DT 26201 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26201

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26201

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

I expect that this Ray T puzzle will divide opinion (as they usually do). I enjoyed it but it did (as they usually do) necessitate regular use of Chambers. Your comments, as always, are very welcome.
If you’re new to the site and wondering where the answers are, they’re hidden so that you don’t see them accidentally. Select the white space between the brackets under a clue to reveal the answer.

Across Clues

1a  Reckless fling? (11)
{PRECIPITATE} – double definition – an adjective meaning reckless and a verb meaning to hurl or fling something.

10a  Cat’s lunge lacking power (5)
{OUNCE} – this cat is a snow leopard and its name is found by removing P(ower) from the start of a verb meaning to lunge or spring suddenly upon its prey.

11a  Ace group with single many find dissolute (9)
{ABANDONED} – an adjective meaning dissolute is found by stringing together A(ce), a synonym for a musical group, ONE (single) and the Roman numeral for 500 (many).

12a  Learned about Catholic anger for heresy (9)
{SACRILEGE} – in the surface reading learned is a verb, but in the answer it’s an adjective meaning wise. Put this around (about) C(atholic) and a verb meaning to anger or irritate to produce a violation of something considered holy or disrespect for orthodox beliefs (heresy).

13a  Muscular geezer embracing broad (5)
{LARGE} – an amusing surface reading hides (embracing) an adjective meaning sizeable (broad).

14a  Start of December’s more glacial and dangerous (6)
{DICIER} – put together D(ecember) and a comparitive meaning more glacial.

16a  Entire US turning greedy (8 )
{ESURIENT} –an anagram (turning) of ENTIRE US provides a rarely-used adjective meaning hungry or greedy.

18a  They have piles of energy! (8 )
{REACTORS} – cryptic definition of structures in a nuclear power station within which energy is released.

20a  Potential human enemy, America holding terrorist leader (6)
{FOETUS} – the definition is potential human. Put T(errorist) (leader , i.e. first letter of terrorist) between (holding) a synonym for enemy and the usual abbreviation for America.

23a  Scientist is least bothered (5)
{TESLA} – an anagram (bothered) of LEAST gives us the surname of this Serbian inventor and electrical engineer, after whom the SI unit of magnetic flux density is named.

24a  Trick is, call girls back with a diamond? (9)
{STRATAGEM} – reverse (back) an informal word for prostitutes (call girls) and add A and a precious stone (of which diamond is just an example, hence the question mark) to get what Baldrick would have called a cunning plan (trick).
ARVE Error: need id and provider

26a  Composer frequently sounds like another (9)
{OFFENBACH} – the name of a 19th century French composer is made up of a sound-alike (to some ears!) of an adverb meaning frequently followed by the name of an earlier German composer.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

27a  Ashes holder following second miss (5)
{MOURN} – a tall rounded vase used for storing the ashes of a cremated person follows an informal word for a short period of time (second) to get a verb meaning to grieve for someone who has recently died (miss).

28a  Somebody from Interpol, say (11)
{PERSONALITY} – a well-known person or somebody of importance is generated from an anagram of INTERPOL SAY.

Down Clues

2d  Regarding unusual Northern Italic characters initially (5)
{RUNIC} – an all-in-one clue in which the first letters (initially) of the first five words spell out an adjective which relates to symbols (characters) used in various Northern European alphabets prior to the Middle Ages.

3d  Rift in Church concerning sin (7)
{CREVICE} – string together C (church, although Chambers doesn’t have C on its own as standing for church), RE (concerning) and a synonym for sin to get a narrow crack or fissure (rift).

4d  Removes excess wood from trees (6)
{PLANES} – double definition – a verb meaning shaves off wood and types of tree.

5d  Ends of tether, hostile and cross (8 )
{TRAVERSE} – put together the outer letters (ends) of tether and an adjective meaning hostile to or against to get a verb meaning to cross or pass through.

6d  A little bleak? (7)
{TIDDLER} – a bleak is a small silvery river fish.

7d  Mislead party on allowance payment (13)
{CONSIDERATION} – a synonym for payment or recompense is made by stringing together a verb meaning to persuade by dishonest means (mislead), one of the parties in a dispute or argument and an allowance or allotment.

8d  Most passionate redhead that’s in distress (8 )
{ANGRIEST} – using redhead to mean R (i.e. the head, first letter, of red) is frowned upon by some purists (like using legend for G or Middlesex for E). Follow the R with IE (that’s, id. est.) and put them inside a word for deep anxiety about the human condition (distress) to get a superlative meaning most passionate or most inflamed.

9d  TV set remained off for commercial (13)
{ADVERTISEMENT} – an anagram (off) of TV SET REMAINED.

15d  Keep secret from neurotic lass, if yelling (8 )
{CLASSIFY} – hidden (from) in the clue is a verb meaning to keep secret.

17d  Very French, run following invasion! (8 )
{TRESPASS} – the French word for very is followed by a synonym for run (for example, in to run an electric current through something) to get an invasion or unlawful entry.

19d  Radio broadcasting inane and empty rot (7)
{TRANNIE} – an anagram (broadcasting) of INANE and R(o)T (empty, i.e. just the outer letters) give us a slang term for a portable radio. The surface reading is very apt.

21d  Best pal I’m to do over (7)
(OPTIMAL} – an adjective meaning best is an anagram (do over) of PAL I’M TO.

22d  Punk, rockin’ and rollin’, losing head (6)
{URCHIN} – start with LURCHING (rocking and rolling) and lose the last letter (aping the clue) and the first letter (losing head) to leave a mischievous child who is poorly dressed. Does punk have the same meaning? I don’t think that it does, but there is a punk band called this, and I presume that this is what is meant. I’d never heard of them (and having now seen them on youtube, I’m quite glad of that!).

25d  Noise from little pig under pig’s tail (5)
{GRUNT} – put a word for the smallest piglet in a litter (little pig) after (under, in a down clue) the last letter (tail) of piG to get the noise a pig makes.

The clues which I enjoyed today included 12a, 13a, 20a and 25d, but my clue of the day is 19d. How about you? – let us know what you liked or disliked in a comment.

56 comments on “DT 26201

  1. I really enjoyed this; probably one of the most enjoyable for a while. Not easy, but a good challenge!
    Gazza, re 3d, is the ‘C’ for church, and not circa?
    Thanks Ray T, and Gazza

    1. Jezza
      Thanks for that – now amended. My brain must have gone walkabout! Though I’m not very happy at C standing for church!

  2. I always enjoy RayT’s Tuesday slot and today was no exception.
    I certainly had to go to Chambers to confirm a few definitions.
    26a and 19d were among the favourites but COD (!) for me was 6d – I heard it was oblique anyway! (I’ll get me coat!). Having guessed rightly that there was a definition of ‘bleak’ that I didn’t know I had to resort to the Red’Un to get the fish.
    Thanks to gazza and RayT for another great review and puzzle.

  3. I really must get a Chambers! Not on the same wavelength at all today and needed all the help I could get, yet only managed to do about half.
    No fun. :-(

    I thought 1a might end with ‘ous’ and never heard of 6d. Likewise 16a and 23a. I got 24a quite quickly, and surely we’ve seen that before in the last few days. Didn’t like ‘from’ as an anagram indicator in 28a and don’t think ‘urchin’ = punk, though I did work that out.

    I did, however, like 2d and 17d. Could only get the downs, for the most part.

    1. Re “urchin”, my Penguin Thesaurus gives it in the same list as “punk” & “yob”.

  4. Something was missing for me in this puzzle…although I liked 3d,17d and 25d….came away knowing a few more words but without the satisfaction I normally get on completing…though the clues on the review were well used today..so Thanks Gazza for the helping hand.

  5. I diin’t think this was too difficult. Just a few clues to make me think, or reach for the reference books.

    “Esurient”! I can’t wait to drop that intop the conversation at my next dinner party!

    I’m not sure that it’s fair to use the same word (from) in a crossword to indicate both an anagram (28a) and a hidden word (15d)??

    I liked 13 a, 20a & 9d, but, like Gazza, liked 19d the best – mainly because I hadn’t heard the word for such a long time.

  6. Found it quite tough today, got some without fully understanding why and I’m always loath to use a dictionary, but needed confirmation of bleak and for meanings of 1a & 16a answers.

    Not generally enjoying Tuesdays though.

  7. Bad day for me even with the reference books! I still needed you Gazza for 8 answers, one of these puzzles that I knew I had reached the end of what I could do, not a question of giving up just not clever enough, this was a ‘toughie’ for me, thanks for blog Gazza, keeps me from going insane :)

    1. I’m in the same boat as you Mary, hard, hard, hard even with all my books I didn’t complete without the blog….. :(

      1. I agree with you Chablisdiamond. I found todays’ one of the most difficult so far. Especially that well known Serbian electrical engineer and Lurchin being Rockin & rollin – that’s a new one on me. Thank goodness we had Gazza

  8. Great crossword from Ray T, I really enjoyed it, favourite clues were 4d and 6d and even though I’m not normally an anagram fan 28a. Great review as always Gazza.

  9. 16a proved to be my educational clue of the day.
    26a was one of the answers in the GK prize puzzle on Monday
    I sometimes find it strange that I put all the letters in and the anagram pops out. I am sure there is a explanation for this in technical terms where if you have the first and last letter of a word then the anagram is made a lot easier,, eg uvsirtneiy. I have seen a whole paragraph written in this way and it is possible to read quite easily.
    Maybe Dave knows the technical term for it ?
    Thanks for the blog Gazza

  10. I too enjoyed todays crossword although it tooka while to get going. Managed the bottom half easily but the top was a challenge. Like Vince I have learnt a excellent new word in 16a and 6d. Being somewhat simple… I liked 4d !

    1. For all those who learned a new word in 16a:
      I give you the reason that I know it!


      1. How on earth did you remember that. Very funny but not as good as the Parrot sketch

        1. Good Question! – Monotonous repetition with all your mates is the first step…….!

      2. This was of the very few I could get!

        I was NOT on the same wavelength as the compiler today.


  11. Blimey, George – much scratching of the head today. Liked 12a, 16a, 20a, 24a (as an alternative to megatarts), 6d, 8d, 17d (does it matter if the surface reading upsets the French?) and 22d. A long list reflecting my enjoyment level. Like Vince, I feel occasional use of ‘esurient’ coming on!

  12. I rather liked the puzzle overall, but like Moonstruckminx, I felt there was just something lacking,though I can’t quite put my finger on it. I had seen a couple of the clues before, which doesn’t worry me too much as they were a while back in a different paper, and I accept that most solvers around here won’t have seen them previously.

    I think the punk thing refers to the American idiom rather than anything British. I am more used to seeing 19 down spelled with a “y”, rather than “ie”.

  13. Liked 20a.
    But can’t agree that 12a and heresy are the same things.
    Do people still use that abbreviation in 19d? I haven’t heard it since a long time ago, when Robert Graves used to throw them into the sea from Majorcan beaches.

  14. A quick login as I’m desperately trying to get some work out of the way before my week away – noticed it was a RayT puzzle and I’m always eager to see what trickery he’s been up to.
    Yes, a couple of questionable moments but more than outweighed by some sheer genius; of many highlights, 17d’s suggestion of “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” is top class.

    1. And we are still waiting for your masterpiece that contains all of these words in the answers!

  15. I really enjoyed today and although it took twice as long as yesterday, I solved on my own with no help. Got stuck in NE corner for a fair amounf of time but once 11a fell, the rest quickly followed. Clue of the day for me was 26a.

    1. Barrie – I can guess that it is a Ray T puzzle because it has so many clues that I just can’t get
      1a I would think very few got that without some checking letters.
      11a Far too complicated
      16a Never heard of it
      5d Too hard
      6d How many got that ?
      8d Too obscure
      I can get stuck on Giovanni but afterwards think “Aaah should have got that” -but not these

  16. I did start it, as 26a, 2d and 9d were very straightforward. Didn’t finish it though, even WITH the blog! My turn in the dunce’s corner today …

  17. I look forward to Ray’s crosswords, and there is always a buzz of anticpation when I print off the Quick and notice the trademark. An excellent challenge today and a lot of fun. This felt harder than the Toughie at times. 24a raised a laugh and like a number of people I thought 17a was excellent – but I will keep quiet. Has anybody done a search on google for “french military victories” – try it. Only quibbles (as observed by Gazza and others) punk=urchin is not in the online Chambers. Also C=church, nope thats not in the online version of Chambers too. Otherwise, thanks for this.

  18. Setter here,

    I’m pleased that most people enjoyed the puzzle, and my thanks to Gazza for the review. Having lived among them for ten years, I do enjoy gently mocking the French! I get enough stick about England so this is payback time…

    Until next time,

    Ray T

  19. Found this a crossword of two halves – bottom half fine top half tough. 16a is a lovely word that I will attempt to use tomorrow. 4d missed. DOH! Liked 20a too. Toughest of the week so far (only Tuesday I know) and thoroughly enjoyable.

  20. Very new to cryptics, and still puzzled when I see answers. Thought I was very clever getting Orphan for 22d. Couldn’t see what it had to do with Punk, but thought it was something about losing the head of the family. Fortunately it fitted in with the other clues, so I got a shock when I found it was really urchin – though I don’t think that has much to do with punks either! Guess I’ll get the hang of it all eventually.

  21. Good puzzle which I tackled early this morning (Wednesday) having been away yesterday.
    2d went in first then I cleared the four rim 11-letter jobs out of the way to get going.
    I liked 16a, 24a, 26a & 27a (no cricket in that one!). 4d & 6d. 18a & 23a no trouble for a retired physicist!
    I agree that 3d was a bit lacking in precision.
    Re 22d : Collins Dictionary of Slang gives for punk – among others – youngster.

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