DT 30121 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30121

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30121
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

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

Good morning. This puzzle was great fun from the very first clue, with plenty of wit and a very neat all-in-one/&lit clue as one of my favourites. Lots of elegant deception on display, often disguising the join between definition and wordplay to make a convincing surface story. An absolute pleasure to solve, and 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 Athletes who get the highest value petrol annoyed with Shell initially (4-8)
POLE-VAULTERS: An anagram (annoyed) of VALUE PETROL precedes a first letter as indicated

9a Your label’s different colour (5,4)
ROYAL BLUE: Another anagram straight away: YOUR LABEL (‘s different)

10a Large number following daughter’s plan (5)
DRAFT: The usual letter for daughter is followed by an informal term for a large amount (or something you might build to escape a desert island)

11a Father pulled back locks, revealing outcast (6)
PARIAH: A two-letter word for father, then a reversal (pulled back) of what locks, or perhaps tresses, comprise

12a Fool European maiden by holding large meeting (8)
ASSEMBLY: A word for a foolish person, then two often-seen single-letter abbreviations, are placed before ‘by’ from the clue containing (holding) another one-letter abbreviation

13a Hard interrupting Italian novelist, editor reflected (6)
ECHOED: The usual diminutive of ‘editor’ follows an initialism of ‘hard’ that must be inserted into (interrupting) the surname of a best-selling author from Piedmont

15a Egg on sandwiches Mussolini, perhaps, made (8)
PRODUCED: A verb for ‘egg on’ (or a noun if it’s used to control cattle) contains a word meaning leader, particularly of the Italian Fascist Party, hence the clue’s example

18a Old fogey ruins a do, dancing (8)
DINOSAUR: An anagram (dancing) of RUINS A DO. The figurative definition was often used of any rock musician over the age of 30. Not so much now they’re still touring in their 70s and 80s!

19a Feature a page penned by religious school (6)
ASPECT: A letter representing ‘page’ is contained (penned) by a synonym of a generic religious group, and placed after ‘a’ from the clue

21a Utter lies about drunk? Not I! (8)
ABSOLUTE: An anagram (drunk) of LIES ABOUT, minus one letter as indicated

23a Some bigwig no reporters disregard (6)
IGNORE: The solution lurks in the clue

26a This writer is one day behind rear of coconut shy (5)
TIMID: A contraction of the phrase ‘this writer is’ (referring to the setter), plus two letters representing ‘one’ and ‘day’ are placed ‘behind’ – i.e. after – a final letter as indicated

27a Ford maybe parking next to hotel guest (9)
PRESIDENT: The letter seen on street signs for parking and a word for someone staying at a hotel

28a Telling niece about secret enemy information? (12)
INTELLIGENCE: The puzzle’s fifth anagram clue jumbles the letters (about) of TELLING NIECE

1d Meaty foodthis might go on one’s crumpet (4,3)
PORK PIE: A whimsical double definition, one of which uses crumpet as old-fashioned slang for a particular part of the body in order to define a type of clothing accessory

2d Actress, say, removing soft coat (5)
LAYER: A synonym for e.g. an actress minus (removing) a letter that stands for soft

3d Natives in small settlement train slave girl (9)
VILLAGERS: An anagram (‘train’, as an imperative verb) of SLAVE GIRL

4d In jail, guard picked up something to eat (4)
UGLI: Another hidden solution, this time reversed (picked up)

5d Tense about a certain prize (8)
TREASURE: A charade of a letter for tense, a two-letter word meaning about, ‘a’ from the clue, and a word meaning certain

6d Journey around grand upland area (5)
RIDGE: A containment (around) of a letter representing grand inside a kind of journey, perhaps on a horse

7d Grilled food from pub — be prompt (8)
BARBECUE: Another succinct charade: a common synonym for pub (and also a part of one) plus ‘be’ from the clue and a word meaning prompt, or signal

8d Remained dignified on the radio (6)
STAYED: A straightforward homophone (on the radio)

14d Thumping worker a bit (8)
HANDSOME: Synonyms of worker (e.g. on a farm or in a factory) and ‘a bit’ as an unspecified amount. The definition is an adjective, not a verb-form as in the surface

16d Edward put up with endorsing planning (9)
DESIGNING: A diminutive man’s name is reversed (put up) ahead of a synonym for endorsing, e.g. on an official form

17d Many think about summit on Everest, primarily (8)
MULTIPLE: A word meaning think that’s often used with the word ‘over’ goes around (about) a synonym for summit, all of which goes before a first letter (primarily) as shown

18d Want expensive article reduced (6)
DEARTH: A synonym for expensive plus an article in grammar without its last letter (reduced)

20d Cast’s regularly seen in that place (7)
THEATRE: Alternate letters from ‘cast’ (regularly) must be inserted into (seen in) an adverb meaning ‘that place’ to find a solution that the clue as a whole also leads to (all-in-one)

22d Loaded gun’s first removed from convict hideout (5)
LADEN: A three-letter word for convict or prisoner has the first letter of gun removed before being placed before a synonym of hideout or lair

24d Old vessel crossing eastern body of water (5)
OCEAN: The usual letter for old plus a type of vessel or container going around (crossing) a commonly abbreviated direction

25d Sounds like the fellow will get better (4)
HEAL: A homophone (sounds like) of a contraction of ‘the fellow will’


My particular favourites were 1a, 15a, 27a, 1d, 17d and 20d.  What were yours?

Quick Crossword pun: CAR + PIT + AISLE = CARPET TILE

40 comments on “DT 30121
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  1. Blimey, that was quick.
    All over in record time.
    Some great clues eg 15a and 17d.
    Many thanks to the setter for this enjoyable confidence booster and to Twmbarlwm.

  2. That was a veritable walk in the park but nonetheless enjoyable for that with no standout Favs. Only hiccup was failure to come up with 13a Italian novelist. Now no excuse not to get on with “to be done” list. Thank you Messrs. Ron and T.

  3. A fleet, fun, and very enjoyable finish for me, though, as an outlander, I must confess that I missed the use of ‘crumpet as old-fashioned slang’ for the second part of 1d (perhaps Mr T can enlighten me?). I particularly liked 13a, 15a, 1a, 14d, & 11a–but what’s not to like in this best-of-many-Tuesday puzzles? Thanks to Twmbarlwm and today’s setter. **/****

    Hudson’s Toughie today is a total delight, accessible and superb.

    I just finished Ian McEwan’s BIG novel, LESSONS–has anyone else read it? Extraordinary stuff.

    1. I’m not sure that this will help on crumpet:

      The BRB merely indicates it as slang, but the OED on-line has the following:

      “slang. a. The head; esp. in phr. balmy or barmy on (or in) the crumpet: wrong in the head, mad: see balmy a. 7, barmy a. 2b.

      1891 [see balmy a. 7]. 1897 W. S. Maugham Liza of Lambeth ix. 153 You’re all barmy on the crumpet. 1909 H. G. Wells Tono-Bungay iii. iii. 356, I heard my aunt admit that one of the Stuart Durgan ladies did look a bit ‘balmy on the crumpet’.”

    2. No Robert. I lost interest in McEwan after he kept producing so many indifferent novels.

      On the same sort of tack have you read any Emily St John Mandel?

      1. Yes, Corky. I’ve read and very much enjoyed Station Eleven and Glass Hotel. Fascinating and very demanding for me, old school that I am.

  4. 1.5*/4*. It doesn’t have to be tough to be good, and I enjoyed this with 1a, 15a & 17d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to Anthony Plumb (it seems to be his grid again!) and to Mr. T.

  5. Off to a flying start spotting 1a and 1d immediately, though crumpet was a new synonym for me, but it’s there in the BRB. Lots of anagrams to help me on my way and no real head-scratchers. Slowed down slightly in the bottom half but still completed without help in good time ( for me!) Favourites were 17d,15a and 22d. Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm whose hints I didn’t need but enjoyed reading.

    1. A fairly straightforward puzzle with lots of anagrams and Lego clues and a few hints of General Knowledge to liven things up. The best of the clues were 1a, 7d and 17d. many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints and to the compiler.

  6. For me, not quite Typically Tuesdayish but close – 2.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 5d, 20d, and 25d – and the winner is 25d.

    Like RD, and based on the grid, I would say that this is an Anthony Plumb production, so thanks to him and thanks to Twmbarlwm.

    P.S. Robert Clark’s assessment of the Hudson Toughie would be very difficult to disagree with.

  7. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    I’d not heard of the slang use of crumpet but luckily Chambers had.
    Top clues for me were 15a, 14d and 20d.

  8. This was top quality throughout the grid, with some lovely humour and solid clueing. I particularly enjoyed the simple yet elegant 27a.

    My thanks to the two Misters, Plumb and T.

  9. Really enjoyed solving this one and could have found podium places for almost all of the clues. Restricting myself to a top three, I’ll give the honours to 1&15a plus 18d – reason for the latter being that I’m trying to sort out family Christmas presents!

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and to Twmbarlwm for the review – delightfully illustrated, sir.

  10. Pleasant puzzle which asked a few questions but was otherwise straightforward. My fav was 25d short but clever.
    For me a good week so far for crosswords, now that’s tempting fate!
    Thx to all

  11. Yet another nice solvable puzzle 😃 ***/**** Favourites are: 27a, 7 and 14d 👍 Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the Compiler. Lovely sunny day here in the East and also in Crossword Land 😎

  12. Another enjoyable puzzle which is a good thing because if I can’t solve Monday and Tuesday puzzles there’s little hope for the rest of the week.

    15 and 27a my favourites. Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  13. At first glance I thought this was going to be a real stinker, but an answer in the SE leapt out at me and from there it was very plain sailing. Good enjoyable puzzle, nothing out of the ordinary, GK-wise, generally good surfaces and nice variety of clues. Podium places to 11a and 17d.

    1.5* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  14. Re 1 down, the normal and urban dictionaries give multiple alternative meanings for crumpet most of which I wouldn’t repeat on this polite site. The answer is quite clear but the use of crumpet in this case must be so archaic that it appeared in Chaucer. Sorry Senf,1897.

  15. I thought this was a cracking Tuesday back-pager with some really witty and clever clues. Very enjoyable indeed, my picks are 25&26a plus 14d.
    Many thanks to the setter Twmbarlwm.

  16. Other than failing to parse crumpet this one was a gentle & thoroughly enjoyable stroll to the finish line in 1.5* time. No particular favourites but nicely clued throughout.
    Thanks to AP & T

      1. Googling around for more on ‘crumpet as Br slang’, I was shocked at what came up on my little gizmo here. Merciful guidance!

        1. Wish I’d been there when you were investi-googling, Robert. I doubt that ‘Chaucer’ was the first word to leave your lips!

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s puzzle though late to the pass. Jack the Russell’s annual check-up at the vets followed by a short but lovely woodland walk, usual domestic chores and pottering in the garden on another sunny afternoon. Quite an autumnal mist this morning which was slow to clear. Rain forecast tomorrow plus a double dental appointment to look forward to!

    1d Stopped me in my tracks for a few minutes and I didn’t know the Italian novelist but got it from the checking letters. Two good days and I expect tomorrow’s offering will be harder but onwards and upwards! Perseverance is the key along with this site. Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

    1. Hilary, how well I remember those autumnal mists surrounding my little flat at Cripps Hall, U of N’ham. Then, voila!, bright sun. Crisp days. Wish I could do it all over again.

      1. Robert, my husband Bill was at Nottingham (Derby Hall in the early 60’s). We live in the North West of England and the trees are in their autumn glory; though our oak tree is dropping acorns like mad and not a squirrel to be seen!

  18. Thought this Tuesday puzzle was a little tricky and a bit of a head scratcher.
    2.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 12a, 21a, 8d, 16d & 20d but no outstanding winner.

    Liked 1a, 11a & 27a for smile worthiness.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm for needed hints

  19. As with others crumpet was new to me and I had to check the Italian novelist, but they had to be what they were. Like Hrothgar a new PB but I have more leeway than most, that only added to the enjoyment. Favourite was 17d. Thanks to the setter and T. Rather irritatingly my phone threw me off the internet and even though I copied my post it wouldn’t let me paste it so I had to retype it, I must get a new phone tomorrow.

  20. Slightly late on parade due to new house in Tavistock completion and had to do this one in two halves. This was just as well as I found the second visit decidedly trickier than the first so a ***/*** for me. Some good Legos and a nice smattering of anagrams though. They always help me. Regards to all.

  21. Re 18a, I object most strongly to dinosaurs being equated with old fogeys. The dinosaurs dominated our planet for some 200 million years and finally disappeared through no fault of their own. I cannot see the human race getting anywhere near such an achievement.

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