DT 30404 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30404

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30404

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Our days are now getting noticeably longer and we have second thoughts before lighting the fire in the evenings. The pair of welcome swallows now do diving swoops on anyone who ventures too near their nest so we presume that there’s a clutch of eggs up there now.
We found it to be quite a gentle puzzle from our setter today and a real pleasure to  solve and blog.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Windows feature has organised agendas and lists (7,5)
STAINED GLASS : An anagram (organised) of AGENDAS and LISTS.

9a     Authority figure, and what helps them draw the line (5)
RULER : A double definition.

10a     Eventually find song, experiencing the blues (5,4)
TRACK DOWN : A word used to describe one song on a recorded compilation and then how one feels when experiencing the blues.

11a     Transported pear to shop — might this confuse greengrocer? (10)
APOSTROPHE : An anagram (transported) of PEAR TO SHOP.

12a     Drink pastis after removing the packaging (4)
ASTI : Central four letters of a word in the clue.

13a     Son getting tipsy cake is nauseated, in the main (7)
SEASICK : S(on) and an anagram (tipsy) of CAKE IS.

15a     They hold the Ashes in gold vessel that is small (7)
AUSSIES : String together the chemical symbol for gold, the two letters for a steamship, the abbreviation for the Latin phrase meaning ‘that is’, and S(mall).

17a     King, given pudding, beams (7)
RAFTERS : The letter from Latin for a king or queen and an alternative word for pudding or dessert.

19a     Function for mathematician, chap who’s been sunbathing? (7)
TANGENT : Brownish colour and then a chap or man.

21a     This may go into bottle of wine or port (4)
CORK : The traditional stopper for a wine bottle.

22a     Mum or dad housing Irish boy in Westminster (10)
PARLIAMENT : A word referring to mum or dad surrounds an Irish boy’s name.

25a     High rank for an old PC (9)
COMMODORE : Not a policeman, but a brand of personal computer.

26a     Silly sign-painter missing sections regularly (5)
INANE : Alternate letters found in sign-painter.

27a     Wanderer‘s Sisyphean task? (7,5)
ROLLING STONE : Task assigned to Sisyphus in Greek mythology.


1d     Many shots and headers from super Arsenal left Villa overwhelmed (5)
SALVO : First letters from five words in the clue.

2d     Attack broadcast and refuse to work (3,6)
AIR STRIKE : Broadcast or put out and then take industrial action.

3d     Time in the Big Apple? Yankee must go and make contacts (7)
NETWORK : Start with the Big Apple city. Insert T(ime) into this then remove Y(ankee).

4d     Old-fashioned tender ballad Rachmaninoff pens (7)
DRACHMA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

5d     John’s predecessor left this country, heading for Eritrea (4)
LUKE : L(eft), then, as NZ did not work, we used what is ‘this country’ for most of you. Finish with the first letter (heading) of Eritrea.

6d     This might smarten up loafers, ones she oddly keeps greeting (9)
SHOESHINE : An anagram (oddly) of ONES SHE contains an informal two letter greeting.

7d Minor thoroughfares in Norfolk region (6)
BROADS : The letter suggesting minor and then thoroughfares or byways.

8d     A Parisian stops working, making slips, for example (6)
UNDIES : The French indefinite article, then stops working or expires.

14d     Two characters from Nato in Italian car (4,5)
ALFA ROMEO : Two characters from the NATO phonetic alphabet. The first from the Greek alphabet, (with alternate spelling), and the second from Shakespeare.

16d     A little land Romanians cultivated (3,6)
SAN MARINO : An anagram (cultivated) of ROMANIANS.

17d     Very ornate gold rings Ms Chanel raised (6)
ROCOCO : The heraldic word for gold surrounds the first name of Ms Chanel. All of this is reversed (raised).

18d     Taps now running where people go to bathe (3,4)
SPA TOWN : An anagram (running) of TAPS NOW.

19d     Bank clerks — they provide accounts (7)
TELLERS : These accounts are stories.

20d     Women excluded from company Musk bought laugh (6)
TITTER : The internet company bought by Musk loses its W(omen).

23d     Duck eaten up by caped avenger (5)
EVADE : A reverse lurker hiding in the clue.

24d     Perhaps saw stolen goods turning up (4)
TOOL : The reversal of stolen goods or booty.

We enjoyed the kerfuffle created by 11a so that is our favourite this week.

Quickie pun    inn    +    Kew    +    bait    =    incubate

100 comments on “DT 30404
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  1. Excellent! Fresh, inventive and innovative clueing throughout.
    I rarely choose an anagram as favourite but 11a will be hard to beat as clue of the week.
    20d made me 20d as did lots of others.
    Many thanks to the setter (I may have a punt on our old Tuesday blogger otherwise it has to be Robyn) and the Ks for their usual accomplished blog, I pretty much agree with your rating.

  2. Most enjoyable and finished in one sitting. Mind you, I’m not saying how long that sitting was. 😀
    I was somewhat perplexed by 11a because I couldn’t see where a grocer came into it apart from a tenuous link. Also 21a foxed me because I put “ship” – well it fitted. My COTD is the wandering Sisyphean task at 27a. 20d was topical and I wonder if it would be solvable in twenty tears time.

    Many thanks to the setter for the fun and to the 2Ks for the hints.

    Getting cooler in The Marches and the Aga won’t light!

    1. Every book or article about punctuation uses the greengrocer’s misuse of 11a, that was a gimme for me.
      First the MacBook and now the Aga – someone must have put a guzu on you!

      1. Thank you, Merusa. I see my “tenuous link” was correct. 😁
        It reminds me of the time our local butcher wrote on the board outside his shop “Come and buy our sausage’s!”

        I went in and told him that the word did not need an apostrophe.

        “I know it doesn’t but it brings folk like you into the shop. How many sausages would you like?”

      2. I bought a new MacBook via Apple’s online store today. My bank refused to let the payment go through. Fair enough, I have paid out a few large payments over the past few months. The bank asked me to press “Y” if I had authorised the transaction. I pressed “Y” and my bank sent a message thanking me. They would now authorise the payment.

        What followed were repeated frantic emails from Apple stating I had not paid! It took me about an hour to calm them down!

        Our Aga is now lit. Tom, our friendly Aga go to guy came and sorted it. I was able to cook “Pork in Oranges”, my signature dish, for Faye and Sami who both declared it to be delicious.

        1. Good, things are getting sorted. I liked your sausage story! The pork in oranges sounds good, but I no longer eat mammal and bird will soon be added!

  3. An cracking midweek puzzle with a mixture of clue types. The Bidie-in is enjoying her continuing foray into crossword-land and has just about finished her copy.

    My favourites include the often misused 11a, 22a and the cunningly concealed 4d.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks (with no 11a).

  4. I found some of the clues in this guzzle hard t unravel m, although 3 did finish it, largely by guesswork and reverse engineering the parsing m. However, I did enjoy rhe well-concealed anagrams and rhe use of General Knowledge to give the puzzle added interest. 1a was a good anagram and 18d was a dreat geographical anagram, whilst 7d was a sort of clver double definition. I did enjoy 27a both for its humour and the GK element and thatis my COTD. Thanks to the Kiwis for the hints, particularly 26a, which I guessed but wasn’t sure of. Thanks to the compiler, I particularly enjoyed the bittom half of the puzzle.

  5. 2*/4.5*. I enjoyed this a lot although I can’t shake off the memory my forceful English teacher shouting at the class that “agenda” is a plural noun so you must never add an s to it!

    I don’t think 6d can apply to loafers but it’s a fun clue.

    Unusually for me as well as SL, I’m picking the 11a anagram as my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

      1. You are absolutely right, Merusa! I have laboured under the misapprehension for my entire life that loafers were cloth/fabric shoes without buckles or laces. Thanks to you, now I know that is not true!

  6. Most enjoyable while it lasted, some lovely clueing and plenty of humour throughout, good variety of clue types. Hon Mentions to 11a & 4d, while for this long-suffering Gooner COTD has to be 1d – won’t know until mid-December, but one can only hope!

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the Setter (Twm.?) and to the 2Ks

  7. I don’t time myself but this must be one of my fastest times ever. I did have to look up Sisphean, new to me, but once I had the definition the answer became obvious. Thoroughly enjoyable throughout. As Stephen L I rarely choose anagrams for favourite but 11a takes the top spot today along with 15a and 3d. Thanks to our setter and the 2Kiwis.

  8. May I join those fellow commenters who have backed 11a as their favourite? It was quite superb in every department. As for the puzzle, a delight to solve throughout the grid with a terrific clue mix that kept me royally entertained from beginning to end.

    Take a bow, setter, and many thanks to the 2Ks.

  9. In perfect harmony with this
    Very inventive setter.
    Enjoyed the smattering of
    General knowledge eg 25
    And 27a.
    Big smile for 11 and 15a.
    Nice to meet old friends 12a
    And 7d.
    Many thanks to the compiler and the 2Kiwis.

  10. I’ll punt Robyn for this excellent guzzle though Stephen’s hunch about T may well prove correct. If it is Robyn his one in the Graun today is excellent too though a bit more demanding. Quickly on wavelength today for a brisk solve & it was only reading back through it that I really appreciated the quality. Pick of the bunch for me a close call between 11a&4d with the anagram just pipping the lurker on the finish line. Ticks also for 10&27a along with 3&20d.
    Thanks to the setter & to the 2Ks for an excellent review.
    Ps The Silvanus Toughie a bit of a beast in my view.

  11. Fantastically good fun, all that a crossword should be, great variety and very clever clueing, not too easy, not too hard.
    Completed all but 27a, and had to consult my friend Mick, who said that even though the clue was a devil, he jumped to the answer in a flash. I must admit that I’ve got no sympathy with the clever-dick. Many thanks to our compiler today, one of the best in ages.

    1. I’m sure he would have been ‘Angry’ if you hadn’t got the answer to 27a! I reckon their latest single is pretty good for a bunch of old rockers and the video is very clever.
      Oh and the crossword wa’s pretty good too! Thanks to the setter and the 2K’s!

  12. 11a gets my vote too in this great pizzle. The name check in 5d ran it close. I woke early and did it pre caffeination. Thanks to setter and Kiwis. Cooler here but the sun is shining.

  13. Isn’t 21a a double definition?
    Also, I’ve never seen the first letter of the either the Nato or Greek alphabets spelt this way?!

  14. A real game-of-two-halves. Smashed through three-quarters of it in ********* and came to a grinding halt in NE corner.

    Favourite was 11a.

    [Redacted: For the reason why we discourage solving times on the blog see Comment Etiquette #6. Gazza]

    1. Interestingly though I got to 3d a little differently, and incorrectly although it did the trick. Newark plus time was Netwark, then i dropped the Yankee American a and the result fitted. Didn’t notice the missing o. O well

  15. What a super gift on my 54 th wedding anniversary. The only one who needs to be congratulated is the dear, long suffering and indulgent husband. Delighted by15 across especially as I do enjoy cricket. Awards also to 11 and 27 across and 7 down.We couldn’t get into Gravetye as it has been fully booked for the last 2 weeks so are going to Wakehurst and just having a snack. Thanks to all involved because the effort and ingenuity is fantastic.

  16. Good Wednesday fun – **/****

    Standout favourite – I rarely choose an anagram but I assume that our setter is familiar with Lynne Truss and her book ‘Eats, shoots and Leaves – The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation’ – so 11a it is!

    Thanks to the setter and the 2KIwis.

  17. All seemed to enjoy this excellent midweek puzzle and I concur, top cluing throughout and agree with the 2K’ s **/****
    Favourite was 11a followed by 25a.
    Remembered the 27a task -this stone roller was angry!
    Thanks to our setter and as usual 2k’s

  18. I really enjoyed this. Plenty of smiles, particularly the greengrocer’s bugbear.
    I also learnt that the ICAO spelling for the first letter of the NATO alphabet is not “alpha”.
    Every day a school day!
    Thank you clever setter and our Kiwi friends.

  19. As our bloggers said, this was indeed a gentle puzzle but none the less enjoyable for that. Top clues for me were 11&15a plus 14d which made me laugh.

    Thanks to our setter and to our 2Ks for the review.

  20. A gentle yet enjoyable stroll through crosswordland.

    I didn’t realize that Greengrocer’s followed by 11a is an expression. Marvellous.

    Lots of good clues to choose from as there are so many good surfaces but I’ll go with 3d, 22a and 1d for the podium.

    Many thanks to Le Touquet and compiler.


  21. Always enjoy the Telegraph crosswords, but this one stands out for enjoyment, humour, and ‘cuddly’ clues! Has made my day.

  22. Many thanks to the setter for a most enjoyable puzzle, and to the 2Kiwis for the review.

    I noticed that the answer to 26a was the same as the answer to 26a yesterday, and in the same position on the grid.

  23. That was a bit different to last Wednesday’s stinker. Another confidence builder for the newbie. Being an I.T. geek, I spent too much time looking for an actual feature of Windows in 1a and had a big smile when I saw 25a.

    A satisfying way to spend a morning recovering from man-flu.

  24. I enjoyed this Wednesday puzzle very much. Right up my alley with a couple of old chestnuts in the mix as well as some cleverly parsed clues. All in all a pleasant way to spend a dull Tuesday evening.

    1.5*/4.5* for me.

    Favourites 1a, 15a, 17a, 27a, 7d & 8d with my particular favourite being 7d … as it was where we lived for a lot of my early years.
    I also got a chuckle out of 15a, 25a, 27a plus about a half dozen more.
    This was a good ‘un today

    Thanks to setter and the 2K’s

  25. A definite crowd-pleaser this one. Expertly crafted clues and clear parsing with a good smattering of humour. Top drawer. Is this a Robyn compilation? Applause to whomever set us this today and thanks to the 2Ks.

  26. I agree with everyone – a first class guzzle. Clever and funny. I was busy thinking of components of a window – sash, frame etc then thought it must be computer related. I had the old circle of anagram letters and the answer leapt at me, sly. So many ticks 22&27a and 5,7,18&19d but I think I shall go for 7d as my favourite with a nod to Manders.
    It’s been a busy week so far, first time I have had a chance to do the guzzle with my lunch. Thank you so much to the crafty Setter and I am sorry I did not need any hints! I’ll go back and read them now, always interesting.

    1. Believe it or not DG, didn’t get 7d until half way through! When we moved here we moved our boat from Upware on the Cam to 7d. Dreadful, like the M25 and heaving with drunk stag parties on hire boats. Took her straight back to Upware!

  27. Excellent, fun puzzle completed in one sitting which is a first. 11a my favourite but I also liked 1a and many others.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2kiwis for the hints and pics.

  28. For a third day in a row we have another gem, I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and find it’s all a dream. I don’t think anyone can find a fault with this guzzle. The only thing I didn’t know was the PC at 25a but the answer had to be with the checkers. Choosing a fave here seems a bit unfair; maybe 27a? But 11a also amused. It’s all good stuff.
    Thank you setter, I wish we had you every Wednesday, and 2Kiwis for your usual entertaining hints.

    1. Rotten mother that I am, I forgot to mention that it’s Princess Sadie’s birthday today, so please remember to raise a toast when it’s that time. Even her dogfood supplier remembered and sent her a card … hangs head in shame.

      1. Happy birthday, Sadie! Hudson sends loads of bones! Tell your mistress that I am trying to reply to her emails but my laptop has died! 🐶🐶

  29. Lively and fresh, just the job. Twm did initially spring to mind but I see he hasn’t claimed it on Twitter, which he normally does. So, presumably, it is a Robyn. Either way, twas excellent. As many have said, 11a was especially lovely. Huge thanks to the setter, and the 2Ks, of course.

  30. Another delightful day in crossword land. As Philbert says above, a crowd pleaser. Or as the song says “never was heard a discouraging word”. 11a held me up as I was convinced the definition was greengrocer. But stand out COTD for me is without doubt 27a. Huge thank you to the setter, please come back soon. And thanks to 2Kiwis for unraveling 11a.

  31. I agree. A gentle amusing puzzle. Luckily my son remembered the 25a computer. 11a was excellent, a real “in” joke and my COTD

  32. Lovely crossword amusing and solvable 😃 **/**** Favourites 17 & 24a and 7d 👍 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to the Compiler

  33. Late to the party but found this most enjoyable. The Toughie is definitely not a one star – managed just half. Thanks to everyone for both guzzles.

  34. Morning all.
    Just about to make a comment that the setter should take a bow on getting a total consensus on the enjoyment of this puzzle when along comes GMY1965 above with a disparaging one. Suppose it proves that you can’t please all the people all the time. We certainly did enjoy it all, as lots of others did too so many thanks setter and take a bow anyway.

          1. I doubt it was meant disparagingly to be fair, tone often doesn’t come across well on these forums. I love a very easy crossword, nothing wrong with that, gives the grey cells a day off 😁😂 Subjectively anyway. I must’ve been one of a tiny few who thought yesterday’s was a total toughie stinker!

    1. Agree 2Kiwis. And here I was hoping Mr Lancaster might read the above positive comments today, with nary a negative one.

    1. I think it was Inspector Morse (maybe Lewis and Hathaway) who introduced me to the Greengrocers 11a maybe GMY1965 doesn’t like the definition because he is one and knows how to use them😉

      1. I was taking the definition at face value! Honestly I’ve never heard of this phrase. So a better clue after all – apologies all 😀

  35. Many thanks to the 2Ks for their sterling untangling of everything in this fine blog, and to everyone troubling to solve and comment on the puzzle.
    I hope everyone has a great week!

  36. Very enjoyable today (Oh it’s you Robyn, someone’s won some shillings. I do always really enjoy your puzzles)

    The other week I wrote a clue for one of my future rookie efforts, based exactly on the subject of 11a 😭😭 So now I probably can’t use it. Same with 15a although I’m kicking myself I didn’t think of such a lovely Ashes connection for the word. Oh well. I’m just off to buy some new anti-Robyn firewall software 🤣🤣 (just kidding)

    Cracking blog btw 2Kiwis, loved the pics.

  37. Late to the blog as usual, this was so good I just have to add to praises if anyone is still reading this. 7d is such a brilliant clue and I now have a new reading task whenever buying pears!!! Thank you Robyn and 2Ks

  38. What an enjoyable guzzle. Plenty of head scratching but very doable. DNF because 3d defeated me. 15a is near the top but beaten by the great lurker in 4d, COTD. Many thanks to setter and 2K’s, whose hints I will now read because I need to look at some of the parsing. Let’s have more guzzles of this standard and quality – and fun!

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