DT 30148 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30148

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30148

Hints and tips by Senf

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

Zandio was ‘on duty’ last Friday, Silvanus was on back page duty yesterday, so my five bob was on this being a proXimal production even before, on completion, I saw that we have an X-less pangram. I don’t think we have seen one of his 4-X variations for a while.

Candidates for favourite – 1a, 12a, 24a, 4d, 9d, and 18d.

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 Relatives around Peruvian city drink by old mountain (11)
KILIMANJARO: Lego required – a three letter term for relatives containing (around) a Peruvian city (which is its capital), followed by an informal term for a drink (especially a glass of beer) and the single letter for Old.

7a Figure trapped by discontented gangster is ill-fated person (5)
GONER: The word form of a figure (as in number) contained (trapped) by GangsteR with its interior letters deleted (discontented).

8a Topical forum of different pug owners (9)
NEWSGROUP: An anagram (different) of PUG OWNERS.

10a Gaze exposed a meadow’s flowers (7)
AZALEAS: What remains when the outer letters of gAZe are deleted (exposed), A from the clue, and a three letter term for meadow plus the possessive ‘S.

11a Spend lots after place is overwhelmed by sudden increase (7)
SPLURGE: A two letter abbreviation for PLace inserted into (is overwhelmed by) a single word term for sudden increase.

12a Plant imbued with gold colour (5)
IVORY: An evergreen plant that attaches itself to trees and buildings containing (imbued with) Heraldic Gold.

13a Temperature within an office adjusted for warmth (9)
AFFECTION: The single letter for Temperature inserted into (within) an anagram (adjusted) of AN OFFICE.

16a Chat with rest in Ritz regularly about complaint (9)
GASTRITIS: An informal synonym of chat followed the reversal (about) of all of a synonym of rest and alternate letters (regularly) of In RiTz.

18a Proportion of mud that’s fine for lake (5)
FIFTH: A five letter synonym of mud with the single letter for Lake replaced by (that’s . . . for) the single letter for Fine.

19a Long-winded poem about retired old boy (7)
VERBOSE: A synonym for poem containing (about) the abbreviation for Old Boy reversed (retired).

22a Signs a record returning with mission incomplete (7)
PLAQUES: A from the clue and the abbreviated form of a (vinyl) record that rotated/rotates at 33⅓ rpm all reversed (returning) and (with) a synonym of mission with the last letter deleted (incomplete).

23a Official protecting first-rate companies testifies again (9)
REAFFIRMS: The abbreviated form of the illustrated official containing (protecting) the single letter that can indicate first rate followed by a (plural) synonym of companies.

24a Sweet American characters either side of celebrity (5)
CANDY: A (1,3,1) descriptive phrase for the characters (letters) at each end (either side) of CelebritY.

25a Lose apples diverted by European vendors (11)
SALESPEOPLE: An anagram (diverted) of LOSE APPLES placed before (by) the single letter for European.


1d Jumpers and anoraks go tatty (9)
KANGAROOS: An anagram (tatty) of ANORAKS GO.

2d The French bank with good interior generally (7)
LARGELY: One of the French forms of the and a synonym of bank (as in depend on) containing (with . . . interior) the single letter for good.

3d Explosives on lid covering opening of first access tunnel (9)
MINESHAFT: Types of (marine?) explosive devices placed before (on) what lid is an informal synonym for containing (covering) the first (opening) letter of First.

4d Small creatures not before seen climbing stone (5)
NEWTS: A single three letter word for not before seen and the abbreviation for stone (as in weight) reversed (climbing) – Ken Livingstone’s favourite.

5d An upright member in charge is virtuous (7)
ANGELIC: AN from the clue, a member (as in limb) reversed (upright), and the abbreviated form of In Charge.

6d To do urgently — masking smell (5)
ODOUR: A lurker (masking) found in three words in the clue.

7d Becoming unfocused and idling in 50% of government (7,4)
GLAZING OVER: a synonym of idling inserted into (in) half (50%) of the letters of government – I will leave it to you to decide which half.

9d Something delusional like high turnover? (3,2,3,3)
PIE IN THE SKY: What an edible turnover is a type of which has been lifted to a great height – Hmm!

14d Designed shapes fit for soft foodstuff (4,5)
FISH PASTE: An anagram (designed) of SHAPES FIT.

15d Uncle travelling with fine guide (9)
INFLUENCE: An anagram (travelling) of UNCLE and (with) FINE.

17d Cover sheltering mass inside of aula, as much as chamber holds (7)
ROOMFUL: The cover of a house(?) containing (sheltering) the single letter for Mass followed by the interior letters (inside) of aULa.

18d Fluster receiving bill raised for headwear (4,3)
FLAT CAP: A synonym of fluster containing (receiving) a synonym of (a legal) bill – strictly speaking not a synonym – Parliament passes a bill which becomes the word required when granted Royal Assent.

20d Routes heading off from East Anglian waterways (5)
ROADS: The waterways that East Anglia, particularly Norfolk, is noted for with the first letter removed (heading off).

22d We heard you advanced money for foreigners (5)
EUROS: A combination of homophones (we heard) of you and a synonym of advanced.

The Quick Crossword Pun:



64 comments on “DT 30148
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  1. 2.5*/4.5*. A fine puzzle to complete a week of fine puzzles. An x-less pangram today confirms the author of this very enjoyable offering.

    I had a lot of ticks on my page, with 1a, 22a & 9d making it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to proXImal and to Senf.

  2. 1a went in straight away and formed the basis for a fairly rapid solve. It was also not really surpassed for quality so it remained my favourite throughout the process of solving this excellent puzzle. My only slight problem is 9d: really good or awful; I can’t decide.

    My thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to Senf.

  3. A wizard puzzle that fell my way with its 7 anagrams. Thought it */**** as a result. My favourite clue was 18a although it took me a few moments to spit the usual hidden instruction. A gentle and fun end to the week. Thanks Senf and the setter.

  4. Bit of a straightforward bread and butter puzzle for a Friday, I’ve got the answer to 16a but still can’t quite see it from the clue (will see hints presently) favourite today was1a, which was also the first in. Not many well known mountains with that many
    letters maybe helped here. Thanks to setter for an amusing puzzle.

      1. I have tried to explain it (again) in my reply to Dave, Comment 7 below, ‘In’ is not just ‘padding’ and is included in the material that is regularly selected from.

          1. This clue seems to be another one (we had one the other week) that is inexplicably confusing people – even though it has been explained clearly:

            Chat = GAS. rest = SIT. in ritz regularly = IRT. Giving GAS(SITIRT). The “about” is telling you to reverse the final 2 elements (SITIRT) which gives the answer GAS(TRITIS).

                  1. I’m probably being incredibly dim, but if Winnipeg is 6 hours behind GMT, how are you able to do the hints before you go to bed?

                    1. It’s quite simple. Because, as you correctly say, Winnipeg is 6 hours behind GMT, when the on-line version of Friday’s puzzle is published very shortly after midnight UK time, in the very early hours of Friday morning, it is shortly after 6:00pm on Thursday evening in Winnipeg. So, I have as much of my Thursday evening to solve and prepare the blog as I need before I decide to hit the hay.

  5. I thought this a light but enjoyable end to the working week, if not quite vintage X-man.
    I have to say I wondered where the setter was going with the first part of 5d but alas it was far more innocent (this is The Telegraph!)
    On the basis that they made me smile my podium consists of 7a&18d but top spot and my LOI goes to the very clever 21d.
    Thanks to ProXimal and Senf.

  6. Unable to fathom but was in extraordinary sync with proXimal.
    Some really juicy anagrams eg 25a and inspired clues eg 17d.
    Many thanks for this confidence builder and thanks Senf.

  7. A great crossword for me today which I solved alone and unaided and even managed all the parsings. Hurrah!
    I liked 1a and 9d best.
    Thanks to Senf and to the setter.

    Still chucking it down.
    And we have a Man in attending to the kitchen taps which have been hammering.

    1. Yes, totally agree, thoroughly enjoyable, restored my ability to enjoy and get a sense of achievement from the daily back pager.

  8. Fish paste today and liver sausage the other day. Someone’s larder is a tad out of date!
    I liked 9d as it reminded me of the series with Richard Griffiths .
    18a was clever and my COTD.

  9. A pleasant & pretty straightforward end to the working week. I’d agree with Stephen that it maybe wasn’t top drawer X-man but very enjoyable nonetheless. 1a the pick of the 4 peripheral long ‘uns though I liked 7d (political commentary maybe) so they can both have a podium spot alongside 22a & with 18a just missing out.
    Thanks to proXimal & Senf.

  10. A few answers that required Senf’s hints in order to fathom (16 23 and 24a plus 17d) otherwise most enjoyable with very elegant surface reading. Didn’t spot the pangram -X but that’s nothing unusual. Thank yous to ProXimal and Senf.

  11. Relatively straightforward for a Friday although the parsing of 16a held me up for a short while and I did need to investigate aula which was new to me.
    1a gets my vote for being a fairly uncommon entry and 19a for making me laugh.

    Thanks to the X-man and to Senf for an excellent review.

  12. Hemingway yesterday and ‘The Snows of 1a’ today! (One of his best works, IMHO.) Certainly my COTD. I also liked 7d and 18d in this very enjoyable X-less pangram by a setter with whom I often struggle, but not today. Yay. Thanks to Senf and to proXimal. **/****

  13. A very good Friday puzzle. Fine clues, a medium challenge and an enjoyable solve. For me, the only slight grumble is that the difficulty level was rather low for a Friday, more like a Tuesday or Wednesday offering – but you can’t please everybody all of the time. No stand-out favourite but I will mention 18d. The word triggered by “bill” isn’t a precise definition (and it doesn’t need to be), but probably does (just about) qualify as a synonym in the sense that it means “very nearly the same thing” and setters do use it quite often. It is listed in both the Collins Online Thesaurus and Chambers Thesaurus (book version). 2.5*/3.5*.

    1. *The BRB definition of “synonym” is: A word having the same meaning as another in the same language (usually very nearly the same meaning).

  14. Not too taxing and for a while took my mind off the below freezing temps this morning. 1A, 25A and 9D make my podium. Thanks Senf and proXimal.

  15. Super puzzle just my level with some clever and elegant clues esp my favs 1d and 7d. My last in was 22a which did cause a bit of head scratching.
    Thx to all
    PS Good luck to those who do the the Wordle, todays is a new word to me and is very tricky.

  16. An anagram fest to end the cruciverbal week, not usually my cup of tea but thoroughly enjoyed today.1a went in straighten away – for some reason I’m always illogically happy when that happens – and got me off to a good start. Took a little while to sort out 16a and 3d but no real hold ups. Favourites were 1a, 18a, 22a, and 17d. Thanks to ProXimal and Senf.

  17. Thoroughly enjoyed this, great satisfaction quality! I liked 1 and 2d especially. Whilst I am here May I also say how much I enjoyed yesterday’s toughie which I did this morning sitting in bed with my cup of hot water, no hints needed – brilliant. Aren’t we lucky, we happy band? Thanks to Messrs Setter & Hinter – have a good weekend everyone.

  18. It took me a while to get into this puzzle but, once on wavelength, it was most enjoyable. I liked the misdirection in 1d and the 1a geographical clue appealed to me too but COTD for me was 7d. Any thanks to Senf for the hints and to ProXimal for a grand puzzle.

  19. Managed this which I found was at the far edge of my puzzling ability so was very pleased. Only needed the hints for parsing on a couple which I think have been mentioned.

    Thanks to Senf for his help in unravelling a couple of clues.

    Thanks also to Proximal for a fine test of my developing ability.

  20. No papers this morning in Ryedale so I had to use the iPad. Very frustrating because it wants me to sign up for a free trial when I am already a subscriber. Anyway, a trip to Pickering resulted in the papar being found so I was off. Except I wasn’t. Stared at it for ages with not one clue making sense. Then it gradually began to reveal itself and I agree with others that it was very enjoyable. I had the same trouble with 16a until I read the hints. my COTD is 1a.
    Many thanks to proXimal for the challenge and to Senf for the hints.

  21. Enjoyed this Friday puzzle that I started on Thursday evening and finished Friday morning. A fun puzzle with some head scratching moments too.
    2.5*/4* today

    Favourites today include 1a, 12a, 22a, 4d and 20d — with winner being 20d as that one was a gimme for this ex-Norfolk resident.

    Thanks to proXimal and to Senf for the hints

  22. That’s more like it a pleasant solvable puzzle to end the week ***/**** 😃 Favourites were 19a & 3d 👍 Thanks to Senf and to ProXimal. Have a nice weekend everyone but don’t forget to take your☔️

  23. Not really my scene but not sure why not. As usual didn’t clock the absence of X. JB refers to someone’s larder being out of date for 14a but I jib at the loose description of “soft foodstuff”. I struggled to parse 18d as I was trying to use ac for bill but couldn’t accommodate the t – d’oh! Thank you proXimal and Senf.

  24. Well I really enjoyed this cryptic and also the excellent explanations from Senf, so thanks to proximal and Senf. My last one in was 3d which I stared at for ages. Lots of doh moments in the solving helped by anagrams. A colder start to the day this morning but a wonderful night sky with upside down moon🌙 and lots of stars.

  25. Really enjoyed this so it’s 2*/5* for me. The first few clues went in relatively easily and everything fell in place after that, helped by several anagrams. 22a was last in, and finally got it by word shape. Probably would have got it sooner if I’d thought of an x-less pangram! COTD 9d (wasn’t there a tv programme by this name?). Many thanks to the setter and Senf.

    1. Your comment went into moderation because of a ‘typo’ in ‘hotmail’ which I have corrected.

      Apparently, there was a 9d TV sitcom, back in the early/mid 1990s.

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