DT 30504 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30504

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30504

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from Almoradí and a belated “Feliz Año” to you all.  Weather here is a cloudless sky but a bit chilly and very windy.  Forecast to be normal service resumed tomorrow!

I’m not sure about the setter today. It didn’t feel like a Campbell production but there are two puns in the Quickie so perhaps it is one of his.   Whatever, it didn’t frighten the horses much but was a bit of fun while it lasted. My only slight trouble was the rather obscure film at 1a.

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.


1a           Film amazing Thailand win against Italy (8,3,1)
WITHNAIL AND I:  Anagram (amazing) of THAILAND WIN followed by an I(taly).  Never heard of this film so a bit of investigoogling required.

9a           Unaware of plain surrounding lake and island (9)
OBLIVIOUS:  A word meaning plain, as in clear, placed around an L(ake) and I(sland).

10a        Love, as it happens, oily fruit (5)
OLIVE:  Love in tennis followed by a word meaning as it happens, often applied to sport on the telly.  Apparently the Spanish province of Jaén produces more of this oil than the whole of Italy!

11a        Holding cracked tureen (6)
TENURE:  Anagram (cracked) of TUREEN.

12a        Staunch supporter rightly depressed (4,4)
TRUE BLUE:  A word meaning rightly or correct followed by one meaning depressed, not down but the other one.

13a        Talk inconsequentially with religious teacher before start of term (6)
RABBIT:  A Jewish religious teacher followed by (before) a T (start of Term).

15a        Important  stuff (8)
MATERIAL:  Double definition.

18a        Hotel guest let team inside (8)
RESIDENT:  Take another word for let or lease and insert (inside) a word for a team.

19a        Improvise showing ingenuity bottling blended gin (4,2)
WING IT:  Some ingenuity or intelligence placed around (bottling) an anagram (blended) of GIN.

21a        A few wish that will never happen (4,4)
SOME HOPE:  A word for a few followed by a word meaning to wish.

23a        Some curds, or tofu in a way (4,2)
SORT OF:  A lurker hiding in (some) curds or tofu.

26a        Note that may be read both ways (5)
MINIM:  This musical note is a palindrome.

27a        Trouble between a mother and son over spiritual leader (5,4)
DALAI LAMA:  You need the A from the clue, the usual two letter mother and a word for son or young boy and reverse it all (over). Into that insert (between) a word for trouble.

28a        Crowd largely relaxed where reporters gather? (5,7)
PRESS GALLERY:  A word for to crowd followed by an anagram (relaxed) of LARGELY.


1d           From bad to worse — Bertie, perhaps (7)
WOOSTER:  Anagram (bad) of TO WORSE.

2d           Short story about bird’s claw (5)
TALON:  A story without its last letter (short) followed by two letters for about.

3d           Cave coming up full of rats and the like — do not fret (5,4)
NEVER MIND:  Start with a cave or retreat reversed (coming up in a down clue) and insert (full of) a word for rats and the like.

4d           Object of worship in orchidology (4)
IDOL: A lurker hiding in the last word of the clue.

5d           American aboard a new train, one coming from Vienna? (8)
AUSTRIAN:  Two letters for American inserted into (aboard) the A from the clue and an anagram (new) of TRAIN.  Here’s one of these people . . .

6d           Idle type finished around mid-afternoon (5)
DRONE:  A word for finished or completed around an R (mid- afteRnoon).

7d           What cover may be doing for novelist (8)
FIELDING:  What someone in the position of cover on a cricket pitch is doing is also the surname of a novelist. You have a choice of two – Helen, who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary, or Henry, who wrote Tom Jones.

8d           Push the boat out taking in a show (6)
REVEAL: A word for push the boat out or party around (taking in) the A from the clue.

14d        Despicable blokes initially tenanted bottom floor? (8)
BASEMENT: A word for despicable followed by some blokes and then a T (initially Tenanted).

16d        Leader‘s spoken about current, after current seen rising (9)
EDITORIAL: A word for spoken placed around (about) the letter for electric current in physics is placed after a reversal (seen rising in a down clue) of the sort of current you get in the sea.

17d        Aplenty, popular digging tools (2,6)
IN SPADES:  The usual two letters for popular followed by some digging tools.

18d        Pick up  summary of events? (6)
RESUME:  Double definition.  Pick up as in carry on.

20d        Petty quarrel with a New York jeweller (7)
TIFFANY:  A petty quarrel followed by the A from the clue and New York.

22d        Pigeon in middle of arboretum (5)
HOMER:  A type of pigeon is what IN usually means in a crossword followed by an R (middle of arboRetum).

24d        Tread nervously in business (5)
TRADE:  Anagram (nervously) of TREAD.

25d        Beat female record (4)
FLOG:  F(emale) followed by a record or diary.

My podium today is 13a, 7d and 22d with 22d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top line:   NAVVY     +     GAIT     +     TAR     =     NAVIGATOR

Bottom line:     DECK     +     AIDES     =     DECADES

94 comments on “DT 30504
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  1. 1a, one of my all time favourite films, must have seen it at least a dozen times.
    Very easy Monday puzzle today judging by the lack of working out on the paper, not a single scribble in sight.
    Last one in was 7d, and even that didn’t take too long. All in all very good fun, many thanks to our compiler today, now off for the daily walk, then will try yesterday’s offering as was too busy to do it on the day.

  2. 1a is my favourite film of all time, anything but obscure and well worth watching. I flew through this.

    Thanks to pommers and today’s setter.

  3. Nice & gentle. Narrowly missed a sub *time completion. Top 2 for me – one of my all time fav films at 1a & 7d – Tony Richardson’s great Oscar winning film of his novel also another fav.
    Thanks to Campbell & to Pommers
    Ps reckon there is a middle pun in the Quickie at 14&16a

  4. Light and enjoyable, a pleasant whizz-through to start the week. The film in 1a never did it for me – I don’t think I’ve ever managed to watch more than about 15 minutes of it before hitting the off switch, and I have always been mystified at its cult status among its fans: horses for courses! Podium to 23a, 7d & 22d.

    1* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

  5. 1*/4*. A gentle, fun start to the week.

    A bit nit-picky, but I thought 18a would have been better with just “in” as the final word as “inside” revealed half the answer.

    Perhaps not surprisingly 13a was one of my top picks but it was just beaten into second place by 7d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  6. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: but he does seem to be maintaining, for him, a higher level of difficulty – 2.5*/4.5*

    Plenty of candidates for favourite – 12a, 3d, 17d, 18d, and 20d – and the winner is 12a.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  7. Splendid.

    Lots of great surfaces puts this as one of his best. So good.

    My LOI was 7d which, being a cricketer, made me smile.

    My podium is 1a (I am hanging my head as I’ve yet to see it), 27a and 20d.


    1. Tom, so you should hang your head in shame! If you (of all people) don’t love Withnail when you do watch it, I will eat a thousand hats.

        1. Honestly, it has your name written all over it. Robinson’s use of language is exquisite: clever, funny and extremely rude!

  8. A light and enjoyable start to the week – thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    Those clues on my podium are 15a, 21a and 22d.

  9. A light, Mondayish puzzle, which, for some reason, didn’t float my boat today, unusually for a Campbell. 7d became my favourite, once the penny dropped. The answer was no problem, thanks to the checkers but it was the cricket connection which didn’t come easily. After all this time I should know. If I’m stuck it’s probably cricket, golf of football! Podium places for 9a and 16d. Thanks to Campbell and pommers.( I agree about the third quickie pun)

  10. There is a third pun, abeit over two lines – lines 7 and 8 across. Whether intended or not is a different matter. Nice gentle back pager to start the week, but not being any sort of film buff, 1a was new to me. Thanks to setter and blog meister. Ps, 28a is my favourite this morning.

  11. Enjoyed this very much and finished unaided. I also have never heard of the film. As others seem to rave about it, I looked at the plot on Wikipedia and I have to say it sounds extremely distasteful in every respect although it has got a very good cast. I think it must be more of a ‘mans’ film, if I am allowed to say that these days. Thanks to all.

    1. Of course you’re allowed to say that! And you may well be right. Certainly, the women in my family all hate(d) it. And oddly, there aren’t really any female characters at all – just one eating a horrid egg sandwich and another briefly shouting. The language is pretty fruity. Casablanca, it ain’t!

      1. I’ve just watched a BFI Q&A with Bruce Robinson & Richard E Grant on You Tube post a 30yr anniversary screening of the film – worth watching if you’ve not seen it. I’ve also played (very loud) the wonderful King Curtis rendition of A whiter Shade of Pale from the superb Live at the Fillmore West which plays over the opening sequence – Tea Withnail?
        My girlfriend at the time loved the film & don’t forget the pivotal role of Miss Blennerhasset.

        1. Agh, how on earth could I have forgotten the redoubtable Miss Blennerhasset. Madge? That sounds a great Q&A (is it online somewhere?) especially as the two have always had a rather uneasy relationship to say the least. And what a tune that is. You’ve inspired me to slap it on right now!

        2. It would actually make a great film triv question: how many women appear on screen in Withnail? Because you’d have to include the extras in the cafe, and the tearoom. And are there any outside the pub? I should know this! 10? Hmm.

          1. The rules for the drinking game are fun – match Withnail drink for drink
            Quantities involved –
            9.5 glasses of red wine (must incl a 53 Margaux)
            1pint of cider
            2.5 shots of gin
            6 glasses of sherry
            13 whiskies
            half pint of bitter
            The bottle of lighter fluid (or a suitable substitute) + the Camberwell 🥕 are optional extras.

    2. I’m with you here Manders – never managed to see it through so you may be right. By the way, smile wiped off my face weatherwise – freezing and trying hard to snow!

  12. Found this to be a gentle ride from Mr Monday with only 7d holding me up for a while. Knew the name of the 1a film but don’t know anything about it, it obviously has many fans!
    Podium places awarded to 19&21a plus 1d with mentions for 20d, just because, and 22d which only missed out when I saw pommers’ illustration of that character whom I can’t abide.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – ‘chilly’ doesn’t even come close to what we’ve got today!

  13. Nothing to frighten the horses here. 7d was clever but my COTD is 20d simply because I fancy some bling on a dreary Monday morning

  14. Well, Campbell (and there are definitely three puns, I agree) had me at 1a. What a lovely gift of a clue. I can but echo the thoughts of Huntsman et al. Only a dozen times, Topcat? What have you been doing with your time?! I must have watched it at least 100 times, saddo that I am. And 7d was good enough to be a chestnut, but I’ve not seen it before. I agree with Tom – one of his best, I thought. Perfect for a Siberian Monday. Many thanks to him, and Pommers, of course.

      1. The indisputable leader of the gang; the most effectual, who’s intellectual, he’s the boss, a VIP& the championship but above everything else the most tip top. Sums you up nicely……

        1. Nice work, Hints.

          Topcat was brilliant as was Sergeant Bilko which it was based on. Phil silvers is up there with Morecambe and Cooper.

          Did you know that to bilk someone is to con them?

          Every day’s a school day and all that caper.

          1. I loved Topcat as well, usually on just before the BBC news at six, never missed it unless playing an away football match against another school.

                  1. No, it’s flicking the ‘tipcat’ into the air and belting it with a stick to see how far it can go. A tipcat is a small piece of wood.

  15. Campbell back to his best today with a crossword that was not a read and write as some above have implied, or I have inferred, but with very good clues of which 7d is the clear winner.
    I watched 1a with my son shortly after its release ; he was impressed, I was not. With all the acclaim above perhaps I should watch it again with my cynicism firmly in control.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  16. 7d was my final entry and I was cross with myself for not getting it sooner as a self-confessed cricket nut. It was also my favourite once I had cracked it. Overall a pleasant and gentle start to the crosswording week.

    My thanks to our triple punner and pommers.

  17. Great start to the week. Thanks to setter. Several very good clues but the best, for me, was the brilliant 7D. **/**** overall

  18. Spot on start to the week, not heard of the 1a film, had a few guesses when the checking letters were in and assumed and I,
    Nicely clued throughout, favourite was 7d for the cover,liked 12a 19a.
    Going for a **/****

  19. Did like this one! Only had to cheat once ( a rarity for me) to find the first word in the 1a film, the last 2 words having rung a bell. ‘Avec Ongle’ apparently did appear over here in FR (with the proper name verbatim) but can’t say I’d ever heard of it except perhaps in the UK press.
    Lots of lovely clues, favourite spot goes to 27a.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  20. This was a nice gentle start to the week for me, and no bad thing for that.
    My favourite was 7D, I am on much safer ground with cricket references than the football reference we had yesterday.
    I was not too sure about the answer in 6D being a good fit for idle but Webster tells me it’s legit, but nothing else to raise an eyebrow.
    */*** for me today.
    Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  21. A new record time for me so feeling pleased with myself. I knew the film so got it straight away so that set me off at a good pace and had no holdups. Thanks to Campbell – assume it’s him/her (do we know?) and Pommers.

  22. Great fun puzzle. Whilst the 1a film is great, thought the “Wodehousian” linked 1d and 6d were superb. This gets my joint cotd. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  23. I found this easier than I usually do with Campbell puzzles but still needed the hunt for 7d…..not being a cricketty person it got by me.
    Lots of lovely clues. Favourite is 22d.

    Thanks to Pommers and to Campbell.

    Blooming Baltic here with the odd sleety shower thrown in.

  24. Sorry to be slightly negative but this one didn’t do it for me which is odd for a Monday! I thought */** and had never heard of 1a but was able to guess it just. Thanks to pommers and the setter though.

  25. Assuming this was a Campbell puzzle I found it toward the harder end of his spectrum in many of the clues. Lots to like though along with plenty of head scratching. NE last area finished.

    2.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites today include 9a, 19a, 23a, 26a, 1d & 16d — with winner 1d and 26a the runner-up today
    Never heard of 1a, but managed with checking letters to work it out.

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for hints/blog

  26. For the most part very straightforward, apart from the clever 7d which held me up! 😃 **/*** Favourites 1a, 7d & 20d 👍 Thanks to the Compiler (don’t think it is Campbell, 5 two word expressions 🤔) and to Pommers

  27. Cracking puzzle, I hope this bodes well for the week. 7d was last in, didn’t realise that it was a cricketing clue and a very clever one at that.
    Thx to all.

  28. No problems until I just didn’t catch the ball for 7 down. Annoyed with self but we all have that feeling sometimes. At least I hope we do. Thanks to Pommers and Campbell. Will go and get more acquainted with crochet. The initial pain of learning is at last giving some joy.A crochet related clue would be an added bonus .

  29. A most enjoyable puzzle, delightfully free of convoluted clues i liked the 1a anagram of the film (not a favourite of mine but I knew of it) and the 28a lego clue but COTD was the 7d crickety one. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the hints. A belated Happy New Year to all.

  30. An enjoyable puzzle today, many great clues. Being a football fan I failed to solve 7d, very clever I thought though. Thankyou all.

  31. OK but not really up my street. SW held out longest. Will add my name to list of ignorami who have never heard of 1a and after reading Comments above perhaps I haven’t missed much! Don’t think I have previously come across 19a but it led me to look up the origin before adding it to my Thesaurus. 27a son rather broad. 22d was a bung-in as I missed significance of in. Thank you Campbell and Senf.

  32. A DNF for me due to not being able to answer 7d and 16d.

    But I’m happy with the result. No help needed with the ones I did answer.

  33. I did not do as well as others with this as I did not know 1a and I also struggled with 7d however I managed the rest and really liked 1d. Every day is a school day in cryptic land!

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the needed hints.

  34. A nice Monday offering to start the week. I have heard of 1a but think I’ll give that one a miss. I liked lots, I was so pleased to get 7d, not being a crickety fan, but fave was 21a.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, and pommers for explaining some obscurities!

  35. I’ve never seen 1a, though I know it is regarded highly in some circles.
    Great lyrics within the Top Cat theme song:
    “Top Cat!
    Who’s intellectual!
    Close friends get to call him ‘T.C.’
    Providing it’s with dignity!”

    Quite inspired to rhyme ‘TC’ with ‘dignity’.

    It’s on a par with the Flintstones theme for wordplay.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers in Vega Baja del Segura.

    1. Welcome back T. Are you familiar with Richard Hawley? Don’t quite know how but he’s completely passed me by & have just discovered him via his best of compilation Now Then & can’t stop playing him.

  36. Great start to the week, a 2*/4* for me. Started badly, because, like several others, I did not know the film! However it was obviously an anagram so got there in the end. The other clue I faltered on was 7d – don’t know anything about cricket and was so convinced it referred to the cover of a book! Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  37. As with others a new film to see. Lovely mild puzzle but really smooth clueing throughout. Thank you setter and Pommers

  38. A pleasant surprise on a Monday morning. Only real hold up was 1a as I had never heard of it. Having now researched it, not sure I would pay to see it 😊. Needed hints for just 7d and 8d, so a very enjoyable solve today. Like Brian says, hope this bodes well for the week. I probably will only be able to do until Thursday though, as we have very good friends arriving from England for 2 weeks on Thursday evening, and don’t think we can ignore them at breakfast time while we tackle the puzzles, that would be rather rude. Lots to enjoy in this puzzle. Thanks to setter (was it Campbell?), and to Pommers.

    1. Maybe you could convert them. My son and his partner came to visit us on holiday and I spent quite a bit of time explaining how these crosswords worked using a puzzle such as today’s. They are hooked now.

  39. A gentle start to the week and although I haven’t seen the film at 1a I deciphered it quite easily. Managed 3/4 of the puzzle without any help but struggled in the NE. Didn’t get the cricketing clue and checked with the hints. The latter confirmed 3 clues that I was hesitating over.
    Re the first pun in the Quickie and Campbell’s comment. As 8a was in italics (paper version) I did put navigator. Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

    1. Yes, 8a was in italics in the paper so I had navigator too. Must have been an editorial decision when they realised 8a fitted.

  40. A great start to the week! May it continue. I have never seen the film at 1a but, incongruously, I remember the poster for it. The north east corner held me up the most mainly because I’d forgotten that particular meaning of “cover”. MY COTD is the cave full of rats at 3d.

    Thank you, Campbell for the fun. Many thanks to pommers for the hints.

    It’s cold in The Marches but not the return of the third ice age as the media would have us believe.

  41. I knew the film at 1A but 9a was my earworm of the day

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers
    My satnav was called Henry (the Navigator) but reverting to google maps means she is niw known as Henrietta

    1. Now*
      Terence and Roddy have started me on a bit of Scottish Pop
      Anyone for Orange Juice? Or should I rip it up and start again

  42. I loved this – like others I hope it bodes well for the rest of the week. Also like others, 7d was my last one in – I was about to resort to help when the penny suddenly dropped. Thanks to Campbell for a great puzzle and to Pommers – I needed your help to parse 22d. It’s not often that I finish early enough to be worth commenting, so I will take the opportunity to wish everyone on Big Dave a very happy new(ish) year – and a huge thank you to all the hinters and the people who keep the blog going – all the work that goes into it is greatly appreciated.

  43. I had heard of 1a but never seen it or likely to. LOI was 15a as the first meaning wasn’t one that readily sprang to mind. Favourite by a country mile was 7d and unlikely to be bettered this week. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  44. Quick on the left, much slower on the right. Ended up with 7d – a brilliant clue that was wasted on me as I had to reverse engineer to finish. Big clunk as ‘cover’ revealed its secret.

  45. More like that please…..an excellent crossword. Thanks to Campbell for the puzzle and to Pommers.
    I have watched the film and thought it was dreadful! Never quite understood why it has such a cult following. I think we only watched it because it was filmed in the Lake District.

  46. Just what the Doctor ordered for me. Loved it and nearly all straight in.Slowest segment was the NE. I knew I was looking for an author ending in ING for 7d so I just went through the alphabet. Got it before I realised the cricket connection. I thought of Henry father than the other one. Ia was straight in. I have never seen the film. I guessed the second two words as with a single last letter it really had to be that. Looked at the remaining letters and I had heard of the name but couldn’t tell you whether it was a film, play or TV programme. Getting it was a great help and the rest of the NW went straight in. I was slow with 5d as I couldn’t parse it for some reason. Favourites 9a and 7 and 18d. Thank you Campbell and Pommers. Wish I was in your neck of the woods. Finding it freezing here after two weeks on the Algarve and glad I’m not a brass monkey.

  47. Not on the same wavelength as those who found this easy. Managed less than half and called it a day.

    Thanks to all.

    1. Just gone through the answers and hints. Clues like 7d make me despise cricket even more than I already do.

      Still don’t understand 6d and 18d. I was never going to solve 26a either.

      Here’s hoping the rest of the week is on my wavelength!

  48. Good evening

    Looks like I’m last to check in! Work this afty/evening meant, of necessity, grabbing a few minutes with the crozzie when I could, and now I’m on my way home, I’ve finally figured out 7d – last to fall by a country mile!

    Perfectly pitched for a Monday. My thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  49. It’s been a busy day and I kept getting interrupted by stuff. It’s late so I’ll just say great puzzle and thank you to setter and hinter!

  50. Woke up this morning with the solution to 7d,
    My only remaining clue.
    The brain is, indeed, an incredible organ
    Brilliant clue, though.
    Thanks Campbell.

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