DT 30424 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30424

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30424

Hints and tips by Mr K

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

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. I thought this puzzle resided at the less difficult end of the Friday spectrum.  I found it an enjoyable solve with nothing too obscure or convoluted.

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    Infatuated with a girl performing song (8)
MADRIGAL:  Infatuated or crazy with an anagram (performing) of A GIRL 

5a    Current  class of school students (6)
STREAM:  A double definition which is straightforward once you spot where one ends and the other begins

10a   Mock Conservative this writer's repeatedly upset (5)
MIMIC:  An anagram (upset) of the single letter for Conservative and two copies (repeatedly) of a contraction for “this writer’s” from the perspective of the setter 

11a   Indoctrinate supporters outside popular Western Australia hotel (9)
BRAINWASH:  Some undergarments that are supporters containing (outside) the fusion of popular or fashionable and the single letters for Western and for Australia are followed by the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel 

12a   Young ladies rejected adopting new jargon (5)
SLANG:  The reversal (rejected) of an informal word for young ladies containing (adopting) the single letter for new 

13a   Difficult task, request for 12oz coffee in Starbucks? (4,5)
TALL ORDER:  This phrase for a difficult task could, whimsically, also describe asking for a 12oz drink at Starbucks 

14a   Famous actor, one appearing in musical (7)
OLIVIER:  The Roman one inserted in (appearing in) a musical about the boy who wanted more 

15a   Reported delays obtaining gym equipment (7)
WEIGHTS:  A homophone (reported) of a synonym of delays 

18a   Card gamebridge? (7)
PONTOON:  Another double definition. The card game is also known as twenty-one 

20a   Spicy dish from India brainy eccentric is eating (7)
BIRYANI:  The letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by India is contained by (… is eating) an anagram (eccentric) of BRAINY 

21a   Discussions at heart with tabloid typically being abrasive (9)
SANDPAPER:  Concatenate the letter at the heart of DISCUSSIONS, a synonym of with, and what a tabloid defines by example (typically

24a   American determined about purchasing large electric car (5)
TESLA:  The fusion of the single letter for American and a synonym of determined is reversed (about) and containing (purchasing) the clothing abbreviation for large 

26a   Bully, entertainer on vacation visiting resort I managed (9)
TERRORISE:  The outer letters (on vacation) of ENERTAINER inserted in (visiting) an anagram (managed) of RESORT I 

27a   During march, protester essentially delayed traffic (5)
TRADE:  In march or stomp the letter in the centre of (… essentially) PROTESTER is moved to the end of the word (delayed

28a   Quick look round Leeds left son put out (6)
SPEEDY:  Look or notice containing (round) LEEDS minus the single letter for left and the genealogical abbreviation for son (left son put out

29a   Backing some dratted never-ending feud (8)
VENDETTA:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (backing some … ) the remainder of the clue 



1d    Hesitation from Speaker over politician's illness (5)
MUMPS:  The reversal (over) of a spoken word of hesitation is followed by a usual abbreviated politician with their ‘S from the clue 

2d    Expression of anger in mother country (9)
DAMNATION:  A mother animal with a country or state 

3d    Doctor noticing source of oedema is unidentified (9)
INCOGNITO:  An anagram (doctor) of NOTICING followed by the initial letter of (source of) OEDEMA 

4d    Judge snack a bishop is eating (7)
ARBITER:  A snack or morsel inserted inside (… is eating) the combination of A and one of the usual abbreviations for a bishop 

6d    Pakistan government defends series of steps taken (5)
TANGO:  The letter combination formed by the first two words of the clue hides (defends) the answer 

7d    No good initially staying away from country creature (5)
ELAND:  The initial letters of NO and of GOOD are deleted from (staying away from) a country familiar to many solvers 

8d    Hindu teacher, married I see, meets PM (9)
MAHARISHI:  Link together the genealogical abbreviation for married, and exclamation meaning “I see”, and the first name of the current PM

9d    Farmer originally given grant for land that's unsown (6)
FALLOW:  The first letter of (… initially) FARMER with grant or permit 

14d   They're said to attract work on river locations (9)
OPPOSITES:  Cement together the abbreviation for a musical work, a usual Italian river, and a synonym of locations 

16d   Tried somehow describing lovely subject of Beatles song, getting annoyed (9)
IRRITATED:  An anagram (somehow) of TRIED containing (describing) a woman labelled lovely in a well-known Beatles song 

17d   Boss, sharp to maintain small early competitive advantage (4,5)
HEAD START:  Synonyms of boss and of sharp sandwiching (to maintain) the clothing abbreviation for small 

19d   Something on the table, game man left unfinished (6)
NAPKIN:  An informal name for a card game is followed by all but the last letter (left unfinished) of a man found on a chess board 

20d   Cat curiously rubs end of nose, welcoming me (7)
BURMESE:  An anagram (curiously) of both RUBS and the end letter of NOSE containing (welcoming) ME from the clue


22d   Take care of  shark (5)
NURSE:  Another rather straightforward double definition 

23d   Reminder to press uniform in vain (5)
PROUD:  A cue or reminder containing (to press) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform 

25d   Removed at intervals barrier near stadium (5)
ARENA:  Alternate letters of (removed at intervals …) BARRIER NEAR 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was of course 20d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CONCH + HUNTS = CONSCIENCE

92 comments on “DT 30424
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  1. I great puzzle for a Friday and one I managed to finish unaided. I have two that I found difficult to parse so these are bung-ins. They are 26a and 27a so I will look at the hints to see if I have them correct. The shark came from the depths of my memory having encountered it years ago but I can’t remember in what context. I liked the mocking Conservative but my COTD is the mad girl at 1a.

    Thank you to the setter for a fun guzzle. Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

    Dull and windy in The Marches but the temperature is a balmy 17 degrees.

    1. The mad girl was my last one in ad I was looking for infatuated. Memories of music class with Miss Schumann (yup) and singing them endlessly.

  2. Very enjoyable!
    I was briefly held up in Devon and Cornwall and that was my only raal pause in a nice smooth solve.
    In a strong field I’ll select 11&27a with podium places going to 14&16d (Lovely Rita!) and top spot the super 8d.
    Thanks to the setter (it isn’t Zandio or Proximal and it’s not Robyn’s style so draw your own conclusions) and Mr K.

        1. Either way, it’s a belter.

          We just need to decide what we call the other three:

          Home Counties is an obvious one. Lancashire and Tyne & Wear make sense for the others.

          Great fun.

            1. I’d’ve thought we use Northumberland when talking about the top half, i.e the north as they don’t get much more north than that though I appreciate it’s further east than T&W.

            2. We live in what has been ‘South Lakes’ council area.
              It has recently been changed to ‘Westmorland and Furness’.
              We like it!

          1. Northumberland is fine and to be encouraged. It is also further to the NE than Tyne and Wear. The latter is a recently introduced abomination and not a ‘real’ County. (Sent from near Bamburgh, the ancient capital of Northumbria).

            1. Cumbria is a beautiful place though! I do agree that it was sad to lose Westmorland, Cumberland and Furness as separate entities. Maybe one or more of them can be resurrected on the BD blog.

            2. Northumbria would be better as Yorkshire was part of the old kingdom. We don’t worry about where Lancashire is put as long as it’s not with Yorkshire.

  3. Rather light & Monday-ish, sadly, but enjoyable nonetheless. No specialist GK required, everything very fairly clued. Hon Mentions to 1a (great surface & answer), 12a, 24a, 28a & COTD 14d.

    <1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter & MrK – great puss-pics!

    1. I wouldn’t exactly call it arcane GK but having never entered Starbucks nor any other coffee emporium, I had to look up their quirky system for sizing coffee cups on Mr Google, Mustafa.

        1. They do have Starbucks Merusa, but Costa are all over. I don’t care for Costa, as I have been served caffeinated when ordering decaffeinated on two occasions, which made me quite ill. I think baristas need to understand that caffeine is toxic for some, it’s not just an idle request.

          1. Your experience with (non)decaffeinated is dreadful in your case BL and makes me think as I prefer Costa coffee which I think has a better flavour and is stronger than Starbucks’. I request decaffeinated for health reasons but am not allergic to caffeine and might not realise if I had not actually been given the genuine thing.

      1. I have never been in these establishments either CC. What astonishes me though is how many people wander around with a hand clasped round a take-away coffee – even here in my little village when they are only one minute from home. It almost seems to be an essential accessory!

      2. CC – We probably haven’t been to a Starbucks more than a couple of times in the last five years, but we used to do so more regularly a long time ago when bags of their beans (in the local supermarket) bore offer codes for a free “regular-size” coffee in their outlets. Great value, and no surprise at all the offer did not last long, particularly as we get through about 750g of beans a week!

        Merusa – Starbucks (and Costa Coffee) are pretty ubiquitous now. As with McDonalds & Burger King, you know when you’re within a couple of miles of one by the increasing amount of litter visible in hedgerows and at the side of the road.

        Manders – we make a point of taking our refillable cups to Waitrose for their coffee whenever we have an excuse to do some shopping there, but the idea of walking around the streets (or indeed walking anywhere) while nursing and drinking a coffee? Er, no. Definitely not.

  4. Another very mild puzzle especially for a Friday. Liked the clue at 22d because after 14 years of diving in Bonaire, this is the one and only shark we have ever seen (millions of barracudas though).
    Nearly tripped up by 23d but soon realised the mistake when ‘prompt’ wouldn’t fit into a 5 letter gap!
    Favourite today was the great 16d, great fun.

  5. Another friendly, fun puzzle which I really enjoyed solving. Some clever surface reads, a couple of old chestnuts in 14 and 18a, and a host of well constructed lego type clues. What’s not to like? My only problem was my inability to parse 27a, so grateful thanks to MrK. Too many ticks for a podium today Favourite was 8d, supported by 1a, 11a, 21a, 1,2 and 3d as well as the lovely Rita. Thanks to the compiler.

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle; thanks to setter. Finished but needed the explanation from the blog for 27A. Thanks for that as well! **/**** imho

  7. Very enjoyable.

    Excellent constructions with some nice humour thrown in.

    27a was biffed and I can now see why. ‘Delayed’ is a new one on me and duly noted.

    My podium is 29a, as it was an excellent rekrul and I love the Dastardly & Muttley word ‘drat’, 20d and 8d (our PM has had a good run out this week)

    Many thanks to Special K and the compiler.


    1. Interestingly, in his response to a comment I made on DT 30420, X-Type included the following – ‘. . . we crossword setters (NB: we are NOT “compilers”) . . .’

        1. Perhaps it is a dog eat dog world.
          It rather spoils the fun when you feel you have to explain. I shall crawl away.

          1. It absolutely does!

            You know better than that, Day Zee. Lady Wit, that you are.

            if the recipient misses it, it’s there loss.

  8. A very enjoyable puzzle on the gentle side for a Friday – many thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Top clues for me were 13a, 21a, 27a and 8d.

  9. A very enjoyable end of the week challenge and as StephenL says not a Zandio or a ProXimal. I haven’t used my pocket money half-crowns for a while, so plenty are available, and I will put two of them on this being a Silvanus production – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – the oldie but goodie 14a, 2d, 4d, and 14d – and the winner is 2d.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever in the unlikely event that my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks to MrK.

  10. Not too bad for a Feiday but 6 didn’t find this guzzle an absomute doddle, particularly in the SW. It was more like a *** difficulty for me.. I liked the anagramat 3d and the two lego clues at 8d and 24d. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler.

    1. You have surpassed yourself today CC. A guzzle which was an absomute doddle with anagramats. We shall be re writing the BD dictionary. Ming you, my fingers are getting pretty arthritic and my diploma for speed typing is long out of date. 🥰

      1. Some days my eyes seem to function better than others, Daisy. My field of vision deficit seems to make me hit tthe letter next to the one I want on the keyboard quite a lot and I don’t always pick it up, when I read it through to check.

      2. Nice to meet another fast typist Daisy. I was last certified at 94 w.p.m. when working. I’m sure I’m not as fast these days, but enough to impress almost adult grandchildren 😊.

  11. On the whole a super puzzle but I did need the hints to fully explain 23d, 27a and I have never heard of the card game in 19d but the answer is obvious. Well haven’t we been treated this week with high class crosswords! Long May it continue.
    Didn’t have chance to comment of yesterdays great puzzle.
    Thx to all

    1. The card game is often called Vingt-et-un, Brian. Two cards are dealt to each player and they have to get a total of 21 or less by adding cards. The dealer is asked to “twist” a card from the deck if the player wants to try and get his hand closer to 21. If the hand is still below 21 the player can either stick or try his luck again by asking for another twist. If his hand goes over 21 he is “bust” and out of the game. Once all players have had their go the dealer reveals his cards and pays out to any hand that is higher in value than his.

        1. We have the card game in 19d fairly regularly so I know it, but don’t know how it’s played, maybe I should google.

  12. Once again defeated by one clue which I am too embarrassed to mention, oh ok then it was 27a. The rest I stumbled my way through.3d was first in so that’s my favourite. I wonder if the setter has something on his mind with 11,26 and 29🤔. Thanks to all

      1. A corker, Corky.

        If I explained ‘delayed’ to a rookie solver, they would cry and give up.

  13. Found this relatively straightforward for a Friday apart from having to bung in the answers to 19d and 27a. Thanks to Mr K for parsing these for me. I have to admit I have never heard of that name for a card game in 19d. As a Starbucks lover, I appreciated 13a (although I always opt for a Grande size), but my COTD is the abrasive stuff in 21a. Thanks to the setter and to Mr K for the hints.

  14. Why, may I ask, does “on vacation” mean one should take the outer letters of a word?

    Managed all but three answers, and got those using the hints above. A PB for a Friday puzzle, and I’m going to ignore the fact it seems to be regarded as an easy one ;)

    1. “On vacation” may sound as if the word is going on holiday, but it’s really an instruction to empty – or vacate – the word of its content. So “brilliant on vacation” would become “bt”.

  15. An ideal example of what a back-pager should be – a good workout for the grey matter without causing it to go into meltdown!
    So many choices for podium placings but I’ll stick with the first three I awarded ticks to, namely 13a plus 8&14d.

    This has to be the work of a member of my dream team, so many thanks to Silvanus and also to Mr K for the review and the very appropriately posed felines – the little fella at 28a looks like a real bundle of mischief!

  16. Eh? Eh?
    I thought Friday’s was
    the most difficult.
    Obviously wrong.
    Fairly raced through this,
    Only delays checking
    Many tasty clues.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  17. Just my level – started off slowly but after a few pennies dropped, cruised to completion with the NE corner the last to yield. No electrons needed so **/****. Thanks to Mr. K and the setter, whoever it is!

  18. It was only when I was enjoying this post that I realised I had not solved 19d so a DNF by omission
    I did like 1a. It’s my COTD

  19. A challenge for me. 27a I haven’t figured out even with the hint. Maybe more caffeine is needed. Cotd 27a since I feel I have something to learn from it.

  20. Well this week’s Friday has turned out to e tougher than the last couple have been … at least for me.
    As of this posting still have two, five letter words I just can’t coax to the surface.

    At this point 2*/3.5*

    Favourites include 10a, 11a, 13a, 3d & 8d — with winner 8d
    Two new words for me in 1a and 20a

    Thanks to setter & Mr K

      1. Yes and even seeing the answers I find them somewhat weak and think 28a is poor as well …parsing is awful

  21. An excellent finale to a good week ( cruciverbally, it has been a bit of a s-d in real life). I did do yesterday’s and finished but very late, in the bath and in bed so didn’t comment. Quite proud of getting the footbally one. Todsy I had daisies by 1,13,21a and 14,19d. Favourite has to be 24a as I spent a lot of time in my youth queuing to see him. Lovely cat pictures, many thanks to the setter and Mr K. I must go to the notes and parse 24a – it was a guess. Glorious day here in Cambridge.

  22. 2*/4.5*. An excellent puzzle to finish the week with far too many good clues to pick a favourite or even a podium choice.

    I struggle to see in 1a how “infatuated” or “infatuated with” equates to “mad”. They are similar but not quite synonymous. One is “infatuated with” something or “mad about” it.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  23. A fairly gentle yet absorbing puzzle that kept on giving with 8d my favourite of many fine clues. An honourable mention too, to the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to our setter, presumably Silvanus, and Mr K.

  24. Enjoyable solve but couldn’t parse 19d nor 27a.

    Not heard of the card game in 19d and 27a was too much for my feeble brain even if I did get the answer.

    Thanks to all.

  25. Many thanks to Mr K for his hints, tips and pictures and to everyone commenting.

    Apologies for including “eating” twice as a containment indicator, either nobody noticed or you all too kind to mention it! I only spotted it this morning, so obviously too late to change one of them to something else.

    As it’s Feline Friday again, I thought it might be appropriate to submit a photo of my own 20 Down, Jasper. As we do often rub noses, he was the inspiration for the clue :-)

      1. I had a 20d too in Jamaica, her name was Angelina. I love all cats, but she was someone very special, living to a ripe old age of 21.

        1. He’s a gorgeous cat. Is he talkative? I had whole conversations with a white and tabby cat , called Oliver, who made this world a better place for 16 years.

    1. Surprisingly gentle for one of yours but an absolute pleasure as per. Are you trying to win Brian over ? ‘On the whole a super puzzle’ no less…..
      Too many good ‘uns to begin to pick a fav but 3,14&16d among particular likes from a host of excellent clues
      Thanks also to Mr K for the review

    2. Thanks for popping in and for yet another superb puzzle.

      P.S. I think it’s high time that you use a picture of Jasper as your Avatar.

    3. Doh! He is looking at you adoringly – or asking you when dinner is going to appear. We had long haired Abyssinians. I do miss them.

  26. As ‘straightforward as they come’ again today but no less enjoyable for that. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  27. I can’t believe my luck, another enjoyable offering that was very doable. I usually dread Fridays but this week has been nonstop fun. I also couldn’t parse 27a and 28a but they had to be. I knew the card game at 18a but I didn’t know it was just another name for vingt-et-un, so I’ve learnt something new. I’m having a hard time picking a fave, the lovely Rita is certainly in the running, but I think 20d has to have the top honour.
    Thank you Silvanus for the fun, I usually can’t find your wavelength but today I was up and running. Mr. K, your usual cat pics are superb, I’m thankful your your unravelling a few.

  28. Fabulous puzzle and thoroughly enjoyable All the more so for allowing me to complete 5th consecutive unaided solve which I have been trying to achieve for years Favourite was 21a Thanks to Silvanus for making my week and Mr K for writing it up

    1. Welcome to the blog, Stuart.
      You’ve made two similar comments using different aliases so I’ve kept this one and deleted the other.

  29. Another slightly easy puzzle to end the week of similar puzzles. The only query was the instruction to delay. I really can’t see the logic, except I now know what it means. So I should be able to apply it on another occasion. I have to say don’t like it though.
    Thanks both

  30. I didn’t find this easy, but it was satisfying to finish it.
    Favourite was 11a.
    Thanks to Mr K , especially for the parsing of 27a which defeated me.
    Thanks also to Silvanus.

  31. Agree that this was not easy but all made sense with 1a as a new word for me, thank you compiler Silvanus and Mr K

  32. Another enjoyable puzzle which has given many of us a great week. I did misspell 20a but not according to one of my reference books and it didn’t affect any other clues. Many thanks to Silvanus and Mr K. Lovely kitty photos. Have a lovely weekend everyone. After another wet day so hoping for some sunshine tomorrow 🤞.

  33. Did better than yesterday, when I was still in a fog from the COVID and flu shots. Not firing on all pistons yet, but did manage most of these unaided. Knew one of the card games, and familiar with the coffee term, so all good there. Sorry to see a few found this too easy, no such animal in my book. And delighted to find a doable Friday puzzle. Thanks to Silvanus and Mr K.

  34. Great fun and completed in the car heading away for a short break so I may be on for a few days. I thought this was a really good guzzle and a pleasant surprise for a Friday. I was not sure on the parsing of a couple which I will check with the hints.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and the very handsome Jasper and to Mr K for the hints and all the kitty pics

  35. My first go at this guzzle this morning was very unproductive and I called it a day but don’t know why as this evening I found the wavelength immediately and off I went to a pain-free conclusion. I was ready this time for the PM’s first name for 7d. 11a supporters certainly are bad pennies. IMHO 19d is least ingenious clue. Stupidly failed to parse 7d bung-in. Thank you Silvanus for a fun end to the day and MrK thanks for being there.

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