DT 30389 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30389 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30389 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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A lovely sunny Saturday morning, although when I set off for the supermarket first thing, it did feel decidedly autumnal.

Given the time it took me to solve this crossword, not to mention the double unches and cryptic definitions, I am fairly confident that my 50p bet has been placed on the right setter.

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.


1a    One hoping not to miss the post (9)
A cryptic definition of someone hoping to get a job

11a    One trebles it (5)
One of three equal parts

13a    Welcome cry (5)
A verb meaning to welcome or a Scottish verb meaning to cry

18a    Green bottled water sent back? (5)
A reversal (sent back) of a brand of bottled water

20a    Weapon — mine’s sort of hollow (6)
A weapon and a mine

26a    Item of food not cooked in pot adult leaves (5)
‘Not cooked’ inserted into a pot without the A (adult leaves)

28a    Young Robin’s early years? (9)
A young person and the surname of an outlaw called Robin


2d    Minimum cash deposited for tartan (5)
An abbreviation for the smallest amount of money and a synonym for deposited

3d    Clumsily move discarded old furniture (6)
Move heavily and clumsily or furniture stored away out of use

9d    Report of panic — workers finally revolt (9)
A condition of panic, some workers and the final letter of revolT

10d    Letting down the economy? (9)
A cryptic definition of something that could generally meaning letting down but could also relate to an economic term relating to decreasing the amount of money available relative to its buying power

14d    Oriental ruler making up required measure (5)
The abbreviation associated with things Oriental and a ruler

23d    Hard work ethic in advanced technology (2,4)
The abbreviation for Hard and an anagram (work) of ETHIC

26d    Girl I love and court (5)
An abbreviated girl’s name (although it could just as easily be a boy’s name), I (from the clue) and the letter representing love or nothing

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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: HECK + QUIN + KNOX = EQUINOX

59 comments on “DT 30389 (Hints)

  1. Well, firstly what a horrible grid, the ugliest in a long time. Hmm. It was fair enough but the problem with cd clues – and there were many here – is that so often more than one answer fits. 1a is a case in point. My initial synonym fit perfectly, in size and sense, but was, of course, wrong. 10d too could have had at least one alternative solution that even fit the checkers. And 3d did raise a grumble. Most of it’s plucked straight out of the dictionary. But “discarded”? I don’t think that’s quite right. But I did like 11a – that foxed me for a while, and at least I learned a new word in 5d, so thanks, as ever, to all.

  2. At first, I didn’t think I was going to get anywhere with this having solved only three on the first pass. It gradually gave up its secrets, though and it became most enjoyable. I thought 24a was not that cryptic but what do I know? A new word learned (and no doubt soon forgotten) at 5d. My COTD is the surly chap in 4d.

    Thank you to the setter for the challenge and CrypticSue for the hints.

    I’ve submitted the puzzle in hope but not had an acknowledgement email so perhaps it is lost in cyberspace.

    1. Some day your prize will come,
      Some day it’ll come your way
      And how lovely that moment will be…..

      (How many people recognise that?)

          1. Oh yes, all those “awfully cruel stories” we all told our children, at least that is what we are led to believe nowadays, I thoroughly enjoyed them all as a child, and our girls and grandchildren did too.

  3. A fairly straightforward SPP, with a variety of differebt ue types, the most difficulty ariaing in the clues at the top. Istarted with the aquare of shorter clues in the middle and soon beagan to get some checkers. The best of the clues for me were the 5d homophone, my COTD , followed closely by the anagram at 6d and the cryptic definition at 28a. Thanks to the compiiler and to CS for the hints. I’ve noticed the signs of Autumn approaching too,CS, particularly the cooler nights and heavy dew in the early morning

  4. 2*/2.5*. Nothing much here either to frighten or excite the horses.

    The meaning of cry in 13a and the answer to 5d were new to me. The vague girl in 26d, ny last one in, was obvious from the checking letters!

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

  5. I think 13a is a Scots expression? But I didn’t know it. ( my partner did- he is Scottish).
    Very odd layout and some quite odd definitions. At first three read throughs I had no answers but once I had my coffee it steadily gave up its secrets.
    Only a 2 and a 2 I felt but I have plenty to get on with today!
    Thanks to the setter.

  6. Ghastly grid which for me generally matched the puzzle. So many clumsy clues, a dialectal answer in 13a but I did at least like 8a and 28a.
    Def not my favourite Saturday.
    Thx for the hints.

  7. I agree with those who did not like the grid – too many double unches and a lack of initial checkers led to several clues having more than one possible answer but I got there in the end. Not too keen on 23d where the answer was almost part of the clue.

    Nothing wrong with 13a – don’t know what people are *****ing about! A perfectly good Scots word with Old English origins.

    Favourites are 1a, 18a and 10d.

    Thanks to setter and crypticsue.

  8. Not my thing at all today, guessed more than I solved, and as for 23d, the less said the better. Might be just me, but I got very little joy from it, ah well, roll on tomorrow…..

  9. The rather unfriendly
    grid added spice to
    this moderately difficult
    Last in 14d, a new word
    For me, shamefully.
    1, 16, 18, 20 and 28a and 23d
    Are certainly worthy of
    Thanks setter and CS.

  10. Took a long while to get going, not helped by the difficulty in getting checkers. Not sure I can find any favourites, perhaps 20a!
    But v many thanks to CS for her tips. I spent 4 years at uni in Scotland without ever coming across 13a. Happy times, obviously! And both my wife and my dad share the name in 26d.
    Thanks again CS and the setter.

  11. I can’t believe this but I agree with Brian! Except that my only smile was for 18a.

    Thanks anyway to, presumably, Cephas and most definitely to CS.

      1. So does the ‘new’ web site.

        We only have one setter who gives us a ‘bottom line’ pun and I am reasonably certain today’s puzzle is not one of his.

  12. Looking forward to review of this as I don’t get 4d at all, must be missing something obvious.

    Apart from that quite enjoyable after eventually working out that I had put the wrong hopeful in 1a as I’m sure a few others will have done.

    Thanks to all

      1. Ah, (sound of penny dropping!) thank you – was trying to parse it with a 4 letter surly fellow

  13. Found this quite a curious one and certainly had a few ‘well, I suppose so’ moments during the solve. Top clues for me were 28a & 6d.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for the hints ‘n pics.

  14. Fans of Chalicea may want to give today’s NTSPP a go although if you are of the right age, you’ll definitely be stuck with an ear worm!

  15. Not even betting today as to who the setter is this week for this puzzle … I’ve been wrong for the past while, but Cephas has to show up soon.
    Not a grid I liked either.
    Hard to get this one started, but eventually some letters fell into place and thus it proceeded.

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites include 11a, 20a, 27a, 28a, 15d and 25d — with winner 28a

    Thanks to Cephas(??) and CS for blog/hints

  16. We rather liked this including the double unches which didn’t hold us up in a fairly brisk solve. Favourite was 8a. Thanks to the street and CS.

  17. After a first scan which only produced 2 solutions I thought this would be an abandoned Saturday crossword but following George’s excellent tips for solving I made inroads all over the grid and finished after more gardening and before lunch.

    Five get honourable mentions: 20 and 28a, 3, 6, and 14d. Many thanks to CS and the setter for providing good Sunday enjoyment.

  18. Bucking the trend I quite enjoyed this and was on wavelength from the off. Purely by chance I chose the right word for 1a and the four longer answers all came swiftly, leading to a haphazard pleasant solve. I also liked the fact that anagrams were in short measure! The Scottish synonym was new to me but I had seen 5d previously. Podium places today for 11a, 18a and favourite 20a. Thanks to the compiler and Cripticsue.

  19. I found this quite hard and 4d was Last One In although George was pushing the answer I finally entered – but I was being taken in by the wrong taking in! I liked 1a, nice anagram at 6d, and Scottish Grandma would say “Dinna ***** lass” if I fell over – ooops, that could put me on the naughty step but there might be scones with strawberries. Many thAnks to the setter and the indefatigable Cryptic Sue.

  20. This took me longer than yesterday’s Elgar, which tells you something. I was clearly on the wrong wavelength from the off, which is unusual for me, so I suppose I should congratulate the setter on misleading me so completely. I rarely pass a negative comment on puzzles, but this one came close.

    Thanks to our Saturday setter and to CS.

  21. Interesting to see how a strange grid affects solving, not sure I even knew what a double-unch was before coming to this blog (a double-lunch, however… 😋😋)

    Slow going, but like watching England play cricket, one down led to another two or three falling shortly after! 8a and 18a personal faves.

    Have a great Saturday all, setters, settees, hinters and hintees 🍻

  22. This is the first crossword I’ve done this week and I’ve had terrible withdrawal symptoms – feeling much better now!
    Like another couple of people I really had trouble with 4d for no obvious reason.
    I liked the answers in the square in the middle, all of them.
    I missed 6d – just didn’t notice that it was an anagram.
    It took me ages to understand why 7d had to need a rest – dim! Never mind!
    I liked 13 and 20a and 6 and 7d.
    Thanks to whoever did set this one (not sticking my neck out) and to the hard-working CS for the hints.

  23. Thanks for your kind comments. All eight of the words with double unches have half of the letters interlocking. I had not intended and do not think there is a pun on the bottom of the quick crossword.

    1. I too don’t pay any attention to the grid, other than that I thought it was an interesting shape when I picked it up off my printer this morning. Matters no one whit.

  24. Quite enjoyed this but also had a problem with 4d. A couple of others held me up a bit too. Don’t think I can go through the kerfuffle (great word) of entering for the Mythical so hopefully it may land on SC’s mat. Thanks to the setter and to CS.

  25. The first guzzle I’ve been able to do in days, though I did have lots of bungins, tentatively pencilled in until I got checking letters. I’d never heard of the Scottish word at 13a, not surprising, but 5d was one of my first in! I still don’t know why 9d is panic, maybe I have the wrong answer. I liked 8a, 4d and 28a, among others, but 18a was top of the pops.
    Thank you Cephas and CS for your hints and pics, you are the hardest working person, ever!

  26. Couldn’t begin to find the wavelength particularly in the North so didn’t really enjoy this. 13a as noun new one on me. Missed indicator for my 6d bung-in and not sure about 11a (or am I missing something?). Joint Favs 1a and 10d. Thank you (sort of!) Cephas and CS. In W.Sussex we seem to have missed the forecast thunderstorm(s) – fingers crossed.

  27. I really liked this one to start with, and then I didn’t, and then I did. Just got bogged down in the middle. 26a took ages as I had the wrong ending to 10d, with 16a being LI. Don’t know that I’ve ever heard 3d being used like that. And like Steve Cowling, I didn’t think 24a was particularly cryptic. I never pay attention to the grid pattern, unlike many it seems. But an enjoyable puzzle and a good start to the weekend. Thanks to Cephas and CrypticSue.

  28. Slow going but got there. I had the wrong answer in for one half of 7d, so took forever to get the final corner finished. Favourite 28a today. Thanks Cephas and CS.

  29. Glad I’m not alone in nearly giving up after one read through, but very happy that I persevered and – much to my amazement – managed to complete it (and really enjoyed doing so). Thanks to Cephas for the challenge and, as ever, to CS. I didn’t need the hints to complete, but used them to check the ones I couldn’t parse before submitting (is that cheating?!).

    On which subject, I’ve never received confirmation email when submitting (from the new site), just a pop up box saying submitted. Does that mean my entries have never been received?

    1. I didn’t get a confirmation email either, pah. I have no idea whether or not it means the DT have received it.

  30. All completed but not without help from the hints for a couple. 14d was a new word to me. I liked the long clues. Like others I took ages to get going and then went in fits and starts. How can it look impossible and then be obvious when you next look. More challenging for me than many recent Saturdays but still enjoyable. 8 a was my favourite when it finally clicked.

    Many thanks to Cephas and to CS for the essential and helpful hints.

  31. Found this the trickiest of the week & by some margin. Having just read YS’s comment somewhat relieved to find it wasn’t just me. Heaven knows why but just couldn’t see 1a nor 3&4d without the help of the initial checker. The penny eventually dropped at the third look for the blindingly obvious opener & the other two followed for a Toughie solve time. Didn’t notice the apparently unfriendly grid nor would I have pegged it as a Cephas guzzle. A few things unfamiliar didn’t help – the Scottish cry, old furniture & the not at all synonym. Not my fav one by any means but on the plus side I rather liked the 4 long ‘uns & 28a.
    Thanks to Cephas & to CS

  32. Apologies to the setter, who is obviously a genius, but I didn’t like this at all.

    The worst word in the English language that should never disgrace my presence again in 5d. Not only is this a new word to me, but I would be very confused if someone had used this in a conversation. Is this a regional word? Or one only used by people who say things like “I ain’t done nuffink”

    A Scottish and obscure meaning of the word in 13a.

    I enjoyed the bottom two thirds, but the top third was not an enjoyable solve. I resorted to cheat site to get many of the answers.

    Despite my Brian-esque moaning, thanks to all.

  33. I have been doing this crossword since my student days (don’t ask) and found this site about a year ago. I really look forward to finishing the crossword (usually) and then checking it with your blogs. The extra comments are interesting and often hilarious. I have gradually got to understand your shorthand but ‘unches’ and ‘double unches’ have defeated me. What am I missing? Is it obvious? I thought I’d ask today as even the setter mentioned them. Thanks in advance

    1. Welcome to the blog

      An unch is a square on the grid which isn’t linked to others, for example the letters at the start of 1a, 6d and so on. A double unch is where there are two ‘unchecked’ letters, eg the fourth and fifth letters of 16a or the second and third letters of 17a

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