DT 30533 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30533 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30533 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

A warm, sunny if very soggy Saturday morning brings an enjoyable Saturday Prize Puzzle, with a nice ear worm-inducing theme! Be careful how you discuss it as the usual Prize Puzzle red instructions apply, and there’s only a small Battenburg cake in the tin!

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them. Brian should note that I have deliberately not hinted the clues with anagrams!

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Old monk’s room in French church? Goodness! (10)
The prefix meaning old, a monk’s room, the French word for in and an abbreviated church

12a    Booming English lad in verbal onslaught (8)
The abbreviation for English and a male child (lad) inserted into an angry tirade (verbal onslaught)

13a    Port cracked open? (5)
A lovely European port (I’ve been there!) or a simple way of saying cracked open

19a    Knight in Scottish town also writer (3,4)
I’d never heard of this writer but if you follow the wordplay – the chess abbreviation for night inserted in a Scottish town and followed by a conjunction meaning with – you can then look her up. Did our setter paint themselves into a corner or did they think it was time we learned more about this writer?

27a    Preserve dignity with this female: brilliant goalie? (4-5)
The abbreviation for Female, an informal way of saying brilliant and a goalie

30a    Relative difficulty in loosening tie? (6,4)
A female relative and a difficulty


1d    Enjoyment found in Eastbourne as ever (4)
Hidden in the last three words of the clue

8d    Florentine poet embracing one Latvian dabbler (10)
An Italian poet often included in crosswords ’embracing’ the Roman numeral for one and a native of Latvia

18d    Persist: what scrap metal dealer did around Spain? (7,2)
What a scrap metal dealer did (4,4) ‘around’ the IVR Code for Spain

21d    V-sign from revolutionary facing Reagan? (7)
Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary, the abbreviation meaning against (facing) and the forename of President Reagan

25d    Appreciate Juliet in that role finally reversed (5)
The letter represented by Juliet in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet inserted into a reversal of a dialect word meaning that and the final letter of rolE

26d    Bag from fringes of Carnaby Street (4)
The outside letters (fringes) of the last two words of the clue

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As this is a Prize crossword, please don’t put any ANSWERS, whether WHOLE, PARTIAL or INCORRECT, or any ALTERNATIVE CLUES in your comment. If in doubt, leave it out!

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The Quick Crossword pun: QUEUE + BRUTES = CUBE ROOTS

99 comments on “DT 30533 (Hints)
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  1. Good manners prevents me from an honest opinion of this puzzle, suffice to say I found little to recommend it. Summed up by 19a who or whatever this means. Its only saving grace for me was 18d.
    Thx for the hints

    1. “Who or whatever that means” – Google (or one of many alternatives) is your friend. One of the more important thinkers of the 20th century, who as Wiki notes, advocated reason and rejected faith and religion – I think they would appeal to you, Brian! [Fingers are crossed this does not put me on the naughty step; if so, my apologies.]

      1. ‘One of the more important thinkers’ you write. Wrong. A nasty piece of work whose as a writer would not have survived in a Scottish Town.

        1. Absolutely one of the more important thinkers of the 20th century, Corky, whatever you may think of them as a person. While their philosophy, such as it is, has limited intellectual merit and their opinions are divisive and somewhat extreme, their books have been hugely popular and they have had a marked influence on the American political right and some of the socio-political-economic policies of the Trump administration. Given the distinct possibility of a second Trump administration I’d say that makes them an “important thinker of the 20th century” regardless of one’s subjective opinion of their writings and political views.

          1. From what you write it would appear that [redacted – please read the instructions in red, particularly the one about not including solutions in your comments]

          2. I have a feeling that we have reached a point where Comment Etiquette No 3 applies. Whatever thoughts people have about 19a, a crossword blog is not really the place for such discussions

      2. Perhaps Brian is like me, and does not count “Googling” as “solving”. If I used Google I could finish every puzzle, every day, in double quick time.

        1. I already knew of her so had no need to look her up afterwards – but the answer was very gettable from the clue. But why not then google the previously unknown and then understand why and extend one’s knowledge. Or should one be content to move on and go forward in continuing ignorance?

        2. I just cannot agree with you, BL – every day needs to be a school day if we are to learn of things/stuff we were otherwise unaware of. Google is as good as anywhere to expand your knowledge. Learning doesn’t stop once we’ve left the classroom.

        1. First time I’ve finished it without any help on a Saturday. So I guess it’s an easier one so I won’t bother to send it in

    2. Well I found it cleverly constructed, enjoyable to work through and it contained a wonderful connection of one clue with the answer to another.

  2. A nice crissy with lots of straightforward constructions and very few dark alleys.

    28a/24a is an outstanding anagram and I’m very happy with the writer in 19a. When looking it up to confirm I thought….surely not?

    I had forgotten the Latvian reference. A good one to know.

    1d made me laugh.

    My podium is 17a (nice surface), 28a/24a and 21d.

    Many thanks to the Saturday setter and she from the crypt.


    P.S Brother Ian clearly needed to get this off his chest as soon as poss, looking at the clock for when it struck 11 bells. Grrrrrrrrrr!

  3. Gentle, enjoyable, all basic GK & nothing to scare the equines. Amusing first few across clues and so, as nothing else really stood out in this otherwise run-of-the-mill puzzle, COTD goes to the very good 28a/24a combo.

    1* / 2.5*

    Thank you to the setter and to CS

    1. I didn’t have 19a down as basic GK, had never heard of her under any of her names, but I guess you either know these things or you don’t.

  4. 19a across is very fairly clued if you knew the writer – I didn’t, but now one for my memory bank. Otherwise a very enjoyable and rapidly completed prize puzzle. Again a bit anagram heavy, but all good fun. Rather than pick a favourite clue, today I will say that clues 1a and 6a amused me, purely because they work in the the exact opposite way to a Quick Crossword pun – if you get my meaning :-)
    Thanks to our setter and CS, although I needed no hints. Theme? I totally missed that – I will have to check later, as I now need to take about 3 or 4 inches of water off my garden pond before it overflows after the recent rains. A musical evening beckons later tonight – at the Birmingham Symphony Hall – must be my eighth or ninth annual visit for The Transatlantic Sessions.

    1. Ha, ha, ha, now spotted the theme. If I’d noticed earlier I may have added a little more to my ‘pun’ comment, but nothing too revealing, of course. 😉😉😉

        1. Nay lass, you’re not dense, just re read the first three clues and glean from them what you can. Then look through all your answers if you’ve completed the puzzle and wait for a road to Damascus moment, lol.

    2. I’d like to know what hallucinogenic drugs those who can see the theme are taking. Lost on me and got bored trying to work it out.

      1. Dear Oh dear BW – no magic mushrooms are necessary – its so blxxdy obvious!! Unless of course you are far too young to know.

  5. I enjoyed this a lot and have read a lot of 19a. My only query is my answer for 7d which has to be but not sure why! Also had to check my spelling of 2d. Thanks to the setter and CS on a really warm morning overlooking the North Sea which does not look inviting

    1. Difficult to hint 7d without contravening Big Dave rules but it’s very straight forward particularly if you recall yesterday’s discussion about in (hope that passes muster).

  6. I, for one, did like 19a. Well-clued and really not that obscure. 30a read well and 18d is fun. And a rousing theme to boot. Very solid. Thanks to the setter and CS (I agree, 13a is a fine place indeed).

  7. Surprisingly I finished this crossword over coffee and biscuits on a foggy damp morning. 21d my top clue although I object to the loathsome 19a being associated with anything Scottish or Scotland. And the V-sign for Reagan in 21d is more than appropriate.

    My thanks to CS and the setter. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  8. A great start in this one with the 1A 6 10 combination. I thought the definition at 10 particularly good in the context of all three. In all, a very doable weekend puzzle with lots of humour, especially at 18, which caused a cackle to rise from my ancient craw.

    For Manders, that word at 7 splits 1 and 4, with the first a common single-letter indicator from the world of physics. Another observation is on the writer at 19, whose work name is a pseudonym.That person had two other names, one absolutely real and the other somewhat so. An exotic bird indeed, whose output I would happily burn :D

  9. I found this an enjoyable tussle, loved the theme.
    19a nearly fell into my unacceptable GK type clue, but the checkers and careful reading of the wordplay got it off the hook.
    18d and 21d, along with the theme from 28/24a, were my favourites.
    A good start to the weekend.
    Thanks to all

  10. 1.5*/2.5*. A nice mini-theme which appealed to me but, as it’s a prize puzzle, I’ll refrain from posting an apt video.

    I think “enjoyment” is a big stretch as the definition for the answer to 1d, and the grid filler at 19a has rendered me speechless.

    Those apart, this was a light and reasonably enjoyable puzzle with 1a, 6a, 10a & 30a getting a special mention.

    Thanks to the setter and to CS.

  11. I’d never heard of the 19a writer and don’t feel inclined to further my education in that direction. Some quite good fun to be found elsewhere with 18d taking my gold star and a nod going to the cheeky 21d.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for the hints.

  12. Lovely guzzle! Ticks all over the place. Only real problem was 13a (on my must-visit list, but probably never) because I misspelled 8d!
    Ok, I’ll put 28/24a as fave just for fandom!
    Many thanks to Setter and to CS! Bon weekend!

    1. I misspelt 8d too making 13a harder than necessary,
      I thought this was a bit harder than the norm for an SPP but nice to be stretched a bit and a great theme when the penny dropped
      Thanks to CS and setter

  13. Pretty straightforward fare for a Saturday with only the writer at 19a holding me up. Never heard of the person, but the saving grace is the wordplay was spot on so no Googling necessary to solve the clue.

    Thanks setter and Sue. Memo to self: remember to look for themes/Ninas/hidden messages etc before coming onto the site.

  14. Very enjoyable, for me do much to like with anagrams and clever wordplay. 18d my favourite, I did not know 19a but got there in the end.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the hints.

  15. A curate’s egg for me. From the better end of 23d to the not so good end of 19a, although the latter was fairly clued and confirmable with an e-check, with a couple of ‘oldies but goodies’ like 14d in the middle.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 21d and 23d – and the winner is 23d.

    Thanks to whomsoever, I have the idea that NYDK may be having a Saturday off, and thanks to CS.

  16. I too am in the camp of people who enjoyed this puzzle and I am not too sure why it did not please all.
    My GK was once again stretched both with the writer and with the embedded Latvian, but both answers were eminently gettable from the clues.
    My ticks for the day go to 18d, 21d & 30a, but I give line honours to 14d just because I like the word…
    thanks to the setter and as ever to CS.

  17. Needed confirmation for 19a a new one on me.I did not find the puzzle that easy ,but doable with a little thought. I wonder why some people bother doing these puzzles if they find them so easy, I’m sure there are more taxing things to occupy their time. But then again maybe I’m just jealous of their ability 🤔. Thanks to all.

  18. This crossword did ratlle my brain a little. However, I can sense PC Security (anag) frowning so must refrain.
    Regarding the Battenburg: is it an age thing? In my younger years I would hoover up sweet items – cakes, chocolate… but now the thought of biting into the marzipan coat from Sue’s offering makes me shudder. I no longer crave jam, Aero bars, or eclairs. If I have a soft drink, it is the sugar-free version. I have become a sugar denier.

    Enjoyable crossword; completed without help – what a thrill!

    Thanks to the setter and Siouxie Sioux.

    1. I am about to make a lemon drizzle to keep me occupied whilst George watches rugby. Does that appeal? ( it is either bake a cake, tidy my studio or go into town and spend money).

      1. Oh go into town, Daisy, and kick up your heels. Though I really do think you should be watching the rugby with George! Should be a couple of crackers today..

        1. Certainly the first match Scotland v France had a nail-biting finish but I reckon Scotland was robbed. Let’s see what England v Wales brings in a few minutes.

    2. Terence, do you chuckle whilst typing your comments? Be
      Cause it makes us chuckle to imagine you chuckling! 😂 Also, a good Saturday puzzle. Thanks to all. Have a good weekend.

  19. This was quite kind, although I still have not found the theme. Still not sure that I fully understand 6a and 7d but it must be so and I await the arrival of my next pen. I particularly liked the eccentric Rye jeweller and 15a,18,21d. 11a was nicely misleading. I make no comment on 15a for fear of stirring the cauldron. Speaking of pens, mythical or otherwise, have we heard from Steve C lately ? His wife was back in hospital. Hope all is ok. Many thanks to the clever setter and the indefatigable CS. If you don’t fancy Battenberg there is a lemon drizzle on offer here.

    1. Steve C reported in a few days ago to say his presence would be infrequent for a while as he has fallen behind in marking papers and the deadline is looming.

  20. A tricky Saturday puzzle in spots but overall good. One answer I didn’t know was the writer, so strictly a DNF without a ton of Mr G and electronic help.


    Favourites include 11a, 28a/24a, 30a, 14d & 26d — with winner 26d, my first in.

    Thanks to setter and CS for blog/hints

  21. There were certain clues we weren’t keen on but apart from those this was ok. COTD by a country mile was 18d. Thanks to the setter and CS.

  22. A puzzle of two halves for me today. Half went in fairly straightforwardly, the second half was more of a challenge. 19a held me up for ages. Struggling with the theme, notwithstanding the comments above. Cotd for me was 27a and an apt description of CS’ hints. Thanks to compiler and CS

  23. I’m afraid the theme is passing me by….Have to wait for the full review for that.

    Generally an enjoyable puzzle with the huge exception of 19a…..what a clever setter to know that solution and how stupid are we solvers who don’t and have to google it……hm….

    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

  24. I did enjoy this though it was a DNF. I suspect 24/28a is a rock and roller, not at all my forté, of course an anagram so not hinted. I’ve read a few of 19a’s books, but I don’t really subscribe to her views, a bit extreme for me. My fave was 14d, what a lovely word. I also thought 21d rather clever.
    Thank you setter for a nice workout, and CS for the enlightenment. I’ll have to wait for my unsolved clues and the theme.

  25. Enjoyed that but will have to have 7d explained to me in due course. Had a ‘Doh!’ moment when I realised 14d was not an anagram after all

    Had to look up that author though!

    Thanks to setter and cryptic sue


  26. That wasn’t a barrowload of fun for me but managed to battle through. Current as in 7d had a different meaning yesterday. Hate use of “pants” as in 9d clue. Fav 21d although do admit that revolutionary is well used in cruciverbal clue speak. Have to admit to not knowing 19a so sought some help from MrG. Thank you Incognito and CS.

      1. Pants was used in the FT today: (redacted – comment Etiquette no 7 asks that there should be no discussion of other crosswords)

  27. Not a clue about the theme and I keep thinking if I could only find it then all would be clear.
    Never mind – maybe I’ll have another look a bit later.
    I thought this was quite tricky for Saturday.
    Like most others I’ve never heard of 19a.
    I’ve got a couple of answers I’m a bit doubtful about but they’ll have to wait.
    I liked 17 and 27a and 5 and 14d. My favourite was 16d.
    Thanks to the setter for the crossword and to CS for the hints and pics.

    1. I’m thinking that it has something to do with the rock and roller, but if you’re anything like me, you’re probably getting a blank.

      1. Google hits by 28/24a look up the lyrics to the first one that comes up, then look at the first 3 clues… Not sure that qualifies as a theme, more of a cross reference?

  28. I didn’t enjoy this as much as most Saturdays, despite knowing the writer in 19a. Well known on this side of the pond with at least two classics under her belt. Neither of which have I read. I often find highly rated books, like Oscar winning movies, are not my cup of tea. Although an obvious answer in 1d, I find it hard to equate it with enjoyment. A bit of a curate’s egg today. Hoping for a benevolent Dada tomorrow. Thanks to setter and CS.

  29. Completed in a shade over *time on a surprisingly warm 1st tee this morning with the exception of the writer whom I’ve never heard of. The wordplay (had to smile when reading Sue’s hint) has only just dawned on me some 8 hours later because I didn’t follow it properly & overlooked the importance of one word in the clue. Anyway Mr G has now told me all about her & the Latvian. Oblivious to the theme but think I’ve clocked it now. 21d was my favourite
    Thanks to Sue & the setter

  30. Regarding 19 a I put the knight clue in the wrong place but when I looked it up there was the writer. The Latvian annoyed me and so 8d is my worst sort of clue. If you’re into Florentine poets and dabbling in a very old fashioned way, then fine. I would never use the answer in normal conversation. I thought the connection to the Rock and Roller was pointless although very clever. Oh and one other bugbear, I very much doubt that a scrap metal dealer would do this. More like the opposite but only in specialised applications. Grump over.

  31. I knew I shouldn’t have put THAT writer in. Shame on me. I am hardly a fan after all, even if Rush (Canadian pseudo-progressive band) decided to populate their lyrics with that writer’s ideas. But I am glad I put the mini-theme in. I thought of the definition for the third across clue first, if you’re interested, and had a ‘what if I do this with it’ moment. So I did that with it.

    Scotland were robbed. That ball was clearly down. Mind you, so were Huddersfield, in a way, though I’m absolutely pleased as punch about that.

    Thanks to everyone for offering comments, and to PC Security (nice one, didn’t get that for about 10 weeks) for the hints.


        1. Many thank for replying – I just couldn’t think of any other DT setter who would be likely to use ‘prog’ as the main part of an answer to a clue!

    1. When I first met John Henderson, he used to call me ‘use’. Hopefully it won’t take you 10 weeks to see that one

    2. We solvers across the pond had no problem with the author. I’ve read a few of her books, I have no idea why, probably just because they were there and I read everything when I was younger. She certainly spawned some weird ideas.

    3. Thank you NYDJ (for that is what you always are to me, and I have several pairs of their trousers and it is so nice being an American size 6/8 instead of a UK 10/12) for an engaging guzzle. Now I’ve read the hints about the theme, but I am warmly snuggled in bed and the pepper is in the sitting room so discovering the theme must wait until morning. It was interesting to hear something of Silvanus’s method of constructing a guzzle, I bet you all approach it differently. I hope you never take any notice of the people who say rubbish puzzle, too hard, too obscure, too literary etc. Just think of the pigs ear they would make of constructing a guzzle!

  32. I mostly enjoyed this challenge.

    I managed to use Google poorly when grasping at straws for 19a and got a correct answer, just not the one that was required. Both were massively obscure to me.

    Thanks to all.

  33. I m late today as been doing chores again so dipped in and out as I could. Interesting comments today especially re the theme which I have not worked out so far. I found it pretty straightforward until held up majorly in the SW , not helped by having the first part of 27a wrong 🙄 – idiot ! I still have 19a to figure out also. Should be easy right , only 3 letters to find……Thanks NYD (I forgive you for 19a, gives us all something to talk/moan about ) 😀and CS for the hints.

  34. An enjoyable Saturday evening canter, coming in at **/*** for me. I knew 19a, but until recently only through references (mostly disparaging) in other writers’ work. Not long ago, I read her most famous novel on Blinkist (a sort of précis app if you haven’t come across it) and my word, found it dreary even in the 15 minute version.

  35. I don’t often fit in a crossword on a Saturday, but seeing this was a Doorknob construction meant I had to make the time — and I’m so glad I did. I loved the mini-theme! And I couldn’t pick a favourite between 27a (“brilliant goalie”), 18d (“scrap metal dealer”), and 21d (“V-sign”).

    Completed while watching singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore. Last night we went to see her in Leeds, at the gorgeous Howard Assembly Rooms. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a ticket to watch her again this evening in Gateshead — which, handily, was being broadcast online. So I got to relive last night’s performance from the kitchen table, with the crossword.

    I’d heard of the 19a writer, even though I haven’t read anything they’ve written and barely know anything about them — so they seemed like fair general knowledge to me, and I was surprised by so many above not having encountered them. However, I hadn’t heard of the Latvian in 8d — and also didn’t know the poet was from Florence, nor really the what the answer means. And while I’d heard of the 13a city, I didn’t know it was a port. Thank you to CrypticSue for the hint for that one.

    So to me (and I stress, etc …), all of those seem more obscure than the writer! It’d be impossible for setters to restrict themselves to only the intersection of general knowledge held by all solvers — and we’d miss out on so many fun and inventive clues! I just accept that some clues are going to reference things I don’t know. It doesn’t make them bad clues.

  36. Interesting that people either never heard of 19a or have an intense dislike of her. I enjoyed the ‘guzzle’ a lot and have been following y’all (expat now living in Virginia and learning Virginiaspeak) for a while now. I started with the DT helping my mum solve it in the 1970s, gravitated to the Grauniad at uni in Manchester in 1973 but returned to the DT fold in later years. Since I solve the puzzle in the evenings on the East Coast of the U.S. I will usually be a late poster. */***

    1. You could always solve it the evening before as it is available at 7:00 pm Eastern time (midnight in the UK). Then you could be an early poster.

    2. Hello, Roger — more late posters are very welcome! I often either solve later in the day (as you can see by my comment being the one above yours), or struggle so much it takes me till the following morning to complete, so it’s great to have others commenting then as well.

      Note that at least that day’s blogger will get notifications of all comments, however late they’re made, so there will always be somebody reading.

  37. D’oh – 48hrs later I get the theme. I kept looking at the answers rather than the clues themselves.

    Lovely puzzle – some v gentle clues and anagrams to get going. Lots to make you smile.

    Not least the mini theme!

  38. If 21 down is usual revolutionary against Reagan first name, how does this fit with famous rock and roller, letters in wrong place.

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