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DT 30272

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30272

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re just home after delivering our daughter and grandson to the train station. They have been with us since Easter and we really enjoyed spending this time together. Now we are back to normal again with a 2 person household.

Having had 3 puzzles from Robyn in the last week we can be pretty sure that it will be a different setter today. Feel free to have a guess, We’ll save ours until tomorrow morning.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Depressing affair with the French flu spreading (7)
DOLEFUL : String together an affair or social function, the French definite article and an anagram (spreading) of FLU.

5a     Clear — and unaware havng left one out (7)
OBVIOUS : Start with a word meaning unaware and remove from within it L(eft) and Roman numeral one.

9a     Reduce score (5)
SLASH : A double definition. Score here could be a damaging mark.

10a     Service provider boffin lacking case to confront cold headless monster (9)
OFFICIANT : The word boffin with the first and last letters (case) removed, then C(old) and finally, a monster like that slain by ‘Beanstalk Jack’ with the first letter removed.

11a     Best six won fighting for this in court (7,3)
WITNESS BOX : An anagram (fighting) of BEST SIX WON.

12a     Fish barrel, say, without cover (4)
TUNA : A size of barrel and what is left when the first and last letters are removed from ‘say’.

14a     Mother’s upset with son beset by criticism — drink in here? (7,5)
THERMOS FLASK : An anagram (upset) of MOTHERS, then another word for criticism contains S(on).

18a     Proceed controversially welcoming monarch and Republican hierarchy (7,5)
PECKING ORDER : A male monarch is enclosed by an anagram (controversially) of PROCEED, and to finish off, R(epublican).

21a     Could this be hidden by residents in kitchen? (4)
SINK : An all-in-one clue with the answer being a lurker hiding in the clue.

22a     Charge for each favourite to commit? (10)
PERPETRATE : In the order they appear on the answer we have a word meaning for each, a synonym for favourite, and another word for a charge.

25a     This may mean hell if any sidled off (6,3)
DEADLY SIN : An anagram (off) of ANY SIDLED.

26a     Locates tourist attractions for broadcast (5)
SITES : A homophone (for broadcast) of what can be called tourist attractions.

27a     The sauce of American sailor captured by Civil Defence (7)
CUSTARD : The two letters signifying American and an informal word for a sailor are enclosed by the abbreviation for Civil Defence.

28a     What may be smoked by champion in bed? (7)
CHEROOT : A young child’s bed contains a champion like Achilles.


1d     Refuse to acknowledge racket surrounding pig (6)
DISOWN : A female pig is inside a loud noise.

2d     Sign outside worker’s shed (4-2)
LEAN-TO : A worker insect is inside a Zodiac sign.

3d     Scale getting hot in a fire then exploded (10)
FAHRENHEIT :An anagram (exploded) of A FIRE THEN contains another H(ot).

4d     Steals a great amount, pocketing nothing (5)
LOOTS : A word meaning a great amount contains the letter that looks like zero.

5d     Not too well away, go red? (3-6)
OFF-COLOUR : Away or not at work and a verb that could mean go red.

6d     Conservative in struggle for grip (4)
VICE : Struggle or compete contains C(onservative).

7d     Vampire not originally dressed in gold — like Sybil? (8)
ORACULAR : Remove the first letter from Bram Stoker’s famous vampire and surround this with the heraldic word for gold.

8d     Disappointments of defenders suppressed by group (8)
SETBACKS : A group or clique and then defenders in a sports team.

13d     Feeling left following a smack? (10)
AFTERTASTE : A cryptic definition for what’s left in the mouth following a sampling.

15d     Right before exit, journalist deteriorated (9)
REGRESSED : R(ight), then another word for an exit and a senior journalist.

16d     Occasional saga about one’s party given a lift (8)
EPISODIC : A synonym for a saga encloses ‘one’s’ written as Roman numeral and the ‘S, then a party or function is reversed (given a lift).

17d     Working class and public outrages (8)
SCANDALS : An anagram (working) of CLASS AND.

19d     Work on body producing military display (6)
TATTOO : A double definition.

20d     Judge’s case before raising tax for A-listers? (3,3)
JET SET : The first and last letters of judge, then the reversal of tax or put to trial.

23d     Comic in a play stifling return of terror (5)
PANIC : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

24d     Jumper‘s brief worry crossing line (4)
FLEA : Worry or deep anxiety without its last letter contains L(ine).

Lots of penny-drop moments today but we’ll go for our last to get sorted 16d as favourite.

Quickie pun     grey    +    tidier    =    great idea

91 comments on “DT 30272

  1. Quite tough for a Wednesday (I think I’ve got the correct day today!) and 7d my last one in delayed my finish for a ***/*** result. The anagrams helped as ever and I thought 5d rather good and that gets my COTD. Thanks to our hinters and the setter.

  2. I thought this a tad trickier than the average midweek back pager and although I haven’t counted it felt a touch anagram heavy at the time.
    7d a new word but easily obtainable from wordplay and checkers.
    Though nothing jumped out at me as obvious favourite (it was all very good) I’ll mention a group in the SW these being 18&27a plus 16&17d.
    Many thanks to the setter and The Ks.

  3. This was indeed tricky for a Wednesday and full of intricately worded clues. There was a lot of guesswork and reverse engineering but it was satisying to complete it unaided. I liked 15d, 5a and joint COTD’s 7d and 16d. Was there a misprint in 13d, do you think, in the dead tree version. Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for the hints.

        1. Ah, that explains it. I’m with the dead tree – a dinosaur I know, but nothing beats pen and paper and it’s much easier on arthritic fingers!

            1. My paper version hasn’t got a misprint, I think the Telegraph is printed in two locations.

  4. A mixed bag for me. Liked the two longer clues but the answers to the crossing 10a and 7d felt like odd words. Also not sure whether 13d really works as a clue or whether the sauce in 27a is really a sauce. Managed to finish though so an overall tick from me. COTD for me 18a. Thanks to the setter and the two flightless ones.

      1. Of course it’s a sauce. It just happens to be a sweet one like chocolate sauce on ice cream…… now I’m hungry! 😂🍨🍨

  5. I found this an enjoyable, steady solve with no obscurities to hold me up. With only 4 full anagrams this was right up my street, though I must admit the partial ones were very helpful. I particularly liked 10a,27a, 7d and 15d. My COTD is 14a. Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  6. 2*/4*. Good fun with 7d, 13d & 15d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  7. A most enjoyable puzzle this morning, with a few slightly “chewier” clues in the S making it a little more challenging overall than the last couple of days. Some lovely deceit employed in the clue construction, and well-hidden definitions. For me the podium was shared by 18a (great surface read of combined clue & answer) and 7d, with 25a the runner-up.

    2 / 3.5

    Many thanks indeed to the setter, and of course to the 2Ks

  8. This was quite hard work – worried after first pass but then steady progress until just one or two ” stickers”. Very enjoyable and very satisfying to finish.
    Thanks to all concerned!

  9. A well clued puzzle providing an enjoyable solve.
    Going for a***/****.
    Favourites were 14a and 18a,
    Liked 7d, was thinking of Basil,s wife!
    Thanks to setter and 2K,S

  10. A very pleasing Wednesday puzzle. Good clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 7d – I had to guess/confirm the answer but the word-play is top-notch. 3*/4*.

    *Is that Sam Dingle in the witness box at 11a? And would the 2Ks know who he is?

                1. It always amazes me how people on here align so gleefully in supportive negativity! What is gained by going to the trouble of confirmimg that you’ve also never heard of something or somebody? A mystery character has featured on the blog and I have identified them – so now you have a new snippet of invaluable GK to add to your personal repertoire! :-)

                  *Tongue-in-cheek, yes – but only partially.

                  1. You are absolutely right Jose ! Is it a British characteristic to distance ourselves
                    from soap operas, reality shows, drag queen competitions and such?
                    Mea culpa.
                    I’ll try to promise never to do it again, it IS stupid.

          1. And my reply to your question was decidedly rhetorical. :-) Apparently, the soap in question is the second most watched daytime programme after the news in NZ. So, the 2Ks may know of the character

        1. No, you mostly can’t in the US. But then I don’t watch those over here, nor reality shows, drag queen shows, etc. Give me a good drama any day, and luckily, we do get a few imported from the UK.

        2. I don’t watch soaps. Can’t stand them. I much prefer sitcoms from the 80s. You know (pauses to put on rose tinted spectacles), in the good old days.

          1. Sorry, Jose but who cares whether you know an obscure actor in a picture hint or not

            1. I don’t watch Emmerdale but I instantly recognised the man in the witness box. Like soaps or not, I would hardly call an actor who has appeared as a regular character in a programme which has been on air for many years obscure.

              1. Well said, WW. I don’t watch Emmerdale either but my late parents did and it was often on when I visited. As you say, how can a character/actor that’s been on telly virtually every day for the last 28 years (I’ve just googled it) be described as “obscure”. Where else would the mentioning of a well-known soap character cause such a kerfuffle?

  11. More of a head scratcher than usual for a Wednesday but as enjoyable as ever – 2.5*/4*

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 22a, 1d, and 17d – and the winner is 22a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  12. I have to agree with earlier commenters that this was a tad harder than a usual Wednesday, but all the better for it. The anagrams certainly helped me to get a foothold, then everything flowed nicely thereafter. From a goodly selection of clues, 7 and 13d clambered to the top of the podium. Most enjoyable.

    Thanks to our midweek setter and the 2Ks.

  13. I agree that this seemed slightly tougher than a normal Wednesday. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.
    The clues I liked best were 22a and 13d.

  14. I did cringe at some of the surface reads in this one and that rather detracted from the enjoyment which was a shame.
    Not to worry, seems to have gone down reasonably well.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review.

  15. Workmanlike progress to an unaided conclusion.
    Slight hesitation with 13d as the clue’s last word did not readily come to mind as something you taste.
    Honourable mention 25a and 7d.
    Anagrams helped considerably.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis

  16. Tricky little devil with clumsy clues and two words that I had to look up in 10a and 7d.
    Rather poor I thought.
    Thx for the hints

  17. Most enjoyable although I did take a while to get into it. I found it a little on the tough side but the clues were fair and, if the instructions were followed, eminently solvable with some thought. I loved the Bram Stoker clue. I read the book in question when I was fourteen after one of my aunts recommended it. However, my COTD is 12a because, for me and I stress for me (Terence 2023), I thought it was rather neat.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun challenge. Many thanks to the 2Ks for the hints and I bet your house seems quiet now.

    Pouring with rain in The Marches.

    1. Off piste for a bit! I always think of Ireland as having a mild climate, damp with Scots mist all the time, but in Ballybuglebo they have snowstorms that would put the Donner Pass to shame, and rainstorms with horizontal rain and zero visibility. Do they ever have spring or summer?

      1. Of course they do, Merusa. That’s when they hold all those ta-ta-ta-ras in their gardens – or ‘grounds’ in the case of the Marquis!

        1. When it comes to Ballybucklebo I’m a slow reader. I love my visits so much I just want to relish them and not leave in haste. Consequently, I‘m still on book one and the delights of “those ta-ta-ta-ras” I have yet to enjoy. ☘️☘️☘️

          1. Well, Ireland is not known as The Emerald Isle for nothing. All that rain makes vegetation grow.

  18. I struggled to get a foothold with this but finally the top half went in OK although Mr Google had to tell me who Sybil was. Rather an odd puzzle really as some were extremely easy and others not so. Another positive test this morning which is so depressing so will now wait until the weekend before trying again. Just asked if my neighbour would like to harvest the remains of this year’s bumper wild garlic crop as I am finding bending over picking is not doing my head any good. Thanks to the setter and the two Kiwis.

    1. Oh no Mandelshtam. You are having a rough time. If I lived closer I’d bring you my last uneaten chocolate rabbit.

      1. Aah, thanks DG – unfortunately my taste seems to have gone awol too and everything tastes a bit like cardboard, not that I am in the habit of chewing cardboard!

        1. Heaven knows where Mandelshtam came from! Sorry Manders. Think positive, you are going to look even better in your swim suit.

          1. It doesn’t work that way, Daisy. I can’t bear the taste of food, consequently I chew on junk that’s salty!

  19. Found this Wednesday puzzle a tad tricky and difficult, especially in the SE that included bung-ins, but no parsing that I could figure out. For me I consider it a DNF for me as I just don’t understand the answers to the clues and the parsing. Not a satisfying finish … even though I am sure they are correct.

    3*/3* today for me.

    Favourites(?) include 14a, 19a, 27a, 1d & 3d … but no stand out winner but 27a is as close as it gets.

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  20. I agree with the above feelings of this being trickier than many Wednesdays. I did get there in the end after discussing a couple with FUSS (fairly useful spouse sometimes) which clarified 7d and 13d which I could not explain. Subsequently the hints have confirmed what we put in. I liked 18a best with 22a a close second.

    FUSS managed to finish the grass cut mid am before the heavens opened and all the garden chairs were carried away across the garden by several sudden gusts.

    Many thanks to the 2kiwis for the confirmatory explanations and the setter.

  21. I absolutely loved this. Filling in 1a&1d I thought, Smylers was asking about simple cryptics and I reckon these two are the absolute epitome of a neat cryptic clue. It is what it says on the tin. My grid is in a mess because I confidently wrote in Protest March at 18a without parsing the clue. I ought to know better. 14a was my bestest, but really I enjoyed the whole thing. Many thanks to the Setter and the two K’s, I envy them their Easter – it’s a long time since my two grandsons were little and we did egg hunts round the garden. I just

  22. A bit of thought needed to complete this Wednesdays puzzle, but I enjoyed the challenge.


    Fav 18a LOI 7d.

    Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis.

  23. I have been tackling cryptic crosswords for a little while now, and though I have a very long way to go before I become proficient, I am enjoying them. This site has been of tremendous value and aid to me as I endeavour to improve my cryptic solving skills. I took out a subscription to the Daily Telegraph crossword club, and here I am now. I particularly like the extra hints I can get by coming here when I am stuck, and it’s great that I have to click a button to see the answer, preventing any accidental reveals. Though I do have to say that I’m not a fan of the pictures appearing in the clue hints, as they sometimes give too much away, practically giving the answer at a glance on some occasions (like the picture of the billy goat a few days back). Other than that this site is great.

    I do not time my attempts as it often takes much of the morning, or even day, with frequent breaks. Today I managed to answer all clues, only coming here twice for extra help. Unfortunately I answered one clue incorrectly. For 9a I put SMASH. 😔

    1. Welcome Mike. I was hopeless before retirement but this site and relatively frequent attempts has yielded a modest level of proficiency: I am sure you will find the same. Enjoy!

    2. Stick with it, Mike – well done today (smash an understandable alternative) and keep commenting! This site is quite brilliant, and most of us owe a huge debt of gratitude to Big Dave and all bloggers past and present for the improvements we’ve experienced in our crossword-solving skills (let alone for the community that has developed here). Over the years it’s certainly enabled me to tackle puzzles with much more confidence and pleasure.

    3. Welcome, Mike. Your tale sounds very similar to mine and many on here. My solving skills have come on in leaps and bounds since joining Big Dave. Please comment some more. :good:

    4. Me too, Mike – I used to complete a few, then someone gave me aa BRB (4th edition so I think I need to update) and a “How to do Cryptic Crosswords” which I went through this carefully from cover to cover and improved greatly. But then found this site and am so grateful as I certainly have improved no end. But, still not brilliant. Last summer, whilst on holiday and in the absence of a DT, I tried a Times Cryptic and got one in. I could not start to figure out the rest, and even more depressing, I found once I had the answers I still hadn’t the foggiest. If the Times has a site like this, I couldn’t find it and ended up feeling very frustrated. So all credit to the reviewers who do this voluntarily and I do feel uncomfortable when they get negative feedback. After all, if the explanation isn’t clear, then we only have to ask (unless, of course, it is a prize puzzle and we have to wait for the full review for full illumination). For clarification, as people do seem to easily get the huff, I was not in anyway suggesting you had given negative feedback, it was only a general comment.

      1. Hi Anne.

        There is a blog called Timesforthetimes. It gives answers and clue explanations to both Times cryptic crosswords (the 15×15 and the “Quick Cryptic”). It doesn’t give extra clue tips like this one does though.

        1. Thanks Mike, I’ll bear it in mind for the next time, although now DH has decided £4 per week for the Saturday Telegraph is too expensive and instead signed me up for the Telegraph online puzzles (as he said, incorrectly, that I never read the paper, but only had it for the crossword puzzle), I have enough puzzles here to keep me busy from morning to night! And, what’s more, I will be able to access whilst on holiday. I am beginning to think he might be regretting his decision and wishing I only had the Saturday crossword to work on 😂

  24. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Kiwis.

    An enjoyable Wednesday challenge somewhat more difficult than usual for the mid-week slot.

    ps. 18a reminds me of the famous Rufus clue: Kiss me, Hardy (7,5)

    1. That’s a great one, Stan!

      As was the crossword that was a stiff midweek challenge, keeping me on my toes. I threw in the towel with 10a.

      A fine effort by the compiler to parse 7d. A word which, I’m sure, we’ll never see again.

      I love it how weather forecasters and announcers always use 3d when it’s really hot, e.g ”It was 104 today” as opposed to the Celsius equivalent, and Celsius when it’s really cold as it’s a lower number, e,g it was -5 today as 23 doesn’t sound as cold.

      COTD is 28a as it conjures up a great image.


  25. Struggled big time with this, but came back to it after a break and eventually finished.

    Thanks to setter and 2Ks

  26. I would be telling porkie pies if I said I found this pleasing or that I was able to finish without the benefit of the 2Kiwis hints, thank you. I remain in awe of the bloggers who manage to solve and put out all this help for those of us who will always need pointing in the right direction. I did weaken and break my rule of limiting myself to only the picture hints. Thankfully, after reading a handful more of the across ones, plus 7d (😕), I had sufficient checkers to finish the rest myself. So not tremendously enjoyable, clearly above my pay grade.

  27. I did, surprisingly, finish this but not unaided. One thing that helped a lot, so many checking letters were unusual enough to help solving it, e.g. 18a, which is also my fave. I knew who Sybil was so just needed to get the ending, I had the “u” so it just solved itself. I did need ehelp with some, not least to spell 3d. We’ve had the “mothers” before for 14a, so that helped. I can’t imagine what Thursday and Friday are going to be like!
    Thanks to setter, and hugely grateful to the 2Kiwis for unravelling so much.

  28. At my first read through I could only see a handful of answers but eventually I gained momentum. Loved the anagrams which always give one a lift up. Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

    1. Yes, I’m always grateful for the anagrams which often provide a way in when you are otherwise stuck.

  29. Five in on first read through. Then with breaks and help from BRB, I was left with only 4 I couldn’t figure out and had to refer to the hints. Do we know who was the compiler?
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  30. Morning all.
    Have to admit that we totally failed to see the typo in 5a. In fact had to re-read the clue several times this morning before noticing that there is an ‘i’ missing. However we did note (but nobody has commented on it yet) that we think there is a typo in the name in 7d where the Y and I have been transposed.
    When we were selecting the pic for 11a we did not know who the person was but did speculate as to whether UK solvers would recognise him, but thought it wouldn’t matter anyway.
    Nobody has yet had a guess for the setter. We’ll suggest NY Doorknob but only a tentative guess.

    1. I never noticed the transposing of letters in 7d, even though my mnemonic for that oracle is that the letters are different to the Christian name that’s common. Well spotted!

    2. I only noticed the typo in 7d when I Googled the reference with the puzzle complete – but I agree it seems wrong. As I said in my summary, I thought the wordplay pretty obvious for 7d which could be why others didn’t notice!

  31. Concur with others that this seemed a bit trickier than normal but personally I found the wordplay a bit easier to compensate. 7d for example was new to me, but the wordplay quite friendly. 13d left me wondering – at first I assumed ‘smack’ was a typo; then I thought of ‘lip smacking’ but that didn’t seem to work either given that is in anticipation of food…

    I did like 18a, 22a and 5d but a few too many eyebrow twitches for this to be loved **/***

    Thanks to our mystery setter and 2Ks

  32. Solved early this morning but the first chance to comment. A technical DNF as last in 9a took 2 stabs to get the right answer – like newbie Mike (welcome from me also) I also bunged in smash without any confidence, got the incorrect completion message & immediately saw the correct answer. Both 7d&10a unfamiliar to me but easily gettable from the wordplay with the former my clear pick of the clues. 1,18&25a along with 13,15&16d other particular likes in a very enjoyable puzzle despite, as Jane noted, some iffy surface reads.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks

  33. Rather surprised so many found this difficult. Like Mike I am new to this. I managed at least half the clues on the first couple of passes which I usually only do on Mondays and Saturdays. Thanks again to all that post here

  34. At one point I was making up words and finding they were right. Like others I struggled through this and on completion couldn’t see why, the mark of a good crossword I suppose. Good fun though. Favourite was 7d, one of the words I made up and wasn’t slowed up by a typo. Well done setter and 2K’s.

  35. I agree with the concensus of this being tricky for midweek, not being a classicist I needed e help for 7d. Solving on my tablet I did enter dracular not having entered 5a at that stage but quickly realised that dracula has no r at the end so turned to e help. My clue of the day was 22a. Not very April temperatures in Bracknell today. Thanks to Twmbarlwm and mysteron

  36. Fun with steady progress for me, though I got too tired to continue with it last night, so finished it this morning while watching pre-breakfast Countdown. I needed electronic help with some of the anagrams, and the Kiwis’ help after getting 7d to see that it even was an anagram (with “and” in there, I was trying to make it work as Lego, obviously without success).

    5d was my favourite when solving, but I now see I’ve mis-parsed it: I had just ‘red’ as being a definition, as in imaging buttons where green is the ‘on’ colour; red is the ‘off’ colour. But that wouldn’t allow for the “away, go” in the clue. So I’ll instead go for the popular 22a.

    Thank you to the Kiwis for the explanations, the commenters for the enjoyable discussions above, and — let’s say — NY Doorknob for the puzzle.

  37. Very challenging, but the pleasure was in having almost achieved an unaided finish except for tow unknown words in NE.Thanks to setter and 2 Ks.

  38. I thought I was on for a decent ( not quite a record) time today. Alas, I could not clear my mind of ‘Au’ instead of ‘Or’ in 7 down. : (

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