DT 30106 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30106

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30106

Hints and tips by Senf

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

After last week’s topsy-turviness, back to a regular roster of setters for this week.  So, which member of the Friday triumvirate do we have today?  As the last seven puzzles have been alternating between Zandio and Silvanus, I was beginning to think that we now had a duumvirate.  However, today we have a pangra where the missing letter is X, so I conclude that proXimal has returned.  Can you remember the last Friday proXimal was on the back page?  Click here for the answer August 5th/DT 30058.

Candidates for favourite – 15a, 24a, 5d, 22d.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the Click here! buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a Withdrawing support of force (7,3)
BACKING OFF: A synonym of support, OF from the clue, and the single letter for Force.

6a Leave queen, maybe spades? Not spades! (4)
QUIT: The single letter for Queen and a term for what a collection of Spades are in a pack of cards perhaps (maybe) with the single letter for Spades removed (not).

9a Pigeon sheds frequently seen in outskirts of Leeds (5)
LOFTS: A three letter synonym of frequently contained by (seen in) the first and last letters (outskirts) of LeedS.

10a Sounding appropriate, depressed tone (5-4)
STEEL BLUE: A homophone (sounding) of a synonym of appropriate (as in take) and a synonym of depressed (as in mood) gives a tone (as in colour).

12a Kindly try cuddling partner following offer (6-7)
TENDER-HEARTED: Another term for try in court and a shortened form of a cuddling partner (as in cuddly toy?) placed after (following) a synonym of offer (when bidding on a contract?).

14a Fetch editor after retired informer is identified as victim (8)
TARGETED: A three letter synonym of fetch and our favourite abbreviated editor all placed after a three letter informer reversed (retired).

15a Two articles about bishop of ancient city (6)
THEBAN: Two grammatical articles, one definite and one indefinite, placed around (about) the single letter for Bishop.

18a Reptile mostly black going to the West Country (6)
BRAZIL: A type of reptile with the last letter removed (mostly) and the single letter for Black all reversed (going to the West).

19a Parts of course of airway staff only partly required (8)
FAIRWAYS: A golfy lurker (only partly required) found in three words in the clue.

20a Awful option, fan had to bear English having dire penalties (2,4,2,5)
ON PAIN OF DEATH: An anagram (awful) of OPTION, FAN HAD containing (to bear) the single letter for English.

24a Clearly establishes claws and feathers (5,4)
NAILS DOWN: A synonym of claws (as what are on fingers and toes?) and a collective noun for feathers.

25a Fall on joint securing middle of panel in boat (5)
KNEEL: Inserting (securing) the middle letter of paNel into a type of boat.

26a Shelter you refit after removing all contents (4)
YURT: What remains of YoU RefiT after removing the contents of both words.

27a Returned a novel about very intrepid sort (10)
ADVENTURER: An anagram (novel) of RETURNED A containing (about) the single letter for Very.


1d Make prediction about opener for live band (4)
BELT: A three letter term for make prediction (which involves a financial outlay) containing (about) the first letter (opener) of Live.

2d Eatery in Corsica regularly hosting a gala (9)
CAFETERIA: Alternate letters from CoRsIcA containing all of A from the clue and a type of gala.

3d One sister nice in false pretences (13)
INSINCERITIES: The Roman numeral for one and an anagram (false) of SISTER NICE IN.

4d Foolish East German ignoring an indicator of fuel use (3,5)
GAS METER: An anagram (foolish) of EAST GERMan with an deleted (ignoring).

5d Raw meat changing hands (5)
FRESH: A synonym of meat with the letter for one hand (side) changed to the other one (changing hands).

7d One including learner that’s not illuminated (5)
UNLIT: A four letter synonym for one containing (including) the single letter for Learner.

8d Cool tip I note to cut hair (10)
TRENDINESS: A synonym of tip, I (the perpendicular pronoun) from the clue, and the single letter for Note all inserted into (to cut) a synonym for (a lock of) hair – and I am not sure that the answer is a ‘good’ match for the definition.

11d Foam covering European potato skin is unwelcome grub (13)
LEATHERJACKET: A synonym of foam (coming from soap?) containing (covering) all of the single letter for European and a term for potato skin.

13d Try bulb son damaged in obdurate fashion (10)
STUBBORNLY: An anagram (damaged) of TRY BULB SON.

16d Maybe trunks of wood pronounced over river (9)
BEACHWEAR: A homophone of a type of wood placed before (over in a down clue) a river (in NE England).

17d Sorry fellow more disheartened coming below average (6,2)
PARDON ME: The three letter university fellow and MorE with the interior letters deleted (disheartened) all placed (coming) below a three letter term for average (performance).

21d Member of abbey busybody reported (5)
PRIOR: A homophone (reported) of a synonym of busybody.

22d Ring useless — it’s egg-shaped (5)
OVOID: The letter that is ring shaped and a synonym of useless.

23d Not all drink noisily and speak like a drunk (4)
SLUR: A single word for drink noisily with the last letter removed (not all).

The Quick Crossword Pun:


45 comments on “DT 30106
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  1. Really struggled with this at first, and frankly began to dislike it. But gradually as a few more answers came, my view changed entirely and saw it for the very clever cryptic puzzle it was. Took a while to complete due to some subtle misdirection, but got there in the end. Favourites were 10 and 18a well done to the setter.

  2. Very enjoyable indeed from the X man.
    Definitely a “start on the downs day” as the first read through of the across clues yielded precious little, but what a difference a few checkers can make as the next read through all became clear except 20a which I had to work out from the checkers and fodder.
    I thought the use of “appropriate” as a verb in 10a very clever but my winners are 6a&18a plus 17d, with the top spot going to the super clever 12a.
    Many thanks to ProXimal and Senf

  3. Cracking Friday puzzle. nicely clued with a few misleads eg16d
    Favourite was 12a and liked the surface of 15a. the reptile in 18a was new to me.
    Liked the 19a lurker for the Doh moment.
    Going for a ***/****
    Thanks Senf for the picks-especially the Ted.

  4. A deceptive little critter, this coffee break challenge. After reading the first few clues I double-checked it was not the Toughie, and started afresh in the SW – at which point it all came together with increasing speed as the tuning dial got ever closer to the setter’s wavelength.

    And what a super puzzle it turned out to be – wonderful mix of clue types, best of and a small step up in difficulty from the backpagers this week, and plenty of smiles as pennies dropped. Tried to make 18a double-parse (the actual answer, and a ‘reptilean area’ down here in Cornwall) but was not to be. My page was littered with ticks for HMs – 10a, 25a, 2d, 5d, 17d – but for me COTD was 16d, with an audible Doh! as the answer dawned.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter / Proximal (I was thinking “not Zandio, nor Sylvanus, and not The Don”, so a good call I think, Senf) and of course to Senf.

  5. A time-consuming solve, which is not surprising now that I realise that it’s a Proximal puzzle. The clues were as knotty and well-misdirected as they usually are with this compiler and I, apparently, am just as slow on the uptake. However I did finish, without the help of anything but the thesaurus and there were some very clever clues, so it’s win-win. I liked the geographical clue at 18a, the 3d anagram And the 2d lego clue. COTD for me was the charade at 11d. I had these little perishers infesting my lawn a few years ago and got rid of tthem by watering in nematodes. So it remind me of a garden problem solved. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to ProXimal for a challenging puzzle.

  6. A superbly entertaining puzzle for what has become a very soggy Shropshire morning, with the clever and inventive 18a my final entry and favourite clue. My thanks to proXimal and the hard-working Senf.

  7. This is another in a long line of enjoyable Friday puzzles – thanks to Mr X and Senf.
    From a very good selection of clues I’ve selected 12a, 16d and 17d for my podium.

  8. Like Senf, I was a little doubtful about 8d certainly as far as the ending was concerned but everything else slotted into place after a bit of head-scratching.
    Pick of the bunch for me were 18,19&24a plus 4d.

    Thanks to proXimal for the Friday challenge and to Senf for the review – I rather liked that version of Stranger on the Shore.

    1. Thanks – of course, the only (tenuous) link between the 10a answer and the instrument in the video is that they share the same first word.

  9. Can’t say I liked this Friday puzzle at all.

    Many clues very hard to parse as well as making no sense to my brain.
    3*/1* for me today.

    Hard to pick any favourites from this one but I suppose 12a, 20a & 11d would qualify.
    Not a great puzzle today IMHO. Frankly some clues made no sense to me at all.

    Sorry setter and thanks to Senf … but I solved this on Thursday night without hints.

  10. Phew that was a struggle but surprised myself by eventually making the grade with the exception of failing to clock appropriate in 10a however did enjoy the musical hint reminder for that. 16a is definitely my standout Fav. Thank you proXimal and Senf.
    P.S. Do hope you’re safe RC – Ian sounds vicious.

  11. Really struggled with this.
    Two sessions, last in 14a.
    This and 12a and 17d the very strong contestants for COTD
    Winner, 17a.
    Very satisfying to complete, albeit in 5* plus time.
    Many thanks, ProXimal, for the tough challenge and thanks to Senf.

  12. I love the spread of COTDs, sign of a clever puzzle. My favourites were the unwelcome grub and LOI 18a. Thank you presumably Proximal and Senf.
    Can I just clear up a big misunderstanding from yesterday? Not only does Mrs GD excel at life in general, she also completes my grid. Literally and metaphorically.

    1. It was meant very lightheartedly. I do hope I didn’t upset you! I was trying to establish a sisterly rapport against crickety clues.

  13. Great puzzle. Finished with a hint or two from Senf. Took a long time. I like Jane’s picks, so I’ll be a copycat. Thanks to proXimal and Senf. **** / ****

    We lost power briefly as gusts hit 55-60 mph about 30 minutes ago; Hurricane Ian is still about 75 miles offshore, expected to make landfall about 20 miles north of us on one of my favourite barrier islands, Cape Romain. I expect more power outages soon as others here in the Charleston area have been without for some time. Lots of heavy rain now. Chimney leaking again. Got to run.

    1. It looks like storm surge is going to be your biggest problem, plus the heavy rain. It’s the water that does the damage. Good luck.

    2. Thanks to Merusa, Huntsman, and Mustafa for your good wishes. It could have been a whole lot worse than the howling wind (gusts up to 83 mph here) and pounding rain (almost eight inches in my front yard at the peak of it) — and there are many roads flooded and trees down–but we certainly dodged a bullet this time. Those poor people in SW Florida will take months or even longer to rebuild and recover. Many people are without power here, but we never lost it for more than a few minutes at a time, so here at 1205 Buist we certainly have been fortunate. Maybe I can sleep a bit now.

  14. A good end to a good week. I thought at first it was going to be tough but all fell into place. I had to avail myself of Senf’s hints for 10a – I had put the right answer but had not appreciated the subtlety of appropriated. Nice one. Also liked 11d but 16d was the best. Many thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter. I wonder if we have a bit of Robert’s friend Ian around, it is blowing hard outside. Have a good weekend everyone.

  15. Enjoyed this and thought there was a lot of clever clues. Didn’t know 25a as a boat only part of one, but google enlightened me. Couple of synonyms in 1d and 22d had me puzzled but I suppose a lot of predictions become useless, the bookies depend on it! COTD 16d, clever misdirection!

    1. Didn’t find this easy to begin with but after a trip to the gym my brain seemed to wake up. Both 4 letter clues proved tricky as usual. 21a was favourite.
      Hope you’re still surviving Robert. Looks nasty over there. Thankyou setter and Senf.

  16. For once I fared better than our more esteemed contributors as I found this as straightforward as they come. I wish it happened more often. Favourite was 16a, number of others running it close. Thanks to ProXimal and Senf.

  17. Like TG I found this pleasingly straightforward. I was immediately on wavelength & skated through it (very early doors before work) in Mon&Tues time with barely a head scratch so didn’t even register it was an X-less pangram. Surprised to now see who the setter is as usually find his puzzles challenging. 11d was my favourite – the larvae of craneflies & a greenkeeper’s nightmare as the birds rip up the 19a in search of a tasty ready meal.
    Thanks to ProXimal & Senf

  18. Hard going for me…especially 10a which I guessed but needed Senf’s help to parse.
    A lot of excellent clues that really made me scratch my head but were satisfying when I had solved them.
    Not too keen on 12a’s cuddling partner…..I prefer mine to be breathing…..

    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

    After a cool, miserable , windy, rainy day, the sun has come out , the skies have cleared and I think we will have a beautiful sunset. Autumn is definitely here, though….so I am celebrating with pear and ginger pudding. Might have some ice cream with it.

  19. Oh dear – not a hope in hell – that’s putting it politely, I think!
    Fridays are my nightmare crossword days – they always have been even many years ago – way out of my ability.
    Thanks to proXimal for the crossword and to Senf for the hints.
    “After all tomorrow is another day”. Oh good – that’s just as well . . .

  20. I really struggled to get a foothold in today’s puzzle and when I did it was from the bottom up. I had to resort to the hints for my last three. Quite a mental workout for me! Many thanks to Senf and Proximal?

    Robert 🤞 you don’t have to endure anything more than a leaking chimney. We have been watching Storm Ian on the daily news and seeing the terrible damage already inflicted at Fort Myers etc. Stay safe and keep hunkered down. Our thoughts are with you and your communities.

    1. Thank you very much, Hilary. We seem to have come through this iteration of Ian well enough. Lots of tree and roof damage throughout the area and some flooded roads still but nothing remotely like what happened to the poor people in SW Florida. My heart goes out to them. We were very lucky.

    1. Thank you for popping in Proximal. I need to work at getting on your wavelength. The Quick crossword was the most I could achieve before joining this site so I am progressing!

  21. I am very pleased that I managed to complete this puzzle (while have a Saturday morning lie in). This pushed me to my limit and I nearly give up several times. I really liked 18a and 16d. 1d last in. I think that I am a more a Monday than Friday solver. Many thanks to proXimal.

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