DT 26034 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26034

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26034

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

We have another interesting Tuesday puzzle from the setter who likes single-word answers. There’s something of a bird theme in today’s down clues, including one that I’d never heard of.
As usual, the answers, if you want to see them, are hidden inside the curly brackets – just highlight the white space between the brackets to reveal them.
Your comments, as always, are very welcome.

Across Clues

1a  Putting in a plug? (11)
{ADVERTISING} – cryptic definition of a means of promoting a product.

10a  It helps to raise some dough (5)
{YEAST} – there’s a bit of a double bluff, because dough here is not the slang word for money but the primary meaning of the word – so what we have is a cryptic definition of a fermenting agent used in baking.

11a  In RADA, get trained actor (9)
{TRAGEDIAN} – an anagram (trained) of IN RADA GET produces an actor who specialises in tragic roles.

12a  Handling matter differently on hospital department (9)
{TREATMENT} – in crosswords a hospital department is nearly always ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) – put an anagram (differently) of MATTER in front of it to get a synonym for handling.

13a  Master Latin — it enables general education initially (5)
{LIEGE} – a feudal lord or master is to be found in the first letters (initially) of the five words starting with Latin.

14a  Most naive artist taking direction (6)
{RAWEST} – a charade of RA (Royal Academician, artist) and WEST (direction) produces a word meaning most naïve.

16a  Possibly suits compiler with new curse (8 )
{MENSWEAR} – string together ME (compiler, i.e. the setter), N(ew) and SWEAR (curse) to get male clothes, of which suits are an example (possibly).

18a  A fresh United about to find opening (8 )
{APERTURE} – a charade of A, PERT (fresh, cheeky), U(nited) and RE (about) leads to an opening.

20a  Street criminal outside a prison (6)
{STALAG} – a contraction of the German word STAmmLAGer gives us a word for a prisoner-of-war camp (prison) for non-officers. Put ST (street) and LAG (criminal) around A.

23a  More delightful recording by Queen (5)
{CUTER} – string together CUT (recording, harking back to the days when a disk was cut) and ER (the Queen) to get a comparative meaning more delightful.

24a  A cop gets a switch for whipping boy (9)
{SCAPEGOAT} – an anagram (switch) of A COP GETS A produces someone who takes the blame for the misdeeds of others (whipping boy, historically a boy who attended lessons with a prince and received all the latter’s punishments).

26a  Kill time after time? One caught getting put inside (9)
{ERADICATE} – start with two times, ERA and DATE, and put IC (one caught) inside to form a verb meaning to get rid of or kill.

27a  He won’t share his lolly! (5)
{MISER} – cryptic definition of someone who is very tight-fisted.

28a  Dodgy lapse in Tory character (11)
{PERSONALITY} – an anagram (dodgy) of LAPSE IN TORY produces a term for character.

Down Clues

2d  Bird after diamonds is degenerate (5)
{DRAKE} – put RAKE (a degenerate person) after D (diamonds in bridge notation) to get a male duck (bird).

3d  Among the best at establishing properties (7)
{ESTATES} – properties are hidden (among) in bEST AT EStablishing.

4d  Called bird then came first (6)
{TITLED} – start with TIT (bird) and add LED (came first) to get a synonym for called.

5d  Check on bank is less adequate (8 )
{SCANTIER} – a charade of SCAN (check) and TIER (bank) produces a word meaning less adequate, or possibly more revealing (which must be an excuse for a picture!).

6d  They’re useless, pointless (7)
{NEEDLES} – a neat attempt at an all-in-one clue – useless is NEEDLESS, now take off the final S (pointless).

7d  Treachery cost crook, getting bird (13)
{OYSTERCATCHER} – an anagram (crook, in the Antipodean usage meaning injured or dishonest) of TREACHERY COST gives us this wading bird.

8d  Pretension true of the stars (8 )
{SIDEREAL} – a charade of SIDE (pretension) and REAL (true) generates an adjective meaning relating to the stars.

9d  Conservative after turning angrier to questioning (13)
{INTERROGATORY} – put TORY (Conservative) after an anagram (turning) of ANGRIER TO and you end up with a synonym for questioning.

15d  Bird’s sultriness in dress (8 )
{WHEATEAR} – inject HEAT (sultriness) into WEAR (dress) to get a songbird with a white rump, which I’ve never come across.

17d  Spring inside lock for illegal entry (8 )
{TRESPASS} – put SPA (spring) inside TRESS (lock of hair).

19d  Engine that is burnt out (7)
{TURBINE} – an anagram (out) of IE (id. est, that is) and BURNT produces a type of engine.

21d  Another male swallows raised draught? (7)
{THERMAL} – swallows here is not another bird reference but a pointer to the fact that hidden in anoTHER MALe is a rising current of air (raised draught).

22d  Swerve motor, even losing velocity (6)
{CAREEN} – a verb meaning to tilt to one side (swerve) is made from CAR (motor) and EvEN, with V(elocity) removed.

25d  Start acting? (5)
{ONSET} – double definition – a noun meaning start is also a cryptic description of where a film actor may be when doing his job.

The clues I liked included 6d and 19d, but my clue of the day is 24a. How about you? – let us know what you thought of it via a comment, and please don’t forget to vote by clicking on one of the stars below.

31 comments on “DT 26034

  1. I am at it again, I get myself all worked up and then I have to tell myself it is only a crossword. I have laboured with 8d for the last thirty minutes. I cannot find a four letter word that agrees with the word pretension. very frustrating. calm down dear !
    Sorry Gazza

    1. Nubian
      Oddly Bradford’s Crossword Solver’s Dictionary does not give this word under pretension, but my Thesaurus does, saying that it is specifically a British usage.

      1. Interestingly, my copy of Bradford gives pretension under the heading Side, but like you Gazza, not the other way round.

      2. I wasn’t happy with “side” for “pretension”. I couldn’t find it anywhere, but decided it couldn’t be anything else. Other than that, I found it enjoyable. I liked all the anagrams, although there did seem to be a lot of them! I particularly liked 6d.

  2. Good crossword. 8d stumped me today, but apart from that, more good anagrams (28a, 7d & 9d)
    26a was probably my favourite clue.

  3. Learnt a few things today (even though it was possible to work out the answers).
    1) Rake means a degenerate person
    2) Side = pretension
    3) Heat = sultriness (and also there is a bird called a wheatear)
    4) There is a bird called an oystercatcher

    Still a pretty enjoyable crossword. Liked 6d and 16a the best. Oh and the above picture in your hint for 5d is pretty good as well !

  4. 8d I incorrectly put dihedral here as I thought but was not sure that dihedral may mean something in astronomy. I knew somehow it didn’t fit properly with the clue, but as luck would have it it did fit in the grid! I am glad to have the correct solution though!

  5. Good puzzle. I really like this setter’s preference for single-word answers. It just goes to show you can have an enjoyable puzzle without having to resort to numerous multi-word answers (my pet hate in crosswords). Well done to the Tuesday setter. I hope to have the opportunity to solve many more of his puzzles.

    1. Interesting that you hate multi word answers as I’m totally the opposite and why I don’t like this setter’s puzzles. Is it that multi-word are easier do you think? Several clues in this puzzle were too obscure for my taste even though I got there in the end.

      1. Hi newtocryptic

        I don’t mind puzzles with one or two multi-word answers but I dislike puzzles that have a lot of these. The reason I like Ray Terrell is he rarely relies on multi-word answers and produces a good and challenging puzzle with one-word answers (most of the time). I guess it is a personal preference on my part. I am sure there are many solvers out there who may prefer multi-word answers.

        Thanks for your reply to my post. I like to read the opinions other solvers have as to the style of the various setters.

  6. Hi, thanks for the welcome yesterday..I’m still new to cryptics and finishing them is still a rarity. Still trying to understand all the different meanings of clues but your site does help.

    1. Andy
      If you haven’t found it already, there’s a great deal of information about clue types which you can access via the FAQ button (at the top of the page) or directly here.

      1. Hi and thanks, had noticed it but not in any depth, which says a lot. Will have a good look and then study the info.

        1. Can’t believe i missed all of this information, thanks again Gazza, and thanks for compiling the info Dave.

  7. Sorry to be pedantic but doesn’t look much like oystercatchers I know – they are normally black and white! Perhaps a more knowledgeable twitcher can confirm!!

    1. Toby
      You may be right, but if you right-click on the picture then select ‘properties’ you’ll see that ‘oystercatcher’ appears in its title.

    2. I’ve checked the wikipedia article on oystercatchers and there are different species, but this is what it says about their colour:
      The different species of oystercatcher show little variation in shape or appearance. The plumage of all species is either all-black, or black (or dark brown) on top and white underneath. The Variable Oystercatcher is slightly exceptional in being either all-black or pied.

  8. I liked this crossword and zipped through quite easily save for 15d and 8d. As a matter of interest can we share a few views as to how the crossword should be started – do most people start with 1A for example? I always start with the last “down” clue and work up which probably says a lot for my brain activity! I also reckon experienced solvers can evaluate a puzzle’s trickeness by a quick scan of the clues – what do you other fine people think? If I see lots of fragmented answers I can generally guarantee quite an easy challenge.

    1. Little Dave
      I scan through the clues looking for an easy “way in” (2d in this one, if I remember correctly) then try to build out from that point, using the checking letters from my first answer.

  9. I disagree – I think 6d is dodgy! After all, what part of the clue actually means needles? In fact, quite the opposite, no?

    1. Mr B
      The whole of the clue is the definition, They’re useless (if they are) pointless, i.e. things which are useless if they have no point.

  10. Hi Dave,

    Back from our summer break, having managed to access your site from some very obscure places! Thought this was difficult because of all the bird references, but are ready to settle in for some serious solving for the autumn…

    In answer to other comments, we prefer multi-word answers and look for these first to get us started.

  11. In response to Little Dave I also start with the last down clue and work up to the top in the belief – almost certainly misguided – that the compiler starts at the top and is probably looking for easy words in the final down clues to get the thing finished! It’s worked for me for the past ten years or so – why change it? Good site, Big Dave, I feel there’s now a chance I might retain my sanity . . .

    1. Welcome to the blog Kev

      I read somewhere that one of the top solvers used the same technique, but it doesn’t work with all setters. It is usually the case that 1 across is carefully considered, but in a recent puzzle it was the second or third word in a phrase.

      I always start at the first clue because CluedUp makes life difficult if you don’t.

  12. I realise I am a month behind, here in sunny South Africa, but some might remember the crossword puzzle which featured an oystercatcher. The oystercatchers on our seashore are indeed the same as he one featured in Gazza’s pic – we even have a restaurant named after them. Next time you visit Port Elizabeth treat yourself to a delicious seafood meal at the Oystercatcher!

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