DT 30054 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30054

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30054

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the very hot weather is continuing.  In fact, last Monday was the hottest day since I moved to Spain with the temperature up to an unprecedented 44°C (that’s 111°F to our American readers) in the afternoon.  It’s been a more normal mid-thirties since but the forecast is for hotter weather from next weekend.  In this part of Spain statistically August 6 is the hottest day of the year so it will be interesting to see what we get next Saturday.

Today we have a typical Monday puzzle which is mostly fairly easy but with the usual handful of head scratchers. Not too heavy on the anagrams and there seem quite a few clues where part of the answer is lifted directly. Still, an enjoyable puzzle while it lasted.

As usual the ones I liked most 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           View of expert opposite (4,2,4)
FACE TO FACE: Take a word for a view or aspect, the OF from the clue and then a word for an expert.  Split that lot (5,2,3) to get the answer.  For no reason that I know this was my LOI.

6a           Catalogue Hungarian composer for the listener (4)
LIST:  This catalogue sounds like (for the listener) a Hungarian composer often associated with Brahms in a phrase meaning drunk.

10a         Follow  railway line (5)
TRACK:  Double definition.

11a         Villain in favour of splitting money returned (9)
REPROBATE:  Take a word meaning in favour of, not for but the other one, and insert into (splitting) a word for returned money.  How many of you were looking for some money reversed? I certainly was.

12a         Resolute, a worker perhaps crossing weir (7)
ADAMANT:  The A from the clue and one of the usual workers around (crossing) another word for a weir.  How many of you remember this terrible old TV series?

13a         ‘Beer’ in concise dictionary in ‘local’ language? (7)
DIALECT:  An abbreviation (concise) of dictionary has inserted (in) the usual three letter word for beer.

14a         Binoculars, range good, taken by young women (5,7)
FIELD GLASSES:  A word for range or scope followed by G(ood) and then some young women.

18a         Depressed, having no strong liquor left? (3,2,7)
OUT OF SPIRITS:  This phrase meaning depressed could also mean you’ve run out of whisky, gin, rum etc.

21a         Huge insect on mother, beginning to move (7)
MAMMOTH: Start with the usual two letter mother and an M (beginning to move) and on it put a nocturnal insect.

23a         Have in French cheese, and cake (7)
BROWNIE:  A word meaning to have or possess is inserted into (in) a popular French cheese.

24a         Sit next to character, one worthy of imitation (4,5)
ROLE MODEL:  Start with a word for a character in a play and next to it put a word meaning to sit for an artist or photographer.

25a         Silly how picture ends? (5)
INANE:  If the answer was split (2,2,1) it would become a phrase describing how the word picture finishes.

26a         Fuss excessively around daughter (2-2)
TO DO:  A word meaning excessively placed around D(aughter) and the split (2,2).

27a         A tiny criminal in very fine novel (6,4)
VANITY FAIR:  Start with a V(ery) and a word meaning fine or OK and into it put an anagram (criminal) of A TINY to get a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray.


1d           Big cheese with FA raised diplomacy (3,3)
FAT CAT:  Start with the FA from the clue and then a reversal (raised in a down clue) of another word for diplomacy.

2d           Neckwear article and stuff, mostly with tax added (6)
CRAVAT:  A word for to stuff or to jam without its last letter (mostly) and the a tax which is IVA in Spain.

3d           Have one of my gifts, and allow me to give you some advice (4,1,3,4,2)
TAKE A TIP FROM ME:  Double definition.

4d           Fielder‘s initial error (5,4)
FIRST SLIP:  A word for initial or inaugural followed by a mistake is a close fielder in a game of cricket.

5d           Caught up with papers showing Roman god (5)
CUPID:  C(aught) followed by the UP from the clue and finally two letters for your papers.

7d           Sort of cool when seen differently (2,1,5)
IN A SENSE:  A word for cool as in hip or fashionable followed by another word for when and the an anagram (differently) of SEEN.

8d           Essay on a theme I, a setter, recollected (8)
TREATISE:  Anagram (recollected) of I A SETTER.

9d           Town council‘s pub expert? (5,9)
LOCAL AUTHORITY: Another word for your nearest pub followed by a word for an expert on a particular subject.

15d         American soldier arresting a coarse Italian patriot (9)
GARIBALDI:  Take the usual American soldier and insert (arresting) the A from the clue and a word for coarse or raunchy.  Why he has a biscuit named after him I do not know!

16d         Private on short list? That’s absolute nonsense (8)
TOMMY ROT:  A word for a private in the army followed by a list without its last letter (short).

17d         Tripped, son fell (8)
STUMBLED:  S(on) followed by a word meaning fell.

19d         Canadian-born US showman, and artist, provides capital (6)
ANKARA:  A Canadian born singer, songwriter and actor followed by the usual artist gives the capital of Turkey.  Couldn’t resist this one . . .


20d         Verne novel about eastern front (6)
VENEER:  Anagram (novel) of VERNE around (about) an E(astern).

22d         Monster in bibliography — Dracula? (5)
HYDRA:  a luker hiding in (in) the last two words.

As usual there’s lots of good stuff but my top three are 11a, 25a and 4d, with 25a on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:  There’s five of them today!!!!

Top line:          ANNE     +     TEETERS     =     ANTEATERS

11a + 13a:       TRANCE     +     CRYPTS     =     TRANSCIPTS

15a + 17a:       CITE     +     SEER     =     SIGHTSEER

20a + 21a:       PICKED     +     ORIELS     =     PICTORIALS

Bottom line:     SHEIKHS     +     PIER     =     SHAKESPEARE

61 comments on “DT 30054
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  1. A gentle */*** to ease us into a new week. Although there were as Pommers says few anagrams I somehow managed it in * time. I thought the anagram in 8d cleverly concealed but my COTD was definitely 25a which was clever. Thanks to P and the setter

  2. Light and quaint, my top clues were 24a plus 20d with runaway winner 25a.
    Many thanks to Pommers and Campbell

  3. A great start to the week with no less than five puns in the Quickie and a delightful cryptic to follow. I had a couple of bung ins, which I will need to check with the hints but, otherwise, a most satisfying solve. I held myself up by putting “low” as the first word in 18a but 16d soon showed me the error of my ways. Plenty of smiles and dropping pennies but my absolute favourite and COTD is 25a, which I thought clever.

    Many thanks, Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints, which I will now look at.

  4. The Maestro’s Marvellous Monday Mental Mirth … including the quickie, what an enjoyable pair of puzzles from Campbell – and yes, five puns. Remarkable. A very benign cryptic, wonderful while it lasted, with ticks aplenty – shall limit MIDs to 9d (a great old chestnut), 15d (super surface), and 16d (I do like that word), with COTD to the peerless laugh-out-loud 25a for the combined surface of clue and answer.

    0.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell, and of course to Pommers.

  5. Enjoyable and satisfying completion in * time.
    Two gems, 25 and 27a.
    The former pipped 27a to be COTD.
    Many thanks Campbell and pommers, thanks for the music, seems an age ago.

  6. 1*/3.5*. This made a light and very pleasant start to the week.

    My podium choice comprises 11a, 24a & 25a.

    Many thanks to Pommers and five puns Campbell!

  7. 25a is definitely today’s best clue in my opinion.
    Thank you Pommers for the hints and for all 5 puns in the Quick Crossword. I had stopped looking after I saw 3!

  8. I like Mondays. Campbell’s puzzles are perfect for me – a few bung-em-ins giving enough checking letters to help towards solving the remaining clues.

    Then the bonus of the bonkers Quickie pun festival. Hooray for Campbell! Three cheers for pommers sizzling in Spain!

  9. It’s Monday and it’s a holiday :good: It’s Campbell :good: 1.5*/4.5*

    Wow, five puns – I was so happy to see the ‘return’ of the middle pun that I missed the other two.

    And, the companion OLPPs were just as much fun.

    Candidates for favourite – 13a, 4d, and 9d – and the winner is 9d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

  10. That was a lot of fun – TVM Campbell for such a nice start to the week. Good to have cryptic clues without being over anagrammed. Parsing of 7d beginning escaped me. Had forgotten about 19d showman but capital no problem. Thanks for being on hand in case of need pommers. 25a Fav for me also. Don’t really look out for Quickie puns so would never have noticed 5 of them.

  11. A nice gentle start to the week. Favourites 4d & 16d (a word i haven’t heard since my Nanna died 46 years ago). Special prize for obscurity goes to 19d. Thanks to all. */***

  12. Sound start tp the week,liked the surface of 9d,lots of my favourite charades-favourires were 11a and 14a.
    Agree with Pommers on his **/****.
    Thought that the showman in 19a was Paul-thanks to Pommers and his confirmatory pic.
    Liked the top and bottom Quickie Puns- shame about the other three!
    Thanks to John and Hillary.

  13. A birthday treat of a crossword for me. I love anagrams, so it didn’t bother me that rhere were a lot of them and there was a nice
    geographical clue at 19d. Other favourites were 9d, 25a and 16d. Thanks to Campbell for another fine puzzle and to Pommers for the hints. I’m off to my son’s house this afternoon for a family birthday celebration of my grandson’s 10th birthday and my 75th. He had a party with friends before school broke up for the holidays (if your birthday is on August 1st, a lot of people are away so it’s best to anticipate the birthday). Looks like the weather will hold.

    1. Happy birthday, Chriscross. I remember at primary school (yes, I can remember that far back!) if it was your birthday you stood at the front in assembly whilst everyone sang Happy Birthday to you. All those of us whose birthdays fell during the holidays were serenaded en masse on the last day of term. Made you feel a little less ‘special’ but also a great deal less embarrassed!

      Enjoy your party this afternoon.

    2. Many happy returns, CC! I always think of you with the geographical clues of course, and hoped you’d like 19d as much as I did.

  14. A very gentle yet entertaining puzzle to ease us into the week, with 25a one of my final entries and a clear favourite.

    My thanks to the quintuple punner, pommers, and birthday greetings to Chriscross.

  15. Five puns – good grief, I gave up looking after three, serves me right!
    A trip Back in time with 12a & 19d, no doubt I quite enjoyed both of them back in the day.
    Ticks here went to 11&25a with the gold star to 9d which really made me laugh.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers – I can’t imagine how you survive in those temperatures!

  16. A nice puzzle to start the non-work week … 1.5*/3.5*
    Nothing obscure or from left field today … just a peasant solve.

    Favourites include 10a, 13a, 27a, 3d & 4d with winner 13a

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers

    1. Your comment about a “peasant” solve reminded me of a conversation many years ago with an East German when we were discussing pheasant shooting and my fellow conversant said “in our country we don’t shoot the peasants”!.

  17. Just as an aside. Had England’s men won the cup last night the blog would doubtless have been full of comments – as it is, nobody’s mentioned a word about the Lionesses success. I don’t follow sport but even I felt pride in their achievement.

    1. You are so right Jane. I don’t follow football either but we switched on the TV just as the final whistle blew and it was so exciting to see the joy in the stadium. The men are meanies!

    2. The men have been bleating on about “bringing it home” for 56 years. The girls said “Don’t bother, we’ll get it ourselves”

    3. I’m not a football fan, Jane but I do admire the women’s England team. No histrionics. No tantrums. Just good, well played football. As it would appear that women’s football is set to become a major sport, I could well be persuaded to become a fan.
      All the papers displayed appropriate front page headlines and rightly so. All, that is, except the daily Mirror whose headline read something like “Gold for Wales”!

    4. You felt “pride in the Lionesses success” Pun intended Jane?
      I watched it and all I can say is well done girls, you were great.

      1. As I have 4 granddaughters I felt enormous pride in the women’s England team- perhaps now schools will encourage all girl football teams so they don’t have to put up with being part of the boys team. I feel that it’s a life changing moment for young girls as long as local authorities and schools provide the opportunities for girls – so for me it’s not enough to say
        Well done girls
        Young girls and women in this country deserve a lot more than that!

    5. Yes Jane, I was expecting to see a host of comments today. We don’t watch sports as a rule, but were thrilled that the Lionesses won. Some good news for England at last. So well done.

  18. I am definitely with the 25a brigade – so clever yet so simple. The whole thing was a delight so many thanks Campbell and I just could not get 7d so thanks to Pommers also. We had a spot of rain yesterday but nothing to alleviate the drought. My poor garden – not to mention the poor farmers. No prizes for me on Dahlia Day this year.

  19. Campbell keeps the marvellous Monday magic going and it’s smiles all round. 25a and 9d share the honours today in a packed full of fun.

    Thanks to Pommers and Campbell for today’s pleasure.

    Now for the football. Since Alf Ramsey played Nobby Stiles, the incomparably dirtiest player of the 60s, dropped Jimmy Greaves the goal scoring Maestro, and played Cohen the Clown instead of the late great Jimmy Armfield, I have had no interest in England teams of any sport. I support Italy at football and France at Rugby.

    So no I have nothing to say about last night’s match about which I am sure Samuel Johnson would have made an appropriate comment.

  20. Great fun, just like its companion online cryptic, which again gets more stars from me than the backpager, but both get the week off to a great start. 25a wins the Gold here, with the wily and canny Becky Sharp, getting her booth at the end of 27a, taking the Silver, and 16d accepting the Bronze because I just like the word. Thanks to Campbell for the double-good offerings and to pommers for the review, which I’ll read now, as well as the comments, since I’ve been a slug-a-bed all day. **/****

  21. 1/3.5. A very gentle but enjoyable start to the week. 25a was my favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  22. What an enjoyable puzzle today and will go along with everyone else for 25a as COTD. So thanks to all. I’m not a football fan at all – too many drama queens throwing themselves on the floor and making something out of nothing and hideously overpaid. BUT, I did switch on last night and watched the last 15 minutes – no dramas and really quite watchable so I applaud our ‘girls’. An added bonus that I won 1st prize in the raffle on Saturday night at the panto – a meal out for 4 in Blakeney. Made up for the panto which was mind blowingly awful sadly. Happy Birthday Chriscross.

  23. So close and yet so far. It was almost finished completely unaided. But in the end I needed the hint for 7d. Just couldn’t see it. COTD for me is definitely 16d, don’t hear that over here. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon for the above. And again, well done Lionesses!

  24. Definitely a *. Probably my quickest ever but I enjoyed. I’m not putting 25a as one of my favourites as I didn’t parse it. I bunged it in as a regular synonym for silly. Took me a little longer to get 19d as I was not sure of the showman but the capital sprang to mind. Favourites 11 12 14 18 and 23a. Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

  25. A trip down Memory Lane for me! I loved Adam Adamant until it ran out of steam; with a black and white tv, as I child, I never knew Bagpuss was pink and my Canadian sister was, I’m told, at school with Paul Anka’s sister.
    After all thiat is it any surprise to find 18a as my COTD.?
    Well done the Lionesses…..the female of the species and all that jazz!

  26. **/*** but a different thanks to 7d. 14a also defeated me but 25a the cleverest clue I’ve seen for ages. I never knew the chap in 19d so it was a bung-in-and-hope! Thanks for hints

  27. There is a fine setter called Dada,
    Whose puzzles are often much harder.
    Yesterday was a stinker,
    For this humble thinker,
    But Campbell was just the answer.

    A very fine puzzle, thanks Campbell, especially all the puns in the quickie and the brilliant 25a. Thanks too to Pommers

  28. After a rare foray into the City to do some work managed to knock this off on the ride home from Paddington to Reading; M&S gin and tonic helping with lubricating the dormant brain cells. Very enjoyable but thought 18a a bit forced. 15d was my favourite.
    Thanks to all involved.

  29. I’m hoping for a better week than last. Having attended the third funeral in just over a month, one of my best friends, I found out that my ex wife’s eldest son who I helped bring up was killed in a car accident yesterday. Sandwiched in between that I had one of my dogs with a brain tumour put to sleep, not 7 years old. Cotd 25a thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

    1. What a basinful to cope with, TG. I do hope the crosswords and blog are bringing you a little light relief. Nobody said life would be easy but to slap you down so many times in quick succession seems grossly unfair.
      Take good care of yourself.

  30. 2 lovely gentle puzzles & 5 puns – what’s not to like. Another vote for 25a as pick of the clues.
    Thanks all.

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