DT 26312 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26312

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26312

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I described last week’s Giovanni as a “bread and butter” puzzle. Well this one is a bit more exciting with a glorious clue at 6d which is worthy of 4* for enjoyment in its own right. Let us have your views in a comment.
As always the answers are hidden between the curly brackets. Just drag your cursor through the white space between a pair of brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

6a  The creation is spreading, mathematical physicists say? (13)
{THEORETICIANS} – an anagram (spreading) of THE CREATION IS leads to these deep thinkers, of which mathematical physicists are examples (say).

8a  Household of chaps facing senility (6)
{MÉNAGE} – a charade of males (chaps) and advanced years (senility) produces this word, from French, for a household that is sometimes associated with three people.

9a  Liberty that is given by degrees (8)
{LATITUDE} – double definition, the second defining the distance north or south of the equator.

10a  One may be food enthusiast (3)
{NUT} – double definition – one may be a small piece of food or someone who has a passionate enthusiasm.

11a  Everyone entering bumped into hammer (6)
{MALLET} – put a synonym for everything inside (entering) a verb meaning bumped into or came across to make a hammer with a large wooden head.

12a  Subdued and finished — animal losing tail (8)
{OVERCAME} – the definition is subdued or conquered and it’s a charade of an adverb meaning finished and an animal without its final letter (animal losing tail).

14a  Good French soldier returning to the French base (7)
{IGNOBLE} – put together the French word for good (masculine singular variety) and an American soldier and reverse (returning) the lot. Now add the French definite article (masculine singular again) to get an adjective meaning base or without moral principles.

16a  Appropriate attachment (7)
{FITTING} – double definition.

20a  Game beginning to bore, time to go to bed (8)
{CRIBBAGE} – this is a card game. Put together the first letter (beginning) of B(ore) and a synonym for time and put that after (to go to) a child’s bed.

23a  Quarrel frequently needing group of arbitrators (6)
{FRACAS} – the definition is a quarrel or noisy disturbance. Put together the abbreviation for frequently and the body that provides an arbitration service in disputes between management and workers.

24a  Look round for room down the corridor? (3)
{LOO} – combine a word for look and O (round) to get a room that may be down the corridor if you haven’t got en suite facilities.

25a  Bread that’s placed just outside the house (8)
{DOORSTEP} – double definition, the first being an informal way of describing a thick slice of bread.

26a  I adore going round (with pop group?) (6)
{ROADIE} – this is a semi-all-in-one – an anagram (going round) of I ADORE gives someone who tours with a band and is responsible for setting up and maintaining the equipment.

27a  So fawn fled, ran around market town (7,6)
{SAFFRON WALDEN} – an anagram (around) of SO FAWN FLED RAN produces the name of a market town in Essex.

Down Clues

1d  Gaoler is ordered to provide separate accommodation for women (8)
{SERAGLIO} – an anagram (ordered) of GAOLER IS produces the women’s apartments in a Muslim palace.

ARVE Error: need id and provider

2d  One part of hospital that gets spoken about in Japan? (8)
{ORIENTAL} – the definition is in Japan, with the question mark indicating that this is a definition by example. Start with I (one) and Crosswordland’s favourite hospital department and around (about) this put a description of something that is spoken rather than written.

3d  Bird’s on rich food (7)
{STILTON} – the ‘s here stands for “has” rather than “is” and it indicates that you have to suffix ON to a long-billed wading bird to make a delicious cheese (rich food).

4d  Something cutting the grass could make you chesty (6)
{SCYTHE} – if you re-arrange the last four words of the clue to “could make chesty for you” it’s more apparent that an anagram of the answer could make “chesty”. In which case, of course, the reverse is also true and an anagram of CHESTY will give you the answer.

5d  Graduate officer in charge of region in northern Europe (6)
{BALTIC} – this region (and sea) in northern Europe is a charade of three abbreviations – 1) an arts graduate, 2) an army or naval officer, and 3) the letters standing for in charge.

6d  Dance of two in civil partnership sharing the same name? (3,3,7)
{THE GAY GORDONS} – it’s laugh out loud time. This is a double definition with the second being cryptic (and very funny). The first (straight) definition is a traditional Scottish dance. Here’s a picture (thanks to Nubian and Gnomethang).

7d  Little woman in new maisonnette settling down (13)
{SEDIMENTATION} – it’s fairly obvious that an anagram (new) of MAISONNETTE is involved here and since that is 11-characters long and the required answer has 13 letters, my initial thought was that the little woman to be inserted would be JO (the only one of the girls in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women to have a two-character name). Wrong! It turns out that little woman is just a way of saying an abbreviated woman’s name and the one we want is DI. The definition is the settling down of solid matter at the bottom of a liquid.

13d  Truant regularly missing, the beast! (3)
{RAT} – remove the odd letters (regularly missing) from truant.

15d  What may catch food and drink (3)
{BIB} – double definition. Something worn by an infant (or messy eater) to catch dropped food is also an old verb meaning to partake of alcoholic drink.

17d  Having success currently, a learner being chummy (8)
{INFORMAL} – a phrase (2,4) applied to a sportsman who is currently playing well has A and the letter for a learner appended to make an adjective meaning chummy or casually relaxed.

18d  Meal person on a course may be sitting in larder (3,5)
{TEA CADDY} – the definition is an airtight container for holding leaves (which may be kept in a larder but is more likely to be kept near the kettle, in my experience), and is sometimes used for holding other things. It’s a charade of an afternoon meal and the person who carries the bag on a golf course. The surface reading makes very little sense.

19d  Supporting the man with left leg collapsing finally (7)
{HELPING} – the definition is supporting or assisting and to get it you need to string together a male pronoun (the man), L(eft), an informal word for a leg and the last letter (finally) of collapsinG.

21d  Sad and lonely sports official taken in by risky venture (6)
{BEREFT} – put the man with the whistle inside (taken in) a wager (risky venture).

22d  Changes rope round ‘orses (6)
{ALTERS} – double definition. A verb meaning changes would also, if it had an initial H, mean ropes placed around the heads of horses. I’m not at all keen on this clue – the answer is a plural so it should be ropes not rope, and the dropped initial letter should really apply to ropes not horses (but of course that wouldn’t work because the initial letter or ropes is not an H).

The clues I liked included 20a, 26a, 1d and 21d, but my clue of the day, by a country mile, is 6d. Tell us what you liked, and didn’t like, in a comment!

67 comments on “DT 26312

  1. Definitely not bread and butter today. Agree its 4* all round. Clue of the day (or week) is definitely 6d – I do like a nice giggle first thing in the morning. Thanks to Giovanni for the brioche and apricot conserve and Gazza for the review.

  2. An absolute peach from Giovanni today, worthy of 4* on both counts. Most enjoyable! Thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza.

  3. Finding this a real ‘toughie’ today’ not ready to look at the clues yet, but I am almost certain I may have to!!

  4. Lovely puzzle with 6d a runaway winner. I share your concerns over 22d and 18d (as discussed) but they didnt really detract form the fun and games.
    Thanks to gazza for the review and Giovanni for the puzzle.

    1. Although I haven’t half finished this, I really did like 22d, will read about it afterwards :)

  5. Tricky one! Haven’t got very far yet, NW corner, plus a few more. 6d just brilliant! Will keep going before I have to look at the hints (probably quite soon …)

  6. I spent an hour and twentytwo minutes doing this crossword and couldn’t drag it out any longer. I just sat and savoured each clue and answer. Doesn’t it make you feel a lot better when you get a puzzle like that? It must be therapeutic.
    6d takes the prize for favourite although I did put Gin for 15d and was sorry I couldn’t leave it in.
    Thanks to Gazza for the blog and Giovanni for a great crossword. Quality never goes out of fashion, as I keep telling my Barber.

            1. How dare you Sue!, (tongue in cheeck), I represent that remark. I’ll have you know I am an upstanding member of society, well, most of the time. Nevermind, as you approach November you will find a G and T takes on a new meaning, not only as a heart starter but a relief to all the daily trivails you have gone through. Plus it tastes nice with a squeeze of lime. hic

                1. Brandy is my Winter fuel and when in La Belle France. I drink it in when foreign so that they can bring my body back preseved a la Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson after Trafalgar. Tradition is what it’s all about you see.

  7. Have managed this one without needing any hints so am feeling pleased with myself, particularly as it’s a Friday! All four of the long clues were doable (6d was absolutely wonderful and has to be one of the best clues ever) Like you, Gazza, I wondered about ‘Jo’ needing to go into an anagram of ‘maisonettes’ for 7d but worked that one out quite easily. However, that has left me with another problem as I can now only remember three of the four names of the little women and it’s going to drive me mad – Jo, Beth, Amy and ?! 14a took a while for some reason as did 3d. Lovely puzzle – thank you to Gazza and Giovanni.

      1. Thanks Crypticsue and Gazza – that would have annoyed me for the rest of the day! Now only have the drizzle to feel irritated about – shouldn’t complain really – everything still very dry.

  8. Very slow to start…tough when first across and down clues don’t start any other answers! Worked corners clockwise and got there eventually in one go. Must be getting better. Even managed yesterday’s Toughie for first time. 6d last in..very good clue..when penny dropped. I’ve danced this many times in my part of the world…but not with another chap!! Kept trying to find a dance with man as second word.

  9. On my first pass I only got 6a and 27a but as I focussed on the corners the rest fell into place. Excelent crossword. challenging and interesting

  10. Strangely I found this easier than usual Friday puzzles! I agree, 22d doesn’t seem to hold water completely but otherwise it was a very enjoyable Friday morning solve.

    1. having read Gazzas hints above I agree about 22d, but strangely enough it was one of my favourite clues :)

    2. I thought 22d was ok, if you consider that it’s ‘changes’ that holds water rather than ‘rope’. The rope’s the ‘alter.

  11. Yes, yes, yes, have finished without the hints, now to read them and try to understand some of them! fav clue 6d, I think for us CCers this is worthy of a Toughie today, thank you Gazza and Giovanni, now the question I must ask myself is ‘what I could have done with my time this morning? ‘ lots, but nothing would have given me more enjoyment :) good luck fellow CC members! Least fav clue 18d

    1. Well done Mary. FYI, the Toughie is a proper Friday toughie today – took me a fair bit of cogitation and a consult or two with Gnomethang but I got there in the end.

      1. Thank you Sue, well done on the toughie, but if you found it hard then i will definitely give it a miss, or i will spend the whole day sitting in my office chair, I think I am developing RSI through sitting in the same position for so long doing crosswords!! :)

      1. My first task when it’s a Gazza review is to check the pictures – not up to usual ‘standard’ at all today, in my opinion!

  12. What a lovely way to spend time when I got back from shopping – really enjoyed this puzzle – best for a while – and I agree with everyone that 6d was clue of the day and for sure month.

    Thanks Giovanni and thanks Gazza for hints and for the musical excerpt = nice one.

  13. Best crossword of the week by a country mile and best from Giovanni for ages, back to his best! ( 6d for me also.)

  14. Finally had to look at the hints for the SW corner. I thought of ‘cribbage’, but was so sure 20a began with ‘b’ and 15d was ‘bag’, I discounted it. Unfinished, but very pleased that I had got that far. Faves included 9, 23, 25a, but way, way ahead of everything else, 6d.

    Thoroughly enjoyable, many thanks for puzzle and review.

  15. Well, it just goes to show! Some days I struggle to solve half a dozen clues and the puzzle gets two stars, and others, like today’s, I almost sail through and it gets four! It really was an excellent puzzle — all thanks to Giovanni. I really enjoyed the four long clues that walled in the grid, though I needed a bit of help with 7d, and 6d must surely be Clue of the Year. Apart from that one, my favourite clues were 9a and 15d.
    I shall keep away from the toughie today :-)

  16. Enjoyed today’s puzzle, got stuck on 25a but had a moment of inspiration as I was making a bacon butty.

  17. That’s the best fun we have had for a £1 in a long time. Still laughing about 6d.

  18. Struggled with 6d. Just looking to you for answer when Wife said ‘ I know what it is’
    My favourite clue ever I think. Super crossword.

  19. Well I surprised myself by finishing this with no help, struggled for a couple if hours though. 6d definitely favourite clue , great puzzle thoroughly enjoyed it.

  20. Good –thanks! Something to cheer me up the day after I learnt that my Chambers Crossword Manual is going out of print. Snap up those Amazon copies while you can!

  21. Hi folks. Just back from some sunshine where the DT was not available so I have been deprived of the crossie for 10 days!! Back today and a tad rusty but enjoyed this one. A nice puzzle for a Friday.

  22. Thanks to Giovanni for an excellent puzzle and to Gazza for the hints which I didn’t need today, although it was getting close until I realised that Gin was wrong in 15d.
    Agree about the plurality of 22d but this but a small point, the rope to control a horse is a halter and that’s what I dropped the H from so I had no problem with it and it didn’t affect the solving for me.
    Took ages for the penny to drop on 6d, Pommette kept going on about Pas de Deux which wasn’t a lot of help, but when the penny did drop it was definitely the best clue (not sure about the political correctness!).

  23. Started this without Pommers and managed to get only 5 in on the first pass – although understood the construct of a few more! Thought he’d given me the Toughie to leg me up!
    Great CW which we completed in the end! Thanks Giovanni anbd Gazza

  24. Week over, wine savoured, holiday next week, and an absolute gem from Giovanni to wrap up a perfect day. For me the finest clues are the ones which tell their own story – and Giovanni always seems to deliver on that score.

    When the penny dropped, 16D was laugh out loud and tell your friends. Have to gently disagree with Pommers; forget political correctness and just enjoy the brilliance of the wordplay.

    Also thought 22D was a corker – in my view (for what it’s not worth!) the rope doesn’t need to be plural, as there are several ‘orses.

    Love the site, gents, keep up the great work.

  25. The very first puzzle I’ve completed (and now I find correctly) and what a buzz. We were away camping and our two companions (who don’t like cryptic crosswords) joined in. Took us all day (on Cromer beach) and well into the cheese and wine round the camp fire – but we did it!!
    Turned to the solution as soon as we got home an hour ago.
    The friends are now fans – where can I find more puzzles by this compiler?

    1. Hi Dave – welcome to the blog and well done.
      Giovanni (as he’s known here) is a very prolific setter. He provides the cryptic puzzle every Friday in the Telegraph (he also provides puzzles for other papers – he is Pasquale in the Guardian, for example).

  26. Boy, that was hard! (Still is – haven’t finished yet). Have just realised that 15d isn’t ‘GIN’, which I thought fitted the clue perfectly, but obviously gives a couple of bum steers in 14a and 20a. I think 14a possibly my favourite clue so far. 6d I got too easily to be delighted with.

  27. wow!what a tricky one!took me longer than usual .I also had GIN before IGNOBLE fell in place.DOORSTEP and THE GAY GORDONS new to me.Why GORDONS while there is a picture of GORGONS?

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