DT 26240 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26240

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26240

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a typical Giovanni today, a good mixture of clues but nothing too exciting. Let us know your views in a comment.
For new readers, the answers are hidden between the curly brackets under the relevant clues. Just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets to reveal the solution.

Across Clues

1a  Food fad is ultra silly (5,5)
{FRUIT SALAD} – this healthy food, which allows you to eat your daily five portions from a single dish, is an anagram (silly) of FAD IS ULTRA.

6a  Security group must contribute to plan at once (4)
{NATO} – the abbreviation for a grouping of nations who are bound together for mutual security is hidden (must contribute) in the clue.

9a  A name given to some French mountains (5)
{ANDES} – this South American mountain range is constructed from A, N(ame) and a French word meaning some.

10a  Part of the country in which you’ll find more than one riding (9)
{YORKSHIRE} – a cryptic definition of a county which used to be split into three Ridings.

12a  Postman, for instance, caught by ‘ound (7)
{CARRIER} – start with C (caught, in cricket) and add a type of dog used for hunting hares, but with its initial H dropped to mimic the way hound is presented in the clue.

13a  Disturbance when university clique seizes power (5)
{UPSET} – string together the abbreviation for university and a synonym for clique, then insert (seizes) P(ower) between the two.

15a  This person needs appointment — one brought in to liaise (7)
{MEDIATE} – the definition is to liaise. “This person” is the writer, so we want a pronoun which the writer may use to refer to himself. Add an appointment, possibly romantic, and finally insert I (one brought in).

17a  Arabs may parade around this (7)
{PADDOCK} – the Arabs in this cryptic definition have four legs rather than two.

19a  Smartest bird fails to get caught (7)
{TIDIEST} – we want a superlative meaning smartest or neatest. Put a small songbird round (to get caught) a verb meaning fails or stops functioning.

21a  Skill I found in fellow who supposedly lives in another world? (7)
{MARTIAN} – an extraterrestrial (the question mark and “supposedly” indicating that, outside the realms of science fiction, there are no such beings on this other world) is made by putting a synonym for skill plus I inside another word for fellow.

22a  Old lover, man or woman who has moved abroad? (5)
{EXPAT} – an abbreviation describing a person living abroad is made from a charade of a previous partner (old lover) and an abbreviated forename which can be used by a man or a woman.

24a  A serial broadcast — such won’t be for satellite TV (7)
{AERIALS} – an anagram (broadcast) of A SERIAL produces devices which are not used to receive satellite TV.

27a  Troublemaker at start of exclusive social event is a hindrance (9)
{IMPEDANCE} – the definition is hindrance, and to get it we have to string together a mischievous child (troublemaker), the first letter (start) of Exclusive and a social event.

28a  Hour in river, a particular European river (5)
{RHONE} – a major European river, which rises in the Swiss Alps and enters the Mediterranean in the south of France, is formed by putting H(our) between the abbreviation of river and a single person or thing (a particular).

29a  Fourth in weightlifting — past it for first prize (4)
{GOLD} – put together the fourth letter of weiGhtlifting and an adjective meaning having decreasing strength and ability due to advancing years (past it).

30a  One lass about to be beset by troublesome people? We expect the worst (10)
{PESSIMISTS} – reverse (about) I (one) and a young lady (lass) and round this (beset by) put annoying, troublesome people to get individuals who always foresee problems (expect the worst).

Down Clues

1d  Dull accommodation (4)
{FLAT} – double definition.

2d  Detectives to be involved in a French exploit? That’s doubtful (9)
{UNDECIDED} – put the abbreviation for the department in a police force where the detectives work inside (to be involved in) the French indefinite article and a synonym for an exploit.

3d  This stunner could make you stare (5)
{TASER} – an anagram (could make) of STARE produces a weapon that can cause temporary paralysis, which is currently being introduced by UK police forces as a non-lethal alternative to the use of firearms.

4d  A state that’s perceptive, however you look at it (7)
{ANYWISE} – an adverb, used more in North America than here, meaning in whatever way (however you look at it) is made from A, the initials of an eastern U.S. state and a synonym for perceptive or astute.

5d  Special delivery offered by ace Irish doctor before work (7)
{AIRDROP} – a special delivery (by parachute) is made from a charade of A(ce), IR(ish), an abbreviation for doctor and the usual abbreviation for work.

7d  Hosts expelling a thousand stars (5)
{ARIES} – hosts is an archaic term for large congregations of military personnel. Remove the M (expelling a thousand, Roman numeral) to leave a constellation (stars) and sign of the zodiac.

8d  Passing a man in game when it’s clear in front (10)
{OVERTAKING} – the definition is passing. It’s A and a man in a (chess) game with an adjective meaning clear or open to view in front of it.

11d  Echo device that’s more reliable (7)
{SOUNDER} – double definition, the first being apparatus for ascertaining the depth of water by using echoes.

14d  Stifling Mama’s kept in Carol (10)
{SMOTHERING} – the definition is stifling. Put a more formal name of Mama inside a verb meaning to carol.

16d  Beer being given to right old rocker makes one alarmed (7)
{ALERTED} – the definition is alarmed, in the sense of being made aware of danger. Put a synonym for beer in front of a single-character abbreviation for right and the shortened description of an old (1950s) rocker who wore Edwardian dress.

18d  They’re missing love on expeditions (9)
{OMISSIONS}- things that have been left out are O (love, zero in tennis) followed by a synonym for expeditions.

20d  One learning what’s needed on golf course has to fall in (7)
{TRAINEE} – someone undergoing tuition is made from a little peg used in golf which surrounds (has … in) a verb meaning to fall.

21d  With lines reduced by half, poet’s producing wondrous things (7)
{MARVELS} – a 17th century satirical poet loses one of his two letter Ls to leave wondrous things.

23d  Young whelp, one learner who sits in class? (5)
{PUPIL} – the definition is someone who may sit in a classroom. Start with a young dog (young whelp) and add I (one) and the letter that identifies a learner driver. Do you think that “young whelp” is tautology?

25d  Man called by God, a black sheep (5)
{ABRAM} – the alternative name for a biblical figure considered to be an ancestor by both Jews and Muslims is made by stringing together A, B(lack) and a sheep. The sheep reference alludes to the fact that he was supposedly on the point of slaughtering his son (a good role model, then) when God told him to kill a sheep instead.

26d  City in France producing camera component (4)
{LENS} – double definition, the first being a city in northern France.

The clues I liked today included 21a, 4d, 8d, 16d and 20d, but my favourite is 30a. How about you? Let us have a comment!

26 comments on “DT 26240

  1. Nice puzzle and good review. I will vote for 1a as my top clue. Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

  2. OK thanks for the explanation of 21d. Had the answer didn’t have a clue why it was right ! Fairly straightforward finished on train which isnt always the case for Friday. Fav clues 10a and 21a.

  3. I’ll go for 1a as well for the fun surface reading. took me a while to click with this (4d in particular)
    Thanks for the review, gazza, and thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle.

  4. Many thanks Gazza
    No wonder I couldn’t finish it, I had SWELTERING for 14 down (SING around WELTER, so I think, well ‘welter’ can mean a large amount, and so can ‘mother’ which is close to ‘mama’… deeply relieved you were able to clear it up!

  5. Almost there, as usual. Would never has guessed ‘must contribute’ in 6a indicates a hidden word. I assumed the answer was a word I didn’t know, ending in CO, for group. Yes, I know, didn’t make sense …

    Thanks for the ever-helpful review.

  6. My best attempt at a Giovanni so far. Only 21D was missing for me, although a few answers were put in before a full understanding of the clue.

  7. Best crossword of the week from Giovanni, I liked 1a, 14d and 23d (yes, it is tautology, but who cares? it made me smile) Great review!

  8. Stuck on a few of the down ones today, put ‘anyways’ in for 4d, it’s days like today that I feel I am getting worse and not better :) Thanks for review Gazza

  9. Yes, a pleasant-enough Friday stroll. I found the wording of 3d a bit strange with the insertion of ‘you’ after the anagrind. Wouldn’t make much sense otherwise, but does it fall within the compilers’ rules/conventions?

    1. I presumed that we were meant to read it as “make (for you) stare” or “make stare for you”, but I agree that it is a bit odd, and if Anax is around it would be good to get his opinion.

    2. I just took it to read that the shock stuns you and could cause you to stare blankly??

      1. I think what the chairman is getting at is that there’s a word (you) between the anagram indicator and the fodder.

  10. Yes, a good Friday workout. I smiled at 17a, as I had been wondering what on earth a Palestinian would be parading around!! I got 21d but I needed Gazza to explain why – Andrew Marvell of course! I learnt a new word for a stunner too, having tried various synonyms for female beauty : tasty came to mind but Gazza put me on the right road. |Many thanks! What would we ever do without Dave’s Blog?

  11. Who decides on the difficulty rating on Clued Up? I often find 5 star puzzles easier than 2 or 3 star. Maybe it’s just a question of wavelength.

    1. I think that it’s based on the average time taken to complete it, but it’s pretty meaningless because a) lots of people cheat, as you can tell from times of under 5 minutes, b) others do the puzzle in bits and pieces over a long period of time, and c) for difficult puzzles some long solving times never get recorded because the solvers don’t finish.

  12. Sorry I don’t think this is up to Giovannis usual high standard at least compared to the last fews weeks excellent ones. It was very difficult and complex involving many multi-step clues(28a, 30a, 15a), a poet no-one has ever heard of and some very obscure links as in 7d. I always thought his name was Abraham and 29a across beggars belief. Must say though I did like 11d 16d, both clever and made me smile. Incidentally has Giovannis been watching the re-runs of Gavin and Stacey in 19a, I won’t lie to you, very tidy!!

    1. Barrie,
      A poet no one has heard of? I put this in without thinking. Andrew Marvell is one of the finest cavalier/metaphysical poets this country ever produced. I would suggest you invest in a copy of his works.

      1. If I had any idea what a cavalier/metaphysical poet was I might be a little wiser but on the whole poetry leaves me totally cold. I stand corrected, it seems that he is known, just not by me. However, my knowledge of poets and poetry is on a par with the scientific knowledge of most compilers (Giovanni def being the exception!). I think that a classical education is probably a benefit when solving DT crosswords.

          1. I think he was also Tory MP for Hull (!)

            Philip Larkin’s poetry was published by Marvell Press at one time.

  13. Barrie – no “classical education” for me unfortunately – a bog standard Comp. Anyway, zipped through and I thought it the best one of the week. The commute in was a blur.

  14. Nearly finished, so for the second time I wondered if it really was Giovanni.

    Not sure I would ever have got 7d

    4* from me.

  15. My mother-in-law had put in 7 answers and left it at that (obviously something good on TV!) I managed all the rest on my own, which is a nice feeling. I thought this was quite a bit easier than the usual Giovanni puzzles. Not complaining!

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