DT 30236 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30236

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30236

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
While we are having beautiful late summer weather, the parts of the country that were devastated by cyclone Gabrielle continue to have more than their fair share of heavy rain. This is severely hindering the huge clean-up process. We feel very lucky and our hearts go out to those to the north and east of us who are really struggling.

A bit of GK required here in what we thought was another good fun Wednesday puzzle.

We’ll save our setter guess for the morning again.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


9a     Wool supplier completely backed by mother (5)
LLAMA : A word meaning completely is reversed and then a short familiar word for mother.

10a     Girl has an untidy place that’s idyllic (7-2)
SHANGRI-LA : An anagram (untidy) of GIRL HAS AN.

11a     Mustard? You might pick up the seed! (7)
COLONEL : A homophone (you might pick up) of the seed or core.

12a     Wanted something done about Elton’s title? (7)
DESIRED : Something accomplished surrounds the honorific title of Elton the singer.

13a     An unknown detective finding Montezuma? (5)
AZTEC : The shorter way of writing ‘an’, then a mathematical unknown and a slang word for a detective.

14a     Tool used in demonstration in city (9)
MARRAKECH : A garden tool is inside an ambulatory demonstration. (Yes, we did have to check the spelling.)

16a     Pious type, one with seat in Ireland, unified states once (4,5,6)
HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE : String together a synonym for pious, a commonly used printers’ font and then the alternate name for the Republic of Ireland contains one who might have a seat in Westminster.

19a     Send back additional edit for revision (9)
EXTRADITE : A word meaning additional and an anagram (for revision) of EDIT.

21a     Apostate finally accepted by respectable relative (5)
NIECE : A word for respectable or pleasant contains the last letter of apostate.

23a     Flummoxed with income less than outlay? (2,1,4)
AT A LOSS : A double definition.

25a     French good to guard Italian wine in fortress (7)
BASTION : An Italian sparkling wine is enclosed by the French word for good.

27a     Renowned stage close by a railway (9)
LEGENDARY : A stage of a race or journey, close or finish, then ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for railway.

28a     Old number three fouled (5)
ETHER : An anagram (fouled) of THREE.


1d     Alliance in Zagreb locale (4)
BLOC : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

2d     Dancing allowed by graduate student? (6)
BALLET : A university degree, then the student driver letter and a word meaning allowed.

3d     Reform Act with anagram for John’s charter? (5,5)
MAGNA CARTA : An anagram (reform) of ACT and ANAGRAM.

4d     Refuge from year in a favela? (6)
ASYLUM : ‘A’ from the clue and then the more common word for a favela contains Y(ear).

5d     Fellow with the cheek to oust last bureaucrat (8)
MANDARIN : A fellow or chap and then cheek or bravado without its last letter.

6d     Donkey’s stealing heart from Governess Grey? (4)
AGES : Start with the first name of Anne Bronte’s Governess Grey and remove her central letter (heart).

7d     Old PM is with artist entering exotic food shop (8)
DISRAELI : A shop selling exotic food encloses ‘IS’ from the clue and a Royal Academician.

8d     Something stale in the fridge? That’s unlucky (4,6)
HARD CHEESE : A double definition.

13d     Article by Signora Peron, born in Chile, within reach (10)
ACHIEVABLE : The indefinite article and then Chile from the clue contains the first name of Signora Peron and B(orn).

15d     Run from politician going after a Democrat (10)
ADMINISTER : A politician with a seat in Cabinet follows ‘A’ from the clue and D(emocrat).

17d     Greatly upset about hot, sleepy condition (8)
LETHARGY : An anagram (upset) of GREATLY contains H(ot).

18d     Support son immersed in sea and Scots river (8)
MAINSTAY : Another word for the sea, then S(on) and Scotland’s longest river.

20d     My robe redesigned in developmental stage (6)
EMBRYO : An anagram (redesigned) of MY ROBE.

22d     Prophet having Sheila converted (6)
ELISHA : An anagram (converted) of SHEILA.

24d Nothing in which to dip quill? Pen’s sound! (4)
OINK : The letter that looks like zero and then what a writer might dip a quill into.

26d     Fiddling emperor in north-east or heading north (4)
NERO : The compass point north east and the reversal of OR from the clue.

Our favourite and last one in is 6d.

Quickie pun    swayed     +     shoos    =    suede shoes


97 comments on “DT 30236
Leave your own comment 

  1. Thought we were on for a pangram today, but then some letters just didn’t show up. Getting tougher as the week goes on, and at one stage thought I’d have to chuck in the towel with only about a third done!
    Laboured on though and finally got to the finish with admittedly some clues having to be reverse engineered once the answer was in, namely 6d and 16a, the latter of which took some real head scratching and a considerable amount of time. Many thanks to our setter for a really satisfying workout today, great fun.

  2. Very enjoyable. It’s amazing (if this is a Robyn production) how he can switch difficulty levels between his sometimes fiendishly tough Toughies and this relatively gentle back-pager (not an easy skill) without losing any quality.
    Ticks for me (for misdirection and smiles) for 11a plus 6,7,15&24d. Good stuff indeed.
    Thanks to the setter and Ks.

    The Toughie is a tour de force.

  3. Got on like a house on fire until brought to a stuttering halt by 6d. Could only think of three words which fitted the checkers and had to research to find out who Governess Grey was before one of my three words fitted. This LOI became a favourite with 16a and the amusing 24d.

    Thanks to setter and hinters for an enjoyable start to the day.

  4. The third excellent puzzle of the week with lots to enjoy and a touch more of a grey matter challenge.


    Fav 5d LOI 6d clever use of capitalisation.

    Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis

  5. An interesting mix of clue rypes and some General Knowledge oriented ones made this a most enjoyable puzzle with just the right degree of challenge. I thought 14a and 6a were both vwry clever an tbose are joint CsOTD. 19a and18d were also pretty good. Thanks to th compilervand to the Kiwis for the hints

  6. I was slow in the uptake but the bark of this challenge was worse than the bite and I gradually got there with just a little digital help. 14a took a while to dawn on me mainly as I would spell it with an ‘s’ rather than a ‘c’. Failed to tumble to the 6d governess so bunged in. 11a was Fav. Thank you Mysteron and 2Kiwis (commiserations to people in NZ. areas still suffering the rigours of Gabrielle).

  7. A cracking puzzle (easily the pick of the week so far) which seemed really fresh – thanks to Robyn (?) and 2Ks.
    I’d pick out 11a, 16a and 6d for the medals.

  8. 2.5*/2.5*. I found this a bit of a curate’s egg in terms of enjoyment but on balance I felt more positive than negative about it.

    I was a bit bothered by 14a, as I have always spelled it with an S, but Google told me there is an alternative with a C.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  9. A solid midweeker with 16a getting the nod for COTD as I appreciate the effort that went into it or is it ‘in to it’?

    I always struggle with that one.


  10. Like Rabbit Dave above, I was flummoxed slightly by 14a, as I too have always gone with the ‘s’ – so did Graham Nash and that’s a good enough endorsement for me.

    I enjoyed this crossword; more parts of my brain were required to come out of hibernation than were needed for the first two puzzles of the week.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

  11. I’m as certain as certain can be that this was from the same creative hand as last Wednesday’s backpager, Robyn: a similar lightness of touch. Tuned-in immediately and felt it rather more a Monday than Wednesday puzzle – raced through with the only delay being self-imposed, having left 6d to the end in order to parse what I believed to be the correct answer. COTD 1d.

    0.5 / 2.5

    Many thanks indeed to the setter/Robyn and to the 2Ks

  12. I may be going out on a limb but a superb start by going Up the Downs is encouraging me to put my five bob on Jay for today’s setter who, a few weeks ago, said that he was ‘reducing the number of back pagers I am doing’ which I interpreted as ‘not retiring completely’ – **/****

    I did have to look up ‘favela’ in order to solve 4d – when I went to Brazil a few years ago, I was told ‘don’t worry, Portugese is very much like Spanish’ to which I can answer ‘no it’s not.’

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 23a, 25a, 8d, and 13d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to Jay, or whomsoever if my five bob goes down the drain, and thanks to the 2KIwis.

    1. Up until 2 or 3 years ago I always pronounced it “flavela” – no idea where I got the extra L from? My brother heard me say it and took great delight (and amusement) in correcting me!

    2. Yes but it’s donkeys years, not just donkeys. A silly clue in my opinion but that’s just me so hopefully no offence

  13. Needed the reveal on 6d as I was stuck on the heart of governess which provided ‘r’ and therefore no word possible. Got all the rest. Honourable mentions to 11 and 19a and 7d with clue of the day 14a with its gardening reference.

    Weather continues to be with plenty of rain in the biting winds so little gardening getting done.

    Sorry to hear about the continuing travails of those on North Island and thanks to the 2Ks for their hints and parsing.

    Thanks to the Friday setter for a very enjoyable crossword.

    1. Donkey’s is cockney rhyming slang for ‘years’, i.e donkey’s ears – years.

      Reverend Spooner would possibly have said yonkey’s dears because words whose initial letter is a vowel was a problem for him.
      (there’s no proof of this – it’s only a theory)

      This has been shortened to yonks which you may have heard of.

      I use it all the time.

      1. I learn so much more than how to solve a crossword from this site.

        Never knew (or, in fact, wondered) where ‘yonks’ comes from. Thank you!

  14. A splendid, well-balanced puzzle, this. About average difficulty for a Wednesday with excellent clues giving an enjoyable solve. I’ve ticked a fair few clues and will pick 13d for special mention. 2.5*/4*.

    14a reminded me of this from 1969:

  15. Hadn’t realised Robyn had popped in the next day to acknowledge last Wednesday’s excellent guzzle & reckon MG is on the money that this corker is one of his. Easily the best of the week for me too. Great surface reads & very entertaining. No difficulties other than the need to confirm who 22d was. Not a duffer in there & among a plethora of ticks 16a takes the gold with medal spots for 11a & 3d.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks.
    Ps – still 5 shy in a typically entertaining Django Toughie

  16. No real problems again today but I was held up by 7d because I couldn’t work out what was what in the clue :p

  17. I can’t look beyond the excellent 11a for a favourite clue this morning. Overall this was a thoughtful and quite clever puzzle, with just enough awkwardness to stretch out the solving time. The only obscurity for me was the Bronte governess, but the answer was obvious anyway.

    Many thanks to our setter, presumably Robyn, for an entertaining crossword, and to the 2 Ks.

  18. This one hit the spot for me and given the number of idiomatic expressions employed I’m tempted to place my five bob with Senf’s.
    I did have to check on potential spellings of 14a and 6d took me the proverbial ‘donkey’s’ to parse but everything else slotted in quite nicely.
    Favourite was probably 19a.

    Thanks to our setter (hopefully Jay) and to our 2Ks for the review. So pleased that everything was well with your property on your return but life must be so difficult for those of your countrymen who haven’t been as fortunate.

  19. Very enjoyable solve today. The mixture of historical, literary and geographical clues with the odd prophet thrown into the mix was right up my street. Even though a degree of GK was required, all were fairly easily gettable from the wordplay. Lots of ticks on my paper but I will pick out 9a, 11a, 25a, 15d and 24d for particular mention. Thanks to our setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  20. Fantastic puzzle, BOTW so far for me.

    There were many good ones to pick from today, with 13D among them for its nice use of the revered woman concerned, but in the end I gave the laurels to 11A & 24D, both of which made me laugh, a lot!

      1. I have also come across Donkey’s yonks which uses two shortened terms to make it longer again!🤷🏻‍♂️

    1. Whenever I see Chile, I always thinks of the toe-curling, hackneyed joke…

      Where are The Andes?

      At the end of the wristies.

      I’ll start the car…

  21. A very fine, fun puzzle, successfully completed but without having understood the parsing of 6d, 16a (I had grouped pious type together to make the first word) and 28a ( a synonym I have not heard of) so as ever I am grateful for the explanations provided. Too many clever clues to have a favourite.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis

  22. What a fabulous puzzle! I enjoyed this from speedy start to slow finish. Plenty of head scracthers and laugh out loud moments. I particularly liked 24d, which was one that caused a laugh once the penny dropped. 16a with its seat in Ireland also tickled the funny bone but my COTD is the brilliant (to me) 11a.

    Tank you to the setter for the morning fun over coffee, Thank you, 2K’s for the hints and sorry to hear of the devastation in your country but pleased to know you were not affected.

    Perks and Hudson fast asleep together. :grin:

    1. Still cautiously on the edge, Perks hasn’t quite got into the spoon
      position but I am sure it will come!

  23. Excellent puzzle with lots to like. Podium picks for me are 11A, 6D and 13D, with honorary mention to 14A because it’s such a lovely evocative word. Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the blog.

  24. Nice puzzle but still don’t understand the old letter in 28a (nothing in the BRB) and 6d is a mystery all ends up so a bit of a bung in. No idea who or what was Governess Grey.
    Thx to all

    1. Not an old letter Brian, but an old number – a substance that make one numb. 6 down fooled me too, but my wife explained it straightaway, she having read the book, Agnes Grey, that is.
      A good fun puzzle with some super clues to entertain. Thanks to setter and 2 Ks.

    2. Thx for your help. I’m afraid I feel about the Brontë novels the same as I feel about opera, both a total anathema.

      1. 😂 😂 Probably a man thing Brian. Some opera I can enjoy, but Bronte novels I would never consider reading – they are more for t’other half, who I seem to remember “did” them at school many years ago.

  25. Superb and most enjoyable, highlight of the week so far for me. Loved all the GK, especially my COTD, 6d, with 19a and the ingenious assortment of elements in 16a making the podium, but as Huntsman says, there’s not a dud in the grid. Feels like our old Wednesday master to me, but I’ll bet it’s Robyn–either way, one of the best we’ve got. And thanks to the Kiwis. 1* / 5*

    Very challenging Toughie today, still stuck on at least two.

  26. Yes it was a fine puzzle throughout, many thaks to our setter.
    11a reminded me of the board game.
    Favourite was 6a,lots of my charades eg 16a’
    Going for a **/****

  27. Sorry not apropos of todays blog but going through this weeks blogs I found Pommers on Monday where was included what for me is the finest piece of music ever written by man Stairway by LZ, many many thanks for the chance to listen again.

  28. The second quickfire puzzle in a row for me, and I even got the lurker today! I’ll try the Toughie later and find my recent confidence shattered! Last one in for me was 6d, which I needed help parsing. I didn’t know the Mexican Emperor either but got it from the wordplay. 27a was a great lego, but 13d gets my COTD. */***

    Thanks to Robyn (?) and 2Ks

  29. I agree with most of what has been said already, so I will just shut up and say thank you to Messrs Setter & Hinter. 11a gets the daisy, closely followed by 7,17d and 27a. Off to the dentist. 😀

  30. Not even guessing who the mystery setter is for Wednesday today, but I think not Jay again this week.

    2*/3.5* today

    Again today some really clever clues.
    Favourites include 9a, 11a, 28a, 3d, 4d & 7d with winner 11a (!!)

    Smiles for 9a, 7d, 16a & 28a.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  31. Superb puzzle, many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    LOI was 6d, also my favourite – made me smile when penny finally dropped.

  32. What a lovely crossword 😃 ***/**** so many clever and amusing clues but 11a, 11a, 25a and 7d are my choice 🤗 Many thanks to the 2x Ks and to the Compiler 👍 pers obs with my birdwatching hat on 24d Pens i.e. female swans are mute it is geese that go “oink”

  33. 2/4. A well constructed puzzle with some very clever misdirection. Favourites were 11&28a, and 4&24d. The winner was 24d by a short head. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks. I too sympathies with your fellow countrymen recovering from cyclone Gabrielle. We were on a ship which had to take a very wide route to avoid the worst of the storm.

  34. Well I enjoyed that too. I never realised my name was an anagram of anything. Every day a school day as a friend of mine says. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

  35. A clever production from whoever the setter is and thanks to he or she for a **/**** effort. Interesting that there are so many different COTD’s from the brethren. My favourite was 28a but 7&24d were close. Sorry to hear of the 2Kiwis’ country’s meteorological disaster. I have chums in Wellington who are relieved not to live further north. Thanks to the setter.

  36. 24d had me laughing out loud and had to explain to Mem’sahib. 6d defeated me. All that expensive education failed me again **/****

  37. Great to complete unaided.
    But, and a big but, parsing 6d took an absolute age until my literary knowledge kicked in.
    Many a smile eg 11 and 12a.
    The brilliantly constructed 14 and 16a tied for Gold.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis

  38. Morning all.
    We predicted that there would be some swan discussion re 24d. It was our first thought and then porcine accommodation seemed a more appropriate interpretation.
    Rather liked the Quickie pun and wondered if you could describe it ‘One for the money’.
    Agree with other people’s guess that we have a Robyn puzzle again.

  39. Thanks to all for kind comments, I’m glad it was an enjoyable experience.

    Big thanks to 2K: hope everything calms down over there ASAP.


    1. I was 99 per cent convinced you were responsible for this crossword full of fun, I wish I’d risked my 50p

      Thanks very much – come back again soon

    2. Lost my five bob but that was a great puzzle – many thanks for it and also for popping in to claim your winnings!

    3. Ha, so I was as certain as certain could be … good job I’m not a gambling man!

      Thank you for a most enjoyable puzzle, NYDK.

    4. Well, I missed on two counts trying to identify today’s splendid compiler, NYDK, and I should know better than even to speculate. Thank you for a sublime experience. I gave you 5 stars for enjoyment and it would have been more had they been available.

  40. First puzzle I’ve felt like tackling since I hurt my back nearly 2 weeks ago. Beaten by a couple but put that down to the use of a modern 28a
    COTD is 25a because I like the word

  41. I sailed through this today, very unusual for me. It must be a wavelength thing. I readily got donkeys = ages but hadn’t heard of Agnes Grey before. Re comments on Bronte novels, I’ve only read Wuthering Heights (persuaded by a female friend) and I was bowled over by it. 19 a was my COTD.

  42. Good evening
    First attempt for a day or two; happily, all completed with a little help from Dr Google (4d – didn’t know what a favela was) and 22d (checking). A definite Crikey! for 11a and 24d, talk about misdirection!

  43. Another enjoyable romp today which makes it 3 in a row and into nosebleed territory. On a roll! As with most things i have found the more you practice the easier it becomes! Thanks to all.

  44. I really enjoyed this. I was caught by 6d, I completely forgot the first name of that governess, hangs head in shame, but I bunged in the answer. Once I got the first word at 16a the rest just fell into place and gave me a bunch of checkers. I really was on wavelength all the way, plus I knew 13a and the favela. I also had a problem with 11a, I didn’t know the colonel so had to google, once I tumbled to it, that became my fave. I could have chosen many others.
    Thank you NYDK, loads of enjoyment, I hope the rest of the week is half as good. Thank you 2Kiwis, I needed you to confirm the alternative spelling of 14a. Hope your weather improves soon; please send rain here, but not too much!

  45. Almost bunged in Colman’s in 11a and needed a couple of tries before writing in the town in 14a.
    Apart from that, everything went smoothly in this super crossword.
    Thanks to NY doorknobs and to 2 kiwis for the review.

  46. I started well, but then had to leave for appointment with new pain doctor. On return I managed several more answers, and did finish but only with a lot of hints, thank you to the 2Kiwis. Tricky in places, but nothing annoyingly obtuse. COTD for me definitely 11a. Never seen that spelling for 14a, but I thought it only had one R as well. So what do I know? Thank you to NYDK for the exercise. Happy to report I was agreeably impressed with new pain doctor, and his plan of action. Doctors are plentiful and accessible here, but you sometimes have to chop and change before you find the good ones.

  47. I found this tricky and enjoyable, completed unaided other than checking the required spelling for 14a was valid, 6d was a bung in classical literature not being my fortè

  48. A curious puzzle I thought. Lots to like and pretty straight forward only held up by the surprising French spelling of the Moroccan city and 6d. Advice I once received was that donkeys on its own, only defines years not the solution as shown, so no wonder it has provided a stumbling block for many!
    Thanks to the 2Ks and the setter

    1. Good evening ‘Superb scrabble score’.

      6d works in this sentence….I haven’t been to a football match for donkey’s/ages/years.

  49. Very enjoyable puzzle and got off to a good start finished earlier today except for 6d and had to resort to the hints. 3 good puzzles in 3days. Many thanks to N Y Doorknob and the 2Kiwis.

  50. The ‘donkey’s’ thing: that’s CRS (Cockney Rhyming Slang, well-known as an argot, but whose content is not necessarily something to which even Londoners are privy) used as a definition, so I could have been on dodgy ground, but for the fact that most people know THAT one. Yet as contributors have said, most people think the whole phrase is ‘donkey’s years’, whereas in fact it is ‘donkey’s ears’. The second term, as in most CRS, rhyming with the true meaning, i.e. ‘years’, is dropped, thereby encrypting the true meaning of any CRS-laden conversation.

    So there we are. Why is money ‘bread’? Well that one’s ‘bread and honey’, unbelievably something I didn’t know until quite recently.

    Cheers all.

  51. Thank you to NY Doorknob for the fun — and indeed for the explanation of ‘bread’ meaning money.

    I didn’t have time to do this yesterday, so came back to do it today and am glad that I did. My favourite was 27a with ‘stage close by’. When I finally got 28a I was annoyed (with myself, not NYDK) that ‘number’ had managed to fool me yet again. When will I learn?

    And thank you to the Kiwis for explaining the ones I didn’t understand, including the Brontë reference. I probably should do better on that, given Haworth is only a Moor away from us.

    Cheers to anybody still reading this.

  52. 3*/4* …..
    liked 11A “Mustard? You might pick up the seed! (7)”
    & the quickie pun “persuaded (6)” and “waves away (5)”

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.