DT 30172 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30172

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30172

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

Zandio was ‘on duty’ last Friday and today there are no signs of multiple Xs or a pangram except for an X so my five bob is on this being a Silvanus production.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 20a, 22a, 1d, and 5d.

Getting in some practice for next weekend, completion of all blog activities assisted by a wee dram of Glenlivet and some Walker’s Shortbread.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Caught that woman pinching fine necklace (6)
CHOKER: Crickety Caught and a pronoun for that woman containing (pinching) the two letters that can indicate fine.

4a Figure golf outside broadcast has fifty working up front (6)
OBLONG: The abbreviation for Outside Broadcast followed by (has) the Roman numeral for fifty and the two letter synonym of working all placed before (up front) of the letter represented phonetically by Golf.

8a Liberal at home initially beset by stomach pain (8)
CATHOLIC: AT from the clue and the first letter (initially) of Home contained (beset) by a stomach pain (mostly experienced by infants) – another one of those where the definition and answer ‘matching’ surprised me.

10a Jail locally from which associate escapes (6)
INTERN: A synonym of locally with part, that is a synonym of associate, deleted (escapes).

11a Guy ousting leader is clever (4)
ABLE: A synonym of guy (as in something used to steady) with its first letter deleted (ousting leader).

12a Drug for each receiving a tattoo, feeling queasy (10)
PAINKILLER: The Latin based preposition equivalent to for each containing (receiving) all of A from the clue, an informal three letter synonym for tattoo, and a three letter term for feeling queasy.

13a Commendable way report is prepared defending hospital (12)
PRAISEWORTHY: An anagram (prepared) WAY REPORT IS containing (defending) the single letter for Hospital.

16a Branch of medicine Oscar practised moving around house (12)
ORTHOPAEDICS: The letter represented phonetically by Oscar and an anagram (moving) of PRACTISED containing (around) the two letter abbreviation for HOuse.

20a Drunk person disheartened Scotsman and EU citizen (10)
LITHUANIAN: A three letter synonym of drunk, a synonym of person (often associated with being) with the middle letter deleted (disheartened), and our favourite three letter Scotsman.

21a Pro inspires university rowing crew (4)
FOUR: A synonym of pro (as in in favour of) contains (inspires) the single letter for University.

22a Avoids chores as mum is annoying (6)
SHIRKS: A synonym of mum (as in keep mum) and a single word term for is annoying.

23a Chap occupies excellent day going round island (8)
TASMANIA: A synonym of chap inserted into (occupies) the reversal (going round) of all of the alpha-numeric two character equivalent of excellent and the abbreviated form of a day of the week (one known for its Prize Puzzle).

24a Rather attractive (6)
PRETTY: A double definition – I don’t think I can say any more without giving it away.

25a Heard on TV Torquay hotelier is bust (6)
FAULTY: A homophone (heard) of the surname of a fictional (on TV) Torquay hotelier.


1d Where a judge may consult dictionary? (8)
CHAMBERS: I dithered about how to ‘classify’ this one; in the end, I decided on a cryptic definition of where a judge may be found when not in court.

2d Colour of coach-horses seen every so often (5)
OCHRE: A selection of alternate letters (seen every so often) from the clue.

3d Darkness resulting from cuts in essentially indispensable energy (7)
ECLIPSE: A verbal synonym of cuts inserted into (in) the middle letter (essentially) of indispEnsable and the single letter for energy.

5d Animated film that gets roasted? (7)
BRISKET: A synonym of animated (nothing to do with films) and our favourite two letter film.

6d Beaten pair upset about dubious penalty opposition ultimately missed (9)
OUTPLAYED: A three letter synonym of pair (singers or musicians?) reversed (upset) containing (about) an anagram (dubious) of PEnALTY with the last letter (ultimately) of oppositioN deleted (missed).

7d Raised section of uncovered rigid beam (6)
GIRDER: A reversed lurker (raised section) found in two words in the clue.

9d Suspect hip doctor is one offering sole treatment? (11)
CHIROPODIST: An anagram (suspect) of HIP DOCTOR IS.

14d Press hack finds old railway engine (4,5)
IRON HORSE: A synonym of press (clothes) and a synonym of hack (in a sorry condition).

15d Reportedly twist beer can for inspection (8)
SCRUTINY: A ‘double’ homophone (reportedly), which Silvanus seems to like, of a synonym of twist and a ‘down under’ beer can.

17d Characteristic to conceal occasionally one’s route (7)
TRANSIT: A synonym of characteristic containing (to conceal) alternate letters (occasionally) from oNe’S.

18d Memory loss means I misplaced article (7)
AMNESIA: An anagram (misplaced) of MEANS I followed by one of the indefinite articles.

19d Cleric rabbi’s hoping to welcome (6)
BISHOP: A lurker (to welcome) found in two words in the clue.

21d Weak-looking female bird (5)
FRAIL: The single letter for female and guess a ground living bird that can be found in marshland or dense forest (so says Wikipedia).

A Seasonal Quick Crossword Pun:



75 comments on “DT 30172
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  1. Knew this was going to be hard today when I put it on the table and the cat hissed at it!
    Took a fair amount of time to finish, with a good dollop of lateral thinking needed.
    I’ve never heard of the answer to 8a in that context before, but we live and learn. Thought 6d was pertaining to a sporting event last week, but maybe I’m still just bitter about it. My standout favourite was easily the very clever 15d. Thanks compiler for a very enjoyable workout today.

  2. I’d been looking forward to this and it certainly didn’t disappoint, another lesson in the art of clue construction.
    Most of it went in almost as smoothly as the wordplay read but I did need a slight head scratch in the NE.
    Ticks all over but I’ll highlight 12,22&23a plus the outstanding 5d but my favourite, purely for personal reasons has to be 25a. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

  3. Puzzle of the week for me. Quite brilliant, actually, and I’d not be surprised if it’s Silvanus. Re 8a: I remember in our (American-style) 7th grade weekly vocabulary session, our teacher reminded us that “without a capital C, the word means universal or wide-open,” and that’s something, strangely, I’ve never forgotten, and so the solution came as no surprise to me. Ticks everywhere, with 12a, 20a, 1d, 14d, 15d, & 5d on the first two podia, and the honours continue to flow. Glad I remembered Basil F from Torquay, a LOL moment! Wonderful stuff. Thanks to Senf and today’s maestro. 2.5*/5*

  4. Oh dear. A failed to finish for me. NE corner did for me.

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf for the hints.

    Heavy snow here now.

  5. Yippee! Snow is falling on the blog and Mr Smooth has gifted us a festive Quickie pun – it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
    Some very clever constructions in this one and plenty to smile about. Think my top picks are 22a plus 5,15&21d with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the king of surface reads and to Senf for the nicely illustrated review – good to see the ‘big red book’ getting a photo call!

  6. There is a short animated film made in 2000
    Called xxxxxxx see 5down in which a well mannered penguin visits a supermarket see IMBd l don’t know whether this is what the setter had in mind?

  7. Hooray! I finished a Friday crossword unaided. I liked 6d and 15d. I am very grateful for the hints which helped me to parse the answers I didn’t understand. For example, 3d and 10a, where I had the answer but had gone down the wrong path to get there.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints from Senf.

  8. An excellent puzzle – many thanks to Silvanus and Senf.
    It seems wrong to pick out individual clues from such a cornucopia of riches but I have to mention 1a, 22a and 6d.

  9. Like Robert it’s the best of the week thus far for me too. I didn’t really peg it as a Silvanus production during the solve but wouldn’t be in the least surprised if it was. Ticks aplenty & not a dud in there. 8,12,13&20a plus 3,5,14&15d just four of each that maybe stood out above the rest.
    Thanks to the setter & Senf.
    Ps there’s a quite gentle Paul puzzle in the Graun if, like me, an Elgar Toughie is a no go area.

  10. The NE beat me and I needed a couple of hints to get going in this region. Annoying, really, as I had completed the rest. So, for me, the end was not very satisfying but the rest was very enjoyable with lots of smiles being raised. I think 5d would need to be roasted slowly for it to be edible. I did like the appearance of the BRB at 1d and I gave a tick to 1a. 23a was a satisfying solve but my COTD goes to the dropping penny of 15d.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Thank you, Senf for the hints and enjoy the Glenlivet. I’m being very good and holding out until the festivities begin, which is on 23rd Dec – Mrs. C’s birthday.

  11. Rather above my pay grade this one. Resorted to bunging in letters for some and I still don’t understand either the answer or the clue to 11a.
    Very little fun, a real slog.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Definition 1 of Guy – page 684 of BRB Revised 13th Edition. One of the ‘etc’ beyond rope or cord to steady a large structure such as in the illustration below and remove the first letter.

  12. I found this tough going and needed multiple hints to finish. I got the long ones straight away but it didn’t seem to help – I never seem to be on Silvanas’ wavelength unfortunately.

    Thanks to Silvanas for the challenge and Senf for much-needed hints.

  13. Completed with some help, thanks to Senf. 5d went in the oven at 9.00am and will be out in an hour so – smells lovely 😀

  14. Three quarters of this tricky puzzle eventually gave way but, as per Ora M and Steve Cowling, I struggled in the NE and reluctantly threw in the towel there. Searched my grey matter (such as it is!) for name of a drug for 12a prior to penny dropping – quite convoluted. 15d Australian beer can a new one on me so no parse and more no parses for 21a (inspires?) and 22a (of course went for wrong mum!). Perhaps it’s due to too much Christmas already but IMHO the Cryptics seem to be rather more challenging these days – no complaints about thst though. Thanks Silvanus (?) and Senf.

  15. Settled happily to this as, at last, my vouchers have arrived and I can enjoy a dead tree version.
    I liked 1d but my COTD is 5 d
    Going round in circles trying to renew my Blue Badge. My latest attempt shows a photo where I’m unlikely to survive until Christmas let alone next March when the badge expires! Oh, the joys of officialdom.

  16. Like Brian, this was a little beyond my reach although I enjoyed the battle, with 6d in particular twisting my melon. I looked to Senf for a few hints to get me rebooted.

    Thanks to the setter and The Man From Manitoba

  17. A difficult Friday Puzzle,especially the NE quadrant-as per Ora +M and SC, this took as long as the three others combined!
    last in was 10a.
    Plenty of my favourite charades, favourites were 12a 20a 23a.Thanks to Senf for the pics
    Going for a ****/***

  18. I absolutely loved this one, then realised having completed it that it was by one of our favourite setters. I used my trusty pin to select a favourite and the winner was 6d.

    My thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

  19. An excellent Friday puzzle; best of the week for me. Good clues and an enjoyable tussle. Fav: 6d. Had no problem at all with 8a’s definition. 3*/4*.

    *I do hope all these fluttering snowflakes on my screen are going to damage the inside my laptop. Don’t want any moisture getting in there …

  20. Nice end of the week puzzle for this Friday, (or my Thursday night), as it was not overly tasking.

    Podium candidates include 16a, 22a, 25a, 1d & 9d with co-winners 25a & 1d … both of which gave me a good chuckle!
    25a … those were the days of good laughs.

    Thanks to Silvanus and Senf for hints

  21. As ever, many thanks to Senf for his Hints and Tips and to all those taking the trouble to post comments, they’re much appreciated.

    I intended 1d to be a Double Definition (“consult” can be an intransitive verb as well as a transitive one) and I confess having not heard of the animated film mentioned by Chris Mills – well done on the research!

    I have one more puzzle before Christmas – a Toughie with some festive trimmings next week – so I’ll wish many of you a Happy Christmas then, but for those who don’t venture into Toughieland, may I take this opportunity to send you Season’s Greetings now and I look forward to returning soon.

    1. And the Season’s Greetings to you too. Many thanks for all the hours of pleasure you give me – and I don’t say that to many men!

    2. Thanks Silvanus for all your enjoyable to solve and blog challenges.
      I lost count of the times I changed my mind over 1d before I finally settled on ‘cryptic’ rather than ‘double’ definition.

    3. Thanks Silvanus for a challenging crossword for which only the NE corner needed Senf’s excellent tips. Season’s greetings to you too and thanks for your puzzles through the year.

    4. Best of the season to you, Silvanus, and thanks for another great puzzle and for joining us today. I look forward to your Toughie next week.

    5. Thank you Silvanus. Very enjoyable. Merry Christmas to you too.

      DG, your comment does rather beg a question but i’m not going to ask.

  22. Very annoying for me finished in about *** time but can’t say I enjoyed it. All the usual crosswordland synonyms etc which I can never remember. Convoluted sentence structure which I am sure the experts love. At least I had the satisfaction of finishing and to be reasonable there were some givens which stopped it being a toughy. Thanks to all.

  23. I have had a manic week and although I have done the crosswords it seems to have been mainly last thing at night and finished off in the morning – so not much point in commenting. But it has been another good week in crossword land. I agree with all the ‘best’ clues that have been mentioned – the jail one was last in. The lovely Gary is coming to do my hair shortly so I will just say thanks to Messrs Sylvanus and Senf, who sound as thought they may be purveyors if cuckoo clocks.

  24. Many thanks to Silvanus for this and all the other puzzles he has entertained us with this year.
    Like others, I struggled a bit in the NE but got there in the end. Thanks too to Senf for the nudges to get me over the line. 1d and 15d amused me when the penny dropped.
    Time to take Mama Bee to have her Barnet Chimped. I wish I could find a Gary here! Just rewatched The Crow Road and loved it again.

      1. Either – take your pick, crimped is specifically Barnet related, Chimped is a more northern term for fettling.

  25. Due to some unexpected disturbance to my day I am much later than usual posting today.

    3*/4.5*. Well, I suppose it had to happen eventually – a hmm for one of my favourite setters courtesy of the unindicated Australianism in 15d! Still, one minor quibble in several years of 5* puzzles is pretty good going. That aside, this was nicely challenging and great fun with the usual super-smooth surfaces throughout.

    With so many excellent clues to choose from, 1d wins the vote as my favourite.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Senf.

    1. Hi RD,

      The BRB a.k.a. 1d has “chiefly Aust and NZ” (i.e. not exclusively) against the second homophone in 15d. Does that get me off the hook?

  26. Great but tricky puzzle today – 12a my last one in as I was looking for ‘feeling queasy’ but also my COTD. We have a Warm Space room at the village hall which is great fun – lots of jigsaw puzzles, games to play etc. An older gentleman tried to teach me backgammon but kept leaving out quite vital rules (like having 4 goes if you throw a double ) which he turned to his advantage so beat me. Have now played it a few times on the computer and am getting the hang of it as I would like to thrash him in the New Year. Any tips from people gratefully received as I had never played it before. Thanks to Silvanus for the fun and Senf for showing me how I got there.

    1. Making the most progress with your stones is less important than protecting singles from being sent to the bar IMO.
      My backgammonning days were a long time ago so a pinch of salt is advised.

    2. The game can only be truly appreciated if playing for dosh using the doubling dice. Beware though it didn’t do (un)Lucky Lucan any favours & that older gentleman sounds like a bit of a hustler to me – they always frequent warm spaces….

    3. At one period of my life I played Backgammon practically every evening and yes, we did play for dosh with the doubling dice. But I was going to say I was interested to read a few days ago that you cooked a joint of meat successfully in your microwave. I am trying to use my complicated microwave more often to save electricity but find the Pxxxsxxxc recipe book leaves much to be desired and I’m a bit of a wimp.

  27. I found this refreshingly difficult but doable with some hard thinking.
    12, 20 and 23a and 15d outstanding clues.
    So, 5*/5.
    Many thanks, Silvanus, and Senf.

  28. Enjoyable and challenging puzzle today which was solved unaided EXCEPT for the NE corner where Senf came to the rescue so many thanks for your help.

    Seem to be getting better at cryptic puzzles and slowly feeling more of a member of the blog.

  29. Like others held up for a while in the NE but once having got 12a the rest followed quickly. Altogether a super crossword. Favourite was 6d. Thanks to silvanus and Senf.

  30. Like Brian, I found this way beyond my pay scale, but no complaints from me as I’ve had one of the best weeks yet for crosswords, it’s time for the other half to have fun. Of those that I did solve, fave was 1d.
    Thanks Silvanus, no surprises as I’m usually not on wavelength with you, much gratitude to Senf for solving the crossword for me.
    Off to the pool to do my exercises! There’s a HUGE ameiva in here somewhere, I dare say brought in by my puss cat, I need to get someone to remove it!

  31. A very enjoyable puzzle, largely straightforward other than in the NE, where I had made a rod for my own back by firmly writing in “Peanuts” in 5d as my very first answer in the grid … even when it became apparent that could not be the answer, the inked-in letters were a constant distraction in sorting out that corner.

    Top Banana awards to the wonderful 22a and 15d, but there were many splendid clues.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and to Senf

  32. Dead tree version late again today so everything that needs to be said……..
    NE was last in for me too, 15d was a cracker!
    Off to the hospital tomorrow to have a rather sore stomach hernia poked and prodded by the experts, not my idea of a fun weekend.

  33. Enjoyable clever puzzle but not as easy as I first thought 🤔 ***/**** Favourites 22a, 25a & 15d 😃 Thanks to Senf and to Zandio

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