DT 30158 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30158

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30158

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.

Carol didn’t manage to keep her Covid experience to herself and I (Colin) tested positive on Friday morning so have been in isolation since then. Went straight on the new antiviral drugs which seem to have done the trick with alleviating symptoms. Still a residual cough but really feel we have got off lightly.

We found this puzzle quite tricky with two answers, 14d and 21a that were new to us.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Jeopardise agreement with concessions (10)
COMPROMISE : A double definition.  One meaning is a verb and the other a noun.

6a     Recognise as mostly crooked after reversal (4)
KNOW : An informal word meaning crooked or not stable loses its last letter and is reversed.

10a     Garment from India prone to be revealing (5)
APRON : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

11a     Staff turn once assembled outside hotel (9)
TRUNCHEON : An anagram (assembled) of TURN ONCE contains H(otel).

12a     Happen orbiter route occasionally goes off (4,4)
COME TRUE : An orbiter, perhaps the one found by Halley, and then the first, third and fifth letters of route.

13a     Appearing in court, place will be distressed (5)
UPSET : A two letter word for appearing in court and then place or put in position.

15a     Independent church estate and country (7)
ICELAND : I(ndependent), then the Anglican Church and estate or property.

17a     Account for one taken in by former scheme (7)
EXPLAIN : A prefix meaning former and then a scheme or design contains Roman numeral one.

19a    Discussion group that’s found in the kitchen? (3,4)
GAS RING : Informal discussion or chinwag and group or band.

21a     Hummer from California for robber? (7)
LADRONE : The abbreviation for California’s largest city, then a hummer that might belong to the genus Apis.

22a     Sign on head of worried people such as these (5)
WOMEN : The first letter of worried and a sign or portent.

24a     A day after game is cut short (8)
ABRIDGED : ‘A’ from the clue, a card game, then D(ay).

27a     Some, at end, must be fodder for worms (9)
NEMATODES  : An anagram (must be fodder) of SOME AT END.

28a     Bush’s first retreat for Prime Minister (5)
BLAIR : The first letter of Bush and a retreat where an animal might lurk.

29a     Rifle fire (4)
SACK : A double definition. Fire could mean dismiss here.

30a     Loopy game may see card-castle collapsing! (4-6)
CATS-CRADLE : An anagram (collapsing) of CARD CASTLE.


1d     Conservative taunt or bluff (4)
CRAG : C(onservative) plus taunt or lampoon.

2d     Trade centres stocking some wild animals (9)
MARMOSETS : An anagram (wild) of SOME is inside places where trading might occur.

3d     Get up about noon and wash (5)
RINSE : Get out of bed contains N(oon).

4d     Drove and tied up, keeping time (7)
MOTORED : How a boat is tied up contains T(ime).

5d     Put pressure on current boyfriend, perhaps (7)
SQUEEZE : A double definition.

7d     Demands nothing except energy, dedication and stamina at first (5)
NEEDS : First letter from five words in the clue.

8d     Aircraft research facility turn on bore (4,6)
WIND TUNNEL : Turn or rotate and bore through a hill perhaps.

9d     Stole fruit, puzzled, with credit for time (8)
SCRUMPED : Start with a word for puzzled or bamboozled and change its T(ime) for CR(edit.

14d     Crosby, maybe having to repay son, flaps (5,5)
BINGO WINGS : The first name of crooner Crosby, then a word meaning having to repay, and S(on).

16d     Cut off a story with neat twists (8)
ALIENATE : ‘A’ from the clue and an untrue story is followed by an anagram (twists) of NEAT.

18d     Answer warnings and help, as previously mentioned (9)
AFORESAID : The abbreviation for answer, then golfers’ warnings and a synonym for help.

20d     Marvellous degree that’s relative (7)
GRANDMA : A word for marvellous with a Master’s degree.

21d     Fails to cover scripture lessons for primates (7)
LORISES : Fails or does not win contains the two letter scripture lessons.

23d     Send up notes on copyright (5)
MIMIC : Repeat one of the notes from the sol fah scale, then C(opyright).

25d     Expensive to cross Belgium for hamper! (5)
DEBAR : The IVR code for Belgium is inside another word for expensive.

26     Bishop setting up organ bank for Scotland? (4)
BRAE : The chess abbreviation for Bishop and the reversal (setting up) of a hearing organ.

Quickie pun    sail    +    heavy    =   c’est la vie

63 comments on “DT 30158
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  1. I was on the verge of giving this up as a bad job just as the penny dropped for 1a.
    Decided to stick it out for a bit longer, and glad I did.
    ‘Absolute Stinker’ in the words of the late, great Mr Thomas, but ultimately rewarding to finish it. Laughed out loud when I finally twigged 14d which was the last one in today. Well done setter, I now have more frown lines than when I got up, great fun in the end.

  2. A very typical Jay puzzle, enjoyable and quite light I thought, a couple of new words in there but nothing that wasn’t easily obtainable from wordplay and checkers.
    Despite its slightly dated reference I’ll go for 14d as favourite as it made me laugh.
    Many thanks to the setter and the Ks, pleased you are both recovering well.

  3. I found this a bit trickier than I’d expect from Jay but as usual, most enjoyable. My favourite has to be 14d, not least because when it appeared in a crossword some time ago, I had to explain to an American gentleman solver what they were ;)

    Thanks very much to Jay and the 2Ks – hope you are fully recovered soon

  4. Absolute Stinker is a good description , as Tipcat says.
    I did give up for a while.
    I found 21a in the Chambers dictionary, a word I never of before, as far as I can recall.
    I certainly heard of Bingo wings and I try to get rid of them lifting weights etc.
    I liked 22a and 8d.
    Thanks to Colin and the setter.

  5. I also found this one tricky. I had not heard of 14d before, however the wordplay led me to the answer. 21a was not a problem as the answer is very close to its spelling in Spanish.

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  6. Agree that this was tricker than normal for a Wednesday… but thought it was up to Jay’s usual high standards. 21a was also a new word for me. 14d is a great clue and made me laugh.

    Many thanks to the “3 birds”.

  7. Didn’t enjoy this much. Words I’d never heard of[21a,14d], and clues that seemed to me to be quite loose [11a,8d,21a,1a]. I did however think the shortest clue [26d] to be the best [yet again!]. Thanks to all. ****/**

  8. Not heard of 14d-had a good guess,-initially thought that the 21a definition was cadrone! and is Squeeze really a boyfriend?
    Apart from these three a steady solve.
    Favourite was 30a,Going for a ****/***

  9. Everyone who has 14d knows about them, me included! As for 21a, I have never heard to that, I had to resort to an online crossword solver for that. otherwise not too bad.

  10. Another light but immensely enjoyable backpager – a super week so far from the DT. Delayed in the SW wanting to use the state abbreviation rather than that of the city, but the light of 21d dawned, and with it, El Dick Turpin.

    Hon Mentions to 10 & 19a, 14 & 18d.

    1.5* / 3*

    Many thanks to Jay and the 2Ks – and best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

  11. I’m in the ‘tricky’ camp – Jay seems to be upping the difficulty level these days. This one is really enjoyable – thanks to him and the poorly 2Ks (get well soon!).
    Lots of entertaining clues – I’ll select 19a, 21a and 26d for my podium.

  12. 2*/4.5*. A most enjoyable puzzle from our Wednesday maestro with two new words/expressions for me in 21a & 14d. The BRB describes 21a as archaic, so probably this needed to be have indicated in some way.

    I must confess not to understand the definition for 22a and it did make me wonder what Kier Starmer might suggest as a better one. :wink:

    My top clues were 19a, 29a, 18d & 26d.

    Many thanks to the three birds.

  13. A couple of trips to dictionary corner to check my constructions. I liked 12a and 5d, which was my last one in and had me check whether it was a pangram.

    Thanks to the 2Ks and today’s setter.

  14. Another vote for 14d along with 19a. I thought this was Jay close to his very best, a tad more difficult than usual, but very rewarding for the solver. Top entertainment.

    My thanks to the three birds. Best of luck with the Covid, Colin.

  15. A most enjoyable challenge from our Wednesday maestro with the now almost expected soupçon of his Toughie alter ego – 2.5*/4.5*

    Candidates for favourite – 8d, 18d, and 21d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to Jay and the 2Kiwis.

  16. Tricky for me too but very enjoyable.
    Got 21 a from the very deepest recesses of my memory.
    Last one in was 1d….do people still use the word for taunt ? Not as old fashioned as 21a I suppose.

    Thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis. Very sorry that you both got covid but glad it hasn’t been too bad for you.

    Cold, windy and damp here today. 6C. I’m staying indoors.

  17. Recalled 14d from a previous puzzle somewhere so no problems there but was unfamiliar with both 21a&d which delayed completion considerably. Beaver & MG weren’t alone up the CA blind alley & I also initially tried putting RE instead of RI into my los(s)es before discovering the cute looking little critters – shame they’re venomous. Reckon this one a good bit tougher than is usual for Jay. Wonder what Brian will have to say about it. 18d my fav.
    Thanks to Jay & 2Ks

  18. Needed to fall back on MrG for several prompts in this curate’s egg of an enigma but overall enjoyed the puzzling with a bonus of words to add to my vocabulary e.g. 21a and 14d. South most compatible half. Loved picture hint to 9d! Thank you Jay and 2Kiwis (all good wishes to you C and C for a complete recuperation from the dreaded lurgy).

  19. As it appears my solving abilities have deserted me I found it somewhat reassuring that others found this difficult. Like yesterday, I needed far too many hints for it to be enjoyable. The only smile I had was remembering playing 30a as a child with my 20d.
    I will have to dig out my “How to Solve Cryptic Crosswords” book if this trend continues.
    Many thanks to Jay for the beating. Thanks, also, to the 2Ks and I do hope you soon recover.

    I thought the Quicky pun was a cracker!.

    1. I’m with you, Steve. After the last few days, one wonders what Thursday and Friday have in store, worth printing off? Maybe I’m not smart enough to do cryptics, sad as I enjoyed them so much.

  20. Tricky indeed but a great, fun-filled challenge for me this sleepy morning, as I was pushed into *** time for an unaided finish. I don’t think I was that American gentleman that CS refers to (am I?), but if so, I certainly did forget the amusing description of those ‘flaps’ in 14d. The solution, though, was easy, thanks to the wordplay. And I keep forgetting the crossword code for scriptural lessons, but the penny finally dropped on my LOI, 21d. I have come up with a rather strange podium: 12a, 14d, & 21d (what a threesome!). Thanks to Colin and Carol: hope you both fully recover very soon! And of course, cheers to Jay for making me work a bit harder than usual. ***/****

      1. The new site is awful, or is it just me ? You can’t seem to adjust the font size when you print it off , whereas the old site was fine .

  21. An enjoyable Wedneday conundrum with fine clues giving, for me, a challenge just above average for a back-pager. I’ve ticked a few and will pick 21a as my favourite – I got the answer from the clue/checkers but had google it to confirm. 3*/4*.

    * I think the 30a answer needs an apostrophe.

      1. WW. Apostrophes don’t appear in the clue enumerations and you wouldn’t write them in the grid, but they certainly should be included when the solutions/answers are printed out in H&Ts or reveiws, or newspapers. The answer for 30a in the H&Ts above needs an apostrophe – that is what I was referring to. It has got one in the BRB.

  22. What a relief after the last two days, a puzzle that mainly makes sense. Still have a few issues – why the answer to 22a? The hint does not help and what has 5d to do with boyfriend? Also 21a is a new word at least to me.
    I really liked 28a, 11a and 8d.
    Thx to all

    1. B, 22a. I took it to be a phrasal definition by example. The answer is/are a type/category of people.

      5d. The answer is informal journalese for a boyfriend or girlfriend. As in: Rod showed off his latest xxxxxxx at the party.

    2. Brian, I believe squeeze was a popular term in the 1920’s, I heard it in in a very old film and thought it was a rather amusing term, which is probably why I remember it. Not insulting at all, I wouldn’t mind being someone’s latest squeeze, but at my age not going to happen😂.

  23. Had to exercise the old grey matter more than usual for a Jay puzzle – the Logman cometh?
    Plenty of choice for the leader board but I’ll stick with childhood memories and vote for 30a plus 9d with a shout out for the Quickie pun.

    Thanks to Jay and to our 2Ks – sorry to hear about the Covid, Colin, but marriage involves sharing!

  24. Thoroughly enjoyed this. A few head scratch moments but plenty of less difficult clues thus keeping frustration at bay. Some amusing clues, especially liked 6a, 14d and 30a. Once I had sorted out the primate in 21d and it became apparent that 21a did not begin with a C I dragged the solution from the depths of my memory. Candidates for favourite 1d, 8d 14d and 26d. The winner has to be 14d. Thanks to Jay and the 2 Kiwis.

  25. Very enjoyable but tricky indeed! We only got 5 of the acrosses on first pass but 10 of the downs came to the rescue.

    Like some others it was the Spanish that helped me get the robber.

    Many thanks to Jay and the poorly Kiwis (get well soon).

  26. ‘Ultimately rewarding ‘ as already reported. Enough cute mammals and GK expansion for today. Exhausted. Thanks Jay and 2Ks.

  27. Definitely more Logman than Jay today.

    Top half was ok, but gave up on the bottom.
    Some clues hard to parse for me today and even with the answer some made no sense.
    Not a fun solve today for me.
    SE at this point is DNF

    Thanks to Logman and 2K’s (get well soon)

  28. Morning all.
    It wasn’t until we came to sorting the pics out that we noticed how similar the little creatures in 2d and 21d were. Really cute looking with their big round eyes but we understand that personality doesn’t always match perception.
    Looks like most agree with us and had to work harder than usual with this Jay puzzle.

  29. Blimey – for the second day running – I might cry soon . . .
    Thanks everyone and hope the two K’s start to feel better very soon.

  30. I found this crossword very difficult ☹️ ****/** far more like a Friday than a Wednesday Favourites 2 & 26d Thanks to the 2x Ks and to the unknown Compiler ( I don’t believe it is Jay 🤔)

    1. There was a time, Corky, long ago that I quite enjoyed The Times. I’m not sure that it would be suitable today for my aging brain, and I’m told that The Guardian is friendlier than The Telegraph. I thought I might test the water, we’ll see what the next few days bring.

  31. Woah — I haven’t done a cryptic crossword for a few weeks, but I often get on with Tuesday’s, so I checked the blog, saw Gazza’s comment at the top and thought it worth giving a go. Then when I startedm I struggled so much with this I was wondering if I’d forgotten everything I knew about crosswords.

    It was only partway through that I realized it’s now Wednesday (how did that happen?), so this isn’t the Tuesday crossword I peeked at Gaza’s review of!

    Still, I’d started so I struggled on. Thank you Kiwis for the hints, which I needed to fill my last couple of answers and understand several others.

    25d’s ‘hamper’ was my favourite definition, and 14d my favourite clue overall.

    Please can somebody explain 29a’s first definition? I got the ‘fire’ bit but can’t see what the answer has to do with either a gun or rummaging (depending on which ‘rifle’ it is).

  32. I found this hard work. I needed the hint for 12a and dismissed the correct answer for 21a as not a word. Do any English speakers ever use this word?

    I miss the days when the crossword started on Monday as a relatively straightforward solve and got harder during the week, culminating in a challenging Friday solve.

    Nowadays it seems as if a toughie could appear at any day during the week and the level of difficulty is totally random.

    Having said all that, a good challenge today.

    Thanks to all.

    1. Of course English speakers virtually never use that word. But that applies to thousands of other words in the BRB or any other dictionary. Including two of my favourite obscure words: pulchritudinous and callipygian. But they’re all still fair game for a cryptic crossword setter.

      1. I had a feeling ladrone was not in common usage with English speakers – thanks for confirming.

        I sincerely hope neither of the two words you mention ever appear in a crossword. I would be interested to see if any of our illustrious setters would take on the challenge of including either of those words in to a crossword…

  33. Ooof, thought it was just my flu-addled brain making me struggle with this, or that I’m a bit out of practice, so I’m reassured too that others found it hard. Never heard of 21a or indeed 21d. My favourite was also 14d- I’ve heard this term, used it myself, desperately avoiding growing my own- but despite having the checkers and the Bing I still didn’t quite put it altogether. Must say I’m surprised the word “flaps” passed DT muster- am I the only one to find this word distasteful?! Thank you so much to setter and most importantly Kiwis and this blog; without you this would have been driving me potty for days.

  34. Definitely tricky for me , took a while and I used the hints for two clues, but at the same time an enjoyable, entertaining workout.

  35. Tough puzzle.
    Beaten by 14d after much experimentation with his christian name.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  36. I’m afraid I ran out of time to complete this tricky crossword yesterday and eventually gave up this morning being let down by my GK at 21a&d. First failure in a long while. Not a particularly enjoyable exercise therefore although I did like both 12&19a. Thanks to Jay and the 2K’s for explaining all.

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