DT 30281 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30281 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30281

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 22nd Apr 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty * Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A friendly and very straightforward Saturday puzzle from X-Type that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and precious feedback.

‘Plurality’ and ‘A from the clue’ were the hallmarks of this puzzle. There were several clues in which the definitions were in plural, such as 9a, 16a, 18a, 21a and 3d. In addition to this, part of wordplays in 6a and 21a and the wordplay in 20a were also in plural. There were some clues, namely, 11a, 25a, 3d, 7d, 19d and 22d, where ‘A from the clue’ happened to be part of wordplays; 19d alone being unique in the sense that it directed the solvers to use ‘A from the clue’ twice. There was also a solitary ‘I from the clue’.

‘Bacilli’, the answer to the clue of 18a, made me inquisitive to know more about them so I turned to the net. I discovered that the scientific classification of ‘bacillus’, the singular version of ‘bacilli’, has all its levels starting with the letter ‘b’. The domain of ‘bacillus’ is ‘bacteria’, phylum is ‘bacillota’, class is ‘bacilli’, order is ‘bacillales’, family is ‘bacillaceae’ and genus is ‘bacillus’. ‘Bacillus’ has come from the Latin word that means ‘stick’. It is a genus of Gram-positive, rod shaped bacteria, a member of the phylum ‘bacillota’, with 266 named species. The term is also used to describe the other rod-shaped bacteria and the plural ‘bacilli’ is the name given to the class of bacteria to which this genus belongs. ‘Bacillus’ species can be either obligate aerobes which are dependent on oxygen or facultative anaerobes which can survive even in the absence of oxygen. Cultured ‘bacillus’ species test positive for the enzyme catalase if oxygen has been used or is present. ‘Bacillus’ can reduce themselves to oval endospores and can remain in this dormant state for years. The endospore of one species from Morocco is reported to have survived being heated to 420 °C. The genus ‘bacillus’ was named in 1835 by Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg to contain rod-shaped ‘bacillus’ bacteria. He had seven years earlier named the genus ‘bacterium’. ‘Bacillus’ was later amended by Ferdinand Cohn to further describe them as spore-forming, Gram-positive, aerobic or facultative anaerobic bacteria.

‘Macintosh’, the answer to the clue of 14d, provided two definitions, the second being the product of Apple Inc. The Apple Macintosh, later rebranded as the Macintosh 128K, is the original Apple Macintosh personal computer that was introduced by a television commercial entitled ‘1984’ shown during Super Bowl XVIII on January 22, 1984 and directed by Ridley Scott. It was the first successful mass-market all-in-one desktop personal computer with a graphical user interface, built-in screen, and mouse. Originally, Apple Inc. decided that they wanted to use the name McIntosh. Now McIntosh, or colloquially the Mac, is an apple cultivar – the national apple of Canada. The fruit has red and green skin, a tart flavour and tender white flesh, which ripens in late September. The only reason they wanted to spell it that way was because it was a reference to the project creator, Jef Raskin, as the McIntosh variety was his favourite kind of apple. Raskin had joined Apple Inc. in 1978 as its 31st employee. Apple had to compromise on the name due to trademark issues. In naming the Macintosh, Raskin set Apple on course for a legal tussle. As per Raskin, he intentionally changed the spelling from McIntosh to Macintosh as the former is the name of the apple. He thought that that would lead them to a conflict with McIntosh Laboratory, the hi-fi manufacturer. So he used the spelling Macintosh, figuring that even if it conflicted with the overcoat, still nobody would care. Haplessly, the slight spelling change was not enough to keep Apple in the clear. When Apple attempted to trademark the name Macintosh in 1982, the request was denied because it phonetically infringed on the trademark already owned by McIntosh Laboratory, which operated at the very high end of the high-fidelity food chain. However, in late March 1983, Apple managed to license the rights to the name and in 1986 purchased the trademark outright. Although the terms of these agreements remained confidential to this day, it has been reported that Apple paid $100,000 in cash for the Macintosh name. According to McIntosh’s legal counsel, that was “substantially off the mark” and the real payoff was “significantly higher”. Even so, Apple finally shortened Macintosh to Mac in 1999.

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6a    Firm friend admits writing articles to make amends (10)
COMPENSATE: CO (firm) as the abbreviation for Company followed by MATE (friend) as an informal term for a friend or companion takes in (admits) PENS (writing articles) as the plural of an article or instrument for writing or drawing with ink, typically consisting of a metal nib or ball, or a nylon tip, fitted into a metal or plastic holder, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to make amends to someone, especially for loss or injury

8a    Woman has time to get ingredient for dumplings (4)

SUET: SUE (woman) as primarily a female name of Hebrew origin that means ‘lily’ having beside (has) T (time) as the symbol for time in physics takes to get to the definition of the hard fat around the kidneys in beef and mutton that serves as an ingredient for dumplings, as it traps air while melting and therefore creates the perfect light and fluffy texture

9a    Royal helpers, we’re told, making barriers (9)

PALISADES: A homophone as heard by the audience (we’re told) of PALACE AIDES (royal helpers) as persons who are familiar with the work and practices of the royal family very well and thereby engaged in a royal household takes to the definition of the plural of a noun meaning a fence of wooden stakes or iron railings fixed in the ground, forming an enclosure or defence

11a    Distinctive quality of a posh artist (4)

AURA: The definition of a figurative term meaning the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing or place is arrived at from A from the clue, U (posh) as a colloquial adjective meaning as used by or found among the upper social classes and RA (artist) as the abbreviation for Royal Academician, denoting a practising artist of the Royal Academy of Arts

12a    Send back part of spring vegetable (3)

YAM: MAY (part of spring) as the last of the three months of spring that is the season of the year between winter and summer during which temperatures gradually rise that is made to return (send back) as a reversal in the across clue, leading to the definition of the edible starchy tuber of a climbing plant that is widely grown in tropical and subtropical countries

13a    Musical on my ship arranged by Charlie (9)

SYMPHONIC: An anagram (arranged) of ON MY SHIP followed by (by) C (Charlie) as the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet leads to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to or having the form or character of a symphony or an elaborate musical composition for full orchestra, typically in four movements, at least one of which is traditionally in sonata form

16a    Rolls seen coming back from Vespa building (4)

BAPS: Part of or hidden inside (from) [VE]SPA B[UILDING] is noticed (seen) returning (coming back) as a reversal in the across clue, leading to the definition of the plural of a soft flat bread roll

17a    Study exotic lace mask (7)

CONCEAL: CON (study) as to study attentively or learn by heart a piece of writing followed by an anagram (exotic) of LACE guides to the definition of a verb meaning to prevent something from being known

18a    Graduate with cold in a bad way — I could get germs! (7)

BACILLI: BA (graduate) as the abbreviation for Bachelor of Arts that is a university degree conferred upon a student who has successfully completed an undergraduate course in the arts or humanities is followed by (with) C (cold) as the abbreviation for cold, ILL (in a bad way) as badly, wrongly or imperfectly and I from the clue, taking to the definition of the plural of any disease-causing bacterium

20a    Heads turning in shock (4)

STUN: NUTS (heads) as the plural of an informal term meaning a person’s head coming back (turning) as a reversal in the across clue guides to the definition of a verb meaning to astonish or shock someone so that they are temporarily unable to react

21a    Live with means, perhaps — though not started — to make drinks? (9)

BEVERAGES: BE (live) as to live or exist and (with) [A]VERAGES (means, perhaps) as, mathematically, the plural of the arithmetic mean of a set of two or more numbers that is obtained by adding up the numbers and dividing by the total quantity of numbers in the set that is devoid of its starting letter (though not started), arriving at the definition of the plural of any liquid, other than water, for drinking especially tea, coffee, milk, beer etc

23a    Pair captured by Catwoman (3)

TWO: Part of or hidden inside (captured by) [CA]TWO[MAN] guides to the definition of a noun meaning a pair or the sum of one and one or a number equal to one plus one

24a    So, after sign of hesitation, proceed (4)

ERGO: A charade of ER (sign of hesitation) as an exclamation expressing hesitation or a pause in speech and GO (proceed) as to move from one place to another takes to the definition of an adverb meaning therefore, hence or so

25a    Striking a Republican on a break? (9)

ARRESTING: A from the clue, R (Republican) as an abbreviation for Republican as in the States and RESTING (on a break) as not moving or working guides to the definition of an adjective meaning impressive, striking or eye-catching

29a    Rush just a little bit (4)

DASH: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to a small quantity of a liquid added to something else or a small amount of an added ingredient that leads to the first a verb meaning to run or travel somewhere in a great hurry

30a    One looks for meaning in this (10)

DICTIONARY: A cryptic definition of a book or electronic resource that lists the words of a language typically in alphabetical order and gives their meaning


1d    Liquid food that’ll make you very high (4)
SOUP: The definition of a liquid dish, typically savoury and made by boiling meat, fish or vegetables etc in stock or water is arrived at from SO (very) as to a great extent or very much and UP (high) as towards a higher place or position, that’ll make you SO UP

2d    Old friend gets precious stone (4)
OPAL: A charade of O (old) as the abbreviation for old as OT in Old Testament and PAL (friend) as a companion, chum or friend gets the definition of a precious stone whose colour changes when the position of the person looking at it changes

3d    Workers in a National Trust site, initially? (4)
ANTS: A from the clue and the initial or first letters (initially) each of N[ATIONAL] T[RUST] S[ITE] leads to the definition of social insects working together in groups

4d    Fruit covering back of head? It’s a neckerchief! (7)
BANDANA: BANANA (fruit) as a long curved fruit which grows in clusters and has soft pulpy flesh and yellow skin when ripe enclosing (covering) the back or the last letter (back) of [HEA]D takes to the definition of a brightly coloured piece of cloth that is worn around the neck or head

5d    Police on outskirts of Stranraer disturbed to find burial site (10)
NECROPOLIS: An anagram (disturbed) of a combo of POLICE ON and the outermost letters (outskirts) of S[TRANRAE]R guides to the definition of a burial site or a cemetery, especially a large one belonging to an ancient city

7d    Yes, a rich criminal will fence a piece of furniture (4,5)
EASY CHAIR: An anagram (criminal) of YES, A RICH will enclose (fence) A from the clue to arrive at the definition of a large, comfortable chair, typically an armchair

8d    Moving awkwardly, displaying fake jewellery (9)
SHAMBLING: The definition of a verb in the continuous form meaning walking with an awkward, unsteady gait is arrived at by displaying a charade of SHAM (fake) as pretended or false and BLING (jewellery) as expensive and ostentatious jewellery worn especially as an indication of wealth and status

10d    One member that’s a mischievous type (3)
IMP: I (one) as the Roman numeral for one and MP (member) as the abbreviation for Member of Parliament are in a charade that’s defining a small, mischievous devil or sprite

13d    Biscuit or loaf that doesn’t reach the edge of a baking tin? (10)
SHORTBREAD: The definition of a brittle crumbling biscuit of flour, butter and sugar is arrived at from loaf or BREAD that is shaped and baked in a single piece and can be sliced for eating that doesn’t reach the edge of a baking tin or that is SHORT as a dough to be placed for baking in the open metal container, that is BREAD that is SHORT or SHORT BREAD

14d    Coat that’s made by Apple (9)
MACINTOSH: Double nounal definition; the second being a type of personal computer designed and marketed by Apple Inc. until 1999 when it was shortened to Mac that takes to the first a full-length waterproof coat named after Charles Macintosh, the Scottish inventor who patented the cloth

15d    Take charge of company making bedroom furniture? (9)
HEADBOARD: A charade of HEAD (take charge of) as to be in charge or control of something and BOARD (company) as a group of people in a company or other organisation who make the rules and important decisions takes to the definition of a piece of furniture inside the bedroom comprising a vertical board or panel forming the head of a bedstead

19d    Greed: a sin ensnaring a king (7)
AVARICE: A from the clue followed by VICE (sin) as an immoral or depraved habit catching in a trap or taking in (ensnaring) a combo of another A from the clue and R (king) as the abbreviation for rex, the Latin word for king, arriving at the definition of a noun meaning extreme greed for wealth or material gain

22d    A point that’s highly relevant (3)
APT: A from the clue and PT (point) as the abbreviation for point guides to the definition of an adjective meaning apposite, appropriate or suitable in the circumstances

26d    Second drink is a bargain (4)
SNIP: A charade of S (second) as the abbreviation for second denoting the basic unit of time and NIP (drink) as a small quantity or sip of spirits takes to the definition of an informal word for a bargain

27d    Island in fashion again (4)
IONA: Part of or hidden inside (in) [FASH]ION A[GAIN] leads to the definition of a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the Ross of Mull on the western coast of Scotland 

28d    Tease about black clothes (4)
GARB: RAG (tease) as to make fun of someone in a boisterous manner in the opposite direction (about) as a reversal in the down clue is followed by B (black) as the abbreviation of black on lead pencils to indicate softness, arriving at the definition of clothes that are in a particular style

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 9a, 13a, 18a, 21a, 24a, 30a, 1d, 5d, 7d and 8d; 9a being the clear winner. Thanks to BD for the encouragement, to X-Type for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

11 comments on “DT 30281 (full review)
Leave your own comment 

  1. As usual, an interesting dissertation on the origins of Apple’s computer name. One wonders how they can trademark the name “Apple”!

  2. Thanks Rahmat. Always educational and interesting!
    I really enjoy X-Type’s crosswords, I wish we could see more of him.

    1. Thank you once again, Mikep, for finding my review educational and interesting. Like you, I would also wish to see more of X-Type’s crosswords.

  3. Took me longer to read the review than it did to do the puzzle but very interesting and informative as ever. Thanks Rahmat.

  4. It’s been a while since I commented on here, but again I am amazed at your reviews. Thanks very much. I learned a lot.

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