DT 30410 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30410

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30410

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
All sorts of spring things to report this week. We have sighted the first families of ducklings frantically paddling along behind their mothers, the first of the bar-tailed godwits have arrived from their breeding grounds in Alaska, and we saw another juvenile seal on the beach this morning. The only unwelcome spring things we have had lately are the strong equinoctial winds with quite a few trees knocked about or bowled over.
Another enjoyable Wednesday puzzle.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


9a    Fancy Ferry? Very attractive person (9)
DREAMBOAT : A fancy or imagined happening and then a type of vessel that a ferry usually is.

10a    Stage musical‘s childminders leaving the wings (5)
ANNIE : Female childminders with the first and last letters removed.

11a     Heard hotel venue is understanding (7)
INSIGHT : A homophone (heard) of a hotel or tavern and a venue or location.

12a     Correct or incorrect recipes? (7)
PRECISE : An anagram (incorrect) of RECIPES.

13a     Sort Sue out a uniform and clothes for the bride (9)
TROUSSEAU : An anagram (out) of SORT SUE plus ‘A’ from the clue and U(niform).

15a     Critter probing cocoa tin (5)
COATI : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

17a     Grit daughter put in glass container? (7)
BOTTLED : Grit or determination and then D(aughter).

19a     Sadly, commercial released for art gallery is pompous (7)
STATELY : Remove the abbreviation for a commercial plug from the word ‘sadly’ and replace this with a well-known art gallery.

20a     Shipment of eclairs good, except for the odd few (5)
CARGO : Alternate letters found in two words of the clue.

21a     Drink (lacking red initially) wherein wit flows? (5,4)
WHITE WINE : An anagram (flows) of WHErEIN WIT once the first letter of red has been removed.

24a     Alive to enemy in retreat after advanced combat (5,2)
AWARE OF : The abbreviation for advanced, and then serious combat, is followed by the reversal of an enemy.

26a     Hold English prop when engaging scrum at the end (7)
EMBRACE : E(nglish), then the last letter of scrum is followed by prop or support.

28a    Judge tango for passion (5)
HEART : Judge in a court of law plus T(ango).

29a     Fork going into the ground with a crack? (9)
LIGHTNING : A cryptic definition of a dazzling meteorological phenomenon.


1d     American bank not on target (6)
ADRIFT : The single letter abbreviation for America and a bank of snow.

2d     Blowpipe hit ape’s nose (10)
PEASHOOTER : An anagram (hit) of APES and a slang word for a nose.

3d     Superior‘s small cup (4)
SMUG : S(mall) and a cup or beaker.

4d     Feature of Robin Day‘s obit we amended (3,3)
BOW TIE : An anagram (amended) of OBIT WE.

5d     Maybe kittens climbing quiet son and other family members (8)
STEPMUMS : The reversal of what kittens can be an example of, then a three letter word for quiet and S(on).

6d     Hare and hounds barking, perhaps? Ace (5,5)
PAPER CHASE : An anagram (barking) of PERHAPS ACE.

7d     Against books being penned by ChatGPT? (4)
ANTI : Some biblical books are enclosed by what ChatGPT is an example of.

8d    Speed of book being put out by A-lister (8)
CELERITY : Remove the B(ook) from another word for an A-Lister.

14d     Hotel suite’s unusual shape (10)
SILHOUETTE : An anagram (unusual) of HOTEL SUITE.

16d      Great about detectives nabbing heads of trafficking in compound (6,4)
ACETIC ACID : In the order they appear in the answer, string together a colloquial term for great, the first letters (heads) of ‘trafficking’ and ‘in’, a two letter abbreviation for about or approximately. Finish this with an abbreviation for the branch of the police where detectives work.

17d     Stern current fella’s a pain (8)
BACKACHE : The part of a boat referred to as the stern, then a type of electrical current plus the pronoun for a fella.

18d     Heavy rain, miserable autumn in Seattle? (8
DOWNFALL : Miserable or depressed and the American word for autumn.

22d     First person close to violence in prison gets cooling-off period (3,3)
ICE AGE : A first person pronoun, then another word for a prison contains the last letter of violence.

23d     Regular servings of tea (my Earl Grey) appear (6)
EMERGE : Alternate letters found in four words of the clue.

25d     Somewhat upset papaya was off (4)
AWAY :A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

27d     Somerset place cricketer next to Hampshire’s opener (4)
BATH : A term for a cricketer facing the bowling, then the first letter of Hampshire.

Quickie pun    tree    +    cult    +    art    =    treacle tart

100 comments on “DT 30410
Leave your own comment 

  1. A very enjoyable puzzle with a soupçon of head scratching required so ideal for a guess the setter Wednesday – 2.5*/4*

    Based on one of today’s clues and a ‘conversation’ in the comments on Rookie 480, I am going to push the boat out and put four half-crowns on this being a Twmbarlwm production.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 28a, 3d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d – I kept reading the first word of the clue as a four letter word in my printed copy.

    Thanks to Twmbarlwm, or whomsoever if my ten bob goes down the drain, and thanks to the 2Kiwis.

  2. Something of an oddball today. Never heard of the Hare and Hounds phrase before or indeed quite what the answer activity is. The anagram indicator in 2d was also a bit odd. For me an OK puzzle and no more.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Hare and Hounds was a version of a cross country run where a ‘hare’ set off carrying a bag with shredded paper from which he (usually) gradually laid out a trail for the following ‘hounds’. The hounds were not released until the setter had time to lay most of the trail. A good ‘hare’ would lay a clear trail but over and round some obstacles along the way – sometimes crossing the path to confuse matters…

      The sad thing from your comment is that have clearly been denied the pleasure of seeing the marvellous film ‘The Railway Children’ wherein a game of ‘hare and hounds’ features prominently. Find it as soon as you can – but have a big box of tissues ready for Jenny Agutter’s scene near the end!

      1. You’ve changed your alias – you were a Pedant before!

        The thoughts expressed in your second paragraph were almost the same as mine when I read Brian’s comment yesterday

  3. Very enjoyable with stylish, fresh and witty clueing throughout.
    My only slight concern is 8d, which is very clever but I’m not sure if it needs “of” instead of “by” in the wordplay order to work?. Small point though
    Amongst my highlights are 17a plus 4(lol)7(very clever and topical)17&27d with a nod to the pun.
    Great stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter (I’ll have one last (strong) stab at Twmbarlwm, particularly given the grid) and the Ks.

  4. Sorry for being AWOL yesterday but my accountant was demanding invoices for 2022 etc.

    Today’s was a bit odd for me. I answered many before fully parsing them and I didn’t understand a couple. What has 7d got to do with ChatCPT? I’ve never heard of 8d and wonder if it will make “The List”. Neither did I know of the critter in 15a but it could be nothing else and the BRB confirmed it. My COTD is 6d because I tried to use the two animals as anagram fodder.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun diversion. Thank you 2Ks for the hints.

  5. Found it hard to get a toehold in this puzzle, but once I got going in the NE progress was reasonably smooth. Some fun clues – I particularly liked 2d, 9a, 17d and my COTD 29a. Not so sure though about 1d and the synonym for bank and I had never heard of the answer to 8d. All in all, a bit harder I thought than the regular Wednesday fare. Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Ks.

  6. Struggled with this and
    Needed dictionary check
    For 15a to complete this
    3* difficulty puzzle.
    New word for me.
    Otherwise unaided.
    Took an age playing with
    The letters to get 14d
    And only twigged the anagram
    Indicator in 6d after some time.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  7. Not one for me this morning. I found this puzzle rather dated (despite the ChatGPT) with some loose definitions, and while the book and books were used in different ways I was surprised to see them in successive clues. The less said about the utterly ghastly 5d the better. Hon Mentions to 11a & 24a, with COTD 19a.

    2* / 1*

    Thanks anyway Setter, and thank you to the 2Ks

  8. With apologies to our setter, I found this one quite disappointing after yesterday’s little gem – just a matter of taste and wavelength I guess.
    My pick of the bunch was the Quickie pun.

    Thanks nevertheless to our setter and also to our 2Ks for the review and the wildlife report.

  9. Good stuff – thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    Pick of the clues for me were 17a, 19a and 22d with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

  10. I simply didn’t begin to get onto the same wavelength as this setter. MrG and I didn’t enjoy the perisher at all – too many “hmms” to specify. I agree with Mustafa G re 5d particularly as I am one but thankfully rarely called that. Thank you setter ( glad you pleased some bloggers!) and the 2Kiwis.

  11. For some reason I made heavy weather of this but still found it a very enjoyable solve. The penny drop moment on 17a was very loud once I’d spent an age head scratching and trying to think of a glass container into which I could insert a ‘d’ in order to get some grit! Once one’s mind is fixated it’s difficult to move on. Joint favourites today are 5d and 16d. I also liked 19a, though I’m not sure that the synonyms quite work. The quickie pun was amusing as well. Thanks to our setter for the pleasurable solve and the 2Kiwis for sorting out the parsing of 5d for me.

    1. Yesterday I made the mistake of thinking the only Henry Moore museum was the one at Perry Green in Hertfordshire! I’m sorry!😳 I love the Hepworth garden at St Ives too.

      1. I’ve spent time there too. My daughter went to the same school as Barbara Hepworth and we travelled to St Ives as part of some project she was involved in about 20 years ago. Been back a couple of times since – very interesting little museum.

  12. 2*/4.5*. I thought this was excellent with 26a, 2d, 6d & 22d making it onto my podium and a special thank you for the American indicator in 18d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  13. Two stars for difficulty? Righto chum. I for one found this very tough, but enjoyable nonetheless. Never heard of the word at 8d, but as it was my last one, it couldn’t be much else. Thought 2d was going to be some obscure amazonian native word, but thankfully saw the light after a while. Always struggle with the spelling of 14d but got it right today. Top clue was the aforementioned 2d.

  14. Found this a wee bit tougher than a ** difficulty rating as a bit slow to get on wavelength. Hare & hounds at 6d was unfamiliar needing post solve research plus I missed the parsing at 17d & forgot to go back to it but otherwise ok. Enjoyed the solve & a bit surprised it’s not some commenter’s cup of tea. Ticks for 19,24&26a + 2&22d.
    Thanks to the setter & to the 2Ks

  15. It was a pleasant enough guzzle, with a few stings in the tail to mull. over. I liked the wordplay in 8d and the hare and hounds at 6d, together with the anagram at 21a. However, my COTD was 29a , great fun as cryptic dwfinitions go. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints, there were a few that were hard to parse. Thanks to the compiler, I have no idea who it was but it had a nice mix of clue types and a soupcon of GK required to add interest. I wish someone could explain what it is that makes a crossword dated to them as I really don’t asee it?

    1. I am also confused about the use of dated. We often see words that are seldom if ever used these days, and historical names and places. If that is what is referred to it would seriously limit the setters.

      1. Steady on. George frequently wears a bow tie! Mind you, he might well be described as an Old Fogey.
        Anecdote – when No1 grandson was about to attend his first big university affair he asked G’dad for advice on buying a dinner suit. For advice we read “it would be quite nice if you paid for it!” Off to M ’n S where he was duly fitted out with a very passable suit and shirt. William picked up a bow tie and said I shall need one of these. George’s voice rang round the department ‘no grandson of mine is going to wear a bow tie on elastic!’ Back home there followed lengthy & painful lessons in front of a mirror until the desired bow was created.
        Two weeks later we had a photograph of a drunken looking party of young men in various stages of undress and a note from Will ‘I must admit G’dad that after the dinner it was nice to be one of the ones who casually pulled the end of the bow and let it hang round my neck!’

  16. For me this was the best puzzle his week, obviously because I completed it. I was on the setters wavelength from the start. I should mention I found yesterdays very hard and gave up with six clues still to go. Last in was 8d which I bunged in then checked in my 50 year old ,little green reader’s digest dictionary. Had a little hmm at 19 meaning pompous but have learnt never to doubt the setter. Thanks to all

      1. Extremely stretched. The two words have completely different meanings IMHO. One can be a compliment, the other definitely not,

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Some nice surfaces and clever constructions.

    The answer to 5d is perfectly okay in my books. People say mum and dad all the time. So, I don’t understand the problem. If the sixth letter was o then fair enough.

    Hard to pick the medal winners but I’ll go with 1d, 2d and 26a.

    Many thanks to Le Touquet and compiler.


        1. I don’t agree. My stepchildren always introduce me as their “stepmother” with which I am quite happy and I hope/think they like me! Likewise my mother hated it if anyone called her “Mum” but she accepted Mummy!

          1. Sorry if I was being a bit general there. I’m sure you’re a lovely stepmother. My own experience as a stepdaughter clouded my judgment.

  18. Seemed like a pretty normal Wednesday puzzle for me again this week. One critter I did not know in the mix, but figured it out by looking at the clue for a long time and then the answer finally revealed itself to me.


    Favourites included 9a, 13a, 29a, 2d & 14d — with winner 2d

    Took a while to work out 9a, but I knew I was on the right track in my mind. Eventually it clicked.
    29a gave me a chuckle when the penny finally dropped, too.

    Thanks to settler & the 2K’s for hints/blog

  19. Took a while to get started, but once I’d solved a few, things started to fall into place. Never heard of a coati but they look cute! Felt there were several fifties’ references with peashooters, paper chases and dreamboats. LOI was 6d – couldn’t see the obvious staring me in the face. Really enjoyed this and will be interested to find out who the compiler is. Anyway, many thanks to the compiler and much appreciation to the two kiwis for the hints.

  20. Peculiarly, I solved 15a by instantly remembering an obscure minor hit, in 1981, by a fellow using that name (number 32 on the UK Top Forty). I can recall that but I don’t remember the name of someone I met yesterday.
    I was going to link to a video for the song, but it hasn’t aged well and sounded a bit laboured and dull when I previewed it just now. So we are all spared.

    I can see why there is a persuasion to put 8d forward for inclusion on THE LIST, but as the committee was divided and I have the deciding vote (I had heard of the word), it survives without inclusion.

    With regard to ChatGPT and AI – how long before all crosswords are compiled by such software? Not long I suspect.
    In five years we will be saying, “Remember when human beings used to spend hours putting crosswords together? Crazy! Now AI can compile a thousand of them in less than one second.”

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    1. Have you tried to get Chat GPT to compile a cryptic clue, Terence? I have and it was so convoluted even Elgar would not be able to solve it. The answer was more complicated than the clue. 😂

    2. Rumour has it there’s a specific version of ChatGPT just for Newcastle, it’s called YI 😁

      🧥🧥 (that’s the sound of me getting my coat)

  21. Coati is a pretty common Scrabble word, and 6d is surely familiar to anyone brought up with Enid Blyton et al. We enjoyed this and managed to finish without recourse to the hints, but nice to check them afterwards. Kiwi weather sounds lovely- it is bucketing down again in Cambridge, really noisy in the conservatory. I spent the morning working in the garden with the Pocket Rocket and am whacked, don’t think I can face a U3A lecture on airfields of East Anglia – George can tell me about it later! Many thanks to the Kiwis and the setter – not being an inveterate gambler like some I could mention, throwing their money around to impress the girls, I am happy for him/her/it to remain a mystery. 8d was my favourite as it is a super word.

  22. PS oh dear. I have just read the report on Marina Abramivic’s latest exhibition. Really? Truly?Please, Terence, may we put that on The List? As an exceptional abomination.

    1. ‘Visitors who want to see the Royal Academy of Arts’ next exhibition will have to squeeze past two naked people in order to get to it.’

      I hope nobody attends wearing zips. It could be carnage.

    2. I’d never heard of her so googled her. I’m afraid I find nothing I would call “art” among her offerings, but I’m too old to change.

    3. I could not believe it. I find this sort of “art” an insult to real artists. I hope no children are allowed. Appalling.

    1. Hi JB

      Don’t forget that under 1% of solvers on this blog are younger than 30 (there were some stats on this blog about in the last year or so).

      So, I wager that virtually every solver who is resident in The UK knows him.

      This ‘dated’ thing that people keep mentioning is getting a bit tedious. Knowing your audience is what it’s all about. We can’t cater for the 0.8%, or whatever it is, all the time. Sure, as much as you can but not all the time.

      1. Hear, hear, Tom. And even those very few under 30 should have heard of him, really. He only died 20 or so years ago, for Pete’s sake. I certainly remember him skewering Thatcher. Who was Thatcher, I hear someone cry. If so, I admire and envy their ignorance!

        1. I think you mean St. Margaret, ALP … ;)

          Day died 23 years ago but ceased to be a really mainstream figure some time earlier. His legacy has not been particularly enduring – the lot, alas, of the majority of current affairs journalists.

          1. Ha. Wash your mouth out with soap, MG! I take your point but I think he’s better remembered than most (Redhead, Walden et al are largely forgotten, yes). And he has, arguably, left some legacy – Humphrys, Paxman, etc. Their styles owed much to him, I would say.

        2. There was the wonderful interview with the rather pompous John Nott who removed his mic & stormed off a live broadcast when Day asked why should the public believe him – a transient here today & gone tomorrow politician. He was the best chair of QT by a mile in my view.

    2. Had never come across him, as a solver in my 30s, but as a clearly indicated anagram got to the answer reasonably easily. A lot of others commented on 6d being dated or obscure, but it was one I knew immediately, from a diet of Enid Blyton and similar books as a child. Reckon there will always be GK clues that suit some better than others.

  23. Oh THAT blowpipe! I had a lot of those moments with this guzzle. I DNF as didn’t get 8d, but I know the word, I think it’s quite common. I know 6d as an alternative to hunting foxes, I’m in the “poor fox” camp … yes, I know all about the results of a Fox in a hencoop, I still feel sorry for them. I somehow remembered the Robin in 4d, wasn’t he in some sort of current affairs programme? I did like quite a few, 8d ‘cos I like the word, 6d for reasons above, and 29a for what we get every afternoon.
    Thank you setter, and the 2Kiwis for parsing so much for me.

    1. Note for the 2Kiwis: Your delightful recent PM, Jacinta Arden was on our Good Morning America show this morning. She is still as charming as ever and so articulate. She says she’s writing a book, I can’t wait. Girl Power!!

  24. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable solve this evening with plenty of quality clues. No favourites, as the whole grid was excellent.

    Thanks to our setter and the 2Ks.

  25. A mixed bag. Got off to a good start with 9a and thought I was on wavelength. This was after I panicked when old puzzle site refused to load at first. Lots to like, but spoilt with 19a, 24a and 8d. No problem with 5d, nor 6d (which I loathed at school). I’m getting a bit afraid to open up the DT these days. Recently it was the new Braun ad, and the “art” show yesterday. Used to be a quality newspaper, such a shame. Thanks to the setter for the challenge, which I suspect is to warm us up for tomorrow, and to the 2Kiwis. Have to agree with others who found this a ***.

  26. I found this a tricky little customer but I got there in the end. I did not know the word in 8d but had worked it out from the checkers and clue. Many clues took a long time to solve particularly the NW corner where misdirection abounded. My favourite was 2d.

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

  27. Completed over a couple of attempts, with google to check I was right about 15a critter and to find out who 4d was. 2d favourite today. Thanks 2Ks and the Setter.

  28. Morning all.
    Think we may have understated the difficulty a little. Our apologies. I (Colin) will be working at a polling place during our up-coming General Elections and had to dash off to a training session before we had finished solving this. Hence we did not get the precise timing that is our usual guide to awarding difficulty stars. Got back to putting the blog together several hours later and somewhat tired. Grateful that we did not get more things wrong.
    Thanks setter for an enjoyable solve.

  29. I loved this puzzle , even if I initially had the wrong definition for 6d and tried to make an anagram of Hare/Hounds. Thank you setter and the 2ks. Time to take a lemon drizzle cake out of the oven.

    1. Very enjoyable crossword, just finished it over a cider or three 🍻 Nice challenge, enjoyed 18d as currently finishing off rewatching all the old Frasier episodes. Also liked 9a and 12a. Some of the fuss was a little harsh I think. Thanks to Twms and Twos

  30. Needed to gallop this morning as I was taking R shoulder for evaluation by a surgeon. They told me at the check in desk not to eat anything which made me think he might be getting on with the surgery straight away. No fears, he plans to be conservative. Today’s offering was a bit pedestrian but nice to be able to get it done. One spelling mistake held me up and I will not tell you because it is too shaming. I do have a degree, a profession and passed my advanced driving test so can read road signs, but just cannot spell. I have read War and Peace and have been in a book club for over 50 years. To quote Molesworth “ Nuff Said”. Thanks to all involved. What ever one’s worries they just float away with a crossword.

        1. Finishing War & Peace is some effort.

          Bravo to both of you. 👏👏

          I thoroughly enjoyed the BBC drama of it.

  31. I’m in the hard work/not that easy camp. I didn’t like 5d but the rest were fine by me with perhaps a hmm for 29a which although technically correct and at the same time wrong as it goes both ways the forked bit, the part you see, is going from the ground up.⚡️Favourite was 6d. Thanks to T and 2 K’s.

  32. Sorry, I didn’t have time to do the crossie yesterday but loved reading the comments this morning, Thanks to Twm and Twos 😉
    I noticed an email popped up from the blog, Has Mr K ironed out the wrinkles? I have signed up to email notifications again and assume that everyone else who wants them will have to click the appropriate box

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.