DT 30186 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30186

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30186

Hints and tips by Falcon

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

New Years greetings from Ottawa where we are basking in unseasonably warm weather (about 15°C above normal for this time of year).

I got off to a very quick start with this puzzle from Campbell and anticipated an early finish. However, I soon bogged down and had to work hard to complete it.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


3a   Bulletin points landlord follows (10)
NEWSLETTER — the four points of the compass and a landlord who doesn’t run a pub

8a   Bombed British house (6)
BLOTTO — the single letter for British and another name for house or bingo

9a   Judge booking on playing field (8)
RECORDER — a booking or request to purchase following (on in an across clue) a shortened name for an area of land on which sports, games, etc may be played

10a   Form of pollution in India, car being involved (4,4)
ACID RAIN — an anagram (being involved) of the two preceding words

11a   Orchard’s initial scope for fruit (6)
ORANGE — the initial letter of orchard and a word meaning scope or extent

12a   One answer wrong about large US city (3,7)
NEW ORLEANS — an anagram (wrong) of the first two words in the clue wrapped around the clothing symbol for large

14a   What a char might do when faced with temptation? (4,2,3,4)
RISE TO THE BAIT — a cryptic definition in which a figurative expression for yielding to temptation is literally what a fish would do when presented with a tasty morsel on a hook (or a free-spirited woman would do for a string of beads at Mardi Gras)

20a   Piano users reviewed book (10)
PERSUASION — an anagram (reviewed) of the first two words in the clue; the book is a work by an early 19th century English novelist

22a   Distant meteor exploded (6)
REMOTE — an anagram (exploded) of meteor

23a   Bad weather hampering a bird (8)
WHEATEAR — an anagram (bad) of WEATHER enveloping the A from the clue

24a   Feud in TA after check involving death (8)
VENDETTA — place TA after a three-letter word meaning to check or examine which contains a word meaning death or demise

25a   Is sailor with the Spanish girl? (6)
ISABEL — IS from the clue, an able seaman, and a Spanish word meaning ‘the’

26a   Radiantly happy, remained drinking whiskey by river (6-4)
STARRY-EYED — a synonym of remained containing the map-maker’s symbol for river and a (typically) American whiskey


1d   Signal after air-raid, say, everyone understood (3-5)
ALL-CLEAR — synonyms of everyone and understood

2d   In workshop, American academic (8)
STUDIOUS — an artist’s workshop and one of the two-letter abbreviations for American

3d   Extra number gathering for social dancing (2-4)
NO-BALL — the shortened version of number and a formal gathering for dancing; the extra is a type of run in cricket

4d   Shabby inside bungalow, or not? (4)
WORN — a lurker hiding in the final three words of the clue

5d   A pass dividing the French in field game (8)
LACROSSE — A from the clue and a type of football pass inside one of the French definite articles

6d   Cotton clothes, mostly? (6)
THREAD — remove the final letter from a metonym for clothes derived from the fibres from which they are made

7d   Come into view from the East, then combine (6)
EMERGE — the single letter for East and a word meaning to combine or unite

13d   Agent taking out fine player (5)
ACTOR — remove the pencil designation for fine from an agent (for example, one who ran a Northern Canadian fur trading post)

15d   Wall hanging records touchdown? (8)
TAPESTRY — string together a verb meaning records and another name for a touchdown in rugby

16d   Capone posed at home hugging a dog like Rin Tin Tin? (8)
ALSATIAN — the first name of the American gangster, posed as a model would for an artist, and the usual word meaning at home wrapped around the A from the clue

17d   Hypocritical couple dealt with (3-5)
TWO-FACED — the number constituting a couple and a word meaning dealt with or confronted

18d   Female in hat, sad and lonely (6)
BEREFT — the single letter for female inserted in a French hat

19d   Bird in apartment on right (6)
CONDOR — a shortened term for a type of North American apartment followed by the single letter for right

21d   Exploit free means of access, maybe (4,2)
USER ID — string together verbs meaning exploit and free

23d   Guarded in armed combat close to boundary (4)
WARY — armed combat and the closing letter of boundary

My clue of the day is 14a where the penny finally dropped and I realized that I was not looking for a lady with a mop.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): BOULT + WHOLE = BOLTHOLE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : MOTES + HEART = MOZART

51 comments on “DT 30186
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  1. A nice friendly puzzle to kick start the week, with no real delays in completion. I thought the clueing of 24a was a little clunky, but that aside, enjoyed the challenge. My final answer was 19d, as the American apartment did not spring readily to mind. There was a good choice of favourites, with 26a coming out on top.

    My thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  2. A suitably gentle crossword for a Bank Holiday
    I liked the misdirection of 14a
    8 a was my last one in and my COTD
    Here’s to a better 2023 for us all!

  3. Very Mondayish.
    Starting boost for the rest of the week.
    Smiles along the way eg 8a, 15 and 21d.
    So, 1*/4*
    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  4. Brilliant start to the week, a little more challenging than the usual Monday, I thought. I was completely wrong footed by the misdirection of 14a, which was my LOI after resorting to the hints. You’d have thought I’d learnt my lesson by now! Lots to like especially 1a, 26a, 15d and 16d. My favourite has to be the aforementioned 14a. Thanks to Campbell for the workout and Falcon for helping me to parse 24a and easing my frustration with 14a.

  5. Another good start to the week with Campbell and Falcon in charge. Very good puzzle for me with some easier clues and some needing a lot of thought. Plenty of choice for the honourable mentions with 3 and 24a together with 2 and 18d. But the honours go jointly to 14 and 26a.

    Thanks and best wishes for the new year to Falcon and Campbell.

  6. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: Plenty to lift the spirits and enjoy – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 26a, 6d, 18d, and 21d – and the winner is 6d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  7. A lovely start to the week with no hold-ups for me. My weekly average is, broadly, two completed unaided, two finished with a ‘bit’ of help. and one ‘ARRGH WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?’

    Best wishes to lovely Daisy and her family. I hope you don’t succumb to the dreaded C*v*d, and you’re able to see DD1 as soon as possible.

    Thanks to Campbell and The Avian From Ontario.

  8. Like Falcon, I came to a grinding halt towards the end. In 14a, I was thinking of the wrong char and I had completely forgotten the apartment in 19d – is it more an American term than a British one? The parsing of 21d completely eluded me until I saw the hint. I then wondered why I hadn’t seen it. I wonder how many can remember Rin Tin Tin – a name I always thought of as daft. My favourite today is 26a.

    Thank you, Campbell for the challenge. Many thanks, Falcon for the hints, which I did need today.

    1. Steve,
      Yes (as I indicated in the review), the apartment in 19d is a North American term. A condominium (condo for short) is a building (or a unit in such a building) in which the living units are individually owned but the common areas are collectively owned.

  9. My rating is 2*/3.5* for a fun puzzle despite a half-point deduction for the unarguably American apartment in 19d.

    I didn’t know the slang for clothes in 6d but it couldn’t have been anything else.

    14a was my favourite, closely followed by 26a.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  10. Frustrating that I had never heard of the bird in 23 across, even with four letters of the anagram I still had to use the hint. Almost a full house unaided, never mind there’s always tomorrow.

  11. No problems with this one though like RD I wasn’t familiar either with the 6d slang for clothes. 14a my favourite in a very pleasant kick off to the new week.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps for any unaware Stephen L’s puzzle (Dharma) is over in Rookie Corner on this site & I see it’s already had a thumbs up from Gazza, RD & Silvanus amongst others. I’m sure he’d appreciate feedback from the non experts..

  12. Falcon. My daughter in Northern Ontario showed me on Skype that the snow which enveloped them last week has virtually gone. Incredible. Still at this time of year it want be long before it returns. Rather them than me!

    1. Yes, the snow cover has shrunk remarkably over the past week. It is no longer a beautiful, white blanket but a dirty, slushy mess.

  13. Ink cartridge issues meant no puzzles for me over the weekend as I’m a ‘paper solver only’ dinosaur so it was nice to get back to normal today. A few clues here gave me pause for thought, mainly the 8a house and the 21d means of access, but elsewhere I had quite a smooth run.
    Top two for me were 8&26a.

    Thanks to Campbell and also to Falcon – a very Happy New Year to you both.

  14. A very enjoyable puzzle which I managed to complete although I had to come here for help with the parsing of 24A. Thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the enlightenment.

  15. A very approachable puzzle with an interesting variety of clues. 13a, with its splendid misdirection, was my COTD and I enjoyed the book anagram i 20a and the geographical clue, 12a. I, too thought 19d was an American term . Thanks to Camp bell for a goid start to 2023 and toFalcon for the hints.

  16. An entertaining puzzle – thanks to Campbell and Falcon (and a Happy New Year to both).
    It’s difficult to pick the medallists from a fine batch of clues but I’ll go for 8a, 14a and 3d.

  17. Was able to steadily work through this with just a few minor sticking points which included parsing for 24d, the misdirection in 14a and that which is apparently a “metonym” (new to me) in 6d. NE quadrant last to acquiesce mainly due to 6d. Altogether a pleasant way to exit the seasonal morass. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  18. A nice gentle puzzle today from Campbell start the new year. Enjoyable and my rating of 2*/4* today

    Favourites include 3a, 8a, 14a, 25a, 1d, 5d, 15d & 16d with winner 16d
    New word in 23a and parsing in 24a eludes me. I’ll check the hints on Monday as I did this on my Sunday night so no hints available then.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon … and again welcome to 2023

  19. I think it must be time to give up DT crosswords judging by my abject failures of today and the previous two days. Have failed to complete any of them. Although not in the dark league of the previous two this was also way beyond me. Birds I have never heard of and complex clues were just too much.
    Zero fun.
    Thx for the hints

    1. I have always admire your honesty Brian, compared with many who pretend to know the answer. Hang around for the fun. You never know, maybe Bertie will come back.

    2. Brian, I often feel exactly the same as you but console myself that even solving a couple of clues gives me some satisfaction…and keeps my brain going.

    3. Stay with it Brian, we all suffer a block at times, it’s obvious from your comments that you have actually found the back-pager rather easier than others in the gang.

  20. A light and fun puzzle, favourite clues were 14a, 24a with 8a being the winner given the elegant and effective misdirection. I had not heard of the dog in 16d but it was solvable from the wordplay. **/****

    TY to Campbell and Falcon

  21. No problems at all today, well clued as usual from Campbell and a thawed out Falcon in the blog chair, great start to the week. Thanks to all.
    PS. Anyone else have problems with the “click here!” button, seemed to go on-off repeatedly before a reveal.

  22. A bit of extra sparkle from Campbell today, especially 23d. Cricket terms and an animal doctor too.
    I was quick off the blocks in NE but settled into a steady pace with a couple of head-scratches at the death.
    Many thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  23. Rip Van Winkle here. It seems like that long since I finished this very likeable puzzle last night, and then I slept through breakfast and woke up in a pool of sweat. We are now, after last week’s arctic blasts, in the midst of a January heat wave. A 65-degree (F) difference between last Monday and yesterday. What next? Anyway, I did enjoy the puzzle, with 14a, 26a, & 18d (because those 6 letters say so much) topping the rest. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. **/***

  24. I thought this was going to be finished in ten minutes. How silly to presume. 6, 21 and ergo 25 meant I couldn’t finish without recourse to the hints . Still a jolly start to the year. Thanks to Setter and Falcon

  25. A good gentle start to the New Year. 19d was my last in. Despite staying in plenty during trips to the US, this particular apartment didn’t spring to mind. Thank you setter and Falcon.

  26. I fairly rattled through today’s puzzle which is more than can be said for yesterday’s! Much to like and love the boost to one’s confidence. Sets one up for the week. Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon and Happy New Year to you both.

  27. I thought this was on the friendly side. I only had problems with the crickety 3d and the bird at 23a, both of which we’ve had before so no excuse. I did guffaw at 14a, took some time to tumble to that “char”, clever, eh? Lots to like, I think 26a was fave.
    Cheers everyone, peace and love throughout 2023, and thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the fun today.

  28. What a lovely start to the New Year 😃 ***/**** Favourites we’re 14a, 23a and 19d 🤗 The only clue I did not like was 21d 😳 Thanks to the Falcon and to Campbell and a Happy New Year to all

  29. Straightforward until it wasn’t, particularly in the NE and SW, but that’s frequently the case for me with this setter. Favourite was 14a which had me baffled until it didn’t, good clue. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  30. No problem with this until 14, I had the first three words and two letters in the last, just couldn’t see it so bunged in part which was obviously wrong. Thanks to all.

  31. Took a bit longer than I thought it would at first, the second consonant in 21d eluded me for far too long. Lovely weather in Yorkshire today with Mama Bee. Finally solved over coffee and chocolate orange drizzle cake beside the canal in Hebden Bridge.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon
    Trip to Dentist early doors and then first day of work for 12 days may make my attempt at comparing Robyn’s Sunday Toughie with tomorrow’s Tuesday toughie a long trial.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  32. 14a seems to be the favourite here and I concur. Other ticks for 3 and 9a and 2 15 and 17d. I only knew 19d as the first five letters were a Wordle a few days ago. 21d took me some time to sort out but all possible without hints with checkers in place. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  33. Yes, I found this one easy to start but hard to finish. I had the answer but I needed to look 9a up on your site to understand the double meaning of char – I too had in mind a lady with a mop. I found 26a hard to explain too …. So, thanks a lot.

  34. I’m very late catching up with yesterday’s puzzle – nearly time for me to start on today’s! Can I join the others in telling Brian not to leave us. I enjoy reading his comments, and not just because he and I seem to have the same opinions on toughies and backpagers. Happy New Year Brian!
    This was a DNF for me – hope I can do better today.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  35. Thanks Falcon. I’ve only just seen your comment. I have the same trouble with passwords for anything to do with modern communication devices eg TV. Computer.

  36. 3*/4*….had never heard of the slang word for clothes in 6D….
    liked 26A “Radiantly happy, remained drinking whiskey by river (6-4)”

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