DT 30205 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30205

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30205
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

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

Good morning. A nice mix of relatively straightforward clues and a few having more complicated wordplay requiring more thought added up to an enjoyable challenge.

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.

Across
1a Motion perhaps damaged a tree — leap out! (4,8)
POET LAUREATE: An anagram (damaged) of A TREE LEAP OUT

9a Servant worried about this compiler’s declarations (9)
AVERMENTS: Another anagram (worried) of SERVANT containing (about) a personal pronoun from the puzzle setter’s point of view

10a Guide the woman inside old city (5)
USHER: A personal pronoun goes ‘inside’ a two-letter ancient city

11a Cruelty is admitted by sorrowful male (6)
SADISM: The word ‘is’ from the clue goes inside (admitted) a synonym of sorrowful and the letter that stands for male

12a Small — very small — river is most agreeable (8)
SWEETEST: A charade of the letter that represents small, then another word for small, and the name of a river in Hampshire

13a Tamper with entrance outside court (6)
DOCTOR: A common kind of entrance or exit is outside a two-letter abbreviation of court

15a Ref rants about substitution (8)
TRANSFER: An anagram (about) of REF RANTS

18a Tango was important, leaving maiden worn out (8)
TATTERED: A letter indicated by its NATO/phonetic alphabet word in the clue is followed by a synonym of ‘was important’ without the letter that stands for maiden

19a Ransacked train regularly then ran away (6)
RIFLED: Alternate letters (regularly) from one word in the clue are followed by a word meaning ran away or scarpered

21a Mother with outfit — ancient bloomer (8)
MARIGOLD: A diminutive of mother, then a synonym of outfit or apparatus, and another term for ancient

23a Upsets son with alcoholic drinks (6)
SHOCKS: The usual letter for son plus a kind of white wine in the plural

26a Girlfriend possibly has a change of heart — one doesn’t want company (5)
LONER: A word for girlfriend, possibly, or partner, has its middle letter (heart) changed

27a Herbs and spices — a sign one’s cooking (9)
SEASONING: My favourite of the anagram clues – (cooking) A SIGN ONE’S

28a Main office? Grace tucked in chairs (12)
HEADQUARTERS: Another word for grace in the sense of clemency inside (tucked in) a synonym of chairs as people in authority, eg professors or company chiefs

Down
1d Applauded increase in salary in US Police Department (7)
PRAISED: A word for a hike in wages goes inside (in) a two-letter initialism – both components are largely N American usage, although I think ‘US’ can only refer to one of them in the clue

2d Fence men decided partly to fix (5)
EMEND: The solution is hidden

3d Fruit character found under second rock (9)
LIMESTONE: A specific fruit and a word meaning character or style goes after (under) the letter for second
(Thanks to Jane in the comments for spotting my oversight.)

4d Vessels go round, heading off south (4)
URNS: A synonym of go round, or revolve, minus its first letter (heading off), plus south in short

5d Direction actor listened to (8)
EASTWARD: A homophone (listened to)

6d Caught breaking genuine suspension of hostilities (5)
TRUCE: The letter that stands for caught in cricket scoring goes inside (breaking) a synonym of genuine

7d Cracked her clue, keeping female happy (8)
CHEERFUL: An anagram (cracked) of HER CLUE containing (keeping) the letter that’s short for female

8d Legal document picked up concerning author (6)
WRITER: A document that can be a summons is followed by a reversal (picked up) of the two-letter word meaning concerning, or about

14d Supplying food cold at European gathering (8)
CATERING: A charade of a letter that stands for cold, ‘at’ from the clue, another single letter that symbolises European, and a synonym for gathering or group, often pejorative

16d Be next to huge robin up in the air (9)
NEIGHBOUR: An anagram (up in the air) of HUGE ROBIN

17d One beginning to smile after actual education’s completed (8)
REALISED: One, represented by the appropriate Roman numeral, is followed by a first letter as indicated, both of those preceded by another word for actual, all of that culminating in a two-letter abbreviation of education. Probably the most convoluted of the puzzle’s clues, quite tricky

18d Office worker maybe left eastern place of worship (6)
TEMPLE: A short-term office worker is followed by letters representing left and eastern

20d Editor raised suggestions for drafts (7)
DESIGNS: A reversal (raised) of the usual shortening of editor is followed by a synonym of suggestions, or in another context symbols

22d Pass stuff (5)
GORGE: A double definition, one of which refers to a deep valley

24d Country not warm by the sound of it (5)
CHILE: A homophone (by the sound of it)

25d British sailor looking up port (4)
BAKU: A reversal (looking up) of a two-letter representation of Britain, and a two-letter initialism of a kind of sailor. The solution is in E Europe

My particular favourites were 12a, 15a, 19a, 27a, 7d and 17d . What were yours?


Today’s Quick Crossword pun: TEE + PAR + TEASE = TEA PARTIES

66 comments on “DT 30205
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  1. Pleasant Tuesday fare at **/*** with some slightly tricky anagrams but nice clueing including 1a and 3 and 5d all excellent and 1a taking my COTD. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter.

  2. Friendly puzzle with a sting in the tail concerning a few more tricky clues to finish. Lots to like here that I really enjoyed. I miscounted the letters in 1a and missed the anagram on my first pass – oops! Last part in for me was SW which is where I found the more complex cluing, including the devious 17d, the clever 26a and my favourite DD for some time in 22d, which just worked on every level. I agree with MrT the anagrams generally were well hidden under good surfaces today, especially 27a. COTD 22d. */****

    TY to MrT and the setter

  3. For me somewhat more gentle than yesterday so I made steady progress top to bottom. My only failure was in parsing 28a, where the answer was obvious but the reasoning escaped me. I didn’t like 5d, thought the clue was poor and 9a seems a clumsy word- can’t imagine using it. That said lots of places for the podium, especially 18a, 27a, 7d and 22d. Favourite was 1a. Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for helping me sort out 28a.

  4. A bit tricky in places, I thought, but quite enjoyable. Once the penny dropped for 1a, I was home free, but it took me a while to get up that speed. Went bottom to top therefore, with 27a, 17d, 28a (because of that special use of ‘grace’), 7d, 22d, & 25d topping my list. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and today’s setter. 2.5*/4*

    Very good Toughie today too…almost there.

  5. 2*/4*. This was not too difficult and good fun. 27a was my favourite.

    From memory this is an Anthony Plumb grid, so thanks to him and to Mr T.

  6. Nice easy romp today, even a bit kinder than yesterday. Maybe it was just me, but I was nearly fooled by 4d, you can get an answer that fits the clue (think of small barrels), but that idea was soon quashed when I got 1a.
    Thanks to our setter today.

  7. For goodness sake! 1a took me longer to solve than the rest of the puzzle put together. I knew it was an anagram and had all the letters in place but simply could not see it. Off this afternoon to do my dreaded monthly printing stint of the Glaven Valley News. Just received an email saying printer behaving (very) badly and I’m doing the first of the second batch instead of the last batch. I shall come home in a terrible mood. Anyway, thanks to all for todays puzzle and hints.

  8. I echo Robert’s comments. I worked my way up from south to north, negotiating some twists and turns along the way.

    The committee is split regarding whether 9a enters THE LIST. Nancy Pelosi has the deciding vote.

    Huge thanks to those sympathising with my plight following my second bout of Covid. I’ve tested negative for a few days and I’m feeling much better. Neither H nor ‘the youngster’ caught it, but some visiting family members did test positive when they returned home and we think we have tracked it back to an event we all attended. H is a professional in this field and believes we caught the Orthrus variant. Ho and, indeed, hum.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp.

      1. Sorry, hadn’t picked up that you had succumbed for the second time….hard lines T.
        Glad that you are rallying.

    1. I thought about complaining that I’d never heard anyone use 9a before; it certainly is an ugly-sounding word. Put it on your LIST, Terence!

  9. As RD said, Anthony Plumb’s grid so a safe five bob bet for a very enjoyable puzzle – **/****.

    I did have to e-confirm the former (1999 – 2009) PL in 1a.

    Candidates for favourite – 21a, 23a, and 20d – and the winner is 21a.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Twmbarlwm.

  10. This was straightforward until I worked my way eound to the NE corner, where 1a baffled me for a bit (doh!) And 9a was a new word. It was all very enjoyable and I though 1a was COTD. 25dcandc3d appealed to the geographer/geomogist side of me and 28a for its splendid misdirection. Thanks to the compiler and to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  11. 1a eluded me for a long time, putting me into 3* time.
    An anagram should never elude one
    But, no excuse, we have had this proper noun clue before.
    Otherwise, a fairly speedy solve, slowed by 3d as well.
    17d brilliant, my COTD.
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  12. Unusually I have picked two splendid anagrams as co-favourites, 1 and 27a. I found the puzzle relatively straightforward with just a couple of sticking points, but no real delays. Great entertainment.

    My thanks to both Misters, Plumb and T.

  13. Very enjoyable Tuesday puzzle and my fastest recorded solve since using the puzzle
    Site. Hence a * / **** rating from me.
    Favourites 1a and 12a
    Thanks to Mr Plumb ( if it is he) and Twmbarlwm.

    1. Your comment went into ‘moderation’ as you left the ‘h’ out of your first name in your e-mail address which I have corrected.

  14. I’ve learnt a lot from reading this blog over the past two years – thanks to you all. However today I do not understand what motion has to do with the answer to 1a. Could someone please enlighten me! Thanks

    1. Sir Andrew Motion was Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009. The setter has added ‘perhaps’ to, I think, make it a definition by example.

      Some, me for example, might consider it ‘extreme’ GK.

      1. It took me a long time to get this – and I usually live anagrams. I had plea and was trying to fit in bargain until the penny dropped. Very clever.

        1. Great minds (or not) Daisy. I could not decide whether I was looking for the sort of motion proposed at a meeting, or motion as in movement. If I had clocked the anagram sooner I would not have spent so long on it!

  15. A fun puzzle with a fair amount of head scratching being required. I had the answer to 28a but could make no sense of it because I had forgotten that particular “quarter”. The word at 9a was new to me but totally gettable from the clue. I had “clapped” for 1d at first. I had kind of tweaked LAPD out of it and it led me in to 9a but completely stopped 11a in its tracks. I have two favourites 18a and 21a with the latter just creeping into the top slot.

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

  16. Unlike yesterday never comfortably on wavelength so a laborious completion where it took an eon for the pennies to drop (Manders you weren’t alone – I’m looking at you Andrew). I missed the grace context for the 28a parsing too but otherwise all ok. Don’t know why I made such hard work of it as it wasn’t particularly challenging so am blaming it on solving on an I phone which always compromises my enjoyment of a puzzle.
    Thanks to AP& T

  17. 1a and 3d were my undoing… but I got there eventually. Took ages, though.
    Even so, better for me today than yesterday.

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

    Glorious peace at Meringue Mansions today…..hurrah!

  18. Made life difficult for myself by getting the idea in my head that ‘main’ in 28a was referencing a maritime office and I also had to check on the 25d port. Fortunately it was plain sailing elsewhere with 5,7&20d getting smiles.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb (?) and to Twmbarlwm for the review – think the hint for 3d perhaps needs a tweak, surely the answer starts with a singular fruit followed by ‘s’ for second?

      1. I recognised Kasparov’s name and knew of his achievement but definitely not where he hailed from – you really are a mine of chess information, RD! Bet you didn’t have any problem with the ‘loop’ that turned up in this week’s Rookie – had me totally befuddled.

      1. No problem, just wanted to set the record straight for folk coming to the puzzle later in the day. You’re doing a great job on the blogging front, Twmbarlwm, even our most experienced bloggers make blunders from time to time.

        1. Thanks, Jane. Not my first mistake and no doubt not my last, but it’s all good fun.
          Here’s to the Menai Bridge reopening in the next week or so! 🥂

  19. Found this Tuesday puzzle on the norm for a Tuesday.
    No real issues but just can’t figure out the parsing for 28a, but as I did this on my Monday night, maybe the hints I see tomorrow morning will enlighten me.

    Overall 2.5*/3.5*

    Podium contenders include 9a, 13a, 19a, 7d, 16d & 25d — with winner 13a …. and 19a a close second

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  20. Hmmm. Hard work but doable eventually. Like the Lovely Jane I was looking for the captains cabin at 28a. Some clues just fell into place but hey, who wants an easy ride? No challenge. Thank you Twmbarlwm for parsing 17d, I thought it could only be that. Is the Big Dave meeting going ahead on Saturday? I had hoped to attend a couple of years ago then we had all the lockdowns and now we have bad weather and train strikes. I looked on Google earth and it is a long walk from a station. Thanks to the setter and Twm.

    1. We always used to have a gathering at a delightful pub whose name I forget by the canal on Little Venice on the last Saturday of January- Big Dave’s birthday bash. The last one was pre-pandemic and since then BD has had health issues. There are photos on the website so you can put some faces to names. Several of our friends from other lands have made it on occasions. Super week-end.

      1. The pub is the Bridge House at Little Venice. Always a great day out for us cruciverbalists, and much missed in the past three years.

  21. I did not have any trouble with 9a as neither legal words or French words trouble me too much. This word derives from the French but today we would be more likely to use affirmation. I think aver, the verb, is more familiar. Last one in was 1a. Took along time for the penny to drop even with the capital M. 25d and 28a were the other sticking points. I did finally parse the former but never did the latter! However I got there and not quite 1* due to dithering on those. Very satisfying as very we’ll-clued soon no excuse not to get them. Favourites 1 18 and 21a and, grudgingly 25d once I got there. Thanks Setter and Twm etc.

  22. Mostly straightforward but one or two clues a bit strange 🤔 nevertheless ***/*** Favourites 11a, 22d and 25d 😃 Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the Compiler 👍

  23. 1\3. This was a pleasant puzzle with enough anagrams to gain entry. 1a was my favourite by a mile. Thanks to the setter and Mr T.

  24. Much harder than yesterday’s crossword but the few I couldn’t grasp were solved with the help of Chambers wonderful word wizard. It is a pity that the Poet Laureate honour went to Andrew Motion because although he was not as bad as Alfred Austin he can be mentioned in the same breath. Austin’s poem on the illness of the then Prince of Wales had the deathless lines :

    “Across the wires the electric message came, ”
    He is no better; he is much the same,”

    And the man with no name is not a homophone for a direction in any part of the country I have lived in. There were a couple of other words of dubious and infrequent usage but many good clues of which I liked 21 and 27a.

    Thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter.

    1. I love that couplet! Interesting that something so bad can be so memorable.
      My main memory of Motion is not of anything he wrote, but rather his biography of his friend Philip Larkin (who had himself declined the offer of being PL), and his complaint that being PL had no upside and had stymied his creativity. I think he claimed his £5,000 stipend but still hadn’t received his 600-odd bottles of sherry (the traditional butt of sack) by the time he was succeeded by Carol Ann Duffy. She allegedly insisted on getting the sherry upfront as a condition of accepting the job!

      1. Yes, his poetry is very unmemorable as he is as a person. I heard him speak about a book he was having published but cannot remember the book or what it was about. Now Philip Larkin is a different matter and Booth’s biography is much better.

  25. I always assumed that a poet laureate would be well known .. until now. 5d as my favourite today; thank you setter and Twmbarlwm

  26. I agree Corky, mostly enjoyable but some really weird clues and answers. I just googled the answer to 1a and Motion, I’d never heard of him before. Thank goodness that most were understandable, but oh, my goodness, 17d, 28a, 9a, just to name a few were so odd. I liked 27a but fave was 21a. Are we now in a regular strange crossword on Tuesdays? I hope not.
    Thank you setter, I hope they move you to the end of the week when one expects “weird”. Much appreciation to Toombarloom for unravelling so much.

  27. This was a veritable walk in the park (barring a couple) mainly due to the anagramfest which for my part makes the solve less satisfying. South was least demanding. Thank you Mr. AP (?) and Mr. Twmbarlwm.

  28. Isn’t it strange, I read 1a and wrote the answer straight in. I don’t think I could name another one, I couldn’t name one of his poems though. Pleasantly Tuesdayish with nothing holding me up for very long. Many good clues so hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 22d. Thanks to the setter and T.

  29. Started over breakfast and finished during lunch, having spent most of the morning shopping for a new fridge/freezer, ours having decided to go on the blink. Not easy, they are still in short supply here. Filled about half the puzzle with not too much hard work, but finishing it was harder. Never heard of the poet, nor heard anyone ever say 9a. Some answers didn’t seem like good fits for their definitions. But I enjoyed what I could do, and checkers really helped in some cases.

  30. Today’s back pager (well the website version) was very straightforward and no challenges, even the poet Laureate didn’t fox me but I did smile when I got it.
    My ears pricked up when I saw Little Venice mentioned above. I attended and thoroughly enjoyed the 2020 one and you will see some of my photos in the archives here. The nearest tube is Warwick Avenue but most prefer the rather longer walk along the canal from Paddington. With Big Dave still out of circulation it looks like there won’t be one this year?

    1. Yes, as you say with BD out of circulation it didn’t seem appropriate to hold a bash this year. There is also the ongoing problems of strikes on the railway to consider.

  31. The part of this I solved unaided, I did much faster than last Tuesday’s somewhat controversial puzzle (which I belatedly solved, and have even more belatedly commented on), but I did use some of Twmbarlwm’s hints (thank you) to complete it, so I guess that means that for me it was trickier. I certainly didn’t feel as much on this setter’s wavelength, and there were too many anagrams (which I always have to leave till near the end) for me to get into it easily.

    My favourite was 1a for the disguised definition. I think he’s sufficiently famous for use in a UK newspaper’s crossword — and if you choose to solve a puzzle from a country you don’t live in, you’re probably going to have to put up with a few references that your country doesn’t have.

    The grace in 28a completely stumped me, even once I had the answer. Oxford Dictionaries has 20 citations, but 19 of them are in the negative — it seems to be something you can give an absence of, but rarely actually give it itself!

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