DT 26336 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26336

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26336

Hints and tips by Gazza

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

We have a pretty typical Giovanni today, with well-constructed clues and a few “aha” moments. Let us know what you liked, or disliked, about it in a comment.
Those wanting to see the answers should drag their cursors through the white space between the brackets under the clues.

Across Clues

1a  Paper needs right editor — most important position (3-3)
{RED-TOP} – this is a description of a tabloid newspaper, based on the colour of its masthead. It’s a charade of R(ight), the abbreviation of editor and the most important position.

5a  Yellow sea bird half destroyed is beginning to move — it’s alive (8)
{ORGANISM} – something that’s living is constructed from a word for gold or yellow, the first half of the name of a large seabird, IS and the first letter (beginning) of M(ove).

9a  I’m at the pharmacy — I’d like a lift! (4-2-2)
{PICK-ME-UP} – double definition – a medicinal tonic available at a pharmacy and a plea (in a phone or text message, perhaps) asking to be fetched.

10a  Bird to study after autumn abandoning one of the lakes (6)
{FALCON} – this bird of prey is made from the American word for autumn with an L dropped (abandoning one of the lakes) followed by a verb meaning to study.

11a  Hasten in game after setback to gain cups and medals? (8)
{TROPHIES} – put an archaic verb meaning to hasten inside a competitive activity (game) which is reversed (after setback) to get cups and medals.

12a  Evening dress beneficial to little Malcolm (6)
{FORMAL} – how the expected dress code is described on the invitation to an official evening function is a charade of a preposition meaning in favour of (beneficial to) and the abbreviation (little) of Malcolm.

13a  Clergy keeping active — sources of power! (8)
{REACTORS} – put A(ctive) inside Church of England incumbents to make sources of nuclear power.

15a/17a  The fellow with rubbish picks up a dermatological disorder (4,4)
{HEAT RASH} – string together a male pronoun (the fellow) and an American word for rubbish or refuse, then insert an A (picks up a) between them to form a skin disorder.

17a  See 15a

19a  No ordeal can upset this genius (8)
{LEONARDO} – an anagram (can upset) of NO ORDEAL produces the name of an Italian genius of the Renaissance, who produced designs for a helicopter amongst other things.

20a  Dealing out fish at party (6)
{DOLING} – a present participle meaning dealing out or distributing is a large fish related to the cod which follows (at) the usual crosswordland term for a party.

21a  Month in which prisoner acquires a second language (8)
{MALAGASY} – this language is a group of dialects spoken by the natives of Madagascar. Inside one of the months of the year put an informal word for a prisoner, A and S(econd).

22a  A soft fruit to come on to the market (6)
{APPEAR} – a verb meaning to become visible (come on to the market) is made from A, P (piano, soft) and a sweet fruit.

23a  Very happy about First in English and very slightly drunk? (8)
{ELEVATED} – an adjective meaning slightly drunk (in the same way that “high” does) is made from a word meaning very happy with E (first letter in English) and V(ery) inside it.

24a  Athenian inventor’s gone back with a great desire unfulfilled (8)
{DAEDALUS} – this is a craftsman and inventor in Greek mythology, best remembered for constructing wings to allow his son Icarus to fly, with the resultant far-from-happy ending. Reverse (back) an adjective meaning gone or deceased and add A and a great desire from which the final T has been dropped (i.e. it’s unfulfilled or incomplete).

25a  Bug? One may have a single eye (6)
{NEEDLE} – double definition. A verb meaning to wind up or get under someone’s skin (bug) is, as a noun, an instrument with a single eye.

Down Clues

2d  Army set up in new regime? Leave the country (8)
{EMIGRATE} – an anagram (new) of REGIME has the initials of our volunteer army reversed (set up, in a down clue) inside to make a verb meaning to leave the country.

3d  … so leave some presumably to participate (4,4)
{TAKE PART} – double definition – a phrase meaning to participate, would mean, if applied literally, that some are left behind.

4d  Establish command briefly, interrupting foolish talk (9)
{PREDICATE} – this is a verb meaning to assert that something exists or is true (establish). Put a command or official order without its final T (briefly) inside (interrupting) a word meaning foolish talk.

5d  People in a similar position to be revealed by noon! (8,7)
{OPPOSITE NUMBERS} – these are people having the same job or function as you in other organisations. If you split the word noon into two halves, you’ll see that the first half is an abbreviation and the second half is the same abbreviation but the other way round. Very clever!

6d  Ferocious females endlessly astonish troubled son (7)
{AMAZONS} – these female warriors are formed from a verb meaning to astonish minus its final E (endlessly) followed by an anagram (troubled) of SON.

7d  Old emperor over several years keeping maiden privately (2,6)
{IN CAMERA} – start with the emperor of the South American people of Peru prior to the Spanish conquest and follow this (over, in a down clue) with a long period of time (several years). Then insert M(aiden) (as in cricket) between the two to form a phrase most often used in a legal sense to describe a trial held without the presence of public or press, i.e. privately.

8d  Moon being out illuminated hard stone pillar (8)
{MONOLITH} – this is a stone pillar that we had as recently as DT 26325. It’s an anagram (out) of MOON followed by a synonym for illuminated and H(ard) (pencil classification).

14d  Cleric and a ruler in disharmony (5,4)
{RURAL DEAN} – we have here a cleric in the Church of England or the Roman Catholic church who supervises the clergy in a group of parishes (in spite of the name I believe that this role is carried out in urban areas as well). It’s an anagram (in disharmony) of AND A RULER.

15d  Servant not emerging from a factory, might one say? (8)
{HANDMAID} – an old word for a female servant sounds like (might one say?) a description of something that is made individually by a craftsman rather than by a machine in a factory.

16d  Would it be ruined by a pip and peel? (5,3)
{APPLE PIE} – a semi-all-in-one gives us a pudding which is an anagram (ruined by) of A PIP and PEEL.

17d  Refuse to reveal approximately how long one has been around (8)
{ROUGHAGE} – the husks of grain that might once have been thrown away (refuse) but are now prized as part of a healthy diet might, if split as 5,3, reveal approximately how long one has been in existence.

18d  Prosperous region as horrible place for one stranded by the coast? (8)
{SEASHELL} – something that might be washed up on the beach is a charade of the most prosperous corner (region) of the UK, AS and a place of punishment after death (horrible place) according to various religions.

19d  In Californian city there’s a new brown plant (7)
{LANTANA} – put the abbreviation for the Californian city which is a major centre of film production around A, N(ew) and a synonym for brown to make a tropical, evergreen plant.

The clues I liked included 5a, 9a, 15/17a and 3d, but my favourite today was 5d. Let us know what you think in a comment!

67 comments on “DT 26336

  1. A lovely Giovanni Friday puzzle. I liked all your favourites too but also I marked 16d. Not your usual sort of ‘bird’ pic for 10a but I like it. Thanks Giovanni for the fun and Gazza for the explanations.

    Happy Sue is back in the building. The Friday toughie is fabulous – entertaining, clever clues and quite a few d’oh moments. Its tough but give it ago and you may be smiling too!

    1. I second the recommendation for the Toughie. Even if you can’t finish it, read the review later to see just how brilliantly some of the definitions are disguised!

  2. This was 4* difficulty for me today. Very enjoyable but could not really get going. I ground to a halt with half solved, and slowly plodded through the remainder. Got there in the end!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to gazza.
    Back to the toughie, which I am finding (so far) a little easier than this.

  3. Found this fairly straight forward but relied upon your explanation of 11a. Favourite clue was 5d – once the penny finally dropped – very clever! PS. I wonder how the “Anti-Clerihews” from yesterday’s blog will react to 24a?

  4. Bit of a curates egg today from the Friday Maestro. The left side fell into place without too many probs (apart from 11a), the top right presented more difficulties although I did like 8d but the bottom right UGH! Needed help with this part. Still don’t quite get 23a or 18d although the explanation above helps. Don’t think I would have got 5d if I had sat here until Xmas! The noon bit totally passed me by. Been a week for new words what with Clerihew yesterday and 21a today.

    1. I love clerihews, if only I could write them as well as you! I am also a fan of new words, old words, strange place names etc – all useful when it comes to solving the cryptic and doing well in wine and wisdoms.

  5. Vvery enjoyable with some nice a-ha moments when the penny dropped, particularly on 5d and some clever misdirections. Many thanks to Giovanni for the crossword and to Gazza for the blog.

  6. My goodness, what a workout. I found this one verging on the edge of ‘Toughie’ status. It’s so annoying when you get the answer and wonder why you didn’t see it ten minutes earlier.
    Favs too many to mention but 24a merited a distinction. I imagine Digby will like it and may bring back happy memories if I have my RN training bases right.

    1. Oh good – if you feel that it’s verging on ‘Toughie’ status I feel justified in having found it difficult!

  7. I’m not having a good week, must be all this sunshine that I’m not used to! completed 3/4 roughly but had to rely on you Gazza for the rest, I seem to be going backwards as far as progress is concerned, once again words I didn’t know and couldn’t work out, I thought at first it was going to be easy and half of it was, the left side particularly top came together straight away, I didn’t help myself by putting Sandbank for 18d, well it is a prosperous region and you do get stranded on one! Thanks once again Gazza a definite 4* for me today

    1. I am amazed that even my brother who in my opinion is genius at these had to ring me today and ask if I had the blog up! so I’m reappraising my effort on that basis to ‘not so bad after all’ :)

  8. Very enjoyable puzzle. Though a few pretty tough ones for me. I’ve never heard of 19d but my botanical knowledge is a definite weak area. 21a was new to me but could be worked out from the tightly constructed clue. Got 11a & 5d but didn’t understand exactly why until I read the blog. Didn’t get 24a; it’s a name I have heard of but it meant nothing to me until I followed your excellent link. It’s always good to feel that you have learned something from the whole experience.

    Favourite clue was 5a, but now I can appreciate 5d, it’s superb.

    1. 19d is one of the few plants in full bloom in my Spanish garden at the moment. Everything else is taking a rest from the heat !

  9. Finished at last, but needed the blog afterwards to give a full explanation for 11a and 5d. At one stage was even looking for some obscure animal (as in game) called ropi to fit with set(back) and the h for hasten!

    5d favourite, albeit hadn’t managed to split no on.

  10. Similar toughness to yesterday but I finished this one! 21a a new word but solvable from simple construction blocks..as was 16d yesterday. Still unhappy with 17d yesterday though…must grow up! 24a again very fair although without the help of this superb blog I would have convinced myself that since the dead often need an inventory that an inventor = dead person. 5d excellent clue, only appreciated after reading the explanation above. Thanks to setter and elucidator. Lovely and sunny again up’t’north.

      1. Lovely and sunny in East Kent too. (well it is a while since this blog devoted itself entirely to weather forecasts!)

  11. I just enjoyed this one, even though my own (lacking) vocabulary meant I had to do a little research and come here for further assistance. Always pleasing to be able to work the clues out without having to ‘reveal’ the answers. Thanks to the setter and reviewer. :-)

  12. For me at least this merits 4* for difficulty. I couldn’t do 24a – when I looked at the hints it came back from the deep recesses of my mind. Although I got the answer to 5d I couldn’t explain it until I read the explanation – brilliant. Also got the answer to 11a but I STILL don’t understand it – sorry to be so dim two days running!! Favourite clues today 9a, 15 and 16d and, best of all, particularly once I understood the “noon’ bit, 5d. Lovely and sunny here in Oxford – just about to take our dog for a walk by the river so that she can have a swim.

    1. Kath,
      11a is SPORT (game) reversed (after setback) with HIE (hasten) inside to make cups and medals. Hie is an archaic verb meaning to go quickly as in “Hie thee to a nunnery!”.

      1. Thank you Gazza – how did I not get that? Not doing well this week – defeated by this one today and the wretched rifle yesterday ….! Don’t particularly fancy the nunnery but maybe it’s the only place for me!!

          1. Think that reply to this went, somehow, in the wrong place. Definitely more fun in the CC (where I certainly belong for the foreseeable future) – don’t really fancy a nunnery … !

  13. Much as I enjoyed yesterday’s I found today’s puzzle very hard going and only managed to solve half: the NE and SW quarters in fact. Thanks for your hints, Gazza, which helped me to finish. I had great difficulty with 5d and 11a for some reason, among too many other. So I can’t say it gave me much pleasure. Better luck tomorrow maybe.

  14. More difficult than yesterday but still very enjoyable. Got trophies for 9a on basis of tries but do not understand the oph bit, or am I in the wrong place?
    Thanks as always to Gazza and the setter.

  15. Some nice clues, with a real “aha moment” courtesy of 5d. Didn’t like 18d, as I don’t accept (as a Yorky living in Sussex) that the SE is all that prosperous! Nubian beat me to the punch on 24a – HMS ********* was a stone frigate (shore-based training establishment) for aircraft engineers in Gosport, where my aircrew training once took me. Now a housing estate I should think.

  16. I am sorry my thanks were remiss
    To Giovanni for the setting of this
    Also Gazza and the forum
    For explaining the ‘pons asinorum’

    I’m here all week

  17. Another nice one from the maestro.

    I liked 15/17a, 19a, 21a, 24a, 7d, 15d & 18d.

    Had a good week with no need for hints.

  18. Way, way beyond me today. Did 15 answers, but that was it. The only bit of good news is that my week at the crem is over, hooray!

  19. Been out all day so even later than usual getting to the crossword. Finished, with a little help from my electronic friend, didn’t understand the “noon” bit in 5d until reading Gazzas hints. Loved 21a because I’d never heard of it but it worked logically, just as a cryptic clue should. Thanks Giovanni and Gazza

  20. Is it me or is there an increase in clues using unfinished or incomplete words as part of the solution?

  21. My husband and I have have been doing DT crosswords for years – and often not finishing them so finding this website has been great. Even with the answers we sometimes struggle to know how it was arrived at. However we have noticed in recent years a trend simply to use the first letter of any old word (eg in DT 26336 “a” for active which is not a recognized abbreviate. We think this is a bit lazy but are we being difficult?

    1. Hi Carole – welcome to the blog.
      Setters shouldn’t (and don’t in general) use the first letter of any old word as an abbreviation. It has to be recognised, i.e. normally in Chambers as an abbreviation. Chambers does have a=active (but unfortunately doesn’t say in what context the abbreviation is used).

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