DT 30280 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30280

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30280

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. 

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    Held during demonstration possibly odd musical instrument (10)
KETTLEDRUM:  Held in a street by police during a demonstration with a synonym of odd 

6a    Recalled non-Thatcherite Conservatives in agitated state (4)
STEW:  The reversal (recalled) of the group of Conservatives that Thatcher didn’t like 

9a    Told how to make certain characters fancy being fliers (7)
CURLEWS:  A homophone of what could be a way to write one vowel in a fancy style 

10a   Cloud in Barrow, temperature becoming cold (7)
CUMULUS:  A barrow or burial mound in which the physics symbol for temperature is replaced by the single letter for cold (temperature becoming cold) 

12a   Nat King Cole song, impossible to overlook? (13)
UNFORGETTABLE:  The name of a Nat King Cole song means “impossible to overlook”


14a   Investigation concerning main Republican backed by church (8)
RESEARCH:  Concatenate concerning or about, a main that’s wet, the single letter for Republican, and the map abbreviation for church 

15a   Balkan region rejected Spain's objectionable claims (6)
BOSNIA:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of the rest of the clue (rejected … claims

17a   Riddle with complex meaning any number missed (6)
ENIGMA:  An anagram (complex) of MEANING minus the single letter used in mathematics for any number (any number missed

19a   Model in quiet bar popped the question (8)
PROPOSED:  Another word for model inserted in the fusion of the musical abbreviation for quiet and a bar or long thin object 

21a   A camp or billet being arranged? It's questionable (13)
PROBLEMATICAL:  An anagram (being arranged) of A CAMP OR BILLET 

24a   Handed wine to limit pain (7)
REACHED:  A generic type of wine containing (to limit) a synonym of pain 

25a   Reportedly regret adolescent that's tiresome (7)
ROUTINE:  A homophone of other words for regret and adolescent 

26a   Sentimental social media message cut short (4)
TWEE:  A message on Elon Musk’s social media platform minus its last letter (cut short

27a   Singer followed by good number in total (10)
ALTOGETHER:  A class of singer is followed by the single letter for good and something that makes one go numb 



1d    Give up  keen short-lived interest (4)
KICK:  A triple double definition

2d    Unexpected events change courier company (4-3)
TURN-UPS:  A synonym of change with the abbreviated name of a (American?) courier company 

3d    German wine, I hear, film club distributed (13)
LIEBFRAUMILCH:  An anagram (distributed) of I HEAR FILM CLUB 

4d    Scandal in papers upset second princess (8)
DISGRACE:  Link together the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of some abbreviated identity papers, the single letter for second, and a princess of Monaco 

5d    Two French articles about Charlie, Dad's brother (5)
UNCLE:  Two French grammatical articles are wrapped about the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Charlie 

7d    Afghanistan's rulers seize leader of insurgents, oddly least revolutionary (7)
TALIBAN:  The reversal (revolutionary) of the union of seize or snatch, the initial letter of (leader of) INSURGENTS, and the odd letters of LEAST 

8d    Deserts wife and son, inspiring various tales (10)
WASTELANDS:  The letter combination formed by joining the genealogical abbreviation for wife, AND from the clue, and the genealogical abbreviation for son containing (inspiring) an anagram (various) of TALES 

11d   Direct new version of mostly true epic film (6,7)
MOTION PICTURE:  Direct or indicate with an angagram of (new version of) all but the last letter of (mostly) TRUE and EPIC 

13d   Individualist that's popular in a pub? (4,6)
FREE SPIRIT:  This individualist could also be something that would be popular among a pub’s customers 

16d   Musical composition from singer, poor kid regularly wearing glasses? (8)
ORATORIO:  A singer or informer and alternate letters of (regularly) of POOR KID are all sandwiched between the letters that look like spectacles (… wearing glasses

18d   Quarantine accordingly delayed after source of infection (7)
ISOLATE:  Putting the bits in order, join together the first letter of (source of) INFECTION and synonyms of accordingly and delayed 

20d   Schoolboys ultimately mischievous and greedy (7)
SELFISH:  The last letter (ultimately) of SCHOOLBOYS with another word for mischievous 

22d   Dinner perhaps interrupted by daughter getting award (5)
MEDAL:  What dinner defines by example (perhaps) containing (interrupted by) the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

23d   Support disheartened vagrant (4)
BEAR:  A (6) vagrant minus their two central letters (disheartened


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  PURR + LEAKING = PEARLY KING

79 comments on “DT 30280

  1. Guessed more of these than I worked out, then had to retrace to see how it worked. Seemed much too hard even for a Friday. Not much fun unless you enjoy headaches.

    1. Wishing you a very happy birthday, Big Dave, with love and hope you are doing well.
      Libellule was before my time but wish him happy birthday too!

    2. Yes indeed Big Dave – Happy, Happy Birthday. Fings ain’t wot they used to be without you – would be so nice to hear from you. You should be very proud of the daily fun you continue give to so many bloggers – many, many thanks. Affectionate good wishes. 🌹🎂🍾🌈.

  2. Just right for a Friday back pager with some of the indications that this is probably a Silvanus production – the dual element homophone with one indicator in 25a for example – 2.5*/4.5*

    However, 9a and 1d held me up for a while with tea tray sized PDMs when the pennies did drop.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 25a, 27a, 1d, and 20d – and the winner is 25a.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

    P.S. Following up on the Jam or Cream first debate on Scones and for those who have not seen this, the DT has found a café which ‘sits’ on the Devon/Somerset border and, apparently Somerset sides with Cornwall, so depending on where one sits in the café.

    1. Devonians are just … wrong. They can’t serve their jam & cream in the right order, and their meat pies are nothing like proper pasties! ;-)

        1. Did you hear about the rock festival that was planned to be held on the Devon/Cornwall border? The organisers ended up cancelling it; turns out they booked Cream and The Jam, and couldn’t decide who went on first…

  3. 2*/5*+. What a superb puzzle this was, oozing class from start to finish with too many ticks even to begin thinking about a podium choice.

    I don’t think you would get long odds if placing a bet on who set this.

    Many thanks presumably to Silvanus and to Mr K.

    P.S. Happy Birthday to BD. Hope you are doing OK.

  4. Large anagrams caused delay but provided helpful letters, fairly hard work, oddly stuck at the end by 23 down. Finally spotted the missing horse and finished!

  5. Very enjoyable, most of it went in very smoothly with just the last couple needing a little teasing out.
    I particularly appreciated 1,10 (always like a bit of false capitalisation)&27a along with 23& the clever 16d where I’ve seen the glasses device before but can’t think where.
    Many thanks to the setter (it’s not Zandio or ProXimal!) and Mr K.
    Happy Birthday to Big Dave, hope your health is improving.

  6. Completely agree with Tipcat above. I finished this with a lot of guess work – still don’t know the vagrant but the answer had to be what it is. All in all a bit of a slog and not particularly enjoyable, sorry. Thanks to Mr K for showing me how I got there.

        1. Like others, I foundthe guesswork plus reverse engineering the parsing technique worked best with this difficult puzzle. I needed the hintscfor 1a and 9a, which I couldn’t fathom. I eeally enjoyed the long anagrams, particularly 21a, the geographical lurker at5a and COTD, 1a , which caused a PDM heard 5 miles away. Thanks to Silvanus for an absorbing puzzle and to MrK for hints and feline.

            1. If you wanted to make your letter ‘U’s decorative you might curl them. It’s a homophone (told) of ‘curl Us’.

  7. The only problem I had was parsing 9a so many thanks to our blogger for sorting that out for me. That aside, this was a hugely enjoyable and satisfying puzzle to solve, with some great surfaces and clever misdirection. All the clues were winners, so no favourite this morning.

    My thanks to, presumably, Silvanus, and to Mr K.

  8. I managed it but can’t say I enjoyed it much. Nothing specific, I just found it a bit of a slog. Like Manders I couldn’t parse 23d so thanks to Stephen L for the explanation. No real favourites today.

    Many thanks to the setter for the workout. Huge thank yous to Mr K for the hints.

    1. Where are my manners? Happy Birthday, Big Dave and I hope you are getting better. 🎂🍾🍾

        1. My parsing was too stupid for words.
          I took characters to be characters in a game of Bridge ie E, W and S.

  9. Nice mixture of relatively simple and more challenging clues. NW corner (where one normally hopes to make a good start) held me up until the end this time!

  10. A difficult puzzle for me, last in was 9a, thanks to Mr K for the homophone explanation, 10a was a bung in ,will hopefully remember the Barrow next time .
    Favourite was 1a followed by 12a,top draw cluing and very enjoyable.
    Going for a ****/****

  11. Excellent. As has been said, the NW was quite gnarly, not the nice, warm bath it often is! But undeniably brilliant. However … I still don’t fully get the triple-definition aspect of 1D, I can only see two. I see that keen can be a synonym (as a verb) but I’m failing to equate lament with kick. Am I just being thick? It’s not unknown. I thought initially it was K(een) (t)ick, as in “on tick (interest of a sort) short”. But I’d clearly had too much coffee by that point…

    1. Hello, Setter here.

      I was going to mention it later, but 1D was intended as a double definition, so please don’t think you are missing something, you’re not! “Keen” qualifies the second definition, it is not a synonym of the answer, which would be far too much of a stretch, I think.

      Thank you very much for your kind comment.

      1. Ahhh. HUGE thanks, Silvanus. Both for this and your peerless puzzle. What a relief. Feeling almost bright again!

  12. A top-notch puzzle – thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    Special mentions for 9a, 15a, 13d and 16d.

  13. There are some days when I don’t need to ask who set a particular back-pager, just count the number of ticks on my sheet!
    Today’s haul included 10,12,25&27a plus 2,5,7,13&20d so take a bow, Silvanus.

    Many thanks to him and to Mr K for the review – I see that a lot of the pusskins stood aside to let Messrs.Cole & Sinatra take centre stage today!
    Very best of wishes to BD – I’m sure he doesn’t feel much like celebrating but wanted him to know that we’re all thinking about him.

  14. Re 1a, police holding kettles at demonstrations? I’d like to see that. Could someone please provide a bit more explanation. 🦇

    1. “Kettling” is the tactic sometimes employed at particularly unruly demonstrations of moving the rabble into a confined area such as a side street from which all exits have been blocked by the polis. Hence someone being ‘kettled’. No tea bags or hot water involved!

      Edit to add: I suspect I have missed the subtle humour in your post, FF, for which my apologies!

    2. FF, “kettling” is a word used for police containment of a situation which could boil over. It is a metaphor for the way that a kettle contains boiling water.

      1. Many thanks Dave and Mustafa for explanation. The term ‘Kettling’ is not used in Oz. I’ve not heard it used in numerous UK TV shows either. Anyway, it’s in the ‘bank’. 🦇

  15. Super puzzle, appropriately challenging for a Friday backpage and tremendously enjoyable. Very clever lekrul in 15a; other hon mentions to 9a, 14a, 27a, 8d & 16d, with COTD for me to 25a.

    3 / 4

    Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K, and many happy returns to BD, who I hope is steadily recovering,

  16. Found this Friday puzzle to be a relatively gentle offering this week with enough head scratching to make it a fun solve.

    1.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites today include 25a, 27a, 8d, 13d & 18d with winner 27a.
    Chuckles elicted from 12a, 24a, 25a (with a groan!) & 27a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K for hints/blog

  17. A hugely enjoyable crossword with some great parsing. 9a and 23d got the better of me.

    I always wobble when I see ‘support’ in a clue as it can mean so many things.

    15a gets the nod for COTD as it’s an excellent rekrul. I also liked the carefully selected word ‘region’ as the name of the country will never appear as an answer in a crossword. It’s a very satisfying one to say but my favourite is Azerbaijan, especially when Chris Tarrant says it. The no 1 place name by a country mile however is Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou.

    Ouagadougou do, push pineapple shake the tree.

    Blacklace – what were they all about???


  18. Happy Birthday to Dave … he amazingly remembers my birthday every year!!!! Lots of love and best wishes Dave xxx

  19. Thanks to Mr K for hints, must admit woul not have finished without them 🙄 … fav clue today 12a, I just like it👍🏻

  20. This was definitely one where perseverance won the day. On first sight I couldn’t see a sensible way in but the anagrams at 3d and 21a plus Mr Mhids help with Nat King Cole gave a firm foothold.(Never thought I’d be so grateful for an anagram!) As others, I needed the hint for 9a and 23d was my LOI. Today’s podium contains 1a, 27a and 13d, but could have been any of the excellent clues. Thanks to Silvanus for the enjoyable workout and Mr K for pointing me in the right direction.

  21. Slowed somewhat by illness and fuzzy-headedness, I am nonetheless happy to be finishing any puzzle these days. Needed a bit of Mr K’s help parsing a couple (‘kettling’, e.g., is new to me) but did manage to finish on my own, with 8d my favourite, quickly followed by 13d and 15a. Glad to be back. Thanks to Mr K and Silvanus. ***/****

    Happy Birthday to Big Dave!

    1. So pleased to see you back on the blog, Robert. I prescribe a good dose of 13d for your ailments!

      1. Ihope you are on rhe mend Robert. It’s always a misery to be sick during springtime when the natural world is burgeoning and flowering plants abound. It feels all wrong🤒

  22. Many thanks to Mr K for the Hints and Tips and to all commenters. As mentioned to ALP at Post 12, 1d was actually just a double definition.

    A very Happy Birthday to BD and best wishes on his continued recovery. I’m so glad to see Robert contributing and I hope that things are gradually improving after recent struggles.

    May I wish everyone an excellent weekend. The weather forecast for much of the UK doesn’t look too promising, unfortunately.

  23. Wow, that required a lot of perseverance and I’m now very behind with my work for the day. Needed the hint for 1a to allow me to crack open the NW, with 1d my LOI. I can’t fault the puzzle, just that it was right on the edges of my solving ability. I guess that’s fair enough for a Friday.
    Favourite was the sneakily hidden 15a.
    Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K, and Happy Birthday to Big Dave

  24. Wow, this bunny hopped in circles for a bit and then needed a lie down before finally getting to near the end. Hints were needed for 1d and 9a because my brain hurt too much to think any more but I had answered the rest. I needed the hints to help me understand the parsing of several others – they all seem so obvious now (kettled was a new term for me).

    This was brilliantly clever and challenging puzzle and as a relative novice I am very happy with what I managed, I now have an excuse to lie down for the rest of the day.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K for unravelling my brain.
    Best wishes to Big Dave and many thanks for starting such a successful blog.

  25. Finished but understood less than 50%. Messy complicated clues, best just to find some sort of definition and ignore the weird wordplay.
    Not my favourite.
    Thx for the hints

  26. Only finished this with Mr K’s hints for five of the clues so many thanks to him and the same to Silvanus.

    Just to add that I enjoyed this puzzle and kicked myself for not working put the dive myself. Couldn’t get the town Barrow out of my mind. It used to build nuclear submarines and at the same time have a Labour MP who was a member of CND.

  27. Last in 9a, guessed correctly from checking letters.
    But my parsing was incorrect and more fanciful!.
    This popped me into 2.5*
    Otherwise, rather workmanlike for a Friday.
    Thanks Silvanus and Senf.

  28. I’m never on Silvanus’ wavelength, so no surprises I never finished. I could have stared at 1d and 9a forever and not got them, likewise 23d. I only solved 1a by getting the “drum” and putting the only drum with so many letters that I could think of. I’d never heard of that term before, wonder if that and 10a barrow will make Terence’s LIST. This was really heavy going, not much fun, just couldn’t parse so many of them. On the other hand, 13d was worth a guffaw.
    Thank you Silvanus, and Mr. K for translating it from Sanskrit.

  29. I did well when I started this puzzle….then got stuck. Usual method of break for coffee then come back worked a bit except for 1a, 1d and 23d. They took much longer but I eventually solved them all. Cannot say I parsed them all , though.

    Thanks to Sylvanus and to Mr K. Glad to see some cat pictures again.

  30. So strange. I know from following daily that I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box especially as spelling is a weakness but sailed through today with only 9 a. needing an explanation. A real Thank you to all involved. Made my day.

  31. Good afternoon
    Not been keeping up with the back pagers over the last few days – busy with the new house, and ironically busier over the last few days when I’ve been off than I would have been at work!
    Anyway, I needed today’s hints, so thank you, Mr K. I would never have got 1a or 9a without them. Thank you Silvanus for an enjoyable puzzle; some nifty misdirection in 27a and 20d; and I think a “Crikey!” for 25a.

  32. That was great with several nicely challenging enigmas. Even in these online shopping days I had to bung in 2d without sussing the parsing as was the case with first word of 11d. Unimaginative 24a wine seems to make frequent appearances. 9a Fav with 4d running up. Thank you Silvanus and MrK.

  33. It always surprises me that during the first read through, although most clues are lost in the fog, other clues leap into place immediately. Today was like that and after the first read through I had about a quarter in but scattered over the grid. This meant lots of checking letters and so methodically went back to the anagrams and steadily worked out those, leaving me with about half completed. At that point I refer to my BRB for assistance and between it and me, had only about six clues where the fog had not cleared. However, although thinking I would need all the hints, I found that one hint would then clear the way for any others nearby, so really only needed three hints to complete the puzzle. So pretty chuffed as I had DNF on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Many thanks to Silvanus, whose clues seem to suit my tiny brain, and to Mr K for the hints I needed and the explanations. Many happy returns to BD, I do hope you are recovering, you certainly have had a hard year and my thoughts have always been with you, even when lurking. You have no idea how much enjoyment your blog has brought me over the years and send you my grateful thanks.

  34. Not my favourite today – I did finish apart from 9a, which I couldn’t even get with the hints, needed the reveal. But far too many were bunged in and I couldn’t parse most without the hints – many thanks to Mr K.

    Thanks to Sylvanus, maybe one day I’ll get on your wavelength

    Many happy returns to Big Dave – will be forever grateful to you starting this wonderful blog, and to all who put so much time and effort in helping the oft confounded, like myself.

  35. Despite all the very clever misdirection I got there in the end without really understanding why, thank you Sylvanus and MrK and happy birthday to Big Dave

  36. Mystified like many by 1d and 9a. Also buffed 15a, I never see lurkers split over two lines (unlike my wife!) Otherwise great fun.
    So many thanks to Silvanus (YYUR YYUB ICUR etc!) and MrK.
    Many happy returns to Big Dave – and Libellule.

  37. Wasn’t going to comment (to save Sue the hassle of rescuing my post from moderation) but wanted to say happy birthday & continued best wishes to Big Dave & delighted to see a comment from Robert & hoping that he is on the road to recovery.
    Another cracker from my fav setter – thought Donny’s puzzle yesterday would take some beating for this week’s top spot but reckon an enlarged print will be needed to separate them.
    Thanks to Silvanus & Mr K

  38. Very enjoyable puzzle. Managed to complete but just needed help afterwards with the parsing of 7d and 10a – obvious when read!! Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K and many birthday happies to BD – we miss you. Keep well.

  39. Failed on 1d and 9a.
    Remembered the wine in 3d. So popular in the eighties, slowly replaced by Muscadet, then Vinho Verde and Pinot Grigio before taste in white wines evoluted drastically in the UK.
    Thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K for the review.

  40. Not very keen on 9a! Couldn’t be anything else – at least, couldn’t think of any other birds – but completely ungettable without the checkers…

  41. I fail to see how anyone could get 9a except by reverse engineering it🤷‍♂️, just guess the bird then work out why it fits, or is it just me🤔. Far too clever for me only managed 90% of this. Anyhow I enjoyed the challenge, now where’s the aspirin. Thanks to all.

  42. Couldn’t finish this one. Far too difficult for me. Some of the clues I literally had no idea what the setter was trying to get across. I just didn’t even know where to start with some of them. Oh well, I look forward to Monday’s offering.

    Difficulty ****
    Enjoyment ***

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