DT 26318 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26318

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26318

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

There’s nothing too frightening in this Giovanni puzzle on Friday the 13th, and it has an enjoyable mixture of clues. We’d love to get a comment from you about it (especially if you’re a regular reader and haven’t yet introduced yourself).
The answers, should you need them, are hidden between the curly brackets under the clues. Just highlight the space between the brackets to reveal one.

Across Clues

1a  Stephen, unwell inside, is ruffled (6)
{FRILLY} – ruffled here means gathered into a ruffle or pleat. Put the surname of Stephen the comedian, actor and polymath round a synonym for unwell.

4a  Inferior one falling short in set exercise (6)
{LESSON} – an exercise that may be set by a teacher is a charade of a word meaning a smaller amount (inferior) and ON(e) without its final letter (falling short).

8a  Very slow gee-gee, one stuck in liquid mud (8)
{SLUGGISH} – just a couple of gees and I (one) inside liquid mud.

10a  Bird given new tail? False rumour (6)
{CANARD} – change the final Y (being given new tail) of a cage-bird to get a false rumour (and also, of course, a different sort of bird in French).

11a  Drug can make you stop breathing — not hard! (4)
{COKE} – this was the last answer I got and it seemed to hold me up for ages. Start with a verb meaning to suffer an obstruction in the throat which can make you stop breathing and remove the H (hard, as in pencils) to leave an informal word for cocaine.

12a  A French maritime boy, little fellow not yet mature (10)
{UNSEASONED} – the definition is not yet mature and it’s a charade of a French indefinite article, what maritime is connected with, a synonym for boy and, finally, an abbreviated man’s name (little fellow).

13a  Unfairly criticise what you suppose one of the car assemblers might do? (3,3,4,2)
{PUT THE BOOT IN} – a clue that might have been devised to confuse our transatlantic cousins. A phrase meaning to treat cruelly someone who is already suffering (unfairly criticise) could also mean add the back bit to a car on an assembly line.

16a  Strange documents sir interpreted wrongly (12)
{MISCONSTRUED} – an anagram (strange) of DOCUMENTS SIR.

20a  Male is one put into jail for failure of duty (10)
{MISPRISION} – this is a new word for me but Giovanni has made the wordplay very straightforward. It’s a legal term meaning the deliberate concealing of a crime committed by someone else or , more generally, a failure of duty. Start with M(ale) and IS, then put I (one) inside a synonym for jail.

21a  Fish out of water? Nothing to be kept (4)
{DORY} – place O (nothing) inside (to be kept) an adjective meaning without water to make a golden-yellow sea fish.

22a  Animal found on street is badger (6)
{MOLEST} – put a short-sighted animal (who can appear to be very cuddly unless it’s your lawn that he’s chosen to set up home under) in front of the abbreviation for street to make a verb meaning to badger. It seems that we have to get used to the fact that “on” in an across clue can mean either after or before.

23a  Stories about the man having died somewhere in Yorkshire? (3,5)
{THE DALES} – this beautiful area of Yorkshire is a National Park. We want a synonym for stories around a male pronoun (the man) and D(ead).

24a  The northern chaps looking thin and weak in country clothes (6)
{TWEEDS} – a single letter (normally followed by an apostrophe when written) is used in dialects in Northern England for “the”. Follow this with physically weak or ineffectual men to make country clothes.

25a  Dull American wind (6)
{FLATUS} – this is a charade of an adjective meaning dull or lifeless and US (American) and it’s the sort of wind that you feel internally rather than externally.

Down Clues

1d  Further examination makes half-hearted fool depressed at university (6-2)
{FOLLOW-UP} – half-hearted indicates that you have to remove one of the middle letters (it doesn’t matter which in this case) from FO(o)L. After this we need a synonym for depressed and the Crosswordland word for at university (from which you can be sent down if you misbehave).

2d  Some insulting letters going into fire (5)
{INGLE} – hidden (some) in the clue is a word, originally Scottish, for a fire or fireplace.

3d  Rue lies about vacation? (7)
{LEISURE} – an anagram (about) of RUE LIES produces time off work.

5d  Men heading off to sing, to bring delight (7)
{ENCHANT} – remove the first letter (heading) from (m)EN and add a verb meaning to sing.

6d  Aussie tramp in state of depression lying under newspaper (9)
{SUNDOWNER} – we want the name given to an Aussie tramp (so called because he would arrive somewhere at the end of the day, in time for a meal and accommodation but too late to carry out any work in exchange for them). Put a state of depression (i.e. feeling low) after (lying under, in a down clue) a red-top newspaper owned by an ex-Aussie.

7d  Irritated king with bare exterior (6)
{NARKED} – insert one of the abbreviations for king into a synonym for bare or unclothed to make a word meaning annoyed or irritated.

9d  The chap’s to behold heart, being an anatomical specialist (11)
{HISTOLOGIST} – this is someone who’s a specialist in the microscopic structure of tissues. Start with “the chap’s” (i.e. that which belongs to him) and add TO, a short word meaning behold and a synonym for heart or main part.

14d  Maybe watch what’s written in a leading American magazine (9)
{TIMEPIECE} – double definition, the second cryptic. A generic word for a watch (maybe) or any instrument for keeping track of the passing hours could also be an article appearing in a specific American current affairs magazine.

15d  Audacious female unable to listen? (8)
{FEARLESS} – an adjective meaning daring or audacious is made from the abbreviation for female followed by a description of something without hearing organs (unable to listen).

17d  Changed newspaper gets launched round about (7)
{SHIFTED} – a synonym for changed (position, say) is made from the abbreviation of a daily newspaper with a verb meaning threw or launched around it.

18d  Northern river — little Sally’s caught that fish (4,3)
{SAND EEL} – N(orth) and one of Crosswordland’s favourite rivers have a shortened form (little) of Sally put around them (caught that) to make a fish that buries itself in wet sand at ebb-tide.

19d  Violently remove one Prince in defeat (3,3)
{RIP OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning to remove violently is constructed by putting I (one) and P(rince) inside an overwhelming defeat.

21d  Plan to cross river is silly (5)
{DRAFT} – a plan (but not necessarily the final version) is made by putting a synonym for silly around (to cross) R(iver).

The clues I liked included 1a, 8a, 10a and 13a, but my favourite today is 6d. Let us know which ones you liked.

67 comments on “DT 26318

  1. Hah! 11a was last in for me as well. I also had to look up 20a as well – I scratched my head for ages thinking there must be something wrong as the end of the word looked so odd. 12a was among my favourites.
    Thanks to gazza for the review and Giovanni for the puzzle.

  2. Excellant, also had to check 20a New to me even tho worked in Solicitors offices when very very very young!

  3. Excellent puzzle with good surface reading of clues and a sprinkling of new words for me.
    Quality stuff
    Favs 1a. weakest clue I thought was 24a. Gazza, thanks for the blog but it’s down South in Yorkshire where that dialect is heard. Na worra mean like ?
    Thanks also to Giovanni

    1. Nubian,
      I am aware that Yorkshire is not the North of England (let alone of the UK) but it’s Giovanni who supplied the “northern”.

  4. Morning Gazza, I have been stuck on 4 clues in the bottom l/h corner for ages, have not looked at the blog yet but suspect I might give in before too long! I will give myself until twelve o’clock and if no success I will be back for a peep :) fav clues so far 5d and 6d

    1. Couldn’t wait and I’m glad, I would not have got 20a or 17d! threw myself on 18d by putting ‘salt eel’, thinking the ‘short’ northern river was the Tees! without the s, with Sal around it, couldn’t work out where the other L came from!! not that it made any difference to me getting 20a! Thanks Gazza and Giovanni, I found the top half quite easy today but took ages with the rest, least favourite clues 11a and 21d, these are clues that are not quite right in my mind but maybe that’s just me??

      1. Mary, I too completed what I could, and then ‘gave in far too easily’ on the bottom left hand corner by looking at the blog. Now I know why I struggled.

        Still, an excellent crossword Giovanni. My favourite clue is 16a – good surface reading with the anagram.

        Thanks for explaining 6d Gazza, I didn’t know how the expression came about.

  5. Super crossword from Giovanni and a great review from Gazza. Too many enjoyable clues to single one out.

  6. I found this particularly difficult so I was grateful for the help from Gazza but it was enjoyable so thanks also to Giovanni

  7. Excellent again…….I hadn’t realised that His Luvviness Sir Tweetie Fry was quite such a national institution, so needed some checking letters for 1a before the penny dropped. Wagner’s g/g/granddaughter hadn’t realised either, as she was somewhat abrupt and dismissive when he interviewed her on the telly last year.

  8. New to posting. Found this one pretty straightforward with nothing too difficult & therefore enjoyable to do over breakfast. Favourite clue for me was 9d but 25a made me smile.

  9. Even though ther was “nothing too frightening” about this, I still found it difficult to get started. Once I did, though, it was not too bad.

    I, too, struggled for a while with 11a, trying to fit “dope” to the clue. I kicked myself when the penny dropped.

    It seems we’ve alllearned a new word today in 20a.

    I particularly liked 13a.

  10. It took me a bit to get on the wave length today (brain worn out) but once I got going I really enjoyed it as usual. My favourite clues were 10a and 4d. I didn’t like 11a – took me ages even with cross letters.

    Thanks to Gazza for the review – excellent as always and to Giovanni for the puzzle – enjoyable.

  11. Oh dear, back into my deep, dark corner! Way, way beyond me today. A fair number of new words didn’t help matters.

    Thanks for the review.

      1. Don’t even look at the Toughie today, it would put you off for life! I can’t begin to understand it, apart from the fact it has a grid, I think its some other type of puzzle!!! :)

        1. So pleased someone else feels that way. Thought it was just me. Even getting a few of the clues doesn’t help with the rest. Is there a theme I’m not picking up on?

  12. Very enjoyable crossword from Giovanni. 11a did not cause any problems though 20a did – I had to cross-check Chambers as it did not look like a valid word even with the clear wordplay! Favourite clue was 17d. Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the hints.

    1. Brilliant, well done Dave, but where have the others gone, semms like i’m the only original one left, they have obviously either improved and moved on to bigger and better things or have given up :) maybe this will prompt them to ‘come out’ if they are hiding in the corners of the CC

  13. First run through made me think that this was going to be difficult but it all eventually fell into place. Bottom left last to go in and took a while to get 19d. Liked 12a and had a chuckle at 25a.
    Agree with the BD rating. Is this rating identical to that used for the Toughie?
    Following yesterdays chat I had a look at COW but was well warned away by my anti-virus!

    1. Pete,
      The difficulty rating is down to the individual blogger. Personally, I subtract 1 or 2 from the Cryptic rating for a Toughie (so a Cryptic of 4* would be 2* or 3* as a Toughie).

    2. CluedUp allows 45 minutes for a regular cryptic and 60 minutes for a Toughie and I tend to pro-rate along similar lines. As I’ve said before it is only intended as a guide. Enjoyment ratings are, of course, subjective.

  14. Thank you Gazza – I could not have completed this without your help.
    21a was a new word for me too. Fav clue 13a.
    Are you a regular reader of the “Chained Duck” too Gazza??

  15. Being a Yorkshireman – from 23a, in fact – I have no problem with being styled as a northern chap, even if it does mean us being put into the same pigeon-hole as those, like Nubian, from Tyne & Wear. I do draw a line at Lancastrians, however! A nicely balanced puzzle and a thoroughly good review, so thanks to G-squared.

    1. Hi Digby
      I think you’ll find the line is called The Pennines! It does work both ways!

      1. Pommers,
        Yes, as does the old chestnut “The only good thing to come out of Lancashire is t’road back to Yorkshire”!

  16. Thanks Giovanni – an excellent puzzle today.
    2 new words for me, both of which were clear from the wordplay so the clues were doable, to use that horrible word. Too many good clues to single out a favourite.
    Thanks also to Gazza for the blog.

  17. An excellent Giovanni Friday puzzle. Knew it would be good once I read clue of the day – 1a. Thanks Gazza for the review too.

  18. I’m a regular reader and I see that you are looking for comments.

    Firstly, many thanks for your explananations – saved lots of sleepless nights!!!!

    I found DT 26,318 fairly difficult – in fact, I didn’t get a single answer in my first scan – regimentally all the across clues then all the down clues – maybe too much wine at lunch.

    Thought that 1a was not so good! If you try this crossword in years to come how many people will know who Stephen Fry was?

    Favourites: 11a + 13a.

    New words for me “Flatus” and “Misprision”.

    1. 20a and 25a were both new to me as well.
      Mrs Tub gave a non-committal ‘hmm’ to 13a which is as close as she’ll ever get to saying she enjoyed a clue, so congrats to the setter, and thanks for the help with those two tricky ones.

    1. sorry to disappoint you Peter, you only qualify for the corner seat, you will become president when you have the seat next to the door, we will have to invent a word for us CCers who fail to do even 1 :) seriously though I could never complete one if i didn’t have all my books and machines, don’t give up, there are a lot like us out there :)

  19. Along with most of you 20a was a new word but so well clued my guess had to be right, along with 9d and 25a. Brilliant clues from Giovanni, thankyou, and of course thanks to Gazza. For me a super cryptic Xword because I could literally work out what the word was from the clue, even though I’d never heard of it. BRILLIANT!!!

  20. Yes, it was another very good puzzle, thanks to Giovanni. I managed to do it all, with the aid of dictionary (20a) and thesaurus (25a), except for 11a which I never would have found without the blog. So thanks, as always, to Gazza. It’s one of the types of clue (find a word and subtract something) that I have great difficulty with. I was held up for quite a while on the SE corner, and 23a was one of those solutions that I find without knowing why.
    Lots of good clues this time, but favourites I suppose were 6d and 16a. :-)

  21. Having FINALLY finished this I now can’t quite see why I found it so difficult – I’m trying very hard not to use the hints unless absolutely desperate as otherwise it’s sometimes a bit tempting to give in too soon! Along with most other people 20a was a new word but possible to work out from the clue (especially once I’d corrected 18d – like Mary, I thought to begin with, for no good reason, that it was salt eel) Apart from 11a, which was the last one to go in, the bottom left hand corner took the longest. Got very stuck on 22 and 24a and 19d. Favourite clues today 13a and 9d (although I think a histologist is someone who specialises in the structure of cells, normal and abnormal, rather than in anatomy in general.)
    Really enjoyed the crossword – thanks to Giovanni and Gazza – now back to the plum jam!!

      1. Definitely great minds …. ! By the way, was so envious of you saying, yesterday I think, that you were just off to the beach to read your book in the car, two minutes away. Remember long wonderful summers in Pembrokeshire as a child – where are you? I know that you say “Mary in west Wales”

        1. Carmarthen Kath but know Pembroke really well, the beach is Llanstephan, it is beautiful, complete with castle, and totally unspoilt, where did u go in Pembroke

  22. Liked it! 20a was straight-forward but again a new word on me so was unsure of it. 12a was my favourite. A nice challenge – tomorrow’s much easier no doubt.

  23. Had two nibbles at this today, also struggled with SE corner. A couple of ‘new’ words but straightforward to work out from the cross letters.
    Quite enjoyable (unlike today’s Toughie!)

  24. STOP PRESS…………….R4 news has just informed me that 1a has just joined the Board of 10a. Prescience from Giovanni on a DT Cryptic D-Day scale……………………………..

    1. Well spotted chairman. It took me some time to work out what you meant, but Norwich City, now with Stephen Fry on board, are known as the Canaries. Spooky or what?

    1. Welcome to the blog Woolfy

      All answers given in the reviews are checked against the Telegraph’s CluedUp website (barring typos). I think if you look again “chaps looking thin and weak” and “country clothes” are both plural nouns.

      If I had an objection it would be the use of the construct “wordplay is found in definition” which is considered incorrect by some, but not all, setters.

      1. Kath,
        If you put “chaps looking thin and weak” into a sentence – say “There are lots of chaps looking thin and weak around” and then replace the relevant words with either “weeds” or “weedy” you’ll see that only the first makes sense. You wouldn’t say “There are lots of weedy around”.

  25. I enjoyed this very much. Usually a Listener and EV solver this was a welcoming relief from what the Listener had in store today.

    Can’t say which is my favourite clue was. They are all good. Nice one Mr Manley.

    I was unaware of this site, so thanks for designing it bigdave44

  26. Hi Folks!
    Back in harness after two months in the torrid heat of the Côte d’Estérel and Provence.
    Thr lavender fields were marvellous this year.
    Enjoyed doing Giovanni’s puzzle but am a little rusty!
    Expect to improve with practice.
    Derek.

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