DT 26009 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26009

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26009

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Tilsit has a hospital appointment this morning, so I am, as the DJs say, sitting in for him, and he will reciprocate tomorrow.
The Monday Maestro has produced another puzzle with plenty of cryptic definitions to keep us amused. Let us know how you rate it by clicking on one of the stars at the bottom. As always we’d love to get your comments.

Across Clues

1a  Holiday firm supplies oysters (10)
{WHITSTABLE} – a charade of WHIT (religious festival and one-time bank holiday) and STABLE (firm) produces the name of this seaside resort in Kent which is famous for its oysters and which holds an annual Oyster Festival.

9a  We hear top player is to step down (4)
{CEDE} – top players (at Wimbledon, for example) are seeded so that they do not play each other in the early rounds of a championship. We want a sound-alike (we hear) of SEED which means to withdraw or step down.

10a  One may be uplifted by ship on the equator (10)
{TRAMPOLINE} – a cryptic description of a piece of gymnastic equipment which allows one to achieve great height (be uplifted) is constructed from TRAMP (type of ship) and O LINE (line of latitude at zero degrees, i.e. the equator).

11a  Perform in pantomime horse perhaps? That creates interest (6)
{BEHALF} – a noun meaning interest is cryptically how you may be described if you appear on stage as the front or back of a pantomime horse.

12a  Proverbially thickset (7)
{THIEVES} – an amusing clue – take the saying “as thick as ………” (thick here is used in the sense of being very friendly rather than stupid, so the answer is not “a plank”!).

15a  A singular spectacle (7)
{MONOCLE} – a cryptic description of an aid to vision, as used by Sir Patrick Moore for example.

16a  Replace French man with Welsh (5)
{RENEW} – put the name of a Frenchman (and the name of the café owner in ‘Allo ‘Allo – the one with the very accommodating waitresses) together with W(elsh) to get a verb meaning replace.

17a  Left a long time back — Christmas maybe (4)
{NOEL} – put together L(eft) and EON (a long time) and reverse it to get a synonym for Christmas.

18a  Transport will be back at eleven (4)
{TAXI} – take AT and reverse it (back) and then add XI (eleven in Roman numerals) to get a means of transport.

19a  Go quietly to spill the beans (5)
{SNEAK} – double definition – to move quietly and furtively, and to tell tales (spill the beans).

21a  Building uninsured if I cease to provide cover for it (7)
{EDIFICE} – a building is hidden (provide cover) in uninsurED IF I CEase.

22a  No mean party? (7)
{LIBERAL} – a cryptic description of one of our political parties which has a name which can mean generous.

24a  Feast I set out for a religious festival (6)
{FIESTA} – an anagram (set out) of FEAST I produces a saint’s day (religious festival).

27a  Oil rig sited in a good position (4,6)
{WELL PLACED} – a phrase meaning in a good position is constructed from WELL (oil rig) and PLACED (sited).

28a  One hundred in it is twice reduced by 50% (4)
{ONCE} – start with ONE and put C (hundred in Roman numerals) inside it to get a word which means exactly 50% of twice.

29a  The cricketer makes another mistake (6,4)
{SECOND SLIP} – proof once more that a knowledge of cricket terminology is pretty essential for solving crosswords. What we want here is a SLIP (fielding position) and it’s not the first one.

Down Clues

2d  Cape being blown in the wind? (4)
{HORN} – a double definition – a cape which is the most southerly point in South America, and a musical instrument which is blown in the wind section of an orchestra.

3d  Tone taken by doctor in fatigue (6)
{TIMBRE} – to fatigue is to TIRE – put MB (Medicinae Baccalaureus, doctor) inside to get a word for the tone or quality of a musical sound or voice.

4d  Soldier on a horse or ship (7)
{TROOPER} – double definition, with the second being a ship used to transport troops.

5d  Entice one into a club (4)
{BAIT} – put I (one) inside BAT (club) to get a verb meaning to tempt or entice.

6d  It takes pluck to remove it (7)
{EYEBROW} – cryptic definition of something that may be plucked. It doesn’t work terribly well, for me, because you are shaping the answer rather than removing it completely.

7d  Drunk crashed in a single seater (5,5)
{SEDAN CHAIR} – an anagram (drunk) of CRASHED IN A produces an old form of transport consisting of a seat fixed to two poles and carried by lackeys.

8d  Christian virtue fills a need, somehow (4-6)
{SELF-DENIAL} – an anagram (somehow) of FILLS A NEED produces a term meaning to voluntarily abstain from some pleasurable activity, which Christians apparently believe will make you a better person.

12d  Novice nurse employed with the infantry (10)
{TENDERFOOT} – a charade of TENDER (nurse) and FOOT (the infantry) produces a term for novice or greenhorn.

13d  Conspicuous at a court hearing (2,8 )
{IN EVIDENCE} – a cryptic definition of a phrase meaning in plain view might be an exhibit at a trial.

14d  Sort of net used by French watermen (5)
{SEINE} – a large fishing net is also the name of a French river.
The term French watermen reminds me of the old schoolboy joke about the slogan of the French navy, which is apparently ‘To the water – the time has come’ – or, in the original French ‘À l’eau – c’est l’heure’ (you have to say it quickly!).

15d  The boy came up to me for reward (5)
{MEDAL} – LAD (the boy) has to be reversed (came up, in a down clue) and suffixed to ME to get a reward or decoration.

19d  Sloppy hands act sycophantically on board (7)
{SCRAWLS} – put CRAWL (act sycophantically) inside SS (steamship) to get a description of poor handwritings.

20d  Pink gin ordered for a VIP (7)
{KINGPIN} – an anagram (ordered) of PINK GIN generates the most important person in an organisation.

23d  Torpedo carriers ordered to base (1-5)
{E-BOATS} – an anagram (ordered again – no criticisms of the anagram indicators today!) of TO BASE gives an anglicized form of the German E-Boote or Eilboote (fast motor torpedo boats used in WW II).

25d  There’s beer and the last of the cognac for him (4)
{ALEC} – put together ALE (beer) and the last letter of cognaC to get a boy’s name.

26d  Endless danger for a fairy (4)
{PERI} – remove the last letter (endless) from PERI(L) (danger) to leave a word derived from the Persian for a beautiful fairy.

I liked 28a, 7d and 19d, but my clue of the day is 11a. How about you? – leave us a comment, and please do not forget to vote below.

33 comments on “DT 26009

          1. I thought I had heard the French Sailor joke somewhere before. I have just now remembered – It was in 25910. Sorry Gazza :-). Mind you it’s still funny!

            1. Well I’d forgotten it – and I wrote it! I’ll probably tell it again in a couple of weeks!

  1. Hi Gazza
    I must admit to finding the left hand side difficult today and could not have finished without your help
    Iliked 6d and 11a
    now i can go in search of some sunshine…. if only….. what is the weather like in your world today :)

          1. Going back down to Carcassonne next week for a couple of months, isn’t retirement wonderful. The only stress I have is the crossword. 8d was my favourite today and I will have to practice some when I smell the cheese and fresh bread and wine,
            a demain!

    1. Left hand side a bit tricky, as got stymied by 1a. Got the old brain working though.
      On the weather front its windy and cloudy in Twickenham – hope it stays dry for the swings -I’m on Nana duty this afternoon!

      1. Nana

        You obviously weren’t paying attention back in DT 25906!

        3d Firmly established after Pentecost in Kent (10)

        Stay behind after school for extra lessons!

        1. You’re right -I can’t even remember what was in yesterdays crossword, let alone going back that far! I’ll try to do better!

  2. Love both Devon and Worcestershire
    we spent a week in Exmouth in May the weather was absolutely glorious the same when we went in June last year, also spent a week in Worcester last year and once again we got one of the few nice weeks of the summer, beautiful, the sun is threatening to come out today, yesterday it was nice enough to go down to Neyland and take the boat out for an hour but not sunbathing weather :)

  3. Those who enjoy the Maestro’s sense of humour will appreciate this clue of his (with his Rufus hat on) from today’s Guardian:
    Rock singer about to be detected in depravity (5)

  4. Very enjoyable crossword today – kept me calm whilst waiting for results of my cholesterol test. Managed about 90% of it unaided, however tenderfoot is a new one on me. Agree that 28a was excellent and liked 12a too.

  5. Thanks for the hints. Had trouble with 11a for ages as my brain was stuck on equity – being a performer and interest but couldn’t get anything to fit so scrubbed it and when I got 8d it clicked.
    Had to get help with the cricket one – had the first word but the s and i but it didn’t come naturally.
    I liked 10a and didn’t like 6d.

  6. A puzzle of 2 halves, the right hand side was super , loved 16a. The right hand was tough and really didn’t think either 15a or 11a was sensible. Couldn’t have finished it without Dave’s clues!

  7. 12a Don’t want to be too pedantic but isn’t “as thick as thieves” a simile not a proverb?

  8. This was a very good crossword that lulled me into a false sense of security until I got down the left hand side. 10A is a great clue and is my favourite of the day.

      1. As some others have commented, I found the left-hand side, particularly the top left, pretty hard going today and only finished with the help of a friend, which is very unusual.

        1. Of course I mean that I agree with others’ comments on the difficulty of the LHS. I don’t mean that people were commenting on how hard I found it!

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