DT 30181 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30181

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30181

Hints and tips by Senf

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

A very good morning from Winnipeg – like turkey leftovers, another serving of me while Twmbarlwm is enjoying leftovers elsewhere – enjoy!

I have no idea who today’s setter might be so my five bob is staying in my pocket; coincidentally it is the same grid as last Friday’s back pager.

Candidates for favourite – 21a, 27a, 18d, and 22d.

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 Briefly petition British cities to move referendum (10)
PLEBISCITE: A four letter synonym of petition with the last letter removed (briefly), the single letter for British, and an anagram (to move) of CITIES.

6a Shy boy I’ve met all undressed in seaside resort (4)
HOVE: What’s left after the outer letters are removed from the first four words of the clue (all undressed).

9a Horrible pasta snacks (5)
TAPAS: An anagram (horrible) of PASTA.

10a Dance with three short men? (3-3-3)
CHA-CHA-CHA: A synonym of man with the last letter deleted (short) repeated three times (or is that repeated twice?).

12a Free barring latest show of aggression (5-8)

14a Sanctions target men with sheds, oddly (8)
ENDORSES: A synonym of target (as in objective), the two letters for (enlisted) men, and (with) the odd letters of ShEdS.

15a Person going after drink (6)
CHASER: A double definition – the second is a combination of a short drink and a long drink.

17a Possible ingredient of game pie, endlessly cooked (6)
MAGPIE: An anagram (cooked) of GAME PIe with the last letter deleted (endlessly).

19a Powerful and not-so-clever group (8)
THICKSET: A synonym of not-so-clever and a synonym of group.

21a Issue with European ceremony (4,3,6)
SPIT AND POLISH: A synonym of issue (as in expectorate), a synonym of with, and a resident of a European country.

24a Carry out tool (9)
IMPLEMENT: A double definition – I don’t think I need to add anything.

25a Loafer found in bridle-road (5)
IDLER: A lurker (found in) found in two words in the clue.

26a Miss niece occasionally meeting daughter (4)
NEED: Alternate letters (occasionally) from niece (I’ll leave you to decide which ones) followed by (meeting) the single latter for daughter.

27a Heartlessly welcome a boast about love for actress (5,5)
GRETA GARBO: A five letter synonym of welcome with the middle letter removed (heartlessly), A from the clue, a synonym of boast reversed (about), and the letter used to indicate love in a racquet game score.


1d Importance of mine host, initially (4)
PITH: A synonym of mine (e.g. colliery) and the first letter (initially) of Host.

2d Former partner modelled on show (7)
EXPOSED: The two letters we know and love for former partner and a synonym of modelled.

3d Travelling underwater? Rum rationed, making one unruly (13)
INSUBORDINATE: A (2,3) phrase that could be equivalent to travelling underwater(?) and an anagram (rum) of RATIONED.

4d Morning caller before stopping cuckoo clock (8)
COCKEREL: A literary synonym of before inserted into (stopping) an anagram (cuckoo) of CLOCK.

5d Temple decoration? (5)
TIARA : An item of jewellry a lady might wear on her head (temple).

7d Plants: gold little ones, we hear (7)
ORCHIDS: Heraldic gold and a homophone (we hear) of a term for little ones (as in offspring).

8d Put too much into an account (10)
EXAGGERATE: more simply put – a synonym of overstate.

11d Bump one’s head and lose one’s rag (3,3,7)
HIT THE CEILING: A double definition – the first is how one might bump one’s head by coming into contact with a (inner) roof.

13d Authorisation for each task (10)
PERMISSION: The Latin based synonym of for each and a synonym of task.

16d Resistance to change — with this? (8)
RHEOSTAT: A device for varying resistance in an electrical circuit.

18d Spy affecting limp searches houses (7)
GLIMPSE: A lurker (houses) found in three words in the clue.

20d Student‘s particular form of energy enveloping church (7)
SCHOLAR: Photovoltaic generated energy containing (enveloping) one of the abbreviations for church.

22d Gloomy doctor on organ (5)
DREAR: the abbreviated form of an honorific for doctor placed before (on) one of our bodily organs.

23d Group from choir turned up (4)
TRIO: A reversed lurker (from . . . up) found in the words ‘sandwiched’ by the indicator.

Quick Crossword Pun:


59 comments on “DT 30181
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  1. Good fun puzzle today with a rather dated word for the answer to 16d, only people of now pensionable age ever used this term. Favourite was 4d with 27a a close second. Thanks to compiler today.

    1. My school electronics teacher in the 90s mostly used “potentiometer” (or just “pot”), but 16d was encountered. The physics teachers used “variable resistor”.

      I’m at least 2 decades off any chance of getting a pension!

      1. Smylers, potentiometers and rheostats are both classed as variable resistors. The difference is that the former have three terminals and the latter two.

  2. How can you spell a word incorrectly when it’s an anagram and you have all the letters? I did with 1a and this threw 4d and 5d way off. It wasn’t until the very end that I noticed my mistake. That aside, I found the puzzle a satisfying challenge with just the right amount of lateral thought being needed. I’m not sure the bird at 17a would find itself in a game pie and I have never thought of 1d as meaning importance. However, I doubt neither the setter nor Mr. Lancaster are wrong. 19a raised a smile as did 15a but my COTD is 5d because it had me going through loads of different places of worship. Great misdirection.

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

        1. I should have looked it up, Merusa – I must stop spelling phonetically. My father always told me “Never spell like an American, son. To them S O X is “socks”.

          (With my sincere apologies to my friends across the pond).

  3. This was great fun and I enjoyed it very much. I can’t resist picking 1d as my favourite (any chance to quote Hamlet should never be missed: “And enterprises of great pith and moment / With this regard, their currents turn awry, / And lose the name of action”). And another 4-letter clue, 6a, took my fancy, as well as 4d and 27a. Thanks to the tireless Winnipegger (is that the proper term, Senf?) and today’s setter. 1.5*/4*

  4. Just passing Penrith en route to Tigh Mor in the Trossachs after an early start. Fortunately I drew a good straw & am comfortable in the back seat with the iPad. Enjoyed today’s puzzle which presented no particular problems though it wasn’t a particularly brisk completion. I’ll plump for a podium of long ‘uns at 12&21a plus 11d.
    Thanks to the setter & Senf – any idea who the Toughie setter is ?

    1. When I remember to set it up, the week’s Toughie setters are listed in the home page sidebar, found on the right side of the home page on a computer or at the bottom of the page on a mobile device.

  5. Hurrah, the email arrived today so no longer having to access through the blog although I see I have to enter all my details again. Enjoyed today’s offering, no real hold ups and no real favourites either. Feel rather embarrassed, our neighbours gave us a huge wheel of Baron Bigot cheese for Christmas (my favourite). Felt it was rather over-generous but I hadn’t actually opened it. Drinks with them last night and she made an odd comment about it. Opened the box today to find there is a very small wheel inside the big box – she thought we might like the big box! Oops. Thanks to the setter and Senf.

  6. Another gentle solve today after spending far too long looking for offspring in 19a. I like the clues where the answers can be worked out from the wordplay and no knowledge of the resulting word would actually be required, as in 1a and 3d. 16d didn’t seem to particularly cryptic and the surface read of 18d was a little clumsy IMO. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the workout. Thanks to the setter and to Senf, for standing in again.

  7. Anyone else trying to take advantage of the email offer from the DT of a puzzles subscription for £29 with a £20 M&S Gift Card, and stuck with a page telling you not to refresh as it is ‘creating your subscription’?

    Not helpful when the PC is upstairs and I’m trying to make lunch

    1. Yes I have received the same offer but it seems I am already subscribed to puzzles via my dead wood subscription. Then today I also received a suspicious email from Worldpay re payment for my digital subscription which I don’t have – all very creepy!

      1. Success at last. I would say the email from Worldpay is definitely suspicious, not least because I understand the DT isn’t using Worldpay any more

        1. Hi CS, my subscription was due to run out around Dec 12th. Since then I have had an email from worldpay saying they have paid the old sum (£35ish) to the Telegraph. I still have access to the site. I did ask the Telegraph what is going on and they have at last replied with a request for my complete details but no explanation. Perhaps I should leave those sleeping dogs to their rest.

      2. Worldpay was involved in my digital subscription at the end of November so unless it is a recent change with DT not using them the email may be valid.

  8. My Monday.
    Nice and easy does it.
    Chuckled at 10 and 19a
    Last in 16d after experimenting with the checking letters.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  9. Reasonably workable exercise particularly in the North. Can’t say I have ever knowingly tasted a game pie containing 17a. Think I was aware of 16d instrument but needed a prompt for it today. Quickie also hitchless apart from reference to smashing 25a fruit. Thank you to whom it may concern as the setter and Senf.

    1. Re 17a – never ever have I heard of anyone eating magpies, they’re scavengers and will eat anything including semi rotting flesh eg roadkill.

  10. A pleasant puzzle – thanks to our unknown setter and many thanks to Senf for volunteering to stand in for Twmbarlwm.
    The 16d answer was one of the few things I remember from school physics lessons.
    My favourite clue was the cleverly concealed 18d and I also liked 19a and 21a.

    1. Re 17a – never ever have I heard of anyone eating magpies, they’re scavengers and will eat anything including semi rotting flesh eg roadkill.

  11. A jolly puzzle, although, as a vegan, 17a made me shudder a little.

    16d goes on ‘THE LIST’ along with the Hanseatic League, ‘a bootless errand’, and many others. ‘THE LIST’ never sleeps.

    Off to Stamford Bridge – it’s only Bournemouth – what could possibly go wrong?

    Thanks to the setter and The Man From Manitoba.

  12. A pleasant solve but must take issue with 17A, Never have a carrion eater in a pie and having “pie” in the clue as well as the answer is a little clumsy. **/** 21A is COTD.

  13. I did have a few ‘hmms’ over this one so, when Senf mentioned the use of Friday’s grid, I briefly wondered whether we had a complete re-run of grid, setter and blogger.
    My top three comprises 15&19a along with 1d.

    Thanks to our setter and to our hardworking blogger who must have put in as many hours as Father Christmas during the festive season!

  14. A very light and pleasant interlude following the morning’s chores. Thought 17a the poorest clue I’ve seen in a long time – having pie in the answer when removing e from pie in the wordplay was bad enough, but putting magpie into a game pie really was a queasy thought too far. Hon Mentions to 6a, 10a, 19a and 18d, with COTD 3d – super surface and answer, and reminded me of a long dead friend who was in the Navy when the rum ration was ended… and said there was considerable insubordination about it at the time!

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  15. Pleasant puzzle today with interesting clues which was finished within the limits I have set for doing the crossword so happy with that. My honourable mentions are 21 and 27a, and 16 and 18d, but with no science degree 16d seemed a good clue.

    Thanks to Senf and the setter (NYD?).

  16. Finished in record time despite error in NW (see above), I thought 3d a clever clue with its misdirection.
    The illustration at 16d brought back distant memories from school physics lessons, more so than the written answer, a regular visitor to puzzle grids.
    Thanks to Mysterion for a fun workout and Senf for the hints (not required today).

  17. 2*/3*. Apart from a few strange surfaces and the bizarre 17a, this was light and fun.

    1d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and the indefatigable Senf.

  18. A little late coming to this today but for me it was worth the wait. Nothing too taxing, but good fun throughout the grid. The excellent lurker at 18d was my top clue.

    My thanks to our setter and Senf.

  19. Found this Tuesday puzzle easier than the Monday cryptic this week. Flowed pretty smoothly with a couple of PDM’s
    1.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 1a, 6a, 12a, 15a, 7d & 8d — with winner 6d

    10a & 13d old chestnuts and 15a, for some reason, was my last in as the tea tray crashed with the PDM.

    Thanks to setter and Senf

  20. I’m guessing the setter is not in the first flush of youth, nothing wrong with that of course, neither am I. I don’t think I’ve come across the expression at 11d using ceiling, roof yes but an easy clue nonetheless.
    Having said all that I really enjoyed this fun and light puzzle, a nice dessert to the meaty Donny Toughie. I think my favourite comes from 3,4 or 18d.
    Many thanks to the setter and the hard-working Senf.

  21. Wotta treat! I really enjoyed this. Not being the world’s best speller, I had to refer to the dictionary for 1a and 8d. I knew the answer right away and also knew I can’t spell them. I needed word search for 16d, I’ve never heard of it, I don’t think! Who could forget 27a? It’s hard to choose a fave, but I think 6a and 21a are right up there on the podium.
    Thanks to our setter and to Senf for standing in again, needed some hints to unravel a couple.
    Have we any news of our revered leader? It seems a long time since we had an update. I hope he’s going well.

  22. Very enjoyable crossword. Pretty easy though, and I got a ‘whole in one’. That’s what I call getting every answer on the first attempt. :-)

    1. I agree, Veronica. A magpie is a member of the crow family. No one in their right mind would include one in a game pie.

  23. An enjoyable evening stroll through the crossword using our new online subscription. Magpie !!! Not a great clue. Apart from that a good puzzle

  24. What can I add?
    I agree with the general distress over 17a, clue and recipe.
    I disagree with the grumbles over 16d. School physics came rushing back, with find memories of the Wheatstone bridge.
    COTD 12a or 18d (saw the lurker for once).
    Great fun, thanks to setter & Senf.

    1. Ah, the Wheatstone bridge! I recall our physics teacher, Mr. Jones, showing us one. He then promptly told us to call it a 16d.

      I still recall the diagrams we had to draw.

  25. Very pleasant solve while watching nothing on TV.
    Needed all the ckeckers before filling my last three in 12a, 21a and 3d in that order.
    Great way to finish as I really liked 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  26. 17a. Never heard of a magpie as a pie ingredient before! Is it me, or does having “pie” in both the clue and the answer grate a bit?

  27. Found this more straightforward than the average Tuesday puzzle. Best clue for me was 16d and worst clue the peculiar 17a. Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  28. 2*/3*…
    liked 3D “Travelling underwater? Rum rationed, making one unruly (13)”
    puzzled by the answer to 25A in the quickie “fruit served smashed?” ???

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