DT 30456 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 30456

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30456

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Greetings from Ottawa where, after a brief taste of winter, temperatures are expected to climb to a bit above historical averages.

I found today’s puzzle quite a bit more difficult than we are accustomed to on Monday. I’ll be interested to see if others share that opinion.

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, FODDER is capitalized, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


9a   Sea creature — sound of body following rear of dhow (5)
WHALE — sound of body or healthy follows the final letter of (rear of) DHOW; one might title the following image Close Encounter of the Scary Kind

10a   Cooking ingredient for cauldron a daughter omitted, sadly (9)
CORNFLOUR — an anagram (sadly) of FOR CAULDRON with the A and D(aughter) removed (omitted)

11a   Writer, Gunter, not half impressing international publisher (7)
PENGUIN — a writing implement and GUNTER with half removed (not half) containing (impressing as in taking into service by coercion) I(nternational)

12a   I perform wearing jaunty gemstone (7)
PERIDOT — I from the clue and perform or execute contained in (wearing) jaunty or saucy

13a   Like a small iced cake (5)
FANCY — double definition, the second being Scottish per the BRB

14a   Grumpy note, last of many (9)
CROTCHETY — a musical note (or at least a quarter of one) and the final letter of (last of) MANY

16a   Focus on party that provides temporary refuge (9,6)
RECEPTION CENTRE — focus or object drawing attention follows (on in an across clue) a party or social event

19a   Find out cheat exploited grief (9)
HEARTACHE — find out through aural means and an anagram (exploited) of CHEAT

21a   Sly type heading off for stand (5)
EASEL — a furry creature noted for its slyness with its initial letter removed (heading off)

23a   Suggested Independent politician was economical with the truth? (7)
IMPLIED — a charade of I(ndependent), the usual politician, and what could euphemistically be expressed as ‘was economical with the truth’

25a   Robot in Dr No novel brought in to help (7)
ANDROID — an anagram (novel) of DR NO contained in (brought in to) another word for help; thank you to David K for bringing the error in this hint to my attention

27a   Deceives gangsters storing whiskey in heart of speakeasy (9)
HOODWINKS — some gangsters encircling (storing) all of the following: the letter represented by whiskey in the phonetic alphabet, IN from the clue, and the chess or playing card symbol for king the middle letter of (heart of) of SPEAKEASY; thanks to Mikeyc for alerting me to the error in the hint

28a   Staff not working properly in Perth? (5)
CROOK — Australian (and New Zealand) slang (in Perth) for ‘not working properly’


1d   Exchange those captured in conflict to the north (4)
SWOP — a reversal (to the north in a down clue) of an acronym denoting soldiers captured in batttle (note that a plural is needed)

2d   Sounds like standard shot at billiards? (6)
CANNONsounds like a standard or general rule, as of judgment, morals, etc

3d   Eccentric buys teapot in Dedham Vale for one (6,4)
BEAUTY SPOT — an anagram (eccentric) of the next two words in the clue

4d   Very famous section of Rubicon I crossed (6)
ICONIC — a lurker concealed in (section of) the final three words in the clue

5d   Spot feathers in sink (4,4)
DROP DOWN — a spot or small quantity of liquid and some soft feathers

6d   A service set up miles away (4)
AFAR — A from the clue and a reversal (up in a down clue) of the junior military service

7d   Loss of confidence arising from earlier charge in court (4,4)
COLD FEET — earlier or former and a monetary charge inside the abbreviation for court found on street signs

8d   Fairly easily, more or less (6,4)
PRETTY WELL — fairly or quite and easily (as in ‘easily able to perform the task’)

13d   Outspoken in support of the short orderly (10)
FORTHRIGHT — link together in support of or backing, THE with the final letter removed (short), and in the correct order

15d   Clubs bar Richard, a smartypants (6,4)
CLEVER DICK — the playing card symbol for clubs, a pivoting bar, and a pet name for Richard

17d   Excellent winner (8)
CHAMPION — a double definition, one an adjective and the other a noun …

18d   Experience confrontation (8)
INCIDENT — … and another one, this time both being nouns (although the second is really merely a special case of the first)

20d   European failing to pass (6)
ELAPSE — the single letter for European and a moral failing

22d   Absolutely right boy collecting trophy (4-2)
SPOT ON — a male child enveloping (collecting) an informal name for a trophy

24d   English county and a Midwest US state (4)
IOWA — an abbreviated offshore English county and A from the clue

26d   Nobleman expected to receive king (4)
DUKE — expected or awaited encapsulating (to receive) the playing card or chess symbol for king

My clue of the day award goes to the gangsters involved in illicit liquor sales at 27a.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): ALTER + PEACE = ALTARPIECE

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : TRUSS + TEASE = TRUSTEES

107 comments on “DT 30456
Leave your own comment 

  1. Had not heard of a 12a before, but couldn’t be much else. Can’t see why 2d works but knew the shot as I play snooker every week, so will see the hints. Favourites today were 27a and 28a.

      1. I confess I used the cheat button several times
        5 or 6 I couldn’t parse even when I had the answer. Thank you for the hints above, very helpful
        Much trickier than usual in my opinion, at one point I wondered if I was playing the toughie!

  2. Lovely start to the week that pleasingly tricky in places, and highly enjoyable. I liked the surface in 27a, but my favourite was 23a.

    Thanks, presumably to Campbell, and to Falcon.

  3. I enjoyed this and didn’t find it as difficult as our reviewer seems to have done but for me it had a slightly dated air about it.
    My top clues are 27a plus 13&24d with 7d taking top spot.
    Many thanks to the setter and Falcon, you may get some complaints over the artist’s stand illustration!

    1. Enlarging the picture to see if there’s something to complain about brings to mind the story of an elderly lady who complained to police about her neighbours sunbathing nude in their back garden. Following a visit from police, the neighbours built a high fence around their property. Shortly thereafter, the lady lodged another complaint. A very tall police officer came to investigate and reported to her that he could find no grounds for concern as even when he jumped up and down he was unable to see over the new fence. “Well,” she replied, “I may have to stand on a ladder but I can still see them”.

  4. There were one or two that I could not parse sufficiently but otherwise it was a steady solve. Spelling 14a incorrectly messed up the NE for a while and, like Tipcat, I did not know 16a was a refuge. I loved 28a but my COTD is the loss of confidence in 7d.

    Many thanks, Campbell for the fun challenge. Thank you, Falcon for the hints.

    1. Steve, I was just wondering, do you fancy jointly compiling a RC puzzle? I can’t help much with building the grid/filling it with answers, but would be happy to write (at least) half the clues and help with test-solving/appraising generally. I don’t think getting a real expert (I’m not one) to test-solve is good because if you do it’s kinda not really a true Rookie puzzle, is it? Just an idea I thought I’d run by you …

      1. I’m willing to give it a go, Jose but I’m not promising much. I have only just started trying my hand at compiling and finding it quite difficult. I also have a busy period coming up with loads of post grad work to mark. Still, there is always time for a guzzle! 😁
        I do have a completed grid, which I am trying to clue at the moment. Let me clue a few more and then I’ll send it over. How’s that sound?

        1. Yes, that sounds fine. Between us, I think we should be able to come up with a decent puzzle with minimum flaws. I’ve often wondered, do RC puzzles have to be submitted using the 2014 crossword complier.com software or can you send them in in any form? I’ll ask Gazza to forward my email address to you so we can communicate. Cheers!

          1. Re RC submission formats, I prefer Crossword Compiler CCW or XML (any CC version) because they can be imported directly with no manual intervention. AcrossLite PUZ imports directly, but it doesn’t support linked clues or formatting. CC also supports a simple text format that can be created in any editor. For RC we will make anything work, including a puzzle created by hand. Software is not a barrier to entry in RC.

            I suggest consulting Prolixic’s excellent guide to setting cryptic crosswords before submission. It’s a wonderfully clear and concise discussion of clueing rules and conventions.

            Looking forward to your joint submission.

  5. I agree with Falcon, I found more difficult than usual for a Monday. I thought it was because I have a lot to do today so quite distracted.

  6. Geology was part of my degree many moons ago for 12a but some of the others were real head scratchers. Fairly challenging puzzle for the start of the week.

    Was being too insular with 28a. WA did briefly cross my mind but needed the hint for the parsing.

    Favourites 7d and 15d.

    Called off from volunteering in the walled garden today due to the incessant drizzle. Dreich, dreich, dreich.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  7. I found a few clues difficult to parse and there was a lot of guesswork involved . It wasnt that enjoyable. I felt at times that I needed a crystal ball to work out what the compiler was thinking. I was plaesed to finish it, however, and the 14a Lego clue was good as was the well-misdirected 3d anagram. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and to the compiler (was it Campbell?).

  8. I am in the more difficult-than-usual camp today, particularly in the West
    Biggest laugh was for 17d as it reminded me of a joke that is too long (and rude) for here
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell

        1. It is – a very long and contrived preamble where someone can identify car parts by having them “inserted” where the sun don’t shine, when he got to the spark plugs he asked for them to shoved further in he replied “aah that’s 17d”
          I’ll get my coat

      1. Talking of spark plugs, here’s one for you. In the early 70s I worked for a while with an oldish guy (he was about 60) and he was a bit of a precocious petrol-head. He reckoned he could stop a car engine by putting his hands across the spark plugs and shorting the electrics out. None of us believed him – if you’ve ever had a belt from putting your hand too near the plugs in a running engine, you’ll know why. One day, we asked him to prove it – and he did just that. I witnessed it with my very eyes – unbelieveable!

    1. Short clean ones :-

      The world limbo champion walks into a bar – now the ex-world champion.

      The champion phone directory tearer has died. RIP

          1. The world champion Bill Haley impersonator has died. His funeral will be at one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock

  9. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but I agree with Falcon and others that this was more challenging than usual for a Monday but still as much enjoyment – 3.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 14a, 16a, and 13d – and the winner is the jaunty gemstone at 12a.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  10. I thought that this was about par for a Monday in terms of both difficulty and enjoyment – thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    Top clues for me were 14a, 5d and 7d.

  11. Found this slightly trickier than I’m used to getting on a Monday but it was still an enjoyable solve.
    Podium places went to 11,12,23&27a with 23a on the top step.

    Thanks to our compiler (Campbell?) and to Falcon for the review.

  12. I thought this distinctly trockier (™ Chriscoss) than normal edging the solve just into ** time. Like Steve can’t say I recollect a temporary refuge being referred to as a 16a & parsing it was a head scratch too. Enjoyed the puzzle. 27a my clear fav with podium spots for 13d&19a.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.
    Ps note to self – tomorrow is Tuesday & timely hunts required…

    1. H, 16a. A definition from Google:

      reception centre
      a hostel providing temporary accommodation for distressed people such as refugees, the homeless, and those with psychiatric difficulties.

    2. Chriscross’s linguistic contribution surely deserves a place in the English language.

      A dictionary entry might read:
      trocky adj descriptive of rough terrain that is difficult to navigate; by extension, applied to any difficult undertaking
      comparative forms: trockier, trockiest
      etymology: tricky + rocky

  13. Well, this surprised me. Very tough for a Monday.

    It took me a good while to get into it but it was very enjoyable: lots of great constructions with a variety of techniques. I’ve never seen the variant spelling of 1d before but it’s obviously in the word bibles. So, fairy nuff.

    16a was my LOI. The second word took me forever.

    My podium is 19a, 3d (great anagram) & 15d.

    Many thanks to F&C.


        1. It was indeed.

          Chris Evans said on his radio show once that it was ‘Posh Paws’ backwards then quickly realised he was wrong.

  14. That was an enjoyably gentle way to kick off the cruciverbal week after the previous one which had comprised too many convoluted clues and far-fetched synonyms. North was swiftest solve. Not sure I can fully parse 8d or indeed 18d (synonym?). Fav 7d. Thank you Campbell and Falcon for your usual combined entertaining part in the exercise for today.

  15. More difficult than a normal Monday puzzle for sure, which are often down at 1*, which is good for me and why I’m commenting. Really good clues, a decent challenge and a pleasurable solve. I have ticked a few but will have to go for 7d as my pick of the bunch. 3*/4*.

  16. 2*/4* for me, but my difficulty rating varied enormously with the NE quadrant taking up the majority of my solving time,

    Full marks for the Aussie indicator in 28a, which needless to say I’d never heard of before, but Perth gave a clue that it might be either Australian or Scottish slang so worth looking up the answer in the BRB revealing all.

    14a was my favourite and I had a four way fight between 16a, 23a, 27a & 7d for the other podium positions.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  17. My last one in was 1d, as I have never seen the answer spelt like that before. 3*/3* for me.

    Thanks to the setter, and to Falcon.

  18. Started off well, then it all seemed to get harder. Managed it in the end in slow time but needed the hints to explain a few. Thanks to all

  19. It’s Monday but I’m not convinced this is a Campbell puzzle , but who knows. Definitely agree with Falcon that the is more challenging than most Monday puzzles. Several difficult clues to parse as well. One new word for me in the mix today as well.

    2.5*/3* today

    Favourites include 11a, 14a, 25a, 28a, 3d & 15d — with winner 11a

    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon for hints/blog

  20. A Monday surprise. Had to allocate more time and thought than expected and some of those clues were definitely tricky. Just take 12 a which could have had “a I am on “ in the word from the clue giving diamond but definitely not the answer. Think that must be my best clue because it then lead on to a favourite of mine. Dedham Vale and thoughts of Constable , Writer Gunter and thinking of Gunter Grass and so on. It took extra time from my day but was all worth it. I rate this setter as most cunning and give thanks to all

  21. Definitely a step up from a normal Monday but all done and parsed albeit at a fairly pedestrian pace. Favourite was 27a. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  22. Harder than expected for a Monday with a couple of unexpected answers
    My COTD is 12a as I think it a most attractive gemstone

  23. Nice start to the week 😃 ***/**** Favourites 14 & 28a (G’day cobber) and 6 & 22d 🤗 Thanks to the Falcon and to Campbell 👍

  24. I’m not sure of this one, lots of good stuff, yet many that seemed a bit esoteric for a Monday. I did get there with word search for a couple. I didn’t know the small iced cake or the temporary refuge, got those with the checkers. No problem with 28a, I can hear Bryan Brown saying it in the BBC production of A Town Like Alice, I love the phrase “economic with the truth”, I use it often to describe he who is best forgotten (if only I could). Liked quite a few, maybe 12a gets top billing as I have one in a ring.
    Thank you Campbell and Falcon, especially for explaining a few.

  25. Silly question: does anyone know how to contact the Telegraph about billing? I can’t find a contact us page, all there is is a phone number and calling from Canada is a. expensive and b. difficult to time right.
    I have paid both for full access to the online newspaper and separately for the crosswords. This is because originally they were outsourced to 2 different payment systems, I think it is all under 1 access/subscription now. Help?

      1. Thank you. I meant to say it is difficult to time right because of the time difference, I seem to have paid $192.61 plus the payment for full access. I wil e-mail and see what happens. Meanwhile I am finding today’s puzzle very tough! A proper workout for the old grey matter.

  26. I’m in the “tricky one for a Monday, camp”!
    Actually, I normally find Mondays difficult but today is difficult in a different way which makes me wonder if it might be not a Campbell – apart from the two puns.
    Think I’m making things a bit complicated . . . .
    Lots of very good clues including 11and 23a and 7 and 13d. I think my favourite has to be 15d if only because it reminds me of a joke!
    Thanks to whoever did set this one and to Falcon for the hints .

  27. Good afternoon
    Following Friday’s dreadful show, I went into today’s crozzie thinking “ee wey, it’s Monday, it’ll be easy” – WRONG!
    All right, it wasn’t as tough as Friday’s, but there were a few canny little clues today. And I’ve learnt a new word: 12a.
    My thanks to our compiler and to Falcon

  28. I also expected a stroll only to find myself clambering uphill, just like Friday … and even the weekend puzzles were more tricky .. all good though, thank you to the compiler and Falcon

  29. I am in the trickier than usual camp, I have finished but needed to employ some e help and also had not heard of 12a. 11a was my favourite. I found the North easier than the south, 27a being last in.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Falcon for the explanations which helped understand some of my answers.

  30. Enjoyed today’s puzzle though came across a couple of head-scratchers which delayed me somewhat. Up to commenting Campbell hasn’t claimed ownership so not too sure whether it is his. Many thanks to the setter and Falcon.

    A belated Happy birthday to CrypticSue!!

  31. I confess! Cheated my way to a breakfast finish since didn’t know 12a. Also wanted to check that 13a was indeed a cake. Amazed by the number of ways that word can be used, as adjective, verb and noun! Simply pages!
    Also littered the floor with change when I realised that Campbell spells exchange differently to me; big problem parsing the write-in answer. Same with 16a, having forgotten that an across ‘on’ is diferent. Other than those, I think I’ll go for 7 & 8d as joint faves.
    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the blog.

  32. Yes, a rather trocky guzzle, but I ploughed through it and only had to seek Falcon’s help for 16a which completely fixed me. Or even foxed me. I liked the 3d anagram and the grumpy note. Many thanks to Messages Setter & Falcon.
    It’s blowing a gale around Cambridge. Brrrr.

  33. Today’s seemed simpler than usual to find answers. But some answers didn’t really work for me in context of the clue. e.g. 16a, 28a 18d. No real outstanding clues either, though a passing nod to 12a and 27a.

  34. I started well, but it was an uphill struggle after that. A bit of a slog to be honest, and I would never have got 16a as a refuge. Definitely on the tricky side, and think the gentler Mondays are a thing of the past. Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  35. I too thought this harder than usual for a Monday. I did, however, know 12a having bought my wife one on honeymoon; well she ended up paying for it, which is a different story… I always find double definitions like 17 and 18 tricky. Falcon – does the K in 27a not come from the middle (heart) of spea(k)easy? As ever, thanks to compiler and Falcon.

    1. Oops! Good spot! You’re absolutely correct. My brain must have confounded the K that appears at the opposite end of the same row in the grid. I’ll have to amend that hint.

  36. Definitely too hard for a Monday. Gave up in the end with only a third done. Don’t mind a tough puzzle but four in a row isn’t much fun. Also lacking the usual early-week charm, not much in the way of entertainment or light-hearted whimsical cryptic definitions. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Think I need a little time off puzzling 😕

  37. Well I thought it was pretty good. As I’ve said before I don’t mind ’em a tad more chewy, but then I’m something of a masochist in that respect. Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  38. Good puzzle. Apart from spelling 1d wrong and needing help with 2d (not knowing much about billiards) all went in fairly easily and I anticipated 2 stars. I must be improving!

  39. I didn’t think the county used on 24d was actually a county but part of Hampshire? Very confusing and a tough start to the week. I went to bed with less than half the clues solved but a burst of brainpower after the 3.30am gentleman’s potty stop filled the grid…
    Thanks to Falcon for the help with parsing my bung ins

    1. You are correct about the IoW. Something I didn’t know until I visited for the first time. My solving experience was similar to yours. I was left with 12a and 7d. Woke up for a pit stop and they jumped out at me. Main discovery is that I have apparently been spelling 1d wrongly all my life since I used to swop/swap the cards out of packets of tea.

        1. I was wrong. I thought it was Hampshire. However clue still wrong as it is no longer a County but a unitary authority.

  40. Miffed again.
    That is twice in 10 days.
    Stupid of me not to
    Get 12a.
    Ah well, onwards and upwards
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  41. I enjoyed this Monday puzzle a good deal.
    I have ticks beside several clues: 11a, 12a (its a very pretty colour), 14a, 27a and 28a. Re 28a, my old childhood friend lives in Australia and often uses this word!
    I usually find Campbell rather difficult but this didn’t give me any real problems, save 2d. Many thanks Falcon for this answer and for the lovely clear review. Do like the pics, especially the robot!
    Many thanks to Campbell for the **** entertainment.

  42. Re the IOW thing. I lived there a long time ago and back then it was Hampshire though not to the locals, in fact I am not even sure they saw themselves as English. I had my first baby there, on the Saturday of Cowes Week, it was tricky trying to get a taxi to go to hospital, I turned down the offer of riding pillion on a Suzuki and ended up getting a lift from a neighbour. The maternity ward was on the top floor and opposite was a high security prison. The prisoners had gone on strike and were on the prison roof.We used to wave to them. We being the new mums. Used to joke about just who was in prison, them or us.

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.