DT 30479 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30479 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30479

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 9th Dec 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice and gentle Saturday puzzle from NY Doorknob that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable comment.

Nurse, one of the definitions to the clue of 3d that is a variety of shark, prompted me to visit to net to learn more about the creature. An ordinary shark is a long-bodied chiefly marine fish with a cartilaginous skeleton, a prominent dorsal fin and toothlike scales. Most sharks are predatory, although the largest kinds feed on plankton and some can grow to a large size. They come from various families, such as Orectolobidae, Lamnidae, Carcharhinidae and Heterodontidae under order Galeomorphii and families, such as Hexanchidae, Pristiophoridae, Squalidae and Squantinidae under order Squalomorphii. The nurse shark is an elasmobranch fish and belong to genus Ginglymostoma under the family Ginglymostomatidae. The tawny nurse shark is a species of carpet shark in the family Ginglymostomatidae and the only extant member of the genus Nebrius. The grey nurse shark, also called the ragged-tooth shark, is an elasmobranch and belongs to genus Cacharias under the family Odontaspididae. The nurse shark belonging to genus Ginglymostoma is a species of least concern in the United States and the Bahamas, but considered to be near threatened in the western Atlantic Ocean because of their vulnerable status in South America and reported threats throughout many areas of Central America and the Caribbean. They are directly targeted in some fisheries. Nurse sharks are robust and able to tolerate capture, handling and tagging extremely well. The nurse shark has two rounded dorsal fins, rounded pectoral fins, an elongated caudal fin, and a broad head. Adult nurse sharks are brownish in colour. Newly born nurse sharks have a spotted coloration which fades with age. The tawny nurse shark is found along coastlines in the Indo-Pacific, preferring reefs, sandy flats and seagrass beds. With a cylindrical body and a broad, flattened head, the tawny nurse shark is quite similar in appearance to the nurse shark of the Atlantic and East Pacific, from which it can be distinguished by its pointed-tipped dorsal fins and narrow, sickle-shaped pectoral fins. The tawny nurse shark has a robust, cylindrical body with a broadly rounded and flattened head. The eyes are small and face laterally, with prominent ridges over them and smaller spiracles behind. There are a pair of long, slender barbels in front of the nostrils. The mouth is small, with the lower lip divided into three lobes. The grey nurse shark can easily be recognized by its characteristic conical snout and under hung jaw. Both jaws are laden with sharp, long and pointed teeth. The juveniles or young sharks usually have dark spots on the upper two-thirds of the body. The first and second dorsal fins are of similar size and the caudal fin is asymmetric. Once believed to be a man-eater, it is now known that this shark rarely attacks humans and if it does, it is only in defence. It eats mainly lobsters, crabs, smaller sharks, fish, rays and squid. Both the nurse shark and the grey nurse shark have been listed globally ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

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Across

1a    Charming group granted free place in London (6,6)
COVENT GARDEN: COVEN (charming group) as a group or gathering of witches who work spells in tandem followed by an anagram (free) of GRANTED guides to the definition of a district of central London that acquired fame for its former fruit, vegetable and flower market and now a shopping precinct


8a    Covering for wheels and exhausts we hear (5)
TYRES: A homophone heard by the audience (we hear) of TIRES (exhausts) as exhausts the energy, patience or interest of someone or something takes to the definition of the plural form of a rubber covering, typically inflated or surrounding an inflated inner tube, placed round a wheel to form a soft contact with the road


9a    Rule broken: Brown entering court without will? (9)
RELUCTANT: An anagram (broken) of RULE followed by TAN (brown) as tawny or brownish yellow getting inside (entering) CT (court) as the abbreviation for court as used in addresses etc leads to the definition of an adjective meaning unwilling, resistant or disinclined

11a    Noblewoman welcoming fifty? More indeed! (9)
COUNTLESS: COUNTESS (noblewoman) as a noblewoman, equal in status to an earl or a count taking in (welcoming) L (fifty) as the Roman numeral for fifty leads to the definition of an adjective meaning innumerable or very many or too many to be counted

12a    Somewhat irrational loathing for Scottish town (5)
ALLOA: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) [IRRATION]AL LOA[THING] guides to the definition of a town in Clackmannanshire in the Central Lowlands of Scotland

13a    Doctor noticing Oscar’s assumed identity (9)
INCOGNITO: An anagram (doctor) of NOTICING followed by O (Oscar) as the letter represented by Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet is leading to the definition of an assumed or false identity

16a    Good girl becoming minimalist composer (5)
GLASS: A charade of G (good) as the abbreviation for good and LASS (girl) as a girl or young woman guides to the definition of the American composer and pianist whose first name is Philip and whose work has been associated with minimalism, being built up from repetitive phrases and shifting layers


18a    Central idea in article by today’s compiler (5)
THEME: THE (article) as the definite article in the English language having beside (by) ME (today’s compiler) as referring to the setter of this puzzle takes to the definition of a central or idea in a piece of writing or other work of art

19a    First wife died, found in shop: worker in dock (9)
STEVEDORE: A combo of EVE (first wife) as referring to the first woman and wife on earth and D (died) as the abbreviation for died as used to indicate a date of death seen inside (found in) STORE (shop) as a shop selling basic necessities guides to the definition of a person employed at a dock to load and unload shipping vessels

20a    An Aberdonian perhaps in Berkshire location (5)
ASCOT: The definition of a town in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead that is in Berkshire and most notable as the location for Ascot Racecourse, home of Britain’s most valuable race meeting is arrived at from A SCOT (an Aberdonian perhaps) as a person from Aberdeen that is a city in northeast Scotland and probably be a native of that country that is a part of the United Kingdom


22a    Ignore police officers on patrol did you say? (9)
DISREGARD: DIS (police officers) as cryptically the plural formation of DI, the abbreviation of Detective Inspector that is a police officer who investigates crime and who ranks above a detective sergeant but below a detective chief inspector and RE (on) as a commercial jargon used to indicate ‘referring to’, ‘concerning’, ‘on’ or ‘about’ followed by a homophone heard by the audience (did you say?) of GUARD (patrol) as to ward, keep watch over or to patrol or keep watch over an area by regularly walking or travelling around it takes to the definition a verb meaning to pay no attention to or to ignore

25a    Determined attempt to find Inspector Morse? (9)
ENDEAVOUR: Double nounal definition; the second being the first name of the Detective Chief Inspector at the Criminal Investigating Department of the Oxford Police who is the eponymous fictional character in the series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter and who appears on ITV in the 33-episode drama series Inspector Morse and well as the prequel series Endeavour that portrays the young Endeavour Morse beginning his career as a detective constable that leads to the first referring to a determined attempt or trial

26a    Mum’s mum having nothing to eat: complain (5)
GROAN: The definition of a verb meaning to GRAN (mum’s mum) as a colloquial and short term for granny who is one’s grandmother or the mother of one’s mother or father having to take inside (eat) O (nothing) as the letter representing nought or nothing

27a    Hens and leverets in stew by some means (12)
NEVERTHELESS: An anagram (in stew) of HENS and LEVERETS guides to the definition of an adverb meaning however, anyway, anyhow or by some means

Down

1d    Motor originally bought by relative is gem (9)
CARBUNCLE: CAR (motor) as a four-wheeled road vehicle that is powered by an engine and able to carry a small number of people followed by the original or initial letter (originally) of B[OUGHT] having beside (by) UNCLE (relative) as the brother of one’s father or mother or the husband or male partner of one’s aunt takes to the definition of a mythical self-luminous gem

2d    Victor is the ne plus ultra, making call (5)
VISIT: V (Victor) as the letter represented by Victor in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed by IS from the clue and IT (the ne plus ultra) as colloquially the ne plus ultra, that which answers exactly to what one is looking for takes to the definition of a noun referring to an official or a professional call

3d    Variety of shark in harbour (5)
NURSE: Double definition; the first being a noun referring to a bottom-dwelling shark and the only known species in the genus Ginglymostoma and the second a verb meaning to harbour a belief or feeling, especially for a long time.

4d    Obstruction in duct involving entire street in past (9)
GALLSTONE: The definition of a hard or pebble-like material serving as blockage in bile duct of biliary tract is involving a combo of ALL (entire) as the entire or whole of something and ST (street) as the abbreviation for street that is a type of paved way in a city, town or village placed inside (in) GONE (past) as departed or no longer present

5d    Ruin broadcast on web for this figure (9)
RECTANGLE: A homophone heard by the audience (broadcast) of WRECK (ruin) as to ruin or destroy something completely is placed upon (on) TANGLE (web) as a confused mass of something twisted together for arriving at the definition of a noun referring to a plane figure with four straight sides and four right angles, especially one with unequal adjacent sides, in contrast to a square


6d    Green revolutionary carrying a message (5)
EMAIL: LIME (green) as a bright light green colour like that of a lime that is going upwards (revolutionary) as a reversal in the down clue and having inside (carrying) A from the clue guides to the definition of a message distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network


7d    Milan team lacking energy in defence: routine thing! (5-2-5)
STOCK-IN-TRADE: INT[E]R (Milan team) as the Milan football team of Italy having its full registered name as Football Club Internazionale Milano but going by its nickname Inter Milan in the English-speaking world devoid of (lacking) E (energy) as the abbreviation for energy put inside (in) STOCKADE (defence) as a barrier formed from upright wooden posts or stakes, especially as a defence against attack or as a means of confining animals, arriving at the definition of standard equipment or devices necessary for a particular trade or profession

10d    Sublime answer by Charlie meeting death in river (12)
TRANSCENDENT: ANS (answer) as the abbreviation for answer followed by (by) C (Charlie) as the letter represented by Charlie in the NATO phonetic alphabet coming into contact with (meeting) END (death) as referring to death of a person altogether placed inside (in) TRENT (river) as the third longest river in the United Kingdom takes to the definition of an adjective meaning superior or supreme in excellence or surpassing others

14d    Scooby-Doo for one: Hamlet for another? (5,4)
GREAT DANE: Double nounal definition; the first being a German breed of large mastiff-sighthound, which descends from hunting dogs of the Middle Ages used to hunt bears, wild boars and deer that was featured as Scooby-Doo, an animated talking cartoon character in the American Scooby-Doo series and the second referring to the Prince of Denmark who was the protagonist in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark of William Shakespeare

15d    US edition botched comprehensively (6,3)
INSIDE OUT: An anagram (botched) of US EDITION guides to the definition of an adverbial phrase meaning thoroughly or as completely as possible

17d    Distressed moan: a soul tormented, aberrant (9)
ANOMALOUS: An anagram (distressed) of MOAN followed by A from the clue and another anagram (tormented) of SOUL takes to the definition of an adjective meaning deviating from what is standard, normal or expected

21d    Have concern about daughter in military unit (5)
CADRE: CARE (have concern) as to feel concern or interest placed around (about) D (daughter) as the genealogical abbreviation for daughter leads to the definition of a small group of trained people who form the basic unit of a military


23d    Consuming gallon, bound to swell (5)
SURGE: SURE (bound) as certain to receive, get or do something taking inside (consuming) G (gallon) as the abbreviation for gallon takes to the definition of a verb meaning to rise, roll, move or swell forward in or like waves

24d    Roman symbol seen in Mezangelle regularly (5)
EAGLE: The regular or alternate letters (regularly) in mEzAnGeLlE guides to the definition of the king of birds that was also seen as a symbol of strength, courage and immortality in ancient Rome


Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 19a, 25a, 26a, 1d, 4d, 5d, 7d, 10d, 14d; 14d being the best of the lot. My prayers to the Almighty for the eternal rest and peace of BD and my thanks to NY Doorknob for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

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