DT 30492 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30492

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30492

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from Almoradí and a big “Feliz Navidad” to one and all, and no, I’m not working on Christmas Day.  The Telegraph puzzles editor very kindly sent me an advance copy of the cryptic and quick crosswords so I’m writing this blog last Saturday!  Means I can have a lie-in on Monday before tackling the pommer’s traditional Christmas breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs with a Buck’s Fizz to go with it!

The puzzle isn’t particularly “Chistmassy” or difficult but I did enjoy it while it lasted!  The pun in the Quickie is relevant to Christmas though.  I hope you all enjoyed it too.

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.


9a           A cereal and fruit (5)
ACORN:  A, from the clue, followed by a cereal to get the fruit of a favourite English tree.

10a        Massive dinosaur droppings gathered by one college fellow (9)
IGUANODON:  Some bird droppings are inserted into (gathered by) the letter that looks like number one and a word for a college fellow.

11a        Bigwig in recently taken photo (7)
HOTSHOT:  A word describing something recently taken, as in recently stolen, followed by another word for a photo or snap.

12a        There’s nothing to get worked up about on waste ground (2,5)
NO SWEAT:  Anagram (ground) of ON WASTE.

13a        Pope is missing money in Zurich? (5)
FRANC:  Take the papal name of the current Pope and remove the IS (IS missing) to get the currency of Switzerland.

14a        Low temperature affected Pinot? Bone of contention (4,5)
MOOT POINT:  Low as a cow does followed by T(emperature) gives the first word of the answer and the second word is an anagram (affected) of PINOT.

16a         Very reliable person’s powerful tractor? (5,2,8)
TOWER OF STRENGTH:  A phrase describing a very reliable person could, with slightly different pronunciation, describe a powerful tractor.

19a         Workers getting beaten comprehensively (5,4)
HANDS DOWN:  Some workers, not ants or bees but the other ones, followed by a word meaning getting beaten or losing.

21a         Charge cut by smallholder, initially, for bundle of straw? (5)
TRUSS:  A word which can mean charge without its last letter (cut) followed by an S (Smallholder initially).

23a         Roars from the Spanish fans outside (7)
BELLOWS:  A word meaning fans as in fans a fire placed around (outside) the Spanish definite article.

25a        Hit hard on the head protecting wife in farm building (7)
COWSHED:  A word for hit hard on the head, by a truncheon perhaps, placed around (protecting) a W(ife).

27a         Become disillusioned let ashore abroad (4,5)
LOSE HEART:  Anagram (abroad) of LET ASHORE.

28a        I put in call about flower (5)
LILAC:  Take the I from the clue and insert it into (put in) a reversal (about) of the CALL from the clue.


1d           Overhasty, forward missing header (4)
RASH:  A word for forward or cocky without its first letter (missing header).

2d           Wealthy heiress in car, on the phone (6)
PORTIA:  The wealthy heiress from The Merchant of Venice sounds like (on the phone) a posh German sports car.

3d           Likely to happen, being terribly honest about character (2,3,5)
ON THE CARDS:  You need a word for a character or an eccentric and around it (about) put an anagram (terribly) of HONEST.

4d           Injured party starts to video it, Chelsea tractor in motion (6)
VICTIM:  First letters (starts to) of the next six words of the clue.

5d           Traitor shot, on film (8)
TURNCOAT:  A shot or a go followed by (on in a down clue) a film, of paint perhaps.

6d           More than one bar is to be found round centre of Pinner (4)
INNS:  The centre of Pinner is of course NN. Around that put the IS from the clue to get more than one pub.

7d           Gripping, a trial broadcast involving leader of Democrats (8)
ADHERING:  The A from the clue and then some letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced sound like (broadcast) a trial in a court of law all placed around (involving) a D (leader of Democrats).

8d           Rolling with laughter at home, son held up by very small people (2,8)
IN STITCHES:  The usual two letters for “at home” followed by S(on) and then some very small people.

13d        Fine Italian police series suited one’s needs (3,3,4)
FIT THE BILL:  F(ine) followed by IT(alian) gives the first word and the next two words are the title of a very popular police series which ran on ITV from 16 August 1983 until 31 August 2010.

15d        Fine spring? Mostly (6,4)
PRETTY WELL:  A word meaning fine or attractive followed by another word for a spring or spa.

17d        Turn on wench providing winch (8)
WINDLASS:  A word meaning to turn followed by a word for a wench or young girl.

18d        Takes in better size of paper (8)
FOOLSCAP:  Takes in as in cons followed by a word meaning to better gives a size of paper largely replaced by A4.

20d        Refinement seen in Venice, typically (6)
NICETY:  A lurker hiding in (seen in) the last two words of the clue.

22d        Defend winning wrestling move (6)
UPHOLD:  The opposite of the word for losing in 19a followed by a word for what a Nelson is an example of in wrestling.

24d        Local line running through Rochester (4)
OCHE:  This is the line on the floor in front of the dartboard in your local pub and it’s hidden in (running through) the word Rochester.

26d        Remove  weed (4)
DOCK:  Double definition, the remove bit being what you are no longer allowed to do to a dog.

Not sure about the podium but I think I’ll go with 11a , 2d and 24d with 24d on the top step as I used to be the captain of my local pub’s darts team, back in the day when I could chuck arrows with some accuracy!

Quick crossword pun:

ROSE     +     TURK     +     QUAY     =     ROAST TURKEY

46 comments on “DT 30492
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  1. A Bah Humbug to Telegraph Towers for this non-festive puzzle, enjoyable as it was.

    Favourites the low temperature at 14a, the tractor at 16a and the local line at 24d.

    Thanks to the setter for the clever cluing and pommers for the hinting.

    Merry Christmas to everyone.

  2. Merry Christmas
    An easy way in to the day as an aperitif for the double toughie,
    Only the Shakespearean heiress held me up
    Thanks to pommers and all the bloggers setters and commenters have a good one

    1. This w was a great start to the festivities. Merry Christmas. Our power has been out for past few hours, hopefully it will be on soon as i have a turkey to cook!

  3. A very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year to all who contribute to this terrific site. A big thank you to setters and bloggers for all the enjoyment and help offered during the last year.

  4. Not very festive but enjoyable enough – thanks to the setter and pommers.
    My rosettes were pinned on 14a, 16a and 19a.

    Merry Christmas to pommers, pommette, all our setters, bloggers, commenters and lurkers.

  5. A great puzzle but agree a festive touch would have been welcome.

    Thank you to the setter and to pommers.

    A very Merry Christmas to everyone on Big Dave whether commenter or lurker. This lover of cryptics would also like to thank the hinters. Your voluntary contributions are greatly appreciated.

      1. Same thing happened to me one Christmas with a bottle of brandy. The delivery driver did eventually manage to remove it using various implements from his tool kit but it took him quite a while!
        I do hope that you find continuing improvement in Lesley when you visit – please tell her that she is in our thoughts and we all hope she can be back at home with you very soon.

        1. Thank you, Jane. Whatever the medics are pumping into her seems to be making her feel better but it’s going to be a long haul I think. Once her medical problems are sorted she’s going to have to go to another hospital for rehabilitation because her legs have lost nearly all musculature.

          She spoke to Faye, our daughter in Melbourne, this morning via video and she enjoyed that.

          I can tell you that she is very appreciative of everyone’s best wishes.

          1. Steve – thoughts and prayers may not be enough but they are on their way.

            P.S. I presume that is a security device on the Talisker that should have been removed at check out/before delivery.

            1. Thank you, Senf. Yes, they left the security tag on. It was boxed so I didn’t see it until I removed the bottle last night.

              1. Dear Steve, I second everyone’s good wishes and prayers for Lesley’s recovery. That’s great that she got to speak to Faye, I’m sure that was an upper. I send love to you both, from Sadie too.

      2. Firstly, all the best this Christmas to you both, and sincerely hoping Mrs C is soon well enough to come home. You’ve both had a very trying year.

        On the whiskey front, supermarkets typically do not sell spirits over here. You have to go to a liquor store (off license?), but there are no safety locks on the bottles. I guess they just have their cameras and beady eyes on you. On the other hand, when I went to pick up some razor blades for Peter, they were locked to the display and needed a shop assistant to unlock.

    1. Merry Christmas Steve. Hope you managed to access the good stuff (a nice dram to be sure). Keep your pecker up & best wishes to Mrs C

  6. Light and fun albeit non-Christmasy. I’ve now got a 16a earworm – the superior Gene McDaniels’ version!

    I think Campbell has deservedly been given a Monday off.

    Merry Christmas to everyone, and thanks to the setter and to pommers.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle only marred by the fact that I misspelt the first word of 14a, not even sure that such a word exists. Thanks to the setter and Pommers. A very happy Christmas to all those in crossword land. If you get the chance, please go on to Cley Harbour on Facebook and scroll through the amazing Advent windows that graced our small village starting on 1 December and the last few being lit up last night. Some of them are really amazing and now they will all be lit up each evening until 6 January.

    1. There’s a low temperature hall in Aldeburgh! Between the Mill Inn, Market Cross place and the public toilets on the beach, though it’s now better known as the Museum, I think.

      1. Not quite sure I see the connection! However Ash Fishes (next to the public loos) sell the most delicious Noon Tarts. Ah, got it, Moot Hall!

        1. That’s the one! I first came across it in 1953 when we stayed in Swiss Cottage just across the road ( not the Swiss Cottage on the Aldringham Road) before I went to boarding school and parents went back out to India. Went back to Alde & Thorpe every couple of years until the folks retired to the area in the early 60s.

    2. I don’t ‘do’ Facebook but my elder daughter does and she’ll be here next Saturday so I’ll get her to bring it up for me – I bet they look amazing!

  8. An enjoyable way to start the big day and not too taxing. I particularly liked the tractor at 16A. A very merry Christmas to all setters, bloggers and commenters.

    I found some interesting reading material in my stocking this morning…

  9. A very merry Christmas to you all!

    Not festive, as most have noted, but enjoyable nonetheless. My stars go to 2D, 6D and 13D. Thanks to Pommers and today’s setter, with a shout out to all the wonderful bloggers who have kept this great site up and running since Big Dave left us.

  10. A very jolly if not themed puzzle for Christmas Day with my ticks going to the powerful tractor and the bottle of Pinot.
    Many thanks to our setter (Mr Ed?) and to pommers for the review.
    Wishing all the very best to all contributors and bloggers with a special mention for the magnificent team who have kept the site up and running since we lost our founder – we are greatly indebted to you all.

  11. A very Happy Christmas to all and all your families. A very enjoyable any Monday of the year puzzle when Campbell is taking a day off – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 2d, and 13d – and the winner is 16a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and pommers.

  12. I echo Senf’s comment … A Happy Christmas to all of you and to all your families and friends.

    Funny sort of puzzle for Christmas… not really themed as such … but then what do I know.
    Pretty smooth entry with a couple of hiccoughs.


    Favourites include 16a, 25a, 6d, 8d & 17d with winner 17d

    Thanks to setter and pommers

  13. Xmas fun!
    Lots to like, 14 & 16a, 2, 8, and 17d. V hard to choose a fave, so I’ll nominate 14a and 17d as joint winners.
    Many thanks to the setter and pommers.
    Merry Xmas all.

  14. A Christmas Day crossword as warm and welcome as a man bursting into your wedding and shouting “She’s already married to me and here’s the certificate. No comment.

    A Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year to all who come here in one way or another.

  15. A very Happy Christmas to all our setters, bloggers and commenters, especially those behind the scenes who keep us going. Have a wonderful day.
    I didn’t find it as easy as most but I certainly enjoyed it a lot. I was DNF at 21a, didn’t know that, nor 24d but that was easy to solve with the checkers and google. I didn’t know 10a and needed ehelp with that; I don’t know much about dinosaurs. It’s really hard to choose a fave, lots could 13d; 25a was up there, but 14a is hard to beat.
    Thanks to whomsoever for the fun, and to pommers for his hints and pics.

  16. A really enjoyable puzzle today, and just as well as we slept really late this morning. Disappointed that it did not have a Christmas theme like others above, but otherwise enjoyably doable. I know nothing about darts or dinosaurs so needed the hints for those. COTD most definitely 16a, closely followed by 18d, smiles all round. I’ve saved Chalicea’s NTSPP to do later, so will be looking forward to that, before we head out to join daughters, son-in-laws and grandkids for Christmas Dinner. Thanks to setter and Pommers and a very Happy Christmas to you all.

    1. Interesting that they don’t use 18d here, they call it “legal size” I think. I wonder how it got that name? Must google.

    1. How nice to have you popping in on the actual day of publication, Robin. Does this herald the beginning of a New Year’s resolution?

      1. Hi Jane,
        I actually liked using the website today, but perhaps I shall revert to my old ways in the New Year.
        Best Wishes

  17. Can I echo other comments about the lack of Christmas themed crosswords these last few days. We used to have them, perhaps our esteemed crossword editor could comment.
    Having said that, I really enjoyed the puzzle today. A solid Monday crossword on a rare day off for me.
    I would like to thank all of the people involved in this blog, I couldn’t have made the progress I have without your help.
    As for today thanks to all, merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

  18. Late Merry Christmas all. Having a totally different Christmas with two weeks in the Algarve. So far so good. Found the puzzle in the paper on line. It is a first for me as I usually do the paper puzzle and we do not get a Christmas Day paper. The voucher is blank in the voucher book. No idea there was a paper but looked on Telegraph app to find a puzzle I hadn’t done. Managed this between Brunch, a walk around the lagoons, dinner and various activities and contact with friends afar in between. Lucky to see my grandchildren open some presents in SE London. The wonders of the this age! Hoping to see Call the Midwife on UK TV having listened to The Archers on BBC Sounds. I hope Alistair gets it together with Denise. Back to the puzzle. Not a lot of fun but OK. Some good clues. Did not like the truss as never knew the alternative for bale. Did not know the dinosaur so looked it up. Thanks Pommers. Thanks everyone.

    1. Enjoy the Algarve Wanda. We did 10 days on St. John a few years ago, right before Christmas. The highlight was when we crept into the back of a Carol service of young school children singing their hearts out. Still makes me tingle to think of it.

  19. The non themed guzzle didn’t disappoint as far as I was concerned. The dinosaur droppings were my fav surface.
    Many thanks to Pommers for blogging it on the big day & to the setter

  20. I have not had time to look at the crossword as we are having a lovely day with our visiting family. Ai just wanted to pop on and wish everyone involved with this blog a very happy Christmas and to send best wishes to Steve and his wife hoping that there is good news soon.

  21. A fair, if festiveless puzzle. Last one in was 21a; 10a definitely my favourite – tried to get ‘poo’ in until the penny dropped!

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