DT 30458 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30458

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30458

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
The winner of the New Zealand bird of the century poll was announced this morning. It is the pūteketeke or Australasian crested grebe. We have put a photo of one at the end of this blog. It is not a bird that many people are familiar with and the story of how it came to win the election is quite long and complicated so we
won’t go into details here. Suffice it to say that the whole purpose of the election is to raise awareness NZ’s wildlife and its vulnerability and this has been achieved in spades on a global scale.
Anyway, back to today’s puzzle, which we found quite tricky in places and good fun to unpick and blog.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     Poorly ran start of marathon — is fellow past it? (10)
MISMANAGED : The first letter of marathon, ‘IS’ from the clue, another word for fellow, and then past it or old.

6a     Dropping somewhat ambitious catch (4)
SCAT : A lurker, hiding in the clue. This dropping is left behind by an animal.

9a     Cyril swapping tips for a kind of poetry (5)
LYRIC : Transpose the first and last letters of Cyril.

10a     Hound old lady with this same, oddly opinionated attitude (9)
DOGMATISM : A hound or canine, then the two letter old lady or mother and alternate letters from two words in the clue.

12a     Agreeing with mafia boss about racket getting grand (7)
NODDING : The reversal of a sobriquet for a mafia boss, a racket or loud noise and G(rand).

13a     Unlikely result, winning part of match (5)
UPSET : Winning or ahead, then part of a tennis match.

15a     Page Finn spoilt, leaving a bit of a mark (7)
PFENNIG : An anagram (spoilt) of PaGE FINN with the ‘A’ removed.

16a     Frame of silent film’s showing what cowboy may wear (7)
STETSON : The first and last letters of silent, then crossword’s favourite film with its ‘S, and a two letter word for showing or being performed.

18a     Awfully rich person wanting child, a source of Tweets? (7)
CHIRPER : An anagram (awfully) of RICH, then the word ‘person’ loses its male child.

20a     Signal before party one shouldn’t get potted (3,4)
CUE BALL : A signal or hint, and then a party or formal dance.

21a     Idiot has look around for way to get hold of stock (5)
LASSO : An ‘equine’ idiot is inside an archaic word for look.

23a     Good golfer might achieve this score (7)
SCRATCH : Another name for a handicap of zero.

25a     Player inspiring woe thrashed at Reading (9)
TRAGEDIAN : An anagram (thrashed) of AT READING.

26a    A long letter (5)
AITCH : ‘A’ from the clue and then long or desire.

27a     Give makeover to Republican Party, filled with energy (4)
REDO : R(epublican) and a two letter party surround the physics symbol for energy.

28a     What rot Sky is televising about an anticapitalist! (10)
TROTSKYIST : A lurker, hiding in the clue.


1d     Clay beneath motorway in African country (4)
MALI : The post-conversion name of boxer Clay follows M(otorway).

2d     Large plain green site for development (9)
SERENGETI : An anagram (for development) of GREEN SITE.

3d     Clumsy manner of speaking about papers lying (8-5)
ACCIDENT-PRONE : A manner of speaking that is specific to a region contains the two letters for identifying papers, then lying or prostrate.

4d     Arithmetical procedure to divide by 50 is confusing (7)
ADDLING : The Roman numeral for fifty is in the middle of a simple arithmetical procedure.

5d     Books in French, with jokes about English (7)
ENGAGES : The French equivalent of ‘in’, then jokes or cracks contain E(nglish).

7d     Shots of wedges of fried potatoes (5)
CHIPS : Golf shots played with clubs sometimes described as wedges.

8d     Work briefly with pins and needles in attractive fashion (10)
TEMPTINGLY : A word for work on a non-permanent basis and then the sensation described as pins and needles.

11d     Think chaps in Aldershot’s outskirts stop car rides here (9,4)
AMUSEMENT PARK : The first and last letters of Aldershot flank think or ponder, and fellows. Next, stop car, often at a roadside.

14d     Temperature in clear soup wrong, one supposes (10)
SPECULATOR : An anagram (wrong) of CLEAR SOUP contains T(emperature).

17d     Time to board a ship — get revised fare from Palermo? (9)
SPAGHETTI : An anagram (revised) of A SHIP GET contains T(ime).

19d     More dangerous run by one person going downhill (7)
RISKIER : The cricket abbreviation for run, then Roman numeral one and a person going downhill on snow.

20d     How amazing old figure turned up royal accoutrement (7)
CORONET : How amazing or ‘blimey’, then O(ld) and a number, reversed.

22d     Son and daughter cuddling brown bear (5)
STAND : A light brown colour is inside (cuddled by) S(on) and D(aughter).

24d     Tom, say, ingests hydrogen gas (4)
CHAT : What a tom is an example of contains the chemical symbol for hydrogen.

Quickie pun    farmer    +    suit    +   tickle    =    pharmaceutical

93 comments on “DT 30458
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  1. I found the NE corner a struggle for which I have no explanation. Apart from 6a, which I have not heard of, most answers were obvious once solved. It was ever thus. 2d appears to have as many ways of being clued as does “orchestra”. The lurker at 28a was very well hidden, so much so that I thought it was an anagram at first and spent too long trying to unravel it. I’m not sure where boarding a ship comes into 17d. Plenty to like and my COTD is the attractive pins and needles at 8d.

    Thank you to our Wednesday setter. It was a joyous challenge. Thank you 2Ks for the hints and congratulations to the pūteketeke!

    Lovely and sunny in The Marches today but it shows the windows need cleaning!

    1. Hi SC

      Regarding 17d, the abbreviation for Time boards (gets inside) a revised version of ‘a ship get’.

  2. Great puzzle, perfectly pitched for midweek, remembered spending 15as in Austria in the early 70s on a trip with my Grandma who was Viennese, but now it’s the dreaded Euro I suppose.
    Thought 18a was a bit flaky, but lots of other good clues made up for it.
    Last one in was 8d which was also my pick of the day.
    Sun shining here in Sandhurst, so off to continue the never ending task of raking up the leaves and chatting with the spotted woodpecker who has adapted the blue tit’s box to be his own winter residence.

    1. George speaks fondly of Sandhurst where his father was on the staff. He was only there for seven years and then both his parents died.

  3. Top end ** for me as I found the anagrams very useful in this one. I particularly enjoyed the one in 15a which was cleverly composed. Other favourites were 20a and 13a in that order. Great fun so a ****. Thanks to the setter and our Antipodean friends.

  4. Excellent! Inventive clueing throughout.
    I liked several but most worthy of mention were 26a plus 8(lol)14,17&20d with top spot going to the super five-word lurker at 28a. Good stuff.
    Many thanks to the setter and the Ks.

  5. This most enjoyable guzzle was right up my street and there was enough of an element of challenge to satisfy i thought the two long lego clues,, 3d and 17d, were good fun, as was 8d on a smallr scale. However, my COTD was the 25a anagram. Thanks to the compiler for a well-judged backpager and to the Kiwis for the hints. It’s bright sunshine and blue skies in Oxfordshire at the moment but the garden is still too dodden to work on. Hopefully the fair weather will co tinue to dry tthings out.

  6. Absolutely terrific – thoroughly enjoyed that. East was softest touch. Sport certainly featured a lot – no complaints from me but not sure about 23a being score exactly. So many goodies including 15a, 20a, 21a, 7d, 17d and 19d. Big thanks Mysteron (more of the same please) and 2Kiwis.

    1. D’oh thanks StephenL. As you obviously realised I had of course treated score as a noun but the clue is much more cleverly cryptic than that.

  7. Just flowed, slight
    Hesitation at 15a.
    Honours to above and 10
    and 20 and 28a.
    Yes, I know it is probably
    unusual to place a lurker
    On the podium but there we
    COTD? 10a.
    Many thanks to the setter and to
    The 2Kiwis, lovely pictures.

  8. Sound, light, pleasant Wednesday fare. A welcome restricted number of anagrams made for a puzzle with a pleasing variety of clue types. Many good surfaces, GK all fair and nothing esoteric. Podium places to 21a, 8d & 20d.

    <2* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks – our of interest did your votes help the Grebe win, or did you go for something else? The "rat with a toothpick" perhaps?!

    1. Hi MG

      I am interested to know about your scoring system.

      I recall you giving half marks before. So, I assume <2 means 1.75?

      1. ;) Sometimes I use intervals of 0.5 (a 1—5 range lacks nuance) & sometimes the greater than & lesser than signs (typing on my phone, the blog won’t accept me using the signs themselves).

        Don’t read too much into it, Tom, they’re both entirely subjective of course, and usually mean about the same!

  9. Most entertaining with ticks all over the page. Coming out top for me were 1d, 7d and 8d.

    We were once waiting for a holiday flight to Sicily at the comically named Aberdeen “International” Airport. The announcer, more used to Heathrow and Sumburgh, repeatedly called our destination “Palmero” (17d). We now deliberately mispronounce it too and have problems saying it correctly.

    A couple of golf related clues to rub salt in the wounds of those of us who are sidelined at the moment.

    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  10. I loved this. Any problems were of my own making. Had I spelt Pfennig correctly 3d would have fallen much more quickly and as my golf knowledge is non-existent 23a was my LOI, though I should have seperated the word ‘score’ and I may have got there sooner. That said I have ticks everywhere, far too many for a podium. I’ll pick out 26a, 28a, 8d, 17d, 20d and 22d with mention for the quickie pun. Thanks to the setter for the pleasure and the 2 Kiwis for the beautifully illustrated blog.

  11. Much enjoyed but struggled with the cornish corner – got there in the end.
    Thanks as ever to the 2 Kiwis and the setter.
    Well done to my favourite Grebe – only seen the Oz version – even with international help

  12. Enjoyable puzzle, loved 17d. I once saw a great crested grebe at Swithland water in Leicestershire. Thanks to CS and today’s setter.

  13. Splendid.

    A perfect midweek challenge that should be within reach of most solvers. Some superb surfaces with the parsing of the second part of 18a defeating me.

    My podium is 26a (simple but clever), 28a (a brilliant lurker) with the gold going to 1d as its capital reads ”Bam! A KO” which is what he did in Africa in 1974.

    Many thanks to Le Touquet and setter.


  14. Nowt wrong with this; a really good Wednesday crossword that I thoroughly enjoyed, with the stupendous lurker at 28a my top clue. Great stuff.

    Thanks setter for a fun challenge and the 2Ks.

  15. I loved this one. Clever wordplay to amuse us, but 15a probably a mystery for the young. I wonder whether DT crosswords are specifically aimed at us (talking ‘bout my generation).

  16. 6a is not in my list of favourite words; I always cringe when it appears!

    Many thanks to the setter for an enjoyable puzzle, and to the 2Ks for the write-up.

    Waiting to hear who is the toughie setter for today before I decide whether to have a look or not.

    1. Gila’s on Toughie duty today. Pretty chewy I thought. And I’m looking forward to CS explaining the latter chunk of 1a later. Tis beyond me. Loved this though, surely set by one of my favourites. Just the job. Thanks to him (presumably) and the 2Ks, of course.

  17. Very nicely constructed puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. 8d was the last to fall and went straight to the top of my leader board.

    Thanks to our setter (Robyn?) and to our 2Ks for the review. Interesting news about your avian winner – such a common sight here that we can easily forget that other parts of the world haven’t got as many. Their ‘humbug’ chicks are absolutely delightful.

  18. Absolutely delighted for all pūteketekes everywhere. I haven’t notiuced any commenting here but nontheless I hope they have a glorious day of celebration. The podiceps cristatus gathers little attention as it goes about its day to day business – awaking late and pottering about before strolling to its club for luncheon; perhaps a nap in the afternoon before accompanying some bright young thing to the music hall.
    Here in the United Kingdom we keep a low profile in relation to the pūteketeke, as we hunted it almost into extinction so that ladies could wear its plumes in their hats at Ascot week. I suspect they have not yet forgiven us.

    Cheery crossword – thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    1. This has to be a contender for ‘Post of the year’.

      Absolutely superb. Extremely random but superb.

      El Tel, I salute you.

  19. A top-drawer puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. Many thanks to our Wednesday setter and 2Ks.
    It’s difficult to restrict my podium to three from such a fine set of clues but I’ll go for 21a, 28a and 20d.

  20. Everyone seems to have enjoyed this as much as we did. Spiffing. I thought 15a was brilliant, also marked 1 &28a and 2,27&20d. I have to say the large plain jumped out at me but still a clever working if an old favourite. It was first class Wednesday fare. I am proud of myself for getting the sporty ones, but kicking myself for knocking myself off my perch at Wordle. I got four letters in the first go and worked my way down replacing the first letter without success. Grrr. Off now to take down the poppy installation as the weather forecast is not looking good for Thursday. Many thanks to the clever Setter & The 2Ks. PS the quickie pun was nice too.

      1. I took all six goes to get Wordle.I got all letters except the first on the second line. There were seven options and no skill involved, just luck. My daughter did much better as she got the first letter in the second line.

  21. A very nice Wednesday puzzle, Fine clues, for me a smidgen above average difficulty and an enjoyable solve. Favourite clue: the great lurker at 28a. 3*/4*.

  22. Another tricky Wednesday puzzle I thought this week. Some clues hard to parse and others hard to fathom, but some of it came ok. A mixed bag today for me.


    Favourites include 5a, 28a, 4d, 7d, 8d & 19d — with winner 7d

    Thanks to setter & 2K’s for hints/blog

  23. Oh dear, after yesterdays superb puzzle this is a real step down. Some very odd clues such as 18a, 11d and 26a (weird!).
    15a and 20a did lift it a little but overall I thought this a poor effort. If the setter is Robyn I don’t think it is up to her usual high standard.
    Thx for the hints

    1. Hi Brother Ian.

      I had 26a as one of my three faves due so how neat and straightforward it is.

      ‘Weird’ is the last word I’d’ve used.


      1. Talking of “weird”, have you encountered the magnificent “Weird Al” Yankovic? He is a creator of parodies of contemporary music videos, often with a satirical underlying message. A great example is “Eat It” based on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”.

        Here is another – “Word Crimes”, an excellent piece based on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”.

        1. Love it. Thank you, RD.

          A very slick piece of work other than the shocking ‘gotten’.

          Wanna, gonna and gotten were solely stateside for yonks (or should that be ‘yonkers’) but I hear and, more depressingly, see them in Old Blighty all the time now.

          Weord Al Yankovic has a big dic……tionary.


        2. That is absolutely wonderful, thank you RD! I’ve known of WAY for many years but had never encountered that particular parody. He and his writers are very witty lyricists.

        3. Weird Al is all kinds of awesome. Not far off Tom Lehrer in terms of all-time greatness. “Pretty Fly for a Rabbi” is hilarious, and the video for “Smells like Nirvana” has unsurpassed level of technical detail. In “Amish Paradise” he even filmed a scene singing lyrics backwards so they could use a reverse piece of footage with the correct lip-synch. Legend 🎖️🎖️🎖️

      1. I guess that if you aspirate your Hs, then 26a is going to sound odd.

        Oops – have just read the posts below in comment 26. Ah well.

  24. I forgot to mention that I particularly appreciated the educational value to some – not our august membership of course – of 26a. I despair of those who pronounce the letter with a preceding H: haitch😣

    Bah. Humbug

    1. I assume you mean ‘Ba umbug’.

      I love the irony when I talk to someone in HR and they say…’Good morning, Haitch R. Can I help you?

      1. Simon Heffer (in his book Simply English: An A-Z of Avoidable Errors) thinks they are incorrect, certainly in the case of history. People used to pronounce hotel with a silent ‘h’ as the French do, but he says hotel is now a fully anglicised word and pronouncing it with a silent h is considered affectation.

  25. I much enjoyed this puzzle where very little was immediately obvious and the dropping pennies made a din like hail on a tin roof. Thanks to Robyn and the 2Ks.

    The New Zealand bird of the century poll made the national news in Canada this morning with reports focusing on the issue of foreign interference in national elections — a hot button topic here lately.

  26. I did wonder about the appearance of a great crested grebe at the end of the hints but all was made clear. One year, on Mothering Sunday I gave my mother a watercolour of the grebe mother carrying her chick. So appropriate and delightful. Great puzzle giving a lot of pleasure. Please spare us the extra H in 26 across because it just isn’t and shouldn’t be there.Many thanks to all.

  27. Super guzzle – anything with snooker & golf in it is ok in my book. Ticks aplenty – 10,15,20,25&28a along with 8&17d particular 👍s. Hard to look beyond the terrific lurker for top spot.
    Thanks to the setter (reckon Robyn but wouldn’t go all in) & to the 2Ks

  28. Good afternoon

    A delightfully witty set of clues this afty. I wasn’t 100% sure about 6a, but then remembered the noun “6a-ology”; fell down parsing 1d and had to slap my forehead and cry “d’oh!” when I read the hints!

    Several contenders for COTD; 17d takes it.

    My thanks to our compiler and to 2Ks.

  29. Many thanks to 2Ks and to the setter for an excellent puzzle – some very clever clueing, and a pleasure to solve.

    This is one of the few times I managed to get to the puzzle at a reasonable hour, normally it’s too late to post here. So a blanket thanks to all setters and bloggers for all their wonderful work since I last posted.

  30. Just to be different, I found this very tricky. Fortunately there were enough gimmes to be able to put ehelp to use. I had a problem parsing once I got the word, so many bung ins. I just wasn’t on wavelength. Fave was 28a, that takes the prize for lurkers. Tomorrow is Thursday and then Friday, Saturdays are turning into Toughies too, very depressing. Plus we’ve got grey skies and flood warnings for the next couple of days, how can it get worse?
    Thank you setter, your unravelling many was much appreciated 2Kiwis.

  31. Morning all.
    Looks like our setter has hit the mark again with lots of satisfied solvers.
    A bit surprised to see that many were held up with 6a. Perhaps we should have put a picture for that one (we did consider it) but decided there were other more tasteful possibilities to use.

  32. I am in the tricky/tough camp for this one.

    Maybe I am just grumpy as we are back in dismal, dreich Scotland after a week of glorious warm sunshine (all but one day) in lovely Nice. The drive back from the airport in torrential rain on very wet and slippery roads with huge puddles in the black dark was one that we did not relish. We had a marvellous time there…a great pick-me-up before the worst of the winter.

    Favourite clue for me was 8d.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

    1. JB, 9a also brought to mind for me Cyril Fletcher telling us to “pin back your lugholes odd ode number one coming up”!

  33. No hold ups for me this evening, smoothly cruising through and picking the missing answers on second or third reading. Anyone who pronounces 26a with an H is a hignoramus. My pet hates are the(e) and th(u)e and a and an used wrongly, how anyone can say ‘a apple’ is beyond me. There are plenty of Great Crested Grebes in Leicestershire, I can’t remember the last time I saw one of their smaller cousins, although I dare say if I put myself out and went to Rutland Water or Priory Water I could see a few. Favourite was 20a because I was led up the garden (gardening) path. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  34. Found this quite chewy today, but battled on with the help of the excellent clues, thanks to the 2K’s for these.

    I was all chuffed at thinking 26a was “QUEUE” …long letter, it fits, but 11d soon saw to that.

    Living quite close to Lough Neagh, we see a lot of pūteketekes as it is home to Ireland’s largest breeding population.

  35. I really enjoyed this fun puzzle and 8d was my favourite. 28a was a great lurker.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2 Kiwis

  36. I did not share the enthusiasm of most solvers. I found it a little dull. I managed to fill all the squares – the little German coin was the last penny to drop and a good clue.Also liked 1 10 and 26 across. Nothing weird about the latter. Clearly Brian failed to parse it. 1 3 and 8d also caught my eye, 8 being the best.I had never heard of 6a but it had to be what it was. Thanks anyway to Robyn and 2Ks. From first run through I thought I may need hints. I didn’t but a bit of an uphill struggle.

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