DT No 30321 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30321

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30321

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Good morning everyone from a blustery but sunny South Devon coast (I could have cut and pasted this intro for the last three weeks or so!)

Today we have a typically neat and concise offering from Ray T which I found to be at the gentler end of his spectrum. However as usual with this setter there’s some clever stuff in there.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Stood taking exercise, turning calm (6)
REPOSE: Place a synonym of stood or got up around a reversal (turning) of some abbreviated Physical Exercise.

4a Head of state caught bankrupt? (8)
STRAPPED: The initial letter (head of) of State plus a synonym of caught or confined.

9a Check raw materials for jobs (6)
CHORES: The abbreviation for CHeck and some solid material from which metal can be extracted.

10a Dear, dear! (8)
PRECIOUS: Double definition.

12a The heartless Republican without end (8)
TERMINUS: Put together the outside (heartless) letters of ThE, the abbreviation for Republican and a synonym of without or less.

13a Mammal burrowed over new ground initially (6)
DUGONG: A three-letter synonym of burrowed, the abbreviation for Over and the initial letters of New Ground. What a handsome chap.

15a Separate after definite breaks (13)
DIFFERENTIATE: Anagram (breaks) of the preceding two words.

18a Flash Etonian, nuts as could be (13)
INSTANTANEOUS: Anagram (could be) of the preceding three words.

22a Crowds maybe getting passionate on board (6)
SWARMS: Insert an adjective that could mean mildly passionate, or becoming passionate between the usual two letters meaning on board a ship.

24a Muscle employed by Inspector Alleyn (8)
PECTORAL: Hidden in the clue, the indicator being “employed by”. If there are two setters I’m always on “lurker alert” for it’s this one and Zandio as they invariably include at least two per puzzle.

26a Subdue shower after sit-down? (8)
RESTRAIN: A synonym of a break (sit down?) and a shower of water from the sky.

27a Animals arrived with empty loads (6)
CAMELS: A straightforward synonym of arrived and the outside letters (empty) of LoadS.

28a Supreme, unlike the House of Lords? (8)
PEERLESS: Cryptic definition based upon the occupants of the Upper Chamber. Here’s a new song from The Pretenders

29a It’s good opening top drawer (6)
GENTRY: The abbreviation for Good and an opening or way in.


1d Chant from Church uplifted in ceremony (6)
RECITE: Reverse (uplifted) an abbreviated church and insert it into a ceremony or service.

2d Victorians covering degenerate bulges (9)
PROTRUDES: A synonym of Victorians based upon their supposedly strict morals sits around a three-letter synonym of degenerate.

3d Lawman loudly shoots catching husband rising (7)
SHERIFF: Put together the musical abbreviation to play loudly and a synonym of shoots (a gun say) into which is inserted the abbreviation for Husband. Now reverse the lot (rising in a down clue)

5d Conservative is too grey, oddly (4)
TORY: The odd or alternate letters of ToOgReY.

6d Tab made of tobacco, untainted (7)
ACCOUNT: Hidden (made of).

7d Possibly bowl over fielding hard shot (5)
PHOTO: Put together a bowl as a noun and add the abbreviation for Over. Now insert (fielding) the abbreviation for Hard.

8d Conflict alarming English about flag (8)
DISAGREE: Place a synonym of alarming or shocking and the abbreviation for English around a three-letter synonym of flag as a verb.

11d Portion of dinosaur eaten? Fancy! (7)
AUREATE: Our third lurker (portion of). A very fair way of clueing a lesser-known word.

14d Turn from this compiler with Queen (7)
MEANDER: Put together a first person pronoun (this compiler) a synonym of with and our former queen’s royal cypher.

16d Daydreaming about world being receptive (9)
ABSORBENT: Place a synonym of daydreaming in the sense of lacking concentration or “not being there” around a globe or sphere.

17d Take off following bearing here? (8)
AIRSTRIP: Append a synonym of take off (clothes perhaps) to a bearing in the sense of manner.

19d One’s premier, in the main (7)
ADMIRAL: The main here is the sea. We need the commander of a fleet perhaps or an officer of the highest rank there.

20d Shock from right in power failure (7)
OUTRAGE: Insert the abbreviation for Right into a power failure or blackout.

21d Elegant cold girl beginning to yawn (6)
CLASSY: Put together the abbreviation for Cold, an informal girl and the initial letter of Yawn.

23d Where one hears ‘I will’, shortly (5)
AISLE: A place in church where two people hope to hear the words “I will” is also a homophone of a contraction of those two words. Very clever and worth the admission fee alone.

25d The man’s embracing sweetheart provoking tears (4)
HIES: Place a determiner (the man’s) around this setter’s swEetheart. Tears here is in the sense of moves quickly.

Very enjoyable, my top three are 29a plus 7 and 23d. Which ones took the honours for you?

Quickie Pun: Undo  + WhirledUnderworld

72 comments on “DT No 30321

  1. My first reaction to this puzzle was 10 across but I did eventually get a toehold on the SE, then the NW and the NE fell into place. I had to look up 2 hints for the SW to see if my guesses were correct. For me it was a 5* For difficulty. I did enjoy some of the anagrams , particularly 18a and 15a but there were afew clues, which were bunged in wwithout understanding the parsing, so thanks to SL for the hints and to the compiler.

  2. Super puzzle to enjoy over a coffee, the best DT cryptic of the week so far whether within or without. No arcane knoweldge required, with clever and careful clueing and enough deception to exercise the LGCs. Witty and humorous throughout, good surfaces (what else would one expect from RayT?). Hon Mentions went to 24a, 27a & 28a, 14d & COTD 2d.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to RayT, and of course also to StephenL

  3. Funny one this, could hardly do any when I first started but slowly it fell into place although I didn’t much enjoy it. Not heard of the mammal before but it was fairly clued. No particular favourites today but I shall now read the hints. So South Devon is sunny but blustery – at the risk of being a bore it is still overcast and perishing (11) here in North Norfolk and I succumbed to putting on the heating last night. Thanks to all.

    1. We haven’t had a sunless day for weeks, with the temperature consistently in the high teens or low twenties.

    2. I’m afraid that in E Cornwall we had to abandon the duvet several weeks ago for just a linen sheet and light blanket. Blue skies & warm temperatures are lovely in moderation, but the gardens, fields & streams all need some rain. Cheer up though, Manders – apparently you have a heat wave coming for the next few days!

  4. Super duper puzzle.
    Thoroughly doable.
    Satisfying to complete unaided,
    But fully stretched the brain cells.
    Gained a foothold with 15a.
    Lucky guess with 13a, a new one for me.
    Many smiles eg 2, 16, 19 and 23d
    So, 2.5*/5*
    Many thanks Mr.T and StephenL

  5. A fine puzzle from Mr T – thanks to him and SL.
    My podium boasts 10a, 7d and 23d.

  6. On wavelength from the very beginning and no real hold-ups along the way. A couple of words were new to me. I’d never heard of the mammal and I needéd to drag 11d from the depths of my memory. Lots of witty clues with some great surface reads, making it difficult to choose a favourite, but I’ll go for 14d – very clever. Runners up (can I have more than one of them?!) are 12a, 27a, 2d and 3d. Thanks to Ray T and StephenL ( You need to amend the second word of the quickie pun, Stephen.)

  7. A typical Ray T Thursday, a little head scratching but not too much – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 13a, 1d, and 7d – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.

  8. Had to work hard to get going – NW held out for a while so I started in the NE and worked my way around clockwise. Once the two long-uns went in, the rest began to fall into place, except for 25d where I knew what the answer must be but had no clue as to why. COTD for me 7d. Thanks to all involved. And sorry Manders – lovely, hot sunshiney day here today in SW land.

  9. A great puzzle for me today. Just the right level of difficulty. Enjoyed it very much.
    To think when I started coming to this blog I couldn’t do a RayT for toffee….another tribute to the late Big Dave.

    Thanks to StephenL and to RayT.

    It has been blinking freezing up here in the East coast of Scotland for the last few days whilst you further West and some parts of the South have been basking in sunshine…..we too had to have the heating on yesterday. It looks as though it might warm up today…..might…..fingers crossed. 13 C today’s high!

    1. We have been cold here in Cambridge but we also desperately need rain – the ground is cracking!

  10. So much cleverness on display that I simply gave up ticking individual clues and awarded the entire puzzle a massive gold star.
    Unusual for us to see the 24a muscle without any abbreviating and it was good to get a mention of the sadly declining gentle mammal in 13a.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and thanks to Stephen for the review.

  11. It may be taken as read that the committee met this morning and unanimously voted 13a and 11d on to THE LIST.
    11d was achievable because of the ‘if all else fails look for a lurker’ rule. 13a though, would have been scribbled in by only crosswording marine biologists. In other words, about 0.00000001% of the population. Even George Costanza would have struggled with that one.

    Still, let us draw a discreet veil over such disagreeable matters for although this crossword was jolly challenging, it was fun to solve.

    With The Ashes still a week away, no proper football, and Royal Ascot two weeks away, life seems meaningless and unfulfilled. I shall have to resort to what normal people do, like interacting with the world – talking and all of that sort of overrated business.

    Thanks to the Raity, and Dharma Of The Dumnonii.

    1. Your life will never be meaningless and unfulfilled Terence, you still have your Life’s Work – The List- to work on, interspersed with H’s lovely walks. Cheer up.
      And what a hilarious clip!

    2. I bet those two European finals would be “proper” if Chelsea were playing in them ;)

  12. I got to 27a before solving a clue so I thought this was not going to one for me. However, it gradually came together. I have never heard of the animal at 13a nor the fancy at 11d but I’ll try and commit them to memory (some hope!). So, my take is that it is on the hard side but doable and my COTD is “me and queen”.

    Thank you, Ray T for the fun challenge. Thanks, Stephen for the hints. I had “ease” and “twirled” for the Quickie pun giving “East World”. No wonder I got no further with it.

    1. SC. You must have missed 11d on the Antiques Roadshow – it’s been mentioned on there a few times. Meaning gilded or made of gold. Though here, the setter might intend its secondary meaning: flamboyantly rhetorical.

      1. So that’s where I’d heard of it … love Antiques Roadshow and watch whenever it comes on.

      2. I specialised in Tunbridge Ware, Jose so there was no gilding involved.

  13. Solved from the bottom up with the NE remaining blank until the very end, I agree with Terence about the list contenders today but I did manage to solve unaided, Hammers fans may disagree about the football though. Thanks to SL and RayT – taking Mama Bee out for lunch to celebrate my birthday – currently waiting on sea bream for Mama and Chicken Milanese for me!

    1. Your birthday – our 66th wedding anniversary, unfortunately no significant gems for that. Of course, you realise I was only 3 when I got married. Have a nice day.

      1. Happy birthday Sloop John Bee and Happy Anniversary Daisy! Enjoy your day, it’ll take a year to come round again!

      2. Congratulations to you both, If you hadn’t already told us you were married at 3 I would have assumed it was a marriage arranged in utero.
        Meal was excellent and got Mama Bee out of a rather cool breeze, but the sun came out as we perambulated through the museum gardens

      3. Congratulations to you both DG. I hope you had a good day. I believe 65 is the Blue Sapphire anniversary.

        1. I hope George did a bit better than Betty’s Blue Sapphire Tea even if it is £110 a kilo!

  14. Like many others found this hard going first time through, but then spotted the mermaid at 13a, Mana T, who I now see must be a relative of the compiler’s. Gradually got on to the wavelength though NE did resist. Took a while to twig 11d, though it’s fairly obvious with hindsight.
    Have to go for 13a as first and fave, though lots of others pleased: 28a, 29a, 10a, …
    Many thanks to Ray T for the workout and to StephenL for the blog.

  15. The cold wind off the North Sea has eventually gone making 13 degrees more like a summer day here in NE Scotland. Took the hound for a walk round the woods at Pitmedden Gardens and it was perfect.

    Struggled with this puzzle and a lot of electronic looking up was required. (Sorry hinters, but there is too much temptation to “Click here!” if I come to this website unless I have hit a brick wall. I frequently do use the hints for clarification on completion and always check my answers are correct.)

    Had heard of the mammal from the many wildlife programmes on TV. Today’s favourites include 28a, 7d and 14d which brought a smile to my normally grumpy face.

    Thanks to setter for an entertaining puzzle and to the hinter.

  16. As normal for me, found this RayT offering on the tricky side, but enjoyable.


    Favourites include 10a, 24a, 28a, 3d, 14d & 23d with winner a toss-up between 14d & 23d

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  17. At first glance this guzzle looked impenetrable but like Crisscross I latched on to the anagrams and gradually it fell into place except for 25d. I thought of his with the heart of sweet but stupidly could not reconcile it with tears. Also struggled with Victorians at 2d. I shall go for 29a as my favourite. Thanks to the setter and Stephen L.

    1. I think we have had that archaic Scottish? term before quite recently, it managed to linger in the grey matter anyway

  18. Considering this a RayT, a setter I normally struggle with (there are others),I did pretty good. Only failed on two, 25d was one , although I considered the correct answer I dismissed it as unlikely 🤷‍♂️. 8d was the other one, incorrect word entered just because it fitted in. Anyhow I’m happy,RayT and I will soon be best buddies (as if). Thanks to all.

  19. Obviously RayT being kind – just needed help with one, which is a record for me.

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL.

  20. I spent more time staring at 29a (my last in) than I did the rest of the puzzle!
    The answer to 2d leapt off the page, however I was a little slow on the parsing; I had the wrong type of degenerate initially – ‘rude’ and not ‘rot’…

    Many thanks to RayT and to Stephen L.

  21. By George, another spiffing puzzle from Ray T! For me, about average dificulty for one of his but a litte above average of the back-page norm. Elegantly succinct clues, as ever, and a very pleasing solve. Fav: 7d. 3*/4*.

  22. Tricky, but it is Thursday, I expect it to be harder than the start of the week, and I found this easier than any this week so far. I particularly like 13a, we have the manatee here, both gentle giants, I love them. I did need to visit the hints to get going again in the SW and some ehelp, but it was doable. I appreciate your unravelling 3d for me Stephen, I knew it had to be but just couldn’t see the why.
    Thank you RayT, such a pleasure being able to solve a puzzle, and of course, thanks StephenL for your invaluable help.

  23. Super puzzle from Ray T that was nicely at my level. Even learnt a new word in 11d. Such a relief after yesterdays travails.
    Lots of clever clues today but my fav was 27a only because they are a much maligned and misunderstood animal even if they are a bit smelly. According to Terry Pratchett they are the worlds greatest mathematicians.
    Thx to all

  24. Afternoon all. My usual thanks to StephenL for the review and to all for your observations.


    1. Good afternoon, Mr T. It’s somewhat disconcerting when you pop in before the evening but always a pleasure to ‘see’ you.
      Exceptionally good puzzle today for which many thanks.

    2. Many thanks for the puzzle, RayT. You beat me on a couple but it was most enjoyable. Thank you for taking the time to drop in.

      1. I thought this was one of his more difficult ones even however long I’ve been doing the hints for his – never mind.
        Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL.

  25. Had no time for guzzles yesterday so a bit of a catch up today. Found today’s easier than yesterday’s but I did at least complete that one albeit with one unparsed. Today was an incorrect grid fill – if I’ve ever come across the mammal at LOI 13a it’s long forgotten & read burrow for burrowed so bunged in turong thinking rut reversed (apparently there is a mammal called a binturong). Twigged at 2nd stab but only after cheating & pressing reveal mistakes. Never encountered the 25d synonym before which needed checking post completion along with the 11d lurker. Anyway super puzzle with a host of ticks – 2,7,14&23d among my picks.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Stephen plus birthday wishes to SJB & a happy anniversary to Daisy & George

  26. Surprised it was a Mister T as I usually struggle.I liked 28a and 23d. Not so sure about 2d. It was very clever but we’re the Victorians really prudes?

  27. Definitely on the tricky side, but actually got more answers on my own than usual for a Thursday, so happy about that. However, really dislike crosswords that include words like 13a and 11d, which seem to be designed to ensure that one very likely will not finish unaided, thus reducing satisfaction. But ignoring those, I did enjoy this puzzle so thanks to setter and StephenL for sparing me from tearing my hair out.

  28. Was I the only fool to bung in OSTENTATIOUS for 18a, only to be left with an extra square? It just seemed so right, until…

    1. I didn’t put it in but it was my THE ANSWER thought when I read the clue

  29. Three certainties to life: death, taxes and long anagrams for a RayT Thursday. With that in mind today’s puzzle fell fairly quickly but with plenty of enjoyment along the way. I had never heard of the creature in 13a but it looks awfully like a manatee to me, they must be cousins. My COTD goes to one of the finest homophones I’ve seen for a while in 23d (and no complaints spotted so far!) with my runners up going to two super surfaces, 2d and 28a. Great stuff */*****

    Thanks to RayT and Stephen for hints

  30. 2*/5*. Late again today. This was a masterpiece of brevity and cunning. I loved it.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  31. They are nearly the same, just the tail is different. I can’t remember which is which, one has a flat beaver tail, the other has a forked tail like a fish. Gentle giants both.

  32. Thought this was closer to a 3*/4* but struggled less than with many recently – thanks Ray T. Highlight for me was StephenL’s picture hint for 19d, an abnormally serious picture of Sir George ‘Zee’ as First Sea Lord. We both flew the Wasp helicopter in the early 1980s and, despite Senf’s comment a few days ago, we were known as wocka, wocka pilots, even in that diminutive helicopter. For us, it has nothing to do with Fozzie Bear’s catchphrase. Favourite was 13 across: it makes a change when I know a word that confounds some of the experts. 😂😂

  33. Good evening
    I’ve been back and forth to today’s crozzie since lunchtime, and only now, halfway through my break, have I crawled over the finish line, ending with a look at the Hints to explain 8d!
    Some new additions to the vocab: 13a and 11d. Nice bit of misdirection in 25d. 15a & 18a are both worthy of a “Crikey!!”
    Thank you Ray T and Stephen L

  34. The usual excellence from our maestro today, there was considerable head scratching in places but great fun teasing out the answers from the usual immaculate cluing. Favourite was 13a but I did like the shout out for my weekend alter ego in 27a, the last one I have that walks like is lying at my feet as I write. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  35. I could not get on wavelength at all today, so used the hints to complete this. As ever all very clever and well clued and once I saw the hints the answers came. i am sure I would have done better on a different day when I had less distractions.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Stephen L for the essential hints.

  36. “I’ve travelled the world and the seven seas” but I’ve never encountered a 13a.

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