DT 30168 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30168

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30168

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa, where a light blanket of snow over the weekend is finally making it feel more like Christmas. As this will be my final review until the new year, I will take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.

Today’s offering from Campbell is more like what we have come to expect from him – a relief for many I am sure after the stiff workout he provided two weeks ago.

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.


8a   Comic astounded, in camp in resort (5-2,8)
STAND-UP COMEDIAN — an anagram (in resort) of three words in the clue

9a   Expected of the French close to Nice (3)
DUE — a French word meaning ‘of the’ followed by the final letter of Nice

10a   Near end of shift, drink for hotel employee (5-6)
NIGHT-PORTER — a charade of a poetic word for near, the final letter of shift, and an alcoholic drink

11a   Young reporters covering large nightspots (5)
CLUBS — a colloquial term for young reporters wrapped around the clothing symbol for large

12a   Move fast to expose what took place at Earls Court? (5,4)
MOTOR SHOW — a figurative term meaning to move fast and a verb denoting expose or display

15a   Owner of large farm in France undressed, pursued by that woman (7)
RANCHER — remove the first and last letters from France and append a pronoun signifying that woman to the result

17a   Competitor in event ran tactically (7)
ENTRANT — a lurker hiding in (in) the final three words of the clue

19a   Feeling over in market, disordered place (5-4)
MARE’S-NEST — reverse a word meaning a general feeling or emotion and insert it into another term for market; although the BRB does not do so, the online Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates this to be a chiefly US usage

20a   Spare not included (5)
EXTRA — double definition, the second referring to something that can be added to a purchase for an additional charge

21a   Slightly drunk graduate, man giving good cheer (11)
MERRYMAKING — string together slightly drunk, a senior arts graduate, and a high ranking man on a chessboard

24a   Composed of women, at that time lacking leader (3)
HEN — an adverb denoting ‘at that time’ with its leading letter removed

25a   Genuine gags, all funny, about hard subject to learn? (7,8)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE — an anagram (funny) of the first three words of the clue enveloping the pencil symbol for hard


1d   Episode on artist’s compelling work (4-6)
PAGE-TURNER — a charade in which the first part is an episode in a series of events in which the series as a whole is metaphorically viewed as a book and the second is a 19th century English Romantic painter

2d   Good-looking guy, notice, is following on (6)
ADONIS — after arranging according to directions, a short commercial message followed by the ON and IS from the clue

3d   Where one may find a koala in difficulties? (2,1,3,4)
UP A GUM TREE — double definition in which the location favoured by a koala metaphorically denotes ‘in difficulties’

4d   Wear son out in harbour (4)
PORT — a word meaning to wear proudly with the genealogical abbreviation for son discarded

5d   Party member in protest about informer (8)
DEMOCRAT — a charade of an informal term for a protest, the single-letter Latin abbreviation for about or approximately, and the creature symbolic of an informer

6d   Offer made by US soldier on foot (4)
GIFT — the usual US soldier and the abbreviation for foot as a unit of measurement

7d   One after the other having an altercation (2,1,3)
IN A ROW — double definition

8d   I rushed round after second cocktail (7)
SIDECAR — arranged per instructions, the abbreviation for second, the I from the clue, and a reversal (round) of another word for rushed

13d   I clear that foul camp (10)
THEATRICAL — an anagram (foul) of the first three words in the clue

14d   In direct competition, make for cape (4-2-4)
HEAD-TO-HEAD — split the answer (4,2,4) and it could be a command to sail in the direction of a promontory

16d   Is shy, awkward, before proper temper tantrum (5,3)
HISSY FIT — an anagram (awkward) of IS SHY followed by proper or appropriate

18d   Apprentice in series, cheery at heart (7)
TRAINEE — a series or sequence and the letters found at the heart of CHEERY

19d   MP and constituent (6)
MEMBER — double definition; the first an elected representative and the second an element or component

20d   Employ engineer, mature (6)
ENGAGE — the abbreviation for engineer and a verb meaning to mature

22d   Equipment heading for armoury in capital (4)
RIGA — equipment or kit followed by the head letter of ARMOURY

23d   Suffer mental anguish in hospital visiting one (4)
ACHE — inject the street sign symbol for hospital into what the number one represents on a golf scorecard (or the playing card whose value is one in some card games)

Contenders for top spot today are 15a and 16d with the latter taking the laurels.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): COCK + OWE + VAN = COQ AU VIN

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : SIR + PRY + ZING = SURPRISING

68 comments on “DT 30168
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  1. A gentle and fun start to the week although I did not know the expression at 19a so had to look that one up. Plenty to like such as 15a and 3d but my COTD is 15d because I’ve had a few in my time. :grin:

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints, which I will now read.

  2. Gentle and pleasant sums it up nicely. 3d made me laugh so became my COTD.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon, and Season’s Greetings to you too. Thanks for all your blogs over the year.

  3. Light and quaint but good fun with smiles throughout the grid.
    Unusually I’ll go for a couple of anagrams and a lurker for podium places as I thought they were good examples of those clue types, namely 13&16d plus 17a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon, enjoy the festive period.

  4. That was more like it. I feel back on form after a poor couples of days. I didn’t particularly like 8a or 19d because it seemed that part of the clue gave the answer away. That said, there was much to enjoy in this gentle solve. 3d was my first in and very amusing so becomes my COTD. 19a was a new phrase for me but easily sorted from the word play. Other favourites were 10a, 25a and 16d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  5. Very likable puzzle, and, as SL says, rather quaint but also rather charming too. I enjoyed 14d and 1d (mainly because JMWT is my favourite British artist), but they didn’t quite make it to the podium, with `16d, 13d, & 19a shutting them out. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. **/****

    I’m having to type in my name and email address in order to post my comment each time. Is anyone else?

    1. Robert, I had the same problem a while ago and Mr K pointed me in the right direction. Increasingly, security conscious browsers remove personal data from non-secure websites, which is those whose URLs start http: Hence, if you are accessing the Big Dave site using http://bigdave44.com, that could be the reason. Try using the secure version https://bigdave44.com instead, and don’t forget to tick the “save my name ,,,” box.

  6. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: The proscribed term applies today – */****.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 3d, 14d, and 20d – and the winner is 14d.

    A long time since 12a was held at Earl’s Court – 1976, 37 years before the facility closed in 2013.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  7. I really enjoy a Campbell offering when he’s in playful mode as he was this morning.
    Top three here were 10&12a plus 16d with several others hard on their heels.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review. Best of festive wishes to you, Falcon, and many thanks for all your reviews over the past year.

  8. Many thanks to Campbell for a light and very enjoyable start to the week – more like his traditional Monday puzzles, I felt. COTD to 15a for its wonderful surface read.

    1* / 3*

    Thank you also to Falcon for your blogging throughout the year, and a Merry Christmas to you.

  9. Nice gentle kick off. Vaguely familiar with the expression at 19a but, like Steve, checked it anyway. Remember seeing 10a in a Bogarde double bill not long after I’d discovered the joys of late night rep cinema & what a disturbing & deeply unpleasant film it was.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  10. A cheery start to the week; Surrey is definitely engulfed in the bleak mid-winter today.
    I imagine many others in the same frozen boat with me today in that 19a was my last one in, and then worked out due to checking letters. I have a vague memory of this expression having spent time in the States and immersing myself in its culture. I probably heard Batman say it.
    “Holy horse barns, Commissioner Gordon, we’re in a *****-**** of skulduggery!”

    Thanks to Campbell and The Ontarian Bird Of Prey

  11. A nicely clued Monday puzzle nothing obscure-remembered 19a from somewhere.
    Liked 19a and the surface of 25a.
    Favourite was the concise 24a ,not seen this clue before.
    Going for a **/****.
    The top line Quickie pun made me smile.

  12. Two unaided completions in the last seven days – I could get used to this! A nice gentle start to the week which was very enjoyable.

    My parents used to take me to the Ideal Home Exhibition every year at Earls Court, though I don’t recall a 12a ever being hosted! I wandered off one year and got thoroughly lost for a while until I ended up at a reception point to be met by a very annoyed mother…

    The two friendly long clues were my favourites and I liked the seasonality of 21a.

    TY to Campbell and Falcon

    1. Wiggler, the Motor Show was held biennially at Earls Court for many years until 1999. After that, I think it moved to the Excel Centre in East London although Covid has of course scuppered it recently.

    2. I was at the Ideal Home Exhibition at Earl’s Court, watching a man demonstrating kitchen gadgets, on 27 March 1976, when the IRA saw fit to explode a bomb concealed in a rubbish bin. N later years I went to the same venue several times to The French Show.

  13. My sort of crossword, great fun without requiring the cold towels. My only minor issue is the use the the synonym for page in 1d, doesn’t seem quite right.
    Thx to all

    1. Like chapter, the word page is often used metaphorically to refer to a particular period of time. Collins English Dictionary gives the following example “a glorious page in the revolution“.

  14. Campbell back to his friendly persona today so smiles all round. The anagram at 13a is my clear favourite today. It caused me trouble by me concentrating on tents and political camps et al. The penny finally clattered loudly when the penultimate letter was revealed as an ‘a’. Oh yes, it’s about Julian and Sandy.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon for getting Monday back to the Monday I love.

  15. It’s Monday so it must be Campbell. A gentler puzzle, I thought, after his last couple of ‘toughies’ on previous weeks.

    1*/4.5* today

    Favourites include 12a, 19a, 1d, 3d & 16d- with winner 3d.
    Unknown word for me in 22d, but easy enough to get.
    Chuckles with 25a, 7d, 14d & 16d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  16. I started off so well that I made the mistake of thinking I could finish without help. I was wrong! Struggled with 3 or 4, even having read the hints. Oh well, one day …..

  17. Certainly a very gentle start to the week, dead tree version delivered late today, not surprising considering the thick snow on the Kent Downs.
    Don’t think I’ll bother with the mower today!

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  18. Nice puzzle today. Only needed help with 1d .

    Thanks and Seasons Greetings to Falcon and to Campbell.

    Very cold here but not a flake of snow so far….thank goodness.

  19. Very enjoyable, as just about the right level for me ! 🙄 I doubt that I would ever have got 19a though . Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  20. A lovely puzzle today .
    I became a grandmother today , to Laura Elisheva , and I am so thrilled.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

    1. Congratulations Una and to the proud parents. Now begins the hard part : keeping quiet however they are raising the child. Never offer unasked for advice. Difficult but by our third grandchild I had learnt to keep quiet.

    2. Congratulations from me too. Is Laura’s Mum your daughter and son-in-law or your daughter-in-law and your son? I think it’s very different!

      1. She’s my sons first ! They live in London but we will see them as much as possible. I retired early, if you retire before 70 in Ireland it’s officially retiring early. Thanks for your good wishes.

  21. Most went straight in leaving me with 19a, which I did not recognise, 4d which I couldn’t parse and, inexplicably, 8d. Got there in the end. Favourites 15a and 3d. Just tried the tip to retain name and email. Accessed it by the means suggested and it worked. I normally access via the link from the daily email. Thanks Campbell and Falcon

  22. Season’s Greetings to everyone, and a thank you to all who have posted comments in 2022.
    I am off to Madeira on Friday for four weeks, if spared strikes and bad weather. Will I be able to cope with temperatures above 20?

    1. Huge thanks for all your puzzles in 2022, Campbell. Enjoy your time in Madeira.

      Merry Christmas and all the very best for The New Year.

    2. Have a wonderful time, Campbell, you certainly deserve a break from all the compiling. Best of wishes for the festive season, see you again in 2023.

    3. Have a wonderful holiday in Madeira, Campbell, and thank you for the hours of enjoyment your puzzles have provided over the past year.

    4. If you are not going to be here on Mondays for a while then I will have to look out my old Boomtown Rats records.

      Have a wonderful Christmas and holiday in the sun Campbell.

      1. Just because Campbell is going on holiday, his puzzles should still be published on Mondays as they are set quite a while before they appear

    5. Have a great holiday & thanks for all the quality entertainment that you’ve provided each & every Monday throughout the year – I still haven’t forgiven Ed for depriving us of your OLPP.

  23. Back to Campbell of yore and what a pleasure it was! It was fun from start to finish with no need for any outside help. Thanks to my Dad for 19a and 3d, I often wondered how they started, maybe it’s time for a little Googling. I loved it all, nothing obscure here.
    Thank you Campbell and Falcon, merry Christmas to you. See you next year.

  24. Certainly not a walk in the park but an enjoyable tussle with SW holding out to the bitter end mainly due to my trying to use an avian home for 19a. Anagram indicators seem to be more and more off the wall these days. Happy holidays Campbell and TVM for your 2022 swansong and thanks also to Falcon for providing another fall-back position although not needed today.

  25. 2/4. Enjoyable start to the week. A good mix of anagrams and lurkers helped this puzzle along. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  26. Pleasantly Mondayish.
    But, rather stupidly, the time taken to solve 9 and 19a popped me into 1.5* time.
    Thanks, Campbell, for the enjoyment and Falcon, especially for the, perhaps, unwoke illustration to 24a.

  27. Happy Christmas Falcon and everyone. We also had the snow though it is melting now. We live at the top of a very steep hill and went mad and bought a four wheel drive car last year. Alan drove down to check the mail box across the road and says it was so easy to drive back up. I am relieved, for the past 20 years of living here he had a different method. He would back across Hwy 14 and then gun it to the top. Scared me witless!

    I have barely started today’s crossword but I wanted to pop in and say how much we love 3d. Very amusing. Thank you to the setter.

  28. This crossword took me ages – either I’m losing my marbles or I’m SO on the wrong wavelength that I don’t have a wavelength at all! :sad: Oh dear! A really bad sleep didn’t help . . .
    Change of subject, I think!
    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon and Happy Christmas to those who we won’t see again for a while.

  29. At last a crossword that I can nearly finish. 19a a new one on me. That said – an enjoyable canter diverting me from part time accounting work, so thanks to all concerned.

  30. Back to a Monday crossword on a Monday and much the better for it, I really enjoyed this one. Favourite was 21a. Many thanks Campbell and Falcon, both have a good one.

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