DT 30023 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30023 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30023

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 25th June 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, an excellent and lovely Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and worthwhile comments.

I wanted to know more about ‘aigrette’, the answer to the clue of 9a, and hence turned to the net. I learnt that aigrette is a French word meaning both ‘silver heron’ and ‘brush’, referring to the long, filamentous feathers that appear to cascade down an egret’s back during the breeding season. The word ‘egret’ has come from ‘aigrette’, which otherwise mostly refers to the tufted crest or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a headdress. Aigrettes, studded with diamonds and rubies, decorated the turbans of Ottoman sultans of the ceremonial chamfron of their horses. They are also formerly worn by certain ranks of officers in the French army. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a craze in women’s fashion for wearing extravagant and fanciful aigrettes resulted in large numbers of egrets and other birds being slaughtered by plume hunters for the millinery industry, until the public reaction and government intervention caused the craze to end and demand for such plumes reached its nadir.

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4a    According to three-quarters of panel, Edwin lied under oath (8)
PERJURED: PER (according to) as the preposition meaning in accordance with or according to followed by 75% or three-fourths (three quarters) of JUR[Y] (panel) as a group of people sworn to reach a just verdict on the basis of the evidence before them and ED (Edwin) as the short name for Edwin, inter alios, leading to the definition of a verb meaning sworn falsely or lied under oath to tell the truth

8a    Not of sound mind in said French river (6)
INSANE: IN from the clue and SEINE (French river) as a river in northern France that also flows through its capital Paris as serving as a homophone uttered to the audience (said) take to the definition of an adjective meaning seriously mentally ill or in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction

9a    Target i.e. fluttering bird (8)
AIGRETTE: An anagram (fluttering) of TARGET I.E. guides to the definition of an egret or a lesser white heron

10a    Meat from father’s vehicle found in ship, oddly (8)
PASTRAMI: Of PA (father’s) as belonging to pa that is a childish or familiar word for father followed by TRAM (vehicle) as an electrically-powered public vehicle running on rails in the road seen inside (found in) the oddly-placed letters (oddly) in S[H]I[P], arriving at the definition of a highly seasoned smoked beef prepared especially from shoulder cuts

11a    Arrange neatly in box for holding small objects at university (4,2)
TIDY UP: A charade of TIDY (box) as a receptacle for holding small objects or waste scraps and UP (at university) as a colloquial term for an adverb meaning at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge takes to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to arrange something in a neat and ordered way

12a    He’ll shortly go down with one in capital (8)
HELSINKI: Not all of the letters (shortly) as having the last letter removed of HE’L[L] followed by SINK (go down) as to go down below the surface of something or go to the bottom of sea or some other body of water because of damage or a collision and (with) I (one) as the Roman numeral for one lead to the definition of the capital and most populous city of Finland

13a    Nearly everyone in union has parity (8)
EQUALITY: Most of the letters (nearly) of AL[L] (everyone) as referring to every member or individual component is placed inside (in) EQUITY (union) as a trade union to which all professional actors must belong as in the UK, US and several other countries, taking to the definition of the state of being equal, especially in status, rights or opportunities

16a    Vigorous follower of Oldham? (8)
ATHLETIC: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning physically strong, fit and active from Oldham Athletic, the latter being the name that follows Oldham (follower of Oldham), where Oldham Athletic is the short name for Oldham Athletic Association Football Club replacing the old name of Pine Villa Football Club that was established in 1895

19a    Poirot’s a strong man (8)
HERCULES: HERCULE’S (Poirot’s) as of or belonging to Hercule Poirot, the fictional Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie, the British writer takes to the definition of the mythical Greek hero renowned for his great strength and especially for performing twelve immensely difficult and perilous tasks imposed on him by king Eurystheus

21a    Joint holder (6)
SKEWER: The definition of a long pin of wood or metal, used especially for holding pieces of meat for cooking is cryptically arrived at from a piece of meat as cut up for serving at the table (joint) and the pin of wood or metal (holder)

23a    On strike, catch in the deep? (8)
OUTFIELD: A charade of OUT (on strike) as an adverb meaning on strike or engaged in a stoppage of work, services or other activities, as by union workers to get better wages and FIELD (catch) as a verb meaning to catch or stop the ball and return it after it has been hit by the batter, thereby preventing base runners from advancing as in baseball lead to the definition of the area of the field in cricket relatively far from the pitch or not close to the wicket

24a    Quietly, a violin’s playing in exhibition building (8)
PAVILION: P (quietly) as a written abbreviation for piano in music indicating that the piece should be played quietly, A from the clue and an anagram (playing) of VIOLIN take to the definition of a light, usually open building used for shelter, concerts, exhibits etc, as in a park or fair

25a    Plant in a car wobbles (6)
ARNICA: An anagram (wobbles) of IN A CAR guides to the definition of a genus of perennial, herbaceous plants in the sunflower family Asteraceae

26a    An engaging person (8)
EMPLOYER: A cryptic way of describing someone who gives work to an eligible person or engages them with some work especially for a specified time and on a regular basis in exchange for wages or salary


1d    Not perturbed having fun with adze dangerously (7)
UNFAZED: An anagram (dangerously) of FUN and (with) ADZE guides to the definition of an adjective meaning not disconcerted or perturbed

2d    Bachelor edited psalm — it related to religious ceremony (9)
BAPTISMAL: BA (bachelor) as the degree of Bachelor of Arts followed by an anagram (edited) of PSALM — IT lead to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to a Christian ceremony marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community

3d    Do not leave mother in check (6)
REMAIN: MA (mother) as a childish contraction for mamma or mother is placed inside (in) REIN (check) as to check or guide a horse by pulling on its rein, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to stay in the place that one has been occupying

4d    Is it plain sailing in this covered wagon? (7,8)
PRAIRIE SCHOONER: A charade of PRAIRIE (plain) as a plain of grassy land, especially in North America and SCHOONER (sailing in this) as a sailing ship with two or more masts, typically with the foremost smaller than the mainmast leads to the definition of a long covered wagon used by the 19th century pioneers and emigrants in crossing the North American prairies

5d    Just terrible, leader being deposed (8)
RIGHTFUL: [F]RIGHTFUL (terrible) as terrible, horrible or dreadful with the first or leading letter F (leader) being removed (deposed), taking to the definition of an adjective meaning having a legitimate or just claim

6d    Affect greatly, excited at the finish (5)
UPEND: The definition of a verb meaning to alter greatly or affect to the point of being upset or flurried is arrived at from UP (excited) as happy or excited placed on (at) the END (finish) as the final part or stage of something in the down clue

7d    Charge some women trustees (7)
ENTRUST: Part of or hidden inside (some) womEN TRUSTees guides to the definition of a verb meaning to charge or invest with a trust or responsibility

14d    Ample light acceptable on moving train (9)
LUXURIANT: A combo of LUX (light) as a measure of the amount of light produced by something and U (acceptable) as an adjective meaning as used by or found among the upper classes, hence socially acceptable is placed upon an anagram (moving) of TRAIN, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning exuberant in growth or overabundant

15d    No end of time (8)
ETERNITY: A cryptic way of referring to a state to which time has no application or is seemingly endless and arriving at the definition of a noun meaning eternal duration or infinite or unending time

17d    Direct at Mike, a lunatic (4,3)
TAKE AIM: An anagram (lunatic) of AT MIKE A guides to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to aim deliberately or direct severe criticism or scorn at someone or something

18d    Union fastening device we had on top (7)
WEDLOCK: LOCK (fastening device) as a fastening device, especially one in which a bolt is moved by mechanism, with or without a key having WE’D (we had) as a contraction of we had or we would placed above (on top) in the down clue, leading to the definition of a noun meaning the state of being married

20d    Cane brown rodent first (6)
RATTAN: TAN (brown) as tawny or brownish yellow having RAT (rodent) as a rodent that resembles a large mouse, typically have a pointed snout and a long tail as placed earlier (first), taking to the definition of a cane or switch made from any of various spiny climbing palms, especially of the genus Calamus, having long, tough, flexible stems

22d    Feel dizzy in this pool? (5)
WHIRL: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to the short name for a whirlpool that is a circular current in a river or sea, produced by opposing tides, winds or currents that leads to the first a verb meaning to have a spinning sensation, as from dizziness etc

Clues that I liked in this pangrammatic puzzle were 4a, 12a, 19a, 21a, 23a, 4d, 5d, 14d and 18d; 4d being the best of the lot. Thanks to Cephas for the entertainment, to BD for the encouragement and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.

8 comments on “DT 30023 (full review)

  1. Thanks for another excellent review.

    With reference to 23a, there was some ‘emotional’ discussion on CATCH and FIELD last Saturday. This is part of the entry for FIELD from Chambers Dictionary (a.k.a. The BRB) Revised 13th Edition, Page 571, LH column:

    vt to catch (the ball) or stop and return it to the principal playing area (cricket or baseball)


    Rule 1 – The BRB is always right, even when it’s wrong.

    Rule 2 – If in doubt refer to Rule 1.

    I would suggest that any disagreement with the above should be addressed to the Chambers Dictionary editors.

    1. Thank you once again, Senf, for liking my review that always comes to me as a great encouragement. Both the rules as written by you reminded me of my yesteryears, particularly when I was in my twenties and thirties. I used to participate in a lot of quiz competitions and one day, I was shocked to be taught that ‘the quizmaster is always right, even when his answer is wrong’ as the first rule when I myself was fully aware that the answer of the quizmaster was wrong. Furthermore, the sequel to this came in the form of the second rule that one should refer back to the first rule in case of doubt or even in case when one strongly disagrees.

    1. Thank you as ever, Fez, for liking my review that always comes to me as a great encouragement.

  2. What a brilliant review and I’ve learnt such a lot. Thank you so much. It must take you ages to write. It’s interesting that I often find an answer without my understanding why and I usually check it and move on. From now on I’m going to read the reviews of the Saturday crossword thoroughly so that I can give an explanation to my answers.

    1. Thank you so much, Granny Helen, for liking my review. I feel all the more encouraged. I am also thrilled to learn that you are going to read the reviews of the Saturday crossword thoroughly from now on. So, I wish you happy, satisfactory and enjoyable reading.

  3. 2*/4*…
    liked 5D “Just terrible, leader being deposed (8)”…….quite topical just now, perhaps !

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