DT 30444 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30444

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30444

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Hola from Almoradí where autumn is slowly arriving. I had to get my long trousers out last Saturday but yesterday was back to shorts.  Today’s looking like shorts as well!

I think this puzzle must be a Campbell production, because of the two puns in the quickie, but I thought it was definitely at the tricky end of his spectrum.  Perhaps that’s just me having an off day but I did enjoy the tussle.  I’ll be interested to see who agrees and who doesn’t.

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           Don’t eat  quickly (4)
FAST:  A word meaning quickly also means to not eat, as in Lent or Ramadan.

3a           Her co-stars playing in big bands (10)
ORCHESTRAS:  Anagram (playing) of HER CO-STARS.

9a           Feline of course, heard (4)
LYNX:  This cat sounds like (heard) a golf course by the sea.

10a        Go back inside realtor’s abroad, expert on houses? (10)
ASTROLOGER:  GO from the clue is reversed (back) and placed inside an anagram (abroad) of REALTORS to get an expert on houses of the zodiac.

11a        Criminal charge concealed by people in authority responsible for treatment (7)
THERAPY:  A generic term for people in authority around a slang term for a criminal charge.

13a        Greek character working after piles damaged (7)
EPSILON:  A word meaning working or in operation after an anagram (damaged) of PILES.

14a        Comic strip character of little importance (6,5)
MICKEY MOUSE:  The name of a character that has appeared in comic strips and cartoon films has become a term meaning of little importance or shoddy.

18a        Met team‘s brief by small courtyard (6,5)
FLYING SQUAD:  A team from the Metropolitan Police (Met team) is a word for brief, as in a brief visit perhaps, followed by S(mall) and then an abbreviation of another word for a courtyard.

21a        Decent chalet I built (7)
ETHICAL:  Anagram (built) of CHALET I.

22a        What could be alight on sixth of November! (7)
BONFIRE:  Start with a B (sixth of NovemBer) and after it you need a phrase (2,4) meaning alight or burning.

23a        Writer from county town recalled breaking record (4,6)
ANNA SEWELL: The county town of East Sussex is reversed (recalled) and placed in (breaking) a word for a record, literally of events in one year.  Split that lot (4,6) and you get the author of  Black Beauty.

24a        Starts to jump in very energetic dance (4)
JIVE:  First letters (starts to) the next four words.

25a        Very angry missing start of exciting sporting event (10)
RALLYCROSS:  A phrase (6,5) meaning very angry has its E (start of Exiting) removed (missing) and then is put together as one word for a motor sport event.

26a        Enthusiasm shown by some in maze — students (4)
ZEST: A lurker hiding in (some in) the last two words.


1d           Complete issue to be raised when game is over (4,4)
FULL TIME:  The first word of the answer can mean complete and the second is a word meaning to issue but it’s reversed (raised in a down clue).

2d           Condemn feeling that’s heartless (8)
SENTENCE:  A word for feeling or awareness has the central letter I removed (heartless) to leave a word meaning to condemn, to time in prison or a fine perhaps.

4d           Out of practice, dependable opener’s dismissed (5)
RUSTY:  A word meaning dependable without its first letter (opener’s dismoissed).

5d           Pantomime character‘s spotted dog (9)
HARLEQUIN: A pantomime character is also a word used to describe a dog with a light coat and dark patches, a ????? great dane perhaps.

6d           Rep‘s odd sprees inside parlour (11)
SALESPERSON: Anagram (odd) of SPREES inside the sort of parlour where you might get a hairdo.

7d           Splendid English feast (6)
REGALE:  A word for splendid or royal followed by an E(nglish).

8d           Get out of prison early in the year (6)
SPRING:  A slang term meaning to get someone out of prison is also an early part of the year.

12d        Foremost of authors completes extremely praiseworthy novel (1,7,3)
A PERFECT SPY:  Start with an A (foremost of Authors) and after that you need a word meaning completes or polishes and then a PY (extremely PraisworthY).  I fyou split that lot (1,7,3) you get a novel by John le Carré.

15d        Hawthorn, say, is not certain to blossom (9)
MAYFLOWER: Another name for hawthorn or other plants which bloom in spring. If you split it (3,6) you get a phrase which means “might blossom”.

16d        Number holding one aboard tug at sea, one on the run? (8)
FUGITIVE: Insert I (aboard) into an anagram (at sea) of TUG then put that into (holding) a small number.

17d        Supporter of that woman through a depression (8)
ADHERENT: Start with the A from the clue and a depression, there’s one in the rear wing of my car, and insert (through) a word meaning that woman.

19d        Put right about couple (6)
REPAIR:  Two letter for about or regarding and the a couple.

20d        In Munich, an elegant fashion house (6)
CHANEL:  A lurker hiding in (in) Munich an elegant.

22d        Bishop is enclosing doubly large invoices (5)
BILLS:  The letter for bishop in chess notation and the IS from the clue go around (enclosing) two L(arge).

My podium today is 1a, 22a and 12d with 22a on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:     SLOE     +     MOW     +     SHUN     =     SLOW MOTION

Bottom line:     CREW     +     SEE     +     BULL     =     CRUCIBLE

99 comments on “DT 30444
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  1. Took a while to get 5d as I’d convinced myself that the first bit was ‘horse’ as in pantomime horse, but got it right in the end. Will have to see the hint for 23a because can’t see how it works at all. Brilliant clue for 22a, very clever. Hoping the rain holds off for a while as now off for the daily walk, probably to Ambarrow Hill woods to see some wildlife. Many thanks to our setter today.

  2. It’s Monday :good: It’s (probably) Campbell :good: It’s a Pangram :good: **/*****

    Candidates for favourite – 1a, 18a, 15d, and 19d – and the winner is 15d.

    Thanks to Campbell, or whomsoever, and to pommers.

  3. A terrific start to the week and very enjoyable. There were two that I had not heard of. I did not know the dog in 5d nor the novel at 12d but both were gettable from their clues. I didn’t think 22a was that cryptic but what do I know? I remain so amazed at the variety of ways 3a can be clued that I might start making a list. My COTD is the very neat 1a.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun. Thank you, pommels for the hints.

    This is what is left of our Mulberry tree!

    1. Steve, I suspect you read the clue quickly like me and just bunged in the answer. But when you realise that it mentions sixth and not fifth of November then it is wonderfully cryptic

      1. I did see that, GJR but just thought it common knowledge that many could be alight on Nov 6th…….. Duh! Just got it! Brilliant! 🤣🤣

      1. It had to come down, DG because the trunk had a vertical split. I was afraid a gale would bring it down and cause damage. It was rather emotional to see it cut up because I loved it. Anyway, the base of the trunk remains and it should produce shoots. I remember a tree surgeon telling me that Mulberry trees can’t be killed.
        I’ll just have to make sure it doesn’t grow to thirty feet again. 🌳

        1. I wonder if that fact inspired the name of the wartime Mulberry harbours… Embedded in DT crossword history of course. But several are still extant after all these years, very much un-killed!

  4. Very enjoyable indeed
    I liked several including 10 (though I clocked it immediately)19&22a plus 12&
    15d but I’ll give top spot to 11a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  5. Top drawer fare from the Monday maestro. What a consistently high standard of guzzle he churns out. Like Pommers I suspected it was a tad trickier than usual but was happily on wavelength for a brisk completion. The pantomime character required some post solve investigation & I’d quite forgotten that L***s was the county town of East Sussex until twigging the wordplay. Ticks aplenty – 10,14,18,23&25a + 12d particular likes. 25a just edges 12d for top spot for me.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers

  6. A very enjoyable puzzle with smooth surfaces throughout – thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    I didn’t know that 5d was a small spotted dog and needed the BRB to check that.
    My ticks went to 23a, 25a and 12d with my runaway favourite being 22a.

        1. My friends have 2 smashing pedigree Border pups who they’ve called Harley & Quin which is the only reason I knew of the spotted dog meaning – not that they’re spotty obviously

      1. Google shows pictures of Great Danes when you search for 5d dogs but Chambers says it is a breed of small spotted dogs.

  7. Wow that was quite a challenge to kick off the week – help if following days are to become gradually tougher! The ‘of’ in 9a doesn’t really fit. Always forget 10a houses and 5d dog new one on me. Wrong last word for 12d hindered 23a solution – as a Sussex resident I should have known better. Have never known whether one must await 16d being out or the end of the month before casting a clout! Simple 1a is clever. Thank you Campbell for your unusually demanding exercise and to pommers for reassuringly being there in case of need.

    1. I agree on the conundrum of when to ‘cast a clout’. And, with the fickleness of the weather these days, can the Hawthorn blossoming be considered reliable :wink:

      1. I remember buying lacy ones from M&S when I lived there to keep me warm in winter. Even they didn’t work, I was never warm from November through April.

        1. No such thing as a lace trimmed Liberty Bodice Merusa. You must be thinking of Spencers or fancy vests. LB’s were strictly utilitarian!

  8. Great puzzle to distract me from looming dental appointment!
    Favourite 25a and 15d ( which must be a hardy perennial?).
    Thanks to compiler and team here.

  9. What a fantastic start to the week with this Campbell pangram. I did not know the novel at 12d, but it was very fairly clued, The geographical knowledge required within 23a seemed a little obscure (to someone from the north!) though the answer was obvious, so I needéd parsing help there. So many good clues today that I’ll have to dispense with the podium and use the full stage. 1a, first one in, set the scene closely followed by the ubiquitous 3a, with another unique clueing. 22a was very clever and I liked the lego type 16d and 17d. All in all a very enjoyable way to spend time on a wet and windy morning. ( Well, it’s half term – what else would you expect?) Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

    1. Love the phrase half term, brings back memories of great anticipation of being let out of “prison” for a couple of days! Here they call it “break”, spring break and so on.

  10. A very enjoyable start to the week: a pangram with some nice GK thrown in for good measure.

    I’ve never heard of the novel but perfectly within reach and I knew Black beauty’s creator. Even though I never watched the programme, the Lloyds horse music is a classic TV moment. The canine term in 5d was also a new one for me,

    I love the 14a expression to describe something that’s small time, very much like the cricket term ‘village’ for something’s that rubbish like calling a batsman or batswoman ‘batter’.

    All in all, a goodie, with my podium being 1a, 25a and 22a.

    Many thanks to Pommers and Campbell.


  11. Like Pommers, I found this guzzle pretty tough, almost as tough as last Friday’s. I’d never heard of the dog for 5d, the book at2d or the ‘sport’ at 25a. I did like some of the lego clues, notably 4d, 16d and 23a (the latter reminding me of hours spent reading and crying over Black Beauty as a little girl. Thanks to the compiler and to Pommers for the hints

  12. 1.5*/4*. I thought this pangram was light and good fun to start the week with 1a my favourite.

    I didn’t know the spotted dog and, it’s probably just me, but I can’t make any sense at all out of the surface for 10a.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. Hi RD

      I think 10a is saying that you should go back inside the realtor’s overseas property. Not the smoothest of surfaces, admittedly.

        1. Maybe it’s better without the apostrophe. Then the surface makes more sense, although it does make that part plural when the solution is not.

  13. I was so pleased to be able to complete this today. After yesterday’s debacle at Old Trafford I needed something to cheer me up. 10a held me up for a while, my favourite was 18a. I was also happy when 1d arrived yesterday. Many thanks to hot hinter and setter.

  14. Enjoyable start to the week. 5d was a new definition to me and both literary references were constructions that required checking. 22a was my favourite with an homourable mention to 18a.

    Thanks to pommers and today’s setter.

  15. Nicely challenging for a Monday with the early spot of a potential pangram speeding up the solving process. 1 and 22a were my co-favourites. All good fun.

    My thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  16. It is a Campbell again today – for reasons I can’t go into, the “alternate Monday” slot with him has been changed; and you’ll be seeing me on occasional Saturdays for the foreseeable future… ‘Bye for now….

    1. Sorry we won’t be encountering you on Mondays for now, X-Type, and thank you for those we’ve had thus far. At least we’ll be able to enjoy your challenges on the occasional Saturday!

  17. A gentle beginning to the crosswording week, I thought. A nice variety of clues, plenty of wit, good surface reads. Equines left entirely at their ease throughout. Most enjoyable. Hon mentions to 18a, 24a (great video, Pommers!) and COTD 22d.

    1 / 3

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  18. Fun Monday solve even though I did need all the checkers in place to nail the 12d novel, not one that I’ve ever had the inclination to read. Top three for me were 22&25a plus 15d with a nod to the Met’s finest.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers as he gives his shorts their few remaining outings of the year.

  19. I give up trying to figure out if it is a Campbell or another setter thrown into the mix for this puzzle. Doesn’t really matter as this one was a breeze and a pangram as well to enjoy, but it did seem very Campbellish to me.
    No difficulties at all … whipped right through this. R&W pretty much.

    1*/5* for me

    Favourites abound but I choose 1a, 13a, 18a, 22a, 23a & 4d — with winner 13a

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for hints/blog

  20. A jolly guzzle; rather challenging in places. I tend to read biographies and diaries rather than novels so 12d was unknown to me.
    Current exception – having read every diary, biography, and ‘letters of’ Evelyn Waugh, I am now re-reading Brideshead Revisited – such a joy. Waugh was an outstanding writer.

    How I loved Spotty Dog in the Woodentops. I wanted to be part of their family, so very much, but the adoption people gave me short shrift.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers in the Vega Baja del Segura.

    1. I agree about Brideshead Revisited, a great read, read it three times over the years. I loved the BBC series as well.

    2. I couldn’t agree with you more, Terence, about Evelyn Waugh. An added bonus is that his first name is pronounced properly using two syllables (i.e.: Eve-lyn) and not using the awful Ever-lyn, which appears to have been inherited from Australia and predominates over here now.

    3. Made me think of Robert – I think we all re-read it for the umpteenth time at the same time following a blog chat. Still think the Sturridge adaptation as good a drama series there’s ever been

  21. Was it just me that thought 22 across was an “all in one” simply referring to the smoulding embers from the fifth’s festivities? Thanks to Pommers for putting me right.

    1. No you’re not alone Big Eck – I had just bunged in without really parsing so hadn’t even looked at pommers’ hint to 22a.

  22. I do like a pangram, they are fun to spot. Bit tricky to start then most fell nicely into place. My favs were 15d, 9a and 14a. I also like 22a when I saw the hint, I thought at first surely that should read 5th not 6th but the clue was perfect.
    Not familiar with 7d as a feast but the BRB put me right.
    Thx to all
    PS still smarting from yesterday’s 7d, still think it’s the daftest clue ever but glad others liked it

  23. Great crossword today so many thanks to Campbell. The author was easily guessed from the checkers though the parsing was reliant on Pommers helpful hints for which many thanks.

    15d my favourite from an extensive list of possibilities.

  24. Pretty straightforward for the most part with a couple of head scratchers in the NE. We did complete yesterday’s but didn’t have time to post, not even looked at Saturdays yet. Anyway back to today. Favourite was 23a. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  25. I think it has all been said. Most enjoyable, as is the lovely sunshine. I didn’t realise that the difference between a golf course and golf links was that the latter is by the sea. Another bit of useless information to stuff into my cranial filing cabinet. We are both busy preparing for the big church fundraiser on Saturday. I told the PCC a couple of years ago that I thought Church Bazaar sounded old fashioned and fuddy-duddy . So they have renamed it a Christmas Fayre!!! I ask you. Many thanks to the Pangram setter and to shorts- sporting Pommers. Oh, and I too marvelled at yet another manifestation of 3a!

  26. I did enjoy this pangram, lots of good stuff. I hadn’t heard of 25a, used word search for that. We’ve had “house” before for 10a so I wasn’t misled. I’ve read 12d, I went through a John Le Carre period, somehow not sure I’d enjoy them so much now. For cleverness I choose 22a, isn’t that clever? But my fave has to be 23a, memories of a much read, dog-eared copy of my youth and wracking sobs as I enjoyed every word!
    Thanks for the memories Campbell, and pommers for some enlightenment; I couldn’t parse 23a even though my fave!

  27. Enjoyed this guzzle, glad to manage to finish one again. Had a bad run over last week and just could not get he brain in gear. Favourite 22a.

  28. Phew, and a Monday too – I thought they were meant to be reasonably straightforward at the beginning of the week.
    Dalmatian dogs have spots, don’t they – etc.
    The last word of 12d beginning with ‘S’ was bound to be ‘Sea’ except it wasn’t.
    And it carried on – I think I’d told you all that I couldn’t do Monday crosswords.
    Pigs and ears spring to mind but thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints.
    I’m retiring hurt . . .

      1. DG, I think you may be referring to Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”, which includes the line, “What I tell you three times is true”.

  29. Like some others the dog got me (as did the novel) but a very enjoyable puzzle nonetheless. Thank you Campbell and Pommers

  30. A puzzle of two halves for me, half I could do right away, and half I couldn’t. Almost felt like it was written by two people. Didn’t know the 25a term, nor 5d for a dog. Definitely a head scratcher in places today. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers, and to the ladies for the nostalgic reference to liberty bodices 😊.

  31. Finally finished after a busy day, not the most straightforward but good fun. 18a was my favourite, I did not know the dog or the novel but I got them from the checkers.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the hints

  32. Not been around this afternoon as I spent it at the Vega Baja hospital A & E dept! Pommette tripped and took a tumble at lunchtime, the result of which was a dislocated shoulder and broken arm. At least the hospital managed to put the shoulder back together and she’s now back home in bed complaining about the pain.
    And that was before she’d had a drink!.

    1. Sounds awful, best wishes to you both. I hope a medicinal drink is allowed and the arm heals quickly 🤞

      Thanks for blog and hints, not an easy Monday today!

    2. Oh pommers, how awful for poor pommette! Wishing her a speedy recovery, I hope they’re giving her some pain killers. Give her our love.

    3. I am so sorry to hear about pommette’s misfortune, pommers. I sincerely hope she improves rapidly and the pain diminishes.

    4. Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear that. We all wish her a speedy recovery- but does this mean you will be on full duty in the kitchen for the next few weeks?😟

  33. I enjoyed that fine monday offering, I missed the subtleties of the 6th of Nov too Thanks to pommers and Campbell and comisserations to pomette,so soon after Kath’s grandson too In the immortal wirds of NYPD Blue – Be careful out there… Especially as the whitestuff is falling in Canada it won’t be long before it gets here

  34. Good evening
    I’m back at work, and so I’m late checking in today. Although earlier, I thought – well, it’s Monday, so it shouldn’t be that difficult…
    So…first of all, I should reprimand myself for thinking Monday = easy. Secondly, if I am going to mark the boundary between words, I should do it at the correct place. Marking 23a at 6,4 instead of 4,6 caused me no end of problems. Thirdly, if I become fixated on something, I’m almost certainly wrong. I had WELLS as the town in 23a, and HORSE _ _ _ _ at 5d.
    So nearly a DNF as well, with the last to fall, 11a, going in literally 10 minutes ago.
    Thank you to Campbell and Pommers.

  35. Well I had a DNF today. Couldn’t parse the novel nor remember the author, did spot the pangram but so demoralising to see a fellow blogger only giving 1.5* for difficulty. Ah well, another bash tomorrow…

  36. Boo hoo.
    Beaten by Harlequin
    Wouldn’t say he was a pantomime character.
    Still, there we are.
    Otherwise a neat and tidy mental exercise
    Thanks Campbell and pommers.

    1. It’s a puzzle where all the letters of the alphabet appear at least once. There was a toughie a while back (I forget who set it) when all the letters of the alphabet appeared at least four times – that was quite an achievement and I remember it as a good crossword too.

      1. MPP 74 and NTSPP 673 both by Phibs were excellent Quad Pangrams I’d post links but it thinks I am spamming, search for them with the search box up there

  37. 4*/4* …
    liked 22A “What could be alight on sixth of November! (7)” … although I needed the hint to appreciate it.

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