DT No 30345 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT No 30345

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30345

Hints and tips by StephenL

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

Good morning everyone from a sunny and bright South Devon coast.

I found today’s puzzle mainly straightforward but with a bit of a sting in the tail with the last three or four requiring more serious thought. All the usual good fun though with this setter’s trademark wit and innuendo on show within his very succinct style of clueing.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Pleasure is fantastic, excited about love (12)
SATISFACTION: Anagram (excited) of IS FANTASTIC around a single-letter abbreviation for love.

9a Reportedly beginning journey (5)
ROUTE: A homophone (reportedly) of a synonym of beginning or origin.

10a Bowled over and knocked for six (9)
IMPRESSED: Double definition, both used metaphorically.

11a Bent coppers circumventing transfer (10)
PREFERENCE:  Nothing to do with The Met, place some coppers or coins, around (circumventing) a synonym of transfer or send on. Bent here is a noun. Excellent.

12a Stay with sweetheart following proposal (4)
BIDE: A proposal or offer plus this setter’s usual swEetheart.

13a Fantastic character having singular vision? (7)
CYCLOPS: A cryptic definition, the singular vision being a reference to the character only having one eye. I’ll spare you a picture.

15a Leak from spy episode (7)
SEEPAGE: Two synonyms needed here, one of spy as a verb and the other of an episode or significant period.

17a Beat chap touching line (7)
TANGENT: Put together synonyms of beat or thrash (one’s hide perhaps) and an informal or abbreviated man.

19a Revealing bust from vessel potter’s turned (7)
TOPLESS: Hidden (from) and reversed (turned) in the clue.

21a First lady with Queen, always (4)
EVER: A biblical first lady and a single-letter abbreviation for Queen.

22a Standard bond squeezing glue oddly (10)
REGULATION: Place a synonym of bond in the sense of affinity around (squeezing) the odd letters of GlUe.

25a Cure sipped, say, for indigestion (9)
DYSPEPSIA: Anagram (cure) of the following two words.

26a Benefit of a mask in speech (5)
AVAIL: A from the clue followed by a homophone (in speech) of a type of mask usually worn by women to partially conceal their faces.

27a Contemporary welcoming New Age feeling (12)
PRESENTIMENT: Place a synonym of contemporary around (welcoming) the abbreviation for New and a synonym of age or era.


1d In due course consume pickle (5)
SOUSE: I presume this is parsed as a two-letter word that could mean “in due course” maybe in the sense of thereafter or accordingly plus a synonym of consume in the sense of expend or deplete.

2d For this reason free other crook (9)
THEREFORE: Anagram (crook) of the preceding two words.

3d Splinters found in small organs (7)
SLIVERS: The abbreviation for Small and the plural of a large organ in the abdomen

4d Mountains containing area around animals (7)
ALPACAS: Place a well-known mountain range in Europe around (containing) the abbreviation for Area and an abbreviation for about or CircA.

5d Bank limit beginning to rankle (4)
TIER: A synonym of limit or restrict and the initial letter of Rankle.

6d Stubborn old boy’s dined, purchasing can (9)
OBSTINATE: Insert a synonym of can (of beans say) between the abbreviations for Old Boy (including the possessive S) and a simple synonym of dined. The containment indicator is purchasing.

7d Capricorn possibly subject about ram’s head? (6)
TROPIC: A subject or theme around (about) the initial letter (head) of Ram. Nothing to do with a horoscope.

8d Stick plug in this place (6)
ADHERE: Follow an abbreviated plug in the sense of publicise with an adverb meaning “in this place”.

14d Priest perhaps forces son to change (9)
CONFESSOR: Anagram (to change) of the preceding two words.

16d Walk beside the seaside? (9)
ESPLANADE: A mildly cryptic definition, the walk here being a noun not a verb. Here’s a very familiar one.


17d Attempt to hold butt in (6)
TRENDY: Place a synonym of attempt or have a go around one of butt or tail. I liked this one.

18d Trump’s first excuse for sedition (7)
TREASON: The initial letter of Trump and an excuse or justification.

19d Very high roller (7)
TSUNAMI: Another mildly cryptic definition, the roller being a wave. Love this.

20d Accusing lecher embracing one (6)
SINGLE: Hidden (embracing). Took me a while to see this, very smart.

23d Out of place, snooze during sex (5)
INAPT: Place a short sleep inside a two-letter synonym of sex. Lol.

24d Maybe extremely sticky situation, initially (4)
MESS: Ani Initial letters clue, giving an extended definition.

Many thanks to Ray T. My winners were 11a plus 17&20d. Which ones were top of your list?





89 comments on “DT No 30345

  1. Oh, 11a, that sort of ‘bent’ :scratch: . Doh !! Took a while, last to fall, but I got there. Very good, particularly used in that context.
    19a a bit of a groaner again, lovely misdirection in 20d but 25a gets my star as I misread the purpose of that ‘say’ for far too long. Enjoyed that one :good: .

  2. Straightforward but fun whilst it lasted. 19d gets my vote.

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL.

  3. Thought it was a bit more tricky than usual even for a Thursday before I realised on completion that I had printed two copies of The Toughie.

    Now for The Cryptic. (Recommend The Toughie today too.)

  4. For me this was at the gentler end of Ray T’s spectrum but as enjoyable as ever. I did think that both 16 and 19d were barely cryptic and I notice now that Stephen has commented thus in his hints. I took far too long to see the lurker at 20d. When will I ever learn?! Favourite today was 11a with podium places for 13a, 8d and the anagram at 14d for the surface read. Thanks to Ray T and StephenL.

  5. There were a good few straightforward clues today but the NW corner had some super examples of Mr T’s skill at misdirection and unexpected synonyms. Once the penny , it was the best part of the guzzle as well as the trickiest. I liked 11a, 2d, 4d and the aallin oane clue24am thanks to SL for the hints and to Mr T for another enjoyable guzzle.

  6. I wonder if anyone else bunged in ‘promenade’ at 16d as I did with nary a thought I could be wrong until every clue around it seemed to be impossible. Woe betide the speedy bunger-inner (me).
    A cheery guzzle that took quite a bit of thought for several.

    Will it be Jonny Bairstow’s revenge over the next five days? Or perhaps the Australians will show their superiority once again. I fear it will be the latter. I hope I am wrong.

    Thanks to Raitee and Dharma Of The Dumnonii.

      1. I so wanted to bung in promenade but I already had the p from 19a, which I was positive about…

    1. I did! Especially as promenade can be used as a verb. Realised my error when I got 19a so it didn’t slow me too much…

    2. Fortunately, 15a went in first so the choice of first letter for 16d was made for me.

      1. Me too. Surprised our editor allowed it when the obvious and better solution is the wrong one!

        1. A very good clue. Definition is both a noun and a verb. Without checkers, two possible answers – one a noun and a verb the other a noun only. So, checkers required to confirm which possible answer is correct. Nothing wrong with that (especially in a Ray T puzzle)!

    3. I had the starting checker in when I came to the clue & the answer immediately had me thinking about The Sopranos – Tony & his crew having had their dirty fingers all over the unions involved in that New Jersey construction project.

  7. Mr T in a reasonably benign and generous mood today. I don’t think that I gave up any brain cells but I did get ‘tangled up’ over trying to put an extra N in 27a. **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 17a, 4d, and 7d – and the winner is 11a.

    Thanks to Ray T and StephenL.

  8. Ticks all over the page today! Double ticks to the clever 25A and equally clever 20D (when I finally twigged it). Many thanks to RayT and Stephen L.

  9. Good fun from Ray T today – thanks to him and StephenL.
    My only hesitation was in 10a where I thought that the two definitions were pretty much the same thing.
    My list of likes is the same as that of our esteemed reviewer.

    1. My guess is that Ray likes that a bowler getting hit for six in an over can result in two identical definitions.

      Well, that’s why I liked it……and the whole crossword, while we’re on the subject. An enjoyable, gentle workout, very much like facing Robinson’s trundlers (probably a tad harsh) as opposed to Wood’s 95mph+ howitzers, reminiscent of tomorrow’s triumvirate.

      Ray T is up to his usual high standard with 1d holding out the longest and 13a being my COTD.

      Many thanks to him and SL.


    2. Agreed. Presumably Ray T was just keeping it all cricket for the 3rd Test 😬

  10. Another lovely RayT guzzle. My favourite was 17d. 20d held out for a while before the penny dropped.
    Thanks to RayT and hinter.

  11. Most enjoyable, a lot of fun while it lasted. Trademark RayT from beginning to end. Always remarkable how he maintains the brevity and precision, week in, week out. Ticks afterwards to 12, 13 & 26a, 4 & 18d.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to RayT & Stephen

  12. This wonderful crossword week continues with a gem from the master of brevity. I am going for a 2*/4.5* rating.

    Unless I am missing something, aren’t both definitions for 10a effectively the same?

    I failed to parse 22a as I took “oddly” as an anagram indicator which meant the answer needed to be “ration” around an anagram of “glue”, and, not surprisingly, I couldn’t see any way that “bond” = “ration”. Thanks to SL for sorting that out.

    My top picks were 11a, 13a, 17a, 19a, 15d & 20d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL.

  13. The correct puzzle this time and an enjoyable one too. Had to look up 27a for confirmation as it is not a word in (my) regular use.

    Favourites include 19a, 7d and my LOI 20d which I too took a while to see.

    My other half will enjoy 12a when she gets home from work although no proposal is imminent!

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL.

  14. A great deal of 1a to be had from the handiwork of one of my favourite compilers. Hard to choose but I think I’ll award the medals to 11&12a plus 17d.

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

  15. Another excellent offering from the Master of Brevity. I wonder if some of the American solvers had trouble with 9a given US pronunciation of how you get from A to B. Mind you, Nat King Cole (and numerous other artists) used the UK pronunciation in that famous song that high winds from Chicago to LA🦇

    1. To hear 9a pronounced the American way grates on me. Armies are “rowted”, route rhymes with “root”. Don’t ask me about “rowter”, words fail me, and my English friends use it!

  16. I found this on the tougher side of Ray T’s spectrum and I needed the hints to help me finish. I have no particular favourites today just happy to finish.

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

  17. A fairly gentle puzzle today, most enjoyable while it lasted. Took me ages to spot that lurker at 20d! My top spot goes to cheeky 17d though. Thank you Ray and Stephen

  18. Well I’m halfway through and popped in for some extra help. Is that a photo of Babbacombe Stephen? I’ve actually sat on that seat and grew up in the area! Anyway I’m enjoying the crossword so far. Couldn’t make any sense of the quick pun so thanks for putting me out of my misery and thanks for the much needed extra clues SL. Also thanks to Ray T for another wonderful cryptic. Weather a bit brighter today and looking good for Hampton Court flower show tomorrow.

    1. It is indeed the promenade at Babbacombe Helen, as I commented a very familiar spot to me.

      1. The photo of Babbacombe brought back many happy memories of family holidays in Torquay. We were last there in November 2019 and walked the coast path from Torquay Harbour to Teignmouth (over a couple of days!). It’s a delightful stretch of coastline. A trip to the Cary Arms was compulsory too!

  19. Like Steve I thought this was a bit trickier than some, but I do have trouble with getting in the groove on a Thursday. I also went for a promenade in 16d which didn’t help. I had to resort to electronic help for 1d but otherwise managed the rest, I was stumped with parsing 22a as I used all the letters of glue as a partial anagram so the outside word didn’t parse! I missed the lurker in 20d….slapped wrist again, even though I got the answer. Lots of clever clues which I enjoyed, no favourites but I am glad I am improving with my Thursday abilities.

    Many thanks to Ray T and Stephen L for the hints

  20. Ray T in one of his benign moods for which I for one was most grateful.
    Very enjoyable and worth the wait.
    Thx to all

  21. Loved this Ray T puzzle. Managed to do it all without much help. Always look forward to these.
    11a was my favourite.
    Thanks Ray T and Stephen L

  22. Great all round fun.
    But time extended by not
    Immediately recognising the
    Anagram signal in 2d
    And slow to consider another
    Definition of 11a.
    Beautifully concealed lurker
    In 19a.
    Many thanks, RayT and StephenL.

  23. A nicely challenging enigma with NW holding out longest once alternative 16d solution had dawned on me. IMHO 1d, 10a and 19d clues are rather iffy. Favs 8d and 17d. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  24. I agree that this was an excellent guzzle (my iPhone is beginning to predict that, how sweet) and 19’s clever rekrul is my favourite. Last one in was 12a, I have to confess I bunged 10a and any crickety allusions were lost on me. The pocket rocket came this morning and I dealt with one of the rose beds which wore me out and she achieved miracles. We are so lucky to have her. And lucky to have Messrs Tee and Ell to give us such entertainment. Thank you.

  25. All a little confused for me, I had 16d down as PROMENADE which, as far as I was concerned, fitted the criteria.

    1. You’ve shortened your alias so this needed moderation. Both versions will work from now on.

  26. A comfortable and most enjoyable solve from the king of the concise clue. Aside from 10a, which had many people confused, there were no duff ones in the whole grid, and I can’t pick a favourite.

    Thanks to Ray T and SL.

  27. I’m usually lost with RayT but I finished this one and enjoyed it, only got 1d wrong; “souse and pilau” is the National dish of Trinidad, I shudda got that. I was amused by 25a, a bit Victorian, isn’t that what Scrooge suffered from? My runaway favourite is 18d, I’ll only give three guesses why.
    Thanks RayT for the fun and StephenL for unravelling some.

    1. No guesses needed, Merusa – but thank goodness Big Dave (RIP) declared the blog to be a politics free zone! 😉

    2. Hi Merusa,
      Not sure whether it was actually one of your recommendations but if not and you haven’t read it, I think you might enjoy ‘The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club’ (Faith Hogan).

  28. I found this a little less challenging than some of Mr T’s puzzles. Favourite clue 4d simply because I love those creatures. LOI 20d – a clever little lurker! In other news we’re enjoying a very welcome warmer day in the Peaks compared with the last few. Many thanks to RayT and StephenL.

  29. Not on a losing streak with this but like the singer of 1a I can’t get no fantastic pleasure from this Ray T despite finishing one for the first time.

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.

  30. Bit late today as I didn’t receive this one until about 2.45 – goddaughter must be on an afternoon shift. Quite gentle for a Ray T production with mostly fine clues giving an enjoyable but straightforward solve. Two clues I didn’t care for were 10a and 16d.The former being a DD comprising 2 more or less identical definitions, but the surface did provide good crickety misdirection. And the latter being plain too easy for a Ray T puzzle. But he’s still my favourite setter! I’ll go for 11a for my favourite. 2*/3.5*.

    *I also have a little gripe with SL. 19a – I’d have preferred the photo to suit the definition rather than the answer! :-)

  31. Good evening
    Unable to attempt yesterday’s, so thought I’d make up for it by getting today’s done in good time…and I was all pleased with myself for finishing, but I remembered I’d written a question mark next to 1d, which I’d entered as SAUCE, because I couldn’t parse it. As my Mam would say: “Ee, ne wonder you can’t parse it, pet, you’ve got it wrong!”
    So my thanks to Stephen L for putting me straight, and to Ray T.

  32. Another late start today with furnace ducts being cleaned today. Needed it too.

    Found this RayT puzzle a little on the tricky side today. Some clues a little tough to parse but overall manageable.


    Favourites include 2d, 4d, 16d, 17d & 23d with 17d winner
    I had the same word in 16d as all those commenting on post 6!

    Thanks to RayT and StephenL

  33. I think the numbing shots for my spinal ablation this morning have gone to my brain. This is definitely a benevolent Ray T, yet I still managed to make hard work of it, despite getting most of the long answers. Like Merusa, my COTD was 18d, and for the same reasons 😊. Ice pack and pain pills are calling me… Thanks to RayT and StephenL.

    1. Oh dear, I hope the ice pack and PKs are helping, BL. Poor you. There is nothing worse than a painful back.

      1. I’ll be fine soon, thanks Steve. This is just the after effects of the procedure. And should give me at least 6 – 12 months relief from sciatica. I’m just lucky that I was recommended to this really lovely and caring pain doctor.

  34. A fairly accessible crossword for a Thursday, as I managed more than half of it before looking at the hints that StephenL has kindly provided. Initially jumped in with a wrong but similar sort of walk to the answer for 16d. My favourite clues were 13a, 19d, and 20d. Not-so-favourites, 1d (I’m not convinced by the synonym for “in due course”) and 22a (not keen on the synonym for “bond”). Still not sure where the wordplay provides the middle letter for the answer to 15a.

    1. The solution at 15a needs to be split 3,4 to suit the wordplay Mark. I guess you’re trying to see it as 3,3.

      1. Thanks Stephen. I’ve just looked the four letter word up in my Chamber’s dictionary app, and the word ‘episode’ is in there at number five of the definitions the noun. So, I can now see it’s fair, albeit a tad remote!

  35. NW last in and managed to pick the right answer for 1d, otherwise no real problems. The usual wit and enjoyment normally associated with this setter. Favourite was 27a as I actually knew the word. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  36. A dnf due to 1d. A new word to me, possibly because I despise pickle with every fibre of my being. I doubt I would have got this clue even if I had heard the word though.

    Otherwise a very enjoyable challenge. At first pass I thought it was going to be a total washout.

    Thanks to all.

  37. Forgive me because this has nothing to do with crosswords – actually it could thinking about it.
    Myself and the rest of The Grumpy Old Gits of Kinnerley Stores (we gather each morning to get our papers) were talking about artificial intelligence. One member of our motley crew said it could write essays. Now, some of you may know that I am a post graduate tutor and I have to mark essays. I went on to ChatGPT, an AI app, and asked it to write an essay on irrigation of the root canal. It came back with a very good essay. I did not ask it to compile a cryptic crossword.
    I find this worrying.

    1. I love the group name 😊. But that is worrying about A1, how will teachers know when students have used this and not written themselves? If you know a student’s style, I guess, but otherwise it’s going to be a problem. I recall that teachers here got adept at knowing when a student had used “Cliff Notes” years ago. Not sure if they have that in England.

      1. I mark essays and dissertations on a programme called Turnitin. Most universities do. It picks up on plagiarism but not work produced by AI. The university are aware of the issue and are having a consultation in September. The one thing the ChatGPT did not provide was referencing but I suppose this could be added in later.

      2. Our group name was bestowed on us by others, BL because we stand in the shop, when it opens at 8.30, chewing the fat and discussing such things as the state of the roads. One member of our group is our official pot hole monitor. 😏
        After we have collected our papers we hang around and have a good laugh about various items of news or other topics we now realise are not as important as we all thought they once were.
        We have become something of an institution.

      3. TBH I notice it immediately when marking at college by the sudden, vastly improved grammar, spelling and vocabulary – bring ’em up to the front – point to one or two words and ask for a definition (recently “ameliorate” ha ha ha ) then follow up with ‘do it again , yourself’ lolol.
        Another good method is to make the question fantastically long such that the students have to cut and paste and hide nonsense sentences and occasional random letters in minute fonts coloured white which the AI sees but the students do not – the AI just says huh??
        Sometimes submitting their answer to the AI and asking ‘ did you compose this’ can yield results also. :D

    2. Yes, it is very worrying indeed. My son is a senior university lecturer in English Literature. He has been issued with guidelines to help identify essays written using ChatGPT, and has been trained in the use of anti-plagiarism software! How the world has changed in ways almost unimaginable to us old fogeys.

      1. It is worrying, RD. I hope I am issued with guidelines so I can suss it out. Just think – Doctors gaining their qualifications with AI then working in hospitals or general practice not knowing a thing.

        I think I will ask ChatGPT to write a cryptic clue.

        1. It is worrisome, especially for us old fogies who aren’t part of the medical mafia! How will we know when we have someone treating us who couldn’t pass a year one exam. We have to rely on you lot to sweep out the trash for us, what a responsibility.

  38. Late to this as on official starter duties for today’s LIV pro-am. Good fun announcing major winners & being up close watching them whack the ball off the tee. Always enjoy a Ray T guzzle & today no exception though this comparatively gentle offering wasn’t in my view one of his very best. Like TG 1d was last in & a bit of a parsing head scratch but came to pretty much the same conclusion as our reviewer. 11a my fav.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Stephen

  39. 4*/3* ….
    liked 13A “Fantastic character having singular vision? (7)”

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