. Have googled the difference but they both appear to have white on them and this did not. Any ideas? Still haven’t caught the rat and am now worried might catch the stoat/weasel in the rat box – a dilemma.

    1. . . . the difference between weasels and stoats – one is weasel-y identified, the other stoat-ly different – to get my coat but it’s too hot . . . .

  23. A puzzle that I found tricky in parts, but in the end not sure why as the answers were pretty straightforward.
    2.5*/3* today

    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 27a, 17d & 20d with winner 17d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  24. A lovely puzzle. Thank you to the setter, and to Mr K for explaining the one I’d failed to parse. I agree with pretty much everything already written by others. I shall look out for this grid in the future: a T top-right (and of course an upside-down T bottom-left, but none on the sides) and two rows of “- + -” just above and below the centre line.

    I liked 15a, despite its being an anagram, and 1d, and my favourite was 18d.

      1. G273.
        From yesterday. SJB kindly sent me a link to the Malaprop clue type in the archive. I don’t suppose it would ever catch on – no cryptic word-play and mostly indirect, I suppose:

        February 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm
        I found this one very straightforward/mild, but quite enjoyable. That’s about as enthusiastic I can get, I’m afraid. 1.5* / 2.5*.

        PS. Mr K, your Survey 3 – hope you’re not trying to instigate a vendetta against the Spooner clue? And on that note, may I introduce a new clue type – the Malaprop clue: Volatile, but possibly foolproof to Sheridan’s Mrs (11). Think it’ll catch on? :-).

          1. Volatile is the definition. But Mrs M typically mistakes it for a similar-sounding 10-letter word meaning foolproof. Any help?

            I reckon the expert setters could come up with some cracking clues using this clue type. Far better that mine.

              1. I think it has legs even though I still can’t solve your clue.

                Hanging my head here, in shame.

                Put me out of my mystery….

                  1. I think therein lies the problem. Spoonerisms have rules where sounds are transposed whereas Mrs Malaprop could have used any word with the same “rhythm” inflammable, infallible, ineffable etc. We would need some sort of other indicator as to which word was intended.
                    I still get the heebie-jeebies when the Reverend Spooner hoves into view. Mrs Malaprop would be a nightmare for me.

                    1. Yes, you may well be right. But you do have a straight synonym for each word, you know a Malapropism is involved and the clue must make it relatively clear which word is the definition. So, you only need to find the 2 syonyms of words already provided which sound similar to each other and are easily confused. Sounds simple in theory! I reckon the expert setters could make such clues work – but maybe only in Toughie puzzles. I’m not holding my breath, though …

        1. That survey question about Spoonerisms was included at BD’s request. I believe it elicited a response from Giovanni. I’m neutral on that topic.

      2. Yeah, I’m just not that into anagrams. I can rarely solve them straight away, usually needing to wait till I have crossing letters from non-anagram clues.

        I don’t mind their existence (it’s good to have variety), though occasionally it can irk when somebody says something like “An easy crossword, with lots of anagrams to start you off”, as though anagrams are universally accepted to be easier than other clue types.

  25. Nice, straightforward and enjoyable 😃 **/*** Favourites 1a and 17d. Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler 👍

  26. Enjoyable crossword just right for a Tuesday. Favourite was 23a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  27. Like many others, absolutely loved 1a, the epitome of cryptic clues. But did also have a chuckle at 16d. Not the easiest of puzzles, but just needed a bit more thinking in places. Early appointment kept us from the crosswords until this afternoon, but worth waiting for. Thanks to Messrs. Plumb and K for a fun Tuesday.

    1. Hello, Michael, and welcome to the site.

      While life vest would work with the definition of 7d and align with the crossing letters in the grid, there are a few reasons why it can’t be the correct answer:
      1. Most importantly, “vest” can’t be generated from the wordplay.
      2. The (4,4) enumeration doesn’t match the (8) specified for the answer.
      3. Life vest is an American term, and cryptic crossword convention usually requires that usage of foreign words as answers be indicated to the solver.

  28. Well I enjoyed that – needed less help than usual but having a difficult time with the quick crossword for some reason. Thanks to Mr K and setter. Much cooler at this time of day – am bracing for a humid day in London doing granny duties!

Comments are closed.