DT 26147 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

DT 26147

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26147

Hints and tips by Gazza

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a pleasant and not too taxing puzzle today, with a few smiles along the way. Based on the pattern over the past few months it’s probably by Shamus (but that’s just my supposition).
We depend on your comments to continue to make this site the lively forum for discussion that it’s become – I know that I can rely on you not to disappoint!
The answers, should you need to see them, are hidden between the curly brackets beneath the relevant clues – just drag your cursor through the white space between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

1a  Pass plate around fellow, unemotional type (4,4)
{COLD FISH} – the definition is a person who shows no emotion. Start with a mountain pass, then add a synonym for plate around F(ellow).

5a  Merry bachelor with flexible disposition (6)
{BLITHE} – we want an adjective meaning cheerful or merry (like the spirit in the Coward play). Put together the standard abbreviation for bachelor and an adjective meaning flexible or supple.

9a  Tricky place to navigate possibly by thin rail I avoided (9)
{LABYRINTH} – an anagram (possibly) of BY TH(i)N RAIL (avoiding one of the Is) forms an intricate network of paths where it is difficult to find your way.

11a  Old President in Brazil, leathery sort? (5)
{BIKER} – leathery sort is an amusing description of a motorcycle rider. Put the nickname of an old U.S. President inside the vehicle registration code for Brazil.

12a  Pale bird out west (6)
{SALLOW} – start with a songbird with a forked tale. Now remove the first W (out west) and you’re left with an adjective (normally used to describe a person’s complexion) meaning pale or yellowish.

13a  Inflated part shown by fashionable figure in government (8 )
{SWELLING} – the definition is inflated part, and it’s an abnormal enlargement of a part of the body. Start with a dated term for a fashionable or stylish person of wealth or high social position (fashionable figure) and add IN and G(overnment).

15a  A ragged hostel demolished in dispute (2,11)
{AT LOGGERHEADS} – a phrase meaning in dispute or quarrelling is an anagram (demolished) of A RAGGED HOSTEL.

18a  Suppress illegal enterprises in sport (6,7)
{SQUASH RACKETS} – a verb meaning to crush or suppress is followed by shady, moneymaking activities (illegal enterprises) to get a fast sport played with a small rubber ball (and normally called the first word alone, these days).

22a  Ringing tone’s ran out (8 )
{RESONANT} – an adjective meaning ringing or reverberating is an anagram (out) of TONE’S RAN.

23a  Effect produced by mischievous child in front of a court (6)
{IMPACT} – put a word used to describe a mischievous child in front of A and the standard abbreviation for court to get a significant effect or influence.

26a  Two rivers in frame (5)
{AIRER} – the definition is a frame on which clothes may be hung to dry. We want firstly the name of a major Yorkshire river (which runs through Leeds, where it’s given its name to the Independent radio station), then add the abbreviation for R(iver).

27a  Smart vehicle? Change oil in use circling motorway (9)
{LIMOUSINE} – put an anagram (change) of OIL IN USE around (circling) M(otorway).

28a  Mistake shown by wolfish sort? (6)
{HOWLER} – double definition. A description of a wolf based on the long doleful cry which it makes is also an informal word for a glaring mistake.

29a  One detained recent graduate at work with drugs? (8 )
{INTERNEE} – the definition is someone detained or imprisoned (often for political reasons). Start with a recent graduate who is acquiring practical work experience and add a couple of Ecstasy tablets.

Down Clues

1d  Huge decrease in fuel (8 )
{COLOSSAL} – put a synonym for decrease or deficit inside a fossil fuel to get another word for huge.

2d  It might arise from some celeb I lampooned (5)
{LIBEL} – a clever all-in-one clue where the answer is hidden (some) and backwards (it might arise, in a down clue).

3d  Clothing associated with extensive part of course (7)
{FURLONG} – the sort of clothing which, if it’s real as opposed to faux, looks better on its original owner, is followed by an adjective meaning lasting a great amount of time (extensive) to get an old distance measurement (220 yards or one-eighth of a mile) which is now mainly used in horse racing (part of course).

4d  Sensible banker abroad, we hear (4)
{SANE} – the definition is sensible, and we want a sound-alike (we hear) of a river (banker) in France (abroad).

6d  Plant gaining award among all I cultivated (7)
{LOBELIA} – the name of a plant is formed by putting an award (the sort dished out twice a year in recognition of public service) inside (among) an anagram (cultivated) of ALL I.

7d  Adopt children and enter into dispute? (4,5)
{TAKE ISSUE} – double definition.

8d  Manufacture of a green incense (6)
{ENRAGE} – the definition is incense, which is a noun in the clue but a verb as the answer. Manufacture an anagram of A GREEN.

10d  Tree having fantastic worth among Chinese people (8 )
{HAWTHORN} – put an anagram (fantastic) of WORTH inside (among) the dominant ethnic group in China to get a small tree of the rose family.

14d  A native overlooking a lake that’s private (8 )
{PERSONAL} – the definition is private (in the sense of confidential) and we want an individual (native) in front of (overlooking, in a down clue) A L(ake). I’m a bit dubious about the use of “a native” to mean an individual human being – what do you think? PER (A, as in 50p per kilo) followed by SON (native) and then A L(ake). [Thanks to Prolixic for putting me right on this one].

16d  Endure growths coming up? Something ultimately exasperating (4,5)
{LAST STRAW} – the definition is something ultimately exasperating, something that tips you over the edge, or, in a different context, breaks the camel’s back. Start with a verb meaning to endure or survive and add small hard, benign growths on the skin, which need to be reversed (coming up, in a down clue).

17d  Sweater I damaged in a kind of way (2,2,4)
{AS IT WERE} – a phrase meaning in a kind of way or so to speak is an anagram (damaged) of SWEATER I.

19d  Rattle couple of names in wild revue (7)
{UNNERVE} – a verb meaning to rattle or disconcert is formed by putting NN (a couple of names) inside an anagram (wild) of REVUE.

20d  Talk one’s associated with Paris? (7)
{COMMUNE} –  double definition, the second being a working-class coalition which briefly ruled Paris in 1871.

21d  Broadcasting bigwig reportedly getting mark of honour (6)
{WREATH} – a ring of flowers or other foliage worn by the victors in the original Olympics (and somewhat unsuccessfully copied in the 2004 Olympics in Athens) is the mark of honour. It’s a (borderline?) homophone of the name of the first DG of the BBC (broadcasting bigwig) who set very strict standards, including making the newsreaders on the wireless (all male of course) wear formal dress.

24d  Unfamiliar tale contained in a novel’s beginning (5)
{ALIEN} – the definition is a word meaning unfamiliar. Put an untruth (tale) between (contained in) A and the first letter of Novel.

25d  Female hiding face in country (4)
{OMAN} – remove the first letter (hiding face) of a female person and you’re left with a Middle East sultanate. The surface reading is clever, referring to the wearing of the niqab or veil.

The clues I enjoyed today included 11a, 28a, 10d and 25d, but my clue of the day is 2d. Let us know your thoughts via a comment!

55 comments on “DT 26147

  1. Jolly good stuff from the setter today. Loved 21d and 10d. In relation to 14d, I took the clue to mean A = per + native = son (as in son of the soil). Many thanks for the notes and thank to Shamus for an entertaining puzzle today.

    1. I was just about to send a comment criticising this clue until I read this. You’re probably right. It makes more sense than “person” as “native”.

  2. Agree- nice one today and left my brain intact for once–not too taxing-enjoyed 29A and 18A– 21 D took me the longest-cheers BD :-)

  3. Gazza,

    If you think that the homophone in 21d is borderline, shouldn’t the same apply to 4d?

    Particularly liked 8d & 10d.

    1. Vince
      Probably. As we’ve said before, homophones can work in some places but not others, depending on regional accents.

    2. I thought the homophone in 21d was fine, albeit from a native of SE England – the Scots will probably not like it. If anything I would object more to 4d since I would pronounce eet wit’ an outraaaageuos French accent!

          1. If you have ever heard a native French speaker taking the mickey out of the standard english speaker’s french access you would hear just that pronunciation – as funny as it is cringe-inducing!.

  4. Gazza,
    Re 12a: You’re very helpful in suggesting that we remove the first W from SWALLOW to get SALLOW. But how does a solver, without a specific instruction, decide to remove only one instance of a letter from a word where there are more than one of the same letter? Or do you think that such a direction is not really needed and it’s up to the solvers to decide for themselves. I would appreciate comments from you and others on this matter.

    1. Rishi
      I suppose that it really comes down to “suck it and see”. The abbreviation for West is just a single W, so I don’t see any temptation to remove both, but as for which one …..

    2. I must admit that I completely overlooked the second ‘W’; I automatically put the answer in from the surface reading of the clue, and the checking letters. Maybe “out West” suggests remove 1 ‘W’ and it is up to the solver to decide which one.

  5. That was most enjoyable! I actually managed ten or so before the blog was available, so maybe I’m beginnnig to understand some of these. With the additional clueing, I completed it by following a couple of links and looking inside only one set of brackets. Thanks very much for keeping the answers hidden.

  6. Hi Gazza, thanks once more for the blog, i got really stuck on 21d & 26a, also 5a and 11a, somedays i think i’m going backwards, i didn’t find it very easy and had to work hard to get there along with my books and electronic friend, this is why although i have definitely improved with the help of this blog i will never be out of the CC club, but never mind as long as its enjoyable, does it matter? and i learn something new everyday :) come on CC its a struggle but its worth it

    1. It sure is a struggle at times, but very worthwhile. I wouldn’t get there without the online dictioaries and thesaursi. Thank goodness there were a couple of easy ones (18a, 22a, 17d) to get going.

      2d, 3d, 7d and 16d were some with the most appeal.

      1. isnt it amazing how different clues appeal to different people Newbie, 18a, i got the first half but for the life of me couldnt see the second, i’d got ‘runners’ stuck in my bran i.e. drug running etc. sometimes you feel soooo stupid, glad t see someone else uses help too, i think i always will :) , as you say thank goodness for the one or two relatively easy clues to get us going, such as 15a & 22a

        1. 18a was he first one to go in for me, Mary. The first word just jumped out at me and the second was close behind. Wouldn’t have got 15a without the anagram solver … yes, it’s cheating but it helps you get going.

  7. Finished and it was okay. Only got 26a by the cross letters and then looked to see why. Didn’t particularly like the fashional figure usage in 11a and got it partially by guessing and partially from cross letters. Also had the same with 20d – got the answer but didnt’ know why until I looked at your review Gazza. Many thanks for the excellent review.

    I liked 2d, 3d and 14d in particular.

    Didn’t do yesterday’s and when I looked at the blog and the number of 4 letter words I am glad I didn’t.

    1. like you Lea i got 20d but for all the wrong reasons, i saw it as ‘comme with un’ as on in french, (Paris) – very loosely ‘ones associated’ not at all really,I suppose but isnt it strange how you can get the right answer with the wrong reasoning!!

  8. Really enjoyed today. I was looking for the names of two rivers for 26a. I only got 10d from the checking letters and worked backwards – I like the clue. 21 d was a teaser as well

  9. I am sorry, I just can’t do this crossword. I cannot get on the same wavelength as the setter. it is not his fault it is mine. I am giving up and hoping for tommorrow.
    Mary, pour me a big and let everyone know I am the one in the corner at the CC club disco.

    1. :) Funny Nubian, you must just be tired, I cannot believe you have given up on this, come on you cannot sit in that corner it is reserved for me and i am not giving it up to you, one double shot of whatever it takes coming up hoping you will soon be restored to normal!!

      1. Thanks for the boost Mary ( I can’t spell ‘diolch un vower’ if you know what I mean), after a lot of huffing and puffing I got to the end of the line.
        I need to rest

  10. Gazza,
    Re 20d. The answer is a bit more than a simple “working-class coalition”. Did you read the article in Wikipedia? I recently read the following book by Alistair Horne, The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune. It makes for very interesting reading.

    1. Well, I may have condensed it somewhat :D
      I remember my French teacher (who, at the time, seemed to have been old enough to have been there) telling us how the people of Paris were forced to eat rats during the preceding siege.

      1. Indeed :-) Restaurant menus during the siege had some interesting items, for example “Salamis de Rats. Sauce Robert.” and “Gigots de chien flanqués de ratons. Sauce poivrade.”

          1. Oh Mary. That made me LOL, It was all so serious until then! I have not found this easy and have had to look on the blog a couple of times to get a restart. I would never have got 21d in a million years, I wanted to put trophy in as had ‘r’ but couldn’t make it work with the clue or the across words!!! Struggling to type as have ‘cat of glory’ on lap – glad you like him Libellule…

            1. Chablis,
              I can only admire a cat that has such good looks :-). On the topic of the commune etc. Alastair Horne wrote three history books on what were effectively major pivotal events during the last 150 years in France. Since I now live in France it seemed a good idea to read them and try and get a better understanding of the French psyche. The three major events he concentrated on were, the Siege of Paris, and the commune that followed. Verdun and then the fall of France in 1940.
              All are excellent, and I would thoroughly recommend them to anyone interested in French/European history.

  11. I really enjoyed it, particularly 11a and 21d. Thought 14d was weak until I read the blog! Did it in a relatively quick for me 45 mins. Guessed several answers before decoding clues and kept thinking: “Ahh, clever!”

  12. Took a while to get into this one but think I made a good effort. Never heard of 12a but as is often the case I got it from the cryptic part and looked it up to see if I was right :-) liked 18a and 28a today

  13. Thanks as ever to Gazza for his blog and all for comments. Glad everything was self-explanatory. Hope to be with you again soon!

  14. Is it me or this weeks puzzles extra tough? Another one that I only managed 4 answers! Incidentally I always thought the standard shortening for Batchelor was BA or BSc, where does BE come from in 5a? How on earth can leathery sort possibly be a biker!! Far far too tough for me. Any chance DT of a puzzle this week for the CC? The experts have had two so far.

    1. I think in 5a, bachelor is B (with the meaning of an unmarried man not as in having a degree) with “lithe” added

      Leathery sort for bikers is a indirect reference to bikers’ leathers that they wear for protection, etc.

    2. I agree Barrie they aren’t easy this week so far, when i first looked at it this morning i couldn’t do one, if i didn’t have the time to keep plugging away i would have to give up, i still use all the help i can get and even after all that i was stuck on 4 today, you really have to enjoy it, i think or its not worth it, keep at it tomorrow may be a CC day :)

  15. I found this a bit of a mixed bag – relatively painless but I failed to get 26a, 29a, 20d and 21d. It seems these have provoked quite a lot of debate and I too was convinced 26a was going to be a result of two linked rivers (Ure was fixed in my head!)

    A good crossword definately 3* probably 3.5*.

  16. liked this – my surname is Furlong so that helped with 3d, tho didn’t get it first pass! I also play squash! 20d was the last in, and by this time i was looking for an answer with a ‘z’ in to complete the pangram. French history not my strong point obviously.

  17. Late in the day again….but enjoyed this especially 18ac….last one I got was 20 down.
    Thanks Gazza (I also had native meaning person rather than the more complicated version) and to Shamus for some classy clues eg 1acand 1d…..has he confirmed your first thought or Prolixic’s?

    1. Chris
      I’ve no doubt that Prolixic’s wordplay is correct (and have amended the blog accordingly). I was never happy with person = native.

  18. Finished it while it was stiil Tuesday. Liked 18a & 28a. Down : 10d, 16d, 20d & 25d.
    Was uncomfortable with sane being compared to Seine but see that many others felt likewise.
    Now for some shuteye!

  19. have completed todays 26148 think rest of CC will like it but though i’ve finished i don’t quite understand 6a & 8d, if they’re right that is!! eagerly looking forward to todays blog to find out :)

  20. Am I missing today’s blog? I can’t seem to find it. It’s been good for me though as I have done the whole thing on my own. I feel elated. What a lovely puzzel :)

Comments are closed.