DT 26282 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26282

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26282

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

We have a typical Giovanni today with a good mixture of clues. It took me longer to solve than an average Giovanni, but looking back on it, I couldn’t really see why because, as always, his clues are very fair. Let us know what you thought of it in a comment.
For those who are still baffled after reading the hints, the answers are concealed between the brackets under the clues. Highlight the white space between the brackets to reveal.

[Today I am trying out a new idea – if you hover over a clue the background changes to grey and you should be able to see the answer.  Let me know what you think – particularly if you are using an iPhone or similar.  BD]

Across Clues

1a  Idiot clutching broken bat left game (8)
{FOOTBALL} – a team game is constructed from a synonym for idiot around an anagram (broken) of BAT followed by L(eft).

5a  A piece of furniture carried across America is given rough treatment (6)
{ABUSED} – put A and a piece of furniture around (carried across) one of the abbreviations for America.

9a  Letters in ground by house in Westminster (9)
{LANDLORDS} – the definition is letters (those who let out property). String together a synonym for ground and one of the two houses found in the Palace of Westminster. I was misdirected initially into looking for an anagram (ground) of LETTERS IN.

11a  Not entirely stupid — a hopeful state (5)
{IDAHO} – the name of a U.S. state is split across the words (not entirely) of the clue.

12a  Pat about to kick the bucket — no certainty for heaven? (6)
{BADDIE} – this is a villain in a film (in the old westerns they used to wear black hats so that even the densest viewer could distinguish them from the white-hatted good guys). Reverse (about) a verb meaning to pat or wipe gently and add a more formal way of saying kick the bucket.

13a  Birds very cold, observed at both poles (8)
{BITTERNS} – marsh birds of the heron family are a description of very cold weather followed by the abbreviations for the two geographic poles.

15a  Lad, ten, with no charm becoming troublesome for a time (8,5)
{CALENDAR MONTH} – this period of time is an anagram (becoming troublesome) of LAD TEN NO CHARM.

18a  A French prisoner’s disciplined, but not locked up (13)
{UNCONSTRAINED} – a charade of the French indefinite article, the usual abbreviation for a prisoner, the S signalled by ‘s and a verb meaning instructed or disciplined.

22a  Give treatment to umpire that’s caught cold (8)
{MEDICATE} – a verb meaning to arbitrate (umpire) has C(old) inserted (caught) to make a different verb meaning to administer treatment for an illness.

23a  See university revolutionary as disreputable (6)
{LOUCHE} – string together an old interjection meaning see or behold, the abbreviation for university and our favourite South American revolutionary to get an adjective meaning disreputable or sordid.

26a  Gosh, American wartime visitor could be a dog! (5)
{CORGI} – combine an expression of surprise (gosh) which is often followed by blimey and the abbreviation for one of the American soldiers who were stationed here during the war to get a dog with royal connections.

27a  Sort of wind briefly penetrating this window (5-4)
{SOUTH-WEST} – unless I’m missing something (it wouldn’t be the first time!) this is a pretty weak clue. The definition is a description of a wind, based on the compass direction that it blows from, and the abbreviation (briefly) of this wind (or direction) is contained within (penetrating) “thiS Window”.

28a  Very wet, so departs towards shelter (6)
{SODDEN} – an adjective meaning very wet or soaked is built from SO (in the clue), D(eparts) as shown on a train timetable and an animal’s shelter.

29a  Chose to save time and ran (8)
{OPERATED} – the definition is ran or controlled. Start with a verb meaning chose or elected and put a long period of history (time) inside (to save).

Down Clues

1d  Complete support for player (4,4)
{FULL BACK} – a defender (player) who might play for a 1a team is a charade of a synonym for complete and a verb meaning to support or endorse.

2d  Had confessed (5)
{OWNED} – double definition.

3d  Edict, one on valuable metal that must be stored (7)
{BULLION} – put together an edict of the sort issued by the Vatican, I (one) and ON to get gold or silver (valuable metal) in bulk.

4d  Money Conservative shelled out as enticement (4)
{LURE} – a word for money (often qualified with filthy) has its C(onservative) removed (shelled out) to leave an enticement or temptation.

6d  What sounds like invoice having money fixed (5-2)
{BUILT-IN} – a description meaning fixed or forming an integral part of something is made from a homophone (sounds like) of bill (invoice) and an informal word for money.

7d  Huntin’ around middle of lough for something that lives in water (3,6)
{SEA URCHIN} – we want a word meaning hunting or looking for, then remove its final G (to match huntin’ in the clue) and insert the middle letter of loUgh to get a marine invertebrate (something that lives in water).

8d  Sleepy day at either end, with quarrels in between (6)
{DROWSY} – take the letters at either end of DaY and put a synonym for quarrels between them to get an adjective meaning sleepy.

10d  Fellow sailor finds the map is wrong (8)
{SHIPMATE} – an anagram (wrong) of THE MAP IS produces a fellow sailor.

14d  Periodical with bottom businessmen? (8)
{MAGNATES} – put together the abbreviation for a (often glossy) periodical and an anatomical word for the buttocks (bottom) to get high-powered businessmen. I’m not really sure what bottom businessmen are – are they those at the bottom of the performance tables, or are we talking of businessmen with more fundamental interests?

16d  Boy hiding below table finally gets washed etc. (9)
{LAUNDERED} – a synonym for boy contains (hiding) a preposition meaning below and the last letter (finally) of tablE.

17d  Referred non-editorial content of paper to editor (8)
{ADVERTED} – something in a newspaper that has been paid for (non-editorial content) precedes (to) the usual abbreviation for editor to get a verb meaning referred to something in speaking or writing.

19d  Drug runner entertaining murderer (7)
{COCAINE} – a now-ennobled middle-distance runner of the 1980s surrounds (entertaining) the first murderer (the son of Adam who murdered his brother Abel) to make an addictive drug.

20d  Duck trapped in bit of plant? Not this one (7)
{ANOTHER} – a duck in cricket is a score of zero, so we want the letter that looks like (and is often confused with) zero, which goes inside (trapped in) the part of a stamen that produces the pollen (bit of plant).

21d  Little male put into bed, son getting kisses (6)
{SMACKS} – put M (little male) inside a colloquial term for bed and add S(on) to get loud kisses.

24d  Deception about passion (5)
{CHEAT} – this noun is usually used for a person who deceives, but it can also mean the deception itself. It’s a charade of C (circa, about) and a synonym for passion or intensity of feeling.

25d  Dislodge hobo sitting on top of pillar (4)
{BUMP} – this verb is what an airline does when it refuses a passenger with a valid ticket a place on a flight (dislodge) because of deliberate overbooking. Start with a (mainly North American) term for a vagrant and add the first letter (top, in a down clue) of P(illar).

The clues I liked included 9a, 4d, 19d and 20d, but my favourite is 12a. Which ones did you like or dislike? Tell us in a comment!

60 comments on “DT 26282

  1. This was for me the best puzzle of the week, and much better than last Friday. I tentatively inked in 3d; even though the answer was obvious, I was unsure of the edict reference, and not having Chambers, I could not confirm the definition.
    I must add Chambers to the birthday wish list!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza.

  2. Many thanks to Giovanni for an entertaing crossword. It was one of those puzzles where I found myself saying – “Of course, why didn’t I spot that immediately”, as the wordplay dawned.

    For surface reading, 1a was my favourite clue. I think Gazza is being a little harsh with 27a. It was one of the more enjoyable ones for me for the lightbulb moment.

    Thanks as ever for the excellent notes.

    1. Prolixic,
      The reason I don’t much like 27a is that I think it’s very easy to knock out clues like that, e.g. “Our island featured briefly in Big Brother (5, 7)”.

  3. I agree that 27a was not a very good clue – I just guessed it from the missing letters. Not that keen on 6d either as the answer does not seem to exactly satisfy the clue to me!

      1. Hi gazza

        I can see how the answer is formed Ok but does it define fixed? Probably just me and enjoyed the rest !!

  4. I liked this one – it had some lovely clever clues – I would say 3* difficulty not 4 as it didn’t take me long to solve but I did need Gazza’s explanation for why 27a was what it was. Easy when you “see” it. Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle and Gazza for the notes.

    1. Strange isn’t it how different we are when it comes to ease or not. I enjoyed this but it took me longer than normal to get going. Top half went in fairly easily but bottom half was not as straight forward for me.

      Thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza.

      Dave – I don’t mind the “greying” since I try to look at the review after I have finished. If I am stuck then I can always block out the answer…..

      1. The other way round for me Lea, completed bottom first, then top R, last was tp L/H corner. didn’t see you in the sandpit yesterday :)

        1. I was late yesterday and figured everyone would have gone home from the sandpit – found it very entertaining. For some reason I had the answer straightaway – shows my brain works at odds sometimes. Always good fun.

          Taking a break from the men’s tennis at the moment

  5. Laughed when I saw he had used “nates” in one of his clues. Very entertaining.

  6. Had to check a few on the blog today but the only one i looked at was 12a, just couldn’t see it, not going to make any fuss today too tired from playing in the sandpit yesterday!! :) Thanks for blog Gazza, another busy day for you today, off to dead head hundreds of petunias now that the rain has stopped, good luck everyone, specially CC, it is doable today, with a lot of thought

        1. That was my favourite as well. At first glance I didn’t think I’d get anywhere today. Surprised myself with 7d and then progress wasn’t too bad…

    1. Well done Mary if you managed this one, I think the DT mixed up the Toughie and the back page today :-) Real shame as it has been a good week (no Ray T so that makes it a good week for me). Hey ho, Saturdays another day.

      1. Cheers Barrie, it was tough today and would have been easy to give up on but I just didn’t have anything else to do! :)

  7. Enjoyed today – thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.
    Gazza – not sure about the new system as it’s too easy to inadvertantly reveal the answer when all you want to see is the tip. However, I’d live with it if it’s better for i-phones etc.

    1. Pommers

      It’s me, not Gazza that’s trying the new system out. It’s a sort of beta test!

      Q. What comes after beta test?
      A. Beta retreat.

      1. I have an iPhone but when I hover over the answer all I see is a grey block – unless I am doing something wrong and having a particularly bad day!

        1. I rather feared that might be the case. Apple seem to interpret html protocol in a different way on the iPhone to the way that they do on their own browser (Safari).

          Back to the drawing board!

          1. Can’t say that I am surprised, BD. There is quite a lot you cannot do on the net when using the iPhone (the blog looks good, though). If I get desperate, I will have to resort to the PC……,

      2. BD – nice one!
        Don’t be hasty it wasn’t a major problem and the general concensus may be that it’s better
        I didn’t need the blog to solve today but had a look as usual. It was when I was seeing what Gazza had to say about 27a that I accidentally revealed the answer and thought that it would not be so good if all I was looking for was a hint.
        Anyway, thanks again for the blog, whatever system you settle on!!

  8. I agree with Jezza about this being the best of the week. Had to look up “nates” – not sure I’ve seen that before. Too many good clues to pick out a favourite.

  9. VERY relieved to see it ranked 4*, as couldn’t do more than about 10 on my own – but that’s nine more than I could have done a few months ago! With lots of help and lots of hints, did all but six.

    Enjoyable, thanks for puzzle and review. Reserving judgement on the ‘hover over’ change for the time being, not sure as yet

  10. Very enjoable although I went awry with 6 down ending the first word with a “d” – DER!. Nice challenge for sultry Hertfordshire.

  11. Absolute cracker from Giovanni, I quite liked the hover over, thanks Gazza.

  12. Not keen on the new idea Dave, because sometimes you just need a little hit and don’t really want the answer unless you are desperate, sorry

  13. I found todays a bit of a chore, good clues but not entertaining as usual so I took the Soignee to Narbonne for some retail therapy and earned myself a bottle of Napoleons best. Every cloud eh.
    The toughie is a doozy ! Boom!

  14. So glad that this one got 4* – have finished but it’s taken me for ever! Last two to go in 9a (tried to make it an anagram of “letters in” although I’m not sure what that anagram might have meant – a house in Westminster? – then finally saw it) and 17d – never heard of the word. Put in the right answer for 14d although I had no idea why having never heard of the “bottom” bit before and didn’t have the sense to look it up. Put the right answer for 27a but couldn’t see why – even having read the hint still don’t quite get it. 12a took a while too. Always forget the first four letters of 3d means an edict in crosswordese. Thought the whole thing was difficult but am quite pleased to have finished it and then looked at the blog for explanations rather than actually needing hints to get any answers.

    1. Kath,
      27a is just saying that an abbreviated (briefly) form of the answer can be found in thiS Window.

  15. Very enjoyable stuff, thanks to G & G.
    1a & 19d were favourites.
    BD, there us no hover or mouseover for iPhone. You can only push and hold to get a select and copy option.
    I’ll show you tomorrow.

  16. Big Dave,
    This is my first ever post, so may I start by thanking you for an excellent website/blog. I have just started learning how to solve the DT crossword. I only ever manage a few answers each day, but I am sure that will improve. I find this blog very useful when I am stuck and particularly when I cannot solve any of the clues.
    I really appreciate your attempts to make this work on various mobile devices. I tried it with an iPod touch with the latest v.4 software and had the same problem as Dave above.
    When I am at my computer, I agree with Mary, that it is easy to uncover things when you are just searching for one specific clue. But I am sure I just that is just a case of getting used to it. However, one thing I would miss is that I sometimes find it useful to uncover just some of the letters of the solution rather than all of them.
    Thanks to Gazza, as well, for today’s hints.

    1. Hi de Cliff – welcome to the blog.
      Now that you’ve introduced yourself, I hope that we’ll get more comments from you, letting us know how you’re progressing.

    2. Hi de Cliff, I only started doing these a year ago myself and it is through this blog and the help of everyone on it that I am getting better, so keep at it and see you around int the CC :)

  17. WOW! The toughest Giovanni for a long time, took me 20 minutes to get one clue and so far have managed just 4!! Thought I had him cracked then he slaps me down like this :-). Teach me to get complacent! Given up now as my brain hurts. Much too tough for me I’m afraid. Going to read the answers to see what I can learn.

  18. By the way, I don’t like the new was with the clues in the Blog, VERY difficult to see the answer. Much preferred it as it was, why change it if it wasn’t broken!!

    1. Barrie

      It doesn’t work for the increasing number of people who access the site using an iPhone. I am always looking for ways to improve the site. This experiment now only applies to today’s posts – back to normal on Monday.

  19. Freak atmospheric conditions seem to have put me on the same wavelength as Giovanni today. I got all but four of these before coming here.

    I agree 27a is weak.

    Old system did not show answer on my iphone. Nor does new system.

  20. The solution given here for 12a must be right, but it’s uncanny that the clue in words and sentiment so closely matches Hamlet’s “Now might I do it pat, with a bare….” And the following word actually fits (although, admittedly, without a reassuring click). :-) Did the compiler intend this ambiguity?


  21. Well, actually perhaps not. I’m conflating two different Hamlet quotes here.


  22. Relative newcomer to this site which I thoroughly enjoy. Often find I put words in that seem to fit and find site useful to explain the clue to me. I also thoroughly enjoy the banter i.e. yesterdays sandpit. Today I did need help, thought about southwest but could not believe it.
    I prefer the original site as like Mary I found the answer appeared when I only wanted a hint. Keep up the good work.

  23. I like the hovering over the answer – though I didn’t need it today. Got it all done during breaks in Wimbledon semi-finals. Incredibly 12a was the last answer in – I felt such an idiot when I worked it out. Favourite clue – 23a – just to be controversial after all the moans this week about les mot francais!

  24. hi all. Really enjoyed today. Agree with 4 * rating and all said about 27a. For what its worth, I usually use my non apple (nokia) smart phone to access blog and neither old nor new system works. Not too bothered as hints usually enough. I wish!

    1. actually just accessed full site on phone, rather than mobile version, and the inter thing works, though hard to read. Must just be mobile site that doesn’t work. You live and learn.

  25. Dave

    The highlighting works well on my Nokia when accessing your full site but not so sure that I want to see the answer so easily when using my laptop.
    Is it possible for just the answer to be highlighted?

    Still find Friday’s beyond me – I cannot get on the same wavelength as Giovanni.

  26. Today was a good day. Did about 3/4 of the puzzle but got stuck on the s.e. corner. Luckily i was playing cricket with some lovely people who were just as keen as i was to do this( and the toughie). It’s wonderful to share this odd obsession. The clues were puzzled over and then one of us would enjoy that instance of revelation as the penny dropped. Ah, bliss under summer sun.
    Thanks BD et al.

  27. Just finished this, with help of blog (was watching tennis yesterday so didn’t get at it)

    Lovely Crossword, entertaining, and amusing,

    I don’t have any difficulty with the new system.

    Many thanks for the crossword, the review and the blog.

  28. Like the new way of showing the answers. I think there was a small glitch – when you hovered over 14d it also revealed 16d. Much improved though.

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