DT 30136 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30136

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30136

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

So, we seem to have a trend developing where one of the Friday triumvirate is the setter for a non-Ray T Thursday – Silvanus two weeks ago and proXimal yesterday.  So, I can confidently say, with fingers crossed, and especially because neither of his trademark features are present that proXimal is not responsible for today’s puzzle.  So, which of the other two members of the triumvirate is it?  Well, we had a Zandio production last week so I am very confidently going to ‘double up’ and put ten bob on this being by Silvanus.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 11a, 23a, 4d, and 8d.

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 Tailor swallows last piece of pork kebab (6)
SKEWER: A nounal synonym of tailor contains (swallows) the last letter (last piece) of porK.

5a Extraordinary individual (8)
SINGULAR: A double definition – the second relates to ‘one-ness.’

9a Soldier arranged plan, I hear, to obtain equipment (13)
PARAPHERNALIA: Don’t be fooled by ‘I hear,’ not a homophone! Our favourite soldier who has a penchant for jumping out of a properly functioning aircraft followed by an anagram (arranged) of PLAN, I HEAR.

10a Miniaturised secret info from Military Intelligence doctor translated (8)
MICRODOT: The two letter abbreviated form of (the oxymoronic) Military Intelligence followed by an anagram (translated) of DOCTOR.

11a Sound quality of woodsman’s call having delayed echo (6)
TIMBRE: The warning call of a woodsman with the letter phonetically represented by echo moved to the end (delayed).

12a American ideas oddly ignored gathering information for programme (6)
AGENDA: The single letter for American and iDeAs with the ‘odd’ letters deleted (ignored) containing (gathering) the three letter term for information.

14a Sad Herb announced period when all working stops (8)
DOWNTIME: A homophone (announced) of the combination of synonyms for sad and the illustrated herb.

16a Increasing concern primarily about going to Cologne (8)
CRESCENT: The first letter (primarily) of Concern, the two letter Latin based term for about followed by (going to) what (Eau de) Cologne is a type of.

19a Frame piece of legislation introduced by socialist (6))
REDACT: A piece of legislation when it has HM’s signature on it preceded (introduced) by the colourful term for a socialist – and, yes, frame is in the BRB entry for the answer.

21a City in revolt claiming this writer’s flipping abrasive (6)
PUMICE: The two letters that are part of a postcode for the City of London and a two letter term for in revolt containing a two letter contraction equivalent to this writer’s all reversed (flipping).

23a Amid disorder Tory departs for tea, perhaps (8)
INFUSION: An abbreviated synonymic term for Tory deleted from (departs) a (2,9) phrase equivalent to amid disorder.

25a Where thin gun possibly is produced? (7-6)
HUNTING-GROUND: A reverse anagram – a location (where) in which the first word is used as anagram material and the second word is used as the anagram indicator and the result (possibly is produced) is THIN GUN – probably the first reverse anagram I have had to hint and I am not sure that I have done it very well, perhaps Silvanus will be kind enough to ‘grade’ my attempt or tell me that I have made a complete mess of it – thanks to StephenL for his help.

26a Those disbelieving stats broadcast about Italy by ambassador (8)
ATHEISTS: An anagram (broadcast) of STATS containing (about) all of the IVR code for Italy placed after (by) the abbreviation of the honorific for an ambassador.

27a Blackmail of former partner wrong? (6)
EXTORT: The usual two letters for former partner and a type of (legal) wrong.


2d Writer, man describing Indian cricket tournament (7)
KIPLING: A (regal) man on a chess board containing (describing) the three letter abbreviated form of an Indian cricket tournament – apparently he also makes exceedingly good cakes.

3d Swore regularly, harbouring anger for snarer of animals (5)
WIRER: Odd or even letters (regularly), you have to decide, from swore containing (harbouring) a three letter synonym of anger – not a term I had heard before, but easy enough to derive from the wordplay.

4d Deny resistance over English dessert one consumed (9)
REPUDIATE: The single letter for (electrical) resistance placed before (over) all of the single letter for English, an abbreviated form of a generic synonym of dessert, the Roman numeral for one, and a three letter synonym of consumed (a dessert, for example).

5d Democrat ousting Republican in Jersey is worried (7)
SWEATED: A synonym of jersey (as an item of clothing) with its letter for Republican replaced by the letter for Democrat (ousting).

6d Musical composition, revolutionary concept Eno notably has penned (5)
NONET: A reversed lurker (revolutionary . . . has penned) found in the words contained by the indicator.

7d Football club accepts member virtually without any checks (9)
UNLIMITED: The six letter second part of several football club names that follows the city/town of ‘residence’ contains (accepts) a generic term for part of the body with the last letter deleted (virtually).

8d Serve alcohol liberally to school-leaver, for instance (7)
ANAGRAM: A cruciverbal operation, indicated by liberally, which converts SERVE ALCOHOL into SCHOOL-LEAVER.

13d Lack of knowledge in school subject undermining Geordie? (9)
NESCIENCE: A school subject, not from the arts, placed after (undermining) the two letter abbreviation of where a Geordie originates from.

15d Employees run into crook few suspect (9)
WORKFORCE: A crickety Run inserted into an anagram (suspect) of CROOK FEW.

17d Live without normal comforts and basic technology (5,2)
ROUGH IT: A synonym of basic and the two letters for technology.

18d Wife wearing shades gets sudden pains (7)
TWINGES: The single letter for Wife inserted into (wearing) a synonym of shades.

20d Stew dog starts to devour, eating rapidly (7)
CHOWDER: A breed of dog (the one with the blue tongue) and the first letters (starts) of Devour, Eating Rapidly – some sources, including the BRB, consider that the preferred spelling of the dog is (4-4) where the first part of the answer is repeated.

22d Sins of wicked people daughter overlooked (5)
EVILS: A single word term for wicked people with the singled letter for Daughter deleted (overlooked).

24d Stocky Greek character’s around to protect queen (5)
SQUAT: The letter equivalent to ‘T’ in the Greek alphabet and the ‘S from the clue reversed (around) containing (to protect) the chess notation for queen.

The Quick Crossword Pun:



57 comments on “DT 30136
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  1. A really tricky one today, I battled on and eventually got all but 8d, which I’m sure is a word that I don’t know (will check hints later to see if I’m right or just missing the obvious). Top clues for me were 11 and 23a. Ta to setter, you beat me today!

  2. I loved this, (the fourth excellent back-pager on the bounce so congratulations to The Telegraph puzzles dept) a masterpiece in clue construction from start to finish.
    My biggest problem was choosing a podium . I’ll go with 9a as it’s such a great word along with the super smart 11a&8d, they both produced big smiles. Good stuff indeed.
    Many thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

  3. My rating is 2.5*/5* for yet another absolutely first-rate puzzle to follow on from yesterday’s. Three quarters went in smoothly (perhaps not quite as smoothly as the superb surface readings) but I got slightly held up in the SW.

    3d was new to me but readily derived from the wordplay.

    All of the clues would have been worthy candidates for clue of the day, but in the end 8d wins it by a nose.

    Many thanks presumably to Silvanus and to Senf.

  4. Plenty of head scratching today and yet another puzzle of the more difficult variety.
    Excellent diverse cluing,13d was new to me.
    Favourites have to be 8d and 11a,liked the surface of 14a.
    Going for a ****/****
    Thanks to Senf fo the pics-nice Chow!

    1. No doubt about it for me: after a really great week of puzzles, we now have reached the 5+* peak of enjoyment, this brilliant Silvanus masterpiece. As usual for this gifted setter, I was on his wavelength from the outset and oohed-and-aahed my way through, top to bottom, with 8d, 13d, & 16a atop the first podium, and 23a, 25a, & 21a atop the next. I could go on. Thanks to Senf and Silvanus. 2* /5+*

  5. No wonder I failed to parse 2d. Put chess and cricket in the same clue and I’m completely lost! That said, another brilliant puzzle to end the week. A couple of words – 3d, 13d – had me checking their meanings in the BRB, but no real hold-ups. Favourites today were 9a, 16a, 4d and 8d. Thanks to the compiler and Senf.

    1. In lunar terms, a crescent moon is when the moon is ‘waxing’ (increasing) between a new moon and a full moon. Perhaps confusingly a crescent moon also occurs when the moon is ‘waning’ (decreasing) between a full moon and a new moon.

  6. Great puzzle, with a couple of new-to-me words at 3D and 13D. The parsing of 1D escaped me, so I needed the hint. Podium places go to the fabulous 8D along with 23A and 4D. Thanks Senf and Silvanus.

      1. As StephenL says 25a is a reverse anagram with the fodder and anagram indicator as the answer and the result of the anagram in the clue.

  7. Having shuddered at the sight of yet another Elgar Toughie( I’d be interested to know just how many of your spirits rise when you see one!) I turned to this . At first I found it unexpectedly hard going but it got easier as I persevered.
    25a was clever and I learnt a new meaning for 16a. I’ll settle for 8d as my COTD

    1. I admit to shuddering when it’s an Elgar, but I’ve persevered with it, and after 2 hrs or so have done the NW and 2 other clues. So it will be tomorrow if at all that I manage to do it….!

  8. Tricky but doable. My only comment is that 8d was difficult enough without using a very obscure anagram indicator.
    I did like 1a and 9a. Needed the hints to fully parse 16a.
    Thx to all

  9. Learned some new words and some new meanings but even the hints (explanations) for one or two failed to show me how the clue made sense. I did manage half but gave up after that. Life’s too short to spend more than two coffee breaks on word games.

    Thanks to Senf and the setter.

  10. Lovely puzzle to finish a week of fine puzzles – thanks to Silvanus and Senf.
    The clues I liked best were 1a, 11a, 23a and 8d.

  11. I finished this with much struggling on Thursday night and I found it was absolutely impenetrable
    Frankly the whole thing was a DNF.
    Parsing was impossible with 90% of the clues to figure out, even when the answer was revealed.
    Made absolutely no sense to me.

    Frankly, if I had known how obtuse and convoluted it was going to be I would not have bothered with it.

    Thanks to Senf for his blog and hints

  12. I thought I wS in for a DNF but, although it took me a long time, I did finish it eventually. It had a niice variety of clue types and some of them were very clever. In fact, it was the most enjoyable puzzle this week because it didn’t have practically nothing but ceyptic definitions and lego clues as so many puzzles seem to do lately. I liked the5a double definition, the 15d anagram annd my COTD, 9a, a clever mixture of anagram and lego clue. 13d was a new word for me but easy to get from the wordplay. There was a bit of guesswork on the parsing so thanks to Senf for enlightening my sqrkness with the hints and to Silvanus for a nicely challenging puzzle

  13. Many thanks to Senf, as ever, for his comprehensive decryptions and to everyone else taking the trouble to comment on the puzzle. Even Brian was relatively content this time, so that’s good to know!

    Stephen L and Gazza are quite right about 25a being a reverse anagram. Pam’s interpretation (#8) is an interesting one, but “hunting around” would not be shown as being hyphenated in the clue.

    May I wish everyone a good weekend.

    1. Thanks Silvanus for another Friday gem that was very enjoyable to solve and to blog, with a little help from my friends.

    2. Hi Silvanus – loved it as per. Just curious – is liberally essential to 8d or does the clue (my fav) work just as well without it ?

        1. My first puzzle this week and what a wonderfully strange one. Extremely helpful for you Silvanus to explain that one as although the cross checkers made it clear I didn’t have the logical reasoning for word two. Very good. Thanks Senf for explaining 8d. Regards to all. I shall never have a house built for me again! But Tavistock is lovely as a proper market town.

  14. An absolutely first rate puzzle that kept on giving, from first clue to last. Only one winner for me; the brilliant 8d.

    Many thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

  15. Really enjoyed this one, took slightly longer than normal. Favourite clue 8d a real forehead slapper when I got it.

    Big thanks to setter and Senf

  16. Definitely 5* entertainment – yet another brilliant Silvanus offering!

    I was pleased with myself that I understood the two best clues (imho) 8d & 25a.

    ps. Am I right in thinking that Silvanus once appeared in Rookie Corner?

  17. Like several others, I found this rather difficult to break into but once there, it proved a doable puzzle. Some very clever clues today from which I add my rosette to 8d, a real classic!
    Thanks to Silvanus for the humdinger and Senf for okaying my bung-ins.

  18. Superb crossword with just the right amount of head scratching for a Friday. Favourite was 25a. Thanks to Silvanus and Senf.

  19. It took so long for the penny to drop in 8d, I spent as long on that as I did the rest of the puzzle. I didn’t find today easy. Struggled on with it. I hate to be defeated. Thank you setter and Senf.

  20. Pretty good progress until 21a and 8d.
    Only got the former by experimenting with the letters but knew exactly what I wanted but could not readily recall its name. Brilliant clue.
    As was 8d. Took an age to parse, though.
    So, 4*/4*.
    Thanks to the setter and to Senf.

  21. Enjoyable *** challenge barring 3d which somehow does not work as well as the rest of the clues. Thanks Silvanus and Senf

  22. Completed very early this morning pre work & just read through the review & comments. Don’t know why but didn’t peg it as a Silvanus production while doing it – maybe because the answers flowed a little easier than they usually do with my fav setter. Like others 8d was the pick for me but 23a wasn’t far behind with big ticks elsewhere – 9,11&21a + 2,4&13d
    No Toughie today to amuse (it’s Elgar so no point trying to swim the Channel if your limit is a few lengths in the local baths) but the Graun’s puzzle is Picaroon, who I found out on Wednesday is Robyn, so that’ll be more than adequate compensation later on
    Thanks to S&S

  23. Found this difficult 😬 a new word for me at 13d *****/*** Favourites 9 & 19 across and 18d 😬 Thanks to Senf and to Sylvanus

  24. A lovely puzzle, as so many people have commented, continuing a really good run over the past fortnight. Was I alone in finding 21a a little over-convoluted? I could (eventually) see what it had to be but I don’t think I would have got there from the phrasing of the clue had it been an unknown word. I was playing around with all sorts of bizarre potential abrasives until the penny dropped!

    1. Welcome to the blog.

      As Chris is a fairly common name, and if you are considering commenting regularly, you should consider adding a ‘modifier’ to create a unique name.

  25. An excellent Friday offering! Great clues, a reasonable challenge and a very enjoyable solve. Favourite of a fine bunch: 8d. 3*/4*.

  26. Re 13d – my school motto was ‘Turpe Nescire’ – always embarrassing if someone asked what it meant. A disgrace not to know. Don’t be so cheeky Stedman!

  27. 4*/4*…hints appreciated for this puzzle !
    liked 24D “Stocky Greek character’s around to protect queen (5)”

    1. The city of London has the postcode EC
      This writer may refer to himself as I am contracted to I’M
      Some one in revolt may be said to be UP
      The instruction flipping allows us to reverse the lot giving PU MI CE, an abrasive rock.

    2. Hi Setay, take the answer PUMICE (abrasive) and reverse it – ECIMUP (flipping). Then split it to give a London postcode (EC), a contraction of ‘I am’ (IM – ignoring the punctuation as is allowed in crosswords) and a two-letter word for ‘in revolt’ (UP – as in up in revolt). Hope that sorts it for you?
      Sorry, we’ve all waded in together!

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