DT 26297 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26297

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26297

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a pleasant solve from Ray T today – possibly a shade easier than we’ve come to expect from him (but still not as easy as today’s Toughie!). Let us know what you think by leaving a comment, and please don’t forget to click on one of the stars at the bottom.
For those who need some answers, they are hidden between the brackets under each clue. Highlight the space between the brackets to reveal.

Across Clues

1a  Loyalty, say, within marriage (10)
{ALLEGIANCE} – put the abbreviation for say or for example into a synonym for union or marriage to get loyalty.

6a  Bowls over leading to end (4)
{STOP} – reverse (over) a synonym for bowls or vessels to get a verb meaning to end.

9a  ‘About a Boy’, competent and satisfactory (10)
{REASONABLE} – the surface reading draws you to Nick Hornby’s novel, but the definition is satisfactory. It’s a charade of a prefix meaning about, A, a male child and an adjective meaning competent.

10a  Leave Labour leader in charge (4)
{FLEE} – put the first letter (leader) of Labour inside a charge for professional services.

12a  Prompt to include large tip (4)
{CLUE} – a prompt, in the theatre, has L(arge) inserted.

13a  Savings from one’s income missing ‘Northern’ mess-up (9)
{ECONOMIES} – this is an anagram (mess-up) of O(n)E’S INCOME (missing ‘Northern’, i.e. without an N).

15a  Poor state back on course (8)
{PATHETIC} – reverse (back) a verb to state or quote and place it after (on) a course or direction to make an adjective meaning poor or inadequate.

16a  Concert party for workers (6)
{UNISON} – double definition – a synonym for complete agreement or speaking with one voice (concert) is also the name of a large public sector trades union (party for workers).

18a  Stick high explosive in nucleus (6)
{COHERE} – a verb meaning to stick together or be logically consistent is formed by putting the abbreviation for High Explosive inside a word meaning nucleus or central part.

20a  Butler going after old boy’s newspaper (8)
{OBSERVER} – the name of a newspaper is made by putting one of the roles of a butler after the abbreviation for an Old Boy.

23a  Perplexity from a puzzle taking people time (9)
{AMAZEMENT} – a charade of A and a puzzle (which you may have difficulty finding your way out of), a generic word for people and T(ime).

24a  You old…! (4)
{THOU} – a cryptic way of describing an old word for you.

26a  One’s embracing androgynous bird (4)
{IBIS} – a bird which was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians is formed by putting I’S (one’s) around (embracing) an abbreviation for an adjective meaning having the characteristics of both sexes (androgynous).

27a  Rattle record playing? Sure thing (10)
{DISCONCERT} – the rattle that we want is not the conductor Sir Simon but a verb meaning to make nervous. It’s a charade of a record, an adverb meaning being performed (playing) and something regarded as bound to happen (sure thing).

28a  Part of semester, maybe (4)
{TERM} – my initial thought was that the answer was a synonym for semester rather than being part of it, but a semester can be an academic course lasting half a year. It’s an all-in-one clue with the answer being hidden (part) in it.

29a  Famous, fantastic Beetle car, Disney’s first (10)
{CELEBRATED} – the definition is famous and it’s an anagram (fantastic) of BEETLE CAR and D(isney).

Down Clues

1d  Mediterranean port’s superb around mid-afternoon (4)
{ACRE} – put an informal word for superb around the middle letter of afteRnoon to make an Israeli port.

2d  Circular part of tree (7)
{LEAFLET} – double definition, circular being an item of printed material distributed to many people.

3d  Unwelcome visitors for fruit plants (12)
{GOOSEBERRIES} – another double definition, the first relating to unwanted third parties as in the saying “two’s company, but three’s a crowd”.

4d  Brainy fellow (8)
{ACADEMIC} – and a third double definition in a row (or is it a cryptic definition?). Fellow here is a senior member on the teaching staff of a college.

5d  Immature bully boxing everybody (6)
{CALLOW} – an adjective meaning immature or inexperienced is a verb to bully or browbeat around (boxing, i.e. containing) a synonym for everybody.

7d  Corresponds with Middle Eastern supporters (7)
{TALLIES} – a verb meaning corresponds with or matches is formed from the middle letter of easTern followed by supporters or helpers.

8d  Country folk embracing left? It’s a joke (10)
{PLEASANTRY} – a word describing country folk of low social status has L(eft) inserted (embracing) to make a mild joke.

11d  Singer getting note say, below bar. No (12)
{COUNTERTENOR} – an adult male singer with a high singing voice is made by putting what sounds like (say) a banknote after (below, in a down clue) a flat surface across which business is conducted (bar). [The “No” appears only in the paper, not on CluedUp. That makes the paper version an all-in-one clue, which means, I think (thanks Kath and Pommette), that this singer cannot get (sing) a note lower than a BARitone.]

14d  Expert is sceptical, strangely, caught out (10)
{SPECIALIST} – this expert is an anagram (strangely) of IS S(c)EPTICAL, with a C (caught, in cricket) removed (out).

17d  Cable’s to broadcast rock (8)
{OBSTACLE} – an anagram (broadcast) of CABLE’S TO. Chambers does have rock meaning this, presumably as in the saying “between a rock and a hard place”.

19d  Find out about struggle becoming more laborious (7)
{HEAVIER} – put a verb meaning to find out or assimilate news around a verb to struggle or compete to make a comparative meaning more oppressive or laborious.

21d  Wild flower engulfing end of garden (7)
{VIOLENT} – an adjective meaning wild or unrestrained is a, typically purple, flower around the last letter (end) of gardeN.

22d  Take shot around centre of green (6)
{DERIVE} – a verb meaning to take or obtain is a shot (from a tee, perhaps) around the central letter of grEen.

25d  Work’s endless for boss (4)
{STUD} – remove the final Y from a word meaning the time devoted to acquiring knowledge (work) to leave a knob (boss).

The clues I liked included 1a, 16a, 26a and 27a, but my favourite is 5d. Let us know which ones you liked (or didn’t like) in a comment.

59 comments on “DT 26297

  1. Good morning Gazza drom yet again a wet West Wales, as you saysome parts of this were quite easy but I had to have your help for 3 clues, 18a, 26a, 19d, others such as 22d kept me going for a long time as I would never have associated this word with take?? though now I can see how it might be used, quite a tough one for us CC, good luck all especially Barrie :)

  2. Sorry chaps, I am in a state of shock having just completed a Ray T (wasn’t going to buy the DT today but they had run out of the Times!!). Needed help with 7d and 16a so thanks to Gazza. Too stunned to think about good or bad, going for a lie-down!

    1. Well done Barrie, you see you can do it, it’s all in the mind, probably, if you’d had this one yesterday and yesterdays today, you would have not done todays but done yesterdays if you see what I mean :)

  3. Agree with your BD rating for this slightly trickier than normal offering from Ray T. I agree the Toughie is much nicer. Some very good clues but I quite liked 12a for its cheekiness. Hands up who else was trying to fit Herbie the Beetle car into 29a! Thanks for the puzzle and the review.

      1. I meant easier too – why I said nicer I have no idea, see my comment to Mary below re mugginess.

        1. Just cracked the Toughie (took a while to get 19d, which raised a smile). I thought that it was about on a par (3+* for both) with today’s cryptic.

      1. I didn’t for long either but … I blame the humidity here in E Kent – no rain just very muggy – we are promised sun for later but I am not holding out much hope.

  4. Hi Gazza, re 22d, isn’t that one of those instances where the definition is being used twice, something we are told not to do on COW, in this instance take is the definition and take shot is part of the clue/fodder?

      1. Oh, ok ,I thought that ‘take shot’ was to drive, I wasn’t thinking of it as a noun, thanks for explaination

  5. Nice puzzle from Ray T although I thought that 24a and 4d were not up to his usual impecable standard but that was more than made up for by 22d which is the one I sweated over! Many thanks to Ray for the puzzle and to Gazza for the review. Favourite clue was 5d.

    Wonderful to hear that Barrie cracked a Ray T – I expect Ray will be lying down somewhere recovering too :)

    I agree that the Toughie today was easier than this puzzle but just as much fun.

  6. Totally agree with most of the comments today, thanks RayT for a most enjoyable crossword, thanks Gazza for the usual excellent review. The toughie was not up to standard today but was nevertheless quite enjoyable also.

  7. I thought that today’s puzzle was exactly the right standard (for me) – to begin with I thought that it was going to be difficult – on first run through very few answers went in but then it all gradually just happened. Several of the clues took a fair bit of thinking and much head scratching. Must admit that for a while I had “discontent” for 27a – didn’t seem to fit the clue very well as I couldn’t see what the tent had to do with it but couldn’t quite think of anything else and it fitted with all the other letters. Then I realised – oh dear, never mind. Favourite clues today were 3 and 11d. One quick question – the clue for 11d is “Singer getting note say, below bar. No” Why the “No” at the end of the clue?

    1. Kath,
      Is the “No” in the paper? If so, it’s probably a misprint, because it’s not there on CluedUp.

      1. Definitely says “No” in the paper, as stated by Kath. Threw me, but eventually decided to ignore it as nothing else worked.

      2. Just had another thought – don’t know much about music but could “bar” not only be “counter” in the clue, but short for baritone? If so, then maybe it also means that the countertenor is above baritone, hence “below bar. No” Cunning or what – more tails on weasels!! Having just re-read this lot it sounds a bit garbled but can’t think of any other way of putting it!

        1. Well, it all makes some sort of sense, since BAR is an accepted abbreviation for baritone. Good thinking, Kath!

    2. I think the ‘no’ is to make it an all-in-one clue as a countertenor’s notes will be above the bar, due to it being a high singing voice. But don’t quote me on this, I know nothing of musical notation!

  8. I didn’t particularly enjoy this – no favourite clues but my least favourite was 24a. The ellipsis implies that the answer follows on from ‘you old …’, so I was thinking of fool! Might try the Toughie.

    1. I actually managed the toughie all but two today Nora so its got to be one of the easier ones :)

      1. You are quite right about being in the mind because I could only manage 3 answers in the Toughie, the rest were a total mystery! Never mind, just enjoyed todays mainly because I finished it!

    1. Alan,
      A gooseberry is an unwanted third person in the company of a couple, who would prefer to be alone.

  9. Nice crossword but for some reason we were stuck on NW corner for ages. Penny finblly dropped in 1d and then the rest fell into place. Favourite clues, 3d and 11d. For Pommette 11d was a fine bit of mis-direction (her being of the musical persuasions) ‘cos she was thinking of all the singers that used notes below the baritone ….

    1. Does Pommette know whether the phrase “below the bar” (i.e. under the lines in written music) is used to mean low notes, or is “bar” here (at least in the paper version) referring to baritone (as suggested by Kath)?

  10. Pommette now claiming senility – as it’s almost 40 years since she did her musical training. However, she says the notes below the lines are usually referred to as “below the stave” so the paper version including the NO probably therefore refers to baritone. We use the Clued Up version. So, much easier for me to get the answer as the counter in the bar is where I like to be! How about asking RayT to comment?

    1. Thanks to you and Pommette. I’m going to update the review to incorporate the “baritone” meaning. I hope that Ray T will drop in to tell us which is the “correct” version.

          1. I wsa ocne tlod tath yuo cloud rade a wohel snetnace slept worglny sa lnog sa lla hte ltetres wree crorcet, qiuet esaliy

            What do you think?

  11. I’d rate my performance today as pretty 15a! There were some good clues that I only got once every single possible option had been exhausted. This reminded me of the tricky Tuesdays of a few weeks ago. A couple of the words were new to me, so they’ll be remembered for future reference, but my favourite was probably 20a because I do enjoy the Everyman on a Sunday!

  12. Mary, nac uoy daer siht? Ym nos dna I desu ot kaeps kcab gnals ot hcae rehto dna eht “doctor” si llits eht rotcod.

    1. The trick is that the first and last letters of each word should be correct – the middle letters can be jumbled any old way you like.

      1. I cnduo’t bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.

        1. Can read this very easily but I bet it took you longer to type than if it was all as it should be!!

    2. Speaking backwards or sdrawkcab is not quite the same thing but Yes I understand you very well, i am in the habit of always reading roadsigns etc , even the welsh ones backwards and i can speak backwards quite well, this however is slightly different it is all about what the mind sees

  13. Setter here,

    Thanks as always to Gazza and thanks to all for the other comments. I must congratulate Barrie on finally finishing one of my puzzles, and yes, I did have to have a bit of a lie-down in a darkened room after reading the news…

    Concerning 11d, the original clue was the one which appeared in the print version, but I subsequently changed it to the one you see before you. So, you get two for the price of one, take your pick!

    Ray T

    1. Personnally prefer the one on Cluedup but both work well i different ways. Many thanks for a great puzzle and one not quite so taxing as your recent efforts!

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