DT 30316 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30316

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30316

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty **** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. My solve for this puzzle was slow and erratic, requiring many passes through the grid to get all the answers in place. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a harder-than-average puzzle, or because I was distracted by the very sad news about Big Dave. We hope to know more about the future of the site soon. 

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 or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    One takes an interest in others' finances (11)
MONEYLENDER:  A cryptic definition of a person who receives interest 

7a    Coins from Spain found in packing-cases (7)
CREATES:  The IVR code for Spain inserted in (found in) some packing cases 

8a    They made art beginners should collect first (7)
CUBISTS:  Some beginners or young contain (should collect) letters representing “first” 

10a   Sting's fourth element in 'Every Breath You Take' (8)
NITROGEN:  The substance whose chemical symbol is the fourth letter in STING 

11a   Fortune's presented by bishop to drunk (6)
BLOTTO:  A fortune or great amount sandwiched by (presented by) the chess abbreviation for bishop and TO from the clue 

13a   Source of river also flowing over (4)
ROOT:  The map abbreviation for river with the reversal (flowing over) of a synonym of also 

14a   Cryptic variable in Times -- ours better organised! (10)
MYSTERIOUS:  A letter that can represent a mathematical variable inserted in an anagram (better organised) of TIMES OURS 

16a   Cheats using wits to secrete note (4-6)
CARD-SHARPS:  Some wits or amusing people containing (to secrete) a musical note that’s high in pitch 

18a   Be at home on stage, with a different sound (4)
LIVE:  The answer pronounced differently (with a different sound) means “on stage” or “in person” 

21a   Work with plan to axe man (6)
OEUVRE:  A plan or action minus MAN from the clue (to axe man) 

22a   Dramatic, as an ovation engulfs Romeo (8)
CASANOVA:  The letter combination formed by first four words of the clue hides (engulfs) the answer 

24a   Not so dense, small son embracing Eminem's music over Queen (7)
SPARSER:  The clothing abbreviation for small and the genealogical abbreviation for son containing (embracing) the reversal (over) of Eminem’s musical genre is all followed by the Latin abbreviation for Queen Elizabeth 

25a   Made an icon facing two ways (7)
DEIFIED:  The answer has to satisfy the definition and be a palindrome (the same facing two ways

26a   British ladies maybe with party spread food (5,6)
BLOOD ORANGE:  Concatenate the single letter for British, what Ladies (or Gents) defines by example (maybe), a usual party, and spread or extent 



1d    One of the great composers -- most are disturbed (7)
MAESTRO:  An anagram (disturbed) of MOST ARE 

2d    Upset, number one with bronze in race (6)
NATION:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of the fusion of an abbreviation for number, the Roman one, and bronze or brown 

3d    Definitely rare, yet damaged in the past (10)
YESTERYEAR:  A response meaning definitely is followed by an anagram (damaged) of RARE YET 

4d    Burning energy to knock out one's groove (4)
ETCH:  Burning or desire in which the Roman one has been replaced by the physics symbol for energy (energy to knock out one) 

5d    Many do watercolours of Belgium with black alders spreading around (8)
DABBLERS:  The IVR code for Belgium and the pencil abbreviation for black are contained together by (with … around) an anagram (spreading) of ALDERS 

6d    Roll 'To Sir, With Love' -- interrupted by time for dinner? (7)
RISOTTO:  The reversal (roll) of TO SIR is followed by the letter representing a love score in tennis, and that lot is containing (interrupted by) the physics symbol for time 

7d    People undertaking work -- do they make reductions? (11)
CONTRACTORS:  The word describing these people undertaking work for others suggests that they might make things smaller 

9d    One encourages colleagues to go all out? (4,7)
SHOP STEWARD:  A cryptic definition of someone who tells all of his co-workers to go out of the workplace 

12d   Daughter comes in plastered -- resolving this could get her higher! (10)
STEPLADDER:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter is inserted in (comes in) an anagram (resolving) of PLASTERED 

15d   Strong drink and ecstasy really tucked into by journalists (8)
ESPRESSO:  The single letter representing the drug ecstasy and a synonym of really containing (tucked into by) another word for journalists 

17d   Regret outspoken insult, being a bit of a fool? (7)
RHUBARB:  A homophone (outspoken) of regret is followed by an insult or dig 

19d   Wedding vow lies in ruins -- is this love? (7)
IDOLISE:  The three-letter wedding vow with an anagram (in ruins) of LIES 

20d   Hostile Mexican gila monster eats while climbing (6)
MALIGN:  MEXICAN GILA MONSTER hides the reversal of the answer (eats while climbing

23d   Motivate staff under pressure (4)
PROD:  A staff or stick follows (under, in a down clue) the physics symbol for pressure 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 17d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  SEAL + VERSE + MYTHS = SILVERSMITHS

71 comments on “DT 30316
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  1. I’m really glad you put it at ****. It took me ages to do but didn’t need to look anything online unlike yesterday

  2. 5*/3*. For me this was a Toughie that escaped onto the back page. Hard graft indeed, but enjoyable in parts with 10a my favourite.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  3. On a day tinged with sadness I thought this was truly excellent with masterly clueing and misdirection throughout. Not easy (and maybe for the same reason as our blogger it wasn’t a swift completion)
    As I solve I make mental notes of which ones I particularly like but this had so many I had to write them down. I’ll restrict myself to mentioning 14,24&26a plus 2,12&17d but top spot has to go to the genius 10a, clue of the week for me.
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  4. A tricky puzzle as befits the Friday slot with gems throughout – many thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    I liked 7a, 16a, 9d and 17d but my favourite is the superb 10a.

  5. Very good puzzle, suitably challenging for its position as a Friday backpager. Very well constructed clues, all scrupulously fair. ALP commented yesterday, “I prefer a tricky clue for a straightforward word, rather than the other way around” – and that describes my experience of this puzzle perfectly: tricky clues for straightforward words.
    My top 3 were 10a (COTD), 25a and 20d.

    4* / 4*

    Thank you to the setter and to Mr K

  6. I have to agree with RD that, even for a Friday back pager, presumably by Zandio, this is a Toughie ‘on the lam’ (that’s US slang RD) but it was also something of a curate’s egg.

    Candidates for favourite – 26a, 2d, and 7d – and the winner is 2d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    And, Many Happy Returns to Kath.

  7. So pleased to see it’s a 4 as I have only just got here! Tough but doable though requiring coffee refills.
    Many thanks to setter for a good work out.

  8. Fantastic puzzle – tough but rewarding. So many stand out clues for me – my picks 8a, 10a, 11a, 21a and 19d. Think I’ll go with 10a as COTD for The Police reference. So sorry to hear about BD. I hope this blog continues to thrive as a fitting testament to his memory. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

  9. Wow, that was hard work but enjoyable all the same. I had a number of bung-ins and then had to work them out, eg 26a. Lots of clever cluing. It is still freezing here in the east (11 degrees) and I’m fed up seeing all the people in the west in Tshirts and shorts enjoying the sunshine – send it this way please.. Thanks to the setter for the slog and Mr K for the hints which I will now read.

      1. Unfortunately not many were in bloom but Lady Walpole’s introductory talk was quite interesting. The scented garden was closed as an oyster catcher has laid its eggs in one of the urns! – why is an oyster catcher so far inland? Tea was very welcome as it was so cold and everyone but me had huge slices of cake (I don’t like sweet things), apparently all were delicious. I nearly gave myself a hernia lifting the teapot – I had to use both hands and it was just for 2 people.

  10. I managed to fill in rhe top half but needed several hints in the bottom half. Thanks for the hints and the cats Mr K. This was effectively a Toughie and, I regret to say, not to my taste, as I ‘m feelung sad and could have done with a morale booster. However, I did like 12d. Thanks to Zandio I auspect.

  11. Get past some slightly strange surface reads and there were some really good clues to be found in this one.
    I think our sorely missed contributor, Tom Pride, would have chuckled over 14a!
    Favourite here was 10a leading a list of other podium contenders including 7&25a plus 2,3&17d.

    Thanks to our setter (Zandio?) and to Mr K and the coffee cat for the review.

    Many happy returns to Kath, so unfortunate that your day has been somewhat overshadowed by the sad news of BD’s demise.

    1. Yes Happy Birthday Kath, I expect friends and family will help you celebrate. 💐🍰🥂 even if there is a sad thought creeping infor BD.

  12. I got on well with today’s offering but I have to admit the enjoyment was muted somewhat because of the news about Big Dave. My COTD is 6d.

    Thank you to the setter for a good workout for this tired brain. Many thanks, Mr. K for making sense of a couple for me.

    A very Happy Birthday, Kath. I hope you have a good day despite the news.

  13. Finally, a Friday puzzle that isn’t a head banger. Found this quite a pleasing puzzle for the end of the work week, (or non, as it may be) … and solved in the garden with all the colourful hanging baskets on a very pleasantly warm Thursday evening.

    1.5*/4* for me.

    Favourites include 10a, 14a, 25a, 6d, 12d & 23d — with winner 10a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  14. That was a bit of a struggle this morning albeit an enjoyable one. It’s a good job I don’t time myself because it took me as long as any in my recent memory. Some very clever and witty clues but no obscure answers. I liked 1a, 10a, 26a and my favourite 21a. Thanks to the setter for the workout and Mr K for the dabbling cat pic.
    I did not know Big Dave but I send my love and prayers to all who are sharing a sense of loss today.

  15. Definitely a Friday challenge! Took a little while to get on wavelength but got there in the end. Favourite today was 16a whilst LOI was 21a – the penny finally dropped with a clang. Many thanks to all.

  16. If Mr K says it is 4* for difficulty, I understand why I never got going. I now give up and hope the w/e offerings are more reasonable and enjoyable, and the same for at least Monday & Tuesday.

  17. Very sorry to read of Big Dave’s death. Not good news at all to wake up to. May he RIP with his wife.

  18. I would agree this was a real cranial workout Friday back pager, but I did enjoy the tussle.


    Fav 10a LOI 21a.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  19. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss.
    I think Mr K’s excellent analysis of today’s puzzle is a classic example of what Big Dave set out to do with his blog. Quite an achievement.
    Have a good weekend.

    1. You beat me with a couple, Zandio but the rest was very enjoyable. Thank you for the puzzle and for popping in.

    2. Thanks for dropping in and for a fine puzzle to solve and to hint. I’m happy you think the blog captures BD’s thoughtful approach to helping solvers – that’s what we aim to do.

      1. And you all do a great job. I feel the blog is in safe hands and will remain a fitting legacy for the Big Man.

  20. A perfect Friday challenge: lots of lateral thought required with some great constructions. Zandio is certainly hitting his straps.

    The obvious COTD is 10a but I’m giving the nod to 14a as it tickled me.

    Thank you for today’s blog, Mr K. It can’t have been easy to do but you did a great job.


  21. A terrific Friday puzzle which had to be from Z – along with Ray T one the easier (certainly for me) setters to identify from clue style only. Great clues, a tough challenge and a very enjoyable tussle with a good feeling of triumph on completion. I’ve ticked quite a few, but will give the excellent 10a a special mention. 4*/4.5*. A cracking cryptic crossword!

  22. Found it hard going today but managed to finish it unaided although I did have to check that 21a was a real word as it was a new one for me.
    10a was my favourite followed closely by 26a.

  23. Very fair clues where the answer jumped out at me then I had to parse it. I even guessed 10a although I am not of a scientific bent. Did anyone see the University Challenge final – by jiminy those youngsters were sharp. I wonder will they gravitate towards cruciverbalism? I repeat last night’s condolences to BD’s family and send Birthday Greetings to Kath, another June baby.
    Many thanks to Mr K and the kitties and to Zandio.

  24. It must have taken a strange and devious mind to explain these clues and as for the strange and devious mind that invented them ….
    Thanks to both!

  25. Many thanks to Mr K for lots of much needed help, and to Zandio for the challenge. Sad day, but I hope BD would be proud of his legacy, long may the blog continue.

  26. Good afternoon
    I’m fairly new here, so I didn’t know Big Dave. May I express my condolences to his family and friends. R I P 🙏
    On the last two Fridays on which I have done battle with The Mind Of Zandio, I’ve had to hoy the sponge in. Not today!!!!
    COTD is 10a. Which my wife got!
    Thanks Zandio and Mr K

  27. Sad news of the loss of Big Dave – only known through the blog but who, by starting the blog, added a dimension of daily pleasure to ‘crossworders’. Thank you, BD.

  28. Thus blog must have started at about the same time that I started doing cryptic crosswords following retirement. Without it I would have been lost. I suggested that some of the more experienced solvers might refrain from saying how easy some of the offerings were. I was encouraged to take no notice and would be a useful edition to the blogging. I’m not sure about the latter but have persevered and now find some of it fairly straightforward.
    Here’s to BD and all the hinters.


  29. My sincere condolences to BD’s family and friends for their sad loss .
    What a legacy, this truly wonderful daily blog. Thank you.

  30. The West was a desert for quite a while and although I eventually populated this side it seemed to take forever. 21a was last one in with electronic help.26a my favorite.
    Many thanks to Mr K for help in explaining one or two clues.
    I was very sorry to hear about Big Dave,, commiserations to his family and friends.

  31. Superb puzzle.
    Completion marred only
    By partially parsing 10a.
    Last in 21a accompanied by
    A loud Doh.
    Certainly 5*/5*
    Many thanks, Zandio and Mr K.

  32. Like many, I found today’s crossword pretty tough- but thanks to the setter anyway, and to Mr K for the hints.
    So sorry to hear about Big Dave and condolences to all his family. As newcomers to crosswords this site was a great find and the only reason we have continued with them – would have given up long ago.
    Thank you

  33. Completed haphazardly in dribs & drabs in between seeing golfers off. Found it tricky but probably a tad easier than Donny’s yesterday – I’m with ALP & MG in regard to their clue preference. Really only appreciated the quality of the guzzle reading back through it over a nice cuppa to wash down superb cod, chips & garden peas in the restaurant above our chippy. A host of ticks – 10,14,16,25&26a plus 3,9&17d. Kath says only 1 fav allowed & it’s her birthday (hoping you’re having a lovely day) so it’ll have to be 10a – very clever
    Thanks to Zandio both for the puzzle & for popping in as per and to Mr K for the blog & puss pics
    Ps what an array of tributes/reflections/memories & fondness for Big Dave – wish I’d found this site sooner & maybe have had the chance to meet him

  34. Friday’s puzzle often draws a bit of a crowd in the pub, this week because of a dispute over the spelling of 7d and its knock on effect on 21a. Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable challenge, and to Mr K for the arbitration.

  35. BD. Gone? Terrible. His legacy I shall cherish hopefully for years to come through the companionship of his followers in this great community of like minded (and I use the word “like” advisedly) very pleasant and thoughtful friends that he created.

  36. A sad day but an outstanding puzzle to compensate. Tough but fair throughout, even though I needed at least 2 hints to parse everything. 16a was a new word for me – I had ‘sharks’ as the second word for a while – and was quite confused when I saw the anagram of 12d had meant I’d erred. Mine’s an Americanism I expect! 10a was clearly COTD – superb referencing a top song to boot, but 8a, 26a, 12d, 17d and a whole bunch of others get worthy mentions ***/*****

    Thanks to Zandio and to MrK and the wider blog team for the help to us novices. Days like today make us reflect a bit and I’m sure BD would be proud that what he created is being so expertly maintained

  37. Apart from 21a (a horrible word only used by pretentious arty farty types), this was much less difficult than the super toughie from yesterday.

    Thanks to all.

  38. Way above my pay grade, but congratulations to all who managed to unravel this, and especially Mr K for all the hints. Having only solved 4 on my own, and 4 more with my self-rationed allowance of hint peaking, I’m off to Wordle instead. I wish I could say enjoyed today’s offering or claim to have made sense of the clues. So sad about the news regarding Big Dave, a huge loss to the crossword world.

    1. Meant to also say, as someone who really enjoys painting watercolors, I don’t see myself as a 5d, having read the definition of the answer as “those who don’t take something seriously”…. Hmmm.

  39. A very clever puzzle which defeated me today, I managed most of it but had to get some help with one or two along the way to keep going. The hints gave me all I needed to understand, I think I just was not on wavelength today. 10a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Zandio and Mr K

  40. 5/3. A very tricky puzzle which I didn’t quite finish without several hints. My favourite was 10a closely followed by 24a. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  41. I got there in the end after numerous interruptions for work and catching up on the wonderful tributes to BD, what an amazing legacy he leaves.
    10a has to be my only favourite on Kath’s birthday and sent me down a YouTube rabbit hole from EBYT to Fields of Gold (both Sting And Eva Cassidy versions) and various playlists of songs to mark the passing of loved ones.
    Thanks to Mr K and Zandio with whom the battle resumes on Sunday Toughie 71

  42. This one defeated me, I’m afraid – I couldn’t get 18 and 21 across even with the hints – and the rest took me ages. I think I usually do struggle with Zandio’s puzzles. Thanks to him nonetheless for some great clues when the penny eventually dropped and to Mr K for the hints and kits.

  43. Having posted a couple of times, bleating about some puzzles being so hard as to be positively unfair, I thought this one was great. Would have been a DNF without help from the blog, but only for my last three entries. The rest were tough, but slowly I decoded the clues. Hard but fair, and tremendous fun.

  44. 4*/5* …. hours of puzzling pleasure from this one !
    liked 9D “One encourages colleagues to go all out? (4,7)”

    1. Not really just different pronunciation, to be at home or “Livv” or be on stage “Lie-ve”
      I suppose just be can be Livv too but I think at home helps the surface and emphasises the two different pronunciations

    2. I figured that just “be” in this context would mean live=exist, whereas “be at home” means live=inhabit. Both practically the same definition and pronounced the same of course.

    3. Hello, Julian. “Be” on its own can certainly define “live”, but in that case the surface reading of the clue would be a little clunky. “Be at home” is a different definition of “live” (be at home/live with rising temperatures), presumably chosen here because it gives a smoother surface reading. It also adds some misdirection because we’re all conditioned to equate “at home” with “in”.

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