DT 30128 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30128

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30128

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Last Monday was a holiday here. We took advantage of the long weekend to celebrate a significant birthday for our daughter by having a family gathering in Greytown in the Wairarapa. A good time was had by all with lots of talking, eating, walking and playing games. However solving crosswords tended to be neglected for a few days. We’re back home again now and getting back to our usual routine. Suspect that we are back to our usual Wednesday setter too with Jay doing the honours with this one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Quiet girl upset one married traveller (7)
PILGRIM : String together the musical symbol for quiet, an anagram (upset) of GIRL, the Roman numeral one and M(arried).

5a     Annoying people and soldiers when protecting church (7)
MENACES : A term for soldiers generally, then a synonym for ‘when’ contains the Anglican Church.

9a     Relief obtained from backing dispute likely? (3-2)
LET-UP : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

10a     Where some members may be on the fiddle? (9)
ORCHESTRA : A cryptic description for a group of musicians.

11a & 12     This may be given by Sioux after losing protection (10,4)
PROMISSORY NOTE : Remove the outer letters of Sioux and sound out the letters remaining to understand the answer.

12a See 11 Across

14a     What the overcharging assassin might do? (4,1,7)
MAKE A KILLING : The clue can be read in two ways. One relates to overcharging and the second relates to an assassin’s intention.

18a     Temporary stablehand should get limited accommodation (8-4)
STANDING ROOM : Split the answer 5-2, 5 to find the temporary stablehand.

21a     Wrong, as it happens going west (4)
EVIL : Reverse (going west) a word meaning as it happens, often applied to a TV broadcast.

22a     Face doubts, upset and confused (10)
OBFUSCATED : An anagram (upset) of FACE DOUBTS.

25a     Motorway beginning to generally limit movement (9)
MIGRATION : UK’s primary motorway, then the first letter of generally and limit or restricted supply.

26a     Speak of charge applied to oxygen (5)
ORATE : The chemical symbol for oxygen and another word for charge.

27a     Brave, crossing line for sweetheart (7)
DARLING : Brave or risk-taking contains L(ine).

28a     Improve contents of menu and fortune with leader gone (7)
ENHANCE : The two central letters of menu and then fortune or luck with the initial letter removed.


1d     Dad’s keeping half of ugly growths (6)
POLYPS : A familiar alternative word for Dad with the ‘S surrounds the last two letters of ugly.

2d     Place requiring no bill to return cream (6)
LOTION : Start with a word meaning place or site and remove from within it the reversal of the two letters for a bill or invoice.

3d     Censures proper answer in tears (10)
REPRIMANDS : Tears or rips surrounds a synonym for proper and A(nswer).

4d     Ties up, as engines losing temperature (5)
MOORS : Engines that might be in cars lose T(emperature).

5d     Pal may keep Turkish spirit mostly for such a journalist (4-5)
MUCK-RAKER : A slang word for a pal (which we did not know) contains a Turkish alcoholic spirit with the last letter removed.

6d     Time of celebration may be held up by little ones (4)
NOEL : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Broadminded member of church (8)
CATHOLIC : A double definition.

8d     Technologically advanced green must accept progress (5-3)
SPACE-AGE : A pale shade of green contains progress or step.

13d     What cleaner needs to baffle the clergy? (10)
FLOORCLOTH : Baffle or astound and a general descriptive word for the clergy.

15d     Raising last couple of children without jewellery? (9)
ENNOBLING : The final two letters of ‘children’ then a 2,5 phrase that could be a colloquial way of saying ‘without jewellery’.

16d     Respected, as some guide meets everybody on the way up (8)
ESTEEMED : Another reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

17d     Put it on and stay to support mother (8)
MALINGER : Stay or loiter follows a short familiar term for mother.

19d     Stress line of descent (6)
STRAIN : A double definition. The line of descent could be a pedigree.

20d     Stick had broken before (6)
ADHERE : An anagram (broken) of HAD and then a poetic word meaning before.

23d     Bones from land oddly captured by Emirates (5)
ULNAE : The three letter title for what is commonly called the Emirates surrounds the first and third letters of land.

24d     Geographical feature of a day in the West End? (4)
WADI : The postcode for the West End of London contains ‘A’ from the clue and D(ay).

The combination 11 and 12a clue gets our vote for favourite.

Quickie pun    sure    +    tons    +    wheat    =    short and sweet

46 comments on “DT 30128
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  1. I found this much harder than a typical Wednesday puzzle, with several clues holding out before finally falling. The whole grid was most rewarding to solve, and I don’t think I can look any further for a favourite other than the 11/12a combination which was quite superb.

    Many thanks to Jay for the challenge and to the 2Ks.

  2. Very enjoyable, though I thought a couple of the cryptic definitions a tad week. One that I did like was 13d and it’s joined on my podium by the excellent 11/12a combination along with 2d. Great pun too.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks for the fun.

  3. Another very enjoyable puzzle today, and took quite a while to finish.
    Even though I’ve got the answers for 11/12a and 2d, I didn’t fully see
    how they work (why Sioux? and ‘i’ for bill?) I will read the hints to
    see if all is revealed!
    Favourite today was 18a. Well done setter.

  4. I agree that the 11/12a combination is quite clever indeed, but I was more taken by the wit and wordplay of 17d and 15d in this most enjoyable gem by our ever-canny Wednesday master. I also liked and chuckled at both 14a and 18a. Took me a bit longer than usual, but I loved it all. Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. 2.5*/4*

    Super Toughie today!

  5. Pretty tough I agree. For me, a mixture of less good clues – 5a, 17d – together with some excellent ones – 18a my favourite. Thanks to all.

  6. I’m going to be different and say that I thought it was friendlier than usual for a Jay/Wednesday – I thought 11/12 was clever

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks

      1. Difficult for me as I have never come across 11/12a or those bones 23d. 17d was a weak clue as the answer doesn’t really fit the definition.

  7. For me, a most enjoyable Wednesday (Tuesday evening) challenge with Jay continuing his back pager trend of including a soupçon of Logman – ***/*****.

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 14a, 18a, 28a, and 13d – and the winner is 13d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  8. Thanks to Jay and the 2Ks. I only needed to read the clues to know it was a lost cause to even try it. Yes very clever stuff but too clever by half for me.

  9. 2*/4.5*. I hit the right wavelength from the off and enjoyed every minute of this splendid puzzle. My top picks were 11a!12a, 18a, 13d & 15d with a special mention for the Quickie pin.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  10. I’m with Sue on this one – thought it quite gentle for a Wednesday, but by a country mile the most enjoyable of the weekday puzzles so far. Plenty of smiles throughout, from the ironic 7d to the wit of 11/12a and 15a; Hon Mentions also to 25a, 5d and 17d, with COTD 15d.

    2* / 4*

    Thank you to Jay, and of course to the 2Ks

  11. This was certainly the friendliest puzzle we have had on the back page for a while and I thoroughly enjoyed the wit and creativity expressed in the nicely varied and balanced clues. Lime others I thought the cryptic definition in the 11a/12a combination was ingenious, as was the charade at18a and the anagram at 22a ( alovely word, often used by me when describing the antics of politicians and some of the School Principals I’ve worked with) . Thanks to the Kiwis and good to hear that you enjoyed the family gathering. Thanks also to Jay for a very finely wrought puzzle.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed completing this gem of a puzzle. Took a bit longer than normal for me but no really long hold-ups. So many good clues it’s difficult to pick favourites but I’ll go for 11/12a, 14a, 18a, 5d, and 13d. Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis, whose help I needed to parse 2d.

  13. All went OK until getting stuck with 3 or 4 in the SE.
    Pennies took some time to eventually drop.
    Great puzzle, though.
    Strong field, 18a is my COTD.
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  14. A nice Wednesday puzzle. Good clues, a moderate challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a few, with 11a/12a as my favourite. 3*/4*.

  15. Enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Jay and 2Ks.
    Top clues for me were 11/12a (although I had to check the spelling of the first word as it somehow seems wrong), 18a and 17d.

  16. I really enjoyed this, solved on a rainy Tuesday evening here in Southern Maryland. My runaway favorite is the 11/12 combo. 18A was close behind and I’m throwing 22A in there just because I like the word. Thanks Jay and the 2Ks.

  17. First read through yielded a nil return so after such an inauspicious start I surprised myself by eventually getting a full house having enjoyed every minute of the solving. NE taxed me the most. Fav for its humour was 13d pursued by joint runners up – 18a and 5d. Thank you Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  18. Quite difficult for me today especially the NW quadrant, last in was 11a which I failed to parse- thanks 2K’s.
    Liked the amusing 14a.
    Favourite was 5d an excellent charade.
    A sense of achivement on completion, going for a ****/****

  19. Needed the hints to explain a couple of my bung ins, but other than that a bit easier than Wednesdays have been of late. 17d reminded me of army service, it seemed to be a popular phrase at the time, never to me though🙄. 28 held me up for a while as I had the last two letters of 23 reversed. Thanks to all.

  20. What fun. ***/**** for me. Seemed to be a lot of rekruls, and reversing in general. Even so I missed that 9a was such a clue and so failed to parse it. Several clues made me smile, but I’ll plump for the stand-in groom as favourite. Thanks to the three birds.

  21. Excellent puzzle. Another vote as favourite for the top notch 11/12 combo which I could neither spell properly (inclination was A rather than O – like Gazza maybe) at the first attempt or more disappointingly parse. Otherwise pretty straightforward.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  22. For me 11/12a is probably the daftest clue in a long time, absolutely ridiculous!
    Missed the hidden lurker in 6d, needed the hint to understand 2d but on the plus side I did like 13a.
    As far as I was concerned 11/12 ruined what was otherwise a fairly decent puzzle.
    ****(because of 11/12), and similarly ** for enjoyment.
    Thx for the hints

  23. Does anyone else just loathe the new format of the puzzles section ?
    Why can’t things just be left alone ?
    The puzzle was fine.

    1. I’m with you! Ridiculously large grid and tiny font for the clues that are impossible to enlarge for the print version.

    2. Totally agree Una.
      We keep checking the new site to see if they are addressing the problems but then go back to the old site to actually print them out.

    3. I agree absolutely – the new site is unworkable for me. Thanks so much for the hint regarding how to get to the old site. Thanks to the setter, and my two compatriots for the (needed today) hints!

  24. Very late to the party but I really enjoyed this one from our Wednesday wizard.
    Top three for me were 14&18a plus 13d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review. Sounds as though you enjoyed your weekend of celebrations.

  25. A nice puzzle from Jay today including a little taste of Logman coming through.
    3*/4* for me today.

    Favourites today include 1a, 11/12a, 14a, 25a & 13d – with the winner the 11/12a combo followed closely by 13d

    Thanks to the 3 birds

  26. Too hard again for me – I’ve had a bad week since our return from holiday last Wednesday. While so many seem to have enjoyed the quality of the clueing I’m wondering whether it’s just got harder or whether I left my head in Aquaba. Is there a reverse correlation between the number of responses and the hardness of these crosswords? Something easier please to get me back in the groove.

  27. Morning all.
    It is always a huge sense of relief to wake up on a Thursday morning to find that the blog that we had put together and scheduled to be posted at a specific time has actually done just that. It has never failed us yet, but still………
    We agree that the Wednesday puzzles take a bit more head scratching these days than they used to but the enjoyment has stayed constant. We are continually amazed at the skill of the setters in being able to do this.

  28. On first read through I barely clued anything. Then I had to put the crossword aside whilst our oak tree had it’s annual prune and my brewing-up services were required (3 times X 3). The chaps worked hard and made a good job of clearing up afterwards. Once 35 garden pots were back ‘in situ’ we managed a late lunch and then I could return to my solving. I made steady progress but the ‘little grey cells’ needed a rest so I am late finishing. Got there in the end. I really liked 13d and though it took awhile for the penny to drop 11 & 12 across. Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) and the 2Kiwis. May you sleep soundly tonight (Thursday!).

  29. I’m just not on the same wavelength as this setter and found this harder than the toughie. Needed the hints to parse 2d and 15d. There were one or two ‘really?’ moments. Oh well! Maybe next time. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to Jay and 2 K’s.

  30. A somewhat difficult solve for me today. Seems a wavelength thing with many thinking this was easy.

    Needed the hint to parse 11/12a and 2d.

    How is Catholic broadminded? I would have thought the opposite applied…

    Thanks to all.

    1. It is very dependent on the capitalisation or otherwise.
      With cap it is of or belonging to the Catholic Church.
      Without the capital it means liberal or broad minded.

  31. Very late to comment but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this and thought it was brilliantly clued. One of the best in a while in IMHO. Thanks to Jay and 2Kiwis

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