DT No 30273 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30273

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30273

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **/***Enjoyment ****

Good morning to everyone from a sunny (at the time of writing) South Devon coast.

For me Ray T in top form with a cracking puzzle of about average difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a Professional champ’s docile getting hammered (12)
ACCOMPLISHED: Anagram (getting hammered) of the preceding two words. I guess the anagrind suits the surface read!

9a Record of hospital department emergency room (5)
ENTER: The abbreviation for Ear Nose and Throat plus that of Emergency Room. The solution is a verb.

10a Ceremony broadcast including adult stuff (9)
SACRAMENT: A synonym of broadcast or relayed goes around the abbreviation for Adult and a synonym of stuff as a verb.

11a Official recollected deceit with card (10)
ACCREDITED: Anagram (recollected) of DECEIT and CARD.

12a Ship’s framework seen in port (4)
HULL: A ship’s framework is also the name of a large port on the North East coast.

13a Order boyfriend to face girlfriend? (7)
MANDATE: A generic term for a boyfriend as in he’s my *** plus how one could describe someone you’re meeting romantically. Girlfriend here is an example, hence the question mark.

15a Drinking increasing after saloon’s opening (7)
SUPPING: The initial letter of Saloon plus a synonym of increasing (often followed by “the ante”)

17a Flower from lover Ben adores (7)
VERBENA: Hidden in the clue (from)

19a Weighs down shelters round Noah’s vessel (7)
DARKENS: Some shelters or lairs go around the biblical vessel referred to in the clue.

21a Beam following quiet request (4)
PRAY: My first thought here (quickly dismissed!) was a first person pronoun as the setter was referring to his alter ego. It’s the musical abbreviation to play softly and a synonym of beam as a noun.

22a Temperature control of furthermost atmosphere (10)
THERMOSTAT: A rather good lurker as indicated by the word “of”.

25a Fall of rain out in wild (9)
RUINATION: Anagram (wild) of the preceding three words.

“They can fix the weather in the world
Just like Mr Gore said
But tell me what’s to be done
‘Bout the weather in my head” …. brilliant!

26a A name hair product for sweetheart (5)
ANGEL: A from the clue, the abbreviation for Name and some hair product favoured by yours truly for one.

27a By some means even shelters criminal (12)
NEVERTHELESS: Anagram (criminal) of the preceding two words


1d Ancient Greek‘s room (5)
ATTIC: Double definition, one an Ancient Greek dialect, the other more obvious.

2d Good Lord concerned with former associate (9)
CORRELATE: A charade of an exclamation expressing amazement, a 2-letter preposition meaning concerned with and a synonym of former. The solution is a verb.

3d Fail to get this compiler’s message (7)
MISSIVE: A synonym of fail (to hit the target perhaps) plus an abbreviated I HAVE (this compiler’s).

4d Ogles, keeping in check oglers (7)
LECHERS: Place a synonym of ogles or eyes around (keeping in) the abbreviation for CHeck.

5d Car producer providing driver support? (4)
SEAT: This car manufacturer is also something that supports the driver (or his passengers for that matter)

6d Leader is top purchasing unfinished plant (9)
EXECUTIVE: Top here is a verb in the sense of do away with! Place it around a climbing plant without its last letter.

7d Soothe with unguent obtaining mercy occasionally (6)
BECALM: An ointment or salve goes around (obtaining)the occasional letters of mErCy.

8d Street criminal outside a prison (6)
STALAG: The abbreviation for STreet plus an old fashioned name for a criminal go around (purchasing)A from the clue.

14d Republican scoundrel in simplistic story (9)
NARRATIVE: Place the abbreviation for Republican and a 3-letter scoundrel inside a synonym of simplistic or green.

16d Punch from goalkeeper for a team (9)
PERFORATE: A brilliant lurker (from).

17d Treacherous people, big names covering Queen (6)
VIPERS: The abbreviation for some important people or big names goes around (covering) the former queen’s regnal cipher.

18d Sceptic hates it being wrong (7)
ATHEIST: Anagram (being wrong) of HATES IT.

19d Craze of French new in fashion (7)
DERANGE: Start with the French word for OF then add a synonym of fashion or passion into which is inserted the abbreviation for New.

20d Discharge from bench (6)
SETTLE: Double definition,one a verb, the other a noun.

23d Garments clothing ancients, primarily … (5)
TOGAS: An informal word for some garments goes around (clothing) the initial letter of Ancients. The whole clue works as wordplay and definition.

24d … nude except for lingerie, finally (4)
BARE: A synonym of except or save and the final letter of lingeriE.

Great stuff, I particularly enjoyed 2,6,16&23d. Which ones were your favourites?

Quickie Pun: Author + Docks = Orthodox




78 comments on “DT No 30273
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  1. Good solid Thursday fare, and for me a step up in difficulty from the last few days. As one expects from RayT the clues make the solver think rather more laterally, which is possibly why 4d was my LOI. Smiled broadly at 21a. Very impressed with the lurkers today, particularly 16d, joined on the podium by 22a and 7d.

    3 / 3.5

    Many thanks to RayT and of course to StephenL

  2. A top notch puzzle from our setter, last in was 6d-thanks to SL for the parsing-a clever clue
    Liked10a, favourite was 13a followed by 8a, agree with SL,s **/***-****
    Sound quickie pun.

  3. For me, a puzzle of two halves today. I struggled to get a foothold in the top half ( couldn’t even sort out the anagram at 1a) so started at the bottom and that whole half went in with relative ease. Back to the top and having worked out both 1a and 11a began to make headway. Held up by 10a where I was looking for a homophone, not helped by having the wrong answer to 4d for ages. I loved the misdirection at 6d where I was racking my brain for some obscure plant. Altogether a very enjoyable solve. COTD was 23d – very clever clueing. Thanks to Ray T for the workout and StephenL for confirming a couple of parsings.

  4. Brilliant puzzle, very satisfying to complete in 2.5*
    Certainly of halves.
    Lower fairly quickly resolved.
    Upper not so, 1 and 11a and 6d being the sticking points.
    Three proverbial pennies eventually dropped, an especially loud Duh for 6d.
    Jostling for space on the podium.
    Why not a lurker for a change?
    So 16d my COTD.
    Many thanks, RayT and StephenL

  5. Another enjoyable puzzle from the master of brevity – thanks to RayT and SL.
    I’ve awarded my medals to 4d, 6d and 23d.

  6. Not much needs to be said, Ray T at his very best – 2.5*/5*!

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 2d, 4d, and 8d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to Mr T and StephenL.

  7. 2*/5*. Sheer excellence from start to finish with 4d, 6d & 23d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  8. I’m really struggling with this one. Been at it for a couple of hours and have only answered 11 clues. Don’t want to use Big Dave’s extra help yet, but it’s inevitable. I’d have to disagree with the blogger when they rate its difficultly as **/*** (no offence intended). I’d say it’s at least firmly in the realms of ***. Perhaps even dipping its toes into ****. I’m not sure how the bloggers decide on the rating. Is it just a personal view or are they given rating guidelines? Anyway, let’s see if the cat can help me. 🐈🤣

    1. Hi Mike.
      No real guidelines, personally I just go off my intuition as I’m solving the puzzle. On reflection I agree this one is probably more 3* than 2* though. However I never find Ray T puzzles that easy as there’s so little wordplay to work with.

      1. Hi Stephen

        Many thanks for the explaining that use of intuition rather than any laid down guidelines.

        I’ve noticed people talking about who the setter is. How do they know this? I do the crosswords online as a member of the crossword club, and I do not see a setter’s name? Is it given in the hardcopy/newspaper version?

        1. Only the names of the Toughie setters are given. However RayT appears every other Thursday and he also has a very distinct style so is easy to identify. Other setters appear regularly on other days, Campbell for example on Mondays and three regular setters share the Friday slot.

      2. So every rating by everybody is personal?

        Somebody (Mr K.?) a few years ago conducted a pole as to what people thought was the time for * etc. Maybe it’s meaningless. And of course some people have a different system of reckoning difficulty for Toughies.

        1. I never bother with the star rating, Wahoo. To me it is meaningless because one guy’s * is another’s *****.

  9. Rather more above average difficulty for me, with the usual Ray T hallmarks of elusive synonyms, the late Queen, a sweetheart (or two) and somehigh quality misdirection. It washard to get a startcin the top half so I moved south east and progressedcsteadily from there. It was very satisfying to finish. Favourites were 27a (how do compilers concoct so manydifferent clues for this word?), 14d, 16d and 11a. Thanks to SL for the hints and to RayT for another absorbing puzzle .

  10. Our setter on top form today and giving a master class in well concealed lurkers and far from obvious anagrams.
    Hard to know where to hand out the rosettes but I settled for 10&22a plus 3&14d.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and thanks to Stephen for the review.

    1. Have you heard from Robert? He’s been missing for a couple of days and I know his arthritis has been bothering him.

  11. Couldn’t decide whether this enigma was clever or too clever by half. There were some stretched synonyms but nevertheless I have to admit to enjoying trying to see whence the setter was coming – surprised to find it is a RayT – seems to be a somewhat new style for him. 16d is an ingenious lurker which eluded me and I couldn’t parse 6d. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  12. Definitely a puzzle of two halves, the bottom was excellent and well clued. However, the less said about the top the better esp 6d!
    Thx to all
    Bottom ***/****
    Top ****/*

  13. Another top-notch puzzle from the masterful Ray T. The usual elegantly succinct clues, a good challenge and a very enjoyable tussle. I have ticked quite a few and will pick 6d as my favourite but it could be any one of half a dozen others. 3*/4.5*.

    *Good to see a photo at 1a of the best all-round footballer I’ve seen since Colin Bell in the 60s/70s.

    *I recognise the character in the photo at 15a, but I’m saying nothing. Too much hassle! :-)

    1. Good shout.

      Well done for taking on the chin the undeserved pummelling you got yesterday. People take things too literally. I’ve learnt that, when reading a comment that’s slightly out there, to go with it and have some fun.

      This was excellent with the top half taking yonks to solve. Arty’s lurkers and rekruls really are top drawer….or should that be ‘reward pot? Talking of all things backwards….the synonym of ‘simplistic’ in 14d is the reverse of a French company that supplies mineral water.

      COTD goes to 22a for an example of the aforementioned. Outstanding.


      1. It’s not the first time, Tom, that I’ve had an undeserved pummelling on here and I doubt it will be the last – water off a duck’s back at my age! I do try to foment some debate or a bit of comedy on here but it can backfire – no harm’s done as long as nobody gets rude or offensive. As I said to WW earlier, where else would the mentioning of a well-known soap character cause such a kerfuffle? Quite extraordinary, really …

        1. It certainly was.

          Some people aren’t soap fans, like me, and I think they saw your post as an opportunity to (quoting Russell Crowe) ‘Unleash hell’ on this form of entertainment.

          1. Yes, maybe so. But the irony is that I never watch soaps either and am not at all a fan. I only know some of the characters from visiting/caring for my late parents who sometimes would be watching a soap. Riveting stuff for readers of the blog, this is …

    2. A missed opportunity for a triple definition at 20d – by bunging “in Yorkshire” on the end. And it would still only be 5 words!

  14. Stuck on 10,4 and 6 for quite a while, I had the answer to 10 and 6 but couldn’t parse them until I saw the hints, thanks Stephen L.
    Fairly straightforward for a Thursday although at the start I didn’t think so.
    Cotd 6/7 . Thanks to Ray T

  15. I struggled with Ray T today but managed to get there with just a coupe of hints. I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much and I have no favourites.

    Many thanks, Ray T and Stephen L.

    Not much time today. Getting ready for going to Yorkshire.

      1. We might go to Betty’s, BL. I love the marquetry pictures on the walls but not as much as the tea and cakes, of course! 🍰

  16. Awfully jolly good fun. Needed Stephen’s help to understand 6d and the whole thing took me absolutely ages but golly it was superduper so thank you to Ray and to SL

      1. If you added ‘is a good source of compost accelerator’ at the end of the given clue there could be no complaint from gardeners.

  17. Very enjoyable, 4d was LOI. Thanks for the hint SL. And thanks for the puzzle to Ray T, I am told. I particularly liked the lurkers.

  18. I found this Thursday puzzle from the master of brevity another one that I managed without too much angst … again a surprise for me, as RayT offerings are often trouble for me to get on wavelength.
    However, this was a good mix of clues and some anagrams that really helped me get a foothold.

    For me today 1.5*/4.5*

    Favourites included 13a, 15a, 19a, 26a, 5d & 7d with winner 5d

    Got chuckles from 12a, 17d & 19d

    Thanks to RayT & StephenL

  19. I had to give up in the end with 9 unanswered. They were simply too difficult for me.

    I really do not like clues that appear to be two-parters, such as 23d and 24d. I never know how to approach them. Are the clues and/or answers linked with each other?

    Not my worst attempt. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

    1. In this case they are linked only in that that the first clue helps the surface read of the second. You don’t need to know one to solve the other as they both work independently.

      1. Note that Stephen said “in this case”. I have encountered the rare instance where the linkage extended beyond the surface reading. As we well know, there’s an exception to every rule!

    2. 23/24d are ellipsis-linked clues which have separate cryptic readings/parsings but when read consecutively they produce a single meaningful surface with a linked/common clothing-based theme. Usually, you can ignore the ellipses and just solve the clues separately.

  20. Toughest of the week, so far, for me. However great entertainment and exercise for the few remaining grey cells. I needed all of the checkers to get 6d. 16d my LOI which makes it my favourite considering the type of clue it was.
    Many thanks to RayT and StephenL

  21. Another brain teaser from the master of lurkism. Went wonderfully until I got stuck in NE corner. Putting in ‘keel’ for 12a didn’t help. Nice long anagrams to get started as usual. Many thanks to RayT for a very happy hour.

    1. I was in the “keel” camp too, spent a lot of time looking for a harbor Keel! The proper answer has appeared many times here, hangs head in shame for forgetting, try to remember it.

  22. Enjoyable but not easy. Getting the parsing was sometimes harder than getting the answer. I agree with others about the two halves. I had a complete bottom half but not so the top.I put rings round 12a and 2 5 and 17d. NW was most difficult for me with 13a LOI. Thanks StephenL and RayT

  23. Top drawer today for me, loved this from start to finish. Like others I found the top half more testing than quite a breezy south; in particular I resorted to hints for help with parsing 10a and 6d. I generally start RayT Thursdays looking for long anagrams and that method served me well today to get a good foothold. I liked 2d which I thought a great lego, 5d providing a meat DD but my COTD is shared by 22a and 16d that were both very sneaky lurkers… **/*****

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  24. Like others the bottom half just shot in but the top half took a lot of teasing out. Stupidly 12a took ages as I was trying to make it much more complicated. I did try yesterday’s Toughie after CS gave it */** but only managed about half, but that’s better than nothing. This Covid business is really starting to get me down and unfortunately I look pretty ghastly too. We did drive out to get some veg but I stayed in the car and waved at passing lambs etc., must be affecting my brain I think. Thanks to Ray T and StephenL

    1. I felt it was never going to go too. In the end, the flu-like symptoms lasted 2 weeks and the cough and tiredness for a further3 weeks. Ingradually got back to almost normal after that. It takes time and everybody has a slightly different experience. Keep your chin up, nothing lasts forever.

        1. Chriscross is right, Manders. I felt dreadful for about three weeks but then things got better.

          I hope it leaves you soon.

          Have lots of chicken soup! 🌹

  25. I managed to solve this alone and unaided but it was a hard fight…..very enjoyable though and very satisfying to finish it.

    Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL.

  26. Struggled to complete this today, mainly due to battling with the moss in the garden in between attempts. Bottom half was for me easier than the top with the north east holding me up for ages. I used the hints to explain the parsings of 10a 2d and 6d. 16d was favourite as yet again it taught me to always remember to check for a lurker.

    Many thanks to RayT and Stephen L.

    Other novices such as I should not lose heart as I think this one had some much trickier clues than sometimes.

  27. Sometimes I can solve most of a Ray T, but couldn’t get on wavelength today. Felt like a puzzle written by two different people, with some answers going in, and several others only making it to the margins, until I verified they were right from the hints, thank you StephenL. But some I would never have got if I sat and stared at them all day. Can’t say I enjoyed, but being Thursday I didn’t have high hopes. And I am not kidding myself that I will do well tomorrow, unless someone is feeling really benevolent.

  28. Oh for pity’s sake…. If all else fails look for a lurker. Beaten by 16d (agree it’s a beauty) after a bit of a struggle to get that far – 3&6d didn’t come easily either. Not my finest effort as never seemed to get comfortably on wavelength. Excellent puzzle.
    Thanks to RayT&Stephen

  29. Evening all. Many thanks to StephenL for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. As always, much appreciated.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. Your foot stayed firmly away from the soft pedal with this one but it was a very fine puzzle – many thanks.

    2. Thank you, RayT for the challenge. I find your offerings most entertaining because they vary so much in difficulty. Some I race through but others, like today, I struggle with.

      Mind you, considering I didn’t even tackle your puzzles a couple of years ago, I find I am enjoying them more and more. As someone on the blog said to me way back, “Stick with RayT, Steve. You’ll soon start to enjoy his puzzles”.

      Sound advice. No longer do I tremble in my boots when it’s a RayT Thursday! 👍

      Thank you for popping in. It is always appreciated.

  30. I did quite well, considering it’s a RayT. It was DNF as missed 10a and 3d, and I had a wrong ‘un at 4d, I had “lookers”. The lurkers were a huge help to get checkers, I had to use word search for a few. Fave was 7d, 16d close second.
    Thanks to RayT and to StephenL for unravelling so much.
    Yesterday we had a huge rainstorm of biblical proportions, not so bad here but mainly in BL’s area. Can you imagine 26 inches of rain in one day? Floods all over the place in Broward.

  31. Phew. I struggled a bit today but got there in the end, with 6d my LOI a bung-in. Particularly enjoyed 14d and the lurkers today.
    Thanks StephenL and RayT.

  32. In general agreement with most of the above comments particularly about the lurkers. Got there in the end, all parsed and the all the usual fun associated with a Rayt. Another vote for 16d as cotd. Thanks to Rayt and SL. Back to the toughie now where I’m heading for my biggest thrashing for a couple of years.

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