DT 30264 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30264

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30264

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from Almoradí where it has been unseasonably warm for the last few days.  However forecast is for more normal temps in the high teens for the next week or so. Still, at least it’s sunny!

I thought today’s puzzle was very enjoyable but a tad trickier than normal, but that might just be me having an off day. I’ll be interested to see who agrees with me.

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           Couple on strike likely to collapse? (10)
RAMSHACKLE:  A word meaning to couple or chain together on a word for to strike or run into.  For some reason I needed all the checkers before the penny dropped on this one!

6a           Fine food reportedly (4)
FAIR:  A word meaning fine or OK sounds like (reportedly) some food.

9a           Electronic skill behind film — it helps one hear better (3-7)
EAR TRUMPET:  You need to put together E(lectronic), a word for skill, another word for your behind or bum and finally crosswordland’s favourite Spielberg film.  When you’ve done that split it (3,7) to get something to help you hear.

10a         Token  mark (4)
SIGN:  Double definition.

12a         Record some of Verdi’s compositions (4)
DISC:  A lurker hiding in (some of) the last two words.  I do like a good lurker and this is a very good one.

13a         Meat dish and beer fatso ordered (5,4)
ROAST BEEF:  Anagram (ordered) of BEER FATSO.

15a         Flower sprang up by soft verge (8)
PRIMROSE:  Start with the letter for soft in musical notation and a word for verge or edge. After that you need a word meaning sprang up.

16a         Excuse made by average teacher at Oxford, perhaps (6)
PARDON:  Another word for average or expected followed by a word for a lecturer at Oxford, or any university.

18a         Firework  plant (6)
ROCKET:  Double definition.

20a         Underwear — if one has drag on, that is (8)
LINGERIE:  A word meaning to drag on or hang around followed by two letters meaning “that is”.

23a         First of comments on written text in draft (9)
CONSCRIPT:  C (first of Comments) followed by the ON from the clue and a word meaning written text gives a word meaning to draft, into the army perhaps.

24a         Carve sailboat, no end of oak being required (4)
ETCH:  A two masted sailboat without the initial K (no end of oaK).  I used a picture of one of these boats last week so I’ll give it a miss  today.

26a         Enthusiastic, prima donna making a comeback (4)
AVID:  Another word for a prima donna reversed (making a comeback).

27a         Man responsible for standards in company, left with journalist right away (4,6)
COLE PORTER:  CO (company) followed by L(eft) and a word for a journalist without the R (R(ight) away). A strange definition but it works for me!

28a         Losing wickets, club side (4)
EDGE:  Remove the W (losing W(ickets)) from a type of golf club used to get out of bunkers.

29a         Sausage meat — dollar spent (10)
MORTADELLA:  Anagram (spent) of MEAT DOLLAR.


1d           Sounds like true angler’s device (4)
REEL:  A piece of angling equipment sounds like a word meaning true.

2d           Skill, in short, needed to make a cocktail (7)
MARTINI:  A word for skill inside (in) a word meaning short, especially if applied to a skirt.

3d           Coins demanding general acceptance (4,8)
HARD CURRENCY:  A word for demanding, as in difficult, followed by a word which can mean general acceptance.

4d           Arrive shortly ahead of reporters and pack (8)
COMPRESS:  A word meaning to arrive without its last letter (shortly) followed by (ahead of) a term for reporters of print media.

5d           Play, or shelter on course (6)
LEEWAY:  Some shelter followed by a word for course or direction.

7d           Flavour of ouzo, say, is filling a requirement (7)
ANISEED:  Start with the A from the clue and a word for a requirement and insert (filling) the IS from the clue.

8d           Band’s digital content? (4,6)
RING FINGER:  A cryptic definition of what you might find inside a wedding band for example.

11d         Curious about line judge in complete control (12)
STRANGLEHOLD:  A word meaning curious around (about) an L(ine) and followed by a word which can mean to judge.

14d         Understand  increase (10)
APPRECIATE:  Double definition.

17d         Cream of soldiers inside it, not worried (8)
OINTMENT: Some soldiers inserted into (inside) an anagram (worried) of IT NOT.  For ages I thought that “not worried” was going to be the definition, D’oh!

19d         Clever managing, after being given a fresh start (7)
CUNNING:  A word meaning managing with a different first letter (after being given a fresh start).

21d         Article misrepresented performance (7)
RECITAL:  Anagram (misrepresented) of ARTICLE.

22d         Paid escort in carriage, alone, scratching head (6)
GIGOLO:  A type of carriage followed by a word for alone or single without its first letter (scratching head).

25d         Unknown number leaving stadium in neighbourhood (4)
AREA:  Take an N (unknown number) out of a stadium.

Some good stuff here but my podium is 9a,12a and 8d with 9a on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

 Top line :        SHIRE     +     WEIGH     =     SHY AWAY

Bottom line:            MYRRH     +     CURIE     =     MERCURY

71 comments on “DT 30264

  1. Blimey! Is it Friday already, or did I just sup too much while watching the farcical F1
    race yesterday?
    I found this pretty tough, and had never heard of the slinger at 29a or the work in 27a, although the clue made it fairly obvious. Took much longer than usual for a Monday and still can’t see how 1a is clued, so will have to see the hints. Standout favourite of today is the very clever 8d. Many thanks to our setter for this teaser.

  2. Very enjoyable and for me a little trickier than the average Monday.
    A couple of dated references/chestnuts in there and I have to say my repetition radar nearly blew a fuse seeing the setter had used “skill” to clue art twice in the NW…. wouldn’t get away with that in The Rookie Corner!
    Best clues for me were 1&20 plus 4&5d with top spot going to 17d.
    Many thanks Campbell and Pommers

  3. Agree a tad tricker than previous Mondays, a tale of two halves with the top half straightforward and the bottom requiring a bit more thought. A pleasant diversion on this lovely spring day.


    Fav 15a LOI 17d.

    Thanks to setter and pommers.

    1. You’ve used your name rather than your usual alias. Do you want me to reinstate your usual alias?

  4. Wow, I thought that this one was absolutely wonderful, with 27a proudly occupying the centre of my podium. Brilliant, that one. As I sat here listening to Gershwin’s 1st Piano Concerto, along came the other great giant of American music in the 20th Century, and I could hardly believe my eyes and ears–both of them, all at once. Elsewhere, the sausage was new to me but the checkers helped me through that little snarl, and I thought that 22d and 11d gave 27a a good run for the medals, with 17d deserving some kind of special award for clever misdirection. Really enjoyed this one, so thanks to pommers and Campbell. 2.5*/5*

  5. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but the ante is definitely up this week – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 15a, 20a, 27a, and 14d – and the winner is 15a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  6. Definitely amore difficult puzzle than usual from Campvell today. For me, the clues were less appealing than theyy usually are and I found 11d didn’t work that well. I did like 23a, 21d and 8d, however. So a curate’s egg crossword today. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to Campbell.

  7. Gently does it.
    As it should be, it’s Monday.
    Loved 27a and 8d especially.
    So, */4*
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers, great illustrations and music.

  8. I liked it a lot although it definitely felt more difficult than usual for a Monday. Thank goodness for school holidays as I had time to go back to it at coffee time and fill in the ones I couldn’t do earlier. My brain must have been working on them while I was doing the housework and listening to Ken Bruce!
    8d and 27a were my favourites and 17d my LOI.
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell

  9. Perfect way to kick off the cruciverbal week – no real sweat but much fun. 9a unparsed. Needed help with 27a and 23a (was working on wrong draft). IMHO 29a indicator rather far-fetched. Agree with pommers in my having expected not worried to be the definition. Fav 16a. Thanks Campbell for more fun-time and pommers for being a welcome back-up.

  10. Of course it is a sad moment (gentlemen – remove your hats; ladies – adjust your veils) to have to place 29a on THE LIST, but one’s ire towards Campbell is overcome by the amusement of 13a and the sheer brilliance of 27a.

    Yesterday we went for a lovely walk along the Greensand Way near Dorking. It was described as ‘easy’ on the app that we use for unfamiliar walks. It was indeed easy if one is used to climbing Everest without reserves of oxygen. At the summit, the app advised us to enjoy ‘The Temple’ which was to be found a hundred yards further on. This monument, that I had imagined to be on a par with the Golden Temple at Amritsar turned out to be a structure similar to a corporation bus shelter, complete with graffiti.

    We decided to recover with a drink at nearby Wotton House where a screechy wedding party drove us to hide in the morning room, before we eventually made our escape.
    An interesting afternoon in the Surrey Hills.

    Thanks to Campbell and Our Man On The Costa Blanca.

      1. Thank goodness that job opportunity has arisen (the poor fellow was clearly way out of his depth); but I shan’t apply as they could not afford me.

    1. You, Terence, is my entertainment for the day … the puzzle certainly wasn’t! I laugh so much at your posts.

  11. I wondered if I had slept through Monday as certainly I did not find today as easy as usual and would not of finished without the check answer function on the digital version. I am pleased to see that several of you also thought it was trickier than usual, it even made me wonder if it wasn’t Campbell? That said now I have read the hints and understand the parsing of them I can see how clever it all was. 17d and 7d kept me on the wrong path for ages with 7d my favourite once I tuned in. 29a was new and I am glad it will be added to ‘the eminent list’ which may have to take a back burner if Terence takes up his new post?!

    To any other novices out there, don’t feel disheartened if you cannot manage to finish this one.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the needed explanations

  12. Yes , pommers, definitely a little trickier than usual and all the better for it.
    Lots of well liked ( as opposed to favourites) including 11d,3d , and 16a .
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell.

  13. Lovely puzzle & certainly a bit trickier than usual. 9a atop the podium for me also (even though it features crosswordland’s fav film) with 27a&8d taking the lesser medals.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  14. I agree that this tougher than the usual Monday fare. It took me ages to parse 27a and back in my hospital days I would never have described the answer to 17d as a cream. That said it was enjoyable with 27a my LOI and favourite once I’d finally parsed it.
    My thanks to Pommers and Campbell.

  15. Slightly more challenging than usual for Campbell, and not only had to write out the anagrist to get the delicious sausage (a staple on most supermarket deli counters, surely?) but had to view all the checking letters of 11a horizontally before the penny dropped. This really was a puzzle for the hungry diner to complete before lunch, what with 13a, 18a, 29a, 2d and 7d, with a bit of 3d to pay for it all! Some lovely clueing throughout, with Hon Mentions to 9a, 23a and 22d, with COTD to the wonderful 13a.

    1.5 / 3.5

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  16. Some superb clueing today in this trickier than usual Monday offering. Although the answer to 27a was easily discernible my knowledge of his music did not stretch to which standards he was responsible for. The podium is overflowing today with 1a, 9a, 16a, 8d and 22d all just being beaten to the prime position by the wonderful misdirection of 17d. Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  17. Well, we seem to have a first today! i say a puzzle is trickier than normal and everyone seems to agree. Never happened before!

  18. What happened to puzzles starting the week relatively easy and becoming tougher as the week progresses? I managed this but did need the hints for a couple, which rarely happens on a Monday but I see I am not alone. Heavens above knows what Friday will be like.

    That is not to say I disliked it. In fact, I found it entertaining in its own fashion. No COTD or other favourites – I was just please to finish it.

    Many thanks, Campbell for making my grey cells work harder than usual on a Monday. Thank you, pommers for explaining a few for me.

  19. Agree with the concensus about the difficulty level.
    Last in was 10a which needed thesaurus to confirm.
    Favourite 13a as it’s what we call the Brits down here.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.
    A frog

  20. Late to make a start on this but I’d agree that our setter had upped the ante. 27a was nicely constructed but I thought the link between the clue and answer was somewhat far-fetched.
    Podium places here went to 1,15&23a plus 8d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

    1. 27a was brilliant. You need to know the “standards” are the basic jazz piano pieces which every jazz pianist needs to know, mostly written by Cole Porter then it all makes sense.

  21. Definitely a tad trickier than is usual on Monday, and I had to come here for a few hints,(the bottom half, in particular) but overall quite enjoyable. Great to see Madame Fanny for 9a – “ze flashing knobs!!!”

    1. I’ve changed my name from shouty capitals to normal case so hopefully it’s ok from now on. :)

  22. It’s Monday … it’s Campbell, with a little trickier puzzle for this Monday I thought, but with no real problems … other than head scratching and lateral thinking.

    For me 2*/4* today

    Favourites include 9a, 15a, 27a, 8d & 17d with winner 8d
    Lots to like and cause a grin like 1a, 23a, 2d

    Liked the lego clues of 9a & 17d

    A good fun puzzle.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for hints

  23. A question that I have been wondering about for some time…..how does the editor identify in advance the difficulty standard of a crossword when deciding whether to publish it on a Monday or a Friday, given the usual progression over the course of a week.

    1. Whatever his criteria are for asessing the relative difficulty of puzzles, the comments on this site seem that to jindicate that a rethink is overdue, with the difficulty level on the back page puzzles often approaching the Toughie. It must be most off-putting to newcomers in the world of cryptic crosswording.

      1. It is the same with the mini sudoku. Todays was marked as gentle and it certainly was not!

  24. Phew! Thanks Pommers would never have finished without you, I used to look forward to Mondays when Rufus was setting, have to say he was my favourite setter of all, a clever but confusing puzzle for me today, just as well it’s warm enough to sit in the garden to do ☀️

    1. Yes, Rufus was very special, it was a drear day when he retired. The “ru” in my alias is for Rufus, a very, very special chocolate Labrador.

  25. Tougher than the usual Monday offering but enjoyable, nevertheless.

    I agree with Jane about 27a: I defy a Times solver to think of the answer looking at just the first four words though I did chuckle when I worked it out.

    I’m surprised that El Tel has put 29a on the list but it’s obviously his call as he created this genius idea.


    1. TS65. I misled you somewhat last week. My Geography teacher was called Tom James and he had two nicknames, Jesse James and Tom Brown. I assume the latter one came from the first mnemonic he unleashed on us, to remember the 6 towns of the Potteries in order from north to south: Tom Brown Had Short Fat Legs. I didn’t inform you of this disappointing fact last Friday because I wanted you to enoy your weekend still floating on air. :-)

      1. And you were quite right to as I loved it.


        It’s a shame that Eccles and Warrington aren’t further south. ‘Tom Brown had’ could have been replaced with Ernie Wise’s hairy’.

  26. A very nice Monday puzzle, and a fair bit trickier than normal for this day.Great clues and an enjoyable solve. I’ll go for 17d as my favourite. 3*/4*.

  27. Great fun as always on a Monday, with the peerless 27a taking my top spot. My thanks to Campbell for the workout and to pommers.

    I am thinking of applying for the Chelsea job; I will do it for a paltry million pounds on a one year contract, so they won’t have to pay me off, and I guarantee not to win any trophies.

  28. Spring has finally arrived in North Devon and all’s well with the world.
    I agree with most commenters that Campbell has bared his teeth a bit more this week and given us an enjoyable puzzle – thanks to him and pommers.
    I liked 1a, 9a and 3d but pride of place must go the superb 27a.

    1. Some of the clues today were very 19d.
      I started off really well then had to refer to the hints. Thankyou Pommers. Favourites 13 and 15 across as well as 29a which I remember searching for at the local deli. Thankyou Campbell for the challenge.
      The reds didn’t show much of a United front yesterday. I despair!

  29. Note to editor: today is Monday, the day when we look forward to a gentle start to the week. Having said that I did get about half way through before it all went downhill. Having had to resort to the hints for 1a, 27a (???), and 29a, it’s clearly time to throw in the towel. Do hope this is not going to be the trend this week, with those capable of solving the Toughie being spoilt, and the rest of us left out in the cold.

  30. Far too tough for a Monday. Totally failed to solve 11d, 17d, 23a and 22d. See easier Toughies than these.
    Very little enjoyment, just a slog. Not good for a Monday.
    Thx for the hints

  31. I’m not with Brian on this. I did get cross with a few of the synonyms but on reflection they were fine if a bit antedeluvian. I’ve no idea what the sausage is and needed the hints to fully parse 9a.
    Some enjoyable constructions.

  32. Oh dear, I missed this week, I must have been asleep from Monday through Wednesday.
    I managed the north quite well, but I had to switch on my loco brain to tackle the south. I’m very familiar with 27and his work, that clue was so obtuse, I really can’t believe anyone solved it without help. You had to guess it was about music, a composer, then guess that it was one of his songs and which one, and so forth, not exactly fair to tiny brains.
    On the plus side, my neighbour just brought over a part of her orchid that’s blooming, and she and my aide have attached it to a palm tree where I can see it from the sitooterie and when I’m in the pool. I tried to send you a pic but, as I said, tiny brain and it doesn’t work for me.
    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for unravelling it.

  33. Brian maybe has a point re Monday and difficulty, although one persons cumberland is anothers mortadella . Bit of a struggle and have not come across the aforementioned sausage before, got there in the end though! No googling or thesaurus-ing!

    1. I agree. My enjoyment from crossword solving comes from solving unaided, or with just a few hints from this great blog. If I have to resort to Mr Google or Thesaurus, then I feel I have cheated. That’s just me. If I did use G and T, I would be able finish every day. On second thoughts, perhaps a G&T would help 😊.

  34. I have no idea what 27a across has to do with Cole Porter! Finished unaided in the end but not very enjoyable.

        1. Cole Porter wrote many songs which have become ‘standards’, i.e. benchmarks of excellence.

  35. 2.5*/4*. Late on parade today as I’ve been out since around 10.30. I found this slightly tougher than usual for a Monday, in part due to struggling with the parsing of 27a & 11d until both pennies finally dropped. It was, however, as enjoyable as ever with 9a my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  36. I thought 27a was rather clever and 22d only went in when all the adjoining clues had slotted into place
    Definitely 3*
    Top half 1*

  37. I found more of right/left easy/ hard split today. Being far too young to have heard of the composer, I was heartened to see his Wikipedia entry includes standards in the first 2 lines. Further digging reveals a ‘standard’ to be a musical composition of established popularity, considered part of the “standard repertoire” of one or several genres. So he rightly was responsible for standards. The clue checks out. All in a good workout for Monday and only needed e-help for 4 or 5 clues including Mr Porter. My goal is to be able to complete a grid with no assistance before I have to go back to work.

  38. Perfectly straightforward until it wasn’t! I can’t see what the answer for 27a has to do with the clue and never heard of 29a, I’m glad Terence has added it to ‘the list’ and hold meaning judge? Dear me. I think I’ll leave it there as I’m in danger of turning into Brian. Thanks to Campbell anyway and Pommers.

  39. I’ve just read the post above and if that’s correct, which I’m sure it is then it’s the worst clue this year in my book.

  40. Some great clues today especially 8d and the excellent 27a. Not too bad for a Monday evening

  41. Looks like one either adored 27a or abhorred it. I’m still in the former camp, deeply entrenched.

    1. I am in the adoring group. I thought 27a was really brilliant even though it took an age for the penny to drop. Agree with everyone that this didn’t feel like a Monday ( and neither did the Quickie) but I managed to finish unaided after stopping and starting all evening. Thanks to our setter and Pommers.

  42. 5* / 2* for me. Unexpectedly hard and needed some hints to explain some Bung-ins -and never heard of the sausage
    Not my favourite , but thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  43. Struggled quite a lot with this, favourite was 7d, last in and needing the hint was 22d as I had entered 29a incorrectly even having googled it. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  44. Good evening
    Another loooooong slog today – it doesn’t help, I suppose, that I take the crozzie to work to do in my break, but honest to God, it was only towards the end that answers started to drop in, and the SW quadrant proved the trickiest.
    A definite Crikey!! for 27a. Thanks to our compiler and to Pommers

  45. 3*/2*….
    liked 8D “Band’s digital content? (4,6)”
    Thanks to Peter+Swinyard in comment 20 for explaining “standards” in 27A.

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