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DT 30026

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30026

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

New Zealand has a brand new national holiday. In traditional Maori culture a significant ‘turning’ of the seasons was noted at the same time that a particular star cluster appeared in the pre-dawn sky. Most of the world knows these stars as Pleiades but here they are Matariki. Last Friday was our first Matariki Day when we could all honour and celebrate the occasion.

We found a few clues a bit trickier than usual today which meant a not particularly speedy solve. All the more time to enjoy the puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Capital advises by radio on hospital administrators locally (6,8)
PARISH COUNCILS : The French capital city and a homophone (by radio) of a word meaning advises are separated by H(ospital).

9a     China’s standard warning? (3,4)
RED FLAG : A double definition.

10a     Dog bed in its new home at last (7)
SCOTTIE : An anagram (new) of ITS encloses a small or baby’s bed, and finally the last letter of home.

11a     Blended contents of solid fuel (3)
OIL : An anagram (blended) of the three internal letters of sOLId.

12a     Overdramatised and had daughter by former Rolling Stone (not Jack) (11)
EXAGGERATED : Prefix meaning former, then a well known Rolling Stone member without his J(ack), next, had or consumed and D(aughter).

14a     Note milk supplier cut flying (3-3)
MID-AIR : The third note of the sol fah scale and a milk supply establishment without its last letter.

15a     Affluent provider of 11 to act (4-2-2)
WELL-TO-DO : The source of the answer to 11a, TO from the clue and then a synonym for act.

17a     Insensitive? I’m not sure editor counted (8)
NUMBERED : Insensitive or anaesthetised, then a two letter expression of doubt or hesitation and ED(itor).

19a     Cleaner, Flash, regularly put on lavatory (6)
LOOFAH : An informal word for a lavatory and the first, third and fifth letters of Flash.

22a     Concede maid works best after time (5,6)
ADMIT DEFEAT : An anagram (works) of MAID, then T(ime) and best or overcome.

23a     There’s no end of nosh in spectacular spread (3)
SOW : Remove the last letter of nosh from within a spectacular or performance.

24a    Nothing in rejected account is private (7)
TROOPER : An account or narrative is reversed and inside this we have the letter signifying nothing.

26a    Bishop and Brazilian couple going back for room (7)
BOUDOIR : A 3,3 phrase that could mean a pair from a Brazilian city is reversed and this comes after the chess abbreviation for bishop
27a     All home-brewed — a new product from the baker (9,5)


1d     Disciplines studied by dancing star? (10,4)
PERFORMING ARTS : The whole clue could be the definition. For the wordplay – the last word of the answer is an anagram (dancing) of STAR.

2d     Strained, being annoyed about demand after vacation (7)
RIDDLED : The first and last letters (after vacation) of demand are inside annoyed or irritated.

3d     Clear line adopted by agitated vets in feed (4-7)
SELF-EVIDENT : An anagram (agitated) of VETS IN FEED contains L(ine).

4d     Charlie may turn up for drink (6)
COGNAC : Words meaning may or is allowed and a turn or opportunity are reversed and follow the letter represented by Charlie in radio-speak.

5d     United — sending off anonymously (8)
UNSIGNED : U(nited) and then an anagram (off) of SENDING.

6d     My bill! (3)
COO : A double definition. An expression of surprise and a lovey-dovey sound.

7d     Child’s toy muffling bird song (3,2,2)
LET IT GO : A child’s toy from Denmark surrounds a small bird.

8d     Poor toddler who ate last of food must be asleep (4,2,3,5)
DEAD TO THE WORLD : An anagram (poor) of TODDLER WHO ATE plus the last letter of fooD.

13d     Guideline set by Tom when in charge? (4,2,5)
RULE OF THUMB : A possible law made by the Tom from an early English folk tale.

16d     Uplifting spread allowed such a communication (8)
TELEGRAM : The reversal (uplifting) of a butter substitute spread and a word meaning allowed.

18d     Giant insect covering a couple of metres (7)
MAMMOTH : A night-flying insect contains ‘A’ from the clue and M(etre) twice.

20d     Attitude underpinning footballers’ wily ploy (4,3)
FAST ONE : The footballers’ organisation with its ‘S, and then attitude or style.

21d     Short sharp tug, and snake gets a rodent (6)
JERBOA : Remove the last letter (short) from a sharp tug and then a constrictor snake.

25d     Wash up for bestie, perhaps (3)
PAL : The reversal of wash as a gentle wave might.

Quickie pun    flight    +    raps    =    fly traps

69 comments on “DT 30026

  1. Great puzzle, full of wit and misdirection.
    I’d never heard of the song or the rodent but both obtainable from the checkers and wordplay, and very good clues. In a mega strong field my podium is 12&26a plus 20d.
    Thanks to the setter and The Ks.
    Django Toughie is a belter too.

  2. It took me a while to get going on this hugely enjoyable and entertaining puzzle, but once underway it all came together nicely. My top clue was 21d with an honourable mention for 26a.

    My thanks to, presumably Jay, and of course to the 2Ks.

  3. Notentirely easy but e wry clue was gettable with a bit of thought and things speeded up once a few checkers went in. There were lot of clever clues with the answers intricately constructed from a number of varied elements and some wily misdirection. I enjoyed 8d (congratulations to the Kiwis for the lovely illustration), 13d, 26a, 1a and 22a but there were lots to choose from. Thanks to the Kiwis for their review and the interesting information about the Maori traditional turn of the year. Thanks to the compiler also for another fine Wednesday puzzle.

  4. I agree with the three comments above. A slow start and a racing finish a la Young Salopian. I thought it was a belter of a puzzle and thought the same of the DJango Toughie a la StephenL.
    Thanks to Jay for the puzzle and thanks also to the 2Ks. The Pleiades constellation has been referred to as nature’s eye test. The constellation is made up of seven stars and is also known as the seven sisters, Pleiades is found in the constellation Taurus. Legend has it that if you could see five of the seven stars you had normal vision and if you could see all seven you were a warrior suitable for battle.There are actually even more in the cluster, but it would take binoculars or a telescope to pick them out

    1. PJ Travers wrote the Mary Poppins books and at aged 9 I became entranced by her story of The Seven Sisters dropping down to earth and fulfilling some quest or other. The Plaeides have been my favourite constellation since.

  5. 3*/4*. I thought this was slightly tougher than usual for a Wednesday but a lot of fun with 26a my favourite.

    I’m not entirely convinced by 6d. Presumably the “bill” reference is part of the expression “bill and coo”, but the two parts of this are not synonymous. “To bill” means to stroke beaks whereas “to coo” means to speak softly and intimately.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

    1. Totally agree. I think 6d is a very poor clue. Impossible without the checkers.

      1. The BRB – for the DT cryptic crossword if it’s in, it’s in. So:

        bill – “… to caress or talk fondly”

        coo – “to speak fondly”

        An unfamiliar synonym, possibly, but entirely fair.

            1. It did not parse of course but my first thought was cor! For 6d as you could interchange cor! And my! As exclamations. Once I had the dog at 10a it was what it had to be.

  6. Tricky; rather tricky. I followed the same route as my pals above in that, initially, the answers dribbled in, but once I had a sprinkling of checking letters the rest flowed like a 19a in the Quickie. A huge bonus in that there were no Roman tunics on offer.

    Off out to luncheon, which is a bit awkward as I have only just finished my toast and orange juice with no bits. I am confident I shall manage.

    Thanks to the setter (Jay?) and The TwoKays.

  7. Very enjoyable – do the back-pagers seem a little bit tougher this week? 23a, 8d & 21d are my top three amongst lots of super clues. (I do agree with RD above re 6d, though – and can’t help but think I’m missing something in 1d). Many thanks to setter & 2Ks.

  8. Excellent Wednesday fare and I enjoyed the same experience as those above with a ***/***** rating. I see that I listed 5 COTD’s and will plump for 26a with 15a a close second. The anagrams were cleverly concealed and notwithstanding the new creature and song all eminently solvable. Thanks to our Antipodean friends and the setter.

  9. Like others,took a while to get started today and adopted a ‘ scatter gun’ approach!
    Liked the surfaces of 13d-was thinking of Mr Cruise D’oh, and19a.
    Favourite was last in 26a.
    Agree with RD re 6d and coo.-originally was going to put cor in for my.
    Excellent cluing throughout-thanks Jay and top class pics from the 2k’s-agree with the ***/****

  10. What an exciting puzzle to work, even though it took me forever to get going. But finishing this one was actually thrilling, and when I pieced together 12a and 4d (my last two to fall), I actually cheered. For myself and the compiler. Hard to pick winners here but I’ll settle for 12a, 26a, & 20d, with a big entourage. Thanks to the Kiwis, whose Maori culture is absolutely fascinating, and to (I assume) Jay. *** / *****

    One to go in the Django Toughie….

  11. Thanks to Donnybrook? And to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A cracking puzzle with lots of good clues and misdirection. I like 14a, but my favourite was 13d. Was 3* /4* for me.

  12. Enjoyable struggle to completion in 4* time.
    Delayed by not getting 1a and 1d until more than three quarters through.
    So many excellent clues, 1a, 12a, 14a and 26a. are certainly podium standees.
    Last in 21d, kept trying to include the a in the clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

    1. I think it’s that doves bill & coo so hence the latter aspect. With the slightly archaic first aspect maybe a slight stretch but I think we must accept that our illustrious setters are entitled to tease us thus.

  13. I will go beyond RD’s ‘slightly tougher’ and say, for me, this was a lot tougher than usual for a Wednesday or perhaps my accompanying cocktail was a T&G rather than a G&T. Nevertheless, as enjoyable as ever – 3.5*/4.5*.

    Favourite – a toss-up between 22a and 13d – and my old threepenny bit has landed on its edge!

    Thanks to Jay (with Logman influence?) and to the 2Kiwis.

    And, for StephenL and earworms for everybody (I hope it plays OK):

  14. Great puzzle which required a good deal of thought.
    However, just the mention of the song at 7d has started an earworm that I will be unable to get out of my head for a while 😖
    In a puzzle of so many great clues 6d was a disappointment

  15. Great puzzle. Didn’t feel Jay-ish. Stiffest back page test for quite some time for me with, as others have noted, a slow start albeit a quick finish. Had vague recall of 21d, have never knowingly heard of the song, but all was very fairly clued and post-solve I had that familiar “now why on earth was that so challenging?” feeling.

    Hon Mentions to 26a, 4d, 13d and 20d, with COTD to 12a.

    3* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks – doubt I will recall “matariki”, but I do enjoy star-gazing in the winter while walking the dogs, finding the Pleiades, and then identifying and remembering the surrounding constellations.

  16. A tough one and as I said at the start of the week I thought we were in for a week of tough ones. For me, my prediction has proved correct so far so I am rather dreading tomorrow and Friday. Anyway, I managed to finish with a little help from the 2Ks. I have to agree with others that it began very slowly. It was almost too slow because I nearly gave up but a session of log stacking cleared the brain. My favourite because it made me smile is 26a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Thank you to the 2Ks for the hints and the interesting info regarding mataraki. I think I learn far more items of knowledge on this blog than anywhere else. :good:

  17. Found this to be a much stiffer test than I’d been expecting although very satisfying to complete. Didn’t know the 7d song and had the same reservations as others about 6d but the remainder just required employing a bit of lateral thinking.
    Favourite here was 26a with 13d hot on its heels.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – interesting to hear about your new national holiday.

  18. A really satisfying stretch today, many thanks to the setter. Maybe it’s a Glasto thing but I initially bunged in a Beatles song at 7d, lazily ignoring the failure to parse. 15a sorted me out. No Turkish officials or ceremonial dress but we did get a rare small mammal. Was it only the vet that struggled to see this?
    COTD 26a
    Thank you 2Ks

  19. Definitely a bit trickier than a usual Wednesday but I did enjoy the solve

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

  20. A peculiar puzzle for this Wednesday in that some clues are quite straightforward yet others are confoundingly confusing and head scratchers.
    Did not feel like a Jay puzzle, again this week, to me.
    Rate this 3*/4* today

    Favourites include 12a, 19a, 7d, 20d & 21d with 12a the winner that was a PDM solve and then a laugh at the answer.
    Lots of fun solving this puzzle overall.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  21. I too bunged in the beetles song and thought “that’s not right” and so it proved. Last in 4d despite the fact that there can’t be many drinks beginning with C. Nearly came a cropper on 21d as I was spelling it with G. Overall very enjoyable. Needed 2ks hints to check some answers but reasonably straightforward for me.
    Off to take some pictures of butterflies now as our village has an unmown patch set aside for just that. Marvellous.

        1. I fondly recall a great line from some character’s wife in the Beano or Dandy annual I got for Christmas a million years ago which had a rather Gerard Manley Hopkins feel to it “ Don’t flutter by little butterfly”!

  22. More Thursday Fridayish than we are used to on a Wednesday. I pencilled in 1d from the start but wasn’t convinced until the checkers confirmed it. Like Fez, I think I must be missing something. Lots of other ingenious clues to like though.1, 14, and 22 on my podium.
    Thanks to the Kiwis and the compiler for the fun challenge

  23. Agree with the general sentiments above, cracking puzzle, a very enjoyable solve.
    Same issue with 6d as others, I still don’t get how bill and coo are synonyms.
    Also, to be very picky, the way I read 1a would put the “H” at the end rather than in the middle.
    So many to like though, my favourites are 11a and 26a.
    Thanks to all

    1. Both bill and coo are described in the BRB as having the meaning “to talk fondly” / “to speak fondly” – see (5) above.

  24. I’ll try and post a link to my FB page. Had about 6 reasonably successful shots (of loads) Unfortunately got soaked as it started to rain.

  25. Are there standard times for difficulty ratings? I was very slow today indeed and yet all were doable clues – subject as ever to Jay’s misdirection. Thanks to setter and Kiwis – always interested in the land of the long white cloud and now Matariki day.

  26. I have found this week’s crosswords (so far😬) eminently solvable, so unlike last week 😃 ***/**** Favourites 12a, 16a and 7d 🤗 I must admit to being a little perplexed by 6d 🤔 Thanks to the 2x Ks and hope you enjoyed Matariki Day and also to the Compiler who may be Jay but whoever TUVM!

  27. Ok top, awful bottom. Never heard of a 21d before and why would I! Many clumsy and rather ugly clues.
    Def not one of my favourites.
    Thx for the hints to explain some of these odd clues.

  28. I have my contrary hat on today, as I did not find this as tough as rated. Although I was slow to get going. But went outside and did some gardening (pretty mad at 30C and 66% humidity, but needs must), and bending down must have forced some blood into the brain cells. All was so much easier at the second pass. Last in was 24a as of course I was chasing the wrong type of private. That’s two agreeable puzzles in a row. Thanks to the setter for a lot of fun, and to 2Kiwis.

  29. Morning all.
    Nice to read that we were not the only ones to have found this one a tad tricky. Often, with long clues around the border, if they yield quickly, one gets a speedy solve. This was not the case for us with this one.
    Still dark outside here but doesn’t feel like a frost. Forecaster tells us we are in for a fine Thursday which is good.

  30. Coming in late and commenting before reading all the posts. I found this difficult with several absurd clues. I did not like 14a or 23a and as for needing to recall the song all the children love from “Frozen”…….words fail me! 26a was pretty obscure too.
    I did like the misdirection that was 24a so all was not lost!

    1. Ah! That’s where it came from. The massively commercial and I suspect culturally lacking Frozen thing which I have never seen so can’t possibly justify such a statement.

  31. I thought this was going to be one of those days where I only solve a few clues. However, I made steady progress and completed without help.

    6d was a bung in though. I’d be amazed if anyone has used ‘bill’ to mean to talk softly in several hundred years.

    Anyway, tough but rather enjoyable. 12a was the most satisfying solve.

    Thanks to all.

  32. Into *** time so certainly on the tricky side for me. Heaven knows how (having never seen Frozen) but I knew the song though the wordplay got me the critter (eventually) & then confirmed. I wasn’t a fan of 6d either but that apart very much enjoyed the puzzle. In no particular order 10,12&26a my top 3
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

    1. Glad to see you coming in later these days. I often check in late in the evening over here (it’s almost midnight), and I agree with your comments re 6d here and those two in the Toughie. Which reminds me: do find time to work Beam’s quite wonderful Toughie later today. I just finished it and loved it, esp. 1d.

  33. Too hard – DNF. Decided to concentrate on the tennis rather than the cruciverbal challenge. Thank you setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Why BBC put it on two channels is OTT so far as I am concerned. I know I am in the minority but to me it is pointless and I would prefer to watch Pointless.

  34. After three attempts and some help from the 2K’s I managed to finish and am feeling really pleased. I didn’t know the rodent and took ages to get 1d. Lots of smiles when pennies dropped. I found the quickie really tricky and still haven’t finished it. Thanks to the 2K’s and Jay. For some reason I’m not enjoying the tennis at Wimbledon as much as I used to.

    1.  Yes indeed, for one thing it has never really been the same since tennis turned professional but I do still find it compulsive viewing.

  35. I made a difficult puzzle even harder, by putting in a mispelt “PERFORMANCE ” in 1D. Hey ho.
    Got there in the end, with the blog’s help.
    Thank you 2KIWIS and well done Jay for a great puzzle.

  36. Nobody seems to have mentioned that Mick Jagger is certainly NOT a “former” Rolling Stone…

    1. You’ve changed your alias since your last visit in 2019 – both versions will work from now on.

      If you read 2K’s hint you’ll see that former doesn’t refer to Mr Jagger but provides the ‘ex’ for the answer.

  37. More paper delivery problems, only got this puzzle today.
    In total agreement with the majority, this was a sterner test than the usual Wednesday fare and though well clued, took a lot of effort to reach the line. Though not having an inkling of the song in 7d, with the word-play it just had to be. As noted by others, the peripheral clues did not “jump out” in the usual fashion, so adding to the difficulty.
    Thanks to the setter for the workout and the 2K team for the review.

  38. 3*/3*….
    liked 23A ” There’s no end of nosh in spectacular spread (3)”

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