DT 30132 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30132

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30132

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where ghosts and goblins will be prowling the streets tonight. Happy Halloween to all who will be celebrating the ghoulish festivities.

Apart from being Halloween, this also happens to be one of the semi-annual time transitions when the time differential between Ottawa and the UK shrinks to four hours — meaning a delayed bedtime for me. However, Campbell did take pity on me and set a relatively easy puzzle today, for which I am thankful. Nevertheless, he does give us a third pun in the Quickie to fill up some of the extra time that one may have saved on the Cryptic.

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.


7a   Own costly treasure (4,4)
HOLD DEAR — a charade of a word meaning own or have in one’s possession and another term for costly

9a   Tricky question from guy close to minister (6)
TEASER — to guy or taunt followed by the final letter of (close to) minister

10a   Song penned by star I admire (4)
ARIA — hidden in (penned by) the final three words in the clue

11a   Befuddled prisoner set up (10)
CONFOUNDED — one of the usual prisoners precedes another word for set up or established

12a   Keep line in order (6)
CASTLE — the single letter for line in a Hindu social class

14a   Tramp unlikely to behave proudly (4,4)
WALK TALL — tramp or move in steps followed by unlikely (for instance, as one would describe a fabulous tale)

15a   Hard card game for Spanish man (6)
HOMBRE — the pencil designation for hard and a card game popular prior to the nineteenth century

17a   Distressing experience of king imprisoned in old Kent town (6)
ORDEAL — the Latin abbreviation for king sandwiched between the single letter for old and a town in Kent frequented by crossword setters

20a   Plastic surgeon holding cold sponge (8)
SCROUNGE — an anagram (plastic) of SURGEON containing a symbol found on a water faucet

22a   A Liberal has greatest following? Not quite (6)
ALMOST — link together the A from the clue, the single letter for Liberal, and a colloquial term for greatest or best (as in “You’re the xxxx”)

23a   Film setter barking by barrier (4,6)
WALL STREET — an anagram (barking) of SETTER following (by) the sort of barrier that surrounds the keep in 12a; I presume the clue refers to Oliver Stone’s 1987 film, although given how far back the setter has reached in 13d, it might be Roy William Neill’s 1929 production

24a   Tough losing first argument (4)
TIFF — another word for tough or difficult losing its first letter

25a   Go home and go to bed (4,2)
TURN IN — a go in board game play followed by the usual word for at home

26a   Sit awkwardly during social function’s interval (8)
DISTANCE — an anagram (awkwardly) of SIT inserted into a social function at which the participants move the the music


1d   Keep quiet about our old lady’s whiskey (4,4)
SOUR MASH — an admonition to keep quiet surrounds a charade of the OUR from the clue, the single letter for old, and a colloquial term for one’s mother together with her accompanying S

2d   Thought of model, briefly (4)
IDEA — a model or standard of perfection dropping its final letter

3d   Secure unstable salvage (6)
RESCUE — an anagram (unstable) of SECURE

4d   Buggy and extremely smart posh car (8)
STROLLER — the extreme or outer letters of smart followed by a colloquial term for the quintessential posh car; I believe this is a North American term

5d   General‘s outpouring in support of major (10)
MAINSTREAM — an outpouring or constant flow (of water or invective) following (supporting in a down clue) major or principal

6d   After church, substantial breakfast dish (6)
CEREAL — substantial or material following the abbreviation for the state church of England

8d   In satire now, northern celebrity (6)
RENOWN — hidden in (in) the three central words of the clue

13d   Smollett character — I got blown off course, covering miles (3,7)
TOM BOWLING — an anagram (off course) of I GOT BLOWN enveloping the single letter for miles gives us a supporting character in a 1748 novel by Tobias Smollett

16d   Series of notes one may answer (8)
RINGTONE — cryptic definition of the musical alert produced by a mobile phone

18d   Got beaten by mug — was humiliated (4,4)
LOST FACE — got beaten or defeated in a competition followed by the part of one’s anatomy colloquially known as a mug

19d   Key member run out (6)
LEGEND — a lower body member and run out or come to completion

21d   Hit on jaw at college (4,2)
CHAT UP — jaw or talk informally precedes the usual term for at college or university

22d   Painter‘s skill is evident, ultimately (6)
ARTIST — a charade of another word for skill, the IS from the clue, and the final or ultimate letter of evident

24d   Catch some up (4)
TRAP — a reversal (up in a down clue) of a word meaning some or portion

While no clue really stood out for me, I will give top marks to 5d where the true meaning of the words was well camouflaged in a military setting.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): CHILLY + PACED = CHILLI PASTE

Quickie Pun (Middle Row): FEE + LICKS + TOE = FELIXSTOWE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : BERTH + MARQUE = BIRTHMARK

50 comments on “DT 30132
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  1. Got off to a brisk start with this today and thought it was going to
    be a breeze until I got caught in the SW corner. The clues that were
    holding up the party were 15a and 13d. I eventually guessed at these
    as they couldn’t be much else, and then looked up the card game and
    character to find they were correct. Very obscure clueing, but a pleasant
    puzzle overall apart from those two. Favourite today was 20a.

  2. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 17a, 26a, 4d, and 18d – and the winner is 4d, although I note that the rapidly aging dead tree BRB has RD’s less than favourite (N Am) in the entry for the answer.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  3. A brilliant start to the crosswording week, with one of the best Monday puzzles for quite a while. There was a terrific selection of clue types, with one or two trickier ones, particularly in the SW, to maintain interest throughout. My particular favourite was 20a.

    My thanks to the triple punner and Falcon.

  4. My experience mirrored that of Tipcat with only the SW corner providing pause for thought. Pleasant puzzle though.
    Top three for me were 14&20a plus 5d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  5. Slightly more challenging than a usual Monday I thought with a couple of clues that I needed to check, namely 1d, not being a whiskey drinker, and 13d, my knowledge of 18th century literatures being non-existent. I especially liked 20a, 27a, 5d and 21d. Many thanks to Campbell for the morning’s workout and Falcon whose hints I didn’t need but enjoyed reading.

  6. Little surprised our reviewer found this ‘relatively easy’ – I thought it trickier than the usual Campbell fare. Not familiar with Toby S or the minor character in his 1748 scribbling but the fodder enabled a short odds guess & Mr G confirmed. Took far longer than it ought to have to get Oliver Stone’s none too subtle & overrated film (dreadful performance from Daryl Hannah) at 23a – there’s a much better film elsewhere in the grid.
    An enjoyable start to the week. Ticks for me – 12,14&20a along with 1,16&21d
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  7. Even though I’m not a Smollett scholar, I take great pleasure these days in seeing any literary reference, even that of a fairly minor character in Roderick Random, in any puzzle whatsoever, so 13d has to be my COTD. Besides, 13d was a generous and kind soul. Otherwise, I enjoyed 5d, 14a, 4d, & 20a. Nice Monday puzzle. Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell. 2.5*/4*

  8. Slightly more challenging than a usual Monday I thought with a couple of clues that I needed to check, namely 1d, not being a whiskey drinker, and 13d, my knowledge of 18th century literatures being non-existent. I especially liked 20a, 26a, 5d and 21d. Many thanks to Campbell for the morning’s workout and Falcon whose hints I enjoyed reading.

  9. 2*/3*. An enjoyable start to the week with 14a, 25a, 5d & 19d making it onto my crowded podium. I needed Google’s help with 13d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  10. Was not aware of the expression at 1d…..is it an American usage? Eventually guessed it and checked in the BRB.
    Lots of good clues of different types.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon

    1. Yes, sour mash does seem to be an American (and specifically US) term associated with the making of bourbon. It originated in Kentucky in the early 19th century. In the sour mash process, some of the spent mash from a previous batch of whiskey is added to the new mash. This is analogous to the making of sourdough bread.

      Now before anyone complains about unindicated Americanisms, note that Campbell has carefully clued the answer as ‘whiskey’.

  11. I knew what to do with 13d, but I’m afraid I cheated and put the letters into an anagram solver. I then googled the character to check. 21d threw me for a while as I bunged in “chin up”, although I’m not sure a jaw is really a chin. I was just being lazy and not parsing the clue properly. The rest all slotted in nicely. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

    1. My initial thought was also “chin up”. To me, quite reasonable as US dictionaries (various versions of Webster’s) provide an archaic sense of chin as meaning to chat — a meaning I don’t see in British dictionaries.

      However, to add possible further misdirection, Collins English Dictionary defines chin in one sense as to punch or hit (someone) on the chin (a meaning not found in US dictionaries).

      1. I was all for chin too. Chin wag is a familiar expression. However I held out until the penny dropped and after I had exhausted the boxing punches.

    2. “Chin-up” for me too. Which led to the film at 23a being “Hill Street” – a hill being a barrier of sorts…

  12. 13D was a guess based on the checkers that turned out to be correct. Other than that, no problems. No particular favorites today. For once I spotted all the quickie puns! Thanks Campbell and Falcon. Our clocks go back next week so not long to wait before we’re back to “normal”.

  13. Well it was easy until I got to the hard ones.
    I have never heard of Smollett characters or Tom Bowling.
    Neither have I heard of the card game Ombre nor has Chambers Crossword Dictionary.

    I liked 22a and 18d among others.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  14. Speedy progress leaving 15a and 1 and 13d.
    Guessed 15a correctly but card game new to me.
    And likewise 1 and 13d after experimenting with letters indicated in the clues and their checking letters.
    Enjoyable start to the week.
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  15. A varied but straightforward puzzle, until I got to the SW corner an was held up for a while like others. However having studied Fielding’s Tom Jones for A-level over 50 years ago and been introduced to other picaresque novels , I remembered Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random albeit dimly. I wnjoyed 14a, 4d (nice misdirection);and 1d . Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the hints.

  16. A tad harder than the usual Monday puzzle for me,not heard of our character in 12d-originally put in Tom Collins as it fitted with the fodder until I parsed it and had to do some research.
    Very enjoyable start, nicely mislead by 12a and my favourite, I think that I’ve heard of the American buggy before,any way nicely clued.-thanks to Falcon for the pics, going for a 2,5*/4*

  17. Just not my cup of tea and for one of the few occasions I felt no incentive to finish so threw in the towel. Sorry but thanks anyway to Campbell and Falcon. Look forward hopefully to a more joyful enigma tomorrow.

    1. Nicely said! I wouldn’t hold my breath for a friendlier puzzle tomorrow, they all seem to be getting weirder and weirder.

  18. Sadly my search engine revealed the answer to 13d before I had much chance to delve into his works.

    Otherwise straightforward, with 16d my pick.

    Thanks to Falcon and today’s setter.

  19. It’s Monday … so it’s Campbell
    Overall a nice start to the week, (work or non-work), with a puzzle with no obtuse clues or answers other than maybe 23a & 13d … took a little work, but I did get them in the end.

    1.5*/4* for me today.

    Favourites include 9a, 11a, 12a, 20a, 26a & 4d with 11a the winner

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  20. Not so easy for me either, as googling required at 1 and 13d and hints definitely sought for 16d and 26a. But excellent nevertheless. Thank you Messrs Campbell and Falcon

  21. As commented by others, I found this a tad harder than Campbell’s usual Monday fare, getting held up in the SW.
    Had to check 1d though I got it from the wordplay and required MrG for 13d (my reading material tends to be rather more recent than Mr. Smollett).
    A good puzzle this with a good variety of clues, including several with misdirection. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the hints, though not required today.

  22. Having lived in USA for a while, I detest Halloween. In one town, I think it was Denver, the local hospital X-Ray Dept. was kept open so that parents could check whether the goodies scrounged by their children contained broken razor blades. Absolutely true. As for 1 down, I could swallow it but would rather have the product without the letter “e”. I never did read Smollett, did I miss anything other than knowing the answer today? Thanks to Falcon/Campbell

  23. Thanks Campbell and Falcon for a fun-filled Monday. While we’re bashing americanisms, I’ve never liked the ‘hit on’ in 21d. Like most I had to check the character in 13d and enjoyed the enhanced anagram at 20a.

  24. Luckily a long time ago I read the Smollett oeuvre and enjoyed his hilarious tales of Roderick Random, Humphrey Clinker, and Peregrine Pickle. Whether I would still enjoy them some 60 years on I cannot say.

    A much more difficult puzzle from Campbell today but thanks to him and Falcon.

  25. Well I enjoyed this until I got in a mess in the SE corner. Thanks Falcon for sorting me out. It is a film I haven’t seen. George went off to make the coffee and put it on the table, but the conservatory was so warm and I was so sleepy I dropped off. I would have posted half an hour ago if I had not woken with a start and knocked the coffee all over me. Whose idea was it to have white suede chair seats in a conservatory? But thanks to Farrow and Ball, sorry, Campbell and Falcon for the happy hour before I had all this washing to do. Even down to underwear! Yuk.

  26. Mondays are meant to be relatively easy – this one wasn’t! When a clue as hard as 13d attracts so much comment one wonders how, overall, it only attracted ** for difficulty. It’s a real Toughie clue. Enjoyable, that apart.

    1. The ratings today seem to be all over the map. The majority of readers would seem to have rated the puzzle more difficult and more enjoyable than I did, although a few have leaned in the opposite direction as well.

      I had never heard of the author, his book or any character from it. However, once the checking letters were in place, what seemed to me to be the most logical arrangement of the remaining letters proved to provide the correct answer.

  27. Turned out to be more straightforward than at first glance. However there were a couple of very dodgy anagram indicators, a couple of nasty Americanisms and I needed the hints to find the answer to 13d which was a complete mystery to me.
    All in all just an ok puzzle.
    Thx for the hints

  28. The same ‘never heard of’s’ as most others but apart from those the rest were tricky in parts. Favourite was 11a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  29. I found this crossword most “un Campbell like” in quite a few places specifically 13d and 15a 😳 ***/*** Favourites were 11a, 17a and 26a thanks to the Falcon and to Campbell 😃 Just hoping this puzzle doesn’t portend a difficult week 😬

  30. Can’t say I enjoyed this, found it all of a bit of an effort at the end of a busy day. Don’t like what I call a Google clue like 13d. I’d forgotten the American whiskey and I can only like 4d because I bought one last year for my Canadian great granddaughter!
    So, on a North American note,Happy Hallowe’en everyone.

  31. Having returned from a wonderful two week cruise I was hoping for a Monday cruise back in crossword land. Sadly it was not to be as like others I was beaten by the unwelcome GK in the SW corner.
    Hope for better for the rest of the week
    Thanks to all

  32. A Monday dnf is not a great start to the week. Maybe a wavelength issue, but got little enjoyment from today. Most of the sw corner defeated me.

    Thanks to all.

  33. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week. I haven’t completed a back pager for over a week now. Are they getting more difficult? Or am I just losing it 🤔 Needed 5 hints to finish. Had never heard of any of the GK. Managed to guess 13d and 23a. Favourite was 20a. Was 4* / 4* for me.

  34. Winter’s set in in the Midlands after a mild week in Llandudno. I enjoyed this but, like others, struggled with the SW. my LOI was 16d. I thought it was going to be a musical term.Penultimate was 20a. I had not spotted the anagram. I had heard of Smollett but had to check the character. A title character would have been kinder. Favourites 7 11 and 12a. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

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