DT 30179 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30179 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30179 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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A Saturday Prize Puzzle for Christmas Eve without any seasonal references at all

Merry Christmas to all my fellow bloggers and commenters (not forgetting the lurkers) and, of course, to all the cryptic crossword setters who bring us such enjoyment, even when they make us want to 4d!

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.


4a    Fellow player cooked meat more than once (8)
Two anagrams (cooked … more than once) of MEAT

11a    Bond welcomes brilliant rant (6)
A bond ‘welcomes’ a slang word (especially and originally from the US) meaning brilliant or excellent

12a    News of how murder victim died? (8)
Split an official report of public news 6,2 and you’ll see how the murder victim died

13a    Chaperone with Charlie repairing receiver (8)
If you take a type of ‘receiver’ and add the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, an anagram (repairing) will give you the word CHAPERONE

25a    Crusty drone? (6)
A drone or someone who idles could be possibly, hence the ?, be someone who likes crusty bread

26a    Sticking to fan (8)
An adjective meaning sticking to or a fan or follower


1d    Month’s work for one in the main (7)
An abbreviated month and a [musical] work

3d    Party’s initial intrigue for Bush (6)
Misleading capitals time – the initial letter of Party and a verb meaning to intrigue or fascinate combine to give us a type of bush

14d    Deal with counter that’s found on two-wheeler (9)
A verb meaning to deal with and a counter

15d    Turn part of organ air-passage (8)
A synonym for turn and part of a [musical] organ give us a bodily air-passage

17d    Back on coastal area shortly with new weapons (7)
Another word for back and an abbreviated particular coastal area

22d    Land in single benefice (5)
An area of church land belonging to a single benefice is hidden in the last two words of the clue


Could new readers please read the Welcome post and the FAQ before posting comments or asking questions about the site.

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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: FORT + TIFF +EYE = FORTIFY

91 comments on “DT 30179 (Hints)
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  1. I thought 13a was an error, and should have been ‘without’ rather than ‘with’, as removing the letter c from chaperone gave an anagram of the answer. I did like 12a.

    1. AT, 13a. The clue would work like that but, as written, it’s one of those deviously worded clues where you have to sort of “think the other way round” – if that’s not saying too much for Prize Puzzle.

      1. I look forward to the full review because I don’t think the clue works – I reckon it’s missing a function. Did this in two sittings, one of those days where the blockage (NW for me) has cleared after the dog walk and it all just goes in – even if I couldn’t get 13a to parse.

        1. Yes, it’s one of “those” clues – still causes some confusion even though it has been explained. But it is a quite difficult one to explain lucidly! I am happy with the clue (I think), but a couple of suggestions in this thread have set my “double duty” alarm bleeping. And maybe that’s why you reckon there’s a function missing?

              1. Welcome to the blog – I’ve redacted your comment as this is something to say when the full review appears on Friday

            1. I thought in this case repairing mesnt remove- as in “ the ladies repaired toyhe kitchrn”!! Hence leaving an 8 letter anagram which is ehat we wanted. Thst works

          1. I wrote it in ‘cos it “had to be” but really didn’t understand it until CS’s hint, but got it now and think it’s rather clever.

    2. Welcome, Andrew.

      In 13a look at the word “repairing”. Hope that doesn’t get me on the Naughty Step! If it does, Mods, please delete the post immediately.

      1. An old boss of mine was fond of saying – gentlemen that’s enough work for today let us repair to a local hostelry for a small libation

      2. I think AT may understand the clue as written, but he’s possibly saying that he “thought” (originally, as I did myself) that it should have read “without” – and that would have meant a more straightforward, less confusing clue. But I conjecture – some of these comments can be tricky to interpret fully/correctly.

  2. Goody, a Christmas present from today’s DT setter.
    Much easier solve than most Saturday Prize puzzles.
    Many a smile eg 10 and 12a.
    Best clue 19a.
    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

  3. Pleasant enough but all over a bit too quickly. Unlike yesterday there was no 4d with this one with only 25a causing a brief head scratch. Fav today the Quickie pun.
    Thanks to the setter & CS.
    Ps digital subscribers are at least able to submit their SPP entries this week. Of course they still have the option of revealing the correct grid first to enhance their remote chances of an Amazon voucher – it remains duplicated in the puzzles section, as it has done throughout the week, & today in the non prize format.
    You really couldn’t make it up….

    1. I can reveal all the answers if I wanted to , no point tho. But I can’t submit which i don’t want to but jolly annoying!

      1. Actually I see I have 2 puzzles, one showing everything and one I am allowed to submit but feel that would be cheating!

    2. As I scroll quickly to the rightmost Sudoku and then work to the left, I hadn’t noticed the actual Prize Crossword. But as I have a prized [pun intended] pen, I don’t bother submitting.

  4. Greetings to all and many thanks for the blog. On my online version I have two cryptics, one of which is the prize, the other a regular. Both have the same clues so one gives the answers!

  5. With hindsiight I’m not sure why, but the NW took me much longer to complete than the other three quarters added together.

    25a doesn’t quite work for me, and CS has saved me from having to mention the American slang in 11a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS; and wishing all the setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers a very Merry Christmas.

  6. I enjoyed the smooth sailing until I hit 25a, which pushed me almost into *** time, but the journey was quite enjoyable, with 13a, 10a, & 19a making the Yuletide podium. Thanks and a Merry Christmas to Sue and to today’s setter. 2.5*/3*

    It’s very cold over here on the Carolina coast: 19F / -7C, all-time records for Christmas Eve, but nothing can chill our Ho-Ho-Ho spirits. Best wishes to all!

          1. Stay safe, my friends – the kind of temperatures you are experiencing can be lethal. Turn the heating up and have a glass or two of something warming. :good:

      1. It’s cold enough for me here in sunny Florida, due to get colder tomorrow. We went down to the 40sF today, tomorrow they say 30sF but I don’t believe them. I can’t imagine colder than this, did it get this cold when I lived in England? Please keep warm all.

  7. Nice and easy for Christmas Eve, but not a lot of christmassy clues, not a bad thing mind you as they can be a bit much sometimes.
    I did like 22d, not because of any pious religious knowledge but because The Broons used to live at number 10 … St. Christmas’ with the Broons and Oor Wullie annual were a ritual in the beehive.
    Thanks to setter and Crypticsue.

  8. The DT have excelled themselves today. Not only is the Cryptic duplicated in today’s electronic version but one of them is the Prize Puzzle and the other is a normal format that allows checking! This all started when they announced the ‘new’ puzzle site.
    Todays puzzle was def on the easier side. However, still do see how one equates the answer to 25a to either an idler or drone, why the ‘home’ in 8d and never heard of the answer to 22d. Had to look in the BRB for 22d.
    Thx to all

    1. 25a – you need definition 2 in the BRB. In 8d, the home isn’t a human one

      I have to say I’m not looking forward to the day my subscription to the lovely old puzzles site runs out

      1. As far as I am concerned, the only useful feature of the ‘new’ web site is to be able to see the italicisation of the ‘pun clues’ in the Quickie on my blogging days.

      2. Many thx I missed that definition. Not one I come come across before. As for 8a, just me being thick, got hung up on the city being LA rather than EC so I missed the rest of the clue.
        Thx for the help. Have a great Christmas.🎄

  9. After the trials and tribulations of solving and blogging the Friday back pager, this was most welcome – **/****

    Apparently, I led a very sheltered life in my 17 years living and working ‘down South’ as I have never come across the synonym of brilliant before.

    The double unches might suggest that this is a Cephas production but, and I have to agree with a fellow commenter, the term for brilliant in 11a and the backwardness of 13a suggests NYDK and I will optimistically use my five bob accordingly.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 1d, 15d, and 20d – and the winner is the somewhat of an oldie but goodie 12a.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

    P.S. I had to smile at this headline in the (on-line) DT – ‘Airports running ‘better than usual’ in ‘embarrassing’ blow to Border Force strikes’ – well done the Army!

    1. Like you, I had never heard the term for brilliant in 11a, makes me realise I’m really getting old.
      12a favourite clue, made me smile.
      I think 13a is a fair clue.
      I’ve won one pen in fifteen years’ submitting, they do exist!

  10. A couple of minor delays, covered by earlier commenters, otherwise a comfortable solve with the clever 13a coming out on top of the pile. 25a was my final entry and I still don’t particularly like the clue, unless I am missing something.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and CS. In case I don’t get round to coming onto the site tomorrow, can I take this opportunity to wish all regular visitors, bloggers and compilers a very Happy Christmas.

  11. Wouldn’t have this down as being from one of our regular Saturday setters, NYDK seems to be a reasonable call.
    Just 25a that caused an issue, can’t say I cared for the answer very much.
    No particular favourite to mention but 16a raised a smile.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for the hints & tips. Festive wishes to all our BD family – hope everyone has an enjoyable time with friends and family over the coming days.

  12. A wonderfully satisfying puzzle for Christmas Eve. Got me in the festive mood so much I have allowed myself a lunchtime Katy – that’s a cider, in case you get the wrong idea. I had ticks all over the place including 19a and 18d both of which made me smile. I pondered over 25a for a long time but could think of no alternative to the answer I had. Given CS’s hint, I think I have it correct so another submission (with no pen materialising, I am sure) will ensue. The only clue I didn’t like was 7d, which was barely cryptic to my mind but setters and Mr. Lancaster know what they’re doing.

    My absolute favourite and COTD is 10a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and Crypticsue for the hints.

    A very Merry Christmas to all on the blog including those who lurk – make a New Year’s resolution to join us because you will be made very welcome. I learned a lot and started to solve a lot more puzzles only after I de-lurked and joined in.

  13. Easiest puzzle since Tuesday and very welcome too.4, 10, and 12a my favourites today and I am not awarding medals.

    In case tomorrow’s puzzle is a tad or more beastly I send all my best season’s greetings to all who come here to tell us how they got on for good or ill. And the same to our setters, as well as our esteemed Crypticsue.

    Mind you I am a Schopenhauerian so my best wishes may not correlate with others’ best.

      1. Schopenhauer’s philosophy is best understood as always finding the dark cloud behind the silver lining. The silver lining is of course
        only a tawdry imitation subject to moth and rust.

        He certainly speaks to my experience of life.

      2. I have a passing interest in Western philosophy because the MSc delegates I supervise have to show they understand how modern research techniques developed but Schopenhauer was new to me. Not sure I agree that the goal of life is extinction but each to his own.

        Merry Christmas.

          1. Oh, I agree with you, Corky. Problems arise when those who totally overestimate their importance take action because of their self belief. Putin comes to mind but let’s not go there at Christmas? 🎅🏻🎅🏻😀

  14. Plain sailing today. As others have said,a little head scratching over 25a, but a quick check in the BRB showed that my initial thought was correct. Lots of good clues, but I did like 14d. Thanks to the setter and Cripticsue and a very happy Christmas to all.

  15. Many thanks and season’s greetings to the setter for a fun and accessible puzzle (with the possible exception of 25a), with 1d being my runaway favourite, and to Sue too for the review, and especially for her sterling work behind the scenes on the blog.

  16. I’m afraid I didn’t think much of 4 clues today. 11a for the so called brilliant, 22d, 25a and 13a this only makes sense to me if the with is changed to is.
    The rest were pretty straightforward.
    So, thanks for the hints and of course I do appreciate the work of all the setters.
    Have a good Christmas.

  17. 16a and 1d were my favourites today. Like others I found 25a difficult and I’m not sure I like it much.
    Thankyou to all setters and hinters, you are very much appreciated. Happy Christmas everyone.

  18. 25a was my last in too, the rest fairly strait forward. Thanks to CS and the setter.
    Seasons greetings to all the setters, bloggers and commenters whether they are regular or lurkers.

  19. Thanks for your kind comments. I did not have any Christmas clues as I did not know when it would appear. I put plenty of Christmas references in last Sunday’s prize GK crossword.
    Wishing you all the best for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    1. You fooled me yet again, Cephas. I somehow wouldn’t associate your way of thinking with that word for brilliant!
      Thank you for all the puzzles you’ve set us during the year and best wishes for the festive season.

  20. Not the usual sort of Saturday puzzle in my opinion.

    Favourites include 4a, 12a, 13a, 1d, 4d & 5d with my winner 1d
    12a made me laugh as did 7d

    Thanks to setter and CS

    Happy Christmas to all as I am not sure when I will get to the puzzle on the 25th.

    Thanks to Cephas and CS

  21. Although I have mostly not been commenting for the last few months, I do still enjoy the crossword and reading your comments every morning over breakfast. While certainly sad to learn of your trials, it is wonderful to share in your tribulations. Just want to wish you all a very Happy Christmas, and a special thank you to those who have reached out to me.

    Here in South Florida we are on the outer edges of the cold that is gripping much of the US right now, with our temperatures peaking around 13C today and tomorrow. We will enjoy the rare opportunity to wrap up warmly tomorrow as we join our family around the Christmas tree. Here’s hoping Father Christmas is kind to you all, and best wishes for the New Year.

    1. Great to hear from you, BL. Have a wonderful Christmas and all you could hope for in the New Year. Stay warm and have a drink on me. :good:

    2. Hi, BusyLizzie! Great to hear from you up here where our temperature has now risen to 24F / -4.4C, with another dip into the teens again tonight. The wind-chill factor early this morning actually plunged to FIVE.

      I hope that you and your family enjoy a very special Christmas Day together.

    3. Good to have you back among us again BL I have missed you a lot because I so often find myself thinking along the same lines as you. Very best Season’s Greetings to you and let’s hope you will join us again soon but in the meantime keep well and warm.

    4. So good to hear from you, BusyLizzie, Christmas is a great time for friends to get together again. Have a wonderful time with your dear ones tomorrow and I do hope you’ll be back amongst us ‘ere long.

  22. I too found the NW more tricky so started at the bottom and worked up! Fav clues were 4a 10a and 12a which were great fun. Not sure about 7d as I think I’ve missed something. Thank you and a peaceful festive season to Cephas and all the compilers, to Sue and her fellow tireless bloggers and to the commentariat who make this site the pleasure that it is ❤️

  23. I enjoyed the whole crossword – just about finished it now – several in the top right corner took a while.
    Too many clues which could be favourite so there isn’t one today.
    Thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to CS for the hints.
    Happy Christmas to everyone and have a lovely day tomorrow.
    We’re having an average Christmas Eve including the appearance of the soldering iron to sort out the very old lights!

    1. Isn’t it wonderful how we like to keep our tree lights going, Kath? Ours are nearly 30 years old and showing no signs of packing in.

      Have a Merry Christmas with your old lights – assuming the soldering iron did its job. :grin:

  24. We didn’t like 11a, 25a or 7d (bunged in the right answers) but apart from those this was ok with some really good clues. Favourite was 12a. Thanks to Cephas and CS.

  25. After yesterday, this was a treat! No strange words, and even the “brilliant” in 11a I didn’t know was an Americanism. I thought 12a was a winner, 10a also amused. All in all, what a pleasure, thank you Cephas for being kind. And thank you CS for the hints and tips, especially unravelling 13a. Have a very Merry Christmas all, keep warm.

  26. Light and enjoyable, with all bar a few in the NW completed in 2 shakes of a reindeer’s tail. Never think of that piece of patisserie as being a cake, for some reason!

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Cephas for all your crosswords through the year, and to CS for your blogs on the Saturday (and other) puzzles.

  27. Mostly pretty light and enjoyable for me too, but with 4 molehills in 1d (never come across that definition and needed the hint – though that looks unlikely following the setter’s visit), 13a (I agree with others it should be without), 22d and 25 for the same reasons as above. Being an 80s child I thought the brilliant synonym was fine but there’s definitely an American origin there.

    I thought 4a was original so that gets my COTD

    TY to Cephas and CS, and a Merry Christmas to one and all

  28. I see we have the contentious cake for 8a.
    4a is clever so my COTD
    Happy Christmas everyone,
    I’m hoping the contributors to the DT will be more cheerful and constructive in the days to come. They really are a lot of unhelpful doom mongers. Miserable Scrooges every last one of them!

  29. A mixed bag today of testing and easier peasier. Groan for 12a and 25a – latter held out until last. Sleep well everybody for whom nighttime is now beginning and a Very Happy Christmas Day for all our bloggers around the world whenever it arrives for you, Now for the recording of King’s College Carols from Cambridge. Thank you Cephas and CS.

  30. I had 24d back in the day (late 50’s or so) I recall it was regarded as somewhat unclean.
    I think my mother was mortified. Ah well, same
    issues as most in here today with the few stretchy answers but a nice 45 min diversion.

  31. Happy Christmas Everyone and many thanks to all the Setters/Hosts and fellow bloggers. I was really late finishing Saturday’s puzzle but just wanted to send a greeting and many thanks for another year of entertainment and enlightenment!

  32. Happy Christmas to Chris Lancaster, all the setters, hinters and bloggers on this wonderful site – with special mention to the morning after people, like me!

    1. Welcome to the blog and Merry Christmas to you too

      Now you’ve ‘de-lurked’, we hope you’ll come back and comment in the future

  33. Saved this for today as I don’t like solving on line. I liked it so much I failed to notice the double unches. Last in was 25a but nothing wrong with it. I query 8 a as a cake but clever clue. I guess many of us were looking for a city eg Dundee rather than that particular city. Didn’t parse 11a. Favs 9 10 12 and 16a and 1 and 20d. Thanks Cephas and Cryptic Sue.

  34. I haven’t had time to go through all the above. I put in an answer for 21 across but then when I completed 20 down I didn’t think two clues had the same answer. Also 1 across in the quick crossword I think should be FORE a “warning cry” in golf, I don’t know a use of the FORT in any way.

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