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DT 30000

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30000

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer is in full swing with 30+ temps every day this week. Falcon was without electricity for six days after the storm and still has no internet, telephone or TV. Must have been a hell of a storm! That means you’ve got me again this week so I hope you’re not too disappointed.

As to the puzzle, of course it’s a landmark. It’s Daily Telegraph number 30,000 and that’s a hell of a lot of puzzles! There’s a Nina around the outside of the grid to mark the number and I reckon this is one of the best Monday puzzles for some time.  It’s not too hard and it hasn’t needed a load of obscure words to get the Nina in place. I thought it was great and look forward to your thoughts.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           County‘s season picked up ahead of series (8)
SOMERSET: The first bit is five letters that aren’t a word but if pronounced would sound like (picked up) a season and then a series or group.

9a           Look at permit and small hole (6)
EYELET: A word meaning to look at followed by a word for to permit or allow.

10a         Not quite prepared to study (4)
READ:  Study at university is a word meaning prepared but without its last letter (not quite).

11a         Large one piano in intricate Hogarth print (10)
LITHOGRAPH: L(arge) and an I (one) followed by an anagram (intricate) of HOGARTH with a P(iano) inserted (in).

12a         Go back on one’s word right away in a city in Oregon (6)
EUGENE: This is a word meaning to go back on one’s word but without the R. It’s backwards but where is the reversal indicator? I don’t think this clue works unless I’m missing something obvious which would not be the first time!
The clue has been updated on the website and now reads:-
Go back on one’s word right away over in a city in Oregon (6)
“over” is the previously missing reversal indicator.

14a         The Spanish artist entertained by old-fashioned type in fabulous place (2,6)
EL DORADO:  Start with the Spanish definite article and follow with and old-fashioned type, or extinct bird, with the usual artist inserted (entertained by).  For some reason I had El Greco in mind but he’s a letter short and he was a Greek, D’oh!

15a         They go off in river craft, not quietly (6)
EXEUNT: A stage direction.  It’s a river in Devon followed by a boat used on rivers but without the P (not quietly).  I’d never have got this one without the checkers and even then it took its time revealing itself – last one in by quite a margin.

17a         Professional model in good health (6)
PROSIT: Abbreviation of professional followed by a word for model or pose.

20a         Throaty, ultra poorly on vessel returning (8)
GUTTURAL: Start with a vessel used to help manoeuvre ships in harbours and follow with an anagram (poorly) of ULTRA.

22a         America backing party UK rejected? A puzzle (6)
SUDOKU:  The two letters for America reversed (backing), then the usual party and UK backwards (rejected). I don’t know if this is easy or diabolical – it’s just an image off Google.

23a         Dreadful chap, a boor I fear (10)
ACROPHOBIA: Anagram (dreadful) of CHAP A BOOR I

24a         The Parisian approaching outskirts of Nantes, French city (4)
LENS: The French indefinite article followed by NS (outskirts of NanteS)

25a         Power lift gets acclaim (6)
PRAISE:  P(ower) followed by a word meaning to lift.

26a         Drink it in retreat with a girl (3,5)
TIA MARIA: TI (IT in retreat) followed by the A from the clue gives the first word. The second is a girl’s name.
It’s probably a bit sad but I really like this film . . .


1d           Certainly true abroad, honours being involved (2,2,4)
TO BE SURE:  Anagram (abroad) of TRUE with some honours of the British Empire inserted.

2d           That woman and daughter’s stock of cattle (4)
HERD:  A word for that woman and a D(aughter).

3d           I betrayed eastern princess of legend (6)
ISOLDE: I from the clue followed by a word for betrayed, usually with OUT after it, and then an E(astern).

4d           Instrument shown in first half of recipe book (8)
RECORDER:  The first half of RECipe followed by a word which can mean to book or reserve.

5d           Coerced by threats, mistake is concealed by tense editor (10)
TERRORISED:  T(ense) and ED(itor) with a mistake and the IS from the clue inserted (concealed by).

6d           Cried, deeply upset (6)
YELPED:  Anagram (upset) of DEEPLY.

8d           Rope carried by mate — the reason? (6)
TETHER: A lurker hiding in (carried by) the last three words.

13d         Using a computer, perhaps decide on grave overlooking church (10)
ELECTRONIC:  A word meaning to decide or choose followed by a word describing grave illness but without (overlooking) the CH (church) from the beginning.

16d         Savings primarily invested in another fresh source of oil and gas (5,3)
NORTH SEA:  Savings primarily is an S so insert that (invested in) an anagram (fresh) of ANOTHER.  This place can be a bit rough at times . . .

18d         Noticing a man piercing can (6,2)
TAKING IN:  The A from the clue and a chess man inserted into (piercing) another word for a can, of baked beans perhaps.

19d         Practically everything  in contrast (3,3)
ALL BUT: Double definition.

21d         Open a French Chardonnay, initially, or last in rack (6)
UNCORK: The French indefinite article and then a C (Chardonnay initially). Then you need the OR from the clue and a K (last in racK).  I likes a bit of Chardonnay but it’s difficult to get around here.

22d         Small vehicle, a black Beetle? (6)
SCARAB:  S(mall) followed by a vehicle and the A from the clue and a B(lack).  Well a Beetle was a small vehicle but I don’t seem to remember seeing many black ones.

24d         Charge youth pinching duck (4)
LOAD:  Charge as in charge a gun.  A young boy with O (duck) inserted (pinching).

My top three out of a lot of good stuff are 10a, 6d and 22d with 10a on top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        FURTIVE     +     HOW  + SINNED   =     THIRTY THOUSAND.

Bottom line:     BAY     +     CURRIES     =     BAKERIES

Nina:  Starting at top left and going around the outside in a clockwise direction you get:


118 comments on “DT 30000

  1. Good fun, a couple of new words in there but obtainable from the wordplay and checkers. Have to admit the Nina was a big help.
    Congratulations to the nation’s best newspaper on the milestone and many thanks to setter and to Pommers, not even a tad disappointed sir!

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining way to celebrate this significant milestone. Campbell has given us a very accessible and rewarding puzzle, with some elegant clues and a wonderful Nina. 7a and 6d were my co-favourites with an honourable mention to 11a.

    My thanks and congratulations to Campbell for a fine crossword, and to pommers. The top pun in the Quickie is three words, celebrating again that number.

  3. I’m afraid I failed on 12a as I didn’t have a clue! Otherwise a pleasant Monday **/*** which was very steady. Nice to be back in Blighty. Thanks to Pommers and I look forward to seeing the full explanation of 12a from other bloggers. Thanks to the setter.

  4. Furtive how sinned = Thirty thousand, pommers. For once, I saw this immediately, but maybe I was sort of expecting it! I’ll be back in a bit.

    1. A top-notch celebration of quite a milestone indeed, with some terrific misdirection and crackerjack clueing. 16a gets my top vote, with *12a and 6d joining it on the podium. *Re 12a, is it not possible for ‘go back’ to serve a double duty — or is such a thing taboo in cryptic protocol? Very enjoyable throughout. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ** / ****

      1. I’m making all kinds of mistakes today–all thumbs, no brain. I meant 15a and not 16a, but no one seems to have noticed. And my question about 12a turns out to be answered indirectly: it was an oversight by the setter / editor. But it didn’t bother me at the time.

  5. I see that Prolixic has updated the top line pun so thanks to him. I did wonder about it but discounted it as it must be the worst pun on record!

  6. Great celebratory puzzle and thank you Chris Lancaster for an excellent commemorative article in today’s DT

  7. Happy anniversary, everybody! Thank you to Campbell for the puzzle, the nina, and the topical quickie pun, and to Pommers for the blogging.

    Anybody managed Telegraph Crossword no 1? (On page 3 of the paper paper, and today’s freebie on the Puzzles website.) I managed only to bung in a few before giving up.

    1. Hi, Smylers. Yes, I managed to finish Cryptic #1 (100%), an odd combination of GK and really odd ‘cryptics’, but I got only a 96% correct on the ‘freebie’ (#710) and have no idea what I got wrong. I rechecked to see if there might be a typo, but no, nothing there. I remain mystified.

      1. Sorry, my punctuation was misleading there: the puzzles website offers one puzzle free each day, even to non-subscribers, and today’s freebie is Telegraph Crossword number 1, somewhat inaccurately labelled as ‘Cryptic Crossword No 1’, the same puzzle as page 3 in the newspaper — so everybody should have access to it.

        Anyway, well done on completing it, with all the oddness that involved!

        And I hope your mystery gets resolved on the separate 710 prize online-only puzzle.

      2. Immediately thought of you at 22a in the bonus puzzle.
        Why is the jumbo puzzle not on the puzzles site I wonder?

  8. Some tricky parsing to mark the aniversary and a cracking puzzle to boot,
    last in was 12a, I thought from memory that it was a city but nor where it was !
    Favourite was 11a,a top draw imaginative clue from our setter,14a was a close second.
    Going for a ***/*****.
    Thanks to Pommers for the pics

    1. Apart from Big Dave asking you to refrain from using capital letters in your alias because it is the internet equivalent of shouting, lately you have been putting an apostrophe before the alias – ‘BEAVER – which is why you keep going into moderation

  9. I think that “firty vousind” phonetically speaking for thirty thousand is stretching it a bit and not how I would imagine the average DT reader would pronounce it.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Quite a few of the Quick Crossword’s puns could be described as ‘stretching it a bit’

    2. It would be a boring concept if all puns were as straightforward as TEST TICKLE, MULL BURY or RAIN DEAR. Like synonyms homophones need a bit of stretching now and again

    3. I absolutely love the pun. Right up my ‘rue’.

      ‘Good moaning’ says Officer Crabtree.


    1. It is an extremely obscure spelling in my book. The word does not have a U in it, or if it has I have never seen it spelt that way

    2. Campbell and CL must have checked their BRBs for 12a – with and without a ‘U’ plus two other variations with no indication of obscurities unless the fact that one of the other variations is indicated as ‘Irish’ counts.

  10. A nice Monday crossword with a celebratory Nina which even I can see. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers and congratulations to the DT

    The special cryptic Jumbo isn’t difficult, and that has an even more helpful Nina!

  11. Thought this was going to be a fastest ever solve but was held up by the parsing of 13d (which, I guess, I could’ve just bunged in); the actual definition and the last bits of the clue were, imho, the most stretched synonyms I’ve seen in quite a while. Thank you so much, Pommers, for the explanation.
    Nonetheless, big ta to the setter, very enjoyable – genius, too, to get the stuff around the edges!

  12. It’s unusual for me to do a puzzle on the day because I’m usually catching up, especially since I started doing Toughies. But the banner on my dead tree version told me there was something special today. And I never see a Nina, but even my radar was turned on by the shading on the Jumbo on page 3 (which I’ll save for later). So it helped me race through DT 30k at unusual speed, and with much enjoyment. Many thanks to all the setters and editors, and to BD’s team of reviewers and bloggers. Now back to the jobs I should have been doing!

  13. For those puzzled (as I was) about 12a the clue has now been updated on the Puzzles site to include ‘over’ between ‘away’ and ‘in’.
    Thanks to today’s setter and Pommers.

  14. DNF as I failed to get 12a otherwise an enjoyable solve. Also failed to spot the Nina. Great milestone to pass as well so congratulations to all involved and thanks to Pommers for standing in again.

    1. I got 12a from the City but could not find the word meaning to go back on one’s word. This was partly because the paper version did not indicate a reverse lurker (unless go back is doing double duty) and I have never seen that spelling.

  15. For the digital subscription readers The Jumbo Cryptic puzzle is on page 22 after the boring stuff about history of the DT Cryptic puzzle (we read it all before and the original puzzle from 1925. I only found it because I expected something more than Campbells back pager. Thanks to Pommers for the review and Campbell for the puzzle

    1. The digital solvers will get on better than the newspaper ones as the print is so tiny you almost need a magnifying glass

    1. Thanks for these, Miffypops. Even with my glasses on, I’m having great difficulty reading the clues in the paper. :good:

      1. Sorry, I seem to have erased the down clues with my post! :scratch:

        No I haven’t. Why does my laptop have a delay of a few minutes?

  16. In my opinion “using a computer” is a rather silly stretch for the answer to 13d. 12a was a google look up and I agree it needed the ‘over’ to parse correctly. Good puzzle apart from this.

  17. A lot of fun although I confess to checking cities in Oregon and then working backwards. The Nina jumped out at me just as I finished. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  18. A nicely accessible back-pager to mark the milestone and many thanks are due to the DT teams for bringing us so much pleasure and frustration over the years.
    Well done to our setter for the appropriate Nina (and the truly cringeworthy one in the Quickie pun!).
    17a & 18d raised the biggest smiles here.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the entertaining review – especially the clip of that talented young musician and the reminder of the irrepressible Maria.

  19. I missed the Nina, I’m afraid, but it was a great crossword, with some clever misdirection to catch you out. Favourites include 11a, 12a (where I checked the spelling because I was confused by the mistake in the clue), 8a (great misdirection) and 15a, my COTD. Thanks to Pommers, especially for sorting out the wording of 12a and thanks to Campbell for a fine 30,000th puzzle.

  20. What a fantastic puzzle to celebrate the 30,000th back pager with a suitable Nina to boot. Even the groan worthy top Quickie pun was very apt. Yes, a total joy from start to finish with plenty to exercise the grey cells. I loved the homophone indicator in 7a and the surface of 4d. My COTD is 18d with a nod to 17a.

    Thank you, Campbell for an enjoyable and very fine 30,000th puzzle. Thank you, pommers for stepping and providing the hints – not a disappointment at all.

    Now for the jumbo cryptic and Crossword 1. :good:

  21. A gently challenging workout today with just a hiccup over 15a due to never having been involved in treading the boards so had to call on MrG. Fav was 17a originally learnt at the Munich Oktoberfest! Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  22. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/*****

    And, Puzzle No 1 was quite doable – more like a Giant Quickie, with a sprinkling of 97 year old obscurities, by today’s standards.

    Even with the circumferential crenellations, I didn’t think to look for a Nina.

    Somewhat weird on the OLPP – apparently I completed the puzzle in Sir John Gielgud fashion, although I know I didn’t, as, when I submitted, the web site told me that I had 0% correct!

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 3d, and 4d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to Campbell, pommers, and CL and all the DT Puzzle staff.

    P.S. Falcon’s, and the rest of Ontario’s, destructive storm is known as a ‘Derecho’ (Spanish for ‘straight’ (as in direction)) – Wikipedia explains it all – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derecho

    1. Hi, Senf. Re the OLPP, is it permissible to ask about individual clues? If so, I’m curious about 11a. My submission grade shows that I got only 96% correct and I can’t find anything that seems amiss, unless it is 11a. Did you or Gielgud solve that one?!

  23. 1.5*/3.5*. This was good fun and a fitting celebration of an outstanding landmark with an appropriate Nina too.

    I was heading for less than 1* time but the final couple of entries stretched my time out a bit. I don’t think the definition for 13d really cuts the mustard and I was sorry to have play “guess the girl” for 26a.

    My top three were 7a, 17a & 18d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  24. I am sorry to have to go against the majority on this one. Compared to yesterday’s this one, to me, was an also-ran. I normally enjoy Campbell’s Monday treats but not today. Not much humour or snappy clueing. 13d was obvious from the checkers but “using a computer” surely not. I was to some extent complicit in finding it difficult to fathom as I entered 12a also in the box for 15a. This gave me a wrong checker but I found an obscure word to fit 13a until I saw the light. As favourites I have only circled 7 14 and 15a. Thanks Campbell for sterling work on crosswords in the past, and I hope in the future. Thanks Pommers in hinting a strange one for a celebratory day. There’s always tomorrow…..

  25. An excellent celebratory puzzle though needless to say I was oblivious to the Nina & couldn’t make head nor tail of the top quickie pun either. 12a was the only head scratch without the benefit of the correction reversal indicator – can’t say I’ve encountered the alternative spelling before but vaguely recalled the city & checked. 15a my pick of the bunch. Thought the bonus cryptic excellent also – 14d & 22a the standouts there for me.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

    1. You know what I did on 14d on the bonus, Huntsman? I spelled the answer with an ‘i’ instead of a ‘y’ as if I didn’t know how to spell that word! Doh and duh. No wonder my grade was 96% correct. My picks were 22a and 11a.

      1. 11a my last in & certainly not a word I was familiar with other than hydra was wet stuff.

    2. Thumbs up for the bonus puzzle, 710, from me too – much more like a Campbell Monday puzzle, I felt, to whom my thanks. COTD 14d, with 11a and 22a on the podium as Hon Mention.

  26. I was well and truly baffled by 12a, despite having the answer, and I can now see why! But apart from that a nice way to celebrate the 30K mark. Many thanks to compiler and host.

  27. A solid but otherwise quite unremarkable puzzle, which apart from the Nina I felt did little justice to the milestone. A shame the DT put so much focus on celebrating the event that 12a fell through the cracks in the paving, while 13d is just poor IMV. A rare occasion where I find no clues ticked afterwards: nothing stood out. Maybe I just got out of bed the wrong side?

    1.5* / 1.5*

    Thanks anyway and apologies to the Setter (can it really have been Campbell?), and to Pommers. As W+W sagely concludes, “There’s always tomorrow…..” – and as for today there’s also the Online Prize Cryptic, a Jumbo Cryptic, and the first ever puzzle, so in the words of D:Ream, “Things can only get better!”

  28. Well for the 30,000th puzzle today it sure was a very strange mix of clues with parsing for most nowhere to be seen.
    Clues to like include 7a, 9a, 22a, 18d & 19d with winner 7a
    As I completed this on Sunday night I may 21a something tonight to 18d the puzzle again to 1a that I’m not being dim-witted … or at least more than usual.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  29. A very accessible puzzle and worthy of the prestigious slot of DT Cryptic No 30,000.
    I missed the Nina as usual, despite it being a milestone puzzle!
    I did not get the Jumbo on my iPad, so I have just popped out to the local shop to buy the paper version – I haven’t done that in many years! Now, where’s my pen?!
    Many thanks to Chris Lancaster and his fantastic team of compilers for all of the enjoyment over many, many years. I started solving during Chemistry lessons at school, which was half a century ago!

  30. 2/2.5. I thought this was a bit of a let down for a Monday and 30k to boot. 12a was a bung in for me but it had to be. The major cities of Oregon do not form a very long list. I totally missed the nina but that’s not a surprise. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  31. Lovely Campbellish 30k today. Many thanks Pommers and all the bloggers for sterling work. Despite filling the grid, mostly happily, I needed help parsing 12 & 13d. LOI 15a.

    I have a big gripe, however, about grave not being synonymous with the word it is used to signify. The opposite of acute, it means long-standing and may apply to mild as well as serious conditions. Sorry to rain on the parade.

    1. I took it to mean chronic without CH (church). As an endodontist, I always treated either Acute Infections or Chronic ones. :grin:

      1. Me too. I was wittering to avoid the naughty step on such auspicious day.
        My point was, chronic does not mean grave. I treated many non-grave chronic conditions. I may have to accept common usage.

    2. G D, 13d. With a specific medical interpretation, you may well be right. But I suspect the setter intended the more general/wider meaning. Grave can mean serious, acute or severe. For chronic Collins Online Thesaurus has this:

      3 (adjective) in the sense of serious
      very serious or severe
      There is a chronic shortage of police cars in this district.

      I’m sure many will disagree with this.

        1. Indeed. I’m not sure I like all this language evolution. 50 years ago everything seemed black-and-white. Now, the MO seems to be: Use a word wrongly for long enough and it eventually becomes “right”.

  32. Straightforward solve for me today. Had the same feeling as others regarding 13d, both cities were new to me but the clues are solid as are the rest in the puzzle.
    Not surprisingly I failed to see the Nina as I have never seen one yet!
    Thanks to Campbell for the workout and Pommers for the blog.

  33. All I’ve got to say is:

    12a. Not obscure in my book – seen it spelt with the U many times, including in crosswords.
    13d. Instead of quibbling about verbs and adjectives, consider the following question:

    Q. By what means did you solve today’s cryptic?

    A1. Using a computer.
    A2. Electronic.

    The Quickie pun: These are often humorous plays on words and the best ones are decidedly “stretched”. But don’t get me started on “stretched” definitions or synonyms!! Or using more than one exclamation mark!

  34. I am late having made a quick dash to MnS for chicken to be coronationed for our jollifications. Senf, I do wish I had coined the wonderful phrase circumferential crenellations, it just rolls off the tongue. Everyone has said what I was going to say more or less (though not the no likers) it was a wonderful 30,000 puzzle and 15a the ⭐️ I confess I did a bung in for 13d so many thanks Pommers for explaining that, thanks to Campbell and thanks to the DT for providing us with so much wonderful and instructive entertainment. 🥰

  35. Hi – I am a bit new to this cryptic malarky – can i ask what a Nina is? thanks

  36. Apart from 12a (dreadful clue) a super puzzle to mark the anniversary. It really is such a shame the setter let themselves down with 12a.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian, there was a mistake is 12a which has now been corrected on the website. Unfortunately it can’t be corrected in the dead tree version. Nothing wrong with the clue if it had been published correct.

  37. Great puzzle but I found it quite tricky.
    Managed eventually to complete unaided but found the parsing timely to work out.
    12a, last in, held me up for 4* time!
    16d and 18d, also prolonged completion.
    Many thanks, Campbell and pommers.

  38. At first glance not the usual Monday serving but in retirement mode am finding the time for the necessary lateral light bulb moments. Very enjoyable and 15a had me until I remembered the exeat forms from school that you had to complete to obtain leave; a short step thereafter to the answer. A well set puzzle, thanks.

  39. Just did the prize crossword 710.
    Found it easier than the back pager again this week.
    Favourites 1a, 9a, 11a, 24a & 7d with winner 11a

    Thanks to Campbell
    Wordle in 5 and Canuckle in 4

  40. Third day in a row of enjoyable puzzles, although I was baffled by 12a. Needed the hint to see the reasoning behind it. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers, Canuckle was a totally new word to me today ☹️. Going to have a stab at No. 1 later.

  41. Quite lucky to be in Ireland on this very special day for the crossword community. Managed to get a copy of the paper in Dublin as only the Guardian was available in Athy this morning.
    Nice article by our Ed and a fine crossword to follow.
    Had trouble with 12a also and couldn’t get another town out of my head.
    Dundee being the culprit as I used to drink so much of the Pinot Noir growing in that part of Oregon.
    It is very much like Burgundy and mostly owned by families from that province of France.
    Only noticed the Nina when accessing the blog.
    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Pommers for the review.

  42. A nice crossword to mark the 30,000th 😃**/*** Looking forward to 30,001 already 😉 Favourites 11a, 15a & 15a Thanks to Pommers and to the Compiler 🤗

  43. Thought this was quite difficult. A dnf due to 15a. A new word for me that having the checkers did not help with.

    I got 12a, but only once I Googled the spelling and it revealed that with a u is a verb.

    Wish I had spotted the nina as it would have helped with 26a.

    Thanks to all and congrats for the milestone.

  44. Enjoyable crossword today. Needed some help with parsings but did spot the Nina.

    Thanks to the setter and to Campbell.

    1. Welcome to the blog, A Learner.

      Ninas are explained in the FAQ – see FAQ #31

  45. Late to the game as I couldn’t finish this before my round of golf. I was being held up by 12a and 26a, which finally fell into place on my return. Needed the help of Google Maps for 12a.
    I thought the Nina was very clever, but the rest of the crossword a bit disappointing for such a landmark, I was expectIng a bit of a theme. However, I don’t want to be too critical as I have too much respect for the skill of our setters.
    So a big thank you to Campbell, and also to pommers for the explanation of 13d

  46. I saw the Nina early doors ( just two perimeter clues and I pencilled in the first half of the Nina. Took a little bit longer to plump for the second half though. ( I can’t help but wonder how many of the 30,000 actually made the back page ) 15a the only obscurity ( to me) and it doesn’t contribute to the Nina. Thanks to Campbell and pommers for a great way to celebrate the occasion. Thanks too to CL for presiding over the celebrations and sympathy to Falcon who might have had the honour of blogging this special puzzle.

  47. What a shame the 30,000th crossword is spoilt by a mistake in a clue – 12 across, where there is no indicator of reversing the answer. Pity.

  48. I thought this a very enjoyable puzzle to celebrate the landmark and loved the first pun; it should make one groan. I did not spot the nina until it was pointed out on here. I would also say I have no problem with any of the clues and completed it unaided which is not always the case for me. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all compilers of the DT cryptic, which has remained the best in my opinion over the years. And thanks to all on this blog for hints and suggestions.

  49. I cant find faq#31. So no idea what a Nina is. Why couldnt you just explain in the blog .

  50. Thanks for trying to help Gazza. I’m completely new to this. I cant find a main page let alone FAQs. Could you just spell out N I N A……..

    1. In fact it’s on every page – you should see under the ‘strip’ of photos that there ‘Tabs’ from HOME to SITE MAP and FAQ is, more or less, in the middle. Place your cursor over it and click.

        1. On a smart phone one needs to tap on the box with three horizontal bars in it to get to this page

    2. A Nina is a hidden feature in a crossword. The original Nina was the daughter of American caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, who was best known for his simple black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars. He frequently hid his daughter’s name in his caricatures. See if you can spot her name in either of the two images below. Hover over the image to highlight the Nina, click on the image to view a larger version.

      Click here to see enlarged image Click here to see enlarged image

      The term has been adopted for crosswords that contain a hidden message.

      Typically this is found in the unchecked letters, horizontally, vertically or along one of the diagonals. This one, by Shamus, starts in the middle of the right-hand column and reads clockwise around the grid,


      Sometimes the message is derived from consecutive answers. Look at rows 5 and 11 and columns 5 and 11 in this Notabilis puzzle.


      Further information can be found in this excellent article on Shuchi’s Crossword Unclued website.

  51. What a pity this was spoiled by 12a, obviously never corrected in the paper version and I’ve never seen it spelt with a ‘U’, so a bung in as was 13d and 23a because nothing else fitted. Apart from those fairly straightforward. I also failed to spot the nina. Are Monday’s ever going to stop being the new Friday’s? If I had to pick a favourite it would be 3d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  52. As is often the case, I needed help to finish.
    Now, I also know what a NINA is.
    You’re never too old to learn something new.
    Thanks to all who contribute. I am definitely better at solving, because of your efforts.

  53. I’ve been counting down the days to this puzzle! Takes me back to the days when a group of us used to get together to do the DT puzzle on our commute to work! I was not disappointed – a slow start but managed to finish in 3* time. A couple of words I needed to check in the BRB but otherwise all ok. A worthy puzzle to celebrate years of “crosswording”. Many thanks to pommers and Campbell.

  54. 3*/3*…
    liked 16D “Savings primarily invested in another fresh source of oil and gas (5,3)”

    1. Welcome to the blog – it’s a good idea to wait for one of us to rescue you from moderation before asking the same question three times, particularly first thing in the morning.

      I would imagine the solution is somewhere in the paper, perhaps on the Puzzles page, but as I only get a paper on Saturdays, I’m afraid I can’t help

      1. Sorry. One of requests was repeated because I had typed in my surname wrongly!

  55. 12A was a bit of a bodge, wasn’t it? As well as missing the reversal, also had a rogue U that wasn’t indicated!

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