DT 30074 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30074

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30074

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

New Zealand has had a right drenching. A weather system that was referred to as “an atmospheric river of moist air from the north”, has given us all a thorough wetting. The worst affected area is the north of the South Island, particularly Nelson, where there has been a lot of flooding and many landslips. One of the places often mentioned in news reports is appropriately named Nile St where we used to live. We, here at Foxton Beach in the North Island, are very soggy, but dodged the bullet once again.

We note that Logman is on duty in the Toughie again so this one probably not by Jay and we do think we have spotted a ‘signature’ in 18d.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Moving supply so parts miles off (7)
LISSOME : ‘SO’ from the clue is inside an anagram (off) of MILES. (If you are having trouble with the definition try pronouncing ‘supply’ differently.)

5a     MP blocking company law comes to agreement (7)
COMPACT : The abbreviation for company and what a bill becomes when passed by parliament are separated by MP.

9a     Swimmer able to do the crawl? (9)
AMPHIBIAN : A cryptic definition for one of the first class of terrestrial animals to evolve.

10a     Revolver in rubbish found by other ranks (5)
ROTOR : Another word for rubbish, then the lowest military ranks.

11a     Tool in small bag on bike I removed (7)
SPANNER : S(mall) and a purpose-built bicycle carrier bag has its ‘I’ removed.

12a     Female graduate touring island compound (7)
ALUMINA : A word from Latin for a female graduate contains I(sland).

13a     Alternative appellations: Dickens, Lucifer etc? (9)
NICKNAMES : When the answer is split 4,5 we discover another alternative to Dickens and Lucifer.

16a     Jack released from harm displays temper (5)
INURE : Remove J(ack) from harm or wound.

17a     Minor accident: made call after parking (5)
PRANG : P(arking) and then made a telephone call.

18a     Officer wants change in U-boat direction (9)
SUBALTERN : Another word meaning change is contained by a short word for a U-boat and a cardinal compass direction.

21a     Rich wife well having lost first husband (7)
WEALTHY : A word meaning well or fit has its first H(usband) replaced with W(ife).

22a     Obscure relative seen by a river (7)
UNCLEAR : A previous generation male relative is followed by ‘A’ from the clue and R(iver).

25a     Honey badger allowed a run back (5)
RATEL : In reverse direction (back) we have a synonym for allowed, then ‘A’ from the clue and R(un).

26a     In disguise, strangely noticing nothing (9)
INCOGNITO : An anagram (strangely) of NOTICING plus the letter that looks like zero.

27a     The Spanish poet returns to keep university strong (7)
DURABLE : In reverse (returns) we have the Spanish definite article, then a poet, perhaps Shakespeare, containing U(niversity).

28a     Further studies are organised among lefties? (7)
REREADS : Lefties described by colour contain an anagram (organised) of ARE.


1d     The French Connection? (7)
LIAISON : A word from the French for an often romantic association.

2d     Brown as pie in the cooking? (5)
SEPIA : An anagram (in the cooking) of AS PIE.

3d     One between legs — potential cause of tears? (5)
ONION : Two instances of the cricket side described as ‘leg’ surround Roman numeral one.

4d     Proverb close to these two animals (7)
EPIGRAM : The final letter of ‘these’, followed by a porcine and then an ovine animal.

5d     Sails south to see how the land lies? (7)
CANVASS : A collective term for sails and then S(outh).

6d     Outside ancient city, reclaim ground that’s unstable (9)
MERCURIAL : An anagram (ground) of RECLAIM contains crossword’s favourite ancient city.

7d     Property tax coming after a time (9)
ATTRIBUTE : ‘A’ from the clue, then T(ime) and a tax that may be paid in deference.

8d     Suspicion about monarch in domestic row? (7)
TERRACE : A suspicion or small amount surrounds Her Majesty’s regnal cypher. (If you are having trouble with the definition try pronouncing ‘row’ differently.)

14d     Air letter? (9)
CHARACTER : A double definition. The air may be appearance and the letter is alphabetical.

15d     Dark suit shortened for disco? (9)
NIGHTCLUB : The period of darkness and a card suit without its last letter.

17d     School circles used to be supplied with juice (7)
POWERED : A school of cetaceans encloses a word meaning ‘used to be’.

18d     Like NY’s irregular silhouette? (7)
SKYLINE : An anagram (irregular) of LIKE NYS.

19d     Heavy weight old train firm transports (7)
BOUNCER : The two letters for the UK rail operator that was replaced in 1997 contains (transports) a smallish imperial weight.

20d     Uneasy emperor entertains Victor, American (7)
NERVOUS : A fiddler emperor contains V(ictor) and then the two letters for American.

23d     Smoking cylinder? Current good put through vehicle (5)
CIGAR : The physics symbol for current and G(ood) are inside a motor vehicle.

24d     Show some Conservatives on the rise (5)
EVITA : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

We have ticks all over the place so hard to pick any special favourite. However 1a set the standard so must come pretty close.

Quickie pun    guard    +    erne    +    centaur     =    garden centre

85 comments on “DT 30074

  1. Very enjoyable indeed.
    Taking a while to clock the wordplay at 1a took me into second cup of tea time so that sits on my podium along with the nicely disguised 8d&19d with the winner being the amusing 3d, a word I’ve seen clued in many ways over the years but this was the best I can remember.
    Many thanks to the setter, not Jay I presume as he’s set the very doable Toughie, and the Ks (good spot re 18d but a bit tenuous!)

  2. The most difficult backpager for a while,which I really enjoyed,lots of misleading clues.
    Favourite was 13a, remembered the’Dickens’ and the parsing was solved.,next in line were17d,8d and 12a-also liked the surface of 5d.
    Going for a ****/****.
    Thanks to our setter and 2K’s for the pics.
    Top marks too for the quickie pun.

    1. Could you give me a little more of a clue on 13a? I don’t follow how Dickens and Lucifer give the answer?

      1. Welcome to the blog, MikeM.
        Dickens and Lucifer are names for the Devil, as is (Old) Nick so split your answer 4,5 to get what Dickens and Lucifer are.

        1. Thank you, I get it now!
          Thanks also for the welcome all – I’ve been a reader without commenting on and off for a long time, but trying to get seriously back into cryptics now (and the odd Toughie, too!)
          Really appreciating the hints and tips on here.

  3. 3*/4.5*. I really enjoyed this with ticks all over my page. My favourite is a toss-up between 9a (my last one in) and 1d. I think there is a bit more to the parsing of the latter as it is the term used in French when a consonant not normally pronounced is heard when the following word starts with a vowel, e.g. “mon ami”.

    Many thanks to the setter (NYD?) and to the 2Ks.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts on 1d RD, I did wonder if there was something more to it and your explanation makes sense

  4. This ine was abbove my pay grade. After filling in three quarters of the clues, I gave up on the rest. So it’s a DNF for me. I liked 8d, 18d and 18a ansd there were a kot of cleverly constructed clues. Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for enlightening my darkness with the hints.

  5. A bit of a ponder and I have just as many question marks as I have ticks on the paper. Putting “buckram” at 4d did not help at all. I could not see the parsing for 17d for the life of me and I spent far too long with “ton” at 19d. My favourites are 18a and 28a with the former being my COTD. A new word for me at 25a but it was one of those were following the clue gives the answer.

    Many thanks to the setter. I’m guessing at NY Doorknob given the hint from the 2 Ks but I am not setter spotter. However, I did suss early on that it wasn’t Jay. Many thanks to the 2 Ks for the hints and hope you both stay dry.

    I had huge plans for working in the garden today but I fell over this morning onto my shoulder and now can’t lift my right arm. So, light duties indoors are the order of the day. Feel quite shaken up but it’s nothing compared to what happened to The Big Man so stop moaning, Cowling!

      1. Thank you, Robert. If I’m honest my pride was hurt far more than my shoulder. Anyway, analgesics are helping.

          1. Thank you, Stephen. I’m hoping it will improve quickly but time will tell. Strange isn’t it? When you fall the first thing you do is have a quick look around to make sure nobody saw you!

            1. You have, sadly, reached the time of life when you didn’t ‘fall’ you ‘had a fall’

              1. As one who also ‘had a fall recently, I know all about the damaged pride. At least you haven’t had the ignominy of bothering .A&E. And the ambulance service like I did with my broken wrist. Take it easy as you said and a hot wheat bag pad wont do any harm either. Hope it’s better soon, Steve.

                1. Thank you, Chriscross. Ambulances take about 12 hours to arrive here or they did when Mrs. C. had a fall. The wheat pad is a good suggestion.

              2. I do no subscribe to the “medic speak” of “He’s an old man and had a fall”, CS. I’m a spritely 74 year old who was out on a brisk walk with his dog, slipped on a patch of unseen mud and fell. :grin: :good:

    1. Oh dear, sorry about the fall. Do they have Bengay over there? I think they do have Voltaren, and I. Would trying rubbing something like that on it. Whenever I get a stiff neck (from painting a wall or something silly), I find a quick application wards off further stiffening and pain. Feel better soon.

      1. BL your mention of Bengay Gel brought back to me that potent smell from my USA days but now I rely on Voltarol 12 Hour Gel (only via a pharmacist) which does help relieve my osteoarthritis pain.

        1. Phew yes, but I use the new version where the scent vanishes in about 5 seconds. It’s hard to find, but at least I don’t have to go round smelling like an old lady ☺️. Unfortunately Voltarol brings me out in a rash. And I can’t take NSAIDS.

    2. Commiserations Steve. Do hope all will soon be well. Amazing to talk of mud after the drought but recent rain on parched ground obviously presents mud-slip hazard.

    3. When I was a casualty doctor in Colchester in the 1980s, squaddies who had been in a fight always told me they “took a fall” as would have been on a charge for fighting…

  6. A game of two halves for me. The west went in fairly easily, but the east proved to be a bit more stubborn. Admittedly biffing reptilian for 9a slowed me down a bit.
    Most enjoyable, with 1a, 21a, 3d, 4d and 18d being the pick of the clues for me. Thank you setter and the Kiwis.

  7. Today’s setter may not be Jay but he/she certainly gives him a run for his money, with such sterling clues as 1a, 3d, 28a, 19d, & 18d, but 16a is my COTD: how clever is that use of ‘temper’ anyway?! Thoroughly enjoyable, best of the week so far. Thanks to the Kiwis and today’s setter (I haven’t a clue). 2.5* / 4.5*

  8. Another crackerjack puzzle for a damp Wednesday morning, full of clever, inventive clues, a perfect example of which is 3d, my favourite. I think 18d gives us a name check for the setter.

    Many thanks to NYDK and the 2 Ks.

  9. Very tricky in places and a DNF from me today. Chris (above) puts it perfectly: ‘above my pay grade’.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    Very best wishes for a speedy recovery to Steve Cowling

      1. My body is 60 but feels like 70 & reckon the mind about 80.
        Hope the shoulder improves quickly.

      2. Yes, I keep wondering who that old lady is, the one staring back at me in the mirror. It’s certainly not the person in my mind 😊.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle . Struggled at first but after a few attempts got there in the end

  11. My thanks to the pronounciation to clue to get terrace, I was wasting time trying to fit TIFF info a word! Also thanks for explaining the answer I had already got but couldn’t see what the school had to do with powered! I hope NZ dries up again soon.

  12. Agree with 2Ks’ rating. Loved the use of words which have different pronunciations and thus meanings, like supply and row. Last in was 19d. It couldn’t be anything else given all the checkers, but finally working out the parsing was a pdm and LOL moment. Thanks to setter and 2Ks.

  13. After finishing without any help on Monday and Tuesday, I can down to earth with a thump today, way above my pay grade unfortunately. Many thanks to 2kiwis and the setter

  14. Well that was certainly no stroll in the park. Got to within 12a of a finish & with all parsed (eventually) before succumbing to the hint which gave the game away though didn’t know the compound – Latin & chemistry not my bag unfortunately. Ticks aplenty in an excellent puzzle but if pressed I’d plump for 9a ahead of 1a&3d as my pick of the crop.
    Thanks to Donny & 2Ks

  15. A very enjoyable Wednesday challenge which must be from NY Doorknob subbing once again for Jay – 2.5*/4*.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 3d, 4d, 5d, and 20d – and the winner is 3d for the thoughts conjured up by ‘between legs.’

    Thanks to Mr Bringloe and the soggy 2Kiwis.

  16. One of those puzzles that I enjoyed more in retrospect than at the time of solving – not sure why. I did smile over the clues that required alternative pronunciations but think my top three were 1,5&6d.

    Thanks to our setter (NYDK?) and to our 2Ks who must be feeling rather glad that they de-camped from Nile Street!

  17. A fine midweek puzzle. Good clues providing a decent tussle and much enjoyment. I’ve ticked quite a few and will pick 1a and 6d for a mention. 3*/4*.

  18. The west was fairly straightforward apart from 1a which has to be my favourite (I needed the hint to the hint to get it) but I could not complete the east in my allotted time without my computer.

  19. A step up in challenge today and I needed a hint for 5d before I could then bung in 12a.
    Very enjoyable though and like others I appreciated the misdirection in 1a and 8d. I’ll add 9a to my podium.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks

  20. A good and most enjoyable puzzle which did indeed feel as though it came from the pen of NYDK. Most of it fell very smoothly and swiftly, with plenty of opportunity for chuckles and wry smiles. The last four clues extended me from sub 1* time to a definite 2*, while it will take a lot longer for the bruises to subside from where I kicked myself as each of these finally surrendered!

    Podium today occupied by 9a, 14d & 17d.

    2* / 3*

    Many tanks to NYDK/the setter and to the 2Ks (from a soggy-for-the-day Tamar Valley, happily owing to “the right sort of rain” rather than NZ-like drenchings),

  21. Too many loose clues for me I’m afraid. 1d and 12a for example Surely 5d should be sail , not sails ,to parse properly ?
    16a could end in e or y from the clue and tribute and tax in 7d didn’t float my boat. Agree about difficulty , but not about enjoyment.

    1. Some days later I feel your criticisms of D T
      30,074 are flawed.
      1 down, Liaison in French means a connection between words such as a hyphen. 12 ac: Alumna is the feminine of Alumnus with i for island to make a chemical compound. In sailing one says put up more canvas. 16 ac Injure is the verb from which the j should be removed.
      6d Tribute is a name for tax used in Roman times, an attribute is a characteristic which could be termed a property.
      This was a seriously fine puzzle.

      1. You’ve changed your alias since your previous comment (in 2017) so this comment needed moderation. Both aliases will work from now on.

  22. On the whole no great problem and very enjoyable. I also mispronounced 1a so had trouble understanding my answer and 25a was a new word for me. Needed the hints to fully explain my answers to 19d and 12a. My fav today was 13a, very clever.
    Thx to all

  23. Yet to start this as early to Snape Maltings for a surprise boat trip for David’s birthday last Sunday. Trouble was I have booked it for tomorrow and today’s was full, so not much of a surprise now. Sitting in a pub in Orford to have lunch and will come back later. Sorry about your fall Steve. It’s an age thing!

    1. I had booked for tomorrow but thought it was today! Don’t bother going to the Kings Head in Orford, awful.

      1. Have been away from E.Anglia for a while now but our go-to Orford hostelries used to be the Crown & Castle (in days of Ruth Watson – ex Hintlesham Hall) and of course the Pinney family’s Butley Oysterage.

  24. I thought this was going to be steady going, but I ground to a severe halt half way through. Managed to complete it with the help of a couple of hints. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know the female graduate and failed completely with ‘sails’ – ironic as I’m just about to go and collect my granddaughter from sailing camp! Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis for the hints.

  25. I thought as I was solving that this might be the work of NYDK. An enjoyable solve whoever set it

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  26. Lots to like in this tricky one today. Plenty of misdirection and unusual (to me) synonyms, a few chuckles (3d and 13a especially) and clever clueing throughout made this a fun solve.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2 birds in a very damp NZ.

  27. An excellent puzzle full of wit, emblazoned with the occasional trick, and so like the 2Ks I had ticks everywhere. We were straight in with a good ‘un, were we not, at 1 Across, so I’ll share with them on that too for COTD.

    Not really hard, but where those setter-ly tricks were deployed (‘supply’, ‘row’ etc) I can see how that might have slowed the unwary down a little. They used to slow me down too before I got wise to (some of) them. ***/**** for me, great fun.

  28. I thoroughly enjoyed this with few hold ups. 6d made me laugh. Some 30 years ago Dad wrote to David and told him not to show me the letter because of ‘her m…….. temperament’. I found the letter and shouted ‘what does m……… mean?’ I got the point. Thanks to all. Fingers crossed that our boat trip tomorrow is not in the weather they are forecasting as it is a very small boat with no cover.

  29. Very enjoyable and challenging puzzle. Lots of tricky and misdirecting clues. My favourites included 13a, 16a, 7d, 8d and 15d. Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to the setter.

  30. Very tricky in places for this Wednesday puzzle. Filled this grid NW, SE then NE and finally SW. Not a lot of linking words from one quadrant to another so made it tough.
    For me 2.5*/3*

    Favourites include 13a, 17a, 8d, 14d & 19d with winner 14d with 17a a close follow-up
    8d and 19d were well disguised and cleverly misleading.

    Thanks to NYD and the 2 Kiwis

  31. Thoroughly enjoyable but tough.
    Left with 1, 9 and 12a and 1d.
    Took an age to complete.
    Certainly 1 and 18a and 1d on the podium, with 18a taking gold.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  32. I always expect the start of the week’s tussles on a Wednesday, and thought I wasn’t going to get far with this one today. And I probably wouldn’t have, without the help of a couple of hints. Once they went in, I was off and running, one answer leading to another. That’s the wonder of this blog.11a made me laugh, and being married for almost 56 years to Mr Fix It, I do recognize most toys, oops I mean tools 😊. Thanks to setter for keeping my brain busy and to the 2Kiwis with their lovely NZ updates.

  33. Well that was fun and very satisfying but needed that pronunciation hint for 1a, thank you!
    Got 17d but also stumped by the parsing…more thanks.
    Off to Canada’s “biggest water park” with a visiting 14 year old….there’s a large G&T on the horizon this evening

  34. Very enjoyable. Was out to lunch with church ladies group, George at the pub with the other husbands so no cooking tonight! Just had time to do the crossword before the Lovely Gary came to cut and do my hair, he’s just gone and I confess I had to do a reveal for 17d – I was just blank. Lynn the Foot comes tomorrow morning so I shall have been topped and tailed. Many thanks to the clever setter and the two lovely hinters- I love the idea of noticing nothing being incognito!

  35. Nice mixture of easy peasy combined with the more challenging. NE was stickiest for me. Surely Lucifer and Dickens are synonymous but not 13a. Had forgotten the tax making 7d unparsed by me. Is “the” needed for 1d clue? Fav was 21a.

    1. A. I rather had the same thoughts about 13a and 1d and assumed:

      13a. If you split the answer (4,5) = Nick (Old Nick) names, or Devil names. So all 3 are alternative appellations or Nick (Devil) names, or names for Devil. And the definition and the un-split answer are synonymous.

      1d. It would work without “The”, but I’m guessing the setter is trying to send us on a bit of a wild goose chase by hoping we’ll start thinking about the film The French Connection. So, a good cryptic definition.

      *I could, of course, be partially or fully wrong. Or right, but muddled.

  36. After a false start with just one clue solved on first pass I had another go and eventually got there. Favourite clues 8d and 18a – totally off course with 8d until I got all the intervening letters and when the penny dropped. So a good crossword and it sounds like NZ is getting all our rain. We have never had to water the garden so much in summer. Perhaps we will get some real rain tomorrow!

  37. Thanks Ks, great blog, and all commenters. Some very nice remarks. So yes it was one of mine, and I’m really glad so many of you enjoyed it.

    Hosepipe ban round these parts, which is fine by me as I don’t have a hosepipe.


  38. Morning all.
    Thanks RD for your comment #3 above. We did wonder if there was something we had missed. That meaning was totally unfamiliar to us and we had both studied French at school too.
    Pleased to see that most people enjoyed the solve as much as we did and great to have NYDK drop in to acknowledge authorship. Thank you.

  39. I found today’s puzzle quite a bit of a head scratcher towards the end of my solve, with 5d, 8d & 12a the last to fall. Favourites have to be 13a jointly with 3d. I enjoyed this tussle whilst relaxing after a journey north into Yorkshire’s Dales territory. Thanks to both setter and 2Ks

  40. A dnf for me today.

    My lack of latin failed me in 12a.

    WIth 5d, even though sails are called sheets, I have done a enough sailing to realise most sheets are made of canvas.

    9a was above my feeble mind.

    Enjoyed what i could solve though.

    Thanks to all.

  41. Re 15d, not sure whether “Disco” and “Nightclub”are synonymous. It can be argued that a Disco is something which takes place within a Nightclub.

  42. What a difference a day makes! I found this so difficult and needed lots of hints, so thanks to the 2Ks. Thanks too to NYDK for the brain workout. Afterwards I couldn’t really understand why I made such heavy weather of it.

  43. So grateful to the 2Kiwis for explaining 1a. This was troubling me for ages; I had the answer as it was clear from the clue but I couldn’t see why. Now it all makes sense.

    1. You’ve changed your alias – both this one and the previous one (MT) will work from now on

  44. This was way beyond my poor old brain, but I am full of admiration for such big collection of brilliantly clever clues, I would be putting many of them on the podium. I did solve some, but gave up when about half way through. Many thanks to NYDK and the Kiwis.

  45. 3*/4*…..rather surprised myself by completing this one….
    liked 19D “Heavy weight old train firm transports (7)”.

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