DT 26324 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26324

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26324

Hints and Tips by Gazza

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

A pleasant, gentle stroll from Giovanni today should please the Clueless Club. I wavered between two and three stars for difficulty, but I had no doubt about the four stars for entertainment because it has many enjoyable and amusing clues. Let us know what you thought of it by leaving a comment.
If, in spite of the hints, you still need to see an answer, just highlight the space between the brackets under the relevant clue.

Across Clues

1a  Police officer’s boss, a venomous type (10)
{COPPERHEAD} – an informal term for a police officer is followed by a boss to make a venomous snake.

6a  Rod’s pale-looking little daughter (4)
{WAND} – the definition is rod. Put together an adjective meaning pale-looking and the abbreviation (little) for daughter.

10a/11a  Plant people in a house in Westminster (5,3,6)
{LORDS AND LADIES} – another name for the common arum (plant) or, alternatively, the people who sit on the red benches in one of the Houses in Westminster.

12a  Paint bird and mammal around edge of canvas (8)
{EMULSION} – string together a flightless bird and a powerful mammal and put the last letter (edge) of canvaS inside to make a type of paint.

13a  Zest comes with a burst of passion and love (5)
{GUSTO} – the definition is zest or exuberant enjoyment. Start with a burst of passion and add the letter that looks like zero (love, in tennis).

15a  Examine cloth before start of snooker (7)
{CANVASS} – a verb meaning to examine or question someone in order to ascertain their opinion is made from a rough cloth (as given in 12a) followed by the initial letter (start) of Snooker.

17a  Being maturer, corrected mistake (7)
{ERRATUM} – an anagram (corrected) of MATURER produces a mistake in printing or writing.

19a  Old lover attached to gangster and rocker gets praised (7)
{EXALTED} – a past participle meaning praised is a charade of an informal word for a one-time partner (old lover), the abbreviated forename of the most famous American gangster and a rocker of the 1950s.

21a  Study what could be binding agreement (7)
{CONCORD} – the definition is agreement and it’s made from a verb to study followed by something that can be used to bind. It seems odd to see it without a French letter.

22a  Tom is one of five on hand (5)
{THUMB} – double definition, the first being the surname of little General Tom.

24a  Sailor, the Parisian on board ship lacking sparkle (8)
{STARLESS} – put a favourite Crosswordland term for a sailor and the French definite article (plural form) inside (on board) the abbreviation for steamship.

27a/28a   Weed in countryman’s bag (9,5)
{SHEPHERD’S PURSE} – this white-flowered weed is a small bag belonging to a countryman charged with tending flocks. The surface reading is very amusing.

29a  District I had found in most prosperous region? (4)
{SIDE} – put a contraction of I had inside the most prosperous corner (region) of the U.K. to make a district (a term used more in North America than here, to mean part of a city, as fans of U.S. cop shows like Hill Street Blues will know well).

30a  Perhaps someone on TV answered awkwardly, with hesitation (10)
{NEWSREADER} – an anagram (awkwardly) of ANSWERED is followed by hesitation to make someone you might see on TV (the “perhaps” indicating that the person may also be heard elsewhere, on the radio for instance).

Down Clues

1d  Frigid Conservative of a previous generation? (4)
{COLD} – start with the abbreviation of Conservative and add a description of someone no longer in the first flush of youth.

2d  Problem with Nero — some slap-happy Roman, I admit (9)
{PYROMANIA} – brilliantly disguised (some) in the clue is the obsessive desire (problem) that the Emperor Nero, allegedly, suffered from.

3d  Wife ditched by scoundrel — support needed (5)
{EASEL} – the scoundrel is also a small, carnivorous animal. Remove its initial W (wife ditched) to leave a support.

4d  Strong men making big efforts when one gets trapped (7)
{HEAVIES} – start with big efforts to lift something substantial and put I inside (one gets trapped) to get large, strong men who are often criminally-inclined.

5d  A new poet’s movement (7)
{ANDANTE} – put together A, N(ew) and the most famous Italian poet to make a musical movement which has to be played in a moderately slow tempo.

7d  Fuss about one beginning to say farewell (5)
{ADIOS} – the Spanish word for farewell is a synonym for fuss around (about) I (one), ending with the initial letter (beginning) of Say.

8d  Way after party maiden gets put out (10)
{DISCOMMODE} – a verb meaning to put out or cause inconvenience to is made from a way or manner which comes after a party at which people dance and M(aiden) (cricketing term).

9d  Dependant is honourable, hiding hot displeasure (6-2)
{HANGER-ON} – someone who is dependant (with a hint of sycophancy) is constructed from the abbreviation for honourable around (hiding) a strong (hot) feeling of displeasure or annoyance.

14d  It’s insects that will excite entomologists, say (10)
{SCIENTISTS} – an anagram (will excite) of IT’S INSECTS produces experts of which entomologists are just one example (say).

16d  Road suggesting a classy 100mph? How horrible getting stuck in that! (8)
{AUTOBAHN} – this is a German motorway (on certain stretches of which there used to be no speed limit, though I’m not sure if that is still the case). Start with A and the letter denoting upper-class (classy) and add a slang term for 100mph. Finally insert (getting stuck in) an exclamation expressing disgust (how horrible!) as used by Scrooge about Christmas.

18d  Took in bags? (9)
{TROUSERED} – cryptic definition of a verb meaning pocketed, with bags being the garment having the pockets.

20d  Merit of French present at the table (7)
{DESERVE} – a verb meaning to merit is a charade of the French word for of and to present (food) at the table.

21d  What may sound like Santa’s bits of the contract (7)
{CLAUSES} – an amusing and cryptic definition of the sections or articles in a contract.

23d  Turn over London railway terminus? (5)
{UPEND} – double definition, the second cryptic. A verb meaning to invert or turn over could also be (bearing in mind that all journeys to London are regarded as a movement to a higher position) a description (2-3, probably) of the London terminus of a railway line.

25d  Drinks before start of exam — a mistake (5)
{LAPSE} – a verb meaning drinks like an animal is followed by the initial letter (start) of Exam.

26d  Tackle items in the wardrobe? (4)
{GEAR} – double definition.

The clues I enjoyed today included 1a, 27/28a, 2d, 3d, 16d and 23d but my favourite is 18d. Let us know what you liked in a comment.

135 comments on “DT 26324

  1. What a lovely day. The sun is shining, the Cryptic is indeed very entertaining – I agree with your ‘favourite/enjoyed clue selections. I hope when Wingnut reads 16d he remembers what I said on Wednesday! Not only that but the Toughie, although living up to its name, is fabulous too. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza. Now if only I was on a nice country walk instead of being stuck in an office…. but you can’t have everything.

    1. Lucky you Sue, we have had torrential rain since yesterday afternoon, loads of country walks here, but you would have to be mad to go out today unless it was essential!! rain still really very heavy, thunder & lightning too

      1. I did see that Wales was in for a battering on this morning’s weather forecast. This is, however, our first proper sun for some time so I definitely think I should be outside enjoying it before it goes again on Sunday.

        1. we have been suitably battered Sue and it is still persisting down as someone else on the blog said today :)

  2. Good morning Gazza, thanks for blog, though I didn’t use it, I’m not sure this will please all us CCers, personally I found it difficult to get into and had to use my ‘aids’ a lot, for me it was between a 3* and 4* Off to read through blog now

    1. Mary, you always seemed to be ashamed of using your “aids”. Your completing more crosswords and enjoying it, so does it matter?

      1. No it doesn’t matter Vince, I would like one day to be able to complete without though, the main reason I mention it is that fellow CCers don’t get the impression that I can do them all without any help, that can be very discouraging for those of us who are struggling :) I think it’s like learning anything, you need the books etc to help you learn

        1. I’ll join you in this, Mary. I thought 27 & 28 a was an anagram until I got 23d, so I had to look up my Crosswords Lists to get the weed, and was taken with this clue.

        2. We all have to resort to some kind of reference media sometimes. Nobody knows everything. I had to use a dictionary today, as I’d never heard of the answers to 10a or 27a. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, Mary. You’re improving and enjoying it ,and that’s all that matters, in my humble opinion.

  3. My head is not in a very good place at the moment and I struggled through this. Looking back it was more straightforward than I made it. 2d was favourite.
    Thanks to gazza and Giovanni.

        1. you must be very good people in Kent, glad issues are resolved haven’t seen you on COW this week??

  4. Very enjoyable puzzle today. So many good clues, but 2d stood out for me, closely followed by 14d.

  5. Highly enjoyable – many thanks to Giovanni for some excellent clues, 2d being my favourite. This and the Toughie today made the commute fly by. Thanks too to Gazza for the blog.

  6. Gazza, Thanks for the YouTube of EMU on the Parkinson Show – haven’t seen it for years.
    My favourite was also 18d although this held me up as I had originally entered “treasured” for some reason.
    Also, thanks for introducing me to “surface reading” – completely missed it in 27a & 28a.
    I’ll add to the weather report – nice and sunny on the Essex coast.

    1. you should be glad you’re not holidaying in West Wales!! what’s the weather doing with you Gazza?

        1. Love Devon, often stay in Exmouth at the Imperial on the front, we have always been lucky and had beautiful weather when we are there

    1. I got up bright and early today to do the crosswords, not early enough it seems to realise that today’s Quickie is a pangram. In fact, I didn’t know what a pangram was – but I do now, Thanks.

      Is there a technical term for the puns that always feature in the opening across solutions in the Quickie? e.g this week’s offerings:- {Brighton + Early}, {Alley + Money}, {Bare + Whit + Ness}, {Twain + Tea + For} , {Halos + Haler}.

      Or are they just puns?

  7. Enjoying working on this—no rush so taking my time.

    Lovely day here in Auld Reekie so having early lunch and get out before any rain comes. Avoiding town as VERY busy with the Edin. Festivals in full swing!

    Thanks to Giovanni & the reviewer.

  8. One of the best moments on tv ‘the emu clip’ it was hilarious, 2d, fav for lots today, I didn’t even see it hidden in the clue – duh! but knew it had to be that with ‘roman and i’ just couldn’t figure out where the rest came from, stupid or what!

  9. Didn’t get very far with this one, only 14 before needing the blog and some of those with a few hints from Mary – thank you! I can see there is some clever stuff here and look forward to a day when most of it doesn’t go over my head. Found the snake on a list in Wiki – hilarious, so that’s my no 1!

    Good stuff, thanks G&G, from breezy and grey, but dry so far, Oxford.

  10. Great end to the week – thanks to Giovanni and Gazza. Loved 2d and smiled when I got 8d – I had been struggling with an anagram of DO, ST and MAIDEN. Is ‘hot’ in 9d superfluous?

    1. hi droopyah, not sure but think it’s needed to express ‘anger’ as an intense displeasure?

  11. Was stuck on 22 across. I saw the first of the 2 definitions, but was stuck with the five. is it there to misdirect, or am I being really thick?

  12. For some reason it took me a bit of time to get on the wave length of this and it wasn;t helped by putting in rods for 26d – made sense to me at the time (and still does) but of course when I got the delightful 27/28a I knew it was wrong,. My other favourite was 21d but I did not like 18d.

    Thanks G & G – some excellent clues and of course an excellent review.

      1. “To trouser” has overtones of pocketing money that perhaps doesn’t belong to you. It’s the sort of verb that Bertie Wooster was fond of using.

  13. Many thanks. I was being thick – for some stupid reason I’d convinced myself I was looking for another term for finger (thinking I required something to fit all five).

    Never mind, soldiers aren’t normally noted for exceptional intellect!

    1. really? you must be pretty clever to finish this :) soldiers, fingers, now whats the connection? ah yes boiled eggs, you could be an egghead! ignore me I’m a bit bored today the weather here is atrocious

      1. Not too bad here in west London. Wind has come up but it has been muggy all morning and we could do with the rain to clear the air (especially since I have done my shopping!!).

          1. I do that in the winter and will do it when I am recuperating after my hip operation but Fridays I go to the gym – go for coffee – do my shopping and then sometimes go to my local craft shop to do a make and take. That’s why I don’t always get the puzzle completed before about 1’ish.

            Shopping on line is good – I do a lot of it :smile:

                1. It’s to do with card making – local craft shop owner has a mini class on a Friday and you get to make the card and take it away. I don’t go every week but when I can – good way to refresh the brain and techniques that I might have forgotten as I have been card making for a lot of years now.

                  1. my sister in law who lives in Alberquerque ( I always spell that wrong) is really into handmade cards, when I make mine I do them on the computer

      2. That reminds me of 7d in DT26308 – review by Libellule as follows:-
        7. Too tough for soldiers to break through (4-6)
        {HARD-BOILED} – Possibly my favourite of the day. The soldiers in this case are pieces of toast and the answer refers to the sort of egg you wouldn’t eat them with.

  14. Mary,

    You’re being far too kind.

    Unfortunately I’m neither (pretty or clever). i also doubt whether I’d taste much good dipped in a boiled egg.

    Sorry folks – I won’t interupt the blog any futher today.

      1. This echoes what I said to the Gnome this morning : “Was just reading the cryptic posts today. What a nice lot cryptic solvers are – sympathy, encouragement, weather forecasts, handy hints, you can’t beat it!”

      2. It’s often the topics away from the subject of crosswords that come up in the comments that I enjoy the most. (Think that is probably a very badly constructed sentence – sorry folks but I’m sure that you will all get the general idea!!)

            1. I voted and have made 8 comments including this one, four of which related to the puzzle!

                1. Across_Tick – If you look at the bottom of the review by Gazza he always puts a comment abut his favcourites and then below that are the voting stars.

                2. after the blog hints/answers and before the comments start, there ia a row of golden stars you vote by clicking accordingly

                  1. Thanks Mary and Lea,

                    I have now voted.

                    Mary, sorry about the weather in Welsh Wales but with you being housebound it’s made for a very entertaining Blog!!!

              1. Me too – for the voting and 8 (now 9) but havcen’t worked out how many relate to the puzzle.

            2. The 103 (now) comments were made by 22 different posters (including Giovanni, wonder if he voted?) – so that more or less works.

  15. 2d brilliant. 16d clever, 18d and 23d both amusing. Definitely 3*+ for difficulty, as it took me a long time to get going. Then it all fell into place nicely. Cheers G-guys. Have a nice weekend everyone – hope it stops raining, Mary, but please don’t send it to Sussex – Tennis Club BBQ tomorrow!

    1. I think we just might be sharing it tomorrow Digby, sorry :) Still tipping down here, anyone else had the thunder and lightning??

        1. When it’s raining our dog (she’s a wonderful little collie spaniel cross – 11 years old next Tuesday) stands at the kitchen door and says “If you want to go out in this, you go – I’ll just stay at home if you don’t mind”

  16. Thanks for encouragement. If you want a tougher challenge, try me as Pasquale over at The Guardian. Most of the fifteen squared bloggers hate me today!

    1. I did about half of your Pasquale before resorting to 15 squared. I do like a challenge but ran out of lunch hour.

    2. I have been dismayed by the comments on both Fifteensquared and The Guardian Crossword website (which is different to Guardian Talk and nothing to do with the odious characters who used to post there). The Guardian comments were particularly nasty and unkind, and I reiterate nothing to do with the Talkboard, some seem to be the Fifteensquared bods.

      It takes all sorts to make a broad church, and, if I was a crossword editor, I would jump at the chance of having puzzles from Giovanni who produces elegant, stylish and accessible puzzles. Likewise Rufus would be in my list.

      Giovanni’s Graun puzzle was a tough one, but compared to most of the fare offered by the paper this week, it was way above most of the other puzzles. I like tough puzzles but I can also appreciate and recognise the effort by most setters. In many ways , it is harder produce an easier puzzle that meets the strictures of good sound cluewriting.

  17. Finished all but 16down. Bah! A hint that it was German would have been appreciated. We are having all sorts of weather here on the Wirral to-day. Thunder storm this morning; bright warm sunshine for a brief spell at lunch time and now it’s persisting down.

    1. Patsyann,
      Putting “German road” would have made it too easy, don’t you think? I thought that the 100mph was a good hint that it was German.

  18. Finished it quite easily today, although had to revert to list of reptiles to get 1a, nice and sunny here in the Dover area, off to the garage now to do some more motorbike restoration whilst I have time on my own. :D

      1. hi Mary
        Its really quite nice and sunny here with a little bit of a breeze we seem to have our own microclimate, just going to make the most of it now and walk the labradoodle’s over the fields.

        1. Ah you have labradoodles, I have two spanetts :) enjoy your walk, mine have just slept all day today

          1. Have tried really hard to work out what a spanett is – the best that I can come up with is a spaniel bassett cross … ! The mind absolutely boggles!

            1. Yes you are right Kath, father cocker spaniel, mother bassett hound, they are called ‘first crosses’ and apparently with any first cross, if you breed them for four generations with the original breed they are accepted back into the kennel club, we had ours spayed.

    1. No, it’s padding, but something is obviously required there to make the surface reasonable.

      1. Yes, on reading it again it makes sense to keep it, the ‘wife’ obviously needing support as she’s been ditched, its amazing how you read things differently hours later

  19. Didn’t find this very difficult, but harder than Thursday’s. Wasn’t too impressed with 29a, 16d and 26d. Liked 18d.
    It’s dull, grey, miserable and sometimes very wet here in the E.Midlands.

  20. Continuing with the weather theme some brief periods of warm sun followed by heavy rain here in N. Yorks. A not sure what to do day.
    Thought this was tricky today with some interesting clues. Took a while for 10a and 27a to drop. Liked 2d and 16d not happy with 23d.
    Thanks to Gazza and the bloggers. It is getting bigger by the day.

  21. Nice one today, probably for me the best of the week (not done very well this week I’m afraid). Just one thing, did I miss something, how are you supposed to know that 7d is a Spanish term?

    1. I am not sure you necessarily need to know that its Spanish as its one of those words like Ciao that seem to have infiltrated common usage. I just saw it as one of the many words setters use to convey ‘goodbye’. Where have you been lately? You have been very quiet.

    2. The definition is just farewell. The wordplay is fairly straightforward and Adios is a fairly well-known word, being heard in countless films, usually followed by “Amigo”.

    3. Hi Barrie, where have you been, hope you’re not hiding in the corners of the CC, you are well past that now :)

      1. Sorry to be missing from the Bog and the CC but I have been working some very long hours on a film set and I leave home before the papers come so I have been doing the crossword the following morning and I’m not sure my mind works well at 5.30am! Got 2 weeks off whilst they are shooting in Paris before we start again at the end of the month.

        1. Hadn’t missed you in the ‘bog’ actually Barried but do tell more what are you doing on this film set and what is the film and do you get paid and etc. etc. etc.

          1. Sorry speed of the eye faster than the finger!! It should of course be BLOG!. Although this week some of the puzzles have left me in a bit of a bog :-)
            I am working as what is called a supporting artiste on the new martin Scorsese movie, The Invention of Hugo Cabret at Shepperton Studios, sounds glamorous but is actually very hard work with brutal hours. It’s being filmed in 3D which makes it even harder work and it is supposed to be February 1929 so you can imagine what the costumes are. Very hot work. As it is likely to be filming right through to the end of the year, I will I’m afraid continue to be a somewhat peripatetic contributor to the blog. But it great to know its here when I get home the following day and see where I have as usual gone wrong!! Keep up the good work and thanks to all the hard working guys and gals who help us in the CC.

            1. Sounds really exciting Barrie, well done you, we will miss you on the blog and your thought provoking comments :) but as you say you will be popping back and fore have fun :)

  22. Well – to get the important things done before anything else I’ll start off by commenting on the crossword! I really enjoyed this one – lots of lovely clues – 1, 10&11, 27&28 across, 2, 14, 16, and 21 down to name (?number) some. Got a bit hung up with 8d – managed to convince myself that the ‘maiden’ was going to be ‘over’ somewhere in the middle (see, I really WILL get to grips with these wretched references to all the things that I can’t do – cricket, football, rugby, golf) – anyway got there in the end. Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza.

    Weather in Oxford is absolute rubbish – very grey and hot and humid but no rain, or thunder and frightening, as it’s always called in our family! Don’t really care very much – off to France early on Tuesday morning – can’t wait!

    1. It has rained solidly now for over 26hrs, wish I was in South of France, one of my sister in laws lived there but she now lives in Brittany that’s a bit like home from home weather wise

      1. In-laws in Alberquerque and Brittany – any others? Can you contact them so we can get a world-wide weather report?

        1. Funny Across-Tick, weather in New Mexico is almost always fantastic so you can take that as a given, not sure about Brittany today sorry :)

  23. I got completely stuck on the German motorway as I was going through the alphabet wondering what could follow the ‘h’ in English. Kicked myself hard when I read the hint. Favourite clues are 12a and 30a.

    Seems like the blog has become a weather roundup so I’ll throw in my 32 degrees and lovely in the pool in Valencia!

        1. Lucky old you but bum to the rain forecast for the Loire on Monday – that’s where we are going on Tuesday – maybe we’re going to take it with us. Don’t care – a few days break is great whatever the weather.

          1. Just got back from a week in Marseille… the weather was fantastic every day, and even when I left this morning, the forecast was good for most of France.

      1. Not as much as I would have if I had been able to do more of it before resorting to the extremely fine blog. One day, maybe … and I’ve voted.

  24. Thoroughly enjoyable xwrd today. was surprised to see it was giovanni. but after reading gazzas tips i realised i had 24a wrong. i had seamless, as in seaman. Not been a great week for me perhaps just need time to get back in the swing of it. must renew my CC membership. have day off tomorrow so will be looking forward to the prize xwrd. many thanks to all. :smile:

  25. For a while I thought we were back to the good old days when Friday was the hardest puzzle of the week then it started to fall into place with 8d being the last one in. As far as the weather in Middle England is concerned it has not stopped raining since Wednesday & shows no sign of letting up so I guess that was Summer for this year…

  26. Another rollicking puzzle from Giovanni.

    Best for me were 5d, 16d and the two double-worded plants 10/11a &27/28a.

  27. Needed your help for 3. in fact I gave up and looked at the answer for 2 of them. Didn’t like 18d.

  28. Back after 3 weeks with the family in South Africa to an enjoyable ‘easeine’ back into crosswordland. Just needed a hint for 2 in the top right corner so thanks guys.

  29. Best clue for me AUTOBAHN.Would some explain this;Recital that schoolchildren may finish at 10:30?THREE TIMES TABLE.By the way,are there Americans who fill cryptic xwords as there’s are different.

    1. I think it’s to do with reciting the three times table, where you (may) finish with TEN threes are THIRTY. Although I seem to remember that when I was in junior school we had to recite tables up to multiples of twelve, i.e. the three times table would finish with 12 threes are 36. Perhaps it’s different now – It may depend on where the clue comes from.

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