DT 26213 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26213

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26213

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Libellule has a theory that Ray T is trying to see how much he can get away with, and he’s certainly managed to smuggle a few risqué (for the Telegraph) clues pass the censor this time. The whole thing is highly entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed it – this week has got off to a cracking start. I’d really like to know your views, so please keep the comments coming.
As always the answer to each clue is concealed between the curly brackets beneath the clue – highlight the space between the brackets if you want to reveal it.

Across Clues

1a  Proprietary furniture stripper? (11)
{CHIPPENDALE} – an amusing double definition. The name of the famous furniture maker also refers to a member of the group which entertains hen parties.

9a  Camp, openly gay display (7)
{OUTPOST} – a clever and amusing clue. From the surface reading camp seems to mean theatrically effeminate but what we actually want is a temporary settlement remote from headquarters. It’s a charade of a word meaning openly gay (having exited from the closet) and a verb meaning to display or publish (a message on a blog like this, for example).

10a  Protect queen in turn out (6)
{ENSURE} – put R(egina) in a verb meaning to occur afterwards (turn out) to get another verb meaning to make safe or protect.

12a  ‘Game’s up!’, remorsefully admits leader (7)
{SUPREMO} – hidden (admits) in the clue is the very top person (leader).

13a  Train learner in the German car (7)
{DAIMLER} – a verb meaning to direct (a gun or telescope, for example) plus the usual abbreviation for a learner driver is put inside the German (masculine) definite article to get a make of car which was originally an independent British marque, but which has been transferred through a succession of owners and is currently in the possession of an Indian company.

14a  Starts to decrease intake, eventually turning slimmer (5)
{DIETS} – an excellent all-in-one clue requires you to utilise the first letters (starts) of the last five words.

15a  A Yale man? (9)
{LOCKSMITH} – the surface reading is trying to make you think of the Ivy League university, but it’s really a cryptic definition of someone who is an expert in what was invented by Linus Yale.

17a  Cue holding a rest (9)
{REMAINDER} – the definition is what’s left over (rest). Put A inside (holding) a cue or aide-memoire.

20a  Fixes charge, say (5)
{TACKS} – a verb meaning fixes with a short nail sounds like (say) a charge which we all have to pay (unless we claim that our main residence is in Belize, say!).

22a  It’s a bit of a nerve! (7)
{NEURONE} – cryptic definition of a nerve cell.

24a  Imperfectly m-master pronunciation? (7)
{STAMMER} – another good all-in-one clue. We want an anagram (imperfectly) of M-MASTER to get imperfect pronunciation.

25a  Split from Conservative leader before exit (6)
{CLEAVE} – a verb meaning to split apart is assembled from the first letter (leader) of Conservative and a verb meaning to go away (exit).

26a  This month worker’s on tick (7)
{INSTANT} – start with an abbreviation used in formal correspondence to mean the current month and add (on) the usual hard-working insect to produce a short period of time (tick, of the clock). The clue is a little odd because the full form of the abbreviation (for this month) is actually the answer.

27a  I’ve a testing break down to do this (11)
{INVESTIGATE} – a semi all-in-one clue – we want an anagram (break down) of I’VE A TESTING. For the clue to work you have to think of someone carrying out research (perhaps in a chemistry laboratory).

Down Clues

2d  Rugby pros? (7)
{HOOKERS} – I saw the answer here straight away but didn’t write it in at first because I couldn’t quite believe that it had escaped the editor’s blue pencil! The specialised forwards in rugby union whose job it is to drag the ball back to their own side in a set scrum are called the same as (in an informal term) prostitutes (pros).

3d  ‘Plod’, alert unusually, pounded the beat (9)
{PATROLLED} – an amusing slur on the boys in blue? Surely not! It’s an anagram (unusually) of PLOD ALERT.

4d  Rewrite pieces penned by journalist (5)
{EMEND} – put pieces (those on a chessboard, say) inside (penned by) the usual abbreviation for a journalist to get a verb meaning to improve a piece of writing (rewrite).

5d  Girlie girl’s first release (7)
{DISMISS} – the definition is release (the issuing of a record in the surface reading but a verb meaning to allow to leave in the answer). Put a young lady (girlie) after (indicated by first) an abbreviated girl’s name (including the ‘s).

6d  Rock singer? (7)
{LORELEI} – lovely cryptic definition of one of the mythical maidens on a rock on the river Rhine who were reputed to lure sailors to their death with their singing.

7d  Judging criminal gang taking bank (11)
{CONSIDERING} – the definition is judging (in the sense of believing to be). Start with CON(vict) (criminal) and add a word for a gang or group involved in a shared enterprise (usually illegal). Then insert (taking) one of the banks of a river.

8d  Principal’s hard gripping end of strap (6)
{STAPLE} – an adjective meaning principal or main is made from a word for hard (like old bread) holding (gripping) the last letter (end) of straP.

11d  Modify the score with art? (11)
{ORCHESTRATE} – yet another all-in-one clue. This time we want an anagram (modify) of THE SCORE and ART.

16d  Embracing curvy form in tender embrace (9)
{CARESSING} – put the name (and the sound) of the curviest letter in the alphabet (curvy form) inside (in the embrace of) a word meaning showing kindness (tender) to get a synonym for embracing.

18d  Sentimental girl in poem returning love (7)
{MAUDLIN} – a charade of the name of the girl invited into the garden by no less a poet than Lord Tennyson and a score of zero (love) reversed (returning) produces an adjective meaning tearfully sentimental.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

19d  Divorce overdue, after one’s ring (7)
{ISOLATE} – a verb meaning to cut off or separate (divorce) is formed from a synonym for overdue after I’S (one’s) and O (ring).

20d  Poor artist embracing new movement (7)
{TRANSIT} – an anagram (poor) of ARTIST has N(ew) put inside it (embracing, again).

21d  Fight a terrorist leader following search (6)
{COMBAT} – put A and the first letter (leader) of Terrorist after a verb meaning to search carefully and systematically.

23d  Match tied before extra time (5)
{EVENT} – a word meaning tied (in the sense that neither side has an advantage) has an additional (extra) T(ime) added to it to make a contest (match).

I liked a whole host of clues today, including 1a, 9a, 15a, 24a, 2d, 3d and 18d, but my favourite clue, for its elegance and simplicity, is 6d. Let us know what you thought of it – leave us a comment!

40 comments on “DT 26213

  1. Loved this today and I was laughing on the train – I think Libellule is probably correct. 6d was certainly the highlight but there were certainly many other excellent clues and I did break a sweat to complete so thanks to RayT!.
    Cheers for the review gazza.

  2. Brilliant! Some very amusing and clever clues. I also spotted 2d straight away, but waited until I had the H and the R before putting it in! Thanks to Ray T, and to Gazza.

    1. The answer to 2d triggered a current bugbear which is nothing to do with crosswords. Whilst Hookers in Rugby Union still practise the trade, those in Rugby League are now redundant but commentators in this code still use the title.

      1. In the so-called set scrums in Rugby League the ball is normally (quite legitimately) put in behind the hooker so that he has no opportunity to strike for the ball. The main role of the hooker in RL appears to be to distribute the ball after one of his own team has been tackled and restarted play by a “play the ball”, i.e. he’s more like a scrum-half in Rugby Union (although, confusingly, one of the other players on the team is called scrum-half).

  3. Setter here,

    Thanks to Gazza for his usual excellent analysis. This is my 200th DT Cryptic so I thought that I’d celebrate with a bang. I don’t know what you’re talking about, Libellule…

    Happy solving,

    Ray T

    1. Congratulations RayT and thanks for all the fun. Here’s to many more.
      Given the nature of some of the clues I won’t enquire as to the bang!!

    2. A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle – many thanks Ray T. and congrats on reaching the 200 mark.
      My first entry was10a followed by15a and then I worked round clockwise from these to finish it. The hardest part was the top area (except for Lorelei) as I kept thinking Copperfield mistakenly for the furniture – but this morning it came back to me!

      Favourites were 15a and 18d.

      Ray T. – I think Libellule was thinking of the naughty version of “Come Into The Garden Maud”!

  4. Smiles all the way with this one. Congratulations to Ray T on No. 200 – a fantastic acheivement. Thanks for all the entertainment and I look forward to the next one!

  5. Didn’t fully appreciate just how good this was until I’d finished it. But, I was preoccupied with work, at the time.

    I was also reluctant to put in the answer to 2d until Ihad all the checked letters.

    22a. Is this really a cryptic clue?

    8d. Bit of a leap getting from “hard” to “stale”, I thought???

    I also thought that 6d was the clue of the day.

      1. Hi FSG – welcome to the blog.
        I think that you’re meant to think of the saying “you’ve got a bit of a nerve”.

        1. But, Gazza, the answer is literaly “a bit of a nerve” – not really very cryptic! This is just not up to the standard of the rest of the puzzle. I feel it could have been clued a lot better. (Can “clue” be used as a verb?)

  6. Sorry if I keep banging on about it, but why can’t we have this kind of quality, difficulty and amusement on a Saturday? Well done to the setter and Gazza – too many great clues and comments to pick a favourite.

  7. Loved the crossword today and finished it with a smile on my face. I liked 13a, 24a, and 6d but my favourite was 11d

  8. Heh! With reference to 6d:
    21d in the Times today gives:
    ‘Power retained by fusty principal’
    I’m off to check the Grauniad!

  9. What a brilliant puzzle – Ray T always delivers the goods! My favourite clue was 6d but the whole puzzle was very well constructed. It is obvious Ray T put a lot of thought and effort into this puzzle and I am sure everyone who reads this blog really appreciates his work.

    Many congratulations to Ray T on his 200th DT cryptic – I look forward to his next 200 and the great entertainment and wonderful challenges they will bring.

  10. Oh dear, here we go again. No phrases, no anagrams NO HOPE! Can’t even start it, I do so dislike Ray T puzzles, they are just not my cup of tea.

    1. I’ve been critical of Ray T in the past but I actually solved this -though I needed an aid with Lorelei.
      Anagrams were 24a,27a, 3d ,11d, 20d .
      First in was 15a
      Last in 10a

  11. Didn’t find this one of the easiest puzzles but did complete eventually all but 3, didn’t help that i had outcome for 9a! not an easy day for CC I feel fav clue 1a :) thanks for hints Gazza, would not have finished without

    1. Mary,
      I take my hat of to you if you could even start this horror let alone come so close to finishing it. I wish he would do Sundays DT as I take the Sunday Times !! :-)

  12. Dear Ray T,
    A short message and plea from a founder member of the CC. I don’t mind you making your puzzles so difficult, it gives the experts something to gloat about but how about just including three or four easier clues perhaps a couple of phrases just so we have something to do on a Wednesday morning rather than feeling totally useless.

    1. Dear Barrie,

      If you can hold on for a couple of months, you’ll find that thenceforward there will be a number of multi-word answers in my puzzles, but I do think that there are already some pretty easy clues to get you going!

      Ray T

    2. Barrie

      Recognise this:

      “Not a nice puzzle at all, esp after Fridays Giovanni special which was excellent. Didn’t enjoy this one at all”

      That was your comment last Saturday for a puzzle that had loads of silly phrases and many easy clues! :)

      1. Very true but that was a the far end of the spectrum from a Ray T. In my opinion a good puzzle should have a balance and I just feel that Ray T has gone too far the other way.

  13. It must be Tuesday, Ray T ‘s puzzle always fill me with dread. I thought I was getting the hang of them a couple of weeks ago but now it seems we are back with the hard work clues. It always seems a chore rather than a pleasure to fill them in.
    Congrats on the 200th Ray

    1. Thanks, and don’t feel thet you need to apologise. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I know that I can’t please all of the people all of the time!

      Ray T

  14. Tragic start to the day’s commute – no Telegraphs at the station!! Got one on my way home and loved this challenge – a great crossword that made the trip home a blur.

    Thanks Ray T.

    1. Since the advent of the High Speed line on the north Kent coast my journey time has been cut in half.
      Today I was worried that I would not finish before the end of the journey but as it turned out I had a little time for the Toughie.
      If you are there every day I would sweet talk the vendor into reserving you a copy!

  15. I really enjoyed this one – although I didn’t get it all finished.
    2d was a great clue. I am certainly not averse to the odd risque clue.
    I also enjoyed 15a.
    Congratulations on your 200th puzzle Ray T.
    And thanks to Gazza for help with the ones I couldn’t do!

  16. Finished this morning with a bit of help from Gazza (thanks :-)) in the top half (though I did get 1a!) Lovely puzzle and great fun – keep them up Ray T and congrats. Best clues for me were 1a,17a,24a,2d,6d &18d.

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