DT 30201 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30201

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30201

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. Today we have a most enjoyable puzzle from RayT. 

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    Trolley carrying exercise mat (6)
CARPET:  A trolley containing (carrying) the usual abbreviation for physical exercise 

5a    Scions of last of famous Victorians? (6)
SPRIGS:  The last letter of FAMOUS with some Victorians or puritans 

10a   Flash application for computer device (5)
MOUSE:  A flash or instant with a synonym of application

11a   You French, cheeky about hollow depravity (9)
TURPITUDE:  “You” in French followed by cheeky or risqué containing (about) a synonym of hollow 

12a   Despite miserliness, purchases record (7)
ITEMISE:  The letter combination at the start of the clue hides (purchases) the answer 

13a   Brains holding new record over puzzle (7)
NONPLUS:  Brains or common sense containing (holding) the abbreviation for new and the reversal (over) of the abbreviation for a 33 rpm record 

14a   Hay cultivated with garden plant (9)
HYDRANGEA:  An anagram (cultivated) of HAY GARDEN 

17a   Finally shed tears for weaklings (5)
DRIPS:  The final letter of SHED with tears or splits

18a   Composer starts idea, occasionally (5)
SATIE:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of STARTS IDEA 

19a   Omission from lover? Sigh tiredly! (9)
OVERSIGHT:  The answer is found hiding in (from) the remainder of the clue 

21a   Tighten up, maybe using a spanner? (7)
ABRIDGE:  A from the clue with a whimsical synonym of spanner, read cryptically as something that spans

23a   Head of snake, more sinuous snake (7)
SLITHER:  The first letter of (head of) SNAKE with an adjective meaning more sinuous 

25a   Insects, it turned out, one's speciality? (9)
SCIENTIST:  The wordplay is an anagram (turned out) of INSECTS IT. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

26a   Limits fish caught by ship (5)
SIDES:  A usual three-letter fish inserted in (caught by) the usual abbreviation for steamship 

27a   Time off for depression? (6)
RECESS:  A double definition. The depression could be a nook or a niche 

28a   Football official accepts deceit for respite (6)
RELIEF:  An informal contraction of a football official contains (accepts) a deceit or untrue statement 



2d    Crucial economy inside emergency department (5)
ACUTE:  An economy or saving inserted in (inside) the abbreviation for a UK emergency department 

3d    State head tackling socialist in charge (9)
PREDICATE:  Another word for head containing (tackling) both the colour synonym for socialist and the abbreviation for in charge 

4d    Express disapproval and educate vacuous student (5)
TUTEE:  An exclamation expressing disapproval with the outer letters (vacuous) of EDUCATE 

5d    Hear King's changing, making reduction (9)
SHRINKAGE:  An anagram (changing) of HEAR KING’S 

6d    Power of Government's leader in control (5)
REIGN:  The first letter (… ‘s leader) of GOVERNMENT inserted in control a horse, perhaps 

7d    Difficult coming together accepting rout, oddly (9)
GRUELLING:  Coming together or solidifying containing (accepting) the odd letters of ROUT 

8d    This compiler's rubbish, being naughty! (6)
IMPISH:  A short word for “this compiler’s” from the compiler’s perspective followed by an interjection that might mean rubbish or nonsense 

9d    Pound's confining small animals (6)
BEASTS:  Thrash or pound with its ‘S from the clue containing (confining) the clothing abbreviation for small 

15d   Frighten quarry, perhaps, getting ferret out (9)
DETERMINE:  Frighten or put off is followed by what a quarry can define by example (perhaps

16d   More unpleasant facility reportedly supplying provisions (9)
GROCERIES:  Homophones (reportedly) of a word meaning “more unpleasant” and of facility or fluency 

17d   Detectives overlook everything, nearly giving notice (9)
DISMISSAL:  Concatenate some abbreviated detectives, overlook or omit, and all but the last letter (nearly) of a synonym of everything 

18d   Sporadic disputes over sweetheart (6)
SPARSE:  Disputes or battles followed by the letter at the heart of  SWEET 

20d   Flail about in the endless silence (6)
THRESH:  A short word meaning about or concerning is placed between all but the last letter (endless) of THE and an interjection demanding silence 

22d   Initially dim, exhibiting no serious erudition (5)
DENSE:  The initial letters of the remaining words in the clue 

23d   Greek god posed with lyre, undressed (5)
SATYR:  Posed or modelled with the inner letters (undressed) of LYRE 

24d   Possibly hard border? (5)
HEDGE:  The wordplay tells us that the answer could possibly be found as the pencil abbreviation for hard followed by a synonym of border.  The entire clue can serve as the definition 


Thanks to today’s setter.  Top clues for me were 24d and the Quick pun. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  ARDOUR + FEARING = HARD OF HEARING

52 comments on “DT 30201
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  1. Not my best effort by any means. I initially put in spates at 18d (spats around the sweetheart) & only corrected once I’d given up trying to sort out the 25a anagram fodder with a word starting with T. All sorted in 2.5* time only to get the dreaded incorrect completion message. Assumed a fat fingered typo & couldn’t be bothered to trawl through so hit revealed mistakes & saw I’d put the wrong vowel in at 20d – an acceptable synonym for one context of the definition but not quite fitting the wordplay. All very enjoyable as ever. 23d my favourite & unlike yesterday’s Toughie at least it wasn’t the name of one.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Mr K for his review & puss pics

    1. To save me writing a comment I’ll say you weren’t the only one with 20d, I should have parsed it satisfactorily before completing to avoid the dreaded message but I forgot, so my first DNF for quite some time. Definitely a 19a I won’t be repeating!
      Thanks to Ray T, very enjoyable and Mr K, I concur, the Quickie Pun is a cracker.

  2. Not for the first time a RayT puzzle gets my pick of the week – great fun from start to finish. Mostly a very smooth solve with a bit more thought going into the NE for me where a couple of clues with more complex wordplay for me were grouped. I was determined to put “nucleus” in 13a until I realised I was looking at the clue upside down… Lots of top clues to mention: 11a, 13a, with COTD going to the clever 25a. I was going to query spanner’s use in 21a until MrK set me straight – very clever. **/*****

    TY to RayT and MrK – with 5 cats and a cute hedgehog he knows his audience

  3. I thought that this was absolutely brilliant, the best Ray T in some time, with so many clues to swoon over. Almost impossible to pick a podium from this cornucopia of winners, but 16d, 11a, & 13a soared to the top, just ahead of so many others. Nice too to see the 18a composer of the wonderful ‘Gymnopedie’ making a rare appearance anywhere these days. And a special shout-out to the Quickie pun–most amusing. Thanks to Mr K (how do you find such clue-apposite pictures?) and bravo to our virtuoso of wordplay, Ray T. **/*****

    An excellent Thursday Toughie, far more accessible for me than most late-week toughies.

  4. Quickly polished off the SE then slowed considerably with the rest.
    After an age, ended up with 5a to go.
    Penny dropped after a coffee break.
    10a and 5d vie for my COTD
    All very enjoyable.
    Many thanks, RayT and Mr K.

  5. Super puzzle, largely complete after two sweeps with the final few hold-outs in the NE. Many wonderful clues but will single out 21a, 5d & 17d, with COTD 3d.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to Messrs T & K

  6. Yet another highly polished puzzle from the Ray T production line, full of his usual tricks and humour. 3 and 20d share my top spot. My only hold ups, like Mustafa G at #5, were in the NE quadrant.

    My thanks to Mr T and Mr K.

  7. 2*/5*. No hmms, raised eyebrows or niggles to be seen, just unbridled joy from start to finish. This was RayT at as very best with so many good clues that I wouldn’t know where to begin in selecting a favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Mr K.

  8. This made a great start to my ‘dream team day’ (RayT + Mr K followed by Silvanus + Gazza).
    Ticks for almost every clue but I’ll pick out 11&17a plus 16,20&24d for special mention along with the hilarious Quickie pun.

    Devotions as you would expect to Mr T and many thanks to Mr K for the review and particularly splendid kitty pics!

    1. You said it: dream teams both. I didn’t realise it was Silvanus who set the Toughie, but I should have done. It bears his seal of excellence. I often wonder if Mr K has his kitties pose for those pictures since they so closely ally with the clues they illustrate!

  9. I struggled with the NE corner but the rest went in fairly smoothly with some thought. I don’t think the Victorians were that priggish. Maybe they appeared to be on the surface. I also put the wrong vowel in 20d. No excuse really if the clue is read correctly. I knew 11a began with “TU” but that’s as far as I got with that one having to resort to the hints to unravel it. My absolute favourite today and COTD is 3d because, although not being that familiar with the word, they clue gave precise instructions.

    Many thanks to RayT for the fun. Great hints and loads of lovely pusskits from Mr. K. so many thanks to him.

    We had a flurry of snow this morning but it came to nought and the sun now shine in The Marches.

  10. Very tricky for me, and managed just over half unaided, but that is about average for me and a RayT. However, I enjoyed completing the puzzle with help from Mr K. – many thanks

  11. Ray T not as generous as he has been recently but still as enjoyable – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 6d, 16d, 17d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  12. Brilliant puzzle today. Off to a good start with 1a (!!) followed by the SE corner then a little haphazardly finishing, as others, in the NE, which took a little longer to work out. The second homophone in 16d doesn’t really work for me, he here in Yorkshire. That said lots to choose from for favourites. Liked 10a, 11a, 4d (didn’t know this word existed) and 17d. COTD 3d. Thanks to Ray T and MrK – lovely cat pictures again.

    1. I know 4d appears in the dictionary, but I always have a problem imagining someone using it. “My son is a tutee at Oxford,” when would anyone say that?

  13. NE held out the longest for me too and also had the wrong vowel in 20d. Jolly cold again today – that lovely hot summer seems an age away now. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the pussycats – is that a real hedgehog – looks a bit fluffy to me!

  14. Good fun as usual from Mr T – thanks to him and Mr K.
    Isn’t 4d a horrible word – has anyone ever seen or heard it used?
    The clues I liked best were 17a, 19a and 15d.

    1. Last heard, seen, and used, several decades ago in college. Its scope for application in general life is somewhat limited!

      1. In actual fact, we used the term at Nottingham University in 1971-72, the year I guest-lectured there. I had six tutees in addition to my lectures.

  15. Oh dear. I must be having an off day as I fully expected our hinter to be awarding a ****/***!!
    Enjoyable but I struggled a lot. 11a and 3d were my last in and curiously both vied for my COTD. 11a pipped it. Enjoyment with difficulty is the mark of a good setter of course. Thanks Mr K and RayT.

  16. I also made the same mistakes for 18 and 20d. 16d threw me because I pronounce, probably erroneously, the ending as “is” and not “ease”!

  17. An excellent Thursday puzzle. Fairly mild by Ray T standards, with great clues providing an enjoyable solve. I have ticked quite a few but my clear favourite is 3d. 3*/4.5*.

  18. At first, I thiyght rhis puzzle was going to be impossibly difficult but I managed to get on wavelength and sfiniished it with just a short hold up on the NW. The wordplay and synonyms were typical of Mr T and it was most enjoyable. Favourites were the homophone at 16d, the lurker at 12a, the lego clue at 7d and the anagram at14a. Thanks to Mr T and to Mr K for hints and cat pictures.

  19. Typical Ray T, plenty of plain sailing for the most part, a good degree of tacking required in both NW and NE waters to get over the finishing line.
    Favourites today, the clever wordplay in 13a plus the well camouflaged lurker in 19a.
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K for the usual Thursday pick-me-up.
    With a bit of luck here’s a doggy pic for the other camp

      1. Maybe the picture was too large, Waldorf? It needs to be less than 2 MB. Mind you, I fail to upload pictures as well.

        1. I’m a bit of a numpty on the phone with “clever tricks”……..it isn’t obvious in Google Photos what the size is!

  20. Typical Ray T in that I managed about half but was completely baffled by the rest. Mr K came up trumps with his hints but I am disappointed that I am not getting further with these puzzles.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K

    1. In my exlperience, Corky, improvement comes but it’s uneven. There will be a tiresome period, when you feel like you’re getting nowhere, then so.ething clicks into place and you find you can see through those awkward clues and the difficult compilers youu couldn’t tackle before. I have yet to get to that blissful state with Zandio puzzles but I keep plugging away. A few years ago, when I first discovered this site, I always needed the hints for Ray T puzzlesxbut I have improved and learnt so it’s a lot less difficult now. Keep trying

  21. Found this RayT puzzle very challenging … so much so that it ended up as a DNF with the NW being my hold up plus one in the NE. Thought some of the definitions and the answers to them not necessarily intuitive or making sense, but that’s just my humble opinion.
    Maybe it was just me me being 22d

    3.5*/3* today for me

    Favourites include 14a, 17a, 21a, 23a, 5d & 17d – with winner 17d

    Thank to RayT for besting me today and Mr K for the hints I needed to finish the NW

  22. I always have a problem with RayT, but after last Tuesday’s offering, I’m not going to complain. In fact, I was very pleased that I completed except for three in the NE. I had lots of “I have no idea why” answers, kindly unravelled by Mr. K. I had a couple of wrong answers, solved with e-help and just bunged in, but, what the heck, I enjoyed what I could solve. The quickie pun was brilliant, loved it, so can I choose that as fave? Hon mention to 7a, first one in, didn’t even know that I knew that word.
    Thank you RayT, one day I’ll get there, and to Mr. K, perfect kitty day, I’m a happy girl.

  23. Off piste for a few lines: I read today that the popularity of the Prince and Princess of Wales has tanked since the release of the Rat’s book “Spare.” Please say it isn’t so?

    1. It is my experience that William & Kate have if anything risen in people’s estimation for being able to carry on with ‘business as usual’ in the face of what must be causing the family great distress. Goodness knows who those researchers asked but I can assure you that I don’t know any of them. I can only imagine that they are anti-royal family types who would like nothing better than for the monarchy to be abolished.

        1. No we are not, Merusa. You should hear what the gossip in the local village store has to say about M and H. It is far from kind while there is nothing but praise for William and Kate.

  24. That was a comparatively smooth run-through with exception of NW which, in common with several bloggers above, delayed a race to the finish. MrK certainly indulged in a veritable feline fest! 5a was a bung-in. 21a (in spite of spanner overkill) and 16d (in spite of pronunciation doubt) were Favs. Thank you RayT and MrK.

  25. Thoroughly enjoyed this, despite needing a couple of hints. Think I’m getting better at Mr T’s puzzles – at least I always know what to do with ‘sweetheart’ now!

    Thanks to RayT for the fun, and Mr K for invaluable hints.

  26. Managed to finish this brilliantly crafted crossword from my usual nemesis.


    Fav toss up between 15 & 21 LOI 5a.

    Many thanks to RayT & Mr K

  27. As others NE last in. I used the excellent ‘mine’ for the French in 11a. I’ve tried to learn the more common French words but very little sticks as they are just random words with no context. Enough of that. Super crossword and really difficult in places. Favourite was 3d. Thanks to Rayt and Mr. K.

  28. North west corner last section in. Same issue as others on 20d. Learnt a new word and a new composer 😂. Thanks

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