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DT 30184

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30184

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

Zandio was ‘on duty’ last Friday and Silvanus was ‘moonlighting’ on yesterday’s back pager so they are very unlikely to make an appearance today.  That leaves the third member of the Friday triumvirate and as the puzzle is a pangra where the missing letter is an ‘X’ I think it is safe to say that this is a proXimal production.

Candidates for favourite – 14a, 24a, 3d, and 6d.

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 Recalled Mexican food consumed in the Spanish place (6)
LOCATE: The reversal (recalled) of all of a type of Mexican food contained by (consumed in) one of the forms of THE in Spanish.

4a German scientist’s chum, bold type to some extent (8)
HUMBOLDT: A lurker (to some extent) found in three words in the clue.

9a Agreeable redevelopment of Ealing (6)
GENIAL: An anagram (redevelopment) of EALING.

10a Praise one keeping company with boy (8)
ACCOLADE: A synonym of one (on a playing card?) containing (keeping) all of the abbreviated form of company and (with) a synonym of boy.

11a Suddenly becomes free, thereby displaying underwear? (5,4)
FLIES OPEN: A two word phrase equivalent to suddenly becomes free (a door that is stuck?).

13a Fancies cider cask, just all the contents (5)
IDEAS: What remains after the outer letters have been deleted (just all the contents) from cIDEr cASk.

14a Having trouble catching goat, say, identified as culprit (14)
BUTTERFINGERED: How a goat might be described (say) based on its method of ‘attack’ and a slang term for identified as culprit..

17a Richard Curtis film, perhaps, showing city commander troubled about love (8,6)
ROMANTIC COMEDY: An anagram (showing . . . troubled) of CITY COMMANDER containing the letter used to indicate love in a racquet game score – it helps if you have heard of Richard Curtis and the genre of films he is well known for, which I hadn’t.

21a Use needle on covers at home connecting material (5)
SINEW: A three letter word term for use needle on contains (covers) the two letter term for at home.

23a Ill-favoured outskirts of Dundee abandoned by father and daughter (9)
UNDESIRED: The outer letters (outskirts) of dUNDEe deleted (abandoned) followed by a four letter verbal(?) synonym of father and the single letter for Daughter.

24a Spoil preserve adding in yellow herb (8)
MARJORAM: A three letter synonym of spoil and a synonym of (a spreadable) preserve containing (adding in) a (heraldic?) synonym of yellow.

25a Ending fast early, that man gets pastry product (6)
QUICHE: A synonym of fast (as in speed) with the last letter deleted (ending . . . early) and the third person singular pronoun equivalent to that man.

26a Sins circulated with one’s tendency to pry (8)
NOSINESS: An anagram (circulated with) of SINS and ONES.

27a Against South American cleric returning (6)
VERSUS: The reversal (returning) of all of the single letter for South, the two letters that can be used for American, and the abbreviated form of a cleric’s honorific.


1d Stop using computer design with fine following (3,3)
LOG OFF: A type of design (to identify a company?) and (with) the single letters for Fine and Following.

2d I’m unsure after bungling count in sequence (9)
CONTINUUM: A two letter interjection used when one is unsure placed after an anagram (bungling) of COUNT IN.

3d Property contains needless empty passage (7)
TRANSIT: A synonym of property (as in a characteristic) contains what remains after the interior letters of NeedlesS have been deleted (empty).

5d Dubious novice nun shaken, caught inside with diamonds (11)
UNCONVINCED: An anagram (shaken) of NOVICE NUN containing (inside) the single letter for crickety Caught followed by (with) the single letter for Diamonds.

6d Drinking spirit after vocal disapproval (7)
BOOZING: A synonym of spirit (as in vitality) placed after an expression of vocal disapproval (at a poor performance).

7d Pruned parts of plants drop (5)
LEAVE: Parts of plants with last letter deleted (pruned).

8d Supports team in industrial area (8)
TEESSIDE: Types of supports (used while playing a round) and a synonym of team.

12d Exit hospital ward with Scandinavian giving details (11)
PARTICULARS: A synonym(?) of exit, an abbreviated form of a hospital ward (for critical cases), and (with) guess a name of a male Scandinavian.

15d Diverts walker from south around city (9)
REDIRECTS: A synonym of walker (as a person?) reversed (from south) containing (around) the first two letters of the city of London pots code.

16d King in section of Observer article is island native (8)
IRISHMAN: The abbreviated form of the two words that are first in the full title of a king inserted into (in) part of the organ we observe with (observer) and one of the indefinite articles.

18d Generated renown penning book for young child (7)
NEWBORN: An anagram (generated) of RENOWN containing (penning) the single letter for Book.

19d One senior blocking obstinate person’s bad government (7)
MISRULE: The Roman numeral for one and the two letter abbreviation for senior inserted into (blocking) a four letter term equivalent to obstinate person – how Harold Wilson referred to the 13 years of Tory government from 1951 to 1964 prior to the general election in1964).

20d Calculating people being slippery beasts (6)
ADDERS: A double definition – see the illustration for the second.

22d Bugs from opposing directions constricting chest (5)
NARKS: The single letters for two opposing (compass) directions containing (constricting) a type of (storage) chest (such as Indiana Jones was searching for?).

Quick Crossword Pun:



59 comments on “DT 30184

  1. Very enjoyable.
    On first read through I thought this was going to be quite tough but with a few checkers and tuning in to the setter’s wavelength it went in smoothly if not rapidly, though I’ve certainly seen easier Toughies.
    Although I’ve seen it before I think “Lars” for Scandinavian is a bit tenuous for a Telegraph back-pager and in general I’m not keen on Christian names being synonymous with countries because very often they no longer are.
    Loads of ticks and smiles but I’ll highlight the LOL 11&14a plus 1&3d with top spot going to clever 16d, my LOI.
    Many thanks and HNY to ProXimal and Senf.

    1. On solving 12d, my first thought was how many will complain about the Scandinavian name. There’s enough hue and cry when we have an English name, let’s see.

  2. 4*/4.5*. I found this tough but I did enjoy the challenge of this X-less pangram. 14a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to proXimal and to Senf.

  3. Mmmmm. A tricky end to the week! I thought ****/** and a little inconsistent with some easy and obscure clues scattered about. Thanks Senf for the hints which helped me fully understand 24a. I did enjoy 11a and 6&12d all equally excellent. Thanks to the setter for a Friday challenge.

  4. Way way beyond my solving capabilities as shown by the fact that even the hints for 16d makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
    For me one of the worst puzzles of the year inc those by my nemesis.
    ******ad infinitum/Zero

      1. ‘Section of observer’ = IRIS
        ‘King’ = H(is} M(ajesty)
        ‘Article’= AN
        Put them all together for the answer.

  5. I thought this was going to beat me but it gradually began to come together. I had no idea about the German scientist and missed the lurker so not an unaided finish but very enjoyable nevertheless. Going through all of Richard Curtis’s films in 17a got me nowhere until the answer leapt into my head from nowhere. Another that held me up was 14a but it raised a smile once solved. The one that made me laugh out load was the rather cheeky 11a and this is my COTD. It is to be hoped that underwear was being worn. :grin:

    Many thanks to proXimal for the fun and mental workout. Huge thanks to Senf for the hints.

    I’m afraid the Quickie pun didn’t quite work for me.

  6. Tough but fair, needed Senf’s hint for 11a which made me lol and therefore gets 1st prize. Second prize goes to 14a. Thank you ProXimal and Senf; you and Sue have been working hard for us lately :)

  7. An enjoyable puzzle from Mr X – thanks to him and Senf (especially for deciphering the Quickie pun which defeated my efforts).
    Top clues for me were 11a, 14a, 25a and 16d.

  8. Took me absolutely ages to get the hang of this, and was going to give up with only about a third of it done. But gradually got the hang of it, and as a consequence thoroughly enjoyed finishing the other two thirds, just goes to show that battling on sometimes brings fruit. Found it a very clever puzzle in the end, very well done to our setter today!

  9. Really enjoyed this challenge. Was very happy when 1a, a clever clue, went straight in, and the rest of the NW corner followed without a problem. Then I came to a complete halt on progression to the NE, so started again at the bottom and made steady, if haphazard, progress until I finished back in the NE with the lurker (who was not new to me) that I would have got much earlier had I exercised a little patience. I thought 7d was a poor clue, given the quality of the rest and I’m not sure about ‘exit’ as a synonym of ‘ part’, but loved the rest. Favourites today were 11a, 14a, 2d and 8d. Thanks to ProXimal and Senf, who helped me fully parse 16d. I was trying to use the R to mean ‘king’ giving no thought to HM.

  10. Thoroughly enjoyable but very tough.
    Worked steadily through, unaided, in 5* time.
    Pondered for too long over 4a until a very loud penny dropped.
    Must remember my rule – if in doubt, try locating a lurcher!
    In a very strong field, 8d is my COTD.
    Many thanks, proXimal and Senf.

  11. Puzzle of the week for me, quite tough but eminently fair, with the German lurker my last one is. So glad I thought to check for a ‘pangra’ (something I usually fail to do), as it helped me solve 25a, my next-to-last in. Thoroughly enjoyed this one, with a LOL 11a my COTD (I see birds flying free from cages, out of aviaries), followed by 14a, 6d, 24 a, and so much else. Thanks to Senf and proXimal. ***/*****

    Got the quickie pun right, apparently!

  12. **/**** for me. Held up by putting ‘down’ as the second word in 11a, making 12d imponderable, though I did ponder for a good few minutes until the penny dropped. Great stuff, thanks ProXimal and Senf.

  13. ***(almost****) /*** hard work and not happy about the use of “Lars”. Last one in and COTD was 14A with a smile.

  14. Well worthy of its Friday slot, just 7d that seemed rather out of place. Very relieved that the German scientist was hidden in plain sight and that the islander didn’t necessitate a scurry off to the geography books!
    Top three here were 14&24a plus 8d.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Senf for the review, particularly the parsing of the Quickie pun which had utterly defeated me.

  15. For me this was a very strange puzzle. Some clues were clear, but others I could not make head nor tail of them.

    For example, 22d made no sense to me at all.

    Overall 3*/2* for me today.

    Liked 11a, 14a, 25a, 6d & 20d … with winner 20d.

    I solved it without the hints on my Friday night, but not the best puzzle of the week IMHO

    Thanks to proXimal and Senf

    1. 22d N and S are opposing directions and the chest is an ark (the Ark of the Covenant, Biblical – some won’t like it!) and the result is another word for he bugs me.

  16. Pleasingly tricky and very rewarding, this was a real treat for a Friday. I particularly liked 11a (schoolboy humour but hey), 16d, my final entry, and top of the tree, 14a.

    My thanks to proXimal for the fun, and to Senf.

  17. The usual slight step-up for a Friday found me progress the north pretty well but got held up in the SW by 16d, 22a and 24a which was new to me. Needed Senf’s hints to finish off – and I still don’t don’t understand 16d…

    14a and 25a I thought were both devious clues and provided the biggest penny-drop so go down as my CoTD

    Thanks to setter and Senf

    1. Let me try and go ‘plain language’ on 16d.

      HM, for His Majesty the King, is inserted into the combination of IRIS, part (section) of the eye with which we observe so it can be called observer (the use of allowable capitalised Observer is nothing to do with a Sunday newspaper), and the indefinite article AN.

      1. Thanks for that I thought it was RH. It’s a bit of a stretch from King as the clue. 16d therefore gets a raspberry from me. The rest of the crossword seemed fairly easy and I must give brief hurrah for having a scientist instead of a flaming Greek God. Keep up the current good work and thanks all

      2. Ahh I get it, ty once again. I had not considered the indefinite article and was trying to put the King inside the eye section, rather than alongside it

  18. Quite a challenge, perhaps ‘sneaking’ into Toughie territory, for my 83rd and last blog of 2022 which took me longer than usual for the combined solving and blogging task for a weekday back pager.

    I think I made a sensible decision to tackle the challenge without alcohol assistance.

    Thanks to proXimal for the challenge and HNY to all.

    1. Many congratulations, Senf. 83 blogs in a year is a truly amazing achievement. Happy New Year!

    2. Funny the way alcohol comes to mind when troubles loom. We’ve had such a lousy couple of days that the cellar is emptying fast.

    3. You do an awesome job Senf, especially now it is twice a week … and just recently 3 days … whew!

    4. Congratulations, Senf on 83 blogs this year and thank you for your continued efforts on our behalf. 👍👍

    5. Thank you 83 times over Senf for you untiring efforts that are so much appreciated by all those who enjoy this site

  19. A challenge, but an enjoyable one. I agree with Stephen L, way up above, that the checkers proved invaluable in making progress with the more esoteric clues.

    An eleven hour sleep after an eight hour round trip (driving shared between me, and H) returning a family member to her home yesterday. Therefore I intend to communicate today only with grunts and a variety of hand signals.

    Thanks to proXimal and The Man From Manitoba.

  20. Toughie territory I thought today, so Brian’s comment was not unexpected.
    Took me a good while before things took shape, but perseverance paid off. What a collection of excellent clues, even the slightly “easy” 7d was not a gimme.
    17a was a clever misdirection, like others found, a troll through the long list of Curtis movies came up zero.
    Stand out favourite for me was 14a.
    Thanks to the X-man for the tussle and Senf for yet another superb blog. Happy New Year to all.

  21. Another laboured solve today. Relieved to see others reckon it on the tricky side as I’m beginning to think my solving abilities have deserted me. Pleased to spot the lurker at 4a as never heard of the fella & last in 11a took an embarrassingly long time to twig the first word despite 3 checkers. Bunged in 12d & forgot to go back & parse it & completely missed it was an X-less pangram but otherwise ok eventually. My podium the same as Jane’s
    Thanks to proXimal & Senf

  22. Quite , but not very, tough for me . Surprised no one liked 12d , clue of the day . 14a good, but few others to make one smile on this vile day .***/** Thanks to all though .

  23. As forecast yesterday today was a DNF for a puzzle where half went in fairly easily; a quarter electronically solved by using checkers ; the final quarter needing hints and reveals ; so no unpleasant surprises for me today.

    Thanks to Proximal for proving my abilities as a Sybil and to Senf for his excellent blog. A happy new year to you both with thanks for the service over the year.

  24. I agree that this was a hard (but agreeable) slog. I was in trouble with 11a from the start because my 1d was Log Out. 11a and 14a were brilliant clues, I got 17a straight away but I was totally misled by the ‘ Fast’ in 25a thinking of Lent already. 12d was last one in, huge thanks to ProXimal and Senf for your hard work on behalf of s lot of folk who often cavil at what you do. Roll on next week when we should get back to normal. I used to absolutely love the Christmas/New year period – when did I become a Scrooge?

    1. I did exactly the same as doubtless many others did on 1d! The penny dropped of course when I got the cross checker….

  25. This was far harder than any of the previous crosswords I have done. After completing six clues I used the hints to complete the across clues and I was still unable to complete the puzzle without more hints. Definitely not my cup of tea. Thanks to Senf especially and the setter.

  26. Like others I started off slowly but speeded up as the checkers came in, I was not helped by failing to spot the pangra until I’d finished. Enjoyable crossword though. Didn’t know the scientist or what Richard Curtis starred in but both fairly clued. Favourite was 16d. Thanks to ProXimal and Senf.

  27. Thank you setter and Senf … all going well or so I thought until I realised the error of my assumption that the bugs in question were newts ….

  28. I think this was tough especially the South West? Saying that an iris is an observer is much like saying the ear lobe is a listener !! This clue was the key to getting several other clues around it correct, and as a result I didn’t finish especially with the rather dubious 22d . I play bridge so spotted the opposing direction bit , but the ark is a stretch – notwithstanding Indians Jones etc
    Thanks to the setter and Senf

  29. Got off to a very slow start, but gradually the pennies began to drop. COTD for me has to be 14a which put a smile on my face when the loudest penny of all dropped suddenly with 4 checking letters in place. Thoroughly enjoyable and demanding workout. Thanks to the setter.

  30. I see it is still snowing🌨 I am afraid that I have to agree with Brian a lot of the clueing was far to obscure for a back pager ****/** 😬Favourites were 14a and 23a 😃 Thanks to Senf and to ProXimal and a Happy Cross-wording 2023 to all 🥂

  31. I thought yesterday was much harder than this, not saying this was easy! I needed copious ehelp but I did finish eventually with lots of bung ins. Some were gimmes which gave much needed checkers, eg 17a, 24a and 25a, all rang “pangram” for me and helped a lot. My fave was 14a. Only one niggle so far about “Lars”, amazing?
    Thanks to ProXimal and Senf. That must be a record number of blogs, Senf, you’re a Star!

  32. Dipped in and out of this all day and felt a DNF looming particularly due to hold-up in SE however, phew, I have just got there but without any real sense of satisfaction. IMHO 14a is too clever by half – faute de mieux I had just bunged it in as I did for 16d. Liked the simple 6d. Thank you proXimal and Senf for today’s exercise and indeed the ongoing contribution you both continue to make to our cruciverbal enjoyment.

  33. Managed to solve this slowly whilst watching Liverpool struggle to a win. I found the puzzle as tough as they found it to overcome Leicester! Lots to like and some bits to raise eyebrows – Lars – hmm, and are snakes really slippery or just smooth? Did like11a and the clever 15d
    Many thanks to Proximal and to Send for his sterling efforts

  34. Thanks to Proximal and to Senf for the review and hints. A very very difficult puzzle, way beyond me. May as well have been a Toughie. Needed 8 hints to finish. Not much fun at all.

  35. Thanks Heno, and to Brian and others who have made similar comments. I am just so tired of complaining that the backpager is now a second Toughie, it takes all the pleasure out of Telegraph cryptic crosswords. Thanks to setter and Senf for all their efforts, and may 2023 be a better crosswording year.

    1. I think you’re whistling Dixie here! A few of us have been singing in the wilderness for some time but no one listens or even replies.

  36. 3*/5*…
    liked 11A “Suddenly becomes free, thereby displaying underwear? (5,4)”

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