DT 30276 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30276

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30276

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from Almoradí on a lovely sunny morning but there’s a bit of a chill in the air.  Forecast to warm up later though.

I thought today’s puzzle was very enjoyable and not as tricky as the last one I reviewed.  It’s a bit light on anagrams (only two partials) so I know some of you will be disappointed but there’s some good stuff here.

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           King not returning for a dance (10)
CHARLESTON:  Our new king followed by a reversal (returning) of the NOT from the clue.

6a           Turn left following game (4)
GOLF:  Another word for your turn in a game (2) followed by L(eft) and an F(ollowing) gives you the game that spoils a nice walk in the country.

9a           This may attract fish — crumbled a bit at sea (10)
GROUNDBAIT:  A word meaning crumbled followed by an anagram (at sea) of A BIT.

10a        List of utensils initially taken by workers (4)
MENU:  Utensils initially gives us a U.  Put it next to some workers to get a list you would find in a restaurant.

12a        Sort to use a keyboard, maybe (4)
TYPE:  Another word for sort or kind is also what you do with a keyboard.

13a        Incisive, a new leader of team by ditch (9)
TRENCHANT:  A from the clue, N(ew) and a T (leader of Team) placed by another word for a ditch.

15a        Makes allegations about English righters of wrongs? (8)
AVENGERS:  A word meaning makes allegations or swears placed around the three letter abbreviation of English.

16a        Definitely not old, female in close (2,4)
NO FEAR:  Take an O(ld) and an F(emale) and insert into a word meaning close and the split the result (2,4) to get a phrase meaning definitely not.

18a        Celebrity on edge (6)
LEGEND:  The other word for the on side in cricket followed by a word meaning edge or finish.

20a        Military operation in barracks — a GI recalled name (8)
CAMPAIGN:  A word for barracks followed by the A from the clue, a reversal (recalled) of GI and finally an N(ame).

23a        Notoriousness of convict in European country (9)
FLAGRANCE:  A word for a convict inserted into (in) the European country that’s the other side of the channel.

24a        Highly loved person not wanting to work, we hear (4)
IDOL:  Sounds like (we hear) a word for not wanting to work or lazy.

26a        Sit on note including papers (4)
RIDE:  A note from the sol-fa scale around (including) two letters for your papers.

27a        Turned the ignition key  with it? (8,2)
SWITCHED ON:  Double definition.  With it as in fashionable or up to date.

28a        Husband with influence (4)
HAND:  H(usband) and a word meaning with.

29a        Gets across editor’s methods (10)
PROCEDURES:  A word meaning gets as in obtains placed around (across) the usual editor.


1d           Prison in constant decline (4)
CAGE:  This constant is the speed of light. Follow with a word meaning to decline or get older.

2d           Assistant in a small company — bright, it’s said (7)
ACOLYTE:  Start with the A from the clue and follow with the usual abbreviation (small) of company.  After that you need four letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced (it’s said) sound like a word meaning bright as in well lit.

3d           Squirearchy‘s got good record (6,6)
LANDED GENTRY:  A word meaning got or obtained, a fish perhaps, followed by G(ood) and a record, in a log book perhaps.

4d           Sorry tale of old boy on board, right-winger (3,5)
SOB STORY:  The usual two letters for old boy between SS (on board) followed by a word for the right wingers in the houses of parliament.

5d           English actor I dismissed — Reed, perhaps (6)
OLIVER:  The surname of a famous English actor has the I removed (dismissed) to leave the Christian name of the actor Reed.

7d           Manage  to perform surgery (7)
OPERATE:  Double definition.

8d           Trembling, say, in cast (10)
FLUTTERING:  A word meaning say or speak inserted into (in) another word for cast or chuck.

11d        Professional  brought off (12)
ACCOMPLISHED:  Double definition.

14d        Set off with southern colleague on Scottish river (5,5)
SALLY FORTH:  S(outhern) followed by a colleague or supporter and the river that enters the North Sea near Edinburgh.

17d        Great, a joke I fed to MC (8)
MAJESTIC:  The A from the clue, another word for a joke and the I from the clue ane inserted into (fed to) the MC from the clue.

19d        Information involving son and daughter makes one cheer (7)
GLADDEN:  The usual three letters for information have inserted (involving) a word for your son or boy and a D(aughter).

21d        Acceptable batting arrangement (2,5)
IN ORDER:  A phrase meaning acceptable could also describe the arrangement of batters in a cricket team.

22d        Warns suspect, describing magistrate’s last solution (6)
ANSWER:  Anagram (suspect) of WARNS around (describing) an E (magistratE’s last).

25d        Responsibility deacon usually carries (4)
ONUS:  A lurker hiding in (carries) deacon usually.

Podium for me this week is 3d, 18a and 1a with 18a on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:        INNS     +     PECKED     =     INSPECT

Bottom line:     MARKET     +     TREE     =     MARQUETRY

89 comments on “DT 30276
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  1. After the brilliant puzzle yesterday I found this to be a dreadful offering (my own opinion of course, others may well love it)
    I thought many of the clues were woolly at best, plain awful at worst, notably 10 and 18a, and the terrible 5d. On the upside though, I did like 17d.
    Sorry compiler, just not my thing today.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, worst puzzle for some time. Clumsy and poorly constructed clues.
      Thx for the hints

  2. Another laboured solve for me in a game of two halves. The RHS went in at usual Monday pace but for some reason I was slow to see the obvious on t’other side. No particular fav but entertaining & nicely clued as ever.
    Thanks to Campbell & Pommers.
    Ps Reckon there are a couple of additional Quickie puns at 11/12a & 23/24a

  3. An enjoyable and mainly straightforward puzzle. The only clues to make me scratch my head a little were one or 2 around the perimeter. Favourites were23a ( lovely word ), 19d, 20a and 14d, which had the benefit of being funny and geographical and gwts the COTD award.rhanks ro Pommers for the review and to Campbell for another entertaining Monda puzzle.

  4. 1*/3.5*. A light and enjoyable puzzle as we have come to expect on a Monday with 1a, 18a and, my favourite, 11d making up my podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  5. Fairly straightforward although needed pommers’ hints to parse 8d and 27a. Nothing really popped out at me I’m afraid – I didn’t have many contenders for COTD but have gone with 23a as I liked the word and the inclusion of the country in the answer. Thanks to Campbell – now will 14d and enjoy the sunshine.

  6. Not Monday lite, more Monday plus.
    Smiles at 1a and 5d, if only for the latter’s reputation.
    Last in, to my shame, 1d and 9a.
    These popped me into 2* time.
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers, not needed but grateful for Diana Rigg.

  7. I found this more difficult than normal for a Monday and, like Tipcat, somewhat woolly. I’ll pick 3d as my favourite, it was my LOI and I like the first word in the clue.
    Is “small” really necessary in 2d?
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

      1. But if you read company in a cryptic clue don’t you automatically abbreviate to “co”, whether small is there or not?

        1. Not always – I have (vague) recollections of synonymic conversion of ‘company’ into ‘firm’ in some clues.

  8. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: although he does seem to be keeping the ante somewhat up – **/****

    I consider that 23a’s ‘notoriousness’ is a clumsy word, what’s wrong with notoriety, but heigh-ho it’s in the BRB so what do I know?

    Candidates for favourite – 6a, 29a, 3d, and 14d – and the winner is 3d.

    thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  9. I’m another who thought that this was slightly trickier than we’ve had from Campbell recently – thanks to him and pommers,
    My medals were pinned on 18a, 3d and 14d.

  10. I have to agree with Tipcat. I really did not like this puzzle at all. I too felt some of the clues were awful. I needed a lot of Big Dave help with this. Thankfully today’s blogger gave some very good hints (thank you). Though I do have to disagree quite strongly about your ** rating. No way did I find it **. More like *** at least. I think I’m going to have to ignore the star rating for difficulty. After all, I assume to be a blogger you have to had had a lot of experience with solving cryptic clues, and to be very competent at it. This will, of course, bias your awarded difficulty rating. What may be a ** to an experienced solver would certainly not apply to a newbie for example.

    My ratings:

    Difficulty ***
    Enjoyment *** (that’s being generous to be honest)

    1. You can’t win, pommers! Last week you were congratulating yourself that you had at last got the rating right!

    2. I never look at or think about ratings or timings. I can either do it and enjoy it or struggle and say a few bad words. It is a crossword. Enjoy it or put it down and go for a ‘lovely walk.’

  11. Much harder than the usual Monday fare. Pommers is about right at ** although I came perilously close to *** time. Quite an unusual offering and as previously said low on anagrams which are my usual way in. Forgive me Campbell if I found it a little tortuous if quite interesting. No COTD but all reasonably pleasant at ***.

  12. Unlike Tipcat, I rather enjoyed this one, my only hold up being 9a which, although the answer quickly became obvious, was an unfamiliar word to me.
    Tie for the gold medal between 3&14d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – and for taking me back in time with Ms Rigg.

    1. Not crossword related but my friend and I heard two separate bird calls which we had never heard before on our walk this morning. BirdNET informed us that they were Cetti’s Warblers. They are apparently rare so let’s hope one travels the three-quarters of a mile between the hedgerows to meet the other one so we can have a few more ;)

      1. They’re certainly not common, Sue, and you’re always far more likely to hear rather than see one although at this time of year you might have a chance as they’re playing the mating game!

                1. I love these random conversations! They are the cherry on the cake. (I was going to put cream/jam on the scone but that would just provoke a stream of invective!)

      2. When I moved to Cambridgeshire in the early eighties Cetti’s Warbler were non existent and to find them entailed a trip to the south coast to Arne, today however they are plentiful in all our many Reserves. Difficult to see but fortunately they have a loud “explosive” song 😃

  13. I enjoyed this and didn’t mind the paucity of anagrams at all. SW was last on board. Hadn’t heard of 9a type of lure. Bunged in 1d as unaware of constant. Not sure about 7d as double definition. TVM campbell and pommers.

    1. I rather enjoyed this one, mainly because I usually only have time for the weekend prize puzzles. Campbell seems to be on a slightly different wavelength to the weekend setters. Several clues worth mentioning – 2d, 8d, 15a and 27a – especially so for their surface reading. **/****

      1. Merusa, regardless of your possible goat mouth I guess feelings about Campbell’s enigmas is a case of to each his own or chacun à son goût.

  14. A trickier Campbell than usual, but enjoyable all the same.

    A challenging few days here. H had a minor-ish operation last Tuesday. Whilst it was a success-ish it has knocked her sideways. She was very wobbly on Friday so we were advised to go to A&E (US equivalent = ER). What a nightmare. I won’t bore you with the details but my heart goes out to both those who have to wait for hours and hours (and hours) for treatment, and to the poor staff who are stretched beyond endurance.
    Summary – H is recovering slowly but we are monitoring for any decline, and then a subsequent whoosh back to the hospital if necessary.

    Thanks to Campbell and The Almoradían.

    1. Sorry to hear about H and your experience in A & E, Terence. I think it’s the same everywhere. Jim and I were in a queue of trolleys in the corridor from 1400 to 20.00, when he went to the JR last November, before he was finally sent up to a ward. There was an ambulance crew, which had been put on shift to service the queue! Meanwhile at least 10 ambulances were queuing outside. Get well soon H.

    2. I wondered what had happened to you! So sorry to hear about H, let’s hope it’s now all behind her and she doesn’t need to go back. Sounds like an A&E visit would make you poorly even if you weren’t before.

    3. Sorry to hear your news Terence. Waiting in A&E can make one feel very vulnerable and it can be traumatic both when involving your loved one and seeing other people’s anguish. Do hope H makes a full and speedy recovery.

    4. So sorry to hear about H’s troubles. It is bad enough feeling I’ll without the angst of A’nE. Do hope it won’t be long before she is suggesting a lovely walk.

      1. Sorry to hear about H and really hope she feels a lot better very soon.
        I did wonder why you hadn’t been posting.

        All the best to you both.

  15. A tad more difficult I thought than previous Mondays & I agree with other commentators that it lacked the normal smoothness & sparkle associated with this setter, sorry.


    Fav 23a LOI 17d

    Thanks to setter and pommers.

  16. Enjoyed this morning’s cruciverbal challenge from Campbell, and having raced through about 2/3 of the grid was pleased to find it necessary to pause and think a bit harder for some of the remaining answers. A few chestnuts to be welcomed as old friends, and a good scattering of smiles and groans: just what the MD ordered for the beginning of the week. 3d & 14d on my podium today.

    1.5 / 3.5

    Thank you to Campbell and to Pommers

  17. Like others found this on the hard side for Monday but got there eventually. Has Campbell really changed his style or does a more testing offering get solvers thinking it wasn’t as smooth as it took them longer? Thanks to all.

  18. I’m with those who struggled with this one, and didn’t enjoy it all that much. Had so few solved after the first read-through that I actually had to check it was a Monday!

    Thanks to Campbell, and to Pommers for invaluable help.

  19. It was OK but I have to agree with some others – perhaps not one of this setter’s best, albeit still enjoyable. I can’t be the only one to grumble slightly at age = decline. Thanks for rubbing it in, Campbell!

    PS … the bottom quickie pun is actually marquetry, surely?!

  20. Well after two relatively easy and straightforward weekend puzzles, it seems that Campbell took the boots to us for Monday.
    I put this to be at the difficult end of his spectrum … at least for me it was. Crikey!

    3*/3.5* for me today

    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 27a, 14d & 17d with winner 14d with 1a a close runner up.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers for the hints

  21. A typically Campbellesque puzzle that was comfortable to solve with a smattering of excellent clues, most notably, for me, the three highlighted by our blogger.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  22. I too found this trickier than an average Monday with a few things I had to check with the hints as I did not know if I was right eg 9a. 23a was my favourite. I also checked the parsing of several.

    The comments in the past few days have clearly shown that a puzzle is only straightforward if you are both on the right wavelength with the compiler and have the general knowledge in the areas needed, you cannot know what you don’t know. I therefore have tried not to be put off by seeing the * ratings at the top and just have a go. I think it is amazing that people can generate puzzles at a specific level, it seems so hard to please everybody.

    Thanks to Pommers for the hints (and reminding me of my enjoyment of the Avengers) and to Campbell

  23. A tough start to the week but very enjoyable, nonetheless…..or nevertheless? Hmm…

    Squirearchy is an absolute belter.

    A wordsmith, lexicographer or logophile clearly had some spare time on their hands and fancied having a bit of fun.

    14d gets my nod as I love saying it.


  24. Was looking forward to a gentle start to the week. At first pass, I have to admit my reaction is disappointment. Tricky on Monday does not bode well. I guess I should just be grateful that the last three days were a pleasure to solve. Perhaps I will do better after my coffee.

  25. I found this tricky, requiring far too much ehelp for a Monday. To be honest, it might just be me. One of my last in was 10a, which had to be a kindergarten-level cryptic clue. I still don’t know why 28a is influence, must visit my thesaurus. On the other hand, lots of others to enjoy; 1a for our King was fave, 14d rolls off the tongue, and 23a, lovely word.
    Thanks to Campbell, and your unravelling so much was really appreciated pommers.
    Oh, oh, tornado warning for Fort Lauderdale, hope BL is OK.

  26. Mostly very enjoyable.
    The “trickier than normal for a Monday” theme seems to have been running on and off for a few weeks now….maybe there’s a new normal?
    My only slight hold up was the parsing of 15a which took a short while to see. I have to say though that I didn’t really care for 27a, where I think the question mark is unfair to the solver and a better clue would have been “Perhaps turned the ignition key with it”. Age/decline somehow doesn’t sit right either though I’m sure the setter can justify it.
    Lots to like but I’ll single out 1a plus 3,4&14d as worthy of a podium place.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. Thank you for popping in, Campbell. I’m sorry I could not do your offering justice today but it is always appreciated when setters make an appearance. 👍

  27. Well I got there in the end but had to resort to checking and using two of the hints for 23a and 27a. Although I was almost certain of the answer to 6a I held back as I was convinced the answer should have followed with an (l). If that makes sense?! Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  28. A strange but solvable puzzle, although I need a little help 😳 ***/*** Favourites 1a, 20a and 29a & 8d Thanks to Pommers and if it was he to Campbell 🤔

  29. I am afraid the crickety allusions went over my head, just when I thought I was getting into the sporty mode. Thanks for the help Pommers. I liked 14d which I nominate as my favourite. I have never heard anyone say notoriousness but I don’t get out much. Having said I that went out to Luncheon Club today and had a very indifferent meal and a dear old speaker man who is probably a lovely grandad but a lousy speaker. Plus the fact that we had to turn out the porch for the decorator to paint now it has all got to be put back. I mention this out of a rebellious streak as I gather such trivia can be annoying. I may be in a sweeter mood tomorrow. Thanks to Setter and Hinter. 🥰

  30. I don’t like to be critical especially when the setter has bothered to comment but I found this hard work particularly in the SW. Having said that I’ll choose cotd as 14d, almost my last in. Thanks to Campbell, please comment again, and Pommers.

  31. I think Campbell must have got out of the wrong side of the bed the day he compiled this. Like others, I found it decidedly on the tricky side and I can’t say with all honesty that I liked it much. For once, I have no ticks beside any clues of a Campbell puzzle. I didn’t get very far with it over a Moors Inn breakfast and not much further over a Moors Inn lunch. I finally managed it after an afternoon walk with Hudson.

    Thank you, Campbell for your efforts but I just could not get it quite right. Many thanks to pommers for making sense of some of it for me.

  32. I found this tough and needed a fair bit of help from Pommers, thanks to him and Campbell too. I will join the praise for 14d especially as I went to school with her !

  33. Nothing to do with the puzzle (ish) but this is The Moors Inn, our favourite pub, on a Monday evening. So many taverns now close on a Monday so it’s good to be staying in one that is thriving.

    Mrs. C and are here for the next week. It’s about our fourteenth stay having found this gem quite by chance during our 40th wedding anniversary year back in 2015.

    If you guys ever find yourselves in Ryedale in Yorkshire be sure to visit The Moors Inn. I guarantee you will not be disappointed

  34. Late to the table as usual; I thought unlike most others that this was a very good puzzle but *** tough. Thank you Campbell and Pommers

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