DT 26064 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26064

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26064

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ***

The first thing to say about today’s puzzle is that there are no cricketing terms at all (well, 26a could relate to a cricket team, but I’ve chosen to go with football instead). Apart from that we have a novel anagram indicator in 7d and a strange, but entertaining, clue at 16d.

As usual the answers are hidden inside the curly brackets – just select the white space inside the brackets to reveal them, if you need to.

All comments, whether from seasoned campaigners or first-timers, are very welcome.

Across Clues

1a  English constable is distinguished (8 )
{ESPECIAL} – put together E and the sort of police constable who works on a voluntary part-time basis.

5a  Show clearly First Lady going round in open car (6)
{EVINCE} – the first lady is EVE – inside put IN and the opening letter of Car.

9a  Put back small-change coin (8 )
{TUPPENCE} – start by reversing PUT, then add PENCE (small-change) to get an informal word for a smallish coin. I’m not keen on this clue because the second part has pretty much the same meaning as it does in the answer.

10a  A toll, we hear, comprising two separate material parts (6)
{BIKINI} – a sound-alike of a toll without a great leap of imagination gives us ATOLL (a chain of islands formed of coral). This is preceded by a two-piece swimming costume to produce the name of the island in Micronesia where the U.S. carried out a series of nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s. How I agonised over the choice of whether to show a picture of a deserted beach or …

11a  Coat seen misshaped by a wallet (8 )
{NOTECASE} – an anagram (misshaped) of COAT SEEN.

12a  Complete agreement on university issue (6)
{UNISON} – a charade of UNI (university) and SON (issue).

14a  Emulsion is sprayed on automobiles (10)
{LIMOUSINES} – an anagram (sprayed) of EMULSION IS produces luxurious automobiles.

18a  Is this buffer-zone hers? (2-4-4)
{NO-MANS-LAND} – cryptic definition of a disputed piece of land between two opposing hostile forces.

22a  Hesitation by lout sounding a vowel change (6)
{UMLAUT} – UM (hesitation) is followed by LAUT (sounds like lout) to get a diacritical sign (¨) signalling a vowel modification in Germanic languages.

23a  Highest point at which to fasten clean dressing (8 )
{PINNACLE} – put together PIN (to fasten) and an anagram (dressing) of CLEAN.

24a  Authentic material (6)
{ACTUAL} – double definition.

25a  Not to mention the tale Noel fabricated (3,5)
{LET ALONE} – an anagram (fabricated) of TALE NOEL generates a phrase introducing something that is far less likely than something else already mentioned, e.g. “he couldn’t run a whelk stall, … ….. a multi-national company”.

26a  A side, one-by-one (6)
{ELEVEN} – double definition – the number of players in a football team (side) and what the word looks like when written as a numeral.

27a  Tube station to which the pressman was abandoned (8 )
{STRANDED} – a synonym for abandoned is formed by putting together STRAND (tube station in London) and ED (editor, pressman).

Down Clues

1d  Former shelter of some size (6)
{EXTENT} – a charade of EX (former) and TENT (shelter).

2d  To reach near-perfect stage of development, young animal took food (6)
{PUPATE} – a verb meaning (of an insect) to reach its inactive mature form is produced by putting together PUP (young animal) and ATE (took food).

3d  Compel firm to visit A&E, for example, and church (6)
{COERCE} – a verb meaning to compel is formed from CO (company, firm), ER (Emergency Room, U.S. term for A&E) and CE (Church of England).

4d  Within reach entrance is bolted oddly (10)
{ACCESSIBLE} – entrance is ACCESS – add the odd letters of Is BoLtEd.

6d  Pretension of Ivan the Terrible wearing cape (8 )
{VAINNESS} – start with an anagram (the terrible) of IVAN and add NESS (cape, headland).

7d  Beginning to develop ‘ants’ as in ‘pants’ (8 )
{NAISSANT} – an adjective, from the French, meaning budding or beginning to develop is constructed from an anagram (pants) of ANTS AS IN. Pants, as an anagram indicator, made me laugh – what do you think of it?

8d  Elves’ sin is convulsed in depravity (8 )
{EVILNESS} – an anagram (is convulsed) of ELVES’ SIN leads to a synonym for depravity.

13d  Correspondent at Crown Office event (10)
{COINCIDENT} – put together CO (Crown Office) and INCIDENT (event) to get an adjective meaning agreeing or occurring at the same time.

15d  Cruel and senseless to sing inside (8 )
{INHUMANE} – senseless is INANE – put HUM (to sing) inside.

16d  Made from, for example, seedless grapes whisked up (but not scrambled) (8 )
{OMELETTE} – this is part-clue, part-recipe. The answer is a savoury dish which is made by whisking up EG (for example) plus G(rape)S (seedless, in the sense of empty i.e. without rapeseed – thanks Vince!), plus a number of red herrings!

17d  When at home whelp destroyed brood (8 )
{INCUBATE} – a verb meaning (of a bird) to brood or sit on eggs to bring them to hatching is constructed from a charade of IN (at home), CUB (whelp) and ATE (destroyed).

19d  Some bank a rand to achieve capital (6)
{ANKARA} – this capital city is hidden (some) in bANK A RAnd.

20d  A couple of hundred ordinary Republican delegates begin to agree (6)
{ACCORD} – string together A, CC (two hundred in Roman numerals) and the initial letters (begin) of Ordinary Republican Delegates.

21d  Fed up with objective guard (6)
{DEFEND} – Reverse (up) FED and add END (objective).

My favourite clues included 18a and 7d (purely for the anagram indicator), but my clue of the day is 25a. How about you? – tell us what you think via a comment, and please take the time to rate the puzzle by clicking on one of the stars below.

55 comments on “DT 26064

  1. 16d annoyed me intensely. Is it normal to have a construct of a word that is just a clue word in itself? Otherwise I found this quite a challenge, with two new words for me.

    1. LB
      I think, when I typed it, I must have been thinking subconsciously of NO-FLY-ZONE which was an answer we had a few days ago.

  2. Don”t agree with you bigmacsub as I really liked 16d – thought it was very clever. I also enjoyed 18a for lots of reasons.

    1. Lea
      That’s 1-1 so far. I thought that people would either love or hate 16d which is a bit weird. I quite liked it, but one like that per puzzle is enough!

      1. I liked 16d – I didnt get it until I read this but i did like it!. In fact I struggled with the bottom left today but a good crossword nonetheless.

        Favourites were 25a and 10a (didn’t think you would choose that as an illustration!!)

      2. I didn’t like it, but I understood “seedless grapes” to be “grapes” without “rape seed”?

        1. Vince
          As Captain Mainwaring would have said “I was waiting to see who would be the first to spot that!”. Seriously, it never occurred to me, but I think you’re right.

    2. I don’t doubt the cleverness, but is it an accepted convention to have such a tricky construct to give you a result that eventually reads ‘Made from eggs (not scrambled)’ with no other guides to the answer, from such a wordy clue? Seems too literal in the end to me, even though I see the plan.

  3. Almost got caught on 8d, when the grid was empty, as vileness is also a possible answer. Then realised ‘v’ would be the final letter in 5 across.

      1. I don’t know why evilness is even a word since evil can be a noun, but if it’s in the dictionary that’s fair enough.

      2. Vileness was my first attempt then I realised that it wasn’t right when I got the across clues. I agree it was a better word

  4. Thanks for a super write up on an enjoyable crossword Gazza.Loved the anagram indicator of ‘pants’ -rubbish, favourites for today 18a and 16d.

  5. Sorry I know I am being stupid but could someone explain to how in 16d we have example EG in an answer that doesn’t contain the letter G or GS when it also contains neither. This is either very clever or the stupidest clue I have ever come across. The jury’s out!

    1. Just walked into another room and it struck me EGGS!!! Very clever, bit like the classic Times clue GEGS!

  6. Enjoyable crossword.

    Thought 10a was a good clue and gave the opportunity to remind me how tasty water melon(s) is!

    I too do not like “pants: as an anagram indicator.

    1. Hi Jaybee and welcome to the blog.
      Sorry for the delay in getting your first post moderated.
      Do you think that “abandoned” in 27a as well as being the definition could also serve as an indication that the tube station is no more?

  7. It’s high horse time again
    22a ****** [German, from um around (in the sense of changing places) + Laut sound]

    It may be in Collins but is it really necessary to use foreign words in an English crossword just so the compiler can say to him or herself “This will keep them going for a bit”.
    The English language is rich enough without having to constantly include words that are used in everyday speech once in a milenium. If the practise is so acceptable then why not use electronic words like :-
    ‘multivibrator# or capacitance or phrases like ‘shift register’ or ‘beam tetrode’ , I am sure these are written down in some manual but the everyday person is unlikely to use them on a regular basis, I know Big Dave always tells me I am digging too deep and I need to lighten up,worse things have happened at sea but fairness should play a part in a thing of light amusement like a crossword.
    I am beginning to annoy myself now !

  8. Loved the crossword today. Closer to a 4* than a 3* with some very inventive clues. In respect of 16d, I wonder whether the “whisked up” is part of the definition (rather than an instruction to the solver) to aid obtaining the solution rather than scrambled eggs. The definition then reads Eggs whisked up (but not scrambled). Maybe too fine a distinction?

    Pants was an ingenious anagram indicator. At least the setter had the decency to put it in quotes to highlight that the usage was unusual.

    Only one slight critisism is that there has been no tube station named Strand since 1973. I wonder how many people have poured over the tube map looking for a station that is no longer there. For the anoraks, I believe that Aldwych was once called Strand and that what is now Charing Cross station used to be a number of separate stations before being combined in 1979, the former stations including Strand and Trafalgar Square. It might have been fairer to have used former tube station (or even abandoned tube station!).

    1. //For the anoraks, I believe that Aldwych was once called Strand and that what is now Charing Cross station used to be a number of separate stations before being combined in 1979, the former stations including Strand and Trafalgar Square//

      Actually, the thought did occur to me when I got the answer!

    2. Prolixic
      That’s the way I read 16d – that’s why I said it was “part-recipe”. Whisked up cannot be an anagram indicator because the letters of Eggs are already in the right order. I wonder also if “(not scrambled)” was a nod to the GEGS clue that Barrie refers to above.
      I didn’t know the Strand tube station is no more, not having lived in London since 1971.

  9. Hello all, back again after a lovely holiday, I enjoyed this very much, especially 16d and 10a, unlike most I quite liked “pants” as an anagram indicator.

  10. Quite enjoyed today after struggling yesterday . 16d – I got the answer from the cooking reference rather than the whole clue, but I s even ee it now! Similarly for 7d I got the answer but didn’t spot the anagram indicator of ‘pants’ which I don’t think is very good.

    1. alan
      Both originate from the Latin verb to be born, but naissant has made a detour through France.
      Both are in Chambers.

  11. My first completion without assistance. As for anagram indicators – I can enjoy ‘sprayed ’14a, ‘terrible’ 6d, ‘convulsed ‘8d – but ‘pants’ 7d is just too far.
    16d. Surely ‘sing’ anf ‘hum’ are different actions?
    All in all a memorable crossword (because I finished it)

    1. Terry
      One of the meanings of the verb to hum in Chambers is “to sing with closed lips without words or articulation”.

  12. Ok Ok I have had a Pauline conversion and so from now on I will stop saying ‘High Horse’ and start using ’cause celebre’

    Alan is right and that is my final word


  13. Managed to finish today for a change. 16d was a bit obscure- got it from the crossing letters but many thanks for the explanation. I didn’t mind “Pants” as an indicator – not as obscure as some of the things we see. 5a – I thought “open car” was rather obscure to indicate “c” open is rather different to opening. I had no problem with the foreign word in 22a, we use the same word when describing this in german words – (no different to saying circumflex or acute accent when describing french spellings).
    Didn’t like the word constable in 1a – I see the connection but seems rather “loose”.
    Thought 11a was rather an obscure word – not something referred to very often- but straightforward enough clue to work out.
    Some good clues though- 16a, 23a, 26a, 12a, 17d.
    All in all pretty good!

  14. Late starting today, and still in a hurry!
    Just a quick note to say that I loved “pants” as the anagram indicator in 7d, and thought it was witty.
    Also liked 16d once I realised the wordplay.
    Although 3d was not difficult, I didn’t know that ER was an alternative for A&E.
    Gazza I’m guessing you were unable to find a picture of a deserted beach for 10a? :smile:

  15. In the six months I’ve been’ learning ‘ how to do these crosswords i think i have improved in that now i understand most of the clues and what they are looking for mainly because of the help of this blog – thank you …. unfortunately I don’t think my vocabulary is ever going to be good enough to complete one without my Chambers dictionary etc. which is a bit disheartening :(

    1. Mary,
      Have you tried doing Codewords? Its completely different to a cryptic crossword, but it forces you to recognise words by letter patterns. So its another way of adding to your vocab……

  16. Blimey found this quite tough – some very clever clues. I also enjoyed the picture above Big Dave – Lovely water melon.

  17. Hardest Xwrd for a while. probably my fault as i spelt 14a wrong, :oops: 9a i had …penny :evil: and 26a i put in single, as in a record/a side :???: make sense to anyone else or have i finally lost it?

    1. Edi
      You’re thinking laterally, which is half the battle – for those two clues it hasn’t quite come off!

  18. Found this difficult today, but liked 18a, 22a, 2d and 20d in particular. Agree with Sarumite – thought ‘pants’ a witty anagram indicator. Thanks for all the explanations esp for 16d…

  19. Wow! That was an absolute shocker! Couldn’t solve 22a, 24a, 15d, 16d or 17d.

    I admit I should have got 24a and 15d but the other three I would never have been able to solve without the blog. I don’t think I would be able to solve clues like that in future either – way over my head!

    Even the 23 clues I did solve without the blog were a struggle!

    This is the second consecutive Tuesday puzzle I have failed to finish. I am starting to find the Tuesday puzzle much harder than the Friday puzzle by Giovanni. What’s going on?

    1. We know that Ray T sets the puzzles approximately every other week (because he tells us) so you can assume that the same setter is not responsible for every Tuesday. Ray’s puzzles are invariably fair and usually not too difficult so I don’t know the answer.

      BTW this is not one of his.

  20. Found yesterday’s crossword trying but eventually completed it at about 23.30. Only 3 clues outstanding before resorting to reference material-bottom l/h corner. For the second consecutive day the sort of grid I dislike- 4 mini crosswords with little chance of working your way through the grid building on what you have already completed.

    1. If only “philbro” meant that you were Phil McNeill’s brother!

      Then you might have ben able to persuade the Telegraph Puzzles Editor to banish these awful grids.

      We used to comment on them ourselves, but it became a bit repetitive.

  21. I just stumbled upon this website after the frustrations of trying to complete yesterday’s Telegraph Crossword. I only managed about half. 16d was awful – though I guessed it was something to do with eggs.

    We are house sitting for the week, so have plenty of time to do crosswords. I only attempt them now and again, but having finished Saturday’s was feeling pleased with myself – until yesterday! I am a bit rusty though.

    What a brilliant site. I will be visiting it again I’m sure.

    1. Welcome to the blog Anniet

      I hope you will stay with us now that you have found us.

      BTW house-sit has been an answer in two recent puzzles (although in one of those it was spelt without the hyphen).

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