DT 30246 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30246

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30246

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Ottawa, where the weather has settled down and is tracking the normal pattern for this time of year – a few degrees above zero during the day and a few degrees below zero at night. A welcome change from the wild fluctuations we have had for most of the winter (sometimes a swing of 40 degrees in the span of a day or two).

For me, today’s puzzle from Campbell proved to be a decent mental workout at the top of the two star range. I wasn’t familiar with the games and toys and the cheese also didn’t come readily to mind (not a term we use in Canada, as far as I know, although I recall having encountered it in at least one previous puzzle).

In the hints below, underlining identifies precise definitions and cryptic definitions, and indicators are italicized. The answers will be revealed by clicking on the ANSWER buttons.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought of the puzzle.


1a   Fashionable meeting place gets court order (10)
INJUNCTION — the usual two-letter fashionable or trendy and a place where two roads meet

6a   Agent gathering a harvest (4)
REAP — a sales agent ingesting the A from the clue

9a   Start up again in Scottish town father abandoned (5)
RENEW — remove the clerical abbreviation for father from a Scottish town

10a   Be quick to appear keen (4,5)
LOOK SHARP — to appear or seem to be and sharp or perceptive

12a   Loose car seat on trip causes delay (13)
PROCRASTINATE — an anagram (loose) of the following four words

14a   Rebellion at university on the increase (8)
UPRISING — the usual adverb meaning at university and a word denoting on the increase

15a   Energy needed to cross river in flow (6)
STREAM — the type of energy that drove old locomotives encompassing the map abbreviation for river

17a   Boringly traditional suit (6)
SQUARE — double definition, the second being a verb meaning to suit or fit

19a   Exaggerate silly point about garland (4,2,2)
PILE IT ON — an anagram (silly) of POINT surrounding a Polynesian garland

21a   Game dart players may play all day long (5,3,5)
ROUND THE CLOCK — double definition

24a   Our MP eats processed cheese of indifferent quality (9)
MOUSETRAP — an anagram (processed) of the first three words in the clue

25a   Bad time back in cavalry unit? (5)
TROOP — start with a charade of a word meaning bad or substandard and the physics symbol for time; then reverse (back) the lot

26a   Long-distance runner from Basel inevitably retired (4)
NILE — hidden (from) and reversed (retired) in the intervening words; the answer does its running between banks (at least, most of the time)

27a   Former print worker, kind towards dog (10)
TYPESETTER — kind or sort and a gundog


1d   Some within round pillbox (4)
INRO — hidden (some) in the two following words

2d   Shrub producing berries, strangely unripe after first of July (7)
JUNIPER — an anagram (strangely) of UNRIPE following the first letter of JULY

3d   Toy owls entranced cuckoo (7,6)
NEWTON’S CRADLE — an anagram (cuckoo) of the two preceding words

4d   Open-minded, English lot over tirade (8)
TOLERANT — start with the single letter for English and the LOT from the clue; then reverse this (over) and append a word meaning tirade

5d   Honours involving old members of an orchestra? (5)
OBOES — the plural of one of the honours bestowed by the monarch wrapped around the single letter for old

7d   European pal describing an issue (7)
EMANATE — the abbreviation for European followed by a typically British pal containing the AN from the clue

8d   Condiment with perfect sweet (10)
PEPPERMINT — a condiment customarily present on the dining table and a word meaning perfect or unblemished

11d   Female downing two halves — Courage? — in party game (4,3,6)
SPIN THE BOTTLE — a female pronoun consuming what two halves amount to in one’s local followed by a slang term for courage

13d   Green-fingered fellow cultivated runners, keeping May free (10)
NURSERYMAN — an anagram (cultivated) of RUNNERS wrapped around (keeping) an anagram (free) of MAY

16d   Believer in training, not at home (8)
DISCIPLE — strict training or enforcing of rules with the usual term for at home removed

18d   Uncommon, a French drink one normally orders (7)
UNUSUAL — a French indefinite article and a predictable order at one’s local

20d   Kill surveillance operation before it starts? (4,3)
TAKE OUT — a police surveillance operation with the initial letter removed; shouldn’t the clue read ‟after it starts‟ ?

22d   Novelist‘s difficult year (5)
HARDY — difficult or onerous and the single letter for year

23d   Box not required if base missing (4)
SPAR — an adjective meaning not required or surplus to needs with its final letter removed (base missing in a down clue)

I’ll pick 13d as my favourite today. I might have gone with 20d, but there is either an error in it or it is so clever that it has gone over my head.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): WHO + DEE + KNEE = HOUDINI

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : NIGH + EVE + LEE = NAIVELY

100 comments on “DT 30246
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  1. Typically pleasant and straightforward start to the solving week.


    Fav 11d LOI 14a

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  2. Enjoyable Monday fare.
    Big smile at 11 and 16d.
    And teasingly long anagrams.
    So, */4*.
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  3. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell :good: **/****

    Like Falcon, after ‘bunging in’ 20d, I am somewhat confused by ‘before it starts’ and whether it should be ‘after it starts.’

    It is very rare for me to reach for the BRB when solving a Campbell but I did have to do just that for 1d.

    Candidates for favourite – 10a, 24a, 8d, and 18d – and the winner is 24a.

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. S, 20d. The answer is what a surveillance operation would be without its starting letter (or “before it starts”). That’s my take on it.

      1. Jose,

        I’m afraid I don’t follow your logic. As it is customary to write (and read) from left to right, you need the letters that are written (or appear) after the starting letter. There are no letters before the starting letter. I have seen similar clues in the past and they have always referred to “after the start”.

        1. (S)take out has the letter S as its start. What would (S)take out be “before it starts” (ie prior to it having its start)? It can only be TAKE OUT. “After it starts” would give the answer SSTAKE OUT. That is my explanation of the setter’s logic – and it makes sense to me, unconventional or not.

  4. Good solid Monday puzzle, very entertaining. Not quite sure where suit fits in with the answer to 17a, but probably just a term I’ve not heard of before. Favourites today were 24 and 21a, many thanks to our setter.

    1. Hi TC

      The expression ‘Does that ****** with you?’ means ‘Do you agree with it?’ or ‘Does it suit you?’

      As always, a pleasant gentle start to the week.

      I love learning new words and terms and 1d is right up there as is 3d which, amazingly, I never knew. I bought one for my son at Christmas and didn’t have a clue what it was called other than a fidget toy you use at work. I’m with others about before/after in 20d.


      1. In your example, “suit” is being replaced by “square with”. I don’t think that answers Tipcat’s query.

        1. I think it would be okay to say to someone ‘Does that ******?’ meaning ‘Does that suit?’

          ‘With you’ and ‘You’ aren’t required as it’s obvious that you are asking the person you are talking to their thoughts as opposed to anyone else’s.

          It’s like saying ‘Thoughts?’ which is a shortened version of ‘What are your thoughts?’

          1. The clue is presented as a double definition. In my view, what’s required is a synonym that satisfies both definitions. Square is synonymous with the first definition, but not the second.

            1. It works for me.

              It would be good to get Campbell’s thoughts but I don’t know if he is one of the compilers that jumps on the blog.


            2. Vince, TS65 has given two good phrases using the words and they are synonymous in the sense of fit/agree. Works fine for me.

  5. Good morning and thanks to Falcon for the review,
    After a good start I slowed down, never having heard of the cheese one before and nor thinking of 3d as a toy! 3* enjoyment for me but no real favourites, enjoyable after yesterdays which even after a lot of perservation I failed to finish!

  6. An enjoyable and largely straightforward puzzle, with a few brain-teasers to challenge the little grey cells. I liked the well-camouflaged anagrams, particularly 13d, 19a and COTD 3d. Thanks to Campbell, wwhose puzzles are a Monday treat tolook forward to and to Falcon for the hints.

  7. 1.5*/4*. A typically enjoyable and light Monday puzzle with 11d my favourite.

    I didn’t know the pillbox in 1a and I’m not entirely convinced by the synonym of suit in 17a although it is in the BRB. Can anyone provide an example?

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

      1. Nice try, YS. However, although “suit” can replace “square with”, I don’t think it makes sense if replacing just “square”.

    1. You must have forgotten the pillbox – it has cropped up quite a few times before in DT cryptics. Yet another word pretty often heard on the Antiques Roadshow.

  8. Yesterday’s and today’s crosswords are examples of what I really enjoy about my daily tussles with the puzzles we are given: because of their varying difficulty, you are never far from a solvable challenge for most of us.
    I struggled with yesterday’s but the offering today was much more up my street.
    I had forgotten about the answer to 21a although I had many happy hours playing it in years gone by. 1d was new to me but a lucky guess meant an early completion.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  9. Had the answer to 9a from the clue and checkers but couldn’t think of the Scottish town despite having driven past it many times. Read it out to The Bidie-in and she immediately replied with the correct place. Maybe it should be her doing the puzzle.

    10a reminds me of one of my favourite albums of the late 1970s by Joe Jackson and became one of my favourite clues along with 1a.

    Thanks to setter and hinter.

  10. Very enjoyable though I’d never heard of the game (I’ve obviously led a sheltered life) or of cheese described as such or the pillbox but all were easily obtainable.
    Top clues for me plus 4,13&20d (where I can justify the wordplay in my head) with favourite 16d.
    Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  11. What a good start to the week. Like Senf I too needed to check 1d with the BRB. Another addition to the memory bank. No over-long hold-ups in a steady solve, helped by the anagrams in the long clues. I concur with previous comments regarding 20d. I needed Falcon’s help to fully parse 11d, where that type of half never entered my thoughts. Favourites today were 9a, 19a, 5d and 16d leaving 13d for COTD. Thanks, as always, to Campbell and Falcon.

  12. 11d the clear winner in the favourite stakes this morning. The whole grid was the normal Monday delight, most enjoyable and entertaining.

    My thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  13. Good Monday fare to set us up for the non-working week. I did hesitate over 1d and wonder whether that’s going to become the latest ‘etui’ for crossword compilers!
    No particular favourite to mention, just an enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the review.

  14. Mr G needed twice for confirmation. Fortunate that one a lurker & the other an anagram because had they been pictured in a quiz I wouldn’t have been able to correctly term either – a wee oriental thingy & an irritating ball clicker probably the best I’d have been able to come up with. No problems elsewhere in what was a very pleasant kick off to the new week. 11d the clear favourite.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

  15. This morning, the committee held an emergency meeting and with much regret it was decided, unanimously, to place 1d on THE LIST. It will be sited between ‘Haragake’ and ‘Ka’ in the HALL OF SHAME.

    Other than that, a cheery start to the week.

    Thanks to Campbell and The Bird Of Prey.

    1. Hi Terence

      I am new to this ‘Hall of Shame’.

      Is it a list of obscure words?

      There are obviously two camps when it comes to obscure words being used in crosswords. I’m all for it as long as they are parsable.

      I’ve learnt some beauties over the years which have occasionally popped up in life.

      Very satisfying.

      1. Tom, you summarise the existence of the HALL OF SHAME perfectly. Oh, some will come along armed with their “Oh but it is in the BRB (Big Red Book – Chambers)” but I say ‘pah’ and ‘whatevs’ to them. If a word is not in common, everyday usage, and is so obscure that one has to go hunting in the previously mentioned BRB to find it, then that word has no place in a newspaper crossword.
        There is no appeal system. THE LIST is run like a Soviet gulag.

        1. Love it!

          I, of course, don’t agree but this is why we love the blog.

          ‘Pah’ and ‘Whatevs’…..you’re so yoof.

          I suppose it’s a matter of time until ‘totes’, seebs (short for cba that is short for ‘can’t be etc’) and ‘whatevs’ (or the even shorter version ‘wevs’) appear in a crossword. Hopefully when our respective toes have curled up.

          1. Tom, I have to say that I have agreed with every single word that Terrence has added to THE LIST – I think it’s quite a long LIST now.

            1. I think the idea of a list for obscure words is excellent. It’s a lot of fun.

              Terence often mentions some of them on this blog which is, ironically, bringing them into common usage, albeit, as a definition not using its meaning.

              I just think that a different word to ‘shame’ is worth considering though I appreciate the ‘Hall of Fame’ wordplay.

              Terence’s ”Compendium of Curios”?

    2. Definitely qualifies for the Hall of Shame. Anything that can be described as “You have to be kidding?” belongs there 😉.

  16. Was just about to press the button to come here to find out how to parse 11d, when I realised that while here in Frogland those halves would make a litre, the same would not be the case in Brexitland. Oh dear!
    Lovely puzzle and new word in 1d. (Must get one!)
    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  17. It’s Monday and it’s Campbell and decidedly much gentler this week compared to the last few Monday offerings.
    Very pleasant after losing an hours kip over the weekend as I did this on Sunday evening.

    1*/3.5* for me.

    Favourites include 1a, 10a, 26a, 8d ,18d & 22d with winner being 22d
    Chuckles from 19a, 21a, 27a

    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  18. A most enjoyable start to the week with a few traps here and there. I couldn’t get “spades” out of my head at 17a for ages. I knew it was wrong but it refused to leave. Missing the ‘i’ out of 12a and ending it in “ed” held me up in the NE until I saw the error of my ways when 11d turned up. Again, I have ticks all over the paper but my COTD is the aforementioned 11d with 9a coming a close second.

    I loved the two Quickie puns and anyone living in Shropshire would have had no problem with 1d – the home of Joyce clock makers who were established in 1690 and their tower clocks can be found worldwide. The picture shows one of their clocks on the Customs House in Shanghai.

    Many thanks, Campbell for the fun. Thank you Falcon for the hints and I’m pleased to hear your weather has settled down.

    The temperature here in The Marches is set to go to minus tomorrow but then is warming up.

  19. Completed early as reliable newspaper deliverer comes before 6 a.m. and I had been awake for hours watching tennis from Indian Wells (California 7 hour time difference). I always confuse 1d with netsuke (“Hare with Amber Eyes” – Edmund de Waal) but will make a mental note of it. Was well aware of 3d however have never given it a name – good fun though. 8d is becoming a bad penny. 16d Fav. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  20. Enjoyable Monday guzzle, I had a feeling THE LIST would get a mention on 1d but it rang a distant bell, and was clear from checkers. As a turophile I have eaten my fair share of the cheese along with more esoteric examples.
    Thanks to Falcon and Campbell – back to work now

  21. For those unfamiliar with 24a, I was living in Coventry many years ago, went into a corner shop and asked for half a pound of Cheddar. The girl looked at me blankly, so I pointed to a slab of it on the counter and she said “Oh, you mean ********”.
    Thanks, Campbell and Falcon

  22. Good Monday challenge, nothing to alarm the equines. Was zipping through it quite pacily until the last few in the SE, which held me up for a minute or two. Didn’t feel 20d really works, although I could see where Campbell was coming from. Some ‘cracking’ clues, though. with for me 9a, 12a, 26a and 3d, with COTD 11d.

    1.5 / 3

    Many thanks to Campbell and of course to Falcon – loved the spell-binding few minutes staring at the 3d video, thank you!

  23. Very enjoyable solve – not quite as quick as I thought it would be when I started, and the hints needed for some of the parsing.

    Learnt a new word with 1d, and another from Sloop John Bee – thank you! Had to look it up and saw definition as both connoisseur and fancier. The former I am not, but definitely the latter – and have had my share of 24a.

    Thanks as ever to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. It is written on my cheeseboard
      Along with a nice bit of Fellstone
      And my Telegraph pen ;)

      When not eating posh cheese the supermarket stuff is good for toasting and long known as ********* here

  24. Good puzzle again from Campbell with a good blog from Falcon. I thought the construction of 11, 13, and 16d was superb. And yes, the Cheddar on most supermarket shelves, including Waitrose, is mousetrap or rarebit. After 1d will have to start a ‘silly word’ collection. I don’t mind being unable to parse a clue which is revealed to be a word in my passive vocabulary but no-one in my 75 years has referred to my medication being in an inro.

    1. You probably didn’t keep your pills in an inro because they are customarily attached to an obi that is securing your kimono.

      1. Yes, it is in the BRB which is why Amazon has a book for sale called ‘The Samurai’s Inro’ and the online dictionary underlines it in red. It certainly satisfies the criteria set by Terence, and my criterion of a silly word.

      2. Or, you could forget about those obscure/silly objects and just store your pills in an etui or treen container! :-)

          1. Better that than the infernal blister packs, if you didn’t have a headache before you would afterwards

            1. How wonderful that an obscure word in a crossword has got everyone talking about other ones, some of which are alien to me.

              I love Tumbert’s cheese story in the Coventry corner shop (the alliteration is a bonus)

  25. 2* / 3* for me – the 2nd * due to not knowing the pillbox in 1d, nor the “toy” in 3d or the cheese in 24a – don’t mind the odd obscurity, but this felt like one too many ?
    Favourites were 11d,13d and the loveable lurker in 26a
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon

  26. When I was young there was only one cheese in the village Co-op and that was 24a. It came from New Zealand or did I dream that? A little harder than usual for Campbell but doable without hints or aids save for having to check games and toys. I had heard of 3d and have visited the inventor’s house but would not describe it as a toy. Last one in was 12a probably because I was looking for a noun. Slow with 13d and needed all the checkers. Favourites 14 21 24 27 and 4 11 16 18 and 20d. I’ve no objection to unfamiliar words so long as can easily be found from the clue. A case in point (no pun intended) is 1d. As one of our erstwhile colleagues used to say « If in doubt look for a ****** »

    1. Oops! That link didn’t work!

      Was supposed to be this:

  27. Lovely change, it’s Monday and a puzzle that doesn’t make you feel that you’re sitting a PhD exam! I had two, seems like most of us here, that I hadn’t heard of, 1d and 3d; I did as instructed and googled the lurker to find it was right, and shamelessly used an anagram solver to get 3d. I had so many faves, I lost count, but I think 11d takes the rosette. I had heard of 24a, only we used it to describe a very sharp cheddar which I like. Yes, Weekend Wanda, usually a NZ Cheddar, standard cheese in Jamaica. Delish.
    Thanks Campbell, wotta load of fun, and Falcon for his hints and tips. It’s nearly spring, how can it still be that cold? No wonder you Canadians are so hardy!

      1. Many years ago my brother bought me one for Christmas. When I opened it I declared “Wow! Newton’s balls!” Much to the chagrin of our mother.

  28. Thank goodness it is Monday and a Campbell to boot. After early morning cataract surgery I managed it with the untouched eye (the one with the lesser cataract) and squinting through the other, it being enormously dilated and stinging from the drops. Of course I should probably be resting it, but who can get through a morning without doing the crossword ☺️. Apart from 1d, a bung in, and 2d, which I had forgotten, the long answer clues paved the way to the finish.

    1. Well done on using your new lens immediately, BL. When I had my first cataract done I moly coddled it for three days. I bathed it, kept it covered, stayed off work and, in general, behaved like a wuss! Mind you, when I finally took the covers off, I was amazed at the improvement and realised I should not have been driving!

      Sadly, my sight in that eye is deteriorating now and it’s only been three years.

      Fortunately, the second cataract op in my other eye is ok.

      1. Thanks Steve. So sorry your eye is poorly now. My inclination would be to wear a patch right now, but not per my instructions. We certainly don’t get to be old without a fight.

      2. After my op, I realised that I had been looking through what I call a nicotine haze, everything was yellow. Then after my surgery everything was bright and clear, I needed shades even indoors! After the second op, I couldn’t believe how blind I’d been. I developed glaucoma so all that’s in the past, my right eye is completely blind.

  29. A very odd but quite enjoyable puzzle today, I thought, and yet one of my fastest Campbell finishes. I didn’t know the game or the toy or even the pillbox, but the mysteries quickly resolved themselves, thanks to the fair clueing and checkers. 11d my favourite. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell. 1*/4*

    I’m very late today because after the Oscars (too bad ‘Banshees’ didn’t win) and ‘The Last of Us’, I returned to the latest Ian Rankin ‘Rebus’ mystery, and all of that–viewing and reading–just wore me out. Not to mention that ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (which did win the Big O), which I have tried to watch on several occasions, had already sent me frazzled into my own mental multiverse. So I slept the morning away–hurray!

  30. I completed this unaided but did double check 1d as it is new to me and did not know the cheese in 24a. I enjoyed the anagrams, 13d taking the longest to twig. I was not sure at all about the parsing of 20d but can see I was not alone. I find that one of the lovely things about this blog is reassurance that I am not the only one who does not understand something. All in all a great fun and very enjoyable crossword.

    Extremely windy here today but not as cold anymore.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the explanations.

  31. Coincidentally, 22D also appears in the Graun cryptic today, but in his other guise as a poet rather than novelist.

  32. Straightforward until it wasn’t as is often the case with Campbell. I won’t bother listing them but they are the same ones mentioned by others before me plus some. Oh how I long for the days when Monday’s were Monday’s. No real favourite. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

    1. Alas, I think you’re whistling Dixie, we’ve, well quite a few of us, have been nagging to get Monday’s back to normal. I think the intelligentsia probably pay double subs so get their way and we, the riffraff, get the dregs.

  33. Just 2 of the acrosses on first pass had me thinking it was going to be a stinker, but added 7 on the downs, then the rest fell in soon after. Had to get most of the checkers to get the 2 long anagrams. An enjoyable diversion.

  34. Good evening.
    Late check-in for me. Today has been carnage on the iron road!
    I have to report a D N F….I consulted Dr Google for 1d, which I intuited without knowing the word; but I’d never heard of 3d, so I’m one answer shy today. Thanks to our compiler and to Falcon

  35. 2*/4*….
    liked 24A “Our MP eats processed cheese of
    indifferent quality (9)”
    also the picture of the mouse in the hint thereto ..
    not sure that the helmet is going to provide
    complete protection !

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