DT 30143 (hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30143 (hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30143 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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Good morning from a sunny morning in East Kent – it’s still a bit misty over the marshes but we are promised record temperatures for November again today.

Always nice to find the cryptic crossword actually on the back page of the paper.  I thought this one was a bit trickier than usual, especially in the bottom half so I’ll be interested to see what others think and who they’d nominate in Guess the Setter

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.

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    Fix cost of entertaining northern nobleman (6)
A verb meaning to fix the cost of something ‘entertaining’ the abbreviation for northern

12a    Strange offence; forced labour camp not good answer ultimately (8)
An offence, a forced labour camp without the G at the end of that word and the ultimate letter of answer

22a    Main network found in roof space (8)
A computer network found in a roof space

24a    Particular southern sports clubs regularly reversed coin flip (8)
The abbreviation for southern, some school sports, the abbreviation for clubs and a reversal of the ‘regular’ letters of CoIn FlIp

26a    Guide essentially ineptly separating female and male on road (8)
The ‘essential’ letters of inePtly going between (separating) the feminine and masculine person pronouns, the result then followed by the abbreviation for road

27a    Harsh to lop off earl’s head (6)
Lop or cut off the top of, followed by the ‘head’ of earl


1d    Philosopher with room to embrace fine policy (8)
A Greek philosopher and an abbreviated room ’embrace’ the abbreviation for fine

2d    Spiritual home (8)
Devoted to spiritual life or related to home

13d    Foreign female gripped by a friend from Paris, a storyteller (10)
The abbreviation for female ‘gripped’ by the French (as used in Paris) for both an indefinite article and a friend, followed by a storyteller

16d    Left gap for window (8)
The left side of a ship and a window

17d    One has one of them, and seven two (8)
Segments of words – as the clue says, one has …..

21d    Improve quality of frolicking disheartened children (6)
An anagram (frolicking) of CHIldREN once you have removed the middle letters (disheartened)

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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: MAR + KITS + TALL = MARKET STALL

67 comments on “DT 30143 (hints)
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  1. I agree that it was a bit tougher than usual but that’s no bad thing for a prize puzzle (imho). No serious hold ups though. I liked 22a and 1d. Sad to watch the Red Roses fall at the final hurdle but well played to both teams.

    Thanks to CS and today’s setter.

  2. 1.5*/3.5*. I dropped onto the right wavelength from the word go and this was light and good fun with 13d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter. Thanks too to CS, and wishing you a very happy birthday. 🎂🎈

  3. Mostly very straightforward but with a real atibg in the tail in the SW corner, where I couldn’t break into it at all and had to use the hints for 2 clues. The best clues forme were 13d (once the penny dropped) and 17d. Thanks to CS for the hints and to the compiler.

  4. I too felt the ‘sting in the tail’ (that Chriscross mentions) in the SW corner, with 13d, 21d, & 22a making their way to much-deserved posts on the podium. A very challenging SPP that pushed me well into *** time. 27a deserves a special honourable mention for its wit and for making me laugh. Thanks to CS and today’s compiler. ***/****

  5. Wow that was tough! Needed the excellent hints and a little help from Google.
    Did like 22a but surely 17d should be plural, 20d is very clumsy and 2d makes little sense to me.
    Def not my favourite Saturday.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I fully agree with you on 17d and 2d. However, on the whole a reasonably easy solve for me. Probably because I was on the right ‘wavelength’!!

  6. SW corner was the most challenging for me, also, along with 2D that I had to reveal letters for. My picks are 13D and 26A, in that order. Thanks CS and today’s setter.

      1. I have bookmarked the original online version of the puzzle, thanks to one of the bloggers ( can’t remember which) supplying the link a little while back. The old version allows up to five “reveals.” I just checked and the New and Improved version does not seem to have that option, at least as far as I can see.

  7. Top half went in more quickly than the bottom half, but still fairly straightforward. CS, the hint for 26a needs a slight amendment, it’s only the ‘P’ that is essential in the answer. Thanks to all.

  8. Firstly, many happy returns to CS. I seem to recall that you managed almost an entire day away from the kitchen last year – hope you’ve planned something similar for today?
    Interesting puzzle this morning and my top prize goes to 13d with 22a sliding into the reserve spot.

    Thanks to our setter and to CS for finding time to bring us the hints.

    1. M&S Ready Meal (M&S Collection Black Tiger Prawn and Cod Coconut curry – followed by lemon tart with cream) and some nice wine today – in between preparing crossword reviews! – It is Mr CS’s birthday next Friday so we are going to go out for lunch then

      1. Yum yum can we come? We have a newish m& s food store 3 miles away and I love it! (Other brands are available). Enjoy your special day.

  9. Very enjoyable Friday evening fun, just about right for a SPP. 2.5*/3.5*

    My pocket has filled up with half-crowns recently so, somewhat cautiously, I am going to put one of them on this being an X-Type production.

    Candidates for favourite 25a, 26a, 27a, and 16d – and the winner is 16d.

    Thanks to X-Type, if it be he, or to whoever if not him and thanks to the Birthday Girl.

  10. A bit of a struggle but got there in the end. 9a had me going every which way trying to think of various stages of development in insects and other animals. I spent ages trying to start 16d with the letter L. I thought 17d was a great diversion given the two words chosen by the setter and I loved13d, which is my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS. Also a very Happy Birthday, Sue. :rose:

    I have hundreds of unripened chillies on plants and am in the process of making chilli chutney. The house smells wonderful!

    1. A few weeks ago, since almost all my outdoor tomatoes ripened at once, our house was redolent of tomato soup aromas. It’s nice when a plan comes together, Steve. Especially in the garden. Our freezer os choc a block full with soup, rhubarb, gooseberries, tayberries all bumper crops

      1. It has been a good year, Chriscross, hasn’t it? Both our onions and Bramley apples were huge and plentiful. We have never had such a terrific supply of chillies, the plants are smothered with them, which is why I’m trying to overwinter the plants. We couldn’t keep up with the raspberries and we will be having second early potatoes for a while yet. I think it was a combination of spring rain and summer heat.

        1. Funny, we had hardly any raspberries and only two chillies, runner beans did nothing, no apples no figs in face the vegetable garden was a disaster. But our area is very very dry. ,

  11. I found this very tricky and SW also held out the longest and still haven’t fathomed 19d. Thanks to all and Happy Birthday CS, enjoy your M & S meal. This week was Norfolk Restaurant Week – 2 courses for 16 pounds 3 for 20. Loads of places to choose from and had excellent meal at the Snug in Holt. Sea bream koftas followed by Moroccan lamb shanks. Scrummy.

  12. Like others we struggled on a couple – but the NW corner for us.
    2d is still a bit of a mystery to me. Although pommers thinks he has it sussed.
    Thank to setter & CS and happy birthday too!

  13. A nice Saturday puzzle again this week. On my first read through I completed almost 50% of the puzzle with 9 of the ‘a’ clues and 8 of the ‘d’ clues, so it gave me a great foothold.
    1.5*/4* for me today

    Favourites include 4a, 9a, 22a, 16d & 17d with winners being both the down clues.

    Several chestnuts in this one too, but that all helped the solving process.

    Thanks to setter and CS … and happy birthday!

  14. Well I am stuck on 19 and 20 down – SW corner as you have said. I shall nip to Scottsdale’s ‘cos the Pocket Rocket says I need more Tete a Tetes and look at it later. 22a would help but that is technical! It does not help that we do not have a loft at all so I have no clue. Many thanks to the setter and the Birthday Girl.

      1. Very much later CS, at Sunday breakfast I looked back to yesterday and thanks to you, the penny dropped. I think I got myself convinced it was something to do with rigging as in sails! All sorted. Thank you.

  15. Many happy returns CS. That does sound tasty. I’m popping in from Arizona to claim the blame – it astonishes me that a gentle Chalicea puzzle should even earn five stars for difficulty for anyone but it is I this time – not our new friend X-Type or Cephas. I am delighted to have given enjoyment as usual.

    1. Terrific puzzle as usual, Chalicea, and perhaps the trickiest of yours I’ve yet worked–but nonetheless enjoyable. That SW corner really taxed me.

      Where in Arizona are you? Pardon me for being so nosy, but I’ve been (fingers crossed) closely following the election results there. Sen Kelly is one of my heroes.

  16. Obviously on the right wavelength today as no real hold ups in a steady solve. Lots to like, especially some of the lego clues. Favourites were 12a, 26a, 2d, a somewhat obscure meaning, which, luckily, I was aware of, and 17d, which held me up for a while trying to think of a word to describe the line which is the numeral 1 and the two that make up the = sign. Many thanks to the setter and Cripticsue.

  17. That was a bit of a shock after the Saturday crosswords we’ve got used to recently – or am I being dim!!
    I think we’ve had 18a recently – and it took me almost as long the last time too – stupid, it’s my Elder Lamb’s workroom too. :roll:
    I don’t have a clue about the middle part of 22a but it looks as if it’s probably right.
    The first attempt was wrong although it was an (almost) anagram.
    Lots of good clues including 9 and 26a and 8 and 17d. My favourite was 13a.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to thanks and happy birthday to CS. :rose:

  18. With 13d is the parsing just a bit imprecise – there seems like an extra “a” before storyteller? Maybe I am reading it wrong.

    1. I had to concentrate on the ‘a’ when typing the draft review.

      I think the a has to be there to describe the storyteller and without it the last bit of the clue wouldn’t read quite right

  19. The NW corner was my main hold-up, with 2d the last to fall. Still not sure I completely get it. Lots to enjoy as always from this setter, with 1a my favourite clue.

    Thanks to Chalicea and to CS, to whom I extend birthday congratulations.

  20. Love 22a! Still working on some of the others.
    Hope everyone is well or beginning to feel better. Here in Ontario the weather is due to change but the summer/autumn has lingered to give us warm days, I still have honeysuckle flowers blooming.

  21. Oops just realised I changed my signature a bit. Flipping computer updates.

      1. Thank you! Now if you could remind me where I left my spare pair of glasses and why I went to the kitchen…….

  22. I don’t think I ever solved so few crosswords in my life.
    Been so busy at work as summer lasted until the all saints holidays.
    Decided to close the restaurant for 10 days so that everyone can breathe for a bit.
    Hope to return to normal duties from now on.
    As Stan, I am never keen on that kind of grid with 4 crosswords in one.
    But the Lorraine Cross is quite timely as we just remembered General De Gaulle’s death some 50 years ago.
    The NW was the last to yield in this very pleasant crossword.
    Learned a new synonym in 1d.
    Thanks to Chalicea and a very happy birthday to CS.

  23. Like many other commenters, I found the bottom harder than the top. Favorite clue was 17d. Thanks to Chalicea, and thanks and Happy Birthday to crypticsue.

  24. Very late to this. Add me to those who stalled a bit in the SW pushing me just into ** time. Having lost 5 bob on each of the last 3 Saturdays punting on Chalicea she would have been my pick on the basis that sooner or later she was bound to turn up. I’ll go for a SW podium of 22,24&26a with 12a just missing out.
    Thanks to Chalicea & CS – hope that you’re enjoying your birthday.
    Ps nice to hear from jean-luc

  25. I needed the hint for 2d but otherwise solved unaided. As I am the least spiritual person alive, have no idea about that meaning of the answer.

    I have the answer for 20d, but no idea how to parse.

    Almost threw in the towel after getting only a few clues, for which I only put the checkers in. However, having read the comments, i decided it was worth continuing.

    Thanks to all.

  26. I did ok in the east and got the NW eventually, but the SW needed a nudge from the hints, Many Thanks (and happy returns) to CS for those.
    Thanks to Chalicea for the puzzle, trickier than many SPP’s of late and all the more rewarding too.

  27. Three quarters of this comprised a fun challenge but, as per other commentators, the SW was a different story and needed help to unravel. 2d is a bit broad. 13d stalled whilst working out how to use a friend in Paris. Not sure about 19d. Thank you Chalicea and the birthday girl, Sue, to whom very best wishes 💐🍀🎂🍷🍾.

  28. Happy Birthday Sue. Yours seem to come round almost as quickly as mine. I was not keen on 19 and 20d and hope I’ve got them right. My 2d fits so I hope it’s right. Favourites 1 12 18 22 and 25a and 1 5 and 16d. The latter is probably top for me for it’s brevity and wit. Who didn’t try to start with a L. Just right for a Saturday prize puzzle so thanks Chalicea and CS.

  29. Many thanks to crypticsue for the parsing of 13d. I got on the setter’s wavelength eventually. SW corner last in. 22a was my favourite.

  30. 2d took an age.
    Put me into 5* time!
    But, otherwise, a satisfying and pleasant solve.
    13d was absolutely brilliant, best clue this week.
    My thanks to the setter and to CS.

  31. Three quarters of this went really well but the SW corner needed a nights sleep before answers emerged this morning. I thought 17d was splendid! Thank you setter and a belated happy birthday to CS

  32. Well goodness me but I seemed to have been doing a different crossword to everyone else – I even found the quick crossword a handful! Not to worry Chalicea I always look forward to your crosswords – I’m hoping it’s just a blip for my little grey cells! Many thanks to you and CS for the extra help. I hope that you had a lovely day yesterday. Lovely to see SC back.

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