DT 30117 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30117

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30117

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. While I found most of this crossword straightforward, there were a handful of clues which required pondering and a visit to the dictionary. I’m never sure how to assign a difficulty rating to puzzles like that, so I’m going for an average rating of 3*. 

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    From a toilet water is rising (6)
ASCENT:  A from the clue with toilet water or eau de toilette 

5a    Pick frozen dessert without cold centre (6)
CHOICE:  A (4,3) frozen dessert with the single letter for cold deleted from its centre (without cold centre)

10a   Unlocks old cages (5)
OPENS:  The abbreviation for old with some cages or small enclosures

11a   Rendered  tired and emotional? (9)
PLASTERED:  Rendered a wall is an informal synonym of the euphemism “tired and emotional” 

12a   Labour's leader got wise (7)
LEARNED:  The initial letter (…’s leader) of LABOUR with got or deserved 

13a   Get wrong short cut following motorway (7)
MISHEAR:  Clip or cut short is following the abbreviation for the first motorway 

14a   Clone energy in unstable particle (9)
REPLICATE:  The physics symbol for energy inserted in an anagram (unstable) of PARTICLE 

17a   Misses sleep on board ship (5)
SKIPS:  An informal word for sleep inserted in (on board) the usual abbreviation for steamship 

18a   Cook fish part holding skewer's end (5)
GRILL:  A breathing part of a fish containing (holding) the end letter of SKEWER 

19a   During negotiations, laugh, taking charge (9)
ONSLAUGHT:  The answer is hidden in (during … ) the remainder of the clue 

21a   A Queen with flag backing country (7)
ERITREA:  The combination of A from the clue, the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth, and flag or exhaust is all reversed (backing

23a   Disagreement disregarding Republican lie (7)
FICTION:  Disagreement or conflict minus (disregarding) the single letter for Republican

25a   Plant seeds while missing hard ground (9)
EDELWEISS:  An anagram (ground) of SEEDS WHILE minus (missing) the pencil abbreviation for hard 

26a   Individual doing little except relax initially (5)
IDLER:  Initial letters of the first five words in the clue 

27a   The French foreign port lacking interest (6)
LEADEN:  “The” in French with a port in Yemen 

28a   Musical work from person at academy (6)
SONATA:  The answer is hidden in (… from …) the remainder of the clue 



2d    Tablet of stone, Eolian oddly (5)
STELA:  The abbreviation for stone with the odd letters of EOLIAN 

3d    Lease isn't changed producing key (9)
ESSENTIAL:  An anagram (changed) of LEASE ISN’T 

4d    Transcript's first copied and recorded (5)
TAPED:  The first letter of TRANSCRIPT with copied or imitated 

5d    Offensive weapon student held in game (9)
CHARMLESS:  A synonym of weapon and the letter indicating a student or learner driver are inserted together in a board game 

6d    Promises some cereal getting hot inside (5)
OATHS:  A cereal containing the single letter for hot (getting hot inside)

7d    Covering sweetheart with loving embrace (9)
CARPETING:  A sweetheart or favourite contained by loving or devoted (with loving embrace)

8d    Big wave from posh car (6)
ROLLER:  A double definition, with the one for the car being informal 

9d    Ace party on Royal Navy's decks (6)
ADORNS:  Concatenate the playing card abbreviation for ace, a usual party, and the abbreviation for Royal Navy with its S from the clue 

15d   Victorian English accepting base benefit (9)
PRIVILEGE:  The fusion of a prude or person of Victorian morality and the single letter for English containing (accepting) base or foul

16d   Love helping to support bustle (9)
ADORATION:  A helping or allocation comes after (to support, in a down clue) bustle or fuss 

17d   Post chain's not forged (9)
STANCHION:  An anagram (forged) of CHAIN’S NOT 

18d   One gushes in speech for bloke (6)
GEEZER:  A homophone (in speech) of a thing that gushes 

20d   Plain fish with almost dry interior (6)
TUNDRA:  A sushi fish containing (with … interior) all but the last letter (almost) of DRY 

22d   Powered boat is scrapped (5)
ROWED:  A double definition, with the boat powering being by hand 

23d   Fashion's to purchase small mitts (5)
FISTS:  Fashion or tailor with its S from the clue containing (to purchase) the clothing abbreviation for small 

24d   Popular lease for small bay (5)
INLET:  Popular or fashionable with lease or rent out 


Thanks to today’s setter. The best parts for me were 20d and the Quickie pun. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WRITERS + REIGN = RIGHT AS RAIN

43 comments on “DT 30117
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  1. I thought this was top-notch Ray T.
    Hard to look beyond the excellent 1a as favourite but 19&21a and the very clever 22d were worthy runners up.
    Many thanks to our esteemed setter and Mr K, good stuff

  2. 2.5*/4.5*. I was delighted to find the back-pager on the back-page today and then to see that the Quickie puzzle contained only one-word clues and one-word answers which confirmed it was RayT Thursday.

    And what a pleasure this was to solve, although I did get held up slightly by making a mistake by putting “mistake” (motorway short synonym for cut) in as my answer which messed up 7d & 8d for a while.

    2d was a new word for me and my podium choices are 1a, 5a & 26a.

    Many thanks to RayT and Mr K.

  3. Got caught out trying to force the letter ‘E’ wrongly into two clues today, firstly in 15d thinking ‘base’ meant e as in Euler’s number, then again in 7d as an answer for ‘sweetheart.
    As soon as I eventually got over this obsession, the rest followed
    quite nicely. Favourite today was the tricky 5d.

  4. Terrific puzzle, as usual from the master of brevity and maestro of wit. I rather sailed through this one and was sorry that it ended so soon. I especially enjoyed 21a, 22d, & 18d (even though the gusher is pronounced differently over here–with a long I (as in ‘eye’) and not a long E). Special Clarkie to 19a, one of the best lurkers in some time! Thanks to Mr K and Ray T. ** / ****

    1. …and in Iceland, the place Geysir from which the term originated, is pronounced gayzeer I understand!

      [You’re putting an ‘s’ in place of an ‘a’ in your email address which is sending your comments into moderation. Gazza]

  5. On RayT’s wavelength from the off, today, so though brief in duration this puzzle gave much pleasure while it lasted. The precision and conciseness of the clueing combined with coherent surface reads is always very impressive, and I wish more setters would follow his example! Hon Mentions today to the clever deceptions in 1a, 5d, & 7d, the red herring of 22d, and the excellent combined surface & answer of 26a, my COTD.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks indeed to RayT and of course to MrK – I’m still trying to find hidden felines in two of your pictures!

  6. Quite difficult for me today as I parsed my way around the grid.
    Put in the wrong definition for 18d which did not help.,realised my error when I could not find a country beginning with Y!
    Excellent cluing throughout by Ray T.
    Difficult to pick a favourite or so,liked 23a and the surface of 20d.
    Thanks to Mr K for the pics especially 11a

    1. I initially made the same mistake as you Beaver for 21a and searched for country beginning with Y (apart from Yugoslavia as was!).

  7. The fact that this was a Ray T production says enough. 5 and 25a were my co-favourites ahead of 3d.

    Many thanks to Messers T and K.

  8. Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Ray T as usual. Great fun to solve. I liked the misdirection in7d, just when we were getting used to sweetheart=e! I thought 28a was very smooth. LOI was 23d. Favourite was 1a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  9. A very entertaining challenge from the Thursday maestro, a little trickier than he has been of late with not his ‘usual’ sweetheart – 3.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 23a, 7d, and 20d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

    P.S. The ‘book’ is open on which member of the Friday triumvirate will be on duty tomorrow. Any takers?

  10. Ray was ba ng on form today. There were some excellent clues, with clever misdirection elusive synonyms, the late Queen And a different sweetheart to catch us all out . There were three great lego clues, 24a, a geographical delight and 7d and 5d, both with clever misdirection. The 25a anagram and the hilarious missiing letter clue at 5a. 2thanks to Mr K for the hints and the cat pictures and to the inimitable Mr T for a good brain workout.

  11. Easy ride in the North but South a bit more troublesome however all good fun. Struggled to get choose out of my mind for 5a. Not sure about fits in 23a. Fav was 1a. Thank you RayT and MrK.

  12. As ever fully agree with Stephen. A top notch puzzle indeed & though largely straightforward a handful of head scratchers made it comfortably the trickiest of this week’s back-pagers thus far – 2d is a new word to me & the parsing of 15d took a while for the penny to drop. Always like it when the anagram indicator is sort of disguised in the surface read so for that reason 25a was my favourite ahead of the terrific lurker at 19a.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K

  13. Another top quality puzzle from the consistently good Ray T. Great, concise clues proividing a tricky challenge and much enjoyment. Of the clues I’ve ticked, I’ll mention 1a and 2d. 3.5*/4*.

    *PS. Is that female plasterer at 11a standing in a bucket?

  14. Something of a wobbly day on the health front but knew that Mr T would find ways to make me smile.
    Biggest ticks went to 11,17&25a plus 5&20d. Gold medal to 11a.

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

      1. Thanks Mr K – I’m blaming it on the recent Covid booster but it could be any of the ailments I appear to have collected in recent times.

  15. I got into a right pickle over 18a. I saw the word “cook” and instantly thought that it was an anagram indicator therefore the definition was “end”. I thought that the fish part was “fin” so bunged in “final”. I couldn’t parse it.., and I certainly wasn’t cooking anything. It was a case of back to the drawing board. The rest of it slotted into place with a bit of a tussle. Thanks to RayT and to Mr Kitty.

  16. All in agreement today it seems, lots to like in this clever offering from the maestro. Top-notch clues at 5d and 7d plus a well-hidden lurker (until you see it) at 19a.
    All went in at a gallop, though the SW put the brakes on with the alternative entries to 18d proving to be a surprising obstacle.
    Thanks to Ray T for the fun Mr K for the review.

  17. I seemed to struggle with this, my fault not the setter of course. I was jumping to too many conclusions. I’m having a bad day. Thanks to Messrs Ray & Kay and cats.

  18. A Ray T showing his gentler side. I really enjoyed this apart perhaps from 22d which was a bit clumsy I thought.
    My favs were 18d & 20d.
    Thx to all

  19. A tricky, in parts, solve but very enjoyable 😃 ****/**** 2d was a new word for me. Favourites were the very clever 1a, 5, 9 and 24d. Thanks to Mr K and to Ray T

  20. What a great puzzle. Got off to a flying start and then slowed a bit, but well worth the extra time to appreciate some really outstanding clues.
    So many ticks: 1a, 11a, 12a, 23a, 25a, 5d, 7d and 22d, with the winner by a short head being 5d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.
    Great stuff!

  21. I would like to blame Covid for my desultory attempt at this puzzle but it was my own inability to solve the clues. Still my doctor was very sympathetic when she rang as I had cancelled an appointment to discuss my advance decision on end of life care featuring DNR in most cases. I emailed it to her and she will make suggestions about it.

    Anyway thank you to Ray T and Mr K.

  22. Not too difficult today – my main trouble was trying to spell 25a which is silly as I remember having having the same problem before.
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  23. Best puzzle of the week so far for me.

    Favourites 1a, 5a, 17a, 9d & 18d — with 17a my winner by a nose over 18d

    Held up for a while on 7d as not the ‘sweetheart’ I/we expect from RayT.

    Thanks to RayT and Mr K

  24. Needed the hints for 27a and 22d. I doubt I would have ever got 27a with all the ports I the world to choose from. 22d wasn’t difficult, but beyond my feeble brain today.

    A good challenge nonetheless.

    Thanks to all.

  25. didnt like this at all . some very poor clues in my opinion. eg 21a , 27a , 22d,23d. Can’t see how anyone found much enjoyment in this .

  26. I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record this week as I struggled with this particularly in the NE. I got there though. Having chosen an anagram the other day as favourite I’m going to choose a lurker and pick 19a. Thanks to Mr. K and Rayt, you’re still my favourite setter I hope you haven’t let the others know, we don’t want this sort of favoritism getting out.

  27. I went sadly awry with 15d as I had prim for the Victorian. Could not see 1a at all. Now I remember my mother used to call it toilet water and never heard of 2d. Not my finest moment.

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