DT 30142 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30142

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30142

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

Silvanus was ‘on duty’ last Friday, proXimal was on Toughie duty yesterday, so my five bob is saying that this a Zandio production.

Candidates for favourite – 11a, 21a, 4d, 20d.

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 Identify black bird of prey that’s seen on seafood bar? (10)
FINGERBOWL: A slang synonym of identify (a criminal perhaps), the single letter for Black, and a three letter bird of prey.

6a ‘In a jiffy, that’s when,’ Dad countered (4)
ASAP: A two letter synonym of when followed by the reversal (countered) of a two letter familiar synonym of dad.

10a Design provided following test (5)
MOTIF: Our favourite two letter synonym of provided placed after (following) the abbreviated form of the annual vehicle inspection/test – is it still called that?

11a Understand whisky perhaps could make one this (3,6)
SEE DOUBLE: A three letter synonym of understand and a descriptive term for a generous amount (perhaps) of the amber nectar.

12a Displaying this makes a van nationalistic, it’s plain (7)
SAVANNA: A lurker (displaying this) found in four words in the clue.

13a In retirement, adapt – discovered abbey retreat by the sea (3-4)
EBB-TIDE: The reversal (in retirement) of all of a synonym of adapt (when applied to a document?) and what remains when the ‘outer’ letters of aBBEy are removed (discovered).

14a Inflexible firm we had to house poorly (6-6)
STRONG-WILLED: A synonym of firm and the contracted form of we had containing (to house) a three letter synonym of poorly.

18a Agree visuals should be jazzed up for old-fashioned food? (5,7)
LIVER SAUSAGE: An anagram (should be jazzed up) of AGREE VISUALS.

21a Somewhere in Africa offering more spice (7)
TANGIER: A double definition – the second is a comparative term.

23a Punk style vandalism? Oh, I can’t take part (7)
MOHICAN: Another lurker (take part) found in four words in the clue.

24a Enlist pal to become corrupt juror (9)
PANELLIST: An anagram (to become corrupt) of ENLIST PAL.

25a Cup match overturned after minute — some players speechless (5)
MIMES: An abbreviated term for a cup match when there only four teams left in the competition reversed (overturned) and placed after the single letter for Minute.

26a Really very indifferent (2-2)
SO-SO: A synonym of really (as an interjection) and a synonym of very – and as you can see it is the same word used in two different senses joined by a hyphen.

27a Melancholy valley (10)
DEPRESSION: A double definition – do I need to say more.


1d Get hungry eels maybe to bite in the morning (6)
FAMISH: What eels are a type of (maybe) containing (to bite) the two letter Latin abbreviation that indicates in the morning.

2d Local time — simple to comprehend it (6)
NATIVE: The single letter for Time contained by (to comprehend it) a synonym of simple.

3d One badly behaved fan, ten, conceivably (6,8)
ENFANT TERRIBLE: Begin with an expression, ‘borrowed’ from the other side of the Channel, that means ‘one badly behaved’ (or one who behaved badly) and then use the second word of the expression as an anagram indicator to create (conceivably) ‘fan, ten’ from the letters of the first word – I think, some early morning inspiration for the PDM on this one.

4d Steps governor advanced with river rising (5,4)
BOSSA NOVA: A synonym of governor (as in head honcho), the single letter for Advanced, and (with) the reversal (rising) of a river (of which there are several with the same name in England and Scotland – perhaps the most well known is associated with Shakespeare’s birthplace) – I have no idea if Elvis and his team are actually performing the steps (from the film ‘Fun in Acapulco’).

5d That woman’s between partners — it’s a question of location (5)
WHERE: The possessive pronoun equivalent to that woman’s contained by (between) the letter designators for two partners in a card game.

7d Artful gripping sex that appears on screen (8)
SUBTITLE: A synonym of artful containing (gripping) the two letter term for sex (appeal).

8d Imagines correspondent’s tailpiece will be crushing about nurse (8)
PRETENDS: The two letter abbreviation for a ‘tailpiece’ that a correspondent will insert into a letter after her or his signature containing (will be crushing) all of the two letters that we know and love for about and a verbal synonym of nurse.

9d Excited about mod nights, this follower requested ‘Who are You?’ (8,6)
DOUBTING THOMAS: An anagram (excited) of ABOUT MOD NIGHTS.

15d Big tank‘s entry crushing several with Resistance (9)
GASOMETER: A type of entry (to a field or a garden?) containing (crushing – repetition radar blip) a synonym of several followed by (with) the single letter for (electrical) Resistance.

16d Salty pup, mixed-up creature (8)
PLATYPUS: An anagram (mixed up) of SALTY PUP – it could also be said that the creature itself is also mixed-up.

17d Daily stretches we get into earlier in the winter (8)
EVENINGS: Parts of days (daily stretches) that begin (we get into) earlier during the winter.

19d One’s turned up to eat pretentious pub grub? (6)
SCAMPI: The Roman numeral for one and the ‘S from the clue all reversed (turned up) containing (to eat) a synonym of pretentious (as in affected).

20d Complete agreement college needs boy to follow (6)
UNISON: The three letter informal abbreviation of college and a synonym of boy (as in male issue).

22d Cultivate organic seed, rejecting odd bits (5)
RAISE: What remains after the odd-numbered letters (odd bits) have been removed (rejecting) from oRgAnIc SeEd.

The Quick Crossword Pun:



70 comments on “DT 30142
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  1. Great puzzle, a real brain twister. This took quite some time with great lateral
    thinking effort required. 23a is not strictly true, most punks had a different style
    that also started with the same three letters, although the two are now considered
    to be the same in a fashion sense.
    My clue of the day was 9d, setter is definitely a rock music fan, well done.

  2. 3.5*/4*. I found this quite challenging in parts, probably just about right for a Friday back-pager. It was good fun too with 13a my favourite.

    I struggled most with the parsing of 8d but got there in the end.

    Many thanks to Zandio (?) and to Senf.

  3. Very enjoyable indeed with some nice misdirection thoughout the grid.
    I do like this setter’s slightly unorthodox style, always gives some lovely PDMs, the reason we do these things.
    I particularly liked 13a, my favourite plus 2,4,7&9d. Top stuff.
    Many thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  4. Atypical Zandio puzzle with many xonvoluted clues but more approachable than usual for some reason. I started at the bottom and worked my way northward ro the more difficult clues at the top.9d was my last one in and COTD with 1a (i spent a long tome trying to fit fishfinger into this one) and 4d as runners up. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Zandio for an enjoyable puzzle.

  5. I couldn’t fill anything in until I got all the way down to the 16d anagram. I then had the “T” for 21a, which was straight in as I’d been there many years ago, and my answer fitted the clue. Two clues done, I now had a way in to the rest and systematically went round in a clockwise direction.
    What started as a bit of a struggle became really enjoyable. Thank you Setter and Senf.

  6. So, Friday light as well as Thursday light.
    Thoroughly enjoyable puzzle, such inventive clueing eg 6, 11, and 25a and 9d.
    And clever misdirections.
    Certainly the last my COTD.
    17d a smile.
    Many thanks, Zandio and Senf.

  7. A bit of a teaser with a few odd clues. For instance, I really don’t see why 1a is on a seafood bar. It’s more useful on the dining table after visiting the seafood bar. Nit picking!
    COTD 11a. What happened to “ drink responsibly “?

    1. For instance if one eats prawns with shells on at a seafood bar it’s good to have a 1a handy similarly to when eating at a dining table.

  8. This was quite challenging but perserverance won through for an unaided finish – rare for me on a Friday. I have a few bung-ins, which I will check with the hints in a minute. I remember my mother taking me for a walk around the local 15d when I had whooping cough. Not sure it did any good. So many clues to like that I can’t pick a favourite but, if pushed, I would go with 1a.

    Many thanks to the setter, who folk believe to be Zandio, for the challenge. Grateful thanks to Senf for the hints which I will now check my bung-in against.

    14 degrees here – can someone tell nature it’s supposed to be almost Winter?

    1. SC. Did they reckon that a walk round a gasometer would help to relieve whooping cough back then? I was talking to my goddaughter a few years ago (she was about 20 then) and I happened to mention a gasometer and she had absolutely no idea what one was. So, I explained what they were and drove her 10 miles to have a look at one. Different generation …

      1. Hi Jose – yes that was the idea. There were two huge ones near us in Grimsby where I grew up and Mum walked me round and round them for about an hour. As I said, not sure it did any good.
        Don’t get me going on what youngsters don’t know – one I was talking to had never heard of The Beatles and another thought I was stupid when I said the Romans had built a wall between England and Scotland. :unsure:

        1. In my (small) home town of Whaley Bridge (pop about 5,500 then) back in the 50s/60s there was a railway sidings, a decent-sized gasworks and two big green gasometers, right next to the main road. They made town gas by heating coal (but not burning it) and stored it in the gasometers. The by-product was coke, which was then used to generate heat within the works process or sold as household fuel. The gasworks supplied gas to the all the surrounding area. Everything was so simple and straightforward in those days …

        1. I think it had something to do with coal tar gas, which was supposed to ease the bronchial tubes. There was also a coal tar soap, which was an antiseptic soap.

    2. In my day I seem to remember they followed a steam roller going over tar macadam if the children had coughs. My mother never subjected us to it but I do seem to remember it being talked about.

      1. We had a burner which was fed with coal tar oil. It was placed in your room to help the cough, when I had whooping cough. Not sure if it hekped. I was still coughing a lot.

        1. We had that for my son when he had croup over 30 years ago. It helped a lot. When my young granddaughter had croup recently we discovered they don’t make them any more!

  9. Very enjoyable – thanks to Zandio (I presume) and Senf.
    It’s interesting that reverse anagrams which are pretty rare in our back-pagers have now appeared on successive Fridays.
    I don’t understand why the delicious 18a is described as old-fashioned.
    For my podium I’ve chosen 13a, 25a and 17d.

  10. Great fun for me last night, as I chipped away at the long ones and suddenly found myself on this setter’s wavelength in the NE corner, which had been quite resistant earlier. That old chestnut, 3d, gets my top nod simply because I love the term, with 11a & 13a following. Most enjoyable Friday fare from one of our triumvirate–Zandio?–and thanks to Senf for the review, which I’ll read now. 2.5* / 4*

    The storm Nicole has wreaked havoc along our coastlines, with considerable structural damage in Florida and severe erosion elsewhere. Wind and rain persisting here in Charleston and the SC Lowcountry, but gradually easing up.

      1. So i suppose the best you can say is, “it could have been worse”. Glad you’re still standing, Robert. Hope Merusa and Busy Lizzie are OK too.

    1. Yes, the all-clear (no more tornado watches or warnings, always the most dreaded aftermath of tropical storms for me) has just been sounded, at 1600 Friday. Thanks, SC, CC, & DG, for your kind words.

      1. Glad it wasn’t too bad with you. But then it was only a Ts though. The season ends soon, in about 20-odd days technically. Give thanks for a quiet year, at least in most places, despite the fact that there were 14 named ones. Enjoy the cool of winter!

  11. An excellent puzzle that felt pleasingly tricky enough to adorn the back page. I can see why earlier commenters have gone for 17d as a favourite, but, to be different, mine was 1a. Great entertainment.

    My thanks to Zandio for the challenge, and to Senf.

  12. Super puzzle, possibly best backpager of the week. Started from the S and moved steadily upwards until delayed by the last few in the NE. Cracking clues throughout, imaginative long anagrams, and my favourites were 25a (great surface for the lurker), 26a, 3d, 4d, and 5d.

    2.5* / 4*

    Many thanks indeed to the setter for this gem, and to Senf for the review.

  13. Some very convoluted clues as is usual for Zando but, surprisingly, more approachable than usual. I started at the bottom before working my way northward to the more difficult clues. Last one in amd COTD was 9d(I spent ages wondering what sort of follower). Runners up were 1a, where I got hung up on fishfinger for a while and 4dd. Thanks to Senf for the hints and to Zandio for an enjoyable puzzle.

      1. Extremely late ie one day on parade as I have had not had time until just now to sit down and enjoy your effort from yesterday’s rag Zandio. A super puzzle at **/**** with 13a being a clear winner. Thank you for enervating and amusing my day. The boss was happy I was distracted for a while.

  14. A cracking Friday puzzle from Z, easily the best of the week for me. Fine clues, a decent challenge and a very enjoyable tussle. I’ve ticked quite a few and will mention 3d and 17d. 3.5*/4.5*.

  15. A teasing puzzle today ,nicely clued and a steady solve, last in was 25a,initially thought that the definition was mumps which stopped you speaking or just keeping mum!
    9a was a top draw anagram, liked 27a,favourite was19a,
    Going for a ***/****.Thanks to Senf for the 23a pic-was this the last one?

  16. Took a while to get going and a lot of head scratching to finish, but what a sense of achievement when that last clue went in! (1a). Thanks for such great entertainment!

  17. Puzzle of the week for me & by some margin. Some really top notch clues. 9d the best of them (I’m a big fan though not of that track) but 3d & 23a ran it close,
    Thanks to Zandio & Senf

  18. I really enjoyed that with a smooth run in the South but more cogitation was required in the northern half. Have not previously come across first part of 1a for identify. Have added 18a jazzed up to my list of indicators (whatever next ?!). 21a raised a smile as did 17d. Thank you Zandio and Senf.

  19. I found this rather trickier than the blog suggests. I thought at first it was going to be another errant Toughie but perseverance paid off eventually. Must admit to not fully understanding many of my answers until reading the hints.
    For me just an OK puzzle.
    Thx to all

  20. A nice Friday puzzle that was a pleasure to solve on my Thursday night. A couple of head scratching clues, but nothing to scare the horses.
    1.5*/4* for me.

    Favourites today include 10a, 11a, 27a, 7d, 9d & 19d … and because I really miss these in Canada as what we get aren’t even close is 19d

    Thought 7d was very clever. 10a gave me a good chuckle as did 9d & 17d

    Great fun whilst it lasted.

    Thanks to setter and Senf

  21. Oh dear, could not get on the setter’s wavelength at all, and even struggled with some having read the hints. Just not my day!

    Thanks to setter anyway, and huge thanks to Senf for much needed help.

  22. On first looking at this I thought it would be very challenging but once I got going (and having solved 1a – I’ve no idea why that always makes me feel more in control-completely illogical!) I managed this superb puzzle unaided. Lots of fantastic clues, especially 1a,11a, 13a and 4d. Just one small comment. In 25a, while I understand the clue and it’s parsing ‘ mimes ‘ doesn’t seem to mean quite the same as ‘speechless’. To me they appear to be different parts of speech. Miming= Speechless. Am I missing something? Otherwise very enjoyable and thanks to Zandio and Senf.

    1. 25a. This is what I thought. Re the surface, the players might appear to be footballers but, as I’m sure you know, they aren’t. Some players (or performers/actors) speechless are known as “mimes”. I believe the setter has (quite legitimately) deliberately omitted a coma from the definition: some players, speechless. I could, of course, be wrong.

    2. Hi Mhds…the definition is “some players speechless” not “speechless”. Might be easier to think of “some speechless players”

  23. We have struggled a bit over this, in a good way! For 25d I put muted and got in a tizzy over the footbally reference in parsing it, and I don’t think I have ever seen 1d without ED on the end. I liked 11a and 4d particularly. Quite a challenging grid it seemed to me. Went to a WI coffee morning at the local Farm Shop and was pleased to see they had a notice up announcing a two minute silence at 11. Quite right. Roll on the weekend, have a nice one.

    1. Absolutely right to observe the two minutes silence but try telling a black Labrador that’s what you’re doing!

      1. From Children’s Crusade by Sting:

        Young men, soldiers, nineteen fourteen
        Marching through countries they’d never seen
        Virgins with rifles, a game of charades
        All for a children’s crusade

        Pawns in the game are not victims of chance
        Strewn on the fields of Belgium and France
        Poppies for young men, death’s bitter trade
        All of those young lives betrayed

        1. Indeed Jose, and what really brought it home to us was visiting the Burma railway and seeing the ages of the young men buried there, too young to have married many stones just mentioned parents. Of course I know that was WW11 but still a terrible waste of young lives. My father was so fortunate to return unharmed.

  24. Really enjoyable and crossword of the week for me. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 17d. Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  25. I couldn’t parse 13a and didn’t like the wordplay/surface of 25a. However that is because I only know mime as a verb not a noun. Favourites 1 6 and 10a and 3d. Very enjoyable. Thanks to Zandio and to Senf. I did need Senf’s help after the event where I could see the answer but not how it worked.

  26. Either this was slightly easier than some Zandio puzzles or I am at last getting into the right wavelength. I have never managed to finish one unaided until today so feeling pleased. Of course as a result it was a great crossword. Thanks to all

  27. Woke at 3:00 am with brain racing in high gear. As I couldn’t sleep, I did the puzzle after which my exhausted brain let me get another four hours of sleep.

    Thanks to Senf for sorting out the parsing of 8d for me. I went down the wrong path seeing correspondent as journalist and then tried to find a way to shorten PRESS to make it fit as the container. Should have gone back to the start and sought a new path.

  28. 3/3. Took a while to get the last ones in but enjoyable nonetheless. My favourite was 21a. Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  29. Sorry but I found this one well above my pay grade, which is not very high 😟 *****/** There we’re favourites: 11, 13 and 21 across, but there were too many that I had to wait for the blog for an explanation 😳 Like a lot of things I put it down to the ageing process as I am sure that when I started back in 1960 I would not have the time to complete quite a few of today’s back pagers 🕰 Thank you to Senf for explaining things and to Zandio but if this is one of his typical back pagers then what are his Toughies like 🤔

  30. Still catching up on last week’s papers.
    For me, this Zandio, which I just completed after much effort, was 4* difficulty.

    Thanks to hinter and compiler.

  31. That took a bit of thought, but was enjoyable all the same. The clock said ** for difficulty but I may have to reassess how we come to our ratings as it felt much harder than that.

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