DT 30646 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30646

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30646

Hints and tips by Mr K

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BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. 

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    Pilot must visit planet and snare dangerous organism (5,7)
VENUS FLYTRAP:  Link together a planet orbiting closer to the sun than us, a verb synonym of pilot, and another word for snare. The organism is only dangerous to rather small creatures

8a    Energy provider's message for sunbathers? (3,4)
OIL WELL:  This source of fossil fuel might also be read as advice to sunbathers hoping for a nice tan 

9a    Clubs with a bar and French entertainment (7)
CABARET:  Assemble the playing card abbreviation for clubs, A BAR from the clue, and the French word for “and” 

11a   Food shop design about to be drawn (7)
TRAILED:  A fancy food shop and design or skill, all reversed (about

12a   Carve once and you will regularly go for this food (7)
AVOCADO:  Alternate letters (will regularly go) of CARVE ONCE AND YOU 

13a   Heard satnav directions perhaps in background (5)
ROOTS:  A homophone (heard) of what satnav directions define by example (perhaps

14a   Hiding in cellar, mad illogical creature (9)
ARMADILLO:  The answer is hiding in CELLAR MAD ILLOGICAL 

16a   Was sock, back to front, in sink? (9)
WASHBASIN:  Join together WAS from the clue, a word meaning sock or hit with the last letter moved to the front of the word ( … back to front), and IN from the clue 

19a   Bound to neglect new branch (5)
SPRIG:  Bound or jump minus the single letter for new (to neglect new) 

21a   Evokes breakdown of cities when Left gets in (7)
ELICITS:  An anagram (breakdown of) of CITIES containing the single letter for left (when left gets in

23a   Cockney judge married upper-class females, finding one warmer (7)
EARMUFF:  Cement together the Cockney pronunciation of a word meaning judge or try, the abbreviation for married, the single letter for upper-class, and two copies of the single letter for female [h]EAR + M + U + FF

24a   Clean three articles from France and Germany (7)
LAUNDER:  Put together three grammatical articles, the first two French and the third German 

25a   Delight of Caesar, say, holding united Spain back (7)
ENAMOUR:  What Julius Caesar defines by example (say) containing the single letter for united and followed by the IVR code for Spain is all reversed (backROMAN (what Caesar defines by example) containing U + E, all reversed

26a   Deploying map, I pop south to find famous character in Africa (12)
HIPPOPOTAMUS:  An anagram (deploying) of MAP I POP SOUTH 



1d    We see love endlessly arising - can love erupt like this? (7)
VOLCANO:  Stick together the reversal (arising, in a down clue) of all but the last letter (we see … endlessly) of LOVE, CAN from the clue, and the single letter representing a love score in tennis 

2d    Redundant, finally free of small torments (7)
NEEDLES:  A word meaning redundant or unnecessary minus its last copy of the clothing abbreviation for small (finally free of small) 

3d    Times of innocence and fantasy - add a lass to cuddle up! (5,4)
SALAD DAYS:  FANTASY ADD A LASS contains the reversal of the answer (… to cuddle up

4d    In the middle of July, craft something to wear (5)
LYCRA:  The answer is hidden in the middle of JULY CRAFT 

5d    Paper boat travelling around lake - passport needed? (7)
TABLOID:  An anagram (travelling) of BOAT containing (around) the map abbreviation for lake is followed by an abbreviation that can refer to a passport 

6d    Prince of Wales maybe discussed high post? ... (7)
AIRMAIL:  A homophone (discussed) of a (4,4) phrase that the Prince of Wales defines by example the answer is a  homophone of HEIR MALE 

7d    ... One takes turns traditionally, could be Harry's spin (7,5)
POTTERS WHEEL:  A famous fictional Harry with his ‘S from the clue followed by a synonym of spin 

10d   Access by retaining old ticket payment (12)
THOROUGHFARE:  Another word for “by” containing (retaining) the single letter for old is followed by a short word for ticket payment 

15d   Alternative Of Mice and Men - half of that is filling (9)
MINCEMEAT:  An anagram (alternative of ) MICE MEN is followed by half of THAT from the clue 

17d   Jogs in street, one's hill run oddly being over (7)
STIMULI:  Combine together the map abbreviation for street, a first person contraction for “one is”, and the reversal (over, in a down clue) of alternate letters (oddly) of HILL RUN  ST + I’M (one’s) + the reversal of ILU (alternate letters in HILL RUN)

18d   Boost body with soup? Not so (5,2)
BUILD UP:  A word meaning body or physique is followed by SOUP from the clue minus SO (not so) 

19d   Satire showing elite troops holding a Catholic mass (7)
SARCASM:  The abbreviation for some elite UK soldiers containing (holding) both A from the clue and the abbreviation for Roman Catholic is followed by the physics symbol for mass 

20d   University's welcomed in Caruso - unexpectedly rough (7)
RAUCOUS:  The single letter for university inserted in (welcomed in) an anagram (unexpectedly) of CARUSO 

22d   Band of constituents heading north (5)
STRAP:  The reversal (heading south, in a down clue) of constituents or components


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

The Quick Crossword pun:  HELL + SINK + QUAY = HELSINKI

97 comments on “DT 30646
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  1. 4*/3*. I found the top half of this puzzle particularly challenging. On my first pass I had precisely no answers until I moved on to the bottom half. Then it all slowly came together from the bottom up.

    I did enjoy it apart from a few strange surfaces and I’m not convinced that 6d works even with the question mark as the wordplay appears to lead to the two syllables the other way round.

    7d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

    1. I presume the clue in 6d refers to a construction akin to “heir apparent”. Mr Google reveals that the (4,4) phrase can be found in the OED but I can’t see the actual entry as it is behind a paywall.

        1. Thanks, Jepi

          So, contrary to the clue, Prince William is not, in fact, an heir male (although he is a male heir).

          1. No, my statement is incorrect. I think you only need to go back one generation to his father and not two generations to his grandmother.

  2. Thought I was going to be beaten for the first time in ages by this stinker, but stuck to me guns, and finally all just slotted into place, although still can’t see how 17d is derived, will need to see the hint.

    Some VERY cryptic ones here especially 24a 16a, and my favourite of the day, the absolutely brilliant 6d. Made my morning that did.

    Liked 3d as well, does anyone remember the Monty Python sketch of the same name as directed by Sam Peckinpah? pure Python genius (*** Be warned, this one’s not for the squeamish, or lovers of comedies like Terry and June! ***)

  3. I found this a bit of a tussle but then it is Friday. For the first time ii a while, I had to use a high proportion of the hints so derived little enjoyment. I wonder if anyone else went for the wrong “Harry” in 7d. Nice misdirection that began with 6d. No COTD today I was just pleased to finish albeit with great help from Mr. K.

    Thank you setter but your expertise beat me today. Thank you for the Hints, Mr. K.

    1. Yes, I went with the wrong Harry (apt description 😊), misled by there being a Prince of Wales clue later in the downs.

  4. Most enjoyable Friday puzzle – must have been on the setter’s wavelength today.

    Favourites are my last two in – 7d and 13a.

    Sadly completed without our lurcher companion of the last 14 years snuggled beside me on the sofa. RIP Emmy.

    Thanks to setter and Mr K.

          1. So sorry to hear that Emmy has moved on Dave. You are so right CC, it is more than 40 years since we lost our childhood dog and he is still missed, when Mama Bee goes (in many more years I hope) I may be ready to get another

            1. Too true, SJB, our puppy, Waafie,cobtained from an RAFpal of my uncle’s, grew up with me. 60 ywars after we lost her, she’s still my special girl

    1. Condolences, Dave – they do leave rather large holes in our hearts and lives, and you have my sincere sympathies on your loss. It sounds as though Emmy was rather more conducive to you solving crosswords than our spaniels, who consider any moments I spend with a puzzle to be good walking opportunities wasted.

    2. Such sad news, Dave, your house must feel rather empty at the moment. So many of us have been in a similar position on several occasions and it never gets any easier. RIP Emmy.

    3. Oh dear, I’m so sorry to hear this, Dave. It does break the heart when they leave us. They become so much a part of our lives.

    4. Oh, Dave, I can’t begin to tell you how sorry I am, you must be devastated. She shall be sadly missed. Sadie sends special thoughts.

  5. For me, etc, quite gentle for a Friday and I suspect that this may not be the work of any member of the Friday triumvirate, but I would be happy to be proved wrong – 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 8a, 16a, 7d, and 10d – and the winner is 16a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and Mr K.

    P.S. It seems that Mr K is very busy again, so for those of you having withdrawal symptoms:

    1. Thanks Senf. I thought there was a site problem as Mr K references pictures in his intro, yet I couldn’t see any.

  6. I had to work for this one but got over the line with a bit left in the tank.

    The wheels were nicely set in motion when I got 1a off the bat.

    Some of the surface’s didn’t quite do it for me but there were lots of good techniques on display, e’g ‘back to front’ in 16a that made me think it was a ‘reversy Percy’. ‘Famous character’ made me pause as I have never heard it described in that way. I also missed the alternative for one’s in 17d

    My podium is 1a, 8a and 6d (‘maybe’ makes it work for me)

    Many thanks to Mr K and, I’m guessing, Zandio as I know he likes his lurkers/srekrul and the alternate letters technique.


    1. PS

      Is srekrul the plural of rekrul or is it rekruls?

      I’ve gone for the former in my post but I’m happy to be shouted down.


      1. The rules of the game seem diverse
        If lurkers you have to reverse.
        I won’t shout Tom down
        I won’t even frown
        As his logic is never perverse.

  7. I also had to work from the bottom up as I couldn’t manage any in the top to start with. I did finish OK but a couple were a bit of a guess to be honest. Thanks Mr K for explaining them. Just to let you know that MP did see the blog yesterday and I don’t think he realised just how much he is missed. He brought some decent weather with him as well – bonus. I’ve just viewed the Monty Python clip which has quite put me off my crab and samphire tart we’ve just bought for lunch! Thanks to the setter (?) for the brain mangling.

    1. I certainly miss him, Manders. He helped me so much when I first joined the blog. Thank you for posting the picture.

  8. After yesterday’s quite brilliant (and accessible, could have been a Friday back-pager) Django Toughie, what a pleasure to start today with another cracking puzzle, solved from the bottom up and finishing with Harry’s spin, which had “thrown” me completely until all the checkers for the first word were in place.

    Some outstanding lurkers, but it was a shame two of the three were next to each other; 1d was a little weak, with the padding of “We see” and two loves. Otherwise a wonderful puzzle with great surfaces and ticks everywhere, so I will be disciplined and confine the Honours Board to 3d, 6d, 14a (COTD) and 23a.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio for my fiver rather than Silvanus, despite the surfaces reads) and MrK

  9. I’m guessing from the selection of odd surface reads that this is a Zandio compilation – at least he gave us a few laughs along the way today. No outstanding favourite but an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Zandio, if it is indeed one of his, and to Mr K for the review. Kudos to those who popped a few pusskins in to stave off any withdrawal symptoms!

  10. This was no easy guzzle more like swimming through treacle in a deep-sea diving suit. I found 1a straighht away for a wonder but, like others, had to edge my way from the bottom upwards through the rest of the rather over-complicated clues often by guesswork and reverse engineering the parsing. The lurkers were the best of them, particularly 14a, together with the lego clue at25a. Not that enjoyable but satisfying to complete. Thanks to Mr K for the hints and cats and to the compiler

  11. I often struggle with Friday’s offerings, but today I had very little trouble which seems to be against the general consensus of today’s opinions. I guess I was just on the setter’s wavelength for a change 😁

  12. I didn’t think I was going to finish this when I had most of the NW to do. Gradually nibbled into it with 7d and 13a the last ones. Why do I keep forgetting that particular Harry?
    Top picks for me were 1a, 16a and 3d.
    Thanks to Mr K for the blog and to the setter.
    Also thanks to those who provided some kitty pics.

  13. Enjoyed today’s guzzle (my money is on Zandio) completed in between teeing golfers off on a gloriously warm & sunny first tee at Centurion. Not the quickest solve but it is Friday & my parsing tallies with Mr K’s explanations so I’ll chalk that down as a win. 7d my pick.
    Thanks to the setter & to Mr K

  14. A top-notch puzzle perfect for the Friday slot – thanks to the setter and Mr K.
    Vying for places on my podium are 8a, 16a, 23a, 3d and 6d.

  15. For some strange reason, contrary to RD and others, I found the top half was easier than the bottom. The long borders helped and the SE quadrant used up 3/4 of my pondering
    Thanks to Setter and Mr K (Zandio is a good bet I expect him to be on toughie duty on Sunday)

      1. Me too on filling the top before the bottom — all my across answers in the first pass were in the top half.

  16. Like many others, I started from the bottom and worked up. This at least gave me the incentive to continue as I found this a tricky offering even for a Friday. As is usual for me a few parsings have passed me by so I will look at the relevant hints. 7d took far too long as I never think of the boy wizard and go through the all possible Harry’s first.
    8 and 13a both made me smile and fill the podium lower positions. 26a takes top spot. Thanks to compiler for the workout and Mr K for the hints.

  17. Well, a nice surprise for this Friday puzzle offering as it finished the week out very gently. Enjoyed this straightforward offering, without the setter making it a ‘toughie’

    2*/4* for me.

    Favourites 1a, 12a, 24a,26a, 7d & 19d — with winner 24a
    Smiles from many, but top 4 are 8a, 23a, 6d & 7d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K
    Sorry to hear of your loss of Emmy, DaveP …. it is always tough to lose a beloved pet.

  18. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Zandio for the guzzle. It beat me but I could see the beauty of it. I have solved your offerings before and I will do again. I just wasn’t in gear today.

      Thank you for popping in. It is always appreciated.

    2. Thanks Zandio, I always find i can’t get started at all until I’ve read through twice. Then the pennies drop like pennies from heaven!
      Thanks to Mr K. Had to check the bung ins

  19. This was definitely a Friday level puzzle for me, it took a long time to get going and thank goodness for the anagrams and lurkers (many well disguised) which got me going. 7d was my last in, as I was on completely the wrong Harry for ages thanks to 6d. I will have these 2 as my favourites.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to Mr K for the hints.

    I am not sure if you saw my comment yesterday but the crosswords are back in the digital edition, at least for me anyway.

    1. Thank you MissTFide. Yes, it worked today, so I was able to solve in bed before breakfast. Such luxury.
      Digital crosswords – here today, gone tomorrow.
      At least I should have my ink cartridges this weekend, so I can always look on the bright side.

  20. This was a DNF for me, could not get on the setters wavelength, but as always it is a learning process.

    Thank you to the Setter and Mr. K, who was the setter by the way?

  21. An excellent Friday offering from Z. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and a satisfying solve. Fav: 14a. 3.5*/4*.

  22. I too wasn’t sure about 6d but it couldn’t be anything else so I just accepted it. On first pass I had answers all over the oche which made the trickier clues a little more straightforward. A very satisfying solve. Favourite was 8a. Thanks to Zandio and Mr. K.

  23. Tricky west side not helped by assuming ‘lottery’ as first part of 7d … very enjoyable though, thank you Zandio and Mr K

  24. Wow, knock me over with a feather, I was actually able do a Zandio puzzle. Notice I said “do” and do not claim to have finished without help. Agreeably surprised as I was steeling myself for the usual Friday OTT, but this was pleasantly friendly for the most part. Don’t understand drawn = trailed. Would not have got 26 a without realising it was an anagram. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K. Missed the pictures.

  25. Im admitting defeat, this is beyond me. I’ve solved seven, fought to get those and lost my will to live. I should know by now that when it’s Friday and Mr. K gives it ***, I should not even attempt the puzzle. Where did this come from? I’m betting Zandio but I’ve been wrong before.
    I’m off to look at the pics, then find something fun to do. Thank you Mr. K for your efforts on our behalf.

  26. I struggled to get going with this puzzle and had to resort to some E-help to get over the line but after reading through the clues again I managed to understand everything.

    If my upload works, here is another cat picture for you – my late cat Abbie as a kitten.

  27. I’m not often on Zandos wavelength but today was an exception. I started off with 1d which led me to 1a although I didn’t understand why! Then I slowly worked through the rest with 5d and 26a making me smile. Thanks to catman and Zando.

  28. Good evening

    A Thursday/Friday Double Whammy! The Mighty Mr T followed by the Mind of Zandio…😱😉….two challenges to get the brain cells working.

    Yesterday I took my time, and finally got the better of Mr T; today, however, I have to report a DNF. I dipped out by one solution: 17d. I just couldn’t get it, even with the benefit of Mr K’s hints. So chalk one up to the MoZ.

    Some excellent clueing; I particularly liked the misdirection in 5d; 16a and 6d were particularly pithy, and the sublime 3d takes COTD today.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to Mr K.

  29. Lucky to have time on my hands today as this was a slow and steady solve. At first thought it was too hard, but gradually it fell into place. Kicked myself when I got 1a which I was stuck on until almost the end. I had to look up the hint for the first half of 7d. Could not think of a single Harry other than the obvious and didn’t get as far as going fictional 🙄Thanks Zandio and Mr K.

  30. On the whole great fun but with two of the worst clues that I have seen for a long time in 6d and 23a. Absolutely appalling and really very silly.
    Such a shame as the rest was an elegant puzzle.
    Apart from the above ***/**** with the above 0/0.
    Thx for the hints.

    1. Just a thought, Brian and I am just being curious here, have you ever compiled a cryptic crossword? 😊

        1. Unless he does to see what our reactions are to his posts! 🤣🤣

          I just wondered what qualified Mr. Brian to be able to say clues are the worst he has ever seen. Plus, he never says why they are.

          1. Everyone is qualified to give their own opinion on what they like and dislike Steve. I am not keen on 6d because it seems quite antiquated. Chris Lancaster says: “The intention is that every Telegraph Crossword can be solved without recourse to dictionaries and other reference books …” although “The general rule for our crossword compilers is that all entries other than proper nouns should be in Chambers Dictionary. However, this doesn’t mean that any word in Chambers Dictionary is fair game for our setters; it contains thousands of obscure, archaic and obsolete words that are known to very few people.”

  31. Despite being a Friday, this was not a toughie for a change.

    An enjoyable solve despite a dnf due to 17d. I don’t get how the answer is jogs which I would have as stimulates. Happy for someone to give an example where this works though.

    Thanks to all.

    1. I have to agree: it seems to me that the answer is something that jogs not that itself

      I am usually wrong though!

  32. I thought I might as well join in and share a picture of one of our 2 cats (both 17). This one is the one who had such bad kidney failure 7 years ago that we were told she could not survive. However she rallied around and despite having virtually no residual kidney function has lived another 7 years. We have to give her 100mls of fluid a day by injection which she is so good about she even asks for it at the right time, she does enjoy her lick e lix treat afterwards!

  33. Many thanks to Mr K and our setter for a fun work out! Pleased to have cracked 1A and had Aha moments when 6D, 7D, and 17D were explained.

  34. We loved today’s and found it much easier than the last two CoTD was 6d. Probably because i surprised him indoors and myself by getting it almost instantly.

  35. For me℠, at the more straightforward end of Zandio’s range. As usual for this setter, far too many top-quality clues to pick a favourite, including 5d’s paper boat, 12a’s food — one of the best alternating-letter clues I’ve ever seen, 19d’s Catholic mass, 25a’s Caesar holding Spain back, and 11a’s shop design.

    Happy weekend to anybody still reading this. Condolences to DaveP, and thank you to Manders for the news on your visitor..

  36. I liked it.Did not complete even with hints.But from time to time a really tough back pager is good,like a doable Toughie on Tuesday or Wednesday.Especially on a Friday when the Toughie is often beyond faint Souls like myself

  37. I would have expected 17d to be “Jogs in street, one’s hill run regularly being over”, if you see what I mean. Have I invented my own rule for what “oddly” and “regularly” often signify, whereas setters might actually use them interchangeably to mean “alternate”?

    Thanks in advance.

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