DT 30165 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30165

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30165

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. A signature sweetheart and no clue longer than six works indicate that today’s crossword comes to us from RayT. I thought this was from the easier end of his difficulty spectrum, while remaining as enjoyable as ever. 

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    Sad record playing, very slow (12)
DISCONSOLATE:  Concatenate a synonym of record, playing or running, a synonym of very, and another word for slow 

8a    Most devout and fiery swallowing untruths (7)
HOLIEST:  Fiery or very warm containing (swallowing) some untruths 

9a    Smarter conversation absorbing Independent (7)
NATTIER:  Conversation about not much containing (absorbing) the single letter for Independent 

11a   Main event? (7)
REGATTA:  A cryptic definition of a racing event taking place on the main 

12a   Slices end of animals' organs (7)
SLIVERS:  The end letter of ANIMALS with some abdominal organs

13a   Mountaineering aid working after hole (5)
PITON:  Working or operating comes after a hole or cavity 

14a   Bug otherwise trapping police's head officer (9)
INSPECTOR:  A generic bug and a short word for otherwise are together containing (trapping) the first letter ( …’s head) of POLICE 

16a   Flounder, wearily purchasing lingerie (9)
UNDERWEAR:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (purchasing) the answer 

19a   Catches sweetheart in wood ... (5)
COPSE:  Catches or nabs with the RayT sweetheart = the letter at the heart of SWEET 

21a   ... and grins, tantalised about flash! (7)
INSTANT:  The third and fourth words of the clue are hiding (and … about) the answer 

23a   Employ former intrigue embracing single (7)
EXPLOIT:  A short word for former with intrigue or scheme containing (embracing) the letter representing a single 

24a   More troublesome revolution, namely with resistance (7)
SPINIER:  Link together a revolution, namely or “that is”, and the physics symbol for electrical resistance 

25a   Game over, then toss second over (7)
DIABOLO:  Fuse together the cricket abbreviation for over, toss or hit up, and a second or assistant, and then reverse the whole thing (… over

26a   Swimming, perturb ocean swelling (12)
PROTUBERANCE:  An anagram (swimming) of PERTURB OCEAN 



1d    Pleasure of French comprehension (7)
DELIGHT:  “Of” in French with comprehension or understanding 

2d    Small, small number for sugar (7)
SWEETEN:  Put together the clothing abbreviation for small, a dialect word for small, and a number between nine and eleven 

3d    Very big sign describing one's bar (9)
OSTRACISE:  The clothing abbreviation for very big is followed by a sign or indication containing (describing) the Roman one with its ‘S from the clue 

4d    Goes down  drains (5)
SINKS:  A rather straightforward double definition 

5d    Dodgy Reliant provides convenience (7)
LATRINE:  An anagram (dodgy) of RELIANT 

6d    Most uninspired time on divinity exam (7)
TRITEST:  The physics symbol for time with a (2,4) phrase that could be a divinity exam 

7d    Sadly pathetic user getting treatment (12)
THERAPEUTICS:  An anagram (sadly) of PATHETIC USER 

10d   Current rose alarmingly employing current revival (12)
RESURRECTION:  An anagram (alarmingly) of CURRENT ROSE containing (employing) the physics symbol for electrical current

15d   Resignation more certain to involve split (9)
SURRENDER:  “More certain” containing (to involve) split or tear

17d   Brief tramp around Italy (7)
DOSSIER:  A slang word for a tramp containing (around) the IVR code for Italy 

18d   One's pragmatic about contents containing answer (7)
REALIST:  A short word for about or concerning and contents or inventory containing the single letter for answer 

19d   Command top vessel taking armada's lead (7)
CAPTAIN:  Top or cover followed by a food vessel containing (taking) the first letter (… ‘s lead) of ARMADA 

20d   Suggest it's dull speaking about work (7)
PROPOSE:  Dull speaking containing (about) a usual musical work 

22d   Occasionally itchy? Take pulse, perhaps (5)
THROB:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of ITCHY followed by take or steal 


Thanks to RayT for today’s solving fun. Lots of smiles, of which the biggest was probably for 5d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  DRAW + MUD + AIRY = DROMEDARY

45 comments on “DT 30165
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  1. I needed some checkers for 1a so this was an enjoyable anti-clockwise solve. Pondered over the parsing of 25a as I thought that second had an e on the end, obviously not.

    5d was my favourite, reminded me of my CCF days.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Mr K.

  2. Game of two halves for me, top flew in, bottom needed a bit more teasing out, in fact rarely for a back-pager I had to put it down and come back to it.
    I thought the lurkers were great (it’s worth remembering there are invariably two in this setter’s puzzles) and 14a made me laugh. I also liked 19a&3d but I’ll give joint top spot to the gloriously un-PC 17d along with 22d with 19a making up the podium. Great stuff.
    Max thanks to Misters T&K.

  3. 2*/4.5*. A great puzzle from the master of brevity with 5d my favourite and 11a, 17d & 22d jostling for podium positions.
    Many thanks to RayT and to Mr K.

  4. Another pleasant solve on the gentler end of Ray T’s spectrum I thought. I didn’t get 1a immediately today, so with the other three long ones in the bag I proceeded in a rather haphazard fashion anticlockwise around the grid. Getting along very well until I got to 25a and the unusual synonym for second held me up for a while. I didn’t like 6d, though, as Senf has pointed out to me previously, comparatives and superlatives often make for clumsy words which are probably little used in day to day speech. I especially liked 1a, 11a, 3d and 10d . 3d wins star prize today. Thanks to Ray T and Mr K

  5. Not one of this setter’s most exacting so swanned through without any real aggro beginning in the N. 25a brought back memories of much fun in days if yore particularly on French holidays. Fav (even with Kath’s ditching of them!) was 11a. Thank you RayT and MrK.

  6. Ray T on top form this morning with brilliantly concise and accurate clues, none better than the strongly fancied 5d. The lurkers were straight out of the top drawer too.

    Many thanks to Mr T and Mr K.

  7. As ever a very pleasant Thursday puzzle from Mr T. 25a last in & the only real head scratch – I had to check afterwards to remind myself exactly what it was. With an EST, an IEST & 2 IERs (3 if you count 17d, which you can’t) my repetition radar bleeped a bit but that’s a minor quibble. Fav was first in 1a just pipping 5d.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K
    Positively Baltic out there but the sun shining so guess there’s no excuse for not stretching the legs & testing out the effectiveness of my newly purchased M&S thermal bottoms.

    1. Baltic there, Caribbean here, much to our chagrin, having to run the A/C in December, with temps in the 80s yesterday (24C). Care to swap?

  8. Gotta love a puzzle from this master although I wasn’t too enamoured of the definition given for today’s 24a – ‘pricklier’ would have suited me far better.
    5d gets my COTD with 19a & 17d joining it on the podium.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and many thanks to Mr K for the review – think the hedgehog just edged out the felines today!

  9. A very laid-back Mr T today, with only that blasted game at 25a holding me up at the end (not something we have over here, apparently, but what do I know?). Got it though, only by remembering that such a thing exists. I liked 1a, 3d, 17d, & 22d best of all. Thanks to Mr K and Ray T. **/***

  10. Not one of this setter’s best I thought, not regarding the wordplay which was top-class as usual, but I found the answers to 1d, 6d & 24a rather stretched, just me, I guess.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K.

  11. Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite gentle, but very entertaining. Needed the hints to parse 25a. LOI was 3d. I liked 19a and 17d, but my favourite was 1a. Was 2* /4* for me.

  12. I’m not personally a fan of the contrived suffixes (looking at you 6d, 9a, 24a,), but that minor gripe aside, an enjoyable solve.

    I struggled to parse the ‘I’ in 10d (one I’ll try and remember for next time) and my version of 25a (the computer version!) doesn’t contain the middle ‘o’ but completed today without hints and in one of my fastest times so I finished very chuffed!

    I liked 16a, 14a and 22d especially. Ty to RayT and Mr K with the help parsing

  13. I’m glad I was paying attention in class when we were taught comparatives and superlatives.
    The endings to a smattering of answers to masterful Ray T’s clues (8a, 9a, 24a …with 17d punning on the idea?) really speed up the solving.
    Enjoyed 2d, too.
    Another fun Thursday puzzle

  14. A typical Ray T for me in that some was straightforward while some was decidedly tricky. I did need the hints for a couple but managed most of it unaided. I liked the picture for 11a – I suppose that is a “recatta”. :smile: My favourite and COTD is 2d followed closely by the lurking lingerie.

    Many thanks to Ray T for the challenge and to Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

    Beautiful but cold day here in The Marches so Hudson and I are looking forward to a long walk. I’m glad I have my Peacock hand warmer!

  15. Needed just one hint to finish but not rewarding because the parsing took great effort and didn’t always work for me. ‘The exploiter exploited all his exploitees and paid them below the living wage.’ (23a). Just one example. However I thought 1a was incredibly clever.

    Thanks to Mr K without whom I would have had a DNF of incredible non solving, and to Ray T for giving my brain an onerous workout.

    1. Hi Corky. Your exploit example is certainly the first one that comes to mind, and for that reason I scratched my head over that clue for a while. But there is also a less negative meaning of exploit, as in, for example, nuclear power exploits/employs/harnesses/uses the conversion of mass into energy, which justifies the definition.

      1. Thanks for that Mr K but it shows that if you were scratching your head, I and those like me, left handfuls of hair on the floor. I appreciate your help and your comments but it is very difficult for me to justify some clues except for the fact that they are the only words that fit with checkers and have some relation to words in the clue.

  16. As is per normal for me, found this RayT puzzle challenging. As I solved this on Wednesday night I had no hints to help me along.
    Rate this 3*/4* tonight

    Favourites include 1a, 9a, 11a, 23a, 5d & 10d with winner 11a

    Any one of the favourites could be the winner though.

    Thanks to RayT and Mr K

  17. Very enjoyable for me. I have to confess that 25a only came from memory of previous but made sense with the hint. My favourite was 1a
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K

  18. Typical Ray T, I understood about 50% of the wordplay and needed the hints to complete 25a as it is not something I have ever come across before.
    Quite entertaining but as usual with Ray T overly complex and off the wall clues.
    Thx to all

  19. At the risk of sounding elitist (!) I thoroughly enjoyed this, and – unusually for me – I managed to complete all but two clues without needing the hints. Thanks to RayT and Mr K.

    I’m sure I’ve seen an explanation in the past about two clues with ….. at end and beginning as in 19/21 across today and 24/25 down yesterday. But can’t remember it, and I can’t see what the connection is. Any help gratefully received!

    1. The ellipses usually link two (sometimes more) consecutive clues together with a theme that combine to make a logical sentence/statement. When read together, 19a/21a make an amusing/slightly saucy mini-anecdote.

      1. Thanks Jose – I get the principle now, but still can’t get the saucy mini-anecdote. I’ll keep muttering th words to myself until the penny drops!

        1. It’s not a pun or anything like that. More that in this case connecting the two clues might conjure up an image of catching a brief flash of inadvertently exposed flesh from a sweetheart in the woods.

  20. A very nice Ray T puzzle. Great clues, about average difficulty and an enjoyable solve. No stand-out favourite, but I will mention the popular 5d. 2.5*/4*.

  21. Hurray – a Ray T Thursday!I
    I thought the top half was much easier than the bottom.
    It took me ages to remember the thingie that helped people climb mountains – got there eventuality.
    I’ve met the 25a game before, several times in fact, and every time I can’t remember it. Dim!
    As a cardiac nurse the obvious word for 7d wasn’t helpful – it wouldn’t even fit in the spaces!! Dim again!
    Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K.

  22. Brilliant clueing, a bit of a struggle, though.
    Experimenting with letters and eventually solving 25a put me into a solid 3* time.
    Memo to self – remember that mountaineering aid and the above game.
    19d certainly my COTD.
    Many thanks RayT and Mr K.

  23. It must be an easier RayT, I almost solved without help. I needed ehelp for a few in the SE, never heard of 25a and was a DNF. we have a Mount Diablo in Jamaica but I think that means devil. Fave was 14a, 1d running close behind.
    Thanks to RayT and Mr. K for explaining quite a few!

    1. Thank you Mr T, for a super puzzle, rather belatedly not looked at until this evening. Thanks also to Mr K for the blog.

  24. 9a reminded me of a sign on the Lancashire Cumbria border north of Carnforth that said “Welcome to Lancashire – where everyone matters” except that some clever soul had removed half the m so that it read “Welcome to Lancashire – where everyone natters” this being much better than the boring original! Sadly the sign has been replaced now,
    Good crossword, thanks Mr T and Mr K for the blog

  25. Again I made harder work of this than should have and can’t see why. The usual excellence from the maestro with 17d coming out on top, the were numerous runners up. Thanks to Rayt and Mr. K.

  26. Don’t usually get the Thursday paper but this was a treat. I got everything to fit but a couple of new words for me – 24a, 25a. Unfortunately put22a in early – stripes and had to revise it. Very enjoyable nonetheless

  27. Well I thought this was brilliant – possibly because I could do most of it unaided! Many thanks to Ray T and Mr K. Still struggle with clues connected with ellipses so needed to reveal those two. It’s minus 4 here in Surrey at the moment so new water bottles needed!

  28. Made heavy weather of this one. Liked 11a and 17d. Did not get 25a but surprised no-one else remembered playing this as a child. There was quite a craze. I remember we had to balance the thing on a string. Not sure about Aid in the word. I thought an assistant is an Aid. Is it not intended as a verb? Thanks RT and MrK.

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