DT 30641 (Hints) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30641 (Hints)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30641 (Hints)

The Saturday Crossword Club (hosted by Gazza)

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Crypticsue is having a day off so I’m providing a few hints for what I consider to be some of the trickier clues.

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.


1a Dreadful description of a snowman? (10)
Double definition, the second an epithet popularly applied to a mythical ‘big beast’ inhabiting the Himalayas.

12a Almost entirely missing: amount I prepared as defensive measures? (13)
An anagram (prepared) of MISSIN[g] AMOUNT I. The measures are a defence against viruses for example rather than human attackers.

21a Go in a Lada and turn wildly, showing such force (8,5)
An anagram (wildly) of GO IN A LADA TURN produces the name of a reserve military force in some countries such as the USA (but not in the UK).

24a Bus maybe providing delight? (9)
Double definition, other examples of the first might be train, plane or taxi.

27a Beat idol? (5-5)
With a space instead of the hyphen this is the beat that a doctor might use a stethoscope to check.


2d  Working with the condition of a racecourse is continuous (7)
An adverb meaning working or operating followed by the word used in horseracing to describe the conditions underfoot of the course (which could be soft or firm, for example).

5d Type of lettuce to have when wool-gathering? (5)
I take this to be a cryptic definition of a type of lettuce (4’1) (also known as Corn Salad) the name of which might describe a young woolly creature.

7d Vessel, reportedly complete, in cave (7)
A cooking vessel followed by a homophone (reportedly) of an adjective meaning complete or entire.

13d Insect maybe, with head in a peak? (10)
This is not the name of an insect rather it’s the very useful role that some of them have. Start with a word for the human head and add IN A (from the clue) and a rocky peak.

16d Criminal, Joker, catching Batman at last (8)
A word for someone who tells jokes contains the last letter of Batman.

22d A way in, you could say, for love? (5)
A followed by what sounds like an opening allowing one to go in (or out). Love here is a verb.

23d Mammals climbing? That makes you guess (4)
A word for a guess (especially one ‘in the dark’) comes from reversing nocturnal mammals.

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The Quick Crossword pun:   TOE  +  MAR  +  TOWED  +  DEUCE  =  TOMATO JUICE

56 comments on “DT 30641 (Hints)
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  1. A gentle Saturday offering but most enjoyable, nonetheless. Solving the first three across clues got me thinking it would be a doddle. I should have known better. I solved no more across clues. However, the down clues were kinder and I solved about half of them on the first pass. This gave many checkers and I worked my way into the guzzle until, suddenly, it was all over for a satisfying solve. I must get some 8d because it’s been some time. My COTD is the idol at 27a.

    Thank you, setter for the fun challenge – my feeling is Chalicea but I am never right so no money is leaving my pocket. Thank you, Gazza for the hints, cartoons and stepping in.

  2. Rather mild fare for the SPP, or so I thought, with a number of easy to pick anagrams. I did not know the lettuce at 5d but it is in my (rather old) copy of the BRB. So was 19a, when I checked. COTD 7d.
    Thanks to Gazza for stepping in with some amusing cartoons and the setter (I cannot claim to be enough of a connoisseur to guess their identity)

  3. I agree with Steve. Very gentle, and if for me it lacked a tiny bit in the zing department, then the clues were very nicely worked throughout. Like Steve, I fancy 27A for the laurels, whilst a strong second are, well, is, the defensive measures.

    Many thanks to the generous setter and Gazza.

  4. Jumping in early today. Someone – Madflower? wanted to know when Cley Open Gardens was this year. Well it’s 29 and 30 June. To the puzzle – not too tricky at all although 27a held out to the very end, a real penny drop moment. At the moment bright and sunny but very chilly – apparently this is going to continue until mid July. Thanks to the setter and Gazza for filling in for CS

    1. Thanks Manders, it was me who was interested in the Cley open gardens. Unfortunately I can’t get there for them but I hope they raise lots of money for charity.

  5. I thought of Chalicea too, Steve. The clues were pretty straightforward with a few tricky ones to keep you on your toes. My favourite clue was the cleverly misdirected lego arrangement armt 13d and I liked the anagrams at 12a and 21a. Thanks to the compiler and to Gazza for filling in with the hints to give CS a break

  6. Started well, wondered what I would do with the rest of the morning, as its raining.
    Should have known better, grinding halt followed by head scratching.
    Thanks to whoever.

      1. I thought the POW looked distressingly thin. She was always slim, but she seems more so now. I hope she’s OK, chemo must take such a toll on the body.

      2. I found myself singing:
        Norman’s, keep your trousers
        Saxons – your pyjamas
        Dye it to a brilliant blue
        And spread it on your bread and your bananas.
        Ancient Britons never hit on
        Anything as good as Woad to fit on
        Neck, or knees or where you sit on
        Go it, Ancient B’s.
        Did anyone else sing that as the guards marched? May not have got it quite right!

            1. I remember a version similar to that – three of the lines were….

              Saxons keep your woad on
              As you climb up Snowdon
              Never mind if you’re rained or snow’d on…

              Good, fair crossword – loved 27a. Thanks to setter and Gazza for the hints – funny cartoons.

  7. Like Steve C and Chriscross, I am thinking Chalicea for the setter of a very pleasant SPP.

    Candidates for favourite – 24a, 27a, and 18d – and the winner is 27a.

    So, a Toonie on Chalicea and thanks to her, or whomsoever if my Toonie goes down the drain, and thanks to Gazza.

    1. Sorry, Senf – you’ve lost your Toonie! In past times, before I was more routinely in the Monday slot and got mistaken for Campbell, I used to be mistaken for Chalicea. Something in the humour and/or the anagrams, maybe? BTW: in Germany, they call 5d (in translation) “field salad” – no woolly animals involved…

      1. Which is why my money stayed in my pocket! 😊
        Great guzzle, X-Type. Thank you very much for it and for popping in.

      2. Oh well, you win some, you lose more than some! Still, that wasn’t my only Toonie so I won’t starve.

        Thanks for the puzzle and thanks for popping in.

      3. Yes, many thanks for a nice
        accompaniment to our Saturday lunch! I love it when 1a goes straight in, even if I do come to a grinding halt.

  8. Well, I needed a break and this was it. Both of us fell off our bikes in France last week having had a salad of 5 d . Said to be spoon shaped like the tongue of a young sheep in French. We are giving up on bicycle riding now but gosh it has been wonderful for so many years. Thanks to Gazza and our setter who gave us enough tricky clues to be fun

  9. A pretty enjoyable Saturday guzzle. Put off by the mis-gendered girl in 9a! Otherwise lots to Pimentel stick with the fun16a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Gazza for his sterling work as a stand-in!

    1. Good grief?! What’s a “Pimentel”? The auto-misspell strikes again. I assume I wrote “Lots to like, but will stick with the fun 16a.”
      Many thanks to X-Type!

  10. This was nice and gentle today, but I think I prefer them if they are a bit more knotty – but hey , horses for courses and it was still enjoyable. I still haven’t finished yesterday’s that I started off thinking was ok for a Friday but then ground to a halt on that. Maybe I can finish that off later. Thanks to Gazza and setter.

  11. 1.5*/3*. This was a fairly gentle SPP, which was mostly enjoyable although there were a couple of marginal clues along the way. It is in the BRB but, in my book, 19a is very definitely not British (one for THE LIST perhaps, Terence?), nor is 21a. 11d is a bit obscure but fairly clued; and it looks to me as if the “you” in 23d is surface padding.

    Thanks to the setter and to Gazza.

  12. A very gentle SPP which I might well have attributed to Chalicea had our true setter not popped in to see us. Top clues here were the bet idol and the 13a insect.

    Thanks to X-Type and to Gazza for the review and cartoon selection – still laughing at the young lady who thought she could choose her own jurors! Great choice, madam.

  13. An enjoyable guzzle today. I had the wrong answer for 16d, knew it was wrong but it took ages to dislodge it from my brain. Finally it came to me to put me out of my misery.
    Top picks for me were 27a, 13d and 22d.
    Thanks to Gazza for the blog and cartoons and X-Type for the amusement.

  14. Thought that this would be a gentle walk in the park having easily got the first four across clues, but then it got a tad trickier and demanded a bit more thought. Thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Cotd has to be 19a being the lady in the fur uniform. Thanks to X-type and Gazza.

  15. A fair enough challenge for a samedi with some nice surfaces and constructions.

    The English language must be a nightmare for someone whose mother tongue is another language. I hesitated over the fifth letter of 13d as its root word has a different vowel.

    My podium is 10a, 27a and the splendid 16d.

    Many thanks to X-Type and David Fairclough.


  16. I found this Saturday puzzle much more approachable than yesterday’s.
    Went smoothly, with the usual couple of hair pullers.
    Made my own life difficult by filling 1d the wrong way round that made it impossible to get 1a … until the bloody penny dropped on my error with a CLUNK!

    2*/4* for me

    Favourites 1a, 6a, 10a, 5d & 8d — with winner 6a
    Smiles from 27a, 10a, 20d & 22d

    So, on Thursday I finished the novel by Rhys Bowen … (she was mentioned by Senf, I think, a few days back) … titled “In Farleigh Field” and it was a great read … well worthwhile. Looking forward to the next one in the series. Lots of truth in it and how the way things were in WW II, even though this is fiction per se.

    Thanks to X-Type & Gazza for hints/blog

  17. It really is interesting the way we all like different things! I thought 13 d was a really delicious clue and my favourite, but with daisies for the fur clad domestic and the cook hailing buns and 10a. We had the screen down at Coffee Stop this morning and showed the Trooping of the Colour which, as always, was impressive and this afternoon we have our Village Fete and although it is sunny now it poured all morning and the ground will be sodden. This time last week we were being wined and dined on Eurostar, can it really be 7 days ago? Nice to be back with the gang and the routine! Many thanks to Gazza and Xtype

  18. Nice gentle Satuurday crucuverbal fare which was completed painlessly over breakfast prior to watching 2.1/2 hours of Trooping the Colour which was excellent in spite of rainy conclusion. The mind boggles at all those sodden uniforms and finery. Haven’t counted but it seemed like a lot of anagrams. ‘Happy (Official) Birthday’ Your Majesty. 23d is sort of guess but really needs an a. Thank you Xtype and Gazza. Enjoy your day off CS.

  19. Enjoyable. Didn’t know 13d’s head nor what a 11d was – had to look up the meaning of the solution to check it was correct. My wife had heard of the lettuce – I hadn’t cos I never used to eat my greens (pun intended) 😊

    1. Hi Erasure

      I hadn’t heard of that word for head either but I do know the verb to ****ard a tree, i.e to remove the head or hair of something.

      So, we now know the root of it!

      Every day’s a etc.

      1. I expect you remember Mrs Thatcher’s notorious **** tax, a tax she wanted to levy per head of the population.

        1. Of course!

          It all makes sense.

          It’s a great clue and should have been on my podium.

  20. I started at a sprint with the first few across and then slowed to a jog before having a rest. All completed in the end and very enjoyable with a nice mix of anagrams and Lego clues. My favourite was 27a as it took a while to catch on and I had worked my way through some famous drummers in the process.

    Many thanks to X-type and to Gazza for the hints

  21. A very straightforward puzzle, but enjoyable nonetheless. 27a is probably my favourite. The first part of 13d is also a new meaning of that word for me.

    Thanks to X-type and Gazza.

  22. That was a pleasure to solve over breakfast, finishing off with a cappuccino. For some reason 16d eluded me and was LI, just preempted by 19a as I failed to spot that it was an anagram. Thanks to X-type, wish we saw more of your compilations, and to Gazza for stepping into the breach.

  23. Wotta joy, all my own work apart from 5d, where I used word search. I was going to say I’d never heard of it, but digging way in the back of my memory, I think I have. Nothing esoteric or obscure, just fun all the way. Fave was 27a, it had to be, but 13d ran close behind.
    Thank you X-Type for such a fun solve, and Gazza for sitting in for our Sue.

  24. I too thought Chalicea until I read through the comments. I nice straightforward puzzle & a welcome respite from the rigours of the last two back-pagers.
    Thanks X-Type & to Gazza.

  25. No time to comment now but hello everyone, thanks for X-Type for the crossword, for Gazza for the hints, pics and specially for the cartoons and hope that CS is enjoying her much needed day off!!

    1. The Times for the Times bloggers had arranged a get together for today, but following the sudden and sad death of Richard Rogan, the Times Crossword Editor, a couple of weeks ago, it turned into more of an event to remember him. It was nice to see so many people again even if we are still shocked at the news. I’d also forgotten how tiring travelling to that London can be, so I think I’ll be having an early night

      1. Are you one of the bloggers on T4TT? I visit for the quickie, not for the 15×15, and haven’t seen you there – unless you’ve another pseudonym!
        Have a nice rest anyway.

  26. Fairly straightforward today. Liked 24a – reminded me of the Flanders & Swann song about a London Bus. 19a – quite an old expression, had to switch back for that!

  27. Thank you to X-Type for the puzzle — always a pleasure to solve one of yours — and Gazza for explaining ‘head’ in 13d, which otherwise had me baffled.

    Too many long anagrams for me to find this straightforward, so I resorted to electronic help with those. Everything else pretty straightforward, though. I particularly liked 6a’s sweet potato, 2d’s racecourse, and 16d’s criminal Joker.

    The Ilkley Food & Drink Festival wasn’t technically a wash-out, but heavy rain all day meant only a small fraction of the expected crowd turned up. On the plus side, that meant no queues for anything, easy to get seats (under cover, thankfully) for both the magic and improvised comedy shows, and so few people in the audience that the 9-year-old got to help with both. It stopped raining during a Paul Heaton tribute (the Beautiful Martins”), but by then many of the food stalls had given up and gone home, including the paella that we’d sampled earlier and hoped to have for tea.

    1. Sorry your festival was a bit damp – I bet it wasn’t as wet as Bruce in Sunderland but if you are looking for a tasty treat the Courtyard Dairy are having a cheese festival on the 7th July

  28. Was in Skeggy yesterday so done this am. Top half straight in. Bottom half a bit slower with 13d and 17a last in. No complaints with the nationality of the domestic goddess. It’s a word known and regularly used in England I would say.27a and 18d favourites. Thanks XType and Gazza.

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