DT 30578 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30578

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30578

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Our time is all over the place this week. As UK clocks have now changed, the puzzles come on line one hour earlier for us now and this will change again next week as our clocks will also have been  adjusted. As well as this there was a hospital eye clinic appointment to be fitted into today’s schedule. No doubt it will all fit together smoothly and this will appear promptly at 11am as normal.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a     That lady’s family in extremely grievous pickles (8)
GHERKINS : The first and last letters of grievous enclose a pronoun meaning that lady’s, and family or relations.

5a     The setter, after work, swallowed painkiller (6)
OPIATE : String together an artistic work, a pronoun the setter uses for himself and then swallowed or consumed.

9a     Geordie or Cockney, say, in charge of some philosophy (9)
DIALECTIC : What Geordie and Cockney are examples of, then the two letters for in charge.

11a     Whizz in Rolls-Royce for fast driver (5)
RACER : The initial letters of Rolls-Royce contain a whizz or expert.

12a     One’s fired speculator before case of embezzlement (6)
BULLET : A stock market speculator and the first and last letters of embezzlement.

13a     Fresh dessert European covered in chopped mint (8)
IMPUDENT : A short name for a stodgy dessert and E(uropean) are inside an anagram (chopped) of MINT.

15a     Blimey! Sunak at dances in very distinctive fashion (13)
UNMISTAKEABLY : An anagram (dances) of BLIMEY SUNAK AT.

18a     Order bit of cash, hosting upper-class Republicans in DC (6,7)
DIRECT CURRENT : Order or command, then a small coin in New Zealand (or USA) encloses the letter for upper class, and R(epublicans) twice.

22a     Staff in good Post Office entertained by funny fella (8)
FLAGPOLE : An anagram (funny) of FELLA surrounds the abbreviations for good and Post Office.

23a     Try mostly heavy, ornate kind of font (6)
GOTHIC : A try or attempt and a word meaning heavy or stodgy without its last letter.

26a     Defence from gangster, one getting bail occasionally (5)
ALIBI : The first name of crossword’s favourite gangster, the Roman numeral one and the first and third letters of bail.

27a     Mushy peas, chips and rocket (9)
SPACESHIP : An anagram (mushy) of PEAS CHIPS.

28a     Indicate peculiar need to grasp part of the Bible (6)
DENOTE : An anagram (peculiar) of NEED contains a significant section of the Bible.

29a     It lessens the shock of landing reckless mother in court (5-3)
CRASH-MAT : The abbreviation for court surrounds reckless or indiscreet and a familiar term for mother.


1d     Grandpa, oddly fit, is a pleasure-seeker (8)
GADABOUT : Alternate letters in Grandpa and fit as a temporary medical event.

2d     Message of half-hearted Austen work I put on line (5)
EMAIL : Remove one of the central letters from a Jane Austen novel, then ‘I’ from the clue and L(ine).

3d     Footballers who save energy run into stores (7)
KEEPERS : Stores as a verb contains E(nergy) and R(un).

4d     Some broken IT, school head’s problem (4)
NITS : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

6d     Saucy R&B covers you heard creating trouble (7)
PERTURB : Saucy or insolent, then the letter that sounds like ‘you’ followed by R and B.

7d     Model made by Jaguar with dome on top (9)
ARCHETYPE : An architectural two-dimensional dome and a famous Jaguar marque.

8d     Slips water rat among cages (6)
ERRATA : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

10d     German car parts arrive for business (8)
COMMERCE : The short form of the name of a German car divides a synonym for arrive.

14d     Lloyd-Webber musical touring clubs everybody boos (8)
CATCALLS : The feline musical contains the card players’ abbreviation for clubs and a word meaning everybody.

16d     What Buddhists do, lacking time for conflict resolution (9)
MEDIATION : Remove a T(ime) from a classic Buddhist practice.

17d     Cattle overturned lid for soup pan (8)
STOCKPOT : A collective word for cattle or other farmed animals and then the reversal of a lid or cap.

19d     Rip neat pants? Put another coat on (7)
REPAINT : An anagram (pants) of RIP NEAT.

20d     Queen’s following king loudly drinking a couple of rounds — they’re on the house (7)
ROOFERS : In the order they appear in the answer we have the abbreviation for the Latin word for king, two ’round’ letters, the musical symbol for loudly, the late queen’s regnal cypher with its ‘S.

21d     American, with help, eats starters of fowl roasted like a chicken (6)
AFRAID : The single letter abbreviation for American and help or assistance enclose the first letters of fowl and roasted.

24d     Lacking in interest, laugh and sing softly (2-3)
HO-HUM : A two letter laugh, then sing softly like a bee does.

25d     They might perform a duet or piano melody (4)
PAIR : The letter musicians use for ‘piano’ then melody or tune.

Quickie pun    fee    +    ask    +    owes     =    fiascos

100 comments on “DT 30578
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  1. A good misdirection in 15a was the highlight in this fun **/**** offering with only a few anagrams and lurkers. 9a also top notch I thought. Needed the hints to fully comprehend the answer to 25d so thanks the 2K’s and of course our setter.

  2. This was very much one of those puzzles where, if you followed the instructions to the letter, the answers followed swiftly afterwards. There seemed to be a fair bit of Lego involved, yet no obscurities or unknowns, just solid clues throughout. 9a and 7d shared the honours.

    Thanks to our midweek setter and the 2Ks.

  3. Like YS says, follow the instructions and all will be revealed but I thought it bordered on being 24d – 3*/2.5*

    Favourite – 9a.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  4. Done and flipping
    Many a chuckle, eg 1a and
    COTD 10d, from many
    So, **/4*
    Thanks setter and the 2Kiwis.

  5. I too thought it wasn’t quite as “Brilliant” as yesterday but I still enjoyed it until I remembered I forgot (can you remember forgetting?) to prepare the review for ST 113
    Thanks to the Kiwis and setter

  6. A gentle midweeker that should please most punters.

    Rishi’s had a great run in crosswords since his tenure. Who knew the letters of his name were in so many words!

    For some reason, I really like 6d as a word. I think it’s because I’m a fan of words ending b but not as much as those ending with a p as it’s such a great letter, quite rightly, appearing in many onomatopoeias.

    Talking of ‘with a p’, that reminds me of a great story someone told me whose surname is Thompson. When she gave her name on the phone, she said ‘Thompson with a p’. Two days later, the letter arrived, addressed to Nicola Thompson-Witherby.


    My podium is 22a, 7d and 10d.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2 Ks.


  7. There have been so many times in life when I have questioned whether there really can be a higher being; a supreme authority who created life and is therefore, perhaps, responsible for all that surrounds us. Some people with faith believe in free will, allowing the god-like figure some slack. It is a question that has exhausted the finest minds for millennia.

    We can, however, bring all of those debates to a close with one simple question.
    If there is a God, why would he, she, or it, allow the production of 1a? These slimy little fellows are, possibly, the work of a devil figure, to be slipped into fast food burger configurations to cause us all misery in our lives. Only a satanic figure would consider ‘fermenting’ an already vile product in a container of (the worst word in the language is approaching) brine.

    ‘Brine’ is a word (like 1a itself) that makes one shudder.
    BRINE – it is the onomatopoeia of lexicography. It has the resonance of ‘gunk’ or ‘gunge’ and yet some being at some time decided they would make our increasingly challenging lives so very much worse by storing baby cucumbers in this (I hate to type the word) brine.
    Not only that, but to to then follow that by encouraging merchants to sell this stuff and call it 1a (in itself an unattractive word) is surely enough to bring that debate about the notion of a higher authority right back to the starting gate.

    Tricky guzzle; I needed help from New Zealand for a couple.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays.

    1. You don’t need burgers for 1a, Terence, just a pickle fork, a decent cheddar, and some good thin cheese biscuits: absolutely delicious, and the cheddar and biscuits are optional: omitting these does not make a 1a any less wonderful! ;)

      For our own version of KFC we brine pieces of chicken for a day before marinading them in spiced buttermilk for a further day; finally, rolled in spiced flour, shallow-fried and oven-baked, the meat is then beautifully tender from the brining and buttermilk. Great stuff, brine!

      1. At the sight of a little cucumber
        Mustafa wakes from his slumber.
        With brine and with cheese
        He’s easy to please
        And soon will be dancing the rumba.

    2. Absolutely love gherkins
      Their twangy taste is, indeed, divine.
      Insist upon them with every kind of burger, hotdogs and
      fish and chips.
      Thank you God for brine.

  8. 2*/2.5*. Nothing here to frighten or to excite the horses.

    9s was my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  9. My kind of crossword. Not too many anagrams and plenty of, what I call, truly cryptic clues. With 1a straight in you know I’m already in a good mood. I found the top a little less taxing than the bottom half, but, on the whole, just right for the middle of the week. I can’t believe I’m choosing an anagram as favourite but the indicator in 27a was so superbly apposite that it takes top spot. The other podium places are taken by 1d and 10d. Thanks to today’s setter and the 2 Kiwis.

  10. Light and gently amusing while it lasted. Tend to agree with Senf that it verged on the 24d. Some good surfaces (eg 15a) but for me the highlights were 6d, 7d, & 16d.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks

  11. I’m rather surprised at the generally lukewarm reception this puzzle has received so far. I thought it was excellent with some cracking and amusing clues. Thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    From a lot of ticks I’ll pick out 1d, 4d, 7d and 10d.

    1. So glad you agree. I’m behind as I only started this last night (Friday 5/4) but found it great fun. So pleased also because these are just the sort of clues I write – especially full anagrams like ‘Blimey! Sunak at dances…’ and ‘Mushy peas and rocket…’

      I know solvers like to be tested but some of us like to be entertained too. I haven’t sent a puzzle to Rookie Corner for some time but, despite the odd clueing mistake, I usually received kind comments regarding the fun and ingenuity seen in my clues.

      Whoever the setter was here, he or she is definitely a kindred spirit.

  12. Super puzzle, very enjoyable. Best clue for me 7d, amazing vehicle, drove one once and it frightened the bejesus out of me!
    Thx to all

    1. In my salad days, I had a beau who drove a 7d. I was allowed to drive it over Mount Diablo to Kingston once, what a trip that was!

  13. My first comment ever on this site, which I have followed for several years but have never been brave enough to post on. I solved the puzzle without help but I am amazed that no one else thought that Musket was a valid solution for 12A. That took me ages to resolve. Be gentle with me.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Nick, you ex-lurker, you.

      Good to see that you have already bonded with one of our regulars, Corky, re 12a.

    2. Don’t worry Nick, my first thought for 12a was rocket, but I just couldn’t make it work. Welcome to the blog.

    3. Welcome, Nick (you are secretly my namesake, but don’t tell anybody!)

      I had exactly the same thoughts about 12a, and I very nearly wrote MUSKET in. Some inner voice told me to hang fire, and it went in the margin.

      Happy crozzie-ing!

  14. A most enjoyable solve with a good mix of clues. I love the pickle at 1a but haven’t had any fort ages so must get some. It took me a while to get a few such as 22a. As usual, I couldn’t understand why I had struggled once I had the answers. Once again, I fell into my own trap of entering answers without fully parsing the clue and tried to put “safety net” in at 29a. Eventually I got the reckless mother and a smile was raised. My COTD is 7d.

    Thank you, setter for a great guzzle. Thank you 2Ks for the hints.

    1. SC, Your thought on 29a is nearer the mark than one of the online hint sites whose shock led to ‘haircut’. I have to say I had the second word but stupidly failed to come up with the second.

  15. Quietly comfy, I thought, with some nice clues, particularly down south. I enjoyed the surfaces in 7d and 19d but the very pleasant 10d just about takes it for me. Thanks to setter and the 2Ks.

  16. Lots to like.
    Non mentions to 1d (though though fit was iffy), 7d, 10d and 16d. Though clue of the day goes to 27a, though I did learn from my Leeds flatmate nearly 60 years ago that (Leeds) mushy peas had to be accompanied by some of Teltley’s best brew.
    Many thanks to compiler and both Kiwis.

  17. Felt somewhat sorry for our setter needing painkillers when he’s finished work – perhaps that comes with the territory?
    Top clue for me concerned the pleasure-seeking grandpa and I also smiled at the grievous pickles and the saucy R&B covers.

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

    1. New book recommendation: I’ve just finished “The Book Binder of Jericho” by Pip Williams which was as good as, but slightly different to, her “Dictionary of Lost Words”

  18. Surely an extraneous “e” has crept into 15a.
    I think the answer is misspelt.
    Otherwise great fun. Thanks to compiler and hints.

  19. 12a would have been my clue of the day if it had been the Musket that had been fired. As it is nothing else took my fancy. If there had been more dialectic in 9a then that might have been on the podium but it was a bit tame. Thanks to the 2KS and to the setter.

  20. 20d are 15a 21d of 1a. That deserves 14d. Apologies.
    Very pleasant crossword, and still available in decipherable format. I fear that will not last, but the high quality of crossword’s continues.
    Many thanks to setter and 2Kiwis.

    1. Argh! Why was the apostrophe inserted in my comment? Why, why, why?
      Who programmes spellcheck to interfere with my comments?
      Please, please bloggers don’t blame me.

    2. Also enjoyed this👍
      Regarding the move to the Puzzles Section of the app – thanks to Chris Lancaster for the fairly straightforward information on page 146 of today’s online edition.
      From tomorrow Codewords and Sudoku will be in the new Puzzles section – the crosswords will sadly follow soon as well. 😟
      I had to use it on Monday when all the puzzles were left off the digital version of the DT – the Suduko was ok on the app, but I thought the cryptic crossword version was cramped and nowhere nearly as well laid out as our current online version.
      Oh well (or 24D..) I suppose it’s what they call ‘progress’…or actually just another revenue raiser…😏

  21. Super puzzle I thought.

    1a are acceptable only if cornichon variety.

    Thanks to today’s setter and the 2Ks.

  22. I can never remember the functions of Bulls and Bears – the musk would have been a good answer. I grinned widely at 1a, unaware of Terence’s deep aversion to them. I have to say I am not over keen on them although, as a couple of potential dinner guests, we are very easy to cater for as we both eat everything. Having said that, I have yet to be presented with a dish of sheep’s eyes or crawly live things. A pretty straight forward guzzle, many thanks to the Setter and les toukays

    1. Hi Day Zee

      A bull market is when the market is on the up. So, the u of bull the u of up.

      So, if you’re feeling bullish, you think that the market is going up.

      I assume this is what you were referring to.

      1. Absolutely right. Thanks for that, a vey useful nudge. My father started me off with what were then called penny shares when I was about 18. British Anzani if I remember the name aright were the first shares he ever made me buy. They went up from 2d to 6d and Daddy said ‘sell’. When they dropped I bought in again. He taught me such a lot, but never gave me that ‘u’ hint!

        1. Glad I could be of service.

          I assumed British Anzani was a company to do with our antipodes but, nay, the founder was an Italian engineer.

          We love Wikipedia.

          Also, the e of bear could be what one says when the stock value goes down, a la Wallace & Gromit….eeeeeeee!

        2. I assumed your ‘aright’ was a typo, i.e you meant ‘right’ which is grammatically clumsy. But, your grammar is top notch so I wondered…Hmm, is ‘aright’ a word?

          Sure enough.

          I am so glad I checked as I have learnt a new word.

          I am on the naughty step for questioning ‘Sarah Splits’.

          I love this blog!

  23. A Wednesday puzzle this week that I found to be much more doable than the last several have been. No really odd words today, but a little bit of grey matter used helped the process.


    Favourites 1a, 15a, 28a, 1d, 7d & 10d — with winner 28a
    Smiles for 15a, 29a, 1d, 7d & 20d

    Thanks to setter & 2K’s

  24. Fair to middling fun for me today. Blimey I struggled with 15a mainly due to the inclusion of an ‘e’. A trio of bung-ins lacked parsing – 18a, 22a and 23a. Not keen on abbreviations as per 19d nor the use of pants as in 19d. Thank you Mysteryone and 2Kiwis.

  25. 18a gets my vote today amid many excellent clues. I always baulk at clues which might suggest American phrases/states and are verbose. But this one gave me a great penny drop moment.
    Now, whenever I see Rishi Sunak’s name it’s an anagram alert for me so 15a went straight-in.
    I had the answer to 9a but didn’t put it in until I had the checkers – it couldn’t have been anything else but I didn’t know what dialect had to do with philosophy.
    A very enjoyable puzzle. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  26. Another super puzzle, just needed the hint for 18a, the republicans and DC sent me on the wrong track, once that was sorted the rest followed. Can’t understand the fuss about gherkins, I see many people discard them from their burgers, now escargots or squid I could understand being dumped. Thanks to all.

  27. All finished and I thought very enjoyable. I had to check the spelling of 15a and liked both 1a and 1d although also join Terence in disliking 1a, although maybe with less passion. 29a was my favourite.

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

  28. Found this a bit 24d and a grind. Not sure why as it was all fairly clued. Must be me with a decidedly off day. Thanks to compiler and 2K’s

  29. As a poor speller I checked 15 across only to be told that an e did not make up one of the 13 letters. I do the crossword to help with my spelling and this sort of thing just muddles me the more. Otherwise It was a very rewarding puzzle. Last in was 24d and first in was 1 a , always such an encouraging start. Favourite was 7 d , so I agree with Brian. He drove the car and how I wish I could have been a passenger. 10 d finally reassured me about the e in 15 a . Home and dry with no help. Thanks to all.

  30. Fairly cruised through this and thoroughly enjoyed it too, unlike yesterday which, for some reason, I found taxing. **/**** for me. Thanks to the setter and 2Ks.

  31. Quirky and amusing but I needed, once again, help with quite a few clues 😳 ****/*** Favourites were 27a, 7d and 14d Thanks to the Compiler ( no mention of who it might be) and of course to the 2 x Ks whose devotion to duty is commendable👍 Have I missed the departure of the “barwits”?

  32. Morning all.
    So we weren’t the only once pondering about what looked like an extra E in 15a and we also checked references to assure ourselves that it was an alternative spelling.
    An enjoyable solve for us with lots of clever constructions to unpick and the devise hints for.

  33. The last of the “barwits” that had decided to make the trip to Alaska left a few days ago. The flock on our estuary is about 200 in the summer and there are just a handful of juvenile birds left now and they will probably stay with us for the winter.
    Apologies for not reporting on them so much this year. Think it’s great that other people are interested in following their seasonal progress.

  34. This was quite a gentle and straightforward solve. I did however need a hint for my last one in 7d then realised I d put an e at end of 15a so that didn’t help . Feels like my brain is almost back in gear after the Easter distractions. Hooray ! Thanks to setter and 2Ks

  35. A bit late today but I did complete the puzzle earlier. I failed at 15a and used an anagram solver, so the spelling question didn’t arise for me. For some strange reason, I sussed out the DC at 18a, that being probably the only thing I know about electricity, apart from being able to push a plug into a socket. I had never heard of 29a but I could work it out with the checkers. I liked 22a and 7d, but fave was 14d.
    Thank you setter, and 2Kiwis for sorting out a few for me.

  36. Had to leave for appointments when only half way through solving at breakfast. Strangely everything made much more sense over a late lunch. Rather enjoyed, just being beaten by 18a and 7d. Being a tad old fashioned we always call desserts pudding in our house, whether it’s a light confection, ice cream or a nice hot rice pudding, so “stodgy” in the hint didn’t really help me ☺️. And I’ll never get used to the strange new meaning of pants. I also hesitated for a while to fill in 3d as I only ever think of them as the longer word. Thanks for a better Wednesday to the setter and to 2Kiwis.

    1. Nothing old-fashioned about calling them puddings! I applaud you. That’s what they are and should forever be. As for that ghastly, nouveau word “desserts”? *shivers*

      1. We Brits do like to stick to the old English words, puddings and napkins- none of this fancy desserts and serviettes malarkey brought in by William the Conqueror.

  37. A cracking crossword – particularly liked the great surface in 27a – thank you setter (any guesses) … and the 2k’s

    1. I went to the betting shop and said “£10 on NYDoorknob for today’s back page”, but they didn’t know what I was talking about and told me to get out.

  38. An enjoyable solve. 18d was not quite the last in but did make me smile when I realised ‘oh that sort of DC!’.
    Like others I had to check the extra e in 15a.
    Thanks to the setter and the 2Kiwis.

  39. Good evening

    Finished on the way home from work; as I’m now off until Monday, I think it’ll be beer o’clock when I get indoors!

    Some excellent wit at play in today’s clueing; I especially appreciated the anagram in 27a, and the misdirection in 13a. 13a takes joint COTD with 10d.

    Thank you to our Wednesday setter. I notice that Wednesday is the one day where no name is ever put forward for compiler duty….

    Thank you also to 2Ks.

  40. I think I’m out on a limb as I found this harder than the toughie which I didn’t find easy. Having completed it I can’t really see why. I’m putting it down to the brain scrambling quiz I do every Wednesday, which I lost incidentally. Favourite was 18a, never heard of a 29a but once I’d worked it out it nearly took cotd. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  41. Thought this was very skilfully set. You could work them all out whether you knew the word or not. I wasn’t sure about the DC but it had to be what it was. I didn’t give the spelling of 15a a second thought. Many favourites. No idea who set it but thanks to him/her and the 2Ks although no hints needed

  42. I found this difficult but now I know Silvanus was the setter I have an excuse – I’ve always found him tricky.
    I did enjoy it but had to use lots of help – never mind – I’m not proud!!
    Lots of good clues including 1 and 21a and 1 and 2d. My favourite was 17d.
    Back on Saturday when it’s worth to try doing a crossword again!
    Thank you to Silvanus for the crossword and to Shabbo for all the hints!!

    1. Rats – this should have been on Wednesday’s crossword – can’t now really be bothered to start all over again!

  43. What a breath of fresh air this is/was. Exactly the sort of puzzle that convinces me that my own compiling style is still alive and kicking butt! Whoever you are, ignore the Meldrews and continue to delight us with your wit and ingenuity. Anagrams, part of full, are the most fun to write because they contribute so much enjoyment to solving. Unsurprisingly, most of my favourites in this offering were anagrams. 27a and 19d joint winners for me. **/*****

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