DT 30187 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30187

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30187
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning, and a Happy New Year to you from West Wales. Thank you to Senf for sitting in for me (among others) last week.
I found today’s back-pager tremendous fun all round with no major hold-ups. Any pauses for thought were generally the result of some elegantly disguised splits between wordplay and definition, executed with great skill here.
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 British Airways concerns about flatter trunks (7,5)
BATHING SUITS: A company’s initials plus a word for concerns, or matters, containing (about) a synonym of flatter, or match

9a Show sign of hesitation over gift (9)
REPRESENT: A common two-letter expression of hesitation is reversed (over) before an alternative term for gift

10a Left after farm animal’s unpleasant noise (5)
GROWL: The abbreviation for left follows a synonym of farm as a verb. I was fooled into considering a farm animal by the setter’s deft misdirection

11a Find love with pet rather than Victor (6)
LOCATE: A word from the clue has one of its letters’ NATO phonetic alphabet designation changed to a domestic pet animal

12a Politician rambled after one recovered (8)
IMPROVED: The usual two-letter politician and a synonym for rambled, or wandered, follow the Roman numeral for ‘one’

13a Lure of extremely suave Italian leader (6)
SEDUCE: First and last letters (extremely) as indicated precede an Italian word for leader, commonly associated with Mussolini

15a Those opening books, perhaps, sent dust flying (8)
STUDENTS: An anagram (flying) of SENT DUST

18a Live with more ferocious fox (8)
BEWILDER: A synonym of live as a verb infinitive plus a term for more feral

19a Climb a cold post outside (6)
ASCEND: A from the clue, then the usual letter for cold with a word for post, as a verb, ‘outside’ it

21a Release aunt’s fine bust? Not I (8)
UNFASTEN: An anagram (bust) of AUNT’S FINE minus the I

23a Nurse virtually wrong about game (6)
TENNIS: A word for nurse as a verb without its last letter (virtually) is followed by a reversal (about) of a synonym of wrong, in e.g. the biblical sense

26a Instrument some collected on the way back (5)
CELLO: The solution is hidden in reverse (on the way back) in the clue

27a Quarrel after leaders in retaliation expelled charismatic figure (9)
RECTANGLE: A synonym of quarrel, or tussle, follows some initial letters as indicated

28a Get Ron working with sketch writer (1,1,10)
G K CHESTERTON: Our third anagram (working): GET RON [with] SKETCH


1d Steals what musicians might play without resistance (7)
BURGLES: The letter that stands for resistance with the plural of a brass instrument outside (without) it

2d Sanctimonious in bed raising subject for argument (5)
TOPIC: A two-letter word meaning sanctimonious inside (in) a reversal (raising) of a kind of bed

3d Uniform worn in citadel (9)
IDENTICAL: An anagram (worn) of IN CITADEL

4d Delight from golf, even regularly missing (4)
GLEE: My first thought was that ‘golf’ was another example from the NATO phonetic alphabet, but it’s actually entirely an alternate letter clue (regularly missing)

5d University lecturer’s first time — and one friend’s last (8)
ULTIMATE: A charade of a letter that stands for University, a first letter as indicated, letters that represent ‘time’ and ‘one’ respectively, and finally a familiar word for a friend

6d Fierce person keeping grand in bank (5)
TIGER: A word for bank, or row, containing (keeping) a letter for grand

7d Satisfy prisoner failing to pen note (8)
CONVINCE: A common diminutive of a synonym of prisoner, plus a failing, or perhaps immorality, containing (to pen) a letter that’s short for note

8d Son fibs about 500 items in playground? (6)
SLIDES: The usual character for son and another word for fibs containing (about) a Roman numeral

14d Ruin miserable trip (8)
DOWNFALL: Synonyms of the second and third words, alternatively depressed and stumble, lead to a noun synonym of what is a verb in the surface reading

16d Very bad bananas deter apes (9)
DESPERATE: Our fifth and final anagram (bananas): DETER APES

17d Burn church after religious education investigation (8)
RESEARCH: Abbreviations of a school subject and church, with a synonym of burn between them

18d Group eating right meal (6)
BRUNCH: A simple containment (eating) of a group (of bananas, or fives!) with the character for right inside it

20d Notice ring on tailless bird (7)
DISCERN: A synonym of ring, as in saucer or platter perhaps, and another word for the sea eagle without its final letter (tailless)

22d Frighten James Bond? (5)
SPOOK: A double definition, one of which refers to an informal word for a Secret Service agent

24d Almost tense when one’s asleep? (5)
NIGHT: An old-fashioned word meaning almost, plus a dictionary-sanctioned shortening of tense in grammatical notation

25d Book deals quietly removed (4)
ACTS: A synonym of deals, as a noun, without a letter than can mean quiet, or soft(ly)

My particular favourites were 11a, 15a, 18a, 21a, 3d and 16d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun:  HOE + LEA + RIGHT = HOLY RITE

67 comments on “DT 30187
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  1. Started off like a rocket on this one today, and then I got to the SE corner! Took ages trying to work out what my (wrong) word for 22d had to do with James Bond, but after some hard rethinking the penny finally dropped.
    Had an equal amount of grief with 27a as a wrong word for quarrel fitted easily into the end of the answer.
    Great crossword with lots of misdirection, hope the trend continues all week, very well done to the setter today.

  2. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle to cheer up a damp and dreary Shropshire morning, full of inventive, concise clueing and clever misdirection. 28a and 20d proved to be my co-favourites.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and Mr T.

  3. Like Tipcat, the SE corner had me foxed and, even when had completed the puzzle, , I still couldn’t parse 23a. So thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints, which were much needed today, as I found this crossword
    quite challenging. There were some good anagrams a d some interesting forays into General Knowledge. I liked 1d, 13a 18a and 25d. Thanks to the compiler.

  4. I got 28ac quite easily but couldn’t the rest of the SE corner. I had to do other things and come back to it but managed in the end.

  5. Thanks TWMBARLWM for clearing up 10a as I failed to think of a farm animal called grow.
    I also failed to spot the anagram in 26a but dredged up the name from distant memories.
    Anyway, very enjoyable .
    I liked 1a and 18a.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  6. Oh dear….not my best effort today. SE corner gave me lots of trouble. Got there in the end, though.

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm…..and thanks for the pic of Desperate Dan in Dundee, city of the 3 Js…..jute, jam and journalism. Sadly only journalism remains now.

  7. In full agreement with the contributors so far; lots to like with this puzzle containing smart misdirection that’s gettable with some thought and wordplay. I too slowed down in the SE, getting stuck over the wordplay for 23a and 25d. I’ve not come across “virtually” meaning to shorten the word but I live and learn. 10a, 27a and 22d were among the favourites but the crown goes to 18a for the typically clever misdirection here.

    TY to setter and MrT

  8. As Cephas told us some time age, today’s puzzle uses ‘Anthony Plumb’s grid’ so presumably he is the setter of this very enjoyable but less than Typically Tuesdayish production – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 13a, 18a, 20d, and 24d – and the winner is 20d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Twmbarlwm.

  9. What a delightfully playful journey into the magical land of misdirection and inventive wordplay. I can’t imagine anything topping this one this week, but we do live among princes of setters and lords of the imagination. I must thank today’s setter for the chance to read a bit more about 28a and reminding myself that it was he whose book on the great Charles Dickens restored the Victorian to his proper luminary sphere. Knowing that, I can forgive him for Father Brown. Of the many clues I loved, I’ll single out 11a, 13a, 22d, 15a, 10a, & 27a as the stuff befitting two podiums. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and today’s elegant setter. **/*****

    1. I’ve never read Father Brown but remember Kenneth Moore playing him in an early 1970s TV series. The only stuff of his that I dipped into bizarrely was his appreciation of William Cobbett – I read Rural Rides doing my degree & still have a copy of it somewhere.

    2. I’m interested, Robert. You write “podiums” and I always thought it were “podia”. I don’t have Fowler to hand to check but I am sure you are correct.

      1. The OED lists both plurals, so Robert and you both get to be right on that.

        Robert is wrong about Father Brown, though! Spouse and I love watching the BBC series with Mark Williams each January. They’re on while we’re at work (new series starts this Friday), so we save them up to watch on Sunday evenings, as a gentle mystery story to end the weekend with.

        1. Totally agree with you about the Father Brown series, Smylers. Eagerly awaiting the new series. We love Jack Deam and his absurd portrayal of Inspector Mallory compared to his part as DC Ken Blackstone in DCI Banks.

          1. I’m also a fan of the BBC Father Brown mysteries with the excellent Mark Williams in the title role and a great cast ofactors in each episode. I save them up to watch in the many evenings when there is nothing but reality TV, chat shows or matches in sports that don’t appeal to me.

        2. Another fan here! They are running repeats daily in NZ, and I watch all of them – just in case I’ve missed something!
          Happy New Year from the Antipodes, everyone!
          Many thanks to the setter, and Twmbarlwm for the hints!

  10. Very enjoyable with, as our reviewer says, some cunning misdirections – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    For my podium I’ve selected 10a, 18a and 14d.

    Today’s Robyn Toughie is a total joy.

  11. 1.5*/4*. This was light and great fun with 10a, 18a, 28a & 14d vying for top spot.

    Many thanks presumably to Anthony Plumb and to Mr T.

  12. Think I made the same mistake as Tipcat with my first thought for 22d so that became my final entry after some pondering.
    Very enjoyable solve with 13a & 14d taking the honours here.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb (?) and to Twmbarlwm for the review – a very Happy New Year to both of you.

  13. Like others, stuck the SE corner. It did not help that I had “ascent” and not “ascend” for 19a. Both fitted the bill.
    Still no news on our leader. Like so many of us, I fear the worst.

    1. I initially tried ‘ascent’ as well, but I think the clue as written is fair and unambiguous: to post something is to send it; whereas if it has been sent then it has been posted. I haven’t been able to think of a sentence where ‘post’ can be replaced by ‘sent’ … but maybe somebody else can come up with an example?

  14. Slightly tough for a Tuesday I thought and it took quite a time to figure out some of the clues. Plenty to like, though. I thought 1a was a bit cumbersome. “Things” and “suits” share the letter “s” and I spent ages trying to work out how “uits” fitted in. The reverse lurker at 26a was so well hidden it took ages to see it. I have ticks against 27a and 5d but my COTD is 11a, which I thought brilliant because a letter had to be changed for a word.

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

    1. Think it’s suit in things Steve so the S isn’t shared. Can’t say suit as a synonym for flatter was obvious to me but see perfectly ok. Podiums or podia both correct I believe

      1. Of course! Thank you, Huntsman. Talk about missing the obvious! My other query with regard to 1a is where does the bloke in the illustration think he is putting his hands?

      2. Last week or so, if I recall correctly, I referred to the multiple PODIA we were blessed with on that particular puzzle. I use the two interchangeably. If I were back in the lecture hall (heaven forfend!), or in front of my darlings in the classroom, I would fall back on my many years of Latin and go with the obvious.

  15. Just about the right level for me and therefore very enjoyable . I managed to complete with Mr T’s help with 10a and 23a. Thanks for the help and to the compiler

  16. My goodness I started slowly, but the usual manner of finding a few answers here and there gave me enough checking letters to progress without help.

    I enjoyed Robert’s mini-biog of 28a and I concur in full.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp

    1. Thanks, Terence. I do go on so, sometimes, don’t I? But it’s true that GKC lifted the dark clouds that had encircled CD for 25 years or so–perhaps the best reason these days for honouring him. When he wrote well, he wrote very well indeed.

  17. I really struggled with 1a even when I read the hints I wasn’t convinced, but I loved 11a and 18a was my absolute favourite. “They” said it was going to be a dry day today but they were telling fibs. It is cold and wet and miserable, so many thanks to Messrs Setter & Twm for the diversion. We went out to lunch yesterday and I somehow never got round to the crossword so I shall look at it this afternoon.

    1. Cold isnt the word, Daisy. Our central heating died in the middle of New Year’s Day. Fortunately, our regular centrral heating service ma n came out and fitted a new actuator this morning. Bless him. We were getting fed up with the brass monkeys looking for a welder and the noise of our energency fan heater! Warmth is now spreadingthroughout the house.

  18. Top half came easily. Slowed to a crawl bottom half. Now I’ve finished I can appreciate the setters skill.
    Managed to parse all after some bung ins. Loved the illustrations to accompany the hints, especially the twins.
    Is it too late to wish everyone a good new year. (Happiness only occurs occasionally, contentment is the goal)

  19. Found this Tuesday puzzle a little more difficult than Monday’s
    2.5*/3* for me

    Favourites include 10a, 18a, 28a, 1d, 6d & 22d with winner 22d … and it was such a good programme to watch too. I find British TV so much better quality to watch than most of what we get in the North American market.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  20. Lots to like in today’s puzzle. Despite reading CL’s newsletter yesterday I failed to heed his advice to slow down & savour the wordplay & fell into the same trap as Una at 10a bunged in the answer & forgot to go back & parse it – at least we were in good company as even our reviewer was initially fooled. Last in for me was 27a where I was initially looking for the wrong definition. Plenty of podium contenders but I’ll plump for 11&18a plus 7d with maybe 27&28a alongside 16d just missing out.
    Thanks to AP & T

  21. Thank you to the setter for the fun — lots I really liked there, with those disguised definitions. 18a’s more ferocious fox is my favourite. The Italian leader was new to me. (I was going to say that I’d learnt the Italian leader, but I suspect time will tell that actually I haven’t.)

    I’m terrible at anagrams, so needed all but one of the crossing letters to work out the 28A writer, and a bunch of Twmbarlwm’s hints in order get the down answers in that corner — thank you for those.

    Though I really should’ve got the sea eagle, given how frequently it crops up in the Telegraph’s new Cross Atlantic crosswords. (Talking of which ‘Sugar daddy of the art world?’ was my favourite in today’s Cross Atlantic, which is by Elgar.)

      1. You’ll have to try it and see! (Best not to give answers to other crosswords, because commentors may be yet to attempt them. I figured giving a clue is OK, because that doesn’t spoil anything.)

      1. Yeah, I’d apparently never heard him called that. I don’t know much about him at all.

        Partway through my schooling, the National Curriculum came in and made all history chronological as children go up the school years — meaning that the youngest children do ancient civilizations and GCSE History is based on World War 2 and ‘history’ so recent that many pupils still had living relatives who’d experienced it as current affairs. And also meaning that those of us who didn’t choose History for GCSE (I picked RE instead) didn’t get taught anything about WW2 at all.

  22. Very enjoyable puzzle, straightforward but properly “Tuesdayish” as noted elsewhere above. Lovely wordplay and plenty of red herrings.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  23. I invariably enjoy this setter’s puzzles and today’s was no exception, a nice dessert to the mighty Robyn Toughie main course.
    As a relative philistine (I jest) I was pleased/amazed that the writer at 28a jumped out at me. Lots of clever wordplay throughout but I think the cleverest was probably 27a and it’s my favourite with 10a and 14d completing the podium.
    Many thanks to Mr Plumb and Twmbarlwm.

  24. Step up the scale today I thought, most went in at a gallop but the fences became apparent in the SE.
    Good clues throughout but at the winning post there was a dead-heat, not separated by the photo of 1a & 18a.
    Thanks to the setter for the course and the Welsh Wizard for acting steward.

  25. Progressed speedily to a shuddering halt at 1 and 27a and 25d
    Eventually unravelled 27a which then gave me 25d.
    1a followed. A big Duh!
    All very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  26. 3/4. A very nice start to the week with plenty of misdirection and clever clues. My favourite was 20d. Very elegant. Thanks to the setter and Mr T.

  27. Interesting crossword and quite solvable 😃 ***/*** Favourites 1a, 20d, 22d and 24d 👍 Thanks to and to the Compiler whoever he or she maybe 🤔

  28. Very good clueing today and all went well untill the SE corner which wouldn’t yield its gold so I needed the hints to finish. My thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter to whom a happy new year.

  29. This was solved in a rather haphazard way but it was just a question of hanging in there and it eventually all came together with lots of fun en route. 1a was unparsed as flatter synonym didn’t occur to me and likewise 11a. Thank you Mysteron (Cephas perhaps as per Senf and Jane) and MrT.

  30. I thought this was quite friendly, though I took every red herring on offer. In the end, the only one that was wrong was 22d, never heard that word for secret service. I needed T’s hints to unravel a few. I put 28a in right away, I can’t think of another author who uses just initials with such a long name. I had the right answer for 10a but was misled by the farm animal, bunged it in anyway. I liked 18a, but there was lots to like.
    Thanks to our setter, a most enjoyable solve, and thanks to T for unraveling so much.

  31. At first glance I really didn’t think there was much chance of me making any headway but almost managed to complete before reaching for Twmbarlwm’s help. Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  32. Splendid crossword, lots to like. I didn’t get held up for too long anywhere. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to the setter and T.

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