DT 30090 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30090

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30090

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where the days retain a summery feel but the nights are distinctly autumn-like.

I found today’s puzzle to be on the less difficult end of Campbell’s spectrum but an enjoyable exercise as usual.

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.


9a   Type of wood needed to make large bow? (5)
LARCH — the clothing symbol for large and another term for bow (as a shape)

10a   Former name of Red Sea country having deep chasm in one area (9)
ABYSSINIA — a charade of a deep chasm, IN from the clue, a Roman one, and a geometer’s symbol for area

11a   Deep regret about code creator (7)
REMORSE — a preposition denoting about or with reference to and the inventor of a ditty-dotty code

12a   Sentry‘s appearance, old-fashioned (7)
LOOKOUT — the outward appearance (of someone or something) and old-fashioned or passé

13a   New tune by Oscar being broadcast (2,3)
ON AIR — string together the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO alphabet, the single letter for new and a simple tune

14a   Shoot sergeant-major in Gulf state, one investigating complaints (9)
OMBUDSMAN — place a botanical shoot and an abbreviated sergeant-major inside a Gulf region sultanate

16a   Something memorable said on the way out? (6,4,5)
FAMOUS LAST WORDS — cryptic definition of a memorable utterance before departing one’s earthly existence

19a   Servant put up mistletoe, initially with help (9)
HOUSEMAID — a charade of put up or provide accommodation, the initial letter of mistletoe, and help or assist

21a   Stroll from hazard, abandoning golf (5)
AMBLE — discard the letter represented by golf in the NATO alphabet from a verb meaning hazard or risk

23a   Broad lout backing spiv (4,3)
WIDE BOY — another word for broad or expansive and the reversal of a colloquial term for a lout

25a   Wise man with two degrees describing Dolly Varden? (7)
MAHATMA — two senior arts degrees bookend some hearwear of which a Dolly Varden is an example

27a   Left with son before head causes scene (9)
LANDSCAPE — concatenate L(eft), a conjunction denoting with, the genealogical abbreviation for son, and a geographical head

28a   Striking effect of chapter in story recalled (5)
ECLAT — the single letter for chapter contained in a reversal of an often exaggerated story


1d   Obscure English rock band (4)
BLUR — double definition, the first a verb

2d   Unlawful act beginning to annexe part of Ukraine (6)
CRIMEA — an unlawful act and the initial letter of annexe

3d   Liqueur with rum chaser? True (10)
CHARTREUSE — an anagram (rum) of the final two words in the clue

4d   Look over the top of big old summerhouse (6)
GAZEBO — link together look intently, the initial letter (top) of big, and the single letter for old

5d   Dessert? Unable to finish second course! (8)
SYLLABUS — discard the final letter from a frothy dessert and append a physicist’s symbol for a second of time in its place

6d   Starts to open some letters offering capital (4)
OSLO — the initial letters of the four words preceding the definition

7d   Popular, one-time whistle-blower (8)
INFORMER — a short way of saying popular or trendy and another term for one-time or belonging to an earlier time

8d   Watch how things pan out as we detain criminal (4,3,3)
WAIT AND SEE — anagram (criminal) of AS WE DETAIN

13d   Rather strange how Humpty Dumpty ended up? (3,3,4)
OFF THE WALL — the latter part of the clue is a cryptic definition of where Humpty Dumpty came to rest

15d   Male entering town (Deal), awfully shabby (4,2,4)
DOWN AT HEEL — the abbreviation for male in an anagram (awfully) of TOWN DEAL

17d   Forming an architectural feature (8)
MOULDING — double definition, a verb and a noun

18d   Player unhappy about each period of extra time (4,4)
LEAP YEAR — anagram (unhappy) of PLAYER enveloping the abbreviation for each

20d   Mother’s accompanying the Spanish lass (6)
DAMSEL — a four-legged mother (together with her trailing S) and a Spanish definite article

22d   Bishop and former PM briefly in conflict (6)
BATTLE — the symbol for a bishop in chess notation and the abridged name of a postwar PM

24d   Sculpture shattered (4)
BUST — double definition, a noun and an adjective

26d   Countertenor from Deal (town) (4)
ALTO — hidden in (from) the final two words in the clue

I’ll award top honours today to 18d. What was your favourite clue?

Quickie Pun (Top Row): NOSE + CORD + ROAR = NO SCORE DRAW

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : TRAY + DUNE + EONS = TRADE UNIONS

44 comments on “DT 30090
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  1. Great fun as always from our regular Monday setter but over too quickly. 18d was the standout clue for me, ahead of the two groan-worthy puns in the Quickie. And what is it about Deal?

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  2. 1*/4*. I agree this was at the easier end of Campbell’s spectrum but no less enjoyable for that. The only thing that held me up very slightly was to check who or what Dolly Varden referred to.

    A crowded podium for me today – 16a, 4d, 13d & 18d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    1. Falcon, in the context of 10a the map you have used is misleading because Ethiopia is landlocked and not a “Red Sea country”. 10a did have a coastline on the Red Sea until 1993 when modern-day Eritrea was founded. Ethiopia was founded in 1995.

      1. Just goes to show one should not blindly believe everything Mr. Google serves up. I’ve replaced the map with one that shows the proper borders.

  3. Light but very enjoyable indeed.
    I liked several including the well disguised anagrams at 3&18d, the amusing 13d along with 27a and 5d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  4. Am guessing few (apart from Robert probably) recalled the character from Barnaby Rudge who apparently inspired the name for a hat. Like RD it was the only hold up in a * time solve, all over too quickly & now without the consolation of a further Campbell puzzle to enjoy – bring back the OLPP please CL. 18a my pick of a typically enjoyable puzzle with 15d&16a joining it on the podium. 2 top notch Quickie puns today.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

        1. My husband inherited his grandparents’ set of Dickens’complete works, when his mother died. I had alrwdy read some novels at school but took great pleasure in reading most of them in the leather-bound Victorian edition(notwithstanding the rather small font). I ha e almost read them all now, inckuding some of the more unusual pieces, like the short Christmas stories and the Child’s History of England. I haven’t read the American Notes yet! I remembered Barnaby Rudge and Dolly Varden.

  5. A nice start to the week. I liked 16a. I had never heard of Dolly Varden or the use of the words in fashion but, thankfully had heard of the person depicted in the photo in the hint for 25a. This saw me through to the end.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the hints.

  6. The 5d dessert was a (not so) firm favourite for the college rugby club dinners; great aerodynamic properties.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  7. Campbell as dependable as ever with his Monday offering 1.5*/4.5*.

    Although, it certainly looks as though the OLPP/second Campbell is a thing of the past. I wonder if there will be any news in the Newsletter today. I wonder if there will be a Newsletter today!

    Candidates for favourite – 27a, 28a, 7d, 13d, and 18d – and the winner 13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and thanks to Falcon.

  8. Good confidence booster for the rest of the week.
    14 and 25a and 13 and 22d of special mention.
    So, */4*
    Many thanks, Campbell and Falcon.

  9. An enjioyable romp of a puzzle with a good variety of clues and an element of challenge and a few head-scratchers. My favourite clue was5d as it had sly misdirection, combined with some clever wordplay.10 apealed to me because it was a clever lego clue and it was geographical too. 23a evoked a mental picture of George Cole playing Flash Harry in the St Trinian’s films and i liked the 17a double definition. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints

  10. Very gentle fare from Campbell, I thought (it took me longer to complete the QC than the cryptic today, being held up in the northern hemisphere of the former). Much amusement throughout. I thought ‘English’ in 1d superfluous and was surprised to see Deal in two clues – a town apparently so good he clued it twice? Did not need to know Dolly Varden, fortunately, as the answer was a write-in from the first five words of the clue.

    COTD by a distance 2d for the excellent surface, construction and answer. Hon Mentions to 5d and 13d for the smiles to which each gave rise.

    0.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    Boo, Hiss !! Yet again no OLPP or OLQC, at least that I can see.

    1. As an aside I am downloading old puzzles (currently c. 100 cryptics, quickies & codewords) which I did not have time to do before I retired. I will print these off as and when needed. Obviously this function may only be available while the ‘old’ site is still up and running and before we’re forced to use the new site which is ‘not fit for purpose’ as we used to say when I was a project manager.

  11. Good fun, although I did have to look up Dolly Varden after finishing. I do wonder what Vlad the Defenestrator would have to say about 2d though.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  12. Very pleasant and very fast, but fun to do, giving that old Dickens character a new dignity in the world of Satyagraha! (After all these years and all those novels, C.D.’s characters tend to 1d together, but I did recognise Dolly V.) 18d gets the nod over 13d, 28a, and a couple of terms I haven’t heard in years, 23a and that unfinished dessert alluded to in 5d. I also miss the OLPP, which almost always seemed the more fetching of the two Monday Campbells. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 1* / 4*

  13. Nice light fare from our Monday man offering plenty of smiles.
    Podium places here going to 12&16a plus 7&13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review. Raining here today but we have been ‘promised’ that the rest of the week will be fine and sunny.

  14. ABC territory (a benevolent Campbell), all the tricks but perhaps too fairly clued. Like others, I had to check the Dolly to feel entirely happy. 14a my favourite, though as Mustafa said, superb surface at 2d.

  15. Unlike most others above, this was just the right level of difficulty for me – a struggle, mainly with the top half, but I managed to finish it.

    1. Monday with Campbell setting the crossword is my favourite day. Like you I find his puzzles are very accessible and can usually be finished. On some days I wonder why I bother.

  16. Monday is nearly always a good day for crosswords and today was no exception. Some good clues, 2, 5, and 18d, and 10, 25,and 28a. Campbell could have made 10a more fun by clueing it ‘Goodbye to a former Red Sea country’, but that’s not a criticism.

    Many thanks to Campbell for maintaining his high standards of clueing and to Falcon for his hints that confirmed my parsing.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed that. May have done it without any help if I hadn’t put the wrong letter to start 20 down, but realised my mistake after reading the hints. Did get held up by one Wikipedia definition of Dolly Varden, spent ages trying to fit ‘trout’ into the answer!

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  18. For those missing their usual second helping of Campbell, in the form of what used to be the OLPP, I’d like to put a word in for the current Rookies Corner puzzle by Postmark, if you haven’t already tackled it.

    An approachable, amusing and satisfying puzzle, very polished in its crafting (in my view it may not even be out of place on the DT backpage, early-week), and as with a very high proportion of these “Rookie” puzzles, it definitely deserves a wider audience than just a corner.

  19. It’s another start to the non-work week and a pleasant Campbell puzzle to launch with.
    1.5*/4* for me.

    Solved this on a smoky Sunday in the early evening in the second worst place in the world for air quality today … with Seattle to the south of us taking the top spot. So many forest fires all around us.

    One word I did not know and was last in, in the SE … and I am sure some will complain about a minor technicality … but it is just a crossword puzzle.

    Favourites include 10a, 11a, 14a, 16a & 22d — with winner 16a.

    13d & 22d made me laugh

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  20. This was a gentle launch into cruciverbal week but enjoyable nevertheless beginning with a sail through the South. 25a Dolly Varden didn’t ring a bell so bunged in. 5d for its surface was Fav. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  21. As I am commenting today you may have already guessed I finished this unaided, my many absences show how rare this is, I do occasionally comment on one’s I don’t complete. I had no idea who or what dolly v referred to but the answer seemed fairly obvious, didn’t know 14a had a d in it, is it silent?. Thanks to all for the distraction in these sad times.

  22. I like CrissCross’s idea of a romp of a crossword – I guess it was. Late on parade as they say having been to Royston Ladies Luncheon Club and heard a lawyer friend talking about verdicts he had known and sentences passed – very interesting. G went to the pub probably for some ghastly fried all day breakfast or something but hey – no cooking tonight. I liked 17, 19 & 3 &18d. Many thanks to Campbell & Falcon who sound as though they should have Royal Warrant as purveyors of something to His Majesty. Plus fours, maybe. My father wore plus fours and during the war my mother cut them up to make young brother a little tweed coat. He was not too happy, but I doubt whether plus fours were worn south of the border after 1945!

    1. My father, too, wore plus fours pre-war. He wasn’t a golfer but, as he and my mother, rode a tandem, perhaps they were also worn by cyclists?
      I must say, I didn’t think much of today’s Quickie puns.

  23. Lovely start to the week. Nothing too obscure, excepting Dolly Varden. Apparently there’s also a Dolly Varden dress – who knew! Thanks to Campbell for his benevolence today, and to Falcon.

  24. Nice start to the week 😃 **/**** Favourites are10a & 17d 👍 Have not read the blog yet but I am sure someone has explained Dolly Varden 🤔

  25. The best and most enjoyable Monday puzzle for months. I knew 25a was what it was so used a search engine of my choice, not Google, to check. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I do as little on Google as I can but that doesn’t stop them listening to my conversations or reading my emails, and they do.

  26. Very good and I solved it quickly on the train to London this morning. Most straight in but 17a and 12d took a little longer to sort out. Favourites 11 and 27 a and 7 and 18d. Thanks Campbell – keep them coming and thanks to Falcon. I always like to check the parsing.

  27. After last week not going so well on the puzzle front (can I blame first week back at work after the summer holidays?) I didn’t even look at Friday or the weekend…

    Pleased to have come back to (and finished) a 2*/4*.

    As others have said, Mr Google helped with Dolly! 2d my COTD by a mile.

  28. How can I be the only person who has not heard of the ridiculous sounding dessert in 5d?

    I am not much of a dessert person, but such a strange sounding dessert would have lodged in the memory banks. The Wikipedia entry for it suggests it was eaten until the 19th century. Surely my esteemed cruciverbalists here are not that old…!

    An enjoyable solve that required a couple of sittings to finish but only because I spent half the evening on the phone to my sister.

    Thanks to all.

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