DT 30611 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30611 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30611

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 11th May 2024

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice, straightforward Saturday puzzle from NY Doorknob that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind reading and significant feedback.

Qantas, part of the wordplay to the clue of 23a took me down memory lane. My first visit to a foreign place was Hong Kong that happened around four decades ago. It was then still a British-administered territory until 1997 when it was handed over to China. I went by Thai Airways. I came to know about its tagline ‘Smooth as silk’. After reaching Kai Tak Airport, I saw many of the aeroplanes bearing the name Cathay Pacific and some with the name Singapore Airlines. I stayed in a room at Chungking Mansion in Kowloon. While regularly watching television inside, I came to know further that Cathay Pacific was the airline of Hong Kong and its tagline was ‘Arrive in better shape’. The tagline appeared to me as very attractive and appealing. Back home after seventeen days, I developed an unusual interest in knowing the taglines of airlines of many countries of the world. I was then already a member of the British Council Library and I took the opportunity to visit it more frequently and soon I knew by heart the taglines of at least twenty airlines. I was also familiar with Qantas. However, this time, I happened to learn from the net that Qantas is itself an acronym of the airline’s original name, that is ‘Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services’, based on the fact that it originally served Queensland and the Northern Territory of Australia. It is also popularly nicknamed ‘The Flying Kangaroo’. It is considered to be the only airline in the world to fly to all seven continents, with it being the only airline operating regular sightseeing flights to Antarctica, along with flights to Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and South America.

I also learnt that the earliest known use of spymaster, the answer to the clue of 14d, was in the 1940s and its earliest evidence is from 1943, in ‘Time’.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a & 5a Elegant work yet to come from the retired Laureate? (6,2,6)
POETRY IN MOTION: The definition of a idiomatic expression meaning very elegant, graceful and beautiful to observe is cryptically arrived at from POETRY (work … from the retired Laureate) as literary work in the form of verses or poems by retired poet laureate that is IN MOTION (yet to come) as still to come or be penned; the laureate being Sir Andrew Motion, the English poet, novelist, biographer and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature who retired as Poet Laureate in 2009 after a tenure of a decade and thus POETRY IN (the writings of Sir Andrew) MOTION

5a          See 1a

9a          Otto and new wife dressed in fresh material (6,4)
COTTON WOOL: A combo of OTTO from the clue with (and) N (new) as the abbreviation for new and W (wife) as the genealogical abbreviation for wife wearing or having outside (dressed in) COOL (fresh) as an adjective meaning fresh, invigorating or refreshing takes to the definition of a soft mass of white material that is used for cleaning the skin or a wound

10a        Female in good shape backing little Barney? (4)
TIFF: A combo of F (female) as the abbreviation for female and FIT (in good shape) as an adjective denoting in good health or shape, especially because of regular physical exercise seen returning (backing) as a reversal in the across clue leads to the definition of a small unimportant quarrel, especially between two close friends or between people in a romantic relationship

11a        Given thrashing, all three learn (4,4)
HEAR TELL: An anagram (given thrashing) of ALL THREE guides to the definition of a phrase denoting to be informed of or to learn by word of mouth

12a        New York politician quiet about pretty females (6)
NYMPHS: NY (New York) as the abbreviation for New York that is the most populous city in the United States and MP (politician) as the abbreviation for Member of Parliament who is obviously a politician followed by SH (quiet) as the musical abbreviation for piano meaning quiet or soft making a turn (about) as a reversal in the across clue yields the definition of beautiful or graceful young women

13a        Faustina regularly seen in vast region (4)
ASIA: The regular or alternate letters (regularly) noticed in (seen in) [F]A[U]S[T]I[N]A takes to the definition of the name of the largest continent in the world by both land and population

15a        No odd number in service (8)
EVENSONG: A charade of EVEN (no odd) as of a number, divisible by 2 without a remainder and SONG (number) as a short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung guides to the definition of the daily evening service of Bible readings and prayers prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer in the Church of England

18a        Sense agreement amongst rowing crew (8)
EYESIGHT: The definition of the visual sense or the power of seeing or observing is arrived at from YES (agreement) as a word of affirmation, agreement or consent placed inside (amongst) EIGHT (rowing crew) as an eight-oared rowing boat or its crew

19a        Xmas verse removed from fictional work (4)
NOËL: The definition of another word for Christmas, the Christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity is obtained from NO[V]EL (fictional work) as a fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action and with some degree of realism having V (verse) as the abbreviation for verse taken out (removed)

21a        Good meal for all to see including a cake (6)
GATEAU: A combo of G (good) as the abbreviation for good, TEA (meal) as an afternoon meal or light refreshment at which tea is generally served and U (for all to see) as the abbreviation for universal that serves as a certification for motion pictures allowing people of all age to view taking inside (including) A from the clue leads to the definition of a rich cake, filled with cream, decorated with icing etc

23a        Very fine hotel used by Qantas? (8)
HAIRLINE: The definition of an adjective denoting very narrow or fine as a hair is obtained from H (hotel) as the letter represented by Hotel in the NATO phonetic alphabet followed (used) by AIRLINE (Qantas) as an airline company that provides air transport services for travelling passengers or cargo, an example of which is Qantas that is Australia’s largest airline

25a        Copy something tried and trusted primarily (4)
STAT: The definition of a printed copy of a document sent by facsimile is got from the primary or initial letters (primarily) of SOMETHING TRIED AND TRUSTED

26a        Secret affair an elusive universal presence (4,6)
DARK MATTER: A charade of DARK (secret) as an adjective meaning mysterious, secret or hidden from knowledge and MATTER (affair) as a noun denoting affair, business or a subject or situation under consideration guides to the definition of a component of the universe whose presence is discerned from its gravitational attraction rather than its luminosity

27a        Engineer’s instrument is one not working (8)
ORGANISE: The definition of a verb meaning to mastermind, orchestrate or engineer is derived from ORGAN (instrument) as an instrument or means by which anything is done followed by IS from the clue and [ON]E from the clue not having (not) ON (working) as functioning, working or in operation

28a        Dundee changed strip (6)
DENUDE: An anagram (changed) of DUNDEE takes to the definition of a verb meaning to strip something of its covering, possessions or assets


2d          Gas ring section (5)
OZONE: The definition of an irritating pale blue gas that is explosive and toxic and formed by an electrical discharge in oxygen is arrived at from a charade of O (ring) as a ring of pliable material, as rubber or neoprene, used as a gasket and ZONE (section) as an area or stretch of land having a particular characteristic, purpose or use, or subject to particular restrictions

3d          Tests restricting university to smaller lessons (9)
TUTORIALS: TRIALS (tests) as tests of performance, qualities or suitability of someone or something blocking keeping within boundary by taking inside (restricting) a combo of U (university) as the abbreviation for university and TO from the clue guides to the definition of the plural of a period of tuition given by a university or college tutor to an individual or very small group

4d          Zulu follows this Union soldier (6)
YANKEE: Double definition; the first referring to the name that represents the letter Y in the NATO phonetic alphabet that is followed by Zulu in that same NATO alphabet that represents the letter Z that leads to the second referring to a Federal soldier who is a member of the Union Army during the American Civil War

5d          Hot sauce ideal or otherwise, snack won’t satisfy me! (1,5,3,1,5)
I COULD EAT A HORSE: HOT SAUCE IDEAL OR from the clue is subject to an anagram (or otherwise) guides to the definition of a phrase used to say that one is extremely hungry

6d          Second one leaving African countries to avoid duty (8)
MALINGER: Second I (one) as the Roman numeral for one coming out of (leaving) a combo of MALI and N[I]GER (African countries) as the names of two landlocked African countries situated in West Africa takes to the definition of a verb meaning to escape duty or work, especially by pretending to be ill

7d          Symbol seen in Ceto Temple (5)
TOTEM: Part of or hidden inside (seen in) [CE]TO TEM[PLE] leads to the definition of a sacred object or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people

8d          Bad luck is remote possibility (3-6)
OFF-CHANCE: The definition of a possibility that is not likely or probable is reached from a charade of OFF (bad) as an adjective denoting bad or affected by spoilage and CHANCE (luck) as a noun meaning luck, fortune or fate

14d        Could this be M’s part? Yes! (9)
SPYMASTER: An anagram (could this be) of M’S PART? YES! leads to an all-in-one definition of a person who controls and coordinates the activities of undercover agents, where M is a codename of a fictional character as the Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service for the agency known as MI6 in Ian Fleming’s James Bond book and film series

16d        Only one vest being worn? (9)
SINGLETON: The definition of a person occurring singly, especially an individual set apart from others is reached from SINGLET (vest) as a one-piece, tight-fitting uniform, usually made of spandex or nylon, required in wrestling and powerlifting and ON (being worn) as an adverb meaning being worn by a person, particularly of clothing

17d        Silver reworked used in Christian emblem (5,3)
AGNUS DEI: AG (silver) as the chemical symbol for silver followed by an anagram (reworked) of USED IN guides to the definition of a figure of a lamb emblematic of Christ, bearing the banner of the cross

20d        Row in which French man died, shot (6)
FILMED: FILE (row) as each of the eight rows of eight squares on a chessboard running away from the player towards the opponent having inside (in which) M (French man) as the abbreviation for Monsieur, a title or form of address used of or to a French-speaking man equivalent to sir when used alone or Mr when placed before a name and followed by D (died) as the abbreviation for died as used to indicate a date of death takes to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning shot or made a film of a story, event or book or captured on film as part of a series of moving images

22d        Former partner, cunning, up for bonus (5)
EXTRA: EX (former) as a colloquial term for someone who is no longer what he or she was, especially a person’s former husband or wife followed by ART (cunning) as artifice, trickery or cunning moving upwards (up) as a reversal in the down clue guides to the definition of a noun meaning addition, add-on or bonus

24d        Very much lacking in purpose? (2,3)
NO END: Having NO (lacking in) as without or lacking in followed by END (purpose) as aim or purpose produces the definition of a colloquial idiom meaning very much

Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a&5a, 12a, 21a, 23a, 26a, 27a, 4d, 5d, 6d, 14d and 20d; 27a being the topper. My prayers to the Almighty for the eternal rest and peace of BD and my thanks to NY Doorknob for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

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