DT 30310 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30310

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30310

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday and a typically enjoyable solve. 

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. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Flipping pickpocket circling queen in old building (7)
PYRAMID:  Another word for a pickpocket containing (circling) a queen who has a boat named after her is all reversed (flipping)

5a    Type of humour golf provides (7)
GALLOWS:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by golf is followed by provides or permits 

9a    Furious with some receiving tips from gangster (5)
ANGRY:  A synonym of some containing (receiving) the outer letters of (tips from) GANGSTER 

10a   Sporting event in North Italy cut short surprisingly (9)
TRIATHLON:  An anagram (surprisingly) of NORTH and all but the last letter (cut short) of ITALY 

11a   Am lonely travelling round Switzerland, becoming depressed (10)
MELANCHOLY:  An anagram (travelling) of AM LONELY containing (around) the IVR code for Switzerland 

12a   Defeat overturned in tie (4)
KNOT:  The reversal (overturned) of an informal word for beat or defeat 

14a   Space, following student requests, for hot-drink dispensers (6,6)
VACUUM FLASKS:  Concatenate space or the absence of everything, the single letter for following, the letter denoting a student or learner driver, and another word for requests 

18a   Someone who's proficient with numbers? (12)
ANAESTHETIST:  A cryptic definition of a type of medical professional 

21a   Was weary from time to time on holiday (4)
AWAY:  Alternate letters (from time to time) of WAS WEARY 

22a   Cheese from Chile mostly player ordered (10)
CAERPHILLY:  And anagram (ordered) of all but the last letter (mostly) of CHILE and PLAYER 

25a   Origin of cake I'm eating somehow is obscure (9)
ENIGMATIC:  An anagram (somehow) of the first letter of (origin of) CAKE and I’M EATING 

26a   Stonecutter, one evicted from French home (5)
MASON:  The French word for home minus the Roman one (one evicted from …

27a   Thin head of gym during yoga regularly bends back (7)
SCRAGGY:  The first letter of (head of) GYM is inserted in alternate letters (regularly) of YOGA and followed by some bends or curves.  Then the whole thing is reversed (back

28a   Well-behaved  hospital worker (7)
ORDERLY:  A straightforward double definition 



1d    Old Testament book, small relief when under pressure (6)
PSALMS:  The clothing abbreviation for small and some charitable relief both come after the physics symbol for pressure

2d    Feast on starter of guacamole before beer (6)
REGALE:  Link together on or concerning, the first letter of (starter of) GUACAMOLE, and a type of beer 

3d    Dressing up in dungarees I annoy Americans (10)
MAYONNAISE:  The answer is hidden reversed (up in, in a down clue) the remainder of the clue 

4d    Nationality of wife (5)
DUTCH:  A double definition, with the second being an example of rhyming slang 

5d    Diver having shameful feeling gobbling fruit endlessly (9)
GUILLEMOT:  A shameful feeling containing (gobbling) all but the last letter (endlessly) of a yellow fruit 

6d    Musical instrument Rob picked up (4)
LUTE:  A homophone (picked up) of rob or plunder 

7d    Sleek quality of old island cat, expressing love (8)
OILINESS:  Follow the single letters for old and for island with a big cat minus her letter representing a love score in tennis (expressing love)

8d    Outside it is sensible to clean up (8)
SANITISE:  Outside IT IS from the clue place sensible or not crazy 

13d   Swore Sam helped out after introduction of bonuses (10)
BLASPHEMED:  An anagram (out) of SAM HELPED comes after the first letter of (introduction of) BONUSES 

15d   Dangerous line a French PM adopts, foolhardy ultimately (9)
UNHEALTHY:  A in French and a UK Prime Minister contains (adopts) the single letter for line, and that’s all followed by the last letter (ultimately) of FOOLHARDY 

16d   Without people to fill rugby union team (8)
SARACENS:  A preposition meaning without containing ( … to fill) another word for people 

17d   Haughty  supporter of King Charles? (8)
CAVALIER:  A double definition. The King Charles here is the first one 

19d   Prior to failure clubs would get more miserly (6)
CLOSER:  The playing card abbreviation for clubs comes before a person who is a failure 

20d   Urge son to describe outwardly dirty, revolting city (6)
SYDNEY:  Urge or longing and the genealogical abbreviation for son containing (to describe) the outer letters (outwardly) of DIRTY is all reversed (revolting

23d   Cleric fails to finish page of book (5)
RECTO:  All but the last letter of a type of cleric 

24d   Sticks around being self-righteous (4)
SMUG:  The reversal (around) of sticks with something sticky 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 3d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  HAIFA + LOOTING = HIGHFALUTING

99 comments on “DT 30310

  1. A most pleasant puzzle, and for me, considerably more straightforward than yesterday.

    3d made me smile so that gets my vote.

    Many thanks to the setter for the enjoyment, and to Mr K. 2*/4*

  2. I thought this a tad harder than yesterday’s but minds differ. 3d was strictly for those who have been to Specsavers! 12a, I have never heard of that particular informal word but happily entered the answer in blissful ignorance and only then googled it, along with my latest medical query!
    Thanks to the setter for a great puzzle.

  3. That was fun with a slightly raised eyebrow at the requirement for an unindicated ‘foreign’ word in 16d – **/****

    The scheduling of the Friday triumvirate by our esteemed editor seems to have gone a bit haywire recently but today’s puzzle does not have either of proXimal’s ‘trademark’ features so it probably requires a toss of one of my half-crowns to decide between the other members of the triumvirate. Coin toss complete, and two half-crowns on Silvanus for today’s honours.

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 18a, 4d, 5d, and 7d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks to Mr K.

  4. I made harder work of this than I should have done but that’s probably more to do with waking up with a stinking migraine than the puzzle itself, which was (as is usually the case on Friday) very enjoyable.
    I liked plenty but I’ll mention 5a plus 3,7&17d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  5. At least a doable Friday puzzle. I thought my LOI, 16d, particularly fiendish and, like Senf, a little unfair with its unindicated foreign word. **/****

  6. No words for this crossword other than….brilliant.

    3d is the best rekrul EVER! 👏👏

    If it’s not Silvanus then Zandio has taken his place at the altar of smooth surfaces.

    Re 16d, do French expressions like cafe, cul de sac etc need to be referenced?


    1. Re 16d – my own view is that when words and expressions from Another Country (be that the US, France or elsewhere) are in regular everyday English usage, it would appear strange to reference their origin. The term in 16d, and likewise the two you cite, are both commonplace, and we wouldn’t expect clarification for bungalow or jodhpurs, either.

      1. I would agree that café and cul-de-sac are commonplace – I am going to the café in the cul-de-sac for a coffee (note, not un café) – but I would be interested to know how often you use 16d in everyday conversations/writings (not in French).

        1. I’d have to agree, Senf. That 4-letter French word meaning without isn’t particularly well-known by speakers of British English.

        2. As a writer/communicator/publisher/editor use it lots as in sans serif, Comic Sans, etc!
          Of course, I do love in France so it’s not really foreign!

          1. I see you “love” in France. I do hope you don’t have to travel far – what country do you live in? :-)

      2. That was my thinking, MG, e.g. rendezvous, tête-à-tête, bon appetit. It’s all down to people’s definition of regular, everyday usage.

        It’s like Americanisms: ‘high five‘, ‘no sweat’ and ‘geek’ are probably accepted by most solvers but ‘wicked’, ‘sick’ (both meaning ‘good’) or ‘dude’ may not be.

        I think the compilers ask for a bit of latitude as it means they aren’t so restricted on crafting the clue.

        1. I think that sans is one of the more obscure French words used in our language. But I still don’t think it needs an indicator. Indicators should be kept down to an absolute minimum – their unnecessary/habitual use is really a bit of an insult to the intelligence/capabilities of the solver.

      3. Senf – 16d is something I use and hear not infrequently. For example on first approaching an Elgar or Osmosis puzzle: “I stared at it 16d hope, 16d a clue, 16d any answers whatsoever”.

        Tom – things like ‘wicked’ and ‘sick’ would not strike me as being Americanisms, just common or garden UK playground slang / text speak that has made its way into reasonably common usage … unless you’re over about 35 years of age and not a parent!

        I agree re latitude for setters. I’d rather have no origin indicators at all than tie the hands of setters in the way they construct clues.

        1. Absolutely.

          It’s like homophones being pronounced differently around the country.

          Fair enough thinking that ‘wicked’ and ‘sick’ aren’t Americanisms but that is where they came from.

  7. Brilliant! I didn’t even see the fantastic lurker at 3d until I had all the checkers and it couldn’t have been anything else. It’s the second time this week that we’ve been ‘numbed’ so 18a went straight in and was a good help. It still took me an age to twig 16d though. Lots to like today and apart from those already mentioned my ONE favourite is 5d. Thanks to the compiler and Mr K

  8. Light, enjoyable, witty, smooth surfaces throughout, very clever clueing – what’s not to like about this cracking Friday puzzle?

    So many ticks afterwards – the excellence of 1a’s surface read, the anagrams of 10a & 11a, the wit of 1d, sharp clueing of 3d, 5d & 17d, the humour of 20d; for me COTD to my LOI, 16d, which really had me thinking hard and then the penny dropped with a resounding clang.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter and to Mr K

  9. Plenty of humour in this one and I should think Huntsman smiled broadly over 5a! Like Senf, I wondered about the lack of a French indicator for part of 16d and I could definitely do without the slang ‘defeat’ in 12a but I still have a very healthy tick list.
    Reposing on said list are 5,14&28a along with 3,5,15,17&24d – sadly not enough rosettes to go around.

    Many thanks to our setter for a lovely Friday puzzle and to Mr K for the review – I’m guessing that the camera-pinching old island cat is the only feline who hasn’t retreated into a shady spot today!

    PS Heard from Robert C last night – he remains in hospital and is hopeful that by next Monday his oncologist and other medics will have agreed on a course of treatment for him. He asked me to pass on his deep and abiding regard for all friends on the blog and his best wishes to all.

    1. Thank you for the update on Robert C, Jane .
      Please give him my best wishes too.

    2. Thanks for the update. Thoughts and prayers for Dr Bob, the involvement of an oncologist does not bode well.

    3. Many thanks for the update, Jane. I am sure we are all thinking of Robert and I add my best wishes to him.

    4. Many thanks fo the update, Jane. Please send him my very best wishes.

    5. Please add my heartfelt best wishes to those you are conveying to Robert C. Do hope his treatment goes well.

    6. My very best wishes to Robert, I really miss his comments, I’ve learnt so much from them.

    7. Thanks Jane, and hopefully Robert is somewhat encouraged that he has so many friends on here, all wishing him well.

    8. Hi, Jane, thanks for the update on Robert. Please pass along my best wishes and hopes for a speedy and complete recovery.

  10. Like others I thought 3d was absolutely brilliant.

    I needed Mr Meringues help with 16d as I am unfamiliar with RU teams…..fortunately he is not. (Glued to the TV when RU is on….any RU….used to play hooker when he was at school until everyone got bigger than him.)
    Also needed some help from Mr K with some parsings, but altogether my best attempt at a Friday for some time.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. It is OK for a man to have been a hooker but a different kettle of fish if we ladies said we had been hookers. How can there ever be equality of the sexes😳

  11. Put in ghastly for 5a which is the word that sums up golf for me but the answer is an appropriate solution for SS Golf and all who sail in her.

    Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle with Sailor Ted the French linguist suitably described in 15d

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. I have often wondered if anyone else remembered Ted Heath mangling the French Language .

      1. I once had to present a cut glass bowl to him after he had been a guest conductor of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra. He said he would treasure it forever, then went home and left it in the dressing room!

  12. I’m afraid I take a different view, in that it was far too tough for me. For the second day running left the grid largely unfilled and somewhat dispirited. All to do with brainwavelengths I suppose, rather than good or bad, so I’ll be back for another go tomorrow.

    Thanks for the tips – learnt a couple of crossword things. And despite the my views, 3d is, indeed, quite brilliant.

    1. You’re not alone, Dryden, this the second day of feeling I have had the obvious pointed out, that I am not a genius. But then Thursdays and Fridays tend to be like that, so just look forward to tomorrow.

    2. So good to see an alternative opinion. From the moment I discovered 1a included the reversal of a named Queen , I realised this was mostly beyond me. I follow RU but never thought to include a French word for without. I just cannot agree it is a word in vaguely common English useage: never heard any normal person say, “I left sans my Arab XV boots”. Oh well, another week I should have spent my time more enjoyably on Thursday and Friday. That said 3d is brilliant.

  13. A challenging but satisfying puzzle, the most enjoyable we have had on Friday for a while. My COTD, like some others was the rekrul at 3d, with the 13d anagram, the 1a lego clue and17d (great misdirection) as runners up. My money is on Silvanus because of the great anagrams so thanks to him. Thanks also to Mr K for the hints.

  14. A top-notch puzzle – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    I had ticks for 5a, 14a and 7d but for my favourite I’ll go with the crowd and nominate the superb 3d.

  15. Workmanlike progress, one remaining.
    Got all but two letters, dictionary assistance
    Needed for this one RU club I could not remember.
    Got into a silly groove with Wasps and Barbarians!
    Ah well.
    Brilliant clue, certainly my COTD
    Otherwise, a, perhaps, generous offering from Silvanus.
    Many thanks, and also to Mr. K.

  16. Great fun from first to last. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if it’s a case of successive guzzles from Mr Smooth. 3d my fav also & with plenty of ticks elsewhere.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

  17. 2.5*/4.5*. This was great fun although I did raise an eyebrow over “sans” and was surprised to find it accepted by the BRB. It made me think of Miss Piggy: “pretentious moi?”

    There were a lot of clues vying for podium positions, and I think I’ll take the easy way out and agree with Jane’s list.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. Ha! Miss Piggy indeed. Well said, sir. It’s just not a word I’d happily use over here, unless talking about a font. Mustafa G, do you really use it “not infrequently”? Blimey. But I see that it’s even in Collins. Tant pis!

    2. As I noted above, even Shakespeare used it, so it’s been around for a long time.

      1. Very true, but then he did use “alack” too! Perhaps we’ll see that tomorrow?! And, hopefully, Sale. It was a belting crossword anyway.

  18. Not for me I’m afraid. I got about two thirds of the way through and simply could get no further. I had to resort to far too many hints fo my liking and that does tend to dampen the enjoyment. Still, tomorrow is another day.

    My thanks to the setter but I’m afraid I could not do your puzzle justice. Thank you to Mr. K. for the hints.

        1. After several months of perseverence I am beginning to get the gist of the puzzles and the quirks of the various setters. The blog hints are great but most helpful to me on my learning journey is the reveal mistake button on the online version, so I can try out answers and check as I go if I am uncertain of my attempt. This was a perfect example as I trotted slowly and surely to the conclusion. Thanks to the setter for what I thought was an appropriate level of difficulty for a Friday.

    1. My blind side was the NE. I had a wrong 6d, but I should have remembered the bird, how many divers are there that start with “g”? I also failed with 14a. It is Friday, after all!

  19. Found this Friday puzzle like most of them on Friday … quite challenging.


    Favourites include 1a, 14a, 22a, 1d & 3d with winner 1a
    Really liked 14a and 3d as runner up clues.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  20. A really good Friday puzzle! Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. My 3 favourites today are 3d, 5d and 7d and my absolute favourite, or favourite of the favourites, is 3d. 3*/4.5*.

    *I blame Julie Andrews and her 60s song My Favourite Things for all this malarkey. Someone should have told Ms Andrews back then that it’s OK to harp on about all the things she really likes, but only ONE of them can be her “favourite”! Too late now, damage has been done …

    1. But perhaps there is a difference between “favourites” and “favorites”? :wink:

      1. Ah, of course – the song was written by an American. Trust you to notice the spelling! :-)

          1. They do. I worked in a very busy bookmakers in Cannon Street during one university long vacation. One of my tasks was to write the odds on a large board behind thw counter. All the horses , whhich hared the same shortest odds were joint favourites

            1. What bookmakers was that CC? William Hill by any chance.
              I remember the first time I marked the board on a very busy racing day covering 3 meetings with big fields & before screens (the boardman was drunk & had to be sent home). It was quite a skill to keep up & you got it in the neck if you missed a price shortening. I’ve seen co favs of 5 before.

              1. It was Williams Huntsman. I filled in in shops all over the City and West End of London, taking bets, putting them through the camera and writing the odds up on the board. The hours were11 am to 6 pm and the pay was quite good compared to office or shop work.

  21. Managed about half and understood very few. Way out of my range.
    Zero fun at this level of difficulty, another Toughie gone walkabout.

  22. A very entertaining Friday back-pager. Thanks to setter and blogger.

    7d I still don’t understand why “expressing love” equates to removing the letter “O”. However, I notice that quite a few of the more accomplished solvers in this parish have nominated 7d as one of the better clues. Must be me! :oops:

    1. Hi,

      One of the (many) meanings of “express” can mean “to force or squeeze out”. Thank you for your kind comment.

      1. Looked up “Express” in the Collins Online Dictionary (far too lazy to actually look it up in my printed version of the BRB) and there it was:

        Verb: to force or squeeze out
        to express the juice from an orange

        Many Thanks for the reply! I feel honoured!

  23. Needed help with 24d – grrrrr , otherwise straightforward. Some superior clues in today’s offering. 5 and 12a — Mon favorites!!!??
    Not keen on Sars having failed GCE French on a couple of occasions.
    Thanks to all.

  24. Judging by the comments, it seems I did pretty well! That is not to say that I found it easy or even finished it, I had some missing in the NE that I needed the hints for. I solved 16d by knowing the French word and having all the checkers, but I know nothing about rugby teams. I didn’t know the slang for defeat but bunged it in anyway. I had 5d wrong, “lyre”, so that held me up too. It’s Friday, we expect brain mangling.
    Thank you setter, and much appreciation to Mr. K for sorting out that lot.

  25. A fun solve with fair and nicely challenging clues. NE corner held out longest. Bunged in 12a as solution reversal is a new one on me. 18a seems to be appearing regularly from varying clues. 16d is apparently one of several RU teams under threat due to financial straits. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K. Loved the Quickie pun.

    1. My Comment was just 9 minutes before Mysteron revealed himself so thank you Silvanus.

  26. Many thanks to Mr K for his Hints and Tips and to all those commenting.

    Merusa has said exactly what I was going to say about “sans”, if it’s good enough for Shakespeare and the BRB, it’s fair game without an indicator. Although it’s quite a long time ago now, I do still remember studying As You Like It for English Literature O-Level, where the 11a Jaques concludes his “All The World’s A Stage” speech with “…sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”. Odd how certain things from one’s schooldays stick in the memory.

    May I wish everyone a great weekend and hope Robert will soon be back with us.

    1. Thanks for popping in. 2 cracking puzzles this week – you’re spoiling us

    2. Thanks! Isn’t it amazing what sticks in one’s mind from 75 years ago? Now, where did I put my keys?

    3. Thanks for commenting Silvanus, and thanks for a wonderful puzzle to solve and to hint.

      Thanks also to everyone who contributed to the discussion here today.

  27. A dnf for me today.

    Despite being vaguely aware of the rugby team, I would never have realised sans was a part of the clue.

    27a is a new word for me. Is it a regional word?

    17d and 20d also defeated me.

    Thanks to all.

  28. Good afternoon
    A bit chewy today, I thought, but enjoyable nonetheless. Liked the misdirection in 6d; I immediately took “picked up” to mean reversal of a spelling – not so! 23d needed looking up, and 16d elicited a “Crikey!”
    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Mr K. God willing, I’ll check in again on Monday. Oddly enough, it’s weekends when I’m pushed for crozzie time!

  29. Late today as G suggested we should try a new restaurant- when we got there we found it was all baps and burgers so pressed on to a favourite spot near Duxford. We arrived at five to one and our food came at 2.15, unusual I have to admit but it messed with my crossword which is not good. The rugby team was last one in, would have asked George but he’s fast asleep. Have a good weekend everyone, and thanks to Mr K – though one big fierce cat does not compete with cute kittens.

      1. Sorry about the lack of cats – this week work left little time to look for suitable feline illustrations. I shall try to make up for it next week.

  30. 2/5. Brilliant puzzle with 3d the best reverse lurker I’ve ever seen. 18a was also a good clue if only I could spell it. I had several attempts before I got it right. 17d also raised a smile. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    1. How’s this, VBC?

      AN A&E’S THE place you’ll find an ANAESTHEtist

      My son told it to me.

      1. I like that! Much quicker than looking it up.
        I started out ‘aena … ‘ and thought it didn’t look right … so used the dictionary.

  31. Very hard today in my opinion but glad I stuck at it, held up for a while with 27a, but got there in the end.
    Do our readers over the pond use the word for defeat in 12a, perhaps someone will let me know, fine puzzle,
    congrats to our setter today!

    1. I’m located “over the pond” and I’d never heard of that synonym of defeat. Had to reverse engineer it and then check in the dictionary.

  32. Very late today as we were busy and that meant I have only just finished this tricky little number.
    1a took a long time to click, 3d brilliant and my favourite and like others I was stuck for ages on 16d. It was only when I peeped at the comments and saw the start of a discussion about needing to know French, that it all suddenly came clear.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for the entertainment and to Mr K for the explanations which I needed to understand several of my answers.

    Best wishes to Robert, I hope he soon improves and can leave hospital.

  33. 3*/3* …
    ref 20D “Urge son to describe outwardly dirty, revolting city (6)” …. I see that in fact the answer ranks as one of the top ten most liveable cities in the world.

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