DT 30125 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30125 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30125

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 22nd Oct 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. As usual, a friendly and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind reading and significant feedback.

‘En’, part of the answer to the clue of 15a, took me down memory lane as I reminisced Monsieur Trojak teaching me the difference between ‘en’ and ‘dans’, the prepositions, both meaning ‘in’ in French, in one of the classes of my first semester at Alliance Française, Calcutta where I had enrolled myself for learning that language. The year was 1979 and it was really a struggling time for me when, for the first time in life, I found myself getting engaged for eighteen hours plus from Monday to Friday. I used to come out at around 5.30 am so that I could reach school well in time to attend my classes of the higher secondary level which would start at 6.00 am. I used to come out of the school at around 9.00 am; missing at least two classes so that I could attend office which was fortunately a ten minutes’ walk from the school. In the evening, after office was over, I used to attend my French classes or watch French movies in the auditorium at Alliance Française and after that, I used to go to a far-off place to give tuitions to some students, only to return home always after eleven o’clock at night. Saturday used to be a half day at office. I used to spend the rest of the time on Saturday and the whole of Sunday by giving tuitions and by revising my own lessons pertaining to the higher secondary classes. Although those days were very tiring, but today I feel glad that I was able to keep myself engaged and make the best use of my time. Now, coming back to the rhythmic ‘en’ and ‘dans’, both signify time and location, but their usage relies on both meaning and grammar. ‘En’ indicates the length of time an action happens or when an action happens that is related to month, season or year or followed directly by a noun not preceded by an article. ‘Dans’, on the other hand, denotes the amount of time before action will occur or refers to something that occurs within or during a decade or when followed by an article plus noun or with some states and provinces preceded by an article.

No sooner than I got ‘beer’ as the answer to the clue to 23a, it made me wonder and I had a relook at the clue itself: “Better that non-drinker leaves this”. I then started to ponder the necessity of the warning to a teetotaller not to touch the alcoholic drink when, in the first case, they themselves would shun anything that is alcoholic.

‘Shorthand’, the answer to the clue of 6d, pushed me further back to the years 1977 and 1978, when I learnt both shorthand and typing at St. Ann’s Commercial Training Centre. I had passed the secondary examination in 1976, but could not continue further studies at that point of time due to acute poverty at home. I was under the care of my maternal grandmother since my early childhood and it was she only who nourished me and brought me up and even bore my educational expenses upto the secondary level. Since she could no longer afford to pay for my further education, I started giving more tuitions in order to earn some extra money which I accumulated and which helped me to take admission in Class XI, but only after two years, that is in 1978, but in the meanwhile, I had completed and passed the course in shorthand and typing that cost me only five rupees per month which I could easily afford to pay out of the money I earned. The skill certificate helped me to get a job in a small firm and again I hopped to another firm offering a better pay before I earned a secured job as a stenographer in a nationalised bank through a competitive examination and was appointed in February 1981. I worked thereat for my entire tenure of thirty-nine years; the last fourteen years being in the supervisory cadre including holding assignments in three branches as branch head and finally retiring in January 2020. But shorthand and I were made for each other. Post-retirement, I was able to secure another job as a senior private secretary on a contractual basis in a state government undertaking through a stenography test and an interview.

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1a    Agile Romeo taken in by mole (4)
SPRY: R (Romeo) as the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet taken in (contained) by SPY (mole) as a secret agent employed to watch others or to collect information, especially of a military nature, guiding to the definition of an adjective meaning active and able to move quickly and energetically, especially of an old person

3a    Drink put on ice keeps (5)
TONIC: Part of or hidden inside (keeps) puT ON ICe takes to the definition of the short version of tonic water that is a carbonated soft drink with a bitter flavour, used as a mixer with gin or other spirits, originally used as a stimulant of appetite and digestion

6a    Divan up to now incomplete (4)
SOFA: SO FA[R] (up to now) as up to this place, time or degree devoid of its last letter (incomplete) takes to the definition of a long and comfortable piece of furniture on which a person can sit or lie down

8a    Those unable to settle could end up here (10,5)
BANKRUPTCY COURT: The definition of a special court that deals with situations in which businesses or persons become unable to pay their debts is cryptically arrived at from BANKRUPTCY (those unable to settle) as the inability of people to pay their debts and COURT (could end up here) as a court of law which could summon the debtors to appear in order to mete out justice to their creditors

9a    Summon everybody in sporting contest (4,2)
CALL UP: ALL (everybody) as used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing placed inside (in) CUP (sporting contest) as a contest in which the winners are awarded a cup, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to summon someone to join the armed forces or to start taking part in a military operation

10a    Female teller, a lady? (8)
COUNTESS: The definition of a lady of the same rank as a count or earl is arrived at from COUNT-ESS that is cryptically framed by using the suffix -ESS as the feminine version (female) of COUNTER (teller) as a person or thing that counts, be they the person who counts votes as in a legislative body or a bank staff whose counts money received from or to be paid out to customers

11a    Meant for future partner (8)
INTENDED: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning planned or meant and the second a colloquial noun referring to a fiancé or fiancée or the person one intends to marry

13a    Put paid net inside (6)
PLACED: PD (paid) as the abbreviation for paid having LACE (net) as a net, snare or gin, especially one made of interwoven cords within (inside), arriving at the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning put in a particular position

15a    What pitchers do in French settlement? (6)
ENCAMP: EN (in French) as one of the two French words for the preposition ‘in’ and CAMP (settlement) as a settlement that has grown up rapidly, as a mining town, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to pitch tents, set camps or the like as done by pitchers or persons who pitch

17a    Second weapon grating (8)
STRIDENT: A charade of the symbol S (second) as second representing the basic unit of time and TRIDENT (weapon) as a weapon used in the past consisting of a pole with three sharp metal points on the end guides to the definition of an adjective meaning loud, unpleasant and harsh, especially of a voice

19a    Son’s first bed delivered without charge (4-4)
SCOT-FREE: The definition of a colloquial adjective meaning free from scot or a payment, especially a customary tax is reached from the initial or first letter (first) of S[ON] (son’s), COT (bed) as a small bed, especially one with high sides for a young child and FREE (delivered) as not or no longer confined or imprisoned

21a    Check polish again (6)
REBUFF: The definition of a verb meaning to refuse or check sharply is arrived at from RE- (again) as a prefix denoting again and BUFF (polish) as to polish something

22a    Passage a claimant nearly diverted (10,5)
ALIMENTARY CANAL: A from the clue followed by an anagram (diverted) of CLAIMANT NEARLY guides to the definition of the whole passage along which food passes through the body from mouth to anus during digestion

23a     Better that non-drinker leaves this (4)
BEER: BE[TT]ER from the clue from which (that) TT (non-drinker) as the abbreviation for teetotal or teetotaller who is a total abstainer from alcoholic drink comes out (leaves) results in the definition of an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavoured with hops

24a    Yankee lied about surrender (5)
YIELD: Y (Yankee) as the letter represented by Yankee in the NATO phonetic alphabet and an anagram (about) of LIED take to the definition of a verb meaning to hand over or relinquish possession of something

25a    Trade regularly accepting nothing for manoeuvre (4)
PLOY: PLY (trade regularly) as to work steadily at one’s business or trade taking inside (accepting) O (nothing) as the letter representing nought or nothing, leading to the definition of a manoeuvre in a game, conversation etc


1d    Give support to underwriter? (9)
SUBSCRIBE: A charade of SUB- (under) as a prefix meaning under, underneath or at the bottom of and SCRIBE (writer) as an informal term for a writer, especially a journalist guides to the definition of a verb meaning to belong to or support something, such as an organisation, by paying money regularly

2d    Small band of hair? (7)
RINGLET: Double nounal definition; the first being a small, circular band or ring that takes to the second referring to a lock of hair hanging down in a corkscrew-shaped or spiral curl

3d    False trusty person upset dupe (7-2)
TRUMPED-UP: TRUMP (trusty person) as a colloquial word for a good, trusty person and an anagram (upset) of DUPE guide to the definition of an adjective meaning invented as an excuse or a false accusation

4d    Warm saw? (7)
NOTICED: NOT ICED (warm) as moderately hot and not cool, chilled or refrigerated leads to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning perceived or became aware of something

5d    Copy jerky socially accepted beast (5)
COYPU: An anagram (jerky) of COPY followed by U (socially accepted) as colloquial adjective used by or found among the upper classes, hence socially acceptable, especially of words, behaviour etc take to the definition of a large South American aquatic rodent now found wild in Europe, the source of nutria fur

6d    Rudely brief worker’s method of rapid writing (9)
SHORTHAND: A charade of SHORT (rudely brief) as brief or abrupt to the point of rudeness and HAND (worker) as a labourer or manual worker is providing the definition of a system of writing in which whole words and phrases are represented by combinations of simple strokes, used for recording speech at speaking pace

7d    Know beforehand said number understand (7)
FORESEE: FOUR (number) as the cardinal number next above three serving as a homophone heard by the audience (said) and SEE (understand) as to understand or grasp something take to the definition of a verb meaning to predict or see or know beforehand

12d    Exchanging least with more springy rubber-like plastic (9)
ELASTOMER: An anagram (exchanging) of a combo of LEAST and (with) MORE takes to the definition of any rubbery material composed of long chainlike molecules or polymers that are capable of recovering their original shape after being stretched

13d    Drew a likeness to drapery that’s removed (9)
PORTRAYED: The definition of a verb in the past tense meaning made a likeness of someone or something by drawing, painting, carving or the like is reached from TO DRAPERY that is (that’s) moved again or re-moved or subject to an anagram (removed)

14d    I complete service outside in a respectful way (9)
DUTIFULLY: A combo of I from the clue and FULL (complete) as not lacking or omitting anything having surrounded by (outside) DUTY (service) as a job or service allocated that leads to the definition of an adverb meaning in a way that is required by moral or legal obligation, societal or cultural expectations

16d    Occasionally unsafe to go round room that houses engine (7)
NACELLE: The occasional or alternate letters (occasionally) of [U]N[S]A[F]E to cover (go round) CELL (room) as a small room in which a prisoner is locked up or in which a monk or nun sleeps, leading to the definition of a streamlined structure on an aircraft housing an engine etc

17d    Ask servant to find leak (7)
SEEPAGE: A charade of SEE (ask) as to look or inquire and PAGE (servant) as a boy attendant guides to the definition of a leakage or the act or process of seeping or leaking out

18d    Part of mannequin always related to horses (7)
EQUINAL: Fragment of or hidden inside (part of) mannEQUIN ALways leads to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to or of the nature of a horse or horses

20d    Not set to manage City (5)
RUNNY: The definition of an adjective meaning inclined to run or liquefy and not harden into a solid or semi-solid state is arrived at from a charade of RUN (to manage) as to administer, manage or be in charge of and NY (City) as the abbreviation for New York, a city in the United States

The clues that I adored in this puzzle such were 8a, 10a, 19a, 22a, 23a, 1d, 4d and 16d, the topper being 4d. Many thanks to BD for the encouragement, to Cephas for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.

3 comments on “DT 30125 (full review)

  1. I do enjoy your reviews, Rahmat, especially this one as a fellow stenographer. Although it took me 5 years of evening classes. Did you know that Sir Isaac Pitman’s motto was “time saved is life gained”. You sound to have had a most interesting life. I respect hugely your discipline and hard work and intellect. If only the world had your mindset. Thank you for providing such an enjoyable read every week.

    1. Thank you once again, jan, for enjoying my reviews as also for your kind comments. I am extremely delighted to find someone here who like me has learnt the art of stenography. I wish you success in your endeavours. Thanks also for letting me know about Sir Isaac Pitman’s motto that “time saved is life gained”. I wasn’t aware of it. It is so meaningful and thought-provoking.

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