DT 30418 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30418

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30418

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. Today was a very long day at work, so no time this week to search for pics, I’m afraid.  I enjoyed this puzzle, where the use of every letter but X suggests that it’s the work of proximal.

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    Is against pipe entering sea that's fouled up (12)
MISCONDUCTED:  IS from the clue and synonyms of against and pipe are inserted together (entering) in an informal name for a sea that touches Europe

9a    Underwear with short zip fastening brought back from large country (9)
BRAZILIAN:  Link together an item of female underwear, ZIP minus its last letter (short), and the reversal (brought back) of a fastening you’d use with a hammer 

10a   Drive poorly and get training (5)
DRILL:  The map abbreviation for drive with poorly or sick 

11a   Sad US soldier hid in vehicle from east (6)
TRAGIC:  The abbreviation for a US foot soldier is inserted in (hid in) the reversal (from the east) of a type of vehicle 

12a   Spooner's head covering aggravates tight clasps (4,4)
BEAR HUGS:  Apply the Spooner treatment to the combination of a natural head covering and aggravates or annoys 

13a   Half of plaid's backing material for furniture (6)
RATTAN:  Reverse the first half (half of… ‘s backing) of some plaid fabric 

14a   Tune idly played in harmony (8)
UNITEDLY:  An anagram (played) of TUNE IDLY 

17a   Further investigates mild oaths on playing field (8)
RECHECKS:  The plural of a very mild oath comes after an informal name for a playing field or sports ground 

19a   Boasted with missing prisoner finally caught (6)
BAGGED:  A synonym of boasted minus (missing) the final letter of PRISONER 

22a   Shears used on standard roots (8)
PARSNIPS:  A synonym of shears comes after standard or average 

24a   Controlled and ruled in hearing (6)
REINED:  A homophone (in hearing) of ruled like a monarch 

26a   Military leader in another time (5)
AGAIN:  A Turkish military officer with IN from the clue 

27a   Totally uncovered fancy vestry wall of forebears (9)
ANCESTRAL:  Remove the outer letters of the (totally uncovered) next three words in the clue 

28a   Areas for selling caramels kept in a mess (12)
MARKETPLACES:  An anagram (in a mess) of CARAMELS KEPT 



1d    Don's man Mike shelled crustaceans (7)
MOBSTER:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by Mike is followed by some expensive crustaceans minus their outer letters (shelled

2d    Directed to cover aluminium with a protective substance (7)
SEALANT:  A synonym of directed containing (to cover) both the chemical symbol for aluminium and A from the clue 

3d    Found flying into rage, throttling this compiler (9)
ORIGINATE:  An anagram (flying) of INTO RAGE containing (throttling) a pronoun that the compiler would use for themselves 

4d    Stand in bread aisle (4)
DAIS:  The answer is hidden in the remainder of the clue 

5d    Adolescent wearing headphones in restaurants (8)
CANTEENS:  Another word for adolescent inserted in (wearing) and informal word for headphones 

6d    Bird's raised crimson wings in image (5)
EIDER:  The colour of crimson and the outer letters of (wings in) IMAGE are joined and reversed (raised, in a down clue)

7d    State of matter one found in large pound (6)
LIQUID:  The Roman one is sandwiched between (found in) the clothing abbreviation for large and an informal word for a pound sterling 

8d    Loud insect circling tree (6)
FLASHY:  A three-letter insect containing (circling) a three-letter tree 

15d   Crossing party animal in final upset (9)
TRAVERSAL:  A party animal who likes to dance is inserted in the reversal (upset) of a synonym of final 

16d   Sailor below captain getting fish (8)
SKIPJACK:  A usual sailor comes after an informal word for captain 

17d   Rent used to be going up for cutting tool (6)
RIPSAW:  Rent or tear with the reversal (going up, in a down clue) of a word meaning “used to be” 

18d   Grain provided in instalments, we're told (6)
CEREAL:  A homophone (we’re told) of an adjective meaning “in instalments” 

20d   Information on revolutionary in charge is not specific (7)
GENERIC:  Join together an informal word for information, the reversal (revolutionary) of on or concerning, and the abbreviation for in charge 

21d   Scams carried out to nab diamonds before the French (7)
DIDDLES:  Carried out or executed containing (to nab) the playing card abbreviation for diamonds comes before “the” in French 

23d   Regularly ignored in warning a relative (5)
NANNA:  Remove alternate letters of (regularly ignored) IN WARNING A 

25d   Flee musical show cycling (4)
SCAT:  Cycle one place the name of a musical about the best animal 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  THEME + OUST + WRAP = THE MOUSETRAP

60 comments on “DT 30418
Leave your own comment 

  1. Puzzle of two halves for me, bottom flew in, top not so fast at all.
    Not one of this setter’s very best in my humble opinion but liked 19& 22a plus 21d.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Mr K (perhaps it’s fortunate that you didn’t have time for pictures given 9a!)

  2. I agree with Mr K – pro_imal and his 25 letter alphabet but I did find it something of a grind, especially, no surprise, the Spoonerism – ***/***

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 14a, 1d, 8d, and 21d – and the winner is 1d.

    Thanks to pro_imal and Mr K.

  3. Completed in the numerous ad breaks while watching our boys whitewash the morning foursomes session in the Ryder Cup. Didn’t think the puzzle one of proXimal’s finest (but then he does set such a high standard) or maybe a case of not giving it the undivided attention it deserved. The Spoonerism last in & took longer than it ought to have done so it can be my pick.
    Thanks to the X man & to Mr K

  4. 5*/5*. For me this was as tough as it gets for a Friday back-pager, but I really enjoyed the challenge of this x-less pangram.

    I had a lot of ticks, with 1d just nosing in front of several contenders as my favourite.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K.

  5. A really excellent Friday offering! Great clues, a tough challenge and very enjoyable tussle. I have ticked a fair few clues but there are two I prefer equally to the rest, so will use the dreaded phrase “joint favourites”: 12a and 6d. I do like a good Spooner clue, as long as it’s a “proper” one (like today’s) and not a weird hybrid thing. And for the purists who may be reading, hair is a homophone of bear and not a synonym, but it doesn’t matter – the clue is simply triggering a Spoonerism, there’s not supposed to be any specific cryptic word-play involving grammar/indicators (and it’s not required). 4.5*/4.5*.

  6. Well outside of my comfort zone and resulted in the use of a few less than mild oaths!
    Tops for me were Don’s man, the loud insect and the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to proXimal for the gruelling task and to Mr K for the review.

  7. I found tthis guzzle ridiculously difficult. Many of the clues were impenetrable but with the help of some checkers, having identified the key definition, I guessed the answers and finished rhe puzzle. I tried reverse engineering the parsing but there were still half a dozen clues which seemed to have no rhyme nor reason, so I shall be reading Mr K’s hi ts with interest. I wouldn’t describe the puzzle as enjoyable as it was a bit of a slog with much time spent looking at the thesaurus and BRB. However, there was some satisfaction in filling in the grid. I thought 28a was a fairly good anagram and 1a and 15d were decent lego clues but there were no outstanding clues. Thanks to ProXimal and Mr K.

  8. Having returned from holiday last night I was a bit overtired this morning, so found this a real challenge. I was relieved to see I was not alone in that, and I thoroughly enjoyed the tussle and was glad I persevered. 1d led my field of preferred clues, although it could have been any one of a dozen or so very good ones.

    My thanks to proXimal and Mr K.

  9. This Friday puzzle was not friendly as far as I was concerned. A few hmm’s in the clueing dept, as well as some iffy parsing for my taste. Some just could not be worked out, even with the answer.
    Not my cuppa today. No wavelength here with the setter for the most part.

    4*/2* for me

    Favourites … few and far between but I’ll pick 19a, 22a, 27a & 21d — with winner 21d

    Thanks to proXimal and Mr K for hints/blog

  10. Certainly a back page toughie and it was certainly a grind and a challange.
    Took ages to parse the NW corner but 1d was my favourite followed by 13a,nice to see our military leader again in 26a
    Going for a *****/****

  11. This was a bit of a challenge but it is Friday I suppose.

    I was not helped by misspelling a lurker which made 9a challenging. I really should be able to copy a few letters in the correct order.

    Favourites today – 13a, 22a and 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  12. I found this tough. SE has a few clues to help break into it, especially 28a. Still took a while in the NE with a few other stragglers. I hate Spooner clues even though I was at the same school as him in Oswestry. Cotd is 28a because it got me started.

  13. Bottom half reasonable, top half a real slog with electronis help required and quite a lot of reverse engineering. Not a smile to be had and Spoonerism’s have no place in a crossword, cryptic or otherwise

  14. Hard work but still very enjoyable and it is Friday. I’m obviously one of the purists that Jose is referring to because I did wonder if there should be a homophone indicator in 12a, which, nevertheless was my first one in. The NW corner held out longest as the meaning of 1d eluded me and I resorted to the hints. No overall favourite today. I did like 7d, 15d and 20d. 21d is not my sort of word ( the purist again!) but I did like the clever clueing. Thanks to ProXimal for the workout and MrK for his help.

      1. Well said, Jezza! I can’t understand why some people (still) think that these clues need another homophone indicator as well as the word/trigger “Spooner”.

  15. A good, sound, Friday puzzle – a bit tricksy but considerably lighter and more approachable than many that have occupied this Friday slot. Worked from S to N & finished with the excellent Spoonerism – always good to see one, whether it’s a read-and-write at first glance, or a really chewy piece of gristly delaying the end of the feast.

    Some great clueing throughout, all scrupulously fair. 9a made me smile as I pondered whether the DT would ever permit a rather different definition of the answer now in common use! Hon Mentions : 1a (topical), 11a, 1d, 5d.

    3* / 4*

    Many thanks to Proximal & to MrK

  16. Gosh, a good two meals worth today, but filled with some great clues!
    In no particular order, 5a – haven’t heard that vernacular for ‘phones in 55 years (I used to dabble in the industry). Even though simple, liked 13a, but COTD has to be 27a where I emerge naked!
    V many thanks to Pro.imal and Mr K.

  17. An excellent guzzle that got the synapses working overtime. I needed help with a couple so not an unaided finish but it was most enjoyable. I don’t understand the Spoonerism but that is nothing new. I liked the short zipped underwear at 9a, the plaid material at 13a and the sailor under his captain at 16d. However, my COTD is the matter found in the pond at 7d.

    A huge cheer for the Quickie pun!

    Many thanks to proXimal for the head scratching fun. Thank you Mr. K. for the hints and I hope you recover from the hard day’s work you have had to put up with.

    We had a power cut this morning (a scheduled one) and the electricity was off for three hours. It brought home how much we take electricity for granted.

    1. As I suggested to Mhids, the spoonerism refers to a head covering, and a synonym for aggravates, that need to have their initial letters swapped over.

    2. SC. The Spoonerism is a simple, straightforward and proper/traditional one. Head covering (HAIR) plus aggravates (BUGS) = HAIR BUGS. Transposing the initial letters and retaining the original homophony of the two elements gives BEAR HUGS. Spelling is secondary, it’s all about swapping letters/sounds/rhyming components.

      1. I had worked that out, both but I have issue with “ hair bugs”. What are hair bugs? Never heard the phrase. Nits, yes but “ hair bugs”? 🙃

        1. You haven’t got to take Spoonerisms too seriously. They are often contrivances just to provide amusement. There’s a god book by Mary Hough and Betty Swallocks on the subject. :-)

          1. This is the story of Rindercella and her sugly isters.
            Rindercella and her sugly isters lived in a marge lansion. Rindercella
            worked very hard frubbing sloors, emptying poss pits, and shivelling
            At the end of the day, she was knucking fackered.
            The sugly isters were right bugly astards. One was called Mary Hinge,
            and the other was called Betty Swallocks; they were really forrible
            huckers;they had fetty sweet and fetty swannies. The sugly isters had
            tickets to go to the ball, but the cotton runts would not let
            Rindercella go.….etc! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

            My apologies to those of a sensitive nature.

  18. Certainly a Friday plus.
    Completed after deeply
    Mining the grey matter.
    So many constructs to
    Of 1, 12 and 13a
    And 1, 7 and 16d, 1d
    Wins as COTD by half a nose.
    Thanks proXimal and Mr K

  19. Seems to have split the solvers this one but I’m afraid I’m one of the ones for whom it didn’t sparkle. Bit of a grind, couldn’t finish, shrug on reveal. Thanks to Mr K for making sense of it all – 13a especially.

  20. Relieved to see that I am not alone in finding this one difficult. I needed the hints to solve 1a which I think I would have been struggling with until Domesday, and for 2d….which had me kicking myself ditto with 17a I did, however, manage the Spoonerism which is unusual for me. Mind you, as soon as I see Spooner I think my brain shuts down.

    So, not my finest hour.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  21. Needed too many hints to complete this ,so not a satisfying solve, but that’s my fault not the setters. I was relieved to see I wasn’t the only one struggling. There were some good clues .I liked 9a and 22a in particular. Spoonerisms are not my thing I stupidly put the first letters in the reverse order🤷‍♂️. But thanks to all.

  22. I was surprised to see the consensus thought today’s offering was tough as I think this is the first time ever I’ve finished a Friday puzzle unaided! Normally I’m pleased to solve just half of it.

    27A was my favourite although I do always enjoy a good spoonerism.

  23. I spotted the ‘X’less pangram but it didn’t help on this occasion. I enjoyed this with a lot of penny drop moments and I parsed everything so a bonus there. NW last in. Favourite was 15d. Thanks to ProXimal and Mr. K.

  24. I can’t believe some of the comments. I really struggled with yesterday’s crossword, but whizzed through this one. My only gripe was 13a. I do not consider the word required to parse 13a to be a synonym of plaid. All in all, I really enjoyed this puzzle. Thank you proXimal and Mr K.

    1. All tartans can be considered plaids but not all plaids are tartan…. as they do not relate to clans. I think the synonym is fine.

  25. She of tiny brain didn’t stand much chance with this one, not surprising on reading most of the comments. However, I did have success in the south, with a little help with thesaurus and dictionary; one would think I’d know by now which comes first, “I” or “e”, in 24a? I had to use Mr. K’s help to get back in at 1a, even then I had to reveal. I eventually completed the NW with ehelp, but DNF in the NW, not helped by putting the answer for plaid instead of furniture in 13a. I feel I did pretty well. Sorry chaps, still don’t like Dr. Spooner though this one amused. I liked 8d and 21d.
    Thanks to proXimal, and boundless thanks to Mr. K for unravelling that lot. Good grief, I’ve gone on a bit, sorry!

  26. Agree with a lot of the other comments here – I thought I was on a roll in the bottom half, only to find myself wading through treacle in the top half. A bit of a slog and I had to put it down and come back to it a couple of times. I feel like it’s karma for some of the easier ones earlier in the week.

  27. Thanks to Mr K for the review and to commenters for comments. I went to see the Quickie pun recently and would thoroughly recommend it.

    1. I’ve seen it three times. The first time was when I was a student at Guy’s in the 60s. The second was when my daughter took me on a trip to London for Father’s Day in the 90s. The third time was with Mrs. C on our 40th wedding anniversary.

      I have never revealed the ending to anyone!

      Thank you for a great guzzle and for popping in.

  28. Good evening
    By the cringe! Tough or what?
    Thankfully all done, making up for yesterday’s DNF, but plenty of time and braincell-stretching required.
    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K

  29. A fair Friday challenge I thought. Didn’t struggle as much as some seem to have but definitely needed some thought. Thanks ProXimal for the entertainment and Mr. K for the (sadly catless) review.

  30. Needed the hint or answers for 2d, 18d and 25d. Decided I had devoted way too much time and need my evening back. A very hard solve.

    Dismissed the correct answer for 25d as this meant something quite crude to me. A new meaning of the word for me.

    Thanks to all.

  31. Another late attempt today which was not ideal. Completed with help of the check answers and the comments. All very clever but I did not do it justice due to lack of time and preoccupation. 9a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to proximal and to Mr K for the hints which I needed.

  32. As usual for a Friday, didn’t get to this until mid afternoon, when I have little time for head scratching, and little hope of making sense of the usual tougher Friday puzzle, but this one was tougher than usual. After solving. Meager few, I succumbed and looked at a couple of hints. Who would have say 14a? I would also not equate 3d with its answer, so calling it day on this one. Congrats and thanks to Mr K for solving this after a busy day.

  33. A good Friday puzzle and as I didn’t see the comments yesterday, I am checking in whilst looking at Saturday hints. I liked the Spooner which is rare. I usually find them a bit irritating. Nothing diabolic or totally obscure so very fair.
    A 3/4 for me and more like this please.
    Thanks to setter.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.