DT 30313 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30313

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30313
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A dullish & slightly chilly start to the day here in Harpenden but the sun looks like it’s about to make an appearance. A friend has bravely offered to cast his eye this afternoon over my ailing golf swing which has been politely described as akin to an octopus falling backwards out of a tree in a particularly ungainly fashion. He will need limitless patience methinks.

With the brevity of the first few clues I thought for a moment Ray T had gone walk about. A perfectly pleasant & nicely clued puzzle albeit a little short on humour in my view.

In the following hints, definitions are underlined, indicators are mostly in parentheses, and answers are revealed by clicking where shown as usual. Please leave a comment below on how you got on with the puzzle.


1a Tailor loves tie in box (10)
TELEVISION:  An anagram (tailor) of the three words preceding the definition

6a Not working for nothing (4)
FREE:  A double definition: the first bit between jobs maybe & the second gratis

10a Hair cut by a large boozer (5)
LOCAL:  Remove (cut) the last letter from the bit of hair that Alexander Pope wrote about then append the A in the clue & the single letter for large.

11a Help by expert within easy reach (9)
AVAILABLE:  find a synonym for help followed by one for expert

12a Delivering perfect present? Good! (8)
UTTERING: Start with a synonym for perfect (adj) followed by one for present (context attendance) & end with the single letter for good

13a Agree total (5)
TALLY:  A double definition

15a Demonstrating how to enter pipe (7)
SHOWING: Insert a word from the clue into a synonym of pipe as a verb. Adele has a fine set of ‘em

17a Bear Grylls ultimately too macho, chopping off tails (7)
STOMACH:  Ignore the misleading capitalisation. Start with the last letter (ultimately) of the fella’s surname then add the next two words in the clue without (chopping off tails) their last letters.

19a Maintains trendy poses, overwhelming son (7)
INSISTS: Insert the single letter for son into a synonym for poses & add it to the usual two letter one for trendy

21a Anguish from Detective Sergeant imprisoning European couple (7)
DESPAIR:  Insert the abbreviation for European into that for the police rank & append a synonym for couple

22a Book I’ve unwrapped in the middle of Christmas (5)
NOVEL:  Remove the outer letters (unwrapped) of the contraction & insert into another term for Christmas

24a Shows crew’s left no whiskey at sea (8)
REFLECTS: An anagram (at sea) of CREW’S LEFT less (no) whiskey (NATO phonetic alphabet)

27a Former lover knocks one leg, creating swelling (9)
EXPANSION:  Start with the usual two letter term for former, add a synonym for knocks (in the sense of criticism) then append the letter for one & finish with the cricket term for leg

28a The portly American’s taken away for stealing (5)
THEFT:  a synonym for portly less (taken away) the single letter for American & add it to the first word in the clue

29a Backing correct movement in the main? (4)
TIDE: reverse (backing) a synonym for correct as a verb

30a Rugby boss possibly shared team’s bananas (10)
HEADMASTER:  An anagram (bananas) of the two words following the definition. I may well have gone there at the tender age of 8 had my mother not deemed the dormitories too austere – there were teddy bears on the beds at the one I ended up at in Wolverhampton.



1d Story end is heard (4)
TALE:  a homophone

2d Ointment’s covering most of feline’s spots (9)
LOCATIONS: Insert Mr Kitty’s pet of choice less it’s last letter (most of) into another word for ointments

3d See you accepting university cost (5)
VALUE:  Insert the single letter for university into a word for SEE YOU as in farewell

4d Quiet answer — Charles, perhaps, is trembling (7)
SHAKING: Begin with a two letter term for quiet & the abbreviation for answer then add what Charles now is.

5d Ordinary things used for cooking fruit (7)
ORANGES:  The single letter for ordinary followed by the country kitchen appliances of choice

7d Stagger around belching, primarily — one’s revolting (5)
REBEL: Insert the first letter (primarily) of belching into a synonym of stagger

8d Each week the man runs with energy far and wide (10)
EVERYWHERE:  The first head scratch for me. Start with a synonym for EACH then add the single letter for WEEK followed by the male pronoun & then the cricket abbreviation for run. End with the letter for ENERGY.

9d Top salon altering soldier’s outfits (8)
PLATOONS:  An anagram (altering) of the first two words in the clue & nowt to do with their clobber

14d Sting names new piece of work (10)
ASSIGNMENT:  Another anagram (new) of the first two words

16d Audacious, Victor’s left bankrupt (8)
INSOLENT: Remove the letter represented by Victor (NATO phonetic alphabet) from a synonym of bankrupt

18d Mat parent crushed flat (9)
APARTMENT:  Another anagram (crushed) of the opening two words in the clue

20d Sherry oddly wrong for communion, maybe (7)
SERVICE:  The alternate letters (oddly) of SHERRY followed by a synonym for wrong

21d Explained act securing end for Macron? (7)
DEFINED: Insert how Macron would say END into a synonym for ACT. Some might say of the wordplay if only.

23d Boring short film about a piano (5)
VAPID: not the most obvious definition synonym for me. Insert the A in the clue & the musical instruction for piano into an abbreviated word (short) for a type of film

25d Exceptionally wide? (5)
EXTRA: A double definition: think cricket for the latter

26 Kids tired, only some get out of bed (4)
STIR:  A lurker

Top 2 for me the witty surface read at 17a & the misleading one at 30a. Which ones got your ticks?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: TAO + WEB + RIDGE = TOWER BRIDGE

62 comments on “DT 30313
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  1. I agree with Huntsman’s rating and enjoyed this. The half dozen anagrams were certainly helpful as were the two lurkers. I paused at my LOI 12a which was elusive for some reason but my second favourite after 3d as I do enjoy using my Latin! Thanks H and the setter.

    1. 12a was my last one in also. It’s amazing the way Latin comes into everything, justifies the seven years of slogging although my Cypriot neighbour says Greek is the most important. Discuss.

      1. To my shame, I remember having a somewhat spirited discussion with my Latin master at grammar school when I opted to give up studying the subject and came out with all the usual guff about it being a ‘dead’ language and of no use to anyone. I’d like to meet up with him now and offer my profuse apologies, those years I spent with the likes of Romulus and Remus have stood me in extremely good stead. Mr Cookson, I salute you!

        1. I too was of this thought, Jane –

          Latin is a dead language
          As dead as dead can be
          It killed the ancient Romans
          And now it’s killing me.

          Like you, I now wish I had stuck with it.

  2. Completed after getting the limping dog home from the vet.

    My schoolboy latin was dredged up too for 3d.

    Favourites included 9d which took me back to my days in uniform, 20d and 21d which was LOI.

    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable test and to the hinter too.

  3. Not much fun today with very little head scratching.I liked the misdirection at 30a and my favourite today was 17a. Thanks to the compiler and Huntsman for confirming my parsing of 11a.

  4. Not quite Typically Tuesdayish as I seem to have found this puzzle a little more challenging than Huntsman and those who have commented already – 2.5*/3.5*

    But, plenty of candidates for favourite – 19a, 22a, 27a, 4d, and 16d – and the winner is 27a.

    Theanks to the setter (Mr Plumb?) and thanks to Huntsman.

  5. I really enjoyed this Tuesday coffee-time challenge – very straightforward with all bar one clue going in without hesitation, but alack, that final clue (12a) certainly took it to full 1* time. Contrary to other opinions I also thought it to be quite witty and great surfaces throughout, so I ended up with a good half-dozen ticks – Hon Mentions to 14d, 20d, 17a (COTD), 22a, 27a & 28a.

    1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and of course to Huntsman

        1. Sunnypete was pointing out a typo in the hidden answer to 5d which Huntsman (I assume) has now corrected.

  6. I found this a good Tuesday-ish challenge and more interesting than some are suggesting. 12a held me up for a while as I experimented with different starting letters by going through the alphabet. COTD 17a for the amusement factor. Finished in time to get the garden furniture out in anticipation of the next few days. As Steve Harley said: Here comes the sun.’ Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for the hints. Your golf swing sounds like mine.

  7. My rating for a light and pleasant puzzle is 1.5*/4* with only 12a needing a bit more cogitation to take me over my 1* time.

    17a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.

  8. What a great start to the working week: beautifully crafted clues with some excellent surfaces.

    I do love this sort of grid as you can keep getting back in to the corners.

    My podium comprises 1a, 17a and 28a with top spot going to 1a – a perfect clue.

    Thanks to the clinical compiler and The Big H.


  9. That was a veritable Monday offering hence no serious straining of the grey matter. Always encouraging when NW goes straight to begin with. It had to be but I had not heard of my 9d bung-in for groups that work as a team in the military – thanks MrG. Although it’s a bit of a chestnut the 25d cricket association escaped me hence another bung-in. Thank you Mysteron and Huntsman for the brief divertissement.

    1. Oh dear just realised it’s Tuesday but my responses remain unchanged – sorry. That’s the problem with being retired and hardly noticing it’s a Bank Holiday weekend!

  10. Like others, I found thisa pretty straightforward guzzle without being wxceptionally wntertaining. 3d was, of course the best clue, reminding me of Reading Latin and Greek Literature classes with Oxford University’s Adult Ed programme in pre- Covid times. Thanks to the compiler and to Huntsman for the hints. Good luck with the golf swing–it’s an art I never mastered.

  11. “Oh!” you all declare, “That crossword was a bit of a breeze!”
    Was it now? Well jolly good for you and your brethren and sistren. My toast and orange juice with no bits had been long consumed and I was still staring at 12a and gulping in the manner of a goldfish with its snout out of the water. Not only that but I had earlier pencilled in, with much glee, the answer to 27a – but with great misfortune I pinged in the last two letters incorrectly. This led to toast being munched with ever greater concern as the answer to 21d simply would not fit.

    Oh, of course I completed it in the end, probably long after everyone else had finished it. I can picture you all reclining on your deckchairs and musing upon the ease with which you sprinkled in the answers.
    Today, I am like one of those bonkers people who undertake the London Marathon whilst wearing a metal diving suit and reach the finish line about three weeks after everyone else.

    Thanks to the setter and Andy On The First Tee.

    1. Went to see Curtis Stigers at the Stables on the strength of liking his cover of Dylan’s Things Have Changed. Enjoyed it much more than I was expecting to & will probably see him when he takes up a 5 day residency at Ronnie Scott’s in September. Great band & good 2 hour set with an interval. Worth considering if you like a bit of jazz.

  12. Back from long weekend in Edinburgh after completing the Half Marathon, catching up on the weekend crosswords. Enjoyed them all but found this a bit flat IMHO & about average difficulty for the Tuesday puzzle.


    Fav 20d LOI 12a.

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

      1. Interestingly SJB, it wasn’t the Hen or Stags that kept us awake on Sat night in the hotel before a 5am start on Sunday, but the noise from the crowd at the Harry Styles concert at Murryfield! 😂

  13. Rather raggedly completed
    Only hesitation and last in 12a
    A natty Lego solution. as was
    With Monday’s, a confident
    Start to the week.
    Thanks setter and Huntsman.

  14. Many thanks to the setter for the enjoyment, and to Huntsman for the write-up.

    My last one in was 12a, which involved going through the alphabet for the starting letter!

  15. Mixed feelings about this one and certainly had a fight to arrive at the Quickie pun.
    Top three were probably 17&28a plus 16d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Huntsman for the review – good luck to your friend with his tuition this afternoon!

      1. Yes I did get your message, Merusa, and yes I did send for one. It arrived this afternoon and I’m looking forward to giving it a trial run. My only sadness is that, as is common with appliances these days, the only instructions consist of a few small drawings so I may need No 1 daughter to demonstrate its full potential next time she comes to visit!
        Meantime, I have managed to open a jar of No.2 daughter’s home-made chutney so the gadget has already proved its worth – many thanks for your suggestion.

  16. I haven’t looked at the hints or comments yet. There are a few I have answers to but I cannot parse them assuming they are correct. 12a and 23d are two in question. No doubt all will become clear when I read the hints. All in all, a bit of a struggle for me but I did like 28a and that is my COTD.

    Thank you to the setter for the challenge, which I couldn’t quite rise to today. Thank you, Huntsman for the hints. Hope the lesson goes well. I gave up golf after years of mishits and spending more time in the rough than on the fairway. It wasn’t until much later I discovered I was left eye dominant, which is no good for hand eye coordination when right handed.

    Beautiful day in The Marches after a cloudy start. Sunny and breezy so a long walk for Hudson and I. Even Perks tries to come along.

    Just read the hints. I had 12a wrong and I now understand 23d.

          1. Hudson has been asleep, SJB but Perks has been very interested in the area behind the dresser. 🐀🐀🐀


  17. Well I found this ok in the South but a bit trickier in the north, 30a was my favourite today. Thanks to Huntsman and setter time to see if the brain is up to the toughie

    1. I’ve just done the Sunday one bar 1 clue unhinted. Doubt that you’ll too much, if any, trouble with today’s one.

  18. I thought this quite a cool little puzzle with only the strange-reading 18d taking a little shine off it.
    I particularly liked 12,17&28a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.

  19. An octopus falling out of a tree is certainly a vision which will remain with me, unfortunately. I enjoyed this, I was totally on the wrong track from the go get (as they say) I seldom think of it as The Box so I was thinking crates or Mohammed Ali. 17a was also nicely misleading as was 30a. Altogether a nice ramble. It upsets me slightly when people get so critical of the setter, each guzzle must take thought and effort and, OK, they don’t all suit me but it is just a puzzle. The poor setter reads the adverse comments and sometimes must feel like putting his head in a barrel – it s a different matter to rant to your nearest and dearest about the diabolical clues. Anyway, the Pocket Rocket has arrived. She knocked at the door and by the time I got to open it she was at work with her electric strimmer on the Jingle Bells. I guess I must go out in the cold (I’m with Manders here, it’s freezing) and show willing. Thanks to Messrs Setter and Octopus Man. Hope Robert is enjoying being home.

  20. Enjoyable for me. Like others 12a was the last in. I would think of an ly ending as a synonym for perfect. The other one that I was not fond of was 11a. I spent a little while thinking for synonyms of tailor for 1a but thanks to Miss Reddish, my Latin teacher, getting 3d put me right. Favourites 10 19 and 29a and 2 and 5d are favourites. Thanks Setter and Huntsman.

  21. Couldn’t get on wavelength today, and consequently found this more challenging than most, and certainly more than a * difficulty. Relieved to say the very smart Senf thought it more of a 2.5**. There were no aha moments when I realized an answer, more a feeling of doubt that I was right. Wish I could say I found this light or enjoyable, but clearly many others did. So best I now slink off to Wordle and keep my fingers crossed that my cryptic brain works tomorrow..

    1. Decided to torture myself and have a go at the Toughie, and knock me down with a feather, I found it much more doable than today’s backpager. Just proves it all a wavelength thing. Anyway, relieved and don’t feel quite so stupid now 😊.

  22. My top three were all from the Across section – 17, 27 and 28. Very pleasant and nothing too taxing, just good fun.

    Many thanks to our setter and Huntsman.

  23. Well for me I didn’t find this puzzle that easy. More like 2* to 3* for difficulty today. Struggled with many of the clues and parsing today as well.

    2.5*/3.5* overall for the day.

    Clues to like were 10a, 21a, 27a, 29a, 4d & 14d with winner 4d

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman for hints/blog

  24. For Monday, read Tuesday. A good stroll to completion today.
    Huntsman – Hope the lesson helped. It’s in the tempo. Slowly back and same speed thru and extend to pose. Randomly, the slower you swing the further it seems to go. Timing! ⛳️🏌‍♂️

  25. Again I have to leave the comments to read later, I must get to my exercises before the monsoon is upon us.
    I was so way off wavelength, though I did finish it was with a lot of help with word search. I now know all there is to know about Bear Grylls, but fat lot of good it did me. I also shot myself in the foot by having “quaking” for 4d, that was plain stupid so my own fault. Not a barrel load of fun, but 30a amused.
    Thank you setter, and Huntsman for so much helping to understand the “why”.

  26. I’m afraid I did not find that easy at all! Got there but it was a slog. Not on the right wavelength today

  27. 1/2. I found this very doable if a little bland. Nevertheless thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  28. A veritable stroll for me but plenty of fun along the way. I think the two clear anagrams of 1a and 14d set me up nicely. Like others 12a gave me some thought and the smart misdirection in 2d resulted in my LOIs. I queried pipe = sing but it’s in the BRB. 17a gets my clear COTD, quite an original wordplay and the surface made me chuckle */***

    Thanks to our setter (MrPlumb?) and Huntsman

  29. Very late in commenting today as we have been out all day but I did complete this before we left. I thought it was fun, 12a last in and only achieved by guesswork. 17a my favourite.

    It’s a busy week as we are at Wisley tomorrow meeting friends.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for the hints

  30. Only been doing cryptic crosswords for a year. No Latin education so often struggle with clues like 12a. That being said only had to cheat (take advice on 🤣) on 3 clues today so my enjoyment was high as feel I’m making some progress In learning how these crosswords work. Love this site. When I can do a Thursday or Friday with no help I’ll drink a glass of the bubbly stuff!

    1. Welcome to the blog, AliMartinez.
      Now that you’ve introduced yourself I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.
      If you’ve only been doing cryptic crosswords for a year you’ve made good progess. Stick with us and you’ll soon be finishing end-of-week puzzles.

  31. A dnf for me due to 12a. Even the hint didn’t help. Otherwise an enjoyable solve.

    I blame spending nearly 7 hours stuck in traffic on the M25 doing a return journey of 120 miles in total. My body and brain are frazzled.

    Thanks to all.

  32. I found yesterdays fairly easy and it was rated ***, this was rated * and is a DNF for me, but most found it easy so it must just be me🤷‍♂️. Anyway I always enjoy the challenge so thanks to all.

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