DT 30426 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30426

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30426

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from Almoradí where today we have a public holiday.  It’s “Dia de la Comunitat Valenciana” or Valencia Day which commemorates the liberation of Valencia from Muslim rule back in 1238 and the founding of the Kingdom of Valencia under the Crown of Aragon.

It may be a historic day but this wasn’t a historic crossword.  I toyed with giving it only * for difficulty but a couple of clues held me up for a minute or two.  Otherwise it was pretty straightforward.

As usual my podium three are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Husband even more good-looking (8)
HANDSOME:  H(usband) followed by a phrase (3,4) meaning even more.

5a           Sort of drink that’s good for the soul? (6)
SPIRIT: Cryptic definition.

10a        Cad after wife? Revolver wanted! (5)
WHEEL:  Another word for a cad after a W(ife).

11a        Figure reportedly shattered by approach (9)
RECTANGLE:  Figure as in a geometric shape. It’s four letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced sound like (reportedly) a word meaning shattered or ruined. After that you need a word for an approach or stance.

12a        Striking effect of story involving 100 sent back (5)
ECLAT:  Take a word for a story and put it around (involving) the Roman numeral for 100 and then reverse the lot (sent back).

13a        Henry left auditorium (4)
HALL:  A diminutive of Henry followed by L(eft).

14a        Said of country life, past not present (4)
ORAL:  A word for country life without (not present) the PAST.

16a        Unaided, one passed (6-6)
SINGLE HANDED:  A word for one or solo followed by a word for passed as in given.

21a        First journey, and servant and diplomat get on (6,6)
MAIDEN VOYAGE:  Take a female servant, a diplomat or attache and a word meaning to get on as in get older and split it (6,6) to get a first journey, of a new ship perhaps.

24a        Information about large valley (4)
GLEN:  A slang term for information around an L(arge) gives a valley in Scotland.

25a        Bench in favour of mercy from the start (4)
FORM: A word meaning in favour of, not pro but the other one, followed by M (Mercy from the start).

27a        Somewhat unorthodox previous PM (5)
NORTH:  A chap who was PM from 1770 to 1782 is hiding in (somewhat) the word unorthodox.

29a        Unwise being disrespectful when ringing king (9)
IMPRUDENT:  A word meaning disrespectful or cheeky around (when ringing) an R for Rex or King.

30a        Crazy getting rid of spades — senseless (5)
INANE:  Take the S(pades) out of (getting rid of) a word meaning crazy.

31a        Extremely severe imprisoning paper’s first foreign correspondent? (3,3)
PEN PAL:  A word meaning extremely severe placed around (imprisoning) a P (Paper’s first).  I spent too long thinking extremely severe was cluing the letters SE, d’oh!

32a        Editor upset, tense and hurt, disconnected (8)
DETACHED:  The usual editor is reversed (upset) and followed by a T(ense). Then a word meaning hurt is added.


1d           Big mistake made by that woman caging bird of prey (6)
HOWLER:  A word for “that woman” around (caging) a nocturnal bird of prey.

2d           Require extremely large arrow (6)
NEEDLE:  A word meaning require followed by LE (extremely LargE)

3d           Game played by one Bond girl (9)
SOLITAIRE:  A card game played by one person is also the name of the girl played by Jane Seymour in the Bond film “Live and Let Die”.

4d           Spoil church procession (5)
MARCH:  A word meaning to spoil followed by the abbreviation of church.

6d           Scale drawing of factory incomplete (4)
PLAN:  Another word for a factory without its last letter (incomplete).

7d           Fury surrounding traditional fashion industry (3,5)
RAG TRADE:  A word for fury placed around the abbreviation of traditional.  How many of you remember this sit-com from the early sixties?

8d           Secure floor right away (3)
TIE:  A word for a floor or level without its R (R(ight) away).

9d           Room given by rower close to quay (8)
SCULLERY:  A type of rower using two oars followed by a Y (close to quaY) gives a small room found next to the kitchen where the washing up is done.

15d        Cover round open-air pool (4)
LIDO:  A cover, of a tin can perhaps, followed by the round letter.

17d        Stop  transfer (4,4)
GIVE OVER:  Double definition.

18d        English conductor blowing top in a South American country (9)
ARGENTINA:  An English conductor and composer without his first letter (blowing top) followed  by the IN and A from the clue.  My favourite version of this song . . .

19d        Complacent son, sucker (4)
SMUG:  S(on) followed by another word for a sucker or fool.

20d        Uncertain as to outcome, ordinary writer after extra (4,4)
WIDE OPEN:  Start with O(rdinary) and the a word for a writer or something you write with and put it after an extra in cricket.

22d        Quietly come to deliver a sermon (6)
PREACH:  The letter for quietly in music followed by a word meaning the come to or get to.

23d        Astute women stopping scrap (6)
SHREWD:  W(omen) inserted into (stopping) a word for a scrap or very small piece.

26d        Joint initially twisted in boggy ground (5)
MITRE:  A sort of joint used by carpenters is also the name of a Bishop’s hat.  It’s a T (initially Twisted) inserted into (in) some boggy ground or swamp.

28d        A fanatic over fish (4)
TUNA:  A from the clue and a fanatic are reversed (over).

29d        Mischievous child occupying him perpetually (3)
IMP:  Crosswordland’s favourite mischievous child is hiding in the last two words of the clue (occupying).

Podium today is 3d, 9d and 26d with 9d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:          OWE     +     VERVE     +     YEW     =     OVERVIEW

Middle line:    WELD     +     REST     =     WELL DRESSED

Bottom line:     TEX     +     PANDA     +     SAD     =     ???

I can’t see the bottom line pun at all but I guess someone will enlighten me!

52 comments on “DT 30426
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  1. Another great start to the cruciverbal week with just the right mixture of write-ins and ponderers. I thought 1a was rather clever as was the shattered figure at 11a. As for 14a, either I have it correct or not and I will have to check with pommer’s hints. My COTD is 21a where the servant and diplomat are getting on together.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, pommers for the hints, which I will now read.

    Another lovely, sunny day in The Marches. Octobers are not what they used to be.

  2. Very friendly even for Monday but I enjoyed filling it in.
    I liked 21a plus 17&20d but the winner by a “country” mile the very smart 14a.
    Many thanks X-Type and Pommers.

  3. A great Monday morning puzzle: light but with bite, extra thought being required for a couple. COTD – and an early candidate for COTW – the outstanding 14a.

    1* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  4. I made a slow start in the NE an after a few checkers went in things speeded up. It was a moderately enjoyable guzzle with a bit off clever misdirection and some GK involved. I, like SC, thought rhe 1a lego clue was pretty clever, as was the one at 21a. There were a lot of short 4 or 5 letter clues amobg which was the anagram at 23d and 18d was cleverly misdirected. Many thanks to Pommers for the hints and to the compiler, possibly Campbell this time

  5. Our equine friends were largely unmoved by this one, yet it still managed to be a worthwhile and enjoyable solve. 14a was neat and my favourite.

    My thanks to X-Type and pommers.

  6. 1*/3.5*. A light delight to start the week with 1a, 21a, 31a & 9d my top picks.

    Many thanks to the setter. Is it Campbell with an incomprehensible bottom line pun or X-type with an accidental middle line pun?

    Thanks too to pommers.

  7. Found this was a puzzle of two halves. Completed about 80% swiftly and struggled with some of the remainder. Enjoyable though. 17d my cotd

  8. Completed really quickly today – the only hold up being 14a – so it’s a 4 star for enjoyment! Agree 14a is a brilliant clue but as I had problems solving it, I’ll have to say my COTD is 1a closely followed by 21a. 31a brought back memories of having numerous pen pals when I was young – anyone else remember those days? The excitement of a letter from faraway places landing on the front door mat! Nowadays everything is instant …. Anyway, many thanks to Pommers, and Campbell(?) for an excellent mental workout!

    1. Oh, do I ever remember the pen-pal days. The fun receiving the letters, I had one in England and another in Australia!

      1. Mrs. C has been writing to two pen friends for almost forty years. One is in Czechoslovakia and the other in Estonia. She sends hand written letters. Mrs. C does not do email! 😎

  9. I’m thinking that this is not a Campbell, hence the lack of a bottom pun in the Quickie, though the setter has tried to mislead us by providing a middle pun. My memory is not good enough to remember who set the Monday puzzle last week, but this doesn’t feel like Campbell. Happy to be proved wrong!
    For me, the puzzle was very friendly with no hold-ups today. I did like 1a, which went straight in, always a good start, and the cleverly clued 21a, though my favourite was 14a for the misleading surface read. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

    1. Bottom pun is ‘chest expander’ (ignore the word at 29a, ‘SAD’) and bring the word at 26a ‘CHESS’ into play.

      1. Well done, Shropshirebloke. Just because we’ve coined the phrase ‘bottom line pun’ it doesn’t follow that our setter agrees with us!

  10. I can always judge how hard a puzzle’s been by the amount of scribbling on the piece of A4 either side of the grid, and today there’s absolutely none, zip, nada.
    very enjoyable nonetheless, many thanks to our compiler today for an easy ride to start the week off.
    favourite was 3d by a nose.

  11. Monday it is and a typical puzzle to start the week
    Liked the word play of 14a-initially thought that rural had something to do with it until te penny dropped, favourite was 18d, remembered the conductor
    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell, a */**** for me

  12. A nice gentle start to the puzzle week, with only 31A involving a bit of head scratching. My podium spots easily go to 11A and 14A. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter.

  13. A great Monday puzzle, last in was 14a. 1a went straight in which is always a good start. I thought 11a was very neat and is my favourite. Thanks to all

  14. Always enjoy a bit of humour in a puzzle so 1a got me off to a good start. Other ticks went to 11,14& the amusing 25a plus 9d.
    Thanks to our setter (Campbell?) for a joyful start to the crosswording week and to pommers for the review although I think you’re on a hiding to nothing with a bottom line pun!

  15. A very gentle start to the week – thanks to the setter and pommers.
    I can’t make head nor tail of the bottom Quickie ‘pun’ so I’m guessing it’s not Campbell.
    I’ve chosen 1a, 14a and 21a for my podium.

  16. I really enjoyed this guzzle….definitely on wavelength today.
    LHS went in faster than RHS and 14a, which I think is a great clue, was my last one in.
    Favourites were 1a 14a and 21a.
    Great start to the week.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

    At last it has stopped raining here and the temperature has soared to 15C!

  17. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell or is it X-Type :good: – 1.5*/4*

    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 30a, 1d, 19d, and 23d – and the winner is 11a.

    Thanks to whichever of the Monday duo it is, or is it someone else, and thanks to pommers.

  18. I didn’t have any pause so a */*** which is fair enough for a Monday. I hadn’t heard of our ex PM but the direction (no pun intended) was clear. Good coffee time fare. Thanks pommers and the setter.

  19. Back from the Nuffield Hospital in time for lunch which outlasted the puzzle.
    A welcome diversion though. Favourite 11a.
    Thanks to compiler and others.

  20. It feels like a while since I managed to finish a crossword “all my own self” as our younger lamb called it when she was very little.
    The last few took me some time but it doesn’t matter.
    26d was the last – oh, that kind of joint and that kind of boggy ground! :roll:
    I tried to make 9d ‘gallery’ until I counted it again and realised it wasn’t long enough.
    I liked 12 and 16a and 1 and 26d. My favourite was 11a,
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints.

  21. Loads of fun, just what Monday should be. All my own work except for 3d, I have no idea why I had a blank, never knew the Bond girl but should have got the game. I needed ehelp for that one. I remembered the PM, probably upper fifth history, but I can’t tell you what I had for breakfast. It’s hard to choose a fave, 1a and 17d stood out for me, but fave is 21a.
    Thanks Campbell for the fun and pommers for his hints and pics.

  22. Well if my calculations are correct, this should be a Campbell puzzle today … unless there is another one in the mix for Monday’s as well.
    Anyway, relatively straightforward solve today.

    2*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 16a, 21a, 1d, 9d & 17d — with winner 9d as it is a word not often heard these days.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  23. We like, especially the grid, which is a hoot! Very nicely clued with nothing to niggle the nags.

    Even though I’ve seen the word for bench two or three times, it’s still not lodged in the memory bank.

    My podium is 16a, 1d and 1a as I love the expression for ‘and more’. It reminds me of ‘I should coco!’ or is it Cocoa? Hmm, either way, it’s truly brilliant.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.


    1. My Dad used to say, ‘I should coco’ (or cocoa – or whatever) – I should probably have asked him what it meant, but never did!

  24. Thought the guzzle Campbellesque but didn’t twig either the middle or bottom pun so then assumed it wasn’t. Either way it was over in nigh on record time so must have been as gentle as they come or I was just happily on wavelength from the off. 14a was very clever but 1a my clear fav.
    Thanks to the setter & Pommers

  25. Lovely sunny day, lovely Monday puzzle 😃 **/*** Favourites 14a, 1d and 28d. Thanks to Pommers and to the Compiler 🤗 Off to have a quick scan through the comments to find the answer to the bottom phrase in the “Quickie” 🤔

  26. I have to confess to disliking this almost all the way through until I finally got on wavelength and realised how clever the cluing was, so I changed my mind. Favourite was 21a amongst a number of contenders. Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  27. Good evening
    Last time I attempted a crozzie was on Thursday; three busy days just flew by without the time to devote to cruciverbalism, which is a shame. However, good to get back into the rhythm of it all with today’s. All done, with a few head-scratching moments. Thanks to our compiler and to Pommers.

  28. Was pleased to find this to be a mild exercise as I only managed to get a look late this evening due to day spent with engineer seeking to locate concealed internal pipework leak which was thankfully eventually located by engineer using tracer gas (new one on me). Anyway I enjoyed an undemanding way to relax and forget water problems starting with 1a which became Fav. Thank you Mysteron and pommers.

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