DT 30203 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30203 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30203 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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A bright sunny, thankfully frost-free, Saturday morning brings a, slightly tricky in places, Saturday Prize Puzzle with a palindromic number

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.


1a    Freedom in empty pretentious truisms (10)
A word meaning freedom from restraint inserted into the outside (empty) letter of PretentiouS

13a    Inspiration seen in opera, ‘Tosca’ (5)
The Greek muse of lyric love poetry (inspiration) is hidden in the last two words of the clue

15a    Boasting of a daughter in good show (7)
A (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Daughter inserted into an interjection meaning well done (good show)

19a    Write sad poem the Spanish say is trite, ultimately (7)
The Spanish definite article, the abbreviation meaning say, for example, IS (from the clue) and the ultimate letter of tritE

22a    Arrangement of ornamental edges? Not edges! (5)
Some ornamental edges without their ‘edges’ or outside letters

27a    Repeatedly elected to protect Turkey, so critical (9)
Two lots of the word meaning ‘recently elected’ into which is inserted (to protect) the IVR Code for Turkey, the result finished with a Latin word meaning so or thus

30a    Authority to sell wood going to royal vessel (10)
A type of wood, a royal cipher and a vessel


1d    Quiz group of top umpires (4)
Hidden in the last two words of the clue

2d    Unfinished tomb coated in marble compound (9)
Compound or make worse – a tomb without its final letter (unfinished) is inserted into (coated in) a marble used in games made of a type of chalcedony with the same name

5d    A noble estate (7)
The lands of a particular British nobleman

8d    Circus school in trendy capital (10)
A school (eg of whales) inserted between an informal way of saying trendy and the capital of Italy

9d    City allowed to keep Conservative in charge, being diverse (8)
The postcode area of the City of London and part of a verb meaning allowed, between which is inserted (to keep) the abbreviation for Conservative, the abbreviation meaning in charge being added at the end

18d    Fierce doctor: brief pain is hard (9)
An abbreviated doctor, a synonym for pain without its final letter (brief), IS (from the clue) and the abbreviation for Hard

26d    Secret look back to find castle (4)
A reversal (back) of a secret look

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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!

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The Quick Crossword pun: MOW + TOR + WEIGH = MOTORWAY

60 comments on “DT 30203 (Hints)
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  1. Found this all a bit of a slog today. Thought 18d was somewhat iffy, and simply
    hadn’t heard of the word at 13a at all. Saving grace for me was the brilliant clue for
    8d which brightened it up for me. Sorry to compiler, just wasn’t my thing today.

  2. Really enjoyed this one. Some very clever wordplay in the SW corner especially delighted me. It may seem simple and silly of me, but the clue I liked best, one that also made me laugh, was 3d, with 27a and 8d fleshing out the podium. Thanks to CS and today’s setter (who reminded me of Chalicea in places). **/****

  3. A slow burner for me, took quite a lot of teasing out. A lurker indicator that I haven’t seen before in 1d, and a new way of indicating alternate letters in 3d which I liked.
    I’ll go for 2d as my favourite, I fell for the misdirection and it took a while for me to think about the definition in the right way.
    Thanks to CS and the setter.

    1. Thanks for the tip regarding 3d. It was my last one in and had completely missed the direction. Lovely crossword which I have been filling whilst catching up on th European rugby.

  4. A couple of errors with the two four letter downs held me up a bit today, that and the wrong pain in 18d, but with a nudge from CS all became clear. Thanks to her and setter, and a belated birthday wishes to Steve for yesterday. I hope the Grouse didn’t leave a thick head for today.

  5. This was good fun although I can’t see anything remotely cryptic about 5d. My podium comprises 19a, 8d & 9d.

    Isn’t 18d an ugly word? Would anyone (apart from a crossword setter) actually use it?

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

    1. I agree, and if you were going to use it I would use a different ending. Being mindful of the naughty step and the withholding of cake.

  6. No idea who penned this one so I’m working on the principle that it’s safer to blame Cephas than anyone else!
    Struggling a little to nominate a favourite but think I’ll opt for 15a.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS whose workload seems to increase by the week – we really do appreciate all your efforts. By the way, if you haven’t already read it, I think you might enjoy ‘A Town called Solace’ (Mary Lawson).

    1. I was a last minute stand-in for yesterday’s Toughie. this is my ‘busy’ weekend as I have hints, full review, NTSPP and Sunday review to do.

      I’ll have a look out for that book – I’ve just finished the second of Robert Thorogood’s Marlowe Murder Club books which was very good

    2. Will download to Kindle. I’ve enjoyed all your recommendations so far, just finished Langbourne a week or so ago. Now reading another Kristin Hannah, she’s always good.

      1. I’ve just finished Longbourn as well and couldn’t help thinking that whilst the references to characters and events in Pride and Prejudice brought back memories, it would equally have made a good stand-alone novel of life below stairs during those days. My latest read is the recommendation from CS and someone else on the blog of ‘The Little Wartime Library’ by Kate Thompson.

  7. Really tough and needed the help of the hints. Very little fun, just a slog.
    Took three sittings to finish.
    Thx for the hints

  8. Really enjoyed this puzzle, Some clever clues and my favourites were 6A, 27A & 8D. Many thanks to the setter. **/**** for me

  9. This mostly just flowed nicely to completion.
    11a brought a smile.
    8 and 18d absolute gems.
    Former last in after a little hesitation.
    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

  10. Hmm, not a pangram, no double unches, some head scratching for me, I don’t think it is Chalicea’s reappearance that she mentioned in the comments on Tuesday (but it wouldn’t be the first time that she has ‘doubled up’ with the SPP and NTSPP on the same day), I am inclined to go for A N Other, but I suppose it could be a Cephas. I think I will hang on to my five bob. 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 27a, and 9d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to the setter and CS.

  11. No real problems with this one although, like RD, I did wonder about 5d. A pleasant puzzle that had some good clues, amongst them 15a, a popular choice of favourite.

    Thanks to our setter for the fun, and to the hard-working and much appreciated CS.

  12. I’m afraid this didn’t float my boat at all. As other have said, it was too much of a slog to be enjoyable. However, I did like 16d and is my COTD. I made a number of mistakes when entering some answers and I’m not sure of a couple so I will not be submitting today. Like Tantalus, the prize pen, which my cynical mind believes is non-existent, remains beyond my grasp.

    Thank you to the setter for the drubbing and to the very busy CS for the hints, which were needed today.

    Many thanks to those who sent birthday greetings and, in answer to Sloop John B, The Famous Grouse has left me with a bit of a head today. Not surprising really given that I don’t drink 99% of the time. With temperatures hovering around zero today in The Marches the afternoon walk should clear it all up.

    1. Sorry I did not send greetings! Have had a bad week. Excuses, excuses. It sounds as though you celebrated though!

      1. I celebrated a bit too much, DG. I do hope your bad week will disappear and not repeat this itself this coming week. Take care. :rose:

      1. Yes, you and others have said they have received The Pen, Laurence. I can only conclude that my submissions over the last forty five years have either all been incorrect or have disappeared into the nether regions of the universe. :grin:

    2. I’m sorry I was not around yesterday Steve or I would certainly have passed on birthday greetings to a fellow Salopian. I was having a hernia repaired and horizontal for a good part of the day. All good now though.

  13. My best effort of the week so far, just needed the hint for 8 to get me going again, never connected the word to circus before but you live and learn (sometimes🙄). Wasn’t sure which way to put 26 but getting 30 sorted that out. Thanks to all.

  14. Sorry Steve. Tis I. After a long time. We don’t choose when we are published and I didn’t know the NTSPP would be mine too (and today’s IQ and tomorrow’s EV.) Probably a Chalicea overdose for some. The added difficulty is partly due to editorial tweaks. I had my hand smacked for being too long winded. CS you know I love your illustrations and really appreciate all that you do. Thank you.

    1. Well, I am surprised it is your puzzle, Chalicea. I usually get on far better with your creations so I can only surmise it was the after effects of the Famous Grouse! Anyway, there can never be a Chalicea overdose as far as I am concerned. :good:

    2. Thank you, I am pleased that I decided to ‘hang on’ to my five bob.

      Now that, after quite a wait, you have got a SPP ‘past’ CL, we need to see you more often!

    3. Well knock me down with a feather. Your puzzles are usually such a morale booster, and I was hoping we would see one from you soon on here. But this was way above my pay grade. Just printed up your NTSPP, so fingers crossed I have my thinking hat on for that one. Thanks for the challenge.

    4. My stars, I was right when I said above that I kept being reminded of you, Chalicea, as I happily worked my way into the SW corner, which was redolent of your handiwork–most notably the 27a definition and the 19a formation. Thank you for a very elegant puzzle and for joining us.

  15. I’m afraid this was a bit of a slog for me too..which is a shame as I enjoy Chalicea’s puzzles as a rule.
    I’m blaming the editor and looking forward to at least having a stab at the EV tomorrow and the NTSPP today.
    Mind you, it may be me being dim as I couldn’t see 21d for ages.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to the very busy crypticsue.

    Waiting for the Man to come and fit smart meters today……as if I hadn’t had enough Men in recently. Sugar supplies have been laid in.

  16. Too many nice clues to mention. It has somewhat restored my equilibrium having been told at Coffee Stop this morning that Mrs A had asked Mr & Mrs B if they were going to George’s party which they were not, but am about to drop an invitation into them. Where do you stop? And on Thursday I was out clearing my car of frost, left at 8.30 and took 70 minutes to do a 20 minute journey to Addenbrookes, rocked up in Cardiology to be told my appointment had been cancelled on 14th November. The man was quite nasty, as if I had nothing better to do than make that journey in the horrid weather. I have been discombobulated ever since. Thank you cryptic Sue for your hints and Chalicea for soothing my ruffled feathers. I’m now off to DD2 with a cauldron full of marmalade ready to get a rolling boil off her state of the art range. My new hob cuts out at a certain temperature. The trials I have to endure…….

  17. Found this Saturday puzzle relatively approachable and no quirky clues or weird words to confuse the issue. Pretty straightforward IMHO.

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites today include 11a, 29a, 2d, 7d, 14d & 25d — with winner a toss-up between 7d & 25d

    Thanks to setter Chalicea and CS for hints.

  18. Very surprised that this is a puzzle by Chalicea as for me some clues were stretched beyond what I would call honest. Very unlike the Chalicea we know and love. The good thing was that the checkers provided the words in the word wizard to cross check with the clues so although it was sometimes difficult to find a clear match the right one was, I hope, was found.

    Many thanks to CS for confirming in her hints my cross checking and to Chalicea for the struggle.

  19. A slow start for me today but soon started to speed up. On the whole enjoyable with no favourites. We had Bingo in our Warm Space yesterday afternoon. What a hoot, never played it before and doubt I will do so again. I was going to say it gets the old biddies up there but I guess I’m one of them but I don’t feel it. Many thanks to the setter and CS

  20. Not only was this a slog but weird with it. I can’t believe this is Chalicea, well, I suppose better luck next time. I’m really not getting much fun from the crossword any more, when does one draw the line and stop? I did enjoy 15a and 8d, maybe because I could solve them! Yes, RD, like tutee, when would you use 18d? I call my aide the 18d Lady, does that mean she’s 18d?
    Thanks Chalicea and much appreciation to CS for hints and tips.

  21. Easy to say now I know but after losing a small fortune (at least 25 bob) on Cephas impersonating Chalicea, like Robert, I had this pegged as one of hers. Found it reasonably straightforward & very enjoyable indeed. 2d my last in & the only real head scratch. Other than 5d, which didn’t strike me as being in the least cryptic, I thought this nicely clued throughout & with some clever wordplay. Plenty of ticks on my page – 1,11&30a along with 8,9,14&16d.
    Thanks to a busy setter & an always busy baker, solver, proof reader & reviewer.

  22. North was OK but South was a different kettle of fish. Overall not my scene at all and none to warrant a Fav tag. Several hmms were evoked. Thank you to Chalicea who frequently defeats me, if not today, and CS your unstinting efforts on our behalf are greatly appreciated – you are a veritable glutton for punishment!

  23. For anyone who found this too much of a slog today, I highly recommend Chalicea’s NTSPP today, a real pleasure to solve from start to finish.

  24. Loved it from start to finish.
    A very good after work exercise.
    I can now go to sleep with a smile on.
    Thanks to Chalicea and to CS for the hints.

  25. I enjoyed it but did it in fits and starts. I have been recovering from a splendid day in London on Thursday. I went with five other ladies to a presentation. All went well. Trains were on time and we fitted in a light lunch, with wine, an afternoon tea with champagne, trip on the Elizabeth line, then wine and canapés, speeches and presentation in Aldersgate. Had half an hour to spare at St Pancras which was spent at the champagne bar. I still have the Thursday and Friday crossword to do. Thanks Chalicea and CS.

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