DT 30177 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30177

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30177

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday and a fine puzzle from RayT. Lots of smooth surfaces and clever misdirection made for a very enjoyable solve. Since this is my last appearance before the 25th, I’d like to wish everyone in the BD community all the best for the upcoming holidays.

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    Monitoring lives with unclear broadcast (12)
SURVEILLANCE:  An anagram (broadcast) of LIVES UNCLEAR 

cat keeping an eye on things

9a    Macron's expression of boredom? (5)
ENNUI:  The French word for boredom, now absorbed into English 

10a   Change back row (9)
REARRANGE:  Back or stern with a row of mountains, perhaps 

11a   Drunk omits abuse getting sober (10)
ABSTEMIOUS:  An anagram (drunk) of OMITS ABUSE 

12a   Feel extremely awed reverence, initially (4)
FEAR:  Initial letters of the first four words in the clue 

13a   Annuls, being concerned with rings (7)
REPEALS:  On or “concerned with” followed by rings like a bell 

15a   Grovelling son, possibly prodigal (7)
SLAVISH:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with prodigal or generous 

17a   Cry from small Native American chief (7)
SCREECH:  Concatenate the clothing abbreviation for small, a Native American tribe, and the abbreviation for chief 

19a   Fifth letter to the Corinthians? (7)
EPSILON:  The fifth letter of the alphabet used by the Corinthians 

21a   Regretted being verbally abusive (4)
RUED:  A homophone (verbally) of abusive or vulgar 

22a   Intolerable having no power around Paddington? (10)
UNBEARABLE:  Having no power (to do something) containing (around) what Paddington defines by example (?

This kind of Paddington

25a   Ness attack after Untouchables' last patsy (9)
SCAPEGOAT:  A ness or headland and a (2,2) phrase meaning attack all come after the last letter of UNTOUCHABES 

The Untouchables movie

26a   Inside, outside, almost perfect (5)
IDEAL:  The answer is hidden inside the remaining words of the clue 

27a   Abandoned liberated nude in arrest (12)
UNRESTRAINED:  An anagram (liberated) of NUDE IN ARREST 



1d    Finish on board launches (5)
SENDS:  Finish or complete inside the usual abbreviation for a ship (on board)

2d    English bank raised charge creating stress (9)
REITERATE:  The single latter for English and a bank are joined and reversed (raised, in a down clue) and followed by a synonym of charge 

3d    Bugs, perhaps  bugs? (7)
EARWIGS:  A type of insect is also an informal verb meaning to bug or eavesdrop

A 3d

4d    Unions maybe giving the French fits (7)
LEAGUES:  “The” in French with fits or fevers 

5d    Queen inhabits excellent piece of land (4)
ACRE:  The Latin abbreviation for Queen is inserted in (inhabits) excellent or brilliant 

6d    Pleasant and natural taking time out (9)
CONGENIAL:  An adjective meaning natural or existing since birth minus the physics symbol for time (taking time out

7d    Engineer with brace providing fix (6)
REPAIR:  The abbreviation for some military engineers with a brace or set of two 

8d    Inadequacy of right in demise (6)
DEARTH:  The single letter for right inserted in demise or end 

14d   China, undecorated, round gold core's exterior (9)
PORCELAIN:  Undecorated or simple containing (round) both the heraldic word for gold and the exterior letters of CORE 

An example of 14d

16d   Senator is changing profession (9)
ASSERTION:  An anagram (changing) of SENATOR IS 

17d   Assess or estimate accepting most tender (6)
SOREST:  The first three words of the clue are hiding (accepting) the answer 

18d   Charity with old put in hovel (7)
HANDOUT:  A synonym of “with” plus the single letter for old inserted together in (put in) a hovel or shack 

19d   Fantastic woman is plump for artist (7)
ELECTRA:  “Plump for” or choose with the usual abbreviated artist 

19d imagined by Leighton

20d   Require sweetheart to hold left hand (6)
NEEDLE:  A synonym of require and the letter at the heart of SWEET are sandwiching (to hold) the abbreviation for left 

This kind of hand

23d   Go with bank's first loan (5)
BLEND:  The first letter of BANK with another word for loan 

24d   Abandon church and die losing soul (4)
CEDE:  The abbreviation for the Church of England followed by DIE minus its central letter (losing soul


Thanks to RayT. Very hard to pick a favourite today, with the top clues for me including 10a, 21a, 25a, and 26a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  MORE + NEAT + HAWKS = MONEY TALKS

49 comments on “DT 30177
Leave your own comment 

  1. As MrK says a fine offering at **/**** for me. I enjoyed the construction of 25a but my COTD is 16d for its clever misdirection. Not too many anagrams but enough to oil the wheels. Thanks to MrK and to RayT.

  2. For me Ray T at his best even though he was flirting with his Beam alter ego at times.
    My winners are 15&22a plus 6&19d with top spot going to the cleverly constructed and well disguised 2d.
    Max thanks to Misters T&K and season’s greetings to both.

    I can highly recommend today’s Silvanus Toughie which is both a lot of seasonal fun and not overly difficult.

  3. About as good as it gets, with a delightfully entertaining, top-to-bottom solve for me from Mr Smooth. As Mr K says, very hard to pick winners in this cornucopia of blessings, but 25a, 15a, & 4d immediately struck my fancy. Best of the season and thanks for all of your terrific blogs and pictures, Mr K! And with many happy returns of Mr T in the new year, I hope, my best wishes to you for your holidays and thanks for a great year of puzzles. **/*****

  4. My abilities are deteriorating as the week progresses and I found this hard. Once again, I needed far too many hints for it to be enjoyable. I managed about two thirds unaided but no amount of putting down and picking up helped with the rest.

    Thanks to Ray T for the thrashing. Many thanks to Mr. K. for the hints and pusskit and a very Merry Christmas. BTW, Mr. K. there are five letters in the third word of the pun.

    As for the pun itself, I thought it a cracker.

    Waiting for seafood to be delivered from Whitby. Fingers crossed that strikes will not get in the way but, if they do, loosing a few shellfish is nothing compared to what others have to go through.

  5. Top drawer Ray T & a real pleasure from start to finish. My quickest back page solve of the week & lovely to tune into his wavelength from the off. No surprise perhaps that the surface of 25a easily my favourite though I had ticks against all of Stephen’s picks & not a dud in there.
    Thanks to Ray T for all his puzzles over the year & to Mr K for his always entertaining reviews.
    Ps cracking Toughie today & mercifully a delightful contrast to yesterday’s assault course.

  6. I know there will be one of our company who will be very pleased today – a Ray T back pager and a Silvanus Toughie!

    A most enjoyable Ray T – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 7d, and 14d – and the winner is 19a.

    Thanks to Ray T and MrK.

  7. I really enjoyed this solve though found it heavy going in some places due, in part, it seemed to me, to a great many of the checking letters being vowels.( Perhaps I’m just making excuses for my own incompetency!) The satisfaction in finishing with only one clue needing electronic help was worth it. I especially liked 15a, 17a, 2d, 4d and my favourite 6d. Thanks to RayT and Mr K

  8. A couple of tricky moments here owing to a desire for ‘alter’ to feature in 10a and missing the lurker in 17d. Fortunately spotted the error of my ways before it became a huge problem.
    Hard as ever to play favourites where Ray T is concerned but my double ticks went to 15,21&22a along with 2&16d.

    Devotions and many thanks to Mr T for this and all his puzzles throughout the year and a round of applause for Mr K for his reviews, felines and the outstanding work he’s done to ensure that our beloved crossword site keeps running smoothly.

  9. Well I really enjoyed solving that, and I have never been able to say that before for a Ray T. Thank you to him and Mr K. 3d bugs clue brought an extra smile.

  10. 2*/4.5*. A superb puzzle where every clue, except perhaps 9a, is a potential podium candidate. If you twist my arm, I’ll go for 10a as my favourite.

    A great review to accompany a great crossword and the prospect of a Silvanus Toughie to follow. Crossword heaven.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Mr K.

  11. All in bar two without the hints which for me is a result!
    Thanks to Ray T for a cracking challenge and to Mr K for the hints.

  12. An excellent puzzle with plenty of smiles.
    I struggled a bit at first with the definition element of 20d, otherwise everything went in fairly smoothly.
    Being a rugby person, 10a gets COTD from me.
    Thanks to Ray T. Many thanks also to Mr K for the blog and for taking over the management of this wonderful forum.
    Season’s greetings to all.

  13. A very enjoyable puzzle! My enjoy mistake was to enter recalls for 13a, however I soon spotted the error of my ways.

    Many thanks to RayT, and to MrK; best wishes to you both for the holiday period.

    1. No idea how I managed to produce that rather strange sentence…. obviously should read My only mistake… I blame it on the lunchtime beer in the Spanish sunshine. We had 23c in Valencia this afternoon.

  14. An excellent puzzle from Ray T (what else would you expect!). Fine clues, a decent challenge and a very pleasing solve. I have ticked quite a few but will mention 2 clues which are both really good but quite different. 2d: a tricky/quite difficult clue that needed a fair bit of cogitation. 10a. A very pleasing but mild/straightforward clue. 3*/4.5*.

    *Mr K, I have 2 questions please if you have the time (doesn’t matter if not):

    1. When I post a comment, does it appear for everyone else to see immediately or only after the 5 minute period given for editing, etc.

    2. Is the watch at 20d supposed to be representing a car speedo: 0-320 Kph?


    1. Hello, Jose.
      1. The comment appears on the blog and goes out in email to subscribers as soon as you press “Post Comment”. You then have five minutes to edit the version appearing in the blog.
      2. Yes. Note the BMW M at the top of the dial. Mine is electronically limited to 250 kph, but some other models are not.

  15. Just don’t seem to get on with this setter despite all the accolades . Compare and contrast with excellent Silvanus ” Toughie ” today – so much easier [ ha ha ! yet again ] but the answers so much more amusing . ***/** for me , but **/****for Silvanus.

  16. That was a relief after yesterday’s battle. Top went in first. 25a took some fathoming as did the parsing for 16a due to concentrating on wrong kind of profession (perhaps I wasn’t alone in that) and penny took while to drop for 1d launch synonym standing on its own. Thank you Messrs. T and T for many entertaining cruciverbal challenges including today’s and very best of Season’s Greetings to you both.

  17. Challenging but enjoyable for me today. I started well and tailed off until I need the hints to finish… 3d definitely my COTD once I worked it out!

    TY to RayT and MrK

  18. Thoroughly enjoyable.
    25a truly brilliant.
    For 19a got stuck on epistle until a resounding crash from that penny.
    This popped me into 2*.
    Thanks RayT and Mr K.

  19. Typical Ray T where life is too short to try to unpick his consulted and weird wordplay. Just find the definition and ignore the rest. That will help to maintain one’s sanity.
    Thx to all

  20. RayT today, so natch I struggled. I did quite well until I got to the SW, I almost gave in and went for the hints when I revisited 13a where I had “recalls”, with ehelp I found the right answer and things just fell into place after that. I confess I had a few bung ins, thanks to Mr. K for unravelling those, eg 17a. Fave was 19a, where I again gave thanks to Big Dave’s Mine of Information! I feel quite chuffed that I finished this.
    Does anyone have any updates on our leader, Big Dave? It would be nice to know how he is.
    Thanks to RayT, even for the scrambled brain, and much appreciation to Mr. K, wishing you both a very Merry Christmas.

  21. Late in the day for me but happy to add my thanks and congratulations to Ray T to the others already offered. This was a first rate puzzle with the outstanding 25a a simple choice as COTD.

    Thank you, too, to Mr K for this and all his other blogs during the course of the year.

  22. Super puzzle, light and swift for a Thursday, a generous and much enjoyed early Christmas present from Mr T.

    2* / 4.5*

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Mr K, with thanks for the past year and season’s greetings to you both.

  23. Another tough one today with RayT
    3*/3* for me.

    Ended up as a DNF as there were three clues I had no idea of the answer.

    Favourites in what I did manage were 1a, 22a & 7d with winner 1a

    Thanks to RayT and Mr K

  24. Ray T is always a challenge for me but I managed three quarters on my own before seeking help from Mr K. So I am feeling very pleased with myself. Of the clues I solved 19a was my favourite with 22a, 6 and 19d getting honourable mentions. The best clue I think was 25a which Mr K explained very well but it had me beaten all the way.

    Season’s greetings to Mr K and the cats and kittens and to Ray T with thanks for a year of entertainment and enjoyment except for today’s pun which is awful.

  25. Well that was quite a workout for me. I needed far too much help and had to resort to a few hints. However, if had more confidence in my ability and entered several clues which I hesitated over I would have completed it much sooner than now! We live and learn! Many thanks to Ray T and Mr K (also for the cat/kitty photos). Wishing you both the season’s greetings.

  26. I looked at the crossword and decided I was on a winner today – it was fine until I looked at the bottom half!
    Can’t remember who (Jezza in Spain?) but I had the same problem – 13a calls – which seemed sensible to me anyway.
    That’s it from me for today.
    Thanks to Ray T for all his wonderful crosswords and thanks to Mr K for the hints.

  27. Possibly my brain was mangled from having tackled a Nimrod from my stock of puzzles, but I found this rather tougher than usual for a RayT backpager, although as entertaining as always. I didn’t help matters by not questioning my original answer for 13a where, like Jezza and Kath, I’d gone with CALLS for the rings. The real answer works much better of course. 15a was my last in.

    Many thanks to RayT and Mr K for their respective contributions to my enjoyment.

    All the best of seasonal wishes to you all.

  28. Another superb crossword from Rayt, dare I say it, at the easier end of his spectrum. The last time I said that I struggled mightily on his next. Lots to like and hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 14d. Thanks to rayt and Mr. K.

        1. I’ll try to update some of this tomorrow, Merusa, and let others know about Jim and ChrisCross’s circumstances. Glad I thought to see if anyone had heard.

  29. Really late, cannot sleep so a cup of hot chocolate and a McVities digestive and a beautiful RayT crossword at 2am. Absolute favourite was the letter to the Corinthians with the China one close behind. Many thanks RayT and also toMr K although I do not consider a picture of an earwig to be a stand in for a cat. Tapping the picture just enlarged the earwig. Not good. I shall blame you if I now have a nightmare. Many thanks to you both for your entertainment throughout the year.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.