DT Cryptic 30413 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT Cryptic 30413 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30413

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 23rd Sep 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A very friendly and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Chalicea that I highly enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable comment.

I was updated through the net that there are four rivers located in England which go by the name of Derwent, the answer to the clue of 17a. The thirty-five-mile-long River Derwent on Tyne and Wear, the sixty-six-mile-long River Derwent in Derbyshire, the sixty-mile-long River Derwent in Cumbria and the one-hundred-mile long River Derwent in Yorkshire. There is also a river in Tasmania, Australia going by the name of Derwent.

I became inquisitive to know more about hands, the wordplay to the clue of 9d, as the plural of a measure related to horse. I learnt from the net that a hand was an ancient unit of length. It was originally defined as the breadth of the palm including the thumb. In fact, units of various lengths were used by the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews, Greeks, Romans and others. In Biblical exegesis, the hand measurement, as for instance in the Vision of the Temple, Authorised Version Ezekiel 40:43 was usually taken to be palm or handbreath and in modern translations may be rendered as handbreadth or three inches. A statute of King Henry VIII of England in 1540 standardised the hand at exactly four inches or approximately 10.16 cm. It is used today primarily for measuring the height of horses in many English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Republic of Ireland. The horses are measured from the ground to their withers, that is their highest part, lying at the base of the neck above the shoulders. For official measurement, the spinous process of the fifth thoracic vertebra may be identified by palpation, and marked if necessary. The adoption of the international inch in 1959 permitted for a standardised imperial form and a metric conversion.

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1a    Blundered, as writer failed to charm? (10)
MISSPELLED: The definition of a verb in the past tense denoting failed to spell word or words correctly as, say, during the course of writing is cryptically arrived at from MISSED (failed) as failed to perform or attend and TO SPELL (to charm) as to bewitch or charm, that is MISSED TO SPELL or MISSPELLED

6a    Once, you could be seen in courthouse (4)
THOU: Part of or hidden inside (could be seen in) [COUR]THOU[SE] guides to the definition of the liturgical, archaic or dialect form of the nominative of the second person singular pronoun ‘you’

10a    Mark and Mike in very deep sleep (5)
COMMA: M (Mike) as the letter represented by Mike in the NATO phonetic alphabet placed inside (in) COMA (very deep sleep) as a state of prolonged and deep unconsciousness that is similar to a heavy, deep sleep takes to the definition of a punctuation mark [,] that indicates a pause between parts of a sentence or separates items in a list

11a    Disregarded decent leg breaks (9)
NEGLECTED: An anagram (breaks) of DECENT LEG leads to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning ignored, disregarded or took no notice of someone or something

12a    Trendy wife stops performing in choir? (8)
SWINGING: W (wife) as the genealogical abbreviation for wife interrupts or gets inside (stops) SINGING (performing in choir) as making musical sounds with the voice, usually a tune with words either singly or with a partner as a duet or in a group or choir involving many persons, especially in church services to produce the definition of an adjective meaning lively, exciting and fashionable

13a    Part of parasol arrangement influenced by sun (5)
SOLAR: Hiding inside (part of) [PARA]SOL AR[RANGEMENT] guides to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to or influenced or determined by the sun

15a    Late in the day for levelling up? (7)
EVENING: Double definition; the second being a verb in the continuous form denoting making or becoming even, flat or level that leads to the first a noun referring to the period of time at the end of the day and early part of the night

17a    Corbyn perhaps returned, then departed to find banker (7)
DERWENT: RED (Corbyn perhaps) as the colour associated with a radical, a communist, a socialist or anyone having left-wing ideas, an example of such a person being Jeremy Bernard Corbyn, British politician and Leader of the Labour Party from 2015 to 2020 that came from the other end (returned) and followed by (then) WENT (departed) as a verb in the past tense meaning left or departed to find the definition of the name of a river in Yorkshire in the north of England

19a    My boss stops me for dancing in play (7)
FREEDOM: ED (my boss) as the abbreviation for editor who is the boss of the setter of this puzzle interrupts or gets inside (stops) an anagram (dancing) of ME FOR, taking to the definition of a noun meaning play or the removal of constraints or the ease of or space for movement

21a    People in general back cowboy movie (7)
WESTERN: A charade of WE (people in general) as used to refer to people in general, including the writer or the speaker and STERN (back) as the back part of a ship or boat leads to the definition of a film, television, drama or novel about cowboys in western North America, set especially in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

22a    King maybe to feel regret about left and right (5)
RULER: RUE (to feel regret) as to feel remorse or regret of something one has done or allowed to happen placed around (about) L (left) as the abbreviation for left followed by (and) R (right) as the abbreviation for right takes to the definition of a person who rules or governs, for example a king

24a    Finding fault may be very important (8)
CRITICAL: Double adjectival definition; the second referring to having a decisive or crucial importance in the success, failure or existence of something that takes to the first meaning finding fault or judging with severity

27a    Produce I have is serviceable (9)
EFFECTIVE: EFFECT (produce) as to produce or cause something to happen followed by I’VE (I have) as a contraction for ‘I have’ takes to the definition of an adjective meaning able or willing to serve or prepared and available for service, especially military service

28a    Mail for one person who does the cleaning? (5)
DAILY: Double nounal definition; the second referring to a woman who is employed to clean someone else’s house each day that takes to the first a newspaper that is published every day or every day except Sunday, Daily Mail being one such example

29a    Expresses word of agreement on board (4)
SAYS: AY (word of agreement) as an interjection expressing affirmation, agreement or compliance with an order staying inside SS (on board) as in or into an SS, the abbreviation for a steamship, leading to the definition of a verb in the third person singular form meaning expresses or utters words so as to convey information, an opinion, a feeling or intention or an instruction

30a    Taught once more to keep son under control (10)
RESTRAINED: RETRAINED (taught once more) as a verb in the past tense meaning trained again or afresh, especially in order to get a new job to contain (keep) S (son) as the genealogical abbreviation for son, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning subdued or kept under control


1d    Pointers obtained from trio in nursery rhyme? (4)
MICE: Double definition; the second being the plural of a small rodent that typically has a pointed snout, relatively large ears and eyes and a long tail, an example being three of them in the nursery rhyme “Three little mice sat down to spin, Pussy came by and popped her head in …” or “Three blind mice, three blind mice, See how they run, see how they run …” that takes to the first the plural of a small device that a computer user pushes across a desk surface in order to point to a place on a display screen and to select one or more actions to take from that position

2d    Homes were constructed in an unspecified place (9)
SOMEWHERE: An anagram (constructed) of HOMES WERE guides to the definition of an adverb denoting in, at, from or to a place unknown or unspecified

3d    Simple paring tool, we’re told (5)
PLAIN: PLANE (paring tool) as a carpenter’s tool for producing a smooth surface by paring off shavings serving as a homophone heard by the audience (we’re told) takes to the definition of an adjective meaning simple or basic in character

4d    Part of flight and how it ends? (7)
LANDING: Double definition; the second describing the last part of a flight, where a flying aircraft returns to the ground that takes to the first a level area of a staircase forming part of a flight of stairs

5d    Promised good period of time in conclusion (7)
ENGAGED: A combo of G (good) as the abbreviation for good and AGE (period of time) as the length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed placed inside (in) END (conclusion) as a final part of something, especially a period of time, an activity or a story leads to the definition of an adjective meaning promised, especially in marriage or having formally agreed to marry

7d    Place to stay currently in demand with the Spanish (5)
HOTEL: A charade of HOT (currently in demand) as currently sought after or most wanted and (with) EL (the Spanish) as the Spanish for masculine singular definite article ‘the’ guides to the definition of an establishment providing accommodation, meals and other services for travellers and tourists

8d    Comprehend peculiar sudden rant (10)
UNDERSTAND: An anagram (peculiar) of SUDDEN RANT guides to the definition of a verb meaning to grasp with the mind or to comprehend

9d    Ascertains size of hands and feet, for example (8)
MEASURES: Double definition; the first being a verb in the third person singular form meaning ascertains the size, amount or degree of something by using an instrument or device marked in standard units and the second being a noun denoting standard units used to express the size, amount or degree of something, for example hands as the plural of a unit for measuring the height of a horse up to its shoulder, equal to four inches and feet as the plural of a unit of linear measure equal to twelve inches

14d    Actors in theatre turned up with old costumes at last (10)
PERFORMERS: The definition of entertainers who perform dramatic or musical works for an audience that include, inter alias personas, actors is arrived at from REP (theatre) as an informal term for a repertory theatre taken upwards (turned up) as a reversal in the down clue followed by (with) FORMER (old) as past or before in time and the terminal or ending letter (at last) of [COSTUME]S

16d    Rambling about being put in charge (8)
INDIRECT: RE (about) as a commercial jargon used to indicate ‘referring to’, ‘concerning’, ‘on’ or ‘about’ being placed inside (put in) INDICT (charge) as a verb meaning to charge with a crime formally or in writing leads to the definition of an adjective meaning circuitous or rambling or not straight, especially of a route

18d     Happiness over English vicar’s first promotion (9)
ELEVATION: ELATION (happiness) as great happiness and exhilaration placed around (over) a combo of E (English) as the abbreviation for English and the initial or beginning letter (first) of V[ICAR] (vicar’s) guides to the definition of the action or fact of being raised to a higher or more important level, state or position

20d    Church in Spain supports graduate organisation (7)
MACHINE: CH (church) as the abbreviation for church, IN from the clue and E (Spain) as the IVR code for España, the Spanish name for Spain preceded by or coming after (supports) MA (graduate) as the abbreviation for Master of Arts, that is a postgraduate degree takes to the definition of an efficient and well-organised group of powerful people or institutions

21d    Superlatively spotless, this wet ground (7)
WHITEST: An anagram (ground) of THIS WET leads to the definition of an adjective in the superlative degree meaning most spotless, unblemished, innocent or morally or spiritually pure

23d    Very high attic above yard (5)
LOFTY: LOFT (attic) as an attic or upper floor, usually unfurnished, for storage etc is placed upon (above) Y (yard) as the abbreviation for yard in the down clue, arriving at the definition of an adjective denoting very high in position, character, sentiment, manner or diction

25d    Organised aid in eastern country (5)
INDIA: An anagram (organised) of AID IN guides to the definition of the seventh-largest country of the world that is located in Asia and that is traditionally comprising anything belonging to the eastern world in relation to the western world of Europe and the Americas

26d     Got a good look at fish, we hear (4)
EYED: IDE (fish) as a freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae found in larger rivers, ponds and lakes across Northern Europe and Asia serving as a homophone heard by the audience (we hear) guides to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning looked at closely or with interest

The clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 10a, 12a, 17a, 19a, 21a, 1d, 4d, 14d and 16d; 1d being the topper. My prayers to the Almighty for the eternal rest and peace of BD and my thanks to Chalicea for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

3 comments on “DT Cryptic 30413 (full review)
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    1. Thank you once again, MsGlad, for liking my explanations. Incidentally, I did not receive your email in my inbox and am still wondering how it happened.

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