DT 30274 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30274

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30274

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. Today’s puzzle, which feels to me like a proximal creation, was somewhat more straightforward than recent Friday puzzles, but still very smooth and enjoyable. 

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    Dutch colonist welcomes Australian pub (6)
BOOZER:  A Dutch coloniser of South Africa containing (welcoming) an informal word for Australian 

4a    Rejected battered tuna, new starter in diner (8)
UNWANTED:  An anagram (battered) of TUNA NEW with the initial letter of (starter in) DINER 

9a    That woman on grass is pretty (6)
RATHER:  A pronoun for “that woman” comes after (on, in an across clue) grass or inform on 

10a   Troublemaker regularly languid thanks to resistance (8)
AGITATOR:  Concatenate alternate letters of (regularly) of LANGUID, an informal word of thanks, TO from the clue, and the physics symbol for electrical resistance 

11a   Husband turning tipsy, not mesmerising person (9)
HYPNOTIST:  The genealogical abbreviation for husband with an anagram (turning) of TIPSY NOT 

13a   Revealed identity of bloke that's retired editor (5)
NAMED:  The reversal (that’s retired) of a bloke or chap is followed by the abbreviation for editor 

14a   Stupidly hacking tender edible plants grown here (7,6)
KITCHEN GARDEN:  An anagram (stupidly) of HACKING TENDER 

17a   Regular observances: many universal, priest needing no tips whatsoever (13)
ANNIVERSARIES:  MANY UNIVERSAL PRIEST all minus their outer letters (needing no tips whatsoever

21a   Article by doctor about revolutionary resin (5)
AMBER:  Link together a grammatical article, a usual abbreviated doctor, and the reversal (revolutionary) of about or concerning 

23a   Attempt to confine soldiers craving betrayal (9)
TREACHERY:  A go or attempt containing (to confine) both some usual soldiers and a craving or desire 

24a   Copper bright nicking core character in mob that's soft (8)
CUSHIONY:  Follow the chemical symbol for copper with bright or glistening containing (nicking) the central (core) character in MOB

25a   Heard person lapping broth (6)
LIQUOR:  A homophone (heard) of a person lapping using their tongue 

26a   Fine points of relations with French city? (8)
NICETIES:  Relations or connections following a city on the French Riviera 

27a   Backing FBI agent with close support (6)
DEFEND:  The reversal (backing) of an informal word for an FBI agent is followed by close or conclusion 



1d    Discussed sleeping places for new arrivals (6)
BIRTHS:  A homophone (discussed) of some sleeping places 

2d    Having agreed to come in, suspect set upon being candid (9)
OUTSPOKEN:  A short word meaning “agreed” inserted in (having … to come in) an anagram (suspect) of SET UPON 

3d    Retreating, comply with English soldier securing device (7)
EYEBOLT:  The reversal (retreating) of both a verb meaning “comply with” and the single letter for English is all followed by an abbreviated soldier who is an officer. Examples of the answer can be seen here

5d    Singer's evening at home with good drink (11)
NIGHTINGALE:  Glue together a synonym of evening, at home or not out, the single letter for good, and an alcoholic drink 

6d    Sensory organ was not seen in cat, oddly absent (7)
ANTENNA:  Even letters (oddly absent) of WAS NOT SEEN IN CAT 

7d    Emblem of bear on top of manuscript (5)
TOTEM:  Bear or carry with the first letter of (top of) MANUSCRIPT 

8d    Mocking duke leaving this country on horseback, perhaps (8)
DERIDING:  DUKE minus (leaving) the abbreviation representing “this country” for the majority of readers is followed by a word that “on horseback” defines by example (perhaps

12d   Property you might come into seeing their canine barking (11)
INHERITANCE:  An anagram (barking) of THEIR CANINE 

15d   Ill fame I'm not sure should be raised in argument (9)
DISREPUTE:  The reversal (raised, in a down clue) of a short word of hesitation (I’m not sure) is inserted in an argument or controversy 

16d   Press on first-rate vessel from island (8)
JAMAICAN:  Assemble press or force, an adjective meaning first-rate, and a metal vessel for storing stuff 

18d   Man who's composed before court giving decision (7)
VERDICT:  A man who composed things comes before the map abbreviation for court 

19d   Popular source of customary string for bow (7)
INCLINE:  Cement together popular or fashionable, the first letter of (source of) CUSTOMARY, and a string or rope 

20d   Cross part of lengthy bridge (6)
HYBRID:  The answer is hidden as part of the remainder of the clue 

22d   No-frills razor supplier subsumes a second (5)
BASIC:  A supplier of razors and pens contains (subsumes) both A from the clue and the single letter for second


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 18d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  FIZZY + OWE = PHYSIO

75 comments on “DT 30274

  1. Disconcertingly straightforward for a Friday: I kept expecting to get stuck, but somehow didn’t! And so much fun with inventive and clever clues.

    I think my favourite is 17a’s amazing stripping, but it was so hard to pick, with a shortlist including 5d’s perfect Lego sentence, 6d’s clever oddness, 20d’s ‘cross part’ (which made me smile, not cross), 15d’s wordplay (“I’m not sure should be raised in argument”), 18d’s composed fellow, 22d’s razor supplier, 1a’s culture clash, or the image of 25a’s person heard lapping.

    Thank you so much to proXimal for providing all that, and to Mr K for explaining 7d, where I was putting the bear on top of ‘ms’ and couldn’t work out what to do with the surplus ‘s’.

  2. I thought about right for a Friday and agree with Mr K’s assessment. Favourites were 1a,9a,17a,26a and 8d with COTD being 17a not the hardest by any means but a clever lurker to expose. Thanks Mr K as ever and of course the setter.

  3. Other than a few slightly chewier clues in the NW, a surprisingly gentle puzzle for a Friday. Great clues, some clever deceit, nothing from the lesser-read pages of the dictionary, plenty of humour and equines all quite relaxed throughout. Super surface reads. COTD 17a by some margin; Hon Mentions to 25a, 26a, 18d & 5d.

    2 / 4

    Many thanks to the setter and to MrK

  4. Very enjoyable. I thought this was more straightforward than yesterday’s offering, although I was held up for ages on 3d, my LOI. Lots of really good clues but I loved 5d and 8d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  5. Much harder today, well it is Friday after all. Thought I wouldn’t get far at the first glance, but it gradually came together. Last one in for me was 3d which took about half as long as the whole puzzle, think it’s right but still can’t see why, will have to see the hint.
    Great fun all in all, many thanks to Mr X if that’s who it was. Roll on the weekend and hopefully better weather than today.

    1. For what it’s worth (not much!), 3d can also be parsed as the abbreviations for English and the soldier ‘securing’ the retreating instruction to comply. But that just leaves ‘device’ as the definition, and now I’ve seen Mr K’s parsing, that seems superior: ‘securing device’ is a much better definition.

      1. I got the answer just from ‘securing device’ as it fitted all the letters I had in it, my trouble was that I’d convinced myself English soldier was ‘E RE’ for English, then Royal Engineer, and once that was in the bonce there was no shifting it. Mr K’s version is correct, but still very cryptic, but after all that’s why we do ’em. Ta anyway for the comment.

  6. 3*/5*. An excellent x-less pangram which was good fun and nicely challenging.

    I am not too keen on the word which is the answer to 24a, but it is in the BRB.

    17a was my favourite closely followed by 18d.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K.

    1. As you say 24a is in the BRB but it feels like a contrived word that would rarely be used in a sentence!

    2. I looked it up too, in my thesaurus it has a separate heading after broth. I have no idea what that means.

      1. You dont miss a trick, Merusa. That was a good one too. We were spoilt for choice today!

  7. Perhaps a 2 not a 3 for difficulty? I rolled up my sleeves for a Friday work-out and it didn’t appear.
    22 down involves a brand name which Scrabble bans and which we should too! I say this as someone who never spots AUDI within a clue!
    Glad to finish early as I’m going off to Aldi. No clue intended.

  8. A straightforward puzzle until it wasn’t and I got stuck on 25a and 3d, a new word for me, which I had to look up in the hints. There were some good clues, COTD 17a, the geographical clue at 26a, 5d and 11a. Thanks to the compiler and to Mr K for the hints and cat pictures.

  9. Very enjoyable, and a good deal easier than this setter’s Toughie yesterday (as one would expect), my only real pause for thought being the parsing of 3d, my last one in.
    Though clever, entirely convinced 18d works as the surface read to me suggests the composer is still alive.
    I particularly liked the super 17a plus 8&15d.
    Many thanks to the proXimal and Mr K.

    1. If you take “man who’s composed before” as the composer I think it gives the sense that he’s no longer composing.

          1. Hi, Stephen. In the surface reading “who’s” = “who is”, but in the cryptic reading I saw it as a contraction of “who has”, which provides the required reference to the past, with “before” then being a juxtaposition indicator. Gazza’s slightly different parsing of course works equally well.

            1. Hi Mr K. I saw it too as a contraction of “who has” but the use of the present perfect to reference something that is over and done with in the past doesn’t sit comfortably with me but thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.

  10. Raised eyebrows here over some of the surface reads but those seem to be of minor importance to setters these days.
    24a gets a thumbs down but I did like 18d. Reserve places went to 26a & 5d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K – nice to see so many of your feline companions on parade and the one at 11a brought back many fond memories.

  11. This was a great puzzle and like others above 3d was LOI and had to check it was an actual word. Lovely pictures today so thank you Mr K. I bet Jose can name those cats! I thought the razor company made ball point pens not razors. My wild garlic soup is smelling great so I hope I will be able to taste it. Roll on the weekend and fingers crossed I’ll test negative on Sunday.

  12. Enjoyable and quite gentle for a Friday puzzle – thanks to proXimal and Mr K.
    My medals went to 9a, 26a and 18d.

  13. I seem to have had a similar experience as others on this thread, finding this a reasonably straightforward offering compared to recent Fridays, but getting stuck for a while on LOI 3d. COTD for me also the clever 17a. Am off to the 1a later for some 25a – appropriate clues and answers for a Friday night! Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  14. For a pro_imal, I seem to have found this a little more challenging and not as much fun as most of those who have already commented – ***/***

    Like Jane, raised eyebrows at some of the surface reads.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 21a, 18d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to pro_imal and MrK.

  15. A splendid finish to what has been an excellent stroll through Crosswordland in Cruciverbalshire (did I just type that?)

    It’s never easy for a compiler to create a smooth surface for lurkers (or ‘variations of’) like 17a and I think that is a fine effort which therefore gets my COTD.

    25a reminds me of the ‘Ooo matron!’ joke….How does a Frenchman hold his 25a?

    Oh, stop it, Tom.


  16. DNF as I had never heard of 3d.

    No trouble with everything else, which is unusual for a Friday.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  17. Another tricky-ish Friday puzzle for this week. A mix of clues both head-scratchers and straightforward … but no weird words to deal with.

    For me 2*/3.5*

    Favourites include 1a, 23a, 24a, 12d, 20d & 22d with winner 1a as it made me chuckle.
    Other fun clues were 9a, 11a, 24a & 22d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  18. A challenging puzzle today,spot on for a friday,excellent cluing throughout and very enjoyable.
    Difficult to pick a favourite maybe the 23a charade and 25a – had to check with my Chambers’
    Going for a ***/****.
    Thanks to Mr K for the range of pics and our setter.

  19. Could not finish this one. Six unanswered. The bloggers hints did not help me unfortunately. I found them to be just as nonsensical to me as the clue itself. Some bloggers are very good at giving extra help, others are not. No offence intended, just saying that I wasn’t helped by them. I’m sure they were of help to others.

    I found this one to be slightly easier than yesterday’s crossword.

    Though a DNF, it was rather enjoyable.

    1. Hello, Mike. Can you tell me for which clues you found the hints unhelpful? I will see if I can improve them. Also, readers are always welcome to ask in the comments for additional explanation.

  20. For sheer clever inventiveness, 17a was my favourite clue this morning. It certainly didn’t feel like a Friday puzzle for all its enjoyable and entertaining wordplay, but no doubt the Toughie will bring some of us down to earth.

    My thanks to proXimal for a most delightful challenge and to Mr K.

  21. No serious hold-ups apart from 3d the name of which is a new one on me although I of course know what the “device” is. 19d for bow took some head-scratching. Joint Favs 5d and 8d. Thank you proXimal and MrK.

    1. When Jim, my husband, described a 3d to me, I realised that I had seen lots of doors fastened with them but the name was unknown to me.

  22. An enjoyable puzzle. For some reason, a number of answers leapt out at me without having given much thought to them. I kind of “saw” them. There are plenty of clues to like but my favourite and COTD is 5d.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun and Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits. The pictures have taken on a new meaning since Perks arrived. :grin:

  23. A fine puzzle, which was quite mild by Friday standards but the clues were really good and it was an enjoyable solve. I’ll have to pick the very clever 17a as my favourite. 2.5*/4*.

  24. Broth to me doesn’t relate to liquor? This held me up. But it’s in the synonyms of a couple of dictionaries “a tin of scotch liquor please, shopkeeper “? Anyway a good puzzle but on the easy side for a Friday. Never heard of 3d . Favorite 23a
    Thanks to Mr K and the setter

    1. To me, liquor was a parsley sauce, made with the liquid from stewed eels and serv3d with either the eels oor a meat pie, with mash. The Pie and Mash Shops in the East End of London of my childhood sold this gast food to take away or to eat in theircafe, although there are very few such establishments left today.

    2. I was at first surprised by the answer to 25a, but in the BRB I found that one definition of the answer is liquid that’s a product of cooking.

  25. 3* / 3* for me- a bit of a slog as is usual for me on a Friday where the alternative activity was painstaking moss removal with a wire brush on hands and knees – this just about won
    1a and 18d favourites
    Thanks to setter and hinter

  26. Top half went straight in and I immediately went on pangram alert which cleared up the last couple in the South leaving just the ‘X’. Nothing to hold me up unlike yesterday’s toughie which I still haven’t finished. Really liked today’s offering though. Cotd was the very clever 17a. Thanks to ProXimal sme Mr. K.

  27. 3d and 25a were new to me and needed the review to get them despite having all the checkers in place.
    Favourite is the charade in 5d of course.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the help.

  28. If this was indeed a proXimal, then I am jumping up and down happy. In any case, unexpectedly got my wish for a somewhat more benevolent Friday, and certainly much more enjoyable than yesterday IMHO. Like Steve Cowling says above, some answers jumped put at me. But I did find some that I had to verify with the hints, only being about 80% sure I was right. Thanks to setter and Mr K for the delightful cat pictures. Off to the land of Wordle now.

  29. Beaten by 3d, a new word for me which I should have solved from the very clever wordplay.
    But was unable to identify the soldier!
    Otherwise, an enjoyable 2.5 puzzle.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  30. I shot myself in the foot by entering a 9a improbable incorrect answer in the SE which stymied me on the crossing clues until I had discarded it. Like others, 3d was the last to fall and I too was looking for the engineers until they made their appearance later in the puzzle.

    Thanks to proXimal and Mr K.

    By the way, Mr K, you have introduced an extra S into your hint for 17a.

  31. For once a solvable Friday puzzle 😃 ***/*** Favourites 1a and 18d Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler 🤔 Pers obs I thought 1d worked better with an “e” rather than the “i” 😬

  32. Friendly for a Friday from MrX. Still plenty of mindbenders and some top misdirection to enjoy throughout. I’m in total agreement with Rabbit Dave@6 about the contrived 24a but I’ll let that slide given the rest is top drawer. Not being DIY-inclined it took me a while to get 3d, my LOI. I thought 1d a very smooth homophone, 5d a good lego but my COTD by several lengths is 19d, super misdirection that’s typical of one of my favourite compilers :good: **/****

    Thanks to Pro_imal and MrK

  33. Just hoping Robert in S.Carolina is OK. This is the third day he hasn’t posted, most unusual.

    1. Jane told us yesterday he was having problems with hay fever! I hope he’s back soon.

  34. I started off gung-ho, the north going in without too much trouble, except 3d, had to use word search for that, but I seem to remember it from the far recesses of my mind. I started in hot water in the south, so I used word search to get going again. I think brain is disconnected, I bunged in 23a and couldn’t think of the why, but, of course, that’s so easy once you know. I got there in the end and did enjoy it. Natch, fave was 16d, not the best Marley song!
    Thanks to our setter and to Mr. K, as usual, the kitties took first place.

  35. Pleased to have finally completed this clever Friday offering but not without a little googling as synonyms in 25a and 19d were new to me and needed checking. 3d was got with discussion with FUSS (fairly useful spouse sometimes) who knew what it was and I needed the wonderful hints to confirm the passing. 15d was last in with all the checkers in place. My favourite was 17a which was brilliant. Whilst easier than some recent Fridays I would not have finished without help.

    Many thanks to MrK for the hints and cat pics and the setter.

    1. Thank you very much enjoyed, and I wish I could do this well with more of your puzzles.

  36. Bang out of form at the moment. Didn’t find this as easy as everyone else evidently did but got there in a respectable time with 3d the head scratcher at the end. RD’s comment @6 sums up my thoughts including his picks. Still to finish his Toughie from yesterday.
    Thanks to proXimal & Mr K

  37. At the risk of being a pedant, an officer is not a soldier. Managed to get 3d nonetheless.

    1. I would say anybody serving in the Army is a soldier. Is an admiral not a sailor?

    2. I agree.
      But will now always be aware that in the crossword World all service ranks, non-commissioned and commissioned, are soldiers, sailors or airmen.

  38. Being Friday I intended to give the puzzle a glance then give up and was pleasantly surprised to complete unaided until stumped by 3d. Thank you setter for at last dishing up a crossword that I found challenging but kept me at it.

  39. I too was surprised at getting an accessible Friday crossword especially coming to it after dinner this evening. I went into Cambridge today and upgraded my phone – golly, what a performance, no wonder the 🍎 shop is always full if everyone has to spend as much time there as I did. So much swiping to do, I am amazed that I have found myself able to do this. Anyway, 17a is favourite. Thanks to the setter of course and to Mr K – you have excelled yourself today, the kittens are adorable, never mind the hints. Do hope Robert and the other invalids are OK.

  40. My favourite today was 20d and like many others my last in was 3d even though I had heard of the item in question, I thought of the reverse of obey quite early but couldn’t see a solution including it so disregarded it until I had completed the grid and saw the answer. Oh when will the weather improve. Thanks to Proximal and Mr K

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