DT 30120 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30120

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30120

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where I have returned following a trip to northern Ontario and southern Manitoba. I encountered exceptional weather in both locations – sunny with temperatures in the very high teens (Celsius) – which is somewhat unusual for this time of year. It will not last long especially in northern Ontario – we drove past highway maintenance yards where fleets of snowplows were lined up ready to hit the road. Farmers in Manitoba were thankful for the late autumn as a wet spring had delayed planting. With their short growing season, the additional harvest time is definitely extremely welcome.

As some readers would be aware, for over thirteen years I have also been writing a blog here in Canada on the Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword which has been published in the National Post newspaper several months after it appears in the UK. I returned from my trip to discover that the National Post has dropped the cryptic crossword in favour of what one observer has called “a bunch of syndicated American garbage”. Fortunately, I have the option of now getting them direct from the source (with over five months of puzzles to catch up on).

As for today’s offering from Campbell, I found it more difficult than usual although that may be attributable to my being out of practice as a result of my trip.

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.


1a   Robber in gang, Italian (6)
BANDIT — another word for a gang precedes a shortened version of Italian (applicable to either the language or the vermouth)

5a   Way of cooking from a tin, or do differently (8)
TANDOORI — an anagram of (differently) the four preceding words

9a   I know I want to hear from you concerning a certain something (4,2,5,2)
TELL ME ABOUT IT — the wordplay constitutes a literal interpretation of the answer

10a   Diane’s eager to reform? Beg to differ (8)
DISAGREE — string together the usual shortened version of Diane, her accompanying S and an anagram of (to reform) EAGER

11a   Prophet in dreadful jail, shackled by what? (6)
ELIJAH — an anagram of (dreadful) JAIL contained in (shackled by) an informal expression that might be more poshly stated as “Pardon me, but would you mind repeating that?”

12a   Jellyfish petrifying woman (6)
MEDUSA — double definition, the first a denizen of the sea and the second a figure from Greek mythology

14a   Wears military gear (8)
FATIGUES — another definition, the first a verb and the second a noun

16a   Mother unhappy about the name on magazine’s cover? (8)
MASTHEAD — an informal name for one’s mother and a synonym for unhappy wrapped around (about) THE from the clue

19a   District in capital, with hospital (6)
PARISH — the capital of France and the street sign symbol for a hospital

21a   Tension caused by lover hiding note (6)
STRESS — a word for a female lover hiding [from view] the musical note that constitutes its initial two letters; thanks to Senf for bailing me out on this one

23a   Daily, one’s mother makes personal appeal (8)
CHARISMA — line up a daily or cleaning lady, a Roman one with its accompanying S, and a recently-seen informal term for mother

25a   Inconsistency in speech by the opposing side (13)
CONTRADICTION — split (6,7), the answer could mean the style of speech used by one’s opponents

26a   Member of the clergy, American patriot, approaching North Dakota (8)
REVEREND — a patriotic American horseman and the postal designator for North Dakota

27a   Comment about gospel (6)
REMARK — about or with reference to and the second Gospel


2d   Stretching across a large step (7)
ASTRIDE — the A from the clue and a large movement of the foot

3d   Greek character departs late, unfortunately (5)
DELTA — the railway schedule abbreviation for departs followed by an anagram of (unfortunately) LATE

4d   Poe poem: name later changed (9)
TAMERLANE — an anagram of (changed) NAME LATER

5d   Duck taken by each female thief (3,4)
TEA LEAF — a small duck that gave its name to a light bluish-green colour followed by the abbreviations for each and female give us a thief from the East End of London

6d   Snare wild ones crossing over (5)
NOOSE — an anagram of (wild) ONES enveloping the cricket abbreviation for over

7d   Oxford University set off in boat (9)
OUTRIGGER — the abbreviation for Oxford University and to set off, detonate, or cause to happen

8d   Desert people struggle to survive (3,4)
RAT RACE — a slang term for desert or abandon, especially in a time of trouble, and a people of common ancestry

13d   Completed articles on Lawrence? Ask for more (2,3,4)
UP THE ANTE — completed or over (as one would say of an alloted period of time), a definite article followed by an indefinite article, and the initials of Lawrence of Arabia

15d   Performer, stripper, removing top after short time (3-6)
TAP-DANCER — discard the initial letter (removing top) from the type of performance a stripper would provide in the back room; then place the remainder after the abbreviation for time

17d   Object the Parisian found under lorry (7)
ARTICLE — a French definite article following the shortened term for a bendable lorry

18d   Ruled, showing no doubt (7)
DECIDED — double definition, the first a verb meaning made a judgment and the second an adjective denoting resolute or determined

20d   Group studying remains in ruin (7)
SEMINAR — an anagram of (in ruin) REMAINS

22d   Sudden increase in power, in second, on drive (5)
SURGE — the physics symbol for second preceding (on in a down clue) an involuntary, natural, or instinctive impulse

24d   Turn of phrase used in papers over in Isle of Man (5)
IDIOM — the type of papers a young person must present in a bar embedded in the abbreviation for the Ilse of Man

No clue today really stood out for me so rather than pick a favourite I am going to give special mention to 21a which certainly caused me a great deal of the answer before Senf came to my aid and 15d which gets the raised-eyebrow-of-the-day award.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): WILDE + FOUL = WILDFOWL

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : POUR + TOLLS = PORTHOLES (rather than PORTALS)

Thank you to Rabbit Dave and Beaver for suggesting the better option for the second pun.

89 comments on “DT 30120
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  1. Some excellent clues in this anagram strewn fest. 5,7 & 13d were my favourites with the latter the best of the trio. I was able to guess the GK in 4d and all in all thought this a solid**/***. I did need Falcon to fully understand the reasoning behind 21 and 25a. Thanks Falcon and the setter.

  2. Very enjoyable. Of course I’d never heard of the poem but had enough checkers to get it from the fodder.
    Top clues for me were 11&21a plus 5&13d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  3. Is anyone having problems accessing the Telegraph’s Puzzles-Only subscription site, please?

    I’m being very careful not to read the review or – should there be any replies to this question, any comments about the puzzle.

    Why? Because for some reason I cannot log-in either to the good old puzzles site or even the new crap site. On the old one I enter my email & password (which worked on Saturday evening), and nothing happens; on the new site it tells me they don’t recognise my email address or possibly I’ve got the password wrong. I haven’t.

    I have the same problem whether I try accessing either site via Firefox (laptop & Android), Edge or Opera.

    Before I try to raise it with the DT I should be very grateful to hear whether “it’s just me”, or if I have company with this problem today!

    Many thanks in advance

      1. Many thanks Senf. Having tried all sorts during the morning, finally – and for no obvious reason – I found myself able to access both sites.

        1. Mustafa,

          Your problem and its unexplained disappearance might be explained by a corrupted cookie or other information in your browser cache. To speed up performance, the browser pulls information from its local cache rather than download it from the server each time it is needed. The cache is automatically updated every few hours at which time the corrupted information is replaced with a fresh copy downloaded from the server. The corrupted information in the cache will cause the problem as long as it is present but the problem will disappear once the cache is refreshed. You can force an update by flushing the cache.

          1. Hi Falcon Thank you for that, it’s most kind of you to go to so much trouble. “Flushing” may well have done the trick, but I do have all my browsers set to delete cookies / history / tabs every time I close the browser – which I do every time I finish a sesson doing anything online, whether it’s been for 2 minutes or 20. What perplexes me is that the problem was common across several browsers on both my laptop and android phone.

            Ah well, all sorted now at least!

            Thank you again.

            1. The fact that it affected multiple browsers would seem to rule out a local cache issue. I believe some ISPs maintain caches in the network to reduce network traffic and corrupted information in them can produce similar results as corrupted information in your local cache (but affect all your browsers). I don’t think there is any way for a user to bypass the network cache as it spoofs the server. The only thing a user can do is wait for the network cache to reset as per its normal refresh cycle.

        1. The lover is a MISTRESS

          Remove the musical note MI (Italian and usual North American spelling rather than what I believe to be the usual British spelling ME) to get STRESS or tension.

          Hiding is not a containment indicator as I initially supposed. Hiding is used in the sense of hiding the note from view, thus one sees only STRESS.

    1. Your comment went into moderation as you used your full first name instead of the alias you used previously. As the use of your first name is not unique, I have taken the liberty of ‘replacing’ it with your alias.

      Now to your question and paraphrasing, a particular female lover was once famously referred to, in an infamous interview, as a third person in a marriage.

  4. Definitely, for me, harder than the usual Monday offering but all the more enjoyable for that. I’d never heard of 4d but got it from the checkers then looked it up to make sure and was surprised at how many poems Poe wrote. My education is sadly lacking! My favourite was 13d- very clever. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for an enjoyable Monday morning

  5. Thought this one a good bit trickier than the usual Monday fare & very enjoyable too. Knew the poem & the petrifying woman but had to check what she had to do with jellyfish. Top 3 for me the downs at 3,7 & best of all 13.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps For some reason I’m now having to type in my details each time I comment despite ticking the box. Any suggestions?

    1. Huntsman, Mr K helped me out with this problem. There are two versions of the site: http://bigdave44.com and https://bigdave44.com. The latter is the secure version of the site. In their ever increasing desire to be security conscious, some browsers now block the effect of retaining data when you are on an unsecure site. The trick is to change your shortcut to the site to include the “s” after http.

      However, be warned that the Home button on the top menu takes you to the unsecure version of the site. The way to get round this is to click on the up arrow on that menu and then on the banner heading “Big Dave’s Crossword Blog” which takes you to the home page on the secure site.

      I may not have explained that terribly well, but perhaps if Mr K sees this he can supply more clear instructions.

    2. I was in Nice last month and was stung by a jellyfish – ‘medusa’ as some of my fellow swimmers shouted !

  6. I found this puzzle rather different to the usual campbell Monday puzzle and wondered if it was a different compiler. There were quite a few very straightforward clues, with a handful of head-scratchers, which were more oblique tham usual. Giesswork was more involved than usual and there were s handful of clues I couldn’t parse so thanks to Falcon for the hints and bad luck about the syndicated crosswords. I certainly enjoyed the General Kknowledge element in this puzzle, which is all too often absent from DT backpagers mowadays. My favourite clues were COTD, 4d, which I did recall, the 14a double definition and 7d, a very sly lego clue. Thanks to Campbell (?) For an unusual puzzle.

  7. Found this quite tough today and at one point thought I was heading for an incompletion, but stuck it out until it was finished.
    Is ‘Stripper’ really the correct term for the part of the answer in 15d? I thought they were two separate things. Favourites today were 17 and 7d.

  8. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Although I had a little bit of head-scratching, some of it self-inflicted:

    What I thought was a plausible, but apparently incorrect, first word for 8a held me up on 2d until it was corrected.

    With my English Literature O-level failed, I needed e-help to identify the 4d poem by an American poet.

    It took a while for the PDM on the use of ‘hiding’ and the synonym of lover in 21a; fortunately, the PDM occurred before I got the ‘e-mail a friend’ from Falcon.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  9. 1.5*/3.5*. The usual light Monday fun with 21a my favourite. Like others, I needed electronic help with 4d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

    P.S. I took the second Quickie pun to be “portholes”.

  10. A real mixed bag. I still do not understand 15 d.
    It was a bit much having to trawl through a list of Poe poems….I only knew The Raven’s “Nevermore”.
    COTD 12a

    1. Regarding 15: Oh dear, how does one explain this delicately. You start by removing the initial letter from what a stripper may be when she is not on stage. In this capacity, for a fee she escorts a customer to a back room where, seated on him, she gyrates her anatomy so as to produce, shall we say, a stimulating experience. You place what is left after the abbreviation (short) for time to get a performer of quite a different form of dance.

          1. I was as naive as you Kath because I failed to suss that that which was called for was replacing “l” with “t”!

            1. In the likely event that a fair few of the regular back-page commentators are unaware that your puzzle is over in the Rookie Corner slot & you’re too modest to give it a plug I’ll do it for you…..

  11. I must admit my initial shock at seeing the presence of 4d in today’s delightful cryptic–or anywhere else for that matter–as it must be the Jingle Man’s most self-indulgent (“Halo of Hell!”) of all his works, though reading it again (after 50+ years?), as I just did, makes me long for the refreshing longueurs (how’s that for an oxymoron?) of the classroom. (I’ve been retired almost 20 years now.) Oh yes, the puzzle: very enjoyable, especially with such delicious clues as 12a (has to be my Clarkie of the Day), as well as 13d, 9a (which I thought was an American colloquialism, but apparently not), 5d, & 20d. Great surfaces! Thanks to Falcon and Campbell 2* / 4*

  12. 4d not only English library Selected writings of the man, nor did any of the English poetry sites come up with it. I see a first edition of the book of the same name sold for $625000 in 2009 at Christie’s so some value of only monetary.

    Otherwise s harder than usual Monday offering from Campbell but none the less fun for that. 11a was my favourite today.

    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell for their good work this morning.

  13. Nicely constructed puzzle.
    A few gems eg 9a, 7 and 13d.
    Last in which should not have been last in, 2d.
    So, **/****.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  14. Certainly a star up from the usual Monday puzzle, much enjoyed,took a while to parse 21a and 15d otherwise straight forward.
    Liked the surfaces of 26a and the 23a charade,favourite was 12a.
    Going for a **/****.’
    My Quickie bottom line pun was Portholes-anybody else?

  15. Like others, it took a while for the penny to drop for me over 21a despite the answer being obvious. I also toyed with ‘truckle’ for 17d until it couldn’t be.
    Top places went to 10,21&23a plus 8d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – don’t think I’ll be joining the army any time soon!
    PS I took the second pun to be as RD suggested.

  16. A typically enjoyable Campbellesque puzzle for a sunny Monday morning. I will join the 21a appreciation society and add the elegant 10a as runner up.

    Thanks to the double punner and Falcon.

  17. Thought this Monday puzzle, that I solved Sunday early evening along with our sunny weather, (25C again today), a brilliant offering.
    Thoroughly enjoyed it.
    2*/4.5* for me

    Favourites could easily be 80% of the clues, but I picked today 9a, 19a, 21a, 26a, 27a & 13d and I just can’t pick a winner, but 9a really did make me smile!

    Trouble parsing 12a & 23a even though the answers are definitely correct.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for hints I didn’t get to use.

  18. It sounds as though you have had the rug pulled out from under your feet Falcon – no warning at all, how rude. This made us stop and think – on a first run through I only entered three, but a bit more effort gradually filled the grid. I did not know 12a but it was a good guess and George knew 4d straight away ( I thought there was a B in it, but obviously G’s time at Campbell wasn’t wasted). Are we supposed to read anything into 21a, 2d, 15d and 14a? Is there a theme here? I am still surprised at Falcons explanation of 15d and wonder if I shall have to stop offering my pole dancing act as a replacement if the WI speaker does not arrive?

  19. Well, eventually I got access to the puzzles site, and it was well worth it. Good Monday Campbell fare, relaitively light and most enjoyable, with a couple of more testing clues to keep the little grey cells ticking over.

    5d and 13d share the podium for me.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  20. Campbell gets the week off to a nicely demanding start. Needed help with parsing 15d and I am afraid also with 4d. Forgot the cockney rhyming slang so 5d took a while to dawn even though one recently stole my wallet in Waitrose. My Fav was 21a with 9a running up. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  21. Found this a lot tougher than the normal Monday offering, glad to see it was rated as***. I was defeated by 12a and 13d, I was just looking at them the wrong way, no lateral thinking there. I wouldn’t say a stripper was necessarily a lap dancer, they might even be offended by the suggestion. I think 14 was referred to as working dress in the British army, perhaps they have now adopted the American army term. Thanks to all.

    1. I agree with your comment regarding strippers. I guess you could say that lap dancing is an ancillary service provided by some strippers. I had a similar thought as you regarding army dress but I find that it is not unusual for Campbell to use American terms.

    2. I’ve been in the Army Reserves for 35 years and we don’t use the term fatigues. As you say we use ‘working dress’.

  22. Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, good start to the week. Very difficult for a Monday. Had to Google 4d,realised it was an anagram, but had never heard of it. Couldn’t get 12a, had heard of the scary woman, but didn’t know it was a jellyfish. Also beaten by 13d, would never have thought of that. Also needed the hints to parse 15d, and 21a. I only understood the latter from Falcon’s reply to comment 4, couldn’t get it from the hints. Favourite was 26a. Was 4* / 3* for me.

  23. Oh dear! My usual Monday trouble!
    My ignorance is worse than I’m prepared to to admit – it might be best to leave it at that!
    I’ve never heard of 4d or 16a.
    2d took me for ever – my last answer.
    I think my favourite was probably 1a – very simple and efffective!
    9a is one of those expressions that drives me crazy – so overused!
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to Falcon for the hints.

    1. PS Something I read fairly recently which made me laugh – the trouble with the answer to 8d is that even to win it you’re still only a rat!

  24. How very odd. I thought this was as near R&W as I had come across for ages. Never heard of the poem but as it was an anagram it was easily solvable. Sorry if my comments irritate those who found it tricky, I know how I feel when others make the same comment.
    Thx to all

  25. Having started the hare running with my query about 15 d I’ve been enjoying reading the rest of the blog. What with lap dancers and mistresses we otherwise sedate group seem to have got quite racy! What will we be discussing next?

    1. I’ll tell you what we should be discussing next before anyone calls us a sedate group – try talking about some of Ray T’s clues! Several sounded risque – almost blue! I don’t know how he did it but the actual answers ended sounded completely innocent! I wish I could do justice by remembering his clues properly!! I’ll work on it . . .

      1. I can have a go . . .
        The definition “as it may happen”
        The clue :- On a pole, movie rhythmically topless, maybe
        The answer:- PERCHANCE
        Oh dear – it’s not quite right, actually, it’s quite a big not right but with a bit of luck there’s the idea!

        1. Kath,

          You came close — and what a memory you have. And what memories this clue evokes.

          RayT from September 22, 2011 (DT 26664), reviewed by Big Dave himself. (Link to the review)

          9a Topless, move rhythmically on pole, maybe (9)
          {PERCHANCE} – take a word meaning to move rhythmically, drop the initial letter (topless) and precede it by a pole for a bird to roost on to get the cunningly disguised definition – maybe

          From the days before underlined definitions (note the definition is explicitly identified in the hint), before the advent of SPOILERS (the answer is in white text on the website so you have to highlight it to see it), and from the days when risqué illustrations were de rigueur on the blog.

          Big Dave accompanied the hint with a suitable (for the day) illustration with a note “I just love a challenge, Kath!“.

  26. I thought that this was a really good Monday puzzle – thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    My ticks went to 14a, 21a and 13d.

  27. I really enjoyed today’s puzzle and only encountered a few head scratching moments. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon. I do enjoy using this site, finding it so helpful and encouraging but I also love it for the friendly and at times, extremely interesting conversations! Please don’t stop I would miss it so much.

  28. Lovely Monday back pager 😃**/**** Favourites 16 & 19 across and 5d 👍 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell PS should have had a picture for 5d 😬

          1. She was charged with one “county” of misdemeanor (US sp.) theft.

            And you are correct, perhaps she was caught allegedly stealing the duck.

  29. Even with all the checkers 4d was not solvable if you hadn’t heard of the obscure poem by someone I was only vaguely aware of. There were multiple possible solutions and I had to resort to the Wikipedia page of the poet.

    Otherwise an enjoyable and straightforward solve.

    Thanks to all.

  30. I’m a longtime follower of the DT cryptic in the National Post and of Falcon’s blog. What a treat to find him here providing hints, on the first day after NP stopped printing the DT puzzle. Cheers to all you British puzzlers.

  31. Not heard of the poem in 4d but made the only word that sounded reasonable and looked it up, lo and behold there it was. I have come across 12a and 16a in crosswords before. I parsed 9a as a double definition. Wasn’t keen on the unhinted americanism in 21a. Favourite was 5d but, as I’ve pointed out before, rhyming slang isn’t restricted to the east end of London it’s used all over England. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

      1. I believe he is referring to MI for the note. Some British dictionaries call for the use of the anglicized (anglicised?) ME spelling with the MI spelling being characterized (charactised?) as North American (even though it is Italian!).

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