DT No 30303 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30303

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30303

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone from a bright and pleasantly warm South Devon coast. It finally feels like early summer.

Today’s setter has given us a very fine puzzle indeed with clever and neat wordplay throughout. I filled it in quite smoothly though one or two parsings required deeper thought.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Dish with herbs Walter ordered touring Italy (5,7)
WELSH RAREBIT: Anagram (ordered) of the preceding two words including the IVR code for Italy giving one of crosswordland’s favourite dishes.

9a Foreign article contains untruth (5)
ALIEN: Place the indefinite article when preceding a vowel around a fib.

10a US state regularly awaits home to house prisoners (9)
WISCONSIN: Regular or alternate letters of aWaItS plus the usual 2-letter word  meaning at home go around (to house) some abbreviated prisoners.

11a Painting style of American at our venue nearly worked (3,7)
ART NOUVEAU: An abbreviation for American plus an anagram  (worked) of AT OUR VENUE minus the last letter (nearly)

12a Land offshore that is visited by southern student (4)
ISLE: Place the usual two letters meaning “that is” around (visited by) the abbreviations for Southern and student or Learner.

13a Inexpert co-worker wearing gold Rolex originally (7)
AMATEUR: Insert a co-worker or friend inside (wearing) the chemical symbol of gold and append the initial letter of Rolex.

15a Vague when promoting new type of energy (7)
NUCLEAR: A synonym of vague has the abbreviation for New moved one place (promoting) to the front of the word.

17a Under discussion, what lady keeps in her handbag? (2,5)
AT ISSUE: A phrase meaning under discussion or in dispute, when split 1,6 gives something that could be found in a lady’s handbag (or a gentleman’s pocket).

19a Person showing effects of heat in Jersey (7)
SWEATER: Double/cryptic definition, ignore the capitalisation of Jersey, it’s there to mislead.

21a Animals disregarding extremely sweet porridge ingredient (4)
OATS: Remove (disregarding) the outer letters of SweeT from the front of some weasel-type animals.

22a Vanessa emerges from Real Madrid ground (3,7)
RED ADMIRAL: No knowledge of the football team resoundingly beaten by the mighty Manchester City last night required as it’s the anagram fodder (ground). Great spot setter. Vanessa is a species of the solution.

25a Oddly thirty female soldiers, volunteers, needing time for revenge (3,3,3)
TIT FOR TAT: A bit of a jigsaw clue. Piece together the odd letters of ThIrTy and  abbreviations for Female, some lower rank soldiers, some former military volunteers and finally for Time. Enumerate as per clue.

26a Brother rejected computer science course (5)
ORBIT: Reverse (rejected) an informal or abbreviated brother and add the two letters representing computer science.

27a Busy Lizzie, say, in factory making mattresses? (7,5)
BEDDING PLANT: Something of which a Busy Lizzie is an example (say) could whimsically describe a factory making mattresses.


1d Joint top with Arsenal, in second place previously (5)
WRIST: The abbreviation for With and the second letter of Arsenal precede (previously) the three letters that look like an abbreviation of first or top. Very smart indeed.

2d City residents initially shunned fair-haired individuals across river (9)
LONDONERS: Start with a description of someone with fair hair and remove (shunned) the initial letter. Add a synonym of individuals into which is inserted the abbreviation for River.

3d Love between husband and wife always just the same (7)
HOWEVER: Insert an abbreviation for love or zero between that of Husband and Wife and append a synonym of always. Very neat

4d Go without ashtray, occasionally filling a waste basket (7)
ABSTAIN: A from the clue and a 3-letter waste basket into which is inserted occasional letters of aShTrAy.

5d London statue irritated revolutionary (4)
EROS: Reverse (revolutionary) a synonym of irritated or angry.

6d Demanding sibling keeps focused? On the contrary (9)
INSISTENT: On the contrary tells us to reverse the roles in the wordplay so place a synonym of focused around (keeps) an informal sibling

7d Fruit, cut pineapple, to follow bistro’s starter (6)
BANANA: Remove the final letter from the alternative name for a pineapple and append the result to the opening letter of Bistro.

8d State of vehicles using earliest clutches? (2,4)
IN GEAR: A very clever and well disguised lurker (clutches)

14d Corrupt trial set to imprison old philosopher (9)
ARISTOTLE: Anagram (corrupt) of TRIAL SET placed around (to imprison) the abbreviation for Old.

16d Drink Charlie adores freely consuming before noon (5,4)
CREAM SODA: The abbreviation for Charlie plus an anagram (freely) of ADORES placed around (consuming) the two letters indicating a time pre noon.

17d Rodent, one put down after a painful disease (6)
AGOUTI: Append the letter representing the Roman numeral one to A from the clue and a disease which mainly affects the feet.

18d Critical wingers leaving, not returning to football club (7)
EVERTON: Remove the outside letters (wingers leaving) of a synonym of critical in the sense of acute and add a reversal of not from the clue.  A friend of mine was there on Sunday and sent me this.

19d Celebrity raised stake in newly-formed company (5-2)
START-UP: If we split the solution 4,3 we have the usual celebrity plus a reversal (raised in a down clue) of a synonym of stake as a verb. Very clever.

20d Tell cleric to ignore pressure (6)
RELATE: Remove (to ignore) the abbreviation for Pressure from an ecclesiastical dignitary.

23d Disprove swelling is going up (5)
REBUT: Reverse (going up) a swelling, often in a plant.

24d Fit state of mind (4)
MOOD: Double definition, one more obvious than the other, both in the BRB

Very enjoyable indeed, thanks to the setter. My table toppers today are 22a plus 1,3,8,18&19d. Which ones sat at the top of yours?



84 comments on “DT No 30303
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        1. I tried desperately hard to put San Bernabeu into 22a … but, of course, too many letters and all the checkers were wrong.

          Thanks to Silvanus for the puzzle and thanks to our “Cityzen” blogger! 🎵Blue Moon🎵

  1. I found solving this much easier than parsing it. I needed Stephen’s help with 1d and 24d in that respect. There were some very clever clues. The wordplay in 8d was so good that I didn’t see the lurker, although, of course, I couldn’t parse it. I think today’s favourite was 25a though it could have been 2d, 3d, 18d or any of half a dozen others. Thanks to our setter for the enjoyment and StephenL for his help.

  2. An enjoyable and pretty straightforward puzzle with a few head-scratchers to get one’s teeth into , i found it a nice variation for a Thursday. I of course liked the geographical clue at 10a and the two great llego clues at 17d and 25a but COTD for me was22a. I do t reallt have an idea who the compiler is but thank you for puzzle with a fresh feel. Thanks also to SL for the hints.

  3. 2*/3*. This seemed quite light for a Thursday but good fun nevertheless with 1d my favourite despite the horror of Arsenal being joint top.

    Many thanks to the setter and to SL.

  4. Got several answers from part of the clues but needed the hinter to explain the full parsing. Had an incorrect rhyming word at 24d so I suppose that counts as a DNF.
    Learned a new type of flutterby and 27a was not a problem having worked in a garden centre.
    Favourites include17a, 27a and 8d where I too missed the lurker.
    Thanks to the setter and hinter for several explanations.

  5. Thursday lite.
    At * time with just 17d to go.
    Went away,
    Returned. bingo
    Constructed correctly a new word for me.
    What a brilliant clue.
    As were 2, 3 and 8d and 10a especially.
    LOL at 27a.
    Good, all round fun.
    Thanks to the setter and StephenL.

  6. Apart from 17D, which was new to me and required some googling, the grid filled up nicely. 22A takes my top spot. Thanks to Stephen and today’s setter.

  7. Held up only by 17d, which was the last fellow in (the Jimmy Anderson of crossword answers), and only my outstanding generosity prevents me from calling the committee to order and considering it for THE LIST.
    As nobody else has mentioned it (to date) it is possible that it is down to me being an ignoramus. Perhaps I was looking out of the window and dreaming of opening the batting for England the day that these apparently agile, long-legged, rabbit-sized inhabitants of Central America, South America, and the West Indies were discussed in geography classes.
    In the wild, rather like myself, they are shy animals and flee from humans, while in captivity they may become trusting. Apparently they can live for up to twenty years and mate for life. I wish them and their loved ones long and happy lives.

    Great crossword. Thanks to the setter and Dharma of the Dumnonii.

    1. For some reason I always think those rodents sound from their name as though they should be tennis players, probably on the men’s tour … “and XXXXXX takes the second set, six-three”.

      1. “Welcome back to the Hanseatic League tennis tournament, here in Cloisonne. XXXXXX has taken the second set, six-three, Loosestrife to serve.”

  8. Very enjoyable with smooth surfaces throughout – thanks to the setter (I did wonder if this was our recent blogger’s second outing but I may be way off beam) and SL.
    My highlights included 27a, 1d and 3d.

  9. Very light for a Thursday, some good surface reads and a pleasant companion for the morning coffee. COTD 27a, runner-up 22a. Thank you to the setter & to Stephen (I did enjoy your RC puzzle the other day, great fun!)

    1* / 2.5*

  10. Rats! This was a DNF for me as I annoyingly hit the ‘reveal all’ button with one clue left to do. However that said, I found this a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle although like others could not parse them all. I even had goats without the g instead of stoats without the st – I did wonder! Anyway the sun is out so what not to like. Thanks to the setter and Stephen L.

  11. That was an enjoyable combination of brain fodder and amusement. Top was smoothest territory. Settled wrongly for different first letter for 24d. 22a Vanessa is new to me as is 17d. Failed to parse 1d and well-concealed 8d. Altogether a lot of fun. Thank you Mysteron and StephenL.

    1. Should have shown 27a as Fav as I am in throes of planting out dozens of Busy Lizzies. No doubt the Big Dave blogger with BL name will have similar thoughts!

  12. Although Beam is not on Toughie duty, with the lack of the usual indicators it is not a Ray T Thursday. So, I was ready to put my five bob on NYDK until I read Gazza’s comment and he has given me enough pause for thought that the two half-crowns are staying in my pocket. Whomsoever the setter is, it was very enjoyable – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 15a, 18d, and 20d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to N or T or ? and thanks to Stephen L.

  13. Sadly a DNF for me too, as even with StephenL’s hints, I was unable to get 24d, which didn’t help my 24d. Otherwise, managed to complete even though I’d never heard of the Vanessa species and 1d required much scratching of head. Thanks to the setter. Luckily my 24d has been lifted by the glorious weather today.

  14. Many thanks to Stephen for his usual excellent Hints and Tips and to everyone else taking the trouble to leave comments. I hope a regular commenter will like her inclusion in 27a.

    Thanks also to the Puzzles Editor for scheduling this one (and today’s Cross Atlantic crossword) on my birthday!

    1. Happy Birthday, Silvanus, and thank you for the puzzles.

      A little initial panic in the Cross Atlantic when I didn’t know the Tottenham footballer (if Helen Love haven’t written a song about them …), which seemed to be a key answer — but it turned out to be straightforward enough to reverse-engineer from the clues that referred to it.

    2. Another bit of mastery, Silvanus. Thank you.

      8d is an outstanding lurker which didn’t ‘stand out’ for ages. I had to wave the white flag at 17d and wouldn’t have worked out the parsing of 1d in yonks. Way beyond me.

      COTD is 22a. What a brilliant clue. You must have been so satisfied when you spotted the anagram, Silv.


    3. Well, I’ve just fainted dead away and Sadie had to do mouth-to mouth to bring me back … Silvanus? I’ve never been able to solve your offerings and then you produce this gem! You are, indeed, a man of many parts!

    4. Many Happy Returns, Silvanus, and thanks for a most enjoyable puzzle. I particularly liked 22a. Can I use this post to thank SL too?

    5. Happy birthday, and a big thank you for providing this puzzle which I enjoyed from start to finish. I knew of course that I just had to get 27a right 😊.

  15. I did not know the rodent so thanks to Terence for the info. The rest was a delight to solve needing as it did the right balance of write ins and the thought provoking. The lurker at 8d was so well hidden I had the answer but could not parse it so didn’t enter it until the penny dropped. My COTD is 27a.

    Thank you, silvanus for the fun challenge and a very Happy Birthday to you. I hope you have a great day. Thank you, StephenL for the hints.

  16. A Ray T at the easier end of the scale even though I needed several of the hints to fully unpick some of the clues – 1d for example which was weird! Never come across this species of 22a before, are we now supposed to have a working knowledge of Lepidoptera?
    Thx to all

  17. Just a bit more challenging than the previous 3 days. A tale of two halves for me, with the south being considerably easier than the north. Another class crossword from one of my favourite setters, thank you silvanus & many happy returns 🎂.


    Fav 18d LOI 8d.

    Also thanks to StephenL for the hints.

  18. A very pleasant Thursday puzzle on this non-RayT week. Lots of multi-word answers that I like working through too. Solved this in the balmy 27C of my Wednesday evening. We have had quite the run of summer heat this past week.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 9a, 13a, 19a, 8d & 17d with winner 17d
    This was a word I did not know, but I liked the clue and the parsing of the answer.
    Also 19a made me laugh.

    Thanks to Silvanus and StephenL for hints/blog

  19. A most enjoyable puzzle from the birthday boy with just the parsing of 1d driving me almost to distraction!
    Given plenty to choose from for the rosette winners, I eventually opted for 22,25&27a.

    Many thanks to Stephen for the review and to Silvanus for the fun – hope there’s something rather more celebratory than 1a on the menu for your birthday dinner!

  20. Well hooray I’m actually back on track! After weeks of not being able to concentrate or do crosswords, today I galloped through the quick crossword and trotted through the cryptic- well not all of it – but that’s always been my norm. Many thanks to SL and the wonderful Silvanus- also loved the Cross Atlantic. Many happy returns and I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine. I like the gardening clues and am beginning to get excited about going to Chelsea next week. ( Garden show – not football club!)

  21. I did not write in 24d as it can only be found under fit. It is not mentioned under any of state/of/mind or of state of mind. I think to be a proper definition it should be in both or do we have to accept its use when that use is now obsolescent?

    Enough said.

  22. Returning after a two week break, really didn’t expect to complete a Thursday puzzle, but was very pleasantly surprised – only held up by 17d which I’d never heard of. 27a definite favourite among so many clever clues. Many thanks to setter and to Stephen L – especially as the parsing of 8d drove me mad!

  23. I’m still in a state of shock, I loved this from start to finish, technically a DNF as I had 24d wrong. I knew 17d but I have no idea from where. I had to google Vanessa, apparently a prolific butterfly, who knew? I can’t decide on a fave, so I’m going to go with 27a in honour of a fellow blogger.
    Thank you Silvanus, and to StephenL for unravelling a few. It’s a happy day for me.

  24. Some very good surface reads and contemporary clues –
    Agree with StephenL’s rating
    Faves were 8d,22a and 27a
    Many thanks to Silvanus – this was a challenge, but great fun.

  25. As I got an honourable mention (even if completely inadvertent) in 27a, how could I not love this puzzle? The only hold up for me was the rodent in 17d. Must have been completely on wavelength as rest was a steady, and very satisfying, solve. We visit our local supermarket to do our weekly grocery shopping before breakfast on Thursdays, so am always a bit later than usual to get started on the backpager, but delighted to find this one today. Very glad I could solve 27a, and yes we do use the plants here too, as winter plants, as they cannot stand the extreme South Florida summers. Thanks again Silvanus, would love more like this this.
    P.S. The best 1a by far, is the one we have had on each visit to Betty’s in York, served with their delicious Apple chutney.

    1. And apologies, meant to say thanks also to StephenL for the hints. Would never have got 17d without the hint. A new one for me to try to remember,

    2. Have you tried portulaca for summer plants? Mine are thriving in this heat, known as “Civil Servants” in Jamaica ‘cos dem close up at four o’clock. Alamanda is also good.

      1. Yes I’ve used portulaca several times, but they don’t seem very happy in my soil. My usual standby are caladiums, which reappear the next year if you leave them be.

  26. What a lovely fun puzzle, I completed it earlier but did not have time to comment. I needed help to parse 1d and missed the lurker in the clever 8d which was my favourite.

    Many thanks to SL for the hints and to Silvanus for the fun and many happy returns for your special day.

  27. A very enjoyable and solvable puzzle especially arriving on aThursday 😃 ***/**** Favourites 17 and 22a 🤗 Thanks to Stephen L and Happy Birthday to Silvanus

  28. A lovely crossword and not too tricky either especially for a nearly end of the week.
    I’ve ‘met’ Mr or Mrs 17d before but had no idea what he (or Mrs) look like until today – quite sweet really . . . .
    I’d also ‘met’ 22a before but I’d forgotten it.
    I think my favourite was probably 27a although they do go a bit “flopsy-bunny” if they’re not endlessly watered.
    Thank you and Happy Birthday to Silvanus and thanks to SL for the hints.

    1. PS In general people are being terribly well-behaved about having only one favourite – needless to say there will always be an occasional offender – I’m watching . . . :negative:

  29. A great puzzle with all the hallmarks of Silvanus at his best. Beautifully smooth surface reads throughout.
    Difficult to pick a favourite, but 22a nicks it from a long list of others. I don’t often watch football on TV, but Real Madrid were well and truly ground by Manchester City last night.
    Many thanks and happy birthday to Silvanus.
    Thanks too, of course, to our blogger.

  30. Happy Birthday Silvanus and thank you for a most enjoyable puzzle.
    I learnt a couple of new meanings along the way but had to check the hints at the end for 1d as couldn’t parse it. Many thanks to SL for the hints.

  31. Good evening
    Well, I finished it, but I think I should hold up my hands and say I didn’t deserve to. I made the stupidest mistake! I always ink in the boundary between words where two or more words are required; I mistakenly marked the boundary in 1a at 7, 5 instead of 5, 7 – so I spent ages staring at it, knowing it was an anagram, but not knowing how it fitted!
    I had to look up 17d & 22a, and frankly, 8d was guesswork from the context; I completely failed to spot the lurker!!
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to StephenL

    1. I cannot recall the number of times I have put the separator in the wrong place, ShangaJi. It doesn’t half mess up the solve!

  32. Very nice crossword, fell into place without too many problems.
    Nice to do a DT crossword again.

    1. And very nice to see you again, Hoofit. I do wish you’d reconsider your crossword allegiance – you’d be very welcome to return to the BD fold.

      1. Thanks Jane, good to hear from you. I get the Graun each day, so makes sense to do the crossword, but I enjoy the occasional DT crossword. I look in most evenings to BD to see what’s going down.

    2. Bad luck your mob Hoofs but what about my lot – who’d ‘ave thunk it. Reckon Luton distinct favs in the play off but you never know

      1. Yes, H, make Luton favourites. Millwall did the most dramatic ‘Devon Loch’ in football history. Still suffering trauma.

  33. Hallo Hoofit! And Happy Birthday to our stellar setter. Lovely guzzle, 27a was the favourite although I also liked 10a and how long is it since I had a 16d? I’d forgotten about them. It has been a funny old week, frankly I shall be glad to see the back of it. But doing the DTXword is always a lovely distraction. Thanks to Stephen L for help with the footbally 18d.

  34. 2/4. I finished this pleasant puzzle in two sittings. Favourite from a packed podium was 27a. Thanks to all.

  35. Many thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes.

    I hope we’ll see Robert contributing again very soon.

    1. Happy Birthday Silvanus 🎈. Yes indeed, Robert’s astute comments are greatly missed. Hope he will rejoin the fold soon.

  36. Missed the lurker in 8d and 24d was a bung in because I couldn’t be bothered to trawl through the BRB for the other meaning. I knew the answer to 11a but delayed writing it in until I had all the checkers, foreign languages are not my strongpoint. Apart from those, plain sailing. Favourite was was 17d.Excellent crossword from Silvanus, thanks and happy birthday, thanks too to SL.

  37. Two on the bounce and a Thursday too! As usual first glance on Thursday looks impossible but ploughed on through this. The rodent required google. Liked 1a, 10a. Thanks for a great puzzle. Now for some Chardonnay to celebrate…

  38. Very late to this as a full on day working at the club with a big charity golf event. I was torn between Donny & Silvanus as to who was responsible for this one (T had told me the NTSPP his next likely next one) & see that the birthday boy has, as always, popped in (wish Robyn would do likewise) to tell us it’s one of his. All the usual superlatives apply for a predictably cracking guzzle – pick any one from a good number for a fav.
    Thanks & happy birthday to Silvanus & to Stephen for the initial blog of his 2nd hundred – eyes tired & brain sleepy so left the parsing of 1d to you.

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