DT 30661 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30661

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30661
Hints and tips by Huntsman

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Very gentle today even by Typically Tuesdayish standards so I suspect this one won’t unduly tax many. Maybe it’s the miserable weather or the deep joy of an impending visit to the dental hygienist that’s put me in a grouchy mood but I can’t say I found today’s guzzle anything to write home about. That said it was of course well clued throughout.

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 Leisurely dial? (4-4)

LAID BACK: what you need to do to the single letter in the wordplay to get the definition synonym. I’m uncertain as to whether or not the question mark is sufficient as an indicator & await comment.

5a Get free top from emporium with small cloak (6)

ESCAPE: the initial letter (top from) of Emporium + the single letter for Small + a sleeveless outer garment.

9a So pup’s barking, Edward presumed (8)

SUPPOSED: an anagram (barking) of SO PUPS + a diminutive for Edward.

10a Minute silver hook – something attractive (6)

MAGNET: the single letter for Minute + the symbol for silver & a synonym for hook or capture.

12a Arch Forest fans not following group of players (9)

ORCHESTRA: an anagram (fans) of ARCH (f)OREST excluding the single letter for Following.

13a Liking Florida, perhaps moving south to the centre (5)

TASTE: what Florida (one of 50) is then move the single letter for south from the beginning to the middle.

14a Unfortunately locked in mental asylum (4)

ALAS: hidden (locked in) in last two words in the clue.

16a Tommy’s rabbit eating ivy mostly (7)

PRIVATE: insert (eating/mostly) IVy into a synonym for rabbit – think Chas & Dave rather than Bugs Bunny.

19a Saw no signs of nerves with editor (7)

NOTICED: NO from the clue + a sign of nerves or an uncontrolled repetitive movement followed by the usual abbreviation for editor.

21a Talk about eastern maharishi? (4)

SAGE: reverse (about) a slang word for talk then append the single letter for Eastern.

24a Spread fear dropping last stone (5)

FEAST: remove the final letter (dropping last) of FEAr  then add the abbreviation for stone.

25a Ruth’s cuter, weirdly, after husband’s removed make-up (9)

STRUCTURE: an anagram (weirdly) of RUThS CUTER excluding the single letter for husband.

27a River going west crossing over neighbourhood (6)

REGION: reverse (going west in an across clue) a West African river & insert (crossing) the cricket abbreviation for Over.

28a Prayer guaranteed satisfaction (8)

PLEASURE: link a synonym for prayer with one for guaranteed.

29a Parisian very stuck in ship creating tension (6)

STRESS: insert (stuck in) the French word for very into the usual ship abbreviation.

30a Remote island well ventilated? Not half! (8)

ISOLATED: the single letter for Island + a synonym for well or very + 50% (not half) of ventiLATED.


1d One is treated after large wound (6)

LESION: an anagram (treated) of ONE IS preceded by the single letter for Large.

2d Ramifications from Bill supporting naughty child (6)

IMPACT: a legislative bill goes under (supporting/down clue) a word for a naughty child.

3d Be squeezing queen with fine bust (5)

BROKE: insert the Latin abbreviation for queen & a two letter variant of a word meaning fine into (squeezing) BE from the clue.

4d Forms from Spain put into boxes (7)

CREATES: insert (put into) the IVR code for Spain inside types of boxes.

6d Remarkable bird concealing tail in nest (9)

STARTLING: a small to medium size passerine bird goes round (concealing) the last letter (tail in) of nesT.

7d Is a mean criminal caught? I forget (8)

AMNESIAC: an anagram (criminal) of IS A MEAN & the cricket abbreviation for Caught.

8d Prestigious European appeared – about time (8)

ESTEEMED: the single letter for European + a synonym for appeared into which the single letter for Time is inserted.

11d Complain about a trip on a regular basis (4)

CARP: the single letter Latin abbreviation for about + A from the clue + the alternate (on a regular basis) letters of tRiP.

15d Places old cat gets surrounded by big ones (9)

LOCATIONS: place large felines around (surrounded by) the cricket abbreviation for Over & CAT  in the clue.

17d Students might be seen in these university classes (8)

UNIFORMS: an abbreviation for university + a synonym for classes.

18d Satire oddly put out someone we don’t know (8)

STRANGER: the alternate (oddly) letters of SaTiRe + a synonym for put out or annoy. A perfect excuse to play Eva Cassidy’s great rendition of a song first recorded by Burl Ives.

20d Rats scurry (4)

DASH: a double definition: the former a very mild expletive.

21d Rambles stupidly, initially annoying people on the internet (7)

STROLLS: the first letter (initially) of Stupidly + the term for those who intentionally antagonise others by posting offensive comments online.

22d Distinguished Roman Emperor ignores us (6)

AUGUST: remove (ignores) US from the founder of the Roman Empire.

23d Story that’s unhistorical on purpose (6)

LEGEND: the cricket term for on (come on Daisy you know this one) + a synonym for purpose.

26d Stroke and lick someone’s boots (5)

CRAWL: let’s plump for a double definition to finish with.


I’ll plump for 16a as my pick here & award podium spots to 12&28a. Please tell us which ones ticked your boxes.

Today’s blogging music has been Beth & Joe Live in Amsterdam. Here’s their version of a great Tom Waits tune

Today’s Quickie crossword pun: RAN + SUM + HONEY = RANSOM MONEY



60 comments on “DT 30661
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  1. This was a very pleasant workout: not too taxing but enjoyable as there were plenty of nice constructions.

    Four mini-crosswords can sometimes be a challenge but not today.

    I love the idea of 1a but what does the surface mean?

    My podium is 3d (love it), 15d and 26d.

    Many thanks to the prof and Hoots Mon!


  2. The top half was more or less a write in. I did enjoy it but not sure 26d I still can’t see why its a double definition, rats doesn’t seem to fit the answer.

  3. “Very gentle today even by Typically Tuesdayish standards” – yep, couldn’t put it better myself. Great fun, only reasons to pause even slightly were found in the SE. Cavilled slightly at 2d – a bill only becomes an *** when it is passed into law. Amused at there being yet another way of clueing 13a. Featuring on the Honours Board were 19a, 25a and 6d.

    Some outstanding music choices (but not all!), especially for the last one.

    Many thanks to Setter and Huntsman alike.

  4. No brain cells damaged today solving this pleasant puzzle.

    A special mention to 1A which really tickled me and in second place, 20D.

    Thanks to the setter for the entertainment and Huntsman for the hints.


  5. I’m not sure whether 1a is very clever or misleading, but I am tending towards the former, making it my favourite. I thought the puzzle was going to be quite tough, but I soon fell into it, following the instructions and solving it in good time. Great fun.

    Many thanks to our setter (AP?) and The Hintsman.

  6. All pretty straightforward, although the SE corner held me up for a while. This was probably not helped by biffing creep at 26d, which, of course, makes no sense.
    Good fun.
    Thank you setter and Huntsman.

  7. This was a breeze following the struggle I had yesterday and equally as enjoyable. We haven’t had 12a for a day or two – we should be keeping a check on the number of ways to clue it. ( Perhaps someone is!) Favourite is 1a despite my hmm at the surface read. I also liked the misleading anagram at 25a which had me mentally wondering what was missing from my make-up bag. Final podium place goes to the succinct 28a. Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  8. Nice and straightforward, good one for learners to get to grips with, I’d expect
    Hardest clue was probably 23d because one is not expecting to need to find a synonym for ‘on’, especially in a down clue. Can bung it in easily though with the checkers

    Thank you to all involved

  9. Variations of 12a bring such joy to setters. It is a word that works very hard in crosswordland. It is like a cart horse. Geddit?

    Even though we had a supermarket delivery on Saturday (£170 plus), I am being sent out now with a shopping list that is growing with every minute I remain in my study. The Youngster has just added ‘salt – not too chunky’ (?) and H will be grabbing a pen to add to the current thirteen items if I don’t leg it now.

    Thanks to the setter and Andy On The First Tee (usually impeccable music taste undermined by Chas ‘n’ D!)

    1. So you are going to the supermarket and will open every packet of salt until you find one that is ‘not too chunky’ by what standard of measurement? Is the Youngster pulling your leg? :smile:

  10. 1.5*/3.5*. Light and fun with 1a my favourite.

    2d doesn’t work. A bill is not an act.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Hintsman.

    1. I agree re 2d – Mustafa G has also commented on it above. This point has come up at least once before.

  11. Enjoyable Tuesday puzzle – thanks to our setter and Huntsman.
    I liked 13a, 3d and 23d with my favourite being 1a (I love this type of clue).

  12. 1a took a bit of staring down but then all went well until I came across the sting in the tail in the SE corner. I’ve noticed that our Tuesday setter often likes to lull us into a false sense of security and then hurl the big guns at us in the lower reaches.
    No stand-out favourite today but I did rather like 19&28a plus 11d, which reminded me of driving on holiday with two small girls in the back of the car!

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Huntsman for the review.

    1. In the long ago days before seat belts we would lift the two sleeping girls out of bed and put them in the back of the car where we had filled the foot space with luggage and made a bed. They would sleep as far as Exeter when we would stop in a lay-by and get them out of their nightdresses ready for the onward journey to Prussia cove. Happy, uncomplicated days.

  13. I must be suffering from heat and humidity exhaustion as I made unnecessarily hard work of today’s puzzle which should not have been the case for an AP production. I am not sure what yesterday’s high temperature was but today’s forecast is 28 degrees feels like 33 – but that is ‘cool’ compared to some areas of the country such as the BC Interior with 40 degrees forecast.

    Favourite by a country mile – 1a!

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  14. An enjoyable solve for me only “ruined” by the cricket bit of 23d. I never learnt French (or Latin or German) at school so often struggle when common words of those languages are included but I’m gradually learning them. Cricket terminology I’m finding harder to remember although I did say that the first part was probably crickety when I tried to parse it.

    Top picks for me were 1a, 16a and 17d.
    Thanks to Huntsman and the setter.

  15. Well, I thought that was rather fun. Light, certainly, but why not? It must, surely, be a chestnut but I loved 1a. 3d was jolly, 25a’s surface was great and 6d read well too. Many thanks to the setter and Huntsman. Chicago playing the Stones came as a relief/surprise. I feared it was going to be Chicago, the band, which would have been ghastly. That’s Ronnie Baker Brooks if I’m not much mistaken. Enjoyed Beth and Joe too, though it does feel slightly wrong to hear a Tom Waits (demigod) tune sung by someone who can actually sing! Marvellous.

  16. This was a gentle and fun solve. Like many my favourite was 1a. A neat and clever clue – I felt sure the word ‘face’ was one of the words so was slightly misdirected for a minute especially having solved 4d. 5A was a swift one – the cloak reference reminded me it came up a few days ago . Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

  17. 2nd day in a row for the small cloak at 5a it seems the answer will soon be joining Serengeti in the list of regular answers! Other than that an enjoyable solve with – like others 1a making me smile.

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman – hope the hygienist is not too uncomfortable

  18. This Tuesday puzzle seemed a little trickier than normal for my way of thinking. Just took a little longer and need a bit of lateral thinking to get through it. Been really hot in Port Coquitlam the last few days … Monday we were up to 33-34C and it is a tad humid too. Same forecast for today too.


    Favourites 1a, 19a, 28a, 29a & 20d — with winner 1a

    Thanks to AP (presumably) & Huntsman for biog/hints

  19. Having been away with the family for a few days, this was my return to the crossword and it didn’t disappoint! Solved 1a straightaway and this clue was my favourite. Although I realised the answer to 23d was Legend, I couldn’t parse it, and couldn’t see why it was “Leg” end. Thanks Huntsman for reminding me about the cricket terminology. I’m going to write a list of cricket terms and keep it nearby when I’m solving! Other favourites included 16a and 17d. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  20. I felt honoured to be mentioned by the Hintsman – it went some way to assuage the stick I am taking for rampaging with a machete. Thoroughly enjoyed the guzzle, as I did yesterday as well. What would I do without it? I agree with The Big Tee that it is good to see the bandsmen in another format but I think 25a is my favourite. Many thanks to the Setter and the Golfyman.

  21. Perfect for a tiny brain trying to watch my Toy Boy getting slaughtered by Medvedev! I had a problem with parsing 23d, I might have known it was crickety. Why can I not remember that? I see 12a makes an appearance again, not a complaint, I’m trying to guess how many will have a word to say about it. So much good stuff, 1a amused and gets top billing, 6d also in the running.
    Thank you setter for the fun, and Huntsman for his unravelling. I can’t wait to read the comments, here goes!

    1. Your Toy Boy was obviously feeling below par (“dizzy”) but recovered a bit and came back to put up a brave fight.

  22. A very nice Tuesday puzzle with lots to like especially 1a which was my favourite. A good mix of other clues, 23d was my last in as I often forget the cricket related answers.

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

  23. For me, this puzzle had something of a split personality. Half of which made sense, and a lot of which didn’t. But probably just down to me as I am aware I am using up time needed to prepare for Peter’s surgery tomorrow. We’ve been instructed that we both need to stay home for 14 days afterwards, so need to finish up making sure we’ve got everything we need today. And an early to bed night, as we will have to be up at sparrow fart tomorrow. But did enjoy the crossword nevertheless. Thanks to setter and Huntsman.

    1. BusyLizzie regarding today’s puzzle you were not on your own! I couldn’t have described it any better. I hope all goes well tomorrow for Peter and he has a full recovery asap. Good luck with the early start and getting a good night’s sleep beforehand.

    2. Oh dear, BL – hope all goes well tomorrow. You must make sure you have the guzzle with you
      to keep you occupied. Fingers crossed for you both.

  24. Enjoyable Tuesdayish crossword 😃 **/**** Favourites 5a, 6d & 21d Thanks to the Huntsman, AP and Cryptic Sue for reminder on the list of Cricket abbreviations. Interesting choice of illustration for 6d which is probably a Superb Starling 🤔 which is a variety found in Africa rather than the European Starling which is also common in the US of A 😬

    1. Sorry to be a pedant, but I think it is a Hildebrandt’s Starling – we saw plenty of them as well as Superb Starlings in Kenya last year. The red eye is the giveaway.
      I’ll get my coat…

  25. Fun puzzle but the blog from Huntsman is even better … where do you find all these songs photos and videos!.

  26. This week has been a bit of a fight dealing with the crossword and watching the tennis but even I could manage both today.
    I liked 13 and 19a and 6 and 8d. My favourite was 25a – not an obvious answer to the clue.
    Thanks to today’s setter for the crossword and to today’s Huntsman for his hints!
    Oh, and I also particularly liked 1a.

  27. I made hard work of this in places but mainly straightforward, which is more than I can say for the toughie in which I’m coming off decidedly second best. Runaway favourite was 1a. Thanks to AP and Huntsman.

  28. I agree with those who found this tougher than AP’s usual walk in the park particularly in SE. Wonder if “I” forget fits for 7d. My Fav was 1a although like Senf IMHO question mark alone is hardly sufficient as indicator.
    Thank you AP for stretching my grey matter a bit and to Senf for your hints without which I just managed today but did enjoy reading them after the event.

  29. I didn’t get on with today’s offering at all. It had nothing to do with the puzzle but more to do with a day of frustration. I’ve been trying to contact the NHS! All I’ve been getting is that the person I want to speak to is out of the office. Strange, I think to myself, she called me and left a message only ten minutes ago. They will get her to give me a ring. She doesn’t. I call again to say I’m going out and could she call me after 3.30? Yes they will tell her. She calls at five minutes to three! She leaves a message saying she will call me in twenty minutes. She doesn’t. I call again – sorry we’re closed!

    I enjoyed what I was able to manage of the guzzle. Thank you, setter – not your fault I had a bad day. Thank you, Hintsman for the hunts and the fabulous Floyd clip. I am now going to feast on Bonamassa.

  30. Pleased to see most clearly appreciated this more than I did. Guess I must have fallen out of the wrong side of the bed this morning so apologies to AP if he reads the blog. Oh & promise no more Chas & Dave.

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