DT 30077 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 30077 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30077 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

In these ever-changing times there are some things we can rely on  – a Bank Holiday Saturday so we have, for the first time in ages, had a few drops of rain, the Christmas puddings and mince pies are on the supermarket shelves (another customer and I did discuss this morning whether we should buy a pudding now as goodness only knows what they’ll cost by Christmas!) – and, of course, that the Daily Telegraph Prize Puzzle will be another Cephas pangram.

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.


6a    Number, few swirl in dance (9,4)
A number followed by synonyms for few and swirl

9a    In a low place he is found clinging (8)
A (from the clue) and a slang term for a disreputable (low) place between which the fifth and sixth words of the clue are ‘found’

11a    Intertwine most of garland (6)
Most of a verb meaning to intertwine

16a    Hold up to ridicule old punishment device (7)
A double definition – a verb meaning to hold up to ridicule or an old punishment device

20d    Valley to north, secret service found place in Spain (8)
A valley, the abbreviation for north and the American secret service

27a    Be with duelling Joe performing for anniversary (6,7)
An anagram (performing) of BE with DUELLING JOE


1d    Urge factory to produce fruit (8)
A verb meaning to urge or incite and a factory

4d    Way could be smoothed out? Not so! (6)
An anagram (out) of sMoOTHED without (not) the letters SO

7d    Deliver tragic new charge in case? (4,9)
An anagram (new) of DELIVER TRAGIC

18d    Praiseworthy and clever to support archbishop (8)
An adjective meaning clever goes after (supporting in a Down solution) the name of an Archbishop of Canterbury back in the 1600s. There are bound to be complaints about this but he’s been in crosswords before and if, like me, you live near Canterbury, you do tend to know about him!

19d    Going round New Jersey, first support dog (7)
A way of saying ‘support number one’ goes round the abbreviation for New Jersey

22d    Not quite dispose of Greek character’s leading tool (6)
A Greek character going before (leading) almost all of a verb meaning to dispose of for money or other equivalent

Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: WHEY + FAIRER = WAYFARER

86 comments on “DT 30077 (Hints)

  1. Hello all – long time reader but first time poster here. This is long overdue but I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone on this blog! Especially Tilsit and more recently all the others who have stepped in, as well as everyone commenting aftrer each puzzle.

    I grew up mystified by cryptic crosswords. Although my mother always did the DT Prize crossword, I could never really fathom them except the odd anagram. Then in March 2020 when we were locked away with nothing to do, I decided it was finally time to confront the challenge. And that was when I found this blog – it was like an epiphany! Albeit a slow one. After a couple of months I could get most of the crossword done, but using every hint available, and taking almost the whole weekend. But by the end of the year I was getting to a point where I’d complete the crossword most weekends after a few hours, though still needing the odd hint. Knowing all the possible meanings of sailor etc. really transforms the speed and enjoyment of a cryptic crossword.

    And then, much to my mothers’ envy, late last year I won the Prize Crossword! In 50-odd years of entering each weekend she’s never won, and there I was heading to Daunts with my book token. Far too smug for her liking.

    So thank you all for your help on my personal journey. I’m very grateful. I still check in most weekends and love to hear what’s going on, and of course still need the odd hint.

    And a special thanks to Cephas who seems to have put in a particularly long shift of late. I do love a good pangram and, invariably, many a witty clue.

    1. Welcome, Eddie, and thank you for reminding us all of the main reason why BD set up this site.
      I hope you have your chosen book displayed in a prominent position!

    2. Welcome, Eddie. I too started commenting here when the pandemic began. Now I’m actually finishing some of the Toughies, mirabile dictu! Hope that you continue to post!

    3. It has been a life line for many of us. Welcome to the crazy crew of cruciverbalists.

    4. I echo this: my parents were avid cryptic fans & always finished within the hour whilst I looked on in awe. This blog has given me the confidence to tackle the DT offering most days & I have found the words of wisdom hugely instructional and entertaining. Big thanks to all concerned.

    5. Welcome Eddie,
      My backstory is not dissimilar to yours, I am not a regular poster but always look in. I too loved attempting the DT cryptic crosswords but didn’t understand them until I sat next to a guy doing one on a 3 hour flight back from Portugal , he seemed to be flying thru the answers so I plucked up the courage to ask him if he would mind explaining it all. He did and after a lot of trial and error and a huge amount of help from this site I can finish every one .
      Thank you all on here .

  2. A joy to work on and helped by getting the four long solutions around the perimeter early on. 19d dog had to be retrieved from depths of my vocabulary. Fav was crafty 4d. Thank you Cephas and CS.

  3. Excellent crossword. Needed a tidgy bit of help as 6a was unknown to me (it sounds most exhausting).

    Well… off we go to Stamford Bridge, full of optimism. As ever, what could possibly go wrong?

    Thanks to Cephas and PC Security (anag)

    1. 6a certainly is exhausting, Terence. Goodness knows how ladies ever managed it wearing those long skirts.

    2. Outstanding anagram, Terence, with one r and an e. You must get double r thrown your way all the time.

  4. 2*/3.5*. Another fun Saturday pangram from Mr. Consistent.

    Many thanks to Cephas and to CS.

  5. Quite tough but completed unaided in 4* time.
    Some brilliantly cryptic clues eg 7d and the odd smile eg 1d.
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Many thanks, Cephas and CS.

  6. I always thought the Prize Crossword was mythical, nobody I know either in person or on social media has ever won it or knows someone who has. So congratulations.
    As for the puzzle, probably one of the easier Saturday offerings but very enjoyable for all that. My only minor gripe is 7d whose definition is very weak. My fav was 19d.
    Thx to all

    1. I remember my (wonderful, inspirational) teacher Mr Goldie, winning the prize crossword when I was in junior school- well over 50 years ago. It’s taken me until now to be able to finish it most weeks. Today’s offering was great – just enough head scratching to make it satisfying. Keeping my fingers crossed I can emulate Mr Goldie one day:)

    2. I have won three times Brian, over a period of 50 years! At last nowadays I can do it on line – think of the postage over all those years!

    3. I have only sent it in rarely and not for some years. I won the Observer 50+ years ago and the Daily Telegraph more recently when I got the notebook and pen. I was more interested when the prize was a Mont Blanc pen.

  7. For once I did not find this as easy as Brian, with the LHS taking a lot longer than the other. Great fun though, as it always is with The Pangram Man. I think 4d has to take my top spot.

    Thanks to Cephas and CS, with congrats to Terence for the timely and clever anagram.

  8. The first and last letters of the dog foxed me. Had to look him up before I could parse the clue.
    Thanks CS and C****S

  9. The handsome dog stopped me from making the wrong assumption with the second word of 27a so it was just 7d that gave food for thought.
    Special mention for 14a – absolutely lethal if you get caught out by one.

    Thanks to Mr Pangram and to CS for the hints and pics.

      1. Yes, I do, Corky, and will make an announcement tomorrow, Sunday, on the blog. Have you finished Station Eleven and ready to face the spatial dimensions of Sea of Tranquility?

        1. Finished Station Eleven and The Glass House and have just started The Sea of Tranquility. Why had I not heard of this wonderful talent before?

          Will be watching the blog with great interest tomorrow Robert.

  10. The fifth pangram of this sequence, identified quite early on after unscrambling 27a, was very enjoyable. 2.5*/4*

    Favourite – a toss-up between 20a and 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    CS – I am astonished that your culinary skills do not extend to home-made Christmas puddings.

    Thanks to Cephas and to CS.

    Now, I am going to brew the first caffeine of the day before looking at the NTSPP!

  11. I really liked this one, just the right level for me! Completed it all by myself 😁. Although I got 18d and 19d, I had to come on here to parse them.
    Thanks Cephas and BD

  12. Lovely pangram, 1a is very familiar to an Angus girl and a friend of ours had a 19d – it was mad. Enjoyable all the way. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter .No crickety clues!

  13. Another nice puzzle from Cephas it would seem as this was yet again a Saturday pangram. Solved this on cool Friday night here on the West Coast of BC. Nice to have a break from the 30+ degree temps.
    Once I had the four long perimeter clues the rest literally fell into place in 1* time with enjoyabity at 5*

    Favourites include 9a, 16a, 6d, 7d & 13d with winner having to be 6d a[redacted – I’m sure quite a lot of us thought the same as you, but sadly I don’t think we can say so until Friday] when we lived in the UK until I was 12 1/2 and we emigrated. Fond memories.
    I also thought 13d a great clue too.

    Thanks to Cephas and CS for the hints that I didn’t get to use.

  14. Thank you Cephas for a puzzle within my capabilities, although I will not spell out what they include. 4d has no competition for clue of the day with me although I liked 12 and 25a.

    Thank you CS for your sterling work in keeping the Saturday blog secure for another week.

  15. A really enjoyable crossword with a quartet of super long anagrams, the best of them 7d. There was so much variety in the clues, some involving GK, some superb double meanings, some well camouflaged fgeographical clues and some good lego clues too. It’s difficult to pick favourites but 12a, 20a, 26a and 18 and 19a were some of the best. Thanks to Cephas, purveyor of pangrams par excellence and to CS for the hints.

  16. ‘An absolute stinker!’ in the words of the late Terry Thomas. A very tough and most enjoyable puzzle even if it did take me 5 hours on and off whilst watching the cricket. Favourites today were 20a and 9a. Great fun!

  17. I love this site and am in awe of Big Dave and all the bloggers.. Sadly (or maybe not) I’m a late joiner re the recent goings-on pre-dating and surrounding the departure of Miffypops. I am in Greece right now (though it’s actually raining, so you’re all probably less wet than me!) On the subject of which, please can I say that I have always found his blogs a total joy. But also that I totally understand the responsibilities of site managers, and respect their collective decision-making. (I told you I was wet!). But surely there’s a way back from all this aggro in these hard times. Come on, MP … you now know how much we all value you? And I’m sure you’d be welcomed with open arms by the moderators if you reconsider and ask to rejoin. Put your Big Girl Pants on, as my gran always used to say to me. I am already missing your brilliant music clips!.

  18. That’s more like it, after yesterday. But I have to say that, having been trying to solve Telegraph crosswords since I was a teenager 70 years ago, I enjoy the challenge, and if you can’t do today’s there is always tomorrow. If every crossword was easy, where would the challenge be?
    I lived in USA for a few years, and got accustomed to their peculiar variety of puzzles, and at least the Telegraph doesn’t have have contrived clues like “Armstrongs et al”, the answer to which is of course “Satchmos”.
    So – calm down, everyone. If your interest turns into a fixation, it is time to find a new hobby.
    Thanks to all the Compilers over the years, and of course BD’s team of inspired analysts.

    1. That’s very nicely put! I quite agree that it all needs to be put in proper perspective. Thanks for articulating my thoughts Tumbert.

  19. Thanks to Cephas and to crypticsue for the hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky in places. Needed the hints for 6a,4,19d. Had never heard of the former & latter. Missed the lurker at 5d, needed electronic help. Had never heard of 16a, but got it from the definition, then Googled to confirm. Favourite was 24a. Was 4* / 3* for me.

  20. Nice Saturday pangram with just enough to get the brain working. For me, I liked 4d and wonders shall never cease, I am in agreement with Brian re 7d.
    Thanks to Cephas and CS.

    1. Me too re 7d but had decided not to make a point of it however I do agree with you and Brian.

  21. I sailed through this until I didn’t! I did not know the dog do resorted to a list of dog breeds. Soon found. This confirmed my answer to 24a but I have only just twigged the parsing. Oddly, with the exception of 7d, I got all of the long clues on first sight. Favourites 9 16 and 26a and 4 18 and 22d. Thank you Cephas and Cryptic Sue.

  22. 6a was new to me. 18d also had an obscurity but was easily solved with checkers.

    I found this more difficult than most Saturday crosswords and the grid possibly added to the difficulty – for me at least.

    Enjoyable solve though.

    Thanks to all.

  23. Nice words Ed.

    19 d had me coughing and spluttering. Then I misspelled 18d. Unforgivable.

  24. Grid added to the difficulty? All the words have over half of the letters interlocking, and eight answers have three consecutive checked letters.

    1. My guess, Cephas, is that people prefer the initial letters of the five across clues on the left and five downs at the top to interlock with the four longies.

      Well, I do anyway because most words begin with a consonant. So, the second letter tends to be a vowel.

      A consonant followed by a few blanks is easier than a vowel preceded by a blank, followed by a few more.

      However, with your grid, a few consonants were the second letter. So, all was well.

      I could be completely wrong, Bananawarp. Apologies, if so.

      An extremely enjoyable crossword with the neat 24a getting the nod.

      1. Gordondg273, you explained exactly what I meant, thank you.

        Cephas, I wasn’t complaining at all about the grid, I thoroughly enjoyed your crossword.

        On a side note, do setters choose the grid. Just curious to know.

        1. We believe that the Daily Telegraph requires setters to use grids drawn from a standard set provided by the editor. I looked at grid statistics once. Might be time to revisit that.

          1. Grids fascinate me.

            I find the toughest ones are four discrete ones in each quadrant that aren’t connected.

            However, put a railway track around the grid, where you jump off at one of the four stations and it becomes one of the most enjoyable.

            Now, length of answer is another story….

            My favourite is three letters which I can’t really explain why and, bizarrely, four letters is the length I find hardest. I get the heeby jeebies when I see _a_e and call for a nurse when it’s something along the lines of _a_i

            Length of clue is another goodie. I remember somebody a while back highlighting a 13 word clue for a three letter answer which I found hilarious.

            Here’s one for you, Sir Statto….

            What’s the clue that contains the most amount of words? 17 is my guess.

            And has there ever been a one word clue?

            1. G273. In Rookie Corner 434 there is a clue (9a) comprising 18 words.Probably not a record.

              I’ve seen plenty of one-word clues but can’t recall a specific one off the top of my head.

              The shortest clue I can recall is this one:

              1 …….. (1,6,3,1,4)

              Be careful, some people don’t take kindly to in-depth discussion of cryptic clues on a Crossword Blog! :-)

              1. Steady, Cardinal Jo. Steady.

                I’ve worked out the catcall but not the 1,6,3,1,4 jobbie. I’m guessing it’s ‘A something And A something’

                Using a compound word is a neat use of a double definition clue, eg the call of a cat and a catcall. I wonder if there are any one word clues that don’t use compound words?

                1. G273. The (1,6,3,1,4) one is an old chestnut. The phrase is regarding what it is that’s missing and what the solver might say about it.

                  1. * The 1 at the beginning is the clue No., not part of the clue. The clue is: …… (1,6,3,1,4).
                    Hope I didn’t mislead you.

              2. Speaking as someone who reads with interest your exchanges on the finer points of a clue (often with RD) is that last paragraph & it’s implicit criticism of others really necessary?
                Surely the pot has been stirred enough.

                  1. Hi G
                    My comment was in reply to Jose’s point about some people not taking too kindly about in depth discussion of cryptic clues on a crossword blog. Tongue in cheek I’m sure but in the current somewhat febrile atmosphere perhaps best left unsaid.

                    1. Please could commenters refrain from further remarks on this subject as they are causing problems both for the moderators and for the blog as a whole

                    2. H (and CS). Sorry – you’re probably right. But I did make sure it was decidedly light-hearted/tongue-in-cheek by adding the smiley face. Onwards …

              3. If the 1 remains and it is a linked clue number, and the enumeration goes to (3,6,3,3,4) I came up with grid with 12 lights on the top row and seven in the first column. And then it might be
                One across and one down

                1. Brilliant! 👏👏

                  There’s a lot more fun that can be had with one word or, indeed, no word clues than I thought!

            2. *I know you asked Mr K, not me, but I just can’t help myself when there’s an opportunity to natter about cryptic clues. :-)

                1. I’ll have to answer here, the Reply buttons have fizzled out above. Yes (1,6,3,1,4) = I haven’t got a clue.

            3. My intro to https://bigdave44.com/2016/12/06/dt-28290/ presents some short clues.

              Don’t recall doing a blog intro that discussed verbose clues, but DT 25848 had this:
              What I may want a fence to do with an item I’ve stolen is to heed what I say? (4,2,4,2)

              Guardian Cryptics have contained both longer clues and some good single-word clues. I’ll save them for another time.

  25. It’s been a good week for me on the crosswords, culminating in completing this one! The top left quarter was looking good, but progress on the top right wasn’t great.

    Thank you crypticsue for the hints today – got me a few more in and left me with enough letters to muddle through the remainder.

    I have to say, this site has been wonderful at improving my crossword skills (and knowledge of words with multiple/obscure meanings). It is thanks to this site I now know a long list of words that can be replaced with a single letter, or words that mean a two letter abbreviation – both coming in handy today.

  26. A nice gentle puzzle today today with not a homophonic gap in sight. No particular favourites but very enjoyable.
    Thanks to Cephas & CS.

  27. I have been doing The Telegraph crossword for years but not particularly successfully. I think you learn a lot through persistence. BUT…since I have found this blog and read all the explanations it makes understanding it all, far easier.
    Thank you

  28. A very enjoyable Saturday puzzle – many thanks to Cephas for the challenge👍
    Thanks as ever to CS for the bloggin’ ‘n hintin’. 😜
    Take care y’all!

  29. Thanks Cephas and CS. I made a bit of a meal of this, coming at it late in the day after too much meat and beer. Had a steady but enjoyable grind halted by trying to solve 7d as 9, 4. Read the blog from top to bottom, vainly looking for fellow-strugglers. Finally got home. Favourites 4 & 5d.

  30. A lovely crossword for me today. Didn’t need the hints and did notice the pangram.
    Perhaps unsurprisingly 6a was my favourite….I will go no further for fear of the naughty step.

    Thanks to Cephas and to crypticsue

  31. I don’t know what to say apart from several regular contributors missing, although new contributors coming in. Hoping regular contributors come back and new ones stay. Another funeral to go to. I’m getting a bit fed up of this now. Enjoyed the crossword.

  32. Did this while waiting for the Sunday Telegraph to arrive
    I, too, have been doing cryptics for years thanks to my mother. Then we used to say “The answer is this but why?” How we both would have welcomed BD into our lives!

  33. I learnt to do cryptic crosswords by looking at the following day’s paper for the solution and working backwards to see how the clues were parsed.
    I’ve been away from the blog for a while so have missed the recent going’s on, but hope Miffypops returns.
    Thanks to Cephas for yet another enjoyable pangram and to Crypticsue for the clues. You are all doing a stellar job in BD’s absence, so thank you.
    Once I parsed the four clues around the edge, I managed to complete this puzzle without too much help. The dog was a breed I hadn’t heard of so electronic help was required there, otherwise 4d was my favourite and 9a the least.

Comments are closed.