DT 26023 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26023

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26023

Welcome to Pam!

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

It was very odd not having to rush around on Monday  getting a blog ready in between visits from the nurse, carers and suchlike.  Wednesday’s  are usually lazy mornings for me, followed by the cut and thrust of the Bridge Club doing battle with some of the evil grannies of Brierfield (They are not really evil, but they are ferocious bridge players!).

I must start today by welcoming a newcomer to the blog in the shape of Pam, who also goes to the Bridge Club, however she is neither a granny or evil (she may be the former, but not the latter as far as I know!).  Although Pam is a very fine bridge player, she is dipping her toe into the world of Telegraph crosswords for the first time after being prised away from the Everyman in the Observer and is visiting us for the first time.  Welcome Pam, you are among friends.  The drinks are on you!

Today’s puzzle is another good puzzle for those getting to grips with crosswords for the first time.  As usual, the answers are hidden in white inside the curly brackets.  Highlighting them will reveal the answer.

Feel free to have your say about what you liked or disliked in the discussion after the analysis.  There’s also the star ratings, click on your star opinion to show what you thought.  New posters should note that your first post may take a little time to appear as they are moderated to prevent spammers causing havoc.


1a Allowed to hold outrageous dance? (7)
{GAVOTTE}  If something is outrageous, it may be said to be over the top or OTT.  This should be placed in a word meaning allowed.  This gives you a type of dance that originated in France among the peasants.  

Here’s some music to soothe the savage brow:-

ARVE Error: need id and provider

5a Prime piece of pork, including stuffing (7)
{PADDING}  This took me a little while, though it seems to be quite obvious.  Prime piece (first letter) of PORK = P, add to this a word meaning “including” (ADDING).  This simple sum gives you a word meaning stuffing.

9a Play with tot by front of arcade (5)
{DRAMA)  This word meaning a type of play comprises the measure of a tot in drink (DRAM)  and add to this the first letter of ARCADE (A).

10a A loose blouse, Georgia’s blue one (9)
{GARIBALDI} And I thought it was just a biscuit!  Apparently it was a lady’s blouse and designed to resemble the red shirts worn by the followers of the Italian patriot.  Georgia is abbreviated to GA; something blue is RIBALD and add I to it.

11a Film everyone in wide thoroughfare (4, 6)
{WALL STREET}  The film that brought the odious Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) to our screens.  Everyone = ALL inside W STREET  (Wide Street)

12a Indian’s home, Central America (4)
{INCA}   Chambers Dictionary  defines Indian as “a member of the Indigenous peoples of America” which presumably includes South, as well as North.  Home =  IN + Central America = CA.  Put together these give the fabulous Mexicans with the long names such as Quetzalcoatl, Montezuma and suchlike.

14a Treated with contempt about newspaper, one in disarray (12)
{DISORGANISED}  “One in disarray” is the definition here.  A newspaper is often described as an ORGAN and this goes inside a modern expression for treated with contempt (used when yoo are down wiv da massiv on da street, as you no doubt frequently are!) DISSED.

18a Provider of childish amusement, card giving evidence? (4-2-3-3)
{JACK IN THE BOX}  The first part of the clue provides the definition.  Card = JACK and if you were giving evidence in court, you’d be IN THE (witness) BOX; all of which brings us to today’s earworm and a chance to marvel at 1971’s most desirable fashion for ladies (I wonder if any of our regulars will admit to having them).

ARVE Error: need id and provider

21a Blockhead losing pawn, leading to mate (4)
{CHUM}  Nice chess allusion in the clue.   A blockhead is a CHUMP, and if you lose a pawn P from it, you have a word meaning a mate.

22a Drive with crack on surface (3-2-3-2)
{GET UP AND GO}  Thanks to Gazza for helping with this.  Drive is the definition. GET UP (surface, get out of bed) AND (with) GO (crack, as in have a crack at).

25a In New York, seen wearing a suit, no matter what (2,3,4)
{IN ANY CASE}  Here the clue comprises A inside (wearing) IN NY (in New York) and add to this a word meaning a (law) suit (CASE).  This gives a phrase meaning “no matter what”.

26a Victor letting drop wife’s secret (5)
{INNER}  Nothing to do with Mr Meldrew.  Victor =  WINNER minus  W for wife gives a word meaning secret.  However this is Mr Meldrew!

ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a Turning brown, Russian river, as is to be expected (7)
{NATURAL}  Reverse (turning) a word for a shade of brown (TAN) and add to it the name for a Russian river (and mountain range) URAL and that gives you a word meaning “as is expected”.

28a Runs out of empty and unpleasant house (7)
{DYNASTY}  Bad wigs (John Forsythe), bad shoulder pads (Joan Collins) and bad acting (everyone).  Ah! The soap opera that rivalled Dallas.  Not mentioned here of course, but I am feeling all nostalgic.  Empty =  DRY minus R (runs out) + unpleasant (NASTY).  House provides the definition.


1d Fall in warehouse (2,4)
{GO DOWN}  How many of you know that  a GODOWN is an Eastern warehouse?  No, neither did I.  Probably a Toughie clue, rather than a Daily clue.  This is a double definition.

2d Seaman in base? It’s feasible (6)
{VIABLE}  AB is a standard crossword abbreviation for a sailor (AB = Able-Bodied) and this goes inside a word meaning base (VILE).

3d Trip with mates, I suspect, can demonstrate camaraderie (4,6)
[TEAM SPIRIT}  An anagram (indicated by suspect) of  TRIP, MATES and I gives a word  beloved by the David Brents of this world.  It was also the name of the winner of the 1964 Grand National.

4d Manuel Garcia’s a composer (5)
{ELGAR}  This is a hidden answer, although there is ostensibly no indicator as such, which troubles me. The “apostrophe s” is supposed to show “Manuel Garcia has (i.e. holds)”  I really don’t like it.

5d Voracious shark splintered bargepole (9)
{PORBEAGLE}  Have seen this clue recently, but I don’t think it was in a Telegraph puzzle.  Quite a well known anagram (of BARGEPOLE), as there aren’t too many nine-letter word anagrams.  Despite the pleasant sounding name, it’s one of the more savage varieties.

Here’s one:

6d Socialite, last to meet obligation (4)
[DEBT}  A word for a London socialite of the 50’s and 60’s (DEB, short for debutante) and add to it, the last letter of “meet” to give a word meaning an obligation.

7d I misinterpreted endless inaction (8)
{IDLENESS} I  + an anagram of ENDLESS leads to a word meaning torpor, laziness.

8d Celebrated English clown, gloomy, laid off (8)
{GRIMALDI}  If something is gloomy it is GRIM and add to it an anagram of LAID and you will have the founder of British clowning.  I never got over Tim Curry in the TV series It, which put me off clowns for life.

13d Filming away from the studio, love scene around noon (2,8)
{ON LOCATION}  This seems rather a weak clue to me.  Unless I am reading it wrongly, it is N for Noon inside O LOCATION (love scene).  However the meaning of location is virtually identical to the definition of the whole clue.

15d Anthelion reformed at once (2,3,4)
{ON THE NAIL} An anagram (indicated by reformed) of ANTHELION (which is a term in astronomy) produces a phrase meaning “at once”.

16d Removal, or dismissal – opener must be out (8)
{EJECTION}  Dismissal = REJECTION minus its first letter (“opener must be out”) gives a word meaning removal.

17d Resident, with penny in account, worried (8)
{OCCUPANT} P for penny inside an anagram of ACCOUNT gives a word meaning resident.

19d Handsome youth from Northern Ireland’s giving support to a function (6)
{ADONIS}  Almost always in Crosswordland, if you see the phrase “Handsome youth” it means ADONIS.  A DO is a function.  NIS = “Northern Ireland is”

20d Steal from boy a novel (3,3)
{ROB ROY} A simple word sum Steal =  ROB + ROY = boy (‘s name).  The story is by R L Stevenson.

23d Knock over raised object (5)
{UPEND} Knock over is the definition.  Raised =  UP +  END = Object.

24d Welsh clergyman and poet over in Surrey (Dorking) (4)
{DYER}  A hidden answer, but reversed.   Surrey (Dorking)  John DYER was a Welsh poet and novelist.

Thanks to today’s Wednesday Wizard for a pleasant stroll; if someone can please do something about the weather, I’d be pretty grateful.  See you tomorrow.

24 comments on “DT 26023

  1. When I first saw 28a and guessed the answer, my first thought was that the wordplay would involve dysentery (runs) – that’s what comes from doing too many Private Eye crosswords!!

  2. Got all the answers but needed your help to understand a couple of the clues!
    We are still awaiting the deluge of rain promised here in Canterbury… my grass is brown and crisp after weeks and weeks of no rain :(

  3. Liked this! Couple of queries which have been answered by the blog – thanks BD. Wasn’t too sure about 22a, but learned something on 1d 10a. Liked 18a. Weather awful here in Twickenham, too – but than I expect nothing more on my day off.

  4. We had a lot of guess first, work it out later, answers. Something of an education, never heard of a porbeagle, garibaldi or a go down before.

  5. Not bad, on the whole fair but didn’t like 22a or 18a. Still learned about a poet I have never heard of before!

  6. thoroughly enjoyable xword today. learnt lots of new words. i must get my hands on the chambers dictionary. available from all good bookstores i presume? if anyone out there has any advice on which to buy i’d be grateful……

    1. Edi
      The one you want is The Chambers Dictionary 11th Edition. The standard retail price is £35, but you can get it for around £21 from Amazon, with free delivery.

    2. I would also ecommend the Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary and there’s a new one out, that’s the red one.

      It’s essential for crossword solvers, in my opinion. You can get some quite cheaply on e-Bay, but make sure it’s not the tiny Gem edition.

        1. Chambers is generally the dictionary of choice.

          Incidentally Chambers also has one or two rather amusing definitions within its covers.

          e.g. MULLET (n) A hairstyle that is long at the back, short on top, and ridiculous all round.

        2. The Chambers we have recommended! Sometimes a clue will have the defintion straight out of this version of Chambers. There is a smaller one, but it does not have the same coverage.

  7. Very enjoyable crossword but let down by the odd clue like 22a.
    I would also recommend the definition of “eclaire” in Chambers.

  8. As well as the satisfaction of completing a crossword, it’s always good to learn something new, i.e.10a and 1d. Oh, and thanks for the explanations for 22a and 28a which I got but couldn’t totally justify.

  9. Thanks for your help understanding a number of answers. I was attempting to complete this puzzle last night while watching Eggheads when one of the questions on the programme was what is a Porbeagle? (I had never heard of it before)

  10. A good challenge and a couple of new words learnt. Having lived in HK where all warehouses are called this, 1d was the first one that I got!

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