DT 30043 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30043

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30043

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone. My solve today proceeded in fits and starts as the puzzle repeatedly offered a few straightforward clues followed by one that wasn’t. And then after the grid was filled a couple of clues required dictionary checks to verify the parsing. I have a pretty good idea of who the setter is, but today I will allow others to speculate on their identity.

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Fresh red Dubonnet bottles husband cracked (5,3,4)
ROUND THE BEND:  An anagram (fresh) of RED DUBONNET contains (bottles) the genealogical abbreviation for husband 

9a    Prime Minister's pleased with jewel (9)
GLADSTONE:  Pleased or happy with a generic jewel 

10a   Scare off animal? About time (5)
DETER:  One of the antlered animals wandering up and down the road outside my house containing (about) the physics symbol for time 

11a   Stay in a hotel here or relax outside (6)
RESORT:  OR from the clue contained by a synonym of relax (… relax outside

12a   I heartlessly try following European bird for an extremely long time (8)
ETERNITY:  I from the clue and TRY minus its middle letter (heartlessly) both come after the single letter for European and a sea bird 

13a   The lady almost polishes plants (6)
SHRUBS:  All but the last letter (almost) of a pronoun for “the lady” is followed by polishes or strokes 

15a   Granddaughter perhaps runs with joy (8)
RELATION:  The cricket scoreboard abbreviation for runs with some extreme joy. The perhaps indicates that the definition is by example   

18a   Reason cocoa is drunk before start of nightfall (8)
OCCASION:  An anagram (drunk) of COCOA IS placed before the first letter of (start of) NIGHTFALL 

19a   Tap leaking at the back and Edward's annoyed (6)
BUGGED:  Link together tap a phone line, the last letter (… at the back) of LEAKING, and a contraction of Edward 

21a   Around noon US radio played T. Rex? (8)
DINOSAUR:  An anagram (played) of US RADIO containing (around) the abbreviation for noon. The ? indicates that the definition is by example 

23a   Correct religious education class (6)
REFORM:  Follow the abbreviation for religious education with a school class 

26a   Serf shifting large ointment (5)
SALVE:  Another word for serf has the clothing abbreviation for large shifting to the right 

27a   Imagining person without face covering pulled back (9)
BELIEVING:  A person or human containing (without) the reversal (pulled back) of a see-through face covering 

28a   Knot that designer rearranged (12)
STRAIGHTENED:  An anagram (knot, as an imperative) of THAT DESIGNER 



1d    Views from upset socialists in newspaper? On the contrary (7)
REGARDS:  Inverting the wordplay (on the contrary), we place the reversal (upset, in a down clue) of an informal synonym of newspaper in some socialists 

2d    Really losing regular characters in American mountain range (5)
URALS:  Alternate letters (… losing regular characters) of REALLY inserted in an abbreviation for American 

3d    Editor upset with writers' reports (9)
DESCRIBES:  The reversal (upset, in a down clue) of the abbreviation for editor with some writers or copyists 

4d    Nothing satisfactory after hard punch (4)
HOOK:  The letter representing nothing and an adjective meaning satisfactory or not bad both come after the pencil abbreviation for hard 

5d    Break bra -- there's bust (8)
BREATHER:  An anagram ( … ‘s bust) of BRA THERE 

6d    Somewhat in a dire, extreme state of adversity (5)
NADIR:  The answer is hidden in (somewhat …) the remainder of the clue 

7d    Stunning reason workers haven't been on track recently? (8)
STRIKING:  The answer could also be what railways staff were doing recently instead of working 

RMT members on strike

8d    Something artist may use for colouring fish in study (6)
CRAYON:  A flat fish inserted in study or learn 

14d   Money put in bank not long ago (8)
RECENTLY:  A small amount of money inserted in bank or depend 

16d   Fun involved a teen's mum (9)
AMUSEMENT:  An anagram (involved) of A TEEN’S MUM 

17d   Group of stars going round current American city (8)
COLUMBIA:  A minor constellation containing (going round) the physics symbol for electric current 

18d   God, I'd best remove tops for most rum (6)
ODDEST:  The three words at the start of the clue minus their first letters (… remove tops

20d   Father's clothing sorcerer ruined (7)
DAMAGED:  An informal word for father containing ( … ‘s clothing) an obscure (to me) word meaning sorcerer 

22d   Perfume's despatched, we're told (5)
SCENT:  A homophone (we’re told) a synonym of despatched 

24d   Head I trapped between two legs (5)
ONION:  I from the clue is sandwiched between two copies of another name for the leg side of a cricket pitch 

25d   Loud record's beat (4)
FLOG:  The musical abbreviation for loud is followed by a record or register 


Thanks to today’s setter. Top clue for me was 21a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  SIT + TEE + HAULS = CITY HALLS

63 comments on “DT 30043
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  1. A light and pleasant early week back pager.
    My joint favourites were the clever 19& 27a
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

    Got to give a plug to a superb (and proper) Robyn Toughie.

  2. As Mr K comments a patchy puzzle. I can’t quite see 28a although the anagram was clear even when knot used as an imperative. Must be my poor English. 7d was nicely topical and my COTD was 27a for this **/*** offering. Thanks to the setter.

  3. Like our reviewer, I thought 21a was a cut above the rest in this friendly and most entertaining puzzle. Perfect for a very hot Tuesday morning.

    Many thanks to both Misters involved.

  4. I wrongly thought this one was going to be a write in but then one or two proved to be head scratchers. 28a was one of the culprits. I could see the fodder but went for the wrong anagrind so it was hardly surprising I struggled to think of a knot. Once the penny eventually dropped I gave it COTD or maybe I was just being a bit slow. 7d was nicely topical & the wordplay at 11a cleverly disguised in the surface read. The 20d sorcerer needed BRB confirmation.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K

  5. In 28a I read ‘Knot’ as the definition so I was puzzled when the answer emerged from checkers. Thanks to Mr K for putting me straight! Otherwise a nicely light puzzle. 1.5*/****

  6. I found this a mixture of straightforwards and howdoesthatworks. I had more questions than answer today. I couldn’t see where a knot fitted into 28a nor how 23a related to correct. In 8d I did not get the “study” part. Other than these, it was a satisfying solve with 21a being awarded my COTD. Terrific surface read.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Thank you, Mr K for the hints.

    Just realised that “knot” is an indicator. Doh!

  7. A bit tricky, but pleasantly so, here and there, with 27a, 21a, and 28a making it to the podium. And a special shout-out to 17d: S Carolina’s capital city! (A first for the cryptics? Probably not.) Thanks to Mr K and to today’s setter. ** / ***

  8. I found this puzzle straightforward on the whole but, after aspeedy beginning, I came to a grinding halt in the SE, where there were some brilliantly ingenious clues. COTD was 17d, where being a geographer helped but I had to enlist the aid of my physicist husband for the constellation. Following closely were18a and 16d, which were full of wily misdirection. Thanks to Mister Ron, the compiler for a nicely challenging puzzle and to Mr K for the hints and kits. I just ventured into town for some shopping and to collect our prescriptions. All I can say is thank goodness for the air conditioning in Boots and Waitrose. I’m now content to vegetate in an armchair in front of a fan for a while.

  9. Sitting here in the dark cool, overcast region that is South Devon. The rain cannot be that far away can it? How glad I am we left Kent behind us at the weekend.
    As usual, it was a pesky 4 letter word that held me up. 4d was my last one in.
    It seems topical so 12a is my COTD
    Now to have another look at Robyn’s Toughie. 2 read thoughs have thrown up nothing, Third time lucky?
    Ah, there’s the first rumble of thunder!

      1. I wondered about you and Torquay. In the end we had a little rain and it is cooler but I had hoped for more drama

        1. Half-way up the border we had lightning, rolling thunder, and then an hour of lovely rain … just in time for the Royal visit. As they departed so did the rain, and we’ve had an afternoon of clear skies, sunshine and pleasant winds, with temperatures in the low-mid 20s. I do keep saying that it’s Corrrrrrrnwall that be God’s own country, not that imposter oop narth!

  10. Completed alone and unaided, but, being neither familiar with US cities nor an astronomer, had to check both the constellation and the city in 17d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    After being overcast and very muggy all morning, the sun is now starting to break through. 24C at the moment with not the hint of a breeze, so I expect things to hot up…..but not to your levels.

    Haven’t seen LROK for ages . Anyone know how he is ?

        1. Thanks for that, Steve. If you are in touch with him again, please tell him we are asking for him.

  11. Indeed, for me, a little inconsistent, as others seem to have found, but some very good clues along the way. The 21 Across cojured pleasant images for me, as I recall being addicted to Children of the Revolution and playing it time and time again, to the immense chagrin of those within earshot (one among whom being my pianist Aunt Joanna, yes really!). **/**.

    On edit, and btw, I had no worry with 28 Across. As K says, that’s the imperative in a noun’s guise, so one of the usual tricks of the trade as far as I know.

    Many thanks to Mister Ron and Mr K on this ferociously hot day.

  12. NAS’s descriptor of ‘patchy’ is a good descriptor for this puzzle. A mixture of highlights and lowlights, fortunately the solve did not take a 12a – 2.5*/2.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – the aforementioned 12a, 23a, 4d, and 24d – and the winner is 24d.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  13. PS sorry about my new verb ‘to cojure’. Apparently it really exists in urban slang dictionaries!

  14. 2*/3*. Apart from the obscure (to me) group of stars in 17d, this pleasant puzzle was quite straightforward. I’ll go along with those who picked 21a as their favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  15. Managed most of this until it came to 20d which I had to ask Mr G to confirm and the pesky group of stars in 17d. Also had a bit of trouble with 27a where I was looking for a ‘person’ who’d dropped their first letter – that type of construction invariably trips me up.
    The Quickie pun is definitely an American term but I don’t suppose the setter could be expected to indicate it in that format.

    Thanks to our setter and to Mr K for the review – not enough cats included today!

  16. Very enjoyable puzzle while it lasted, with some good red herrings, smooth surfaces (but a few quite odd ones, too!) and plenty of smiles. COTD to 7d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K

  17. This took me to my solving limits but I enjoyed it immensely. I held myself up for a little while by ending 15a with ‘ve’ which confused me when it came to 8d. However all was good in the end. No Roman togas in sight.

    Thanks to the setter and The Celebrated Mr K.

    Beatles on Tuesday:

  18. Just enough challenge to make completion achievable in spite of heat-wave reducing concentration. SW quadrant last to yield mainly due to looking for money-related solution to 14d. I had forgotten there are several 17d cities in US and likewise the singular for 20d sorcerer. Liked the surface of 1a. Thank you Messrs. Ron and K.

  19. Another good and enjoyable Tuesday puzzle with the clever 27a a runaway winner of COTD.

    Thanks to Mr K for another very good report on the puzzle. Not many cats on show this week. I suppose if they are like our cat they are sensibly finding cool spots out of the sun and keeping their movement to a minimum. It’s very interesting that advice on the television for keeping our pets cool only mentioned dogs. Eliot was quite right about the dog :

    “He’s such an easy going lout
    He’ll answer any hail or shout.”

    So we have to be told how to care for this lout while our cats lie about in the cool while the dogs “gambol and guffaw”.

    Thanks to the setter for his fine puzzle. Am unable to offer any idea on who is the setter except that it isn’t my bête noires Ray T or Jay.

  20. Fairly straightforward and enjoyable on the whole.
    I got the definition and anagram indicator mixed up on both 1a and 28a, so that slowed me up a bit.
    Last in was 17d as I needed all the checkers and an inspired guess to get the answer (plus a check of the dictionary for the stars)
    Favourites were 21a and 7d for the topicality.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K

  21. I’ve just put an old thermometer outside the conservatory door and it’s reading 130’. My book group has been cancelled and I made cakes yesterday! I enjoyed this workout, came unstuck with 4d and 17d so I needed mr. K’s hints. Thanks to the setter as well. I’m not at all happy in this degree of heat and yesterday could not settle to crossword or anything else.the house is very hot and when we had a lantern light put in the sitting room we didn’t think we would ever need a blind. Stupid. It just pours heat in. We are promised rain tomorrow and it cannot come too soon. My poor garden is crying out for it – as are all the local farmers.

  22. Tricky in parts eg 21a, 12 and 24d, otherwise a fairly quick solve.
    Memo to self – no excuse, next time, for failing to remember much sooner a common cricketing term.
    So, 1.5*/****
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

  23. Another enjoyable puzzle 😃 ***/*** one or two of the shorter answers were a bit odd but favourites are: 9a, 12a and 14d 👍 Thanks to Mr K and to the Compiler Why is it that Tuesday is the only day of the week that no one even has a guess at the identity of the Setter 🤔 Every other week day the Setter is mentioned by name

      1. Thanks for that bit of info, Cephas. Lucky for him that the grid wasn’t one of those that recently got axed!

          1. Chalicea left a comment on the blog a few days ago to say that a number of DT grids had been axed, particularly those that contained a number of double ‘unches’.

    1. Hello, Brian. While bug=insect (e.g. “bug spray”) and bug=bulge (e.g. “bug out”) are listed in all of the major dictionaries as Americanisms, none of them apply that label to bug=annoy.

    2. Everytime we come home for a visit we are dismayed at how much Americanisms have permeated the English language. But I don’t notice it working the other way around. I still get puzzled looks if I say “twice” (it’s two times here), or “half past twelve” (12:30). At least we knew enough to instruct the girls to never ask their teacher for a rubber… 😊.

  24. I managed to bung in 24d from the checking letters, but needed the review to explain the “legs”. As a cricket fan I am ashamed of myself. 27a was my favourite. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty.

  25. Quite agree with the *** difficulty rating, and the patchiness comments. But at least I was able to solve most without help, albeit with a break in between. Of course I failed to identify the definition in 28a, and spent too long trying to come up with a 12 letter knot. COTD definitely 9a. Thanks to setter and Mr K.
    You are are hotter than us today, and really feel for you. But on the good news side, looks like it’s going to be really nice there tomorrow.

  26. Coming in late it’s usual for all the most relevant comments to have been made, today is no exception so I’ll comment no further. Literally a local disaster in my village, all the coolers and air conditioning in the pub have packed up so no beer, pub’s shut, no darts, no Marston’s Pedigree. I’m a bit miffed to say the least. 😤 Thanks to the setter and Mr. K.

    1. It’s usually the vents at the back of the coolers that are clogged up and preventing air flow. I’ve cleared a few for desperate landlords with a 100% success rate in getting their coolers operating again

  27. Final weather report from Plymouth to give those north and east some hope – the wind is up and it’s a bit nippy!

  28. Finished this puzzle this morning whilst sitting in the garden enjoying the warm summer sun, as others have commented I found this rather a mixed bag and quite a mixture of simple and challenging clues.
    Looking back on completion I wondered why I struggled in places as all the clueing was of the highest order.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr K for the review.

  29. Late again ..could some kind soul explain 24 down….onion/head…don’t get it
    Thanks in anticipation.

    1. Onion is a slang term for the head. My Dictionary of Slang says it’s most often used in the phrase “off his onion”.

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