DT 30015 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30015

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30015
Hints and tips by Miffypops
+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***


I’d put this one down to Giovanni if I had to have a pop at setter guessing


9a. Leader in congregation cut chat short (5)
RABBI: A word meaning to natter away needs its last letter removing

10a. Instrument has a light flashing outside Los Angeles (9)
ASTROLABE: A three part charade. 1 The letter A from the clue. 2. A regularly flashing light often used for theatrical effect. 3 The initial letters of Los Angeles. Arrange as indicated by the clue

11a. This we can say about your underwear! (1-6)
Y FRONTS: I suggest that you solve this clue from enumeration only. (an easy option) enumeration with definition (an easier option) or what fits with the checking letters once you have them (an obvious option) If there is some sort of wordplay involved it has me befuddled. One further option is to read Gazza’s comment at comment number two below. You might occasionally get one past me Mr Setter but you will have to try harder than that to nutmeg Gazza

12a. Workmen at last on street work uninterrupted (3-4)
NON STOP: Begin with the last letter of the word workman. Add the word ON from the clue. Add the abbreviation for street. Add the abbreviation for a musical work or opus.

13a. British burden to provide incentive (5)
BONUS: The abbreviation for Britain is followed by a word meaning a burden or a responsibility

14a. One next door having love for daughter in New Edinburgh? (9)
NEIGHBOUR:  Anagram (new) of EDINBURGH after exchanging the abbreviation for daughter with the round letter represented by the word love

16a. Product required in unethical NHS era when poorly? (6,9)

1 9a. Room at inn organised for one proposing candidate (9)

21a. Drink, tea to begin with behind sandwiches? (5)
LATTE: A word meaning behind in time or overdue surrounds the initial letter of the word tea

23a. One stealing food sent back with reduced fat (7)
BURGLAR: An informal word for food is reversed and the type of cooking fat our mothers used is added without its last letter

25a. Caustic quip by well-mannered man? (7)

PUNGENT: A quip or a play on words is followed by a polite or formal way of referring to a man

27a. Court instrument always finding criminal (9)
RACKETEER: The court instrument is that which is used to strike the ball or shuttlecock in games played on courts. This is followed by the archaic poetic form of the word ever

28d. Drinks bought for matesstout! (5)
ROUND: A double definition. Need I say more?


1d. See 22 Down (4)
GRAY: See 22 down

2d. Titania’s man in robe dancing about (6)
OBERON: An anagram (dancing) of ROBE is followed by a short synonym of about

3d. The writer, drunk outside hotel, an American (10)
MINNESOTAN: A word meaning an hotel is surrounded by how today’s setter might refer to himself and a three- letter drunk. This is followed by the word AN from the clue. The answer is an inhabitant of a state who will regularly use the words Ope and Uf-dah

4d. Service provider quietly starting fires (6)
PARSON: The musical notation for quietly is followed by the crime of deliberate fire starting in order to cause criminal damage

5d. In US find amazingly silent pots and pans? (8)
UTENSILS: An anagram (amazingly) of SILENT sits inside the letters US from the clue

6d. Henchman to talk too much? (4)
GOON: Your four letter henchmen can be split 2,2 to suit the latter part of the clue

7d. Tree is what ripped cape (8)
HAWTHORN: An anagram (ripped) of WHAT precedes a South American cape (not a poncho, a geographical feature) in this oddly worded clue

8d. Food store, being very low, reportedly delivers (4
DEEP FREEZE: Of a voice, very low, followed by a homophone (reportedly) of a word meaning delivers or released from slavery

13d. Those serving drinks here  canned? (6,4)
BEHIND BARS: The can here is a slang term for a prison. The clue asks where you might find those serving drinks in a pub or where you might find those serving a prison sentence

16d. Ultra-conservatives in iron ships (10)
HARDLINERS: A word meaning ironlike is followed by a word meaning ocean going passenger ships

17d. Cold War escalation with gun runners? (4,4)
ARMS RACE: A general term for weapons is followed by a running contest

18d. Heads off for winter in pet surfing place (8)
INTERNET: Remove the initial letters from three consecutive words in the clue

REPORT: See 22 down

22d. 1 Down & 20 Down.    Publication of which damaged party –and House — regret? (3,3)

24d. Shelter king and Welsh emblem (4)
LEEK: The sheltered side in nautical terms is followed by an abbreviation for king

26d. Fuss unduly about Democrat (2-2)
TO DO: A three letter word meaning unduly surrounds the abbreviation of democrat

Quickie Pun Hyde + Raw + Lick = Hydraulic

Crossword solving the MP way

Checking letters are your friends. Particularly first letter checkers. It’s ok to bung in a word that fits in with the checkers and to reverse parse afterwards.

More answers means more checkers and more chances to see just what might fit. Occasionally it will be your only means of obtaining an answer


59 comments on “DT 30015

  1. I initially thought this may be the work of Giovanni but on completion I’m tending towards NYD. Who knows!
    I thought the two anagrams at 1d etc (once I’d worked out the enumeration and order!) and 16a were clever but my top three are the cunning 21a along with 27a with top spot going to the smile inducing 23a.
    Many thanks to our setter and MP for the fun in the South Devon sun

    1. SL, I tend to agree with you about the authorship of this. I could well be wrong, but I’m not convinced that the American slang in 6d is likely to be part of Mr Manley’s vocabulary.

  2. I absolutely loved this one – the henchman held me up for a bit at the end. Eating the last of the local asparagus but my kind neighbour brought us back about 2lbs of samphire from Blakeney Point yesterday, delicious. Well into the local strawberries too, what more can one ask for. So thanks to the setter for a friendly puzzle and MP for his write-up. My Wordle run is now 156 and as soon as it ends I will stop for good – terrible waste of time.

  3. Reckon Giovanni a good punt as being responsible for this one. A laboured scattergun solve here (took longer than yesterday’s Stick Insect Toughie which I did beforehand) & reading back through not sure why I found it so tricky as the 10a instrument was the only thing unfamiliar to me. Last in was the 3d resident where I went round the states until the Coen brothers came to the rescue & then parsed as per Miff’s advice. Favourite was 22/1/20d despite the Telegraph’s annoying way of presenting the clue.
    Thanks to the setter & to MP

      1. Brainerd isn’t though & Marge, Norm, Jerry & Wade are from the state aren’t they ?

  4. There was much to enjoy in this rather more challenging than usual Thursday puzzle, though for me having 9 anagram answers from 29 (albeit 7 from 27 clues) detracted considerably. The 22a combo clue is very clever and timely, but I felt the surface doesn’t quite work. In having starting with the acrosses, and only then moving to the downs, I briefly wondered whether there could possibly be a drink called Artse or Arste, then remembered this is the Telegraph after all! Various clues ticked on my print-out – Hon Mentions to 12a, 25a, 3d, 4d and 18d, with COTD to 11a, which resulted in a broad smile.

    3* / 2.5*

    Thank you to the Setter (it didn’t feel like The Don to me) and to MP … definitely MP, not someone else this time.

  5. Finding the word order of 1, 20 and 22d delayed my completion of this excellent puzzle to a 3* time.
    Some real gems, eg 8d, 16d and 17d.
    But 6d takes the top prize.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Miffypops.

  6. Thanks to the setter and to Miffypops for the review and hints. Get well soon Big Dave. Super puzzle today, I would plump for NYD. Some super clues, and quite tricky in places. I eventually got 22,1,20d once I had enough checkers to realise it was an anagram. I liked 23a,7d, but my favourite was 6d which was last in. Great entertainment, was 3* / 4* for me.

  7. A curate’s egg of a puzzle.i thoroughly enjoyed the 16a anagram, 27a and my COTD 10a. I found the 1d, 22d, 20d a bit confusing because of the order issue and felt it was time to move on from old pilitical news. Thanks to rhe compiler ( I haven’t a clue who it is) and to MP for the hints

  8. For my part this needed much application to completely fathom so I somehow doubt it is a Giovanni challenge but I can’t yet recognise NYD idiosyncrasies so will not suggest an alternative setter. A bit dubious about 11a and 6d henchman. 3d was OK by me as I have such family members but perhaps not exactly obvious for UK bloggers. IMHO 22d etc. is OTT tortuous. Fav was 27a particularly with amount of tennis I have been watching in recent weeks. Thank you Mysteron and MP.

    1. MP, just FYI the heading to your hints today shows as 30007 rather than 30015.

      1. That’s because 30007 was the last puzzle I blogged and I didn’t change the number after copying and pasting the header. Silly me. Well spotted you. I’ve changed it now. Thank you for pointing it out

  9. Sorry but I had to give up on this.

    Many thanks to the setter for the thrashing. Huge thanks to Miffypops for the terrific hints, nearly all of which I needed to get finished.

    Not my day today. :sad:

  10. This was a brilliant piece for me, so many congrats to Mr On. (Can you see what I did there?)

    Quite chewy, but it IS the Thursday puzzle, and as you know from previous remarks I don’t mind them being more of a challenge from time to time. There are a good number of podium candidates for me today, but I particularly liked 16A for its prescience (I hope the setter is wrong about this!) and the delicious 11A, which I found very cunning indeed, and a very clever spot.

    Thanks MP for your tremendous blog, and setter for a tremendous puzzle.

  11. Because I’ve been following political matters in the UK quite closely (especially as one who reads The Guardian), the tangled numeration was the only thing that held me up briefly in 22/1/20d. Luckily, it was one of my first solves. [And there is an interesting parallel to all that in today’s wonderful Silvanus Toughie.] More difficult for me was parsing 11a (so thanks, Gazza!), though the answer solved itself. Favourites: 10a, 8d, & 3d (one of my political stalwarts, home of the great Hubert Humphrey). An absorbing solve, one of this week’s best, with 6d getting the Clarkie for making me LOL. Thanks to MP and today’s hip setter. 2.5*/4*

  12. What a great work-out today, so plaudits to our setter. I slowed right up towards the end, having most trouble with 3d & 11a (despite being familiar with both IRL). Coincidence throws us 10a the day after sextant – which I struggled to recognise as part of a circle.
    Clues of the day to 16a and the confusingly ordered down composite, for their sheer size and surfaces.
    Thanks MP.

  13. Found this a decidedly tricky Thursday puzzle, (done on my Wednesday evening), very challenging yet very satisfying as the answers slowly revealed themselves.
    I rate this as 2.5*/4.5*
    I will say that for those solvers not in the UK, they will likely have a heck of a time with the 22d clue and answer, unless they follow the UK news closely as I do.
    Favourites include said clue, 22d, as well as 11a, 21a, 6d, 7d & 18d with my winner …. 22d/1d/20d answer.

    Thanks to setter and MP

  14. I have to say, as usual, the setter lives in a very different world to the rest of us!!!!!!!!!

  15. Probably a Giovanni as it is awful and incomprehensible. For me currently the worst setter that the DT use.
    Thx for the hints but I would have needed them for almost every clue. Zero fun.

      1. I’m with you Angellov. My mum always said “if you’ve got nothing nice to say, keep it to yourself!”

        1. Hi JK, I wonder why then you have said nothing nice? Hope you have had a nicer day than I have, and best wishes for tomorrow and all the future days. X

          1. Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? If the answer to any of these is no then it is better unsaid. Says the pot stirrer

      1. In my opinion, an absolutely unnecessary and offensive comment Shropshirebloke. Perhaps you may wish to think a little more about the purpose of commenting on crosswords and not individual peoples’ reactions to such? Please feel free to discuss. I hope you have a good day tomorrow X

        1. Surely the offensive comment here comes from Brian? I think if I had found it awful and incomprehensible (which I didn’t) I would have kept it to myself. As Brian’s solving abilities have improved so have his comments, until today.

        2. I make no apologies whatsoever – Brian’s comments annoy me intensely and they spoil what otherwise is an excellent crossword blog. I have a good day most days, thank you Tony, but I take neither myself or a crossword puzzle so seriously as to make the stupid comments that he makes. When all is said and done, the Telegraph back page puzzles are to my mind far easier to solve than the majority of those in either the Times or the Guardian – that’s the sole reason for my taking the newspaper. If I cannot solve a given setter’s puzzles I accept that I am simply not on the same level of thinking as the setter. I do not throw my dummy out of the pram as Brian has done once again today (Saturday) So, from one Tony to another, you too have a nice day and I shall continue to comment as I see fit.

          1. I’m with you Shropshirebloke and I’m keeping everything firmly crossed that this isn’t THE Tony Woodley who was an absolute legend in Durham University rugby circles. Let’s keep everything in perspective peeps.

  16. Definitely tricky and needed three sittings to finish but got there with the checkers I had. Do 3d, 6d, and 27a go together? Thought they were very good clues.

    Many thanks to both the setter and MP. And thank you MP for giving the nod of approval to reverse parsing. I often have to do it, probably as often on the blog as looking at the clue again.

  17. I don’t normally pop by the back page blogs, but confess I was stumped by the parsing of 11a – this puzzle took me longer than the Toughie, partly because of scratching my head over this one clue. So, thank you to Gazza, and I hope those who don’t normally venture to Toughie-land will feel encouraged to give it a go today.

  18. I enjoyed this puzzle and the ensuing blog 😃 ***/**** Favourites 10a, 27a, 3 & 18d 🤗 Thanks to Miffypops and to the Compiler

  19. A cracking Thurs puzzle! No idea who compiled it. Excellent clues, a toughish challenge and very enjoyable. Fav: 11a – the answer was fairly obvious from the clue/enumeration/checkers but it took me about 2 hours of pondering before the penny finally dropped re the parsing. 3.5*/4.5*.

    1. *I’ve just started solving puzzles in the Big Book of DT Cryptic Crosswords 16 (my sister-in-law bought it for me the other day). Published by Pan in 2006, though the style of the clues seems even more dated than that. In puzzle No 9, I’ve just come across one of those clues that are not at all cryptic but only require rather specialsit GK re “famous” quotes from history, literature, etc. GRRRR … I always hated those damn clues back then. This one is: “I am —– as the northern star”, declared Julius Caesar (8). Thank goodness we don’t get those type nowadays!

      1. Not keen myself and in these days the answer would be so easy to find online. However, where would we find such gems of wisdom after our education finished without a nudge here and there?

        1. Yes, I did guess the answer from the checkers and confirmed it via Google. GK involved in a true/proper cryptic clue is fine, but these things are pure GK and nothing else – no cryptic word-play whatsoever. Thankfully, they are now more or less extinct – evolution at work!

  20. A belated thank you to whomsoever was responsible for this little gem of a crossword, be it The Don, NYD or A N Other. It was certainly a leg up in difficulty but all the more enjoyable as a result. For my COTD I need look no further than 6d.

    Thanks too, to MP.

  21. Twas your very own NYD. Thanks for all the comments and for MP’s fab blog :D

  22. I’m not sure I ever got on wavelength with this but relied mainly on spotting anagrams, inspired guessing, making words up and most importantly MP’s checking letters. Favourite was 10a, the one I made up. Thanks to NYD and MP.

  23. Did this after reading the comments on the toughie. I do like a challenge.
    Took a bit more time than usual but managed to get there.
    With the remaining fodder in 22/1/20 I actually used Google typing the USA grey report and the right answer popped up. Another magic trick from the prime minister probably.
    Thanks to NYD for the fun and to MP for the wonderful review.

  24. This was a twister but very satisfying. At first glance I could see any of the answers. Long hold up was 22d etc. My last one in which was only solved with the checkers. I had to check /0a as I hadn’t heard of it. 25 and 27a and 4 and 8d favourites. Thanks NYDN MP and Gazza. Brilliant parsing of 1-a which I hadn’t thought of.

  25. I felt quite pleased that I managed a few without looking at MP’s wonderful hints. I got confused with the three part clue and didn’t do myself any favours by putting two in the wrong place! Oh well, onwards and upwards. The day looks like being a scorcher here in Surrey – already very close and have all my windows open. Not helpful as my hay fever is even worse this morning. Thanks also to NYD.

    1. Might you be referring to 11 across? My hint and gazza’s words at comment 2 already explain this but thank you for your terse input

  26. I was utterly rubbish at this one. Needed loads and loads of hints and help.
    Thanks to the setter and to MP.

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