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DT 30391

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,391
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment **

A visit to Kwik Fit followed by the joys of the dentist on the menu today so no golf but it looks pretty dull outside though no rain in the forecast. Another Anthony Plumb production I’m guessing & can’t really say I was overly bowled over with it though it was of course precisely clued as usual. There were a few too many single letter insertions for my taste & I felt it lacked the humour & wit of a fortnight ago. The penny for one particular clue took me longer than the rest of the puzzle so it’ll be interesting to read the comments to see if it was just me (probably) being dense. It was another morning of uttering the Quickie pun in a variety of silly voices too.

In the following hints, definitions are underlined, indicators are mostly in parentheses, and answers are revealed by clicking where shown as usual. Please leave a comment below on how you got on with the puzzle.


1a Lay by beach drinking Tango (3,5)
SET ASIDE: insert the single letter for Tango (NATO phonetic alphabet) into a word for beach that the music hall song declares we do like to be beside.

5a Wine inside ship’s jars (6)
SHOCKS:  place a British name for a German white wine inside the ship prefix – a two letter acronym for a steamship

10a React as critic gets upset about hotel features (15)
CHARACTERISTICS: an anagram (upset) of REACT AS CRITIC + the single letter for Hotel (NATO phonetic alphabet)

11a Accepted a second problem with eastern diamonds (7)
ASSUMED: link the following 5 elements – the A from the clue, the single letter for Second, a synonym of problem, then the single letter for Eastern & finally for Diamonds (card suit)

12a A Parisian admitting a fight in the dark (7)
UNAWARE: insert (admitting) the A in the clue + a synonym for fight into the French indefinite article that precedes a feminine noun

13a Bird food
PORRIDGE: a double meaning: the first slang for prison & the second hearty breakfast fare

15a Medic’s bandaging king’s cuts (5)
DOCKS: another abbreviated word for medics goes around (bandaging) the single letter for king (chess piece)

18a Maiden in the morning initially bitten by a snake (5)
MAMBA: link the letter for Maiden (cricket), the Latin abbreviation for morning, the first letter (initially) of Bitten & finish with the A in the clue

20a Perceiving no sign of nerves in golf (8)
NOTICING: place a word for a physical sign of nerves between No & In from the clue & append the single letter for Golf (NATO alphabet) at the end. If only the surface were true of me when faced with a shot requiring a carry over water

23a A small cuckoo nest, son agrees (7)
ASSENTS: start with the A from the clue, then follow with an anagram (cuckoo) of NEST placed between the single letter abbreviations for Small & for Son

25a Scent for each upper class female brought back by this writer (7)
PERFUME: more lego. Link a preposition meaning for each to a reversal (brought back) of the single letter abbreviations for upper class & female & finish with how this writer may refer to himself

26a Stay calmdon’t go topless! (4,4,5,2)
KEEP YOUR SHIRT ON: double definition. The first an entreaty not to lose one’s temper the second not guaranteed to be the instruction to this fella from all of our commenters

27a Daughter shows fears (6)
DREADS: the single letter for Daughter plus a word for shows though I’m struggling to see quite how they’re synonymous either as nouns or verbs.

28a Certainly getting in drink is considered (8)
MEASURED: insert (getting in) a word for certainly or no problem into a honey based drink


1d Soldiers carrying much less mass for instance (4,2)
SUCH AS: place much from the wordplay minus the initial letter (less Mass) into the acronym for an elite British army regiment founded in 1941

2d Overhaul locomotives leaving one half of platform (9)
TRANSFORM: what locomotives are less the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one plus 50% of platform

3d Problem with speech? Change the middle letter for political leader (7)
STARMER: change the middle letter in a speech impediment giving you the very likely to be the 7th in his party’s history if the polls are anything to go by.

4d Old- fashioned parent ringing teen on a regular basis (5)
DATED: the male parent around (ringing) the alternate letters (on a regular basis) of teen

6d Relative triumph finally with American pop group
HUSBAND: the last letter (finally)  of triumph plus an abbreviation for American & a synonym for a pop group

7d Pal cold at home wearing hat with temperature dropping (5)
CHINA: link the single letter for Cold, add hat from the clue less the last letter (Temperature dropping) & insert a term for at home

8d Tension – feeling keeping us quiet (8)
SUSPENSE : a synonym for feeling around (keeping) us from the clue & the musical letter for quiet

9d Turn game off, creating dispute (8)
ARGUMENT: an anagram (off) of TURN GAME

14d Perhaps T. Rex finale of Bolan in US radio broadcast (8)
DINOSAUR: a nice surface misleadingly referencing the glam rock band of the seventies. An anagram (broadcast) of US RADIO + the last letter (finale) of Bolan. Another appearance after yesterday.

16d Bird eating nuts cut head in pit? (9)
CONDUCTOR: insert (eating) an anagram (nuts) of CUT into a common name for a species of vulture for a definition that has nowt to do with a colliery

17d Went on board ship following European doctor and Edward (8)

EMBARKED: the single letter for European plus the medical qualification for doctor followed by a ship that featured in the Bible & a shortened form of Edward

19d Fed up? Done any blunders? (7)
ANNOYED: an anagram (blunders) of DONE ANY

21d Tooth decay hampers last of polar bears (7)
CARRIES: the dental term for tooth decay is placed around (hampers) the final (last of) letter of polaR.

22d Writer with note editor enclosed (6)
PENNED: link a writing implement with the single letter for Note & the usual abbreviation for editor

24d Band rocked on the radio (5)
SUEDE: a homophone (on the radio) of a synonym for rock giving you an English Britpop band whose eponymous debut album won the Mercury Music Prize in  1993

25d Section of alp is terrific ski run (5)

PISTE: a lurker (section of) to finish contained in the three words preceding the definition

13a&14d my top two with ticks also for 20a plus 16&21d. Which ones did you like?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: AWE + FLY + CENTS = OFF LICENCE 


95 comments on “DT 30391

  1. Getting the two long ones straight away opened up this little teaser and what followed was enjoyable. There were a few traps to catch the unwary such as 1a where I entered “put” for the first word, a case of bunging in the answer without checking the parsing. I took ages to get 16d because I was working in the wrong pit. I considered every drink I could think of in 28a except the one that was needed. My COTD is the short and sweet 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and Huntsman for the hints.

    PS I thought the Quickie pun was great once I got past “Awfully sense”.

  2. Well I enjoyed it. Got the 2 long ‘uns early. 1d LOI and COTD for me. Oh and, Huntsman, for me the answer for 5a is “revealed” toodle pip

  3. I agree with SL regarding the long ones. I was slightly puzzled by the use of the word regular in 4d but haven’t looked at Huntsman’s hints and expect all will be revealed… Some great clues here – 13a May be an old favourite but I hadn’t come across it. 7d contained one which was cleverly misdirected. 1d was my COTD and 24d a close second. Thanks to H and the setter for a quality Tuesday. Although I keep thinking it’s Monday….

    1. I’m not sure I can reply to myself but I now see in 4d I was assuming the whole of teen on was on a regular basis not just teen. Silly me. No idea why! Apologies all

  4. 16d was my final entry and proved to be my favourite. I enjoyed the puzzle more than our blogger, but then I am easily pleased. The Quickie pun only works if you pronounce the first word like our late Queen in a Christmas broadcast I thought.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  5. There were a lot of lego clues today but it was a moderately enjoyable guzzle, with long clues openingcthings up with lots of checkers. The best clues, for me were the ones that involved misdirection like my COTD, 15a, a rather ceyptic ddouble definition. The misdirection in two of the lwgo clues, 16d an28a led to a couple of penny-drop moments too. Thanks to Huntsman for the hints and to Mr Plumb for a likeable guzzle.

  6. 1.5*/3.5*. I enjoyed this a lot although, like Huntsman, I don’t understand how “reads” is a synonym for “shows” in 27a.

    My top picks were 12a, 13a, 20a & 24d with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.

    1. Me too but by delving into the BRB you will find that under “instruct” read and show are both given as synonyms.

      1. By ‘eck, Big Eck. However did you unearth that?

        That’s an example of what our late lamented leader BD used to call Thesauritis. Just because A=B and B=C doesn’t mean that A=C.

    2. I also thought the same about ‘reads’ for ‘shows’ and I get a but tired of all the first/last letter indicators lately. However, I did enjoy the puzzle, especially the way the refreshingly different anagram indicators were used throughout.

  7. Steady, even progress with just
    28a and 16d to go.
    These added .5 time until the
    Proverbial descended.
    The ingenious latter takes Gold.
    Where would we be without
    The 15 letter 10a and the hardy perennial
    Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  8. All went swimmingly until I got hopelessly stuck on 15a and 16d. I kept trying the usual letters for medics in 15a and just didn’t get the pit reference in 16d. Luckily, Huntsman’s hints sorted me out. COTD for me was 24d, although I can’t claim to have ever been a fan of this band. Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.

  9. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to our setter and Huntsman.
    My favourite clue (because it produced what pommers would call a tea-tray moment) was 16d.

    27a My outside thermometer shows 19 degrees C ??

  10. Did all of this without much aggro, then got caught on the last one, 16d which I couldn’t get for love nor money. Was scrolling down to add my comment today and glimpsed the picture of the bird for about half a sec, and got it immediately, very clever clue!

  11. Enjoyable. Helped to get the 2 long ones across quickly. 24d foxed me even with 3 of the 5 letters known.

    1. I found myself stuck in the same corner as Paul2144, until a vague memory of the band floated up in my mind. The synonym for ‘shows’ challenged me, but it had to be.

  12. Today restored my confidence after struggling in vain to finish yesterday’s puzzle. Last ones in were 16d and 28a and were my favourites. Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  13. Enjoyable, and slightly more testing than Tuesdays have been of late, but not one of Mr Plumb’s / this setter’s best, I felt. Wasn’t entirely convinced by 27a synonym of shows, had never heard of the rock band in 24d, and as the light didn’t dawn until coming here, thought changing the middle 3 letters of stutter to be somewhat random. D’oh! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to be delayed by 16d, where it took a long time for the penny to drop. Clever clue! Highlights for me were 13a and 1d.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman

  14. I liked this a lot though, for me, it wasn’t as sparkling as some of Mr Plumb’s offerings. That said I had great satisfaction in finally parsing 16d unaided. I knew the answer but it took an age to work out the minutiae so that became my favourite today. Likewise with 17d, the clever wordplay had me seeking a seemingly missing ship until the penny dropped. I’m not sure about the synonym at 27a, nor that ‘fed up’ equates with ‘annoyed’ but those are my only negative thoughts in this very pleasing guzzle. Jostling for podium places are 13a, 15a, 25a and 7d. Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman – the jury is still out on the Quickie pun. It doesn’t quite work with my Yorkshire accent!

    1. Can’t blame AP Angellov – it’s my incompetence (2 boo-boos & counting). Now fixed. Thanks

          1. Never mind, Huntsman. Your boo-boos are reducing weekly and you have a grasp of illustrations now. Great job! :good:

      1. Relax! Only a handful of us could do this job, I know I certainly couldn’t. You’re a star!

      2. Incompetence? Anyone who can solve, and provide hints for us all is a genius in my book. I’d rather take a long walk off a short pier …

  15. The indicators are that this is an Anthony Plumb production but, for me, it was not Typically Tuesdayish – ***/***

    With the three checkers I was able to come up with an idea of the homophone ‘half’ of 24d but I did need to e-confirm that it was a band that I had never heard of.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 28a, 7d, and 8d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  16. A friendly solve but IMHO not a barrowload of fun. North was softest touch. 18a snake new to me. Agree with Huntsman and others in that 27a component is hardly shows. Quickie pun is fun accepting the affectation. Thank you MrP and Huntsman.

  17. I can’t see the problem with 27a. “What does the mileometer on your car ****?” (Insert either synonym).

    Just couldn’t see 16 down and didn’t know the GK for 24d.

    Many thanks to Mr P and Huntsman.

  18. Rather enjoyed this one although I wasn’t persuaded by 27a until Gazza gave us an example. I think more of our number actually would recognise the name of the 24d band if it was spelt as it is pronounced. Rosettes handed out to 13&20a plus 1d but a large ‘hmm’ for the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the review – hope the dentist is kind to you!

    1. Well she kindly suggested I tried not to tense up quite so much as she feared rigor mortis was about to set in.

      1. If only your comment had been posted 5 minutes earlier … 2:30 … an appropriate time to go to the dentist?

  19. Just the ticket for a morning shared with a mug of tea. Estella has gone away and left me alone again to cope with this pleasant challenge.

  20. I think I need medical attention. A brain doctor. One who specialises in deranged people who bung in ‘anodyne’ for 19d without a care in the world. Such people then spend much of their delightful time with toast and orange juice with no bits scrambling about trying to shoehorn in answers that fit all those that cross 19d. This disaster was aided by the fact that the answers for 18a and 26a only help to confirm everything for the fool who has etched in ‘anodyne’ with such reckless abandon. It is only when the scapegrace reaches 23a that he begins to think, “Hey! Wait a flipping second….”

    Thanks to the setter and Andy Reclining On The Dentist’s Chair.

    *I have now discovered there is a bar named ‘Anodyne’ in Albuquerque, and as a result, I intend to move to New Mexico this afternoon.

    1. Not so many garden centres in New Mexico I imagine, but maybe some nice walks. And I bet they don’t bother to take the bits out of the orange juice, it doesn’t sound a very Mexican thing to do. Best not go.

  21. A mixture of cluing today, I too was not sure of the show part of 27a but it was confirmed in my Chambers so thats that.
    Assumed last in 24d was a pop group .
    Favourite was 14d ,nice use of Bolan to lead me up the garden path till the penny dropped.
    Liked 13a ,a double definition which often turns up -not usually using this bird.
    Going for a **/***

  22. Enjoyed that, especially 16d once I got it!
    I knew the band at 24d though you don’t hear so much of them nowadays, in fact you probably know the bass player’s brother better – ex host of Pointless turned hugely successful author

    Thanks to all

  23. Good afternoon
    A day off today, with a gig this evening: Graham Nash at the Anvil in Basingstoke; looking forward to that!
    An enjoyable solve today, with some nice misdirection and touches of humour. In common with many of you commenting so far, 15a and 16d were the last to faĺl. COTD for me is 21d.
    Many thanks to our compiler and to Huntsman.

  24. Not sure about 2d – are “locomotive” and “train” synonymous? The locomotive is what provides the motive power and the train is what it pulls. Alternatively, “train” is used to describe the locomotive and coaches (or wagons) combined.

      1. Gansosalvaje. Thanks for your support. My grandfather was a driver on the GWR in the days of steam and would have agreed also.

        1. Thank you Grammarian and GansosalvajeI don’t tknow a lot about railways but logic suggested that the locomotive pulled the train rather than being synonymous with it. I rhought it was just me.

  25. Not a typical Tuesday puzzle I thought. Trickier than normal and not a lot of fun for me.


    Favourites include 26a, 2d, 7d & 25d
    Never heard of 24d as it was intended.

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman

  26. All done and dusted apart from 24d but I am not very au fait with rock bands other than as in strata. Or stratum. I liked the nice long anagram. Had another morning at Addenbrookes today, good job I have a bus pass or it would be costing me a fortune! I liked the quickie pun, reminded me of my grandmother, not the Scottish one. She said awf and she also said vawse instead of vase. Very confusing. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Huntsman. Just thought, is there a band called Suede, because that could be rocked. I’ll ask my friend Alexa, in fact she has probably already read my mind. Scary.

    1. I wonder how many fans of the Thursday Murder Club novels by the excellent Richard Osman realise that his brother, Mat is the bassist with suede

  27. All finished with a small amount of help from ‘Fairly Useful Spouse Sometimes’ FUSS, who remembered the band and reminded me of the other synonym for bird which I had forgotten. Overall I enjoyed it especially the long ones.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for the confirmatory hints.

  28. I rather enjoyed today’s challenge. Just the right side of difficulty for me for a Tuesday. Like those tractor pulling contests, I seemed to start fast and get rapidly slower towards the end!
    Thanks to Huntsman and the setter.
    (Why is the setter called Anthony Plumb? I must have been absent from class when this was explained.)

    1. That’s his name. He sets for the FT as Flimsy & the Indy as Nitsy but doesn’t bother with a pseudonym for us – presumably because back-pagers don’t say who the setter is. To the best of my recollection he’s never popped in to the site to acknowledge a puzzle, which is a shame I think.

      1. Ah, of course. Thank you.
        Doesn’t take away any of the enjoyment of course. I often marvel at how people know who the back page setter is when there is no attribution. My solving skills are not quite at that level yet.

  29. First pass frightened the life out of me until I got a grip in the lower half then things improved considerably. All in all I thought this was a superb puzzle at just the right level for a back pager.
    Thx to all

  30. I really enjoyed this but had to guess the band as I hadn’t heard of it. I am absolutely reeling that a 3 inch live worm was found in a woman’s brain, totally disgusting – wish I hadn’t read about it as I can’t forget it. Anyway thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for his efforts. It seems very autumnal here.

    1. Is that what they mean by an ear worm? But in the head.
      I agree that is an horrific thought.

  31. Gentle fun but I have to agree with our blogger that this wasn’t quite up there with this setter’s best but it’s supremely difficult to consistently churn out winners week after week. Some of the surface reads seemed somewhat contrived, with 16d the winner by the proverbial country mile and worth the admission fee alone.
    Thanks to AP and Huntsman

  32. I found this quite tricky, a DNF ‘cos I’d never heard of the band in 24d. I did need some ehelp in the NE but got there in the end. I bunged in 13a, never heard “bird” for that, oh well, probably never see it again! I couldn’t get the “shows” in 27a, I’m sure it’ll be explained when I read the hints. I must get my routine in before the rain, courtesy of Idalia, sets in, but they’ve been wrong before.
    Thank you setter, and Huntsman for hints and pics, which I’ll read later.

    1. Merusa, re 13a, you should commit it to memory as you will no doubt encounter it again. “Bird” is rhyming slang where “bird lime” which originally stood for “time” (a stretch spent in prison) but has evolved to also mean “prison” itself. The answer is another slang term which also carries the same double meaning.

      For 27a, see Gazza’s comment @9 above.

  33. I finished, but have to borrow Chriscross’ evaluation of “moderately enjoyable”. Probably somewhat biased by solving with one scratchy eye, never heard of the band, or the dental term and the click button not working on 5a. I know I should have remembered the German wine, but only liebfraumilch came to mind, and clearly that wasn’t going to work. Time to rest my eye now, so thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  34. To Merusa and Busy Lizzie.

    Stay safe! Idalia is beginning to look more menacing, certainly on the north east coast line. I don’t think you two are up there are you?

    1. I second your comments, Wahoo. I am watching the Florida weather forecast at the moments and it does look horrendous. Please stay safe, Merusa and Busy Lizzie. :good:

      1. Thanks Steve and Wahoo. Luckily for us, but not for those on the west coast and northwards, it should miss us and we will only get the rain bands and some wind. I’m hoping the Fort Myers area is spared as they are nowhere recovered yet from Hurricane Ian. From June 1 to November 30, it’s all a bit of a lottery weatherwise. Latest I saw was that it will impact Savannah in Georgia when it leaves Florida. Oh dear, all those lovely old homes up there.

    2. Thanks for the good wishes but it should pass NW of us, crossing Florida around Tampa or so. It’ll then snake its way up the east coast, Charleston right in its path, so my thoughts go to Robert. We are getting some breezes from the extreme outer bands, so this must be a huge one.

    1. One of my last ones in though !
      Pity the notification system for replies to a comment no longer seems to work.

  35. Very Tuesdayish that was 4/5ths done before I had to get on my bike, the rest didn’t last much longer than making a first brew at work, nice to see Mr Barker in one of his best roles.
    Thanks to Huntsman and MrP
    I don’t want to spoil supper but it is time to get out the Udder Cream


  36. As usual attempting the crossword in the evening, I thought there was some clever misdirection and the long answers were a great help. Last one in and big penny drop moment was 24d. Thanks to today’s setter and huntsman.

  37. All very good fun, absolutely nothing in this crossword 25d me off 😁 Medals to 1a 26a 14d 🏅

    Loved 24d, “Trash” is doing earworm duty this evening 🎶🎸🎵

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