DT 26058 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26058

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26058

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

Regular solvers will recognise the style of today’s setter, and as usual he has provided a good variety of clues and a few smiles.
As always the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets to prevent your seeing them accidentally – just select the white space inside the brackets if you want to reveal one.
Your comments are warmly welcomed, and we specially want to hear from those who have not yet left a comment – pluck up your courage and introduce yourself. We are a friendly lot and won’t bite – and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a complete novice trying your first cryptic crossword or you’ve been doing them for years.

Across Clues

1a  Coppers accepting a new punishment (7)
{PENANCE} – coppers are PENCE – put A N(ew) inside.

9a  About time to embrace right. Say again? (8 )
{REPHRASE} – put together RE (about) and PHASE (time) and insert (embrace) R(ight).

10a  Just beginning last of mountain climb (7)
{NASCENT} – the last letter of mountaiN is followed by ASCENT (climb) to form an adjective meaning in its infancy.

11a  Calls for battle cries (8 )
{WARRANTS} – a charade of WAR (battle) and RANTS (cries) produces a verb meaning calls for or necessitates.

12a  I treat terrible habit (6)
{ATTIRE} – an anagram (terrible) of I TREAT gives you something to wear (habit).

13a  Where one may run into a mate? (10)
{CHESSBOARD} – cryptic definition of the battleground where checkmate may occur.

15a  Previously supported by church (4)
{ONCE} – a charade of ON (supported by) and CE (Church of England).

16a  Small talk on journalist’s spread (9)
{SPATTERED} – start with S(mall) and add PATTER (talk) and then put these on ED(itor) to get a verb meaning scattered or spread. On, as a directive,  should really only be used in a down clue.

21a  Old friend’s a gem (4)
{OPAL} – a charade of O(ld) and PAL (friend).

22a  Consider it abnormal showing reserve (10)
{DISCRETION} – an anagram (abnormal) of CONSIDER IT.

24a  Great Asian nationalist died helping India, initially (6)
{GANDHI} – an all-in-one, made up of the first letters (initially) of the first five words.

25a  Bound to participate in this game (8 )
{LEAPFROG} – a cryptic definition of a children’s game in which they take turns to jump over each other.

27a  Fans in a trance catching singer (7)
{SINATRA} – hidden (catching) in the clue is Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

28a  It helps to hush up a report (8 )
{SILENCER} – an amusing cryptic definition of a device which can be fitted to a handgun to muffle the sound of a shot.

29a  Hide Ecstasy in panic (7)
{LEATHER} – put E(cstasy) inside LATHER (panic) to get an animal’s skin (hide).

Down Clues

2d  Hard former wife creating a scene (8 )
{EXACTING} – put together EX (former wife) and ACTING (creating a scene) to form an adjective meaning rigorous or hard.

3d  Save rich assortment in here? (8 )
{ARCHIVES} – a partial all-in-one – form an anagram (assortment) of SAVE RICH.

4d  Bless ancestor’s reformation in church (10)
{CONSECRATE} – put an anagram (reformation) of ANCESTOR inside CE (Church of England) to get a verb meaning to bless.

5d  Excellent compiler with good answer (4)
{MEGA} – a slang term which can mean excellent as well as enormous is constructed from ME (the compiler), G(ood) and A(nswer).

6d  Angel fish eating elver’s head and tail (6)
{CHERUB} – put CHUB (a small river fish) around the first and last letters (head and tail) of ElveR to get a lower-grade angel (apparently these rank lower than seraphs!).

7d  Challenge win, for example (7)
{GAINSAY} – a charade of GAIN (win) and SAY (for example) produces a verb meaning to contradict or challenge.

8d  Coast of Toulouse, as I described (7)
{SEASIDE} – a synonym for coast is hidden (of) in ToulouSE AS I DEscribed. I think that the surface reading is marred somewhat by the fact that Toulouse is nowhere near the coast – perhaps the Peloponnese would have been better.

11d  Fighting others left in faction (9)
{WRESTLING} – faction is WING – put REST (others) and L(eft) inside it to get a form of fighting.

14d  Season well with herb, say (10)
{SPRINGTIME} – put together SPRING (well) and a sound-alike (say) of THYME (herb) to get a season.

17d  Blue feathers spread out (8 )
{DOWNCAST} – a synonym for blue (in the sense of melancholy) is formed by putting together DOWN (feathers) and CAST (throw or spread out).

18d  Where deal may be cut? (8 )
{SAWHORSE} – a cryptic definition of a trestle used to support wood while it is being cut.

19d  Love that is rock solid inside (7)
{IDOLISE} – put an anagram (rock) of SOLID inside IE (id. est, that is).

20d  Strikes when socialist leader weakens (7)
{ASSAILS} – string together AS (when), S(ocialist) and AILS (weakens) to get a synonym for strikes.

23d  Perfect ramble ends well (6)
{REFINE} – start with the outer (ends) letters of RamblE and add FINE (well) to get a verb meaning to improve or perfect.

26d  Get married after ring’s due (4)
{OWED} – put WED (married) after O (shaped like a circle, thus ring) to get a synonym for due.

I liked 14d and 18d, but my clue of the day is 28a. What do you think? – let us know via a comment!

46 comments on “DT 26058

  1. Very enjoyable start to the day – all the hallmarks of a good crossword were here. My only complaint is that it was over too quickly! I particularly liked 4d and 18d.

  2. Very enjoyable – got through this without having to look at one hint and I could understand why each answer was what it was – nice change for me.

    My favourites were 4d and 28a.

  3. Was this harder than ususal? I found it very difficult to get started, but thoroughly enjoyed it, once I did.

    I can’t agree with you about 18d, Gazza. I thought this was the worst clue. The “where” threw me. I was looking for a place, such as a sawmill or workshop, until I got the checked letters. I think “on which” would have been better.

    But I do agree with you on 28a.

  4. I enjoyed this one, too, and did it all in pretty good time for me — except for 5d which escaped me. One of my favourite clues was 6d, which called to mind a short verse that you might know:

    There is a fine stuffed chavender, a chavender or chub,
    That decks the rural pavender, the pavender or pub,
    In which I eat my gravender, my gravender or grub.

    1. Franny
      Nice bit of poetry! There’s a variation that goes:
      “Now when you’ve caught your chavender,
      (Your chavender or chub)
      You hie you to your pavender,
      (Your pavender or pub),
      And there you lie in lavender,
      (Sweet lavender or lub).”

  5. Struggled with this one. Made sense after tips. never heard of 7d though. Off to the toughie now. watch this space.

      1. Thoroughly enjoyable. Had a quick peek at your review before i tackled it. Thanks for the tips Libellule. Did pretty well by myself. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Bythaway…. can someone explain why (in xwrdland) U = acceptable. Is it to do with Film Classifications?

        1. Edi
          U in this context stands for socially-acceptable. Chambers has:
          U (informal) (adjective) (of words, behaviour, etc.) as used by or found among the upper-classes, hence socially acceptable; upper-class, opposite to non-U.

          Well done on completing the Toughie. I’ll be reviewing tomorrow’s so I may see you again :D

        2. I’m answering this rather late, but just wanted to tell you that the concept of U and Non-U (for acceptable and non-acceptable words) was first invented by Nancy Mitford in an essay called “Noblesse Oblige”. This came out in 1956, and helped make the English even more self-conscious about their language than before :-)

  6. Found it really difficult today and had to have lots of help….thank you Gazza
    favourite clue 11a
    least favourite…. too many to mention :(

  7. I like to start off with the clues that have multiword answers. This crossword didn’t have any which always puts me off my stride. I too found this to be quite difficult. Don’t think I’ll be winning the Times Crossword Championship anytime soon!

    1. Pixie
      It’s one of the trademarks of the setter (RayT) that his clues nearly always have single word answers.

  8. Hi Gazza, regarding your comment on 16a, that ‘on’ should be only used for reading down clues, this is the first time I have realised this after xx years of trying to solve cryptic crosswords.Do compilers stick to this rule, obviously not today, but is it a generally recognised rule?.Once again thanks for a great write up, enjoyed 14d.

    1. Kram
      Directives in clues like on, over, above, under, beneath. etc. which have the connotation of a vertical arrangement, should, in theory, only be used in down clues, but you’ll find plenty of examples of the “rule” being broken.

  9. I think I can fairly say I hated todays puzzle. After yesterdays horror I was hoping for something that made sense. Not my cup of tea for sure!

  10. found today’s really hard needed quite a bit of help
    the toulouse clue didn’t bother me as i didn’t know it wasn’t on the coast but even after taking ac ouple of hints to get me going i still struggled

    1. If it had been me, and wanting to have a French theme (as Ray might want) I think I would have used Biscarrosse, trouble is – its not as well known as Toulouse :-) Mind you Toulouse had an excellent win over Sale in the HC this weekend. Saw the game live on FR2.

      1. Yes – I saw Toulouse beat Sale B as well :D
        I know that Ray lives in France, but I don’t see why the town/city in this clue has to be in France – what about Sousse (in Tunisia, which is a former French colony) ?

        1. Gazza,
          I don’t think the town/city has to be in France, just that Ray might like it to be in France :-)
          BTW I like the comment re. Sale B :-)

  11. Got about half – never on the same wavelength as this compiler. liked some clues 4d, 14d, but really don’t like clues such as 7d which seems a bit “indirect” for me to ever get!

  12. Apologies for the late response, but thanks to Gazza for his review, and to everybody else for their comments.
    I must have been confusing Toulouse with Marseille!

  13. Found this quite a strange puzzle – a mix of obvious and a mix of less obvious. Needless to say did not quite finish it. I have been struggling the last week or so – need a holiday.

  14. This is a shocker- only managed two = 12a & 24a – was relieved to read that all you seasoned x-worders didn’t find it easy. Very disheartening for the novice. What planet is this compiler from?

    1. Jindabyne
      The compiler is RayT who’s left a comment just above yours!
      I know that it can be disheartening when you’re starting out, but if you use the hints to make sure that you understand the wordplay for each clue, you’ll soon make progress. Sometimes you “click” with some setters and not others, but the more you practise, as long as you make sure you understand why each answer is what it is, the better you’ll get.

      1. I have taken the time to do this and they do make sense (most anyway) but I take my hat off to people who can work them out without hints.

  15. Getting a lot better solving and completing Ray T’s crosswords I’m pleased to say! Favourite clue was 13a principally because I thought it was something to do with dating agencies until I thought more laterally!

  16. So that’s what the brackets are for! I’d never realised, and enjoyed looking on here so much, as I still had to work out the answers from the hints. No wonder I struggle with the crossword…

    Thank you tho’, all so useful.

    1. Zoe
      Ooops – we do try to publicise the purpose of the brackets a couple of times a week. It may be worth your while reading the FAQ section, which you’ll find here.

      1. Oh, but you see I really liked the fact that I still had to work at getting the answers! Now I’ll be tempted to look in the brackets rather than trying to work it out from the hints…

        Thank you tho’, I appreciate you trying to steer me in the right direction.

  17. 16A – the “on” thing. Something that caught me by surprise a few months ago is the other directive interpretation of “on”. In an across clue it’s also used to indicate one wordplay component placed after another (so it could also be “following” or similar). I’d written an across clue using “on” simply to mean “beside” and I was pulled up on it – which I have to admit still seems a tad puzzling; in placenames such as Clacton-on-Sea the “on” just means “next to”.
    The odd whims of crossword editors!

    1. Take your point. I’m wondering if Burton upon Trent means the same as Burton on Trent. If ‘on’ means ‘next to’, then how about ‘under’ as an across clue directive… as in Newcastle under Lyme?

      1. In theory – but only in theory – “under” in that sense might be valid. Editors wouldn’t allow it, though, simply on the basis that its usual use for down wordplay would make this interpretation misleading and thus unfair. I can’t yet find anything to suggest why “under” is used in the placename – Newcastle is straightforward enough but it appears Lyme may refer to Lyme Brook or the lime forests that were present in medieval times; and Wiki (pah! What do they know?) mentions nothing of “under” although perhaps the centre of the town is/was south of the brook/lime forests? Just a guess.

        1. According to the survey of English Place Names at Nottingham University (how do I know about it – don’t ask). Newcastle Under Lyme gets its name from:
          ‘New castle’. Lyme is an old Celtic district name, possibly meaning ‘elm-tree region’.

      2. .. and how does Weston-super-Mare fit in? super-Mare must mean on-sea so is it analogous to Clacton-on-Sea, and if so how about “super” in an across clue?

  18. I very much enjoyed this crossword, and got all but three (which for me is very good).

    Would someone be kind enough to shed some light on 18d please? Is “deal” another word for wood? I looked it up on an online dictionary but found nothing.

    Many thanks

  19. Today’s crossword, 26059 was like going from yesterday’s sublimely difficult to today’s ridiculously easy — even for novices like me & my new friend Chambers. Very satisfying!

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