DT 30493 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30493

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30493

Hints and tips by Senf

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BD Rating – Difficulty 2* – Enjoyment 4.5*

As Huntsman told us last Tuesday, he has temporarily left the environs of Harpenden for the wilds of the Trossachs and he is approximately 25 miles North of Glasgow as the crow flies but probably somewhat further as the road winds.  So a very good Boxing Day morning from Winnipeg and I hope that you do not have a tryptophan hangover to impede the solving of today’s puzzle.

So, I have to ask, were they knitting needles or chopsticks on the Princess of Wales’ hat yesterday?

For me, and I stress for me (I have to put that in for Terence), Typically Tuesdayish and the Quickie grid suggests that this is an Anthony Plumb production.

Candidates for favourite – 9a, 22a, 4d, 8d, and 19d.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a One maybe taking Jersey leader around street (7)
RUSTLER: A five letter leader (of a country) containing (around) the two letter abbreviation for street.

5a Lass changed trousers and shoes (7)
SANDALS: An anagram (changed) of LASS contains (trousers) AND from the clue.

9a Collision from parking next to Sierra? Almost (5)
PRANG: The single letter indicating where parking is available placed before (next to) a synonym of sierra with the last letter removed (almost).

10a US diplomat gently touching her husband’s cut (9)
KISSINGER: A one word term for gently touching and hER from the clue with the single letter for husband deleted (cut).

11a Camaraderie from devotees bandaging right hip (10)
FRIENDSHIP: A synonym of devotees containing (bandaging) the single letter for Right and HIP from the clue.

12a China tea (4)
MATE: A double definition – Cockney rhyming slang of China from the clue and the answer (with an acute accent on the last letter) is a variety of Paraguayan tea (see Comment 6).

14a Organise Persia trip? No sweat (12)
PERSPIRATION: An anagram (organise) of PERSIA TRIP? NO.

18a Expert male in criminal trial (12)
EXPERIMENTAL: An anagram (criminal) of EXPERT MALE IN.

21a Utterly offensive order (4)
RANK: A double definition – the second could refer to order of importance.

22a Low female voice — understand the woman completely (10)
ALTOGETHER: A four letter female (singing) voice, a three letter synonym for understand, and the genitive pronoun for the woman.

25a Bury dog, perhaps, assuming relatives initially understand (9)
INTERPRET: A synonym of bury and what a dog can be (perhaps) in the home containing the first letter (initially) of Relatives.

26a Some military men eventually repelled foe (5)
ENEMY: A reversed lurker (some . . . repelled) found in the words ‘sandwiched’ by the indicators.

27a Country for example returning first of refugees — then a great number (7)
GERMANY: The two letter abbreviation of the Latin equivalent of for example reversed (returning), the first letter of Refugees, followed by (then) a generic term for a great number.

28a Royal Engineers, worn out, stopped work (7)
RETIRED: The abbreviated form of Royal Engineers and a single word for worn out (as in fatigued).


1d Cheat runs away after international pressure (3,3)
RIP OFF: The single letter for crickety Runs followed by a three letter synonym of away placed after single letters for International and Pressure.

2d Still showing sign of nerves supporting short celebrity (6)
STATIC: The three letter term for showing sign of nerves placed after (supporting) a synonym of celebrity with the last letter removed (short).

3d Fruit if gone off could make Beryl groan (10)
LOGANBERRY: An anagram (if gone off) of the name of a fruit which, when solved, could result in (make) BERYL GROAN.

4d Artist put on Ken Loach film for playboys (5)
RAKES: The two letters for artist placed before (put on) a three letter film directed by Ken Loach.

5d Fancy trifle (9)
SUSPICION: A double definition – the second (found in an on-line thesaurus) considers a small amount.

6d Trouble after fourth of brandies — one might get hammered (4)
NAIL: A verbal synonym of trouble placed after the fourth letter of braNdies.

7d Mixture of gar and tuna I cooked with breadcrumbs (2,6)
AU GRATIN: An anagram (mixture of) GAR and TUNA I.

8d Police officer wants unwrapped fabric on the top (8)
SERGEANT: A type of (strong twilled) fabric placed on the top of wANTs with the outer letters deleted (unwrapped).

13d Leadership from chap, a shining example on hospital department (10)
MANAGEMENT: A synonym of chap, A from the clue, a type of shining example, and a (British!) hospital department.

15d Doctor is Mary ill in the same way? (9)
SIMILARLY: An anagram (doctor) of IS MARY ILL.

16d Grasping pound, getting paid (8)
LEARNING: The letter used for pound (sterling) and a single word for getting paid.

17d Old maid cuts up their odd bits only (8)
SPINSTER: A synonym of cuts reversed (up) followed by the odd letters (odd bits only) of ThEiR.

19d Words of sympathy due here, by the sound of it (2,4)
OH DEAR: A homophone (by the sound of it) of a synonym of due (as in payment?) and HERE from the clue.

20d Pictured an injury, getting cross, and raged after a change of heart (1-5)
X-RAYED: The letter that looks like a cross and RAGED from the clue with its middle letter changed (after a change of heart.

23d Animal more fashionable in the East End? (5)
OTTER: The comparative of a synonym of fashionable as it might be pronounced in the East End.

24d Region in Far East (4)
AREA: A lurker (in) found in two words in the clue.

Quick Crossword Pun:


53 comments on “DT 30493
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  1. Not too challenging but some clever cluing.

    Favourites 1a (Jersey was in the Sunday Toughie), 9a and 4d (one of my favourite films).

    Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  2. A very gentle puzzle to help us through the Boxing Day morning that held very few problems but was most entertaining to solve. The Quickie pun gets my nod for favourite clue(s).

    My thanks to AP and Senf.

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you used a different alias both should work from now on.

      In the hint I was trying to refer to something that is used at ‘tea time.’

      However, I have since been advised by a tea expert that the answer (with an acute accent on the last letter) is a variety of Paraguayan tea. Somewhat obscure for me.

      1. I think it’s pretty widespread in south of South America, I.e., Argentina, Chile and so on. They drink it in a type of gourd with a “straw” . I have a silver one I got in Argentina many eons ago.

      2. According to Wikipedia, the Spanish don’t use the acute accent on the last letter; in Spanish doing so gives a word that means ‘I killed’! If it is a ‘tea’, it seems it should be called a ‘herbal tea’. Although that sounds healthy, it seems it’s used primarily for the caffeine content and it has links to oral cancer – it contains high levels of polycyclic hydrocarbons such as benzoapyrene (according to Wikipedia).

  3. Even I managed this without major difficulty so no hints needed but still required thought. 21a referred to offensive as well as order so that was how I read it. I agree with DaveP that 1a and 4d were the pick of a pleasantly enjoyable crossword.

    I hope that all associated with this blog had a good day yesterday and are now working on their new year’s resolutions.

    My thanks to Senf for his overtime and to the setter.

  4. A fairly gentle puzzle for Boxing Day – thanks to the setter and Senf for standing in.
    I think that 21a is meant to be a triple definition. The BRB says the answer as an adverb means utterly but describes it as ‘now dialect’.
    For my podium I’ve selected 1a, 5a and 19d.

  5. Unbelievably it’s a gorgeous crisp sunny day in the Trossachs so a long loch side walk beckons. The puzzle took a lot less time to solve than it took to download the paper & was enjoyable while it lasted.
    Thanks to AP & particularly to Senf for covering today.

    1. Just back from a nice sunny drive up the east coast from Whitby to Tynemouth and it was delightfully sunny so kept going north till the sun set
      Hope you have a good break on the bonny bonny Banks

  6. Enjoyable Boxing Day fare producing stars for 1&5a, another for the surface read of 6d and a nod to the fashionable animal. Nice to see good old Dixon making an appearance in the hints!

    Thanks to Mr P (presumably) and to Senf for taking temporary charge of the hot seat whilst Huntsman is hunting for white heather.

  7. A gentle but enjoyable puzzle for Boxing Day. Many thanks to Senf and the setter.

    I frequently read the blogs from about 13 years ago as I’m slowly working my way through the early DT crossword books. 14A today reminds me of a word coined in the blogs back then – “perservation”. Apparently a combination of perseverance and perspiration.

  8. Very enjoyable. 1a was clue of the day for me after I tried and failed for ages to incorporate a “j” in the answer. Thanks to compiler and Senf.

  9. Fairly straightforward apart from the tea, which I have heard of but still took a long time to spring to mind…..but bright and lively, just right to get me going here in Norwood (near Boston, Mass.), where my sleep pattern has finally adjusted to the local time zone….it is v v mild here by local standards

  10. An unaided solve, save for the parsing of 12a….never heard of that tea.
    Spent a long time trying to uncover a fabric at 8d before the penny dropped.
    Favourite 23d as it reminds me of my time spent working in London…..not in the East End where the Cockneys are but in Lambeth . Happy days.

    Thanks to Senf and to the setter.

    A beautiful sunny day here today. Cold and crisp. What a contrast to yesterday’s constant rain and grey skies.

  11. Not heard of the ‘tea’ and didn’t bother to Google it so went in unparsed. The other hold up was 5d which we sort of got but was the only word that fitted the checkers anyway. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  12. 1.5*/4*. Light and good fun – just right for a muzzy head on Boxing Day.

    Many thanks presumably to Mr Plumb and to stand-in Senf.

  13. Disappointed
    Mugged up on names of
    Santa’s reindeer and words
    In carols but still no
    Seasonal clues.
    Not too miffed, though, as this delight
    Was a virtual whizz-through.
    Thanks Mr. Plumb and Senf.

  14. I am as well Hrothgar but never mind still enjoyable although like others the obscure tea was a puzzle … thank you setter and Senf

  15. I really enjoyed this, an unaided solve without mangling my brain. I did have to google Ken Loach, I think we’ve had him before in the distant past but I didn’t know his films. Apart from that, very doable, even the anagrams were readily solved with my circles scratched all over my paper. Top of the heap are 1a and 19d.
    Thank you setter for the perfect Tuesday offering, and to Senf for stepping in to help us.

  16. Didn’t know the tea nor the film, and was fixated on the wrong type of still and trial. Plus got several answers from checkers. Otherwise a pleasant Boxing Day solve, and just as well as I woke much too early this morning and already feel like a nap 😴. Thanks to setter and Senf for stepping into the breach.
    Sitting here remembering fondly Boxing Days of my childhood, playing with all the new toys in the morning, and watching the horse racing with Dad later on. He told us to pick a horse from one of the races, and gave us sixpence each to bet. I don’t remember ever winning though, but we enjoyed it.
    P.S. Senf, they look more like arrows that knitting needles to me…

    1. Yes, BL. It might not be immediately obvious from the photo, but the hat also has a sort of bow, resembling a tied bow. So perhaps a nice one for crossword enthusiasts – the hat has a ‘bow and arrows’.

  17. Firstly. doing the blog in the extremely early hours of Boxing Day in Winnipeg is mighty impressive, Senf. 👏👏

    A nice crissy which is just what the doctor ordered.

    As always, from AP, lots of succinct clues that made the parsing extremely straightforward. The dark alleys tend to appear at the other end of the week.

    My podium is 5a, 14a and 3d.

    Many thanks to AP and the early bird the other side of The Pond.


    1. As for all my blogs, the main part was done the evening of the day before. It is only the c*ck-ups that need to be worked on in the early hours of the morning. One day I might get to sleep in. :smile:

  18. Strictly speaking Maté is not tea as it is not made from the tea plant.
    Enjoyed the crossword but over too quickly.
    Thanks to AP and Senf

  19. Enjoyable boxing day fare. Not too taxing over the festive days. Rather surprised to see the bottom row read out where i live and my status in life !

  20. First I hope everybody had a very Happy Christmas, it was a bit dull here in East Kent but that did not spoil our day with a short trip to Broadstairs for a pre-Christmas Dinner drink. I do not usually manage to comment on a crossword on the day it is set as I often start in the evening and try to finish the next morning but at this time of year timings do change quite a bit! I thought that today’s offering was very gentle and ideal for Boxing Day and I enjoyed it very much. As a retired vet I did think that 1a was an excellent clue as I tried for ages to get a ‘J’ in there somewhere. I look forward to the New Year as my family and wife all hail form North of the border so we will no doubt be singing Auld Lang Syne on Sunday evening.

    1. I’d love to venture north of the border for the end of the year hooly, Douglas, as I’ve heard so many good things.

      One day…

  21. A pre breakfast solve before the duvet had aired The tea was known here but has and will never pass my lips I am a Yorkshire Tea man through and through, nice to see the Jersey again soon

    Thanks to Senf for the hints and MrP for the gentle start to the week

  22. A great guzzle for Boxing Day. Just the right balance of straight-ins and head scratchers. I found the latter confined to the across clues while I solved all but two of the downs on the first pass. Great clues all round and it’s difficult to pick a favourite but, iff pushed, I will settle for the low female at 22a.
    Thank you to the setter of the fun challenge. Thank you, Senf for the hints.
    Can I also say, I found the Toughie quite friendly (with a bit of help) so if you never tackle it have a look.

  23. Finally found time to look at this after another hectic day. I am glad it was not too tricky although the tea was new to me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints

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