DT 30644 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30644

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30644

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
Well the sun might be shining but there is a cold wind blowing leaving us in no doubt that winter is truly here. Think it is a day when the fire gets lit earlier than usual.
This one all went together for us within our 2 star time but there are several clues that needed a bit of pondering along the way.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a    Take issue with attitude after work (6)
OPPOSE : The two letters for an artistic work and then attitude or stance.

5a    Boasting about northern installation (8)
CROWNING : Boasting as a rooster might contains N(orthern).

9a    No more ugly new predictions based on this science (10)
NUMEROLOGY : An anagram (new) of NO MORE UGLY.

10a    Shame London perhaps needs to replace leader (4)
PITY : What London is one example of has its first letter changed.

11a    Family employed by the girl notice possibly aggressive youth (8)
SKINHEAD : A word for family or relatives is enclosed by a feminine personal pronoun, then notice or advertisement.

12a    Effort by friend is not worth considering (6)
PALTRY : A word for a friend and then effort or attempt.

13a    Creature that may appear before March? (4)
FROG : The answer when put before March gives a way of forcibly moving someone.

15a    In France a public space that’s rarely seen (8)
UNCOMMON : The French indefinite article, then a public space to which all the locals have access.

18a    Key found in smooth area providing source of animal nutrients (4,4)
SALT LICK : Smooth or suave contains a computer key.

19a    Special forces hospital band (4)
SASH : An elite military force and then H(ospital).

21a    Link from embassy official cut (6)
ATTACH : A somewhat junior embassy official without the last letter.

23a    Summarises unavailable approaches (8)
OUTLINES : Unavailable, or not in, and then approaches or stratagems.

25a    Split career (4)
TEAR : A double definition. This career is to move swiftly.

26a    Dramatist‘s gamble with authority (10)
PLAYWRIGHT : Gamble or partake in betting, then W(ith) and authority or permission.

27a    Had an impact on a fine supply outside court (8)
AFFECTED : ‘A’ from the clue, F(ine) and then supply with nourishment contains the abbreviation for court.

28a    Understand synopsis (6)
DIGEST : A double definition.


2d    Bottle packer’s first chance (5)
PLUCK : The first letter of packer and then chance or fortune.

3d    Sudden accidental omission requiring a change of heart (9)
OVERNIGHT : Start with a word for accidental omission and change its central ‘S’ to ‘N’.

4d    Missile may see former officer commanding Egypt after evacuation (6)
EXOCET : The prefix for former, then an Officer Commanding, and the first and last letters of Egypt.

5d    Alternative reality tribe captures noisy intruder with diamonds (5-6-4)
CLOUD-CUCKOO-LAND : A Scottish tribe surrounds a synonym for noisy and an avian ‘intruder’; finally D(iamonds).

6d    Games slimy cop plays (8)
OLYMPICS : An anagram (plays) of SLIMY COPS.

7d    Geordie mate’s state? (5)
NEPAL : The area of England where Geordies hale from, then the same friend we met in 12.

8d    Needing much effort, but not replacing party of ill-repute (9)
NOTORIOUS : Start with a word meaning ‘needing much effort’, and use ‘not’ from the clue instead of a political party at the beginning of that word.

14d    Scoff and criticise raising charge to support British (5,4)
ROAST BEEF : Harshly criticise, then B(ritish) followed by the reversal of a charge or money due.

16d    Doubt Monsieur is generous (9)
MISGIVING : The abbreviation for Monsieur, then ‘is’ from the clue and generous or beneficent.

17d    The most memorable experience is seeing expensive T-shirts maybe lifted (4,4)
HIGH SPOT : Expensive or elevated and the reversal of what T-shirts are an example of.

20d    Packed barges ultimately given a tug (6)
STOWED : The final letter of barges and then pulled along.

22d    Match taking place in Gretna Green (5)
AGREE : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

24d    Philosophy of those cycling (5)
ETHOS : Move to number one place the last letter of a word in the clue.

Quickie pun    warts    +    forty    =    what’s for tea?

51 comments on “DT 30644
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  1. Brilliant puzzle, best one for simply ages.
    Very slow to start, but once a few had gone in it became quicker and quicker.

    Only one slight gripe, I thought 13a was a bit strange, but easy enough as it was the last one in for me.

    With so many really good clues it’s hard to pick just a couple of favourites, but if pushed it will have to be 3d and 8d.

    Well done to our setter today, a real gem!

  2. That was a delight from start to finish. There wasn’t a duff clue in it but some needed a bit of teasing out. Is 9a a science, I wonder? I don’t understand where a gamble with authority comes into 26a but I am sure the hints will enlighten me. My last one in was the annoyingly elusive 25a. My COTD is the Geordie pal at 7d.

    Thank you, setter for a fun challenge. Thank you 2Ks for the hints, which I will now read.

    I loved the Quickie pun. 👍

  3. Another excellent puzzle at */**** with only a slight pause in the SW. I thought 13a fair enough as in F—- M——. In fact that was my runner up COTD after 16a the winner being 5d which I thought superbly constructed. Thanks to our Antipodean fiends and the setter.

  4. A painfully slow solve for me & no unaided finish either. Never heard of last in 18a & just couldn’t see the wordplay (despite the key featuring countless times) until I lost patience & revealed the first letter (d’oh). Never mind as it was a belter of a guzzle. Fav was 8d with lots of ✅s elsewhere- 26&28a along with 3,5&16d.
    Thanks to the setter & in advance to the 2Ks whose review will have to wait until after ⛳️

  5. This needed a bit of work for a midweeker but was an enjoyable challenge.

    I had to wave the white flag at 18a, which I wouldn’t have got in a kerjillion years, and the parsing of 17d took me a while.

    The second half of 26a is one of three quadruple homophones with the others being: awe/oar/or/ore and paw/poor/poor/pore though the Scottish contingent on this blog would balk at the last one as a couple are pronounced differently north of the border. But, it works for us Sassenach softies. You could argue that bi/buy/by/bye is another one (no plurals are allowed).

    I digress.

    My podium is 13a, 6d and 7d.

    Many thanks to the setter and Le Touquet.


  6. Hooray for Hintsman! After reading the first four comments, I thought that, perhaps, my brain had been extracted overnight without my knowledge, as I found this one an impossibility and could not finish without help from New Zealand.

    Thanks to the setter for the challenge and The TwoKays

  7. Rather like Steve I balked a bit at 9a as a Science, it is on a par with horoscopes and tea leaves IMO
    On the whole the puzzle was a fine midweek puzzle
    Thanks to the 2K’s and setter

  8. 2*/3.5*. It was a pity to have intersecting pals in the NE corner, and dear, oh dear, it’s bad enough to find “eats” being used regularly as a noun for food but here we find “scoff” in the same awful vein. (And yes, I know both appear in Chambers, but that doesn’t make them any more palatable :wink: )

    Those aside, this was good fun with 13a & 8d fighting it out for top spot.

    Many thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

  9. Pleasingly straightforward and quick to fill in and (mostly) parse — which was a relief after finding some other crosswords a struggle of late. (I failed to complete Sunday’s, despite many others finding it gentle, and I didn’t even risk yesterday’s after reading the comments!)

    I liked the 24d cyclists’ philosophy, and 9d’s “party of ill-repute” was impressively clever in its construction.

    Handily I learnt 18a only recently when visiting a horse and donkey sanctuary. (Though sadly we learnt that the donkey the 9-year-old was sponsoring had died, and they’d failed to tell us.)

    Thank you to the Kiwis for explaining 14d, where I’d got in a tangle by trying to put the definition at the wrong end, thinking it was “British”, as in “les rostbifs”.

  10. I have an intense dislike of the definition of ‘scoff’ as used in 14d so that plus the tooth-sucking Quickie pun slightly took the shine off an otherwise most enjoyable solve. Rosettes handed out to 13&18a plus 16d.

    Thanks to our setter, no guesses from me, and to our 2Ks for the review – starting to look as though our Summer may be finally arriving, even spotted that yellow orb in the sky this morning!

  11. An enjoyable puzzle with a laudable constraint on the number of anagrams – thanks to the setter and 2Ks.
    I thought it odd to have the two pals bumping into each other in the NE corner.
    For my podium I’ll select 3d, 5d and 8d.

  12. Thanks too for the Himalayan Peak – Machupuchare if I am not mistaken (Been there, seen that, NOT done it)

  13. A fairly rapid solve this morning as we are off to Birmingham shortly for an afternoon of Mozart and Mendelssohn at Symphony Hall. This was good all round entertainment, with 8d taking my top spot.

    My thanks to our midweek setter and the 2Ks.

  14. Enjoyable. I did think 10a (decent surface, mind) was a tad limp but only because I don’t much care for this sort of clue and that may just be me. But 18a, 26a and 3d were all nicely misleading and 25a’s double definition was smart. 8d was my clear favourite. Thanks to the setter the 2Ks.

  15. LOI was 18a with several smiles along the way. I really wanted to put hare for 13a even though that comes after March. As soon as I got a checking letter it became clear.
    Took me a while to parse 17d for some reason.
    Top picks for me were 13a, 5d and 26a.
    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and the setter.
    PS I’m another who doesn’t like the word scoff, however it is uses.

  16. Most entertaining puzzle for a while with too many ticks to mention.

    Embarrassingly, 18a was my last one in despite being brought up in the country.

    Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  17. Finish this before the hints came out. I found it very difficult and had to check initially that I wasn’t doing the tuffy by mistake. I thought it was quite a slog

  18. Not a lot of fun for me; probably another case of the mid-week blues perhaps because my 7 day wait for my MRI results has already reached 14 days and counting – 2.5*/2.5*

    Smiles for 5a, 12a, 14d, and 16d.

    Just ignore me I am being very curmudgeonly.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2 Kiwis.

  19. Once 5d came to me it was a great foothold into the rest of the puzzle, which I thouroughly enjoyed. My only hmm was the use of scoff as a noun in relation to food in 14d. Yes, I know it’s in the BRB, but it doesn’t quite sit right with me. Ticks all over the place so no overall favourite today but places on the crowded podium for 13a, 18a, 5d, 7d and 16d. Thanks to our setter and the 2Kiwis.

  20. I became bogged down in the SW and could not see 17d for toffee. Ironically 18a was a slam dunk but the parsing had to be c/of the 2K’s. So, far from an unaided completion today. I liked the 6d slimy cop and 4d missile, but top podium spot goes to 5d. Thanks to compiler and 2K’s.

  21. So as usual for me, Wednesday’s puzzles are not my favourite.
    Still have 4 clues in the SW not solved so for me a DNF.

    3*/2* for me

    No favourites today. This puzzle did not float my boat.
    In other words, a typical Wednesday for me.

    Thanks to 2K’s for hints/blog

  22. I agree with Prawn that the slimy cop was a nice one, and I enjoyed the workout sitting here in the sun having taken my top off and hoping no one walks round the side of the house! Don’t get overexcited lads. For some reason 25a was last one in and 5d first one in. I spent too long thinking of a dramatist, Galsworthy? 18a was dragged out of the mysterious vast depth of my befuddled brain. Anyway, a most enjoyable accompaniment to lunch and many thanks to Mr. Setter and the Tookays.

      1. I got my comeuppance today well and truly. Went to the monthly U3A mtg and was introduced to a lady from another village who said was she right in thinking that I had been sitting topless in the garden at lunchtime. A Lurker! Now my cover is blown, I shall really have to watch my p’s and q’s and behave myself.

  23. Nothing too tricky in this one today; a pleasant puzzle to solve.
    My only reference to google was to see whether there was a difference between officer commanding and commanding officer…. which there is.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Kiwis.

  24. A lot more than **, Kiwis! I can’t believe I remembered 11a, aren’t they passé now? I had to use word search for 5d, but isn’t that clever? I liked lots. I think 18a is more common in the tropics, maybe that’s why some found it tricky. Lots of good stuff, my fave is 13a, but 6d was close behind.
    Thank you setter for the fun, not an unaided solve for me. Your explanations were very welcome 2Kiwis, so thanks.

  25. Phew, unlike most I found this chewy, and solved mostly with help of checkers achieved on first pass. Never heard of 18a, and cannot understand how scoff = roast beef? Must be something that has become part of the vernacular since we moved across the pond, like the dreaded pants. Thanks to setter and 2Kiwis. Would love to sit by an open fire again, nothing better.

  26. Not too tricky although I thought it was going to be impossible to start off with.
    I’ve never heard of 9a let alone call it a ‘science’ – well, I suppose it isn’t an art.
    I do know of 18a having had horses as children.
    I liked 11a (as a clue, not as a thug!) and 12a and 5 and 14a. My favourite answer was 13a.
    Thanks to the setter whoever set this one today and thanks to the 2K’s for the hints.

  27. I’m back after a prolonged birthday celebration. Missed you all.
    I struggled a bit with this one, but got there in the end (sorry ghost of Mr Slater – decades ago you told me never to write the word ‘got’).
    I see many comments about ‘scoff’ which I only use in a (hopefully) jokey way. Well, even if we don’t use it it exists, so why shouldn’t it appear in a crossword?
    Recently some guests asked what the sheep were licking in the field, so we looked it up. Lo and behold it appears in 18a.
    I didn’t understand the quickie pun. Silly me.

    1. That must have been some birthday celebration! Why can’t I have such long celebrations, don’t I deserve it?

      1. Ah, but the peace after they have gone is blissful. In ten years’ time I will expect the family to take me out, treat me to a feast then return me to my haven.
        Ten years? I’ll be lucky!
        But my haven will surely not be heaven.

  28. Morning all.
    Just read through all the comments and they look pretty much as we expected. Not surprised at the reaction to scoff in 14d but it did give us a chance for a mouth-watering picture so we’re happy enough.
    Enjoy your summer days while we are wrapped up in front of the fire.

    1. Oh dear, when I look at that pic, all I can think of is that it once was a living, breathing cow, munching in a pasture with its friends! Sorry, you can’t please all of the people … etc.
      Second, I saw on our weather forecast that our extreme heat in the NE is on its way across the Atlantic! I hope it’s not nearly as extreme as it has been here, the UK is not equipped for it.

      1. Sorry about that Merusa.
        We very rarely eat red meat these days and understand your feelings, but still find the prospect of doing so alluring.

  29. Completed but with too many very stretched synonyms. Not much fun, bit of a drudge.
    Thx for the hints

  30. All finished in the car on the way back from a few days with family, several held me up, eg 18a (but nothing like yesterday which I barely started, I will return to it soon but don’t feel optimistic having seen the comments). I rather enjoyed the challenge and there was a great variety of clues, some I made harder by not seeing the obvious.

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

  31. Good evening

    A bit of a fazer today; I started well, just after breakfast, and then juddered to a halt on the train into work, and now, with my break almost over, my pen is down – with 18a not filled in…

    No matter how I tried, I just couldn’t get the construction SALT MILK out of my head. Yet I know there’s no such thing – at least I don’t think there is. So it’s a DNF; I am indebted to 2Ks for the explanation of 18a, as well as the help I needed to parse 5 & 8d.

    Many thanks to our compiler also.

  32. Light and enjoyable, the more so for it having possibly the perfect number of anagrams. Marks deducted for the two pals, particularly in intersecting clues.

    1* / 3*

    Many thanks to the setter and 2Ks

  33. Pretty straightforward even for a Wednesday but nonetheless enjoyable for that. Didn’t have problem with 18a, they also occur naturally attracting animals from miles around. 14d went straight in as I was eating it at the time. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 8d. Thanks to the setter and 2K’s.

  34. Yet another dnf, which is becoming tedious.

    Any crossword with 18a in it will be impossible for me to enjoy. A term I will likely never hear again.

    I had to Google 9a as I wouldn’t class it as a science.

    Thanks to all.

  35. After a tiring day trying to be a hostess with the mostest I looked forward to unwinding with some cruciverbal fun but for me there was none to be had today. I’m with the 14d scoff dislikers (whence cameth the awful food noun I wonder which doesn’t relate to the verb). Anyway without going into detail overall it just not my scene but thank you anyway Mysteryone and 2Kiwis …and so to bed.

  36. This week to date. Monday fantastic. Best ever. Everything flashed straight in. Worked round in order which I never do. Tuesday horrible. Gave up. Complete opposite of Monday. Wednesday runner up to Monday but I had to sleep in a few eg the long one. Thought the animal nutrient was a type of milk and silk figured – so tricky. Thanks all setters and hinters.

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