DT 30048 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30048

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30048

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are experiencing very unsettled weather. For the most part it is sunny and extremely hot. However, this also generates very violent afternoon thunderstorms. On Saturday, I experienced one such storm which was accompanied by fairly large hail (about the size of a large marble). I had taken shelter in a structure with a tin roof and the noise of the hail stones hitting the roof was deafening. We could look out over a lake and as the hail stones hit the water, they kicked up a splash like a diver entering the water. It was really quite an impressive sight. I’m just glad I wasn’t caught outdoors in the storm.

For those who enjoy phrases, Campbell delivers a quartet today. The parsing of one, in particular, took me a while to decipher. I expect it will not be as much of a challenge for British solvers familiar with cricket.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Ground squirrel‘s plain tail (7,3)
PRAIRIE DOG — a North American plain or grassland and a verb meaning to tail or follow

6a   Old king‘s unwell, onset of angina (4)
OFFA — a bit unwell and the initial letter of Angina gives a king of Mercia known for his earthwork barrier

10a   Love enormous Greek character (5)
OMEGA — a nil tennis score and a colloquial term for enormous

11a   Name character for Othello, say (5,4)
TITLE ROLE — another word for name and a character in a theatrical production

12a   Apparition in seasonal show stealing hearts — Marley’s head (7)
PHANTOM — an end of year stage show encompassing the card symbol for hearts and followed by the initial letter of Marley

13a   Narrated start of romp filled with happiness (7)
RELATED — initial letter of Romp and a way to say filled with happiness

14a   Another heavy weight, individual best (6-2-4)
SECOND TO NONE — a charade of another (after consuming your first), a very heavy weight, and individual

18a   Worn-out elves wait for treatment in fairy story (3,5,4)
OLD WIVES TALE — worn-out (from long time use) and an anagram (for treatment) of ELVES WAIT

21a   List contains duck and crowing bird (7)
ROOSTER — a list of players on a team containing a cricket duck

23a   All are affected by English beer (4,3)
REAL ALE — an anagram (affected) of the first two words in the clue and the single-letter abbreviation for English

24a   Endorse editor’s assistant and writer (9)
SUBSCRIBE — an assistant editor and a writer from the days before the advent of printing

25a   Listen to trumpet initially, and organ (5)
HEART — another term for listen to and the initial letter of Trumpet

26a   Ten falling into trap immediately after (4)
NEXT — a Roman ten captured by a trap for a fish or butterfly

27a   Quite rare, yet growing wild in former times (10)
YESTERYEAR — another word for quite or agree followed by an anagram (growing wild) of RARE YET


1d   Quick pint following concert (6)
PROMPT — the abbreviation for pint following a concert at which performers expect a standing ovation

2d   Guitarist, American celebrity, turned up after ten (6)
AXEMAN — following the directions for arranging the components, we have the single letter for American, a Roman ten, and a reversal of another term for a celebrity

3d   Forcefully reprimanded aide that rector foolishly employed (4,3,4,3)
READ THE RIOT ACT — an anagram (foolishly employed) of the three words in the middle of the clue

4d   Ad-lib from former European politician in shot (9)
EXTEMPORE — start with the usual former significant other; then append a word meaning shot or moved quickly into which you have placed the abbreviations for European and a British (or Canadian) politician

5d   Ring when computer device fails to start (5)
OUTER — a computer device that directs traffic without its initial letter is the largest ring on an archery target

7d   In which one may see a hooker face controversy (5,3)
FRONT ROW — the face (of a building, perhaps) and a dispute or controversy; the hooker is a rugby player

8d   A wild bender across eastern Scottish city (8)
ABERDEEN — an anagram of BENDER containing the abbreviation for eastern

9d   Anguish over boundary, reportedly hit very hard and at great speed (4,3,7)
HELL FOR LEATHER — string together the name of a place symbolizing anguish or suffering, a word that sounds like (reportedly) the number of runs produced by a cricket ball that rolls or bounces over the boundary, and a colloquial term meaning to hit very hard

15d   Discourage fellow cleaner (9)
DETERGENT — to discourage or restrain from acting and a colloquial term for a polite, respectable man

16d   US rock star trashed rooms across Rhode Island — indefinite number (8)
MORRISON — an anagram (trashed) of ROOMS contains the postal abbreviation for Rhode Island and is followed by the mathematical symbol for an indefinite number

17d   TV could show dope case (5,3)
IDIOT BOX — a dope or person lacking intelligence and a case or crate

19d   Location surrounding a magnificent residence (6)
PALACE — a generic term for a location containing the A from the clue

20d   Dog in street, barking (6)
SETTER — an anagram (barking) of STREET

22d   Bring up lift (5)
RAISE — double definition; to rear or to hoist

As I spent so much time deciphering it, I probably should award the honours to 9d. However, instead I am going to favour 18a for the smile it generated.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): LEWES + CAROL = LEWIS CARROLL

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : PROBE + EIGHT = PROBATE

58 comments on “DT 30048
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  1. I must be under par today as I found this hard at a top end ***/ **. It didn’t help that 1a was a new animal to me and I’m afraid my guitarist knowledge let me down at 2d although I did get the other musical clue at 16d. Sorry to say I just found it all a bit of a struggle so didn’t particularly warm to it but thanks Falcon and also the setter for the challenge.

  2. 2*/4*. Light and fun – great Monday morning fare. 18a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  3. Found this a bit tough, Campbell. I hadn’t heard of 17d and needed falcon’s help to understand the 9d boundaries and the quite at 27a. Took me way too long thanks to the NW corner and am still doing battle with 718. Thankyous to both :)

  4. This was not my cup of tea either and I felt it was not up to the usual level that we get on Mondays and bot really as enjoyable. However, there were a few good clues to recommend. I liked 8d and 3d and 2d wasn’t a bad clue. Thanks to Campbell and To Falcon for help pRsing my bunged in answers for 9d and 27d.

  5. I will join those in the tough corner, so much so that I needed the reassurance of more than one pun to convince myself this was a Campbell production but it was still very enjoyable – ***/****.

    And, the OLPP was also more challenging than usual.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 7d, and 17d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  6. Very enjoyable while it lasted, a light Campbell entree for the week. Slowed into the NE, but lovely surfaces throughout and many smiles – the four long phrases were cleverly clued and provided a useful framework, assisted by the generous splurge of agrnamas, and a few familiar old friends. Hon Mentions to 1a, 11a and 1d, with COTD to 12a.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon, especially for the two truly great pieces of music – hope your weather settles down!

  7. I notice that 21a, 16d and 2d are all Americanisms. Any reason? North American puzzles are so different that I’m impressed with the solving abilities of our North American contributors
    No real favourite but I’ll settle for 12a as it reminds me of a special evening with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. Those were the days!

    1. I’ve found it’s not unusual to find the occasional American usage in a Campbell puzzle as in 21a. In 2d, “American” is merely part of the fodder and in 16d “US” is part of the definition.

    2. The BRB does not suggest that 21a is an Americanism, nor 2d (in any case spelt differently in the US), while the Guitarist may not be the one for whom Falcon provided a music clip – could as easily have gone to ‘Van’ for a more domestic example!

      1. Surely Jimmy Page is just about the best “domectic example” there is! Or maybe it’s just an excuse to post a Van Morrison track? Which is far from a bad thing …

        1. I was just citing an alternative non-American 16d 2d … my own choice of “domestic” 2d excluding that surname would have to start with Clapton, Gary Moore and Mark Knopfler, but the list goes on and on – as would any good 2d! :)

          1. Clapton. Like watching an old man walk his dog.
            Scotty Moore. Too many notes. Far too many notes
            Mark Knopfler. When you think he can’t get any better, he does

  8. Needed to think American today as JB has pointed out. I would add 17d to his list as the first word is used in other terms such as the 17d bass for the 2d’s wearying thudding.

    Other than that I enjoyed this with 7d my favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for another good Monday morning.

  9. Finished most of it in quick time. But a DNF for me. 17d 27a and 5d. I was put off by the colloquialisms, and general knowledge required so clicked on the show solutions button. Then after that needed the hints to fully parse some others. Not my cup of tea, but thanks as always for the hints.

    1. A comment in a post on the “TimefortheTimes” site a few days ago struck a chord with me: “Everything is general knowledge, nothing is obscure, except things I don’t know.” How often that is true!

      Someone else commented on that particular puzzle “A degree of curiosity about the world outside one’s own specialisms is expected here. This does not apply to bible stuff and other things I don’t know, of course.” …. which did make me smile.

      1. Yes of course. It’s my own personal general knowledge that is lacking here, how can it be otherwise. You only know, the things that you know. Ask me anything about TV soaps or Greek and Roman gods and I’d be lost as well, and I cringe when I hear book, film, author, plant etc. Dictionary words however, do it for me, together with physics, chemistry maths etc. Although (chemical) “salt” as a clue is just too vague. Nevertheless I enjoy the daily challenge.

        1. My chemistry stopped at O-level, so the recent Times crossword requiring the solver to realise that D was deuterium had me foxed for a considerable time. Clues starting with As, Be, He and O are almost guaranteed to result in a “Doh!” moment for me once the penny is remembered and then drops …

  10. Pretty well sailed through this today, but completely stumped by 4d. Put the existing letters into my little solving machine to get the answer. A new word to me this, but will now never forget it!

  11. 11a just would not come until the proverbial penny in 4* time.
    Otherwise, a satisfying and steady solve.
    Many a smile, eg 12 and 14a and 17d.
    Great stuff.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  12. I’m afraid I did not like this one and I hope it is not a taster for the rest of the week. To my mind it was way too difficult for a Monday with not a lot of enjoyment to be had. No ticks by any of the clues so no COTD.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the thrashing and thank you, Falcon for making sense of it.

    1. I agree with Steve. Did not know 1a, 2d, 17d and my v similar answer to 4d did not fit! Not enjoyable -as with one last week. Do American crosswords use UK English expressions? I should probably call myself ‘Old and Crabby’. Must try harder and enjoy solving again.

      1. Welcome to the blog, Peter. The only “American” cryptic crossword with which I am familiar is one set by US compilers Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon specially for Canada’s National Post newspaper. For the most part, they use Canadian (effectively, British) spellings when they differ from US spellings. (In their US puzzles, I am sure they stick to US spellings.) They will sometimes also use common British expressions that would likely be well-known to solvers from British TV programs and films shown in North America.

  13. Bit of a struggle but enjoyable.liked the phrasey clues 3,9,14 and 18. Needed a couple of hints to finish. Thanks to all.

  14. Quite proud of myself for registering the rugby reference in 7d but then made a real meal out of sorting the crickety bit of 9d!
    A few smiles around today and 18a elicited the broadest grin.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – can do without your hailstones but some of the rain would be appreciated.

  15. I have a great fondness for America and American people, so this puzzle was welcomed by me. A general rule is that when everyone says that a crossword is a breeze to complete, I struggle as never before. So, the reverse is true and I found this quite fun and straightforward; no Roman togas or members of the Hanseatic League.

    Thanks to Campbell; and Falcon, thankfully safe from the storms in Ontario.

    1. That was a pleasure to read, Terence. As a mixture of three nationalities, how nice to hear that one of them is loved!

  16. A nice gentle start to Monday on a bright, sunny, hot Sunday early evening here on the west coast as I tackled this one.
    1*/4* today

    Favourites include 12a, 18a, 2d, 7d & 17d with winner 7d with 17d a close second

    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon for hints & tips

  17. Perhaps a tad more difficult than the average Monday but nothing to frighten the horses here. Favourite was the 7d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. I seemed to be on the right wavelength today as it all went easily apart from my last in 7d which was clever but took me some time to get. I enjoyed todays but sympathise with those who struggled, I know how you feel!
    Thx to all

  19. Very much enjoyed the Monday battle of the two cryptics, with the online one perhaps winning the tussle by a hair. Each has its charms (the long phrases for the backpager, esp. 9d; the musical and the three metaphoric idioms for t’other) and so last night’s solves were doubly pleasureful. Going from the NYT puzzle, via the Guardian’s Quickie, to the two Campbell Cryptics was a journey into a rare kind of ether indeed. What a cleansing! Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. ** / ****

    1. A late evening solve of the Campbell puzzles & you’ve summed up my thoughts on them other than I thought them a tad trickier than usual.
      Thanks all.

  20. Not a barrowload of fun to kick off the “working” week. South came in ahead of North. Music in 2d and 16d unfamiliar to me. 15d parsed nicely but doubtless is a chestnut. Started with wrong king for 6a until 7d and 8d made me think again. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  21. Fairly mild, as Monday’s often are, but with fine clues giving a reasonably enjoyable solve. Fav: 18a. 2*/3*.

    *Here’s a statement from Mark Hughes, now manager at Bradford City, cited in a recent national newspaper article:

    “I’ve been successful as a manager but the reality is that I haven’t won anything”.

    I had to smile at that! At least he’s honest and modest, in a very English sort ot way …

  22. Last three in were 11a 5d and 1a. I made a drink, came back and 1a jumped out at me. Fond memories of taking Girl Guides to Canada and USA in 1972. Met some of these in North Dakota, I think. I still have a newspaper with a photo of one of the girls on the front page feeding one. We had no idea the photo was taken. 4a came quickly, without fully parsing, as very familiar with legal judgements being delivered extempore. Favourites 1 11 12 and 14a and 1 3 7 and 15d. Thanks Campbell and Falcon

  23. An interesting puzzle that did not fire my enthusiasm for some reason. I would say however that Campbell usually does, so no problem. A **/** for me, although the extra chewiness perceived by some above was welcome. Thanks both.

  24. Looking forward to today’s puzzle as it is my birthday and hoped to whizz through and pat myself on the back. Alas…..stumped by the guitarist, the old king and the creature in 1a….favourite 7d.
    Weather much cooler here in Chelsea, Quebec after the wild storm yesterday.

  25. Late to comment today as we were watching some cricket at New Road Worcester. No real troubles completing this pleasant grid, although the NW corner held me up a while. I think 18a has to take top spot for me. Great stuff.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  26. I don’t why I should expect the crossword to be much easier on a Monday but I do. Alas, I failed to get 1a, 2d, 5d.and the first part of 17d. I smiled when I got 23a did anyone else think of Miffypops? Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I hope the weather settles down for you Falcon. It’s certainly cool, drizzly and windy here in the NW.

  27. An enjoyable solve. No problem with the rugby terminology in 7d, although as a former back, whatever goes on in the front row remains a mystery to me to this day! 1a and 1d joint favourites today.

  28. I found this quite straightforward today and whistled through it. I usually get about 3/4 of the way and then mull the remainder through the day, but I did this in one sitting. Best clues for me were 2d (this is an English idiom, US drops the ‘e’) and 7d, both of which made me smile. I enjoyed this one.

  29. A puzzle solved so long ago that I don’t remember much of it. 2 down reminded me of TBone Axeman Jones of The Armpit Jug Band or Colin as was his real name. 16 down had me wondering why Jim when we have a perfectly good Sir Van and a capable Blake. But as I always say “Let the setter set” thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and to Falcon for the review.

  30. Another day when the crossword had to be saved until lunchtime, and then found disappointingly that it was not really my cup of tea. I had never heard of the guitarist, nor 17d used as a phrase on either side of the pond. I filled in most of the answers ok, but had to sometimes click on the hint to verify them. Not really what I was hoping for on a Monday. Hopefully today’s other cryptic might be a tad more benevolent. Thanks to Campbell for the challenge and to Falcon.

    1. Just to clarify: the answer to 2d is not a name or a person – it’s a slang term for a (specifically electric) guitarist. The instrument is referred to as an *** (or ** in the US) from the shape and perhaps the propensity of some musicians (The Who spring to mind) to use it as such on stage, hence the term.

  31. Well I enjoyed this and was pleased to solve anagrams without using pen and paper. I found the quick crossword difficult and gave up on it early on. So interesting to see different opinions. Thanks to Campbell and thanks to Falcon for the extra help which I needed for a few clues. I hope that your weather has settled down. Rain and hailstones seem a distant memory. Granny duties called for over the next few weeks. Happy Birthday to Glynis. I have a big one coming up next month!

  32. 3*/4*….
    liked 9D “Anguish over boundary, reportedly hit very hard and at great speed (4,3,7)”

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