DT 26052 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26052

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment **

I thought that this one was a bit of a curate’s egg – a few nice clues mixed in with some pretty tired ones. You may, of course, disagree – we like to hear all opinions, so please let us know what you think, but if you’re going to say that it was wonderful or it was horrible please do try to give reasons or examples, so that we can get a debate going.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets, so that you don’t see them accidentally. If you do want to see the answer, just highlight the white space between the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Traditional food? Best of era cooked (5,4)
{ROAST BEEF} – an anagram (cooked) of BEST OF ERA produces this traditional British Sunday lunch.

6a  Artist’s support and comfort left (5)
{EASEL} – comfort is EASE – add L(eft). How often have you seen this clue with slight variations?

9a  Show of good wishes among players, end of festival (4-3)
{SEND-OFF} – a gathering of friends and acquaintances to wish one well on ones retirement or departure is hidden (among) playerS END OF Festival.

10a  Handy protection on the range? (4,5)
{OVEN GLOVE} – cryptic definition of what you might use to take 1a out of the cooker without getting your hands burnt.

11a  English politician in trial creating storm (7)
{TEMPEST} – put E(nglish) MP (politician) inside TEST (trial).

12a  A fine feature in football? (7)
{PENALTY} – double definition – a legal punishment (fine) and an advantage awarded on the sports field for an infringement by the opposition. I’m not keen on this clue because the two definitions overlap so much.

13a  Make fun of sole mogul with spleen sadly (4,8,3)
{PULL SOMEONES LEG} – an anagram (sadly) of SOLE MOGUL SPLEEN gives you a phrase meaning to tease or make fun of.

18a  Fire is close to firm in Norfolk town (7)
{DISMISS} – this Norfolk town which appears regularly in crosswords is DISS – insert IS and the last letter (close) of firM and you get a synonym for to sack or fire.

20a  Woman varying habit among volunteers (7)
{TABITHA} – a woman’s name (the name of the young daughter in Bewitched, if you can remember that far back) is formed by putting an anagram (varying) of HABIT inside TA (Territorial Army, volunteers).

22a  Enjoy oneself hugely like organiser of dance? (4,1,4)
{HAVE A BALL} – double definition, the second just about cryptic – once you’ve associated dance with BALL you’re half-way there.

23a  Mean team endlessly in training to come out (7)
{EMANATE} – a verb meaning to come out is generated from an anagram (in training) of MEAN TEA(m). Are you happy with in training as an anagram indicator?

24a  District containing new sports venue (5)
{ARENA} – a very, very old chestnut – put N(ew) inside AREA (district).

25a  Soothing time on fell without fellow getting agitated (9)
{EMOLLIENT} – an anagram (getting agitated) of TIME ON (f)ELL (without the F for fellow) produces an adjective meaning soothing.

Down Clues

1d  Replace poster flanking road – relief for drivers? (4,4)
{REST STOP} – a North American term for what we call a lay-by is produced from an anagram (replace) of POSTER around ST (street, road).

2d  Irregular sailor on choppy Roman lake (8 )
{ABNORMAL} – start with AB (able seaman, sailor), add an anagram (choppy) of ROMAN and finish with L(ake) and you have a synonym for irregular.

3d  Players parade by the sound of it (6)
{TROUPE} – a word for a group of touring actors sounds like a verb meaning to parade the regiment’s flag (or colours) along the ranks of soldiers.

4d  European speciality largely including fine work (6)
{EFFORT} – start with E(uropean) and add most of FORTe (speciality) – now insert F(ine) to get a noun meaning work.

5d  Accept smashing of teacup (4,2,2)
{FACE UP TO} – an anagram (smashing) of OF TEACUP leads to a phrase meaning to accept ones responsibilities or take on a difficult task.

6d  Graceful manner and energy on expert gaining name (8 )
{ELEGANCE} – this is another clue that those who know nothing of cricket will hate! String together E(nergy), LEG (on, side in cricket) and ACE (expert) and insert N(ame) to get a word meaning graceful manner.

7d  Good person on official list for pedestrian activity (6)
{STROLL} – put ST (saint, good person) in front of (on, in a down clue) ROLL (official list, e.g. Electoral Roll) to get what pedestrians do.

8d  Hobby Greek character dropped in recent times (6)
{LATELY} – take the formal name for stamp collecting (hobby) and drop PHI (Greek character) and what remains means in recent times.

14d  Rink alas vandalised in island (3,5)
{SRI LANKA} – this island state off the south-east coast of India is an anagram (vandalised) of RINK ALAS.

15d  Service a company curtailed getting heavy loss (8 )
{MASSACRE} – put together MASS (religious service), A and CRE(w) (company curtailed) to get an overwhelming defeat or heavy loss.

16d  Take action in case? (8 )
{LITIGATE} – a pretty weak cryptic definition of a verb meaning to instigate legal action.

17d  Inclination reading revised introduction to text (8 )
{GRADIENT} – an anagram (revised) of READING is followed by the first letter (introduction) of Text to get a slope or inclination.

18d  Artist capturing hearts with a flower (6)
{DAHLIA} – put the surname of Salvador DALI (famous Spanish surrealist painter) around H (hearts, in bridge notation) and add A to get a brightly-coloured flower.

19d  Critical cut linked with start of economising (6)
{SEVERE} – an adjective meaning intense or critical is formed from SEVER (cut) followed by (linked with) the first letter of Economising.

20d  The French trapped by fuss in Spanish city (6)
{TOLEDO} – the name of this historic Spanish city is formed by putting LE (the, in French) inside TO DO (fuss).

21d  Lament trouble after rise of work that’s spun (6)
{BEWAIL} – trouble is AIL – put this after WEB (work that’s spun) which has to be reversed (rise) and you should get a verb meaning to lament.

I liked 1a and 8d, but my clue of the day is 10a. How about you? – let us know what you think, and please take the time to register your vote by clicking on one of the stars below.

25 comments on “DT 26052

  1. Although I found this very easy, I didn’t like it much.

    23a. No, I didn’t like “in training” as an anagram indicator.

    6d. I thought this was a terrible clue. I got the answer mainly from the definition. I think the setter could give some indication that a cricketing term, or at least a sporting term, is being used.

    16d. Couldn’t understand what this was doing in a cryptic crossword.

    Best clues I thought were 13a and 8d.

  2. Left me feeling a bit deflated. I finished it – with help on the reason for the answer to 6d – and learned something new.

    As a newbie I hadn’t come across the Norfolk town DISS – but now that I have I will remember it – thank you.

    Not sure I had a favourite but liked the two cooking ones – 1a and 10a.

  3. I just wanted to say that the use of ‘on’ / ‘leg’ is so common in cryptic crosswords that surely any solver ought to become familiar with the terms quite quickly, even if he/she never played cricket.

    And, as you asked, I thought the use of ‘in training’ was a bit weak but it was pretty obvious.

    I liked 10a and 12a

    1. Brett,

      Yes, the use of “on/leg” isn’t unusual, and is fine if you get on the right wavelength straight away. But “on” can have so many other meanings in a cryptic clue, particularly in this case, as it is a down clue. Compare this with the Norfolk town of Diss in 18a, to which Gazza and Lea refer. It would have been quite difficult had the setter just used “town”, without some reference to what part of the country.

      I hope that makes sense?

      1. I agree with you Vince- I am an avid cricket and crossword fan but even after getting the answer did not realise the cricket connection- if a clue says “on side” a lot of people would realise the connection to leg but just plain “on” is rather obscure. I found most of the crossword dead easy but thought 18a, 21d and 15d a bit contrived. I liked 12a, 13a and 25a. I never like clues like 18d where you have artist (which could be any of hundreds) to give a flower which could be any plant (or river). I amazed myself by getting 8d as hobby could have been any number of words from which you are looking to take any one of many greek characters away- I would have liked a clue to the type of hobby or to which Greek character. Curate’s egg was a good description Gazza!

  4. I found this amiable enough but nothing to set the pulse racing or bring much of a smile to the lips. There were some nice surface readings today. For a good mix of indicators, surface reading and solution, I think 2d was my favourite.

    The odd old chestnut does not bother me too much as I still remember when the old chestnuts were still buds on the tree. As Lea has pointed out, they will always be new to someone and the setter has to cater for us old hands as well as newbies.

    I can see the reasoning for training being an anagram indicator in the sense that you might train a vine to lay it out in a new direction.

    Like Vince, I thought that 6d and 16d were weak clues but apart from that I had no quibbles with the crossword.

  5. PhiLATELY had me stumped, I got the answer from the crossing letters but couldn’t explain it.

    I was coming up with things such as lay=hobby because of lay preachers and then trying to convince myself that tel was a greek letter dropped inside. (but I knew it wasn’t!!)

  6. Once again all my quibbles are answered by an excellent review. I thought todays had a little bit of everything for veteran solvers and the newbies. 18a was a new one for me, 8d had me confused for a while. Like others i’m sick of the cricket references, surely there is a more general way. Also i kept wondering do we have a new setter?

    1. Edi
      Thanks. There are a number of different setters for the Tuesday puzzles (which makes doing the reviews more interesting!) and I don’t know who compiled today’s. Of course it would be great if he/she dropped in to let us know…..

  7. An average crossword which will have helped some to understand some longstanding clues.

    Thought 8d was quite a neat clue.

    Standard difficulty for a Tuesday.

  8. got stuck on a couple today had never come across the Norfolk town Diss before, got 6d but not from the cryptic clue! according to Libelulle todays toughie gets a one star for difficulty may be worth a shot :)

    1. Don’t tell Kram as he reckons that if he sucks his teeth he might choke! Perhaps we should have a warning sign with a pair of false teeth inside a red triangle.

  9. Nice puzzle today, really enjoyed it esp 18d. But I thought an emollient was a soothing cream, I didn’t realise it also meant to sooth.

  10. As Gazza says Curate’s egg. Got through it quickly but couldn’t understand (until I read the hint) where hobby came into it on 8d which I therefore nominate as my best clue. Thought 16d was lame

  11. I found this quite easy and zipped through quickly save 21d and 25a – never twigged in to “web” and found this clue quite weak. Some straightforward clues overall 8d being my favourite. I would rate this 2* despite the two I got stuck with.

  12. We found today’s offering a generally enjoyable experience, despite some hoary chestnuts. Admired the creativity behind ‘Philately.’ Agree with ‘new to cryptic’, 16d was so transparent! Last clue in was ‘dismiss’ owing to shortfall in knowledge of UK geography.

    Can anyone solve this? It’s a clue we composed this evening:

    ‘Wipe out queen, renounce taking second piece’ (9)

  13. Had a shocking start came up with the wrong anagram for 1a but I googled RODEO CAKE to find it does exist – soon spotted the error when solving 2d – sorry I’m a day behind

    1. Edward,
      Rodeo Cake does seem to exist, but what it tastes like is anybody’s guess the addition of 3/4 cup mayonnaise bothers me somewhat. Assuming the answer was Rodeo Cake, what would the anagram indicator have been?

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