DT 30042 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30042

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30042

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer continues but I see from the weather forecasts that England may well be hotter than here for the next day or so.  We’re forecast for a mere 34°C today but I hear England may break its high temp record and top 40°C.  Take care everyone, temps over 40°C can be dangerous.

Today we have the usual Monday fare but with a couple of unusual words so I’ve gone for *** difficulty, although if you know the words it’s pretty benign.  There’s only one anagram, and three partials, so you’ll have to do it the hard way without the free checkers.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           English university with typical assorted trees (9)
EUCALYPTI:  E(nglish) and U(niversity) followed by an anagram (assorted) of TYPICAL.

6a           Plans to return tinned meat (4)
SPAM: Some plans reversed (to return) gives some tinned meat or unwanted email.  I wasn’t sure which way round this clue worked until I had a checker.

10a         Power of leader of Socialist Party? (5)
STEAM:  A type of power beloved by railway enthusiasts is an S (leader of Socialist) followed by a party or faction.

11a         Catches taken in serious practice session (9)
REHEARSAL: A word meaning catches with the ear inserted into (taken in) a word meaning serious or genuine.

12a         Sword first of claymores found in former burial ground (9)
EXCALIBUR: Start with two letters meaning former, usually referring to a former spouse, and an anagram (ground) of BURIAL. Into that lot insert (found in) a C (first of Claymores) to get King Arthur’s sword.  I spent too long thinking of types of sword instead of the name of one, d’oh!

14a         A spirit? The old man imbibes rye, mostly (5)
DRYAD:  Take a word for the old man or your father and insert (imbibes) RY (RYe mostly)

15a         Trick, good during last act (7)
FINAGLE:  G(ood) is inserted (during) into a word for last act or end of a play.  Not come across this word for a fair while.

16a         Empress having a strain treated (7)
TSARINA:  Anagram (treated) of A STRAIN.

18a         Inflamed after Conservative intentionally broke the rules (7)
CHEATED: A word meaning inflamed placed after a C(onservative).  This isn’t a veiled reference to Boris is it?

20a         Disease: problem has chap scratching head (7)
RUBELLA: The disease commonly known as German Measles is a Shakespearean term for a problem followed by a slang term for a chap without his first letter (scratching head).

21a         Explicit about king with three daughters (5)
CLEAR:  A letter for about followed by Shakespeare’s tragic king who had three daughters.

23a         First-rate raffle in boozer (3-6)
TOP DRAWER:  Take another word for a sot or boozer and insert (in) a raffle and then split the result (3,6).

25a         Carefully planned  complex (9)
ELABORATE:  Double definition.

26a         Follow river into dock (5)
TRAIL:  Take a word meaning to dock and insert (into) an R(iver).

28a         Appearance of first person saved by soldiers (4)
MIEN:  The first person pronoun inserted into (saved by) some soldiers.

29a         International striker on trial (4,5)
TEST MATCH:  The sort of striker which catches fire placed after a trial gives an international cricket or rugby game.


1d           Follow heads in Egypt now summing up economy (5)
ENSUE:  First letters (heads in) of the last five words of the clue.

2d           Signal given by copper close to scene (3)
CUE:  The chemical symbol for copper followed by E (close to scenE).  This is what you should do with one of these . . .


3d           Focus of attention, medium in story easy to digest (9)
LIMELIGHT: M(edium) inserted into (in) a story or fib and followed by a word describing a meal that’s easy to digest.

4d           Moral tale cut short, allegory female ignored (7)
PARABLE: A word for cut without its last letter (short) and then a allegory without the F (Female ignored).

5d           Trendy? That girl must be with it to take over (7)
INHERIT:  A charade of a word for trendy or hip, a word meaning that girl and the IT from the clue.

7d           Cat and bat in tree (5,6)
PUSSY WILLOW:  A childish word for a cat followed by a cricket bat, or the wood it’s made from.

8d           Play tune no end, hit by Adele originally (9)
MELODRAMA:  A word for a tune without its last letter (no end) followed by a word meaning to hit and finally an A (Adele originally).

9d           Bishop coming over with pop group (4)
BAND: B(ishop) placed before (coming over in a down clue) a word meaning with.

13d         Friend misled once about female editor on speed (11)
CONFEDERATE:  Anagram (misled) of ONCE placed around F(emale) and the usual editor and then a word for speed or pace.

15d         Cosmetic, best applied under cheek (4,5)
FACE CREAM:  A word meaning best placed after (under in a down clue) a slang term for cheek or impudence.

17d         Garden of trees? Lily taking in mine heading for terrace (9)
ARBORETUM:  Take a type of lily and insert (taking in) a word meaning to mine or drill and a T (heading for Terrace).

19d         Take away from daughter booklet supporting English (7)
DETRACT:  Start with a D(aughter) and then a booklet or pamphlet after (supporting in a down clue) an E(nglish).

20d         Put down extremely rude journalists (7)
REPRESS:  RE (extremely RudE) followed by a word for journalists or newspapers.

22d         Swindle  man on board (4)
ROOK:  Double definition.  This word meaning to swindle is also a man on a chess board.

24d         Mischievous imp in literal phraseology (5)
RALPH:  I’ve no idea where this comes from but the imp is lurking in the last two words.

27d         Deed shown in a court (3)
ACT:  The A from the clue followed by an abbreviation of court.

Favourite today was 18a with 20d and 29a on the podium.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     MINER     +     PROFIT     =     MINOR PROPHET

Bottom line:     WRITER     +     WEIGH     =     RIGHT AWAY

68 comments on “DT 30042

  1. 1.5*/3*. Enjoyable and light for a very hot Monday.

    I’m not sure if I’ve come across the mischievous imp in 24d before, so that needed a quick BRB check. Unless I’m missing something, isn’t 6a potentially ambiguous until you get a checking letter in place?

    7d was my runaway favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    As an aside, I noticed an interesting misprint on the front page of today’s paper: “Next PM has £60 billion in the kitty for tax cats”.

    1. The solving of clues like 6 across is simple. Look what I have put in and reverse it. Every time

      1. Hear hear – there does not appear to be a convention with this type of clue☹️ Like yourself I always seem to get these the wrong way round until I get a check letter.

    2. Ha-ha, that’s a brilliant misprint, Rabbit Dave — and in a headline as well!

      For anybody else who hasn’t seen it:

      1. Yes, I had a chuckle at that. Mr. K. will be pleased and I would like see his illustration for a “tax cat”. :good:

    3. I held off penning in 6a as I wasn’t clear which was the definition, plans or meat? Either fit. But once I reached 7d all was clear.

  2. Hurrah ! First finish before the hints were out ! Thanks to setter et al. A steady solve for me, with a favourite 18a, because of the weather !

  3. Not quite 23a Campbell but a light and enjoyable puzzle so thanks to him and Pommers.
    Favourite, the aforementioned 23a.

  4. I struggled with the SW corner, wasting a lot of time using the accusative instead of nominative for first person then not knowing the number of daughters of the bard’s tragic King. Otherwise a fun solve. Agree star points for 7d and 12a

  5. The back-pager gets the nod today in the battle of Campbell’s 2 Monday puzzles. Both typically gentle & impeccably clued as always. 1,12&20a along with 4,7&8d my picks here & particularly liked 14a in the bonus one.
    Thanks to P&C

  6. Light, fun, straightforward and very enjoyable, with nothing out of the ordinary, some clever red herrings, and delightfully light on angrams. Hon mentions to 7d, 20d & 23a, with COTD to 15a.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

  7. Tell me it’s a Monday without telling me it’s a Monday. Campbell never lets us down. A nice start to the puzzling week. Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  8. Enjoyed this Monday confidence builder.
    And meeting some old friends.
    Two ways of looking at 6a, chose wrongly first time round.
    But all was well that ended well.
    Many thanks, Campbell and pommers.

  9. This was abpretty straightforward puzzle I thought, with a few head-scratchers to keep us on our toes. COTD was 1a for me, followed closely by 17d and 7d, all plant related clues. So a bit of a theme going on there perhaps. I also liked 12a. Thanks to Campbell for another fine puzzle and to Pommers for the hints fromvvery hot South Oxfordshire, the temperature has already climbed to 32 C.

  10. Yes 6d was ambiguous but this is often the case with this type of clue, 7d provided the answer and like RD a favourite together with 12a.
    Was 24d in a Harry Potter book?
    Enjoyable Monday solve and a **/**** as per Pommers.
    Had a new cooker delivered after it took ages to locate one but the cooling fan was faulty-opened a larger!

    1. No idea if 24d was in a Potter book, but one may have been in the printers from which the books emerged … ;)

  11. I found this of very mixed difficulty: the first few answers went in way faster than I typically manage, then I came to a complete stop, and even with some electronic assistance I didn’t manage to finish.

    Maybe the lack of anagrams is what gave me the fast start? I generally find those tricky and often need crossing letters to be able to get them (the opposite experience to what Pommers suggests above). It was my vocabulary which let me down in the end: I didn’t know the 23a drinker, the 17d lily, or the 14a spirit — and came here hoping for an explanation of 24d’s imp.

    Thank you to Pommers for the hints — especially for pointing out that 6a can go in either way round; I hadn’t spotted that, and of course had put it in the wrong way. Once that was corrected, 7d and 8d suddenly became much easier!

    22d’s swindle was also new to me; I only got it with Pommers’s hint. And 28a I failed on even with the hint: I was trying to make it involve one of those seemingly endless supply of 2-letter abbreviations for solders, with an ‘S’ on the end — but even if, say, ‘Military Engineers’ was a thing, ‘mies’ didn’t appear to be a word.

    So the two that stumped me both involved ‘man’/‘men’ in places it wouldn’t occur to me to use a gender-specific term in everyday life. The Puzzles Ed has previously said “good man” is no longer allowed to indicate “St”; it has to be “good person”. I wonder if there will be a point when clues pretending that female soldiers don’t exist will be deemed unacceptable as well?

    I still enjoyed solving the bits I did though, and knowing Pommers would be along shortly to explain the rest made it all worthwhile persevering with.

    I liked 12a’s sword and 29a’s international so much that I can’t choose a favourite!

    1. I’m not sure that the new rule by the Puzzles Ed is being strictly enforced. In last Thursday’s Toughie Artix had ‘good man’ (18d) for the required abbreviation.

      1. Well spotted. I did think Chris Lancaster had declared that, but perhaps I’m mistaken.

    2. Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
      Interesting fact
      Ralph Lauren’s original name is Ralph Lifshitz.
      1.(n) ralph
      An alleged or imagined evil spirit who does mischief in a printing-house.
      2. (n) ralph
      A familiar name of the raven, Corvus corax.

      Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary
      1. (n) Ralph
      ralf (slang) the imp of mischief in a printing-house: a raven.

      BRB. Ralph: (n) the imp of mischief in a printing house.

      1. Thanks, Jose. The OED only has a different (and less pleasant) definition.

        I’m delighted to learn this — just surprised to find something as niche as this in a Monday backpager!

  12. I love the way printers have their own language – and how nice of the 12th Edition of the BRB to highlight the imp in 24d

  13. Good not to overtax the grey matter in these toasty days. Altogether a fun run light on anagrams which is just my cup of tea. 9d a bit iffy IMHO and 24d was a bung-in. 23a and 7d joint Favs. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  14. A light relief from the oppressive heat of the day and plenty to smile about.
    Top two here were 18a & 7d with a nod to 15a just because it’s such a delicious word.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – enjoyed watching Ronnie’s storming 147 again.

  15. A most enjoyable puzzle from our Monday setter. As pommers said, a few unknown words but these were gettable from the checkers. I had a vague memory of 24d but it was so vague I refrained from entering the answer for a while. I called the particular tree in 7d that when a child so that helped me otherwise I might not have solved it. My absolute favourite and COTD is the sword in the stone (which is a book I enjoyed when a child – no it wasn’t, it was The Once and Future king! :grin: ).

    Grateful thanks to Campbell for the teasing fun. Thank you, pommers for the hints and at the moment here in Shropshire the temperature is the same as yours in Vega Baja.

    1. One of my fave books as a child. I do believe I would enjoy it again as an adult!

  16. Hooray for Campbell! Hooray for pommers! Hooray for putting the central heating on! Oh no… wait a minute… got carried away there.

    Great crossword. My last one is was 9d because I am an eejit.

    We’ve been to Lincolnshire and back in just over twenty four hours. All I can say is thank goodness for air-conditioning in cars.

    Thanks to Campbell ‘n’ pommers.

  17. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: A metaphorical breeze for the back pager */****.

    The OLPP was 50% more challenging.

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 28a, 3d, 7d, and 17d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  18. Very enjoyable, thanks Campbell & Pommers. Very nice use of “burial ground” but with many super surfaces and plenty of laughs, not going to single out any favourite. Thanks again!

  19. Lovely start to the week 😃 **/**** Favourites 7 & 13d 👍 22d was new to me having never been in or near to a Printing establishment, I suppose that it is another word for “Gremlin”😳 muchas gracias to pommers and to Campbell

  20. A pleasantly light puzzle for a steamy Monday morning that was full of smiles, so most enjoyable. 18a and 7d were my co-favourites. Thanks to the double punner and pommers.

  21. Very enjoyable puzzle. Nice to see the imp at 24d again…..he hasn’t been around for a while.
    Remembered 15a from the chain of Bagel shops in Boston whose slogan was. Finagle a bagel. A long time since we were there so don’t know if they still exist or not.
    Needed Pommers to help me parse 20a and 15d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers .

    Hot here now, but nothing like as hot as the rest of you. A measly 29C which is quite hot eenough for me.

  22. I confess to putting in 17d without bothering to parse, as we have a fine one in Nottingham. Favourites 7d and 20a. All finished without head-scratching although took me a minute to realise 1a was a plural. I had never heard of 15a or 24d but they had to be what they were. I did not even get 6a the wrong way round. Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

  23. Wonderful puzzle thank you Campbell. Favourites 15a and 7d with honourable mention for 13d.

    Thank you Pommers for taking so much trouble with your hints. It’s always good to know why the answer had to be what you thought it had to be.

  24. Just had a week on the River Severn on a smallish boat that had 22 passengers. WiFi very spasmodic but managed to download my puzzle every day and enjoyed it immensely as we meandered along the waterway. No-one else on board did the cryptic so I was on my own. Thanks to all the compilers for the puzzles last week, solved them all eventually. Crossword world is such a joy especially going at 4 mph but an 8′ x 8′ cabin (which included a minute shower and loo) was a bit cosy and dreadfully hot. Bliss that there was no TV! Back to reality and a bunch of losers taking pot shots at each other. Funny how we survived the Great Freeze of 1963 and the baking summer of 1976 without being preached at.

  25. Very enjoyable, with a few that needed some teasing out. The spirit and imp were new to me but easily doable from the wordplay.
    Favourite was 1a, based on the fact it would seem such a difficult word to clue.
    Thanks to all

  26. All of the good things about this very enjoyable puzzle have been said as I enjoyed a very late lie-in. Was up late reading the last of Mick Herron’s four ‘Oxford’ books, all written before the Slow Horses bonanza. The last one, Smoke and Whispers, is set in Newcastle, which is, at least early on, the star of the show. I finished the backpager in record time for a Monday, I think, but the online cryptic took me considerably longer. Too many excellent clues to single out any except for 14a in the online puzzle, and I think that the printer’s imp is new to me. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 1.5* / 4*

  27. Our weathermen were wrong and we had 36°C this afternoon, which is not all that unusual for the second half of July. I reckon, from what I hear, that parts of England were hotter but whether the record was broken I wait to find out. Don’t fancy Portugal or central Spain as they’ve been up to 47°C !!!! I like it here by the coast where it’s cooler.

  28. Yes – tricky Monday as usual, for me anyway.
    I’m one of the ones who depend on for anagrams as ways into the crossword. Oh dear, oh dear!!
    Add to all that there were a couple, or thereabouts, of new words and then being too hot too.
    Not complaining at all . . .
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  29. I managed to finish unaided (relatively unusual for me).
    22d and 24d were new words to me. I need to review words beginning with that letter.
    I liked 1a, mainly because I had never written the word before.
    Thanks to the setter and also for the clues which helped me to understand a couple.

  30. As usual for a Monday these days a tricky little number. Many clues were once more a case of looking for the definition and waiting for the hints to explain the involved wordplay. An example of this is 20a which was just an extremely poor clue.
    Not my favourite setter by a long chalk although it did not take that long to complete using the strategy above.
    Thx firm the hints

    1. I would be interested to know, Brian why you thought 20a a poor clue. I thought it was fine.

  31. A delightful puzzle today, a very good start to the week. A couple of twists and turns but nothing too difficult. Las in was 28a as I just couldn’t see where the soldiers went. Not seen the plural form of 1a but 5d made that pretty obvious. Like others, I had two answers for 6a and as I rashly use a pen, I had to wait until I reached 7d to know which was right. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.
    Feel bad for all of you trying to escape the heat. We were still there in 1976, and had to sleep downstairs on the living room floor on several nights, but the kids thought it was all good fun. Of course air conditioning over here has made real babies of us. Visiting England in previous heatwaves, people always expect us to be “used to the heat”. Er no, really not. Like I say, spoilt.

  32. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. Some quite tricky clues in places. Great fun, favourite was 12a. Was 3* /4* for me.

  33. At last the Monday crossword is back in it’s rightful place – on a Monday. No gripes, no quibbles just good straightforward fun. Favourite was 15a, what a lovely word. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  34. A very enjoyable Dada finished after lunch and a very enjoyable Campbell finished this evening. A good if slightly warm (just crept over 30 in north Lancashire) crosswording day. Never heard of 15a but easily worked out and a lovely word
    Thanks to Pommers for the blog and Dada and Campbell for the puzzles.
    Anyone still eat 6a fritters?

      1. At least I managed to resist the temptation of the Monty P Spam sketch -or not . . .

  35. Phew – a bit of a struggle for me so thanks to Pommers for the help and thanks to Campbell. It’s 23C here in Surrey at 3 o’clock in the morning. Gave up on trying to sleep in this heat – even with the fan on I was too hot. Sitting for half an hour in the garden certainly helped to revive the little grey cells. Am just starting to read Mapp and Lucia.

  36. Although Bad Actors meanders a bit, it is still almost as compelling a read as Slow Horses. Mind you, that’s not surprising: on Amazon, Mick Herron is described as “The John Le Carré of our generation” and it’s all to do with bad actors and slow horses. Who would have thought le Carré might be associated with “any generation”! In terms of acclaimed spy novels, Herron’s Slough House series has definitely made him Top Of The Pops in terms of anti-Bond writers. For Len Deighton devotees that ends a long and victorious reign at number one.

    Raw noir espionage of the Slough House quality is rare, whether or not with occasional splashes of sardonic hilarity. Gary Oldman’s performance in Slow Horses has given the Slough House series the leg up the charts it deserved. Will Jackson Lamb become the next Bond? It would be a rich paradox if he became an established anti-Bond brand ambassador. Maybe Lamb should change his name to Happy Jack or Pinball Wizard or even Harry Jack. After all, Harry worked for Palmer as might Edward Burlington for Bill Fairclough in another noir but factual spy series, The Burlington Files.

    Of course, espionage aficionados should know that both The Slough House and Burlington Files series were rejected by risk averse publishers who didn’t think espionage existed unless it was fictional and created by Ian Fleming or David Cornwell. However, they probably didn’t know that Fairclough once drummed with Keith Moon in their generation in the seventies.

  37. Hi JP I haven’t seen the tv version but saw that the reviews were good. I’ve finished the series now and like RC I’m reading the previous Oxford books. Struggling with my new book recommendation- not sure whether to persevere or pass on it. Did you enjoy the crossword?

  38. thanks Pommels, wouldn’t have finished the left hand side without your help!!!! Im a bit rusty these days! Also desperate to know the answers to 7d and 7a from Mondays 7a7, can’t find the hints anywhere?? Thanks Pommers

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