DT 30506 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30506

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30506

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Summer has arrived here at last and seems to be making up for lost time. Today’s predicted high is 28C and it feels like it has reached that now as we settle down to put this blog together.
We took a little longer than usual getting this one sorted. We enjoyed the solve and learnt a new phrase in 5d along the way.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Better follow group leader (3,3)
TOP DOG : Better or overcome and follow or trail.

5a     Jokes about boy and right things to wear for best (4,4)
GLAD RAGS : Jokes or japes contain another word for boy and R(ight).

9a     Thoroughly at home with first lady, Republican — that is a surprise (4,1,5)
WELL I NEVER : String together thoroughly or completely, the two letter ‘at home’, the first lady in Eden and R(epublican).

10a     Related fact ultimately obsolete (4)
TOLD : The final letter of fact and then obsolete or ancient.

11a     Discipline of Chinese with regard to flow of energy (4,4)
FENG SHUI : A cryptic definition.

12a     Good facilities many essentially abandoned being dimly lit (6)
GLOOMY : ‘Convenience’ facilities are enclosed by G(ood) and the two outside letters (essentially abandoned) of many.

13a     Enthusiasm stifled by size, strangely (4)
ZEST : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

15a     Reserve time invested in place for pier (3,5)
SET ASIDE : A place where a pier might be constructed contains T(ime).

18a     Unusual find in friendly power supplier (4,4)
WIND FARM : Friendly or cordial contains an anagram (unusual) of FIND.

19a     Swallow and pull back quietly (4)
GULP : The reversal of pull or drag and then the musical letter for quietly.

21a     Dash off, seeing son move slowly (6)
SCRAWL : The abbreviation for son and then move slowly as a pre-toddler might.

23a     Grabbing wife and taking a break (8)
WRESTING : The abbreviation for wife, then taking a break or relaxing.

25a     Capable of improving, stood regularly (2,2)
UP TO : Improving or better and the second and fourth letters of stood.

26a “A way of communicating tedium” Mail involved (10)
MULTIMEDIA : An anagram (involved) of TEDIUM MAIL.

27a     A little short in cunning (8)
SLIGHTLY : Short or underweight is enclosed by cunning like a fox.

28a     Study on turf heavy with moisture (6)
SODDEN : A turf or clump of grass and a study room.


2d     Times look at supporting zero growth (2-3)
OX-EYE : The letter that looks like zero, then the mathematical symbol for times and look at or observe.

3d     Pleased having been left in the dark? (9)
DELIGHTED : A prefix meaning remove and then illuminated.

4d     Eager to attack, shooter shot across front of house (4-2)
GUNG-HO : A firearm, then a shot or opportunity contains the first letter of house.

5d     Put a lot of effort into it and go with the pedal to the metal (4,2,4,5)
GIVE IT SOME WELLY : A double definition. (This was new to us but we find that BRB lists both these definitions.)

6d     Stop a barrier crushing brother (8)
ABROGATE : ‘A’ from the clue and a barrier that might block entry to a field surround the three letter abbreviation for brother.

7d     Proportion of speech missing at both ends (5)
RATIO : Remove the first and last letters from a speech or discourse.

8d     Fashion model glad to get podium prize (4,5)
GOLD MEDAL : An anagram (fashion) of MODEL GLAD.

14d     European priest, oddly firm friend of the bishop (9)
EPISCOPAL : E(uropean), the first third and fifth letters of priest, then a firm or business and finally a three letter friend.

16d     Musical talent to express disappointment on walk (5-4)
SIGHT-READ : Express disappointment with an outgoing breath, then walk or pace.

17d     Protection on board secured by stablemate? (5,3)
TABLE MAT : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

20d     Creative type — one in class (6)
GENIUS : A biological class – above species – contains Roman numeral one.

22d     Together or mainly by oneself — golf (5)
ALONG : Remove the last letter from a word meaning ‘by oneself’ and replace it with G(olf).

24d     Part of church accepting one is innocent (5)
NAIVE : Part of the body of a church contains Roman numeral one.

14d gets our 8d today.

Quickie pun    beers    +    port    =    be a sport

67 comments on “DT 30506
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  1. Reasonably straightforward & very enjoyable too. Lots to like but 5d gets my vote as pick of the bunch as it’s a phrase I use.
    Thanks to the setter & to the 2Ks

  2. I got on wavelength quickly, that said a few needed reverse engineering before the penny dropped. I like multi word clues so this suited well. For me this was easier than the last 2 days which shows it is a wavelength thing.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 kiwis.

  3. I found this quite tricky and it was a long-winded slog to solve it. I’m still not clear in what way 11a is a cryptic definition rather than a straight definition of this Chinese concept. The best of theclues were the two Lego clues, 9a and 5d plus the 8d anagram. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints and to thecompiler.

  4. Very enjoyable, albeit pretty light – no bad thing as my brain’s frazzled. 26a made me smile (always good to see a pop at the Mail) and 2d, but only because it’s about the only flower I know. 8d was pretty. I didn’t love 11a – I briefly thought I was doing the quick by mistake and desperately tried, and failed, to read more into it. But, like Huntsman, 5d was my favourite as I, too, say that all the time! Thanks to the setter, and the 2Ks, of course.

  5. An enjoyable midweek puzzle – thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    I spent some time trying to find some wordplay in 11a but gave up and assumed it was a (not very) cryptic definition (as I see now that the 2Ks did).
    For my podium I selected 27a, 16d and 17d.

  6. Another very pleasant and engaging puzzle that was not too strenuous but was highly enjoyable. I liked the lurker at 17d but my 8d goes to 5d.

    My thanks to our setter and the 2Ks. We could do with some of your Southern Hemisphere warmth here.

  7. An enjoyable puzzle with some pleasing expressions to unfold such as 5a and 5D both of which make me smile.
    I was less comfortable with growth as a definition in 2d as it seems way too broad. And I disagreed with 2Ks on 11a where I think “cryptic” is exactly what it isn’t – just a straight forward definition as far as I can see!
    My picks of the day however were 9a and the lovely moment when I twigged 3d.
    Thanks to the setter and to 2K’s whose arrival of summer I envy…

  8. Certainly somewhat tricky today, especially the NW corner, liked 2d,took a while to get 5d after the welly fell into place and the rest followed.Agree with Chriscross on the 11a definition.
    Liked the surface of 15a and 6d
    Going for a ***/****

  9. Nice start to the morning. 5d was an obvious bung in but the reasoning defeated me . Ticks by 2, 7 and 16 down. Thanks to all .

  10. A solid midweeker which is always welcome.

    I am very happy with the expression in 5d. Such fun to say at the top of your voice on the sideline. Is 11a that cryptic? It looks like a straight definition to me. I don’t know why but I really like the answer to 6d which was an excellent clue. Probably because I like ‘br’ as a sound.

    Sorry, that was a bit weird.

    Anyway, my podium is 26a (always love a dig at this Mickey Mouse rag), 17d (a brilliant lurker) and the aforementioned 6d.

    Many thanks to the midweek master and Le Touquet.


          1. It’s a perfect term for an off-the-wall, bantering nonagenarian (almost) who dons a white cowboy hat whilst remarkably doing the splits.

  11. 3*/3.5*. This was a bit tougher than we have seen on the back page on recent recent Wednesdays but good fun nevertheless.

    I’m with those that see anything cryptic about 11a, and I don’t think 16d works. The definition is a noun and the answer is a verb.

    27a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks. It’s closer to 28F here!

    1. Hi RD

      You raise an interesting point about noun vs verb.

      Someone says ‘I have a musical talent: I can sing’. If you replace ‘sing’ with the answer to 16d it would work.

      I suppose the talent is singing (noun) or, put another way, ‘the ability (noun) to sing (verb)’.

      Oh, I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m just thinking out loud.

  12. ***/* A very slow start and a bit of a slog with no smiles along the way. I appreciate the clever cluing but apart from that not particularly enjoyable. 15A and 5D take the top two prizes.

  13. Can’t believe after a daunting first read through puzzle turned out to be eminently solvable and good fun to boot. Hair-splitting quibbles would be dubious crypticism of 11a, broadness of growth for 2d and talent for 16d. Thank you compiler and the 2Kiwis – could do with a little of your warmth just now – brrr!

  14. A nice one, right at the tricky end of what I can (mostly) complete. ***/***

    Agree with others that 11a is not particularly cryptic; spent quite some time trying to parse something that’s unparseable, if that’s a word. Favourites were the lovely lurker in 17d, and 2d as I always feel pleased to construct a word I’m unfamiliar with and then confirm its existence in the dictionary!

  15. More ‘teasing out’ than usually required for a mid-week back pager – ***/****

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 27a, and 24d – and the winner is 24d.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  16. I’m with Chris on this one – quite a tricky guzzle in places. I agree with many above about 11a but life is too short to be too concerned about it.
    A little sadness in that a year ago I would have teased Robert about 5d and wondered if he knew the phrase, and he would have replied that he had stored it in his memory after reading a Wodehouse story thirty years earlier.

    Daisy Thank you for asking about H’s health and well-being. We both had a heavy bout of ‘flu during and after Christmas. H had it much worse than me and was prescribed antibiotics. We both have ‘long covid’ which makes everything a little more of a challenge. However, she is feeling much better now and she asked me to thank you very much for asking after her.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    21a related

  17. 20d had me going through the alphabet in an otherwise straightforward solve. Add me to the club that looked for more depth in 11a.

    Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

    1. I was feeling quite pleased with myself when I inserted the I into a class of medieval slaves to give some type faces. The required singular answer troubled me and on checking “computer said no” so it was back to the drawing board. I still think my first answer (almost) works.

  18. Not destined to become my favourite puzzle of the week given a couple of dodgy surfaces and a few ‘not quite’ definitions but I did find some to make me smile – 27a sits atop the podium with 9a & 17d taking the lesser places.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review.

  19. Was pressed for time today so couldn’t finish it all at brekky leaving a few for lunch. Overall quite accessible, but did wonder if I’d got another GK with 11a, and my word, 5d did bring back memories. Did recognise it, but it originates from the 70s apparently which is about when I left the UK so haven’t really heard it since.
    Liked 5 and 12a, and 3d made me giggle, but I’m voting for 12a as the fave du jour.
    Many thanks to whosoever and to the Antipodean pair. (Some friends will be off to the South Island to see their son next week)

  20. What a difference this week is from last. Last week I completed every guzzle unaided. This week I’m wading through thick mud and losing my wellies into the bargain. It must be me as most found it pleasurable.

    I got there in end but it was yet another struggle. Still, I did have a couple of favourites such as the shot across the house at 4d and the little short in 27a. My COTD was my surprise at being at home with the First Lady at 9a.

    Thank you, setter but I am just not seeing them this week. Thank you 2Ks for making sense of a number for me.

  21. No issues with this, except for 2d which I had never heard of and which defeated me until I finally had to resort to the hint. That pushed me just into *** time but certainly **** for enjoyment. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  22. Again for me an enjoyable and relatively straightforward solve with no real holdups. Really not sure what’s happened since the new year but I seemed to have improved dramatically. I’m not too busy at the moment so maybe it’s just my empty brain is ripe for lateral thinking. Hooray to that and long may it continue!
    Thanks to the setter and 2kiwis.

  23. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Good fun, though surprisingly 2d was my last one in. I agree with you about 11a and wondered if anyone ever uses the word 23a. I liked 15&28a and 3&7d but 9a is my favourite. It is so cold outside but heavenly in our conservatory except that it is full of ‘stuff’ because it is the warmest place to be for the middle of the day. Lots of WIP. I told George this morning there was an article in Features about how the cold weather affects old people. ‘We’re not old’ he said. Talk about deluded. Many thanks to the benevolent setter and to the 2Ks in their sunny clime. Memo – I must ask Brian one day what the church did to upset him?

    1. 23a is used fairly commonly in the phrase “******** control from”, but outside of that I would agree it’s a rare bird.

    2. I agree with George. As we are only 82, we are always careful to say that we are just getting older, not old!
      Enjoyed the cryptic today, found it easier than last 2 days. We also do wordle but lost our prized score by missing a day. It all helps to prevent our grey matter getting Old(er).

  24. A lovely puzzle I thought with the exception of 11a as orhers have mentioned.
    I particularly liked 9a, 15a, 5d and 17d.
    Thanks to setter and hinters.

  25. I struggled a little with this Wednesday puzzle as I had three bung-ins wrong and that really slowed me down. When it was all done, I am not sure why I struggled so much. One of those evenings I suppose, when other things were pre-occupying me.
    Thought it may have been a pangram too at some point, but that fizzled out too.

    3*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 9a, 12a, 21a, 5d & 20d — with winner 5d

    Thanks to setter & the 2K’s

  26. 1a, only got the first word to start with. first proper answer was 10a. Then everything flew in. Therefore I loved it. Some lovely words which I haven’t used for years and some interesting colloquialism. Thanks to setter and kk. Lovely and sunny here in Gloucestershire. I just love winter sun, so much more interesting than high summer which I always think of as a disappointment when trying to take pictorial snaps.

  27. Steve Cowling summed up this puzzle for me, as I too found it a bit of a slog. I had to resort to the 2K’s excellent hints to get me over the line and having looked at them, wondered why I made such heavy weather of it. Tomorrow is another day. Thanks to the compiler and 2K’s

  28. Happy to find a doable Wednesday challenge. A few eyebrow raisers though, including 11a which is surely not cryptic , just GK. 5d new to me, but Peter said he’d heard of it (I led a sheltered life 😊). LI was 22d as I was fixated on among. As I finished, I am not sure this is a ***. But having reached day 201 on Wordle perhaps I do have a few working grey cells. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

    1. Well done! I broke my record when I missed a day – I did not realise that you then started counting up
      again from scratch. But I do have 98% win and today got it in TWO!

  29. I was surprised that I almost solved this unaided, DNF, however, with 5d. I’ve never heard that and couldn’t imagine what it could be. I like multi-word answers, so that pleased me. I liked 9a, but 3d was fave, it’s giggle worthy.
    Thank you setter for the fun and 2Kiwis for explaining some of the trickier answers.

  30. Morning all.
    Like Gazza, we looked long and hard at 11a searching for extra wordplay in the clue. Strangely though we thought that 22a in the Quick Crossword could well have been a clue in a cryptic.
    The article of footwear alluded to in 5d is always called a gumboot in NZ so not surprising that the required expression is not used here.
    Today’s maximum is expected to drop to 24C so most people will be breathing a sigh of relief at that.

  31. Very enjoyable 😃 pleased to see that our friends down under are enjoying some Summer temperatures here we are having a very cold snap, blues skies but thankfully the rain has stopped 🥶Favourites: 23a, 2d and 20d 👍 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to the Compiler 🤔

  32. Good evening

    Isn’t it strange how our brains work? I found today’s crozzie comparatively straight forward when set against yesterday’s, when I had some real struggles just getting a foothold! Yet many of your comments show otherwise…

    Some fun to be had with today’s clues. I join the consensus that 11a wasn’t actually cryptic – which is why I held back from writing that solution in first. But, you see, this is cryptic crozzie land, and I can perfectly envisage any of our compilers chucking in a straight clue just to put us off! We used to have a compiler, years ago, who always included a straight quotation in his grids.

    My thanks to our compiler and to 2Ks.

  33. Tricky, but I got a lot further than I thought I might.

    I ended up needing to come here for help with three clues.

    Happy with the result.

  34. I thought I was heading for my second dnf of the day but then I got 11a with a flash of inspiration although, like others, I fail to see anything cryptic about it. No real favourites. Thanks to the setter anyway Ann’s 2K’s.

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