DT 30503 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30503 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30503

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 6th Jan 2024

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice and pleasant Saturday puzzle from the setter that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and precious comments.

These days I am remembering my mother even more because on these days of January last year, she was still alive but in hospital and most of the time uttering Astaghfirullah. My maternal grandmother, who raised me up and with whom I stayed since childhood, was the most important, most precious and most loveable person on earth. After she passed away in 1985, I found solace in my mother who then became the most important, most precious and most loveable person on earth. It will be the eve of her first death anniversary when this review goes for publication. I reminisce that on this very day last year, she was declared fit and discharged from the hospital, but called by the Almighty the very next day, in the dying moments of Friday the 13th January 2023. At this time, I recall some happy moments. I, along with my mother and other members of the family, visited London and other cities of Europe in October-November 2012. I also feel happy to share a picture of my mother sitting outside the Tower of London and taking delight in feeding the birds.

Confessor, the answer to the clue of 15d, is a priest authorised to hear confessions. I learnt from the net that in a number of Christian traditions, including Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Lutheranism and Anglicanism, a confessor is a priest who hears the confessions of penitents and pronounces absolution. During the Diocletianic or Great Persecution that was the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire, many Christians had, under torture or threat, lost their faith in the church. But when the persecutions came to an end during the regime of Constantine the Great, they gradually reunited with the church. It became the practice of the penitents to approach the confessors, who had willingly underwent the sufferings and torture for the sake of their faith and survived, to plead their case and effect their restoration to communion. With the passage of time, the word came to define any priest who had been granted the authority to hear confessions. However, these priests were subject to a test by officers of the church called examiners, before being granted this right. An individual is allowed to have a regular confessor, who is also regarded as a ‘spiritual advisor’ or ‘spiritual father’. Several Christian monarchs availed this facility. It is also a standard practice for a religious community of women to have more than one priest as confessors.

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1a    Evil personality in London park (4)
HYDE: Double nounal definition; the second denoting the name of the historic Grade-I listed urban park in Westminster, Greater London that was established by Henry VIII in 1536 that takes to the first referring to the evil personality in the celebrated Gothic novel, ‘Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, in which Jekyll is the good personality and Hyde the bad personality, both of which are in the same person

3a    Lawyer‘s writings edited as an alternative (10)
PROSECUTOR: The definition of a barrister or other lawyer who conducts case against a defendant in a criminal court is the result of a charade of PROSE (writings) as a written or spoken language in its ordinary form, without metrical structure, CUT (edited) as a verb in the past tense denoting shortened a text, film or performance by removing material and OR (as an alternative) as used to link alternatives and possibilities where there are two and the last two where there are several

9a    Bit of waiting at Enschede Airport barrier (4)
GATE: Part of or hidden inside (bit of) [WAITIN]G AT E[NSCHEDE] guides to the definition of an exit from an airport building to an aircraft

10a    Allure in kinky panto time after time (10)
TEMPTATION: An anagram (kinky) of PANTO TIME placed after (after) T (time) as the symbol for time in physics leads to the definition of a noun referring to something that attracts, entices or allures someone

11a    Guevara having friend round shows jungle knife (7)
MACHETE: CHE (Guevara) as referring to Ernesto Che Guevara, the Argentine Marxist revolutionary who was also a physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist surrounded by (having … round) MATE (friend) as an informal term for a friend or companion shows the definition of a heavy knife or cutlass used in Central and South America as a tool or a weapon and especially used in jungles because it can easily cut through plants and vines

13a    Tease US composer for organ case (7)
RIBCAGE: A charade of RIB (tease) as a slang term meaning to tease, ridicule or make fun of someone and CAGE (US composer) as referring to John Milton Cage Jr., the American composer and music theorist who was a pioneer of indeterminacy in music, electroacoustic music and non-standard use of musical instrument guides to the definition of the structure of ribs that protects the heart, lungs and other organs

14a    Sensational? Carp at clues made badly! (11)
SPECTACULAR: An anagram (made badly) of CARP AT CLUES leads to the definition of an adjective meaning sensational or extremely impressive

18a    Shooting star once seen across the pond? (5,6)
ANNIE OAKLEY: A cryptic definition of the celebrated sharpshooter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from across the Atlantic who was born Phoebe Ann Mosey and who starred in Buffalo Bill’s ‘Wild West’

21a    Slogan putting student in stew (3,4)
TAG LINE: L (student) as appearing in an L-plate denoting a learner driver placed inside (in) TAGINE (stew) as a North African stew of spiced meat and vegetables prepared by slow cooking in a shallow earthenware cooking dish with a tall, conical lid guides to the definition of a punch line or a watchword or slogan

22a    Cathedral cleric — second one ousted (7)
MINSTER: MIN[I]STER (cleric) as a member of the clergy, especially in the Presbyterian and Nonconformist Churches having removed (ousted) the secondly-placed (second) I (one) as the Roman numeral for one takes to the definition of any large or important church, as a cathedral or having the status of a cathedral

23a    Lovely starter? Mashed pulse into dish (6,4)
LENTIL SOUP: The starting or initial letter (starter) of L[OVELY] followed by an anagram (mashed) of PULSE INTO leads to the definition of a soup that is made of stock and lentils with onions, carrots and celery

24a     Smell from chamberpot no good (4)
PONG: The definition of a colloquial term for a bad smell is arrived at from a charade of PO (chamberpot) as a shortening of chamberpot and NG (no good) as an abbreviation for no good

25a    Dispute on both sides to produce decline (10)
DEGENERATE: The outermost letters (on both sides) of D[ISPUT]E followed by GENERATE (to produce) as to produce or create takes to the definition of a verb meaning to decline or deteriorate physically, mentally or morally

26a    Forecast enigmatic sea captain backed (4)
OMEN: NEMO (enigmatic sea captain) as referring to the mysterious character Captain Nemo created by Jules Verne, the French novelist and appearing in two of his science-fiction books, ‘Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas’ and ‘The Mysterious Island’ coming back or returning (backed) as a reversal in the across clue yields the definition of a noun meaning a forecast or a sign of what is going to happen in the future


1d    Drunken crowd in solemn service (4,4)
HIGH MASS: A charade of HIGH (drunken) as drunk or under the influence of alcohol and MASS (crowd) as a large number of people or crowd leads to the definition of a church service held in a Catholic church in which there are more ceremony than in an ordinary mass

2d    Remote sort of residence (8)
DETACHED: Double definition; the second referring to a type of house or other building not joined to another on either side that takes to the first an adjective meaning aloof and objective

4d    Official tempted woman after scripture class (5)
REEVE: EVE (tempted woman) as referring to the first woman who tempted Adam, the first man to eat the fatal fruit and transgressed by eating the fruit herself placed after (after) RE (scripture class) as an abbreviation for religious education that includes teaching of scripture or religious texts in schools as a subject leads to the definition of a high official or a chief magistrate of a district

5d    Smashing luge in crash, agent for Bond? (9)
SUPERGLUE: SUPER (smashing) as excellent, extremely good or pleasant followed by an anagram (in crash) of LUGE takes to the definition of any of various impact adhesives that quickly make an exceptionally strong bond

6d    Former PM in Commons perhaps lying in the past (11)
CHAMBERLAIN: The definition of the British politician whose full name was Arthur Neville Chamberlain and who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940 is reached from CHAMBER (Commons perhaps) as the place where Members of Parliament debate and vote on important issues and LAIN (lying in the past) as an archaic term for lying and no longer in general use

7d    Island where Brown consumes excellent whiskey (6)
TAIWAN: The definition of an island country in East Asia between the East China Sea and the South China Sea, off the south-eastern coast of the People’s Republic of China is arrived at from TAN (brown) as tawny or brownish yellow that takes inside (consumes) a combo of AI (excellent) as first-rate, first class or excellent and W (whiskey) as the letter represented by Whiskey in the NATO phonetic alphabet

8d    Campanologist‘s double? (6)
RINGER: Double definition; the second being a person or thing that looks very like another that brings to the first traditionally referring to a person who is called campanologist or the one who rings church bells as a job or hobby

12d    Old custom that’s forced return (11)
EXTRADITION: A charade of EX (old) as a prefix indicating of a person no longer what they were but still living or as someone with whom a person was once associated in a relationship or marriage and TRADITION (custom) as a long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another guides to the definition of enforced removal from one’s native country by official decree or the act of making someone return for trial to another country or state where they have been accused of doing something illegal

15d    One dealing with admissions? (9)
CONFESSOR: A cryptic definition of a priest who hears confessions and admission of guilt or wrong doing of a person and grants absolution and spiritual counsel

16d    French dish for spy boss where train pulls in (8)
PLATFORM: PLAT (French dish) as the word for ‘dish’ in the French language, FOR from the clue and M (spy boss) as a fictional character as the Head of Secret Intelligence Service in Ian Fleming’s ‘James Bond’ series guide to the definition of a raised pavement alongside the track in a railway station giving access to trains

17d    Gas from chicken — nuts go dry inside (8)
HYDROGEN: The definition of a gas that is the lightest of all known substances, very inflammable and bearing atomic number 1 is reached from HEN (chicken) as a female bird, especially of a domestic fowl with an anagram (nuts) of GO DRY placed inside (inside)

19d    Phlegmatic firm accepting contract’s termination (6)
STOLID: The definition of an adjective meaning impassive, unemotional or showing little or no interest is arrived at from SOLID (firm) as firm and stable in shape, taking inside (accepting) contract’s termination, that is the terminal or final letter (termination) of [CONTRAC]T

20d    Drink for example with medal being returned (6)
EGGNOG: EG (for example) as the abbreviation for the Latin phrase exempli gratia meaning ‘for example’ and (with) GONG (medal) as a slang term for a medal or award taking a turn by going upwards (being returned) as a reversal in the down clue guides to the definition of a drink of eggs and hot beer, spirits etc

22d    Climb on Etna? (5)
MOUNT: Double definition; the second referring to Mount Etna that is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania that takes to the first a verb meaning to climb or move up on to a raised surface

The clues that I liked in this puzzle were 3a, 10a, 13a, 18a, 23a, 5d, 7d, 8d, 12d, 15d and 16d; 5d being the best of the lot. My prayers to the Almighty for the eternal rest and peace of BD and my thanks to the setter for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

9 comments on “DT 30503 (full review)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Nice to see my home minster (York) in 22a
    The statue bottom right is of Constantine the Roman Emperor who came to the throne whilst in York
    Also nice to see your mother enjoying feeding the birds

    1. Thank you so much, Sloop John Bee, for liking the photograph of my mother happily feeding the birds. Thank you also for sharing more about you and the fact that Constantine came to the throne whilst in York. I learnt from the net that, in those days, the walled city of York was known by the name ‘Eboracum’ and was famous as a fort.

    1. Thank you so much once again, NYDK, for liking my review and thank you too for liking the photograph of my mother happily feeding the birds.

  2. Thank you for your efforts in providing informative and entertaining information.
    Much enjoyed.
    Thank you for sharing the picture of your lovely Mum.

  3. PS
    I think I meant interesting and entertaining information! Although informative information should be doubly informing..

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