DT 30471 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30471

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,471
Hints and tips by Shabbo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Happy St Andrew’s Day to all of our Scottish friends.

Another enjoyable Thursday solve to take our minds off the cold weather outside. Apart from the potential bear trap at 15d, I found this reasonably straightforward with some elegant wordplay. 22d is my clue of the day. Deceptively simple but well disguised. Thank you Thursday setter.

In the blog below, the definition element of each clue has been underlined and anagrams are CAPITALISED. The answers are concealed under the “Click Here” buttons. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought of the puzzle.


1a Admit defeat, led by extremists in rogue state again (12)
RECAPITULATE: synonym for admit defeat after (led by) first and last letters (extremists in) “rogue”.

9a Trendy Clio’s oddly getting gold tooth (7)
INCISOR: synonym for trendy + the odd letters of clios + abbreviation for gold.

10a Queen wears frilly material – king gets shiny coat (7)
LACQUER: two-letter abbreviation for queen inside (wears) a type of frilly material + single-letter abbreviation for king.

11a French city pockets one million in travel business (7)
TOURISM: the French city is on the Loire. Insert (pockets) one and add abbreviation for million at the end.

12a Match official on quiet jog (7)
REFRESH: abbreviation for match official + commercial jargon for “on” + two-letter word meaning quiet or hush.

13a Log from tree chopped up around noon (5)
ENTER: anagram (chopped up) of TREE outside (around) abbreviation for noon.

14a Blows up – erupts violently when Conservative gets in (9)
UPPERCUTS: the setter has very kindly given us the first part of the clue for nothing. UP + anagram of ERUPTS and insert (gets in) single-letter abbreviation for Conservative.

16a Tried case of arsonist enticed to do wrong (9)
ATTEMPTED: my first thoughts were that we were looking for an anagram of “enticed” after the case of “arsonist”. That didn’t work, of course. Instead, we need to find a synonym of “enticed” after the first and last letters (case of) ArsonisT.

19a Lucid chapter by Edward known for writing nonsense (5)
CLEAR: abbreviation for chapter + the surname of Edward – the one who wrote literary nonsense.

21a Can peek excitedly, seeing a bit of leg (7)
KNEECAP: anagram (excitedly) of CAN PEEK. Nice to see this being clued with no reference to the two girls, Pat and Ella.

23a Mark‘s naughty child right outside home (7)
IMPRINT: three-letter word meaning “naughty child” + two-letter abbreviation for “right” outside two letter word for “home” (think at home).

24a What gluttons do – covet treats with the wrappings taken off (7)
OVEREAT: remove the wrappings (first and last letters) of “covet” and “treats”.

25a Trade ban therefore restricts a degree of business (7)
EMBARGO: synonym for therefore outside (restricts) the abbreviation for a business degree.

26a Unwanted guests of tech billionaire eating cold bacon (12)
GATECRASHERS: the tech billionaire is the former CEO of Microsoft who can be found outside (eating) the combination of abbreviation for cold + a slice of bacon.


1d Assure country’s banks what teller may do (7)
RECOUNT: hidden word (banks) inside the first two words of the clue.

2d Accountant foolishly hires worker dealing with money (7)
CASHIER: another financial clue…abbreviation for accountant + anagram of HIRES.

3d Most important soldier on horseback (9)
PARAMOUNT: abbreviated name of an airborne soldier + synonym for horse (but perhaps not horseback? Discuss)

4d Decorator of bathrooms maybe has pound in bank (5)
TILER: abbreviation for pound inside (in) synonym for bank.

5d Convict conceals heart of such a devilish figure (7)
LUCIFER: synonym for a long term prisoner outside (conceals) the heart of sUCh.

6d Somewhat dishonest, rude, authoritarian current PM (7)
TRUDEAU: hidden word (somewhat) inside words 2, 3 & 4 of the clue. The PM here is Canadian.

7d Win big – strike target ball when playing bowls on grass (3,3,7)
HIT THE JACKPOT: synonym for strike + two word synonym for the target ball when playing bowls + synonym for grass (as in drug).

8d Men helping to defend box and scoring (13)
ORCHESTRATION: nothing to do with football. Abbreviation for men/soldiers + synonym for helping (as in portion) outside (to defend) synonym for box (as in trunk) = a musical definition.

15d Order GP issued about new weight problem (9)
PUDGINESS: was I the only one who didn’t bother to check the letters of the anagram properly and bunged in the wrong vowel as the second letter? This is an anagram (order) of GP ISSUED outside (about) abbreviation for new.

17d Heaters working in May, perhaps (7)
THERESA: anagram of HEATERS.

18d Ally welcomes revolutionary aboard chopper in jungle? (7)
MACHETE: synonym for ally outside (welcomes) crosswordland’s favourite Argentine revolutionary.

19d Adept secretary engaged by Telegraph (7)
CAPABLE: abbreviation for secretary inside (engaged by) synonym for telegraph. Nothing to do with the newspaper – we can ignore the capital letter and the italics.

20d Might they come from unstable regimes? (7)
EMIGRES: anagram of REGIMES.

22d Son leaves Harry Potter’s rabbit (5)
PETER: take the abbreviation for son out of (leaves) a word meaning harry (as in harass). The Potter here is Beatrix. A good lesson in reading each word of the clue separately and on its own merits.  Clever.


103 comments on “DT 30471
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  1. Is it Thursday? I found this guzzle to be very friendly although I did have to reverse parse a couple. Putting the answer to 7d in 8d threw me off track for a while until a few checkers arrived. I liked the horse riding soldier at 3d, the convict’s devilish figure at 5d and the Telegraph’s secretary at 19d. The clue that made me smile and is awarded my COTD is Harry Potter’s rabbit at 22d.

    Thank you to whoever set this little gem. Great entertainment. Grateful thanks to Shabbo for the hints, which I will now read.

    A lovely sunny, crisp day here in The Marches and, as the birds are on a feeding frenzy, the cold snap is not over yet. Stay warm, everyone

    1. I couldn’t have said it better myself!
      It’s hard to believe, when addressing a Steve
      (As we all like to do now and then)
      That I have no idea, for it’s really not clear
      If he is a VEN or a PHEN.

      1. Even if I knew, it wouldn’t help, as I have two family members with that name, and I can never remember which way to spell it for either 🙁.

      2. Our eldest is a Step Hen (which is how we taught him to spell it). When Mr CS was a little boy, he was very impressed that his friend had his own ink* and so he wanted our baby to share the name

        * I expect you have to be a certain age to remember Stephen’s Ink

        1. That is exactly how I learned to spell my name, CS. When I was about 5 I could never spell it until I came up with the idea of a chicken going for a walk. He would be a “Step Hen”.

  2. There’s just one word for this, and that’s ‘world class puzzle’
    Easily on a par with yesterday’s offering, which I for one thought would be hard to match.
    Proves again that a crossword doesn’t have to be hard to be immense fun, this one had me smiling all the way through, loved all the long clues especially 8d.
    Clue of the day just has to be the very clever 22d, great all round entertainment, thanks to our setter, eager to see who it may be.

  3. Very enjoyable indeed and not too tricky.
    I liked plenty but I’ll mention 10&26a plus 22d and the very clever &lit 20d.
    Thanks to the setter and Shabbo.

  4. I really enjoyed this one: it wasn’t too difficult to break into, and some of the constructions were very neat. I particularly liked 26a and the clever 22d. An honourable mention, too, for 8d. Great stuff.

    My thanks to our Thursday setter and Shabbo.

  5. An enjoyable thursday guzzle, which rais3d my spirits after yesterday’s sportsfest. The NE was the trickiest part for me, so I started at the bottom and left it unril last. I liked the 15d anagram, the long Lego clues at 8d and 26a and the lurker at 6d, one for Senf and Falcon. I had to use Shabbos hint for the rabbit clue, I’m afraid, I couldn’t make sense of it at all. Thanks to Shabbo for the hints and to the compiler.

  6. Very straightforward for a Thursday. with 8d the trickiest for me to solve.

    LOI was 22d. Like other commenters, it was my COTD. I was nicely mis-directed and remembered JK Rowling’s hero having an owl (Hedwig), but not a rabbit. Then the penny dropped.

    Thanks to the setter and Shabbo.

    Off to see if Emmy the Dog can flush out a haggis for St Andrew’s Day’s supper.

      1. I take it that you are referring to them having short legs on one side to help them to traverse steep hillsides. I too would have benefitted from having a shorter leg during my mountaineering days.

  7. Great entertaining stuff even if some of it did take a bit of unravelling and settling for a trio of bung-ins viz 12a, 25a and 8d. Thanks for the fun Mysteron and Shabbo for being faithfully on hand in case of need.

  8. Nicely clued Thursday puzzle, lighter than normal and a ***/****.
    Favourite was the 26a charade, cracking word play as was 8d.
    22d was the D’oh moment when the Potter became apparent-.clever use of Harry.
    Thanks to our setter and Shabbo

    [You are putting ‘i’ as your alias which is sending your comments into moderation. I’ve been amending your alias to your usual one. Gazza]

  9. Without putting too fine a point on it, I would say this must be one of the best cryptic crosswords I have ever solved. It was nicely challenging and an absolute joy from start to finish with the super-smooth surfaces throughout being the icing on the cake.

    I seem to have ticked almost every clue, with special mentions for 16a, 25a, 26a, 3d, 6d 8d, 18d, 20d and, my favourite, 22d.

    Many thanks to the setter – surely Silvanus – and to Shabbo.

      1. You’ve got competition for the ‘Surface Silverware’, then, Sir Smoothy Smoothingtons of Smoothingshire.

  10. Outstanding. Truly, outstanding.

    The first one I got was 7d which kicked things off nicely on a very friendly grid. My LOI was 22d which had me barking up the wrong tree for a while. Great clue.

    Some of you may know this but, for those that don’t…if you write 25a backwards as (1, 4, 2) it says something which is very relevant to the meaning, even though the first word is missing an h.

    There are sooooooo many good clues that it’s nigh on impossible to pick a podium but I’ll go with 21a, 8d and 20d.

    Many, many thanks to the setter and Shabs.


  11. Hmm, another ‘not a Ray T Thursday’ but I have no guesses for who the setter might be. After a slow start a fairly rapid finish – 2.5*/3.5*

    Some might say that the three words containing the lurking 6d ‘current PM’ are an accurate description of him! Some others, no doubt, might say that the three words can apply to any PM.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 23a, 3d, 5d, and 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to whomsoever and thanks to Shabbo.

  12. Great puzzle, highly enjoyable. Solved it before my tea went cold which is unusual for me. The clue about the rude authoritarian PM was very funny

    Thank you to all involved

  13. I found this extremely friendly for a Thursday and hugely enjoyable. 1a went in straight away which always brightens my morning, followed by the amusing 7d and giving a firm toehold on the whole puzzle. I’ve got so many tricks on my paper today that it’s impossible to choose a podium. However, like many others who have commented, 22d was my LOI and absolute favourite. It wasn’t until, when musing, I said Beatrix Potter out loud that the penny dropped with a very loud clang. Very clever clueing indeed. Thanks to our setter and Shabbo.

  14. Light, user-friendly, and enjoyable other than for the ghastly 15d, the over-familiar naughty child, and there being far too many anagrams – one in every four clues. Ticks to a number of clues, with the podium places going to 26a, 8d & COTD 22d. Good surface in 14a, suspect there won’t be many such violent eruptions next year!

    1.5 / 2.5

    Thank you to the setter and Shabbo.

  15. What a great puzzle. Not too hard. 18d and 19d my favorites although lots of other candidates. Thank you setter. Sorry shabbo.. didn’t need you 🙂

  16. Enjoyed this one despite 14a causing me problems as I was trying to use the wrong fodder for quite a while. Worry not, Shabbo, I also fell into the mis-parsing issue at 15d – a case of seeing what you want to see!
    Top clue for me was 22d – I’ve just bought a set of those books for my young granddaughter’s Christmas present.

    Thanks to our setter, hope he pops in, and also to Shabbo for the review – did you enjoy your meal at the Crab House?

    1. We went to The Wells Crab House twice and it did not disappoint on either occasion. We also ate at Socius in Burnham Market (aka Chelsea-on-Sea) which was also excellent.

  17. Very enjoyable indeed – many thanks to the setter and Shabbo (whose doubts about the last syllable of the 3d clue I share).
    I have lots of ticks including 25a, 26a, 6d and 8d with my favourite being 22d.

  18. A lovely breakfast puzzle. But it’s the second day running that the setters have referenced my weight. What do they expect one to do while solving their puzzles, jog?
    However all is forgiven with the use of that lovely word in 15d, fave du jour! Many thanks to the setter and to Shabbo.

  19. Trying to start from the bottom up as always I was totally perplexed by 22d so resorted to a top down approach which worked well. 7 anagrams certainly helped speed up the solving process. With the checkers in place for 22d the penny finally dropped with the biggest clang of the year. What a wonderful clue!
    Some great clue constructions today within smooth surfaces – I also particularly liked 7d (when I realised what grass was doing) 8d and 26a but there were many others worth a mention. Raised eyebrows only for 3d where I concur with Shabbo’s reservation. Well done and thank you compiler for providing us with such an enjoyable crossword. Thanks too to Shabbo for the review

  20. What a great puzzle, I really enjoyed this.
    LOI was 19D, no idea why I was so misdirected by the month but there we go.
    COTD (and probably the week) was 22d which I loved.
    Off down to Exmoor this afternoon so maybe some fun in the forecast snow…

  21. Vary enjoyable. The rabbit held me up until I realised I had entered the wrong last letter for 21A – I blame it on a dodgy keyboard! Thanks to the setter and to Shabbo. **/*****

  22. A brilliantly fun puzzle on a crisp cold day. So many fun clues but with 22d a stand out favourite although I could not parse it without the hints.

    Many thanks to the mystery setter and to Shabbo for the hints.

  23. What a delight, the easiest puzzle this week for me, no obscure general knowledge required for a change. It certainly 7d with this one. Thanks to all.

  24. Agreeing with everybody else, I loved this puzzle: so many clever clues, yet still being reasonable to solve. Somewhat boringly, I’m also going for the splendidly misleading Harry Potter clue as my favourite — but my ‘shortlist’ of potential favourites ended up being about a third of the clues.

    Thank you so much to the setter, and to Shabbo for explaining the ones I wasn’t sure of.

    (And I probably won’t be here much in December — I try to solve the daily Advent of Code computer programming puzzles, and can’t usually fit a crossword in as well. So, with apologies for its being so early, Merry Christmas, everybody, and thank you for providing so much enjoyment.)

  25. very tame stuff – no wonder it is universally liked . i prefer more of a challenge to give these grey cells their morning work-out. nohead scratching no dropping pennies just a bung-in exercise and therefore less than enjoyable for me. 1*/1* my cod was 22d which was my last in as well – clever!

      1. I’m sure, on reflection, he’ll feel he could have put his point across a bit differently. Well, I hope he does.

        ‘No wonder it is universally liked’ will go down as not one of his finest moments.

        ‘MR MENSA’ in capitals….you do crack me up, Merusa.

        Very entertaining.

    1. If you “prefer more of a challenge” then why on earth are you wasting your time here, when you could be tackling the Toughie? I don’t see you commenting there, unlike some of our gifted solvers? Your comment is, I’m afraid, rather off putting to anyone who was feeling satisfied at having finished a Thursday puzzle.

      1. Especially those of the commentariat who are just beginning their cruciverbal journey. Big Dave was always keen to encourage those new to cryptics.

  26. For a non RayT Thursday this puzzle was a delight to tackle and went in very smoothly with regular words with a minimum of GK required.

    1*/5* for me today

    Favourite contenders include 16a, 23a, 26a, 6d, 19d & 22d— with winner 22d
    I liked 6d as it made me smile but then again so did 9a, 21a, 26a & 17d

    Lots to like here again today
    Thanks to setter & Shabbo

  27. Super puzzle, right up my street. Did need the hints to explain my answer to 8d but apart from that all good.my fav def 7d, very clever.
    Many elegant clues today.
    Thx to all

  28. 3/5. What a superb puzzle. Lots of ticks but I’ve singled out 22d for its misdirection and 6d as the fodder couldn’t be truer. Thanks to the setter and Shabbo.

  29. Everyone has said it all. I entered Peter because I felt it had to be and some time later the penny dropped. Excellent stuff.
    Many thanks to the smart Setter and the handy Hinter

  30. A nice puzzle, a bit mild for a Thursday, with mostly fine clues providing a pleasanf solve. Favourite: 22d, a really excellent clue. 2.5*/3.5*.

  31. I agree with everyone, except two so far! I loved this, though I can’t parse 22d, even with the hints … oh man, I’ve just had my Road to Damascus moment, isn’t that the cleverest clue ever? There are so many good clues here, it’s impossible to choose a fave, so I’ll go with the one that flummoxed me, 22d.
    Thank you setter for the fun and the breviloquence! Thanks to Shabbo too for helping unravel a few.

  32. Enough said. 7d,17d and 18d my favourites. No penny drop moment with 22d although it had to be what it was but Shabbo helped with that and the explanation of two or three others. Rather a very patronising post from someone who obviously is used to The Listener or other such esoteric crosswords. Perhaps he could keep his disparaging remarks for face to face contact with a karate black belt.

    Many grateful thanks to Shabbo for enlightenment and to the setter for such pleasure.

  33. I really enjoyed this – I wonder who set it – does anyone have any ideas?
    Thought the left side was considerably easier than t’other and the top right corner was a bit of a problem – took me ages.
    I liked 11 and 25a and 3 and 19d. My favourite was 7d although I STILL can’t make sense of it
    Thanks to the setter and to Shabbo.

  34. Brilliance throughout.
    Excellent surfaces
    With many misdirections.
    Smiled at 26a.
    This and 4, 5, 6 and 17d
    Compete in a very tight struggle
    To be the COTD.
    Winner by a nose 17d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to

  35. Jolly late today so I’ve just pottered in… to agree that this was an ace crossword. Such clever wordplay.

    It’s interesting how some people say “Whoa… this was way too easy!” and others feel that it was just at the right level. Who would be a crossword editor? Not me.
    However, there is an almost infinite list of roles in life to which I would be unsuitable. Nun, bungee-jump tester, submariner, featherweight boxer, any role in which I would need to interact with the public, Kate Bush impersonator. It’s a very long list indeed.

    Thanks to the setter and Shabba-dabba-doo

    1. Well, Terence. We all HAVE to see a video of you singing Wuthering Heights and it must include cartwheels.

  36. Solved early doors before, against my better judgement, playing 13holes at Centurion – not quite as cold as I’d feared but still very parky. Reading RD’s comment prompted me to look back through the guzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed the solve at the time but it didn’t strike me then as being anything out of the ordinary & I’m still not entirely sure quite what elevates this to one of the best cryptics he’s ever solved. The 4 long peripherals flew in greatly assisting a brisk completion in 1.5* time. 7d was my fav of them as it brought back memories of having once played the game for possibly the first time (on an indoor rink) whilst, as per the surface read, high as a kite which made for a novel experience & a pretty inept display.
    Thanks to the setter (maybe Donny & to Shabbo

  37. Super, fun surfaces, good mix of clue types, plenty to keep me going to an unaided solve. Favourite 22d, I think like most of you!

  38. Is anyone finding that when they come to the blog and click on a link in the Recent Comments list, instead of being taken to the comment, a Google advertisement appears instead. Once I click to remove the link to the advert, I can click on comment links without any further trouble. It has happened several times over the last few hours every time I try to look at the latest comment

  39. Lovely to have a Thursday puzzle that doesn’t defeat me. Started over breakfast, and rapidly made my way through the bottom half, and saved the top half for lunchtime. All very enjoyable. But clearly proof that the cryptics are getting trickier, when I am now looking forward to Ray T and Dada days. Or perhaps after all this time, I have finally clicked on their wavelengths. Thanks to Ray T, and also to Shabbo,

  40. I agree with the almost universal appreciation of this splendid crossword. I read 6d as an all in clue, many a true word spoken in jest. I also agree with the equally universal choice of 22d as COTD, my LOI as I struggled to parse it until suddenly I did. Thanks to the setter and Shabbo.

  41. Good evening
    Another crozzie that’s proved to be an enjoyable solve, with the most excellent piece of misdirection in 22d, which is COTD today.
    Many thanks to our compiler and to Shabbo

  42. Is there anyway of finding out who our setter was today? I was hoping he/she would drop in to let us know. Judging by the comments I think we’d all like to know!

  43. Busy yesterday but just had to say it was excellent. Where’s Brian? Perhaps I scanned the comments quickly and missed him. I agree with all but one – what a plonker. I could have used another word. 22d will surely go down in history as an all time great (even though I forgot about Beatrix). Incredibly 26a was my LOI. I was slow with 8d. Fixated by cricket rather than music. I wonder why. Thanks Setter and Shabbo. Spell checker changed you to Shannon.

  44. Many thanks to everyone commenting and to Shabbo for the excellent review – I’m very glad most enjoyed tackling it.
    Enjoy the weekend!

    1. Thank you for revealing yourself, Robyn: you surprised us by appearing on a Thursday rather than a Wednesday.

      (Well, either that or you read the comments for both, saw nobody had claimed either of them, and decided to take this one on the grounds we’ll never know otherwise!)

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