DT 30088 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30088

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30088

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning from Winnipeg where we also mourn the passing of HM the Queen as the Queen of Canada for her 70 years and 7 months on the throne which actually means as our sixth monarch she served for more than 70 of the 155 years that Canada has been in existence.

Silvanus last week, Zandio two weeks ago, so is today’s challenge from proXimal?  X is missing as are are two other letters, so not an X-less pangram, which leads me to conclude that this is a Zandio production with at least two clues that could receive negative comments from some quarters.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 10a, 1d, 7d, 16d, and 23d.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Cut tours to record company (6)
MOTOWN: A verbal synonym of a past participle of cut (applied to one’s lawn) ‘surrounds’ (tours) TO from the clue.

4a Incorporating one act, ‘Play That Goes Wrong’ is unusual (8)
ATYPICAL: An anagram (That Goes Wrong) of the combination (incorporating) of the Roman Numeral for one, ACT and PLAY.

9a Dashing to have brief smooch in Royal Albert Hall (6)
RAKISH: A synonym of smooch with the last letter removed (brief) inserted into in an abbreviated form of Royal Albert Hall.

10a Lines in river catching shellfish? On the contrary (8)
WRINKLES: Not river catching shellfish but (on the contrary) a type of shellfish, in the plural, containing (catching) the single letter for River.

12a Missing clothes apparently mismatched (8)
UNSUITED: A double definition – the first might refer to a ‘top’ layer of clothing.

13a Pet butterfly? (6)
STROKE: A double definition – the second is not an insect but athleticism in a swimming pool.

15a Admit a glacier could be transformed by this snapper (7,6)
DIGITAL CAMERA: An anagram (could be transformed) of ADMIT A GLACIER.

18a Sad, cancelling recruitment? (13)
DISAPPOINTING: Written as (3-10) a term that is equivalent to cancelling recruitment?

20a Call for dog to follow directions (6)
ENTAIL: A synonym of dog (as in follow) placed after (to follow) to cardinal compass directions – I had some trouble justifying the answer with the definition but I did eventually find it in an on-line thesaurus.

22a Animal pelt expensive, we hear (8)
REINDEER: Homophones (we hear) of both of a synonym of pelt (when associated with precipitation) and a synonym of expensive.

24a Mrs Peron refurbished a cute retreat (8)
EVACUATE: Mrs Peron’s first name and a not much of an anagram (refurbished) of A CUTE.

25a Display of arms? (6)
TATTOO: A military display or as illustrated perhaps.

26a Tornado raging round France, first one way then the other (2,3,3)
TO AND FRO: An anagram (raging) of TORNADO containing (round) the IVR letter for France.

27a Avoids satires about Republican (6)
SKIRTS: A synonym of satires containing (about) the single letter for Republican.


1d Quietly, say, raised drink twice (6)
MURMUR: An alcoholic drink repeated and reversed (raised . . . twice).

2d With receipts, banks show favouritism (4,5)
TAKE SIDES: A synonym of receipts (as in income from selling?) and a synonym of banks.

3d It should sanitise Wuhan pigs, conceivably (7-2,6)
WASHING-UP LIQUID: Well, bless my soul, the new Puzzles Web Site proved it does have a use! The old Puzzles Web Site, which gives the better print-out, had an enumeration of (10,6) which is not possible but the new site has the correct enumeration as shown above.
I believe this is a reverse anagram, I have not had to hint one before. The answer is anagram material (7-2) and an anagram indicator (6) that will give you (conceivably) WUHAN PIGS. Just look at the illustration!

5d Spell focus for ‘Mastermind’ (4)
TERM: Four letters at the centre (focus) of Mastermind.

6d Little dash, perhaps, that could give spice to man eating fish (11,4)
PUNCTUATION MARK: The generic term (perhaps) for a little dash which when added between ‘man’ and ‘eating’ could, as the BRB says, ‘add an interesting quality to’ (give spice to/spice up) the phrase at the end of the clue, so that it changes from a man eating fish for lunch, say, to, oh I don’t know, a great white shark?

7d After prison, Oscar will be part of orchestra (5)
CELLO: The letter represented by Oscar in the phonetic alphabet placed after a prison for one.

8d Take a chance here — slice of sausage v salami rolls (3,5)
LAS VEGAS: A reversed lurker (slice of . . . rolls) found in the rest of the clue.

11d Guys with no sex appeal turning intimate (7)
MENTION: This all depends on the pronunciation of the definition – a synonym of guys followed by (with) NO from the clue and the two letters for sex appeal reversed (turning).

14d Steal album to look up articles in French and German (7)
PLUNDER: The two letters for a vinyl album reversed (to look up) followed by a French indefinite article a German definite article.

16d One mixes ingredients, for instance, less than UK consumer (3,6)
EGG BEATER: The two letter abbreviated form of the Latin equivalent of for instance, two letters for part (less than) of the UK, and a synonym of consumer (of food).

17d Coming from abroad, her enthusiastic follower (8)
ADHERENT: A lurker (coming from) found in three words in the clue.

19d Marches in street to keep needy uplifted (6)
TROOPS: The reversal (uplifted) of all of the two letter abbreviated form of street containing (to keep) a synonym of needy.

21d What makes a woman sparkle and occasionally strip abroad? (5)
TIARA: Alternate letters (occasionally) from STRIP ABROAD.

23d Some who might squeal over celebrity (4)
STAR: A single word for some (plural) who might squeal (as in tell tales) reversed (over).

The Quick Crossword Pun:


Please enjoy this fine example of HM’s famous sense of humour with an ‘off the cuff’ response to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a dinner for Commonwealth Heads of Government held in Malta some seven years ago:

71 comments on “DT 30088

  1. Excellent Friday puzzle, typical Zandio, full of imaginative and cryptic clueing.
    As usual, I liked plenty but I’ve chosen to highlight 1a for its smooth surface read, 13a as it’s a good example of that clue type, ditto 8d, and 26a as it made me smile but my favourite has to be the quite brilliant 6d.
    Many thanks to the setter, who I’ll be meeting later to raise a glass to The Queen, and to Senf, and yes that’s how I parsed 3d.

  2. A really enjoyable, proper Friday-level puzzle – thanks to Zandio and Senf.
    Lots of clues earned ticks including 1a, 2d and 17d but easily my favourite is the superb 6d.

  3. 3.5*/4.5*. What a brilliant puzzle to end the week. My top three clues were 1a, 13a and, my favourite, 6d.

    Many thanks presumably to Zandio and to Senf.

    RIP to our beloved Queen Elizabeth II. We have been so fortunate to have had such an impeccable Head of State for so long.

  4. Excellent Friday fare, deceptively slow to gain a toe-hold (17d, having abandoned the top after a glance) but really quite swift from that point forward. No concerns from this quarter with 3d or 20a – two super clues, I thought.

    Hon Mentions to 4a, 13a (great surface and deception), 6d, 11d, 14d & 17d (another great surface read to conceal the lurker) but my COTD (by a whisker from 6d) goes to to the wonderful 3d for the combined surface read and answer – surely only “The Donald” could really conceive the answer as being the solution to the initial problem?.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio?) and to Senf – incidentally, printing the puzzle from the old site gave me the correct enumeration for 3d.

    1. The enumeration of 3d on the ‘old site’ was definitely incorrect when first published at midnight UK time.

      1. I don’t doubt it, Senf, but it was good to see they are prepared to correct at least one error, even if leaving the biggest one of all unaddressed thus far!

  5. A stiff challenge this morning with some diabolically clever misdirection and some very clever clues. Itcertainly woke up my brain, which had fallen into a sad slump at the news of the Queen’s death. Fav ourites were 6d, a rather sky cryptic definition, the superb reverse lurker at 8d, the 1a lego clue and the 15a anagram. A nice variety of clues with a sprinkling of GK. Thanks to the compiler and to Senf for the hints.

  6. A sad day indeed & one for reflection on & admiration of a remarkable life of service to the nation.
    As for the puzzle it was very enjoyable & all went in smoothly until 3 in the NE (10&13a plus 6d) & they only yielded once I lost patience & revealed the letter checker at 6d/10a. I immediately saw the answers but can’t say I figured out the wordplay to 6d correctly. I liked the reverse lurker at 8d but clear favourite was the excellent 3d.
    Thanks to Zandio & Senf

  7. The best and probably most enjoyable Zandio I’ve ever finished, though it took me a while after getting up some steam in the SW corner. 6d wins the crown, but 11d, 1a, 3d, & 16d gave it a tight run for the money. And a special Clarkie goes to the rekrul at 8d for making me laugh out loud. What a splendid variety of clueing types throughout, so thanks to Zandio and to Senf for the review. 3.5* / 5*

    Very much saddened by the death of The Queen, a beautifully iconic leader whom I have deeply admired for 70 of my 83+ years.

  8. Best puzzle of the week by far for me, albeit on a very sombre day.
    Needed a bit of lateral thinking here and there rather that the standard crossword skills.
    Personal favourites today were 3d and 13a, many thanks to the compiler.

  9. After my first pass I only had three solved, and I did a quick check to ensure I hadn’t started the Toughie by mistake. A couple of deep breaths and I was away, and I thought this was another absolutely top drawer puzzle, full of tricky misdirection and clever clueing. 3d was a perfect example of the compiler’s skill and was my favourite.

    My thanks to Zandio and Senf.

    It felt very strange this morning listening to the radio and hearing discussions about His Majesty, when most of us have only known one monarch, with a State Funeral, a Coronation and a possible Investiture to come. There was even a quiet melancholia around the shops this morning. Quintessentially British.

    Rest in Peace, Your Majesty, you have earned it and then some.

  10. Wow this was tough but managed 8 in bed this morning Jane! Although I finished I still can’t work out the explanation to 6d as to where spice, man and fish come into it. I also bunged in 5d without realising why.. But all in all very enjoyable so thanks to setter and hinter. I wish I knew how to post a hilarious clip of one of the Queen’s equerrys relating how some Americans started chatting to her near Balmoral and asked her if she had ever met the Queen. ‘No I haven’t’ she says, ‘but he has’. It’s too long to relate here but google it and you might just find it.

      1. Thanks for sharing that, Manders. I saw it yesterday and it put a sorely-needed smile on my face. Just a wonderful anecdote.

    1. Good for you, Manders, I’m astonished that you still managed to find the strength to complete the puzzle!

    2. 6d – as I tried to explain in the hint, it is not ‘spice’ on its own but ‘give spice to’ so that ‘man eating fish’ becomes ‘fish eating man.’

      And, thanks for the Royal story – brilliant!

  11. An excellent Friday puzzle from our setter where a few in the NE held out for a while.
    Podium places here going to 1&10a plus 1&3d.

    My thanks to Zandio and also to Senf for the review and the clip displaying an example of our beloved Queen’s sense of humour. Having given us her unswerving loyalty and service throughout her long life, may she now rest in peace alongside the man she loved.

  12. A cracking Friday back-pager. Great clues and good challenge and much enjoyment. Fav: 6d – a clue of Toughie difficulty I think. 3.5*/4*.

    *The World seemed different this morning. It’s like we have all lost our mother/grandmother, role-model and leader. Truly, a new era starts now. RIP Queen Elizabeth 11.

  13. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss — and thank you for the great story about the Queen.

    1. Absolutely brilliant puzzle – although I messed up the grid at the start by entering Deerskin at 22a. Oooh, you are clever …….!

      1. A couple of your comments went into moderation. You added and extra ‘i’ into your e-mail address – ‘bt’ became ‘bit’.

        Now fixed.

    2. An excellent crossword with 6d obviously getting the nod.

      You are most definitely in the Pantheon of compilers which seems apt with a name like Zandio.

      Great stuff! 👏👏

  14. Super Puzzle fit for a Queen, God Save the King!
    Needed the hints to explain the album in 14d and the spice in 6d.
    No favs, too many to choose from. Such a relief after yesterday’s [REDACTED] Giovanni! No weird words and nothing Churchy.
    Thx to all

    [Please read and follow the site etiquette. Gazza]

  15. A difficult Friday puzzle which took a while to solve, last in was 6d which I failed to parse-thanks to Senf.
    Favourite was 3d and lots more excellent clues, going for a ****/****
    Top draw to our setter.

  16. I’ll try again. A brilliant puzzle to end the week and divert us briefly from the very sad loss of our Queen. The church across the road rang a muffled tenor bell for an hour – the most moving sound on a quiet, calm, sunny morning in an English village. I shall try to put it on for you but I think it has too many byte things. Many thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  17. I didn’t have too much trouble with this except 6d which I wouldn’t have parsed in a month of Sunday’s. Favourite was 3d. So sad about about the death of Her Majesty. Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  18. So sad to lose a legend who has watched over us since before I was born and has always been rock solid. Thank you Zandio and Senf for bringing some smiles today

  19. First thought, this is going to be hard.
    But stayed with it to a satisfying conclusion.
    Last in, 13a and 2d.
    Some very crafty lurkers!
    Thought 12a and 13 and 14 and 16d quite brilliant.
    So, 3*/*****
    Many thanks, Zandio and Senf.

  20. A most enjoyable luchtime puzzle which I made much more difficult for myself by entering “exclamation mark” at 6d (well, it did contain a a fishy ‘clam’ in it) Once that was sorted correctly, by my standards it became a fairly straight-forward solve. My favourites inclued 8d, 19d & 16d, but my gold award went to 3d. Thanks to both setter and bloggist. RiP ER11 – a great lady for sure.

  21. Excellent crossword, stretched my abilities to the full and I needed the hints to fully understand the wordplay in 6d (too clever for me).
    Favourites were 3d, 8d and the aforementioned 6d once I saw the explanation.
    Thanks to Zandio and Senf

    1. Hi GJR

      Still DT bereft in Moraira but I have managed – but struggled – to complete the FT this week. Quite fun but not as enjoyable all in all as our favourite crossword.

      I shan’t bother you when we move from our villa to the Javea Parador as that will only be a nuisance and I can survive another week!

      I still owe you one from Estepona.

      Hope all well.


  22. Well, considering this was a Zandio, I did well for a change. Did need a some of the hints to understand the parsing on a few, but it went well for me today.

    Favourites include 15a, 18a, 26a, 3d & 5d — with winner 3d despite the wrong word length listed (10,6)

    Thanks to Zandio and Senf for the hints I needed to finish up

  23. I got 6d ok, but I have no idea what your hint means? Otherwise what a lovely crossword, better than listening to today’s radio, as much as l had great respect for Lilibet

    1. I agree. I managed to work out what 6d was without the hint (lots of checkers helped) but cannot parse it for the life of me. I have scrolled through the blog and still can’t see it. I thoroughly enjoyed the crossword though and quite liked 25a. Thanks to all concerned.

    2. If you put the 6d that is the second word of the clue between man and eating, you get an entirely different thing than a man eating a fish supper

      1. Thanks CS – sadly I was trying to put the actual words between the two words which obviously made nonsense! Have just seen King Charles address which I thought very moving.

        1. A few years ago I was very concerned that Charles might not have what it takes to succeed his mother. I am delighted to say that he has matured beyond measure, and I think we are in safe hands. His address was exemplary, dignified, and, as you say, very moving.

          1. I shared those concerns also but no longer & as you say his address was exemplary & beautifully delivered.
            I’m no fan of Mr Johnson but must say that I thought his words in the chamber today were particularly well chosen.

    3. I have to politely ask – does your comment mean that you came up with the correct answer for 6d without understanding why it is correct?

      1. Senf
        Not sure if the question is addressed to me.
        Yes, I had lots of checkers and I assumed the little dash was the punctuation mark with worrying about a man eating fish.

  24. I pray to the Almighty for the soul of Her Majesty the Queen to rest in eternal peace. I also pray to Him to bestow upon the members of her family the courage and strength to bear this great and tragic loss.

  25. I’m another who thought this was an excellent puzzle, pitched at just the right level. Top clues for me were 3d and 6d.

    Thanks Zandio and to Senf, particularly for the great clip of HM rounding off your hints.

  26. Sparkling gems today, starting with 1a, COTD 3d. On first pass I completed 75% & got stuck. After 4 hours in the car, the last few just dropped in. Weird.

    RIP the Queen. Her long and unswerving service to the nation coupled with a sense of humour made her unique.

  27. Wonderful puzzle. Sad day. On MP, I find it very disturbing that he was able to send me an unsolicited email, an obvious breach of data protection rules….

  28. Have only just got around to putting finishing touches to this enjoyable challenge due to daylong goggle-box viewing. West beat East to it. Due to late hour gave up on 14d and 16d.
    25d iffy when one considers that 25 acrosses these days appear on much more than just arms. 2d was bunged in. Now for more screen-gazing but this time tennis from New York – another late night! Thank you Zandio and Senf. Goodnight or is it good morning?

    1. If you add the punctuation mark mentioned in the clue to ‘man eating fish’ you get ‘man-eating fish’ which has a totally different meaning.

    2. A man eating fish would be me down the local chippy having a fish supper, but add the little dash and a man-eating fishwould be a fish dining on me were I rash enough to go swimming with sharks. what a difference a little punctuation mark makes.

    1. Doesn’t everyone’s? It gives time for one to edit or withdraw what one has written or even to add to it. Rightly or perhaps wrongly, that is how I see it John.

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