DT 30126 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30126

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30126

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from Vega Baja where the warm autumn weather still continues.  We had 30°C yesterday afternoon which is very unusual for late October.  No doubt we will have to pay for it come January!

Today we have the usual Monday fare with some gimmes, a couple of old chestnuts and a few head scratchers to keep you on your toes. There’s only three anagrams and they don’t give many useful checkers so it’s the gimmes which will give you a start.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a           Foe some infantrymen, eventually retreating (5)
ENEMY:  A lurker hidden (some) in infantrymen eventually but it’s backwards (retreating).

10a         Goes wandering about round pretty good market (5,4)
GOOSE FAIR:  Anagram (wandering) of GOES placed around (about) a round letter and then a word meaning pretty good to get a market in Nottingham.  Apparently this is more of a funfair nowadays but it started as a market and was famous for cheese, and geese of course.

11a         Poison scare in ground (7)
ARSENIC:  Anagram (ground) of SCARE IN.

12a         Model  current popular style (7)
FASHION:  Double definition.

13a         Jack left after pocketing fantastic wee gem (5)
JEWEL:  Start with J(ack) and L(eft) and insert (pocketing) an anagram (fantastic) of WEE.

14a         A student doctor tucking into fruit in Florida resort (4,5)
PALM BEACH:  The A from the clue, a letter for a student and one of the several two letter doctors are inserted into (tucking into) a piece of fruit and the result is then split (4,5).

16a         Pledge, overall source of comfort (8,7)
SECURITY BLANKET:  A word for a pledge or guarantee followed by a word for overall, often applied to coverage.

19a         Stock carried by private landlord (9)
INNKEEPER:  Take a word which can mean to stock and insert it into (carried by) a word meaning private, as in private thoughts perhaps.

21a         Beer, on reflection, is splendid (5)
REGAL:  A type of beer reversed (on reflection).  Told you there were a couple of chestnuts.

23a         Food — I love toast (7)
CHEERIO:  An archaic word for food followed by the I from the clue and the letter represented by love in tennis.

25a         Close to tears, disregard Italian ladies (7)
SIGNORE:  An S (close to tearS) followed by a word meaning to disregard gives the plural of the Italian word for lady.

27a         Bishops and knights, say, in carefully planned moves (3,6)
SET PIECES: These carefully planned moves, such as corner kicks in football, could be taken as a description of bishops and knights in a game of chess.

28a         Relationship held in admiration (5)
RATIO:  The answer is hidden in (held in) the last word of the clue.


1d           Wager on a Greek character (4)
BETA:  A word for a wager followed by (on in a down clue) the A from the clue gives the second letter of the Greek alphabet.

2d           Spots wife circling a playground attraction (6)
SEESAW:  A word meaning spots or notices and a W(ife) placed around (circling) the A from the clue.

3d           Year employed by group — great, on the whole (2,3,5)
BY AND LARGE:  Y(ear) inserted into (employed by) a group, of musicians perhaps, and then a word for great or big.

4d           Something for the breakfast table, for example — good prize (6)
EGGCUP:  A charade of the two letters meaning for example, a G(ood) and the a prize or trophy.

5d           Iron, perhaps – one in bag? (4,4)
GOLF CLUB: Cryptic definition of what an iron might be an example of.

6d           I will leave famous footballer in state of confusion (4)
MESS:  The famous footballer who used to play for Barcelona but is now at PSG has the I removed (I will leave)

7d           Make a heavy demand on king about country’s stand (4,4)
TAXI RANK:  A word meaning to make a heavy demand and a K(ing) are placed around (about) a middle eastern country and the result split (4,4) to get the stand where you might get a cab.

8d           Handler got mauled in film (5,5)
GRAND HOTEL:  Anagram (mauled) of HANDLER GOT.

13d         Arrived a few moments ago with patient, as a precaution (4,2,4)
JUST IN CASE:  A phrase (4,2) meaning arrived a few moments ago followed by a word for a patient.

15d         One of the Muppet’s boyfriend, look (10)
BEAUREGARD:  A word for a boyfriend followed by a word meaning to look at.

17d         Piece of music from show supported by Oscar (8)
CONCERTO:  A word for a show followed by (supported by in a down clue) the letter represented by Oscar in the phonetic alphabet.

18d         Leading score, first-rate (3-5)
TOP NOTCH:  A word meaning leading or highest followed by a word meaning score or etch.

20d         Oppose unorthodox sister (6)
RESIST:  Anagram (unorthodox) of SISTER.

22d         Cave reached after crossing river (6)
GROTTO:  A phrase (3,2) meaning reached or arrived at placed around (crossing) an R(iver).

24d         Follow, heading off for bar (4)
RAIL:  Think of a word for to follow and remove the first letter (heading off).

26d         Greek god, aggrieved, rises (4)
EROS:  A word meaning aggrieved is reversed (rises in a down clue).

Lots of good stuff here but my podium is 14a, 5d and 13d with 13d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:       PURE     +     AISLE     =     PUERILE

Bottom line:    WHOLE     +     STIR     =     HOLSTER

37 comments on “DT 30126
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  1. A pleasant enough start to the week at */*** with a pause at 15d as not being a fan I had never heard of this character but the parsing was pretty clear. Having just moved into our new home in Tavistock 10a came pretty easily as said event happened last week! My favourite today was 7d. With thanks to pommers for his work and confirming 15d and the setter.

  2. Campbell on top form this morning with a hugely enjoyable and most entertaining puzzle to start the week. The Muppet was new to me, but very gettable through the wordplay, with 14a my favourite clue ahead of 13d. The relative paucity of anagrams made a pleasant change.

    My thanks to the double punner and pommers.

  3. A pretty straightforward puzzle, eliciting sigh of relief after the string of back page toughies last week. I liked the cryptic definition at 16a and the two lego clues, 14a and 16a. I have never watched the Muppets but Mr Google helpfully provided a cast list so that problem was soon cleared up. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to Campbell for a puzzle , the level of which suited the range of the back page aficionados.

  4. Not the most contemporary puzzle and very light but I enjoyed it.
    I’d never heard of the film or the Muppet but was able to fashion them from the checkers and wordplay.
    My favourite was 7d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  5. Didn’t know the footballer or the Muppet although the film was quite famous, I really am not keen on what I call Google clues.
    I did like 5d and that’s my COTD
    Another day waiting for the gas man. Hopefully he’ll mend the boiler before winter sets in!

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

    I hadn’t heard of the Muppet but with all the checkers in place there was no need to ‘look him up’ for confirmation of the 15d answer.

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 19a, 7d, and 17d – and the winner is 19a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers – an Oops on the anagram material in the 8d hint!

  7. A good start to the week with Campbell and Pommers in fine form today. A few headscratchers to cause small pauses in an otherwise flowing solve. 10a, 16a, and 7d make the podium today. 7d is responsible for all the awful series about posh hotels but none of these match the original made in 1932. Also they don’t have Greta Garbo saying ‘I want to be alone’, or the star studded cast. An interesting fact from Wikipedia is that ‘to date, it is the only film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture without being nominated in any other category.’ Not many people know that.

    My thanks to Pommers and Campbell for their excellent provision of Monday pleasure.

  8. We are thereby launched gently into the cryptic week via an unexacting fun solve. Know nothing about footballers least of all South American ones so needed help with 6d. Likewise not really familiar with the Muppets so 15d also needed prompt. 7d has smooth surface however stand on its own seems a rather broad definition. Joint Favs 13d and 18d. Thanks Campbell and indeed pommers for a couple of your prompts.

  9. Accidentally saw 7d during experimentation with the checking letters.
    Apart, a speedy and enjoyable solve.
    Nice Monday confidence builder.
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers.

  10. 2*/4* for a great start to the week. I am wondering if 12a might be a triple or even quadruple definition?

    I didn’t know any of the market in 10a, the food in 23a, and the (ancient) film in 8d, but all were readily derivable from the clues.

    14a was my favourite with 7d runner-up.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  11. Good start to the day. Only 7d left for after the dog walk, The Downs bright but muddy after yesterday’s torrential downpours. I too was ignorant of the Muppet. COTD 28a for the abnormally concise surface for a lurker.
    Thanks Send and Pommers, esp for Joni who is much missed on Spotify.

  12. A nicely Mondayish puzzle with one or two head scratchers along the way. Spent far too long waiting for the penny to drop on 16a and hadn’t heard that synonym for food before in 23a, though the answer was obvious. Have to admit to needing Mr Google’s list of characters to ‘solve’ 15d. Favourite was 7d just ahead of 13d. Altogether a very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers. I always enjoy reading the hints even when I haven’t needed them.

  13. A gentle 16a of a puzzle albeit showing up a couple of GK blanks here with regard to the film and the Muppet character.
    Top three for me were 10a plus 7&13d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – enjoy your sunshine whilst it lasts.

  14. Well it would have been a * time solve but just couldn’t see 7d despite twigging the likely country involved. By the time the penny dropped I was into ** time. No particular favourites today & thought it far from one of our Monday maestro’s 18d puzzles but still enjoyable. I knew the film at 8d & the Oscar trivia though did check with Mr G to confirm I wasn’t mixing it up with another early winner.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps Haven’t seen a comment from Jonners in a while. Hope all ok.

  15. A tad more difficult than the usual Monday puzzle for me,not seen 10 across for a while and 27a has occured in a couple of crosswords recently which helped.
    Remembered 8d but not 15d-well clued anyway by our setter.
    The food in 23a was confirmed in Chambers, liked the surface of 22d-my favourite.
    Thanks to Pommers for pics of our Beau and the blanket cruncher!-agree with a **/**** too.

  16. Love Mondays! Seem to be on the same wavelength as Campbell so **/**** today. 15d was the most problematic for me as I never watched the Muppets and only knew the two obvious ones. However with all the checkers in place there was only one possible answer which proved right! COTD had to be 10a – spent many happy hours there in my youth! Thanks Campbell and Pommers for a great start to the week.

  17. As with others, the Muppet was new to me, but quite easy to discover, and the rest of the puzzle flowed fast into 1* time. I rather liked 7d, 13d, & 10a (even though I’ve never been to one, I seem to remember there was one during the year I spent at Nottingham U), and I love that old film. Quite enjoyable fare, with admirably smooth surfaces, to start the week. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. 1*/4*

    1. You are right there, we spent the first four years of our married life in a small village outside Nottingham and the Goose Fair was Big. The central square was known as Slab Square and it was said that the large stone lions would roar every time a virgin walked past…….. I was also told by my next door neighbour, a bank managers wife, never to be seen in town on Saturday afternoon as that was when all the factory girls did their shopping!

  18. I won’t make a fuss about the footbally clue, I made a guess and then had to verify it with Pommers. And 7d was my last one in as I was convinced the second word was task. Everything else fell into place nicely. Many thanks to Campbell & Pommers, I don’t think I could name a favourite although I think 15d is a splendid name. Very Gone With The Wind.

  19. 10A was new to me, and also my last one to parse since I took far too long to work out where the second “o” came from. No standout favorites, though I do rather like the name in 15D. Very antebellum. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  20. Well, that was a relief. We’ve been away for six weeks, with minimal internet, so I was quite out of practice. However, when I struggled to get more than a scattering of the clues in last week’s offerings I thought I’d lost it completely and was considering not renewing my subscription. Thank heavens for Campbell!

  21. A nice start to the non-work week. A gentle Campbell with nothing, (well almost other than 15d),
    troublesome. Took a bit of a search to confirm 8d as well, but was sure the bung in was correct.

    Favourites include 14a, 15a,23a, 3d, 5d & 18d — with winner 23a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for hints

  22. Nice start to the week although I did struggle with 7d and 18d, not quite sure why, they were very fairly clued but hey ho!
    Thx to all

  23. 1/3. Enjoyable start to the week. 14a took top place on the podium and I had to Google 15d to check my answer as I didn’t remember this character. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  24. */**** for me – completed in a single sesson in record time (by a mile!)

    I’m sure 19a came up recently with a very similar (if not identical?) clue, and 27a came up recently too?

    That said, very enjoyable thanks to all.

  25. Just for once on a Monday I did reasonably well, apart from the top right corner – then it was a disaster!
    I did know about the Muppets – an American TV children’s programme (Sesame Street) – our Lambs, like others of their ages, used to wake up quite early at weekends and they were allowed (encouraged!) to watch Saturday (or Sunday – can’t remember) – the programme was apparently educational!!! It doesn’t seem to have damaged them!!
    My favourite was easily 16a.
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints.

  26. New term in 10a and never heard of 15d despite watching the muppets as a child.

    Although I have heard of the footballist in 6d, I was trying to think of one where I needed to remove “I’ll”.

    7d defeated me, so needed the hint.

    Thanks to all.

  27. After reading the hints and the comments I am still sadly ignorant of the name of the footballer at 7 down. Never mind, I finished all the rest with very minimal help. Let’s hope this puzzle indicates the start of a better week than the last one. No particular COTD but all very enjoyable. Thanks to setter for a pleasant Monday and to pommers.

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