DT 30129 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30129

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30129

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday.  Lots of smiles in the solve today. The difficulty felt a little below the Thursday average, but that might just be me being on wavelength for a change. 

I’ve been having offline discussions with a few readers about the challenge of printing readable puzzles from the new Telegraph puzzles site. It appears that printing the online puzzle might be a workaround. I’ve put details at the end of the blog, hidden under an expandable spoiler so it doesn’t take up lots of screen space by default. Feedback welcome.

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    Sympathise with business colleague framing cheapskate (11)
COMMISERATE:  An abbreviation for company or business with a colleague or partner containing (framing) another word for cheapskate 

10a   Often appeals to heavenly spirit, initially (5)
OATHS:  Initial letters of the first five words in the clue

11a   Ace party helping to make love (9)
ADORATION:  Link together the playing card abbreviation for ace, a usual party, and a helping or allocation 

12a   Sure last word ultimately meant 'heaven' (9)
FIRMAMENT:  Assemble sure or definite, a religious last word, and the final letter (ultimately) of MEANT 

13a   Welcome seeing nightmare over (5)
HELLO:  A nightmare or something causing misery, pain, or destruction is followed by the cricket abbreviation for over 

14a   Stones maybe using grand composer (6)
GRAVEL:  The single letter for grand with a composer of ice skating music 

16a   Paint rude scene including butts in (8)
INTRUDES:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (including) the answer 

18a   Regressive retribution consumes a Republican (8)
REARWARD:  Retribution or deserts contains (consumes) both A from the clue and the single letter for Republican

20a   Finale on stage for celebrity (6)
LEGEND:  Finale or conclusion following (on, in an across clue) a stage of a race, perhaps

23a   You French, rubbish backing train (5)
TUTOR:  You in French with the reversal (backing) of rubbish or nonsense 

24a   Wader, small, too quiet in breakwater (9)
SANDPIPER:  Combine the clothing abbreviation for small, too or also, and the musical abbreviation for quiet inserted in a breakwater or jetty

26a   Flow from spout holding single drink (9)
ORIGINATE:  Spout or speak containing both the Roman numeral representing single and a drink once claimed to ruin mothers 

27a   Inception filming location? (5)
ONSET:  The answer split (2,3) could be a filming location 

28a   Reshuffle of cabinet role for party (11)
CELEBRATION:  An anagram (reshuffle) of CABINET ROLE 



2d    Fur is sexier, some say (5)
OTTER:  A homophone (some say, especially if they’re Cockney) of a word meaning sexier

3d    Pale following motorway blunder (7)
MISTAKE:  A fencing pale is following the abbreviation for the primary motorway 

4d    Beginning to seem worried and anxious (6)
SCARED:  The beginning letter of SEEM with worried or was concerned 

5d    Anchoring, gripping claws finally (8)
ROOSTING:  The wordplay directs us to anchoring or fixing containing (gripping) the final letter of CLAWS. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

6d    Possibly mistress apiece in endless semester (7)
TEACHER:  A synonym of apiece inserted in all but the last letter (endless) of another word for semester. The possibly indicates that the definition is by example 

7d    Arrangement for auctioning rubbish (13)
CONFIGURATION:  An anagram (rubbish) of FOR AUCTIONING 

8d    Man perhaps almost in trick move (8)
DISLODGE:  All but the last letter (almost) of what Man defines by example (perhaps) inserted in a trick or evasion 

9d    Horribly snide reaction being tactless (13)
INCONSIDERATE:  An anagram (horribly) of SNIDE REACTION 

15d   A strike revolt over slaughterhouse (8)
ABATTOIR:  Concatenate A from the clue, strike a ball with a piece of willow, and the reversal (over) of revolt or insurrection 

17d   Organ is flat missing reed's opening (8)
PROSTATE:  Flat or lying down minus (missing) the opening letter of REED

19d   Belligerent wife even maintaining resistance (7)
WARLIKE:  The genealogical abbreviation for wife with even or similar containing (maintaining) the physics symbol for electrical resistance 

21d   Use former conspiracy about Illuminati's leader (7)
EXPLOIT:  A prefix meaning former with a conspiracy or plan containing (about) the first letter (…’s leader) of ILLUMINATI 

22d   Make attractive border prominent feature (6)
ENDEAR:  Border or extremity with a prominent feature on the side of your head

25d   Bug found on old sauce (5)
PESTO:  A bug or annoyance followed by the abbreviation for old 


Thanks to RayT for a fun puzzle.  This week I have 11a as my top clue, in part because of the great surface, with the very smooth anagram of 9d in the runner-up position. Which clues did you like best?


Printing crosswords from the new puzzle site. Click here to open and close.

A strategy that looks hopeful for me is printing the page with the playable puzzle instead of the “Print” version of the puzzle. On my Windows machine it’s necessary to tell the browser (Edge in this case) to print Background graphics (otherwise the grid doesn’t come out right) and the scaling should be tweaked to get everything to fit on one page (98% in the example below). Here is what the Print Preview dialogue in Edge looks like with those settings, including the preview of the how the page will print. The clue font is considerably larger than the one used in the standard print version. Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window.



The Quick Crossword pun:  CHAIR + REAP + EYE = CHERRY PIE

52 comments on “DT 30129

  1. A very even and steady solve with a smattering of anagrams and lurkers but not too many. Enjoyable and straightforward until I got to my LOI 8d which took me into ** time. No particular favourite but lots of nice Lego clues. I agree Mr K not as hard a Thursday as usual. Thanks to the setter for the fun.

  2. I’ve pinched myself to see if I am dreaming, but no – it’s true. Last Thursday we had a Silvanus back-pager and a Beam (RayT) Toughie and this week it’s a RayT back-pager and a Silvanus Toughie. What more could a humble solver wish for?

    My rating is 2*/4.5* with too many great clues to try to pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Mr K.

  3. This puzzle, which I really enjoyed was a game of two halves. Starting in the North and East, most of the clues wer,e quite straightforward, but there a few more head-scratchers on the Eastern side. I liked the lego clues at 1a and 24a but COTD was 7d, with its splendid misdirection. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and the pictures of cats an wildlife and to the compiler

  4. A typically concise and enjoyable puzzle from one of our favourite setters. As is often the case, I found it hard to select a winner, but I think the anagram at 9d just takes top spot.

    Many thanks to the two Misters, T and K.

  5. I did this, for some inexplicable reason given the day and the fact I’ve blogged quite a few of his compilatios, without clocking it was Ray T. I thought it solid, straightforward and enjoyable throughout but perhaps lacking the X Factor his puzzles usually have.
    Max thanks to Misters T&K.

  6. Lots to like and one or two hmms today in this gentler than usual Thursday offering. Favourites were 1a which got me off to a good start by going straight in, 12a, 8d and 21d. I didn’t really like 2d – a bit too generic, and I thought 16a a trifle clumsy. That said I thoroughly enjoyed completing this in good, for me, time. I don’t really compete with myself time wise. It’s the enjoyment that counts along with frustration levels which sometimes reach *****!

  7. Agree with Mr K that this puzzle was a little below the Thursday difficulty average but good fun nevertheless.
    Lots of my favourite charades like 12a 18a and 24a.
    Favourite was the 16a lurker-great pics from Mr K.
    Goind for **/****

  8. Forgot to say thank you to Ray T and Mr K. I always enjoy reading the hints and loved the divided room cat pic.

    1. I liked the other picture. Did you know the man who invented Cats Eyes in the road was inspired by seeing a cat walk towards him. If the cat had been walking away, he would have invented a pencil sharpener. (is that rude 🤭)

  9. Workmanlike progress to unaided completion.
    Only hesitation 17d, last in.
    Smiled at the nicely concealed lurker.
    Also at 10a.
    Enjoyable puzzle.
    Many thanks, RayT and Mr K.

  10. Thanks to Ray T & Mr K for not only for the review but also for the print strategy for the new site although I must say it is a needless faff when the old site has a perfectly good printing function. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it.

  11. Although some ‘trademark’ elements are missing, no doubt about who today’s setter is – 2.5*/4.5*.

    A real tea tray PDM for the parsing of 8d.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 20a, 24a, 6d, and 21d – and the winner is the Lego-supreme 24a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  12. Did this and didn’t enjoy it at all. Some synonyms were stretched, and 2d and 10a were very poor clues IMHO. I’m sure others will have loved it though.

  13. I’m not usually a big RayT fan, but I enjoyed this one. Possibly because it was on the gentler side and I managed to finish unaided. More of this and I could become a convert. My favourite clue was 7d. Thanks to RayT and Mr Kitty. Loved all the pics.

  14. Easy going today from the Thursday master, 17d my LOI which though the answer just had to be, I needed MrK to help with the parsing.
    Thanks all round.

  15. RayT is the only compiler I ever recognize, but not this time. Had to reveal a couple of letters for 8D and then the parsing held me up some more. That darned island always gets me! 24A is my top pick and 19D made me laugh. Thanks Mr. T and Mr. K.

  16. Very pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable, with my last two in emerging as my top two: 8d & 17d. I rather missed some of Mr T’s trademarks but not the neat, succinct manner of his clues–they are as tidy as ever. Thanks to Mr K and to Ray T. **/****

  17. Some clues were so simple you thought they couldn’t be right, and others so convoluted you had to struggle. I liked 12& 14 and 26a (looking forward to my 6 o’clock fix with the latter) and 6d. We went out to lunch yesterday, me with the Church Ladies
    abd G with the husbands to the pub. When we got home about 3, one of the couples, on the High Street, found they had been burgled. A violent, two window smashing entry, all jewellery gone, safe, passports, silver – even some new clothes laid out on the spare bed. We were burgled in 2000 and you never get over the intrusion, the feeling of violation. Horrid, horrid people. Thanks to Messrs Setter & K for the diversion.

  18. I’m not usually a great fan of anagrams but I did enjoy the very smooth ones we had today – i.e. 7d, 9d and the very topical 28a. Many thanks to Ray T and to Mr K for the review and illustrations.

  19. Quite fun today for a Ray T. Although I have the correct answers I needed the hints to explain 16a, 24a and 4d and still cannot understand either the clue or the hint for 8d.
    Perhaps someone could enlighten me.
    Thanks to all

    1. If you follow the hyperlink which Mr K has provided in his hint you’ll see what Man (with a capital M) means.

  20. A pleasant enough middle of the road assignment comprising mainly signally solvable clues but there was for me no particular Fav. 16a escaped me until last which held up rest of NE quadrant. Don’t think I have ever previously come across 18a but it had to be. Took a while for 3d pale to ring a bell. Thank you RayT and the regular feline hinter.

  21. Dim or what?? How awful! Appalling!
    I’ve just realised I finished (not quite) today’s crossword without registering it’s a) Thursday and b) a Ray T crossword!!
    My excuse is that my sister has been staying for the last couple of days and we’ve been “yapping” so much that I haven’t the time or energy to do the crosswords at all.
    Now onto the actual crossword itself.
    The big long four answers round the outside certainly made things easier – I’m not sure I would have got on too well without their help today.
    I missed the trademark Ray T clues – that was silly – never mind.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K.

  22. I had problems with an unholy trinity in the SW.
    Misspelling 15d caused problems with 18a with a knock on effect to 17d [which took me a long time to get in spite of having a biopsy of said organ last week].
    My thanks to Mr K and the setter.

    1. I’ve had one of those, makes you jump every time a sample is taken doesn’t it! Best of luck and fingers crossed 🤞 for the results.

  23. Another fine puzzle from the truly great Ray T. Really good clues, a fairly gentle challenge this time but a very enjoyable solve. I have ticked a fair few and will nominate 28a for special mention. 2.5*/4*.

  24. A tricky puzzle in many parts for me today. Then again I usually struggle with RayT puzzles.
    3*/4* today

    Favourites include 1a, 24a, 26a, 3d & 9d
    Had trouble with composer in 14a

    Thanks to RayT and Mr K for help in centre of puzzle.

  25. Very enjoyable. I did not realise that 2d could also refer to its fur.
    Which reminds me…we have a new dish in our local curry house – chicken tarka. It’s like chicken tikka, but a little ‘otter.
    I’ll get my coat…

    1. I like it 👍. Apparently this emoji is offensive to generation Z whoever they are. Splendid.

      1. I’ll try to remember to use it more often. But I don’t know how to generate it from a computer.

  26. I found this tricky and did not recognise it as a Ray T ****/*** some clues were very clever and some were too obscure 🤔 Favourites were 24a ( is it an American Variety?) 27a and 2d. Thanks to Mr K and to Mr T 😬

  27. Very gentle but thoroughly enjoyable. Only 2 head scratchers – 18a where I thought the synonym for retribution not immediately obvious & 17d that only yielded with once the R checker was in. Loved the 4 long ‘uns & 2d – even better with Shabbo’s comment.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K

  28. Need the hint for 17d as I didn’t realise glands are also organs.

    I made hard work of some of the other clues, but nothing to complain about.

    Thanks to all.

  29. I was a little off the pace on this tonight which I’m putting down to ‘meeting up with the lads for a few pints early doors’ before eating, I’ll never learn. Favourite was 21d. Thanks to Rayt and Mr. K.

  30. Hi Mr K
    Sorry for putting “print issue” feedback here, I thought you might not see it if I posted in “comments”.
    First of all, thanks for your efforts – much appreciated.
    I have had a go, and it is an improvement. The font size is just about readable but still disappointingly small.
    Unlike yours, my print seems to use only the top half of a “portrait” screen.
    If I use the puzzles site font size feature, any text that goes below the halfway line gets chopped off.
    Am I missing something obvious?

    1. Nothing obvious that I can see. What browser and platform are you using for the printing attempt?

      1. Hi Mr K,
        I didn’t realise you had answered, just popped back here on spec.
        I am using Edge the same as you. When I get to the print page view like yours, I have to reduce the scale to 63% to get it all on to the top A5 bit of the page. The lower half is a grey block and the text disappears into it if I expand. The font size is just about usable (unlike the site print routine), but for as long as I can, I’ll keep using the old site for print-outs.
        Whatever the outcome, thanks for your efforts.

  31. Morning all, and my apologies once again for my tardiness! My thanks to Mr K for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments.


  32. Printing suggestion that works using Chrome on my Windows machine.
    Open puzzle;
    Press start in the Dropbox;
    Press print;
    When the print window opens, right click anywhere and click print in the Dropbox.

    1. The answer is found as ROOTING (anchoring) containing (gripping) S (the final letter of CLAWS), meaning that the wordplay uses all of the clue. The entire clue can also serve as a definition of ROOSTING, making this an &lit or “all in one” clue.

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