DT 30370 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30370

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30370

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the first Friday blog from the new site location. My solve today proceeded faster than usual because a few answers leapt out at me from their definitions, leaving the wordplay to be parsed afterwards. But there were plenty of clues that worked the other, and IMHO more satisfying, way around, where the non-obvious answer emerges from following the wordplay instructions and generates a big smile. 

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 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    English navigator and pirate chief using the other tap? (7,4)
CAPTAIN COOK:  A fictional pirate chief has the single letter for one tap changed to the single letter for the other (using the other tap

Catain Hook from "Peter Pan"

10a   Second tea or coffee (5)
MOCHA:  A contraction meaning a second or short interval of time is followed by an informal word for tea 

11a   Skilful movement of chess piece needing work (9)
MANOEUVRE:  A generic chess piece with the work of an artist, for example 

12a   Gun I tried out could make you very interested (9)
INTRIGUED:  An anagram (out) of GUN I TRIED 

13a   Allow some starlet I'm dating to twirl round (5)
ADMIT:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (some … to twirl around) the remainder of the clue 

14a   Beer knocked back by Theodore, getting very merry (6)
ELATED:  The reversal (knocked back) of a type of beer is followed by a short form of Theodore 

16a   Untroubled, like pedestrian zone round Egypt's capital (8)
CAREFREE:  A (3-4) adjective describing a pedestrian zone containing (around) the first letter ( …’s capital) of EGYPT 

18a   Nitwits having fed creamy dessert to cats (8)
TOMFOOLS:  A creamy dessert inserted in (having fed … to) some male cats 

20a   Chance to see big game, one Nadal's turned around (6)
SAFARI:  The reversal (turned around) of the fusion of the Roman one and the shortened first name of tennis player Nadal including his ‘S from the clue 

23a   Help for user of British Airways that lady knocked over (5)
REHAB:  The reversal (knocked over) of the fusion of the abbreviation for British Airways and a pronoun for “that lady” 

24a   Succeed with information technology? Don't make me laugh (4,3,2)
COME OFF IT:  Succeed or be accomplished it was an experiment that didn’t come off with the abbreviation for information technology

26a   Journalist on social media site communicated chirpily (9)
TWITTERED:  The usual abbreviated journalist comes after (on, in an across clue) the previous name of the social media site now rebranded as X 

27a   Part of flight from southern Italy caught by seaman (5)
STAIR:  The single letter for southern is followed by the IVR code for Italy contained by (caught by) one of the usual seamen 

28a   Building brick which might keep the wind out? (6,5)
BREEZE BLOCK:  The name of this lightweight building brick implies, whimsically, that it might keep the wind out



2d    A way to protect business in Berkshire location (5)
ASCOT:  A from the clue with the abbreviation for street (way) containing (to protect) an abbreviation for company or business 

3d    When refreshments are served, or when lunch may be served during swimming meet (7)
TEATIME:  A (2,1) phrase describing when lunch may be served inserted in (during) an anagram (swimming) of MEET 

4d    The setter is on public transport, producing bit of poetry (6)
IAMBUS:  A (1,2) word combination for “the setter is” from their perspective is followed by (on, in a down clue) a common form of public transport 

5d    Is Celt able to secure publicity for Celine Dion? (8)
CANADIAN:  A (3,3) word combination possibly equivalent to “is Celt able” CAN IAN, Ian being a Scottish/Celtic name containing (to secure) an abbreviation for a form of publicity.  The ? at the end indicates that the definition is by example 

6d    Was greedy old judge touring outskirts of Venice? (7)
OVERATE:  The abbreviation for old and judge or assess sandwiching (touring) the outer letters of (outskirts of) VENICE

Greedy cat

7d    I bet taxidermy involved skill with both hands (13)
AMBIDEXTERITY:  An anagram (involved) of I BET TAXIDERMY 

8d    Organising rave, aim to include a work by Schubert (3,5)
AVE MARIA:  An anagram (organising) of RAVE AIM containing (to include) A from the clue 

9d    Understand what you could do at an art auction (3,3,7)
GET THE PICTURE:  The answer taken literally describes what you would do at an art auction if you place the winning bid 

15d   Place for sitting president to support American marines (8)
ARMCHAIR:  A synonym of president or head comes after (to support, in a down clue) abbreviations for American and Royal Marines 

17d   Metal a car technician receives ordering items separately (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE:  The letter combination formed by the first four words of the clue hides (receives) the answer 

19d   Robert goes wrong fixing one satellite (7)
ORBITER:  An anagram (goes wrong) of ROBERT containing (fixing) the Roman one 

21d   Troubled as heading for Urdu oral in alert state (7)
AROUSAL:  An anagram (troubled) of AS + the initial letter of (heading for) URDU + ORAL

22d   Son biting insect bit (6)
SMIDGE:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with a small biting insect 

25d   Old French bread smuggled into Chelsea, perhaps (5)
FRANC:  A synonym of smuggled is inserted into the abbreviation for what Chelsea defines by example (… , perhaps


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 23a with 7d not far behind. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  SILL + VERSE + MYTH = SILVERSMITH

61 comments on “DT 30370
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  1. What a great puzzle to round off the week. I did have trouble with a couple of parsings such as 1a and 3d but, overall, it was a satisfying, unaided solve. I did not know the word at 4d but, given all info is in the clue, it can be nothing else. Once again, I have ticks and workings out all over the paper. Favourites include the smuggled French bread at 25d and the winning bid at the art auction in 9d. My COTD is the pedestrian zone in Cairo at 16a.

    My thanks to the setter for the excellent workout and to Mr. K. for the hints, which I will now read.

    What a wonderful week of guzzles it has been and such a change from last week.

    A very Happy Birthday to Jane! I hope you have a wonderful day. :rose:

    1. I am with you on 1a & 3d, but what a joyous moment when the penny dropped for the hot tap! No such moment with 3d though.

  2. I thought 25d was going to be a pain, but it turned out I was way off the money.
    All in all a VERY hard Friday puzzle, thought it might be a pangram at first with the early appearance of Z and X, but just not to be in the end.
    My standout favourite was 16a today. Great crossword Mr or Mrs compiler, interested to find out who you are.

  3. Great puzzle. Flying start with 7d and then steady progress. No obscure or technical terms ( well maybe 4d? ) so very fair and doable.
    Thanks to setter and a happy Friday morning.

  4. Top drawer for me: needed your help with understanding 1a and 25d (superb) but my out and out fav is 3d. Thank you setter, and Mr K fir hints and pics (relieved you saw fit not to illustrate 21d)

  5. A very Happy Birthday to Jane! :rose:

    I am confused to the point that the setter may not be a member of the Friday Triumvirate. In sequence, with Silvanus last week and Zandio two weeks ago, I was expecting a proXimal but neither of his two trademark features is present so I am left to ponder if today’s very enjoyable puzzle is by a ‘guest’ setter – 2.5*/4.5*

    With the high level of enjoyment, plenty of candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 28a, 5d, 9d, and 17d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to the setter, my half-crowns are staying in my pocket, and thanks to Mr K

  6. I don’t know who the setter of this very enjoyable puzzle (had none of the traits of Zandio or Proximal) was but I thought he was in a somewhat benevolent mood.
    20a plus 3&25d are my picks.
    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K plus Happy Birthday to Jane.

  7. Top draw puzzle today with excellent diverse cluing throughout, favourite was 1a ,the other tap made me smile, took a while to parse 25a fitting in Chelsea! last in was 5d when Ian came to the fore.
    Going for a ***/****
    Thanks 2K’s for the pics, I noticed 6d was a southpaw

  8. A lovely Monday/Tuesday puzzle – either that or I tuned-in to the setter instantly, for there were no delays. The scene for a happy solve was set with 1a. A generous dollop of anagrams in the downs, some lovely humour throughout but especially in some of the longer clues & the four forming the “picture frame”. Hon Mentions to 1a, 24a & 5d, although 17d deserved a place on the podium too.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to MrK; many happy returns to Jane!

  9. Great puzzle with not a dud clue in sight – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    My podium plays host to 23a, 24a and 25d.

    Happy Birthday to Jane.

  10. A relatively gentle end to the week. Lots of clever clueing such as the Egyptian pedestrian zone at 16a and the lunch at the swimming meet in 3d (I spent some time trying to crowbar the word ‘gala’ into this clue before the centime dropped). My favourite though was 15d. Also loved the popular culture references to the Titanic songstress and Spain’s former No 1 tennis player. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

  11. I appreciated the quirky humour in this guzzle, which is a refreshing change on a Friiday. It was quite challenging enough for me and, like Mr K, I found the answer before working out the parsing with quite a few clues. There were some great anagrams, the best being 7dand a lovelyego clue in 18a but my COTD was 1a for the crafty wordplay and misdirection. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler for an intriguing Friday treat.

  12. Had trouble starting and was becoming ambivalent until 7d started the ball rolling – though had to work hard for the ‘ity’ ending.
    Put off by being unable to remove the extra letter from Francis Drake in 1a and coffees are always lattes for me in Xwordland!
    In French the capital of Egypt is Caire, so spent a while chasing wild geese! Joint faves are that, 16a and the other froggy one, 26d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  13. Seemed like a gentler than usual Friday puzzle this week just due to the fact I was able to complete it and not have a DNF for today.
    No crazy words nor an excessive amount of GK required either. Just nice end of work week cryptic.

    2*/4* for me today’

    Favourites include 10a, 14a, 18a, 23a, 7d & 9d with winner 18a

    Thanks to setter and MrK for hints/blog

  14. Happy birthday Jane! I think it has all been said, a nice steady solve with lots of smiles along the way. An early lunch today as Lovely Gary the Hair is coming to make us beautiful. I am in agony as I think I have broken my finger! Picking something up from an awkward corner it slipped and my hand shot into the wall, the nail cracked and the joint looks more crooked than the other arthriticky joints. George says rubbish, but it’s not his finger. Ah me. How I suffer. Many thanks to Mister Reeman and Mister Kay. Love the greedy cat.

    1. 🌹How miserable DG – do hope it is not broken and will heal quickly 🤞. I sympathise as I too have “arthriticky” finger joints which is making it difficult for a current skin/nerve problem to be diagnosed.

  15. I was only confused by the fact this lovely crossword made think it must be Monday 🤔 I found the Quicky more difficult 😃 Hurrah! **/**** Favourites 21 and 25d Thanks to Mr K and to the kind Setter 🤗

  16. A slightly more challenging way to end a very friendly week with N acquiescing first. 25d bunged in without picking up smuggled – likewise clever 3d – double d’oh! I associate 14a abbreviation with Edward. Fav 28a. Thank you kindly setter and MrK.

    💐Felicitations Jane and Many Happy Returns of the Day 💐

  17. Excellent fare and I was on the setter’s wavelength here so **/**** for me. Just lucky I suppose. Thank you Mr K for your feline pictures: charming and hilarious. 16a took my fancy and that is my COTD. Hopefully the setter will reveal him or herself. I haven’t checked but the mystery of yesterday’s I recall remains.

  18. A splendid finish to the week.

    Some old classics (10a & 2d) with some new ones thrown in. I love ‘swimming’ as an anagram indicator.

    11a is a nightmare to spell until someone told me that the last six letters are ‘our’ and ‘eve’ alternating: O e U v R e.

    Very difficult to choose a podium but 1a, 8d and 25d get the nod.

    Thanks to the compiler and Mr K.


  19. It’s Friday so get ready for a challenge. The morning had already been that because I have decided to learn to crochet despite some digital arthritis. Have to say todays puzzle was a lot easier than trebles and turning. Loved 1a, 3d and 25d. Thanks Mr. K. especially for the cats dining etiquette. I never can work out who the setters are but might get a sense of that over time. Who ever was responsible made a very good fist of it.

  20. My fears about getting a sting at the tail of the week proved unfounded. This was an enjoyable and clever puzzle from top to bottom.

    My experiences of pedestrian zones anywhere in Egypt were anything but 16a trying to shake off market traders.

    Favourites include 5d and 17d.

    Usually the multi-word answers cause me problems but not today.

    The Bidie-in has started doing the Cryptic this week and I would normally dissuade her from trying a Friday puzzle so soon. She departed this morning clutching a copy so we will see how she got on when she gets home from work.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. 2/4.5. After my struggles with yesterdays puzzle this was a delight and finished in the warmth of a Thursday evening in beautiful British Columbia – other than the wild fires. 26 had become a memory replaced by X. 25d was my favourite from a packed podium. Thanks to the setter and Mr K for his usual noteworthy review.

  22. First things first, many happy returns, Jane, for your very special day! I’ll raise my glass at the appropriate hour.
    I’m in a state of shock! Where did this guzzle come from? I was all prepared to sit another PhD exam, when this truly delightful offering turns up. I solved all on my own except for 16a, I needed a word search for that, I was expecting something esoteric for a pedestrian way. It seems I like to make my life more difficult than it need be. There was so much to like, I think 1a takes the lead, though I had no idea why it was what it was; isn’t that clever? 9d also amused.
    Thank you setter for this delicious puzzle, you’re my new fave, and thanks Mr. K for unravelling 1a and the 6d cats.

  23. Like Merusa, I am in a state of shock today. Being a Friday, and seeing the *** rating I very nearly didn’t bother to print this one, but so glad I did. What a lovely Friday puzzle, with clues that mostly made absolute sense, and not too many causing grey hairs. LOL at 9d. Is this Chalicea or X-type? Thank you, and could the DT please assign you as the Friday setter? It would make so many people very happy. Thanks also to Mr K, especially the picture at 6d. We had a feisty grey tabby who used that trick when ever our large yellow lab used to try to reach the food bowls. And a very Happy Birthday to Jane 🎈 🎂.

  24. A lovely puzzle and very gentle for a Friday as many have already noted.
    Careful spelling required for me at 11d, otherwise no major issues and plenty of smiles.
    Thank you setter and Mr K.

  25. Fabulous Friday fun. I thought this wonderfully clever and witty with 16a my favourite but it could have been so many others. I learnt a new word in 4d having got it from the wordplay.

    Many thanks to the mystery setter and to Mr K for the great pics and hints.

    Happy Birthday to Jane.

  26. Surprisingly gentle for a Friday but very enjoyable indeed. Ticks aplenty & not a duffer to be found. 12a to know who the setter is because it didn’t feel one from the usual suspects. 1,11,16,23&24a plus 3,7,9,15&25d will do for a top 10 with 3d my fav amongst them
    Thanks to the setter (please pop in) & to Mr K plus of course birthday greetings to Jane who I hope is being spoilt rotten

  27. Got 1a straightaway but did not fill in the first letter of the second word until I realised the nationality of Céline Dion. Took me a while to get 28a largely because I had a wrong ending for 21d until the penny dropped. 18 and 28a and 19 and 22d were last to fall. Favourites 16a and 17 22 and 23d. Félicitations to Jane on your big day. Our big days are getting bigger by the year. I hope we can all have a Birthday Bash in the future and down a pint or two in BD’s honour. Thanks Mr K and Setter please pop in.

  28. Haven’t had time for the crossword today as No.1 daughter was determined to take me out for lunch – first time I’ve managed to set foot outside the door in over 12 months. Just wanted to thank everyone who left me birthday wishes and thanks to our late, lamented BD for allowing me to have a birthday banner and to Mr K who ensured that it crossed over to the new site location – much appreciated. My word, I shall sleep well tonight!

    1. I hope this means you are really recovering from the stroke which incapacitated you …..was it really a year ago? Our daughters can be very forceful can’t they! Sleep well.

  29. In perfect harmony from
    The start.
    Luckily for a Friday.
    Entered randomly to
    Brilliant clueing eg 1a and 25d
    Last in, 11a, extended time by .5*.
    In summary, 2*/5*
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    And many thanks for the Pavarotti.

  30. Just got back from watching an enjoyable one day match at New Road Worcester, but still time to enjoy this excellent puzzle. I did wonder if it might be the work of our Editor, but he usually comes on to admit it by now. Whoever it was, it was great fun, with 1a my favourite.

    Thanks to Mr K for the blog.

  31. What an enjoyable end to the week (not incl prize crosswords). So many good clues. I didn’t fully parse 1a and 3d straightaway. Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Belated Happy Birthday to Jane. Good news to hear that you got out to celebrate with a nice lunch.

  32. Good evening
    Finally dropped the last one in – 16a, for the record, and I’m sure the CLUNK! of the penny dropping could be heard all over Devon (I’m sat sitting at Exeter on my break)
    I needed the hints for the explanation of 1a, so I’ll say thank you Mr K for your post, and thanks to our compiler.

  33. Thoroughly enjoyed today, just needed a couple of hints. Confidence is restored after a DNF yesterday. Laughed at 1a when penny dropped. Thanks to setter and Mr K.

  34. Chugged along at a satisfying pace with this enjoyable puzzle, slightly slower sadly than the surprisingly delicious bargain Lidl Chardonnay 😋 Groan-gongs go to 10a, 16a and 25d. Fave clue was 9d with honourable mention to 18a 🏅 Thanks to all

  35. A good and entertaining puzzle; and it was a welcome surprise not to have a slog on a Friday. I bunged in 1a thinking I would parse it later, but forgot to do so before starting to read the hints. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Made hard work of 20a, inventing new words in the process, because I didn’t know how Nadal is referred to. I’ll buck the trend on 16a and risk the wrath of the aficionados, as I have a feeling the word ‘zone’ would be better left out of the clue and perhaps replaced with ‘walking’ or something like that. I say that as the answer on its own without the capital of Egypt isn’t in my parlance a zone. All the other clues fell into place nicely with a bit of thought. For 17d, I started off with the symbol for aluminium, then ‘a’ from the clue, then ‘car’ from the clue, then … wait minute! I think it was my favourite clue. 3*/4*.

    A late happy birthday to Jane.

      1. Ah yes, thanks Steve. I’ve re-read the clue and see that I’ve overlooked the word ‘like’ in the clue. As my maths teacher used to say, if all else fails, read the question!

  36. I’ve just checked and it definitely is Friday! I got confused by this puzzle which seemed more like an early week compilation. Some brilliant clues and lots of fun. Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review and getting us over the line with new website.
    Happy birthday Jane I hope you’ve had a great day.

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