DT 30277 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30277

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30277
Hints and tips by Twmbarlwm

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning. Great fun with a lot of relatively straight clues to keep the momentum going, but a handful of thorny ones (particularly in the NE for me) to cleverly delay plain sailing.

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 Switch positions occasionally (2,3,3)
ON AND OFF: The wordplay is a verb phrase in the surface reading, but a noun phrase in the definition

5a Sells flowershumiliating thing for a delinquent? (6)
STOCKS: The first of two triple definitions in this puzzle, one of which could refer to these: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthiola_incana

9a The last place you’ll find travellers? (8)
TERMINAL: Cryptic definition. I put the wrong, though equally valid, word in here, realising my mistake when I came to solve 4d

10a Papa rates practical jokes (6)
PRANKS: The letter indicated in the clue by its NATO phonetic alphabet term, plus a word for rates or categorises

12a Responses from Cornish tea, brewed but not hot (9)
REACTIONS: An anagram (brewed) of CORNISH TEA without the letter for hot. Really good anagram fodder discovery, I thought

13a Public perception: this writer is mature (5)
IMAGE: A two-letter contraction for ‘this writer is’ (from the setter’s point of view), and a word for mature, as a verb

14a Festival just passable (4)
FAIR: A triple definition, one of which is a synonym of equitable

16a Measures adult horses, perhaps (7)
AMOUNTS: The letter that stands for adult, plus the plural of a formal word for a horse

19a Showed off with new leader, getting criticised (7)
ROASTED: A word for showed off, or bragged, gets its first letter changed (new leader)

21a Blokes act on the radio (4)
GUYS: A homophone (on the radio) of a word meaning act as a noun

24a Promise son clothes (5)
SWEAR: The usual letter for son plus a noun synonym of clothes, as in outfit

25a Acknowledgement from District Attorney about assignment (9)
ADMISSION: The initialism for District Attorney is reversed (about) and followed by a word for assignment or expedition

27a Country‘s condemnation half ignored (6)
NATION: A word form the clue cut by 50% (half ignored)

28a Resent IT spoiling hobby (8)
INTEREST: An anagram (spoiling) of RESENT IT

29a Conclusion from some friend in gym (6)
ENDING: The solution is hidden (some) in the clue

30a Tom sailed off, leaving maiden marooned (8)
ISOLATED: An anagram (off) of TOM SAILED minus the letter that stands for maiden (from cricket score notation)


1d Water-loving animals — rats? Not right (6)
OTTERS: A word for rats, in the sense of ‘cads’, without the usual letter for right in one instance

2d A second-class way to get overseas (6)
ABROAD: ‘A’ from the clue, a letter that means second-class in e.g. exam marks, and a word for way, as in thoroughfare

3d Go with the current Democrat before quarrel (5)
DRIFT: The letter that represents Democrat plus a word for quarrel, or split

4d John supporting France and our ambience (7)
FLAVOUR: A three-letter diminutive for John, or toilet, plus ‘our’ from the clue, going under (supporting) and the international vehicle registration letter for France.  For Chambers, ‘john’ is not exclusively American, so no US indicator required

6d Slip it in politician’s bag (9)
TERRITORY: A synonym of slip, or make a mistake, together with ‘it’ from the clue, go ‘in’ a four-letter politician. This was the clue that I took longest over – an excellent deceptive definition

7d Checks sanction’s changed (8)
CONTAINS: An anagram (changed) of SANCTION

8d South American writer on large body of water? Without a doubt (8)
SUSPENSE: One letter for South and two letters for American, plus a writer in the sense of something that writes, and a three-letter word for a large body of water minus (without) ‘a’

11d A small island north of American continent (4)
ASIA: ‘A’ from the clue, plus three single letters that stand for small, island, and America respectively

15d PM following no ordinary plan, ultimately (9)
AFTERNOON: A synonym of following, or later, ‘no’ from the clue, then the letter that stands for ordinary, and finally the last letter (ultimately) of plan

17d Bearing gifts for the audience (8)
PRESENCE: A homophone (for the audience) of a straight synonym for gifts. Homophone purists (or purisce) might say the pronunciation isn’t exactly the same, but in practice it surely is for almost everyone

18d Accomplished story not read regularly (8)
TALENTED: A word for story, or fable, plus two alternate letters (read regularly)

20d Call student support, upset (4)
DIAL: A reversal (upset) of the letter for student/learner and a synonym of support, or help

21d For example, picked up skirts — those delivered in early June? (7)
GEMINIS: The two-letter initialism of the Latin phrase meaning for example is reversed (picked up) and followed by the plural of a type of skirt that became particularly fashionable in the 1960s

22d Conduct dreadful on court (6)
DIRECT: A synonym of dreadful, or desperate, goes ‘on’ a two-letter abbreviation for court

23d Individual and editor in agreement (6)
UNITED: The usual diminutive of editor is preceded by a word meaning individual, or e.g. module, as in furniture

26d Beginning to soar in the pink balloon (5)
SWELL: A first letter (beginning to) and another word for being ‘in the pink’). Super clue to end on

My particular favourites were 12a, 29a, 30a, 1d, 4d, 6d, 8d, 21d and 26d. What were yours?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: BAT + ALL + LACKS = BATTLEAXE

77 comments on “DT 30277
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  1. A couple in the top right held me up today, especially 6d. I had the wrong answer for 9a (terminus), which also did not help!

    Thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm.

          1. To be different, once I had the last 3 checking letters (but not the first), I spent too long trying to make ‘carnival’ work for ‘travellers’. I’m now feeling very lucky that I didn’t then think of ‘terminus’, jumping from one wrong answer to another!

          2. Me too. I have never thought of the end of a railway line or bus route to be a terminal. I have always known it as a terminus. To me, “terminal” is associated with nasty illness.

  2. Our hinter sums this one up perfectly – largely straightforward with a couple of trickier clues to yield **/*** effort. I thought the misdirection in 15d was clever – particularly as Brown fitted at the end so I spent a few moments trying to get him in before the penny dropped. My COTD is 6d. Thanks Twmbarlwm and the setter.

  3. I found this fairly straightforward with no real holdups, I had to check 5a for one of the triple meanings. 9a was a clever clue so gets my COTD */***

  4. Some clever clues certainly. I liked 5A very much, though I think “old delinquent” would have been even neater. These things don’t, as far as I know, still exist! And, as you point out, the definition in 6D is v devious. Just about fair. Just. Thanks as ever. Such larks.

  5. Regarding 6D, I never saw ‘territory’ as being a ‘bag’ but loved the deception of 15D as I kept thinking of a 9-letter word for a Prime Minister!

        1. That is so remote, a real stretch, and I don’t think really valid! After searching the internet and thesaurus for a 6d bag.

  6. I’m afraid I didn’t particularly enjoy this puzzle. The clues seemed somewhat clumsy at times and matters were not helped by some rather elusive synonyms, 6d for instance. Obviously i wasn’t on the compiler’s wavelength . I lije to find something Positive ro say so 18d was a clever clue . Thanks to Twmbarlwm for rhe hints and to 4he compiler for his efforts.

  7. Straightforward and reasonably gentle with only delay for me also caused in the NE, with 6d my LOI; 5a the penultimate and one of my favourites joins it on the podium, although I agree with ALP’s comment, above; surface read of 28a raised a smile (lots of good surface reads throughout) and 12a made me think of the Tregothnan Estate’s Cornish Tea.

    2 / 3

    Many thanks to the setter and to Twmbarlwm

  8. There are some very neat (and sometimes devious) clues here – thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.
    Add me to the long list of those getting the 9a ending wrong initially.
    My medals were awarded to 5a, 15d and 26d.

  9. I’m another who initially had the wrong last 2 letters in at 9a. I saw the wordplay at 6d immediately but struggled to equate the answer with the definition – am assuming it’s in the context of niche maybe. A otherwise reasonably straightforward, enjoyable & brisk solve with 15d my pick of the clues.
    Thanks to the setter & T

  10. I couldn’t finish this one.

    6d. BAG = TERRITORY. What? How? Looking in Chambers Crossword Dictionary I did not see it there. How does bag mean territory?

    Likewise with 5a. Stocks = sells flowers? How?

    Some very helpful hints from todays blogger, but unfortunately a DNF for me. I didn’t do too bad though I managed to answer 26 clues.

    Difficulty ***
    Enjoyment ***

    1. Greetings from a very windy Tarifa in southern Spain.
      Flew through the NW corner but the rest took a little longer to unravel.
      6d – Chambers has “territory” as a “field of activity” and bag as a “person’s particular interest”, so I think it works OK.
      5a – triple definition – “sells”, “flowers” and “humiliating thing for a delinquent” are all synonyms for “stocks”.
      I was another who initially had the wrong ending for 9a.
      An enjoyable puzzle, with 15d raising a smile here.

  11. Satisfying Tuesday fare.
    Started with a smile at 1d.
    Evenly spread level of difficulty.
    Perhaps the clever 6d a notch above.
    Renewed acquaintances with 13a and 2d.
    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  12. I’m aligned with the majority view so far – good Tuesday level challenge, with the NE holding out the longest, and 5a my LOI.
    Like others, 15d was my favourite, great deception.
    Thanks to the setter and Mr T

  13. Off at a gallop in NW but then slowed down a bit particularly in NE however much fun was had along the way. Awful abbreviation used in 4d as synonym for US John. 15d Fav once search for Prime Minister had been abandoned but 8d equally engaging to sort out. Thank you Mysteron and MrT.

  14. 6 and 15d share my top spot this afternoon from this generally straightforward puzzle that had a few stings in the tail. The level of deception in some of the wordplay was first class, and lifted the enjoyment bar a few notches as a result. Great fun.

    Thanks to our mystery setter and Mr T.

  15. Not Typically Tuesdayish for me; indeed, quite a curate’s egg – 2.5*/3*

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 2d, and 15d – and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

    1. P.S. Based on what Cephas has told us previously, the Quickie grid would indicate that this is/could be an Anthony Plumb production but it definitely did not ‘feel’ like it.

  16. Had a few pauses over some of the synonyms our setter had chosen and my 9a travellers were ending up in the wrong place for quite a while but the attitude of ‘well, I suppose so’ got me across the line.
    15d came out on top here followed by 26d.

    Thanks to our setter and to Twmbarlwm for the review.

  17. 6 down. I still am not sure about this one. The only explanation I can think of is that politicians bag, seize, territory

  18. Came here instead of Googling ‘stock’s in 6d, so many thanks to Twmbarlwm for the picture. Like many others fell into the wrong 9a trap, but fixed that when finally figured out 4d, which ends up my fav, after 8 and 15d. (Keep forgetting the S American SUS)
    Many thanks to Setter and Mr T again.

  19. Loved this one, fair but tough, a bit like Joe Bugner.
    Some great misdirection namely 6 and 15d, the latter of which I was positive I had to include a Prime Minister somewhere. Best clue for me was 4d, using a US term for a khazi to mean an Englist one, brilliant!

    1. That’s a great shout, TC!

      Another solid puzzle which I ripped through until I got to the NE where the wheels came off.

      6d and 5a were out of my grasp but the former gets the spoils due to its superb construction.

      Bag as a synonym.



  20. Just right for a Tuesday. Add my name to the list of people with the wrong ending to 9a

    Thanks to the setter and Twm

    Solved before going to the cinema to watch a very interesting film on the Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum, slightly spoiled by unnecessary subtitles and the soporific music – there was quite a bit of snoring in the row behind us 😴

    1. Our Arts Society lecture this morning was on the Vermeer exhibition in Amsterdam, what a tragedy he died so young. Once upon a time we would just have jumped in the car and gone over to see it in person. ☹️

  21. As seems to be the trend these days this Tuesday puzzle a little harder than normal. No whacky words though, so I liked that.
    2*/3.5* for me today

    Favourites include 10a, 29a, 2d, 8d & 21d with 8d winner
    1a made laugh as did 9a, 2d, 11d & 21d

    Thanks to setter and Twmbarlwm

  22. ‘ fair but tough, a bit like Joe Bugner’ <- quote of the day from Tipcat, above.
    Poor Joe is now in the throes of dementia and in a care home. He was never really taken to heart by the British public after his controversial victory over Henry Cooper.

    Thank you so much for the many kind comments yesterday. I'm pleased to report that H is feeling much better today and we both think that time and relaxation are the key elements for a proper recovery. H is a busy bee who likes to be doing something all the time so it is out of character for her to simply rest.

    Thank you to the setter and The Twmp

        1. Glad to hear about H, Terence. I feel for her. I tend to be bustling about a lot of the time. I’m constantly being told to sit down and rest but find it awfully difficult tosit still if I can see something that needs doing. Good luck H.

  23. I agree with nearly all the above, I too put the wrong end on 9a initially. I struggled with the north east corner, and needed the hints to confirm my answers to 6 and 8 d. 15d was my favourite along with 5a which was clever.

    Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and the setter.

  24. Very enjoyable with a nice mix of difficulty. I had to don my thinking cap in the NE but all became clear once in position.
    I’ll nominate the excellent 5a plus 1&8&21d as my podium. Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and Twmbarlwm.

  25. Glad to hear that H is recovering and I am sure you are taking great care of her. I was quite stuck on 4 and 6 down but there were some very nice misdirections. 12a got the Daisy today. Thanks to the setter for the challenge and to Twm for the help. What is this nonsense about renaming the Brecon Beacons? I am all for keeping national identities and customs but Bannau Brycheiniog is not going to fare well with Tourist Boards I fear. What next?

      1. If you can bear this, Medusa, the term Beacons conjures up carbon emissions and does not fit with the ethos of the national park as an eco- friendly organisation. The name change is “in direct response to the climate and bio-diversity emergency.” Tell you what, M, might be a good idea if thee and me started running the world.

        1. I’m all in favour of saving the planet, I recycle everything, save water as much as I can, and so on, but what the heck does a word conjuring up carbon emissions have to do with fouling the planet?

  26. Too many anagrams for me to finish without electronic help, then I needed Twmbarlwm’s help — thank you — to get 6d at the end. For me it wasn’t the ‘bag’ definition but that having got the politician in the last 4 characters, I couldn’t work out the rest of the wordplay, completely failing to spot that the the politican could also be the first letter plus the last 3.

    Thank you to the setter. My top few were 1a, 1d, and 15d’s PM. Cheers.

  27. Agree with Twmberlwn that NE corner was truly tricky and was my downfall. Had to look at the hint for 6d. Glad I didn’t spend too long on that one, as I would have never come up with that answer. Otherwise quite a steady solve. I couldn’t choose between the two possible answers to wrote in all but the last two letters at first. Low on enjoyment because of above.

  28. If this is Tuesday, what on earth is Friday going to be like? I did manage to solve mostly unaided, but I had to use ehelp to see what other words are on offer for my checking letters at 6d. There was a lot to like, 5a, 1d and 15d were head of the pack. Quite a lot of tough parsing for me.
    Thank you setter and Toombarloom for today’s puzzle and the unravelling.

  29. Re 27a, are “country” and “nation” synonymous? Is not the former a geographical area and the latter the people who live in it?

  30. NE corner very difficult! Like so many others, territory felt like a real stretch in terms of the definition, and without a few checkers I don’t think I would ever have got it. After the event and googling the answer to 6d there seems to be a branded bag with that name, and I half wonder whether the setter had that in mind…

  31. Loved this – didn’t think 6d definition was a problem
    2* / 4* –
    Tuesday is the new Weds for me ( ie favourite x-word day of the week)
    Thanks to setter- Mr P perhaps as he never appears on the blog to claim ? – if you do read the comments – jolly well done – fav was 15d for the misdirection
    And thanks to The Wise Man Bearing Answers etc for the hints

  32. Late on parade today because Mrs C and I had a wonderful day out. We visited Harewood Dale for nostalgic reasons then drove onto the moor above Whitby where we had a lovely packed lunch courtesy of The Moors Inn. It included a delightful Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. After lunch, we drove in the direction of Teeside and turned off to go to Hutton le Hole across the spectacular North Yorkshire Moors. Back to The Moors Inn for a pint of Landlord for me and a large Sauvignon Blanc for Mrs C.

    As for the crossword, I’m sorry but I just could not get into it. Nothing to do with the puzzle itself or the setter- I just did not ‘gel’ with it. Many thanks to the Welsh Hill for making sense of it for me.

    Many thanks to the setter – it’s not your fault my brain was elsewhere.

  33. Note to self ‘at least make a start on the crossword before going on the lash with an old friend’. Having said that there were too many obscurities in this for me. I will confess to nodding off halfway through, maybe that says it all. Thanks to the setter anyway and T.

  34. Found this easier than mondays which was a DNF for me, fell into the “us” trap at 9a which caused a bit of head scratching for 4d until the penny dropped. Thanks to all.

  35. I wonder if anyone noticed a theme in this crossie. I did, and I only hope the compiler is not giving us a message. Words spring to mind: On and Off Afternoon Admission Guys Roasted Image Suspense Dial Reaction Terminal Ending Isolated. I hope I am seeing something that isn’t there and the compiler is in good health.

    Regarding the hints, to my mind (despite whatever dictionaries etc might say) I query 5a as a triple definition because Stocks sadly do not equal Sells. Sells flowers = sells stocks so a double definition. If Sells=Stocks then every businessman would be exceedingly happy which in my experience is not the case, all you need to do is to look at the bankrupt stock sales.

    First of all I thought 9a was Terminus, but then I broadened my interpretation and thought maybe by traveller it means all of us, because when each of us gets to the end it is terminal.

    Just a thought. But many thanks to the compiler who totally flummoxed me today in that it was a DNF and to T, whose explanations made me see what I couldn’t see on my own.

      1. I see where you’re coming from – apologies, I didn’t think of it in that context.
        I guess I have experienced too many people with stocks of supplies that have not sold and the disasterous consequences to easily get my head around stocks = sells!
        This is a prime example of why English lends itself to cryptic crosswords, one word, so many different meanings.

        Thanks for getting back to me with an explanation. I doubt, having put my comment on at such a late stage, anyone else would have seen it. I tend to keep at a crossword all day until nearly lights out and only then look at the hints and answers to finish it off, which is why I seldom post.

        1. Hello again Anne. I do occasionally get the explanation wrong when I blog, and I think I thought a bit longer about that one as a triple definition isn’t common (despite there being another one five clues later!), and I only vaguely remembered stocks as plants. I agree about English being perfect for cryptic crosswords – there’s certainly a very long list of synonyms for stock alone.
          In case you didn’t know, the blogger gets an email notification of all comments, however late in the week. I think people also keep an eye on the Recent Comments column.

          1. Thanks for your reply. Stocks have the most gorgeous smelling flowers. The flowers are a similar shape to hyacinths, i.e. long. Sadly they do not last long if cut. My father used to have flower beds full of them and the perfume wafting from them as the breeze blew was something I will never forget. I don’t often see them around and my husband isn’t interested in growing them as they are annuals (it has taken me 49 years to get him to grow dahlias, last year being the first time and only because I went and bought half a dozen tubers – but of course when they grew and bloomed filling the garden with colour, they were, by then, his dahlias). Now this crossword has brought them to mind, maybe I should do the same with stocks this year. Anyway, once again, many thanks for your hints and responses. Makes me pleased I’ve come out of the lurking shadows and shown my “face”.

            1. I’ll mention stocks to my wife. Our modest garden has seen better days since we were joined by a labrador puppy last year. The lawn is currently two-thirds bare, this spring’s daffs have been mostly trampled, if not beheaded, by the four-legged roustabout, who also likes to chew branches off the 15-year-old buddleia. I’m hoping that recovers as we go into late-spring and summer.

  36. 4*/4* … difficulty rating increased due to a few elongated synonyms …
    liked 26D ” Beginning to soar in the pink balloon (5)” … amongst others.

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