DT 26246 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26246

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26246

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a good selection of smooth, entertaining clues from Giovanni today, but sprinkled among them are quite a few pretty easy ones (and I dithered between two and three stars for difficulty – I think that this is a definite 2½). Do you agree or not? In either case we’d love to get a comment telling us what you think of it.
The answers, should you need them, are hidden between the curly brackets under the relevant clue. Just select the space between the brackets to reveal them.

Across Clues

1a  US city with scarcity of modern music? (6,4)
{LITTLE ROCK} – the state capital of Arkansas is a small amount (scarcity) followed by a type of modern music. Outside Arkansas this city is best remembered as the location of a Civil Rights furore in 1957 when black Americans were prevented from entering a racially-segregated school.

6a  Plant being small died (4)
{WEED} – a charade of a word for small followed by D(ied).

9a  They keep hitting the floor and carpets may be ruined (3,7)
{TAP DANCERS} – an anagram (may be ruined) of AND CARPETS produces hoofers. Very smooth surface reading.

10a  Deludes youngsters (4)
{KIDS} – double definition.

12a  Desire is for keeping between wife and husband (4)
{WISH} – keep IS between Wife and Husband.

13a  A pampered person’s about to join team? Withdraw from the situation (4,5)
{STEP ASIDE} – we want a phrasal verb meaning to withdraw or stand down. Reverse (about) A and a pampered person’s (or animal’s) (not forgetting the ‘S) and add a synonym for team.

15a  Slower way to Scotland? (4,4)
{HIGH ROAD} – nice cryptic definition based on the lyrics of “Loch Lomond”.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

16a  Nag may be quiet subsequently (6)
{PLATER} – a pretty average racehorse (which is entered in “selling plate” races) is made from the abbreviation for Piano (quiet) followed by a synonym for subsequently.

18a  Bird books presented to Catherine (6)
{PARROT} – put the abbreviation for the first half of the Bible after (presented to) the surname of Henry VIII’s sixth and last wife to get a bird.

20a  Mineral extractable from Tyrol ice (8)
{CRYOLITE} – this white or colourless mineral is an anagram (extractable from) of TYROL ICE.

23a  Notice there’s a nervousness in the audience (9)
{ATTENTION} – what you pay when you’re taking notice of something sounds like (in the audience) a nervousness or suppressed emotion.

24a  Joints offering fruits (4)
{HIPS} – double definition.

26a  Meadow quiet in spring (4)
{LEAP} – follow another word for meadow with P (piano, quiet) to get a verb meaning to spring or bound.

27a  Great fuss when a bear appears at far end of port (10)
{HULLABALOO} – the definition is great fuss or uproar. Put A and the name of the bear in Kipling’s Jungle Book after (at far end of) a port on the river Humber.

28a  Crazy, being seen in daze going around (4)
{NUTS} – it must be at least two days since we had a version of this clue! Reverse (going around) a verb meaning to daze.

29a  The wireless? Ma adores it, when bustling about (5,5)
{STEAM RADIO} – a facetious phrase which was coined with the spread of television to indicate how antiquated the wireless was, is an anagram (when bustling about) of MA ADORES IT. Excellent surface reading.

Down Clues

1d  Unwilling group going to hospital (4)
{LOTH} – put a large number (group) ahead of H(ospital) to get an adjective meaning unwilling or reluctant.

2d  Excellent finishing but not beginning (7)
{TOPPING} – a dated slang term for excellent is formed from a synonym for finishing without its initial letter (not beginning).

3d  Like a special edition of Bronte hauled around (7-5)
{LEATHER-BOUND} – how a special edition of a book may be presented is an anagram (around) of BRONTE HAULED.

4d  Vehicle taking Richard to small wood (8)
{RICKSHAW} – I spent some time trying to justify haw meaning wood after s(mall), but Chambers revealed that “shaw” is a small wood.

5d  Female gypsy with chaps hiding under vehicle (6)
{CARMEN} – If you struggled through yesterday’s Toughie then you’ll have no problem with this clue. Put a synonym for chaps after (hiding under, in a down clue) a vehicle to get the gypsy girl heroine of Bizet’s opera.

7d  English Literature is difficult, ultimately for the chosen few (7)
{ELITIST} – string together abbreviations for English and Literature and add IS and the last letter (ultimately) of difficulT.

8d  He is ardent? Dismay changes that (10)
{DISHEARTEN} – a verb meaning to dismay is an anagram (changes) of HE IS ARDENT. I don’t like the definition being between the anagram fodder and the indicator – what do you think?

11d  Legal summons? It might bring a pub worker into action (4,2,3,3)
{CALL TO THE BAR} – double definition, the first a cryptic description of the process of someone being admitted to the status of barrister.

14d  Fellow presumably on the ground, dejected (10)
{CHAPFALLEN} – an unusual adjective meaning dejected (literally with one’s lower jaw sunk) is made by putting together a synonym for fellow and what you might have done (presumably) if you find yourself unexpectedly on the ground.

17d  Girl having fruit, totally upset (8)
{PRUNELLA} – start with a wrinkled fruit and add a synonym for totally which has to be reversed (upset, in a down clue) to get a girl’s name. One person with this name will immediately spring to most people’s mind, and she, like all of us, is a crossword addict.

19d  Take back pamphlet following multi-faith lessons? (7)
{RETRACT} – a verb meaning to take back or withdraw (an allegation, for example) is made from a pamphlet following the abbreviation for Religious Education. Presumably Giovanni is hinting with “multi-faith” and the question mark that such lessons should cover the history and development of all religions (which they may well do these days, but when I went to junior school these lessons took the form of attempted indoctrination, by the local vicar, rather than education).

21d  I am wan, beginning to die, pierced through (7)
{IMPALED} – a verb meaning pierced through is constructed from a contraction of I AM, a synonym for wan and the first letter (beginning) of Die.

22d  Piece of music the length of a Chopin waltz, with a twist at the end (6)
{MINUET} – the name of a Chopin waltz (which actually lasts about twice as long as its name suggests) has its last two letters reversed (with a twist at the end) to get a piece of music in triple time.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

25d  Bats getting a century, a half-century and two ducks possibly (4)
{LOCO} – the surface reading has bats with a cricket meaning, but we actually need a word meaning nuts, which is made by rearranging (possibly) the Roman numerals for one hundred and fifty and two letters standing for zero (a duck in cricket).

The clues I liked included 9a, 15a, 27a and 11d, but my clue of the day is 29a. How about you? Tell us your thoughts in a comment!

25 comments on “DT 26246

  1. Day in the sunshine for me with the odd chore now done. Finished it without too much angst or furrowed brow. Off to watch my son play cricket later in beautiful sunshine. Enjoyable crossword, thank you.

  2. Thanks to Giovanni for a pleasant puzzle, and to Gazza for the review. How many times have we seen different variations of 28a in the last year in this and the toughie? (that was a rhetoric question!)

  3. The usual Giovanni magic for a sunny Friday. 14d threw me slightly. Although the wordplay was clear, when I double checked in Chambers, it gave only the spelling with an O for the third letter and not the A required by the wordplay. It may be a quirk of the electronic version I use! Favourite clues were 3d and 27a.

    1. Agree with the consensus that it was closer to 2 stars than 3 in terms of difficulty. I mean, if *I* finished it – and I don’t finish many without some sort of aid other than my dictionary – it couldn’t have been too tough!

      14d had me flummoxed for some time as well – that spelling isn’t in my dictionary either but it wouldn’t have made sense any other way.

  4. As Prolixic says just right for a sunny friday. Ditto the toughie which I enjoyed very much after yesterday’s struggle. Both just right for a morning pretending I am working with the paper under my files as I am out to lunch later for a celebration picnic and didn’t think my cryptic brain would work very well after champagne and strawberries steeped in port!

  5. A pleasant puzzle but I’d go for a difficulty rating of 2. Fisrt time I’ve posted on the blog but here’s a thanks for all the help it’s been.

  6. 20a and 14d were both new to me, as was 29a which is rather worrying as it pays my wages. But surely one of the reasons we do this every day is to learn these things?

  7. Another enjoyable puzzle in an excellent week only marginally (for me) let down by yesterday’s offering. A record time for me to finish a Giovanni.

  8. very enjoyable puzzle with no need to have hints or solving aids. 9a and 27a being favourites. Thanks Giovanni!

  9. Surely 9a should be hyphenated???

    4d. I’ve never heard of “shaw” for a small wood either. I thought it was S(mall) + HAW (being ans alternative name for HAWTHORN).

    I liked 15a, 27a, 29a & 3d.

    1. On 9a Chambers agrees with you, but the Oxford Dictionary of English has it as two separate words, so take your pick.

  10. Failed dismally on 14d and had never heard of 16a but I’m with Rupert on this – will be singing Jungle Book songs for the rest of the day while finishing off potting up geraniums in the garden in the sun!

  11. Not bad for a sunny Giovanni Friday, finished without the blog, but still needed my other ‘aids’ so no escape from the CC yet, don’t think somehow that i am going to make it before my first blog anniversary :) well it’s TTFN from me as I am away for the next 10 days, happy crosswording everyone, see you soon :)

  12. A pleasant run through today

    Never heard 14d before but worked it out OK


  13. Oh, thank goodness for that! One I could actually do this week! Well, almost do, just a few left over.

    Most enjoyable, thank you Giovanni and Gazza. And Happy Hols, Mary!

  14. Guessed the mineral, eventually got the bird, but, despite penciling chap in, failed on 14d. New word to me. Found it tough, perhaps because I’ve not being doing them daily lately.

  15. I did this in several sessions during the day and enjoyed it. Finally got stuck this evening and needed your hints to finish, especially with 16a which I’d never heard of either. I couldn’t find 18a without your help, but being a history fan it really made me smile. Best clues for me were 1a, 9a, 27a and 14d — though I thought that needed an ‘o’ too.

    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza, and Bon Voyage to Mary. :-)

  16. Hi – thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and to Gazza and everyone for the review and comments! We finished this without aids, hurrah!
    Already looking forward to NSPP!

  17. DT came in very late Friday so did this puzzle early this morning.
    Best clues for me : 1a, 18a & 27a. 2d, 3d & 22d.
    Not the most difficult of Giovanni’s fare!

    Incidentally – no DT on Monday (Tweede Pinksterdag) in NL!

    1. Derek
      Have you thought about subscribing to Clued Up? In spite of all the frustrations it brings, you can normally get the puzzles every day without having to buy the paper.

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