DT 30314 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30314

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30314

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Cold and windy here today so an extra layer of clothing and a modified circuit for our regular walk this morning.
We found this one quite a tricky challenge and even considered awarding 4 stars for difficulty.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Hidden flaw in some poetry from Muhammad Ali? (4,2,4)
FEET OF CLAY : A way of describing poetry referring to rhythm patterns, and another word for ‘from’, plus Muhammad Ali’s previous name.

6a     Face of self-satisfied idiot, or how it may be described (4)
SMUG : An ‘all-in-one’ clue. The wordplay being the first letter (face) of self-satisfied, and an idiot or dolt.

10a     Place Othello customarily defends (5)
LOCUS : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

11a     Darkness penetrated by lone, broken lamp (4,5)
NEON LIGHT : The time of day typified by darkness contains an anagram (broken) of LONE.

12a     Model catching best musical returning after being in theatre (4-9)
POST-OPERATIVE : A person modelling contains a three letter word meaning best or outdo, and finally the reversal of a musical set in South America.

14a     Leading celebs welcoming compiler on a higher level (8)
UPSTAIRS : A two letter word for leading or ahead, then a synonym for celebs contains a personal pronoun the compiler would use in self referral.

16a     A bison destroyed miniature plant (6)
BONSAI : An anagram (destroyed) of A BISON.

18a     Cross during troubled sleep, kicks out (6)
EXPELS : An anagram (troubled) of SLEEP contains the letter that looks like a cross.

20a     Might this reveal Hazel or Laurel’s age? (4,4)
TREE RING : A cryptic definition. Hazel and Laurel here are neither girls nor rabbits from Watership Down.

22a     Deputy leader‘s immorality here probed by papers (4-9)
VICE-PRESIDENT : Immorality or sin, then identification papers are inside here or at this place.

26a     Thwart urge for ‘a substantial meal’? (6,3)
SCOTCH EGG : Thwart or frustrate and then urge or encourage.

27a     Activity for Sir Andy, taking time off in county town (5)
ENNIS : The activity for which a Scottish Sir Andy is famous loses its T(ime).

28a     Trick man put in the corner (4)
ROOK : This man is put in the corner when setting up a chess board.

29a     You might climb on this stage with tear in legwear (10)
STEPLADDER : A stage, leg or section and a tear in stockings.


1d     Material in newspaper, including article from Spain (4)
FELT : The pink newspaper contains a Spanish definite article.

2d     Ducks in rising south-eastern headlands (7)
ESCAPES : The reversal of the letters for south-eastern and headlands or promontories.

3d     Britpop band‘s disc unchanged (5)
OASIS : The disc-shaped letter and a 2,2 phrase meaning unchanged.

4d     E.g. Sunak travels around, showing signs of relief (8)
CONTOURS : The abbreviation for the political party of Sunak, then a word meaning travels around.

5d     Excess of drugs found in Lincoln residence (5)
ABODE : The famous Lincoln of American history surrounds the two letters for excess of drugs.

7d     Good soldier eaten by some wild cats (7)
MOGGIES : An anagram (wild) of SOME surrounds G(ood) and an American soldier.

8d     Chat about Wagner’s work in parties (10)
GATHERINGS : The 3,4 classic operatic work by Wagner is inside a colloquial word for chat or natter.

9d     Without help from others, arresting top gangster (2,6)
AL CAPONE : Top or outdo is inside a word meaning without help from others or solo.

13d     Foreman perhaps has great way to protect his eyes (10)
SUPERVISOR : An informal word for great and then eye protection, possibly for a knight.

15d     Awful pies call for a flavour enhancer (8)
ALLSPICE : An anagram (awful) of PIES CALL.

17d     Running out of things to say in kitchen chore (6,2)
DRYING UP : A double definition.

19d     High-pitched instrument still cool, oddly (7)
PICCOLO : A still or photograph and then an anagram (oddly) of COOL.

21d     Keen on Newcastle’s wingers, daughter chanted (7)
INTONED : A four letter word meaning keen on or a fan for, then the first and last letters of Newcastle plus D(aughter).

23d     Up before court (5)
ERECT : A poetic word for before and then the abbreviation for court.

24d     English soldiers put up with a procedure for evacuation (5)
ENEMA : E(nglish) then the reversal of a collective term for soldiers and ‘A’ from the clue.

25d     American with senior antagonist of America once (4)
USSR : The two letter abbreviation for American and the two letter abbreviation for senior.

Quickie pun    whether    +    fork    +    aster    =    weather forecaster

83 comments on “DT 30314
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  1. 2.5*/4.5*. Great fun and nicely challenging. I thought this was perfect for a Wednesday back-pager with 1a, 26a & 13d occupying the podium positions.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  2. Excellent puzzle full of wit and misdirection, the super 12a being a prime example. My only slight beef is 4d where I’m not keen on the Sunak/Con synonym.
    Hard to pick winners but I’ll go for 6a plus 2&24d (though I think the latter would benefit from a question mark) along with the extremely clever 26a where the political element really makes the clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and The Ks.

    Ps..the Django Toughie is huge fun.

  3. Was struggling with the NE corner until I realised that I had the wrong ending for the second part of 12a. Correcting this allowed 12a to parse correctly and complete the puzzle with 7d the LOI.

    Favourites included 4d when the penny eventually dropped and 5d once the mis-direction was overcome.

    Visited the cell of 9d in Eastern State Pen in Philadelphia a few years back. How he died in bed after so many attempts on his life is astonishing.

    Thanks to setter and hinters.

  4. Another perishingly cold day here in North Norfolk. 1a took me ages but is my COTD. Although quite tricky it came together quite nicely although I sort of bounced around with it putting in answers at random if you follow my gist? Anyway thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis

  5. I, too, found this tricky, but , after a slow start, things began to speed up as the checkers went in. It also helped to start in the south and work my way back to the knotty NWvcorner. It was most satisfying to finish unaided. 1a was great fun and there were some clever lego clues at12a, 5d and 8d, allspiced with the need for some General Knowledge. Clue of the day for sheer effrontery was 24d—don’t remind me! Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the comper for some super misdirection.

      1. Hope thebprognosis is for warming up and a bit of rain, preferably at night. None of the heatwaves, which we hadvlast year though.

  6. A terrific puzzle full of wit with a really fresh feel – many thanks to the setter and 2Ks.
    I had ticks for 1a, 14a, 29a and 4d with my favourite being 26a.

  7. All went well except for the crucial starter 1a – and on reading the hint I now realise what a terrific clue it is! Thank you setter and 2ks

  8. Cracking puzzle with excellent cluing and tricky parsing especially the SE corner,24d made me smile, last in and favourite was 1a
    followed by12a a top draw charade.and 19d
    Going for a 3.5*/4,5*.
    Thanks to 2ks for the explanatary notes and pics and our setter.

  9. There were some tricky ones & a host of ticks in this excellent guzzle to be sure. Wasn’t familiar with the Clare county town but the answer was obvious. Unlike Stephen I quite liked the sneaky 4d once the penny dropped. Top 2 for me were 12&26a with 1a filling the last podium spot.
    Thanks to the setter & the 2Ks whose review I’ll read later as off out.
    Ps Slow progress with Django’s Toughie – LHS complete but the RHS unoccupied as yet.

  10. I couldn’t get going at all at first at the top of the puzzle so started at the bottom and made progress somewhat randomly. This was right up my street with lots of clever misdirection and more than the odd PDM. Really difficult to pick a favourite today but I’ll go for 12a with podium places for 26a, 29a, 4d and runner up, the amusing 24d. Thanks to our setter for the absolute pleasure and the 2Kiwis for confirming my answer to 28a ( not being a chess player!)

  11. I just read Terence’s resume of 30,313, number 15 comment yesterday.
    Haven’t stopped laughing since. Wonderful!

  12. I really, really enjoyed this and was able to finish unaided. My top picks are 1A, 26A, and 4D. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

    P.S. I make my own 26A “substantial meals” and have yet to serve them to American friends who didn’t absolutely love them.

  13. As is usual with this setter’s offerings, I had to concentrate quite hard to get a decent toehold in the grid but as ever it was well worth the effort. The ‘still’ in 19d fooled me for a while despite the answer being fairly obvious.
    Packed podium here with places given to 6&26a plus 5,9&23d.

    Thanks to Robyn, presumably, and to our 2Ks for the review. Made me feel somewhat 6a to read that for once you are shivering whilst those of us on Anglesey are basking in the sunshine!

    1. Jane, I’m wearing a vest, long sleeved shirt and thick sweater and I’m still cold! In fact seriously thinking of going to the village hall this afternoon and join the older oldies and play bingo as its warm there!

        1. Good! Just phoned my friend in Llanybydder to wish her happy 95th birthday. She says the weather is perfect!

          1. Your friend’s village is not somewhere that I’ve ever been to but to judge from the map I’m not surprised that she’s sharing the sunshine. Makes a change for us to be crowing instead of those further south in the UK!

  14. Super puzzle, and having worked largely clockwise from 1d without much need for a pause, at the end I did indeed feel a little 6a … Some lovely surfaces (and some quite odd ones, too!), clever deceit, and plenty to enjoy throughout. For me Hon Mentions to 22a, 23a & 4d, with COTD 1a – although quite a few more could as easily feature in that list.

    1.5 / 3.5

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

  15. Hmm – a back pager ‘appearing’ one or two days early or a start of the Toughie week in the wrong envelope – 3.5*/3*

    Having said that, candidates for favourite – 12a, 7d, 8d, and 23d – and the winner is 7d.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  16. Nicely challenging with an excellent variety of clues. I thought this was probably one of the more testing back pagers we have enjoyed for some time, and very much worth the effort. It is interesting to note that there been a good variety of favourites, too, which is often a sign of a meatier challenge. My own pick was 8d.

    Thanks to our setter and the 2Ks.

  17. A fun Wednesday back-pager, warming us up for the tougher challenges ahead tomorrow and Friday. Managed to complete it unaided, but not before a few ‘umm’ moments – had never heard of the poetry reference in 1a, guessed the anagram in 15d and wondered whether the excellent 25d (my LOI) should have been clued as rather than a four letter word. COTD for me was 4d. Made me laugh. Wish I had a 26a for lunch but will make do with a ham sandwich instead. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  18. Haven’t looked at the cryptic yet but had to put in a shout for the quickie pun….my father was one all his life….last of the old school meterologists that could forecast the weather without resorting to super-computers!
    Even in his late eighties, he still keeps his eye in and will often say… ‘they haven’t got this right, you know’ and he is invariably correct!

  19. Sorry but I did not get on with this at all. I don’t think it has anything to do with wavelength – I just did not understand some of it. Does “escape” really mean duck? No doubt the BRB will confirm that it does but this guy does not look at it that way. After struggling for ages with the remainder after completing only half, I threw in the towel because life is too short.

    I did think 3d was very witty but I can’t claim it as my COTD because I did not finish the rest.

    Thank you to the setter for the puzzle but I I must have been on a different planet today. Huge thanks to the 2Ks for making sense of it for me.

    Had my sixth covid jab this morning. Walked in, had the jab and walked out. All in all, about 10 minutes.

    1. SC. I know it probably won’t help, but escape and duck can be synoymous in the sense of dodge/evade/circumvent. As in: I managed to duck/escape the sudden disturbance in the town centre by scurrying up a side street. Any use?

      1. Thanks, Jose – I see what you mean but I think I would use “escape” in the context rather than “duck” but that’s just me. :grin:

      2. Amazingly, that was how I justified it Jose. I say “amazingly” as we rarely think alike 😊.

        1. Not sure if that’s faint praise or damned with faint praise? Still, at least I elicited a response so that’s something I suppose. :-)

  20. An excellent Wednesday puzzle. Great clues, a good challenge and very enjoyable to solve. Best clue for me: 1a – really clever. 3.5*/4.5*.

  21. Three quarters went in if after some cogitation but, like ChrisCross, I found NW distinctly “tricky”. Not keen on 26a (substantial) or 29a (tear). Perhaps I will refrain from commenting on 25d. Candidates for podium places – 12a, 4d and 23d. Thank you Mysteron and 2Kiwis.

    1. A. Yes, I raised an eyebrow at “substantial” in 26a. I assume the setter is quoting Michael Gove, who insisted that Scotch egg is definitely a “substantial meal”. So, in that regard it’s OK. But in reality having a plateful of Scotch eggs would be a substantial meal, but the answer is only singular.

  22. I enjoyed this one immensely. In fact I laughed aloud at several answers as soon as I saw them.

    My only question mark was against 25D. Are abbreviations really allowed as answers?

      1. I came into the site to see if anyone else felt the same as me about 25D. I’m glad I’m not alone.
        I found it quite straightforward and very enjoyable. It is unusual for me to find it easier than the general consensus so I’m feeling very 6A at the moment. But it’s Thursday tomorrow so I know that feeling won’t last long.
        Thanks to setter and hinter and all you lovely commenters. Let’s hope the UK warms up soon, then we can start moaning it’s too hot! I love being British!

      2. But these acronyms/abbreviations don’t have separating full-stops nowadays. It used to be U.S.A., now just USA.

      3. Me too. Spent far too long trying to come up with a four letter word – an obviously a polite one.

  23. The tasty anagram held me up, thought it was an going to be an obscurity until the letters went in the right order – very good. Forgot it was Wednesday, no wonder I found it hard. Good one.

  24. Tricky guzzle, and pleased to have reached its conclusion. Rather the same feeling as after listening to Noel Gallagher re-writing ‘Ticket To Ride’ for the 64th time.
    Noel, “Lads! I’ve written another song!”
    Gem Archer, “Oh no…here we go again…”
    Noel, “Yes! I’m calling it A Soft Night’s Day!”

    Thanks to the setter and The Two Kays

  25. Another mixed Wednesday puzzle this week with some easy clues and others im-parsable to me.
    Got there in the end but a struggle.

    3*/3* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 11a, 14a, 15d, 21d, 24d & 25d with winner 14a

    13d made me laugh as well as 17d & 25d

    Thanks to setter and 2K’s

  26. I was all right with substantial as Gove’s ridiculous vacillating was quite a thing at the time. Having said that, Alberich called it a ‘snack’ in April 2022, probably about right for that delicacy, whilst by the time Tees got his claws into one in June of that year it was ‘substantial according to Eustice’. Beam in Toughie 2599 was there first it seems in February 2021, with a clue for BEGGAR. The row erupted in December of 2020 apparently. Anyway we really must get some new Tories

    Thanks compiler for a great puzzle, and 2K for the blog..

  27. I thought this was a brilliant puzzle with lots to like with some excellent misdirection & plenty of laughs along the way.


    Fav 24d LOI 1a.

    Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis.

  28. That was quite a challenge and I certainly could not get 1a without a peek at the two K’s hints, very clever. On the first read through didn’t accomplish much but it gradually came together, I liked 12a and 7,8d. Favourite has to be 24d as it is such an anathema. Yuk. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Kiwis. I’m off to get a cardigan.

    1. I’m looking after our neighbour’s 57 year old tortoise for the week. It is so cold here she’s hiding deep in the undergrowth at one end of her run. I wonder whether she thinks it is time to hibernate

  29. Very excited that this was found challenging..normally fairly pathetic but only had your help with 4 down.

  30. Very tricky, beyond my ken. I found south quite doable, though i made it more difficult as I spelt 19d incorrectly; it’s two “c”s and one “l”, how do I remember that? I had to use copious ehelp word search in the north, even so, I had 4 incorrect, so a DNF. I had an epiphany at 1a, remembering his original name. Is 11a really a lamp? I s’pose so. Fave was 7d, I love them so much.
    Thank you setter, and much appreciation to 2Kiwis for explaining so much. Keep warm!

  31. I struggled to get a toe-hold in this but then it came together nicely. Had never heard of 1a (my LOI) but it was fairly-clued.

    Excellent puzzle and nicely challenging. If this is a Robyn production (and it does feel like it) it’s another example of the setter’s ability to pitch uniformly entertaining puzzles at different levels of difficulty.

    Many thanks to Robyn / the setter and to the 2Ks for the blog.

  32. About half made sense to me, but the rest was a bit of a struggle, with sometimes needing the hint to justify my answer before putting pen to paper. Thought 1a very clever, followed by 26a. On the good news front, I did much better than yesterday. We’ve been getting our summer rains lately, which also means our humidity is rocketing. I wish I could say it was cold here…

  33. Weird puzzle although I managed to finish. Incidentally I think the charity in the quick crossword is every 2 years not annually.
    Thanks to both

  34. This one felt as if it could have been set by two different people – the top half was quite difficult and the bottom was less so.
    I’ve never heard of 1a so that wasn’t a very good start but after that things cheered up a bit.
    There are more kinds of ducks than I’d ever imagined after today – how silly!!
    I liked 16 and 22a (a nice mental image of a bison wrecking a little tree) and 3 and 13d. My favourite was 6a.
    Thanks to today’s setter and to the K’s.

  35. Very novel and inspired
    Clueing, evenly resolved
    Except one irritatingly
    Pesky, is there a better word!? four
    Letter word, 25d.
    A loud Duh after being stuck in a groove
    Of racking my brains for an Indian tribe.
    This put me into almost 3* time.
    Smiles at 1a and 24d.
    Many possibles for COTD.
    The winner 14a.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  36. For me only one word to describe this – GHASTLY!
    Am I alone in getting fed up with this almost constant stream of Toughies.
    No fun at all.

  37. Well I enjoyed today’s puzzle. A slow start but a few penny dropping moments such as 1a. Doh! Many thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

    Brian I can’t believe that you thought it ghastly? Maybe tricky in places? I go and take a break do some chores and its amazing how the answers come to me. Give it a whirl!

  38. Morning all. Looks like we have quite differing opinions on this one.
    The presence of several allusions that required specific UK knowledge probably contributed to making it trickier for the likes of us, even though we did manage to get them all sorted eventually. Agree that there is plenty of fine misdirection along the way.
    Ah well, guess you can’t please all the solvers all the time.

  39. Bit of a curates egg for me, remembering Muhammed Alis old name and a gangster never alive in my era gave a dated feel to some but then again we had some recent politics too. I tend to agree with those that think the enumeration of 25d should be 1,1,1,1 but perhaps that would have made it too easy.
    Thanks to setter and 2K’s I will tackle the toughie after I have had some Lasagne. It would have been better alliteratively if I had made Tagliatelle

  40. Loved this, puzzle of the week for me. Plenty of fun surfaces and original cluing without being a mindbender. I hadn’t heard of the phrase in 1a and needed some checkers. I was fine with 25d personally, plenty of acronyms these days exclude the dots – but it was definitely sneaky! COTD 26a but plenty of contenders. **/*****

    Thanks to our setter and 2Ks

  41. After filling the grid on my tablet I was informed there were errors, after some more thought I was able to correct my careless mistakes and complete it correctly. My favourite was 7d. Thanks to the 2 K’s and the setter

  42. Tricky but fun to do.
    1a really good, 12a my favourite.

    Lovely day at Wisley today, flowers were beautiful.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 kiwis

  43. I thought this was fantastic. Only fell foul of the chess clue. I should have gone through the alphabet. 11 and 29a and 1 3 and 13d hit the spot for me. Great work Setter. Thanks 2Ks

  44. 4*/5* …
    liked 24D “English soldiers put up with a procedure for evacuation (5)” .. amongst several others.

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