DT 30377 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30377 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30377 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Crypticsue has her hands full entertaining guests today so I’m providing a few hints for the Saturday Prize Puzzle.

Today’s puzzle is a pangram which may (or may not) be a pointer to the identity of the setter.

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.


7a Ship overseas again, getting crew unlimited old wine (2-6)
Assemble the inner (unlimited) letters of crew, a prefix meaning old and a fortified wine.

8a Group of actors abandoned in extremes of emergency (6)
This is the actors’ trade union. Insert a verb meaning abandoned or gave up between the outer letters (extremes) of emergency.

14a Fashionable small cross put back within building (7)
Start with an adjective meaning fashionable or trendy then reverse the clothing abbreviation for small and a cross or crucifix usually seen in a church.

24a Freakishly rattier, I provoke annoyance (8)
An anagram (freakishly) of RATTIER I.


1d Worker on a ship — main course is his responsibility (8)
The setter wants to deceive you into thinking that this worker is a cook but it’s the person responsible for keeping the ship travelling in the correct direction. Main here means the sea.

4d Turk‘s place to put feet up? (7)
Double definition – a citizen of an old Turkish empire and a low upholstered seat.

12d Point out top equestrian (10)
A charade of a verb to point out or indicate and a garment.

15d Typical golfer, out in enormous trousers (7)
A hidden word, indicated by ‘trousers’ in the sense of pockets or takes in.

17d Strikes a fine French officer with this, ignoring greeting (8)
Stick together A, the abbreviation for fine, an informal word for a French police officer (FLIC) and ‘this’ without the 2-letter greeting.

22d Glut of Malaysian food? (4)
Double definition – a verb to glut or satisfy fully and a Malaysian dish served with a spicy sauce.

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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!

Please read these instructions carefully – they are not subject to debate or discussion. Offending comments may be redacted or, in extreme cases, deleted. In all cases the administrator’s decision is final.

If you don’t understand, or don’t wish to comply with, the conventions for commenting on weekend prize puzzles then save yourself (and me) a lot of trouble and don’t leave a comment.

The Quick Crossword pun: FOUR + SHORE + TEND = FORESHORTENED    

93 comments on “DT 30377 (Hints)

  1. I struggled with the Quickie today so I knew the SPP would be on the tough side and so it proved. Entering the wrong swindler in 16a didn’t help at all and I have not heard of the word at 20a but it could be nothing else. I can’t parse 17d to my satisfaction but, again, cannot see what else it could be. I do like the top equestrian at 12d but my COTD is the windy cake at 23a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the brain workout and thank you, Gazza for the hints and for stepping in.

    The forecast rain did not materialise in The Marches last night so the harvest continues apace. More and more fields are being freed up for Hudson and I to roam.

    Anyway, I have some new spells to try out so I‘ll repair to the attic and light the candles.

    1. Please stop, Steve……it isn’t working and look what you are doing to our weather……

    2. Catching up after a busy week with Work and Mama Bee’s Alzheimer’s I am sorry to hear about Perks, I recall Hudson was a bit bemused by the arrival at first but I bet he misses his pal just as much as yourselves

        1. Funnily enough I was going to ask about Hudson’s reaction to Perks’ demise. If you have buried him in the garden you must plant a tree to be called Perks Pear or something.

        2. When we lost one of two cats, the other sat by the door waiting for him for ages. His head would also turn sharply if we ever mentioned his name afterwards. So I am sure Hudson is sad and also trying to figure it all out. So sorry.

          1. I just have to ask Hudson where Perks is and he runs around searching. He then comes to me with a question on his face.

    3. I was so sorry to hear about Perks, Steve – how very sad for you all – an absolutely horrible thing to happen. I lost my first cat, Tigger, the same way – Perks very much reminded me of him – he was also a great character. So I send you all my sympathy.
      Haven’t looked at the crossword yet but thanks in advance to the setter and Gazza.

  2. Sorry to be a Saturday moanington but just didn’t enjoy this 🙁 Must be wavelength issues but felt like 20a and 21a were clutching at straws, and for a food I enjoy I can’t say I’ve ever seen the local spelling of 22d used here. I had parsing issues with 13a and 17d (Thanks Gazza for the help!). However I did enjoy 4d, 5d and 23a.

    ***/* for me. Time for another coffee and a stab at the Giant GK ☕🤓

  3. When I first saw the grid my immediate thought was ‘ideal for a Nina’ but apparently not. So, I will settle for an enjoyable pangram and put my 43¢ on Cephas as today’s setter.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 23a, 4d, 8d, and 20d – and the winner is 23a.

    Thanks to Cephas, or whomsoever if my 43¢ goes down the drain, and thanks to Gazza,

  4. I enjoyed this one. My last one to parse, and my favourite, was 17d for the “French officer” part of the clue!

    Many thanks to the setter, and to Gazza.

  5. On the whole very enjoyable apart from 17d which requires knowledge of French slang, OH COME ON! Totally unacceptable!
    Ruined an otherwise pleasant outing for me.
    ***/* because of the above.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. I am usually on your side, Brian, but this is just Too Grumpy. One clue out of the whole crossword in an answer that is easily guessed and it has spoiled your day?
      Have another cup of tea and a digestive biscuit…..works for me when I am being unreasonable .

      1. We are asked for our thoughts. No one ever complains when the comments are about how easy they found the puzzle , but when someone doesn’t enjoy the puzzle, they are jumped all over. Why is this?

        1. Because Brian is rude, boorish and usually wrong? (and has been so for almost as long as the blog has been running)

        2. True. I was reading an interview with Dave Gorman (aka Django) earlier. He says “A clue should feel fair to a novice when it’s explained and I don’t think many non-solvers have heard of the abbreviation AB or the actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree, so I prefer more prosaic references”. That’s the view of a setter, but possibly not all expert solvers think like that (or even all setters perhaps, although Chalicea who set this does seem to have regard to approachability – see her comment on DT 30371 (Full Review)). Some expert solvers think everyone should take it or leave it. A commenter recently directly suggested people leave because there are easier crosswords, so I had a look around and the Express today has a good (free!) doable crossword. But what if all the new solvers decide to ‘leave it’ – if no new fans get attached, what will happen to the crossword eventually.

          1. It’s all so so subjective, I wouldn’t worry too much. Some days you enjoy, others you don’t – it’s the same for everybody. Keep plugging away and enjoyment will increase. Extra ☕ (and bakewell tarts 😋) in the morning helps! Evening crosswords usually require some form of cheap and tasty 🍷🍷! But don’t go elsewhere, that definitely wouldn’t be fun.

  6. I enjoyed most of this crossword today…..stuck for ages on 4d and 17d….but got there eventually.
    I particularly liked 23a and loved 15a once the penny dropped.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

    Back from our trip to the Edinburgh Fringe…..saw 8 shows altogether and enjoyed them all in varying measure. Paul Sinha , Simon Evans and Jack Docherty stand out but the other 5 were very good too. And it only rained our first day!
    Back to the humdrum now…..but humdrum is good as it makes the trips out exciting.

      1. I’m ashamed to say that I had to look up Django/Bluth/Fed. 😳

        I have checked with the programme and he wasn’t there…..at least not performing. (We’d have gone to him).

    1. Ah, memories, the Edinburgh Festival! Was involved as stage manager/lighting man for a couple of years in the late 60s. Miriam Margolyes stands out (what a barrel of fun) as does a man doing a solo reading of Under Milk Wood, which I learnt off by heart (since long forgotten!) This was in addition to being an active member of the Edinburgh Uni Dram Soc.
      Ah, memories!

    2. A bear, however hard he tries
      Grows tubby without exercise.
      He gets what exercise he can
      By…… ………….
      I don’t want to be on the naughty step.

  7. 2*/3.5* from me for an enjoyable pangram today. 22d was my last one in because I’ve never come across the Malaysian food spelt like that before. 23a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Cephas (?) and to Gazza.

  8. I thought this was pitched about right for a SPP, with enough awkward little clues interspersed with the rest to keep us on our toes. 23a seems to be a popular choice for favourite and I am happy to cast my vote in that direction, although I did appreciate 17d.

    My thanks to, presumably, Cephas, and to Gazza.

  9. The Turk had me worried for a while – huge penny drop moment there!
    Pangram would certainly suggest Cephas but I’m not totally convinced……….
    Top three for me were 19a plus 12&17d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Gazza for extra duties and fun illustrations. Hope CS has got rather better weather than we have for her entertaining!

  10. Not as enjoyable as most SSP’s in my book and a bit of a curate’s egg all round. There were some good clues, however, like 15a and 16a. Like Steve C, had a few qualms about one of rhe clues, in my case 22d, where I had heard of the Malaysian dish but not with an unfamiliar spelling. Thanks to the compiler (Cephas?) And to Gazza for stepping in to do the hints, which I need to parse a few tricky clues

    1. Some have commented on the spelling of 22d, but I’ve only seen the Malaysian food spelt thus.

        1. I can’t spell out the version I’m used to, for fear of ending up on the naughty step, Merusa.

          1. The spelling was new to me too but you get a copper bottomed guarantee that Chalicea checked it was in the BRB, so much so I don’t have to check

  11. All my grumbles have already been covered. Favourites were 23a and 12d.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Gazza.

  12. Rather a tricky guzzle for me; toast and orange juice with no bits had long been consumed before I stuck the last one into the net (22d). Mildly distracted by the England women playing a quarter-final match in the background. Well they’re actually in Australia and not in my study but that need not detain us here.

    The Marie Kondo-ing continues apace here as when this football match ends we are off to the tip for the third weekend in a row. What golden lives we lead here.

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

  13. Luckily at one with
    The setter.
    Some head scratching eg 15d
    Until I realised that ***************.
    But got there in the end.
    20a made me wince!
    Liked 17d.
    Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  14. I enjoyed this, thought it was going to be on the easy side, but in fact kept me going for a longish breakfast. As a French resident have to put 17d as fave, though v rarely or never use that expression, so actually took a while to twig. Only time I’ve had to deal with ces messieurs was when I was stopped and randomly breath tested in the afternoon some 25 years ago , and I asked if it wasn’t a bit early, and they said “You’d be surprised!” Nice blokes.

    1. Another oops! Too busy fighting my (bilingual) autocorrect that I forgot to thank the setter and Gazza (and best wishes to CS!)

  15. Another pangram Saturday puzzle this week and as I, (and others), were caught off balance last week, I’m leaving my 5/- in my pocket this week regarding setter … but under my breath I say it’s a Cephas.

    2.5*/4* for me

    A mix of clues, some straightforward yet others causing lots of thought.

    Favourites include 14a, 16a, 19a, 1d, 19d & 20d — with winner 20d

    Chuckles with 23a, 1d & 4d

    Thanks to Cephas and Gazza for hints/blog

  16. Don’t recall coming across the French slang for plod or the alternative spelling for the tasty Malaysian fare before so both required post solve investigation. Otherwise pretty straightforward & though no particular favourite I thought it a very pleasant guzzle. Lightning surely can’t strike twice so I’ll go all in it’s a Cephas pangram & hope that the floughie lady hasn’t consigned me to the poor house
    Thanks to the setter & to Gazza for stepping in

  17. A fitting end to a good week in Cruciverbaland. I tried the Toughie last night – you are all right about Elgar! I managed nine clues – c’est la vie. Having agreed that 20 across is a pants word ( oh, I bet that’s got some of you hopping! I am in my Agent Provocateur persona) we do use the opposite word don’t we, So I guess we have to let it go. I liked 4d ‘cos of the bear association but I think 19a is favourite. Many thanks to Messrs Setter and Gazza for their hard work. I have forgotten who is the optician amongst our friends – when I was on Dartmoor I developed a dreadfully painful eye- went to the doctor on my return and got seen (miracle – I think the receptionist was traumatised) and I have a Chalazion. How about that! It’s slowly getting better now I have a swanky name for it and some ointment, but jolly painful.

        1. Your poor children, Huntsman! How could you fritter away hard earned cash on such frivolities as a bet on who set the cryptic?
          We should all gather together and send food parcels to Huntsman’s neglected offspring.


  18. Took us a while to get going but proceeded at a steady pace after that. The French officer came up in a crossword a while ago and I (amazingly) remembered it. We were on pangram from quite early on but didn’t help that much. Favourite was 19a as I managed to guess the Parisian day. Thanks to the setter and Gazza.

  19. Finished with a lot of head scratching for several of the clues, and I am pleased to have completed it.
    At least I remembered to look for the lurkers and the anagrams helped a lot. Like others 4d and 17d kept me occupied the longest. The hints helped confirm why the answers were what they were (I have a new French word in 17d to remember). I think 23a was favourite.

    As ever thanks to the setter and to Gazza for the helpful hints.

  20. Very enjoyable, if a little tricky, but we did at least speak the same language. There was lots to like, the Turk’s place, the brief stay and equestrian stood out, but fave is 23a.
    Thanks setter, the pangram was a huge help, and Gazza for his stepping in for Sue and helping us unravel some.

    1. Over on DT 30371 (Full Review) Chalicea says of pangrams “I’m not really in favour of them as the obligation to have an X, a Z, a V, a Q and a J, say, tends to give slightly less approachable vocabulary”. That seems a fair comment and I would have thought that the existence of a pangram isn’t clear until all the letters of the alphabet are in; in other words what’s to stop a setter including 25 of the 26 letters of the alphabet so that it looks confusingly like a pangram. But that’s not to say it can never be helpful, and I found it interesting that you thought this one was. It wasn’t any help to me as I didn’t spot it, but then again I never look for pangrams.

      1. I always look for a pangram when I see a couple of letters, such as the ones in 8a and 19a, which I got early on. I know it’s not written that it’ll be a pangram, but my antennae start fluttering when I see them.

      2. For some reason I am never looking for a pangram when doing crosswords, but when I’m doing Spelling Bee I am always striving to find one.

      3. I can’t really see the point of pangrams to be honest. Also only spot them if they’re pointed out.

        1. Well, if a pangram is suspected because, say, J, X and Y have appeared then the final letters such as Z and Q could be useful for solving the rest of the guzzle.
          I think! 😀

        2. How do you look for a pangram?
          Oh look that answer may have a Z in it.
          Oh and perhaps, 19d includes a X.
          I just solve and then the pangram appears when I finish.

  21. At first glance I thought this was going to be very tricky but it went in surprisingly well. My only slight hiccup was 17d – I had the asnwer but couldn’t see the French cop so thanks for the clarification. After coming home a few days early from Suffolk with illness, I had a telephone consultation that afternoon, a proper face to face appointment at 09.30 on Thursday and blood tests done on Friday. See the doc again next Friday. So I am indebted to the fact that our doctors do not appear to be on strike. Anyway thanks to the setter and to Gazza for stepping into CS’s shoes. What would we do without you all!

  22. Not a stroll in the park, and quite tricky in places, but what I would expect from a Prize crossword. Good luck to Steve Cowling with the mythical. I found the SW corner took the longest. Girding my loins for tomorrow’s Dada. Thanks to setter and thanks to Gazza for stepping in for CrypticSue.

  23. Oh dear, Senf! That must be more than your dollar down the drain by now! So sorry – this venturing into Cephas pangrams is really putting a cat among those pigeons. Yes, ’tis I again. We are resident in France, too, but that French policeman does get into the BRB and certainly appeared in ‘allo ‘allo and elsewhere. Many thanks, Gazza for giving cs that well-earned break and doing the hints.

    1. Thanks for popping in and thanks for an enjoyable puzzle. I think I can afford 43¢ now and again.

    2. Wow! ‘Tis yourself, Chalicea, so it it is!’ (Sorry, I’m still living in Ballybucklebo).
      You foxed me by throwing a few curve balls so I did not think for one minute that it was one of your lovely compilations.
      Thank you for the guzzle and for popping in. 🌹

  24. 2 French words in this today. Luckily I knew both
    Off to the Dartmoor area tonight. I hope I don’t get Daisygirl’s eye infection

  25. What a difference a day makes, 24 little owwers. Yesterday I managed just one clue, and that was an unparsed guess. Today, finished unaided apart from Malaysian food. Well done, setter, and to Gazza for the required hint.

  26. Solved earlier and nothing to add as I found this an ideal SPP. Just home from a trip to the gardens at Beningborough Hall the gardens were lovely with tons of my 🐝🐝 cousins on the flowers I think these are Globe Artichokes

    Thanks to Gazza and Chalicea and hope CS had a good time with her visitors

      1. I was surprised too, much prettier in flower than on the plate, although I may be confusing them with Jerusalem Artichokes

  27. A lovely crossword and a lovely lot of hints too.
    As usual I ended up with about five or six answers that took as long as the rest of them put them together.
    I particularly liked 8 and 19a and 12 and 18d. I think my favourite was 23a along with others.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the crossword and to Gazza for standing in for CS to do the hints.

  28. Overall I thought this crossword was tricky (to be expected as it is after all a prize crossword) but good. Personally, I wouldn’t penalise the enjoyment rating on account of 17d because the French is indicated in the clue and is in both the Oxford and Chambers dictionaries. But I can see that it did make the Lego in the clue more obscure. The clue I liked least was a bit unfairly 20a, as I just don’t like the word (and I don’t like the opposite similarly constructed word either). I have never seen 20d spelled this way, but it is in Chambers. The best clue for me was probably 15d. Thanks Chalicea and Gazza for the hints.

  29. For me that felt like a mixture of Toughie and Quickie but it was cryptically enjoyable. Initially had a completely different but feasible solution for 16a but had to think again as Downs began to fall in. Joint Favs 8d and 18d. Thank you Chalicea for a satisfying challenge and for confirming your ownership also thanks to Gazza for being on call.

  30. Initially i thought that this was rather tough, but I soon realised I was wrong, just clever clues.

    An enjoyable end to the week of great crosswords.

    I got 17d straight away but was then having seconds thoughts. Thankfully all was explained in the hints. I still say good moaning to this day, much to the confusion of youngsters.

    Thanks to all.

    1. ‘Allo ‘Allo was not my favourite sitcom of that era (that honour goes to Blackadder) but the way they created Crabtree’s speech to be supposedly French by mispronunciation was inspired. I expect in years to come ” A Crabtree” will be used in a similar way to The Reverend Spooner
      My favourite Crabtreeism was
      Good moaning. [approaches the bar] I was just pissing your coffee, when I thought I’d drip in for a drunk.
      Usually followed by Edith saying the stupid Englishman who thinks he can speak our language all in perfect English – just brilliant

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