DT 30116 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30116

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30116

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Back to our normal two kiwi team again this week.

Another typical Wednesday puzzle to deal with on a cool blustery day.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Incompetent bunch? I’m not sure after demonstration (6)
SHOWER : Demonstration or display and then a two word interjection meaning ‘I’m not sure’.

5a     Breaking rib in a hurry to improve image (8)
AIRBRUSH : ‘A’ from the clue and hurry or move quickly contain an anagram (breaking) of RIB.

9a     Belief in keeping new promises (10)
IMPRESSION : An anagram (new) of PROMISES is enclosed by ‘in’ from the clue.

10a     Signals last of sugar to be removed from preserves (4)
CUES : The last letter of sugar is removed from preserves, possibly using brine or smoke.

11a     Tick off day being hugged by a beautiful person (8)
ADMONISH : The three letters for one of the days of the week is surrounded by ‘A’ from the clue and and a colloquial word for a beautiful person.

12a     In conclusion, the French play regularly on street (6)
LASTLY : The French definite article, then ST(reet) and the second and fourth letters of play.

13a     Report of name being held in reserve (4)
BANG : Reserve or claim for oneself contains N(ame).

15a     Unit dismissing one old part of hospital is inconvenient (8)
UNTOWARD : Remove Roman numeral one from the word ‘unit’, then O(ld) and a part of a hospital.

18a     Drink may be essential to best journalists only at first (8)
ESPRESSO : The essential part (two central letters) of best, then a collective term for journalists and the first letter of only.

19a     Enthusiastic about, if not moving without force (4)
INTO : An anagram (moving) of I(f) NOT without F(orce).

21a     Dar es Salaam sadly lacking sales fleet (6)
ARMADA : An anagram (sadly) of DAR (es sal)AAM without the letters of the word ‘sales’.

23a     Send a letter of request as result of vehicle collision (5-3)
WRITE-OFF : Without the hyphen we have a phrase that could mean send a letter of request.

25a     Well-provided-for, having arms from the east (4)
SNUG : A reversal (from the east) of some firearms.

26a     Some decide target night should be rejected as unified (10)
INTEGRATED : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

27a     Case of remarkable one-time revolutionary (8)
REFORMER : The first and last letters (case) of remarkable and then one-time or used-to-be.

28a     Easily irritated, I will leave the City in turmoil (6)
TETCHY : An anagram (in turmoil) of THE C(i)TY without ‘I’ from the clue.


2d     Sultry individual without an ID (5)
HUMID : Someone of our species without ‘an’ then ‘ID’ from the clue.

3d     Friendly German keeps working for aggressive type (9)
WARMONGER : The temperature used to describe friendly, then a two letter word meaning working and a three letter abbreviation for German.

4d     Country game getting a lot of criticism (6)
RUSTIC : New Zealand’s national game, then a familiar word for criticism without its last letter.

5d     Flounder — when caught out of place? (1,4,3,2,5)
A FISH OUT OF WATER : The answer could describe a flounder that has been caught.

6d     Restraint needed during calls for locks (8)
RINGLETS : A verb meaning calls on the telephone surrounds a legal restraint.

7d     Runs and manages to find missing leader (5)
RACES : Remove the first letter from ‘manages to find’ or locates.

8d     Master criminal picking everything up must be suspect (5,1,3)
SMELL A RAT : An anagram (criminal) of MASTER holds the reversal (up) of a synonym for everything.

14d     Promise confidence (9)
ASSURANCE : A double definition.

16d     Fish and wine perhaps a bit off (9)
WHITEBAIT : A wine type described by colour and an anagram (off) of A BIT.

17d     Sorry impasse surrounding Conservative flight from reality (8)
ESCAPISM : An anagram (sorry) of IMPASSE contains C(onservative).

20d     Unusually gifted, one’s always on the move (6)
FIDGET : An anagram (unusually) of GIFTED.

22d     Trouble from elements in stag groups? (5)
AGGRO : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

24d     Extra meat after changing sides (5)
FRESH : Start with a word for meat and change its L(eft) to R(ight.

Quickie pun    beer    +    frayed    =    be afraid


55 comments on “DT 30116

  1. I agree with the 2Kiwis rating and enjoyed this and all its anagrams. 1a and 5d both very good with the latter being my COTD. Thanks to the 2K’s and the setter.

  2. 4*/4*. This was good fun but provided a tough challenge for a Wednesday, particularly in the top half.

    “.. of request” in 23a seems unnecessary.

    Re 21a, isn’t a secondary anagram indicator needed when letters to be removed from anagram fodder appear in a different order, or have I misremembered that?

    My top picks today are 18a, 8d, 16d & 17d.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

    1. Collins gives write off as send someone a letter “usually asking for something” RD so I guess you pay your money and you take your choice as to whether it’s superfluous or not.

  3. Classy puzzle that one way or another felt (intentionally, I’m sure) very topical.
    Got 13a from checkers and wordplay rather than definition.
    4d was my favourite amongst many fine clues.
    Many thanks to the setter and the Ks.

  4. A most enjoyable and straightforward puzzle for a Wednesday. Wanted to put in “Russia” at 4d – well, it does get a lot of justified criticism, so the surface would have been great, but it didn’t parse and that was that. Knew 21a would provoke a comment – it is certainly something that would be highlighted in a RC puzzle, but maybe if you’re a published setter the usual guidance doesn’t apply! Rather a lot of anagrams, and rather a lot of “take away (a) letter(s)” clues, but a good solid puzzle and a satisfying challenge.

    Hon Mentions to 15a, 21a, 28a, 7d & COTD 22d.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks presumably to Jay, and to the 2Ks

  5. A comfortable puzzle from our Wednesday maestro without recourse to his alter ego.
    1a put me in mind of ‘It ain’t half hot, Mum’ and my top three were 5,17&26d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our re-united 2Ks – hope you’re taking the chance to put your feet up, Carole!

  6. 10a and 7d took an age and put me well into 3.5* time.
    Overall, a most enjoyable tussle.
    In a field of strong contenders, 5a is my COTD.
    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  7. A rather anagram-heavy puzzle – thanks to Jay (?) and 2Ks.
    My ticks went to 2d, 3d and 22d.
    I can never see the 1a answer without thinking of that funny actor Terry-Thomas:

  8. Agree with Jane’s pick of the clues with the reverse lurker the best of them for me. Pretty straightforward though maybe a slight step up in difficulty from the first two days. Windsor Davies didn’t occur to me at 1a but Terry Thomas certainly did.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.
    Ps Stick Insect in the Toughie slot mercifully easier than Donny yesterday

  9. If I wasn’t prevented from gardening by reaction to flu and fifth Covid jabs I would not have managed more than half a dozen clues. As it was I persevered and got over half but still needed electronic help to finish. After two finishes this week this was a timely reminder of how much more I need to learn to progress as a solver of crosswords.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and to Ray T.

  10. There were nine anagrams in this one, following on from Gazza’s remark above, which is for me, as he says, ‘heavy’. It’s a good puzzle however, and mildly tricky, to which I’ll doff my cap. ***/***.

  11. Sun still shining here and in Crosswordland 😎 **/**** Favourites 5 & 23a and 14 & 16d 🤗 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Jay for a proper back pager👍

  12. An enjoyable romp while it lasted, with a couple of clues stretching out my solving time. The topical 17d was my favourite ahead of 8d and the very good reverse lurker. Top stuff.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. The NW corner of the Toughie grid remains absent of letters as I type this.

  13. Nicely testing. 6d bunged in as let didn’t ring a bell. Fav 5d with 8d running up. 28a another indicator I didn’t twig. Thank you Jay(?) and 2Ks

  14. Well, I got to the end of this one but I did find it quite difficult.
    Some nice clues .

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

    Miserable day today so far, but signs of blue skies coming from the north.

  15. A nice puzzle which I found a bit tricky in places and and slightly more difficult than the average Wednesday offering. Mostly fine clues gave an enjoyable tussle/solve. I have ticked half a dozen and will mention 2d. 3*/4*

  16. My first thought was – tricky! But closer examination revealed a very clever and elegant puzzle that needed some thinking but was always fair. My favourites were 21a and 23a.
    Enjoyable once you got on the setters wavelength.
    Thx to all

  17. I enjoyed it, particularly 5a which I thought was simply brilliant and all a cryptic clue should be. 21a was a nice rendition of an old favourite even though there may be an indicator missing – I still got it so it worked. I also liked 8d and 26a. I didn’t quite get extra as being fresh but it had to be and I am sure it is thus described in a hefty tome somewhere. Many thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  18. A very enjoyable crossword.
    3* for difficulty for us.
    Can’t understand the use of let meaning restraint though in 6 down. Can someone explain?

    1. An archaic meaning of let is ‘to hinder or prevent’ leading to a hindrance, obstruction or delay

  19. For some reason (that I’m a foreigner perhaps?!), the particular use of 1a is something I can’t ever remember seeing before–so where have I been? Anyway, I did manage to bung it in correctly and then researched it (precious little to be found–maybe someone can enlighten me further?). The puzzle didn’t really seem very Jayesque to me, but it was enjoyable enough, with 5d, 5a, 26a, & 21a my picks for the day. Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. 2.5* / 3.5*

    1. Robert, shower is a word that’s often used to describe a particularly inept group of people, even more derogatory terms have developed from it that I couldn’t possibly mention here.
      I tend to agree that the puzzle didn’t seem very “Jayesque” but we seem to be in a minority of two so probably incorrect.

        1. Robert, rather than SL’s thought that more derogatory terms have developed from the word “shower”, I have been led to believe that its use is a shortened form of a derogatory phrase, e.g. “you lot are like a shower of ….”

    2. Hi Robert.
      A direct quote from BRB “shower:…..a disparaging term applied to any particular group of people one disapproves of (sl)”.
      I (Colin) knew it while Carol, who has the broader vocab, took some convincing.

      1. Thanks to RD, Colin, & Carole for the further enlightenment. I think I’ve begun to get the image…or perhaps, rather, the messy metaphor! I’ll not soon forget that!

  20. Maybe it’s me, but another puzzle that really didn’t float my boat today. Didn’t seem like a Jay offering today, but what do I know.

    Some hard to parse clues and some where the answer didn’t make a lot of sense, based on the clue, to my brain.

    Favourites today 12a, 23a, 5d & 20d

    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s

  21. Is any other iPad app user experiencing an issue with the crosswords (all three) whereby *some* entered answers are lost when the app is closed and later reopened? It started yesterday. I’ve done all the usual things, except delete and reload. That instruction reminds me of the old IT Help Desk response of: “Reformat your hard drive”!

  22. Late on parade today, due to a day spent planting up bulbs in the garden, then watching the Young Musician of the Year final on the i-player. I agree with the others, who didn’t find this typical of a Jay puzzle. There were a lot of ana grams but always enjoy them. 5d was a great ceyptic definition and 15d a good double definition, whilst the two lego clues at 11a and 16d were also good, so there was plenty of funapartvfrom the anagrams. Thanks to the reunited Kiwis for the hints an to the compiler

  23. I find Jay the setter who varies more than any one else in difficulty terms – always enjoyable but can be very tricky.
    A brilliant crossword today.
    I was beaten by a couple of answers – dimI
    I thought of 4d for quite a long time before thinking what BD would have said – if you can’t explain your answer it’s probably wrong – needless my 4d was wrong!! Dim, again!
    Too many good clues to pick out any in particular except perhaps 5d – oh, and a few others too . . .
    Thanks to Jay for the crossword and to the K’s for the hints and pics – please could Jay ask his mate (Logman) at home next time – he’s a bit much . . . .

  24. Morning all.
    We did wonder how many people would just bung in an answer for 4d without checking the wordplay. We’re in the habit on Wednesdays of making sure that all the boxes are ticked before putting pen to paper.
    We must be well and truly on Jay’s wavelength (assuming he is the setter) these days as it all flowed smoothly for us.

    1. Add me to the list of those bunging in Russia for 4d. It was my last one in and I just thought I’d check with you how it parsed. Thanks for the rude awakening!

  25. This is my second attempt to post as I temporarily lost signal strength earlier. Completed (almost) this puzzle in 2 halves due to other activities. I couldn’t get 13a despite two checking letters (was looking for a name, doh!). Last clue in 4d Russia! What more can I say other than many thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. I found this quite a challenge, managed it all except 7d, I had “racks” as my answer, no wonder it didn’t make sense 🤔. Nice puzzle, my favourite was 18a. LOI was 10a. Was 3* / 3* for me.

  27. Well if RD says it’s good but a tough challenge I’m really thrilled to say that I nearly attempted a lot of it on my own- with extra hints of course so feeling very pleased with myself. Thanks to Jay and the two Kiwis for much needed hints. I’m now cat sitting in London for a week-makes a change from granny duties! Only drawback is not being able to knit as Maxcat rather enjoys attacking the wool. Am off to lovely independent book shop tomorrow for my next read – after being a granny that lunches! Bliss.

    1. What are you reading now, GH? I’m about 125 pages into Ian McEwan’s new tome of a novel, LESSONS, and enjoying it, mostly, though there have been some rather strange digressions along the way. About 350 pages to go!

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