DT 30115 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30115

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30115
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning, and a belated thank you to Gazza for filling in for me last Tuesday. As for this Tuesday’s puzzle, I thought there was a lot of tricky disguising of definitions among a handful of straighter clues and I found myself held up a little more than usual. But that might be down to me being out of practice at the moment, so I’ve equivocated on the difficulty rating. I’m interested to know how others got on, or was it just me?

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.

Across
1a Honest tone possibly about husband in front of drawing (2,3,5)
ON THE LEVEL: An anagram (possibly) of TONE includes the letter that represents husband, and is followed by a synonym for drawing in the sense of teams having the same score

6 Some blouse definitely is handed down? (4)
USED: The answer – a definition by example, hence the question mark – lurks in the clue

9a Soften scowl (5)
LOWER: A double definition, one of which is to reduce in decibels, say

10a Financial professional recalled excellent places to view performances? (9)
AUDITORIA: An inspector whose arrival strikes the fear of God into many office workers precedes a reversal (recalled) of two characters that mean excellent

12a Large storage site close to telephone network (7)
LATTICE: A letter that means large, a room in a house that people use to stow often superfluous things, and a final letter (close to)

13a Rubbish found by soldiers in part of helicopter (5)
ROTOR: A synonym for rubbish and a two-letter notation for soldiers as opposed to officers

15a Record independent book showing illustration (7)
EPITOME: A type of record that falls between single and LP is followed by an initialism meaning independent and a formal word for book, particularly a very large one

17a Section in medical facility lacking in comfort? (7)
SPARTAN: A word for section or component is contained by (in) an old-fashioned abbreviation for a medical facility that now seems to be exclusive to crosswords

19a Better qualified student is engaged in refined exercise (7)
UPGRADE: An informal shortening of someone with a degree is inserted into (engaged in) a one-letter abbreviation for refined or posh and exercise as a school subject

21a Look shown by mature aristocrats? (7)
PEERAGE: Straightforward charade of synonyms for look, plus mature (as a verb)

22a A learner given a brief time noted fort (5)
ALAMO: The usual letter for learner separates both A’s from the clue, which precedes a shortening of a word for brief time, or instant

24a Small pastry later crumbles in transit after dropping load (7)
TARTLET: An anagram (crumbles) of LATER goes ‘in’ another word in the clue that is devoid of its contents (dropping load)

27a Annoying types misuse IT in arts? About right (9)
IRRITANTS: Another anagram: (misuse) IT IN ARTS around (about) the single letter that stands for right

28a Look after uniformed worker (5)
NURSE: A fairly simple double definition

29a Artistic subject in muddle at intervals (4)
NUDE: The solution is hidden in alternate letters (at intervals)

30a Female with a line ready about celebrity makes flawed beginning (5,5)
FALSE START: Three straight one-letter delineations of female, a and line precede a synonym of ready around (about) a word for celebrity as a noun

Down
1d Greasy mat daughter cleared (4)
OILY: A pretty mat or table decoration loses (cleared) the usual letter for daughter

2d Soft material in the view of duke lacking measure of weight (9)
TOWELLING: Take a three-letter heavy weight off a phrase meaning in the view of duke (specifically the one who defeated the French in a famous 19th Century battle)

3d Wading bird, say, with others missing sun initially (5)
EGRET: Two letters meaning say, or for example, and a word for others, or remainder, minus an initial letter

4d Virginia is upset when detained by Adam’s mate being equivocal (7)
EVASIVE: The standard shortening of the state of Virginia, plus a reversal (upset) of is, are contained in (detained by) the name of the first female human according to scripture

5d Unlimited ambition shown by lieutenant firstly on English ship (7)
ENDLESS: A synonym for ambition or aim, an initial letter as inidicated (firstly), the usual letter for English, and a two-letter prefix for the name of some ships

7d Rod has to swagger (5)
STRUT: A double definition, one a noun and the other a verb

8d One very like another regarded in ground (4,6)
DEAD RINGER: An anagram (ground) of REGARDED IN

11d Short period in school with competition in paved area by building (7)
TERRACE: A school period of several weeks missing its last letter (short) plus a competition in athletics

14d Group attending talks showing no aptitude for negotiation (10)
DEPUTATION: A very well disguised anagram (for negotiation) of NO APTITUDE

16 Inferior far too haphazard about last part of duties (2,1,4)
OF A SORT: Another anagram: FAR TOO (haphazard) goes around (about) a final letter as indicated

18d Place to get fuel in Rome? (9)
TRATTORIA: A cryptic definition where the fuel is what keeps humans running

20d Established working area around current European state (7)
ESTONIA: An abbreviation of established that’s common in commercial business signage, a short word for working/operating, plus a letter for area, all containing (around) a single letter meaning (electrical) current

21d Pedants elevated titled figure in places (7)
PURISTS: A reversal (elevated) of a titled figure, usually a knight, goes ‘in’ a word for places as a verb

23d Bitter councillor blocking financial support (5):
ACRID: The shortened title of councillor inserted (blocking) into a word for financial support or help

25d Wild cat reported in seaside golf course (5)
LINKS: A homophone of a wild animal that many rewilders would like to see returning to Britain’s countryside

26d Adjustable accessory has label touching clothing (4)
BELT: A hidden word that the clue is ‘clothing’

My favourites were 10a, 12a, 19a and 14d.  What were yours?

Quick Crossword pun: FOUR + FITTING = FORFEITING

43 comments on “DT 30115
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  1. Excellent puzzle, good mix of very difficult and not so.
    1a made me smile
    17, 22 and 24a were so clever and neck and neck for COTD.
    Winner 22a.
    2*/5*.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm..

  2. A pleasingly tricky little devil this morning, with the bottom half yielding its secrets before the top. Tough to pick a favourite but I will go for 2d.

    Many thanks to our setter and Mr T.

  3. There were lots of rather convoluted lego clues in rhis puzzle and I resorted to guesswork, once I had a few checkers in place. In most cases reverse engineeering gave me an inkling of what the parsing was all about. Thwnks to Twmbarlwm for the hints for my bung-ins. I liked the geographical clue at 20d and the nicely disguised anagram at 8d, whilst 10a was the best of the lego clues. In retrospect, 2d was also a good clue but I wasnt altogether sure of the parsing until I read the hint. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the compiler.

  4. 2.5*/3.5*. I think YS’s description of a pleasingly tricky little devil fits the bill although I recorded a DNF courtesy of 14d for which I confidently entered “delegation”. This rendered 19a as impossible as the checkers gave me E-G-A-E and the only word I could think of which fitted was “engrave” which I didn’t enter because the wordplay made no sense at all with this answer. Even so, it didn’t occur to me to revisit 14d as my answer seemed perfect for the definition and wordplay.

    I’m not sure about “in the view of” leading to “to” in 2d and I thought that 28a was weak as a double definition as both the verb and noun are both related to the same meaning.

    There were many good clues here and my top picks were 10a, 12a & 18d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

    1. I’m with Mustafa in that this was a bit unremarkable. Liked 2d. The list of anagram indicators continues to grow so I am inclined to miss some e.g. 8d. and 1a drawing didn’t occur to me so both were bunged in. Thank you Mysteron and “T” hinter.

      1. I thought I had deleted this as it was not supposed to be a reply to RD but should have been a stand alone comment – sorry.

          1. 🙂RD. I in fact was going to say that to me or in the view of me (my view) is OK and I can perhaps be nearly as pedantic as you!

    2. I nearly fell Into the delegation trap too RD. It was devilishly misleading– as the compiler no doubt intended it to be.

  5. Found this quite tough today as it seems to have some good misdirections, especially 19a, which I was determined to put an ‘L’ into. The penny finally dropped, and that then paved the way for the last one in which was 14d.
    All in all great fun, but no real favourites for me, well done to the setter for a good brain
    twisting puzzle.

  6. Found this one on a par with yesterday in terms of difficulty but not as much fun. Perfectly pleasant & all over in in short order. Thought 14d a great surface read so it would be my choice for pick of the bunch ahead of 12&19a.
    Thanks to the setter & Twmbarlwm

  7. Twmbarlwm? Having just come back from Norway where I couldn’t pronounce, let alone spell, their place names, I did not expect this! What have I missed? It sounds to me like a pseudonym for one of our much missed departed bloggers. If only!
    I found this puzzle rather heavy going…the “ doh” moments dropped with rather a thud.
    COTD? The clever anagram that is 8d.

  8. Tricky Tuesday! 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 15a, and 21d – and the winner is 9a.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  9. Solid Tuesday fare, a satisfying completion if somewhat unremarkable. Delayed for exactly the same reason as RD – Delegation seemed to fit the word play (cryptic rather than anagram) but as he said, engrave made no sense. So, on deciding that only delegation could be wrong I biffed the answer instead (still not seeing the blasted anagram!) and 19a fell into place. Podium place to 2d.

    2* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and of course to Twmbarlwm.

  10. Certainly a tricky puzzle today,liked my favourite charades.15a and 27a , also liked the surface of 18d and10a.
    Going for a ***/***.
    Thanks TWM for the pics, especially nurse emanual in all her glory!
    Tough Quicky in the NW and SW for me-liked the pun.

  11. ‘Tricky’ seems to be the word of the day and I’ll go along with that – thanks to our setter and Twmbarlwm.
    I ticked 17a, 18d and 26d but my favourite, for the well-disguised definition, was 19a.

  12. Interesting puzzle but I needed the hints to explain 1a, 19a, 2d, 3d & 8d. I also missed the anagram in 14d but solved it by the definition.
    16a felt rather stretched.
    Not the most difficult if you found the definition and ignored much of the intricate wordplay.
    Thx to all
    ***/***

  13. Relieved to see that others have labelled this as a tricky little number – thought it was just me having endured a sleepless night! Got off to a bad start by assuming that the drawing in 1a was ‘art’ and it all rather went downhill from there.
    Made it through eventually but certainly found some of it to be on the ‘pulling teeth’ spectrum.
    Top marks went to 12&17a plus 14d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review – loved your illustration for 8d!

  14. I enjoyed the extra ‘trickiness’ herein referenced, in a nice Tuesday puzzle. I share Rabbit Dave’s thoughts on the ‘top picks’ in this **/*** delight.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm

  15. As most above ***/*** for this knotty little number. My favourites which I can’t separate are 9a and 22a. Busy at present as moving house next Tuesday so input slightly sporadic and brief! Thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter.

  16. I was grumpy again this morning as the Editor did not publish my letter, which was much better than one or two of the ones he did put in. However, I am not one to bear a grudge so onwards and upwards. I enjoyed this, like others I completely missed the anagram at 14d and went down the delegation route. 10,12 & 27a rocked my boat. Glorious sunshine today and really hot here in the conservatory but the pocket rocket has arrived and I have to go out and work with her, putting the garden to bed. Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

    1. Ive been putting the gardwn to bed too Daisy. The outdoor timatoes have been dug up and put in the compost bin whilethe few remaining green oneshave been put on the kitchen wwindow sill to ripen. Th brown and beige lawns have been mown and scarified to remove the dead stuff and a few rainy nights have caused a remarkable greening up. The bulbs have arrived and are waiting ito be planted in the pots, now cleared of summer bedding. Onwards and upwards

  17. Like yesterday’s, I thought: a bit trickier than usual but quite enjoyable, with 2d, 19a, & 14d making my podium. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and today’s setter. 2*/4*

    The Toughie took all I had to fill the grid–but quite remarkable nonetheless.

  18. I really enjoyed this, like our blogger said, a nice mix of clues difficulty wise.
    The ones that stood out for me were 24&30a plus 14d.
    Many thanks to the setter Twmbarlwm (thank goodness my phone remembers your name!)

  19. A bit too tricky for me. Like Jane, I grade this teeth-pulling. I wish I had an excuse for not seeing the ‘obvious ‘ 28a and once again missing the lurker at 26d. Thanks for straightening the wrinkles Twmbarlwm and ? thanks to the setter.

  20. Thanks to Twmbarlwm for the blog and everyone for their comments. Hope the tooth extracting element for some wasn’t too painful!

  21. Also missed the lurker in 26d and also beaten by the 14d/19a combination. So as Jane said a tricky little number. Note to self – must be more observant! Other than those I really enjoyed the wrestle so thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm for the needed hints. Really good to see you have stepped up to the reviewing podium and doing an excellent job Thank you.

    BTW Twmbarlwm do you have an acceptable abbreviation for your name for us non Welsh speakers to use as I had to cut and paste it to make sure the spelling was right!

  22. An excellent puzzle and all was going well until 14d, at which point I realised my 19a was wrong and that finished me off! Thank you setter and Twmbarlwm

  23. On first pass I could barely get a foothold so off into the garden. Returned after a short break and completed the SE corner but after that I found it quite tricky. Despite getting 8d the anagram passed me by as did 14d. Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm. Tomorrow is another day!

  24. Nice sunny crossword 😃 Like the weather today in Cambridgeshire ***/*** Favourites were 21a and 21d 🤗 Thanks to Twmbarlm and to the Compiler

  25. I thought this about right for a Tuesday and found it more fun than some. I initially went down the delegation route but realising that 19a was unsolvable I was forced to think again. It’s not often I pick an anagram a favourite but I did like 8d. Thanks to Shamus and T.

  26. Can’t say I really enjoyed this puzzle today. Very tricky/hard I thought.
    More like a puzzle that should have headed for the Toughie corner … not the back page.
    4*/2.5*

    Found the clues for the most part very convoluted and difficult to parse.

    Was a DNF for me in the end with three clues I just gave up on … Couldn’t spend any more time on it as I had other things to do.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  27. Jeemz @22 et al, some people are calling me T or Mr T for short, which is fine by me. (Like the original Mr T, I’m not happy on a plane.)
    As you might know, there’s a long-standing Financial Times setter whose pseudonym is Phssthpok, so it could be worse!

  28. Largely completed at a gallop but came unstuck with the deputation and therefore the upgrade. 2d is the only one I have encircled. Thanks Shamus and Twm.

  29. Definitely *** for difficulty for me, though not sure why as all fairly clued – got 2d from the checkers but needed the hint to parse it, now I understand I have no problem with it and nominate it COTD…

  30. Quite difficult but full of excellent and varied clues. Did finish but not unaided.. COTD was my LOI. Slved this one with help but had a Doh moment afterwards when I realised it was an anagram. Many thasnks to setter and to Twmbarlwm (who lives near me in South Wales!).

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