DT 30320 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30320

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30320

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Several clues in this one had us having to do some head-scratching so not a particularly speedy solve for us and still not sure we have got 1d parsed correctly.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


7a     Writer‘s potboiler perhaps provoked rich atheist (6,8)
AGATHA CHRISTIE : A type of posh stove (potboiler) and an anagram (provoked) of RICH ATHEIST.

9a     Scene lacking heart occupies genius film director (10)
EISENSTEIN : A famous physics genius contains the first and last letters (lacking heart) of scene.

11a     Produced Crazy, latest from Cline (4)
MADE : Crazy or insane and the final letter of Cline.

12a     Check mare with foal? (3)
DAM : The word for a mother in horse-racing parlance.

13a     Getting going, Carol drinks bitter at university (8,2)
STARTING UP : Carol or vocalise tunefully contains bitter or sharp-tasting and then the two letter ‘at university’.

16a     Spanish river boring celeb rows (4)
EBRO : A lurker (boring) hiding in the clue.

17a     Fake drama in front of a court (4-3)
PLAY-ACT : A dramatic production, then ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for court. Fake here is a verb.

18a     Fancy hat, something tossed at wedding (7)
CAPRICE : A peaked hat and then the cereal sometimes tossed at weddings.

20a     Giant mistake in game, finishing touches from defender dire (4)
OGRE : The classic blunder in football and the final letters from the last two words of the clue.

21a     Collie’s paw muddied bed linen (10)
PILLOWCASE : An anagram (muddied) of COLLIE’S PAW.

23a     Runner turning pinkish occasionally (3)
SKI : The reversal of three letters found alternately in ‘pinkish’.

24a     Out to lunch, daughter behind (4)
DAFT : D(aughter) and then behind, possibly on a ship.

25a     Where winners of the Postcode Lottery live? (4,6)
EASY STREET : A cryptic definition of what could be a comfortable address.

28a     Hear Cats critic panned feature (14)


1d     Send a coded message from PM’s home before my employer? (14)
RADIOTELEGRAPH : Not sure about the wordplay here. Our best guess is a three letter acronym for a coded message (new to us), then the two letters that when read as numbers give the PM’s official London address,  The medium where a particular BBC programme can be heard (new to us) and the newspaper that engages our compiler.

2d     Reserve goalkeeper must do it (4)
SAVE : A double definition.

3d     Not that tense greeting head of state (4)
THIS : The abbreviation for tense, an informal greeting, and the first letter of state.

4d     Loosely agree with article on Clarkson’s first tract of farmland? (7)
ACREAGE : An anagram (loosely) of AGREE contains an indefinite article and the first letter of Clarkson.

5d     Joanna is quiet after August (5,5)
GRAND PIANO : August or distinguished (ignore the false capitalization) and the musical instruction for ‘quiet’ written in full.

6d     Odd bars you swing by? (10)
ASYMMETRIC : A description of a standard piece of gymnastic apparatus.

8d      Reported words of usher, filling in address (8,6)
INDIRECT SPEECH : ‘In’ from the clue and a verbal address contain usher or guide.

10d      Catch half of score looking up (3)
NET : The reversal of the number that is half a score.

14d     Welshman checking offbeat metres for inferior poets (10)
RHYMESTERS : An architypical Welsh name surrounds an anagram (offbeat) of METRES.

15d      Beginning windblown picnic in Spain, grabbing plate at last (10)
INCIPIENCE : An anagram (windblown) of PICNIC IN contains the last letter of plate and, finally, the IVR code for Spain.

19d     Not so much in plot for actor (7)
BLESSED : A plot where you might grow plants contains a word for ‘not so much’.

22d     Note Warrington’s debut in Rising Damp (3)
WET : The reversal (rising) of a note from the sol fah scale and the first letter of Warrington.

26d     In need of clothing, asking for coat (4)
SKIN : Start with the word asking and remove its ‘clothing’ letters.

27d     Unopened non-fiction book (4)
RUTH : Non-fiction or veracity without its first letter.

Quickie pun    finesse    +   whaler    =    Venezuela

110 comments on “DT 30320
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  1. I had the same problem with 1d, but 22d, for me is a reverse lurker.
    Thanks to all a very enjoyable solve.

  2. Very enjoyable indeed even though not my favourite grid.
    The one word that kept popping into my mind whilst solving was “misdirection” as there was plenty of it, little was as it seemed on first glance.
    I liked the clever 20a plus the very smart 1d along with 22d….the clue is made by the fact Don Warrington played Philip in the hilarious series…. but in a quality field there can only be one winner, Torquay’s very own 1a, a brilliant clue.
    Many thanks to the setter and the Ks.

  3. That guzzle was hard work indeed and like the Kiwis, I wasn’t sure of the parsing of 1d. Despitehaving to guess a fair number of clues and reverse engineer the parsing, I finished the grid eventually. I thought it was more suited ro the Toughie than the back page but it was certainly something to challenge the little grey cells. 16a was a good geographical lurker but 5d was the best clue in my estimation. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to the compiler.

  4. Quite tricky I thought but an enjoyable challenge – thanks to the setter and 2Ks.
    I gave myself a problem in the SE by writing in (f)Acts for the 27d (it seemed to work) so that 25a became impossible until I’d sorted out the error.
    I’m not surprised 2Ks (and anyone not living in the UK) had problems knowing the names of BBC programmes (1d).
    Top clues for me were 13a, 3d and 8d.

    Robyn’s Toughie today is brilliant and not too difficult so do give it a go.

  5. Has something changed here?
    I thought answers have to be in Chambers.
    1a,9a and ist part of 1d are all missing.
    Maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy
    not pleased

  6. A very good puzzle which I initially thought impossible.
    I pick 8d as my favourite.
    Thanks to Jay and the Kiwis.
    Summer seems to have disappeared , I hope it returns soon.

  7. An unusual grid today and some head scratching cluing.
    Enjoyed the challenge and all fell into place eccept the initial word in 1a -never mind ,thanks to 2K;s for the solution, still not sure with the definition!
    Difficult to decide on a favourite,going for a ***/****

  8. Loved the challenge today but 1d stumped me until I read the 2K’s hints. Never heard of the Spanish river either – I knew I shouldn’t have dropped Geography at age 14. I took German instead which has subsequently proved of limited use in crossword solving with only the occasional reference to German articles. Loved 7a – the pot boiler synonym was very clever – and 6d. Thanks to the setter and the pair of flightless ones.

  9. There seem to be more and more Toughies escaping to the back page these days! having said that, I quite enjoyed it but needed help with a couple. I have not heard the expression “out to lunch” but the answer had to be what it was. Neither have I heard of the film director and that was one I needed to look up. No COTD today from me. I was just glad to finish.

    Many thanks to the setter for heating my brain up and thanks to the 2Ks for the invaluable hints.

      1. But does the ‘originally’, in the BRB entry, indicate that the expression has been ‘absorbed’ into the King’s English? :wink:

  10. Came across the grave of 7a in Cholsey when crossing the graveyard to get to a railway overbridge in my trainspotting days. (My anorak, notebook and flask are now in retirement).

    Got 1d from the checkers but needed ALP’s explanation to understand it fully.

    An enjoyable head scratcher with favourites 20a, 24a and 6d.

    Thanks to setter, 2Ks and ALP.

  11. Hard but strangely enjoyable, a bit like Barratt liquorice in the 70s.
    Had to have two visits to complete this one with a trip to get a new rear tyre for the bike in between, ran over a screw at the weekend with the tyre only 1400 miles old, £150 quid for a new one. Why does the screw never find you when the tyres are practically worn out? I’m sure they can smell a nearly new tyre at 50 yds. Great crossword with plenty of variety, last in were 14d and 1d, the latter of which I had to guess the first three letters of. Top clue for me today was 6d, very clever!

    1. There was a Barrett’s factory in our nearby market town when we first moved here – there was always a smell of liquorice near the station.

        1. The sugar beet factory was a bit whiffy, a bit like rancid maltesers, but the smell faded into insignificance compared to the maggot farm💩☠️

            1. I remember playing for Wrexham against Chirk in a Saturday morning schools football match on a pitch pretty close to that factory, and the pong was indeed pleasantly pervasive!

            2. Most of the sugar beet processed in York ended up at Rowntrees, the smell of chocolate from the KitKat line mixed with the minty Polo production was much better

  12. Definitely a head scratcher and more than likely a Toughie that has escaped to the back page – ***/***

    14d has to be one of the worst words ever and, even though it is not an obscure item of Asian clothing, it should be on Terence’s LIST. Just a thought, is it time for the 19d actor to be ‘retired’?

    Candidates for favourite – 17a, 25a, 8d, and 27d – and the winner is 27d.

    Thanks to the setter (Robyn?) and to the 2Kiwis.

  13. For me that was a real treat. I loved all the misdirection and there were penny drop moments aplenty. I also had Acts initially for 27d, which I could just about justify, though with the wrong part of speech! I took 1d to be a reference to the Radio 4 programme, PM, rather than anything to do with the PM’s abode. It’s unusual for me to choose an anagram for favourite but 7a gets my vote today for leading me in the wrong direction. Lots of others to like but I’ll settle for 18a, 3d and 15d. Thanks to our setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  14. Oh Dear the Toughie has escaped its confines again. Good manners precludes me from giving my opinion of this puzzle but it would not be complimentary. Not suitable for the back page in my opinion.
    Completed in the face of adversity.
    Thx for the hints

  15. Some rather odd surface reads which rather spoiled it for me but I think Kath will enjoy 21a.
    Top clue here was 18a.

    Thanks to the setter and to our 2Ks for the review.

  16. An excellent puzzle and for me a little tougher than a normal Wednesday. Great clues, a nice challenge and an enjoyable solve. My favourite of a fine collection is 8d. 3.5*/4*.

  17. A pleasingly tricky and most rewarding puzzle to solve, and, although I concede there were a couple of unsatisfying surfaces, they did not spoil my enjoyment. 7a was a brilliant anagram and my top clue.

    My thanks to our setter and the 2Ks.

  18. Good afternoon
    I’m pleasantly surprised that I’ve actually managed to finish the crozzie on the way into work this afty (so I might have a quick keek at the Toughie on my break later) Mind you, it was hard work, not helped by my tripling the double letter in 6d, and instinctively writing KEEP for 2d.
    Thanks to our compiler, and thanks to 2Ks, especially for explaining 20a!
    Finally, No. 2 in an occasional series, a Clerihew in honour of 19d:
    Brian Blessèd
    Once, loudly, confessèd

  19. I struggled with this and had to check my entries for 9a and 16a were correct having never heard of them. A DNF for me as I couldn’t get the first part of 1d.
    Favourites for me were 18a and 7a.

  20. Found this Wednesday puzzle a relatively easy solve. Nothing too obscure, although a couple made me pause for thought and a scratch of the head to get them to show themselves.

    2*/4* for me for this Wednesday puzzle.

    Favourites include 7a, 9a, 11a, 21a, 1d & 22d — with winner 9a

    I got several chuckles from 11a, 21a, 24a & 2d
    Overall this was a fun solve with nothing to trip one up …
    However the word in 14d was unknown to me so I suppose that was the only hitch that caused a head scratch.

    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s for hints/blog

  21. I also had to do a ‘reveal’ for 1d as I was truly stumped. I felt quite smug at getting the footbally 20a but it was pretty obvious, and I wanted to throw a bouquet or confetti – nice misdirection. I am going to plump for the long anagram at 28a for my favourite. Hope the operation on the cheek went well, and many thanks to Setter & Kiwis.

        1. Thanks both. In and out in about 10 minutes. Now I have to wait for the biopsy result, which will take between four to six weeks apparently.

                1. Thank you, Merusa. I’m not going to dwell on the result. The first doctor I saw was sure it was innocent but it will be good to have it confirmed.

  22. An irritatingly brilliant guzzle. This one took way beyond toast and orange juice with no bits time, yet I really enjoyed the untangling process.
    9a is revered in my industry but I have always admired him for his hair style which was way ahead of its time. It is easy to picture him as the keyboard player for The Cure or possibly guitarist in A Flock Of Seagulls.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

  23. Rather against the general mood today as I can’t say I enojoyed this puzzle very much. It felt very dated and too many surface reads felt clumsy/rough. 80%+ straightforward, remainder fairly chewy.

    2.5* / 1*

    Thanks setter but sorry, this one just wasn’t for me. Thanks to the 2Ks for the review.

  24. Quite a struggle for me today. Needed help from the 2Kiwis .
    Thanks to the setter and to the Kiwis

  25. Having just returned from a break, I seemed to get onto the right wavelength reasonably quickly as I was able to make steady progress through what seemed to me to be a slightly off-beat offering. LOI 9a where Google came to my aid. Like others I hadn’t been able to parse 1d correctly, so thanks to all here for working it out. Wouldn’t Archer’s home have made a better clue?
    25a gets on my podium. Overall rating **/***

    Thanks to our setter and the two Kiwis.

  26. Always surprises me when the toughie tarts* talk about a puzzle being tricky I often find I have completed it whereas when they can barely conceal their belief that the puzzle should be in the children’s section I find it very difficult. Two comments today ; Battleship Potemkin should be in everybody’s list of the best films. Moby Dick should be in their equivalent best books list.

    Thanks to the setter for a fine puzzle and to the two Kiwis for dealing with the BBC output without complaint.

    *Tarts in the sense of letting us know they do the Toughie and on occasion telling us that it is an easy one on certain days. This blog is for the Cryptic puzzle. Toughie has its own blog. In my opinion, not humble, never the twain should meet.k

    1. I find it helpful when someone comments on here that the Toughie is friendly that day, as this sometimes happens when I am struggling here, and go there instead. Sometimes finding that it is indeed easier than the backpager. Makes no sense why that should be, but there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why these puzzles are assigned on many occasions.

  27. Not a successful solve today, I think my brain has gone to sleep this week. 5d was one of my successes mainly because my daughter is called Joanna. Thankyou compiler for a definite challenge and many thanks to our reliable hinters.

  28. 3/2. Tricky in parts and had to Google several to check their definitions – 9&16a and 14&15d. Not my favourite puzzle. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  29. Beaten by 1d.
    Otherwise, a comfortable 1.5*
    Very annoying!
    An obscure first part
    Of the culprit.
    Thanks setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. Reading the hints before commenting can be beneficial. As the 2Kiwis write in the hint, the first three letters of the answer are a posh stove (potboiler perhaps). The anagram of rich atheist provides the rest.

  30. It’s only an anagram of the final 11 letters; the initial three letters are clued by the “posh stove”.

  31. Finally got there but needed the hints for 1d, a term I had never heard. I did not know the director either, so I have learnt things today. A clever puzzle which kept me going because words suddenly fell into place, would not have worked if I was in a hurry!
    7a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 kiwis

  32. Got my contrary hat on today. I found this much easier (easier not easy) than yesterday’s which was rated as * difficulty, but I found very difficult. While I can’t claim to have romped through today’s, I did pretty well, only foiled by 1d (never seen this as one word), 9a (never heard of this director), 16a (didn’t know the river), and the 19d mystery actor. Otherwise an enjoyable and pleasant solve. Which is not to say Toughies aren’t disappointingly appearing here more frequently than not. But thanks to today’s setter and to the 2Kiwis, whose hints are consistently very helpful.

  33. Completely stumped to start with but very slowly got a foothold and progressed from there. 1d my last in and I’m glad that someone referred to the PM programme as I couldn’t fathom the first three letters as I also had 10 – confusing. I’m going to give up listening to the Today programme because this lot of interviewers keep interrupting. Bring back John Humphries I say! Still freezing here and I am absolutely not going to put the heating on in June! Thanks for a lovely puzzle and the 2 Kiwis. Not sure why I click on ‘save my name’ because it doesn’t.

    1. My name is saved on the MacBook but it doesn’t save on my iPad. No idea why. I gave up listening to PM ages ago because the constant interruptions from the presenters really got on my nerves.

    2. I gave up on R4 PM a good many years ago when Eddie Mair was the presenter: I know many people loved his style but to me it was like Marmite (I can’t stand that, either, although I’m a big fan of Bovril whether in a mug or on hot buttered toast!), and I found/find Evan Davies even more irritating (does he still present it?).

      Having been brought up on R4’s Today programme it was part of my daily routine for decades, but I now find the (C-list) presenters – and their combative, interrupting, agenda-setting, newsbite-seeking style – so irritating that in the last few years I’ve gone from listening to Today for about 90 mins/day to about 90 mins/month, if that.

      I used to defend the BBC licence fee very strongly, arguing that for us it paid for Radio 4, and everything else the BBC provided was a freebie on top. Sadly that’s no longer the case for us and I find the licence fee increasingly indefensible.

      1. Me too with regard to the licence fee, Mustafa. When we hardly watch/listen to any of the output from the BBC I resent paying it.

        1. I’ve given in and put the heating ON! All you horrid people gloating at our freezing weather here, just send us some sun, please!

  34. Good heavens – you’ve got to be joking – I couldn’t do this at all.
    Do we have any idea who set this one?
    Whoever set today’s crossword thank you to him or her and thanks to the 2K’s for the very necessary hints (and the answers too sometimes).

    1. Kath, I’m with you on this one. Very much 50:50. Half I managed to fill in, the other half I had to check the review. I really feel that I’m losing it at the minute. Still, I wouldn’t want to set a crossword myself, so thank you setter and the 2ks.

  35. A good challenge but not a puzzle I especially enjoyed today. I think the grid was the biggest offender, it really is the worst of the pool. Not having first letters is annoying but so many short words equally so. Ultimately I chalked up a DNF – like others I didn’t know 1d first word and found the clue obscure. I didn’t know 9a director or 16a Spanish river though least the wordplay was gettable. It’s a shame because the annoyances clouded some super clues, such as 7a, 5d, 14d and 25a. **/**

    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks

  36. I’ve struggled all week but this is the hardest yet, another DNF to add to the list. Thanks to all.

  37. Firstly, I’m in a foul mood! It appears that my sub has expired, I had promised myself that I wouldn’t renew it, too many Toughies. I have no backbone, pure jelly, and I went ahead and renewed, then I get this. Further, the print is so small (now I know what folks have been complaining about) it’s almost impossible to read for someone with no sight in one eye and not great in the other. Want to listen to more woes? I was in the pool and before I could finish my routine, the storms started … rain stopped play!
    Back to the puzzle, it was a DNF and several wrong answers, so not my shining moment. I did have a fave, 22d. Really, if the puzzles in the future will be like this week’s, then I can cancel my sub in a week.
    Thanks setter, and much appreciation to the 2Kiwis for unravelling that lot.

    1. Merusa, I’m not sure what your problem is with the print size. But I blow up the grid and clues for my mother. Perhaps it might help you. Email me at stonewaller@gmail.com and we could discuss this.

  38. A dnf for me with only two thirds solved.

    I still have no idea why 1d is what is is. The hint sheds no light for me.

    Today had some words never used by normals, some specialist terms and a director so obscure I am incredulous anyone has heard of them.

    This had no place on the back page.

    Nevertheless, thanks to all.

    1. 1d PM is a radio program broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at weekdays from 5 pm to 6 pm and Saturdays from 5 pm to 5:30 pm.

  39. Morning all.
    Did manage to get back to sleep after making the correction to 1d. Not at all happy with the original hint but could find nothing better, Nice to have it sorted so thanks for the help there.
    Thought 9a was pushing things a bit as the answer was directing 100 years ago and died 75 years ago. Luckily Carol had heard of him or we could have been in trouble there too.
    Ah well. All part of the joys of being bloggers.

    1. Huge thanks, as ever. And glad you managed to get some kip. 1D really was impossibly British, so I did feel your pain. Imagine the howls of baffled outrage if we had to face a NZ radio clue! All best.

    2. Good Morning, 2Kiwis!

      I had no idea how to parse 1d … and I listen to it every day! Oh! Dear!

      Thanks for the blog!

  40. I thought the director was a tad obscure but ok if he is revered in The Terence household it must be me who is the Philistine. It was tough but doable andi expect it may be Robyn’s puzzle again on Sunday, but they haven’t updated the list yet. I tend to agree that this is an unfriendly grid but it was solved with a bit of help from the 2K’s
    Thanks to Carol and Colin and setter too

  41. Thank you for all your comments, believers and doubters too!
    I knew PM’s home for ‘radio’ was slightly audacious, but then again it has been on Radio 4 in the same time-slot for more than 50 years.
    Eisenstein’s film ‘Battleship Potemkin’ is a renowned example of early cinema, with a particularly famous scene on the Odessa Steps involving a baby in a pram. But of course that doesn’t mean everyone will have heard of it, and that’s an occasional risk with GK.

    1. What an excellent puzzle! I solved it very early yesterday but then had a day from hell with barely time to draw breath until I finally got to bed. However I thought I would pop back in quickly this morning to thank you for the fun. Very well done again, Mr T.

    2. Damnit, I was going to add the fact that I thought it may be the work of you in my comment. Excellent puzzle

    3. Solved a day late & had an inkling it may be one of yours. I found it pretty tough but extremely enjoyable. You beat with the parsing of radio (down the same alley as the 2Ks) but otherwise ok. The Odessa Steps sequence is wonderful & of course ripped off (very well) by Brian De Palma in The Untouchables.
      Congrats on your (second I think) back-pager.

  42. Thank you for popping in T but I’m afraid this one wasn’t for me, I found it harder than the toughie and registered a dnf needing the hints for a couple. Favourite was 25a. Thanks anyway and to the 2K’s.

  43. Yesterday we completed a puzzle from the stash in the car. It was from February 2022. Today we leapt almost to the present day for this one and by coincidence found ourselves faced with the same uncommon grid.

    Failed on one clue in both of them. Today it was 1d.

  44. 4*/4* …. learned a few things on this one !
    liked 18A “Fancy hat, something tossed at wedding (7)”

    1. Yes, I really enjoyed that one although I’m quite relieved that it didn’t get tossed at my wedding!

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