DT 30189 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30189

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30189

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the first Thursday of 2023. It‘s an excellent RayT creation, packing a lot of fun into a collection of very concise clues. And it has cats! 

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    A parking toll leading to petition (6)
APPEAL:  Link together A from the clue, the map abbreviation for parking, and toll like a bell 

4a    Cat miles away from this plant? (8)
CLEMATIS:  An anagram (away) of CAT MILES 

9a    Bow is abrupt, say, without heart (6)
CURTSY:  Abrupt or short followed by SAY minus its middle letter (without heart

10a   Perchance story describing forefather (8)
ANCESTOR:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (describing) the answer 

12a   Old boss purchasing new plant (8)
OLEANDER:  The abbreviation for old with a synonym of boss containing (purchasing) the abbreviation for new 

13a   End on board showing abilities (6)
SKILLS:  End in a permanent way inside the usual abbreviation for a ship (on board)

15a   Awkward and formal once but relaxed (13)
UNCOMFORTABLE:  An anagram (relaxed) of FORMAL ONCE BUT 

18a   Abnormal errant Lear put out (13)

22a   Painter maybe turned floor more tasteful (6)
ARTIER:  The usual abbreviation for what a painter defines by example (maybe) reversed (turned) and followed by a floor or level 

24a   Rubbish President nearly dropping odds (8)
TRUMPERY:  A recent US president with the even letters (dropping odds) of NEARLY 

26a   Officer material with a unit, periodically (8)
SERGEANT:  A durable fabric with alternate letters (periodically) of A UNIT 

27a   Some food about, through roe principally (6)
CAVIAR:  Join the Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, a word meaning “through”, and the first letter (principally) of ROE. The definition refers back to the rest of the clue 

28a   Household head facing endless criticism (8)
DOMESTIC:  A slang word for the head followed by all but the last letter (endless) of an informal word for criticism 

29a   Desert  sands (6)
STRAND:  A verb meaning desert or abandon is also a sandy place where one might relax 



1d    Article on job cut for presenter (6)
ANCHOR:  A grammatical article followed by all but the last letter of a tedious job 

2d    Hound is, by itself, endearing (9)
PERSECUTE:  A (3,2) Latin phrase meaning “by itself” with endearing or adorable 

3d    Poison in medicine's rather elevated (7)
ARSENIC:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (elevated, in a down clue) of the remainder of the clue 

5d    Streak of love lifted sweetheart (4)
LINE:  The reversal (lifted, in a down clue) of another word for love as a tennis score is followed by the letter at the heart of SWEET 

6d    Pure feline heard another animal (7)
MEERKAT:  Homophones (heard) of an adjective meaning pure and another word for a feline 

7d    Absolute babe, nearly perfect (5)
TOTAL:  A babe or young child with all but the last letter (nearly) of perfect or complete 

8d    Perhaps cobbler's upset getting fidgety (8)
STRESSED:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of what cobbler defines by example (perhaps) with its S from the clue

11d   Piece of, say, pieces in stone (7)
SEGMENT:  The abbreviation for say or “for example” and some board game pieces are inserted together in the abbreviation for stone 

14d   Wriggle out of criminal wrong (7)
CONTORT:  A usual criminal and a legal wrong 

16d   Dance queen popular with a dancer (9)
BALLERINA:  Concatenate a function where there’s dancing, the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth, popular or fashionable, and A from the clue 

17d   Posh commended being elevated (8)
UPRAISED:  The single letter for posh or upper-class with commended or extolled 

19d   Quits supporting the Spanish teams (7)
ELEVENS:  Quits in a gambling sense comes after (supporting, in a down clue) “the” in Spanish 

20d   Bank role propping up pound (7)
RAMPART:  A role in a play, perhaps, following (propping up, in a down clue) pound or force 

21d   Why bride's somewhat cross? (6)
HYBRID:  The first two words of the clue are hiding (… somewhat) the answer 

23d   Pulse right inside short digit (5)
THRUM:  The single letter for right inserted in (inside) all but the last letter (short) of one of your digits 

25d   Against hearing sound of relative? (4)
ANTI:  A homophone (hearing sound of) a female relative 


Thanks to RayT. Top clue for me was 11d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  BORE + SUN + OVER = BOSSANOVA

77 comments on “DT 30189
Leave your own comment 

  1. Very enjoyable indeed, notwithstanding a couple of obviously manufactured long anagrams.
    I thought the lurkers (three in one puzzle?) as ever with this setter, well hidden but I’ll single out 24 (splendid word)&27a plus 8d for special mention, but top spot is shared by the super-clever 22a&2d. Great stuff.
    Maxx thanks to Misters T&K.

  2. 2*/4.5*. Splendid stuff from the master of brevity. I can’t give 5* as 25d is a heterophone in this household.

    My top picks were 24a, 2d & 11d.

    Many thanks to RayT and Mr K.

    1. I can’t think of anywhere that pronounces 25d with such a sharp “a” – even here in the US it’s softer most of the time.

      1. They sound the same here in Yorkshire! I remember being annoyed as a child with a Roald Dahl Dirty Beasts tape we had for the car (possibly read by Timothy West?) where The Ant-Eater features the lines:

        (Some people in the U.S.A.
        Have trouble with the words they say.
        However hard they try, they can’t
        Pronounce simple words like [25d].
        Instead of [25d], they call it ANT,
        Instead of CAN’T, they call it KANT.)

        I resented the suggestion that it’s wrong to pronounce 25d as though it doesn’t have an R in it (which — you might notice — it doesn’t!). Now I’m older, I resent the implication that there’s only one correct way to say words, teaching children that other accents are in some way ‘wrong’.

        Or indeed that anybody who says words one way is trying to say them the supposedly ‘correct’ way but failing to manage it. I’m perfectly capable of saying 25d the ‘other’ (southern?) way, and could do so if I wanted to!

        1. I’m sorry, I hope I wasn’t suggesting that we all pronounce the relative the same way. Of all the variations, eg from “awnt” in Jamaica to “ahnt” in America, I thought the pronunciation at 25d seemed a bit extreme for all regions. I’m wrong I see!

            1. I had an ‘Ant’ Roberta and an ‘Ahnt’ Elizabeth, who was always quite regal and never allowed any shortening of her royal name.

  3. A tricky Ray T puzzle today with lots of wily misdirection, although it did get easier once a few checkers went in. I got great satisfaction from completing it unaided. There were three splendid lurkers and a super double definition. I love the anagram at 18a and the double definition at 29a, whe 21d, 10a and 3d were all well hidden. Thanks to Mr K (nice cat pictures) for the hints and to Mr T for a good challenge.

  4. A pleasing ***/**** classic RayT production with his usual helpful smattering of lurkers and anagrams. Thanks for the hints MrK which I needed to fully understand the answer to 2d. Best of the crop for me were 27a and 11d the latter being my COTD. Thanks RayT.

  5. Pretty much crossword perfection this morning, with typically concise and humorous clues from this setter. 24a has to take top spot, with honourable mentions to 2 and 11d.

    My thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  6. Ray T in all his glory today. Right off the bat, with 2d (my COTD), I felt that this one was going to be special, and indeed it was. With the queen back in style and a sweetheart to boot, what’s not to like? 2d, 11d, 27a, 24a, & 22a are the ones I liked best. 6d make me laugh for some reason and Mr K’s picture just sealed the deal. Thanks to Mr T and Mr K for all of the fun and entertainment. **/*****

    A most unusual but very exciting Toughie today…finished but still parsing….

  7. Quite a tricky number today, greatly assisted by the two long anagrams. I found some of the wordplay a bit complex at times and needed a couple of hints to finish but got there in the end. I loved the variety of cluing, from those hilarious creatures in 6d to Trump and fine foods in 27a. Great stuff ***/****

    Thanks to RayT and MrK

  8. Except for the sound of the relative, which earned a large Hmm, an absolute delight from our Thursday maestro – 2*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 27a, 5d, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

        1. Huntsman, my comment was tongue-in-cheek. I just meant it to mean in this case emphatically not a homophone, but a real heterophone refers to two words spelt the same but with different pronunciations, e.g. row meaning a line and row meaning an argument.

  9. Most enjoyable despite the fact I needed he help of Mr. K. here and there. I must try and remember that particular word for wrong. It was used recently. I thought the lurker in 12a was well hidden and 18d was so obvious I didn’t see it immediately. My favourite and COTD is 8d because of the terrific misdirection.

    Many thanks to RayT for the fun challenge and Mr. K. for the much needed hints and pusskits galore.

    Still wet and miserable in The Marches but there are signs of Spring in the garden so better days ahead?

    1. SC. I thought you might like this. It’s a cracking bit of boogie-woogie with a splendid solo from a talented young female drummer:

      1. Spellbound by that, Jose – absolutely wonderful drumwork, not to mention the virtuoso boogie-woogie piano!

        Thank you so much for posting it, it’s brightened a very wet and grey afternoon.

  10. I thought there was perhaps a slight touch of ‘Beam’ in today’s puzzle, certainly made me think hard in places.
    Favourite was definitely 2d with 27a & 21d taking the lesser awards.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Mr K and the felines for the review.

  11. How kind of Ray to provide the perfect clue to go with your illustration at 4d 😉. What an elegant puzzle, my only holdups being my misspelling of 6d and still trying to work out 12a despite your hint. I liked 14d best. Thankyou, Mr K, and Mr T of course.

  12. Enjoyable but quite taxing particularly in the NE. 18a required a prompt. Not sure about 22a. 8d led me to look up origin of word for pudding (“looks like cobbled road”). Hmm re 25d homophone (or heterophone as per RD). Took while to unravel 16d. Joint Favs 2d, 11d and 14d. Thank you RayT and MrK.

  13. I’m with Jane in finding this one a tougher than usual nut to crack. Lost a few bob thinking Robert was bound to pick 24a as his favourite. It was one of my many ticks in an excellent puzzle along with 2,6,11&14d.
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K – POTW (pic of the week) at 6d

  14. An excellent Thursday puzzle from the Sweetheart Man and an enjoyable diversion from leaf sweeping in our back garden. I found the SW and NE corners a bit tricky with 2d my LOI after the solution came to me in a lightbulb moment. Some great lurkers today and my COTD is 21d. Unfortunately, having completed the grid, leaf sweeping duties are now calling me.

      1. I have a gardener who insisted on using his own leaf blower and merely blew the leaves under hedges etc. so he wasn’t very pleased to learn that I had bought a vacuum leaf collector!

        1. Trouble with leaf blowers is that as soon as the wind changes direction they blow out all over the place – waste of time in my opinion.

  15. Certainly a tougher Ray T today, first pass produced just one answer and a fair helping of electronics required to achieve a finish, so I guess Brian will be rather peeved!
    On reflection, the usual high-quality clues in abundance.
    Thanks to messrs T & K.
    Much drier on the Kent Downs today, but still blowy, keeping a chill in the air.

      1. If I had five bob for every time Brian had threatened to give up crosswords but didn’t I would have a lot of five bobs. But with no comments since the one he posted on Monday he might be carrying through on his promise.

  16. No real problems.
    Enjoyed working through this puzzle.
    Some quite cunning lurkers and meaty anagrams.
    Which completed a great puzzle.
    Many thanks RayT and Mr K.

  17. As soon as I saw *** for difficulty in Mr K’s opinion I feared the worst……and I was right!!!
    Thanks for help 👍

  18. I’m obviously the only person who doesn’t get on with the famous Ray T . Just found it rather a slog and couldn’t find a clue that really made me laugh . Sorry. ***/ **

  19. Found this a bit of a strange puzzle with some definitely tricky/hard clues parse. Obviously a RayT puzzle given the clue lengths as well as no multi-word answers.
    3*/3* for me

    Favourites were 9a, 26a, 1d, 3d & 21d with winner 21d

    Having said all that this was a DNF for me with 4 clues unable to solve and 12a that I had never heard of.

    Thanks to RayT for the headache and to Mr K for hints that I did not use on Wednesday night

    1. Actually, I typed the above on Wednesday evening, and saved it to paste into the comments on Thursday morning. However, I went back to the puzzle just before bed and I managed to solve the four that had defeated me up until then.
      Forgot to adjust my comments.
      Still didn’t know the 12a word.

  20. What a super puzzle from the Maestro – fairly light but slowed by and finishing in the SW. Lurkers were subtle and well crafted, all surfaces so smooth and yet concise as ever. Yes, the two long anagrams leapt from the page, but no bad thing says I.

    Too many to cite for Hon Mentions, so will limit podium places to 29a, 21d, and COTD 24a.

    2* / 4.5*

    Many thanks to RayT and MrK – I have never seen a cat look more like a question mark!

  21. Brilliant. Such fun. Too many likes to list but I must say that 8d was really clever and a18a is a lovely word which I don’t think I have ever used in conversation. Thanks for the cat pictures, couldn’t you find a dancing cat for the ballerina? I have to say that 25d didn’t work for me either. Many thanks to Setter & Hinter.

  22. A very enjoyable puzzle, as ever from Ray T. Slightly trickier than usual, perhaps, as others have noted above.
    25d has inevitably been challenged in the comments and perhaps it gives us a clue as to where Ray is from? Clearly not sunny Hertfordshire!
    24a wins it for me today. A great word and presumably no coincidence that we are invited to read the first two words together.
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  23. A delight for me today even though I needed a wee bit of help with some parsings.
    As I said above, the homophone was a homophone for me……

    Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K….great pics as always.

  24. Ray T may be a Maestro but unfortunately I am the sorcerers apprentice and can make a mess of anything. Needing hints I once again found my feeble brain was not up to the cleverness of the clueing. Still there will be more opportunities to celebrate my cluelessness in the days to come.

    My thanks and best wishes for the new year to Mr K and Ray T.

  25. Obtained from Stockport Library and solved on the bus home after a rather fruitless shopping expedition in the town centre (only purchase: 3 pairs of undercrackers), this was another splendid puzzle from Ray T. Great clues, a reasonable challenge and a very enjoyable solve. I ticked a fair few and my favourite is 2d. 25d works fine for me. 3*/4.5*.

    1. I live not far from Stockport and have never heard of undercrackers. I have hazarded a guess though.
      I’ve been out for most of the day so my late attempt at the crossword has not been very successful. I think I’ll be needing the hints so thankyou Mr K and also thankyou Mr T.

  26. I needed Winnie again today to translate what Horace said. I always have a problem with RayT and with my brain having been stolen yesterday, I didn’t stand a chance. Whoever stole my brain, please return it, no questions asked. Blimey, I obviously live in a different world. I did enjoy 6d, couldn’t spell it, but Mr. K’s pic pushed it over the winning post. Thanks to RayT for the view of the other world, and Mr. K for unravelling that lot. I wonder what tomorrow will bring!

  27. For me a relatively accessible RayT. My only hesitation was over 25d which I left pencilled in until the checkers confirmed it. I guess my accent is south of Watford! **/****

  28. Tricky enough for me – anything is these days!! :sad:
    I always like the long anagrams but my favourite was 10a – it reminded one of my one of Ray T’s best ever clues!
    Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K.

  29. Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K for the review and hints. A super puzzle today. Needed the hints to parse 11&20d. Great misdirection in 8d, as was commented earlier in the blog. LOI was 11d. Favourite was 24a, which made me laugh. Was 3* / 5* for me.

  30. Evening all. Firstly, a Happy New Year to everybody and secondly, my thanks to Mr K for the review and to all for your comments.


    1. Good evening Mr T and a very Happy New Year to you as well. Looking forward to whatever else you have in store for us this year.

  31. No wonder I couldn’t get on with this. I find RayT quite incomprehensible. Needless to say, by contrast, I more or less romped through today’s Toughie
    Tomorrow is Friday, so no fun there!

  32. Re 1a, in bell-ringing “toll” and “peal” are not the same thing. Tolling is when a single bell is rung slowly as at a funeral; a peal involves the ringing of a number of bells in sequence.

  33. Splendid crossword from Mr. T. NE last in for no particular reason. I wouldn’t pronounce 25d like that but my father was from Altrincham so spent time up there with my grandparents so familiar with both. They also pronounced other words in a funny way like look pronounced luke. Hard to pick a favourite with so many contenders but I’ll go with 2d. Thanks to Rayt and Mr. K.

    1. I spent almost all of my teenage years attending Altrincham Grammar School for Girls – back in the days when it was just a huge old building surrounded by gardens, trees and tennis lawns.

  34. It’s very late in the day and perhaps some commenters have already retired for the evening, but my conscience will not let me return to other pursuits until I say how frightfully sorry I am that I neglected to choose 24a as my COTD. The subject in question deserves no less. Besides, I owe Huntsman a few bob for thinking of me and knowing my heart and mind better than I do myself. As the little boy in James Joyce’s ‘Araby’ says, “My heart misgave me” as the day went on and I began to sense that I was losing my grip on what truly matters. Is nothing sacred anymore?

    1. Well I tore my betting slip up in bitter disappointment but as you’ve been gracious enough to issue a late correction I shall bear no grudges…..

  35. Well I really enjoyed this- obviously I needed help with some and I got the wrong word for 23d which held me up for a while. Many thanks to to Mr K and Ray T. After granny duties over the holidays I’m now looking forward to having some time to knit, crochet and read the huge pile of books that I’ve been given this Christmas – and I might even be able to complete the crossword on the same day!

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.