DT 30535 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30535

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30535
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty * –  Enjoyment ****

A wee bit of a chilly start to the day here in Harpenden but at least it’s not raining yet. No chance of golf today unfortunately as my course is back to carry only & my poorly shoulder won’t manage that. A visit to the cinema to knock off another of the BAFTA/Oscar nominees looks on the cards. The Holdovers remains the film I’ve probably most enjoyed thus far though I very much doubt it will win in the Best Film category.

I thought today’s AP production delightfully Quiptic, very enjoyable & with some excellent misleading surface reads. Not sure if my enjoyment was influenced by the first instance I can ever remember of managing to complete all of the clues in order. The only real head scratch this morning was twigging the Quickie pun which I must have said umpteen times before the penny dropped.

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 What fiddler might do? Behave obsequiously (6)

BOW AND SCRAPE: a cryptic definition (rather than a double definition I think) for toadying. The pronunciation of the first word in the answer is key. A perfect excuse to play a bit of bluegrass from a great band.

9a Flipping parrots deserved to be split up (9)

SEPARATED: reverse (flipping) a synonym for parrots or imitates then add another word for deserved.

10a Strongly heat pan (5)

ROAST: a double definition

11a Make attractive object, and repair on a regular basis (6)

ENDEAR: another word for object or aim + the alternate letters (on a regular basis) of repair.

12a Throw boot and harm John from America? (8)

BATHROOM: an anagram (throw) of BOOT & HARM. The John here references the fella pictured below who invented the first flusher.

13a The woman with German recluse (6)

HERMIT: a pronoun for the woman + the German for with.

15a Student made one fizzy drink (8)

LEMONADE: the single letter for student + an anagram (fizzy) of MADE ONE.

18a Spades were found inside and returned (8)

ANSWERED: insert (found inside) the single letter for spades (card suit) + WERE into AND. A neat clue.

19a Both ends of palace fixed with American’s money (6)

PESETA: the outer letters (both ends) of PalacE + a synonym for fixed + the single letter for American.

21a Wicked criminal dined with pals abandoning area (8)

SPLENDID: an anagram (criminal) of DINED & PaLS less (abandoning) the single letter for Area.

23a Upset postmistress? Not half! (6)

STRESS: a lurker (not half).

26a Appropriate time to tuck into marine mammal (5)

STEAL: insert (tuck into) the single letter for Time into a marine mammal.

27a Shout from Spaniard in half-conscious state showing open-mindedness (9)

TOLERANCE: insert the Spanish interjection into a half-conscious or hypnotic state.

28a Sometimes I now ache, line dancing (4,2,1,5)

ONCE IN A WHILE: an anagram (dancing) of I NOW ACHE LINE. No extra letter this week – I’ve counted ‘em.



1d Implore second European to cut tree (7)

BESEECH: insert the single letter for Second & for European into a tree (Fagus sylvatica) known as the queen of British trees apparently & rather magnificent too.

2d Wife and I put pressure on Edward to get cleaned (5)

WIPED: the single letter for Wife + I from the clue + the letter for Pressure + a diminutive for Edward.

3d Story from resident about a pair of rooks (9)

NARRATIVE: insert the chess abbreviation for a rook twice (pair of) into a synonym for resident or inhabitant.

4d Hate losing parking place (4)

SITE: delete the road sign letter for Parking from a synonym for hate.

5d Embarrassed Socialist confronted (3-5)

RED-FACED: the usual colour for a Socialist + another word for confronted.

6d Angler may be after this rod (5)

PERCH: a cryptic or a double definition? I’m never sure but will plump for the latter this time. A freshwater fish & an alternative name for a rod or pole that measures 16.5 feet, which is a quarter of the length of a surveyor’s chain apparently.

7d Ruin shoe on a golf course finally (8)

SABOTAGE: start with a simple shoe carved out of a single block of wood + A from the clue + the letter for Golf (NATO phonetic alphabet) + the last letter (finally) of coursE. A nice clue – the surface made me think you ain’t kidding after all this recent rain has closed many a course yet again.

8d Drunk is yet to swallow medium Scotch (6)

STYMIE: insert the single letter for Medium into an anagram (drunk) of IS YET. A nicely misleading surface & nowt to do with the tipple. Definition is in the context of impede or block – in match play golf once upon a time it was a term used when a ball on the putting green obstructed the opponent’s line to the hole & didn’t have to be marked if it was more than six inches away.

14d Determined lovers staggered editor (8)

RESOLVED: an anagram (staggered) of LOVERS + the usual abbreviation for editor.

16d Defeat with six balls in cricket pitch (9)

OVERTHROW: the term for six balls in cricket + a synonym for pitch or fling.

17d Bags emptied initially with not much rubbish (8)

BELITTLE: the first (initially) letter of the opening two words in the clue + a word for not much. Another nicely misleading surface.

18d Is tense with animal on back (6)

ASSIST: IS from the clue & the single letter for Tense preceded by an animal of the horse family with longer ears & a braying call.

20d Strict novelist shortly penning finales of the chapter (7)

AUSTERE: insert the last two letters (finales) of chaptER into a truncated (shortly) writer’s surname whose 6 novels were published (2 posthumously) in the early 19th century & have been superbly adapted many times on both large & small screen.

22d Note variable length with both old and new fabric (5)

NYLON: four single letters – for Note, Length, Old & New with a mathematical variable inserted.

24d Tedium from some taxi unnecessarily turning up (5)

ENNUI: a reverse lurker (some/turning up) located in the two words between the indicators.

25d Design detailed aircraft (4)

PLAN: remove the final letter (de-tailed) from a word for an aircraft.





I’ll plump for 7&8d as my top two here. I also had ✅s against 1,27&28a plus 6&17d Please tell us which ones ticked your boxes.

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: MAR+ CAN+ TINNY =  MARK ANTHONY


111 comments on “DT 30535
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  1. Wondered a bit about 3d, does the ‘resident’ bit really work without ‘al’ on the end?
    Apart from that query, a good bread and butter type of puzzle, nothing really to get caught up on.
    On a separate matter, I found this little flower growing very near the bird table (see pic) does anybody know what it is?

      1. Yep you’re quite right, I’ve got ION, last one for me was 18a which I looked at the hint for but never put into the grid, maybe should have to see the error!

        1. You’re not alone in that mistake, Tipcat, I did as well. I could make no sense of 18a until I got it sorted. Mighty irritating isn’t it? Otherwise a comfortable solve. I’d also go along with the crocus suggestion. It looks quite weather damaged or stood upon. We have a few yellow crocusses in flower just now and one of those is looking just as poorly – mind you, our postman doesn’t help them by walking on them from our neighbour’s house across the border to ours. Thank you to today’s setter and Huntsman – especially for enlightenment on the 3d/18a combination :-)

          1. Sadly it was rather weather beaten, had to pick it to bring it in to take the picture, and it went rather limp nearly straightaway. Will see if anymore are growing elsewhere when to rain stops.

            1. Have now looked on the web and reckon it is Crocus tommasinianus, which is an early crocus. Any better suggestions gratefully received.

    1. Hi Tipcat,

      The word for resident ends in ‘ive’ not ‘ion’ so an extra ‘al’ wouldn’t work.

      Can you give an idea of size on the flower (not river!)?

    2. Google Lens is a useful tool to have on your phone to identify a mass of flora and fauna. It confirms it is a crocus variety.

      1. Welcome to the blog, PeeBee.

        I’m hoping that your alias has nothing to do with your initials and that there’s another story behind it?

  2. 7d was my final entry this morning and was a favourite along with 28a for a great surface read. I found the whole grid most entertaining without being particularly taxing, which should please the majority of the commentariat.

    My thanks to Mr P and The Hintsman.

  3. fairly straight forward for me today though I was delayed by 7d where I had not come across this shoe before.
    I enjoyed 21a and thought 6d a good example of it so give it my award for the day.
    Thanks to AP and Hintsman for the fun.

  4. Splendid.

    Solid, as ever, from the professor with stacks of great surfaces.

    My LOI was 18a which was an excellent construction.

    My podium is the aforementioned, 8a (brilliant) and 15a.

    Many thanks to AP and Hintsman.


    1. Regarding 6d, I think it’s just a simple double definition.

      I don’t think it’s linked to the 16.5 foot pole. It’s just something for a bird to sit on.

      1. While we are often of like mind in this instance I beg to differ, Tom – a Rod is another name for a 6d, they are both 16.5ft long. And as a unit of measurement, so is a Pole.

        1. I must be missing something, MG.

          I took rod to be the thing that a bird roosted on in a cage.

          It can also be the 16.5 feet one but I’m not sure the setter meant that.

          1. Tom. I initially thought the same as you, it being a Tuesday back-pager. Now I’m not so sure. The rod/pole/perch/lug are all historical units of length (and a surveyor’s tool apparently). That more obscure reference would be better suited to a Toughie clue. I suppose it’s a bit academic – the clues works either way.

            1. I think you’re right, J.

              I’ll go with the simple one though, thanks to the above solvers, I have now been educated which works for me as I love weights and measures.

              Did you know that an acre (4240 yards) is a chain (22 yards, i.e 4 rods – get me!) multiplied by a furlong (furrow long) that is 10 chains (220 yards)? I’m sure many of you know that there are 8 furlongs in a mile (8 x 220 = 1760 yards)

              We love it!

              1. Here’s another piece of useful(?) information – Network Rail, and its predecessors, measure track distances in miles and chains – 80 chains to a mile.

                  1. I mean you could hang them in a gallery – they are works of art IMO and just as good as a book for bedtime reading too

        1. Do they teach young children about historical units of length like the rod, pole or perch in Lincolnshire primary schools these days? They never taught me about them in the late 50s.

          1. As a retired Surveyor and son of an agricultural Valuer and Surveyor (both from Lincolnshire!) I can vouch for Rod, Perch or Pole as units of measurement and I remember seeing my late father measure up a field by throwing a metal chain 22 yards long, sometime in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s.

          2. I thought that being taught rods, poles and perches in the fifties was irrelevant, but once I started playing cricket I appreciated chains, and I’ve hooked on the game ever since.

        2. Further to your banter re old measurements I thought this might interest you. My husband is currently reading Enclosure of Edgworth Moor 1795-7 published by the local History Society ref illustrations [The land measure use in the Enclosure of Edgworth Moor was the Cheshire Acre (A), the Rood (R), and the square Perch (P). In this system a linear Perch measures 8 yards. In area measure 1 P=64 square yards, 1 R=40P and 4R=1A.]

          1. Thanking you, Hi-Up.

            I just can’t get enough of all this numbers malarkey (fine word)….yards of ale….flagons…..fathoms….pecks…cubit (and West)….scruples…slugs.

            Marvellous, parvellous, tarvellous.

              1. An extremely fair question, Banksie.

                The answer is ‘No’ which is great news for me because being in this psychedelic state is free.

                Just imagine what I’d be like if I did partake in the naughty stuff.

                I’d be in a padded cell before you could sing…Lucy in the sky with diamonds.

                    1. i wasn’t suggesting you should change or that i was negative about your valuable input

                      As you say though, i think it was a fair question

  5. A very enjoyable Typically Tuesdayish Anthony Plumb production using one of his ‘favourite’ 15×15 grids as well as his ‘standard’ Quickie grid; incidentally, the back page grid has also been used by Dada for the last two Sunday puzzles – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, 4d, and 6d – and the winner is the 6d five and a half yards.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  6. Thouroughly enjoyable and gentle solve today. Pleased to get 1a straight away which always sets me up for a pleasant coffee time. The misdirection at 21a held me up the longest and I’m not totally sure of the synonym at 18d. Lots of ticks on my paper today so difficult to choose but I’ll go for 18a as favourite supported by 6d, which took me back to school maths, and 7d. Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  7. A fairly gentle puzzle – thanks to our setter and Huntsman.
    6d brought back memories of the various lengths we had to learn in maths at school.
    I wasn’t keen on 7d where the answer is derived from the shoe.
    The clues which ticked my boxes were 18a and 17d (and the Quickie pun).

  8. A gentle puzzle for me today but a very enjoyable one.

    Rods, poles and 6ds…gosh that rang a very faint bell. I think we had to know of their existence but did not necessarily have to know how long they were or do sums with them ….thank goodness. We were already dealing with £ s d which was taxing enough for me. What is 5/8 of a pound ? 12/6 Must sound ridiculous now.

    Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.
    Beautiful sunny day here but cold.

    1. In the latter days of my hockey umpiring I used an old crown for the coin toss. The playing (post decimal) youngsters were in awe and wonder that something so large could be a 25p piece. I told them that it was the most impressive part of my umpiring performance. Sadly many a true word is etc. 😩
      Thank you to Mr Plumb and the frustrated golfer – just think of the balls you haven’t lost. I hate carrying my bag, probably because my trolley is dual purpose and nowadays doubles as a Zimmer frame. I did rather like 1a.

    2. That was when shop cashiers could calculate the correct change to give you, as there were no machines working it out for them. They all managed perfectly well doing it in their heads, despite the complications of £SD.

  9. A rather lovely puzzle, and while completed in double-quick time with minimal need to revisit any clues after the first read through, re-reading the clues afterwards paid dividends: it really is a rather splendid puzzle from beginning to end. As Huntsman said in his review, “… delightfully Quiptic […] some excellent misleading surface reads.” I thought the surfaces were super, so much humour in many of them; a good range of clue types, any GK all very basic, and everything so well balanced – AP (or whomever else the setter may be) has made sure that all clues are of similar standard and difficulty, that they are all very polished and absolutely gettable: a very good demonstration of the art of setting a puzzle.

    For me the podium places go to 9a, 18a and 28a, with the splendid 19a & 7d following close on their heels – but there could have been many others.

    1* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter and to Huntsman

  10. Nicely clued from start to finish, gentle and enjoyable, liked 1a, favourite was 17a followed by 27a. 8d and 6d
    Agree with Huntsmans */**** , don’t remember going for a *
    Spot on Quickie pun to boot-thanks to setter for he fun.

  11. 1*/3.5*. This was good fun and very light with only 7d requiring some head scratching,

    Even though it is in the BRB, I’m not entirely convinced that “deserved” in 9d is an exact synonym for “rated”. Can anyone offer a sentence please where one can replace the other?

    My top picks were 18a, 28a & (my favourite) 6d plus the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks presumably to Anthony Plumb and also to Hintsman.

    1. Hi RD,
      The synonym is ‘rated’ as in ‘merited’…
      “The incident didn’t even rate a mention in the press.”

  12. Great puzzle from AP. Nothing too strenuous but plenty of clever surfaces. Didn’t quite manage to get them all in order like our esteemed blogger (congrats, Mr H 👍) but not far off. 18a was my last in and gets the podium vote for the neat misdirection.

    Thanks Huntsman and Mr. Plumb

  13. Nice gentle stuff from our setter today – does wonders for the ego!
    Top three here were 1&28a plus 7d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the review – enjoy your afternoon at the cinema.

    1. Never made it Jane. Realised I had a scheduled visit from the property management company to discuss budgets & reserve funds, which I had to deal with as I’m the director of our small development of apartments.

      1. I am also a director of our small development of apartments! Being small makes it easier to deal with the budget, thankfully.
        Lovely guzzle today, 1a and 28a were quick to get and I liked 12a. Thankyou to you both.

  14. I found this quite Mondayish — which was unfortunate, because I can rarely manage the Monday puzzles, and I definitely got stuck on this one. Like Jane, this puzzle affected my ego, though deflating it in my case. (Those who know me probably think that’s a good thing.)

    I hadn’t heard of the 1a expression, and nor did I associate the final word with something violinists do. For 7d I looked at the hint, then got more confused trying to fit “clog” or “clogg” in there (I didn’t know there was another wooden shoe), gave up and revealed the answer. Then I needed hints from another half dozen to finish, even with the crossing letters from already-hinted answers. Thank you to Huntsman for all the assistance, and the setter for setting.

    My favourite is 18a, my last in (only after reading its hint, of course). Of the answers I managed myself, I liked 23a for its topicality — well, as topical as something that’s been going on for 2 decades can be, but upset postmistresses have been in the news a lot lately since that ITV drama at the beginning of the year.

    Last week there was an abundance of crosswords that suited me, so regression to the mean (or do I mean pride before a fall?) suggests there wouldn’t be as many this week. It all balances out in the end!

  15. Yes, Mr. Plumb on a Tuesday has again provided a smoother ride for me than was the case on Monday. All very fair clues. 12a in the John context is definitely a US term. Rubbish is more forceful than 17d. Fav 18a. TVM AP and Huntsman.

    1. I think john as a slang term for toilet is more widely used over the pond but its origins are definitely are definitely from this side of it.

      1. Huntsman, yes I apppreciate the meaning of john possibly both sides of the Pond but question 12a as a synonym this side.

    2. I couldn’t figure out why the “John from America” in the clue. Though I’ve heard it before, I thought it more Brit. I should get out more!

  16. One for the learners.
    Nicely constructed.
    My only delay was 7d.
    Got into a groove
    Insisting ‘on’ was part
    Of the answer.
    Silly me.
    Love Tuesday,.
    Many thanks Mr.Plumb and

  17. Straightforward but with enough head scratchers to make it really interesting. Hadn’t heard of the shoe so had to Google it and to my surprise there it was. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  18. Seemed like an easier puzzle than is usual for Tuesday to me. Just a couple of head scratchers.


    Favourites 12a, 19a, 21a, 2d, 17d & 24d — with winner 21a

    Thanks to setter & Huntsman for blog/hints

  19. I seemed to be on the right wavelength until stumped by 18a. Like others, I was caught out by having the wrong ending to 3d – so there were a couple of slips before I could remove the covers and get out of bed.
    The morning was then disturbed by the arrival of a lorry and a crane. The team had arrived to put a warning sign on the telegraph pole in an obscure corner of my neighbour’s garden. You all know the sign which gives warning of death if you climb the pole.
    Well, they started to cut the ivy which obscures the lower half of the pole, then decided to staple the notice to the top – illegible to my 90 year old neighbour, so I warned her not to climb up to read it.
    Guess who had to clear up the ivy left on her lawn.

  20. Amused by 7 Down.
    As I often do, I looked up the etymology/derivation of the answer- crosswords often put a new light on oft used words/terms.
    In this case to find complete APPOSITION
    “kick something with an old-fashioned wooden shoe”

  21. It wasn’t so much of a tricky solve as a tricky parse! I spent more time trying to work out the “why” as I did getting the answer. Like others, getting the wrong ending to 3d was a humbug, holding up 18a, which fortunately meant just paying attention and doing as you’re told. I didn’t like the “wicked” synonym at 21a; dare I say the word slang? Fave was 7d.
    Thank you setter for my Tuesday fun, and to Huntsman for the enlightenment.

    1. I thought the same re wicked although I know it’s been around a long time in that use, so long it is probably out of use now.

    2. Back in my schooldays in the 1950s, we didn’t say ‘wicked’, but ‘evil’ if a thing was great or brilliant.

  22. Clearly my education has been sadly neglected. 7d was the lone holdout in completing the top half unaided as I had never heard of this shoe, and the hint doesn’t work with clog 😊. Otherwise an enjoyable challenge today. Particularly liked 28a and 8d, followed closely by 1a. Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  23. I belong to the rod/pole/perch answer to 6d I enjoyed the trip down Memory Lane
    Have a go at the Toughie. I found it quite friendly

  24. It takes me hours to complete only two thirds of the DT crossword. Now, thanks to you, I’m finally improving. Thanks!

    1. Hi Katherine. That was me 4 years ago. Learning curve is steep and very rewarding and this blog is so helpful as you have found. I only joined started contributing to the blog this year , previously lurking . I often wonder how many lurkers are out there.

  25. For some reason the last 4 or 5 clues took ages to finish, including the very clever 18a which is now my favourite. So for me not as easy as come others found but definitely very enjoyable to complete.

    Many thanks to Mr P and to Huntsman for the hints.

  26. Rains back here in the East but this puzzle certainly brightened my day 😃 ***/**** My Favourites were 26 & 27a and 4d & 7d 👍 Thanks to Anthony P and to the Huntsman 🤗

  27. As expected when I had finished and was on my way to this site the 1* rating was there and I wondered how cutting I would find the comments. All but one were fine. The exception was the comment that this was a learner’s crossword. I must be in the class for those challenged in their learning or as it was called when I was at the grammar school, the daft school.

    For me an excellent crossword with clues straight out of Chris Lancaster’s guide to solving the Telegraph puzzle.

    Many thanks to Huntsman and AP.

  28. For no reason at all, just a fine lesson!

    Smith climbed to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God.
    Looking up, he asked the Lord.. “God, what does a million years mean to you?”
    The Lord replied, “A minute.”
    Smith asked, “And what does a million dollars mean to you?”
    The Lord replied, “A penny.”
    Smith asked, “Can I have a penny?”
    The Lord replied, “In a minute.”

  29. Another good puzzle and almost completed it without help but needed the hints for 18a and 18d. Earlier
    I had the right answer for 18a but failed to see it was an anagram and dismissed it!! Cotd 1a. Many thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman. Incidentally, Huntsman I went to see the Holdovers the other week. It was purely accidental, as the film my friend wanted to see was withdrawn 2 days before our visit. Read the synopsis and wasn’t too sure whether we would enjoy it but it was well acted and though partly comedic, it had serious lessons about life!

  30. So pleased to complete a Tuesday puzzle unaided. Have been following you all for a couple of years. Love your chat and I have gradually improved my solving technique with the guidance notes. I am hooked now.
    I also loved the reference to the old measurements today as I did learn them at school – I am giving away my age bracket now!

    1. Glad to have you on board HPT. You will find plenty of folk on here willing offer valuable help along with the nonsense 😁

  31. Good evening
    On my way into work this afty, I chose my lucky green pen to attack today’s crozzie, and had all bar six entered; and then, on my break, I prepared to finish off – and sat, and stared, and sat, and stared some more. Eventually I found myself visiting a cheat site for 7d, which was my last to fall. The first five letters represent a type of shoe that I’d never heard of! So my stock of GK increases again.

    Some definite stretching of synonyms going on, especially when it came to 18a, which is my COTD.

    Many thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman.

  32. This was a wonderful puzzle that I started under the drier at the hairdressers, and just now completed with feet up by the fire. No huge holdups but as others have said some excellent clues so was a lot of fun. Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  33. Made the same mistake with 3 d as others so 18 a was not in. When I saw the puzzle was rated I star for difficulty that was the proverbial red rag. Got it sorted before turning to Huntsman. At least a triumph from a day spent nursing the vile cough that is doing the rounds . Many thanks to Huntsman and Mr. Plumb.

  34. I didn’t manage to finish before my 10am deadline but, with only two to go, I came back to it later and completed it, although I did need the hint for 18a. A fine guzzle in my estimation and I wasn’t bothered by 3d as others seem to have been. I was reminded of school French lessons at 7d because we had to learn a song that had the chorus “Avec mes sabots”. To the frustration of our French master we always pronounced it “sa BOTS”. My COTD is the drunk having another scotch at 8d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun diversion over the morning pint of coffee. Thank you, Hintsman for the hunts.

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