DT 30298 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30298

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30298

Hints and tips by Mr K

+ - + - + - + - + - + - + - +

BD Rating  -  Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Friday. No time to hunt for pictures this week, I’m afraid. 

In the hints below most indicators are italicized, and underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions. Clicking on the answer buttons will reveal the answers. In some hints hyperlinks provide additional explanation or background. Clicking on a picture will enlarge it or display a bonus illustration and a hover (computer) or long press (mobile) might explain more about the picture. Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.



1a    Cinema hung with decoration -- one takes numerous shots (10)
MACHINEGUN:  An anagram (with decoration) of CINEMA HUNG 

6a    Small vessel left next to Roman road (4)
VIAL:  The single letter for left follows the word used in Rome for road

10a   How are you after guided spins round city? (5)
DELHI:  “how are you” comes after the reversal (… spins) of another word for guided 

11a   Most acid produces little curiosity in dropping out (9)
BITTEREST:  A little amount is followed by a synonym of curiosity minus IN from the clue (IN dropping out

12a   Two-thirds of 11, for instance -- it's befuddling! (7)
ALCOHOL:  What two-thirds of the answer to 11a defines by example (for instance) is a befuddling substance

13a   Fall of Tie Rack engulfing High & Mighty to a greater extent (7)
LOFTIER:  The first four words of the clue are hiding (engulfing) the answer 

14a   One escaping wild punch engages 'Duck and cover' (12)
HOLIDAYMAKER:  A wild punch contains (engages) both the cricket score corresponding to a duck and a cover for a container 

18a   Flee from those people -- rough and common (3-2-3-4)
RUN-OF-THE-MILL:  Concatenate words meaning flee, of, those people, and rough 

21a   Mo's fences fell in fields (7)
SECTORS:  An abbreviated short time with its S from the clue contains (fences) a fell or rocky hill 

23a   Old-time dance centre (7)
MAYPOLE:  A cryptic definition of the central feature of a group dance which is seen around this time of the year 

24a   Getting stronger pickle canned, as that gels with time (9)
ASCENDANT:  An anagram (pickle) of CANNED AS followed by (that gels with) the physics symbol for time 

25a   Run  further ... (5)
EXTRA:  A double definition, with the first relating to cricket …

26a   ... yet  side by side (4)
EVEN:  … is followed by another double definition 

27a   'Pound' shown by marrow one admired (5-5)
HEART-THROB:  Pound or pulse follows marrow or centre 



1d    A twelve? (6)
MIDDAY:  A cryptic definition of the 12 occurring after this blog appears 

2d    Material used in musical I conducted (6)
CALICO:  The answer is hidden in (used in) the remainder of the clue 

3d    Flag hotel displayed with swallow, badger and another animal (5,9)
IRISH WOLFHOUND:  Link together a flower also known as a flag, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by hotel, swallow or consume eagerly, and badger or pester 

4d    Ornament the setter put up rather like Big Ben? (9)
EMBELLISH:  The reversal (put up, in a down clue) of a pronoun the setter could use for themselves is followed by a letter combination that could whimsically mean “rather like Big Ben” 

5d    As far as runny trifle goes -- now and then! (5)
UNTIL:  Alternate letters (… goes now and then) of RUNNY TRIFLE 

7d    In other words, absorbing cold cream's helpful gear for mountaineers (3,5)
ICE PICKS:  “in other words” containing (absorbing) the single letter for cold is followed by the cream or best with its S from the clue 

8d    Bookish king's trapped in alternative reality (8)
LITERARY:  The Latin abbreviation for king inserted in (trapped in) an anagram (alternative) of REALITY 

9d    Temp's money fell, working in this? (4-10)
SELF-EMPLOYMENT:  The wordplay is an anagram (working) of TEMP’S MONEY FELL, while the entire clue can serve as the definition 

15d   Change clothes in the morning twice, looking up old school (4,5)
ALMA MATER:  A synonym of change contains (clothes) two copies of “in the morning” that have been reversed (looking up, in a down clue) 

16d   Groom on date mounted manoeuvres (8)
DRESSAGE:  Join synonyms of groom and date 

17d   Minimal transport causing college revolution (8)
UNICYCLE:  An contraction that could describe a college with another word for revolution 

19d   Wobbly step  counter? (6)
TOTTER:  A double definition, the second being cryptic 

20d   Cover garden with a uniform blend on top (6)
BEDAUB:  Another word for garden is followed by A from the clue, the letter represented in the NATO phonetic alphabet by uniform, and the first letter (on top, in a down clue) of BLEND

22d   Pole's  investment (5)
STAKE:  A fairly straightforward double definition 


Thanks to today’s setter. Which clues did you like best?

The Quick Crossword pun:  CORE + BALLS + TONES = COBBLESTONES

78 comments on “DT 30298
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  1. I found this gem of a puzzle a little easier than yesterday’s although did creep into *** time with a **** enjoyment score. I hadn’t seen the word decoration as an anagram indicator so learned something new (1a). My favourites were 11 and 14a and 15 and 17d the latter being my COTD. Lots of clever deception around but all above board and nicely clued. Pity about the absence of amusing felines but thanks Mr K and of course our illustrious setter.

  2. I thought this was very enjoyable though quite challenging with a lot of very clever wordplay throughout.
    Amongst many others I particularly enjoyed 23a (excellent), 1d(very smart….the A being the mid letter of dAy), the well constructed 7d and the super 17d.
    Many thanks to Zandio and Mr K.

  3. Although 3 found this puzzle mind-baogglingly difficult, by means of guesswork, reverse engineering and bunging in, I managed to finish it. Perhaps the nap I had half way through it helped? Of the clues I fully understood , thee best ones were the two lego clues 14a and 2d and the well-disguised 9d anagram. Some of the cryptic definitions, I could only guess at but 17a wa my COTD. Thanks to Mr K for the hints, which I needed to parse quite a few and to the compiler for a challenging crossword.

  4. 4*/2*. This puzzle didn’t flow for me at all and I found parts of it quite chewy. I had a few little hmms but nothing major, although I’m not convinced by “with decoration” as an anagram indicator in 1a.

    I did like 1d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  5. I struggled to the finish, well over my target time of 11-00 and with no distractions to blame.
    Very enjoyable puzzle with 14 across and 27 across favourites, but only just.
    Seemed a bit tougher than yesterday and a full on Friday.
    Thanks to setter.

  6. Phew! That was tough. Like Chriscross, I managed it by guessing and bunging in. I have always thought that 1a was two words (7, 3) so that one stumped me for quite a while. My COTD is the very neat 10a.

    Many thanks to the setter for a challenging puzzle and Mr. K. for the hints.

    1. I agree with 1a, eventually resorted d Crossword Silver which didn’t solve it for me. Had to wait til I got 1d. Reckon it is 2 words!

      1. Chambers (which is the ultimate authority for Telegraph setters) has it as a single word. Collins also has a single word but also allows a hyphenated version.

      1. If BRB is the authority, why were we not told at school? I was taught it was two words (in the tactical weapons English Literature course) but nobody told us about Chambers and its revolutionary thinking.
        I’m with the cat! 😎

    2. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, and every other reference I found on Google, it is two words, so was rather surprised when I saw this answer,

  7. I shall abide by comment etiquette and simply say that I liked 3d.

    Thanks to Zandio and to Mr K for the review.

    1. Ring ting, ting, hear dis ting … spring has sprung in Ballybucklebo and it’s now summer! No more howling gales!

  8. I found this about as tricky as back-pagers get and enjoyed it a lot – thanks to Zandio (?) and Mr K.
    The clues I liked best were 18a, 23a, 27a and 1d (though I think this would have been better with the question mark adjacent to the A, e.g. 12A?).

  9. Easier than most Fridays but that’s not saying a lot! My fav was 3d which was well constructed but needed the hints to unpick 7d & 21a. Not keen on ‘gels with’ in 24a, seems very clumsy. What really peeved me was missing the lurker in 13a which was obvious. Grr!
    An enjoyable and challenging puzzle.
    Thx to all.

  10. Super puzzle, a proper Friday backpager : chewy, tricky, plenty of deception & wit, and very satisfying when the last few answers fell into place. The anagram indicator in 1a and phrasing of 24a raised eyebrows and both slightly detracted from the overall quality of the puzzle. But such minor quibbles aside, what a wonderful challenge, with my Hon Mentions going to 13a, 14a, 23a, 3d & 17d, with COTD for me 1d.

    3.5* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter, and of course to Mr K

  11. Held up a bit on 10a and 1d which I subsequently decided was my favourite clue. Thanks to Mr K and today’s setter.

  12. The SE corner held me up for a bit and pushed out my solving time, but that aside, this was a pleasingly tricky and mostly enjoyable solve. Of particular note were the excellent 17d and the clever 1d.

    Thanks to Sandip and Mr K.

  13. There are some puzzles that I put down before I complete them. This was one of them.
    RD in his post above used the word “chewy” and I would use the same word to describe the surface reads of some of the clues. That was what put me off.
    Many thanks to the setter, but on this occasion I could not summon up the passion to persevere.
    Thanks also to Mr K.

  14. Not a hope in hell with this one, so for me a DNF, damn near a DNS!
    After the first read though I had flashed to the heady score of none, and continued at the same blistering pace. After two agonising sessions with a bike ride to sunny Wokingham in between I have now given in, beaten all ends up by the compiler today, oh well… roll on Saturday.

  15. Another tricky and trying Friday puzzle for me again this week. Lots I bunged in, found many hard to parse and many no clue as to the parsing.
    That, I find frustrating, as I am just not on setter’s wavelength obviously.
    Not his/her fault … just me not getting it.

    3*/2.5* for me today I am afraid.

    Another day of few favourites other than 18a, 4d & 15d with winner 4d

    Thanks to setter and Mr K

  16. Hello all, compiler here. Thanks for taking the trouble to solve, analyse and discuss.
    May I add a musical accompaniment for 12a? Last time I was here, we had ‘Get Out of Denver’ by one of my hometown bands, Eddie & The Hot Rods. Well here’s another — Dr Feelgood, with the great Lee Brilleaux.
    ‘Milk and Alcohol’ (1979) was written by Nick Lowe with Gypie Mayo, the guitarist who had replaced Wilko Johnson two years before. Lee, Wilko and Gypie are all now ‘late greats’, sad to say.
    Have a good weekend. Now back to the Giro…

    1. You really gave me a headache today Zandio. 14a,3d and 11a really stretched me and oh, when I noticed the lurker…… I did manage all but about five on my own but then I had to turn to the hints, for which many thanks Mr K. 3d was the favourite.

    2. What a great song to go with a great crossword. Hard work but extremely satisfying when I crossed the finish line a la Dorando Pietri.

      This is my favourite type of crossword as you can get your teeth into a clue, not having an idea where it’s going. I had a quick peek before my morning run and clocked 1d. The first 10 minutes of my run was me saying to myself….A twelve…a twelve…a twelve….hmmm… It was one of my last clues but only when I got the checkers. An excellent clue that gets my vote for COTD.

      I do love clues that require lateral thinking. So much more fun that a + b = c or a = b. I think that’s why I threw in the towel with Ray T’s yesterday: if you can’t think of the synonym, you’re toast. Yours took longer but that’s fine with me as I didn’t want to give up. I kept saying to myself ‘What is the clue all about?’ 27a is a case in point.

      I love your approach, Zandio. You give new things a go which is, of course, risky because some people don’t like change but I love it. Braided last week was brilliant. Yes, some of your clues don’t read that smoothly or hit the mark but, as with all these things, the more you work at something the more polished the result.



      1. Thanks very much Tom. I don’t think you are suggesting that ‘braided’ was my clue, but just in case, I should point out it was Chris Lancaster’s latest recruit, known in these parts as Twmbarlwm.

      2. Couldn’t agree more, TS65. In my book, if a clue doesn’t require at least some lateral thinking (preferably a fair bit) then it hardly warrants the designation “cryptic”.

      3. Couldn’t agree more. Really tough, but I persisted in the belief that it was so fairly clued that eventually it would yield, which it did. 1d was my last one in, a clue I kept putting off knowing that it was going to require something imaginative – even so, I would never have got it without all the checkers. Great puzzle; many thanks!

    3. Many thanks for dropping by, Zandio.
      What a super puzzle! Lovely misdirection all over the place, plus some old words like 20d. Didn’t make much progress over breakfast, but lunch got it sorted, so a genuine 2-mealer for me!
      Thanks again and to Mr K for some of the parsings.

    4. Thank you for the puzzle, Zandio but it beat me. Having said that, I did get further than I usually do with your offerings. Maybe my solving skills are improving without my realising?
      Who knows?
      Thank you for dropping in to the blog. It is greatly appreciated.

    5. Well – as you saw – the puzzle suited me. The right level and just pot luck as sometimes I find you trickier.


  17. Knew I shouldn’t have bothered on a Friday. Used to have a colleague who said his family could shoot him if he couldn’t get five clues in the Telegraph crossword – I only just struggled over that low bar.

  18. I wasn’t on this setter’s wavelength today and found this a real struggle. I was held up straight away by 1a because I wasn’t sure that it was an anagram with the novel indicator and I felt it should have been two words. Not getting to grips with 1a always puts me in a bad mood so it was downhill all the way from then on! I had to resort to the hints for 14a as the wild punch was new to me. Got there eventually with favourites today being 11a, 23a, 1d and 15d. Thanks to the setter and Mr K who’s help was much appreciated today.

  19. An excellent Friday puzzle – one to really get your teeth into! Great clues, a tough challenge and a very enjoyable tussle. Favourite of a very good bunch: 27a. 4*/4.5*.

  20. I got only 1 clue on the first pass and really struggled to complete this. I resorted to all means at my disposal, the cats, the FUSS (fairly useful spouse sometimes), the check answer function and of course the hints. It is of course Friday so we expect a challenge.
    I finally made it and can see that it was an excellently put together masterpiece which I was just not properly in tune with. 3d was my favourite as I solved it unaided and I like dogs.

    many thanks to Zandio and to Mr K for the very much needed hints

  21. **** difficulty surely ? 1A is 2 words for me ; Id not a great clue in my opinion and don’t think 21a parses properly[fell = downland in my dictionary ] . However , one or two good ones to offset those , particularly 3d . Thanks to both

    1. Fells are generally the mountains and highlands of the Lake District and Pennines, for example Coniston Fells.

  22. Foiled on Friday after a thrashing on Thursday. I will go and sleep off my failure and hope Saturday surprises me with sunshine and success.

  23. Wow, I found this tough and only had about half a dozen to start with but ever so slowly it came together. Absolutely freezing today so it was nice to snuggle down with the puzzle. Our WI speaker yesterday pulled out an hour and a half before he was due – how rude! A member’s husband stepped into the breach and was brilliant. My last one in was 17d, brilliant, and my COTD. Thanks to Zandio and Mr K

    1. Every WI’s nightmare – the no-show speaker. I am always ready to do my pole dancing routine
      if required………….

  24. Strangely after my two consecutive toughie dnf’s, by a distance I might add, I didn’t find this quite a hard as most, not that I found it easy mind you. Lots to like with cotd going to 14a. Thanks to Zandio and Mr. K.

  25. Dear Zandio, your undoubted skills as a crossword setter are completely lost on me, I’m afraid….’cos I can’t solve the bloomin’ things! Any chance of something a teeny bit easier for a bear of little brain!?
    Great choice in music though, I saw Eddie and the Hot Rods and Dr Feelgood in my younger days. And Wilko, what a star he was!

  26. Despite tackling it on the mobile beside a very chilly 1st tee (which I really must stop doing as it’s not a great guzzle solving experience) I rather enjoyed this one. A few of the bizarre surface reads suggested it was a Zandio production (am sure I could hear Jane groan) but there are some good ‘uns too (14a plus 3&9d) & the wordplay is always clever & precise. Found the south much tougher than up north extending completion to just over 2.5*time. Had a bit of a head scratch parsing 18a as initially thought flee from = run off & those people = them giving me an unwanted F but the penny dropped & the context of marrow was also unfamiliar. Ticks for me – 14,18&23a + 1,3&17d with 14a taking the gold. Bespattered yesterday, bedaubed today – think I’ll wear an apron tomorrow
    Thanks to Zandio (great DF clip & never knew Nick Lowe wrote it) & to Mr K

    1. Pleased to report that my groans were dispersed by Osmosis on the other side – every cloud…………

  27. Thanks for the challenge and the music Zandio – great quirky puzzle with 1d as a brilliant clue. Thanks also to MrK for explaining 19d

  28. Not sure why but I really am becoming increasingly out of sync with many DT and ST crosswords and today’s was an instance of that so dnf. Thanks anyway Zandio and indeed MrK.

    1. Don’t worry, Angellov I go through periods like that. They usually coincide with other important things happening in my life. Once they are sorted, my cruciverbalist brain returns,

      1. You’re probably right Steve – I am in fact in midst of troubled times but actually look forward to my daily dose of cruciverbalism as an escape route. 🌈.

  29. Good evening
    Last time I did battle with Zandio, I could only muster 15 solutions; today, I got all but 6, and my word, not without a struggle! But I’ve had to hoy the sponge in after 5 hours! It’s a DNF.
    Onwards and upwards, Mr Z, I’ll get the better of you one day!! Thank you for the challenge, and thanks to Mr K also.

  30. I can count on one hand the number of times I have done well with a Zandio puzzle… actually no, on one finger. So clearly I am on a different planet, not just wavelength. Having got just 7 answers I decided to allow myself a small handful of hints. 1a was surprising, as I have only ever seen it as two words, followed by 14a, which I would never have solved. As usual, I am late on parade as it is Friday, so insufficient time to really ponder this one today. Will have to content myself with saving the old brain cells for tomorrow. Congratulations to all those who were able to finish.

  31. Cracking puzzle
    But managed to crack it.
    Only after returning to it
    Three times!
    So much misdirection.
    And well-concealed lurkers.
    Last in 1a and 1d
    The former confirmed my belief there are no limits to anagram indicators.
    Thanks, indeed, to Zandio and Mr K.

  32. Abject failure here today. Possibly managed half of it before giving in.

    Thanks to the setter and to Mr K.

  33. Chewy? I would say a gristly 4* / 2*
    Got there in the end, but only with strenuous mastication.
    Favourite – 4d
    Thanks to Zandio and Mr K

  34. After a daylong series of tests at a local hospital yesterday, I slept through the next 12 hours or so and should never have tried solving a Zandio puzzle under those circumstances, so I learned a good lesson the hard way. I didn’t fare well, but I learned a lot from Mr K and the comments I’ve just read. So thanks to all.

    I may be away from the blog for a few days as I adjust to several changes in medication and other factors. Hope you all have a great weekend!

    1. So sorry to hear that you haven’t been well, Robert. I’m sending best wishes for rest and new meds to work.

  35. Like many others I found this enjoyable puzzle a bit tricky too say the least. My one gripe is 19a,wobbly and tottery or wobble and totter, are they interchangeable? I may be wrong but I’m used to that😊. Thanks to all.

  36. I would like to quote Tipcat above as any comment I make could not improve om that. I did actually solve four clues, which was two less than the previous day. As Tipcat comments we shall shortly reach DNS at this rate. Thanks to all.

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