DT 30241 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30241

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30241
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. Some very crisp and elegantly economical clues, and a few deceptive curveballs to keep us on our toes in an excellent, fun puzzle.
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 Wife enthralled by ditching bra — bust’s twitching (12)
BIRDWATCHING: The letter that represents wife goes inside (enthralled by) an anagram (bust) of DITCHING BRA

9a Where camper might be initially irritating on purpose (9)
INTENTION: A concise way of saying where a camper will find shelter is followed by an initial letter and ‘on’ from the clue

10a Singer failing to inhale oxygen (5)
VOICE: A word for a moral failing or bad habit containing (to inhale) a chemical symbol

11a Passes stuff with spades (6)
GORGES: The symbol for spades in card game notation follows a synonym of stuff, or overeat, to get the plural of a geological feature

12a Harry lost aide, getting separated (8)
ISOLATED: An anagram (harry) of LOST AIDE. A neat, potentially topical surface

13a Drink bottle (6)
SPIRIT: A double definition whose solution could have been ‘Courage’ if it were one letter longer

15a Thought current magazine popular with editor (8)
IMAGINED: The usual single letter for electrical current in Physics, a diminutive of magazine, a word for popular or trendy, and the common shortening of editor

18a Everyone beginning to enjoy gruesome parable (8)
ALLEGORY: A synonym of everyone plus a first letter as indicated, followed by a word meaning gruesome or bloody (Language Timothy! Sorry, father.)

19a Apple might make this drink excellent (6)
LAPTOP: Two simple three-letter words for drink, as a verb, and excellent

21a Lead search for marine creature (8)
STARFISH: A term meaning the lead in acting is followed by a synonym of search for

23a Son with great taste (6)
SAMPLE: The common letter for son plus another word for great in size, or generous

26a In conclusion, this writer’s correct (5)
EMEND: Inserted ‘in’ a synonym of conclusion is a personal pronoun that represents the setter (this writer)

27a Joy wearing dress on a regular basis for family members (9)
RELATIONS: A word for joy or bliss has around it ([is] wearing) alternate letters (on a regular basis) in dress

28a Hens and leverets fighting still (12)
NEVERTHELESS: A very happy anagram (fighting) of HENS [and] LEVERETS


1d One goes over these card game rules, finally (7)
BRIDGES: A popular card game, not least in cryptic crosswords, plus a last letter as indicated

2d This spins, whichever way you look at it (5)
ROTOR: A cryptic definition of a palindrome (whichever way you look at it)

3d Milling around thinking over swapping with adult (9)
WANDERING: A synonym of thinking, or speculating, has the letter that stands for over (from cricket scoring) replaced by the letter for adult

4d Slim judge scratching bottom (4)
THIN: A term for judge, as a verb, has its last letter deleted (scratching bottom)

5d Worker a little attractive (8)
HANDSOME: A simple charade of words meaning worker/labourer and a little, or not all

6d Very entertained by Christmas story (5)
NOVEL: The letter for very goes into (entertained by) a term for Christmas, or a newspaper headline in Chicago when there’s a rail strike [You’re fired – Ed.]

7d Individual‘s day in court after it’s rearranged (8)
DISTINCT: The single-letter abbreviation for day precedes ‘in’ from the clue and an abbreviation of court, those two components going ‘after’ an anagram (rearranged) of IT’S

8d Motorway closed, getting repaired (6)
MENDED: The letter for motorway and a word for closed, or finished

14d Poorly and obese — Edward’s doomed (3-5)
ILL-FATED: Synonyms of poorly, then obese, plus a diminutive that this time isn’t a journalist

16d Stand behind aunt and agree changes (9)
GUARANTEE: An anagram (changes) of AUNT [and] AGREE

17d Save page on book (8)
PRESERVE: The letter that stands for page in literary annotation goes ‘on’ a word for book as a verb

18d Europeans weren’t admitting solution (6)
ANSWER: The solution (!) is hidden in the clue (admitting)

20d Papa rents suits (7)
PLEASES: A letter indicated by its term in the NATO/phonetic alphabet is followed by a term for rents or hires

22d Cook something sweet to eat (5)
FUDGE: A double definition, one of which means to alter or falsify

24d Demonstrate range under pressure (5)
PROVE: A synonym of range or wander goes ‘under’ the letter for pressure

25d Boring place to live? (4)
FLAT: A double definition, one of which means lifeless

My particular favourites were 9a, 12a, 15a, 19a, 28a, 16d, 20d and 22d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: GRISLY + BARES = GRIZZLY BEARS

56 comments on “DT 30241
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  1. Very light, enjoyable while it lasted. Crisp and concise clueing, nothing to alarm the equines, and some great surfaces – had to laugh at 1a! Other highlights for me were 9a, 12a, 6d, 14d.

    1 / 3

    Many thanks to Mr Plumb (presumably, given the grid) and to Twmbarlwm.

  2. I spent far too long over 21a going over all the synonyms of lead apart from the correct one. Other favourites were19a and 25d.

    I have been sitting watching the commuter traffic making little progress while trying to get into Aberdeen which has been gridlocked by lorries and buses which have been brought to a halt by four inches of snow. Although the ploughs and gritters were out early, the council insists that the plough blades are six inches above the ground to prevent further damage to the potholed roads. Grit and salt have little affect when it is snowing heavily. I am immensely thankful that my commuting days are over.

    1. Oh dear. I do sympathise. But we’re you sitting in a car ensuring this or watching from the comfort of a window?

      1. I was watching the stationary traffic while clearing the snow from the driveway. It looks as if the snow has now spread to other parts of the UK.

  3. I thought that “twitching” was an anagram indicator in 1a until the penny dropped with a loud clang. Some of the synonyms seemed a bit stretched but overall a pleasant solve. Thank you T(etc) and setter. If anyone has found some missing vowels, could they please contact this website.

  4. A very slow start due to some clever misdirection and unusual synonyms. Once a few checkers went in, things speeded up and reverse engineering proved a useful tactic in parsing a lot of clues. The best of the clues were 1a (one of my favourite pastimes), 2i8a and COTDC 18a. Thanks to the compiler and to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  5. Felt this was slightly easier than yesterday’s offering, but no worse for that & enjoyed over mid-morning coffee break.


    Fav 21a LOI 19a

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm.

  6. Found this one plain sailing until last in 11a where the context of stuff was a bit of a head scratch which extended the solve to 1.5* time. Nicely clued throughout with 15,18&19a the picks for me. Reckon if Jeffrey Donaldson does the Telegraph cryptic he’d have 18a as his COTD.
    Haven’t seen a comment from Jonners of late – hope all ok.
    Thanks to the setter & T
    Ps a treat to have another Robyn Toughie – a fair bit tougher than Sunday but as entertaining as ever.

  7. The topical 12a was my top clue this morning ahead of 1a. As our reviewer says, this was a neat, concise and enjoyable battle for a Tuesday morning. Great fun as always from this setter.

    My thanks to, presumably, Mr Plumb and Mr T.

  8. Light and friendly, with plenty of smiles – what more could anyone want. I liked both 1a and 12a for the surface and 15a and 7d for the extra thought required. 1a gets my COTD today. */****

    Thanks to the setter and MrT

  9. ‘Gateway Timeout’ problems kept interfering with my online reception this morning, but I finally got there in the end, with 19a and 11a my last two to fall. ‘Twitching’ is not a term I’m familiar with in that context (though I’m sure that many Americans must be), and it took a while for me to decide it was not the anagram indicator. No particular favourite though 3d was quite clever and made me mill around in my brain a bit. Thanks to Twm and today’s setter. 2.5*/3*

    Very enjoyable Toughie today!

  10. Reasonably plain sailing except 21a where I found ‘seahorse’ intruding into my mind even though I had no connection in relation to the parsing. Each time I tried to look at the clue sensibly, ‘seahorse’ kept swimming into my poor brain. There could be a new medical condition named after me. Hippocampus Terentius.

    Off to Stamford Bridge tonight where ‘mighty’ Chelsea take on the blokes from Borussia Dortmund. I fear the worst.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp.

    1. I too suffered from Hippocampus Terentius. Once “seahorse” entered the brain, it was blooming hard to dislodge!

    2. Unfortunately the better team from SW6 didn’t do very well in TW8 yesterday. However, they may be ‘relaxing’ as, according to a member of the commentary team, they have sufficient points to avoid relegation!

      Although, Solomon’s follow-up on the free kick rebound off the goal post to score was quite brilliant.

      1. Solomon looks a great prospect. His reaction last night was certainly speedier than the Brentford defender who found his boots concreted to the pitch!
        Marco Silva was a shrewd appointment.

    3. Seahorse did not occur to me, in fact nothing did. But any time an incorrect answer pops into my head it always blocks me from pulling the right answer. So aggravating.

  11. In absolute sync with the setter.
    It just flowed.
    Always enjoy juicy anagrams like 1a.
    In summary, */4*
    Many thanks to the setter for the generous offering and to Twmbarlwm.

  12. 2*/4* I’ll go along with Gazza’s “not too tricky but enjoyable”.

    Perm any three from 1a, 12a, 18a, 19a & 6d to make up a podium selection.

    Many thanks to Mr Plumb (judging by the grid) and to Mr T.

  13. By Tuesday standards, a bit of a head scratcher for me – 2.5*/3.5*

    Mr Plumb’s ‘grid’ but as we saw on Sunday not for his exclusive use.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 18a, 21a, 14d, and 22d – and the winner is 18a.

    Thanks, presumably, to Anthony Plumb and thanks to Twmbarlwm.

  14. Lovely. A rare unaided finish. I too liked 12a. My last in was 7d which took a while to untangle. Thanks to the setter and for hints, which, for once, I didn’t need.

  15. Pleasant solve. 1a last one in fooled by the twitching which I took to be an anagram indicator for far too long – so I will make it my favourite. 11a and 18a worthy of mentions. Now let’s see what the Toughie has in store!

  16. Makes my blood boil when people assume that ‘twitching’ is synonymous with 1a – they’d get kicked out of any self-respecting birding group……… Thankfully, I don’t have to face that as often as poor RD has to when it comes to castles, rooks and even horses!
    Plenty to enjoy elsewhere in the puzzle and my biggest ticks went to 16a plus 6,8&20d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb (?) and also to Twmbarlwm for the review.

  17. A smooth stroll through crosswordland.

    Initially, I thought 21a was shellfish, i.e what Sean Connery says when Mish Moneypenny is being thoughtless.

    It’s amazing how many anagrams there are of 28a.

    It’s such a useful word for compilers as the even letters are e, e, t, e, e & s that end many words.


  18. Enjoyable, but over fairly swiftly. */****
    Particularly enjoyed 3d and 16d. With a 1a start, I began with a guffaw and a broad smile that lasted throughout
    Thanks to Mr P ( if it is he) and to The Wise Man Bringing Answers, Relieving Less Wise Men

  19. Successfully completed todays and I thought easier than yesterday. I thought 12a was my favourite and also fell into wanting sea in 21a until it obviously wasn’t!

    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm (I am so grateful that my autocorrect has learnt how to spell Twmbarlwm for me)

  20. The first clue I looked at (1d) – the answer ‘pontoons’ came to mind; fortunately I didn’t put it in and moved on!

    Thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle, and to Twmbarlwn (I copied the spelling from MissTFide in the post above).

      1. I always mess up when I copy and paste. I just use the name he told us how to pronounce the Welsh one, that I can remember!

  21. 19a my COTD – excellent – with 11a my second favourite for some reason. Pretty even solving throughout fuelled by fairly accessible anagrams and the lurker. All good stuff at **/***. Thanks setter and Twmbarlwm. Late today as the DT arrived in Tavistock only about 1100 today for some reason.

  22. Well I thought this was a fine little puzzle, a very nice dessert to the Robyn Toughie mains.
    I really liked 10&19a plus 7&22d in particular but it was all very pleasant indeed.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm

  23. Another nice Tuesday offering ***/*** 😃 Favourites are: of course 1a and then 13a, 26a and 20d Thanks to TWmbarlwm and to the Compiler 👍 Just a thought 😬 I think 3d should be wondering i.e. milling around “thinking” Over swapping with Adult 🤔

    1. Jaylegs, I think it can be read the way you say at a push, but the convention of having definitions at the start or end of the clue makes it unlikely. (I solved on paper, but have just gone to the online puzzle, which confirms Wandering as correct.)

  24. 3/4. Found this trickier than most. A wavelength thing perhaps. 1a was my favourite by a long way. Thanks to the setter and Mr T

  25. Found this a little tricky especially the lower area and the SE to finish up.

    2.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 18a, 19a, 14d & 18d with winner 18a

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  26. Another enjoyable puzzle and I only needed to look at 2 hints for 13a and 19a. I already had the checking letters and after going through all the drinks I could think of and sip/sup was at a loss! Loved 1a which went in immediately and it gives such a feel good factor when starting also loved the anagram at 28a. Nearly put seahorse for 21a but realised couldn’t be with getting 17d and 22d. Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  27. Yesterday’s puzzle was straightforward however today’s was even less demanding but 28a fun to work through. SW slowest corner. Joint Favs 18a and 19a. Thank you AP and MrT.

  28. Well I was with shellfish as well, 18a was a really nice, straight forward cryptic clue and there was much to like. Everything fell into place once I had checked 21 with Twm. I’m late today as I met a friend for lunch in Saffron Walden – by jiminy it was cold, bitter. Had a delicious lunch of mashed avocado, scrambled egg, cottage cheese and smoked salmon on toast. Yummy. I am sure you are all riveted by that information, but more to the point the road out of SW to Chesterford is lined with hundreds, nay thousands of daffodils which will look fantastic in a couple of weeks time. As will our nearby village of Therfield (Betty Boothroyd s village) who host a daffodil weekend on 25th March. I seem to remember visiting Glasgow and seeing a similar avenue of daffodils. I salute those people who plant up the roadside for our delight. Many thanks also to Messrs setter & Twmbarlwm. 🌼🌼🌼

    1. Shrewsbury is awash with daffodils. The TV gardening expert, Percy Thrower, set up his gardening centre in the town and lived just outside it. He had a huge drive to plant one million daffodils in the town. Judging by the displays by practically every roadside he achieved his goal.

  29. Dead on wavelength today, wotta treat! I only needed ehelp, goodness knows why, for 7d. I didn’t want to spend any more time on that one clue, I was late getting up anyway and must do the pool again, it’s doing me a world of good, feel my legs are getting stronger. Going in and coming out a bit of a bore, bit it’s worth it. Lots and lots to like but I fancied 1a, runner up 19a, nearly fell for the misdirection.
    Thank you setter for making my day, and to Toombarloom for unravelling a couple for me.

  30. Good evening
    Managed to complete with just a little help from my wife, ShanmorTi; several times today the various pennies took a while to drop!
    Thank you to our compiler and to Twmbarlwm

  31. I thought this was tricky at first, but then happily the answers began to fall into place, with the SW corner going in last. Most of the delays were purely my own fault, when I had taken the wrong fork in the road, come up with the wrong definition, or made an anagram out of the wrong words. And I got nowhere near to solving 7d until I read the hint. Oh dear. But I enjoyed it all 28a.

  32. With the checkers available when I saw the spade I immediately went to the garden and it took ages to find the right 18d, same with the marine creature.
    Thanks to Twm for the help and thanks too to the elusive Mr Plumb, does he ever call in to check his creations? Maybe he is a lurker :o

  33. Haven’t got time to read the comments, I’ll do that later having spent too long solving this. I failed to finish the toughie unaided but I did manage this albeit slowly, I think I’m having a bad day. Favourite was 19a. Thanks to the setter and T.

    1. You’re not the only one.
      Just finished it and it took ages as I only had a few scattered answers for some time.
      Once on the wavelength, it improved slightly.
      Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

  34. What with marking essays and taking Mrs C to a fruitless hospital appointment, I’ve had no time for the puzzle today. Just popped in to read the comments.

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