DT 30448 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30448

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30448

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. 

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. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



9a    Visitor soon is packing trunk (5)
TORSO:  The pair of words VISITOR SOON is hiding (packing) the answer 

10a   American banker in Olympic city facing dreadful danger (3,6)
RIO GRANDE:  A city that hosted the Olympics is followed by an anagram (dreadful) of DANGER gives a river (banker = some object with banks) not far from me

11a   Ridicule Australian oaf going into empty monastery (7)
MOCKERY:  An informal Australian word for an Australian oaf is inserted in (going into) the outer letters of (empty) MONASTERY 

12a   A little silent about old retired detectives (7)
MODICUM:  Silent or quiet containing (about) both the abbreviation for old and the reversal (retired) of some usual detectives 

13a   Steal fruit, almost two packs together? (5)
SCRUM:  All but the last letter (almost) of a verb meaning “steal fruit”. The definition is a bit cryptic – the answer was on display last Saturday in Paris 

14a   Dog wagging tail and circling old lady (9)
DALMATIAN:  An anagram (wagging) of TAIL AND containing another word for one’s old lady 

16a   Maybe Tony runs more than small football club? (9,6)
BLACKBURN ROVERS:  Tony the DJ is followed by the fusion of the crictket abbreviation for runs, a word meaning “more than”, and the clothing abbreviation for small 

19a   Something read perhaps daily in the past (9)
PAPERBACK:  What “daily” defines by example (perhaps) with a word meaning “in the past” 

21a   Journalist receiving award for insert (5)
EMBED:  A usual abbreviated journalist containing (receiving) one of the usual abbreviated awards 

23a   Lethargy fiancee Ruth is occasionally beginning to address (7)
INERTIA:  Alternate letters (occasionally) of FIANCEE RUTH IS followed by the first letter of (beginning to) ADDRESS 

25a   Mistakes  medical condition (7)
RICKETS:  A medical condition caused by lack of vitamin D is also a slang word for mistakes 

27a   Evening in Leamington arranged that lacks nothing (9)
ALIGNMENT:  An anagram (arranged) of LEAMINGTON minus (that lacks) the letter representing zero The definitition EVENING is read here as “making even” 

28a   Observes determined revolutionary (5)
NOTES:  The reversal (revolutionary) of a (3,2) phrase meaning determined 



1d    Hysteria essentially filling this writer's article (4)
ITEM:  The central pair of letters (essentially) of HYSTERIA inserted in (filling) a contraction for “this writer’s” from the perspective of the setter 

2d    Shopkeeper, comparatively stupid it's said (6)
GROCER:  A homophone of an adjective meaning comparatively stupid 

3d    Mary keen somehow to support second lucrative scheme (10)
MONEYMAKER:  An anagram (somehow) of MARY KEEN following (to support, in a down clue) a second or short interval of time 

4d    Father's coat always ragged ultimately and threadbare (6)
FRAYED:  Concatenate the outer letters (…’s coat) of FATHER, a word of affirmation that can mean always, and the final letter (ultimately) of RAGGED 

5d    Figure student must possess a popular antiseptic (8)
FORMALIN:  Putting the bits in order, we connect together a figure or shape, A from the clue, the letter indicating a student or learner driver, and popular or fashionable 

6d    Something you currently regard as grating? (4)
GRID:  A cryptic allusion to what you were looking at while solving the puzzle 

7d    Dedicate victory, heading off to meet reporter (8)
INSCRIBE:  Another word for victory minus its first letter (heading off) with a reporter or writer 

8d    Lectured one remiss sadly over daughter (10)
SERMONISED:  An anagram (sadly) of ONE REMISS is followed by the genealogical abbreviation for daughter 

13d   Mediocre pub, almost run-down, one enters (10)
SUBOPTIMAL:  An anagram (run-down) of PUB ALMOST with the Roman one inserted (…, one enters)

15d   Scaling limits unemployment benefit for young person (10)
ADOLESCENT:  A noun meaning scaling or climbing contains (limits) an informal word for unemployment benefit 

17d   Tech firm, good reportedly for such an order (5-3)
APPLE-PIE:  A US tech firm that makes computers, tablets, phones, and watches is followed by a homophone (reportedly) of good or sanctimonious 

18d   Some grouse, raw, an underling served up inadvertently (8)
UNAWARES:  The answer is hidden in the reversal (some … served up, in a down clue) of GROUSE RAW AN UNDERLING 

20d   Ace, right to engage in major royal sport (6)
KARATE:  The playing card abbreviation for ace and the single letter for right are inserted together in (to engage in) a major female royal 

22d   Acts regularly to stop plant falling over in wind (6)
BREATH:  Alternate letters (regularly) of ACTS inserted in (to stop) the reversal (falling over) of a generic plant used in cooking or medicine 

24d   Small rebellion Greek character dismissed (4)
TINY:  A maritime rebellion minus a short Greek letter (Greek character dismissed

26d   Okay with ordinary distress call being raised (2-2)
SO-SO:  The single letter for ordinary with a distress call in Morse code, all reversed (being raised, in a down clue) 


Thanks to today’s setter. My favourite clue was 27a. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  ROLE + HAN + DRAT = ROLAND RAT

69 comments on “DT 30448

  1. Lovely stylish puzzle, pleasure to do from start to finish.
    I liked lots but particularly enjoyed 13a (excellent) plus 23d (nothing 23d about it!), 24d and the brilliant 20d “major royal”. Great stuff
    Many thanks to the setter and Mr K for a top puzzle and blog

      1. You are very lucky it’s not a weekend puzzle, Senf, when you would have been despatched to the naughty corner. :wink:

  2. Didn’t know 13a – apart from that, again – a very enjoyable puzzle – it’s been a good week

  3. Just the right amount of difficulty for a Friday guzzle, I thought. I did mess up the SE corner by entering “hiccups” at 25a. I’m not a fan of football but 16a was quite gettable from the clue if the instructions were followed. I did like the thing I was currently regarding at 6d and the old daily at 19a. My COTD is 13a because it caused me to go through many obscure fruits until the penny dropped.

    I had “damn” for the third word of the pun so made no sense at all! 😁

    Thank you to our Friday setter for the fun challenge. Thank you, Mr. K. for the hints and pusskits.

    After a sunny morning in The Marches it is now starting to cloud over. Not to worry as we are going out for lunch at The Highwayman in Oswestry. Basic pub grub but very tasty.

    1. Your favourite Yorkshire pub has had a write-up in the Yorkshire Post and according to the review chances of getting a table at short notice are slim, but the farm shop in Pickering (Cedarbarn) was wonderful for soup and sandwiches

      1. Thanks, SJB. I must look that up. We are going back there in January. The chair by the fire is always reserved for us. 👍

  4. Great Friday puzzle! 16a held me up – ancient fame. Favourites 10a , 25a, 2d.
    Thanks to compiler.

  5. After yesterday’s ‘trickiness’ this was very enjoyable light relief for the end of the (non-)work week which suggests that it is a production of the ‘smooth’ member of the Friday Triumvirate – 2*/4.5*

    A big smile for the Pun.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 13a, 19a, 15d, 20d, and 22d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to Silvanus, or whomsoever, and thanks to Mr K.

    Not trying to compete with Mr K, well maybe I am:

    1. What a lovely YouTube video! It takes me back to 1978 when we had a young German Shepherd called Frau. My wife decided to accept a free jet black kitten from next door, which we named Boots. They got on famously and Frau accepted the role of surrogate mother with glee. Even fully grown, Boots was still rather small and somewhat timid – but woe betide any other local cat that tried to bully her whilst our Frau was around!

    2. My Sadie loves all kitties, babies or grown. I’d say you and Mr. K are tied today for cuteness.

    3. Lovely, lovely video. We had an Alsatian ( as we called them) when I was a girl, a beautiful gentle creature. It is a shame they often have a bad name.

  6. A real Friday slog of a guzzle, which was very hard to get into. Once a few chexkers went in, it gradually got easier to giess the answers. Most of the parsing was reverse engineering as I find the rationale behind this compiler’s clues difficult to fathom. There were a couple of good lurkers at 9a and 18d and as aleays I wnjoyed the geographical clue, with clever misdirection at 10a. Thanks to the compiler and to Mr K. I needed help inparsing a couple of bung-ins and I really enjoyed the cat pictures (the tiny kitten was gorgeous

  7. I finished this OK but I have yet to parse several of them – will have another go and then read the hints. I know they are right as All Answers Correct comes up. I realised 18d was a reversed lurker but took ages to fathom it out. Off out to lunch to The Snug in Holt for Norfolk Restaurant Week – menu looks delish. Hope I don’t put everyone off their grub with my ghastly swollen face! Anyway, thanks to the setter and Mr K for his hints which I will read in due course and thanks for the pictures.

  8. 3*/5*. Quite simply superb, with not a dodgy surface anywhere to be seen. The SE corner took a bit more teasing out than the rest taking me up to my 3* time.

    Favourite? All of them – sorry Kath.

    Many thanks surely to Silvanus and to Mr K.

  9. Great fun and quite kind for a Friday, wonder how people not of these shores fared with 16a?
    My two favourites today, 25a and the footie team.

  10. A top-class puzzle – thanks to our setter and Mr K.
    From a very long shortlist I’ve selected 13a, 19a and 20d for my podium.

  11. Not too bad for a Friday, solved in two stints pre and post-coffee, I imagine the ancient Tony was a stretch for some but he emerged from a dusty corner, nice to hear other’s lunch plans too, I am away with Mama Bee and Niece to the new Cheese Restaurant “Rind” they have just opened next to The Courtyard Dairy in Settle
    Gazza will be hinting The Sunday Toughie and I will be home late Sunday

  12. I found this a real scramble and I didn’t particularly enjoy the challenge. 16a Tony didn’t ring bells but club later sprung to mind. I presumed MrK’s reasoning for 27a but not keen on it. 5d unparsed and I overlooked reversal in 18d. 22d Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MrK.

  13. A fine Friday offering. Great clues, a reasonable challenge and a very congenial solve. Favourite of an excellent group: 19a. 3*/4*.

  14. Surprisingly gentle for a Friday, but what a superb puzzle with which to end the week, quite brilliant. I should be very surprised were this other than a Silvanus production, but hats off to the setter either way. Surfaces as smooth as silk, such wit and class evident in every clue, but nothing arcane and bizarre, no specialist knowledge required, everything clued impeccably fairly. As several have aluded to above the list from which to choose highlights is very long indeed, and I shall limit my own podium places to 25a, 28a, 18d & 22d.

    2* / 5*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter & to Mr K – great illustrations, as ever!

  15. What a gem of a puzzle affording plenty of smiles and a couple of new terms for me in the shape of the Australian oaf and the alternative meaning of 25a.
    So many ticks on my paper but I’ve narrowed the podium selection down to 12,13,14,16&19a plus 6d. The Quickie pun was certainly a blast from the past!

    Many thanks to our smooth compiler and to Mr K and his furry friends for the review.

    1. My 25a was a bung in, I’ve never heard of that for mistakes, was so surprised that it was right!

  16. Cor! That was tough. Hard, hard work but a very enjoyable tussle.

    I was on the ropes for a good while, soaking up the punches al la Ali in ’74, but got there in the end.

    I spent an age on 13d and the parsing finally hit me. I also had a great scrap with the 21a/22d comby. The slang word in 25a was a new one for me and duly noted.

    Great fun.

    My podium is 11a, 14a & 13d.

    Many thanks to Mr K and setter.


  17. Good afternoon
    Pleased to report a full grid this afty, following yesterday’s dreadful show.
    Plenty of wit and style in evidence today; four or five contenders for COTD. Pole position must go to 16a, for which the only word is “sensational!”
    (Woof! Woof! Thank you, Arnold 😉)
    Many thanks to our compiler and to Mr K

  18. Another very enjoyable, and challenging in parts, puzzle to finish a good week. I was held up for a while in the SE corner. I took far too long to work out the sport and the alternative meaning of the Vitamin D deficiency was new to me ( as was the Australian oaf) I think that 8d is a clumsy word, especially in the past tense. Unusually for me favourite today is the anagram at 27a because of the clever misdirection. I also liked 6d, which I failed to parse correctly, again very clever, and 13a. Thanks to today’s setter for the pleasure and Mr K for parsing help and the very comfortable insert kitty.

  19. Well this Friday puzzle was definitely the Toughie of the back pager puzzles this week … at least for me. I had eight clues where I could not figure out the parsing. Just made no sense to me. On the other hand, there were some very good clues and answers that I liked.

    For me today 3*/3.5*

    Favourites include 9a, 14a, 16a, 25a, 17d & 24d with co-winners 16a/24d … just can’t pick one.

    Thanks to setter & Mr K for hints/blog

  20. Hard work! Hasty breakfast and long lunch! But a worthy challenge. Faves in ascending order are 16a, 15d, and 22d.
    Never heard of 2d being used in the context of dim rather than rude, and can’t find a reference quickly. Also didn’t know the non-disease 25a. Many thanks to setter, and to MrK, who I’m glad to see wasn’t put off by 14a.

  21. Tough but great for me.
    Was not aware that 25a also meant mistakes but guessed the medical complaint.
    Favourite 13a for the penny drop moment.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr K….Great pics as always.

    As everyone else is sharing their plans , I will too. We are off to Edinburgh on Sunday thence to Nice for a week in the search for warmer weather. We will be dining in one of the pubs in the Grassmarket on Sunday evening….or if we are feeling a bit posher at Divino Enotica ….lovely Italian restaurant in Merchant Street.

      1. Thank you . We plan to….this is our third try at a holiday abroad this year. The first 2 had to be cancelled because of Mr Meringue’s health issues.
        So, fingers crossed nothing goes wrong between now and Monday.

        1. I’ll talk to the Higher Authority on your behalf, all should be well. Hope Mr. M’s health keeps well.

  22. Didn’t peg this as a likely Silvanus guzzle in the solve but having read the comments of RD & Jane & reading back through it reckon they’re right. The 3rd belter of a crossword on the bounce, packed full of super clues & great surfaces. The Aussie oaf new to me but otherwise not too ‘trocky’ for a Friday. Like Mr K my fav was 27a purely
    because it prompted me to re-read Betjemen’s poem Death In Leamington Spa which has always had a special resonance as my grandmother spent her last few years in one there. Podium contenders aplenty & not a dud in there.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K

  23. I found this hard. Took me a long while to get started. Favorites were 27A, 16A, 6D. Was pleased to finish it before the hints were available

  24. I was pretty much on wavelength with this for a change, 25 was a bung in ,never heard it used in that way before. 16a went in straight away as I listen to him on Saturday mornings playing music from the best era ever, the 60s of course. More like this and I’ll be happy. Thanks to all.

  25. Totally engrossing and superbly clued, this was a delight to solve. I started to select a favourite and soon realised that I was trying to find one not to pick such was the choice available. Marvellous entertainment.

    My thanks to, surely, Silvanus, and Mr K.

  26. Super puzzle, it took me a while to get into it but I persisted and finished with help on three or four clues from Mr Rache. I didn’t like 5d being called an antiseptic (in my book it is a preservative).
    I especially liked 27a and 13d – obvious anagrams with letters which didn’t automatically resolve themselves in front of my eyes, but great, satisfying penny drop moments when they did.
    I had to drive 100 miles from Yorkshire over the M62 in vile conditions yesterday for a dental appointment in Warrington so didn’t do yesterday’s puzzle. I will look at it when I get chance.

  27. A great puzzle for a Friday. A few guessed due to me not knowing the ‘Australian oaf’ or the slang use for 25a. My favourite was 13a but I enjoyed many more. A couple needed the hints to explain the parsing.

    many thanks to the setter and to Mr k for the hints and kitties

  28. For me this was not the toughest Friday puzzle, although I struggled to get the double meaning of 25a and it was not until I had written in 24d that I realised I had been confused over which Greek character was missing. The answer already had one.
    Great fun.

  29. A pretty fair puzzle for a Friday, when I do expect them to be tougher to satisfy the brighter people, and one I knew I would not be able to finish unaided. But enjoyed trying along the way, and pleased with having filled in 3/4 sans hints. But, for me, the best part is the video at 5d. Makes me want to rush out and get a couple of kittens right now 😊. 9a went straight in, and of course our favourite DJ at 16a went straight in, love his radio programs. Thanks to setter and Mr K. Hope everyone in the SE has come through the storm OK, looks to have been pretty bad.

  30. Perfect for a Friday. A steady rather than rapid solve for me, but most enjoyable. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 13a. Thanks to the street and Mr. K.

  31. Many thanks to Mr K for his Hints and Tips and to everyone for taking the trouble to comment.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend!

    1. Thanks for a great puzzle to solve and to hint.

      Thanks also to everyone who has commented today.

  32. Of course it was tricky, this is Friday and we expect that, but as always with Silvanus, it was fair. I didn’t know the Australian oaf, but could work it out from the clue, then confirmed on google. So many unusual letters came up in just the right places, my word search helped when I had no hope, as in football clubs at 16a, my knowledge of football is in the minus range. Such a lot of good stuff here, I can’t begin to choose a fave … maybe 14a ‘cos it’s a dog!
    Thank you Silvanus for the fun, what a difference a day makes, and to Mr. K for brightening our day with the lovely kitty pics.

  33. I found this a slog needing a lot of electronic help. Like others, the alternative meaning of 25a was new to me
    I hope everyone survived Ciaron. For many, but not all, it seems it was overhyped.

    1. It got a bit blowy on the coast but nothing out of the ordinary for an autumn gale. This recent convention of naming them is ridiculous and only encourages hyperbole and melodrama. ’87, now that was a storm!

  34. Is this really Friday?
    Well I never.
    It just flowed,
    Loved it all
    Especially 10 and 14a
    And all the juicy
    Many thanks Silvanus and Mr K.

  35. A tricky puzzle that needed two whiskies but enjoyable nonetheless. Puzzled over parsing 6d till the penny dropped and that’s my top clue. Never heard of the Aussie oaf but still got the answer. Thanks setter and Mr K.

  36. Oh flip. I’ve just practically written a whole novel and it got swiped away. So late I’m just going to say thank you to everyone.

  37. My apologies for this late comment.
    A very good Friday puzzle indeed. Much to enjoy, such as 9a, 13a, 19a and 24d.
    Many thanks to Sylvanus for this elegant, polished, and most enjoyable crossword.
    Many thanks too, to Mr K for the excellent review. Just love the kitty illustrations, especially 9a! Brilliant!

    1. Thanks for those kind words, Catnap. It’s never too late to comment – we hinters get an email whenever a new commecnt is posted.

  38. 3*/4* …
    liked 17D “Tech firm, good reportedly for such an order (5-3)”
    & the kitty pics.

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