DT 30240 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30240

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30240

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from Almoradí on another chilly but sunny morning.  Forecast is for 21°C later today so that will be pleasant and then it’s high twenties going into next week.  Perhaps spring has sprung!

A pretty normal Monday puzzle today.  It’s mostly benign but there’s a couple of head scratchers and a few bits of complicated wordplay.  Overall it’s very enjoyable as is usual from this setter.

As usual my podium three are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           To co-operate take part in a game before social function (4,4)
PLAY BALL:  The first word is one meaning to take part in a game and the second is a social function or dance.  Always nice when 1a goes straight in!

5a           Is standing next to alluring Scottish castle (6)
GLAMIS:  A slang term for alluring followed by (standing next to) the IS from the clue.

10a         Fee charged by celebrity in show, Loot? (10,5)
APPEARANCE MONEY:  The first word means a show and the second is what the word loot is a slang term for.  LOI for me.  Had a blind spot on the first word, d’oh!

11a         Absurd act of cleaner forced male to leave (7)
CHARADE:  The usual cleaning lady followed by a word meaning forced but without the M (Male to leave).

12a         Having sustained success playing ace part picked up (2,1,4)
ON A ROLL:  A word meaning playing or working followed by A(ce) and then a word which sounds like (picked up) a part in a play.

13a         In-law got disorientated in sleeping car (5-3)
WAGON LIT:  Anagram (got disorientated) of IN LAW GOT.

15a         Parish priest, losing head, may give serious offence (5)
ARSON:  A priest without his first letter (losing head).

18a         Evident across mouth of Thames (5)
OVERT:  Another word for across followed by a T (mouth of Thames).

20a         Hide dollars given by family (8)
BUCKSKIN:  Slang term for dollars, don’t forget it’s plural, followed by the usual family.

23a         Ruler exercises right in capital after revolution (7)
EMPEROR:  The abbreviation of physical exercise and an R(ight) are placed in a European capital city but it’s backwards (after revolution).

25a         Admire a new dessert wine (7)
MADEIRA:  Anagram (new) of ADMIRE A.

26a         Consider of interest old story put on hold (4,4,7)
TAKE INTO ACCOUNT:  A three letter abbreviation of interest  followed by O(ld) and then a word for a story or narrative all placed after (put on) a word which can mean to hold.

27a         Move swiftly along in pursuit (6)
CAREER:  Double definition.

28a         Caused a surprise to begin with — went to the front (8)
STARTLED:  A word for the beginning of something followed by a word meaning went first or in front.


1d           Food fish situation, reportedly (6)
PLAICE:  An edible fish sounds like (reportedly) a situation as in a location.

2d           Help a lama out, being top dog (5,4)
ALPHA MALE:  Anagram (out) of HELP A LAMA.

3d           Bold manner of a daughter in good show! (7)
BRAVADO:  A from the clue and D(aughter) placed inside (in) a word used as an exclamation to mean good show or well done.

4d           Permission  to pull out (5)
LEAVE:  Double definition.

6d           Greek character welcoming a dance (7)
LAMBADA:  Insert (welcoming) the A from the clue into a Greek letter.

7d           Staff set out fruit (5)
MANGO:  A word meaning to staff followed by a word meaning to set out or leave.

8d           Monitor, up in the air, repositioned playpens? (8)
SPYPLANE:  Anagram (repositioned) of PLAYPENS.  Don’t know if this band is named after one of these but it’s a good excuse . . .

9d           Problem caused by a cold potato dish — colcannon, primarily (8)
ACROSTIC:  Start with the A from the clue followed by C(old). After that you need a Swiss dish of grated potato and finally a C (Colcannon primarily).

14d         Let loose dress down, inferior to large one (8)
LIBERATE:  A word meaning to dress down or tell off is placed after (inferior to in a down clue) an L(arge) and the letter that looks like number one.

16d         Religious ceremony after southern song (9)
SPIRITUAL:  Start with an S(outhern) and after it put an abbreviation of a word meaning religious and then a ceremony or rite.  This answer was fairly clear from the checkers but the parsing eluded me for a while!

17d         Violent argument between family and household servant? (8)
DOMESTIC:  Double definition.

19d         Name it, English insect (7)
TERMITE:  A word meaning name followed by the IT from the clue and then an E(nglish).

21d         Wise man perhaps describing French duke’s wolf (7)
SEDUCER:  A wolf as in a man who takes advantage of women.  It’s a word for a wise man placed around (describing) the French word for duke.

22d         This may be classified stuff about social worker (4,2)
WANT AD:  Put a word meaning to stuff around the usual social worker and split the result (4,2).

24d         All right to enter for each game (5)
POKER:  Two letters meaning all right or not bad are placed in (to enter) a term meaning for each.

25d         Had in mind low temperature (5)
MEANT:  A word meaning low or miserly followed by T(emperature).  With the first letter in place I spent too long thing low was going to be MOO, d’oh!

As usual there’s a lot of good stuff but my podium is 4d, 16d and 22d with 16d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:      PURSE     +     WEIGHED     =     PERSUADE

Bottom line:     RECKONS     +     AISLE     =     RECONCILE

3rd pun @ 26 28 30:    LAIKA     +     VERGE     +     INN     =     LIKE A VIRGIN     Thanks to Huntsman for spotting this one.

74 comments on “DT 30240
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  1. Found this tough for a Monday but good fun none the less. Hadn’t heard of the castle at 5a, but it couldn’t be much else from the clue. Favourite today was 8d, very clever.
    Thanks to our setter for this starter to the week.

        1. It was the home of the Earls of Strathmore, the family of the Queen Mother, but Elizabeth II is said to have been born at their London home 17 Bruton Street, Mayfair.

            1. Probably because there was some confusion about it, it being the family home, but also because 4 years later Princess Margaret was born at Glamis Castle.

  2. Trickier than usual for me today. Wasn’t familiar with 13a, which needed confirmation & not sure I’ve ever come across last in 22d without an ED. Like our reviewer the parsing at 16d was a bit of a head scratch. No real favourites but a pleasant enough start to the week.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps Think a Madonna ditty features as a middle Quickie pun at 26/28/30.

  3. A typically enjoyable Campbell puzzle, with the south bwing a bit trickier than the north. I thought 18d and 17d were good clues, qith great nisdirection. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to Campbell for an interesting puzzle.

  4. Very Mondayish, straightforward and enjoyable in a mildly quaint way.
    I’d never heard of 22d, apparently it’s of American origin but it was very sympathetically clued so no complaints.
    Nothing really stood out for me, perhaps 16d for the misdirection though I’m not keen on pi for religious.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

      1. Thanks Pommers, I know that but it’s just a stock abbreviation that’s only ever seen in crosswordland.

        1. I’ve certainly heard people referred to as being ‘pi’, particularly if they are rather ostentatious about being religious or are too good to be true, Stephen.

          1. Absolutely, Chris, uncommon away from crosswords maybe, and less common now than in the past, but very far from unheard of.

            1. Probably more common in Catholic communities. We have had 12 Popes named so, although we put an e at the end, written Pie but pronounced Pee.

    1. My late mother (b.1925) often used the word pi for those who were rather holier-than-thou. She had no time for them at all!

  5. Customarily gentle start to the week.
    Nonetheless enjoyable.
    Sprinkling of old favourites eg 15 and 27a.
    Last in, 22d, not too familiar with this expression but it was somewhere in my mind’s recesses.
    Many thanks Campbell and Pommers.

  6. Very enjoyable Monday puzzle with lots of amusing misdirection. 22d took me far too long to sort out. Although I knew exactly what I was looking for I had it in my head that the ‘classified’ referred to ID and, of course, I couldn’t find a word for ‘stuff’ to fit around it. Huge PDM! That becomes my COTD. Others vying for podium places are 9d, 14d, 17d and 24d, but could be any of the others . Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  7. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but he does seem to have ‘upped the ante’ a little this week – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 28a, 3d, and 19d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Hi, Senf. Thank you so much for recommending An Irish Country Doctor. I am loving it! It’s well written and rather amusing.

  8. A typically Monday morningish puzzle from our regular setter than, although pretty straightforward, had enough fun and guile to keep it entertaining. Unusually, I have picked an anagram, 13a, as my favourite, for the terrific surface read.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  9. 2*/4* providing an enjoyable start to the week, with 1a, 11a & 91d making up my podium.

    I’ve never heard of 22d but it has all the hallmarks of an American expression.

    Is “food” needed in 1d?

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

      1. I only typed that to see if anyone reads my ramblings …

        … believe that and you’ll believe anything!

      1. Corky, there are dozens of six-letter fish (including minnow!) many of which are edible, listed by Mrs Bradford in her Crossword Solver’s Lists book, but none are homophones of a word meaning “situation”.

  10. Very nice, no problems today. I liked 3d, 16d, and 13a best of all. I think Huntsman’s right about a third pun, and a very clever one at that, in the Quickie. Thanks to pommers and Campbell. **/***

  11. North was easier than south having all to 13a without problems and one below before going to the hints. Sore calves from kicking myself hard over some but hat tips to Campbell for others.

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell. Will try harder next Monday.

  12. North was very much easier having all clues across and down to the line of 13 and 15a but only one down clue below. Went to the hints and ended up with very sore calves for some of the answers but with hat tips for Campbell’s clueing.

    My thanks to Pommers and Campbell with a note to self to be more awake and thoughtful next Monday to avoid the Dunce’s Cap.

  13. I finished at my usual-ish pace but looking back over it, I think I made slightly more of a meal of it than I should have with some sitters (eg. 17d, 27a) completely passing me by while unusual stuff like 13a going straight in. As a result, I found the top half filling up quicker than the bottom. A solid Monday offering.

  14. Good enjoyable Monday fare, delayed only by not wanting to write-in my only possible answer for the “I’ve never heard that before” 22d. I agree with RD above concerning the apparently unnecessary ‘food’ in 1d. COTD for me 16d.

    1 / 2.5

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  15. I think Huntsman’s right about the third pun. Not positioned in the puzzle in an area I would normally scan for puns. I’ve put it in the blog.

  16. That was a wonderful accompaniment to the morning coffee. I got off to a flying start with seven across clues followed by the first five downs. These led me into other clues and soon the grid was about half full with the SW corner holding out the longest. I had to look at the hint for 22d because I simply could not get it. When I saw the answer I couldn’t believe I had forgotten that use of “classified”. My likes today are 11a, 14d and 19d. My COTD is 9d because I must have gone though all the potato dishes there are before getting the right one.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun. Thank you, pommers for the hints especially 22d.

    Is there a pun at 28a and 30a in The Quickie?

      1. Thanks, Jane – I couldn’t see beyond the two I had found. I did look to see if 31a could be added to the end but the result was slightly mind boggling. :grin:

  17. Late in today – just one of those mornings! No problems to report but I certainly found the lower reaches required more thought than the top.
    Think my top three were 13&20a plus 21d but could have chosen several others.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – sounded, from the comment pommette left the other day, as though you’re really pleased with your new abode, what a relief!

  18. Mmm….. found this a bit harder than usual for a Monday in the SE but not sure why as all the parsing was fair enough. I thought 17d and 18a were the best my favourite being the latter. About **/*** today. Thanks to pommers and the setter.

  19. Cruciverbal week begins with a smooth ride particularly so in the North but South soon fell in too. Just needed prompt for 22d as that social worker didn’t come to mind. Enjoyed fathoming 13a. Thank you Campbell and pommers.

  20. Slightly more taxing than recent weeks but still an enjoyable Monday outing. The SE was last to fall for me, especially 22d which I’m used to the word having an -ED on the end. I liked 23a. **/*** Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  21. A cracker of a puzzle today so thanks to all. I can recite huge chunks from Macbeth and was very disappointed when we got 12th Night as our set O level book. Always thought it was extremely odd that nobody noticed girls pretending to be boys in Shakespeare – obviously he was decades ahead of his time. COTD 9d

  22. Finally finished and I have to say was much more of an uphill struggle than I have been finding Mondays recently. I needed help for 22d and after a read of the comments rather than the hints I completed 16d. All in all I was pleased to finish mostly unaided. I hadn’t heard of 13a but it had to be that.
    many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the needed explanations

  23. Tougher than normal for a Campbell Monday puzzle … 2.5*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 5a, 13a, 23a, 1d & 9d with no particular winner

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for hints

  24. All good for me except 22d. I thought of one of those columns straight away and I got the social worker. Where I went wrong was to think of pad rather than wad. I’d never heard of a pant ad but then I’d never heard of a want ad. Perhaps we could have a small ad next time. That would be easy to clue! Some great clues. I’ll restrict them to 13 20 and 23a and 3 9 and 21d

  25. I’ve been really enjoying the recent run of Campbell puzzles, but today not so much. Was so hoping for a gentle Monday. This didn’t even feel like a Campbell to me, but what do I know? For me this was a puzzle of a few hints, and then answers led by the available checkers. Agree with some others, tougher than normal and definitely an uphill struggle.

  26. Nice start to the week 😃 ***/*** glad that I wasn’t alone on not spotting the middle phrase, a bit below the belt 😬 Favourites 20a, 19 & 21d 👍 Thanks to Pommers and Campbell

  27. A fun start to the puzzle week – */**** for me. Could the quickie almost as challenging- great
    punnage as always on a Monday
    Fave today was 20a
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  28. Pommers, you rated this as a ** ? Really? I needed copious ehelp. I was lucky as I got the two long ‘uns early on which gave nice checkers. I would have said that 1a is an Americanism but no one has complained. Isn’t that what they say at the start of a rounders (baseball) game? My main problem wasn’t finding the answers but the “why”, I bunged a lot in and they worked. There were a lot to like, 3d and 6d were high on the list, but fave was 13a, mainly because I knew it.
    Thank you Campbell and pommers for his help unravelling most of this. I’m off to the pool for my exercises.

    1. Last week I went for *** and loads of people said was a breeze. This week it ** for me but many of you seem to think it harder. Horses for courses as they say.

      1. Probably all of us have solved a puzzle of above average difficulty in a quicker time than usual, or inexplicably struggled with a fairly easy puzzle (and variations in between).
        Bloggers are just solvers like anyone else, and can only be subjective about their own experience of the puzzle they’ve solved only a few minutes before. If a puzzle isn’t a simple write-in, but doesn’t cause any major trouble, then ** would seem fair. The alternative is to add an extra star or two to be on the safe side, which would be patronising.
        I’ve graded puzzles *** for difficulty and seen commenters marking it * for them – that’s completely normal (we’re all different, as pommers and Brian of Nazareth have already said).

        1. Oh I love “Brian of Nazareth”, Twmbarlwm! “He’s not The Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”

  29. 22d was also new to me and had to be checked.
    Don’t forget that the W in 13a is pronounced V if you want to be understood in France.
    Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the review.

  30. Sorry not been around today. Pommette had me spend the afternoon and a load of Euros in IKEA! The joys of moving house!

      1. Love the word zeugma, Smlyers!

        Great knowledge and respect.

        Talking of which…..another solid start to the week with 27a giving me a headache.

        8d gets a mention in dispatches (or do we prefer despatches? Hmm…) because seeing that playpens is an anagram of anything is outstanding. But, my COTD is 23a for the smoothest of surfaces.


        1. I had never heard it either so I looked it up in my dictionary. I’m none the wiser, too complicated for this tiny brain! But a good word, if I understood it I’d be sure to impress by using it.

          1. “spend the afternoon”: standard English
            “spend a load of euros”: ditto
            “spend the afternoon and a load of euros”: a bit funky, because the “and” is linking “spend” to two separate nouns, but the meaning of “spend” is different in the two cases; that quirk is called ‘zeugma’ (which I always have to look up how to spell)

            If you’re familiar with Have Some Madeira M’Dear by Flanders & Swann, that features several instances of zeugma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OW_zi8n4HDQ

  31. The top half of the puzzle almost wrote itself and I thought today’s offering is going to be over far too soon. Ha! I was so wrong! Most of the second half took twice as long to complete. That will teach me not to get overconfident. 18a had me thinking that I needed to find a word beginning with T and ending in S and with 14d I kept trying to make an anagram! Much to enjoy. Many thanks Campbell and to Pommers.

  32. Mild, but then mild beer is very nice on occasion! An enjoyable easing into the week.

    Many thanks Campbell and pommers.

  33. Add me to the ‘not heard of 13a and 22d’ list, to be fair they couldn’t be anything else. Everything fairly straightforward without being sparkling, maybe we expect too much. Favourite was 9d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  34. I am in the easier in the north camp today, the family row at 17d didn’t seem very violent to me but I suppose victims of 17d violence would have a different view. I was hung up on a more “handbaggsy” tiff. Thanks to Campbell for the slightly tougher Monday workout and thanks to Pommers for explaining a few (any relation to the Wetherby Pomfrets who run Mama Bee’s favourite cafe)

    1. Not to my knowledge. It may be a Yorkshire name but I know of no relatives in the county. We’re all Mancunians!

  35. Completed late after grim day at work, so not in best frame of mind & found this a bit more challenging than recent Mondays especially in the South.


    Fav 20a LOI 22d

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  36. Good evening
    I’m sat sitting in a siding just outside Worcester, finally getting to the end of today’s puzzle….and I have to put my hands up and say: Did Not Complete! For the life of me, I couldn’t get 22d, so thank you Pommers for the answer. Other than that, I had to look up 13a, and I think a raised eyebrow is in order for the synonym in 21d!
    Thank you to today’s compiler as well.

  37. A really enjoyable enough start to the puzzling week, but just as I was getting cocky, having solved the top half at a gallop I came slithering to a sudden halt when I began the bottom half. First I stared like a dummy at 23a, 17d, then 21d and so I ended up taking a breather. Came back to the puzzle, solved 25 and 22d and then somehow all started to run quite smoothly once more. I really do enjoy Campbell’s offerings and this one was no disappointment to me. I think my favourites were 10a, 13a and 26a, but there again many others were well worth the mention. Thanks Campbell and also to Pommers.

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