DT 30500 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30500

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30500

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
We have been having quite a few days of the summer holiday weather that we all hope for at this time of the year but it has been interspersed with plenty of ‘English’ weather too, so raincoats have had to be close to hand. It is usually more settled in the next couple of months so we are keeping our fingers crossed.
Another enjoyable Wednesday cryptic that went together smoothly for us.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Pop Scotsman composed entertains One Direction (7,5)
COMPASS POINT : An anagram (composed) of POP SCOTSMAN with the Roman numeral one included.

9a     Starters of organic cod eaten — and now the main (5)
OCEAN : First letters from five words in the clue.

10a     Setter caught wearing two lingerie items and 100 trinkets (4-1-4)
BRIC-A-BRAC : A supporting lingerie item contains the setter’s personal pronoun and C(aught). Then the same supporting item and a Roman numeral.

11a     Return from foolish mooching around capitals in Middle East (10)
HOMECOMING : An anagram (foolish) of MOOCHING contains the first letters from Middle and East.

12a     Dressing always kept by doctor (4)
MAYO : A poetic word for always is inside a medical officer.

13a     Aiming to get slightly reduced number (7)
ASPIRIN : A synonym for aiming or striving loses its last letter.

15a     Reading City mostly overwhelmed by Spanish team (7)
RECITAL : The first three letters of city are contained by a football side from Spain’s capital.

17a     Fight participant in pugilism, a tad orthodox (7)
MATADOR : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

19a     More intoxicated after friend gets Italian port (7)
PALERMO : An anagram (intoxicated) of MORE follows a friend or mate.

21a     Glance from king on throne (4)
LOOK : A different euphemism for ‘throne’ and the chess abbreviation for king.

22a     Eat dessert to start with? This has a nice smell (10)
AFTERSHAVE : Another word for dessert or pudding and then eat or consume.

25a     Revolutionary Communist Party welcoming call for boldness (7-2)
DERRING-DO : Call on the phone is surrounded by the reversal of Communist colour and the two letter party.

26a     Sub-par performance from hunting dog with no lead (5)
EAGLE : A floppy-eared hunting dog without its first letter.

27a     Suppose river contains fish one’s seen sliding on ice (6,6)
FIGURE-SKATER : Suppose or work out, then a type of flat fish and R(iver).


1d     1960s rock band‘s stuff filled with energy (5)
CREAM : Stuff or push together contains E(nergy).

2d     Chap I healed with beautiful hands? (9)
MANICURED : A chap or guy, then ‘I’ from the clue and healed or made well.

3d     Place to put picture frame for exhibition — it’s white (7)
ALBUMEN : Where to put pictures for display or storage, then the first and last letters (frame) of exhibition.

4d     Maybe top criminal seizing power (7)
SPINNER : A criminal or evil-doer contains P(ower).

5d     Old hands grasping answer in language exam? (4)
ORAL : O(ld) and the dextral and sinistral hands contain A(nswer).

6d     Wind Harry Potter’s friend up before festival (3-6)
NOR-EASTER : Master Weasley’s first name is reversed and followed by a religious festival.

7d     Joke suitable for all by a Biblical character (6)
JOSHUA : Joke or make fun of, then the letter meaning suitable for all and ‘A’ from the clue.

8d     Second husband boarding air-conditioned train (6)
SCHOOL : An abbreviation for second, then air conditioned or with a lower temperature contains H(usband.

14d     Mix of dried flowers and grass — chuck it down drain, periodically (9)
POTPOURRI : An alternative colloquial name for marijuana. Then chuck it down as rain might and the second and fourth letters of drain.

16d     Doctor scowled at sign of fear (4,5)
COLD SWEAT : An anagram (doctor) of SCOWLED AT.

17d     Complaint from old Tory PM clinging on to youth (6)
MALADY : A Tory PM from earlier this century surrounds a young male.

18d     Asylum seeker good to enter EU, free to travel (7)
REFUGEE : An anagram (to travel) of EU FREE contains G(ood).

19d     Playing poker outside empty casino in heat earlier (7)
PRECOOK : An anagram (playing) of POKER contains the first and last letters of casino.

20d     Batter in upturned polystyrene pots (6)
OPENER : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

23d     Bad temper shown by fisherman dropping line (5)
ANGER : A rod fisherman without his L(ine).

24d     Student that is getting university place (4)
LIEU : The student driver letter, then the abbreviation for ‘that is’ and U(niversity.

Quickie pun    fine     +    Anne    +    seer    =    financier

76 comments on “DT 30500
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  1. Another cracking crossword today, just as much fun as yesterday as I didn’t get caught up anywhere, just straight through with many great clues along the way.
    Great to see a mention of the band at 1d, one of my all time favourites, I met Ginger Baker once when he played in the cellar bar at South Hill Park, absolutely awesome, never seen arms appear as a blur before. Will always remember his comment when he was told that John Bonham had been voted the best drummer in the world.
    Back to the puzzle though, is 22a becoming compulsory every week now?
    Favourite today was the lovely 1a, ta to our setter today.

      1. ‘Fraid not, cellar bar in Bracknell, sometimes called the Friday Underground, saw the Paul Jones Blues Band there as well (along with many others). Used to go there rain or shine on the good old Honda CD175.

    1. I spent many a happy hour in the Cellar Bar at South Hill Park back in the late 70s and heard some really good music there. Worse group were the Stranglers who played for ten minutes and the walked off with a few choice swear words thrown in. Happy days!

      1. I moved into a basement flat (good old days of no fees & student grants) in SHP on Boxing Day 1980 & lived in the road for the next 25 years. Other than the Magdala at the bottom of the road I’ve no recollection of the place. Where exactly was it?

        1. This one was in Bracknell. It was a great venue with all sorts of music. They used to host a jazz festival with some really big names playing there.

            1. Many years ago when South Hill Park just opened that area at the bottom of the lift shaft was offered to Bracknell Amateur Radio Club as their meeting place. Being so small and as far away as possible for any possibility of putting up outside aerials we declined. It seems its use as the cellar bar was more appreciated…. Not sure if it is still functioning but been to the theatre upstairs a few times.
              (and solved the back pager (new website version) without any issues, an enjoyable solve).

      2. I first came across The Stranglers at a gig in Shrewsbury. Top of the bill were The Rich Kids, a fallout from the Sex Pistols. Everyone was pogoing as TRK played and spitting at them. Yes, that was an unfortunate byproduct of the Punk era, which I thought disgusting. Anyway, The Stranglers came on and said “If you lot spit at us we’re going off!”
        They immediately went up in my estimation.
        When they started playing I turned to my friend and said that this group would go far. He rubbished me saying The Stranglers were aweful and that The Rich Kids were the future of music.
        The Stranglers are still with us.
        Where are The Rich Kids?

  2. I liked the surface read of 18d, very neat, but my favourite from this straightforward and fun puzzle was 1a.

    Thanks to our Wednesday setter and the 2Ks. It has just started raining again here in Shropshire, the last thing we need.

  3. A tricky but enjoyable midweek puzzle.

    Favourites include 10a, 13a and 19d.

    Almost marooned by flooded roads here in NE Scotland.

    Thanks to setter and the 2Kiwis.

  4. Loved it.

    An extremely enjoyable, gentle stroll through Crosswordville, Arizona (Tony from Reggie Perrin was grrrrrrreat)

    Nearly every surface is a winner.

    So hard to choose a podium but I’ll go with 1a, 10a and 18d but I could have picked 10 others.

    Many thanks to the midweek master and Le Touquet.


    1. I didn’t need a shortened version of your tip from yesterday for 12a as I managed to spell it correctly at the first attempt!

      1. Love it!

        It is funny how some answers follow each other as these crosswords are compiled months ago.

  5. Very enjoyable puzzle after a break from crosswordland. Although an easy clue, I liked the 20d cricket clue, and the 10a trinkets. I guess that I might be solving a few more crosswords this week. We have the decorators in, putting a stop to me galavanting round the house doing “stuff”. Best if I stay out of the way of things. Thank you setter and the 2ks

  6. Brilliant! The clueing was top notch with some
    amusing surface reads, clever misdirections and loud penny drop moments. I’m not even going to try to choose favourites because there were so many highlights. I’ve had a lovely coffee break. Thanks to our setter and the 2Kiwis, whose help I didn’t need today, but whose illustrated blog I enjoyed reading.

  7. Somewhat reminiscent of a Jay puzzle with an excellent start by going Up the Downs – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 27a, 6d, 7d, and 14d – and the winner is 13a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  8. 1.5*/4*. Another light and fun puzzle to continue the year so far …

    18d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  9. as for others this puzzle was a winner for me.
    there were very many clues I liked for all the right reasons and couple I liked for the wrong reasons, so let’s go with those 2; 11a because I like the concept of foolish mooching and 25A because the answer is a great expression with a lovely ring to it, so my new year resolution will now be to find many more excuses to use this in everyday speech.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  10. A delicious piece of cake which I thoroughly enjoyed. NE last corner to come on board. Impossible to pinpoint a Fav with so many smooth surfaces. Thank you setter (whoever you are, here’s to the next time) and the 2 Kiwis.

  11. Pleasant Wednesday solve but no particular favourite to mention.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review – enjoy those sunny days, you lucky pair!

  12. A very pleasant puzzle , done at a canter.
    One or two of the clues would I think be outside the common knowledge of younger solvers. Has anybody under 30 heard of the Cream ? Which is not to say I don’t appreciate their music.
    I also doubt if any of that generation ever played with a spinning top.
    Anyway, thanks to Jay and to both Kiwis .

  13. A lovely puzzle, so many great clues with a nice variety of types. I liked too many to pick one. I must admit I did not know the phrase in 25a.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 kiwis.

  14. What a lovely puzzle! A joy to complete from start to finish. A few needed some pondering but I figured all in the end for the third unaided finish this week. I love the phrase at 25a. It reminds me of such as “The game’s afoot!” and “You cad, Sirrah! Stand and fight like a man!” 😁
    The particular meaning of “number” in 13a always eludes me so I took a while over that one. Loved all the clues but my COTD is the short but sweet king on his throne at 21a.

    Many thanks to the setter for an entertaining solve. Thank you, 2Ks for the hints .

    Huge great puddles on the roads of The Marches as the rain continues. Trouble is, they hide pot holes!

    Wow! A huge yellow light has suddenly appeared in the sky! Anyone know what it is?

        1. Big yellow ball that rides through the sky but sometimes gets quite coy and only shows a little sliver of itself. Cows have been known to jump right over it!

  15. I struggled with 22a when we had it last week yet still scratched my head again today until the old grey matter eventually made the connection 😵‍💫

  16. Right up my street today, spot on,
    Not sure of the number in 13a, I suppose it is a mild one.
    Favourite was 10a for the surface and a cracking charade, next were12a 19a and 25a.
    Going for a ***/****,thanks to setter and the 2K’s

  17. Third excellent puzzle in a row. Fingers crossed for the remainder of the week. Recent repetition radar was bleeping for 12 and 22a, but really liked 10 and 25a, the latter being my cotd. Thanks to the compiler and 2K’s

  18. Another lovely guzzle today. Doesn’t time fly, seems only the other day we were waiting for puzzle no. 30000 and now we are up to 30500. Horrifying incident last night, I put my wheat bag in the microwave as per usual to heat up and it burst into flames. Terrible smell which is still lingering! Anyway, thanks to the setter and 2 Kiwis.

    1. Finally got to see those Advent windows, courtesy of Facebook and daughter, they’re such a charming decoration for your harbour. Agree with you that the video is far too rushed but hopefully it’s been sufficient to get people interested in visiting.

  19. Another lovely puzzle. We are being spoilt this week. Hadn’t heard of 6d before but it was easy to get with the checkers.
    I particularly liked 21a.
    Thanks to setter and hinter.
    I’ve attempted today’s Toughie for only the second time ever. It was a DNF but I’m pleased that I was only 4 short. Gives me hope to try again in future.

  20. Oh gosh / how terrifying. I often wonder about heating mine. I had a scare too – saw a rat run across the path outside the kitchen door yesterday and this morning at breakfast he shot across the kitchen. Help. Rodent exterminator coming tomorrow at 11 but I really do not need this. The original part of our house has a floating floor so I guess he came up from below. Anyway, delightful diversion with the guzzle. Daisies by 13a and 2,4&19d and I think the latter gets the gold. I was pleased to get the crickety ones with ease, 12a was LoI as I was thinking of George and swabs. Many thanks to the Setter and the Kiwis.

  21. Lovely guzzle. Pretty straightforward but an enjoyable solve from the start to a fairly brisk finish. 6d’s cyclone was the only unfamiliarity but the wordplay was generous & the answer obvious. I’ll plump for a podium of 13a with 3&14d & they can fight it out amongst themselves for who sits on what step.
    Thanks to the setter (Robyn maybe) & to the 2Ks

  22. Seems to me with Wednesday’s puzzles we quite often get some really weird clues with way out parsing in my way of thinking. Those clues aside this was a fine solve.


    Favourites include 1a, 21a, 26a, 1d, 20d & 24d — with winner a tough pick, but went with 1a
    Smiles came from 1a, 10a, 21a, 26a & 1d … which is why they were inn favourites!

    Thanks to setter & 2K’s for hints/blog

  23. Sound puzzle, a slight step-up in difficulty from the last couple of days. Somewhat dated but good surfaces throughout and a nice mixture of clue types. Taken to a full 2* by stupidly trying to make the anagram in 1a mean ‘pop’. Doh! Podium to 2d, 3d & 26a – had to choose the latter really, as I work three dogs, all off their leads.

    2* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

      1. Of course! Like FLOWER can be a river as it’s something that flows.

        Many thanks for the explanation, and the welcome. 👍

        1. Welcome to the blog, B cubed.

          I’m dying to know the story behind your alias. Are you going to reveal all or is it for you to know and for me to find out?

          Completely fair if it’s the latter as it’s none of my bee’s wax. I’m more than happy to tell you mine if that helps.

          Either way…..keep on posting!

      2. Thanks B cubed & Gaza…that had me scratching my head too! 👍
        Doh…that’s the sound of the penny dropping 🙄

    1. Welcome, BBB and other letters. Good to hear from you. As TDS65 says, your alias is going to keep us all guessing! Please keep your comments coming. 👍

  24. This was loads of fun, though I had to give it ***+ for difficulty, north being the hardest. I had letters in circles for 1a and couldn’t get it, even tried an anagram solver without success. In the end I had my Road to Damascus moment, then it all fell into place nicely. I know nothing about rock bands so 1d was last in. If we hadn’t had 22a recently, I doubt I would have got that. I liked the number at 13a, but 21a gets top billing.
    Thank you setter for the fun and 2Kiwis for unravelling so many.

  25. For some reason the dressing clue proved to be the most challenging, overall most enjoyable thank you compiler and 2Ks

  26. Nicely satisfying, unraveling
    The clever surfaces.
    Good midweek fare.
    Of special note 10, 25 and 27a
    And even a lurker in 20d.
    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis,
    Esp. for the colourful illustrations.

  27. A lovely crossword although I was surprised to see 22a again so soon.
    1a had me flummoxed for some time but once I saw it, the last two (4 and 5d) fell into place although I couldn’t parse them. Thanks to the 2Kiwis for the help on that.
    I still can’t see how the answer to 13a is a number although I do understand how to get to the solution.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  28. Haven’t got time to read the comments like I normally do but I liked this. Favourite was 22a. Thanks to the setter and 3K’s.

  29. Morning all.
    Looks like our setter has managed to keep the majority of commenters happy once again. We certainly found it a pleasure to solve.
    We are a bit rushed this morning. We have a funeral to attend that will take us more than 3 hours driving to get there, so plan to be out the door very soon.

  30. I have yet to begin this crossword and have carefully avoided reading the review and comments.
    I’m all out of sync as I’ve been away from home, staying with my family over Christmas. Super!
    May I wish you all a very belated Happy Festive Season and everything of the best for the New Year!
    I’m ever deeply grateful to Big Dave’s family and to all who devote so much of their time and expertise to this wonderful Big Dave’s Crossword Blog. I know its much appreciated by us all.

  31. There is not enough time for crossword , all the other necessary stuff of life and getting proficient enough to crochet saucy tops for grand daughters. The crossword won its allotted time and earned it as it was a delight. Pleased to find out what the answer to 26 meant as I do not play the game. Liked that and 13 a. Much appreciated although it means crocheting into the night.

  32. A dnf thanks to 6d. Never heard the term before. A Google reveals it is something that happens in North America. Interesting it is apparently commonly used in the UK. I also don’t regard the 4 day weekend as a festival, just a time to be surrounded by mediocre chocolate and sickly children. Dry January is making me grumpy on day 3…

    Other than 6d a very enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to all.

  33. Good evening

    Like many of you before, I was surprised to find 22a in today’s crozzie, because I’m sure it’s not so long ago that it last cropped up – yet, would you believe it was almost last to fall?

    I think the standard of misdirection today has been excellent. I couldn’t finish the NE quadrant at first, because I was convinced I was looking for the name of a festival. Likewise, with 4d, “criminal seizing”, I couldn’t get an anagram of “seizing” out of my head. 3d was just excellent, and 10a is COTD.

    Thank you to our setter for the braincell workout; thank you for the hints 2Ks.

  34. An enjoyable puzzle completed before and after leaving to scope out the parking at PBI in preparation for arrival of very good friends next week. This one made me ponder in places, sometimes resorting to the hint to verify I had got it right. Cold has now expanded and annoying cough kept me awake most of the night, so I feel lucky we had a friendly puzzle today. But I should have got 19a more quickly as we have been there. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

  35. Argh! Pulling teeth for me today with this one just maybe not on the wave length .. or maybe burnt out from all the sax playing mischief over the festive season . At least I’m not a day late as usual 🤣 first in was 1 d so I’m happy at that lol 😂 I felt there were some weak clues in here but hey ho roll on tomorrow I’ve got a few days off … wet and miserable in the land of the castles thanks 2ks
    On an interesting note my sis has lived in Porirua for many years and Kia ora was a childhood drink for me so although it’s evening here … good morning x🎷💝

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