DT 30296 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30296

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30296

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

We’re away in Wellington this week with granddaughter Milly and Lola who is a very Tiggerish Labradoodle. Just got back from a walkies where we got caught in a heavy shower and came home soaking. However, we will rise above such things and get on with solving and blogging today’s puzzle.
An enjoyable romp for us (that’s the puzzle, not the wet walk) .

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Attractive person used to be that lady’s kitchen worker (10)
DISHWASHER : An informal term for an attractive person then a word meaning ‘used to be’ and the possessive pronoun meaning ‘that lady’s’.

6a     Part of tea chest is pine (4)
ACHE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

9a     Scot enters Post Office quietly (5)
PIANO : The two letter abbreviation for Post Office has an archetypical Scots name inside.

10a     Clement‘s reason to buy gifts? (9)
FORGIVING : Split the answer 3,6 to find the reason.

12a     Member replacing front of holy book with clear characters (7)
LEGIBILE : A lower body member replaces the first letter of the Christian holy book.

13a     Family with guitar’s beginning to make a sound like metal (5)
CLANG : A family group that could well be Scottish and then the first letter of guitar.

15a     Lofty journalist hiding latex pants (7)
EXALTED : An anagram (pants) of LATEX is surrounded by a senior journalist.

16a     Time worker, say, has funny fit of temper (7)
TANTRUM : T(ime), a worker insect and then funny or odd.

18a     What writer may use in lines concluding novel I knew (7)
INKWELL : An anagram (novel) of I KNEW is followed by the repeated abbreviation for line.

20a     English king with broody female on stage (7)
STEPHEN : Start with a stage or level, then an avian broody female.

21a     Where Indian food’s served hot in food shop (5)
DELHI : The short form of a specialist food shop contains H(ot).

23a     Before noon, Heather, Charlotte and Virginia are here (7)
AMERICA : The two letters signifying before noon and the genus of the plant heather.

25a     Unknown funding on vehicle for old Hollywood star (4,5)
CARY GRANT : A motor vehicle, then a mathematical unknown and a type of funding.

26a     Name a filthy place, and how it might be described (5)
NASTY : An all-in-one clue. The wordplay is N(ame), then ‘A’ from the clue and a filthy place where a pig may be.

27a     Place to swim around in a circle (4)
LOOP : The reversal (around) of a place to swim.

28a     E.g. what beachcombers collect, we hear, in tropical islands (10)
SEYCHELLES : A homophone (we hear) of things you might find washed up on a beach.


1d     English dessert, after turnover, is fool (4)
DUPE : The reversal (after turnover) of E(nglish) and an often stodgy dessert.

2d     Stride around US shopping centre making chitchat (5,4)
SMALL TALK : Stride in a somewhat arrogant way contains an American word for a shopping complex.

3d     Try to win over Liberal Party, indulging in fantasy (4-9)
WOOL-GATHERING : Try to win over in an amorous way, then L(iberal) and a party or get-together.

4d     Notes young socialite knocked over piece of furniture (4,3)
SOFA BED : Two notes for the sol-fah scale and then the reversal of a young female socialite.

5d     Serious Parisian is touring near Barking (7)
EARNEST : An anagram (barking) of NEAR is enclosed by the French form of the word ‘is’.

7d     Tea bags in cups and saucers etc (5)
CHINA : A three letter alternative word for tea encloses (bags) ‘in’ from the clue.

8d     This could be a sign of love or of war (10)
ENGAGEMENT : An all-in-one double definition clue.

11d     Trouble using the lavatory (13)
INCONVENIENCE : Split the answer 2,11 to understand ‘using the lavatory’.

14d     Police raid organised at regular intervals (10)
PERIODICAL : An anagram (organised) of POLICE RAID.

17d     Tries to infiltrate Spanish football team’s practice (9)
REHEARSAL : Tries in a law court is contained by a football team from Madrid.

19d     A keg with ale gets broken — might this be the result? (7)
LEAKAGE : An all-in-one clue. The wordplay is an anagram (gets broken) of A KEG and ALE.

20d     Thomas, say, shot pics etc (7)
SCEPTIC : An anagram (shot) of PIC ETC.

22d     Almost finished huge doughnut very slowly (5)
LARGO : Remove the last letter from a synonym of huge, then the doughnut-shaped letter.

24d     Runs from bee, we hear? Certainly! (4)
BYES : The letter that sounds like the clue’s insect and an affirmative declaration.

We both sniggered out loud when we solved 11d so that is our favourite today.

Quickie pun    Abba    +    wrist    +    with    =    Aberystwyth

68 comments on “DT 30296
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  1. 1*/4*. Extremely light for a Wednesday puzzle but great fun nevertheless with 11d my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  2. I thought this was extremely clever and entertaining throughout though very light.
    Of course my favourite was 20a (it probably would have been even if I’d been named differently) but it was closely followed by 21d with 24d making up the podium.
    Many thanks to the setter, I’m definitely going for Robyn and the Ks.

    1. Ps….a shameless plug. For anyone with a little spare time on their hands, I have a crossword published today on the MyCrossword site under my pseudonym Dharma. Give it a go!

      1. I did & enjoyed it & left a comment. Never visited the site before. Shame the puzzle doesn’t automatically save as I lost my answers signing in to leave the comment so couldn’t remember which bung ins to go back & parse.

  3. A very enjoyable and straightforward puzzle today.
    Last one in 10a as I got stuck thinking about the politician……but it all came clear.

    Thanks to the 2 Kiwis and the setter.
    It was beautiful here this morning, but the haar has now come down and it looks as though we are in for another cold damp miserable day. It’s mid-May. Has nobody told the man in the moon ?

  4. I think Wednesday is the new Monday because this was a delight. I liked 10a because of the misdirection. I spent ages trying to work around “Atlee”. I began to write “incontinence” in 11d until I found it didn’t fit so had to rethink. My COTD is 23a because of another great misdirection making me trying to make something of the three names.

    Huge thanks to the setter for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints, which I will now read.

    Not a bad day in The Marches so I’m planting dahlias and petunias. Vegetable garden next if the rain stays away but the forecast is not good. Yet another wet walk this afternoon for Hudson and me.

      1. Me three with incontinence! I’m in the garden too I just had a real tussle digging out an old Hebe and replacing it with two new ones just in rime for the rain to water it in.

        1. I had to dig out some lavender and rosemary both of which had become woody and leggy. Took cuttings first though.

    1. Me three with 11d, but checkers soon solved that. You said it all Steve, where have these treasures been hiding?

  5. I was on the setter’s wavelength from the off and thoroughly enjoyed this. I sat next to a man on a flight from Bloemfontein to Cape Town year’s ago who said he was Cary Grant’s brother ( and his passport said Leach which was Cary’s correct last name). He was very upset that I didn’t think he looked like him, quite the opposite in fact. I’ve just googled Cary Grant and find that he had no siblings! Very odd. Anyway thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis. Back to planting out my geraniums.

    1. Along with David Niven surely England’s finest 2 acting exports to Hollywood’s golden age. Reckon I must have watched North By Northwest at least 20 times over the years & still love it every time. He was a littlest typecast in the debonair comedic roles because he was just so perfect in them which was a pity as he was great playing darker characters

      1. I believe David Niven was in the commandos, not someone you would want to mess with despite his urbane manner.

        1. That he was, Taylor as the following attests to.

          It wasn’t long after being commissioned that Niven was drafted into the Commandos and given command of “A” Squadron, GHQ Liaison Regiment. Better known as “Phantom,” they were anything but a liaison group. The men served all over Europe, and most notably saw action on D-Day and during Operation Market Garden.

          During the former, some of the Commandos landed alongside the first wave of airborne troops; their mission was to report intelligence on the location of Allied forces the day following the initial landings. Niven and his men then traveled with the US 1st Infantry Division as they moved toward the Rhine.

          On top of this, he also played a large role in the creation of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force’s (SHAEF) efforts to entertain troops via radio. In 1944, he worked with the BBC to expand these efforts, and even worked alongside Glenn Miller, who disappeared while flying over the English Channel in December 1944.

          For his service, Niven was awarded the American Legion of Merit and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

  6. The first word that came to me mind when I finished this very enjoyable midweek gem was “Charming!” Such a pleasure to work. Nothing abstruse, just playful and…well, charming. My podium is full of chuckles: 28a, 11d, and 7d. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and today’s setter. **/****

  7. Like others, I was on wavelength from the start & managed to complete this highly entertaining grid before the morning coffee was finished.


    Fav 10a LOI 11d

    Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis.

  8. An unusually light and straightforward solve for a Wednesday that was, nonetheless, entertaining and enjoyable throughout. 11d has to be my favourite for the schoolboyish giggle it produced.

    Many thanks to our setter for the fun, and to the 2Ks.

  9. Like Ora, up there, 10a was my last one in (I just couldn’t see it). This was a terrific crossword suitable for my level of (in)competence.

    I always feel rather bereft when I’m approaching the end of a substantial read. Recently when I finished the three hefty volumes of Chips Channon diaries, and now approaching the end of the series of the diaries of James Lees-Milne. So last night I hopped on to Amazon with the aim of anticipating the demise of Lees-Milne and pick up another diary or autobiography from the same era.
    I bought four books – a Lees-Milne compendium of short biographies of people he admired; Letters of Nancy Mitford; the memoirs of Lord Drogheda; and a biography of Duff Cooper. That lot should keep me quiet for a while.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    1. Another fan of the James Lees-Milne diaries here, I must check out your new purchases Terence as I don’t think they are on my bookshelf apart from Nancy M. I’ve also read some of the Chips Channon. Always amazes me how the same characters pop up in diaries of that period.
      Anyway, great fan of todays crossword too, a delight from start to finish. I was another one trying to get incontinence to fit. Many thanks to our setter and blogger 🙏

  10. Struggled with 22d until I realised that I had spelled 21a incorrectly. I got 21a wrong for a second time until putting the letters in the correct order allowed me to put in the straightforward 22d for an unaided finish.

    An enjoyable puzzle requiring a modicum of general knowledge.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks for confirming a couple of derivations.

    Ora Meringue’s haar has spread north up the coast to here but it is not cold.

  11. Couple of clues that I wasn’t too keen on but overall a nice, light Wednesday puzzle.
    Top marks here went to 10&28a plus 11d. 28a brought back wonderful memories of the most enjoyable holiday I have ever experienced.

    Thanks to Robyn, presumably, and to our 2Ks for the review. Rain-drenched dog walks – I remember them well!

  12. As others have already said, very Mondayish, although I did have to pause for thought on 10a – 1.5*/3.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 12a, 16a, 11d, and 24d – and the winner is 24d.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  13. If this one is indeed a Robyn guzzle I can only marvel at the ease with which he switches from an absolute brain mangler like yesterday’s Toughie (at least TG & I thought so) to this light delight. Ticks all over the shop – 18,20&23a plus 5,7&11d three particular likes of each. Top notch.
    Thanks to the setter (Robyn?) & 2Ks

  14. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, but can’t resist pointing out that for correct pronunciation, Aberystwyth is Abba Rust With (but I’m a bit of a pedant I’m afraid) 😄 [Quickie pun]

  15. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle to lighten the day- imminently about to rain here from the rather grey clouds. Lots of lovely clues with 23a my favourite and 24d needing confirmation as I know nothing about cricket.

    It seems Wednesday is now the new Monday so I am going to alter my expectation levels for Mondays to stop me feeling surprised every week. Rather hard for the novices to know which day is meant to be the easier day now. This pattern seems to me to have become the norm for the last few weeks. Perhaps it is just too hard to reliably predict a puzzles difficulty due to the number of factors involved?? Just random thoughts, not really expecting any answers.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 kiwis for the hints

    1. I think you’re right Misty. There are so many factors involved in deciding if a crossword is a breeze or of such complexity that the setter should be imprisoned. In my case I have been been either a lurker or contributor to Big Dave for over ten years but I am still at beginner level. My point being that one person’s easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy is another’s brain exploder; and that we all have different levels of ability. Cryptic Sue, for example, seems to solve the toughest crossword within the blink of an eye, while my hair turns even greyer and my head revolves as I try and come up with the answer to the most simple clue.
      It’s all perspective innit?

      1. At least with the wonderful blog, even if the crossword is impossible, there are lots of lovely entertaining eloquent comments such as yours to keep me entertained.

        Ps In our house your Terence recommended walks and eateries are being noted on a ‘Terence List’ of places to try!

  16. Very much enjoyed swanning through this pleasurable enigma – just needed prompt with 10a which was last in. 1a was Fav candidate initially but then along came 11d to replace it (once I realised constipation wouldn’t fit!). Fun pun for Quickie in spite of mispronunciation (see 16 comment above). Thanks Mr/Mrs Ron and 2Kiwis.

    1. Well I never knew that’s how you pronounced Aberystwyth. I’ve always pronounced the first bit of Jane’s dream holiday destination (28a) SAY rather than SEA – have I got that one wrong too?

  17. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, but can’t resist pointing out that for correct pronunciation, Aberystwyth is Abba Rust With (but I’m a bit of a pedant I’m afraid) 😄 [Quickie pun]

  18. Straight forward on the whole but with some subtle .isdirection and most enjoyable too. I liked the douvle definition at 8a, the lego anfram at 115a and the geographical chomophone at 28a but COTD was rge other geographical xlue at 23a. Thanks to the compiker and to the Kiwis. It’s very showery here today too.

  19. I thought this was an almost perfect guzzle to give someone starting on a cryptic career. All the clues were exactly was it said on the label, we shouldn’t have any moans today. 23 a was out at the front, who else was thinking ‘ling’, and 2&20d were good fun. Many thanks to the setter and of course to the indefatigable Kiwis. I know exactly what Terence means when he talks about the desolation after finishing a really good book. I think that is what makes us keep those precious volumes on our shelves, so that we know we can revisit them at any time.

    1. I was in the “ling” camp. I too feel sad when I finish a really good book. I’m an avid reader, enjoying about 6 books a month, so very thankful to my local library. I recently tried revisiting some of the books on our own bookshelves. My goodness, when did the print get so small? I guess I have become lazy, as I have reserved large print books from my library for the past few years.

      1. I have just finished Jeffrey Eugenides book ‘Middlesex’. Oh boy, what a book. At first I thought I could not read it, but suddenly it gripped me and it was funny, sad, at times shocking and also very poignant. I know nothing about the writer but it almost read as though it was autobiographical.

  20. A relatively tame and straightforward puzzle for Wednesday. A few tricky clues but overall no issues.

    2*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 25a, 1d, 11d & 24d with winner 25a
    Chuckled at 10a, 21a, 28a & 11d

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  21. Managed to complete this one with the help of my cat (he’s so good at answering those tricky cryptic clues!)

    Did not have any real trouble with this, though my last one in held me up for a long time (10a). I don’t time myself on these crosswords, but if I did I have a feeling this would have been my quickest solve to date.

    Difficulty: 1.5*
    Enjoyment 4*

  22. I enjoyed this one very much.
    Quite a few caught me out – even with lots of letters already in 10a took me ages and 16a was another one.
    I really appreciated several clues including 13, 16 and 28a and 2, 8 and 22d but 11d has to be my favourite.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to the 2k’s for the hints and pics.

    1. So nice to see you’re joining us more often Kath. It seems that you’re improving, I Hope that’s the case.

  23. What a superb puzzle.
    Perhaps, though, mild for midweek.
    Speedy, problem-free solve.
    LOL at 11d and smiled at 1 and 10a
    23 and 28a vied for COTD.
    Winner, just, 23a
    In summary, */5*
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  24. I finished today, so I guess that qualifies as light, but I can’t say it wasn’t without some holdups. A good mixture of answers that went straight in, and those that took more thought. Thanks to the 2Kiwis and to the setter.

  25. Good afternoon
    A day off, and a little day trip to Oxford – natch, if you’re in Inspector Morse territory, you take the crozzie with you and solve it over a pint. Or two…😉
    Thanks to our compiler and to 2Ks

  26. I enjoyed this so much, I didn’t want it to end. I only had a problem with 24d, it had to be but I didn’t know why – then I had my road to Damascus moment, of course, cricket! My teeth went on edge with “pants” in 15a, we’ve had it so many times now, it’s getting less grating. What a dish 25a was? I loved 23a, and remembered the Heather, no problem, clever that. I have to go with the majority and pick 11d as guffaw worthy. So much to like.
    Thank you setter for all the fun, why don’t they let you loose more often? Thank you 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.

    1. I once had an experience on the road to Damascus but not so life changing.
      My car hit a pothole.

  27. A lovely Wednesday puzzle with so many humorous and clever clues 😃 Favourites 10a, 28a and 2d 🤗 Thanks to the 2x Ks and also to the Setter

  28. Morning all.
    Great to read the comments and see that there is total agreement about the ‘fun-factor’ of this puzzle. We certainly enjoyed it. Hope the setter pops in to take a well deserved bow.

  29. Unlike some other commentator’s, this didn’t feel particularly Mondayish to me — in that I generally struggle on Mondays, often finding some of the vocabulary and phrases a little old-fashioned, whereas today’s puzzle I found straightforward! Though I hadn’t heard of 3d’s fantasy term before, nor the heather, but they were cleverly enough clued that I got them anyway.

    Thank you to Robyn (or Robyn’s impersonator) for the fun. My favourites were 6a’s tea chest and 7d’s tea bags.

  30. With 10a I bunged in ‘Farthings’on the basis of the Oranges and Lemons rhyme. Set me back a while until 7d just had to be what it is.

  31. Very light for a Wednesday…..my foot! At least that’s what I thought until I looked at the top of the print-out and it revealed itself as a toughie from a while back! Hey ho! Oh well, I guess I’ll keep today’s puzzle in reserve for Friday….which probably won’t be very light.
    Thanks to the setter for the fun still to be had and the 2Ks.

  32. 2/4. Very good midweek puzzle which was at the easier end of the spectrum. Favourites were 28a and the amusing 11d. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  33. My solve was inevitably interrupted but the usual Wednesday quiz in which I managed to squeak home with two lucky guesses in the final round. I finished the crossword in reasonable time although I think I’ll give up on the toughie, barely a third done and I’m not sure about half of those. Enjoyed this though. Favourite was 28a. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  34. After a busy day I have finally managed to get to the Cryptic and finish what has been a straight-forward and enjoyable puzzle. Last one in was 10a and that was a Doh moment! It amused me that one could look up to the Weather Readings (paper version) and check the spelling of the Quickie pun and 28a! Many thanks to the setter and the 2K’s.

  35. Enjoyed this one. Though I have never heard of wool gathering and only got it because it was the one answer that fitted the rest of the clue.

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