DT 30347 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30347 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30347 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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It is extremely hot and muggy here this morning, so much so that our neighbours’ tortoise has got up early to enjoy both the sunshine and an early breakfast. It is hotter here than in Madeira where her owners are on a week’s holiday.


Not a particularly tricky crossword with lots of anagrams and double unches so I know where I’m going to place my 50p bet. Before anyone who solved the clue to 24a in either the paper or an early online version complains about the clue, please look at the hint!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of 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.

Across

1a    Gain for female with sex appeal (6)
A preposition meaning for, the abbreviation for female and the usual sex appeal

10a    Put weight on! (6)
No need for a diet, this putting weight on relates to placing emphasis on a syllable or word

12a    Methuselah‘s nerve? (6)
A wine container holding eight times as much as the usual size, or a slang term for nerve

13a    Alan being awkward losing answer that’s making things possible (8)
An anagram (awkward) of aLAN BEING ‘losing’ one of the abbreviations for Answer

20a    Cannon ball (6)
For this clue to be a double definition, the informal name for an anti-aircraft gun (cannon) really needs to be hyphenated 3-3; the second definition relates to a type of fluffy ball

24a    Fugitive with brief notion to stay in hotel on holiday (8)
A truncated (brief) notion inserted (to stay in) between the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and an adverb meaning not at home (on holiday). The word brief has been added to the clue as the original version meant there would have been too many As in the solution

25a    Mitigation shown by judge locking up priest (6)
An abbreviated judge ‘locking up’ Crosswordland’s favourite Old Testament priest

Down

2d    Park it in garden at first? That’s telling (8)
An abbreviated park, IT and IN (from the clue) and the first letter of Garden

3d    Inclined to steal: light this! (8)
If you were inclined to steal, you could be described as light this


6d    Intro to aria with unusually strong melody (3-4)
The ‘intro’ to aria and an anagram (unusually) of STRONG How many people, like me, had to check in the BRB that there was such a melody?

14d    Something to write on as college set up photographer with Queen (9)
A reversal (set up) of a well-known private school (college), a slang abbreviation for a [spying or harassing] photographer and the regnal cipher of our late Queen

15d    A measure to restrict strike if absolutely necessary (2,1,5)
A (from the clue) and a measurement to ‘restrict’ or go round a verb meaning to strike gently

17d    Expert to pass diplomatic code (8)
An expert, TO (from the clue) and a pass in a mountain range

19d    French couturier having morning with a model? (7)
A famous French couturier, the abbreviation for morning and A (from the clue)

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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: PITCH + YEARBOOK = PICTURE BOOK

94 comments on “DT 30347 (Hints)

  1. Good fun. A couple of tickly ones not helped by somehow misspelling 19a – particularly strange given how it is arrived at for goodness’ sake lol.
    Held back from 20 under the illusion that it should be hyphenated.
    I DID wonder about 24 .
    Favourites? 3, 16, 17d and 21.

  2. I think you have put yourself on the naughty step with your hint for 6d! ‘intro’ to aria.

  3. This was quite enjoyable and not particularltyd3manding but there were a fewawkward synonyms that foxed me, notably 20a, which was new to me and 24a was puzzling until I read The expkanation that CS provided in the hints. I liked 5d and 7d and COTD, 12a. Thanks to CS for the hints and to Cephas (?). Heavy shower already here.

    1. No rain yet, but it is DD2’s big annual BBQ bash this evening so it is bound to rain 😟

      1. Rain, Rain and even more rain here in The Marches accompanied by thunder and lightning. Thank goodness!

  4. 2*/3*. I agree with Chriscross that this was quite enjoyable and not particularly demanding apart from struggling with the erroneous extra letter in 24a.

    6d was a new phrase for me but easily derivable from the wordplay.

    12a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

  5. I got off to a flying start but soon ground to a halt with only half solved. There followed a great deal of head scratching as I tried to work out the rest. The southeast held out the longest with the cannon ball and the fugitive on holiday taunting me for ages. For the first time, double unches seemed to get in the way and I plumped for the wrong flower in 7d and the double unch prevented my seeing the error of my ways.
    My COTD is 19a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun challenge and to CS for the hints.

    Now to go up into the attic where I have drawn the pentangle. All I have to do is light the candles, sit cross legged and chant the incantations in order to summon the Mythical. :grin:

    1. If you win the mythical, presumably it will end our weekly giggles, so maybe I hope you don’t win! Just joshing!

      1. It’s no joshing matter, Merusa, believe me! I still have many potions and incantations left to try plus a copy of The Bardo Thodol (The Tibetan Book of the Dead) to help cast my spells. The Mythical will be under my command and will have no choice but to appear before me.

        Mind you, the pentangle is looking a bit faded. I bet I’ll find a more up to date one on Amazon under “Summoning Spells”.

  6. I enjoyed that, just enough bite for a Saturday IMO. I did wonder about the hyphen in 20a too but I suppose with Double Def’s It is at the setters (or editors) discretion. Is the picture a CS production? If so a black and yellow bobble hat with a 🐝 on would be a commission.
    11a did it for me today, but the plants and large quantities of wine and spirits worked too
    Thanks to CS and Cephas?

        1. I remember doing that. Keep on winding until you can wind no more, cut the edge and there is the …..,

          Anyone shake milk to make butter?

  7. A relatively gentle puzzle today. The melody in 6d was also new to me. For info, the cannon in 20a is unhyphenated in some US published references that I have, so I will forgive our compiler 😁.

    Thanks CS for the hints.

  8. A tricky blighter today but an enjoyable challenge.I knew the type of clue 22a was but took ages to work it out.

    Favourites include 20a where I was helped by having been an avid reader of the Commando comics in the 1960s. Other top clues were 24a and 17d.

    The botanical answers came fairly easily having worked in a Garden Centre for several years.

    Thanks to the setter and crypticsue. I bunged in 24a without realising there was a problem parsing the clue.

    1. The Victor – ‘Killer’ Kennedy and Matt Braddock VC was my 20a source I have to confess.

  9. A real Curates Egg. Lovely top with some clever clues such 12a but the bottom was fiendish. Needed all the help I could get from the clues. I agree that 20a doesn’t work without the hyphen (sloppy!).
    Difficult to rate as it is basically two puzzles.
    Top ***/*****
    Bottom *****/*
    Thx to all

  10. Easy peasy for a SPP
    I thought.
    Win some, lose some.
    Only delay 20a.
    Accidentally seen.
    Good mix of clues
    Thanks setter and CS.

      1. If setters don’t need to show hyphens, why do they need to indicate where there is more than one word? There’s also perhaps a point around consistency? The hyphen is indicated in 22a, 5d (Chambers does hyphenate the answer to 5d), and 6d. In my view, the hyphenated side of the answer to 20a is not spelt the same as the non-hyphenated side.

        1. Thanks, Mark,
          Agree.
          And for one of the definitions, as you say, the second bit is spelt differently.

        2. Yes, hyphens should be consistently applied, otherwise it makes no sense.

      2. No hyphen in 20a on this side of the Atlantic… we assumed it was a subtle nod to our North American solvers.

        Many of us do the New York Times crosswords which don’t tell you anything about word structure and can be devilishly cryptic.

        Mr & Mrs T

        1. Must be very difficult, Tantalus :)
          Thinking further, sometimes when the clue is two words, the answer is one word.
          eg a clue which has an animal and to attack in it eg goat or go at.
          Sorry, clumsily put.

          1. I’ve just looked at the NY Times Crossword for Sunday, as reprinted in the Seattle Times. It appears (perhaps unsurprisingly) to be a bit like the Cross Atlantic in the Daily Telegraph, which also doesn’t indicate word structure. It seems to have a substantial amount of general knowledge clues, which may offset the lack of word structure to some degree. I.e., the answer is in a large number of cases either known or to be looked up, which presumably gives a fair number of checkers. That’s not to disagree with Tantalus. There are cryptic clues in there, which may well be hard – I just haven’t the inclination to try it. Long story short, I don’t think I’d bother trying a pure cryptic crossword that doesn’t indicate the word structure.

        2. Yes I had a peek at one of the other day as I now have access, having subscribed to their puzzle’s so that I can advance in Spelling Bee. Firstly, I can find no way to print their crossword from my iPad (I’m a die hard pen and paper solver), and then I noticed the distinct lack of help with the word structure. So unlikely to bother then.

        3. I think The NY Times is reprinted in the Miami Herald, which, for reasons of economy, I only get twice a week. I’ll have to look tomorrow, all I need is another crossword!

  11. Two half crowns on our favourite double uncher.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 21a, 17d, and 19d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Cephas, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, for an enjoyable challenge and thanks to CS.

  12. Fairly straightforward for a Saturday prize puzzle which kept you on your toes in places. All the jobs, shopping and run out of the way early to allow an afternoon of sport watching.

    2*/3.5*

    Fav 24a LOI 20a.

    Thanks to setter and CS.

  13. Put me down as another who struggled with 24a before the necessary ‘brief’ was added and who didn’t know the 6d melody.
    Favourite here was the 12/19a combo.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for the hints – bet you’ll be somewhat relieved when your neighbours return to claim their tortoise!

    1. She’s no trouble really – I just have to check she’s still in her run (usually hiding in a far corner unless like today it is really sunny) and then go back in the afternoon to make sure she’s eaten her lettuce, cucumber and courgette. They usually bring me back a nice bottle of fizz which is a very generous thank you considering how little trouble it is to look after the tortoise

      1. But there’s no orice on peace of .ind,, when it comes to a family pet from their point of view.

      2. If she has not eaten her lettuce, cucumber and courgette – what exactly do you do, Sue?
        I miss our tortoise who was called Eleepee, not because of the LEP road haulage firm but because she had LEP painted on her shell for Linda Evelyn Piper, our neighbour’s daughter.

          1. I had several tortoises as a child. The one I remember best was small and agile. She disappeared from her little garden which had quite a high (for a tortoise) fence with no gaps. It was a mystery until we heard that a tortoise had been spotted at the other side of the village. It was quite a long walk including a steep hill. We worked out she had taken a short cut through a few Cardenas, a track, riding stables on to an estate. She was returned intact when we claimed her but had been painted silver

            1. They absolutely love the little wild strawberries but keep painted toenails away as their bite is extremely painful.

          2. Sorry to be persistent, but then what? Please give me the pleasure of imagining you trying to entice a tortoise to ‘open wide for mummy’!😊

            1. I just leave her to it which is what her owner does and he’s had her for 57 years so he’s obviously doing the right thing. Sometimes she seems to eat so much one day, she takes a bit of a rest the next day

  14. CrypticSue’s assessment of difficulty is supported by the fact I managed all but 4 clues before referring to her kindly shared expertise (although I did reference the very useful ‘Usual Suspects’ list in this blog for 5a and 25a and there are unfamiliar words or senses of words for which I needed a dictionary or thesaurus). I wasn’t comfortable with 24a until the clue was amended. I didn’t understand 20a until I saw CrypticSue’s hint, which rightly explains that it should be hyphenated. Still not confident about the parsing of 23a. But that’s not to detract from the overall good quality of the puzzle.

    1. And yes, I had to check 6d is actually a melody in Chambers (it’s not in my Oxford dictionary btw).

      1. Thanks Wanda. I could see the answer fits with the last two words and the checkers, but I’ve only just realised what ‘criminal’ means here! The (not-so-) joys of being a novice!

        1. There was prob a wee queue of Crumblies holding back from pointing you in that direction for fear of the Very-naughty step ; was def one here lol. Sure, if it were just easy it would be dull – good on you and the ‘criminal’ moment:)

  15. All finished during a heavy thunderstorm which has now passed. I did not know 6d and had to confirm on google that it was a thing and 20a was new to me. Overall great fun and a very enjoyable way to start Saturday. I was also puzzled by 24a.

    Many thanks to the setter and CS for the hints.

  16. A perfect Saturday crossword whilst waiting for the clouds to move on in God’s own country: well-constructed, concise clues with some new words.

    One of my favourite things in crosswords is solving a long anagram like 5d when I haven’t heard of the answer. I get so excited when I’m looking up in a reference book or website what I think it is, saying to myself…I hope it’s there. And, when it is, I smile, saying…yes!

    Once again, a great crossie with my podium comprising 14d and 17d, because of their construction, with the spoils going to 19d, It’s so satisfying recalling an obscure word that I have learnt through crosswords, well obscure for me, anyway.

    Many thanks to CS and the compiler.

    2*/4*

  17. Took me a while to find out that the 20a was indeed referred to as an (auto)cannon in the early part of the 20th C.
    Fave today is 12a, which took a while to spot as, [redacted – you’ll have to come back and say it all again when the full review is published on Friday]
    Also happily parsed 24a without noticing that I needed the ‘brief’.
    Anyway kept me amused through breakfast and lunch!
    Many thanks to Setter and Cryticsue.

  18. Apart from the problem parsing 24a this was a fairly comfortable solve, with 12a proving to be my favourite clue. Like others, 6d was new to me but it had to be what it was.

    My thanks to Cephas, (or apologies to the actual setter), and to CS.

  19. Given the puzzle layout I am assuming this is a Cephas offering again this Saturday
    However, for whatever reason I found it a slow solve today as many seemed not to come as easily today.

    2.0*/3.5*

    Favourites include 5a, 13a, 19a, 21a & 15d with 21a the runaway winner

    Thanks to Cephas and CS

  20. Hopefully Cephas. Double unches didn’t trouble me for once. Certainly up my strasse. Most of them write themselves in. I thought 24a was OK as it was. Shows what I know! The lack of hyphen did not trouble me on 20a. Like most of you I didn’t know 6d but it had to be what it was. Only paused over 22a and 15d. Favourites 11a (not seen it before), 21a and 15 16 17 and 19d. Bravo! Not sent a prize puzzle in for years but only just realised I could take photo and email. I think the last one I submitted was some years ago when I got the notepad and ballpoint pen. Always regretted I never got the Mont Blanc pen!

  21. Very satisfying to find all falling into place with the exception of 6d, it just had to be, and 24a. Favourite? Possibly 5d as it jumped out at me and opened everything up. I do not have an attic to use for incantations as our ceilings go up to an apex ( please note all insulation salesmen who tell me it was 20 years since I had my loft insulated) but having spent an hour or so this morning doing church flowers I am sure my prayers will be answered for Stephen to win his flipping pen, The Mythical. Many thanks to the setter for being nice and to CS for being CS!

        1. Don’t tell me you have the Key to Golden Bough, SJB! What would it take for you to hand it over? I desire to command The Mythical and the power of The Key will bring it within my grasp.

          Give it to me SJB! I must have it! The Mythical will be mine, I tell you. Mine!

          Sorry – got a bit carried away there. I must start eating All Bran again to stay regular. 🤣

  22. Oh I just found this site and love it! A clue but not the answer. Great idea!

    1. Welcome to the blog, Alison. Now that you’ve found us I hope that you’ll become a regular commenter.

    2. Welcome from me, as well, Alison and I echo Gazza’s wish that you will keep returning. :good:

      1. It certainly will. You may soon become as barmy as the rest of us with our guzzles, rekruls and the List – not to mention bits and a certain bloviating politician.

    3. hey there – I have been a lurker for years, recently retired for med. reasons (all good now) and now contributing – is good fun

      1. Hi, Pat it’s good to have you join us and I’m pleased your medicals are now sorted. 👍
        Please keep commenting.

        DOH, you already do! Sorry.

  23. Like a lot of you, 6d and 20a were new to me. Was relieved to find here in the hints that 24a had been updated from my iPad version, had worked out it had to be the answer but couldn’t make it fit before. First one in and my favourite was 7d, having had success with it this year after a miserable failure last year!
    Lots of fun in this one – must remember the usual priest. He has held me up a couple of times recently!
    Many thanks!

      1. Great puzzle, Cephas. It nearly beat me but I managed in the end. Thank you for popping in.

  24. 2/4. Enjoyable puzzle with some head scratchers to get it done. My favourite was 19d. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  25. I found this a bit tougher than most Saturdays. I was doing quite well until I got the SE corner, but couldn’t find my thinking hat there. So will have to set aside until I do. But as this seems to be a ProliXic I am pretty happy with how many answers I have got on my own, so thank you. And thanks also to CS.

    1. Finished, but not without help. And there are three bung ins that I really cannot parse. What on earth has 12a to do with Methuselah? The second definition is a given. 19a, no idea why, but it fits. Never heard of 23a phrase in this context. But it helped keep me out of mischief 😊.

      1. If you Google Methuselah and the solution, and look at the illustration I provided, you should find the connection

      2. Methuselah? as crypticsue says, Google it [redacted] ( ok the last bit is me in fear of redaction lol).
        23a [redacted]?
        19a [redacted]

        You knew you were going to be redacted so why ignore the red instructions at the end of the hints? CS

        1. Didn’t ignore but didn’t know exactly how tight things were CS, – clear now :)

    2. Not me (nor ProXimal) though if or esteemed editor is reading, I am still waiting 😄

  26. Haven’t we had 11a several times recently ?
    Like others I hadn’t heard of 6d before
    COTD? 12a

  27. I was right on wavelength today, I only had to confirm two with google; 12a and 6d. I remember the answer to 12a nerve from Monarch of the Glen, Susan Hampshire spitting it out to a “spiv”, then confirmed the rest, but I think we’ve had that before. The anagram at 5d screamed at me, a real gimme. Loads of fun, I never thought about 20a being hyphenated. Fave has to be the 12a/19a combo.
    Thank you Cephas, this was a winner, and thanks CS for the hints and tips, and tortoise story!

  28. An enjoyable puzzle for me today, though I did need CS’s hint for 20a , never having read the Victor or referred to the wooly thing as a ball. I also needed to check with the BRB that 6d was OK. Really liked 12a and 19a.

    Thanks to Cephas and to crypticsue.

    It has been threatening rain all day here but so far it has not arrived…just a wee bit of smirring that goes off after a few minutes. Pity as the garden could do with it ….or so I am told .

  29. I was terribly slow to get going – must have something to do with being late out to friends last night.
    10a had to be what it was but I’m still not very happy about it – never mind.
    Spelling trouble about 5d and I don’t like them much anyway.
    I liked 5 and 24a ( didn’t notice the problem with it) and 3 and 17d. I think my favourite has to be my 7d – I love them.
    Thanks to Cephas for the crossword and to CS for the hints.
    Friends of ours had a tortoise called Lightening – I could never find any point having one as a pet – doesn’t do anything!

    1. Oh Kath , you are wrong! It’s true they don’t snuggle down in your lap but they are quite cute and the least bother of any pet, probably !

  30. I didn’t particularly enjoy this straightforward and (for me) somewhat joyless solve but then it ‘s obviously a case of to each his own and plenty of fellow bloggers will have felt otherwise. 6d new one on me but it couldn’t be anything else and similarly 19d. Pleased to have CS’ hint to sort 24a. Fav 12a with 17d running up. Thank you Mysteron and CS.

  31. I enjoyed today’s puzzle especially the anagrams and was only delayed with 6d and 12a. Many thanks Cephas and CS. Enjoyed seeing the tortoise enjoying the early morning sunshine and the ensuing correspondence. It’s such a wonderful blog for everyone. Reading about our different hobbies and pets never mind families and phobias! Have a great weekend everyone.

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