DT 30077 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30077 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30077

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 27th Aug 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, a friendly and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind reading and important feedback.

‘King-size’, the answer to the clue of 25a, made me inquisitive and I explored the net to find out whether a queen-size bed is also in existence. And indeed, it is! While a king-size bed is one that is larger than the standard size, a queen-size bed is also larger than the normal size, but smaller or shorter than the king-size. In the United Kingdom, the typical bed sizes are Small Single, Single, Small Double, Double, Queen, King and Super King, whereas in the United States, they are Twin or Single, Twin XL, Full or Double, Queen, King and California King, though there are also less common sizes such as Super Queen, Olympic Queen, Expanded Queen, California Queen, Alaskan Queen, Super King, Grand King, Athletic King, Texas King, Wyoming King, Alberta King and Alaskan King.

I also gathered from the net that ‘Rwanda’, the answer to the clue of 26a, has earned the sobriquet of a ‘land of a thousand hills’ as its geography is dominated by mountains in the west. The inhabitants are drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda, though within this group, there are three subgroups, namely, the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. Their principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French serving as additional official languages.

Most of us are aware that barking dogs seldom bite; at least the proverb says so. But which is the only dog that does not bite? No, this is not my question. It appeared around three decades ago as the best question from among the senders contributing to The Telegraph Colour Magazine that used to come as supplementary reading material to the-then Calcutta daily. The answer that was also published therein was ‘basenji’, the answer to the clue of 19d. Thus, I now became interested to know more about this ‘barkless’ dog. I learnt that it is known for not barking, but that does not mean it always remains silent. Its vocalisations range from a delightful yodel to a hair-raising scream, as also its usual growls, whimpers and whines as made by all dogs, but still short of a real bark. They make excellent watchdogs and will defend their people and property when challenged. They are noted for their courage and will stand against an intruder with everything they have. However, their small size precludes them from being an actual guard dog.

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6a    Number, few swirl in dance (9,4)
EIGHTSOME REEL: A charade of EIGHT (number) as the cardinal number one above seven, SOME (few) as a few or at least a small amount or number of something and REEL (swirl) as to whirl or seem to swirl or sway takes to the definition of a lively Scottish dance for eight people

8a    Lethargy could be Proust’s undoing (6)
STUPOR: An anagram (undoing) of PROUST (Proust’s) guides to the definition of a noun meaning a state of extreme apathy or torpor resulting often from stress or shock

9a    In a low place he is found clinging (8)
ADHESIVE: Inside (in) a combo of A from the clue and DIVE (low place) as a shabby or sleazy bar or similar establishment is noticed (found) HE’S (he is) as a contraction of ‘he is’, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning able to stick fast to a surface or object

10a    Charlie and Jack in driver’s compartment (3)
CAB: A charade of C (Charlie) as the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet and AB (Jack) as the abbreviation for able-bodied seaman who is an ordinary sailor, especially one in the merchant navy and trained in certain skills guides to the definition of a noun meaning the driver’s compartment in a lorry, bus or train

11a    Intertwine most of garland (6)
WREATH: Almost all or most of the letters (most) of WREATH[E] (intertwine) as to twist or entwine, something flexible, round or over something take to the definition of a circlet or ring of flowers or foliage for wearing on the head as symbol of honour

12a    Reported such speech
not going straight to the point (8)
INDIRECT: Double adjectival definitions; the first meaning stating what the original speaker said with changes in wording that conform grammatically to the sentence in which it is included and the second meaning deviating from a direct line or course or not going straight to the point

14a    I quietly tried struggling round strong current (7)
RIPTIDE: A combo of I from the clue and P (quietly) as a written abbreviation for piano in music indicating that the piece should be played quietly having an anagram (struggling) of TRIED placed around (round) take to the definition of a strong offshore current that is caused by the tide pulling water through an inlet along a barrier beach, at a lagoon or inland marina where tide water flows steadily out to sea during ebb tide

16a    Hold up to ridicule
old punishment device (7)
PILLORY: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to a wooden frame, supported by an upright pillar or post, with holes through which the head and hands were put as a punishment that was abolished in England in 1837 that leads to the first a verb meaning to attack or ridicule publicly

20a    Valley to north, secret service found place in Spain (8)
VALENCIA: A charade of VALE (valley) as a poetic term for a valley, N (north) as the abbreviation for North and CIA (secret service) as the abbreviation for Central Intelligence Agency that acts as the national security of the United States by collecting secret information about other countries, taking to the definition of the third-most populated municipality in Spain

23a    Quits
plaza (6)
SQUARE: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to an open, typically four-sided, area surrounded by buildings in a village, town or city that guides to the first an adjective meaning of two people owing nothing to each other

24a    South London district is dry (3)
SEC: A charade of S (South) as the abbreviation for South and EC (London) as the abbreviation for East Central which is a postal district of London takes to the definition of an adjective meaning dry, particularly of wines

25a    Very large like Henry VIII’s bed? (4-4)
KING-SIZE: The definition of an adjective meaning of a larger size than the standard, especially of a commercial product that is cryptically arrived at from the bed that is like the one (bed) of King Henry VIII (Henry VIII’s) or a king-size bed that is either a bed larger than the standard size or a very large double bed, usually the biggest size that is available

26a    Rod taken in by soldiers in the country (6)
RWANDA: WAND (rod) as a rod of authority or one that is used by a fairy gone inside (taken in by) RA (soldiers) as the abbreviation for Royal Artillery which is one of the two regiments that make up the artillery arm of the British Army, leading to the definition of a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of Central Africa

27a    Be with duelling Joe performing for anniversary (6,7)
GOLDEN JUBILEE: An anagram (performing) of BE and (with) DUELLING JOE takes to the definition of the fiftieth anniversary of a significant event


1d    Urge factory to produce fruit (8)
EGGPLANT: A charade of EGG (urge) as to urge or incite, especially to daring or foolish acts and PLANT (factory) as a place where an industrial or manufacturing process takes place guides to the definition of the aubergine or the purple egg-shaped fruit of a tropical Old World plant, which is eaten as a vegetable

2d    Shuffled, the cards will become stiff (8)
STARCHED: An anagram (shuffled) of THE CARDS guides to the definition of an adjective meaning stiffened with or soaked in starch

3d    Live together, it’s a firm tradition (7)
COHABIT: A charade of CO (firm) as the abbreviation for Company and HABIT (tradition) as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up leads to the definition of a verb meaning to live together as if married, usually without legal or religious sanction

4d    Way could be smoothed out? Not so! (6)
METHOD: An anagram (out) of [S]M[O]OTHED that is devoid of the letters SO (not so) leads to the definition of a procedure, technique or way of doing something, especially in accordance with a definite plan

5d    Electronic device chosen, sorted boxes (6)
SENSOR: Part of or hidden inside (boxes) choSEN SORted guides to the definition of a device which detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates or otherwise responds to it

6d    Totally destroying mint-green taxi in accident (13)
EXTERMINATING: An anagram (in accident) of MINT GREEN TAXI guides to the definition of a verb in the present participle form meaning putting an end to or destroying completely

7d    Deliver tragic new charge in case? (4,9)
LIVE CARTRIDGE: An anagram (new) of DELIVER TRAGIC guides to the definition of a case containing an explosive charge and a bullet as opposed to a blank or spent cartridge

13d    I put on pounds when out of sorts (3)
ILL: I from the clue is placed above (put on) L and L (pounds), in the down clue, as cryptically representing the plural of the symbol for the British pound (£) that is an ornate capital letter ‘L’, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning ailing, feeling unwell or suffering from a disease

15d    Pub‘s popular name (3)
INN: A charade of IN (popular) as characteristic of, influenced by or representing a current, popular style and N (name) as the abbreviation for name guides to the definition of a pub, typically one in the country, in some cases providing accommodation

17d    Write in copy, filling empty space (8)
INSCRIBE: IN from the clue followed by CRIB (copy) as a writing or thought that has been plagiarised getting inside (filling) S[PAC]E that is vacant (empty) or having the inner letters removed, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to write or carve words or symbols on something, especially as a formal or permanent record

18d    Praiseworthy and clever to support archbishop (8)
LAUDABLE: ABLE (clever) as having considerable skill, proficiency or intelligence to bear the weight of (support) LAUD (archbishop), placed above in the down clue, as William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Charles I, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning deserving praise and commendation with regard to an action, idea or aim

19d    Going round New Jersey, first support dog (7)
BASENJI: First support can be referred to as ‘Support No.1’, whereby a combo of BASE (support) as the bottom or lowest support of a structure and I (No.1) as the Roman numeral for one is surrounding (going round) NJ (New Jersey) as the abbreviation for New Jersey, arriving at the definition of a breed of hunting dog having small, short hair, erect ears, a tightly curled tail and a graceful neck

21d    Swallow up in Parisian abyss (6)
ENGULF: A charade of EN (in Parisian) as a preposition in the French language or as they say in Paris meaning ‘in’ and GULF (abyss) as a deep ravine, chasm or abyss guides to the definition of a verb meaning to eat or swallow up completely

22d    Not quite dispose of Greek character’s leading tool (6)
CHISEL: SEL[L] (dispose of) as to give or hand over something in exchange for money that is having not all the letters (not quite) following or preceded by (leading) CHI (Greek character) as the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet, arriving at the definition of a long-bladed hand tool with a bevelled cutting edge and a handle which is struck with a hammer or mallet, used to cut, shape or work wood, stone or metal

There were several clues that I liked in this pangrammatic puzzle such as 9a, 12a, 16a, 20a, 24a, 26a, 4d, 6d, 7d, 18d, 19d and 22d; 26a being the best of the lot. Many thanks to Cephas for the entertainment, to BD for the encouragement and to Gazza for the assistance. Will be here again. Have a nice day.

3 comments on “DT 30077 (full review)

  1. Many thanks for the super and comprehensive review Rahmat.

    19d is a favourite word for me, as it reminds me of Spike Milligan’s War Diaries. In “Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall” (Sept 24, 1943) he recalls:

    “…we are bloody lost. Lt. Budden is looking studiously at his map, the wrong way up. “It’s upside down, Sir.” “I know that, I turned it upside down for a reason.” “Sorry, Sir, only trying to help.” “If you want to help, Milligan, act like a basenji” Basenji? He’d got me. What was basenji? … [question then returned to in later episodes, to much hilarity]

    Thanks for great puzzle Cephas & again for the review RA

    1. Thank you once again, Fez, for liking my review that always comes to me as an encouragement.

      That was interesting piece on Basenji, prompting for further reading. Question was repeated on many occasions. Finally, the answer, “it’s an Afrrrrican Dorg…it can nay bark.” And there was another, “wus bitten by one in South Afrrica.”

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