DT 30260 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30260

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30260

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A cold southerly blast that has even put fresh snow on the ranges is giving us an early warning that winter is on the way. Feel that we have been cheated out of most of our autumn but maybe it will still be there when this lot blows over.

A whole lot trickier puzzle than last week’s with some GK that we needed help with.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Line in order shortened for garden implement (6)
TROWEL : Three letter word for a line or queue is inside order or command with the last letter removed.

4a     One working in lobby with assistance gets the advantage (4,4)
WHIP HAND : The lobby is possibly in Westminster, and the assistance could be what’s at the end of your arm.

9a     Page in front of shelf showing undertaking (6)
PLEDGE : P(age) and shelf or platform.

10a     Jaguar, say, with top and rear manufactured around Germany (8)
PREDATOR : An anagram (manufactured) of TOP and REAR contains the IVR code for Germany.

12a     Something bound to happen in garden party, it’s said (4)
FATE : A homophone (it’s said) for the sort of garden party often seen in episodes of Midsomer Murders.

13a     Element in benefit about right (5)
BORON : A benefit or advantage contains R(ight).

14a     Surprise enthusiasts making a comeback (4)
STUN : Enthusiasts, or even crazy people, get reversed.

17a     One distorting features? (12)
CARICATURIST : A cryptic definition for the sort of artist typified in the 18th-19th century by James Gillray.

20a     Curiously Eve is chosen with son to show unity (12)
COHESIVENESS : An anagram (curiously) of EVE IS CHOSEN plus S(on).

23a     Spacious place producing pints first off (4)
AIRY : Remove the first letter from a place that might produce pints of a white liquid.

24a     Nerdy English companion enthralled by empty toy (5)
TECHY : E(nglish) and a Companion of Honour are enclosed by the first and last letters of toy.

25a     Firm even at intervals lacking regulation? (4)
FREE : Alternate letters from the first two words of the clue.

28a     Vigorously support former jockey (8)
CHAMPION : A double definition. This jockey, famous in the 1980’s, was new to us.

29a     Seasoned dish giving artist uncomfortable condition (6)
RAGOUT : A royal academician and a painful malady associated with rich living.

30a     A flier entering terrible duel needs breathing space (8)
LATITUDE : ‘A’ from the clue and a small bird are inside an anagram (terrible) of DUEL.

31a     Stephen, maybe, encapsulating a king close to grotesque deception (6)
FAKERY : Stephen, well known from QI, contains ‘A’ from the clue, the chess abbreviation for king and the last letter of grotesque.


1d     Papers exhibit this kind, fine expert (8)
TYPEFACE : A kind or sort, then F(ine) and an expert or adept.

2d     Opening plain remedy to banish cold (8)
OVERTURE : Plain, or not hidden, and a word for remedy with C(old) removed.

3d     Extremely educated geek occasionally gets head start (4)
EDGE : The first and last letters (extremely) of educated and the first and third letters (occasionally) of geek.

5d     Husband brought rail out as a guide for sailors (7,5)
HARBOUR LIGHT : The abbreviation for husband and an anagram (out) of BROUGHT RAIL.

6d     Extra note about ordinary day in schools (4)
PODS : An extra note added at the end of a letter contains O(rdinary) and D(ay).

7d     A country in which university replaces American? That’s wise (6)
ASTUTE : ‘A’ from the clue and then a word for a country or nation has its A(merican) replaced with U(niversity).

8d     Undaunted lawyer in New York perhaps on call (6)
DARING : The two letters for a type of American lawyer and call on the telephone.

11d     In favour of article with piece of music to put things straight (3,3,6)
FOR THE RECORD : A word meaning ‘in favour of’, then the definite article and something from which music can be played.

15d     Quickly leave chap principally covered by black powder (5)
SCOOT : Black powder from a chimney contains the first letter of chap.

16d     Very pale wash enjoyed? Not altogether! (5)
ASHEN : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

18d     More safe after revolution that’s frightening (8)
FEARSOME : An anagram (after revolution) of MORE SAFE.

19d     Actor Dominic boarding very large railway in Shropshire town (8)
OSWESTRY : Very large as a clothing size, and the two letter abbreviation for railway include an actor whose first name is Dominic. (Cumberbatch is a bit long to fit here so find another one.)

21d     Abandon opportunity when leaving hotel to overlook lake (6)
CANCEL : Start with a word for opportunity, then remove its H(otel) and finish with L(ake).

22d     Rank obtained by Scottish island over time (6)
ARRANT : An island off the West coast of Scotland, then T(ime).

26d     Detect roundish mark (4)
SPOT : Double definition. The roundish mark could be a blemish.

27d     A criticism coming up for soldier (4)
PARA : The reversal of ‘A’ from the clue and criticism or blame.

A couple of hours after we had put this together we happened to be watching an episode of Celebrity Chase and one of the contestants was the jockey in 28a who we had never previously heard of.   Small world!

Quickie pun     Senna    +    gall    =    Senegal

85 comments on “DT 30260

  1. Super puzzle, full of clever wordplay and misdirection.
    I hadn’t heard of the actor but knew the town and I needed every single checker and to write it out before 20a revealed itself, very frustrating but that apart all went smoothly if not rapidly.
    I liked it all but I particularly enjoyed the misdirection and clever wordplay in 2d, the well disguised definition in 22d but my favourite has to be 31a….quelle surprise!
    Many thanks indeed to the setter and of course the Ks.

  2. Can’t say I was keen on this one, puzzles with a lot of people’s names in always seem to be unfair to some in my mind. Ah well, others may favour the more general knowledge type, just not me.
    On the upside though, I did like 4a and 6d. Roll on tomorrow….

  3. A bit of a mixed bag for me and a DNF, needing google for Shropshire towns; I had OS-E-TRY, but I have never heard of the actor.

    Thanks anyway to the setter, and to the 2Kiwis for the write-up.

  4. 2.5*/3*. This was good fun and about the right level of difficulty for a midweek back-pager.

    My only issue with was with 13a where I confidently entered “grain” as a valid alternative answer from the definition and wordplay. As Prolixic pointed out to this week’s Rookie Corner setter, “One of the hardest points (for a setter) to spot is alternative valid solutions to the clue you have produced”.

    My podium comprises 23a, 8d & 11d.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

    1. When I read 13a, without looking at the grid, “grain” was the first word that entered my head.

        1. I think the 2 words are synonyms (only) as in: There’s an element/grain of truth in his explanation. But the answer is a direct defintion (by example) of element, which makes the clue perfectly fine for me.

  5. Had to check today wasn’t Friday!
    This puzzle really stretched the grey matter.
    Even extending to a lurker.
    7d my COTD.
    Completed in 3.5* time, unaided, apart from accidentally seeing the last letter of 13a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  6. I absolutely loved this one. I started off very slowly indeed but gradually got onto the setter’s wavelength and felt a real sense of achievement when I finished it. Just off to ‘supervise’ the Warm Space for the penultimate day this week and before it turns into a community cafe one day a week. I am taking home-made soup which I hope no-one asks too many questions about. We have copious quantities of a weed called Alexanders here in Norfolk which the Romans brought with them (how kind) but I heard you can cook them, so I have. It’s a bit bitter but I hope people enjoy it.

    1. That sounds very public spirited if you Manders, hope the soup goes down well. We, three of us, have run a Coffee Stop every Saturday morning for the last 15 years, Inever really thought it would take on but we regularly get between 40 and 60 people each week with a rota of volunteer baristas. It is very rewarding.

      1. The soup went down very well DG but I added a large dollop of cream to it which really improved it. There was also masses of wild garlic in it which is growing in the garden.

          1. You’ve not heard the old adage?:

            Tender-tongued lick a nettle and it stings you for your pains
            Munch it like a man of mettle and it soft as silk remains.

              1. It’s my appositely contrived version of the original. I’m sure my “humour” goes over a lot of heads :-)

                1. Not over my head, Jose. You’re bang on target with mine. In fact, you would fit in well with the Grumpy Old Gits gathering in the village shop every morning. We have a right old laugh!

          2. A friend and I made some a few years ago and it tasted like liquid iron – absolutely vile. I’m told that the secret is to use only the new tips of the plants but I’d gone off the whole idea by then!

            1. M was very wise to lace the “weed soup” with dollops of cream and masses of wild garlic! :-)

  7. Nerdy geeks unite, today was your puzzle! Going against the tide suggested by comments so far, I found this surprisingly straightforward for a Wednesday, with only the uncomfortable condition delaying my enjoyment of the seasoned dish that concluded my grid. Hon Mentions to 20a (good surface read, clever construction) and 24a (for the surface read and chuckle).

    1 / 2.5

    Many thanks to the Setter and to the 2Ks.

  8. A slow start for me but I finished the puzzle without help, apart for the first four letters. I thought it was the best clue in the puzzle once the penny dropped. 19d and 1d were eunners up. I found the preponderance of rather bitty lego clues a bit offputting and the answer to 24a set my teeth on 2dge but itherwise it was a fairly pleasant crossword. Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for the hints.

  9. Another enjoyable puzzle if a little tough in places. It goes without saying that my COTD is 19d because the place is only three miles away. It also had a great surface, I thought. When I saw the clue for 17a, I didn’t think I would get it in a month of Sundays but once I concentrated on “distorted features” it came to me in a flash.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun challenge and, of course, to the 2Ks for the hints.

    I was sorry to hear about Paul O’Grady. He was a great entertainer.

    1. He did a great deal to promote animal welfarectoo Ateve, which was qhat endearwd him to ne

    1. I’m sure I’m being thick here, Pam but what is an amazing coincidence? 😳

  10. This one was right up my street if a little heavy on the GK, which is always subjective – you know what you know. 19d brought back great memories of nurse training there in the dim and distant past. LOI , ashamedly, was 4a. Although I had considered that connotation of ‘lobby’, I couldn’t get past thinking it needed to start with a ‘c s or t’ I loved all the long ones, even the clever anagram at 20a, but my favourite today is 17a for its charming simplicity. Other podium places are taken by 31a and 2d. Thanks to the compiler and the 2 Kiwis.

  11. Not sure that it’s going to be easy to get onto this setter’s wavelength but managed OK today courtesy of knowing the required GK elements.
    No particular favourites but certainly a sense of satisfaction upon completion.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks as they head into their winter months.

  12. A fun puzzle completed while a pleasant bloke from Dyno was here, He managed to fix the leak in the boiler and a radiator that had gone on strike. This followed a visit, last month, from a British Gas chap who could not figure out the issues.

    I feel a bit of a buffoon because I spent a while trying to bung in a ‘L’ in the middle of a shortened word for ‘order’ in 1a, but eventually I became aware, as Cressida once said, ‘The error of our eye directs our mind’ and the little digging implement found its home.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

  13. Slightly more challenging than usual for a Wednesday. Checkers were a great help for such as the 13a element and the 19d Shropshire town – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 29a, 11d, and 19d – and the winner is 11d.

    Thanks to the setter (Robyn?) and the 2Kiwis.

  14. Found this puzzle quite tricky and agree with Hrothgar that it could well have been Friday,
    Going for a***/**** -****, took a while to parse the NW quadrant.
    Liked the surface of 29a, I suffer it from time to time!
    Favourites were 4a 12a and 10a-nicely misleading.
    Thanks to setter and 2K’S for the excellent pics

  15. Great fun. I do love some GK/OK so that got an extra tick.

    4a took me an age, pushing me in to the next time zone.

    One question mark though…..isn’t 17a straight definition not a cryptic one? Is the cryptic bit making ‘features’ a verb?

    1d and 19d deserve a mention with 18d being my COTD due to its surface.


    1. Hello TS65. Not sure I understand what you’re getting at with 17a – but I could well be missing something (again). I read the whole clue as a cryptic/obscure phrasal description/definition of the answer, or a standard CD clue.

      1. To me, it’s a straight definition. If I was asked to describe what they do, I would say that it’s one who distorts people’s features in a drawing.

        I can’t see the cryptic bit other than omitting the word ‘people’ and ‘drawing’. Maybe it’s saying ‘This person distorts their own features’?

        I quite like a clue that consists purely of a cryptic definition as the idea is to throw you off the scent with the wording. But, when I saw it, I immediately thought of the answer as I couldn’t see it being anything else. What else could it mean? If ‘features’ is a verb, I could see it could be someone who pull faces and bends their fingers in the wrong direction, featuring at The Palladium or something.

        I don’t want to come across as someone who picks on clues as it ain’t me. I just want to make sure that I’m not missing anything and it looks like I’m not.

        Either way……..help!

        1. I can see what you mean, but CD clues don’t necessarily contain any normal cryptic word-play. They’re usually puns, a cryptic/puzzling/unconventional phrasal description of the answer. Here, the answer is one (a person) distorting features (of other people when drawing them). Nobody in real life would describe a caricaturist as the clue does – that makes it a CD. Here’s how BD explains a CD in his Guide to Cryptic Crosswords, featured on this very website:

          What is a cryptic definition?
          Sometimes called a pun, a cryptic definition is one that appears to mean one thing, but when read differently means something else. Homonyms are frequently used in cryptic definitions. The examples are all from recent Telegraph crosswords.

          A simple example:

          One suffering from lack of balance (8) [DT 25852]
          Not, as you are being led to believe, someone who is liable to fall over, but a BANKRUPT who is suffering from lack of balance, at the bank. Balance, equilibrium, and balance, surplus in an account, are homonyms, albeit with the same etymology.

          Of help at all?

        2. *You could read the clue as someone (on YouTube for example) who is distorting stories/reports (or features) for their own ends.

            1. Hmm, possibly but I still think that the obvious meaning from someone distorting features is the answer. Maybe, as I have done these bad boys for zillions of years, my mind has been warped to automatically think of something cryptic from the off, not even considering the most obvious definition.

              Anyway. Nuff said.

              Thank you for your thoughts; it’s appreciated.

  16. First thoughts were ominous but it gradually fell into place nicely. Apart from 31a which needed the hints to explain my answer all the clues were clever but on the whole very logical.
    I really quite enjoyed this one even I did not think I would at first.
    Thx to all
    PS I found this a lot easier than the ‘Quickie’!

      1. Re the Quick crossword I too found it challenging. Made better progress with the cryptic!

  17. I found this pretty straightforward, but I appreciate that some of the GK might make it a lot trickier for those solvers not in the UK. Thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    None of the clues really stood out for me.

  18. Found this very hard going throughout, never seemed on the setter’s wavelength. Filled the grid eventually but still found my alternative answer for 12a meant a DNF, most unusual to fail a back-pager. My COTD was the clever 5d.
    Thanks to the setter and the two birds for a fine review.

  19. It took me a long time to get on wavelength and I would never have finished without using the check answer function as I had stupidly put the answer for 20a in 17a which really held me up. I thought this was tricky with lots of twists and turns to flummox me, but I did get there in the end. I think 17a is my favourite. Several had me barking up the wrong tree for ages. I was pleased to see that others thought it was tough too. No let up in the miserable weather, at least I will have time for the quickie.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 kiwis.

  20. I too enjoyed this, although I still have not got the jockey – I shall have to do a reveal. I am very proud of myself for getting 13a as I am definitely not scientifically minded, indeed Miss Dean called me a Foolish Virgin because I had not filled my lamp with the oil of knowledge. I went through Grammar School known as The Foolish Virgin. Thanks, Miss Dean. Daisy stars for 10 and 31a and 2,5,6&18d. We’ve got an Almshouse Meeting this afternoon and as we have two vacancies at the moment and are taking the opportunity of doing a lot of refurbishing, it is going to be a long one. I hope I can keep awake! Many thanks to the crafty Setter and to the two Kiwis who are about to reveal 28a to me.

        1. I certainly knew both jockey & horse. Aldaniti held off a horse called Spartan Missile ridden by its owner & amateur jockey, John Thorne, which I’d been backing ante post for over a year. I’m convinced to this day that had mine had a top class professional on board he’d have won me a lot of money so it wasn’t a fairytale result in my book.

          1. Ah yes, I remember it well.

            A 54 year old amateur jockey with his legs flailing about as if he was a rag doll.

            The poor bugger died a year later in a fall at a point-to-point.

            Nothing beats the Crisp national though. The horse ended up going sideways. To lead by that much….


            1. Reckon if Pitman had given Crisp a breather he’d have carried the weight. Red Rum opened a betting shop that I managed in Archway, North London. They tried, I think, to get Aldaniti to do the same but he hadn’t Rummy’s temperament

              1. Three wins and two runners-up in five consecutive years is bonkers.

                I worked in a bookies yonks ago: patents, heinz, yankees, reverse forecast through the card.

                Great fun.

  21. I’m in the ‘tricky for a Wednesday’ camp

    Thanks very much to the setter and the 2Ks

  22. A touch more difficult than the last couple of days, but IMHO lacked a bit of sparkle from the previous few Wednesdays. Perhaps the waiting for a delivery that was supposed to be here this morning hasn’t helped my mood.


    Fav 23a LOI 20a

    Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis.

  23. A workmanlike, maybe a tad prosaic, Wednesday puzzle of about average difficulty for this day. Nice clues and an enjoyable enough solve. I have ticked a few and will give 23a a mention 3*/3.5*.

  24. Didn’t find this too tricky – 2* / 4*- wavelength was identified early on- but whose wavelength is it ? Thought the GK was reasonable ( i.e not too specialist or ancient )
    Favourites 23a and 31a – thanks to Miss Teron and 2 Kiwis

  25. Not particularly taxing but enjoyable. The bottom half fell quickly , the top less so. I don’t know why because on reflection the northern half was easier. (In my opinion)
    Favorites 4 and 20 . Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis

  26. Can’t say I enjoyed this one at all. Very convoluted clues and far too much GK required.
    Should have been in the toughie slot in my mind.

    4*/1* for me.

    Favourite was 15d as it was a one of the few clues that made sense

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

      1. I thought it was Toughie standard too, just lucky I had enough GK to get some checkers, then ehelp finished it off.

  27. I really enjoyed this one. I didn’t mind the GK. A history of studying old railway towns certainly helped with 19d. My favourites were 10a and 31a (I love that word.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  28. I started out struggling, remembering Steve Cowling’s prophecy yesterday that we were in for a rough time at the end of the week. I did eventually start to pull it together slowly, though I was DNF in the SW. stupid of me, particularly as I had the right island in 22d but was looking for a rank like sergeant-major. I was lucky with some, I had a friend who went to school in 19d, and the first Stephen I thought of was the right one in 31a. When stuck I shamelessly used e help, like the anagram in 20a. All in all I think I did pretty well for a **** puzzle.
    Thank you setter and the 2Kiwis for the help in the SW.

  29. Morning all. We’re still shaking our heads in amazement at the coincidence of someone we have heard of popping into our lives twice within a couple of hours.
    Our wild cold weather continues. Wish it would trundle off-shore now so we can get back to our autumn.

  30. Enjoyed this one & happily on wavelength from the off for a brisk completion in under 1.5* time as fortunately none of the required GK unfamiliar for a change. 31a my fav with plenty of ticks elsewhere.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks

  31. Gosh, a real curate’s egg! Really made a meal of this one, two in fact!
    Not helped by messing up the NE corner by defining the Leopard as a ‘tetrapod’ in 10a, having copied the anagram wrongly to my worksheet! Otherwise v enjoyable particularly knowing the GKs.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  32. Simply could not identify the Stephen in 31a and found the anagram in 20a very difficult indeed … but all clues fair and well constructed. Thanks setter and 2Ks, the **** is justified!

  33. Sorry I’m so late. A good bit of Googling and a wing-and-a-prayer helped me finish this very tricky one last night. The only thing really new to me was 4a, my LOI, and I guess it makes much more sense than my first thought, which was ‘shop maid’! Very tough puzzle for this American, though I had heard of the Shropshire town. No idea who the setter is but he pushed me well into **** time. Thanks to the Kiwis and the setter. ****/****

    1. With you on 4a Robert. Nearest I got was shop maid, thinking of aid for assistance. Only other one that caused me trouble was 23a my first thought for pints was beer!

  34. No time to do this until this evening. Enjoyed it very much and managed an alone and unaided solve with all the parsings worked out.
    Must be a wavelength thing , though knowing the GK helped .

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and to the setter.

  35. Having arrived very late here I was 14acrossed to see the 4 star rating. Clearly a wavelength thing combined with whether one knew the GK or not.
    Came though it unscathed in ** time and really enjoyed it!
    Thanks to the setter and as ever to the 2Ks .

  36. Good evening
    After a short period off the radar owing to a house move, I re-entered the fray at 6pm and finished the back pager at 9:15, with one “cheat” on 28a, which deserves a Crikey!
    Thanks to our compiler and to 2Ks

  37. Got there in the end but felt like a trudge uphill throughout. Thanks !? to the setter, and hinters.

  38. Worked my way steadily through this excellent puzzle, main struggle was in the south west, favourite was 7d. Thanks to the 2K’s and A Nonymous

  39. I was about 2/3’s through the toughie but after the usual brain mangling Wednesday quiz I elected to do this instead. I’m not sure i made the right decision, I’ll leave the rest of the toughie until tomorrow. Some good clues but some toughie standard. Favourite was 28a. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  40. Sailed through most of this starting with 1a. Much quicker and easier than yesterday. Could not work out 23a as I only think of beer in pints and failed on 4a. Never remembered that expression, not aided by the fact that I assumed the assistance to be aid. Favourites 24 29 and 30 an and 1 2 11 and 19d. Thank you setter. More please and thank you 2Ks. I can see how it could have been difficult for you in parts. The last part of 19d I got was the name of the actor but the very large Railway was a gimme.

  41. Have had a go at this on and off all day but still DNF and didn’t enjoy the exercise at all. Too many quibbles to enumerate and not a single Fav. Tomorrow must surely be more fun. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Kiwis whose task I don’t envy today – I’m still looking for the wavelength.

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