DT 30146 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30146

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30146

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

A special treat on our morning walk today. We met a juvenile NZ fur seal happily sitting on the beach quite close to the incoming tide. It seemed unfazed by our presence and we were able to get to about 5 metres and spend time observing and admiring each other. Magical.

Another Logman Toughie Wednesday so we can be pretty sure that Jay is not the setter of this enjoyable puzzle. We solved in 2* time but did quite some head-scratching with 12a and 26d.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


9a     Stadium accommodating any number in region (5)
ARENA : A region or district contains the letter representing any number.

10a     Help with navigation? Boats are wrecked crossing lake! (9)
ASTROLABE : An anagram (wrecked) of BOATS ARE which includes L(ake).

11a     Might this professional be called to account? (7)
AUDITOR : A cryptic definition.

12a     Group in most natural surroundings (7)
ELEMENT : Someone in their most natural surroundings could be described as being here.

13a     Concede match (5)
AGREE : A double definition.

14a     Deep breath? (3,6)
SEA BREEZE : A cryptic definition. What ‘the deep’ is a poetic description for and a light wind.

16a     Sweet sauce, almost cold, with some hot bananas (9,6)
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE : An anagram (bananas) of SAUCE COL(d) SOME HOT once the last letter of cold has been removed.

19a     Witness putting Murphy on spot for hearing? (9)
SPECTATOR : A double homophone here, one for a spot or imperfection and the other for a vegetable sometimes called a Murphy.

21a     Scotsman in good time finds mammoth (5)
GIANT : The epitomical name for a Scotsman is enclosed by G(ood) and T(ime).

23a     Propane volatile in theory (2,5)
ON PAPER : An anagram (volatile) of PROPANE.

25a     5 amps put through container ship? Seek opinion (7)
CANVASS : A metal container, then Roman numeral five, the one letter abbreviation for amps and a steamship.

27a     Nuts are able to expand (9)
ELABORATE : An anagram (nuts) of ARE ABLE TO.

28a     National Express (5)
STATE : A double definition.


1d     Lady pop singer having good range? (4)
GAGA : G(ood) and the heating range often associated with poshness.

2d     One who sells very little scrap gold (6)
VENDOR : V(ery), then a little scrap or tail-piece and heraldic gold.

3d     Desperate attempt to survive Skegness? (4,6)
LAST RESORT : Survive or endure and then what Skegness as a destination is an example of.

4d     Republican rule upset American creature (6)
WALRUS : The reversal (upset) of R(epublican) and rule or decree followed by the two letters denoting American.

5d    See great changes in economy travel (8)
STEERAGE : An anagram (changes) of SEE GREAT.

6d     Crack all right in aeroplane losing tail (4)
JOKE : Remove the last letter from an aeroplane defined by its engine type and put this around the two letters signifying ‘all right’.

7d     Indiscreet embrace involving the French (8)
CARELESS : A tender embrace contains the French definite article.

8d     Resolution in Hamlet for example (10)
SETTLEMENT : Forget the work by Shakespeare and the misleading capitalisation.

13d     Defendant keeping male cat as familiar (10)
ACCUSTOMED : Another word for a defendant in court contains a three letter male cat.

15d     Orangeries falling into disrepair? Shake up needed! (10)
REORGANISE : An anagram (falling into disrepair) of ORANGERIES.

17d     Please! Write down scheme for avoiding partition! (4,4)
OPEN PLAN : A 1,3 possible way of voicing ‘Please write down’ and then a scheme or plot.

18d     Main article on redesigned trailer (8)
ARTERIAL : The indefinite article plus an anagram (redesigned) of TRAILER.

20d     Severe reprimand given in space vehicle (6)
ROCKET : A double definition.

22d     Actor Gardner on pitch in movie (6)
AVATAR : The first name of Ms Gardner and black sticky pitch.

24d     Penniless pair keeping two ducks (4)
POOR : Two cricket ducks are inside the abbreviation for pair.

26d     Support second story having deleted one (4)
STEM : S(econd) then a story or article, perhaps in a magazine, has its Roman numeral one deleted.

It took us a little while to sort out the 16a anagram so will make that today’s tasty favourite.

Quickie pun    writers     +    reign    =     right as rain

49 comments on “DT 30146
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  1. Great puzzle today with a lot more to get your teeth into without being too
    taxing. Thought 14a and 26d were a bit dubious, but maybe that’s just me.
    Great word at 10a which was okay for me as I’m a bit of an amateur
    stargazer. Favourite today was the aforementioned 10a.

  2. A nice midweek backpager – 26d caused a bit of head-scratching here too. I don’t know what is going on in Telegraph Towers, but 15d is the second lot of rearranging of orangeries in the last few days.

    It has actually stopped raining and the sun is out so I think I’m going to go for a quick walk before the next band of heavy rain turns up.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Ks – my only seal-related story is when we were walking from Sandwich to Ramsgate a few years ago and someone said to us ‘you should have been here yesterday, you’d have seen the seals!”

    1. I agree – with 26d being last one in and hard to justify. We often see seals when we are in Cornwall, charming creatures.

  3. For me enjoyable without being top drawer with a couple of very dated references.
    I know he’s very useful for setters but surely the “epitomical” Scotsman is no longer thus, and should be retired and “Murphy” for the vegetable has fallen out of use. Thought (the first word) of 17d a tad weak too.
    I liked the double definitions and thought 8d was clever but favourite (with apologies to anyone who lives there) was the amusing 3d.
    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  4. 12a and 26d last ones in. 12a after getting all the checking letters and seeing the light, and 26d after the old ‘going through the alphabet’ thing.

    In Surrey it feels like we should be building an ark rather than completing crosswords, but I am hoping that a lovely walk may be undertaken before the next deluge arrives.
    Mention of seals brings back happy memories of Sammy The Seal a regular visitor to the estuary in Dungarvan, County Waterford.

    Thanks to the setter and the TwoKays

  5. This was a struggle and would have probably been more at home in the Toughie slot. It wasn’t my cup of tea I’m afraid and was rather a slog. Whilst10a and 13d were quite good clues, there was very little else to write home about and I thought 3d was quite weak as Cryptic definitions go. Thanks to the Kiwis and to the compiler for his efforts.

  6. What a lovely surprise on your morning walk, 2Ks, hope you get the chance to spot the youngster again.

    Quite enjoyed this morning’s puzzle but had the same hesitation as our reviewers over 12a & 26d. Fortunately I opted for the correct answers! Top two for me were 19a & 3d.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review and wildlife report.

  7. I found this about the same level of difficulty as yesterday. I hesitate to say it was dull because I am in admiration of all the setters but this one didn’t float my boat. We have here at Blakeney Point the largest colony of grey seals in England with around 4000 pups born each year – a fantastic sight to behold. Thanks to the setter and 2 Ks.

    1. It may be, but the local conservation society bans access. Quite rightly because of all the visitors. But it does diminish the experience. Give me a close encounter with a single seal on a lonely beach anytime. We are a crowded island and anything worth visiting can be spoiled by the numbers.

      1. I agree Bob – my neighbour is a ranger at BP and takes the photos for the National Trust. The best way to see them is by boat which doesn’t disturb them.

  8. Agree with Kiwis that 12a and 26d hardest and one or two other clues a bit ”loose ” [ on the grounds that you should instinctively know whether you have the right answer or not eg 14a 19a].It also felt like there were too many anagrams or partial anagrams. **/** for me. Thanks to Kiwis.

  9. Like Stephen found this one enjoyable enough without being anything to write home about. 26a my last entry also & a bung in. Recalled 10a from previous puzzles but couldn’t remember exactly what it was & will probably forget again. I rather liked 14a & 6d so they can have a podium spot with 3d my pick of the bunch.
    Thanks to the setter & 2Ks.
    Ps plain sailing in the east of Logman’s Toughie but choppier waters in the west.

      1. Today’s listening is a really top notch young blues player I’ve recently come across – Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram. He’s done 2 albums & is the real deal in my view.

  10. Some brilliant clues today. Liked the long anagram at 16a once I’d sorted out which words to include in it, along with 14a, 3d and 6d. The capital letter misdirection at 8d caused me the noisiest penny drop moment for some time. When will I ever learn?
    Same problem at 28a in retrospect but that didn’t take me nearly as long to sort out. Didn’t really like 11a or 12a, neither seeming very cryptic. Favourite has to be 8d. Thanks to whoever is today’s setter and to the 2Kiwis for helping me to parse 19a.

  11. I didn’t notice until I read the blog that I hadn’t actually solved 26D! Oh, well. I’m pretty sure it would have defeated me anyway. I found this quite the challenge in places, so much slower going. Enjoyable, nevertheless. My top three are 19A,3D and 13D

    1. You and name both, Chris. I posted my comments then found 26d had gone AWOL. Like you, I doubt I would have solved it.

  12. A very pleasant non-Jay Wednesday – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 14a, 25a, 3d, and 4d – and the winner is 3d.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

    P.S. For no apparent reason I browsed the ‘new’ puzzles web site last night and found that the print-out format has changed slightly – the ‘giant’ area for Notes has gone and the clues are now under the grid but they are still in the same microscopic font. One step at a time?

  13. I thought this was a pretty straightforward puzzle that didn’t reach the usual heights that we have been used to recently. Still, plenty to enjoy though, amongst which were 3d and 10a, my favourites.

    Thanks to our Wednesday setter and the 2Ks.

  14. A great puzzle for mid-week but I did need help with 6d mainly because I had used incorrect spelling for 10a. How could I not spell an anagram that has all the correct letters? By being careless, that’s how. I thought 25a was a sneaky little devil but it led to a wonderful dropping penny. I spent ages looking for a Latin phrase to answer 23a and did not see it was far simpler than that – great misdirection. My COTD is the aforementioned 25a.

    Grateful thanks to the setter for the challenge and the 2Kiwis for hints and tales of seal pups.

    Mayhem reigns in Cowling Towers today. We head off to Yorkshire tomorrow and have suddenly realised there is far more packing to do than first thought. Still, a wonderful pint of Yorkshire ale awaits tomorrow after the horrible trek over the Pennines.

  15. 1.5*/3*. A pleasant not too taxing puzzle today.

    I’m not sure that “needed” is needed in 15a other than as surface padding.

    3d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the lucky seal spotters.

  16. We enjoyed this, and am I right in thinking it is an Xless- oh no, I’ve just seen we are missing a W as well. I liked 10a and the easy peasy 24d, and 4,13d. Sitting in glorious sunshine today but went into Cambridge yesterday and had to buy an umbrella to add to the dozens at home. Sad to see empty market stalls! Many thanks to the seal spotters(photo next time please) and our setter. Oh, and I laughed at 1d.

  17. Quite enjoyable but a few answers needed checking. 12a across may have worked if the answer had been plural. 8d I missed the 2nd synonym and didn’t understand the hint until a read Mhids contribution. I also needed the explanation for 26d and 19a. I always call it a spud.
    Anyway thanks all

  18. Not difficult but lots of fun. No problem with the navigational instrument which is well known in these parts from one which was lost near here in the early 17th century by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. It was found in 1867 and is now on display in the Canadian Museum of History. The lake where it was found is named after the instrument.

    Minor quibble with the hint for 17d which I believe should begin “A 1,3 possible way of voicing …”.

  19. Don’t think this is a Jay puzzle today.
    A few tricky clues in here though and some relatively easy to figure out.

    Favourites include 11a, 14a, 1d, 3d & 13d with 14a my winner.

    Smiles from 1d, 3d & 24d

    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s

  20. I found parts of this really heavy going. A real mixture of clues.
    Very much not to my taste.
    Thx for the hints to explain 19a, 26d and 12a. Never heard it called a Murphy before.

  21. 12a and 26d were my last two in last night. with 3d my COTD. Glad that we had a good taste of Jay as Logman in the Toughies today since this one clearly had some need of his brand of spice and wit. Thanks to the Kiwis and today’s setter. **/***

  22. Have just returned from a trip to Princetown to buy Jail Ale from the brewery there. The journey across a bleak Dartmoor was done in torrential rain. You can see why few, if any, prisoners made it to freedom.
    Back to the puzzle. Was beaten by 4d and 26d. The latter I thought was poor but 4d has to be my COTD.

  23. I found this crossword reasonable 😳 I had never come across 10a before ***/*** Favourites 2d, 5d and 13d 😃 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to the Compiler

  24. I found this crossword reasonable 😳 I had never come across 10a before ***/*** Favourites 2d, 5d and 13d 😃 Thanks to the 2x Ks and to the unknown Compiler ?

  25. Nothing really to write home about but good to have a bit more challenge than yesterday. I see I am in good company over 12a and 26d both of which I feel are a bit dodgy. My Fav was 25a but 19a also amused. Thank you Mysteron and the 2Kiwis. (Yes Terence we just across the border near Horsham are also saturated and my soakaway is flooding the neighbour’s garden – panic stations!).

  26. Like a few others I’ve never heard of 10a although having been doing crosswords so long I probably have – just forgotten!
    The long anagram 16a took ages to sort out and I couldn’t get the second bit of 3d – obvious – dim!
    I tried to make more of 13d – I thought something was important about of the word familiar – I’m not explaining that very well – never mind!
    I can’t pick any particular clues or a favourite so thanks to the setter and to the 2 K’s.

  27. Morning all.
    Seems like we were in good company by finding 12a and 26d the two biggest sticking points.
    We note that nobody has been willing to play the ‘guess the setter’ game. We just have no idea but live in hope that we might hear from whoever it might be soon.

  28. Quite a tussle.
    Got there in the end but in 4.5* time.
    North East and 26d were the cause.
    19a, 13 and 17d brilliant amongst many gems eg 3 and 8d.
    Many thanks to our Wednesday setter and to the 2Kiwis,

  29. Again I made harder work of this than I should have. I’m also in the ‘last in 12a, 26d’ camp. One or two didn’t like 19a but I did so cotd. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

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