DT 30119 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30119 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30119 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Crypticsue is not available today so it falls to me to provide a few hints to get you started on the Saturday Prize Puzzle.

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.

Today’s puzzle is not a pangram so I’ll leave you to guess the identity of the setter.

Some hints for what I consider to be the harder clues follow.


1a Save family mansion? (9)
Stick together a word meaning family or ancestry and a term for a mansion or large imposing building.

8a Inside with instruction to secretary to do this for boss in his absence, how petty! (13)
Start with a synonym for inside and add what a boss may tell his secretary to do if he’s not available to deal with his outgoing correspondence (4,2,1,3’1).

13a Ask about in person (5)
A verb to ask or implore containing IN (from the clue).

21a Rude fellow bringing back fodder ducks (5)
Reverse a word for fodder made from grass and add two occurrences of the letter that resembles a duck in cricket.

28a Does toffee-maker eventually come to this? (6,3)
A phrase meaning a disaster which cryptically might describe what a toffee-maker reaches after making his gooey product.


2d One who wanted more / tobacco, perhaps (5)
Double definition, the first a literary character and the second chewing tobacco made in the form of a roll.

3d Not a current sort of light? (6)
Cryptic definition of a sort of light which doesn’t need electric current and which we may need if the worst predictions for power cuts come true this winter.

9d Sue quaintly pleasing, ordinary language first (9)
An adjective meaning quaintly pleasing or twee follows ordinary language, i.e. not poetry.

10d Papa with scope giving trite remark (9)
The letter that papa represents in the Nato Phonetic Alphabet and a word meaning scope or room to manoeuvre.

22d Type of power from a beastly male in charge (6)
Assemble A, a male domestic pet and the abbreviation for ‘in charge’.

26d Continue to shake vehicle (5)
Split your answer 3,2 to get a phrasal verb meaning to continue to shake or brandish.

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The Quick Crossword pun: GERM + ANNE + BITE = GERMAN BIGHT

41 comments on “DT 30119 (Hints)

  1. Well, that was a much easier challenge than the last 2 days, although for some reason i got stuck on 19A as my LOI. COTD for me was 8A.

  2. There is also a bird called a pantin. Thought I was clever, but it caused me a good 10’ of struggle over 8a because I had an incorrect checker. Be warned!
    Good puzzle. Just right for a Saturday.

    1. A fairly straightforward puzzle, with a few head-scratchers in the NW. i really enjoyed completing it. I liked 7d , 8a and 28a, particularly the latter, which made me laugh my money’s on Chalicea as this week’s SPP compiler but what do I know? Thanks to Gazza for stepping into the breach to do the hints and to the compiler

    2. Yes, I thought I was being clever coming up with pantin which totally screwed me up for 8 across which took me ages to solve even after I came up with the pantin alternative. 8 across is possibly 1 of the cleverest cryptic clues I have come across and I’ve been doing cryptic crosswords for over 50 years. Brilliant !!!!

  3. That very clever centre block of 5-letter clues got me going after a sluggish beginning at the top and bottom, and once those little gems were done, I was finally on my way to a happy finish, though pushed ultimately into *** time. Still, I got there in the end, with kudos to 8a, 1a, & 27a, which initially quite befuddled me. Thanks to Gazza for stepping in for CS, and cheers to today’s setter for a most enoyable grid. *** / ****

  4. What a pleasant way to spend part of a sunny morning. The friendly nature of the clues interspersed with one or two trickier ones led me to Chalicea as the likely setter. I could be wrong, of course. Whoever it was, this was good fun with 8a the pick of the crop.

    Thanks to both setter and Gazza.

  5. Phew!! Never thought I’d finish this one after the first read through. 8a put me off – it seemed too complicated for my mid level parsing, but in the end…..genius clue.

  6. Weird grid which looked scary at first but proved to be an excellent puzzle. My fav was 28a, a laugh out loud clue for me. Not keen on 26d seems a little clumsy.
    Thx to all

  7. An enjoyable challenge, but, after Cephas ‘fooling’ us last Saturday, my five bob is staying in my pocket today – 2.5*/3.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 26a, 15d, and 23d – and the winner is 23d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  8. Quite a mixed bag of difficult and not so.
    8a across put up the toughest fight.
    And, as in 2 above, I held on to the wrong bird for some time.
    In summary, 4*/5*.
    Many thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  9. Most joyful solve in my recent memory. A host of terrific clues so it’s hard to pick Fav(s) but after some deliberation I will agree with RC and go for 1a, 8a and 27a. Struggled to parse 14d and 21a. Will be surprised if this is a Chalicea product but, if so, TVM to her or otherwise to whomever.

  10. I do enjoy Gazza’s hints and reviews, he always finds such excellent illustrations!
    Quite a few chestnuts in this puzzle but certainly some clues that raised a smile. 1a & 15d made it to the top of my pile.

    Thanks to our setter and to Gazza.

  11. 1.5*/4*. Very nice – light and good fun. 8a was my favourite and it is joined on my podium by 1a & 23d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping in at short notice and, as Jane says, for providing some splendid illustrations.

    1. To be fair it wasn’t at short notice. CS asked me to cover her about a week ago so I had plenty of time to get into training.

  12. Very enjoyable and doable with some electronic help. Unlike others here I don’t struggle on beyond my set time for puzzling but use the electronic to sort out the Remainers, just two today. Enjoyed 27 and 28a, but my star today goes to 9d.

    Thanks to Gaza for stepping in and to the Setter for a fine puzzle.

  13. A lovely crossword for a Saturday morning (and a bit of afternoon too).
    The answers all crossing over in the middle took a while – don’t know why, they just did!
    I don’t think I’ve met the tobacco part of 2d – surely I must have done after my years of crosswords – maybe not!
    I thought 1a and 28a were brilliant and also 6 and 7d.
    Are the Saturday crosswords either Chalicea or Cephas? If so then it is presumably Cephas as Chalicea is the NTSPP today – I have to say that the clues don’t feel familiar – or maybe I’ve just been had!!
    Thank you whoever set the crossword – thanks too, to Gazza – as Jane has already said he does some cracking hints and illustrations.
    Off to NTSPP now . . . until our younger Lamb turns up, plus her one year old!

  14. Notwithstanding that she’s in the NTSPP slot I’ll have 10 bob that this one is a Chalicea production. Fairly gentle & very enjoyable. 8&28a my top two.
    Thanks to the setter & to Gazza.

    1. You shouldn’t have been so reckless, Huntsman. Yesterday’s win obviously went to your head!

  15. I think my mind is blown, the clue for 8a gives a breakdown of 11 letters for a 13 word answer and my checker from 4d isn’t helping

    1. If you’re referring to the hint rather than the clue note that (as the hint tells you) you need a synonym (2 letters) for ‘inside’ before the 11-letter breakdown.

  16. Top puzzle with some head scratchers but nothing to hold us up for too long. Favourite was 28a. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. Huntsman is going broke at this rate! I must confess, Cephas, that I am a bit surprised but pleased to learn that you are the author of this lovely, quite magical SPP. Thank you very much!

  17. 2/4. Enjoyable puzzle which had a few good anagrams to get the ball rolling. I liked the grid also. My favourites were 19&28a and 2d. Thanks to Cephas and Gazza.

  18. Aha. Cephas! Many thanks for our lunchtime brain teaser- I read down to 18a before I put one on but then it all started to come together. I went to Cambridge yesterday and bought a handbag of the 23d variety, which probably will not mean anything to any of the men but Crickety References to you! I agree with all the specials mentioned and send thanks to Gazza as well.

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable, with lots of smiles along the way. 8A. 1A and 28A are my top picks, in that order. Thanks to Gazza and today’s setter.

    Good news about Big Dave! Thanks, CS.

  20. Found this tougher than the last two back pagers from this week.
    3*/3* for me

    Favourites include 21a, 28a, 4d, 15d & 23d with winner 28a

    Thanks to Cephas and Gazza

  21. I am afraid 19a stumped me even though I had all the checkers. Even with an electronic solution, I wasn’t sure of the meaning. I have now added it to my list of words to know. I enjoyed the rest of the clues though. After a slow start, things picked up nicely.

  22. Not on the wavelength at all today. Probably solved a few then went off to do something else. May go back to it later.

    It feels as if I was doing a different crossword to everyone else.

  23. I greatly enjoyed this with numerous excellent clues. Favourites include 1a, 8a, 19a, 9d, 10d and 22d. 3d last in. ***/*****.

  24. Great puzzle – many thanks to Cephas for the enjoyable challenge!
    Thanks also to Gaza for stepping in for CS 👍

  25. I enjoyed this puzzle which i.managed to do without hints. Definite favourite 8a. Thanks to the setter.

  26. Enjoyed this: but what a difference a grid makes! Not that keen on this one but the setter made the most of it. Thanks.

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