DT 30479 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30479 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30479 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by crypticsue)

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A very wet and windy day, ideal for solving crosswords, or trying to wrap a parcel to send to Northern Ireland (memo to self: when ordering another large present for our granddaughter, get Amazon to deliver it straight to their house!)  

As is usual for the weekend prize crosswords, an assortment of clues, including some of the more difficult ones, have been selected and hints provided for them.

Most of the terms used in these hints are explained in the Glossary and examples are available by clicking on the entry under “See also”. Where the hint describes a construct as “usual” this means that more help can be found in The Usual Suspects, which gives a number of the elements commonly used in the wordplay. Another useful page is Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, which features words with meanings that are not always immediately obvious.

A full review of this puzzle will be published after the closing date for submissions.

Some hints follow.


1a    Charming group granted free place in London (6,6)
A group of ‘charmers’ and an anagram (free) of GRANTED

9a    Rule broken: Brown entering court without will? (9)
An anagram (broken) of RULE and a brown colour ‘entering’ an abbreviated court

16a    Good girl becoming minimalist composer (5)
The abbreviation for good and a girl combine to give us an American composer known for his minimalist compositions

19a    First wife died, found in shop: worker in dock (9)
The first wife on earth and the abbreviation for died inserted into a shop

22a    Ignore police officers on patrol did you say? (9)
Some abbreviated police officers, the usual two-letter on [the subject of] and a homophone (did you say) of patrol or protect

25a    Determined attempt to find Inspector Morse? (9)
Did Inspector Morse’s mother give him this Christian name because she knew he’d end up making a determined attempt  to solve crimes?

27a    Hens and leverets in stew by some means (12)
An anagram (in stew) of HENS and LEVERETS


1d    Motor originally bought by relative is gem (9)
A vehicle (motor), the original letter of Bought and a male relative

2d    Victor is the ne plus ultra, making call (5)
The letter represented by Victor in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet, IS (from the clue) and a a word meaning (amongst other definitions)  the very thing (the ne plus ultra)

5d    Ruin broadcast on web for this figure (9)
A homophone (broadcast) of a verb meaning to ruin followed by a web

7d    Milan team lacking energy in defence: routine thing! (5-2-5)
A Milan football team without the E (lacking energy) inserted in a defensive barrier

10d    Sublime answer by Charlie meeting death in river (12)
An abbreviated answer, the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet and a synonym for death inserted into the third longest river in the United Kingdom

17d    Distressed moan: a soul tormented, aberrant (9)
An anagram (distressed) of MOAN, A (from the clue) and another anagram (tormented) of SOUL

24d    Roman symbol seen in Mezangelle regularly (5)
The regular (even) letters of the fifth word of the clue

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The Quick Crossword pun: CAUGHT + MARSHAL = COURT MARTIAL

100 comments on “DT 30479 (Hints)
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  1. I don’t know why but I didn’t quite gel with this puzzle. I managed it but with no high degree of satisfaction. Still, it does give me my umpteen thousandth try for The Mythical. I have no idea what a Milan team has to do with 7d but then I know nothing about football if that is the game in question.

    Many thanks to the setter and I’m sorry your effort did not scintillate for me. Perhaps it’s the continuous rain here in The Marches. Thank you, Crypticsue for the hints.

      1. I too know very little about football but I do know the name of two Spanish football teams, one from Madrid and one from Milan, the Milan one provides you with your missing letters.
        did I mention I have not got much on today…?

        1. Yes, the setters are fairly kind to re-use the team, I guess. As I expect you know, there are a number of football teams that give everyday words, such as teams in Madrid and Vienna. Using ‘Edinburgh team’ to indicate ‘loth’ (Heart of Midlothian) would be tough, I think.

      1. I thought that was easy but sometimes I don’t understand answers even when given hint and the answer. This, I suppose, is why crosswords are so fascinating because everyone has a different mindset.

  2. Managed OK with this one…a relief after last week.
    I had to check on 16a and am still struggling to see how 22a parses despite crypticsue’s hint. I expect it is the homophone bit that has done for me again. No doubt all will be revealed when the review is posted.
    I may, of course, have got 22a wrong…….

    Thanks to the setter and to crypticsue.

    Definitely dreich here today but at least it is not as cold. Hardly balmy at 8C but at least not Baltic like last week.
    Must get on with the Christmas cards now……deep joy.

    1. regarding 22A I too may have got it wrong, but I reasoned that for the homophone if I were to protect someone again it would just about make it work…

      1. It’s not a question of doing it again, phanciful, the two letters after the police officers are clued by “on”.

        CS, I think you need to add this to your hint for 22A.

  3. Well unlike Steve I thoroughly enjoyed this, a good breakfast companion for me.
    I did have a couple that were new to me with 12A and 16A.
    Lots of great enjoyable clues I thought: 1A, 19A, 27A, 7D, 10D were all good but my favourites were 25A and 14D which brought a chuckle.
    stuck at home this weekend with an irritating cold that I don’t want to pass on just before Christmas – its wet and miserable outside.
    Plans in ruins and the crossword done, what on earth do I do next?

  4. A nice test for a prize jobbie.

    It took a bit of time for me to get up and running but, once I did, I powered through.

    Good old 27a is nearly always found at the bottom of the grid as the checkers are very common word endings. A setter is lost without this word in their armoury.

    My podium is 1a, 7d and 14d.

    Many thanks to the setter and CS.


  5. This was quite a tricky guzzke, particularly the top half. Like Steve C, I had no idea what the Milan team had to do with 7d, possibly another football team manager’s nickname for all I know, but the clue was gettable. I liked 25a and its reference to a favourite programme of the past. Ialso liked the lego clue/anagrams at 1a and 10d. Whilst I didnt relish being reminded ofmy hospitalization due to 5d, it was a jolly good lego clue. Thanks to the compiler and to CS for the hints.

    1. There are 2 teams in Milan – one of them, when you take the E out of their prefix gives you the 4 letters that go into the defensive barrier the clue hints at

      Hope that helps and I avoid the naughty step!

  6. 1.5*/3*. This provided a pleasant diversion on a wet weekend morning. No doubt that 25a will be Kath’s favourite today. I can’t decide between 1a & 14d so I’ll risk Kath’s wrath and have joint favourites today.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS.

  7. A bit of trouble with 8d as I had three possibilities sorted by CS’s hints,
    Got to pick Kath’s favourite policeman
    Stair–rods in deepest Yorkshire but clearing from the West

      1. 10d oops
        I couldn’t explain the first letter as my river was just an initial and my termination was different too

  8. Well I thought this prize ‘guzzke’ was a little cracker. I hadn’t realised 1d was also a gem (redacted – alternative clue] so that required post solve confirmation. Fav for me was 7d & thought all the long peripherals pretty good too. 14d raised a chuckle & I’m pretty sure we can guess which one will be Kath’s pick.
    Thanks to the setter & to Sue

    1. I’m with you here Hintsman – a cracker was going to be my word. It sparkled. 7d was a bung in as you know I am not into rough sports but I had the defence so it had to be. 29a was my favourite until I came across 14d. We had lots of cake left over from out WI stall this morning, it would have gone down well on the naughty step.

  9. Good SPP fun – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 26a, 5d, 7d, 10d, and 14d – and the winner is the clever charade 10d.

    Thanks to whomsoever and CS.

  10. After a slow start I soon picked up the pace and fairly raced through this very pleasant and not too taxing puzzle. 14d produced the biggest smile so I will go with that for my favourite.

    Thanks to both our Saturday setter and CS.

  11. So far above my level as to be stratospheric. And what on Earth is ne plus ultra? I thought I was doing a puzzle in English.
    For me a very very hard and poor puzzle. Ghastly!

    1. Come on Brian, don’t throw in the towel. You have solved far harder puzzles than this one, especially a recent Toughie you mentioned. Have another read through the clues, I’m sure that once you get a foot-hold you could breeze it.

  12. Found this one quite a curious mixture but 20a raised a smile as that’s where my grandchildren are today – in Lapland UK helping the big man in the elves workshop!
    25a brought another smile, as did 14d.

    Thanks to our setter and also to CS for the hints – 1a was so much nicer before ‘they’ decided to modernise it.

  13. I found this one a lot of fun. 14d my favorite. Quite a lot of rubbing out. For instance 1a I thought was the hospital that was funded by the story of the charmings at first.

    8a may challenge certain areas of the world. The y being needed for the homophone

  14. Fairly steady going from top to bottom, with some nice ones on the way: 5 & 7d (a crossword fav team), didn’t know the minimalist so had to check, liked 26a too, and last one in was 27a, which I guessed from the checkers before reading the clue! All in all I’ll go for 26a, just because it’s a change from the usual mum’s mum.
    Thanks to our compiler and to the ever faithful CS.

  15. Personally, I thought this was the best Saturday back pager for ages. Entertaining, plenty of humour and not overly difficult. Reading comments @ 1 just goes to prove how clues that some solvers find difficult to fathom, others find blindingly obvious – ho hum :-) such is the solving of cryptic puzzles. Too many favourites to mention them all, but 1a and 7d floated my boat,with a new meaning learned in 1d. Thanks to today’s setter and also to CS, although I didn’t nee to peep at her hints.

  16. Have been in a Christmas fever. Well, that was the excuse for struggling with the last 2 days of puzzling but this morning gave a renewal of faith that puzzles can and shall be done. My only caveat is with 16 a because for me he is the opposite of minimalist and is so full of drive and excitement that he rates with the best. Only saying !
    Nice mix of clues and great start to the weekend. Thanks to all involved in this endeavour.

  17. After the initial read through I had flashed to the mighty score of two. Strongly felt I should give it up as a bad job and go out, but one look at the weather made me have another crack at it. Glad I did, it grew on me more as I went along, and in the end thought it was a really well made puzzle.
    Plenty of really good clues, but my two of the day have to be 19a and 4d (as I’m waiting an op to have some of these removed)

  18. A very nice Saturday solve for me, with clues that were both easy and entertaining. The ‘clue mechanics’ I found consistently neat. I’d have to plump for 14D as it provided the best laugh, a LOL moment. Also I wasn’t actually aware of that fact about Scoobs, even though it seems obvious now.

    Great stuff, thanks to Ron and to CS for the hints.

  19. A fun Saturday puzzle with some great clues and answers. Lots of surface reading here. Couple GK clues that may take a little working out or e-help to get them.
    Feeling this could be a Cephas offering today, so I will throw my 5/- out there today.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 8a, 19a, 25a, 4d, 5d & 14d — with winner 19a …with smiles for 25a, 4d, 14d

    Thanks to Cephas(?) & CS for blog/hints

  20. I think I have said it already. I got 1a straight away then nothing. Then suddenly my brain clicked out of WI cake stall mode and we fairly whooshed through it. Very funny weather in Cambridge, dark as can be and pouring one minute then the sun is shining. DD2 just rang to say she’s going into town and what do I want Daddy to buy me for Christmas! Hey ho. Many thanks to the Very Clever Setter and the indefatigable CeeSee.

      1. No surgery required! It seems our local doctor was wrong 😊 I rather think they thought ninety?! Leave well alone. The specialist said his circulation was very good so it is nice to know something is working! I’m having a lovely messy afternoon finishing off my Christmas cards. I am covered in gold paint and glitter.

  21. I think lots of long answers made this tricky. Didn’t actually take me any longer than is typical, bit it felt much more stretching. Also my vocab wasn’t quite up to scratch in several areas of the puzzle, 1 word and 2 definitions were new to me

    1. The newspaper version and the one on the old (and best) Telegraph Puzzles site both show 6,6 as the enumeration for 1a

  22. I can’t say I disliked this but it was a bit like trying to catch an eel with soapy hands. Some good stuff, but others were so hard to understand the parsing. I had no idea 1d was a gem, pretty esoteric; if you learn something every day, your day has not been wasted. I know Kath will be over the moon with 25a. My fave has to be 14d, of course, he’s a dog, the best.
    Thanks to setter, and many thanks to CrypticSue for the enlightenment.

      1. That reminded me of the fishmongers in our local shopping centre,, when I was a child. A large metal tank held live eels swimming around, which , to my fascination, werecaught and wrestled into paper wrapping for sale

  23. Rather tricky to begin with then got going and things improved.
    Not any idea with 7d for ages – got there in the end.
    The crossword felt a bit odd – don’t know why, just did!
    My major problem was (and still is) 3d – I have an answer which I know is a sort of shark but on earth how did the harbour get in there?
    I liked 18 and 19a and 1 and 2d. Needless to say that 25a was my favourite – as predictable as usual!!
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to CS for the hints

  24. A doable crossword with help from the wizard Chambers for the last few. Pretty good for me I think. I don’t think the King will agree that 1d is a gem though.

    Favourite today is 10d but honourable mentions for, 9, 11 and 13a, together with 1, 7,14 and17d.

    And many thanks to the setter for such an enjoyable puzzle and the same to CS for her great hosting.

          1. Don’t know what you wrote Merusa (as it’s already been redacted by the time of reading) but I was chastised & summarily dispatched to the naughty step for I suspect the same offence early doors so the I didn’t realise defence ain’t gonna cut the mustard – and I’ve scoffed all the cherry bakewell.

            1. Huntsman, apparently all the bakewell have gone and CS says it’s now ginger nuts. A fellow WI member and I were chatting about Masterchef on Thursday. We both wanted the red haired chap to win and she mentioned the ginger contestant in the pub the previous evening and was soundly rebuked for being a red haired racist – what land are we living in!?

              1. There are still cherry bakewells. Mr CS said that they were too nice to give to people sent to the Naughty Corner. They are on special offer in Sainsbury’s if you want to get your own

  25. A mixed bag, but mostly doable although I can’t claim to have solved completely unaided. Still learning, as I only started doing these in 1969 ☺️. Was helped several time by checkers when the clues didn’t lead me to the answers. But did manage to solve most and content with that. Thanks to setter and CrypticSue.

  26. An enjoyably light and swift solve over a pre-supper G&T. Nothing to frighten the equines, all very fairly clued. Many thanks to the Setter & Sue.

    1* / 2.5*

  27. Rather enjoyed this today. After my struggle with the beastie yesterday, it was good to solve this unaided.

    Particularly enjoyed 14d.

    Thanks to all.

  28. Very fair I thought. Had to check the hints for 1d. Thats a new one for me. Not being a football fan I sort of got the name but spelt it wrong and so needed the hints to fully parse . The last word on 22a also needed checking. So thanks both
    Ps. Also needed the hints for 10d as I had ,”d” for death so I couldn’t find the extra 2 letters in the clue. I must read my answers more carefully.

  29. I thought this was great fun, it certainly took me several goes to get into it but I got there in the end. 1d was a new definition for me. I rather liked 1a and the long clues were a big help once ai worked them out with 10d last to click.

    Many thanks to the setter and to CS for the hints which explained the why for a couple.

  30. I thought this was doable as the clues could be worked out even if you didn’t know the minimalist composer or the football team or Scooby Doo. I got 1a straightaway with no checkers and no parsing. Favourite is 19a. Thanks Setter and CS although no hints needed. Always good to read and the comments. I think we have the old Brian back. His stand-in or stunt double had not been half as much fun.

  31. Quite enjoyed this one. A few bits of GK I had to look up but nothing too painful. A question – why are most checking letters vowels?!

    Thanks to the setter and Crypticsue.

    1. All words (well most words – we had PSST the other day) have vowels in but with more consonants to choose from they are gonna occur less often as checkers

  32. Great Saturday tussle, the Cotes du Rhone very nearly all gone before this one fell. Loved the witty 1d 7d 14d, and smooth 1a.

    Suspect this puzzle may be the work of our good friend the ‘knob 🙃😉

  33. Correct.

    Many thanks to all who commented — it’s always good to hear your thoughts — and to the ever-illustrious CS for the hints.

  34. I finished this unaided with the exception of 14d, which completely eluded me. I have only now had time to read the hints and comments, and note that this clue has been the favourite of many. I am so curious, dare I ask for a little hint to help me?

  35. Thank you Falcon, I’ve now got the answer, but have to admit my ignorance of Scooby-Doo. As it seems to appear quite often I shall have to file this information for future reference.

  36. I’m quite fascinated reading all the comments on here – what a variety of opinions on this puzzle! Personally I loved it plenty grins 14d and fore head slappers 6d and 20a in particular 🤣 7d went in early doors for me but then I knew there were two teams… 24 down I had but had to check it as new to me! Still not sure if the parsing for 13a though!
    Hope you all had a great Sunday as usual I didn’t get to mine till today 😬
    Thanks to setter and @crypticsue!

  37. I’m quite fascinated reading all the comments on here – what a variety of opinions on this puzzle! Personally I loved it plenty grins 14d and fore head slappers 6d and 20a in particular 🤣 7d went in early doors for me but then I knew there were two teams… 24 down I had but had to check it as new to me! Still not sure if the parsing for 13a though!
    Hope you all had a great Sunday as usual I didn’t get to mine till today 😬
    Thanks to setter and @crypticsue!

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