DT 30323 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30323 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30323 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Crypticsue is attending a family wedding today so I’m temporarily occupying her chair and providing a few hints.

This puzzle should appeal to those who enjoy anagrams – there are no less than nine here including four in a row in the down clues.

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, a few clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a Freely opt in earnest for formal introduction (12)
An anagram (freely) of OPT IN EARNEST.

12a Fruitless steps to hide hesitation (7)
The sort of steps which help you get over a hedge contain an expression of hesitation.

14a Seems upset with short short periods of learning (9)
An anagram (upset) of SEEMS is followed by an adjective meaning short or curt without its last letter (short).

21a Empty marquee a certain size (7)
Assemble the word marquee without its inner letters (empty), A and a synonym of certain.

26a Still calm about reconstruction of shelters (12)
Reverse (about) an adjective meaning calm (of a temperament, say) and append an anagram (reconstruction) of SHELTERS.


1d Father’s wise transaction (7)
Bring together an affectionate term for father, the ‘S and an adjective meaning wise or learned. If, like me, you’re struggling to work out how the answer means transaction you may be helped by the BRB which has for it ‘transaction, interchange of communication or intercourse, dealings together’. I hope that makes more sense to you than it does to me!

2d Was left sheltering son (7)
A verb meaning left or went out contains the genealogical abbreviation for son.

3d Puts into practice duties surrounding English king (9)
The sort of duties that you pay on your bottles of plonk contain abbreviations for English and king.

18d Regular performance of marsupial and adolescent for the audience (7)
‘For the audience’ indicates a homophone and we need two, the first of an Australian marsupial and the second of an adolescent.

22d Boat crew‘s condition of being tall originally ignored (5)
A word meaning the condition or quality of being tall without its first letter (originally ignored).

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: INN  +  SIR  +  SHUN  =  INSERTION    

72 comments on “DT 30323 (Hints)

  1. It tok me a while to get started but, when I started , in the SE, things began to fall into place. 5here were some stonking anagrams and clever misdirection, such a delightcafter a week, in which a lot of refugee Toughies sought a hiding place on the back page. I liked 1a, 3d, 26a (another clever clue for this popular word) end 2d. Thanks to Gazza for the hints, not needed for the first time this week) and to the compiler.

  2. Had all the checkers for 5d but just could not get it without electronic assistance – doh! The rest fell into place quite neatly helped by the anagrams. Mistakenly tried to get “i’d” twice into 15d until I saw the light.

    Favourites include 12a and 18d.

    Not many comments so far today. Everyone must be out enjoying the summer weather.

    Thanks to setter and hinter.

  3. Good Saturday fun, which was most welcome after some of the challenges that preceded it, and after careful thought, while I was sleeping, my five bob is saying that Cephas is today’s setter – **/****

    Candidates for favourite 14a,16a, 2d, and 18d – and the winner is 14a for the slightly confusing repeated ‘short.’

    Thanks to Cephas, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks to Gazza.

  4. Like Chriscross, I took a while to get going and didn’t think I would make much headway. Then it gradually came together for a satisfying solve. Getting three of the four long perimeter ones helped me to “enter” the puzzle. Plenty to like including 12a and 18d but my COTD is 14a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, Gazza for the hints and for stepping in.

    Supposedly going to reach 29 degrees today in The Marches and I’m working in the garden! :phew:

    Still, I’ve managed to plant petunias and put bark chippings round the Dahlias.

    1. Love petunias, they are winter plants here in humid land. Just discovered our house is built on land previously used as a gladioli farm, so I plan to plant some this year.

        1. .and all I ever do all day is cry” in the words of the song…no doubtvan antidote to “The Laughing Policeman”

  5. Like Gazza, I had a big question mark over the answer for 1d. Otherwise this puzzle was a relief from the torturous offerings in recent days.**/****

  6. A good honest Saturday puzzle with no hint of the Toughie to be found. Favourite among many very good clues 16a. Luckily the East coast of North Yorkshire is still being cooled by eastern breezes.

    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. I would have braved the trip to Scarbados today but the usual logjam on the A64 turned us back

      1. Meanwhile the southeast is awash with new roads and road widening while they can’t even make the A64 a dual carriageway all the way from York to Scarborough.

  7. Really enjoyed this but took a while to get going. Last one in 9a as I couldn’t see the spume! Hurray, the sun is at last out here and it is now 23 degrees. Hope some people other than Jane managed to see my village on BBC2 last night filmed on a lovely day like today. Many thanks to today’s setter for the fun and to Gazza for filling in for CS. Isn’t this site marvellous!

    1. Was it a repeat? I seem to remember seeing Cley on TV a couple of years ago. I have visited it several times and it is charming.

      1. You are quite right DG, it was a repeat. Penelope Keith also made a programme on Cley 3 or 4 years ago That one also featured Simon on his boat – I actually think hers was better. Cley is also in the news as a theatre impresario has been told to tear down his house as it contravened all the planning laws in an AONB. Its locally called the Cley Clap Clinic and looks very like the Travelodge on the 505 outside Duxford!

        1. 1 watched it too. it was nice to find something worth watching on TV. I enjoyed the programme.

  8. Lots of fun, no particular problems. Had a variant of 22d in the Times quickie yesterday or the day before so that helped. Faves a toss-up between 19a, which I have been unable to spell for 70 years and 18d which made me giggle; equal 1st!
    Thanks to setter and Gazza, and wishing CS and co a great day.

  9. Scorchio here in Yorkshire, Sat by the Wharfe in Wetherby watching a flotilla of ducklings sail by. Enjoying a transaction with the ice cream van which involved the 1d of much money in exchange for a couple of Raspberry Ripple 99’s
    Thanks to Gazza and the change from the ice cream will be wagered on Cephas.
    I can recommend our own Dutch’s offering in the Indy today for those wanting something a little bit tougher.

    1. Thunder and lightning and a heavy shower with hail punct uated our sunny day family gathering inmy Vale of white Horse garden at about 4.00 pm. No watering cans for me tonight.

  10. 2*/4*. I was concerned that this would be tougher than normal for a SPP when my starting point of the NW stubbornly held out. However the other three corners fell into place smoothly and when I returned to the NW that too followed suit, although, like others, I remain unconvinced by 1d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for standing in.

      1. There’s nothing wrong with the wordplay of 1d. What RD is unconvinced of, as am I, is how the answer means transaction.

  11. I am relieved to hear that I was not alone in my struggles with the cryptic offerings of the past few days! Today’s puzzles was much more user friendly. 2D and 19D are my favorites. Thanks to Gazza for stepping in, and to the setter.

    Looking forward to being able to get outside today as well as breathe easier now that the air quality is no longer affected by the Canadian wildfires.

  12. This was one of those crosswords where after a first glance, I proclaim, “WAH!” but then bung in a couple and the rest follows. Such guzzles are my favourites. Lotta anagrams but I find them reassuring because once identified, one knows that the answer is just waiting to be untangled.

    Manders – we will be watching your village on ‘catch-up’ over the weekend. I’ve seen glimpses of it before on television but I’m looking forward to seeing its full deliciousness.

    Apparently, we are heading out to H’s dressmaker people for a new dress to be altered. Thank goodness for air-conditioning in the car.

    Thanks to the setter and the former manager of Kettering Town.

  13. Far too many anagrams for me today, though they certainly helped me to get a foothold. There were some very clever, if unlikely, synonyms some of them rather 11a and requiring more than a little lateral thinking. I enjoyed the whole thing, just needing to check my answer to 1d with the BRB. There it is,so who can argue?! Favourite today was 18d – it made me laugh, joined on the podium by 16a, 2d and 19d. Thanks to the compiler and Gazza.

  14. 1d was definitely a case of ‘I suppose it has to be’ but everything else slotted in quite satisfactorily.
    Top three here were 12&13a plus 2d with a special mention for 18d in honour of Gazza’s cartoon!

    Thanks to our setter and to our stand-in hinty person. Hope that CS is having a good time at the wedding.

    1. I have a book recommendation for you: The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie.
      Any recent news of Robert?

      1. Thanks for that, Merusa, I’ve put it on my list. By the way, have you read any of Jane Johnson’s novels? I’m onto my third one now and really enjoying them. Ms Johnson is a fascinating lady from Cornwall who is married to a Berber chieftain!

  15. A very enjoyable guzzle for me today.
    My only hold up was 26a but the penny eventually dropped when I had all the checkers.
    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    The sun has finally come out here…hurrah!

  16. Super puzzle, lots of lovely anagrams and no biblical references! Best Saturday puzzle for a long time.
    Thx to all

  17. 26a was last in for me, only because I let myself get sent off on a wild goose chase. The anagrams helped, but I still found this a bit more difficult than the last couple of Saturdays. All good fun though, with thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the cartoon.

  18. Well, I found this Saturday puzzle, (as I did this wet Friday night as I solved it), both a breath of fresh air.
    Puzzle was straightforward, not brain scrambling like a few this week have been, but a nice pleasant solve. No obscure or unheard of words to contend with either
    To me this really felt like a Cephas puzzle so I am throwing in a couple of half-crowns that it was he.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 12a, 14a, 21a, 3d & 19d — with winner 14a … well devised clue I thought. Runner up would have to be 3d
    The four long perimeter clues were a good springboard to get started.

    Thanks to Cephas & Gazza

  19. I’m with Mhids on 18d for favourite. I am an anagram fan so these were helpful in getting established. I think the pen is definitely coming my way again. Today it is the church fete in our twin village and I really should put in an appearance but it is 34• here in the shade and I am fighting shy of making the effort. Our garden is an oasis of shade and quiet. Duty or comfort?
    Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter and hope that the sun is shining also for CS at the wedding.

    1. Big Massa can’t please you. One day it’s perishing freezing, next day too hot!

    1. Thanks for popping in to tell me that my winnings from last week have gone down the drain.

    2. Well someone does a good impression of your style of crossword and clueing then. Thanks anyway.

  20. Thank you setter for restoring my confidence after a tough crossword solving week. Thank you too Gazza for standing in for CS. Now I need to download a book onto my Kindle to read in the garden. Not sure what to go for next.

  21. 2/4. The plethora of anagrams made this relatively easy to break into. 1d was a bung in but had to be right. 14a won the gold medal. Thanks to the setter and Gazza. Thank goodness we’ve had rain, at least where I live, but the fires are still dreadful. We aren’t even in summer yet and millions of hectares are burned.

  22. I haven’t accessed this puzzle today – my goddaughter hasn’t scanned/emailed it to me from where she works – but I have solved a few of the clues above and then read the H & Ts/comments. As Gazza reports, in 1d “transaction” is mentioned in the BRB under the answer word but only as part of a descriptive sentence – not as a single-word/stand alone definition. If “transition” had been used instead no confusion/befuddlement would exist.

  23. Really enjoyed this, the anagrams helped a lot and 18d made me laugh and is my favourite.

    Waiting to see if se will get a thunderstorm soon, it keeps looking suspicious then being sunny again.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the hints.

      1. Lucky you – I would suffer some of that to get a bit of moisture for the garden.

      2. Oooh – ridiculous how our weather is being – we’re no distance from you at all (in the middle of Oxford) and we had a very short shower, no hail, let alone thunder and frightening (to quote one of my nephews a long time ago when he was little)! Wonder what it’s going to be like for the next few days . . .

  24. The framework of long anagrams
    Provided helpful
    Beginnings and ends.
    Last in 9a and 5d followed
    A smooth filing-in.
    Mild start, or is it the end?
    Of the crossword week.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

    1. To make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. (Inspector Morse, via T S Eliot).

  25. Pretty straightforward solve for us with no major hold-ups. Enjoyable despite having no real favourite. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  26. Right up my straße, I enjoyed this from start to finish, wotta relief from the Toughies from the last week. I had a ? at 1d too, but the one I really couldn’t get was “spume”, I’ve looked everywhere to make it a synonym with the answer, well, I suppose it must be. Imagine, a crossword solved unaided, with only a quick peek at the thesaurus. Fave was, natch, 18d, for the cartoon.
    Thank you whomsoever set this, I just loved it, and Gazza for his hints and pic, especially 18d!

  27. Thoroughly enjoyed this one today, big thank you to the setter for getting my Saturday off to a great start. All went in steadily, with the exception of the NE corner where I did need some help. Grateful for the abundance of anagrams today, always such a help in getting those important checkers. Thanks too go Gazza for stepping in.

  28. I enjoyed this
    Getting ready to swap Kent for Devon. Both places need rain so I hope we get one or two of those elusive thunderstorms
    I’ll admit to electronic help with the long anagrams. They gave me a welcome head start. COTD? probably 11a though loved te illustration for 18d

  29. As lots of people have already said its lovely to have a crossword that isn’t one too difficult to enjoy.
    Lots and lots of anagrams – OK for me as I like them but a bit too many for others probably.
    The long anagrams all round the outside were a great way to get going.
    I liked 11a (made me laugh – don’t know why!) and 24a and 2 and 5d. I think my favourite was 16d.
    Thanks to whoever who set this one and to Gazza for doing the hints and giving CS a Saturday off!

  30. My five bob would have gone west too having had this one pegged as a Cephas production. No specific fav but a nicely clued guzzle that thankfully didn’t require the same amount of head scratching needed over the last couple of days.
    Thanks to the setter & to Gazza

  31. A welcome relief from a week of mainly unappealing mind-benders. Anagrams (although not my favourite cryptic form) certainly provided much initial support. South came on board ahead of the North. My Fav 10a. Thank you Mysteron and Gazza.

  32. Rather naughty of me, I’ve been watching with glee, wondering who would lose their five bob – apologies Senf (again?) Apologies too to Gazza for three too many anagrams. I believe some came in as editorial improvements as I rigidly try to stick to the six maximum rule but it is so tempting to use good ones for long words. Many thanks to Gazza for the hints and especially for the delightful illustration for 18d. Indeed, 1d doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either but when the BRB provides a definition that fits so well into the surface reading of a clue, it’s difficult to resist it.

  33. A veritable breeze after yesterday’s slog! All but 5 on the first steady run through, with the last 2 (9a 3d) raking as long as the rest put together, with interest.

  34. I haven’t looked at the hints or comments as I have to solve the crossword and do the full review when we get back but just wanted to thank Gazza for standing in for me while we are in Co Laois for Son no 2’s wedding. We all said it was the best wedding we’ve ever attended. Google Ballintubbert House and Gardens which are lovely

    1. I’m so glad it all went well and you had a good time. I will certainly google Ballintubbert House, it sounds lovely.

    2. I’m glad that you enjoyed your Saturday off yesterday and that the wedding went well and that it was all lovely – of course it was – it was your son’s wedding!

    3. It certainly does look to be a wonderful venue, I hope the food was equally wonderful?
      I was rather taken with the idea of an ‘electric picnic’ – the mind boggles!

      1. Mr CS, who has been a vegetarian since he was a small boy said it was the best vegetarian food he’d ever eaten. It was excellent. The gardens are magnificent and the water garden was perfect for the ceremony

        Just resting in our airport hotel before going into Dublin for day 2 – a barbecue. Home again tomorrow and back to crosswords

  35. 2*/4* ….
    liked 18D “Regular performance of marsupial and adolescent for the audience (7)” … & the cartoon.

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