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DT 30005

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30005

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 4th June 2022

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

Greetings from Kolkata. A bit tougher Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I still enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review for the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

I gathered from the net that the phrase ‘chop-chop’, the answer to the clue of 1a, was first noted in the interaction between the Cantonese and English people in British-occupied south China, meaning to hurry and suggesting that something should be done then and there and without any delay. It spread through the Chinese workers at sea and adopted by British seaman.

Zodiac, the answer to the clue of 9a, reminded me of the years 1996-1998 when I was learning the Thai language at Netaji Institute for Asian Studies. Twelve students including me had joined the two-year certificate course, but ten of them left within a month. One student continued till the seventh month, though irregularly. I was the only one to remain till the end and complete the course. The classes were held twice a week in the evening and I used to walk down to the institute after the office hours as it was not very far. One evening, the teacher taught me the names of the months in the Thai language. I was flabbergasted when the teacher read out the names one by one. I saw that the names were similar to and hence derived from those for the signs of the zodiac in the Hindu astrology which were in the Sanskrit language. I know them by heart even to this day and can also write them in the Thai language without seeing or referring to any book. The names of the zodiac signs in the Hindu astrology are Makara (Capricorn), Kumbha (Aquarius), Mina (Pisces), Mesa (Aries), Vrusabha (Taurus), Mithuna (Gemini), Karkata (Cancer), Singha (Leo), Kanya (Virgo), Tula (Libra), Vrusachika (Scorpio) and Dhanu (Sagittarius). The Thai names of the months of the year based on the twelve zodiac signs are Makaraakhom (January), Kumphaaphan (February), Minaakhom (March), Mesaayon (April), Phrutsaphaakhom (May), Mithunaayon (June), Karkadaakhom (July), Singhaakhom (August), Kanyaayon (September), Tulaakhom (October), Phrutsachikaayon (November) and Thanwaakhom (December). The names of the months having 31 days end in akhom, those having 30 days end in ayon and February, the only month having 28 or 29 days, ends in aphan; all the three coming from Sanskrit.

The name arrowroot, the answer to the clue of 8d, may have come from aru-aru meaning ‘meal of meals’ in the language of the Caribbean Arawak people, for whom the plant was a staple food. The net also alternatively suggests that the name may have come from the use of arrowroot in treating poison-arrow wounds, as it takes out the poison when applied to the spots of injury.

Bruin, serving as part of the wordplay to the clue of 20d, means brown in the Dutch language and is an English folk term for a brown bear.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Act more quickly with two pieces of meat (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP: CHOP-CHOP (two pieces of meat) where CHOP as a thick slice of meat, especially pork or lamb, adjacent to and often including a rib is repeated once, leading to the definition of an interjection used to tell someone to hurry or act hastily

6a Landowner endlessly in retreat (4)
LAIR: LAIR[D] (landowner) as a person who owns a large estate without its ending letter D (endlessly) takes to the definition of a secret or private place in which a person, especially a criminal or enemy, takes refuge

9a Overhead signs? (6)
ZODIAC: A cryptic way of referring to an imaginary band in the heavens (overhead) as in the sky above us that is centred on the ecliptic that encompasses the apparent paths of all the planets and is divided into 12 constellations (signs), each having a figure and representing a sign of the zodiac and its symbol and taken for astrological purposes to extend to 30 degrees of longitude

10a A romance arranged being filmed (2,6)
ON CAMERA: An anagram (arranged) of A ROMANCE guides to the definition of a phrase meaning while being filmed, photographed or televised

11a Data being organised (11)
INFORMATION: IN FORMATION (being organised) as being arranged in a particular pattern or order guides to the definition of data as processed, stored or transmitted by a computer

14a Song won’t upset slum district (10)
SHANTY TOWN: SHANTY (song) as a song with alternating solo and chorus of a kind originally sung by sailors while performing physical labour together followed by an anagram (upset) of WON’T take to the definition of a deprived area on the outskirts of a town consisting of a large number of shanty dwellings

15a Unusual way to serve beef? (4)
RARE: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning not common or frequent or marked by unusual quality, merit or appeal and the second describing beef, especially steak, that is served partly raw or not completely cooked, so that the inside is still red

16a Way over a covered walk (4)
STOA: ST (way) as the abbreviation for street, O (over) as the abbreviation for over or overs as denoted on cricket scorecards and A from the clue guide to the definition of a covered walkway or portico, commonly for public use, in ancient Greek architecture

17a Give advance warning to companion at the front (10)
FORESHADOW: SHADOW (companion) as an inseparable attendant or companion is placed after (at) FORE (the front) as the front part of something, especially a ship, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to give, or have, a warning or indication of a future event

19a A French friend in front of a board is disagreeable (11)
UNPALATABLE: UN (a French) as the indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ in the French language followed by PAL (friend) as a companion, chum or friend placed before (in front of) A from the clue and TABLE (board) as a slab or board, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning difficult to put up with or accept

22a Rob suffering with colic, getting greens (8)
BROCCOLI: An anagram (suffering) of ROB and (with) COLIC guides to the definition of a cultivated variety of cabbage bearing heads of green or purplish flower buds that are eaten as a vegetable

23a Eagle I left in the water (6)
AQUILA: A combo of I from the clue and L (left) as the abbreviation for left is placed inside (in) AQUA (water) as the Latin word for water, especially in pharmaceutical and commercial use, taking to the definition of the genus name for eagle in Latin and the word for eagle in Italian

24a Smelly-sounding river (4)
ODER: The definition of a river in Central Europe, that flows from Czech Republic through Poland and Germany to the Baltic Sea is arrived at from smelly-sounding or sounding like smell, that is ODOUR or a distinctive smell, especially an unpleasant one sounding like a homophone heard by the audience

25a Submission having broken knee in dining room (8)
MEEKNESS: An anagram (broken) of KNEE is put inside (in) MESS (dining room) as a place or room where meals are regularly served to members of the armed forces, taking to the definition of the state or quality of being meek or submissive


2d Head covering gangster (4)
HOOD: Double definition; the first being a covering for the head and neck with an opening for the face, typically forming part of a coat or cloak while the second referring to a gangster or similar violent criminal

3d French prize in grand motor race (4)
PRIX: Double definition; the first being the French word for prize and the second referring to the term as the shortened version of any of a series of motor-racing or motorcycling contests forming part of a world championship series, held in various countries under international rules

4d Literary drudge and marshal in carriage (7)
HACKNEY: A charade of HACK (literary drudge) as a writer or journalist or literary person producing dull, unoriginal work and Michel NEY (marshal) as the French marshal who earned the epithet ‘Bravest of the Brave’ at the battle of Borodino in 1812 in the Napoleonic Wars guides to the definition of a carriage, usually pulled by a horse, that can be rented with a driver for making short journeys, used especially in the past

5d Picture book theory that’s used in magazines (15)
PHOTOJOURNALISM: A charade of PHOTO (picture) as a picture made using a camera, JOURNAL (book) as a book in which one writes down one’s personal experiences and thoughts and ISM (theory) as a distinctive doctrine, theory, system or practice takes to the definition of the practice of communicating news by photographs, especially in magazines

6d Mad chap, one working on the right lines (7)
LOCOMAN: LOCO (mad) meaning crazy and MAN (chap) as an adult male human being in a charade, arriving at the definition of an informal term for a member of the crew of a locomotive, specifically an engine driver, whose work is to drive the train through the correct track

7d I am given stuff that is unimportant (10)
IMMATERIAL: A charade involving I’M (I am) as a contraction of ‘I am’ to which is added (given) MATERIAL (stuff) as the matter from which a thing is or can be made leads to the definition of an adjective meaning unimportant or insignificant under the circumstances

8d Plant weapon base (9)
ARROWROOT: A charade of ARROW (weapon) as a weapon that is made to be shot from a bow and that is usually a stick with a point at one end and feathers at the other end and ROOT (base) as the lower part or that on which something rests takes to the definition of a herbaceous Caribbean plant from which a starch is prepared

12d Not about coming from Winchester possibly with toothpaste and artificial milk? (9)
WHITENERS: An anagram (possibly) of WIN[C]HESTER without the use of (not) C (about) as the abbreviation for the Latin word circa meaning ‘approximately’ or ‘about’ that is coming from it, leading to the definition of an agent used to impart whiteness to something or substance that makes something white or whiter, here referring to a tooth whitener in some toothpaste and a powdered substitute or a non-dairy creamer for milk or cream used in coffee or tea

13d Not even mentally unstable (10)
UNBALANCED: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning not level or smooth and the second again an adjective referring to a person as emotionally or mentally disturbed

17d 50 in approval having taste (7)
FLAVOUR: L (50) as the Roman numeral for fifty is placed inside (in) FAVOUR (approval) as approval, support or liking for someone or something, giving rise to the definition of a noun meaning the distinctive taste of a food or drink

18d Rescue Val in trouble taken in by wise man (7)
SALVAGE: An anagram (in trouble) of VAL is contained (taken in) by SAGE (wise man) as a profoundly wise man especially in ancient history or legend, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to rescue, especially a wrecked or disabled ship or its cargo from loss at sea or any property or material from potential loss or destruction

20d Wrecked state of bear not bothered to start with (4)
RUIN: [B]RUIN as a name for a bear, especially in children’s fables is devoid of (not) B[OTHERED] as its starting letter or with which it starts (to start with), leading to the definition of a noun meaning the physical destruction or disintegration of something or the state of disintegrating or being destroyed

21d Positive quality luxurious for the most part (4)
PLUS: PLUS[H] (luxurious) as richly luxurious and expensive retaining most of the letters (for the most part) guides to the definition of a noun meaning a positive quality or term

There were many clues that I liked in this pangrammatic puzzle such as 9a, 11a, 14a, 17a, 19a, 23a, 5d, 6d, 7d, 12d and 20d; 9a being the best of the lot. Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.


5 comments on “DT 30005
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  1. Rahmat Ali, thank you for your review of the puzzle, but especially for the preamble in which you describe the similarities between the names of the Zodiac in Sanskrit and months of the year in Thai – it was fascinating!

    1. Thank you once again, Mustafa G, for liking the review and the calendar lesson that I learnt in one of the classes of Thai language. There were two female teachers. One Indian and one Thai. The teacher from Thailand liked me particularly for my Thai handwriting. She would often tell me that she had never seen such beautiful handwriting, even in Thailand. I think that was the best compliment I received from her.

  2. Many thanks Rahmat for another fascinating and comprehensive review. I particularly liked 9a, and very much appreciate your musings on this!

    1. Thank you once again, Fez, for liking my review and my musing on zodiac. In fact, at this juncture, I could further recollect my Indian teacher telling me that the Sanskrit word ‘netra’ meaning eye and Hindi word ‘kaan’ meaning ear were actually the words with the same meaning in the Thai language, but these were not meant for the general public. So, for whom? Well, of course, for the king of Thailand! Using any of these two words for ordinary people also would invite punishment in that kingdom.

  3. 3*/2*…..
    liked 12D “Not about coming from Winchester possibly with toothpaste and artificial milk? (9)”

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