DT 30540 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30540

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30540

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from Almoradí where spring appears to have sprung! We’ll probably go back to winter next week but I’m currently enjoying an unseasonal spell of warm sunny days.

Today’s puzzle is about par for a Monday. There’s two puns in the Quickie so I’m supposing it’s a Campbell production. It certainly didn’t frighten the horses but it was a bit of fun while it lasted.

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           Deadly as calling Capone this might well have been! (5)
FATAL:  Split the answer (3,2) and you would have something that Al Capone might have found insulting.

4a           Draw attention to man and means by which standards may be raised (9)
FLAGSTAFF:  A word meaning draw attention to followed by a word meaning to man gives a something from which standards may be flown.

9a           15 return (4,5)
COME AGAIN:  The answer to 15a means “I do apologise” but it is also a phrase you might use if you didn’t catch what someone had said. The answer here is also something you might say if you didn’t catch what someone said.  It also means to return to a place.  This one’s more difficult to hint than to solve!

10a        Ring back to describe island flower (5)
LILAC:  A word meaning to ring on the phone is reversed (back) and placed around (to describe) an I(sland).

11a        Awful record the Parisian released (7)
CHRONIC:  You need a word for a record or diary and remove the LE from the end (the Parisian released).

12a        Article misrepresented soloist’s performance (7)
RECITAL:  Anagram (misrepresented) of ARTICLE.

13a        Shed tears following public protest (6)
OUTCRY:  A word describing something which is in the public domain followed by a word meaning to shed tears.

15a        Name-drop outrageously? I do apologise (6,2)
PARDON ME:  Anagram (outrageously) of NAME DROP.

18a        Play that could bring tears to one’s eyes? (3,5)
HAY FEVER:  A play by Noel Coward is also an allergy that makes your eyes water.  This yellow stuff gives me this allergy and there was loads of it around the village where I used to live. Fortunately they don’t seem to grow it in Spain.

20a        Aim  to express disapproval (6)
OBJECT:  Double definition.

23a        Pay for accommodation for old thief (7)
FOOTPAD:  A word meaning to pay, usually associated with the bill, followed by a slang term for accommodation or where you live.

24a        Proposition made by Greek boy band (7)
THEOREM:  A diminutive of a Greek boy’s name, think Kojak, followed by a band.

26a        Home help recalled code word (5)
INDIA:  The usual two letters for at home followed by a reversal (recalled) of some help to get one of the code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet.

27a        What an athlete may wear to follow match? (9)
TRACKSUIT:  A word meaning to follow followed by a word meaning to match as in correspond with.

28a        Departs after electric vehicle gets travel permit? (5,4)
GREEN CARD:  A phrase (5,3) which might describe an electric vehicle followed by a D(eparts).

29a        Quietly show the way to appeal (5)
PLEAD:  The letter for quietly in musical notation followed by a word meaning to show the way or go first.


1d           Flannel from female expert and husband about fool (9)
FACECLOTH:  This flannel is nothing to do with waffle or blarney but is something you find in the bathroom.  You need F(emale), one of the usual experts (not pro but the other one) and an H(usband) and put it all around (about) another word for a fool.

2d           Watch, perhaps, as brief turned up (5)
TIMER:  A word for a brief or set of instructions is reversed (turned up in a down clue).

3d           Pupil needing job that pays after end of school (7)
LEARNER:  Start with an L (end of schooL) and after it put a slang term for a job that pays well.

4d           Dictator in country short on love (6)
FRANCO:  This is the dictator who ruled where I am from 1939 to 1975.  He’s a nearby country without its last letter (short) followed by (on in a down clue) the letter representing love in tennis.

5d           A British opera, length unusual (8)
ABNORMAL:  A charade of the A from the clue, a B(ritish), an opera by Bellini and an L(ength).

6d           Joined league’s leader during season, top of division (7)
SPLICED:  Joined as in how two pieces of rope or film may be joined. You need a word meaning to season or add flavour and insert (during) an L (League’s leader).  After that you need a D (top of Division).

7d           Suddenly everyone agreed, having caught cold (3,2,4)
ALL AT ONCE:  Start with the usual word for everyone and then a phrase (2,3) meaning agreed and insert (having caught) a C(old).

8d           Central pub, fine for first student (5)
FOCAL:  A term for your nearest pub has its first L (first student) replaced by an F(ine).

14d        Play with lackey’s little pooch (3,6)
TOY POODLE:  A word meaning to play with followed by another word for a lackey gives a small dog.

16d        One million invested in property daughter reckoned (9)
ESTIMATED:  The letter which looks like number one and an M(illions) are inserted into (invested in) some property and followed by a D(aughter).

17d        Feud may bring ruin for all in Malta’s capital (8)
VENDETTA:  You need to know the capital city of Malta.  Replace the ALL with a word meaning ruin or finish (ruin for all).

19d        Interpret former patent (7)
EXPLAIN:  Two letter for former, usually applied to a former partner, followed by another word for patent as in clear or obvious.

21d        Finish ahead after series of successful pots (5,2)
BREAK UP:  A word meaning ahead in a game goes after a series of successful pots in a frame of snooker to give a phrase meaning to finish, as a school may finish at the end of term.

22d        Endure crossing river for beach (6)
STRAND:  A word meaning to endure or put up with around an R(iver) gives a word meaning to beach as in abandon.

23d        Cast‘s lively reel (5)
FLING:  Double definition.

25d        Way to drive off tee at last (5)
ROUTE:  Drive off, as in defeat, followed by an E (teE at last).

My podium today is !a, 24a and 14d with 1a on the top step.

Quickie pun (top row):      NIGH     +     ROW     +     BEE     =     NAIROBI

Quickie pun (bottom line)     TAY     +     LAW     +     MAID     =     TAILOR MADE

94 comments on “DT 30540
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  1. A very gentle yet enjoyable start to the week with a puzzle that didn’t put up much resistance. 1a went in straight away and remained my favourite throughout the solve. I also liked 24a.

    Thanks to the double punner and pommers.

  2. Well this would have been fairly straight forward for me as I seemed to be on wavelength and the answers were yielding in a helpful manner. However 4a I liked but managed to transpose two letters without noticing. I then had a dreadful mind mangle as I tried to resolve 5D with L as the starting letter – in this case it was positively unhelpful to have all the checkers! An inordinate time later I decided it was impossible and finally thought to check the crossers…..
    When I wasn’t doing myself self inflicted harm I very much enjoyed 1a, 4a, 17d and 23d.
    My thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  3. Splendid.

    Lots of great surfaces with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure. The old thief was a new on me. Great word.

    My podium is 1a, 15a and 17d as I always love a world capital, having learnt them all a while ago. A box I just had to tick.

    Many thanks to the mincing clapper and Pommers.


  4. 1.5*/3.5*. This was a nice, light Monday puzzle although I’m not too keen on 4a as I wouldn’t describe the answer as the means by which flags are raised. However, that apart, I enjoyed this a lot with 1a, 11a, 15a, 24a & 21d making up a crowded podium.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  5. What a joy.
    Big smiles at 1
    And 9a.
    Some great surfaces
    eg 11a.
    Loved the Lego 5d.
    Summary **/5*
    Many thanks Campbell
    And pommers.

  6. My sort of puzzle – only two anagrams! Apart from the same thought as Rabbit Dave concerning the flagstaff and the random Greek boys name I thouroughly enjoyed all of it. The old thief was new to me – just got to remember it now. I did, however, remember the opera Norma, which I first saw in a previous puzzle. 1a made me laugh and remained my favourite throughout. Lots of choice for podium places. I’ll go for 14d and 17d. Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  7. The setter in benevolent mood, with a gentle and very enjoyable puzzle; all GK was accessible and ‘G’, the surfaces were good and often amusing, plenty of variety in clue types and a most welcome shortage of anagrams after the continuing Sunday excesses. Ticks all over the place, with podium places to 16a, 17d and 27a, with runners-up 10a and 11a.

    1* / 4*

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  8. Not heard of the old thief either but quite gettable. Great guzzle so thanks to all. Amazingly we have something yellow up in the sky that we haven’t seen for quite some time! Got the dreaded blood pressure test this afternoon. Perfectly normal this morning but it will be OTT at the surgery, white coat syndrome I suppose although she won’t be wearing a white coat.

    1. My recommendation for overcoming white coat syndrome – during the waiting time, which I assume you will experience, and the actual BP measurement, slow deep breathing – six or seven ‘in-outs’ per minute works for me.

        1. Exactly Angelov. Peter suffers from a severe case of white coat syndrome, and would have some doctors calling for an ambulance when they see his readings. At home, his numbers are brilliant (better than mine and I am on BP meds). Mine are also higher at the doctor’s. We both take at least a week of recent home readings with us, and doctor is quite relaxed about our surgery sky high numbers.

      1. A cardiologist I knew recommended having a drink before your appointment, calmed you down, just be sure it’s vodka or she’ll smell it.

    2. Good luck. I reckon these tests do more harm than good! I’m not being nosey, just concerned, …..has the problem that cancelled your cruise been sorted? I hope so.

      1. Thanks everyone. I do have a BP monitor at home and take my BP regularly but forget to send in the readings. Today at the surgery it was 134/68 which considering the WCS is not too bad. Strangely when I had my hip replacements, I had to come off the tablets for 6 months each time as the BP was too low. I am very aware if it is ever elevated as I feel I’m wearing a hat that’s too small. To JB, I’m still having a problem with the back of my knee but they all disagree with a diagnoses but I have a stash of Naproxen to fall back on if necessary. Thanks for asking.

    3. White coat syndrome definitely exists, Manders. Every time my doctor takes my BP he looks at me and says, “It will be high, won’t it?”
      I just nod.

  9. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 18a, 5d, 19d, and 25d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  10. All done quite quickly except for the fact that I fell foul of the spelling for 24a. I wondered why I couldn’t completely parse it.
    I liked the 9 and 15a combo. My favourite was 23a, courtesy of reading plenty of Dickens and Victorian detective novels. Pedantically, I question the definition of 28a. I had one and it gave me permission to reside not travel.
    Thanks for the hints and for an enjoyable puzzle to start the week.

    1. Agree entirely with 28a. Glad it’s not just me who gets spelling wrong. I’m two years into learning how to do these crosswords – learn a new word every day.

    1. I can understand why you might say that Henry, as the Telegraph crossword seems to have more Americanisms in it than the NYT. But perhaps the clue refers to the car insurance green card intended to facilitate the movement of vehicles across international borders (there is a question mark at the end of the clue)?

      1. Must admit I thought of insurance rather than residence, Mark. Meanwhile I feel the DT backpager is positively devoid of Americanisms by comparison with The Times, whose backpager sometimes seems to have been written by an American for an American readership, or by a British ex-pat living in the US!

  11. Enjoyable fare from our Monday man although I shared others’ doubts about the description of a 28a. Rosettes handed out to 1&23a plus 21d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review – we’ve also been treated to the sight of that yellow ball in the sky today but I’m not detecting any warmth coming from it!
    PS If Huntsman pops in – I note that your favoured film did at least come away with the award for best supporting actress last night.

    1. Robbie Collin’s (DT chief film critic) predictions were pretty much spot on apart from the adapted screenplay. Suspect the Oscar for lead actor may be different.

  12. A good fun puzzle to start the week – thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    I liked the 9a/15a combo but overwhelmimg favourite has to be the LOL 1a.

  13. Another vote for 1a as pick of an entertaining, albeit pretty straightforward, selection of clues. The 9/15a combo can join it on the podium. The old thief a new one on me too.
    Thanks to Campbell & to pommers.

  14. A great start to the week, in addition, there is even some blue sky and the crocuses and snowdrops are popping up. All very enjoyable and I have put to use a few things I have learnt on here (and by some miracle remembered! e.g. the opera. I did not know 23a but got there unaided. My favourite was 1a.
    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the hints

  15. Feeling useless this morning at day 8 of cough and cold. However, such a great puzzle to lift the spirits.1across would bring a smile to the face of anyone who wasn’t that particular mobster. 17 d reminded me of a certain holiday and by the end I’d say 9a to Campbell. Ta to Pommers for ‘ care in the community’.

  16. I thought this was one of Campbell’s best in a while. Very light, of course, but there’s an art to that. 15a’s fun, 24a made me smile, I liked 17d and 21d’s neat. Thanks to him and pommers.

  17. I’m also on day 8 of this cold and cough. I’m hoping it can’t last much longer! Today’s puzzle was a pleasure. 18a my favourite and 23a the one that took longer to fathom.
    Sunny here today. Thanks to setter and hot hinter.

  18. This took me longer than I can rationalise having completed it. Nothing overly complicated or obscure and, indeed, it was very enjoyable. So it must just be me being slow on the uptake. I’ll add my vote for 1a as smile of the day. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  19. One of my rare occasions to try the crossword during the day – so as always a blanket thank you to all the setters. And a huge thanks to all the bloggers – I do read and enjoy your hints late at night, without which I’d very often be lost.

    But oh my, I’m obviously on a very different wavelength from the rest of you! I really struggled with this one, but the silver lining is the satisfaction of persevering and completing without needing the hints (though thanks for them anyway, Pommers!)

  20. I’m with the majority in voting 1a as favourite – but plenty of other smiles along the way. I am surprised that 23a seems to have caused problems, it crops up quite often in literature. A good start to the new week. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Pommers. I do not have a cold or cough thank goodness, but my neck is suffering from the bash in the back yesterday. George took the car to the garage this morning for a check up and no real damage apart from scratches. But my neck feels as though it was a truck that hit us, not a little old lady in Mini.

    1. Daisygirl so sorry to read about your nasty experience in the car yesterday. Do hope you haven’t suffered whiplash? Make sure you get it checked asap if pain persists. Pleased to hear the car has only suffered surface wounds.

  21. Another nice start to the week😃 The only one I had trouble with was 5d 🤔 ****/** Favourites were 4, 23 & 26 across and 7 & 21 down 👍 Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers

  22. Another fine start to the non-work week for me. Campbell with a straightforward offering. Some clever clues in this one.

    1.5*/3.5* for me

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 24a, 28a, 1d & 22d — with winner 24a
    with chuckles for 1a, 9a, 28a & 14d

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers for hints/blog

  23. Three quarters presented no real problem but I stalled for a bit in SW. 10a doesn’t really identify 10a although it does of course carry flowers. 24a band unknown to me so it was a bung in. Hadn’t met the 23a old thief before. Got nearer to finding today’s wavelength than some Mondays but still not plain-sailing by any means. Thank you Campbell and Pommers.

  24. Like many others I found today’s puzzle an enjoyable start to the week. 1a made me smile and 23d was new to me. An early finish which alas means no excuses for not catching-up on the admin. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers. The sun has been trying to come out but the temperature is cooler today.

  25. The last one in was 5d I just couldn’t think of the right opera but a fine puzzle for a Monday
    Trying to put the central u of pub in 8d was wrong too!
    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

  26. With the dog yesterday in most peoples clue of the day, and another one today, are they plotting to overthrow the cats!
    And for those who don’t like a bit of sport, be grateful snooker knowledge didn’t lead you to a different (tidying things away) answer to 21d before the obvious dawned!

  27. I got off to a roaring start and got over confident. Gradually picked up again, and found mostly enjoyable. Not sure if the travel permit in 28a is really as answered. In the US it denotes “permanent residency”, giving “aliens” the right to live and work here. Yes, we were classed as aliens before that, despite not being small or green 😊. But it does also allow re-entry so I suppose it could loosely be called a travel permit. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  28. As with others today I thought 1a was a marvellous start … had difficulty though with the old thief. Thank you Campbell and Pommers

  29. I have no idea why I made such heavy weather of this, but I did enjoy it. I knew the opera at 5d and the old thief at 23a, I love Dickens, Artful Dodger and his cohorts. Having total lack of pop band knowledge, I had no idea why 24a would be, but the Greek boy convinced me. I liked 1a, but fave is 14d; I had a rescue that was so clever, believe me, those dogs are smart.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun, and pommers for unravelling some.

        1. Spelling 10/10.
          Being somewhat deaf, I am sometimes referred to as Aged Parent, and the family nod and smile at me, as my friend Wemmick advises.
          But I am Pip.

          1. Better watch out or the ageist quango will get you for thought language. Aged parent indeed. Have you seen their dreadfully patronizing adverts on TV. Apparently this is costing us 50 million quids. Utter bilge.

            1. Fortunately I am unaware of advertisements on that medium of “entertainment “.
              There are some programmes (why doesn’t my iPhone know how to spell that word?) which I watch, but I record them so that I can zoom through the advertisements.
              I wonder why my daughter (no 1) gave me an apron with the words “Grumpy Old Man” on it…….

  30. For anybody who doesn’t subscribe to the Puzzles Newsletter: first, you should; and second, you may like today’s comment from the editor:

    I regularly listen to a popular radio station which only plays music from the 1980s; one of the perils of this is that certain songs are repeated a lot. While I’m a fan of, say, Africa by Toto, it does rather pall if one hears it too frequently.

    Repetition is also something we try to avoid in our puzzles, but occasionally, whether because different people are editing the puzzles in question, or a compiler has filed a crossword months in advance, a certain answer may appear several times in quick succession. A few years ago, what felt like every compiler bombarded us with cryptic clues for the word NEVERTHELESS. In late January and early February, it was the turn of a geographical feature mentioned in Toto’s soft-rock classic.

    To paraphrase a line from a certain song, “We know that we must do what’s right”, so, we promise there will be no more mentions of the relevant part of Africa in our cryptic crosswords in the near future. And that’s as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the … you know where.

    1. I AM subscribed to the newsletter Smylers but never ever receive it, a problem I understand many have. Have tried the unsubscribe/subscribe route but nothing happens. Would love to see the newsletter but it seems only available to a privileged few.

        1. I remember that happening years ago with our former Monday blogger of many aliases (who later moved to Thursdays); I used to forward them on.

          If either of you two — or anybody else — wants today’s newsletter, to see if it works when I send it, then I’m happy to give it a go. Email me on my name at the domain stripey.com.

          1. Thanks Smylers, as it happens Gazza has kindly me forwarded the issue. Maybe I should email one of the email addresses inside there to ask why I and others are not receiving them.

    2. Great!👍
      Mind you, I always start my day before meeting the other Naughty Boys at the village store with an online easy cryptic. Guess what appeared today?

      Wild tiger seen in game reserve (9)

      Mind you, can’t blame DT for that but it just shows it is a favourite clue for compilers.

  31. No great problems apart from 5d, never heard of the opera or the composer but managed to work it out from the definition.
    Much the best Monday for me for some time.

    1. I echo Merusa, Bananawarp and I haven’t heard “Dinna fash yersel” for years. My Yorkshire aunt used it all the time.
      It will come right. I went through a similar patch myself a few weeks ago.

  32. Ode to Campbell:

    It’s been a hard day, despite
    That I’ve been walking with the dog
    It’s been a hard day despite
    That I’ve been delaying my log
    But when I got home to you
    I found the things that you clue
    They make me feel all right.

    And for pommers:

    We’re lucky to have hinter called pommers
    Who’s never inverted his commas
    He explains things so clearly
    We all love him dearly
    And none of his tips could be bombers.

  33. I had the reservations about 4a and 28a as others. I’m never quite on the same wavelength as Campbell but today I fared better than normal. I suffered terribly with 18a as a child and young adult and it probably contributed to my abject performance at school. Then in my forties and fifties I ‘grew out of it’ and now don’t suffer at all, how does that work? Favourite was 4d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers

  34. A late finish for me as I dipped in and out a few times and sat down now in front of the fire also nursing a cold. Found it a lovely light start to the week and very enjoyable. I too didn’t know the old thief word – always nice to learn new words. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  35. A strange guzzle from Campbell today. Well, it was for me (AISFM – copyright Senf) in that I had only three solved after the first pass. I then stared at it for ages with nothing happening. Then, the answers started to leap out at me so fast I couldn’t write them down fast enough! In the end, lots to like with some clever clues. There are Stevie Ticks (copyright J. S. Cowling Ltd 2024 😀) all over the paper. These include the dangerous address to Mr. Capone at 1a and the Greek boy band at 24a. My COTD is the 9a – 15a combination. It reminded me of the fool who was given a pice of paper with PTO written on both sides.

    My thank to Campbell for the fun. Thank you, pommers for the hints, which I will now read.

    Also, my grateful and heartfelt thanks to all who sent good wishes for Mrs. C yesterday. I couldn’t visit today because of the illness doing the rounds of the wards. However, we spoke over the phone and she seems in good spirits. I passed on your good wishes to her and she asked me to thank you all.

    1. I didn’t see your previous post until this morning – Mrs C must be feeling ‘so near and yet so far’ when it comes to getting back home. Thank goodness she’s managing to rise above it and stay in good spirits.

      1. Thank you, Jane. Mrs C is starting to argue with the nurses, which is a good sign. She cannot forget that she was a nursing sister and is spending her time putting them right on a few points.
        I wonder what the nurses think?
        “What does she mean by hospital corners?”

        1. I was amused to see the reference to hospital corners. Before I finally succumbed and switched to duvets I asked a cleaner to change the bed linen/blankets and you wouldn’t believe the pig’s ear she made of the job!

  36. Everyone has beaten me to it today and everything seems to have been said already so I’ll keep this short – not like me at all!
    I do usually have trouble with Campbell but I didn’t do too badly today and enjoyed it.
    However long I’ve been doing crosswords I have managed to avoid the 23a definition.
    I particularly liked 11 and 24a and 6 and 14d. I’ll join others and have 1a as a favourite.
    Thanks to Campbell for the crossword and to pommers for the hints.
    I need a rest – I’ve been chasing round our youngest grandson this afternoon – for one of thirteen months he can go like hell! :phew:

  37. Good evening

    For some reason, I could not get going on today’s crozzie; it was, inexplicably, a real slog to fill in three quadrants. I can’t say why, especially after looking back, the solutions all seemed reasonably straightforward.

    And then: the NW quadrant loomed. I didn’t help myself by entering DISHCLOTH at 1d!

    Never mind now, they’re all done. Top marks for witticisms in the cases of 1a and 17d; these are joint COTD.

    Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  38. I always seem to do my crossies late in the day. Was making hood progress in the top half , slowed in the lower. The card and dog flummoxed me for ages and I did not know the old thief. I like my anagram so today did not appeal as much as usual. My favourite was 5 down because that made me laugh. Noe I think I will make my way to bed to rest and recover 🤗 Thanks to setter and blogger

  39. Why have the clues in recent printable online versions of the cryptic crosswords moved to such small fonts? Thanks.

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