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DT 30081

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30081

Hints and tips by StephenL

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BD Rating – Difficulty**  – Enjoyment****

Good morning from South Devon on the first day of the meteorological Autumn.

Today we have a quintessential Ray T puzzle containing many of the usual suspects, which I found to be as enjoyable as ever to solve.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Lie related by stupid on purpose (12)
DELIBERATELY: An nice easy anagram (stupid) of the preceding three words to get us underway.

9a Tease, at least in pants (9)
TANTALISE: Another anagram (pants) of the preceding three words.

10a Live ace? Not really for party (5)
BEANO: A three part charade. Start with a synonym of live in the sense of exist. Add the abbreviation for Ace and then a simple way of saying “not really”. Here’s the Finnish PM having one.

11a Top of black bug (6)
BLOUSE: The abbreviation for Black is followed by a parasitic insect. For some reason my last one in, I suppose there’s got to be one!

12a Mass said first for Puritan (8)
MORALIST: The abbreviation for Mass is followed by a synonym of said or spoken and three letters that look like an abbreviated form of “first”.

13a English jobs losing right for responses (6)
ECHOES: Remove the abbreviation for Right from some routine tasks and append the result to the abbreviation for English.

15a Male digger’s first tool for plant (8)
MANDRAKE: String together an adult male, the initial letter of Digger and a garden tool.

18a Butcher regarding famous horse being rejected (8)
MURDERER: Start with the usual preposition meaning regarding. Add a famous racehorse (I only know two, luckily this was one!) and reverse (being rejected) the result. What a super clue.

19a Queen formerly admitting former attachment (6)
ANNEXE: A former queen goes around (admitting) the usual 2-letter preposition denoting former.

21a Some edifice, not a pharaoh’s tomb (8)
CENOTAPH: A lurker (Mr T usually gives us two) hiding in the clue as indicated by “some”.

23a Sold stolen goods getting confined (6)
FENCED:  Double definition

26a Extorted perhaps, seeing wife called (5)
WRUNG: The abbreviation for Wife and a synonym of called (on the phone perhaps)

27a Standard used by many European states (9)
TRICOLOUR: A cryptic definition, the standard here being a flag.

28a Remote cabin with less ice around (12)
INACCESSIBLE: Anagram (around) of CABIN plus LESS ICE.


1d Attractive daughter on a diet (7)
DATABLE: The abbreviation for Daughter, A from the clue and a formal synonym of diet or food.

2d Fast time over, then slow (5)
LENTO: The setter wants us to think that fast is an adjective but it’s a period of fast (fast time). Append the abbreviation for Over to give a musical direction to play slowly.

Here’s a fine example

3d Money namely consumes Queen supporter (9)
BRASSIERE: An informal and old fashioned word for money is followed by the Latin abbreviation for “that is” or namely, which is placed around the royal cypher of our current monarch, giving this setter’s favourite supporter.

4d Initially rush around in dawn attack (4)
RAID: The first letters (initially) of the following four words.

5d Abstinent support nearly everybody downing dram (8)
TEETOTAL: Start with one of crosswordland’s favourite supports, one seen on a golf course. Add a synonym of everybody minus (nearly) its last letter and insert into the result (downing, as in consuming) a dram or small drink.

6d Sign of artist supporting party member (5)
LIBRA: The usual 2-letter abbreviation for an artist goes below (supporting in a down clue) an abbreviated member of a political party

7d Terrible time to swallow popular banter(8)
BADINAGE:  Place a synonym of terrible and a period of time around (to swallow) a simple synonym of popular or fashionable. I quite like this word.

8d Person that is offensive (6)
SORTIE: The Latin abbreviation for “that is” follows a crafty synonym of a person as in “he/she is a good ****”. Good clue.

14d Hear a gun shot broadside (8)
HARANGUE: Anagram (shot) of the preceding three words.

16d Insecure party, American, accepting outrage (9)
DANGEROUS: Insert a synonym of outrage into the usual 2-letter party or social event and add an abbreviation for American.

17d Autocratic of French position in charge (8)
DESPOTIC: Start with the French word for “of”. Add a position or location and the abbreviation for In Charge.

18d Parrots make half cut bird sounds (6)
MACAWS: Start with the first two letters of MAke (half cut). Add some sounds made by birds such as rooks.

20d Bend or seizure grips back (7)
ENDORSE: Our second lurker, this time indicated by “grips”.

22d Stray got in making cat cross? (5)
TIGON: A very clever anagram (stray) of the following two words. Another super clue with a nice surface read.

24d Search round old valley (5)
COOMB: Place a synonym of search in great detail around the abbreviation for Old.

25d Mature split with sweetheart (4)
RIPE: Append this setter’s usual swEetheart to a synonym of split or tear.


In a strong field my winner was 18a with 8&22d making up the podium. Which clues did you like?

40 comments on “DT 30081

  1. 2*/4.5*. A splendid example of RayT’s handicraft with no clues with more than six words. My top selection is: 12a, 18a, 22d & 24d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL, and a special mention to Kath as it’s Thursday.

  2. RD has said it all for me including his picks. 18a reminded me of a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining when Danny chants the horse’s name after scrawling it on the door. The horse incidentally had an amazing temperament – he was the star attraction at a betting shop I opened in Archway, North London & a big crowd turned up to see him. I still never forgave him though for catching the great Crisp on the line for his first National receiving pots of weight & the beneficiary of Dick Pitman’s shocking ride.
    Thanks to Ray T & SL

  3. As smooth as silk, this is a model puzzle from the master of smooth. Finding myself, however, quite wrinkle-brained and just completely addled in the NE, I must award a COTD draw between 10a and 8d, for which I needed a smidgeon of electronic help (two letters). So not an unaided finish but never mind: this is a brilliant display of all of Mr T’s talents, with 15a, 18a, 22d, & 24d deserving honourable mentions. As SL says, a very strong field, so thanks to him for his review and to Ray T for the privilege.
    *** / ****

  4. Most enjoyable, and for me a little more challenging than Mr T’s usual Thursday offerings, starting at a gallop but hesitating at some of the fences. Clues so adeptly written that I didn’t even notice their brevity, clever anagrams, good lurkers, and all his usual indicators. COTD to 18d simply for the super combined surface, answer, and resulting chuckle.

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Mr T and to SL

  5. Psyched up for a difficult puzzle.
    Unnecessary, as RayT was in a kind mood.
    Enjoyable nonetheless.
    In a strong field, 15a and 1, 3, 8 and 22d come to the fore.
    And Gold is 22d.
    Many thanks, RayT andStephenL.

  6. As has been said, a display of Ray T’s compiling techniques. I found the thesaurus useful for a number of elusive synonyms N the misdirection was superbly baffling. There were many great clues, the lurker at 20d, the 14d anagram and the lego clues at6d and 16a, the latter being my COTD. Thanks to SL for the hints and to Ray T for another trumph.

  7. This is turning out to be a ***** week of back pagering. Mr T being quite generous and at his very best – 2*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 15a, 19a, 7d, and 16d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL.

  8. West came first in this stimulating challenge. Don’t think I had previously come across 22d. IMHO 1d only loosely stands for attractive. Joint Favs 18a and 27a. Stupidly 23a was last to acquiesce. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  9. All of the maestro’s trademarks on display today including a smattering of unusual synonyms.
    Invidious to play favourites but my biggest ticks went to 12a along with 8&22d. 18a would have qualified but the image it conjured up was enough to put me off!

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and thanks to Stephen L for bringing us the review.

  10. Superb offering today from Mr T with the simple clueing we have come to expect, coupled with lots of misdirection made this a fun exercise.
    Thanks to the setter and SL for the hints (though not required today)

  11. Never know what to expect these days in the Thursday puzzle, anyway, voila, an enjoyable Ray T today with his concise cluing
    which I thoroughly enjoyed in the cheshire sun.
    Favourite had to be 18a, I do recall something similar regarding a clue including the famous horse.
    Liked the 12a and 15a charades and the 27a cryptic.
    Going for a **/****,Thanks all-liked the quickie pun.

  12. An excellent puzzle from Ray T (again). Usual compendious clues, a reasonable challenge and very enjoyable. I’ve ticked half a dozen and will mention 22d and 24d. 3*/4.5*.

      1. Top word, Cardinal Jo, and great shout, RD!

        it’s like the irony of abbreviation being a long word.

        Some nice levity from the master of brevity.

  13. Not a great week for me, the second puzzle with no multi-word answers which personally I like, but perhaps I’m in a small minority there.
    Found today’s moderately hard, but just couldn’t get 11a which was the last to go (I think I’d convinced myself the first word of the clue had a different meaning) but hey, that’s all part of crosswords!

  14. A great puzzle, but sadly I needed a few hints. I’ve struggled in the past getting onto Mr T’s wavelength and after the last few weeks, I thought I was there, but obviously not quite – oh well, upwards and onwards. Thanks to Mr T and SL.

  15. Typical Ray T with his slightly left field way of looking at things but on the gentler end of the scale which is more than can be said for the Quickie which beat me all ends up!
    Quirky but on this occasion enjoyable.

  16. I agree with Mustafa G that a little tougher than SL assessed but great fun. I don’t know why but I particularly enjoyed 18a for some reason. Very distracted today with house moves pending and currently staying with father in law (or he would be if his daughter and I got married but it’s early days at 30 years today since we met) on his lovely remote Dartmoor farm. Off to Spain on Saturday for two weeks so probably no blogs then as they don’t seem to take the DT there and I am not comfy with on line. GJR relax – we are in a Villa for the first two weeks without printing facilities.

    Although we are in the Javea Parador thereafter for four days 🤣🤣

    I think they might be more literate in the Costa Blanca.

    Thanks RayT

  17. This took a bit more sorting out than some others this week but still most enjoyable. I did not use the hints but admit to using
    On line thesaurus for some synonyms eg 24d. Once I had 24d I could insert 27a. I was just unsure whether I needed the French or English spelling. Favourites 18 19 and 23a and 2 3 5 7 and 22d. SE last in but pleased I managed without any hints. Thank Ray T and StephenL.

  18. As is usual for me, I found this RayT puzzle very challenging.
    For me 4*/4* today. Brain hurts now.

    Favourites were many but top five today are 13a, 19a, 26a, 8d & 22d — with winner 22d

    Thanks to Ray and to StephenL for the hints I needed today.

  19. Mr T on quite stupendous form today with this excellent puzzle. I doubt even he can get the clues down to five words or less, so in terms of brevity surely this must be it. 18a was brilliant and my favourite.

    My thanks to Ray and SL.

  20. A very nice clever crossword 😃 ***/**** Favourites 16a, 27a and 7d 👍 22d I found hard to believe 😳 and I needed help with 8d
    Thanks to Stephen L and to Ray T

  21. Hooray it’s Thursday and Ray T. Managed just over half and got all but two of the rest using SL’s hints. Needed the reveal button for those.

    Thanks to Ray T and SL for their part in my failure today.

  22. What a treat from the master of brevity. A fast start and a slow finish as I pondered for too long over the SE and finally the 1d 11a combination.

    It will be tough to beat this for best of the week. Hugely enjoyable. Thank you Mr T.

  23. I must have been on the right wavelength today as I fairly raced through this in my fastest ever Rayt time and boy was it enjoyable. Favourite was 16d. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  24. ****/*** and a DNF for me (and quite a bad one, with 10 left to fill in). Looking at things, I’d more or less parsed most of the clues but either didn’t know the words to put together or didn’t know the answer itself!

    Oh well… Onwards to the Toughie, which I’ve been struggling with today and see is a tough one too.

  25. Sneaking in very late here as I’ve just finished this off. I did quite well considering it’s a RayT, just needed two hints. Never realised that 8d meant offensive 🤷‍♂️, only heard the word used by the RAF in old war films. If anyone is there, thanks to all.
    Oops just realised what sort of offensive it refers to doh

  26. Oops!… I Did It Again. Forgot it was Thursday. Anyway, my thanks to StephenL for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. I was starting to feel bereft, Mr T. Thank you for popping in and also for another excellent puzzle.

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