DT 30512 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30512

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30512

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Our beautiful summer weather continues with just enough ‘not so good’ days interspersed in the mix to make us appreciate it all.
An enjoyable solve that all went together smoothly for us.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Quiet helpers at Christmas making furniture (7)
SHELVES : The two letter instruction to be quiet and Santa’s little helpers.

5a     Call off a finale from Wagner resembling The Ring (7)
ANNULAR : Call off or rescind, then ‘A’ from the clue and the final letter of Wagner.

9a     Mischief-maker with the Spanish press (5)
IMPEL : A three letter mischief-maker and a Spanish definite article.

10a     Ropes in fifty-one cats (9)
LIFELINES : The Roman numeral for fifty-one and then the family grouping of cats.

11a     Support African country changing leader in political advertising (10)
PROPAGANDA : A support or stay, then an African country has it’s first letter (U) changed to a different vowel.

12a     Give people a hand with cases for departure and arrival (4)
DEAL : The first and last letters from two words in the clue.

14a     Where sisters live, housing that is new and uncomfortable (12)
INCONVENIENT : A 2,7 phrase for where holy sisters live enclose the two letter abbreviation for ‘that is’ and N(ew).

18a    Problem with poor fare, travelling to Milan and Turin (12)
MALNUTRITION : An anagram (travelling) of TO MILAN TURIN.

21a     Characters opening teashop obtain yummy, sweet trifles (4)
TOYS : Opening letters from four words in the clue.

22a     Small vehicles with sweet, roast nuts (10)
TWOSEATERS : An anagram (nuts) of SWEET ROAST.

25a     Run a sham editorial, somewhat brazen (9)
UNASHAMED : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

26a     Boiling innkeeper’s coat put away (5)
IRATE : The first and last letters (coat) of innkeeper and then put away or consumed.

27a     Oddly, skill shown by star, one making chips? (7)
SILICON : The first, third and fifth letters of skill and star or heroic figure.

28a     Weekend nearly over? It’s very wet weather (7)
MONSOON : The three letter abbreviation for the first day of the working week, then a word meaning shortly.


1d     Quickly read covers of philosophy revealing a lot (6)
SKIMPY : A rapid perusal, then the first and last letters of philosophy.

2d     Recruit this person, turning up with cunning plan (6)
EMPLOY : The reversal of a first person pronoun and a stratagem.

3d     Wicked holiday home across the Atlantic with nothing in (10)
VILLAINOUS : A type of holiday home, then a 2,2 phrase that could mean across the Atlantic, contains the letter that looks like zero.

4d     Mexican food — it’s a shame to eat seconds up (5)
SALSA : The reversal of a word meaning it’s a shame contains S(econds).

5d     Legal document settled a tiff David ultimately lost (9)
AFFIDAVIT : An anagram (settled) of A TIFF DAVI(d) with the last letter removed.

6d      Invalid, flipping unwell, unhappy to some extent (4)
NULL : A reverse lurker, hiding in the clue.

7d     Underwear I removed with diamonds hung around (8)
LINGERED : Remove an I from delicate underwear and add D(iamonds).

8d     Unfortunately, true love’s not very steadfast (8)
RESOLUTE : An anagram (unfortunately) of TRUE LO(v)ES with the V(ery) removed.

13d     Keen on country, in a manner of speaking (10)
INTONATION : Keen on or obsessed by and another word for a country.

15d     Group rowing in a newsroom after editing (9)
OARSWOMEN : An anagram (after editing) of A NEWSROOM.

16d     People who aren’t pro Republican in Team USA, curiously (8)
AMATEURS : An anagram (curiously) of TEAM USA includes R(epublican).

17d     Co-operate with entertainment on stage and dance (4,4)
PLAY BALL : A dramatic performance and then a formal dance.

19d     Cricket side cheers up over smooth style of playing (6)
LEGATO : The cricket side often referred to as the ‘on’ side, the reversal (up) of ‘cheers’ and then O(ver).

20d     Like a seabird in the back of a ship (6)
ASTERN : A synonym for like and a type of seabird.

23d     Turf extremists out of home in sinful city (5)
SODOM : A turf or lump of grass and the two central letters (extremists out) of ‘home’.

24d     Marx Brother wants nothing smart (4)
CHIC : One of the Marx brothers without the zero letter.

Quickie pun    dumb    +    bull    +    door    =    Dumbledore

75 comments on “DT 30512
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  1. Someone said yesterday that Tuesday’s puzzle was more like a Monday offering, and it seems that today’s one is also a day behind due to its ease of completion. This may be leading up to an absolute stinker (thanks you Mr Thomas!) tomorrow, we’ll just have to wait and see.
    No real standout favourites for me, but if pushed I’d have to plump for 23d and 28a.
    I’ll keenly await tomorrow to see if my expectation comes true.

  2. Loved it.

    I charged through it but got bogged down in the Home Counties that pushed me into the next time zone. 22a was my LOI as I was convinced that it began with s (for small).

    Oodles of excellent surfaces with lots of splendid constructions with a splash of humour thrown into the mix. Great stuff.

    My podium is 28a, 16d and 23d.

    Many thanks to the midweek master and Le Touquet.


  3. A little harder than the first two days of the week but no less enjoyable, with a good mix of clue types and gentle misdirection. 23d was one of my final entries and a favourite, along with 28a.

    Many thanks to our Wednesday setter and the 2Ks.

    We are currently packing and waiting for a car to take us to Birmingham airport as we are flying off to Barbados to celebrate a big number change birthday for me near the end of the month (same day as Stephen L down in Devon me thinks, so advance greetings to him). I may have to change from YS to OS in due course.

  4. After first pass I thought this was going to be tough. But then sped through the lower half. The remainder went steadily. Finally stalled at 5a and 6d. Brain fog?
    Penny finally dropped and all done, Favourite was 10a.
    Thanks to compiler !

  5. Good Wednesday fare, if rather light for midweek. Having started with the downs, at one stage it appeared we were in for a deluge of anagrams – especially with 3 in 4 clues / 4 in 7 – but fortunately they dried up, though 6 in only 30 clues is still a bit much. All GK very basic; a few odd surfaces but many were good and plenty of amusement; enjoyable clue constructions and plenty of ticks afterwards – 8a (surface), 25a (great lurker), 28a (so very often true), 13d (a laugh out loud moment), 16d (quite wonderful, almost COTD) and 19d – by a nose COTD for the silk-smooth surface, the smile to which it gave rise, and the lovely construction.

    <2* / 4*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

  6. Reckon there’s not much to choose between the first 3 puzzles this week in terms of difficulty (found today’s Quickie harder) but this is one head & shoulders in front for enjoyment. Delightfully clued throughout & with plenty of humour. Curiously the clues that stood out for me were all in the across ones at 10,11,12,14,18&28a so they can sort themselves out into an A&B podium.
    Thanks to the setter (Robyn I’d guess) & to the 2Ks whose review I shall now read.

    1. Phew, I’m so glad I’m not alone in thinking that the quickie was harder! It certainly took me longer than this toothsome number. All very gentle, but the surfaces were as smooth as you like – notably 8d, 16d and 19d. But the elegantly simple clue that made me smile was the rather lovely 28a. Masterful. Thanks to the setter, and the 2Ks of course.

      1. I actually thought the Quicker harder than Hudson’s excellent Toughie. Incidentally re-reading your review yesterday I’m surprised an Uncle Monty didn’t feature for legume.

  7. Really enjoyed this very Tuesdayish offering – I know it’s Wednesday! Lots to like, no obscure words or GK some amusing clueing and clever surface reads albeit a few too many anagrams for my liking, made for a pleasant solve. Favourite today was 14a with podium places for 11a and 28a. Thanks to our setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  8. Started slowly but when I shifted to coming up the downs it became easier
    The sporty car led the field for me
    Thanks to Kiwis and setter
    The Toughie is somewhat more obdurate but I am getting round tuit


  9. A really entertaining puzzle – thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    From a plethora of ticks on my printout I’ll just mention 11a, 12a, 25a, 13d and 19d. My favourite was 28a.

  10. I too found this a little less challenging that the usual Wednesday fare though there were a few to hold me up along the way. 22a I found a surprisingly taxing anagram as even with the crossers my brain would not accept the first four letters a feasible start to a word.
    I also managed to take far too long to spot the reverse lurker in 6D.
    I did however like the surface in 16D, and the others I enjoyed were 28A, 3D and 7D with 3d tipping the balance because of the way the answer tipped nicely out of the clue…
    Thanks to 2Ks and the setter.

  11. Good Wednesday fun – **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 5a, 10a, 28a, 1d, and 13d – and the winner is 28a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  12. Quite a gentle offering from our setter (Robyn?) with 1&28a taking the ‘smile’ prizes. No points for the surface read of 22a!

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

  13. 2*/4.5. This was light and good fun, with 28a my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    P.S. Did anyone else think that 1d in Plusword today was very strange?

    1. I did the Plusword online, where 1d is “Gulf inhabitant?”. I see the paper paper has “Dubai inhabitant?”, which is indeed strange — and presumably whoever changed it agrees with you.

  14. I agree with Huntsman that in terms of difficulty this was similar to earlier puzzles this week but I found it really enjoyable and satisfying to complete. My favourites were 28a, 16d, 17d.

  15. What’s wrong with 22a’s surface? [This was supposed to be a reply to Jane at 12. Apologies for messing that up.]

    I’m not a fan of nuts, but on cold days I’ve often encountered carts selling roasted chestnuts on Leeds’s main shopping streets.

    Image credit: Mtaylor848, licence: CC BY-SA 3.0

  16. Again, it was a guzzke of two halves. The West qent in snoothly but the Northeast caused a few hold ups. The most enjoyable cclues were the anagrams, 14a and 18a and the 11a geographical clue. Thanks to the ccompiler and to the Kiwis for the hints. I felt 22a shoud be hyphenated 2-6

  17. Again, it was a guzzle of two halves. The West qent in snoothly but the Northeast caused a few hold ups. The most enjoyable cclues were the anagrams, 14a and 18a and the 11a geographical clue. Thanks to the ccompiler and to the Kiwis for the hints. I felt 22a shoud be hyphenated 2-6

  18. Super puzzle, very enjoyable. No real favs apart perhaps from 22a.
    Now very nervous about what tomorrow may bring in the cruciverbalist world of the DT tomorrow. We have been well spoilt this week so far.
    Thx to all

    1. Must say that to counterbalance this puzzle, the Quickie today is without doubt the worst ever published by the DT. Full of slang, incorrect terms and weird words. Very poor indeed in my opinion.

      1. Not being a great fan of the Quick Crossword, I passed the paper to Shropshire Lass, just before five to three to have a go at it (she quite enjoys them) She handed it back to me, completed just before the clock struck and admitted that she found it a little bit different, but not one that stood out in any particular way from many others. I guess its all down to point of view, but slang? weird words? Incorrect terms? We’re still looking for them. :-)
        As to the cryptic puzzle – I agree pretty much with what you say, except my favourite is 18a, purely because I love a good anagram and IMHO that is one :-) All good fun and thanks to all.

  19. Not related to the crossword, but Mr CS said to thank everyone for their good wishes for his knee replacement operation today. Unfortunately all did not go to plan. I dropped him off at 7.30 and came home to have breakfast and solve and blog the Toughie. I’d just scheduled the blog post when at 10 o’clock, I got a call from the hospital – the operation had had to be cancelled and could I come and collect him. They were just about to do the epidural when they opened the tray of instruments and found it was contaminated and so the op couldn’t go ahead as apparently this makes the theatre contaminated too. No-one was happy, not Mr CS, me, or the surgeon and theatre staff. He’s got a new date for the operation – I wonder if the rather fetching large black arrow on his leg will last until the 7th of Feb.

    1. Very sorry to hear of this, Sue. Mr CS must feel particularly frustrated. All the best to you both and hoping for a more successful ‘second go’.

    2. Very sorry to hear that Sue & sadly not the first instance I’ve heard of in terms of last minute cancellation though not for that reason.

    3. Oooh, how unfortunate. Hope it goes better next time, and that you both cope with Mr CS’s existing knee and the disappointment until then.

    4. I do feel for you. Similar thing happened to me with my hip. Prepped and ready to go and was told to put my clothes back on and was sent home in a taxi as David had left hours before. D had made a detour via Sainsburys and thinking I would be away for a few nights had packed the fridge with pizza, bangers and stuff I don’t buy His horrified face was almost worth it. Glad Mr CS has a new date OK

      1. Slightly different here. I was looking forward to having something my resident vegetarian wouldn’t approve of fortunately I hadn’t started defrosting the rib eye steak before I got the call to go and get him

    5. Nothing worse than psyching yourself up for surgery and having it cancelled due to, what sounds like, incompetence somewhere.

  20. Spot on for a Wednesday puzzle, some excellent cluing , favourites were 10a 27a and 28a made me smile.
    Took a while to unravel the obvious anagram in last clue 22a.
    Going for a ***/****
    Liked the Quickie pun

  21. Enjoyable Wednesday guzzle. 10a raised a smile.

    I am now within a two hour window, waiting for a ‘medical review’ telephone call. I live in fear of some progressive GP wanting to tinker with my medication. Last time round a doctor with whom I had never previously interacted, kept me on the ongoing meds, but recommended I watch a YouTube video hosted by a crazed American new-ager. Thanks, Doc.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

    1. George was prescribed some new medication at the hospital before Christmas. He finally got it first week of January with a cautionary note to discuss with his GP how they might react with his current drugs. He finally got an appointment today but only after appealing to the nurse taking out his stitches. He was lucky enough to see an old- school retired locum who sat down and talked it all through and tellingly said he thought one of the most important things a practice doctor can do is be familiar with his patients’ histories. If only that could be so. We never see the same one twice.

      1. Exactly the same in this neck of the woods. A different GP, or nurse practioner, or pharmacist, each time, who gives the impression they haven’t had a glance at the medical records.

        1. Me too Daisy and Terence. The trainees in my practice come and go and I wish they would practice in someone else. Two years ago I had something horrible. I saw or spoke to at least six Doctors. Two even took the trouble to examine me. Eventually I had to resort to Dr Google. Suggested it to one actual partner who wasn’t sure but put me on to another. She took one look and said No doubt about it. She gave me the right treatment and cleared it up. I could have been spared months of worry and agony..

  22. This was delightful / we are being spoiled. Not a strawberry yuk in sight. Understandable cluing but smooth snd classy. I did enter abandon initially at 5a but quickly realised it was wrong. So many daisies on the page – but I thought the lovely 10 across belongs to Mr Kitty really. 10,12,14,28a and 3,5,16&19d. Cannot choose a favourite today. George of course was delighted with 15d. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Kays.
    Incidentally, I finished yesterday’s toughie this morning and that was a winner too. I’m sure our comeuppance cometh.

  23. What an enjoyable puzzle this was, a lovely mix of clues, I particularly liked 22a and 28a but many others were excellent.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 kiwis for their hints

  24. Lots to like in the mid-week puzzle this week. Some great clues, some with great parsing, lots of laughs and just overall a joy to solve today.

    1.5*/4.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 14a, 3d & 24d — with winner 3d but they were all excellent.
    Laughs and chuckles from 1a, 10a, 28a & 7d

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

  25. A lovely crossword for me today. Another solo solve .

    Favourite 28a.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2 Kiwis.

    A wee bit of snow here, nothing much, but still very cold.

  26. A fun crossword! Many of us seemed to enjoy 22a, but 11a was my favourite (sounds like Arthur Daley having a good look at something).
    Chilly in The Cotswolds, but a fine day for walking the dog.

  27. Found this relatively straightforward, then came to a crashing halt with a few clues mainly in the SE. Spent far too long on 22A for some reason. 5A was a new word for me. Very enjoyable solve though. Thanks setter and the 2Ks.

  28. Just back from morning walk and Tucker, my Shetland sheep dog, seems to live up to his heritage. He LOVES the snow! Just prances around in it. Currently have about 6 inches and heading for 12 inches according to weather forecast.

  29. Morning all.
    Nice to wake up in the morning here and read all the comments that have appeared overnight. So satisfying to see that most people agree with our assessments of the clues.
    Sounds like all the UK solvers will have to keep being dressed warmly for a little while yet.

  30. Finished it all apart from 5a, which eluded me and I had to use the hints. Plenty to like but my COTD is the African country changing its leader at 11a.

    My thanks to the setter for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints.

  31. Enjoyable but not easy peasy as some found it. I struggled in the NE and had to resort to ehelp to get going again. I also needed help with an anagram solver to get 22a. Lots to like, 11a and 28a stood out, but fave has to be 10a, clever that.
    Thank you setter for the fun, and the 2Kiwis for unravelling some, 26a in particular.

  32. Very nice crossword 😃 ***/**** Favourites 14 & 25 across and 13d 👍 Thanks to the Compiler and to the 2 x Ks. Bitterly cold in the East but happily no 🌬️

  33. Most enjoyable, despite its breeziness, I thought.

    In response to 12 & 15 above, I suppose the fault in the surface is the use of ROAST? It is an adjective (meaning ‘roasted’) which supplies the get-out clause on that score. If there is another objection, it could be to the use of ‘with’ as the link word, at which certain purists of my acquaintance would turn up their noses. Still, I’m just off now in my 22A to get some roast nuts :D

    Many thanks to Ron and (borrowing from amusing Tom) ‘Le Touquet’.

  34. A dnf due to 19d. I really despise cricket clues because just about every word in the English dictionary is a cricket term. 19d is also a music term so was never going get this clue.

    Otherwise a very enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to all.

  35. Most enjoyable and finished quickly enough to cut husband John’s hair as we are going visiting this afternoon. He has not been to a proper barber in 55 years. Rather lovely puzzle with lots to delight.Liked 27 a because it was up to date . I see many of our regulars do the quick crossword . It is so much harder than the cryptic I feel. With a cryptic crossword one has at least 2 ways to find the answer but with the quick crossword – that’s it. Thanks to setter and 2 Ks.

  36. A late attempt for me today as I went on a mystery fish and chips lunch coach trip. The destination was the mystery, not the species of fish.
    Puzzle had me thinking very hard at times and I did the toughie before coming back to finish this one with 5a my last one to fall.
    28a my favourite.

  37. Good evening

    Yesterday, what with work and family stuff and goodness knows what else, I didn’t even get to fold the page into quarters and smooth out the grid. Thank the Lord I had a much more settled day today.

    This crozzie took a bit of getting into; I had to go away and let my subconscious do its thing; once 18a dropped in, I enjoyed a spurt of productivity before juddering to a halt in the SE quadrant. All is now done, with a little bit of help from 2Ks with the parsing of 26a, and of my last to fall, 19d. My thanks to 2Ks as well as to our compiler.

  38. That was a joy to work through without any real delays except for a couple in the SE which eventually dawned on me. Another anagramfest. Failed to recognise 26a put away. 19d cricket side makes a repeat appearance. One in 27a rather vague unless I am missing something. A trio really appealed to me viz. 12a, 28a and 16d. Thank you setter (any chance you might come clean?) and 2Kiwis (envy you your warmth!).

  39. I enjoyed this one. About my level ( not like some brain boxes on here) My favourite was 22a but like a previous review I also was sure it began with an s. 12a defeated me but it shouldn’t have.

  40. I just started back with the DT crossword after a number of years and at first found to my dismay that either my mind isn’t what it used to be or some of the puzzle setters have changed. I found your site and want to give you a big vote of thanks for the hints you supply before you divulge answers. SO helpful as I journey back into Crosswordland.

    1. Welcome to the blog Annette.

      You are correct in saying that some, quite a few actually, of the setters have changed.

      We look forward to seeing more comments from you.

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