DT 30487 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30487

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,487
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hosing it down here in Harpenden after a few days of welcome respite for the golf courses. This is my last review of the year as I’m away for Christmas at Tigh Mor in the Trossachs & the Wi-Fi isn’t reliable where we’re staying. See you in the new year & thanks for your patience in putting up with my frequent hinting/inputting  errors. Senf has very kindly agreed to supply the Boxing Day hints.

I’m assuming this is an AP production which I found a little trickier than usual & particularly so in the SW but that may well be just me as the brain isn’t exactly in gear this morning after a lousy sleep 💤 .

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 Plonk is knocked back in warehouse (7)
DEPOSIT: reverse (knocked back) IS in the wordplay & insert into another word for a warehouse. Nowt to do with a tipple.

5a Intolerable sentimentality from European after claret’s drunk
TREACLE:  an anagram (drunk) of CLARET then append the single letter for European.

9a One might sit on this cold rug (5)
CHAIR: the single letter for cold + a synonym for the slang context of rug. The fella pictured is Rug Daniels who gets shot by Mink at the beginning of Miller’s Crossing (a great Coen Brothers film). There’s a great scene when a boy with his dog finds him, stares at the corpse then pinches his rug.

10a I created a new Scotch (9)
ERADICATE: an anagram (new) of I CREATED A. Ignore the misleading capitalisation in the definition.

11a Record finished before Edward realised (10)
DISCOVERED: a word for a vinyl record + a synonym for finished + a shortened version of Edward.

12a Work in shop usually (4)
OPUS: an easy to spot lurker.

14a Wearing thong, enthralling the Spanish with flash finally (2,3,4,3)
IN THE LONG RUN: the first word is what one could be described as when wearing an item of clothing. Insert the Spanish for THE (masculine) into THONG in the clue for the next two words. I assume the final word is a synonym for flash in the context of move at speed.

18a Caretaker following Conservative peer (12)
CONTEMPORARY: the usual abbreviation for Conservative + a synonym for caretaker or short term. Nowt to do with this not short of a bob or two peer.

21a Pinch jug (4)
NICK: a double definition both slang – the first as in getting your collar felt or more probably as RD has pointed a synonym for steal & the second a possible destination as a consequence of either.

22a Careful French composer reduced price (10)
DELIBERATE: remove the final letter (reduced) from a 19th Century French composer of ballets & operas then append a synonym for price.

25a Spoil fish at home with last bit of cheese spread (9)
MARGARINE: assemble four bits of lego: a synonym for spoil + a ray-finned fish + the usual two letter expression for at home & the final letter (last bit) of cheesE.

26a Avoid deer, holding leads of dogs gingerly (5)
DODGE: insert (holding) the first letters of Dogs Gingerly into a female deer.

27a Swearing about American rat (7)

CUSSING: the single letter for about + a two letter abbreviation for American + a word for rat or spill the beans. Cagney never actually spoke the words most associated with him.

28a Allegiance from kings maybe after change of direction?
LOYALTY: swap the initial letter (the two indicating direction) of a word describing what kings are.


1d Criminal Investigation Department filling most of legal document for judge (6)
DECIDE: insert the acronym for Criminal Investigation Department into a truncated (filling most of) legal document.

2d Priest initially up for worship (6)
PRAISE: the first letter of Priest (initially) + a synonym for up.

3d Rubbish our dustmen cleared (10)
SURMOUNTED: an anagram (rubbish) of OUR DUSTMEN. Neat indicator.

4d Recurrent idea from article supported by this writer (5)
THEME: append (supported by) how the writer may refer to himself or herself to an article/determiner

5d Voyager’s tense tangle with the French Resistance (9)
TRAVELLER: the single letter for Tense + a synonym for tangle + French for THE (masculine) + the single letter for resistance (Ohm’s Law).

6d Truss upset about No 10 departure (4)
EXIT: I’m sure she was livid but it’s nowt to do with Liz. Reverse (upset) a synonym of truss around the Roman numeral for 10.

7d Bubbly people in tents keeping hot (8)
CHAMPERS : insert the single letter for Hot into those sleeping in tents. Reckon I could still do Glastonbury in the premium tent with an unlimited supply of Krug but fuggedaboutit otherwise.

8d Uniform relative put on good for church service (8)
EVENSONG: a synonym for uniform + a male relative + the single letter for Good.

13d Hostile Finn rudely waving (10)
UNFRIENDLY : an anagram (waving) of FINN RUDELY.

15d Fashionable chap opening no letters to begin with (9)
HAPPENING: delete the first letters from the 2 words that follow the definition giving you a word that can mean popular.

16d I come about imprisoning convict being cost-effective (8)

ECONOMIC : insert (imprisoning) an abbreviation of convict into an anagram (about) of I COME.

17d Horse-like creatures from Oxford and Cambridge perhaps eating grain
UNICORNS: insert a cereal crop into what Oxford & Cambridge are examples of

19d John turned up grasping and savage (6)
VANDAL: John here references the first name of the inventor of the forerunner to the flushing toilet named Ajax. He was exiled from court for telling risqué stories apparently. Reverse (turned up) a shortened name for a toilet & insert (grasping) AND in the clue.

20d Only impel odd characters to leave bank (6)
MERELY: the alternate letters of iMpEl (odd characters to leave) + a synonym of bank or depend.

23d Perfect international business transaction (5)
IDEAL: the single letter for International + a word for a business transaction.

24d Dress is lifted outside topless bar (4)

SARI: place a reversal (lifted) of IS in the clue  around (outside)  bAR having deleted the first letter (topless)

6d my clear fav with another wee one at 21a in the runner up spot. 9&26a plus 3&15d other ones that appealed. Which ones did you like?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: ALL + TUB+ BUOYS = ALTAR BOYS


78 comments on “DT 30487
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  1. Superb.

    Nearly every surface is a winner. Pure quality.

    3d was a battle for me: I got the first and ninth letters but couldn’t work out the anagram. Then the third and fifth dropped but still no joy. When I got the last checker it finally hit me. Great fun.

    I love the synonym for tangle in 5d as the noun and verb can mean the opposite like cleave. But, in that case, the verb has opposing definitions.

    A nightmare to pick a podium but I’ll go with 14a, 3d and 6d.

    Many thanks to Robyn and Hints man.


    1. Tom, I didn’t know that about the synonym of tangle. I love these words with opposite/contradictory meanings. They’re known as contronyms, contranyms, autantonyms or Janus words – after the Roman god Janus, who had two faces pointing in opposite directions. There’s dust, sanction, clip, fast, screen, bolt. Know any more?

        1. Cleave can mean to split, divide or separate (e.g cleaver). But, it also has the opposite meaning, i.e to stick to, adhere to or cling to e.g to cleave to ones heart or ones principles.

      1. I have two to add to your fine list: weather and overlook.

        Cleave is my fave with sanction being a close second.

        I didn’t know about the term ‘Janus words’. So, thank you for that.

        It reminds me of a funny story:

        When my wife was a child, she was at Lydd airport with her family and they heard that the CEO of a small airline was called Mr Janus which prompted the inevitable fnarr fnarr comment from her older brother…’I wonder if his first name is Hugh?’ where everyone either chuckled or rolled their eyes other than my wife who looked at him perplexed. Two minutes later, having had a ‘Joey from Friends’ realisation moment, she yelled, in this very quiet airport…’Ohhhh, I get it. Hugh Janus!’

              1. A good call. I had forgotten that worst can mean defeat or beat.

                It’s all bonkers but such fun.

                I pity someone learning our language, though!

  2. Another Typically Tuesdayish challenge from Anthony Plumb – **/****

    I am not sure what it says about me but my first reactions to ‘Plonk’ in 1a and ‘Scotch’ in 10a were the alcoholic varieties!

    Candidates for favourite – the aforementioned 1a and 10a, 25a, 5d, 17d, and 20d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman, travel safe.

  3. I found this somewhat less taxing than yesterday and was on wavelength from the beginning. I did wonder at one point if our setter had borrowed Dada’s thesaurus as some of the synonyms and their indicators took a little extra thought. Favourite was 15d because that was the one that took a moment or two longer for the penny to drop. Podium places for 1a and 26a though I also liked the bubbly campers, the church service and the fantastic horses. Thanks to our setter and Huntsman.

  4. Generally enjoyable fare, rattled through most of it but held up by the crossing 18a/15d/17d combo. Wondered whether there should be an indicator that the horse-like creatures are imaginary, and thought 14a particularly weak. Podium places to 22a and 15d. Good balance of “other” to anagram, thank you setter!

    2* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman – thank you for all your blogging, have a great Christmas, and don’t overdo it with your knackered arm!

    1. MG. With the greatest respect, I doubt people who are mature and intelligent enough to tackle a DT cryptic crossword puzzle are likely to require some sort of indicator to help them realise that a unicorn is a mythical beast.

        1. But that’s a good thing, surely, with a cryptic clue! If there was a (dreaded) indicator making it unnecessarily easier to solve, you would have been deprived of some crosswordy thinking and missed the penny-drop moment. The best clues of all have such a moment after a period of rumination.

    2. Please don’t let my granddaughter hear you say that 17ds are mythical – we’re already having enough trouble trying to keep the Father Christmas story alive now that her brother is 6!

  5. A pleasant Tuesday romp adequtely oiled with anagrams and a lurker. I too was on the setter’s wavelength for this */*** exercise. I thought 15d nicely misdirected and this was my COTD. Thanks Huntsman and enjoy your trip all the more for lacking WiFi! Thanks to the setter of course.

  6. Enjoyable and straightforward puzzle on this sunny and slightly frosty morning. Hope Huntsman gets weather like this in the Trossachs.

    Favourites amongst the many clever clues are 22a, 27a and 19d.

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  7. Odd mix of difficulties for me but very straightforward overall. Oddly unsatisfying? No favourites and no laughs.
    Very grey and wet in Witney so maybe that’s it?
    Thanks to compiler.

  8. Glad this wasn’t too taxing as there is a host of pre-Christmas things to be done. No prob in the South but the North took a bit more application. I needed reassuring about 9a rug. Suppose 10a can be Scotch. 19a definitely one for Transatlantic bloggers. Thank you AP and Huntsman. I think the Quickie pun hint needs to be altAred.

  9. A great puzzle with some straightforward answers and others where I needed the hints to help explain my answers, mostly those in the south. 17d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to Huntsman for the blogs, I hope you have a very happy Christmas.

  10. I was flying through this until I hit a few that either held me up or did not sit right with me. 14a being the latter with the second word synonym feeling odd.
    15d I thought the answer clear but did not manage to parse without Huntsman’s help, and the composer in 22a was a new one to me.
    Onto my favourites however and I would nominate 10a, 3d and 6d, with 3d taking it because of the artful clueing.
    Thanks to the setter (I never have any idea who the setters are but I see wiser heads above have identified AP) and thanks to Huntsman.

  11. Grim weather in Sandhurst today, had to force myself to do the requisite couple of miles walk, oh well, that’s what coats are for. Pretty easy today, but did get a bit fixated on all manner of names for janitors and lords in 18a until it finally clicked.

  12. Did this in a normal sort of breakfast time, but was held up by feeling fairly dim! For instance took an age to remember the synonym for warehouse in 1a and spent an age working out how the holiday makers would sleep in the French countryside (campagne) before realising it was a letter too long. (And of course looking for words in OOL for the works of Thomas Crapper)
    Nho the French composer in 22a until I looked him up and was as uncertain as Hintsman about the last word in 14a. Still pretty iffy.
    Nevertheless liked 21a for its simplicity, likewise 26a.
    Many thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman (also for explaining how to change sides into directions in 28a.)

      1. Even funnier in that the word for John that was needed is the one I would normally use, just hadn’t seen it in xwordland before, whereas have seen oodles of the other!

  13. Sound puzzle ,agree with Huntsmans **/*** **/***
    Liked 22a. remembered the composer from somewhere!
    Ia was misleading, but soon became obvious as the NW chicking letters fell into place.
    No outright favourites, liked 7d 15d 3d

  14. Finished this while rewatching Strictly Come Dancing which seemed to help me through it. It turned out to be quite a 15d!
    I too found the SE corner challenging but, one by one, it all fell into place.
    I liked 5a and, once I had parsed it, 14a.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  15. A very nice puzzle, which I found a bit more challenging than the average Tuesday offering. Good clues and a pleasurable solve. Favourite clues: 1a and 6d. 2.5*/3.5*.

    *I’m assuming that the pic at 18a is the topical Michelle Mone?

  16. Nice early week back-pager with a few that required a little more thought amongst the gimmes.
    I particularly liked 18a plus 20d but top spot has to go to the amusing, clever and topical 6d. How many clues has this lady inspired!
    Many thanks to setter and Huntsman, enjoy your break.

  17. The IOW invasion force has gone to create mayhem at the soft-play centre in Llandudno so I have a few hours of peace………..
    Enjoyable puzzle from our setter to ease my pounding head and rosettes awarded to 1a plus 3&6d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman – enjoy your wifi-free Christmas, just think of all those obligatory Christmas phone calls that you won’t have to make!

  18. In tearing haste today so just shoved in to say thank you to Hintsman for his sterling hints since he took on the role. They are always clear and ‘gettable’.

    Come on Chelsea (v Newcastle, uhoh)

  19. 2*/4*. Good fun for a wet Tuesday. Like Michael @ 20, I thought the surface of 6d was brilliant.

    Hintsman, for the first definition in 21a, I took “pinch” to mean “steal”.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Hintsman.

    1. Yep reckon you’re right. I probably watched too many episodes of the Sweeney though I think pinch is slang for arrest.

  20. Seemed much like a regular Tuesday puzzle again this week. A few head scratchers for me in the bottom half, but nothing too wild.

    1.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 10a, 14a, 28a, 3d, 17d & 24d — with winner 17d

    Thanks to AP & Huntsman for blog/hints

  21. I always have trouble getting on Mr P’s wavelength plus completion would have been so much easier if I had checked my spelling more carefully. Hence the delay in getting 24d 🙄. Thought 22a was excellent. Thanks to Mr P and Huntsman.

  22. A fair bit of mis-direction today (I’m not the only plonker) but generally on my wavelength so a **/*** with thanks to the setter and Huntsman. COTD 5a.

  23. Needed hints for the last four clues in the south the north proving very doable but the rest much more difficult. I liked 11a but no others stood out for me to praise. On the other hand 15d seemed a tad². Gaza, Ukraine, the present government cannot be described as 15d in any way. Still who am I to query great minds?

    Thanks to Huntsman and the setter.

  24. Weird, that’s what I thought! So many strange synonyms. Sure, 10a is scotch, but capped? And so on. I needed lots of ehelp, fortunately I had enough solved to get checkers. Of course, at 22a I had to stop and listen to The Flower Duet, I love that, so I choose 22a as fave. The NW was hard to get a foothold, I had to use my thesaurus to look up plonk, couldn’t get Chateau Thames Embankment out of my head. As a BTW, what the heck is an “uncountable noun”? In words of one syllable please, remember tiny brain.
    Thanks to setter, and huge appreciation to Huntsman for his help. Enjoy your holiday and Merry Christmas. I’m off to read the hints and comments now.

  25. Late today having driven back from SW London in the monsoon. I thought this was a little tough but highly enjoyable and rewarding to solve. LOI was the caretaker and my favourite was 17d.

    My thanks to AP and The Hintsman.

  26. Bounced back to earth with a thud this morning after yesterday’s friendly challenge. Sorry, but Mr AP and I are clearly on different planets. I got many of my answers despite the clues, and have no idea who the picture portrays in 18a, other than it is someone in the House of Lords. But the sun came out yesterday after almost a week of dreadful winds and rain, so cannot complain. Thanks to AP and Huntsman.

    Younger daughter has now completed 4 of 7 days of keeping her head facing her lap, don’t know if I could do that.

    1. I did it for five days after an operation on my retina. It’s definitely not fun but worth the effort. Tell her to make sure she moves her neck and shoulders during the time she is upright as keeping them in a strange position for such a long time, doesn’t do them any good

  27. Enjoyed this and thank you setter plus Huntsman for explaining 14a which I got but don’t know how – also for the very apt illustration for a so-called peer!

  28. Nice crossword with many clever clues 😃 John is a little transatlantic for my taste, but very clever Favourites:11a, 25a and 7d 👍 Thanks to the Huntsman and hope you have a lovely Christmas 🥂 and to AP who had me puzzled for far too long 🤗

  29. Oh, I do love you all. Wonderful comments and diversions and information, such fun. As was this guzzle. Just finished it, particularly liked 25a and 27d. Just returned from visiting DD1 in Worcester – I don’t know where Dave P lives but we drove all the way home in pouring rain. We went up yesterday and stayed the night. We had such a lovely time with her, I would love to show you the clip of her singing carols with us, so moving. The brain is extraordinary. Ora – the Carol service was great, I read my lesson and then glowed as the Melbourn Carol was sung for the first time in our village. I hope Hintsman has a good Christmas, and I thank him for todays hints and salutations to Mr Setter – as someone else said, I am rubbish at guessing setters!

  30. Good evening
    Sat sitting in the traincrew messroom in Plymouth, and it’s pen down – eventually! It took me ages to get started this afty; the SE quadrant proving trickier than the others, with 22a being the last to fall.
    18a gets COTD for me, with an hon mensh for 6d, and 10a for its misdirection (yes, I also fell into the Scotch/whisky trap!)
    Many thanks to our compiler (Mr Plumb?) and to Huntsman the Hintsman

  31. It took me a while to get into today’s guzzle but, boy, once the train pulled out of the station it fairly rattled along. I thought a lot of the cluing was original and clever. The first delight was 1a where I spent ages trying to think of cheap wines! I absolutely loved the bubbly people in tents. Reminded me of wonderful camping holidays in Brittany when we were often bubbly. Spent far too long considering “marmalade” for the spread at 25a even though it didn’t parse. My COTD is the upturned John at 19d – what a wonderful image that conjures up.

    Thank you to the setter for the guzzling fun. More please. Thank you Hintsman for the hunts.

  32. Busy stocktaking and this puzzle was a handy way to get my feet on the ground after spending most of the day up a teetering scissor lift.
    I laughed at the namecheck in the “dunny”]]
    Thanks to AP and Huntsman, have a great time in the Trossachs whatever the weather

    1. Oh have a glass at the Deanston Distillery just outside Doune I have a vested interest in a barrel of their finest that is giving up its Angel’s Share for a few more years yet

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