DT 30174 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30174

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30174

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja.  Christmas will be over by the next Monday puzzle so may I wish all our readers a very merry one and best wishes for the new year too.  We’re off to Benidorm again this year after staying home for a couple of years due to Covid restrictions.

Our Monday Maestro is on good form today with an enjoyable puzzle at the benign end of his difficulty range.  A couple of bits of GK required in 8a and 16d but if you know it the puzzle is really only * difficulty. If you don’t know it you’ll need a bit of investigoogling but it shouldn’t be too hard to get to the answers.  There are eight clues involving anagrams so you should be able to get off to a good start.

As usual my podium three are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


5a           Cynthia terribly good sport (8)
YACHTING:  Anagram (terribly) of CYNTHIA followed by a G(ood).

8a           Region of Asia Minor, north of some Greek islands (6)
IONIAN:  An old region of Asia Minor followed by N(orth).  These islands are one of my favourite places to do 5a – a lot warmer than the Irish Sea!

10a         Plane perhaps crossing a large Irish town (6)
TRALEE:  The sort of plant that a plane is an example of is placed around (crossing) the A from the clue and an L(arge).

11a         An easy goal? Check, if need be (2,1,5)
AT A PINCH: Start with a phrase (1,3,2) describing an easy goal or even a very short putt in golf and follow with the two letter abbreviation of check.  Split the result (2,1,5) to get the answer.

12a         Confront unpleasantness, as conductors do? (4,3,5)
FACE THE MUSIC:  This phrase meaning to confront unpleasantness is an allusion to where the conductor of an orchestra stands and what’s in front of him.

15a         Unemployed, fish round lake (4)
IDLE:  A type of fish, also known as an orfe, is placed around (round) an L(ake).

17a         Had on about South being not as good (5)
WORSE:  A word meaning had on, clothing perhaps, around (about)  an S(outh).

18a         Level in competition? Almost (4)
EVEN:  A word for a sporting competition without its last letter (almost).

19a         What film-makers do as a form of protest? (6,6)
DIRECT ACTION:  A form of protest is also what the likes of Steven Spielberg do when on the set of a movie.

22a         Bright red old bird (8)
FLAMINGO:  A word for bright red followed by O(ld).  I seem to remember that the Beeb banned this record because, they said, it was about a prostitute . . .

24a         Uniform in attire in force (6)
DURESS:  The letter represented by uniform in the phonetic alphabet is placed inside (in) another word for attire or clothing.

25a         Entirely lacking in depth, video nasty (6)
DEVOID:  D(epth) followed by an anagram (nasty) of VIDEO.

26a         Not working on stories, so rests (4,4)
LIES DOWN:  Start with some stories or fibs and follow with a word for not working or broken, often applied to broken computers.


1d           Put aside novel about the Spanish leader in Valencia (6)
SHELVE:  Crosswordland’s favourite novel by Rider Haggard is placed around the Spanish definite article and a V (leader in Valencia).

2d           Where noise disturbed US president (10)
EISENHOWER:  Anagram (disturbed) of WHERE NOISE.

3d           Permit is required to get into Virginia (4)
VISA:  Take the IS from the clue and insert into (required to get into) the abbreviation of Virginia.

4d           Ring English knight and odd cleric (8)
ENCIRCLE:  E(nglish) and the letter for a knight in chess notation are followed by an anagram (odd) of CLERIC.  For a while I thought the definition here was cleric, d’oh!

6d           Helps to engage Irish artist to depict attacks from above (3-5)
AIR RAIDS:  A word meaning helps is placed around (to engage) two letters for Irish and the usual artist and the result then split (3,5).

7d           Educational establishment with charm, grooms a poor student (7,6)
GRAMMAR SCHOOL:  Anagram (poor) of CHARM GROOMS A followed by the usual letter for a student.

9d           Cunning male dropping out of parade (4)
ARCH:  A word for a parade or demo without its M (M(ale) dropping out of).

13d         Left quickly, confused after desk rearranged (10)
SKEDADDLED: Start with an anagram (rearranged) of DESK and follow with a word meaning confused.

14d         Carpentry tool one wants badly (5,3)
TENON SAW:  Anagram (badly) of ONE WANTS.

16d         Clumsily done, in my long poem (8)
ENDYMION:  Anagram (clumsily) of DONE IN MY gives you a narrative poem by John Keats.  I wasn’t familiar with this poem but once the checkers were in it couldn’t really be anything else.

20d         Tongue-lashing from one stuck in traffic (6)
TIRADE:  The letter which looks like number one inserted into (stuck in) a word for traffic as in sell.

21d         Sad  Conservative? (4)
BLUE:  Double definition.

23d         Nothing in van, a Datsun (4)
NADA:  A lurker hiding in (in) the last three words.  Showing my age now by admitting I used to have a Datsun120Y!

A lot of good stuff here but my top three are 3d, 19a and 12a in that order.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        WRAPS     +     OWE     +     DEE     =     RHAPSODY

Bottom line:     PER     +     PAL     +     HARTS     =     PURPLE HEARTS

Centre (13a,14a +15a)    GUARD     +     DUNCE     +     ENTER     =     GARDEN CENTRE

62 comments on “DT 30174
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  1. A gentle */*** start to the week which as pommers says was enjoyable. Being a Keats fan did help with 16d. The only downside to this one was that although all the clues were good I didn’t have a stand out COTD for some reason. Thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  2. I wouldn’t argue with our blogger’s choice of favourites this morning, nor with his assessment of difficulty or enjoyment. This was a terrific start to the crosswording week, just right to cheer up a mild but miserable Shropshire morning.

    My thanks to Campbell, and to pommers. Season’s Greetings to you too.

  3. A paucity of clues today, only 26, but that’s the only negative comment in this very enjoyable, typically Monday offering. Not being a golfer I needéd Pommers help to parse 11a and 23d, although obvious, was a new word for me. I don’t mind a bit of GK. Answers in many crosswords could be described as such. It depends upon your life experiences. Today my favourites were 12a, 19a, 1d and 13d. Thanks to Campbell for the workout and Pommers for his parsing help.

  4. A very pleasant Blue Peter production from Campbell – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 22a, 26a, and 20d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

          1. I was looking for a third but completely missed it too! Clever.
            (Trying hard to get my email address correct so I don’t have to be corrected. If the flippin’ first tick worked they would remember me. I’m just not memorable material)

  5. An enjoyable fare, typically Monday, with anagrams assisting some of the less common words. I didn’t know the town in 10a or 16d but the accessible wordplay in both pointed in the right direction. As a sport’s fan my COTD was 11a but I’m sucker for fun words so 13d gets an honourable mention too.

    TY to Campbell and pommers

  6. Made rather heavy weather of this but in retrospect can’t understand why however all’s well that ends well. 10a Irish town didn’t occur to me and 11a required parsing help which then established it as Fav. Thank you Campbell and pommers (to whom Feliz Navidad).

  7. Went to sleep with snow on the ground as far as one could see but woke up to find all the snow and ice gone. Well done the Met Office. A good puzzle from Campbell who has certainly given us a puzzle for all abilities so don’t feel down even though eldest daughter and her two teenaged children left for London an hour ago.

    19, 22, and 26a my podium today but if I had looked at the down clues they might have knocked one or two off.

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

    1. It isn’t an easy goal but a tap in is followed by Ch (for check). But it is « if need be ». No I didn’t parse it either but having now looked at the hint I find it ingenious. I did not know the region of Asia Minor but instantly thought of the Greek Islands. 16d last one in but obvious with the checkers.

  8. Lovely Monday romp from our setter in absentia. Star ratings for 11&19a plus 13&20d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review. Best of wishes for your Christmas in hopefully less chilly climes!

  9. Didn’t know the Keats work or the region in 8a so MrG was required here. 11a failed to parse but was answered via the definition at the clue ending. Everything else at a gallop over the hurdles.
    Thanks to Campbell for the gentle Monday exercise and pommers for the review.

  10. I really enjoyed this puzzle. Great start to my Christmas holiday. Thank you Campbell and pommers, and all the people who comment and make this blog so lovely.

  11. Glad to see the back of the snow and ice. Today in Devon we have high winds and rain. Lovely!
    Enjoyed the crossword especially 13d. Such a lovely word.

  12. The poem put the kibosh on this but otherwise it was enjoyable. It took me a while to suss out 19a but it raised a huge grin when the penny dropped. We are being treated to some wonderful words lately and 13d is another example. I needed the BRB to confirm the fish having only ever known it by the other name. For ages I wanted to put “Indian” into 8a even though I knew it was wrong but you know what it’s like when the brain fixates on something.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to pommers for the hints. A very Merry Christmas to you as well and a Happy New Year.

    The temperature in The Marches is 14 degrees at the moment – a leap of 22 degrees from Saturday – and it brings with it rain, wind and mud.

    1. Yes, 12 degrees here in Derbyshire – comparatively balmy. I’ve been clearing the garden beds out and had to remove a couple of layers – sweating cobs! The recent frost/ice has seen off my lovely yellow roses which were still blooming/opening, so they’ve all been pruned right down and binned.

  13. OK , but couldn’t agree **** enjoyment! One of those puzzles where a lot of clues are ridiculously easy and one or two much harder to understand[ eg 11a 12a where the answers don’t work well for me]. I’m sure we’ve had 22a in a number of puzzles recently . Christmas Grinch , but the weather here in Wiltshire is awful too . Bring back the snow !

  14. A good coffee time puzzle, not taxing but enjoyable. Best clue for me was 11a.
    What’s is going on in the DTs IT dept these days. After the debacle of the missing Prize puzzle in the electronic paper this weekend, we now have two copies of the same cryptic puzzle!
    Come on DT get a grip.
    Thx to all

  15. Most of it was OK. But failed on 8a. Needed the hints to parse 11a and can’t agree that 16d is possible to get with the checkers. There are 24 possibilities from the remaining letters of this obscure anagram. Perhaps our setter could include some physics or chemistry which would make a change from their classical bent.

  16. I thoroughly enjoyed this, right up my boulevard. I particularly liked 1 and 4d, 10 was last one in as I was not looking for that sort of plane. All the snow has gone, now wet and windy and we are again treading wet leaves into the house. Thank you Campbell & Pommers for your sterling service all the year. Greatly appreciated.

  17. Not too many problems today, not even for me.
    12a took some thinking about – wrong sort of conductor didn’t help – mine was the kind in a bus :roll:
    I liked 13d – nice word . .
    I think my favourite was probably 22a if only as an excuse to play Paul Jones!
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    Hate this muggy grubby weather – give me the cold any time!

    1. Kath! How can you? I was frozen last week and swathed in so many layers. George would probably like to marry you as you sound economical to keep if you like being cold. He is always telling me I cannot be cold and turning the boiler down.

  18. Another nice start to the week with a Campbell puzzle that was not too cringeworthy as far as difficulty is concerned.
    1.5*/3.5* today

    Favourites include 12a, 26a, 7d & 13d with winner 7d

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  19. Thoroughly enjoyed this, solved without help which doesn’t happen often for me. Very relieved to realise that what I was seeing on the blog was snowflakes, and I have not developed more floaters!
    Thanks to setter and Pommers.

  20. Enjoyed today’s puzzle. Despite having lived a stone’s throw away from Keats House museum in Hampstead for over 25years & visited it many times I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to look up who wrote 16d. A number of ticks for me – the lovely word at 13d probably tops but 11,19&25a also stood out. Re 11a there’s no such thing as a tap in on a windy links with exposed greens – 10a golf club a prime example & a magnificent Arnold Palmer design where the blurb has him saying he may have designed the first 9 but surely God designed the back 9.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  21. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever” indeed, as Keats’s opening line in 16d informs us, and so is this lovely puzzle, which may have been my fastest finish ever. I never will forget the day that President 2d, riding in an open-top convertible in a motorcade, stopped in front of our house, and waved at us (I must have been 14 or 15). We lived two blocks from the main gate of the Charleston Navy Yard, where he and his entourage were headed. My goodness: 70-something years ago! No favourties today, just a lot of enjoyment. Thanks to pommers (with best wishes for a happy holiday in Benidorm and thanks for all of your blogs this year) and also best wishes of the season to Campbell (especially for all of the enjoyable Mondays he has given us). * / ***

    1. And one can’t forget the closing lines, “pouring onto us from the heaven’s brink”, I hope I haven’t misquoted! I must read it again, it’s been far too long.

      1. You got that line exactly right, Merusa! (There are a few thousand more as we move into all four books of the poem, as I’m sure you’re recall)

        1. I confess it wasn’t one of my favourite Keats, but there is so much more to enjoy. I found Endymion a bit heavy going and only remember those two lines.

    2. Just come across some Chinese music called “Little Sisters of the Grassland” played on a pipa. I’ve never heard of it before, it looks so complicated but very pleasant music.

  22. Nice Monday start to the week
    Needed to check my Asia Minor geog and the arboretum for the plane.
    Thanks to Campbell and The Pommers

    Felix Navidad

  23. A pleasant Monday offering. Slightly help up trying to squeeze A SITTER into 11a until the penny dropped.
    Thank you setter and Pommers.

  24. I’m in heaven, back to normal where Mondays are reserved for the tiny brains. I loved every bit if this, solved without help, though pommers was a great help unravelling some, eg 11a. I’m having a difficult time choosing a fave, 13d for the lovely word, 12a for the Fred and Ginger clip, they’re still elegant, but I think top spot has to be 16d, I must google it and read again.
    Thank you pommers, have a very Merry Christmas in Benidorm, and thanks to Campbell, good to see you’re back on form!

  25. Nice start to the week 😃 **/**** didn’t know the long poem and 23d 🤔 Favourites were 10 & 19a 🤗 Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell

  26. Very enjoyable but, invariably, I always find Monday’s offering more than * for time.
    More like 1.5* this Monday.
    The culprits were 1d and 25a where I failed to recognise the anagram indicator.
    Combined, they added the .5.
    Many thanks, Campbell, and Senf, especially for the music.

  27. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review and hints. A very nice start to the week, breezed through it, except for 8a, couldn’t get the definition, never heard of the region in Asia Minor, had to look up the answer. Favourite was 13d. Was 2* /3* for me.

  28. Pommers going to Benidorm. Is it therefore not as appalling as the tv series would have us believe when it seems to be peopled by all the Brits one would avoid at home?

    1. Actually, Benidorm is a great place for a short break. A big destination for the Spanish themselves. It is very clean, the beach is ‘polished’ every night. The best bit? Police are to be seen patrolling regularly; I can’t remember when I last saw a PC in our home town. Most visitors behave themselves, knowing that they risk getting locked up until the penultimate day of their holiday. The Spanish have a sense of humour!

  29. At long last, all the Christmas presents are wrapped and the tree decorated so I don’t need to feel guilty at doing the crossword. I will worry about tidying the dining room tomorrow! It’s been looking like Santas grotto for the last two weeks but with the elves on strike. Really enjoyed today’s offering though was held up in the North-west corner as didn’t know the Irish town. I had to resort to checking out 16d. Many thanks to Campbell and to the Pommers. Have a lovely Christmas in Benidorm.

  30. Didn’t like 23d, not a word I’ve ever used or likely to. Didn’t know the long poem so played with the anagram until something sensible turned up, 8a couldn’t be anything else. Several candidates for favourite but I’ll go with 11a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  31. Enjoyable, but in 12a are “Confront unpleasantness” and “face the music” synonymous? And what is “red” doing in the clue for 22a? Just thought I’d ask.

  32. Is there a significance to the hidden number message in the grid? From 22a, reading up column 1 and then along the top row, ending with the last of 8a…

    1. Good spot! I wonder whether there was originally a plan to have a peripheral Nina of 157 but there were a few late clue changes down the right-hand side?

      1. Is it not more likely 750 ? Wonder if he’s approaching some milestone of puzzles set.
        Always amazes me when you lot spot these things. Never even occurs to me to look.

        1. Yes – more likely to be 750 which has the Nina starting in the top-left corner. It’s a pity that the ‘hundred’ was corrupted.

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