DT 26228 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26228

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26228

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I thought that this Giovanni puzzle was on the hard side with two answers (25a and 24d) that I’d never heard of (although, to be fair, both were reachable from the checking letters and wordplay). However, I did have to look up the meanings of both, which is fine if you have reference books and Google handy, but not so fine if you’re trying to solve the puzzle on the move. What do you think? – as always we’d love to hear your views.
For those who need to see an answer or two, they are here between the curly brackets under the relevant clue – just select the space between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

1a  Fresh fellow going around South Africa as a retailer (9)
{NEWSAGENT} – fresh is NEW, then we want a synonym for fellow with S(outh) A(frica) between the two.

9a  Drunk or thug, one bound to live in harsh conditions (5,2)
{ROUGH IT} – the definition is to live in harsh conditions, and it’s an anagram (drunk) of OR THUG with I (one) inside (bound).

10a  Old Russian system uses equipment America discarded (7)
{APPARAT} – start with a word for equipment (the sort you may use in a gym) and take off (discarded) the US to leave a Russian word for the administrative system or political machine of a ruling communist party.

11a  Influence in part of church (7)
{INSPIRE} – put together IN and the tall structure that you see on some churches to make a verb meaning to fill someone with the urge to do something.

12a  Sort of bag journalist carried around states (9)
{HAVERSACK} – we want a somewhat derogatory term for a journalist (implying that he/she churns out unoriginal work) which goes (carried) around a verb meaning states or affirms. The whole thing is a sort of bag that you carry on your back.

14a  A very small animal rescuer crossing a road for an animal (8)
{AARDVARK} – having a double A in place at the start made it easy to get this long-nosed animal, but my initial thought that the rescuer was the Automobile Association turned out to be wrong. In fact it’s A and V (a small version of Very) and then a boat which was supposed to have rescued small animals (as well as big ones) from a great flood, around (crossing) A and the abbreviation of road. [Thanks to BD for pointing out that the small relates to very, not animals].

15a  Quick — little son needs diaper! (6)
{SNAPPY} – an adjective meaning quick or lively is constructed from S(on) and the word we use for what North Americans call a diaper.

17a  A desire somehow to make money (7)
{READIES} – an anagram (somehow) of A DESIRE produces money in the form of cash.

20a  Wise man features in fine story (6)
{NESTOR} – hidden (features) in the clue is the name of a Greek king whose wisdom was proverbial.

23a  Philosopher with regret so audible (8)
{ROUSSEAU} – the name of this 18th century French philosopher sounds (not much!) like RUE (regret) SO.

25a  Arty Scots suffering — they are extremely cold (9)
{CRYOSTATS} – we want an anagram (suffering) of ARTY SCOTS. Chambers just has these meaning pieces of apparatus for achieving or maintaining a low temperature, which does not necessarily mean that they themselves are extremely cold, but I have found another meaning – that of cold chambers in which frozen tissue is divided with a microtome.

26a  Something that may disturb the listener (7)
{EARACHE} – cryptic definition of a pain in the hearing organ.

27a  One unknown character in pub about to get rum (7)
{BIZARRE} – put I (one) and Z (the third unknown in algebraic expressions) inside BAR (pub) and add RE (about) to get something that is rum.

28a  Choose artist to represent mythological female (7)
{ELECTRA} – a charade of a verb to choose and a Royal Academician (artist) produces the name of this Greek mythological lady with a complicated home life.

29a  Old French to complicate clue? Gad, no! (6,3)
{LANGUE D’OC} – an anagram (complicate) of CLUE GAD NO gives us the form of medieval French which was spoken south of the Loire (so called because the word oc was used to mean yes), derivations of which (known as Occitan or Provençal) are still in use in parts of Provence to this day.

Down Clues

2d  Describe old lover — not beautiful enough? (7)
{EXPLAIN} – a verb meaning to make something understood (describe) is constructed from a previous partner (old lover) and an adjective meaning deficient in beauty.

3d  Fish in first half of meal? That’s a big change (5-2)
{SHAKE-UP} – put a cod-like fish inside the first half of an evening meal to get a radical reorganisation (big change).

4d  Not a good looker! (5,3)
{GLASS EYE} – cryptic definition of an artificial seeing organ.

5d  Weird trio accompanying king sitting on a carriage (6)
{TROIKA} – an anagram (weird) of TRIO is followed by K(ing) and (sitting on, in a down clue) A to get a Russian carriage drawn by a team of three horses abreast.

6d  Put money into sink — about one shilling (9)
{SUBSIDISE} – the definition is put money into – we want a verb meaning to sink (as your house might do, if you’re very unlucky) which surrounds (about) I S(hilling) (if you got the puzzle from CluedUp early in the day it will have a spurious Y at the end of the word shilling).

7d  Evil spirit? Ah, saint is led astray! (7)
{SHAITAN} – an anagram (led astray) of AH SAINT gives us an Arabic word for the devil or an evil spirit for Muslims.

8d  More like bacon maybe? It could bring eater risk (9)
{STREAKIER} – an anagram (could bring) of EATER RISK.

13d  Endless hypocrisy followed by stern frankness (7)
{CANDOUR} – start with CAN(t) (endless hypocrisy) and follow this with an adjective meaning stern or gloomy to get a synonym for frankness.

15d  End with phrase specially honed (9)
{SHARPENED} – an anagram (specially) of END and PHRASE means honed.

16d  Sue’s writing — quaint! (9)
{PROSECUTE} – the definition is sue (institute legal proceedings against). It’s a charade of non-poetic writing and a synonym for quaint.

18d  Investing? Finish in debt! (8)
{ENDOWING} – a word meaning investing (in the sense of providing someone or something with a particular quality or attribute) is a charade of finish and what you are if you are in debt.

19d  Arrow seen in conflict (7)
{QUARREL} – double definition, the first being a square-headed arrow used in a crossbow.

21d  End of week — I consumed stuff (7)
{SATIATE} – a short form of one of the days of the weekend is followed by I and a verb meaning consumed to make a verb meaning to satisfy an appetite to the full (stuff).

22d  Province not disorderly with a disturbance curtailed (7)
{ONTARIO} – this province in eastern Canada starts with an anagram (disorderly) of NOT and is followed by A and a civil disturbance with its last letter dropped (curtailed).

24d  Bill and others establishing a compound (6)
{ACETAL} – bill is often either a short form of advertisement (poster) or, as in this case, an abbreviation for account. Follow this with the abbreviation of the latin et alii or et alia (meaning “and others”) to get an organic compound formed by the condensation of two alcohol molecules with an aldehyde molecule.

The clues I liked today included 14a, 17a, 27a and 8d, but my favourite is 16d. How about you? Tell us what you think in a comment.

55 comments on “DT 26228

  1. Perhaps its just me but apart from 7d which I had to find by writing down combinations of the letters and then googling, I found today’s offering fairly straightforward and had completed all but 3 of the answers in about 20 mins.

  2. I liked it! Some difficult words, but the clues were very fair, and pointed towards the answer. Thanks to Giovanni for a super puzzle, and to Gazza for the review.

  3. This was even harder than the normal Friday fare, and certainly taxed my abilities, although an Ouzo hangover did not help.

    Some challenging words but fair.

    Good end to the week with 16d a really fine clue.

    Thanks for the write up Gazza.

  4. Gazza

    In 14a I think the word small belongs with very, not ark! Very, small = V

    I had the same trouble as you with 24d but, although I knew 25a, 7d was new to me.

  5. Excellent puzzle from the Friday master (I have learnt Sir and now bow to your expertise :-))
    Struggled with 10a needed help from the above but best clue for me def 17a, made me grin! Nice to see some scientific terms such as 24d and 25a, makes a change from the interminable arts references! Must admit I had never heard of 23a, had to look him up but the clue was first class.
    THIS WEEK I THANK GOD FOR THIS FRIDAY PUZZLE! It has been a simply awful week for me for crosswords, never seen so many really tough and for me very poor puzzles.

    1. Amazing Barrie how you found this one relatively straightforward but struggled in the week, well done :)

      1. Hi Barrie – I found this one really hard. Didn’t help that I put blind eye in 4d. Glad you enjoyed it!!

  6. I actually found this relatively straightforward. Having said that I am stronger on science/technology than flora so perhaps I had an advantage – 24d and 25a were already known to me and I recognised 7d from the Dune trilogy by Frank Herbert.
    Once again an excellent puzzle from Giovanni (thank you!), I agree with Yoshik’s selection of 16d and also 7d.
    Thanks gazza, hope I didn’t leave any crumbs on the chair!

    1. I would have asked if you would like to review Monday’s Bank Holiday puzzle, but I don’t think wild horses would drag Libellule away from doing it!

      1. I think that is perfectly understandable!. In any case I have an 8 a.m. Tee Time which would have made an early start but thanks for the thought.

  7. Rememberd to put my details in first this time, the no of times i have forgotten this week and had to retype the comment :( agree about a 4* for me with endless ref books etc on the go, the bottom half came together fairly quickly but was stuck on the top, putting ‘black eye’ for 4d and tricar for 5d didn’t help at all! also misspelling aardvark held me up as i put ‘arrdvark’ !!
    never heard of 10a, also thought ‘acetal’ was spelt ‘acetyl’ appart from all that I quite enjoyed it, fav clue 18d

    1. anyone know the difference between acetal and acetyl are they just different spellings for same thing??

      1. Mary,
        According to Chambers
        Acetal = a liquid formed by oxidation of alcohol, etc
        Acetyl = the radical (CH3CO) of acetic acid

        1. Thank you Libellule that makes it all so clear to me :) (not) chemistry was never my thing

          1. I’m with you on that, Mary. I carefully transcribed the bit I wrote in the review (without a clue as to what it meant).

            1. Ooo! thanks once again Libellule, i did try reading it, reading wasn’t the problem understanding was :) thanks anyway

  8. I thought this was a really GREAT puzzle, managed without the blog which is always good. Liked 21d, made me laugh. Off shopping now…..

    1. Well done Chablis you are dfinitely a graduate from the CC don’t expect you back too soon :)

  9. Hi, Telegraph Puzzles Editor here. Excuse me dropping in but I’m confused by the reference to a misprint. If there is a misprint on CluedUp, I can fix it, but the clues for 14a are the same in the newspaper and on CluedUp, as far as I can see. Let me know. Thanks

    1. On the printed version from clued up 6d says ‘Put money into sink – about one shillingy’ ! 14a seems ok it is 6d that has a misprint

    1. The amended version is now available from the Crossword Puzzles page, but the Home page still points to the old version, and the “printable” version accessed from there has no grid. This will, of course, resolve itself at midnight!

  10. I too fonund this straightforward and very well crafted. To get the split in the word and build up a clue for a word like 14a shows Giovanni’s genius at work. Many thanks to him and to Gazza for the notes.

  11. Apart from the confusion with the misprint, not too difficult, but enjoyable.

    New for me were 25a, 29a, 7d & 24d. As you say, Gazza, would have been difficult to complete without access to suitable reference media.

  12. Alternative clue for 7d:-

    ‘Spirit Scotsman announced as a poor one’.

    I thought today’s crossword was one of the easiest in a hard week – which makes it of average difficulty, but slightly easy for a Friday. It’s not easy to rate a crossword!

      1. I don’t think I’d have the imagination to invent good clues – that one only came to me as for some reason I adopted a Scottish acccent when I found the name (electronically, never heard of it) of that spirit.
        Big Dav, gazza – thank you for your welcome and, more importantly, thank you and the other bloggers for this site. It’s rather good.

        1. If you look at DIY COW you will find quite a few people who are having a go – not always successfully, but it’s a very friendly forum.

    1. Hi freda – welcome to the blog.
      Your alternative made me smile, but somehow I don’t think it would make it into the Telegraph :D

    2. Ha! ha! That’s very funny! I wonder how many Sassenachs got it! It’s just a different weegie word for excrement.

  13. I am having to work hard on this—my brain appears to be scrambled. I am not scientific and these new words are interesting.

    Thank goodness for easier ones such as 15d!!! At least that got me started!

  14. Barrie (well done!) and I have swapped places today. I couldn’t get into this one at all; most of it was a complete mystery!

    Thanks for the review Gazza. Seems one almost had to look at each individual letter today!

  15. 16d was the last I put in Gazza so I couldn’t say, like you did, I really liked it! Once again the Sue, apostrophe, s threw me. I was locked into a thinking pattern of trying to find a “Sue” famous writer. The apostrophe, this time missed out, for 29a foxed mon mari. Two words I didn’t know 24 d I worked out though from good clue and 7d which I worked out an then looked up for confirmation. The hardest of the week for me, well took longest.

  16. Another excellent Friday with a lot of lovely clues – 26a 18d, 19d, 24d but my favourite (agree with several others) was 18d.

    Bit of a moan though about 21d – I thought in UK that end of the week was Sunday and that only in America was end of week Saturday. Took me ages to get the answer as I kept wanting to include sun – not sat!!!

    Same as Mary – hadn’t herard of 10a – new for me.

    Thanks Giovanni for puzzle and thanks Gazza for the review.

  17. Pretty straightforward on the whole but with one or two stinkers (10a, 25a & 24d)

    Those three take it from 2* to 4*


  18. Acetal and acetyl are two very different beasts ; the former is a carbon molecule bounded to 2 oxygen atoms and is common in the stable form of such substances such as glucose and maltose. Acetyl is a carbon bonded to a methyl group and has carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and is a very common moiety in organic chemistry.

    1. Now you do sound as if you know what you’re talking about Barrie, I’m impressed but any further explaination is completely wasted on me cos I’m a complete dud when it comes to understanding any of that :) but do i take it that out of the two only acetal is a compound and not acetyl?? by the way what is a moiety? a new word for me

      1. Mary,
        it’s just a fancy chemistry term for part of a molecule.
        This is why I’m fine on the scientific stuff (I have used a cryostat in my histopath days, Dave and you are just about on the button) but hopelessly lost when it comes to the Arts :-)

  19. Gazza, i totally agree with your comments re having reference books handy. Having just had the puzzles printed out whilst on holiday, with sparse access to a computer, some of the clues felt as though I was doing a blind food tasting. It really made me push myself – sometimes having access to reference books, Google etc. can make me pull up short on working out the questions and search for the answers. I would say that being in a crossword desert helped me with my thought processes. Having said all that, it is good to be back and doing the crosswords here.

    1. Thanks Gazza, I am thrilled but dreading judging all you experts next week, I meant it when I said I never wanted to win! :) I don’t understand half the clues let alone be qualified to judge them

  20. Hi – as usual I am very late looking at this. I don’t start the crossword until I get in from work. This one only got completed this morning with some help from family (and anagram solving spell-checker which I feel is cheating). Anyway, it was a really good one. Thanks to Gazza for the review. Favourite clues were 10a, 23a, 27a and 16d. 25a and 7d were totally new words for me!

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