DT 26329 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26329

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26329

It’s all Greek to me!

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A Greek (and Latin) influence in several of the across clues today. This puzzle, by one of our mystery setters, contains a number of hoary old chestnuts – but they are bound to be new to some!

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1a    Manage to obtain pass (4,2)
{COME BY} – a double definition – manage to obtain and pass

4a    Bewildered as rich mum makes personal appeal (8)
{CHARISMA} – an anagram (bewildered) of AS RICH followed by a mum gives an adjectice meaning personal appeal

10a    Help a worker after loan (4,1,4)
{LEND A HAND} – to help is built up from A and a worker following to loan

11a Sorceress left out of loop (5)
{CIRCE} – this sorceress who lived on the island of Aeaea is found by dropping the L(eft) from a loop or ring

12a    Game fish associated with East River (7)
{SNOOKER} – a game played in once-smoky halls is a charade of a marine fish(e.g. the cobia, robalo, garfish), E(ast) and R(iver)

13a    Greek hero, as such, is leading American (7)
{PERSEUS} – this Greek hero, whose legendary exploits include cutting off the head of the gorgon Medusa, is a charade of the Latin for as much or in itself (3,2) followed by an American

14a    Reflective attitude adopted by a Greek author? (5)
{AESOP} – Reverse (reflective) an attitude and put it after A to get the Greek author famous for his animal fables

15a    Stories about precipitation in French region (8)
{LORRAINE} – put stories or learning around the sort of precipitation we have seen a lot of recently to get a region in North East France

18a    Spiritual place, a stimulant (8)
{PLATONIC} – this word meaning spiritual or non-physical is a charade of PL(ace) A and a stimulant – an adjective derived from a Greek philosopher

20a    First-rate golfer turned back in passageway (5)
{AISLE} – combine first class with the name of a South African golfer reversed to get a passageway, typically one in a church

23a    Bird, unfamiliar sort I check on (7)
{OSTRICH} – to get this bird you need an anagram (unfamiliar) of SORT I followed by CH(eck) – the abbreviation is one used in chess notation

25a    A wine – what could be nastier? (7)
{RETSINA} – to get this love-it-or-hate-it wine you need an anagram (what could be) of NASTIER

26a    Highly-strung wife one embarrassed (5)
{WIRED} – an adjective meaning highly-strung is a charade of W(ife) I (one) and the colour associated with embarrassment

27a    Peculiar red and orange instrument (4,5)
{REED ORGAN} – an anagram (peculiar) of RED and ORANGE gives a keyboard instrument such as the harmonium

28a    Sweet centre (5-3)
{BULLS-EYE} – a double definition

29a    Motto on one side of court (6)
{LEGEND} – a motto that is a charade of one side of a cricket pitch and the part of a court defended by a team – ouch! Unless there is a better explanation “side” appears to be doing double duty LEG (th on side in cricket) and one side of a court defended by a team (thanks Gazza)


1d           Huge deficit in fuel (8)
{COLOSSAL} – one of the oldest of all chestnuts which we have seen before, in one guise or another, in DT 26059, DT 26108 and DT 26147 – a word meaning huge is derived by putting a deficit inside a fossil fuel

2d           Chap leaves fruit (7)
{MANGOES} – combine a chap and a verb meaning leaves to get a tropical fruit

3d           Under trade-union ban, see where accidents often occur (5,4)
{BLACK SPOT} – a charade of “under a trade-union ban” and to see gives a place where accidents often occur

5d           Coat, we hear, and short jacket, taken to joint in part of London (4,4,6)
{HYDE PARK CORNER} – this time the charade is a homophone of the skin of an animal, a jacket with a hood made of a windproof material, minus its last letter (short), and a joint where two lines meet and this results in the part of London where you will find the Wellington Arch

6d           Come back on short rein (5)
{RECUR} – to come back into one’s mind is built up from a short word meaning on and a synonym for to rein or check without the final letter B

7d           Start to shout, to encourage one performing in the theatre (7)
{SURGEON} – the first letter of (start to) Shout is followed by a phrasal verb meaning to encourage (4,2) gives someone performing in the operating theatre

8d           Relaxed with drop of Scotch, last from bottle, after a meal (2,4)
{AT EASE} – an adjective meaning relaxed is derived by putting S (a drop of Scotch) and E (last from bottle) after A meal

9d           Comedians in a laundry her lad runs (6,3,5)
{LAUREL AND HARDY} – Stan and Oliver are an anagram (runs) of A LAUNDRY HER LAD

16d         Take roast out immediately (2,1,6)
(AT A STROKE} – an anagram (out) of TAKE ROAST gives a phrase meaning immediately

17d         Won back Reading East, unexpectedly (8)
{REGAINED} – a word meaning won back is an anagram (unexpectedly) of READING E(ast) – in 2005 the Conservatives won back the Reading East seat from Labour!

19d         Line by Italian, earl translated word for word (7)
{LITERAL} – start with L(ine) then add IT(alian) and an anagram (translated) of EARL to get an adjective that means word for word

21d         Pebbles one’s found crossing end of beach (7)
{SHINGLE} – these pebbles are generated by putting a word meaning one around H (end of beacH)

22d         We British following horse and trap (6)
{COBWEB} – put WE and B(ritish) after a type of horse to get a trap for unwary flies

24d         River trade essay dismissed (5)
{INDUS} – this river is very much in the news at the moment – trop TRY (essay) from the end of a manufacturing trade to get its name

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Well, that’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into, Stanley!

64 comments on “DT 26329

  1. I agree Dave, lots of the Classics being squeezed in today. but a good workout nonetheless.
    Fav was 14a and 15a.
    Thanks for the blog and to Mr/Mrs Mysteron

  2. A nice quick solve but I did enjoy the experience. I marked 25a and 5d (the latter because I used to work near there) as favourites. Thanks BD and the mysterious one.

  3. Well the ‘Big Easy’ golfer has popped up again!. Agreed on the conker clues – 25a being just one specimen!. Still quite enjoyable today with 22a and 18a being among the favourites.
    Thanks to BD and our mystery setter

  4. For me an excellent puzzle mainly because I think its the first in August that I have managed to finish! :-)
    Seriously though some super clues in todays esp 26a (fully agree nasty stuff!), 12a and 9d. However, thought 29a was more than a little contrived and took me ages to realise that 18a need a ‘tonic’.

  5. I found this to be one of those puzzles that you romp through – enjoyable but only a little over a one stopper today. Many thanks to the setter and to BD for the notes. Favourite clue was 11a.

  6. Quite a tussle to get most of the half in plus a few more and with so little enjoyment, I gave up on it. The two sessions I’m playing for at the Crem this afternoon could be more fun …

    What’s the reversal indicator for 14a? I can’t see one. No idea of the golfer, so 20a is double greek to me.

    1. The reversal indicator is ‘reflective’. Remember the golfer for future puzzles – he is a regular!

      1. Thanks Sue. The new dictionary has reflect and reflection as reversal indicators, but not reflective, dammit! Should have looked up the page a bit.

        As for the golfer, Els? Nothing on google. Don’t think he’s turned up in the last nine months, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention.

        1. Hi Geoff I got loads of hits on google about him, just put in ‘golfer ELS’ South African apparently, do you think we’ll remember that, I don’t think I will :)

    2. Hi Geoff, I had never heard of the golfer either but did get the reversal indicator, I have finished all but 5d, which I just can’t see, hope the afternoon in the crem is more fun

        1. Grrrrrrrrrr! I have just about given up on them, I will give them 2 weeks again, them I’m afraid they’re for the compost heap (if I had one)

  7. Quite a gentle day and quite a few good ones. Liked 22d as my favourite. New to me was the sweet for 28a but it couldn’t be anything else so looked it up.

    Thanks BD and mystery setter

      1. That’s possible Mary but I tried hard to stay away from sweets and kept my son restricted to chocolate. He is not a chocoholic so you can’t win…..

      2. No bulls eyes were a large sort of black and white mint thing. Do you remember proper gobstoppers in the 50s when they were really big and changed colour in every layer until you got to the aniseed pip in the middle? I don’t suppose the Elf and Safety lot would allow children to have such large sweets these days – beats me how we reached our age given all the dangers we faced.

          1. Totally agree Lea, I can’t believe I’m at the age when I’m saying ‘now in my day……….etc.’ Thanks for info on gobstoppers Sue you obviously ate a lot, yes I remember them well too :)

  8. Have managed to get my computer back off grandson, not sure for how long!! Have finished todays, inc 5d now, waiting for the complete blog to understand a few, not one to like or dislike today, happy to have completed it, had a quick look at yesterdays and to me it seemed to be one that I might have agreed with Barrie on?? :)

    1. Mary – nice to have you back – we miss you when you aren’t here.

      Yesterday’s was not my favourite. Along with Barrie – Nora and I were in the minority but there were some nice clues along with the horrible ones.

      1. Thanks Lea, will be popping off again in a while but hope to be back later, grandson no.4 (out of 6) going home, love to see them, but love to see them going too!! :)

        1. Lea, in toughness it would be up near the top of tough for me. 1 being easy and 10 tough I would give it an 8.5. There again I am only half way through. I may never finish it.

          1. Nil desperandum. Cogitate and persevate and you will get there. Quite a few words where you can see what it is and have to take a couple of moments to work out why.

            1. Thanks Sue – that helps – better to cogitate and persevate through work than let the brain float.

          2. I have a lot of things I should be doing but if I get fed up with clearing etc then may print it off and do it in between times.

            Was going to go to the tip with a card load but the weather isn’t the nicest to spend time at the tip so have been “fiddling” with housework.

              1. We usually have pleasant heat at the end of August, but today is 35 deg in Valencia, with 37 forecast for tomorrow. We just hope the Poniente (the hot wind everybody here dreads) won’t come back and give us another miserable day like last Tuesday! I’ve given it an English name – God’s hairdryer.

                I enjoyed this puzzle, except 7d which had me completely stumped. Thanks for an excellent hint, Dave. I feel a bit of a nit now for not getting it.

          3. think I’ll give it a miss Nubian, if its that tough, not quite got my concentration levels back yet, thanks anyway

  9. My Husband says Ernie Els is one of the best known golfers in the World
    id never heard of him but not a Sports fan at all.!

    1. Me neither AnnB, I know a lot of them but never heard of him, I used to play golf quite often whilst ‘the boys’ were growing up, really enjoyed it, not very good, the course we played on had a river one side and a railway track the other, we were often wading into the river fishing the balls out, stopped playing when my partner managed to land a golfball right between my eyes breaking my nose and giving me two black eyes, sorry for all the useless info :)

      1. Now that is an accident in golf that I’ve not heard about – what a disaster for you. I can understand giving it up with that kind of history. I used to play a lot when mys on was young. Then I went back to work in the professional world (in London) and never seemed to have the time). At the moment my hip would scream if I even tried.

        1. Yes my knees would too Lea, have u heard when you’ll have your hip done? I’m waiting to see surgeon about my knees, thank God for crosswords :)

          1. Yes – my op is 20th Sep so am trying to get lots done before then. Looking forward to the lack of pain but not looking forward to the op. Gather I will be awake throughout it – yikes!!

  10. First time for weeks I’ve had time to get to the cryptic and was heartened that I could do so much of it without referring to the notes! Feel rather foolish to admit that 7d kept me thinking for far longer than was necessary. Love reading your comments here! Thanks to BD for the assistance.

    1. I just posted a comment about 7d too – I’m glad it’s not just me who got stuck, despite having all the intersecting clues done. I couldn’t get the entertainment type of theatre out of my head.

  11. Enjoyed today – managed to solve in the 45 mins timer on Clued Up and got my bonus points! Favourite clue 25d as this is one of a few apposite anagranms that turn up every now and then. AND I HATE THE STUFF!
    Can anyone tell me why “RE” is used for “ON” please? came up today and earlier in the week in the Grauniad.
    On a similar topic, can anyone tell me why STUDY = CON
    Thanks BD and the Mysteron

    1. Con is a verb meaning to learn, read, peruse or study
      Re – preposition meaning regarding or concerning, as in on the matter of

      1. Errr – actually never looked CON up in a dictionary although been aware of this for ages.
        RE for ON seems a bit “thin” to me.
        Thanks Crypticsue

  12. Reasonable crossword from the mystery setter today, I quite enjoyed it over all even though there was nothing taxing in it. ( Same goes for today toughie )

  13. Enjoyable puzzle today. Latin flavour as BD noted.
    I liked 12a & 22d .
    Re 25a – it has a tarry flavour which takes getting used to – some opine that only the Greeks have succeeded.

  14. Yes, I enjoyed today’s cryptic offering and managed to get it all done before and during lunch!

    I got 20a even thought I hadn’t heard of the golfer Els either – but synonyms for passageway are usually aisle or alley and clearly Ai for first rate signalled the former. I did manage to come up with legend for 29a but it
    took Gazza’s explanation to convince me how it worked. Thanks to our mysteriros stter!

  15. Sorry Sue, Mary, just had to let you both know, up here in Newcastle it has been a beautiful day,
    As they used to say in Antigue (WI) “Sunshine and gentle breeze, nice day for cricket Man.”
    Pour me another Pino Colada. Phew what a scorcher !

    1. Nubian, please don’t do that to me, it has been miserable here for weeks now, with the occasional glimpse of now what’s it called??? oh yes almost forgot, sun!!!

  16. Enjoyed the blog and the crossword. Completed the right side with hardly a letter on the left side. Bit odd. Strange but true… For 22d, even though I had WEB early on COB was the last I inked in. Mind went blank. All good fun.

  17. I liked 5d best. I remember from a film about crosswords that this clue was put to Tim Morrey as “imperative fruit” or maybe “male order fruit?”

  18. Needed the answers for 4 clues today, all niche or obscure words; I’ll try to remember them for future. apart from that it wasn’t too bad. Ta for the review.

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