DT 26216 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26216

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26216

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

This is just about the easiest Giovanni crossword I can remember, so all of our usual correspondents should be able to finish it. As we always say, just because it’s relatively easy does not mean that it can’t be entertaining, and it has a fair number of clues which I enjoyed.
Let us know what you thought of it in a comment and please don’t forget to click on one of the stars at the bottom to show how you rate it.
For new readers, the answer to each clue is contained within the curly brackets beneath the clue, but masked out so that you can’t see it accidentally. If you do want to see the answer, just highlight the space between the brackets.

Across Clues

1a  Resist awkward member of the family (6)
{SISTER} – an anagram (awkward) of RESIST.

4a  Seeming to be a quiet dad maybe (8 )
{APPARENT} – an adjective meaning seeming or ostensible is constructed from A, P (piano, quiet) and what a dad is. The “maybe” is there to indicate that dad is just an example of this.

9a  Bad influence? Couldn’t agree more! (3,3)
{I’LL SAY} – the definition is couldn’t agree more and we want a phrase that you might use as a response to express wholehearted agreement. It’s a charade of a synonym for bad and a word meaning influence or input.

10a  Push out rubbish for moralist to consume (8 )
{PROTRUDE} – a verb meaning to push out is made by having a synonym for rubbish contained by (to consume) a moralist or prig.

11a  Listen to army fighter in South America suffering (9)
{HEARTACHE} – the definition is suffering and it’s a charade of a verb meaning to listen to, the abbreviation for the (Territorial) Army and the South American revolutionary fighter whose picture has adorned countless T-shirts.

13a  A body part in the van (5)
{AHEAD} – we want A followed by a part of the body to get an adverb meaning in the van, i.e. in the vanguard or in front. A very simple clue but with a surface reading which has macabre overtones.

14a  Secret lad, he involved with brunette (5,3,5)
{UNDER THE TABLE} – the definition is secret and it’s a phrase which has connotations of furtive and illicit transactions. It’s an anagram (involved) of LAD HE and BRUNETTE. The surface reading seems awkward and I wonder whether an “is” has been lost.

17a  Students troubled as tutor gasped (13)
{POSTGRADUATES} – an anagram (troubled) of AS TUTOR GASPED leads to students who already have at least one degree.

21a  Boredom in kindergarten — nuisance! (5)
{ENNUI} – hidden in the clue (indicated by “in”) is a word (which crops up a lot in crosswords) meaning boredom.

23a  Poverty seen around — has a meal to be brought in? (9)
{NEEDINESS} – reverse (around) SEEN and inside it (brought in) put a verb meaning has a particular meal.

24a  Party with very little Ecstasy? Then end getting joint (8 )
{DOVETAIL} – the definition is joint (the sort familiar to carpenters). Start with a word for party or celebration and add V(ery), the first letter (little) of E(cstasy) and finally a synonym for end.

25a  A bit of the Bible making one hostile (6)
{AVERSE} – an adjective meaning hostile is made from A and a subdivision of a chapter of the Bible.

26a  Daughter is wanting long hair, the pain! (8 )
{DISTRESS} – string together D(aughter), IS and a word for long hair to get a term meaning pain or anxiety. The “wanting”, here meaning in need of, is not really necessary though it improves the surface reading – “daughter’s long hair” would have worked.

27a  American political party, being full of energy, got through (4,2)
{USED UP} – put together an abbreviation for American and a Northern Ireland political party (still mainly associated with Ian Paisley, even though he has retired) and put E(nergy) inside (being full of) to produce a phrasal verb meaning got through or exhausted.

Down Clues

1d  Workplace in American institute, insecure on the outside (6)
{SMITHY} – we want the sort of workplace which was once seen in every village in the country (before farming became mechanised and horses were no longer used). Put the abbreviation for a world-famous high-tech institute in New England inside an adjective meaning insecure or timid.

2d  Course for which one must bring in black dishes (9)
{SYLLABUBS} – put a synonym for course of study (I seem to remember discussions in a past blog about whether these two words mean the same) around (which one must bring in) B(lack) to get whipped cream desserts (dishes).

3d  Punctilious editor required (7)
{EXACTED} – an adjective meaning punctilious or precise precedes the usual abbreviation for editor to get a verb meaning required or demanded.

5d  Steak and beer brought to the Lords? (11)
{PORTERHOUSE} – start with a dark-brown beer and add a word for an assembly (the Lords being just an example, hence the question mark) to get a choice cut of beefsteak.

6d  Draw a large area of land for the audience (7)
{ATTRACT} – we want a verb meaning to draw or entice which sounds like (for the audience) a large area of land.

7d  Escape from senior member right away outside university (5)
{ELUDE} – start with a senior member (of a tribe, say) and take off the final R (right away) then put what is left around (outside) U(niversity) to get a verb meaning to escape from.

8d  Modish types upsetting resident (8 )
{TRENDIES} – an anagram (upsetting) of RESIDENT gives us an informal (and mildly derogatory) term for fashionable people (modish types).

12d  Things that are sure to bring particular obligations (11)
{CERTAINTIES} – a charade of an adjective meaning specific but not named (particular) and a synonym for obligations or restrictions leads to things that are sure, about which there is no doubt.

15d  Polluted bar seemed horrible (9)
{BESMEARED} – an anagram (horrible) of BAR SEEMED.

16d  Magnificent object in second place I had (8 )
{SPLENDID} – the definition is magnificent. String together S(econd), PL(ace) and I’D (I had) and inside (in) put an object or target.

18d  Good little creatures shine (7)
{GLITTER} – put together G(ood) and little creatures (puppies, perhaps) to get a verb meaning to shine.

19d  First female to get into this bunch of crooks (7)
{THIEVES} – first female is not F but the wife of Adam – put her inside THIS.
ARVE Error: need id and provider

20d  Snake outside shelter unaware of what’s going on (6)
{ASLEEP} – a type of snake (the one that finished off Cleopatra) goes around (outside) a word for shelter to make you oblivious to your surroundings.

22d  They’re seen in churches, and they sound like wicked chaps (5)
{NAVES} – parts of churches sound like the sort of wicked chaps who might go around stealing tarts.

The clues I enjoyed included 9a, 11a and 8d, but my favourite today, for the picture it painted, was 13a. Tell us which clues you liked, or didn’t like, in a comment.

47 comments on “DT 26216

  1. Definitely more straightforward than recent Fridays but still well put together and enjoyable.
    Favourites for me were 1d and 11a.
    Thanks for the review, gazza, and thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle.

  2. I think yesterday and today were on a par for level of difficulty. That said, I preferred the one today. I had to think about 2d for a while, even though I have seen the clue before. Thanks to Giovanni, and Gazza.

  3. Going along very nicely with top right and bottom left but now come to a halt! Think I’ll do some gardening and come back to it – enjoying it though – a good one for us CCs I think? :-)

  4. Agreed this was on the easy side. It is the only Giovanni I can recall being a two-stopper! It goes to show that a good, entertaining crossword can be on the easy side and still be highly enjoyable.

  5. I thought it was lovely and achievable for the CCs. Especially liked 1d. Have we not had 5d quite recently?

  6. Yes an easy one for a Giovanni but still not too easy for us CC members, some too simple clues as in 1a but otherwise still required a lot of work on my part, got stuck on some of the top l/h corner despite getting 1a straightaway, good luck fellow CC members, hope you enjoy, although i liked 19d, isn’t this frowned upon Gazza i.e. using the word from the clue in the answer ‘this’, just a point i may have picked up from the COW site, which by the way i just cannot think of a clue for this week that hasn’t already been used!!

    1. mary
      On 19d ‘this’ is split in the answer, so it’s not a straight copy from the clue.
      I haven’t looked at COW for a couple of days, but has CH = Central Heating been done?

  7. Yes, quite easy for a Friday.

    I’m not sure if 9a was fair. This was my last answer to be put in. I was looking for two 3-letter words, when the first is two words abbreviated. Instead of (3, 3) it really is (1’2, 3).

    Is “hostile” a bit strong for 25a? Wouldn’t “reluctant” or “disinclined” be more appropriate?

    I agree with gnomethang re 1d & 11a. I also liked 12d, mainly for the DOH! moment when the penny dropped.

  8. Agree with Jezza about the level of difficulty. Although just as quick to do as yesterday, today’s crossword was much more entertaining. None of those aggravating “last letter” clues we have had so many of lately. Now back to my on-going struggle with the right hand side of the toughie!

  9. Reckon I must have lost more than the just the cells that control movement, but the writing has improved! Finally, there were five I couldn’t complete. There was another puzzle a few Fridays back seemed even simpler. Thanks for the review Gazza.

    Bearing in mind a comment by BD the other day (can I find it now?) am I getting the impression that certain specific words, eg energy in 27a, indicate the use of the first letter in the answer?

    1. Geoff,
      In the case of 27a E is for energy where E is just a symbol for energy in physics for example.

      1. I added SI units to The Mine last weekend, but E is a symbol rather than a unit, as in E=mc², so I may need to add a few more like I for current and k, the Boltzmann constant.

    2. Geoff
      I recommend a little yellow book called “Chambers XWD – A dictionary of crossword abbreviations” for looking up all abbreviations. Most of the abbreviation-to-meaning entries are also in the Big Red Book, but they’re a lot easier and quicker to find in the Little Yellow one, and the latter also has a full meaning-to-abbreviation section.

      1. And it’s only a fiver from Amazon, thanks Gazza. Trying to remember the dictionary Mary recommends … should have made a note!

        1. Geoff

          There is a section on Reference books in the Crossword Guide. I personally own a copy of each of these but the Chambers XWD, Chambers Dictionary and Bradford’s Crossword Solvers Dictionary are the ones that I use most, along with Chambers Crossword Dictionary which I will add in the next revision.

          1. A little while back someone mentioned a book of colloquial phrases (not Brewer’s) do you by any chance recall what it was????

        2. Chambers Crossword Dictionary Geoff rrp £12.99 but I think I paid £9.99 on Amazon, I have found it really good would be lost without it, also gives a list of all the anagram indicators, you would be amazed at what counts as indicator!!

    3. Thanks for your input; there’s still a lot to take on board.

      I noticed the addition of the SI units during this week, when I was looking for something else.

  10. This puzzle was of the same low level of difficulty as yesterday, but poles apart in terms of quality and entertainment. Churning out anagram after anagram shows no craft, but to come out with clues as well crafted at 2d and 11a requires intellect. Thanks Giovanni for a good start to my weekend.

  11. Geoff.Someone else may have mentioned it but I would be lost without CASSELL’S Crossword Finisher Regards LYSANDER

  12. I thought I was suffering deja vu but what is the difference between today’s effort and DT 26049? Am I going crazy?

    1. Oops – I’m somewhat embarrassed since I reviewed that as well! When I was looking for pictures to illustrate the review it did occur to me that I’d seen many of them before.
      I think that we may be due for a comment from Mr McNeill. I’ll have to read my previous review now to see what I said about that.

    2. At first glance you are spot on!
      (Sounds of everyone rushing off to see if they were consistent in their appraisals)

      1. That will be one free go on Clued Up for the subscribers, please!. Oh, and Giovanni, you owe us another crossword! ;-)

    3. Thanks to The FSG for spotting that.
      I have now read my previous review, and the general tone doesn’t differ substantially. I did select different favourite clues this time (put that down to either greater maturity or advancing senility).
      No wonder I kept having flashbacks on terms like syllabub and MIT – it just never occurred to me that I’d seen them all before in a single puzzle.

      1. Same as that with Syllabub and also porterhouse. You do tend to see repetitions (across newspapers as well) so it isnt really a surprise that you don’t recognise the puzzle as identical.

        1. It was definitely the top left corner that got me thinking. It was the combination of 2d, 1d, 9a and even 1a that just seemed unusual and yet so familiar. I guess I must have sweated hard last time out, especially the ILL/I’LL debate mentioned above which I remember not being that happy about – this time I accepted it without thinking! Now I know why!

          1. Looks like an “oops” moment. I’m not sure if BD’s online so don’t know if it’s OK for me to do this (feel free to delete this Dave, if you think it’s wise to do so), but for now here’s an unexpected extra:


            I’ve sent Dave a printable version too, but the applet has a link at the bottom to a printable pdf anyway.

            1. Thanks for that, Anax – excellent as always! I loved “other half of Middle East”.

              1. Thanks for that Anax. I managed to finish today’s – although I am pretty sure I haven’t done it before! It was a bit easier than a normal Friday.

  13. I enjoyed today’s fare, but 2d and 9a did for me too! Dave, for us cc members, could you tell us more about Bradfords Crossword Solvers Dictionary? How does it differ from a standard one? I know I’m being lazy, but you did recommend it! Thanks

    1. Ricardo

      It’s a sort of thesaurus for crossword solvers. Against each word are listed words or abbreviations that have been associated with that word in crosswords. Mrs Bradford has been religiously compiling it for many years and it was first published in 1986. The latest edition, the 8th, was published last year and is available from Amazon for £10.33. The paperback version, although cheaper, is the previous version.

      An example:


      Carpet-bag, Chateaubriand, Chuck, Diane, Entrecote, Fillet, Flitch, Garni, Mignon, Minute, Pope’s eye, Porterhouse, Rump, Slice, Tartare, T-bone, Tenderloin, Tournedos, Vienna

      I have seen most of these at some time or other.

  14. Good puzzle but def not 2* more a 3* with some very tricky bits. 9a, 12d and 28a I found very difficult and needed this excellent blog. Mind you it didn’t help that I thought 12d was formalities so messed up some of the across clues DOH!

  15. Thanks BD. Sounds like it’s worth getting the plastic out for! Have a great weekend. The sun’s even out in The Lakes!

  16. I found this quite straightforward and had it done quickly with the exception of the NW corner that I found significantly more challenging. Very enjoyable and a 2.5* for me.

  17. Hello, Telegraph Puzzles Editor here, eating humble pie.

    We did indeed publish this puzzle back in October. Apologies all round. Giovanni and I managed to get ourselves in a right mix-up swapping puzzles around, at my request — which is asking for trouble. There’s an old adage (or there should be) that most mistakes in newspapers are due to someone trying to improve things. This was a classic case.

    Should I have spotted it when I worked on it again? “I’ll say!”

    I managed to do something similar last year, with one of Ray T’s Quicks. Let’s hope that’s it for another 12 months at least…

    Best wishes

    1. Thanks for the apology Phil.
      Luckily nobody was hurt. Personally I would view this as a new solve given the length of time between them!

  18. Enjoyable but relatively easy Giovanni fare for once!

    I liked 1d, 2d, 5d & 12d.

    11a contains a couple of old goldies – TA and Che!!
    14a – I consider illicit rather than secret is a better description.

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