DT 26025 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26025

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26025

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

A pleasant exercise, as usual on a Friday, with one or two more difficult clues thrown in to keep us on our toes. Getting 17a early is a big help in solving the other clues.
As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets. Just highlight the white space inside to reveal them.
To our many readers who have yet to “come out” and reveal themselves – don’t be shy, we’re a friendly bunch here and we won’t bite, so introduce yourself via a comment. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced solver or a novice – remember that everyone was a novice once!

Across Clues

8a  Robbers making very good speed south (7)
{PIRATES} – these robbers operate at sea and they are constructed from PI (very good, pious), RATE (speed) and S(outh).

10a  Express approval of an assertion audibly (7)
{ACCLAIM} – a verb meaning to express approval of sounds like (audibly) A CLAIM (an assertion).

11a  City left in danger after disturbance (9)
{LENINGRAD} – the previous name of the city now once more called St. Petersburg is formed from an anagram (after disturbance) of L(eft) IN DANGER.

12a  Came across aluminium — as an example of one? (5)
{METAL} – came across is MET and the chemical symbol for aluminium is AL.

13a  It spells an end for trout, being in acidic river (5)
{STOUR} – put the last letter (end) of trouT inside SOUR (acidic) to get the name of an English river. In fact there are lots of rivers with this name in England, including ones in Kent, Suffolk, Dorset and Worcestershire. The one in Worcestershire was once a trout stream, but industrial pollution killed them all off. In recent years, however, the river has been cleaned up and trout are now starting to reappear.

14a  Direction given by senator misguidedly (3-4)
{NOR-EAST} – this direction comes from an anagram (misguidedly) of SENATOR.

17a  The tenet I clarified after translation (8,7)
{DEFINITE ARTICLE} – many languages have two or more of these but there’s only one in English. It’s described by an anagram (after translation) of TENET I CLARIFIED, and it’s defined in the first word of the clue.

19a  Company deficit — one’s dealt with huge figures (7)
{COLOSSI} – a charade of CO (company), LOSS (deficit) and I (one) produces a plural word meaning large statues, of which the most famous was the one of Apollo at Rhodes, one of the wonders of the ancient world, which was 33 metres high but only lasted 56 years before being toppled by an earthquake.

21a  A blockhead in a spin, unresponsive (5)
{ALOOF} – a word meaning unresponsive or haughty is made from A and then FOOL (blockhead) reversed (in a spin).

24a  Dog, one of the 8 (5)
{ROVER} – a common dog’s name is also an old word for the type of robber described in 8a.

26a  Poetic village festival enthralling a hundred all right (4,5)
{EAST COKER} – put EASTER (festival) around (enthralling) C (a hundred in Roman numerals) and OK (all right) to get the name of a village in Somerset which would be unremarkable but for the fact that T.S. Eliot’s ancestors came from there, and it’s where his ashes are buried. It’s the name of the second of his four quartets, and it is pretty gloomy stuff so I’ll inflict only the first few lines on you!

In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass.
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces,
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
Houses live and die: there is a time for building
And a time for living and for generation
And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots
And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto.

27a  Blessed state offered by vehicle in terrible rain (7)
{NIRVANA} – put VAN (vehicle) inside an anagram (terrible) of RAIN to get the blessed state where there is no suffering, desire or sense of self, and which is the final goal of Buddhism.

28a  Eastern reader who has the vote? (7)
{ELECTOR} – start with E(astern) and add LECTOR (a Reader at a university) to get someone allowed to vote.

Down Clues

1d  Initially supply tablets for upsets (6)
{SPILLS} – put together the first letter (initially) of Supply and PILLS (tablets) to get a synonym for upsets.

2d  Manage to rescue (5,3)
{BRING OFF} – double definition – the second being how a lifeboat crew might rescue passengers from a sinking ship.

3d  I rest at inn specially prepared for travellers (10)
{ITINERANTS} – an anagram (specially prepared) of I REST AT INN gives us a synonym for travellers.

4d  Islander getting fish, no English fellow (Scot?) (9)
{SARDINIAN} – start with SARDINE (fish) then remove the E (no English) and add a forename associated with a Scotsman in crosswordland, to end up with the inhabitant of a Mediterranean island.

5d  A feature of rugby — heartless, despicable people! (4)
{SCUM} – a feature of rugby is the SCRUM – take out the middle letter (heartless) to get despicable people.

6d  Holy writings, Christian books buried in Irish hill (6)
{TANTRA} – the Hill of TARA in County Meath was the seat of the kings of Ireland until the twelfth century. Put inside this NT (New Testament, Christian books) to get Hindu and Buddhist writings.

7d  Dish with duck — commotion when it’s dry inside (8 )
{OMELETTE} – string together O (zero, duck in cricket) and MELEE (commotion) and put inside this TT (teetotal, dry) to get an egg-based dish.

9d  Second rescue vessel provided for island (4)
{SARK} – put together S(econd) and ARK (rescue vessel – nice description!) to get the name of the Channel Island which is a car-free zone. Until recently it had a feudal system of government but that is gradually changing under international pressure.

15d  Bad character hanging round end of street is a professional killer (3-7)
{RAT-CATCHER} – an anagram (bad) of CHARACTER around the last letter (end) of streeT gives us this vermin exterminator (professional killer). Very amusing surface reading!

16d  One’s out to get this money (6,3)
{STRIKE PAY} – cryptic description of what people taking industrial action may have to live on.

17d  Wrong direction when one’s abandoned creed (8 )
{DOCTRINE} – an anagram (wrong) of DIRECTION without one of the Is (one’s abandoned) produces a synonym for creed.

18d  Frontiersman given severe reprimand in court (8 )
{CROCKETT} – the name of the celebrated American frontiersman who died at the battle of the Alamo is formed by putting ROCKET (severe reprimand) inside CT (court).
ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d  Endlessly ill, upset, extremely irritable (6)
{LIVERY} –  remove (endlessly) the last letter of ILL and reverse (upset) what remains, then add VERY (extremely) to get an epithet meaning irritable.

22d  Big fuss created by e.g., mink, valuable material (6)
{FURORE} – a charade of FUR (e.g. mink) and ORE (valuable material) produces a big fuss.

23d  Woman in English society, this person (4)
{ESME} – a woman’s name comes from E(nglish), S(ociety) and ME (this writer).

25d  Not entirely prepared to study (4)
{READ} – prepared is READY – drop the last letter (not entirely) to leave a verb meaning to study.

The clues I liked included 3d and 5d, but my favourite is 15d. Let us know what you thought via a comment.

33 comments on “DT 26025

  1. Found it difficult getting started today, but enjoyed it once I did.

    I don’t like crosswords, in which it’s necessary to solve one clue (8a), in order to be able to solve another (24a).

    I had to work out the answer to 26a, then look it up. Never been a fan of T. S. Eliot, so wasn’t aware of his Four Quartets.

    Favourite clues were 17a and 15d.

  2. 14a Did not like it. In my experience the TH in North is always pronounced. Or at least it is when I speak to the coastguard, which I do quite often.

  3. I didn’t like 23d as that name is not in the online Chambers I use. What are the rules for names?

    1. maagran
      Proper nouns, i.e. names of people/places, are not in normal dictionaries, but my version of Chambers (11th Edition) does have an appendix, titled ‘Some First Names’ in which this name occurs.
      Lots of people who comment here do not like forenames or placenames in crosswords at all.

      1. I don’t like place names – especially 28a – had to look at your hint to get that one as I had never heard of it. Had the answer to 6d but didn’t know why – thanks to you I now do. My education is increasing all the time. Thanks for all the help

        1. Lea
          I hadn’t heard of 26a either, and having read Eliot’s poem, I’m not sure that I was missing a lot!

          1. Gazza,
            “The Wasteland” is better and more accessible (IMHO), if any of TS Eliots poems could be considered as acessible.

            1. My friends abroad are always at a disadvantage when it comes to esoteric place names, and would never have solved this one. Leave place names out, except for “Sardinia” “Honolulu” etc

              1. Alan,
                If you are referring to 26a, then I would defend Giovanni on this one. There is nothing esoteric about using the name of one of the “Four Quartet’s”.
                Oh – and welcome to the blog :-)

  4. A little better than last Fridays horror but still pretty impenetrable. Just cannot get into this complier at all. I do wish the DT would save this guy for the Toughie and leave the rest of us poor mortals alone.

        1. Barrie,
          Go to the Categories menu on the right hand side of the blog and select Giovanni….. I think you might get an idea of what I mean…

          1. Having seen that, I am now more firmly convinced than ever that this man needs the attention of a good therapist! Is he even from this planet?

  5. Ah Oxford, that explains a lot. I am a Cambridge man myself. If Bletchley Park were still running, I would be the first to recommend him. With a mind like his, who would need Alun Turing and Colossus! I am in awe of anyone who doesn’t just think outside the box but seems unaware of its existence.

  6. Just for your information: I am a Devonian who went to Bristol University and read physics. I landed in Oxford to work in publishing. Even after 24 years here I wouldn’t dream of calling myself an Oxford man. I am not a particularly literate individual but I find the prejudice against the appearance of East Coker quite amazing. I hope this doesn’t reflect Telegraph puzzlers or readers at large! But thanks for some of the nice comments anyway.

    1. In Giovanni’s defence, I am going to say, that as far as I am concerned, the most challenging Telegraph crosswords of the week (barring Toughies) are now Fridays and Sundays, and I personally look forward to the challenge and entertainment every week. My 2 Euros worth :-)

    2. Nice to hear from the man who makes my life a misery every Friday! I finish Mon to Thur and Sat but I take my hat off to you, you beat me every Friday without fail! I will keep trying but after this long I don’t hold out much hope for me. Still at least this week I managed to start the puzzle unlike last week that denied me even that. Good luck and thanks for the explanation.

  7. Thought this crossword excellent. Favourite clue was 20 across. Encouraged to read T S Elliot for first time. Very gloomy.
    Our first few months with Clued Up. Use Google sometimes but no crossword dictionairies.
    Do they exist ?

    1. Sylvia
      For info on Crossword dictionaries and other crossword-related books, look in the FAQ (see button at top of the page), and also see the comments on DT 26023.
      At the risk of lowering the tone, from a solver’s viewpoint the main thing you need to know about T S Eliot is that his name is an anagram of toilets !!

    2. Welcome to the blog Sylvia

      As the person who moderated your comment, I should have greeted you sooner than this.

      Blame the new laptop (I’m back on the desktop at the moment)!

  8. Too busy so no paper today!!! Arrggh – withdrawal symptons being experienced but a tight finish at the Oval to keep my mind focused.

  9. Grrr. Struggled rather a lot with this one, finally finished and checked in here to see what everyone else thought … only to find that I had MANTRA instead of TANTRA.

    And even if Mara isn’t an Irish hill it certainly sounds as thought it ought to be one!

    1. p.s. Attempted some self-justification using Google and came across rather a lot of people and some hills – all in America – and one horse, Irish, called ‘Mara Hill’ which must have been named after something.

  10. Loved 17 across – excellent clue. Im afraid, Geovanni, that I can’t abide name clues such as 23d – I am 30 and I have never, ever met, or for that matter, heard of anyone called Esme.


    And 26a is a real toughie.

    Good crossword otherwise.

    Much love to all.

  11. Rather peeved about 4 down on 26023. Because the clue ended ‘fellow (scot)’ I became convinced it was ”DON’ +’IAN’ , which fitted the letters I had. Spent a lot of fruitless time searching for a 4-letter fish including and A and E. Only possibility was ‘HAKE’, but ‘HAKDONIAN’ doesn’t seem to refer to an Islander!

    Also fell into the ‘MANTRA’ trap – sounded like pretty good Irish hills!

  12. Having read theses comments, I’m feeling much better – I rather like this compiler. Nothing wrong with ESME, and EAST COKER could be derived and then confirmed.

    I stumbled upon Crocket – saw ‘frontiersman’ and started singing to myself ‘King of the wild frontier – Davey, DAVEY CROCKET’ (After having started fruitlessly with ‘Born out round the old Panhandle, Texas where he found his fame, There’s n’ere a horse that he can’t handle, that’s how he got his name…….)!

    (Bronco Lane, for those of you who are only 32 and have never heard of Esme or black and white television.

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