DT 26022 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26022

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26022

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

After yesterday’s bank-holiday saunter we have a slightly more taxing excursion today, but nothing too extreme. The surface readings are excellent.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you only see the ones you choose to see – just select the white space between the brackets to reveal the answer.

Across Clues

1a  Outside left in a fine score, tumbling (8 )
{ALFRESCO} – put L(eft) inside A and F(ine) and then add an anagram (tumbling) of score to end up with an Italian term for in the fresh air (outside).

5a  Gabble on, sharing secrets in private, initially (6)
{GOSSIP} – a nice all-in-one clue – take the first letters (initially) of the first six words.

9a  Response in care to new treatment (8 )
{REACTION} – an anagram (new treatment) of IN CARE TO evokes a response.

10a  It’s hard when things are tough! (6)
{CHEESE} – when something fairly minor goes wrong for you, an acquaintance may say “hard lines” or a similar, but slightly more dated, phrase “hard ……..”.

12a  Put off by the compiler’s influence (9)
{DETERMINE} – a charade of DETER (put off) and MINE (the compiler’s) produces a verb meaning to influence the outcome of something.

13a  Boundaries around European city (5)
{REIMS} – put RIMS (boundaries) around E(uropean) to get this city in North-Eastern France with the magnificent cathedral where the kings of France were traditionally crowned.

14a  Shoulder or stomach (4)
{BEAR} – double definition – to carry (shoulder) a load, and to tolerate (stomach) something unpleasant.

16a  More scandalous price is rigged (7)
{SPICIER} – an anagram (rigged) of PRICE IS produces a comparative meaning more scandalous or more risqué.

19a  Dogs’ tails? (7)
{SHADOWS} – double definition, though really the same one twice – a verb meaning follows someone closely (dogs), and another verb meaning follows and observes someone (tails).

21a  Power cut producing expression of astonishment (4)
{PHEW} – string together P(ower) and HEW (cut) to get an exclamation traditionally seen in tabloid headlines followed by “…what a scorcher!”.

24a  Much trouble about love (5)
{ADORE} – a charade of ADO (much trouble) and RE (about) produce a verb meaning to love. The ‘much’ is not strictly necessary for the wordplay, but its presence means that the whole clue is a clever reworking of the title of one of Shakespeare’s plays (with love meaning nothing).

25a  Lacking a will of one’s own… (9)
{INTESTATE} – a cryptic definition of someone, who, like half of all adult Britons, has not made a will.

27a  …and is maybe concealing sadness (6)
{DISMAY} – a synonym for sadness is concealed in anD IS MAYbe.

28a  Open document (8 )
{MANIFEST} – double definition – an adjective meaning clear and obvious (open), and a document, typically one listing a ship’s cargo.

29a  Substitute’s deceit swallowed by football official (6)
{RELIEF} – put LIE (deceit) inside REF (football official) to get a replacement (substitute) for someone who has been on duty.

30a  Didn’t see crashes en route (8 )
{DESTINED} – construct an anagram (crashes) of DIDN’T SEE to get an adjective meaning travelling towards or en route to.

Down Clues

1d  File a nail with end of file (6)
{ABRADE} – a verb meaning to wear away or file is constructed from A, BRAD (nail) and the last letter (end) of filE.

2d  Hardly starves eating last of pie! (6)
{FEASTS} – starves is fasts – put the last letter of piE inside (eating) to get a verb meaning the opposite.

3d  Opponent erroneously holding record (5)
{ENTER} – to record something, in a ledger for example, is hidden (signalled by holding) in opponENT ERroneously.

4d  Conservative leader heads more hopeful staff… (7)
{CROSIER} – string together C (leader of Conservative) and ROSIER (more hopeful) to get the pastoral staff of a bishop.

6d  …Tories we fancy getting hard, or else! (9)
{OTHERWISE} – the definition is else and the answer is constructed from an anagram (fancy) of TORIES WE with H(ard) inside.

7d  Drug’s fixed (8 )
{SPECIFIC} – double definition – a remedy or medicine (drug) for a particular disease, and an adjective meaning clearly defined or fixed.

8d  Appeal certain to give satisfaction (8 )
{PLEASURE} – a charade of PLEA (appeal) and SURE (certain) provides satisfaction.

11d  All-points bulletin (4)
{NEWS} – arrange the four points of the compass.

15d  Spare former husband with single payment (9)
{EXONERATE} – a verb meaning to spare or absolve from blame is made by stringing together EX (former husband), ONE (single) and RATE (payment).

17d  Run down by one man in Capri? (8 )
{ISLANDER} – the definition is man in Capri. Capri is used here because it was a make of car and thus contributes to a humorous surface reading, but for the definition any similar geographical feature would have sufficed. Put SLANDER (run down) after (by) I (one).

18d  Roundabout start with learner on roundabout (8 )
{CAROUSEL} – a charade of CA (circa, approximately, round about), ROUSE (start, as in flush game from its lair) and L(earner) produces a merry-go-round or roundabout.

20d  Second joint leads to smack (4)
{SHIP} – put together S(econd) and HIP (joint) to get a sea-going vessel such as a smack.

21d  Servant carrying too much stew (7)
{POTTAGE} – servant is PAGE – inside this put OTT (over the top, too much) to get a thick soup or stew. According to the Old Testament, Esau the Hairy sold his birthright to his brother Jacob the Smooth for a mess (plate) of this.

22d  Swear in empty town pub… (6)
{TAVERN} – swear is AVER – put this inside the outside letters (empty) of TowN to get a pub.

23d  …caught abstainer consumed by thirst? (6)
{NETTED} – an abstainer is a TT (teetotaller) – put this inside NEED (thirst) and you have a verb meaning caught (as in fishing at sea).

26d  Remove woman’s dress (5)
{SHIFT} – double definition – a verb meaning to remove or dislodge, and a loose dress.

The clues I really liked included 5a and 17d, but my clue of the day is 24a – how about you? We’d love to get a comment from you. And please don’t forget to click on one of the stars below to record how much you enjoyed the puzzle.

26 comments on “DT 26022

  1. I am used to having an “H” in my Reims. I am being transported back to my schooldays and being whacked round the head with a poetry book trying to remember the Jackdaw of Rheims.

    The Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal’s chair!
    Bishop & abbot & prior were there,
    Many a monk and many a friar,
    Many a Knight & many a squire,

    With a great many more of lesser degree,
    In sooth a good company;
    And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.
    Never, Queen, Was a prouder seen,
    Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams,
    Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims!

    and it goes on for about 954 verses!

  2. Gazza, for years it has been a source of bewilderment to this cruciverbalist, perhaps you can explain it for me. Why are there dots … joining clues as in 4 and 6 down, and 22 and 23d, there are slight similarities in the clues, but neither has an answer that is anyway connected to the other, TAVERN and NETTED for example?.Liked 18d in todays not too taxing crossword.

    1. Kram
      The answer is that I don’t know. I don’t think that dots are meant to connect similar answers, but they are meant to connect clues that run on, as is done in 25a/27a for example. There are connections in the two that you mention (Conservative/Tories and pub/thirst), but other than that the clues don’t join up.
      Perhaps the setter could give us a better answer?

      1. Firstly, thanks for your analysis, Gazza.

        Secondly, Kram, Paul has it about right. Sometimes a setter will do this if he or she thinks that the clues read well together when they are linked, but the answers are not necessarily connected.

        Other than that they serve no purpose in helping to solve the clue, so you can just ignore them!

        1. Thank you all for solving my query that has been driving me dotty for many a year. I just wish I had asked it earlier and saved a lot of scratching of my head, and perhaps saved some of my rapidly disappearing head hair!

    2. Kram, the idea is that the surface readings of the clues make some sort of sense when read together. Nothing – as you’ve seen – to do with the answers.

      Sometimes it is done just for the fun of getting a nice surface reading, but sometimes it makes a difference to the construction of the clue as well. So, 27a here couldn’t have had the rather essential ‘and’ unless it was running on from the previous clue.

      Today’s seem a bit tame to me, I have seen some spectacularly good examples, but unfortunately have forgotten them all, or I would show off by telling you one.

  3. I did not like this one very much, very simple and I can’t put my finger on quite why I didn’t find it enjoyable.

  4. Gazza, would you please be kind enough to clear up the use of question marks in clues for me? I thought it was either where the whole surface reading of a clue needs to be interpretted in a different way or where there is some sort of pun involved. I can just about see why 17d and 19a have a questiion mark but not why 23d should have one. The clue seems pretty separate to me (TT inside NEED giving a word meaning caught).

    Overall though not too taxing a crossword today.

    1. SmokeyNL
      As you say a question mark usually means one of:
      a) this clue is tricky
      b) the answer only loosely fits the clue
      c) there is a pun involved.
      23d does not seem to fit any of these categories. I suspect that it’s there because the surface reading of the two clues together (22d & 23d) reads slightly better as a question.
      Sorry I can’t do better than that – again it would be nice to get a definitive answer from the setter.

      1. Gazza,

        In answer to SmokeyNL’s question, the only reason for the question mark is that I thought that it was a bit of a stretch from ‘thirst’ to ‘need’, that’s all!

  5. Horrible puzzle, one of the worst Tuesdays for ages. 19a is just ghastly and is typical of todays monstrosity!

  6. thanks for help dave i got reims for 13 across but could`nt suss it. incidentally i could`nt attempt these crosswords without the use of a thesaurus. I read years ago that her majesty the queen viewed use of these as cheating. any comments ?

    1. fletch
      I’ve said before that I see the puzzle as a battleground between the setter and the solver. The setter has all manner of aids at his/her disposal when setting the puzzle, so why should the solver not have little helpmates as well?

  7. i agree with bigboab today. not enjoyable!. although nice to have the setter have his say. thanks to gazza and ray for clearing up xword trickeries.(dots and ?’s) i will do better tomorrow

  8. I was either wired incorrectly today or the puzzle was too challenging. I Struggled and was just not tuned in. I need a good night’s sleep clearly!

  9. Gazza (or anyone) – while we are on the subject of punctuation (dots and question marks) can you explain why exclamation marks are used (e.g. 2d)? Is it only for &Lit clues or are they used in other instances?

    1. SmokeyNL
      I believe that at one time all all-in-one (&Lit) clues were supposed to have an exclamation mark, but that is no longer always the case.
      It seems that use of the exclamation mark is now down to the style of individual setters (or the house style of the publication that they are compiling for), and some use it as an indication of having come up with (in their opinion) a good clue!

  10. I actually knew that “specific” meant “medicine” or “drug” from another cryptic puzzle I solved a while ago. I also knew that “smack” was a “ship” or “boat” again from solving a previous puzzle. It just goes to show that if you solve enough of these puzzles, the new words you learn can sometimes help when you solve other puzzles further down the track.

    Thanks to Ray Terrell for an enjoyable and challenging Tuesday puzzle and thanks also to Gazza for an excellent review.

Comments are closed.