DT 30421 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30421

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,421
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **  –  Enjoyment ****

The sun is shining here in Harpenden & hopefully will be in Chiltern Forest for golf at lunchtime. No technical issues this morning & having read back through the hints I’ll chance a modest 2 bob on an error free review but no promises as that would be a first.

It’s a repeat of last week’s grid so I think we can safely assume it’s another Anthony Plumb production & very enjoyable it was too. Not difficult so I doubt many will need to refer to the hints. The only real head scratch for me was the Quickie pun which endured endless repetition before the penny dropped with a loud clunk.

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 Root might carry this insect almost out of one’s tree (7,3)
CRICKET BAT: a nocturnal insect (the male is the noisy one apparently) + synonymous slang for out of one’s tree or unhinged less the last letter (almost) gives you a definition with a sporting context. Great starter.

6a Left fool in lounge (4)
LOAF: the single letter for Left + another word for a fool.

10a Dear, taste epic sandwiches! (5)
STEEP: a lurker found in the 3 words following the definition.

11a US soldier traps short woman a flipping rubbish fighter (9)
GLADIATOR: insert (traps) a word for a woman less the final letter (short) into the usual term for an American soldier then append a reversal (flipping) of a synonym for rubbish.


12a Measures carvings? About time (8)
STATUTES: A word for carvings or sculptures around the single letter for Time.

13a One following crumbs – good dog! (5)
CORGI: another word for crumbs as in an expression of dismay then append the single letter for Good + the letter represented by the Roman numeral for one.

15a Dirty relative – man scrubbing head (7)
UNCLEAN: a male relative + (m)AN  from the wordplay having ignored the first letter (scrubbing head).

17a Photographed son then had a sleep (7)
SNAPPED: the single letter for Son followed by a term for had a light sleep.

19a Bishop with a weapon showing composure (7)
BALANCE: the single letter for Bishop (chess) + A from the clue then append a weapon useful in a cavalry charge.

21a What you might get from a salesman? New model (7)
PATTERN: another word for the salesman’s spiel + the single letter for New. Danny DeVito & Richard Dreyfuss great exponents of the art as rival door to door salesmen of aluminium siding in Barry Levinson’s wonderful film.

22a Religious ceremony on the radio is morally justifiable (5)
RIGHT: a homophone (on the radio) of a word for a religious ceremony

24a Oscar following programme of study? Certainly (2,6)
OF COURSE: the single letters for Oscar (NATO alphabet) & Following + a word meaning a programme of study

27a Tipsy after I sip drinks (9)
APERITIFS: an anagram (tipsy) of AFTER I SIP. Neat surface. Lesson learnt – if you splash out on an expensive steak restaurant one Manhattan cocktail or even two before the meal ok but if you want to remember anything about it a third isn’t the best idea.

28a Pursue leader from the bar (5)
TRAIL: the initial letter (leader from) of The + a synonym of bar.

29a Stuff European bird (4)
KITE: a word for stuff or equipment + the single letter for European.

30a Drunk argued once pushed (10)
ENCOURAGED: an anagram (drunk) of ARGUED ONCE.

1d Shy actors (4)
CAST: a double definition.

2d Uniform worn in citadel (9)
IDENTICAL: an anagram (worn) of IN CITADEL.

3d A place to support king’s bust (5)
KAPUT: the A from the clue + a word for place as a verb is preceded (to support) by the single letter for king(chess).

4d Sounds like giant screw up (7)
TIGHTEN: a homophone (sounds like) of another word for giant.

5d Assembles animals after a mile (7)
AMASSES: the A from the clue + the single letter for Mile then append animals of the horse family.


7d Mammal warmer in the East End? (5)
OTTER: how a Cockney would pronounce a synonym for warmer.

8d Hostile female criminal doing bird (10)
FORBIDDING: start with the single letter for Female then add an anagram (criminal) of DOING BIRD. Neat surface & indicator.

9d Voice calling for what might go over one’s head (8)
AIRCRAFT: link a synonym for voice (express discontent or grievance) with another word for calling in the context of trade or vocation.

14d Saw man perhaps initially lowering brown flag (10)
LUMBERJACK: the first letter (initially) of Lowering + a natural pigment + the name for a flag flown at the bow of a vessel. Michael Palin’s one liked to press wild flowers, cross-dress & have buttered scones for tea.

16d Scientist from Italy captivated by intense crackpot (8)
EINSTEIN: insert (captivated by) the IVR code for Italy into an anagram (crackpot) of INTENSE.

18d Group of journalists? They’ll try to get you on board (5,4)
PRESS GANG: maybe a double but I’ll plump for a cryptic definition for a colloquial term for The Impress Service formed to compel sailors to serve on naval vessels.

20d Feeling base moving (7)
EMOTION: the usual mathematical constant (aka Euler’s number) + a synonym for moving.

21d Artist’s picture: topless girl with nothing on the bottom (7)
PICASSO: an abbreviation of picture + a term for a girl without the first letter (topless) & finish (on the bottom) with the letter that represents nothing. Lovely risqué surface.


23d Chap swallowing husband’s port (5)
GHENT: place another word for chap around (swallowing) the single letter for Husband for the third largest city in Belgium. A lovely place to visit.

25d Sailing vessel heading off say (5)
UTTER: remove the first letter (heading off) from a term for various types of watercraft.

26d Egg unwrapped and boy’s happy (4)

GLAD: the central letter (unwrapped) of eGg + a word for a boy.


Lots to like here with ticks for 1,21&27a plus 8,14&21d. I’m a sucker for a risqué surface so 21d just pips 1a for top billing. Which ones hit the spot for you?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: POT+ HAS + WEALS  = POTTER’S WHEELS

88 comments on “DT 30421

  1. I absolutely agree with Huntsman’s rating of this one: great fun with highlights from 1a and 14&25d the former just pipping the other two. Some nice misdirection generally and clever anagrams all added to the quality for this corker. Thanks to H and the setter.

  2. All seemed fairly easy today until the last one, 9d. Stared at it for ages, then decided to take a break from it, which usually does the trick. But not today, couldn’t make head nor tail of it, so after another bout of staring I put the letters into my ancient Franklin crossword solver, and immediately got the answer. So, beaten again.
    Apart from that, a very enjoyable puzzle with my favourite being 21d. Many thanks to our setter today, great fun.

    1. 9d my last in also & suspect will be for quite a few others. I thought it the trickiest one in there

      1. Same here with 9d tried allsorts of hats wigs and umbrellas before i got that one
        Thanks to H and setter

  3. Very enjoyable indeed!
    I particularly appreciated 13&21a plus 3&4,14&21d but the winner has to be 1a.
    Many thanks to Mr Plumb I presume and to Huntsman.
    For those looking for another fun puzzle I can highly recommend today’s Toughie by our regular Sunday setter, it’s very enjoyable and not particularly difficult.

  4. Good fun – joint faves 1a and 4d. Love the idea of a giant screw up. Relatively straightforward apart from 9d which (like Tipcat) had me pondering for a while. The proverbial penny finally dropped when I released that calling was as in career or job as opposed to talking or shouting. Thanks to Huntsman – enjoy your round in the sunshine – and to the setter.

  5. Like Tipcat 9d was my last one in, but having resorted to trawling the alphabet, the answer dropped into place. Plenty to like here. Thanks to today’s setter and Huntsman.

  6. I hate it when I don’t get 1a straight away and today it was my LOI. The penny didn’t drop until I solved 3d, such is my lack of knowledge about the game. I know lots of you will have loved it. My only other slight hmm was the second synonym in 9d which wasn’t one that sprang immediately to mind. That said I really enjoyed the puzzle with Mr Plumb’s usual clever surface reads and, on the whole, succinct clueing. Podium places today for 11a, 14d and 21d. Thanks to our setter and Huntsman.

  7. An absolute delight.
    So many teasing
    Misdirections eg 9 and 4d
    Loved 1a.
    What would we do without
    Cricketing clues?
    In summary 2*/5*
    Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  8. Sorry to rain on the parade but I found this guzzle far from easy and an unremitting slog from atart to finish. I couldn’t 2ven find any clues that I thought were outstanding, although the lego clue at 5a and the anagram at 27a weren’t bad (I do try to find something positive about each puzzle). Did any other poor soul apart from muggins put megaton for 4d (giant equals mega abd screw equals nut reversed?). Not mmy cup of tea but thanks to the setter anyway and to Huntsman for the much needed hints

  9. Not quite Typically Tuesdayish for me and not Anthony Plumb’s usual Quickie grid but I will go with the flow for an enjoyable challenge – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 13a, 4d, 14d, and 18d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb, or whomsoever if it is not he, and Huntsman.

    P.S. For me, the ‘old’ puzzles web site is still ‘acting up.’

    1. The old puzzles site isn’t working for me either – a quick flash of the page and then it just refuses to reappear. A nightmare when you want to create a puzzle blog template. Hopefully they can fix it before tomorrow morning

      1. Exactly what I have been getting and sometimes straight to a blank screen.

        Is it a precursor to the old site disappearing forever?

        1. My thought exactly, Senf. If the old site does disappear, someone is going to have to walk me through how to access the new site. I’m way too untechie to sort it out for myself.

          1. I think I have a link I can send you Merusa, but it’s not printer friendly. It prints but pretty useless.

      2. This has been happening to me this week, but if I wait a few seconds and then try again, it works, so far….
        I do hope this is not leading up to it disappearing. The new puzzle site is useless for those of us who prefer to print and solve. The grid provided is much too small, with a huge waste of space on the page. A classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

  10. Good Tuesday coffee-time fare, a little more chewy than in recent weeks. Flawless clueing throughout. Podium places to 1a & 4d.

    2 / 3

    Many thanks to Mr Plumb (presumbly) & Huntsman.

  11. Put me down as another who was left staring at 9d long after everything else had slotted into place. That one, along with the Quickie pun, took far more time than the rest of the puzzle which was an enjoyable Tuesday romp.
    Favourite by a country mile was the giant screw up.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the review – you’re certainly a dedicated golfer!

  12. An enjoyable puzzle with not too much to worry the horses – many thanks to the setter and Huntsman.
    I conferred my ticks on 1a, 4d, 14d and 25d.

  13. 2*/4.5*. This was not difficult but I thought it was a terrific Tuesday puzzle with 1a, 4d, 14d & 21d my top picks.

    Many thanks presumably to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman,

  14. I solved 1a right away and that formed the basis of a rapid solve through the grid. I can only concur with those who thought this was a terrific puzzle, first clue to last. Being a cricket nut, obviously 1a was immediately my favourite.

    My thanks to AP, if it was indeed one of his, and to Huntsman. The Toughie is on the light side too, and well the effort.

  15. AP never disappoints (see, I can get it right)

    I was on fine form this morning, ripping through it in no time. Having all the checkers for 9d certainly helped me solve that bad boy.

    Deciding who gets the spoils ain’t easy as there were so many good surfaces. But, I’ll go with 1a, 4d with 21d, ironically, ending up on top.

    Ooo matron!

    Many thanks to the Big H and AP.


  16. Outstanding! Thoroughly enjoyable with only one slightly weak clue in 9d. Best clue for was definitely 1a, he just needs to find his form now for the World Cup. In many ways it was more straightforward than the Quickie today.
    Thx to all

  17. It is my birthday so this puzzle is a real gift. Not too difficult but difficult enough. Thank you Mr. Plumb and Huntsman. Last in 1a and 4d but so good they were worth working for.Husband is taking me to lunch at Checkermead in East Grinstead. It is famously known for inexpensive meals. The fact is I love it there. Veggie food and a garden to sit in.

    1. rp 1428. I presume you’re asking about the quickie pun in general as opposed to today’s specifically.. If so it’s a combination of words from the the first solutions to the Quick Crossword that one can make a pun from.

    2. “Where” is between the last clue and the first comment! “What” is for you to “spin on on” !!! Enjoyed puzzle and quickly pun!!

  18. Now you’re not going to believe this, and I am going to get the reputation of being a drama queen but we are back in A & E this time with George. What a pair. And if I thought it was going to be quieter arriving at 10.30 think again girl. It is mayhem. I do wish you could see some of the characters here – people are fascinating!
    Lovely puzzle, I am looking at the toughie now and feeling hungry. Last one in was 9d and favourite was the saw man. I downloaded Mr Bond’s Rookie guzzle and looked at it last night but found I only had half the clues and no black squares. Is that normal when you download? Anyway, I shall go back when I eventually get home and try and do better. Going back to today – do I assume Root is a sportsman? Anyway thanks to Huntsman (don’t carry a metal stick around with you) and our setter. PS coffee machine still out of order 😢

    1. I seem to remember Mr. Root appearing before, but I didn’t remember him while trying to solve.

    2. All the very best to you and George. I hope you are both back home, safe and sound, very soon.

    3. G’day, Day Zee Gee.

      Joe Root is a current England cricketer who is, arguably, the greatest batsman from these shores and that includes WG Grace, Wally Hammond and Sir Len Hutton. The only downside is that he’s not really English as he’s a Yorkshireman as are many at the moment.

      Oh, leave it, Tom. Leave it….

      1. I’ve heard of WG Grace and Len Hutton! Maybe I know more cricket than I think! Waiting for the Yorkshireman remark to get responses!

        1. Nah, no one will bite. Not even the grittiest from God’s own country.

      2. How could you not consider Jack Hobbs?! As for the Yorkshire comment, perhaps everybody has boycotted it.

        1. Six runs from Agent B!

          Also, well done for not putting a laughing emoji after your outstanding witticism. The boy learns fast.

          Anyway, back to your comment….

          Three is the magic number and they were the first that came to mind. Goodness knows why I forgot Hobbsy: one of Wisden’s ‘Five Cricketers of the Century’ and the man who has scored more First Class centuries than anyone else: 197 (some say 199)

          I can only apologize.

          I’m called ‘Disappointing’ for a reason.

          1. If you ever find yourself in good old London Town, in Fleet Street opposite St Dunstan’s Court there was a branch of Snappy Snaps (closed according to Google, some dry cleaners now apparently). That building used to be Jack Hobbs’ shop after he retired.

            1. Tremendous knowledge and duly noted. I will raise my invisible bat to him when I next walk past it.

    4. Managed to miss this earlier but hope you’re both on the mend with adequate caffeine and g&t being had throughout. Mr Root is a chap who waves a willow stick around of a weekend and suddenly balls fly around to great acclaim. Blame Mr Plumb’s influence if that sounds rude!

      If you’ve not had any luck downloading the rookie guzzle yet, send admin a message and I’m sure they’ll email a copy for you to print off. It’d be great to hear your thoughts on it 😊

        1. I fear that even I have my limits – those hurricanes look terrifying!

          Key Lime pie however… 😋😋😋

  19. Beaten by 3d, ended up doing a reveal on it, the loud groan I emitted was probably heard three streets away. Thanks to all.

  20. Another not too tricky Tuesday puzzle I thought. A few clues that required lateral thinking to get the answer out. Also I had 4 or 5 that I couldn’t figure out the parsing, so will look at hints in the morning to see what I couldn’t work out.

    1.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites today include 1a, 10a, 19a, 24a & 23d — with winner1a
    Got a few chuckles from 15a,3d, 4d & 16d

    Thanks to setter, (Anthony Plumb, it seems is the usual Tuesday setter), and Huntsman for blog/hints

  21. Completely beaten by 9d, damn it!
    The long anagram at 30a took for ever and, for some reason, so did 21a – never mind.
    I liked 1a (eventually) and 13a and 8 and 14d. My favourite was 8d.
    Thanks to the setter for the crossword and to Huntsman for his error free hints.

  22. A good guzzle, full of fun stuff. I broke my ducks and had to use word search for 9d, seems many others had the same problem. I had all the answers but not the “why” for a couple, namely 1a, which I bunged In because the checkers had to be. Now that I recall Mr. Root gracing us once before, I must say it was very clever, totally threw me. It’s hard to choose a fave, maybe 7d because I love the book illustrated by Senf. I recommend it for anyone who hasn’t read it. I’m told Mr. Maxwell saw “things” in the Rowan trees.
    Thank you Mr. Plumb for the fun and Senf for your hints and tips.

  23. 2/4. Very enjoyable puzzle with some excellent clues. Favourites were 1a and 1, 4, 9&21d. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman. It rained non-stop yesterday. Wonderful!!!

  24. An enjoyable solve today, although I do not agree with Huntman’s assessment of 1a being a “great start”. Firstly, I thought the definition was tree, and secondly even if I had not fallen in that hole I have very limited cricket knowledge, so this was almost my LI. Beaten for that honour by 9d. But otherwise a nice, steady workout. Fingers crossed the old puzzle site isn’t being deleted, and that our missing avatars will return. Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  25. Good afternoon
    Crikey! I’m glad it’s not just me who stumbled at the fence that was 9d – the last fence in my case as well as others. 1a proved a bit of a challenge until I figured out the misdirection!
    Good fun, though. Many thanks to our compiler and to Huntsman

  26. I’m also in the LOI 9d camp but a good guzzle on the whole and very enjoyable. If anyone is thinking of venturing to this part of the world in November, 30 October – 10 November is Norfolk Restaurant Week. I know, I know but that’s a Normal for Norfolk week. 2 or 3 courses for a set amount and you can look at the menus on line – it’s usually terrific value for money, I’ve already earmarked my top 3! (Including Wells Crab House Jane!). Thanks to the setter and Huntsman

    1. I’ll be interested to hear your feedback if you do choose to go there – the owner looked to be so involved with everything that gets put on the plates which makes a change these days.

  27. Delightful puzzle, only hindered by a dreadful headache which I’m putting down to the flu jab I had last night. 1a was my favourite. I imagine, probably like a lot of people, I was looking for the wrong “root” until the penny dropped. 4d takes second place. Thank you setter and Huntsman.

  28. An enjoyable solve without using any electronic aides 😃**/*** Favourites 21a, 4d & 21d 👍Thanks to the Huntsman and to the Compiler

  29. A looooong but unaided solve with my last one in being 14d. Like many others, I liked 1a (I am from Yorkshire) and also 18d.
    I seem to vaguely remember 2d having featured before….it took me ages to find the solution then as well.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  30. Another enjoyable puzzle and 9d was my LOI. Have to confess I got 1a quite early on but mainly from the checking letters. Not being a follower of cricket I clearly didn’t fully parse ‘Root’! Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman. Flu and Covid jabs tomorrow morning so that will be something to look forward to 😒

  31. Breezed through most of this with just a couple in the SW holding me up for any length of time. Some really good clues, not to solve. Another vote for 1a as cotd. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  32. Slow, quick, slow. 9d lasted to the end. They used to be above my head a lot in a previous job.

  33. Totally agree with BusyLizzie about 1 across! Some of us are not so readily familiar with cricket terms or sportsmen for that matter. Also, not keen on the word batty…Not really one to use these days… other than that a great one solve today!

  34. Really enjoyable solve. What a great start to the week.

    As with Mhids, my LOI was 1a once I solved 3d, my penultimate clue. Even this cricket ignoramus has heard of Mr Root and realises he is good at cricketing. A great clue.

    9d was a bit cheeky, but managed to solve it unaided.

    Thanks to all.

    1. Just because some of us are not interested in cricket does not make us an ignoramus!

      1. Please do not take my self deprecating comment to mean anyone not interested in cricket is an ignoramus.

        I have little interest in sport in general. The one sport i used to follow is broken. I am particularly uninterested in cricket, so used the ignoramus term.

        This blog is a pretty friendly place. If I have to start treading on eggshells for fear of upsetting someone with hair trigger sensitivity, I may just stop commenting altogether.

        1. It was clearly self-deprecating, Crypticlover may have just misread it. No need to tread on eggshells or banana(warp)skins!

            1. Brilliant! Did you ever hear about an album by a band called the Duckworth Lewis Method, a decade or so ago? Well worth tracking down if you love cricket, kind of whimsical songwriting meets nostalgia

  35. 1a is surely not really fair game for most overseas DT readers and, in fact, not being an avid follower of the game it nearly passed me by.

  36. Great fun, but took me a while to work out several eg 9d and 14d. 4d was my favourite once I twigged.

    Many thanks to Huntsman and the setter.

    On a separate note. Those of you who get your paper Telegraph with vouchers, by paying quarterly by direct debit, may have had an unreasonably large jump up in price to £249 a quarter, previously £214.
    Having rung up to moan about the increase and threaten to go digital only, they told me to cancel my current direct debit and then immediately rejoin when I would only pay £182 a quarter. It is definitely worth a call!

  37. I found this a bit of a drag but to each his own and for me tomorrow is another day. 2d worn didn’t ring any bells so there was only one way to a solution. Likewise 20d base meant nothing to me but that had to be. Filled 3 words for Quickie pun before attempting rest of puzzle so repeating it out loud using moles didn’t produce anything! Thank you AP and Huntsman (my goodness you must get your moneysworth out of a membership somewhere!).

  38. Only just had time to sit down and do this (with a cheeky Montepulciano 😋🍷). What a fantastic crossword – I wish I could’ve written this. Full of subtle(ish!) innuendo, cheeky ruderies and laugh-out-loud moments. Favourite clues were 10a, 15a, 4d, 21d. I can never recognise setters but bravo Anthony Plumb.

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