DT 30087 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30087

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30087

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. They say that a change is as good as a rest.  Being in need of a rest, I thought I’d check out what hinting on Thursday has to offer. Quite a lot, as it turns out: Today we have a wonderfully entertaining crossword containing not one, but two cat clues. And I learned two new words.

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    Deliver a homily, quietly gaining measure of influence (6)
PREACH:  The musical abbreviation for quietly with extent or measure of influence 

4a    Wrong to repeat a G&S work? (8)
OPERETTA:  An anagram (wrong) of TO REPEAT. The ? indicates that the definition is by example

10a   City money leading to wealth, not half? Odd (9)
ECCENTRIC:  Assemble the postal code associated with the City of London, a small unit of money, and one half (not half) of a six-letter synonym of wealth 

11a   Woman married the third man to come along (5)
MABEL:  The genealogical abbreviation for married with the third man to come along in the Book of Genesis 

12a   European is smart, journalist admitted (7)
SWEDISH:  An informal word for smart or fashionable containing (… admitted) a usual abbreviated boss journalist

13a   Give a summary of unpopular policy (7)
OUTLINE:  Join synonyms of unpopular and of policy 

14a   Playwright of some import once (5)
ORTON:  The playwright is hiding as some of the remainder of the clue 

15a   Partner cut long hair -- one lying down in the bedroom? (8)
MATTRESS:  All but the last letter (cut) of a partner or friend is followed by a long lock of hair 

18a   Lady left with gold, protected by criminal agent (8)
FLORENCE:  The single letter for left and the heraldic abbreviation for gold are both contained by (admitted by) a criminal agent dealing in stolen goods. Here is 18a and band performing for a gazillion people 

And here she is duetting with one fan who was too ill to leave the hospital

20a   Firm needing endless fuel to produce drink (5)
COCOA:  The abbreviation for a company or firm is followed by all but the last letter (endless) of a fossil fuel 

23a   Time to get exceptional priest, one to offer advice (7)
TIPSTER:  The physics symbol for time with an anagram (exceptional) of PRIEST 

25a   Officials probing Trump I respect (7)
UMPIRES:  The answer is hidden inside (probing) the remainder of the clue 

26a   This writer's past rendered in adult form (5)
IMAGO:  A pronoun for “this writer’s” from the writer’s perspective is followed by an adverb meaning past

27a   Labelling to get sign of approval, say, on outside of container (9)
TICKETING:  A symbol indicating approval is followed by the Latin abbreviation for “say” or “for example” containing (on outside of) a metal container 

28a   Most angelic son facing little ordeal (8)
SWEETEST:  Link together the genealogical abbreviation for son, a Scottish word for little, and an ordeal or trial 

29a   Ship embodying very French emphasis (6)
STRESS:  The abbreviation for steam ship containing (embodying) “very” in French 



1d    One offers a limited space for journalists (5,3)
PRESS BOX:  A cryptic definition of where one might find journalists at a sports event, for example 

2d    French art rogue returned property (7)
ESCHEAT:  A French verb that could mean art in the sense of “thou art” = “you are” = “tu es” in French is followed by a rogue or swindler 

3d    Person sending something, as opposed to one acknowledging delivery? (9)
CONSIGNER:  A short word meaning “opposed to” with a person acknowledging a delivery in writing

5d    Top banana? (4,2,3,5)
PICK OF THE BUNCH:  A fruity informal phrase meaning much the same thing as the clue 

6d    Area of responsibility, issue king must get on top of (5)
REMIT:  Issue or emerge comes after the Latin abbreviation for king 

7d    Cats given restrictions, kept outside a B&B (7)
TABBIES:  Some restrictions containing (kept outside) A and B B from the clue. Here are my 7d taking over the blogging chair

8d    'You cannot trust what Capone says' -- friends (6)
ALLIES:  The answer split (2,4) could be another way of expressing the quote in the clue 

9d    Christian dream about church leaders (14)
ARCHIMANDRITES:  An anagram (about) of CHRISTIAN DREAM. To read about the answer click here 

16d   Pierce tin? It's tricky -- I'll get something (9)
RECIPIENT:  An anagram (it’s tricky) of PIERCE TIN 

17d   Methane planet has -- breathing ultimately 'restricted'! (5-3)
MARSH-GAS:  A red planet is followed by HAS from the clue containing (has restricted) the last letter (ultimately) of breathinG 

19d   The location in Paris for a mathematician (7)
LAPLACE:  This (famous French) mathematician split (2,5) could be “the location” in French 

21d   Dogs I have not seen as separate characters? (7)
CURSIVE:  Some dogs followed by the contraction of “I have” 

22d   Cat -- it's wandering around rooms (6)
ATTICS:  An anagram (wandering around) of CAT IT’S. This mountain lion wandered around my backyard two weeks ago


24d   Fish in river caught by one hoping to make profit? (5)
TROUT:  The map abbreviation for river is contained by (caught by) one who hopes to make a profit by reselling tickets 


Thanks to today’s setter. Very tough to identify a single favourite today out of so many strong clues, so I’m going with two: 3d for its surface and 21d for its definition. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  COWES + LIPS = COWSLIPS

75 comments on “DT 30087

  1. 3*/2.5*. My top line number for difficulty hides the fact that the NW corner was several orders of magnitude harder than the other three quarters.

    I doubt that anyone other than Giovanni would have included 9d in a puzzle. It was a case of
    – it looks like an anagram with “Christian dream” as the fodder
    – wait until all the checking letters from the across answers were in place
    – fiddle about with the other letters until a feasible (albeit unlikely seeming) word appeared
    – look it up in the BRB
    – it’s there!

    Can anyone explain why “restricted” in 17d is in inverted commas?

    5d was probably my 5d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. For restrict the BRB has ‘to confine within limits’ so, for me, a valid use as a containment indicator, so, I can only imagine that ‘restricted’ is that way in 17d to create some doubt in the solver’s mind.

    2. Hi, RD. I meant to include in my comments a remark that I had the entire right hand side filled before I got anything on the left and then, like you, the NW was the last to yield.

      Perhaps the inverted commas in 17d indicate that the surface reading is understatement, because on a planet with a methane atmosphere breathing would be impossible.

  2. I always like it when Giovanni knows the same rarely seen words as I do, and today was one such day so this crossword didn’t take me long to finish off and I had several smiles along the way

    Thanks to Giovanni and also to Mr K

  3. A couple of obscurities (fairly clued), a few religious references and some very clever wordplay….it has to be a Giovanni. Enjoyed it.
    5d (haven’t we had that recently by the way?) for me were 3&24d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  4. I shall be doing the crossword later on but I have an issue with my subscription to the puzzles site. My subs to the old puzzles site has just come up for renewal and this morning I had an email from WorldPay saying my card had been refused. I don’t think there are any problems with the card and I checked the details are up to date at World Pay. This was for the old puzzles site rate of £35 odd.

    When I look at the new puzzles site and subscriptions I see it is at £29.99/year and if I click on to subscribe that way it seems to take me directly to the main Telegraph subscription page – I also have a sub to the online paper which runs out in November. Are subs now handled internally with the Telegraph subscription, implying that WorldPay is no longer used? In which case I need to cancel my WorldPay contract in case it does go through…. Or does a Telegraph subscription also include the puzzles? Anybody know. I have not seen Monday’s newsletter, I am among those who never get it despite being subscribed, I have just tried subscribing again after waiting the necessary 24 hours of unsubscription so will see what happens next week.

    Slowly getting used to the new puzzles site, it has some rough edges and does some things the complete opposite way to the old one, possibly an improvement. I never print them out so don’t have that issue.

    1. Dave – I wish you well with this. I had exactly the same issue a month or two ago and it took a stream of emails back and forth to get it resolved. I hope you receive a speedier solution!

    2. Don’t know if this helps, but it was a reply to my email querying non-receipt of the new film newsletter last Friday: I also never received the Monday one.

      “Thank you for your email regarding the non-receipt of your newsletters,
      We have identified the root cause of the issue but are still investigating a resolution
      We apologise for the delay, and we will update you as soon as a solution has been established.”

      Obviously causing The Telegraph lots of 29a!

    3. Hi, Dave. I think (though this is far from an official answer, and I have no inside information) that Telegraph Puzzles subscriptions now use the same system as ‘main’ Telegraph subs.

      A ‘Digital Plus’ subscription to the paper includes Puzzles; a mere ‘Digital’ sub doesn’t. And the difference in price between those is more than the annual price of a Puzzles sub, so if you have a Digital subscription and want the crosswords as well, adding a Puzzles sub to that — on the new site — seems like it should be what you want.

      Hope that helps.

      Mr K, thank you for giving Thursdays a go. Unlike you, I didn’t learn any new words. Not because (like CrypticSue) I already knew them, but because I’m pretty sure that I won’t remember them.

      Re the picture for 3d, my favourite brand for those items — based solely on the name — is Banana Armour.

      1. Can I ask, does the mere Digital sub include the crosswords, sudoko and codewords as per the printed version but not access to the puzzles site? Is that the difference between the two?

      2. I currently have a digital subscription, not digital plus, but I have access to all puzzles on the new puzzle site and didn’t need to login or anything to get them. My Puzzler Dave handle which I used on the old site seems to have gone, it now just calls me Dave.
        From what you are saying it seems I can safely cancel the World Pay thingy and wait to see what happens when my Telegraph subs come up for renewal in November or maybe I will need the Puzzles top-up before.

        1. So I have a puzzles only £35 odd subscription, with Worldpay. I had the same problem as you when renewal came and in the end cancelled my subscription, then renewed it using the same card. This worked.
          I now have a further question: I can access the new site and play all the puzzles without it recognising my puzzles subscription. I’m tempted therefore to cancel my worldpay sub and access the puzzles free – what am I missing? This can’t be right.

  5. You know what to expect from a Giovanni puzzle and this one did not disappoint. Like our blogger, I learnt a couple of new words, now forgotten. 3d was my favourite, closely followed by 24d.

    My thanks to The Don and Mr K.

  6. A somewhat unsatisfying slog. Didn’t get 2d.
    Eventually hammered the rest out.
    Thanks to blogger for explaining French art.
    7/10 difficulty 4/10 enjoyment

  7. I really e joyed rrhe puzzle today, with a mixture of anagrams, cryptic definitions, lego clues and GK it wss right up my streed, aspecially when my COTD, 9d, was a word I recalled seeing before and a stonkingly good anagram to boot. Other gems were 19, also recalled feom college staristics courses, 1d and 26a. Thanks to Mr K for the hints, and doing double suty this week and thanks to Giovannixfor a super puzzle.

  8. Well that was challenging, and that was after the quickie gave me the heebie-jeebies.

    I post here with a bit of a heavy heart these days, after the ‘trouble’. I miss the contributors who have either left or have been excised.

    Thanks to Giovanni and The Celebrated Mr K. Best wishes to Marc, Peter, and Steve (and others?)

    A Big Thursday shout out to The Lovely Kath

    1. Like you, Terence, all of my posts these days are made with a heavy heart. I too miss Mark, Steve C, Vancouver BC, BusyLizzie, and dear Merusa (and these are just the ones I am sure of). I didn’t know that Deep Threat was named Peter, but I shall miss his Friday blogs. This blog is now much poorer without all of them.

  9. I know we’ve had the French numbers bod before but had to check as couldn’t remember if it was la or le to kick off with. RD has said it all where 9d is concerned – last in & it took 2 stabs to arrange 5 of the 7 non checkers (first 2 a safe bet) in the correct order. On the plus side recalled 2d from previous puzzles. Not my favourite but as others have said you know what you’re going to get with a Giovanni puzzle & it was fairly clued. 17d was my 5d.
    Thanks to Giovanni & Mr K

  10. On some non-Ray T Thursdays it’s not all that clear who the setter is but 9d on its own removed all doubt today – thanks to Giovanni and Mr K.
    The clue I liked best was 8d.

  11. As Gazza says, on non-Ray T Thursdays it is not always that clear who the setter is but that is definitely not the case today. A typical offering from Giovanni and I have no shame in admitting that I had to resort to e-help for 9d – 3.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 7d, 8d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Mr K.

  12. I usually get along with Giovanni but not today; in fact dnf. East was comparatively easy going but West a different story due in part to not sussing 9d in spite of having several checkers. Using thou form of être in 2d a bit far-fetched. 19d crafty although mathematician unknown to me. Thank you Giovanni for a veritable workout and welcome to (Kath’s?) Thursday spot MrK.

  13. Well, that was a hoot.

    I absolutely love the anticipation of looking up in the dictionary a nuts word like 2d, praying that it’s there. Sure enough.

    So, so satisfying.

    9d is another bonkers one which Terence can add to his Japanese aprons. Throw in an unknown Gallic mathematician and a methane howdy doody and we’re good to go.

    Marvellous stuff.

    I also love the grid.

    Thanks to The Don for an enjoyable stroll around the cobwebbed parts of the English library.

        1. No I don’t mind really. When I was much younger and played football, ‘Tel’ was a handy abbreviation for my team mates to shout when urging me to pass to them. Most people call me Terence; a very few people call me ‘Terry’, which sounds a bit odd to me when I hear it; nobody calls me ‘Tel’ these days unless in a jocular way.

    1. Perhaps the problem with 19d is that mathematicians in general are not well-known. The 19d one is a giant in the field. For example, there is a mathematical operation bearing his name that appears everywhere in the theories of electromagnetism and of quantum mechanics. We physicists would be lost without him.

      9d, on the other hand …

      1. Good shout.

        I love learning about people and off-the-wall ‘wey hey’ words like escheat which is an absolute beaut.

  14. A superb puzzle completed over a snack lunch – too many favourites to list, but 11 made me laugh out loud. Thanks to Giovanni – surely it MUST be you? Thanks also to Mr K.

  15. Great! Super! Me and Mrs JT didn’t get where we are today without being able to identify a great, super cryptic puzzle!. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and very enjoyable. 9d was new to me, obviously. Fav: 21d. 3*/4*. Bye, Reggie!

  16. Never going to do well or like crosswords containing 4 words that I have never heard before – 26a, 9d, 19d and 2d are all total unknowns.
    This for me makes this an appalling puzzle, one or even two weird words I can forgive but four! Come on DT this is just not playing the game.
    Shane because the rest of it was good but for me a shameful puzzle.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Shameful is far and away the best adjective you have ever used to describe a crossword, Brother Ian.

      Love it, love it, love it. 😂

    2. Personally Brian, I believe the greatest shame of all is when one gets to the stage when he or she starts to think that they know everything they needs to know and dislike learning anything fresh.. There is no shame in looking up new words and new facts to add to one’s memory banks. IMHO there are no weird words, just words I haven’t come across before – I have said before that I am close on eighty, but I still enjoy gaining fresh knowledge. Incidentally, I learned some new words today and my personal challenge is for me to remember them for another time.

      1. Couldn’t agree more, Salop geezer.

        But there are very much two camps which will never meet when it comes to obscure words or people who aren’t household names.

        Some are happy to learn them in a crossword, others aren’t.

        As long as the clues are parsible (or is it parsable?) then I’m a happy camper.

        ible & able endings are a real conundrum as there’s no pattern.

        Most endings do have one but these two are non-starters. I think it’s a mood thing by the creator of the word.

            1. Me too, as long as they’re not hurtful – I saw/heard too many of those when I was a school kid when God was just a boy ;-)

  17. No prizes for guessing the authorship of this one! The only surprise was seeing who was in the blogging chair today – many thanks for stepping in, Mr K.
    Clues that I singled out for mention were 26a plus 5&7d.

    Thanks to the Don and to Mr K – lovely to see the twins looking so ‘grown up’.

  18. I liked this, although I didn’t have much time this morning and had to leave part of the NW for my lunch break as it was a bit chewy. After some shuffling of 9d I got impatient and tasked my electronic Chambers with that one.

    Loved the cats and the one lying down in the bedroom – especially as my hair is getting long again and Mr K is the one who cuts it. Thanks to him and to Giovanni.

  19. Thanks to Giovanni and to Mr K for the review and hints. I didn’t realise it was a Giovanni puzzle until I read the comments. I wasn’t surprised, as there were 4 new words for me. 14a, 2,9,19d, all were fairly clued, and I managed to get them all. Last in was 3d. Favourite was 17d. Enjoyable puzzle. Was 3* / 3* for me.

  20. Managed to finish with the help of checkers, electronics, and the hint for 2d. So quite an achievement considering the setter. But there were no Damascene moments on the road to completion.

    Thanks to Mr K for his usual high standard blog and to Giovanni for being the cause of that usual high standard blog.

  21. My first thought for 9d was an archimandrake which would have been fun. I knew the word from somewhere way back – aren’t they Russian Orthodox? Anyway I got there which was good but had to look up the gas. George is a bit of a G&S fanatic having been a member of an amateur operatic company in Twickenham and kept shouting Iolanthe. He’s a great trial. Loved the cats, remember the Keith Prowse advertisement on the back of the London busses – you want the best seats, we have them! I knew someone who called her two cats Keith and Prowse. Thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter as usual and I echo Terence’s greeting to Kath.

  22. I just bopped through this very typical Giovanni last night, and except for 9d (which I haven’t seen in a few decades), there was nothing obscure or new to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed the solve. Do I sound Like CrypticSue? I think that ‘Christian dream’ is the perfect anagram for those 9d and certainly the AOTW (anagram of the week) for me. What’s not to like? Big winners today: 9d, 2d, & 19d (whom I studied in my antediluvian days at Clemson University, in Calc I and Calc II). Great puzzle. Thanks to Mr K for his usual informative review and to Giovanni. **/*****

    So sorry to hear on BBC America that The Queen is under medical supervision. My thoughts are very much with Her Majesty.

  23. 2d and 9d were new to me, as was the mathematician. Every day is a school day! Very enjoyable.

  24. Very tough today for me, with several unknown words as well as specific general knowledge.
    Struggled throughout.
    4*/2* for me today … and DNF NW corner … I conceded defeat.
    Unknown words in 26a, 2d & 9d
    Unknown people in 14a & 19d
    Very obscure in places I thought today. More like a toughie than a back pager.

    Favourites include 15a, 25a, 5d & 8d

    Thanks to Giovanni and Mr K

    Thoughts go to the Queen and her family gathering at Balmoral.

    1. Now on her death deep sympathies to all Her Majesty’s family. We her subjects will also miss her profoundly.

      1. She has been Queen for almost all of mmy life. Iam so sad iam glad she retained her sharppness and managed to work until the end. She wnt still in harness, as she would have wished to. Rest in Peace

  25. A few answers caused trouble but generally I didn’t find today very difficult – obviously the Giovanni “specials” held up.
    I’ve never heard of the playwright but it was easily enough to hunt out that was the lurker.
    I think my favourite was either 7 or 8d – and definitively not 9d!
    Thanks to Giovanni and to Mr K.

  26. It is days like this I tell myself that, with due respect to the Puzzles Editor, I am trying to do, not a Cryptic Crossword but a Craptic Chrisword.

    1. That comment suggests that your level of respect for the Puzzles Editor is not high.

      I need to draw your attention to a couple of points made in Big Dave’s Comment Etiquette, posted at https://bigdave44.com/miscellaneous/comment-etiquette/ :
      2 Don’t leave comments which are rude, insulting or give offence, including, but not limited to, personal insults and religious preferences.
      3 Don’t blame the setter [or the editor] just because you are unable to solve a puzzle.

      1. I admire his honesty, I truly do *, but what’s your take on Brian saying it was an appalling, shameful puzzle, Mr K?

        1. No problem with it at all
        2. It crosses the line but, as he’s such a sweetie, he can be let off
        3. Read him the riot act with the above two etiquettes
        4. Something else
        5. You’d rather not say

        * Gary Cooper in High Noon wouldn’t have had a chance against him. Do not forsake me oh my darling…

        What a song!

      2. With all due respect we can surely blame the editor for choosing puzzles of toughie standard for the back pager. There is a toughie on most days for those who would like a more difficult standard. |I shall probably be on the naughty
        step for this but you may be aware that this is a constant carp of mine.
        RIP to Her Majesty, a wonderful lady, and condolences to all the family.

        1. Everyone is of course free to say here in a comment that they thought the editor chose a puzzle that was too difficult for its slot. What they can’t do here is express that view in a rude or insulting manner.

  27. That’s good Tumbert!!! 2d defeated me but 15a and 17d are great clues. Thank you to the Don and Mr K.

  28. Cracker of a puzzle, beautifully clued. Two obscure answers for me (2d,9d) which “could only be” and were entirely fair.

    COTD 9d, with 11a and 23a on the podium.

    2.5* / 4.5*

    Many thanks to the Don and to Mr K

  29. Put in ” best ” rather than ”pick ” for 5d – really annoying when both are sensible answers. Found 17d confusing and never heard of 9d or 19d.2d is a poor clue in my opinion. All gettable in the end but enjoyment factor limited.

  30. I really enjoyed this and eventually finished unaided so thanks to all. After all the unpleasantness of late, I found the comment at 27 to be unnecessary and crass IMHO. Start being kind everyone. OMG just heard that our beloved Queen has died. RIP your Majesty.

    1. Such a shock. Even though she was a great age it is hard to realise she has gone. What a woman!

      1. An extra p is appearing at the end of your email address, which is sending your comments into moderation.

  31. I found this very difficult 🤔 but as I write this I have just heard the news from Balmoral so any comments seem too trivial RIP your majesty

  32. Quite difficult solving to completion.
    Very satisfying, though.
    Marred by two new words to me, 2 and 9d
    Eventually got them by experimenting with letters.
    The former, certainly a very clever clue.
    As was 10a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr. K

    1. I was enjoying this until my last clue to solve was 9d. I had all the checkers and knew the letters I needed to use. I still could not solve even with the hint. The answer is not only a massively obscure word, but a Greek religious word. This spoiled an otherwise enjoyable and challenging solve.

      Thanks to all.

  33. Great to have a second helping of cats in one week, Mr K. I love your tabbies curled up together. Like others I got very stuck in the top left and needed hints for several. Thanks to you and to Giovanni.
    RIP The Queen.

  34. I rather lost interest in the puzzle yesterday due to the death of the queen and ended up conversing with all and sundry about it. I finished this fairly swiftly this morning. Only two new words for me and I thought a couple of the comments above were out of order, much worse than anything Miffipops ever said. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to Giovanni and Mr. K.

  35. *** This post has been removed due to potential breaches of site etiquette ***

    Please read and take to heart the rules of etiquette on the site, especially rule 4:
    Do leave comments about what you like or dislike about a puzzle, but please try to justify any negative comments – comments such as “rubbish puzzle” will be deleted.

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