DT 30662 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30662

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30662

Hints and tips by 2Kiwis

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

Kia ora from Aotearoa.
We’re having another spell of our favourite winter weather. Cold frosty mornings gradually warming to fine clear sunny days. Today is a perfect example of one of these so we were well togged up in our woollies for our brisk walk this morning.
We really enjoyed this puzzle and it was only our inherent conservative natures that prevented us from giving it maximum rating for enjoyment.
Please leave a comment telling us how you got on.


1a    Piece of bread on empty Southport promenade  (6)
STROLL : The first and last letters (empty) of Southport and a type of bun.

4a    Stands behind counter and jeers (8)
BARRACKS : A counter or serving surface and then stands for holding things.

9a    Medic‘s entry after checking constant temperature (6)
DOCTOR : A four letter entry contains  C(onstant) and T(emperature.

10a    Firm about a school bag regularly providing drink (4-4)
COCA-COLA : String together a firm or business, the single letter for about or approximately, then ‘A’ from the clue and alternate letters from the next two words in the clue.

12a    Sultry Romeo bathed in current (8)
TROPICAL : Current or of the moment contains the letter represented by Romeo in the phonetic alphabet.

13a    Having besieged hotel, live band finally thrown out (6)
BINNED : A hotel or tavern is enclosed by live or exist and then the last letter of band.

15a    Plant trumpeter in front of whistle-blower (8,5)
ELEPHANT GRASS : A trumpeter animal and a whistle-blower or betrayer.

18a    The Scarlet Bow, weaving book for children! (10,3)
CHARLOTTE’S WEB : An anagram (weaving) of THE SCARLET BOW.

22a    Queen by East Wing (6)
ANNEXE : An eighteenth century queen, then by as a multiplication symbol and E(ast).

24a    Nosy type unsettling social workers? (8)
ANTEATER : A cryptic definition.

26a    Chef keen to swap starters for Reading party (4,4)
BOOK CLUB : An interesting variation of a Spoonerism. Synonyms for a chef and keen as a lamentation exchange their first letters.

27a    American chappie accommodating student in recess (6)
ALCOVE : The single letter abbreviation for American and a familiar word for a bloke contain the student driver letter.

28a    Tiny tree growing wild for a long time (8)
ETERNITY : An anagram (growing wild) of TINY TREE.

29a    Stops Republican abandoning lines? (6)
CEASES : Start with the lines found on pressed trousers and remove the R(epublican).


1d    Calm down opponents before meeting? (6)
SEDATE : The letters for Bridge opponents and an amorous meeting.

2d    Perhaps Tommy Cooper daftly entertaining a thousand? Right answer! (4,5)
ROCK OPERA : An anagram (daftly) of COOPER contains one of the letters used for a thousand and finally, R(ight) and A(nswer).

3d    Hero-worship of big cat is close to insane (7)
LIONISE : A big African cat, then ‘is’ from the clue and the last letter of insane.

5d    Very old article entertains banker in Bristol (4)
AVON : The abbreviations for very and old are enclosed by a version of the indefinite article.

6d    Back at home with first of grandchildren getting up (7)
REARING : Back or behind, then the two letter ‘at home’ and the first letter of grandchildren.

7d    Clubs argue over new trophy (5)
CROWN : The cards abbreviation for clubs, then argue over or dispute and N(ew).

8d    Cake plate? (4,4)
SOAP DISH : A cryptic definition for something found in the bathroom.

11d    Pal holding Guevara’s weapon (7)
MACHETE : The first name of Senor Guevara is inside a pal or friend.

14d    Deduce name originally of Dante work (7)
INFERNO : Deduce or understand, then N(ame) and the first letter (originally) of ‘of’.

16d    A bra’s lost at sea – am I flapping over it? (9)
ALBATROSS : An anagram (at sea) of A BRA’S LOST.

17d    Starts to sense City’s unruly crowd in game (8)
SCRABBLE : First letters from two words in the clue and then an unruly mob.

19d    Some circumflex I consider for dictionary (7)
LEXICON : A lurker, hiding in the clue.

20d    Sewiously risky bike trick? (7)
WHEELIE : How Jonathan Ross might say ‘Is that true’?

21d    Immature son joins political party members (6)
GREENS : The colour associated with immaturity and S(on).

23d    Not a single individual Echo found after midday (2,3)
NO ONE : The letter audibly represented by Echo follows another word for midday.

25d    Maybe Lancaster bomber’s nose turret occasionally failing (4)
BURT : The first letter of bomber and then alternate letters from turret.

Quickie pun    wealth    +    Thor    +    doubt    =    well thought out

62 comments on “DT 30662
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  1. A perfect Wednesday blend of toughness and fun, great clueing throughout.

    Loved 2d, a band I’ve seen a couple of times, and there’s still nothing to touch ‘em.

    All the clues were great, my last one was 8d, very clever! If squeezed to just two favourites , it has to be 26a and 25d.
    Many thanks to our setter today.

  2. Lots of fun to be had with Mr Tumble (?) today.

    Sewiously is absolutely superb. Possibly the clue of the year. I’m still giggling as I type.

    I like the twist on Reverend Spooner in 26a and ‘Tommy Cooper’ is genius.

    It’s hard to look past these three for my podium.

    I can’t quite give full marks as some of the surfaces didn’t flow for me. But, it’s a matter of time as I love his style.

    Many thanks to Mr T and Le Touquet.


  3. 2.5*/4*. I agree completely with Tipcat @1 about the blend of toughness and fun. 26a was my favourite of many ticked clues.

    The quirkiness of some clues leads to me think this might be the work of NYDK.

    Many thanks to whomever and to the 2Ks.

  4. This puzzle kept me entertained with lots of clever clues. Favourite has to be the amusing 20d which I never attempted on my bikes – honest!

    Monsoon conditions here in NE Scotland.

    Thanks to the setter and 2Ks

  5. Thouroughly enjoyable from the off, which means that I got 1a and 4a straight away! Moving on to the down clues I slowed somewhat and completion was rather haphazard. So many different types of clues, without a plethora of anagrams and just the amount of head scratching that falls short of frustration, along with plenty of fun made for a very pleasant coffee time in this household. Favourite and LOI is 8d, supported by 26a and 5d, though it could have been many others. Thanks to our setter and the 2Kiwis.

  6. A cracking puzzle today – thanks to our setter and 2Ks.
    I really liked 24a, 26a, 2d and 8d but my outstanding favourite is the hilarious 20d.

  7. A very enjoyable puzzle with just the right amount of head scratching, some of which was self inflicted! I spent far too long trying to make 24a an anagram and 8d was last to fall. I got 26a easily but if the word spooner had been there I would have panicked and might not have done. I also thought 20d very clever and it is my favourite.

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

  8. I found this trickier than others seem to. I finished OK but had to wait for the hints to understand a few. Didn’t notice the spelling in 20d so it was a bit of a bung in. Nonetheless very enjoyable. Fingers crossed that the steroid injection this afternoon does the trick with my frozen shoulder. Thanks to the setter and 2 Ks.

  9. Sorry ro spoil the party but I thought 20d was a bit feeble, just not my cup of tea. There were some good clues, however, and I liked the big cat clue at 3d and the superbly misdirected 8d, amazing how many kinds of cake there are! Thanks to the compiler for an enjoyable guzzle and to the Kiwis, enjoying theirfrosty walk after penning the hints.

  10. An enjoyable guzzle today with some laughs and head scratching. I didn’t know the plant but it was fairly clued.
    Top picks for me were 24a, 29a, 8d and 25d

    Thanks to the 2Kiwis and the setter.

  11. Truly splendid. Aside from (of course) 20d, I Ioved 26a. 24a tickled me too. And 8d was jolly. Etc. Magnificent. Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  12. An enjoyable puzzle which all fell into place without any significant hold-up.
    My only gripe is with 28a. The answer does not mean for a long time, in fact the complete opposite; outside of time, or timeless.
    Thanks to the setter and to the 2Ks.

    1. Re 28a, Jezza, I think there are plenty of common usages where ‘eternity’ is used to specify a very long but finite time, for example: “I felt it took me an eternity to complete Osmosis’s last Friday Toughie”. Very often ‘eternity’ and ‘forever’ are both used to identify a period of time than is neither eternal nor forever!

      Would that work for you?

      1. Hi Mustafa

        It might work for me, but it is still incorrect.
        Even Wikipedia in the first paragraph uses words such as infinite and timeless.
        At the end of the day it’s just semantics, so as they say here in Valencia, no pasa nada… :)

        1. Chambers gives one definition of eternity as being “an extremely long time” when used informally – and that certainly describes my experience with Osmosis puzzles! – but I don’t have a Collins for a comparison.

            1. What a lovely thought! Even the oldest yews and bristlecone pines started out as tiny trees, before morphing gradually into something that for short-lived humans could certainly be an eternity – or should that be eternitree?

  13. A solid mid-week puzzle, a little bit of a step-up in challenge from the last couple of days. Good variety of clues and lots to like, plenty of super surface reads; 20d was amusing and a write-in, but for me simply doesn’t work: it needs a homophone indicator in addition to the ‘w’ in sewiously, otherwise the answer should be weally. Hon Mentions to 22a, 24a, 17d (great surface) and 25d.

    Many thanks to the setter (my guess it Twmbarlwm, too) and the 2Ks

    1. Gosh, you’re a tough audience, MG which is, of course, mighty fine by me.

      There are some clues that I just ‘go with’, letting the technical bit slide. Yes, the question mark probably doesn’t excuse the setter completely but, for me, the ‘guffaw’ factor trumps everything else.

      It’s a beaut.

  14. Somewhat of a curate’s egg for me, perhaps my brain is getting addled by the continuing heat and humidity – 3.5*/2.5*

    Favourite – a toss-up between 4a and 8d – and the winner is 8d.

    Thanks to whomsoever and the 2Kiwis.

  15. I was never a fan of Tommy as a concept. Rather a tasteless theme and the whole has too much filler, not enough killer. Some of the songs as stand alone pieces are excellent and have embedded themselves in the band’s live set. I much prefer Who’s Next – surely the peak of the band’s creativity? My previous affection for the band diluted by the unfortunate business with the guitarist (not helped when he nearly ran H over when he was turning a corner, rather speedily, in Richmond).

    Great guzzle; as several have said – tricky in places.

    Thanks to the setter and The TwoKays

    1. “too much filler, not enough killer” – great description, so true of Tommy. I know that one should expect a certain degree of repetition in crosswords (eg Serengeti and Orchestra), but for the same Who production to appear two days running, takes the proverbial, though today’s clue is much the superior.

      From yesterday’s Times puzzle: Musical recap, OK or terrible? (4,5)

  16. A definite step up in difficulty for me today. I suspect this is the work of Tumbleweed and I am beginning to get used to his style.

    I spent far to long trying to construct an anagram for 24A before I had any checkers and I stared at 25D for an age before the light bulb came on. These two, together with the groan worthy 20D are my podium choices.

    3*/4* for me. Thanks to the setter and the Kiwis for the hints.

  17. Prime candidate for the ‘Numpty of the week award’ as I just couldn’t get 8 down to work. Reason? Started with the down clues and seeing the last letter in 6d and the first letter in 16d – immediately put in the name of the chap on the train blowing his whistle D’oh!! Hadn’t read the clue properly 15a.
    Anyway, all in all a very enjoyable puzzle so thanks to our setter and to the 2K’s for shining the light on my error

  18. For me the N was distinctly trickier than the S which went in reasonably swiftly. I thought the spoonerism of 26a was genius and 20d a great laugh out loud moment. I see it has divided opinion, but it appeals to my juvenile sense of humour. Many good clues but my cotd is 15a. Thanks to compiler and 2K’s.

  19. Red alert – still working on the guzzle but realise that Charlotte is an anagram of orchestral. Are we onto another orchestra variant?

  20. It was a game of two halves – just getting in the mood for tonight – bottom half went in easily, top half trickier and needed a little nudge in a couple of places. Loved 2d and 26a

    Thanks to all

  21. I stand by my belief that surface reads matter so a fair amount of this puzzle left me feeling disappointed. To judge by the comments thus far, other solvers don’t feel the same way which is rather a shame. I did find enough worthies to fill the podium – 4a plus 3&11d all got the nod.

    Thanks to Twmbarlwm, I presume, and to our 2Ks for the review.

  22. Found this Wednesday puzzle relatively approachable, but the NE took a long time to suss out.


    Favourite 1a, 18a, 24a, 26a, 2d & 20d — with winner 20d
    Smiles for 18a, 24a, 8d & 25d

    Thanks to setter & 2K’s

  23. I’m hoping our chicken from the freezer will be like the quickie pun before we cook it….well thawed out!!

  24. Very droll, Moonraker. I sometimes think we do not applaud the quickies enough. When I first read this I thought golly, is it Friday already but they gradually began to fall into place. I too laughed at 20d but favourite is 17d as I like the game with 20a and 11d close runners up. The machete of course is Looming Large in My Legend at the moment so made me smile. Just how much does Alexa know? I had to use my considerable acting skills this morning when the insurance company told me they were sending a voucher for my iPad lost on the Maastricht trip (if anyone found the bag on St Pancras station could I please at least have my crochet and bag of mints back) to be used at a well known electrical store which I cannot get to easily when I particularly said I wished to buy the replacement in the Apple Store in Cambridge. I had to do the helpless old lady act which eventually worked and he is crediting my account. I then asked him if he would like to be my surrogate grandson and he talked to me as if I was mad. Job done. As it was here – many thanks to Messrs Setter & KWHinters. I hope the operation is going well.

  25. I thought I’d be doing this at the hospital this morning, waiting while Peter had his knee replaced. After getting up really early and ready to leave, we got a call to say their AC is down, and we are to stay home on hold until they call, as and when it is fixed. So now I’ve had breakfast and completed the crossword to take my mind off the wait, and hoping it is not postponed. Rather enjoyed this Wednesday challenge with some chuckles along the way, especially 20a, and quite proud of myself with some of the answers I got despite being on tenterhooks. Thanks to the setter and 2Kiwis. Peter is getting really hungry….

    1. Oh no! I’ve just posted above saying I hope it went well. – what a let down. Fingers crossed for you. 🥰🙏🤞

  26. A very good puzzle which seemed just a tad more challenging then the average Wednesday offering. Great clues provided an enjoyable solve. Plenty of ticks and I’ll give special mention to 22a and 20d. 3*/4*.

  27. Really struggled with this for a while, then all of a sudden the penny dropped and I started filling them in gradually. Mostly my mistake was not thinking laterally enough. Wasted a lot of time trying to make ‘flan dish’ fit into 8d before I thought of an alternative form of cake. 20d was one of my first solves and remained in 1st place even though there were a lot of contenders. I thought it was very amusing! 3*/4*. Many thanks to the setter and the 2Ks.

  28. I was way off wavelength here with DNF with several when I reached a total blank. I’m guessing Toombarloom, I don’t know why I have such a problem with his. Of the ones I solved, I found a lot of real smilers! Top is 20d, 15a came second.
    Thank you setter, maybe my guess is right, and 2Kiwis for unravelling that lot.

    1. After reading the comments, it appears I’m just stooooopid! Oh well, tomorrow is another day … back to Wimbledon.

  29. I did better on this than the previous two days, only defeated by 25d,must get my lateral thinking head on next time. 16d made me smile as I immediately thought of the Monty python sketch. Thanks to all.

  30. Thanks to all commenters and solvers, and especially to 2Kiwis for the great blog.

    I had a feeling 20d would be a favourite: credit to editor Chris Lancaster. My original clue was Jonathan Ross’s genuinely risky bike trick?, but I flagged it to him as something that could attract complaints for naming an individual, even though he calls himself @Wossy on Twitter. I’d included a completely different alternative in case, but Chris liked the r/w idea so suggested the ‘sewiously’ as a way of keeping the joke but avoiding JR. (Ironically, 2Kiwis mentioned him in the blog!)

    1. Thanks for dropping in and for giving us another fine guzzle to puzzle. Goodness knows we need some joy to take us out of the news and the weather and some sporty thing taking place this evening.

    2. You and Lancs soooooooooooo made the right call with sewiously. It’s brilliant!

      Thank you for a very enjoyable cwossy.

    3. Thanks for the puzzle and dropping in to interact with us, it makes this blog really special. I love understanding how the process of producing these puzzles works and hearing about the tweaks that are sometimes made.

  31. Thanks Twmbarlwm… don’t think wossy would mind but you never know. Most tricky clue for me was the nosy type, so thanks also to 2Ks for the hint

  32. Enjoyable but very tricky in parts, fortunately 18a was an anagram and 2d had me flummoxed “just like that” 😬 ****/**** Favourites 15a, 24a & 29a 😃 Thanks to the 2 x Ks and to Twmbarlwm

  33. Lovely puzzle with a couple of head scratching moments. Initially, I thought there had been a printing mistake at 20d! I was slow to get the first part of 8d and 15a made me smile. Many thanks to Twmbarlwm and the 2 Kiwis.

  34. I really (or wheelie) am going to stop doing the crosswords until the weekend – just too tricky trying to do them and the crosswords.
    I found this one very difficult – I liked 18 and 22a and 19 and 23d. My favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Twmbarlwm for the crossword and to the 2K’s for the hints.
    Back to Wimbledon . . .

  35. . . . now I’ve messed it all up anyway! I meant to say it was too difficult to do the crossword and watch the tennis! :roll:

  36. Morning all.
    Not sure whether we should apologise or not for mentioning JR in the hint for 20d. We laughed out loud when we twigged that one. Thanks for telling the story about the evolution of that Clue Twmbarlwm as well as thanks for giving us such a cracker of a puzzle.
    Another crispy cold winter’s morning for us to wake up to here.

  37. Solved in the wee small hours but out 🏌️‍♀️ all day so first chance to post. Figured it was one of T’s & great fun too though I didn’t find it particularly straightforward with completion extending into 3 time largely as a result of a major head scratch with last in 8d. Mind you bunging strand in at 1a straight out of the traps (SA 🍞 at a stretch) didn’t get me off to the best of starts though soon corrected.
    Another vote for 20d as fav with 16d&24a on the podium.
    Thanks to T & to the 2Ks

  38. Thought I was being really clever by putting STRAND for 1a. RAND being a piece of bread (in the monetary sense).


  39. For once I did not struggle with a Twmbarlwm puzzle. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and as so often I share Tom’s silly sense of humour, loving 20d.
    Posting this late as it’s been a busy day, followed by Euro semi final. Test match also going well. 🤞

  40. I found this definitely on the idiosyncratic side but none the less enjoyable for that. NW brought up the rear. Piece is a strange way to describe 1a content and likewise the deduce “synonym” in 14d. I’m being thick but don’t get “am I flapping over it” in 16d although solution no problem. Fav of course 20d once I had realised there wasn’t a typo in the clue! Thank you Twmbarlwm and 2 Kiwis (I have just enjoyed a delicious golden one!). Quite a feat to finish crossword whilst watching tennis and football. 👏🌹

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