DT 30068 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30068

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30068

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Truffles. About a year ago at a family gathering we happened to mention that we had never knowingly tasted truffles. Our son Nick stored this information in his mind and has been on the lookout ever since. On Saturday, recently returned from a trip to Christchurch, he arrived at our place with a small glass jar containing a fresh black truffle about the size of a thumbnail, sitting in a little nest of rice which acts as a desiccant. Since then we have been experimenting with simple dishes and enhancing them with delicate shavings of truffle. We’ve also discovered the sheer delight of just opening the jar and taking a gorgeous whiff of the haunting, evocative odour.  And what do they smell of? TRUFFLES!  Thank you so much Nick.

Meanwhile all the usual fun of a Wednesday cryptic puzzle.

We found this one quite tricky again and there is a really groan-worthy Quickie pun too.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Yank calls on way to use influence (4,7)
PULL STRINGS : Yank or drag, then the abbreviation for a type of way or thoroughfare and finally, calls on the telephone.

9a     Name adopted by racially abused subordinate (9)
ANCILLARY : An anagram (abused) of RACIALLY contains N(ame).

10a     American has answer during short encore (5)
AGAIN : The short is a spirit drink. This contains an A(nswer) and follows A(merican).

11a     Help musician losing lead (6)
ASSIST : Remove the first letter from the principal role of Paul McCartney in the Beatles.

12a     Good progress needed in shifting early architectural feature (8)
GARGOYLE : G(ood), then an anagram (shifting) of EARLY contains progress or move.

13a     Tediously continue racing yacht (6)
DRAGON : Split the answer 4,2 to find a phrase meaning tediously continue.

15a     Decent type attached to leftie sort of university (8)
REDBRICK : The colour associated with leftie and then a ‘decent type’ or ‘solid citizen’.

18a     Response from soldiers with instruction to shoot (8)
REACTION : The two letters for engineering soldiers and part of the cinematic instruction to shoot.

19a     Look grand with leading lady (6)
GANDER : G(rand), a synonym for ‘with’, plus the Head of the Commonwealth.

21a     Outcries about student affairs (8)
CLAMOURS : The letter meaning about or roughly, the student driver letter, and then affairs of the heart.

23a     They may be under your feet when shifting fish (6)
SKATES : A double definition. One might be on a frozen surface with these on one’s feet.

26a     Group desire to leave courgette stewing (5)
OCTET : Remove a word meaning desire from the centre of courgette and make an anagram (stewing) of what is left.

27a     Get rid of poor read that is about queen, perhaps (9)
ERADICATE : An anagram (poor) of READ then an animal sometimes called a queen is enclosed by the two letters signifying ‘that is’.

28a     Voter — one that tweets university in agreement (11)
CONSTITUENT : A word meaning agreement contains ‘one that tweets’ but not the on-line poster, and U(niversity).


1d     Sign mostly put on a road (7)
PLACARD : Remove the last letter from put or locate, then ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for road.

2d     Wants to be slow, cycling (5)
LACKS : Start with a word meaning slow or indolent and cycle the first letter to the end.

3d     Talk at length about scourge and spend extravagantly (6,3)
SPLASH OUT : Talk at length in a gushing way surrounds scourge or whip.

4d     In lecture, a reason for being stern (4)
REAR : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5d     One refuses any different speaker (8)
NAYSAYER : An anagram (different) of ANY plus a speaker or verbalizer.

6d     Dross incorporating new means of expression (5)
SLANG : Dross or waste product from smelting contains N(ew).

7d     Nag‘s expression of annoyance about broken pen (7)
HENPECK : An expression of annoyance equivalent to bother contains an anagram (broken) of PEN.

8d     Bug woman and attempt to stifle resistance (8)
LADYBIRD : An exalted woman and then an attempt or auction offer contains R(esistance).

14d     Porter, say, must keep a dray and available fare (1,2,5)
A LA CARTE : What porter as a drink is an example of contains ‘A’ from the clue and a horse-drawn vehicle.

16d     People who are barred want to be amongst celebs of the second water (9)
BLACKLIST : The ‘want’ that we met in 2d is inside the roster of celebs that could be described as the second water.

17d     Cardinal may see fortune wasted taking drug (8)
FOURTEEN : An anagram (wasted) of FORTUNE contains the drug Ecstasy.

18d     Minister’s place has lines under right-hand page (7)
RECTORY : The technical word for the right-hand page and then lines on which a train travels.

20d     Pay attention to detail (7)
RESPECT : A double definition.

22d     What might measure the spirit of a viewer (5)
OPTIC : A double definition. The viewer is an organ of sight.

24d     Outline suspicion (5)
TRACE : And yet another double definition.

25d     Transport arm of the military on top of tactics (4)
RAFT : The youngest arm of the military and then the first letter of tactics.

Our favourite this week is 12a.

Quickie pun    eye    +    saw    +    quay    =    ice hockey

89 comments on “DT 30068
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  1. Excellent cluing today,liked the amusing surface of my favourite 16d which took a while to parse,next in line was 13a which brought a smile as did the quickie pun.
    Thanks to our setter for a cracking puzzle and 2K’s for the pics-what a 12a!
    Goind for a **/****

  2. Fairly sure it’s a Jay production & another super puzzle without perhaps hitting the dizzy heights of last week’s corker. Not sure why but I really struggled in the east & eventually fell over the line in Toughie time. Too many excellent clues to pick out a favourite & not a dud to be found amongst them.
    Thanks to Jay & the 2Ks

  3. My only mistake was to put spikes in 23a having first checked there was such a thing as a spike fish. This delayed my SE corner somewhat! Pushed me into *** time but never mind. The first 2 syllables of 18d were a new word for me now carefully stored away. My LOI was 8d which did put up some of the last word of the clue and my favourite was 14d. Thanks to the 2K’s and the setter.

  4. Some delightful clues in this friendly and very enjoyable puzzle that had just enough tricky moments to keep it interesting. I would be hard pressed to look beyond our bloggers’ choice of favourite, 12a, although 9a came close.

    My thanks to, presumably, Jay and the 2Ks.

  5. Very enjoyable indeed. Bang on wavelength with this with only a couple in the South needing any slight teasing out.
    Unfortunate that the “wants” in 2d appeared in the wordplay of 16d, not a criticism, just an observation.
    Lots to like including 1,10,12&23a plus 5d&8d.
    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  6. Got held up in the East, and needed the penny to drop on 15a to give the helpful checkers for 7d and 16d, before I could cross the line.
    So challenging, but a satisfying solve.
    I have never heard the phrase second water before, so that made 16d a clumsy clue for me.
    My favourites were 12a and 26a.
    Thanks to all

  7. 1.5*/4.5*. No hold ups, just fun, fun, fun all the way. 16d was my favourite with a special mention for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  8. I reckon this compiler’s way of thinking must be the complete polar opposite of mine, try as I might I couldn’t even get half way today, even allowing double the time it usually takes me to finish the whole puzzle, oh well, there’s always tomorrow…………

  9. The SE held out longest for me. For some reason I was having difficulty understanding how I had got there. My comment yesterday on ‘sniping’ was made at 2.49 pm. I have just looked again at yesterday’s comments and to my astonishment Comment 6 started by Mr Fish just after 11 am raged back and forth until the early hours of this morning getting ever more heated and it sounds as if Mr Fish has stomped off which is a shame. I must apologise to Mr K – until DG commented on the kitten in the raincoat I hadn’t actually spotted the kitten so I humbly withdraw my mention of the lack of cat pics yesterday. With all that off my chest my thanks to the setter for a stonking puzzle and to the 2Ks for making yearn to smell a truffle!

    1. You’ve taken the words out of my mouth Manders. I couldn’t believe that people have so much time on their hands. Wasn’t the Cat in the Mac adorable?

    2. I did wonder yesterday if the dear little kitten in the mac might have sneaked past you, Manders. Glad you’ve seen it now. Excellent puzzle today – thanks to Jay and the 2Ks.

  10. An enjoyable puzzle, with some clever clues. I neeeded help from the Kiwis parsing a few bung-ins so thanks to them snd enjoy what remains of your truffle. I liked some of the lego clues, 16d, 8d and9d and tthe double meaning in 20d. Many thanks to the compiler and the Kiwis.

  11. All the expected Wednesday fun but, my word, it took me a while to ‘get’ the Quickie pun!
    Just to be different, I’ll nominate 21a as my favourite.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks for the review – enjoy your truffle whilst it lasts!

  12. I made heavy weather of this excellently clued puzzle.
    NE held out the longest.
    New three letter word for me in 6d.
    Specially enjoyed building the Lego clues.
    23a, perhaps, COTD
    So, ****/*****
    Many thanks Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  13. Very enjoyable today and no real problems although it took me a while to work out 17d although in reality should not have been difficult. There’s always one.

  14. I started off with ‘it’s a Jay, no it’s not’ and finished with ‘yes it is’ but I still think there is a soupçon of Logman in every Jay back pager these days – 2.5*/4.5*.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 1d, 8d, and 14d – and the winner is 14d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  15. Very enjoyable with the top half going in well before the bottom. I didn’t know the yacht nor did I understand “second water”. I have two viewing for the top spot – 26a and 28a with the latter taking he honours.

    Many thanks to the setter (Jay?) for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    For some reason the site no longer remembers my details, despite ticking the save my name box, and I have to enter them every time I comment.

    1. The remembering of details is done by your browser, not by the site. It is accomplished by saving on your device a small file called a cookie. Some reasons this mechanism may not work:
      1. The cookie may be missing if the browser cache has been cleared or the browser has been reset.
      2. Cookies are not saved when browsing in private or incognito modes.
      3. Tracking protection built into the browser may prevent cookies being saved.
      4. (added 6pm) Privacy/security browser extensions, such as DuckDuckGo, may also stop cookies being saved.

      If you made any changes to your device or browser recently, check that the cause is not one of the reasons above. If you didn’t change anything it is possible that an automatic update of the browser changed something. Check in particular tracking protection.

      1. I always have the same trouble. Always. Many thanks for your explanation but I think it is a tad too technical for me. Let me know if you come Cambridge way…….!

      2. Same problem for me. A week or so ago, using the “save my name …” check box stopped working on my laptop (Google Chrome browser), and yesterday the same thing happened on my smart phone (Firefox). This effect is only happening on this specific website.

          1. I just tried latest version of Chrome on my laptop, accessing site with https, and remembering details works.

            Do you have any privacy/security software installed that’s working with your browser?

          2. Thank you, Mr K.

            It works with that url, which is good news. But why would it have changed when my original link with http was working fine?

            1. http is an unencrypted protocol, whereas using https in the URL leads to an encrypted connection, which is of course a lot more secure.

              To protect users, browsers are moving towards a world in which only https connections are used. Browser updates often take a step or two towards that goal by becoming more and more fussy about security – that’s why the spoilers stopped working for some people a few months ago.

              I’m thinking that this new issue arose because the latest Chrome update defaults to not saving cookies if the connection is over http, or something like that. But that’s just a guess.

            2. Here’s a new dimension to the problem, Mr K.

              Having changed my links on both my laptop and phone to https:// etc. this works fine now in terms of saving my name and email address. However, when I use the Home button on the top menu on this site it takes me to the http:// version and my saved details disappear. Can the Home link be reprogrammed to go to the https: site?

              1. It could be changed, but I’m reluctant to modify the code underpinning the site while I’m just minding the store for BD. I will think about it.

                Clicking on the big blue banner at the top of the page, instead of the Home button, might take you to the home page via https.

                Alternatively, some browsers now have a setting that forces the browser to try connecting first with https for all URLs. if your browser permits that it might fix the problem temporarily.

  16. Absolutely cracking puzzle this morning, which I evidently found more challenging than many posters thus far – I even checked a couple of times to make sure I wasn’t doing the Toughie. A couple of odd surfaces for sure, and the boat racing of 13a with which I’m more familiar involves a cast of thousands rowing, rather than yachts! The (entirely fair and very well clued) use of Cardinal in 17d is surely due a holiday? As with “pick a boy’s name” or “pick a girl’s name”, this “pick a whole number” malarkey is rather general and feels as though it has been seen quite frequently of late.

    So many clues could have “medalled”, as commentators so unfortunately now describe the achievement of gaining a place on the podium – among them 12a, 15a, 23a, 28a and 5d, but COTD goes to the superb 16d.

    3* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to Jay, and of course to the 2Ks as well.

    1. Couldn’t disagree with you more, Mustafa.

      There are six non-hyphenated cardinals that contain eight letters.

      We established last week that there are between 10 and 20 boys and girls names that get used in a crossword which is way less than the number of abbreviations for the US states that no one complains about.

      ‘Pick a name’ has been well and truly put to bed.

      1. Gordon, as I said, the clue was entirely fair, and I really enjoyed the puzzle. My grouse is simply that Cardinal feels as though it has appeared quite frequently of late (although I admit I may be conflating Times and Telegraph puzzles) as a way of clueing a number as an answer, whether of three letters or many, hyphenated or not – and there are quite a few Cardinal numbers with between 3 and 15 letters.

        Variety, spice of life etc. Today it was nice to have a Queen other than Anne, and yesterday in the Times to have Jo clued as a March rather than a ‘Little Woman’.

        Clearly when there are quite a few setters for a paper publishing 2 grids daily they may independently settle on using the same word whether as Clue or Answer, and sometimes that will occur in a relatively short published time-frame … which I guess is where Editors come in, usually with great and quite invisible success!

        1. Mr K may put me right here but I don’t agree that the cardinal clue has been seen much recently. Wotcha reck…..three times in two months? I think you are indeed conflating.

          Using a religious person for a number is a great technique and can create some fun clues like today’s. I hope it doesn’t take a holiday soon.

          Since we know the number of letters when a cardinal is the answer (anything between 3 and 15), there are no more than six non-hyphenated to choose from (8 letters like today and 5 and 6 and 7 letters). So, it’s a very short list. If you bring a hyphen into play then there are loads but that’s very rarely seen.

          Boys names and girls names are often seen (way more than cardinals) and forever will be, along with US abbreviations, countries, cities (capitals and non-capitals).

        2. I’ll need to update my clue database to answer the question about recent appearances of cardinal. That probably won’t happen until much later in the UK day.

          I worked out some time ago that by chance we expect one repeated answer in roughly every seven puzzles. That climbs to on average eight repeated answers every 21 puzzles. The actual rate is slightly lower because editors sometimes intervene to remove repeated answers.

          1. Good lord Mr K, I doff my cap to you in admiration! You are truly a cruciverbalist’s Angus Loughran or Bill Frindall.

          2. It’s going to be late here and even later there before I have time to update databases. Afraid that you’ll have to check back in the morning for the data on cardinal.

            1. The Cardinal Stakes, run over two months at 3:30 at Churchill Downs, Kentucky

              Two appearances Evens
              Three appearances 3/1
              One appearance 10/1
              Four or more 33/1

            2. 2022 Telegraph appearances of cardinal indicating or defining a whole number:
              Wed 16 Feb 2022  Telegraph Cryptic 29912    Vision of cardinal welcoming positive response (8)
              Mon 13 Jun 2022  Telegraph Cryptic 30012    Two cardinals making a couple of punches together? (3-3)
              Wed 17 Aug 2022  Telegraph Cryptic 30068    Cardinal may see fortune wasted taking drug (8)
              Tue 25 Jan 2022  Telegraph Toughie 2789    Faculty certainly entertained by cardinal (8)
              Tue 03 May 2022  Telegraph Toughie 2845    Mood oddly negative about cardinal, for example — right to visit Balkan nation? (10)
              Fri 05 Aug 2022  Telegraph Toughie 2900    Hitter hit fans of a Cardinal (9)

              1. So, four times in the DT alone in the last 3 1/2 months. Time for a holiday indeed … !

                Mr K I am astounded at your statistical prowess, what an incredible database you have evidently accumulated, thank you.

                1. Hi Mustafa.

                  I have only just seen this and therefore appreciate that it’s highly unlikely you will read this but I should have been clearer when I said ‘not been seen recently’ as I was referring to just the cryptic not the toughie as well as I don’t do it.

                  For you who does, maybe it needs a holiday but, for me, twice in two months is fine.

  17. I think the Toughie has escaped again!
    Very tricky with complex and clumsy clues. Managed to complete but understood very few fully.
    Little fun, just a slog.
    Thx for the hints

      1. I just had a stab at the today’s Toughie, and answered almost as many as on here today. I’m talking about sans hints of course. Oh well, exercises the grey cells I suppose.

  18. This challenge was fun to unravel with no serious hold-ups. SW brought up the rear. 2d was unparsed. Fav 10a once short penny had dropped. Quickie pun is a no-no in my book – anyway I failed to fathom it! Thanks Jay for the fun and 2Kiwis for being there in case of need. (Gather “diamonds of the kitchen” are even more of a luxury in these days of heat and drought – so enjoy.

  19. Forgive me one and all for bringing up yesterday’s extremely unfortunate episode but something has to be said.

    Not only have we lost a contributor (he emailed Gazza saying the abuse upset him), he is a compiler for the FT to boot! I am gutted as I was looking forward to getting into the mind of a compiler and how they tick. I am simply in awe of them. I’m also disappointed as I didn’t get the chance to improve on my hopeless nickname for him yesterday – ‘Fishy’. My next one was going to be Mr Photi.

    Anyway, back to the matter in hand…

    Stephen L got things off to a bad start by calling him a hair-splitter but saw the error of his ways, immediately retracting his comment and apologizing. But, unfortunately, it gave a couple of people ‘Licence to Lambaste’ (two capital Ls).

    Can we please confine pedant, pedantic, pedantry, hair-splitting and the like to Room 101, even if you are referring to yourself, as they can never been seen as complimentary?
    A crossword is an exact science where every word and letter in a clue plays a role. Discussing this in minute detail is not pedantry; of course it’s not!

    Miffypops, everyone on this blog knows that you feel life is too short; you say it week in week out. We get it. But you need to give up on this crusade of getting others to adopt this approach and wave the white flag (not red and white) as you’re wasting your time and, much more importantly, ours.

    Enough now.

    I suggested this morning on yesterday’s blog that an apology to Mr Fish wouldn’t go amiss but my request fell on deaf ears. Pride is a terrible thing. The least you can do is apologize here to everyone and hope that Mr F is reading this.

    Goodness knows what was going through your head.

    1. I ,too, have just advised MP to apologise (on yesterdays blog). I’m not holding my breath!

      Maybe we should draw a line under this one now. He was criticised/chastised in the evening so we probably shouldn’t re-heat his sins for breakfast.

    2. The whole and enjoyable point of cryptic crosswords is exactitude.
      Amazed that is controversial.
      So sorry to hear about Mr. Fish and thank him for his needed intervention.

  20. Wednesdays with Jay always give me joy, and today’s puzzle is no exception. I was immediately on his wave-length and finished in what must be record time for one of his gems, with 16d, 12a, & 14d my top picks. Thanks to the Kiwis (enjoy that truffle!) and Jay. 1* / 4*

  21. A delightful crossword which I struggled to complete needed the 2Ks hints to see me over the line. No medalling for me but very honourable mentions for 12, 15, and 21a ; also 7 and 16d.

    I saw the start of the brouhaha yesterday but didn’t think it would last that long and have such a consequence. Mind you,, I gave up on arguments quite a time ago as it is such a pointless activity but used to really enjoy them. Any chance I got I would wade in whatever the subject and the side I took was often not my own point of view. But I got tired of taking poor arguments to their logical conclusion which was amusing for a time but soon palls. I now steer clear of arguments and people which I find most restful.

  22. Seemed to me from the start this was more Logman than Jay again this week. 3*/3*
    Tricky and tough going in spots

    Favourites 1a, 11a, 13a, 14d & 17d … with winner 14d

    Thanks to the three birds.

  23. After an early appointment for a spinal epidural, I was looking forward to tackling this over coffee and toast with marmalade (English of course), but found it too much on the tricky side. Half finished and I think I’ll leave it there. Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis.

  24. Nice to sit down with the crossword and a cup of coffee after younger grandson and serious girlfriend had left in a large van loaded with some of the stuff they dumped on us six years ago. Is it really that long ago? He starts teaching physics at a school in Nottingham on 1st September and is very nervous, she did a tester day at a veterinary practice last week and was offered the job. They have just moved into an empty flat – yeay. Goodbye to the bags of cricket gear and piles of CDs etc. How nice to enjoy some good news. So the puzzle was a pleasure, with some tricky bits in the bottom right. I do not know the second water phrase, I wanted the answer to be Blister. 14a my favourite with 26a and 14d close behind. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter.

  25. I always love Jay Wednesday crosswords – I also always find them difficult.
    I’ve never heard of the 13a yacht but as a good guess it wasn’t too bad an answer – in other words I was lucky!
    For no reason I had trouble with 10a and took ages.
    I think my favourite was 1a.
    Thanks to Jay and to the K’s.

  26. Thanks to Jay and to the 2 Kiwis for the review and hints. A super puzzle, most enjoyable with a few to make you think. Hadn’t heard of 13a, but got it from the wordplay. Needed the hints to parse 2d & 16d. Just wondering about 23a, is the prural of skate (the fish) skate or skates? If you had more than one cod, I wouldn’t have thought it sounds right to refer to them as cods? Favourite was 9a. Was 2* / 4* for me.

    1. Your musing on plurals piqued my interest. The BRB is no help on the plurals of either fish. But, the Cambridge Dictionary on-line has ‘skate or skates’ for the first and just ‘cod’ with no ‘S’ for the second.

      It is perhaps comforting to know that the ‘Cod Wars’ in the middle of the last century were not about just one fish – :smile:

  27. For some reason I had ‘narrator’ as the answer to 5d and that was that! Good puzzle with 9a as my favourite. Thank you Jay and 2Ks, hope the truffle lasts a long time.

  28. I found this very difficult 😳 most un Jay like ****/** needed lots of help, I have to agree with Brian. Thanks to the Compiler and to the 2 x Ks. Off to yesterday’s blog to see what all the hoo hah was about 🤔

  29. Morning all.
    Parts of NZ are receiving torrential rain at present (especially Nelson where we used to live) with widespread flooding. Fortunately for us it is leaving us unscathed at this stage but there are several more days of these conditions forecast so not entirely out of the woods yet. The weather extremes this winter have been a real challenge.
    Quite a range of opinions on the difficulty of this puzzle. It is such a ‘wavelength’ thing. Pretty much a consensus on enjoyment though.

  30. I’m another one in the ‘what Brian said’ camp. Finished but just a bit too tricky (for me) to be enjoyable.
    Thanks to the 2Ks for the hints and tips and Jay for exercising the grey matter.

  31. An enjoyable solve which I found challenging, especially the SE corner.

    Never heard of the term second water and also don’t remember cat being a synonym of queen.

    Spent quite a while with just checkers in because I was doubting my answers.

    Thanks to all.

      1. Yes, that works, a bit stretched, but synonyms are like muscles, if you don’t stretch them now and again they stop working. Thanks for the early morning response.

  32. Late on parade but did this last night. Got on very well but stumped in the SW. Woke up and after a wee and a Wordle(did it in 3) I had another look. All then went in very quickly. The cardinal was the last to fall. I even thought I may have been looking for a name. Thanks Jay. Excellent puzzle and all solvable and “parsable” without hints and aids. Thanks Mr K. Always read the hints to make sure my answers are right!

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