DT 30118 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30118

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30118

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

The ‘smoothness’ of the clues suggests to me that Silvanus is the red hot odds-on favourite to be today’s setter so I don’t think that Huntsman is going to get much of a return on the five bob that he was prepared to risk yesterday.

Candidates for favourite – 8a, 12a, 21a, 7d, 15d, and 18d.

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 Small number approach, right to enter country (6)
NORWAY: The single letter for Right Inserted into (to enter) an abbreviated form of number and a synonym of approach (as in method?).

4a Timely reminder (6)
PROMPT: A double definition – the second might be a reminder given to an actor forgetting his or her lines.

8a Doubts prison officer holds back reportedly (8)
SCRUPLES: A homophone (reportedly) of the combination of a slang synonym for prison officer and a single word term equivalent to holds back.

10a Cork licensee gutted finding gross mismanagement (6)
BUNGLE: A synonym of cork (as in stopper) and LicenseE with the interior letters deleted (gutted).

11a Desire of charming woman to go topless (4)
ITCH: A charming woman, who is celebrated later this month, with her first letter removed (to go topless).

12a Sweetheart having wild fling with rider (10)
GIRLFRIEND: Not Ray T’s sweetheart! An anagram (wild) of FLING and (with) RIDER.

13a Relative dunce is soon struggling over calculus primarily (6,6)
SECOND COUSIN: An anagram (struggling) of DUNCE IS SOON containing (over) the first letter (primarily) of Calculus.

16a Impetuous writer in car lacking a vehicle safety feature? (5,7)
CRASH BARRIER: A synonym of impetuous and a Scottish writer (of Peter Pan fame) inserted into CaR from the clue with the A deleted (lacking).

20a Unattached princess’s telephone line is busy? (10)
DISENGAGED: The people’s princess, with the possessive S and a single word term for telephone line is busy.

21a Boozy type of party animal (4)
STAG: A double definition – the second is illustrated.

22a Weapon, prototype initially, one many rejected (6)
PISTOL: The first letter (initially) of Prototype, the Roman numeral for one, and a synonym of many reversed (rejected).

23a Doctor hasty to claim unknown politician shows compassion (8)
SYMPATHY: An anagram (doctor) of HASTY containing (to claim) an (algebraic) unknown and the two letters for a politician who sits in the House of Commons.

24a Today’s setter, awfully angry about having poor definition? (6)
GRAINY: An anagram (awfully) of ANGRY containing today’s setter represented by the perpendicular pronoun.

25a Time to interrupt college education in Leeds perhaps (6)
UNITED: The single letter for Time inserted into (to interrupt) the abbreviated form of a synonym of college and an abbreviated form of education.


1d Subtle points of detail in good clothing (8)
NICETIES: A synonym of good and some clothing (accessories?).

2d Crude sketch of bird, we’re told (5)
ROUGH: A homophone (we’re told) of a medium-sized Eurasian wading bird which is a type of sandpiper.

3d Aluminium key, not new it’s claimed (7)
ALLEGED: The chemical symbol for aluminium and a synonym of key (as in on a map?) with its ‘N’ removed (not new).

5d Snubs fans supporting Forest essentially (7)
REBUFFS: A synonym of fans (as in followers) placed after (supporting) the middle two letters (essentially) of foREst.

6d Revolutionary, somewhat headstrong, is nominated as cleric (9)
MONSIGNOR: A reversed lurker (revolutionary, somewhat) found in three words in the clue.

7d Kind of scout to give money in the past (6)
TALENT: A double definition – the second was the subject of a NT parable.

9d Tomb of Argos chap surprisingly just discovered (11)
SARCOPHAGUS: An anagram (surprisingly) of ARGOS CHAP followed by the inner letters of jUSt (discovered).

14d Group of musicians love star, Cher, performing (9)
ORCHESTRA: The letter that represents love in the score in a racquet game and an anagram (performing) of (STAR, CHER).

15d Daughter, extremely embarrassed, welcomes facial hair being removed (8)
DETACHED: The single letter for Daughter and the outer letters (extremely) of EmbarrasseD contains (welcomes) the abbreviated informal form of some facial hair growing under one’s nose.

17d African diary grandmother keeps up (7)
ANGOLAN: The reversal (up) of all of a four letter pet name for a grandmother containing (keeps) a type of diary (as maintained by Captain Kirk?).

18d Warning after mad bid’s oddly abandoned for corporation (7)
ABDOMEN: A synonym of warning is placed after what remains after the odd letters of mAd BiD’s have been removed (oddly abandoned).

19d Refusing to reveal heavy defeat (6)
HIDING: A double definition – the first is what the Orange One was (allegedly) doing with classified documents.

21d Fashionable sorts of electric vehicles on the rise (5)
SMART: The reversal (on the rise) of sorts of electric vehicles (that run on rails).

The Quick Crossword Pun:

PALLY + ARCHIE = PAGLIACCIan Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo, first performed in 1892 (according to e-help pronunciation guides the ‘G’ is silent).

45 comments on “DT 30118
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  1. I thought this bit harder than Senf at ***/***.A lot of the clues fell easily but some were stubborn and I needed Senf’s hint to understand 8a which was my last one in. I thought 24&25d both very good and the former was my COTD. Thanks to Senf and the setter for the challenge.

  2. Very enjoyable. Most went in nice and smoothly but I was held up in the NW for a short while even though I had 1a. As Kath would say, dim.
    I liked the two football related clues, the terrific reverse lurker at 6d along with 24a&3d but top spot goes to the excellent 1d.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Senf for the first class fun

    Ps…I failed miserably on the Quickie Pun having “polyarchy”

  3. 2*/5*. Cryptic crossword perfection! All the clues were excellent so I am not even going to try to decide on a favourite.

    Many thanks to Silvanus presumably and to Senf.

  4. I found this a little tricky in places, and I ended up staring at my last two in (24a, 19d) for a while before the penny eventually dropped.

    Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle.

  5. Really really enjoyed this, just the right amount of difficulty for me and a google check needed at 2d. Fav clue 1d. Thank you Senf and “todays setter” 😊

  6. Unbelievably this was my best effort this week. Solved and parsed alone and unaided in what was a good time for me.
    A very enjoyable crossword with lots of lovely clues.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    21a reminded me of a recent trip to Edinburgh…a very popular place for 21a parties. The grooms are almost always ridiculously dressed but this time took the biscuit . The groom was dressed in a pink inflatable unicorn topped off with a pink pointy hat and carrying a wand along with the unicorn reins of course……which was memorable.

  7. A DNF for me I’m afraid. I managed to complete three quarters of the puzzle, although I found the clues very tricky but couldn’t get a single clue in the NW corner of the puzzle. I tried leaving it and coming back to it but still found it totally impenetrable. I did like 16a and 12a. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Sylvanus (?) For the puzzle

  8. I’m with RD on this one and so will not nominate a favourite as all the clues were from the top drawer. I will concede that 8a was my final entry and they often emerge as COTD. The whole grid was beautifully and elegantly constructed which points me in the direction of Silvanus as the setter.

    Many thanks to him and the hard-working Senf. Your efforts are much appreciated.

  9. Great puzzle, wonderful Quickie pun, lots of fun. The usual smooth surfaces by this setter, accompanied by some very clever clues, especially 1d, 19d, & 16a. Thanks to Senf and Silvanus. 2.5* / 4.5*

  10. Great stuff – thanks to Silvanus and to Senf (especially for the Quickie pun which defeated me).
    My podium selections, from a multitude of contenders, were 21a, 6d and 7d.

  11. Beaten by two. The ridiculously easy 11a and the clever reverse lurker in 6d. The latter is my COTD
    The Quickie pun is a bit obscure isn’t it?

  12. The surface read maestro does it again with another excellent puzzle – I may even forgive him for the Quickie pun in time!
    First impulse ticks went to 8,20&24a plus 1&2d but in truth many others were worthy contenders.

    Thanks to Silvanus for the great pleasure and to Senf for a commendable review. I did enjoy the Porridge clip – one from the heyday of TV sitcoms.

    1. My favourite sit-com of all time ahead of Fawlty Towers – shame the clip finished before the toilet roll reveal.

  13. Absolutely wonderful Friday fare – a stiffer challenge than the preceding backpagers (and it was only in this week’s newsletter that Mr Lancaster stated – or words to the effect – Backpage Puzzles were fully intended to get increasingly more testing from Monday through to Friday), cracking surface reads, impeccably fair clueing throughout. COTD shared between the superb lurker in 6d, and the laugh out loud brevity of 11a. Hon Mention to 7d.

    3* / 5*

    Many thanks indeed to the Setter and also to Senf

    1. Long ago elected mayors were the successful businessmen who ate so well they were obese. The saying ‘The mayor and his Corporation’ referred to his portly figure.

    2. Welcome to the blog.

      A not uncommon use of ‘corporation’ in crosswords which the BRB, inter alia, defines as ‘a belly, esp a pot-belly (inf)’ and ‘corporation’ and ‘belly’ can be found in an on-line thesaurus under ‘abdomen.’

  14. A truly excellent puzzle. Great clues, a tricky tussle and a very pleasing solve. Favourite of a fine bunch: 6d. 3*/4*.

  15. I scanned the clues quickly and thought I wouldn’t bother but as I am resting with Covid I looked at it again. Yes it was difficult but with perseverance I managed all but two. For me this was a triumph in the crossword quarter of life which I hope is a good omen for the future.

    Like others there are so many good clues with no duff ones that I nominate the whole puzzle for a more than honourable mention.

    Thank you to Senf and Silvanus for a wonderful morning’s pleasure.

  16. An excellent Friday puzzle with diverse cluing throughout,
    Difficult to pick a favourite , liked the surface of 21a ,remember seeing the monarch of the glen in one of the London galleries many years ago-probably the national-thanks Senf for the pic
    Going for a **/***/***** too.

  17. Made heavy weather of this.
    Completed unaided but in 4* time.
    Last in, took an age, 2a, a big duh!
    Great clueing throughout eg 16 and 21a and 17d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  18. Many thanks to Senf for his excellent decryptions and illustrations and to all those taking the trouble to comment. Great to hear that BD is now home and I wish him all the best for his recuperation.

    During a very pleasant walk in Bushy Park earlier this week, I saw more than one 21a and they were making quite a bit of noise too, but the rutting season is now under way so I suppose they need to advertise their presence!

    A good weekend to all.

  19. Super puzzle, just right. I made heavy weather of the NW but managed to stumble over the line. Favourite was 8a. Thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

    1. I’ll try not to make this too complicated. In my experience, most homophones are like 2d – single word answer based on single ‘source word.’ What we have in 8a is two source words each ‘generating’ a syllable of a two syllable answer, and, neither of those syllables is a word in its own right.

  20. Another great puzzle to follow up on yesterdays offering. For me 2.5*/4*

    Lots to like in this one and hard to pick favourites from the many great clues that were in this puzzle.
    My picks for favourites though are 8a,10a, 20a, 21a, 23a & 3d — with winner 20a … and a chuckle too!

    Thanks to Silvanus & Senf for the hints.

  21. Silvanus did us proud today with this exercise which called for just enough deliberation. Top half yielded first. 25a unparsed as I know little about soccer. Fav was 16. Wonderful to hear via Silvanus that the maestro is home. Thanks Silvanus for a delightful puzzle and Senf for hints.

  22. Late to this today. I may only have been prepared to risk 5 bob punting blind yesterday but would happily have gone all in at a very early stage of this typical belter of a puzzle from Mr Smooth. Not as difficult as some of his recent Friday back-pagers but as evert bit as enjoyable. Thought yesterday’s Ray T reverse lurker terrific but today’s one at 6d is even better so it will do as my pick but a host of other goodies to choose from – 8,12,13&16a plus 1,5,14&15d to mention just 4 of each
    Thanks to Silvanus & Self.
    Ps After Donny & Firefly & having just glanced at Elgar’s difficulty rating reckon I’ll give the scalp an evening off & swerve Osmosis in the Toughie slot.

    1. One of our number turns out surprisingly to have talent as a would-be bookmaker. According to him, your bet of yesterday has earned you sixpence – not sure who you can claim it from, though!

  23. Found this one, as should be, the trickiest of this week 🤔 but plenty of excellent clues ***/**** Favourites 2d (had to be) 1d and 8a 😃 Thanks to Senf for his assistance and photo of 2d and to Sylvanus 🤗

  24. Definitely the most challenging puzzle of the week. I managed to get through it at full *** level apart from 21 across which defeated me. It shouldn’t have!
    I do like a good homophone and I thought the brilliant 8a was right up there with the best of them. Thank you Silvanus for an enjoyable tussle. Thanks too to Senf for the enlightenment and particularly for sharing the extract from my all-time favourite sitcom Porridge.

  25. How lovely to have a Friday crossword that it’s worth trying and I know I can have a go and enjoy it even if I can’t finish it.
    Silly to have spent so many years doing Thursday hints for Ray T with his sweetheart and then not immediately getting Silvanus’s equivalent – oh dear!
    Needless to say I was quite a long way off finishing but it kept me going for a long time while the rain poured down.
    Lots of lovely clues that got me going – mainly in the top left corner – very encouraging and made me keep going.
    Thanks to Silvanus for the crossword and to Senf for the hints – some of the hints got me into a muddle but thanks anyway.

  26. Very pleased to have finished this crossword without help or hints. I made it harder than it should have been with quite a few relatively straightforward clues taking me ages.

    LOI was 25a. Obviously Leeds has a football team, but I spent ages trying to get castle to fit. Penultimate one in was 21d. Only then did the penny drop…

    Thanks to all.

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