DT 30206 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30206

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30206

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We have been away for a few days staying at a small town called Ohakune, very near to Mt Ruapehu in the centre of the North Island. An enjoyable family time being all together and doing bush walks and generally rambling about on the mountain. The younger fitter members of the family did some serious running too.
Back home and into our regular routine again now.

Another top quality Wednesday puzzle with a few trickier bits of wordplay in the mix.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Turn talk around? One’s certainly capable of that! (7)
WINDBAG : The whole clue gives the definition with the wordplay being the first three words. Turn or rotate and then the reversal of a slang word for talk.

5a     Behave as prisoner with previous? (7)
CONFORM : A three letter term for a prisoner and a word for a criminal record.

9a     Went out with note penned by father (5)
DATED : A note of the sol-fah scale is inside (penned by) a familiar term for father.

10a     Workers keeping united with friend as target of abuse (4,5)
AUNT SALLY : Worker insects contain U(nited) then a friend or associate.

11a     Thought right choice has to include head of finance (10)
REFLECTION : R(ight), then a choice that might be to choose a government contains the first letter of finance.

12a     Prior to run, draw level (4)
TIER : Draw or be equal with comes before (prior to) the cricket abbreviation for run.

14a     Pairs game coming as result of unusually bold use? (5,7)
MIXED DOUBLES : The first word of the answer can be an anagram indicator for BOLD USE to give the second word of the answer.

18a     Set-up of popular stop with everyone inside (12)
INSTALLATION : The two letter popular is followed by a stop, on a railway perhaps, which contains a synonym for everyone.

21a     Leave be, with no end of mess (4)
EXIT : Be or live with the last letter of mess removed.

22a     Lots of one sought by bargain hunter (1,5,4)
A GREAT DEAL : A double definition.

22a     Goes through rubbish, mostly saving poetry (9)
TRAVERSES : Remove the last letter from a word for rubbish that is most commonly heard on the other side of the pond. Inside this put a word that can describe poetry.

26a     Express could produce topless spread (5)
UTTER : Remove the first letter from a dairy spread.

27a     Power engineers are inclined to put on an act (7)
PRETEND : P(ower), then army engineers followed by a word meaning ‘are inclined to’.

28a     The strange island state with moral values (7)
ETHICAL : An anagram (strange) of THE, then the single letter abbreviation for island and a west coast US state.


1d     Big boots offering edge oddly missing in battles (6)
WADERS : Battles or conflicts surround the second and fourth letters of edge.

2d     Brief — unless before end of play (6)
NOTIFY : A 3,2 phrase meaning unless, and then the final letter of play.

3d     Flier may get move, right to the south of European capital (10)
BUDGERIGAR : Shove or cause to move, then the capital of Latvia is followed by (to the south) R(ight).

4d     Hard work and good service — on time (5)
GRAFT : G(ood), then the airborne military service and T(ime).

5d     Doctor can misread official agreement (9)
CONCORDAT : An anagram (misread) of DOCTOR CAN.

6d     Lad raised on hospital grub (4)
NOSH : The reversal of a word for lad plus H(ospital).

7d     One could get bored in Qatar, for example (8)
OILFIELD : A cryptic definition of a fossil fuel extraction area.

8d     Dignitary from Rome say, upset with end of mass (8)
MAYORESS : An anagram (upset) of ROME SAY and the last letter of mass.

13d     Isolated and lacking feeling? (3,2,5)
OUT OF TOUCH : Not having one of the primary senses.

15d     United subject to European record with new side being praised (9)
EULOGISED : In the order they appear in the answer we have E(uropean, then U(nited), a record or diary and an anagram (new) of SIDE.

16d     Avoid parties with favourite from the south (8)
SIDESTEP : Parties or opposing factions and the reversal of a word for favourite.

17d     Rough quotation of energy nonsensical at times (8)
ESTIMATE : E(nergy) and then an anagram (nonsensical) of AT TIMES.

19d     Exercises twice before unwrapping rich digestive (6)
PEPTIC : Two versions of the abbreviations used for exercises and then the central letters of rich.

20d     Sort of tribute that might be spoken in support of Florida (6)
FLORAL : The abbreviation for Florida and a word meaning spoken or not written.

23d     Result in French is absent from publication (5)
ENSUE : A French word for ‘in’ then a publication such as a magazine has ‘is’ removed from its beginning.

24d     Fair charge will cover start of this (4)
FETE : A charge or tariff contains the first letter of ‘this’.

We can’t decide which of 1a or 14a to choose for today’s favourite.

Quickie pun    frieze    +    peach     =    free speech

65 comments on “DT 30206
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  1. Very enjoyable. I liked 14a, the flyer at 3d and the clever 16d but my podium is 1a plus 2d with top spot going to the inventive and funny 19d. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and the Ks.

  2. 2*/4.5*. A fine puzzle to brighten up a dull winter’s day. 14a was my favourite and is joined by 1a & 10a on my podium.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  3. So pleased! This is the 1st 3* difficulty puzzle I have managed to do unaided. Very fair clues and favourite was 3d.
    Your blog has helped me improve from a complete beginner pre covid so thanks to all the bloggers 🥹

    1. Congratulations, Supermum – that’s a tremendous progression in such a short time! When I found this blog a couple of years ago it reawakened my enjoyment of crosswords and has certainly been an invaluable learning resource thanks to the generosity of the bloggers and contributors with the help and advice they all offer.

    2. Congratulations, Supermum! It has taken me the best part of fifty years to get to this stage with the last few years since joining this blog being the best. I came on in leaps and bounds when I joined.

  4. A most enjoyable coffee-break challenge which I was fortunate to find pretty straightforward – and with gab being part of an answer to a Times crossword earlier this week, that particular synonym had not yet descended too far on its journey back to the further recesses. Super clues, and for me 10a, 3d and 19d gained special mentions, with 14a my COTD.

    1.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to Jay & the 2 Ks.

  5. Right up my street today,enjoyed the solve very much,excellent cluing throughout with no obscurities.
    Liked the 25a charade and the surface of 19d and my favourite was 14a – cleverly parsed.
    A **/****.
    Thanks to the 2K,s and our setter for the fun

  6. Thought I had done really well until I noticed that I had the wrong final word for 22a. I was overthinking and equating ‘lots’ with auctions. Otherwise I loved this. Lots of brilliant clues including 10a, 14a, 15d and 19d. Today’s favourite is 3d for the workout around European capitals. Thanks to the compiler and 2Kiwis.

  7. Entertaining challenge with a few head scratching moments.


    Fav’s 28,19 & 1a. LOI 3

    Thanks to setter & 2Kiwis.

  8. Exactly what the doctor ordered, enjoyable puzzle with no particular hold-ups, seemed to be on the right wavelength from the start. Sorry to hear you have had Covid again Terence, jolly bad luck. My printing shift yesterday afternoon was absolutely horrendous and I took 2 whole hours to do one page x 1500 copies. I am seriously thinking of pulling out of this stressful voluntary situation. On Warm Space duty from 1 pm today which is much more fun. Thanks to the setter and 2 birds.

  9. I seemed to find this a bit trickier than other commenters today, although I am in agreement with the 2Ks over the trickiness of some of the wordplay. For me it was a nice step up from earlier in the week and it was fun to unravel. A couple of surfaces stood out for me today, especially 26a and 28a but 14a was clever and gets my COTD. When I parsed it I assumed the anagram indicator was “unusually” – leaving me struggling to see where the first part came from. ***/***

    Ty to Jay 2Ks.

  10. Wednesday’s clues are always thought-provoking, even the small 4-letter clues. It was absorbing and quite enjoyable. I liked the unexpectedness of the 5d anagram and the geographical component to 3d but 10a was my COTD because it made me laugh. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler

    1. I completely missed the anagram, so used to “doctor” indicating anagram! The answer had to be what it was but struggled with the “why”. Good clue.

  11. A bit later commenting today as I’d printed the Toughie my mistake instead of the cryptic, which I completed, and only when I came to comment, realised my error.
    Did this one second and found it turned out to be much harder that the Toughie, took lots of lateral thinking, with many great convoluted clues. Well done to our setter for a real brain twister.

  12. Off to a great start by going ‘up the Downs’ but slowed down a little in the NW before finishing. Jay seemed to be ‘on his own’ this week – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 18a, 4d, and 13d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

    A wee dram later for The Bard of Ayrshire and yours truly.

    1. The NW was the last section for me to complete. I thought I was going to need hints so put it down, had a cuppa then when I came back it all dropped into place. Funny how a break often makes a huge difference. Is that me or do others find that?

      1. I definitely find that, Mike. I think the brain continues to work on the clues subconsciously while we concentrate on other things.

        1. … and perhaps those wrong answers on which we become fixated preventing us from seeing the correct answer fade away and allow us to see other possibilities.

  13. Very enjoyable puzzle for me with plenty to smile about en route to completion. Liked the thought of the big boots – related to bossy boots perhaps? – and my top three were 1a,18d and the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – how lovely for you to spend so much time with your family.

  14. I always look forward to the puzzle on Wednesday but I stared at this for an hour with only 20d and the first 3 letters of 27a completed. Eventually, after another coffee and a dose of Sudafed for my cold, it slowly fell into place. Hopefully my completion will not be annulled by a drugs test.
    Thanks for the puzzle and hints which helped me to parse my answers. My favourites were 3d and 16d.

  15. Another superb JayMaster special, with 14a the apparent runaway favourite, as it is mine, but I also enjoyed 19d, 10a, 22a, & 1a. I must confess to having trouble envisioning–speaking quite literally–any kind of 7d in Qatar, and that one held me up an uncommonly long time. Got there in the end, though, with thanks to the Kiwis and Jay. 2.5*/4.5*

    Very enjoyable Toughie today.

  16. I found this tricky places but no less enjoyable for it. The NE corner held out the longest with 1a being the last to fall. The two anagram indicators in 5d sent me down the wrong path because I used “doctor” and not “misread”. Daft really because “doctor” did not give the correct number of letters. No real favourite today just satisfied to have solved it.

    Many thanks to Jay for the fun and 2Ks for the hints.

    We may be getting a kitten tomorrow. The Cat Protection League rang this morning to say they have matched us with 6 month old ginger tom. We go to meet him tomorrow.

    1. How lovely, I’m getting quite broody! Love kittens and cats, am now down to one, Amalia, it wouldn’t be fair to adopt a kitten at my advanced age.

  17. In perfect harmony with Jay throughout.
    A first.
    And even easier than the two preceding days.
    Most unusual for me for a Wednesday.
    Helped, I am sure by the many Lego clues.
    So, */****
    Thanks, Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  18. Pretty much what I expected for a Wednesday puzzle. Thank you to Jay, and to the Kiwis for the hints and explanations, especially 23d.

    My candidates for favourite were 11a (“Thought”), 20d (“Sort of tribute” — where “might be spoken” wasn’t a homophone indicator), with my actual favourite being 21a’s “Leave be”.

  19. An enjoyable challenge with SE last to come on board. Can’t agree with RD’s choice of 14a as it was a bung-in for me. Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis (hope Chris Hipkins works out well).

  20. Loved this puzzle – a number of excellent and amusing cryptic clues particularly. I found the south 22a easier than the north and it took me a while to crack 2d and LOI 7d (got the fossil fuel reference but erroneously kept wanting the solution to finish with ‘well’. Am with many others above – COTD was the gentle 14a. Thanks to Jay and the two flightless ones.

  21. Enjoyable puzzle, but I spent far too long on 7d, because I had the wrong sort of “bored” in my head.
    Today I have a very noisy kite flying over my garden, and it keeps landing on a very large tree at the bottom of the garden, scaring off all the other birds. I do hope it’s not going to build a nest. If it does, I’ll stand little chance of encouraging the bluetits to start building their nest in my new bird box.
    Enough grizzling. Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  22. This was an absolute gem of a puzzle, with the excellent 14a joining 19d at the top of the podium. Jay at his masterful best.

    Thanks to all three birds involved with today’s production.

  23. Found my way round this puzzle without too much trouble except for a minor skirmish in the NW and one of the four letter clues. I didn’t think it could be Jay as I completed it except for the four letter word by myself so once again he’s taking pity on the numpties who come to this blog. So thank you very much Jay.

    Honourable mentions to 3 and 7d, with a very honourable mention for 15a. Glad to hear the 2Ks had a good break with their family and hope they came back refreshed. Thanks to them for their continuing good work on the blog.

  24. Terrific crossword with neither a hint of the Hanseatic League nor Archimandrites about it. This was no bootless errand. It can be done!

    Thanks to Jay ‘n’ The TwoKays

  25. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable puzzle, and to the 2Ks for the hints, of which I only needed two today, which is good going for me.

    Like Supermum, I’ve improved greatly with the help of this site, and am very grateful for the hard work of all the bloggers.

  26. I thought this a cracking puzzle packed full of podium contenders. I didn’t think there was a weak clue in it but if pressed I’d put 1a along with 3&19d in the medal spots (they can draw lots for who gets what) with near misses for 5,10,11,14&28a plus 2,5&16d. Very enjoyable indeed.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks.
    Ps feeling very smug having flown through the Toughie too only to be brought down to earth by a failure to get 1a – put well up instead of fill up at 1d. What a muppet.

  27. Morning all.
    Looks like most people’s experience of this puzzle was very similar ours. Always a pleasing thing to read when we wake up early on a Thursday morng and turn on the computer.

  28. Another fab puzzle from my favourite setter- always a joy to grapple with a Wednesday Jay. 1d, 2d and 14a were great clues among many others.
    Like others, this site and all its contributors have been instrumental in improving my ability and enjoyment in completing cryptics over the past few years – thanks to all.
    Thanks to Jay and 2k’s

  29. Lovely, enjoyable and solvable puzzle 👍 Hurrah!! 😃 ***/**** Favourites 1a, 5a, 10a and 3d Thanks very much to the 2x Ks and to Jay for brightening up a grey rainy day ☔️

  30. Another enjoyable puzzle although I was a bit slow to get going and there were a couple of ‘doh’ moments. Nodded my head in agreement when reading Supermum’s comments as finding this site has been so inspiring and satisfying. Long may it continue!

  31. Last time I was in the UK was Christmas 2019. Just organised all my travel arrangements to be there again on the weekend of May the 6h 2023.
    How could I possibly miss a coronation? The first and probably the last I will ever witness.
    Can’t wait to be there.
    As for today’s crossword, I love it when everything just flows in.
    A clean and properly filled grid.
    19d was my favourite too.
    Thanks to Jay and to 2kiwis for the review.

  32. I always enjoy Jay so not surprised to find this a joy from start to finish. I had to work for it but I did manage to finish with only help from word search for 3d, in retrospect I have no idea why, it’s so obvious, what other birds have those checkers? I nearly shot myself in the foot by putting “not in” as the first two words of 13d, silly really. There was a lot to like, hard to choose a fave, but I think 14a is it in view of the Aussie Open on now!
    Thanks Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis fir the hints and pics.

    1. In spite of Aussie Open association I wasn’t impressed by 14a mainly because I don’T watch 14A. Merusa, we are 11 hours ahead of Melbourne so I am exhausted from 10 days of before dawn awakenings to watch the Aussie Open whereas you are 16 hours behind Melbourne – so watching too?

      1. No, no way my poorly body wouldn’t be able to do that. Middle of the night? No, no. I’m watching the reruns, here we have a tennis channel and they do a good job of showing the good matches … of course, we don’t get 14a! You’re right, not many people watch them. We played a lot when I lived in Jamaica, it gave everyone a chance to get a game at the club. We had, and I believe still have, the only grass courts in Jamaica. Can’t wait for the French and Wimbledon.

        1. Yes indeed looking forward to other ATP tournaments such as French, Wimbledon, Indian Wells, etc. …. minus Djokovic?!

  33. A red letter day for me, I was on the same wavelength as Jay, can’t remember the last time that happened, some time ago i might add. I sailed majestically through this, I can see why some struggled, believe me I’ve been there but it’s that wavelength thingy. Favourite was 14a. Thanks to Jay and 2K’s.

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