DT 30093 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30093

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30093

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome. StephenL is taking over the Tuesday Toughie slot full-time, which means that I’m going to be Thursday hinty person for a while. Today we have a most enjoyable RayT puzzle that I felt came from the less less-difficult end of the spectrum. I’m impressed that every clue in this smooth and varied puzzle contains no more than six 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    Wretched person belonging to cult? (6)
INSECT:  “Belonging to” or “part of” with a synonym of cult 

4a    Plant in a container like this (8)
ACANTHUS:  Link together A from the clue, a metal container, and a word meaning “like this” 

9a    Antidote contains a resistance for poison (6)
CURARE:  An antidote or treatment contains both A from the clue and the physics symbol for electrical resistance 

10a   Conflict from desperate sweetheart about sink (8)
DISAGREE:  Desperate or urgent with the central letter in SWEET (sweetheart) all containing (about) sink or droop 

12a   Salt rib with acceptable seasoning (8)
TARRAGON:  Put together a nautical salt, rib or tease, and a word informally meaning acceptable 

13a   Subsequently catching hot fever (6)
LATHER:  A synonym of subsequently containing (catching) the single letter for hot. The definition here is informal 

15a   Throttling, flashing a signal to turn (13)
STRANGULATION:  An anagram (flashing) of A SIGNAL TO TURN 

18a   Student can show unusually guarded nature (13)
UNDERGRADUATE:  An anagram (unusually) of GUARDED NATURE 

22a   Just Oliver perhaps, eating gruel finally (6)
HARDLY: The answer has nothing to do with Charles Dickens. Here we need  Oliver the mid-20th century comedian containing (eating) the final letter of GRUEL 

24a   Way around permit for casino game (8)
ROULETTE:  A way or path containing (around) permit or allow 

26a   Domestic  fee charged in advance (8)
RETAINER:  A double definition. Domestic here is a noun 

27a   Customer certainly welcomes textile dealer (6)
MERCER:  The initial pair of words hides (welcomes) the answer 

28a   Caught idle round small arcade (8)
CLOISTER:  The cricket abbreviation for caught is followed by idle or hang about containing (round) the clothing abbreviation for small 

29a   Trails beginning to show rabbits (6)
STALKS:  The beginning letter to SHOW with a verb synonym of rabbits 



1d    Stir up judgement for the audience (6)
INCITE:  A homophone (for the audience) of judgement or perception 

2d    Stunned seeing safe almost forced (9)
SURPRISED:  All but the last letter (almost) of safe or certain is followed by forced with a crowbar, perhaps 

3d    Rover showing rough coat, reportedly (7)
CORSAIR:  A homophone (reportedly) of a (6,4) phrase hint that could mean “rough coat” (on an ‘orse, perhaps)

5d    Wind could be constant energy source (4)
COIL:  A letter used for a mathematical constant with a widely-used source of energy 

6d    Falls once more upending rear, oddly (7)
NIAGARA:  The reversal (upending) of an adverb meaning “once more” is followed by the odd letters of REAR 

7d    Hard and rather strict, horribly initially (5)
HARSH:  Initial letters of the first five words in the clue 

8d    Directing sequence involving Europeans (8)
STEERING:  A sequence or train containing (involving) two copies of the single letter for European 

11d   Factory located over railway (7)
FOUNDRY:  A synonym of located with an abbreviation for railway 

14d   Beat offer after vacation alfresco (7)
OUTDOOR:  Beat or surpass with the outer letters (after vacation) of OFFER

16d   The same turning, indicate left (9)
IDENTICAL:  Follow an anagram (turning) of INDICATE with the single letter for left 

17d   Possibly high and heroic, up flying (8)
EUPHORIC:  An anagram (flying) of HEROIC UP 

19d   Conventions of Republican supporters (7)
RALLIES:  The single letter for Republican with some supporters or partners 

20d   Top lieutenant accepts soldiers' complaint (7)
AILMENT:  An adjective, here making use of the Roman one, that means top is followed by an abbreviation for lieutenant that contains (accepts) some soldiers 

21d   Stride briskly collecting rubbish (6)
DEBRIS:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (collecting) the answer 

23d   Real tripod occasionally providing balance (5)
RATIO:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of REAL TRIPOD 

25d   Abandon church with empty diocese (4)
CEDE:  One of the usual abbreviations for church with the outer letters (empty) of DIOCESE 


Thanks to today’s setter. Clues I particularly liked today included 9a, 12a, 22a, and 21d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  FELLERS + LEAP = FELL ASLEEP

49 comments on “DT 30093
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  1. 3*/4*. What a good day in crosswordland this is, with RayT and Mr K in harness here, and Silvanus and Gazza combined for today’s Toughie.

    I was held up in the NW corner for a while which took me up to my 3* time but the whole thing was very enjoyable with 4a, 9a & 19d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Messrs T & K.

  2. Stylistically, another minimalist gem from the Soul of Wit himself. Quite gentle actually for me but nonetheless enjoyable, with 22a, 4a, & 14d atop my podium, and the best lurker of the week at 21d. Thanks to Mr K in his new chair and to Ray T for the pleasure. ** / ****

  3. Superb puzzle.
    Loved the very cunning lurkers.
    Managed to construct 9a correctly, a new word for me.
    In a strong field, 28a is the COTD
    22a had me haring off in a wrong direction until the proverbial penny.
    Many thanks, RayT and Mr K.

  4. What RD said about today’s ‘double tag team’! Ray T slightly more tricky than he has been of late but as much enjoyment as ever – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 4a, 12a, 14d, and 19d – and the winner is 4a.

    Thanks to Mr T and Mr K.

  5. Another vote here for the ‘double tag team’ – what an excellent day!
    Top clues could be any of those already mentioned and I also rather liked 22&26a.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and many thanks to Mr K for the review.

  6. Fairly straightforward although I reverted to google to confirm a couple of my constructions. 12a gets my vote.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr. K.

  7. I thought Mr T was in a fairly friendly mood this morning, but that never reduces the impact of his excellent puzzles. The conciseness of his clueing never fails to impress, and my favourite, 12a, was a good example of his skill.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  8. A nicely challenging puzzle, with the main difficulties in the NW. As has been said, there were some super lurkers and i myself enjoyed the long anagrams. As usual with Ray T the thesaurus was to hand for the more elusive synonyms. 15a and 21a were my two COTDs with a nod to 4a, 26a and 27a. Thanks to Ray T for a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle and to Mr K, making his debut aas Thursday’s blogger, welcome and thank you for the hints.

  9. Another really good puzzle from Ray T. Average-ish difficulty with sublimely concise clues providing an enjoyable solve. Of the several I’ve ticked I’ll mention 20d. 2.5*/4*.

  10. I see that I am not alone in finding NW the most challenging corner which delayed my completion. Anagram indicators become increasingly far-fetched e.g. 15a “thrashing” today. 3d IMHO too clever by half. Needed help to parse 12a and 9a new to me. 22a took while to dawn as I had forgotten the person who had this forename. Crafty Quickie pun. Thank you RayT and MrK.

  11. For me, Ray T in benign mood today, and I rattled through this great puzzle in fairly short order. Loved the lurkers, the precision of the clues, and not needing to know anything particularly obtuse. Could pick many for special mention but will limit my highlights to 4a, 9a, 28a and 3d, with COTD to 22a.

    2* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Mr T and of course to Mr K

  12. I found this more difficult than yesterday’s,then I realised I’d hardly anything jotted down and I normally fill all the available space. So all in all quite chuffed. 12a favourite.
    Ta to all.

  13. Did anyone notice that yesterday’s Plusword had two possible answers whereas there is supposed to be only one word which works with the given rules? I had THEFT for my answer but today showed the solution as TWEET. I’m sorry to butt in with a non-crossword comment but I didn’t know who else to ask!

    1. Good spot, I didn’t notice this as my first thought was tweet.
      Where do you even see the answers, I can’t get the grid to reveal itself ever?

      1. Sorry I have the hard copy and am too addicted to give it up… In the paper yesterday’s answers are beneath that day’s puzzles.

  14. Favourites 22a and 2 3 6 and 14d. Last two in 10a and 5d. I had two other sources of energy in mind until I found the synonym for 10a. Some fun misdirections leading to doh moments. I had in mind the wrong sort of salt, a Victorian Oliver rather than the one who came to the Nottingham Empire in the early 50’s, a small arcade containing slot machines or shops and conventions that are customs rather than gatherings. I’m pleased that I saw through these diversions. Thank you Ray T and Mr K.

    1. Mr K I was put in mind of your illustration of 10a. I came in this lunchtime to see this giftfrom my husband awaiting me.

  15. Bucking the trend, I found the top half (9a apart, needing Mr G for confirmation) fell into place at a gallop, the bottom half was far from a gimme but perseverance paid off for a completion after much head-scratching.
    Thanks to Mr T and Mr K for the double act, a fine Thursday puzzle.

  16. Three quarters went in pretty briskly but chalk me down as another a bit held up in the NW which extended the solve to 2.5* time. Not sure I’d have been able to identify the textile dealer in a pub quiz so pleased it was a lurker but otherwise problem free. The usual quality concise clueing with plenty of ticks. 9a was my favourite for no other reason that I was pleased to retrieve it from the memory bank.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K.

  17. Not sure I would describe todays offering as a crossword but rather a homage to the skill and quirky mindset of the setter known as Ray T. It had all his hallmarks primarily in that it was completely impenetrable at least to myself and Mrs B. Between us we solved one clue. The rest were simply way out of my league.
    Cannot rate this puzzle for obvious reasons.
    Roll on tomorrow when hopefully I will have an outside chance of enjoying a crossword.

  18. Seemed a little strange doing a Ray T back-pager without having to think how I’d hint each answer.
    For me about average or slightly tougher than his usual offerings but as beautifully constructed as ever.
    My top two were 10a with the solution a cleverly disguised verb and 22a as it made me laugh when I realised who Oliver was.
    Many thanks to Mr T and Mr K for a top puzzle and blog

  19. Never heard of a mercer, would never refer to a wretched person as an insect, failed to spot that a corsair is a rover (rover as in ship?) and never saw a cloister as a sort of arcade. Difficulty 2? More like 3!

    1. Hello, Ashley. I took the rover to be a pirate. That and the other definitions you mentioned are all found in Chambers Dictionary. I agree that some of them are not used much these days.

      I’m not yet calibrated for Thursdays, and so I wasn’t sure whether to give this two or three stars for difficulty. Probably should have gone for 3.

  20. For me this was one of RayT’s tougher puzzles today. NE held me up today. 3*/3.5*
    Two words I was unfamiliar with in 4a & 27a as well as the definition for 3d.
    Definitely needed some the hints today.

    I liked both of the two long across clues in the puzzle centre too.

    Favourites included 9a,12a, 28a, 6d & 11d– with winner 11d

    Thanks to RayT and to Mr K for the hints.

  21. Always love a Ray T and this did not disappoint.
    Relatively straightforward, despite a couple of unknown words. I’ll nominate 21d as my favourite for the clever surface.
    Thanks to all

  22. A lovely puzzle today. Took me quite a while to finish which I am putting down to jet lag after a wonderful holiday in the Canadian Rockies…..an unbelievably beautiful place where every turn in the road gives an even more magnificent vista than the last.
    Had to check with the BRB for that meaning of 1a and needed Mr K’s help to parse 12a.
    As others , the NW corner took me longest.

    Thanks to RayT and to Mr K.
    I too noticed the omission……nice one if a sad one.

  23. A typical puzzle by the master of lurkage with 21d a fined example. I liked most of the across clues which were shaded by 10a and 7d was pure RayT. Thanks to Ray for a fine workout, especially in the NE corner.

  24. Tough, but most enjoyable.
    Like others, I was barking up the wrong laurel tree with Oliver for far too long.
    A great puzzle from the master of brevity.

  25. After a day of hanging around and zipping about (and even doing some remote working in between) I can’t remember too many details about this one. I marked 22a and 5d as favourites but there were plenty of options.

    With a less entertaining puzzle I might have been saying I quickie pun because I was up early, but this kept me going and gave a good start to the day.

    RayT always satisfies, but I hope for a return of his usual level of playfulness soon. No matter – I’m now properly on holiday for the next couple of days and off to play in the pool.

    1. Oops – in my haste to get wet I forgot to thank RayT and Mr K. Thanks you very much. :)

      Now that Jane has given away that “zipping about” meant something specific I will not leave you in the dark. It was Velocity 2 at Zip World over Penrhyn Quarry.

  26. Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tough in parts. To me a long time to get the last half a dozen answers, but got there in the end. Favourite was 22a. Was 3* / 3* for me.

  27. A dnf thanks to 26a. Seems I am the only person who was unaware a retainer is a domestic or servant. If anyone used this term to mean a domestic outside of crosswordland, people present would slowly edge towards the nearest exit and get away as soon as possible.

    Thanks to all.

  28. I’ve been wondering all week how Mr T was going to manage without Her Majesty – as with so many other things, his crosswords won’t be the same without her. I found this a lot more difficult than I usually do with his puzzles and had to consult Mr K’s hints for my last two, 26 and 27 across. Many thanks to both. I will now have to get used to Thursday being “cat day” instead of Tuesday.

  29. I haven’t, like some, taken offence. I’m off to the Svalbard for 3 weeks so will be unable to post.
    At least I have a book of DT crosswords to amuse me.

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