DT 30046 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30046

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30046

Hints and tips by Deep Threat

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning from South Staffs on a cool, overcast, slightly damp, morning.

A sound Friday crossword, which took me into *** time to solve.

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           Old Ethiopian gets half-cut in Gulf (5)
ABYSS – Remove the second half from a word describing a resident of what is now Ethiopia.

4a           Individual pressing his mum regularly for fruit (9)
PERSIMMON – Take alternate letters (regularly) of hIs MuM and insert them into a word for an individual.

What Is a Persimmon and What Does It Taste Like? | MyRecipes

9a           Stiff punishment at school? Bad luck (4,5)
HARD LINES – Another word for ‘stiff’ followed by the sort of punishment assignment that Bart Simpson is seen doing in the opening credits of ‘The Simpsons’.

Simpsons Blackboard Quotes. QuotesGram

10a         Disgusted over large area of oil on water (5)
SLICK – Another word for ‘disgusted’ wrapped round an abbreviation for Large.

11a         Distinctive quality perfume (7)
ESSENCE – Double definition: the core quality of something; or a fancy word used by perfumiers to describe one of their products.

12a         Daughter browsed around district, almost made to seem small (7)
DWARFED – An abbreviation for Daughter, and another word for ‘browsed’ (in the context of animals eating), placed either side of a word for a district which in England is a subdivision of a borough, minus its last letter.

13a         State Lear is miscast (6)
ISRAEL – Anagram (miscast) of LEAR IS.

15a         Signs of single Italians moving, leaving area (8)
INITIALS – The letter which looks like a Roman numeral for one, followed by an anagram (moving) of IT(a)LIANS minus one of the abbreviations for  Area.

18a         Float hidden by mum on road leading to port (8)
SHANGHAI – To get this Asian port, wrap a two-letter command for silence (keeping mum) around a word which can mean ‘float’ (in the air, probably), then add two letters which look like the alphanumeric description of the old main road from London to the North.

20a         Finish part of degree, never going back! (6)
VENEER – Hidden in reverse in the clue.

23a         After game British forward finally has personal massage (3-4)
RUB-DOWN – Put together the initials of a fifteen-a-side-football game, an abbreviation for British, the last letter (finally) of forwarD, and another word for ‘personal’.

24a         Put fence round space nearby (7)
ENCLOSE – A printer’s term for a space, followed by another word for ‘nearby’.

26a         Taking up golf for exercise, ultimately by oneself throughout (5)
ALONG – Start with a word for ‘by oneself’, then replace the last letter of exercisE with the letter represented by Golf in the NATO alphabet.

27a         Key worker with Ness monster tale, we hear? (9)
LOCKSMITH – This worker with keys can sound like a phrase (4’1,4) for what Ness is, plus an ‘S, and a fabulous tale.

28a         Grimace, something a sculptor might do? (4,1,4)
MAKE A FACE – The definition here is a verb, and another way of putting it could also be what a sculptor does.

29a         Council oddly saying nothing discordant at first (5)
SYNOD – Alternate letters (oddly) of SaYiNg, followed by the letter which looks like zero or nothing, and the first letter of Discordant.

General Synod - Diocese of Carlisle


1d           Sport with teams from Oldham and Wigan, say (9)
ATHLETICS – To get the answer here you need to know the full names of the Oldham and Wigan football (soccer) clubs.

2d           Small cart wheeled several feet (5)
YARDS – Put together an abbreviation for Small and the sort of cart used by brewers to deliver beer, then reverse (wheeled) the result.

3d           Poles outside French island church still (7)
SILENCE – Abbreviations for the earth’s poles are placed either side of the French for ‘island’, then the abbreviation for the Church of England is added. The definition is a verb.

4d           Think garden feature needs trees around at intervals (6)
PONDER – A garden water feature is followed by alternate letters (at intervals) of tReEs, reading from right to left (around).

5d           Occupant of Ford maybe denied place for parking (8)
RESIDENT – The Ford here is not a place but a person, Gerald of that ilk. Remove the symbol for a parking place from the title that the American people awarded him to get the answer.

6d           A little spirit, Nat’s nightcap, served up without delay (7)
INSTANT – Hidden in reverse in the clue (a little … served up).

7d           Computer firm with a name that is unusual (9)
MAINFRAME – Anagram (unusual) of FIRM, A and NAME.

The IBM mainframe 50th anniversary: Golden oldie or modern marvel? : Micro  Focus Blog

8d           Raw wound originally ignored (5)
NAKED – ‘Wound’ here is the past tense of ‘wind’. Remove the first letter from another word for ‘wound’ to get the answer.

14d         Reportedly cycled towards mass police barrier (9)
ROADBLOCK – A homophone (reportedly) of another word for ‘cycled’, followed by a solid mass of something.

16d         Cried, cheesed off about empty calendar (9)
SCREECHED – anagram (off) of CHEESED, wrapped round the outside letters (empty) of C(alenda)R.

17d         Main goal is shaping flowering shrub (8)
MAGNOLIA – Anagram (is shaping) of MAIN GOAL.

Magnolia Tree - Choosing and Planting Magnolia In Your Garden

19d         Excellent produce limited for example over country (7)
GEORGIA – Put together a two-letter expression that looks like the alphanumeric one for ‘top quality’, another word for ‘produce (plants)’ minus its last letter (limited), and the Latin abbreviation for ‘for example’. Then reverse the result (over).

21d         Forgives former Conservative practices (7)
EXCUSES – Put together the usual prefix for ‘former’, an abbreviation for Conservative, and another word for ‘practices’.

22d         Regret being stopped by key save (6)
RESCUE – Another word for ‘regret’ is wrapped round the legend found on one of the keys on a computer keyboard.

23d         Mass support for proper monarchy (5)
REALM – Another word for ‘proper’ or ‘actual’, followed by an abbreviation for Mass.

25d         Vegetable Tony and Fiona both peeled (5)
ONION – Remove the outside letters (peeled) from (T)ON(y) and (F)ION(a).

The Quick Crossword pun STAKE + ASIAN = STAYCATION

50 comments on “DT 30046

  1. The trickiest of the week and I agree with DT’s rating. The fruit was unknown to me but I guessed it from the house builder and the parsing. The two lurkers were helpful. My favourites were 26a and 1d the latter being COTD as that is where I grew up. Thanks to DT and the setter.

  2. Enjoyed this one hugely, just right for Friday.
    I particularly liked 12a plus 4,5&8d but it was all top notch.
    Many thanks to the setter, going for Silvanus, and DT for the fun.

  3. My only hold up was trying to parse 12a, which although I did it correctly, it left me feeling slightly unsure of the middle part. Still, it exists so no argument from me. Overall this was a pleasant puzzle to complete with a few very good clues, one of which was 1d, my favourite.

    My thanks as ever to our Friday compiler and DT.

      1. Local councillors each represent a **** in their town/borough/district – shorten that word and place it between Daughter and a synonym of browsed.

  4. Quite quirky and challenging I thought, an enjoyable workout.
    Needed the hints to fully understand the parsing of 12a and 24a (must try and remember the printer’s space for the future).
    LOI was 18a which I thought was particularly devious.
    My favourite was 27a, I wonder if it will work for everyone though.
    Thanks to the setter and DT for the much needed hints.

    1. While you are remembering today’s printer’s space don’t forget the one that is double its size! :smile:

  5. The best puzzle of the week and very enjoyable, just right for my Thursday evening. My five bob is on Silvanus for the setter. – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 2d, 22d, and 25d – and the winner is 22d.

    Thanks to Silvanus and to DT,

  6. As expected nowon Fridays, difficult, convoluted clues and a lot if guesswork and reverse engineering. The number of question marks wrtten next to the clues in my paper betoken the amount of help I needed from DT to parse them many thanks ro him for the hints. 1a, 19d and27a were very clever hints and the latter was COTD because it made me laugh. Thanks to the compiler for a very testing puzzle and a good brain workout.

  7. Early on, I had a sense that this sublime setter might be Silvanus and I finished quite happily thinking that it had to be. For me, the overall best backpager in a week full of pretty great stuff. Just too many top-drawer clues for me to pick a favourite, but 18a and 12a deserve Clarkies for making me laugh. Thanks to DT and Silvanus, if in fact he is the setter. 2* / 5*

  8. 3*/5*. What a splendid puzzle to finish the week, although for me one of very varying difficulty. Three quarters went in extremely quickly, on course for my 1* time, and then I really struggled with the NE corner with reasons that are difficult to understand with hindsight.

    Picking a short list of top clues was also tricky but my final selection is 20a, 27a & 21d.

    I’ll go along with Senf’s five bob bet and agree with him that this excellent production was penned by Silvanus. Many thanks to him and to DT.

  9. Nice and difficult.
    Last in 18a.
    Which must be COTD closely followed by 12a
    So, ***/*****
    Many thanks Silvanus and.DT.

  10. Super puzzle, generally straightforward though I was held up at the close by 1d and 11a, my last two in. Great surfaces, witty clues, very polished and lots of fun. Almost any clue could receive special mention but will limit the podium nominees to 24a, 29a and 7d, with COTD to 27a – quite brilliant and a laugh-out-loud moment.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and to DT

  11. Super puzzle, many thanks to setter and DT. Enjoyable throughout but from many to choose, 27a probably gets the COTD. Thanks again!

  12. A difficult but very enjoyable Friday puzzle which took a bit of parsing,and a D’oh moment when last in 6d revealed itself !.
    Liked the surface of 7d,favourites were 18a and the brilliant 27a
    Going for a ****/*****
    Again thanks to our setter and DT for the pics -nice to see Doris again.

  13. Managed to fill the grid without too much hassle but struggled to parse both 12a and 8d for which the answers appeared the only possible entries.
    Thanks to the setter for the workout and DT for the review.

  14. Going mad waiting for the gasman to call. Very Flanders and Swan!
    Needed a little help
    COTD 27a

  15. Enjoyable solve. Not too difficult, but I couldn’t completely parse 12a. I got the D and the WARD, but didn’t know browsed was a synonym for fed. Now I do. Couldn’t pick a favourite today. I’ll go and stare at the Toughie for a while now.

  16. Tricky but great fun. However, even with the hint I am still at a loss to explain the answer to 12a, sorry just being thick but I don’t get it.
    Apart from that very enjoyable.
    Thx to all

    1. Brian…..if you split the solution 1-3-3 you have the elements referred to by DT in his hint. The middle element (referring to the area) has lost the letter ‘d” from its end.

  17. I loved this one. It was a steady solve and I had it finished by lunch despite a trip to the butchers in Oswestry. Finally, I managed to remember the particular key in question at 22d. I do like the “peel the first and last letter” clues such as 25d but my COTD is the wonderful (to my mind) 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, DT for the hints.

  18. Just right for a Friday, 12a was my last one in and needed a hint. Thanks to DT and setter.
    1a amused as many years ago when I first realised the quickie pun existed (this was before any italics I think) the first word of the pun was 1a the second part was per annum and the whole was an Ethiopian of yore.

  19. Managed this in fits and starts ! I always start with down clues so was pleased when I knew 1d. It took a while to get going after that but I kept going and slowly began to find my way through. 12a took the longest time to work out. Many thanks to both setter and hinter.

  20. Tricky indeed – a little beyond my reach in places but an excellent crossword to unravel. A couple of hints needed to get me rebooted.

    There was a phase way back at school for saying that word for an Ethiopian of yore when departing, in place of ‘cheerio’ or ‘goodbye’.

    Thanks to the setter and Threat Of The Deep.

  21. Great puzzle which gradually solved itself but with a few hmms (e.g. 10a, 18a, 5d and 23d) along the way. South came in first. Thank you Mysteron and DT.

  22. Senf’s five bob is safe!

    Many thanks to Deep Threat and to all those who have taken the trouble to leave comments. Not that it really matters, but “Ford” in 5d was intended to misdirect solvers to think of a car rather than a location.

    A good weekend to all.

    1. I always post and then find you have visited. Thank you for coming by and for the puzzle. Enjoy your weekend.

    2. Thanks Silvanus. But I don’t think I got very good odds – probably two-to-one on. So, half a crown to go with my five bob!

    3. Thank you, Silvanus for the entertaining puzzle and, yes, I did think of cars first! :good:

    4. Yes, I bought the Ford like many others – its a popular car. The misdirection was very 10a!
      Many thanks for a super puzzle.

  23. Very tricky with most of the NE corner unfinished and needing DT’s hints and in two cases the answers. Very pleased to have managed so many without help but in many cases needing the hints from DT to fully explain why.

    My thanks to DT and Silvanus for an interesting puzzle.

  24. A nice solve for a Friday.
    Favourites include 4a, 27a, 28a 14d & 16d with winner 28a for the chuckle it gave me!

    Thanks to Silvanus and DT

  25. This took me simply ages today, hardest I’ve done for ages, didn’t really see how 12a worked but just guessed from letters I had!

  26. Thought this was certainly worthy of its Friday slot, I had to work quite hard in places. The sight of 7d filled me with dread a bit like the reverend Spooner does – my IT knowledge would fit on a postage stamp – but it was OK once a few checkers were in place.
    Top three were those that raised the biggest smiles – 9,24&27a.

    Many thanks to Silvanus for an excellent puzzle and to DT for the review.

  27. Enjoying this as strangely I seem to be on wavelength. However just been sidetracked by an email from DT that our digital DT international subscription is increasing in a few days by £52, to £249… gulp. It gives a phone number for those in the UK who want to discuss, but says if you are overseas to just go on line and click “cancel”? So looks like our only option is to suck it up or cancel. That’s an alarming increase so will have to ponder that.

    1. Blimey – that is a hike! Not heard anything yet myself but, as you say BL, if it goes up that much in UK then some serious thought must be given.

    2. What on earth do you get for that kind of money? Phone service and internet as well? I couldn’t pay that much.

      1. We get access to the digital Daily Telegraph, and the puzzles, and the ability to print the puzzles, that’s it.

        1. I was being a bit sarcastic there! I couldn’t imagine what you’re getting for your money there.

    3. Don’t accept it BL. I had exactly the same email for a premium digital package (assume it comes with the ability to gift your subscription to 3 other who can piggyback yours for free so long as you continue to subscribe). I haggled & ended up with a significant reduction so worth a 📞
      Good luck.

  28. A little more difficult than others this week, an enjoyable solve, and a nice end to another excellent week of puzzles. ** and *** for me.

  29. Another good puzzle with just a couple of head-scatching moments with 18a and 19d being last ones in. Many thanks to Silvanus and DT. Have a nice weekend everyone.

  30. Some of you folks make me feel so inadequate when I score a dnf! A wonderful Silvanus puzzle which on occasion had me chuckling to myself : 1a and 27a in particular. Yes I was caught by the misdirection in 5d and still don’t “get” 8d. Hey ho. Every day’s a schoolday!

  31. I found this quite tough, but got there i the end. Needed some help for the parsings.

    27a made me groan…..Lock Ness indeed…..

    Thanks to the setter and to Deep Threat

  32. Just goes to show what a difference being on the right wavelength makes. For some reason I found this surprisingly doable, much more so than yesterday. Finished after a break for visit from daughter no.1. Only had problems with 12a and didn’t see the lurker in 20a. Thanks very much to Silvanus and DeepThreat.

  33. Good grief, I finished a Friday crossword…not easy but finished and enjoyed too. 1d gets my vote for clue of the day followed by 27a. Thanks Sylvanus and Deep Threat.

  34. Another cracker as we’ve come to expect from my favourite setter. Unlike RD three quarters of this went in slowly & the remainder at the pace of those poor sods waiting to board at Dover. Still a completed grid & all parsed other than 12a. Loved the half cut Ethiopian, the surface read misdirection at 5d, the golf one at 26a & the 2 geographic clues at 18a&19d. Biggest smile so my favourite was 27a.
    Thanks to Silvanus – puzzle of the week for me too – & to DT.

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