DT 30211 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30211

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30211
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. A very playful puzzle, beautifully constructed with some interconnecting clues, amusing anagrams, a handful of pretty easy ones, and some where a little head-scratching and perhaps lateral thinking were required. 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.

4a Lettuce variety firm and small (3)
COS: A common two-letter abbreviation for a firm or a business, then the usual letter for small

8a & 29a Stay within budget, as Chunnel consortium had to? (4,4,4,4)
MAKE BOTH ENDS MEET: An allusion to the building of the Channel Tunnel. The two sides of the service tunnel were the first to meet in late-1990, with the two main train tunnels connected the following year

9a Home not yet marvellous? (6)
PREFAB: The wordplay involves an affix that can mean before, and a diminutive synonym of marvellous, often applied to The Beatles

10a Tom Sawyer maybe rude: tavern in uproar! (10)
ADVENTURER: An anagram (in uproar) of RUDE TAVERN

11a Compete against Liberal cutting wages (4)
PLAY: Another word for wages has the letter that’s short for Liberal inserted (cutting)

12a Greek deity once featured in two articles (6)
ATHENA: A synonym of once, or at that time, goes into (featured in) two identical indefinite articles

14a & 21a 26 in 11, Spaniards eat more nuts (8,8)

15a Amply bearded king in his utility vehicle? (7)
HIRSUTE: The Latin letter that stands for King goes ‘in’ a word from the clue, followed by a three-letter colloquialism for utility vehicle, originally an Australian term, but now becoming more popular elsewhere

17a Do we hear Capone is mocking African port? (7)
ALGIERS: A homophone (do we hear) of the notorious gangster (without the __ phonse!), and a verb-form of mocks or heckles

21a See 14 Across

23a O! Aren’t bananas sumptuous? (6)
ORNATE: An anagram (bananas) of O AREN’T

25a Hot body that ultimately squeezes into short sari (4)
STAR: The last letter (ultimately) of a word in the clue goes inside (squeezes into) another word in the clue without its last letter (short)

26a Cleaner moving crates and cases (10)
CHARACTERS: Another anagram (moving) of CRATES preceded by a synonym of cleaner, as in domestic employee

28a Brownie perhaps arrived with artist (6)
CAMERA: A synonym of arrived followed by the usual two-letter initialism of an artist, specifically an Academy member

29 See 8 Across

30a Stick man? (3)
ROD: A double definition, one of which is a man’s name


1d Robber born with that certain something … (6)
BANDIT: The letter for born, a synonym of with, and a two-letter term for an indefinable charm that was famously applied to the actress Clara Bow after she appeared in a movie of that name

2d … something inherited in Guernsey regularly (4)
GENE: An alternate letter clue (regularly)

3d Difference shown by prisoner getting fresh start (8)
CONTRAST: A common abbreviation of a synonym for a prisoner is followed by an anagram (fresh) of START

4d Had race fixed — that’s a ridiculous pretence (7)
CHARADE: An anagram (fixed) of HAD RACE

5d Having role in South Africa’s ancient city (6)
SPARTA: Another word for role, particularly in an acting context, goes ‘in’ a country’s initials

6d Enticement in crude panto time after time (10)
TEMPTATION: An anagram (crude) of PANTO TIME goes ‘after’ an abbreviation of time

7d Spanish wine and pork pie right for royalist (8)
CAVALIER: A sparkling wine and then a different kind of concoction indicated here by rhyming slang, followed by the usual letter for right

12d Timber lifting in Noah’s Ark (3)
ASH: A hidden reversal (lifting)

13d Natural way to achieve financial independence? (4,6)
EASY STREET: A semi-cryptic definition (?), with wordplay of synonyms for each of the first two words of the clue

16d He is the lightest one! (5,3)
INERT GAS: A cryptic definition that fooled me, even though I’ve seen the device used before – I did eventually spot the deceptive element (!)

18d Age concealed by fat old polymath (8)
LEONARDO: A synonym of age, in the sense of a very long period of history, is contained by (concealed by) another word for fat, as a noun, followed by the usual letter for old

19d Perkins or Lawley say to take legal action (3)
SUE: A double definition, probably guessable even if you haven’t heard of the two women referred to

20d Romeo over the moon and part of the family (7)
RELATED: A letter denoted by its term in the NATO/phonetic alphabet is followed by a word meaning over the moon or very happy

22d Sweet drink to hand when holding court (6)
NECTAR: A synonym of at hand, or close, containing (when holding) an abbreviation of court

24d Sailor to attain goal (6)
TARGET: An informal term for a sailor followed by a word meaning attain or obtain

27d Boring master (4)
TAME: A double definition, one of which means unexciting, or domesticated

My particular favourites were 14/21a, 23a, 26a, 6d, 7d, 12d 16d & 18d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: ELFIN + SPECTRE = HEALTH INSPECTOR

108 comments on “DT 30211
Leave your own comment 

  1. Although I filled in the answer, I can make no sense of 16d.

    Thanks to compiler and for the hints ( which I actually didn’t need, this time!).

      1. Oh for goodness sake! I had the answer but could not for the life of me justify it. Science never was my strong point.

    1. It’s a double definition clue, which used to be called a “double straight” clue – or two straight (non-cryptic) clues for the same answer rolled into a single (hopefully confusing) sentence. Apart from sussing out that it’s a DD in the first place (which isn’t always that obvious), these clues are usually pretty easy to solve because there’s often not much deception to speak of.

      1. He is the chemical symbol for Helium which is the ‘lightest one’ (in terms of atomic weight) in the class of chemical elements to which it belongs.

        We have seen this use of ‘He’ before – well worth remembering.

  2. I’m usually not ai keen on interconnecting clues but I quite enjoyed unravelling the tortuous relationship between 14a and 21a and 11a and 26a. 15a and 10a also appealed to me. When the penny finally dropped, I appreciated16d too, althoughvit required a lot of lioking up in Mr Google. Iverall a mischievous and appealing puzzle. Thanks to the compiler and to TwmbElwm dor the hints.

  3. Today is a red-letter day in Crosswordland – not only do we have a superb Robyn Toughie we have this excellent back-pager to boot. Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    I have loads of ticks including 9a, 1d, 16d and 27d but my favourite (because it made me laugh) is 25a.

  4. 2*/4*. This was good fun and not too difficult although it took a bit of time for the penny to drop with 9a, which was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mt T.

  5. My word that really was a delightful walk in the park but all too short-lived. Nothing to whinge about today! Joint Favs 16d and 18d which was in fact my last in as I was tring to use the wrong age. Many thanks indeed Mysteron and MrT.

  6. There was much to like in this excellent puzzle. The combination clues worked really well and there was plenty of humour.
    Like Gazza, I will go for 25a as my CoD – most entertaining.
    27d was my last one in and I spent too much time trying to justify the unjustifiable TIME.
    Great stuff.
    Thanks setter and Twmbarlwm.

  7. Another treat of a puzzle today, slightly more brain power required than yesterday. Took me far longer than it should have done to sort out the anagram at 14/21a, as I was looking for an individual character. Although I had the answer for 16d, the significance of the first word completely escaped me until I read the hints and I’m almost ashamed to admit that I needed the hint for 27d. Favourites today were 8/29a 25a, 13d and 18d. COTD has to be 14/21a for the workout it gave me. Thanks to our setter for a great puzzle on an unusual grid and Twmbarlwm for the help which I needed today.

  8. A real ‘guess the setter’ day as Anthony Plumb can be quickly ruled out, not ‘his grid,’ my five bob will be staying in my pocket. 2.5*/3.5*

    Stand out favourite – the 8a/29a combo.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  9. Started yesterday evening and finished up this morning with fresh eyes for the last few. Lots to like and fun to solve. I whittled down my top picks to 18D, 16D (LOI) and 8/29A, in that order. Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  10. Something of a trip down memory lane for me in this one. Firstly of the childhood friend who lived in a 9a and was the only person I knew whose household boasted a television, albeit one with such a small screen that there was a magnifying lens fixed to the outer casing. Secondly, very fond memories of my first 28a – a Brownie 127.
    So kind of our setter who, having given us a Latin phrase to contend with in 14/21a, followed up with an English translation in 11/26a!

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

    1. Oh Lovely Jane – I too had a Brownie and was a very keen photographer- am even now trying to sort out thousands of photographs- who is going to want them?

    2. I had a box Brownie, I remember it well. Recently Godson went to Blue Mt. Peak in Jamaica, and I was able to find some old grainy pics of his Mum, her brothers, and several others, including me from nearly 70 years ago when we climbed it. Lots of oohing and aahing from the younger ones.

  11. Enjoyable and toe-curlingly clever in places.
    Split clues usually annoy me, especially
    using the electronic puzzle, but the 14/21a and 11/26a combo eventually made me smile! However today’s fave rave was the sickeningly brilliant 16d
    ** / ****
    Thanks to the setter ( who is it?) and to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  12. I didn’t get on with this one as others seem to have done. I’m not a fan of connecting clues because, for some obscure reason, they cause a mental block. I thought 16d was very clever but my COTD 8 and 29 across combination.

    Many thanks to the setter for the challenge. Thank you, Twmbarlwm for the hints, which were most helpful.

    I liked the Quickie pun.

    Lovely and sunny in The Marches but there is a cold wind taking the edge off it. Daily walks are curtailed for hudson and I at the moment because I’m in the middle of the annual post graduate essay and Dissertation marking. This takes up most of my time much to Hudson’t disgust.

              1. 😊 We had a small grey tabby, Merlin, who very much laid down the law to our big yellow lab, Toby. Everyone knew who was boss, including most of the dogs on our street.

                1. It’s amazing really, BL. Hudson wants to be pals but Perks is most definitely only going to agree on his terms. Negotiations are ongoing.

                  1. All my dogs and cats have got on very well. I think that maybe because I’ve always had kittens. I find that grown cats are more likely to accept a kitten rather than hiss and snarl.

  13. Absolutely fabulous puzzle at **/***** with so many COTD’s but 16d cut it and extremely clever. 1&7d also very good. I hope the setter reveals himself as this was my cup of tea. Will read the earlier comments after lunch to see if he has already. Thanks to him and Twmbarlwm.

  14. Lovely crossword today. Lots to laugh at as well as solve.
    Sadly, I could not get 27d without the hint …..

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  15. Great fun! Thank you to the setter, and to Twmbarlwm whose help I needed to complete 27d (the 4-letter double definition), and to Sloop John Bee for explaining 16d — which may now be my favourite.

    Please can somebody explain the definition in 26a? I got the answer from the wordplay (and by reverse-engineering 14a), but I’m failing to think how the answer means ‘cases’. Thanks.

    Of the clues I solved by myself, I really liked 17a (“Capone is mocking”) and 18d (“Fat old polymath”), but my favourite is 8a/29a, possibly because my dad, who designed gears, was brought in to sort out something with the machinery boring the Channel Tunnel; I think my mum may still have piece of the rock from there on her mantel piece.

    I’d be delighted to have more Tuesday puzzles like this.

  16. A fun puzzle for me with a good variety of clues and I did like the interconnecting across clues – 14, 21, 26 and 11. Like many above, COTD for me was the clever 16d; LOI 27d – again one of the smaller words causing me the most difficulty. All solved listening to Chantel McGregor’s second Shed Sessions album – this one includes covers of Radiohead’s Creep and another FMac classic (esp the live version) – Landslide. Chantel comes to Putney at the end of March – might just bag myself a ticket.

  17. Very enjoyable quirky puzzle that had NYDK written all over it!!
    I’ll go with 9&25a plus 16d as my podium sitters but could have selected several more.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  18. Cracking entertainment today with the brilliant 16d taking the top spot. I think NYDK is a good call so thanks to him, apologies to the actual setter if I am wrong, and thanks, too, to Mr T.

  19. Really enjoyed this Tuesday puzzle. Found this less trying than many of the previous Tuesday offerings.

    2*/4* for me today

    Favourites include 8a/29a, 17a, 28a, 7d, 16d & 18d with winner — 8a/29a … great clue IMHO.

    Chuckles and laughs with 26a, 28a, 7d & 16d … all very good clues.
    A fun solve for me.

    Thanks to setter and Mr Twmbarlwm

  20. I, too, am not a big fan of interconnectors but as I cracked these ones fairly swiftly, my anguish was short.

    A really terrific crossword with a few bung-ins and the rest were attainable without a requirement to reference the Ottoman Empire. We had an awful Latin master at school who ruined any possible enjoyment of the subject which is a pity as in later life I enjoy its rhythm and timbre.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp

    Good excuse to post this (9a, and 11a)

    1. Fabulous Penny Lane! I asked my Mum, who was raised in Liverpool, if she knew the street. To my surprise, she said she did and that The Beatles described it perfectly in their song. Praise indeed as she couldn’t stand the group thinking them to be a load of layabouts!

  21. Didn’t have a paper for three years during covid but very pleased to be back in the swing with the DT cryptic crossword. Love the clues and 18d was my favourite today.

  22. Loved this. Brilliant from 4a to the interlocking clues via 15a. Many thanks to The Setter (with capital letters) and to Twm for confirming my guess at 16d. Today is George’s Big Day – we have had so many calls, visitors and bottles – everyone loves George. He even had a card from DD1, prompted by William, which made us both cry!

  23. So glad I wasn’t the only one who needed the hint for 27d.

    16d definitely my favourite today. Ashamed to admit I couldn’t get 11a until I’d solved 14/21 – could not think of a 3-letter word for wages!

    Thanks to setter for a clever and enjoyable puzzle, and to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  24. I found this much harder than others and limped home but at least finished unaided. After my horrendous printing episode last week found myself next to our ‘controller’ at the butchers yesterday. I growled and bared my teeth ferociously at him which he said improved my looks. He apparently did his printing shift after mine the following day with no problems at all – there is no justice in the world. Anyway thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm ( whose name I still have to cut and paste!)

  25. Even my ongoing irritation with the DT’s refusal to properly enumerate interconnected clues in the digital paper puzzle version (ok on their old puzzle website – never tried the new) couldn’t spoil the enjoyment here. Favourite was 8/29a with ticks for 14/21a & the 11/26a translation plus 16d.
    Thanks to the setter & T.

  26. A very enjoyable challenge, just spoilt (for me) by the interconnecting clues. My brain just shuts down and refuses to cooperate with these, and for the life of me I couldn’t see a definition in the clues. But rest of the puzzle more than made up for that.

  27. I really enjoyed this one last night, especially since I find interconnecting clues quite to my liking. So 14,21,26,&11a occupy a very fat podium seat for me. The rest of the puzzle was great fun too. 8/29a may be an old chestnut but I laughed at it all over again. Thanks to Twm and today’s setter. **/****

  28. I found this of even, steady difficulty throughout.
    The interconnected clues added spice.
    9 and 17a made me smile.
    Certainly 18d is my COTD.
    In summary, **/4*
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm for his nicely illustrated review.

  29. Thanks Setter and Twmbarbwm. Twm is the phot of 9a the one at St Fagan? We still had some in Nottingham till very recently. Last ones in 6d, 14 & 21 combo and 9a. Favourites 8/29, 9, 14/21, and 28a and 1, 7, 13 and 20d. Unusual grid – probably too many three and four letter clues. I enjoyed the mental exercise. Unless I missed it I don’t think we have heard from Brian. I’d be interested in his view.

  30. Oh dear! :sad: This is way beyond me – I’ve convinced myself to decide that it’s a bad attack of wrong wavelength-itis!
    Even allowing for the difficulty level (for me, anyway) I’m not very keen on interconnected clues – I always feel as if I’ve gone round in circles and ended up a bit dizzy!
    Thank you both setter and today’s hinty person.

  31. That was really great.
    So many clues made me smile.
    From the bearded king to the fat old polymath and many others, the solve was a joy from beginning to end.
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwn for the review.

  32. 2/4. Great fun and some ingenious clues. My favourite was 9a from a packed field. Thanks to the setter and Mr T. Time to start clearing the snow.

  33. I loved it! The 8/29 clue took a long time as I was fixated on something like keeping one’s head above water, but once I got the checkers I found the error of my ways. Likewise 14/21 had to wait until I got the checkers. Last in as 9a, I had to use a word search. I failed at 27d, so a DNF technically. It’s hard to choose a fave, I liked 18d, 17a and many others, but fave has to be 16d after it was explained to me.
    Thank you setter, I hope you own this, and to Toombarloom for his hints and pics.

  34. Was sailing through this puzzle but unfortunately came a cropper in the SW corner 😟 ***/*** Favourites we’re 8a and 7d 😃 16d and the anagram at 14a were by undoing 🤔 Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the Compiler

  35. Really fun puzzle that contained a few proper mind-benders. It looked like a lot of anagrams from the hints but actually several were very well hidden and I didn’t even spot until I was parsing… I had never heard of the Brownie in 28a so had to get it from the wordplay. I also needed help parsing 26a. Otherwise I thought 16d was very clever, and I liked the connected clues – I don’t recall two referenced clues across two answers before. I’m a sucker for a good Lego especially one that contains CRS, so my COTD goes to 7d **/****

    TY to setter and MrT

  36. Just started and I hate ellipses…. boo to interconnected clues so I instantly went to the answers! I know I would never get them so am now solving the rest of the clues and much happier. However I’m stuck so will comment tomorrow when my brain is fresher. I haven’t noticed anyone commenting on books that are being read. I’m still ploughing through Christmas books which I’m really enjoying – most of them are murders! Off to London family in the early hours tomorrow because of strikes – back to crossword solving on Thursday.

    1. I’ve got Jack Cartwright on Audible at the moment. They are murder detective novels set in Lincolnshire, my home county. I find them relaxing as I settle down for the night – no deep thinking required. For more thoughtful reading and a book that I find amazing is “Chernobyl” by Serhii Plokhy. It is the true story of the disaster and beggars belief.

      Other than those, I am toying with Terry Pratchet and The Discworld novels – mainly because my daughter raves about them.

    2. Hi, Granny+Helen, I’ve been going through the oeuvre of Lawrence Osborne, a journey that started about a year ago with his latest novel, On Java Road, and has continued through five other novels, all written during the 2012-22 decade. A real find for me. Then, because of my Southern heritage (native S Carolinian), I’m now reading a 700 page novel about the American Civil War, which, sadly, began in my hometown of Charleston. It’s by Shelley Burchfield and titled The Earth Remains. Next on my agenda: as many of Somerset Maugham’s short stories as I can find (I just ordered all three volumes of them).

  37. Perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t, but then again I think I’m having a bad day. Having failed to finish the toughie unaided I struggled with the last 4 or 5 clues taking as long as the rest of the puzzle to solve. I’m putting it down to the fact that my dog legged me over last night, I fell and my head hit the wall I then fell back and I landed on my (not very well padded) bottom so I’m a bit bruised and battered. I’ll get over it. 14/21a was unsolvable for me so I used an anagram solver, I didn’t do Latin or French at school (they didn’t think us thickos would need either of them) I’m glad I’m not bitter about it after all these years. Favourite was 17a. Thanks to the setter and T.

    1. What a tale woe, Taylor! I hope your bruises ease soon and that your dog is suitably chastened for incurring such misfortune on Master.

  38. Good evening.
    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints; completed today but with much head-scratching, and a “Crikey!” for both 15a and 16d, the latter having taken a while to figure out!

  39. Thanks to Twm and to all who commented. I am the guilty party on this one.

    Sorry I couldn’t get in yesterday, but I was doing a bit of music. One day, my band’s new album WILL come out, I’m almost sure.


    1. Thank you for popping in and confirming! It was a great puzzle — and the 16d which caught so many of us out provided useful training for solving Dada’s Cross Atlantic today!

    2. I loved it! Thank you for that. Don’t forget to tell us when your new album is out. BTW, what’s the name of your band?

  40. With little or no Latin knowledge, I couldn’t finish today, even though I recognised the anagram in 14a.
    16d also got the better of me.
    Thanks for the enlightenment.

  41. Even though chemistry was my favourite subject in school and I have seen this type of clue before, I still couldn’t see 16d. I couldn’t get ‘man’ out of my head for the second word. I feel really stupid sometimes.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.