DT 30153 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 30153

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30153

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Thursday and a fun RayT puzzle.

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    Eater's vice unfortunately producing gut (10)
EVISCERATE:  An anagram (unfortunately) of EATER’S VICE 

6a    Ball possibly bowled prior to toss (4)
BLOB:  The cricket abbreviation for bowled with toss or throw 

10a   Action from former single in bed (7)
EXPLOIT:  The usual short word for former followed by the letter representing a single inserted in a bed in a garden 

11a   Scrutiny by Left about America (7)
PERUSAL:  A Latin word for through or by and the single letter for left are wrapped about an abbreviation for America 

12a   Pure force grabbing can (8)
PRISTINE:  Force with a lever containing (grabbing) a can for food 

13a   Class assigning status to expect, initially (5)
CASTE:  Initial letters of the first five words in the clue 

15a   Rarer stigma before Church elder, finally (7)
SCARCER:  Link together a stigma or mark, an abbreviation for church, and the final letter of ELDER 

17a   Tied first of ligatures in cut (7)
SPLICED:  The first letter of LIGATURES inserted in cut or adulterated 

This clue was updated after publication because, as RayT explains below in comment #29, the original version didn’t work. The revised clue now appearing in electronic versions of the puzzle is:

17a   Tied end of strap in cut (7)
SPLICED:  The end letter of STRAP inserted in a synonym of cut 

19a   Competitor entering event ran tiredly (7)
ENTRANT:  The answer is hiding in (entering) the remainder of the clue 

21a   Flogs bottoms following heartless rage (7)
RETAILS:  Some bottoms or end bits following the outer letters (heartless) of RAGE 

22a   Flight of American inside slammer (5)
STAIR:  An abbreviation for American placed inside an informal word for slammer or prison

24a   Kept  aloof (8)
RESERVED:  A straightforward double definition

27a   Boasting supporter facing bother about volume (7)
BRAVADO:  An undergarment that’s a supporter and fuss or bother are wrapped about the single letter for volume 

28a   Proposing with flashy jewellery after cheers (7)
TABLING:  Some flashy jewellery comes after cheers or thanks, informally 

29a   Flat race losing time (4)
EVEN:  A synonym of race minus (losing) the physics symbol for time 

30a   Fidelity, say, within marriage? (10)
ALLEGIANCE:  The Latin abbreviation for “say” or “for example” inserted in (within) a marriage or partnership 



1d    Former PM in paradise! (4)
EDEN:  Another rather straightforward double definition 

2d    Tramp into wild to find material (9)
IMPORTANT:  An anagram (wild) of TRAMP INTO 

3d    Cuts  wheat and barley? (5)
CROPS:  A double definition, with the ? indicating that the second is by example 

4d    More irritable sailor up on deck (7)
RATTIER:  The reversal (up, in a down clue) of a usual sailor is followed by a deck or layer 

5d    Some vessel potter turned without lid (7)
TOPLESS:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (some … turned) of the remainder of the clue 

7d    Goes over  catalogues (5)
LISTS:  Another double definition 

8d    Hint below more outright gibberish (10)
BALDERDASH:  A hint or trace comes after more outright or more blunt

9d    Pair allowed to form band (8)
BRACELET:  A pair or couple with allowed or permitted

14d   Supposed snob's elite somehow (10)
OSTENSIBLE:  An anagram (somehow) of SNOB’S ELITE 

16d   Check on pilot, one on board? (8)
CHAIRMAN:  The abbreviation for check with another word for pilot

18d   Gauge Conservative over interior changes (9)
CRITERION:  The single letter for Conservative with an anagram (changes) of INTERIOR 

20d   Labour accepting quorum periodically creates disorder (7)
TURMOIL:  Labour or struggle containing (accepting) alternate letters (periodically) of QUORUM 

21d   Routine repetition taking stage for award (7)
ROSETTE:  Routine repetition or mechanical memory containing (taking) stage or mount

23d   Stone top of arched entrance (5)
AGATE:  The first letter (top of) ARCH with an entrance in a wall or fence 

25d   Religious leader could give endless talk (5)
RABBI:  An informal word for talk or chat minus its last letter (endless

26d   Monster therefore arises (4)
OGRE:  A Latin word for therefore is reversed (arises, in a down clue)


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue today was 8d. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  TORE + RIP + ARTY = TORY PARTY

86 comments on “DT 30153

  1. I thought initially that 17a was an error, as I could not see how cut equated to the synonym in the answer. Thanks to Mr K for the explanation. Thanks also to Mr T for the puzzle.

      1. Not spiced in that sense; rather cut or adulterated as in how a drink or a drug might be (at least that is how I understand it).

          1. Hello, Buzza. As sometimes occurs in a RayT puzzle the definition is a stretch. A fruit punch could be laced or spiced with rum to add some potency, while a fruit punch cut with rum would conventionally be a beverage with enough rum added to make it go further. Not quite the same thing but also not completely wrong.

            1. MR K. Since this is a Ray T production in the DT I think yours is a more likely explanation. Maybe not the slangy, drug-taking related ones proffered by myself and Jezza. But you never know!

              1. I wasn’t super confident about the interpretation I put in the hints, so it’s certainly possible I’m missing something. Perhaps RayT will tell us what he had in mind if he comments later.

                  1. On the contrary and speaking as one who did the hints for Ray T’s crosswords for many years he is scrupulous when it comes to accuracy! It’s just that others are not quite as imaginative!

          2. Maybe it’s this. Spiced (slang) can mean being high/drunk from smoking the synthetic drug spice. Cut can also mean drunk/high, as in half cut. Or, as Jessa suggests, spiced (slang) can refer to a cigarette laced/cut/infused with the drug spice. So spiced = cut,laced with. I guess it’s the latter.

  2. A most entertaining, if not overly difficult puzzle from my old Thursday sparring partner.
    Had to confirm ROTE in 21d and the spice/cut synonym puzzled me but the solutions were obvious from definition and checkers.
    I liked the use of material in 2d and liked 14d as it’s such a lovely word but I’ll choose three in the NE for podium places, namely 5a plus 7&8d. Good stuff.
    Max thanks to Misters T&K.

    Was sorry to read in a beautifully written obituary in this morning’s Telegraph of the passing of Wilko Johnson, someone with both a unique stage persona and playing style. A very talented musician.

  3. The North West corner put me into 3* time.
    Smiles at 5 and 16d
    Both the latter and 8d joint COTDs.
    But clever throughout.
    Many thanks to RayT and Mr K.

  4. On first glance this looked as though it might be difficult, but once I had sorted out 1a, I made my way in a rather haphazard fashion around the grid, without any real problems. Didn’t much like 17a. Can’t say that ‘cut’ was the first synonym of ‘spiced’ that came to mind. That said,there was plenty to like, especially 1a, 12a, 30a and my favourite 9d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  5. A gently amusing offering from RayT at */*** with some pretty easy anagrams and lurkers kick starting a steady solve. Nothing remarkable but all very pleasant. Thanks to MrK and the setter.

  6. Good, solid fare from Mr T today, enjoyable to be sure but perhaps lacking some of the brio we’ve come to expect from him. But the clues are still brisk and fresh, with none longer than six letters, and that’s quite an achievement. 3d, 27a, 8d, & 20d are my top picks. Thanks to Mr K and Ray T. ** / ***

    Thanksgiving today, USA-style. I have much to be thankful for, including the great blessing of this blog. Cheers to all!

      1. And especially to you down in Miami–and, while I’m at it, to BusyLizzie a few miles north of you. And, oh yes, to Expat+Chris up in Maryland!

        1. Thank you Robert, and best wishes to you on Turkey day too 😊. Always thankful that we are almost at the end of hurricane season…

    1. Felicitations on this Thanksgiving Day and thankful memories of happy times whilst living in NYC many years ago and still enduring friendships made during those those days.

  7. 2*/4*. All the usual RayT fun today.

    I thought “entering” in 19a was bit too similar to the answer. I suppose the drawback with the alternative “participating in” is that it requires an extra word!

    With a lot of potential favourites to pick from, I am going to settle on a podium choice of 6a, 21a & 8d.

    Many thanks to the master of brevity and to Mr K.

    1. 19a. I would just have used “in” instead of entering. But I suppose I’ll be told that wouldn’t work for some reason.

    2. I wondered if 19a and a few other gimmes were inserted by setter or editor to compensate for the clues employing rather oblique definitions.

  8. A typically bright and concisely clued puzzle from Ray T that was entertaining and good fun to solve. Like our blogger, 8d was my top selection, with only 17a giving me significant pause for thought. Waiting for the next biblically-sized downpour to arrive in an increasingly darkening Shropshire.

    Many thanks to both Mr T and Mr K.

  9. A scattergun approach today, like Jezza I also had a problem parsing 17a.and like Mhids not impressed..
    Otherwise an enjoyable romp around the grid.
    Favourite was 8d and agree with SL’s lovely word.
    Liked the surfaces of 22a and11.and Mr K’s ‘Cat’ Bath.
    Too k a while to get the Quickie Pun!

  10. Not too difficult, but didn’t particularly like 6a,17a or even 8d as parsing wasn’t great in any of them, although answers easy enough to come by. Nothing really floated my boat on the amusement side either **/** for me and hope for better with the Toughie later! Thanks to all.

  11. Lots to like here, but I’ll settle for 1A and 8D (lovely word!). Many thanks to RayT and Mr. K.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all on my side of the pond!

  12. A DNF for me today, with much use of the thesaurus for the wlusive synonyms and 12a /16d left undone. I just wasn’t in Mr T’s wavelength today. 1a, 14d and 30a were good anagrams and the best of the clues thanks to Tay T and to Mr K.

  13. Quite a gentle work-out today with just 17a demanding a bit of cogitation.
    Rosettes handed out to 1&30a plus 8d – excellent word!

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Mr K for the review – loved the ‘fast cat’ and must mention it to No.2 daughter who uses it on a regular basis to travel from IOW to the mainland!

  14. This one took me into ** time for the first time in this week’s back-pagers. A typical Ray T puzzle – maybe not one of his best but still enjoyable. Add me to those scratching their heads over spiced. 8d along with the Quickie pun my favs
    Thanks to Ray T & Mr K.
    Ps Would have loved to see the original Dr Feelgood line up. WJ was a real one off. RIP

  15. A very pleasant Wednesday evening cranial workout from Mr Thursday – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite 12a, 27a, 28a, 9d, and 20d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K.

  16. First read through was daunting but, as often happens, all went smoothly once on wavelength and I much enjoyed the solve with SE most challenging. Fav was 30a. Not quite sure how to read/parse 13a clue. 27a supporter and 28a cheers certainly are well-worked chestnuts. Thank you Jay and MrK.

  17. Another very nice puzzle from Ray T. Usual elegantly epigrammatic clues, an average-ish challenge and an enjoyable solve. No stand-out favourite, but I’ll mention 6a. 2.5*/4*.

    *15a. The picture does suit the “rare” element of the clue, but that ain’t a bulldozer – it’s a 360 degree excavator. I’ve got a bit of a thing about heavy plant machinery.

    1. Thanks, Jose, for the clarification about 15a. I’m going to leave it as is, because “rare photo of a 360 degree excavator taking a bath” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue in the same way, and because taking a few liberties with definitions is to be expected on a RayT Thursday.

      1. Of course – I know you only used that photo because it’s an amusing example of a “rare” event. I dare say that most members of the public would call that machine a bulldozer. My comment about it was only tongue-in-cheek, I probably should have added a smiley face. :-)

  18. Dashing off to a funeral but just stopping to say enjoyed this very much. 12a and 3,19, 20 & 23d caught my eye. I’m going to come back to you Mr K to see where the p comes in to 17a but I lived your racing cat. Reminds me of our beloved Maine Coon who thought she was one of our dogs and came for walks with us. Many thanks to setter also.

  19. A nice puzzle for a rainy Thursday in the Peaks and thought it rather on the gentle side for a RayT. Not entirely convinced by an L rather than a P in 17a buy hey ho thanks for the explanation Mr K. Favourite today had to be 8d – I wonder if anyone else recalls Victoria Coren’s excellent BBC TV series ‘8d and Piffle’ aired 15 years or so ago?

    1. Yes, PeakyC, I remember it. A quick search of a certain video platform shows episodes available there, which could prove bad for my productivity in the near future …

  20. Found this RayT puzzle pretty good until I got to the NE and then I went from 1.5* to 2.5* time … last part was tough going for me.

    Overall 2.5*/ 3.5* for me today.

    Favourites were 12a, 27a, 5d, 8d & 18d with winner 8d

    Thanks to Ray T and Mr K

  21. I’m with Stephen L & Jane, such scrumptious words at 8 & 14d. COTD 30a for me.
    I have no gripes about 17a.
    Thanks Messrs T and K.

  22. A gentle offering from Ray T, but great fun nevertheless.
    No need to look further than 1a for my clue of the day.

  23. A bit late on parade today because of a visit to Aidensfield but I did find this another rewarding puzzle. I’m having a good week as far as crosswords are concerned so the holiday must be having a good effect. I haven’t read the comments yet but I bet there will be some discussion about 17a. I refrained from entering my answer because I could not parse it. My favourite and COTD is 12a with the wonderful word at 8d coming a close second.

    Many thanks to Ray T for the fun and Mr. K. for the hints and wonderful cat video.

  24. Fairly standard Ray T puzzle (except for 17a) – thanks to him and to Mr K.
    My top clues were 5d, 8d and 16d.
    My first thought on 17a was that there was an error in the clue. Having read the ingenious suggestions from Mr K and others on how the existing clue might work my thoughts are still that there is an error in the clue.

    1. As much as I try and justify 17a, I also prefer the possibility that it is an error. Cut=sliced containing the letter p somehow would make perfect sense.

      1. Asking solvers to turn sliced into spliced by manipulating an L instead of a P seems an unlikely error for a setter to make and for the editor to approve, but RayT confirms that’s what it is. Kudos to Gazza for being brave enough to call it out.

  25. Solved before I was fully awake this morning, so naturally can’t remember much now. I do know I found it fun and not too heavy.

    8d is indeed good, but I don’t think anybody has mentioned 10a so will give that one a shout-out.

    Thanks to RayT and Mr K, and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it.

  26. Typical quirky Ray T but definitely on his milder side. Not totally sure I understood all the clues but I did enjoy this one. My fav was 16d but I did think that the answer to 2d was stretching it a bit.
    Thx to all

    1. Material witness ? Material fact ? They are important, Brian.
      I actually made this four star difficulty, into the second day, so I was.

      I’m locked up currently, so get the oapers a week late !😡

  27. Thank goodness this was a fairly easy puzzle as many said, and lacking in brio as Robert remarked because that meant that with electronic help I managed to finish it.

    As usual with favourite setters of most of the other posters the sheer effort of solving nothing leapt out at me as worthy of mention for amazement but today 1a and 14d are mentioned because they are wonderful words.

    Thanks to Mr K and Ray T.

    By the way Mr K I answered your request last week in my post. Did you see it?

    1. Hello, Corky. Apologies for missing your response last week to the question I asked in my intro. You’re right that learning the theory from a book is not the same as putting it into practice on real puzzles. My view is that an efficient way to make progress there is that instead of spending a long time struggling with the last few clues in a puzzle it is better to find the answer with a wordsearch program and then try to understand the parsing or look at the hints on this blog and try to get the answer from that. There are a lot of words and constructions that come up repeatedly in Telegraph puzzles and becoming familiar with them makes future solves easier. As you pointed out, there are many islands listed in the Chambers Crossword Dictionary. However, in back-page cryptics it is a good idea to consider first Cos, Man, Elba, and Crete when the wordplay implies an island is part of the answer. They come up often because they provide building blocks for larger words.

  28. Evening all. My thanks to Mr K for the decryption and to everybody else for your observations. Thanks also for everybody who came up with imaginative explanations for 17a but the truth is that it was a mistake! My bad, as they say.


    1. Thank you Ray T for dropping in. In time I hope to enjoy your puzzles when I become more proficient.

    2. Thanks for clearing it up as I really had trouble with the explanations many people were using to try and clear up the parsing.
      Glad to know it was mistake … I feel better about that!
      Good to know that even setters/compilers aren’t perfect!!

    3. Your honesty is as refreshing as your ingenuity Sir. I actually thought it an acceptable use of the word but now accept I was mistaken!

    4. Thanks for confirming my initial reaction to the clue, but the attempts to justify it just shows how rich and pliable is the English language!

    5. Hi RayT, we deduced that ligatures meaning “a group of notes played as a phrase”. Therefore the first letter “p” inserted into a word meaning cut “sliced”. S p liced meaning tied.

  29. A great crossword and not too tricky.
    My favourite was 8d – needless to say!
    Having a sleepless night through torrential rain I’ve run out of energy so that’s about it for me for today.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Mr K.

  30. Curious that Rayt says 17a was a mistake as I entered it without reservation, it seemed perfectly fine to me. Another excellent puzzle from the maestro. How do setters remember how they’ve clued words before? I’m sure I’d come up similar if not the same clues. Obviously cotd was 8d. Thanks to Rayt and Mr. K.

    1. Now-retired compiler Rufus kept a card index system with all his previous clues: https://i0.wp.com/bigdave44.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Rufus-and-his-card-index.jpg.

      I expect most setters now use software like Crossword Compiler that can maintain a database of previous puzzles and clues.

      Previous clues that have appeared in various places for the answer to 17a include:

      Joined by a sailor – or a parson (7)
      Joined in editing page included in cut (7)
      Put together the beginnings of scientific programme designed to capture parasites (7)
      Sort of loaf around quietly – and get married (7)
      Like a cricket bat in a match (7)
      Drove badly, without parking, to get married (7)

      The third is similar in approach to today’s 17a, but the others are quite different. My favourite is Like a cricket bat in a match (7), which appeared in Times Cryptic 24385 in 2009.

  31. I took your advice Steve Cowling and attempted this today. I’m glad I did because I managed to complete unaided despite not being able to parse 17a. Very pleased to solve a RayT even if it wasn’t one of his harder crosswords.

    Many thanks to RayT for clearing up the debate about 17a.

    8d clue of the day as it’s a great word. One I may start using along with it’s antonym spiffing, which I use frequently.

    Thanks to all.

  32. Thanks Ray T and Mr K. Late to the party due to a busy day and a strange Jean Luc Godard film. Pleased to see that RT admitted error. Interesting all the theories and explanations. Last one in 9d due entirely to me being convinced that pair was pr.

  33. I don’t care if it was only rated **, it’s a RayT an I finished it unaided ,a rare occurrence for me. Thanks to all

  34. What is all the fuss about 17a. Its simply P (end of straP) inserted into sliced (meaning cut I. E. sliced loaf). The meaning is tied as in end of rope.

    1. The fuss was due to the original clue (as shown in Mr K’s blog) being in error (as the setter has admitted). A replacement clue has now been published on the DT on-line puzzle sites.

  35. The online clue for 17a was ‘Tied end of strap in cut’ It makes perfect sense, but I fail to understand why the print version is different. Any ideas?

    1. You’ve shortened your alias since your previous comments (in 2016) so this needed moderation. Both will work from now on but using some sort of suffix to distinguish your comments from those of others on the blog called Sue would be helpful.

      The original clue was faulty (as the setter Ray T confirmed on the blog). The revised clue appeared later online.

Comments are closed.