DT 30145 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30145

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30145
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

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

Good morning. A very quirky puzzle compared to recent Tuesdays that I’ve covered, with plenty of whimsy and a good deal of amusement. With more hiddens than average and a decent handful of cryptic definitions, some parts seemed redolent of an old Rufus (Roger Squires) production.

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 Extravagantly dine on things: this could just go on and on (2,3,2,5)
NO END IN SIGHT: An anagram (extravagantly) of DINE ON THINGS

8a At this time, in this location, it’s not the place to be (7)
NOWHERE: A straight combo of synonyms for the two phrases at the start of the clue

9a Late to get in touch with these people? (7)
MEDIUMS: A cryptic definition where the adjective ‘late’ has different meanings from surface to solution

11a Sailor with a solitary decorative shell (7)
ABALONE: The common two-letter initials for a certain type of seaman, plus ‘a’ from the clue and a synonym of solitary

12a Just a minaret, embodying something that keeps you going? (7)
STAMINA: The answer lurks (embodying) in the clue

13a Obese egrets holding other birds back (5)
GEESE: Another lurker (holding), this one is reversed (back). The definition isn’t at either end of the clue and isn’t specifically pointed to, but it seems clear enough

14a Working — in the theatre? (9)
OPERATING: An extended definition (or arguably a double definition) which might refer to a hospital surgeon

16a On the outside, with no kiss, forever (9)
ETERNALLY: A word meaning on the outside with the symbol for a kiss removed. The enumeration resolves the slight ambiguity of the wording

19a Scrooge bound by promise, repents (5)
MISER: My favourite of the hidden clues (bound by), very neat

21a Merge hospital department with Bordeaux, possibly (7)
ENTWINE: An initialised hospital department followed by something of which Bordeaux is an example

23a Pastry later baked in test of speed? (7)
TARTLET: An anagram (baked) of LATER inside a two-letter speed test, or series of races, seen annually on the Isle of Man

24a Sets fire to last of walnut or half of chestnut (7)
TORCHES: A final letter as indicated, ‘or’ from the clue, plus 50% of a certain word’s letters

25a Alan: chap with a century calendar (7)
ALMANAC: A diminutive of Alan, a synonym of chap, ‘a’ from the clue, and a letter signifying century

26a On which one might rank the best skaters? (7,5)
SLIDING SCALE: A cryptic definition of a variable standard of measurement that can be used to determine e.g. workers’ wages.
This was the clue that gave me the greatest pause for thought – I needed a few crossers – even though I could see it would hinge on something skaters must do.


1d Old prison with freshly made entranceway (7)
NEWGATE: A synonym of freshly made followed by a type of entranceway

2d Stye, perhaps? That doesn’t look good (7)
EYESORE: Another extended definition. The secondary meaning is something aesthetically unpleasant to look at

3d Unfortunately, lie: and I’d lose this source of energy (6,3)
DIESEL OIL: An anagram (unfortunately) of LIE I’D LOSE

4d Titles shown in Vietnamese (5)
NAMES: Our fourth and final hidden solution (shown in)

5d Fashionable princess in a state? (7)
INDIANA: A short word for fashionable or ‘hip’ and the first name of a princess

6d Looking for a get out? Harry’s your man! (7)
HOUDINI: A fanciful way of clueing a famous stunt performer

7d Confusion, as gentlemen tan badly (12)

10d Task gig’s crew to shift what officer might carry (7,5)
SWAGGER STICK: Another anagram (to shift) of TASK GIG’S CREW. A gig is a kind of boat in the clue’s surface reading

15d Founders of the original pyramid scheme? (9)
EGYPTIANS: A cryptic definition referring to an African country and its famous ancient wonder(s)

17d Cook gutted hen later, in hold (7)
ENTHRAL: An anagram (cook) of HN (gutted hen) and LATER

18d Ewan, initially in close proximity to Edward, mimicked a horse? (7)
NEIGHED: A first letter (initially) as indicated is ‘in’ a word meaning ‘close proximity to’, followed by a diminutive of Edward

19d Mother’s lip on first half of bass instrument (7)
MARIMBA: A familiar name for mother, a synonym of lip and half the letters of a word as indicated

20d After entertaining the French, not a peep (7)
SILENCE: Another word for after containing (entertaining) a French definite article

22d Ascetic ultimately leaves German city (5)
ESSEN: A member of a strict mystical sect in Palestine two thousand years ago without its last letter (ultimately leaves)

My particular favourites were 9a, 19a, 23a and 10d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: WETHERBY + TONNE = WEATHER-BEATEN

61 comments on “DT 30145

  1. Greetings from a very rainy Sandhurst this morning. Well what can I say about this one? Quite the easiest puzzle for many months, just read ‘em out and write’em in!
    Was going so quickly that I considered letting the cat do the lower half to make it last a bit longer.
    However, very enjoyable nonetheless, new word for me at 19d, but it couldn’t be much else from the clue. Standout for me today was 26a. Thanks to setter.

  2. This very briefly cheered up a thoroughly miserable morning. 26a was my favourite. Thanks to today’s setter and Twmbarlwm.

  3. I would guess this was a puzzle by Chalicea if I were not hopeless at setter spotting. A light and enjoyable challenge as far as I am concerned with plenty to like. Some very straightforward clues along with a few teasers. Once again, I don’t have a COTD because I found all clues most satisfying. Most definitely a puzzle to encourage those starting out on cryptic crosswords.

    Many thanks to the setter for fun. Grateful thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  4. The six anagrams and three lurkers enabled a */*** finish with only a slight pause at the easily assembled but hitherto unknown 19d. As others have said 26a was excellent and my COTD. Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm whose tag continues to mystify me!

  5. 1* /3.5*. I found this extremely light but nevertheless very good fun.

    Many thanks to the mystery setter (X-type?) and to Mr T.

  6. Only 9a occasioned a brief pause for thought. Perfectly pleasant but would have preferred a wee bit more of a challenge – which the north of the Toughie (anyone know who the setter is ?) is currently providing as the rain hoses down in Harpenden.
    Thanks to the setter & Twmbarlwm

  7. R & W for me too, couldn’t write quick enough. Hope the toughie’s a good challenge!
    Thanks all

  8. An easy enough solve but still trying to decide whether or not I actually enjoyed it – perhaps it’s down to my mood of the day! The Quickie pun raised the biggest smile here.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

  9. O – to the M – to the G! My first bung-em-in for months. No help required. I shall now swan about the place for the rest of the day.

    I had my latest booster jab yesterday so between bouts of swanning, I can lie on the sofa, moaning gently. A golden day!

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp.

    1. Don’t make it a one off comment T. We’ve missed your witty observations & music choices. I’m listening to Kaleo’s sophomore album, Surface Sounds, while marooned indoors catching up on missed puzzles. Worth a listen if you don’t know them

    2. How nice to see you, Terence, how’s the building work progressing – or are you too busy swanning around to notice?!!

        1. And from me Terence, I did comment the last time you popped in but it was put into moderation and subsequently deleted. I didn’t think I’d put anything contentious but apparently I had.

  10. That had to be my fastest solve ever, with just a momentary pause at 17D. Best clue — 26A. Thanks Twmbarlwm and setter.

  11. Stupidly time taken to get 9a popped me into * time instead of .5* time.
    Smiles, 26a and 6d.
    The clever 18d is my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm

  12. Well I’m just about to start the puzzle having completed an annual job I absolutely loathe – defrosting the freezer. I started at 9.00 and have just finished. I’m very methodical and write everything in a book with a date but I always come across a few things not labelled and haven’t a clue what they are – some of them have been in there for years! Anyway on to the puzzle and hope its as easy as people have inferred.

  13. After slogging through the Dada Toughie, it was bliss to solve this one without too much head scratching. COTD. 6d

  14. As others have said, a straightforward puzzle that was nonetheless full of fun and entertainment. I will gladly add my name to those who liked 26a the best. Today’s Toughie is equally accessible for those that don’t normally have a crack at it.

    Many thanks to our setter and Mr T.

  15. This was , as Steve says one of those backpagers straightforward enough and enjoyable enough to encourage those who are new to cryptic crosswords (and a jolly good job too). I found it enjoyable, with a few head-scratchers in the SE. My COTD was 10d and also liked the long anagram 17d. I love a geographical clue and there were two good ones in 5d and 22d. Finally, music clues appeal to me and the19d lego clue was fun. Many thanks to the unknown compiler and to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  16. An entertaining puzzle that was not Typically Tuesdayish in the opposite direction to last week – 1.5*/3*

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 14a, 2d, and 20d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  17. A pretty gentle puzzle for a Tuesday – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    My favorite clue was 26a.

  18. Enjoyable if perhaps not the most inspiring of Tuesday puzzles of late.
    Top two for me were 26a and 6d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm

  19. Re 19d: “I used to know the difference between a xylophone and a glockenspiel but now I can’t marimba….”. Sorry 😂
    A very old “joke” from when my sons (now in their 40s) attended the local Schools’ Music Centre on Saturdays to blow big brassy things.

    Thanks to the setter and Mr T.

  20. For me this anagramfest has to comprise the shortest cryptic walk in the park ever but I see I am not alone in that. Short and sweet though. Fav was 26a. Quickie pun is fun. Thank you Mysteron and MrT.

  21. What a lovely crossword */**** ( my first * since joining the blog) 😃 Favourites 9 & 26a and a new word in 19d 🤗 Thanks to the “unpronounceable one” and to today’s Compiler “encore” more, more! I thought the Quicky phrase was good as well

  22. Thought this to be much more of a regular Tuesday puzzle from weeks past. Liked this one a lot. Lots of fun clues and nothing off the wall.
    1.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 8a, 14a, 21a, 24a, 1d, 5d, 6d & 15d— with winner 24a

    Lots of clues/answers made me chuckle/smile/grin … like 1a, 9a, 14a, 21a, 26a & 15d
    Fun whilst it lasted and a feel good solve.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  23. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the clues and the answers just flowed in. I don’t think I have ever finished the cryptic so quickly and no need for any reference books. My only pause was with 19d when I nearly put maramba. Many thanks to the setter for the light entertainment and to Twmbarlwm.

  24. I didn’t find anything particularly quirky in this one but found a lot to like. Nothing held me up, not even 9a. I enjoyed the grid. Favourites 16 and 26a. Thanks to setter and hinter. No help needed today not even with the parsing.

  25. Tuesday seems to have replaced Monday as the easiest day of the week. I do like to have the varying levels of difficulty during the week .

  26. Very fast and lots of fun while it lasted. I think I’ll go with 6d and 10d as my co-favourites. Thanks to Twmbarlwm, whose review I’ll read now, and today’s setter. */***

  27. I didn’t have much time this morning before I needed to go out but in the event I didn’t need much. Despite the fact that I wished it had taken longer I really enjoyed it. 6d and 15d , although obvious, made me laugh and 9a and 26a needed a bit of lateral thinking. Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm whose blog I enjoyed reading.

  28. 1/3. Entertaining while it lasted. A good spattering of anagrams and lurkers got me off to a very fast start. Favourite was 26a. Thanks to all.

  29. This was exactly the sort of puzzle to give one heart for the battles of the rest of the week. I knew as I sat doing it in The Foresters Arms in Coxwold what the comments would say In general but guessed exactly what one did – ‘just the thing for beginners’.

    But it’s also just the thing for others too. The satisfaction of not needing the hints or electronics, of not having to decide to throw the damn thing on the fire, but still the self satisfied comments whether it’s a * or a *****.

    1. As members of my family (Geipel) were erstwhile residents there I enjoyed reminiscing on reading your reference to Coxwold.

  30. Nothing to add really – I have tried!!
    I had heard of 19d – I wasn’t sure whether it was an instrument or a snake – am I allowed a half point for that!!
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarwlm for the crossword and the hints too.

  31. Thoroughly enjoyable. I finished it in between making cloaks for our local pantomime. I liked 1a. Thanks to the setter and for the hints, which, for once, I didn’t need.

  32. Thank you very much to the setter. After years of attempting cryptic crosswords I could actually fill this all in on my own. What a joy! 19D was my clue of the day for its 3 parts and pun on bass.

    1. You’ve shortened your alias so this comment needed moderation. Both versions will work from now on.

  33. In complete agreement with most of the above regarding difficulty, enjoyment and cotd. Thanks to the setter and T.

  34. Two good puzzles for my level on the trot. Nice to see an ex- member of the Mothers of Invention featuring as 19d. Thanks to the setter.

  35. I seem to be regularly mistaken for Chalicea….but it’s me – back in the Tuesday slot. I’m pleased you found it fun – that’s what I try to do with my puzzles…not make them ludicrously hard, for those who enjoy finishing one: and yet not to make the clues in any sense inaccurate (one has one’s Ximenean standards, after all!). [P.S. If that last reference is beyond you, don’t worry – just think “old school” and “fairness”.] Depending on Ed, I’ll see you on a Tues or Sat soon…😊

  36. Thanks to X-Type, a most enjoyable puzzle with well balanced clues and a sense of achievement for a fairly quick solve. They don’t have to be insoluble to be fun. Thanks also to Twmb…

  37. I really enjoyed this crossword- because I could do it all unaided! Such an achievement for me. Many thanks to x-type as it was lots of fun and T whose answers I checked as I couldn’t believe I had right. I went for a walk in torrential rain to my local supermarket for my paper and coffee yesterday morning and as I was dressed for the weather it was a wonderful experience. Couldn’t believe so many people were surprised at how wet they were! A much calmer start to the day today and a tad cooler.

  38. Will someone please explain 18d although the answer is obvious! I get the n of near and the Ed of Edward but where does the eigh come from? It presumably has something to do with Ewan but I cannot see why.

    1. Yes, it’s as Sue says.
      That first letter is from ‘Ewan, initially’. Whenever a first letter is indicated it should be from a word in the clue. You won’t be expected to find a synonym of something and then use the first letter of that synonym, as you are doing with ‘near’.

  39. I would really like to know how Big Dave is doing
    Don’t take the paper every day so may have missed a posting
    Thank you.
    Don’t want to join the blog,but I do use the site regularly when I getstuck

  40. Oh dear! Based on the comments above, we must have forgotten to put our crossword heads on before doing this one as our performance didn’t threaten our best solving times. Good and enjoyable, even if we did make slightly more of a meal of it than most.

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