DT 30253 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30253

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30253
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. A superb example of a crossword with clues that are elegant and concise, deceptive but fair, and with consistently amusing surface readings. There were a couple of lovely all-in-ones, some neat examples of misleading changes in parts of speech, plus a decent helping of witty anagrams, 11a being the absolute pick of the bunch. 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 Let everyone old get married (7)
ALLOWED: A charade of a word meaning everyone, the usual letter for old, and a synonym for married

5a Split bananas (7)
CRACKED: A double definition

9a Composer‘s rant with student (5)
RAVEL: A word that’s often coupled with rant, plus the letter for student/learner

10a Norma sent off trinkets (9)
ORNAMENTS: An anagram (off) of NORMA SENT

11a Felt these bats circling area — they often come out at night (5,5)
FALSE TEETH: An anagram (bats) of FELT THESE going around (circling) the single-letter abbreviation of area. An audible chuckle for this one, a rare show of emotion from your stoical blogger

12a Beautiful female — look! (4)
FAIR: The letter that stands for female is followed by a synonym of look as a noun, or bearing

14a Commotions after this month’s orders (12)
INSTRUCTIONS: A word meaning commotions follows the abbreviation of a term for the current month, still sometimes used in legalese and formal correspondence

18a Sister accepting a judgement, finally, following lawsuit for compensation (12)
SATISFACTION: A diminutive of sister containing (accepting) ‘a’ from the clue and a last letter (finally), then a single letter that stands for following, and finally a synonym of lawsuit

21a Python perhaps lethargic (4)
IDLE: A double definition, one of which refers to a comic actor and writer

22a Mike‘s small ring? (10)
MICROPHONE: Words meaning small and ring, as a verb, respectively. For once ‘Mike’ isn’t a phonetic alphabet indicator as I first thought

25a Criticising volunteers about changing course (9)
ATTACKING: A two-letter reversal (about) of an army unit, plus a word for altering course, especially in a nautical context

26a Each golfer regularly wanting this? (5)
EAGLE: Practically an all-in-one definition – or at least a semi &lit.  An abbreviation of each, then alternate letters (regularly) from one word in the clue

27a Rat seen travelling from China, say (7)
EASTERN: An anagram (travelling) of RAT SEEN

28a A tracheotomy’s beginning in that place? (7)
THEATRE: An all-in-one clue where the wordplay leads to the solution, and the surface reading as a whole also leads to the solution. ‘A’ from the clue and an initial letter (__’s beginning) going ‘in’ a word meaning that place


1d A dispute after day at sea (6)
ADRIFT: ‘A’ from the clue plus a word for dispute or schism ‘after’ a letter that stands for day

2d Be left with yard full of beans (6)
LIVELY: A synonym for be, or exist, plus single-letters that represent left and yard respectively

3d More furious head abandoned area (10)
WILDERNESS: A word meaning more furious or more feral, plus a term for a head as a geological feature that’s often relied upon in cryptic crosswords

4d Good-for-nothing doctor working with little energy (5)
DRONE: One of the many two-letter abbreviations of doctor is followed by a word for working, or in operation, and finally the common letter for energy

5d Make prisoner stride around cold (9)
CONSTRUCT: A common word for a prisoner, plus a verb meaning stride or march that goes ‘around’ the letter for cold

6d In China I’m stopping trains (4)
AIMS: The solution is hidden (In)

7d New anorak covering good old jumper (8)
KANGAROO: An anagram (new) of ANORAK going around (covering) the letter for good, the solution completed by a letter representing old

8d Attractive type cut hair, upset (8)
DISTRESS: A word for an attractive person, or a beauty, missing its last letter (cut), plus a word for hair, or a hank of it

13d Harry meets Oprah, showing feeling (10)
ATMOSPHERE: An anagram (harry) of MEETS OPRAH. Nicely topical

15d Custom I’d picked up in train to Barking (9)
TRADITION: A contraction from the clue is reversed (picked up) and put ‘in’ and anagram (barking) of TRAIN TO

16d Guess I am stuck in car? (8)
ESTIMATE: Another two-letter contraction containment, this one being ‘stuck in’ a term for a type of car, sometimes known as a station wagon in N America

17d Adult permitted to be hugged by most of these sportsmen? (8)
ATHLETES: The letter for adult precedes a word for permitted that’s contained by (to be hugged by) a word from the clue without its last letter (most of)

19d Looked for person, by the sound of it (6)
SOUGHT: A homophone (by the sound of) of a synonym for person, as in “she’s a good ‘type'”.

20d Harsh to cut off electricity at first (6)
SEVERE: A synonym of cut off or separate, plus an initial letter as indicated

23d Clever book withdrawn — morally justified (5)
RIGHT: A word for clever has the letter that stands for book deleted from it (withdrawn)

24d A revolutionary’s hurt (4)
ACHE: ‘A’ from the clue followed by the usual three-letter Argentine Marxist revolutionary

My particular favourites were 11a, 22a, 26a, 28a, 2d, 6d, 7d, 13d, 15d and 16d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: GOA + SUE + PLEAS = GO-AS-YOU-PLEASE

91 comments on “DT 30253
Leave your own comment 

  1. Off like a long dog through this one today, and thought it would be a one-cup wonder until I got slowed by the SE corner, which took a bit more of a lateral approach.
    Still a very fair puzzle for a Tuesday and very entertaining, apart from the horribly clumsy clue at 22a, it may be just me, but I thought this was dreadful.
    On the upside though my favourite of the day was the very cunning 19d which may be somewhat easier for us this side of the pond. Thanks to our setter today, good clean fun!

  2. 22a and the brilliant 13d are atop my podium this morning, the latter surely qualifying for clue of the year so far. The whole grid was an absolute delight complete, full of guile and wit.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun, and to Mr T.

  3. At first blush, a guess the setter day but, based on what Cephas told us about Anthony Plumb only ever using one Quickie grid this would appear to be one of his. Very enjoyable and quite light – 1.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite 14a, 25a, 5d, and 17d – and the winner is 14a.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb, or whomsoever, and Twmbarlwm.

  4. I don’t hear any “R” in 19d, I think that pronounciation is confined to the SE of England.
    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

    1. It works fine in the south west of England too, likewise from what I recall, in south Wales and the southern Midlands (eg Oxfordshire).

    2. I’m afraid that I needed the hints to parse 19d. Coming from Bristol. There is absolutely no way I would pronounce soRt like the answer.

  5. A romp and a delight. 28a deserves a mention, too. Very clean. Please forgive me if this has been asked and answered before. Most questions have, I know, and I have no wish to incur the benign wrath of CrypticSue but .. why aren’t the back-page setters bylined, as they are in the Toughie? Surely it would be welcome for us and them to know who they are each day? I can only boggle at the brilliance of those who can spot the setter. I can just about id the X-man and sometimes RayT, Chalicea (could it be her today?) on occasion, but beyond them I’m invariably at a loss. Best thanks, as always.

    1. A telegraph tradition that is ‘proudly but leakily’ maintained. Although, by various means, we do know most of them.

      Most commonly some of the setters do comment on the blog for one of their puzzles – RayT, Silvanus, Zandio, and Cephas for example.

      There are some setters who can be recognised by features of their puzzles – RayT’s clue brevity and single word Quickie clues, proXimal’s 4 Xs or an X-less pangram, Campbell with his ‘multi’ puns.

      And, our esteemed and beloved editor has written articles about some of the setters revealing which day their puzzles appear, if memory serves, Campbell on a Monday was one of them.

      1. Ta for this. It just seems odd to me. We all know there’s a raft of setters, not just one amorphous blob, and they often claim authorship – as you say – on the blog. An open secret that’s about as leaky as a Number 10 knees-up. What’s the point? I will read Twmbarlwm‘s (thank you) link with interest. Perhaps the answer lurks there.

      1. Thanks, again, for this. Very interesting. I can see – just about – both sides. But … I can’t imagine that any setter would be against it. They all use aliases anyway. And the fact that the Toughie doles out bylines does smack of a spot of elitism, which must irk. I’ve never known any writer (or photographer, etc) who doesn’t like a byline. And the other main anti-point seemed to be that it doesn’t matter (naming the setter). But if that’s the case, where’s the harm? Yes, I can see that it might spoil some fun for those with the skill (a skill that I sadly lack) to correctly id the setter. I remember, years ago, being ever so slightly irritated when the solution to the Quickie pun was given the following day. It still is. Until then, it had been a delicious little Easter Egg. But, as most said in this survey, I still think it would be gently pleasing, for all concerned, to know who the setter is. The only one I would ever give a wide berth to would be Elgar but that’s only because he’s far too clever for me!

  6. Nicely flowed to completion.
    Last in, 5a and 8d., very slight hesitation.
    Latter my COTD.
    So, */3*
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  7. I agree with Twmbarlwm about the conciseness and ekegance of the clues provided by today’s compiler. There was some clever misdirection but it was fair. it was one of the most enjoyable solves for a long time and the little hold ups in the SE just added to the challenge. 28a was very crafty as it seemed to be pointing tovanother word I have aeen with a similar clue and 3d and 5d were good too. Having bee caught out before by the old chestnut at 11a, the penny dropped straightaway today but it always makes me laugh. Thanks to our compiler for so ably demonstrating that thoroughly enjoyable puzzle doesn’t have to be a brain-burner and thaanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

  8. A pleasant puzzle (in spite of the teeth-sucking occasioned by the ‘homophone’ in 19d) – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    I ticked 26a, 2d and 3d but my favourite was the very amusing 11a.

  9. For the first time in a few days I sailed through this without any need of outside help. However, and perhaps because there was no head scratching, it lacked the satisfaction that completion usually brings. That said, there was some amusing misdirection and clever anagrams. I’m not really an anagram person but I did like 11a (even though it is an old chestnut) and 13d is my favourite today. Thanks to our setter and Twmbarlwm.

  10. I’m in full agreement with Young Salopian @3 that 13d is outstanding – certainly COTW so far – everything you want from a clue, clever, witty, topical with a great surface. I also liked 11a, and 22a which was a nice misdirection from the normal phonetic use of Mike. Overall this was a super puzzle */*****

    Thanks to the setter and MrT

  11. 1.5*/4.5*. This was great fun with the outstanding 13d my favourite despite many other worthy contenders including the very humorous 11a. It’s unusual for me to have two anagrams at the top of the pile, but these were both exceptional.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

  12. What a beaut.

    It flowed, from start to finish, with my podium being 11a, 26a (I like my golf) and 13d sitting proudly at the top. Brilliant!

    I don’t understand why people comment on a homophone not working for them. We all know that compilers ask for a bit of latitude due to the various accents that are out there.


  13. A miracle has occurred, I managed to complete this before finishing my breakfast. I thought it was clever and elegant. I personally thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly liked 13d and 22a. I learnt a new synonym in 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm for the hints and pics.

  14. Well I for one absolutely loved this and thought it was very clever. So now for ‘guess the setter’ – haven’t a clue, but I never have but thanks to them in any event and for the hints which I didn’t need today. My new favourite ingredient is Nduja which I don’t seem to be able to get round here – our famous Bakers and Larners (Holt’s Fortnum and Mason) hadn’t even heard of it! What is the world coming to.

    1. Plaudits! I love nduja. Yum. I’ve never seen it in a crossword but I managed to use it in a game of Scrabble t’other day and I felt (almost) – clever. Shame on B & L. I stupidly asked for tahini in Sainsbury’s recently – they just tutted and handed me a tub of peanut butter. That learned me..

      1. That reminds me of my trip to a supermarket to buy some dates for Christmas. Having failed to find them where they usually are I asked one of the staff where the dates were. She laughed and said everything has dates on it now, they are on the packet. When I explained there were to eat she did not believe me.

        1. Ha! Good to know I’m not the only one to end up in such scrapes. I will never forget the shame of spotting a signpost in Germany once and trying to find my way to the town of Hazchem!

  15. Well that was very cheering and jolly to complete.
    Look, we’re wise to you now buddy. You only say such pleasant things when you’re full of yourself because, miraculously, you’ve finished a crossword all on your own. Well done. Now get on with it.

    Yesterday we undertook a lovely walk on Box Hill before lunching at an American diner restaurant that appeared to have been dropped into the Surrey Hills direct from Texas. H enjoyed her free ‘Margarita Monday’. I was pleased to get inside away from the drizzle.

    Thanks to the setter and The Twmp.

    1. I have fondest memories of Box Hill. We used to take our Alsatian there for walks and roll down the hill and when we were older we would cycle there from Cheam Village. Happy days. But I am sorry your Lovely Walk was spoiled by rain. Did you spot any purple loosestrife along the way?

      1. DG, I too have similar lovely memories of childhood fun there as children living in Kingswood even to the extent of rolling down the hill followed possibly by tea at the Burford Bridge – “Sweet, sweet the memories …”

  16. 13d the runaway winner in this one – cracking surface read. Ticks also for 11,14,26&28a plus 3,5&19d – homophone works fine for me. Gentle but very enjoyable indeed.
    Thanks to the setter & T.
    Ps Toughie very accessible today though still a couple of parsing head scratchers to figure out.

  17. I look forward to Tuesday puzzles and today’s did not disappoint.
    Agree with Twm… on the excellence of the clueing. Clever, amusing and lightly challenging without being a complete brain slog.
    1* (just) / 5* for me. Favourites include 11a, 14a, 28a , 19d and the fab 13d
    Thanks to setter (Mr P ?) and The Wise Man ….for the hints

  18. As gentle as they come, a steady and swift progression from top to bottom with nothing to delay. As Twmbarlwm says, concise and elegant, and a pleasurable solve. Special mentions to 18, 26 & 28a, with 13d the COTD.

    0.5 / 2.5

    Many thanks to the Setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  19. Fantastic and finished unaided after leaving it for a while to mark essays. I wasn’t too sure about 6d because I don’t see what it has to do with trains. Other than that, some cracking clues with many jostling for the top spot. I thought 3d was very neat with a nice misdirection. 21a raised a smile but my COTD goes to 14a. I just love that word in the second part.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and Twmbarlwm for the hints.

      1. Lyric of the day, thanks DG. I shall spend what remains of March trying to crowbar that into conversation.

  20. Tuesdays have become a real joy to solve recently and this continued the trend.
    My joint winners are 11a and 13d but could have chosen half the grid.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    Ps Today’s Dada Toughie is no more difficult than his Sunday puzzle this week and a lot of fun.

    1. Considerably easier I’d say – reckon your comment on Sunday wondering whether he’d muddled up his envelopes almost prophetic

  21. What an enjoyable solve! So many great clues. But the best one for topicality, with the news of Mr Murdoch’s engagement, has to be 1a.

  22. Completely agree with Twmbarlwm’s comments on elegance and concision but would add my magic word honesty. Some very good clues of which many deserve mention but honourable mentions to 11 and 14a, 5 and 13d. As with many of us long serving apprentices to the trade I would not put money on who it might be, but our venerable crossword editor and Chalices would be choices if threatened with no more cakes.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm for great Tuesday pleasure.

  23. I didn’t like 13d but only because any mention of the pair from Montecito sends me into a frenzy. Very enjoyable notwithstanding! Not many pauses but SW last in. 11a great fun and 28 brilliant. I was fixated with therein. Other favourites – 22a and 3d. Thanks Setter and Twmbarlwm. My IPhone is improving. It has saved my mom de plume and email for the first time and correctly, I think, spellchecked the hunter’s name.

  24. A gentler puzzle than a lot of Tuesday offerings often are, I thought, for today. A couple of head scratchers for me in this one, but overall rate this 2.5*/4*

    Favourites include 8a, 11a, 22a, 7d & 16d with winner 16d

    Fun solve if a little tricky on the way through.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  25. In company with Mhids I didn’t find a lot of 18a in solving this somewhat prosaic puzzle. 22a is a bit iffy. Hadn’t previously associated 4d with someone like a good-for-nothing. Will now look for an alternative challenge for today, may be Dada’s Toughie. Thank you Messrs. Ron and Twmbarlwm.

  26. I look forward to Tuesday puzzles and today’s did not disappoint.
    Agree with Twm… on the excellence of the clueing. Clever, amusing and lightly challenging without being a complete brain slog
    1* (just) / 5* for me. Favourites include 11a, 28a ,19d but 13d most favourite
    Thanks to setter and TWM…

  27. Loved it. Nice occasionally to sail through an uncomplicated solve, a boost to the morale and more time to do all that lovely housework. ☹️ I had an abortive tun to the builders merchant this morning to pick out kitchen fittings for the almshouse renovations, the man I am dealing with had gone out and no one else seemed able to help. Maddening. Now I’m off to Book Group to discuss David Nichols Sweet Sorrow which I enjoyed as a light read. I feel the same about the Montecito pair but it was still a rattling good clue as was 28a. 7d made me laugh although I suspect it is a chestnut. Huge thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  28. Elegant clueing at its best, putting a smile back on my face after a long morning battling with the car insurance renewal! Thank goodness for the comparison sites & the internet instead of paying 35% more now paying 10% less for the same cover, sorry rant over.


    Fav 11a LOI 19d.

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm.

  29. Well we are spoilt, another great and doable puzzle. COTD definitely 11a for me, having spent too long for thinking of people or birds who come out at night, very good! SE corner to the longest to fill. Enjoying a cool spell right now in usually hot South Florida, enabling us to have patio doors and windows open to enjoy the pleasant breeze. Actually need a long sleeved T-shirt today 😊.

  30. Enjoyable, light and entertaining – just right for a Tuesday puzzle. Have to say that I’ve never come across the phrase used in the Quickie pun, it’s only familiar to me with ‘do’ as the first word but maybe it’s more commonly used elsewhere?
    Favourite here was 13d with a nod to 14a.

    Thanks to our setter (AP?) and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

    1. I haven’t heard the phrase for ages, but it’s a hyphenated (go-as-you-please) adjective meaning easygoing.

  31. Certainly agree that it is a very nice puzzle 😃 ***/**** Favourites: 3, 7 and 16d Thanks to Twmbarlwm and to the friendly compiler 👍

  32. Really enjoyed this with 11a and 28a as my favourites. Thank you setter (will you rise to ALPs challenge ?!?!) and of course Twmbarlwm

  33. Does anyone know if puzzle renewal can still be done through Worldpay or is it just through the new site?
    My time is coming up to renew.

    Thank you for any information anyone can provide

    1. My renewal (via Worldpay) went through automatically last month – with that I can continue to access both the old and new puzzle sites.

  34. Thoroughly enjoyed this. The fact that I did not need hints did not decrease the fun at solving the elegant clues.

    Many thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm.

  35. Ah, another lovely offering that didn’t require 2 Tylenol and rest in a darkened room. Loved it all, what a treat. I’ll read the hints and comments later, I’m late today and must get in the pool for my exercises. I liked lots, but fave is 11a, yes, we’ve had them before but still make me smile. The anagram at 13d also deserves mention.
    Thank you esteemed setter for the fun and to Toombarloom for the hints and tips.

  36. Would 19d not have been better as “Looked for drunkard, by the sound of it”? This homophone should work in all parts of the UK and other countries too.

    I know this pops up every so often, but as the crossword has a worldwide audience, can we have homophones that work globally please?

            1. Hi DP

              Some people can’t stand anagrams.
              Some baulk at obscure knowledge.
              Some twitch at rarely-used synonyms.
              Some don’t like homophones that can be pronounced differently.
              Some find ‘initially’ and ‘some’ too much of a giveaway.
              Some zzzzz when they see a double definition.
              Some detest a non-highlighted Americanism.
              Some hate to play the game ‘guess a first name/plant/flower/fish/bird’.
              Some, some, some….

  37. Very late tonight, a bit under the weather. Many hours ago, I found this one quite charming and altogether enjoyable, with 13d and 11a winning top honours. Thanks to Twm and today’s setter. **/****

  38. Good evening
    After failing even to attempt Saturday’s and Sunday’s back pagers, and an abortive attempt yesterday, I’m pleased to report a full grid today, albeit one whereby I had to concentrate on other things to allow my subconscious to twig my last four clues. Thank you to our setter (especially for the lovely bit of misdirection in 21a!) and to Twmbarlwm. Have a good week.

  39. Absolutely excellent, that will take some beating this week. Didn’t have a problem with 19d, I didn’t realise the was an alternative pronunciation. Favourite by a country mile was 11a. Thanks to the setter and T.

  40. Greetings from North Norfolk. Here for 6 days R&R and bird watching, which in my book are the same thing.
    Pallid harrier yesterday- I’m sure Jane would be impressed!
    I loved the puzzle which we have just completed over an excellent dinner. Top marks to the current Mrs Shabbo.
    11a and 13d were both outstanding and amusing clues.
    Many thanks to our setter today.

  41. Thanks Twmbarlwm. Your opening paragraph summed this gem up, to split an infinitive.
    I was a little slow in SE but that’s where my favourites were: 28a & 13d.
    I hope the setter mystery is resolved tonight.

  42. Enjoyed this. A nice tidy solve. Loved 13d, very clever in my opinion, but thought 22a a tad weak. Thanks to TWM and our mystery compiler.

  43. The many excellent surface readings made this very enjoyable. The many misdirections caused some head scratching but were all doable. Twm’s words about the puzzle at the beginning of the blog could not be bettered. Thanks for his hints which I did not need, but will look at his comments on a couple of parsings, and to the setter.

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.