DT 26290 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26290

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26290

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I was on the point of retreating to the garden (it’s another beautiful day in Devon) when Libellule contacted me to say that he’s lost power and can’t get on-line. So I’ve written this in a bit of a rush (that’s my excuse if you find any errors!).
I thought that this was a bit trickier than the usual Rufus puzzle, with some nice clues. Leave us a comment telling us if you agree or not, and please remember to grade it by clicking on one of the stars below.

Across Clues

1a  One of minor interest to the legal profession (4,2,5)
{WARD OF COURT} – cryptic definition of a minor whose interests are safeguarded by the judiciary.

9a  Female wear that wasn’t long in fashion? (4)
{MINI} – quite short in fact (several inches above the knee).

10a  Parliament or the Church makes men twisters (11)
{WESTMINSTER} – an anagram (makes) of MEN TWISTERS is a place that has a palace, an abbey and a cathedral.

11a  Sort of stone sink (4)
{FLAG} – double definition, the second a verb meaning to droop or sink.

14a  Dried fruit is when rain’s about (7)
{RAISINS} – just put RAIN’S around IS.

16a  Vessel lacking stabilisers? (7)
{PITCHER} – double definition, the second semi-cryptic. A large jug is also a description of a ship, say, that’s rocking up and down.

17a  Board and fare (3,2)
{GET ON} – double definition, the first meaning to take one’s place on a vehicle.

18a  Friend totally childless (4)
{ALLY} – if you remove the synonym for child from totally you’re left with a friend.

19a  Design a tailless aircraft (4)
{PLAN} – remove the last letter (tailless) from the shortened form of a word for an aircraft.

20a  Cause of cracks that can bring down the house (5)
{COMIC} – someone who cracks gags.

22a  One isn’t put out by it, but it’s a strain (7)
{TENSION} – an anagram (put out) of ONE ISN’T.

23a  Its launchers hope it will sink (7)
{TORPEDO} – sink here is a transitive rather than intransitive verb, so what its launchers hope is that it will sink an enemy ship, say.

24a  Food worries (4)
{EATS} – double definition, the second a verb meaning worries or gnaws away at you.

28a  Gaining a job at the end of the course? (7,4)
{WINNING POST} – double definition, the second being what’s found at the finishing line on a racecourse.

29a  They’re given to those who beg for weapons, we hear (4)
{ALMS} – what’s given to those who beg is supposed to sound like (we hear) weapons. This doesn’t really work does it?

30a  Supplementary courses? (11)
{TRIBUTARIES} – cryptic definition of streams or small rivers which flow into a larger one.

Down Clues

2d  Third man is unusually able (4)
{ABEL} – an anagram (unusually) of ABLE is the third man (if you count Adam as the first).

3d  Take a girl out some fruit (4)
{DATE} – double definition.

4d  Using tool around a defect (7)
{FAILING} – using a tool to smooth or shape is put around A to get a defect.

5d  To turn us in or turn us out? (4)
{OUST} – reverse (turn) TO and put US in the middle.

6d  Winds up with part of a film on crime (5,2)
{REELS IN} – a phrasal verb meaning winds up a rope or line is formed from a spool (part) of  a film followed by a synonym for a crime.

7d  Champion of the aristocracy (5-6)
{TITLE-HOLDER} – double definition. The current champion of a particular sport is, cryptically, a member of the aristocracy.

8d  Heavy cost of restoring the monarchy? (5,6)
{KING’S RANSOM} – a large amount of money is what might have to be paid if the monarch were kidnapped.

12d  Wrong way to make wealth (5,3,3)
{BREAK THE LAW} – the definition is wrong as a verb, i.e. do wrong. It’s a reverse anagram, so if you use the first word of the answer as an anagram indicator and the last two as the fodder you end up with WEALTH.

13d  Hunting season problem for the easily bored? (7,4)
{KILLING TIME} – double definition, the second a description of what someone who is easily bored might be doing to occupy him or herself.

15d  Determined for son to go to public school (3,2)
{SET ON} – a phrasal verb meaning determined or resolute is made from S(on) followed by the usual public school.

16d  Assume I will be in afterwards (5)
{POSIT} – insert I in a prefix meaning after to get a verb meaning to assume to be true for the sake of argument.

20d  A producer and transporter of coal (7)
{COLLIER} – both the person who digs the coal and the ship that transports it.

21d  Capital investment in company with rising sense of purpose (7)
{CORONET} – capital investment means something that is worn on the head. Start with the usual abbreviation for company and add a noun meaning prevailing character or direction (sense of purpose) which has to be reversed (rising).

25d  Pretentious person has a job at last (4)
{SNOB} – double definition, the second being an old word for a cobbler (someone working at a last).

26d  A boom in shipping, perhaps (4)
{SPAR} – cryptic definition of a pole (boom) which controls the position of a sail.

27d  Little land is left to the East (4)
{ISLE} – this might have been a hidden word but it’s actually a charade of IS, L(eft) and E(ast).

The clues I liked included 23a, 8d and 13d, but my favourite is 12d. What do you think? – leave us a comment!

36 comments on “DT 26290

  1. Liked it – a good way to start the week. Agree with your favourites, BD, to which I wouid add 20a.

  2. It’s not a beautiful day in East Kent (very heavy rain and still very humid) and parts of this puzzle turned out to be not quite as “beautiful” as some previous offerings and needed a touch of “Gnomethang’s law” (when I email him and then realise the answer as soon as I press ‘send’) and a bit of cogitation, 4 clues 7d 8d 11a and 19a because I wasn’t thinking straight – and 21d with the help of a hint from my friend Mr G. 12d was my favourite too. Thanks to setter and reviewer.

  3. I certainly found this a bit harder than usual for a Monday and comparing notes with crypticsue saw a number of the same clues as sticking points (with a few being down to me being a bit dense this morning – post World Cup fatigue, I think!)
    12d and 21d were favourite for me.
    Thanks gazza for stepping in at short notice and thanks to Rufus for a great challenge.

  4. I agree with this being a little tougher than the usual Monday, only slight disagreement is on 29a I though it worked even if it’s one of the gentler clues overall pretty enjoyable liked 23a 8d 12d

  5. At last sunshine in West Wales, mind you there are some ominous looking clouds around, beautiful at the moment though, I found this all doable in three stages, except for 21d, I would never have got this even if I had put comic instead of joker at first for 20a! Fav clue though it took me a while was 5d on the whole a fairly tough but very enjoyable puzzle from Rufus, thanks for the blog Gazza

    1. Well done Mary if you managed to finish this one. Some real stinkers in this one. Horrid for a Monday I thought.

  6. Thanks Gazza for forfeiting the garden (and thanks to Rufus for a more tricky Monday puzzle than usual). Was good to read the reasoning behind 25d – never heard of that word in that context- and have a bit of a quibble with 21d (now I know why we use CluedUp) -other than that, most enjoyable.

  7. Thanks to Gazza for standing in at short notice. Hope Libellule is back on line now. Agree a bit tougher to start the week. Favourites 12d and 20d.

  8. I enjoyed that! I had a good old groan at 23a when the penny finally dropped. 20a was another favourite. All this and only four more sleeps until Exeter Beer Festival…

  9. Great puzzle from Rufus – thanks to him and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clues were 7d,13d, 30a and in top place 12d. It was a bit trickier than usual but all was in place leaving time for Rufus’s Guardian offering as well before hitting the desk.

  10. Very enjoyable puzzle , thanks Rufus and thanks Gazza for the review and especially the picture for 9a.

  11. SO glad that this got 3* and that everyone seems to agree that it is more difficult than usual for a Monday – thought that I might be beginning a somewhat less than good week. I did eventually manage to finish it without resorting to any hints but several took a very long time – 10a (should have done that quite quickly but..) 30a, 20d, 21d, 25d (never heard of the other meaning but, since that was obviously what the answer had to be, looked it up) and, for me anyway, stinker of the day ie last one to go in, 12d. That was also, having finally got it, my favourite clue of the day.

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword as some were easy but others really had me thinking! Agree with crypticsue about the weather here in Canterbury… but the garden looks a lot happier ! :)

  13. Bits of a curates eggs today. Some really nice clues such as 28a and 8d and some really awful ones such as 16d (new word on me!) and 12d. Far too many reverse back to front upside clues for my liking. Not my favourite Monday puzzle.

  14. Enjoyable but tricky in parts! Needed your blog for 11a, 23a and 7d, thank you. Loved 12d along with everyone else and 5d so simple but really clever

  15. Tricky one! Only got a handful without any help, then a lot more with the hints, trusty online thesaurus and checking letters. Best ones for me were 8d and 13d. Discovered a new (?) meaning of ‘snob’ and that I don’t understand reverse anagrams.

    Thanks for enjoyable puzzle and good review. Thank goodness for a few really easy ones to get started!

  16. What a morning… this was the second power cut we have had in a few days, both taking place during thunderstorms. The first time was Thursday and Friday last week when we were without power for approximately 24 hours, and then we lost power again at about 5.30am monday morning. Power returned at about 10am, giving me time to access CluedUp and get a copy of the crossword. Crossword duly done (bit harder than normal, or I was having a bad day, not sure) and I then commenced writing up the blog, I was about three quarters of the way through when the power went off again. This was then followed by a phone call from a neighbour who stated that the power was likely to remain off all afternoon as EDF had to do some major repairs. So cue call to Gazza and ask whether he would mind stepping into the breach at short notice. Thankfully he did and the blog has been done, albeit later than usual.
    Anyway I hope EDF have fixed the problem, because I don’t expect to lose power the next time it rains.. and having had a brief email discussion with Gazza, I can confirm that I should be doing the blog tomorrow. Power permitting.

    1. Libellule,
      EDF have suggested that I fit a ‘protective device called surge.’ in case of thunderstorms here. Do you have this?

      1. Collywobbles,
        I have just realised that I didn’t really answer your question.. I have a UPS (uninterruptible power source) which also acts as a surge protector. This allows me to shut down my computers gracefully should we lose power. The idea behind a surge protector. is that it protects your valuable electrical items from voltage spikes typically caused by a thunderstorm. I had to go into my local Orange shop yesterday to try and sort out an issue with my mobile phone, and there was a notice on the door that they did not have any spare Liveboxes… seems a lot of the locals left their Liveboxes plugged in over the last few days whilst we have had the thunderstorms and they have been fried.

  17. Finished this with help of review. Lots of ‘groan’ moments as found this quite tricky,

    Agree more difficult than usual for Monday but perhaps good to be stretched, a little?

    1. Agree South East corner hardest for me too, well folks it has been a beautiful day here today best for well over a week :) even thought about doing the grandparents race in school sports but don’t think my kness would have ‘worked’ the ‘spacehopper’ ot whatever they’re called these days :)

    1. Collywobbles,
      The definition is “wrong”. The answer is also a way to make (the word) wealth – one way to make WEALTH is to form an anagram (break) of THE LAW. So it’s a reverse anagram – in other words details of the anagram are in the answer, and the result of the anagram is in the clue.

    2. Don’t know whether Gazza is on line so I thought I would have a go at explaining. Its all good practice for me. The answer to the clue is a three word term for what you are doing if you “do wrong”. Its also an indicator of an anagram in that WEALTH can be broken up (break – as in the first word in the answer) to give the second two words of the answer. Not sure if that’s any clearer, but I tried!

      1. Tks Gazza and Crypticsue, Ive got it, I think. Tks Gazza for for the hints and tips – they were very clear

      2. crypticsue,
        I think that your answer is clearer – It’s quite a difficult concept to explain.

  18. Yes – more of a workout than Rufus on Monday generally is in the DT. I am somewhat of a fan, so generally do his Monday Guardian offering as well – and this was less of a workout than the normal run of Monday Grauniad cryptics. Envelopes mixed up?

  19. I thought this was a great puzzle with a range of easy to difficult clues. Couldn’t get 12d but liked the clue when I understood it and I’ve learned a new wordplay. I was hindered by inserting drop in 11a (I had drop earring in mind and thought stone could have a jewellry connotation). Loved 20a and 23a. Long train journey tomorrow can’t wait to get stuck into the cryptic/toughie!

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