DT 30322 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30322

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30322

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to an excellent Friday puzzle whose grid contains every letter except X. That probably means that it’s the work of proXimal.

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    Footwear pricks soles badly with internal pressure (7,5)
SLIPPER SOCKS:  An anagram (badly) of PRICKS SOLES containing (with internal … ) the physics symbol for pressure 

9a    At home, still getting nothing for current rudeness (9)
INSOLENCE:  “At home” or “not out” with a synonym of still in which the physics symbol for electric current is replaced by the letter representing nothing (… getting nothing for current) 

10a   Hail repelled by wings of drake and duck (5)
EVADE:  The reversal (repelled) of a Latin hail or greeting is followed by the outer letters of (wings of) DRAKE 

11a   Captivate characters in eighteenth rally (7)
ENTHRAL:  The answer is hidden as some characters in the remainder of the clue

12a   Talk money reflecting what worker brings to job (7)
TOOLBAG:  Informal synonyms of talk and of money are joined and then reversed (… reflecting

13a   Implanted device English mother gets put in boxer (9)
PACEMAKER:  The single letter for English and an informal form of mother are inserted together in (gets put in) someone who puts things in boxes 

16a   Rubbish understood to gather in river (4)
GROT:  Another word for understood containing (to gather in) the map abbreviation for river 

18a   Unusual times king recalled (4)
RARE:  Significant times and the Latin abbreviation for king are joined and reversed (recalled

19a   See with messages, son's humility (9)
LOWLINESS:  Concatenate see or behold, the single letter for with, some messages, and the genealogical abbreviation for son 

22a   First-rate umpire prepared by start of match (7)
PREMIUM:  An anagram (prepared) of UMPIRE is followed the first letter of (start of) MATCH 

23a   Rest seconds beside wood (7)
SLUMBER:  The single letter for seconds with a (possibly American) word for wood or timber 

25a   Cut risk, we're told (5)
STEAK:  A homophone (we’re told) of risk or investment 

26a   Sailor and six-footer regularly unload for weaver (9)
TARANTULA:  Link together a usual sailor, a worker insect (six-footer), and alternate letters (regularly) of UNLOAD. The definition here is cryptic 

27a   Deputy ran about protecting fellows in deficient settlement (12)
UNDERPAYMENT:  An anagram (about) of DEPUTY RAN containing (protecting) some fellows or chaps 



1d    Become stuck after hearing tide's high (5,2)
SEIZE UP:  A homophone (after hearing) of a (3’1,2) phrase meaning “tide’s high” 

2d    Signs sheet oddly missing section in corner? (5)
INSET:  Even letters (… oddly missing) of SIGNS SHEET 

3d    Make error about hosting surly travellers (8)
PILGRIMS:  The reversal (about) of “make error” containing (hosting) a synonym of surly 

4d    Upwards route, right of organ (5)
RENAL:  Route or road and the single letter for right are joined and reversed (upwards, in a down clue) 

5d    Defeat husband in public argument (9)
OVERTHROW:  The genealogical abbreviation for husband is inserted in the fusion of public or open and a serious argument 

6d    Don't dismiss returning negative glance (4,2)
KEEP ON:  Synonyms of negative and glance are joined and reversed (returning

7d    Celebration spread, carried across Spain (8)
JAMBOREE:  Some spread for toast, perhaps, is followed by carried or tolerated containing (across) the IVR code for Spain 

8d    In auditorium, stand by something heavy (6)
WEIGHT:  A homophone (in auditorium) of a word meaning “stand by”

14d   Tended to eat before getting rushed (8)
CAREERED:  Tended or nursed containing (to eat) a poetic word for “before” 

15d   Lorikeet flying about mile? Not so far! (9)
KILOMETRE:  An anagram (flying) of LORIKEET containing (about) the single letter for mile. The definition refers back to that bit of the clue 

17d   Spiciness of quip can upset many, ultimately (8)
PIQUANCY:  An anagram (upset) of QUIP CAN is followed by the last letter (ultimately) of MANY 

18d   I'm hesitant to turn up tense for meal (6)
REPAST:  The reversal (to turn up, in a down clue) of an interjection expressing hesitation is followed by a grammatical tense 

20d   Helper's alert when old boy goes missing (7)
SERVANT:  Alert or watching minus the abbreviation for old boy (when old boy goes missing

21d   Fine needle in container (6)
FIRKIN:  Link together the pencil abbreviation for fine, needle or annoy, and IN from the clue 

23d   Weakling receives credit for fight (5)
SCRAP:  A weakling or sucker contains (receives) an abbreviation for credit 

24d   Animal's dry and content in pen (5)
BRUTE:  A synonym of dry in the context of wine is followed by the inner letter of (content of) PEN 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?


57 comments on “DT 30322

  1. Xcellent puzzle, best of the week for me, one of those where one marvels at the setter’s skill in constructing the wordplay.
    I had so many virtual ticks on my virtual sheet of paper…..but I’ve finally chosen 13a plus 1,15&20d for special mention.
    Many thanks indeed to ProXimal (or someone doing a fine imitation) and to Mr K.

  2. What a strange looking grid! I loved every moment of this solve. So many clever and witty clues, with plenty of misdirection, and, for me, very little head scratching. Very difficult to choose podium places today. I’ll go for 12a, 13a, 1d, 3d and my favourite 7d. Thanks to ProXimal for the absolute pleasure and Mr K – I didn’t need your help today but loved the lorikeet pic.

  3. I did 3/4’s of this lickety split but the SW/NE corners held me up. I went looking for the missing letters of the pangram I suspected and tried to cram exalt into 10a to no avail. It was only after completion I realised that proXimal must be the setter when I remained exless. If proXimal is on duty for the Sunday Toughie I will have to put my thinking cap on.
    Thanks to proXimal and Mr K

  4. For me, etc, quite a very enjoyable challenge from the 25 letter pro_imal – 3.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 13a, 3d, 5d, 21d, and 24d – and the winner is 13a for the clever use of boxer.

    Thanks to proXimal and Mr K.

  5. DNF for me i thought it was going to be an unusually straightforward guzzle for a Friday as I rapidly filled in the NW Corner and some of the SE. Then I ground to a dead halt with q group of 4 interlocking clues in both the SW and NE. So a game of two halves for me, half great clues and half utter frustration, where I had toook at the (albeit excellent) hints. Thanks Mr K. I liked 13a, 26a, 7d and 27a.. Thanks to Proximal for another frubbing

  6. An extremely enjoyable Friday-level puzzle – thanks to Messrs X and K.
    I’ve narrowed down my selections for praise to 12a, 13a, 1d and 5d.

  7. Defeated myself by entering the wrong word for 18d on the basis of one letter and could not get it to parse. This fouled up the whole SW corner until I saw my mistake.

    Clue of the day for me too is 13a where it is a change not to have a dog or fighter involved.

    I worked in a cooperage in my school holidays where the occasional 21d was repaired.

    Good to have three homophones which all work in this corner of the UK too.

    Thanks to setter and hinter.

    1. I thought that 21d was something completely different, so I have to thank you for helping me to learn something new. I thought it was a decorative pin used in days when men wore exotic coats and so on, have no idea where I got that.

      1. A bodkin was a long ornamental hairpin. Perhaps that was what you were thinking about?

  8. Last to fall were 25a & 7d – should have paid more attention to letters of the alphabet given who was in charge of todays’ grid!
    Podium spots handed out to 12&13a along with 1,3 & 17d.

    Thanks to proXimal and also to Mr K and his unusual menagerie.

  9. What a belter, a proper Friday backpager. Cracking challenge and I’ve ended up with far too many clues ticked to list them all, so will restrict to 12a, 13a, 26a, 1d, 21d & COTD 7d. Generally great surface reads, and such clever / deceptive clueing, eg 24d, 25a etc.

    3.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and of course also to Mr K

  10. Only two stars for difficulty? righto chum. I found this harder than Chinese algebra, and needed two bites at it to complete.
    Great crossword however with some really outstanding clueing, favourite for me was 7d which put me in mind of those dreadful bags that came from the sweetshop in the sixties, three hard tasteless sweets, a paper hat and a small comic, I dreaded Mum coming home with them.
    Nasty surprise when I viewed the hints with the picture for 26a, can’t even look at them in books or on screen, phobia with a capital F for me. Many thanks to our setter today, great fun!

  11. As normal for a Friday found this a very convoluted puzzle and not a great solve. Had to use lots of hints/cheats to get through it, so really a DNF for me.

    Favourites that I actual figured out myself were 22a, 23a, 1d, 3d & 21d with winner 21d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  12. For me just an OK puzzle, too tricksy with some rather iffy definitions (18d, 14d). Surely 18a is singular not plural.
    Did like 26a and 20a.
    Thx to all

  13. Typically Fridayish, which meant I struggled with some of it. Putting “box’ as the last three letters in 12a messed up the NE corner for a while. I didn’t think the arachnid at 26a did weave but on looking it up with Mr. G. I see that some do. I don’t have a COTD but I did like 13a and 20d.

    Many thanks to the setter but I could not do your offering justice today. Thank you Mr. K. for the much needed hints.

    Our little Citroen Ami electric car had to go to the garage today for a recall. The Citroen dealer is in Shrewsbury and it was no fun driving along the A5 at 28 MPH with huge lorries overtaking me.

  14. V hard work. Not helped at all by putting in order for the duck, which blocked the NE corner for a while. Luckily the 7d fun sorted that out and finally put the 100% (yes!) in Latin O-level to work to parse it properly.
    Not sure that 26as really weave, at least not webs, though they do spin silk to line their nests, so I suppose that counts.
    I think gave goes to 13a, but lots of others too.
    Thanks to setter (pro.imal) and Mr K particularly for the pics!

  15. 2.5*/4*. Am excellent x-less pangram to finish the week, with 1d my favourite.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K.

  16. Loads to enjoy in this very fine puzzle, with 13a my pick from a very good selection of possible favourites. Perfect for a sunny Friday.

    My thanks to proXimal for the challenge, and to Mr K.

  17. A DNF from me today – I was trying to do it on my iPhone going to and from Norwich (as a passenger!) and it was just too fiddly. For all of you still enjoying lovely sunshine, Norwich was sunny and 22o. Drove home and as we came down the hill towards our village, there it was, thick cloud again and the temperature was a mere 11o. Grrr! Went to M & S to get some new underwear for our hols – why would socks be 3 floors above underpants? Makes no sense. Anyway thanks to the setter and the hinter.

    1. Yes! Socks, for two feet, should be 3 feet BELOW underpants – just like they are on a chap’s body! :-)

      *Not one of my better efforts, admittedly …

  18. A DNF for me, but no surprise as it is Friday and proXimal. However, I did get a satisfying number of answers across the grid, which is much better than I usually do when challenged by this setter. I could finish, but I’ve already exhausted my self inflicted limited ration of hints, so unless I weaken later, I’ll settle for what I’ve got. Thanks Mr K, but missed the cats today 🐈😊.

  19. Put Eider (Hi there) for the duck and toolkit for 10a . After that it was impossible to finish. The Southwest corner also not easy. Second DNF in consecutive days without hints. I can’t remember when that last happened. It must be the hot weather.🥴Nonetheless some good clues on offer.
    Thanks to all.

    1. I was determined to stick eider in as well, took great self control to look for something different, but had to when 7d jumped in.

  20. A top-notch puzzle! Great clues, a quite tricky challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 1d. 3.5*/4.5*.

  21. 3/4. I enjoyed this puzzle which went in fairly quickly until I got to a couple of head scratchers.12a was LOI when the penny finally dropped. Favourite was 13a. Thanks to proXimal and Mr K.

  22. On course for a ** finish
    With just 25a and 21d to go.
    Brain turned to jelly for ** time.
    Latter first to fall followed within seconds
    By 25a
    And what brilliant Lego clue the latter was.
    Sheer enjoyment throughout.
    Many thanks proXimal and Mr K

  23. Another day where I needed the hints to finish, I hope my brain will return soon as I just seem to have lost the knack at the moment, of course it is Friday. I had not realised that breaking my foot would have affected my brain so much but I think my mind is distracted by all the things I need to do but can’t. It was a very clever puzzle and I enjoyed using the hints to complete the last few. I am pleased to see it was not felt to be completely straightforward as I was pleased with the ones I did. My favourite was 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

    1. Sorry to hear about the broken foot, Miss T. I fekt the same way about my broken left wrist last year, distracted about all the things i wanted to do and couldn’t. Fear not, lots of us ordinary mortals have found this week’s puzzles a tad more difficult than usual. Don’t let yourself feel disheartened by all rhe elite solvers, who contribute to this blog, eulogising about what a brilliantly challenging puzzle it was and how it just fitted into their coffee break.. We all have spells where we are off our game.

  24. Lovely clues but alas I assumed ‘kit’ for the ending of 12a which was a very silly thing to do! Thanks setter and MrK

  25. By no means a quick solve. Add me to those who thought kit, box & eider before twigging the wordplay. Pegging it as a likely X-less pangram came to the rescue at 7d but the main hold ups for me were 25a&21d. With the latter I convinced myself fine was the definition & spent way too long up the blind alley of trying to put my needle in a container (birkin the closest I got) before I saw the light.
    Agree with Stephen- bestof the week for me too. 9,13&25a along with 1,7&15d my picks
    Thanks to proXimal & to Mr K

  26. I am in the 13a for favourite group. Excellent. I did this driving (well, G was driving) over to Abbotts Ripton near Huntingdon for a very nice lunch. Lovely green countryside although the farmers must be praying for rain. No recourse to reference books in the car and eventually I had to check on a couple of hints. Dear Mr K, the word CAT on a carry bag does not cut the mustard. How can you give me a spider which does not morph into a kitten! Consider your knuckles rapped (unless of course you were very pressed for time in which case you are forgiven just this week. Thanks for the good wishes yesterday – last year was sapphire and 60 was emerald and you may rest assured I got what I wanted! Subtle pressure and the assistance of DD2. Many thanks to Mr Setter for an excellent guzzle, I seem to be as verbose as Hrothgar is terse. We make a good pair. I cannot believe that it is already a week since I was in a funk over the safari supper! Have a good weekend everyone.

  27. Once again “rain stopped play”, I was only partway through my pool routine when I had to come in.
    I expect Fridays to be tricky but this was friendlier than even Monday! It was a DNF for me 21d and 25a beat me, but that’s OK, I think I did pretty well. Looking for a pangram helped with 7d and 1d. I wrote in 16a but did not really believe it was a word. I do remember in the 1960s that “grotty” was the word du jour. my fave was 13a, it keeps me alive!
    Thank you proXimal, and Mr. K for unravelling so much, in particular 19a.
    Sadie had a bath yesterday, a nice gent came in his van. Her dog walker says she smells like a French whore!

    1. I’m so glad it wasn’t just me stumped by 25a and 21d. I still think 25a a bit abstruse but see how it works. Grot was a shop manned by Reginald Perrin….do look it up on YouTube with the phenomenal Leonard Rossiter

      1. Had a problem with the same two. Plus 7d as I would never put the spread on toast.

  28. After fifty years of doing this crossword we have both cast it aside. Really not normal standard

    1. I feel your pain Helen. I’ve been doing them since 1969, and they are definitely getting trickier. I used to think it was because I was getting older, but then I realized I do much better now than when I was still a spring chicken. Although I do concede that much of that improvement is because of what I have learnt from this blog.

    1. Hi Manders,
      I watched the programme when it was first shown but enjoyed seeing it again tonight and reminding myself how Cley is pronounced.
      Looks as though they had lovely weather for filming!

    2. I wish I could see it. I’ll have a watch on BritBox to see if it ever comes up. What is the name of the programme?

      1. It’s called ‘Villages by the Sea’ and is presented by the archaeologist Ben Robinson. Sadly, there was no sign of Manders!

          1. Just in case you didn’t already know – Manders’ village is Cley next the Sea.

            1. No, Jane, am not up that early! He does walk up and down the same bit of the village! Does bring a lump to my throat though. So glad you saw it.

  29. Good grief, finished a Friday crossword… and enjoyed it too! Thanks to Proximal and Mr K.

  30. Good evening
    This almost had me beat; I had to revert to the time-honoured tactic of going off and doing something else (ie work!) and letting the missing answers come up my back as and when they felt like it. Which, eventually, they did. 7d was the last to go in and is well worth a “Crikey!”. Thanks to ProXimal & Mr K

  31. I was another who entered eider without a great deal of confidence until when I was unable to progress in that corner I did reveal mistakes. Too many fine clues to mention, thanks to ProXimal and Mr K

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