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DT 30097

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30097
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

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


Good morning. This was an entertaining tussle, fairly and concisely clued.
Although most of the wordplay is straightforward, there’s perhaps a little more general knowledge required of the solver than usual, which can enhance the enjoyment for some but make it trickier for others, and I’ve reflected that in the rating.
I was ultimately held up in the SW with the cleverly disguised definitions in 18a and 22d taking a while to crack, but very satisfying to solve in the end.
Many thanks to the setter.

In the following hints, definitions are underlined, indicators are mostly in parentheses, and answers are revealed by clicking where shown as usual.
Please leave a comment below on how you got on with the puzzle and which aspects you liked etc.



1a European associated with tricky space flight (6)
ESCAPE: The usual letter for European plus an anagram (tricky) of SPACE

4a Is the second-born child with the French girl? (8)
ISABELLA: The first word from the clue, a biblical second son, and a French definite article

10a Small religious ceremony concerned with the soul (9)
SPIRITUAL: Another charade: an abbreviation for small, a two-letter word for religious, and a synonym of ceremony

11a Follow the old lady’s belief (5)
DOGMA : A verb meaning follow or trail, plus a family member

12a Play in close match (7)
ENDGAME: Two straightforward synonyms of each of the last two words in the clue give the title of an absurdist theatrical work

13a Where youngsters may play with spades alongside mine (7)
SANDPIT : A one-letter card game abbreviation goes next to a word for a mine or colliery

14a Large Italian male, loose-limbed (5)
LITHE: Plenty of straight left-to-right parsings in the puzzle so far, and here’s another one – three common crossword abbreviations for the first three words in the clue

15a Poignant place frequently visited in Germany’s capital (8)
HAUNTING: A noun synonym of a place or familiar location goes alongside ‘in’ from the clue and a capital letter as indicated

18a Intruder tied up by person unknown (8)
BUSYBODY: One of the usual mathematical symbols for an unknown component is preceded by a word meaning preoccupied, and an informal term for any one individual – I was fixated on the definition being a burglar or similar for a time

20a Tot before start of amusing play (5)
DRAMA : A small amount of alcoholic drink and an initial letter as indicated

23a Naval sword nicked by young woman (7)
CUTLASS: Another straight two-part charade and perhaps one the easiest clues of the puzzle

25a Behind, holding further set of baby clothes (7)
LAYETTE: The first containment clue – a synonym of behind in the sense of tardy ‘holding’ a word for further, or moreover

26a Keen about most of equipment reviewed (5)
EAGER: A reversal (reviewed) of the common two-letter word for about, or concerning, plus a truncated (most of) term for equipment.

The above clue doesn’t actually work since the parsing leads to AEGER rather than the answer. A revised clue has been provided for the on-line puzzle sites as follows:

26a Keen on grades regularly being reviewed (5)

27a Global virus heartless alien spread (9)
UNIVERSAL: An anagram (spread) of VIRUS and AL EN (heartless)

28a Christian, perhaps silent about popular English leader of rebellion (8)
MUTINEER: A 1789 naval definition by example comprising a containment (about) of a word for popular in a word meaning silent, and finally an initial letter (leader of)

29a In favour of not running quickly (6)
PRONTO: A familiar crossword synonym is followed by an anagram (running) of NOT



1d Relay set off in wind (8)
EASTERLY: An anagram (off) of RELAY and SET

2d One of Wingate’s men‘s language in court (7)
CHINDIT: An Indian language ‘in’ a two-letter abbreviation for court. In Burma during WWII, Orde Wingate commanded troops whose nickname (singular) is the solution

3d Recently supporting Greek character’s hobby, maybe (9)
PHILATELY : A synonym of recently goes under (supporting) a letter of the Greek alphabet. The solution can also be a profession, hence the ‘maybe’

5d Former PM with scheme involving one part of Wiltshire (9,5)
SALISBURY PLAIN: The noble name of a three-time British Prime Minister precedes a word for scheme with the roman numeral for ‘one’ inside it (involving)

6d Stay with North American president (5)
BIDEN : A simple combination of a synonym of stay and a compass direction

7d Type of delivery that could produce on drive (3,4)
LEG SPIN: Cricket all the way, with its usual synonym for ‘on’ and one for drive, as in a car journey

8d Film a vehicle prior to it overturning (6)
AVANTI: ‘A’ from the clue and a type of vehicle precede a reversal (overturning) as indicated

9d Deliver a verdict (not good) on article difficult to understand in book (4,3,7)
JUDE THE OBSCURE: A verb meaning to deliver a verdict loses a letter that represents ‘good’ and goes before a definite article, the solution culminating in a synonym for difficult to understand, or vague

16d Still up holding extremely dog-eared and bald articulated toy (5,4)
TEDDY BEAR: Probably the puzzle’s most complex clue, consisting of a containment (holding) of a word’s first and last letters (extremely) inside a reversal (up) of a synonym for still, or however, followed by a homophone (articulated)

17d Battle song (8)
WATERLOO: A double definition, one of which is arguably the most popular and successful of all Eurovision winners

19d Revolting drunk may get one on edge (7)
UPTIGHT: A term for revolting, or rebelling, is followed by one of the many synonyms for drunk as an adjective. (The last three solutions are all hit songs, but that’s probably a coincidence)

21d Skilled worker from Hobart is a newcomer (7)
ARTISAN: The solution lurks in the clue

22d Ultimate in gifts, and best card? (6)
SCREAM: The definition held me up because of the very neat surface reading. A final letter (ultimate in) is followed by a word for best or elite

24d Expert wearing a new pinny (5)
APRON: A diminutive word for an expert is contained by (wearing) ‘a’ from the clue and the usual shorthand for new

My favourites were the aformentioned 18a and 22d, plus 27a. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword puns: Top row GELLY + DEALS = JELLIED EELS

49 comments on “DT 30097

  1. Had never heard of the word at 2d, but got it right anyway as it was the only thing that fitted the clue, pretty obscure I thought.
    On the upside though I loved the misleading clue at 28a, it took a while but the penny
    finally dropped, very enjoyable throughout!

  2. I found this to be considerably more challenging than today’s Toughie, but altogether satisfying to complete–even though doing so took me into *** time. No problem with the GK though I did confirm my answer to 2d by googling to be sure. So much to like here, with 18a, 9d, & 28a making the podium, slightly besting a large number of contenders. Many thanks to Mr T and to today’s setter. *** / ****

    A really nifty Toughie today!

    1. As soon as I saw Hardy, Beckett & Billy Wilder I immediately thought right up Robert’s strasse…..

  3. I’m one of those, whose enjoyment of a puzzle is enhanced by an element of GK and rhis was to be found in many of today’s clever lego clues. I liked 2d, 3d and the geographical clue at5d and of course 9d, which includes a disguised version of the town where I live, in ‘Wessex’. Thanks to T for the hints and ro today’s compiler for a well- balanced crossword full of variety.

  4. 2.5*/2.5*. A bit too heavy on the GK required for my taste but otherwise enjoyable with 18a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to T.

  5. Really enjoyed this puzzle- remembered Wingets men! and like Tipcat, loved the misleading Fletcher in 28a.
    Hard to pick a favourite, but going for the 10a charade.Had a guess for last in 8a and came up lucky.
    Going for a ***/****
    Thanks to Twm for the excellent pics.

  6. Enjoyable and satisfying solve throughout.
    Some real gems eg 18a and 2, 5 and 7d.
    Loved the misdirection in 28a, my last in.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  7. With the recent Tuesday back pagers, for me, our esteemed editor appears to be invoking a new ‘standard’ for what is Tuesdayish. This was a bit of a head scratcher or, perhaps, it was after effects of the not so wee wee drams I consumed yesterday while watching the pageantry of HM’s funeral – ***/***.

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 23a, and 7d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  8. Enjoyable puzzle with 2 and 3d my pick of a generous helping of good clues.

    My thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter.

  9. Sadly couldn’t finish as I had the masculine French article at 4a otherwise deeply satisfying and I too enjoy the GK when I know it! Thank you to Mr/Ms compilerand Mr/Ms Twm.

  10. As a collector of trivia, GK holds no special terrors for me, especially if it is fairly clued. 28a was my favourite. Enjoyable throughout so many thanks to our setter and T.

  11. Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review and hints. I found this very last word of 9d. Too much GK for me. Favourite was 3d. Was 3* / 2* for me.

  12. Remembered Orde W, but like Celia I had the same masculine French article, and it took a long time to dawn that beginning with the other vowel might help. That it subsequently lead to an obscure 50-year old film (well, obscure to me at least, as I’d never heard of it, let alone seen it!) was a new piece of ‘G’K that I shall lock away, probably to forget before it is next required. Was irrationally irritated at the same word being used in two crossing answers in the SE.

    Hon Mentions to 9d & 16d, with COTD by a length to 28a. 2.5* / 3*

    Good challenging puzzle. Many thanks to the Setter and to Twmbarlwm.

    1. Thank you! I often forget to check the bottom row so I’ll have to be more on my guard in future.
      I’ve amended the blog.

  13. Thought the GK elements were fairly clued although must admit to having chess play in mind rather than a theatre play in 12a.
    Plenty of choice for the top spots but I had to give first place to my young granddaughter at 4a followed by 18a & 3d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review. Also, thanks to Jerry6x for pointing out the second Quickie pun!

  14. Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm. Mostly enjoyable but I had a different (and erroneous, hence the update presumably) clue for 26a which did spoil things a little [edit: just seen blog has been updated!] Enjoyed the GK and some relative obscurities, though made it surprisingly tough for a Tuesday. The popular 28a also gets my vote for COTD, though 22d deserves special mention for ultra-smooth surface. Thanks again!

    1. I had the same oversight as the setter there. Funny how a quick scan can make you see what you expect to see.
      This calls for a Captain Mainwaring-style “Yes, I wondered which one of you would be first to spot that”!

      1. The same thing happened to me; I just assumed those three letters were in the right order. Now I see that they weren’t. Glad to see the new clue.

  15. Presumably the second Quickie pun is an indication that this is the work of our usual Monday setter – thanks to him and to Twmbarlwm for the blog.
    I’d never heard of the 12a play and assumed that the answer was chess-related.
    I’ll follow the trend and select 28a as my favourite clue.

  16. I’m not sure that the new clue for 26a works either. That parsing would lead me to REEAG.

    Thanks to all.

    1. That’s a possible reading, but it’s a reversal of both words together: RE + G(r)A(d)E(s) not RE + the reversal.

  17. Struggled with this one. I hadn’t heard of 8d and spent ages trying to construct a word along the lines of ETAUTE meaning “overturning”. Eventually tried the other French article and made up a word that turned out to be the name of the film. (It would have been easier clued as a railway!)

    Likewise, I was none the wiser on why 12a meant play – I’d thought it must be a stage of some sort of sporting or card game! And 2d was proper brain-dredging stuff.

  18. I was confused by 7d as I assumed that the answer should be off ****, from my limited knowledge of the sport. But the hints explained that drive is as in go for a drive. Thanks. I was trying to be too clever….

  19. Not a fan of these sort of cryptic that include GK that one may or may not, (as in my case today), know.
    Tends to spoil the crypticness of the solve.
    3*/2* (due to the GK required)

    2d never heard of, nor the term in 5d for the PM, nor the 8d answer either, just to mention three GK answers.

    Favourites were few in this puzzle but 11a, 20a, 7d & 16d were mine

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  20. Enjoyable and slightly chewier than the average “Monday” puzzle but all fairly and clearly clued leading to a relatively swift solve. As ever with this setter the wordplay was very clever and smooth.
    I liked quite a few including 4,10&15a plus the very smart 7d but my favourite was 18a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Twmbarlwm.

  21. Solved earlier this morning before going off to play golf – though the rubbish I played could only loosely be termed playing golf. Can’t really claim an unaided finish as I hadn’t a scooby who Wingate was so looked him up having failed to twig the language & all became clear. No problem with the other GK though – love Hardy & Wilder but can’t say Beckett does it for me. Assumed this must be a Campbell production given the second pun in the Quickie but didn’t seem to have the feel of one of his & certainly on the trickier side if it is. Think 16d was my favourite but had ticks against a number of others – 18&28a plus 3,5,9&22d.
    Thanks to T & C presumably
    Ps spent ages afterwards trying to recall who played FC against Charles Laughton’s Bligh & it only came to me as I duffed yet another fairway wood into an inhospitable lie.

    1. Hmm, I’m just now trying to recall who played FC….OMG, it was Gable! Yes of course it was. I had to look it up.

  22. Thoroughly enjoyed this, a really clever and amusing workout – I particularly liked 27a and 3, 9 and 24d. 8d was my downfall so many thanks to Twmbarlwm for explaining it. Still reeling from yesterday’s drama, WOW – sorry, shouting. But beyond impressive, sublime. A fitting tribute. I hope everyone concerned is putting his/her feet up today. I didn’t comment yesterday but did like the regal references. Many thanks to todays Setter and Hinter. ( notice I did not comment about the crickety 7d – just took it in my stride. I am learning)

  23. Enjoyed most of today’s puzzle but didn’t quite finish without resorting to the hints for 2d, 3d (had the wrong vowel to start and hadn’t heard of the film, though at 75 I can’t own up to being a youngster. I was also caught out by first word of 9d. Many thanks to the setter and hinter (C &T)

  24. An ok puzzle but far too churchy for me and contains quite possibly the worst book ever written in the English language.
    Thx to all

  25. 8d so utterly obscure. Could have constructed something about Studebaker, not film, and still confused most of us. I’m more into 50 year old cars than films!

  26. Didn’t feel like a Tuesday puzzle, and I think Gazza @16 has identified why that is. Enjoyable solve requiring a few reference material consultations to make sense of clues like 2d. No standout favourite for me. Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  27. Hello Twmbarlwm from me – I’ve been a “hinty person” for several years but, sadly, no longer – good luck to you and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have.
    I thought this was quite tricky for so early in the week – certainly not a picnic anyway.
    There were a few things that I didn’t know – a fair amount of general knowledge is fine if the clues are good though.
    I think 15a was my favourite.
    Like DG I’m still reeling from everything yesterday.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to Twmbartwm for the hints.

    1. Kath, thank you for the best wishes. I used to read and enjoy your blogs until what seems like only fairly recently, but time flies. I hope you’re well.

      1. I’ll second that. You always got my humour and commented on my triumphs and tragedies. You seem to be improving week by week, long may it continue.

  28. Obviously never heard of the film in 8d but it was fairly clued, I decided it was the answer and looked it up. Impossible to verify before the internet of course but we are where we are. Almost certainly Campbell moved sideways to make way for CL’s touching tribute yesterday. I photographed the completed crossword and sent it to non crossword doers, well done again Chris I hope they give you an OBE for that. All that said I thought this was the best Campbell crossword this year. Favourite was 17d. Thanks to Campbell and T.

  29. This felt like an escaped toughie to me! I’ve not heard of the film or the play but workable outable. Some of the clues seemed inordinately complicated. As I was born and brought up on the place in Wiltshire, that can be my clue of the day. Not quite my cup of Earl Grey this puzzle but thanks to the setter.
    And then there’s the top pun in the quickie….good pun but probably the most revolting things I’ve ever eaten (or rather not, one mouthful was enough)!
    Thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints, I needed them to check some of the answers.

  30. Commented earlier today but it seems to have gone awol so here goes again. I enjoyed this varied test of which SW was last in. No problem with 2d as late brave friend was one of Wingate’s men. A bit of GK is OK by me but understand those who would rather stick to cryptic. Have to admit to some bung-ins viz 7d, 8d, 16d and 17d (avoid Eurovision like the plague!). Thank you Mysteron and Mr(?)T.

  31. Tuesdays seem to have got a bit trickier of late. Only managed about half of this one at the first sitting, but completed it, bar one, after toiling in the garden all afternoon. Especially enjoyed 2d as it brought back lovely memories of a childhood neighbour who had been one of Wingate’s men – ‘twas he who started me off doing the DT cryptic crossword many moons ago. A wonderful kind, considerate gentleman – bless you Mr Thomas.

  32. This seemed like two separate puzzles. I finished the E “at a canter”, but the W took a long time with quite a lot of help, I struggled through and finished in the end. Some very clever (and misleading) clues, 28a possibly COTD. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter./ Reference Brian, perhaps its just as well I’ve never wasted time reading the book, although I had heard of it.

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