DT 30305 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30305 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30305 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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A lovely sunny morning only spoiled by the strong wind which appears to be coming straight from the North Pole. Once I’ve scheduled these hints, I’m going to find a sheltered spot and do some more crossword-solving as three of my favourite setters have puzzles in other newspapers today

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them. I am not sure if there is a rule about the number of lurkers to be included in a crossword, but this one has five, along with several anagrams and some old friends of the crossword solver

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Colour gets base coat about right; with eggshell initially, to paint afresh? (10)
A colour, the letter that is the base of the natural system of logarithms, COAT (from the clue) goes ‘about’ the abbreviation for right, the result followed by the initial letter of eggshell

10a    Landlord given a garden plant (5)
A landlord or publican given A (from the clue)

11a    Party where one could get one’s finger on the pulse? (9)
A cryptic description of a jollification where pulses might be the main part of the menu

12a    If dressed to kill, is one this gorgeous? (4-4)
This slang expression meaning stunning (gorgeous) does sound like a way of saying to kill

21a    Two care desperately and admit defeat (3,4)
An anagram (desperately) of TWO CARE produces an expression meaning to be forced to do something disagreeable or humiliate oneself

27a    Eating with Scandinavian girl and rock star? (9)
A Scandinavian girl’s name and a rock star known by a single “alias”

30a    Salt given to friend at certain times (10)
Salt is an example of something given to add flavour – this should be followed by a friend


1d    German region‘s visitor hurried up somewhat (4)
Hidden in reverse (up … somewhat) in visitoR HURried

2d    Trashed second old city during performance (9)
The abbreviation for second and an old city famed for a particular Greek myth inserted into a performance

3d    Irish food that’s a winner! (5)
An Irish dish of potatoes, leeks and spring onions or a slang or short form of a winner

4d    People taking things the wrong way? (7)
People who deprive others of things wrongly

8d    Get cosy with feathers from a Yorkshire town? (6,4)
A North Yorkshire town and some feathers

21d    Almost finish plums seen in reserves (7)
Almost all of a synonym for finish and some plums

26d    See European agent (4)
The crossword finishes with an ‘old friend’ – the abbreviation for European and an agent

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: WATT + SUP + DOCK = WHAT’S UP DOC?

82 comments on “DT 30305 (Hints)

  1. 1*/4*. This was very light but great fun. My only slight hold up was with 21a where the answer was obviously an anagram but the only two words that I could unscramble from the anagram fodder made no sense at all to me – until I checked my BRB and found the unlikely phrase there! Is that a clue to the setter’s identity, I wonder?

    Many thanks to Chalicea (?) and to CS.

  2. What a wonderful puzzle! I have never heard of the expression at 21a but it could be nothing else. Nor have I heard of the Irish food but, again, could be nothing else. My COTD is 11a because ….. well, I can’t say because fear of the dreaded step with no cake.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun and CS for the hints, which I will now read.

    Beautiful sunny day in The Marches so I’m off to do some shredding and planting.

  3. As suggested by CS, definitely a combined anagram/lurker fest but very enjoyable nevertheless – 1.5*/4*

    Where to place my five bob? After solving last night, with reservations, I was inclined to opt for the Floughie Lady but on waking this morning I reviewed the comments and found that on April 22nd the SPP setter said ‘Not for the first time have I been mistaken for Chalicea.’ Who was that setter? It was X-Type – so that is where I am cautiously going to place my five bob today.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 15a, and 8d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to X-Type, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks to CS.

  4. As a relative newcomer to cryptics, I really found this one to be a great confidence booster. I’m nowhere near finished, but the ones I have answered have made me go “Ohhh….I see”

    Although 28a was a bit of a “groaner”

    Cloudy and a bit drizzly over here in N.I., once the dog has been walked I’m looking forward to attempting the remaining clues.

    1. You obviously had no problem with 3d then!
      My husband went to school in Belfast & it brought back happy memories.

    2. Welcome, and you add credence to my humble opinion that puzzles don’t always need to be decidedly tricky, especially if we want to encourage new solvers. Even long time solvers welcome the occasional confidence booster 😊.

  5. Misspelled a certain down clue.
    Added .5* to my time
    Until corrected.
    Otherwise, satisfying progress
    To completion.
    Expect a DT pen in the post
    Later this week.
    Thanks setter and CS.

    1. You won’t be popular with Stephen if you get it and he misses out again!

  6. Areally enjoya le guzzle, completed before giving my patio and patio furniture a good scrub. Sometimes I wonder why I encourage birds to my garden! I liked 30a, 5d and 2d but my COTD is11a, which did make me laugh. Thanks to the compiler and to CS for the hints. A cold wind here too but I needed it to cool me down after i had finished scrubbing off the moss with a brass wire brush.

    1. I sympathise re bird mess – I gave up my bird table for that reason but problem continues as elderly neighbour hand feeds the oigeons!

        1. I’m not in a position to complain about otber people’s typos, Angellov. Yes pigeons are the worst I put sundlower seed, mixed seed and bird cake out from the RSPB. All the food hangs from a pole in feeders so the pigeons can’t get to it but they,dive in underneath the pole to hoover up what other birds knock down and they,seem to like the bird bath a lot. Its worth it for the blackbirds, goldfinches, sparrows and occasional woodpeckers, bullfinches etc.

          1. The pigeons in our garden work as a team.

            One knocks into the feeders spilling the seeds out whilst the other hoovers up the seed from the ground, then they change places.

            1. Cyril the Squirrel perches on one of the arms on the birdfeeder and pulls the sunflower hearts out through one of the ports in the feeder with his paws. His offspring, Squirt the Squirrel eats any stale Hovis, seeded bread that I throw out for the birds. No owonder the paved areas in my garden needed a scrub

  7. Add me to those who have never come across 21a before (& nor have any of the golfers I’ve seen off & asked either) but I rather like the expression & will look to use it. Light & good fun sums this one up perfectly & reckon Senf’s hunch about the setter’s identity a good call.
    Thanks to him/her & to CS

  8. Another honest doable Saturday prize puzzle after two days of brain death or absence of brain. A good spread of clues with great pleasure on solving and checking my parsing with CS. Beautiful sunny day here in North Yorkshire for a second day so into the garden for short time before lunch. Then the lawns to mow and the rose garden to put back to a semblance of order. Looking forward to the reports on the Chelsea flower show and throwing anything to hand and unseemly words when resilient flowers are mentioned.

    Thanks to a benevolent setter and to CS.

  9. Gosh, a puzzle after my own heart! Couldn’t believe how many of us there were. Lovely puzzle, including the Irish dish, so many thanks to the setter and to CS, wishing her good, sheltered puzzling for the rest of the day!

  10. A gentle Saturday solve, just right for a sunny Saturday.
    Plenty to smile about with the podium here hosting 10&27a plus 8,16&21d.

    Think we’ve seen 21a in a previous puzzle and I’m tempted to think that Senf’s setter guess is very likely to be correct.
    Thanks to X-Type (?) and to CS for the hints – the one for 1a has a bit missing if you have time to address it.

    1. That’s the second of two hints where parts of the sentence disappeared between the Word document and the draft blog post – I saw the first one before publication but missed this one which I have now amended

  11. Good fun throughout. 21a and 3d new to me. As Kath denies me Favs the three on top of my list are – 15a, 29a and 16d. Thank you Mysteron and CS (I agree it’s a lovely day in West Sussex too but cool out of the sun).

  12. Surely there’s nothing for anyone to complain about today in this very gentle,fun puzzle. I too had never heard of 21a but the Irish food did ring a very faint bell. Favourite today was 21d with honourable mention for the quickie pun. Thanks to our setter for the fun and Cripticsue for the wonderfully illustrated blog.

  13. Delighted to be reengaged with a cryptic puzzle after my dismal failures (and dismay) of the last 2 days. I actually finished this without reference to Big Dave but thanks to crypticsue anyway. I am fairly sure the answer to 21a is derived from an Americanism. Certainly a phrase I heard more than once when living in Virginia. A derivative, I believe, of a similar phrase in English related to enforced humility.

  14. I rather enjoyed this, plenty of clues to love. 10a solved as I walked past the florist, who are selling same at a good price, but COTD goes to 8d for the Yorkshire connection, As I am in North Yorkshire too we are enjoying Corky’s weather and have just been to the local artisan market for Scotch Eggs, still runny in the middle. Thanks to CS and setter, not wasting five bob as I always put it on the wrong pony

  15. Well… 21a, eh? Luckily, there were so many checking letters to ensure it couldn’t be anything else.
    A delightful guzzle; just right for my rudimentary level.

    Yesterday (H’s broken toe is just about ok now) we, and The Youngster, ventured to Petworth House, largely to see the Grinling Gibbons carvings. I had last visited about thirty years ago, and always wanted to return to spend more time looking at this incredibly talented man’s work.
    We followed this with an early supper at the Crown Inn at Chiddingfold; always a lovely spot to spend a few hours.

    Thanks to the setter and PC Security (anag)

    1. There some excellent Grinding Gibbons at Burghley House if you are ever in the area. It is a long time since I was there so Dame memory may be failing me (maybe Chatsworth) but very impressive either way.

      1. I seem to remember going to some stately home where there was a ‘Grinling Gibbons’ on the back of a door but in fact it was a trompe l’oeil painting – very clever, although one did see it from across the room.

    2. There is quite lot of work by Gibbons at Chatsworth House but what impressed me most was the Trompe l’oeil violin by Jan van der Vaardt on a door in the music room.

      1. Sorry. You got there first whilst I was typing – with a photograph too – homage.

      2. Love Chatsworth, always visit there when staying with our friends in Derbyshire. Have some nice stuff around the house from there, and even some earrings, all from their gift shop, their farm shop is also good to visit.

        1. Chatsworth is fantastic a Christmas time , with the lights and decorations.

      3. It was Burghley – a quite sad but brilliant carving of a bird, I recall that it almost looked real until quite close

  16. Googled the answer for 21a – “The phrase appears around 1850 in the United States, and is presumed to have been derived from a story that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post in 1850, about a farmer who is challenged by his boarders to — a —-“

  17. As an avid reader of american fiction 21a was no problem.
    Surprised though that RD didn’t question the American origin of the phrase.
    Never heard of 3d so had to resort to the electron to complete a fairly easy Saturday guzzle.
    Has anyone any information about BD. We hope he is OK.

    1. Have a note to myself to ask CS for any news. We haven’t had an update for some time.

  18. I am tempted to be a little put out with Terence as he has upset my equilibrium since asking people how they set about the crossword. Having confidently given my own neat and rational method, ever since reading all the other comments I have felt a certain compulsion to toss caution to the winds and hop about the grid!
    However, I am pleased that H is recovering and lovely walks can be resumed soon. I agree with Huntsman that this was light and good fun. I don’t think I have ever dared to question a clue before but I suspect 27a should read ‘German’. The Scandinavian version is spelt differently – I know because DD1 is thus named due to many exchange visits with the daughter of business friends of my father’s in the late 40’s early 50’s. However , I digress with trivia and everyone will guess the answer anyway so many thanks to Messrs Setter & Sue. I think I shall nominate 12a as favourite just because. Enjoy the weather.

  19. Not I today – we enjoyed the puzzle. I’ll be back with a floughie toughie soon. My guess would be X-Type.

    1. Thank you for clarifying, Chalicea. There were two or three grid entries that I just couldn’t imagine having been penned by you!

    2. Thanks for popping in and confirming that my five bob has not gone the drain – yet!

    3. Yes – ’tis I, X-Type… Well guessed, a few of you – once again, I was mistaken for Chalicea (not a complaint!). And a lot of you found humour and some lesser-known words or phrases – as you may know, it’s my sort of “trademark” if you will… Cheerio for now 😊

      1. Thanks for popping in X-Type, Senf wins his bet! I must ask him what odds he got…………

  20. We have been treated to some great crosswords this week so far & this prize offering did not disappoint on this glorious sunny & warm day.


    Fav 22a (very topical!) LOI 4d.

    Thanks to setter and CS.

  21. I must say I liked this Saturday puzzle MUCH more than the Friday escaped toughie. Far more friendly and a joy to solve. Only one new word for me in this one.

    1*/4.5* today

    Favourites were numerous almost half the grid but my top six were 1a, 19a, 27a, 5d, 8d & 21d — with winner 19a and runner up (as I like the word) is 5d.

    Thanks to setter and to CS for blog/hints

  22. No major hold-ups except for 27a where I stupidly put the 3,5 split for 24a in and it was a while before either of us noticed. Hey ho. Favourite was the quickie pun. Thanks to the street and CS.

  23. 11a was my favourite clue from this entertaining and most enjoyable romp through crosswordland. Sitting outside in the garden and solving on the iPad is not easy because of the reflective glass, but a small price to pay given the gorgeous weather.

    My thanks to X-Type and CS.

  24. Worra lorra lurkers, but still a nice, breezy puzzle. A short but highly desirable experience for me.

  25. All completed sitting in the sun, a very pleasurable puzzle. I had not heard of 3d or 21a before but as said by others they could be little else. 11a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to CS for the hints and pics and to the setter.

  26. What a treat! I loved every minute, no strange words or esoteric, brain-wrangling clues. I do think 21a is an Americanism, but it’s so widely used now I’m sure it qualifies as acceptable. I dunno about a fav, too many and Kath would get cross, let’s just say 12a and 21a amused, and I love the 5d word.
    Thanks X-type, what a pleasure this was, and CS for the hints and tips. Happy crosswording, I don’t know how you do it.

  27. 1/4. Very gentle but enjoyable puzzle. I wrote the lower half in as fast as you like but I got held up by 11a as I always thought this was a two word answer. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  28. I didn’t know 3d, but it was obviously what was needed, and like Merusa says, 21a is used a lot here, so no head scratching there. An enjoyable steady solve from start to finish, and my best guess is this is by X-type, so big thank you. And to CrypticSue for those couple of clues where I was working with the wrong definition, not unusual for me. Sympathies for the cold North wind CS, but I would appreciate some of that here. We open our windows for a few minutes every morning, just to change the air, but they were quickly closed again today as it was like opening the oven door. And yet I can see my more hardy neighbours (mostly seniors) across at the tennis courts. Phew!

  29. Not too taxing today and I loved 11a. 21a was also new to me and seems to be a very weird turn of phrase. The sun is out and the cold north wind is arriving at me before getting to CS’s garden. Had a lovely visit to the walled garden at Felbrigg Hall this morning. I volunteered in the Hall for 17 years until the pandemic but hadn’t been back until today. It was nice to see old friends who are still volunteering but I was rather miffed that I never received my 15 year service badge – pathetic really but National Trust volunteers give a huge amount of their time for almost nothing in return so I felt the little badge was rather important. Hey ho – get a life Manders!

  30. I’m so pleased to have had a ‘doable’ crossword – very enjoyable.
    I didn’t notice how many there were anagrams//lurkers but then I realised – I quite like them although maybe there are crossword ‘laws’.
    10a took me a while – don’t like them anyway, nasty things full of slugs and snails!
    I’m another one who didn’t know 21a and I’m not sure that I’d heard of 3d either although it seems vaguely familiar.
    Lots of good clues – I think my favourite was probably the very over-used expression 12a, or maybe it might be 11a.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword (X-Type – do we know or are we still guessing?) and thanks too for the hints for our overworked CS.
    Right – that’s it for me – been gardening for ages – tired and hungry too.

    1. Hello Kath – I’m skiving off the allotment work today and having kebab and cider instead
      Hope you are well :rose:

  31. A nice crossword for me today. Held up for a while with 11a and 4d but got them eventually.

    Thanks to crypticsue and to the setter.

  32. I’ve been doing the Cross Atlantic and have been rather put out to find Lhasa listed as in China. Poor Tibet!

  33. Unlike yesterday when I was not on the wavelength at all and gave up, I found this one a delight this morning. I was surprised by the number of lurkers. I didn’t know 21a or 3d but easy to work out. Thanks CS and Setter

    1. I’m not sure I would describe it as feeble, Skeeter. Personally, I could never compile a cryptic crossword. I know because I have tried. I am in awe of anyone who can compile one and would never consider any feeble. Easy, maybe but feeble never

      Also, if I ever have a “read and write” as you put it, I would feel chuffed not blame the puzzle.

    2. Your comment is not helpful to anyone struggling to solve, particularly if they are just starting out with cryptics,

  34. Never come across 21a before, not a phrase I know.
    Apart from that an easier than usual Prize puzzle.
    Thx to all

  35. A quick start (almost half the answers in my first pass of the clues) followed by a sudden halt (a second pass which yielded … zero further answers) — personally I prefer them t’other way round, where they initially look impenetrable but slowly yield and turn out to be doable.

    I had to resort to electronic assistance to get unstuck, and CrypticSue’s hints (thank you) to finish the top-left corner: I didn’t know either 1d (“German region”) nor 10a (“garden plant”), and given they crossed with each other but not much else, there’s no way I would’ve finished this by myself. So I’m slightly surprised by so many others saying how easy this was! (I did know 3d and 21a, though.)

    Thank you to X-Type for the challenge. My favourite was 5d with its northern ducks.

    1. I did get the German region but mainly because the 75th anniversary of the Dambuster raids has meant the film has been on the telly several times recently complete with Guy Gibson’s poor dog who for obvious reasons has been renamed. 5d was my joint favourite too along with 8d which also has a northern duck theme

  36. 21a me too. Never heard the expression before in my life so it took me until the very end to put it in. I was overthinking it tbh

  37. Never ate 5d in my life.
    All the “hidden within the clue and the many anagrams made it quite doable.
    Thanks to the setter and CS.

  38. Yes – ’tis I, X-Type… Well guessed, a few of you – once again, I was mistaken for Chalicea (not a complaint!). And a lot of you found humour and some lesser-known words or phrases – as you may know, it’s my sort of “trademark” if you will… Cheerio for now 😊

  39. So pleased so many of you cantered through thus. 16d and 19a are still alluding me!

    1. 16d The first three words of the clue are the definition, the other three are three parts of the solution

      19a is a double definition clue – the first a verb meaning spreads throughout; the other things that might be puzzling

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