DT 30290 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30290

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30290

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re having a spell of unseasonably warm weather at present. Another moist tropical system has moved on to the country delivering another drenching to northern parts of the island but only warmer air and gentle breezes for us.

Typical Wednesday fare with today’s puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     On reflection, offender admitting dubious tale is game in court (4,6)
REAL TENNIS : An offender or wrongdoer is reversed (on reflection) and contains an anagram (dubious) of TALE.

6a     Women usually must hide options for eating (4)
MENU : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

10a     A writer describing small tree (5)
ASPEN : ‘A’ from the clue and a writing implement surround S(mall).

11a     Measured depth on centre of area and rang (9)
RESOUNDED : The two central letters of area are followed by a word meaning measured the depth of water from a boat.

12a     Caller upset by a line getting signal to proceed (3-5)
ALL-CLEAR : ‘A’ from the clue and L(ine), then an anagram (upset) of CALLER.

13a     We must board the girl’s chopper (5)
HEWER : A pronoun meaning ‘the girl’s’ contains WE from the clue.

15a     Brother — that is cunning, in short (7)
BRIEFLY : The abbreviation for brother, then the two letters for the Latin ‘that is’, and cunning or shifty.

17a     Pleasure of French fair? (7)
DELIGHT : The French word for ‘of’, then fair, possibly as a shade of hair.

19a     Naive young girl suffering ennui, e.g. (7)
INGENUE : An anagram (suffering) of ENNUI EG.

21a     Book help for musician (7)
BASSIST : B(ook) and a synonym for help.

22a     Sing the praises of former tax cut (5)
EXTOL : A prefix meaning former and a tax or duty without the last letter.

24a     Worried mates will hold your once semi-precious stone (8)
AMETHYST : An anagram (worried) of MATES surrounds a now obsolete version of ‘your’.

27a     People who won’t believe a good lad returns and twitches (9)
AGNOSTICS : String together ‘A’ from the clue, G(ood), the reversal of lad or young male and nervous twitches.

28a     Ring about name of punishment (5)
PENAL : Sound a bell surrounds N(ame).

29a     Style and energy required for tribe with no leader (4)
ELAN : The physics symbol for energy and then a tribe that might be from Scotland without its first letter.

30a     Cut left nothing at home after offer (10)
TENDERLOIN : An offer or bid is followed by L(eft), then the letter that looks like zero and the two letter ‘at home’.


1d     Back listener supporting right (4)
REAR : One’s listening organ is below R(ight).

2d     Father’s up, getting tedious — that’s terrible! (9)
APPALLING : A familiar abbreviation for father is reversed, then getting tedious or boring.

3d     Note about working with carbon drink (5)
TONIC : A two letter word meaning working is enclosed by one of the sol-fa notes and then the chemical symbol for carbon.

4d     Runs year off without a creche (7)
NURSERY : An anagram (off) of RUNS YE(a)R with ‘a’ from the clue missing.

5d     Certain to stop Independent with cover (7)
INSURED : The three letter abbreviation for independent contains a synonym for certain.

7d     Finish old women’s gift (5)
ENDOW : Finish or conclude, then O(ld) W(omen).

8d     Play down condition subject to articles abroad (10)
UNDERSTATE : A French indefinite and German definite articles, then a condition or situation.

9d     Ears may get loss of pressure from bathroom outlets (8)
LUGHOLES : Remove the physics symbol for pressure from the start of bathroom outlets that might be in your basin or bathtub.

14d     Remove traces of educated old boy getting prominence (10)
OBLITERATE : The two letters for old boy come before (getting prominence) educated or able to read.

16d     One of the last competitors? (8)
FINALIST : A cryptic definition.

18d     Travel around islands in resort to find series of notes (9)
GLISSANDO : An anagram (in resort) of ISLANDS is surrounded by a two letter word for travel.

20d     Analyse and chop up explosive (7)
EXAMINE : The reversal (up) of chop with a hatchet, then an explosive weapon.

21d     Damned lucky (7)
BLESSED : A double definition. The pronunciation is different for each use.

23d     Friendly nation taking part in Eton game (5)
TONGA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

25d     They regularly exercise right to be over-excited (5)
HYPER : The second and fourth letters of ‘they’ then physical exercise is followed by R(ight).

26d     Scheme of works with no end (4)
PLAN : Remove the last letter from works or factory.

Quickie pun    havoc    +    uppity    =    have a cup of tea


79 comments on “DT 30290

  1. I loved today’s offering. To me, there was just the right balance between the straightforward and the tricky. My last in was 9d because it took me ages to work out although I have no idea why. I was trying to place the first three letters of the answer at the end of the word. That fitted in with 17a but it wasn’t until I solved 21a that I realised I was on the wrong track. Once again, I have ticks all over the paper with 30a coming out on top to be my COTD. I love a 30a of pork because I make pork in oranges with it.

    Lovely sunny day in The Marches but I have an eye test to go to. I had my cataracts done about two years ago but my sight is blurring once more.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    Great Quickie pun.

    1. I loved 9d – and I’m trying to remember who used to say “pin back yer lug’oles”. Tommy Handley, Tommy Trinder? Long before your time!

      1. Have to admit ‘twas not long before my time DG; so much so that I really loved listening to Cyril Fletcher’s extraordinary voice and his Odd Odes (“Dreaming of Thee” etc.) and thus was delighted to receive an autographed photograph of him!

        1. Of course, Cyril Fletcher and his dear wife – Betty? They both performed In the pantomime
          at the Cambridge Arts Theatre for many, many years, Betty or Beryl being the leading lady
          until she simply HAD step down and be cast as the Fairy Godmother. Sometimes it was
          ‘dreaming oh my darling love of thee’

    2. Oh, and sorry to hear about about your eyes. I thought cataract ops lasted for years?

      1. They do, DG but the optician explained it all very clearly. When the old lens is removed some bits are left behind in the eye. These eventually attach themselves to the new plastic lens an d blur the vision. I’m going for laser treatment.

        1. I had laser treatment 3 weeks ago. Amazingly easy and much clearer vision as a result.

        2. Glad you are getting the treatment. I had read that this can sometimes happen.

          1. Apparently it is quite common, BL but I wasn’t warned it could happen. I was imagining all kinds of things.

        3. Be sure it’s not glaucoma … though I’m sure your ophthalmologist will check that! Good luck.

          1. It isn’t, Merusa – the pressure in both eyes is normal, thank goodness.

            1. I had my cataracts done in 2004 and 2009 and haven’t had any problems so far, Steve. No warnings were given, so thanks for akerting us to the possibility.

              1. You’re welcome, Chriscross. I was also assured that the blurred vision is unlikely to return.

  2. Very tightly clued little number today, which put in on a par for difficultly with yesterday’s one.
    Only hitch I had was to start the word for the last three letters of 15a with the wrong letter, needed to get 16d (which was also tricky) to set myself right again.
    Favourite was the first one in for me, 1a. Great fun, thanks to our compliler.

  3. For me this was enjoyable but barely staying on the right side of being too gentle, with only the excellent 9d, my standout favourite, giving pause for thought.
    Many thanks to the setter and The Ks for a very pleasant start to the day

    Ps 21a brought to mind Zandio’s “First of Beatles on Help! … McCartney?”, one of my all time favourite clues

    1. For many of us, there is no such thing as too gentle; likewise, there are others who revel in the trickier end of the spectrum. An impossible job for the setters to please all the people, all the time 😊.

    2. Oh please don’t start that “too easy” business. Not everyone enjoys a mangled brain. Have you done the Toughie?

  4. Tuned-in to the setter’s wavelength from the off, here, with only a half-dozen left after the first read through. Solid Wednesday fare, very gentle indeed for a mid-week, with some great surface reads (but a few oddities, too). Anagrams don’t usually make it through to my highlights list, but for me the Hon Mentions went to 1a, 19a & 14d.

    0.5 / 2.5

    Thank you to the setter and to the 2Ks

  5. 1*/3.5*. Light and good fun just like yesterday albeit with half-a-star less for enjoyment due to a few strange surfaces.

    1a & 9d were my top two.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  6. A very straightforward puze with a few head-scratchers to keep you on your toes. I kiked30a, 14d and my COTD, 9d (it took a while for the penny to drop though). Thanks to the compiler and to the Kiwis for the hints.

    1. I love your idiosyncratic typing CC, we now have a puze to kike. 🥰

      1. It matters not how many times I check it DG. The gap in my field of vision and the slight double vision conspire to produce some rare pieces of gobbledygook. At least it’s amusing some of the time. However, the opthalmologists have cleared me to drive as my diatance vision is sufficiently good, apparently.

        1. That is good news! You’ve no idea how surrendering your licence narrows your world. I’ve got used to it but still have moments when I get frustrated at being dependent on others.

  7. A very enjoyable romp. 9D doesn’t make much sense as a surface, of course, but a lovely clue all the same. And “in resort” was new to me as an anagram indicator. Clever. But would anyone actually use 13A in a sentence? Surely not! Many thanks to setter, and the Kiwis, of course.

    1. Oldies may still say ‘Hewers of wood and drawers of water’ for hoi polloi.

      1. Good grief, that was new to me. Had to look it up. Brilliant. And thank you, too, for omitting the redundant “the” in hoi polloi. Chapeau!

          1. I often use “yesteryear” as opposed to the awful “back in the day”.

  8. The sun is shining and the sky is blue in the chilterns and the puzzle was completed without the hints so the bunny is happy. i enjoyed this sunny offering. I needed the hints to explain my answer to 8d and 9d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the 2 kiwis and the setter.

  9. Wonderful Wednesday wordcross which was wrapped up without wanting extra time. Where were one’s wits hiding away while working woefully without winning and then whinging and whining about the wickedness of setters.

    Well no need for alliteration to today. Good honest puzzle with too many good ones to make a fair podium. My thanks to the fantastic setter and the 2Ks.

  10. Very light, right on the cusp of PB time for me with the only slight hold-up being the excellent 9d, where I initially had the wrong definition. Growing up in a Cockney household I used to get this all the time but haven’t heard it now in many years. 19a was a new word for me, though obvious from the wordplay. I liked 27a as a good lego, 18d as a partial but 9d gets my vote today */****

    TY to the setter and 2Ks

  11. Light and enjoyable and even a bit ‘sly’ at 15a, with 9d my COTD, & 18d and 21d fleshing out the podium. We’ve come quite a distance since the heady days of Jay as our Wednesday setter, and I do miss his handiwork, but this one has its charms too. Thanks to today’s setter and to the 2Kiwis. */***

    I highly recommend Peter Robinson’s final Alan Banks novel, Standing in the Shadows, which I finished yesterday–a crackerjack finale to this extraordinary series.

  12. Very pleasant with 9d as my last one in.
    15a is my favourite. Thanks to the Kiwis and Jay.

  13. A fine midweek puzzle – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 22a, 30a, 9d, 14d, and 16d – and the winner is 30a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  14. All done and dusted in pretty good time today so started on the Toughie in bed and got absolutely nowhere so will be content to have finished the back pager. Gorgeous day and washing blowing merrily in the breeze. Thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

  15. An enjoyable and in places amusing challenge today with just the right level of difficulty for me.

    Favourites were 18d, 25d with another vote for 9d as COTD.

    Struggling to get into double figures here in NE Scotland but at least it is dry.

    Thanks to setter and hinters.

  16. Up at Greetham Valley in Rutland for a couple of days of golf with the gang (3 85yr olds in our party of 11 & bet I don’t beat ‘em all). Nice gentle problem free solve before setting off – 9d last in & my fav
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks
    Ps done half of Django’s Toughie – great fun & pretty accessible too

  17. Light and breezy, and I knew just what to do (© Carole King).

    13a would only be called for in Cold Comfort Farm. “Flora, my girl, go fetch me my 13a from the woodshed!”

    I hope Delightful Daisy and Revered Robert are improving.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

    1. DD is feeling much brighter, thank you kind sir, and determined to get to the celebrations on Saturday. How is H’s foot?

    2. In CCF does the 13a live in the woodshed? A 13a is a person who uses an axe – a synonym of chopper, or someone who chops. Isn’t it?

      1. No one of the characters (I can’t recall whom) once saw “Something nasty in the woodshed” and refused to go near it ever again. It was never revealed what the “something nasty” was.
        Brilliant book!

        1. Indeed, I think. I was just pointing out that a 13a isn’t an axe (which you could send somebody to fetch from the woodshed) but someone who uses an axe.

  18. Leaving aside some fairly 2d surface reads, this was an enjoyable solve with 1,9&30a raising smiles. Gold medal goes to the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to our setter (Robyn?) and to our 2Ks for the review – long may your good fortune last, weatherwise.

  19. An enjoyable midweek puzzle – my thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    The highlights for me were 30a, 5d and 9d.

  20. I agree with Jane that the pun was a cracker, I often think I should have started noting down the really good ones years ago. It reminds me of the old alphabet joke ‘Ay fer ‘orses, Beef or pork, See for yourself etc. The crossword was a delightful workout with smiles along the way and I trust there will not be a cross word said about it, though I do think 13a is a bit awkward. 1a makes me think of the hundreds of times we visited Hampton Court with my father’s constant stream of foreign visitors – – it was our nearest impressive bit of English history. My mother once left a cottage loaf behind a statue when we were called to pose for a photograph- she’d bought it in the restaurant and could not be seen to be holding it. Memories. Many thanks to the setter and the two Kay’s.

  21. Found this Wednesday crossword completely unsolvable. Absolutely not on setters wavelength that was right out of this world. Just my opinion, and maybe others found it fell into place just fine … however very frustrating for me.
    Overall it was DNF without cheats. Even then it made no flippin’ sense.

    Very few clues made any kind of sense to me, but clues I liked (not necessarily favourites), were 19a, 21a, 24a & 2d with the last one in the list my rating of the puzzle.

    Sorry, but that is my opinion. Think I will quit Wednesday puzzles going forward. Where are you Jay????

    Nonetheless thanks to setter and the 2 K’s

    1. Very strange but definitely a wavelength. I thought it was very clever as if you read the clue carefully the answer wrote its self in.

  22. Rather Mondayish.
    Luckily synced with the setter.
    And randomly progressed to the end.
    With no undue delays.
    Neatly constructed puzzle.
    Thanks setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Sunny break of day
      A quick, steady crossword solve
      enjoying the solve 😎

  23. Today’s cruciverbal exercise was perfect combination of food for thought plus 17a. 18d now added to my vocabulary although it has too many letters for my daily Byrdle (choral music) word game! Fav 19a. Thank you Mysteron and 2Kiwis (enjoy your warm weather – it seems we may be subject to unncertain weather for the Coronation weekend but do hope not).

  24. It’s a good day when the crossword comes together neatly. Along with others my favourite was 9 d. Managed to add a complication as I misspelt 24a. It certainly adds to the challenge. A super puzzle and thanks for all the back ground hard work that makes this site invaluable.

  25. Enjoyable (but I found 15a confusing as for me cunning means ‘sly’). Thank you setter and 2ks

  26. My cup runneth over. To find this treat, especially after yesterday’s excellent puzzle, was a surprise. Lots of fun to solve and high in enjoyment. I did pause over a couple of my answers, and had to check the hint to make sure I was right, thanks 2Kiwis and to the friendly setter. Off to Wordle land now.

      1. Great puzzle – but on gentle side
        I was right on this setter’s length of wave
        9d made me LOL
        Ta to setter ( who are you? ) and the 2K’s
        Weds is the new Monday !

  27. Looks like lots of comments, I hope because everyone loved this puzzle as much as I did. To say I’m walking on air is 8d! My only holdout was 14d, I knew what I wanted it to be but the letters didn’t fit, then I realised that I had spelt 19a incorrectly, starting with “e” instead of “i”. I should check spellings that I’m not sure about, like 24a, which is my birthstone, shame on me! Does anyone remember Queen Salote of 23d at H.M. EIIR’s coronation in 1953? I can’t choose a fave, far too much good stuff.
    Thank you setter, I love you, and the 2Kiwis for their hints and tips. I’ll now read the comments.
    BTW, I remember that P. Margaret was married on May 6th; the wags all said that AAJ didn’t know if it was his wedding day or his new title. Funny how these things stick in your mind all these years!

    1. I certainly remember 1953. My friend June and I went to the Albert Memorial and slept out all night to see the procession. Our parents were worried sick that we would not return in one piece. They, of course, saw much more at home on the little TV than we did, but we were there! Mummy made a crown shaped cake but it was all gone by the time we got home.

      1. We didn’t have TV at school but we listened on the radio. They made a movie of the coronation and we watched it at the local cinema in the town.

        1. Our next door neighbours were the only people in our street to have a television. The whole street crammed into their tiny front room to watch the coronation. We had meat paste sandwiches and I had orange squash. I was six and in awe of the whole thing.

  28. Another great puzzle. I only struggled with 30a but when I realised what it was it became my favourite.
    Thankyou setter and hinters.

  29. Enjoyed this one but had to call it a DNF as 19a beat me. I had absolutely no idea, even with the blogger’s help. However, I did need help with several other clues which, I’m glad to say, the blogger did help with.

    Difficulty: **
    Enjoyment: ****

  30. Morning all.
    The rain that we thought we had dodged arrived last night and is forecast to continue for the next couple of days. Ah well, at least it is still comparatively warm.
    Good to see general agreement about the puzzle. It must be very satisfying for the setters to read that people appreciate their hard work.

  31. Good evening
    An enjoyable solve this afty. I would like to put forward 30a for COTD; it certainly made me come out with a ‘Crikey!’
    Thank you to our setter and to 2Ks

  32. Really enjoyed this puzzle and it was the first time I used the puzzle app to complete it while commuting. It takes a bit of getting used to but I managed it. Got stuck on 18d, not a word I was familiar with. Favourite was 9d, made me chuckle on the train

  33. I enjoyed this puzzle starting with 1 across which is also my favourite. Glad to have the parsing of a few clarified in the hints. Thanks to the setter and 2 K’s

  34. At first glance I wasn’t too confident but once I got going everything just fell into place. One of my quickest solves which was just as well with so many demands on my time today. Many thanks to the setter and the 2K’s.

  35. This was on the gentle side of gentle and unlike yesterday I didn’t break my pencil so no hold-ups at all. This solve was sandwiched around my usual Wednesday quiz in which I just managed to squeak home by knowing the answer to the final question ‘which pivotal battle was fought in 1415’, the rest of the questions were really obscure, so one brain mangle was enough. Favourite was 18d. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  36. I can say that this must have been my quickest solve. Not intending to put anyone off as there are plenty I find difficult. Only got round to it in the early hours after doing Wordle. I thought instantly of Queen Salote and put Tonga ( the friendly idle) in straightaway. Solving 19a was aided by the u usual letters in the anagram fodder. I find I have circled my favourites with. I think that was because there were so many. Thank you.

  37. 2*/4* …
    liked 1A “On reflection, offender admitting dubious tale is game in court (4,6)”

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