DT 30175 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30175

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30175
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. A puzzle with a widely varying degree of difficulty for me: a few early write-ins, many that required a few pauses to eliminate the possibilities, and a handful at the end that I had to think long and hard about. Only two anagrams probably made things slightly tougher (though well done to the setter for managing that), but in the end it was all fair and above board – good fun and a very satisfying challenge to rise to.

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 Southern county hotel has internet provider, free (8)
BUCKSHEE: The abbreviated name of a county in the south of England, the NATO/phonetic alphabet letter that hotel stands for, and an internet/phone company that the US actor Kevin Bacon ubiquitously advertises.

5a Boatman with Indian food, it’s said (6)
BARGEE: A homophone of a spicy, battered, Indian delicacy. The solution formed the title of a 1965 film with Harry H Corbett – see photo

9a South American university wise guys making bangers! (8)
SAUSAGES: Three single letters representing south, American and university, plus a word for men of wisdom

10a Attempt a whopper, for one who tries to stop all attempts? (6)
GOALIE: A two-letter word for an attempt, plus a (from the clue) fib

12a In artificial illumination, cut end off meat and pickle (9)
LAMPLIGHT: A type of meat (that you might serve with mint sauce) with its last letter cut, plus a word for pickle or dilemma

13a Article given short measure, amounting to stealing (5)
THEFT: One grammatical article and a two-letter abbreviated form of a measure of length

14a Copper left in compartment (4)
PLOD: The usual letter for left ‘in’ a type of compartment that could contain eg seeds

16a Bow: ready to begin performance? (7)
ROSINED: A cryptic definition that suggests a performer’s introductory bow to the audience, whereas the solution refers to the bow of, say, a violin, and what it needs to be treated with to prepare for playing

19a Holy see tax I preserve (7)
VATICAN: A domestic tax that’s an acronym of three letters, ‘I’ from the clue, and a verb meaning to preserve (in a particular container)

21a Southern county with many hotel places? (4)
BEDS: Something that falls between a cryptic definition and a double definition: another abbreviated name for an English county (that borders the one in 1a)

24a Strut with back part pointing backwards, enclosing top of kingpost (5)
RAKER: A reversal (pointing backwards) of a word meaning back (or ‘back part’) includes (enclosing) the ‘top’, or first, letter as indicated, the clue reads like a possible all-in-one (or &lit) where both wordplay and the overall clue describe the solution – a strut that’s usually diagonal to a vertical structure in order to support it

25a Final selection of those from whom seven are chosen to appear with Snow White? (9)
SHORTLIST: A whimsical cryptic definition

27a Latest report: at university, with boyfriend? (6)
UPDATE: A two-letter term for ‘at university’, particularly Oxford or Cambridge, and a word for a partner one goes with for eg a meal

28a One who doesn’t entirely believe in initially culling goats, confounded (8)
AGNOSTIC: 14 clues in and it’s our first anagram: IN C GOATS (confounded)

29a Article revealing scandal with former model (6)
EXPOSÉ: The two-letter term for former, and a synonym for model as a verb

30a Places to grow fruit, or varieties of beetroot? (8)
ORCHARDS: A word from the clue plus a plural of a vegetable that’s the same species as beetroot, but the leafier part


1d Sailor after degree in rock? (6)
BASALT: An informal word for an experienced sailor follows a type of university degree

2d Inferior crown seen on headless Egyptian’s body? (6)
CRUMMY: The two-letter abbreviation of crown, plus the word for a preserved body in ancient Egypt without its first letter (headless)

3d Block counter in market (5)
STALL: Double definition, one of which is what a market trader sets his goods out on

4d Digitally combined, you might say – as it’s transpired (7)
EMERGED: A letter suggestive of ‘digitally’ that’s an abbreviation of electronic (ie relating to the internet), plus a synonym of combined

6d Damaged items Dora eventually wrote off (9)
AMORTISED: An anagram (damaged) of ITEMS DORA

7d Drug found in quantities in these vessels (8)
GALLEONS: The plural of an imperial measurement of liquid capacity contains a one-letter drug

8d Do fish, later on in the day (8)
EVENTIDE: Another word for ‘do’ in the sense of an occasion or party plus a three-letter fish, otherwise known as a silver orfe

11d Lowlife types coming up for A-lister (4)
STAR: A reversal (coming up) of a word meaning eg scoundrels

15d Cuts in prices of delicate fabrics (9)
LACERATES: A fabric that Nottingham is associated with, plus a synonym of prices

17d Musical piece given in public, by river (8)
OVERTURE: A word meaning in public, or plainly visible, plus a three-letter N Yorkshire river that eventually becomes the River Ouse

18d Well fed, in West Midlands town, with Ulstermen’s party (6,2)
STOKED UP: One of the ‘Five Towns’, associated with pottery, is followed by an initialised political party

20d Food discovered in Bono’s hideout (4)
NOSH: The solution is hidden in the clue

21d Born a woodsman – now an internet sensation? (7)
BLOGGER: The usual genealogical letter for ‘born’ precedes a lumberjack.

22d When you’re out of this, you’re not with it, on balance (6)
KILTER: A cryptic definition that refers to a phrase “Out of ______”, meaning not in good condition, or not in harmony with everything.

23d Glues pieces of wood (6)
STICKS: A double definition, one a plural noun, the other a verb

26d Also time to get husband a canine, perhaps (5)
TOOTH: A word meaning also is followed by letters representing time and husband

My particular favourites were 12a, 16a, 30a and 26d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: PILL + ART + EASE = PILATES



97 comments on “DT 30175
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  1. Cracking crossword today, pitched at just about the right level to be fun and also testing. Hadn’t heard of the word at 6d, but it could only really be one thing, which turned out to be correct. 5a put me in mind of one of the best comedy films of the 60s, starring Harry H Corbett and Ronnie Barker, a real gem! Thought 4d was a bit iffy, and I’m sure some solvers not of these shores may find 1a confusing, but all in all great fun. Thanks to compiler.

  2. With fewer anagrams this was more testing than yesterday’s at **/**** for me. I came a bit of a cropper on 16a as I had an “e” as the second letter. Thanks Twmbarlwm for putting me right there. I thought 10a clever but trumped by the witty 25a my COTD. Variable but great fun. Thanks to the setter from a sunny Tavistock.

    1. NAS, I think there are two correct answers to 16a as according to the BRB one of the meanings of “resin” as a verb is “to rosin”.

  3. Thought I was beaten today as on first read through couldn’t do any of the top half. Finally found a foothold in the SE corner and things began to fall into place as they usually do with a little patience. Ended up loving the whole thing and completing unaided (I thought) until I discovered that my bung-in at 12a was the wrong sort of light! I suspect I won’t be alone. No real favourites today but I did like the brilliant misdirection at 16a. Thanks to the compiler and Twmbarlwm.

  4. Enjoyable with a couple of obscurities such as 6d but gettable from the clues. I had not heard of the strut at 24a but it could be nothing else and the BRB confirmed it. 25a made me smile but my COTD is 4d.

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

    I didn’t sleep last night so am in a kind of fugg today. A wonder I managed the crossword.

  5. Speedy progress but shuddered to a halt at 16a.
    Simply experimented with vowels until I got the correct but new to me, word.
    Many a smile eg 5 and 25a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  6. What a strange puzzle. Plenty of gimmes but, for me at least, a sprinkling of toughies too & particularly so in the NE. Can’t really claim an unaided finish as last in 16a took a couple of stabs to get the first 2 vowels correct having correctly surmised what the 3rd had to be – it was new to me. 5a&6d also unfamiliar but much more obtainable from the wordplay. 1a easily my favourite (liked the 21a repetition too) with 25a in the runner up spot though I’d have preferred some are cast for seven are chosen.
    Thanks to the setter & T

    1. I got 16a because I remembered the chorus to “The Devil Went Down to Georgi” by the Charlie Daniels band, Huntsman.

  7. I thought the comments made in our blogger’s preamble summed up this puzzle very accurately. My own favourite was 25a for the smile it produced upon solving.

    Thanks to our Tuesday setter and Mr T.

  8. Not quite Typically Tuesdayish taking a little longer than needed to qualify for that accolade – 2.5*/3.5*

    But, plenty of candidates for favourite – 19a, 27a, 29a, 1d, 8d, and 17d – and the winner is 19a.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  9. Something of a mixed bag in this one and certainly a couple that I needed to verify – 24a & 6d. Can’t help thinking that the clue for 30a should refer to beet rather than beetroot?
    Gold star goes to 25a and a smile to 22d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review – best of festive wishes to both.
    PS Only did enough of the Quickie to get the pun, the entire puzzle appears in ‘ghost-writing’ in my dead tree version and messes with your eyes!

  10. I was somewhat daunted by my first cursory read through which yielded a nil return but it soon all began to fall into place bar the clever 16a – don’t think of that in terms of a verb hence it held out to the bitter end. 28a had to be but only after entering it did I completely work out the clue. SE last quadrant on board. 25a Fav. Altogether a lot of fun today for which many thanks to the setter and also to MrT.

  11. Good fun but spent way too long trying to parse something else that fitted the checkers in 12a.

    16a is my favourite.

    Thanks to today’s setter and Twmbarlwm.

  12. Agree a mixed bag ; some excellent clues but some not so good. Am I the only person to have ” Limelight ” for 12a ?
    Lights are a cheap cut of meat and lime pickle [ goes with5a ! ] . Didn’t like 16a [ as I didn’t get it! ] and never heard of 24a [ though not difficult to guess].5a and 25a were good though .

  13. Not my cup of tea today. Too many wordy clues and obscure words. I particularly disliked 16a, 6d, 8d (had to Google this fish), 30a, 24a and didn’t understand 4d.
    No favs today.
    Thx for the hints

  14. Enyoying the solve waiting for the waitrose man.
    Well clued throughout and 25a.5a, 21d amused.
    Not sure on his dark materials-liked the previous episodes.

  15. I’m a further ‘mixed bag’ correspondent. Bottom half zoomed in; top half a genuine bonce-scratcher in places.

    From my perspective, 21a is very much in the north, but then I rarely venture north of Maidenhead as I understand it is all rather uncivilised beyond.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp

    1. A very sad and premature loss – Terry Hall’s music was part of the soundtrack of my teens. The older I get the younger “early 60s” feels!

      Certainly agree that 21a is not what I would call a southern county (more Midlands to me) but then again I regard Wiltshire and Gloucestershire as also being in the Midlands!

  16. Fun, satisfying. Brain and synonyms suitably stretched. No new words but some retrieved covered in dust. Many times a partner or accountant used 6d and I just nodded, too scared to ask.I
    Many thanks setter and Twmbarlwm.

  17. An enjoyable and slightly different puzzle – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    Good luck to our non-UK solvers in getting 1a!
    My ticks went to 10a, 16a and 25a.

    1. I had a vague recollection, at least that corner of my memory was working, that we have seen the ISP before and with checkers I managed to arrive at the answer.

    2. 1a, which I remembered (amazingly), wasn’t the only thing that taxed this non-UKer today (counties, city, boatman, Ulster party)–all gave me plenty to grapple with. But I got there finally.

        1. The 14a answer is a pretty common term in consruction/engineering. It’s a name for any sloping support member or “strut”, usually made of timber or metal.

                1. So, trying to provide info in a helpful, friendly way is being a “smarty pants”! I suppose explaining how to get a basic smiley face on here (below) is another example of being a smarty pants too? Extraordinary!

                  1. Wait a minute, the “smarty pants” wasn’t you, I was referring to me! I knew what you meant but I chose to misunderstand. Sorry, let’s start again. In front of “just being …” read “I was just …” etc! How easy it is to screw up the written word!

                    1. Merusa, if it’s any consolation I could clearly see that you were making a self-deprecating remark at your own expense – and then I saw Jose’s reply and thought he might be continuing the joke by *pretending* to misunderstand you. And now I’m not sure what to think! :wacko:

                    2. OK M, no probs. I thought you were saying that my explanation was bogus and ME being a smarty pants didn’t suit YOU. And you’re “Sorry!” at the end was a kind of “Sorry, but I’m not ‘avin’ it!”. Talk about misinterpretation … :-)

    3. Yep! Didn’t get it, nor 2d and 4d for that matter.
      Found it much harder than the toughie.
      Felt like a new setter to me not having done many weekday puzzles for a while.
      Thanks to her or him and to Twmbarlwn

  18. As many have commented above, a bit of a mixed bag. Some write-ins and some that required a bit more head scratching. I also initially had the wrong second letter in 16a, which was a new word for me. Surprised to see two southern counties in one puzzle and a bit wordy in parts, but some really fun clues as well. Shabbo’s COTD is 25a.
    Thank you setter and unpronounceable Welsh hill.

  19. I seem to have fooled you all, by not giving you a “typical” X-Type puzzle this time (and thanks to Ed for letting me have two goes in December!. There were one or two bits of my usual fun – 25Ac, for example – which may have given you a hint as to my identity…? Have a lovely Xmas – see you in the New Year!

  20. Found this Tuesday puzzle a tad more challenging than last week, but nonetheless I enjoyed the struggles.

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 14a, 19a, 25a, 18d & 22d with winner a tough one to choose, but I pick 22d today.

    Lots of chuckles including 10a, 14a, 19a, 25a, 2d & 22d

    Good clues I thought today and made one think.

    Thanks to X-Type and Twmbarlwm.

  21. 2.5*/4*. This was great fun with as others have said varying degrees of difficulty.

    16a was very clever and would have got my vote as favourite except that there were two right answers which couldn’t be differentiated between using checking letters. 25a takes top spot for me.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

  22. Strange isn’t it…I found this easier than yesterday’s puzzle. Very enjoyable, thanks to the setter. 6d and 16a had to be checked as they were new to me.

  23. Yup, certainly a mixed bag, reached the end after a lot of head-scratching. The NE the last to fall ( no unknowns for me, but the excellent misdirections contained within this quadrant did the damage).
    Thanks to X-type (reciprocal Season’s Greetings) and our unpronounceable Welsh friend.

  24. As I mentioned to Gazza in Comment 18, this X-Type doozy gave this non-UK solver a great deal to wrestle with, though I did know 6d, which apparently foxed a good number of solvers. Anyway, I got there in the end, not really unaided, though it took me forever to cross the finish line. Today, the Toughie and Cryptic seem to have swapped sites! I think I’ll settle on 25a as my favourite. Season’s greetings and best holiday wishes to Twmbarlwm and X-Type. ****/***

  25. Offensive comment – whether in jest or not. Believe it or not some of us don’t still wear cloggs in the north and probably visit the London Arts scene far more regularly than 99% of southerners. And you wonder why many of us prefer coming back to the quality of life in the North after our Oxbridge degrees??

    Apology required.

        1. So would I but there is nothing to suggest it is – just a smile emoji or similar after the comment is all that is needed to suggest humour. If people can’t be bothered do that they deserve to be questioned.

          1. Trust me, Terence is the last person on this blog to post anything offensive. Maybe, like me, he doesn’t know how to do whatsits.

            1. If you want to do a “whatsit”, Merusa put the word that depicts what you want to display (“smile” for example) and place it in between two colons with no spaces. Do put a space before the whole thing though.

              ……:smile:….. using only the two colons and not any of the dots will give you:-


              There is a list of emoticons in FAQs,

                1. Yes I have read it, Merusa. I must have completely misinterpreted your comment. I thought I was getting a stern rebuke for no reason. My fault – I’m happy to be friends! By the way, have you had a go at doing a smiley face – it’s easy, look: :-)

    1. Oh! Is my comment? It was VERY much in jest. I love going ‘up north’ and have spent many happy times in the Yorkshire Dales. We have family in Lincolnshire and visit often.

      1. If that is an apology then accepted. Humour does not always transfer well to the written word (particularly on social media) and as indicated often needs reinforcing by adding some indication of tongue in cheek if not to be misinterpreted. In specific reply will confess I occasionally enjoy going “down south” if I have to on business or even for pleasure sometimes as long as I can come back to the quality of life in the north :).

              1. God practised in Yorkshire, did his dress rehearsal in Devon, and got it right when he signed-off the project with Cornwall, and sat down with a pasty to admire his handiwork ….

            1. Cloggs from Burnley, now tea in Boston. I am now a non-uk solver and very aware of the north south divide, and indeed the east west chasm.

              Let’s kiss and make up.

  26. Unless I am missing something, I have just had a post “moderated” and deleted because I objected to a comment made in another post. Is this correct??

  27. Some strange bits but I was able to solve enough to get lots of checkers. Many bung ins for me, nobody could have been more surprised that they were all right except for 12a, I, too, had the wrong light. I suppose there is a word 2d that isn’t slang, surprised me. I had no idea what 24a is, just assumed it was something to do with a croupier … I don’t think you did either, Twm, your explanation was pretty convoluted! Fave was 25a but there was other good stuff too.
    Thanks X-type, good workout, and much appreciation to Twm for unravelling not a few!

    1. M, 24a. I’ve explained (immediately above at #28) with an illustration – just click on the link and scroll down to the picture.

    2. We have rakers in our garden supporting a wobbly fence pro tem, but I admit I guessed that a kingpost might be a connected vertical post and didn’t know it was *specifically* related to roofing until Jose’s er… post. The clue does look like an all-in-one though.

      1. Those sloping fence supports are indeed rakers, but my assumption is based solely on the clue containing the words strut and kingpost. I’m guessing it’s an intentional reference to the roof truss.

  28. An interesting crossword, on the first run through I solved only a few but suddenly it all fell into place emerging as a puzzle with lots of humour and clever clues 😃 ***/**** Favourites 9, 19, & 25a and 17d 👍 Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to X-type
    PS it’s a long time since I have heard 1a used 🤔

  29. I enjoyed this, cracking puzzle full of inventive cryptic wit that actually took me slightly longer than today’s other puzzle.
    I particularly liked 10,16,25&30a plus 4d but favourite has to be 21d.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  30. Super puzzle (with the exception of 16a which I felt was more GK than cryptic, and rather let the side down) which on first glance appeared as though it might be a Toughie, but started somewhere in the Midlands and it all came together very swiftly. The few years spent deciding I didn’t want to be an accountant helped with 6d, and 24a was new to me but “just had to be”. Hon Mentions to 5a and 12a, COTD to 4d.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to X-type and Twmbarlwm

  31. Great puzzle which I managed to finish but it was not all my own work as Mr Chambers helped on a couple where I had checkers but not a clue what it could be. Along with nearly everyone else 25a was a top clue for me with 10a and 7d getting very honourable mentions.

    My thanks to Twmbarlwm and X-type for the pleasure given.

  32. Similar experience to our blogger today, a few gimmes but quite a lot of pondering to get over the line. I am obliged to pick 16a as COTD. My sister’s second child is a Rosie and was named after this from Dave Swarbrick.

    Thanks to twm and X-type much fun had here.

  33. As usual, I’ve found today’s Toughie easier than this. Somehow it fell between two stools, the childish humour of 14a for instance and the expert knowledge needed for 15a

  34. Yes indeed, somewhat inconsistent in terms of difficulty, so I found myself feeling slightly pulled around. Not hard at all in a general sense however, so I had this nut cracked in super-swift time. Thanks to setter and T.

  35. Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review and hints. Really unusual puzzle today, quite a few easy clues, but a lot more were really difficult. Was left with the whole NW corner unfilled, plus a few others, needed six hints to finish. Had “limelight” for my answer to 12a. Favourite was 18d. Was 5* /3* for me.

  36. NE last in not helped by 6d. Limelight was also my first thought but I couldn’t parse it then the correct answer popped into my head which of course I could parse. Notwithstanding 6d a very fair puzzle. Favourite had to be 25a. Thanks to X-Type and T.

  37. All good apart from 16a. Thanks Xtype and the person beginning with Twm (I think). By the way I thought clogs had one g only.

  38. Self defeating argument from Rob. Do you have to come south for culture, and contrary to popular Northern belief not all south of the Midlands are cockney morons

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