DT 30494 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30494

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30494

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
We’ve been away in Wellington since before Christmas and have not looked at a single crossword in all that time. Arrived home a couple of hours ago, just in time to unpack and gird our loins for tackling this puzzle and blogging duties.
An enjoyable solve for us again with lots of ticks on our pages.
The wish this week is for a Happy New Year everyone.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


9a     Old French bread smuggled into Chelsea, perhaps (5)
FRANC : The initials that identify Chelsea as a sports organisation contain another word for smuggled.

10a     Welcoming arrangement of opus, one he composed (4,5)
OPEN HOUSE : An anagram (composed) of OPUS ONE HE.

11a     Showing Grace Kelly, say, behind wild fire (7)
REFINED : An anagram (wild) of FIRE and then the first name of Kelly the bushranger.

12a     Drop round, hugging student with graduate degree (7)
DIPLOMA : A drop or depression and the round letter surround (hug) a student driver, then a Master’s qualification.

13a     Kind of Indian tea service American sent back (5)
ASSAM : The reversal of a church service and the single letter abbreviation for American.

14a     Maybe Wimbledon goalkeeper gutted with attack (5,4)
GRAND SLAM : The first and last letters of goalkeeper, then another word for with, plus an attack or bash.

16a     Angry argument with lover upset you (9,6)
CROSSWORD SOLVER : String together angry or annoyed, another term for an argument plus an anagram (upset) of LOVER.

19a     E.g. lingerie articles from Europe with damage from use (9)
UNDERWEAR : A French indefinite and German definite articles with a word meaning damage from use.

21a     Blunder when driving in Hull at sharp turning (5)
STALL : A reverse lurker, (in….. turning) hiding in the clue.

23a     Tense people who drink too much in old movies (7)
TALKIES : T(ense) and a slang word for topers.

25a     Could this make Enid go to a restaurant? (4,3)
DINE OUT : A reverse anagram. The second word of the answer can be an anagram indicator for the first word.

27a     Less sensitive about English leader (6,3)
NUMBER ONE : Less sensitive or having less feeling, then a two letter word meaning about, plus E(nglish).

28a     London skyscraper in quiet area by road (5)
SHARD : An instruction to be quiet, then A(rea) and the abbreviation for road.


1d     Ace pilots rising a long way off (4)
AFAR : The letter on an ace playing card and the reversal of the service where pilots are most likely to be found.

2d     I run away from long-necked Africans making tactless remarks (6)
GAFFES : Start with the long-necked Africans and remove I from the clue and R(un) from them.

3d     Frugal person saving the planet, not a skinflint (10)
ECONOMISER : A three letter ‘saving the planet’ or ‘green’ and a two word phrase meaning not a skinflint.

4d     Very popular party with good snack food (3,3)
HOT DOG : Very popular or fashionable then a two letter party and G(ood).

5d     Tailor handled a cape (8)
HEADLAND : An anagram (tailor) of HANDLED A.

6d     You might get lashed with this in whiskey joint (4)
WHIP : The phonetic alphabet whiskey and then the joint at the top of the leg.

7d     Old European, small old man turning up with ladies? (8)
YUGOSLAV : The reversal of S(mall) O(ld) and man or chap are followed by a convenience that could be used by ladies.

8d     Spanish team around Madrid swimming butterfly (3,7)
RED ADMIRAL : The title of a famous football team surrounds an anagram (swimming) of MADRID.

13d     Story books plugged by a keeper of books (10)
ACCOUNTANT : In the order they appear in the answer – a story or anecdote, then ‘A’ from the clue and biblical books.

15d     Need to rest during enraged rows, in essence (10)
DROWSINESS : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

17d     Ex leaders of organisation let down, feeling pathetic (3,5)
OLD FLAME : The first letters of four words in the clue, with pathetic or ineffectual.

18d     Some bowling and some batting missed the target (8)
OVERSHOT : A series of six balls and then a batting hit.

20d     Device used for steering in right part of Jersey, say (6)
RUDDER : R(ight) and something that might be found on a bovine jersey.

22d     Ignoring what’s right or wrong in the morning exam (6)
AMORAL : The two letters for ‘in the morning and’ a non written exam.

24d     First day of the twelfth month, flipping cold! (4)
ICED : The reversal of a short way of writing the first day of the twelfth month.

26d     Bother making a kind of list (2-2)
TO-DO : A double definition.

Quickie pun    buy    +    sic    +    Liszt    =    bicyclist

62 comments on “DT 30494
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  1. A great **/**** Wednesday puzzle. Highlights were the two slightly concealed anagrams in 5 and 8 down and the excellent 16a which gets my COTD. A pretty steady solve although edged into ** time in the SW. Welcome home the 2K’s and thanks to our setter.

  2. I found this an enjoyable solve today with nothing too taxing. I was properly led astray by the capital letters in 11a and had a good chuckle when I finally worked out that what must be the answer did indeed fit the clue.
    Lots to like, 9a, 16a, 23a 25a, 2d, 7d and 17d all found favour with me but top spot goes to 11a because of the tortuous route I took to get there.
    My lovely family decided to give me a book for Christmas, Cain’s Jawbone, which I suspect may be right up the strasse of many on this forum. I think it’s going to keep me quiet for quite a while, doubtless its intent. I will share my progress if and when I make any.
    Thanks to 2Ks as ever, and to the setter.

    1. Is that the one with the pages in random order by Edward Powys Mathers (Torquemada), Phanciful?
      Alway fancied having a go at it.

      1. It is indeed, it’s only ever been solved by three people apparently so I’m somewhat daunted by the prospect of starting it (amongst my many character flaws is a real difficulty giving up on things once I have started …)

  3. My rating for a light, delightful midweek crossword is 1.5*/4*.

    We seem to have had a lot of Jerseys recently!

    On my podium today are: 9a, 14a, 16a & 4d.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  4. Another fine puzzle with many clever clues. We all get a mention in one of the answers. 😀

    Top clues for me are 11a, 17d and 22d.

    See that Jersey is making an appearance again. Maybe sponsored by the Channel Island Tourist Board?

    65 mph winds and driving rain here so short walks today for Emmy the Dog.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis.

      1. I use a different starter word each day but it always contains 2 vowels. Since I had to reset my kindle to factory settings 6 months ago I’ve 100% solve which is a challenge in itself.

  5. Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis – welcome home
    Not too tricky today and the re-appearance of the Jersey again amused me, I wonder if the Setters’ Christmas Dinner had Jersey Beef on the menu. It seems to have been on the minds of several setters this week
    14 and 16a were my faves today I couldn’t unsee grass as the first word for a while and 16a is probably a bit of a chestnut but which cruciverbalist wouldn’t pick that one
    Thanks again

  6. Quickest solve for a while for me, but I think I must have simply been more alert than usual as it was a fine, well-constructed puzzle…..we go to upstate NY today overlooking the massive Hudson River….

  7. A gentle puzzle very soliticous of those of us with a sore head – thanks to our setter and the 2Ks.
    Top clues for me were 7d, 17d and 20d.

  8. Cracking puzzle, needed thought to fully unpick some clues but faultless in their structure. Right up my street.
    Very enjoyable.
    Many thanks to the setter and thx as always for the hints even when they are not needed, always good to know they are there.

  9. Just right for the third day of doing nothing except eating and drinking.
    3d was my favourite.
    Thanks to the Kiwis and I assume Jay.

  10. Not too demanding for a mid-week puzzle although it take a short while to get going for enjoyable completion – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 23a, 27a, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    I wonder if Jersey will make it three in a row tomorrow!

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  11. This was very enjoyable…much better than looking out of the window at storm Gerrit (which sounds like it should be a crossword clue in its own right: ‘Storm Gerrit rolls away for big cat (5)’…I won’t give up the day job!).
    Everything went in before my, slightly delayed, Bitesize Shredded Wheat. 20d made me smile, I liked the construction of 17d and spotting the four word lurker was fun.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  12. As others have said – a great guzzle for a Wednesday. I don’t know why but recently I have been getting only one or two across clues only to find I fill 90% of the downs. Today was no exception with only two acrosses but over half of the downs went straight in. Every clue was great so yet again it is difficult to pick a favourite. I will go with the angry argument with my lover at 16a.

    Thank you to the setter for the fun. Thanks you 2Ks for the hints.

      1. They can’t find out what is causing her infection so they’re bringing in a microbiologist to see if he or she can isolate the bug. Mrs. C says she feels fine but she is confused. She spoke to our daughter, Faye, on Christmas Day by Skype. When I went in on Boxing Day she asked me where Faye was. I said she was in Australia but Mrs. C said no she isn’t, she was here yesterday. I had to explain it had been a phone call.

        I will pass on your good wishes, Merusa as I do with everyone’s kind messages of support.

        1. Thanks Steve. No wonder she’s confused, just being in hospital will do that for you. I hope they find the bug and can treat it.

  13. To quote Richie Benaud….what a marvellous puzzle that was.

    All the techniques were on display: lego, lurkers, anagrams, humour, gentle GK and multi-word answers on a nice grid where there were many ways to get into each quadrant.

    I feel guilty picking a podium as there are so many contenders (I’ve changed my mind twice since starting my post) but I’ll go with: 14a, 16a and 15d as it’s an outstanding lurker which I spotted immediately. I’ve learnt over the years that ‘in essence’ is a giveaway because of the first five letters.

    Huge thanks to the brilliant setter and Le Touquet.


  14. Wednesday mild,
    But many clever clues,
    Eg 3d and many a laugh
    Out loud, especially 7d
    For its surface.
    In summary, 1.5*/4*
    Many thanks to the excellent setter
    And to the 2Kiwis.

  15. Excellent puzzle. My initial thought was that it was going to be a struggle but once into it, it was fun. Favorites 11a and 19a.

  16. Really enjoyable.
    Ticks all over the place including 9a, 11a, 14a, 25a, 2d, 5d, 7d, 8d and 24d.
    11a wins clue of the day from me for the clever misdirection.
    Thank you clever setter and the Kiwis.

  17. Still revelling in Christmas mode, very conducive to being a 16a but not so good when it comes to dealing with the inevitable 26d list! Not to worry, it’s hardly the weather for flinging open doors and windows to blow away the cobwebs!

    Thanks to our setter for an enjoyable puzzle and to our 2Ks as they ease back into ‘normal’ life.

  18. Light but top notch. Ticks all over the shop but if confined to just three it’d be 14&16a + 17d.
    Many thanks to the setter & to the returning 2Ks.
    Ps a lovely Toughie today & a prod to any that didn’t have a bash at Stephen’s splendid debut guzzle in yesterday’s Toughie slot.

  19. Terrific crossword with some hard thinking for me, and I stress…. Best puzzle of the week so far and probably of these last days of the year. Like many others I have stars dotted round the clues but clue of the day for me, and I st… has to be 11a. I gave myself a pat on the back forwarding it out with my own little brain. 19 and 23a made me smile and I admired the construction of 7 and 13d.

    My thanks to the setter for such a fine puzzle and best wishes for the New Year.

    For the 2Ks I hope you had a good Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

  20. Grand fun for a blustery Wednesday. The recent run of Jersey clues reminded me of my childhood and my grandfather who having tended to a herd of the pedigree beauties brought home mini “churns” of the milk being 50/50 cream/milk. Whilst it should be my COTD, it comes in second to 11a. Thanks to setter and 2K’s.

  21. Well for me, this Wednesday offering has been the best puzzle after the ones presented on 25th & 26th, as they seemed rather bland without a Christmas theme. That’s too bad.
    But that is just my opinion.
    No issues with this one though.


    Favourites include 16a, 23a, 26a, 5d, 22d & 24d — with winner 16a

    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s
    Enjoy the rest of the Christmas season to one and all.

    1. I agree with you regarding the puzzles over Christmas being non seasonal. I always look forward to a festive theme each year.

  22. Bit late today. This was a light delight that was spot on for this weary solver. Many thanks to our setter and the 2Ks.

  23. Very enjoyable crossword indeed, lots to like nothing to dislike. Favourite was 16a, there were lots of contenders. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  24. Many thanks, as ever, to the 2Ks for their deft decryptions.
    I hope everyone had a great Christmas – and best wishes for 2024!

    1. I thought it was you …thanks for all your brilliant Robyn puzzles in 2023. Hopefully there will be many more in 2024.

      ps. Wasn’t there a Picaroon puzzle recently with a Jersey lurking somewhere?

      Found it:

      Jersey, say, and stockings worn by posh MPs here (5,5)

    2. Excellent crossword, Robyn. 👏👏

      You are an excellent addition to Mr Lancaster’s Trend of Setters.

      Rob? Y/N

      It’s clearly a ‘No’ from Officer Tom.

      Have a great New Year and keep ‘em coming.

    3. Thank you, Robyn for a terrific puzzle and for all your work over the year. I wish you and your family all the best for 2024.

  25. I thought this was a bit more than **, but very enjoyable. I did need the hints to get going again in the NE, don’t know why, was it really that tricky? I loved 16a, it’s still fresh, maybe 17d is fave, but there’s so much choice it’s hard to decide.
    Thank you Robyn for the fun and 2Kiwis for helping me about halfway!

  26. Morning all.
    Thank you Robyn. We suspected it might have been one of yours but were not sure enough to put it in the preamble.
    A perfect Wednesday puzzle in our opinion and it looks like most commenters agree with us.

  27. Not bad for a Wednesday, which sometimes can be rather tricky. Not to say I sailed through, as there were some places where I was clearly not in tune with the setter, not being familiar with the word toper (nor is my iPad – keeps wanting to correct to topper), or chap in 11a. Otherwise finished so all is well. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

  28. Great clues … got stuck so had a nap came back and everything solved … how does this happen!? Thank you Robyn and 2Ks

  29. A lovely return to normal after the sad news of 3 deaths last week, knocked me out of kilter for a few days. Picked up the crossword a few times over the days but I couldn’t concentrate. A gentle start back but nonetheless enjoyable. Many thanks to Robyn and to the 2 Kiwis. A belated Happy Christmas!

      1. Many thanks, Huntsman. I’ve been out of touch a bit so I hope all is OK with you and that you had a nice Christmas.

  30. Good afternoon

    First crozzie since Friday, what with Christmas and family and prezzies and beer and wine and all the rest of it; I am secretly glad to have gone into work this afty for a break!

    Just enough brain work today to make it just the correct level of challenge. I could have kicked myself when I twigged both of the lurkers today;
    18d took a little while to reveal itself and was the last to fall. 16a is COTD.

    Many thanks to our compiler and to 2Ks.

  31. Great fun with some lovely clues with misdirection and a brilliant lurker. 16a was my favourite.
    Many thanks to Robyn and to the 2 kiwis.

  32. The first crossword I’ve done since last week – it doesn’t seem to take me long to be out of practice!
    I avoid Fridays because they’re too hard for me (and I know it!) then we headed off last Saturday to our Elder Lamb’s family, joined by the other lot on Sunday.
    Back in Oxford now – completed worn out and fuzzy headed due to noise really so I didn’t do too well with today’s crossword even though I can see that it isn’t terribly difficult, even for me.
    Lots of good clues that I appreciated including 12 and 25a and 7 and 17d. My favourite was 13d.
    Thank you to Robyn for the crossword and to the K’s for the hints.

  33. Thanks to Robyn for this extremely pleasant crossword, specially as he holds us at heart.
    Favourite 2d. The image conjured up made me laugh.
    Thanks also to the 2K’s for the great review.

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