DT 30223 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30223

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30223
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. I thought this was great fun, with some very tight clueing and clever deceptions. It seemed that for every solution that went in fairly quickly, there was another that held me up for longer than normal, particularly in the top half, a sign of a testing but fair 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.

1a Lessons about girls (7)
CLASSES: A letter that stands for a Latin word for about, or approximately, plus an informal term for girls

5a Tons with money problems (7)
TROUBLE: The single letter abbreviation of ton/tons, plus a unit of currency in e.g. Russia

9a Criminal — is he getting into vehicle for bank job? (7)
CASHIER: An anagram (criminal) of IS HE goes inside (getting into) a type of motor vehicle

10a Stealing on the rise (7)
LIFTING: A double definition

11a Whinge about engineer cites drills (9)
PRACTICES: A reversal (about) of a synonym of whinge, or a kind of fish, is followed by an anagram (engineer) of CITES. Only four words in the wordplay, but I found this quite tough to get. Fixating on ‘about’ being a containment indicator and looking for a synonym of engineer didn’t help!

12a Hold cold fish (5)
CLING: A straightforward juxtaposition of the letter for cold and a type of fish beloved of crossword setters that’s handily also a word for heather

13a Often seen wrapping the present? (5)
TENSE: A hidden solution, well disguised with the help of a clever deceptive definition

15a Nan coughed terribly taking off old uniform (9)
UNCHANGED: An anagram (terribly) of NAN COUGHED minus (taking off) the letter that stands for old

17a Happy lodging in Africa? (9)
CONTINENT: A word meaning happy containing (lodging) ‘in’ from the clue

19a Tablet after start of stomach upset (5)
SPILL: A synonym of tablet follows a first letter as indicated

22a American with endearing accent (5)
ACUTE: A single-letter representation of American plus a word that means endearing or pretty

23a Breaking rules initially in running ashore (9)
BREACHING: A first letter (initially) goes ‘in’ a term for running ashore, as e.g. whales and dolphins sometimes do

25a Sanctimonious judges — they’re dangerous in the main (7)
PIRATES: A two-letter diminutive of a word meaning sanctimonious is followed by a synonym of judges, or scores, as a verb

26a Return to compete, securing record by end of April (7)
REPLACE: A word meaning compete, perhaps in a marathon, containing (securing) a kind of record that’s shorter than an LP, and a last letter as indicated

27a Put off getting something done about amateur (7)
DELAYED: A word for something that’s done or carried out, or in another context a legal document, containing (about) a synonym of amateur, as in e.g. non-clerical

28a Hears student is nearly 13 (7)
LISTENS: A letter for student/learner, then ‘is’ from the clue, plus the solution to 13a missing its last letter (nearly)


1d Hunt perhaps regularly left this bird quarry (7)
COCKPIT: A kind of bird, more generally the male of several species, plus a synonym of quarry or mine as a noun. I think the definition refers to the gentleman in the photo and where he’s sitting, but I could be wrong

2d Hold back sailor with taint of guilt (7)
ABSTAIN: A two-letter initialism of a kind of sailor, plus a word that can mean a spiritual or material imperfection that needs to be washed away

3d He wrote books fast (5)
SWIFT: A simple double definition really, but not so simple that it didn’t take me a while to solve!

4d Severe criticism from building island for university (9)
STRICTURE: A general word for a building or edifice has one letter that stands for university changed to one that stands for island

5d Lists birds — around 50 (5)
TILTS: A common garden bird in the plural goes ‘around’ a Roman numeral

6d Administrators from rotten old chemical company additionally failing to finish (9)
OFFICIALS: A charade of a synonym of rotten, descriptive of food, plus an old UK company whose chairman John Harvey-Jones became a prominent figure in the media, then a word meaning additionally, or too, without its final letter (failing to finish)

7d Bitter about adult’s teasing (7)
BAITING: A synonym of bitter, as in Easterly winds in winter, containing (about) the letter that represents adult

8d What fiancee is tied up? (7)
ENGAGED: A double definition, where ‘tied up’ means busy

14d Most lenient with my muddles (9)
EMINENTLY: My favourite of the anagrams – this one is a rearrangement (muddles) of LENIENT and MY, and has an inconspicuous definition

16d Place of worship had claret prepared (9)
CATHEDRAL: Another anagram (prepared) of HAD CLARET

17d Firmly grasped clubs and hit (7)
CLAMPED: The letter that stands for clubs, from card games, and a word meaning hit, past tense

18d Impartial Liberal following frightful rant about European Union (7)
NEUTRAL: The usual letter for Liberal in politics goes after an anagram (frightful) of RANT containing (about) a common two-letter initialism

20d Parrot — one friend holds it (7)
IMITATE: The Roman numeral for one precedes an informal word for friend that contains (holds) ‘it’ from the clue

21d This could describe slug under the table (7)
LEGLESS: A double definition, one of which is a synonym of drunk

23d Immoral daughter located (5)
BASED: A word for immoral, or vulgar, plus the usual letter for daughter

24d Hats covering European heads (5)
CAPES: A synonym of hats, specifically hats with peaks, containing (covering) the letter for European

My particular favourites were 9a, 13a, 17a, 25a, 1d, 3d & 14d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: RUN + TOO + WAIST = RUN TO WASTE

84 comments on “DT 30223
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  1. A quite brilliant puzzle today, great mix of tricky and convoluted clues which were the perfect balance of challenging while still remaining doable. Can’t see how 1d
    is derived, but only one thing fits (and satisfies some of the clue) so will read the hints for a nudge to the penny. Too many favourites to pick just one. Well done to our setter today, great puzzle.

  2. Lots of engagingly off-centred clueing–often wildly skewed, actually–kept me rather off-centre myself, but except for 1d (a total bung-in since, if I’m right, the clue refers to a now-deceased F1 racer?) a tough but rewarding challenge. Oodles of ticks–14d (COTD), 3d, 23a, 9a, & 4d (even with its tortured surface). Quite a workout for a Tuesday, so many thanks to Twm and today’s setter. 3*/4*

  3. Another sparkling crossword today, which on the whole was straightforward with a few stings in the tail.


    Fav 21d LOI 17d.

    Thanks to setter & Twmbarlwm

  4. Despite getting 1a immediately the NW corner took me as long as the rest of the puzzle to complete. We’ve had 1d clued in various ways previously and this seemed a bit clumsy. I nearly had to resort to the hints for 11a, but then the penny dropped and this became my COTD. Other favourites were 4d, 6d and 21d. Thank you to our setter for a very enjoyable Tuesday morning and Twmbarlwm, whose hints I didn’t need this time but whose blog I always enjoy reading.

  5. 1d was the only one that had me scratching my head, but I think our blogger has probably nailed the parsing. That aside, this was a smooth and steady solve, with the excellent lurker at 13a my favourite. The whole grid felt pleasantly fresh, and was a delight to work through.

    Thanks setter and Mr T.

  6. Apart from 1d, the less about it the better, a very enjoyable Tuesday challenge perhaps more challenging than usual – ***/****

    Favourite – the 13a/28a combo.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  7. 2*/4*. This was good fun with my top picks being 9a, 17a, 6d & 18d.

    I did think that the definition for 1d was a little odd but, like our reviewer, I assumed it must refer to James of that ilk.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

    1. I felt, like Twmbarlwm, that there was a superb mix of the straightforward and the subtly misleading in today’s clues. I really enjoyed this refreshingly different puzzle and particularly liked 13a, 14d and 17d and 21d made me laugh. Many thanks to the compiler and to Twmbarlwm for the hints, not an altogethereasy task today!

  8. A delicious puzzle in that, initially, I glanced at it and thought, “Oh no! I can’t even get started!”
    But then, clue by clue, I built the foundations and completed the edifice with much satisfaction.

    On Sunday we walked around the top of Coombe Hill (near Wendover) which is completely new territory for us (I found it in my walking app). I had heard a little about how the HS2 route was cutting rather a swathe through the countryside… but… my goodness… we were left astonished and saddened by the huge (several hundred yards wide in places) chunks being taken out of this beautiful area. As we drove past yet another mess of chalk, sand, pits, steel, diggers, and building trucks, we turned to each other and said we understood now why there have been so many protests about this ‘high speed rail link’.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp.

    1. The other day Terence you mentioned bring in Shere and the word Gomshall strand into my mind. I seem to recall in my youth all piling into Daddy’s big black car and taking the dog for a walk in Shere and Gomshall. It is quite a vivid memory but of course I could be wrong. Too lazy/otherwise occupied to look it up on the map!

    2. There are some awful acts of eco- vandalism going on in Oxfordshire in the name of HS2, Terence,xlots of AONB and conservation ateas like Otmoor, not to .mention a village graveyard which must be obliterated and the temains moved elsewhere.

  9. I enjoyed today’s crossword. Most went in quite easily but I was delayed by the SE corner until 23a came to me and then the rest fell into place.

  10. An enjoyable puzzle which was fairly straightforward until 1d where only one word would fit. Stared at it for a few minutes until the penny dropped and it became my clue of the day. Can only refer to the workplace of “The Shunt” who died in 1993.

  11. I hesitated over 5a since it seemed to be clued as a plural. Also baffled by 1d but after rejecting the chancellor of the exchequer decided it had to be something to do with the racing driver. Learned a new slang word for ‘hit’ in 17d. All told an interesting puzzle but not too testing. Thanks to blogger for clarifying some parsings and to the setter for much fun. **/****

      1. M. I was just wondering about 5a. Aren’t the two words legitimately interchangeable as in: The protesters are causing constant trouble/problems at the entrance to the facility?

  12. I thought the 1d definition was rather weird (why ‘left’ unless it’s referring to the many times that he crashed?) but, that apart, I enjoyed this. Thanks to our setter and Twmbarlwm.
    My ticks went to 13a, 17a and 21d.

  13. Not exactly a walk in the park but a fun challenge. NE corner came on board first then S with NW bringing up rear mainly due to my vbeing slow in the uptake for 1d. Wanted to use different fifth letter for 17d. 21a Fav. Thank you Mysteron and MrT.

    1. Forget my comment above re 17d but, in any case, I was unfamiliar with that hit synonym although IMHO changing 4th letter would also fit just as readily.

  14. Very enjoyable but despite the above comments still think that 1D is a bit “iffy”. 13A very cleverly disguised. ***/***

  15. I found this quite hard.
    Just could not sync with the setter.
    Nevertheless, completed unaided but in 3* time.
    Thought 14d a bit stretched but who am I to argue with the BRB.
    Heaven forbid!
    13a brilliant
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  16. Funny old game this, I struggled a bit with yesterdays only completing it early this morning, but this one was a steady work through except for the bung in at 1d. Thanks to all.

  17. Fog in the St Albans area put the kibosh on our expected pick up at T5 so it was a journey back with case & golf bag on London Transport having declined a quote of £200 for a cab. I was rather looking forward to using the Elizabethan line, for the first time, to Farringdon but of course that had major delays on it so it was the Piccadilly line to King’s Cross in rush hour to pick up the overland, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun.
    I found the puzzle a very enjoyable & pretty straightforward grid fill in a shade over * time but joined the club who failed to parse 1d. Don’t know why but James never occurred. Hunt is my surname & feel sure I’ve been derogatorily called the first bit of the answer before. Top 3 for me – 23a plus 6&21d
    Thanks to the setter & T

      1. I’ve not sat on a horse in nearly 40 years Daisy – not since one ran away with me on board outside Beverley of all places. I stayed on just about but was absolutely terrified & never again thank you.

        1. I’m so relieved to learn that you’re not a member of the blood-sports fraternity, Huntsman, much happier to think of you as a man who writes interesting comments on the blog but has an unfortunate obsession with golf!

          1. When I was a little girl I witnessed a terrified stag leaping into a river to escape the stag hunters and it swam and swam and swam until it disappeared under the water. It upset me dreadfully and I have never managed to get the image out of my head. Such beautiful creatures.

  18. A bit of a tussle puzzle today. I too don’t get the parsing of 1d although I suppose Twmbarlwm is right with regard to Hunt. Neither did I totally understand 25a. The only clue I really liked was 6d but not enough to make it COTD.

    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

    1. Split your 25a into 2,5 which gives you a short word for sanctimonious plus another word for judges. The resulting rascals were those who plundered sailing vessels in the (possibly Spanish) Main.

      1. Having read your comment to Steve I’ve been trying madly to recall a song without cheating & it’s just come to me – Procol Harem’s Pandora’s Box with the lyric And like some pirate sailor we crossed the Spanish Main.

          1. Thank you, Jane but I have never taken “pi” for sanctimonious. I have had a very sheltered life!

            As for Procol Harum, it is a shame they are only remembered for Whiter Shade, a terrific song that provided the background to many parties when I was an undergraduate. It would then be followed by deep discussion about what the lyrics actually meant once too much beer had been consumed.

            As Huntsman says, Pandora’s Box is great but so is Conquistador and Homburg.

  19. A steady jog through Tuesday’s enjoyable puzzle in **/**** time . Particular picks were 4d and 21d.
    Thanks to setter ( who is it?) and to Twmbarlwm

  20. Very enjoyable, a great improvement for me over yesterdays struggles (never really got to grip with a Campbell puzzle).
    If 1d really does refer to the great James Hunt it gets my award for the most tenuous hint so far this year but the word play was obvious. My favourite was 25a although always nice to see the crosswordland fish!
    Thx to all

  21. Strangely this didn’t present any difficulties apart from 4d when I had to do a reveal. Everything else was fairly clued although 1d was a bung in purely based on a bird and a mine. The Hunt eluded me. Early lunch as I’m off to see a real living, breathing cardiologist this afternoon. Praise the Lord. Although he may be expecting to see the result of my 24hour monitor which of course was cancelled without my knowledge. Hey ho. Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter, and my bestest clue was 11a.

  22. Like others, I wasn’t keen on 1d. The answer was obvious from the last two words of the clue but how the racing driver came to be involved seemed a bit of a stretch. My winning duo were 23a & 21d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

    1. I do agree with you Jane as to 1d. I don’t see where the ‘regularly left’ comes into it unless it is Hunt regularly “leaving” an open 1d.

  23. So it’s where James Hunt is sitting?
    Only one where I answered based on bird and quarry but had no idea why!
    Enjoyed all of the remainder though. Took me an age!

  24. 1D was my last one in and I, too, thought it had to be the racing driver but didn’t care for the clue. But, that was the only glitch in an otherwise super puzzle. 21D is my top pick. Thanks to the setter and Twm.

  25. I made short work of this but very enjoyable nonetheless.
    My favourite was 14d with 17&23a making up the numbers
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  26. Found this Tuesday puzzle this week on the gentler side of things. Much more approachable than the last couple have been, and with nothing to scare the horses today.


    Favourites include 9a, 1a, 23a, 5d, 6d & 8d with winner 8d

    Smiles and chuckles to 9a, 12a, 19a, 3d, 20d & 21d

    Fun solve with the bottom being completed first and the NW the last area completed.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  27. Super puzzle, just a small step up from yesterday’s challenge, I thought. Started at 19a and worked clockwise from there other than to finish with the excellent 1d. Could highlight a whole raft of further clues but will limit to 25a, which amused me greatly.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to the setter and, of course, to Twmbarlwm

  28. Good fun and a **/**** for me, top draw cluing throughout,
    Sitting on the fence for 1d!
    23a my favourite followed by 9a for a splendid surface.
    Glad the bloggers enjoyed the puzzle.

  29. Finally completed but not without a bit of a tussle!
    I needed the wonderful hints to help understand the parsing of 3 (including 1d). For me 4d was last in and although once I spotted it (having had to write it out horizontally) it was obvious and I could see how to parse it. I often find on Tuesday that I end up putting words in but not fully seeing the why!
    I liked 13a for being so well disguised.

    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the brilliant hints and to the setter, whoever it may be.

  30. Thank to the setter Jay? And to Twmbarlwm for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle, but quite tricky, especially the top half. I completed the bottom half fairly easily, but was held up at the top, NW corner being the last to fall. I liked 3d, but my favourite was 13/28a. Was 3* / 4* for me.

  31. Thanks to the setter, for stretching me with some wonderful clues – even more satisfying to finish without help when it isn’t straightforward.

    And many thanks to Twmbarlwm (and all the bloggers) – I’ve learned so much from you all that I’ve progressed from rarely completing on my own to now, when I’m not totally surprised if I do.

  32. Great Tuesday fare, with plenty of fun and challenging clues. Like others, my eyebrows twitched at the definition of 1d but it couldn’t have been anything else. I hadn’t heard of “pi” for sanctimonious before, which held me up on 25a. I found it hard to limit myself to 3 standouts today, but I’ve gone for 13a for the well hidden lurker, 4d for the belated penny drop but COTD goes to 11a, in which I followed the same flawed thought process as MrT… **/****

    TY to the setter (Jay?) and MrT

  33. I thought this a tad easier than yesterday but still a bit tricky. One wonders how doable the puzzle will be by the time we get to Thursday/Friday! I got held up in the SE, needed much help from word search, but got there eventually. Natch, I forgot the word at 21d, that was a huge aha moment. I needed help with a lot of my answers, the only one I got wrong was 17d – “lamped”? Really? I’ll take your word for it. Fave as 3d.
    Thank you setter, and huge thanks to Toombarloom for unravelling so much.

  34. That was an enjoyable solve. Like many others I couldn’t fully parse 1d and spent some time thinking about it before accepting it couldn’t be anything else. I couldn’t get search out of my mind for hunt! Two good puzzles completed in two days 🤞 for tomorrow! Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  35. This might be a stupid question but is the toughie crossword, some of you mention, another cryptic crossword like these ones but just harder or does it have a different twist to it eg different types of clues. I was too scared to show my ignorance on the toughie blog and I am certain I am no where near ready to try one.

    1. If you have the dead tree version of the telegraph the toughie is on the page after the letter page, except on Mondays when there is no toughie. The toughie is what it says on the tin, a cryptic crossword but tougher than the back page. If you are a digital subscriber – pass. I know not.

    2. The Toughie is exactly the same as the back-pager but with less obvious wordplay and occasionally less frequently used synonyms, making it, as the name suggests, more challenging. Have a go at today’s and anything you don’t understand I’ll explain on my blog.

        1. Like you, MissTFide, I steered clear of the Toughie for ages. After about a year on this blog I began to have a look at them. I applied what I had learned from the blog for solving back pagers and found the same logic applied. I have now solved quite a few with help and two unaided.
          Have a go at a Chalicea Toughie. She is quite benign but can have a sting in the tail. The first Toughie I solved unaided was one of hers.

  36. Started off great at 1a, and relieved to find a Monday’s puzzle in the Tuesday slot. Did get a bit trickier as I delved deeper, and I did have to circle back to the NW corner to finish. Stupidly I was stuck on cuckoo for 1d but could see it just wasn’t right, so did have to succumb to a hint there. Thanks to the setter for a very enjoyable solve today.

  37. I am late on parade folks and under orders to cook supper but having briefly skipped through the comments didn’t pick up why I still don’t understand 1d. Yes it was where he sat but not who sat in it. I wrote it in anyway but thought an unsatisfactory clue. Hopefully the Setter – who is always correct I know – will put me right.

    I thought **/**.

    A slightly untypical Tuesday I thought. 26&28d and 4a all very good but overall I was underwhelmed. Thanks Twmbarlwm and he who shall as ever be appreciated.

  38. Good evening
    Thank you Twmbarlwm for explaining 1d – that was the last answer I got and definitely deserves a Crikey!

  39. I’m going to put in a vote for the much maligned 1d…I thought it quite a clever clue! An enjoyable crossword and thanks to the setter.
    I used to work for the old chemical company during John Harvey Jones’ tenure. The were a good company to work for and we did some very interesting research in our division. A shame they no longer exist but times change, I guess.
    Thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints and tips.

    1. I used to work for ICI Brunner Mond and then ICI Pharmaceuticals before moving away to get married. ICI was a great company to work for and I always felt proud to be an employee.

  40. Had to whizz through the comments a bit as I’m late for darts. I parsed 1d as others, one of my heros, Good looking, went out with beautiful women, drove fast cars, amusing and a devil may care attitude. What’s not to like? Enjoyed this more than the toughie. Favourite 1d obviously. Thanks to the setter and T.

  41. Enjoyed this one and loved 25 a. Would have sailed home happily if I hadn’t made a spelling mistake with 11 across. Only twigged because 4 d wasn’t going to make a word. I have a friend who delights in finishing my crosswords because it gives him the added challenge of doing a spell check.

  42. The race driver never came to mind as the logical answer made me think about planes. Even wondered if Gareth Hunt was a pilot in Avengers.
    Like ICI too, only bought their Dulux paint though.
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwn for the review.

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