DT 26300 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26300

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26300

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

If last week’s Giovanni was a pussycat then this one has considerably sharper teeth. It may not be a lion but it’s at least a cheetah. But it is a well-behaved cheetah with Giovanni’s usual impeccable clueing. Tell us what you think of it in a comment!
As always the answers are hidden between the brackets under the clues. Highlight the white space between the brackets to reveal.
I’m posting this a little earlier than usual because I’m keen to get to grips with the Toughie to find out what Elgar has provided for us on this auspicious occasion.

Across Clues

1a  Money graduate collected for community near castle (6)
{CASBAH} – put an arts graduate inside notes and coins (money) to get a word, from Arabic, meaning the old citadel (castle) of a North African city (the one in Algiers being the most famous) and the area and community around it.

5a  A club with disorder returning — building where blood is shed (8)
{ABATTOIR} – a charade of A and a club (as used in ball sports) and disorder or an uprising reversed (returning) produce a building where animal blood is shed.

9a  Trick used by animals, we hear, to effect disguises (8)
{CONCEALS} – a verb meaning hides or disguises is made by combining a confidence trick and a homophone (we hear) of fish-eating aquatic mammals with flippers. [The paper version has “tricks” rather than trick, but the version from CluedUp, as shown here, is obviously more grammatically correct]

10a  Stops with a set of five kids — about time! (6)
{QUINTS} – a set of five children born at a one birth has T(ime) inserted to make organ stops which are a fifth above the basic pitch.

11a  Copper? That could be this person, big, and in charge (8)
{METALLIC} – a description of copper, which could equally well apply to iron and aluminium for example, is constructed from the accusative form of a personal pronoun (this person), a synonym for big or high and the abbreviation for in charge. Good surface reading.

12a  Erstwhile critic Bernard’s about to complain (6)
{SNIVEL} – there was once a theatre critic called Bernard Levin who didn’t mince his words in his reviews. I remember watching him live on That Was The Week That Was in 1963 when a member of the audience tried to hit him because of a caustic review that he’d given. We want to take his surname, add the ‘S and then reverse it (about) to get a verb meaning complains in a whining manner.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

13a  Leaders of nation parade in lively female celebration (3,5)
{HEN PARTY} – put the initial letters of Nation Parade inside an adjective meaning lively and cheerful to get an all-female celebration.

15a  Turn round, getting bumped off from what we hear (4)
{SLUE} – an unusual spelling of a verb meaning to turn or slide uncontrollably also sounds like (from what we hear) the past tense of a verb meaning to bump off.

17a  Drove as messenger, not a learner (4)
{HERD} – drove here is a noun describing a number of cattle or other animals driven together. We want an alternative word for this, which is also what we get if we remove A and the letter of a learner driver from a messenger who makes public proclamations (most often used these days in a Christmas carol as a description of angels).

19a  Opening remarks before walk? (8)
{PREAMBLE} – a charade of a prefix meaning before and a leisurely walk produce introductory remarks.

20a  English g-gala may be flowery (6)
{EFFETE} – luckily the wordplay is fairly straightforward because I don’t associate the answer with flowery. Start with E and add the sort of gala held on a summer afternoon to raise funds (not forgetting to double its initial letter to match g-gala). The word you end up with can mean exhausted, spineless, decadent or effeminate, but nothing I consulted (not even Mrs Bradford) has it meaning flowery.

21a  Businesses taking long time, possibly nice to work in (8)
{AGENCIES} – the sort of businesses which act on behalf of others (in putting buyers and sellers together, for example) is made by putting an anagram (possibly) of NICE inside (to work in) a long time.

22a  Drowning in drink is a very small rodent (6)
{BEAVER} – to get this rodent put A and a small form of V(ery) inside the alcoholic drink that Mr Tub is very fond of.

23a  Wild lily, rare, in chaff (8)
{RAILLERY} – an anagram (wild) of LILY RARE.

24a  Disease restricting an expert, one who likes to be on the move (8)
{GADABOUT} – put a disease that affects the feet around A and an expert to get an informal term for someone who is never home.

25a  Requiring little effort, without question (6)
{EASILY} – double definition, the second meaning without question or without doubt, as in the phrase “he’s without question the best player in the team”.

Down Clues

2d  More than anything else, looking down on everybody? (5,3)
{ABOVE ALL} – a phrase meaning more than anything else is made by combining a preposition meaning higher than (looking down on) and a synonym for everybody.

3d  To support a revolutionary brings a sort of pain (8)
{BACKACHE} – this is a charade of a verb to support or endorse, A and crosswordland’s favourite South American revolutionary.

4d  The woman’s embracing Daniel, fantastic performer with top billing (9)
{HEADLINER} – a performer with top billing is made by putting a feminine pronoun (the woman) around (embracing) an anagram (fantastic) of DANIEL.

5d  I pass a rock star, a drunk feeling very unhappy (2,4,2,1,6)
{AS SICK AS A PARROT} – a phrase associated with unhappy football managers whose team has been beaten by a dubious goal is an anagram (drunk) of I PASS A ROCK STAR A.

6d  After journey, there’s longing to set up a sporting contest (7)
{TOURNEY} – a sporting contest, especially a medieval joust, is constructed from a journey for pleasure taking in several places followed by a desire or longing that is reversed (set up, in a down clue).

7d  One who takes everything in? (8)
{OMNIVORE} – cryptic description of a person or animal who’s not fussy about what he eats.

8d  Determined to be untangled again? (8)
{RESOLVED} – double definition.

14d  Bill having joined queue, we will turn up inside for drink (5,4)
{TABLE WINE} – put together a bill (especially one that is run up in a bar) and an orderly queue and insert (inside) a reversal (turn up) of WE to get the alcoholic drink that may be taken with dinner.

15d  Wonderful embrace of ‘Arry’s? It could kill you! (8)
{SUPERBUG} – start with a synonym for wonderful and add an embrace or clasp as it may be pronounced by someone, like ‘Arry, who drops his aitches.

16d  Woman facing loud attack not batting an eyelid (8)
{UNAFRAID} – a woman’s name (think of “Give us a Clue”) is followed by the musical abbreviation for loud and an attack or incursion to get an adjective meaning imperturbable (not batting an eyelid).

17d  Hesitation copper’s shown interrupting hard little man who’s noted for strength? (8)
{HERCULES} – the definition is man who’s noted for (his) strength. Put an exclamation expressing hesitation and the chemical symbol for copper inside the abbreviation for hard (used for pencils) and an abbreviated man’s name (little man).

18d  What’s genuine about female mistake? Second opinion being sought maybe (8)
{REFERRAL} – something that is genuine rather than artificial is placed around F(emale) and a verb meaning to make a mistake to get the direction of a person to a different professional person for another opinion.

19d  Fuss over black thing growing in the garden? (3,4)
{POT HERB} – a seldom-used word for a commotion or fuss (from which ‘bother’ is possibly derived) precedes (over, in a down clue) B(lack) to get a vegetable used for flavouring (thing growing in the garden).

The clues I liked included 4d, 5d and 15d, but my clue of the day is 11a. Give us your views in a comment!

46 comments on “DT 26300

  1. I certtainly found this harder than usual with a couple of words or spellings that were new to me (pother, the Q word and the spelling at 15a). 15d and 22a were the last in as a result.
    Plenty of lovely clues and a great end to the DTCryptic week.
    Thanks G and G!

  2. Agree harder than recent days – my first cogitator for ages. Struggled with the15s (a and d) and 22a, mainly because I didn’t know you could spell 15a like that. Thanks to both the Gs. Back to the struggle with the Toughie, which is a proper T today.

    1. I agree. I’d never heard of 15a, despite going through the alphabet and only coming up with words beginning with b c f or g

  3. Stuggled with this one today, needed your help for some of the top right corner – I almost had 10a but wasn’t convinced it was a word! Plenty of new words for me today, particularly 23a & 24a – maybe the second one is a generational issue for me? 20a was a new one also, but was easy enough to work out from the clue – perhaps related to effeminate?

    Thanks Giovanni & Gazza!

  4. Good challenging stuff from Giovanni – many thanks to him and to Gazza for the review. Off on to the Toughie – I may see you by Christmas by all accounts!

  5. Failed completely on 15a and down – had to read the hints – thank you for those. Generally quite difficult, I thought, but pretty much what I now know to expect on Fridays – the bottom left hand corner caused the most problems. I have only seen 1a spelt with a “K”. 10a was a new word for me, as was 15a spelt like that. Favourite clues today were 24a (even though it took a while to get the answer) 5d and 7d. Thanks to everyone for the hints and comments – I always really enjoy reading it all. I don’t very often try the toughie (not enough ability or time) but will definitely give it a miss today ….

  6. The paper has ‘Tricks used by animals, we hear, to effect disguises (8)’ i.e. ‘tricks’ plural, which doesn’t work as well as ‘trick’ singular. Did the online (I don’t subscribe) version have it as ‘trick’ or ‘tricks’?
    Thanks as always to setter and reviewer.

    1. Ah yes – I struggled with 9a, given the plurality in the paper version. Discrepancies like this seem to occur quite often. Doesn’t anyone at the DT proof read?

    2. freda,
      Thanks for pointing that out. It’s singular on-line. I’ll update the review.

      1. No problem. I had it as a word sum of cons and eels, and just thought it a bit odd to refer to eels as animals!

  7. Only done the bottom l/h corner so far, strangely enough after reading above comments this was first part to go in for me, now for the rest :)

  8. Thanks for blog Gazza I wouldn’t have finished it without your help, afterwards when I read through it , I can’t understand why I couldn’t do it but I think Giovanni was just too good for me today :)

  9. Took a bit longer than usual for Friday – got stuck for ages on 9a as I had paper version – got there in the end though. Also on first run through I put galega in for 20a but couldn’t justify an anagram so removed it and got it after getting 18d.

    Liked 11a and 13a (nice picture Gazza~!!).

    Thanks G & G – enjoyable.

  10. Having a bit of a struggle today especially with some unusual spellings!! Came across your site whilst seeking inspiration, absolutely fantastic, straight in the favourites!!

  11. Ouch…this really proved to be a tough nut to crack, eventually got it, this is much more like giovanni. Great puzzle even if I did struggle with it all day. Oh and I managed to do the thursday toughie first time I’ve ever finished it :)

      1. Cheers gazza…I’m having a crack at it now and in one word….baffled. Although this is perfectly normal with the toughie :)

  12. Well, I am astonished! I did all but 9a and the SW corner on and off during an exciting day (not!) playing at the local crem – with no access to any reference books at all. It has to be, as Gazza says, down to Giovanni’s impeccable clueing. 10a was very straightforward for me of course. Didn’t understand 13a, though it was obviously correct. What, please, does 23a have to do with ‘chaff’?

    Too many favourites to list, thoroughly enjoyable, many thanks to both G’s.

      1. Chaff: so it is, but not in Chambers online; should have looked in a bigger dictionary.

  13. Home at last after an exhausting final day of school & hoping to sit down with a glass of wine and the crossword but CluedUp is a blank!! Anyone know what’s up?

    1. I have a pdf version of today’s Toughie which I can email you, if you want, but not, I’m afraid, the Cryptic.

      1. Hurray – can do it over dinner – though I think I’ll be back for some hints before long :-)

  14. I started late today and after yesterday it was a struggle. 15a and 15d required the hints so thanks for that Gazza. I have not found pother in my references so will look it up on line.

  15. Following the above chat I went in search of CluedUp. Who does this crossword in 2minutes 28seconds?

    1. RobR usually. Depends how fast you can type having either bought the paper or printed the puzzle off from another account.

    2. Don’t understand what “CluedUp” is – please could someone enlighten me. I fail to see how ANYONE could write fast enough, let alone solve the clues, in 2 minutes 28 seconds – am I being really dim – please tell me that I’m not!

      1. Kath,
        CluedUp is the Telegraph’s website (link in the right-hand panel) where for about 75p per week you can get all their crossword and other puzzles. You can solve the crosswords on-line and it will tell you if you have any answers wrong. It keeps track of the time you take to solve the puzzles, but there are many ways of cheating it, so a time of 2:28 just tells you that the person can type reasonably fast.

  16. Hi folks. A few busy days hence have been away from the site and the crossword. Today’s was challenging particularly SW and NE and not quite finished by me. I blame being a tad busy! Thanks to the setter for a good one.

  17. That was easily Puzzle Of The Week for me, and not least because of your name check in 22a Gazza! I haven’t forgotten that I owe you one from a couple of weeks ago, and now they’re stacking up on the bar for you!
    I had the same problem with 5a as I did with museli/muesli a couple of days ago, but that didn’t detract from the enjoyment at all. 5a, 13a and 21a were all favourites today, and I didn’t mind 20a either.

    1. I’ve just realised that if I’d followed the clue to the letter I wouldn’t have made that spelling mistake with 5a in the first place. Grr, harumph.

  18. Too difficult for me I’m afraid only 2/3 today. Lots of clues in the I would never have got that category.

  19. Bah! A Giovanni and our local daily spoils my fun by printing wrong grid.However I managed 12 answers as I had no checking letters bearing in mind this setter’s fiendishness.Any chance of Anax setting on alternate Fridays with Giovanni?

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