DT 30244 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30244

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30244

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. I found this puzzle very enjoyable, and not just because it features a couple of cats. 

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    Centre gathering bit of market research (5,5)
FOCUS GROUP:  Synonyms of centre and of gathering 

6a    Papers stuck by every half-formed opinion (4)
IDEA:  The abbreviation for identity papers with one half (half-formed) of another word for every 

9a    Shape UK could develop from this? (5-2)
SHAKE-UP:  The wordplay says that SHAPE UK is an anagram of (could develop from) the answer, so the answer is also an anagram of SHAPE UK.  This web page suggests to me that the entire clue could serve as a definition

10a   Scratching head, English king welcomes French who study (7)
ENQUIRY:  An English king of whom there were eight minus his first letter (scratching head) contains (welcomes) “who” in French 

12a   Staying alert in canvas shelter I've positioned by headland (13)
ATTENTIVENESS:  Concatenate a synonym of “in”, a canvas shelter, I’VE from the clue, and a headland 

14a   Some shout 'ole', coming over as wild Mexican? (6)
OCELOT:  The answer is found hidden in the reversal (some … over) of the remainder of the clue. The definition is a little cryptic 

15a   Scrap in plane -- it's about lad (8)
JETTISON:  Link together a fast plane, the reversal (…’s about) of IT from the clue, and what a lad must also be 

17a   More crude electrical wire that is associated with resistance (8)
EARTHIER:  Assemble the name of the green and yellow electrical wire, the abbreviation for “that is”, and the physics symbol for electric resistance 

19a   Cheers following endless ballad, maybe a piano item? (6)
SONATA:  Putting the bits in order, combine all but the last letter (endless) of what a ballad defines by example (maybe), A from the clue, and an informal synonym of cheers 

22a   Place to store evidence perhaps of trimming government? (6,7)
FILING CABINET:  Trimming or polishing with the important part of the government 

24a   Arrives at price to admit yours truly -- nowt! (5,2)
COMES TO:  A synonym of price containing (to admit) a first person pronoun and a letter representing nowt or nothing 

25a   A criminal denies offering 'spice' ... (7)
ANISEED:  A from the clue with an anagram (criminal) of DENIES 

26a   ... drug quietly injected by female (4)
DOPE:  The musical abbreviation for quietly contained by (injected by) a female deer 

27a   Less to be covered by you once son is booming (10)
THUNDEROUS:  Less or below contained by (covered by) an archaic (once) word for “you” is all followed by the genealogical abbreviation for son 



1d    Fixed  hurriedly (4)
FAST:  A fairly straightforward double definition 

2d    Parody of commercial supporting cleaner energy (7)
CHARADE:  An informal contraction for commercial comes after (supporting, in a down clue) a cleaner or daily, and that’s all followed by the physics symbol for energy 

3d    Whispering in bed, maybe heard something in bathroom. Ducks! (5,8)
SWEET NOTHINGS:  A homophone (heard) of something found in a bathroom followed by more than one of the cricket score equivalent to a duck 

4d    About time to protect writer or wipe the slate clean (6)
REPENT:  About or concerning and the physics symbol for time are containing (to protect) a writing instrument 

5d    Raw nude swimming, with tide about to come in (8)
UNEDITED:  An anagram (swimming) of NUDE containing the reversal (about) of TIDE (… with … to come in)

7d    Daughter appears on Tyne Tees, perhaps revealing membership of AA? (7)
DRIVERS:  The genealogical abbreviation for daughter with what Tyne and Tees define by example (perhaps

8d    Cat in one article found at bottom of crater (10)
ABYSSINIAN:  A crater or deep hole followed by IN from the clue, the Roman one, and a grammatical article 

11d   Etonian squire involved in bit of market research (13)
QUESTIONNAIRE:  An anagram (involved) of ETONIAN SQUIRE 

13d   Pole, often under fire, resisted being guarded (5-5)
POKER-FACED:  A metal pole that’s often found under or in a fire is followed by resisted or confronted 

16d   Contents of plate a clot hid using this? (3,5)
TEA CLOTH:  The wordplay indicates that the answer is found hidden inside (contents of …) PLATE A CLOT HID. The entire clue can serve as the definition 

18d   Shock, having revolution over fish (7)
ROLLMOP:  Another word for a shock of hair is preceded by a synonym of revolution 

20d   Red coat in a new fashion style (3,4)
ART DECO:  An anagram (in a new fashion) of RED COAT 

21d   Old boy, this compiler, wearing belt to be secure (6)
OBTAIN:  The abbreviation for old boy is followed by a first person pronoun inserted in (wearing) belt or beat 

23d   Things crossword solvers might like -- topless 'Songs of Praise'? (4)
ODES:  All but the first letter (topless) of things that those interested in crosswords or other puzzles might like 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  BEE + RHODES = B ROADS

69 comments on “DT 30244

  1. Hardest of the week for me. It is Friday though. I would have struggled without the anagrams and cleverly hidden lurker in 16d. My last one in 27a is my COTD for this ***/**** puzzle. Thanks MrK for your hints and as ever amusing photos. And the setter of course.

  2. A very typical Zandio puzzle, clever, quirky and witty, I thought at the more gentle end of his spectrum, though I’d never heard of the cat but wordplay and checkers got me there.
    Plenty to like (despite the dreaded cleaner making an appearance in 2d!), my particularly stand outs were the clever 15a plus the super 3,7d (great spot..does that TV station still exist?) and 23d with top spot going to 24a…brilliant clue.
    Many thanks indeed to Zandio and Mr K.

  3. 2.5*/3.5*. I was getting on famously with this puzzle until I reached the SE corner where three clues held me up for some while especially the pesky 4-letter 23d.

    13d was my favourite.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio, and also to Mr K with his seemingly endless supply of wonderful cat pics.

  4. I was certain I would come across a Z sooner or later for the trademark X-less pangram but it didn’t materialise so not sure if it’s a proXimal production or not. I hadn’t realised 14a was native to those parts so I’ll plump for that lurker as my pick of the clues. Very enjoyable indeed & nicely clued throughout with a good few ticks.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr K – great pics as per.
    Ps there’s a bottom pun in the Quickie I think.

  5. A terrific puzzle for what is now a sunny morning, full of subtle humour and misdirection. I particularly enjoyed 3 and 7d, with my top spot going to the reverse lurker at 14a. The presence of a second pun in the Quickie had me wondering about this being a Campbell production, but the whole grid certainly feels more like a Zandio.

    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K.

  6. I can’t believe it! I finished a Zandio puzzle on a Friday. I did find it took me aong time to figure out a lot of the clues but i fared better than I usually do. I particularly like the anagrams, especially 11d, but a couple of charades, 8d and 27a were also good clues. Many thanks to Mr K for the hints and cat pictures and to Zandio

  7. Cracking backpager with which to finish the 5-day bit of the week on a high. For me the most testing of the week, as it should be, but so much wit and artistry to admire. Ticks all over the place, so shall limit Hon Mentions to 10a, 15a, 27a, 3d, 7d & 11d, with top step of the podium to 13d.

    2.5 / 4.5

    Thanks indeed to the setter, and of course to Mr K

  8. A tussle which took some unravelling but was fun to do. Was left with 8d mainly due to having put wrong last letter for 10a and not knowing the cat anyway however that obviously caused MrK no problem. Not keen on 19a clue. 22a Fav. Thank you Zandio and MrK.

  9. I agree with those above, our esteemed editor seems to be keeping to the ‘Friday sequence’ of S, P, Z and we had proXimal last week and Silvanus two weeks ago so my five bob is going on today’s setter being Zandio – 2.5*/3*

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 26a, and 18d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  10. Excellent entertainment during my first train ride in four years (only to discover the route from Cardiff to London is now electrified and we are going so fast it is hard to write letters in the right boxes or type this comment!!). Thank you setter. (Zandio?) and I bet 8d is MrK’s favourite clue 🤗

  11. A lovely puzzle – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    I thought that ‘Things crossword solvers might like’ (23d) was rather weak but apart from that there wasn’t a dud clue anywhere.
    My medals went to 10a, 3d and 13d.

  12. Toughest of the week for me but also the most satisfying to finish, especially the SE corner, with 27a my favourite, but I also liked and laughed out loud at 14a. Others quite clever and deserving of Clarkies: 7d, 24a, and 3d–aww, just for its nuanced cuteness. Very enjoyable indeed. Thanks to Mr K and Zandio apparently. ***/****

  13. Needed the hints for three clues. 1a, 8 and 23d. Should have googled types of cat and 23d still eluded me as I was thinking of hymns. Otherwise an enjoyable puzzle with honourable mentions for 24a, 3 and 13d, with clue of the day going to 11d. Etonian with the sort of person who says ‘Only had my hand on her bum squire’ goes so well with the Etonians we have come to despise during the 12 or so years of Tory rule.

    As usual Mr K has found some fine cat pictures so many thanks to him. And thanks to Zandio, if indeed he is the setter.

  14. Ah well – ‘every dog has his day’ and mine was yesterday so I guess the Zandio & Elgar fans deserve theirs today.
    I do like the taste of an 18d and both 12&22a raised a smile so I’m content with that.

    Thanks to Zandio and also to Mr K and his felines for the review.

    1. Me too re 18d although, ahead of 3 acrosses, I originally bunged in a different fish which I like even more!

      1. Unlike you two, I love fish but hate 18d, its not the taste its the texture, all sort of squishy!

  15. Doable but, boy, hard!
    Many gems, from a cunningly concealed lurker to the brilliant 3, 8 and 13d
    The last certainly my COTD by a short head.
    Very satisfying to complete albeit in 3.5* time.
    Many thanks Zandio and Mr K,

  16. Another excellent puzzle from Z, best of the week for me. Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Joint favourites: 24a and 13d. 3*/4.5*.

  17. Another Friday puzzle that was tricky but not head banging to solve. Some clues were hard to fathom and I think it may be a Zandio offering … as I have issues with his puzzles, but then again I am no expert on figuring out the setter.
    My 5/- is on him.

    2.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 9a, 12a, 24a, 8d & 16d with my winner 16d

    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  18. Another fine crossword to finish the week but definitely on the easier side for a Friday. I found Wednesdays back pager the most difficult of the week. Talking of week !?, 23 down was last in and not my cup of tea
    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  19. Liked this one a lot, with many cracking surfaces & IMHO a tad easier than the last couple of Fridays.


    Fav 17a LOI 27a

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  20. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss.
    The mention of ‘Etonian’ in 18d gives me the chance to set the record straight (as I understand it) on an old Telegraph Crossword incident from the early 2000s.
    Guardian crossword blogger Alan Connor covered the story when he published his book ‘Two Girls, One On Each Knee (7)’ in 2013. In a BBC article, Alan wrote:
    “When the Daily Telegraph experimented with having its puzzles assembled by computer, using a database of pre-written clues, its setters became a cause celebre, dubbed the Telegraph Six. Deputy editor Boris Johnson hastily changed tack.”
    Two points on this: Mr Johnson was actually an assistant editor (as a former national newspaper deputy editor myself, I value the difference).
    But, more importantly, the phrase “Boris Johnson hastily changed tack” is misleading because it sounds as if the idea was his. In fact when the setters’ protests reached Boris Johnson, he intervened to stop the plan.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. Amusing story, Zandio, thank you! Early evidence of the DT trying to save money by getting rid of human creative talent, something that has continued to this day, much to the detriment of the paper. I spent a couple of trying to work out why ‘Two Girls, One On Each Knee (7)’ could possiblty be ‘Etonian’ when it suddenly dawned that Etonian being seven letters was entirely coincidental.

      Thank you as ever for your quite wonderful puzzles.

      1. Alan Connor named his book ‘Two Girls, One On Each Knee (7)’ after a clue by Roger Squires, the Telegraph’s former ‘Monday Maestro’. It was Roger’s two millionth clue (Daily Telegraph, 15 May 2007, which was actually a Tuesday).

    2. Thank you for the story and correction, Zandio. Alan’s book is one of the things that helped me get properly into cryptic crosswords, and I recommend it to anybody who hasn’t read it.

      So that’s one falsehood about Boris Johnson corrected — how many more to go?

    3. Very belated comment Zandio – having just returned to my iPhone after a wild weekend’s camping on a rough Dartmoor I must confess to having preceded BJ at the college he went to in Oxford by about 18 years but from reports subsequently received on College chatter can confirm the accuracy of your recollection. Pip pip.

  21. Was on pangram alert (or at least X-less pangram alert) for the second day running, only to fall a letter and an X short again. Good fun with one of the cats – 8d – COTD for me. LOI was the Lady Ga-Ga clue at 13d. Thanks to Zandia and Mr K.

  22. Great puzzle even though it took me into 3* time to finish, but compensated by 5* for enjoyment! SE corner was last in with 23d proving the most difficult. Got sidetracked with hymns/psalms etc. for praise – whereas I should have been thinking nightingales/Grecian urns. Favourite clues included 8d, 13d and 15a. A lot to like – many thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  23. Randomly the easiest of the week for me 🤷🏻‍♂️ Ended up in the SE but no major hold ups. Thanks to hinter & setter.
    A question for Mr K. What happens if you are totally stumped with any clue so cant complete hints? Indeed has that ever happened?

    1. As a blogger of relatively recent standing I can say that answers are often elusive, especially in the early hours of Sunday. Fellow bloggers are always available via email and I have often called on them in the past.
      Mr K is smart enough to solve on his own but we all were beginners once.

    2. Hi, RogB. Good question. Most of us hinters get stuck occasionally, especially when the blog publication deadline means you don’t have time to put the puzzle aside for a while to come back to later. Elusive answers can usually be found through a combination of electronic word search, letter reveals on the puzzle site, and test submissions on the same site. If I’m stuck with a parse, I’ll either ask a feline friend if they’re awake or just put my best guess in the hints and ask readers for help.

      1. Ha! Does asking a feline friend ever yield an answer? You should credit them next time that happens! Thank you for all your hinting.

        1. He may have been referring to me, Smylers … at least, I hope so!

          (Nice puzzle – thanks, Zandio.)

    3. On a number of occasions I have sent an SOS message to other bloggers. Fortunately we are a very good team and don’t have to work in isolation.

      1. Nevertheless, you are all still expert solvers. If I were to become a blogger (Heaven forbid! ) I would be asking help for half the puzzle!

  24. Tough going today for me, but as usual with this setter, if you stick with it you get there. As I often point out, I’m one of the other lot, so cats are not my thing, so Mr G was required for 8d. Good solid clues throughout with a couple of clever lurkers including 14a (my LOI), but the surface for 27a makes it my COTD.
    Thanks to Zandio for the action (and for owning-up) and to Mr K for his usual well illustrated blog.

  25. That was tough, though did complete it, eventually, with just one hint – thank you Mr K.

    Thanks to Zandio for the challenge.

  26. I scribbled char-e-ad in the margin for 2d, and thought that can’t be a word before sorting it out the right way round. The rest was good Friday fun. My favourites were 3d and 22a. I’m very proud of getting 8d right. Thank you setter and Mr Kitty. Lovely Kitty pics.

  27. Quite tough like the old Friday puzzles used to be.
    Last in was the 14a reverse lurker, not sure about the Mexican connection.
    Favourite was 22a followed by17a ,liked the electrical wire.
    Going for a ***/****, thanks to 2K’s for the pics

    1. A 14a is native to South and Central America. I think that the question mark after Mexico was an indicator as to where the wild thing could be found. (Maybe). Having said that, I thought that Mexico was in the southern bit of North America. I’m happy to be corrected.

      1. You are right, Florence, Mexico is definitely located in North America. I took the ? to be an indicator that the definition is somewhat cryptic/misdirectional – in that the setter wants us to think about a wild Mexican (person), rather than an example of wildlife found in Mexico (cryptically, “wild Mexican”). The answer is native to Mexico, amongst other countries.

  28. Super puzzle today with no particular hold ups. Absolutely freezing here in Norfolk with all sorts of weather. Thanks to Zandio for fun and Mr K for lovely cat pics especially 14a

    1. Oh yes Mandelshtam, it’s freezing here in Cambridgeshire as well – even when the sun shines it is bitter. DD2 is in Cuba – lucky stick – and keeps sending me pictures of tropical paradise.

  29. When I looked through the first few clues I thought this was going to be a very tough one to crack, but as so ofter happens with me these days I started at top right with 6a and more or less worked clockwise from there. 1 down gave me the most grief, with the remainder going in all rather nicely. Most entertaining and a very enjoyable solve. So many contenders for a favourite clue, but I will simply name the three that floated my boat the most – 10a, 22a and 27a. Thank yous to Zandio and Mr K. P.S, when talking obout ‘Etonian’ Zandio, I assume you were referring to the clue at 11d rather than 18d as stated? Not that it makes me any the wiser, lol. :-) :-)

  30. I have finally finished but did need some little hints from Mr K and the kitties, to be expected on a Friday. I was sure 16d was an anagram and even had the second word but completely missed that it was a lurker, which makes me feel very foolish!
    I thought it was very enjoyable but I did use the check answer function quite a lot to avoid wasted time. I do think I am making progress though.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to Mr K for the fine hints and pics

  31. Another week has flashed by, and some great crossword clues along the way. I hope this is keeping my brain ticking over. Thanks as usual to Mr K for the hints ( I was completely stuck on 21d thinking of the wrong type of secure) and 8d made me all misty eyed for my two beauties. And I miss my dogs too. We do get spiders in the house but I don’t get attached to them. Thanks to Zandio also, enjoy the weekend.

  32. Very tricky, I always struggle with Zandio. I’m DNF with five needing the hints to solve, I also shot myself in the foot by putting the wrong second word in 1a. There was some good stuff, liked the cats at 8d, they’re lovely pets. I also put “shadow” cabinet at 22a, that meant a few more unsolved.
    Thanks to Zandio, much appreciated your pics and hints Mr. K. I can’t spend anymore time on this, exercises call!

  33. At first glance I couldn’t see a foothold but then it is a Friday! No snow so dashed out to do the weekly shop and dog walk. After lunch my brain power improved considerably. Thank goodness for some lovely anagrams but unlike others I struggled in parts of the SW not the SE. I was trying to get the name of a wild Mexican native for 14a incorporating ‘ole’ backwards! In the end I read the hints for 3 clues. Many thanks to Zandio and Mr K. Great kitty pictures! Have a nice weekend everyone.

  34. Good evening
    For once, I can thank our compiler personally – thank you Zandio, as well as MrK for the explanations. This was a long slog this afty!
    I must admit to a little pang of nostalgia seeing “appears on Tyne Tees” in 7d; that was what we caIled ITV when I was a bairn! I forgot myself recently, and asked my daughter to “put Tyne Tees on” recently; she was mystified!
    I had a little chuckle at 14a, and I must add a couple of Crikeys for 3d and 13d.

    1. Funny you should say “this afty”, SJ. A nurse who worked for me years ago always wrote “sarfanun” in the book. When I asked what it meant, she said “It’s sarfanun!” as if I were stupid. Then it dawned on me that she meant “ this afternoon”. She had gone through the whole of her schooling using it and had never been corrected.

  35. As is normal on a Friday, this was truly hard work. But I did rather better than most weeks, so there is that. However, I did only get a measly 2 answers at first pass. Happily a handful of Mr K’s excellent hints came to my rescue and got me off and running again. That is why I love this blog, it points you in the right direction when you are lost.

  36. Found this easier than yesterdays – although that may be related to my relative level of fatigue when attempting the puzzle and/or a wavelength thing- whatever, it was 2*/ 4* for me today
    Favourite 2d, 3d and 7d, but 14a the winner for Timrek Ruls today
    Thanks to Zandio ( always a treat when the setter pops in) and Mr K

  37. Once again, marking deadlines kept me from the puzzle but I have the weekend off so looking forward to some cryptic diversion.

    Thank you, Zandio and I’m sorry I couldn’t have a go. I would try now but I’m brain dead!

    Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints and wonderful pusskits. 🐈🐈🐈

  38. Thank you to Zandio for this entertainment. I agree with StephenL about the cleverness, quirks, wit, and typicalness of a Zandio puzzle, though I actually found this a little harder than most, using a couple of Mr K’s splendid hints to finish.

    10a was my first in and possibly my favourite: I do like it when I sceptically assemble some pieces per the wordplay, thinking this isn’t going anywhere, and suddenly those letters combine to form an actual legitimate word!

    Or maybe 2d was my favourite? I didn’t mind the cleaner, possibly because we’re currently reading The Falcon’s Malteser to the 8-year-old, in which the protagonists’ small ad for a cleaner is responded to by the very efficient Betty Charlady.

  39. Spent a while on 13 and 23d, which pushed me into double time.
    Liked 3d the most among all those great clues.
    Thanks to Zandio and to Mr K for the review.

  40. 4*/3*….
    liked 3D “Whispering in bed, maybe heard something in bathroom. Ducks! (5,8)”

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