DT 30440 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30440

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30440

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
We’ve been away in Wellington for a few days for a family gathering but are home again now and back into our regular crossword routine. A relatively gentle solve for us with smiles all the way through.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     What farm birds eat is peanuts (11)
CHICKENFEED : A double definition, peanuts here is used metaphorically.

7a     Dotty way of reading books, it’s felt? (7)
BRAILLE : A cryptic definition for a script designed for use by the sight-impaired.

8a     This could be used to make fools chatter on stage (7)
RHUBARB : A double definition. The fools here are desserts.

10a      Divided Conservative and Labour? (5)
CLEFT : The single letter abbreviation for Conservative and the end of the political spectrum represented by Labour.

11a     E.g. Scouse or Glaswegian in charge of philosophical debates (9)
DIALECTIC : What Scouse and Glaswegian are examples of and then the two letters for ‘in charge’.

12a     Harassed husband hurt after wife disappears (7)
HOUNDED : A synonym for hurt has its W(ife) removed and this follows H(usband).

14a     Wrap up in Sweden’s capital, and walk unsteadily (7)
SWADDLE : The first letter of Sweden and then walk unsteadily like a duck.

15a     Detective’s amongst fans, those appearing without kit (7)
NUDISTS : Fans or enthusiasts surround Detective Inspector’s.

18a     Disheartened Ant or Dec changing style (3,4)
ART DECO : An anagram (changing) of A(n)T OR DEC with the central letter of Ant removed.

20a     Running away from work wearing silver or gold, say (9)
ELOPEMENT : The short way of referring to an artistic work is enclosed by what silver, gold or any other member of the Periodic Table, is an example of.

21a     Tesco operatives packaging what’s put in ice cream (5)
SCOOP : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

22a     Ale is repeatedly drunk in predominantly Polish region (7)
SILESIA : An anagram (drunk) of ALE IS IS.

23a     Admire Rashford’s header playing United (7)
MARRIED : An anagram (playing) of ADMIRE plus the first letter of Rashford.

24a     Board game piece in drawer (11)
DRAUGHTSMAN : A board game and then another way of referring to one of the playing pieces.


1d     Sight in Versailles — cat on water there (7)
CHATEAU : String together the French words for cat and for water.

2d     One allowed to catch finale of Jonathan Creek (5)
INLET : The Roman numeral one and allowed or permitted contain the last letter of Jonathan.

3d     Dad struggling with knee, which is massaged (7)
KNEADED : An anagram (struggling) of DAD and KNEE.

4d     Standard answer for who ruled Britain in AD 1100? (7)
NORMANS : A word for standard or average and the three letter abbreviation for answer.

5d     Joyful, old and superior member of an insect colony? (9)
EXUBERANT : A prefix meaning old or former, then a word borrowed from German for superior plus a member of an insect colony.

6d     Doctor article newspaper journalist sketched out (7)
DRAFTED : The title for a doctor, then the indefinite article, the ‘pink’ newspaper and a senior journalist.

7d     People who finance banks give bribes (4-7)
BACK-HANDERS : A term for people who give financial assistance includes (banks) give or present.

9d     German composer turned up a piano part with D flat (8,3)
BACHELOR PAD : Start with the German composer, then the reversal of ‘A’ from the clue, P(iano) and a part in a film or play, and finally, ‘D’ from the clue.

13d     Complaint of diner having, say, sipped rum (9)
DYSPEPSIA : An anagram (rum) of SAY SIPPED.

16d     Adult leaving El Dorado loaded showed great pleasure (7)
DROOLED : An anagram (loaded) of EL DOR(a)DO with its A(dult) removed.

17d     That lady gets together with a big noise for affair (7)
SHEBANG : A personal pronoun for ‘that lady’ and an onomatopoeic big noise.

18d     Try case of assault, arresting tense worker (7)
ATTEMPT : The first and last letters of assault surround T(ense) and a ‘fill in’ worker.

19d     Feeling of ecstasy going? (7)
EMOTION : The abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy and then going or movement.

21d     Unruly mob‘s problem accepting new monarch (5)
SCRUM : An arithmetical problem contains our king’s regnal cypher.

1d set the tone of this puzzle for us so gets our vote for favourite.

Quickie pun    auntie    +    pass    +    toe    =    antipasto


76 comments on “DT 30440
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  1. Very enjoyable! Imaginatively clued throughout with not a little humour making for an enjoyable and light puzzle. I liked the real life references in several clues and I smiled at 12,18,20&23a plus 5&13d with top spot going to the cleverly constructed 7d. Great stuff.
    Thanks to the setter (Twmbarlwm I wonder?) and the Ks.

  2. The 2K’s have the rating bang on although I was nearly at a ***** for fun. Best of the brilliant clues were 1a, 11a, 1d, 2d, 4d and 9d and the last one just pipped the others for me. The 6 anagrams helped. Can’t wait to find out who the setter is: others will know. Thanks to our hinters.

  3. 2*/5*. A light but truly excellent puzzle with smooth surfaces, accurate clueing, and plenty of smiles along the way.

    My podium selection is 24a, 1d & 21d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  4. I agree with the 2K’s assessment – relatively gentle today with a good few smiles. Managed to progress reasonably smoothly in an anti-clock direction around the grid. Fave was 1d. LOI was 5d. Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks for the hints.

  5. A top-notch puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed – thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    From an abundance of ticks I’ll pick out 2d, 4d, 7d and 21d for special mention.

  6. I didn’t find myself on rhe compiler’s wavelength straightaway and had to guess some answers and reverse engineer the parsing once I had some checkers in, things moved more quickly. I like 1a, a good cryptic definition, 5d was a good lego clue and 13d a nice anagram but my favourite clue was 9a, which made me laugh. Thanks to the kiwis for the hints, which I needed to parse 7d, I could see part of it but bunged it in anyway. Thanks also to the compiler for some original clues an a few good laughs.

  7. Very light, an enjoyable solve. Good surfaces, plenty of amusment. Particularly pleased to see AD and not CE, atheist though I am. Hon Mentions to 6d, 9d & 24a.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter & 2Ks

  8. Not quite as light as others seem to have found it; bordering on a head scratcher but very enjoyable – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 14a, 20a, 4d, 6d, and 9d, there could have been more – and the winner is 10a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  9. Splendid.

    Many nicely-constructed, concise clues that should be in reach of most solvers. I had heard of 22a but didn’t have a Scooby where it was and 11a was my LOI.

    Winners of the spoils are 10a, 7d (the parsing defeated me) and 18a.

    Merci beaucoup à Le Touquet and, I’m guessing, Tumbleweed.


  10. Certainly a cracking puzzle, difficult to choose a favourite so 1a1d7a and 9d will have to do.
    Took a while to parse 21a-thanks to 2K,s for the regnal cypher and the superior german in 9d.
    Going for a ***/*****

  11. A terrific guzzle with a big tick against almost every clue & certainly not a dud in there – the full ***** for enjoyment in my book. 11a was my last entry in a brisk solve – easily gettable from the wordplay but had I seen the word written down & been asked to define it I’d have struggled as it didn’t mean what I thought it related to. If pushed to pick a fav it’d be 5d for the image of the old ant declaring I’m the boss to the rest of the colony. Thought all 4 peripheral long ‘uns excellent & really liked the quick reappearance of that fool.
    Thanks to the setter (my 5 bob is on Robyn) who I hope pops in to acknowledge the plaudits & to the 2Ks for their usual excellent review.
    Ps the Quickie pun doesn’t work for me because I pronounce my ma’s sister as a phonetic extension of aunt but having just looked at a You Tube clip apparently that’s wrong. At 12a I’d also reckon the 4th letter could be R for a valid alternative.

    1. Re your PS, you aren’t alone. Apparently the formic pronunciation is the American one – though a couple of states apparently say it properly. I’m trying to remember what our American niece calls my wife and my sis in law, but I think I’ve only seen it in writing.

  12. Quite enjoyed this one but can’t say that I’m as ecstatic about it as others seem to be.
    Podium places going to 8&10a plus 4&7d.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review – hope you had a good time at the family gathering.

  13. Completed at a comfortable trot with several smiles along the way. My favorite is the very clever 21D, with 1A and 15A following along behind. Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter, whoever that might be.

  14. What a lovely breakfast guzzle! Liked 11a bringing back memories of student debates about Marx’s materialism. I also happen to live next door to the ‘cattery’ referred to in 1d, but I don’t suppose circumflexes exist in Xwordland.
    Had fun with 3d, which I wrote in before realising it was an anagram, made harder by spelling it initially with a double e! My last in was 7d, or rather the last to parse as the answer was increasingly obvious, but all of a sudden I had the gift of a penny drop handed to me. V many thanks to the setter and to the Kiwi pair.

  15. Completed in two halves, first half in the wee small as sleep was elusive the rest came to mind quickly as I had fallen asleep musing the rest, 1a the pick if the bunch for me but really not a dud amongst them

  16. Easiest one of the week so far, simply flew through until the last one (23a). Had all the letters as it was fairly obvious, and decided it was ‘mermaid’, yes I know, but I’d now convinced myself. I even googled ‘mermaid united’ to see what the connection was! Got it right in the finish though, and couldn’t believe my own stupidity, oh well… on to tomorrow….

  17. SJB – I too turn to crosswords and other word games to overcome insomnia but believe it’s probably counterproductive as the mind is stimulated!

    1. If I can’t sleep, I compose crossword clues about things in my bedroom…the clues are usually pretty bad but trying to do it has the desired effect.

    2. My daughter calls it “Brain Train” when the mind refuses to shut up. When I suffer from it I also think up cryptic clues for random words.

  18. An absolute cracker. My favourite since the last time I said I had a favourite, and until the next time I declare a favourite.
    A beautifully constructed crossword in that it tested the punter in places but the answers were there for the determined pencil holder.

    The latter part of October is when both of our cars are due for servicing and MOTs. This year no different to any other in that it is a regular autumnal reminder of how expensive it is to keep cars on the road these days. ‘Trailing arm bushes split and perished’ sounds rather painful and it certainly is going to be to the bank account.

    Thanks to the splendid setter, and the equally delightful TwoKays.

  19. That was great if not 1a for which I came near to using an alternative expression! NE corner required most application. Can’t say I was aware of 11a as a word but it had to be. Joint Favs 1a and 9a. Thank you Mysteron and 2Kiwis.

  20. This is a thank you to all you bloggers
    Who are such a help to this old slogger
    I think I’m called a Lurker
    Or maybe a shirker
    But everyday I read this blog
    And if the crossword is a slog
    I take solace from the bloggers who
    Help me answer a fiendish clue
    I feel I know you all so well
    From Daisy Girl to Stephen L
    And Terence with his lovely list
    And Robert who now is so much missed
    Falcon, 2 Kiwis, Mr K and Cryptic Sue
    From all compass points they do
    Unravel the clues and help us all
    To maybe claim the glitter ball
    A fountain pen would be divine
    But fear it never will be mine

  21. Well, I for one found this Wednesday puzzle quite difficult to get into. Not sure of the setter, but I was not on his/her wavelength at all. Solved this on my Tuesday night as it is hissing down rain outside and my doggie was less than impressed with the walking weather tonight.

    3*/2.5* for me today

    Three words words I have never heard of at all and frankly don’t need in my vocabulary in everyday use. However there were a few … and I stress a few words/clues that I liked.
    Some of the parsing, once again, I had a hard time working out with a few clues I never did click into what it was.
    Much harder than normal Wednesday puzzle IMHO

    Favourites include 7a, 15a, 21a, 24a, 4d & 17d — with winner 17d with 15a a close follow-up

    Thanks to setter & 2K’s

  22. This puzzle proved trickier for me, but nonetheless still enjoyable. LOI 9d and had to resort to the 2Kiwis for assistance – I had ‘Bach’ and ‘pad’ but couldn’t fathom the middle, even though I realised the answer referred to a flat of some sort! This clue pushed me well into 3* time. Favourites (plenty to like) included 1a, 13d, 24a and 9a (even though it defeated me!).
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  23. 3/5. What a cracker. The best midweek puzzle in ages. My favourites were 8a and 9d. Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  24. Virtually impossible to pick one winner from such a fantastic puzzle that was full of great clues, clever, witty and inventive. 9d was, however, so very good that I have to nominate it as my favourite.

    My thanks to our setter for a most enjoyable challenge, and to the 2Ks.

  25. Very clever that was a struggle in parts. Had to admit defeat with 7d and lookup the answer. It was perfectly fair but just could not see it. Enjoyable in parts.
    Thx to all

  26. A rather enjoyable puzzle today, took some thinking in parts, but nothing stretched or requiring deep dives into GK, except for 22a of which I had no knowledge. LI was 11a simply because it’s not a word I use or see very often, but perfectly valid. Joint COTD (sorry Kath) for me were 1a and 7d. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

  27. Good afternoon
    Well, 10/10 for witticisms in today’s clues, and top marks for head-scratchers as well. I’ve marked a couple of clues with “!”; 5d and 9d each have “!!” and take joint COTD for me.
    Thank you to our compiler, and for the invaluable hints, thank you 2Ks.

  28. What a great start to the day. Loved 1d ~ very clever. Lots of great stuff. Did remark to John that it seemed gentle for a Thursday and then he reminded me it was only Wednesday.He is not interested in the Xword. Just as well as he makes me a cup of tea instead. Thanks to all.

  29. Very enjoyable with a couple of quite difficult ones 🤔 ***/*** Favourites 1 & 24across and 1down 😃 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to the Compiler

  30. Very enjoyable. Last one in oddly was 23a. I think I was looking for Admire rather than United. Favourites 7a and 1 9 and 19d

  31. Morning all.
    Good to see that most people felt the same way about this as we did. We always love it when our biggest challenge is which one to single out as favourite when there are so many contenders for top spot.

  32. A good crossword – not quite as straightforward as everyone else found, but that’s my problem.
    We had an ancient great-aunt who read with 7a – a result as measles as a child – the first “warning” that Aunty Mar was coming to stay – fhese huge books arrived in the post!
    I loved 8 and 14a (lovely picture) and 5 and 13d.
    Thanks to whoever set this one and to the K’s for the hints.

  33. I’m late but very happy! Any crossword that I can solve without mushing my brain gets a thumbs up from me. And I gave myself a shiny gold medal for remembering the fool this time. I bunged in 21d, glad to see it’s right, though it could hardly be anything else. Fave was 9d, but 1a also amused.
    Thank you setter for the fun and 2Kiwis for the hints and pics.

  34. A dnf due to 11a. I did not realise that dialect was a synonym of accent. I doubt any normal person has ever said someone has a scouse dialect. If they did, people should throw rocks at them.

    11a is also a new, never to be heard again, word which I shall banish from my memory banks for being awful.

    Anyway, my ignorance did not detract too much from an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to all.

  35. I am with the majority here – I thought the was a cracker. 18a was a neat construction for an old favourite, 24a was very clever,10a,13d and 17d also impressed. I did this whilst tacking together the pieces of a skirt I hope to wear next week. This is for my lady friends – I bought this fabulous, outrageous remnant of Italian cotton – not quite enough to make a skirt so I have done black side panels. Scrumptious. You may regret having taught me how to send a photo!Many thanks to the clever setter and the two K’s.

  36. All completed, great fun and some very entertaining clues. I did not know 22a but guessed it from knowing it was an anagram having the checkers in place. 8d was my favourite once it clicked.

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

  37. Many superb clues the unravelling of which provided much satisfaction and some “hmm” moments- 17d new to me but it fits. 9d my favourite with 20a a close runner up. Great midweek puzzle eventually wrestled to the ground after initially thinking almost impossible so a good confidence booster.

  38. Definitely a tale of two halves for me. The West went in fast and easy, the East slowed me down for no readily apparent reason. All in all an enjoyable ***/****, so thanks to the setter, and to 2Kiwis for the mercifully unneeded hints.

  39. As a long time lurker and an octogenarian I felt I would like to de-lurk and say what a great benefit Big Dave’s Crossword Blog has been to me.
    Today’s crossword is a perfect example of this as I have enjoyed it but not yet managed to complete it. I like to start in the evening (with a small libation) and do as much as I can then leave it until the next day and I am often surprised then that some answers then seem obvious!
    I do sometimes manage to finish the previous day’s puzzle but even then there may be some answers I have worked out but I do not really know why and this is where the Blog is so useful, as getting the correct answer is good but not satisfying until you know why – so thanks to you all for the hard work you do in giving us the background to each clue.
    I think the telegraph puzzle is ideal for me as usually the level of difficulty is just about right for my abilities not too easy and usually (not perhaps on Fridays!) not too too hard.
    So please keep up the good work, I feel I have got to know some of the regular bloggers and your contributions and anecdotes all help to make this such a good site to visit.

    Rant over I hope to make some shorter comments from time to time in the future.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Douglas. Now that you’ve de-lurked we look forward to many more comments from you in the future.

    2. Welcome from us too Douglas.
      It is comments like yours that lifts the task we do every Wednesday from being a chore to an absolute pleasure. Thank you.

    3. Welcome, Douglas and please continue to comment. I love the fact you have “a small libation” and, I suspect, most of us do. I certainly do much to the despair of my consultant!

  40. Late on parade yet again! Still marking dissertations but I sometimes wonder why. One delegate was awarded 64%. He emailed me asking if he had passed. You’re studying for a Masters degree and you don’t know what the pass mark is? 😏

    On to the guzzle. It was wonderful and I enjoyed every bit of it. 7a reminded me of a sign I saw that said “Do not touch”. It was repeated below using 7a!

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  41. After steaming full speed ahead I’m afraid I nodded off, after a couple of stressful days, I awoke and finished it in short order. Good puzzle. Favourite was 24a, my former occupation. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  42. Anybody know who today’s setter was? Some cracking clues in here, really enjoyable puzzle. Top draws 1a 7a 8a 24a 2d. Great stuff.

  43. Another very enjoyable puzzle. The West went in without any problems, but then the East was slowly winkled out bit by bit. Favourites were 5d and 9d.

    Thanks to the setter and the Tokays for the hints.

  44. Just back from Taiwan and feeling a bit foggy-headed, but I did want to say many thanks to the 2Ks for the excellent blog and to everyone commenting. (Looks like the drinks are on Huntsman today!)
    Have a great week, all.

    1. Thanks for popping in Robyn – great puzzle as per. Your visit to Taiwan evidently caused less of stir than that by Nancy Pelosi last year…..

  45. This puzzle was brimming with chuckles. I enjoyed it very much and apologise for such a late comment.
    My fave was also 1d, but I have stars beside 7a, 8a, 10a, 11a, 12a, 20a and 5d, 9d and 21d. The 13d and 16d anagrams made me laugh!
    Many thanks to the setter for a lovely crossword. And appreciation to the 2Kiwis for an excellent review beautifully illustrated.

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