DT 30125 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30125 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30125 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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Good morning from East Kent on quite a warm morning where the sun and the clouds can’t quite decide which one of them should prevail.

Another day to play ‘Guess the Setter’ – I’ve placed my 50p bet as to the setter of this Prize Puzzle is, so I’ll be interested to see who turns up to claim responsibility. If I haven’t hinted a clue you are stuck on, see if it contains an anagram or a hidden word

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

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.

Some hints follow.


1a    Agile Romeo taken in by mole (4)
The letter represented by Romeo in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet ‘taken in’ by a mole

6a    Divan up to now incomplete (4)
Almost all (incomplete) of a phrase meaning up to now

8a    Those unable to settle could end up here (10,5)
A cryptic definition of a place where those unable to pay their bills may end up

10a    Female teller, a lady? (8)
This lady sounds like she could be a person who totals a number of something (eg votes)

15a    What pitchers do in French settlement? (6)
These pitchers put up tents – the French word for in and a settlement

23a    Better that non-drinker leaves this (4)
I’ve hinted this clue purely because it made me smile – Just remove the abbreviation for a non-drinker from the first word of the clue.

25a    Trade regularly accepting nothing for manoeuvre (4)
A verb meaning to trade regularly ‘accepting’ the letter representing nothing


1d    Give support to underwriter? (9)
A prefix meaning under and a writer

3d    False trusty person upset dupe (7-2)
A trusty person and an anagram (upset) of DUPE

7d    Know beforehand said number understand (7)
A homophone (said) of a number and part of a verb meaning to understand

12d    Exchanging least with more springy rubber-like plastic (9)
An anagram (exchanging) of LEAST with MORE

14d    I complete service outside in a respectful way (9)
A service or obligation go ‘outside’ I (from the clue) and a synonym for complete

16d    Occasionally unsafe to go round room that houses engine (7)
One of those words you learn more by solving crosswords than studying planes!  A structure housing the engine on an aeroplane – the occasional letters of uNsAfE go round a small room

20d    Not set to manage City (5)
A verb meaning to manage and an abbreviated for (unindicated) an American city often found in cryptic crosswords

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: INDIE + PENDANTS = INDEPENDENTS

43 comments on “DT 30125 (Hints)
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  1. I found this slightly trickier than recent Saturdays, but considerably lighter than the last three backpagers. The clueing was commendably brief and accurate, with even the odd obscurity very gettable through the wordplay. 23a and 1d emerged as my co-favourites.

    Many thanks to our setter (I am saving my money this week) and to CS.

    I see the plus sign has reappeared in recent days.

    1. YS, just remove the plus sign from the name box and make sure the “save my details” box is ticked. Then next time your name will appear without the plus. 🤞

  2. I agree with YS’s summary, although I don’t think 10a quite works. I was amazed to find the definition needed for “trusty person” in my BRB.

    My podium comprises 8a, 1d & 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to CS for the review, which is beautifully illustrated as ever.

  3. Very tricky in line with this weeks level of puzzles. I think the DT crossword manager must have been in a bad mood this week, perhaps his investments have crashed!
    I did like 4d but thought 13a a very poor clue.
    Not much fun, a bit of a slog.Thx for the hints

  4. Down to Earth with a bump after three almost Toughie days.
    Speedy resolve, 16d a new word for me but easily constructed
    Nicely clued throughout.
    Many thanks to the setter and to crypticsue for her colourfully illustrated review.

  5. Just about what a SPP should be – somewhere between a Campbell and a Ray T for difficulty and just very enjoyable. I have a thought of who our setter is today but given my recent (lack of) success I am going to ‘hold that thought.’ However, the no doubt carefully researched and verified 3d ‘trusty person’ does lead me in a certain direction or, perhaps, up the garden path. It might just be another Cephas non-pangram or not.

    Candidates for favourite – 3a, 10a, 11a, 1d, and 4d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

  6. Nice level for a Saturday crossword containing a bit of everything.
    Top three for me were 8&23a plus 1d.

    Many thanks to our setter and to CS for the hints – I could just manage that 20d for my lunch!

  7. Not sure about the first synonym in 17d for ask? Quite a tricky solve for me, 4d was a clever clue that had me searching for sayings etc until the proverbial penny dropped!

    1. If you wade through the many definitions of the first part of the solution to 17d, you will eventually find ‘to look or inquire’

  8. More difficult for me today than the last few but doable in the end. I have stars by 8 and 23a, and 3d.

    Thanks to CS : at the moment it looks as if the sun has won here in North Yorkshire but you never can tell.

    Thanks also to the setter for a thoughtful puzzle.

  9. Really enjoyed this crossword. Took a bit of thought but finished without the need to look anything up, which is rare for me. 23a, 8a and 1d are my top three.

  10. An enjoyable challenge today which was reassuring after recent struggles. NE toughest corner. My personal thesaurus didn’t run to 12d and 16d but perhaps I wasn’t alone in having to seek help for these online. I am afraid I reckon 10a and 15a are just silly – not helped by fact that I always think first of alternative French word for in. Not sure about 3d trusty person! Fav uncomplicated 4d. Thank you Mysteron and CS.

  11. A tough little puzzle for Saturday this week for me.

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 19a, 4d & 20d — with winner a toss-up between 19a & 20d … but 19a did make me smile
    Unfamiliar with the word in 16d.

    Thanks to setter and CS

  12. Enjoyable mind stretcher over lunch in the sunny conservatory, still have two buckets strategically placed ‘in case’. Fortunately George, who is feeling much better thank you after a week of antibiotics knew 16d although it was easily constructed. The two long clues were a great help although I was briefly thinking geographically for 22a. Many thanks to CS and to the setter. 4d probably my favourite.

  13. The fourth difficult puzzle in a row. Once again, I had to employ guesswork for some of the clues. 22a was the best of the clues for its clever misdirection, followed closely by16d. Like others, I found the synonym in 3d an unfortunate choice and couldn’t help thinking of an entirely inappropriate famous person Thanks to CS for the hints and to the compiler ( I’ve no idea who its).

  14. Both 12D and 16D were new words for me that required revealing a letter or two. Favorite clue is 22A. Thanks CS and today’s setter.

    Off to try my luck at the NTSPP now.

  15. 2/4. Enjoyable and generally well constructed apart from 10a which let the side down. Liked 23a and 1&16d . The rain started yesterday but we’re going to need many more days of it to fix the drought.

  16. Interesting puzzle and quite enjoyable but full of little pre-Halloween tricks in places. I must say that the definition for ‘trusty person’ in 3d has a very hollow ring to it these days, in my ears at least, and what kind of cosmic irony is that, huh? OTOH, it just might be my COTD…no, I can’t let that happen. Instead, I’ll just pick a trusty podium of 23a, 25a, & 24d. Thanks to CS and today’s setter. 2.5*/3.5*

  17. Found this pretty straightforward other than taking an embarrassingly long time to solve 8a, which was my last in & just couldn’t see until the penny dropped re the correct context of settle. I thought 23a a super little clue – the setter may be my hepatologist but I’ll go with Senf & Jane & try to recoup last Saturday’s losses with 10 bob on Chalicea. 8&22a plus 4d other particular likes.
    Thanks to the setter & CS

    1. If your ten bobsworth is correct Huntsman re Chalicea then I should have referred to Msron! Dammit I am back to having to enter my name and email every time I post here these days.

  18. Well into *** time for me…..16d a new word which I had to google…..some slightly old-fashioned aspects to this puzzle, but still an enjoyable challenge…

  19. Wet enjoyable. Clearly a wavelength thing. No comparison with the previous three days. I left Wednesday and Thursday unfinished. Friday easier but took me a while. I don’t have recourse to the hints until I’ve finished. I do admit to checking synonyms sometimes. I did not know two of the words but they were solvable with the checkers. Favourites 8. 10, and 19a and 1d. I liked the two long ones. I am familiar with 8a. I hasten to add in a professional capacity. Last ones in 12d 15a 16d and 1d. My problem with 1d was that I was looking for an obscure word. Thanks setter (Chalicea?) and CS.

    1. Well – blow me down with a feather, I really didn’t think this was one of yours, Cephas! Thank you so much for popping in to claim it.

  20. Thanks to Cephas and crypticsue (for the hints to 10a and 5a.) I laughed out loud at 23a when the penny dropped. Generally, the puzzle was hard work for me.

  21. I got up a blind alley trying to start 22a with an “e” but then I went with my gut and it all panned out. A fun solve ***/**** for me. Usual thanks to setter. The first back pager for 4 days where I finished before looking at the well constructed hints

    1. Your comment went into moderation because you included ‘7’ in your e-mail address which I took the liberty of deleting.

  22. Well I’m back after a week of no newspapers or crosswords and it’s lovely to be back, especially as I really enjoyed this. Many thanks to Cephas for a brilliant crossword. I was stuck on quite a few but after returning a few times I got there in the end. I got 12d with the checkers and had to look it up! I also enjoyed the quick crossword. Both were fun and left me smiling. Thanks to CS for the extra help and having seen the photo for 20d am going to do that for my breakfast- although mine usually turn out more solid but I live in hope!

  23. Hurrah! after three miserable days a puzzle that was doable and a pleasure to do. I actually finished this, but with some help. A couple of unknowns but they had to be what they had to be. 23a made me laugh so I think it has to be COTD, although there were a number of others suitable for the podium. Many thanks to Cephas and to Cryptic Sue. Also thanks to CS for the pictures.

  24. I’m another who has failed miserably over the last three days so it was nice to be able to complete one unaided. 16d sprang to mind as soon as I read the clue, I think there’s stuff in my mind I’m unaware of.8a held me up for a while as I was thinking of a different 5 letter word for the ending ( I want to avoid the naughty step so will say no more). Too many good clues to choose a favourite, maybe 4d if I had to pick one as it made me smile. Thanks to all

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