DT 30465 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30465

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,465
Hints and tips by Shabbo

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Wells-next-the-Sea, where we are staying in a beautiful apartment overlooking the harbour and the salt marshes. We have been very lucky with the weather so far with hardly a drop of the wet stuff and this is set to continue for the remainder of the week. As usual, North Norfolk has thrown up some interesting birds, including hen harrier, glossy ibis and great northern diver and a few species that should have departed long ago, including arctic tern, swallow and house martin. Apologies to the non-birders – we love all this, but perhaps we need to get out more!

A most enjoyable puzzle from our not so mysterious setter. Many thanks to him. The last few clues required a bit of head scratching, but all-in-all, nothing to frighten the horses, but you, dear solver, can be the judge of that. The puzzle was a great crosswording lesson in reading each word separately and on its own merits. As the average clue length is only a fraction over five words, this might well be a statement of the bleedin’ obvious! 5d and 14d required the most thought for me and were my last ones in. I suspect they will generate much debate!

In the blog below, the definition element of each clue has been underlined and anagrams are CAPITALISED. The answers are concealed under the “Click Here” buttons. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on and what you thought of the puzzle.


1a Repeat cup tie at Real broadcast (12)
RECAPITULATE: I immediately thought homophone, but “broadcast” here is an anagram indicator. Rearrange CUP TIE AT REAL.

9a Private cabin, say, with revolving berth (9)
STATEROOM: synonym for say + synonym for berth reversed (revolving).

10a Start to peel every fruit (5)
PEACH: first letter of peel + synonym for every.

11a Old boy ogled and followed (6)
OBEYED: abbreviation for old boy (as in school) + synonym for ogled.

12a Hard and close shaven? (8)
HAIRLESS: abbreviation for hard + synonym for close (as in stuffy).

13a Clairvoyance with detailed ceremony seeing spirit (6)
ESPRIT: three letter abbreviation for sixth sense + synonym for ceremony without the last letter (detailed).

15a Diligent boss promises to pay (8)
STUDIOUS: verging on a chestnut. The usual crosswordland synonyms for boss + promises to pay.

18a Constituent altering constituents, somehow (8)
INTEGRAL: anagram (constituents, somehow) of ALTERING.

19a Difficulties increase in case of Conservatives (6)
CRISES: synonym for increase inside (in) the first and last letters (case of) Conservatives.

21a Secret withdrawn accepting bird before time (8)
STEALTHY: synonym for withdrawn outside (accepting) a type of bird (our smallest duck) + abbreviation for time.

23a Burn swallowing large one (6)
SINGLE: synonym for burn outside (swallowing) abbreviation for large.

26a Flower found in French countryside? (5)
LOIRE: this head-scratcher turned out to be a cryptic definition, with the flower pronounced differently, of course!

27a Is testing pants getting most tight (9)
STINGIEST: anagram (pants) of IS TESTING

28a Arrest con men roughly provoking protest (12)
REMONSTRANCE: another anagram. This time of ARREST CON MEN.


1d Break mineral aggregate for rebuild (7)
RESTORE: I wasted far too much time trying to find an anagram of “mineral”. It is, in fact: synonym of break + synonym of mineral aggregate.

2d Follow with hearts in suit (5)
CHASE: abbreviation of hearts inside (in) synonym for suit (as in legal)

3d Top of pate growing less above (9)
PRECEDING: take the top (first letter of) pate + synonym for growing less. After 12a, it is nice to see that those of us who are follicly challenged are being kindly (?) acknowledged.

4d Rifle raised for drill, perhaps (4)
TOOL: synonym for rifle (a verb, not a noun) reversed (raised – this is a down clue)

5d Berate former sweetheart embracing a doctor (8)
LAMBASTE: I struggled a bit with this one. The constituent parts seemed quite clear but, like Eric Morecambe, I couldn’t see how we were supposed to put them all together in the right order. I was convinced that “former” had to be “late”, but it can’t be. I’m also sure that most of us would normally spell the definition without the E at the end, but Chambers says both spellings are fine. Anyway, I think it must be synonym for former + swEet outside (embracing) A + abbreviation for doctor.

6d One maybe recording hit with Queen (5)
TAPER: synonym for hit + the regnal abbreviation for our late queen.

7d Empty rant tops common sense (8)
RAVENOUS: synonym for rant on top of (down clue) synonym for common sense.

8d In street he’s issuing paper (6)
THESIS: hidden word within words 2, 3 & 4.

14d Wretched way state overturned poor? (8)
PATHETIC: synonym for “way” + synonym for state reversed (overturned). Note that I have underlined two definitions here, one at the beginning and one at the end. I don’t think I have ever seen this before.

16d Revolting leftist holds possibly criminal pistol (9)
DERRINGER: synonym for leftist or communist backwards outside (holds) synonym for “possibly criminal”.

17d Raincoat flash hiding the man’s virility (8)
MACHISMO: abbreviated synonym for raincoat + two-letter synonym for flash outside (hiding) synonym for “the man’s”.

18d Complains, ultimately taking offence (6)
INSULT: another hidden word, concealed within the first two words of the clue.

20d Dear mistress’s last minute relationship (7)
SWEETIE: last letter of mistress + synonym for minute (think small) + synonym for relationship. Clever.

22d Subject of fiction, say, written up (5)
LIEGE: synonym for fiction or untruth + abbreviation for “say” reversed (upside down).

24d Collect grand covering bank (5)
GLEAN: abbreviation for grand on top of (covering) bank (which looks like a noun, but is in fact a verb in this instance).

25d Serves rapid dish occasionally (4)
AIDS: every other letter (occasionally) of “rapid dish”.


83 comments on “DT 30465
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  1. Ray T at his very friendly best – **/*****!

    Candidates for favourite – 15a, 19a, 23a, 4d, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Mr T and Shabbo.

    P.S. It looks like Mr T borrowed Dada’s personal thesaurus for the synonym of former in 5d to come up with last.

  2. Another cracking crossword, I fairly rattled through this until I picked the wrong river for 26a and promptly ground to a halt in the SW corner.
    Also I really struggled to parse 5d though the answer was clear from the crossers. And yet it all seemed so obvious once the elusive penny had dropped…

  3. Suitably tricky for a Thursday. Held up by putting in the wrong French flower for 26a when I had only two checkers. Took a time with 9a too as I convinced myself that the last word formed a partial anagram.

    Favourites 9a, 12a and 1d amongst many other clever clues.

    I am with the hinter in being more familiar with a slightly shorter version of 5d.

    Bright but breezy here in NE Scotland as I get the homemade calendars which I inflict on the rest of the family ready to be handed over to Snail Mail.

    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to Shabbo for a couple of clarifications.

  4. That was a bit of a snorter. It was hard to get into and progress was slow at first, swith no checkers. It was a case of find the definition, use the checkers to guess the solution, then reverse engineer it to figure out the parsing All in all it was a bit of a slog but it will appeal to the wlite solvers. I got a sense of satisfaction out of finishing the guzzle, aided by just the thesaurus. 18a was a well- hidden anagram, 16d and 21a were good lego clues and 18d a clever lurker. Many thanks to Shabbo for the hints, it was good to check my parsing and to Ray T (?) For the krypto- Toughie.

  5. The King of Concise has produced yet another excellent puzzle for a sunny Thursday morning. I also picked 20d to be my top clue. Terrific entertainment, for which many thanks to Mr T and Shabbo.

  6. This one took me comfortably into ** time so maybe didn’t find it as straightforward as Senf did but I’ll go along with his choice of fav though there were a number of worthy contenders. 26a was the parsing head scratch here too & happy to see I reached the same conclusion as our reviewer. Is it just me or does anyone else think the word at 1a ought to mean raise the white flag again?
    Thanks to Ray T for another very enjoyable guzzle & to Shabbo – enjoyed your Indy puzzle Sunday.
    Ps does anyone recall the wording on Django’s 15 letter lurker clue that Smylers reminded us of yesterday? I vaguely recall it was Arsenal related & he’s another Gunners clue in today’s Toughie – guess he must be a fan

  7. 2.5*/4.5*. All the usual fun and brevity that you expect from RayT. My only slight qualm was that 26a seemed to be rather obvious, and it was just a question of getting the checkers to see which river was required.

    When does an anagram not look much like an anagram? When it is like 18a, my favourite today.

    Many thanks to RayT and birdman Shabbo.

      1. Hi Mhids

        I can’t see it either. The last six letters of the answer is the possible criminal. So, it’s not inside but underneath. Could ‘holds’, in this case, mean ‘holds down’, i.e the revolting leftist is on top of the criminal, holding them down?

  8. Somewhat lighter than the usual Thursday puzzle but none the worst for that, solved in quarters, the last being the NE and the 8d lurker nicely hidden.
    Liked 13a for the clairvoyance, favourite was the 21a charade.
    Agree with Shabbo and the***/****
    The one word Quickie took a while and a spot on pun to boot’

  9. I agree with Huntsman – this one gave the old grey matter a good work out. A couple of clever lurkers and a number of Lego clues that required thoughtful building led to a satisfying solve. Wasn’t quite sure though whether the word in the clue was really a synonym for the answer to 1a, nor about the extra ‘e’ in 5d or the double definition in 14d but the answers fell into place once the checkers were in. My fave today – 7d. Thanks Ray T, thanks Shabbo.

  10. A very good crossword for me this morning. By no means as straightforward for me as it was for Sent but most enjoyable when it all fell into place.
    I had to check the parsing of 20d and took ages to decide that 26a was just a cryptic definition and I wasn’t missing anything more complicated.
    Thanks to Shabbo and to Ray T.

    Had my flu and covid jags this morning (they’re jaGs in Scotland, not jaBs) so am awaiting a sore arm etc etc.
    Very blustery here and gradually getting colder.

  11. Another cracking crossword from the man of succinct clueing. There was some head scratching along the way but no real hold-ups. I was not enthused by 26a, but there were lots of other clever clues to make up for it. No overall favourite today but I did like 15a, 21a, 5d, 14d and 24d. I could have listed any other five really. Spoilt for choice today. Thanks, as always, to Ray T and to Shabbo, whose help I didn’t need today, but whose comments I enjoyed reading.

  12. Another fine puzzle from our master of brevity – thanks to Mr T and Shabbo.
    I liked the topical 19a and the smutty 17d with my favourite being 20d.

  13. Reviewing the hints, I feel like this one should have been more straightforward than it was.

    Time to start cooking the bird. Happy Thanksgiving from the 10a State

  14. Another excellent offering from Ray T. The usual pithy clues, a reasonable challenge and a very entertaining solve. Fav: the rather indelicate but very amusing 17d. 3*/4.5*.

    *Has 14d really got two clue definitions. Surely I’ve missed something?

  15. Cor!

    I was put through the wringer but came out the other side in one piece, albeit as thin and as floppy as a rasher of cheap bacon. I hate it when they say there are 12 in a packet when it’s really six but sliced once more. It’s like fewer triangles in a Toblerone, more air in a Malteser or a far lighter box of Quality Street for the same price.

    Have you seen this? https://www.nestle.co.uk/en-gb/media/pressreleases/allpressreleases/quality-street-brings-back-fan-favourite-christmas-2023

    I digress.

    What an excellent crossword from Ray T. He never disappoints (hurrah!) It took me a good while to get into but, once I did, it all fell into place nicely.

    As always, it’s very hard to pick three but I’ll go with 11a, 5d and 17d which was marvellous.

    Many thanks to Shabs and Mr Consistency (in a good way)


    1. Tom. You can get packs of “thick cut” bacon at Morrisons (£2.25, 6 rashers) and other places. But even that’s not what I would call “thick”. Tubs of Quality Street are now 600gm – I’m sure they were 650gm last year. Remember the local family butchers back in the 50s and 60s when they had the adjustable bacon slicer on the counter and you could have it cut as thick/thin as you wanted? Never mind WI talk, this MI talk. :-)

        1. Our butcher still has a bacon slicer. We went on a fascinating smoking and curing course and after two weeks of ‘curing’ our bacon in the fridge, took it to the butcher to slice for us at the thickness we wanted. Delicious as we had chosen the flavour of the ‘cure’.

          1. Sounds splendid.

            I saw an advert in the local paper which read:

            Sign up to our ‘Smoking and curing’ course: How to take up smoking and then to give it up immediately.


            1. It was such fun – you operated the speed of the sausage making machine with your knee and held on to the sausages coming out for dear life. D has a photo of me panic stricken with yards of bangers flying out as I had forgotten about the knee element!

              1. Well, we obviously have to see that totally hilarious pic, Manders.

                It sounds like a Dad’s Army sketch with butcher Corporal Jones and Mrs Fox.

  16. Enjoy Wells, Shabbo — we love it there! And thank you for providing hints even when on holiday.

    Don’t apologise for being interested in birds (or anything else); it’s lovely to learn about bloggers’ interests. Have you been to Pensthorpe, just down the road in Fakenham? We enjoyed seeing many of the birds there.

      1. I disagree – I think it is a synonym of break + a synonym of mineral aggregate. If you look up “ore” in the BRB then you’ll see what I mean.

  17. Unlike the last couple of RayT puzzles I felt he upped the ante on this one … but I will be interested to see the comments from others on how they found it.

    3.5*/3.5* today.

    Favourites include 10a, 18a, 21a, 23a, 14d & 17d — with winner 17d, with 21a a close second.

    Thanks to RayT & Shabbo for hints/blog

  18. About right for a Thursday, not a total brain mangler but I had to look at the hints to get going again in the SW where I got stuck. I had the answer to 18a but couldn’t see why, an anagram of course! My brain must be on holiday with the rest of America! Same with 8d, a lurker, what else could it be? At least the penny dropped in time. Lots of good stuff here, I like 5d, just ‘cos I like the word.
    Thank you RayT for the fun and Shabbo for unlocking so much for me. I’ll have to read the comments later, must get my routine going before my aide has to leave to get Thanksgiving dinner for her family.

  19. Ray T always delivers a great challenge and this doesn’t disappoint. It seems to have stretched my grey matter more than others here, so a very satisfying solve.
    A minor gripe about 26a, as noted above, and I’ll go with 17d as my favourite.
    Thanks to Ray T and Shabbo

  20. Can’t say I enjoyed this at all, but I am not a paid up member of the Ray T fan club. Sometimes I can just about cope, but not today, way above my pay grade. Not helped by thinking the gun was called a dillinger… Not willing to struggle with this on our Thanksgiving morning. Hooray, eldest daughter is hosting the annual feast today so I have nothing to do except turn up, which is perfect as I am supposed to keep my leg elevated. She and our son-in-law always provide a splendid dinner. Thanks for the challenge Ray, and to Shabbo, but I found this more of a ****.

  21. The SW corner held me up the longest but all in all an enjoyable guzzle. Glad you are having a good time up here Shabbo and what a cracking day its been today, even got the lawn mown. Would also recommend Pensthorpe (Smylers 17 above) if you haven’t been but I expect you have. Thanks to all.

  22. I find this setter’s puzzles very hard but managed to finish with some help from the thesaurus. The hint for 1d made sense of the answer. So thank you Shabbo and I’ll keep trying to catch Ray T’s wavelength.

  23. Speaking of 19a, I’ve had two of the domestic variety this week, both involving heating and copious amounts of water. Now I’m worrying about the old adage of everything coming in threes…………..
    Thank goodness Mr T gave me something to take my mind off it – even if he did have to include 19a in his puzzle!
    Joint winners for me in 9a & 20d and I certainly waited for checkers to appear before entering an answer for 26a – so many ‘flowers’ in France!

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and many thanks to Shabbo for finding time to write the review – full birding report expected when you return home!

  24. A very “Ray T” challenge for me. Difficult but i’m always pleased to finish one of his puzzles.

    thanks to him and Shabbo. Have a good break

  25. Evening all. Many thanks to Shabbo for the analysis and to everybody else for your comments. Much appreciated, as ever.


    1. Good evening, Mr T. Another great back-pager even though I could have done without the reminder of this week’s household 19a’s!

  26. I thought I would gallop home in record time as I solved 1a instantly (but did check after the biff!)
    But among all the fun stuff there were some challenges that turn the guzzle into a longish breakfast, needing lots of checkers. Took a while to work out both 21& 23a as well as looking for a flower as well as a river; eventually did settle for the latter, of course. Then 14a , with the double definition! Clue du jour definiteit the dear little one at 20d, having spent ages looking for ‘times’!
    Many thanks to RayT and to Shabbo.

  27. I must be on a different planet from most of the other commenters, because I found this an absolute stinker and had to resort to many, many of Shabbo’s excellent hints to even get to **** time. Only * for enjoyment I’m afraid, but thanks to Ray T. anyway. Roll on tomorrow…

  28. I too found this hard and ground to a halt, after spending most of the day on and off, with 5 clues to go. I had to resort to the excellent hints for those. I had thought of the correct word, if not the spelling for 5d but had to give up as it didn’t fit with the Lego pieces I had.
    I was ignorant of the crosswordland word for boss so I will file that away.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  29. I would describe this as like climbing a small mountain in bad weather. Not enjoyable while climbing up and down, but a great sense of achievement when conquered.

    Thanks to all.

  30. Well I was going great guns until suddenly I wasn’t, mainly in the west. I managed to crack the NW but the SW remained stubborn but got there in the end though. Like JB @ #33 I didn’t understand the hint. Favourite was 17d. Thanks to Rayt and Shabbo.

    1. Apologies to you and JB. If you both did not understand the hint, then I clearly did not explain it very well. For that, I can only apologise.
      Hopefully CS’s explanation (posted at the same time as your query) will help.
      If we see the word flower, we immediately think of a plant. However, flower is often used in crosswords to denote a river – something that flows.
      I hope that helps.

  31. A Ray T masterpiece of concision that has too many great clues to pick a podium let alone a Kathian 1
    I thought Ray only had one sweetheart but now we have a former sweetheart who it would appear was just the last one of many🥰

  32. What a great puzzle from RayT. At 14d, he’s managed to pack two definitions as well as wordplay into five words. How concise is that! At 17d, the clue seems to me to be situationally incorrect — surely the flash exposes the man’s virility rather than hiding it. Conjures up an image of one walking around exposed who quickly covers up when meeting someone? Thanks to Shabbo for the review and birding report.

        1. I see what you mean. I make a conscious effort not to ‘get’ the surface reading as I find it helps to solve it to take one word at a time. Would replacing ‘hiding’ with ‘revealing’ be too much of a stretch?

          1. That change would make the surface read more logical but destroy the cryptic structure. It is not unusual to see clues whose surface is not entirely logical. This one just happened to conjure up a rather bizarre image in my mind.

  33. Good evening
    After lots of scratching of the head throughout the afternoon and evening, I have had to conclude that I must hoy the sponge in, 9 solutions shy of a full grid. That’s twice in succession I’ve been beaten by the cunning Mr T! Must do better next time.
    Thank you Ray T for the challenge and thank you Shabbo for the hints and explanations

  34. I’m glad to hear that the weather has been nice in Wells-next-the-Sea and that you’ve been able to spot some interesting birds. It sounds like a lovely place to be. As for the crossword puzzle, it seems like it was enjoyable overall, with a couple of tricky clues towards the end.

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