DT 30271 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30271

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30271
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

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

Good morning. Great fun to solve, with a fair distribution of clues of varying difficulty, plenty of examples of skilfully disguising the line between definition and wordplay, and four clues with amusingly topical surfaces.
I had to ponder longer than usual over a handful of clues – notably the crossing 7d and 12a – so I’ve added an extra half-star for difficulty, although in retrospect nothing seemed unusually tough…

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 Photographing celebrity’s heavenly body (8,4)
SHOOTING STAR: A straight charade of synonyms of each of the first two words

9a Esteemed leaders from President Eisenhower’s Cabinet entering relaxed (9)
RESPECTED: The first letters (leaders from) of three consecutive words going inside (entering) a word meaning relaxed or refreshed

10a Rock star holding good drum (5)
BONGO: The stage name of the activist and lead singer of an Irish rock group containing (holding) the usual letter for good

11a Youngster‘s outfit nurse cut short (6)
KITTEN: A three-letter word for outfit or uniform, and a word for nurse, as a verb, missing its last letter (cut short)

12a Purchase flat almost with fury (8)
LEVERAGE: Another truncated word (almost) followed by a synonym of fury. This one took me a while, even after I’d considered the deceptive definition’s less obvious meaning.

13a Pries around, grabbing sofa’s last spring, perhaps (6)
SEASON: A reversal (around) of a word meaning pries, or snoops, containing (grabbing) a last letter as indicated

15a Conservative protected by wicked elite — no thing a Labour MP wants? (8)
ELECTION: The letter for Conservative is contained by (protected by) an anagram (wicked) of ELITE NO

18a Gentle exercises with expert virtually complete (8)
PEACEFUL: The two-letter initialism for a school gym period, a synonym of expert, and a word meaning complete without its last letter (virtually)

19a Pester nocturnal animal (6)
BADGER: A fairly simple double definition

21a Awful pity if Den misses parking spot (8)
IDENTIFY: An anagram (awful) of PITY IF DEN minus the letter that signifies Parking

23a Play golf in the morning and rush, lacking time (6)
GAMBOL: The letter that Golf represents in the NATO phonetic alphabet, plus the two-letter initialism for in the morning, and a word meaning rush, or run away suddenly, without the letter for time

26a Best stuff outside Spain (5)
CREAM: A word for stuff, as a verb, goes around (outside) the international vehicle registration letter for Spain

27a Warbler‘s eaten such nuts (9)
CHANTEUSE: An anagram (nuts) of EATEN SUCH

28a Handsome judge — and intelligent (12)
CONSIDERABLE: A synonym of judge, or think carefully, and one for intelligent, or skilled


1d Train drivers have been going on these small vehicles (7)
STRIKES: The usual letter for small plus the plural of a vehicle that for many of us would have been our first self-powered ride

2d Start working with clique (5)
ONSET: A two-letter word for working, or in operation, and a synonym for clique or group

3d So tense in this place with enemy restricting resistance (9)
THEREFORE: The letter for tense in grammar, a word meaning in this place, then a synonym of enemy containing (restricting) the letter used for resistance in physics and electronics

4d Lifted school register (4)
NOTE: A reversal (lifted) of a famous private school that Hugh Laurie went to (if you’d rather not think of its politicians instead)

5d Eccentric lady’s nude, dropping attire initially in two shakes (8)
SUDDENLY: An anagram (eccentric) of LADY’S NUDE without (dropping) the first letter (initially) of attire

6d Doctor left with little energy after a stroll (5)
AMBLE: One of the many two-letter abbreviations for a doctor, plus the letters for left and (little) energy, all following (after) ‘a’ from the clue

7d Pretty promising (8)
ENGAGING: A double definition, one of which means fascinating. Another straightforward one that stymied me for a bit

8d Conservative politician regularly drunk — it’s what he wants to do? (6)
GOVERN: The surname of an MP who’s been in and out of favour so many times I’ve lost count, plus alternate letters (regularly) of drunk. Probably my favourite clue in the puzzle

14d Naked, we fancy, assuming adult’s excited (8)
AWAKENED: An anagram (fancy) of NAKED WE containing (assuming) the letter for adult

16d Chat with carer about odd fellow (9)
CHARACTER: An anagram (about) of CHAT [with] CARER

17d Tops on French mugs (8)
SURFACES: The French word for on, plus a synonym of mugs in the sense of eg police photos

18d Worth keeping Meghan, ultimately, Harry? (6)
PRINCE: A synonym of worth, or cost, containing (keeping) a last letter (ultimately) as indicated

20d Religious education fib? I’ve no current excuse (7)
RELIEVE: A two-letter school lesson, a straight synonym of fib, and ‘I’ve’ minus the letter that stands for current in physics

22d Oddly, the male picked up work rate (5)
TEMPO: Alternate letters (oddly), plus the letter for male and a two-letter diminutive of opus (musical ‘work’) reversed (picked up)

24d Obscure book — this could be on the cover (5)
BLURB: A synonym of obscure, or smudge, plus the letter that stands for book

25d Pop group forbidden on the radio (4)
BAND: A homophone (on the radio) of forbidden

My particular favourites were 11a, 13a, 15a, 27a, 1d, 8d and 18d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: TOO + MAN + TENSE = TWO-MAN TENTS

91 comments on “DT 30271

  1. Very enjoyable indeed. Wouldn’t disagree with any of our reviewer’s picks. Hands up any buffoons who like me tried to justify buffoons at 17d before the benefit of the last checker once the penny had dropped at 27a & they’d stopped trying to think of some obscure bird from the fodder.
    Thanks to the setter & T

  2. Very quickly done, almost, with only 11a and 1d to go.
    Mental blockage.
    Went away.
    Came back.
    Thought second part of 1d a bit stretched.
    I do not regard my Moulton as a vehicle.
    Big smile at 10a.
    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

  3. First puzzle i have actually completed in a long time. Deceptive but fair clues with all the hints in the word play. Very enjoyable. 12 across caused me some head scratching as did 11across.
    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm. 3*/4*

  4. Really enjoyable with a fresh feel to it – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    I liked 1a, 12a, 28a and 1d but my favourite (for the picture it created) was 8d.

  5. This was a nicely balanced puzzle with some very good surface readings. Like others, 8d leapt off the page as a favourite straight away. Great fun.

    My thanks to our setter and Mr T.

  6. 2*/4*. This was great fun with the outstanding 8d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr T.

  7. Very topical and enjoyable, all round, and I would have flown through if not for the sluggishness of the Telegraph Puzzles website. I dread having to delete any letters and find myself wrestling with it everyday. Does anyone else have trouble with it or is it just my pc that needs a kick up the anagram?

  8. I liked this a lot. I too invented several warbling birds from the anagram fodder before I went to the BRB to see if I had invented another word, which, not being a frequenter of night clubs these days, was new to me but seemed quite feasible, which indeed it was. Also held up by 12a, because, although I was considering the right sort of purchase, I had the wrong word (enticing) at 7d giving me the wrong checking letter. Sorting all that out took me as long as the rest of the puzzle. My podium today consists of 1a, 23a, 8d and my COTD 17d. Thanks to the setter for the enjoyment and Twmbarlwm for confirming 12a.

  9. Light, gentle, and pretty Tuesday-ish. A couple of odd surface reads, and it’s high time that particular school took a very long holiday! Hon Mentions to 1d, 8d & 18d.

    1.5 / 2

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

    1. Couldn’t agree more re the school. Hear hear! So too, buttery goats. Not that the latter’s been used today, but still. Enough is surely enough for these old chestnuts. Time for a little rest.

      1. Aw, come on! I like chestnuts especially when they are roasted in the ashcan under a log fire. 🌰

  10. Quite an enjoyable Tuesday puzzle and rosettes handed out to 1a plus 1&8d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

  11. Typically Tuesdayish with the usual indicators that this is an Anthony Plumb production. I do wish that he would pop in occasionally to ‘claim’ his excellent work. **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 3d, 17d, and 24d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Twmbarlwm.

  12. Another very enjoyable solve. Nicely testing but I got it all sorted out eventually.
    Liked 11a and 12a best out of a great field.

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

    It’s still cold here! Thankfully sunny, though, today.

  13. Very enjoyable, this was right up my street, I particularly enjoyed the contemporary references so will go with 10,15&28 plus 1&8d as worthy of special mention
    Good stuff indeed.
    Thanks setter and Twmbarlwm

    Excellent Robyn Toughie for those with time or inclination by the way

  14. Very enjoyable but slightly on the tough side for me. I smiled at the topical 18d along with 8d and its politician. It took me a while to sort out the anagram at 27a because I went through all the species of birds I could think of. Others of note were 1a, 11a and 17d but my COTD because of the crashing penny is 13a.

    Many thanks to the setter for a fun puzzle that had just the right balance of the straightforward and head scratchers. Many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the hints.

    There has been some sunshine this morning in The Marches but clouds are gathering in readiness for the forecasted downpours and wind.

      1. I agree, Daisygirl. It had a great misdirection that I fell for hook, line and sinker.

  15. Reasonably straightforward – held up only slightly in the NE. As with SL and others, I loved the topical references and even 23a brought to mind a cartoon from a rival (?) rag. 1d especially made me laugh and was my COTD.

  16. Anagrams helped to a */*** finish. As Twmbarlwm says lots of topicality with 1d being my favourite and COTD. 23a reminded me of my run on Friday morning from Tavistock to Horndon with the attached photo of said activity making photo of the day on Saturday in the Plymouth Evening Herald. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and our setter.

        1. It’s rather annoying as I know you would all like the photo: I’ll try again in this response D but if no photo attached you know why.

              1. Absolutely lovely! England is beautiful and I’d live there tomorrow if I could handle the climate.

                  1. Not Manders,, but I’d have to say Jamaica. Hot, steamy but always a breeze, sea breeze in the day and land breeze at night. Why don’t I return to live there? Something called Medicare! It’s only valid here.

  17. Enjoyed this a lot and I also looked for a warbling bird! D tested negative today hurrah but I’m still positive. Thanks for your advice yesterday Steve. Also thanks to setter and hinter

  18. Help pls!! (See below)

    Hugely enjoyable lunchtime fare. I do love and admire a short-ish, clever – and fair – clue. Perfect for a Tuesday, I thought.

    But I am still sweating over a weekend Times puzzler and I was hoping your big brains could help…

    End of transition leaving you undecided (4)

    I managed to crack it – the defining word is fairly straightforward. But, for the life of me, I don’t get the parsing. There is an N in there, which might explain “end of transition” but then there’s the “leaving”. And the “you” might mean something, or nothing. Or is just a simple takeaway, ie a word like “thou” minus an N? Or is something to do with transition or end of such? Etc, etc. I remain utterly blank. Any tips out there please? Rarely has a clue annoyed me so much, or for so long!

    1. ALP. Not sure if this is anything to do with it, but the letters at both ends of transition (TRON) are an anagram of the answer.

      1. Ta Jose. Though, if that’s the case, surely it should read ends of, not end of? And even then it would be dubious. Where’s the anagram indicator? You may well have cracked it but I really don’t like this clue. As ever, I much prefer the Tel crosswords. Grrr.

        1. I enjoy both tremendously but find the Times & (backpage) DT crosswords are as chalk and cheese, ALP – very different styles but I’d be hard put to define exactly what it is that sets them apart from each other.

          1. They are indeed very different, yes. Do you know if they share any setters? I’m not aware of any crossover, but who knows? Back to that particular crossword, I’m still torn, as it were, over the clue that included “pining for the fjords”. Was it absurd or brilliant? Not sure. Hope this isn’t breaking etiquette 7 or 20!!

            1. Off the top of my head, Giovanni, Donnybrook, Dada, Elgar and Hudson are all Times setters. There are probably more.

            2. As anagram indicators go, the one in that clue was certainly new to me – not sure it would be permitted in the DT, even in a Toughie. I think it’s a super clue, a little off the wall but very “Timesy”.

              No idea about setter cross-over – I find it hard enough to identify DT setters and don’t usually even spot the Toughie setters until coming in here to see what others have thought of a puzzle. Part of me likes to know the identities, another part says ‘no, knowing the setter in advance confers an advantage to the experienced solver’ (eg knowing a Bean Toughie is most unlikely to contain an anagram).

              1. Absolutely. The anagram indicator was certainly new to me, rather brilliant and, as far as I know, unique. On reflection, a very clever clue. Some Python (hope that’s subtle enough to appease the sticklers!) knowledge is seldom a bad thing! Re knowing the setters’ identities, I take your point and there’s also fun to be had trying to guess but, on balance, I’d prefer to know. Not a big deal though!

    2. The clue’s from a Times prize puzzle that hasn’t closed yet – hope they don’t see this. :whistle:

      1. Not a lot ‘they’ can do about it though! I’d not parsed my answer to that clue myself at the weekend, and so was pleased to see the question posed here, and the proffered solutions (thank you ALP, Gazza & GJR).

      2. This blog’s Comment Etiquette Nos 7 and 20 are probably relevant to this chain of comments

        1. Huge thanks to all, despite the very mild rebuke from Sue! But thank you, phew, of course. Doh..

  19. Top half: I got way more than usual (for me) answers on the first pass on the train into work, and was wondering whether this would be a suitable puzzle to give the 10-year-old, who recently mentioned a preference for cryptic clues but disappointment that children’s and ‘easy’ crosswords are all straight, so there aren’t really cryptic puzzles at their level.

    Bottom half: I struggled to get a start, and after only a few answers resorted to letter-matching and anagram tools at lunchtime to crawl to a full grid. Definitely not giving this to the 10-year-old.

    The topical 1d was my favourite, mainly for the long definition with short wordplay. Thank you to the setter and hinter.

    Anybody else play PopMaster with Ken Bruce (recently moved to Greatest Hits Radio)? Yesterday, at home in front of the children, I scored a poor 9 and 15; today I somehow managed 36 (my highest score in years) and 26 — in the office by myself, with nobody to appreciate my brilliance!

      1. Thanks so much: I’ve got the 10-year-old at home with me tomorrow (while the 8-year-old is off on an outdoor adventure thing), so that might be just the thing.

        1. Like the back pager, they do get trickier as the week progresses but you can search the archives for the easier ones that help budding cruciverbalists.

          I use the site to help me get ideas for cryptic clues. I have been compiling a puzzle for the last two months and I have set myself a target of coming up with a clue each day.

          So far, it is rubbish! 🤣

      2. Thanks for that Steve. I have had an unanswered request for something like this in “comments” for two weeks now and had just about given up hope.

    1. Yes Smylers, I listen to Pop Master during my morning coffee break. I hate it if the phone or doorbell rings and interrupts my score. I was out shopping this morning so no score today. Well done on your high scores.

      1. Thanks — but there’s a lot of luck involved! It isn’t like I was an objectively better player today than yesterday.

  20. Not much more to say, it was a delight and 8d had to be the favourite although 5&17d were pretty good, and the warbler. How do they do it? Hats off to setter and Twm. We had a traumatic day yesterday going to visit DD1. Heartbreaking doesn’t even begin to cover it. Sure tests one’s faith!

    1. I cannot begin to image how distressing this is for you and George. It’s awful enough when it happens to a spouse, but for it to happen to one’s child is unthinkable.

    2. I’m so sorry to hear of your distress, DG. My thoughts and prayers are yours. 🌹

  21. A very nice Tuesday puzzle; for me a little harder than normal for this day, bringing it up to just about average difficulty for a back-pager. Really good clues and an enjoyable solve. Of a fine set of clues I will pick 8d as my favourite. 2.5*/4*.

    *Just an observation about 22d – I prefer “picked up” as a good homophone indicator than a reversal indicator in a down clue.

    *Since a “vehicle” can be any conveyance with wheels by which people or goods are transported, it can be a trike or any bicycle.

  22. As per usual for Tuesday, a step up in difficulty compared to Monday. No weird words, just a few tricky head scratchers to contend with.

    1.5*/3.5* for today

    Favourites include 19a, 23a, 27a, 1d & 25d with winner by a mile 1d
    Very clever!!!

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  23. They say practice make perfect, so I’m putting my struggles today down to not having had time for the crossword for the last few days.

    Many thanks to setter, and to Twmbarlwm for many much needed hints.

  24. 2/4. Good fun with just the right amount of pen sucking to exercise the little grey cells. 8, 9 & 10d were my favourites. Thanks to the setter and Mr T.

  25. Mr Caboose again. Getting lots of bed-rest though. Thoroughly enjoyed this one last night, even knew who 8d was (but did Google to confirm). Think I’ll plump for 27a as my favourite as I’ve always loved the word and the special songstresses who have embodied that special ‘je ne sais quoi’. Thanks to Twm and our setter. **/****

  26. I enjoyed completing this just now, having wanted to try and do some gardening before the rain came. The gap between first looking this morning, when a little over half went in, and this afternoon allowed my grey cells to sort out some of the less obvious ones. There were some great clues and lots of going off on a tangent by me before finally having an ah ha moment. 27a was last in as like others I was hunting feathered creatures. 1d and 8d were joint favourites. I was glad of the hints to confirm a couple of parsings.

    many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm

  27. Plenty of nudity and politics – what’s not to like?!
    Good puzzle. Thank you setter and Twm

  28. I found it quite tricky with strange synonyms and quite parochial in parts. That is not a complaint before I get ticked off for that, Brit puzzle, natch some Brit topical clues. I did know the gent in 8d, I do read the BBC news from time to time, but I find it hard enough to keep up with our comedians. Fave was 17d, smile worthy, I liked 12a too.
    Thanks setter for the workout and Toombarloom for unravelling so much.

  29. Good afternoon
    Bit of an early finish today; a change in today’s duties has given me a two-hour break in Swindon, so I’ve spent half of it on the crozzie. Given the industry I’m in, I had a particularly wry chuckle to myself at 1d; 18d probably is worth a Crikey!; and you could have heard the CLUNK! of pennies dropping in Chippenham, when what passes for my brain-cell finally twigged 8d!
    Thank you to our setter and to Twmbarlwm

  30. Got off to a bad start by putting the answer to 13a into 11a. I saw lots of 23a…ing up in Northumberland last week. My favourite clues were 8d, followed by 10a. Thank you setter and Twm.

  31. I didn’t find this as easy as most above, mainly a wavelength thing I suspect. 1a went straight in, which for some strange reason usually means I will struggle later on, I cannot remember when the man in 8d has ever been popular, more a case of picking to “keep your enemies close” I imagine. So not as enjoyable as hoped, but having just returned from my final cataract surgery and a result of 20/20 in that eye I have nothing to complain about. Hope the left one works out as well later this year.

    1. I’m so pleased your cataract op went well, BL. I had mine done a couple of years ago and the joy of seeing clearly was wonderful.

      However, the sight in my right eye is becoming blurred again. I’m due to see the optician at the end of the month but I always thought that the replacement lens could not cloud over again so am slightly worried it is something else. Everyone I know who have had the op have not had the same thing.

      1. The capsule of the eye sometimes grows over the replacement lens and it has to be lasered away. This is happening to my right eye but very slowly so I just have to be checked once a year but don’t need treatment yet

        I seem to remember that the same thing happened to Big Dave too

      2. I was told it can happen, not often, but it’s something your eye does. But it doesn’t affect the new lens, they just have to go in and remove the new cloudy stuff that is getting in front of it. So fingers crossed that is what has happened with you and you will soon be fine again.

        1. Don’t relax, get it checked! My problem was glaucoma, I lost the sight in my right eye, so far the left is doing OK, though I’ve lost some sight.

  32. A nice crossword, clever, amusing with a few tricky ones 😬 ***/**** Some of the favourites 1, 12 & 27a plus 1 and 17d 🤗 Thanks to Twmbarlwm for explaining 3d amongst others and to the Setter who appears to have divided the Crossword Community 🤔

  33. Top half raced in, bottom half not so quick so about right for a Tuesday good amusing and topical clues. Favourite was 27a as I dragged that from my memory having come across it from a crossword some time ago. Thanks to the setter and T.

  34. Delightful puzzle. Enjoyed it enormously. Some old chestnuts but they help us along, and some novel clues. Thanks setter and thingumninob.

  35. Fairly difficult but doable and very enjoyable puzzle. There could be many ticks but my fav has to be 8d, my LOI and the only one I needed help for, it made me laugh. I shall now enjoy reading the hints and comments. Thanks to setter and my neighbour Mr. T.

  36. 3*/4*….
    liked 5D “Eccentric lady’s nude, dropping attire initially in two shakes (8)”

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