DT 26207 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26207

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26207

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

It’s the turn of Shamus this Tuesday (I’m assuming) and he’s given us a not-too-difficult puzzle to ease us back into the normal routine after the holiday. It has some entertaining clues (although a few too many anagrams, for me). I did waver between two and three stars for difficulty, so I’d be interested in your views on this (or anything else).

Across Clues

1a  Try a dip for recreation in short outing (3,4)
{DAY TRIP} – this short outing is an anagram (re-creation) of TRY A DIP.

5a  Short hem catching a bit of yarn – like an old garment? (7)
{FRAYING} – a hem is a FRING(E) – drop the last letter because it’s short and include (catching) A and the first letter (bit) of Yarn.

9a  City with little change in cost – it’s naturally seen as steep? (9)
{PRECIPICE} – the definition is a natural feature that is steep, such as a cliff. Put EC (area of the City of London) and IP (1p, little change) inside a synonym for cost.

10a  Recall an extended period in stadium (5)
{ARENA} – this is a crossword favourite. Reverse (recall) AN and a major geological period.

11a  Son not working making move furtively (5)
{SIDLE} – if you put together S(on) and an adjective meaning not working then you make a verb meaning to move furtively.

12a  First sign of damaging rust most suffered – a natural hazard? (4,5)
{DUST STORM} – start with the first letter (sign) of Damaging and follow this with an anagram (suffered) of RUST MOST.

13a  Belittle tatty carpet kept by woman (9)
{DEPRECATE} – put an anagram (tatty) of CARPET inside a woman’s abbreviated forename to get a verb meaning to belittle or disparage.

16a  Wag, one appearing in pack? (5)
{JOKER} – cryptic definition of a playing card.

17a  Shout around start of rowdy punch-up (5)
{BRAWL} – the definition is punch-up – we want a synonym for shout loudly around the first letter (start) of Rowdy.

18a  Calm stay disrupted around college? A disaster (9)
{CATACLYSM} – this natural disaster is an anagram (disrupted) of CALM STAY around C(ollege).

20a  Variety of Romans in a small republic (3,6)
{SAN MARINO} – this tiny republic which is a small enclave in Italy is best known to the outside world for hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix, though, bizarrely, the race is held at Imola, about 100 km outside its borders. Its name is an anagram (variety) of ROMANS IN A.

23a  Silent actor not performing with second poet (5)
{KEATS} – start with the surname of one of the great comic actors of the silent film era and knock off the final ON (not performing), then add S(econd) to get an English Romantic poet.

25a  Do recipe in instant (5)
{TRICK} – put R(ecipe) inside another word for instant (which derives from the sound of a clock) to get a verb meaning to con or hoax (do).

26a  Set up society for research (9)
{INSTITUTE} – double definition, although it’s really the same word used firstly as a verb and then as a noun.

27a  Tender gift (7)
{PRESENT} – another double definition, tender here being a verb meaning to offer or hand over.

28a  Flats could be part of this in a house? (7)
{SCENERY} – a house here is a theatre and flats are examples of what actors try to avoid bumping into.

Down Clues

1d  Deputy does wrong and is removed from office (7)
{DEPOSED} – start with the standard abbreviation for deputy and follow this with an anagram (wrong) of DOES.

2d  Concede return of financial investment (5)
{YIELD} – double definition.

3d  Spell I hear sadly having relinquished power to cause agitation (5,4)
{RAISE HELL} – an anagram (sadly) of S(p)ELL I HEAR (with the P, i.e. power, removed) produces a phrase meaning make a lot of trouble (cause agitation).

4d  By the sound of it, group containing cubs maybe was nosy (5)
{PRIED} – we want a verb meaning was nosy and it sounds like (by the sound of it) a group of lions forming a social unit. Presumably the “maybe” in the clue is there because there aren’t always cubs around in these groups (although I’m sure that the producers of wildlife documentaries much prefer having cuddly little cubs to film).

5d  There’s fee possibly for this newspaper? No! (9)
{FREESHEET} – an anagram (possibly) of THERE’S FEE produces a newspaper that’s given away in this semi-all-in-one clue.

6d  Collect a master and principals among school staff (5)
{AMASS} – combine A, a master of arts and the first letters (principals) of School Staff to make a verb meaning to collect.

7d  Key choice when playing sport (3,6)
{ICE HOCKEY} – a tough sport is an anagram (playing) of KEY CHOICE.

8d  Small measure to spoil a student’s textbook? (7)
{GRAMMAR} – do students these days have textbooks of this kind? Put together a metric unit of weight and a verb meaning to spoil.

14d  Clear connection shown around verse that’s mournful (9)
{PLAINTIVE} – start with a synonym for clear or easy to understand (the English used in well-written official documents, for example) and add a connection or link with V(erse) inside to get an adjective meaning sounding sad or mournful.

15d  This vicar upset keeper of records (9)
{ARCHIVIST} – an anagram (upset) of THIS VICAR.

16d  Raise offensive weapon and cause mayhem on road? (9)
{JACKKNIFE} – a charade of a verb to raise (normally followed by up, meaning to raise a car in a garage for example) and something that can be an offensive weapon produces what can happen to an articulated lorry, which is often the cause of traffic jams.

17d  Sot pub’s treated roughly getting place by kerbside? (3,4)
{BUS STOP} – an anagram (treated roughly) of SOT PUB’S.

19d  Month without a set larking on railway? It can’t be explained (7)
{MYSTERY} – something that is an enigma (it can’t be explained) is constructed from a month without its middle A and an anagram (larking) of SET in front of (on, in a down clue)  the usual abbreviation for railway.

21d  Section in bank leasing joint (5)
{ANKLE} – hidden (section) in the clue is a low joint.

22d  Feature in dry region unchanged after start of October (5)
{OASIS} – a fertile spot with water in a desert (feature in dry region) is constructed from AS IS (unchanged) after the first letter (start) of October.

24d  Entertain a figure offering inspiration? (5)
{AMUSE} – a verb meaning to entertain is, if redefined as (1,4), a source of inspiration for a creative artist.

The clues I liked today included 9a, 23a and 16d, but my favourite is 5d. Tell us what you think in a comment!

51 comments on “DT 26207

  1. Thanks for blog once again Gazza, r/h side came together nicely then almost stopped on l/h side! my only favourite clue today is 22d, good luck everyone, especially fellow CC, I found it definitely 3* :)

  2. An enjoyable puzzle. However, I agree with Gazza that there was a lack of variety in the clues with too many anagrams

  3. Perfectly pleasant stroll.
    Thanks to gazza and Shamus.
    Favourites for me were 9a and 22d.

  4. 24 out of 29 today, which means it can’t be more than a 2*. Failed on 12a, because I put in PRIDE for 4d … doh! Got 9 and 13a, but didn’t know why. Failed on 23a and 16d, thought ‘raise’ was going to mean spelling something upwards.

    Re. 8d – no, I don’t think they teach that nowadays!

    1. Geoff
      On 4d Shamus (unlike some setters) was very fair in putting the homophone indicator (by the sound of it) at one end of the clue, so that it had to apply to group, with “was nosy” as the definition.

      1. It was just a daft mistake on my part (even though I went to a 8d school … )

        Forgot to say, thanks for the review.

  5. Yes easy for a Tuesday which I always find is hard after easy Monday crosswords. At least I learned there are 2 Ks in jackknife!!

  6. Only 3 left to do by end of lunch break. Will look again this evening before checking out the hints. I too thought too many anagrams but they’re the ones that get me going so shouldn’t grumble.

  7. I thought that Tuesday was supposed to be hard? Thanks for the analysis Gazza but what on earth was 28a all about

    1. 28a is a cryptic definition of scenery in a theatre (house). Flats are bits of scenery that can be slid or lowered onto the stage.

  8. Wouldn’t mind so many anagrams if the indicators were more subtle, or if the surface reading was smoother. But 17d is just obvious and ugly. Apart from that minor gripe, a nice 3* challenge to aid recovery from the long-weekend break.

  9. I loved this one though as usual needed the blog to explain some answers- though not to get them which is great for me. Having a break in cornwall (raining!) so slow to start as have to walk for paper…….

  10. Very relieved to find out about 25a. Couldn’t understand what a recipe had to do with “twink”.
    But not sure that 13a is a synonym for “belittle” and nor is Chambers.
    Liked 23a. Our most often crossworded poet?

  11. Spring has sprung again in Geneva, and this time I hope it stays! I did this puzzle in two sittings and with the minimum of help. I got a number of answers right without knowing why, and so was glad of your explanations. Thanks, Gazza. Problems were mainly with 5a (is a fringe a hem?), 9a and 23a — but on the whole I enjoyed this puzzle and would give it three stars.

    1. Franny
      Bradford’s gives fringe under hem, but not the other way round. Chambers Crossword Dictionary links them in both directions.

  12. Found today very easy, definitely far too many anagrams! Personally only 1* for difficulty. Onto the Toughie…

  13. Finished it but didn’t much like todays, too many silly anagram indicators for me. Favourite clue – 20a, worst clue undoubtedly 9a, horrid clue.

  14. Hi Gazza (and everyone!), thanks for the review. My mother and father in law helped me a bit today (they are getting a bit annoyed with me doing so much of “their” crossword – may have to invest in “clued-up”.
    25a was the only one I couldn’t get. Although my father-in-law put “pride” in for 4d – but I realised that this had to be wrong when I got “dust storm”.

  15. I was just thinking I’d turned clever over the weekend, but it looks like lots of people found this easy too. Certainly the blog has helped me with crossword-solving, so thanks to Big Dave, Gazza et al.

  16. I understand that for some a puzzle can have too many anagrams but as a fully paid up member of C.C. it will be along time before I will find too many – they serve beautifully to get us started and hopefully on the road toward other clues. I have only just got to the paper but now am filled with a certain amount of hope at reading the blog and the posts about too many anagrams – i may be in with a chance! :lol:

  17. Has anybody else received a response about the Clued Up problems over the weekend? I got this:
    I can confirm that we did experience some technical issues on Friday 2nd and Monday 5th April due to an excessively high volume of visitors to the site.
    Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to prevent any reoccurrence and allow us to offer our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

    Hmm. And what’s this word ‘reoccurence’ – not one that I recognise. Neither does Chambers.
    No offer of a refund or extension of membership.

    1. Nora

      I have received copies of two other identical responses – complete with reoccurrence instead of recurrence (to be fair some other dictionaries do recognise reoccurrence).

      One does wonder what constitutes a high volume of users – a fraction of those who have paid for the service, perhaps. Since the total registered as playing the puzzles is usually less than 1,000 a day it would seem to be a pretty poor site that could not cope with that number. Having worked on systems that could handle hundreds of transactions a second, I know that it can be done.

      1. I stand corrrected on reoccurrence, but I don’t like it!

        In answer to the inadequate response to my complaint I wrote:

        It seems that the site is still not working correctly, as no points are being credited.

        Surely the high volume of visitors should not cause a total crash of a site such as this! Is there not spare capacity built in to absorb high levels of traffic? After all, you know the total number of subscribers, so surely it should be possible to accommodate as many of them as wish to log on at any given time.

            1. The CluedUp response has a farmyard smell about it.


              I cannot believe that untested changes could be made to a public subscription website the day prior to a 4 day break, then no support arranged. No, this cannot have happened. It must be the number of hits to the site, and the resultant increase in processing resources is taking the scores a little longer to update.

              No other plausible explanation.

              1. Rupert, I believe that you may have made a spelling error in your comment above:
                you may wish to replace the word ‘scores’ with ‘mouse’
                Hope this helps! ;-)

              2. Rupert/Nora
                The problems at CluedUp are not restricted to just scores/leader board etc
                If you care to look back at your played games previous to April 1st, you will find that the status is now not played. Which is pretty annoying, especially when you have done every Toughie since they started (bar one – don’t ask me to explain, that was another CluedUp problem). My response to the Telegraph stock email reply is close to unprintable.

    2. Hi Nora, we got the same response – some weird things have happened since the site was re-instated, for instance we have crept up 3 places on the leader board without even trying, and all our history has been wiped!! (Not complaining, gives us more practice!!). Anyway, didn’t find today’s puzzle that easy -must be too many Easter Eggs!!

  18. 25a -why does recipe =r ? If the complier wants the letter r , can he just use any old word that begins with r?

    1. Greenhorn

      It’s an acknowledged abbreviation which dates from its use in prescriptions. Recipe is the Latin for to take, and the modern usage comes from that – take two teaspoons of sugar, etc

  19. Evening folks. I only got to my paper late afternoon and found this to be a gentle stroll 22d being my favourite. 19d was also quite clever. A good day of sunshine in Hertfordshire hence took my sons for a nets session which was great. See you next week folks – am off to escape early election fever. Bored with it already.

  20. Thanks to Gazza for his review and all for comments. Always hard to gauge the difficulty of a puzzle but will definitely try to be more challenging next time!

    1. No! Please don’t. Remember there are many of us for whom it’s heartening to be able to get many of the answers on our own.

  21. I always read the crossword blog with interest, I must say I never find the crosswords as easy as most of the bloggers! Can I just ask is anyone else still having trouble with the ‘Clued up’ Site? I don’t seem to have any points added to my score anymore, ( or am I the only sad persons that bothers to submit any puzzles?)

  22. Thanks Nora, obviously I didn’t read the blog properly today!! I have Emailed ‘Clued up’ about the problem but haven’t had a response as yet, suppose everyone had Easter off!

    1. Roger

      Here is your reply:

      Dear [Mr/Mrs/Miss] xxxxx (fill in title and name],

      Thank you for your communication to the Telegraph.

      Further to your email, I am sorry that you have had problems accessing the �Clued Up� website at various times over the Easter weekend.

      I can confirm that we did experience some technical issues on Friday 2nd and Monday 5th April due to an excessively high volume of visitors to the site.

      Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to prevent any reoccurrence and allow us to offer our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused.

      The Clued Up site is now working however should you require further assistance please do not hesitate in contacting us at telegraphenquiries@telegraph.co.uk .

      Yours sincerely,

      Customer Services
      Telegraph Media Group

  23. I agree with Gazza – too many anagrams – 9 out of 32 clues i.e. 28%! Some were, however,
    quite good.
    I liked 23a & 28a. 16d & 22d.
    Nice gentle start to the week for me – the DT never arrives on Easter Monday, Whit Monday nor on Boxing Day plus a few other gaps on Dutch special days.

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