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DT 30294

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30294

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are enjoying a lovely spell of warm weather that Senf has so kindly forwarded on to us.

I found today’s offering from Campbell to be fun to solve and not overly difficult – certainly far less of a challenge than the one I reviewd two weeks ago.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


7a   Speaks about universal children’s game (7)
STATUES — speaks or expresses (an idea) clearly containing the single letter for the universal film rating classification

8a   Detailed photograph of bar at university (5-2)
CLOSE-UP — to bar or shut and the usual preposition denoting at university

10a   The British government, with Heath ill, reshuffled (9)
WHITEHALL — the abbreviation for with and an anagram (reshuffled) of the previous two words

11a   Opera in general student shunned (5)
NORMA — a word meaning general or usual with the single letter representing a student driver removed

12a   What may be round head of steer caught by one rustling? (5)
NOOSE — the round letter and the initial letter (head) of STEER find themselves inside (caught by) an anagram (rustling) of ONE; the entire clue provides the definition (which is more descriptive than precise) in which the wordplay is embedded

13a   Put on glasses approaching end of corridor leading to actors’ entrance (5,4)
STAGE DOOR — link together put on or mounted (a theatrical production), two letters that together resemble a pair of eye glasses, and the final letter (end) of CORRIDOR

15a   Large house over in Reno is Namibian’s (7)
MANSION — reversed (over) and hidden in (in) the final three words of the clue

17a   Angry about article? That will teach you! (2,5)
SO THERE — a North American term for angry or resentful wrapped around a grammatical article

18a   50 tucked into marvellous meat product (9)
CRACKLING — the Roman numeral for 50 contained in another word for marvellous

20a   Staggering film … (5)
ROCKY — double definition, the first denoting dizzy or unsteady on one’s feet

21a   … of victor losing face in ring (5)
INNER — remove the initial letter from a synonym for victor or successful contestant; the ellipses merely link the surface reading of the clues showing that the two clues read together express a meaningful idea

23a   Bootlicker, extremely smarmy chap, not unexpectedly (9)
SYCOPHANT — the initial and final letters (extremely) of SMARMY and an anagram (unexpectedly) of the previous two words

24a   Greek character, celebrity, backed issue (7)
EMANATE — link together the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet and another common word for a celebrity; then reverse (backed) the lot

25a   Set off first of rockets held by one of Pooh’s friends (7)
TRIGGER — insert the first letter of ROCKETS inside Pooh Bear’s striped companion


1d   Volatile African oil state (10)
CALIFORNIA — an anagram (volatile) of the following two words

2d   English university with data on east Oregon city (6)
EUGENE — place the single letters for English and university before a colloquial term for data or information and the single letter for East after

3d   Killer of two donkeys at home (8)
ASSASSIN — one donkey after another preceding the usual word for at home

4d   Lake covered by grotesque scaly monster (6)
SCYLLA — the map abbreviation for lake contained in an anagram (grotesque) of SCALY

5d   Not working (tired out), relaxed (8)
DOWNBEAT — not working (e.g., a computer) and another term for tired out

6d   Fruit couple picked up (4)
PEAR — sounds like (picked up [by the ear]) a synonym for couple

7d   Succeed in changing e.g. hems? I can, using this! (6,7)
SEWING MACHINE — introduce a synonym for succeed or be victorious into (in) an anagram (changing) of the subsequent four words; similar to 12a, the entire clue serves as the definition in which the wordplay is embedded

9d   Secretive person after plain food as a hangover cure? (7,6)
PRAIRIE OYSTER — a secretive or uncommunicative person follows a North American geographical plain to form an alcoholic drink reputed to cure a hangover; I didn’t know the drink but only the delicacy (which I’ve yet to try) from which I presume it takes its name

14d   Rook completed attack (10)
OVERCHARGE — a charade of words meaning completed and attack

16d   Head knocked off toy soldier in battle (8)
INKERMAN — remove the initial letter (head) from a verb meaning toy or fiddle (with) and append an ordinary soldier

17d   Wisdom shown by commander in South London, say (8)
SAGACITY — place an Ottoman military commander between the single letter for South and an urban area of which London is an example

19d   Released children, first of detainees (6)
ISSUED — a legal or formal term for children and the first letter of DETAINEES

20d   Go to service (6)
REPAIR — double definition, both verbs

22d   Ordered in one, a tavern (4)
NEAT — hidden in (in) the final three words of the clue

Today, I will single out two clues, 12a and 7d, for special mention. These clues share the same structure, with the entire clue forming the definition in which the wordplay is embedded.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): SEEM + AISLES = SEA MILES

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : PROPER + GAIT = PROPAGATE

72 comments on “DT 30294

  1. I found this to be on the harder side of Campbell. I have never heard of 16d and had to look the answer to that one up. Even now, I’m not sure about it because, for the life of me, I cannot see a child’s toy. Not being a fan of opera, 11a stumped me so I had to look that up as well. I’m afraid I didn’t care for today’s offering that much – what happened to starting gently and getting harder as the week progresses? However, I am sure others will find it enjoyable.

    Thank you, Campbell but I’m afraid I could not do your puzzle justice today, which is not your fault at all. Thank you, Falcon for the hints, which I will now look at for explanations of those that I found baffling.

    Horrible day of rain in The Marches today. I’m so glad I got the gardening done yesterday.

    1. 16d You need to ‘knock the head off’ a verb meaning to toy or fiddle with and then follow with a soldier

    2. The only reason I had heard of 16d was because there was a street so called in the soap Coronation Street.

  2. For me a typically well clued Monday puzzle with a smattering of GK that needed confirmation.
    I think the synonym in 14d has probably fallen out of use and I wasn’t keen on 9d, Collins giving the second word as informal American. I’d not heard of it in that context, though it could shed light on the origin of the name of one of my favourite bands.
    Favourite definitely 10a, a great example of its clue type.
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Re 14d Stephen, FWIW I regularly hear both ‘rook’ and the answer being used in this context and would hesitate to say either had fallen out of use. “They/he rooked me” is far from unusual parlance IME.

  3. Like Falcon, I found this puzzle very enjoyable, with a food mix of clues i was probably fortunate in being a geographer with a love of both opera and Greco-Roman literature so the General Knowledge component of the clues suited me well. I really liked the reverse lurker at 15a, the 2d lego clue and the 9d charade. The two long down clues at 7d and 9d helped me a lot and were well-constructed but COTD for me wwas16d. Thanks to Campbell, a real winnner today and to Falcon for the hints.

  4. Quite hard.
    Finished unaided but struggled.
    Brilliant 9 and 16d.
    And a tantalising misdirection in 5d.
    Makes it my COTD.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  5. It was harder indeed for a Monday. I had to look up the answer to 16D, which resulted in a cup of tea, a biccy and a Wiki, so pleased to have got to know about that. Enjoyable stuff (the puzzle I mean).

  6. I found this really difficult today, not helped by my lack of knowledge about Crimean battles, operas, monsters and cities in Oregon! However I do concede that most were within reach with the very fair clueing and the checkers. Perseverance paid off and I finished unaided and enjoyed the whole thing. Podium places are awarded to 12a, 18a, 7d, 17d and my favourite 24a. Thanks to Campbell for increasing my knowledge base and Falcon for his comments.

  7. 3*/2.5*. I was disappointed by today’s puzzle as I normally look forward to Monday to provide a light, fun start to the week.

    However I was completely flummoxed by 9d, never having heard either of the answer nor the synonym needed for the second word. I was able to bung it in from the checking letters and then used Google to discover that the answer really did exist!

    I was also a DNF on account of the obscure (to me) 16d.

    To be fair, the rest of the puzzle was well up to scratch.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  8. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but, after a friendly puzzle last week, he has upped the ante on us this week – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 7a, 17a, 17d, and 19d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  9. A reasonably brisk sub ** time grid fill but confirmation of some of the whys required – the context of oyster, the Oregon city & the Greek myth monster. I knew the battle & what letter I was knocking off in the wordplay but like Steve was initially sucked into thinking child’s toy also before that penny dropped. 20a another example of the Academy’s voters getting it hopelessly wrong in my view – All The President’s Men, Taxi Driver & Network far superior films. All very enjoyable & with 7d&12a my top 2 also.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon
    Ps A nervous afternoon in store for Hoofit & I as our teams Millwall & Coventry currently hold the last 2 Championship play off spots with the final game to go. 🤞

    1. Gosh!

      What are the chances of two of us making the same observation at the same time?

      Love it.

      1. I’ve all but given up on the Oscars over the years Tom. BAFTA get it right far more often but if I look back at the Academy best film roll call since the 70s I find myself disagreeing more often than not. I won’t even bother to see this year’s winner as not my bag & the previous year was beyond a joke.

        1. Tell me about it.

          I was talking to the owner of an extremely successful local cinema (Uckfield Picture House – he’s quite a guy who knows his stuff) and he said that he sells three times more tickets for 007 films than anything else. But, the Oscars refuses to acknowledge them. In 60 years they have won three technical ones plus the three recent original songs. It’s a disgrace.

          Hitchcock with his groundbreaking work didn’t win one.

          They love an actor whose character has a mental or physical impairment/disability (whatever the correct term is these days). From 1988 to 1997, nine of the 10 Best Actor winners played these sort of roles.

  10. That was very enjoyable.

    Lots of obscure knowledge which was very gettable from the parsing and plenty of nicely constructed clues.

    I’ve had many a 9d in my time: a truly awful concoction but it does the trick.

    40 odd years later and I’m still reeling from 20a winning Best Film Oscar ahead of Network that got three of the four acting awards, Taxi Driver and All the President’s Men.

    Some have said that this is tougher than Campbell’s usual fare but it can’t be easy, week in week out, to get the exact same level.

    Thanks to the aforementioned and ‘The F Dog’.


  11. I wasn’t able to complete it unaided. Prairie oyster is a new one and I am not au fait with Crimean battles.
    I am familiar with repair as a verb but it is very old fashioned.
    No particular favourite.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  12. There’s a lot more GK here than we normally get on a Monday but it’s all fairly clued – thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    My medals were awarded to 8a, 13a and 17d.

  13. I thought this was tougher than a traditional Monday puzzle, in that it needed a fair bit of GK, all nicely clued admittedly, and some reverse engineering to complete the solve. Given that it is a thoroughly miserable day and I had time to solve it, I really can’t complain. Normally, given plenty of time I shoot through the crossword; short of time and it gives me problems.

    Good fun though as always with this setter, with 17d my favourite.

    Thanks to Campbell for the workout and Falcon.

  14. Too many obscure answers for my liking, so I found it to be overly difficult for a Monday.
    A Campbell soup.

    1. I agree not enjoyable for a Monday bank holiday, compared with Sarurday HARD

  15. Like some others of our number, I had to verify the Oregan city, monster and battle required to complete this one – a touch more difficult than the usual Monday fare.
    Top three here were 7&13a plus 17d with a nod to the bottom line Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon – enjoy the sunshine whilst it lasts.

  16. Not keen on this – a number of (for me) obscure answers, though all fairly clued….

  17. A tad more on the difficulty rating for a Monday puzzle & lacking some the usual sparkle IMHO. I also stared at 9d for ages even with all the checkers in place, got the first word from the word play & the second from the only thing it could be. Chambers confirmed the definition, a new expression to me, maybe because I gave up the stuff after too many hangovers a number of years ago!


    Fav 23a LOI 9d.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  18. Bounced all around the grid, and enjoyably so, before I found my rhythm on this one. Had to confirm 16d, though I pretty much knew what the two components had to be, and I don’t recall ever having heard of 9d before, though the clue was easy enough to work out. And for this opera lover at 11a two names suffice: Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne! Favourite: 7d, with 17d and 13a runners-up. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 3*/4*

    1. I thought 9d was American in origin, it was fairly common in Jamaica and we used a lot of Americanisms; trunk of a car, gas instead of petrol, and so on.

  19. Gosh, a good two meals worth today! (Brekky and lunch). Had to cheat for the battle and didn’t know Granny’s Footsteps had changed its name! Usually I reserve that word when calling my friend David in Florence “Hello, s…..?”
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  20. Some tricky parsing today, a notch harder than usual,
    Took a while to parse 9d, I had heard of the cure,but could not use one as I can’t stand oysters!
    Remembered the 16d battle when the checking letters were in place and confirmed last in 2d with Chambers;
    Enjoyed the puzzle and a ***/**** for me,
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon for the pics, that 20a was some punch

  21. Miserable mizzling Monday made more mournful by mystery matters long missing from memories and not memorialised in monuments and minds. Managed most only missing 9 and 16d but the bamboozlement of the two above merited no medals for anyone.

    In the future majesty will moulder in memories and leave us meanwhile muttering madly about the mismanagement of the many ministries of state by mealy mouthed members of Parliament.

    Many thanks to Campbell, and to Falcon for unmasking the mysteries of 9 and 16d.

  22. This crossword was quite challenging, therefore the setter is a buffoon who should never be allowed to…
    re-reads Big Dave’s site etiquette
    Ah… well this was rather tricky but enjoyable to unravel.
    I had some distant memory of Jeeves knocking up a 9d for an ailing Bertie, otherwise that one would have been a struggle. The committee was split about 16d being nominated for THE LIST. It doesn’t quite fit the mould of ‘loosestrife’ or ‘a bootless errand’ but scored high on the Obscurity Meter.

    The redoubtable H – her operation scar has healed; she tested negative for Covid; but her broken toe (healing nicely) prevented us for going for a lovely walk yesterday due to a little too much ouchiness when walking more than a few yards.
    So, instead, we went for a smashing luncheon at the Anchor, by the River Wey at Pyrford. Really good vegetarian roast and we were very impressed by the very young team of waiters and waitresses who were kind and cheery throughout.
    It was exhausting erecting the ladder to take this photo.

    Thanks to Campbell and The Bird Of Prey

    1. How did you manage that Terence? It looks as though it has far more gigga things than my runner beans in the loo roll. It’s not fair.
      (It looks a lovely venue though)

      1. Send me your pic of the bean plants in their toilet rolls, DG and I will reduce it in size so you can post it.

        I, for one, am dying to see it. 🌱

    2. No walk but a lovely lunch. Every cloud has a silver lining! 😎

      Pleased to hear your good lady is on the mend, Terence.

  23. I actually found this quite easy until suddenly it was difficult. I knew the opera. the city and the scaly monster (one for The List?) and George got the battle because it was one of my father’s regimental honours. I also had the Greek letter early on but got nowhere until I realised the clever reversal – so 24a,10 & 25a are top of my list. Many thanks to Falcon for the hint to 7a, I wanted seesaws. When the DDs had parties we always played Dead Donkey when things got a bit frantic – which was similar to 7a but when the music stopped the children had to fling themselves on the ground and not move. The trouble was , one little girl always went to sleep as soon as she hit the floor and always won the game. Many thanks to Setter and Mr Falcon. It is full and wet after a lovely day yesterday. I might just have a nap.

    1. No rain here DG but not like yesterday. Had wonderful Coronation tea on the church green. Amazingly free wine beer, tea,coffee cakes and ice cream. Delivered cream teas to those unable to make it

  24. Not my cup of tea today, I’m sorry to say. Needed electronic help to finish .

    One day I will get on Campbell’s wavelength……maybe.

    Thanks to the setter and to Falcon for his very clear and much needed by me explanations .

    Utterly miserable weather again here today and still cold!

  25. As I am not into monsters, Crimean battles, hangover cures, and never played that game as a child, this was a struggle for me. Quite pleased with the answers I did manage to get though, so not a total loss. I wonder if the reason for the tougher Monday puzzles is because there is no actual Toughie on a Monday? I really don’t recall if there ever was? It’s a shame, as I used to look forward to at least solving the Monday puzzle unaided. But thanks to Campbell for testing me, and to Falcon for the hints.

  26. Didn’t find this the easiest puzzle for a Monday … found it trickier than normal. Several words unknown to me on top of it all.
    Theses included 4d, 9d & 16d

    2.5*/3* for me today.

    Favourites today include 10a, 13a, 17a & 7d — but no winner today

    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon for hints

  27. Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review and hints. I’m completely baffled by 20a, does “go to” =repair?

    1. We shall repair to the bar for refreshments… or will do once the sun is past the yard arm!

    2. As I have shown in the hint, I believe the first definition is just “go” – as you would ‘go to’ or ‘repair to’ somewhere.

  28. Light and enjoyable, with only delays being briefly at 7a (never heard of that being a game) and 5d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. I had never heard that name for the game. We always called it “Red Light, Green Light”. Apparently in the UK it is also known as Grandma’s/Grandmother’s Footsteps or Fairy Footsteps.

      In the North American version, the players can begin moving when the caller says “green light” and must stop when the caller says “red light”.

  29. More doable that recent Mondays. Only puzzle for me is 27a. I wrote it in without conviction, not seeing how the answer has anything to do with ‘ring’. Something to do with a tyre’s inner tube perhaps? **/****

    1. It’s the ring just outside the bull or bull’s eye on a target. The next one out is the outer.

  30. Always amused by our granddaughter’s inability to stay still and how much we all therefore enjoy playing 7a! Thanks Campbell and Falcon

  31. Finally finished but not without some e help to check several answers and the hints to parse a couple. For me this was definitely a trickier Monday puzzle mainly because it found a number of the many gaps in my knowledge. That said it was a fun tussle and I feel pleased to have got to the end better educated (for 5 mins anyway) and I can see the clues were clever.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the essential hints.

  32. First comment I read was Cowling at number 1, exactly my thoughts, just not my bag. I did know 9d, and the opera has appeared before, clued exactly the same. This was much harder than the Dada yesterday, I needed far too much ehelp. I’d never heard of 7a, no big thing, easy enough with the clue, and I amazed myself on knowing the monster. As for 16d, only one commenter had heard of it, it must be that obscure. There were some good ‘uns, though, 7d, 25a lovely reminder of Pooh.
    Thank you Campbell, hope you’re soon relegated to Friday, and to Falcon for his essential unravelling of many.

    1. Merusa! Please call me Steve!
      I was last called Cowling at school! 🤣

  33. Middling for me –
    Both difficulty and enjoyment
    More obscure-ish GK than ideal
    Though only the opera was completely new to me
    Faves 10a and 20a
    Ta muchly to Campbell and Falcon
    Happy BH all

  34. Unusually I seem to have found this less taxing than some commenters above. Most of it seemed to quite steadily fall into place with a couple of exceptions viz 9d and 16d although that one was a simple bung-in once several crossers were in place. Good fun – thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  35. Considering how badly I usually do with Monday crosswords today wasn’t too bad – generally not in the mood – grump grump and not in anyone’s fault except mine!!
    I agree that the amount of GK was more than usual – some I knew but not all of it.
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to Falcon for the hints.
    Very tired – could do with a better sleep than last night!

  36. Really enjoyed this. Didn’t quite finish but the hints helped. Pleased I got 4d. I do believe Bertie Wooster, or was it Jeeves
    ? referred to his aunts as 4d and Charybdis.
    Don’t know why but 9d immediately sprang to mind.
    Altogether a thoroughly good start to the week.
    Thanks to everyone

  37. Found this quite the challenge today. As with others struggled with many of the clues but not the Oregan City for some reason.

    A dnf for me. Firstly because I had to Google to get the second word in 9d. Secondly, 5d completely defeated me. Had no idea of that meaning for relaxed. If someone had ever used 5d to mean relaxed I would have been confused at best. I think the brackets threw my feeble brain too.

    Thanks to all.

  38. I found this different to the normal Monday offering 😬 ***/*** I did not think it was one of Campbell’s! Favourites: 18a, 4 and 14d 😃 Thanks to Falcon and to Campbell

  39. Not for me I’m afraid as Monday continues to be the new Friday. I didn’t like 12a or 21a, not sure that 20d is service and 16d defies belief, there were others but I think I’ll leave it there. Thanks to Campbell anyway and Falcon.

  40. I love this crossword community and have been following for years as I have learned the craft of solving cryptics – all self taught along with your advice. Respect for all solvemasters/mistresses and compilers – could not be without you. Today is the first time I have felt compelled to join in the chat and say this was a very awkward puzzle from compiler and mediator.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Minerva, and it’s great know how much it has helped you. Please do carry on contributing regularly.

  41. On the Telegraph app I had 18d marked as incorrect even though I entered rustling. Anyone else had that problem?

  42. 3*/4* ….
    liked 23A “Bootlicker, extremely smarmy chap, not unexpectedly (9)”

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