DT 26021 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26021

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26021

Hints and tips by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

This puzzle would make an excellent introduction for someone new to cryptic crosswords.  All of the main elements of a good puzzle are here, and with the exception of the rather unusual definition used in 18 across, many of you will have completed and understood it without recourse to a dictionary.  Thanks once again to Rufus, our Monday Maestro, for putting a smile on our faces on this Bank Holiday Monday.

If you were expecting Tilsit today, he will be here on Wednesdays in future.

Feel free to add your comments while the review is in preparation.

You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

1a It’s back to the accounts book to write in ‘Paid’ (11)
{STIPENDIARY}  we start with a delightful surface reading – IT’S reversed (back) and DIARY (a book in which to record an account of that day’s activities) with PEN (write) inside gives paid in the sense of a paid occupation, such as a magistrate

8a Pretty smart? Hardly (5,6)
{PLAIN STUPID} – hardly indicates that you are looking for antonyms rather than synonyms for pretty and smart

11a Port that’s a credit to the East (4)
{ACRE} – this port in Israel, also known as Akko, is simply a charade of A CR(edit) and E(ast)

12a City where mail goes astray (4)
{LIMA} – the capital city of Peru is an anagram (astray) of MAIL – a simple clue, but just look again at the surface reading

13a A driven out intruder (7)
{INVADER} – an anagram (out) of A DRIVEN gives an intruder

15a Is a good man able to get a game? (7)
{CANASTA} – CAN A ST (can a Saint / is a good man able) and A give this card game

16a Raises bucks (5)
{REARS} – this double definition has nothing to do with money!

17a Not quick or not quick enough (4)
{LATE} – it doesn’t look like two definitions at first, but not quick means LATE in the archaic sense of not living and not quick enough means arrived too LATE

18a But it’s no aspersion on the score (4)
{SLUR} – but surely this answer means an aspersion? – well not when it’s on a music score, where it means a curved line indicating that notes are to be sung to one syllable, played with one bow, or with a smooth gliding effect (thank you Chambers for that definition)

19a Refuse to fight (5)
{SCRAP} – in this double definition refuse means rubbish

21a Bank has a way to avoid a row (7)
{TOWPATH} – I filled in the answer easily enough, but I had to look at this several times before I realised that this is a way on a river bank which is an alternative to going for a row on that river

22a Musician having ear most developed (7)
{MAESTRO} – Rufus manages to get our nickname for him into the puzzle! – by the way it’s an anagram (developed) of EAR MOST

23a Sounds just a matter of time for us (4)
{OURS} – this word meaning for us sounds like hours

26a Pointless emotion (4)
{LOVE} – once again, it doesn’t look like a double definition but this emotion can also mean having no points in a game of tennis

27a The object of travel (11)
{DESTINATION} – a delightful cryptic definition of the place to which one travels

28a By law mother might be culpable (11)
{BLAMEWORTHY} – it looks at first like a charade, but might be indicates that an anagram of BY LAW MOTHER is needed to get a synonym for culpable

2d Scrabble piece that gets fifty in game (4)
{TILE} – just insert L (fifty in Roman numerals) into TIE (game) to get the name given to a scrabble piece

3d Guide dog? (7)
{POINTER} – an oldie, but this cryptic definition still works

4d Unknown child turned up with lots of questions (4)
{NOSY} – combine Y (an unknown value) and SON (child) and then reverse them (turned up – yes, you’ve got it, this is a down clue)  and the result describes someone with lots of questions

5d Lizards that may be using a double disguise (7)
{IGUANAS} – these lizards are an anagram (disguise) of USING and AA (a double)

6d It flies or takes a train (4)
{RAIL} – this bird, well known to cruciverbalists, crops up again as part of a double definition

7d Unsteadiness shown when sick during holiday (11)
{VACILLATION} – a synonym for unsteadiness is derived by putting ILL (sick) inside (during) VACATION (holiday)

8d Yet it may be part of a general hospital (7,4)
{PRIVATE WARD} – a weakish cryptic definition

9d Diana’s answer — divorce (11)
{DISSOLUTION} – combine DI’S (Diana’s) and a synonym for answer, and the result is divorce!

10d He knows his actions mean the high jump (11)
{PARATROOPER} – a not-very-cryptic definition

14d Come up to stretch between bends (5)
{REACH} – the second part of this double definition is a stretch of water between two bends of a river

15d The best stuff available around the East (5)
{CREAM} – a word meaning the best comes from putting CRAM (stuff) around E(east) – “available” seems to be there only for the surface reading, which is a pity

Cue the music!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d Rock band (7)
{STRATUM} – it looks like a double definition, but it’s just a band of rock!

20d Artist’s bowtie? (7)
{PAINTER} – a bit sneaky this one, a PAINTER is a rope used to tie, or fasten, the bow of a boat

24d An Innuit is likely to see one close up (4)
{SEAL} – a delightful double definition of an animal an Innuit is likely to see, and a verb meaning to close up – Innuit is an alternative spelling of Inuit!

25d Was aware of a novel sound (4)
{KNEW} – sounds like new (novel)

26d See award for natural feature of Scotland (4)
{LOCH} – LO (see) and CH (Companion of Honour / award) combine to give a natural feature of Scotland

Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday

20 comments on “DT 26021

  1. I finished it without help but there were a few answers I hadn’t heard of before and had to look up to see if they were correct. Notably: 3d, 20d and 15a. My favourite clue was 19d.


  2. Hi Dave, as you say a nice easy way to start the week, but still enjoyable. 15a, I used able to obtain CAN and then A ST to get A.

  3. Missed out on my daily dose of crosswords whilst on holiday and this was a gentle way to get going again. Seems I missed some tough puzzles in the last week or so as well!

  4. Now don’t all sympathise at once but some of us have been at work today! Anyway, I found this quite straightforward my favourites being 20d and 1A. “Pointless Emotion” had me stumped for a while despite the US open starting today. DER!! A gentle start to the week.

  5. Too easy you say? My copy has so many crossed out letters (bring back Tippex) and although I made a mess of it I almost got there in the end. 18a still leaves me stumped though……

    1. Hi Jan and welcome to the blog.
      If you haven’t twigged, the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space to reveal them.

  6. Thanks for 20d explanation. Had got the solution but couldn’t fully justify it. Should have remembered painter from my sailing days!

  7. Hi Dave

    Thanks for the review. I am a big fan of Roger “Rufus” Squires and this was an enjoyable Monday puzzle.

    Thanks for the explanation of 20d. I had never heard of “painter” being used to describe a rope to tie the bow of a boat so that is something new I have learned.

    I liked 26a – it was a very clever double definition and read well even though it was only two words.

  8. how do you know the name of the compiler?, I saw Roger Squires doing a very good conjuring performance at a working mans club 40 years ago, seemed a very pleasant man.

    1. John

      Each day of every week the same setter provides a crossword, except Tuesday and Wednesday. At some time or other the setters for Monday (Rufus), Thursday (Jay) and Friday (Giovanni) have all contacted the blog. Ray T and Shamus, who do some of the Tuesday and Wednesday puzzles have also contacted us.

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