DT 30472 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30472

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30472

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to a solid Friday puzzle with a grid that uses every letter in the alphabet except X. 

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    Take cases of Armagnac, champagne and port (6)
ACCEPT:  The outer letters of (cases of) ARMAGNAC CHAMPAGNE PORT 

4a    Some Luddite man resumes turning handle on computer (8)
USERNAME:  The answer is hidden in the reversal of (some … turning) LUDDITE MAN RESUMES 

9a    Son experienced returning terrors (6)
DEVILS:  The genealogical abbreviation for son with experienced or underwent, all reversed (returning

10a   Got constant amount of paper across which to display advert (8)
ACQUIRED:  A usual single letter for a mathematical or physical constant and 24 sheets of paper are inserted in (… which to display) a contraction of advert 

12a   Drunkenly wield menu collecting large drink (6,4)
MULLED WINE:  An anagram (drunkenly) of WIELD MENU containing (collecting) the clothing abbreviation for large 

13a   Sour when caught dipping into charitable fund (4)
ACID:  The cricket abbreviation for caught inserted in (dipping into) assistance or a charitable fund 

14a   Vote against entering area in New York (3)
NAY:  The single letter for area inserted in (entering … in) the abbreviation for New York 

15a   Lorry delayed between American states (11)
ARTICULATES:  An informal name for a type of big lorry is followed by a synonym of delayed contained by (between) an abbreviation for American 

18a   Misrepresented Hercules and Pan as folkloric beings (11)
LEPRECHAUNS:  An anagram (misrepresented) of HERCULES AND PAN 

20a   You and I must leave Tower Hill (3)
TOR:  A pronoun for “you and I” is deleted from (must leave) TOWER from the clue 

21a   Twist smart speaker's lead around (4)
SPIN:  Smart or sting and the first letter of SPEAKER (…’s lead), all reversed (around

22a   Exciting night catching Netherlands against Italy (10)
ENLIVENING:  The early part of the night containing (catching) the fusion of (… against …) the IVR codes for the Netherlands and for Italy 

24a   Park behind Shaun the Sheep, say (8)
ANIMATOR:  What Mr Park the creator of Shaun the Sheep defines by example (say

25a   Permit husband to cut in dense shrubs (6)
TICKET:  A word for some dense shrubs minus the genealogical abbreviation for husband (husband to cut in …

26a   Tall tale about fine luxurious existence (4,4)
HIGH LIFE:  Tall or lofty with an untrue tale containing the pencil abbreviation for fine 

27a   Arranged change when getting year for hospital operation (6)
AGENCY:  An anagram (arranged) of CHANGE after the single letter for YEAR replaces the single letter for HOSPITAL (… when getting year for hospital) 



1d    Corporation's oilman, bad rogue (9)
ABDOMINAL:  An anagram (rogue) of OILMAN BAD 

2d    Troops riding in white lorry regularly overlooked (7)
CAVALRY:  A white wine is followed by alternate letters (regularly overlooked) of LORRY 

3d    Official border moving north over time is theft (9)
PILFERAGE:  The fusion of an official in a sporting encounter and a border or edge is reversed (moving north, in a down clue) and followed by a time or era 

5d    Relative's back home keeping company with us (6,6)
SECOND COUSIN:  Back a nomination and the usual short word for home are containing (keeping) an abbreviation for company and US from the clue 

6d    Hammering head of rivet exposed (4)
ROUT:  The first letter of (head of) RIVET and another word for exposed 

7d    Tree likely to bear fruit crop now and then (7)
APRICOT:  Likely or fitting containing (to bear) alternate letters (now and then) of FRUIT CROP 

8d    Around November, first of two journalists quit (5)
ENDED:  Two copies of a usual abbreviated journalist, with the first containing (around) the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by November 

11d   Losing interest with scoffing bananas (9,3)
SWITCHING OFF:  An anagram (bananas) of WITH SCOFFING 

16d   Attempting to hear record, turning up good number (9)
LISTENING:  A record or register is followed by the reversal (turning up, in a down clue) of both the single letter for good and a number less than ten 

17d   Lively sparrow avoiding pointer with good reason (9)
SPRIGHTLY:  SPARROW from the clue minus a synonym of pointer (avoiding pointer) is followed by a word meaning “with good reason” 

19d   Pawn jewellery bringing in unknown one for valuing (7)
PRIZING:  The chess abbreviation for pawn is followed by an item of finger jewellery containing (bringing in) both a letter used for a mathematical unknown and the Roman one 

20d   Reduce temperature with poultry, opening shed (7)
THICKEN:  The physics symbol for temperature with a common type of poultry minus its first letter (…, opening shed

21d   Cut down small hollow tree (5)
SLASH:  The outer letters (hollow) of SMALL are followed by a well-known timber tree 

23d   German's OK with unlimited Pils for jug (4)
JAIL:  The German word for OK or yes is followed by PILS minus its outer letters (unlimited). The definition is slang 


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

The Quick Crossword pun:  DUB + OLD + HUTCH = DOUBLE DUTCH

68 comments on “DT 30472
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  1. Well, I might be mistaken but it seems quite a while (9 weeks?) since we had a puzzle from pro_imal, using his 25 letter alphabet, to solve. Very welcome after two days of Mysterons and very enjoyable too – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 22a, 2d, and 17d – and the winner is 22a.

    Thanks to pro_imal and MrK.

  2. I found the bottom half more of a challenge than the top, finishing up with a couple in the SW corner.
    My only slight quibble was with 2d, where the first 4 letters of the answer do not necessarily mean white. I live in Spain and occasionally opt for the pink (rosado). The word originates from cueva (meaning cave).
    Many thanks to proXimal and to MrK.

  3. It took me so long to get started on this guzzle that I nearly gave up on it. Persistence won out in the end and I slogged to the finishwith 20d, an unlikely synonym, until I considered the meaning of reduce in a recipe. 18a was a good anagram but 24a, a clever cryptic definition, was the best clue in my book Thanks to Mr K for the hints and to the compiler.

  4. Well it fell eventually and gave up quite a fight but was an unadulterated pleasure. Didn’t twig the Park piece in 24a, so clever. Well it was all very clever and I especially liked 18a for its elegant surface. Loving the alternative pics and the naughty monkeys. Gratitude to Proximal and Mr K.

    1. Much as I love his stuff, particularly Whatsit and Grommet (can’t remember the name), I didn’t know who the originator was.

      1. Merusa,

        Wallace. they were /are brilliant in my book.

        i still laugh at the handbrake delaying the take off in a grand day out

  5. Very enjoyable indeed with some clever wordplay construction and nice misdirection throughout, making it the best of the week for me. With that in mind I’ll highlight 22,24&15a plus 20&23d
    Many thanks to the Xman and to Mr K for a top puzzle and review.

  6. A good, well-fought tussle this morning that was pleasingly tricky and an absolute delight to solve. I loved the surface of 22a and that became my favourite ahead of 15a.

    Many thanks to proXimal for the challenge, and to Mr K.

  7. As Senf noted, it’s quite a while since we last saw Mr X-less strutting his stuff! The top half lulled me into a false sense of security and I found a few more tricky elements in the lower reaches.
    Top billing goes to 15a with ticks for 18&26a plus 17&20d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Mr K and his naughty tribe for the review!

  8. Just right combination of food for thought and enjoyment. North less challenging than bottom half. Significance of Park in 24a eluded me as did to bear in 7d and am surprised to find 27a synonymous with operation. Fav 5d. Pun is fun. Thank you proXimal and MrK.

  9. A top-notch puzzle from Mr X – thanks to him and Mr K.
    Highlights for me were 15a, 24a (I’d have got this quicker if Gromit had been mentioned rather than Shaun) and 5d.

  10. Hardest ‘doable’ puzzle in ages, took absolutely ages but wouldn’t give in to the thing.
    Took a while to drag the paper reference in 10a to the frontal lobe, but dredged it up eventually.
    12a reminded me of the dreadful things called ‘Christmas Markets’, where you can buy a thimble full of the revolting drink from an Algerian for £6, while seeing the 25L can of the stuff behind him (cost £24.99) from which he just decanted it. Oh well , I suppose some people enjoy them.
    Back to the crossword though, my favourites today were the misleading 24a and 3d.

  11. I found this much the same as Jane, the top half tripped off the pen but I slowed considerably in the south. I will join the appreciation for Mr Park, this time the capital was crucial but “hidden” by being the first letter
    I put the wrong unknown in 19d and I couldn’t get the flag waving lady until I cottoned on to the pro_imal nature of the crossword
    Thanks to the other SJB and Mr K -the ads are not too intrusive and can be easily ignored if it helps fund the continuation of Big Dave’s legacy

    1. The look on the poor Irish setters face was a hoot,
      “Oh fudge it must be St Paddy’s day They’ve painted me green again !”

      1. Yes with the C, I also toyed with Alexa – the 2nd a yo give me an axle, and then Siri for the smart speaker but I guess that was pro_imals intention

          1. Good stuff, though I must confess I’ve never bought it outside of Jamaica. When I was growing up, we bought the beans raw in the market. Our cook would roast the beans every morning, then grind them and make the coffee. I remember so well the smell of the beans being roasted every morning. Of course, the grinder was hand cranked!

  12. A very nice puzzle, again with elements of chewiness, but I do like and prefer that, especially where the clues are so well-written.

  13. Light, but jolly good fun, even if one can wait ages for a lorry only for two to turn up at once. Cracking clueing throughout, very witty and amusiing. A very full podium with multiple steps to allow for 10a, 15a, 7d (so clever) and 23d (big smile), while COTD goes to the excellent 24a.

    1.5 / 4

    Many thanks to ProXimal and to MrK

      1. Hi Stephen

        Please excuse my ignorance but I thought z has a mathematical referent as does a,b,c,x and y.

        Or does z have an unknown meaning other than mathematics?

        1. Hi Jezza, I don’t know the answer to your question, all I know is The Telegraph only allows the three letters I listed as single-letter abbreviations for unknown as far as I can see.

      2. You’re right, of course, Stephen. That is undoubtedly the Telegraph – and general – style. But the others have a point. A, b or c (c in this instance) would all be technically correct. I’m fascinated as to how and when crossword conventions change. I’m sure there was a time when, say, “pants” wouldn’t have been allowed as an anagram indicator. And I know there are those who think it still shouldn’t be. Presumably, it’s editors, prodded by setters and authenticated by Chambers, that decide?

    1. I believe a, b, c, x, y, and z are all used for mathematical unknowns. The unknown is unchecked, so unless I am missing something both pricing and prizing seem to be options. Although the web site confirms that the answer is intended to be prizing.

      1. Didn’t see Stephen’s reply to Jezza until the page refreshed. I wasn’t aware that the Telegraph limits ‘unknown’ to x, y, and z. Useful to know.

        1. I am not sure that this remains true today. The Oxford Owls say this about basic algebra: “1. Practise basic algebra.
          Your child will have solved lots of problems involving missing numbers at school. Before Year 6, the unknown number in a calculation will have been represented using a blank box or a question mark. This will now be replaced by a letter, like a or b. This letter represents the unknown number, also known as the variable.”

    2. Errr no. check Wiki and the Maths history site

      In 1637, René Descartes “invented the convention of representing unknowns in equations by x, y, and z, and knowns by a, b, and c”.

      You also need to Z for this proXimal puzzle!

      1. I’m loving this ABC/XYZ chat.

        Pommette is all over it!

        I’ll try to comment later as I’m at Wembley with my daughter.

        Let’s see those lionesses roar!

  14. A tough Friday puzzle but rewarding , no obscure clues.
    Favourite was 24a followed by 22a and 7d.
    Liked 3d and particularly Mr K’s spot on pic!
    Going for a ***/****

  15. This Friday puzzle was a nice gentle gift considering what Friday puzzles can be like. A few hold ups with NE last to complete. Have a few bung ins too that I can’t parse so will check later.

    2.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 1a, 4a, 14a, 15a, 11d & 20d — with winners the two short ones 14a & 20d

    Thanks to setter and Mr.K.

  16. Phew that was a battle! Very enjoyable though.
    Thank you for the clue for 7d – I had the answer but couldn’t see why. I can now relax and stop staring at it!

  17. Despite needing the hints for a couple this was a very entertaining guzzle. Just the right amount of pondering and head scratching needed. It took a while for me to get “ream” out of my mind in 10a so that held me up for a while. For once, the short three letter ones did not cause problems and the reverse lurker was well hidden. My COTD is the recreation ground behind the sheep at 24a – very clever.

    Thank you to pro*imal for the fun and Mr. K for the hints and pusskits.

    Beautiful day here in The Marches with bright sunshine to put a spring in one’s step.

  18. Last in was 7d – we knew what the answer had to be, but couldn’t parse it, so thanks MrK.
    And thanks to proXimal for a nice Friday puzzle – and relatively straight forward forward for me and pommers – especially after some of the tougher ones in recent weeks.

  19. 2.5*/4.5* for a most enjoyable challenge. I toyed with the C version in 19d for a while despite thinking that C is not a valid unknown. Then I realised I needed a Z for an x-less pangram. I also dabbled with Alexa and Siri for 21a.

    22a and 5d were fighting it out for first place, and in the end I settled on a dead heat.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K.

  20. Whew, I can’t believe it’s Friday! I was DNF in the SW, but I think I did very well to get the rest. North was much friendlier than the South. I didn’t get 24a, nevertheless it’s my fave ‘cos of the subject matter! I needed Mr. K’s enlightenment for a few, but by and large I think I did pretty well. I also liked 15a and 5d, amongst others. This week has been kind to us.
    Thank you proximal for the fun, and Mr. K for his help and the puss-kind. If it helps to keep us on the air, the ads are not a real problem, keep them coming!

    1. Neither do the ads bother me if it means the site keeps going. Mind you, Mr. K. must be a time traveller- he posted the notice about the ads in the year 2000! 😏

      1. Hi Steve,
        Sticky posts on the site are ordered by their posting date, so to avoid displacing the welcome post I gave my post about ads an ancient date.

        Thanks for the understanding about the advertising from you and several others. I need to watch what the Google ad service is doing for a few days so I get an idea of how few we can get away and still generate enough revenue. It’s already clear that we have way too much advertising now and we’ll be able to make it a lot less invasive once I figure out how to place ads manually.

    1. Thanks for owning this. Such a great pleasure having a doable Friday puzzle for the tiny brains among us; speaking strictly for myself, you understand.

  21. Best puzzle of the week for me by a distance. Like others SW last in and also like others favourite was 24a. Thanks to ProXimal and Mr. K. I’ve only just noticed the predictive text error in my name. Shame on me.

    1. I did wonder why we had a variant spelling of your name for the last few days, I assumed you had either ordered a new suit or maybe even a Custom guitar from Mr Gibson🎸

      1. I was probably the only one not to notice. One day I’m going to visit my friend Mike in America and go to the both the Taylor and Gibson factories. 🏭

  22. Best of the week for me also. Other than cava for white I thought this a cracker from first to last. I discounted pricing (my first thought) for entirely non mathematical reasons knowing I needed a Z & hadn’t come across 3d as a word before (would have thought it was just pilfering) in a problem free solve. Lots of ticks on my page, the best of which were 15,22,24&26a + 17,20&23d. The beer guzzling German doing porridge was my favourite.
    Thanks to pro-imal & to Mr K for another excellent review & splendid pics.

  23. Late again as we were at Addenbrookes today – me to see the cardiologist and George dropped into Plastic Surgery and asked them to look at a small new growth on his head which they say they will remove but fortunately it will not need a skin graft. What a wonderful unit they are. Oh the joys of old age. Nice to get home and lose myself in the guzzle. It all went so smoothly to begin with I had to ask myself if it was Friday – but then I came a bit unstuck and was glad of the hints. I liked the little folk at 18a and the simplicity of 20a. 17d really flummoxed me. A difficult day today – DD1’s birthday. I rang the home and was able to speak to her but the nurse said despite having a cake and balloons and streamers she didn’t understand it was her birthday. She did say hallo to me but then walked away, I don’t think she understands the disembodied voice. Thank you for the pussycats Mr K and thanks again to Proximal.

    1. Dear Daisygirl, I was so sorry to read your update about DD1 and birthday phone call yesterday. Thank goodness you can keep yourself so busy and fill your time with so many charitable causes. Thumbs up for George being pro-active about a new small growth. Take good care both of you. It’s Bill’s birthday tomorrow so not sure I will get much chance to look at the Prize Crossword. I often manage to finish but only after several breaks! I really do admire how you manage to juggle so many balls in the air!

  24. Good evening
    Having dipped in and out of today’s crozzie, I am pleased to report a full grid, but not without some brain exercises, and the mother of all penny-drop moments when, as I battled the SW quadrant towards the end, 24a FINALLY came up my back! Definitely COTD, with 4a as a strong runner-up.
    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K

  25. A brilliant puzzle, unlike others I got stuck in the north east and needed a hint to get going again but it was all brilliantly done. My favourite was 24a.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Mr K for the hints

  26. I’m a bit late completing this puzzle – and rarely comment at all – but I’m at a complete loss trying to understand the relationship between ‘Corporation’ and ‘abdominal’ 🤔 (1 down)
    I did get the solution to the anagram early on and was waiting to see an explanation of the definition. Is it me?
    Thanks to all involved in producing these crosswords, today and every other day, and to those who show us how to reach the answers we struggle with. I’ve learned so much over the years

    1. You’ve used a different alias from your previous comments so this needed moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

      Corporation is used humorously to mean paunch or stomach.

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