DT 26348 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 26348

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 26348

Hints and tips by Gazza

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

I’d be interested to hear from those who did Wednesday’s Toughie (also by Giovanni) as to how you think that one compares with this one. It seems to me that they are of a very similar standard of difficulty. If you didn’t do Wednesday’s Toughie I’d still like to hear what you thought of this one.
For newcomers, the answers are concealed between the brackets under the relevant clues. Just drag your cursor through the space between the brackets to unhide one.

Across Clues

7a  Greek character left with wild animal — a feature of window design (7)
{MULLION} – this is a vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window. It’s a charade of a Greek letter, L(eft) and a big cat.

8a  Listen attentively to the man facing a defeat (4,3)
{HEAR OUT} – a phrasal verb meaning to listen attentively until the speaker has finished talking could, if split as 2,1,4, be construed as a man faced with an overwhelming defeat.

10a  Feature that could be made of tin and enamel (9)
{LINEAMENT} – the definition is feature and it’s a distinguishing mark on the face. It’s also an anagram (could be made) of TIN and ENAMEL.

11a  Austrian composer drank endlessly (5)
{SUPPE} – this is the name of an Austrian composer of light opera, and it’s a verb meaning drank without the final D. It was the last answer I got, by which time the checking letters indicated either SIPPE or SUPPE. Google identified the right one, because I’ve never heard of him.

12a  The sporting event — he’s left a footprint (5)
{TRACE} – the sporting event is the race. Once “he” has left what remains is a footprint.

13a  Alcoholic medicines with colours? ‘Cures with tint’ possibly (9)
{TINCTURES} – this is a clever anagram (possibly) of CURES and TINT to produce a word which means both alcoholic solutions of a drug and shades of colour.

15a  Checks what sounds like downpour, something wrong (5,2)
{REINS IN} – a phrasal verb meaning checks can be used literally (of a horse) or figuratively. We want a sound-alike for downpour followed by a transgression (something wrong).

17a  City churches terrible? Not all (7)
{CHESTER} – some (not all) of the clue is the name of an attractive city in the North-West of England. Its one-time MP, Giles Brandreth, obviously didn’t think much of it because he said of it “Happiness is the constituency in the rear-view mirror”.

18a  Officer studies systematic layout of information (9)
{CONSTABLE} – this officer is a charade of a verb meaning studies and a systematic display of information (in a spreadsheet, for example).

20a  Attendant to rush with expenditure of energy (5)
{CARER} – start with a verb meaning to rush in an uncontrolled way and remove an E (with expenditure of E(nergy)) to leave an attendant.

21a  There’s no yen in Irish county for some of butcher’s stuff (5)
{OFFAL} – remove the Y (there’s no yen) from the end of the name of a county in the province of Leinster and you’re left with the less salubrious bits of dead animals.

23a  One offers alternative treatment in way that includes love (9)
{HOMEOPATH} – where are you if you’re “in”? Add a synonym for way and put O (zero, love) between the two to make a practitioner of complementary medicine.

24a  Tell the tale about a new dog (7)
{SPANIEL} – start with a verb meaning to talk glibly (tell the tale) and put A and N(ew) inside it to make a breed of dog.

25a  Assembling to have several drinks at Oxford? (5-2)
{ROUND-UP} – the bringing together of all the cattle on a ranch is a charade of a set of drinks bought for the members of a group and an adverb meaning at Oxford (or another university).

Down Clues

1d  Map army can carry round to find area with trees, say (10)
{PLANTATION} – string together a synonym for map, the abbreviation for our volunteer army and another word for can with O (round) inside.

2d  One dipping into bowl, famous hand-washer (6)
{PILATE} – the famous hand-washer was the Roman prefect of Judaea who sanctioned the crucifixion of Christ. Put (dipping) I (one) into a synonym for bowl.

3d  Yet to be on the losing end, like the proverbially spoilt child? (8)
{UNBEATEN} – double definition, the second cryptic. Think of the proverb “Spare the rod and spoil the child”.

4d  Snapshot taken with night starting? There’s minimal light (6)
{PHOTON} – another word for snapshot is followed by the initial (starting) letter of Night to get a quantum of light.

5d  Small container with plant brought into class (8)
{CASSETTE} – this small container is made by putting a verb meaning to plant or fix inside a class of society, especially one in India.

6d  TV series? One may get into a lather (4)
{SOAP} – double definition.

7d  Decoration rendering sir mystical or weird (8,5)
{MILITARY CROSS} – a decoration for distinguished active service is an anagram (weird) of SIR MYSTICAL OR. I can’t make any sense of the surface here, and I don’t like the word order, with the definition “rendering” the anagram fodder.

9d  A safe right inside France’s very fashionable financial office (13)
{TREASURERSHIP} – this is a rather unwieldy word for financial office. Put A, a synonym for safe and R(ight) inside the French word for “very”. Finally add an informal term for fashionable.

14d  Article blocking dirt road somehow gets one slowing down gradually (10)
{RITARDANDO} – an anagram (somehow) of DIRT ROAD has inside it (blocking) an indefinite article. The result is a musical term meaning slowing down gradually.

16d  The French, beset by environment not good, get comfortably ensconced (6,2)
{SETTLE IN} – we want a phrasal verb meaning get comfortably ensconced. Put the French (masculine singular) definite article inside a synonym for environment from which the final G has been dropped (not Good).

17d  My career is running part of the dairy industry (8)
{CREAMERY} – a place where butter and cheese are made is an anagram (running) of MY CAREER.

19d  To experience a hug is contemplated (6)
{BEHELD} – a past participle meaning contemplated or seen could also mean, if redefined as (2,4), to be on the receiving end of a hug.

20d  Church for our lot won’t have female singers (6)
{CHORUS} – the definition is singers. Start with an abbreviation for church and add FOR US (for our lot), then take out the F(emale).

22d  Order one to eat unhealthy food? Quite the opposite! (4)
{FIAT} – quite the opposite means that unhealthy food (as favoured by Mrs Sprat) eats (i.e. includes) I (one). The result is an order or decree, from the latin for “let it be done”.

The clues which I liked included 13a, 23a, 2d, 20d and 22d, but my favourite today is 8a. Let us know what you liked.

40 comments on “DT 26348

  1. I thought, as you did, that this was on a par for difficulty with Wednesday’s Toughie (and not much easier than today’s Toughie come to that!).
    I also had to look up the composer, particularly as SIPPE is actually a German word in its own right. I also needed to confirm the musical direction as I had not heard of this one specifically (although the anagram was clear).
    The first 5 down clues were my favourites!
    Many Thanks to Gazza and Giovanni for rounding off the DT week.

  2. I too think this was as difficult as Wednesday’s toughie (and today’s toughie wasn’t much tougher). Agree with all your favourites. Thanks Gazza and Giovanni.

  3. I’d agree with Gnomey and Sue. Isn’t that nice? I’m sure that Mary would have a view – isn’t it quiet without her! BTW, today’s Quickie is a pangram.

    1. We like to be agreed with. I am missing Mary very much – hopefully she will return from Devon refreshed and ready for the battle with next week’s Cryptics.

  4. Ditto. I thought I was making heavy weather of this one but then I was woken up by the dog at some unearthly hour so was half-asleep on the train. Nontheless, I enjoyed the challenge that Giovanni set us. I tend to agree that it was on a par with his Toughie earlier in the week (nothing wrong with that) and, if anything, slightly trickier than today’s Toughie by Osmosis. Favourite clue was 2d.

    Many thanks to Giovanni and to Gazza for the review.

  5. My opinion was the same as it was for Wednesday’s Toughie!

    For once I got the composer very easily:


  6. A little harder than the Wednesday Toughie for me, but I found this one more enjoyable. A couple in the top left held me up for a while. Compared to the Toughie today by Osmosis, I would say this is fractionally easier, but both good puzzles.
    With a couple of hours left to kill in the office, time to see what the other online crosswords have to offer!
    Thanks to Giovanni, and to Gazza.

  7. The Composer got me. I was weighing up between SIPPE, SUPPE and LAPPE. I initially went for LAPPE which of course chewed up my CASSETTE!

  8. I didn’t try the Wednesday Toughie so can’t compare but I am enjoying todays. I’m about three quarters through.
    The Cryptic today was a good work out. Why is it that some crooswords are a struggle but doable if you stick with it and some are just impossible. I know some will say different Setters have their own way of doing things but the enjoyment from a challenging doable struggle is far better than an incomplete puzzle and a sense of bewilderment.
    Oooerr It must be Friday.
    Thanks for fine crossword Giovanni and to You Gazza for the explanations.
    Fav was 14d

  9. I don’t do the toughie. I thought this was a bit harder than yesterday’s Cryptic, but not ****. I finished it in about half an hour.

    Re 7d, ‘rendering … weird’ is surely the anagram indicator. The addition of ‘weird’ (‘odd’ or ‘strange’ would also have done) is made made necessary by the ‘or’ in the fodder. Favourite is 22d, which was the last one solved; I guess it helps if you’ve heard of Suppe!

  10. I didn’t find either of them particularly difficult but I enjoyed this one much more. Thanks to both Gazza and Giovanni.

      1. I thought they were and checked on the who’s who in crossword land site before I embarrassed myself by writing something wrong! Have you done the wonderful themed Indy puzzle?

        1. No I haven’t Sue. I have done the 2 DT puzzles, the Guardian, and the FT, and am now retiring with a headache and eyestrain ! :)

  11. A very enjoyable puzzle by Giovanni.

    The only one I didn’t fully understand was 9d. I did get the right answer from the direct definition portion of the clue along with the intersecting letters. However I needed the blog to help me fully understand the word-play (thanks Gazza).

    Thanks to Giovanni for a very good puzzle and Gazza for a very informative blog.

  12. Well, I could only fill in six of the clues today. Very discouraging when I thought I was moving up in the Clueless category! This was right out of my crossword range :-(

    1. This may sound slightly mad, but try the Toughie. Some of us more experienced solvers found it less of a struggle than the Cryptic.

  13. I knew this was rather more than ** after reading it through and only getting about 2 answers. Between going to the doctor, playing for a wedding and doing Sainsburys, I’ve now got 16 answers, and they might even be right! Will struggle on a bit before turning to the hints.

  14. I would never have got the composer or 14d. Not sure what this says about my musical education, but I expect The Chairman would have a good idea of where to start! A silly mistake with 12a held up 2d, but for what in some opinions seems to be a quite tricky puzzle today I think I showed it who’s the boss.

  15. Boy am I ever glad that there were a couple of anagrams in this puzzle otherwise I might never have got started. Once I did I found it was a lot of thought provoking but good clues.

    At first I put treasurehouse in for 9d but couldn’t make it work (obvciously) and changed it when I got 23a.

    Thanks for an excellent puzzle Giovanni and for a top notch review GAzza.

  16. I’m SO glad that this got 4* – was actually hoping for 5 as I found it more difficult than any crossword that I’ve done (or rather NOT done) for a very long time. I ended up with four clues that I simply couldn’t do and several more that I couldn’t explain until I decided to give up the unequal struggle and head for the hints. This is way out of my league! I think that I’ll go and have a little sulk and cut the grass while I do it!

    Thank you to Giovanni (for bringing me right down to earth just when I thought that I was improving) and to Gazza (for making sure that I didn’t spend the rest of the day battling)

      1. Thanks Geoff and Franny – glad not to be on my own at the bottom of the class with the dunce’s hat on!!

  17. Loved 6d – not because it was particularly hard or particularly clever but because it brought back fond memories of the US sitcom of the 1970’s having the same name (the story of two sisters – Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell). It had Billy Crystal in it (who was fab in When Harry Met Sally) and some brill characters – especially Benson the butler and Chuck who only talked through his ventriloquist dummy Bob. I had such a crush on Corinne (one of Jessica’s daughters)!


    1. I remember Soap well. It was hilarious. My particular favourite character was Burt Campbell, who always looked gormless and at one stage was replaced by an alien lookalike.

  18. Final score of 20 answers then. 11a, 14d and SW corner were early ones to go in. Did like 13a and 3d.

    Thanks to G&G for equally fine puzzle and review.

  19. Well I am often totally clueless on a Friday.

    We finished this today. Two consecutive Giovannis completed!

    This was easy by Giovanni’s standards I think.

    20d annoyed me – too contrived.

    1. Peter,
      Rather than Giovanni getting easier, it’s more likely that you are getting better at understanding his clues!

  20. I found this quite straightforward and completed it in the usual half hour or so. I tried the Wednesday Toughie (after my success in completing the Tuesday Toughie without any help) and just became more and more frustrated and did not finish it. For me this was very much easier.
    I fully empathise with Nubians comments above
    Liked 23a, 1d and 22d.
    Thanks to Giovanni and Gazza for the hints.

  21. Usual Giovanni fare.
    Best for me were 7a, 11a, 23a, 4d, 14d & 19d.

    Giovanni : when did a plate become a bowl (2d)???

    Re 11a – he is not in Chambers Crossword Dictionary but I remembered him anyway.

  22. 11A: chalk up another win for Anne Bradford – he’s in her “composers” list.

    Plates and bowls: this reminds me of a debate elswhere about “to” and “ajar” – the typical meanings of the words are different, but they both cover a range of possibilities which I think just overlap – in this case, the crock known to at least some as a “soup plate” would probably be a bowl for others.

    1. Pete – yes I also noted afterwards that Anne B. had Suppé in her list.
      Re the plate/bowl – nicely put!

  23. Rather tough but solved it eventually.As for 11a,never heard of him but googled suppe from drank endlessly and gotcha!

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