DT 30110 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30110

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30110

Hints and tips by KiwiColin

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Just one Kiwi doing the blogging today.

Our weather continues with its craziness. Just as we were getting used to Spring conditions another monstrous system arrives from Antarctica with strong winds and snow to low levels predicted for quite a lot of the country. Grrr!

Anyway, an enjoyable crossword as a diversion.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.

Across
1a     Nick may be up to this if good enough (7)
SCRATCH: ‘Up to’ from the clue and the answer can give a phrase meaning ‘good enough’.

9a     Well-known demon or spirit (8)
FAMILIAR: Double definition. The demon or spirit is usually a witch.

10a     Withdraw from race, disheartened with deal (7)
RETREAT: Remove the two inside letters (dishearten) from R(ac)E and then deal or care for.

11a     Doctor bears out subversive (8)
SABOTEUR: An anagram (DOCTOR) of BEARS OUT.

12a     Short incisive position in ballet (6)
POINTE: Remove the last letter (short) from a word for incisive or sharp.

13a     Disputed titles will contain duty, providing definitive trial (6,4)
LITMUS TEST: A duty or obligation is enclosed by an anagram (disputed) of TITLES.

15a     Excitement about piece of news (4)
ITEM: A lurker, indicated by ‘about’, that is hiding in the clue.

16a     They may offer access to fast track (4,5)
SLIP ROADS: Cryptic definition for access or egress routes to motorways.

21a     Lift projection (4)
HUMP: Double definition. The projection is usually a rounded one.

22a     Fancy — possibly late Norman (10)
ORNAMENTAL: An anagram (fancy) of LATE NORMAN.

24a     Such messages mostly mislead criminal (6)
EMAILS: An anagram (criminal) of the first six letters of MISLEA(d).

25a     Cooked meat must be included in supply (8)
FLAMBEED: Supply, probably with food, contains meat from young ovine animals.

27a     Poor American showing effect of working in the sun? (7)
REDNECK: A derogatory US expression. The wordplay is actually the true origin of the expression.

28a     Worked out commitment daily at first (8)
RESOLVED: Commitment or determination and the first letter of daily.

29a     Set apart from one’s love, in arrears (7)
ISOLATE: One’s written as Roman numeral with ‘S, tennis score love and ‘in arrears’ on not on time.

Down

2d     Rails about the girl’s smoking choices (8)
CHEROOTS: A female possessive pronoun for ‘the girl’s’ is inside avian rails.

3d     A friend on manuscript for POTUS, etc? (8)
ACRONYMS: A from the clue and a friend or colleague plus the abbreviation for manuscript.

4d     Former housekeeper‘s friendly conversation with girl (10)
CHATELAINE: A four letter friendly conversation and a girl’s name.

5d     Story of silver buried in South America (4)
SAGA: Chemical symbol for silver is enclosed by S(outh) A(merica).

6d     Rumour of underground workers and those unable to vote (6)
MINORS: A homophone (rumour) of a word for underground workers.

7d     Independent check kept by socialist, fascinated (7)
RIVETED: Socialist, identified by colour contains I(ndependent) and check as an animal doctor might.

8d     Moving apart to keep four oddly in proportion (3,4)
PRO RATA: An anagram (moving) of APART contains alternate letters (oddly) of fOuR which are paradoxically, the even letters in this instance.

11d     What fat could be dripping? (9)
SATURATED: Double definition. Dripping could be soaking wet.

14d     Bus lanes redesigned across east and south generating capability (10)
USABLENESS: An anagram (redesigned) of BUS LANES contains E(ast) and S(outh).

17d     Bits of shell from planes flying across there regularly (8)
SHRAPNEL: An anagram (flying) of PLANES contains the second and fourth letters of ‘there’.

18d     Understood inexperience must lack boundaries (8)
IMPLICIT: Remove the first and last letters from a word meaning inexperience or naivety.

19d     Keep a record of feminine fury that generates heat (3,4)
LOG FIRE: Keep a record as a ship’s captain might, F(eminine) and fury or anger.

20d     Men working on rough seas as a group (2,5)
EN MASSE: An anagram (working) of MEN followed by another anagram (rough) of SEAS.

23d     Able to move having discovered files supporting disorderly crowd (6)
MOBILE: The central letters (discovered) of ‘files’ follow a disorderly crowd.

26d     Prevention keeps up at any time (4)
EVER: A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

The clever use of ‘rails’ in 2d puts it in gold medal spot for me.

Quickie pun    melon    +    collie    =    melancholy

49 comments on “DT 30110
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  1. Tough for me, but with lots of good clues.
    Got the hump with 21a and struggled with Graymalkin at 9a.

    Thanks to the setter and to the single Kiwi.
    No consolation I know, but it is decidedly cool and about to rain here……

  2. Some tricky diverse cluing today,3d was new to me and the Chambers came in useful.
    Last in was 2d and the D’oh moment when I twigged the rails !
    Favourites were 1a,27a ,and 9a,
    Very enjoyable and top marks to our setter and KC.
    Going for a ***/****

  3. Very enjoyable, though I’d have rated it more 3* for difficulty than 2*.
    I’d never heard of the birds at 1d or one of the DDs at 8a though both were obvious from the wordplay and checkers.
    Isn’t 27a decidedly un-PC these days?
    I thought the lurker at 15a was very well hidden and I liked 11d a lot too but as a bit of a fan of the art my favourite has to be 12a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Colin.

    The beauty of the dance, the dancer and the music in the clip below never fails to move me.

  4. I found this puzzle more difficult than our Lone Kiwi did, particularly in the NW corner and I needed a little help to parse some of my bung-ins ao thanks to Colin for that. There were s ome very clever clues and I did get them all even if a few werecdifficult to understand ( I still don’t really see 16a). I liked the double definitions at 9a and 27a, the 25a charade and18d. Did anyone else think 1a made a sly reference to an old euphemism for the Devil or was it just me? Thanks to the compiler for a challenging puzzle.

  5. What an excellent and enjoyable puzzle for a decidedly soggy and miserable morning. Like our blogger, 2d ticked all the boxes for me and was a worthy favourite.

    My thanks to our setter and the solitary K. The Toughie is well worth a stab too.

  6. Found this gentle and swift, with 9a being the exception delaying my completion – tried to parse a drink for a bit too long! Cracking and very clever clues if over-heavy on the anagrams.

    Hon Mentions to 10a and 23d; COTD by a country mile to 2d – I’ve been fortunate to stand and watch water rails only 10ft from me: lovely if shy and unremarkable birds.

    1.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to KiwiColin and Jay (?)

  7. This seemed a bit trickier than our usual Wenesday fare. I thought there were rather a lot of anagrams and I was surprised at the ‘oddly’ in 8d but I enjoyed the puzzle – thanks to our setter and 1K.
    My ticks went to 1a, 27a and 19d.

  8. A pedestrian & unsatisfactory completion for me today. Didn’t twig the avian context of rails & familiar as a synonym for demon or spirit was unfamiliar to me – got the 21a & couldn’t be bothered to investigate either. Last in was 12a which was a bit of an educated bung in & also failed to identify the S&Y removal required to parse 18d correctly. I’ll settle for a correctly filled in grid though & on the plus side twigged discovered (which invariably trips me up) in the wordplay at 23d. Didn’t realise 27a was un-PC but it was my favourite along with 16a.
    Thanks to the setter & Colin for the explanations.
    Ps struggling badly with the Toughie also. Is it Logman ?

  9. Really struggled with this. Thank you Colin for putting me out of my murky Wednesday misery. I did love 11d though, great clue. Thanks also to Jay.

  10. I thought this was tricky for a Wednesday – it took me a Toughie time to sort out – Logman in the wrong envelope??

    My favourite was 2d as I remembered the rails straight away. Like Gazza, I was confused about the ‘oddly’ in 8d

    Thanks to the setter and the 1K

  11. CS Your grapes looked like a proper row of vines whereas mine are on the side of the house and not very proper! Getting very tasty though.

    1. Mr CS has been growing grapes for many years – he’s currently picking them ready to make wine (which I can’t drink as red wine ‘doesn’t like me’ :(

      We’ve also got lots of puffball mushrooms this year

      1. My grapes over the pergola are abundant but very small and dried up. I think they hated the summer heat but they have provided plentiful shade and the birds have had a feast.

      2. Impressive puffballs, CS, you are very fortunate and must have good unadulterated soil! I picked one last year that weighed about 3kg – we enjoyed thick slices, fried in seasoned pork belly fat: delicious. The puffball soup was not such a delicacy …!

  12. A somewhat trickier than average Wednesday challenge. I will opt for a variation of CS’s ‘Logman in the wrong envelope’ and say it is another Jay/Logman co-production (and prepare to be proved wrong when someone like NYDK pops in to claim ownership) – 2.5*/4*.

    I share JigsawJoyce’s opinion of 14d – what a terrible word.

    Candidates for favourite – 16a, 4d, and 7d – and the winner is 4d.

    Thanks to Jay and Kiwi Colin.

  13. I’m back after a very enjoyable few days staying with friends in South Wales although I did miss the blog.

    I was slightly disappointed by today’s puzzle in which a lot of good clues were offset by a handful of hmms. In 10d, in my opinion “deal” is not quite synonymous with “treat” – it would need to be “deal with”, and I think that equating “simplicity” with “inexperience” in 18d is a bit of a stretch. We had to play guess a girl in 4d and, like others have already said, “oddly” in 8d seemed a bit odd.

    My favourite was 2d.

    Thanks to the setter and to Colin.

      1. Thank you, Jane. Aside from the excellent company, good food, and lots of alcohol, we visited St Fagan’s Welsh Farm Museum and the Royal Mint, both of which were fascinating.

        1. My husband and I had a weekend in Cardiff (travelling by train) last December. Did not go to the Royal Mint but loved St Fagans.

  14. I thought this one was generally very good and just a little above average difficulty for a back-pager. Mostly fine clues, a reasonable challenge and an enjoyable solve. I’ll go for 19d as my favourite. 3*/3.5*.

    *Is the “oddly” just plain wrong or merely confusing? I’m never quite sure these days. Directly gainsaying a DT setter can backfire on you!

    1. *Maybe it IS OK. Oddly can mean periodically, intermittently, alternately. So, I guess you can have “oddly” spaced letters in an evenly-numbered sequence? My brain’s hurting now …

  15. No problems to report beyond the fact that ‘real life’ kept getting in the way of this morning’s solve.
    Top three for me were 1a plus 2&11d.

    Thanks to Jay and to our solo Kiwi for the review – is Carole off somewhere nice with the girls or fulfilling grandmotherly duties?

  16. Tough to get this Wednesday puzzle going on Tuesday night as the sun sets earlier and earlier.
    Started is the SE and finished with a struggle the NW.
    For me 2.5*/3.5* tonight.

    Favourites include 1a, 13a, 16a, 20d & 23d

    Lots of good clues but it was a struggle to get through it all and figure it out.

    Thanks to Logman it seems again this week (Jay) and KiwiColin

  17. No idea who the setter was but I thought this was a most unpleasant crossword. Not helped by never having heard of a 4d, and not understanding what avian rails are in 2d, a very poor lurker indicator in 15a amongst other odd clues. Finished by means of letter insertion but for me a dreadful puzzle.
    Thx for the hints
    ****/*

    1. I also found this a stinker, Brian.
      For me, *****/*.

      Very unusual for me to need recourse to so many hints.

      Must have had an off-day.

  18. On a first read through I was blank but then suddenly the RHS was done and the struggle was with the left. It did not help that I put railroads instead of slip. However it all fell into place, George heroically contributed 4d and 27a. My daisies went to 3,8,11 and 23d. Many thanks to Setter and Hinter, purveyors of pleasure.

  19. Thanks to the setter and to Kiwi Colin for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle that I found very tricky. Had never heard of that meaning of 9a, but guessed it from the checkers. Had never heard of 12a. Also needed the hints for 21,27a & 7d. Favourite was 13a. Was 4* / 3* for me.

  20. Going great guns until stalling at 21 and 27a and 18d.
    Fog descended.
    Put aside, came back, bingo.
    So, 5*/5*
    Nicely challenging puzzle throughout.
    Many thanks, Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  21. Going against trend and for a change I finished in quick order. I usually have a DNF of at least one clue and need to rely as always on this site. Which is very helpful. I had two parsing queries, 13a and 18d.
    Keep up the good work and thanks to all.
    */****

  22. Oh dear! I found this really really difficult – I often find Jay tricky but I can, usually, do at least most of them – not today – not a hope!
    I think I might just leave that for today – my problem – nobody’s fault at all.
    Thanks to Jay for the crossword and to KiwiC for the very much needed hints.

  23. I meant to say, regarding 17d, whatever happened to all the shrapnel? When I was a small girl, every child had a great lump of this evil looking stuff on their windowsill. Big lumps of very rough metal – my brother had a beauty. Where did it all go?

  24. Morning all, and a really chilly one it is too. This visitor from Antarctica is certainly packing a punch.
    Think I might have slightly misjudged the difficulty rating. A bit trickier converting the time taken into difficulty stars when there is only one solver instead of the usual two.
    We should be back to normal next week.
    Agree with those people who thought that 14d is a rather inelegant word. Was rather surprised to find that it is actually in BRB. Lots of other lovely words to enjoy though with 4d probably being the most elegant of all.
    Cheers.

  25. Very late today though I managed a sluggish finish last night with a rather tough, Logmanesque version of our Jaymaster’s craft. Feeling my age today, I’ve had to take to my bed, sadly, on an absolutely gorgeous autumn day in the Carolina Lowcountry. In most of this country, calling a ‘poor American’ a 27a–unless he happens to be a willful Trumpian and enjoys being tarred by that brush–is quite the insult, and that clue did upset me rather (it’s much worse than just non-PC). Otherwise, I found this slow-going but did enjoy my LOI, 18d, 4d, & 25a. Thanks to Colin and Jay. 2.5*/3.5*

    A very tough Giovanni that I managed to finish, but with a wee bit of e-help.

  26. Couple of clues gave pause here, as others have said, so a little shadow cast over the excellent regions of this one for me.

  27. Definitely *** for difficulty for me….perseverance (which, as my Grandmother used to say, made a bishop of his Reverence) was required, but all worthwhile to crack some clever clues with nothing obscure..,,

  28. Managed to finish with electronic help but found this trickier than most others did. All the reservations mentioned above I agree with but no-one railed or ‘barre’d about ballet. Awful stuff. If you can’t say it sing it. And if you can’t sing it dance it.

    Anyway some very good clues and among those not solved electronically 1a and 13a, together with 2d and 3d are very worthy of mention.

    Many thanks to KC and the setter.

  29. Very hard in parts. Proud to say I finished (eventually) without hints. Got Familiar but didn’t write it in as not sure. Took a while to think of first word at 16a. Not helped as I’d not got 3d, one of my last in. Do’h moment when I got 3d. One of those to watch out for. Got 15a without spotting it was hidden in the clue. Favourites 1 24 and 25a and 3 4 and 18d. Thanks J and K.

  30. Not sure about the two star difficulty. The majority say 3 to 5 stars. Unusual for me to struggle so desperately.
    An off day, I guess. *****/*

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