DT 30306 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30306

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30306

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa, where we are in the midst of the Canadian Tulip Festival, an annual event in which over one million tulips bloom throughout the city. The festival is a major tourist attraction drawing over 650,000 visitors annually. The event originated with a gift of tulip bulbs from the Netherlands in appreciation for Ottawa providing refuge to the Dutch royal family during World War II and the Canadian role in the liberation of Holland at the end of that war.

Today’s puzzle from Campbell should not produce many screams of pain. It provides a rather gentle mental workout with a couple of outstanding clues.

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   Female in charge welcoming brief part in prank (6)
FROLIC — the single letter for female and the abbreviation for in charge bookend a truncated (brief) part in a theatrical production

5a   Old Harry, for example? (8)
NICKNAME — a cryptic definition of Old Harry in reference to the Prince of Darkness; split the answer (4,4) and you find an allusion to another sobriquet for this evil being

9a   Second bit of a pig required for game (10)
BACKGAMMON — second or provide support and a cut of meat from a pig

10a   Gain attention by end of audition (4)
EARN — auditory attention and the final letter (end) of AUDITION

11a   Take tea with outspoken member of the clergy (8)
CHAPLAIN — a slang term for tea and outspoken or candid

12a   Page about super sort of dwelling (6)
PREFAB — the single letter for page, the Latin word for about or concerning, and a slang term for super or excellent

13a   Hurt one squeezing hard (4)
ACHE — a golf score of one wrapped around the pencil symbol for hard

15a   Mocking foolish raids on clubs (8)
SARDONIC — an anagram (foolish) of RAIDS ON plus the playing card abbreviation for clubs

18a   Oversight? Ring diplomatic office abroad (8)
OMISSION — the letter that is shaped like a ring and a diplomatic office in a foreign country

19a   Catch some returning (4)
TRAP — a reversal (returning) of a word meaning some

21a   Bed? Saw bishop retiring (6)
BOTTOM — a reversal (retiring) of a saw or adage and the chess notation for bishop

23a   Frank‘s poker hand (8)
STRAIGHT — double definition; candid or a pretty good poker hand

25a   Only fair? Quite fitting (4)
JUST — quadruple definition!

26a   Fresh meat and brandy, say — it brings people together (4,6)
TEAM SPIRIT — an anagram (fresh) of MEAT and what brandy is an example of

27a   In good health, British cardinal, perhaps of good stock (4-4)
WELL-BRED — string together a word denoting ‘in good health’, the single letter for British, and the colour of which cardinal is a hue

28a   Detective let us out in front of hotel (6)
SLEUTH — an anagram (out) of LET US and the letter represented by hotel in the NATO alphabet


2d   Communicate with, and about, a church (5)
REACH — the about from 12a reprises its role, followed by the A from the clue and the mapmaker’s abbreviation for church

3d   Literary group left Keats disconcerted about Poe (4,5)
LAKE POETS — the single letter for left and an anagram (disconcerted) of KEATS enveloping POE

4d   Necktie? Almost all of stuff has tax added (6)
CRAVAT — remove the final letter from (almost all) of a verbal synonym of stuff and append a type of tax

5d   People need each other in desolate area across windy Sinai (2,3,2,2,6)
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND — start with a desolate area (e.g., between the trenches on a battlefield) and insert into it an anagram (windy) of SINAI

6d   Plot against father, quietly, inside (8)
CONSPIRE — a word denoting against and a (typically equine) father containing the shortened musical direction to play quietly

7d   Relative, awfully nice, close to uncle (5)
NIECE — an anagram (awfully) of NICE and the final letter (close) of UNCLE

8d   Drink –- a small measure upset over girl (9)
MARGARITA — reverse (upset) the A from the clue and a small unit of weight; then append the name of an educated girl

14d   Self-control in school? Nothing certain (9)
COMPOSURE — link together an informal term for a type of equitable education institution, the letter that looks like a representation of nothing, and another word for certain

16d   In a risky situation in hot stormy French resort (2,4,3)
ON THIN ICE — an anagram (stormy) of the two preceding words and the usual resort on the Riviera

17d   I am interrupting to put off bore (8)
DIAMETER — insert I AM from the clue into a term for put off or discourage

20d   Credit is double in emergency (6)
CRISIS — the abbreviation for credit and two instances (double) of the IS from the clue

22d   Complete wreck (5)
TOTAL — double definition

24d   Raise one in army (5)
HOIST — place a Roman one in an army or multitude

My clue of the day award goes to the extremely rarely spotted quadruple definition at 25a.

Quickie Pun (Top Row): BONN + ANSWER = BONANZA

Quickie Pun (Bottom Row) : ROARED + EELS = RAW DEALS

64 comments on “DT 30306
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  1. 2*/4.5*. What a splendid puzzle to start the week!

    I was on track to award 5* for enjoyment but was let down slightly at the end by a vague girl and the unindicated Americanism in 22d (despite the BRB hedging its bets with a “chiefly”).

    Nevertheless, I had an abundance of ticks: 5a, 20a, 23a, 25a, 26a, 3d, 5d & 16d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  2. Pretty gentle stuff, though I’d never heard of the “small measure” in 8d where I needed all the checkers, not my favourite clue. Lots of good ones to compensate though including 8,21&25a plus 5,6&17d.
    Many thanks to Campbell for a “great fun” puzzle and to Falcon for the blog.

  3. Enjoyable although I did struggle with a couple such as Old Harry and the bishop’s bed. Still, there was lots to like such as the second pig and Frank’s poker hand. I have not heard of the poets but it could be nothing else. My favourite and COTD day is the small measure upsetting the girl in 8d.

    Many thanks to Campbell for the fun and Falcon for the hints.

  4. Very gentle and over all too soon; a bit of an anagram-fest but nothing esoteric, a good few chestnuts, and a straightforward top-to-bottom completion. COTD for me was 5a.

    0.5* / 2.5*

    Thank you to Campbell and to Falcon.

    PS – for those looking for another puzzle today I can add my voice to those who have praised Saturday’s excellent NTSPP – it’s accessible and well worth a go if you have time for another challenge.

    1. Thanks for the tip, Mustafa. Excellent. I was in the mood for summat else and this certainly hit the spot. I’ve never tried one of these before – are they always this good?

      1. They usually are, ALP – the setters are experienced and (IIRC) published, so they know what they’re doing. Chalicea, for example, is a not in-frequent NTSPP setter. It’s worth going back through the calendar and printing off more of the puzzles when you have the time.

        I would also draw your attention to the Rookie’s Corner feature – today’s is quite ‘chewy’, something of a Toughie, but a good challenge and some wonderful clueing – and it’s also worth going back to have a go at previous RC puzzles. I think I’m right in saying that both Twmbarlwm and Silvanus of this parish graduated from the RC to the DT backpage (and in Silvanus’s case, inside & online pages too).

  5. Lots to like in this fun puzzle,though I am surprised by Falcon’s 1* rating. I thought it was a tad harder than that. Perhaps not having a knowledge of poker hands or measurements within tubes didn’t help although both answers were obvious. I just like to be able to parse them! Favourite today was 21a with podium places for 3d, 5d and 14d. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  6. It’s Monday :good: It’s Campbell, coincidentally using the same grid as Dada yesterday :good: **/****

    With my O-Level English Literature (failed), I had only a vague recollection of the 3d poetic group but it was fairly clued.

    Candidates for favourite – 19a, 23a, 3d, 8d, and 17d – and the winner is 17d.

    Thanks to Campbell and to Falcon.

  7. A good start to the week, the sun is just emerging from the clouds and the puzzle was enjoyable and just right for a Monday. My last in was 21a because I did not know the required synonym for saw so I needed to check if I was missing something which I was! Every day is a school day. My favourite is 9a because if reminded me of playing with my dad and later teaching it to my children, one of my favourite games.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Falcon for the explanations and for the beautiful picture of the tulips.

  8. Perfectly Mondayish.
    Fifty percent R and W
    Rest, tapping the grey matter.
    Big smile at 4d, loved T-T.
    6d my COTD, just
    In a very strong field.
    Thanks Campbell and Falcon.

  9. Great start to the week, just a few clues involving men of the cloth gave me pause.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon – lovely tulips!

  10. A straightforward guzzle with a sting in the tail of some tricky clues in the NE, it was most enjoyable I iked 6d,8d and 17d but COTD was 5a, which was so clever. Thanks to Falcon for the hints and to Campbell for another well-balanced puzzle, nicely judged to suit the back page.

  11. A very enjoyable romp through crosswordland.
    16d and 17d are my joint favourites.
    Thanks to campbell and Falcon.

  12. I really did not enjoy this puzzle at all – it could be because I was up at 5:00am taking one of my daughters to the airport so stayed up and started to tackle it at 6:00am but I honestly found I was NOT on the wavelength and found the whole things quite poor to solve

  13. A pretty straightforward and entertaining puzzle – thanks to Campbell and Falcon.
    My favourite clue was the excellent 25a.

  14. A most enjoyable start to the crosswording week that was pretty straightforward yet rewarding in so many ways. There were too many good clues to pick an outstanding favourite, so I shall merely add my thanks and appreciation to Campbell and Falcon.

  15. A gentle start to the week although 3d and 5a provided learning opportunities. 17d gets my vote. Thanks to today’s setter and Falcon.

  16. 5a&d my top 2 in a very pleasant guzzle to kick off the new working week. First glance suggested it wasn’t going to be particularly Mondayish but in the event it proved a fairly straightforward solve.
    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon.

  17. A very enjoyable 1a for a sunny Monday and my podium is overflowing. Places given to 5,23,25,26&27a plus 5&16d.
    Thanks to Campbell for the fun and also to Falcon for the review. I remember that you included some lovely photos of the tulip festival in your blog last year and it’s lovely to see that the tradition continues – what a lot of effort must go into producing such a magnificent display every year.

    1. The annual gift of tulip bulbs began in 1945 and I believe continues to this day. The festival has taken place annually since 1953.

  18. Nice one! Fav 5d, closely followed by 8d, which I needed to get 5a, another goodie.
    Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  19. Very doable crossword to start the week with lots inventive clueing to raise a lot of smiles.


    Fav 21a LOI 8d.

    Thanks to setter and Falcon.

  20. A much easier Campbell for this week, I thought. Nothing to upset the apple cart in this solve.
    Almost a R&W for me, but with a couple of real head scratchers thrown in.

    1*/4* for me.

    Favourites include 23a, 28a, 5d, 16d, 17d & 20d — with winner 17d
    Got a chuckle out of 1a, 4d & 20d

    Thanks to Campbell & Falcon

  21. This was like one of CS’ famous products and very enjoyable if somewhat brief. Liked top pun although it does rely on pronunciation. Overlooked quad nature of 25a synonyms. Needed MrG to explain my bung-in for 17d and not sure about 22d as noun being exact double definition. Thank you Campbell for an all too short fun-time and Falcon for being there in case of need (was unaware of Ottawa’s renown for tulips – what a lovely association with Holland.

    1. The top and bottom puns both depend on a non-rhotic pronunciation — and thus both provided a challenge for me.

      In 22d, “wreck” is used as a verb. Judging by Rabbit Dave’s comment earlier, this sense of the answer is a North American usage.

      1. Thanks Falcon for increasing my vocabulary. Rhoticity is a new one on me but one is never too old to live and learn.

  22. Sorry but there was no way to give this a 1* for difficulty IMHO.
    For me it was a 2+*. I got most of the answers but the word play was not coming very easily to me.
    A nice puzzle, thanks to setter and Falcon.

  23. This was harder than the Campbell we knew before. Probably because the Toughie guys kept being rather snobbish about how easy they found them. What must seem like a R&W fest for some exercises some of us beyond the one star bracket.

    Having had my rant a big thanks to Campbell for a puzzle which rewarded close reading thinking about the clues with success coming in the end. 9a and 14d my favourites today and 5d continues to amaze me as a statement so many nod agreement to.

    Thanks to Falcon for his explanation of 17d. The answer couldn’t be anything else and the reason reminded me how boring the hunting, shooting, fishing brigade are.

    1. As they say, “horses for courses”. A few weeks ago, I gave a Campbell puzzle four stars for difficulty and some commenters said it was easy!

    2. Agree Corky. I did not find this as easy as most, but suspect Mondays are going to continue to get trickier as there is no Toughie on offer today.

  24. 1/3.5. Enjoyable while it lasted with 9a and 5d my pick of the bunch. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  25. That’s more like a Monday puzzle, but maybe add another * for getting on wavelength! Once I was in the groove, it went very quickly. I couldn’t understand 17d but it couldn’t be anything else … oh, that bore! Thanks, Falcon, for that. Otherwise it was all straightforward, no strange words. Fave was 5d.
    Thanks Campbell for a doable Monday puzzle for a change, and thanks to Falcon for the hints and pics. Those tulips are gorgeous. I remember biking through Holland in tulip time.

  26. I think possibly one or two clues added a perk to the difficulty rating, but overall still a mild jaunt for this solver. Great stuff, and thanks Falcon for the blog.

  27. Very much enjoyed this, I thought 13a was a nice reworking of an old favourite and I liked the anagram at 28a. Who remembers 12s? Awful things but they did serve a purpose I suppose after all the bomb damage. I’m trying to pick just one favourite and I think I shall plump for 1a. Many thanks to Campbell & Falcon. Enjoyed yesterdays toughie also.

    1. I have to admit to remembrering 12s – they were an important (temporary?!) way to help solve the housing shortage but I believe hundreds are still standing and treasured by their owners.

    2. I remember them well – there were probably about a dozen of them on the road adjacent to ours in Sale. I can remember as a youngster always wanting to visit a particular school-friend who lived in one of them, because her family owned a TV which we didn’t!

      1. There’s lots of them still standing in Leicester and they have preservation orders on them. Some fine examples are on the Eyres Monsall estate where Adrian Mole (aged 14 3/4) was set. I remember falling about with laughter when I watched the television production of that as half the actors sounded like Brummies and the residents of that estate are as ‘Lesto’ (pronounce the ‘O’ as you would in stop) as they come.

  28. I found this trickier than yesterday’s Dada, which i never thought I would say. I took a long time to get going, and it was enjoyable once I got a toehold, but definitely more than a * for me. I would never have thought of 21a as meaning bed, and I went down the wrong fork in the road with Old Harry. Thought it had something to do with the silly Prince ☺️. Thanks to Falcon and Campbell.

  29. Late to comment as I have been doing my volunteer printing job which did not go well as the printer kept grabbing several pages at a time. I’ve never come across a printer like this as you have to make a master copy first. I was also meant to do 1450 copies of each page and realised half way through I had only done 1440 so spent ages doing the extra 10 of several pages. Grrr. I digress. Did not find this as easy as others but did finish unaided in the end. The bishops bed was an oddity. Still we live and learn but often fail to remember. I reckon it should go on THE LIST. Thanks to all

  30. Very late posting but I found this enjoyable. I liked 8d…..fond memories of California.
    I do the electronic version of the puzzle, the clue for 2d started with ‘Comminicate’ instead of ‘Communicate’. I wasn’t sure if this was a new, obscure, word but the answer fell into place with the checkers.
    Thanks for the puzzle and hints.

  31. An enjoyable puzzle which took me a bit longer than I thought it would. I completed the NW in double quick time but was held up with 5a. Kept thinking satanist! Then trying to put desert into 5d. Doh! 17d was a new meaning to me. Like to pick up new meanings and hopefully, mentally store for future use! Many thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  32. I found far less problems as normal for me on Mondays.
    I’ve never heard of 3d and had trouble with the Bishop’s bed!
    I took a long time to persuade 28a was going to be Shamus – wonder if Jane had the same trouble – probably not!
    I liked 1and 26a and 14 and 16d. My favourite was 5d.
    Thanks for Campbell for the crossword and to Falcon for the hints and colourful pics.

  33. Good evening
    This one proved a struggle in terms of getting started, and I have to be truthful, I considered hoyin’ in the sponge at some point – and then…..the CLUNK! of a penny dropping must have been heard all the way from here at HM Northumbrian Consulate in Didcot to the homeland itself. I twigged 5d, and the rest dropped into place nicely. Some great examples of misdirection, notably 17d. 5d is COTD. Thank you Campbell and Falcon.

  34. Thoroughly enjoyed this today.

    I worked out 3d and then realised the answer came up somewhere recently.

    Thanks to all.

  35. The second Monday puzzle on a Monday in a row, things are looking up. Campbell at his best. Favourite was 5d but a number ran it close. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

  36. Challenging but enjoyable with some very clever clues. I needed a little help to finish.
    21a was one of several which could be on the podium, but COTD has to be 5d, which deserves a gold star as well. I will now enjoy reading the hints and comments. Thanks to Campbell and Falcon.

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