DT 30208 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30208

Daily Telegraph No 30208

Hints & Tips by LetterboxRoy

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello Everyone, me again

Thank you to Gazza for rescuing me last week and to Mr Kitty & Senf for their patience and support

I enjoyed the succinct cluing and clever surfaces, thank you setter

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a           Good cryptic clue needed for ‘hot plate‘ (7)
GRIDDLE:  Abbreviation for Good followed by a teaser

5a           Transport coming from chain next to Harvester, we hear (7)
BICYCLE: Sounds like ‘alongside reaping tool’

9a           Model I associated with Kent town (5)
IDEAL: I from the clue and a town on the Kent coast

10a         Hear pin-up getting ordered: ‘Less smiling!’ (9)
UNHAPPIER: Anagram [getting ordered] of the first words

11a         Van I have employed with an object, verbally (10)
TRANSITIVE: Seven letter make of a popular Ford van followed by ‘I have’

12a         Observed knight getting cut (4)
SAWN: Straightforward synonym followed by the chess abbr for knight

14a         Comedy theatre, conceivably, that’s liable to fold (5,2,5)
HOUSE OF CARDS: I assume this is a kind of all-in-one?

18a         Space for reflection in between bridal necessities (8-4)
DRESSING ROOM: Reflection here is a mirror! Place the word IN between two things necessary for a bride Haha – nice

21a         Sluggard heading off for fix (4)
NAIL: Remove the first letter from a notoriously slow animal, one called Brian in Magic Roundabout

22a         Funny pun’s ousted – that’s wicked (10)
STUPENDOUS: Anagram [funny] of the next two words You’re out of touch here, setter – these days it’s sick or dead, innit Bruv

25a         Closest pub: Queen Elizabeth, Second Street (9)
INNERMOST: A three-letter hostelry, UK’s late Queen, a short time [second] and Street

26a         Story of boxer swinging both ways (5)
ALIBI: Mr Clay + bisexual, colloquially

27a         Length of garden reaching maturity (7)
YARDAGE:  Garden as in ‘My back —-‘ plus another word for maturity

28a         Stolen deposit causes tricky situation (3,4)
HOT SEAT: Slang ‘stolen’ plus a blob or blemish a verb to deposit or place.



1d           Celebration of artificial intelligence encountering alien in outer galaxy (6)
GAIETY: The outer letters of ‘galaxy’ contains AI and an Extra-Terrestrial

2d           One caribou taking first step over frozen ground (6)
ICECAP: One is I – caribou ‘taking first’ is C – then reverse [over] another word for a step

3d           Fantasy home should lose moulding (5,5)
DOLL’S HOUSE: Mould, or reshape third and fourth words

4d           See red revolutionary, innocent, given time (5)
ERUPT: Reverse a word for innocent then append with T[ime]

5d           Habits put Victor, with debt, in rehab to reform (9)
BEHAVIOUR: Insert the phonetic Victor, and a promise to pay inside an anagram [to reform] of REHAB

6d           Pandas carried these wood rings out (4)
COPS: The Pandas are cars, homophone [rings out] of a small wooded area

7d           Switzerland heads competition after leader’s avoided playing the knight (8)
CHIVALRY: Swiss IVR at the top of another word for the competition between two greats for example, missing the first letter

8d           Mountaineer in Essex – enthralling oddity (8)
EERINESS: Sure it’s in there somewhere; strangeness is not an oddity for me…

13d         Commentary on social creature, one figuring in large numbers? (10)
ACCOUNTANT: One’s version of events above a tiny creature that may be part of an army

15d         Doctor OKs nurse to restrict temperature, seeing this? (9)
SUNSTROKE: Doctor [tamper with] ‘OKS NURSE TO’ including ‘T’ to find a very uncomfortable condition I suffered putting up tents in Toowoomba

16d         Name that gets abbreviated like I had (8)
IDENTITY: Abbreviate ‘I HAD’ – the name uses the same letters Clever!

17d         Notice animal shelters this person creates (8)
DESIGNER: Bambi, for example, ‘shelters’ [keeps, holds] a notice that may be informative and mounted on poles at roadsides

19d         Garment on the counter, fake – CID obtained arrests (6)
BODICE: A reverse lurker [on the counter][arrests] You will never see ‘rekrul’ here

20d         Terrible thirst – one could get worn out (1-5)
T-SHIRT: [Terrible] THIRST

23d         Repair bed (5)
PATCH:  Double definition; one you might do to a quilt, grow veg in the other

24d         Motorists getting on in district (4)
AREA: UK Motoring assistance service in big yellow vans with AA written all over them, ‘getting’ a crosswordland synonym for ‘on’

I’ve got 16d, 18a and 25a on my podium, good fun to solve


Quick Crossword Pun:


113 comments on “DT 30208

  1. Excellent puzzle, full of this setter’s trademark cryptic wit, had me smiling from start to finish. A nice early birthday present.
    I liked the “space for reflection” and several others but I’ll mention 25&26a plus 6&13d with joint top spot going to the lol 7d and the clever 16d Great stuff.
    Many thanks to Zandio, I’m certain it’s his work, and LBR

    1. I took 14a to be a cryptic definition, the “cards” being humourous people as well as making up the flimsy structure that’s “likely to fold”

    2. Another January birthday! My husband, brother and dear friend all on the 31st!
      Happy birthday.

      1. Thanks Daisygirl, Happy birthday in advance to George. I think it may be Young Salopian’s birthday too!

        1. It is indeed but I wasn’t going to mention it, but now my secret is out, it’s a fair cop. I fear I may have to swap the Y for an O before long. Many Happy Returns Stephen.

    3. Happy Birthday to StephenL and Young Salopian. It seems there are a number on this blog with birthdays in January. :good:

    1. Is this a Zandio puzzle? I think it must be as most of the cliues were a mystery to me. I tried all of them and only managed to fill in 5. Many thanks to LBR for the hints and to the compiler for his efforts .

  2. Great stuff and well worthy of the Friday slot – thanks to the setter and LBR.
    I have lots of ticks on my printout including 14a, 18a, 4d, 13d and 16d.

  3. Definitely a Zandio, Silvanus was on back-page duty yesterday and neither of proXimal’s trade mark features are present.

    ****/** for me – I seem to be ‘drifting away’ from Zandio’s wavelength more and more and had to wait for LbR to explain the parsing of three clues.

    I did like 11a and 25a.

    Thanks to Zandio and LbR.

    1. Welcome, Paul2144! Please don’t be a stranger and continue with your comments! 😎

  4. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss.
    A big thank you to Letterbox Roy for an excellent analysis. Can I add a couple of notes? 14a is a double definition, the first being what it might conceivably mean, and the second being the second definition in Chambers. In 24d, I’m not convinced that ‘getting’ would work as a container indicator, so the indicator is ‘getting X in’.
    An honour to appear on the same day as the 3,000th Toughie — which should be worth trying even if you normally give Friday Toughies a miss.
    Have a great weekend.

        1. Loved the puzzle. Got in a ‘spot’ with 28a, so failed to see the lurker in 18d, hence my visit!!
          Come here often, but v rarely unlurk, though have in the past.
          Thanks to Zandio and to LbR. (And Gazza for the welcome!)

          1. Welcome, Lurker no more. I do hope your moniker means you will lurk no more and join in the idiocy! 😎

  5. Crikey I found this one tough going. Like Senf I really struggled to get on wavelength & still have one or two to parse so will avoid LBR’s review for the moment & come back to it later. I also bunged in spot initially & only corrected when I saw 19d so that delayed completion a fair bit. I see 1d featured in yesterday’s Silvanus puzzle (it was my pick) & another good clue. 26a my favourite.
    Thanks to Zandio & LBR

    1. Just had another look through & had the parsing all figured other than that space for reflection- d’oh.
      Thanks Roy.

  6. Got there in the end , but far too many loose clues [5a ,18a, 27a, 28a, 23d ] . This just makes it a slog ****/** for me I’m afraid

  7. 4*/2.5*. I found this quite challenging and a few surfaces seemed a little strange.

    I took 14a to be a double cryptic definition with a house (theatre) of cards (comedians) being the first, and something that’s liable to fold being the second.

    18a & 16d were both very clever and my joint favourites.

    Many thanks to the setter and to LBR.

  8. The answer given to 10a is incorrect. Having said that, it’s the only one I have solved so far!

  9. A superb crossword, but, my goodness, that stretched me to my solving limits. My brain is still swirling – the weariness, the fever, and the fret!

    Happily, no bootless errands or averments.

    Thanks to the setter and MailRepositoryOrbison

  10. A pleasingly challenging puzzle for a Friday, with a couple of the longer clues forming a solid base from which to work. 14a came close to being my favourite until I solved 25a, my winner today.

    Thanks to Zandio and LBR.

  11. Excellent, excellent, excellent. Superduper puzzle from start to finish. I was eagerly awaiting LbR’s post to help sort out six answers but enjoyed every minute of solving. Thank you Zandio and Roy.

  12. A difficult puzzle, very well clued and requiring a good deal of thought.
    I don’t see a definition in 15d. The wordplay was clear to to get the answer, through an anagram, but I cannot see where the answer relates to a definition in the clue.
    Other than that , a very enjoyable puzzle

    1. Hello JoSelecta. 15d is an &Lit (or all-in-one), where there is wordplay in the clue (anagram plus container) but the whole clue is a definition of the answer. LbR has underlined the last word, which makes sense, but he could equally have underlined the whole clue. Many thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

  13. I wouldn’t have found this easy even if a young ginger Tom with no name hadn’t been walking all over the paper and attacking my pen. I only had a couple after the first pass and it was ages before I got going. It was a worthy challenge and all clues were fair even if I didn’t understand some. Many thanks to LBR for sorting out the latter. I liked 1d but the one that made me laugh out loud (I refuse to put LOL) was 26a and is my COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge and to LBR for the much needed hints

    Cat with no name is still giving Hudson grief but, as the picture shows I think he has taken to me. :grin:

    Hmm- no idea why a link has uploaded and not the picture.


        1. Gorgeous cat! Is it going to become a second Lola? Not that anyone could replace Lola of course- and also it is a Tom, maybe Larry. Definitely made himself at home. Prepare to be enslaved.

    1. Love the nameless new addition to your family – orange tom cats are the best (with apologies to our two beautiful grey ones)! He reminds me of my first cat, Tigger. Our last orange one was called Jaffa. Look forward to hearing what name you decide on – and to lots of photos.
      I’ve only just glanced at the crossword and could’t do a single one.

    2. I think you’ve been accepted, Steve!
      His colouring is apparently known as ‘mackerel’ so may I please enter ‘Mack’ into the competition to give him a name?

    3. Oh what a lovely picture, and yes, he’s definitely accepted you. Our youngest daughter has a ginger Tom called Cooper, a very gentle soul. Thanks for sharing,

    4. The name is about to be revealed!

      All your suggestions were given careful consideration and Mrs. C and I are grateful for all of them. However, we have always named our pets on what they do when they first arrive at Cowling Towers.

      This little chap lightened our lives. He perked us up no end so….

      Say hello to Perks!

      1. Hello Perks, welcome to the BD Telegraph blog. You are now officially our mascot! You have big shoes to fill.

      2. That will do perfectly, Steve, but your comment about naming pets based on what they do when they first arrive leaves me wondering about Hudson!

        1. I thought it was obvious. When Hudson arrived the first thing he must have done was to set a Toughie crossword!

        2. The story behind naming Hudson is a bit too long for here, Jane but it is a fact that he is the only pet to have been named before we got him.

  14. Excellent typical Friday head-scratching exercise. Good range of clues, especially 15a my clue for the top spot.
    Thanks Zandio, for the puzzle (and for owning-up) and thanks LBR for the review.

  15. Slow start but made it with good fun en route. NE last to yield. As per RD, Favs 18a and 16d. TVM Zandio and Letterbox Roy.

  16. Very please to have completed a Friday puzzle, though i had to use the hints to parse 5a and 16d, so thanks for those.

  17. Not for me I’m sorry to say, just 25a that got applause here.

    Thanks to Zandio and to LbR for the review.

  18. An enjoyable Friday romp – I seemed to be on Zandio’s wavelength from the off, with the exception of 6d. I bunged in the answer but needed LBR’s hint to understand why it was correct. Loved 11a and the clever 18a, but as a sports fan COTD has to be 26a which conjured up an aspect of a 20th century icon that I had previously not considered.

  19. 5a is a very poor clue, who pronounces the second part sickle, maybe in some parts of America, but no one in the UK does! Also brought out the NIMBY in me, too many houses!!

    1. I’m in the UK and I pronounce the second part like sickle (not sure how else it would be pronounced to be honest).

    2. I’m another one who pronounces the second half of the complete word ‘sickle’ – and have never heard anyone pronounce the whole word in any other fashion. On their own the last five letters would be pronounced differently, of course, but it was the whole word we were after, not what is surely the abbreviation.

    3. Queen?

    4. I did ask for this comment to be withdrawn as on reflection I thought I was wrong, I suppose I was trying to point out that if you pronounce cycle on its own it’s not sickle,
      anyway the moderator saw fit to ignore my request so thanks for that.

  20. Tough today. Loved 16d, very clever but I thought the homophone indicator in 6d was dreadful.
    At the upper end for my abilities. Took Mrs B and I two visits to complete.
    Thx to all

  21. As with Putney Boy I found myself swiftly tuning-in to Zandio, and in consequence thought this a straightforward and extremely enjoyable tour-de-force of a puzzle. Even if I still can’t parse 16d (fortunately I settled on …..ity instead of …..ify) and missed the homophone indicator in 6d.

    Hon Mentions to 1a, 11a, 25a, 26a and 23a, with 8d just getting pipped to the post by the wonderful and innovative 18a.

    2* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to Zandio and of course also to LBR

  22. For Friday a relatively easy puzzle with some head scratchers that upped my solving time from 1.5*.

    For today 2*/4*

    Had three clues that I could not parse, so will look at hints in the morning to see the explanation in the blog.

    Favourites include 1a, 25a, 28a, 1d & 16d with winners 1a & 1d

    Thanks to Zandio and LetterBoxRoy

  23. A bit tricky this one. Got off on the wrong foot by putting Dream House until I realised it was an anagram. NB remember ‘moulding’. I too fell for the hot spot but thank you Zandio for 10, 14,18,22&25a and 5,7,13&20d. Thanks to LbR for explaining 16d ? still bemused. And thanks to Matt for a brilliant front page cartoon. Some items in the news are beyond belief. I often find myself saying it’s a good job my mother is not alive! Given the chance in WWII she would have sorted Hitler out pretty smartly. I’d like to see her shut in a room with Putin! Have a good weekend everyone. I am preparing for a Party!

      1. No, I think all that malarkey is pretty much behind us now! I’m preparing photographs for George’s Big Birthday.

  24. Really struggled with this, 3 in at the first pass. Did better on the second reading, but still needed quite a few hints, and a couple of reveals.

    I got 16d, but still don’t understand the hint.

    Thanks to Zandio (maybe one day I’ll get on your wavelength!) and LBR for much needed help.

  25. Loved this puzzle today, with quite a few friendly anagrams in helpful places setting me up to a smooth solve. My puzzle of the week, even above the joy of Silvanus yesterday! I’m going to be in total agreement with LBR on favourites; I thought 18a was very clever, 25a a great lego and 16d a real mind-bended (once I belatedly understood it) – with gold going to 18a. Lots of others I could also mention 1d, 6d, 15d, 26a, and 20d… On the other side I thought 5d was difficult for a back-pager, containing a synonym within an anagram. I too needed the hints for parsing 6d, which though I had heard before is quite a dated reference now. **/*****

    TY to Zandio and LBR, and onwards to the special toughie!

  26. Only half done, but being a Friday and a Zandio that is no surprise. Clearly above my pay grade. I always ration myself to only using the hints with pictures, and as there are none today, I tried to solve without any hints. In the end, I did weaken and allow myself a peek at a few, and discovered that I had incorrectly bunged in dream house at 3d. I think the remaining boxes will have to stay empty. Perhaps I’ll do better later.

  27. Oops, *may contain errors*
    Note to self – don’t prepare the blog after the Pub Quiz

    1. LBR, one of the Post Grad students I marked an essay for meant to write the subheading “Root Canal Treatment” but he missed out the letter “c”. My added comment was “sounds painful”.

      I am always banging on about the need for good proofreading having fallen foul myself many times. :good:

  28. I thought that this was quite gentle and very enjoyable until that caribou in 2d bit me in the wazoo, and I finally just gave up and revealed a letter. Grrr. Still, a crackerjack puzzle with 3d and 11a my top choices. Thanks to LBR and Zandio. ***/****

  29. Hello from South Devon! And thanks, LetterboxRoy for lovely blog. But – and I’m obviously in a minority here – I’m still baffled by 16d. I get the id. But the entity? Hey-ho!

    1. The 2-letter abbreviation for the 16d answer (especially when the answer is followed by ‘card’) is the same as the contracted form of ‘I had’.

      1. Thanks, Gazza. (I saw your reply after I saw Zandio’s, in fact.) You’ve spared me a sleepless night!

  30. Hello Linda. In 16d there is no wordplay. It’s a cryptic clue or riddle. The answer is abbreviated the same as ‘I had’. It’s a shame the abbreviation is the same as the first two letters! Many thanks for your comment, it’s appreciated.

  31. I did ask for this comment to be withdrawn as on reflection I thought I was wrong, I suppose I was trying to point out that if you pronounce cycle on its own it’s not sickle.

  32. I kept being interrupted whilst doing this one…rarely had as many people coming to the door for one thing or another.

    A great crossword for me , even though I was stumped by 5a and 6d until I looked at the hints…..and even then had to cheat and reveal 5a. A real brain stretcher.
    Thanks to Zandio for the fun and to LBR for the hints.
    By the way, my sister used to live in Toowoomba…..small world. Don’t remember her erecting tents, though.

  33. This was a bit of a mixed bag for me today. Some clues were straight in, others were beyond me and I had to resort to lots of electronic help. Thank you setter and LBR.

  34. An excellent Friday puzzle from Z. First-rate, pithy clues, a tough challenge and a very enjoyable skirmish with a real sense of achievement on completion. I have ticked quite a few but will pick 11a and 18a as my joint favourites. 4*/4.5*.

  35. I was very much in Florence’s camp with today’s puzzle except I resorted to Bradford’s Dictionary! Many thanks to Zandio and LBR.

  36. Found this tricky but nonetheless enjoyable 😃 ****/**** Favourites 1a, 11a and 13d Thanks to Letterbox Roy and a big thanks to Zandio for taking the time to comment and explain “things” 👍

  37. Tackling this after the “nice and easy Toughie” which wasn’t. I wanted 28a to be hot spot and 14a to be House of Mirth but there you are, those that want don’t get!

  38. Thanks Zandio and Roy. A very good puzzle to accompany the Toughie on an auspicious day.

  39. I’m afraid I fell into the spot trap in 28a which held me up in the SE for longer than I care to admit. Eventually I decided it had to be wrong and searched for other answers, got there in the end. Favourite was 18a. Thanks to Zandio and LBR

  40. Zandio Fridays are always such fun. Thank you for the puzzle, and for popping in, and to LetterboxRoy for explaining the couple I’d answered without knowing why.

    I thought one of 11a (“object, verbally”) or 18a (“bridal necessities”) would be my favourite, till my last in was 16d with the brilliant — and original — “get abbreviated like I had”.

  41. Good morning

    Terrible show yesterday! Ashamed to admit I only solved 11 clues!

    Better luck this afty, I hope…..

    1. Can anyone provide more detail on this one – I kind of get it but feel I may be missing something crucial around abbreviated HAD

      1. Identity (as in Identity papers) is abbreviated to ID (“Have you got any ID?”) and the contracted form of ‘I had’ is I’D.

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