DT 30169 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30169

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30169
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. A jokey, playful puzzle today that was good fun to solve, and which I suspect will go down nicely for most. It reminded me of a puzzle I blogged a month ago whose author revealed himself in the comments to be X-Type; perhaps this was his too.

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 E, so it would appear, is beloved (10)
SWEETHEART: A conceit that some of us may have seen before, the solution can lead to the letter E in a cryptic clue

6a Sin not recorded from the East (4)
EVIL: A reversal (from the East) of a word that can mean eg a record that wasn’t recorded in a studio

10a Consumer‘s holiday without son (5)
EATER: A springtime religious holiday is missing (without) the letter for son

11a Entertainer who might fall in the bath? (3-6)
TAP-DANCER: An old joke as an amusing cryptic definition. With luck, the entertainer recovers in time to make the shower curtain-call

12a Fancy ring given to artist (7)
CHIMERA: Another word for ring, or toll, followed by a two-letter initialism for an artist. The solution is a mythic creature, figuratively an unrealistic dream

13a Body of water in Scotland with water-beast? Pshaw! (3,4)
SEA LOCH: An aquatic mammal also seen on rocks and sand precedes an expression north of the border that could be one of disbelief

14a Spots cat in A&E, playing: it’s out of this world! (5,7)
SPACE STATION: An anagram (playing) of SPOTS CAT IN A E

18a Fine weather for an Asian mathematician, perhaps (6,6)
INDIAN SUMMER: Double definition, the first straightforward, the second more whimsical

21a Idle maybe, clutching rodent? Most unreliable (7)
ERRATIC: The first name of a writer-performer from a famous comedy troupe containing (clutching) a common rodent

23a Really happy with what Thomas the Tank Engine did? (7)
CHUFFED: Another mischievous double definition that evokes the sound a steam engine makes on its way

24a I clam up in strange town? (9)
MUNICIPAL: With a deceptive definition that suggests a noun rather than an adjective, an anagram (strange) of I CLAM UP IN

25a Let alone, getting some time off (5)
LEAVE: A straightforward double definition

26a Cosy pad in Newcastle street? (4)
NEST: The two-letter compass direction (or is it the postcode prefix?) often denoted by Newcastle followed by the usual shortening of street

27a Reportedly choose underwear for alfresco diners! (10)
PICNICKERS: A homophone (reportedly) with two distinct components


1d Drawing of small boat (6)
SKETCH: The usual letter for small, plus a two-masted sailing boat

2d Agent (ailing) secreting warrant (6)
ENTAIL: The solution is hidden in the clue

3d Great tactic rep deployed in exercise to improve accuracy (6,8)
TARGET PRACTICE: An anagram (deployed) of GREAT TACTIC REP

4d Portals with charms? (9)
ENTRANCES: Double definition, the second of which is a verb

5d If you don’t know these, you’re green (5)
ROPES: A cryptic definition that refers to a phrase meaning to be experienced, as opposed to green or unskilled

7d Island’s capital railway terminus! (8)
VICTORIA: Another double definition, one of which is the capital of an island group in the Indian Ocean that I’ve calculated I should be able to retire to by the time I’m 190 of British Columbia. [EDIT: Or possibly a triple definition – as pointed out by Gazza in the comments below – if we take the solution to be an island and a capital (as well as the terminus)]
[EDIT 2!: The setter (X-Type) has joined the comments below to say said one of the two definitions actually refers to the capital of British Columbia, which is situated on Vancouver Island]

8d Left streetwise kid finally rocking and rolling (8)
LURCHING: The usual letter for left, a synonym of a ragamuffin child, plus a final letter as indicated

9d Cap annual bribe, criminal’s in a dreadful state? (6,8)
BANANA REPUBLIC: An anagram (criminal) of CAP ANNUAL BRIBE leads to a phrase for a small, poor country that Chambers and Collins say is now derogatory and offensive

15d Mark somewhere to find half-digested food? (9)
SEMICOLON: A cryptic definition of sorts, featuring a straight one-word definition followed by a fanciful play on words

16d Rules chap could make assistant referee (8)
LINESMAN: A charade of synonyms for rules (noun, not verb) and chap

17d Ingredient of food, or ant spray: substances having a very strong smell (8)
ODORANTS: A quirky hidden solution that I stupidly didn’t spot for a while, even with all four crossers filled in!

19d A female, unable to walk, burning up (6)
AFLAME: ‘A’ from the clue, the usual letter for female, and a word meaning limping

20d Snakes – or their headless companions? (6)
ADDERS: The first letter is removed from a word associated with the definition in a board game

22d Headgear seen on king, on independent island (5)
CAPRI: A type of hat, the letter that represent the Latin for King, and a one-letter abbreviation for independent

My particular favourites were 13a, 24a, 27a, 3d and 8d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: WHOLE + LINN + WON = HOLE IN ONE

80 comments on “DT 30169
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  1. Absolutely loved this gentle solve with some amusing clues. My favourite has to be 27a because it made me laugh out loud, but I also loved 18a, 23a, 5d, 15d and 20d. I could go on! Thanks to the compiler and Twmbarlwm.

  2. Great fun today!
    I also laughed out loud at 27a.

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

    Very cold here (minus 7C) but also very sunny.

  3. A very friendly solve which I thoroughly enjoyed with plenty of humorous clueing. 1a, 21a, 23a, 27a all tickled me but there were many more.

    I didn’t really see the connection of 12a to the definition personally but got it from the wordplay. Does 1a set up some misdirection of the setter’s identity? ;)

    TY to setter and Twmbarlwm

  4. What great fun! Nothing difficult but an absolute delight to solve from first clue to last. 27a was also my top selection.

    My thanks to our setter and Mr T.

    I recently received my invitation from the Telegraph to renew my digital subscription, due on Christmas Eve. My current price is £197, the offer was £329, an increase of some 65%. I phoned the number given in the email, and without hesitation they offered me an annual price of £99 plus a £50 M & S voucher.

    Why they didn’t offer to renew at the same price as this year, or even volunteer a cheaper option from the off I cannot imagine. I urge all fellow commenters to think before renewing as there are clearly substantial savings to be had.

  5. Typically Tuesdayish – **/*****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 27a, 4d, 5d, and 15d – and the winner can only be 27a!

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  6. Great fun – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    Having consulted Mrs Bradford’s list of islands I think that 7d is meant to be a triple definition (it could be a quadruple if you take a London Underground line to be a railway).
    For my podium I’ve selected 18a, 23a and 27a.

    1. You could be right with the triple, especially as the Seychelles is a group of islands, albeit with the capital on the main one, but as the Arctic island has ‘Island’ in its name, I took a punt on a double defn.

      1. Yes, which makes Gazza’s triple definition theory more likely (I’ve amended the blog to allow for that).
        As I said, the capital is on the main island rather than any of the smaller ones, which I originally thought made the clue and apostrophe okay for a double defn.

  7. A gentle puzzle indeed! Just what I needed before my appointment with the dentist!
    Can I be alone in finding 1/2 for difficulty and 3/4 for enjoyment, irritating?
    Either score it 1 or 2 and 3 or 4 and otherwise score out of 10?

    1. I’m just following the precedents set by previous bloggers and the site protocol when it comes to scoring.
      I agree that there probably aren’t many people who care about ½ points here and there, but they’re used elsewhere too.

      1. Yes, you are right! It’s a familiar system best left alone.
        I get a bit tetchy before the dentist but I should keep it to myself!

  8. Easy going today particularly in the South. 21a seems a bit flimsy to me if I am parsing it correctly. Thank you setter for the amusement and MrT for lurking in case of being needed.

  9. 1a suggests Ray T but I’m not sure about that as I finished this over my after breakfast coffee. If it is then I say with dear old Winston – ‘never in the …. ‘, you know the rest. Lots to like in this puzzle ; 27a an easy winner but hat tips to 18a, 23a, 8d and 9d and I could list others.

    Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the mystery setter. If it is indeed Ray T sorry for impugning your ability to set friendly puzzles.

  10. A fun solve today with no head scratching necessary. Top 3 for me in no particular order – 1,23&27a. Failed to complete the Quickie on the other hand having never heard of that term for a waterfall & didn’t manage to figure it from the pun – haven’t had one of those either.
    Thanks to the setter & Mr T.

      1. I spent an arm & a couple of legs a while back on a streamer & speakers from Linn which is a Scottish company & did wonder if that’s where they got the idea for their name.

  11. A wonderful puzzle for a miserable and cold day here in The Marches. So much to like that it is difficult to pick out a favourite. 9d held me up for ages because I was convinced “Panama” was the first word. My heart fell when I saw 18a until I realised an obscure Asian mathematician was not required. I am not sure about the headless companions in 20d even after having been through the whole alphabet. My COTD is the cheeky 27a because of the smile it raised.

    Grateful thanks to the Tuesday setter for the fun and Twmbarlwm for the hints, which were not needed today but will now be read.

    1. 20d refers to a game where you either go up something used to climb or down the slithery creatures, the solution being an example of them

      1. Thank you, CS – it makes perfect sense now. I can’t think why I didn’t see it given that we often played it as a family when I was a kid.

  12. 2*/4*. Nothing too difficult here, although I didn’t know that 7d could be an island capital, but it was great fun.

    The surface of 1a doesn’t make much sense but, that apart, this was high quality throughout with 13a & 23a making it onto my podium alongside my favourite, 27a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

    1. I thought I would jump in about the “Island’s Capital” debate…I was referring to Vancouver Island, which has the Provincial capital for BC (you can read Island’s as “Island has”…) Oh – and the name for the waterfall – in the Quickie – is a very common one, here in Yorkshire and also in Northumberland.

      1. I had picked that as my favourite in my original post that for whatever reason never showed up. I thought of Vancouver Island right away and the Victoria there, as it is right on my doorstep!

  13. Light and enjoyable, nothing to alarm the equines, most answers leapt from the page, and I ended up with ticks against 1a, 11a (big smile even if it is an old chestnut), 21a (COTD), 23a, 15d & 20d (another smile). On a speedy road a few miles from here a couple of road-side cottages have put up warning signs on nearby bends reading “Slow! Concealed [4d]!” – which I have long read as suggesting the cottages have hidden charms …

    1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  14. Very clever and amusing puzzle, liked immensely from the word go. Far too many crackers to choose a favourite, chapeau to M or Mme setter, very well done!

  15. Not that easy for me but great fun apart from 26a which made little sense, needed a leap of faith to equate the city with the direction as there was no indication to do so, for me a very poor clue which rather spoilt an otherwise super puzzle. Loved 11a and 27a, both were laugh out loud clues.
    Thx to all
    **/****(*) loses * for 26a.

  16. Had to get past my instinctive desire for good surface reads before I could appreciate the humour in this puzzle.
    I liked the allusion to Nessie in 13a and the short but sweet 1d so they went onto my ‘tick’ list along with 18&27a.

    Thanks to our setter (X-Type?) and to Twmbarlwm for the review – hope you make it to the Seychelles!

    1. Both the Blogger (with the unpronounceable name!) and you guessed my identity correctly today. I hope my humorous approach to cluing is now becoming a bit of a trademark…? I’m pleased that so many found it not too hard, but still enjoyable: that is always my main aim. (BTW: anyone in Yorkshire knows the name for the waterfall in the Quickie…) See you on a Saturday or a Tuesday soon!

  17. A lovely puzzle which I solved straight out of the box apart from 1a which had me scratching my head and reaching for the thesaurus at which point I gave myself a good kicking. It’s hardly the first time it’s been used, so no excuse 😀

  18. I pretty much agree with all the comments, good fun and no huge headaches – although that comment itself
    might irritate some sensitive souls. Too cold and miserable for words. George went on line to order his drugs and found Edoxaban
    had been substituted for his Warfarin, which he has been taking for years and years. He went down to the surgery to query this
    and was told it must have been sanctioned by the doctor. He came home puzzled so I rang the surgery – the phone rang for
    27 minutes before it was answered. I am always very polite and grovelly, said we were confused and asked shouldn’t George be told this by a doctor.
    I was told the pharmacist at the surgery would ring me and explain. Ten minutes later the receptionist rang back, said she shouldn’t really talk about
    medication, but the pharmacist had assured her that Edoxavban was safer for him than Warfarin. I am really fed up with being old. And cold!
    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm for the diversion.

    1. Ah, the joys of the NHS. I turned up at our GP surgery today for a routine blood test which I had booked a couple of weeks ago only to be told I was no longer registered at that practice (which I have been attending for over 15 years) and all my medical records had been removed from their database! I have to say the receptionist couldn’t have been more helpful and found out that another GP practice a few miles away had advised the NHS centrally that I had just registered with them, which I hadn’t. In any event I live outside their catchment area. The NHS had then told my practice to send all my records over to the new surgery.

      Happily the receptionist was able to speak to my GP who immediately completed a new blood test form and arranged with the nurse to take my blood sample. The surgery are now trying to reclaim my medical records from the other practice although why something which is entirely electronic should not be able to be transferred instantly is a mystery to me.

      When I arrived home I found a letter from the NHS saying that noticed I had registered with a practice outside my area and so would be removed from their list! They requested that I register with another surgery closer to my home! My thoughts are unprintable.

        1. DG, I hope you read this as I am rather late in the day but will refer you back to this tomorrow. David was on Warfarin for years entailing routine INR tests. He was switched to E about 4 years ago and finds it far better – no need for INR tests or watching what food he eats. It is much more expensive as a drug but makes the money back as no need to visit the surgery for the tests regularly. Hope this helps.

    2. DG – I have for several years been taking Rivaroxaban which like Edoxaban is a newer DOAC – Direct Oral Anticoagulant – rather than Warfarin and one advantage is that, unlike Warfarin, they do not need regular monitoring.

    3. Pharmacist involvement in GP practices is now commonplace, because they are much cheaper to employ. However, they do make changes without reference to patients on occasions, in my experience. Anticoagulants require expert input when changing from one to another, with full patient involvement, understanding and consent.

      1. Oh dear, BD’s site seems to be turning into an agony column but I did just want to concur with PhilS in that a pharmacist attempted to alter my heart medication dosage without reference to my cardiologist who in turn vetoed the change after I contacted him.

  19. Haven’t commented for a while but had to highlight today the lovely picture of Jimmy Hill running the line at Craven Cottage. If memory serves the official linesman was taken ill and Jimmy had to step in as he was a qualified referee.
    Anyway, very enjoyable crossword, lots to like, though I’m not sure 15d quite works.
    Thanks to all

    1. I was at that game way back in 1972 … Highbury, if I remember correctly.

      The crowd sang: “He’s here, He’s there, He’s every ******* where! Jimmy Hill! Jimmy Hill!”

  20. Most enjoyable, with some great humour. I struggled with 13a. But once I got the hint the rest fell into place. Thanks to all.

  21. Yes hugely enjoyable . A rare unaided solve for me which on first pass looked impossible . COTD 23a and LOI 1a Can anyone explain how the clue to 1a leads to sweetheart -still puzzling on that despite the hint …
    Thanks to X-type for a lovely puzzle and hinter T for explaining it all

    1. My take is that the whole solution means “beloved” (noun) and sweetheart is a favourite (or beloved) way that setters have to indicate the letter E.

  22. Plenty of fun, as many others have commented.
    11a is one of my favourite “Dad Jokes” (aka bad jokes), so this probably wins CoD for me ahead of 27a.
    Sterner tests await later in the week no doubt, but this was great fun and a pleasure to solve.
    Thank you X-Type and Twmbarlwm

  23. An absolute delight from start to finish. So many clever clues that brought a smile but I think 27 across was my favourite.

  24. Due to domestic duties missed the last two but this one was excellent. A fabulous */** with a ***** enjoyment factor. 1a gets it for me as COTD but 27a a very close second. Superb.
    Thanks to Senf and the setter. Just seen his identity I think!

  25. Not sure why but my original post never showed up yet when I try to repost it, it says it already exists.
    Trying again with a re-write

    An easier than usual Tuesday puzzle today. In fact it was a pleasure to solve today.

    2.0*/3.5* today

    Favourites include 1a ( a good chuckle with that!), 18a, 21a, 23a, 27a, 7d & 20d with winner 23a

    I still really like the Thomas stories and have enjoyed reading the original books I still have from my youth to my youngest grandson, Brody … he loves them too.
    I also have the all Bittt-Alcroft videos that were done years ago with Ringo Starr narrating the first two series.
    So fun to watch.

    Thanks to setter and Mr T.

  26. A very enjoyable witty crossword 😃 **/**** Favourites 27a (of course) and 15d 👍 Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and to X-type

  27. 1/4. Very enjoyable solve with 18a my standout favourite. Re the debate on 7d I assumed it was correct but questioned whether it’s technically correct. The answer is the capital of BC not the island on which it’s based. In any event thanks to X Type and Mr T.

  28. Very enjoyable and quite brisk solve with some smile inducing cryptic definitions.
    I’ll highlight 11,23&27a plus 20d.
    Many thanks to the setter, I see it’s X-type, and to Twmbarlwm for the fun.

  29. That was such a treat, after all my complaining, we’re back to normal with gentler offerings at the start of the week. I defy any of those who claim the easier puzzles are dull, what could sparkle more than this one? I needed Mr. T to understand 11a, missed that completely. It’s impossible to choose a fave … maybe 27a, but not at all sure, it could be any one of them.
    Thank you X-Type, you’ve given us so much to enjoy today, and to Mr. T for hints and pics.

  30. Wow! Lots of comments today, and here comes the old slugabed to add another after reading from dusk into daylight (a new mystery by Sophie Hannah). I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle, which as many have noted was great fun to solve, especially 1a, 23a, & 27a. My first thought re 7d was the British Columbia capital, so I was pleased that X-Type stepped in for clarification. Thanks to him for the fine puzzle and to Twmbarlwm for the review. **/****

  31. Thanks to the setter X-Type @13 for confirming the alternative capital that he was referring to at 7d is actually the one on an island in British Columbia, not the Seychelles. (I’ve amended the explanation.)
    My brain is now a Victoria sponge. :scratch:

  32. :phew: That was good fun but definitely far from being straightforward, for me anyway – as usual its always to do with wave-length . . .
    I spent too long trying to make an anagram of ‘idle”.
    How many times have I seen 11a but it’s still my last answer and I missed the lurker 2d. Dim!
    So many good clues including 1a (Ray T thanks!), 23 and 27a.
    Thanks to X-Type and Twmbarlwm.

  33. Wow! what a belter. The setters for the rest of the week will have to go some to beat that for amusement and enjoyment, thank you sir. Favourite was 21a, I too was looking for an anagram of idle until the penny dropped. Thanks to X-Type and T.

  34. Very pleasing solve much aided by the long anagrams.
    Smiled at the cunning lurkers and at 5 and 9d.
    15d an absolute gem.
    Needed hint to explain 13a.
    Where have I been all my life not to know that Scottish expression?
    Many thanks, X-Type and Twmbarlwm.

  35. Great fun cracking this. Got 12a , bit of a stretch of thought. Put 20d in , but took me a while to work out how it parsed, then the penny dropped. Thanks to the setter for a really enjoyable time spent by the fire on a cold winters day.

  36. Very good. 13a last one in. I had Victoria BC in mind straightaway for 7d. I have had the pleasure of going there. Favourites 18 21 and 27a and 8 9 15 and 20d. Wavelength thing and I was certainly on it. Thank you X Type you are a speedy runny and thank you also Hinter (I can’t spell you). Did not need them today but always read them. I was pleased that I wasn’t left with any stragglers to answer.

    1. Hi, WW: I love Victoria, B.C., have been there twice, and the last time flew on my first sea-plane from Victoria to Vancouver, only a 20 minute flight but most memorable. On my first trip to the island, I rented a car and drove down to the wild and almost primitive, virtually unspoiled west coast, and stayed in Torino, which seemed like a fantasy trip back into the early 20th Century. Loved it!

      1. I spent a week or so in a logging camp on VI as I had a friend we was a forester. We flew in on a putt-putt plane, great views but a bit scary! Ahh, those were the days.

  37. Doing this a day late. Enjoyed it immensely.
    Because my vouchers went AWOL, I tried doing the crossword online. How do you manage it? It’s all so small and at times incomplete. I’m overcome with admiration for those who manage it. Thank goodness I’m now back on the dead tree version.

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