DT 30084 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30084

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30084

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from a cooler Vega Baja.  The temperature is still topping 30°C every afternoon but it’s cooling down in the early hours.  When I got up this morning it was only 24°C!

As to the crossword I think our setter has outclassed himself today and given us the best crossword for quite some time.  Great surfaces throughout and a nice mix of clue types. I wonder how many will agree.

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.


7a           Bail out a mostly wicked pantomime character (3,4)
ALI BABA:  You need an anagram (out) of BAIL followed by the A from the clue and a word for wicked without its last letter (mostly). Split that lot (3,4) to get the chap with the forty thieves.

9a           Magnificent article about a Spanish city (7)
GRANADA:  A word meaning magnificent and an indefinite article are placed around (about) the A from the clue to get the city which is the site of this magnificent palace. Pommette and I visited the place for the second time earlier this summer and truly magnificent it is . . .

10a         Belonging to Gurkha, kitbag and military material (5)
KHAKI:  A lurker hidden in (belonging to) the next two words of the clue.

11a         Insect in Spooner’s large jug, empty (9)
DRAGONFLY:  You need a large jug or bottle used for beer or wine and a word meaning empty, of water perhaps.  Make a Spoonerism of them to get an insect.  I can do without Spoonerisms in crosswords but I do know many people like them.

12a         Might one help one see painting in a different light? (7,8)
PICTURE RESTORER:  Cryptic definition of someone who makes old paintings or damaged ones more like new.   Never have got this without the checkers! It didn’t help that I had one of them wrong for a while!

13a         Income level in Parisian’s street (7)
REVENUE:  Start with the French word for street and insert (in) a word for level.

16a         Strange code, strange etiquette (7)
DEORUM:  Anagram (strange) of CODE followed by crosswordland’s favourite word for strange or odd.

19a         Back home, give orders to deputy (6-2-7)
SECOND IN COMMAND:  A word meaning to back or support, a boxer perhaps, followed by the usual word for home or at home and then a word meaning to give orders. 

23a         Moment to abort abnormal launch? (9)
MOTORBOAT:  Two letters for a moment followed by an anagram (abnormal) of TO ABORT.  Quite topical in view of NASA’s recent problems!

24a         Extremely small, I leave Irish port (5)
SLIGO:  SL (extremely SmalL) followed by the I from the clue and a word meaning to leave.

25a         Very behindhand after electric current cut off (7)
ISOLATE: Start with the letter denoting electric current in physics and after it you need a word which can mean very and a word for behindhand.

26a         Occasionally   employed by rival newspaper? (2,5)
AT TIMES:  Double definition. This phrase meaning occasionally could be read to mean that someone is employed by one the DT’s main rival newspapers.


1d           Birds turned up on roof of reprocessing plant (8)
LARKSPUR:  You need some birds associated with the early morning and then the UP from the clue but reversed (turned). After that (on in a down clue) you need and R (roof of Reprocessing).

2d           Act indecently? I become tight-lipped (8)
TACITURN:  Anagram (indecently) of ACT followed by the I from the clue and then a word for become, especially if it’s followed by INTO.

3d           Name of composer heard (6)
HANDLE:  A slang term for your name sounds like a composer of the early 18th century.  For some unknown reason I put in the name of the composer which rather made a mess of 12a, d’oh!  Anyway here’s a bit of his music along with some other good stuff . . .


4d           Richly seasoned stew shown in red-top abroad (6)
RAGOUT:  A slang term for a red-top newspaper such as the Sun or Mirror followed by a word meaning abroad as in not in.

5d           Traveller‘s passage — cost of passage ending in Dover (8)
WAYFARER: A word for a passage or road followed by what you pay for passage on a bus or ferry and finally an R (ending in doveR).

6d           Brief film entertaining wife (6)
LAWYER:  A film, as in a film of paint perhaps, with a W(ife) inserted (entertaining).  Took a while for the penny to drop on the meaning of brief!

8d           Boy‘s from Pisa, actually (5)
ISAAC:  This boys name is hidden in (from) the last two words.

9d           Progressive Indian state leader (2-5)
GO AHEAD:  Take an Indian state and a leader, of a school perhaps, and split the result (2,5).

14d         Leave shortly, heading for India on holiday (8)
VACATION:  A word meaning to leave without its last letter is followed by I (heading for India) and the ON from the clue.

15d         Perfect example in eastern religious book (7)
EPITOME: E(astern) followed by two letters for religious and then a large book.

17d         Where there may be lots of holidaymakers affected by it in south-east (8)
CAMPSITE: Take a word meaning affected, as in affected behaviour perhaps, and follow with the IT from the clue inserted into (in) SE (south east).

18d         Rodent had got loose inside, causing scene of utter confusion (8)
MADHOUSE: Start with a small rodent and insert (inside) put an anagram (got loose) of HAD.

19d         Top two maidens in action (6)
SUMMIT:  Two M(aidens)s are placed inside (in) a legal action.

20d         Most certainly not involving king and country (6)
NORWAY:  A phrase (2,3) meaning most certainly not has inserted (involving) and R for king to get a Scandinavian country.

21d         About time to get down for short sleep (6)
CATNAP:  Two letters for about or approximately followed by T(ime) and then some down, on a snooker table perhaps.

22d         Established rule in Isle of Man following a vote (5)
AXIOM:  The abbreviation of Isle of Man after the A from the clue and the letter you use to vote.

Just about every one of these clues deserves to be in blue but for my podium three I’ve gone for 23a, 1d and 8d in that order.

As far as I can see there are three puns in the Quickie today.  I’m sure someone will say if I’ve missed one. I tried for a while to include the R and the I in the middle pun as the I and DEAR give you IDEA but I can’t see anything to do with the R. So here’s my take on them.

Top line:      WHEY     +     TAN     +     SEA     =     WAIT AND SEE

Middle line:     READ     +     DEAR     =     RED DEER

Bottom line:     LAY     +     SAY     +     FARE     =     LAISSEZ FAIRE


64 comments on “DT 30084
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  1. WOW !! What a great start to the week . How do you follow that ?
    Mondays are usually quite gentle but this one had everything including a Spoonerism I liked and actually got/appreciated .
    Fantastic and far too many highlights to list .
    Will read the hints and blog later .
    Thanks Pommers and congratulations to my mysterious Setter .

  2. For me the best Monday puzzle for some time, entertaining with some very clever wordplay throughout.
    I’ve got ticks all over the place but have chosen to highlight 16a plus 2,9&17d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks indeed to Campbell and Pommers for the fun.

  3. Bottom half went in reasonably quickly but top half dragged me into *** time – but what a superb puzzle! Thanks to setter and Pommers

  4. 2*/5*. This was light and absolutely excellent. I couldn’t get my podium choice down to fewer than six clues (25a, 1d, 14d, 17d, 18d & 20d) and there were still several more worthy of inclusion as can be seen from the wide ranging choice of favourites from our reviewer and SL.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  5. Haven’t solved the crossword but did spot the Spoonerism. I am reading a biography of Ralph Vaughan Williams and I discovered that it was the Reverend W A Spooner who married RVW and his first wife Adeline. Presumably he asked Adeline whether she would take Ralph to be her ‘lawfully headed wusband’?!
    I also found out recently that the Reverend Spooner is buried in the same cemetry as the great English poet, William Wordsworth (whose name does not lend itself to a Spoonerism!).

    1. Basically, I made a dog’s dinner of this puzzle. Although the bottom half went inswiftly, the top half was a nightmare, made worse b me putting hootpot for 4d (hot=red plus anagram of pot, thought I). It threw the other clues out and, compounded by my inability to see 12a, left me looking it up in the hints. Oh well my mistake an there’s another puzzle tomorrow. I liked 7a, 6d and 5d. Thanks to Campbell(?) and to Pommers for the much eeded hints.

  6. For me Campbell returning to his more straightforward Monday puzzles. This was very enjoyable whie it lasted, polished and top-notch clueing throughout. Hon Mentions to 11a, 23a, 9d and 17d.

    1* / 3*. Many thanks to Campbell, and of course to Pommers.

    Printing from the appalling new Telegraph Puzzles site: a stopgap solution?

    As some of us have noted since the new site appeared late last week, printing the puzzles seems to require one then using a magnifying glass to read the clues. Experimenting this morning, this may help some of those posters who usually print their daily DT cryptic.

    Set page orientation to landscape, and to 110% of original size; settings must include “print background images” for the grid to appear. The clues will still be located to the right of the grid, but are now almost the same size as they used to appear when below the grid, so are much more legible.

    The only downside is that the clue numbers within the grid are very faint and hard to discern. For me a price I’m willing to pay.

    I have a photograph comparing the two printouts, but no idea how to incorporate it into this post, sorry!

  7. This one came straight of the top drawer of Monday puzzles, full of humour and neat misdirection. I even liked the Spoonerism, but my top clue was the excellent 1d. Great stuff.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  8. Top notch Campbell- lovely gentle start to the week. Loved 17&18d plus the Spoonerism. No OLPP that I could see ?
    Thanks all

    1. Hi Huntsman

      The OLPP is only available on the “new, improved” puzzles site – it is worth looking there for any puzzle which no longer appears on the old site.

      Don’t expect to find the OLPP so easily, though, because one of the “improvements” is to make puzzles much harder to find.

      The asinine page design means you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page, to the “crosswords” link below the “more puzzles” street name sign, and then scroll down until you get to Prize Puzzles.

      Don’t try right-clicking on a puzzle you want to open in a new tab, because that will only replicate the page you’re already on. Instead you have to open it there and then, and you don’t get the option to print it before seeing it, and there’s no obvious print button, either: you have to click on ‘More’ in the top right corner.

      As an example of shockingly poor and ill thought-out site design I think the new puzzles site is an award-winner.

      Don’t get me on to the printing of the puzzles …

      1. I seem to be missing something. Following your excellent instructions, the only Prize Puzzles I see are the ones that appear in the newspaper. No sign of the three OLPPs that ‘appear’ on a Monday.

        1. Darn, you’re quite right! I would have sworn I’d seen it there earlier, and am evidently mistaken: my sincere apologies to you and Huntsman for misleading you both.

            1. Senf – as a blogger are you able to delete my reply to Huntsman and our subsequent posts please, to avoid misleading others who might be tempted to follow my erroneous suggestion?

              Thanks in advance,

                1. Please keep up the pressure. I have also asked about Codewords and GK Saturday puzzles now missing from the only site from which I can usefully print.I don’t want to buy newsprint.
                  Meanwhile, as ever, thanks for all the enjoyment available on the BD site.

        2. The OLPP 3175 and 3176 are old ones as I have done them both on the last two Monday’s so I think it should be 3177 for today … and that is non existent on the ” new improved” website.
          Just flippin’ frustrating

          1. I just realised these are the Sunday crosswords.
            I was looking for the OLPP 724 that should have been posted today … but I can’t find it.

  9. A delightful carefree walk in the south then slightly slower progress in the north. After some deliberation picked 25a and 1d as Favs. Thank you Campbell for a great start to cruciverbal week and pommers for being there for us. Liked all three Quickie puns.

  10. Another sterling puzzle from our Monday man although I thought the 12a clue might have read more sensibly with ‘better’ in place of ‘different’. Top three here were 19a plus 1&9d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the musical review.

  11. A very clever puzzle and for me quite the most difficult in some while, but complete it I did. The Spoonerism gave rise to much chuckling here, but my favourites were1d, 18d and 23a. All very good fun – thank yous to Campbell and Pommers

  12. Well certainly a tad more difficult than usual for a Monday Puzzle which seemed to please our bloggers today,
    A red letter day for me as I actually solved the spoonerism as per KFB.
    Favourite was 19a, nearly put Mongoose for 18d before the checking letters went in!
    Going for a **/****
    Thanks to our setter and Pommers.

  13. A big :negative: for the biggest c*ck-up since the ark ran aground that is the new (and improved – ha-ha) puzzles web site! How much testing does the DT and its web-site developers do before inflicting such garbage on us?

    Anyway, at least Campbell provides his usual :good: contribution to Monday for the back pager – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 26a, 15d, and 19d – and the winner is 19d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  14. A great puzzle for today – but no Monday Prize Puzzle. I usually enjoy the two easy-going Monday puzzles, so feel a little let down today.

    ( Mustafa G) I can find the previous prize puzzles under the “Prize Puzzles” heading at the very bottom right-hand corner (just above the “Privacy and Cookie Policy” link. However this shows that latest to be number 723 and todays would/should have been # 724.

    Other links to “cryptic crosswords” all show the non-prize standard puzzles and these are straight-forward to see anyway. Even using the Search facility does not find prize puzzle number 724 – so is it just being discontinued…? If so, why isn’t there a note to explain this?

    I also do not like the new “improved” site. If there are a load of puzzles released in a day I want to see them; not have to search for them! Although I have not had any issues with printing.

    Does anyone have a Telegraph-Torch who can shine some light on this? It would be interesting to know…

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for being excellent, as usual.

  15. An excellent start to the week. Thanks to Pommers for helping me get on the right wavelength early on – well worth it. ***/***** rating for me. Thanks to the setter too.

  16. I struggled to get on wavelength today, so this was a bit of a battle, and needed the hint for 15d as I just couldn’t get “episode” out of my head.
    Looking back, I’m not sure why I made such a meal of it and can appreciate the quality.
    My favourite is 23a for its topicality and misdirection.
    Thanks to Campbell for the challenge and pommers for the hints

  17. Brilliant. A joy from start to finish. I loved the spoonerism. Off now to have this tooth out. Dreading it. Such a coward. At least the puzzle took my mind of it for a while! Many thanks to Settee and Hinter.

  18. Excellent variety of clues.
    Good, solid Monday fare.
    Last in 1d, took me into 1.5* time.
    4 and 20d stand out as joint COTD.
    Many thanks, Campbell, and pommers.

  19. Terrific puzzle as we have come to expect from the Monday Master. No Japanese aprons.

    Gosh we’re tired. Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and then to Lincolnshire and back in one day yesterday.

    Thanks to Campbell and Our Man On The Med.

  20. I’ve just looked at the new website and, frankly, I’m appalled but not over-surprised. The DT seems to have done what is unfortunately quite common in website redesign. They’ve fixed a load of things that weren’t broke, not fixed things that were broke and generally made a dog’s breakfast out of the whole thing. It will be interesting to see how long they have to leave the old site up and running!

    1. The problem is that the old site (apparently) now only includes (as far as we are concerned at Chateau Newminster) the ‘back page’ cryptic, the Quick, and the Sudokus.

      Having complained about the absence of Saturday’s Giant GK I got the usual hyper-excited response to which I replied:
      “”Dear Bethany
      Thankyou for your prompt reply.
      Have you tried using that site? I suggest you do and then tell me why whatever I click on I get today’s Quick Crossword? The old site was clear, clean, easily understood and responsive.
      This one was designed by an IT geek trying to show how clever he is — and failing miserably!””

      I’m waiting for my account to be terminated with extreme prejudice!!

      Further investigation would suggest (I put it no stronger!) that my account may indeed have been terminated since my login takes me to the newspaper website and the only offer I get is a month free on the new site. In which case the DT owes me 12 quid since my crossword subscription runs to January!
      Any help our community can give would be welcome and I’m sure I’m not the only one struggling with this!

  21. Great puzzle indeed, but like Chriscross I made a mess of it. So out of sorts today. Can’t find the OLPP either. Bah, humbug! Still, what would I do without these diversions, eh? I think the Spoonerism clue is my favourite, even though they drive me nuts. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. ***** / *****

    Tonight, my alma mater Clemson University faces Georgia Tech in their first college football match (American-style) of the season. Go, Tigers!

  22. I had less trouble than I usually do on a Monday.
    I couldn’t make any sense of a couple of answers in the top of the left corner – my fault – eventually gave up with the long 12a.
    My favourite was either 17 or 18d.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.
    Like everyone else I can’t find any sign of the extra crossword on a Monday.
    Rain at last – of course the minute we’re not allowed to water . . .

  23. Nice puzzle for Monday from Campbell … from a disaster of a new website … just disgraceful.

    Favourites today include19a, 25a, 26a, 18d & 22d — with winner 19a

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  24. Enjoyable. Bottom half slipped in nicely but I made a few errors at the top and NE especially. Did however finish without hints which I enjoyed reading after the event. Favourites 11 16 and 24a and 1 4 6 9 18 and 20d. Could not narrow it down from that. Perhaps I should elect 6d as la crème de la crème. Thanks Campbell and Pommers. I have yet to do yesterday having passed a lovely sunny day visiting Aldeburgh and other sunny delights in Suffolk.

    1. I hope you visited the shack on the beach in Aldeburgh called Ash Smoked fishes – absolutely top notch – delicious little fishy tarts and things. Also the pizza oven in the garden of the White Hart by Aldeburgh fish and chips – best pizza I have ever had but only open in summer.

      1. It was a whistle stop tour. Friday to Sunday. Couldn’t get accommodation at Southwold or Aldeburgh but were satisfied with The Angel at Halesworth. We enjoyed Sunday morning in Aldeburgh sitting in the sun on the terrace of the Brudenall Hotel.

  25. Top half excellent, bottom half almost completely impenetrable!
    Almost two crosswords. So the top **/****, the bottom *****/*.
    Not much fun, just a bit of a slog in the bottom half.
    Thx for the hints

  26. Found this a tad more difficult than some and easier than others so middle of the road for me. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  27. Really enjoyable puzzle 😃**/**** loads of favourites but I choose 19 & 22 down 🤗 such a minor point amidst the furore of the on line site being re-vamped but but the letter “c” is missing from the answer to 16a 😳 Thanks to Pommers and to the Compiler

  28. What a great crossword! I had the bottom almost entirely filled before the top started to yield. Having looked back over the completed puzzle just now, I cannot possibly pick a favourite from so many excellent clues. Thanks to Campbell for the solving fun and to pommers for the blog. The Shaft clip is wonderful – quite the backing band.

  29. A truly terrible run of form for me continues with another DNF, largely in the top right.

    I needed the hints (thanks Pommers!) to make sense of things, and was pleased to see I’d got part-way there in parsing several of my unanswered clues.

  30. Great puzzle today which I managed to complete without the hints. Not a regular occurrence. It is a shame that so many bloggers are having problems with the website. I still get my paper version everyday and by some stroke of luck free with my Waitrose card. Thankyou to the setter and to pommers. What a great blog this is.

    1. I used to get a free paper everyime I spent £10. That came to an end last Feb . Since then I didnt shop in waitrose so much as Lidl and Tesco were nearer. But a few weeks ago trying to get to grips with the voucher scheme at waitrose a helpful assistant pointed out I could get free DT everyday and Sunday Times without spending ten pounds. I was amazed but I’m not arguing.

  31. A late comment from me as I have only just done this gem of a Monday puzzle. My absolute fave is 21d of course! :lol:
    I also ticked off quite a few others, including 7a, 11a (which made me laugh), 23a, and 19d.
    One of my last in was 12a which had me flummoxed until I had the checking letters and could make an accurate guess…
    Many thanks to Cambell for the entertainment and to Pommers for an excellent review.

  32. 2*/5*…..
    liked 18D ” Rodent had got loose inside, causing scene of utter confusion (8)” ……… amongst several others.

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