DT 30406 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 30406

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30406

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday.  This week’s Telegraph Puzzles Newsletter told us that this week’s celebrations to mark the first birthday of the new Telegraph Puzzles site would “wrap it all up with a suitably celebratory Cryptic Crossword on Friday”.  That information didn’t help much with the solve, and once I had a completed grid, I searched for anything beyond the obvious 1a/4a combination that might be referencing the new site, but to no avail. Did anyone out there spot anything else birthday-related or anything that could be a comment on the new site?  The anagram-rich puzzle itself felt more straightforward than recent Friday puzzles and it delivered quite a few smiles. 

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 or display a bonus illustration 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    & 4 Across Contented by a third moving congratulatory message (5,8)
HAPPY:  Contented or satisfied is followed by an anagram (moving) of BY A THIRD 

4a    See 1 Across

10a   While holding baby, mother knocked back liqueur (7)
SAMBUCA:  A short synonym of while containing both a baby bear (perhaps) and an informal form of mother is all reversed (knocked back

11a   Birds close to shore first to approach city (7)
SWANSEA:  Some birds that belong to the King are followed by the last letter of (close to) SHORE and the first letter (first to) of APPROACH 

12a   Trees, always small, covering part of golf course (10)
EVERGREENS:  Another word for always and the clothing abbreviation for small sandwiching (covering) a part of a golf course 

13a   First shock for the audience (4)
MAIN:  A homophone (for the audience) of a shock that might be seen on a head or on a male lion 

15a   Island capital protester damaged with paint (5,5,4)
SAINT PETER PORT:  An anagram (damaged) of PROTESTER PAINT 

18a   Typical  salesperson (14)
REPRESENTATIVE:  A fairly straightforward double definition 

21a   Building houses? He demolished houses (4)
SHED:  The answer is hidden in the middle three words of the clue ( … houses

22a   People keeping dry sat in bars working, drinking last of coffee (10)
ABSTAINERS:  An anagram (working) of SAT IN BARS containing (drinking) the last letter of COFFEE 

25a   Erudite student made money (7)
LEARNED:  The single letter indicating a student or learner driver is followed by “made money” or deserved 

26a   Copy current technology found in China (7)
IMITATE:  The physics symbol for electric current is followed by a synonym of China read as rhyming slang which has the abbreviation for information technology inserted (… found in China) 

27a   Highly rated opponents abounded (8)
ESTEEMED:  The abbreviations for two opponents in bridge with another word for abounded 

28a   Time close for Spooner's lowest point (5)
NADIR:  A three-letter synonym of time and a four letter synonym of close are given the Spooner treatment 



1d    Confusion with drug he's changed for another? (8)
HASHEESH:  Link together confusion or mess, the single letter for crosswordland’s favourite recreational drug, and an anagram (changed) of HE’S to get a different drug 

2d    Show, one that is mounted in ancient settlement (7)
POMPEII:  Show or ceremony is followed by the reversed (mounted) combination of the Roman one and the Latin abbreviation for “that is” 

3d    Guy, so stern, upset children (10)
YOUNGSTERS:  An anagram (upset) of GUY SO STERN 

5d    Dramatist's occasionally mean after unpleasant complaint (5)
IBSEN:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of MEAN come after the abbreviation for an unpleasant condition of the digestive system 

6d    Side of fresh meat (4)
TEAM:  An anagram (fresh) of MEAT 

7d    Hopelessness of French prince's autobiography reported (7)
DESPAIR:  “of” in French is followed by a homophone (reported) of a current prince’s autobiography   

8d    Long story about end of marriage (5)
YEARN:  A tale or story containing (about) the last letter of (end of) MARRIAGE 

9d    Without transport, touring Spain is irresponsible (8)
CARELESS:  An adjective meaning without a popular form of motorized transport is containing (touring) the IVR code for Spain 

14d   A pair point out ghost (10)
APPARITION:  An anagram (out) of A PAIR POINT 

16d   A German mug? Anything but! (8)
EINSTEIN:  The wordplay instructs us to find a German phrase meaning a mug/drinking vessel. The entire clue can serve as the definition of somebody who was German but definitely not a mug/fool

17d   Blokes curse their clothing? (8)
MENSWEAR:  Synonyms of blokes and curse. The definition refers back to the start of the clue 

19d   Stylish creature finally leaving for pub (7)
ELEGANT:  In a creature with big ears and a trunk, the last letter of (finally …) LEAVING is substituted for the abbreviation of the phrase whose contraction is “pub” 

20d   Right to block deal in new country (7)
IRELAND:  The single letter for right inserted in (to block) an anagram (new) of DEAL IN 

21d   Only about five work out (5)
SOLVE:  A synonym of only containing (about) the Roman five 

23d   Move most of funds (5)
BUDGE:  All but the last letter (most of) of funds or allocation 

24d   Guaranteed to keep stake (4)
ANTE:  The first word in the clue is hiding (to keep) the answer 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clues for me were 21a, 7d, and 16d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  PAR + KIN + BAIZE = PARKING BAYS

99 comments on “DT 30406

  1. Didn’t think we’d get one quite as good as Wednesday’s, but here it is, absolutely brilliant fun. Not a duff clue in it, had so many candidates for favourite, that listing them all would be meaningless, so after much deliberation I’ve opted for 16d and 19d.
    Can’t wait to see who the setter is, so ta in advance whoever you may be.

    1. Whoops, forgot to mention that I still can’t see how 28a is arrived at, even after reading the hint, can anyone please let me in on it? thanks.

      1. Personally, I’ve never pronounced it like this. But I’ve checked and I stand corrected! A lovely puzzle, I thought. And like many others, 16d was a clear favourite for me. I’m pretty sure it’s not Twm so, presumably, CL. A cracking string of belters this week.

        1. Agreed, I’m a NAD person, so it took a loong while to figure out the NAY version needed for the decrypting.

          1. Good to meet another NAD –  I’ve never been a naysayer and I ain’t changing now! Just sounds odd like that, I reckon.

              1. I don’t think Brian bothers about the wordplay … he normally just bungs in the definition.

                Of course, I may be wrong?

          2. I’m definitely a NAD and decided to ignore the clue as it was definitely the answer. I was just happy to solve anything with the dreaded Spooner word in the clue.

        2. I couldn’t decide which way to go on this, nads or nays, but in the end I decided to go nads.

          (sorry) 😁😄

      2. I think its all down to the pronunciation of the answer. Given the Spooner treatment na becomes da(y) = time and dir becomes ni(ea)r =close

        1. Got it now, thanks Jennie. I’m one of the NAD (rhymes with Vlad) brigade, so maybe that’s why I couldn’t see it.

  2. Brilliant puzzle! Not difficult but full of wit and inventive clueing.
    If I have a slight quibble it would be 11a where “close to” followed directly followed by “first to” doesn’t quite sit right and thought maybe 12a a tad weak but they are very minor points.
    In a strong field my highlights are 22a plus 1,7&16d, any of which would be strong contenders for clue of the week.
    Many thanks to the setter, I’m pretty sure it’s non of the three usual suspects, I strongly suspect it’s by Twmbarlwm (or maybe CL given Mr K’s preamble) and of course the aforementioned MrK

      1. So did I. It took me a while but the clue gives all the info. “Birds” plus the end (close) of “shore” and the first letter of “ approach”.

  3. Struggled to find the wavelength but then thought I was onto it but faced slow progress in the West (particularly 1d – sp!) and had to call on Mr. Google a couple of times. Altogether a fun run. Thank you Messrs Ron and K.

  4. Being spoiled at the moment by our setters,long may it continue,
    All agree that this is a cracking puzzle.
    Favourite has to be 16d.followed by the 15a anagram for the surface.
    Going for a **/****

  5. As Mr K says, beyond the 1a/4a combo, nothing else that is obviously celebratory in nature unless we are going to one of the Channel Islands to knock back a liqueur. Nevertheless a very enjoyable puzzle that appears to be ‘outside’ the Friday triumvirate and I am inclined to suggest that it is the handiwork of our esteemed editor himself – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 18a, 27a, and 17d – and the winner is 11a.

    Thanks to CL, or whomsoever if it is not he, and thanks to Mr K.

  6. Not quite so much of a slog as the usual Friday offwrings, this puzzle had some very clever clues. My COTD was 16d, how clever was the wordplay in that? It was followed closely by the hilarious 7d homophone and the 19d letter substitution clue . Last but not least, therw were lots of good anagrams, including a geographical one at 16a. Thanks to the compiler, I haven’t felt so enthusiastic about a Friday guzzle in months! Thanks too to Mr K, I did need help parsing 1a and the cat pictures were delightful. A good ☺️morning, the only fly in the ointment being that, although I have finished my sewing project, I now have to iron it😕

    1. What is the project CC? I am still making poppies for the WI November installation but have just bought some fabulous cloth and cannot wait to get the shears out!

      1. I’m making armcovers and chairbacks to protect my pale beige armchairs from my messy family, Daisy. The arms of the chairs curve otwards and boxy shop bought arm covers just fall off. So I made a pattern out of gressmakers’ tracing paper and they fit quite well. This is the third lot. The first and second ones made o cotton and linen twill were worn into holes by someones sharp elbows . So it’s a thickeer upholstery weight fabric this time.

      1. Nice

        Btw, I submitted my thoughts on today’s crossword but I have changed my alias.

        So, I’m guessing the post is sitting somewhere to be approved?

  7. Has the weekend been and gone as I ripped through this one?

    It will certainly turn our resident Mr Grumpy’s frown upside down.

    Some great clues with 16d getting the spoils.

    Many thanks to Mr K and a non-triumvirate.


          1. That reminds me of the scene in ‘Animal House’ when Kevin Bacon says ‘Thank you, sir. May I have another?’

            ‘See if you can guess what I am now. A zit….get it?’

            What a film. Hugely influential on a naive 13 year old boy like me.

            1. Quite something to realise (a) that Bacon was in Animal House (as you say, very influential to those of a certain age. Ditto Porky’s) and (b) that he was already 26yo when Footloose (the original, watchable, good version) was released. 26!

              1. I only found out just now that Bacon was in Animal House.

                Here’s Brian, btw. (apologies if this is the wrong shout but Brother Ian clearly has a sense of humour)

                  1. Good afternoon Day Zee.

                    Take a look at my post yesterday (number 9) and the subsequent thread.

                  2. I think I’m history, more like.

                    Who doesn’t love an incorrect triple negative.


                1. I like the new alias Tom! There for posterity now.
                  Mr Grumpy, Brother Ian👌….. now there is someone who never fails to disappoint 😁

        1. Very enjoyable. Favorites 2d and 22a. Found it hard to get started but once I did it was a good Friday puzzle

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle that’s more straightforward than our usual Friday fare with a hefty supply of anagrams – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    I looked in vain for more details in the grid on the reason for the top-line congratulation. Were it not for the advanced notice in the Puzzles Newsletter which Mr K cites I don’t think we’d be any the wiser.
    I liked 21a, 7d and 19d but my clear favourite is 16d.

  9. Solid fare, rather unremarkable I thought, with an over-abundance of anagrams. Better suited to a Monday than a Friday. Hon Mentions to 27a, 5d & 16d.

    1* / 2.5*

    Thanks to the Setter and to MrK… good feline fun!

  10. This has been a really good week for Cryptics despite the Reverend making a late appearance (He was well liked by his contemporaries apparently. They obviously did not do crosswords 🙂)

    Favourite today – 16d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  11. I was expecting rather more than the straightforward salutation to mark the first year of multi-puzzles but can’t find anything else.
    Quite a straightforward 21d perhaps penned by our 27a editor with 16d taking my gold star.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K and the pusskins for the review.

  12. Another relatively easy Friday puzzle again this week. Nice to have this. Had its moments of hair pulling, but overall went in pretty easily. Considering this is the 1st anniversary of new puzzle site, CL would seem to be a strong candidate for this puzzles’ author.

    2*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites included 11a, 22a, 28a, 16d, 21d & 23d — with winner a toss-up of 16d & 21d

    Thanks to CL (?) & Mr K for hints/blog

  13. Apart from being defeated by 28a and it’s required pronunciation, loved this. Too busy giggling to choose between the faves : 7d, 16d, and the two lovely anathingies 15 and 22a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  14. A pleasant solve today, if a little anagram heavy for my liking, though I know others will be suited. There was some head scratching involved with 1d and 19d. Although I had the answer to 19d I think I would still have been parsing it next week without Mr K’s help. Runaway favourite today for me, and lots of others, is 16d supported by 1d and 21a. Thanks to our setter for the enjoyment and Mr K for the aforementioned help (and the kitties)

  15. 1*/3*. This was light and enjoyable apart from 28a, which I utterly failed to parse even with Mr K’s explanation and gets my vote as worst clue of the year (so far …)

    16d was my runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  16. An enjoyable solve although found it to be more like a Monday puzzle than a Friday offering. Made a nice change especially when up against time for appointments etc. Many thanks to Mr K and for the lovely pictures. Could the setter be our esteemed Mr Lancaster? Have a nice weekend everyone.

  17. Brilliant puzzle, such a relief after yesterdays travails (that’s one word for it, I could think of a number of others)! So many great clues it would be invidious to choose one but I’m going to anyway. My vote for todays COTD goes to 2d, amazing place to visit.
    Thx to all esp todays setter.

  18. All been said. Great fun, love anagrams. Would have signed in earlier if I had not heard next door’s new garden furniture being delivered and had to pop down the gin path and have a look. 28a was a bung in and although I am a nay sayer it still goes at the bottom of my list. Thank you for the hints Mr K and the cats, I love the way they just stick their legs up on the site with such ease. An thank you to Mr Setter for rounding off the week so nicely. Favourite? 22a or 5d. Or maybe 19d.

  19. 3* / 4* for us – nice neat puzzle except we struggled to parse 19d and pommers doesn’t like 28a at all.
    It isn’t a true spoonerism – needs a homophone indicator really.
    And yes – we’ve always pronounced it NAD not NAY.
    Thanks to setter and Mr K for the hints – which we needed for 19d.

      1. Replace the ‘ph’ (for public house) in the big grey animal with the ‘g’from the end of’ leaving’ 👍

  20. 1/3. Apart from 1&4a I found no other clues/answers to celebrate the puzzle site anniversary. 16d was my favourite and 28a was very disappointing – I think spoonerisms should be banned. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  21. Another example of they don’t need to be mind numbingly difficult to be enjoyable, and enjoy it I did. Favourite was 19d. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  22. This rounded off a great week of excellent guzzles. Not too difficult for Friday but no matter. The Reverend foxed me for a while as I am with the NAD EAR brigade. I’ll add my vote for 16d for top spot. Cheers to all!

  23. Isn’t anyone else worried about Telegraph Towers? It’s Friday and no brain-mangling puzzles, what on earth has happened? Not only doable but enjoyable. This week has been a long dream, I know I’ll plummet to earth soon.
    I hope Huntsman takes note of the pic at 12a. I needed the hints to understand the prince’s autobiography at 7d, as if we needed reminding of the said Prince. There was so much to like here, 15a was a great anagram, 11a for fond memories of Wales (or Whales as the unmentionable spells it), 1d amused, but for sheer brilliance 16d takes top spot.
    Thank you setter, wotta star you are, and Mr K for unravelling a few and the very welcome kitty pics!

    1. I struggle to hit the ball where I want it to go from a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway so you can fuggedaboutit…..

  24. Certainly an unexpected but welcome change to find a doable Friday puzzle. Not a walk in the park, at least not for me, but rather more enjoyable than many Fridays of late. I agree with Mr K though, that apart from 1a and 4a I can’t see what else is “celebratory” about this particular puzzle. One year on, and I am just hugely relieved that I can still reach the old puzzle site with its much more printable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  25. Never been to the island capital but want to go now, fun solve today thank you setter and mr K … I’m off now to watch the Chase

  26. Didn’t find it anywhere near as easy as others. Brain fog in the NE – never encountered the variant spelling at 1d, embarrassingly slow to twig 2d & had expunged 10a from the memory bank following a horrendous hangover long ago having drunk too much of the stuff when already the worse for wear. The pennies eventually dropped for the longest back-page solve time of the week after last in 13a dawned on me. The Guernsey port required post solve investigation as new to me & blissfully unaware that I’ve been mispronouncing 28a (I’m a NAD) all these years so the Spoonerism, which I pegged, works just fine. A very enjoyable guzzle & another vote for 16d as COTD
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K

      1. I shouldn’t really solve ‘em on the mobile in between teeing golfers off as it’s hardly giving the setters the undivided attention their creations deserve. Well that my excuse & I’m sticking to it 🙂

    1. For some reason 10a was drunk with a coffee bean floating in it whilst burning with an almost invisible flame, eyebrows and nostril hairs were at great risk as I know to my cost

  27. I thought this was a good level, with the odd head scratcher. I loved 16d, needed help on 1d (thanks) and help on why the answer to 28a was what it was.

  28. I turned from Mr Happy to Mr Grumpy during the course of this guzzle. Nothing to do with the puzzle but it is now official that my car has shuffled of this mortal coil, it is no more and has joined the choir invisibule… I shall be spending the next few days sourcing a replacement
    Thanks to Mr K for the hints and pusskits, I agree the theme was not quite as expansive as the newsletter suggested but Mr Ed is still my punt for the setter
    I too am in the NAD camp and note that agentBee (my James Bondian alter ego perhaps) has made the testicle joke so I will refrain

  29. What a wonderful guzzle for a Friday! I needed the hints for a couple so not an unaided finish but enjoyable nevertheless. I had ticks all over the paper although I still don’t get the spoonerism even after reading the hint. I thought 18a was very succinct and I loved the birds by the opponents, the latter of which took me a while to see. The dramatist is an old chestnut but the way it was clued was brilliant. It did help to have a medical background, though. My COTD is the very clever, to me, German mug.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Huge thanks to Mr. K for the hints and pusskits – a term that is copyrighted to me, SJB! 🤣

    The Marches are cool in the morning and hottish in the day. Difficult to know what to wear.

    1. You sound more buoyant than you have in quite a while, Steve. I guess that means that Mrs C is doing well!

      1. Thank you, Jane. Yes she is. There is a new determination in her that I have not seen before. This was helped greatly by our daughter, Faye, giving her a really good talking to! When it comes to stubborn, our daughter is the champion! 😊
        Mrs. C is becoming more mobile and she is eating well and getting stronger by the day. The carers have stopped visiting because they are happy with her progress.
        The only way for Mrs. C is up and that is why I’m buoyant! 😀

  30. Another busy day and another lovely fun guzzle, what more can I say that has not already been said in the entertaining comments above. My favourite 16d and I needed help to parse the dreaded spooner.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints and pics

  31. Fab fun today although 13a eluded, always but always forget that shock=hair. Thanks to betters and sloggers as the good doctor might say. And a cheeky bottle of pinot shared out to all who fancy a glass 🍷

  32. Really enjoyed this today. The closest I can come to a non positive comment is that it was over too quickly.

    Thanks to all.

    Also thanks for the continuing banter with Tom. Long may it continue!

  33. Spooner?
    No thank you very
    Much, brain turns to jelly.
    Still trying to fathom.
    Apart, fairly quick solve
    Until 1d, just needed the
    Correct spelling of this drug.
    Thanks to all.

  34. 4*/4* …
    liked 26A “Copy current technology found in China (7)”
    & the calculating cat in the hint to 23D.

Comments are closed.