DT 30480 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30480

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30480

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from Almoradí where summer has returned!  Average high temperature here in December is 17°C but Saturday we had 25°C, yesterday 27°C and it’s forecast to be the same today and tomorrow!  Cools down very quickly after sunset though and we do have a light duvet on the bed so it’s not really summer.

I’m going for Campbell as today’s setter as there are three puns in the Quickie and he’s back to his usual elegant style.  It’s not very taxing, and there are a couple of long anagrams to give plenty of checkers, but there are a couple of head scratchers to keep us on our toes.  Hope you all enjoyed it.

As usual my podium three are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought..


1a           Second casual remark about regular type of rugby game (5-1-4)
SEVEN A SIDE:  S(econd) and a casual remark or digression placed around a word meaning regular and then split (5-1-4).

6a           Primate carrying son in church recess (4)
APSE:  S(on) inserted into (carrying) a primate.

10a        Ship‘s policy read at the start (5)
LINER:  A policy and an R (Read at the start) to get a passenger ship.

11a        See 15 Across

12a        Close deal over a drink late on (8)
NIGHTCAP:  A slightly dated word meaning close or near followed by a deal or alliance but it’s reversed (over).

13a        Discussion group intended to reach university members primarily (5)
FORUM:  A word which can mean “intended to reach” followed by the first letters (primarily) of University Members.

15a & 11a           Community theatre perhaps traumatic, as dream shattered (7,9)

17a        Composer‘s new look (7)
NOVELLO:  a word meaning new (5) followed by a two letter word, popular in crosswords, meaning look.  This is possibly his best known song . . .

19a        Herb, dear in Paris and centre of Seville (7)
CHERVIL:  The French word for dear followed by the middle letters (centre of) from Seville.

21a & 27a           Amazingly, nephew so right not to concede defeat (5,2,3,6)
THROW IN THE SPONGE:  Anagram (amazingly) of NEPHEW SO RIGHT NOT.  Personally I’ve always thought it was a towel that had this done to it.

22a        Article on revolutionary investor (5)
ANGEL:  An indefinite article followed by the ON side in cricket but reversed (revolutionary).

24a        Silly mates hiding your old gemstone (8)
AMETHYST:  Anagram (silly) of MATES placed around (hiding) an old word for your.

27a        See 21 Across

28a        Trap northern elk heading off (5)
NOOSE:  N(orthern) followed by an elk without its first letter (heading off).

29a        Assess offer a tender contains (4)
RATE:  A lurker hiding (contains) in OFFER A TENDER

30a        Measuring device for farm vehicle (10)
PROTRACTOR:  A device for measuring angles is a word meaning for or in favour of followed by a farm vehicle.


1d           Only one type of music on the radio (4)
SOLE:  A word meaning only one or single sounds like (on the radio) a type of music.  And here’s a bit of that sort of music . . .

2d           Justify being very mean (9)
VINDICATE:  V(ery) followed by a word meaning to mean or point out.

3d           Girl from Bognor, a hairdresser (5)
NORAH: Another lurker in (from) the last three words of the clue.

4d           Cocktail is sent over — beloved cabaret’s beginning inside (7)
SIDECAR:  The IS from the clue reversed (sent over) followed by a word meaning beloved with a C (Cabaret’s beginning) inserted (inside).

5d           Notice father in study, expressionless (7)
DEADPAN:  Two letters for a notice or advert and two letters for your father are inserted into (in) one of the usual words for study.

7d           Earlier monastery, incomplete (5)
PRIOR:  A type of monastery without its last letter (incomplete).

8d           Where racing takes place has mopeds staggered at the start (5,5)
EPSOM DOWNS:  You need a word meaning has or possesses and before it (at the start) put an anagram (staggered) of MOPEDS and then split the result (5,5) to get a place where horse racing takes place.

9d           Play causing complaint? (3,5)
HAY FEVER:  Double definition of a play by Noel Coward.

14d        Female politician, a canny sort on the rampage (5,5)
NANCY ASTOR:  The first woman MP is an anagram (on the rampage) of A CANNY SORT.

16d        Stationery item? Penelope quietly removed about five (8)
ENVELOPE:  Take the letter indicating quietly in musical notation off Penelope (quietly removed) and put what’s left around (about) the Roman numeral for five.
18d        Deepest of three originally in port (9)
LOWESTOFT:  A word meaning deepest or furthest down followed by the OF from the clue and a T (Three originally).

20d        Student left job that makes a nice bit of money? (7)
LEARNER:  L(eft) followed by a slang term for a job which makes a lot of money.  Nice to see the the student as definition rather than just an L in the wordplay!

21d        European in danger on that account (7)
THEREAT:  Another word for a danger or peril with an E(uropean) inserted (in).

23d        Visitor suspected, reportedly (5)
GUEST:  This visitor sounds like (reportedly) a word meaning suspected or estimated.

25d        Dye layer navy (first half) (5)
HENNA:  A layer (of eggs) followed by the first two letters (first half) of NAvy.

26d        Rare new breed (4)
REAR:  Anagram (new) of RARE.

Podium today is 24a, 1d and 20d with 1d on the top step.

Quick crossword puns:

Top Line:      SUITE     +     HART     =     SWEETHEART

Middle line:     FOUGHT     +     KNIGHT     =     FORTNIGHT

Bottom line:     STAY     +     PULLS     =     STAPLES

78 comments on “DT 30480
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  1. This was more like the Campbell we all know and love! I thoroughly enjoyed today’s offering with its good mix of clue levels. I was held up in the southeast for a while because I was trying to end 18d with “most”. The only clue I couldn’t quite parse was 8d. I got the answer from the checkers but have no idea how it works. Plenty to like, though, and my COTD is the trapped elk at 28a.

    Many thanks for the fun, Campbell. Thank you, pommers for the hints which I will now look at to see how 8d works. Ok – got it now! 😁

  2. I thought this was generally enjoyable enough but nothing to write home about.
    For me 3d was a bit weak, plus I suspect there aren’t many girls called that these days, contributing to a bit of a dated feel overall.
    Favourite was 12a.
    Many thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  3. Enjoyable start to the week,favourite was12a followed by 17a. liked the wordplay in 8d
    19a was a new herb to me.
    Agree with Pommers **/***
    Found the 3 puns for a change.

  4. It’s Monday :good: It’s a triple pun Campbell :good: **/****

    Candidates for favourite – 22a, 2d, and 13d – and the winner is 2d.

    Thanks to Campbell and pommers.

  5. Probably one of if not the quickest solve for many years, with absolutely no hold-ups or head-scratching necessary. The 21/27 combination anagram was very neat, but my favourite was another anagram, 24a.

    Thanks too Campbell and pommers.

  6. A gentle and solid if unremarkable puzzle, enjoyable while it lasted; sound surfaces, too many anagrams, a bit dated. The laurels go to 18d.

    1* / 2.5*

    Many thanks to Campbell & Pommers.

  7. 1.5*/3*. Enjoyable Monday fare although I spent too long trying to work out how TCP = deal in 12a not realising that the “a” was surface padding and not part of the wordplay. The construction of 25a leads to a bit of a clunky surface.

    On the plus side, I ticked 17a, 21a/27a, 22a, 1d & 2d.

    Many thanks to Campbell and to pommers.

    1. RD, 12a. As far as I am aware, the “a” is a legitimate part of the phrasal definition and not gratuitous surface padding. However, quite incidentally, it does help/enhance the surface read.

  8. A gentle */*** pleasant start to the week. Oodles of accessible anagrams and the GK was luckily ok. Enjoyed 24&30a but my COTD was 25d. Thanks pommers and the setter.

  9. Some strange ones today, I’ve been into boxing all my life, and never heard the last word in 27a used, it’s always something much larger and flatter. Also never heard of 22a used in that context before, live and learn I suppose.
    All in all very enjoyable though, liked 1a and 10a today, ta to setter for an easy Monday ride.

      1. In the financial world, angels (or business angels) are individuals who invest their own money in a business in return for a minority stake.

  10. A pleasant and gentle start to the week – thanks to Campbell and pommers.
    Like others I’m more used to seeing a different symbol of defeat in 21/27a.
    For my podium I’ve selected 1a, 12a and 22a.

  11. Gosh, a real curate’s thingy! Thought it was going to be a Monday write-in, but got stuck on some. Needed pommers to parse 8d for me, and all the checkers to get the 14d lady. Joint faves are 18d where my bro went to college and 1d, mainly for pommer’s hint, which is on my all time favourite playlist!
    Thanks to Campbell and v many thanks to pommers!

    1. I like the 1d too. Did you see the YouTube version where they had people around the world singing it? I’m always amazed at the timing that must be involved in those clips.

  12. Not too taxing a way to start the week.

    Like a few others, I saw 21/27a and noticed the W in the anagram and immediately filled in the answer with towel only to find I had an extra space to fill – that’ll teach me to not to read the clue properly – with words from my schooldays “ read the question” ringing in my ears I worked out the final word and hadn’t heard that expression before but obviously it makes sense as I do remember boxing seconds using sponges as well as towels.

  13. Needed a gentle one today, the grandchildren are apparently coming over to ‘bake something’ this afternoon!
    Quite familiar with both suggested final words in 27a so that didn’t cause any problems. Favourite was 12a with a mention for 24a.

    Thanks to Campbell and to pommers for the review.

  14. Add me to those more used to conceding defeat with something else. Heaven knows why but after a virtual ✍️ in I just couldn’t see last in 14d until twigging the blindingly obvious indicator. An enjoyable enough start to the week though perhaps not one of Campbell’s finest guzzles. 2d my fav.
    Thanks to Campbell & to pommers

  15. Thanks to Campbell for a very enjoyable puzzle – just enough head scratching for me. And thanks to Pommers for the hints which I did not need, but always enjoy reading.

  16. Well, here we are, and it’s Monday and seems like a Campbell puzzle to me. Pretty straightforward and no obscure words that I found. Completed from top to bottom with SE last area to finish … which seems an appropriate place to put 18d … my favourite as it is just south of the town where we lived for many years in Norfolk.

    1.5*/4* for me.

    List of favourites included 1a, 24a, 30a, 9d & 18d.
    Thought clues for 24a, 30a & 9d were clever too.

    Thanks to Campbell & pommers

  17. Much more to my liking than this weekends offerings. Remarkably enjoyable for a Campbell. My last in was 21d, not sure I have come across this word before. My fav was definitely 21a and 27a just as soon as I got towel out of my head!
    Thx to all

  18. A lovely puzzle. I had not heard of the use of thing that is thrown in 27a nor had I seen the answer to 22a in that context or 19a or 21d so I was relieved when my iPad told me it was all correct.
    Thanks to the setter and for the hints.

  19. What a treat, exactly how the week should begin. I also finished the quickie and found the three puns, so feeling a bit smug. I know nothing about boxing but I had heard of the one in 21/27a as an alternative to towel. I had to use ehelp for 18d. Lots to like, I’m just the right age group who knows 17a and 9d! Lots to like, my birthstone is 24a. Fave is 14d, every time she comes up I remember her niece Joyce Grenfell, what a character.
    Thank you Campbell for the fun and pommers for unravelling a few.

  20. After being rudely awakened early by a sales text (now blocked), I was sadly disappointed this morning, in hoping for a birthday treat from Campbell. Knowing next to nothing about Rugby, other than the main two types, I was never going to get 1a, and never heard of the 17a composer. As for 21a, like Pommers, I have only heard it as towel, and never as sponge. So a bit disheartening to be honest. But never mind, off to favourite restaurant for dinner tonight so day should end better than it’s started. On the plus side, I got Wordle in 2, increasing my current streak to 171 ☺️. Thanks to Campbell and to Pommers.

      1. Thanks. It does make it a bit more stressful, like yesterday when I didn’t get it right until the 6th word, and thought I would be going back to zero.

  21. Thanks for the teaser. The cricket ‘on’, the ‘layer’, the ‘has’ in the racecourse clue, angel and thereat, I thought were all nicely challenging aspects to an otherwise fairly straightforward and inviting puzzle

  22. Back to the Monday standard puzzle that we all know and love, well most of us. Never heard of the coward play but it had to be. All these “ a bit dated remarks” are becoming a bit tiresome. I always thought the composer was welsh but that song has a Scottish feel to it. No comment from TDS yet, has he abandoned us. Thanks to all.

    1. Good evening, ‘DG the Lesser’. *

      I was on my travels, aujourd hui, and have just returned (see my post at the end)

      I don’t know if you like wordy quizzes but I’ll be asking one, demain.

      * Nothing personal, you understand. But, we’re all ‘Lesser’ when Day Zee is around.

    2. I completely agree about your ‘dated’ remark, btw. I don’t get it, at all.

      I like expressions, things or people from a few years ago that aren’t used very often these days. In fact, I sometimes add an extra star to my rating if they are goodies, especially if it’s Graeme Garden, the best of the three by a country mile (not up for discussion)

      What a truly bonkers but wonderful programme that was.

        1. I need to go on to YouTube to watch
          some episodes as I haven’t seen any since the 70s.

          They don’t make ‘em like they used ter!

  23. Did half of this before going to the gym and managed the rest on my return. Got stuck on 21d though. A good start to the week. Thankyou Campbell and Pommers, very wet here in Cheshire we could do with some of that Spanish warmth. Happy Birthday BuzyLizzie.

  24. Excellent tight clues with the measuring instrument as my favourite. That rugby format is so exciting to watch … those players are so fast!

  25. Having completed a job that I have put off doing for far too long, ie taking apart our oven glass doors and cleaning them this afternoon, today’s crossword puzzle was really nice to settle down with and relax for a wee while. Not at all taxing, but most enjoyable. Loved the longer clues but my favourites were18d (I’ll be there next weekend doing our Santa run) and 8d. Thanks to Campbell and Pommers – not jealous of your weather . . . . . . much, lol, lol.

      1. I thought the same, Merusa. I checked it out both online and in the instruction booklet that came with the appliance and I was surprised how simple it was. It really was worth the effort I can tell you :-) :-) It might even get done a little more often now I feel brave enough to tackle it.

  26. Good evening
    A good solve today, pitched just at the correct level. 4d takes the award for COTD.
    True story: I had a lovely chat with a passenger on one of the trains I was working this afty. We were talking about customers who, er, often appear lacking in the braincell department: mine are standard class ticket holders who “don’t know” they’re sitting in First – really? Hers are people who can’t multiply the price of a T-shirt by 2 or 3. “T-shirts?”, I asked, “what kind of T-shirts?” She replied that she sold merch at John Otway gigs. John Otway is still gigging! Excellent! However, a thought occurs: shouldn’t John Otway merch be really free?

    1. V funny Shangaji
      I saw John Otway at Fairports Cropredy Convention a few years ago, he needs to sell lots of “merch” to pay for the endless plasters after giving the mike “eadbutts”

  27. A pleasant Monday run through happily on my wavelength.
    My favourites today were 24a, 30a and 18d, with 18d pipping it.
    I have slight unease with 9d as a clue as “play” seems such a broad universe to choose from, but in this case it was clear from the checkers and did not mar my enjoyment of the puzzle.

  28. Either side of some light torturing by the dental hygienist that was a Monday Masterpiece The 15/11a anagram was one of those clues that sings out without checking the fodder
    Thanks to pommers and Campbell

  29. I think it has all been said, a lovely start to the week with only 22a needing explaining as I was stumped as to the parsing, should have known it was cricket related!

    Many thanks to Campbell and to Pommers for the hints

  30. Glad of an easy and enjoyable ride with this puzzle because I’m doing most of the cooking for our Christmas lunch for 60 at the Arts Soc. tomorrow. It is served cold so all the prepping has to be done today . Liked the composer, the female politician and the place for racing. Many thanks to Campbell and Pommers.

  31. V late to the party.

    A nice start to the week as it should be. When it comes to pitching the level correctly for a Monday, Campbell never fails…..leave it.

    Re 21a/27a expression, I was convincing myself that ‘throw in the towels’ was what the seconds do when the boxer is having a complete nightmare. Getting 14d put paid to that. Going from Penelope to Envelope wasn’t the biggest ask, it has to be said.

    I assume it’s okay to say a couple of answers at the fag end of proceedings?

    Whenever I see Lowestoft, I always think of the classic quiz question which I’m sure many of you will know, assuming you’re still up, of course (at least I know there is one solver reading this…’After 10pm’ which is a brilliant alias)

    My podium is 24a, 5d & 8d.

    Many thanks to the mincing dinger and Pommers.


  32. A very enjoyable puzzle today. Having been involved with a 15a 11a group many years ago, where I did the lighting for a production of 9d, these were my favourites.

    Thanks to Campbell for setting and pommers for the (un-required) hints.

  33. Been busy all day and just wrote this one in. Only one I paused over was 21d my last one in. Had the same problem as others with 21/27. Realised towel did not fit so then sorted the letters I had left. Favs. 13 19 and 24a and 5 8 and 16d. Thanks Campbell and Pommers.

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