DT 30166 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30166

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30166

Hints and tips by Senf

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

A very good Friday morning from Winnipeg.

proXimal was ‘on duty’ last Friday and based on my solving experience of this potentially being in the wrong envelope my five bob says that this is a Zandio production rather than a Silvanus production.

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 Fly-by-night ivory trader? (5,5)
TOOTH FAIRY: Who children expect will visit while they are asleep after a baby tooth has fallen out.

6a And what have you that’s overdue for return? (2,2)
ET AL: A synonym of overdue reversed (for return) and ‘divided’ per the enumeration.

9a Cockney maybe scoffed about university causing stress (10)
ACCENTUATE: What Cockney may be a regional example of and a politer three letter synonym of scoffed containing the single letter for University.

10a Sonny and Cher maybe producing quiet tune (4)
PAIR: The single letter for musically quiet and a type of tune.

12a Retract net opinion that’s differing (6)
UNLIKE: A double definition (I think) – the first is the action taken to change one’s opinion of something on the (inter)net.

13a Cher’s music, fancy stuff entertaining posh society (8)
POPULACE: The genre of music that Cher is described as being the goddess of (so says Wikipedia) and fancy stuff in terms of fabric or material containing the letter that indicates posh(ness).

15a Military carriers from US roam at sea round Yorkshire resort (8,4)
ARMOURED CARS: An anagram (at sea) of US ROAM containing (around) a (North) Yorkshire resort perhaps better known for its now closed steelworks.

18a Semi redeveloped, shadily covering over breaks (4-8)
HALF-HOLIDAYS: A synonym of semi (as in fractional amount) and an anagram (redeveloped) of SHADILY containing (covering) the single letter for a crickety Over.

21a European authority replacing oxygen in spirits and sweet drinks (8)
LIQUEURS: The two letter abbreviation for the Euorpean authority replacing the single letter for Oxygen in a synonym of (alcoholic) spirits.

22a Son beginning to correct his and my pronouns — it’s a project (6)
SCHEME: The single letter for Son, the first letter (beginning) of Correct and pronouns of which his and my are the genitive case.

24a Italy is next to be facing vote for Alpine native (4)
IBEX: The IVR code for Italy placed before (next to) BE from the clue followed by (facing) the letter used to indicate ones voting intention on a paper ballot.

25a Theatre review — nothing unusual about this writer (10)
AUDITORIUM: A synonym of (financial) review, the letter that can represent nothing, and a three letter synonym of unusual containing (about) the perpendicular pronoun representing this writer.

26a Opening style of moving broadcast (4)
GATE: A homophone (broadcast) of a single term for style of moving (as a person).

27a Dismantle flimsy bathroom fixture? (5,5)
STRIP LIGHT: Synonyms of dismantle and flimsy.


1d Put ace brews here? (6)
TEACUP: An anagram (brews) of PUT ACE.

2d Black arts of old Conservative party (6)
OCCULT: The single letters for Old and (political) Conservative and a synonym of party.

3d Worker and boss protecting king and queen — one receives a blow (12)
HANDKERCHIEF: A synonym of (human) worker and a synonym of boss (as a person) containing all of the chess notation for King and the regnal cypher of two of our Queens.

4d Horn carried over border (4)
ABUT: A musical ‘horn’ reversed (carried over).

5d Order great changes, making things worse (10)
RETROGRADE: An anagram (changes) of ORDER GREAT

7d Rent out one with a wild outlook (8)
TEARAWAY: A synonym of rent (as in torn) and a synonym of out (of the office?).

8d Generosity from capital of Slovenia, reportedly? (8)
LARGESSE: A homophone (reportedly) of a (5,1) description of the capital (first letter) of Slovenia – I don’t think that Ljubljana can be worked into the answer.

11d Tabloid Times smart to include hotel’s weekend youth gathering (6,6)
SUNDAY SCHOOL: A three letter tabloid, a synonym of times (as in periods of 24 hours), and a four letter synonym of smart containing the letter represented phonetically by Hotel.

14d Worker’s outside clothes (6,4)
BOILER SUIT: What a (human) worker may wear over (outside) the rest of his or her clothes.

16d Price in old days to come from Acropolis Hill in Greece? (8)
SHILLING: A lurker (to come from) the rest of the clue.

17d Expressive European mass interrupted by heartless queen (8)
ELOQUENT: The single letter for European and a synonym of mass (in terms of quantity?) containing (interrupted by) QUeEN with the middle letter deleted (heartless).

19d Considering dating (6)
SEEING: A double definition – the second relates to being in a (romantic?) relationship.

20d Client I’m representing for raising boxing licence (6)
PERMIT: A reversed lurker (for raising boxing) found in three words in the clue.

23d Comic apt to repeatedly miss time for wireless broadcast (2-2)
WI-FI: Synonyms of comic (as a person) and apt both having the single letter for Time deleted (repeatedly miss).

The Quick Crossword Pun:


Our setter seems to ‘have a thing’ for Cher – she also appears in the Quickie (including the pun). So here she is:


57 comments on “DT 30166
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  1. Found this very tough today, but one of the best puzzles for some time, very enjoyable. Thought a pangram was on the cards early on with an X and Q in the mix, but not to be.
    4d was the last in and took me ages, I’d convinced myself that Border meant river, and had several that fitted, but got the real answer in the end!
    Best clue for me was easily 1a, which was the first in.
    Interesting to see if others found it so hard, well done to our setter today.

  2. Very enjoyable indeed, a masterpiece of wit and clue construction. I was on the setter’s wavelength from the off so it went in very smoothly.
    1a was a perfect example of a cryptic definition and a great start and the standard never dropped.
    After much deliberation my podium is 22a plus 8&11d with a shout to the contemporary 12a. Great stuff
    Many thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  3. I agree. Excellent. I had 4 COTD’s in this ***/***** offering being 1,9&15a and 3d but thought the last one just pipped it! Great stuff – thanks Senf for the hints which helped me understand 12a and 8d fully. Thanks to the setter.

  4. 4*/3*. I found this relatively tough for a back-pager. Although I enjoyed the solve on the whole, I didn’t think it quite up to the very high standard we have come to expect on a Friday and I can’t see anything at all cryptic about 14d.

    I particularly liked 1a, 9a, 24a, 2d, 8d & 16d.

    Many thanks to the setter (Zandio?) and to Senf.

      1. What a strange remark. I don’t understand why you have addressed this to me but I am never happy if someone decides to give up cryptic crosswords. In any event, questions are the life blood of this blog.

        Please don’t give up. Use the blog to help you improve, and ask any questions you need to help you along the way.

  5. Didn’t find it too bad but didn’t get 4d. but easy with the explanation. Although I solved the quick crossword, I did not see Sonny and Cher. I am having a bad day!

  6. Very enjoyable puzzle, quite worthy of a Friday – thanks to Zandio(?) and Senf.
    It was only when I saw the duo here that I twigged the Quickie pun after muttering it to myself for quite some time.
    Like RD I thought that 14d was rather weak.
    My ticks went to 1a, 22a, 26a and 3d.

  7. The standard was set with the brilliant 1a and there were plenty more smiles along the way.
    Plenty of head scratching required, probably not helped by trying to watch the cricket at the same time.
    Great puzzle. Thank you setter and Senf.

  8. The usual Friday horror in technicolour today. Needed the hints for a third and some reveals among that.

    1a and 8d were my favourites although I needed the hint for the latter. Thanks to Zandio and Senf

  9. There was no point in this tussle where I could remark, “I got you, babe,” to this tricky puzzle. My toast and orange juice with no bits were long consumed, so I had to turn to Senf for guidance and to get me rebooted. A terrific crossword with no Archimandrites or Albs in sight.

    We’ve had family staying for a couple of days, and yesterday we enjoyed a lovely lunch at the new Fairmont in Englefield Green. All was going splendidly until a power cut interrupted proceedings and we ended up enjoying cups of hot chocolate, wearing our coats in the now freezing temperature, and peering through the gloom courtesy of the emergency lighting. All part of the gaiety of life.

    Thanks to the setter and The Man From Manitoba.

  10. Oh wow this was such a great puzzle, so much fun. Thought I’d have to cave in the SE but perseverance paid off. Needed Senf’s help to understand 20d — what a dope (me, not Senf). Thank yous to Zandio, Cher and Senf.

  11. Our setter certainly raised a smile here with his 1a and that carried me through the remainder of the puzzle. Just the ‘g’ in the Quickie pun that jarred a little.
    Top three here were 1&9a plus 2d.

    Thanks to Zandio? and to Senf for the review – not sure about Cher.

  12. Hello, compiler here. Thanks very much for taking the time to solve, analyse and discuss. Good musical choice, Senf — it was one of my wife Cath’s favourite records (she actually bought it). Have a great weekend.

  13. Tricky but enjoyable – and just about the right level of challenge for a Friday back-pager. Thought 1a was a great clue (as others have mentioned) and also thought the 2 lurkers were particularly well hidden. My only quibble is with 14d (my LOI) which doesn’t seem cryptic at all.

    Many thanks to Zandio and to Senf for the review.

  14. Tricky puzzle and can I say teeth are not made of ivory. Loved 8d, very clever and made me laugh.
    I understood slightly more than yesterdays Ray T offering and enjoyed it far far more. I must be the only person on this blog who by and large dislikes Ray T puzzles, Mrs B refuses to have anything to do with them.
    Although tricky todays clues were clever and elegant once I got to grips with them.
    Thx to all

  15. North smoother half but subtle parsings throughout. Not sure if 21a is necessarily sweet or indeed whether 27a is necessarily in a bathroom. Agree with above comments re non-crypticness of 14d. Joint Favs 1a and 8d. Thank you Zandio and Senf.

    1. With you all the way today Angelov, my favourite couple agree and obs re 21 & 27a struck home likewise.
      Thanks to our friends today, good Friday fun!

        1. I wasn’t confusing the two because in my book liqueurs (digestifs) are a type of liquor and not necessarily sweet (although perhaps they usually are) – Fernet Branca for example.

          1. Liqueur – a strong, sweet, alcoholic spirit usually drunk after a meal. A digestif, I think, covers various types of alcohol drunk after a meal (cf aperitif before a meal). Liquor- anything liquid including a strong alcoholic drink.

  16. I needed help for three, as I often do by the end of the week, but despite that it was most enjoyable. Great to see the chestnut at 8d again and I did like 13a, which along with 10a continued the Sonny and Cher theme that started in the Quickie. On that note, I thought the Quickie pun was clever. I have never heard of 18a. How can you have half? It either is or it isn’t one. Obviously, I liked 1a but my COTD goes to 3d.

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

    I’m on duty today – the farmer has asked Hudson and I to walk across newly planted fields to scare away the crows. What happened to old fashioned scarecrows? They were wonderful sights when I was nobbut a lad.

  17. Enjoyable puzzle, some good head-scratching over the cunningly constructed clues. Thought 14d rather let the side down, and 18a, while a straightforward answer, is a new term to me. Cher & ‘Believe’ … the first song to come to mind on seeing her name in the clues – will never forget Terry Wogan comparing that song to Sparky The Magic Piano, but what a huge hit. Good Friday puzzle, 1a the out-and-out COTD for me.

    2.5* / 3.5*

    Many thanks to Zandio and to Senf

  18. Getting the solution to 1a ‘by myself’ was a highlight that made the whole thing worthwhile – Thank you for the challenges and the explanations.

  19. DNF for me, got stuck in the SE corner, this maybe because I have an absolutely stinking cold, grandkids eh! Ironically I got 3d fairly quickly, although a massive box of tissues quickly being depleted might be the more apt answer……

  20. Loved this with some excellent clues. Started in bed with a cuppa and after half an hour had only solved 3! Had another look after breakfast and it slowly came together. Sadly our car has died next to the bottle bank at the village hall. Having had a new battery last week, it is obviously the generator or so I’m told.

      1. Well there were rather a lot of bottles Huntsman but mainly wine. We live opposite a Master of Wine who has his own labels and they are delicious and we get mates’ rates which is rather handy!

  21. 14d aside I thought this a terrific puzzle – certainly 5* enjoyment factor. If 1a is a chestnut I’ve not seen it before – super & my COTW if not the M. Pretty sure ivories a recognised slang for the gnashers Brian. 1,2,4 & most particularly 3d all great clues also. Hadn’t really come across the term at 18a before – think I prefer double.
    Thanks to Zandio for the entertainment & for popping in & to Senf.

  22. Oh dear! I made very heavy weather of this today. Its a good job I wasn’t timing myself. Couldn’t get going at all in the top half, not even 1a! Finally got a foothold in the SW corner, helped by 11d. Some fantastically misleading clues especially liked 3d, where I was trying to find a musical instrument to fit the bill and 1a where I was looking for a piano seller. The pennies eventually dropped and I finished unaided, like others, 4d being my LOI. Favourites today were 1a, 15a, 22a, 11d and 17d. Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  23. Enjoyed this, despite having to have lots of help. Favourite was 1a, even though I needed the hints to get it.

    Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  24. A very good Friday puzzle from Z. Great clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Fav: 22a. 3.5*/4*.

    *14d. It’s a bit weak, but surely passes muster as a cryptic/obscure definition? You wouldn’t see the answer defined thus anywhere else.

  25. I must have been on wavelength as I cruised through this, albeit at a fairly pedestrian pace, but no major hold-ups. Top puzzle. Lots of good clues but cotd goes to 17d. Thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  26. Last three in weee 4d and 13 and 25a. Thought I would need help for those but light dawned. I went to Lujiblana before I remembered 8d. An oldie and goodie. I agree with others who thought 14d week. Perhaps we are missing something. Favourites 1 9 and 22a and 3 8 and 11d. Thanks Zandio and Senf.

  27. I found this one the most challenging of the week by some distance and needed more hints than I care to admit!

    There were several penny-drops, including 1a, 6a, 3d, 8d and 16d. 8d is my favourite, being ingeniously clued.

    Thanks Zandio for the real brain teaser and Senf for hints

  28. Did this puzzle on Thursday night, except the struggle in the NE had to wait until Friday morning.
    3*/3* for me

    A couple of PDM’s for me through the puzzle including 1a, 3d,& 16d

    Favourites include 1a, 6a, 22a, 3d & 16d with 3d the winner, closely followed by 16d

    Thanks to Zandio and Senf

  29. I was so encouraged when I solved 1a on reading the clue, and there it ended. Too much like hard work, no fun at all, the sun is shining and the pool beckons, much more enjoyable. Thanks anyway, Zandio, I think I always have a problem with your puzzles, very grateful to Senf for solving this puzzle for me.

  30. It was the Yorkshire resort that got me finally, though I really should have just bunged-in what I suspected the definition to be. Sometimes I just give up too soon, especially after solving a very testing NYT Friday conundrum and feeling so pleased with myself. Shucks. Anyway, I loved this puzzle and finished it only with some letter-reveals, so a tough DNF that I should have finished on my own. 1a, as Huntsman says, is certainly the COTD, if not W and M, but I also enjoyed 9a, 17d, 23d, and a whole lot more. Thanks to Senf and Zandio. *****/4.5* (because of the weak 14d)

  31. Very late on parade today but never too late to thank Zandio for a terrific tussle that was great fun to solve. 1a easily my favourite.

    Thanks also to Senf.

  32. Solved late after doing some environmental volunteering today (invariably it involves chopping down overcrowded trees and scrub, I don’t think a lot of people realise how quickly nature takes over )
    Fairly easy after doing the ones I could followed by the rest which required more thought. Failed on 4d and needed the hints plus complete parsing on 3 more . Thanks to Senf and Zandio

  33. Took me ages and TWO gin and tonics. I needed a hint for 25a – which no-one else seems to have been troubled by, before I could complete. Perhaps I should start with the gin next time!

  34. Very clever clueing.
    Struggled through unaided with just 25a to go.
    Left me in 3* time.
    Came back hours later and the correct word just came, instantly.
    Funny, that.
    Brilliant clue, though, certainly my COTD.
    Many thanks to Zandio and Senf.

  35. Three days back and forth, but I got there, making this among the very toughest of my 38 years as a DT solver !
    Thanks to all.

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