DT 30063 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30063

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30063

Hints and tips by Miffypops

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NAS Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good day. Welcome to Miffypops Tolerant Thursday. A laid back sunny day where nothing in crosswordland is worth getting worked up about. Everybody is welcome but please join me in enjoying the trivial pastime of making a black and white grid less white. Not too difficult a job for me today. How about you?

Jeanne Vincent at comment 14 has this to say – There seems to be a 6 Across/ 25 Across-related message hidden in the puzzle, if the little threes at 10, 13, 24 and 15 are read consecutively.

Well spotted Jeanne

Please leave a comment below


6ac.  Is it your 25? I don’t care for it (3,2,3,2,3)

NOT MY CUP OF TEA:  A referral to the answer to 25 across should get you across the line here. The checking letters from 1 down and 2 down were enough for me

8ac.  A trial involving tense witness (6)

ATTEST:  Begin with the letter A from the clue. Add a trial or examination. Insert the abbreviation for tense

9ac.  Advertises Spielberg classic, wearing best suit (8)

TRUMPETS: The common name for Steven Spielberg’s most magical and wonderful film is surrounded by a word meaning the best suits in certain card games

10ac.  United were victorious according to report (3)

ONE:  Oh dear. A homophone (according to report) based upon the similarity between two words suggested by the clue. One a number and one a victory. These two words might sound exactly the same to some and totally different to others. It’s how it is for setters. Suck it up and move on

11ac.   Work close to pubs, drink slowly and chatter (6)

GOSSIP:  A synonym of work, the last letter of the word pubs, a word meaning to drink slowly. Do as it says on the tin and your answers will often appear

12ac.  Angry-looking wine expert in France died (3-5)

RED FACED:  Begin with a wine, not white or rosė. Add a word for an expert which has the abbreviations for France and died on either side

14ac.  Tom’s hand tool? (4-3)

CATS PAW:  The type of animal suggested by Tom’s including the possessive S plus the name given to this creatures hand

16ac.  Crowd backed one short story to do with union (7)

MARITAL:  Reverse a verb meaning to crowd or stuff. Add the letter that looks like the number one. Add a story or yarn minus its last letter

20ac. Peaty gin mixed for Cleopatra say (8)

EGYPTIAN: Anagram (mixed) of PEATY GIN

23ac.  Bill has correspondence with leading lady (6)

POSTER: Split 4,2 correspondence is mail and the leading lady is our very own most wonderful Queen Elizabeth the Second

24ac. Ambassador on time finds article (3)

THE: An ambassador is known as His Excellency. The abbreviation for this follows the abbreviation for time

25ac.  Romeo in travelling eagerly makes brew (4,4)

EARL GREY: The letter suggested by the word Romeo in NATO’s phonetic alphabet joins the word EAGERLY in an anagram indicated by the word travelling

26ac.  Root posh sailors planted in dump (6)

TURNIP:  The usual letter suggested by the word posh is followed by the sailors of the Royal Navy. Together they sit in a dump often controlled by the local district council

27ac.  Tender lass struggling with big furniture item (8,5)

DRESSING TABLE: The word BIG plus the words TENDER LASS form an anagram indicated by the word struggling


1d. Faithless types witnessing robberies? (8)

ATHEISTS:   Split your obvious answer 2,6 to understand the wordplay suggested by the clue

2d.  Terrible state of duck in pasty I’d cooked (8)

DYSTOPIA: Anagram (cooked) of PASTY I’D and the letter suggested by a cricketing duck

3d.  True: sea can be cold (7)

AUSTERE:  Anagram (can be) of TRUE SEA

4d.  Stout from barrel in bar (6)

ROTUND:  A large barrel sits inside a long round piece of metal

5d.  More work –increased touring to Italy and America (6)

UTOPIA: A two-letter word meaning increased tours or sits around the word to (from the clue). What you have is followed by the abbreviations for Italy and America. A very nice definition here referring to Sir Thomas More the author of the book Utopia

6d. Aorta and lung repaired to keep one in US force (8,5)

NATIONAL GUARD:  An anagram (repaired) of AORTA AND LUNG needs to surround the letter that looks like the number one to find an American state based military force founded in 1636

7d.  Still together (2,3,4,4)

AT THE SAME TIME:  Another answer that can be deduced by the enumeration or with a couple of checkers. A double definition maybe?

13d.  Father covering round behind (3)

FOR:  The abbreviation for father covers or surrounds the roundest of letters.

15d.  Mary Jane   or Jerry? (3)

POT:  A double definition. Apparently Mary Jane is an informal name for cannabis. A Jerry is a Chamber Pot

17d. Primate consuming stew: it shows hunger (8)

APPETITE:  The stew here is a fit of pique or temper. It is joined by the word it from the clue. All that you now have is surrounded by a primate. Not a religious one. One from the animal world

18d.  Score from fashionable old pen-pusher (8)

INSCRIBE: A two-letter word meaning fashionable is followed by an old fashioned writer as the clue suggests. A person who copies out documents, especially one employed to do this before printing was invented

19d.  Removing restraints in county in Germany (7)

UNTYING:   The answer lies hidden within the words of the clue as indicated by the word in

21d.  Pluck wings of excellent young chicken (6)

PULLET:  A word synonymous with pluck where feathers are concerned is followed by the outer letters (wings) of the word excellent

22d. Flood ruins rebuilt hotel (6)

INRUSH: An anagram (rebuilt) of RUINS is followed by the letter suggested by the word hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet

Quickie Crossword Pun.  Sighed  +  Affect = Side effect

Crossword solving the MP way

Try writing your own hint for the first across clue and the first down clue each day and comparing what you have with the hints given by the days blogger. You will will soon learn to recognise and ‘read’ the different types of clue by doing this. 


76 comments on “DT 30063

  1. Very friendly for a Thursday and enjoyable too – I wonder how many people will decide this was not their 1a?

    Thanks to the setter and MP

    RIP Mr Briggs

  2. Sad news about Raymond Briggs – he was one of a kind, both as a writer & as an artist.
    Thanks for the tints & hips MP.

  3. With I think 7 anagrams this one had lots of cross checkers fairly quickly so a **/*** for me. I needed M’s hints to understand the answer to 5d and my last one in was the concise 15d. Enjoyed the elegance of 9a although it was one of the easier clues so that gets my COTD. Thanks for the hints and to the setter for this enjoyable romp.

  4. Held up with, of all things, 23a while 15d completely floored me.
    Just a very pleasant puzzle and such a relief from all the doom and gloom in the paper recently.
    It’s so ridiculous. If we don’t die of heat stroke in the next couple of days we’ll freeze to death in the winter….and that’s just the weather!

  5. A typical Thursday crossword today, with lots of clever misdirection, some unusual synonyms and a fair spread of clue types. I enjoyed the long anagram T 6d, the 19d lurker and the cunning 1d and 5d, the latter being my COTD. It took me a while ro work out rhe stew synonym in 17d though. Thanks to the compiler and to MP for the hints.

  6. For me enjoyable without being top notch, a bit Monday-ish. I haven’t counted but seemed a bit anagram heavy too.
    I’d not heard of the term for pot, it’s probably fallen out of use, but I had heard of the Jerry. I’m sure I’ve seen 5d a couple of times before otherwise it would have been on my podium.
    2d is a lovely word and the DD at 7d is clever but my chosen three are 1&18d with top spot going to 9a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to MP for his usual witty review.

    1. Thought you might know the term for pot from the song Sugar Man – opening track on Cold Fact by Sixto Rodriguez.
      Silver magic ships you carry
      Jumpers, coke, sweet Mary Jane.
      Half expected Miff to post a clip.
      If you’re not familiar with his work the album is well worth a listen & the documentary Searching For Sugar Man is incredible if you don’t know the story.

  7. It must be the extreme heat.
    Thought today was Monday.
    At one with the setter from the off.
    Quick solve, the long 6 and 27a and 7d helped considerably.
    Thanks to the setter for the enjoyment and to Miffypops.

  8. Still don’t understand the answer to 5d but all in all quite enjoyable. In for another scorcher today – I might just plunge into the North Sea! Well, perhaps not. Thanks to the setter for the fun and for MP – I have googled 5d but can’t find it and I don’t have a BRB.

    1. I also don’t understand why “utopia” means “more work”. Also “For” as a prefix means infront not behind.

      1. Utopia is a work/book by Sir Thomas More.
        For as in ‘supporting’ as in “I’m for candidate x”.

  9. First thought was HELP! But perseverance revealed a little gem of a puzzle. My only problem was 15d, who knew this slang and if you do perhaps best not to own up to it😀
    My fav but obviously not Miffypop’s was 10a, clever homophone.
    Lots of nice anagrams, such a change after some of the Thursdays of late (Ray T!!!).
    Thx to all.

  10. The four long clues went in straight away and they then formed the cross checks for a rapid but enjoyable solve. 15d – who knew? Favourite clue has to be 1d.

    Thanks to our Thursday setter and MP.

  11. Certainly not a case of 6a but for me a tad lacklustre or maybe that’s just because I’m comparing it with yesterday’s puzzle. No real favourites but a pleasant enough * time solve.
    Thanks to the setter & Miff.
    The tussle with Kcit over in the Toughie currently proving to be an unequal contest – the ref may stop the fight any time soon.

  12. I, too, couldn’t get 15d and as for 13d, I worked out what it must be but can’t see what ‘for’ has to do with ‘behind’.

    1. You’ve shortened the alias you used before so this needed moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

  13. Indeed a ‘little gem’ as Brian has it.

    Precision cluing (with the homophone not being a problem for this near-enough RP speaker) and I think more going on than is immediately obvious. I don’t know why I’ve noticed it, especially as my youth was not entirely misspent, but there seems to be a 6 Across/ 25 Across-related message hidden in the puzzle, if the little threes at 10, 13, 24 and 15 are read consecutively. Now that HAS to be deliberate!

    Delicious puzzle Mister Ron, excellent blog MP, and from me too a fond farewell to the brilliant Mr Briggs, RIP.

    1. That’s a great spot – totally passed me by. I’ll immediately withdraw my earlier lacklustre comment.

      1. Well spotted Jeanne, I missed that completely ( not entirely surprising with my eyesight!).

  14. Good Fursday Fare. Thanks MP for parsing 5d. I had the answer but no idea why! I got 10a but thought it might be controversial. Favourites 26a and 4 and 7d. Thanks setter.

    1. Jealous. Can you ask Topper for our parcel shelf that Saint Sharon left behind last time round?

      1. I agree. Never heard of it so googled it and NA term rather than British so not a good clue in my opinion.

    2. St Mawes castle in the background there? Sister in law phoned the other evening to say “there are small planes flying over me – not the red arrows, but similar size and number”. Yup, they were even the same colour – what a coincidence… !

      1. Yes St Mawes Castle. The Red Arrows go to Falmouth in Fal week but a good view from St Mawes.

        1. I can imagine. Sister-in-law is outside Truro – we knew it was Falmouth Week & the RAs but she was in denial!

          1. The Red Arrows flew over us this morning, probably for the Shrewsbury Flower Show – they do get about a bit!

            1. Here is mum at Exeter Flying Club.

              Twixt a Weston-Super-Mare display and Salcombe they popped in to our Club BBQ. Their stomachs are solid as I think they all had a couple of burgers before departing for the latter.

    3. I entertained my mum with the Reds to a BBQ a while back with the Reds. In Exeter Flying Club.

      They are so nice.

  15. A terrific Thursday puzzle – we are being spoilt this week. I got 1a straight away once I saw that 25a was to do with a brew and, again, I had ticks all over the paper. Huge admiration to jeanne vincent for spotting the Nina (is it a Nina?) which was so well hidden even Sherlock Holmes would not have found it. 23a came close to being my favourite but it was trounced by 9a, which was a real gem.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to MP for the hints.

    RIP Raymond Briggs.

  16. 15d got me too – have I lived too quiet a life? 14a – presumably there is a hand tool named a cats paw? If so I hadn’t heard of it. Thanks to MP and setter.

    1. SiSA. That tool cropped up just a few months ago:

      May 11, 2022 at 3:25 pm
      Too small to be a jemmy or crowbar. A cat’s paw is used mainly for digging/pulling out smallish nails that have been driven in flush or below the surface of the timber. Pincers used to have a similar small claw on one end of the handles (with a ball on the end of the other). They were called ball and claw pincers.

      May 11, 2022 at 4:13 pm
      *And, if you’re not careful, I’ll describe what type of tool an “old woman’s tooth” is!

  17. Thanks to Jeanne V for spotting the oh-so-naughty theme for us today in this cute little gem. Mary Jane was our euphemistic choice of ‘entertainment’ in my un-misspent university days (1956-60). Breezed through this one, which took less time than the Quickie did, with 9a, 1d, and 5d winning the laurels. Thanks to MP and today’s setter. ** / ***

    Lacking one clue to finish today’s Toughie…even slept on it and dreamt about it!

      1. No, of all things for ME not to quickly solve, it was 19d! I am so embarrassed, but I got it finally. 10a was my next-to-last one in. I’d like to replace ‘theme’ in my comment above with ‘nina’, by the way.

        1. PS: I should have written ‘Nina’, not ‘theme’, in my first comment above. And thanks to NYDK for a most enjoyable puzzle!

          1. Most of us at London University in the so called ‘Swinging Sixties’ (1966-69) soon discovered what Mary Jane was, Robert!

            1. I was there at that time but never came across it – probably because I was at Guy’s.

              1. Lots of people passed ‘funny cigarettes’ around at dances and wh en we all went out to places in the West End like, the Marquee, or in the East End pubs around Queen Mary College, where I was a student.

  18. Thanks all, esp MP, and very well done to JV for the spot!

    For Steve in St A, ‘tool’ is a definition in the sense of ‘a person (mis)used’.

    1. I had a feeling it was you that set this one – I never spot Ninas but this one was, when pointed out, brilliant

  19. Very enjoyable if a tad on the easy side even for me .
    Utopia threw me a bit but as ever Miffypops explained it perfectly . Many thanks

  20. Very gentle indeed for a Thursday, and a clever Nina. COTD the wonderful laugh-out-loud 14a. Many thanks to NYDK and to MP.

    0.5* / 2.5*

  21. Oh dear – I should have guessed NY Doorknob – I know that I’m always on a complete wave-length.
    Thanks anyway to our setter and to MP for the hints.

    1. PS – 14a is also a surgical instrument – it looks like a cat that’s just curled up its claws that’s going to scratch!

  22. A nice puzzle but I was held up for a while in the NE 😃 ****/**** Favourites 25 & 26 across. Thanks to MP, especially for a couple of hints and to NYDK for his puzzle within a puzzle 🤗

  23. 1/4. A very pleasant solve on a slightly cooler evening on the west coast. Helped by the four long clues at the borders. Thanks to the setter and MP for the review.

  24. A fine puzzle. About average difficulty, good clues and a pleasant solve. Fav: 9a. 2.5*/3.5*.

  25. A nice gentle easy solve today for a change. Lots of fun.
    1*/4* today for me. No troubles at all.
    Grid filled west to east today.

    Favourites include 6a/25d pair, 14a, 23a & 7d
    Thought the four 3 word answers were good too. Very cleverly constructed puzzle

    Thanks to NYD and to MP for the hints.

  26. This definitely was my 6a (as is 25a!) and the hidden message was very clever. I didn’t really get 5d until I read Miffypop’s hints and then it was definitely clue of the day. Thanks to MP for the hints and tips and NYDK for an enjoyable crossword.

  27. Well I finally got 5d but needed MP to explain why! And this entire blog reveals the hidden messaging which underlines the artwork of NYDK – thank you everyone for helping me see things more clearly!

  28. Another belter today. Thanks to Miffs for the hints and NYDK for a great puzzle. After yesterday’s Jay the DT are spoiling us. Thanks too to JV for spotting the Nina.

  29. Tackled this at the crack of dawn thanks to our super paper delivery man who is a very early bird. Unfortunately it was 6a – over anagrammed amongst other things. Several required parsing help including 9a, 11a, 7d, 15d, 17d and 21d (perhaps grey matter was below par in the early hours). Toughie done later in the day was more satisfying. Thank you NYDK and MP.

  30. That was a lovely surprise on a Thursday, although I only got a handful at first pass. Once a few more went in, it was safe sailing for a change. 15a defeated me as Mary Jane over here is a type of shoe, although I do remember a reference to Jerry or Gosunder as a kid. Never been able to develop a taste for 25a, cannot get past the scented aroma. Thought the lurker at 19a was well hidden. Had me wracking my brains for names of German counties for a while. Big thank you to the setter and to Miffypops of course.

  31. Straightforward but really enjoyable. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what Mary Jane was. I once worked on the design of a cannabis processing plant, they were making a new painkiller for MS and the like. Favourite was 1d. Thanks to NYD and MP

  32. Had no idea about 5d but at least worked out the correct word.

    I am pretty clued up with drug slang (through work and not because I am a user!) And I had never heard of Mary Jane. Google says it is a North American term. Living in Canada for a few years also didn’t help. I am curious as to how the setter has come across this term though…

    Thanks to all.

    1. I agree. Never heard of it so googled it and NA term rather than British so not a good clue in my opinion.

  33. Sailed through this and and to came to grinding halt with 9a and 5d
    Thanks MP for the hints. Got 9a and kicked myself and then 8d and kicked myself even harder, having been a historian. 8d definitely takes the proverbial biscuit!

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