DT 30619 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30619

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30619
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A dull overcast start to the day here in Harpenden & disappointingly soggy stuff in the forecast for my tee time this afternoon, which is a shame as it was glorious yesterday & I was otherwise engaged.

A typically Tuesdayish (™ Senf) Anthony Plumb puzzle that I found perfectly pleasant & pretty gentle though I didn’t think it hit the heights of some of his recent productions. I doubt many will need to refer to the hints but they’re worth checking if only to see if I can improve on last week’s two parsing blips.

In the following hints, definitions are underlined, indicators are mostly in parentheses, and answers are revealed by clicking where shown as usual. Please leave a comment below on how you got on with the puzzle.


1a Porter regularly ignored nurse’s kid (7)

PRETEND: the alternate letters (regularly) of PoRtEr + a synonym for nurse or care for.

5a Values golf umbrellas initially found in sacks (7)

FIGURES: insert the first letters (initially found in) of the 2nd & 3rd words in the clues into another word for sacks or dismisses.

9a Shakes dresses female’s taken off (5)

ROCKS: delete (F)emale from the plural of a type of dress.

10a Chippy’s fish go in (9)

CARPENTER: a generic term for numerous species of freshwater fish + a word meaning to go in. Good excuse to play this Tim Hardin cover by Robert Plant.

11a Feeling hot admitting broken promises (10)

IMPRESSION: insert (admitting) an anagram (broken) of PROMISES into a synonym of hot or fashionable.

12a Flipping enthusiastic female singer (4)

DIVA: reverse (flipping) a synonym for enthusiastic.

14a Amazingly talented, Tom pens second set of books (3,9)

OLD TESTAMENT: an anagram (amazingly) of TALENTED TOM + (pens) the single letter for Second.

18a Where one may find detectives dastardly con criminal (8,4)

SCOTLAND YARD: an anagram (criminal) of DASTARDLY CON.

21a Thought I had unwrapped gear (4)

IDEA: a contraction of I had + the inner letters (unwrapped) of the last word in the clue.

22a Leave chaps time for area of interest (10)

DEPARTMENT: link synonyms for leave & chaps + the single letter for Time.

25a Moving very loudly, European interrupts what thespian is doing ? (9)

AFFECTING: the job of an actor on set or stage into which you insert the dynamic musical indication for forte twice (very) + the single letter for European.

26a Ladies maybe almost set free (5)

LOOSE: twig the context of ladies, think of an informal term for it & append SE(t) from the clue (almost).

27a Fill out electronic application finally? Great! (7)

ENLARGE: the single letter for Electronic & the last letter of applicatioN (finally) precede a synonym for great or sizeable.

28a Particular thoughtfulness (7)

RESPECT: a double definition. Another great cover.


1d Tolerate what you might do to your hair? (6)

PERMIT: split the wordplay 4,2 for the hairstyle choice.

2d Get free ties with fifty per cent off cloak

ESCAPE: delete half of (ti)ES & append a type of cloak.

3d Plant a tree with silly nuts (6,4)

EASTER LILY: an anagram (nuts) of A TREE & SILLY.

4d Cuts off and drops anchor (5)

DOCKS: double definition.

5d Heavyweight boxer gathering debts left angrily (9)

FURIOUSLY: insert the usual phonetic acronym for debts + (L)eft into the surname of the boxer who’s just lost his belts in Riyadh.

6d European forgetting right anorak (4)

GEEK: delete (R)ight from a Southeastern European. Nowt to do with clothing.

7d Sold dog hiding in tall grass (8)

RETAILED: a synonym for dog or closely follow is inserted into (hiding in) a tall wetland grass plant.

8d Coachmen perhaps worry endlessly over collecting transport (8)

SERVANTS: insert (collecting) a medium sized road vehicle for carrying goods or people into a truncated reversal (endlessly over) of a synonym for worry.

13d You might find princesses in these, say, a trifle fabricated (5,5)

FAIRY TALES: an anagram (fabricated) of SAY A TRIFLE. Neat surface & fodder spot.

15d Smell before swallowing popular fruit (9)

TANGERINE: start with a synonym for smell then append a rather old fashioned word meaning before into which you insert (swallowing) the usual for popular or fashionable (as in the wordplay at 11a).

16d China supports West, but not at first I guess (8)

ESTIMATE: what china refers to in cockney slang (rhymes with plate) lies beneath (supports/down clue) (w)EST (not at first) & I both from the clue.

17d Strong flower put out with temperature dropping (8)

POWERFUL: an anagram (out) of FLOWER PU(t) (temperature dropping).

19d Change into suit (6)

BECOME: a double definition.

20d Confirm former military volunteers turned up ahead of exam (6)

ATTEST: a reversal (turned up) of the acronym for the volunteer force now renamed The Army Reserve + a synonym for exam. A word now familiar with all golfers using the MyEG app to record their scores.

23d Bug inside orange rind (5)

ANGER: hidden (inside) in the clue.

24d Half recalled climbing tree (4)

ACER: hidden again this time in reverse (half/climbing).

No real favourite clue today but I’d have 25a plus 5,8&13d as podium contenders. Please let us know which ones ticked your boxes.

Today’s blogging soundtrack was an album called The Union by Elton John & Leon Russell. My favourite track on it is a wonderfully evocative song with Neil Young singing the second verse.






Today’s Quick Crossword pun: PAY + YAW + WEIGH = PAY YOUR WAY



67 comments on “DT 30619
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  1. Another solid performance from Robyn.

    Plenty of nicely-constructed, terse clues on a friendly grid. 3d is another one to add to my list of fauna and flora that I need to commit to memory.

    My podium is 1d, 5d and 16d.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and Hoots mon!


    Oh, it’s nice to see that Robyn doesn’t think I’m disappointing.

        1. Amazingly talented Tom
          Solves crosswords with skilful aplomb
          Disappointingly though
          He really should know
          ‘T weren’t Robyn, but Professor Plom.

  2. Enjoyable and gentle, though my cause was not helped when bunging in “forceful” at 17d from a couple of checkers and reading only the first word of the clue, but not noticing that 21d made the biff impossible. RTBQ as my father used to say any morning I was taking exams! Feels more AP than Robyn but I’m not putting any money down on this one. Ticks to 1d, 8d and 24d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman (from another glorious morning in the SW, though thunder ‘n lightnin’ are all expected later).

  3. I somehow forgot that I was avoiding Tuesday backpagers after I was traumatized by a supposedly straightforward one, and accidentally solved this!

    It was fine: all solvable, and with plenty of clues I liked, including 1d’s hairdo, 5d’s boxer, 16d’s guess, and 19d’s suit. I’m picking 14a as favourite, because it’s nice to see “set of books” as the definition rather than wordplay: when I saw the answer ended in a T, I was so sure that was going to indicate the last 2 letters as ‘OT’ or ‘NT’.

    Maybe I’ll risk another one on a future Tuesday? Thank you to Anthony Plumb, and to Huntsman for being there if I needed you.

  4. Nice and easy today but still a pleasant time was had, leaving plenty of the morning to tackle the Zenas toughie – a different kettle of Poisson indeed
    Thanks to Prof Plumb and Huntsman. Great music choices, I am glad you spared us some Edgar Froese and his dream mates for 15d

  5. The only hold ups were doing the right things to the wrong words otherwise another uninspiring puzzle.

    Thanks to the man dressed in red and the setter.

  6. That was all done and dusted fairly quickly, and I was only slowed up by my insistence on putting another sort of outerwear beginning with the letter c at 6d. It fit perfectly until I tried to fill in the across clues. That aside, all good clean fun, with 25a my top clue.

    Many thanks to Mr P and The Hintsman.

  7. Enjoyable while it lasted.
    Top picks for me were 1d, 6d and 3d as it is such a lovely flower.
    Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  8. Another Typically Tuesdayish Anthony Plumb production. It seemed to take longer than usual but that may be because I was multiple tasking watching Jane Seymour in another episode as Dublin private detective Harry Wild – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 26a, 2d, and 6d – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

    1. Grr! Mrs RD and I got into Harry Wild and enjoyed it early in 2023 when it was shown in the UK on Channel 5. After several episodes, it simply disappeared from Ch5’s listings. When I emailed them to protest they said, “our scheduling can change, but don’t worry Harry Wild will be back on Channel 5 before the end of the year”.

      Another broken promise! It hasn’t returned yet, and I’m not holding my breath.

      1. Somewhat convolutedly, I have been, and still am, watching it on Acorn TV, whoever they are, through Amazon Prime – now in Series 3.

        1. Back from my Book Group where disappointingly nobody had read any Rhys Bowen. However, I went from there to Royston Library where they said they can get enough copies of The Paris Assignment for my choice in August. Watch this space ! And thanks for the recommendation. PS it was a crystallised ginger cake today.

          1. Crystallised ginger cake
            Is terribly hard to make
            But I’m sure that in Royston
            Their petards are hoist on
            The wonders that Daisy can make.

            1. Daisy drove to Royston to talk about the book.
              Daisy was a guest – so she didn’t have to cook.
              We talked about our ailments then the book it was reviewed,
              A little bit more gossip, the hostess served the food.
              And Daisy HAD to eat it as refusal would be rude!

  9. Lovely crossword today which I enjoyed very much.
    Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.
    Hope you get your game this afternoon without getting too wet.

  10. Enjoyable and straightforward except for my last one in 19d – double definitions are always my weakness.
    Thanks to all

  11. Light and fun. As with Sim above, I was held up by 19d for an age – I *hate* clues where the only checkers are vowels. Still, good to get a mention from the setter in 6d :) **/***

      1. I’m sure you’re not the only one. I just got lucky and put it in correctly without any checkers.

  12. My word, I thought this was hard work, had to go from bottom as is not at all my wont. An enjoyable challenge nonetheless.
    Fave du jour 26a, followed closely by 25a.
    Many thanks to AP and to Huntsman (hoping you have ok weather for your t-time!)

  13. Terrific musical choices today from The Hintsman!

    I got orf to a slow start but once I cracked the Sam Ragan I thrived. My longest musing time was spent pondering 8d and 19d.

    Dostoevsky weather here today, but caution being thrown to the wind, and a lovely walk beckons.

    Thanks to the setter and Andy On The First (possibly damp) Tee

  14. I liked this gentle solve that gave me no real headaches but was enjoyable none the less. My last in was also the double definition 19d – always so obvious in hindsight. Was I the only one who thought ‘shifts’ for dresses – 9 across and without the F of course could almost be a (naughty) word meaning shakes ? ….., made me laugh out loud 🤣. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman .

  15. Dashing off to Book Group but finished this very satisfactory guzzle over half an avocado ( cake comes with literary discussions) I particularly liked the set free Ladies although I have a suspicion I have seen it before and 14&18a were helpful. Many thanks to the galloping Hintsman and the setter.

  16. All went swimmingly until I reached 19d – think that took as long to solve as the rest of the puzzle put together!
    Ruefully, I’ll award that one the gold medal.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the review – hope the weather behaves for you this afternoon.

  17. 2*/4* for a most enjoyable Tuesday puzzle. My only hold up was writing in the obvious (to me!) “coat” as the answer to 6d, which rendered 5a & 10a impossible until I realised there was a different answer which fitted the wordplay. Without that, this was closer to a 1* for difficulty.

    Many thanks presumably to AP and to Hintsman.

  18. Slow start but then everything suddenly fell into place. **/**** for me today. The only exception was 19d which I could not solve and had to resort to the hints (thanks Huntsman!) to put me right. It was so obvious when I saw the answer. Weather here is cold and heavy rain forecast to start at 5.00pm, continuing until the early hours of Thursday morning. Thanks to Mr Plumb for brightening up a dull day, and Huntsman for your help.

  19. I didn’t find this as easy as others have, a case of bung it in and try to work it out after on many clues. I also needed a couple of hints to get me going again. Thanks to all.

  20. A much better Tuesday offering compared to the last several weeks IMHO. A couple of real head scratchers for me, but overall all good.


    Favourites include 18a, 26a, 1d, 2d & 4d with winner 26a
    Chuckles/smiles from 1a, 14a, 1d & 4d

    Thanks to AP(?) & Huntsman for blog/hints

  21. Very enjoyable puzzle!
    Regarding the New Print format,
    The size of it is very good to write on.
    Today I was waiting in – so (as a very amateur calligrapher) I also enjoyed decorating it! See attached.
    Best wishes to all. John

  22. A gently enjoyable guzzle. I enjoyed the anagrams at 14 and 18a and the sporty lego clue at 5d. Thanks to Huntsman for the hints and to Mr Plumb for a very civilised crossword.

  23. I agree with the ** rating for difficulty, but I found the parsing a bit odd, it seemed to take forever to work out how the answer I had was justified. Luckily, there were so many gimmes, checkers went in very quickly. I’m not sure about my answers to 8d and 19d, when I read the hints I’ll find out if I was right.
    Thank you Mr. Plumb for the fun, enjoyable solve, and Huntsman for the hints, which I’ll now read to see if I was right!

  24. Another super puzzle today – we are having such a good run of excellent puzzles. Still suffering under a sea fret and its been like this for days. Roll on summer I say. Thanks to the setter and Mr Hintsman

  25. As usual Tuesday brings a delightfully stress-free enigma. I found the wavelength quite quickly and then gently worked my way through but needed a nudge with 19d and stupidly 26a too. 8d was an unparsed bung-in. Thank you for the fun MrP and Huntsman.

  26. I think my head is still in Bermuda, as I made rather heavy work of this in places, particularly 8d and 19d. I did work on numerous DT cryptics from their 2014 book while away, but seems I do still need to get back into the swing of things. I always forget the current meaning of anorak, as it was just a hooded jacket when we still lived across the pond. Thanks to setter and Huntsman. Need to go and tend to the garden and tend to the garden which has tried very hard to turn into a jungle while we were gone.

  27. I don’t know why but 1d really made me laugh, thanks compiler and Huntsman (lovely song from Robert plant)

  28. Rain stopped play (well we saw sense & never even started) so we had a few frames of snooker instead. Pleased to see I’ve not been picked up on any parsing mistakes (yet) & the guzzle seems to have gone down well with most commenters. Think I’ll have a bash at The Toughie.

    1. Our ‘lovely’ walk didn’t happen either, as the heavens opened. No snooker; just a pint of Pepsi Max, in the pub.

  29. Thoroughly enjoyed this. 8d and 19d requiring a little thought.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Huntsman.

  30. Good evening

    Pen down – all done. I have to say that I found today’s crozzie a bit harder than the 1-star assessment offered by Huntsman; I got off to a good start but found a few tricky elements, particularly in the SW quadrant.

    COTD goes to 25a.

    Many thanks to Mr P and to Huntsman

  31. Pretty straightforward and pretty good fun just right for a Tuesday. Favourite was 10a. Off to resume battle with the toughie in which I’m coming off second best at the moment. Thanks to AP and Huntsman.

  32. Very enjoyable and finished this morning but then became too busy to comment. Like others 19d was last in and I needed the hints to understand how 8d worked. I enjoyed the anagrams but no particular favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for the hints.

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