DT 30207 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30207

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30207

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday. I found this puzzle a little below the Thursday average for difficulty, but well above average for enjoyment. I wonder who set it? 

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    Plants, variety found in shady ground (10)
HYDRANGEAS:  Span or variety inserted in (found in) an anagram (ground) of SHADY 

6a    Inclination to show prejudice? (4)
BIAS:  A straightforward double definition

9a    Deficit stops firm investing at first huge figures (7)
COLOSSI:  A deficit or lack is inserted between (stops) an abbreviation for firm or company and the first letter of INVESTING 

10a   Drop choice to lead London's police force (7)
PLUMMET:  Choice or prime is followed by an informal name for London’s police force 

12a   Female condemned rich uni mates, they're often in casinos (5,8)
FRUIT MACHINES:  The single letter for female is followed by an anagram (condemned) of RICH UNI MATES 

It's a machine dispensing fruit

14a   Ice cream retired teetotal Egyptian is eating (6)
GELATO:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (retired … is eating) the remaining words in the clue 

15a   Crossing Spain lady set off in unhurried manner (8)
SEDATELY:  An anagram (off) of LADY SET containing (crossing) the IVR code for Spain 

17a   Censure for breaking hand (8)
REPROACH:  For or “in favour of” inserted in (breaking) hand or pass 

19a   Injury  worry (6)
STRAIN:  Another double definition. The second could also be pressure or tension

22a   Refusing single answer, trivial question unsettled entertainer (13)
VENTRILOQUIST:  An anagram (unsettled) of TRIVIAL QUESTION minus the single letters for single or one and for answer (refusing single answer) 

24a   Circle Line information that finally worker absorbs (7)
TANGENT:  The combination of the  final letter of THAT and a worker insect contains (absorbs) an informal word for information 

25a   Rage consumes extremely vindictive person seeking retribution (7)
AVENGER:  Rage or ire contains (consumes) the outer letters (extremely) of VINDICTIVE 

26a   Fight expected against school's closure (4)
DUEL:  Expected or owed with the final letter (…’s closure) of SCHOOL 

27a   Wading bird environmentalists catch (10)
GREENSHANK:  A political group of environmentalists with a verb meaning catch 



1d    Cope with  mediocre journalist (4)
HACK:  A double definition. The first is informal 

2d    Sad seeing unemployment benefit maximum cut (7)
DOLEFUL:  An informal name for unemployment benefit with all but the last letter (cut) of a synonym of maximum 

3d    Attack method that's used to train soldiers (7,6)
ASSAULT COURSE:  Synonyms of attack and method 

4d    Fun manifestly absent every so often after golf (6)
GAIETY:  Alternate letters ( … absent every so often) of MANIFESTLY come after the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf 

5d    Type of soup, bat, a help prepared (8)
ALPHABET:  An anagram (prepared) of BAT A HELP 

7d    Enormous lie Emma sensed getting repeatedly exposed (7)
IMMENSE:  LIE EMMA SENSED with the outer letters of each word deleted (getting repeatedly exposed

8d    Enjoyable day is fast-moving, meal ultimately is skipped (10)
SATISFYING:  Concatenate an abbreviated day of the week, IS from the clue, and fast-moving or zooming minus the last letter of MEAL (meal ultimately is skipped

11d   Outside hospital Helen's aunt is developing dangerous condition (13)
UNHEALTHINESS:  An anagram (developing) of HELEN’S AUNT IS containing (outside) the single letter for hospital 

13d   Elderly claiming German that's regularly avoided tax caused annoyance (10)
AGGRAVATED:  Elderly or old containing both alternate letters (that’s regularly avoided) of GERMAN and the abbreviation for a type of tax 

16d   One whose work may provide a little relief? (8)
SCULPTOR:  A cryptic definition of a type of artist 

18d   Write article on church as form of atonement (7)
PENANCE:  Link together write or author, a grammatical article, and the abbreviation for the Church of England 

20d   Island occupant I guarantee to protect (7)
ANTIGUA:  The third, fourth, and fifth words are hiding (to protect) the answer

21d   Conservativeforty-nine maybe? (6)
SQUARE:  A double definition. The second is a definition by example (maybe

23d   King, tense over guards on journey (4)
TREK:  The combination of the chess abbreviation for king and the grammatical abbreviation for tense is reversed (over) and contains (guards) a word meaning on or concerning


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 23d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  FILLY + STEIN = PHILISTINE

72 comments on “DT 30207
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  1. Getting harder now as the week progresses, took a while today, last one in was 23d which I really couldn’t see the working of. Put in my best guess anyway (it couldn’t be much else), and went for my daily walk. It still tugged at my brain though, and it wasn’t until about the mile marker that that penny finally dropped. Simple enough then you know it, baffling when you don’t!
    Favourites today were 8 and 21d. Thanks to our setter today.

  2. Very enjoyable, with the appearance of a few old favourites and having just enough about it to be 8d to complete, though I thought 27a a pretty poor clue and 16d a tad weak.
    I particularly liked 9a, a new word but well-clued, plus 15a&1d but top spot goes to the clever 23d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Ps anyone else see a “crocodile” in the illustration for 20d?

        1. There is an ancient hill fort outside Oswestry that looks like a turtle from the A483. I’ll see if I can take a picture sometime.

  3. I managed to finish this puzzle but found it quite difficult to parse some parts of the clues so many thanks to Mr K for the excellent hints and cat pictures. 27a was quite a good clue and because I’m a twitcher I got it but it required an obscure definition for the nautical sense of catch before I ould parse it. I thought 10a was the best of the clues. Thanks to the compiler.

  4. I enjoyed this puzzle and found it relatively straightforward going, albeit with a few pauses for thought. Do not come across 9a often in conversation, am not convinced that 11d (which applies to many of us) merits ‘dangerous’ as a descriptor, and I didn’t know the synonym for catch in 27a. I see we had another Ray Alan/Lord Charles answer – second time in a week I hear someone say. Funny how that happens. LOI the tricky 23d; COTD 24a for the ingenious reference to a tube line. Thanks setter; thanks Mr K.

  5. A very enjoyable puzzle, the best of the week for me.
    My only grumble was the ‘catch’ in 27a….not a meaning that I am familiar with, but got the bird from somewhere in the memory banks.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K…..great pics as always.

    In other news, our Gas Smart Meter, fitted on Saturday, has ceased to work. Both the indoor device that scares the life out of you by telling you how much you’ve spent and the one on the meter outside. Actually it stopped working onTuesday. I’ve been giving it time to think about what it is doing and mend its ways. Is this a record ? Three and a half days …..bah!
    More Men coming I expect……

  6. Very enjoyable and very 8d to complete especially after looking at Elgar’s Toughie and managing to solve a grand total of one clue (why is he present on a Thursday, anyway?), but never mind. This was lots of fun, with 9a, 4d, & 24a particularly interesting to solve, and 23d my COTD. Didn’t know the nautical term for ‘catch’ (as per Google) in 27a, so TIL (today I learned) something new! No idea who the setter is but thanks to him/her, and many thanks to Mr K for the pictures and review. **/****

    1. Elgar is appearing today as there is a special birthday Toughie tomorrow compiled by a selection of Toughie setters, each contributing a clue or two. Should be a lot of fun.

    2. If you’re (like me) missing a Thurs Toughie that mere mortals are capable of having a bash at Django (as Fed) is in the Graun & 1d alone is worth the visit.

  7. Hmm, this doesn’t appear to be a Ray T puzzle, length of some clues and ‘usual’ features absent. The quality of the clues suggest to me that this might be a member of the Friday triumvirate appearing a day early so, with some trepidation, I am going to put my five bob on this being a Silvanus production. 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 24a, 16d, and 21d – and the winner is the oldie but goodie 21d.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever if I lose my five bob, and thanks to Mr K.

    1. Today’s Cross Atlantic is credited to “Russell Henwood”, which I believe is an alias that Silvanus sometimes uses. And I don’t think I’ve spotted any days where the backpager and the Cross Atlantic are set by the same person.

      (But maybe there has been. Or maybe there hasn’t been before but there is today.)

      1. Not so much an alias but the name that appears on my birth certificate! Chris Lancaster uses the compilers’ actual names for Mini and Cross Atlantic puzzles.

        I’ve not had a Cross Atlantic puzzle appear on the same day as one of my back-page puzzles before (I’m not sure about other setters), but last Thursday I was responsible for the Toughie, the Cross Atlantic and the Mini puzzles.

  8. Went smoothly until I shuddered to a halt at 17 and 27a and 16 and 23d.
    Took an age to solve, naughty as 16d is an old favourite and the three others should have been pretty obvious.
    Still, that is all part of the enjoyment.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  9. 2*/4.5*. I agree with Senf. As I was solving this, enjoying it very much, and admiring the surfaces, the name of Silvanus came to mind. However I hesitated slightly because of the surface of 9a. It’s not terrible by any means but it seemed rather un-Silvanus-like.

    27a was my last one in. I knew neither the bird (sorry, Jane) nor the synonym needed for catch.

    23d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. RD, I’m just happy to see a good surface without being able to attribute it to a particular setter. I am in awe of you, sir.👍

  10. Good fun puzzle with no particular hold-ups. Glad to be back on wavelength yesterday after an off-day with my frequent nemesis. I found all 4 long clues particularly friendly which helped for a speedy solve. I found 16d very vague (perhaps something I’m not getting with the wordplay?) and I also hadn’t come across the synonym for catch either. COTD to 7d which I thought was clever but mention too to 20d (though there’s a small typo in the hints – its 2nd, 3rd & 4th words) as an island I know well.

    Ty to the setter (Silvanas?) and MrK

    1. Prompted by your comment on the friendly long clues, I did some checking and Silvanus appears to include them on a very regular basis.

  11. I only had a problem with 27a. I got the “Greens” bit of the clue, but was stuck on the ending. I’m afraid I cheated and put the letters into a crossword solver to get the answer. I then had to Google it. I guess I could have tackled it another way by looking up synonyms of catch. Thanks to the setter and to Mr Kitty. A friend has just bought two rag doll kittens, so I’m looking forward to seeing them.

  12. 1a certainly rang Silvanus bells for me with its smooth surface and there were plenty more of those throughout the grid. So much to enjoy and my double-tick list contains 10,24,26&27a with a mention for the humorous Quickie pun. Think 24a gets the gold medal simply for the ‘Circle Line’!

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the delightfully illustrated review – had to smile at the picture of the ‘proper’ 12a and wondered where the cat sculpture is situated.

  13. So worrying to have an Elgar Toughie today. Old age is confusing enough!
    l was determined to make 22a out of the given letters. After all, to have Ray Charles and Archie Andrews twice in a short time was irresistible.
    I too, despite knowing the second word of 27a meant “catch” spent ages trying to prove it. Does anyone else remember “Redshanks Warning” by Malcolm Saville? A reliable and enjoyable author, part of my long ago youth!
    What ever will tomorrow bring? The mind boggles!


  14. First one I’ve completed unaided this week, 23 was a bung in a bit iffy in my opinion but hey ho what do I know. 10 made me smile, reminded me of a monty python sketch. Thanks to all.

  15. For 17a across I somehow had reproved in my head which gave me *e*l*t*r for 16d, I then gave up and used e help, this gave three answers one of which gave quite a surprising answer!

  16. Liked this one more and more as I solved it.


    Fav today 26a LOI 27a guessed correctly as unfamiliar with bird & this use of hank.

    Thanks to setter & Mr K

  17. Very enjoyable but I rather doubt it’s a Silvanus production. Not my finest effort however. Like RD I didn’t know the bird & it took 2 stabs to find something vaguely plausible for catch so strictly speaking a DNF correctly. Also needed Mr K to explain the parsing at 8d (wrongly thought fast is fodder & moving the anagram indicator) & didn’t twig the RE context at 23d. Fav was 4d.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K – nice pics

  18. Only 2 hints needed today (one of which I should have been able to solve unaided) in very enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  19. Found this a nice puzzle to solve as I always, (well most times), have issues with RayT. I like the off weeks as generally I do better then.

    2.5*/4* for me today

    Favourites included 10a, 15a, 22a, 2d, 13d & 21d with winner 10a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  20. Senf, RD and Jane are correct, sorry Huntsman!

    Many thanks to Mr K for his Hints and Tips and purrfect pics and to everyone who has commented. It matters very little, but 1d was actually intended to be a triple definition, as the solution can be a verb, an adjective and a noun. I must admit allowing myself a wry smile when reading the first few comments earlier and seeing that 27a was named both a poor clue and quite a good clue in the space of just a couple of minutes! It reminded me of the old adage “one man’s (or woman’s) meat is another one’s poison”, very true.

    I hope that even those of you who usually steer well clear of the Toughie will be interested to attempt tomorrow’s special anniversary puzzle – because of the wide range of setters involved I’m sure it will be much less daunting than most Fridays!

  21. What a nice straightforward puzzle (can it really be Thursday) and enjoyable puzzle 😃 ***/**** My favourites were the first and last, good name for a Pub, 1a and 27a 🤗 Many thanks to Mr K and to Silvanus

  22. Very enjoyable – thanks to Mr S and Mr K.
    I ticked 10a (which made me think of the unfortunate Dick), 17a, 24a and 8d.

  23. I completed this excellent puzzle before driving to Worcester for the weekend. When I realised who was responsible my enjoyment went up a notch as it generally does with this setter. 24a and 23d were my co-favourites.

    Thanks very much to Silvanus for the fun, and to Mr K.

    I have just started the Elgar. Could be a long afternoon……..

  24. Unsurprisingly I really enjoyed this. Just right for a Thursday. Hard to pick a favourite though but I’ll go with 3d. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr. K. I think I’ll give the toughie a miss.

  25. Good puzzle thank you Silvanus and MrK. One tiny query – like Florence above I had difficulty with 27a, assuming that the plural “environmentalists” is “greens” which then renders “Hank” meaningless?

  26. My favourite for quite a while. Level of difficulty just right and nothing to get stuck on or requiring help, save for a couple of parsings – eg 23d. I too did not know the bird so guessed as the first word constituent was obvious. Best clues in my opinion 10 and 25 an and 3 8 and 16d. 8d tricked me as I was expecting it to start with a D. Thanks Silvanus and Mr K.

  27. Oh Dear, it’s him again, my bete noire. Couldn’t understand hardly anything, just cannot get on his wavelength at all.

  28. I managed an unaided solve but I am grateful for the hints to help with parsing. 23d and 27a were educated guesses which, happily, proved to be correct.
    Being a former maths teacher, I applaud any clue that touches on (😉) that subject. 24a is therefore my favourite.
    I am still in awe of those people who can detect a style, and hence a setter, from these crosswords.
    Thanks for the puzzle and for the hints.

  29. I always find Silvanus difficult to unravel, same today, I got quite a lot solved with correct answers but had no ideal “why”. I didn’t finish in the SE but I think I did well otherwise. I should have used E-help for 27a, I knew it started “greens”. Lots to like in the north, 1a are lovely. Fave is 2d, mainly because of the pic, isn’t that a face?
    Thanks to Silvanus for the workout and to Mr. K for the unravelling, plus the kitty pics!

  30. Usually the Thursday puzzles are a bit of an enigma to me, but this one was surprisingly, and happily, doable. I did stumble at 9a – forgotten, and 11d – spent too long trying to make a word for a disease beginning with u. Last in, and which I would never have got without the hint, was 27a. Quite unfamiliar with that meaning catch, and never heard of the bird either. But as Thursdays go, very enjoyable.

  31. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, more challenging for me than some – a *** / **** rating for me
    Found some of the 4 Letter clues the toughest – overall favourites were 4d, 7d and 16d
    Thanks to Silvanus for another stonking puzzle and to Mr K for the hints

  32. It took me a while to get the anagrams which is unusual but a short break away and no problems later. I was surprised to see the answer to 22a pop up again so soon but nothing to frighten the horses. Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K especially for the kitty pics.

  33. As others, the “barking knight” as we call it in France gave me some trouble. Tried a few alternatives like “hawk” before finding the right answer.
    Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the review.

  34. Late on parade folks but did this quite early with difficulty at a ***/*** so enjoyable nevertheless. The many lurkers and anagrams were not quite as helpful as usual for me. Got but didn’t understand 21a and thought 8&21d excellent. Thanks to Mr K for his feline hints and the setter for his brilliance.

  35. Good evening
    First attempt for a few days owing to lack of time. Got there in the end – but I must thank Mr K for explaining 17a, which I got by filling in the blanks but couldn’t figure out why!

  36. The anagrams jumped out at once for me. Took a little while, but finished unaided and thoroughly enjoyed it. A great start to my day. Thank you to the setter.

  37. Only a brief look at the puzzle today because of getting this chap settled in and introducing him to Hudson.

    What I did solve was most enjoyable so my thanks to the setter and Mr. K for the hints and puss kits.

      1. No name yet, Jane. The Cats Protection League called him Sid, which is no name for a cat as far as Mrs. C. and I are concerned. (Apologies to all who have a cat called Sid).

        We also spent the afternoon reassuring Hudson that he is still top dog and this upstart is not about to steal his honoured place in the family. We also had to reassure cat with no name that Hudson is not a huge nasty giant of a beast that is about to eat him. We have kept them apart so they can gradually get used to the smell of each other. I have to admit, Hudson is an absolute star and is wanting to be friends.

          1. They would please Mrs. C., Merusa who hails from Arbroath on the east coast. I did think of Paddy but it came more from a ginger Tom often being called a marmalade cat. Marmalade sandwiches, Paddington Bear, Paddy.
            Over the next few days cat with no name will have one settle on him. 👍

            We also like his markings and is one of the things that drew us to him.

  38. I enjoyed this, although I had the same trouble as many others with 27a. I thought 20d a particularly smooth hidden clue – and thanks to Stephen L for pointing out the hidden crocodile! Also thanks to JL and SC for the bonus croc and bonus cat respectively, and of course to Silvanus and Mr K.

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