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DT 30040

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30040

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from Woodbury in South Devon, where I’m staying while playing croquet at Budleigh Salterton this week.

I found this puzzle to be very much one of two halves. The top half went in quite quickly, but then I struggled to get going on the lower half, so well into *** time for me.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ANSWER buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Gather berries should be black to go with waffle (7)
BRAMBLE – An abbreviation for Black followed by another word for ‘waffle’ or ‘go on at length’.

5a           Part taken by mascara in Bowie’s gay image (7)
RAINBOW – Hidden in the clue.

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9a           Aunt still stripped off repeatedly, as before (5)
UNTIL – Remove the outer letters (stripped off) from the first two words of the clue.

10a         Two kinds of beach food to eat and unlimited music (4,1,4)
ROCK’N’ROLL – A sticky seaside treat, and a picnic staple which may contain ham or cheese, for example, placed either side of (a)N(d) (from the clue), with its outer letters removed (unlimited).

11a         Daughter getting into fancy cooking, losing sugary stuff (10)
CANDYFLOSS – Anagram (cooking) of FANCY, with an abbreviation for Daughter inserted, followed by another word for ‘losing’.

CandyFloss Ice-Cream Parlour - Posts | Facebook

12a         A cutting politician’s flipped over — this writing’s unwelcome (4)
SPAM – The usual crossword politician, plus the ‘S from the clue, is reversed (flipped over), and A (from the clue) is inserted.

14a         How one may come out on top after taking a short cut (5-7)
CLOSE-CROPPED – Cryptic definition of a possible result of a visit to the barber.

18a         See papers united on ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ (4,8)
PEER PRESSURE – Put together another word for ‘see’ or ‘look closely’. A generic word for the newspaper industry. And the Latin word for ‘on’ or concerning’.

21a         General is mellow, getting loud not soft (4)
RIFE – Start with a word for ‘mellow’ or ‘mature’. Then replace the musical symbol for ‘soft’ with the one for ‘loud’.

22a         Newcomers crushed miming star (10)
IMMIGRANTS – Anagram (crushed) of MIMING STAR.

25a         Yearns to own Beatle’s old clothing? (4,5)
LONG JOHNS – Another word for ‘yearns’ wrapped round the first name of one of the Beatles, giving us some underwear.

Winter Undie-land: A Brief History of Long Underwear

26a         Take a break every year and exercise (5)
PAUSE – The two-letter Latin abbreviation for ‘every year’ followed by a verb for ‘exercise’ or ‘employ’.

27a         Nasty corner pop-art target covers over (3,4)
RAT TRAP – Hidden in reverse (over) in the clue.

28a         Ruled roost previously — became cuddly (7)
NESTLED – Somewhere where a bird may roost, followed by another word for ‘ruled’ or ‘was in charge of’.


1d           Midday meal of ancient times, entertaining move by hotel (6)
BRUNCH – Wrap the two-letter expression indicating dates before AD around a word for ‘move (quickly), then add the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO alphabet.

2d           One of Rome’s famous rulers, some around 100 (6)
ANTONY – Another word for ‘some’ wrapped round an informal word for 100, in the context of scoring 100 runs at cricket, for example. The answer is one of the three men who formed a triumvirate to rule Rome after the assassination of  Julius Caesar.

3d           Lido’s inelegant entrances? (5,5)
BELLY FLOPS – Cryptic definition of inelegant ways of diving into water.

107 Belly Flop Dive Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

4d           Sign erected left or top right on map (5)
ENROL – Put together an abbreviation for Left, OR (from the clue), and the abbreviation for the compass direction indicated by the top right corner of a map (or a crossword grid!), then reverse the result (erected, in a Down clue).

5d           Scrap rifles — when loaded often they get worn at the rear (9)
RUCKSACKS – Another word for a scrap or fight (including a contest for the ball in Rugby Union), followed by another verb for ‘rifles’ or ‘loots’.

6d           Giant nest with odd droppings — many have dropped off here (4)
INNS – Alternate letters of the first two words of the clue.

7d           Weapon whose user shows a lot of cheek (8)
BLOWPIPE – Cryptic definition of a primitive weapon where the user puffs out his cheeks before firing.

blowpipe - Twitter Search / Twitter

8d           Gush over girl said to be flawless (4-4)
WELL-MADE – Another word for ‘gush’ or ‘spring’, followed by a homophone (said) of another word for ‘girl’.

13d         Bad reaction of a grouser agitated about parking Sierra (4,6)
SOUR GRAPES – Anagram (agitated) of A GROUSER wrapped round the symbol for a car park, followed by the letter represented by Sierra in the NATO alphabet.

15d         Small sides in vessel (9)
STEAMSHIP – Put together an abbreviation for Small, another word for ‘sides’ in a sporting context, and another word for ‘in’ or ‘trendy’.

16d         Maybe diamond and pearls set to be worn by king and queen (8)
SPARKLER – Anagram (set) of PEARLS wrapped round the chess notation for a king, folloed by the Latin abbreviation for a queen.

17d         Sailor’s hand-made joint rocks offshore wader (4,4)
REEF KNOT – Some offshore rocks, such as the Great Barrier off Australia, followed by a wading bird of the sandpiper family.

reef knot 2 | Somerset County

19d         Play with no opening, play with no ending — extremely radical show (6)
UNFURL – Start with two instances of a word for ‘play’ or ‘enjoyment’. Remove the first letter from the first instance, and the last letter from the second. Then add the outside letters (extremely) of R(adica)L. This gives us a word for unwrapping something, such as a flag or a sail.

20d         Charlie, installed in a post, gets rise (6)
ASCEND – A (from the clue) and a verb meaning ‘post’ or ‘despatch’ with the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO alphabet inserted.

23d         Writer of one’s bio turned up with nothing missing, twice (5)
IBSEN – Reverse (turned up, in a down clue) the third and fourth words of the clue, then remove the two instances of the letter which looks like a zero, and you get a Scandinavian writer.

24d         Article definitely in German, third from Merkel not being totally open (4)
AJAR – Put together an indefinite article, the German for ‘definitely’, and the third letter of MeRkel.

The Quick Crossword pun FILLIP + WRATH = PHILIP ROTH

80 comments on “DT 30040

  1. Solved with a smile all the through today. Fridays puzzles always float my boat. Thanks to the setter and to Deep Treat. It’s a good job it’s not snowing. I wouldn’t want to be shovelling snow in this heat

  2. Quirky, cryptic and very enjoyable indeed PDMs and broad smiles throughout the grid. Definitely required some thinking outside the box but all the more satisfying for it.
    I particularly liked 10,18&25a plus 3,4,5,17&19d. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter, has to be Zandio (though reminded me of Django) and DT for the fun.
    Love Budleigh Salterton by the way, quaint with a fabulous beach

      1. I enjoyed the photo of beach at Budleigh Salterton which brought back memories of so many holidays in days of yore and playing in the annual tennis tournament particularly one year when my sister and I were beaten by the grand slam title holders, Angela Mortimer and Shirley Bassey – bit of a whitewash 🎾!

        1. I remember when they beat Christine Truman and Nancy Sinatra at Wimbledon in the quarter finals.

          1. Pleased the photo brought back happy memories Angellov. Though often overshadowed by its trendier neighbour Sidmouth, I’ve always liked Budleigh, particularly in the Spring and Autumn when it’s not too busy.

        2. Tee hee Dan – silly me – of course I meant Shirley Bloomer (later Brasher)!

  3. Not my cup of tea at all this one. Needed the hints – thanks DT – for quite a few – 10a, 18a and 5d. I did enjoy 25a and 3d and 19d but I couldn’t get on the setter’s wavelength generally so bit of a disappointing end to the week. My inadequacy I am sure and my thanks to the setter for this considerable challenge.

      1. You’ve shortened your alias so this needed moderation. Both versions of your alias will work from now on.

  4. Strangeky, I had the mirror image of DT’s experience, with the bottom going in much more easily than the top. Overall, it became a more rapid solve, the more checkers went in, with lots of guesswork and reverse engineering of the parsing. I find it difficult to fathom this compiler’s clues but got great satisfaction out of actually finishing the puzzle. Once the penny finally dropped, I had a chuckle at3d and14a, which were great cryptic clues, but my COTD was11a, my last one in, a superb bit of misdirection. I wasn’t so keen onthe use of ‘n’ as an abbreviation for and in 10a. Thanks to the compiler and to DT for the hints.

    1. Absolutely Crisscross you have said saved me the bother. Exactly word for word what I was going to say!

  5. Agree with SL on this one, fabulous throughout – and too many great clues to pick favourites. Many thanks to setter and DT.

  6. Super puzzle, appropriately testing for a Friday but still very much a backpager, I felt – though I suspect other views later today may differ! As Miffyp. says, a smile throughout, so thank you to the setter for a very enjoyable and satisfying solve.

    Hon Mentions to 5a, 10a, 18a (loved the capital letter red herrings and combined surface read/answer) & 26a, with COTD to the tremendous 19d, by a country mile.

    3* / 3.5*

    Thanks again to the setter, and also to DT (haven’t played Croquet for decades, but in a previous life spent far too much time on the College & University lawns – at the time I did enjoy a sport where you could drink & smoke while participating!)

    1. We had a croquet lawn when we lived in Lordship Farm. Huge fun although I was prone to cheat when no one was looking. We still have two big wooden boxes of gear – last thing grandchildren will do is play croquet!

      1. Such a shame the grandchildren aren’t interested. Garden Croquet is great fun – and can be quite evil! I soon discovered that “proper” croquet is another game entirely, and that coming up against an experienced and talented player can be quite dispiriting …

        1. So true. The first time we were invited to play with a very Grande Dame I took my shot and went to stand by my ball. Oh no. Off the court I was ordered – bang went my chance of a little nudge with the foot when no one was looking. I was a hopeless failure – but the tea was good.

  7. Liked this one very much, it took a break before 4d and 19d became clear. My choice of the day was the aforementioned 19d.

  8. 3*/3*. I struggled to get into this one and ended up solving it in fits and starts. Can anyone provide an example for 11a in which “loss” and “losing” are interchangeable?

    18a was my favourite.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio and to DT,

    1. Always like a challenge RD! …. how about “the losing/loss of his his status was very upsetting”

      1. Thanks, SL, although I’m not entirely convinced. I would have said that “loss” implies a completed action but “losing” is a loss in progress, i.e. ongoing, but that’s arguably a bit picky.

        1. Does this work, RD?

          Federer’s winning/losing (win/loss) percentage has improved since he got a new coach.

          I refuse to say the American word ‘winningest’’, which is creeping in over here, when talking about a coach/manager who has won the most games in a career.

          It hurts too much.

          1. Thanks, G, but it still doesn’t quite do it for me. In any event, I need to go and lie down now. I was completely oblivious of the hideous “winningnest”, but once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it … 👎

        2. Loss does require the addition of an !’of’ after it if it is to be used synonymously with losing in most sentences, however.

  9. At least I understood the hints.

    Cloudy and rainy here in North Yorkshire.

    Grateful thanks to Deep Threat and thanks to the setter.

  10. A pleasingly tricky Friday puzzle that took a bit of unravelling to begin with, then it flowed quite nicely. A good example of this was 18a, my favourite, where you just had to follow the instructions to solve it. Highly entertaining all round.

    My thanks to, presumably Zandio, and of course DT.

  11. This excellent puzzle was quite a head scratcher for me, well clued certainly, I found it more of a toughie than a back-pager.Took a while to get going, but got there in the end with a finish in the NW.
    Many thanks to the setter and DT for the review.

  12. I imagine this ghastly offering was a Giovanni. It’s the only puzzle I have completed by almost totally ignoring the senseless clues just going by the checking letters.
    The Quickie is equally awful with religious references.
    *****/so low as not to be able to give it an enjoyment rating!
    Thx for the hints

    1. I very much doubt that this is one of Giovanni’s Brian, I may be wrong of course, but to me it doesn’t appear to be his style. I enjoyed the solve – in two sessions with a bit of concreting on our garden path sandwiched in between. It took a bit of unravelling, but it really was good fun, with 17d as my top clue & 19d very close behind it. Thanks to setter & DT

    2. You do need to get out of the habit of defaulting to The Don when you are commenting on a crossword that didn’t float your boat, Brother Ian.

      I think that, if you’re wrong today, it will be the third time you’ve done it recently.

      Just lay in to the compiler, in your inimitable style, without mentioning The Big G. You know you can.

  13. Not really one for me to relish but I’m glad that others seem to have enjoyed it.

    Thanks to Zandio and to DT for the review – hope you don’t get too hot on the croquet lawns!

  14. ‘Twas the Boomtown Rats who said ‘I don’t like Mondays’….I’d like to rewrite that to ‘I don’t like Fridays’! I just can’t seem to get my head around the various Friday setters. I haven’t any answers as yet and I’m not sure that I’m too bothered about this one, especially as I have the Chalicea toughie from earlier in the week. Thanks to the setter for the drubbing and DT for the review.

  15. I’m afraid I did not get on well with this at all. I find that if I haven’t completed at least four fifths by lunch then I’m not going to finish. Well, lunch arrived and I had solved only a third with the rest laughing at me so I have given up.

    Of the ones I solved, the cleverly hidden lurker at 5a was a favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter for the thrashing. Thank you, DT for making sense of it for me.

  16. A tough puzzle today,filled in the right hand side before moving to the left, not sure about 1a until DT did a double underline illustrating the verb to collect berries-thanks.
    Lots of my favourite charades, like 7d and 18a.
    Favourite was 19d and certainly different, followed by the surface of 13d.
    Going for a ****/*** could easilly have been in the Toughie spot on another day.

  17. I failed miserably to connect with this puzzle, instead I chose to regard it as a learning exercise via the hints . Still it seemed a little overly contrived at times. Probably says more about me than the answers! Thanks (I think!) to all.

  18. Thanks to DT for explaining 19d which was very good- also liked 12a 25a and 13,23,24d. Frustrating morning as I’m trying to tidy up and clear stuff. Came across large box labelled random contents of old shipping desk. We got rid of this in 1987 when we downsized. Our wedding cards (65 yrs old) and telegrams, new baby cards, a top, a yo-yo, set of snap playing cards featuring the new decimal coinage, £4.10s in half crowns, George’s set of marked cards for magic tricks (we had to have a demo) old Austrian lighter looks quite sinister, etc etc Trips down memory Lane. All I’ve done is exacerbated the state of the study. Help. Thanks to the setter also. I do love my crossword.

  19. Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying throughout.
    But very, very hard going until an unaided completion in a solid 4* time.
    So many brilliant clues.
    And in this strong field, COTD to 4d with 10a a close second.
    Many thanks Zandio and DT.

  20. I am glad to see that I am not alone in not having enjoyed this – in fact I threw in the towel early (DN begin to F). 3d among those to have provided moments of light relief. Probably my least enjoyable DT Cryptic ever so knew it couldn’t possibly be a Giovanni. Thank you anyway Zandio and DT.

  21. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss. Have a good weekend.

    1. Your genius is way beyond me today but thanks for so many great puzzles hitherto: this one just escaped me! Were you an Oxford or a Cambridge man? I expect the latter as they seem to be more cerebral than my alumni😳

    2. We enjoyed it immensely – plenty of synaptic activity for our little gray cells.

      The enjoyingest puzzle this year!

      Mr & Mrs T

  22. I do struggle with Zandio, and today was no exception. Managed to finish with the help of a couple electronic letters (the online ‘penalty’/’gift’) for 19d, but I found very little pleasure throughout. Over here, it’s cotton candy, for example; ‘losing’ hardly equates to ‘loss’, though I did manage to suss that one out. No favourites, just glad to finish it. Wish I had done better. Thanks to DT and Zandio anyway. **** / **

    Strangely, I did almost as well with Elgar today. The NYT X-word was a bear. But the LA Times X-word, rapidly emerging as our premier teaser, wins the Gold. Finished both American puzzles. Yay!

  23. Glad to see that I wasn’t totally alone in my struggles with this one – could not get on setter’s wavelength at all. Thanks DT for much needed help.

  24. An excellent Friday offering. Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 18a. 3,5*/ 4*.

  25. I,too, found this rather heavy going. Some answers were just bung ins. My only failure was 19d. I did like 3d, my COTD
    A marvellous illustration to 25a.

  26. Certainly needed assistance with this crossword 😳 ****/** Favourites 25a and 1a, managed to complete Quicky 😃 but who is Philip Roth 🤔 Thanks to DT and to Zandio 😬

  27. My enjoyment seems to be inversely proportional to Brian’s most days. A sparkling set of clues today. I worked myself to a standstill before breaking for g/parent duties & a quick dip in the sea. The last third of so went in nicely over a coffee. Garlands for 5 & 25a 3 & 19d. Many thanks Zandio and DT.

  28. At first I thought this was going to be a spectacular fail, but it gradually fell in to place. Very much enjoyed solving this, which is all the more satisfying that it’s a Friday!

    Could someone explain who/what drops off in 6d?

    Thanks to all.

  29. Normally I complete the crossword on and off in between work meetings, but this one required my full attention later in the day. I even checked that I hadn’t printed off the Toughie after my first pass through.
    With full concentration it came together slowly with the help of guesswork and checkers. Hard work but satisfying to cross the line, I’m too exhausted to pick a favourite.
    Thanks to Zandio and DT

  30. I usually look forward to tackling the Friday backpager over lunch, as we are usually out all morning, including for breakfast. As it is usually a tough day, I try not to get my hopes up, and think perhaps the setter and or editor will acknowledge for once that as there is a Toughie on offer for those who need a serious challenge, the backpager should perhaps be rather more benevolent. Sadly, that didn’t happen today. Quite beyond me, and it rather feels like a waste of paper and ink at this end. At least Wordle is waiting.

  31. I needed far too many hints to finish today’s puzzle but had a good week. It wouldn’t be a challenge if every puzzle was a walk in the park. I still haven’t got the answer to 1d in the Quick crossword. Maybe the little grey cells are tired! Many thanks to DT and Zandio.

  32. Needed two breaks to finish this one…but got there.

    Thanks to Zandio and to Deep Threat

  33. Super puzzle. Took a while to tune into Zandio mode but a fast finish after a slow start.
    Thanks all.

  34. Not my cup of tea at all, sadly. Too many hmmmms, like the distinctly iffy synonyms for “gush” and “flawless” in 8d, “mellow” in 21a and “became cuddly” in 28a. I thought 3d, 7d and especially 5d weren’t great either. There were some high points, though… 18a and 17d were very clever.

    On the subject of “losing” however, I have no qualms at all. As a noun, it does not need to imply any sense of ongoing continuity, e.g. “The losing of the Premier League title sent Ferguson into a rage”. Strictly speaking, “losing” here is a gerund (or a gerundive – I never could tell the difference).

    As for truly horrid creeping Americanisms, of which there are far too many, I will add the alleged verb “to medal” that is being used more and more. That really sets my teeth on edge!

    1. “Some other English, and Scots, and myself, had a brawl with a dragoon, who insulted one of the party, and whom we mistook for an officer, as he was medalled and well mounted, etc.; but he turned out to be a sergeant-major.”

      Lord Byron (1822)

  35. This was a long haul for me today. Looked at it on the train yesterday but could not get a toe-hold. Once I did the bottom half was not too bad but the top more difficult. I thought I would throw in the towel in the NW but got there in the end without hints. Thanks Zandio and Deep Threat. I felt the need to check those I had not parsed eg 1d. Favourites 18 and 25and 2, 3 and 19d.

  36. 5*/4*
    liked 25A “Yearns to own Beatle’s old clothing? (4,5)”
    began to enjoy this more when I resorted to the estimable hints for about a third of the clues.

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