DT 26132 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26132

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26132

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have another enjoyable puzzle from Giovanni today, which I found a bit more difficult than usual, but not quite up to the 4 stars level. How did you find it?, how did it compare with yesterday’s?, is it the hardest of the week? – your comments, as always, are welcome and appreciated.
If you want to see an answer drag your cursor through the space between the brackets underneath the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Lightweight insect is caught nipping maiden (6)
{FLIMSY} – put a common insect around (caught) IS which in turn holds (nipping) M (maiden over, in cricket) to get an adjective meaning insubstantial or lightweight.

4a  Boats that can sail on account of blows (6)
{SMACKS} – double definition, the first being small, single-masted fishing vessels.

8a  A learner next to where he should be is relaxed (8 )
{INFORMAL} – an adjective meaning relaxed or unceremonious is constructed by placing A L(earner) after (next to) where he should be sitting at school.

10a  Comment on one of the Gospels (6)
{REMARK} – a short prefix meaning on or concerning precedes one of the four Gospel writers.

11a  Lodge with paths ultimately leading to river (4)
{STAY} – put together the last letter (ultimately) of pathS and the silvery Scottish river immortalised by McGonagall.

12a  What we hear excited travellers from Calais say? That must be examined (6,4)
{LOOKED OVER} – a possible cry from the deck of a cross-channel ferry as the white cliffs come into view sounds like (we hear) a phrasal verb meaning perused or examined.

13a  Oe’r such you may wander when National Trust gets involved (7,5)
{COUNTRY HOUSE} – this all-in-one clue requires an anagram (may wander) of OE’R SUCH YOU with N(ational) T(rust) inside.

16a  Two sailors and a hairy man going to church for something to eat (7,5)
{TARTARE SAUCE} – this is not something that you’d be likely to eat on its own, but a dressing usually served with fish. We want a charade of a term for a sailor, then the same word again, then Jacob’s brother (an hairy man, whose name always makes me think of the wicked Alan Bennett sermon from Beyond The Fringe), and finally the abbreviation for C(hurch) of E(ngland).

20a  Naughty kid beginning to reform, one adult almost? Approval shown (10)
{IMPRIMATUR} – this Latin word originally meant an official licence from the Roman Catholic church to allow a book to be printed, but has evolved to mean an authoritative approval. String together IMP (naughty kid), the first letter (beginning) of R(eform), I (one) and all but the last letter (almost) of an adjective meaning adult or fully grown.

21a  Deal offers second drink (4)
{SALE} – S(econd) plus a synonym for beer.

22a  Dismissed when sounding impudent (6)
{BOWLED} – the most comprehensive way of being dismissed at cricket sounds like BOLD (impudent).

23a  Dried hay can be turned into coloured thatch (4,4)
{DYED HAIR} – an anagram (can be turned) of DRIED HAY.

24a  Having a go is stressful (6)
{TRYING} – double definition.

25a  Make too many demands on son going to school (6)
{STRAIN} – put S(on) in front of a verb meaning to school.

Down Clues

1d  Party female with religious glibness (8 )
{FUNCTION} – put together F(emale) and a word meaning religious glibness or oily smarminess to get a social event (party).

2d  It’s sort of white and gold inside plant (5)
{IVORY} – insert OR (gold) into an evergreen plant to get a hard whitish substance such as the tusk of an elephant.

3d  Sister carrying adequate test-piece (7)
{SAMPLER} – an abbreviation for Sister is SR – inside this (carrying) put a synonym for adequate to get a test-piece of embroidery.

5d  Clown having brandy and water in France (7)
{MARCEAU} – stitch together a type of brandy and the French word for water to get the surname of a well-known French mime artist.

6d  Moron came to waste our time (6,3)
{COMMON ERA} – an anagram (to waste) of MORON CAME gives us the time-frame within which we measure the passing years. I presume that to waste as an anagram indicator is being used in the sense of “lay to waste” – what do you think?

7d  Stream created by ship going round lake (6)
{SERIES} – put the usual abbreviation for ship around one of the five great lakes of North America to get a stream or a number of things that happen consecutively.

9d  Very courageous in the ordeal, surprisingly (11)
{LIONHEARTED} – an anagram (surprisingly) of IN THE ORDEAL provides an epithet, meaning very courageous, applied to King Richard I.

14d  Suffering aunt gets to recover without medical help? (9)
{NATURALLY} – start with an anagram (suffering) of AUNT and add a synonym for to recover to get an adverb meaning in a normal manner, without artificial aids.

15d  Sloppy consul, about 51, a contemptible fellow (8 )
{SCULLION} – an anagram (sloppy) of CONSUL surrounds the Roman numerals for 51 to get a mean, contemptible person.

17d  Fast male animal pursued by a desperate man in comic (7)
{RAMADAN} – the desperate comic-book hero pays a welcome return visit after yesterday, but this time follows a horned male animal and A to make the Muslim month of fasting.

18d  Resent a drunk becoming serious (7)
{EARNEST} – an anagram (drunk) of RESENT A gives us a synonym for serious.

19d  Meaning that comes here from abroad (6)
{IMPORT} – double definition.

21d  Indistinct sound was odd outside church (5)
{SCHWA} – the setter has been kind enough to make the wordplay simple, because I’d never heard of this word which means (according to Chambers) an indistinct vowel sound. Put an anagram (odd) of WAS around CH(urch).

The clues I liked today included 1a, 13a and 16a, but my favourite is 12a. Your views and comments are very welcome.

45 comments on “DT 26132

  1. Morning Gazza,
    Great crossword, but I found it very tough today; I spent more time on this than monday to thursday combined! 20a last one to go in, favourite 16a. Thanks Giovanni for the usual high standard.

  2. I always look forward to Friday’s puzzle from Giovanni. Today’s was excellent fare and brightened up a cold morning travelling to work. Favourite clues were 13a, 16a, 20am 5d 9d and, like you, in top place 12a. Add a cracking Toughie from Notabilis to tackle and I was in seventh heaven.

  3. This has got to be the best of 2010 so far. I found all the clues thought provoking and pleasureable to do and I found I didn’t want to finish it too quickly I was enjoying it so much.
    Favourite clues were 1d 5d 15d 17d 12a 16a 20a 23a
    What an amazing change from yesterday
    My only gripe was 21d. I have never used or heard anyone use this word in my entire life apart from Geordies who occassionally say “Shaw la” meaning, good gracious to me !

  4. Snowed in today, so time to do the crossword. Just finished, last solved was 12a, only got it when in frustration I said it out loud!

    Now greatly enjoying your link to Alan Bennett.

  5. This took me a while to get into. Maybe the effects of the Russian Christmas last night!

    Some excellent clues, challenging and provocative.

    20a was a great clue, although easy with a theology degree.

    This is a testing standard and good ti end the week, but will stretch many.

  6. I thought it was the easiest of the week, at least I finished it on my own. Fav. clue 16 ac.

  7. Most enjoyable. Difficult without being impossible.

    21d. Vaguely remembered this from studying phonetics years ago. It indicates an unstressed vowel, such as the “a” in “about” or “i” in “pencil”.

    Particularly liked 12a and 9d. My favourite clue might have been 16a, if I could understand why Esau is a hairy man. It wasn’t clear from your explanation, Gazza.

    1. Vince
      It’s from Genesis 27:11 “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man”.

  8. Another superb puzzle from Giovanni.
    Agree with 12a as favourite.
    I had 4 clues after the initial run through and was a bit worried until the ‘Giovanni Switch’ in my head came on.
    After that it was a very enjoyable romp!

  9. Oh Dear a Giovanni special, not one for the CC. Found it almost incomprehensible. Def one for the experts not for normal mortals.

    1. Hi Barrie, as i said below, i liked it though i couldn’t do it all, some of the words i would never have got in a million years, loads of elctronic friend help and chambers etc. but still couldn’t finish it, but hey we may not be experts but maybe we are normal :)

      1. Well done Mary, words can’t express how hateful I found this puzzle! Managed one clue! After yesterdays I must admit to being very disappointed. Even got Manleys book and still find him almost incomprehensible. Just don’t get most of his clues, must be the way my mind works I suppose. Hopefully Saturdays is more understandable (it usually is). I know you can’t please all the people all the time but what really gets me hot under the collar is why don’t they save this type of really difficult puzzle for the toughie. On the the days when there is one this tough, it essentially gives the experts two to do and leaves nothing for the rest of us!

        1. I totally agree Barrie, what most of the seasoned solvers don’t realise is that even the so called ‘easy ones’ take a lot of working out for us, as we do not recognise obvious things as do people who have been doing these for years, we need puzzles like yesterdays to get us going and encourage us and as you say a fair mixture would be nice :) since starting these puzzles last May I have with the help of this blog improved (well I couldn’t have been worse!) by about 50%, but do get discouraged on somedays, when i look at the puzzle and can’t even see one answer straight away, i just slog on most days until suddenly some things fall into place, i often find myself working backwards i.e. putiing in an answer an then working it out from the clue! On the whole i am enjoying ‘the experience’ and am determined not to let them beat me, so on we go CC members into 2010 – we shall overcome!!!! :)

  10. Hi Gazza – Happy New Year or as we say in Wales Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
    I liked todays crossword although i couldn’t complete it all, got really stumped! on 22a :) and would never have got 12a no matter how hard i tried, thought it very funny eventually, never heard of 21d and didn’t think it was right until i checked with you ,also for 16a i was going with yeti, found it a very obscure clue, what would we do without you, thanks once again Gazza

  11. This was good one. Difficult enough to feel a sense of achievement yet (just) not too difficult to finish in the lunch break.
    SCHWA was a new one though. I can’t see that getting worked into a conversation.

    1. I do agree with you. And you could only introduce the ‘schwa’ if you were conversing about phonetics, where it’s represented by an inverted ‘e’ — and, goodness, we have a lot of them!

  12. Thank God for Mary and Barrie! I was beginning to feel a complete retard. I have been crosswording for about 9 months and whilst I’ve improved massively I can still only get about half to three quarters on my own. Thank God for BD’s blog, at least I’m now able to see which tree I’m suppsed to be barking up….

    1. Hi Chablisdiamond, it’s good to know there are more like us out there, that’s why we call ourselves the CC members (clueless club!!) seriously though, it seems we are not on our own and through blogs like this marvellous one, we are encouraged and helped and know that we are not alone :)

      1. Hi Mary, have you room for another in that club? At least you thought of ‘yeti’. I was wondering if ‘hairy’ was an anagram indicator but couldn’t make that work either…

  13. Yes, I enjoyed this. Printed it off at lunch time and have just finished it with your help. Didn’t like the cricket references, of course, but was delighted to hear the Alan Bennett sketch again. Thank you, and I think 16a was the best. :-)

  14. 26,132 was , for me, toughest for a while. I got sidelined by thinking 4ac was yachts ie boats that sail cos of blows as in winds. Flimsy took me *far* too long!
    This is a great site as it gives guidance rather than just the answers.

    1. Hi Alastair – welcome to the blog.
      I hope, now that you’ve introduced yourself, that you’ll be a regular contributor.

  15. Very enjoyable but I was foiled by my lack of brandy knowledge. I didn’t think of Marceau as a clown either. Waste seems an odd anagram indicator but I took it as such straight away. Only knew schwa as a result of teaching English as a foreign language. The “weak schwa” is the most common vowel sound in English – like the “er” in mother. and the “e” in the etc etc.

  16. Could someone tell me how to change the little icon. I have tried clicking on it but to no avail.

  17. Gave up with four still to go. However can only manage one answer in the toughie to-day!

  18. Only started this earlier this evening and also found it very enjoyable but pretty tough. 12a was the last one I got too, Particularly liked 16a and 17d.

    Mary and Barrie – I’ve been doing these a little longer than you two and honestly they do get easier if you stick with it! Hopefully tomorrow’s will be a little easier!!

  19. Quite a few anagrams in this one and of course Giovanni’s international flavour! 12a was a bit of a joke – how many of you have flown over the Channel on a clear day and been able to see Calais Town Hall and Dover Castle in the same view?
    Yes, 16a was a bit fishy.
    2d & 3d were nice – I still have a sampler that my late wife made on the wall!
    Enjoyable!

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