DT No 30297 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30297

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30297

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone from a bright, if not particularly sunny, South Devon coast.

Our esteemed setter has given us an excellent example of his craft, with a reasonable degree of difficulty that I really enjoyed solving.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a In custody, throw away rifle (7)
CARBINE: Place a synonym of throw away or get rid of inside one of custody in the sense of protection.

5a Holds pan flipping vegetable (7)
PARSNIP: Follow a synonym of holds in the sense of secures with one of pan in the sense of criticise and reverse (flipping) the result.

9a Posh burst into song, practising (5)
USING: The single letter abbreviation for posh (no, not the Spice Girl!) or Upper class plus a verb meaning to burst into song. Practising here is in the sense of doing something regularly or habitually.

10a Improved taking health resort shower (9)
BESPATTER: Place a synonym of improved or exceed around (taking) a resort with health giving natural waters.

11a Turning rotund and seem huge (10)
TREMENDOUS: Anagram (turning) of ROTUND and SEEM.

12a Goes out with European babes, oddly (4)
EBBS: The single letter abbreviation for European plus the odd or alternate letters of BaBeS. I really liked this for the well disguised definition within a typically Ray T un-PC surface read.

14a Moving camp with enlisted moving (12)
DISPLACEMENT: Anagrams (moving) of CAMP and ENLISTED. This works as an &lit where the whole clue acts as both wordplay and definition.

18a Earn more until cut changed salary (12)
REMUNERATION: Anagram (changed) of the two words plus UNTIL without its final letter (cut)

21a Dog food? (4)
CHOW: Double definition, one an informal word for food, the other the canine breed pictured.

22a Novel point of view (10)
PERSUASION: Another double definition, one being a novel by Jane Austen.

25a The French certainly keeping one relaxed (9)
LEISURELY: Place a French definite article and a synonym of certainly around (keeping) the letter representing the Roman numeral one.

26a Improving cake, including nice gloss initially (5)
ICING: The first letters (initially) of the preceding five words giving an extended definition. This setter usually includes one and this I think is a particularly good example.

27a Occasionally starred admitting passion for stage (7)
THEATRE: Place alternate letters of sTaRrE around (admitting) a synonym of passion in the sense of emotion.

28a Clientele mentioned ringing copper, perhaps (7)
ELEMENT: Hidden in the clue, as indicated by ringing.


1d Region of England possibly missing Queen (6)
COUNTY: Remove a Latin single letter abbreviation of a queen from something of which England is an example.

2d Helped after Republican is charged (6)
RAIDED: The abbreviation for Republican and a straightforward synonym of helped or assisted.

3d Turning red, I entertained, taking part (10)
INGREDIENT: A very good lurker, this time the indicator is the word taking.

4d Put in military, journalist receives medal (5)
EMBED: The usual abbreviated senior journalist goes around an abbreviated Member of the order of the British Empire.

5d Candidate spun total rubbish (9)
POSTULANT: Anagram (rubbish) of the preceding two words. Sadly often apposite surface read.

6d Bare, say, giving shriek (4)
ROAR: A homophone (say) of a synonym of bare in the sense of basic or realistic.

7d Powerless small stars (8)
NOTABLES: If we split the solution 3,4 we have a synonym of powerless. Add the abbreviation for Small.

Here’s a star band. It’s hard to believe this great song is over 20 years old.

8d Maybe tick answer in usual spot (8)
PARASITE: Insert the abbreviation for Answer between synonyms of usual or normal and spot as a noun in the sense of location. Nicely disguised definition.

13d Corrupt said to be in ruin (10)
DEMORALISE: Place a synonym of said or vocal inside (to be in) one of ruin as a noun. Corrupt here is verb.

15d Continue exercise about to eat chop (9)
PERSEVERE: Start with the usual abbreviated Physical Exercise then place a preposition meaning about around a synonym of chop or cut as a verb.

16d Pair surmounting obstacle to form band (8)
BRACELET: A synonym of pair or couple goes above (surmounting) one of an obstacle (think tennis).

17d Cheeky monkey, on fire we hear (8)
IMPOLITE:  This sounds like (we hear) a monkey or rascal on fire or ablaze

19d Reverend could be suspect (6)
DIVINE: Double definition, one I came across only recently whilst compiling (it’s useful for your vocabulary if nothing else!) being a dated name for a reverend, the other being one of suspect or guess.

20d King nearly beginning to take piece (6)
KNIGHT: The abbreviation for King is followed by a literary synonym of nearly or close by and the initial letter of Take.

23d Way of life, empty following pen (5)
STYLE: Append the outside letters (empty) of LifE to a pen in the sense of an enclosure for pigs say.

24d Broken chest (4)
BUST: Double definition, both relatively straightforward.

Great stuff. I particularly enjoyed 12&14a plus 8d. Which ones earned your seal of approval?

Quickie Pun: GOAL + DIN + GUT = GOLD INGOT





79 comments on “DT No 30297
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  1. I found this quite a struggle and would give it a four for difficulty but only 3 for enjoyment. Several seemingly odd definitions, divine, charged ….
    More slog than pleasure!
    But thanks to setter anyway.

  2. This was tough but doable, particularly once a few checkers went jn. It was a very slow start for me as tried to pick apart a few clues to get a start. Dogged perseverance won out in the end as it often does with this compiler . There were someparticularly fine lurkers at 28a and3d And a splendid anagram at 15a. The double dwfinition ofJane Austen’s novel (one of my favourite authors):was alsoappreciated . Thanks to SL for the hints and to our compiler.

  3. A very enjoyable and appropriatey ‘chewy’ puzzle for this stage in the week – basic GK only, but plenty of deception, clever anagrams, and a fine display of the setter’s art. Eyebrow raised at 6d (a shriek, really?) and 17d (the homophone doesn’t work for me as I pronounce the ‘o’ in the answer) but otherwise there were some cracking clues – no pun intended. Hon Mentions for me to 12a (for the smile), 26a (the red herring), 28a (another grin) 3d and 7d, with COTD to 22a – fortunately a flash of inspiration gave me that one quite swiftly.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to RayT and to StephenL

  4. Phew!
    Hard work but doable.
    Many read, write then parse.
    Thought part of 1a a bit stretched.
    COTD hopefuls 10 and 27a
    And 1 and 13d.
    Winner 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and StephenL.

  5. A hard one today – lots of misdirection and unusual synonyms in the clues. Very satisfying to complete it, albeit taking much longer than usual for me for a DT back pager. COTD 7d, as it had me thinking in completely the wrong direction for a long while. Thanks to the setter and to StephenL for the hints. If tomorrow’s crossword follows the recent Friday trend and is harder than today’s, I will need to dedicate a good chunk of tomorrow to solving it.

  6. Mmmm. Tricky! Top end *** for me with a ** fun factor unusually for this setter (if it is he). The anagrams eases it a little but like others I found this a bit too uphill. Best of the bunch for me were 7&20d. Thanks SL for the hints which I needed to understand 5a and to the setter for the test.

  7. A terrific Thursday puzzle, if perhaps a little more difficult than usual, with all the regular clueing tricks and conciseness we have come to expect. As always it is hard to pick a winner from such a star-studded line up, but I will happily choose 8d.

    My thanks to Ray T and SL.

  8. This was quite tricky but managed to almost complete it in bed, just 4 left. Had a quick peek after breakfast and the last 4 fell quite neatly. Like Hrothgar some of them took a while to parse. Nipped to the garden centre 4 miles away and drove through torrential rain – rats! had just hung my washing out. Thanks to the setter for the little grey cells workout and to Stephen L.

    1. I tried to have a look at your puzzle yesterday Stephen but the site required me to accept all cookies which I didn’t want to do so I had to give it a miss.

  9. I found this one difficult but got through to the end without aid. I did need help with the parsing, though.

    I have been trying not to moan on about homophones that do not work north of the border, but I am afraid that today I must say that 6d is absolutely the most impossible for me. Sorry, RayT.

    Thanks to the setter and to StephenL .
    Finally we have some sunshine here and some warmth….well maybe less cool…

    1. I’m all in favour of giving setters a degree of artistic licence when it comes to homophones as regional accents vary so much but I thought 6d was stretching it somewhat!

        1. Shriek and roar are synonyms, but they’re not precise definitions of each other – which they should be! But defintions in cryptic clues are quite often not precise definitions of the answer.

      1. Didn’t work for me on any level. I know of no region where this would sound like a synonym of bare.

    2. I totally agree about 6d, I would never have got that answer, even having lived in the south for several years.

  10. Another masterpiece by Mr T, with 10a and 22a in a dead heat for the Gold. Many ticks elsewhere. Thanks to Stephen and Ray T. **/****

  11. A pleasant Ray T puzzle – thanks to him and SL.
    I liked 22a (my favourite Austen novel, full of biting satire), 1d and 3d.
    I’ve tried hard to stop moaning about homophones that don’t work but 6d really plumbs new depths.

  12. A Beam Toughie with anagrams? Some head scratching required – 3.5/3*

    Favourite – a toss-up between 1a and 1d – and the winner is 1a.

    Thanks to Ray T and SL.

  13. This was a very enjoyable struggle this morning. It took me a good while to get started and in retrospect I think I would have done better had I begun at the bottom of the grid. I liked the misdirection and even the strange synonyms and clever anagrams. It took me an age to see the lurker at 3d – I should have learnt by now – so that makes it onto the podium along with 5a, 22a, 8d and my favourite 7d. Thanks to Ray T for the absolute pleasure and StephenL for helping me parse 1d and 5a.

  14. Our setter upping the ante today and stretching our belief in his homophones to the limit! Nice to see her late majesty getting a mention – she’s doubtless missed in many regions – and I note that the usual supporters have been replaced by what fills them!
    10&12a made me smile and my outright winner was 22a.

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

  15. Some days the synonyms just pop into your head and the understanding follows quickly – today was NOT one of those days!
    Thanks for the help and the brain work out! My head is still hurting.

  16. I’m another who found this to be more of a Beam with anagrams. Was beaten by 13d, as I’d never have matched the answer to the definition.

    9a seems a bit weak too.

    ****/** For me

  17. Found this a hard RayT today and especially the top half of the puzzle.
    Bit of a slog to finish this one.

    3*/2.5* for me

    No real favourites today but I liked 1d and 20d

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  18. Hmmm. Took a little longer today and certainly needed Stephen’s help with 1a, 6d but great satisfaction in the penny drop moment with others. Some nice misdirection. My mother was given a baby 21a as a wedding gift, presented on a red cushion according to family lore but when I was born it turned nasty and had to go. Bit of useless information for you. I liked the lurkers – I always remember, when in doubt look for a lurker. I have marked 27&28a and 3,8&15d. The Pocket Rocket has arrived so I have to go in the garden and sort of help before the heavens open and she has to retreat to the greenhouse. I probably just get in her way. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & StephenL. .

  19. A catastrophe! A tragedy beyond even the wit of Shakespeare! Step aside Matey-boy Hamlet. Move over King Lear!
    For today, after taking a bite of my delicious toast, I reached out for my glass of orange juice… and guess what, reader? It had BITS in it! I know! Two cartons had been delivered, and placed in the fridge, and then a glass poured, all without spotting the disaster.

    Then it got worse. Alone in the house and unable to seek advice, I did what any sensible man would do. I strained it through a pasta colander thing into another glass. This resulted in three-quarters of a glass of orange juice on the carpet. and a quarter of a glass of orange juice in the second glass.

    I have spent more time a-mopping and a-cleaning than consuming my cold toast and thimble of orange juice.

    What? The crossword? Oh it was tough going, but what does it matter on such a day? I will never be quite the same man again.

    Thanks to Raity and Dharma of Dumnonia

    1. How big are the bits? Did a pasta colander actually catch any of them?! I’d’ve thought a sieve would have a more appropriate mesh size.

      Personally my favourite orange juice is that straight from an orange, nothing else done to it. Booths have a tremendous Wallace and Grommit-style contraption next to the sandwiches where you press a lever to make oranges trundle along rails from the top to get halved and squeezed right in front of you (while you try to hold the empty plastic bottle in the right place to catch the juice).

      1. I bought a new sieve (large) the other week and I thought I’d have a bit of fun with the young shop assistant. I told her I wanted a receipt because if it leaks I would be returning it. She didn’t get it, but then people often don’t get my humour.

    2. I came on feeling sorry for myself as due to a busy day (hubbies birthday) and other things I have not had time to spend on this and as it is (in my novice opinion]pretty tricky. I really had hoped for a more straightforward offering today. However I can now see that there are much bigger disasters going on and that Terence has been completely knocked sideways by his orange juice saga, I no longer mind that I am struggling, you have my sympathies Terence.

      Ps a tea strainer is perfect for the job!

    3. Terence, Terence, Terence. I have said it before – be a man! What would nanny say?
      What a drama. Bite the bullet and down the bits. Think of England.
      It is the bits that make you grow big and strong – and, incidentally – proves that it is ORANGE
      juice and not some coloured liquid.

  20. Good afternoon
    A day off and an early start means an earlier than usual check-in today. I’m happy to report I’ve finished the back pager this afty, but by the cringe, it was a tough call! I think a “Crikey!” goes to 17d, but hats off to our setter for some classic misdirection, meaning it took me ages to spot the lurkers in 28a and 3d, and a couple of real pen-lid-chewers in 13d and 19d.
    Thanks to our compiler and to StephenL.

  21. Cor! I took a right pummelling there. My worst performance in years. I loved the challenge but a good handful were out of my reach. But, I have no complaints whatsoever as the cluing was excellent.

    I used to pause when writing 18a – is it mune or nume’ – but someone told me that ‘mun E’ sounds like ‘money’ which I’ve never forgotten.

    25a gets my nod.

    Thanks to SL & RT


  22. A bit late posting today, having been out for lunch with some old work colleagues one of whom sadly was not looking in particularly great shape. Nevertheless it was a great opportunity for reminiscences and a few glasses of wine.

    As for the puzzle,, for me it was 2*/4.5*, and a fine example of RayT’s craft. It all fell into place smoothly and was most enjoyable with 22a my favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  23. Another great puzzle from Ray T. Fine clues, a decent challenge and much enjoyment. Fav: 3d. 3.5*/4*.

    *1d. Shouldn’t the definition be just “Region”?

  24. Tougher than usual RayT for me with a few “hmmms” along the way I’m afraid. The homophone in 17d really sticks out for example where the ‘o’ for me just doesn’t work. Some devious misdirection throughout though which I enjoyed. 3d was a classic case of “if all else fails check its not a lurker”, being one of my LOI. A bit below his normal high standards for me though 7d and 8d stood out **/***

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

    1. I fumbled my way slowly through this one to its conclusion, checking many of my answers as I went along by pressing the reveal mistakes box, which I find to be a good way to learn the ropes. Not really cheating ?

  25. Glad it wasn’t just me. As Senf says ‘ A Beam Toughie with anagrams’ (& some of them didn’t yield easily). 5d unfamiliar & requiring confirmation but otherwise just a case of me being slow twig the answers which I’ll blame on solving it on the mobile in between teeing off golfers. No issue with the homophone but the def synonym a bit iffy. Fav a toss up between 10&22a
    Thanks to Ray T & Stephen

  26. Speaking as No 1 Ray T fan I have to admit that I really didn’t enjoy today’s crossword – very unusual – perhaps I just wasn’t in the mood.
    I had lots of trouble with homophones but did at least catch the lurkers.
    I particularly liked 12a and my favourite was 22a.
    Thanks to Ray T and to SL.
    I wonder what Brian’s going to have to say . . .

      1. I think I was ahead of Jane so she’ll have to put up with being No 2 fan!!!
        Brian has turned up – he never fails to amaze everyone!

  27. 4/3. This was (for me) a bit of a slog. I needed help with several and 19d was totally beyond me. My favourite was 22a. Thanks to Ray T and SL.

  28. This was not for the tiny brains among us, waaaaay beyond my solving abilities. I know I shouldn’t say this as someone will love it, but the clip at 7d was music? I must have led a sheltered life. Thanks to all.

  29. I was expecting the usual tricky Toughie fare, but with just three answers going in at first pass, and then reading the answer for 6d, I’ve decided life is too short. I’m off to make my bolognese sauce instead, which takes about 5 hours, and will probably be shorter than how long it would take me to tackle today’s challenge.

  30. Way beyond my abilities today. Solved less than half a dozen and then decided to do something else with my evening.

    Thanks to all.

  31. Not the easiest but then his never are. However, after some considerable thought it yielded and became enjoyable along the way.
    As always with a Ray T it is often easier to determine the answer than fully understand the clue!
    Thx to all

  32. Completed only with the use of the hints, either this was much harder than normal or my brain was having an off day, I even missed a lurker!

    Many thanks to StephenL for the essential hints and Ray T

  33. Evening all. My usual thanks to StephenL for the review and to everybody else for your observations.


    1. I could not do your puzzle justice today, Ray T. I think my brain has been addled with too much gardening. Thank you for popping in.

  34. First crossword this week that I have cracked before tea, I have been playing catch-up after an exhausting but brilliant trip to Dublin to see The Boss.
    I agree that 8d was the top of a long list, Thanks to SL and RayT and also to Huntsman whose debut blog I read too late to comment

        1. You had to be there. They did a cracking version of Darkness on the Edge of Town and Kitty’s Back but if it’s not your thing it’s not your thing, Beaumaris looked pretty on the drive home – pretty little Balamoryesque cottages on the front and one of the best castles in Wales

    1. Sorry if I upset you, SJB but Mr. Springsteen does not float my boat at all. There is only one song of his I like and even he admitted this version was better than his own.

      1. Not upset at all, we all have different tastes in music, food, books, and movies and crossword setters too. It would be a boring place if we all liked the same stuff

  35. I made slow progress with this even compared to my normal pedestrian pace. Needed the hint to parse 13d. 5d was new to me, every day’s a school day. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to Rayt and SL. I think I’ll give up on the toughie and register my second dnf in a row. Hey ho.

  36. Couldn’t begin to find the wavelength so realising I was never going to make any kind of headway with this unfriendly puzzle I decided to throw in the towel at an early stage rather than 15d exhaustingly. For me obviously no Fav and too many hmms to specifically mention any. Thanks anyway RayT – you have obviously pleased plenty fellow BD bloggers – and thanks StephenL for being there for us.

  37. This was way beyond me so after solving about six clues I just gave up. Perhaps I should have tried the Toughie – it might have been easier. Thanks to RayT and Stephen L for all their efforts – and tomorrow is another day.

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