DT 30318 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30318

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30318

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where conditions have moderated considerably after a week of temperatures reaching the low 30s °C. Senf seems to be no longer sharing his hot weather with us and hording it all in Manitoba.

It has been extremely gratifying to see the outpouring of respect and appreciation over the past several days from our cruciverbal community for Big Dave and the site he created. Little did I know what it would become when he invited me – nearly thirteen years ago – to join the blogging contingent. Truly a magnificent legacy for a great man.

I found today’s puzzle from Campbell to be a relatively gentle exercise until I got to the last few clues which required some strenuous mental effort.

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.


1a   Odd characters in wood left clue by junior scout (4,3)
WOLF CUB — extract the odd-numbered sequence of characters from the four words preceding the definition; how times change – in my day there were no girls

5a   Minds having to store a female’s glass containers (7)
CARAFES — minds or is concerned containing the A from the clue and the genealogical letter for female

9a   Pagoda may be very high, at a level I can’t reach? (5,2,3,5)
ABOVE MY PAY GRADE — an anagram (high, as intoxicated) of the first four words of the clue

10a   Leader of group has evening dresses (5)
GOWNS — the leading letter of GROUP followed by a synonym of has

11a   In the meantime, tunnel hit badly (5,4)
UNTIL THEN — an anagram (badly) of the two words following the definition

12a   Absolve former lover facing single charge (9)
EXONERATE — link together the usual former lover, another word for single, and a charge or price

14a   Groom‘s a dish (5)
CURRY — double definition, the first being a stable chore

15a   Quotes views heard (5)
CITES — sounds like (heard) views or visual attractions

16a   Play patience (9)
TOLERANCE — double definition, the first a measurement of interest to a mechanic

18a   Buddy perhaps having wine in plant (9)
HOLLYHOCK — the early American rocker Buddy and a dry German wine

21a   Tucked into belt, a serious weapon (5)
TASER — a lurker hiding in (tucked into) the three words preceding the definition

22a   Jolly smart, fresh as well? (6,3,6)
BRIGHT AND BREEZY — concatenate smart or intelligent, a conjuction indicating as well or also, and a word denoting fresh or windy in reference to the weather

23a   Water tower? (7)
TUGBOAT — a cryptic definition of a nautical vessel that pulls other vessels

24a   Check number on beach, briefly (7)
SHORTEN — a basic decimal number follows a truncated (briefly) word for beach


1d   Fiddle involving runs results in angry argument (7)
WRANGLE — insert the cricket abbreviation for runs into a word meaning fiddle, manipulate or falsify

2d   You’re in no position to criticise views about that person gossiping (4,4,7)
LOOK WHO’S TALKING — wrap views or observes around a pronoun denoting that person and append another term for gossiping to the result; despite it seemingly being the norm to omit them in the numeration, I fully expect to see comments regarding the unindicated apostrophe

3d   Musical groups — they’re made up by lots of men (5,4)
CHESS SETS — a 1986 West End musical and another word for groups or collections; the musical is a collaboration between Tim Rice and the male members of the Swedish band ABBA

4d   A buoy out of place in marshy outlet (5)
BAYOU — an anagram (out of place) of the two preceding words

5d   Map effectively shows NT property in Kent (9)
CHARTWELL — string together synonyms for the first two words in the clue

6d   Magnificent beer served up (5)
REGAL — reverse (served up in a down clue) a style of beer of German origin

7d   Down to secure a certain secluded retreat, and to get richer? (7,4,4)
FEATHER ONE’S NEST — down (as a noun) wraps around (to secure) a word denoting ‘a certain’ or unique and the result is followed by a secluded retreat; another unindicated apostrophe

8d   Move, longing to be brought up in part of the East End (7)
STEPNEY — move (one’s feet) and a reversal (brought up in a down clue) of a longing or yearning

13d   A nut roast prepared for one like Major Tom? (9)
ASTRONAUT — an anagram (prepared) of the first three words in the clue

14d   Something to listen to, being caterers travelling round (3,6)
CAR STEREO — an anagram (travelling) of CATERERS followed by the round letter

15d   Share a place together? That could be company practice (7)
COHABIT — an abbreviation for company and a synonym of practice or customary behaviour

17d   Nobleman gets over there before much time has elapsed (5,2)
EARLY ON — a midlevel British nobleman and a rather archaic word for ‘over there’

19d   Lout in custody, a hooligan (5)
YAHOO — a lurker hiding in the final three words of the clue

20d   Daughter in marketplace used up credit (5)
KUDOS — the genealogical letter for daughter contained in the reversal (used up in a down clue) of a Muslim market

My pick of the day is 9a, an expression that has frequently appeared in the comments and now has taken a place in the puzzle itself.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): FAUX + CROCK = FOLK ROCK

Quickie Pun (Middle Row): ANSWER + CUDGEL = ON SCHEDULE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row): MYRRH + TULL = MYRTLE

A tip of the hat to Senf for bringing the middle pun to my attention

81 comments on “DT 30318
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  1. A gentle start to the week that would have been even speedier had I not put in the wrong type of wine for 18a! Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

    1. I had the wrong wine at first too Gabbler – clearly I must drink more of the stuff to improve my knowledge.

  2. A gentle guzzle on the whole, straightforward, apart from a few head-scratchers. There was some splendid misdirection in the last few clues, which were also the ones I liked best, 3d (a nice charade), 23a my COTD, and16a. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and to Campbell , the compiler, I assume.

  3. A 22a start to the crossword week. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the hints. I particularly liked 9a which reminded me of playing buzz phrase bingo to liven up otherwise dull corporate meetings; this phrase was much beloved by responsibility-phobes and it basically translates as ‘I’m not going to take the blame for this decision.’

  4. A light intro to the week, definitely not 9a which although a great clue, surely belongs later in the week.
    My only hold out was 14d, I was trying to make a woodwind instrument fit, but when I tuned in and turned on, on the way to work the penny dropped.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

  5. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 23a, 3d, 17d, and the Middle Pun – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  6. I agree with Putney boy in that it was 22a , until it wasn’t.
    9a put me in mind of another poster here .
    20d was my last one in.
    Overall it was fun.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  7. I do enjoy our setter’s penchant for including well known expressions in his compilations although my preferences today came from elsewhere – 16a plus 3,15&20d.
    Hadn’t heard of a specific term to describe the music mentioned in the top pun and am struggling to pronounce the middle pun in a way that works for me.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review – still looks odd to me to see a girl wearing a cub uniform!

  8. Reckon our setter must have found this one at the bottom of his drawer. Much more like Mondays used to be & a lovely gentle start to the week. The plonk at 18a & the marketplace at 20d caused a bit of thought in what was an otherwise 22a completion. No specific fav but enjoyed the guzzle & particularly all of the long ‘uns.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  9. An enjoyable puzzle – thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    I can’t make the middle pun work at all no matter how I pronounce it.
    Top clues for me were 2d, 7d and 20d.

      1. No, the ‘wer’ is not silent here. However, I do pronounce ‘schedule’ with a K sound rather than an H sound.

        I didn’t pick up on the middle pun myself but when Senf identified it, it seemed plausible as I imagined it would be pronounced ON-SA-CUD-GEL in a non-rhotic British accent.

    1. Not entirely convinced the middle one is an intended pun. Certainly doesn’t work for me. Don’t think we’ve had a Quickie pangram for a while though

  10. Very Mondayish.
    Attacked randomly to a
    Problem-free finish.
    Big smiles at 2 and 7d
    And, especially, 18a.
    Many thanks Campbell for this
    Confident start to the week, and
    Thanks Falcon.

  11. Fun while it lasted. Another perishing grey day here – getting fed up with it. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  12. 1*/4*. As a Monday back-pager should be – light, fun, and not a raised eyebrow to be seen.

    9a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  13. More like the Campbell we have come to know and love but still with a few teasers included. How many times have we seen the phrase at 9a used on this blog? I liked all four long clues although I hesitated over 22a because I wasn’t entirely sure I had the final word right. I spent too long searching for a play of the theatrical kind in 16a until the penny dropped. My COTD is 18a simply because I had every record of his when a teenager.
    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and to Falcon for the hints.
    Another sunny day in The Marches after a cool and cloudy start. I’m fed up with the weeds in the pathways so I’ve bought a heat gun. I set about them when it arrives.

    I’m afraid the middle pun does not quite work for me.

    1. I will be very interested to learn about the effectiveness of yer heat gun. Oh how I would enjoy blasting the Herb Robert with a heat gun. Or a grenade.

        1. Thank you for a great puzzle, Campbell and for popping in. It is always appreciated when the setter makes an appearance.
          I did think the middle pun was a bit of a stretch.

          1. Oh, you’re not alone, Falcon. I once saw a pun that didn’t exist and confidently pointed it out only to find I was seeing a word that was not there.

              1. Ah but it might have been, Stone Waller!

                Good to hear from you and I hope the olives are coming on. :good:

                1. The olives are surrounded by grass 2 feet high which I am attacking daily with a strimmer (with help from a local called Michele “the Ugly” with his tractor – he is 93!)

                  With recent health issues I am about 18 months behind in the olives!

                  This is why I have little time to post. I am about to do my daily stint with my 97 yo mother on the DT crossword then I am off out to work for a couple of hours.

                    1. “The Ugly” is a family umbrella nickname … he and his family worked in the forest and apart from lumberjacking they made charcoal. When they occasionally came back into town they looked terrible being caked in black grime😎

                1. No problem SW. I doubt there are many who could spell the guy’s name without looking it up. :grin:

        2. Thank you, Campbell, for a good fun workout today.
          Nobody seems to have mentioned it, but I always appreciate it when the Quick Crossword is a pangram!
          And thank you too, Falcon.

          1. I notice quite a few Quickies are pangrams. You are right, PaulS – nobody mentions it, me included.

      1. Terence, the hot air weed killer arrived and I assembled it, dashed to the garage to plug it in, fired it up only to find the electric cord was too short for me to reach the weeds! The extension reel is upstairs in a cupboard so the test will have to wait until tomorrow. 🥹😆

  14. Enjoyable while it lasted – which was a little longer than usual as I was slightly off Campbell’s wavelength and found my last few to be real head-scratchers. A few odd surfaces but plenty of pleasure throughout. A good start to the cruciverbal ‘working week’. COTD 23a with 8d runner-up.

    2* / 3*

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  15. A cheery guzzle indeed. Like others I pondered a different final four letters for 18a but didn’t pencil it in because it meant that any potential answer for 20d simply didn’t look right…

    An incident happened yesterday that seems to be occurring rather regularly these days. We went for a lovely walk in Shere; stopped off for a quick drink (Diet Coke for me) before heading off to our pre-booked supper slot at a nearby ‘gastropub’, which I won’t name (it isn’t in Shere).
    En route, and about ten minutes before our scheduled booking time, I received a phone call from a nervous sounding young lady informing us that they were all out of Sunday roasts, including the vegan option, and that they had no vegetarian or vegan dishes due to ‘supply issues’.

    I was very pleasant to the young lady, agreed we should cancel the booking, and thanked her for letting us know, only breathing out a four letter word after the call was ended. It’s never good form to blame a junior member of staff, probably on minimum wage, for the misfortunes of life.
    We headed for home and H made us vegetarian bangers and mash, and jolly good it was too.

    We’ve never been bumped this close to a booking before but, increasingly, we have been informed at the door of restaurants or pubs that they ‘aren’t doing walk-ins’, or more frequently, presented with a menu accompanied by a young server reading a lengthy list of what isn’t available.

    Our booking yesterday was for 18:45 so they must have needed to call many other pre-booked guests as well as us.
    Is it too simplistic to ask why such places don’t order in enough food to cover the expected number of covers? Is it Brexit? Bad management? Bad luck? Who knows?

    Thanks to Campbell and The Bird Of Prey. All best wishes to Robert if he looks in.

    1. Oh dear. Bread and butter when you got back home then? Actually, we stopped at a local restaurant recently at 12.30 to be told they had been very busy and had one sandwich left! We went elsewhere.

  16. A reasonable start to week. I’m not sure about 14d as cars don’t seem to have a built in music system any more

    1. Yes they do. It’s definitely stereo and is accessible from the display incuding bass, treble and balance controls.

        1. It depends on the radioactive particle and the vial of poison. It’s an interesting thought experiment that leads to more thoughts and analysis. Rather like the Möbius Strip, which I still cannot get my head around.

  17. I’m not known for being 22a on a Monday morning but this light and fun puzzle lifted the mood. I didn’t know the musical in 3d but otherwise no problems to report. Unlike Steve Cowling @14 I could barely name a song, but he crops up so frequently in crosswordland he’s my go-to when I see ‘Buddy’! I really liked 23a, which was simple but totally misdirected me until I got a few checkers and I had that PDM **/****

    20d to Campbell and Falcon

    1. Me too, Irene, but it is given as a synonym of ‘check’ in the BRB so I guess we’ll have to live with it!

  18. All went in fairly quickly until I came to the final two clues & my brain gave up! Mowed the lawn got my sun lounger out, picked up the puzzle & wrote the last answers in.


    Fav 3d LOI 8d.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  19. The boy and girls at 1a are called Cub Scouts now in UK and have been for some years. I don’t know about other countries. Easily completed and enjoyable apart from 8d and 14a which held me up. Favourites 9 12 16 and 18a. Thanks Campbell and Falcon

    1. News to me. For us and our daughters, it was Cubs and Boy Scouts for boys, and Brownies and Girl Guides for girls. Peter was a Wolf Cub and and Boy Scout, whereas I lost interest in the Guides after an evening spent typing knots 😊.

  20. It’s Monday, so a welcome to a gentle Campbell offering today. Nothing too obscure and a pleasant solve for the start of the non-work week. After the Dada beating yesterday this puzzle was a breeze. Liked it a lot and thanks to Campbell for the reprieve.

    1.5*/4* for me

    Favourites include 9a, 23a, 24a, 5d, 8d & 14d — with winner for me being 23a, but I really liked 5d too.

    9a, 2d & 17d made me chuckle.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  21. You are right WW, Wolf Cubs go back a long way. My father was proud of being a Rover Scout, whatever that was, and was part of the team that wrote the Hackney Scout Song Book. We had several copies at home and one lived in the car – we would drive along singing Ging gang goolygooly, or My darling Clementine or Kamate, Kamate, Kara at the tops of our voices. Happy days. As was today’s Guzzle time. 16a is Favourite but 3d and 23a were contenders. I don’t know what other wine you could have put on Holly to make a plant? Anyway, many thanks to Campbell & Falcon. I wasted 1. 1/2 hours of my life this morning trying to ask a certain High Street bank why I could not get into my account. They cut me off once and I still don’t know what the problem was. Life is so difficult sometimes, that’s why we love crosswordland.

    1. Rovers were the Senior Section akin to the Girl Guides Rangers. They are now called Venture Scouts. I am now a member of the Trefoil Guild or as one of our members told a member of the public on a recent ramble Grown up Brownies. The photo I posted is my younger grandson!

      1. Wonder why ‘they’ had to go WOKE on us. In my day it was Brownies, Guides and Rangers for the girls and Cubs, Scouts and Rovers for the boys – all of which seems perfectly OK to me.

  22. 2/4. After yesterdays torture this was a delight. My favourite from a packed podium was 23a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  23. Never heard of the play but know the story of The Selfish Giant very. In fact at one time could recite it almost word perfect. I was doing an assembly for all the children in an infant school many years ago and was telling the SG story. I was just near the end where the SG sees the little boy standing by the tree he had lifted him into long before and was hurrying out to him. A voice near the back called out “Mr Corcoran, Mr Corcoran” with an urgent tone but I said “Just a minute please, it’s nearly the end.”. I went on with the story but another voice called out and then another from the same area so I asked what was the problem.

    “Sir, Lewis has been sick over Alison”. On investigation he had been sick over himself, the floor and Alison. At which point I gave up trying to finish the story and sent a child to get help.

    The moral of this story is that out of the mouths of babes, sucklings, and infants comes vomit not wisdom.

    1. My party piece, apart from being able to do the splits at my advanced age, is Roald
      Dahl’s Red Riding Hood & The Wolf into which I am liable to launch at the drop of a hat.

    2. A great story but be aware that the play in the clue is not a theatrical production but an allowance for variance in mechanical systems.

  24. Nice start to the week 😃 ***/**** Favourites 5& 18a and 3d 👍 Thanks to The Falcon and to Campbell

  25. An enjoyable start to the week and definitely easier than some recent Mondays. There were several misdirections that kept me guessing which made it more fun when I finally clicked. My favourite was 18a as they are pretty! It was mainly completed whilst I sat waiting for a foot X-ray having twisted my ankle on a walk yesterday. It confirmed our suspicions that I had a broken bone so now I am stuck in a boot and on crutches for a few weeks….more time for crosswords? Not great timing for the gardening though!

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the explanations

  26. Well after a lovely walk on Box Hill with the sun shining and a mild breeze I’ve returned with my brain in top gear and have managed the quick and cryptic crosswords! Not something that I’m managing much these days. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon. Lots of favourites- of course- because I could solve unaided! Morning walks might be the way to go.

  27. Definitely an enjoyable start to the week, with a friendly Campbell. I would have to hang my head in shame if I did not get 9a 😊. Would have given 2d COTD, if it were not for the missing apostrophe. I didn’t know the musical, but overall a much better start to my week. Having said that, I had kind of come to understand why (or thought I did) Mondays are often tougher, as there is no Toughie on Mondays to satisfy the gifted solvers. But I’m not complaining. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  28. Good afternoon
    An enjoyable start to the week; most of today’s solutions seemed to drop in without too much brainache.
    Thank you Campbell and Falcon

  29. I sailed enjoyably through today’s challenge and can imagine there are not many bloggers who will have found it 9a. I agree re absence of an apostrophe in 2d. 18a delayed me as I had forgotten that buddy. 23a was my Fav for the penny-drop moment when I realised I was not looking for a tower which holds water. A relief that Campbell disowned any pun in the middle across the Quickie as I simply couldn’t make anything of it. Nice of Chris Lancaster to acknowledge Big Dave’s important contribution to the success of the Daily Telegraph’s Crosswords. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  30. A pleasant change from last week’s puzzles, let’s hope it continues. I had to Google the market. Favourite was 3d. Thanks to Campbell, please comment again, and Falcon. Absolutely stunning all the eulogies to BD.

  31. Finished this almost unaided. Quirky, misleading and head scratching in places but good fun and doable. First one in was 9a, which I solved instantly and was delighted to find that it was not an omen for the day. Fav had to be 2d, which is clever and made me smile. A little bit of fun adds much to the pleasure of crossword solving. Hope the mythical cat did not get to 5d, there is a cat, very much alive and well, in residence there.
    Very many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

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