DT 30256 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30256

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30256

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday.  I found this puzzle above average in both difficulty and enjoyment, which I guess is what we hope for on a Friday. I felt that the difficulty here came not from complexity or obscurity but from clever misdirection, which requires much skill on the part of the setter. I hope that they will take a bow in the comments later today. 

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    Stay to see team following on (6)
RESIDE:  A synonym of team following on or concerning 

4a    Muscles stretch -- it's a kind of art (8)
ABSTRACT:  Six-pack muscles with stretch or expanse 

10a   Endless street party -- turn up the volume! (9)
CRESCENDO:  All but the last letter (endless) of a curved street is followed by a usual party 

11a   Cancel regular publication after second article is rejected (5)
ANNUL:  A regular publication with the second appearance of a grammatical article deleted (rejected

12a   After one gets tight, it goes all down one's shirt front (7)
NECKTIE:  A cryptic definition of something that might accompany a shirt 

13a   Fully involved in Smith & Sons, taking part (5-2)
HANDS-ON:  After translating the “&” into word(s), the answer is found hidden inside (in …, taking part) the remainder of the clue 

14a   Like his subjects, he hopes, sovereign needs new direction initially (5)
LOYAL:  An adjective synonym of sovereign with the handedness of its initial letter changed (needs new direction initially)

15a   Experiment bringing in uniform to class (8)
TUTORIAL:  A test or experiment containing (bringing in) both the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform and TO from the clue

18a   Attacked when excited (6,2)
TURNED ON:  A double definition. Changed to an operating state would be another 

20a   Station underground with no opening in cold period (5)
INTER: A cold period of the year minus its first letter (with no opening). I love this clever definition  

The answer is also a football team

23a   Venison: age, roast while turning, infused with herb (7)
OREGANO:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (… while turning, infused with) the remainder of the clue

25a   Plant making whiskey and lager retired by company (7)
COWSLIP:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by whiskey and the reversal (retired) of a type of lager all come after an abbreviation for company 

26a   Take to court after one's dispute (5)
ISSUE:  “Take to court” comes after the Roman one with his ‘S from the clue 

27a   Nipper that's going to shed at about six (4,5)
MILK TOOTH:  A cryptic definition of a temporary bitey thing 

28a   Boarding schoolmate's pal located around ruin (8)
COLLAPSE:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (boarding … around) the remainder of the clue 

29a   Professor prepared to share female's earnings (6)
PROFIT:  The abbreviation for professor and a word meaning prepared or suitable are joined with an overlap at the abbreviation for female (to share female) 



1d    Bank holding little cash of late (8)
RECENTLY:  A verb synonym of bank containing (holding) a very little amount of cash 

2d    Rough cut used in 'Home of the Stars' (7)
SKETCHY:  Cut into metal with a scraping tool inserted in where stars are found 

The top panel is a hint

3d    Clothed in idiosyncratic style hosting a new series of events (9)
DECATHLON:  An anagram (in idiosyncratic style) of CLOTHED containing (hosting) A from the clue is followed by the abbreviation for new 

5d    After knock, taps turn each way (4,3,3,4)
BLOW HOT AND COLD:  After a synonym of knock come the taps found on a typical sink

6d    Work out  sequence (5)
TRAIN:  A double definition. Work out as in exercise 

7d    Not recalling names, confused, I start to ad-lib (7)
AMNESIA:  An anagram (confused) of NAMES is followed by I from the clue and the starting letter to AD-LIB 

8d    Part of bible story, 'In the beginning', offering strength (6)
TALENT:  The second part of the bible preceded by (… in the beginning) a story or yarn 

9d    Marks given for literary speeches (8,6)
INVERTED COMMAS:  A cryptic definition of how dialog is indicated in print 

An example of the answer

16d   Artist bathing, showing result of a fall (9)
RAINWATER:  A usual abbreviated artist with a (2,5) phrase that could mean bathing 

17d   Beads stolen, something tennis player sneaked in (4-4)
DROP-SHOT:  Beads of liquid, perhaps, with an informal synonym of stolen 

19d   University broadcast silent instrument (7)
UTENSIL:  The single letter for university with an anagram (broadcast) of SILENT 

21d   Gent's clothing classic, being dressed down (4,3)
TOLD OFF:  A posh gent containing (clothing) classic or vintage 

22d   Chart mapping out twelve houses (6)
ZODIAC:  A cryptic definition of an astronomical chart 

24d   Maybe ring with a time to come over (5)
ARENA:  The reversal (to come over) of a (2,3) phrase that could be “a time” 


Thanks to today’s setter. Big smiles today for many clues, including 13a, 20a, 29a, 2d, 16d, and 21d. I also liked the Quick pun. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  WHIZ + KEYS + ODOUR = WHISKY SODA

78 comments on “DT 30256

  1. Super puzzle, full of wit with some very clever misdirection in the surface readings.
    I know this setter has a propensity for a well hidden lurker so I’m always on the lookout for them and I see he’s sneaked in an “extra” one here.
    In a strong field 15a plus 7,9,21&24d are my picks with the brilliant 14a favourite. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

    Something’s gone awry with the layout of the blog…I know the feeling!

  2. I agree this was of the highest quality. I needed MrK’s hints to fully understand my answers to 13a and 21d and enjoyed the cleverly concealed lurker in 28a. My COTD in this ***/**** was 8d. It will be interesting to see who the setter is. Thanks to he or she and MrK.

  3. I finished this, unaided apart from the thesaurus but it was a relentless slog, which required going away and having a nice walk on this blowy spring day in the middle of doing it. It was a challenge but probably one more suited to the elite super-solver brigade than this old septuagenarian. There were two clues I enjoyed, , 17d and 9d. Thanks to Mr K for the hibts and cats and tobthe compiler.

  4. All went well until I was left with 28 across and 24 down. A second cup of coffee and all done at last! Second day of having a real challenge. Very enjoyable.

  5. I was fortunate to find myself tuning in to the setter’s wavelength immediately with this superb puzzle, and in consequence found it very straightforward (almost Monday/Tuesday-ish) with the exception of my last one in, the parsing of which I just couldn’t see for a goodly while. With the last few left in the SW I was on the alert for a pangram, but was not to be. Excellent clues throughout, masterly misdirection, a couple of inspired lurkers. Hon Mentions could easily go into double figures but will limit to 12, 13, 20, 25 & 28a, and 8d.

    1.5 / 4.5

    Bravo, setter, and thank you. Thank you too, Mr K

  6. For me, those two words again, an escapee from Zandio’s Sunday Toughie envelope – 3.5*/1.5*

    No obvious favourites, but 27a and 19d raised a smile.

    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  7. I see the Toughie has gone walkabout again! Finished using letter substitution but very little fun.
    Not one for me
    Thx for the hints

  8. What a good puzzle. I didn’t need any hints but took some time to get going. I thought 13,16 and 23 best of a very good bunch. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  9. With perhaps this season’s cleverest lurker, this majestic puzzle–which took me into 4.5* time to finish all on my own in the wee hours of the morning–also has some of the fiercest misdirection(s) I’ve seen in some time, and I loved it all. How does one begin to pick winners here? Well, first the Clarkie for making me laugh and shake my head at its novelty goes to 13a. And then the awards pile up: 22d, 10a, 24d, 14a, 2d, 15a–and that’s just alternating the crosses and downs for the first two podia. But for the sheer fun and actual fact of it all, I think I’ll pick 5d as my COTD because that’s the way I went about the grid in my up-and-down solve last night. Thanks to Mr K and to today’s setter (is it Zandio?). 4.5*/5*

  10. Great to finish unaided.
    But what struggle!
    First run through, 2 solved.
    Perseverance, though, eventually paid off
    So many clever misdirections eg 2d.
    And many a chuckle eg 13 and 29a
    A solid 4* time.
    Many thanks to Zandio who never disappoints and to Mr K.

  11. Certainly on the tough side today, like an old fashioned Friday special.
    Spot on cluing throughout, difficult to agree on a favourite, took a while to parse 28a, liked 25a.
    Have to award the favourite to 1a just for Mr K’s abstract, certainly a hint of Picasso in the air!
    Going for a ***/****

  12. What a fab puzzle! Absolute corker and a pleasure to wrestle with, I was sorry when the grid was full. Very much enjoyed the hints too, Mr K in their new format ;).

  13. Great puzzle well worthy of the Friday slot with superb misdirections – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    My pared-down list of picks is 13a, 20a, 27a, 29a, 17d and 21d.

  14. 4.5*/3*. For me this was the toughest back-pager of the week, which is as it should be. Notwithstanding some slightly strange surfaces and a couple of hmms, this was good fun.

    12a is an Americanism in my book, and Collins even describes it as “US, old-fashioned”! Also, describing 8d as “strength” seems a bit of a stretch to me.

    29a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Hmm, are you being selective in which dictionary you quote from? The BRB has (esp N Am), which presumably can be interpreted as ‘not exclusively,’ for 12a. :wink:

    2. I know you, and one or two others, don’t like them but unindicated Americanisms (and I don’t think 12a is one) are apparently not invalid or generally frowned upon – the setters/DT editor use/allow them regularly.

      8d. Strength = T****t in the sense of strong point, forte, ability.

  15. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss. I enjoyed the puzzle that Mr K has set us in trying to read the hints.
    I was interested in Chriscross’s comment, as a fellow septuagenarian. Is age a factor in solving cryptic crosswords? My memory does work more slowly. But ideally a cryptic crossword shouldn’t involve general knowledge or obscure words, so I would hope it was equally solvable by all.
    Thanks again for the discussion. Have a good weekend.

    1. Thank you for a terrific puzzle, Zandio and for popping in. I am also a septuagenarian so when, in future, I can’t solve a crossword I will put it down to my age. :grin:

      Have a great weekend yourself.

    2. Thanks for the great puzzle, Zandio. As I approach the age of 85, I find that my reflexes are much slower. It takes me longer to key things in, to physically DO things; it’s not the lost grasp of reality or the loss of memory but the arthritic slowdown in just doing, moving, etc. But also for me, glaucoma seriously affects my typing accuracy and viewing this little tablet’s screen as well as I once did. Well, you did ask!

      1. It’s certainly my stroke-affected close vision, which slows me down and makes it more tiring, Steve. Ad you may have noticed, I did finish this puzzle wirmth no assistance but ut was draining.

        1. Oh, Chris, I do hope you didn’t think I was having a go at you! I most certainly wasn’t and I am so sorry if I gave you that impression.

    3. Absolutely brilliant Zandio – but you must surely have a sideways mind. Such crafty misdirection. Thank you.

      1. Golly I must have missed that, I would certainly have thrown in my two penn’orth. It does look as
        though it is the recently retired who turn to the blog – makes sense!

    4. Totally agree with your statement that “a cryptic crossword shouldn’t involve general knowledge or obscure words”. There is nothing I enjoy more than a truly cryptic clue. I do have to admit that I rarely manage to solve your puzzles unaided, but that is down to me. After 50+ years of solving, I doubt I am going to improve in advanced age 😊.

    5. Thanks for today’s workout Zandio – as someone a long way off being a septuagenarian (barely halfway!) I fully agree with the philosophy of equally solvable by all. There’s nothing worse than starting a puzzle and realising I have a huge disadvantage because I don’t know obscure cultural references from five decades ago!

  16. What fun! Loads to like in this slightly hard but doable puzzle. I didn’t get any across clues on the first pass but I manages the long 5d and this opened doors to the rest of the puzzle. nearly didn’t get The misdirections were superb. In fact, all clues were well constructed with great surfaces. I nearly didn’t solve 27a, which some may find strange but, professionally, I called them deciduous. Favourites are 10a and 25a with my COTD being the clever 13a.

    Huge thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, Mr. K for the hints. I did need two to get over the line. Great to see the pusskits back. :good:

    1. In line 2 scrub out “nearly didn’t get”!
      (Next time, Cowling, edit before you rush off to look at the pusskits!) :grin:

  17. I don’t usually persevere beyond midday when it’s such a crossword as this. For many years I looked at the solutions for the previous day’s puzzle and thought I would be better off reading Dostoyevsky in Russian as it would make as little sense as the crossword and most of the explanations of its clues. Actually it’s about time I reread The Brothers Karamazov, in English of course, as it has much more humour and enjoyment than this sort of puzzle.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  18. I do try to overlook the strange surface reads but they still mar the solve for me – such a shame.
    Thanks to Zandio nevertheless, his style obviously suits many of our number.
    Thanks also to Mr K and the felines for the review and the smile-worthy piece of 4a art!

  19. Not the easiest Friday puzzle this week IMHO. Lots of the parsing was unsolvable for me. Will be interested to look at the hints later on Friday as I solved this Thursday night as I have commitments for most of Friday until the afternoon.

    For me today 3*/3*

    Favourite include 4a, 23a, 25a, 27a, 5d & 7d with winner 27a

    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K (for hints that I will look at later on Friday)

  20. A superb Friday puzzle from Z. Great clues, a pretty stiff challenge and a very enjoyable tussle. Favourite of a top-notch bunch: 29a. 4*/4.5*.

    *Is the strange layout of the H&Ts a quirk of the blog or the fault of my laptop? They’re all bunched together in linear paragraphs instead of the usual individually in a vertical list (not complaining, just a query!).

    *Talking of caryatids (yesterday’s Toughie), there are 8 superb ones outside St Pancras Church on Euston Road in London. Magnificent! And their male counterparts: telamons.

    1. The strange layout is not your laptop, Jose. It’s the same on mine and the iPhone.

        1. They are but not a patch on the on the ones on The Acropolis, Jose. Mind you, the background helps there with Athens spread out beyond them and the blue sky highlighting their profiles.

          I fell in love with The Parthenon when I first learned of it at school. My dream was to visit it but the opportunity never arose. Then our daughter got a job in Athens, met a wonderful Greek guy who is now our son in law. The wedding was held at a church beneath The Acropolis. It was evening and the Parthenon was floodlit. My daughter said that I would get to see The Parthenon at last and gave me a kiss on the cheek.

          The next day, after a wonderful Greek wedding, I went to see The Parthenon.

          It has stood for a couple of thousand years. It has had a checkered history.

          When I got there the bloody builders were in and the whole thing was covered in scaffolding!

          A childhood dream shattered!

          Even so, the caryatids continued their silent vigil.

          1. I’ve been to Athens three times and the Acropolis was always new. I’ve never got over the awesomeness of Greece.

  21. Blimey! That was a beast buy v enjoyable. I have most certainly earned my drinkypoos ce soir.

    Extremely happy with idiosyncratic being an anagram indicator. Zandio is certainly introducing some wonderful new crossword jargon.

    COTD is 9d as it took me an age to get but satisfying once it twigged.


  22. A little late to add any new or insightful comments so I shall merely add my thanks to those already proffered to both Zandio and Mr K. What a terrific puzzle. Too many superb clues to pick a clear favourite.

  23. I loved this but found it really tricky. I only managed a few to start with but got the answer to 5d the minute I stepped into the shower this morning! I did find that several appeared to be bung ins which took an age to parse. My COTD was 13a. Thanks to Zandio for the workout and Mr K for the lovely pics and explaining how I got there in the end.

  24. Cracking crossword with a couple of great lurkers.
    I would probably add 25a to the podium along with the lurkers but from a long list of contenders. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K for the great cat pics.

    1. Here’s a prehistoric version of your song by some Bajan lads! I think they’re pretty good.

  25. I cannot argue with any of the clues highlighted, I have so many daisies on the page. But it was by no means an east ride and I had need of Mr K’s hints to get me over the line. Proud to have got 9d so I nominate that as my favourite. Thank you for the felines, mr K you are forgiven for last week’s dirth of pussycats. How unusual to see a cat playing in water! I have already thanked Zandio. I cannot believe another week has gone by. My life is racing away!

  26. Thank you Zandio for a truly difficult bur seriously enjoyable crossword today. Absolutely loved 27a. It kept two old fogies in their late 70’s much longer than usual – great brain exercise so more please!

    1. Welcome from me as well, Sandra, and thanks for sharing your experience with the puzzle.

  27. Well it’s Friday, and we’ve had a good week, so I’m not surprised it’s a difficult Zandio on offer today. Definitely above my pay grade, but perhaps I’ll do better later. Off to console myself with Wordle now.

    1. Well there’s a surprise. Wordle in three, and a cup of coffee and I was off and running. Finished with just a handful of hints, so pretty happy given the level of difficulty.

      1. Above my pay grade too, but I didn’t bother fight it, I just conceded to save myself for another day. I did enjoy the pusscats, soooooo nice to see them again. I showed the abstract art to Amalia but she just shook her head and moved on. I Wordled on three too, but crashed and burned with Waffle.

  28. Not for me, I’m afraid. I eventually managed to solve the vast majority, but needed some hints to complete, and even more to parse. There were some clever clues, but a tad too much misdirection for thorough enjoyment.

    Thanks anyway to Zandio, and to Mr K for the much needed hints (and for the pics and videos – you may make a cat-lover out of me eventually!)

  29. We made heavy weather of parts of this but having got a couple of key answers finished it quickly. Everything was fairly clued. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to Zandio and Mr. K.

  30. Thanks to Zanido and to Mr K for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, quite tricky in places, but managed to complete it ok. Favourite & LOI was 28a. Was 3* /4* for me.

  31. A most pleasing solve which tested the grey matter but surrendered in the end. Even more pleasing as it made it my first ever full week of unaided completions. How long can I keep the run going!🤔Thanks to Zandio and Mr. K.


    1. Congratulations on a week of unaided solves, RogB. 👍

      The most I have managed is three in a row but I live in hope.

  32. I have finally completed after a rather interrupted attempt today, due to other things needing doing. However I think this time it helped me significantly as having initially thought I would never get going I have in fact finished. I needed the wonderful hints and pics to parsing of a couple and I do not think I would have spotted the lurker in 28a if I hadn’t popped on earlier to see if I was being a wimp and spotted a comment that tipped me off. There are really so many clever clues that I felt satisfied to have cracked that I can’t pick a favourite.

    Many thanks to Zandio and Mr K for the excellent hints

  33. Thanks Zandio great challenge with 9d my favourite clue. Thanks Mr K for explaining 3d I just could not work it out

  34. The paracetamols taking for my back are giving me distressing brain fog. I just couldn’t get anywhere . My I only bright idea was that the nipper in 27 with the clue about six would give me a viper (vi…6) and even that was wrong!
    Better luck next week.

    1. If you think paracetamol is bad, JB, try taking CoCodamol 30/500. I had to take it when I did some serious injury to my back earlier this year. It took me to Cloud Cuckoo Land.

      Mind you, as some say about the puzzles, it was nice while it lasted. 😌

  35. Late to this one after a hard day’s graft so perhaps that’s why I found it all a bit of a struggle. A pedestrian grid fill then the parsing of at least 5 took a while longer. Other than 8d (I’m with RD that the definition synonym is a stretch) very nicely clued with some clever misdirection. Can’t disagree with Gazza’s picks.
    Thanks to Zandio for the entertainment & for popping in as per & to Mr K for the review which I’m about to read.

  36. I usually struggle with Zandio productions, however today I managed to finish this one in reasonable time. Some lovely misdirection with a few clues needing thought to unravel the parsing.


    Fav 1d LOI 19d.

    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  37. Another late arrival, but very pleased I made the time – this was a cracker. Some super misdirection, devious lurkers and a few clever all-in-ones. I fell for the decoy in 28a on my first pass – my fault for not parsing it before moving on. It also tickled me how twice in one week the zodiac ‘houses’ came up – it’s so funny how often an unusual reference or word is repeated only days apart. Lots of super clues to pick from: 13a, 14a, 1d, 7d, 9d, but 28a gets my COTD ***/*****

    Thanks to Zandio and MrK(at)

  38. Strange solving feeling in that I finished in 2* time, but never really felt on the setter’s wavelength. Quite a few bung-ins which I only fully parsed with Mr K’s help ( ta muchly)
    Favourite was the greatly disguised rekrul in 28a
    Thanks to Zandio for the stiff challenge

  39. Just couldn’t begin to find the wavelength so decided to throw in the towel. Thanks anyway Zandio – you have obviously pleased most of my fellow bloggers – and TVM also MrK for being there offering support and my goodness I needed it.

  40. Did a few early in the day. Then busy. Came to bed. Picked it up and it filled itself in. I initially thought jumped on for 16a. Only realised I was wrong when I got 3d. I think the second definition is rather saucy. No hints or oarsing help needed but thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  41. Good evening.
    Ten to midnight as I write this; I’ve been back and forth to today’s puzzle throughout the day, but with a heavy heart, I hereby throw in the sponge, having completed 50% at best. Zandio, you’re too tough for me!
    Thank you for the explanations, Mr K.

  42. I finished this yesterday on the train home, but ran out of time to comment, so belated thank yous to Zandio for the fun and Mr K for explaining a few answers I’d failed to understand. I think that’s the best set of lurkers I’ve encountered in a crossword, the popular 13a being my favourite.

  43. I celebrated the **** category given by Mr K by solving 3 clues and then giving up. This was way way above my pay grade. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K (the kitpics made up for the rest).

  44. 4*/4*….
    liked 23A “Venison: age, roast while turning, infused with herb (7)”

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