DT No 30285 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30285

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30285

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Good morning everyone from a dull and grey South Devon coast. Never mind, another Thursday week rolls around and we have a super puzzle by The King of Concise to brighten up the skies.

I found today’s puzzle to be one of two halves, the top going in very smoothly, the bottom somewhat more challenging.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Dull president wandering around America (10)
PEDESTRIAN: Anagram (wandering) of PRESIDENT around the abbreviation for America. Great spot.

6a Travel in foreign capital, reportedly (4)
ROAM: A homophone (reportedly) of one of Europe’s finest capital cities.

10a Animal fat all in on spread (7)
LANOLIN: Anagram (spread) of the preceding three words.

11a Damage ruler leaving bruise? (7)
MARKING: A three-letter synonym of damage or spoil and a male monarch.


12a Disgusting loo cured getting bleach (8)
DECOLOUR: Anagram (disgusting) of the following two words. Good fodder!

13a Doctor’s holding, say, remains (5)
DREGS: Place an abbreviation for DoctoR and the S from the clue around the usual abbreviated say or for example.

15a Bird identified by crows? (7)
ROOSTER: A cryptic definition based upon the sound these birds make.

17a Muscle which turns either way (7)
ROTATOR: This muscle (or group of muscles) which allow the shoulder to turn is also a palindrome

19a Title boxing aristocrat coveted (7)
DESIRED: A title or legal document goes around a titled person. The containment indicator is boxing.

21a Sharp matron bustling round ward, finally (7)
MORDANT: Anagram (bustling) of MATRON placed around the final letter of warD.

22a Mops with sailor on board ship (5)
SWABS: The abbreviation for With plus one of our abbreviated sailors are placed within (on board) an abbreviated SteamShip.

24a Finish pass with sweetheart swallowing drinks (8)
COLLAPSE: A three-letter mountain pass and this setter’s favourite swEetheart contain a synonym of drinks as a dog might

27a TikTok perhaps fabricated for real (7)
APPLIED: Something installed or downloaded on our phones or tablets of which Tik Tok is an example (perhaps) plus a synonym of fabricated or made up.

28a Join admitting one is mercenary? (7)
SOLDIER: Insert (admitting) the letter representing one into a method of joining using molten metal and a hot iron.

29a Benefit fiddle: clue regularly ignored (4)
DOLE: A synonym of fiddle or con plus alternate (regularly ignored) letters of cLuE. Lol.

30a Bias of papers covering party (10)
PREPOSSESS: Place a word describing some (news)papers viewed collectively around a party or gang.


1d Light china plate’s finish (4)
PALE: China here is cockney rhyming slang (china plate or mate). Find a synonym and append the finishing letter (appropriately) of platE.

2d Party, American, owning rage is treacherous (9)
DANGEROUS: The usual two-letter party plus an abbreviation for American contain (owning) a synonym of rage or fury.

3d Simultaneous artillery launches, very offensive initially (5)
SALVO: The initial letters of the first five words of the clue, giving an extended definition.

4d Managed company with pure naked malice (7)
RANCOUR: A simple synonym of managed , the abbreviation for COmpany and the inner letters (naked) of pURe.

5d Adult more serious about married suitor (7)
ADMIRER: Start with the abbreviation for Adult. Add a synonym of more serious (in a bad way) into which is inserted the abbreviation for Married.

7d Cop in Endeavour collars suspect (5)
OPINE: A nicely concealed lurker (collars). Suspect is a verb.

8d Target’s aim somehow to find justice (10)
MAGISTRATE: Anagram (somehow) of the preceding two words

9d Almost go before gold one plunders (8)
PREDATOR: A verb that means to occur or exist before something loses its last letter and is followed by the heraldic symbol for gold.

14d Attendant holding up train? (10)
BRIDESMAID: A cryptic definition, the train being an extra length of fabric on the back of a dress.

16d Equipment for rolling joints? (8)
TURNSPIT: Another cryptic definition, the joints here are cuts of meat not variations of cigarettes.

18d Changing partners, I come out! (9)
TRANSPIRE; Anagram (changing) of the following two words.

20d Possibly last round of French drink (7)
DECIDER: The French word for of plus a refreshing apple based alcoholic drink. I rather liked this one.

21d Male type, terribly quiet? (7)
MILKSOP: A charade of the abbreviation for Male, a synonym of type or sort that you don’t hear much nowadays, a synonym of terribly or very, and a musical abbreviation for quiet(ly). The whole clue serves as both wordplay and definition.

23d A politician’s top friend creates outrage (5)
APPAL: Follow A from the clue with the initial letter (top) of Politician and an informal word for a friend that appeared in 1d!

25d World map ultimately detailed (5)
ATLAS: If we were to split the solution 2,4 we would have a term meaning ultimately or finally without its final letter.

26d Bachelors embracing Queen supporters (4)
BRAS: We finish with this setter’s favourite “supporters”. Place some Bachelor of Arts around one of the abbreviations for Queen.

Good stuff. My favourite was the very clever 21d with a nod to the lol pun. Which ones did you like?


51 comments on “DT No 30285

  1. 3*/4.5*. Like our esteemed reviewer, I found this a puzzle of two halves but, unlike him, I thought the LHS was much tougher than the RHS. Nevertheless it was all great fun from the master of brevity and disguise.

    I agree too that 21a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  2. This bunny is still happy although I had to visit several times to finish, it’s good when days have time to do that.
    I was stuck for ages with the south particularly SE, with 24a and 21d being last in and needing the hints to check the exact parsing. 16d ended up as favourite because of the relief when the penny dropped having been through every tool and joint I could think of.
    Many thanks to RayT and Stephen L for the hints

  3. Great puzzle. For me top half very gentle, a few in the bottom half rather less so, with 16d – I’d dismissed the wacky baccy joints swiftly, but could not get hips and knees etc out of my mind. Even looked up “turnship” to see if it was a form of medical equipment used in hip replacement surgery!

    Plenty of ticks on the page afterwards, with Hon Mentions to 19a, 27a,14d & 21d, with the top step shared by the super lurker in 7d, and clever deceit of 25d.

    3 / 4

    Many thanks to RayT and to StephenL

  4. I was another for whom the LHS was slower to reveal itself than its counterpart, but only by a modest margin. As ever with this setter, I am in awe of his ability to create these brilliant puzzles on such a regular basis and in such a concise manner. I will go with the flow and select 21a as my top clue too.

    My thanks to Ray T and SL.

  5. I agree with Stephen that this was a puzzle of two halves. The top half went straight in but I was congratulating myself too soon as I came to a complete standstill with the bottom half, helped out by the old chestnut at 14d. 16d was new to me and I spent too long with the BRB trying to justify ‘stars’ as the answer to 22a, before the proverbially penny dropped and I learnt, not for the first time, to take note of all the words in the clue and used the ‘with’. Therefore 22a makes it onto my podium along with 30a and 9d. Favourite today was 21d. Thanks to Ray T and StephenL

  6. Phew! Found this one a full on *** with major brain fade on 21d. Took me a while to crack that one. The paucity of anagrams made life tricky too. As did the rather noisy ambience in the Bedford Hotel Tavistock during coffee on o soggy Thursday. Nevertheless an enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to my fellow Devonian hinter and the setter.

    1. A soggy Thursday indeed – cold, wet, grey & miserable. Here on better side (!) of the Tamar I cannot see Dartmoor, let alone Brentor: England has quite disappeared.

  7. Kick start with 1a.
    Plain sailing, meeting old friends.
    14 and 25d
    Until 21d
    Twigged eventually this Lego clue.
    But unhappy with the penultimate brick.
    Rather stretched, I thought.
    Thanks to RayT and StephenL.

  8. An enjoyable challenge from Mr T completed in a random fashion – 2.5*/3.5*

    No problem with 21d – the word popped up in another puzzle, perhaps not a DT, recently so, remarkably, it was still in memory.

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 24a, 4d, and 9d – and the winner is 24a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.

  9. I’m with those who had most problems in the South. Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.
    My medals went to 15a, 9d and 14d.

    Silvanus in the Toughie is most enjoyable and highly recommended.

    1. Good to know. Thank you. Always nice to have a Toughie recommendation, as they really can be a box of chocolates! Silvanus is pretty much always spot on, of course..

  10. I’m also in the head scratch down south camp. Disappointingly no unaided finish as even after succumbing & reading Stephen’s hint for 16d the penny took an embarrassingly long time to drop to fill in the missing 6th&8th letters (MG wasn’t alone with ship) as I was thinking turns rather than turn for rolling. Realised also that 21a doesn’t mean what I thought it did – agree it’s a super surface read & probably pick of some great clues – 1(apt surface),24&30a plus 2,9,14&21d other particular likes. Hoping for a better performance over in the Toughie slot with my fav setter – unlike the Don’s one yesterday I’m banking on it not featuring a dozen answers that were racing certainties to get into Terence’s LIST
    Thanks to Ray T & to Stephen

  11. Another joint outing for my dream team of setters today -I couldn’t be happier!
    Like our reviewer, I found the bottom half more challenging than the top but it all came together nicely in the end.
    Top marks here went to 1&13a plus 20&25d.

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

  12. I struggled with this especially, like others, in the west with 16d needing help. I got 1a immediately and that often leads to an enjoyable solve but not today. I totally forgot the meaning of “detailed” in 25d until it tapped me on the shoulder after an hour or so. The one clue I loved because it is topical and made me smile is 27a. It becomes my COTD in a puzzle I thought I would not have one.

    Many thanks for the challenge, Ray T – you really got my brain in a whirl today. Thank you, SL for making sense of some of it for me.

  13. Just don’t like his puzzles . Some clues just don’t hold together – 22a ,23d , 25d , and the infamous 21d which nobody seemed to like . Silvanus much more my cup of tea .

  14. Bit of a struggle but enjoyable nonetheless. 26D is such a “Ray” clue and therefore has to be my COTD with 25D. ***/****

  15. What a difference a day makes, eh? Some typically tricksy definitions in here. Genius. And I rather liked 21D, personally. You don’t see this sort of clue very often, and I welcome the fresh air. On that note, my only (tiny) grumble is with 26D. Surely there are other supporters that could get a look in?!

  16. 16d got me in the end, even with SL’s hint. (Is it possible that I’ve never heard ofone of those rotating things actually called that? How sheltered can one’s academic life be anyway?) Terrific puzzle nonetheless, with our master of clean-and-lean doing his thing. 30a wins the gold as many others grapple for justifiable podium places. Thanks to SL and Mr T. ****/****

  17. Needed some help (thanks Stephen), not least because I fell for the clever misdirection. Despite knowing what would fit for 7d, couldn’t get Morse out of my head. And I so wanted murder to have something to do with 15a. But at least I got the supporter first time.

    Thanks to RayT – never solved one of yours unaided, but maybe the day will come.

  18. Another puzzle from the master of brevity.
    2.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 15a, 22a & 7d with winner 13a

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

    1. In addition to this, I agree with comment from StephenL about the lower half of the puzzle being a lot harder than the top … definitely added to solve time.
      Also, the favourites had an error as I meant 27a not 7d as a favourite …. typing to quickly and not checking work … and 27a was to be the favourite.
      Bit of a muddle up today.

  19. I think we have had 31d recently haven’t we? Anyway, I got my knickers in a twist from the get go, as some say, when with 1d I thought me old china, Mate but as being a light tea and that made my president possibly Madison-based and I was doomed. The other three corners slipped into place nicely so then I had to resort to the hints. Thank you Stephen for explaining the error of my ways. George is now up and dressed and eating at the table. He bears the affliction stoically and with grace.🫢 Carriages, when told of the cancellation, suggested one of my friends should bring the tea home for me as a takeaway. Presumably without the Earl Grey and the Champagne but hey ho, I shall force myself to nibble a few fancies. Many thanks also to Ray T and I shall now tackle the one word quickie. I like the pun! I don’t know when I shall get round to the guzzle tomorrow as I shall be radio active.

    1. Hello Daisygirl, I haven’t been keeping up with the blog and missed comments about George. Please give him my best wishes.

      1. Very pleased to hear that George is feeling better. Hope you don’t succumb.
        Good luck for tomorrow.

    2. Hi, Daisygirl – I’m so pleased George is feeling better. It’s not pleasant when a loved one is ill. Mrs C is in a bad way at the moment but, hopefully, the specialists will sort her out.
      I hope you don’t glow too much tomorrow! 😉

  20. Two MILKSOPs in one week! I shall try to incorporate this word into my conversations too – I fear it might be all too easy to find appropriate targets.
    Thanks to both compilers as the first one made it easier for me to identify the second time. Thanks for the much needed explanation of the clue the second time too.

  21. I watched eleven milksops (plus substitutes) at Stamford Bridge last night.

    Good guzzle, got orf to a flyer but my orange juice with no bits and toast were long consumed before I slung in 16d as my last entry. It came to me after an image of the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court flashed into my weary mind.

    Glad to hear that George is improving.

    Thanks to Raitee and Stephen Of The Dumnonia.

  22. Stephen, the picture for 11a has got me decidedly distracted! I don’t think she’s too worried about her bruise.

        1. I must admit that I was somewhat startled at the picture and showed it to David who was amazed that it appeared on the blog! I wasn’t going to mention it and quite surprised that no-one else commented on it. Thanks for the hints by the way which I didn’t need today. However, am finding the Toughie tougher than others but I’m ploughing on.

          1. That image came from a national newspaper (The Daily Mirror) so there can’t have been that much wrong with it!
            However I removed it as I wouldn’t put anything that I considered even remotely offensive on the blog.

  23. I would opine that the milksop decolours the dregs. Always find I need the hints to finish a Ray T but do not find them enjoyable.

    Still, thanks to Ray T and to SL for illuminating the darkness.

  24. What a wonderful crossword! I thought it was going to beat me, and I really had to grind it out towards the end. Sounds like I’m the only person who struggled with 29a, which was blindingly obvious when I eventually got it but I really struggled to see how to construct the answer. So many great clues…!

  25. Like other I found the top half easier than the bottom half. Particularly struggled with 30a which was my last one in.

    Thanks to RayT and to SL.

  26. Ray T at his most devious – definitely at least 3* difficulty for me anyway.
    If I’ve met 16d before then I’ve forgotten him!!
    I put in a perfectly plausible answer for 6a – to me anyway – oh dear – never mind!!
    Not my finest day but thanks to Ray T and to SL – think I might lie low a little while!

    1. Bet you’re glad you didn’t have to hint this, Kath. I’m with you and, in contrast to the majority of bloggers, I was way off wavelength, particularly in the South, so it was a DNF. Can’t remember having as much trouble and hence so little fun. Thank you RayT and StephenL but it was just simply not my scene!

  27. Evening all. My thanks again to StephenL for the illumination and to all who left a comment.


  28. I made harder work of this than I should have, particularly in the south, but I managed to stumble over the line. A good day for crosswords today unlike some other days. Favourite was 20d. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  29. Good evening
    I had a two-hour break at Exeter today, so I saved the crozzie until then. It’s now half 10, I’m on my way home, and I’m admitting defeat. It’s a DNF… Thank you to RayT, and thanks Stephen for the explanations of 22a, 28a, 30a, and 16d.
    24a received a “Crikey!!”, by the way…

  30. 3*/4* …
    liked 15A “Bird identified by crows? (7)”
    & the picture to it in the hints.

  31. No offence but think this may be in the wrong paper or I need to go back to reading the Sun. Top half gone but bottom impossible. Thanks anyway

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