DT 30541 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30541

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30541
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** –  Enjoyment ***

Another solid AP offering today. Largely straightforward though with a couple of trickier clues that perhaps made it slightly more difficult than yesterday. For me it didn’t hit the heights of last week’s puzzle but was still enjoyable.

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 Part of book from fellow writer reduced by fifty per cent (7)

CHAPTER: another word for fellow + half of (reduced by fifty per cent) writer.

5a Incompetent former tennis player taken in by American (7)

USELESS: insert (taken in) a former world number one & winner of nine major singles titles into an abbreviation for American.

9a God, your leaders have dropped bouquet! (5)

ODOUR: remove the initial letter (leaders have dropped) from the first two words in the clue & link them.

10a Crooked dice – and it showed (9)

INDICATED: an anagram (crooked) of DICE AND IT.

11a Vessels, for instance, at sea with no female (10)

CONTAINERS: another anagram (at sea) of fOR INSTANCE excluding the single letter for Female.

12a Pig swallowing the last of corn flakes (4)

SNOW: insert (swallowing the last of) the final letter of corN into what an adult female pig is called.

14a Carefully, French composer cut grass somewhere in Cambridgeshire (12)

DELIBERATELY: delete the final letter (cut) from a 19th Century French Romantic composer, best known for ballets & operas + a synonym for grass (not the stuff you cut) + a cathedral city in the county.

18a Show relative daughter, Joanna (7,5)

CONCERT GRAND: a show or musical performance + an abbreviation for a female relative + the genealogical letter for Daughter.

21a Just working before the end of the financial year (4)

ONLY: a synonym for working precedes the final letter of financiaL + the single letter for Year.

22a Romeo and Oscar in bath with a gloomy singer (10)

TROUBADOUR: insert the letters that Romeo & Oscar denote (NATO phonetic alphabet) into another word for bath (also an abbreviation) then link with A from the clue + a synonym for gloomy. The answer prompted me to play Van’s song about them from his album Into The Music but that would have been too obvious so here’s another of his with a fella who can also hold a tune.

25a Spoke to lad left cut and bandaged (9)

ADDRESSED: delete (cut) the letter for Left from (l)AD in the clue then link with another word meaning bandaged.

26a Spiral-horned animal amateur held back in North America (5)

NYALA: insert & reverse (held/back) a word meaning amateur into the single letter for North & for America.

27a Nurses interrupting diagnosis tersely (7)

SISTERS: a lurker (interrupting)

28a Like a happy face ? Artist didn’t, after change of heart (7)

RADIANT: the usual two letter abbreviation for an artist + DIdNT in the clue with the middle letter amended.


1d Finest ice-cream not cold in the middle (6)

CHOICE: delete the single letter for cold from an ice-cream.

2d Measure a horse (6)

AMOUNT: A from the clue + a word for a horse.

3d Leant on the tree and collapsed (10)

THREATENED: an anagram (collapsed) of THE TREE AND.

4d Rule check discussed (5)

REIGN: a homophone (discussed) of a synonym for check.

5d Boxers perhaps disorientated- dare we run? (9)

UNDERWEAR: an anagram (disorientated) of DARE WE RUN.

6d Every adult caught in what? (4)

EACH: place the single letters for Adult & Caught (cricket) into an exclamation expressing inquiry or surprise.

7d Ten teens forged alliances (8)

ENTENTES: another anagram (forged) of TEN TEENS.

8d How a crab moves rocks getting fish inside (8)

SIDEWAYS: place a freshwater fish (also known as an orfe) inside of a synonym for rocks or swings.

13d Supported principal group of volunteers once in education (10)

MAINTAINED: a bit of lego here; a synonym for principal + the acronym for the active-duty volunteer reserve force for the British Army (now called the Army Reserve hence once) + IN from the clue + the abbreviation for EDucation.

15d Concerns about interrupting in exams (9)

INTERESTS: start with IN from the clue then add a synonym for exams into which you insert the usual preposition for about.

16d People in the circus lifting whale? Crazy! (8)

ACROBATS: reverse (lifting in a down clue) the name for a killer whale + an informal adjective for crazy.

17d Comprehends clues I’d composed around November (8)

INCLUDES: an anagram (composed) of CLUES I’D with the letter for November (NATO phonetic alphabet) inserted. I can’t recall coming across the definition in this context before & had to check it out post solve.

19d Piece of music child put on a tad short (6)

SONATA: a male child + A from the clue & TAd truncated (short).

20d Unruly European king managed to be on time (6)

ERRANT: the single letter for European + the regnal letter for king + a synonym for managed + the single letter for Time.

23d Some chauffeured dutifully over part of Jersey?

UDDER: a reverse lurker (some/over) found in the words between the indicators

24d Present from the woman he’d unwrapped (4)

HERE: a female pronoun + what remains of hE’d once the outer letters are removed (unwrapped).




No particular clue stood out as a favourite but if pressed I’d select a podium of 14&22a with 3d. Please tell us which ones ticked your boxes.

Here’s a clip of the most well known piece from the fella at 14a. It’s from the opera which, if memory serves, was a favourite of our much missed contributor from Charleston

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: FIN+ GUN+ HAILS =  FINGER NAILS


90 comments on “DT 30541
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  1. Lots and lots of ticks for me today but a slower solve due to a number of notably harder clues.
    14a I thought somewhat obscure and might be something more readily found in the toughie – but maybe that’s because I don’t know much about 19th century French composers…
    26a was a new beast to me and I needed our Hintsman’s help to understand the “once” in 13D.
    17D I was surprised to find this usage in the dictionary – well you live and learn.
    And now to the goodies, in addition to the many single ticks the double ticks go to 18a,22a,28a, and 1d,16d & 23d. My pick for top prize today goes to 23D for the amusing misdirection.
    Thanks to the setter and to Hintsman.

  2. A one pipe problem which went from N to S with a moment of head scratching at the GK 26a luckily parsable as I hadn’t come across said beast before. A healthy number of anagrams for this pleasant solve although no particular standouts and some old favourites including 23d. Thanks Huntsman and our setter.

  3. Very Typically Tuesdayish – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 14a, 1d, 8d, and 16d – and the winner is the somewhat of an oldie but goodie 8d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman especially for the duet from Lakmé (which always reminds me of the British Airways TV commercial).

  4. To paraphrase our blogger, solid and straightforward with a couple of tricky parsings to test the grey matter. I particularly enjoyed the Lego clues at 14 and 22a.

    Thanks to Mr P and The Hintsman.

  5. Light and enjoyable accompaniment to the morning coffee, a smooth top to bottom with the exception of 5a, my LOI – I keep forgetting the DT allows the inclusion of living people; GK otherwise all straightforward – since I knew it! – otherwise I can see it may have been slightly more toothy. Podium places to 14a, 22a and 16d.

    1 / 3

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman

    1. Hi MG

      I didn’t know that other broadsheets don’t have living people in their crosswords.

      Thank you for that snippet of information.

          1. I’d love to know the answer. There are some odd conventions, certainly. For instance, why does “on” mean (on the) right in an across clue and (on the) top in a down? What about a fly that’s on the ceiling, etc? And then there is “on the train” of course..

            1. ¡ʎlsnoıʌqo ‘sǝlƃƃıƃ ɹoɟ ʇsnɾ ‘ʍou pɹoʍssoɹɔ uʍop ǝpısdn uɐ ǝlıdɯoɔ oʇ ǝʌɐɥ ʇɥƃıɯ I

              1. I didn’t know you spoke Thai. Oh go on, you know you want to. One thing’s for sure…Silvanus would absolutely HATE an upside-down crossword!

                1. 🙃 ¿snuɐʌlıs s,oɥʍ

                  Actually ฉันรู้ภาษาไทยนิดหน่อย​, but that above was a special MI5 font specially for communicating with our Australian personnel 😂

                2. Speaking of this sort of thing, my emoji cryptic crossword has been at the planning stage for quite some time.
                  Example clue: 💦🍋💥= watermelon. Geddit? 😁

            1. Boom!

              It’s like you are permanently in the wings, occasionally popping your head around the curtain and coming out with a one-liner.

              I love it.

  6. A truly unaided solve today as I didn’t even open a dictionary. I was tempted to check the synonym at 17d, but it could have been nothing else. Today’s anagram count certainly made up for their paucity yesterday and I did like the surface read at 7d. Spoilt for choice for a favourite so take your pick from a podium of 14a, 22a and 16d. Thanks to Mr Plumb for the pleasure and Huntsman. I may not have needed your hints but I did enjoy your choice of music.

  7. Good morning

    Earlier finish than usual – I’ve booked a day’s leave to go to a gig this evening; I’m currently experiencing the delight of waiting indoors for a delivery. Order tracking says it left the depot at 06:54…. but where’s the depot?

    Anyway, to the crozzie. Excellent challenge today; I did have to look up 26a, and despite the explanation given by our esteemed blogger Huntsman The Hintsman, I still don’t know the front half of the answer to 14a.

    As to the COTD, 9 and 22a were strong contenders, but the splendidly witty 23d is the winner.

    Many thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman.

  8. Very enjoyable.

    The prof is most certainly Mr Consistency.

    My LOI was 14a because all the checkers were vowels. So, I couldn’t get my teeth into it. A great clue though as it conjures up a most random scene as did 22a! I have chosen Mr Wilde as my ‘Oscar’, cursing the gloomy singer at the ‘taps’ end.

    My podium is the aforementioned along with the circus performers holding up the monster marine mammal.

    How do you get two whales in a car? Cross the Severn Bridge.

    Wey hey!

    Many thanks to AP and Hintsman.


  9. I’ll go along with our reviewer’s description of ‘solid’ for this one. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.
    My boxes were ticked by 12a, 1d and 8d.

  10. Found this quite a chewy one which involved some darting about the grid to nail the final few. Top three here similar to that of others – 14&16a plus 16d which I thought was a good spot by our setter.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the hints and the rendition of the Flower Duet.

  11. 1.5*/3*. I’ll go along with the word of the day – solid!

    I was concerned that we were in for an anagram-fest as, when I started and filled in the top third there were five anagrams. However, it turned out that there was only one more after that.

    14a & 1d were my top two.

    Many thanks the setter and to Hintsman.

  12. An enjoyable crossword for me today solved on the train to York where we are having a short break. Maybe not the best month to have chosen for it but hey ho it is a break…and Bettys tearooms are there.

    Struggled a bit with 13d but otherwise all good for me. Immensely pleased with myself for remembering the spiral horned animal at 26a.
    Favourite 16d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman .Hope your engineer comes soon…and ShnagaJi’s delivery.

  13. So distressing – no mention of The Beatles, the National Park in northern Tanzania, or the band of musicians. They have become friends in recent times and now, I understand that particularly the harmless, indeed blameless savanna, known for its massive annual migration of wildebeest and zebra, is to be retired from these pages. This calamitous decision must not go gently into the night unchallenged. As usual, I have written a strong letter to Mr Lancaster, copying in Mr Sunak, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Taylor Swift, and I expect this wrong to be addressed and corrected at once.

    Good crossword. One or two tricky fellows to keep one on one’s toes.

    Thanks to Daisy for mentioning H the other day. H is now feeling much better; she has shaken off that 100 day cough and the virus seems to have migrated. We are back undertaking lovely walks when we can.

    Thanks to the setter and Hintsman On The First Tee. I enjoyed the Van/Mick choon. I hadn’t heard that version before.

    1. The album has some great collaborations – well worth a listen if you don’t know it. Pleased to hear H on the mend.

  14. I always look forward to a piece of cake on a Tuesday and today was another delicious example particularly in the bottom half. Enjoyable to unravel some convoluted clues. Too many candidates vying to be Fav but 23d particularly amused. Many thanks MrP for another confection and to Huntsman for being there in case of need and for the joy of hearing the emotive Flower Duet.

  15. All went swimmingly until I made a total horlicks of the SE starting with the completely wrong bung in at 13d. The alarm bells should have rung with a dodgy attempt to parse my answer, but another spiral horned animal at 26a fit so all must be right, yes? No, as I found out trying to finish 20d and 28a. Still with Huntsman knocking some sense into my errors, all was completed. A duo of cotd in 16d and 18a, the latter being a bit of an old chestnut but still a goodie. Thanks to compiler and Huntsman.

  16. I very much enjoyed completing this one. Some great clues and enough to get a little of the grey matter working.

    GK was fine for me, and the composer was my COTD. I also had a smile from 23d’s misdirection.

  17. An enjoyable solve over lunch. Nothing too taxing, but had to check the French Composer chap. The surface read at 16d made me smile.
    Thanks Huntsman and Mr P

  18. My fastest solve in a long time. Nothing taxing at all, which is a little disappointing as I enjoy a bit of a stretch of the brain cells.

  19. I found this puzzle more approachable than yesterday’s, unlike some others. Perhaps it’s because I really like General Knowledge based clues. I likes the 5a lego clue, the 18a GK based clue and the 3d anagram with clever misdirection. Thanks to Huntsman for the hints and to Mr P for a rather fine guzzle

    1. Chriscross, it’s obviously a wavelength thing but I usually find Tuesdays more “approachable” than Mondays and, as I have said, that was the case today.

  20. I too thought we were in for an anagramfest, but I personally don’t mind them.
    Lovely to see the lovely Monica immortalised in Xwordland, though I think we’ve see her here before, probably in that clue/answer.
    Funnily enough 26a jumped out at me, another popular denizen of Xwordland’s plains.
    Outstanding faves were 22a and 23d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  21. 17d? Hmm.
    Otherwise, a workmanlike
    Solve of novel
    Witty and testing
    Many thanks to the
    Setter and Huntsman,
    Especially for the opera,
    Coming a day after memories
    Of Callas and’Casta Diva,
    A joy.

  22. Just one word in this Tuesday puzzle I didn’t know, but worked it out from cross checking letters.

    1.5*/3.5* today

    Favourites 18a, 22a, 25a, 5d, 16d & 23d — with 23d/16d the

    Thanks to AP & Huntsman for hints/blog

  23. I enjoyed this charming challenge before girding up my loins and driving to Birmingham, where I shall be looking after granddaughter, dogs and house whilst daughter (no 2) sails the seven seas with her husband.
    Many thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  24. Am I the only person not wild about 26a?!
    I could think of several three letter synonyms for amateur that could plausibly be reversed and inserted.
    If you know the animal, fine, but otherwise it strikes me as little more than guesswork / trial and error.
    Otherwise, enjoyed the puzzle; many thanks.

    1. I couldn’t get it either and it then seemed obvious when I looked at the answer. The BRB had the synonym under a 6 letter word so I missed it (trying not to give the answer here).

  25. I have to agree with “solid”. 15d’s “interrupting” was a slight shame as it does share the answer’s first five letters and ’d have preferred another insertion indicator. But 11a was quite sweet and 16d was fun – made a welcome change from the usual tumblers. Thanks to AP and Huntsman (can’t beat a bit of Van) but where’s Paul Giamatti at 8d?!

  26. Another enjoyable solve with so many amusing clues 😃 **/**** amongst them 12 & 22a and 1d, 2d and 16d 🤗 Thanks to the compiler 🤔 AP and to the Huntsman👍 Hand up those of you thinking of building an ark or swopping golf for canoeing as a past time 😳

  27. Again, I found this tricky but don’t know why, but very enjoyable. I need to get my brain in gear before tackling the puzzles. I had to use word search for my last in, 22a, why? Like most of the clues, all you had to do was obey the instructions and there was your answer. I did, however, disagree with 9a, to me that is not “bouquet”, aroma would be fine, but the answer to 9a better describes a sewer. I liked lots, 18a and 16d stand out for me, but fave has to be 14a, Huntsman has so kindly provided us with one of my fave pieces of music.
    Thank you AP for the fun, a happy solve today, and Huntsman for providing the parsing for some. It’s cold here, roll on August!

    1. Merusa, “bouquet” is used to describe the aroma of wine. For me, 9a is a neutral term; you can have a bad 9a (e.g. when applied to a sewer, to use your example) and a pleasant 9a (e.g. perfume).

  28. I will borrow Jane’s verdict of “chewy” today, caused by 14a, 26a and 17d. Otherwise a steady solve, mostly unaided. Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  29. As with Prawn (no relation!) I had difficulty with the spiral horned animal otherwise a smooth solve thank you Huntsman and setter

  30. I enjoyed this nice mix of clues, although on first pass I got hardly any. Suddenly the light switched on and I managed about 3/4 before heading out and then on my return all the rest fell into place. I rather liked 22a.

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

  31. Another enjoyable puzzle and solved in double quick time which for me was amazing. I hesitated, albeit briefly, over 14a and 22a. Wouldn’t like to meet a Nyala whilst heading out for a safari walk. Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman. Pouring with rain here and time to put the dog in the garden!🌧️🌧️🌧️

  32. Crossword done apart from locking spiral horns with 26 a. Apparently the males do actually lock horns in combat just because of the spirals. The cough is fading but since the only person who wants a cough is a linctus salesman it seemed best to keep to the garden. Not keen on anagrams because solving them is an inevitable grind plus my spelling is poor. Nice, steady puzzle and grateful for it. Thanks to Mr. P and Huntsman who seems to do a tremendous amount of hinting.

    1. My daughter’s name is Joanna so I guessed 18a had something to do with a piano. However it took a while to work out. There were many good clues but I think 14a was the best. My cough is still with me even after a week of antibiotics so maybe linctus is the answer!
      Thankyou setter and hinter.

  33. For no obvious reason I just didn’t do very well with this one – perhaps not in the mood – no-one else’s fault, least of all’s the setter’s!
    No particular favourite so I’ll go for 27a – I was a ward sister and I have a sister – pretty rotten reasons but couldn’t think of any others.
    Thanks to our setter and to Huntsman for the hints.

  34. A fairly straightforward solve , but I didn’t work hard enough at figuring out 26a which I had to look up the answer to being my last one. I looked up amateur in the brb but the word wasn’t showing under 3 letters. 🙄Doh – I could kick myself . Anyway I did enjoy it largely feeling that my brain was in goodish shape today. Hooray for that and long may it continue. Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  35. Typically Tuesdayish-
    I did like 22a and at least one-half of Huntsman’s choice of music pleased me (side note although we share a birthday of the 8th of June I am two years younger than Mr Hucknall and although I recognise his talent I have avoided listening to him since the nightmare that was his Stars album that was all over the radio for a while) don’t tell MP but even Van the Man can be a bit whiny at times
    Thanks to AP and H time to tackle the toughie

    1. Careful John – if I was marooned on a desert island & could only have one artist’s discography it’d be Van. I’ve a hunch Miff would pick Dylan. Simply Red & Hucknall not my cup of tea but there’s no denying the boy can sing – listened recently to a tribute album he did to the great Bobby Bland & it was very good.

              1. Don’t get me started on it’s for its! I am amazed at the number of delegates studying for their Masters don’t know the difference.

                As for “their” and “there”!

                1. I know, it’s depressingly widespread. Loose/lose is yet another appalling example. I used to lecture on journalism at a university and one of my third-year students – who wanted to work in the lobby! – hadn’t heard of Gordon Brown. As for the oft-heard “haitch” pronunciation – ye gods.

                  1. Our children both say “haitch”, as does Django’s child, something Dave Gorman mentioned in his most recent PowerPoint stand-up tour: as a result of home-schooling during lockdown, he’s now picked up “haitch” from his child, and started saying it that way himself — which he isn’t happy about.

                    So presumably that’s how it’s taught these days?

      1. Sorry – got distracted by a tricky toughie
        I was being provocative about Van the Man, I listen to him all the time, but I have to say my tin ears can’t abide the ginger whinger. Any of the soul classics done by S.R. Or M.H. solo are better in the original, but then again that applies to most cover versions. The list of songs improved in the cover version is probably as short as the number of great film adaptations of much-loved books

  36. I did enjoy today’s offering which I finished over a pub lunch on my way to see Mrs. C who, unfortunately has contracted the bug that’s going round the wards. I left the paper in the pub and I now can’t remember the Stevie Ticks although I do recall giving one to Miss Monica. Was she the one who grunted as she served? I blotted my copybook by immediately entering “Grand Piano” into 18a until I ran out of letters.

    Thank you to the not silent man in the library with the candlestick for a great challenge. Thank you, Hintsman for the hunts a couple of which I needed.

    I did like Agent B’s emoji clue. I take it that would be a guzzle by Rebus?

    1. I’m not sure the blog is ready for that level of my crazy 😬 I’d be given a one-way rebus ticket!

      Best wishes to you and Mrs C, you really do deserve a dose of good luck at the moment 🤞

      1. Thanks, Agent B. I have a number of things keeping me sane – my work, Hudson, cryptics, this wonderful blog and, of course, Mrs. C. 😊

        Then I remember those who also have their problems and mine don’t seem that bad by comparison.

  37. Not heard of the composer, who has?, so I had to use a crossword solver and put in all the letters I had left over plus a space and the gentleman in question came up. It didn’t hold me up as I solved everything round it and I’d decided what the word was anyway. Nothing else held me up for long. Favourite was 1d. Thanks to AP and Huntsman.

  38. I checked French composers beginning with D. I put together the horny animal. Most came to me as if by magic, sometimes the parsing came later. I thought it was splendid. I’ve scanned through the comments. Convincingly positive but I didn’t spot one from Brian22a and 16d firm favourites. Masterly piece of work Mr Plumb and thanks to Huntsman for confirming my parsing.

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